Tuesday, September 12, 2017

In Memoriam

My Fur Kid Augie died on September 7, 2017. He was 16. We had frequent Winter walks. I wrote this poem in 2008 after one of our walks in a wooded park near our home.

Our Winter Walk

We stood in forest on a path
Snow blowing 'round in swirls
Wind rushing past our faces.
High above us, birds and squirrels
Just me and my companion
Winter's smells and sights and sound
Traffic noises far away
Chattering and peeps all around
Then quick, my buddy's eyes lit up.
A rabbit crossed our path.
His muscles bulged to make a lunge
But manners held him back.
Just me and Augs
My furry love out walking in the snow.
Just us two with forest critters
Hugged by winter's soul.

© Sandra White

Friday, June 23, 2017

Half Square Triangles in Red and Beige

For the past several weeks, I've been playing with my scraps.  I stamped some scraps

Stamped 1 inch 1/2 square triangle from tiny scraps
..and when I had larger scrap pieces

Box of larger scrap pieces
I printed more half square triangles with Inklingo.

Larger scraps printed with Inklingo 
I joined red half square triangles with the neutral to make one inch squares
Half square triangles sewn into 1 inch squares

I eventually put together 264 half square triangles into 132 squares.  I added a border and appliqued on the border with more scrapes.  And here she is.  My mini quilt.

Half Square Triangles in Red and Beige
The mini measures 14"x 15".  The little quilt looks a bit wonky in the photo, but that's because of my picture taking skills with my iphone. ( I can't seem to hold it at the right angle.)😐 I still have 4 more color ways of hst's to play with and hundreds of 1" squares to work with.. but I'm using up my scraps.  😏 Yea

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Tiny Scraps Continued

Finally, finally all my tiny scraps have found a purpose. All are stamped and cut.  Some are 1" squares and some were so small, I stamped them into 1 inch  half square triangles.

Picture 1:  half square triangle stamped and cut.          
Triangles:  I had a huge selection of half square triangles in colors and so this is where Inklingo came into play for me.  I already stamped and cut the half square triangles from my tiny scraps so now I needed neutral 1 inch half square triangles to go with them. I used the Inklingo Half Square Triangle 00B collection.

Picture 2:  Large selection of neutral pieces

Picture 3:  Neutral pieces used to prepare hst's

Picture 4: I did tons of these from my bigger scraps

I spent the last 3 days or more - haven't really kept tract - hand piecing the half square triangle colors together with my neutrals.  Today I laid them out to figure out what to do with them.  I'm leaning toward a mix to make a scrappy wall hanging.

Picture 5: A mixture of colors
 Or perhaps all of one color to make several mug rugs. Or maybe mix them up and make scrappy mug rugs. 😊
Picture 6: Blues, yellows, purples, greens

Picture 7: Reds
Squares:  From the bigger pieces, I made 1" squares and they are all nicely arranged by color in a craft box.

Picture 8: 1 inch squares arranged in craft box

I've put some of the one inch squares together into six inch blocks, but  I'll hold off for a while and think of something more creative.  Perhaps an Irish Chain with all neutrals surrounding the colors.  I have a lot of bigger neutral scraps.  The scrap box  (Picture 2) shown above is only one of many. 

Picture 9: Various squares put together into 6 inch blocks
But yea!, I'm free of those tiny scraps. 😄  I feel way better.  They have been hanging around in my sewing room taking up space forever.  When I finally make something from them, I'll feel better still.

Until next time.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Stamping Scraps

Since I began sewing, I have always been compelled to make use of every scrap of fabric -  even the tiniest of pieces. I have heaps of those tiny scraps.   I keep most of them in a basket near my sewing machine and I'll put them to some use as starters for my machine piecing. But there are only so many starters that I need and my basket is overflowing.

Now let me tell you, I really enjoy hand piecing.   Machine piecing is okay but it's hand piecing that relaxes me and brings me joy;  and any tool I can find to that end, I will use.  The simpler the better.  I love Inklingo for that very reason.  It's simple and easy and I can print and get to the hand piecing part quickly.

But there are some scraps that are so tiny, Inklingo won't do.  So I've been struggling with how to use these tiny scraps, overflowing in my scrap basket, in hand piecing.

tiny scrap of fabric
You can see this piece on the left is about an inch wide.   One day in my sewing group at the local quilt shop a quilt companion showed me her rubber stamp templates that she was using to stamp out hexagons on her fabric.  Well at the time it looked cumbersome.  In the time it took her to stamp and cut her hexagons, I could have made many more with Inklingo. Inklingo is quicker and easier. 

Then as my mind meandered through the days and weeks, one day I looked at all the scraps overflowing in my starter basket thinking I'd really have to throw them out and then it dawned on me.  I could make use of those tiny scraps. I didn't have to throw them out (which pained me).  If I could find a rubber template square that stamped an inch or less, I could make fabric squares from those tiny pieces!   I looked everywhere on the internet and found very little...maybe one or two places. The first stamp I purchased was 3/4" square finished.

I stamped and cut and stamped and cut and started to hand piece the tiny squares.

6 " block

A number of 6" blocks made from throw away scraps
Now, every time I have an itty bitty piece, I'll stamp it and use it in a block and eventually this will be a quilt.

I know this isn't for everyone.  From what I can tell most quilters don't care to hand piece but if you are one of those rare quilters who loves the process of hand piecing and if you are also one of those people who hate to waste even the tiniest piece of fabric, stamping might be a perfect solution.

Bye for now

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Grain Free Brownie Recipe

Tiger Nut Brownies Grain Free

Today I decided to take a break from Quilting and do some baking. I've been grain free for a few months so I made these brownies for a group of friends some of whom are grain free.  I was asked for the recipe! 😳  Recipe?  To explain my confusion, in the tradition of my family we very rarely take measurements in our made up scratch recipes. I remember my grandma throwing in this and that and when I asked her for the recipe, she had no idea so she said just watch and I did. Last time I made these brownies, I took no measurements.  So since I expected it would be unlikely that the curious would come over and just watch,  I made them again and this time I did measure so guess what?...they will come out the same every time.  That's a good thing I suppose. 😏  These brownies are moist and chocolaty and just great and the recipe is ready to share.

Tiger Nut Chocolate Brownies©

Oven Temp: 350 F
serves: 32 brownies give or take
¾ C Tiger Nut Flour
¼ C organic non alkaline cocoa powder.
1 T arrowroot starch
½ t baking soda
½ t cream of tartar
2 t apple cider vinegar
1 t vanilla extract
½ teaspoon finely ground sea salt
½ C organic raw sugar

3 T Kerry Gold Butter at room temperature + 3 T walnut oil
3 Jumbo eggs

½ c semisweet mini chocolate chips
(I used Enjoy Life Semi Sweet mini chips - Amazon)
½ C walnuts chopped.
¼ C raw pumpkin seed
¼ C raisins
¼ C pitted chopped dates soaked in just enough purified water for a few hours or in microwave for 30-45 seconds: drain.
Reserve liquid. Makes a nice addition to green tea.

Grease (Kerry Gold or Almond Oil) a brownie pan (I used a pan with a bottom measurement of 8.5” x 10.5” ). Line bottom with parchment paper. Heat the oven to 350 F.

Pulse the walnut, raw pumpkin seeds, raisins, and dates till well chopped and mixed. I used a small food processor.

Mix the tiger nut flour, cocoa powder, arrowroot starch, baking soda, cream of tartar, sugar, and sea salt, into a small bowl and whisk them together until thoroughly combined.

Whisk together butter, walnut oil, and sugar in large bowl. Add eggs, vanilla, and vinegar.
Beat in dry ingredients 1/3 at a time.

Stir in pulsed ingredients and chocolate chips

Pour the batter into a prepared brownie pan and bake for 15-20 minutes (varies more or less I used convect bake for 17 minutes). The amount of time in oven depends on your oven, whether you use convect bake or just bake, and the size of your pan. Watch. When the center looks done, take out and test.
Test for doneness with toothpick in center. If comes out clean it’s done. Don’t let it get too done or brownies will  be dry. Cool for ½ hour or more. With parchment paper bottom,  lift out onto board or plate and cut into small pieces (very rich). If you have left overs. can be stored in freezer and they are very good freezer cold. I like them better frozen.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Unfinished Projects

I haven't checked in for a while but I have been finishing up some UFO or CEO's (Completely Executed Objects - as the local quilt shop owner tags it).  It looks like my membership in the CEO club at Tomorrows Treasures in Ocala will be going on for years. 😏 I have that many.  The rules:  There is only one, one predetermined  UFO  must be completely finished in the one months time until the next meeting and that includes a label.  So far so good.  The CEO club goes for 6 months.  So each year, I'm to finish 12 UFO's.

January 2017 - Miniature Texas Star.  I started this quilt in January 2014 and finished in January 2017. Progress on this quilt can be seen on my previous blog. I started out naming it Texas Star Fish because of the fish fabric🐠🐠 used to make the Texas Star but ended up naming it Miniature Texas Star.  This wall quilt was hand pieced using Inklingo Shape Collections and hand quilted. 

Texas Star Fish Front

Texas Star Fish Back
February 2017 - Hearts at Storm:  The top was finished in the year 2000 using the paper piecing method and the storm at sea pattern.  It is machine pieced and machine quilted on my HQ Sweet 16 with free motion hearts.  It was finished in February 2017, but the label didn't get printed until March.  I like to make my own labels and thinking through and creating a label took me longer to do than the machine quilting.😉

Hearts at Storm

Hearts at Storm Back
March 2017 - Tumbling Stars.  I started this quilt in March of 2014 and finished in March of 2017 including the label.  Using Inklingo Shape Collections and moving the patches around on my design wall, I finally came up with a pattern I liked. 😊 This quilt is hand pieced and hand quilted.

Tumbling Stars

Tumbling Stars Back with Label
Well that's it for now.  I have more projects from last year and I'll fit them in a blog soon,  In the meantime I'll update as I move through the projects for this year. 

April 2017 - Coming up my next UFO is an Elsie Vredenburg pattern (Big Red) that I put together is the late 90's.  Elsie used paper piecing, but I found applique to be easier.   It now needs a border and quilting.  I haven't decided for sure but I'll probable machine quilt on my HQ Sweet 16.

Until next time