Monthly Archives: November 2010

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Unwelcome Guests

Did all of you Americans have a nice Thanksgiving? I can’t believe it’s already come and gone. We had a really wonderful Thanksgiving this year. We had a LOT to be thankful for here in ThimbleannaLand. Not the least of which is that CuteNiece1 was with us. She had a pretty serious car accident the night before Thanksgiving and totalled her cute little Blueberry.

Blueberry Crash

Poor, poor Blueberry. And lucky, lucky us. CuteNiece1 walked away with a few bruises and cuts and it was so lucky that no one was in the passenger seat, as there wasn’t much left of it after the accident. Definitely a Thanksgiving that we’ll remember!

We also discovered a few unwelcome guests on the day before Thanksgiving. We have a big tree in the backyard that is looking a little poorly, so we called in the tree expert.

Ash Tree

It’s very grave, indeed. It seems that we’re now hosting the famed Emerald Ash Borer. We’d heard about the EAB a few years ago when it was first found in Michigan. Back then, there was a lot of talk that wherever the EAB was discovered, people would be required to cut down their ash trees within a few miles, in order to try to stop the spread of the EAB. They must’ve decided that was too expensive though ’cause we never heard much more about it. And it’s too late now. ;-(

Ash Tree

Mr. Tree expert showed us 7 or 8 other big ash trees on our lot. Our sickly tree will come out this week (it’s too close to the house to do anything else) and the other ones will eventually die too. I hate having to cut down our trees!  This is a serious infestation, and sadly, if you’re in the eastern US, those little critters are probably coming to a tree near you soon. 

So hey — notice how I’m totally avoiding the big event coming up? It’s a strategy!

XOXO,
Anna

Pie Day

I know that we usually say that pie day is 3.14, but here in ThimbleannaLand, Pie Day is today.  (Well, it waaas today, but now it’s yesterday ’cause tech support and I had a little overnight session trying to view my pictures, but we’re not talking about that.  Just pretend it was today.  ThankYouVeryMuch.)

Thanksgiving Pies

(The Keep Calm part is especially important given all the website problems here in the last week!)  Anyway, I’ve spent the day (yesterday, ahem) baking our usual pies for Thanksgiving. Apple, pecan, pumpkin and this year, I’ve added pumpkin praline.

Thanksgiving Pies

A friend at work suggested it. You take your favorite pumpkin pie recipe, but before you add the pumpkin filling, you spread a praline layer (1/3 c. chopped pecans, 1/3 c. brown sugar, and 2 Tbsp. soft butter mixed together) on the pie shell and bake it at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Then remove it from the oven, pour the pumpkin mixture on top and bake like you normally would for your pumpkin pie. The hot praline layer under the pumpkin mixture causes little air bubbles to come to the top of the pie, but that doesn’t really matter. I’m betting it will still taste good.

Thanksgiving Pies

I also had fun with my little Williams-Sonoma pie crust shapes again this year — I love those things!  (Btw, I added the little acorns on the pumpkin-praline pie after the praline layer was baked — otherwise, they’d be burned.)

Thanksgiving Pies

I ran across this Pies That Kill article this morning. Whew! None of these pies are from any of those sources — I’m thinking we’ve dodged a bullet. Homemade pies are low calorie — right?

Wishing a Very Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in the US!

XOXO,
Anna

VeronicaViking Comes to Visit

Sweetie Pie came to visit this weekend and we worked on Christmas gifts.  She has two new nieces this year in her family (born within three weeks of each other), so she thought it would be fun to make them each a baby quilt. 

Baby Quilting

SweetiePie had the tops all pieced before she arrived.  She said she was inspired by a similar style quilt by CrazyMom.  I didn’t get a good shot of SweetiePie’s full sized quilts, but her little center blocks are all the same size. 

Baby Quilting

Hester and I helped with the quilting.  We quilted 1/4″ lines where all the blocks were joined and 1/4″ lines around each little center block.

Baby Quilting

Hester was very excited to be working with VeronicaViking (by decree of SweetiePie, she must be known as VeronicaViking — not just Veronica).  SweetiePie got VeronicaViking last year.  Isn’t she pretty with her aqua buckle on the side?  I’m VERY impressed with VeronicaViking.  If you’re in need of a starter machine, this is a great choice (she’s an Emerald 183).  She handled the quilting, with the help of a walking foot, like a star. 

Baby Quilting

SweetiePie decided to put a satin binding around the quilt edges and VeronicaViking did such a pretty job with the three stage zigzag stitch.   Not a pucker in sight.

Baby Quilting

One other cute goodie that SweetiePie made was an etched casserole dish.  I think these make great gifts!

Baby Quilting

Lucky for me, SweetiePie said I could share her pretty projects here in ThimbleannaLand, ’cause blogging about the big 2010 Leaf Cleanup (woohoo, we’re finally done), and a dirty house, aren’t very exciting.  Thank You SweetiePie!!!

XOXO,
Anna

The Calm Before the Storm

Thanks for all your fun comments about my market reports.  I’m still having problems with my comments not being forwarded to my e-mails, so if I haven’t answered you, it’s not ’cause I’m ignoring you.  I have to go through a convoluted process of opening comments, comparing to my e-mail (’cause some do get forwarded), then playing cut and paste and on and on and I’mNot SureWhatToDoAboutItAnymore.  That’ll teach me to complain about any other blogging platform!  ;-)

In the meantime, am I the only one who feels like it’s sort of quiet and there’s a ton of stuff that will need to be done SOON?  I had a fun weekend — spent one day visiting a new quilt shop (if you’re local, there’s a new sheriff shop in town) and the other day working on the Ghastlies.

Ghastlies

I brought my machine and stuff out of the dungeon and put it all over the kitchen table, vowing not to clear it off until I finish these blocks.  I’m making good progress, but you’d think I’d be done by now.  Anyway, it was a sunny but chilly day and I made some of Jody’s deeeelicious Soft Molasses Cookies to snack on while I sewed.  Ouch!  Those things are addicting.

Ghastlies

While I was taking a pictures of the cookies, PaulKitty decided to join me for my sewfest.

Ghastlies

So, I moved over to his side of the table to take his picture and he got up and moved in on my cookies.

Ghastlies

I told him he couldn’t have any, so he came back to the middle of the table and sat with his back to me for a minute — sulking.

Ghastlies

Apparently, that wasn’t comfortable though, so he rustled around and made himself more comfortable.

Ghastlies

It’s really hard to sew with someone watching every stitch though.

Ghastlies

So, he had to be moved.  So sad — when someone shows an interest in quilting it should be nurtured, don’t you think?

XOXO,
Anna

Market Report: The Fabric

Shoot! I meant to post before now. I just can’t seem to get caught up around here. Plus, we had a very busy weekend last weekend. I spent one day with the family cleaning up leaves at MeMum and BigDaddy’s house and the other day sewing with the quilty peeps.  I was working on the Ghastlies.  ‘Cause, of course, I didn’t get them done by Halloween and I don’t want them being a UFO until next Halloween.

Junie finished up an adorable quilt that she made for a new baby in her extended family.  She said it’s a Moda Bakeshop pattern, but I’m too lazy to look up the link for you.  I love the little surfing monkey and the baby’s name on the quilt.  (Sorry for the dark photos — it was pretty late in the afternoon by the time I remembered to take pictures.)

Junie Project

Gurney was working on this very pretty Crabapple Hill snowman pillow.  I have this pattern in my stash and hope to make it someday.  Gurney is a wonderful embroiderer.

Gurney Project

And Jewels (the hostess with the mostest) worked on her cute little dresden plates.  They’re pretty small and very perfect.  They’re all hand-pieced and Jewels is the master.  I love them!

Jewels Project

Ok, so here’s my market fabric report.  Once again, I bought WAY too much fabric.  At least it was less than last time, but still.  I blame it on the excitement of the Sample Spree Moment.   In the back of this picture is Sunkissed by Sweetwater,  Anna Griffin’s new line is in the foreground, and to the right is the only fat quarter stack that I was really there for — Sherbert Pips by Aneela Hoey.  CrazyMom has a picture of the prints all spread out — I can’t bring myself to take my cute stack apart.  I love those pips, but I’m 100% positive that CrazyMom will have something done with her pips before I do, ’cause she actually uses her fabric!

Houston Fabric

Then, I was innocently wandering past the Lecein booth and I spotted this adorable Little Red Riding Hood pack.  I couldn’t help myself.  I probably won’t be able to cut into this fabric either.

Houston Fabric

And last, but not least, The Cat in the Hat.  My new fabric obsession.  I want to buy it by the bolt.  C’mon now — how can you resist Thing1 and Thing2 all over their own piece of fabric???  Just imagine the pillowcases, BOXERS, quilt backs, and more.  Can you blame me???

Houston Fabric

Since I’ve spent all day in the dungeon cleaning out fabric and junk (new furnace coming next week so cabinets have to be moved) I’m thinking all this new fabric really wasn’t necessary.  On the other hand, I have lots of stuff heading to Goodwill now, so I have new room to stock up!

Have a great weekend!
XOXO,
Anna