Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Design Wall

I'm happily in Scotland now. It's a little family time. My husband is from Scotland, moved here when he was thirty. He visits home frequently, but this is the first time we've all been back together as a family.

Just about a week before we left, here was a picture of my design wall. The block on the right is an orphan left over from a finished quilt called "Blue Onion" I just finished it in the last month.

The trees are the beginning of a bottom border on my Around The World Quilting Bee quilt. My quilt is a village of cottage blocks. It's a lovely quilt, but I wanted to add a row of trees along the bottom border. I'm not very far am I.

The last item is now a completed project for a magazine article. Can't show you any more than that just yet. I was on such a deadline during the last few days before I left. Getting us packed and ready to go. I had a work deadline. . . .

Cheers,


Dionne

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Silly Photo Shoot Pictures


So before I left on my trip my daughter took these silly photos of me. I thought you might enjoy them.











Cheers,

Dionne

Friday, July 16, 2010

Whoop de doo Has a Giveaway too!

Whoop de doo has a giveaway going on right now...




I had the brilliant luck being in a swap with Whoopdedoo on this quilt. (its the lovely green and pink quilt in the first two pictures!)

PS - I haven't heard from you yet Karen. I'm leaving very soon on my trip and I'll be away for nearly 4 weeks. (not away from my computer, but away from my home et. al.) So please, please email me with your contact info.


Cheers,

Dionne

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Oops, Now for real the winner is....

First off, let me just say I'm sorry to everyone not getting back to you and all your lovely comments. I always think I have more time. I'm getting ready for our trip AND I'm on a work deadline! Ouch! And Subee, as always, you are wonderful! Thank you!

And the winner is...



Karen!
Karen wrote:
I love Tula Pink's fabrics and would love to win your giveaway. It would make a nice (day after) birthday present for myself. Thanks!
Well Karen Happy Birthday!
Cheers,

Dionne

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

There once was a quilter named Jane...

There once was a quilter named Jane.
Who hosted a quilting bee from the US to Spain,
and then back again.




It was trees that she desired, in colors quite wild.
Not one of her blocks could be called mild.




When her quilt left my door, the blocks counted four,
in hopes to gather more.
Cheers,


Dionne

PS - Today is the last day to leave a comment for my 'Plume' giveaway. Leave your comment on the post HERE.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Almost Lavender Jelly



So if you will indulge me, I would like to veer away from quilts for just a post in time.


I have been on a canning bender. Okay, well three times is a bender when you've never done any canning before.

I started out on a whim after taking the kids to the strawberry farm.


My good friend and I with the help of our six children learned the hard way what we were lacking in tools and skills.


So just a few days later, and a several dollars lighter in the pocketbook, I had all the canning tools we had lacked.

Fortunately I also had an abundance of cherrys and some fresh lavender I had no idea what to do with. So in one day I made several jars of cherry jam and three jars of lavender jelly... well, almost. The lavender jelly turned out to be a little more like a thick syrup.




Here is the recipe I used:




2 cups dry white wine (I used sherry)


1 tbsp lavender flowers (I used fresh)


2 cups granulated sugar (I used raw organic sugar)


1 3oz pouch liquid pectin (I didn't think to check if the pouch was 3oz or not)




1. In a large stainless steel saucpan, combine wine and herbs. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 20 minutes.


2. Transfer to a dampened jelly bag and set over a deep bowl. Let drip, undisturbed, for 20 minutes. Measure 1 3/4 cups infused wine. If you don't have the required amount, squeeze the bag. (ok, let me just say that even when I squeezed the bag I was shy of the required amount so I poured a little extra sherry in at this point ~ I may not have meaured that extra pour so closely. You know how it goes, a little for the jelly, a little for me.)


3. Meanwhile prepare canner, jars and lids. (after my full day of strawberry preserves, I had this step DOWN!)


4. Transfer infused wine to a clean large, deep stainless steel saucepan. Stir in sugar. Over high heat, stirring constantly, bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Stir in pectin. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and quickly skim off foam.

5. Quickly pour hot jelly into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight.

6. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

Okay, that is my recipe. It never jelled completely, so its more like lavender syrup. I tastes really, really good. I was surprised about how lovely it tastes, but very sad it didn't turn out as jelly. I guess almost jelly is pretty good.


If you try this recipe let me know how it turns out. Or if you have a better lavender recipe, I'm all ears!


Cheers,


Dionne



PS - Just two more days to leave a comment for my 'Plume' giveaway. Leave your comment on the post HERE.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sample My BOMmy Heart!




It's month two of my first Block Of the Month. Yes, I've been quilting a million years and I've never done a BOM before. Unless you count the Thangles BOM; which I don't. And besides my LQS discontinued that program anyhow.


Now there is so many more patterns to choose from. It's amazing to me how many BOMs are out there. Literally something for any taste, preference. You can do piecework or applique; from brightly colored monsters to a Halloween balitimore quilt. The possibilities are endless.





The problem, for me anyhow, was that all the BOMs back in the bad old days of quilting were always traditional Samplers. I never cared for the Sample quilt - or a cross stitch sampler for that matter. It was just something that didn't appeal to me. The design wasn't uniform, too much chaos.


Oh what a control freak I was! It makes me laugh now. How the times have changed. Samplers appeal to me, now. They are much like the way my life has turned out. A little of this, a little of that....





It seems I've created a life like a patchwork: friends, family, good times and bad, all these memories held together by the efforts of my stitching.


Of course my life is only one third over, so there is still plenty of room to change the story. Who knows, I might just have a masterpiece in me somewhere.



But not today. Today I'm just going to enjoy working on my Sampler and sample a few more patterns and blocks...





This month I have two identical blocks in different fabrics. Also, for every month, I have two filler blocks. Some participants are putting in applique on these blocks and others are doing embroidery. I toyed with the idea, but decided to keep my filler blocks plain and simple. I have more chance of getting it done on time that way.




The colors for this quilt are all in the fall colors, so by the time I'm finished with the blocks (next year this time) I'll have just enough time to finish the quilting for a new fall quilt, right?



Well, that's the plan anyway!

Cheers,



Dionne



PS - Just four more days to leave a comment for my 'Plume' giveaway. Leave your comment on the post HERE.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Just a Little giveaway!






I figure it's time for a little bitty giveaway.




I have a charm pack to send away to a new home. Tula Pink for Moda has a new line called Plume. I quite like this bright, cheery print.



Now, I'll be leaving for Scotland quite soon so we'll need to wrap this up soon, so I can get the prize off in the post before I fly away.







If you want to win this little charm pack, leave me a comment. You can get a second entry by becoming a follower. Leave me a comment letting me know you've either become a follower, or already are a follower.
Also, if you have a blog, you can blog about the giveaway and leave a link back to this post. Just leave me an additional comment letting me know (and your blog name) for another entry.

So leave your comment(s) below before thursday July 15th at noon. I will put the parcel in the post on friday before close of business.
But be warned, if I don't get a valid address in a timely manner the winner will have to wait until I get back from Scotland to receive their package. I fly out the morning of July 19th and will be busy packing on the 18th and 17th.


On another note, I will be in Scotland between the 19th of July and the 1st of August so if there are any scottish quilters out there that are interested in a meet-up, or have word of a good quilt shop send me word.
We'll be staying in Edinburgh, but visiting Glasgow and Falkirk frequently, also my in-laws live in Grangemouth so we'll be spending a fair amount of time there.
Cheers,


Dionne

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Stars and Stripes in Red and White




Katy at I'm a Ginger Monkey has requested a red and white quilt in the Around the World Quilting Bee.


So here is her quilt so far. It's stars and stripes (and dots and more) in red and white.




(Note to self: press well before photographing and use the good camera for blog pictures)


Cheers,



Dionne

Friday, July 2, 2010

Teaching Little Ones to Sew...



Yes, once again I'm teaching some little ones to sew. Today it was three youngsters with a simple little bag project.


Each child chose a fat quarter of their choice and we used that and a silk cord (or yarn, whichever the child chose) as the drawstring.




The youngest child was/is six years old. He chose a vibrant print of dragons. He had a little trouble with the button hole stitch. But he did a great job.


They all did everything themselves with the exception of using the rotary cutter. Sorry, some things just should not be in the hands of a six year old, no matter how enthusiastic they are. In fact, the more enthusiastic, the more adamant I am about not letting them use the rotary cutter.





I think they did a fabulous job, don't you?
Cheers,



Dionne