Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Quilt Festival

I didn't officially sign up for the Blogger's Quilt Festival because I didn't think I had anything new to share but then I realized that I have a bunch of quilts that I made ages ago that I have never posted about.

Back in 2006 I took a Quillow Class at the City Quilter in New York.  For that class I found this fabric and loved it:


 It was green and vibrant and fun.  I thought it would be great for my nephew who was having a birthday soon after the class ended.  But, I loved it so much that I bought more and made a second one on for another little boy in a similar pattern (Will's cousin's son who is a few months younger than our nephew).



I quilted both with some straight lines and rounded squares (to mimic the shapes in the main fabric) using a zig-zag stitch.  It was rather complicated to do the quilting that way since the fabric would bunch up a lot but I really liked the way it turned out.  I like simpler quilting on quilts for babies and children since they will be well used and well loved (at least, I hope they will).  Any one who was following my previous blog might recognize the main fabric since I had  a lot of it left over from those two quilts and I used it as a main fabric in my Spider Web quilt:


What did I learn from this: it's hard to resist cool fabric, quilting with a zig-zag stitch is more complicated than it seems, and keep all scraps because you never know when you might use them in the future!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Teething woes...

Dominic is teething and it's been horrible.  One of the things parents always seem to be discussing is teething and everyone seems to complain about it.  Up to now, I've had nothing to complain about.  His first 8 teeth came in with relatively little fuss.  They'd start pushing up and he'd have 2-3 days of being a little on the fussy side.  I felt very lucky given all the stories I'd hear at play group and Stroller Strides.  That all ended about 5 weeks ago when the first molars began coming in.  It has been retched.  His teeth seem to grow in bursts - pushing up a little bit over 2-3 days then taking a 2-3 day rest before doing it again.  It took his bottom two first molars a little over three weeks to come in.  He was miserable the whole time and he had many days of bloody gums.  I thought it was over for a while when his top two first molars started coming in.  They are only in half way and he now has two canine teeth coming in too (one on top and one on bottom) and the other two won't be far behind.  He currently has 4 teeth coming.  He's been miserable for days and I can tell his teeth are hurting him.  He is hardly eating and constantly has a hand in his mouth chewing on it.  I don't really know what to do to help him.  I've been giving him some medicine that seems to help a little but I don't really know what else to do.  He does like frozen peas and green beans (still frozen) which I'm assuming help because they are cold and numb the area.  Any suggestions for teething relief?

Zucchini and Mushroom Strudel


Last week I made an amazing mushroom-feta strudel for dinner.  It was really delicious and super simple to make.  I found the original recipe in the book The Classic Zucchini Cookbook.  In the future I will be making it with goat cheese, less butter, less mushrooms, and more zucchini (since I like zucchini and goat cheese a lot!).  Here is my altered version for you all to (hopefully) try and enjoy:

Zucchini and Mushroom Strudel:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
3 large shallots, minced
1 large zucchini, grated (about 2 cups)
6 ounces goat cheese
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
salt and pepper
1 box phyllo dough (about 18 sheets), thawed
1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Heat oil in pan and saute mushrooms and shallots until they have given up their juice, about 10 minutes.  Salt zucchini well and let rest in a bowl while mushrooms are cooking.  Wrap zucchini in kitchen towel and squeeze out as much moisture as possible.  Add zucchini to pan and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat and mix in cheese and bread crumbs.  Season with pepper to taste.  Lay one sheet of phyllo on counter and brush with butter.  Top with 8 more sheets of phyllo brushing each layer with butter.  Spoon half of filing along the short end of the dough leaving about 1.5 inches of space away from the long edges.  Fold long edges in a little bit to partially cover the filling then roll up the whole thing to form a log.  Brush edges with butter to seal and place in pan seam side down.  Brush with more butter.  Repeat with remaining dough and filling to make second strudel.  Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown.  Cool for a few minutes before slicing.

Any combination of mushrooms would work well - I like crimini the best which is why I listed them.  You could also easily substitute any other summer squash for the zucchini or do a combination of different types of squash.  Egg plant would probably work well too.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Wonky Stars

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mother's out there!

It seems like everywhere I look lately I'm seeing wonky quilts - log cabins, houses, people, and more!  Well, I decided to give it a try with some wonky stars.

 

I have no idea how many I will make or what I will end up doing with them but they are super fun.  And, they are a great way to use up those little bits of fabric left over from other projects.  I have a huge box of these I just can't bear to throw out even though they are so small.  I used to wonder what I was going to do with so many bits and pieces of fabric.  Well, now I have a great purpose for them!  The only draw back is that this block involves lots of trimming...




In other news, I've decided that I'm going to put away my hexagon quilt for a while.  I've run out of scraps large enough to cut up for it and I've gone through the scrap bins of many others collecting for it.  I'm definitely not done with it - I just need to finish a few other quilt projects so I have more scraps to cut up for hexagons!  In the mean time, I found some beautiful alpaca lace yarn a few days ago that I'm going to crochet into a lacy summer shawl. =)  And, I've decided that my May project of the Month is to finalize the design for Dominic's Big Boy Bed quilt so I can start hunting down fabric for it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Rainbow

I finished my April Project of the Month on the very last day of April.  It's always a good feeling when you finish a quilt you've been working on for a while.  Overall, I'm happy with the quilt.  It's a fun design and I will probably make more of this scrap block in the future.  I did a loopy e/o style of quilting.  I really like the pattern but I still need more practice with it since it's not as even and smooth as I would like but it is much better than the first quilt that I did free motion quilting on.  I put some random stripes of scraps on the back which seemed so weird for me since I've never had a decorative back on a quilt before.  The rainy/grey weather over the past few days has made photographing the quilt difficult so I'll leave you with pictures of my two boys "helping" me get it ready for basting.

 Dominic and the front.

Romeo and the back.