Sunday, July 21, 2019

Rosewood Quilt & Garden update

Just like with children, you're not supposed to have a favorite.  But I can't help having a few favorite customers.
This is ROSEWOOD, by Moda.  So pretty.

As usual, when I do "custom" quilting there is a ton of stitch-in-the-ditch.

When the s.i.d. is complete I go back and put in the motifs.

This quilt got lots of feathers.

GARDEN UPDATE & THE NO-ZUCCHINI REPORT

Well, this is really embarrassing.  Downright humiliating.  I have a buddy who lives on Manitoulin Island and she has picked her first zucchini.  Me?  I got nothin'.  There is no excuse for that - it's plenty hot (!) with a 44 c. humidex, and there's been plenty of rain - we had another huge t-storm last night.  I guess my plants just need a good talking-to.
In other more respectable news, I have quit picking asparagus.  I will let it just grow for the rest of the summer so it'll be nice and lush next year.  The peas are still producing, although they don't really love the heat, so unless it cools down a bit they might give up the ghost.
The garlic is ready to be dug, as far as I can tell.  I had a couple of heads that rotted, but they were volunteers, not my "real" crop.  Hopefully the real ones are ok.
The raspberries have started to produce.  Yay, Snoopy dance!  Normally I manage to freeze enough to get me through my yogurt-&-fruit lunches until late winter.
I picked my first cabbage this week.  I used one half for a coleslaw and shared the other half with a friend.  A whole head is just too darned much.
It has been so stinking hot & humid this week that no weeding has taken place, and my flower beds are really starting to look like it.  It's cooled down a bit today so maybe I'll get out there later.  I spent a few evenings in the veggie beds putting down my red-neck mulch of newspapers & grass clippings (this year, those clippings have been mixed with chicken manure from the down-the-road farmer).  That mulch ends up being a real life saver when it comes to weeding.  Yes, it takes a lot of sweaty work in the beginning but over the course of the summer it definitely pays off.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Blue Stripes For Summer & Some Cooking

I've got a really interesting customer who designs her own quilts.  Medallion quilts are a challenge at the best of times, so I was VERY impressed by this one.

The quilting was kept simple (by that I mean visually, not technically - anyone who's done stitch-in-the-ditch on a longarm will understand what I'm saying).

Oh, I just LOVE pieced backs.

You can see most of the quilting designs in this pic.

OK, here's my "brag" shot.  That clematis was so gorgeous this year.  Likely because of the cool and rainy spring.  People didn't like that, but the perennials were sure happy.

My beautiful peonies, too!

SOME COOKING

I've had asparagus coming out my ying yang, and I'm still picking - not as much as in June but enough for a side dish once or twice a week.  Peas are getting added to the mix now too.  Yum.

  • Easiest asparagus cooking ever:  peel those stringy stalks, then chop into two inch-ish pieces.  Throw them in an olive-oiled saute pan with some chopped garlic and chopped ginger.  Cook for 5 - 10 minutes, depending on how soft you want the veggies.  One minute before you're done, add one teaspoon of honey and one teaspoon of sesame oil.  That one minute will melt the honey and blend the sesame oil.  Done.
STRAWBERRIES:
This is a delicious cake.  Because I make my own yogurt and I save the whey, I use whey as a substitute for the buttermilk.  Found on  Sweet Cayenne .  When the raspberries start producing I will try this recipe with raspberries, too.


Strawberry Buttermilk Cake from Back in the Day Bakery

This Strawberry Buttermilk Cake recipe is an easy cake you can whip up in no time on a nice spring day. It's perfect to make when you're expecting last minute company to enjoy with a cup of coffee! Adapted from the Back In The Day Bakery Cookbook by Cheryl and Griffith Day
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • ½ cup buttermilk I used lowfat
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pound strawberries hulled and halved
  • Optional: confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and make sure you have a rack in the center. Butter and flour the bottom and sides of a 9-inch deep dish pie pan. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl if you plan to use a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed. This should take 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the egg, buttermilk, and vanilla, mixing until just blended, about 1 minute.
  • Gradually add the flour to the butter mixer with the mixer on low speed until just combined.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and use a rubber spatula to fold in any flour residue into the batter.
  • Add the batter to your prepared pie pan and use the rubber spatula to smooth out the top. Tap the pan firmly on the counter to remove any air bubbles and ensure the batter is evenly distributed. Arrange the strawberries on top of the batter, cut side down, into a design of your choice.
  • Bake the cake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven heat to 325 degrees F and bake for 45-55 minutes more until the cake is set, the edges are golden, and a toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack.
  • Dust the cake in the pan with powdered sugar before serving. You can slice it straight out of the pie pan.
  • Store the cake in a airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 3 days. It’s wonderful chilled or warmed!

OK, I'm going back out to the garden to weed now.  Still.  Again.  Whatever...

Monday, July 1, 2019

Happy Canada Day, and Quilt Canada

This is a great quilt to feature today, don't you think?  I feel so blessed to live in this great country.
Pantograph "Oh Canada".

Quilt Canada was held in Ottawa this year.  I had to grit my teeth to sign up for that - back many years ago when I was on the road with Royal Bank, everything "bad" that ever happened to me took place in Ottawa.  I accidently set a cash dispenser on fire, a childhood friend I bumped into stood me up for dinner, I was left stranded by a co-worker, etc, etc, etc.  But, you know, BEACH GIRLS, so I had to go.

THIS trip, my cell phone developed a bug that I still haven't managed to get rid of (must call Samsung...), and my credit card was declined at the Keg - even though it worked everywhere else.  Considering that I was there for the better part of five days I guess that's not so bad.

I took an Improv Piecing class with Krista Hennebury, which was a fun day.  Eventually I will set these bits into a quilt.

Here was breakfast one morning.  I loved the juxtaposition of the Froot Loops with the "healthy" breakfast.  That just made me laugh. 😄

This is the quilt that Diane had entered in the show.

Yes, those are all teeny-tiny little 9-patches.

Well, she was a big winner.  This is the ribbon for Excellence in Piecing.  Later in the week she found out she ALSO won Viewer's Choice.  Wow - big congratulations!!!

This was my favorite quilt from the show.  It evoked the fun times I always enjoy on my road trips with the girls.

A bit of a closeup.

This was the jaw-dropper for me.
One of the blocks.

Besides my improv class, I attended the lecture by David Taylor.  Hah, the guy is hilarious.  And he's very scornful of both fusible applique and raw-edge applique.  If you check out his his web site you will see why - all of his work is hand applique and it is INCREDIBLE. 

Another lecture was by Andrea Tsang-Jackson where she talked about the immigrant quilt and her summer as artist-in-residence.  She had the quilt with her and it was really something to see.

I was part of Laura Coia's Sew Very Easy Youtube Live show.  And when I say "part of" I mean that I paid money to be in the audience. 😉 This included a pattern and a bit of swag.

The free lecture by E-Quilter was very interesting too.  She presented a slide show from international quilt shows. 
Also this, in case you are working on any entries:

It was a great week, and now it's back to the grind.  Well, if you can call quilting a grind???

Sunday, June 23, 2019

A Few More Vintage Quilts

Back in April I posted a vintage quilt and the same customer brought a few more.  I always get such a warm fuzzy feeling when these are finished and OUT of the closet.

Log cabin.  Love. 💓


For this Dresden Plate, first you need to see where it started.  

I always love the transformation.


Working with a scrappy palette, using 5" squares, is not new.


You may notice that these quilts already have the binding attached, and they're ready for trimming/hand stitching.  I have several customers who like having that part done for them, because manouvering a large quilt around on a domestic sewing machine is kind of hard work.

There has been a lot of this going on.

The garden is mostly planted, and some is RE-planted because of the rainy, cool spring.  Yes, the zucchini is growing nicely! 😆

Next week, (assuming I manage to return to weekly-ish blogging) I will tell you about my trip to Quilt Canada in Ottawa.


Sunday, May 19, 2019

Geisha Quilt and My Thoughts On Politics-and-Religion

This lovely geisha quilt was made using a center panel and co-ordinating fabrics.

As per my normal process, this got s.i.d. along the border, around the outside of the kimono shape, and outlining of the geishas.  In the kimono I used an Asian-style design with flowers and flowing lines.  The geishas have some quilting along the design lines - enough to keep them hanging nice and flat once this goes on the maker's wall.

The burgundy area was quilted with hanging diamonds, and there's a floral border design in the outer border.

Ok, here we go with my thoughts on Politics-and-Religion

It's been all over the news about the anti-abortion laws that are being passed in the U.S., with the end goal being to challenge and overturn Roe v Wade.  If Donald Trump alone wasn't enough reason for me to stay the hell out of the U.S. (although he actually IS enough reason) there are now several states that reaffirm my decision to stay here in Canada.  These laws are horrifying to me for the same reason radicalism of ANY sort frightens me.  At my age it's obviously NOT because I worry about my own circumstances.

However, just outside of my little town, there's a Provincial MPP who is 21 years old (yes - twenty-one) who attended the Pro-Life rally that was happening outside the Legislature.  He wasn't alone - there were two other MPP's there on stage with him.  If you don't feel like following the above link, here's a quote from him:  we pledge to fight to make abortion unthinkable in our lifetime

This boy still lives at home with his parents - he has zero life experience. He was home-schooled, which may be good for his book learning but it's a pretty insular upbringing. He's taking his religious morality and politicizing it - he needs to take a step back and do what he was elected to do, which is to represent the needs of the constituents in his riding.  He has no business dictating what may or may not happen between a woman's legs - that is between her, her partner, and HER God - not his.

Just because I think he's a stupid asshat I'll share this with you too (in case you missed it) ... a few days before that rally, his constituency staff called the cops on 15 senior citizens who were having a "read-in" in his office to protest library cuts. Dangerous, scary grey-hairers.  With books. Oooooh... 😱  Geez. Talk about having some fucked up people running the country.

We maintain a separation of Church and State here in Canada, and it should stay that way.  Grow up Sam.


Sunday, May 12, 2019

Away From Home Quilt

AWAY FROM HOME is a book by Nancy Rink Designs.  Link HERE.  If you went to the quilt show in Ingersoll last weekend you would have seen this quilt hanging in the show.

I really love the combination of pieced blocks, multiple borders, and applique.

There was a great deal of s.i.d. on this quilt.

Cross-hatching behind applique is a very time consuming endeavour.

Such a pretty back.

I didn't make it to the show in Ingersoll, but I did get to the Quilter's Tea in Hagersville.  It was hosted by the Haldimand Quilters' Guild.  They had a guest quilter present a trunk show - Ruth Kennedy from Fergus.  I know Ruth through longarm quilting, and she put on an excellent show.  The event consists of lunch, door prizes, gift basket draws, a penny-sale, and grab bag draws.  There were eight people at my table - six of them won a bunch of stuff but I was not among the lucky ones.  Well, it's not like I need anything.  Although it was a bit of a bummer going home empty-handed, at least I don't have MORE stuff to think about getting rid of.  A blessing in disguise.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Kids Quilts and the Joy of Getting Older

Kids quilts are always so much fun.  This is an I Spy quilt, with a ton of cute fabrics.

It was quilted with an alphabet design which will come in handy as the child grows.

Here are several of the cute, cute prints.

Haha, frogs taking a bath while their friends are partying.

THE JOY OF GETTING OLDER
I finally bit the bullet and agreed to start taking Lipitor for my cholesterol.  As a rule my diet is pretty good.  I eat wholesome, home-made food, lots of veggies & whole grains, and in the summer most of my food comes from the garden.  My cholesterol problem seems to be just a result of genetics.
So, to "celebrate" my new drug habit, I splurged on some butter tarts.

And as night follows day...