bevanddara

Daily Inspirations and Adventures

Archive for March 2013

Expectations Elevated

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I was going to title my entry ” There is a method to my Madness.” However,  since my quilting it is actually an artistic outlet , does obsession have a more positive meaning than madness?

I am quilting a piece that will be given from a loving mother to her daughter as a wedding gift.  This top is not the one originally made for the daughter. My friend was surprised to learn (from the bride’s sister) that  the bride would prefer a neutral quilt, instead of the color pallet used in original finished quilt top. Oh these modern women!  Suddenly, D.(initial used to protect the identity of the mother) had to scramble to make a new quilt.  She had to choose a pattern, select the fabric and purchase the fabric for a newly imagined quilt.

I am honored when someone asks me to quilt for them.  Every quilt I stitch is special to me.  I have a routine before loading the quilt on my machine.  I hang the precious quilt top on the wall in my sewing room so I can look at it for a few days.  An idea for the quilting starts to develop in my head.  I use that as an excuse to search the internet (yes, blogs, forums, and my addiction-pinterest ) for ways to accomplish my vision.  Longarm quilters like to say that the quilt talks to us.  There was silence. I learned to use a quilt design program (electric quilt) thinking that seeing the top on paper would inspire me.  I sketched, then I sketched some more.  I wanted to put hearts into the quilt, you know I LOVE them.  D and I both knew that would not be appropriate for this quilt.  I used a quilt top made by Mom mom and Pop pop out of the same pattern and “auditioned” quilting.  With a few ideas, and time ticking away, I loaded the quilt.  First there was a whisper, then a little peep, then the singing started.  With a nod to tradition, the design started with a wedding ring pattern.     As you know, I usually don’t post pictures of my quilting until returned to their maker, but D. requested a picture of the quilting and a view on the machine.DSCN2149DSCN2155DSCN2151

I hope D likes this as much as I am enjoying quilting it!DSCN2156So you might ask why the title for this blog entry.  Both D and I were challenged by this quilt.  We both like color, so the neutral suggestion shoved us out of our comfort zone.   I think our collaboration has created a stunning gift!

Written by bevanddara

March 30, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Posted in Bev, Quilts

A few quilts from my friends

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I haven’t posted pictures from my Monday night Dear Jane sewing group in some time.  I guess we need a name since Kathy has finished her Jane  top.  I have five more blocks to make, then on to the border triangles.These blocks have to be trimmed. Wood is definitely NOT to color I will be using for the sashing.DSCN2117Kathy  and Ruth both made this pattern, it is made from a “jelly roll.” (A jelly roll is a collection of 2-1/2 inch strips.)DSCN2108Ruth brought this spectacular appliqued piece: She is excused from featuring a Boston Terror since she has a Jack Russel.DSCN2110I had some help keeping my fabric from escaping:DSCN2111No, Eagle did not join me at Kathy’s house, this is her BT named Jake. 
I finished quilting Cindy’s Gorgeous Granny, I love the texture on this quilt.DSCN2094DSCN2095DSCN2099(I have one more of these to quilt…mine!.)

 

Written by bevanddara

March 26, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Posted in Bev, Quilts

Giada, I Love You

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I make a lot of Giada De Laurentis recipes . . . mostly savory though.  The other day, though, I was requested to bring a desert to Jeannine and Dan’s house and thought I would try Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze.  They’re freaking AMAZING.  The good news is that there is such a thing as goat cheese ricotta so you can make this too!

Giada's Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients

Cookies:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, zested

Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, zested

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cookies:

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.

Glaze:

Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours. Pack the cookies into a decorative container.

Written by bevanddara

March 22, 2013 at 11:14 am

Posted in Dara, Food

I’m confused, is it Duct tape or Duck tape?

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I am enjoying project runway this season.  The challenges have been actual challenges, not simply make a pretty dress.   Two weeks ago,the designers had to make a prom dress, with a catch…duct tape. Well, to answer my question, the challenge was sponsored by Duck brand Duct tape. This season is interesting because every week is a team challenge.pr11-ep7-michelleamanda-fThis dress was the winner.  A bit bizarre, but it was made out of duct tape!pr11-ep7-stanleylayana-fWhen did prom dresses become short? I thought this was cute.  The judges and I liked the bow. So move ahead to last week, Heidi must have come up with this project, and she was out of her mind.  The designers only know how to make clothes for female models who are 6 feet tall, size zero.  The most complaining and whining occurs during the real people challenge.  Imagine the most ridiculous people for whom they could be asked to design clothing .PR11-ep8-layanarichamanda-fYep, it was a male review (aka strippers)and the clothing had to be easily removable.  The designers had NO IDEA how to make clothes for men, let alone these specimens.  The clothes were HORRIBLE.  Heidi wanted to Auff everyone. I would have turned this episode off, except that Nina GIGGLED during the entire runway and the judging.  It was hysterical!!!!  I hope the producers return to an actual design challenge this week.

Totally changing the topic, I like to read mysteries.  I have a new author to follow.lgI recommend this book.  I am going to overdose on him, I have 2 more of his books downloaded to my Nook.  If you like lighthearted mysteries (is that term possible?) I enjoy Harlan Coben’s books.

I always enjoy you posting entries that  mention your wedding, brings back great memories!

Written by bevanddara

March 21, 2013 at 11:03 pm

Guess Where I Was This Week?

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Here.

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Recognize the room?  Probably looks a lot different from this . . .

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The room Mike and I got married in.  It was fun to be back after three years and three months . . . even if it was with a bunch of investors and presentations rather than all of our friends and family in black tie, eating awesome food and dancing to the most amazing band.

Written by bevanddara

March 21, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Posted in Dara, Dara's Tid Bits

Lancaster Quilt Show

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Great show in Lancaster this year. ( My first, and only disclaimer is that this review is from the perspective of a longarm quilter.) The quilts were beautiful, as usual.  I think the quilting was not as heavily machine quilted this year. This quilt is my Best of Show. I love the subject-orchids, the colors, the quilting.

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This quilt was the actual best of show. It is hand appliqued, hand quilted and constructed of silk fabric. It was stunning.
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Below is the quilt that won the award for best hand work.
DSCN1983This is a closeup of the winner of the best machine quilt.DSCN1984Now I’m going to try to figure out how to create an online album of pictures because I’m SURE you want to see the rest of my 150 quilt pictures!

Here is a link to the rest of the pictures   http://www.flickr.com/photos/94267020@N08/

Written by bevanddara

March 19, 2013 at 7:56 pm

Posted in Bev, Quilts

Spoiled Rotten

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That’s what Chet’s name should be . . . seriously . . . what other dog needs THREE PILLOWS on top of an already comfy couch in order to take a nap?!

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Written by bevanddara

March 14, 2013 at 11:22 am

Posted in Dara, Pets