Monday, July 30, 2012

A Love of Fabric

I have been very distracted by all things fabric this weekend.  :)

I have decided on the color choice(s) for my Sunflower Wall Quilt with a little help from my friends. <3

I have looking at the wonderful display of fabric choices that my quilty friends have been making for their "Outside the Box" Mystery Quilt at the Quilt & Needle.  There are special threads posted in the forum for those who have purchased this pattern.  Many quilters just buy the pattern and use fabrics from their stash.  The variety of choices is amazing, as will be their finished quilts.  If you have never tried a mystery quilt and are feeling adventurous, please join us.  The mystery continues.  Jess, the designer, also hinted at the September and December Mystery Quilt themes and I am really looking forward to these designs, too. I have not started my July quilt, yet, as I have other projects ahead of this in my quilty queue.  I bought a kit from Jess's shop that are beautiful soft greens, yellows, aquas and browns from Moda's "Origins" fabric line. I am loving these fabrics and can't wait to cut and sew. ;)

I did not make the long trip to the Maine Quilt Show in the rain ... which made me a little sad to miss all the beautiful quilts. :(

So I consoled myself with a little fabric therapy.  I went to a one of my lovely nearby quilt shops.  This shop has walls of colorific cotton fabrics, as well as a great selection of batiks, minkees, as well as more traditional designs and solids. Every time I go in there, the rainbow of fabric makes me happy. Really brightened a gray weekend.

They are also having a big moving sale in progress.  Sale fabric are further reduced to just $3.99 per yard and there are also offers of 10% to 30% off other fabrics and an extra $10% if you finish the bolt. 

My fabric haul is pictured above,  Most of these fabulous fabrics were up for grabs in the $3.99 section and the most expensive was $5.99 at the 40% off offer by buying the end of bolt. 

So if you are in the area, stop by Quilter's Way while it is still in West Concord and then visit their new location next month in Acton.

Think I will go fondle the fabric and then get to work on my quilt.

May all your rainy days be showered with fabric!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Opinions Anyone ?

I have finally finished the quilting on the Sunflower Wall Quilt.   It has been a long haul ... broken by frequent breaks for my back ... and constant quilty kitty "help" by Ms Katniss.

Way to take over, cat ...

I have trimmed ... with a lot of helping and inspecting ...

... and am ready to bind!

Problem ...

Yellow ???????

or ...

Teal ????????

The original pattern called for teal and I cut these strips when I cut the quilt.   Now I am not sure it is right for "my" quilt.   I have seen one of these quilts with the teal binding and it was okay.  It does intensify the colors but I am not sure it frames well.  I auditioned brown, too, and my hubby said "brown" but he did comment that it made the quilt look smaller.  So I pulled that out of consideration.  The brown was a good frame.  Hmmmm ???  I am a yellow person so I am leaning toward the yellow.  It does seem to frame it nicely without dulling the colors and it echoes the inner border. Hmmmmm ???

Opinions anyone ??????????

I have to put this aside while I decide and make the rest of my signature blocks and get them in the mail.

Pepper is coming for a "play day"  so maybe Katniss will be otherwise occupied and I will get my blocks done. 

Happy Sewing!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Schnibble Love

A Summer Schinibble
My gardenia is blooming!  The scent is so sweet <3
I love Carrie Nelson's Schnibbles patterns.  This is a quilt a made a few years ago when I was very new to quilting from a kit I purchased at the Fat Quarter Shop.  Here is a close up of the blocks ...

The pattern is called "Nash" and it was fun to make, even for a beginning quilter.  Since then, I have acquired a few more of Miss Rosie's lovely little patterns and the book, Schnibbles Time Two, but I have not made another one of these cute quilts.

I have lots of charm packs, swap charms, scraps and fabric that would be perfect for these patterns.  I need to get sewing.

I have been blog hopping and just found Another Year of Schinibbles  on the A Quilting Life blog. This is the pattern link for the month of Celebrate July  and the post showing the quilts made for the previous month.  It is too late for me to make a quilt for this month, but I am gearing up for next month.  Hope I can keep up.  Even if this provides me with the impetus to make one more of these pretties, I will call it a quilty success.

Have a happy quilty day!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Katniss and Company

I may not be getting much quilting done this weekend, but I am enjoying the cats on quilts. 


Friday, July 20, 2012

Kitten-Sitting and Quilting

Katniss has her own Quilty Corner now.  This old quilt is her preferred place to sleep and watch the world.

Katniss has a lot ot watch this weekend.  My daughter's 2 month old kitten, Pepper, has come to stay with us while she goes camping.  Pepper is adorable.  Her face is so sweet; her fur is thick and soft; her purr is very loud.  She is very playful.  Our two older cats are looking at her like they do not know what to do or where to hide.  I think by the end of the weekend, Pepper and Katniss, who is also very playful, will be fast friends.  Butterfly, since she is a senior cat now, just wants a quiet place to herself. 

I have the quilting in the center of the Sunflower Quilt done!   I am now almost done with the border on one side.  I ended up putting straight line stitching in the striped tone-on-tone triangles and free form petals in the sunflower triangles.  Difficult to photograph, but here is a close-up:

 I am outling some of the big sunflower motifs in the border.  I hope to have this quilted and bound by the end of the weekend ... kitten permitting. ;)

Have a happy quilty weekend!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Blueberry Season in The Patch

Summer always means fresh blueberries,
so today I decided to make a
Fresh Blueberry Coffee Cake and Scones

I have been trying a lot of the new Greek style yoghurt lately and had some buttermilk in the fridge so I pulled these out with a fresh lemon and a stick of real butter (a rare treat) and started mixing. 

This is the recipe I came up with:

Fresh Blueberry Coffee Cake (or Scones)
For Cake:

½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
5.3 oz (1 container) vanilla Greek style yoghurt
½ cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup fresh blueberries

For Blueberry Topping:

1 cup fresh blueberries
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 medium lemon juiced

For Vanilla Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1-2 drops vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
For Coffee Cake: Grease a 10” spring form pan.  
Place softened butter in large bowl.  Cream sugar with butter.  Add beaten eggs. Beat until fluffy and light. Stir in yoghurt, vanilla, buttermilk, lemon juice.  Add combined dry ingredients and stir gently just until combined.  Fold in blueberries gently.  Spread in prepared spring form pan.
Sprinkle lightly with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar.
Bake for 25-35 minutes or until lightly browned and tests done with toothpick.
While cake is baking, mix blueberry topping ingredients in small pan and cook on medium heat.  Crush blueberries with spoon and stir until thick and well blended.  If needed, thin with additional lemon juice. Set aside to cool.
Mix powdered sugar, milk and vanilla for glaze just before drizzling on cake.
Cool ten minutes in pan on wire rack.  Remove from pan and set on cake plate. Spread with cooled blueberry topping and then drizzle with vanilla icing glaze. 
Serve warm or at room temperature.

For Blueberry Scones:
With dry ingredients, add additional:

1 cup of flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Turn out on floured board and knead very gently about 10 times.  Dough will be soft and sticky.
Shape into 4 rounds and cut rounds into four triangles with sharp knife.
Set triangles one half inch apart on greased baking sheet.
Brush scones with a little milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees or until light brown.

Serve warm or store in covered keeper and served at room temperature.

May be served with the blueberry topping or drizzled with vanilla glaze or cut in half and served with softened butter.

I wanted to try this as both scones and coffee cake so after I folded in the blueberries to the coffe cake mixture, I scooped a heaping cup  of the mixture into a smaller bowl and added about a quarter of a cup of additional flour and a half teaspoon on cream of tartar.  Turned it out on a floured board and kneaded a few times, shaped it into a round and cut in four triangles.  I baked the scones first for about twelve minutes while i made the blueberry topping.  Then while the coffee cake baked in the oven, I enjoyed warm scones for brunch.

Mmmmmmmmm!  The cake is will be dessert tonight.

Time to do some quilting.

Have a happy quilty, blueberry day, eveeryone!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My New Quilty Helper

Katniss is settling in very well.  Today she decided it was time to help me quilt.  First, she jumped up on the table to supervise.  Clearly, she has decided she can do a better job of it.  As you can see, she took over my chair while I went to refill my iced tea glass.  Now I am now on a smaller, less comfy chair and she is snoozing in my favorite one next to me.  Together we will eventually get this Sunflower Wall Quilt done! ;)

Happy Quilting!


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Katniss finds her home ... and a quilt

Katniss, our new Quilty Kitty

 Today we adopted Katniss at the Salem Animal Rescue League, where she was given her name.  This name suits her well.  She is a bit feisty and keeps her eyes wide open.  She is two years old and was taken into the shelter as a stray so we have no idea what she may have had for a previous home life, but she seems to be making herself at home very quickly.  So far she and Butterfly are doing well with respecting each other's boundaries and no fur has flown.

Katniss found this quilt on the rocking chair in the living room and is settling in for the night ... a happy cat on a quilt at home.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday, USA!

It was an American Banner Rose Day for me as you can see by the photo above.  I was not going to buy fabric, of course, but my favorite LQS put this fabulous fabric on a 40% sale for the 4th of July ... and I even won a free Charm Pack! What a great quilty way to celebrate the day. 

I have a mystery plan for this fabric, but it shall have to wait.  I am still quilting my Sunflower Wall Quilt ... and then I have some signature blocks to make ... and then I have a special sewing project for my hubby that has been bumped up in the quilty queue.  Then back to quilting the other Sunflower Quilt sometime thereafter.  A quilter's work is never done.

First here are the photos of the Vermont Quilt Festival.  I took some with my camera, but to see the best of the best go here for a fantastic online quilt show ... VQF Quilt Contest Winners with photos.  Gorgeous quilts!

From my own pictures of the show I am going to post a photo of one of my personal favorites ...

"Stars 101" by Betty Chouinard, VQF
A Blue Ribbon Quilt!

I first met Betty where she works at the Pine Tree Quilt Shop in NH. I took a class where she taught me to hand-piece.   Betty is a wonderful teacher and an amazing quilter.  The pattern is Stars For a New Day by Sue Garman, which Betty resized by half. This quilt is a wall hanging and is paper pieced and the blocks and borders are very, very tiny.    Congratulations, Betty!

Sew Inspiring!


Monday, July 2, 2012

Home From the VQF

Last evening we arrived home from the Vermont Quilt Festival and I am already looking forward to next year.  Butterfly Kitty is happy we are home, too.

There were sew many amazing quilts!

One of my many favorites in the show was in the Teacher Quilts area, The Pineapple Crazy Quilt by Bonnie Hunter.  You may see this quilt on Bonnie Hunter's Blog.  The blocks on this quilt are very, very small and the pattern may be found in her new book String Fling.  I love the way this quilt uses up small scraps and really want to make one of my own.  Bonnie is sew inspiring!

My pictures from the show coming later when I have time to get my own photos onto my computer.

We also found some new quilts shop destinations along the way like this shop ... A Quilter's Garden in Montpelier.  We stopped here on the way north and on the way south as they were open special hours on Sunday for the festival travelers.  I especially enjoyed shopping their sale fabric section upstairs.

We are plotting another quilty adventure to VT soon, as there is one shop that we planned to stop at on the way home but time slipped away and we could get there before it closed.

Think I shall go do some more quilting on my Sunflower Wall Quilt

I will miss My Mina Cat while I stitch.  I will keep her picture near me and I will pet My Butterfly Kitty, who is always such a comfort to me.

Have a Quilty Day!