Oz Quilt

I started putting a few things away and searching for a couple of fabrics, when I came across a couple of charm packs I had tucked away in Oz by Sanae for Moda.  This is a great line and I’m so glad I picked some up when I had a chance.  It’s bright, bold, and perfect for modern quilting.  Using a contrasting white fabric, it’s a great way to show off the fabric, and since charm packs show off the entire line, I love it.
I thought I knew what I wanted to do with the fabric.  I had planned to do a different block than I finished with, so I started by sewing ½ square triangles for all of the blocks.  Then, as I was laying it out, the blocks were much to large and didn’t feature enough of them for me to be pleased.  Instead, I tried a few different layouts and ended up with this one.  I like things that are off-center and as I’ve been working away at the Wonky Log Cabin, this added a bit more structure, but the off-centeredness of the quilt overall allowed me to embrace my wonky attitude as of late.
This would be great for a little girl’s nursery, without screaming pink.  I’ll have to do some finishing up on it.

Fisher’s Club

When I lived in Minnesota, I spent a couple of summers bartending at the Fisher’s Club.  It’s a truly unique place and since it’s only open for another month (end of April through October each year), I thought I would tell any Minnesota readers about the reasons they should enjoy the Fisher’s Club.

  1. My friend Jillian is the head bartender there.  She’s full of sass and excitement.
  2. It’s in Avon, Minnesota, where Lake Wobegon exists.
  3. Speaking of Lake Wobegon, Garrison Keillor frequents the place.  If you’re a fan of A Prairie Home Companion, you’ve heard about Lake Wobegon.  If you’re not a fan, become one and start hearing the tales.
  4. I used to live 6 blocks from there.
  5. There’s a great lake view and a nice breeze.
  6. It’s a bottle club, which means we stock beer and wine, but if you want hard liquor, bring it with you and we’ll provide your mixer.
  7. They have great walleye.  I don’t even like fish, but enjoyed their Walleye sandwich on occasion.
  8. Finally, you should frequent there in the next few weeks because their Oktoberfest menu should be happening anytime now and the Curry Squash soup is divine.  It’s delicious.  You likely won’t taste anything as good anywhere in the world.

Stop by and enjoy the last weeks of summer, despite the start of the school year at the Fisher’s Club.

Pop Up Quilt

When I went out to Fort Collins for starting the PhD a couple weeks ago, I found Quilter’s Stash, a great quilt shop in Windsor.  In trying to decide what project I should make, I fell in love with a great fat quarter bundle.  It was made of plaids and flannels, two things I have avoided until now.  I decided to embrace it and also looked at fat quarter patterns.  I found the Pop Up Quilt Pattern, which was a quick and easy quilt to put together.  Seriously.  It came together in about three days, with only working on it evenings.  Next time I need a quick one-day quilt, I think this will be my go-to quilt.  I love the way it turned out, although I’m not sure if flannels are the way for me to go in the future.

Italian Pasta Salad

For the past month or so I’ve been craving pasta salad.  You may remember when I made macaroni coleslaw, in hopes that would meet my craving.  It was good, but it didn’t quite match my expectations.  Between barbecues, great recipes online, picnic-themed magazine spreads, and other suggestions, I’ve been seeking a good pasta salad.
When it came time to travel east earlier this month for Simon’s baptism, I kept asking all week if there was something else I could bring.  Pops and I were driving out together and it was a good opportunity to bring something different than what was readily available.  Sister and BIL are blessed to have a really supportive community and folks bringing meals every other day for the entire first month of the nephew’s life.
Their stomachs and freezer were both filling up fast.  But, with the addition of Pops and myself, he decided to bring some pork sandwich meat that was in the freezer.  I decided this was my chance to  bring a great pasta salad and fill my craving, while also contributing to the meal.  There are some great Bacon Ranch Pasta Salads out there, but I was nervous to bring something mayo-based.  Instead, I decided to make an Italian Pasta Salad, another favorite of mine.  I scoured the web and concocted the following:

Italian Pasta Salad
1 box tri-color rotini pasta
1 c cherry tomatoes
1 sm can sliced black olives
1 green pepper, diced
½ bottle Newman’s Own Rustic Italian dressing
1 block muenster, provolone or swiss cheese
Cook pasta according to directions.  Let cool, add other ingredients except cheese.  Refrigerate at least 4 hours to allow flavors to meld.  Add cheese within 30 minutes of serving.  Have additional dressing available to add if needed at serving.

Next time I would add more peppers and ½ a red onion to enhance the flavor and taste.

Sugar Cookies

When my sister and her husband got married last summer, we had a grand time. It was truly special for so many different reasons. Not only was she the first of my siblings to get married, but my other sister and I were co-maids-of-honor. There were many parts of the ceremony, reception, and weekend which spoke so distinctly of my sister and her husband. They met through an organization called St. Paul’s Outreach which does Catholic evangelical work on college campuses. Sister and BIL spent their holidays with our family in Minnesota leading up to the wedding, but mostly planned the wedding from afar. There were so many members of the SPO community who came together to make the weekend amazing. I loved the photos from their wedding. By the way — If you are in Michigan (or the Midwest area) and want a great photographer, check out Melanie Reyes Photography! Sister and BIL were able to have folks show the ways they care about them throughout the weekend.

Beyond serving as one of the Maids of Honor, Sister also blessed me and asked me to be part of their ceremony in making the wedding favors. She asked me to make sugar cookies for the wedding. It was my first sugar cookie commissioning. Truth be told, despite the hours of work sugar cookies are, I love making them. Like quilting, I love the process of it. And, I was so fortunate to have my mom help me out. She baked each of the 300+ sugar cookies we made after we’d done a test batch one weekend and determined our shapes. Anyhoo, when the Weebe arrived, I volunteered to make desserts for the baptism. One of the things I knew I wanted to make (without first notifying Sister and BIL) was sugar cookies. And so, I spent a Saturday morning a few weeks ago cutting out crosses and onesies and then icing them with white. I’m not much for using pink and blue, and since the baby’s nursery is green and brown and brown isn’t so appealing on cookies, I went with white, to symbolize the baptism. I think they turned out pretty cute. I will note that when I make sugar cookies for this type of event (both the wedding, baptism, and others), I roll them relatively thick, so they can withstand travel!

sugar cookies

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