Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Christmas Is Coming, The Goose Is Getting Fat

I started this quilt (FOR ME!) last Christmas Day and the finished top has been hanging in my quilting studio since January (yikes!). The reason it's been hanging there so long is because I just haven't taken the time to figure out how to quilt it. I don't want to just do an overall pattern on has way too many areas that are screaming for some custom quilting. But that takes some thinking and planning, which I haven't gotten around to yet. I hope to do it before Christmas gets here this year. No guarantees, however.

In addition to figuring out the quilting pattern, there's still the decision to be made about thread color!

Wish me luck!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Moosewood Monday

Yes, I'm on a Moosewood kick...

Here's another top-notch recipe from my favorite restaurant, Moosewood. This is Very Creamy Vegetable Chowder -- the recipe can be found here. Lots of vegetables -- onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, red peppers, and green peas. The only change I made was to use some chicken broth instead of veggie broth. And I used my immersion blender to mix it all together (I removed two cups of the veggies before blending and added them afterward because we like a few chunks in our cream soups). Another keeper recipe.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Going Nowhere

This top had been hanging in my quilting studio for the last three years (!) waiting to be quilted. (You can read my blog post about how I constructed it here.) I finally decided that his UFO really needed to be finished, so I put it on my HQ16 last month and it stayed there for several weeks before I finally got around to quilting it. Just finished the binding two days ago.

Here's another photo taken outdoors in yesterday's glorious 70-degree weather...

Another shot inside, where the colors are not quite as warm....

Here are a couple of closeups of the quilting and backing...

And my favorite photo of all...

I was initially thinking of giving this quilt to a charity of some sort (and that's probably why it took me so long to quilt it -- I didn't have a particular charity in mind, so it just stayed on the hanger waiting...). But I love it so much and it really goes well with our den/reading room/family room, so it's going nowhere. I've decided to donate another quilt I recently finished instead. And I do have a charity in mind for that, so it will be going there soon.

You should be able to click on the photos if you want a larger view...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

For A Good Cause

This is a fun Dr. Seuss quilt that I made as a fundraiser for my local library. It was an easy kit from Quilter's Corner in Ithaca, NY. Tickets will be sold starting at Wellsboro's Dickens of a Christmas celebration on December 1st and will continue until the drawing is held on Dr. Seuss's birthday on March 2, 2013.

The quilt comes with a matching pillowcase...

Here's another fun shot....

I'm loving working with these fun Dr. Seuss's a link to a similar quilt I made earlier this year.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Moosewood Monday

I realized that it's been quite a while since I posted about a recipe from the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, NY (my all-time favorite place to eat out). I've been making many of the recipes regularly; I just haven't been blogging about it.

This one is the latest -- Indonesian Sweet Potato and Cabbage Soup. My husband and I both agree that it's definitely a keeper. I made just a few changes to the recipe -- I used regular sweet potatoes from the produce section instead of the frozen bagged ones, regular veggie broth instead of organic, regular peanut butter instead of natural, and canned diced tomatoes instead of fresh. Oh yes, and I used a red chili pepper from our garden (we have loads of those) instead of the cayenne. No drastic changes.

To see all of my previous blog posts about the Moosewood recipes I've tried, click here.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Talent Everywhere

Yesterday, I blogged about my recent art quilting challenge piece, and today you get to see all the pieces from the talented quilters in our group. I love the variety that we all bring to the project -- and I especially love seeing our creations in person.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Shall We Dance?

After writing yesterday's post, I realized that I had not yet shown the last quilt I made for my art quilters' challenge group. My piece is called "Let's Do the Twist(er)".

The challenge was to use a photo for inspiration in any way we wanted, so that meant that we had a lot of freedom in what to create. The only other requirement was to use yellow somewhere in the quilt. I decided to kill two birds with one stone and try to make it something that would also fit the challenge for my guild's September exhibit as well. That challenge was to interpret a phrase, book title, song lyric, etc in a quilt. Lots of leeway there.

I don't know how I decided, but I settled on using a photograph that I found on the Internet of the Twister game. I'm sure most of you are familiar with it. Here's my writeup for the label at the exhibit --

This is my interpretation of the childhood game, Twister, with some fun word play on the popular dance we’ve all danced at weddings, The Twist. Of course, in my version, the circles are a bit frayed and the quilting is a bit off-kilter, but then...I’m usually a bit frayed and off-kilter after a round of The Twist or a game of Twister

The piece is fairly small, about 15" x 17", so I quilted it in a square spiral on my Bernina.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Looming Deadline

The deadline for my art quilting challenge group is just over two weeks away and all I've done for the last two and a half months is decide on a title for the piece and the fabrics! Yikes, I better get going with the actual quilt! Something tells me it's going to be fairly simple.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Exhibit Slideshow Is Here

You can now view a slideshow of all of the entries in my guild's recent exhibit...

Check out the website for more information on the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild in Wellsboro, PA.

Now it's time to start working on quilts for the 2014 exhibit!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

When Is A Gift Not A Gift?

When it's a donation to AAQI...

My friend Susan of Hanging on by a Needle and Thread blog recently celebrated a milestone birthday, so of course that meant I had to make something special for her. Susan loves coffee and makes some of the best baked goods, so I thought a mug rug would be appropriate. But then I got to thinking about how the older we get, the less we really need more stuff (fabric yardage doesn't count). At least I know I don't want more stuff and I don't like spending money buying people more stuff that just hangs around their house and collects dust. That even happens to mug rugs. So I prefer to give gifts that are consumable (wine is nice), reusable, or charitable.

As I was finishing this up, an idea popped into my head that the ideal way to honor Susan for her birthday would be for me to donate this mug rug to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. For those who don't know, AAQI sells small quilts like this to raise money for Alzheimer's research. Susan has been very dedicated to AAQI's mission for a number of years and has hit a major goal of having her AAQI quilts raise over $1,000. She's constantly encouraging her fellow guild members to make AAQI quilts as well.

So, this quilt will be going to AAQI where it will be posted on their website for sale. And it's dedicated to my friend and quilting sister Susan. Happy birthday, Susan!

You can read more about AAQI's wonderful work here.

And check out the great gift that Susan's hubby got her....I couldn't compete with that!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

One Way To Use Up Stash.... to use it as gift wrap!

This was wrapped using a simple Japanese furoshiki technique. 

What is furoshiki, you ask? Check it out here and never use wrapping paper again!

Do you know that the Japanese government even has instructions on how to use furoshiki? Check it out on their Ministry of the Environment's website. Wouldn't it be nice if more of our elected officials encouraged Americans to be more environmentally-responsible? But then that would mean that listening to scientists is important and we don't want to do that, now do we?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

Twenty-three years ago today I was here....

The Barns of Wolf Trap
Vienna, VA

Doing this...

My BFF has never forgiven me for making her wear fuchsia...

(she is still speaking to me, all these years later)

Man, I loved my dress...

My father and I

Here's a shot of the back...

My mother and I

And twenty-three years later, I would still say "yes" to the dress, and to the guy!

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Quilter After My Own Heart

As mentioned in my previous post, the Packwood House Museum in Lewisburg, PA has some absolutely lovely antique quilts displayed throughout all the rooms of the museum. This one in one of the bedrooms was particularly striking...

I am impressed with the quiltmaker's bravery in her color choices...

Not all antique quilts are made from dull, boring colors.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Another Great Pennsylvania Exhibit

Now that my guild's exhibit is over, there is still time to see another wonderful display of quilts at the Packwood House Museum in Lewisburg, PA.

 A few friends and I made the trip down to Lewisburg several weeks ago and we were in awe of the lovely antique quilts. Photography was not allowed in the special exhibit on the first floor, but you can get a sneak peak here on their website. Fortunately, photography was allowed throughout the rest of the museum, and there were many, many more exquisite quilts to see. A quilt similar to the one shown above was on display on a table in a dining room...

I took a lot more photos and promise to post them here on my blog once in a while, so stay tuned.

But if you're anywhere within driving distance of Lewisburg, I highly recommend you make a trip to the museum in person to see all of these quilts before the exhibit closes on October 13th! It's well worth the trip!