Sunday, 23 September 2012

The Continuing Saga of the ZigZag Quilt

Well it has been a week since I last worked on my zigzag quilt. I have finished all the ruler work on the first pass and now I'm starting the white section. I didn't want to do pebbles again, one because I already did pebbles on my quilt, "Things Aren't Always Black and White" (for the Dresden Challenge).

Pebbles take a lot of time and a lot of thread!

By the way I didn't win a placement (1st, 2nd or 3rd) but I won a draw prize for my category. I won a Robert Kaufman fabric bundle PLUS an EZ Quilting Ruler. Can't wait to see what the fabric is and which ruler it will be!

Back to the zigzag quilt, so I decided to try the paisley design. I'm not sure if that is what it is called but that's what it looks like to me. I realized it will use a lot of thread and take a lot of time too! I find it hard to see where I am going with white on white. I had my reading glasses on this time and I tried my progressive lens last time. I might have to try a new light source. My standing Ott light gets in the way and the shade and light bulb fell out last time so I'll keep looking at what we have. The over head light is a ceiling fan with 4 bulbs (low wattage).

Oh well, I am trying to get better at my designs so this will help. There is some discolouration on the muslin. Remember this is a vintage quilt I got off eBay to practise on.

 I loaded my quilt sideways so I have a long pass to quilt but I am able to get more continuous line work done.

<-------Top of quilt                                      Bottom of quilt------>
Here is the continuous line work in the middle of the zag part of the zigzag! Hand sewn quilts are not straight!
Here's the quilt with the line work and the paisleys.

I think I like the quilting, I wanted the quilting to contrast each other and I think this works. I'd love different suggestions for another time. Now I just have to finish it! Like I said the white on white is hard on the eyes and I need to take breaks or my eyes just seem to blur and I can't see where I am going or where I have been. I'll keep you posted on my progress and I'll show you my prize when it arrives.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Oops! Close Your Eyes!

Naked Samosas!
I did tell you to close your eyes.  
Barb's covering up her samosas!

I love Samosas, but more the filling than the pastry coating, so when I found this recipe in the August issue of Cook Vegetarian:  Meat-Free Food Made Easy ...
It was love at first glance!

They are super simple to make especially if you have left over potatoes from dinner the night before.  I also think you could prepare them the day before, leave them in the fridge and then cook them up.  The flavours would really meld together well and be even more scrumptious!  (My new word!  Look for it!)

Here is the recipe:
4 medium russet potatoes
2 tbsp light olive oil, plus extra for cooking
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds (I used mustard powder)
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tsp finely grated ginger (I didn't have any so I left it out)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (I used ground cumin)
1 tsp fennel seeds (I didn't have any of these either)
75g frozen peas, defrosted
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 small bunch coriander, finely chopped (but don't tell Barb - I forgot to add this and yes we did have it!)

  1. Peel and wash the potatoes (I left the peel on). Cut each into eight pieces and put into a medium saucepan.  Cover with cold water and bring to the boil, cooking for 15 minutes or until just cooked.  Drain well then tip the potatoes out onto a clean chopping board to cool and dry and then place in large bowl and roughly mash.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a high heat.  Add the mustard seeds and cook until the seeds start to pop.  Add the onion and cook, stirring for about 4-5 minutes, until golden brown.  Add the garlic, ginger, cumin seeds and fennel seeds and stir-fry for one minute, until aromatic.  (I actually added all the spices at this point to heat them up and bring out their flavours.)
  3. Add the peas and mix through.  Pour the onion mixture over the potatoes.  Add the turmeric, sea salt, chilli powder, garam masala and coriander.  Use a large spoon to stir, making sure the ingredients are really well combined.  Set aside at room temperature for an hour or two for the flavours to develop or refrigerate until needed (I gave it 1/2 an hour - hey I was hungry!)
  4. Using slightly wet hands, roughly divide the mixture into eight equal portions and form into balls.  Gently pat down to make a patty.
  5. Preheat the pan/hot plate etc., and drizzle a little olive oil to grease.  Cook the patties for 10 minutes each side, so they have a golden crust.  Serve with mango chutney, yoghurt and fresh coriander sprigs,if liked.  Serves 4ish  :)

I added some steamed broccoli and baby bok choy as a side along with some non-fat Greek yoghurt.  

The recipe looks daunting but really you just mash some potatoes, throw the onions in some olive oil and then add the spices, add the peas to coat and then throw it all in the potatoes, stir, form patties, cook, eat and enjoy! 

Oh, bye the way, here's a little hint from my part of our upcoming 
100th Post Celebration Give Away!

Eat well!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Where Did Barb Go?

I know I know, it's been awhile. I haven't been near my sewing machines for 2 weeks!!!!
I'm back to school/work now so it's back to the grind.
Up at 5:30
In the car by 6:30
At work by 7:30.
I put my purse down and it starts! It's like jumping on a tread mill that's moving.
It goes like that all day. Sometimes I look up and realize I forgot to eat my lunch. :(
Then it starts again.
In the car by 3:45
Back home by 5:00 (It takes longer to get home)
Dogs fed and our dinner, clean up, do some school work
10:00 go to bed and start all over again.

Sharon and I have started trying to get to bed by 10:00 P.M. We used to go to bed at 11:00 - 11:30 - 12:00? Then get up at 5:30 - it was scarey watching us move around in the morning and I really had to fight from falling asleep while driving home.

Enough about that, back to quilting.

A while back I bought a couple of vintage quilt tops on eBay to practise my LA quilting on. I saw one that I really liked and finally won it. I like the colour purple and the zigzag effect of this quilt.

They arrived over the summer and sat in my pile. Today I got out the fabric for the backing and got it ready to load on the frame. Drats, I didn't buy enough.

Oh well, piece some fabric from my stash and away I go. When I looked at the quilt closely I noticed the purple fabric looked washed out, not sure if it is supposed to look like that or it faded when someone washed it? It certainly didn't look like that in the photos!
Fading seems to follow fold lines.

Typical storage spots on vintage quits

I got it loaded and then I needed to pick some thread.

Now it is Sunday and no Quilt stores are open for the next 2 days so I have to use something I already have.
Too much red in the variegated thread.

Close enough I guess!

I tried 2 options and although the mauve doesn't seem to match it did end up blending in very nicely, I will have to buy another spool because this is going to take a lot of thread!
On the purple I am quilting straight lines to follow the path of the zigzag.
Most of the purple will be straight lines following the zigzag path.

I had some fun with this section, it's at the beginning of the zigzag path.

I haven't decided what to do in the off white sections. I will SID first, then who knows?  I know I want to make something smooth, round or curved to contradict the lines. Any suggestions? (not pebbles please!!!) I'm also having problems with the corner stitching staying pointed. Will have to keep working on the tension, perhaps the top tension needs to be loosened just a tweak? Well this will keep me busy for a while.

Oh and keep an eye out. We are getting close to our 100th blog post and we will be having a give away for one of our awesome followers. You could win too, just follow us and we will include you in the draw.