Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fall Quilt Festival 2010

Hi -
I'm a little late pulling this together, but here is my entry for Amy's Fall Quilt Festival.

Whooville is a quilt that I finished earlier this year.  It is one of my selvage quilt projects inspired by Karen Griska.  I used the selvage dots this time to represent Christmas lights on the houses.

My favorite part of the quilt is the big tree, I wish I had Whoos singing around it!

a little pink house

The Bakers' house -

Enjoy the rest of the festival!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Ghost and Mrs. Vaughan

Mary came to town!
She was here primarily to visit her mom and we were able to get the Cupcakers together for an afternoon of fun, food and crafting.

We started right in crafting, so our ghosts would dry to transport home.  We used these instructions right here, but there are many basic ways to make them and you can find them on-line.

Here is the cheesecloth, soaked in fabric stiffener and draped on the armature we made.  This one is Jills.

Here they are dried and lifted off there armature and making a little quartet.  From the left is mine, Susan's, Jill's and Marys.  Aren't they fun? They are held up by the pool of draped cloth around the bottom.

We painted our ghosts with some glow in the dark paint - here is a long exposure spooky photo of how it looks in the dark.

And now we've earned our lunch!  We were celebrating Mary's and Susan's October Birthdays, so of course we had to have cupcakes.  Dark lavender was about as close as I could get to purple on the frosting.

For lunch we had New England Squash Soup (recipe at the end of post).  My other good friend named Susan made this for me and Pauline a couple of weeks ago and was it delicious!  I also made the first pop-overs of the season.

I was lucky - again! and won the Halloween fabrics we used for our game of LCR - sorry girls!

This is the view out of my computer room window on the second floor.  I have a love hate relationship with this huge Maple tree.  Today I really love it :)

It was great seeing you Mary!  Come over and play any time!

New England Squash Soup
1 cup diced onions
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
1 butternut squash (about 1 pound) peeled, seeded and cubed
1 potato diced (we used yukon gold)
3 cuts water or chicken or veg. stock (I used half water half chicken)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2/3 cup evaporated skim milk
salt and pepper to taste
(we also add crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper for some heat)
2 cups sliced mushroom (6-8 oz)
3 Tbsp dry sherry
1 Tbsp soy sauce
pinch of dried marjoram

Combine the onions, celery, garlic and apple juice in a large soup pot.  Cover and simmer about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened.  Add the squash, potato, water or stock, bay leaf, thyme, salt and nutmeg (and red pepper if using).  Bring to a boil, cover and lower the heat.  Simmer until the vegetables are very soft, about 20 to 25 minutes.
While the soup simmers, saute' the mushrooms in an uncovered skillet with the sherry, soy sauce and marjoram until the mushrooms are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.  Set aside.

When the squash and potatoes are very soft, remove the soup pot from the heat.  Remove the bay leaf and working in batches, puree the soup with the evap milk in a blender or food processor.
reheat gently.  Add salt and pepper.
Serve topped with the sauteed mushrooms.

Enjoy and thanks for the recipe Susan H.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Good Sunday Morning!

I took a little break from the "border patrol" work on the raffle quilt to do a little Halloween crafting.

I made a batch of these treat bags.  The are little candy bags.  They were so simple and I had the lunch bags and sticks from the back yard.  You can find the directions HERE ala Martha Stewart.

Then I made some of these tissue covers.  Again, super easy and had the fabric (like, duh) and just picked up a package of mini-kleenex tissues.

And Here is how you do it:
Cut an outside piece 6" x 6 1/2"
and a lining piece 6" x 7 1/2"

Sew the 6" edges, ride sides together on each end.

Then press with the larger square on the bottom.  This creates the little trim.

Then with larger square on the bottom, fold up the two ends and overlap them slightly.  (good lord, when did I get age spots, and how do you get rid of them?)

Sew the ends, it's a bit bulky, but its fine.

Here is where I waved my wand and made a slight improvement on the pattern I was using.  Push your finger into the corner and form a little peak and pinch it and sew a short line of stitches across the top.  You can just eye ball it.  (age spot shot again... can I consider them freckles, maybe?)

Turn your piece right side out and viola' - 

With the new design of  the pocket tissues, it is necessary to cut a small slit in the package to pull out the tissues.

And in just a short time, you'll have a little batch of these of your own.   They make great little hostess gifts, party favors, teacher gifts, etc. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What is She Doing in There

Good Morning -

First I'd like to that everyone who is kind enough to take the time to leave me a comment.  It is very encouraging and I love hearing what you like to see on the blog. 

Non-reply bloggers:  I have been getting comments from nice readers who have a setting as "non-reply" blogger on their profile.  I am sorry that I can not return a short email to you, please know that I really appreciate each and every comment.

You may be wondering what is she working on??  I have not shared much since Abe was completed.   Here is a dolly quilt that designed on Saturday.  I was taking a break from the guild raffle quilt.

I was inspired when I received my 9-patch exchange packet from Julies's Blog.  It is a wonderful collection.  I have to say I particularly love the mixed up ones!

I can't wait to make something with these.

I found a great blog the other day;  Fresh Lemon Quilts.   She is from my favorite town; Chicago.

There is a wonderful post on Broderie of a recent quilt show, you do not want to miss this.

Here is something I've been putting a lot of time and energy into.  It's a sneak peak at the guild raffle quilt.  guild members are making the blocks from kits I put together with Susan and Pauline.

I'm in the middle of working on the borders - yes, plural.  The girls are coming tomorrow to help - thank goodness for friends!

Tip of the week:
I treated myself to a new sock wardrobe at Macy's this weekend.  Some of them came on these little plastic hangers.  They are perfect for fabric strips or bias stems, etc.  They are so light you can pin them up on your design board.

Have a fun sewing week*

Friday, October 15, 2010

Happy Autumn

Happy Friday!
I have been inspired by all the beautiful days we've been enjoying  this fall to do a little outdoor decorating.  Today it's cloudy and we're expecting a nor-easter and winds 40+ miles an hour.

I just love all the different colored and shaped pumpkins around and could not resist these guys.

Congrats Miriam!  You have won the Karen Kay Buckley pattern. Email me your address and I'll mail it out to you.
Isn't it great when you find a bottle of wine that matches your dog?

Any finally - I couldn't resist getting a little Halloween nail art last week with my pedicure.   I can't believe she painted this with a regular nail polish brush.  Hope you do something today that makes you smile.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wooly Wooly

A few weeks ago we made little wool house pin cushions.  

It brought to mind some of the fun wool projects I have done in the past and I thought I'd share them.

Penny rug made from my husbands pants that I felted.

Needle case kit that I bought and then spent years making...

That's a lot of pennies...

Jill and I made these while sitting on her pretty porch.  We laughed and laughed trying to make crooked letters.


These are Sue Spargo little birds made into pins.

 My favorite -

Tomorrow I will draw for the Karen Kay Buckley pattern.  If you still want a chance and haven't left a comment yet, you can do that here on this post.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Karen Kay Buckley

Good Sundy Morning!

I jumped out of bed early this Sunday morning to share with you our visit from Karen Kay Buckley.  She lives in PA and was our guest at the Brownstone Quilters on Friday and Saturday.  I thought about doing this post in 2 parts, but have decided you can't have enough Karen, so get a snack or something to drink and enjoy!

Karen is a world renown quilter who's quilts have graced the covers of  top quilting magazines - wait for it - 14 times.  She been awarded many, many top awards on the international quilting stage.

Her work will speak for itself and here it is what she shared with us on Friday during the 2 lectures that she presented for our 2 meetings.  The first was on borders and the other on design.

a few things about the photos:
1.  I am not a professional photogopher
2.  These are moving targets and I did my best
3.  Thank you Isabelle and Jan for holding these heavy quilts!

the back 

 Each stone needle turned appliqued. (yep, each stone)

Some flowers have fabric painting.

check it out - I can't wait to get back to mine.

No border, and it looks great this way

Blue border flowers appliqued on top of pieced log cabin blocks.

 I literally have no words.

 Love this one -

sorry its blurry!  maybe you've seen it on Simply Quilts.

I was so inspired on Friday, that I dreamed about quilting that night. Then I was so "enlightened" at the workshop I dreamed about quilt making last night too - weird.

Here are the pieces I made using Karen's prep method for hand applique'.  (sorry for the funky color - no light at 6:30am)

These are the new tools I purchased to help me make better quilts.  I don't have plans to use the beautiful pattern that we received.  If you'd like to have it just leave a comment and I'll pick a random winner.

Karen gets these needles from an Asian manufacturer.  It was like opening a piece of fancy gum.  Don't you love it - now I'll be "high class" using these ;0

If you ever get an opportunity to take a workshop with Karen, or see her quilts in person I urge you to do so.  Her work is incredible and her generousity in sharing her techniques is hard to find.

Thanks Karen!