Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Inspiration from a Favorite Thing

About ten years ago, I was perusing the local antique shop and spotted this beauty. I scooped it up and ran to the register with it, my heart racing with anticipation. I love it just as much now as I did in that moment. I keep it draped off the end of a cabinet in my family room and it makes me smile every time I walk into the room.

It's not in perfect condition and I think that's one of the reasons I like it so much. I often wonder about who made it, when and why. Someone put lots of time and effort into each loving stitch. It has a variety of embroidered symbols (each one representing a different meaning) including a double and triple ring - so perhaps, it was made to commemorate a special wedding anniversary.

Around the time I purchased the crazy quilt, I was really into Victorian decorating. The lovely stitches on the quilt inspired me to try my hand at silk ribbon embroidery. I ended up creating this cute little guy.

I keep him in a cabinet full of some of my other 'Favorite Things'. I used fabric remnants and lace trims from things I had sewn for my children. He reminds me of my grandmother, who collected elephants - although, hers all had their trunks up in the air which she said was a sign of good luck. Perhaps, someday someone will scoop him up and wonder about the history of him as well. Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, January 26, 2009

Red Delicious Block One

I told myself that I would finish this block today, no matter what. As I posted earlier, I was struggling with the birds tail feathers and tried several different looks. As you can see, I ended up adding an additional feather at the end of the bird and overall have learned to like it that way. I have a bad habit of 'overthinking' about things and I believe this was why I was having such a difficult time with this block. Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

I read about this book 'Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day' on several blogs and was intrigued enough to order it. There is nothing like homemade bread and I have tried different recipes over the years. I made a batch of the 'Master Recipe' yesterday. To be honest, I had my doubts when I made up the batch of dough, as it just seemed too easy! There is no kneading involved - simply a quick stirring of the ingredients which creates a very moist dough. You make a batch of dough, refrigerate it (the dough will keep for 7-14 days depending on the recipe), and pull off a piece of the dough each time you want to make a loaf of bread.This morning, I baked 2 'boule's and 2 'baguette's'.

As you can see in the photo, I am missing a 'baguette'. My husband, my son and myself had to 'try it' and be sure that it was ok - it was more than ok - it was downright delicious!!! It had a nice crunchy crust on the outside and the inside was moist and full of flavor.

As quickly as I could, I stirred up another batch of dough. This time a different recipe from the book - for 'Vermont Cheddar Bread'. I have a feeling that I am going to get a lot of use out of this cookbook. Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Tisket A Tasket Block 1 Done

I finally got this block done. I would have liked to have done the snowman with wool, but I didn't have any white and the cream just didn't look right.


I decided to not use the buttons (even though they look so cute on Anne's block). I am thinking that I will have an easier time to quilt this later if the buttons aren't there. This was a fun block to do - it works up really fast!

Now, to finish up the first block of 'Red Delicious'. I am struggling with the birds tails - I am not liking the embroidered look, so will try something else. Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Tisket A Tasket BOM

Just what I needed - another project! I was reading Anne of Cottons'n Wool blog and saw this Free mystery BOM that Anne at Bunny Hill Designs has started and I just can't resist.

Isn't this the sweetest block!! I can't wait to see the rest of the blocks and get started on this project!
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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year and Second Wholecloth Quilt

I started this quilt in April of 2004 with high hopes of finishing it that year, but life took over and it was not completed until February of 2005.

This is the quilt center . It is my own design with inspiration from an antique ceiling medallion.


This is a closeup detail shot - the micro quilting took quite a while and when I started seeing double, I knew it was time to take a break!

This is the quilting start date - the picture is not so great, but I really liked how the birds looked holding up the sign.And this is an overall shot of the quilt. I named it 'Time Goes By' and it won a teachers award at MQX 2005 by Tracey Browning and Second Place in the 'Traditional Whole Cloth' category at the Machine Quilters Showcase 2005.

I really love the simple but elegant look of the traditional wholecloth quilts. With the start of a New Year, I am thinking that I should start a tradition of quilting at least one new wholecloth a year. Print Friendly and PDF
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