Friday, May 22, 2015

Weekly report~

the Burr Oak

I finished basting two more applique blocks.  These blocks are 28 1/2" square so it not only uses big pieces of fabric but it takes a while to get it all prepped.

the Winter Rose
 I also pieced many of the many of the backgrounds.  The one above looks busy but when the other blocks with that sampler background are put together - it won't stand out so much

the 1st block - the Hedge Apple

Here they are spread out on the grass.  The oak leaf is going to be challenging with all those curves in the leaves.  I think I applique it first to get it over with.  I might save the hedge apple till last because it looks so easy with the circles.  It will be my reward for appliqueing the harder pieces.

I also started the cute little quilt called "Farm Vintage". My fabric arrived this week (Pam Kitty Garden) and so I began with the chick.

I don't have the legs or eye embroidered yet.  The sweet yellow fabric has cute little pink birds holding umbrellas.

The red print in this star block has cows in it.  The piece is from my stash but it seemed like a good piece to include in a farm quilt.

Our youngest son is ENGAGED!!!  Here they are at a family gathering last Sunday.

This is another son with his favorite buddy.  That dog is the sweetest gentle feel-good dog ever.

My youngest grandson has the cutest little dirty face in this picture.  Look at the twinkle in his eyes.

It's iris season at out house.  Here's a quick peek of all the different varieties we have.

Ironically, my favorite variety didn't bloom at all this year.  AND, we have about 10 plants.  Inquiring minds wonder. . . . . .

We have had so much rain this month, over 200% of normal in some areas.  Last Sunday when we were traveling to Ogden I took this picture of downtown from the freeway.  There is so much moisture in the air that I couldn't get a clear picture.  Also, if it was clear you could see how GREEN the foothills are.  We're not used to constant rain.  We've had 9 consecutive days of moisture.  The record is 12 - I wonder if we'll make a new record this year.

We also had the driest winter on record.  Mother Nature sure can be fickle.

The rainy days aren't very inspiring.  I just don't have as much ambition and enthusiasm when the sun isn't shining for days on end.  I do sit under my Ott lamp when I quilt so at least I'm getting some exposure.  No S. A. D.  for me.


Friday, May 15, 2015

Pompions, pie, and the Sanderson Star Quilt

"For pottage, and puddings, and custards, and pies,
Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies.
We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon:
If it were not for pumpkins, we should be undoon."

Pumpkins or "pompions" were a standby of the early New England Settlements.

This is the quilt on the frames and it's putting me into a fall-like mood.  I'm really enjoying the hand quilting using black and orange 12 wt. thread and big stitches.  Although my big stitches should really be called big spaces because I haven't quite got the rhythm going yet.

Because I'm thinking about fall and the temps are in the 50's I decided to make a pie out of the sweet potatoes I bought.  I thought I was buying yams, which I love, but I ended up with 5 sweet potatoes and neither DH or I are fond of them.

So, I pulled out the 1940's cookbook and made Sweet Potato Pie.  The partial recipe is above.  Doesn't the Pumpkin Pie with cream and POOLS OF HONEY above the recipe sound tempting?

I already had a baked pie shell so I cooked the filling like pudding in a saucepan until thick and then poured it into the shell.  Waited for it to cool - not!  It was very satisfying.

I finished the blue and white crown of thorns quilt that I've been hand quilting for two years.  It turned out rather lovely I think~  I haven't washed it yet and am a bit hesitant.  I don't want to take the newness away.  But after two years of being dragged to Wisconsin and back, it needs a bath.

Just a reminder of the border quilting.
I did a knife edge binding.  It was rather tedious to do.  I don't have a picture of the completed binding.

The inspiration for this quilt is found in the book Quilts & Coverlets - The Beamish Collections by Rosemary E. Allan.  I tried to find a link but I can't find anywhere that this books is available for sale.

The book has wonderful pictures and histories of the quilts of Northern England and Wales.  It is a treasure trove.

This quilt is the Sanderson Star.  It was my inspiration.  I wanted to make a two color quilt with a fairly simple piecing design and then quilt it intensely like this quilt and others in the book.

This is the quilting design - gasp!

A red and white version of the Sanderson Star.

I quilted the pieced blocks both in the ditch and 1/4" inside each seam.  I came up with my own idea for the quilting in the white spaces.  It was truly a labor of love.

Off to enjoy another piece of pie.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Robin & Ruby update

I tried the fried polenta last night.  The best part of it was the maple syrup.  Won't try that again.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Finally on the frames

I finally have my version of Hallowe'en 1904 by Blackbird Designs on the quilting frames.  I had to get my applique project off of the sewing table so I could piece the back.  More on that later.

I spent a good 2 hrs. crawling around the backing smoothing it - spreading out the batting smoothing it - then spreading the top and crawling around pin basting.  Who says quilting ISN'T an aerobic exercise?

This is the backing.  I found it for a steal a few years ago.  It seemed like the perfect backing to use. It's by Thimbleberries.

My oldest daughter in all her silliness - made me this mermaid for Mother's Day.  Isn't she Great?!!

Long purple tresses

Intricate weaving on the body.
 I've named her Merleen.  I knew a sweet young thing when I was a girl with that name although I spelled it differently.  It makes me laugh everytime I look at her.

The applique project I started had pieces all over and so I collected them and basted them into place so they wouldn't get lost before I could sew the backing together.

And here it is all ready for me to start stitching.  I've got to prep 8 more blocks before I start though.  I know myself.  If I finish this block and don't get around to prepping the next one it will become a UFO.  If I prep all the blocks at once (while the enthusiasm is fresh), I can make certain I have enough of each fabric and when I'm ready to stitch I'll just pull the next block and proceed.

cornmeal soaking in water

I've decided to do a "Julie & Julia" sort of thing.  I'm going to call it Robin & Ruby.  I've got my grandmother's Betty Crocker cookbook from the 1940's and I'm going to go through it and make everything I can.  The book is over a half-century old (so am I) and the cooking trends have definitely changed.  I think it will be a fun experiment.  The cookbook like me, does things mostly from scratch.

The first thing I made is something very easy.  I made Polenta (corn meal mush) to use instead of mashed potatoes in a pork dish.  I know this is done a lot in some countries in eastern Europe but I've never tried it.

To be honest, I would rather have mashed potatoes.  But, I poured the excess in a loaf pan and I'm going to slice it, dip it in flour, and fry it tonight to eat with Maple Syrup (from Wisconsin).

I wonder what I'll try next. . .

Friday, May 1, 2015

Sauntering into a new project

Here are the fabrics I've selected for the next project.  I pre-washed and pressed them all this morning.  I bought the pinks and teals in "Ye Olde School House in Cedarburg Wisconsin.  It's an amazing store, I just wish I could find them on the internet. I bought the teals at Primitive Gatherings in Menasha Wisconsin.

I am going to make this quilt  - the squares are 28" - big pieces.  It is from the book below.  It calls for 9 1/2" of jumbo rick rack which I am considering.  It also calls for Rit tan dye.  I can't find anywhere what you're supposed to do with the dye.  I guess I need to check the pickledish site for updates. (I did and couldn't find any corrections or explanations etc.)

The gorgeous shrimp pinks etc.
 Nice shot of my cutting mat don't you think?  It ties in with the aquas in the fabrics rather nicely - ha!

The backgrounds, not sure I will use the bottom one.
 I have four fat quarters of the sampler prints from Rhubarb and Ginger by Blackbird Designs.  It is from many years ago but this seems like the perfect quilt to put them in.  It pays to save things~

The teals, kind of an eclectic group but it works for me.
 I think I need to find a few more teals/greens but this will work to give me a start.

The browns for the vases.
 I picked out four browns for the vases.  I'm leaning toward the toile 2nd from the bottom but I don't think I have enough for all 8 vases.  My next choice is the one on the top.  You can't tell from the picture but it has a little blue/green leaf that ties it into the the rest. I don't think that little leaf could compete with my cutting mat in the camera's eye.

I finished the 'Sunny Lanes' quilt top.  I am making it for a man so I tried to tone things down just a little with the dark blue border.  The only problem is this man owns a little dog with white fur that will show up all over the border.  Right now it is covered in threads. . . . . . .

The boxes of fabric that my sister gave to me a few months ago contained two previously started quilts.  This one is so bright and springy.  There is the sample block above and all the pieces are cut out.  She has two borders already cut and she has the backing fabric.  There are only 12 blocks in the little quilt with sashing and pinwheel cornerstones.

I decided I'd just sew this together gradually - when I feel like sitting in front of the sewing machine instead of quilting or appliqueing.  I won't be in any hurry and it will be a nice diversion from the darker colors I'm usually working with.  Today I will draw diagonal lines on the little gold squares so they'll be ready to be made into flying geese units at some point.

Have a fun Friday.

News from Bonar Bridge

Hawaiian print quilt top is my daughter's project Here is a look at "Quilting Central" down in my basement.  Finishing up UFOs...