Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Bye Bye To March

I can't believe that it's the end of March already but I also can't say that I'm sad to see it go. It's been a busy month with lots of travel for work and I am looking forward to being a little more settled and hopefully a bit more productive this month. To get myself back into the swing of things I dragged my finally finished baskets and small design wall upstairs to try out some borders. My little improv baskets are still on the board so they came along for the ride.









I love this large tone-on-tone print but when I saw it in natural light it was greener than I wanted - it just didn't seem the right fit for the other browns.













After going through just about every brown that I own I settled on the floral that I used for the base of two of the baskets and one of the handles. I'm really liking the black polka dot on tan as a transition border.













There's going to be a sashing between the baskets and I think another scrappy sashing around the whole thing before the borders go on, so I've created this picot border with a variety of creams and the tan/black polka dots to keep it scrappy throughout and am liking what I see....M

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter Treats

Happy Easter everyone!

There's never a shortage of chocolate in our house at Easter but I still felt the need to bake.














We celebrated our family dinner last night so I made a few pies for dessert. Butterscotch is always a favourite, so I made two of them.














And, I added a new one to my repertoire - pecan. I learned about a week ago that it's the favourite of the Official Cookie Tester. Who knew??? I always thought his favourite was pumpkin! You're married to a guy for 20 years but do you really know him? :).

If I've made a pecan pie before I have no memory of it, but I'll definitely bake one again 'cause it's dead easy. The recipe that I used also has a pinch of cinnamon in it, which was a nice touch. Not being able to choose, many of us opted for a little slice of both. With 11 of us around the table there wasn't a whole lot of pie left - just enough for a slice or two to be enjoyed today. Hope you all have a lovely Easter filled with some of your favourite treats....M

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Whaaaaat???

Honestly, the older I get the more I think something happens to my brain when I travel for work. I just don't bounce back as quickly after being on the road for a few days and it shows up in funny ways.














Like this, for instance. I managed to appliquĂ© three basket handles in my hotel room and when I got home I thought I'd attach a handle to a block to feel like I had accomplished something. Seriously????! Obviously the brain was still on stun mode! A little time with the ripper got things back to normal but it just left me shaking my head. I'll try again when the fog clears.








In the meantime, I've picked up the short sashing strips for Danuta's Garden and have managed to get five more of them together without similar incidents, so I guess that counts for something. I've got three or four projects that I'd like to be putting my attention to but I'm having a hard time landing on one so maybe I'll bake some cookies. The Official Cookie Tester needs to take something to work for a potluck this week so it might be safer for me to be in the kitchen than at the machine .. :)....M

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Getting a Handle on Things

Three basket bases are now together so it's time to tackle the handles.















The instructions call for using a bias tape maker with an iron-on strip but I wasn't keen on that so I tried another method that I'd read about. I cut 12" x 1.5" strips on the bias, sewed them lengthwise, wrong sides together, and then pressed the seam toward the back. Worked like a charm.

There's a template included in the book to help with placement, which was nice. It would have been easier if I had copied the page as the book wasn't sitting flat, but I got there.





This is what the full Basket of Scraps quilt looks like.















I was drawn to the applique branches and blossoms that Edyta had designed but I don't know that I will do that if these are going to be a table runner. Maybe a little bit of it will find its way in...












So I've got three handles that now need to be sewn down - a perfect way to spend for a Sunday afternoon....M



Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Baskets on the Brain

I seem to have baskets on the brain lately.

















After putting together my free form scrappy baskets I found myself flipping through Edyta Sitar's book Handful of Scraps and was charmed by a beautiful basket quilt, also made from scraps but much more structured.

The squares finish off at 1" so the baskets really aren't that large - I think it's a 13" block when all is said and done. I'm lovin' the scrappy browns across the top edge of each basket.

I probably made mine the hard way, using up tiny scraps and sewing the blocks together individually rather than strip quilting, but it's supposed to be a scrap quilt, right?













The makings of three baskets are on the design wall. Thinking that they will become a table runner, I used the same brown floral for the base for the first two but now I'm thinking that I might make them all different. They are lots of fun to make and I'm tempted to see what a basket would look like in only one or two colours....M

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Things Are Not Always As They Appear

Just after the holidays we received a lovely little package from Dori and Rob filled with baked goodies and delicious heart shaped pieces of fudge. The fudge recipe was handed down from a family friend years ago and has always been a special treat. When the Official Cookie Tester realized that I have the recipe eyes opened wide. I think it might be a request in the near future.

This sweet little packet was included as well.









No label, but more heart shaped goodness inside. Having taken no time to smork back the fudge in the first packet we tore into this one thinking it was a bonus pack.














It was harder than the first batch but we thought it might just have been that it had been sitting around for a while.

But it was much harder. So hard that we dared not test our teeth any further and set them aside. It didn't taste like fudge either so I wanted to ask Dori what it was.









Then I was at Betty's checking out the progress of the quilt that she is working on and noticed that she had these little hearts too, but near her quilt, and the penny dropped. They were made of beeswax, not fudge! It's wax for your hand quilting thread. Too funny, especially when I take another look at those teeth marks. Sometimes you just have to laugh.









We escaped the snow last week to enjoy some warm Florida sunshine and while we were exploring I had my first visit to a Joann's store that so many bloggers write about. Surprisingly, I didn't find as many temptations as I thought I would but I did come home with a few small pieces that I haven't seen before....M.