Friday, October 31, 2008

Warning - pure quilty content ahead!

Doll Quilt

Doll Quilt detail

Yes, I got my "Another Little Quilt Swap" quilt from Meredith. Isn't that cat just the cutest! & I like the American Jane prints too...

I got something in the mail from BettyJinOK - no blog - too for the baby, so I have not opened it yet...

Thanks to you both.

Happy Halloween for all of you revelers out there. Everyone else should at least eat a piece of candy. (But don't get suckered into trying to bob for apples. I did that, once.)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Say it ain't so...

David Tennant announces 'Doctor Who' departure

& I was just giddy last night to hear that the new season will start airing on BBC America next month...

I can do so much quilting during Dr. Who... It is entertaining enough to have on in the background, but not engrosing enough that I have to "watch" it all...

Oh well, there have been 10 Dr. Who's since the show started in the 60's... (But this is the only one that I have watched...)

Anyone else have a similar relationship with a TV show?

I Spy quilt at Farmington Valley Quilt Show


I Spy quilt at Farmington Valley Quilt Show
Originally uploaded by _Jill_

Not my quilt, nor my photo, but this is a Cat themed I SPY - so it is right up my alley!

The sad part, I could do this without repeating a cat print...

The sadder part - I am too chicken to work with hexagons & triangles...

Even sadder - I own or owned all of these prints...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

goings on...

I'll start with the recent history & work my way in to the planned future.

On Friday night (After the false alarm...) we went to a big box "lumber yard." and ordered some kitchen cabinets.

aside: If I failed to mention it earlier, my MIL (who is not alone this time) does not like our lack of storage solution in our kitchen. Since we keep Kosher in our home (Kosher style outside - we choose fish & veggie options at non-kosher restaurants) we have 5 sets of dishes, glasses, & silverware (meat daily use, dairy daily use, meat for passover, dairy for passover, & a fancy set that we used once during passover). I know other people who have many sets of dishes just because so this can't be super unusual, right? Anyway, since we only use the Passover dishes once a year for a week they live above the cabinets - wrapped up in table cloths.

The new cabinets will add 18 inches above the existing cabinets and hold the Passover Dishes. (We have 12 foot ceilings with standard 30 inch cabinets right now, so we will bump that up to 18 inches. At a Kitchen design shop, they recommended tearing out the old and putting in 48 inch cabinets, so hopefully these will not look so odd...)

We are also adding cabinets to a wall that did not have any previously so that our food can be stored in a "pantry" instead of on the counters.

Those will be delivered on the 17th of November & installed on the 18th & 19th. (It's good to know the installer & it is good that he has the time to take off from the "real job.")

On Saturday, we went to a Happy Fall-o-ween/Halloween party & had a nice time. (Friday nights don't work well for us...) I went dressed as a .... Pregnant woman! :o) I almost did bare foot & pregnant, but my feet were too cold. My husband went as a fan of Farve & the Bretts. (No, that will never get old!) We got a lot of "advice" on babies... & historical references... It was fun.

On Sunday, I started my simmer for a long time chicken broth after we ran a few errands...

On Monday, we started another baby class. This one is more on traditions & transitions that the actual birth or child care. We got there with a baby name for either gender - the boy name might be back up in the air...

Last night, I finished that broth & used some in a chicken soup. (Yes, I picked off all of the meat from 5lbs. of chicken wings...) The soup this time was loaded with veggies, carrots, celery, onion, parsnips, & turnips.

Tonight we will either have butternut squash soup or split pea soup... I use smoked turkey instead of a ham bone in my pea soup - My regular source is no longer available, so I got a different turkey leg - I am a bit anxious to try it, it doesn't "look" smoked...

On Saturday, my husband will have his Fatherhood 101 class & I will be cutting keys for the cat sitter & the cabinet installer. I will also make another soup/stew to put up (I need to double the recipe... Back to find more of those Aduki beans...)

On Sunday, the cat sitter will come over to learn how to feed our cats. Not so easy considering that my boy would rather play chase that go into the kitty carrier for his food. (I would blame someone who fed him out of the carrier, but...) & My girl needs to have small portions over time so that she does not return it & so that the boy does not finish it...

Then my GF will arrive to help me cull the stash. That plan is not as bad as it sounds... to begin with, the sewing room is the babies room & the baby has a lot of stuff... so something has to give.
Yesterday, I ventured in to give it a good start... I have quite a few UFO's without even digging... Those are set to the side, not to be sorted through...

I hope to post a list of those next week...

I pulled a couple cat prints for the cull pile - yes, I am patting myself on the back...

No quilt top yet... I wonder in which safe spot I put that...

Busy, busy, busy & no mention of sewing... Oh well. I hope that you are sewing at least.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mommy with her boy baby cat & her _____ baby on the way.


Mommy with her boy baby cat & her _____ baby on the way.
Originally uploaded by aviva_hadas

In case anyone thought that my cats would feel jealous of the baby, here is one example of how they will make themselves comfy in any position. (If my arms are at my side, he will rest on my side as well...) The girl started this rotation, but the boy can make her move...

The stashbusting concept has gripped a few blogs...

I too have gotten bitten...

This coming Sunday, my GF is coming over and we are going to cull my stash.

In the mean time, I need to evaluate what I have & why... So that I can know what to say good bye too.

Do I want to say good bye to any cat fabrics? (Heck do I want to even think about that rack of fabric? it also holds my taupes, my black & whites, & most of my Judaic collection. Probably not...) I did send some cat fabrics off during my last cull...

I will probably make some kits & let the rest go...

Stay tuned to see how strong I am through this process... I plan on playing with some of my favorite colors... blue & yellow. It won't be easy for me to let any of those go. (I even for a fleeting moment thought about keeping those & working only from that color combination... I know better - that is how I get a stash in those two colors to begin with!)

Any advice is welcome & solicited - If I can find the quilt top that should be hiding in there somewhere that may become a prize for the best advice.

Caveat - all quilting, quilt storage, quilt kitting, fabric culling, baby, what you really "need" for a baby, baby & cat, birth, freezes easily food, crock pot no fail recipes, etc. advice is welcome, but the quilting advice is what will be prize worthy. :o)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Quilt magazines

The Calico Quilter - of "It's the cat's house, I just live here" fame posted a query about magazines & reminded me of something that I wanted to blog about...
(To begin with and to answer her question, I don't have a favorite right now... I am allowing all of my magazines to lapse. I like to take an hour & browse through all of the quilty magazines at a big box book store. If I find a pattern that I like, I buy the magazine, if not then I don't. I recently bought a magazine that I had never ever contimplated buying before - sorry can't remember the magazine name - might have been American Quilter.)

I mentioned in the last few weeks that I ordered a quilt kit that I saw in the current American Patchwork & Quilting magazine. (I don't see it on the front page anymore & my computer is running slowly - so I did not check their "exclusive kits" page.)



(I rarely order/purchase kits or BOM's.) But this one mentioned Taupes, looked like it would look good over my couch, & I could actually see some Taupes in the photos. I usually buy my Taupes from Pinwheels - though I have purchased them for other sources on occasion.
DSC05638.JPGImagine my suprise to find so many taupes. Not just taupes but the yarn dyed taupes... (The bottom of the picture.) When I ordered the kit, I thought, "I will switch out the border - I still will. & maybe some of the other pieces. I'm not 100% sure about switching out the other pieces - well maybe a few... While I was looking for suitable substitutes, I noticed a few stapled on price tags & you can see the prices at the pinwheels link above... But for a king sized quilt with those yarn dyed taupes, this quilt was not a bad deal... (Even though my husband choked when I told him the price.) Especially since some of those are "new to me."
So if you were thinking about it, I couldn't be more pleased myself. (I haven't started to cut or piece yet, so I am still assuming that the kit has enough fabric...)

6 of 8


DSC05637.JPG
Originally uploaded by aviva_hadas

This is my quilt number 6 of 8 things to Finish by Thanksgiving.
This is plan C for those fabrics & There are many things that I would do differently next time, but it is done & "Done is better than Perfect." The model is mid-bath (in case you can see that cute little pink tongue)... This has a minky back, so I kept it simple... It is soft & warm. & Ready for the washer once we have the washer ready for baby.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Why I can't have scrunchies....


DSC05629.JPG
Originally uploaded by aviva_hadas

They are awesome cat toys.... BTW This is Ms. I'm to big for playing, but she chased this scrunchie around for quite while.

She must have had a piece of wild fur up her tush!

Which would have been so much better than the hair ball that she woke me up with this morning.

At least my pink/blue blooming 9-patch is now washed & dried (& scrunchie in its own right) & while it was drier warm, it made a most excellent cat bed. (It is a good thing that they live in the Mid-Atlantic - any further North & they would be miserable from the cold.)

1 false alarm = 1 new cat toy


1 false alarm = 1 new cat toy
Originally uploaded by aviva_hadas

On Friday, I had a regularly scheduled OB appointment. While in the waiting room, I started to feel some really bad cramping. (Enough to worry the receptionist.) & Those early get your uterus ready contractions were more frequent than they had ever been before.

By the time I was done with the appointment, the doctor said that he was sending me to the hospital...

Several hours on the monitor, a check your cervix exam & a shot later, I was discharged...

BTW If those early contractions are "soft" I can't wait to feel a "hard" one...

Baby is fine, sounds great, still breech, measured 34 cm at 34 weeks which is also good.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bunch of stuff

A. I had to halve the shipwreck stew recipe for my crock pot - too bad I did not know that before browning all of that meat, chopping all of those potatoes & carrots, and dumping a bag of green beans in to the pot. I hope that my halves are proportionate in stuff... Luckily while the cans were all open, I was able to dump one into the pot & the other into the bowl for cooking session number 2.

B. I am in the mood to cull some more from my stash.... Starting with a bag of pinks that are headed to Canada. Here is how I used the pinks:
DSC05499.JPG

Don't feel bad for me, while I was pulling these pinks, I saw not 1, not 2, but 3 pink based UFO's - without looking at the pink & brown CW roll of fat quarters Or the taupe pinks...
(Orange & hot pink/fuscia 9-patch, and 2 that use a cat panel - by a designer that I like but can not spell the name - not even close enough to get a link - Lorelei?)

Hence the culling feeling that is coming on...

C. Apparently, I may be back to hand work... So I am showing my UFO for Karen:
Ping quilt
4 pings
Usually I say, "Why did I set that aside?" This one I know... When I wen tto Houston last year, I got a seat cushion sewing caddy... I loaded it up so that I would be ready to take it... This is loaded in it & I have barely taken it anywhere...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What happened?

Several blogs have a "new" comment thing - I can't leave comments on those blogs...

That does it!

I was finally able to get the meat & chicken for me weekend cooking.

Because of a couple holidays, the kosher grocery stores were closed on Tuesday & Wednesday & the other grocers are hit & miss with what they carry & the amounts...

I needed 5 lbs. of chicken wings for chicken broth (link to my recipe - the flavor is in the bones & the wings have the highest bone ratio) - you can't get Kosher Chicken wings at a non-kosher grocery store unless you buy a ton of cut up chicken packs. That isn't happening...

I also wanted ground beef so that I can try this recipe that Judy shared the other day. I plan to cook it tomorrow & put some up for when the baby comes...

A question for you savvy crock potters...

If I brown my beef & onions tonight & store them in the fridge will that be o.k.? I don't want to be messing with browning beef in the morning... Just checking if the cold cooked beef will be a problem or not, I don't think so, but... I will have enough to do with veggie chopping & can opening! (Not to mention the fact that my husband is in the kitchen making eggs & toast in the morning - I better ask for just cereal...)

O.K. one more from the Quilt Show for Karen Dianne

Over there in LeeHaven, she made a hexagon block...

With a little perseverance, that could become this:
DSC05601.JPG

DSC05602.JPG

I used to really be into Oriental prints like these... & I love pieced stars...

But I am posting this for KDL.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I forgot...


Fall Quilt
Originally uploaded by twiddletails

I have also seen an abundance of pumpkin quilts from ones like this that are natural to ones that look like the pumpkins are carved. With that said, I don't think I have ever seen a pumpkin quilt where the pumpkins are painted...

On pumpkins

Growing up, we carved our pumpkins simply, without special tools. & we roasted the seeds. We even ate the seed shells...

Now I see elaborately carved pumpkins...
I see pumpkin carving tools...
I see pumpkin seeds sold in the store not in the shells...
I see painted pumpkins...
I've seen homes decorated with unblemished pumpkins (no carving, no painting)...
Heck I even see pumpkin recipes - that don't assume that you get your pulp from a can!

What do you do to your pumpkins? (if anything)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

No time like the present - aka Baby Love

On Sunday, my mini-group (there are 14 of us including me) threw me a baby shower.
This is the group quilt:

Gift Quilt for my Baby (No cats or kittens on this ABC quilt... They must be protecting my baby from my obsession. I've been pretty good about not haveing a lot of cat stuff for the baby.)
& a couple close-ups:
close up of the gift quilt for my baby A is for Aries (the sign of the conception...) B is for balloons, C is for cow, D is for dog, E is for elephant, F is for fish, G is for giraffe...
close up of the gift quilt for my baby S is for sheep, t is for teddy bear, U is for unicorn, x is for xylophone, y is for yo-yos. The friendship stars are in the corners - since the alphabet only has 26 letters.
The backing fabric:
Back of the gift quilt for my baby
& the lable:
DSC05626.JPG

Oh & the proud parents receiving the quilt:
2008_1019 Amy and Mike with baby quilt (I have a knack for looking goofy in most photos...) Yes, I am "that" pregnant!

In addition to the quilt, we got a lot of gender neutral (yellows, oranges, & greens) onsies, socks, mittens, sleepers, etc. a boppy, a bath mat, a teddy bear, some food related items (a bowl that has a gyroscope to keep the food from flying) a fancy brand name basket "piggy bank" & some other stuff that I can't remember off hand right now...

After the party, we went over to a girl friends house - she serged a ton of flannel into receiving blankets & is going to embroider on a few more - since they were solid.

Hubby is going to have a fun time washing all of this stuff - before the baby even gets a chance to make it dirty. :o)

More from the Quilt Show!

Some have asked... This quilt show was in Rockville/Gaithersburg, Maryland. The guild meets in Potomac, Maryland.

DSC05618.JPG From a guild challenge on using song lyrics. Probably my favorite from the whole show.
DSC05615.JPG Another challenge piece.
DSC05616.JPG One final challenge piece = who knew that cats could be so challenging?
Close up of the cats made with fake fur fabric:
DSC05617.JPG

DSC05611.JPG Loved the quilting on this one. Check out the close-up:
DSC05612.JPG Great way to "finish" raw edge applique...
Last one that I am going to post - more can be seen in my flickr album.
DSC05584.JPG I love how a block can be recreated into a scenic quilt...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Another soup-er easy soup recipe

Jessica at Turkey Cookies is having another call for soups. (Post the recipe on your blog & them do the Mr. Linky on hers.)

It is officially soup & crock pot season. While I made a Diet Coke chicken (recipe at the end) last night, here is a soup-er simple crock post chicken soup recipe.


HOMEMADE CROCK POT CHICKEN SOUP

1 pkg. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 lg. can chicken broth - I prefer to use homemade (see my recipe below) to control the sodium. This usually has enough flavor because I use chicken wings - the bones hold the flavor, but I have added powdered chicken soup mix & sometimes I add the mix just because I have it on hand... (The soup mix has plenty sodium!)
2 c. each carrots & celery
1 c. slivered onions
Seasonings according to taste (parsley flakes, garlic, salt, pepper, etc.) For me this a random mix... Sometimes I grab Herbs de-Provence & figure that has several things in it, so it is enough... Same thing with italian seasoning...

Night before: Cut carrots, celery and onion. Take chicken out of freezer. Set out seasonings. Have crock pot accessible. In a.m. literally throw above ingredients in crock pot and add water to cover the ingredients. Put on lid, turn on low, approximately 8 hours. Remove chicken breasts from crock pot with tongs. Cut meat on plate and return meat to soup mixture.

I make matzoh balls, rice, or noodles to add to the soup. (I actually pour the soup over the noodle, rice or matzoh balls so that they do not break down so much in the soup.) While I can make matzoh balls from scratch, 90% of the time, I use a box mix. (If I get the mix with soup - that is the powder that I add to the soup when it is cooking - no sense in wasting it.)

Chicken Broth
5 pounds chicken wings
2 medium onions, quartered
2 small carrots, halved
2 celery stalks, halved
4 rinsed and dried fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
2 rinsed and dried fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

Rinse the chicken wings. Put them in a stockpot and add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring the mixture just to a boil over high heat, skimming and discarding the surface skim with a slotted spoon. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, skimming frequently, for 20 minutes. Add the onions, carrots, celery, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns; simmer for 2 1/2 hours. Strain the stock and skim off all the fat that rises to the surface. (Alternately, cool the stock and refrigerate it overnight. The fat will harden on top of the stock and is much easier to remove.) Return the stock to the pot and simmer until reduced by one third, about 30 minutes. Divide the stock among several resealable plastic bags and freeze it.

Diet coke chicken

6-8 pieces of chicken (There is a package of cut up chicken that has 8 pieces - list night I used a package of bone in thighs & boneless skinnless breasts.)
20 oz. diet coke
1 cup ketchup

Put it all in the crock pot I cook on low for 6-8 hours.
That is it...

I served it with steamed snow peas & rice.

Another quilt from the quilt show & an article on quilting

As you know I like to peruse Flickr. I also like to see other quilt shows/historic collections. Once upon a time ago, (excluding very early American History & quilt blocks named for battles, platforms, & people) I always pictured Political quilts as a product of the 1930's... This seemed to be a woman's voice in the political arena to me, or a way for a community to show support of a candidate.
Like this one & Lots of political/patriotic quilts here. Political/patriotic quilt history here.

Many quilts were shown at the 1933 World's Fair of a political nature, you can see two of them if you follow the links to the book available through Amazon at this site.

This Pennsylvania museum is supposed to have an exhibit on the subject, but I could not find the specific on theor website... This Dallas, Texas museum is also having an exhibit...

Interesting Crazy Quilts located here. Instead of the quilts being political, there were political reasons for the Judge to be separated from his wife...

Many subjects of a historical quilt perspective can be found here.

Where is she going with this?

One of the quilt that I saw at the quilt show was this one:
DSC05596.JPG
close-up of the "letters"
DSC05597.JPG

I have seen several other quilts on this same subject as of late. I don't remember seeing any quilt from the last 4 elections (since I have been paying attention to quilting).

Without regard to your political leanings, do you appreciate all of the links, or have I just wasted a lot of time, trying to give a full perspective (from my point of view) on a subject? (I could have just shown the quilt & been done with it...)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Quilt from a local quilt show


DSC05586.JPG
Originally uploaded by aviva_hadas

On Saturday, I went to a local quilt show. (I have stopped jotting down the makers names & titles after some "art quilters" came after me for posting the photos that I took & gave them complete credit for their creations.)

With that said, I think that I saw this at my local county fair, but it was displayed folded over a rack.... (I still liked it folded, but I am happy to see & present the whole quilt now.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Rumor control

So I mentioned my breech baby to quite a few people... I heard many stories that they knew about breech births...
From, they just grab the legs & pull the baby out...
To something that sounds rather barbaric - turning the baby...
Here is the best one...
A gal with whom I work had a breech baby about 17 years ago.
She said that she had to try to deliver v@gin@lly otherwise the insurance would not cover the cost of the c-section...

After hearing that one I had to call my insurance carrier.
Officially, the doctor will not try to turn the baby. That is for the baby to do or not on its own. The insurance will pay for a planned c-section, so if the baby does not turn, I don't have to worry about pulling the baby by its legs out of the birth canal.

I am not sure when that decision would be made, but I know the day on which I would choose to deliver... Thanksgiving after sunset. After dealing with infertility, we have a lot to be thankful for... Also that corresponds to Rosh Chodesh (new moon) - Rosh Chodesh symbolizes renewal, the ability of the Jewish People to rise up from oblivion and restore itself to its past greatness. Just as the moon disappears at the end of each month, but returns and grows to fullness, so Israel may suffer exile and decline, but it always renews itself. & If I deliver a boy on Thursday night/Friday day, the Brit Milah (Bris) would be on Sunday which is quite convenient for all of the people who work, but who would like to help us celebrate.

My GF asked if the doctor would schedule a Thanksgiving delivery... I am not sure but the way I see it, if I went into spontaneous labor - he/she (I am in a group practice) would not have a choice... Again we'll see...

For now the baby is healthy & that is all that matters - that & we completed our childbirth class... :o)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Stuff" because I have to get it out or I will burst

So I figured out why my MIL & I do not get along as well as she would like. We communicate differently. She is into idle chatter & I am to the point. It happened again yesterday. I decided to call her to tell her about the ultrasound. By the time I was able to hang up I heard about her response to a wedding invitation near the due date & about a wedding or two from the past & other stuff. (BTW Her social calendar rivals that of any head of state.) By the time, she got onto the wedding subject, all I could think of was, "I don't care if you were at table 200 or not..." No I am not kidding - 200+ tables times an average of 8 people per table...

Which segways nicely into the hospital tour. As a caveat, I was bone tired & still thinking far too much on the untrasound... This will be a bit snarky...
a. it started a bit late (no biggie).
b. some people arrived even later (no biggie).
c. the guide pretty much started over for the latecomers (IRRITATING considering that the tour started late to begin with...)
d. too much idle chatter - like when we were in the mother/baby unit she pointed out the closet - because we will be using coats pretty soon, "Although it has been warm the past couple of days." That should not bug me, but it does. We all know that it has been warm & the unseasonable warm weather does not have one thing to do with a hospital tour... (Especially when I was already tired...)

I've mentioned the untrasound twice now, haven't I? Don't tell anyone, but I know the answer to the $64,000 question. (If you know the reference, jump up & down like a fool...) I am not going to tell you the answer... :o) But there are several people who I would prefer not know that I know the answer as well... BTW My husband quite enjoys being cryptic when telling me about almost anything. For example, the official answer to where we are registered is "The Bureau of Prining & Engraving" and we prefer to get post masters instead of presidents. (The cryptic part - figuring out the last bit - who was a post master & is on US currency.) I gave him a liberal dose of his own medicine while he tried to get the answer to the $64,000 question out of me. :o)

The baby is fine, but in a breech position. This will most likely move my birth plan from 100% natural to planned caesarean... But that may be speculation on my part - I see the doctor next week.

I guess waking at 3 is becoming closer to normal for me. I usually just stay in bed, but to day I got up got cleaned up & fed then plopped on the couch with 2 cats to watch the news. (I leave the house at about 6 for work.) Looks like we will be getting Pittsburgh's weather soon, so I can "plan" to make butter nut squash soup. :o)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

weather... (& other stuff including quilts & cats)

blooming 9-patch quilt This is the quilt that I bound & installed onto my bed. It is so cozy - from the flannel back & wool batting. :o)

DSC05544.JPG This is the still almost done binding...

Tonight we tour the maternity wing, tomorrow is our last childbirth class & Friday is our Lamaze class, so I don't have super high hopes for this being finished or anything else being worked on anytime soon.

Weather
I guess this is Indian Summer & if it gets as cold as the Farmer's Almanac predicts, I'll be wishing for 80's come December/January/February - especially as I take the kitten to well baby visits... BUT I am not happy with temps. in the 80's. There I said it... I have a pet peeve about weather complaints, but I am apparently jumping on that bandwagon!

It is fall, I should not be wearing sun dresses...

It is fall, I should be wearing a sweater...
Like this little man who has started to inhabit his Kitty Pi again:
My kitty pi!

It is fall, I should be eating apples & apple goodies - but alas, I am rationed to two apples a day, one with lunch & one with dinner & those are the small ones & that is all the "sugar" I am allowed on my diet. (I will cheat this weekend though...)

Luckily on Friday, we are expecting a 20 degree drop in temperature...

Back story - I grew up mostly in central Texas where Fall was just a group of months... Now that I live in Maryland, the leaves actually change colors. We are not having so much of a change this year. (I hear that global warming is to blame.)

Almost Funny political story without a bias
My husband & I live in Maryland. My husband works in Washington DC. Therefore he is eligible to use an absentee vote. He has already voted... (That whole concept cracks me up...) I will hopefully get bumped to the front of the voting line in 3 weeks - Can you believe the election is only 3 weeks away? - since my belly will be HUGE by then. (It appears to be huge already - but the measurements are o.k.)

More Baby News
Yesterday, I thought the baby was going to kick through my stomach! Although it wasn't a kick perse, it was more of a stretch. I had to push that foot back in...

This morning as my husband was taking his shower, I remained in bed with the cats - Rhapsody likes the highest perch - so she laid on top of my baby. Since this was before breakfast, she got kicked a lot!

That covers everything on my mind right now...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A whole lotta nuthin & a bit of everything

I survived the long weekend with my family & my MIL.

It became set that my father (et.al.) would come to dinner on Friday on Thursday at 8 in the evening. (Good thing I already had the tomatoes - we were going to have them anyway.) So we commenced to cleaning & putting stuff away. ACK - while it may be untidy, I know where stuff is - unless my husband absconds with it & does not return it...

My father asked what time dinner was going to be, I replied, "6:30-7." (aka When my husband gets home.) Then he asked, what time do you get home, I replied "4." So while I was chopping tomato guts, my father, grandparents, & uncle descended upon my hascienda. (I had a short break to get a parking pass from the "super" (No idea where the ones we were issued are located - one of those things that gets misplaced when you "clean.")


While I was preparing, my father was snapping photos like a mad man... I mean paparazzi crazy...

But also in that time period, I got one of the best compliments from my uncle. "Where is you cat box?" "Usually when you go into someones house with cats, it smells like cats, I don't smell cats." (We have a cat box in the hall closet - aka cat room - with the door open all the time.)

Speaking of the cats, my grandmother reported that they were much nicer. I explained that they were on their home turf. (When I lived in Baltimore, once or twice I brought them over for a visit...) Crazy cat ladies raise you hand in the air like you just don't care!

Everyone liked the tomatoes (as usual, that recipe is a no fail - BTW when it is just the two of us, I just chop up the tomatoes and bake it like a casserole instead of stuffing the tomatoes - but I needed to impress the family.) & the babka that was in the freezer, thawed nicely & was devoured too. :o)

The best part of the evening - minimal begging from the cats! :o) Even when I cook vegeterian, the come over to make sure that they don't want a bite too. I know, bad mommy...

Saturday was a complete blur... but I did take a minute to read my American Patchwork & Quilting magazine. I had a weak moment & ordered this kit: Haute Chocolates

I looked through & liked it... I went back & read about it - it has Japanese taupes (with some other fabric) - of course I like it! It will look GREAT in my living room. (I am not so much a fan of the HST's, but there are only 640 of them in this quilt...) My husband ordered a different fabric for the outer border & I may switch out some of the "other fabric" for more taupes... (I can use the kitted border print & other switched out fabrics on the back.)

Since the house was already "clean," I did not drag out my sewing machine before the arrival of my MIL, rather I worked on binding. I got one quilt completely bound & it is on my bed - nice & cozy - I think it has a wool batt... & I am 2/3 - 3/4 finished with a second binding. (That quilt may have a silk batt.)

So on Sunday, my MIL leaves NY at about 5:30 in the morning & drives down to see us (the baby bump) before the arrival. This was one of the more awkward visits - she wasn't tempered by her husband - I guess... She has definate ideas about baby names - can't wait to hear her honest opinion on our choices... (We are not telling anyone yet - bad luck - much to my father's chagrin.) So we caught up at our place & most everything was fine - then she offered to get Upper kitchen cabinets for us. (We have 12 foot ceilings & standard 30 inch high cabinets. but not very many of them - as in not enough of them, so we have stuff on top of the cabinets & on the counters.) My husband meanwhile is busy with, "You need to save your money for XY&Z." To which she replied, "I haven't offered to help with XY & Z." She also offered to hire a baby nurse for the first week - still thinking about that one. But I went to a kitchen design store on Monday!

Then she takes us out to lunch - no big deal, but my one extra stop, turned into several stops including an awkward shopping in the baby store experience...

Finally we get back home & she is on the road by 4... (Totally weird day!)

Yesterday, I went to a Kitchen design store & apparently "just adding another set of cabinets over the existing cabinets" was not in their bag of tricks - so I went through their plans for my kitchen... Meanwhile, my smart husband called to get the "budget" always a good thing to have... We have a contractor who will come out on Saturday...

Anyhow that about sums up my totally weird, busy, & exciting weekend. To think if I was in Canada - I could have been having turkey. Happy belated Thanksgiving to my neighbors to the North. (& East, even though there is a Governor who did not realize that while thinking about her Foreign policy experience - seeing Russia from an uninhabited island way out there in the Bearing Sea was more impressive I guess.)

Friday, October 10, 2008

A few days away & all heck breaks loose!

I'll start with the good stuff.
My last swap (Minus those charms that are in the mail as we speak) has arrived safe & sound & was well received - whew! My partner likes primitive & I have never worked in that style before...
You can see it on her blog here: Doll Quilt.
Here is another photo:
Doll Quilt It is a Civil War Charm quilt, which in a nut shell means that none of those 100 squares is used twice. I achieved the checkerboard effect by using my shirting collection. (The back is a shirting print as well.) I hand quilted it using perle cotton - hoping to give the quilt a primitive look. The scary part - I gave a ton of CW fabrics & scraps away & I still had enough to do this... Looking at this I keep saying, where is the cheddar - ACK! (OH & I get a tiny twinge of guilt over my CW UFO's.)
& Here it is on the Another Little Quilt Swap Blog. Which BTW is a good blog to subscribe to if you like to see quilt photos...

No other quilting from me to report... (Well, I did repin the yellow quilt as my husband ironed his pants...)

Chance to win a Denyse Schmidt original quilt

Wanna a chance to win an original Densye Schmidt Quilt? Clicking on win, will take you to a flickr photo... The details on entering are part of the text - another link...

GOOD NEWS

We now have a baby boy & and a baby girl name picked out. :o)

My MIL threatened to come down for a visit on Sunday & Monday since we have Columbus Day off. I should be more broken up, but my own father is in town & coming over for dinner with his parents tonight. That is enough family for one weekend, thankyouverymuch. Then again, if my MIL did come down, I could have gotten her husband to hang the mirror in the baby's room & some curtain rods. :o) & I could have tried out another new recipe out on her. UPDATE: She might come down alone on the train... She is allergic to onions & I cook with onions a lot & they are like corn syrup - added to a lot of prepackaged stuff! I guess I should prepare that onion free dish anyway... Or maybe we can go to that place with a salad bar - she is a big salad eater... I wonder what else might come up before I publish this post.
My father & Grandparents are getting Greek Stuffed Tomatoes. (I got the recipe from Siobhan. & have made it several times, each time was a success!)

Greek Stuffed Tomatoes
15 medium tomatoes
1 to 2 Tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 pounds of ground beef
2 onions, chopped
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 to 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 to 2 Tablespoons dried mint
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup cooked rice

topping:
1 can tomato sauce
1 Tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper

Cut off tops of tomatoes and reserve tops. Scoop out pulp of tomatoes, chop and set aside. Place tomato shells in a baking dish. Sprinkle sugar lightly inside of tomato shells and set aside.

In a deep skillet, saute onions in olive oil. Add ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, allspice and mint to taste. Add the reserved chopped tomato. Cook until Tomato is soft. Add rice and combine.

Spoon meat mixture into the shells and cap with the tomato caps. If there is extra filling just pack it around the tomatoes. Combine tomato sauce with olive oil and pour over the tomatoes. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake and additional 30 minutes or until the shells are soft to a fork.


Get ready for the "Yeah, What else is new?" Comments...

Being away from your office for 2 days - does not stop two days worth of stuff from piling up! The mail box was full (Luckily a lot of it was junk.) Some of it I was able to pass off right away. Some I need to work on right away, but my supervisor is not in the office today, so breaking my neck would be "moot." A lot of "busy work" that is getting tracked by my supervisor's supervisor because he doesn't have anything better to do... To think , I had most of my stuff all caught up on Tuesday...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Special Request


DSC05578.JPG
Originally uploaded by aviva_hadas

I had a special request for an awake picture of one of the kitties. Here is Rhapsody on my "holiday decoration" aka Halloween Quilt. I was so happy to get this photo, you see it is a bit difficult to get the blue eyes to look blue instead of the Evil red eyes....

Nothing quilty going on today, although after I run an errand or two, I hope to work on the yellow quilt.

I have also kind of gotten back into doing a bit of hand work before bed, in that vein, I did some binding work last night. :o)

Did I tell you guys about my bre@st-feeding class? It was very interesting, but I fear that I have already forgotten more than I learned...
I'll have to review the brochures & be demanding about the assistance that should be available in the hospital. (At least I got a note for the nurses, so that they do not introduce any bottles...)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I forgot...

I joined this swap. I could do this one in my sleep... (My Nickel collection is under my bed. So there might have been a tiny bit of punnyness there....)

Le Sigh

Well, I had a busy, but not really busy weekend... (I guess that just means that is was over real quickly!)

I finished a doll quilt for a swap & mailed it. I'll share a photo once I know it has arrived. It was kind of hard for me, her style included some designers that I had never heard of...
(That means that 5 out of 8 of my Finish by Thanksgiving projects are done.)

I worked on the yellow quilt. Let me just say that Minky is not the easiest thing to work with...
I would share photos, but I forgot to take them as I went & I had a class on breasfeeding last night, so there were no opportunitites for photography. I't will work in the end, just not "to" plan.

I also worked on the Faux Log Cabin, my albatross. Now I need to cut the last logs - I thought the whole thing was cut out when I set it aside - a long time ago - nope.... Luckily the fabrics are all still together.

I mentioned yesterday about going to JoAnns - I went in for bamboo batting, it was sold out. Now that I have worked on the Minky project - batting would have been over kill anyway.

Next to JoAnns is a Hard Times Cafe. Not sure if they are near you, but the vegeterian chili was really good & not too far off of my diet. (It had a normal portion instead of those bowls the size of your head size portions.)

After that we went to the Leesburg Outlets in Virginia - to "walk around." Somone failed to mention that little tidbit to my pocketbook. At least in the maternity shop, I stuck to the two things that I mentioned wanting to get as I walked in...

Not much else to report... My father will be in the area this coming weekend, not sure if he will make it to my neck of the woods or not though... (His parents are near Baltimore.) I'm gonna start cleaning/straightening/food preparation just in case.

Monday, October 06, 2008

My Halloween Quilt


My Halloween Quilt
Originally uploaded by aviva_hadas

It appears to be that time of year again. Not that the leaves are changing or anything. I am told that we can blame that on global warming too...

I am posting this today, because I am wondering, how many of you have made or plan to make more than one "holiday" quilt?

I purchased halloween prints for the cats 90% of the time, not because I am a fan of halloween, so I don't really have a desire to make another one... As it is, I bought 1/2 yard pieces. This pattern is roughly Yellow Brick Road a pattern by Atkinson Designs that uses fat quarters - I got some non-cat prints from a girlfriend. I gave her most of my scraps in return, including a second top. (That one had a scary print - I am definately not a fan of the scary stuff.)

This quilt is on my couch now for fall decoration. Not that I am a decorator... The more I think about it, no one in my family is a decorator. In all the houses I can think of, you put your stuff "up" & there you go, there was not changing for the seasons or holidays.
Maybe that is why I am not yearning to make another Halloween quilt...

Speaking of buying fabric, I went to a JoAnn's Etc. this weekend & walked out empty handed... (They did not have the batt that I wanted & after looking at the bolts, I was only holding one, so I passed on it.)

Friday, October 03, 2008

What my cats do all day while I am at work.


What my cats do all day while I am at work.
Originally uploaded by aviva_hadas

Here is my big boy. Do you see how he is not working on that binding... I may need to work on that sewing lesson a bit more...

Speaking of binding, I did get my binding onto the Doll Quilt. I am getting close to having 5 out of 8 things done my Thanksgiving. (Yes, I am avoiding my albatross...)

If you use Minky with a top, do you add batting? I am not sure if it is necessary... I plan on wrapping the wide border to the back for a self binding & finishing that on the machine. The border is 10 inches wide, I hope to end up folding it in half, so that the machine stitchig is along the seam where I attached the border. I chose 10 inches, because I thought that I was going to be able to "shirr" the two edges - ending up with a ruffley "puffy" border - I think the foot that I was sold goes to a serger, not my sewing machine... BTW This is the yellow quilt on my list. The center is a beautiful Alexander Henry bird print.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The big helper.


The big helper.
Originally uploaded by aviva_hadas

Here she is again, my "new" big helper. Nothing innocent about this, you can see that she is grabbing the fabric that I wanted to sew with. This photo should have gone with Monday's post. This is the back for the RR X-ing quilt that I made for my father. It was part of my "Finish by Thanksgiving" list.

Speaking of that list, I finished the hand quilting on the blue & yellow log cabin.

So my list is down to about 4 items! That leaves (Is that how you spell the non-tree leaves?) Faux Log Cabin, yellow quilt, binding the doll quilt, & keeping up with the round robin.

Tonight I hope to piece on that faux log cabin & attach that binding.