Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Autumn's Bounty

Like so many people, I love Autumn.  It's my favorite time of year.  The other day I hung a small quilt that my good friend, Mary B. gave me.  I display it on a small rack opposite the stairs to our bedroom and my sewing room and enjoy the quilts many (some times many many) times a day. 

This is a wonderful and simple quilt made with hand dyed fabrics.

Here is the hand quilting-

Good backing!

I can't remember if I've talked about labeling small quilts.  Mary B. and I started doing it this way years ago.  Just a simple hand top stiched postage stamp style label.  They are easy and quick!

Thanks Mary for this wonderful gift - I enjoy it so much this time of year!!

A few of my other favorite things about autumn -

Carmel apples, love them.  I consider this my fall "fruit" is that wrong?   I save on dental bills by cutting them into wedges ;0

Here is the recipe for the Pumpkin Cake, which I clipped in the 1980s and still love.  It's a Susan Branch recipe from Country Living.

Pumpkin Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 10" bundt pan.
In a large bowl combine:

3 c unsifted flour
2 c sugar
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt

In a smaller bowl beat:

1 16 oz. can of pumpkin
3/4 c veg oil (I substitute with applesauce to save calories)

1/3 c apple or orange juice
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

Stir mumpkin mixture into flour mixture until well combined.  Fold in 1/2 cup nuts and  1/2 cup dark raisins (if you like them, which I don't).
Turn into prepared pan and bake 55 - 60 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.  I loosen the sides with a knife before turning it onto a cooling rack.

Sprinkle with confectioners sugar and enjoy!  It's good with apple cider, milk, tea, coffee and, oh yea, wine.

Enjoy the beautiful season~

Monday, September 27, 2010


Happy Monday!

This weekend I was away with 4 friends on a short retreat in New York State on the Hudson River.  We were at a B&B in an old Victorian House built in 1870.  

I'm not sure how much actual sewing was accomplished, but we had a lot of laughs and good food and wine.  It's always fun to get a way from it all and spend time with quilting friends.

Here is our group; Susan, Elizabeth, Norma and myself in front the house.

The bedroom that Susan and I shared on the 3rd floor - it was quite a workout going up and down.  This was the perfect setting for late night chatting.

This is a sun porch on the 2nd floor attached to Elizabeth's and Norma's room.  Norma elected to sleep on this porch and said the sunrise over the Hudson was quite a view.

We settled in for snacks, wine and chatting.

Here are some views of the workroom in the lower level.  It was set up with tables, lamps and ironing supplies.  The design walls were equipped with flannel backed vinyl table clothes - they work really well and can be picked up at dollar stores and party stores - great for retreats!

This was one of 7 working fireplaces throughout out the house.

Susan worked on an a new paper piecing hexagon project and machine quilted this baby quilt - so cute - Susan and the quilt.

One of the projects that Norma finished was this 2 sided seasonal table runner.

Elizabeth worked on a paper piecing project and hand sewing and was packed up when I took photos - sorry Elizabeth!

I made several blocks for the border of my selvage quilt project.

I also cut out and designed this top of an apple core Halloween quilt.  I intended to piece this on the machine and it was not pretty!  As I said when I sat down at the machine, "this is where the dream goes to die....."  curved piecing is difficult and with the convex and concave curves it wasn't good.  I am working on an idea of how to do this another way that does not include hand piecing or traditional English paper pieceing - stay tuned.

A view without that annoying figure in the way ;)

If anyone has made an apple core quilt, or has any suggestions on ways to piece together this top I would love to hear from you!!

If you get a chance to get away with friends and sew I highly encourage it.  It's good for the creative soul.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Last Call

Happy Friday

The berry was re-made, the leaves attached and peace was restored through the land.  This is a block for the Brownstone guild's raffle quilt which I am chairing.  My friends and I have made up 42 applique' block kits and 63 pieced blocks kits.  I'll share more with you when I can.

Here are the last of the show photos.  Let me apologize in advance for the quality of some of them.  When I'm at a show I carry my smaller camera, and it's just not as good.

This was "metamorphosis" and I loved the way the geisha dissolved into the background.

An unusual log cabin setting (blurry).

This one is for Pauline :)

Lovely reproduction fabrics and incredible workmanship.

Love this

I was intrigued by this one.  It was made by someone from Japan, who obviously loves our American pop culture.

Here is another view.

A lovely version of this pattern.  The plaid background is great.

I'm off for a 2 day retreat up the Hudson with a few friends.  I'm planning on working on an old project, a new project and an ongoing project. 

Happy sewing this weekend.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Dog Ate My Applique'

Really, coco, really?  Seriously....she came up to the coffee table and licked up and swallowed my cherry before I could do a thing about it.

More quilts from the show.

Sorry, this one is blurry.  This may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I loved it.  I thought it was really charming, but then again, I love stamps and I like dolls.  A fabric was used that looked just like the perforation on stamps, remember when we had to tear and lick them?....ah, the good old days.

What a lovely quilt, and very well done.  Humble, lovely.

I really liked this one.  The seaons were well represented.  I also liked that she added wool pennies - clever girl!

This quilt was made in the 1860s.  It was pristine!  If you study it, there are definite patterns in the placement of the flowers.  Very unusual color choice, then again it was the 1860s.....

This is a great quilt.  I'm really drawn to solids lately.  It was fun to figure out what the block is.  There is a an interesting sashing thang going on here.  Can you find the block pattern?  can you say Y seam?

I think we all know who's fabric this is.  That's alotta sewing.

Okay, this is from the "World Quilts" competition and it won "Best Use of Color".   That's all, I have nothing else to add.......?

I will post the last of my photos on Friday -
have a great week and I hope you find time to sew.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Took the bus to the Philadelphia area for the big show.

Look who I met there - Lori of Humble Quilts. Here we are with Jill and Susan at the show.  I wish I had a photo with my bus trip friends - next time!

We had show and tell in the parking lot - classy, huh?  These are the two quilt-alongs that Lori hosted, so I thought she'd like to see them in person.

And here is my favorite quilt of the show!  I thought it was absolutely charming in every way.  I love the coloration and that rolling village is the limit!  I just love it!

the quilting is simple and it's perfect for this piece.  I thought this quilt achieved perfect balance in all aspects.

I was mesmerized by this one.

It was so elegant and lovely - zen

The boat had tulle sails and I loved that there was no one in the boat.

Another favorite was this one-

 very cool

This is a happy little village.  It reminds me of the "It's a Small World" ride at Disney world.  Charming.

Incredible quilting -

This had about 7 layers of design, including embroidery and a zillion french knots.

That's all for today folks.  I'll post the rest in a couple of days.
I'd love to hear what you thought of the show.

And hello to Besty and Ann, thanks for you kind words of encouragement and support!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Come Over and Play!

Wouldn't you love to live in this little neighborhood?

They were made by, (from the left) Jill, Barb, Susan Mcd and Susan H.  Don't they make a charming little group in the garden?  I can just imagine little garden gnomes visiting between them.

Here they are in construction:

Susan McD - she chose halloweeny colors.

this one is mine - I had some pennies from a previous project so we added them as windows on the backs or sides.  On my first attempt, I sewed the top windows in the wrong place making them under the door - doh!

Here is Susan H's

the directions were horrible, and in my kit, I was short changed on the necessary wool to complete my house :(   I hate when that happens.  But as Tim would say; we made it work!

Speaking of Tim - isn't this year great on Project Runway?  Finally some interesting personalities and some surprise wins.  And Wretchen seems to have come down a peg or two -


Here is the process to building a better Ruben sandwich:

Start with Pepperidge Farm pumpernickel and rye swirl bread, add Swiss cheese, drained sauerkraut and 1000 island dressing.

Add good, lean corned beef -

Grill until toasted and the cheese melted -

I served them with these frozen sweet potato fries.  They are healthy and good!

This would make a good quick dinner after a busy day too - enjoy!