07 August 2011

August, end of second BOM trimester...

Hallelujah! I've got Month Six of ten BOM packets in hand! As I am remember, the first nine months are the 'field' of the quilt and month ten is simply a pieced 4" wide border. This month's packet was small—three distinct blocks surrounded by dark squares.

The first is Star on Star. This 12" x 12" block is pretty straight-forward. I like the 'bonus' of the second start on top (or below) the first. When I was starting to cut out the pieces, I discovered that there was not enough to cut the four 4.5" x 4.5" squares for the corners. And the fabric provided for the dark purple little pieces at the centers was not provided as the instructions indicated but there was ample to individually cut out the pieces.

The next is called Margaret's Choice. This is made up of many (32) pieces that start out as 2.875" squares and are then cut diagonally in half. I like all the contrast. And the pink fabric was unlike other batiks I've seen—it has a grid-like design in it. But there is trouble here, too. The pink piece I received was neither cut with the grain nor the pattern. From the 3-inch width, I am supposed to cut out four 2.875" squares, then split them diagonally. I cannot fathom cutting visually crooked pieces so wound up carefully cutting out each of the eight triangles all squared up. They seemed to think I was being too picky but I pretty much bet none of the ladies there would want crooked patterns in their quilts. I did my best to disagree without being disagreeable.

Lastly, there's the Friendship Star. Again, a pretty straight-forward piecing job. Cutting...cutting...now, wait! There's not enough for THIS block either. Dang! Got the triangles cut and then needed four 2.5" squares. Only enough fabric for three. Really?!

I'm gonna blame it on the heat. In Oklahoma City, we are swiftly closing in on a 1980 record of 50 days over 100 degrees. We're now at day 44, according to KFOR's weather page. People aren't thinking as clearly as they should. And others are more irritable. (Moi?)

I've got plenty of time to get this block done. Once I do, I'll join it to July's and June's blocks and have well over half of the main body of the quilt top complete. Exciting!!!

Other projects going on? I've been baking and making more Oreo Truffles (aka Oreo Balls, both regular Oreos and Golden Vanilla ones). The baking has been two batches of lime and vanilla biscotti, and a loaf of banana bread (from a mix).

I've been indulging a food memory for Sara Lee Banana Cake. It was a small, frozen sheet cake with incredibly delicious frosting. I'd pry off that cardboard and foil top, get past the lining paper and would dig into a 'still-a-bit-frozen' hunk of cake. Thinking about it makes me want to sigh. After a little research, it seems it is not longer available to the consumer in North America. Australia has it! Go figure.

My banana bread with a schmeer of tub cream cheese frosting with  drop or two of banana extract mixed in came pretty close. I've looked for a recipe to replicate my desire. This is the recipe I am going to try soon. I'll let you know how it turns out!

I've also done another Scrabble® wall hanging. Because Scrabble® Gwen's 'family game,' I knew she'd be a perfect caretaker of her very own 'board.' Family game, huh? Now, would that be the Hussey family, the Haikin family, or the Peacock family? Hmmm. It was a fun project. Getting the layout of the letters is the only hard part. I'm pleased with how it turned out and loved giving it!

Last week, we pet sat for some friends' kids' cat. Ducky was with us for eight days and was very sweet. He is used to being an 'only cat' so the cacophony of chaos around our multi-fur (and one being canine) family had to be a little off-putting. He stayed clear of most of the other cats, but I caught this scene of him (l) and Rocky (r) up on the window ledge. I wouldn't exactly call it friendship, but maybe a little respect? (Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer?) So, I thought Ducky would be all cuddly happy for his mom and dad to return. Not quite so quick—I guess he decided he was gonna make his parents pay and hold off affection for several minutes. Hmm. Eventually he came around and all was forgiven. And they lived happily ever-after! And I was thrilled to get a $5 chip (I have two chips from the two cruises I've made) from their cruise, plus some dining gift cards!

Yesterday I baked a dessert bar treat I'd first tried last year at a Labor Day party. I can't believe it took me this long to get around to it, but the Premiere Cheesecake Cranberry Bars were luscious! Okay, they've got a half pound of butter in 'em, but I did use fat free cream cheese and condensed milk. Little victories.

So, it's been a busy span of time. On the immediate plate right now is trying to spruce up the house for an appraisal on Tuesday afternoon. And as much as this is a pain, we will benefit from tidying up the place, AND we DON'T have to PACK or MOVE!!! Whew.

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