Tuesday, November 18, 2014

End of Harvest

Well, they said it was coming and it did, the last 3 days we've been getting dumped on, I think we have around 6 or more inches of snow. It's hard to tell the wind is blowing so hard. This is way too early, it's going to be a long winter. But before the snow hit I picked the last of my herbs to make a batch of herbal salt. I used all my savory favorites with sea salt.

Chopped the herbs and mixed them in. I put it in a covered container and shake it up once in a while. In about a month it should be ready to use. I use it in everything from cooking on the stove to seasoning on the table. You only need a little to impart wonderful flavor.

Last night I finally had time to cook down my pumpkins for Thanksgiving pies. I cut the pumpkins in half and arrange them on a plate. Next microwave it about 15-20 minutes in 5 minute increments, rearranging the pumpkin every 5 minutes. After the pumpkin cools I scoop out the flesh, and use my mixer to blend it smooth. I then freeze it in containers with the correct amount for the pies.
I use Pie pumpkins, they have so much flavor.

Next I cooked down squash for muffins (do you think I could remember the name of the squash, I'm at work and my mind is blank, if only the phone would stop ringing! Just kidding). 
Anyway I prepare it just like the pumpkin then freeze it for muffins. This ugly squash makes the best muffins and bread. Just use it in your favorite pumpkin muffin recipe.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Quilt Retreat

Last week my girlfriends and I went North on our annual quilt retreat, this being our 15th  year. Every year our local quilt shop owner "Quilted Memories" sends a little gift for us. This collection of Moda fabrics says it all "BEST. DAY. EVER",  except it could have read Best 10 days ever, that's how long we had the cottage for. We all had to come and go for appointments but we made it for most of the time. You can get a lot done when you have 10 days of inspiration and no house work and not a whole lot of cooking.

This is the lake home we rented, so close to the lake you felt like you were in a boat when you looked out the front windows.

This is where we set up our machines.

Everyone had a view.

Even a great view when you ironed.

Two of us went up the Halloween morning and spent the day working on Halloween projects, I machine quilted on my "Ultimate Halloween"  that was a "row by row" quilt that my girlfriends and I made a few years ago. I'd been collecting Halloween fabrics for years when we decided to make each other a quilt this is what I used. Everyone had their own fabric from Christmas to just beautiful prints. After a year of passing around the fabric you took home a beautiful quilt top.
I machine quilted "in the ditch" around all the blocks. Next year I'll free motion quilt around all the critters and bring them to life.

That evening Kay and I each made a wool table mat. Hand-stitched and a glass of Witches Brew by the fire. A perfect Halloween for a quilter.
With Halloween done it's on to other quilts.

The first quilt I worked on was this queen size wool quilt my daughter has been piecing for years. She started hand-piecing it when she was about 18 and finished machine piecing it a few years ago. I spent the entire day, 8 hours sewing 3 set of boarders on it. I do everything in my life fast but when it comes to quilting I take my time and enjoy. It's now ready to be quilted. I plan on machine quilting it, hopefully soon.

My next project started with these antique Japanese fabrics I bought this past summer at the AQS quilt show from The Ardent Thread. The owner specializes in Japanese fabrics old and new.
These pieces are hand woven, indigo dyes.

When I was a child growing up my dad would always draw this picture for us kids. Last Christmas I asked him to draw the picture and put one in each card for the grand kids. After saving a picture I traced it on 3 blocks and hand embroidered them to use in my wall hanging.

This is the finished wall hanging. I'm real disappointed in how the color shows. There are no bright yellow blocks in it. I hope this looks better on your computer than on mine.

Just lots on antique fabrics mixed with new.

Hand-woven and batiked fabrics from Thailand.

Boarder fabrics from  vintage men's kimono, hand woven, indigo dyed.

Another project I worked on was this wool piece. A few years ago I traced my grandsons feet and hands on wool tweed fabric with the intention of putting them together on this tan wool as a memory quilt for their mom. I next added their first snow hats and mittens and 3 wool felted snowflakes. There will be 3 more wool snowflakes each embroidered with the boys name on it. The moose will have black button noses and eyes. Then we will layer it with batting and a flannel back and quilt it with wool yarn snowflakes.
I worked on several more projects but forgot to take pictures but as I finish them I'll post a picture.

This was our evening view when it wasn't raining, but even stormy days are wonderful if you don't have to go out in it.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo