Saturday, July 10, 2010

Flowers and another fabulous recipe

Today I walked outside and found the first lily blooming. I bought 2 at the Iris Farm this spring. (M-72 5 Miles from Traverse City.) Also its been so hot and humid my hibiscus thinks its in a tropical paradise and its blooming.

Then I went to coffee at our clubhouse where friends meet once a month. The ladies started talking about Beer Biscuits and they sounded so good I came home and tried them. You need a package of biscuit mix,sugar and beer. Use the recipe on the package for regular biscuits but mix 5 tbls of sugar in with the mix and add beer instead of any other liquid called for. Mine took 1 1/2 cups mix, 5 tbls sugar and 1/2 cup beer. They warned not to use lite beer, I used Samuel Adams Boston Lager.

Boy, those biscuit were so good, we sat down to eat leftover chili (from the recipe previously posted) and we ate all 12 biscuits. Do try this recipe, its fabulous. The sugar and beer make the biscuits puffy and really gives them a great texture.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Not everything turns out as expected....

Tuesday I started my "after the 4th" garden flag. It was going to be a generic-type summer flag, something I could use summer after summer. So Tuesday evening I sat down and started. I thought I'd try something different with the actual flag so I got out my serger manual and learned how to do a rolled hem. Boy, that turned out super, and it was VERY easy to do on my Babylock Evolve. Nothing to it, I had the whole thing hemmed and the casing sewn in. Ready to roll with the embroidery machine!
The first thing one has to do is get the Tweets sewn because they are the biggest part of the design and there's a lot of stitches to them. Also its a bit dense so you have to make sure you have a good stabilizer and hoop it tight. I use a sticky spray behind the flag fabric to help hold the whole thing down flat onto the stabilizer and I baste the area around the design with the help of Embird, my chosen software. So I started. The Tweets take 3 hours to sew out. There's 53,333 stitches in the Gardening Tweets design. No biggie, I sewed until I was tired and then turned off the machine. As long as I didn't move the design area around before I started sewing, I could start again. I marked on my color chart where to start the next day and went to bed. Whoops, I forgot the sticky spray sort of disintegrates over fabric got a bit bubbly as I continued to sew...In spite of it, Wednesday I finished up the tweets.

For the dog in the corner, I added a hat from an Embroidery Library Sunflower Sam design and some daisies from another design I have in my stash. The dog will be running through the daisies under the bird tree, wearing a sun hat. That turned out as expected, it didn't take nearly as long to sew the dog as it did the tweets. Next I sewed 2 butterflies and then the lettering at the top and I was done. The whole design has 84,621 stitches and the machine told me it would take 157 minutes. I really don't know how long it took since yesterday as I was sewing I had to stop and take the dog to the groomers, stop again to pick him up, stop again to eat lunch.....but finally I was finished. I had about 30 minutes before I had to leave for another appointment. I wanted to get the flag out so thought I'd steam it a bit to see if I could straighten out the fabric some.

OH NO....which is not what I actually said....I'll leave that up to your imagination...I turned the iron on and set it at the highest setting so that it would steam. Touched the iron to the fabric and MELTED IT! I was sick!!! My flag was ruined.

I turned the iron off and went to get my hair cut and realized as I was sitting there that I hadn't really ruined any of the embroidery, just the flag fabric. So I came home and cut the design out (hopefully far enough away from the embroidery for a seam). I decided to make a blank flag and sew the embroidered part onto it. Not sure how its going to turn out, maybe the whole thing will be a waste of time but you never know....
Here's the design as its planned out on the computer:

And here's the unfortunate leftovers after melting the fabric:'s the final flag, not perfect but its outside anyway. Luckily its inside my courtyard and no one can get close to it unless the really want to come in and inspect.

Not too bad, considering.