A Few Little Things

Today I took a little break from sewing. I think I've sewn every day for the past couple of weeks. That's not a complaint, mind you. The weather has kept me inside, but my intense desire to finish those darned cats has also kept me pushing forward. Tomorrow I'm walking with Sue in the morning, and then I'll get back to them. And don't think I've forgotten about my quilting either. Finishing the quilting for the Gardner's Journal quilt by the end of the month is also looming large.

So here's what I have to tell you about today's activities. For one thing, I want to remember to show you the inside of the Double Layer Cranberry Ginger Upside Down Cake I blogged about yesterday.

It isn't a very good picture, but I wanted you to see the layers of the cake. The top layer is the cranberry upside down cake, then there's a filling layer made from fresh cranberries and raspberry preserves, and then a plain cake from the same batter as the upper layer. The cake was surprisingly moist and tasty. The topping (which actually goes into the pan before the batter...thus, an upside down cake) is made from fresh or frozen cranberries, hazelnuts, and a generous portion of candied ginger. The hazelnuts give it a nice crunch, and the candied ginger keeps it from being too tart. Anyway...it was delicious, and I will definitely make it again sometime. Click right here for the recipe. It's a bit of a production to make it, but it isn't difficult.

Then today, instead of sewing, I went to the Sewing & Craft Festival in Portland. It was a bust, in my humble opinion. I had free tickets that I picked up at a local quilt shop, but they were selling tickets at the door for $10...or half off if you came with a coupon. Then, there was the additional $8 for parking at the venue. The "festival" was rather small, and it was strictly a marketplace...there was no associated quilt show. I went because I was interested in looking at threads and purchasing some cones of thread to keep upstairs with Eliza. Would you believe there were no thread merchants there at all? None selling cones, anyway. There were a few vendors from quilt shops selling spools of thread. I was hoping to do some comparison shopping, but no dice.

Nevertheless, there were some cute patterns from designers that were new to me. I picked up a few patterns, because if there's anything I need, it's more patterns. You know what I mean, don't you? Just now I got off the phone from Mike and told him about how much I needed these patterns. Here's the essence of our conversation:

Mike: Yes, because of course, you're going to make all the ones you have now.

Me: Yes! If I live long enough.

Mike: How long would that be?

Me: I think if I lived to be 192, that will do it.

Silly man.

This first one is called "City on a Hill". It's applique designed by Sandra Coffman, someone I've never heard of. (Whenever I say that, I get a jillion comments from folks who know all about the designer. So go ahead and tell me how ignorant I am, will ya?) Anyway...here's a picture of the quilt that was on display with the pattern. See if you can tell what caught my eye:

I liked it for it's Southwest flavor, but of course, anything cat is always on my "gotta have it" list. As for the designer, her business is called "Shepherd's Gate Designs", and you can find her website right here. This particular pattern has an associated Bible verse: "You are the light of the world. A house set on a hill cannot be hidden." Matthew 5:14  It made me think of the Three Cats Ranch set on our hill.

Then I found a couple of other patterns I liked from a designer called "More the Merrier Design from Janet's Sewing Room". You can find her website right here. This first one is called "Bird Watching". I just thought it was cute. I like the dyed fabric she used for the sky.

And look at how the trees have been done. It's a striped fabric with the tree forms quilted in. Great idea and very effective.

From the same designer, this pattern called "Sun Shinny [sic] Day". I just thought it was cute. Some good friends from high school are expecting their first grandchild next summer. I might make this as a baby quilt for their new grandbaby. 

Also, there was a very small embroidery pattern that I liked as a housewarming gift for some good friends who recently moved to Central Oregon. I would have purchased it at the show, but they only had it on display, not for sale. No problem. It was from Bird Brain Designs, and I found it on their website. I like the one on the lower right. I can stitch it in no time at all.

Have I said lately how much I love the internet? I stood right in the middle of the show and ordered this pattern and paid with Paypal. It's like magic, I tell ya'. How did we ever live without the internet? (I'm guessing we might have been better at saving our money.)

There were some other things that sorely tempted me, but I resisted the urge. The "show" was overly crowded and photography was prohibited except for purchased patterns. That always puts me in a bad mood, and so I didn't stay long, nor did I need to. Interestingly, the tickets were good for three days. I was in and out in less than two hours. I'm not sure what the three-day hard core people were going to do with all that time, but maybe they felt less ripped off. When this "show" came around last year, I skipped it for just that reason. Had I not been interested in the thread, I would have skipped it this year too. My curiosity abounds, however, and so they drew me in. Never again. It's basically a chance for you to spend up to $18 to get in for the opportunity to spend more money. 

It seemed as if it took me forever to get home, and I was just kind of worn out from the crowd at the show and the terrible traffic getting home. I laid down and took a nap, and then was just kind of a lazy bum the rest of the day.

Recall, however that I gave you a sneak peek last week of the fifth of five pay it forward gifts I made for friends. I received word from my good friend Sher today that she'd received the mug rug I made for her. Sher loves all things Disney and that is going to keep Sher young at heart for the rest of her life. For her, I made this little mug rug I call "Mickey's Mug".

My inspiration for this came from one I saw on another blog, USS Craftsy, written by T'onna Peters. I made mine a little differently from the one she made. T'onna seems to be more of a crafter than a quilter, and I loved her idea. In any case, it's safely in Sher's hands now, and so I can show it to you.

And that's about it from me for today. I'm making a German potato salad for dinner, so I'd better get that going. I hope you had an easy-going day. Buffalo people, you have my sympathy.

11 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Of course you had to buy those patterns - they had cats in them. I can see Smitty in that window. Cute stitcheries - I like the top one - looks like my home.

Lee said...

OK, don't laugh at me but before you acknowledged it was cats, that IS what I was looking for but didn't see it - could it have been more obvious? - so then I thought...doors...remembering your Irish doors project, and seeing at least three doors. I did finally 'see' the cat!

I will have to check out that cake recipe - it looks wonderful, and I love cranberries!

I'm sure Sher loves her Disney-themed mug rug too!

liniecat said...

I may have to stop following you, you keep finding such tasty recipes that I end up trial-ing and eating most of myself!
<<< no discipline, >> true lol
You cant have enough patterns, its a known fact - somewhere~

Dana Gaffney said...

I think those patterns had your name written all over them, I like them all.The Mickey Mat is adorable :)

Anonymous said...

You are not alone in finding those events that leave a body wondering "what were they thinking"!? I'm not sure if it's the saturation of these things or what but I've experienced the same.....only w/o the 'pain' of an admission and parking fee (insult to injury??). Thread is always something I'm on the lookout for. Found some really great stuff on our Eastern trip (Maine) last Oct., came home & ordered it. It was by Superior Threads and the quilt shop was no help with info......weird!!! A nap is a good thing after such a day!!!

Debbie said...

For large cones of thread....Superior threads or Red Rock threads.....good prices, big selection, and good service.

Beth said...

Thanks for the review of the Portland event, Barb. I love the Quilt Expo and really enjoyed the show at the recent Quilt! Knit! Stitch! (another one of those names...), but I'll be sure to skip this event when it comes back around. Did you get to Q! K! S!? I can't remember if you blogged about that, but they did have a lot of vendors with a huge array of products. No help for you right now, but maybe next year.

quiltzyx said...

The semi-upside-down cake looks mouth watering!

They have those Rusty Barn festivals down here at the LA County fairplex a couple times a year. Mary Ann went to the last one & was also disappointed in it. I haven't been to one in years, but I've never been a big vendor fan I guess. At least you found some cute patterns!

I've been playing phone tag with potential employers today.

Kate said...

That cake looks yummy. We've got desserts for Thanksgiving, that one may have to get added to the list.

The Mickey mug rug is adorable! You've been a really busy stitcher.

Judy1522 said...

Your Mickey mug rug is so cute! I thought about going to that quilt show especially since you could get free tickets. After reading what you had to say about it I am glad I didn't waste the time I didn't have to begin with to spend there. I will keep that in mind for next year also when it comes around.

Brown Family said...

Well. the cat of course, but also the doors caught my attention!