Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Need More Time...

....like about another week and then I might actually have everything done. But noooo, it doesn't look like that' s gonna happen. Neither is the weather going to cooperate. So, after the 10" of fluffy white stuff mixed in with .25" of ice in the middle, we're in for yet another storm Tuesday nite into Wednesday. Aaaaaaaaarrrrghhhhhh! That means we have to move up our travel to Dad's house. Instead of leaving Wednesday we must leave tomorrow afternoon once The Bearded One is home from work. That means that all that baking and other stuff I wanted to do just isn't gonna happen.

On a quilty note, the project mentioned in the last post did get completed this morning. Good thing. The QB Christmas party and Challenge Reveal has been postponed to next week. Hopefully the weather gods will cooperate. We've had to cancel quilting the last 2 weeks. Would somebody please remind the weather gods that this is Seattle and we're supposed to be getting RAIN, not SNOW?!?

Here are a few more pictures from our last few storms. When Arlo gets outside, he loves it. It's just getting him to go outside that's the problem. He goes to the door, I open it. He sticks his nose out, sees the snow and promptly puts on the brakes. Then he gives me the most pathetic look. Like it's MY FAULT or something! Sheesh. You'd never know he doesn't like the snow from these pictures though. The "crunchy" stuff really bothered him though. He was absolutely sure there was something burried under all that cold, white stuff. It's really fun to through a snowball into the ground and watch him try to find it!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Just in Case...

Just in case The Bearded One might read this post -- doubtful, but you never know, I had to obscure the latest project. It will be revealed next week. But see, I have been busy quilting -- you just can't see it! The top portion is complete -- now to quilt it.

Meanwhile, we are having more unusual weather for the Seattle area, that means more white stuff. This area just can't handle it. The first couple paragraphs of this article pretty much sum it up best. The city of Kent is 28 square miles and there are only 5 snow plows! Of course, the city itself is down in the valley with most of the roads up on the two hills on either side of the valley. So, when it snows we really can't do much.

Well, The Bearded One just called, he's stuck in a massive, snow-related traffic jam. Good thing I can look at traffic cams for him.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


You know how it is when you can't get a song out of your head? Well, I woke up with this little ditty going through my head.

For a lot of you, 2" of the white stuff isn't much. But for the Seattle area, it's a big deal. Even worse, is the thermometer hovering in the 20's. A certain dog did not want to go out this morning.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Quilt Dog

Isn't he just too cute for words? Yup, that's my my spoiled boy. If there's a quilt around, he must be under it. He's happiest when he's all wrapped up in a quilt. Guess I should make him a quilt of his own one of these days.....

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Picture Says it All

Quilters really are the nicest people. A few months back Lori, from our HQChatters, list lost her husband of 47 years to cancer. We decided she needed a quilt. Today it was presented to her by her local quilting bee friends. Here she is with her Baskets of Love quilt. I think the picture truly does say it all.

Meanwhile, we finally got our Christmas tree up the other day. The timing was perfect. We had literally just hauled everything down from the attic when the doorbell rang. It was the mailman delivering the new ornament. Four years ago, when we lost Ditto, our big brown moose, I ordered the top ornament shown here with his picture on it. Since we lost Sneakers this year, we had to add an ornament with her picture. The timing was perfect.

Of course Arlo had to stick his nose in everything and inspect the tree quite closely. We had to remind him that no, we did NOT set this up in the living room so he wouldn't have to go outside in the rain. I'm really glad it's an artificial tree. Otherwise I'm sure he would try to lift his leg on it. But then, come to think of it, he did do that his first Christmas.

Here's another shot of one of my husband's favorite ornaments. How many people can say that they have a VW bus on their Christmas tree?

Friday, December 05, 2008

Challenged by the Challenge

So, here it is, another year has flown by. It's December and I have joined the ranks of the rest of the QB's struggling to finish this year's Christmas Challenge. Usually I know what I'm doing. This year I started out with little direction and no real plan. Other than it had to be green and it had to be a basket of some sort. I started out on one idea and chugged merrily along until I came to a crashing halt in September. I had NO IDEA how to proceed further. Well, I can now report that the pieces are finally falling into place. An idea occurred to me the other day while doing some blog browsing. I can happily report that the 2008 Challenge is ALMOST COMPLETE! Whoo hoo!

Meanwhile, I seem to have become a bit distracted. A few months ago Freda had a Christmas Cottage exchange. I didn't participate. But, now I keep seeing all the cottages everywhere and even a completed top or two. Well, I decided to make my own cottages, smaller, and slightly different. Now I'm on a roll. I'm thinking I'll add some trees too.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

My Dark Secret

Yesterday, Mary posted about her messy sewing room. Well, that prompted me to take another look at my disaster. I admit it, I'm a slob. I'd much rather be doing ANYTHING but cleaning and straightening up. I have a sign still on the doorway of my former sewing room that states "Creative Minds are Rarely Tidy". That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Meanwhile, I'll let you in on my deep, dark secret. I hope it doesn't scare you too much. But, this is the current state of my sewing room. After looking at it from this perspective, I'm deeply ashamed of it. As soon as I run today's errands I think I will go right downstairs and try to put some order back into this chaos.
So, Mary, do I win the prize?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

More Pillowcases

6 more pillowcases today for a weekend total of 10. All of these will go to Alycia for her QOV project. Thanks Mary for the most needed nudge. It was just what I needed to do some stash busting for a good cause.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pillowcase Party

I'm participating in the HeartStrings Pillowcase Party this weekend. Here are my first four! I'm hoping to get at least that many completed tomorrow. I will be sending these off to Alycia with the two completed quilts for her QOV project. If you've got some free time, I urge you to please help out this worthwile cause. And, if you're really feeling motivated, make a quilt, or two to send along. Alycia's goal is 400 quilts by May.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Holiday Wrap Up

One holiday down, one more to go. I'm not a big fan of holidays. I admit it, I'm a grinch. I hate the crowds, I hate the hustle and bustle. I hate the fact that Christmas stuff is displayed in the stores in October! What happened to the times when you'd not see Christmas decorations until Thanksgiving? Ok, I'll stop grosing now.

Meanwhile, we had the requisite turkey and all the trimmings. My lovely 16 year old niece did most of the meal herself with a little help from Uncle David, mom & yours truly. She's quite a cook. Here's her turkey. She brined it so it came out nice and moist.

Here's Grandpa trying to get every last piece off that carcass. Arlo really, really wanted to help but for some reason nobody would let him. Poor guy. That's ok, when he wasn't busy begging food, he was on window duty. Somebody had to guard us from all those strangers walking around the lake!

This morning, before the rain became seriious, The Bearded one and David decided they should help Dad put up the Christmas lights. This involves tramping around on the roof installing angle iron stands to hold the lighted wreath over the carport and a star at the end of the house. For some reason Dad still thinks that climbing around on ladders and roofs is ok for an almost 79 year old man. I really wish he wouldn't.

Once we came home this afternoon, I went downstairs to finish quilting that last bottom border on the Disappearing 9-Patch and the inner black borders. That done, binding sewn on, I came upstairs to make dinner. Silly me, I put the quilt down on the couch and my Official Quilt Tester promptly settled in to test it out. The Bearded One then covered the rest of him with yet another quilt since this is the dog that must be covered by a quilt. The floral under Arlo's chin is the D9P. Once I get the binding sewn down, I'll get some pictures of the actual quilt. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

I'm hoping to spend some time this weekend making pillowcases for Alycia's QOV project. I'm hoping that lots of other quilters take up the challenge. For more information, see Heartstrings Pillowcase Party.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


...truly is my least favorite color. I dislike it intensely enough to say that I "hate it". I know hate is a strong word, but then, so is my dislike of the color. So, I found it almost amusing today to realize, as I was preparing the dishes I said I would do for tomorrow's feast, that they were both ORANGE! Aacckkkkk! I'm sure if any of the QB's are reading this now, they're laughing with delight.

First up was this sweet potato casserole, still needing it's topping of brown sugar and pecans.

Then cam the Roasted Carrot dip. This gets served with these great, crunchy pita chips. If you're ever looking for a great potluck offering, this is it. And, to top it off, it's not filled with all the yummy things that are bad for you. Well, ok, it does have some mayo & sour cream, but I always use the light or no-fat versions.

Roasted Carrot Dip
Recipe By : Adapted from: August/September "Taste of Home" magazine

Serving Size : 8 Preparation Time :0:15
10 medium carrots
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic -- sliced
6 Tablespoons water, or more
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Pita wedges:

4 - 6 pita bread rounds, 6"
2 Tablespoons butter, melted -- or more

Cut carrots in half widthwise; cut lengthwise into 1/2" thick slices. In a bowl combine the carrots, garlic and oil; toss to coat. Transfer to a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. (I just used my 13"x9" pyrex pan.) Bake, uncovered, at 425º fpr 20 minutes. Stir; bake 15-20 minutes longer or until carrots are tender. Cool slightly.

In a blender, combine 6 tablespoons water, vinegar, mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, salt, pepper
and carrot mixture; cover and process until smooth. Add additional water if needed to achieve
desired consistency. Transfer to a bowl; refrigerate until serving.

Pita Wedges: Brush both sides of pita breads with butter. Cut in half; cut each half into six wedges. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350º for 4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Serve with carrot dip.

Note: I don't bother making the pita wedges since my local Costco sells the pita chips pictured here.

Just so you don't think I've been a total slackard in the quilting/sewing department, here are a couple finished projects. The little santa wallhanging on the left and one of two completed pillowcases on the right. The pillowcases are the presentation cases for the two QOV's still awaiting labels before I can send the out to Alycia.

Here's hoping you and yours have a happy, safe Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Spotted Weirdness

So, what does the spotted angel on the left have to do with the common, kitchen appliance on the right? The object of the picture on the right is afraid of the object on the right! To the point that he KNOWS what it means when you hold a loaf of bread. He turns into a shaking, quivering dog and slinks downstairs to his "safe" place, the guest bedroom.

Slow bi-peds that we are, it took us awhile to figure out why Arlo was always disappearing when we made breakfast or when we put anything in the toaster. The reason he's afraid of the toaster, on occasion the crumbs in the bottom will set off the smoke detector. He's so paranoid that all you have to do is hold a loaf of bread up, nowhere near the toaster, and he's gone.

"Mr. I'll do anything for cheese" won't stick around for it when you're holding that loaf of bread in the other hand. And yet, this is the same dog that literally swiped a piece of bread from my hand last Christmas down at Dad's house. Silly boy and his crazy paranoia. It's a darn good thing we love him so much!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Making Progress

Progess at last! This weekend I quilted the jellyroll QOV. Since the back is a lovely red I got bold and quilted it with red thread in an all over stars and loops. Not very imaginative or creative quilting. But, it's done. Once I get this one bound I'll send it off to Alycia with the Disappearing 9-patch from a couple months ago.

Yes indeed folks, that last picture is the often mentioned Blooming 9-Patch. Unfortunately, it turned out so big with the additional rows that I don't need to put on the last, dark blue border. I also don't have a spot big enough to lay it out to get a good picture.

Next up to be quilted is the Disappearing 9-Patch for the guest bedroom. That and the B9P are both UFO's for Finn's UFO challenge. But, just getting the piecing completed is a HUGE step in my book!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Autumn Like No Others

It's not often that we get such glorious colors here in the Pacific Northwest. Usually our rainy, overcast weather keeps the nights too warm. But, October was dry and clear allowing the nights to get nice and cold -- just what the leaves needed. In the 20 years that I've lived here, this is the most colorful Autumn. It has definitely been equal to those of my youth spent living in the Hudson Valley.

Alas, rain and wind are expected for the next few days so the leaves will all be gone soon. Naturally, we were thinking about doing another VW campout. I guess it's not a WetWestie campout without rain!
Check out the jumbo mushroom growing in the backyard! I'll have to go get a ruler to really show just how big it is! But seriously, it is at least 6" or more across! Thank goodness Arlo doesn't like mushrooms. At least I don't have to walk the lawn smooshing all the little, brown ones that Miss Sneakers used to eat!

On a quilty note, the Blooming 9-Patch is FINALLY completed! That's 2 UFO's down, one to go. I'm counting flimsies as completed at this point. I am going to try to make a concerted effort to get them quilted before 12/31 but, we'll see.....pictures to come....it's just so darn BIG!