Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Tomorrow's To Do List

Bruce is going bird hunting tomorrow morning in the hills above Lahaina with his brother, Jeff. My Uncle Jim gave Bruce a beautiful 410 last year and this is a great opportunity for him to get out there and use it. They will bring home mostly pheasant, but maybe some Francolins or chukkers too. Cody and the cats will go nuts with all the fun feathers to play with.

What this means is I get another day all to myself, since we probably won't go to Jeff and Debbie's until later in the afternoon when the guys get home. WHOOPEE!

So, here's my list of goodies to do:
  1. Bake the pumpkin pies (Libby's...what else?) and the cranberry duff (from Martha Stewart Living, November issue). I will make the pie crust tonight to be ahead of the game (yes, I make my own crust, and you should too - if you need a good recipe, use the All Butter Pie Pastry recipe from Ken Haedrich's "Apple Pie Perfect" cookbook - you can't go wrong). I am tempted to try the pumpkin pie recipe in my Baking Illustrated cookbook, but am on the fence since Thanksgiving (for me, anyway), is about tradition and family favorites. So much so, that I am going to miss my Mrs. Cubbison's Seasoned Dressing since we are going somewhere else.
  2. Fix the kitchen curtains. Of course, I made one curtain for our sliding glass door then decided I needed two and the fabric I used was no longer available. So, I bought a complementary fabric and I'm going to take apart the first one and sew the two pieces together with the new fabric, so the curtain will be reversible. Easy, straight, fast sewing which should be done in no time. I only wish I had a new Janome 1600 for much faster finishing!
  3. Finish the blossoms on the Lily of the Nile sample that I made and get it quilted.
I'm going to leave this list at the three things I know I can get done. If there's time to spare, maybe start some Christmas postcards.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2005

And She Can Cook, Too!

This is one of the best desserts EVER! I made it for a family dinner's from the November issue of Bon Appetit magazine, and it's called Coconut Carmel Cashew Tart in a Chocolate Crust (or something like that!). Now, mind you, I'm not much of a cashew fan, but this looked so delicious in the magazine that I had to make it, and I adore carmel and coconut. That's a teeny, tiny red orchid on the top. As Emeril says, "You need Smell-A-Vision for this one!"

It is super decadent and very, very rich, so even this smallish 9" tart will serve 12 people. I served it with vanilla ice cream. YUMMY! Here's the link to the recipe at Bon Appetit's website:

Bon Appetit!

More Cody

Cody has a new friend. Bruce are reading this book about Labs and it said that many Labs enjoy stuffed animals. We had this bear in the closet and now he's Cody's favorite companion.

Of course, he's already chewed the nose off!

More quilt stuff coming soon!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

What a Day of Sewing Looks Like for Me

This is my little sewing hidey-hole. It's the laundry room, which is well-lit, cool, and has a couple of nice counters on which to work (see the bulk of my stash in the bins - good thing I'm tall!). The only thing this room is missing is a design wall.

Last Sunday, Bruce took our nephew, Keoni, fresh-water "prawning" out in Hana, so he was gone for the day. I've been anxious to get started on my next project, so I took advantage of this opportunity and sewed ALL DAY LONG. It was heavenly.

I'm working out the color scheme for my new Lily of the Nile quilt, and made a little sample. My MIL's watercolor easel made a great little layout table (to my left as I'm sitting at the machine).

I have been a HUGE Ruth McDowell fan for a long, long time. I still kick myself for not taking her workshop when she was on Kauai several years ago. So, I did the next best thing and learned her piecing method through her book, "Piecing: Expanding the Basics." I used the technique for my hula girl a while back and plan to use it for this new project. Here is the prototype:

All I need to do is add the purple blossoms and quilt it. I'm really happy with how the black and white background turned out and my piecing is getting so much better! I never thought I'd like piecing using templates, but Ruth's technique is easy and accurate once you get the hang of it.

Keep in mind that this is only about 12"x16". The big quilt is about 48"x60". I'll post a pic of the pattern soon.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Another Win and a Very Good Year

Hurray! I got a message last night from Rozemaryn Vanderhorst, the chairperson for the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Quilt Contest , that my quilt "Kona Sunrise" won second place at the show! We had just returned from going out to dinner with my BIL, SIL and their kids, plus Bruce's mom, and there was the message on the answering machine. I'm only sorry I wasn't there to get the call in person. Thanks, Rozemaryn! See the winning quilts at:

Of course, I had to call my mom in California and my friends Joan and Keri with the good news. Bruce was cracking up, watching me go crazy. I was just so excited to win and it took forever for me to settle down and get to sleep last night.

The show is open at the King Kamehameha Beach Hotel through this Sunday, November 13. There are 35 quilts on display as part of the big Kona Coffee Cultural Festival. Wish I could hop over for the show, but we've got our hands full here. The next best thing is my SIL will be over there and promised to take pictures of the show for me.

I've had a very good show year this year, with several awards. My quilts have travelled to Boston, Japan, Paducah, Santa Clara and Ontario, California, Kona and Cleveland. I wish I could have gone along for the ride! Now it's time to get to work on something new for next year, but how can I top this?

I have a lot to be thankful for, and I am.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A Quilt, Finally

This is a recent project. I started this quilt in August, when my mom was visiting. She helped me pick out the fabric and even gave me the idea to use the Log Cabin pattern. Thanks, Mom!

It's made primarily with batiks and is backed with cozy flannel for comfort. I used every bit of the lava-looking dark orange batik (the last round on the "light" side of the block) that I had; I wish I had more of that one!

We made this quilt for my cousin who had cancer surgery this summer. I named this comfort quilt, "Pele's Path" because the colors made me think of lava and in the hopes that rebirth and renewal in the spirit of Pele would comfort her during this rough time.

She's doing better now and even visited Maui this past week with her daughter and granddaughter. It was good to see them after almost 20 years! Since we live so far away and don't travel to the mainland often, it's difficult to see each other as often as we'd like.

Aloha and get well soon, M!

Getting up at 4:00 a.m.

Like everyone else in the world, I'm always trying to find a few extra hours in the day. Eureka! I've found some, thanks to our darling Cody.

If anything, Cody is consistent. He needs to go potty at about 1:00 and 4:00 a.m. Bruce usually does the 1:00 a.m. and I've been picking up the 4. My problem is, I can't seem to get back to sleep - my drowsy body is on the "off-ramp" to wake up time, my mind starts to race, and the tiniest noise seems to keep me awake (not to mention Bruce's snoring!).

So, I think I may try something tomorrow if the same happens. I'll whisk Cody back into the house and sneak off to the laundry room (aka my sewing area) and see if I can't get some creative work done.

If I set things up tonight so they're ready to go, that might be even more incentive. I have a small project I'm anxious to get started on - so we'll see what happens!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

All Systems GO!

Warning: Those with weak stomachs or who are sensitive may want to skip this post!

This picture is far from the peaceful time we had with Cody last night (that's the kitty's basket, by the way). Something's got his digestive system in an uproar and he had several accidents of the #2 kind. We couldn't let him out of our site for a minute.

Bruce had stepped in some the day before out in the yard, barefoot. I thought it was funny at the time. Funny, that is, until I stepped in some (barefoot) on the livingroom rug last night. After we got that cleaned up, we were sitting on the bedroom floor and playing with him and I still smelled something. Then I felt it seep through the seat of my jeans - UGH!! Bruce said it was my Karma payback for laughing at him the day before.

So, jeans in the washer, rug cleaned and me showered, we spent the night up off and on taking him out to go. All three of us are pooped (literally and figuratively!) today.

He's on a very gentle, low residue diet - hopefully he will feel better soon (like today!) and we can all get a good night's sleep tonight.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Blog Whine

I've been surfing lots of blogs in the Artful Quilters ring lately, and I have a wish/whine list!

First, let me say that many are nicely laid out and easy to read. I enjoy everyone's posts and try to get through as many as I can. Here is my wish list:
  • First, for mine, that I would actually post something quilt-related. I seem to have deviated from the theme and reason for my blog: to share (what I hope is) interesting things about quilting on Maui and projects I am working on. So, my goal is to post at least one item once a week about quilt projects for the rest of the year to get back on track.
  • It would be great if the link to the AQ web ring was in a common place on everyone's blog so you didn't have to scroll down or search for it each time. I read a lot of the blogs regularly and if they aren't updated it would be great just to click and get to the next one.
  • Left and right margins (even small ones) are a good thing! Full screen text is hard to read (or maybe it just pops up that way on my computer).
  • Dark backgrounds are harder to read, but if your text has good contrast, it's easier.
Here's some of my favorite things:
  • Regular posters (again, a slap on my wrist!)
  • Lots of pictures of works in progress
  • Travelogues - it's fun to see where you've been and the things that catch your eye
  • Being linked to a like-minded web ring
  • Bio pictures - it's like getting to know you in person (I'll post one this weekend!)
Do you agree or disagree? Let me know your thoughts.

Aloha for now.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Peaceful, Easy Feeling...

...on the outside, but I am giddy with excitement on the inside! Bruce and I have tickets to the Eagles concert at our very own Maui Arts and Cultural Center!!!

I remember the first Eagles song I heard. It was "Hotel California," and it played on the radio a couple mornings a week around the time my mom drove my brother and I to school. I must have been in fourth or fifth grade at the time. (They also played "Sultans of Swing," by Dire Straights, which was my brothers favorite song.) Was my mom cool, or what?

I won tickets from a radio station to see Don Henley at the former Irvine Meadows Amphitheater in California about 15 years ago, and won tickets again about 8 years ago to see the Eagles front row at Aloha Stadium on Oahu (BTW, the front row is highly overrated!). This time they sold out four shows at the Blaisdell Arena on Oahu - I was dying to go and tried to win tickets again but, alas, no such luck. And it would have been far too expensive to fly over there.

Then, they announced they were coming to Maui. Now, you have to realize that this is a HUGE event! These rockers sell out entire stadiums and we are so lucky to have them here, on Maui, at our little A&B Amphitheater - the smallest and most intimate venue on the entire tour. It's kind of like having them play for you personally! I hope this encourages other big name groups to come here. Sting is probably the other biggie to play here, and that was great too.

So, about the tickets. Since they went on sale last Thursday, of course I couldn't take off work to stand in line, so I tried to order them by phone. After an hour of trying to get through and 40 minutes in the voice mail queue on hold, I pretty much talked myself out of it. "It's too expensive," "I was lucky to see them before," "How spoiled can I get?" So I gave up.

Imagine my surprise when my mother-in-law, Barbara, presented Bruce and I with tickets on Saturday morning!!! Our special early Christmas present, she said, since she knew I really, really wanted to go. How great is that? She had gone to see A Chorus Line on Thursday night at the MACC and stopped by the box office (no line!!) and picked them up. THANKS, MOM!

I am so jazzed and Bruce is looking forward to it too. I even dreamt last night that Don Henley came over for dinner - how cool would that be?

The concert's on December 6th. How are we going to wait?