Baskets in Bloom

Long last. I finally finished this quilt top. I am a big fan of needle-turn applique. However, in this quilt, I decided to give sew illustration a try. I was really inspired by the book from Minki Kim and Kristin Fraser, Sew Illustrated. I fused each piece. Then I machine sewed using the sew illustrated method.

Now to get it quilted. I am so behind in quilting. I really need to get going.

Below are closeup of a few blocks.

As you can see, I outlined each piece with black thread. I used an Aurifil 50wt. thread for the pieces. However, the border pieces were done in 40wt. thread. I am really happy how it turned out.

Sewing Machines … Small Talk

Over the years, Pfaff machines have been my all-time favorite. What sold me on Pfaff was the IDT (Integrated Dual Transportation). I fell in love with the Pfaff Performance 2058. To this day, selling that machine was a big regret. It was very user-friendly. The reason I got rid of 2058, the throat space. It was just small. I decided to look into Creative Vision 5.0. From the very first day of trying my new sewing machine, I had nothing but problems — thread breakage, error messages, on and on. After arguing with the dealer and manufacturer, I decided it was time to look at other brands of sewing machines. Pfaff machines were just not made good anymore.

I decided to look into Bernina sewing machines. I knew they were at the top of the line machines, so it meant pricey. I decided to get a second-hand on eBay. I purchased an Artista 200. It was a great machine. I love the ease of how it ran and more so in the stitch quality. WOW! I was thrilled with my decision. For the next few years, I bought an Artista 730 and an Artista 820. Both great machines. Kept the Artista 200 for a spare and when also when I go to classes and on retreats. I was in heaven!

Then we moved to Hawaii. All hell started. all three of my Berninas died! DIED! First, it was the Artista 730. Turn the power on, nothing! So I took it into the repair shop, and when he opened up the sewing machine, the motherboard showed signs of rust! I was mortified, to say the least! I could have gotten a new motherboard. However, it would have cost me $680.00 for the motherboard and shipping. What was sickening was the motherboard cost would be $175.00 and the rest was for shipping. I then had to say goodbye. She was a good machine. I went home to set up the Artista 820. Thinking everything will be okay. Well, the same thing happens. It was gut-wrenching, I knew then, this is not good. Now for the Artista 200. Set it up, turned the power on, NOTHING HAPPEN! I just sat and cried! My husband came in to check in on me and saw me crying. When I told him about the machines, the look on his face, I knew he was sick to his stomach because he knew I would need a new sewing machine. Well, I started looking and deciding on what sewing machine should I get. I drove back to town and talked to the repairman and asked for his suggestion. He told me to buy a simple machine with no motherboards! He explained that the humidity on the Big Island is extremely high for any type of machine with motherboards. He suggested the Brother PQ1500. He did give me one piece of advice and that is to keep the sewing machine turned on for a few days when I am not sewing. The reason being, the sewing machine will be warm, and no moisture will get in the guts of the sewing machine. Meet “Bro.” He is loud and fast. Something I have to get used too.

Since moving to Hawaii, its been so challenging to say the least. One of the worst for me was my sewing machines. I hope none of you ever go through what I went through.

Simple Machines…

After loosing my beloved sewing machines, I decided to go simple machines with no motherboards and all the bells and whistles.

I found on eBay a Brother PQ1500SL. It was secondhand. However, when I received the machine, I was surprised at how clean the machine looked inside and out! I decided to take the machine in for service. According to the repairman, it was virtually brand new. So for $300.00, I got a really good deal. The listing only had the extension table, cord, foot pedal, and one pressure foot. I figured I can get the other missing pieces.

After purchasing the Brother sewing machine, my husband asked if I could sew some covers for him. The fabric was a really thick vinyl. I had the most difficult time sewing through the thick layers. So after a few hours of fighting with the machine and fabric, I bought another machine that I knew will work.

Juki TL-2010Q

I am so very happy with my purchase. It is much more quiet, love the stitches, and more importantly, how easy to sew through the thick vinyl.

As you can see in the photo, I really wanted to dress her up. I purchased the decals from Urban Elementz, click here.

I asked my husband to make me a long table with a insert cut our for both the Brother and Juki sewing machines. I will post a picture of the table soon.

I am so very happy now with the sewing machines I purchase.

Have Sewing!

Kahlua Trifle Dessert

Best Holiday dessert for any occasion.

Every Christmas, my friends, and family look forward to this dessert. It is light and so delicious. The recipe is very simple to make.

Back in the early ’80s, a co-worker made this recipe and I had to have the recipe. Her recipe called for a box of chocolate cake, chocolate pudding, and cool whip for the main ingredients. I make everything from scratch.

RECIPE:

Chocolate Cake: The best recipe for chocolate cake I found is over at “Just A Pinch” site. It is the best site (in my opinion) for great recipes. The recipe is fairly simple to make. Click here for the recipe. My husband does not like the taste of coffee. So I decreased the espresso to 1/2 teaspoon.

**note: Since this is a three layer dessert, I use a 9×13 baking pan.

Chocolate Pudding: A little more work. But the outcome is amazing and so delicious. Better than boxed pudding. You can make a head.

  • 2 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into little pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups of the milk with 1/4 cup of the sugar and the salt and bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the cornstarch with the unsweetened cocoa powder and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar until blended. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of milk and whisk until smooth. Whisk this mixture into the hot milk in the saucepan and bring to a boil over moderate heat, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer, whisking constantly, until the pudding is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the whole egg with the egg yolks. Gradually whisk about 1 cup of the hot cocoa pudding into the eggs until thoroughly incorporated, then scrape the pudding back into the saucepan. Cook the pudding over moderate heat, whisking constantly until it just comes to boil, about 2 minutes.
  4. Strain the pudding into a medium bowl. Add the chopped chocolate, butter, and vanilla and whisk until the chocolate and butter are melted and incorporated and the pudding is smooth for about 2 minutes. Transfer the pudding to six 6-ounce ramekins and refrigerate until chilled. (If you’re not in a hurry, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding in the bowl and refrigerate.)

Cool Whip: Super easy to make! You can find this recipe over at “Dinner then Dessert”. Click here for the recipe.

**note: For this dessert, you will need to double or even triple your recipe.

Other Ingredients needed:

  • 3 – 4 Heath candy bars. crushed
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup of Kahlua Liqueur (optional)

ASSEMBLY:

You will need a bowl deep enough for this dessert. I used a glass ice bowl.

  1. Cut chocolate cake into small squares. Arrange the cake around the bottom of the bowl.
  2. Pour 1/4 – 1/2 cup of Kahlua liqueur.
  3. Spread chocolate pudding.
  4. Spread Cool whip.
  5. Sprinkle generously crushed candy bar.
  6. Repeat three times.

Enjoy!

Cone of Shame

Poor boy. For years Kappy here is so fixated on licking and scratching! It drives us INSANE! More often since moving here to the island. We tried everything from changing shampoos, conditioners, allergy pills. Nothing worked!

Solution: a cone of shame. I purchased an actual plastic one. I had to modify the size. This is what I came up with.

It works! Not only does it work, cone also calms him too. The only time we take it off, is feeding time.