I’m baking these today:
We’re going to see old friends on Sunday for dinner and I’m bringing dessert. Something chocolaty and decadent. I’m taking the added step of drizzling them in chocolate ganache for a more decadent dessert. It’s been a while since I’ve baked like this so it’ll be so much fun.
Then I get to continue working on a quilt that I started yesterday. I’m designing on the fly and it’s so much fun. I’m using Kari Karr’s Clearly Perfect Angle to stitch flying geese.
When I put this on the machine there was this moment when the skies opened, the air became easier to breathe and my life improved by leaps and bounds! The Clearly Perfect Angle works wonders when stitching anything on an angle: half square triangles, binding, flying geese.
In a few weeks I’m going to try her new product the Clearly Perfect Slotted Trimmer. I’ve had this for a while but creative brain and I haven’t been on speaking terms lately. It’s been pretty darn icky. This happens now and again, it’s never pleasant, is sometimes painful as this ache in the core of my being longs to work and nothing. Generally what happens after this is something kind of fun.
So back to this quilt. There is piecing, fusible appliqué and a hashtag! I’m including a hashtag in the quilt. I’m sure I’m not the first person to include one in a quilt. I’m just amusing myself here. The quilt will be at Spring Market in St. Louis, then I’m participating in a blog tour on the Generation Q Magazine page shortly after that. The line, Hello by Susan Emory of Swirly Girls it’s so fun. I asked Susan to send me her favorite prints and I’d go from there. She did, I am and the pattern will be on the blog tour.
Have a great weekend. I’ll be back on Monday with a Character post.
Sour is good.
I baked the other day. It wasn’t my worst baking hour, and not my best either. The other day we picked up yeast, King Arthur All-Purpose Flour, and King Arthur Bread Flour. About a year ago I got rid of a sour I’d been holding onto that was long neglected and gone. At the same time I made cinnamon rolls. And now I’m going to make sourdough cinnamon rolls because the depth of flavor is just gorgeous. I’m going to be patient and wait a few days before making them. I want to give the sour a chance to do it’s thing. This. is. hard. because sourdough.
I’d forgotten how much I enjoy baking. How much I’ve enjoyed baking since I was seven. When you forget how much you enjoy something it’s been a long time, and the experience has me giddy with excitement. As I kneaded dough yesterday my sweetie and I had a funny conversation.
Him, “you can go use the table if it would be easier.
Me, “the table is higher than the counter.”
Him, “but it might be easier on the table.”
Me, “the counter is too high for me as it is.”
Me, “our next house will have a counter that is comfortable for me to chop and knead at (read lower than the height of our current counter)”
Him, “our next house will have two different cutting/working stations, one for you and one for me.”
Now that we know the beginnings of our next kitchen.
When teaching machine quilting students frequently hear, “your shoulders and ears are not one body part.” In kneading and rolling dough those words flitted through my consciousness. The shoulders kept creeping up to my ears. In part due to the height of the counter, and in part due to putting my whole self into kneading that dough. But oh my goodness the garlic knots and pizza were so good. Food, like a quilt, is a physical, enjoyable moment. Quilts last longer. Eating something I’ve made well is so good. Food is made for sustenance, and for pleasure.
Quilters and food pair well together. There is something amazing about the communal aspect of both, there is a generosity inherent in both. Any gathering of more than a few hours will have some kind of food involved. I love to bake so often I’ll bring something sweet to the party.
I’ll be heading into my studio today to work on a purse and wallet for me. It’s so fun. I hope to finish and get photos today, as tomorrow I’m going to AEF’s concert with the Yonkers Philharmonic. It’s Aria day, this is a first as far as I know. I’m looking forward to participating in the concert.
In working on both the baking and the stuff for Generation Q Magazine the idea of the show quilt is coming into focus. To have these ideas whizzing and whirling around my brain is kind of fantastic. It’s been a long drought and the flowing creativity is refreshing and renewing. Creativity sometimes lands you right in a desert for many reasons. I do love deserts, there is so much life there.
So, now that I’ve covered quilting, food, and touched on creative deserts the studio is calling and I must answer.
I’ll be back with more on the creative desert and the great joy in creating now.
Since we put in the new windows a few weeks ago I’ve been reorganizing the studio. I’ve still got a ways to go but I’m liking the perspective so far.
instead of having the tables form an “L” shape in the corner and everything else off to my right I’ve started by putting a little shelf in the corner that currently houses extra bias binding, canned air and a few other odds & ends. Next to that I’ve put the old Singer Sewing machine. That has the radio, phone, writing implements and a few other bits & bobs.
Eventually the thread will go someplace else leaving the table it’s on right now available for cutting and extra quilt when I work on large pieces. I’m going to bring the other sewing machine in from our bedroom for the thread giving us a bit more space and put some of the thread on that. The ironing board move back in front of the fabric once I get that all sorted and put back together.
This is the next quilt I’m working on. When I’m finished the quilting I’m going to cut it into three to make a triptych. While not readily visible due to the lighting I’ve drafted diamonds & hexagons on here in 3 different places.
This has 2 layers of batting the bottom (back) is bamboo, the top is silk. I’m using a lime green batik on the back. I’ll get a picture of once I have some of the quilting done. This is one of the three pieces of silk I picked up at the Philadelphia quilt show.
On a completely food related note. I’m a fair cook but I can bake. I get the process of baking and understand how changes can be made in recipes to tweak the flavors. I’ll never qualify for Top Chef Just Desserts however I’d have fun trying.
Muffins always eluded me. I’d end up with tunnels or tough muffins. A friend I’ve reconnected with on facebook frequently posts muffins she’s taking here or there. This morning I was inspired to try once again to get it right! King Arthur Flour Cookbook to the rescue. I took their recipe for Pretty Darn Quick Muffins added craisins, slivered almonds and a bit of vanilla. It worked! I was shocked actually. I got 24 muffins out of the recipe and they were nicely cooked, rose well and tasted good. I’d do this again. The gals in our monthly mini-group are getting some of these tomorrow night.
When I baked & decorated there were two baking books I relied on heavily Great Cakes by Carole Walter & The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. Love these books. When I got Great Cakes it changed how I bake cakes. Just like with quilting it slowed down the process making for a much better product. It also called for better ingredients, not particularly expensive, just better. Quilting is the same way, the right tools go a long way toward making the process easier and a better end product.
Have a wonderful Sunday!
Oh now before anyone gets all concerned and fussy over me. No I did not cut myself with any of the sharp knives we keep in the block or the cheap serrated knives we keep in the really good cheese grater.
No, I had the kind of mishap that only happens when I’m in the middle of something really important – like needing to head for the loo. I think I did need to head for the loo, quite honestly I don’t remember if I did or not. Did I ever tell you my loo is pepto bismol pink or the color of borscht with way too much sour cream? That’s a photo for another day, well maybe not – here’s a real treat for you!
So here I am getting the finishing touches on dinner last night. The crock pot of home made sloppy joe is on the table. The bread too. I just needed to put the veggies back in the microwave for a minute to help melt the Smart Balance. When all of the sudden I see pea green and carrot orange dots everywhere. What happened you say? (Made you say it didn’t I) As I moved my hand toward the microwave I missed and the dish slipped out of my hand, hit the chair and spilled peas and carrots all over the place.
The microwave sits on a shelving unit we got years ago at Ikea. It’s a good sturdy shelving unit and holds much stuff. (Way too much, however, I’m changing that as I write this) Peas and carrots on the floor, on the arm of the chair under the shelving unit, sitting on the lips of baking pans. Dmil is already at the table. Dh is entering the kitchen just about the time I move the chair away to clean up the peas & carrots from all of the places I could find them. I guess it’s time to take everything off the shelves, wipe the thing down, put everything back up and put it all away again.
Some of that is happening right now. Some of the stuff isn’t going back onto the shelving unit. The metal pans might go up into the loft, the rest of it is going in these green bins and into the closet. Ya never know, I just might take up cake decorating and cookie baking once again. Might. Maybe? I don’t know…we’ll see if that ever really happens.
We were having home made sloppy joes made in this →
See ya later angel food cake pan…
off you go tart pan…
squeeze ya soon decorating bags…
Oh bother I’m getting all sentimental now. Hold on while I go
snarf I mean weep then put this stuff away some will go here:
some will go down here:
Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes is one of my hero’s!