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Sunday, January 30, 2011

I must love my brother

So, two years ago, my brother asked me to make him a pirate's outfit for Halloween. I am sad to say I directed him to a Halloween costume site since I didn't get round to making him a pirate shirt and the rest of the accoutrement for the costume. I did buy him an eye patch, though. And almost got a soft toy parrot as well.

He does not live in the same city as me and so we often chat via Facebook or Skype. One day, he asked me if I would make him some funky cushion covers. He directed me to this picture below. Dig Dug pillows he called them. I do not recall playing this game as a child. Space Invaders, yes. Frogger, yes. But not Dig Dug.
I spent hours trying to figure out the best way to do it. But it kinda fell to the wayside.

He came back and asked if I was going to make him Pacman pillows instead. He sent me this picture instead. The ghosts from Pacman I could identify with. So. after some hemming and hawing, it game me an excuse to increase my quilting stash.

Last weekend, I got to work, trying to figure out how to get this done. Here is evidence I was working on it.

Oy vey!! There are over 200 squares. In order to make a decent sized pillow, each square would need to be about 1 inch. That was a lot of cutting,and sewing. I was going to make him at least 3 pillows. It seems like a very painstaking thing to do.
So, because this weekend, I was snowed in (at least 10 inches of snow over 2 days), I started working on the cushion cover.

Counting squares isn't fun. That was why I gave up on cross stitch. I was too impatient. After two hours, it wasn't even half done.
Oy! Oy! Oy! Still, after over two hours, I kinda got the hang of it and persisted. I am happy to say, it is completed, The jury is still out on whether I am going to complete two more pillow covers...... I know I have a healthy masochistic streak but that seems like a whole lot of work. The orange in the completed cushion cover isn't as bright as I do not have a flash on the Blackberry I took the picture with.The orange is a lot more intense.

I was poking around someone's blog yesterday and she had done a disappearing nine patch which she deconstructed and added plain borders around. I like what she did and I think I am going to do the same with my first quilt top. I still shudder at the thought of unpicking everything but I think for the long run, I will be happier with that decision. Plus, I do think the borders will make the quilt bigger and also improve the way it looks.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Happy New Year ( two weeks late)

Belated Happy 2011!

Christmas was pretty quiet for my family as we don't have little one's to celebrate with. We did have a little bit of excitement, though. My sister adopted another greyhound. It was very hard because we had only recently lost Salvador, her previous greyhound. He was such a sweetie and was so brave to endure bone cancer at such a young age.

Ella came into out lives December 22. She is only 3 years old. All black, full of dandruff and sweet as can be. Well, except for her covert peeing habit. Despite numerous attempts to take her out to pee, she hasn't gotten the concept fully and still pees inside the house. In part, it is because she is allowed to drink water all the time and she is not used to that. She is from Miami and is adjusting well to the frigid north. She runs around in doggie jammies and has an outdoor coat as well as booties. Van Gogh doesn't seem to mind her and although they don't play much together, they get along. She does seem to like cuddling, much to Van Gogh's chagrin.

I've also been working on a new quilt. It is blocks of coins and I can't wait to see it done. I love the bright colours and am slowly working on getting more coins made. I think I meed about 50 or 60 blocks. for a decent sized quilt.

Oh, yeah, did anyone notice my new blog layout? I have been a big fan of The Graphics Fairy and was poking around last night and also found that she has also crated free backgrounds so I thought, why not? New year, new look too, right?

Last year, for Christmas, I felt I needed a challenge and so I challenged my mum to a Sugee Cake Throwdown. Sorta like Bobby Flay and his throwdowns, I wanted to see if I could recreate the family sugee cake. Sugee or suji or sooji is cream of wheat or semolina (not to be confused with salmonella. The name sugee is east indian in origin. The Sugee Cake is a Eurasian specialty. Recipes are passed down and guarded jealously. Some people think it came from Sri Lanka or India but no matter what. it is a very rich cake, with loads of butter, and eggs. I used to call it the heartclogger cake as it required 22 egg yolks and 1 1/2 lb of butter.
Along with raisins, chopped almonds and also candied winter melon.

I made three attempts. The first two were just trail runs and the third was my mama's recipe. The trail runs were from miscellaneous recipes I gleaned from the web. Christmas eve, we had my dad and by brother in law taste test the cakes (was competing against mum) and I happened to win unanimously. I felt badly for mum but seeing it was my first time, I think I did well. I got my sister to freeze most of it since it is far too much a temptation, sitting around. She claimed that the cake called to her in Malay, inviting her to eat it. So, we may take some sugee cake out at Easter or maybe at our birthdays.