Friday, March 15, 2013



The door bell rang yesterday afternoon and these were delivered. The card said:


I smiled all the way through dinner!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Between Nails and Thread

There has been a little more going on during the days than just the sewing room…. redo and quilts.

My sister, discovered Sour Dough Starter and was loving it so much she sent me some (from King Arthur Flour), and then pestered me until I mixed it up and got it growing.

It’s a cold starter, so it spends it’s off time in the refrigerator, not on the counter collecting flies and stinking the place up.

To know why she was so persistent you have to understand. We spent our early years in the Bay Area of Cali, and sour dough bread -specifically Fisherman's Wharf Sour Dough was the BREAD. Offer me seconds at the table and I would have chosen sour dough bread and butter over just about anything else…. even if I was FULL I could manage one more piece of bread and butter.

It was a staple in the family. Salami, not just any salami, Italian Hard Dry Salami and sour dough was an appetizer!!!! or lunch or a snack. To me it brings back time spent with my fathers side of the family.Immigrants from Italy and restaurateurs in San Francisco in the early part of the 20th Century. My family can lay claim to the ‘Bohemian Movement’ in San Francisco. You can read a bit of a description here and more about the actual attendees and murals here. This is an image from the book by Warren Una chronicling the creators of the murals, diners and the restaurant.

coppa mural

Any way back to the bread! I got the starter going and made my first loaves!

Oh wow and yum and can you say gone! I have made it a couple of more times, but I have a little problem. The smoke detector, (near the kitchen) does not super-tangy-sdlike sour dough baking. It goes off, while the bread is in the oven…. and when you have 6 or 7 of the things telling you all at the same time …. about smoke being detected…. it is a little annoying to say the least. To add to the noise level, Axel sings right along with the smoke detectors. It take the better part of a day to make 2 loaves of bread. We don’t just like tangy, we like SUPER tangy…. to get that flavor takes a little over 12 hours- of feed, mix, rise, rise and bake!  This is my first batch- need to work on the shaping of the loaves. I have I think figured out a way to fool the smoke detectors. I have a small fan that I point at it and force more air past it. The last time it worked and it was a very quiet 30 minutes.

More Later!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Quilts, thread and batting

Now that the sewing space is complete… I have been sewing. I had 2 baby quilts on the list. One for a great niece that was brought into the world in July. I was under the impression that it was going to be a nephew, and had made a blue and white quilt along with the others I made HERE. Of course to add to the complication, I was preparing to pack-out in July and mailing something larger than a cigar box was not allowed, even if I had it completed I would not have been able to mail until after September… so late is late and the quilt is better if you ask me!!! Bright and cheerful and just right for a little girl -and now on its way to the family.


I quilted it a little differently, for me… It is a 2 line design. One line has large 4 petal flowers and loops meandering around and another line winding about with leaves and also loops.

The thread used was a Superior King Tut variegated and the best part was it was already in my thread stash. I belong to the Superior “Sampler Thread Club” and I get 6 threads every month!!! I did not have to make do or run over to the store and find a maybe ….  To see the quilting design… a bit closer


and a bit closer


This is the other quilt.


I found a stencil that I liked for the blocks and then recreated the design in the block borders. This quilt is going to another family from our time in South Africa. They were married there shortly after we arrived (we went to the wedding), they rotated back to the states about a year ago and now have a brand new baby boy. Like the orange quilt, I had the thread already in my stash!!!


I have not gotten the supplies to build the design wall yet. These quilts are not as wavy as they appear in the pictures.

Another note, the orange quilt was quilted with Warm & Natural cotton batting and the blue quilt was quilted with a new batting product from Pellon. After quilting the two back to back, I like the Pellon Natures Touch much better. It was much softer, felt a bit puffy like wool, and had a better drape once quilted, not quite as stiff as Warm & Natural. I like how it behaved under the needle as well, again not a stiff as Warm & Natural and did not get as hung up when trying to move it while quilting. A bonus, appears to be a little less expensive too.