Saturday, August 27, 2016

Friday, August 26, 2016

Semi-Annual Doll Quilt

My quilt guild has a doll quilt drive each fall for Christmas gift-giving. I found these squares already sewn into rows on the freebee table.

It was the work of two afternoons. I was so pleased with the way it turned out.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Summer splendor from the garden.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Fruit Salad

At last! It's done. Quilted, bound, labeled and washed. I still love it! When you spend more than a decade bringing a quilt to completion, that's a good thing.

It's a shame the quilting doesn't show in these pictures. The professional quilter did a rock solid job of using just the right motifs to make it sing. Thank you Betty!

I dropped it off Thursday for the Long Valley Quilt Show. Working against a deadline is a such a great motivator! The week before the submission date, I worked on it daily for hours at a time. It felt creative and productive on the one hand, but a bit like a second part-time job on the other.

But I know from experience the time, effort and frustration that goes into creating some quilts completely fades once it's done.

Sunday, August 07, 2016


I completely missed blackberry season last year while I was visiting my Mom in New England. So you can bet I made a point of picking this year.

I used to go blackberry picking with my sons when they were growing up. Those have become fond memories; filling our individual bowls and then pouring the berries into one great big container. We compared our blue-black finger tips and the scratches we'd gotten in the process, making sure we avoided the poison oak that grew thick among the brambles. I often  got so absorbed in my picking, I'd forget to watch where I was stepping.

This year I picked berries at my neighbor's, by myself in the cool stillness of early morning. There wasn't any calling back and forth - "Hey there's a great, unpicked patch over here!" Just the call of a mourning dove and a quiet that I noticed for some reason. The berries hung in clusters over her fence and there wasn't any poison oak. I picked 13 cups, enough for two pies, in less than a half an hour. It didn't seem right somehow. It was singular and too easy.

But there's nothing that says summer to me like blackberry pie and ice cream.

I recently received an e-mail from my son, who has moved to the Seattle area. He and his wife had gone blackberry picking. He sent me a picture.

It made me smile. I guess the tradition continues.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

We Be Jammin'

It's that time again. Fruit is ripe and available and my neighbor is asking me if I want plums.

The tree was laden, so I picked about 13 cups in 20 minutes. I could see why she asked if I want some. I didn't even make a dent.

I simmered them for about 20 minutes and then put them through a sieve to remove the skins and pits. Then I added a half a cup of sugar to every cup of juice and simmered until the spoon test showed it was thickened.

Adding less sugar makes it taste more like cranberry relish than a sweet jam.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

July Flowers

I stopped at the Brooktrails Community Garden to water and Frank took some quick pictures.



He does like to take close ups. I love the honeybee on the left, flying toward the hollyhock. Bzzz...