Saturday, May 30, 2009

Medallion block, black bean and rice salad, and "Gobsmacked" Kaleidoscope

This creation belongs to my friend Jody Goddess ( LOL ). She did the center applique and then passed it to me, hoping I'd come up with something brilliant! It takes courage to develop something creative on someone else's block! I trimmed it to an exact size (fear!), put the block on point, added the large corner triangles, then bordered it with the QSTs. My first effort at QSTs were much too dark, so I redid them in softer colors - much more appealing I believe. Other gals will add additional borders.

Next - Carol posted this Black Bean and Rice Salad - yummy and I'm thinking it's not even filled with calories. The lime and cilantro gives it an entirely different flavor than my own BORING salads. I'm repeating it because it is sooooo delicious! Several months ago, I promised to try one new recipe a week - this is the result.

1 can (16 oz) black beans, thoroughly rinsed and drained
1 cup cooked white rice ( 1/3 to 1/2 cup raw)
5 oz. frozen corn thawed
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 sweet red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 Cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 T. balsamic vineger
2 T fresh squeezed lime juice
1/4 C. olive oil
1/8 t. salt/pepper

Mix all ingredients, toss with dressing and refrigerate. Keeps well for several days. Great vegetarian/vegan main dish, or side dish with grilled meats. Recipe can easily be doubled to serve a big group - it's always a hit!
I already had leftover rice, leftover corn, my vinegar was Tarragon, and I used lime juice from a bottle. Delicious! I'll make this again, especially for Pot lucks as it's something different!

My last photo is one you've seen in various production stages (I think). It's called Gobsmacked, named by Sheila, in Australia. I'm giving a workshop in September and could not find a photo, so maybe it was never posted, finished. Uh ohhh - another Senior Moment? LOL

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Finally, back to Quilting! And, QSTs

Quilt Guild show is coming - wonder if I can get this quilt DONE! (photo kinda fuzzy).

I had to actually HIRE a helper to get this sandwiched and pinned as my knees are still hurting after my nosedive! Wow - talk about reality of getting older! Thank you ALL for asking about me - I had more comments than ever before, but I gotta admit, I still don't want THAT accident to happen again.

But, my helper (14) was thrilled I had asked her and ya know, one never knows where the next quilter might come from.

This quilt is 88" x 88". I LOVE my border, where the cornerstones continue around the 'cabin', something like a fence. You can vaguely see a dark trail of border cornerstones in the photo above - that's what I was wanting -- "vague". I had to re-do all four sides in the very center, where they met -- apparently I sewed them on different days and had solved the issue differently each time. I was firm with myself and redid each center.

(If you have never made a border where a small unit HAD to step around your quilt exactly, start at each corner and work toward the center of each side. You may have to fudge creatively at the center.) That's my tip of the day. 8-)

As many of you know, I love DVDs for learning to machine quilt on my domestic sewing machine. I watch them over and over, and enjoy them better than anything on TV! I also greatly enjoy my ThePamajaQuilter DVD, who has a different style, but is equally talented.

Feather type structures are in the light areas, and viney/weed-y leafy-type structures are in the dark areas. Lots more to stitch! Every project is more practice. I'm using a light thread in light areas, and dark in dark areas.

Next subject is Quarter Square Triangles. (I am going to assume you all know this method where starting with 2 squares 1 1/4 inch larger than finished size. Sew diagonally, press open, then put them together again, and sew another diagonal line -- not a precise explanation but ... ) I had to make a bunch and wanted to sew them together in a row. I 'spin' or 'twirl' my seams on the back to eliminate that bulky center, then press them in one direction, clockwise, or counter-clockwise.

So I picked them up, willy-nilly and was struggling wondering why some of the unit seams butted together, but not others. Duhhhh. (Lightbulb moment!) If you make your QST as stated above, HALF of them will spin one direction, and HALF will spin in the other direction. If you separate them into 2 stacks,

all the units in one stack will have seams and butt nicely together no matter which way you put them together (below photo), and other will do the same. I'll bet many of you know this - I didn't! Sure made sewing them together easier when I learned the trick.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Last evening, about 8:30 (dusk), I went for a lovely walk as DH was playing on the computer AND was on the telephone with his grandaughter who was trying to teach him how to use the computer! LOL Somewhere along the way, I tripped on one of those places where the sidewalk is pushed UP, and quilters, I took a NOSEDIVE! Between the time I was upright and downright (is that a word?) my whole life passed before me, including who was going to get all my sewing stuff since I was going to be DEAD after I hit pavement! It's amazing how many thoughts can go through your head in an instant!

I hit hard - was dazed but did not pass out. Fortunately, several young women were sitting out on their porch, also enjoying the lovely evening. I called HELP, and 3 came to my assistance. My eyebrow and cheek bloody, glasses damaged but usable, shoe went somewhere and was retrieved by a sweet little girl. Cell phones by all 3 women were pulled out, but since DH was on the phone at home, that didn't work. Despite suggestions to call ambulance, I said NO, as I slowly pulled myself together and painfully stood up. One of them kindly walked home with me and of course, I'm embarrassed to death. DH, still on the phone, was shocked, as I hobbled downstairs, with my bloody and broken face. OK, OK, cold compresses, sit down, glass of water, etc.

Eventually off to the hospital we went, to see about stitches or concussion, or breaks in my jaw, etc, and home about midnight, tired, embarrassed, sore, and it's waaaay past my bedtime. So much for privacy at the hospital - our friend Jon, who was also in one of the rooms with a relative, heard our voices and came over to see what damage had been done! Coulda been worse! Bruised knees, all teeth intact, ugly bruised chin, black eye, and several facial cuts now glued shut, but no stitches. This morning, I look even worse -- like something dead that the cat dragged in!

And tomorrow I have Quilt Guild and MUST be there for various reasons.

When you go to the hospital with your husband, and one's face is bloodied, there are policemen there, asking cagey questions - there must be a LOT of times when women have damaged faces caused by a man. DH was also feeling guilty just for being a man, and was as much a wreck as I was -- LOL -- Lotsa questions - MORE embarrassing for both of us.

Broken Elaine Adair, Poor Baby
P.S. I DID take photos, but looking at my own crinkly skin CLOSE UP, in addition to the damage, was toooo much to bear for me. Dh said it was OK for him.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bamboo Batting

The "Light" project of several posts ago (May 7), was machine quilted on my DSM, using Bamboo Batting. I had not tried it before and was pleased with the results. First, the size listed is 60 x 60, but it was slightly larger, this one was 62 x 66 inches, a nice surprise. It was crinkled when it came out of the package and even with a few minutes in the dryer with a wet towel, it was still slightly crinkled, but not noticeable when quilted. The batting is very soft and feels lovely.

As far as biodegradable, 'green', etc., I don't remember any reason why bamboo would be better than cotton but I'm not an expert, but bamboon grows fast.

Oops, forgot to mention (thanks Paula), I have not washed this. Yes, I was careless in my own rule of "always prewash color saturated fabrics." If anyone has washed their quilt made of bamboo, please let me know how it turned out. 8-)

It was an experiment, just to satisfy my curiosity. I would use it again, but I always look at comparing costs and don't remember where this expense stacks up in all the other batting options.

Just thought you'd like to know.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Amazing Scraps

'Just old scraps' turned out pretty nice (except for my fuzzy photo). This 9-block Kaleidoscope was assembled quickly from my stash, as a class sample for a Workshop I'm presenting in September. I will emphasize light to dark value gradations. I planned to STOP at various steps along the way for demonstration purposes, but once started, I couldn't stop. Do I need another Kaleidoscope quilt? NOT! But it's turning out very pretty, and I will decide on an additional borders soon.

If you want to make a fast quilt, with your stash/leftover WOF, this is the one. I used a Marilyn Doheney Kaleidoscope 45 DEGREE RULER ruler. One WOF strata of strips @ 9 1/2 inches makes one huge 17 inch block. One of my other Kaleidoscope quilts is made of 12 (not 9) 17-inch blocks and is very generous in size. The 9-block project shows the graphic effect very nicely. There are several other good 45 degree rulers available -- be sure you understand which ruler is 45 degrees -- i.e., 8 of the wedges make a unit.

Where the wedges meet up with the next wedge, the seams of the strata do NOT meet with the next one. Voila - easy! I suppose one could match them, if one used the same size strip each time, but the beauty of this VERSION is NO MATCHING.

You really can use a variety of fabrics - every time I make this block it looks good! Most of these are florals, with a lot of white or blue, or green in them and the melon color as an accent - very feminine.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


At the last Guild meeting, the word pulled out of the bag for the "Ardis Wannabes" was "Light".

About 1 year ago, I became stalled with this quilt, and being overwhelmed with my own brilliance (uh hem!) could not decide on ONE layout decision or border. Wanda of Exhuberant Color was so kind to keep encouraging me, but I came to a stop.
When the Ardis Wannabe word showed up as "Light" I KNEW what my project would be. We only require a finished project, not an entire quilt but ...

Wanda suggested limited quilting, but being stubborn, I quilted it a LOT! LOL - (yes, I drive my DH crazy with obstinance and resistance).

My binding changed color to perfectly match the various border backgrounds. 8-)))

(BTW, after my computer was returned from the hospital, EVERYTHING on this computer is visually so different! I'm having problems wading through all the 'new' windows, defaults, etc. )

Back in Business!

Wow - finally, my computer is back home - almost 3 weeks without it! Of course, EVERYTHING needs changing, setting, fixing, formatting, organizing, etc. I'll be busy for months, and I can just hear DH for YEARS, hollering, "Hey Elaine, what did you change on this computer?"

Later folks - I missed you all!

Monday, May 04, 2009


Still no computer - wahhhhhh -- I complained to my 'techie' that I was getting a teensy bit impatient. Unfortunately the poor guy was somehow 'attacked' by a fence stretcher (remember, there are a LOT of ranches and farms in western Nebraska) suffered a head injury and spent the last week in the hospital. Now, I am embarrassed for my pitiful lack of patience.
I really have no idea of the mechanics of a 'fence stretcher' but I know they involve tension and danger. The below photo is just one kind of a fence stretcher.

"When this you see, remember me."