Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May Jelly Roll Party

How is it possible that another month has already passed?


I'm madly stitching away to finish this month's jelly roll project. In addition to my own self-imposed monthly deadline, I'm also trying to finish up this month's project for the H2H challenge. I'm optimistic that I'll have a bound quilt in the mail by the weekend. (Why hello there, machine binding.) More details on the soon-to-be-published-finished post!

Here's my current progress... 

H2H - workin' it!

For the first time since I inherited my Hobby Quilter machine 4 years ago, I've been wrastling with it on the machine quilting for this project. In the past, when other quilters commiserated over machine quilting angst, I always stood there dumbly (and mentally gloating), with nothing to say, because up until Monday night, my machine has been nothing if not angelic when it comes to machine quilting. And I always skimmed quite quickly through all the blog posts featuring helpful tips and tricks for machine quilting on your tabletop machine. 

Well, karma's finally catching up with me. I guess my machine is entering its rebellious adolescent years. Up to this point, I've been able to quilt with any old thread, have ridiculously illogical tension settings, and sew with the same needle for weeks on end, to no ill effects. I think my machine's gotten wise to me and my cheap/lazy ways. After re-threading the top and bottom a couple of times, swapping out the needle, and uttering a few, ahem, choice words at the machine for good measure, I finally swapped out the thread to a Mettler spool, and things are rolling along nicely now. 

Wish me luck!

In the meantime, if anyone's wrapped up a jelly roll project, link up below! It will run until June 6th at 10:25pm EST.

I'll draw a winner to win this adorably cute scrap bag of Me and My Sister strips.may booty 

Also, PSA: Y'all, please change out your sewing machine needle and oil your machine tonight if you haven't lately. Your machine will thank you with its soothing, purring stitches that no longer sound like a mafia family firing off all their tommy guns in your sewing room. . 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Winner, Dinner, and To Do Lists

This is what happens when you don't blog for two weeks. You end up with a billion blog ideas that all get smushed into one post. But if I don't blog about them now, I won't get around to them later, and I'll have 4 different draft posts languishing.

First up, the winner of the April Jelly Roll Party is Sheila

who will recieve quite possibly the niftiest scrap bag I've seen yet! (Sheila - I'll send you an email in a minute - be sure to reply with your mailing address so I can get it in the mail to you soon.)

scrappy scrap bag

Usually when I order these Moda Scrap Bags online, I'm surprised at the fabric in them. Thus far, I've always gotten a roll of selvages from one collection in various widths. I was especially surprised to rip this one out of the padded mailer, because it's a few bits and pieces of a lot of different Moda collections - a true bag of scraps, perfect for Sheila's next scrap quilt.

Next, I'm going out on a limb and sharing a recipe for Broccoli Cheese Soup that I cobbled together the other night. Usually, I don't share recipes because there are so many  talented food bloggers out there who:
1) are better cooks than I and
2) are much better at blogging about their food.

I was absent-minded at the store this week and forgot a few key ingredients for my normal Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe, so I scoured the internet to find something similar and developed my own from there, based on:
1) what we had on hand
2) what sounded like it wouldn't instantly clog our arteries and
3) what would come together in less than 30-45 minutes.

So, I submit to the Internetz the 234,987,623,467th recipe for Broccoli Cheese Soup.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

  • In a pot, melt: 2T butter with 2T olive oil over medium heat
  • Then saute: 1 onion, chopped, for about 8 minutes
  • Add 1 clove of minced garlic and saute about a minute
  • Add 2 (10 oz) boxes of frozen chopped broccoli and 2-3 cups of chicken or vegetable broth and stir occasionally, until the broccoli bricks have melted, and the broccoli's a bit tender, about 10 minutes altogether.
  • Turn down the heat to medium low, and add 1 lb Velveeta cheese, cut into 1" cubes. Stir occasionally, until the cheese melts.
  • Then add 2 cups of milk - I had skim on hand, and it didn't compromise the body of the soup. Although, if you're a 2% or whole milk kinda house, a little bit of extra milkfat certainly won't hurt anything.
  • Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, mix 2/3 c of cornstarch and 1 c of water, stirring until the cornstarch dissolves. Add to the soup, and stir until mixed.
  • Let the soup simmer over low heat about 10 minutes or so, while you throw together a salad, pull the baked potatoes out of the oven, and set the table.
  • At this point, if the soup's looking a little thick for your tastes, feel free to add more broth, milk, or water to thin it out some. I like my broccoli cheese soup to be pretty dang thick.

In crafty news, I'm finally getting it together and getting things together for my H2H quilt. Good thing, eh? Considering it's supposed to be done a week from tomorrow. I signed up to have an H2H partner to send me a design seeds palette. Here's what I'm working with: 

And here are the fabrics I pulled:

h2h palette finally

I'm planning to modify Andy's Strip Tube tutorial, so this quilt can serve double-duty as my jelly roll quilt for this month. Wish me luck!

Finally, I'm trying to avoid other distractions in my sewing room. Distractions like these cute blocks.

joyous strings 

Thanks to Quilt Dad, TMQG was lucky enough to play with some of Kate Spain's Christmas fabric for this year. I'm making some string blocks and will probably cut them into half square triangles and try a pattern like this.

Whew, I think we're all caught up now. Now, if you need me, I'll be in the sewing room with the pedal pushed to the metal, working on my H2H project.