Sunday, November 25, 2018

Animal Quilts (and reflections on humiliation) & One of My Own

I've seen some of the cutest animals this fall...

It's almost enough to make me want to be a kid again.  But... um, no.  Maybe not. 
Highlights of my childhood involve lots of teasing over my name (surname of Marshall was always being translated into either "martian" or "marshmallow").  Also being called "four-eyes" because of the glasses.  And being the shortest kid in class meant I always had to be at the head of the line.  Being the worst at sports meant I was always the last one chosen for any sports team.  I remember school being let out early the day Kennedy was shot, and some asshole bully punched me in the stomach while I was walking home.  Then there was the bully-brat down the street who would not let me pass.  For God's sake.  I was in KINDERGARTEN.  I went home crying and mom had to walk me to school.  So...many memories of humiliation.  I'm happy to leave them behind me. 
In adulthood I'm often referred to as a snob (because at heart I am actually quite shy).  And I've had people get sooo pissed off at me and throw taunts of being "a hotshot" which was, in truth, the funniest one.  That came from a woman who got mad at me because SHE didn't know how to use word processing software (she should have - that was part of the skill-set required for the job).  After weeks of her interrupting my work by asking me how to do this, and how to do that, I finally called her on her poor knowledge and suggested she should spend some time learning this stuff HERSELF.  People can be lazy and stupid and mean sometimes.  I try to ignore it now, but sometimes I... just... can't. 😬  Several years ago I told an asshole in the grocery store to shut up because he was mad about the little old lady who was taking too long with the cashier.  She needed assistance, and needed her groceries to be double bagged because she had to take the bus home. All I could think about was my mom, and how she was probably in exactly the same boat on many occasions.  So, I told dickhead to shut up.
Wow.  Now I've put myself in a crabby mood with all these bad memories!

Anyhow. I managed to finish the Apple Core top.  All of this was cut using JAWS. Over the holidays this baby should get quilted.  I seem to have a growing pile of tops that need to be finished.

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.