Such a precious gift…

May 8, 2015

As many of you may know, I lost my Mother in February to a long battle with Alzheimers.

I have belonged to a group on flickr  for several years called the “Epiphany Group” that makes quilts for online friends who

are having a difficult time.

This time, I was the recipient… DSC_0010My online friends (and one sneaky local friend) each made a block, and sent them on to Quiltedoma (Andrea) who stitched them into a quilt top.  Batting and backing was donated by members and the quilt was quilted by CASharp (Cindy) from “Tops To Treasures”  Bouncypoodle (Pattiann) bound it and applied the label and then Nannette invited my to breakfast.

DSC_0016Nann made the special delivery in person!

DSC_0011My friends made this in my favorite colors…  Each block is a  master piece!

DSC_0100I’ll post some close-ups so you can see them all…DSC_0101

DSC_0102

DSC_0103And finally the label…

DSC_0106A special thanks to JGMehlin, Laura VanVleet, Spiced Coffee, Karin F., Quiltedoma, EdyB1, Silort, Mamacjt, DeeRooG, FriedaZZZZ, Mollyjolly, Sewgentle, SandyinBA, Suzy H (sneaky!) Soma, Bouncypoodle, MarilynKB, Yayaquilter, Sewjo, Lesliecan’tstopquilting, Flossieblossoms, CASharp, Nanotchka, JanBran, Sewwunderful, and JanR.  Thank you all for these beautiful blocks!  What a treasure!  There is nothing better than a fabric hug from friends all around the world!  I love you all!

My RJR Challenge Quilt… “Crayon Canyon”

May 6, 2015

Here is my entry for the RJR Utah Landscape Challenge Quilt…  They provided 1/2 yard cuts of each of the 7 colored fabrics pictured. We were allowed to use 4 additional fabrics, but I challenged myself to use just what they provided.  I joke that it looks like the kids left a package of crayons in the car and it melted to make a landscape!  This quilt was patterned from a picture that I took of “Double O Arch” in Arches National Park…  I just love our redrock country here in Utah!!!

IMG_3203Yes, it is bright!  It will be like sunshine in the winter…

IMG_3204And here’s the back…  Each color in the quilt was quilted using it’s matching colors of thread!

IMG_3207A couple of close-ups on the quilting!

IMG_3209This was really a fun quilt to make!  See it at HMQS now!

Thanks for stopping by!

Another Birding Adventure…

May 3, 2015

We went for a drive yesterday out in the middle of nowhere to look for Short-eared Owls…  We were successful in that we found some.  The photos?  Not so much!  LOL!  Here is the photo I took (the best one) of a Short-eared Owl…DSC_0119 (2)No prizes for sharpness on this one!

DSC_0006I did like this shot of a Snowy Egret!  Nope, he wasn’t centered, but I’ll take what I can get!

DSC_0062These two lovebirds are Clark’s Grebes…  I love the way their heads almost make a heart shape!

DSC_0070 (2)This is my favorite shot of a White-faced Ibis.  Cool birds!

DSC_0074 (2)This one isn’t perfectly focused, but I love the ethereal looking fence that the hawk is landing on…

DSC_0079This is Mr. Sandhill Crane.   Can you find the Mrs.?

DSC_0126 (2)This is a male Harrier. My favorite Harrier picture by far!  Yes, he is cropped to heck!

DSC_0265These guys are Red-breasted Mergansers.  These are so cool!  I love their funky hair!

DSC_0367I’ve been practicing photographing birds in flight and these are the best ones that I got!  And they’re ducks!  (They may look like ducks, but they’re really called Cinnamon Teals…  Far more poetic don’t you think?!  Thanks Otterdaughter!  Love your name btw…)

 I love this picture.  You can see water droplets coming off their bodies as they fly.

Couldn’t have planned that if I had tried!

DSC_0502And last but not least some sweet little Cave Swallows!

Thanks for coming on my little birding expedition!

I have HMQS coming up this week, so quilting pictures will be here soon!

A visit to Farmington Bay…

April 30, 2015

I had to pick up my son from school today and decided to make it into a little birding trip!

Hope you enjoy this photo heavy post…  (When aren’t my birding posts photo heavy?  Otherwise they wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining.)

DSC_00092 American Avocet…  Notice their blue legs!  They are so cool!

DSC_0024One of my favorites, a Yellow-headed blackbird…

DSC_0034Here’s a Black-necked Stilt.

DSC_0051And again, a Black-necked Stilt diving for something yummy!

DSC_0035 (2)Snowy Egret…  This guy is always so regal!

DSC_0055And this one is just fun…  A Great Blue Heron with a stick in his beak.

DSC_0061Bringing it to the Mrs. for the new house…

DSC_0070Mr. and Mrs. Cinnamon Teal.

DSC_0089Red-winged Blackbird.

DSC_0141And last, but not least, a Pied-billed Grebe!  Grebes like to dive the second you get focused on them.

Thanks for joining me at Farmington Bay!

My Christmas Present…

April 28, 2015

My good friend Denise gave me a beautiful quilt top for Christmas this year…

I decided to pick up some backing fabric last week, so I was able to get it loaded on the midarm…

It came out great!!!  Thanks Denise!!!121_0424It’s good sized, 82 x 97 inches!

121_0425Here’s a close up of the stars and sashing…121_0428It got Milo’s approval!  He went in, under, and around it lots of times!

Thanks for visiting!  Now, what to do next?!  I have a couple of charity quilts to get put together and quilted…

Sour Dough Bread Recipe as promised!

April 24, 2015

Again, a shout out to Vivian for sharing her Sour Dough Starter and Recipes with me!!!  Thanks my friend!

(One day I’ll have to attempt her chocolate recipes as she makes the most amazing chocolate!!!)

Sourdough Bread- Makes 3 4×8 inch loaves

2 package dry yeast

1 Vit C 500 mg tablet~crushed (optional)

2 Tbs sugar

2 tsp salt

3 cups sourdough starter

(Remember to feed the remainder of your starter with a cup of flour and a cup of water.)

6-7 heaping cups of Bread flour (Bread flour is higher in protein!)

(Try replacing 2 cups with whole wheat for a healthier alternative.  I have also added 1/2 cup of ground flax seed.  Yum!)

1 egg whipped at room temperature to use as glaze.  I use egg substitute.

Mix sourdough starter , yeast and 1 cup warm water.  Let stand until yeast is dissolved.  DSC_0067Add remaining ingredients except for egg wash.  Knead in large bowl to contain mess.  If dough is too sticky add additional flour in small increments until the right consistency.  DSC_0075Shape into ball and cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel.  Set timer for 1 hour.  Grease bread pans and set aside.  When timer goes off, punch dough down and separate into 3 sections.  Shape into loaves one at a time, and lightly score top with a sharp knife. DSC_0080 This will allow dough to rise more fully.  Place into bread pans after scoring.  Cover loaves again with kitchen towel and allow to rise for 35 minutes.

Set Oven to 400 degrees and allow to pre-heat.

While the oven pre-heats, use a pastry brush to “paint” the tops of the bread loaves with egg wash.  (Aka beaten egg or egg substitute.)DSC_0082When the oven is pre-heated, place loaves in oven separating pans so loaves don’t stick together as they rise further in the oven.

The bread will be finished in 30 minutes!  I remove them immediately from the bread pans as I have found that they “sweat” when they cool in the pan.  A cooling rack is perfect if you have one!

Slather with butter and honey and enjoy!!!DSC_0083

(Okay, the instructions say not to cut your bread while it’s hot, but I love to eat in fresh out of the oven!)

Thanks for joining me!

*I cannot be responsible for any readers finding it impossible to not eat this bread…

It is highly addictive, and you should proceed at your own risk.

A little Sourdough Bread Tutorial…

April 21, 2015

First of all, I’m a quilter, not a baker, so all results are individual to each participant!  LOL!

(That was my not-so-legal disclaimer.)

Since I had to throw out my last sour dough start due to lack of use, I had to start all over.

Thought you might like to see how I do it, and join along if you’re so motivated!

A special thanks to my buddy Vivian for sharing a sourdough start and her recipes with me!

(She did give me permission to share with all of you…)

Sourdough Start:

2 cups warm water (I use tap water, but Vivian swears by Distilled)

1 package of dry yeast

2 cups flour

1 Tbs sugar.  (Oh my gosh!  I used 1 cup!

No wonder it exploded!  More on that later.)

We’ll proceed like I didn’t make that huge blunder and see how the bread comes out…

DSC_0004Put warm water into crock.  I usually use a large mouth glass quart jar.  DO NOT USE METAL UTENSILS OR CROCKS!

Sprinkle yeast over water and stir with a wooden spoon until dissolved.  DSC_0006Add flour and sugar (1 Tbs for numbskulls like me.)

Mix until smooth.  Cover and set aside for 36 to 45 hours.  (I marked the calendar for when it would be ready to use.)

Stir each time you are in the kitchen. When it is ready, I pour 1 1/2 cup starter from main crock into a separate jar to prepare

for a double batch which makes about 3 loaves.  I cover 1 1/2 cup starter and put it in the refrigerator overnight to slow the growth.

Then I add 1 cup flour and 1 cup water to remaining sourdough start in large crock, and stir well.  Large crock remains on the counter.

Both jars are covered with Parchment paper folded in half and use rings to secure.

Use a toothpick to poke a hole in the center of the parchment paper to allow starter to vent.DSC_0009

(I double my batch to save on cooking time and ease of clean-up!)   I will give you the recipe for the way that I make it!

About Sourdough:  Every time you take sourdough from your crock for a recipe, you always add 1 cup of flour and 1 cup water.

Your main crock needs to sit out overnight to allow fermentation. If you don’t use it the next day, you can refrigerate it up to a week.

If you’re going to be longer than that, just discard a cup or so of starter and then “re-feed” with 1 cup flour and 1 cup water.

(It should be the consistency of mud when it’s stirred together.)

It is alright to have “bubbling” or a layer of tan fluid on top of your starter.  Just mix it back together with a wooden spoon.

Now for what not to do…

DON’T ADD 1 CUP OF SUGAR!!!

DSC_0010I couldn’t understand why it was bubbling up so much.  It didn’t do that last time…

And when I took the rings off…  *POP*!!!DSC_0011I’ll know by this evening if I have to remake my starter.  Hopefully it’s still good ;-)

Thanks for visiting!  And make sure you only add 1 Tablespoon of sugar…

And on to quilting…

April 19, 2015

I finished up the quilting on a “Happy Chemo” quilt yesterday…DSC_0012I’m still trying to get used to my midarm quilting machine…  When I’m near the end, I run out of usable space.  (Mid-arm lamenters’ know what I’m talking about!  LOL!)  Someday I may get a longer arm machine and table…

DSC_0014These are put together by my friend, Emily and her crew for those going through Chemotherapy.  It’s really fun to see how they put all of these oddball block sizes and colors together and come up with something adorable!

DSC_0017Here are some closeups so you can see how I quilted it…

DSC_0018Another view…

DSC_0019I love this section!

DSC_0016And last but not least, an owl and a bee…  I did the owl freehand, but the bee is from another design…

Thanks for visiting!!!

Sunrise at Antelope Island… Yes, one more!

April 12, 2015

Back to the real world tomorrow…  We took another fantastic drive this morning!

DSC_0004Don’t birds ever get cold feet?  I don’t think I could be a bird.

DSC_0028I used the car door to stabilize the lens…

DSC_0034Da da da da…  Here comes the sun…

DSC_0026Hitting the top of the island…

DSC_0049The bison is glad for the sun!

DSC_0054These two are lounging out where there should be water…  It’s going to be a long hot summer!

DSC_0084Isn’t this guy pretty?  He is a pretty bird called a Chukar.  He sounds like a chicken!  (Sort of.)

DSC_0104This little bird is a Horned Lark.  Isn’t he sweet?  Tiny little guy!

DSC_0449I wish I could get a sharper image on this little guy!  This is the cutest little hand-sized owl ever!

DSC_0383A yellow headed blackbird because he posed so nice for me!

Meanwhile, back at the hay barn in the nesting box…  Mama Great Horned Owl

DSC_0489With diligent Daddy standing guard!DSC_0485He doesn’t look too comfortable…  Check out those talons!

(There is a Barn Owl nesting box as well, but I didn’t get any pictures.  They were too shy!)

Thanks for coming along!

I’ll be back to quilting as my schedule resumes to my normal-abnormal!  Unless…

Please bear with me…

April 12, 2015

I really can’t help myself…  I’ll be doing the same thing tomorrow.  This blog post is photo heavy!

Went to the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge today with my new toy…  Hope you enjoy your visit!

DSC_0020Long Billed Curlew…  This little bird is fairly rare, although we saw at least 2 family units today.

DSC_0063The focus on this little guy isn’t quite perfect, but I love the action in it!  I believe this is a Tree Swallow.

These little birds are super fast flyers and hard to persuade to slow down for a picture so I consider myself lucky!

DSC_0103I always love a Yellow Headed Blackbird, and this one was a little sassy!

DSC_0132This handsome fellow is a Double Crested Cormorant…  He’s an awesome bird!

(They usually dive as I go to take the picture, instead…)

DSC_0166Doh!

DSC_0195White Faced Ibis (I think)  I struggle between the White Faced and Glossy Ibis…  It doesn’t help that they inter-breed!  LOL!

DSC_0254I lucked out with several shots of this Great Blue Heron!  Have I mentioned that I love my new camera?!

DSC_0271I love the way these guys look like they’re posing for a family picture…  (The big guy’s adopted.)

DSC_0273“Hahahahaha…  *Snort*”  That Cormorant on the end thinks my joke is funny!

Thanks for visiting!


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