Monday, June 30, 2008

Half Square Triangle MADNESS!!!

Oh Half Square Triangles, how I used to hate you. Then I discovered triangles on a roll, and thangles, and I liked you a little better, but I was too lazy to go out and buy rolls for all the different sizes. Then I read this post by Kathy Mack of Pink Chalk Studio about the Angler 2, and I made plans to try it out. Then my LQS sent out a newsletter about a new tool from Quilt Market, Clearly Perfect Angles. And I have now good-enough-ly conquered the half square triangles. Finally.
Clearly Perfect Angles
Ok, so my angles are not PERFECT, but good enough for me. As Brenda says, finished is better than perfect! Clearly Perfect Angles does take some getting used to, but it's really not that bad. It's a window cling, unlike the Angler 2, which is a thin sheet of plastic. The window cling is nice because it's much easier to cut it and customize it to your machine. I used my seam ripper to cut the holes. Another point my friend Cheri noticed was that Clearly Perfect angles is longer, so you can line up your squares for a longer period of time. I love it, and I have used it quite a bit since I bought it.

Now, the reason why I bought it was for the mystery quilt I posted about oh, half a month ago. Here are the squares I ended up with! (please ignore the incorrectly sewn one, I will fix it eventually!)
Mystery Quilt Blocks
It was a fun quilt, and I'm trying to decide if I want to make more blocks, add sashing, add a border, or just keep it as a small quilt. We'll see. The pattern is by Constantine Quilts, and it was super fun. Here is the link in case you want to do it too!

After this quilt, my parents asked me to make a baby quilt for them. Still on my half square triangle high, I decided on this pattern (which thankfully is still offered free, even though not on the bhg site anymore). I added a couple columns to the side and used charm squares instead of whatever they asked for. The fabric is Little Lady by Lakehouse Fabrics, and was fun, but I have discovered that these are NOT my colors.
Finished Baby Quilt
I had to ask multiple people if they thought the quilt was ok, because I do not like it. I am not a purple person. I do love the pattern though, and am planning on making another one with the Oh Boy fabric, also from Lakehouse. I think I will like this one much more. Hurray.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Play with ME!

Last night I picked up my second CSA bunch, and I am very excited. I also have to say that the radishes (not beets, doh) from last week were delicious! They taste like daikon (japanese white radish) and I definitely had a light bulb moment there... Oh and I had the collard greens the way Jan suggested, fried in bacon fat with more bacon. SO GOOD. Now that I'm not scared of them, maybe this week I'll try a healthier option. Or not. :) Here is this week's haul:
CSA Week 2
Thankfully the only think I really don't know what to do with is the kale. I'm sad there's not cauliflower this week though, I had wanted to make cauliflower gratin!
Mystery quilt fabric cut up
Here are my mystery quilt squares all cut up. Actually, I had run out of the super dark fabrics, so I'm visiting the quilt shop today. And here is how Lucy reacts to my taking photos of things on the floor...
Play with me please!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tonal Mystery

Ok I'll admit it. I don't really like mystery quilts. They never turn out like I want them to. The idea is fun. Getting fabric and then chopping it up into a surprise pattern... but something always isn't quite right.
Mystery Quilt Fabrics
My friend Cheri is hosting a mystery quilt, and I'm pretty excited for it. Instead of choosing a few main fabrics, this one has you pick 6 fabrics from each of 5 tonal groups, clear light, medium light, medium, medium dark and deep dark. These fabrics are all from my stash, which makes me very very happy. I think I will be replacing at least 3 of the fabrics with something else. Now I just have to do the pre-cutting and I'll be all set! Hurray!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


I got off the waiting list of my CSA, and now am a proud trial member! I picked up my first box of veggies today, and I have to say I'm very excited.
csa June 4 2008
I cut off the greens of the carrots, beets and cauliflower and threw them into a pot for soup. Not really sure what else to do with them. I tried the strawberries and the carrots, and they taste very different from regular veggies. Somehow, they taste sharper, and more concentrated?

In any case, I joined the CSA because I want to eat more veggies, and experiment more. Which I'm already seeing, as I have no idea what to do with the beets or the collard greens...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bread Help!

Alright, so I finally made the no-knead bread. It was nice and crunchy (and a little burnt, my bad) but was still good. The dough was a little flavorless, but I dipped it in balsamic vinegar and olive oil anyway so not a problem.
Mini Artisan Bread in 5 minutes
Then I decided to try and make the Master Loaf from this book, but here's where I ran into problems. My loaves are tiny! Is this normal? I expected them to be about the size of a dinner plate, and maybe 3 inches high. Mine are probably closer to a 6 inch sphere. Photo with a navel orange is for scale. Still nice and crunchy though, and probably a good size for dinner for 2. It was SUPER super salty, so maybe next time no salt? Anyone else have problems like this? FYI, I used bread flour instead of the all purpose flour, and followed the book's instructions and decreased the amount of flour by 1/4 cup.
Punk Lucy in her shirt
In more exciting news, Lucy finally got spayed. We have her running around in a t-shirt so that she doesn't lick her stitches. Short corgi legs! She keeps wiggling out through the neck hole.