Category Archives: Fresh Comfort Two

What’s up, September?

And what did you do this month?

Did you use your powers for good?

I did.  I made these:

for the do.  Good Stitches bee.  These were made with fabric from my stash and the recipient is a mother and her 1-year-old son.   Jennifer from Texas requested the blocks and is putting them all together.  I think they’re very pretty.  I only had to remake the one on the left twice.  Sigh.  And I ditched one that scared me – I was afraid they’d kick me out of the bee for the horror of it.  Here it is:

EEK!  Don’t scream – it’s really awful.  I can’t even believe I’m showing it here, but there it is.  I think my new one is so much more tasteful and pretty.  Well, if I do say so myself.

I also finished these for Jaclyn for Fresh Comfort 2 Bee

They were supposed to be six-minute circles but not when I did them.  They took considerably longer than 6 minutes each (funny – the directions actually broke down each step into how many seconds it should take.  Ha!)  Perhaps had I done 50 of them, I might have gotten it down to somewhere near 6 minutes, but just the freezer paper cutting took a minute.  Hm.  Maybe I’m not such a good cutter…?

One thing I realized recently is that my house really sucks for taking pictures.  I have the hardest time finding just the right spot to take the picture and doing it at night is simply out of the question.  Since I took the day off today to work on a major project, I took advantage of an abundance of light to take the pictures.  And still?  Not sure I’m really liking them much.  The first set of pictures were taken today; the others were taken in the morning misty rain (the scary block) and at night (Jaclyn’s block).  See what I mean?  For sure I need a new camera, possibly even a new house.  I’m working on both.

As for the project?  It’s done and in the mail and I don’t have to worry about it again for several months.  I can’t describe the feeling of lightness I have right now.  It’s so great.  I truly feel like I have a major weight lifted from my shoulders.

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Filed under do. Good Stitches bee, Fresh Comfort Two, Stash

Sewing Goodness

Now that the kids are back at school and summer is officially winding down AND the temperature is coming down, I’ve been able to get back to a wee bit of sewing.  I’ve finished these:

And I’ve joined these:

And I’m really itching to do this:

Of course, this is in addition to baseball, football, and soccer practices and games with a few baseball tryouts thrown in for good measure, and my usual volunteering.

Spare time?  What spare time?

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Filed under Charity, Fresh Comfort Two, Quilting, Quilting bee, Stash

Time Flies…

Wow, it’s July already.  The first full month of Summer.  I wish I could say I’ve been crazy busy sewing and show you all the great things I made, but the truth is I’ve just been super busy with the usual things:  kids (OMG, we’re so busy with kid stuff ), work, volunteering, house work and all that blah-blah-blah.  I’ve done the absolute minimum amount of sewing.

I’m sure Ruth is glad I finished her block for Fresh Comfort Two.  She used a rainbow of colors and we each made a block using Denyse Schmidt’s “Drunk Love in a Log Cabin” as the inspiration.  This block scared me too much to be too creative, but here it is:

I did square up the edges before I sent them to Ruth.

I also finished Kellie’s block for Fresh Comfort Two:

Now it’s my turn to have the bee members make blocks for me.  Well, here’s where I already feel like I made a mistake.  While I know the other ladies will do a great job with my blocks, I know I chose a block that is way too simple.  I mean, these ladies can SEW!  I chose wonky star blocks in red and blue.  My thought was that I’d have a picnic blanket for summer holidays.  And I still will.  The thing is I have soooo much pink, orange, yellow, green… BRIGHT colors that I should have used that and had everyone help me finish my pinwheel sampler quilt.  Why didn’t I?  I just ran out of time, even though I had 6 months to get it together, I simply ran out of time so at some point I came up with the idea that it would be easy to cut and bag fabrics for the stars (it was) and that’s what I did.  Anyway, I know they’ll come back really great and regret is a waste of time so I’m moving on.  I just had to get that off my chest.

My in-laws are in town.  We haven’t seen them since Thanksgiving in San Diego and were able to spend a little time with them last night.  They were sitting for our niece while her parents were out with friends, and when we got there our niece (just over 1 year old) was up and wide awake.  It was 9:00.  My in-laws were chasing her around making sure she didn’t crack her head on any of the MANY hard surfaces in their rented house (more on that later).  She was very entertaining to our 11-year old.  He took a picture of her and sent it to her mom, to which she replied, “IS SHE REALLY AWAKE?”  and “DO WE HAVE TO COME HOME?”  Of course, we were all enjoying having her to ourselves so the answer was absolutely NO.  She was having a blast and it was great to see her toddle around since the last time we saw her she was just tiny and always being held.  At one point, I picked her up and detected a faint dirty diaper odor so I gave her a sniff and sure enough, she had a full diaper.  Segundo just laughed and said, “yeah, I smelled that too.  I didn’t want to say anything.  Ha ha”.  Kids.

So, the rented house.  It reminds me of a Frank Lloyd Wright house and one in need of some love.  The furniture is really contemporary, like truly 50s contemporary.  As in from the 50s, not reproduction.  And it’s pretty nice, but the house itself hasn’t been maintained as well as a rental house should be.  My in-laws wouldn’t even stay there the first night because it was so dirty.  Four hours and a cleaning crew of 3 later, they moved in.  I think I noticed a board over one of the kitchen windows – I’m going to have to check that out today.  There’s also a room with a bank of windows behind which are some plants.  An indoor garden, if you will.  But there’s no obvious source of insulation with windows above the window wall, so I’m guessing it’s pretty cold in the winter (and Wisconsin winters are COLD).  There’s also a massive fireplace with a stone hearth, the one on which we were trying to keep our little niece from cracking her head.  There’s a large patio in the back with white wrought iron chairs and that looks really nice.  I counted at least 4 bedrooms and 5 full baths, but I couldn’t close the door on the bathroom I used because it was stuck.  The kitchen can only be described by one word: icky.  I opened one of the oven doors and it clearly hadn’t been used or cleaned in a while.  The other door appeared to be a separate broiler which is pretty cool.  The dishwasher is about 150 years old.  The living room (with the massive fireplace) is really spacious and the furniture there is comfortable; there’s a beautiful rug on that floor.  Apparently my mother-in-law bought new dishes and silverware so she didn’t have to use theirs.  That makes me laugh.  Really, the furnishings are pretty nice; it’s just the house itself that has me scratching my head.  I’m going to try to snap some pictures today.  It has to look better in the day light.  I’m really glad my in-laws are here – it’s been a long time since we’ve visited and we always get together over the fourth, so it feels like summer.

Speaking of the fourth, I have a recipe to share.  This is one of my standbys and was given to me by my friend Sarah, in that she dictated a list of ingredients with some basic instructions on how to do the dressing, so I’m not sure it’s really the same as Sarah’s but she definitely introduced me to it and I doubt she’d mind sharing.  Here it is:

INGREDIENTS:

1# bowtie pasta

6T oil in small sauce pan

6 cloves of  garlic, minced

3 medium tomatoes; remove seeds and chop (this is a dry salad – the seeds add too much liquid)

8-10 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

1T capers (I omit these b/c I’m not crazy about them)

Feta cheese (about 4 oz container)

1/3c roasted pine nuts

Chopped parsley

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse.  Bring the oil and garlic to a simmer and cook until the garlic is warmed up and the oil is infused with it, but the garlic is not brown. Swish around in the pan periodically.  The garlic should basically be swimming in the oil, NOT stuck to the bottom of the pan.   Set aside to cool.  Toss the pasta, tomatoes, olives, capers, and parsley.  Pour cooled garlic olive oil on top and toss.  Top with feta cheese to taste and the roasted pine nuts.  Chill and serve.

This is really a crowd-pleaser and the ingredients can be increased or decreased according to your preference.

Now that I write this, I might just have to make it myself this weekend.  We’ll be celebrating with family and going to at least one parade and, of course, the fireworks.  We have a membership to Discovery World and members can watch the fireworks for free from their patio.  It’s a spectacular place to watch.

Happy Fourth of July!

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Filed under Family, Fresh Comfort Two, Quilting

First June Post…

…And a finish!

Ruth sent the fabric for her blocks at the beginning of May but I really didn’t know where to start with them.  She wanted blocks based on Denyse Schmidt’s “Drunk Love in a Log Cabin.”  I think everyone else got the gist of that, except me.  It took me a while (a loooong while) to figure out that they’re just wonky log cabin blocks.  Even I can do that.  Here is what I came up with:

She said we could add fabric from our own stash, but I really don’t have much blue fabric.  Really.  The striped pieces in the right picture are mine; otherwise, everything else was Ruth’s.  I hope she doesn’t feel short-changed on that.  She sent enough for both blocks, so I used almost all of her fabric.  Had she sent pink fabrics I’d have been able to make many out of my own stash.  It’s odd that I have so much pink since I have boy kids.

Now that I look at them in the picture, the one on the right doesn’t look very wonky but it will when Ruth squares up the sides.  She’s going to have to trim a bit to square them up and then, hopefully, it will look more like what she had in mind.  I hope.

My month is July and I’m thinking I’ll assign everyone a pinwheel block.  Or is that lame?  I love pinwheels, but my machine doesn’t do a very good 1/4 inch seam and that’s so essential when sewing triangles.  I have all this great fabric from when I started the pinwheel sampler quilt-along, but I didn’t really care for the pinwheels Rachel chose so I dropped the project.  At least as she envisioned it.  I figured I’d come up with more blocks on my own, but I really want it finished and I don’t think I will be able to make all the neat pinwheels I like with my machine.

My other idea is to have everyone make little houses using red and aqua but I have seen that a lot.  Hmmm…what to do.

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Fresh Comfort Two – Blocks for Shelly

I actually finished these at the Milwaukee-Madison Modern Quilt Guild sewing day last weekend but I’m just getting around to posting the picture now.

These were a wee bit tricky but not too time-consuming.  The hardest part was lining them up again to sew after cutting them in half.  I think it took the most time just to work up the nerve to cut into them after sewing the nine-patch.

I can’t wait to see Shelly’s finished quilt as all of the blocks look quite different.

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March blocks for Rachel

From Fresh Comfort Two Bee.  Hope Rachel likes ’em.

These were not at all hard to make, but it’s a bit time consuming sewing around all those shapes.  Not that I minded.  I was just thinking that this was a good block to do for a bee because I wouldn’t want to make them all myself (‘cuz I’m really sloooooow).  Just sayin’.

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Fresh Comfort Two blocks are done (for real this time)

OK, I know I said this already, but…it took more time than I thought to fix the second block.  I finished the block on the right last night.  I actually finished the first one the day after I received the fabric from Margaret (about 2 weeks ago!); however, after carefully placing all that beautiful fabric, I cut the second block too small.  The finished size is 14.5″ and I don’t have a template that big.

On the block on the right, I ripped out the top and then the left side, then I re-made the left strip wider and with some of my own fabric and also made a new top strip with my own fabric.  Margaret is going to cut it to the proper finished size so I don’t make the same mistake again.  I hope she likes them.  They are going in the mail TOMORROW.

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