Category Archives: Uncategorized

Moo Creamery in Bakersfield, CA

A couple of months ago, the hubby and I and some friends trekked ourselves up to Fresno to check out the Blooming Trail. I’ll talk about that experience another time. But on the way up, we stopped at Moo Creamer in Bakersfieldm CA for lunch.

My friends and I found this spot while on a quilt retreat in 2019 (before all hell broke loose and all our retreats got cancelled) and we’d been dying to go back since.

The food was excellent and it was nice to know that it wasn’t just a fond memory and wonderful quilty weekend that made us feel like it was a great place to eat. It actually was a geat food experience. It was a little uncomfortable because their mask adherence and social distancing standards were not the same as in LA so we were a little uncomfortable. (they had indoor dining). We chose to sit outside in the far corner with about 6′ to the closest person. Thankfully our waiters were somewhat compliant with the mask wearing. Most of the patrons were not wearing masks and I felt like an outsider.

On to the food.

Moo Creamery French Toast

Hubby got French toast with honey butter (extra) and a side of eggs. The French toast was so very good. If we were not in public, the hubby would have done his happy food dance.

Moo Creamery Sticky Toffee Pudding

I got a couple of dessert stuff. I wasn’t hungry for lunch as I had a late heavy breakfast. I’m not so attached to Moo Creamery’s regular food (lunch dinner breakfast) – Don’t get me wrong, it’s good. It’s just not worth the calories, the money, and the room it takes in my tummy. Espeially when I can fill my tummy with desserts. So I got the sticky toffee pudding and the affogato.

was very similar and also very good. it had the same bread used on the french toast with pecans cinimmaon whip cream

Moo Creamery Affogato

affogato was our top choice our first time coming and it was

as good as expected. a definite pleasing sensation.

Moo Creamery Spicy Garlic Fries

spicy garlic fries – was also good but I could have done with out it. i can’t eat spicy so …

2021 Crafty Plans, February Update

February is almost over and I’m finally getting to my crafty plan update. I went into extensive detail on my plans here, for quilty here, for knitty here, and for cross stitch here.

Here’s the short list:

Quilts –

  • Jan Krentz – Diamond Star
  • Bonnie Hunter – Grassy Creek – this is the only project I’ve made any progress on and I’m on clue 4. See here for the most recent post.
  • Scrappy Stars Around the Corner
  • Dancing with the Stars
  • Radiant Jewel
  • Gardenvale
  • Allietare
  • Civil War Diary Quilt

Hand work

  • Hawaiian block – finished top. At the moment, it’s hanging around where I can enjoy it. I think it will be a pillow but for now I’m letting it sit while I contemplate what I want it to be.
  • Raining Cats and Dogs – I work on this every week but it’s a slow slow process. I’m stitching the buttons on and doing some laborious hand quilting. This is going to take forever.
  • Rainbow Garden – I’ve not touched this in about a year.
  • Simple Days BOM – I started this and you can see my update here.
  • Halloween quilt – I’ve not touched this in many years. 🙂

Handwork was not on my crafty list at all but it seems that is what I’m drawn to at the moment. We have to go where the creativity takes us. 🙂

Knitting

  • My Weasley Sweater – my Q1 goal was to knit the back and I finished that. So I’ve set this aside until Q2.
  • 24 days of Christmas Shawl from Jimmy Bean – finished! I’m working on weaving the ends.
  • Water Lily
  • Beanie for Kayla
  • Tranquil Mist
  • Orient Express
  • Blue Hat

Cross Stitching

  • Gamer Nouveau – I’ve worked on this almost exclusively and I’ll need to provide you with a more current update. I worked on it so much I have no urge to stitch on this at all. But I’m so close to a page and row finish that I’m feeling like I may just keep going until I do.
  • A Stitch In Time
  • Shades of Red
  • Autumn Owls – a bit of work on this. Not enough to see much of a difference
  • Titania
  • Tsuru kame – a couple hundred stitches put on this one. Again, just not enough to actually see change. 🙂
  • Unicorn

And I realize that I didn’t even mention my to be quilted list… here.

  • Staycation is done… practically. The binding has been sewn on by machine but I’m working on applique’ing the label. My goal is to get that finished before we head out of town on Friday.
  • Good Fortune
  • Glam Clam
  • SoCal Quilt Run Area 4 Mystery Quilt from 2012
  • SoCal Quilt Run Area 4 Mystery Quilt from 2012
  • Provence
  • saved top from the august treasure hunt some years ago

I hope this isn’t so boring for you as it’s simply a short (but very long) list to quickly refer to everything I’m working on.

Happy Crafting!

Melanie

Mask making in my house

Last Sunday I posted that I really don’t enjoy making masks. Early on I tried a bunch of different kinds. I can’t tell you what they were called but some had 4 different templates to cut out and took forever just to make 1 mask. I don’t have a lot of crafting time and I was very against using my little bit of precious time doing something I didn’t enjoy doing. Later on I saw this mask tutorial on Facebook and while not perfect was much quicker to make than others. And my daughter likes this mask than any of the other masks I made. My husband will use what I make him as long as he could find them. But he really likes the ones that we got for free from various places. My son doesn’t like the ones I make and that’s why I don’t make him much of anything. He doesn’t mean to be mean. He’s a teenage boy. Enough said.

My daughter is leaving for Boston in a few days so I spent the last few days making masks for her. It’s been several months since I made the last set and I had forgotten some of the tips and tricks that I knew when I was making masks more regularly. I decided to make this post so I had a place to look and remind myself when next I make masks.

I bought some of these fabrics for my nieces and nephews and my daughter will get to enjoy some of them even though she’s 19! But her mask recipe is… 11″ x 6.3″ rectangles. If you looked at the tutorial you would know what these mean. The diagonal she prefers, and actually fits me and my son is 2″ down and 2.75″ at the top (from right to left). Here’s where I have to be careful, the crease in the middle, needs to be .5-.75″ from the center. The tutorial is .75″ but I feel that makes too big of a crease. The .5 might be a bit small so somewhere between would be just right. For my daughter, if I do a quarter inch seam for the top and the bottom, it’s a perfect fit. But I feel like it’s too bulky with all the fabric. I like to sew an eighth inch seam as that helps reduce the bulk inside. But the problem is that the end result makes a slightly bigger mask. It tends to cover her eyes. So, I need to do the quarter inch seam despite the bulk. If I am making it for me I want to do something between the quarter and the 8th inch. If I am making it for my son, the 8th inch seam seems to be fine.

The next issue is the elastic. My daughter likes the elastic at 6.5″ for each ear. This works for me too. This is too small for my son and I really need to figure out how long it needs to be for him. I will get a chance to figure it out since I will need to make my son some plain black ones at some point. He keeps misplacing the free ones he gets from various places.

Happy mask masking, if you are still making masks.

~Melanie

Upcoming speakers at my guild

2020-2021 SFVQA Opportunity Quilt

The speaker for my next guild meeting is Laura Wasilowski “Art Quilts: The Musical”. This is a members only meeting. It’s open to two of our local sister guilds. The meeting is this coming Monday, 1/11/2021. If this interests you our current membership for half the year (Jan – May) is $20 + $20 for opportunity tickets, for a total of $40.

Some upcoming speakers are:

February 8: Pam Holland “My Life Journals in Textiles”

March 8: Becky McDaniel “Appliqué Journey”

April 12: Kathy McNeil “Quilting for Health and Happiness”

These may or may not be open to the public so if any of these are interesting to you, I recommend purchasing a mid year membership from the guild’s website, sfvqa.net. We often have workshops with our speakers as well. Those are $40/workshop and not all of the speakers are having workshops this year. I do not know yet which are having workshops and which are not right now as that seems to be a fluid thing this year. Again, we offer first opportunities to our members and if the workshop is not filled, open it to the public. As you can expect, the Alex Anderson workshop filled up really quick and left only 2 slots available to the public .

What are your guilds doing during these tumultuous times?

~Melanie

Happy New Year!

Weasley Sweater’s 12/25/2020 3 of 4 sweaters done! I’m starting mine in 2021

2020 was a difficult year but there is a lot to be grateful for.

  1. I spent a lot of time with my family. I have 2 kids, my daughter is 19 and in her second year of college. My son is 15 and in his second year of high school. They are both practically grown and while my son still lives at home, he’s in his own world. My daughter lives in Boston during the school year. I am grateful for this little bit of time together. I know as they get older, these moments will be very rare.
  2. We bought a house. We never thought we’d do so. In fact, we were adamant about being renters forever. But several circumstances came together and we did this. There are still a lot of times where I question the rights and wrongs of this thing but, I do love starting a garden, fixing things the way I want things fixed, and buying things on a permanent level rather than a temporary one.
  3. I’m an introvert and I love staying home. I loved not having to make excuses or find reasons to stay home. It just was.
  4. My little community came together to help each other. My closest friends cooked, went shopping for, and helped wherever we could (from a distance). We did drop offs, we zoomed every chance we got.
  5. My quilt guild created an online community. First, my Sunday minigroup moved to zoom. Then we invited the guild. We went from 2-4 people in person to 12- 15 people online. And then we started having our meetings on Zoom and then, we went crazy and started inviting national and international quilt stars to speak and teach. That has been great and I hope we continue our online portion even when we are able to meet in person. Some of our members have moved away and it’s nice to see them on zoom.

It’s easy to point to the crazy stuff of 2020 and be glad that it’s over. But without the crazy stuff, the things I’m grateful for would not have come to existence. I’m grateful for my family, my friends, my community and everything we did to stick together to make it through. We’ve lost some of our members and we will always remember them.

Hugs,

Melanie

Getting ready for BFSI

I’m writing this in advance because I know the week of Thanksgiving is going to be busy and I want to continue posting on a weekly basis. Knowing that and if everything goes as planned, here’s what I imagine posting on Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

BFSI stands for Black Friday Sew In. Back in the day, we used to do #BFSI on Twitter. I’m wondering if anyone plans on doing anything this year… I’m not on Twitter as much but once in a while I’ll jump on and see all the missed notifications and comments. My blog links to my twitter page so any blog posts get tweeted automatically but I don’t get notified of any comments or likes until I log in, which I don’t do much. It’s always fun to see who comments and such. There are usually 2 or 3 of the folks still on and I try to respond when I see it.

The Quilter Twitter community became the Twilters and then a group was created on Facebook. I jump in once in awhile to see what’s going on and sometimes I even comment. A few months ago I tried cutting back on my Facebook/Instagram addiction and it worked until the week of the elections. I was on there so much that week. I’m slowly weaning myself off again.

For Thanksgiving this year, the hubby, baby boy, and I drove up last Friday evening. My mom’s birthday was 11/22 (Sunday) and all she wanted was help to clean her garage. So we trekked up North despite Covid and all the risks (I know!). Baby girl joined us later via direct flight from Boston to SFO. She’ll be staying with us until the start of next semester taking her remaining classes online. And we got the garage cleaned. Yay! We decided not to stay through Thanksgiving to avoid the traffic. Who knows if there will be traffic this year but we didn’t want to risk it.

Truthfully, we I wanted to be with my sewing machine and my stash on Friday – #BFSI. As always, I look forward to Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt each year. I don’t always get them done or even started, but I am excited to work on this one. Here are her links…

Bonnie’s Blog

Bonnie’s Website

Grassy Creek Tab

You can see all the details of the mystery quilt under the Grassy Creek link. But the Blog and Website will provide more info on her, what she does and her shop. I can’t imagine not knowing about Bonnie, especially if you read blogs and have been online for years. But I run into quilters in my day to day life who don’t know her so, check her links out if this is the first time you’ve heard of her.

I recently looked at the first mystery quilt I did and it was Easy Street from 2012. I heard of Bonnie through Katie’s Quilting Corner which was one of my favorite podcasts. She no longer podcasts but maybe she still has the old episodes up. I haven’t looked. I’m doing the mystery this year because I enjoy the community around this mystery quilt. This year, most especially, I miss the community around quilting and such. My quilt guild and my quilty friends have helped a lot with our Sunday Zoom days and our mini group meetings twice a month (on Zoom, of course).

Anyway, apparently it’s not enough and I need the online quilting community too. For blogs, we post a picture on Mondays and link to her linky. On Facebook, there’s a friendly group that shares all they are doing on the mystery quilt. For Instagram, we find each other with different hashtags. Usually something like #bonniehuntermysteryquilt2020 or #grassycreekmysteryquilt. This is what I plan to be doing on Black Friday! 🙂

~ Keep on Quilting

Melanie

Update on my current socks

Geeky Girls Knit 5th podiversary Current Status 11/17/2020

I’ve not been very good taking progress pictures and posting them anywhere, here Instagram, Facebook… So here you are. It’s been about 2.5 months since I started which is a really long time for me. Mentally, I’m already done with the project.

What you can’t see in the picture is that the heel is already done and I’m working on the leg. I realized that I can finish this now because I’m not one for a long leg and in fact, really like shorties instead. So, I’m finishing up the pattern and will start on the cuff shortly. I think I’ve got 4 rows or so left in the patter. I am very close to a finish.

You might be able to tell some weirdness in the toe area. The original pattern has you purling and purling and purling but after a weekend of purling the toes my hand/thumb/wrist were in so much pain I couldn’t knit for 2 weeks. I decided to turn the toes inside out and just purl where I needed to in the front to keep the pattern but then knit the back side.

~ Knit on my friends

Melanie

Apple Pie

I forgot to show off the lovely Apple Pie my friend made with the fresh picked apples. Because she was smart and mixed the tart and sweet apples, it was delicious. My family and I couldn’t finish all of this. We tried but only ate half of it. The rest, we cut into 2 quarters and put one quarter in the freezer while the 2nd quarter sits in the fridge for us to snack on.

Oak Glen, CA – Apple Picking

B

Before the end of Apple Picking season, a couple of friends and I went off to Oak Glen, CA to pick some apples. It’s one of my favorite things to do.

I would go every year but sometimes life gets in the way.

We got Winesap, Arkansas Black, Pippens, Granny Smith, and Red Delicious. I found that of these, I really enjoyed the Winesap. Arkansas Black was also very good but Winesap was the best.

I also learned that the sweeter apples ripen earlier in the season around August/September while the more tart apples are later. My friends and I made a note to try coming in August. It tends to be very hot around here at that time, so it’s not usually top of mind to go apple picking in August.
With the apples, I made Apple Sauce with my new Instant Pot. It was delicious but not sweet enough. I’m currently eating a spoonful at a time with my morning Oatmeal. I plan to make more this weekend but mix more sweeter apples with the tart apples to help with the sweetness.