Saturday, April 30, 2011

Rum Raisin Pudding

We enjoy a sweet treat dessert that is relatively low-calorie with this Rum Raisin pudding. I use the sugar-free Cook'N'Serve Jello Vanilla pudding because I like the texture better than the Instant variety. Additionally, cooked pudding is less upsetting to those who are lactose-intolerant. Make the pudding using the package directions, but add a splash of rum-flavored extract and about a cup of raisins stirred into the mix. I chose to add the raisins as it was cooking so that it pumped them as it cooked.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I've been procrastinating on stay-stitching around the final outer edge of RRCB, which I have decided to call, "Cotton Candy." After that, it needs a final pressing and then can go to the longarmer for quilting. So I have not blogged because somehow I've felt that I'm being "bad" and don't want to admit it!
Yet I have done several more blocks on my Sister's Choice and I'm putting flying geese units together, too. But what pleases me the most and excites me recently is working on the Chain of Faith quilt designed by Jo Kramer and featured on Moda Bake Shop.
I'm using lots of the FQ's that I bought for 10 for $10 at Keepsake Quilting's main store in Center Harbor, NH. When that sale happened, I had already seen the recipe for the quilt and had mentally pledged to my self that I would make it.

These two pictures show what $70 worth of fat quarters look like in an antique market basket that I bought from an East Tennessee Ebay'er. I love how it looks just sitting out in my living room! It really tickles me to gaze at all the patterns and colors. So now you can see that I'm not using the pre-cut jelly roll from Moda. I wanted to have the fun of picking out the colors myself! That ensures that my quilt is an individual, if not entirely original. Here are a couple of pictures of the four large blocks that I have made so far:

I love the whimsical, shabby-chic cottage aura that they have. But, oh boy, are they ever tricky to make! They look deceivingly simple but are actually deviously complex. I love Jo Kramer's work and her blog, but even she warned us to watch out.
Each of the smaller blocks must be an identical match of the pattern but not the fabric. When Jo posted the pictures for her instructions, she kept showing the new picture in a different orientation from the previous one so it was hard to follow when I was doing it. It reminded me of one of those horrid visual problems on an IQ test where you are supposed to tell which two are pairs. Finally, after three rounds of frog stitching, I got one made that was RIGHT! Then I kept that one beside me at the machine to keep looking at as an example. That worked wonders for me. The pattern calls for 64 of the smaller blocks, putting four together with sashing to make 16 large blocks. For me, 64 sounds mind-bogglingly overwhelming. But 16 sounds do-able! Isn't it silly how my mind works? So I tell myself that I'll just do one of the big blocks in a day. Then I stay on track.
So now maybe I'll find the self-discipline to stay-stitch that RRCB Cotton Candy top! Whaddya think? Can I?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Yahoo, Top Done!

Three cheers and little blue fishes, as my sister, Anne, would say!! RRCB is done! My house is so crowded that I took it outdoors to photograph and the photos are a trifle overexposed, but you can see it here. It was so funny because when my young friend, Matthew, and husband, Felix, were trying to snap the pics, a breeze would come by and lift all the edges. So we would all smooth it out and try again and, bang! another breeze! But we finally got a decent picture.

If you look behind me, you can see a small bit of leftover snow in the lower driveway that had been a huge plowed-up snowbank. We got such warm temperatures in the mid 60's that it took most of the snow away.

We also measured RRCB and it was 99" X 86" which is the largest quilt top I've ever done! Whew! I think it is a much more involved top than Carolina Christmas which took me 13 months to complete. I feel I did great to get all the piecing done on RRCB in 5 months! The only thing that I need to do on it yet is to stay-stitch all around the outer edge and press the borders.

For those of you who haven't finished yours yet, this top is HEAVY!!! I usually get Warm and Natural batting from my longarmer, but that is very heavy, too. God, you won't be able to lift it! LOL! I'm just so happy that it is done!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Fifth Row

Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll is the very first quilt that I have ever done, "on point," or on the diagonal. So I was happy and excited to get to do my first one as a Bonnie quilt to have her expert instructions. And, I'll admit it, I was a little keyed up about it too.

Bonnie said to sew the blocks into rows on the diagonal, working from one corner in towards the center, and then work from the opposite corner into towards the center again, such that you then finally join the two large pieces of the quilt top together. Sounded simple to me! And there was a neat diagram too.

This is Bonnie K. Hunter's diagram from her instructions in Part 7 of RRCB on her quiltville blog:
and it is used here with Bonnie's most gracious permission. Thank you, Bonnie!!!

Sewing the Center!

So I began sewing together the blocks and setting triangles, being very careful to not mix anything up. Slow and steady; check and recheck, as I went. I was doing beautifully although my progress was painstakingly slow. When I got to the second corner's group of rows I was more confident in the rhythm of assembling.

Then I discovered that I seemed to be TWO SETTING TRIANGLES SHORT!!! How could that be? I had counted and recounted them when I had made them. None were on the floor or under the machine nor on the shelving unit. And I had TWO CORNER CAPS EXTRA!!! How could that be? I had counted and recounted them when I had made these also. Hmmmm. Too weird, I thought. 

I began to study the diagram. Counting diagonally, there are ten rows in all. I had assembled them as two groups of diagonal  five-row units. But the two fifth rows each have one corner cap and then one doubled setting triangle each! I had mistakenly tried to put the setting triangles onto both ends of both of the fifth rows. It was late when I was figuring it all out, so I went to bed feeling confused and muddled. Additionally, all that hauling the heavy rows around to assemble them had given me a minor muscle knot in my back under my shoulderblade.

Husband Wonderful rubbed me down with some Absorbine Junior lintiment and I popped a couple of aspirins and went to sleep. The next morning my subconscious must have sorted it all out because I knew exactly what I needed to do to make it all right! When I was fresh, it was easy to understand my error.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Return to RRCB

Well, the snow is short-lived and I used my hands to very gently lift the sticky wet clumps of it off of my croci. I think they made it!

Also, I worked in my Quilt Cave down cellar and made some real progress on RRCB.

I got all those previously made 60 string blocks cut and resewn back into their respective units for the quilt. After pressing them with my Best Press solution,

I measured several of the 11" blocks and decided that they did not need trimming. Some were even a trifle undersized, hmmmm.
Whenever something in piecing doesn't come out perfectly, I face choices. Should I ignore it, or fix it? My resewn string blocks were only 1/4" off, so I chose to ignore it. Sure hope I don't hate myself later!
I am happiest when I am piecing small units together in large batches. I get into a rythym that is very relaxing. Cut ten, sew ten, press ten! Then it's fun to count up the little stacks I've made and go upstairs for coffee feeling very smug with my progress.
Here is where I braved the big boogie man and actually began assembling the first rows on my too-small work table:

Whew! The sky did not fall in on me after all! Sew far, sew good!

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's Day!

Well, Mother Nature is at it again!

It is still snowing at 3:20pm, but tapering off now. I took a chance on my steep unplowed driveway to go to my little rural Post Office to mail out my 6 sets of Civil War Reproduction fat eighths fabrics for the April 15th Nickelswap Yahoo group. Let's all cheer for the invention of studded snowtires!!! I made it back home!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...