Friday, November 30, 2012

Come In From The Cold

I blogged about this quilt several weeks ago (see my blog post about it here), but I thought I'd show it again because the tickets for it go on sale tomorrow.

I made this for the Friends of the Green Free Library in Wellsboro, PA for a raffle fundraiser. The Friends are hosting a reception (11:00AM - 2:00PM) at the library during Wellsboro's Dickens of a Christmas celebration tomorrow, where the quilt will be on display.

If you're in town for Dickens and need a place to warm up, stop in at the Green Free Library for hot cider and cookies. And while you're there, buy some tickets for this fun quilt. Tickets are $1 each, 6/$5 and the drawing will be held on March 2, 2013!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Warms My Heart

A couple of weeks ago, I participated in the local school's Colonial Days' observation (see my previous post about it here). A few days later, I received a wonderful package in the mail containing thank-you notes from one of the classes. Reading them brought tears to my eyes and warmed my heart.

I was especially thrilled to see this letter....

Every time I talk about my quilts to groups of children, I make it a point to mention that in the 21st century, quilting is not just "for girls". I show them a copy of The Quilt Life magazine with Ricky Tims on the cover and tell them that there are a lot of male quilters who make fun quilts. It helps that Ricky always wears a cowboy hat!

Anyway, I'm thrilled at the letter sent by "my friend Spencer". And actually, I love all the letters! Thank you, second graders of Wellsboro -- Maybe someday I'll see one of your quilts in a show!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Moosewood Monday

Here's yet another recipe from the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, NY. This time it's Caribbean Shrimp and Vegetable Soup. I used this recipe. Only a couple of changes -- I used a can of Rotel tomatoes with chili peppers instead of the fresh tomatoes and chili pepper and I was out of turmeric, so I left it out. That's OK, it's mainly for color.

Another thumbs up from my hubby and me. And it went perfectly with some quesadillas and a glass of Mango Slide wine from Nimble Hill Winery in Tunkhannock, PA.

And for those who are wondering...Yes, we had a traditional Thanksgiving dinner...

P.S. One word of warning...if you choose to use the can of Rotel tomatoes, be prepared for a very, very, spicy soup. If you don't like your food so spicy, just use regular tomatoes and add your chili pepper to taste.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Sewing For Health

Back in August, I blogged about getting neckroll pillow forms and covering them with fabric (see my blog post here). These pillows have turned out to be very good for preventing neck pain for my husband and me when we read or watch TV.

The fabrics I used were leftovers of flannels from six (!) previous quilts and five regular square pillows. The scraps were all different widths, so that's why the design is asymmetrical. There are no more large pieces left, but I might be able to make one more cover for a regular square pillow. Not sure about the backing for it, though.

You can see a picture of the entire bed quilt on my blog post here.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my U.S. readers....

And I wish peace to everyone, no matter where you live. Thank you for reading my blog.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November UFO Challenge Complete

My guild's president issued a UFO challenge to our members last month -- we were to list six UFO's that we had sitting around and give her the list. Every month for the next six months (except for December), she will pull out a number, from one to six, and we are supposed to finish the UFO that matches that number on our list by the next month's meeting. Every time we complete a UFO, our names will be entered into a future drawing. This was a great way to get me moving on some projects that I've had for way too long.

 The first one is this jelly roll 1600 race quilt top that I finished last November. It's made from strips of vintage sheets from local thrift stores.

Here's a closeup of my favorite way to quilt strippy quilts...

I used a vintage sheet for the back...

This one will be going to a charity...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Moosewood Monday

I can't help myself -- I am addicted to trying new Moosewood Restaurant recipes. And thankfully, I have a husband who enjoys eating food with exotic and interesting flavors as much as I do.

This time it's Mushroom Peanut Tofu Stew With Greens (minus the tofu). My friend Madalene told me about this recipe (she used tofu and said it was delicious), so I thought I'd give it a try, with just a few changes. I used pork instead of tofu, frozen spinach instead of fresh, and I added a dried chili pepper from our summer garden. I didn't add the full amount of water because we wanted it to be thick enough to serve over rice. I think this would work just as well with chicken.

This, along with a glass of Nimble Hill Winery's Niagara wine, was delightful!

To see previous yummy Moosewood recipes I've shared, click here.

Friday, November 16, 2012

UFO Forever

 Every November for the last seven years (or maybe more), the local second grade teachers have invited me to speak about quilting to their students during their week-long observation of Colonial Days. It's basically a trunk show of my quilts (the teachers said they don't care if I've used a machine on them instead of making everything by hand like in "the olden days"), with a brief explanation of the process of making a quilt.

The quilt in these photos is the one I use to show a quilt sandwich and to demo a bit of hand quilting. I started it back in either 2000 or 2001 when I was very much a beginner. I soon discovered that I didn't really like the quilt and didn't really like my hand quilting efforts, so I just put it away and didn't think about it until the first time I participated in Colonial Days. The fact that it's not finished makes it perfect for the demo.

My ten-year-old stitches in a ten-year-old UFO are nothing to brag about, but they serve their purpose. It helps give the students an idea of what a quilt is and what makes a quilt different from a "blanket".

So, this quilt will remain a UFO and I won't feel bad about that. Hopefully, the second grade will keep inviting me back and I'll have the perfect excuse not to finish it! Actually, though, seeing the top photo makes me like it better than I thought. I kind of like the design, but the fabrics...not so much.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

More Doing Good Stitches

Here's another project  for Superstorm Sandy relief quilts that doesn't require making a full quilt. You can contribute just by making a block.

Sandy Quilt Block Drive

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Almost Time, But Not Quite

In a few weeks, I'll be using this bag as my everyday purse for the month of December. But until then, nothing, I mean NOTHING that is related to Christmas will be displayed in or outside my house until AFTER December 1st. (Christmas-themed projects that I am currently working on are the only exception, but they're not on display).

Sometimes I think this country has forgotten about Thanksgiving. At least, the real reason for Thanksgiving. Too many of my fellow Americans think of Thanksgiving as a time to worship the almighty dollar. Come to think of it, they seem to see every holiday as a day to worship the dollar, not commemorate our country's heroes and traditions.

You can be sure that I won't be shopping anywhere that is open on Thanksgiving Day. If my family runs out of gravy, so be it. We won't starve. (off of soapbox now)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

More Quilts Needed

If you'd like to help and don't want to make large bed-sized quilts as mentioned in my post from earlier this week, this drive takes quilts of all sizes. Click on this link for details.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Challenge Defined

Something that requires thought and skill for resolution...

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you know that for the last year or so I have been part of a small art quilting challenge group (click here to see all my previous posts about it). This time around it was my turn to issue the challenge. So, here's what I came up with -- we were to create a piece that was monochromatic and had to be based on a color that started with the first letter of our first name. No other rules about size or design. Only one-word colors were allowed -- that meant we couldn't use Persian Blue if the name started with P or Hot Pink if the name started with H. 

The color I came up with was Asphalt, although when one of my quilting friends saw the fabrics I was using, she thought my color was Ash. Either one works.

Since this piece was due the day after my 54th (yikes!) birthday last week, I had the title for it before I had a design. Eventually, the design idea came to me. But of course, I waited until ten days before the deadline to start working on it! 

I call this "54 Shades of Gray" and the 54 pieces in it are all different and represent my natural hair color at age 54. Some of the pieces are the reverse side of fabrics...that's how I was able to come up with 54 different shades from about 30 fabrics. Simple flip-and-sew technique, so the quilting was done as soon as the pieces were all sewn together. Nothing else special or unique. 

I've been a bit concerned that most of my challenge pieces have been quite simple. But at this stage in my life I'm going to follow the wise wisdom of Henry David Thoreau who said: "Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify."

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Superstorm Sandy Relief Quilts

If you decide to participate in this, please, please, please be sure to read thoroughly and follow all the guidelines. Thanks!

 And if you do participate, yours truly (born in NYC and raised in NJ) thanks you!

Again, here is the link.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Moosewood Monday

Yes, I'm afraid I'm going to bore you with another Moosewood Restaurant recipe. This time it's Moroccan Stew. Again, another one of their great recipes, but my husband didn't like it as much as he's liked previous Moosewood dishes I've made (I suspect that's because this one had eggplant in it). I didn't have any saffron, so I left that out, and I just realized that I forgot to add the raisins as directed in the recipe. I'm not a big fan of regular raisins anyway, and I had been planning to add golden raisins, but simply forgot. I may add some when we reheat the leftovers later this week. Oh, yes, I added some slow-cooked beef to this for my carnivore spouse.

Friday, November 2, 2012

In The Pink

I stopped in an antique store outside of Hammondsport, NY a while back and came across a kitchen display that a friend of mine would probably love to have in her house.

There weren't too many interesting antique quilts there, however...they were either way too expensive, in too bad a condition, or not really antique quilts at all, just repros (like the ones that you can see in the background). But it was fun to look, anyway.