Sunday, October 21, 2012

Floating on Cloud Nine

No, it's not the name of a new quilt... it's how I'm feeling!

For those of you that are facebook friends this is going to sound like bragging.  It's not... well, it is, but it's not! Really!  I have a lot of people over here in blogland that want nothing to do with facebook, so I've got to tell them all the fantastic news too, right?  And it's not bragging - it's tooting.  Yep, if I don't toot my I'm-so-freaking-proud horn who will?

Okay, back to cloud nine...
Over the past couple of days was a quilt show in Portland, OR... MQX West to be exact.  Wow, just to be accepted and to hang at this show is an amazing accomplishment.  BUT (there it is), to win a ribbon... honor!  Hold on... it gets better... two ribbons!  Both of my quilts took ribbons -- I am beside myself with joy.  BUT (another one) hold on again... it gets even better than all that!  I persuaded one of my customers (Cathy) to enter her quilt and she took a ribbon as well!  OMG... three ribbons - two of my own and one on a customer's quilt -- the quilty angels are definitely looking down on me, and I do believe they might be singing!

Here's a peek at all of them (again, thank you to Teri Lucas for taking the photos and for sharing them)!!

Stella Luminosa - 1st Place Wall Hanging Small
some older posts about Stella Luminosa:

Clouds in My Latte - 3rd Place Wall Hanging Large - Traditional
some older posts about Clouds in My Latte:

Lavender Bouquet  (Cathy Landon, quilted by Karen Marchetti) - 3rd Place Custom Heirloom Show Bed
Click here for a post on my customer blog about Cathy's quilt


The MQX West winners list is available here.  Congratulations to all the winners, there are some amazing quilts and quilters on that list -- I am absolutely honored to be included!  Also, make sure you take some time and visit the MQX website -- they have two shows East and West.  I must send a shout-out to Teri Lucas, she graciously took and posted photos of my quilts (as well as Cathy's) as I couldn't be at the show and now I get to share them with you!  Take some time and swing by her blog and check out her winning quilt, Tilde (photo to left) - gorgeous!  I borrowed this picture from Teri (I don't think she'll mind)!

See, now you understand why I'm floating!  Happy Day Quilties!

Oh, and I almost forgot!  Right after MQX West Clouds in My Latte is getting overnighted to Lisa and hitching a plane ride to Houston!  You'll be able to get up close and personal as it will be hanging in the Machine Quilting Unlimited booth at both Market and Festival!  Make sure you swing by their booth and check out a really great magazine and take a peek at Clouds while you're there!  Oh, and my other quilt, Wonderlust, will be hanging on the other side of the Brown Convention Center - on the show floor!

Okay, now.... Happy Day Quilties!!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Sunday dinner worth sharing

Really, it was that freaking good!

A while ago, my facebook bestie, Lisa shared her beef tips recipe on her blog.  She assured me that these were the most delicious beef tips ever... well, only one problem, we eat the other beef -- venison.  Either way, I was bound and determined to try her recipe -- you know, cause I value her opinion and if she says they are the most delicious, well then, they are!  I have to add, I'm laughing at the term facebook bestie.  Although Lisa and I have yet to meet, you would never know it!  She is truly a bestie, not just a facebook bestie!

Now, back to Sunday dinner... Sunday is kinda' the only day we are all home and in one place -- and well, if you're not home, you'd better be home!  But this weekend my hubby was away and my son was worried we weren't having Sunday dinner.  By all means, we sure are!  I look forward to Sunday dinner because it usually results in leftover lunch and dinner for Monday, and sometimes lunch for Tuesday -- oh yeah, the family time is great too!

So... defrosted some tenderloins, a backstrap, and a roast from deep freeze.  I wanted to try several cuts of meat to really test the recipe.  Not because I didn't trust Lisa, but because deer meat can sometimes act differently than beef.  I know, you're all scratching your heads... South Florida - deer?  Remember, I'm from Jersey, annual hunting trip = loads of goodness in my freezer!  I really shouldn't say SoFL doesn't have deer, they do, just nothing in comparison to New Jersey!

Let me start with... I can't follow directions.  Really.  Especially in the kitchen, I'll be reading a recipe and following along yet my brain and hands do totally different things.  I go my own way... so I always "base" meals off of recipes.  No worries, I will make Lisa's beef tips exactly as her recipes states one day.  It might take some medication for me to follow word for word, but I will!  I also wanted to use my crockpot, because let's face it, this is SoFL... it's hot when you use the stove all day!

To begin I get a large skillet and throw in some butter, garlic, and onions.  While this is getting hot I cut all the meat into cubes.  Once the skillet is super-freaking hot I toss the cubes of deer meat in to sear all those delicious juices inside!   No, for some strange reason I have no picture of this step?  Freaking idiot that I am!

Then... okay, let me stop here and add I do not measure.  I just add til it looks/tastes the way I want it to.  This is the difficult part in sharing a recipe and drives my mother absolutely insane... I'm like "some" add "some".  Sorry, remember I share the good and the bad... it's all me!

Okay... meanwhile, while all the cubes of meat are searing away, I've got the crock pot on low.  With some olive oil and beef broth in the bottom, why? Cause that's how I cook.  Once the meat is beautifully seared and looking super delicious, I add in some Worcestershire sauce (and here's where I go astray), horseradish, salt, pepper, and beef broth.  I let this simmer just enough for the juices to blend and then dump it all into the crock pot (you know, cause it's going to simmer all freaking day in there).

I know, it doesn't really look like much at this point.  Soooooooo... being a veggie junkie like I am I add some carrots.  Lisa's recipe calls for brown gravy mix (not a single packet in any of my cabinets - sucks), so I had to improvise and use beef broth, the skillet drippings, and flour... yes, old fashioned boring way!  So after that's all super good looking I add it to the meat in the crock pot.

And it cooks... and cooks.  And the house smells beyond delicious!
And then it's late afternoon.  Time to add some dumplings.  OMG... yes, dumplings!  Part of the reason why I put this delicious dinner into the crock pot, just for dumplings!  I use the super simple bisquick method!  And nope, don't measure either!  Bisquick and milk until its the consistency I want for dumplings!  Oh, and I tend to go overboard with dumplings - can't help it, they are freaking delicious!  I just drop them in with tablespoons and let then whole thing cook on high for about an hour.  The best part... at this point dinner is only an hour away!


And, after an hour this is what you have - all those scrumptious juices bubbling up and around the dumplings.

And then the kid grabs a spoon and attacks!

Here's my bowl, umm, my first bowl ( yes I had two, I waited all day for this)!!!

And, yet another day I will make Lisa's beef tips exactly her way... because the mashed potatoes and broccoli are sounding super good right now!

Friday, October 12, 2012

BEND

Bend is finished!
Turned it in for the MCQG member challenge last night.
I had all but the paperwork done when I arrived at the meeting.
Deadline met!

So to catch you up since the last post, or the original post here is a photo summary of all that's happened:





And finally...


So, if you happen to be in West Palm Beach in early November, swing by the World Quilt Show Florida IV (Mancuso) you'll be able to see Bend hanging with the Martin County Quilters Member Challenge Exhibit!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

It's a collaboration!

I am sooooo excited to share this...
Really...
Eyvonne, she's not so happy.
I am an over-sharer, Eyvonne is not.
We are working on a collaboration quilt.

We... well, up until this point Eyvonne's been working on her half.  Don't get me wrong, I did help pick out some of the colors (that's my favorite part).  But now it's time for my *real* half.  Not quite now, but soon.  It's penciled on my schedule for the fourth week of October -- so as long as all my other post-it notes stay on schedule, you should be seeing pics by the end of the month!  WooHoo... exciting, I know!

Here we are showing the quilt at a guild meeting.  We wanted to share with the group how much quilting can change a quilt top.

The quilt is based off of Jacqueline de Jonge's "Elements of Nature" pattern.  BUT (there's that pesky but), I don't follow directions well, nor do I like quilts smaller than 40".  Sooooo... I convinced Eyvonne we should draft out the pattern larger and add more elements to the quilt.  Eyvonne started the piecing and then each month we would look at it, remove some things, add others, etc.  Eyvonne laughs now (before she was speaking sailor) -- this quilt has been sewn, unsewn, resewn, newly sewn... until now it is DONE-SEWN!  We arrived at the based-off of theory because of all these changes.  And... our quilt is about 80" square (before quilting).

Here is a full view of the quilt - in it's unquiltedness.  See all that negative space?  I'm drooling and Eyvonne is worried.  I think it is so funny when two opposite personalities join together to create - it becomes interestingly fun!

And here is Jacqueline's original pattern - visit her website for more info.

So yes, similar but different = based off of!

Now... the name!!
I originally wanted Bad Directions.  Eyvonne said no.  She didn't want any negativity attached to the quilt, or anyone to think that Jacqueline's original directions were difficult.  Hmmm... changing the directions of the pattern, that was slightly difficult, but not negative.  Then.... hmmm.... a few other names were thrown around, but I absolutely fell in love with Outta the Loop.  So, I'm claiming the naming part in my half!  Our quilt will be dubbed Outta the Loop!  I like that - I get to name, Eyvonne, she gets to bind!  LOL

Now don't forget to check back because I will definitely be over-sharing many pics of this gorgeous quilt!