Thursday, August 27, 2015

Pear Season

My community has a Fruit Group which allows me to buy unsprayed fruit by the box for 10% over cost. I ordered Bartletts.

 I also made pear crisp and pear sauce. The crisp didn't stay around very long.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Colorwork Charting

Recently a knitting friend wanted to de-stash some yarn. I'd seen the color combination and offered to adopt it. She was thrilled.

I didn't know what I wanted it for, but something would come to mind. I just found the combination so lively.

A couple weeks later I found this Fair Isle pattern for a baby hat and an idea began to percolate.

I played around with the colors in a graphics program and came up with two possibilities.

I don't know that it'll actually get made, but I loved the flow of creativity.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Stars of Valor

I just looked at my notes and found that I drafted this QoV in February. I had asked myself not to start it until a few others got finished.

One of the things blogging does for me, similar to writing a journal, is show me my own life patterns. I can hear myself saying in an earlier post that I rarely make a pattern more than once. Well... my blog shows me I've made two other Star Struck quilts. I love it. Fun, easy and so visually pleasing.

It was easy to name it, even before the first dozen blocks were finished. A Quilt of Valor made in the Star Struck pattern = Stars of Valor. Some quilts seem to name themselves.

Once all the light and dark strips are sewn together, you cut them into rectangles, add a light and contrast square to each corner and then cut them on the diagonal. I like to line up 6 or 7 at a time and zip through them.

Left-handed cuts

Four sub-units make the block. I thought this was the easiest, least complicated piece-work on the planet. But when I wasn't thinking, I sewed four sub-units angled left instead of angled right. That created a star that spins counter-clockwise instead of clockwise. Huh.

This method also produces lots of bonus triangles, which I'll use in the border.

I was able to find just the right border and backing fabric at a little quilt store north of us. The rest is just straight sewing.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Bread and Butter Pickles

This week I harvested more than a dozen pickles, in five varieties. I looked up Cold Cucumber Soup and made that first. It was yummy made with buttermilk, and tasted refreshing on a hot day.

But I still had more cucumbers than we could eat in a week, so I looked up pickles and found out how easy they are! I made a half recipe, substituted powdered mustard for mustard seed and dried dill for the celery seed, mostly because that's what I had on hand! The recipe seems really forgiving.

From lft to rt: Armenian, Poona, Long Improved Green, Marketmore, and Lemon cucumbers.

I didn't use the Armenian cucumbers because they were too soft for pickling.

They're tasty and ready to eat. I also think they'll improve with time. The taste of summer on into fall.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

GE Steam Iron

Next to my sewing machine(s), my vintage GE steam iron is my favorite tool in the studio.

I've probably had four of these in the last 30+ years and I love 'em! I always find them at thrift stores for about $4.00 and they are a work horse. It heats quickly, stays warm a long time after it's turned off - an added benefit to my mind - and steams like a tea kettle. I know a lot of quilters avoid using steam, fearing it will stretch or distort the fabric, but I've never had a problem.

I've tried a number of other brands over the years, including Rowenta, but I don't like an iron that's made of plastic or that turns itself off. I like the iron to be hot and ready to use when I pick it up. Sometimes the old version of a tool is the best.

ETA: I just Googled this iron and it's from the late 50s. I saw some selling on eBay for 35.00 and 95.00!

Thursday, August 06, 2015

LeMoyne Star Update

Here's another one of those quilt projects I work on for awhile and then put away. I got it out again this month and have been making more blocks.

This time I've almost gotten it to the piecing-the-border stage. But starting another Quilt of Valor quilt is beckoning me. Now I know why they coined the phrase - short attention span quilt.