Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Superior Threads

I just returned from a trip to St. George with some new friends and we had the BEST time. RaeAnn from Cutie Pinwheel, Susanne and Jackie all invited me on this wonderful trip with them. I felt sooo lucky! Nedra from Cactus Needle fame took us on a tour of Superior Threads. I have been there before because I went thru the school of Threadology, but my friends had never been there and Bob and Heather, the owners have built on an entire other wing that I hadn't seen before. It was so fun to see the school and to learn about all the advances that they are making.
This is a Kimono you see in the entry way and is what inspired Heather in the first place to begin to create thread that didn't break for American quilters.
This is a sewing room where you can learn all the techniques, play with all the threads and you don't even have to haul your own sewing machine! How awesome is that?! Brand new Berninas just waiting for you to play on!!

This is an upper room where there are long arm machines to learn all the machine quilting techniques and try the threads on a variety of long arms. If you already have a machine you can practice on the kind you own, or you can try out all kinds and see which one you'd like to purchase. They got in two more machines that were in boxes the day we got there.

There was a big pile of quilts that are the 'show and tells' that Heather uses when she teaches different techniques and different threads. I just had to take photos of some of them to show you!

A close up of the above quilt.

The 3 D parts of this quilt are done with thread! Her hair is different threads and is so beautiful. I should have rotated it for you before I posted it, but you get the idea. The fabric choices are also perfect for the texture of this quilt.

A close up of the above quilt.

A close up of the hair that I was telling you about. And those lines you see around the figure are all quilting lines.

This is neon bright varigated quilting thread and I think it makes the entire quilt. Heather is amazingly creative and then hires the most talented quilters to put it all together. So Beautiful!

A close up of the above quilt. I can't believe how talented some people are.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Still Feeling Tired from the Holidays?

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't talk to someone somewhere about their adrenal glands. It seems that as we live in such a high stress, go, go, go society, even the young are struggling with adrenal exhaustion.

The adrenals are small glands that sit on top of the kidneys in your back. Everyone knows the adrenaline rush you get from riding a roller coaster or finding the perfect piece of fabric :) or that achy feeling you get from the flu when you can't make enough cortisol. When you need to have a quick boost of energy, the adrenal gland releases adrenaline to increase blood flow and pressure as well as heart rate and the amount of light the eyes let into the brain! The cortisol smooths out the rough edges of this response and limits the pain and inflammation that come with excited biology. When the adrenal gland is rested and restored, sleep comes more easily, waking in the morning refreshed is a normal expectation and mood swings become much less of a problem. If you're concerned about an energy crisis, take a good look at your adrenal glands.

Though food is always the best source of vitamins and minerals, supplements are almost always required to reach optimal function. Adrenal support starts with good antioxidants and omega 3 fats as a foundation, but specific herbs and key vitamins and minerals have a more direct effect on function.

* Adrenal Support

* Pantothenic Acid (B5 about 100 mg. a day)

* Vitamin C (500-1000 mg. a day)

* Magnesium Complex

* Ginseng (I personally LOVE Suma as it is an adaptogenic herb...meaning it knows how to adapt to what each body needs)

As always, you are welcome to contact me and use my name or account number to receive 35% off all of your herbs. Live Well, Judi

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I needed it, I had to have it, I couldn't sleep without it!

The only thing I asked for Christmas from my children and parents was a gift certificate to Broadbent's, our local quilt store. I set out the other day to begin a new quilt for my bed as the one on there is threadbare. But while shopping for that fabric (I'll show you that on another post), I passed this fabric by Phillip Jacobs called Delphinium and my heart began to beat wildly in my chest! Oh, fellow addicted to fabric friends, tell me you know exactly what I'm swooning about! I saw this on the shelf and dreamed about it for 3 days in a row. I HAD to have a quilt made out of it. No it wasn't a was a NEED. The best news of all was that I had plenty of money on my gift certificates to make two quilts.

This lovely pile will grow up to be "Pastel Italian Tiles" by Kaffe in his new book, "Quilt Romance". Who needs sleep when all this fun is waiting for them?
Here's what is done so far. It's still dark this morning to be taking this picture, so it doesn't look as beautiful as it does in 'real life', but you get the idea. I have fussy cut the centers and the quilt just pops right off the display wall.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Girl Gang Progress

I've finally gotten back in my sewing room from all the Christmas chaos! I have been putting together my Jan Patek, "Sunny Days" center of the quilt together. It's been a lot of fun and I am pleased with myself because these are not the colors I'm comfortable with and I didn't do a darn thing last year on my Girl Gang quilt. I have been doing my applique by machine and it's much more effective for me.

These are the bee skeeps. I think they look charming on that floral background.

A close up of the house and trees in the yard. I picked my dog off as he was pathetic and will have to be added later when I decide what to do to fix him.

A close up as one of the birds.

A close up of the chicken. I did the chicken twice as I saw this fabric later and liked it more.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Girl Gang Meeting for and quilts!

Pardon the blurry photo, but I was in a hurry to get this photo for you. Gail brought the most beautiful antique quilt to share with us and I really want to reproduce it someday. It is so beautiful. The woman who made it did a perfect job. All the seams are so tiny and perfectly straight.

This is a close up of one of the blocks. You may not be able to tell by this photo but each block has a stripe in it which adds so much texture and interest.

The border is lots of strips and sets off the center in a charming way. I love this quilt!
I made 3 kinds of muffins for the group to try. We experimented with three different levels of healthy food...#1 a Banana Muffin that used applesauce to replace some of the fat and organic sucanat for the sugar. #2 an Oat Bran Muffin that used olive oil, egg whites and all whole grains, and #3 an Orange Cranberry Muffin that was decadent with white flour, butter and whole eggs from my friend Cindy. (These were my husbands favorites.) You can get that recipe on her blog
Here's the recipes for the other muffins...
Banana Muffins (out of the 20 or so women who taste tested the muffins, these were the overall favorite and they were the healthiest! Maybe we're all just tired of too many sweets from the holidays??!)
1 egg
1 1/3 c. mashed bananas
3/4 c. organic sucanat
1/3 c. applesauce
1 t. vanilla
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder
1 t. sea salt
1 t. cinnamon
1 c. regular oats (I use thick cut oats, sometimes called Scotch or Irish oatmeal)
1/2 c. chocolate chips (use carob or something without a lot of sugar like a dark chocolate)
3/4 c. walnuts, chopped
Mix all ingredients and then pour into greased muffin cups or use paper liners. Bake in 350 degree oven for 15-18 minutes. (Muffins that are made without the added fat of butter or oil don't rise as much as standard muffins. Be aware that they will only come to about the top of the pan.)
Oat Bran Muffins (these were my sons favorites)
2 cups pineapple or apple juice
3/4 c. organic sucanat
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. honey
5 eggs (use 3 whites and 2 whole eggs)
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. sea salt
4 c. Oat Bran Cereal
(1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries added right before baking)
Mix all ingredients in bowl and cover in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. I left mine in overnight so that the flakes would absorb all the liquid. Bake in greased muffin tins at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes. For testing purposes I used Kashi's Heart to Heart Oat Flakes and Wild Blueberry Clusters. Right before baking I added fresh blueberries.
Live Well...Judi