Thursday, November 28, 2013

Red & White Oak Leaf Quilt, BS Report, and I'm famous (sort of)

This is a replica of an antique quilt.  Wow - I just love that red & white.

The maker had started to hand quilt it, then got stuck with a looming deadline.  She ripped out her hand work and sweet-talked me into sliding it in to my work schedule. Her $20 bribe helped.  :-)

After a bunch of stitch-in-the-ditch, I used all the powers of my imagination to decide on quilting motifs.  Oak Leaf Applique = oak leaf designs.  Doh...

The back is really pretty.  That red thread sure shows up!  Click on the pic for a larger view.

You can still see some evidence of the hand quilting.  That should all disappear when this is washed.
FAMOUS:  Yeah, me.  If you are a member of the Canadian Quilters Association, I have an article on pg. 41 of the Winter 2013 edition of the newsletter, about quilts donated to the Calgary flood relief program.

Butternut Squash:  I missed a BS report or two, so here's an update.  They were all picked a few weeks ago and are sitting in a wheelbarrow in the garage.  I know that DH has tossed a couple in the compost because they rotted.  Already.  Grrr.  The garage doesn't get cold enough for storage until it's REALLY cold outside.  Even then, on a sunny day it heats up quite a bit because of the large, south-facing windows.  And since the fruit cellar also has spent the whole summer warming up, it is not cold in November. That is a tricky month to try and store veggies.  Must. Get. Extra. Fridge.
Used recently: 5 (4 for soup, one for another tart- original post & recipe link here)
Used YTD: 28

BS Tidbit:  I hope you get a chuckle out of these because they are surprisingly hard to make up.  Um... I was a sane teenager.  Hah!!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Still Time For Christmas Quilts, and Apple Cake

If you have a quilt top ready but you thought you were too late to book the quilting - I still have room on the work calendar for a couple more in December.  Call soon...

Now, for the Apple Cake.  Two farms behind us is the Egg Lady.  Last time I was there she gave me a dozen 'old' eggs as a freebie.  Fine by me - there was nothing wrong with them for baking.  I dropped a BS on her, in appreciation for her generosity.  Then DH and I were out for a walk and our other neighbours were quite insistent that I come over and pick some of their apples, because they were all appled-out.  Their fridge was full, the freezer was full, and the garage was full, but the tree was STILL holding on to plenty of delicious goodness.  I had enough eggs and apples, so I made two cakes and took one over to the apple neighbours.

Yum, yum, yum.  This recipe is from my Silver Palate cookbook.
Our best man gave us the set of two cookbooks many years ago.
If you like butter, sugar, and booze you would LOVE these cookbooks.  Mine are almost worn out. Sad but true.

Chunky Apple Walnut Cake, recipe from the Silver Palate, serves 10-12

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil (note: I use 1 c. oil and ½ c. milk)
2 cups sugar (note:  this makes the cake very sweet - you could probably reduce the qty)
3 eggs
2 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground mace
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
3 1/4 cups coarse chunks of peeled apples
3 Tbsp Calvados or Applejack (note: I have used regular Brandy and noticed no difference)
Apple Cider Glaze (optional)

•    In large bowl beat vegetable oil and sugar until thick and opaque. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
•    In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients: white flour, cloves, cinnamon, mace, baking soda and salt. Stir in whole wheat flour. Add to oil and egg mixture until well blended.
•    Add apples, walnuts and Calvados all at once and stir until pieces are evenly distributed.
•    Pour batter into greased 10" round cake pan. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
•    Let cake rest in pan 10 minutes, then unmold and pour glaze over warm cake, or cut cake and pour glaze over slices.

Apple Cider Glaze - yield 1 ½ c. glaze
1/4 c. sweet butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
6 tbsp (3/8 c.) sugar
3 tbsp Calvados or Applejack (note: I have also used Grand Marnier, which is delicious)
1/4 c. sweet cider or apple juice
2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp heavy cream

•    Melt butter in small saucepan and stir in both sugars.
•    Add remaining ingredients, stir, and bring to a boil.
•    Reduce heat slightly and cook for 4  minutes.
•    Remove from heat and cool slightly. Pour over cake while still warm.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Border Creek Mystery Quilt

I'm always so happy to work quilt for this gal.
OK, technically this IS work, but it's a pleasure too.

For one thing, she makes beautiful quilts.

They are nice and flat & square. Never a ripply border.

She's a girl after my own heart, and loves wool batting.

I play, work up some ideas and email them to her for approval.

Now that (!) is looking pretty gorgeous.
The Markham Quilt Guild was lots of fun on Thursday.  They were a good audience and asked many questions, which makes me think they were interested in the topic.  Yay!  Going to other guilds is entertaining, and I always learn something new.  I liked the way they ran their show & share - the members placed their items on a table early in the meeting.  When the white-glove gals hold up the item for display, the maker gets up to talk about their quilt.  This simplifies things for the historian - when she takes photos it saves her from having to force members to stop hiding behind their items.

This was another 5:30 am get-out-of-bed-because-I-can't-sleep morning.  I try to stay quiet and let DH snore sleep.  So I come downstairs with my coffee and I surf the web. I've been reading blogs and I'm feeling rather inadequate right now.  Really, I must learn how to write some day.  But I noticed that I don't like having to CLICK on something to continue READING something.  That little interruption is irritating.  And I have to check to see if it's opened a new window that I can later close, or if I have to use the back arrow button to return from whence I came.  All of this requires too much thought and attention at such an early time of day.  So there.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Applique Tulips & I'll be in Markham tonight

Another gorgeous applique quilt.

This was done by the same gal who did the applique with Dresden Fans.

I need to hire her... I'll certainly never have the patience to make one of these for myself.

If anyone is looking for me tonight, you will find me in Markham.  I'm presenting a trunk show for the quilt guild and I'll be talking about batting.  Exciting!  Informative.
7:30 pm at Markham Guild of Village Crafts building, 11 Church St., Markham, On.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Psst. Want a Quickie??? And Best Before Dates. And Stash Report.

This is a great way to use a couple of beautiful fabrics.  The center panel is a full width.  You can make a small baby quilt by using .75 m. of fabric which makes the center about 30" x 40".  You can make a throw quilt by using 1.5 m. of fabric, making the center 40" x 60".  Please forgive me for mixing my metric and imperials, but that's the world we Canadian quilters habitate.

A narrow, dark border frames the piece, then a wide outer border adds a punch of colour.  If you want to get all fancy about this you can add some raw edge applique.

Make this in the MODERN style and add some piecing on the back.  Cool.
Since Hallowe'en is over I went to the dermatologist to have some lumpy bumpys removed.  Good Lord!  $300.00 for two little things.  One she cut out of my leg then stitched up.  The other got freezer-burnt with liquid nitrogen.  That nasty thing swelled up into a huge (!) blood blister that I am continuously draining. Still.  Five days later.  Gross.  Two days after the dermatologist, my foot spontaneously spasmed and bruised when I took a piece of pie over to my favorite chair.  Honestly.  Now I have a huge black & blue toe.  I am starting to think of myself as that weird container in your fridge that is all fuzzy and green.  It maybe used to be spaghetti (?) but it sure isn't now.  I should put on my reading glasses (since I can't see shit without them any more) and check the inside of my lip for the Best Before date.  I'm pretty sure I expired a while ago.

Finally, a finished top.
Used since last report 10.75m
Used YTD 61.5m
Added since last report 0.  Zero.  Yay.
Added YTD 26m.
Net 2013 (- 35.5m)

At the Caledonia guild we started a monthly Scrappy Club to help us deal with our surplus of fabrics.  I started this at our first meeting in August.  The palette is blues, greens, and muslin.  I'm almost the LAST one to finish this project, but since I also made the biggest one I'm not necessarily as pokey as you might think.  This is a queen size that is now in the TFUQ pile.  It's a free pattern - Boxy Stars - from Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville website.   The link is here.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Dresden Fan with Applique

Some quilters just looove applique.  They love it enough that they will sit down for many, many hours, tracing leaves & flower bits.

That border treatment is so pretty.  It would also make a stupendous scalloped border if it was flipped over and faced the other direction.

Setting triangle with a block design modified to fit.

I love Dresden Fan and Dresden Plate blocks.  I think it's the circular motif idea that appeals to me so much.  I have one D.P. quilt of my own all finished. There's another top ready for quilting that is, um, marinating in the cedar chest until I have some spare time.  (You can see both on the separate page for UFO Challenge 2011.)
Sunday I headed up to Elora for a SOLO meeting. (Southern Ontario Longarm Operators).  It was one of the biggest meetings that we've ever had, I think.  75 people confirmed, less the usual number who have to cancel at the last minute.  I love these networking sessions.  I get to meet up with some old friends I haven't seen in a while and there is always a diet lunch HUGE pot luck.  There was a swap sale, then the meeting covered topics such as favorite tools, keeping quilts flat & square, marketing techniques, and of course, show & tell.  Even though I have over 13 years experience in this field I still come away with great information.  You cannot exist in a rabbit hole and expect to stay current.  Even with the internet.  :-)

Picked last week: 5 (4 small ones went into soup, 1 LARGE one was traded for a dozen eggs at the farm behind us)
Picked YTD 23

BS Tidbit of the week:  I have to take some pants in because I've stayed away from alcohol and dessert and lost a few pounds.  ha ha ha ha ha.