Background Blocks

I’m just about finished with the background blocks of my rooster piece!  Today I’m starting the bottom 6 blocks which include greens and the brown of the fencepost… then it’s onto putting them all together ~ I’m pretty excited!

Of course, I started running out of pretty yellows so I used some lighter ivory colors where the rooster is going to sit ~ that won’t be seen anyway.   The paper piecing is working out really well, takes some time… but my points are looking great!  I hope the blocks all fit together as nicely as the smaller pieces did.

I decided I’m going to wait to pick edging colors until all the patchwork and appliqué is done.  I’m thinking of using an old screen printing frame to mount this onto… still not sure how I’m going to do that…. but, I have plenty of time to think about it.  It took over a week and a half to get these few blocks done!  Of course, I don’t spend every waking hour working on this either ~ I still have to do regular work, and I have to make most of my own food.  While this may not seem like much, it takes a nice chunk out of my days, and sewing sometimes is low on the priority list.

Luckily for me, I have some free time this evening for just a sewing venture.  I hope to get the last 6 blocks created and start putting the whole thing together soon!

Going For A Walk

One of the reasons I love Portland… and my little neighborhood within, is because it’s such a great place to live with plenty of stores and beautiful parks close by.  I can walk to my bank, the library, and the grocery store very easily, and Laurelhurst & Mt. Tabor Parks are walking distance as well!

In fact, here is the plot where they are building a New Seasons Market ~ my favorite place to shop ~ and it’s about a half mile from my house where the hub of other stores are at. When the sun is shining, I like to make each errand a separate trip… if I have time that is!

Speaking of time… and time flying… whew ~ it’s the middle of April already!  We got our taxes done on time, and I would like to thank President Obama for the extra tax breaks we received for being a working family close to the poverty line.  For working people like us, who are “treading water for life”, this was a huge help!  Especially this year since we’ve had to get high-premium insurance to help cover my husbands upcoming hip replacement surgery… and we’re helping my daughter go through cosmetology school… and I found out I’m gluten intolerant last year so my dietary needs are more expensive.  Our funds are as tight as they’ve ever been… and work has been slow at times, but those tax breaks really did help us. 

Time is speeding by, and it’s been so busy around here, I haven’t had much time to sew!  I’ve been working quite a bit ~ which is very good…  but, it leaves little time for my projects.  I plan on getting back to some stitching this weekend ~ YAY!  

Zucchini Pancakes – Gluten Free

Zucchini pancakes… Think potato latkes… only without potato (starch) or flour (gluten)!  I am really happy with this recipe… it’s the first one I figured out all by myself, and it’s really good! Perfect when you just need some comfort food.

So here’s the recipe:

Gluten Free Zucchini Pancakes
3 medium zucchinis
1 tsp. sea salt
3 eggs
1/2 cup pecan flour (I use a coffee grinder to grind pecans)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (grate yourself… pre-grated cheese is usually covered in flour to keep from sticking!)
1/4 cup minced onion
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt

First, shred the zucchini… either with a cheese grater or with a cuisinart.  Put into a bowl with 1 tsp. of salt mix and let sit for 30 mins. 

Mix eggs in a bowl and add ground pecans, grated cheese, onion, oil, salt, and baking soda.

After zucchini has sat for 30 minutes, squish out all the water/juice.  I just take handfuls and squish it out over the sink.  It is very important that most of the juices are removed before cooking or the batter will be too soft.

Add zucchini to the batter… and now you’re ready to cook!  Fry with a little butter on Med-Low heat.  It helps if the pan is well heated before putting batter on it.  Take a forkful of batter per pancake and flatten it out in the pan and cook 4-5 mins.

Let these cook for a real 4-5 minutes per side.  They are very delicate little things, so you need to wait before flipping them over or they will be too soft and you’ll end up with a zucchini scramble instead of pancakes! 

 I serve mine with a little applesauce on the side.  I eat these almost as fast as I can make them ~ THEY’RE SO GOOD! 

I’m so thankful I can still eat nuts and hard cheeses ~ there are some people out there with much worse afflictions with regard to food allergies.  It’s something I would have never considered… until it happened to me.  Amazing how much more a person can learn over time!

It’s All About Process

I am getting ready to bust out this big sewing project.  I’m doing it for the love of process.  It’s really hard to plan something from the very beginning and follow it through to the end… at least for me.  Plus ~ I’ve never tried paper piecing or intricate appliqué before, so this is a real adventure!

My mind is slowly getting around the idea of paper piecing.  It’s a process of printing on this foundation paper, then sewing directly to the paper following the printed lines so as to keep your sewing lines neat and perfect.  After you sew your blocks, you tear out the paper and voila: accurately patchworked corners. 

Now that I have a pattern AND foundation papers in my possession I’m in business again!  It took some trial and error to get these papers to print… I was worried I’d have to trace it from paper.  Luckily my OLD printer was up to the chore.  Today I got them all cut up and tomorrow I’m ready to start some actual sewing!

I also got some brand new fabrics… and that makes me so happy.  It’s like getting a box of new crayons.  I plan on using these (and many others) for the rooster and his tail feathers:

These yellows, oranges, and greens are for the background.  I found these on Etsy: Hoosier Quilter ~ what a great place to find fun unique fabrics!

Now you know what I’ll be geeking over the next few weeks! I’m so curious as to how this is going to turn out… I’m trusting my gut for color choices and pattern piecing.  I know I may make a few mistakes… but I’m just gonna go for it!

New Project: Rooster Quilt Wall Art

Rooster Quilt Design

I am so excited to try my hand at some real appliqué work… I did my first appliqués recently, and they turned out great.  So I have a big elaborate plan to do a fabric wall art piece featuring a chicken, of course… a rooster to be exact.

I plan on quilting a background that I laid out and will paper-piece together.  Then I’m going to appliqué the rooster over the top using all sorts of colored fabrics.
Here’s my work so far:

I have it laid out in Illustrator, and if it turns out well I’ll be able to turn it into a pattern for others to use.  I don’t have the details for the head yet… don’t know if it will all be done with thread, or if I will use different fabrics.

I’ve already spent numerous hours figuring out the patchwork pattern for the background and creating the tail feathers.  I have a feeling it may take some serious time to complete, since I can’t work on it all the time.  I’ll try to post pics as I go along ~ I really hope to have it done in a couple months!

It looks pretty cool as an illustration too ~ so we may be seeing this image again… maybe as a super cool screen print!

Welcome

Welcome to my new little blog space!

I’m excited to have a place to write about all the crazy things that are just spinning and spinning in my head.  Two things I’m most recently obsessed with are sewing, and cooking gluten free, so I have a feeling that’s what I’ll be writing most about.

I created this blog so I don’t have to deal with any business stuff… this is purely for fun.  I’m have a small business with my husband called Phantom Chicken Screen Printing.  If you are interested in getting shirts printed ~ go check out that site.  If you would like to read Gregg’s Rants, check out this link.  Now that that’s out of the way…  I can move on.

 Right now I’m heading to the kitchen to make some yummie gluten-free low carb crackers.  Want the recipe?  Here it is:

Crispy Almond Cheese Crackers (gluten free)

1 Cup Blanched Almond Flour
1/4 Cup Ground Flax Seeds (I use a coffee grinder for seeds and nuts)
1 Tbsp Dill
1 Tbsp Oregano
1 Tsp Sea Salt
2 Cloves of Garlic minced
6oz Cheddar Cheese grated
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
3 Tbsp Water

Mash all ingredients in a bowl with a fork.  Now you’re going to divide into little balls and pat this mixture as flat as possible on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.   Bake at 350 degrees for 15 – 20 mins. or until golden brown.  Watch carefully as these can darken and burn quickly… but they need to be fully baked for “cracker” consistency.  After baking, cool on a rack fully.  ENJOY!