Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A gift for a good friend.

I have been wanting to share this quilt with you for a while now, but it was a gift for a very good friend and I know she reads my blog so I couldn't post anything until she received it.
I have been having some fun with  Dresden's lately and a while back I saw a similar Dresden quilt on Pinterest.
A year ago my friend Nancy was in town for my son's graduation, she always loves going into my sewing room to see what my latest projects are. She was telling me  that she had recently changed the colors in her living room and was pointed out the new colors in a fabric collection I had in my stash.
After she left I pulled those fabric and put the aside, I decided I would make her something with that fabric for her house.
Time had passed and I kept looking at those fabrics, I went through my patterns and books but nothing really talked to me. I know for some of you that may sound strange, but for the rest of you , you know our fabric talks to us!
So one night in my menopausal 3am in the morning, wide awake, get out of bed and get on the computer time, I found a quilt on Pinterest that called to me. I knew I had found my quilt for those fabrics Nancy picked out several months ago.
As soon as I started making the different Dresden's I fell in love with the pattern.
The next part that I pondered over was the quilting. There was a lot of negative space and I wasn't quite sure what to do.  So it sat on my design wall for a month while I doodled in a sketch book.
It was calling for feathers but it had been a while since I had quilted feathers and I was having a mental block while trying to sketch them. Boy those were some funny looking feathers. I decided I was just going to put the quilt on the machine and start quilting. I convinced myself that it wasn't going to be hanging in a show or judged by expert quilters. Once I relaxed I actually started to get into my design.
I was very happy with the outcome and almost sad to see it go.
My fathers has been bugging me to make a quilt for a friend of his. He gave my Mom a box of silk ties several years back and asked if she could make something with them. I think this pattern will be great with those silk ties.
I apologize for the poor quality of my pictures, I had to use my cell phone to take the pictures and they just don't show the detail. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

This mornings harvest.

Our tomatoes are so happy! This is what we pick this morning.

So of course I knew what I had to make for dinner, Lidia Bastianich Pasta with Baked Cherry Tomatoes.
First I halved the tomatoes and put them in a large bowl.
 I added 3 TBS of Olive Oil, 1/4 tsp. pepperoncino flakes and 1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs. Mix gently and place on baking sheet and place in 350 oven.
While the tomatoes were in the oven I sliced 10 cloves of garlic and chopped 1 cup basil and grated 1/2 cup pecorino.
I put a large pot of salted water on the stove and just before the tomatoes were lightly caramelized  I added the pasta.
Next I added the sliced garlic and 1/2 cup of olive oil in a large pan.

Once the oil starts bubbling I added 2 cups pasta water and turn heat up so I had a rapid boil. Reduce the liquid by half.
Next I removed the tomatoes from the oven.

Once pasta is AL denta, I lifted it out of the water and into the pan of garlic and olive oil.
Lightly toss pasta and then add tomatoes.
Remove from heat and add the half cup of Pecorino and basil.
Next I add small dollops of Ricotta.
As my dear sweet Mother would say "Manga"
Sorry for the poor quality of the final picture, it was still steaming and it cause the picture to be a bit blurry.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Cooking from our garden.

Our garden is producing some amazing vegetables!
Last night for dinner I made Lasagna using Zucchini instead of noodles.
I used my mandolin and sliced my Zucchini lengthwise and replaced the noodles with Zucchini.
I place a small amount of Olive Oil on the bottom of my baking dish and put my first layer of Zucchini down.
Next I took Ricotta cheese and mixed in one egg, chopped Chives from the garden, grated Romano Cheese, grated Mozzarella, crushed garlic and salt and pepper.
I then spread a thin layer of the Ricotta mixture over the Zucchini and then laid another layer of Zucchini on top of that. My next layer was sliced tomatoes and lots of fresh Basil on top of the tomatoes. Another layer of Zucchini, more Ricotta another layer of Zucchini and then I topped it with Marinara sauce and grated Romano and Mozzarella cheese.
Baked it in a 350 oven for 30 minutes and let is sit for 15 once out of the oven.
It was delish! My daughter went back for seconds and that says a lot!
Our Cherry tomatoes are starting to turn red and yesterday I picked our first Cucumber. We planted Watermelon and  Pumpkins yesterday and will plant more Sunflowers and Musk Melon this weekend.
We have really enjoyed our garden and learning about the growing season in Arizona.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Summer Purse

This is one of those projects that I start about a month ago and  almost finished it but them didn't like the straps, so it sat until I got inspired again.
When I first saw this purse I loved the look of the Burlap. The original pattern by Kenzie Mac called for the straps to be Burlap as well. Very cute in theory but when I sewed the straps they felt so scratchy I knew they would drive me crazy so I decided to make the straps fabric instead.
Now this is where my anal retentive personality kicked in. I could not decided what fabric I liked for the straps. I absolutely love the line of fabric I made the purse with. It's PB&J by Basic Grey. The whole line is wonderful. The baby quilt I posted recently was also made from this line.
The problem was I kept laying different prints from the line next to the Burlap and I just was not feeling it. So my poor purse laid in my sewing room for weeks unfinished.
Last week I was out to lunch with my friend Sherry and we stopped at the Quilt store. Now Sherry doesn't sew, I know right!!!! But I love her anyway.....
I told her the dilemma I was having regarding the strap and showed her the line of fabric I was working with. Well, she helped me picked the fabric out. It's helps to have a neutral eye sometimes.
This pattern is called Elite Tote and has the option of three different sizes, I went with the medium size. The original pattern had two straps side by side but I changed it to one longer strap so it would hang better off my shoulder.
Of course I had to add a little bling and flowers to the purse because that's just how I roll.