Ready, Set, Go

Looking for the June NewFO Linky Party?

Not to make a bad pun, but my July is getting off to a bang-up start. I've been on the run for the past couple of days. It's been a long time since I've had so much on my calendar...I'm thinking since I retired ten years ago...but so far, I'm off to a good start. We're celebrating our Fourth of July tomorrow as we usually do, setting up camp on the East Bank of the Willamette River, barbecuing, spending time with the kids, and waiting for the fireworks at dusk. It's among my favorite days of the year.

My contribution this year is a layered taco-style dip and chips that always goes over well. Also, I'm making a Sweet Potato Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing that is to die for. I already had a 7-Layer Salad on the menu when I received the most amusing text from Erik:

Yep...it's his favorite. How could I not make it? Finally, this morning I tried out a new recipe for blueberry hand pies that I saw on the King Arthur website. I wasn't sure how well I would do with the pie crust, but it couldn't have been easier. Still, I made it a day ahead just to be sure.

I was wishing I'd had a small star-shaped cookie cutter but I didn't. I cut these with the blade of my paring knife, which accounts for their "rustic" appearance. Still, I'm pretty happy with these. You can find the recipe right here. I couldn't find the instant ClearJel locally, and so I substituted two teaspoons of cornstarch that was first dissolved in the two teaspoons of lemon juice. It worked out fine. 

Also, I did the whole pie crust in my food processor using the steel blade. I whirled it around to mix the flour, baking powder, and salt, then cut the butter into 1/4-inch cubes and pulsed until the butter was cut in fairly well, but it was still in relatively large chunks. Then I added the sour cream and pulsed until the butter was pea-sized. It was still quite crumbly, but I dumped it out onto the floured surface and then just worked it together with my hands. It was very forgiving, and I had no problems at all with it. You'll want to work fast if you live in a warm climate, however. I happened to be blessed with an overcast and relatively cool day today.

Erik's salad is made, as are the hand pies. Tomorrow I'll do the other two dishes, and then we'll head down to the river early in the afternoon to stake out our claim to some prime fireworks-watching real estate.

As for sewing, I had a little finish yesterday. It's a gift, and so I can't show it yet, but here's a little peek. Who's it for, I wonder? (I'm betting you thought I would know.)

With that finished, I went to work sandwiching my Blooming Sunflower. I'm so happy with how this is turning out, and it's going much faster than I anticipated.

I pebbled in the center of the sunflower.

Then I quilted some veins into the leaves.

Then I quilted some sort of "flaming" petals emanating from the center of the flower with a flourish at the end of each one. I wanted to evoke the appearance of sunshine coming from the sunflower.

And a round of applause for Big Bertha who didn't even hiccup over all those seams. I'm so happy to have her back at work.

I'm hoping to get a little more done on this tomorrow. I just have the border left to do, and I'm going to do a sort of sunflower vine there. It's only 36 x 36 inches, and so it shouldn't take long to get the quilting finished.

So that's about it from me. I'll be very surprised if I find time for blogging tomorrow, and so I'm wishing my fellow Americans a happy and safe Fourth of July celebration. And for the rest of you...well, you have an excellent day too!


Summer's Here!

Is it just me, or does the first day of summer bring a little bit of a let-down with it? After all, we've been building up for the longest day of the year, only to have the days start getting shorter again tomorrow. Sigh. Before you know it, the sun will be setting at 4:30 and we'll be in the dark again. Just think of me as your Merry Sunshine of Summer...always looking on the bright side of things.

And just to remind you that summer is always followed by autumn, I've been working on my Aspen Tree with its turning leaves for the last couple of days. Here's where I left off yesterday afternoon:

This morning I went to the farmer's market with all of my kiddos...Erik, Mae, Matthew, and Valerie. What fun to have such a crowd along. We had breakfast and then made our rounds. I was on the hunt for clams and oysters for dinner. We'll have those along with some crusty bread for sopping up the broth from the steamed clams. It seems I've taken just about every picture there is to take at the farmer's market, but I still thought you'd get a kick out these eggs. They're ready for summer.

Also, I picked up a flat of raspberries. They're hard at work making some raspberry-infused vodka right now.

Erik was my pack mule today, lugging around the raspberries while we shopped the market. For his efforts, he gets a fifth of raspberry-infused vodka of his own. 

When I got home, I put the rest of the leaves on the Aspen Tree quilt and then trimmed the "portrait" to size.

Then I laid it out with its background fabrics to see how it was going to look. The green background fabric is one of Vicki Welsh's hand-dyed fabrics. I used some of it for some of the leaves, but many of the leaves are from a pack of her fabrics that I won in a giveaway some time ago. They were perfect for this project. Did you know she has a Customer Gallery on Flickr? When this is all finished, I'll post my project there.

The "portrait" binding will be from a batik I picked up several months ago. The instructions would have me top-stitch the applique now, then bind the "portrait", then sew it to the background fabric, then quilt the whole. I've decided to make the whole quilt first, then do the top-stitching once it's been sandwiched. That way, the top-stitching will be part of the quilting. When it's all finished, the whole quilt will be bound in black.

While it's tempting to continue on with this, I'm going to set it aside for now. Big Bertha is back. I have her set up and I tested things out to make sure she is really working properly again. She is, I'm happy to say. She's been out of commission for five full weeks, and she was pretty put out about all the poking, prodding, and lugging around she's had to endure over that time. As for me, I am determined to finish quilting "We are the World". I've been working on it since the beginning of May, and I really want to finish it up. I'll get that quilted and ready for binding, and then I'll come back to the Aspen Tree. There isn't much left to do before it too will be ready for quilting.

I've already determined that the month of July is going to be fully devoted to quilting some of the quilts that have stacked up while Big Bertha has been out of commission, and the sooner I can get started on that, the better I will feel.

Mike has been out mowing the field pretty much the whole day. His plan was to do it last weekend because it sorely needed it. Then, in true Oregon fashion, it rained the entire weekend. Now the grass is literally waist high, so it's been quite a job for him today. Thank goodness for Tractor Man.

How did you spend this first day of summer?



It was a pretty quiet day today. This morning we were sitting reading email on our iPads when Mike looked out the window and saw this young lady:

She took a good long sniff of the cherry tomato planted in the whiskey barrel behind her, and then she started nibbling on my pansies. All this time, I thought the squirrels were the vermin eating my flowers. Come to find out it's one of Bambi's relatives. I took a few pictures, and then went outside and shooed her away. She ran off into the woods, but then she came back a while later, and I saw her eating the marigolds. Drat! I chased her away again, and then I put out some slices of apple...which are, of course, still sitting there untouched. Hmpf. I'm actually quite surprised she would come up so close to the house, and that she would cross the concrete patio that way. Obviously, nothing is sacred. She doesn't seem particularly timid, and so I'm thinking someone else must be feeding her...apparently, something other than apples.

My guild met last night, and it was kind of fun. It seems nine months ago, the members that wanted to participate brought in lists of their UFO's. Last night's meeting (in lieu of a speaker) was a show and tell of all the completed quilts. There were some 650-plus quilts listed, and around 180 completed. Not a bad showing. To participate required a $3 entry fee, and those were divided up among four winners, chosen at random. Each member got a ticket for each UFO completed, and then there was a random drawing. I haven't been around long enough to have participated, but they'll be doing it again. What the heck? Count me in.

Also, Sue from Alderwood Quilts who is program chair, asked me if I would be willing to write blog posts about events on the Westside Quilters Guild blog. It seems a good way for me to get involved, and so I agreed to it. We haven't worked out all the details yet, but I will be one of five members on the committee and there are some other administrative tasks I can help with as well. I'll say more about that when I know more.

So after chasing the deer around the field this morning, I took Big Bertha in for repair. Yes, her sewing time was very short-lived. The bobbin simply won't click into place as it should, and it keeps popping out. Since I didn't want to hit the new one with the needle, I gave up fairly quickly and took her in this morning. Yes, this is frustrating, but it's a great opportunity for me to practice my patience. Ohmmmmmmmmmmmm. Besides, it gives me more time to spend with my youngest machine, Pfelicity, and she enjoys the attention. 

When I came home, I went to work on the strawberries I picked up at the farmer's market on Saturday. (I almost forgot about them in all the excitement this weekend!)

I made the component parts for strawberry ice cream which consists of the custard and the fruit. Both are cooling in the refrigerator over night, and then I'll freeze the ice cream tomorrow morning. 

There were still plenty of strawberries left over, and so I decided strawberry shortcake would be good for dessert tonight. Trouble is, Mike is avoiding all seeds now since his illness last fall. He will be having a surgery eventually, but he's trying to put it off until he retires in a couple of years, and so all seeds are out...which pretty much means all berries are out. We both love strawberries, and so I got the idea to cut the sides off the strawberries, removing the seeds, and then I separated the middles and the sides into two bowls. I'll eat the seeds, and Mike can have the seedless centers.

It was a little tedious, but it was better than foregoing the strawberry shortcake. It would have worked better with larger berries, and mine were pretty small. So, we'll see how this works. As you can see, there isn't a whole lot left of the strawberry once you cut off the seeds, but I think there's enough there for a single serving. I still have more berries too. I'll probably end up freezing those.

No sewing today. Tomorrow I'm meeting up with a dear old friend from high school who is visiting from Texas. She is a quilter too. She's staying with her mother, who lives in Salem, and so I'm picking her up there. We're going to one of my favorite quilt shops, Greenbaum's Quilted Forest, and then we'll have lunch at a restaurant close by. Then, if we're not shopped out (is that even possible?) we'll head on over to The Cotton Patch, just a little way north. (I've written blog posts about both shops, so if you're curious, you can click on those links.)

Mike just called to say he is on his way home. He also informed me that he got the okay to take four weeks off in September. We've been semi-planning a trip to Minnesota, but no serious planning until we knew for sure he could take the time off. So with that, I'm going to start looking at the maps and planning the trip. Our final destination will be Voyageurs National Park right near the Canadian border. I have some ideas about other places on the way there and on the way back, but nothing for sure yet. It's always fun to plan, and I'm excited that we've been given the go-ahead. More on that later.


Father's Day Flimsy Finished

This morning I had time to finish up the "Good Morning" quilt top.

It ended up at 82-1/2 x 60 inches, so about twin size. I'm going to bind it with a candy-stripe pink. It's hard to see in this image, but I have the fabric pictured in the lower right corner. Since I didn't have anything for the back, I spent quite some time perusing the internet looking for something appropriate. This is going to be a gift for a couple, and I was trying to get away from making it completely girly...although I'm not sure that is possible. Anyway, I settled on this fabric from Fabric.com. It's called Folio Vines from Henry Glass & Co.

A big draw is its 108-inch width, and so I won't have to piece the back together. I looked at a lot of fabrics, but Mike helped me choose this one.

Since I always change the names of my quilts, I've been considering what to call this one. It's going to be a gift for our friends, Greg and Jan, who have a weekend gathering of dear friends every summer. I always take my camera with me and I have taken some pictures of the beautiful flowers in their garden. Here are a few of my favorites:

Also, there is this:

So I'm inspired to call this quilt "Where Angels Walk" and it will be my little thank you to Greg and Jan for sharing their lovely little piece of heaven with us each year.

Also this morning, I made Mike's annual Father's Day breakfast of Eggs Benedict.

It was very yummy, and it will keep us satisfied until dinner time.

We're planning dinner out with the family tonight after Matthew's graduation. I was hopeful the weather would cooperate today for the planned outdoor ceremony, although anyone planning an outdoor ceremony in Oregon in June should know enough to plan an alternative venue. It has been drizzling all morning. It may be a wet ceremony, but I'm thinking they'll be moving everyone indoors. The main campus of Oregon Institute of Technology is in Klamath Falls, and so this Portland/Wilsonville ceremony will most likely be small. And with all of that said, I really have no idea what the plan is, so I'm just hoping we'll have dry seats. Either way, we are all pretty excited to watch our Matthew graduate this afternoon.

And with that, I'm off to get ready. I hope you're having a lovely day.


The Best Kind of Day

Looking for the May NewFO Challenge Linky Party?

A stay at home day for me. What could be better than that? I spent the day doing only what I wanted to do. Today, that included making some snacks for Mike and Matthew's trip to the Oregon coast this weekend. They've been gearing up to take the ATV's over to the coast for a couple of months. I'm not going, but I am contributing the food. Today I started with snacks in the form of our family's favorite Chocolate-Chunk Oatmeal Cookies with Pecans and Dried Cherries.

The recipe I've linked to above has them made with cranberries. Today's version featured dried tart cherries, but really, you could use any dried fruit. Beware, however. These are the best cookies ever. Once you've made them, you'll never need another cookie recipe. They're that good. 

Also, I made some homemade granola bars. This is a recipe from Alton Brown, and these are so yummy. I often make them when we're going hiking or ATVing. They're healthy and filling, and pretty easy to make. After baking them, Alton cuts his into 16 squares, but I've always cut mine into 9 squares. They're chewy and wholesome enough to make a nice take-along lunch with no muss and no fuss. You'll want napkins, however, because the honey in them makes them a little sticky.

I always wrap them up individually in plastic wrap and then store them in a Tupperware. Oh, and did I say it made nine? One always manages to disappear into the black hole in my kitchen...the one with teeth.

If you get a mind to make these, know this: Don't press down too hard when you put them into the pan. Just sort of smooth them over and flatten them out a little. Pressing too hard makes them too dense to cut. Either way, you'll want a nice sharp knife. And if you have trouble, we've been known to just dump the whole thing into a gallon zip-lock bag and eat it like bagged granola. It's good even if you have trouble keeping them in shape as bars. Today...everything worked out nicely.

Tomorrow I'll be making more food-like things for the guys. I'm making a lasagna and some frozen breakfast burritos. Friday morning (the day they leave), I'll put some steaks into a marinade in a zip-lock bag. Yeah...I'm a nice guy, making all the food that way. I'm kind of fond of Mike and Matthew, and besides...nobody goes hungry here at the Three Cats Ranch.

So once I had that finished and my mess cleaned up, I went back to work on the Sunflower Mosaic quilt. A few of you with sharp eyes noticed the two kitty faces in the middle of the sunflower. I noticed them too, and as it turns out, I'm glad you pointed them out to me. I studied the image below a little more closely, and came to the conclusion that while the fabrics in the original quilt are made with different values of color, each value is made from the same print.

I started having second thoughts about the scrappy version I'd started yesterday. 

I had all my scraps separated into five values, but I was using different prints in each value. After studying the picture from the original quilt a little longer, I decided to start over with this today. I went through my original piles and selected one print for each value and then just put the others away. Here are my yellows and blues:

Also, I hadn't yet honed in on my greens and browns, and so I picked those out too. The browns only have three different values.

In the process, I came across these two fabrics below. These will make great borders and a backing, although I'm not totally settled on how I'm going to finish the quilt off yet. Anyway...I pulled these out and set them aside for future reference.

The trick with this quilt is going to be staying organized and not losing my place on the "map" I've been given for color placement. (This is a purchased pattern, and so I've pixelated most of the "map". I don't want to get anybody ticked off about copyright.) I went through and numbered the vertical and horizontal rows. Recall that I'm cutting mine off about 2/3 of the way down because I don't want my quilt larger than 36 x 36 inches. 

Also, I went through and numbered the values for the colors. Then I figured out to use the top of one of my storage bins to keep my fabrics organized. This allows me to move them around easily if I want to. The little squares are cut in two sizes...1 1/2 inch for the whole blocks and 1 7/8 inch for the half square triangles.

And then I managed to get the first four vertical rows completed before I needed to stop for the day. It's going a little faster now that I've done it a few times. I think it looks better now that I've limited the prints I'm using.

To hold my place, I'm using post-it notes to mark the vertical and horizontal rows. By doing it this way, I also assure I'll keep my place because moving the sticky is the first thing I must do before I can see what's next as I work my way down the vertical row. This is where I'll start next time I work on it.

The birdcam is turned on today, and it's about time to bring in the memory card to see what I captured. It's been a relaxing day, and we're having leftovers for dinner. Can't get much more easy-going than that.


A Little of Everything

Looking for the May NewFO Challenge Linky Party?

It's been a bit of a mishmash of activities since my last post. Yesterday, it was time to strain the chive blossoms from my chive blossom vinegar and put it into bottles. It's such an easy task to make this each year, and it's so pretty when it is put into bottles. You can see my little tutorial about how to do this right here (scroll down).

After that, I finished up my doll quilt and then headed outside. I needed to water the annuals, and while I was outside, I noticed that we have quite a few strawberries now.

There was even one that was mostly ripe! I haven't checked outside today, but I'm betting a squirrel or a bird has stolen it by now. If not, I might just steal it myself.

Also, I noticed that the dianthus is starting to bloom. I planted this a few years ago in one of the large annual pots, not considering that it is actually a perennial. No worries. It has filled the pot now, and it blooms for a good long time each year.

Also, it's time to start picking lettuce leaves from the red leaf lettuce, and so I had a salad on last night's dinner menu. The lettuce is so nice right now...with big huge leaves...bigger than my hands.

And it was so crisp and sweet in our salad last night. I just made an orange vinaigrette (with chive blossom vinegar!) and sprinkled some orange sections and candied walnuts over. Yum.

As I was heading back into the house, I noticed the mighty hunter stalking a crow. I doubt he would go after a crow since the crow is as big as he is. Nevertheless, he was practicing his secret Ninja kitty ears.

He wasn't very happy with me when I opened the camera to take a picture and it made it's little musical sound. 

"Mooommmm! You're blowing my cover!"

This morning I did some more work on my latest quilting snow lady. I still need to do the trees on either side of her and finish up her face. Otherwise, she's getting pretty close to being finished. Her quilt is finished, and I always feel as if I've had a little mini-finish of my own whenever I finish embroidering one of these little quilts. By the way, I noticed that she has one of her blocks turned the wrong way. I had already colored it in when I traced the design onto the fabric. Then I checked the picture on the pattern and realized it was wrong there too. Do you see it? Even snow ladies can't see their mistakes until they take a picture...which I assume she'll be doing right after she hangs her quilt on the clothesline.

It was a swimming day for me, and I needed to go to the post office and make a quick trip to the grocery store. When I got home, I got a start on my Sunflower Mosaic. If you missed my post from yesterday, I'm making this for my guild challenge, "Initially Yours". We're supposed to make a quilt using our initials, and mine is going to be a Blooming Sunflower (BS). The pattern I found makes a larger quilt than I need. Mine is not supposed to exceed 36 x 36. So today I started looking at the pattern and starting to get organized. If I cut the pattern down to the size I need, it will end up looking like this:

So the quilt has four different colors (blue, green, yellow, and brown), each in five different values. I was going to do all the cutting first, but then realized that if I'm going to cut the bottom third of the quilt off, then I was going to do a lot more cutting than I needed to do. And...it was going to be very difficult to determine what pieces I needed and what I didn't. Add in the fact that there are some half-square triangles in the mix, and I decided I was going to work with two vertical rows at a time. That way, I can keep it somewhat organized and not drive myself crazy...much.

So I started by picking out five different values of yellow scraps and separating them into piles. Although why I did that, I'm not sure because I don't need any yellow right away. So then I started again and did the same thing with the blue. 

By working with two vertical rows at a time, I can at least do a little bit of chain piecing and still manage to keep things somewhat simple. When I needed to quit, I had sewn together the first two vertical rows, which included just the first bits of green at the bottom.

And that's as far as I got. 

I'm trying something new for dinner tonight, and it takes a little bit of doing...roasting, baking, mixing, etc. I guess I'd better get at it if we're going to eat tonight.

It was a good day. The new quilt is going to be challenging, but not impossible. If nothing else, it will keep me out of trouble for a few days.


Full Day

It was a day full of sewing and eating yesterday...a good day, but tiring, as full days always are. Here's what happened:

Connie Sue Haidle of Apple Blossom Quilts taught us her method of quick prep hand applique.

She provided some excellent examples. This one shows the proper size stitches for her quick prep applique stitch. The goal is to take tiny stitches on the back of your work, and larger stitches on the applique side. In case you're wondering, the lower right leaf is the correct one. (Incidentally, she does not pink her appliques. These are pinked so that they don't fray over multiple uses and lots of traveling and teaching.)

In this next example, she's showing us that the size of your quick prep applique stitches will be larger or smaller depending on the size of the applique piece.

And here, she's demonstrating her tiny stitches for sewing on the appliques. She uses a #12 needle (try threading one of those) and kimono silk thread.

So basically, this is how it's done. Only, right away, I'm going to show you the wrong way to do it because I've pinned from the wrong side in this image below. I'll explain why in just a minute.

Recall that we prepared our background piece prior to the workshop, and here's a portion of mine where I've used a #2 pencil to trace my pattern to the back of the background fabric. Of course, we started with a portion of the pattern what would be under other pieces of the pattern, in my case, one of the stems. First, we pinned, then flipped the piece to the other side to make sure our applique fabric covered the whole design, then we used her quick prep applique stitch to mark the outline of the design. By pinning on that side, it made it harder to sew because my thread kept getting wrapped around the pins. 

So here's how it looks from the applique side (the right side) of the piece. I'm going to use those stitches to guide me in turning under the edges for stitching it to the background. My stitches are too large, and I had trouble because of it.

Then, we trimmed around the stitching leaving 1/8 inch where we would be turning under an edge, and 1/4 inch in areas that will be under another applique piece.

Next, we clipped the basting stitches, little by little, as we turned under the edge and stitched it to the background. Mine is finished in the image below, although each end will be under another piece, and so I haven't done anything there.

Okay, so let's try this again. I still have it pinned wrong. I should have pinned from the other side. And I'll just say right here that you can see my stitching for the stem off to the right. Connie Sue could put those stitches right on the line perfectly. I wasn't happy at all with mine, but she told me not to worry about how it looked from the wrong side, and just to focus on how it looked from the right side. In her opinion, mine looked fine. Hmph. (How come my stitching can't be perfect on the first try? I just don't get it.)

So okay, right or wrong, I have it pinned. Then I flip it over to make sure the piece of applique fabric is going to cover the whole thing. Check.

Lines where the piece will be covered by another piece over the top are basted with a large basting stitch, like you see in the image below.

Here's how it looks from the other side.

And lines that are turned under are stitched with her quick prep applique stitch, thus:

Then the piece is trimmed leaving 1/8-inch where it will be turned under, and 1/4 inch where it will be covered by another piece, as in the image below.

Then, you stitch it. She provided each of us with an applique turner that resembled an orange stick (like you use with your manicure) that had been filed to a wedge on either end. It made a good tool. Here's mine after it was turned under and stitched down.

And that was as far as I got through the day-long workshop. There was a lot of information presented, and not much time for sewing. I would have enjoyed spending more time sewing because I won't remember most of what was presented. This might have been better done over two days, but we got the condensed version...definitely got our money's worth.

Connie Sue had some excellent examples prepared. Here, she showed us how to do a "split leaf".

The main point here was that you stitched down the middle seam where the two different colors met, but you couldn't stitch down the right and left edges because you needed to be able to turn under the edge for the whole leaf.

In this next one, she showed us how to make skinny little stems. The one in this example ends up about 1/8-inch wide.

Basically, you stitch down one side, then lift it up and trim the seam allowance right next to the stitching, then turn it back and under. Yikes. Don't think I'll try this right away.

Remember her memory quilt she made and the story that went with it? If you missed that post, you can read it right here. Here's the memory quilt:

When I posted this first time around, I didn't have a close-up of the block she made to represent our guild. She had the quilt on display again yesterday, and so I got the picture I wanted.

Also, I got up closer to the little "well-endowed" ladies. These are so cute.

It was an enjoyable day. I enjoyed sitting and sewing with the women from the guild, and we had a really nice potluck lunch together. Still, I was exhausted by the time we left, and it was great to be heading home. Everything is so green and beautiful right now. I stopped close to home to snap this image.

After such a tiring day, I had the words of that song going through my head: "It's good to touch the green, green grass of home."

It was our 39th wedding anniversary, and we had an evening out planned for ourselves at the Hall Street Grill in Beaverton, Oregon. It's a long-time favorite restaurant, and we haven't been there for a while. They have patio seating available, but it wasn't warm enough for that yesterday. Seated in the heart of downtown Beaverton, the Hall Street Grill doesn't have the fabulous view of restaurants we've patronized lately, but I still enjoyed the view of their raised-bed vegetable garden when I looked out the window.

I always think it's kind of cool when a restaurant grows its own vegetables and herbs.

And since I forgot my camera, the only pictures I was able to take were with my phone. Although I took pictures of our meals, they didn't look at all appetizing in the images, and so I'm not posting them. Still, I know you all love seeing our desserts, and so I'll make an exception for them. Think of them as no-calorie desserts since you can't share them. Mine was strawberry shortcake. Oregon strawberries are just now coming on:

Mike had a cheesecake flavored with orange.

And that was my full day. It's another full day today because we're going to a backyard barbecue with the rest of the family at Erik and Mae's house this evening. It's the first time they've had a formal get-together since they bought their place last October, and I'm looking forward to it. I'm contributing a Seafood Pasta with Lemon-saffon Herb Dressing. It's a family favorite, and it uses fresh dill, which is one of my favorite fresh herbs.

This morning I sat and finished the binding on A World Apart.

And now I'll just get back to quilting We are the World. I guess I'm feeling "worldly" these days since all of my quilt names have the word "world" in them. Connie Sue brought up the use of Glad Press and Seal (yes, that one)

for tracing patterns, stitching through it, then tearing it off. A few of you mentioned that as a possibility for quilting the design on We are the World. I think I will give it a try. I figure it can't be any more difficult to remove than the paper is. And just now I did a search to see if I could find out more about it. Here's a blog post about the many uses of Press and Seal.

Also, I'm needing to get partner assignments out for the monthly Doll Quilt Swap, so there's plenty to do. Time to get going. I hope you have a good day planned for yourself as well.