4/18/12

One Quilt In, One Quilt Out

This afternoon, I dropped off the "Home is Where the Heart Is" quilt with a quilter I've used before.  She is quite talented and creative.  I don't know why I haven't given her more quilts.  Once I settled on my beloved Tammi, I didn't go anywhere else.  Then Tammi left me.  Sniff.  (Insert audio of me singing "How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?")  Just let me replenish my box of Kleenex, and then I'll go on.

After that, I picked up the "Beaver Believer" quilt from yet another quilter.  She has done good work for me so far, but I haven't developed enough trust in her to let her have the "Home is Where the Heart Is" quilt.  She did a good job on Beaver Believer.  This is the stadium quilt I've been working on for Erik and Mae to take to the Oregon State Beaver football games.


I just want to say right here that I always let out a loud "Ha!" when I read that some of you wait for daylight to take your quilts outside to photograph them.  And then you don't get that bright flash point that my pictures always seem to have.  It's not that I'm jealous or anything . . . living in Oregon . . . where, I'll just say, we Never.  See.  Sunshine.  I just needed to get that off my chest.  Feeling much better now.

Anyway . . . it's easier to see the quilting from the back.  This turned out so cute.  I actually think I could manage to do this design on my domestic machine if the quilt were small enough for me to manage.



So this one is just about finished.  I'm going to bind it in black.  First, however, I want to rig up a system sort of like a sleeping bag.  I have in mind that black, um, let's just call it "webbing".  It's kind of like a wide shoe lace.  Anyway, I'm going to sew straps into the binding so that when the quilt is rolled up, you can tie these straps around it like a sleeping bag.  Also, I'm going to sew a handle into the binding so that you can tie it like a sleeping bag, and then carry it over your shoulder like a bag.  Cool, huh?  

Now, if I can just think where to find some of that "webbing".  Any ideas out there?  I might just make my own straps.  That would be simple enough too.  I could just use black fabric and sew them about an inch wide.  Whatever I decide to do, I'm going to make a strap out of the Oregon State fabric and then use some batting and straight stitching to reinforce it.  That will make it easy for Erik and Mae to carry it to and from the games, and since it will be completely self-contained, there won't be anything to lose.  I've seen them with matching bags, but then they would have to keep track of the bag.  The way I'm thinking, it'll all be one piece.  I'll make a tutorial when I do it so you can see.

So here's what else I did yesterday.  I put the borders on the latest Mr. Bear block.  


There is just one more block to finish on this, and then I'll be able to wrap up this project.  I only started it in August, and it should be finished sometime next month.  I'm excited to see the whole thing together.

Then I started choosing the fabrics for my mystery project.  I can't show it to you because it's a gift for someone who reads my blog.  But I'll give you a hint.  It's the one that uses this fabric:


I have all the fabrics picked out now, and so tomorrow I'll start on it.

I didn't do a lot of sewing yesterday since I was feeling a little under the weather.  But I did get it together enough to try a new recipe that I found in the New York Times.  This is a Spinach and Onion Tart created by Martha Rose Shulman.  (Click on the link to find her recipe.)  She writes the best healthy recipes.  


This took a little time, but it's not a bad choice even for a busy day because you can make the filling and the crust up ahead of time, then finish it up just before putting it in the oven.  It's vegetarian, but not vegan.  It was a good choice for me because I never know what to do with leftover fresh spinach when I make a spinach salad, and it usually goes bad and gets thrown out.  I could saute it up for dinner, but in my mind, it's a little boring served that way.

This recipe used an unusual yeasted olive oil pastry, which seemed intimidating until I made it.  It was simple to do, and as Martha promised, it was easy to handle because it didn't crack or tear. . . or stick!  It makes a crust a little like one of those Pillsbury pop 'n fresh refrigerated crusts, only without including all the ingredients you can't pronounce.  This crust contained whole wheat flour and regular flour, yeast, water, a tiny bit of sugar, one egg, olive oil and salt.  It was easy to mix it up in a large bowl with a wooden spoon, and then it needs one hour to rise.  Then you roll it out thin, and move it into your tart pan.  

I've already extolled the virtues of crusts baked in a tart pan with a removable bottom.  You really can't mess them up, and when you take them out of the pan, they always look pretty with their ruffled edges.


So, if you're like me, you worry about only having two arms for getting a tart out of a pan with a removable bottom.  I have one hand to lift the bottom out of the pan, and one hand to remove the rim, but then there's a problem . . . unless you want to go around wearing the rim on your arm.  At some point there is a critical, shall we say, "drop point".  That would be the point when you drop the whole tart on the floor trying to get rid of the rim.  Here's the solution I came up with.  Just center the tart on a can.  Larger cans are safer.  Then remove the rim that way.  You can pick up the tart and move it safely to the counter, and voila!  One finished tart ready for cutting . . . and no swearing, wailing, or crying!


Then you eat it.  And it was really good.  It's a little like a quiche, but lighter.  And there are leftovers for another night.  Just click on the links if you want the recipes.

Finally, I want to update you on my sourdough starter.  No cooks, cats, or property have been eaten in the process so far.  The sourdough starter, however, is becoming more demanding and ravenous.  Here's how it looked when I got up yesterday morning.  Pretty much exactly as it did when I started on it the day before.


The recipe warned me that it might not look like much on the first day.  So I fed it, and then checked it about four hours later.  Ah Ha!  Now it's starting to come to life.  See those bubbles?


I was only slightly apprehensive when I went to bed last night.  When I got up this morning, it was bubbling a little bit more.  The next step was to measure off another four ounces from what I had, discard the excess, and then feed it again.  It seemed satisfied after it's morning feeding.


Aye, but here's the rub.  Today I have to start feeding it twice per day.  And here's how it looked just before I started writing this post.  I'll need to feed it again soon.  Each time I feed it, I measure off four ounces, discarding the excess, and then give it another four ounces of flour and another four fluid ounces of water.


It's getting a little scarier every time I look at it.  I worry about pulling back a stump.

As I write this, I hear the distinct sound of slurping and smacking lips.  I'd better go check on it.  Eating Milwaukee is one thing.  I'm worried about my kitties.  And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, you'll have to read my previous post about how to make sourdough starter.  





7 comments from clever and witty friends:

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Love the football quilting and your sweet embroidery. The only thing I didn't like was you made me hungry, and I alreay had supper.....my bottomless pit.

Kate said...

Love the footballs on the Organ quilt. Your plans for making it a self contained carrier mechanism (?) sounds interesting. Can't wait to see your tutorial.

quiltzyx said...

The quilting on Beaver Believer is perfect - love those footballs. The ties & carrier strap will really make it easy to take it with you.
My mouth is watering, looking at the spinach & onion tart, even tho' I couldn't eat it (onions don't like me). That crust, well, I can almost smell it from here!

Be careful with that sourdough starter - it's looking quite agressive these days!!!

heartsease54 said...

You can get the webbing at JoAnn's or any fabric store, it comes in various widths & colors. You might even want to use it for the inside of the strap instead of batting.

Pamela said...

Here, here about not seeing the sun in Oregon! Makes it really hard to take quilt pictures, doesn't it?

Love the idea of straps on the quilt, you'll have to be sure to let us know how it comes out!

Teresa in Music City said...

Don't you just hate losing a favored long-arm quilter??? But it looks like this quilter did a great job - love the footballs! I agree, it would be fun to try to do on a domestic machine! It will be interesting to me to see how you work the straps on the Oregon quilt. Sounds very cool!!!

I hope you are feeling much, much better. I am suddenly starving after reading your post, so I think I'll go forage in the kitchen for a while :*) I'm pretty sure there won't be anything quite as yummy in there as your Tart though!

Diane Wild said...

You are making good progress in spite of feeling a little under the weather. Love the football quilting. Very imaginative. Oh, I made that key lime tart and it will be tasted by the quilters tonight. Will send reviews.