Saturday, August 29, 2009

LGD #2 Finished

I am really pleased with this version. The bodice is lined, making the inside very finished. The zipper was much easier. I just need to practice them more often. I didn't press out much of the puckeriness this time either, although that makes seams and hem less crisp. They're ok, though. I wish the finishing at the top of the zipper and the hook were better. I probably could have trimmed seam allowances in the arm scye closer, or it could be the lack of pressing. The hem on this one isn't quite as nice as the first one, also attributing that to ironing.

Friday, August 28, 2009

KC Update

In Kansas City, a journalist for the Kansas City Star and a photographer were with us the entire weekend. My first clue was when the guy across from me at Lidia's asked me my name and where I was from and started taking notes. I was a little taken aback, but he seemed so amazed by our group and all the events, food, and drink of the weekend, that I quickly became rather amused by him. The article is in this week's Kansas City Star magazine and is posted online here. Thankfully, there are no pics of me, but I do get a very, very brief mention in the article.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Little Girl Dress #2

Sorry, no pics of LGD #1. I gave it to Little Girl #1 yesterday to test out. It was a similar fabric to LGD #2 fabric, but in blue with blue and yellow dots. I'll take a pic of a scrap later. Here is fabric for LGD #2, a cute green, pink and yellow one with some texture.

When I pressed seams on the first one, the texture of the fabric was lost. I thought it would come back when washed, but it really didn't after the first wash. Maybe longer in the dryer, maybe more washings.

This time, I am going to line the bodice instead of using facings and bias tape. I'm also going to use one of the "fake serger" stitches on my machine on the side seams. The hem on LGD #1 was perfect. I stitched a 1/4" seam then turned the hem on the stitching and folded once more. It was perfectly even. Such a simple technique to give such a great finish.

Monday, August 17, 2009


This quilt has taken me forever to finish. It was really, really challenging. It's entirely made of diamonds, which are really challenging to cut and piece. The directions are confusing and the piecing is done by offsetting the pieces so when you sew them, they are aligned. There was much seam ripping done during the piecing of this quilt. I love the fabrics and I love the finished quilt.



Friday, August 14, 2009

The Quintessential Summer Dinner

What could say summer better then bbq chicken, sweet corn, cole slaw and nectarine blueberry grunt? Or slump, or cobbler?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Chocolate Tasting Notes

I loved most of the chocolates I bought from Christopher Elbow. I gave the turtles as a gift, and heard they were outstanding. Here are the ones in my box of 21. (I had a few duplicates. The pic is from the website.)

  1. Fleur de Sel - In a word - awesome. I love salty sweet combos and this was one of my favorites
  2. Banana Foster - the first banana foster chocolate I had was John de Paula's at the Niagara Chocolate Conference in the spring. I liked Elbow's. It had a strong banana flavor. I like JdP's better.
  3. Bourbon Pecan - I bought two of these since they are flavors we both like. This was a miss. There was no real taste or smell of bourbon to these, just the pecan.
  4. Persian - I don't really remember this one, but my notes say "sticky center, must like marzipan (duh)" Which probably means I'd eat it if you gave it to me, but if I was ordering I'd get the fleur de sel.
  5. Strawberry Balsamic Caramel - I just attempted, and failed at, a strawberry balsamic white chocolate ganache, so I was eager to try this one. I really like these flavors in a caramel. The balsamic definitely comes through on the back end. I might try this before attempting the ganache again.
  6. Yuzu - I bought two on Rona's recommendation that yuzu is one of her favorite flavors. I liked it, but have no other yuzu experience to compare it to. Again, I'd eat it if you gave it to me, but if I was ordering I'd get the fleur de sel.
  7. Vanilla caramel - My notes say, "Really good! Favorite" Very vanilla. It's a top runner with, you guessed it, the Fleur de Sel.
  8. Macadamia Praline - I liked the texture and it had good flavor. Not a nut I eat often, but I liked this chocolate.
  9. Cabernet - Pav thought it tasted like grape jelly. I thought it was very wine-y and matched well with the chocolate. It's not something to eat a bunch of, for sure.
  10. Coffee - Just tasted of chocolate to me.
  11. Lavendar - This is NOT a flavor I usually care for, often making me feel like I am eating old lady soap. I figured I'd try it because the odds of it being well done were pretty high. I liked it more than I thought I would. It was strongly lavendar at first, then fading somewhat as the chocolate came up. Not soapy at all. I wouldn't be unhappy to see this one in my box again.
  12. Rosemary - Again, not one I would choose or pair with chocolate, but it worked. I can see why some people would like it. It's not really for me, though. I would be happier to see the Lavendar one.
  13. Spiced Caramel - It was spicy up front with a slight heat developing in the back of the throat. Pretty good.
  14. Raspberry - One of my favorites, this was somewhat unusual to me, although it's probably really not anymore at this level of chocolate, that there was a pate de fruits and a ganache layer, making for a very intense raspberry flavor. This was excellent.
  15. Venezuelan Spice - Described by Pav as "pumpkin-pie-ish" this was definitely fallish in feel to me, too.
  16. Mystery chocolate - not identified on the insert - It was good, rather boozy. Jamaican rum maybe.