Thursday, June 27, 2013

About Juicing

Since sharing on Instagram pictures of my juice drinks, made with my new juicer, I've gotten a couple questions about it. Like, "How is it better than mixing in a blender?" and "What does it taste like? Good?" So, I thought I'd address one of the questions with pictures.

If you're like I was about three weeks ago, not knowing a thing about juicing, or even what a juicer looks like, you might find this interesting.

This is what our kitchen counter looks like every morning now. I use a wide variety of vegetables in my morning juices. In this one are: carrots, Granny Smith apples, cucumbers, lemon (leave on the pith; it's good for you), celery, kale, ginger root, and turmeric (purported to prevent cancers).

None of the veggies need to be peeled (except lemon), and not much cutting-up is needed. However, the Omega Vert 350 stops if carrots are too large. The reverse button takes care of the problem, but I'm now careful about cutting carrots in smaller bits than other veggies.

I usually start feeding vegetables into the juicer beginning with leafy stuff, like kale. Then, I alternate the rest of the vegetables. Juice comes out on the right; pulp comes out on the left.

This particular batch was heavy on the carrots, so the juice color isn't quite as pretty as the all-green juice (the Dr. Oz Green Smoothie).


Juice. The foam on top is typical. Just stir it back into the juice.

This is a larger-than-usual batch for me. I generally aim for 16 ounces. But honestly, I have no problem drinking 20 ounces. Truly. It tastes very good. Kinda like V8 without the tomato.

Notable benefits of juicing have been:  feeling really good while maintaining a recently-achieved lower weight (less than on our wedding day 40 years ago) ; and the unexpected benefit of longer, stronger fingernails - a first for me.

It was suggested that I try a great-tasting combination of watermelon, cucumber, and lime. How apropos. We live in watermelon country. The land our house is on was once a watermelon farm! Linda

Sunday, June 23, 2013

One Year Ago Today

June, 2012
2013 - Still messy!
Happy anniversary! One year ago today we moved into our new home. We're blessed, grateful and still very happy to be living here. Linda

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Two Finishes

Life has been in full swing around here as I find myself more and more involved in quilting activities. Besides teaching two, five-week First Time Quiltmaking classes in July and September, I'll also be teaching two, one-time, six-hour free motion quilting workshops in September and October. All four of these classes are through the Lifelong Learning College. Classes are open to anyone - you don't have to be a Villages resident.

As well, I am in the midst of writing and getting photo permissions for a magazine article about modern quilts inspired by artwork. It's expected to be in the November issue of American Quilter magazine.

In between times, there's still twice-weekly line dancing, stitchery group, Bible study, occasional visits to the pool, and activities related to two quilting guilds - including the Central Florida MQG of which I am now acting president. CFMQG has just announced a different meeting location, a meeting date move to the second Monday night of the month, and we're in the midst of finalizing and voting on bylaws. Whew.

This wonderful stuff means time away from sewing room progress, so I squeeze in what I can.

After seeing this Spicy Spiral table runner in blog post on SewWeQuilt, I found a YouTube video showing how to make it, and figured it out for myself. It's not identical to the pattern, but close enough, and I definitely like how it looks on our table.

We're accenting our great room - entryway, living area, chat corner, kitchen and eating area - with spicy orange, and I like that color pop. In the runner you'll see some Carolyn Friedlander "Architextures," Denyse Schmidt prints, and Laura Gunn "Painter's Canvas."

Again, I used that great 505 basting spray, and then quilted simple, straight lines near all the long seams.

A couple weeks ago I finished this hand embroidery following an Australian magazine pattern using linen fabric and six strands of Cosmo embroidery thread for backstitching. 
Matryoshka doll pillow, 11" X 13"
I used Derwent Coloursoft pencils to color-in the embroidery, giving the dolls some depth.

I don't have any June BOM blocks to sew (I'm the Queen Bee this month in my Mid-Century Modern Bee) so I decided to surprise Susan by sending her a 12" block I made according to her recent blog post about another bee she's in. I'm not in her bee, so I hope she doesn't mind! The block is so pretty, and I just couldn't resist sending her a little bit of Florida.

Healthwise, I'm doing great. The keep-cancer-away drug I'm on (Arimidex) hasn't cause any noticeable side effects, and I've been able to maintain my weight - and even lost a couple pounds - after the doc told me that Arimidex would likely cause a six to eight pound weight gain by July. I'm closely monitoring what I eat, since this is the only thing about breast cancer I can control.

To focus more on the nutritional value of what I eat, I've become "a juicer." The juicing machine was a big investment, but a Bed, Bath and Beyond 20 percent off coupon helped a lot - like $76 off! I chose this Omega 350 after much online reading and watching a Youtube demonstration.

The first time I used it, I managed to clog it, but "reverse" worked to easily back out of it. That taught me to be more careful about the size of the celery and carrot pieces I put in. One of the first drinks I prepared was this Dr. Oz Green Smoothie. With a few shakes of salt (I have low blood pressure, so salt is okay) it was yum! And it was really this green! Pretty, isn't it? Other drinks, made with kale, don't look as good. I'm still trying to figure out how to put the pulp to good use. I've tasted "crackers" made with pulp, and they're quite good, but don't want to buy a dehydrator.

Thankfully, there's no uncertainty about anything quilt-related! I'm gung-ho on a new quilt by one of my favorite designers, Emma of Ballarat Patchwork in Australia. Emma is so talented! She designed "Snowflake Medallion," the quilt for which I won a Bernina sewing machine last year. I'm hoping this new pattern will have the same magical effect on my quiltmaking! I'm really happy with the colorful fabrics I pulled for it. More pictures as I progress.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How Fun!

The novelty of giving a program about modern quilting hasn't yet worn off. It was so enjoyable!

Lora and I had a great time Tuesday afternoon, sharing modern with 50 women who attended a meeting of Bradenton Quilters.

Lora began by relating the history - all five to six years of it - of modern quilting, from the emergence of Denyse Schmidt's designs and Gee's Bend quilts, to changes in fabric colors and patterns, to the affordability of digital cameras that helped promote the online growth of modern quilting. Excellent information.

My portion of the program is about the visual and technical elements that make a quilt modern. As I did online research for this segment of the presentation, I was definitely the student who has now become the teacher.

Though in the photo below, I look quite stunned by all of it, don't I?

On the screen behind me is a great example of improvisational, or wonky, piecing by my dear friend Carla. It's her Anniversary Crosses quilt. You can find Carla's liberated cross block tutorial here.

We wrapped-up our hour-long program taking turns showing 18 modern quilts. The quilt in the center aisle is Lora's entry in a Fons & Porter challenge to design a "weekend quilt." Her entry came in second place.

After the presentation, we entertained questions, and listen to many expressions of interest in modern quilting. I can foresee our Central Florida Modern Quilt Guild chapter's growth, and couldn't be more tickled about that!

Since this presentation, Lora and I have received two more inquiries about giving our program to other quilt guilds. Taking that as affirmation that we have good information, and some fun quilting to share, we're feelin' pretty happy about it. Personally, I'm doin' the happy (line) dance! Linda

Monday, June 10, 2013

Stitchin' and Dishin'

Sewing over the weekend, this is the quilt center I put together with the Blogger's BOM blocks from 2011-2012. I wanted a larger quilt than the instructions offered at the end of the BOM, so I have Susan at PatchworknPlay to thank for suggesting what I ended up doing.

Each eight-inch block has been set alternately on-square or on-point to make a 12" block. The blocks are sewn together now and I'm waiting for my bee-mates to send me their border blocks to make this a 78" X 78" finished quilt.
Strawberry Fizz and Lime Pop quilt center - 60" X 60"
At my weekly Happy Stitcher's group (where I'm hand-piecing Candied Hexagons), a mother and daughter showed a fabric "Bowl Buddy." I wasn't familiar with them, but they're meant to hold a dish that you're microwaving. Then, when you're removing the hot dish from the microwave, you grab the fabric corners instead of using a hot pad. Clever idea, isn't it?!

These are the two I made after hurrying home to Google "Bowl Buddy."

This is the tutorial for making a Bowl Buddy. Though it says you can use "Warm Tater" between the layers, I visited The Warm Company's website and read their product description to learn that Warm Tater is NOT a microwave safe batting. At JoAnn Fabrics, I found Wrap-N-Zap, which does say "perfect for microwaveable projects..." so that's what I used. 

The fabric bowl doesn't take much time to sew, and is easy to put together with just these X and + stitching lines to hold layers together. I haven't tried my Bowl Buddy yet, but if it works well, won't it make nice Christmas and thank-you gifts?

Tuesday's a big day for me. I've invited three quilters over for brunch at 11 a.m. before we all head to the Bradenton Rec Center here in The Villages, where Lora (DragonflyQuiltWorks) and I give another "What is Modern Quilting?" presentation. Our program starts at 1:00 p.m. If you live nearby, come see our 70-slide Powerpoint show about modern quilting - with lots of quilt pictures - and our own modern quilts. Linda

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Third 2013 UFO Finish

After seemingly endless hours of quilting, I've finished my third UFO for 2013. This quilt began in September 2011 during my month of the One Block Over group. I offered a tutorial for making wonky-cut stacked blocks, giving each quilter a fat quarter to use as a color-guide. Though the top's been put together since last September, it's taken me this long to make it a finish.

Binding is two different colors - orange on the sides and Kona medium gray on the top and bottom. I used my favorite machine-sewn mitered corners method of attaching binding. I always like to encourage quilters who sew binding together with a start/stop joining on a side, to give this better (in my opinion) method a try. My tutorial for it is here

Other than calling this my "One Block Over" quilt, I don't have a name for it.

Suggestions? Thank you for your suggestion, Nancy! I named it "Balancing Act."
53" X 67"
Batting is Quilter's Dream Request Loft Polyester. Layers were spray-basted together using 505 Spray and Fix.

All quilting was done while sitting down at my Pfaff Grand Quilter. Threads are YLI variegated orange-yellow, and medium gray.

As I typically do, to use up every fabric, I incorporated test blocks and wrong-sized blocks in the backing. This same backing fabric is what each block-maker received as her fat quarter gift.

Now it's on to another UFO as Tropical Storm Andrea is keeping me close to home today. But I don't mind a bit! Sewing, and writing an article for American Quilter magazine are keeping me happily busy. I hope your day is going swimmingly too! Linda

Monday, June 3, 2013

Lately Sewing

Our Central Florida MQG meeting was Monday night, and I attended, ready with some Show and Tells... for a change! 

After seeing the Pinafore Bag by Me and My Sister, that Jill and Sandy made (shown at our Central Florida MQG meeting last month), I bought the pattern - an easy online PDF download. For the body of the bag, I picked this retro print by Michael Miller, called Atomic.

The instructions have you sew one interior pocket, but I made two. Can't have enough pockets in any bag, I say!

I also made this modern apron to meet our MQG chapter's "Apron Runway Challenge." I used an inexpensive Butterick "See and Sew" pattern purchased at JoAnn Fabrics, and added the ruffles myself.

Practically speaking, I will likely never wear this apron, except perhaps for keeping up appearances. I mean, with a cook in the house, this is probably as much time as that apron or me, will ever spend in the kitchen!

Don't Amy and Denyse play nicely together? I'm happy about having stepped outside my color comfort zone to put together these not-coordinating colors!

The yellow print is Amy Butler's "Lark." The three ruffles are Denyse Schmidt fabrics.

I'm also keeping up with the Bay Area Modern BOM, having made this unusual Flying Geese block. I saved on fabric by sewing the geese using the No-Waste Method that I explain in this tutorial.

Visit our Central Florida MQG blog where we have pictures from last night's meeting. We had a blast!



Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin