Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Hello Everyone,
Have you seen the latest recipe craze on Facebook and Pinterest called Swineapple?  Since I'm going to be gone for a few days, I wanted to fix something special for Mr. Joe to eat while I'm away.  I haven't seen too much of him lately, and he's beginning to think that he's gone back to the life of a bachelor.
So here's the begin with a whole pineapple.  (Note to time make sure you don't have any paper cuts before you begin because the acid from the pineapple hurts like the dickens!)

You shave off the outside first.  Cut off the top and bottom.  Slice it down the middle, then cut out the inside of the pineapple.

The recipe calls for two pounds of boneless, country-style spareribs.  I ask you, how in the H-E-double toothpicks can you get two pounds of meat inside this tiny space?

I sprinkled the meat with some rib rub and garlic spices.  I also sprinkled it liberally with seasoned pepper.

Crammed.....I mean gently placed the meat onto half of the pineapple.  I then placed the other half on top, then wrapped the whole concoction in peppered, applewood smoked bacon.  The top and bottom of the pineapple are only in the picture to make it look attractive.

Sprinkle more seasoning on top, and it's ready for the oven.  Now this is where it gets a little dicey.  You are supposed to smoke this over mesquite wood for 4 to 5 hours in a smoker.  By my way of thinking, if it tastes good in the oven, it will taste GREAT on the smoker.  No matter what, we started salivating after it was in the oven for only 30 minutes at 325 degrees. (2-1/2 hours total cooking time.) You are supposed to spray it with apple juice every 30 minutes if it's in the smoker.  Since I didn't have any apple juice in the house, and I was too lazy tired to drive to the store after wrestling with it, I'm sprayed it with Cran-Apple juice whenever I thought about it.  Let me tell you it's hard not to think about it when you are breathing in just about the best aroma on the planet!

I first saw this recipe on Facebook.  Everyone, EVERYONE is re-posting the same exact pictures of it, but I haven't read if anyone but the author ever made it. That is why I documented my whole process.  Next time I would tie the whole thing together with string instead of using only toothpicks.  I had to do some repair work midway through the cooking.  The bacon shriveled up to almost nothing and I had to add more to cover the bald spots.

So how did it taste?? Mr. Joe is never, EVER going to forget he has a wife who shows her love for him by fixing Swineapple. (Of course he may go into cardiac arrest after eating the bacon.) We pigged out.  Oink, oink!  The combination of the pineapple, pork and bacon was wonderful.  I put a little of each on my fork and savored every mouthful.
Off to Marysville and Yuba City this morning for a guild lecture tonight and workshop tomorrow.  I'll be wearing eau de swineapple as my fragrance.

P.S. The recipe also suggested using boneless chicken thighs.  I'm going to try that next time on the smoker.  There would be much less grease.  If you make it with pork, make sure you place it on a rack. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Something New

Hello Everyone,
I've been playing with my Patchwork Math book, and designed a new block.  It's new to me anyway.  Has anyone seen a block like this before?  After awhile they all start looking alike.  It is my goal to design new, yet timeless blocks.
The gorgeous fabrics are called Past Endearments by Judie Rothermel, and were supplied to me by Marcus Fabrics.  You can see the whole line HERE.  I think it's time for a blue block next!

Here's a breakdown of the components in the block.  It began with a square in a square in the center.  Now this block looks like it contains many triangles......but it doesn't.  The only triangles are in the square in a square.

I LOVE intricate blocks.  To me, intricate = interesting.  I also get more chances to add in additional color.
The square in a triangle measure 2 inches unfinished.  Pretty tiny, but adorable since they finish at 1-1/2" when sewn into the block!

You might be wondering what I'm up to....another quilt maybe? Well, I'm adding possibilities to my Patchwork Math class. I'm also working on additional segments for The Quilt  I begin filming five segments in July.  This could be the beginning of a sampler quilt.

Thelma & Louise, (Gail & Lynn) hit the road again next week.  We will be traveling to the Valley Quilt Guild in Marysville, CA.  I really enjoy the guild lectures and workshops since I get the opportunity to spend more time visiting with quilters. 

Hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.  Safe travels.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Grapevine Quiler's Show Part Two

Hello Everyone,
Here is just a very small sampling of the quilts from last weekend at the Quilts In Bloom show in Ukiah.  Gail and I had quite a nice view from our booth.


All wool....beautiful work.


Love the shoes!

One hot air balloon didn't make it!

The Log Cabin blocks were 4"!!

I'm sorry I couldn't include pictures of all the quilts.  To see the work from the talented ladies of the Grapevine Quilter's Guild, you will have to go with me to the show next year!

Thank you again ladies for taking such good care of Gail and me while we were at the show.  You girls are delightful!


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Grapevine Quilter's Show Part One

Hello Everyone,
This is going to be a two part post as I have so many pictures from the Quilts in Bloom Quilt Show last weekend in Ukiah.
I want to thank the Grapevine Quilters so much for making this such a pleasant experience. You were all so helpful and attentive to us throughout the entire show.
My appointment time to be at the loading dock was 1pm.  Since I'm always early for everything, we arrived around noon (after our lunch and milkshakes at the Bebop diner), with two vehicles full of quilts, product, and props.  
Gail and I were delighted we could unload early, and then we went from delighted to thrilled when young men and women from the California Conservation Corps (CCC) were there to help us unload! The young women and men of the Corps work hard protecting and restoring California’s environment and responding to disasters, becoming stronger workers, citizens and individuals through their service.  Helping out at the quilt show is part of their outreach program to the community.

With cars unloaded, and everything deposited in our "spot", we went to work unpacking and arranging our living space for the next two days.

We had an additional four feet of floor space which really made a difference.  I usually have a 10' wide booth, and it can get pretty cramped.  From now on I'm going to spring for the larger-sized booth.  It was much, MUCH easier to display the quilts and product.

Good old Country Charmer is always the favorite!

Ukiah is in wine country, so I brought Once Upon a Vine with me, and it drew some interest.

Grammy Squares is hot on the heels of Country Charmer when it comes to sales.  I'm finding this quilt just draws people into the booth, both men and women.  You've heard of "chic magnet", well this is a "quilt magnet".  People are curious to see how it's made.

We met the nicest people last weekend.  From quilters to non-quilters, you were so pleasant!  While I demonstrated Patchwork Math, Gail manned the check-out area. It is good to have an accountant in the family!
We were so happy to see our friend Helen from Healdsburg, and our buddy Jeanne from Penngrove.  Helen was able to stay and join us for dinner Saturday night.  Jeanne kept us company for lunch on Sunday. You girls went out of your way to see the show, spend some time with us, and we appreciated it so much.
At the close of the show, here comes the CCC to help us put everything away and haul it back to our cars.  We had everything packed up and safely stowed away in ONE HOUR!   We were like horses heading for the barn.
I could not have done this show without the help and companionship of my sister, Gail.  You are a trooper!  Now about your really did sound like a rotary dial phone!
Again our thanks to the Grapevine Quilters.  We'll be seeing you in February at your guild for a lecture and workshop, and we will see you again at the show next year! 

Friday, May 15, 2015

On The Road Again

Hello Everyone,
My quilts, my sister, and I are hitting the road to Ukiah, CA to set up our booth for the Quilts In Bloom quilt show.  While we are there, my Heartfire quilt is at Spring Quilt Market in Minneapolis in the Marcus Fabric booth.  That's our quilt behind the naked mannequins!

This version is going with me.  Sorry baby, it's not Minneapolis, but it is Ukiah!! 

In 1996, Ukiah was ranked the #1 best small town to live in California and the sixth-best place to live in the United States.  It doesn't get much better than that!  I'm looking forward to the show, and seeing the area.  It's been about 4 decades since I've traveled to that neck of the woods.

Gail was absolutely delighted when I told her Mendocino Brewery was located close to the quilt show venue.  I'll bet you will find us there Saturday night. (Don't tell our husbands we are going to be there.  We will dress as quilted barflies so we won't attract attention to ourselves.) 

I'll be posting pictures of the show next week when I return.  In the meantime, keep on quilting and  make a few blocks for me.  If you are in Northern California, come on by the quilt show.  Now I know California is a large state and Northern California is a HUGE I hear anyone saying road trip?


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Sew'n Wild Oaks Class is in Session

Hello Everyone,
We were in stitches all day long in the classroom at In Between Stitches yesterday,  The stars must have been aligned just right to bring out so much creativity and laughter from so many quilters in one day.
Jeanne is blazing through her blocks for Country Charmer.  You know how her scrappy look appeals to me.  I love her use of color in her blocks.


Kathy has lots of blocks finished for her Country Corners quilt.  She is adding more to this mix of beauties too!

Barbara has a completely finished Country Corner's quilt!  She's created a wonderful, couch throw for her home.

Irene has many of her blocks finished also.  This is just a small sample of her beautiful blocks.

It was a joint project selecting the fabric for Suzanne's Country Corners quilt.  She made her blocks 6" instead of 9".  They are spectacular!

You will be seeing this one in the finished column soon!  Suzanne made some of the blocks from Country Corners, and then she added some which she drafted.  It was really something to see.


Jeanne has a quilted Once Upon a Vine!  Jeanne started this quilt at my retreat last fall, and now she can put this beauty in the finished column

Several of the girls are working on Once Upon a Vine.  We had little baskets and grapes all around the classroom.

This was Barbara's first attempt at applique.  What a great job.....and she enjoyed the process.

Here are Patty's grapes.  I thought her pins looked good on the clusters.

We had Grammy Squares too.  Judy started her quilt during class.

Gail had been working very diligently on her blocks and has a lot of beautiful blocks to show for her efforts.

Karen made more blocks to add to her collection.

Paula is moving right along on her blocks too.

Kaye is making patchwork for some Christmas stockings.  This looked great!

Barbara has her Dresden table topper together.  So cute!

Patty's quilt is quilted!  You saw the flimsy last just add binding and it's finished!

Isabelle is working on her barn for Harvest of Hope.  She found the perfect addition to sew on top of her roof. Perfect scale and colors.

The girls had a lot to crow about yesterday, and we were all making rooster sounds by the end of the day!

Girls, yesterday was special.  Thank you so much for being YOU! What a happy bunch we were.