Saturday, December 21, 2013

Merry Christmas

as Herod,
we fill our lives
with things, and again
with things;If we consider
 ourselves so unimportant that
we must fill every moment of our
 lives with action, When will we have the
time to make the long, slow journey across
the desert as did the Magi? Or sit and watch
the stars as did the shepherds? Or brood over the
coming of the child as did Mary? For each one of us,
there is a desert to travel.
A star to discover.
And a being within
ourselves to bring
to life.
Author Unknown

 Wishing you peace this Christmas and all through the New Year.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Every year at this time I'm reminded of how many things I'm so grateful for besides friends, family and good health.  So, here is a little quilt show with some thoughts and quotes on this great day we celebrate.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.  ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.  
~Native American Saying

Dear Lord; we beg but one boon more:
Peace in the hearts of all men living,
peace in the whole world this Thanksgiving.
~Joseph Auslander

You say grace before meals.  All right.  But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.  
~G.K. Chesterton

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world. 
~Terri Guillemets

Wishing you many blessings this Thanksgiving.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Candy Dish (Blogger's Quilt Festival)

This is my 2nd entry in the Blogger's Quilt Festival, a scrap quilt that I made in a class from Heidi Kaisand over at Hen & Chicks Studio.  I finished the top last November (see my post "Election Day") and did the machine quilting to meet the Festival deadline...yes that's the only way I get 'em done....with a deadline. This measures 45" x 61" and I plan to wrap it around the bottom of the Christmas tree.

Doesn't Santa look relaxed and ready for Christmas as he snuggles snuggles up to the quilt?

 Hope you enjoy all your Christmas stitching.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Welcome Winter (Blogger's Quilt Festival)

"Welcome Winter" 17" x 19"

This is my entry into the Blogger's Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side.  Redwork is my favorite form of relaxation as it's so portable and fun to do.  I stitched this piece outdoors this summer on the porch or the lake and now I'm trying to ease into the coming winter with a positive attitude...  I machine quilted it on my home sewing machine.  The pattern is a block from "Winter Wonderland" by Crabapple Hill

Hop over to Amy's Creative Side to see all the entries.

"Welcome, winter. Your late dawns and chilled breath make me lazy, but I love you nonetheless. "
~Terri Guillemets

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Catching Up

VIP tour of the Anheuser-Busch brewery with Kathy & Darryl

In the event you're wondering where I've been, here is a short synopsis.....

In April, looking for spring after a long Minnesota winter, we headed to St. Louis to visit friends. 

We took a morning stroll through the historical Soulard Farmers' Market. I think the big attraction for me at farmer's markets is the colorful fruits, veggies and flowers.  They had the biggest carrots I've ever seen! It was a a fun place to enjoy a bloody Mary and some good eats or just people watch.

Summer officially begins at the lake with the opener or opening walleye season, a father /son affair every May.

    The dock is in, the fish are in the pond and we have a May snow storm???
Deep Valley Quilters' Biannual Show.

There's nothing like a quilt show to inspire me to stitch as well as shop.

A quick trip to the Minnesota Quilters' Show in Duluth before we headed back up north for the annual week at the lake with the family.

Great weather, lots of fish fries and fun in the sun at Lake Vermillion.

July 4th 2013

           Suddenly summer was half over!

Katy, my "fashionista" models my 44 year old wedding shoes at grandkids camp.

We had fun playing euchre on the porch every night.

Just as the garden was in full bloom and producing lots of veggies, we loaded up for a long anticipated trip to Idaho.

On the way we stopped at Wheat Montana for flour, bread and good eats.

There was great entertainment and food at the Sand Point farmers market.

"Huckleberry friends" hubby and cousin Pete at Priest Lake.

Pete in the Ancient Grove of Cedars.  We were cautiously trying to avoid the bears who were looking for the huckleberries just like we were. 

September brought a visit from Wisconsin friends....Audrey and her 105 year old mother.  We sat by the pond and watched the frogs jump wildly trying to catch bugs!

Later we had tea, cookies and Czech style sandwiches with fresh produce from the garden.

Good things from the garden!

Mussels with good things from the garden

We had lots of squash, tomatoes, cucumbers and flowers from the garden as well as veggies from a local CSA.
AQS Show.

Traveled to Des Moines for the AQS show and a reunion with former neighborhood friends.

Tapas and wine at Trostel's Dish in Clive, IA

Evenings on the lake stitching, reading or just enjoying the view.......

October was a beautiful month at Green Gables, when the birches in the hollow turned as golden as sunshine and the maples behind the orchard were royal crimson and the wild cherry trees along the lane put on the loveliest shades of dark red and bronzy green, while the fields sunned themselves in the aftermaths. Anne reveled in the world of color about her.... "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn't it?..." ~Lucy Maud Montgomery

Hope you are enjoying these beautiful days of autumn as much as I am!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Medalion Sew-A-Long Part 3

Finished the 3rd row of the Medallion Sew-A-Long.  Check out the links over at Lori's blog, Humble Quilts to see the other projects.

This has been so much fun...I loved choosing the fabrics for the small blocks.  Now I have to get the border ready!  Thank-you Lori!


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Medallion Sew-A-Long Part 2

Here is part two of the Medallion Sew-A-Long over at Humble Quilts.  This time we surrounded the applique block with 3" pinwheels and once again, I decided to use my own method of constructing the 1 1/2" triangle squares, The Angler.  This might be another of my favorite retro tools that I'm so fond of and it didn't disappoint.  Keeping retro, I used the Judy Hopkins Scrap Saver to cut my squares.  More on that in the next post as I'm sure it will come in handy.

I like the angler, since my DH is an avid fisherman and I don't have to mark the squares before I stitch them.  The guide on the angler is a much better 1/4" than my sewing machine foot which also helps assure accuracy.

Am I sounding like a teacher??? 

Here are my triangle squares all ready to get trimmed and sewn into squares.

This is so much fun...kudos to Lori and Randy.  I love the scrappy primitive theme of the project.

Finally, here is the only flower blooming in the garden (well, after the daffodils and tulips who only made a brief but courageous appearance this chilly spring).

These are Mrs. Schraml's Columbine, bowing their beautiful blue heads.  She is still with us.

Hope there are lots of beautiful memories blooming in your garden!


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Medallion Sew-a-long

Lori at Humble Quilts is hosting a a medallion sew-a-long.  This is just what I needed...a great primitive design and a deadline.  Since I love needle turn applique, that was my choice of method.
Stay tuned to see the next round or check it out over at Humble Quilts!

Hope you are enjoying some sweet stitching!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Oh Heavenly Day!

It's a beautiful sunny day here in this cold country (19 degrees this morning) and a lot of sweet and wonderful things are calling me (remember Pooh?)

Some coconut cupcakes and a warm pot of soup.... Why would I want to go out in the cold?

Soup is on and now maybe a loaf of "healthy" instead of "holy" bread.

My favorite whole wheat bread..... it's great toasted with lots of butter in the morning.

Now the cupcakes....loaded with coconut....yum!

I'd like a cup of Joe with that!

No words.....

And now I'm going to relax with my new soft, warm socks and a good book!  Aren't they gorgeous?

Listen to Patti Griffin tell it and have a heavenly day!


Friday, March 15, 2013

Waiting for Spring.......or Breadventures

Tomato plants popping up.
Holy baguette slices
  "It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade."  ~Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Really, it was in the midst of a heavy March snowstorm a week or so ago that I planted these seeds, hoping for a boost in mood with some signs of spring.

While waiting for the seeds to germinate, I signed up for a class at Craftsy on Artisan Bread Baking with Peter Reinhart, whom I consider my absolute bread baking guru.  Heating the oven to 500 degrees does a lot to warm up the house and rising bread is a good mood lifter.
Every day there was a loaf fermenting in the refrigerator, rising on the counter or baking in the oven, besides dripping with melted butter and adding to my middle. No pics of my middle or the buttered slices which are long gone.


The goal of the class was to make crusty loaves with creamy soft insides full of holes (for the butter).  Most doughs had to be mixed up a day ahead of time.  I found it a relaxing process where I could read, sew or gaze at the snow while the ingredients did their thing.

The baguettes, though very brown, had great crust and lots of holes.
Country Loaf

Next was the Country Loaf which was made from old dough (or dough saved from the previous recipe and fermented in the fridge overnight).  Country dough has a bit of rye and whole wheat flour in it and it had great flavor and a marvelous crust.  This loaf disappeared in a hurry.  It had a few holes, but more crumb than crust.
Inside a Ciabatta

Ah, but the piece de resistance was the ciabatta.  I've made ciabatta before (from the instructor's books) and it was good, but my loaves looked more like cricket bats than the ones in these pictures.  With very wet dough, new shaping techniques from the class and a mix of coarse flours for dusting, I produced these loaves. The insides were very creamy and delicious even without butter. Are you hungry yet?

Ciabattas rising

Well, that's the end of my "Breadventure".  Today, the ciabattas I'm raising will go into a basket with wine for a silent auction tonight for the Lake Association. Tomorrow I'll be baking a yeasted Irish Soda Bread for St. Pat's Day and next week you can find me on the treadmill or the yoga mat trying to get rid of a few pounds.

Wishing you many delicious "Breadventures".
Now, what was I quilting?????