Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Memorial Day

It's been a while since a blog post.  We had a couple birthdays in the family and now a family tragedy.  A cousin's husband died in a canoe accident over the holiday weekend, so I'll be away for a while more to attend his funeral.  We are thankful that his grandson survived.  A bitter-sweet blessing.

View from the deck at The Lake
The Memorial Day Holiday was spend with our family at The Lake. I enjoy quilting there when we don't have a big crowd. We often have a good sized group there every weekend and there just isn't room to pull out the sewing machine.  Cooking takes up a good bit of my time there, but it's fun. I don't have a computer up there, so no posts while we're Up North.  It's our get-away place, but those smart phones are taking over and it's getting harder for DH to feel he really is away from work and city life.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Yummy Silks

A busy weekend full of wonderful surprises!  DS arrived home from his business trip to Bangkok, Thailand bearing gifts.  Not batiks, but beautiful silks!

First this lovely silk scarf.  Don't you just love the Elephants?  He really wanted to bring back something that was genuinely Thai, but was staying in a very tourist-oriented area, and he felt his choices along those lines were fairly limited.

Then, he really surprised me with a gift for my upcoming birthday.... 4 m. of silk yardage!  Two of a deep blue and two of a coordinating blue with a gorgeous woven floral. 

Any suggestions on what I should make?  I don't think a quilt is the right thing to make from this, even though Victorian quilts were often made of silk. 

If I already didn't have a dress to wear to his upcoming wedding I'd try to make one out of this fabric.  I haven't done dressmaking in a long time!  Not since the kids were in high school and I made prom dresses for DD.  I'm quite out of practice.

Although this weekend DD had some sewing projects for me to do while she was in town.  I made a pair of pants that had shrunk in the wash into Capri's and measured her bridesmaid dress for hemming.  They wanted $45 and 4 weeks to hem a tea length dress at the store and I can do it just as easily for free.

We also made up a dozen more mug rugs and 3 aprons for the museum gift shop.  The sewing machine was humming!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

On the design wall...

On the design wall this week are some scrap blocks from Bonnie Hunter.  She called them Betty's Choice in the March/April Quiltmaker Magazine. 

Another name for this traditional block is London Roads.  That led me to remember my grandparents, born near London.  A favorite memory is tea with milk which Grandma always made for us.  My alternate blocks are embroidered by machine with a teapot and cup, a Dakota Collectables design. 

The next decision is how to place the blocks.  I have 8 London Roads, and can make more embroidered blocks.  The nine-patch wall hanging arrangement is nice and the extra blocks could become a table runner.  Or...I could make more teapots and have 4 blocks by 4 blocks.  Perhaps I will embroider the names of some of my favorite teas in the stripe on the sides of the teapots.

Another project is making redwork dish towels for the Museum.  The upcoming Community Collection display is Lighthouses, so I've made up a few towels for the gift shop.  These Dakota Collectables patterns are on the same CD as the teapot.  I might need to take orders for any that the staff or volunteers want to buy so they have a few left in the shop for visitors.  DD will be in town for a shower this weekend and will be bringing them back with her.
Well, now I'm off to quilt awhile.  Hope you get a chance to quilt today too!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Celtic Square Wedding Quilt Finished!!

I'm so excited today. 
The wedding quilt is Finished!!!  And in plenty of time before the wedding.

I finally got up enough courage to free motion quilt the feathers in the white border.  Spent a lot of time drawing them over and over on paper to get the right mental motion fixed in my mind.  I did a small practice piece first, and I did notice as I was sewing that I improved as I went along. 

My son is a mechanical engineer, and the strong geometric design really appealed to him.  In fact, he re-designed the blocks so there are no set-in seams!  I set the blocks on point to resemble a Double Wedding Ring.  The corner blocks are "Sarah's Choice", a traditional pattern.  It finishes off the quilt nicely, and adds a personal touch. 

I think Sarah made an excellent choice, and I'm sure my DS did!  We're so thrilled to have her for our DIL.  We're very proud of her as she graduates this weekend from North Dakota State University.

In an example of terrible timing, I had to take DS to the airport today for a business trip to Bangkok, Thailand.  He'll have to miss her graduation, but he WILL be back in time for their wedding.

Linking up this week with other great finishes at:
Finish it up Friday 
Can I get a Whoop Whoop?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Apple Crisp Anyone?

Give-aways are fun to enter.  I've even won two!!  You might be interested in entering some of the give-aways that Quiltmaker Magazine has going to promote their latest 100 Blocks publication. 

Today's post featured an apple tree quilt block.  Their question was "What's your favorite way to eat apples?"  It reminded me of my mother's wonderful apple crisp recipe, so I thought I'd share that on the blog today.

I often take a pint canning jar (or equivalent) and layer the dry ingredients inside.  The college kids absolutely love to receive them as gifts.  All they  have to add is a stick of margarine and 5 pared/sliced apples to have a great tasting and easy treat!  (Especially great warm and with ice cream)

Grandma Seifert's Apple Crisp

5 medium apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
3/4 cup quick oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine (1 stick)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8x8 baking pan.  Arrange apples in the bottom of the pan.  In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients.  Cut in margarine with a pastry blender until crumbly.  Pour on top of apples and pat down.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. 

tips:  Softer apples bake quicker, crisp apples need a longer baking time.  Mixing varieties is OK.  Older or drier apples can be tossed with a little connamon sugar or lemon juice to draw out their juices before arranging them in the pan. 

Mother used to peel the apples and cut slices off of them while holding them in her hand.  Don't know how she avoided cutting herself doing that!  The system I use to prepare the apples is:
1. peel apple with a potato/vegetable peeler
2. cut in half stem to bottom
3. scoop out seeds/core with a melon baller
4. cut a V with a paring knife to remove blossom end and stem
5. place apple cut side down on a cutting board and slice down into slices 1/8 to 1/4 inch wide

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Quilting in the Rain

A couple of rainy spring days can really get me in the quilting mode. 

Yesterday I spent 4 hours quilting the Celtic Square Wedding Quilt for my son & his bride-to-be.  All the stitch-in-the-ditch on the top is done! 

Today it's the borders.  Simple Sashing (squares and ovals) for the first border.   Feathers may win out over leaves or flowers for the white middle border.  I skipped over it to do the outer border while I pondered that decision.

The Victoria and Albert fabric had a clear diagonal, so I measured and followed the fabric pattern.  No marking!  What a time saver.   I may yet add stitching in the opposite direction, but need more light green thread before starting that.  The photo makes the fabrics look black and grey, but they're really a lovely soft green and a dark forest green.

80 days to the wedding!