Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tulips & Travel

Finished the tulip block for the garden club quilt.  Its not the same block as used in the original quilt.  Used the tulip block from Blackbird Designs' Tulip Farm quilt instead.  One of the red fabrics is from French General, and it is a dream to use for applique.  Highly recommend it!
We were lucky to travel to New Orleans with our family in October.  It was a dream trip, and we just loved walking through the Garden District and checking out the awesome homes.

Sad to hear that these cool water meter covers are disappearing as they are becoming collector's items.

A picture of the courtyard where we stayed.  My husband's brother has a timeshare here and we all got to stay together.  Such fun!
Baked our friend Cindy LaNier's famous butterhorn rolls for Thanksgiving.  Topped with homemade apricot jam we made last summer - they are scrumptious, and such a treat that we only make them for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.  I'll leave you with the recipe below, and happy holidays to all of my dear blog friends.  Really appreciate your visits, and hope you have time to get a few stitches in!

LaNier's Butterhorns

1 package yeast
1 cup warm water
1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, well beaten
4 1/2 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in water.  Add a couple of tablespoons of the sugar to proof the yeast.  Let rest for at least five minutes.  Meanwhile, melt butter and add sugar.  Stir to mix and set aside to cool.  Add to yeast, and add salt, eggs, and 3 cups flour.  Mix well by hand and add remaining flour, mixing until well combined.  Either dough refrigerate overnight or let rise in a warm spot on the counter for at least four hours.  Divide dough into four pieces.  Roll each into a circle, and cut each circle into 12 triangular pieces.  Roll from large end to short (crescent shapes) and place on a well greased baking sheet.  Let rise (1-2 hours) and bake in a 400 degree oven for eight minutes.  Makes 48 scrumptious rolls.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Petunias and Diamonds

Just finished the petunia basket block for the Garden Club quilt.  I love how the Country Threads ladies designed the petunias.  They remind me of my grandma's garden when I was growing up. I still remember the smell of petunias in the warm summer sun.  The other big news is that our oldest daughter, Jamie, just got engaged!  She and Brian, her fiance, are so happy and we will be planning a wedding for next year!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Feels Like Fall

Took a road trip yesterday to Apple Hill which is a local area in the Northern California foothills where the farmers are known for their great apples.  This trip is an annual event for our family.  We don't use a lot of apples, but we selected a couple of each type to sample.  Just love to spread sliced apples with a little nut butter for a snack!  Also got a gallon of homemade apple cider which is so delicious heated up to drink in the evenings.

Finished sewing the first Garden Club block - next I'm on to making the chicken and the bee skep blocks.

There are wonderful vendors at Apple Hill who sell handmade items.  Couldn't resist this wooden basket made from old barn boards.  The gentleman who makes these hand forges the iron braces and the handle.  The basket is just so unique and sturdily built, and a super bargain at $35!

I'm leaving you with a delicious carmel apple cake recipe that we always enjoy every fall during apple season:

Carmel Apple Cake

Beat well:

1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

Sift together and add:

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix in:

3 cups diced raw apples
1 cup nuts (optional - we don't use)

Pour into a 9 X 13 inch pan and bake at 300 degrees for 50 - 60 minutes.

Carmel Glaze

Melt 1/2 cup butter and stir in 1 cup brown sugar, and blend well.
Add 1/4 cup heavy cream and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Take off stove and cool slightly and add 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Spread over warm cake and enjoy with hot coffee!

Hope you are enjoying your Sunday and have time to get a few stitches in - thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Garden Club

Our Prim Group is making the Garden Club quilt by Country Threads as a block of the month at our local quilt store, so I'm working on the prep for the first block.  Decided to use backgrounds that remind me of 1940s aprons.  The original quilt doesn't have the sprigs and buds on the sides near the bottom of the vase, but I thought the block needed a bit more so added those.  Was inspired to choose electric blue for the dragonfly when I saw several in our garden this weekend.  May add more flowers to the top of the vase, what do you think?


Just purchased these little applique scissors designed by Karen Kay Buckley, and highly recommend them - they are wonderful!  They are really sharp and the little tips are just right for trimming a seam or clipping into a little corner while appliquing. 

Fruit is so plentiful and tasty at the farmer's market this month.  We made strawberry freezer jam and peach cobbler - soooo good...the jam is perfect to stir into a cup of plain yogurt.  Thinking of all of you on the East coast who are weathering the storm this weekend - hope everyone has time to get a few stitches in and thanks to all who stopped by for a visit!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

State Fair Quilts

Attended the California State Fair today, and wanted to share a few photos of the wonderful quilts which won awards this year.  Pictures taken with permission of State Fair staff, but unfortunately I didn't note the names of the quiltmakers as there was a large crowd and I had to keep moving!

Blackwork Beauty
Loved this quilt!
My favorite this year!

Gorgeous applique!

Sweet house quilt - must make this!

Who doesn't love Charley Harper?

Gorgeous crocheted coverlet - it was lined with fabric too!
We visited Yosemite Park in May and the falls were magnificent this year. The photo doesn't do them justice! Thought the little cabin at Yosemite was just adorable.

Yosemite Falls
/Adorable Yosemite cabin
Peaceful picture in Yosemite

We have been working on house projects, so not much on the quilting front, but did manage to finish some churn dash blocks for the Jo Morton Churn Dash Swap.  Pulled out a Stars Quilt I finished some time ago and will hopefully get it quilted some time this summer.

Jo Morton Churn Dash Swap blocks
Star Quilt from a McCalls Magazine pattern
Hope you are all enjoying your summer, and thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Laurel Cherry Block

Just finished the laurel cherry block last night. 

This is the halfway point to finishing this quilt!  Many, many thanks to my virtual quilting friends in the US, Australia, Canada and Europe for contributing the Lancaster cake stand blocks for this quilt.  I am really enjoying making the applique blocks so much.  So excited that a new quilt store is opening close to home today, so of course, I have to run over and check it out.  Fingers crossed they will have a selection of reproduction and prim fabrics!  Hope you all have a lovely weekend and time to get a few stitches in.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Orange Peel Petals

Started a new project in Spring colors called Orange Peel Petals.  The quilt is designed by Temecula Quilt Company, and its a really fun project that can be picked up quickly to get a few stitches in with easy, peasy needleturn applique.  Most of the fabrics are from the Little Pink Stars line.

We visited this lovely place about an hour from home recently.  Its called Daffodil Hill, and is located in an old gold rush area.  The weather was perfect that day!  Its well worth the visit if you get a chance.

Always appreciate those of you who stop by to visit my blog, and hope you all have time to get a few stitches in!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Four Hearts

In honor of the red and white exhibit that was this weekend, appliqued a few red hearts on a cream background this weekend.  Just love this fabric collection, so plan to make a heart in every print and put them together into a little quilt.  The pattern for the heart block from Blackbird Designs is here: 

Its been cold and rainy here this week, so made chicken and dumplings for dinner.  My husband said they are "almost" as good as his grandma's!  No problem here - I agree that nothing is as good as memories of grandma's cooking! 

Just finished reading "Room."  Have any of you read it?  Almost quit at the beginning but it definitely got better and it is thought provoking.  It reminded me of how I felt when reading "Little Bee" last year.  I haven't forgotten that one either - what a story!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Cherry Seeds

Finished the latest block for the Cherry Cake quilt yesterday.  The pattern I drew for this block was inspired by an antique block and a Jan Patek block from her Millenium Garden quilt.

This is how the quilt looks so far - plans are percolating for a bird block, a house block and a laurel cherry block.  My thoughts today are with the brave people of Japan as they deal with the tsunami tragedy.  Thanks so much for visiting my blog and hope you find time to get a few stitches in!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cherry Basket Block

This month has flown by, so wanted to post a picture of the latest Cherry Cake block before the end of the month - whew just made it!  This block is modified from a pattern in the 101 Applique Blocks book.

The number of appliqued blocks are slowly growing, and are very enjoyable to make.  Am prepping the next Cherry Cake block which isn't as involved as some of the others, but there will still be a fair amount of cherries!

Really enjoyed crocheting this Montana Tote designed by Knitting Architect for my daughter, Jamie, and she loves it. She asked me to make it when she found the pattern on Etsy here.  I'm in the process of crocheting a wheat colored bag for my daughter, Holly.  Its a nice, easy project to pick up and crochet a few rounds in the odd moment.  Its a nice, heavy bag with a long strap that fits cross body so its secure.  Think I will make one for myself next!

I sincerely appreciate all of you who stop by for a visit, and hope you are having a wonderful weekend!  Off to make a curried cauliflower soup to take to work for lunch during the week ahead.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cherries Galore

This is the latest applique block finished for the cherry cake quilt.  The cake basket blocks were made by friends on a Reproduction Yahoo Group.  Our challenge was to make cake basket blocks for a block exchange using Lancaster colors.  This applique block was inspired by a block in an antique quilt I remember seeing in a quilt show some time ago.  There are a lot of cherries in this one, so I ended up using thin metal washers I got at the hardware store as templates.  After gathering the fabric around them, they got a good press and then sat overnight to cool.  It really worked well.

Progress so far - the cherry sprig applique block on the right is inspired by a block in the 101 Applique Blocks book by Nancy Brenan Daniel.  This is a great book which I end up return to over and over.  The middle block was made using a bias stem shaped around a glass for the template, and leaves from a pattern I made by folding freezer paper in half and cutting out a leaf shape until I came up with a shape I liked.  There are a total of 20 cake stand blocks, so will enjoy making more applique blocks to go in between.

Thank you for stopping by to look at the Cherry Cake quilt progress, and hope you have time this weekend to get a few stitches in!  Delicious foggy weather here in Northern California just right for quilting and a pot of soup bubbling on the stove!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cherry Sprig Block

Just finished the cherry sprig applique block for the cherry cake quilt, and am deciding what type of applique blocks to make next.  

The applique blocks are so fun to make as they will all be different, and I'm leaning towards a bird/cherry block or an urn/cherry block as the quilt may get a bit busy.  Would love to hear your ideas about future applique blocks to include!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

1-1-11 Happy New Year!

Was so thrilled to receive this wonderful hooked rug from Kelley, a Yahoo friend, for Christmas.  Kelley makes the most gorgeous rugs, and I was thrilled to receive one of her wonderful creations.

Our oldest daughter drew these pictures of her Grandmother as a young girl, a teenager, and a young woman (1930s - 1940s) for her sister's Christmas present.  We all were thrilled so see what a wonderful, heartfelt present she gave her sister, and we are so proud of her drawing talent.

Think this is the year of the little quilt as I have been reading on many others' blogs, so wanted to show one I finished and handquilted in 2010.  Little quilts appeal on so many levels: its a way to test out different fabric color combinations; an incentive to finish a project from start to finish when time and patience are limited; and they are so fun to display!  I love the hand quilted look, and since this was my first attempt on a little quilt, hopefully I will become better at it...  I can already imagine different designs and thread colors to use on the next one.

Looking forward to a great 2011, and I am so grateful to have met so many fellow bloggers during 2010 whose blogs I have thoroughly enjoyed, and who have enriched my life through comments left on my blog.  Can't wait to see the projects we all have ahead of us this year!