Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ten Days Before.......

Hello Everyone,

Today is a re-run from a post on June 19, 2009.  This is my favorite and most heartfelt post that I've written since I've been blogging.  Some of you may remember it, but it will be new to most of you.  With all of the summer's bounty of fresh fruit available, and due to the fact that I'm so busy getting ready for company, I think this is a perfect time for a re-run.  After all, summer is full of re-runs on television so why not on blogs too?  Enjoy "Ten Days Before"....and as always.....


Yesterday, we bought a crate of peaches at Costco. (I could have said we bought them at our local Farmer's Market in downtown Livermore)...but Costco it was. Some friends are coming over for dinner tonight so I decided to make a fresh peach pie.

I turned to my extensive cookbook collection, (I need all the help I can get), and the first book I opened was The Modern Family Cookbook with a copyright date of 1947. The book belonged to my mom and I  remember seeing it in her house for years. I turned the cover over and saw that my father had given it to my mother and had written three little words, "Ten days before....." It's a good thing my mother had written in (wedding) so that I would know what my father was talking about 61 years later!
Yes, this was Harley's gift to his bride-to-be, Edith in 1948. I turned to page 624 to a recipe for Fresh Peach Pie. The page had been turned down and it was comforting to know that my mom had made this very same recipe....who knows how long ago.

So I started making the pie, first slicing the peaches, then rolling out the dough on the enamel top on my Hoosier. The top always stays cool and is an excellent surface for rolling cookies and pie crusts.

The whole time I was making the pie, I was thinking about my parents. Then I started thinking about how our lives and life stories are interwoven like the lattice on the pie.

While it was baking (wish you had smell-o-vision) I was writing this posting.

Today, I made a pie. Not just any pie, but a pie from of an old family cookbook given in love. I also felt that it was a gift from my father for me to enjoy 6 decades later.....even though it was just "Ten Days Before."

As always,


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Autumn Baskets

Hello Everyone,

I guess I accomplished more last week that I thought I did. It is never to early to start thinking about Fall. I know, I know, the first day of Summer was just last week, but still, if you start now, you'll have everything done to start decorating for Fall when September rolls around.  On September 1st, without a doubt, I bring out the Fall decorations and they stay up through Thanksgiving.

The blocks were more of an experiment than an actual project.  But, they may grow into a new project when I'm not looking.  I had a brainstorm the other day when I was driving across town, and when I got home, I immediately started calculating the size square I would need to make 8 half-square triangles at one time.  The unfinished measurement of the half-square triangle is 1-1/4".  (In case you didn't notice, the little plaid strip across the top of the basket is a flange......of course!)

Then I started to calculate the size square I would need to make to frame the block.  So I made three blocks then cut them in half diagonally and stitched them to the basket.  I like the end result.  I will probably make a table runner out of the completed blocks, or maybe three pillows.  The blocks finish at 13-1/4", so if I make pillows I'll add another border to make them at least 16" square.

This is a bit of diversion from my normal 'style'.....even though I'm not sure that I've developed my own style yet.  This is more of a traditional baskets meets a modern frame.  This could be the start of Christmas presents for the daughter's-in-law....but I'm not telling!

Rain is in our sunny California forcast today.  Rain in June is almost unheard of in this part of the country.  Such crazy weather, but it's great quilting weather! 

As always,


Monday, June 27, 2011

More Minglewood Blocks

Hello Everyone,

I don't have too much to show after my busy week of working, teaching and birthday celebrations.

I did get a chance to work on the Path Through the Woods block for the Minglewood quilt.  In comparing the two versions of the block, it is hard to tell they have the exact same pieces and colors in each block.  The cutting and piecing directions are the same also.

I just switched things up a bit to create this block.  I didn't want to have two big 'X's in my quilt, so this version eliminated one X.  It is so much fun to play with all of the block components in the book and be creative.  I was able to work more green into the quilt with these two blocks.  I thought I was a little heavy on the red side, so the next few blocks will shy away from red.

Here are all of the blocks in random order without any sashing or border.  The fabrics that I selected for the next two blocks is strong on green also.  If you are interested in the BOM through In Between Stitches, click HERE for all of the details. The blocks finish at 12" and the whole quilt will be 101" X 101".   The program starts in July, so I'd better hurry up and get the blocks done so I can select sashing and border fabrics!  Are there any other colors you would like to see in this quilt?

This quilt has been so much fun to make, and goes so fast, that I'm seriously thinking about making one in Christmas colors.  Now I didn't say Christmas of about for Christmas 2012?

I'm off to the shop to work this morning.  Another busy week on the horizon before the 4th of July.  We will have lots of family time over the holiday.  That means fixing our favorite family recipies for all to enjoy!

As always,


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Summer School Blush..or Summer's Blush School

Hello Everyone,

I said earlier this week that it was going to be a busy one, and it was.  I taught the Summer's Blush class on Wednesday.  I had a small creative group that worked hard all day.  Thank you all for such a fun day and making my pattern come alive in your beautiful fabric selections. 

Cindy put several pinwheels together and has many more cut just waiting to be sewn.

She is making her quilt out of this beautiful combination of Civil War fabrics.  Just yummy!

JoEllen is going to have all polka dots for the center pinwheels.  You know I love polka dots!

She bought this wonderful fabric collection while on a trip a few years ago.  It is going to be perfect for this pattern.

She has some great material for her flanges which will look super with the border fabric.

Pat, recently retired after 42 years of teaching, is going to keep herself busy over the next few weeks making pastel pinwheels.

This is going to be so pretty next to her sashing fabric.  You'll just have to wait and see it next month, since I forgot to take a picture of it!  Just because it is Summer School doesn't mean the girls get off without homework!  Their assignment for the next month is to have fun and be creative while quilting to their heart's content!

Today is a family get-together day.  Our youngest grandson turns the big THREE this weekend so it's party time!

As always,


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer School

Hello Everyone,

I have had a busy and rewarding week. Tuesday was the second session of The House on Edgewood Lane class.  It was an incredibly warm day outside, but the classroom was nice and cool while the girls worked on their sweatshop here!

Barbara is making her version from her collection of brights.

She says that she is not a scrappy type of quilter and this quilt was taking her out of her comfort level.  But, she looks comfortable to me making a scrappy quilt!

This quilt has an appliqued house in the center.  Barbara is making an applique design from a picture of her husband's family home.  I drew the home for her and she is making the applique.  It has been a little tricky, but it is going to be a nice representation of the 1920's home in the little community of Port Costa, California.

Another Barbara displayed some of her festive blocks.  I have some of the same candy cane material in my stash that I use sparingly.  I don't want to use it up since it is just the perfect size and scale.

She made good progress on her appliqued cottage.

Ann was doing some power sewing and all of her little combinations from the Arnold's Attic fabric collection went from this...... this by the end of the afternoon.

Cindy worked on her house and actually started stitching the cute pieces to the background fabric.

Lisa's house is all set and ready to be stitched and will be nestled between these......

.....beautiful blocks.  Lisa is becoming the "Flange Queen" and put a wonderful little green flange on all of her setting triangles.  Stinkin' cute Lisa!

Great job ladies!  All of your quilts are going to be fabulous.  You make my day when I  see how you take my pattern, add your creative touches, and make it your own. 

As always,


Monday, June 20, 2011

Minglewood Layout So Far

Hello Everyone,

I've been playing around with the layout for Minglewood on my computer.  I haven't decided yet if I'm going to put the center applique in mine or not.  I also need to decide what color border and sashing I'm going to use.  A rusty red border..........

or a black border.  I'll have a better idea once all of the blocks are finished.  The 12" blocks have been so much fun to make and I've learned a lot while working on them.  It has been a good opportunity to really refine my piecing skills.

I finally worked in some green and more purple. in this Double X block.

This is not a hot pink in the Christmas Star block, it is more of a magenta.  Not quite sure what my new camera saw through the lens on this block!

The shop is still taking sign-up for the Minglewood Monday program HERE.  The program starts on the 15th of July which gives me some time to make more blocks! 

I have a busy week ahead.  I'll be at the shop today cutting and packaging fabric for Minglewood.  Tomorrow I'll be teaching The House on Edgewood Lane at the shop.  On Wednesday, I'm teaching Summer's Blush at ThimbleCreek in Concord.

Hope all of you have a great week.  I'll have lots of pictures to post from classes soon.

As always,


Friday, June 17, 2011

Back to Minglewood

Hello Everyone,

Minglewood I've missed working on you! On my one workday at the quilt shop, I try to select fabric for two more blocks between waiting on customers and doing other quilt shop things that need to be done.  Last Monday, I had enough time to select the fabric, next Monday I will get it all cut, packaged and labelled for everyone that has enrolled in the block of the month.  Details for the Minglewood Monday BOM  HERE.  The first gorgeous packets of fabric will ship out on the 15th of July.

This block is one of my favorites and it is called Double X.  I'll make another one today in a different colorway.  This is just too much fun deciding which beautiful fabric to put where.  The next Double X block incorporates some green and purple.

This block is called Christmas Star....and it has always been one of my favorite blocks.  I've learned so much while making these blocks and have really fine-tuned my piecing skills. (Mainly because I know everyone can click on the block, and you can zoom in to see how it really looks, close and personal!)

Each month through the duration of the BOM program, I will include my tips and tricks on block construction here on my blog. One of the tips is how do you get all of the stripes to go in the same direction. I have to have all of my stripes marching like little soldiers in the same direction no matter what quilt I on. Anal YES, but that is just how I am.

On another note, I was totally overwhelmed with the number of ladies that would like to be pattern testers.  I try to answer a few emails each and every day, so be patient with me.  I will be selecting three pattern testers for the Christmas quilt that I think I'm going to name Country Charm. Marie Beers, please contact me via email, as you were a no reply status on your comment.

I hope each and every one of you have a wonderful day matching up seams!

As always,


P.S. If you go to the LABELS section on the left-hand side of the blog and click on Minglewood Monday, you will be able to view every block in the program that I've made so far.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Scrappy Leaves Part 2

Hello Everyone,

It is never too early to start making an Autumn quilt. It doesn't matter if you finish it for Autumn 2011 or 2012!  Yesterday I taught the last session of the Scrappy Leaves quilt at In Between Stitches.  The design is from the Maple Leaf Quilts book by Ilene Bartos.

Doesn't Cindy's leaf look like it is being tossed around by a gentle breeze?

Row number one is almost done.  Cindy is ready to do some power sewing since she is so organized with her fabric selections for the remaining rows.

Darla dug right in and selected all of her fabrics for the first two rows.  From this..... this by the end of class.  Darla is a very experienced and talented machine quilter.  I'm so anxious to see how she quilts this beauty.

Chris worked hard on her blocks over the past few weeks and has four beautiful rows sewn together.

She has all of her fabrics selected for the last two rows and is very organized too!

Pat came all the way out from Mississippi to take my class!  NOT, she was here attending the the high school graduation for one of her grandchildren.  Pat made this beautiful block with great colors running through her leaf.
Here are Pat's leaves so far.
Suzanne, Pat's daughter, made lots of good progress on her quilt.
Spectacular leaf!

This leaf was made by Ann.  Isn't this something?
Here are Ann's leaves so far.  She has everything cut out and is ready to do her power sewing too!

Believe me, this is a fun quilt to make.  The blocks become addicting and you'll just want to keep making more and more of them.  The classroom was beautifully decorated with all of the fabulous leaves.  We had shoppers drift in and out of the classroom all day long.  They seemed to be drawn in by the incredible colors on the design wall.

Thank you girls for creating such beauty that will travel from the classroom right into your home, providing years of enjoyment from your Scrappy Leaves quilt.

As always,


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Quilt Along Post #3

Hello Again!

This is the last post of the day. So what do you think? Should I stop here or make more blocks to make this quilt large enough for a queen-size bed? It would look fabulous up at the cabin this winter.  Festive but not too festive.  Christmasy but not too Christmasy.  I'm inclined to make it six blocks across by eight down.  I'm going to have to measure the bed and then decide.  I can just picture it with a red or green dust ruffle and matching pillow shams.  Oh my, what work I make for myself!  But, this is why I started to quilt.  I wanted to make each bedroom look like you just walked into a Bed & Breakfast Inn for the weekend.  Another thought, (I'm talking to myself at the computer), do I have enough background fabric to pull this off?  Back to the design wall I go.

The last two blocks of the day.

This part is for TINA.  The rest of you can read it if you want's up to you.  Tina, I can't answer your question directly since your comment is a "no reply" status.  This block is called Gold Rush.   The pattern will be available once I decide to knuckle down and finish the writing and have someone do a pattern test.  Are you interested in being a pattern tester?  Is anyone out in blogland interested in being a pattern tester?  (I knew everyone would read this part)!  Please send an email to:  if you are interested in making this pattern....even if you just make a block or two to see if my directions are perfectly clear to any level of quilter.

It is only 7pm, yet I feel as though I've sequestered myself away from Mr. Joe and Zinny long enough today.  Have a good night everyone.

As always,