Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Little Red Hen Block 6

Tonight I finished Block #6 of the Little Red Hen.

This was the final block to appliqued for the quilt. Next I will start putting it together with the star blocks. Tomorrow I will show you more.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mrs. Hughes

If you want a good laugh.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Day trip to Vegas

Yesterday my girlfriend Ricci and I made a day trip to Las Vegas. She has a son getting married, and she needed to find a dress for the wedding. We spent quite a few hours at one of Las Vegas' huge malls, but didn't find anything she liked.
Ricci is a very funny person, and it doesn't matter what we are doing because she makes me laugh and laugh.

We also wanted to visit a few of our favorite quilt stores.
Here is Ricci welcoming us all to "Christmas Goose". Las Vegas is a very large town and I was a little nervous in being able to find the locations we were looking for. Ricci has a GPS in her new car and it was so fun to play with it. She has named the voice "Thomas" and he would very loudly remind us several times the direction we should be moving . We started talking back to him, sometimes not very nicely. But we found our way to each destination, so we've decided we need to be more polite to Thomas.

Christmas Goose is a nice store with a very friendly staff.

I thought this pattern was quite original. The designer took an old screen door and decorated with Wool Flowers.

My favorite quilt in the store was a Dear Jane done in bright solids. Wow. I've never seen a Dear Jane like this one before.

I saw this retro dish towel, and bought the kit because I wanted the pattern.
Our next stop was "Nancy's"
I am really trying to not buy new fabric, but there was just too much temptation here.
I limited myself to 1/2 yard cuts.
The one on the right is from a line called "Feathered Friends" by Wendy Slotboom for In The Beginning fabics.
Some "X's and O's" to add into my someday Valentine quilt.
I don't know why this one called to me so much, but it just did. I think it is my favorite fabric that I purchased yesterday.
I just loved all the different fish. This is from a line called Mendocino by Heather Ross for Free Spirit. Westminister Fibers #HR08 Swim Class.
Before heading home we had to stop off at Trader Joe's. My oldest son works for Trader Joe's in Brooklyn, New York and I love their specialty foods. If you've never been to a Trader Joe's I would recommend checking out the nearest one to you. They specialize in gourmet foods with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Many of their products are environmentally friendly.

I picked up some things that we consider "treats" and rarely splurge on. Peach salsa, corn chili relish, Turkish dried figs, freeze dried mangos, and a wonderful trail mix.
Of course, Ricci and I had to break into some of our bags and snack while driving back to St. George.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Gotta Go Mom!

My daughter Amy called me yesterday to ask a question. We chatted for a few minutes over the phone. I asked how the family was getting along.

This is their new dog "Diggy", who is very sweet and gentle. This new member of their family fits in very well with her two little boys.

Amy and Dano with Isaak (age 3) and Noah (age 1). The boys are already so in love with Diggy.

As Amy and I were chatting I could here Isaak in the background saying "Mom...mom...mom..."
Amy continued talking and said very politely "Just minute sweetheart."
Isaak again:"Mom.."
Amy:"Just a minute Isaak, mommy is talking to Grandma."
Isaak: "Mom!"
Amy: "Oh, Dano! Come here! What is that on the carpet? Did Diggy throw up or is that poop?
Amy: "Oh no, don't eat that! I gotta go mom!"
Oh, to be a young mother with children. Brings back so many memories.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Marcia and Jan

One of the wonderful things about St. George in the spring is that so many of our friends from Northern Utah love to come south for a visit. They are tired of the snow, and seek the warmth and sunshine that Southern Utah has to offer.
This weekend my friends Marcia and Jan are in town. I like to kid them that they sound like the Brady Bunch. Remember sisters Marcia and Jan? "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!" as Jan Brady used to whine.

We did some site seeing around town.

Marcia and I hiked the desert reserve behind my house. The trail head entrance is down the street from us, and has a sharp incline at the beginning of the hike. We stood on a rock ledge that overlooks my neighborhood below and has a vista of part of the St. George valley.

When I lived in Draper, Marcia and I used to hike the mountain behind her home every morning. Today's hike brought back so many memories of those early mornings together as we would talk and walk, and solve the problems of the world.
Marcia is the one who taught me to really look at nature as we hiked. She would point out every little flower and tree and knew the names of most of them.

Spring is the most beautiful time in the desert. The cactus are just about ready to blossom. I think in a few days they will be completely out. I'm trying to learn more of the names of the desert plants.

It's a lot of fun to take people on hikes in the reserve. The red rocks contrast so sharply against the blue, blue sky. The formation behind Marcia is "Castle Rock", and also the name of our subdivision.
Our weather is perfect right now, and I'm grateful to have time to renew precious friendships.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ruth's Herb Quilt

While visiting the Salt Lake area, I stayed with my friend Ruth who owns the Herbs For Health and Garden store in Draper, Utah. Ruth is one of my dearest friends, and fellow quilter.

Ruth at one of our quilting get aways. Doesn't she look amazing to be a mother of 6 and grandmother to 8?

Ruth designed this beautiful "Herb" quilt that hangs in her store.
I think she is amazing to have created this her self. Ruth loves working with wool, and combined the traditional cotton for piecing with wool for applique.
I worked part time for Ruth's shop before moving to Southern Utah. I have learned so much from her.

Ruth can explain the many purposes herbs can play in promoting health.
Did you know that red clover can be used to treat respiratory infections and congestion?

Valerian has been used since the time of the Greeks to treat digestive problems.

Lavender is beautiful just to look at. It also can be used to help us relax and get to sleep at night.

When Ruth first made this quilt a group of friends asked for her to develop a pattern. She has been so busy running her store that she never has gotten to that part.

Arnica helps in the treatment of bruises and sprains.

Ruth's business is located in a old farm house that has been converted into a store. Her husband Craig has developed a beautiful garden where they grow fresh herbs, plants and trees.

Seeing a quilt inside the store makes entering feel comfortable and inviting.
Bergamot is a citrus fruit. The rind is used for extracting an essential oil. Many uses including used as an antiseptic, and helps in the healing of wounds.

Each year Ruth does a quilt show around the gardens and property surrounding her store. She gathers the works of her family and friends and drapes the fences and walkways with beautiful quilts. A great way to display her two loves, quilting and herbs.

The wool applique borders completes the quilt, bring the design together.
Thanks Ruth for letting me show your beautiful work on my post!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Baby Quilt

Mr. Cactus and I are heading into Salt Lake for a few days visit. Daughter #3 is attending school at the University of Utah, and we like to see her as often as possible. While there, we also like to visit with other family and friends.

One of my dearest friends just became a grandma for the 4th time. I made a baby quilt to give to her son and daughter- in- law. Our two sons played together for most their growing up years and we have such happy memories of camping together and many other family events.

The quilt is a very simple design, but I think the quilting really "makes the quilt".

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

I made Chicken Enchiladas tonight. A family favorite. I thought I'd share the recipe because these are easy to make and a big hit. The difference from many enchilada recipes is that I use a green sauce.

First mix cream cheese with milk.

The recipe says 3/4 C. chopped onion. I don't like the bite of raw onions, so I saute mine first.

You need 2 cups chopped cooked chicken. I place frozen chicken breasts from Costco in a pan, and place wax paper on top. I then microwave until they are no longer pink inside, and still juicy. The amount of time depends on the thickness of the chicken. I just keep checking them every few minutes, and then add on a few more until the pink is gone.

Place a small amount of green sauce in the bottom of a pan. Nuke the tortillas so they are warm. Place a small amount of sauce on the tortilla, and spread around. Then add filling, and roll up the tortilla.

Place in rows in a pan, and top with remaining green sauce. Cover with foil. I always double this recipe and take the extra pan to a friend or neighbor.

Cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Take the foil off and add grated cheese on top. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
1/3 C. half and half (although I usually use milk)
6 oz. cream cheese
2 C. chopped cooked chicken
3/4 C. chopped onion (I like mine sauteed, but the recipe doesn't call for it)
1/2 tsp. salt
12 Tortillas
2 cans Green Chili Enchilada Sauce
1 1/2 C. grated cheese. (Can use Mexican blend, or a mix of Monterey Jack and Cheddar)
Soften cream cheese. Beat together with half and half. Add chicken, onion and salt. Mix well.
Soften tortillas in the microwave. Spoon a thin layer of sauce in a 9" X 13" dish. Spread each tortilla with a thin layer of sauce. Arrange about 1/4 C. chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll tortillas. Place tortillas seam side down over sauce in baking dish. Spoon sauce over tops of tortillas. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes. Remove foil and top with grated cheese. Bake about 5 minutes longer.