Planning and Preparation

Yesterday was a baking and sewing day. I baked some Chocolate, Orange, and Pistachio Biscotti for my sweety for Valentine's Day. The benefit of baking for him is that I get to eat it too. (The woman is always thinking.) These are really yummy. I found the recipe on the Ghiradelli website a while back. They're easy enough to make, and they don't even require dragging out the mixer.

It makes a lot too. If I'm going to go to the effort of baking, I want my baked goods to be around for a few days at least. I'll say that I melted one chocolate bar for the edges there, but I needed just a tad more. I think next time around, I'd use a chocolate bar and a half for that. Also, despite running short on chocolate, I managed to get it all over myself and the kitchen. I suspect the next owners of our house will still be finding chocolate in the kitchen nooks and crannies decades from now.

While I was waiting for that, I worked on some more spool blocks for my cornerstones. I completed eight more for a total of twelve. Eight more to go. I'm hoping to finish those today, and then I'll be ready to start sewing it together. I've nailed down the fabrics for my sashings, I think (assuming I have enough). I'm still mulling over what fabrics I'm going to use for the rest. It would be nice if I could avoid buying any more, but I might need a solid fabric if I decide to use a stop border. There's already a lot of color and pattern in this quilt, and I don't want it to end up looking too busy.

Also, recall that I'm getting ready to start on a baby quilt for a friend who is expecting her first grandchild in May or June. They picked out this pattern from Queen Bee Quilt Designs, called "Turn Around Baby". As I was looking at the pattern yesterday, I realized there were applique templates for bears, ducks and bunnies. My friend wanted the ducks, and they were hoping for something in greens and yellows.

When I went shopping for duck fabric, I couldn't find anything in green, and so I turned it over to my friend Deb who found some local to her and shipped it to me. It still isn't green...it's blue, but she found a coordinating stripe for the binding that will bring in some green. The rest of the fabrics will be supplemented from my stash. Now those are washed, ironed, and ready to go. I'm hoping to get a start on that in about a week. Here are the fabrics I'm planning to use:

The yellow polka dot at the top will be for the duck's body, and the gold below that will be used in the four-patches along with the solid yellow. The solid orange is for the duck's bill, and two of the greens are for the sashings. (The center green is a stripe that I'll use in the binding.) I'll use the blue on white polka dot for the background of the duck blocks, and then, of course, the duck fabric at the bottom will be for the back and border. I think it's going to be cute.

This morning I worked on my embroidery for a while. When I finished, I was ready to hoop the last little bit of this block. I've used two full skeins of floss now and started on a third one this morning. That's a whole lotta stitchin'.

And with that one so close to being finished, I traced out the next block for The Vintage Kitchen. This is February's block for Jenny of Elefantz's free BOM.

These are tiny, and so I went ahead and traced my next quilting snowlady block too. This next one is called "Quilting Causes Global Warming".

Sorry for the blur in that picture. The picture on the pattern cover is blurred, and I can't make it any better. In my mind, there was only one place for the cat in this one. Do you see it?

There's quite a bit of detail to stitch in the stack of quilts. I'm just hoping I can pull it off.

Finally, I created the pattern for the next one of the blocks for Lisa's Quilt. I'll probably get to work on that block today or tomorrow. This one is from her son, Michael. Lisa brilliantly collected signatures from all the folks who created blocks from her quilt. I'll embroider Michael's signature at the top corner of this one. The rest of the block will be applique, and I think I can machine triple stitch the lettering onto the apple.

Do you remember when I took you on a little tour of the things budding outside the other day? I told you that the little mini-irises were the first things to bloom. As if on cue, they are showing their stuff now.

Pretty, huh?

Mike and I are celebrating Valentine's Day with dinner out tonight, and we're just getting ready to take off on a walk this morning. Time to get going.

10 comments from clever and witty friends:

WoolenSails said...

That material is so cute and it is going to be adorable.
Love the snow lady piece, that is a fun saying.


Kate said...

The ducky quilt is going to be very cute. Hope you and Mike had a wonderful Valentine's Day.

quiltzyx said...

The biscotti look delicious. One of my car's fobs has chocolate in the imprinted writing on the back of it. There was a forgotten Hershey Kiss in my pocket.
Great fabrics for the ducky quilt. Tin is moving right along & yep, I just knew the cat would be in the box! LOL

Donna said...

The baby quilt is so cute as are your lovely flowers. I'm envious. We won't be seeing grass anytime soon here. We have a good 4 feet of snow and are expecting another foot tonight.

beaquilter said...

those spools look great! can't wait to see the border :)

liniecat said...

Lovely fabrics there for the ducky quilt and the biscotti do look tasty, I MUST NOT make any - living alone and liking to bake things is no help for me, when Im struggling to lose weight lol
Your chocolate in the nooks and crannies made me chuckle.
I love pomegranate seeds in my porridge but getting them out all at once, so they can be stored in a container in the fridge, always leaves me with a kitchen 'blood' spatter scene, worthy of Dexter! there must be a knack of emptying the shell with out being the kitchen walls, floor, surfaces and me being spattered but Ive yet to find it!

Sarah_L_N said...

That duck quilt is going to be so cute, what a lucky baby :) And where else for the cat, than the box?! I don't have a cat at the moment, but I do have a 4 year old who loves boxes!

Sue said...

It's amazing to me that you have flowers blooming- we still have three feet of snow and you are north of us! How is that possible?

Vroomans' Quilts said...

In seeing your flowers, it gives me hope that in a month or so we will see some green - HA! Cut duck quilt and lovely pile of fabrics to play with. Of course that kitty just has to go in the box.

Brown Family said...

The duck quilt will be very cute. Those are bright happy colors. Of course there was no other place for the little cat! They all love boxes. I love the mini Iris. I need to see if mine are going to bloom.