18 Apr

Cherimoya Sherbet

In my continuous quest to eat as much locally grown or produced food as (reasonably) possible, I cut out a likely sounding recipe from the newspaper. The description of Cherimoya Sherbet sounded good and not too exotic. I also figured cherimoya would be one of those fruits I’d be likely to see at a farmer’s market and not know what to do with it.

Cherimoya

As luck would have it, my quilting pal Jason had a cherimoya he wanted to pawn off on someone. Perfect timing!

Cherimoya innerds

My lovely assistant helped smoosh the fruit pulp through a sieve and stir in the rest of the ingredients.

Then we poured it all in the fun ice cream maker ball grandma sent for Christmas.

Rolled it back and forth for a while,

And now we have a delicious fruity sherbet (more like frozen yogurt, I think, but that’s OK since the kids love soft serve frozen yogurt right now).

Bring on the cherimoyas!

17 Apr

Early Sunday

Sorry, no art quilt or craft content today, I wanted to cheer on a childhood friend at the Lanikai Triathlon this morning. She’s a personal trainer on Kauai and brings her ladies to Oahu each year for this event. How could I not make the short drive over the mountains to cheer them on?

Zavi waiting for the runners

The kids played in the sand as the sun rose and we waited for the runners near the finish line. We watched as the canoe club launched their outriggers and rowed off into the sunrise. Very pretty.

Daughter's fourth grade teacher makes good time.

The first runner I recognized was not my friend Stacy, or any of her Boot Campers, but my daughter’s teacher! Go Mr. Robertson, go! I made her say hi to him later, and now I’m chaperoning a field trip on Tuesday — that’ll teach me (actually, I like school field trips, so I willingly agreed).

Stacy finishing the Lanikai Tri.

Next came Stacy. Apparently I missed one lady who came in before her. I’m not really sure how I missed another one of those hot pink tanks!

Another Boot Camper finishes!

And one, by one, more Boot Campers crossed the finish line (I did get good close-up photos, but they’re for the runners).

Stacy congratulating one of her ladies.

Stacy is such a great team leader, with high fives and big hugs for everyone. Three of the ladies competed as a team and won medals too.

13 Apr

Medallion for an Army Family

Medallion for an Army Family

I may have mentioned that I have a long-term vision for the Army Wife apron series. Maybe I didn’t. Eventually, I think they need to go in a gallery. With big, bed sized, quilts on the walls. One would be “War Sucks” from whence the aprons sprang.

Medallion for an Army Family

Another would be this one I’ve been excitedly working on in the background. I wasn’t sure if I should share it with the general public, but the show I plan on entering it in doesn’t seem to mind, and I just can’t contain myself. It seems like Medallion quilts are everywhere. Maybe I’ve just been in tune with them because their traditional roots work so well with my military life theme. Anyway, I got caught up in medallion frenzy and this one just flowed from my hands (in my typically slow and wonky way).

Medallion for an Army Family
“Medallion for an Army Family” Kristin La Flamme, 2011, 75″ x 80″

11 Apr

Aloha Pineapple Quilt Along: part 9

 

Project Introduction here

Part 1 (supplies) here.

Part 2 here.

Part 3 here.

Part 4 here.

Part 5 here.

Part 6 here.

Part 7 here.

Part 8 here.

Since it had been two weeks since the last installment, and we worked on two phases of our quilt construction, I’m posting TWO parts. The basting probably went pretty quick, so the next task is to hold teh layers of the quilt together permanently.

These pineapple blocks have a lot of seams in them, which could be difficult to hand quilt over. They are also visually quite busy, so free motion or pantograph designs could get lost and therefore not be worthy of the time spent creating them. I’d suggest simple straight line machine quilting, like diagonal lines X-ing through the centers of the blocks, or in-the-ditch quilting.

Almost done!

OR, you could tie the layers together like was often done on old utilitarian quilts. I’ve decided to continue my scrappy theme and use up some of my embroidery floss bits and bobs. Jason plans on using deep blue for his, and Katie will use black to match the solid color in her quilt.

Tie 1

Use a large eye needle embroidery or chenille (and a threader to make life easier) and thread it will a long length of floss. Stitch from the front of the quilt, through all three layers, and back out the front, about 1/4″ away. Pull the floss almost all the way through, but leave a tail 1″ to 2″ long.

Tie 2

Put the needle back into the quilt right next to where you did the first time and, again, back out 1/4″ away, near where you came out the first time.

Tie 3

Pull it taught, but not so tight it puckers or pulls the floss all the way out (then you’d have to start over).

Tie 4

Tie a square knot with the ends.

Tie 5

Looks good!

Tie 6

Cut the tails (mine are on the long side, but don’t cut them so short they could pull out of the knot) and move on to the next tie. I tied my top in the center of each block and at the intersections of the blocks.

I think it is smart to use a batting with some polyester in it when you are tying a quilt. You want something that doesn’t need to be stitched too closely. If you want to use a more delicate batting, that might clump over time, then machine stitching closer together would be the way to go.

All that’s left is to bind the quilt!

Just for fun, here’s a real pineapple. After more than two years, the pineapple top in my back yard has finally decided to fruit. At this young stage, I can almost see how it inspired the quilt block.

Real Pineapple (baby)

11 Apr

Aloha Pineapple Quilt Along: part 8

 

Project Introduction here

Part 1 (supplies) here.

Part 2 here.

Part 3 here.

Part 4 here.

Part 5 here.

Part 6 here.

Part 7 here.

Our progress is really showing now! Most of us have pieced our tops together (pineapple blocks + borders), and are at some stage of getting our three layers together.

Deb’s pile of blocks is looking wonderfully colorful and Hawaiian. Once the blocks are done, then they need to be laid out in a pleasing arrangement.

Laying out the blocks

Here Jason helps Kathleen lay out her beachy blocks. She’ll label the backs and then sew them together (see Part 7 for a tutorial).

Basting 1

Then comes the layering and basting. Here’s Katie’s backing laid out, face down, on the floor. Tape the fabric smooth, but not so taught it’s pulled out of shape.

Basting 1.5

Taping works well on a smooth floor like this, but you can use straight pins to secure your layers if you have a carpeted surface.

Basting 2

Lay the batting on top and smooth it out, starting in the center and working out towards the edges. Depending on how well your batting “sticks” to the backing fabric you may or may not want to tape it to the floor too.

Basting 3

Center the quilt top, face up, on top of the batting. Smooth it out, again from the center, and tape the edges in place.

Basting 4

Use safety pins (curved ones are easiest to use) to pin all three layers together, spacing them about a hand’s width apart. Start in the center and work your way out to the edges. You could also baste with needle and thread using very big stitches and a thread color that contrasts with your top. Once the layers are basted together you can remove and dispose of the tape. Now you can take your quilt anywhere to stitch or tie the layers more permanently.

Here’s Jason’s basted quilt, showing off his pieced backing that is dramatic enough to be a quilt on it’s own.

Katie’s color just glow!

And here’s Deb’s blocks — almost ready to be sewn together!

My friend Kim has found an effective way to baste quilts without crawling around on the floor. Click here for the video she learned from and a tutorial with her own adjustments to the method.

01 Apr

And the winner is….

True Random Number Generator
Min: 1
Max: 29
Result:
20
Powered by RANDOM.ORG

I couldn’t figure out how to show the actual random number generator widget, but, as you can see, it picked number 20. And comment number 20 is, drumroll please…

Lynne in Hawaii!!!

So, um, shall I bring your book and fabric on Monday? (You are that Lynne, right? If not, leave a comment and we’ll figure out the best way to get your prizes to you.)

Thank you everyone for commenting. I really enjoyed reading everything you had to say — the funny anecdotes (Tami, you’re a wild woman!), and all the praise for my scattered subject matter here. I really appreciate it.

I’ve just ordered some more books, so I will sell them through the blog at list price ($22.95) via Paypal if possible, Just leave a comment or email me and we’ll work it out.