Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Beer Bread

I know that I pretty much just blog about quilting, I try to use this as my 'journal' but it's more like 'a way to remember what I did last week', which is getting harder by the minute. lol  However, today I decided to go out on a limb, I made some bread last night and thought I would share it. It is the EASIEST thing ever to make! No kneading, no waiting for it to rise, no flour all over the kitchen. Just pour everything in a bowl, mix it up, pour it into a greased pan and bake it for an hour. You will have to forgive my limited photography skills.

3 cups sifted self rising flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 bottle (12 oz) of beer

Very moist
 Bake at 375 for an hour. That's it, no fuss - easy stuff! You do have to eat it with in a couple of days as it doesn't keep very well, but once your family smells it baking, that isn't a problem. Try different types of beer to see what you like. I just use whatever we happen to have in the fridge at the time. This week's bread was made with Yuengling and I liked it but you could taste the beer a little more than I care for. I have made it with a few different types and I think Corona was the best so far. I have yet to try it with a stout beer but I bet that would be yummy too. I also let it bake about half way then pour some melted butter, 2-3 tablespoons, over the top and let it finish baking. Since it goes into the bread pan as a liquid, doing it at the beginning just makes a big cavern in the center of the loaf.

The is my favorite way to have it...warm with some butter and FROG jam. YUMMY!!

And no, the jam is not made with Frogs...it must be a North Carolina thing because I have never heard of it before I came here. It is Fig, Raspberry, Orange and Ginger jelly, hence the F.R.O.G. It is wonderful!

Hope you try it...and like it. ;)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Our chicks got here today!!!

We have had chickens for about a year now, we just love them. The eggs are pretty great too! ;) I have been buying a couple of hens at a time, mostly on Craigslist. The Man and our neighbor Lisa built a way cool chicken coop. It is more like a house really and we started out with 5 hens and a Rooster. They sleep in the house and at that time had free run of the yard. Well, someone that lives around here (I have yet to find out who they are) has a dog that had a taste for fresh chickens. Within about 2 weeks of getting them we lost the first hen to this rouge dog. If I knew where that dog lived, I would have left what was left of my girl on his front porch...anyway, we have lost a few that way and my Rooster, Captain Jack, got sick and died last Fall. I have replaced the hens but it's not possible to replace my sweet boy. Anyway, we currently have 4 1/2 hens and get 3-5 eggs a day. I say 1/2 because one of them is a Bantam hen and she is about half the size of the other ladies (so are her eggs). Her name is Gloria, isn't she adorable?

So we opted to buy some babies this winter. I ordered them in January with a ship date of March 21. They got here today. I had to take 2 of the boys to the dentist this morning and the post office called while I was there to come and get them. By the time they were done and I did a few errands, we picked em up about 1:30. Got em home, popped open the box and...lookie there...

We had cleaned out the garage this weekend and set up a brooding pen for them. They need access to an area that is between 90-95 degrees so we set up a heat lamp and fresh food and water and tossed them in there.

They are a mix of  at least 4 different types of egg laying breeds. I also got a couple extra 'easter eggers', I just couldn't pass up chickens that lay green eggs. ;)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wall Hanging

I bought this pattern YEARS ago from a little store in Salt Lake City, Utah. The designer has really cute stuff and I bought a couple of them. I started the next one but have no idea when it will be done.  So I carried this one around with me for a few weeks and mostly worked on it during quilt guild meetings and such.

My first attempt at a border print was an epic fail, it stayed attached just long enough to take a picture as a lesson on what NOT to do and then I attacked it with a seam ripper! Look how terrible the mitering lines up. YUCK!!

As of now it is hanging in the living room as a reminder to us each day to temper what we speak and to "let your utterance be always with graciousness, seasoned with salt, so as to know how you ought to give an answer to each one." Colossians 4:6

Casserole Hot Pad Swap

I signed up for Cheryll's Hot Pad Exchange last week. I got my exchange buddy's name and address emailed to me on Tuesday and immediately started spying on my assigned friends blog. It turns out she likes chickens as much as me and cultivates her own little egg factories too. I happened to be heading to my favorite LQS that very day. I had totally forgotten that they were having a sale even (bonus!). I have a list of fabric styles I am currently looking for, there is literally a list in my purse right now.  That is all that was on my mind when I headed out but when I got there and remembered that not only is everything in the store 20% off but the items on the sale table were up to 75% off! Happy dance ensues! Sadly, I didn't find most of what was on my list. They are funky things like soccer ball prints and things with baby ducks on them. I did find some butterfly fabric that will work nicely. I had a point, what was it? Oh yeah, I found CHICKEN fabric on the 75% off sale table, yards and yards of it! Since I have a few friends that are also clucking enthusiasts, I bought everything they had. Once it was all washed up and ready to use, I set to making my hot pads.  I pulled out my batik stash, since I do most of my paper piecing with it, and my stack of wonderful patterns designed by my buddy Cat. Cat is a chicken (well, she calls them Chooks) lover too so her patterns are super cute! I chose the 'rooster' and the 'hen with chick' pattern. Once they were shrunk down to 5 inch blocks, I started sewing. Once again the idea that 'it takes just as long to make 2 as 1' came into my head and within the afternoon, this is what I had:

Chicken Wire Binding

Stripy Binding


Cutest Fabric EVER!

All ready to go in the mail.

I hope my swap buddy puts LOTS of hot and yummy food on it! Now to decide what to do with the other one....

President's Quilt Block

As you all know I am a member of the Asheville Quilt Guild. Like many other guild, I'm sure, we make a block each year for the out-going President. These are the instructions we were given:

Presidents Block
"Last Years President"
It should be 6 inches finished, 6 ½ inches unfinished.
The background should read as cream or light
Use autumn colors when constructing the star.
When the block is turned in, please include a 6
inch square of the background color and 6 inch
square of star fabric color. This will be used in the
border. Include with the star the name of the star
(many stars have several names). On one of the
background corners, please write the maker’s

So, I busted out a list of paper pieced patterns I have been looking for an excuse to use and picked this one. I also saved out some of the Autumn-y scraps from the pinwheel blocks I was cutting up at the time.

I hope she likes it. Her quilts tend to be a little on the 'funkier' side of things so I hope it will work.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Friday Night Sew In

Well, another FNSI has passed and lucky for me I got quite a bit accomplished. This being greatly accredited to the fact that 'the man' bought a new truck yesterday. That meant that he and his friend had to drive about and hour and a half out of town to go and pick it up. By the time he got off of work, drove down there, did all the paperwork, ate dinner and drove back, I got to sew until about 10:30 mostly undisturbed. The kids had heated up left over spaghetti and I skipped dinner. Which now that I think about the fact that I had a nice glass {or 3} of Pinot Grigio while I was working may not have been the best idea. Anywho...I started on this quilt....

I got the pattern in the mail for one of those 'please subscribe to our magazine' sort of deals. It was cute and easy and I am trying very hard to use up my scraps. I am happy to say that I will be able to make this whole quilt with nothing but what is already in my stash/scrap bucket. And you know what they say, it takes just as much time to make 2 as to make one so....280 half square triangles, I guess I can handle that.

So I added a glass of white wine and the third season of Big Bang Theory and set to sewing. I walked the two big boys through the steps of heating up spaghetti so they tore up the kitchen and made food for themselves then watched a movie. The Man was gone for the evening-more about that later.  So, this is what I started out with:

I already had the triangles cut and a 'test block' made. One glass of wine and the seams for the HSTs down, I should have taken a break to eat something too but I was on a roll. Second glass of wine and got them all trimmed and pressed. The Warning on the back of the box bottle of wine that covers drinking while pregnant should also include something about rotary cutters I'm sure.  Finished the last disk of BBT and moved on to Eclipse, hubby is still not home and I was still cooking with gas. So, even with intermittent 'drooling breaks' I got all 280 squares made, {most of them} pressed and trimmed and ended up with a total of 42 out of 70 finished pinwheel blocks. I think that is good progress. I should be able to finish up the rest of them this weekend.

The Man got home about 10:00 with his new truck. He was totally excited and testosterone driven. He FINALLY got a new truck. He has been driving a very loyal, albeit decrepit, little GMC Sonoma truck for the last 5 years. Someone GAVE it to him that long ago because it was worth more to write it off then to sell it. He figured it would last him a year or so and he would get something else. That little thing has worked itself to death for him for all those years now. It's a good little boy. However, the Man started working a second part time job last year that requires him to pull a small trailer with some equipment on it up and down these mountain roads and well, the little boy just couldn't keep up and he was started to revolt. It was just time to retire him. So reluctantly, I gave up the notion of using our tax return money on a new sewing machine and we used it for a down payment on a 05 Ford Ranger. It goes against ALL of my childhood conditioning to be the owner of a Ford anything but it was the best we could get for a low payment. Since we are all about living simply and trying very had to be totally out of debit [with the exception of a house payment and ONE car payment] in two years, we both had to suck it up and buy a Ford. It is not a bad vehicle, looks like it was taken care of pretty well, it's 5-speed and 4 wheel drive so it should be much easier for the Man to get his jobs done now. Plus, considering that my hubby is not exactly a small guy, he looks much less rediculous driving this than being creammed into that tiny little truck he had before, he would look even more normal driving a full size truck but that will have to be the next step. So I have stopped pouting about the fact that I still have to argue everyday with my 'make do' sewing machine.

Anyway, he got home about 10 but still had to take his friend home who went with him to pick it up so that gave me another half hour to clean up and shut everything down, plus he brought be me left over pizza, which was a good thing because I was then onto my third glass of wine and well, that doesn't make for good quilting.

Yummy stuff!

So, he finally got home around 11:00 and had, well, other ideas about the end of the night besides looking at my blocks so he had to see them this morning. ;)

So, I think it was a rather successful Friday Night Sew In, can't wait for the next one!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Civil War Repo Prints Anyone?

My good quilting buddy Elizabeth is having a great giveaway. As a bonus, it also involves my other good quilting buddy Wanda! Trust me when I tell you that anything sponsored by these two is bound to be wonderful! I will admit that most of the time, even though I love the history of quilt making and the wonderful stories that go along with them, I do not gush over reproduction type fabrics.  That was until I found a book called Unraveling the History of Quilts and Slavery. You see, I am a nerd! I will admit it but I still try to hide it as much as possible. One of my ideas of a good time involves a cup of tea, the binding of a newly made quilt and the History Channel. So when I saw the fabrics Lizzie was giving away, I instantly thought of that book, which I bought and though it excites me very much, it has been sitting on the shelf waiting patiently for me to get around to making something with it. I don't know why but the idea is kind of daunting to me. I don't know if I feel like there is such a deep meaning to these quilts and I won't do them justice or what. I am sure once I find the fabric that will work right with it, I will tackle it! The other great thing about this give away is she is also including a great looking (also history based) book with it. So, hop over to her blog Such a Sew and Sew and leave a comment, if you win, you will have a ready-made project to start.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Supernova Quilt Along

Isn't it great??

Since I am doing so well with my PhD commitment and my 'to do' list is getting accomplished, I have decided to join a quilt along group. I have never done one before so this should be interesting. The quilt in question is just too cute to pass up and hey, if I do the quilt along, I get the pattern. ;) So, if anyone would like to join me...click the button on the right sidebar.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Yo Yo Challenge

So my FB friend Linda Posted this amazing pic of Zooey Deschanel wearing this AMAZING Yo Yo Skirt. Someday with I have truly lost all link with sanity I will take that one on...but not today. Anyway, that picture turned into this insane creative conversation about doing a yo yo challenge. I personally take NO responsibility for it! ;) So, having committed to yet another thing that I had NO idea what I was going to make. I stalled thought long and hard about it. And without really knowing what I was going to do, I just started making random yo yo's with fabric that was laying on my cutting table. They sat there for a few days with no home, I thought about making a bag, then a necklace (only my cousin makes amazing necklaces and I knew I couldn't out do those), then a scarf, then a ... well you get the idea.  I have this air freshener on my desk, you know the ones with the wood reeds that smell up a room. Some of the sticks in my oil have these really cute plaster plumeria blooms on the top and I thought 'that looks sort of like a yo yo....hmmmmm I wonder' and started rummaging around for my hot glue gun. Since I started quilting, I don't glue anything (sad I know, but true). Once I remembered where I had stashed it, I started sticking them onto the reeds. Honestly, it didn't come out as cute as it was in my head but I don't think I will throw it out. I think I need to put something under them to support them a little, I may add leaves also. Anywho, here we go....