Sunday, November 18, 2018

Vintage Double Wedding Ring & Gettin' There...

Sigh.  The Universe was teasing me by putting this on my work calendar as soon as I came home from Tobermory, where I'd been working on my own D.W.R.
There was a fascinating story that came with this quilt.  The gal who brought it related that when she was a child the quilt was made by a woman who was invited to live with her family in the mid '40s because she had nowhere else to go.  She stayed with them until she passed away in 1955. When my customer got the quilt top out of the closet it needed to be washed.  Since it was all hand pieced, some of the seams frayed to the point where I needed to make a few repairs.
Love vintage fabrics.
Some of the fabrics were worn so badly I did a bit more repair work, using my stash of '30s reproduction prints.
You can see the quilting beautifully on the back.

Almost finished.  The brick is painted a lighter shade of the wall colour.  The concrete hearth & mantle are painted the same as the wall colour.  All I need now is some 1/4 round trim down the sides where the brick meets the wall.
And why is it, whenever I put on my painting duds, someone unexpected comes to the door? That day (in the link) it was a customer, but this year - one day it was the internet guy, and another day it was the neighbour. I have been wearing that same oh-my-God-what-was-she-thinking outfit for painting for...20 years?  I have to do the pants up with a safety pin now because the elastic is no longer elastic.  If it's warm weather I might switch out the old shirt for an old t-shirt.  Still, not attractive. 😝

When it comes to jobs like this I don't always listen to "the experts".  Several people (and The Internet) told me I had to wash all this brick with a scrub brush & TSP, then I had to prime it, and THEN I could paint it.  Yeah, um, no.  I vacuumed it.  Then I painted it.  One watered-down coat on the brick, two watery coats on the cement.  In six months maybe I'll have to do it again - time will tell.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Dog Love & Horseradish

I was approached earlier this year by a woman who wanted a quilt made.  It was to feature photos of her beloved companions, and large enough for a queen size bed.

I have no facility here to print fabric of a size that would bring her vision to life, so I directed her to Spoonflower.  That center panel of the dog in the fall leaves measures about 38 x 54.

After she received her package of fabric in the mail she went shopping for the additional fabrics that would create the top, and she got a lovely backing fabric to co-ordinate.

It took me a whole day to applique the names.  First I had to select a font and print the names in true size, and make a pattern with layout for the size of available area on the quilt.  Once that was done I made fusible fabric letters with Mistyfuse, which is my favorite fusible web.  Then machine blanket stitch around the letters.
This was quilted with a very quiet design so the dogs maintain center stage.  I was really happy with the end result, as was the customer and her husband.


Oh, my good-God-Almighty.  Making horseradish is not for the faint of heart.

I've been getting bored making the same stuff in the kitchen, so I went through some of Margaret's recipes that she shared from her Hello Fresh boxes.  One of them does mashed potatoes with Dijon mustard and horseradish.  But I ran out of horseradish several months ago.  So I stopped in at the grocery store and the only bottle I could find - first of all it was a plastic bottle, which is on my no-fly list these days.  Second of all it had a list of ingredients a mile long, which is ridiculous for such a simple condiment.  A while back my neighbour Sophie mentioned that she had HR in the garden, and if I wanted any I was welcome to it.  An organized person would have taken advantage of this during the nice weather, but we're talking about me here.  Of course, I waited until the weather was below freezing, with gale force winds.  I dragged DH out for a walk (oh, nasty and cold on the way home - lemme tell you!!) and we got Sophie to show us where the plants were.  DH obligingly dug up some roots for me and we went on our way.  Cleaning and peeling and dicing were easy.  Grinding was easy.  DO NOT STICK YOUR NOSE IN THE CONTAINER OF GROUND HORSERADISH.  According to all the recipes I found, adding the vinegar sooner will keep the HR mild.  Waiting three minutes (!) will make it hot.  Mine turned out half & half hot/mild because there was quite a bit of ground root stuck in the grinder.  So even though the vinegar was added to the majority as it was expelled, the remnants were added several minutes later.  As I found out, sticking your nose in the container of ground horseradish is stupid.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.  Anyhow... I have survived to tell the tale, and the potatoes were delicious.  Consider yourself forewarned.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Vintage Dresden Plate & Quilty French Floors & Zucchini Update

Boy, I have a lot of catching-up to do, quilt-blog-wise.

This vintage Dresden Plate was quilted back in mid September.  I love vintage quilts - never met one I didn't fall head over heels for.

There were a couple of blocks made with new fabric, just to get a useable size of quilt.
Yes, those plates are a little wonky.  The centers aren't round.  The plates aren't centered.  But it is so pretty!  As requested by the owner, there is not too much quilting here.  Stitch-in-the-ditch around sashings, and inside & outside the plates.  Loopies inside the wedges, and motifs both in the corners and in the centers.

Pretty, pretty on the back.
French floors as related to quilts: 
1) Chevron.

2) Square in a Square.

3) Checkerboard Border - reminds me of Courthouse Steps.

What the hell?  How can I be doing a zucchini report in November?  Well I got sidetracked and never finished back in September. 
When I was in France, there was zero chance that DH was going to pick zucchinis.  So when I got home... guess what?  Eleven more.  And a couple of them were, not surprisingly, pretty large.

Picked end of season:  11
Picked YTD:              127

Today's plan for supper is to make a big pot of vegetable soup and a Butternut Squash Tart With Fried Sage.  Some of that zucchini is coming out of the freezer and jumping into the soup pot.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

A Little More Of Tobermory & The Prince Exhibit

A little yoga is good for the body, especially if you will be hunched over a sewing machine for much of the day.  Anni didn't seem to understand that Savasana (the Corpse pose) is just a nice rest.  I'm not dead.

See?  Proof that I'm not dead.  This was Friday before we departed.

I managed to complete my wee project.  Next I need to learn how to do binding on those weird angles.  (Well, actually the next step is getting it quilted.  Then the binding.)

One of the reasons I love the Beach Girls (there are many reasons 💓) is the field trips we end up on.  I see things I would not otherwise see.  This time it was in Seaforth, On.  We went to the exhibit of Prince quilts.  This is a competition dreamt up by Cherrywood Fabrics, to feature their fabrics. I've seen both the Van Gogh and Prince exhibits now.  They are incredible.  Here's a sampling...

This will give you an idea of the size of the pieces.  I think they're 20" x 20".  There were 150 quilts on display.

If you can zoom in on these pics you'll get a much better idea of the work - both hand and machine, the beading, and the abundance of crystals.

Here's one...

And a closeup...

Here's another...

And a closeup...

Another closeup...

I liked this one.  You can see that it was a ribbon winner.  It made me think of my brother, who also has a 'vette.

And a closeup.

If you're ever within driving distance of one of these exhibits, GO!  Seriously.  Just GO! 

In other, more boring news, I've finally started painting that gawd-awful brick around my fireplace.  That's been bugging me for more than 20 years.  DH is not happy with me, but since he's managed to walk past this vignette for two days without even noticing the ladder & plastic, should I really care?

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Annual Tobermory Retreat

Well, we're celebrating our 10th retreat-aversary up here.  In the spirit of festivity, I encouraged a little bit of day drinking with our lunch...very French, you know.

I was on food duty yesterday so there were beef crostinis with a little MORE day drinking.

Then dessert after supper included the Boozie Floozies I made (sun dried cherries soaked for a couple weeks in Bourbon and Grand Marnier).

Since my kitchen duties are finished for the week I was stitching up a storm this morning and managed to be the first one "on the railing".

This afternoon I'm starting project #2...

Yesterday the weather was pelting rain and WINDY.  Today is still windy but the rain seems to be holding off, which means I have no excuse to get me out of going for a walk.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

France - where we stayed and one restaurant sampling

If you are interested in where we stayed, use this link to Chateau D'Agel.  The place was too big for me to get a pic.  It's a castle built in the 1200's, and it is VERY large.
There were 9 of us on the tour, plus 1 chef, plus 1 tour organizer/guide, plus her 2 helpers.

This was our room, view to the right of the window.

This is the view to the left of the window.  Behind me is a dresser and a desk.

This is our bathroom.  Note the fireplace on the left. :-)  All of the bedrooms had a private bathroom.

On our first evening we went to the castle's wine cellar for a wine tasting.  This was the first of several wine tastings.  Since we mostly didn't know each other this was a great way to break the ice.  Nothing like a little um, lubrication to get everyone talking and laughing.

Every morning we'd get on our little bus and head off for the day's adventure.  On the first day we went to a market (they sell just about everything at the markets - we loaded up on our missing cosmetics and clothes).

In the village of Minerve, this was our lunch spot.

My appetizer:  melon & proscuitto.

My entree:  salmon.  And just to make me feel at home it came with zucchini!

My dessert:  tiramisu.  And everything was washed down with what seemed like gallons of wine.  I was not accustomed to "day drinking" but that's changed.  😋

Just for fun... the sugar.

The big excitement was the Michelin 3-star restaurant where we had lunch on Wednesday.  L'Auberge du Vieux Puits.  That link will take you to the chef's Wikipedia page. HERE is a link to the restaurant. We were not allowed to take photos of our food, but trust me when I tell you it was like being in a Tim Burton movie.  Go to the restaurant link and you'll see what I mean.

One week is pretty much my idea of a perfect vacation, so outside of the jet lag (6 hours) that worked out really well.  I may bore you with some more photos in future posts, so stay tuned.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Woo hoo - France

It took many, many hours to get here, but the Chef's Tour in France has arrived.  I'm at Chateau D'Agel for a week.  With a friend.  DH and dog stayed at home.
Here's the breakfast view...
The bad news:  Janice (my traveling companion) had her luggage delayed and the delivery wasn't going to arrive until Tuesday.  Like she could go for 4 days with no clean underwear.  Yeah, um, no.  And I left my cosmetics at home somewhere, so I'm in Europe with NO MASCARA.  Based on the amount of wine I drank yesterday I think I won't care too much. ☺