Tuesday, February 23, 2010

cold day / warm soup...

I haven't shared a recipe lately, so I thought this might be a good time of year to share a hearty soup. This is super simple [my favorite kind of recipe] and involves few pots and pans [can it get any better] and it is almost better the next day as leftovers [don't pass out on me :] Our oh-so generous boss has given us a turkey breast for Thanksgiving the last several years and this is a wonderful way to use it. You can use cooked chicken, I'm sure it would be just as scrumptious! The hubby says that you know a soup is good when it prominently features 'exploded rice' - the rice is dropped into boiling water and then simmers for a long time, when it soaks up all that broth it... well... explodes for lack of a more culinary word.
Without more wordiness, here is the
Turkey [or Chicken] and Rice Soup

makes 12 cups


2 c turkey or chicken, cooked & cubed

1 c carrots, chopped

1 c celery, chopped

1/2 c onion, diced

2 Tbsp dried parsley

3 Tbsp chicken bouillon [if using cubes, enough for 10 c water]

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

3/4 c rice
10 c water


Bring water to a boil; add bouillon
Put all other ingredients in; bring to a boil
Cover & simmer for 45 minutes

note: this soup works wonders to combat the bajillion inches of snow we have seen this winter in Ohio [and the rest of the northeast]

Monday, February 22, 2010


Finally finished with my February swap block! Melissa asked for a machine appliqued tree block similar to the cluck. cluck. sew. tutorial. I auditioned alot of designs to try and incorporate a little bit of me into the design. I actually drew this pattern out with my tablet [getting a little better at drawing on my computer, yea for me!] She sent along steam-a-seam 2 and I LOVED working with it :] Because of the tackiness of the adhesive, you could play around with where you wanted your pieces until you ironed it to make it permanent. Another plus was that it was much easier to take the backing paper off of the fabric without removing the adhesive in the process - I end up with alot more frayed edges when I use wonder under. I think with my next JoAnn's coupon I might experiment with it some more!

Oh, by the way: you MUST check out the giveaway over at a la mode fabric :] she is a little crazy and it is showing up in what she is voluntarily giving away!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

the intersection of craft and theology...

Just a quick post here today - I am still diligently working on Berni's tutorial [kind of excited about it too], but life has gotten in the way of craftiness again. I am finishing up some papers for a seminary course I'm taking. One chapter of the book deals with addiction and here is the line that caught my eye:

"Also on the growing list [of addictions] are shopping, religion, exercise, video games, money, and going to the movies. One writer who follows the trends in fashionable dependencies cites a confession in Pittsburgh of a 'sewing or fabric addiction.'" -C. Plantinga

Just something for all of us with those stacks of fabric resting in closets, on floors, in cupboards, and in our dreams :] The little plaster plaque hangs on my design board in my craft room, it was my grandma's. A little reminder for life inside and outside of the four walls of my studio.

"wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong,learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow." -Isaiah 1:16-17

Friday, February 12, 2010

berni's new digs...

Ever since Berni got back from her day at the spa, she has really turned into quite the diva - requesting her cover on when she isn't in use, the diligent use of the little dust brush she came with, and even demanding the use of a denim needle when sewing through 8 layers of fabric and a layer of peltex stabilizer. She has been sewing like a pro, so I can't complain. She has been content with the plain-jane vinyl, generic, red and white cover she came with for her whole life. The girls over on the ORBC discussion board started chatting it up about making new covers shortly before Christmas. I am proud to say that Berni is now sporting new digs - featuring some really lovely fabrics by Art Gallery [lining], Amy Butler [main panels and sides], and even some designed by the hub's mom, Marlene [polka dots on the pockets]!

I came up with the pattern on my own, modeling it after her plain-jane original. It's completely lined and has an opening for the handle. [most of the patterns/tutorials I found online left out this important detail!]

I am a little impressed with myself - I printed out the logo for Bernina, transferred it onto wonder under, ironed it on, then free-form outlined each of the letters with the machine. I am not real adventurous with machine applique, but this was fun and easy and turned out like I envisioned.

The back shows off my love for those ticker tape quilts that have [seemingly] been showing up ALL over Flickr and the blogosphere - I would love to do a bed sized quilt with all my scraps, but haven't found the time or energy to take on this pursuit [yet!] Really they're everywhere: here, here, here, here, and even here...

Look for a tutorial for the cover coming to a post near you!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

napping at the zoo...

I am excited to share with you a FINISHED ufo! Can you believe it?! Last summer I pledged [well, sorta - maybe hoped is a better word] to finish work on my massive stack of unfinished objects before begining anything new. So... I definitely have started new projects since this summer, but I am still steadily working through lots and lots of un-done craftiness.

This blankie was started a several years ago for a baby who no longer needs a baby blanket. It's pretty simple: I just fussy cut the animal blocks and added borders around a teal flannel center. This is the point where progress stopped. Time at the 'zoo' stood still. It was really tough to pick it back up - how do you make that project that has been lying around [I've looked at it a million times] exciting and new? I decided to back it with some oh-so-soft baby lime green fleece and incorporate knotting and some long stitch quilting using perle cotton. I think the finished project is a very cuddly one. As an added bonus, finishing this project required not one trip to the fabric store - binding, backing, and perle cotton were all located using my stash.

Seeing as the intended recipient isn't in need of a baby blanket, it is in my etsy for another tot to try napping at the zoo :]

Sunday, February 7, 2010

snowy zig-zag...

I apologize for my absence here on the world wide web - life moves as an incredibly fast pace [moving faster some months than others]. My crafty pace has not slowed terribly, however. I have been busy, unfortunately very few of those projects are anywhere near finished. I prefer to share only 'done' craftiness with you so that you don't get bored looking at the same colors, patterns, techniques, etc. for weeks at a time.

As some of you may know, I closed my eyes, crossed my fingers, and dove into the wonderful world of online quilting this past summer. I joined the Old Red Barn Quilt Along over on Flickr and finished the top for my wonky log cabin quilt [it's in line at the church to be put on the quilting frame - but it will have to wait until this summer!] Wonky was round 3; zig-zags were round 2. I have been so tempted to try zig-zagging, but the occasion never presented itself... until now! I am working on a little quilty project [to be seen later] that featured pinwheels. I ended up with quite a few leftover 3.5" squares - which I turned into half square triangles. And then inspiration struck... and this zig-zag pillow was the result [I'm calling it snow trails]. Half square triangles are like the cheese of the quilt world - you can add them to anything and organize them in so many ways - oh the versatility!

So I made the back envelope style - I always like that you can remove the pillow form and replace it if the need arises. [plus - there's one of my little tags! yea!] The pillow is currently hanging out in my etsy shop.

I hope you're digging your way out of the snow if you are reading this in the northeastern US! [and bracing yourself for more of the white stuff :]