Thursday, October 31, 2013

Maple Leaf Quilt Block and Walking Wednesdays

Maple Leaf Quilt Block

Welcome to Walking Wednesdays and my walks taken during the past two weeks around my neighborhood.  The autumn color made my walks a delight!

The wild rose hips with their yellow foliage.
 
 Gambel oaks with their brown fall leaves.
These leaves stay on the trees well into winter.
Gambel oaks are also known as Scrub oaks around here.
They are a variety of small, shrubby oaks.
 
These Gambel oak leaves are in the process of turning.
Don't they look interesting?
 
 The color of these Gambel oak leaves are unusual.
Look at the leaf that is mostly red with definite bits of yellow!
 
This Rocky Mountain Maple leaf got caught in the branches of a Douglas fir!
 
 
 And the lovely golden leaves of the Quaking Aspen -
always a favorite!
 
Thank you for coming on these fall walks with me around my neighborhood!
 
 
Which season is your favorite?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Please answer in the comments section!
 
You might also enjoy my previous blog post here.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Fun (and Educational) Spider Cookie Recipe

Children's Delight Quilt Block (click for pattern link)

Delight your favorite child by making these fun (and educational) Spider Cookies with them!
Spider Cookies

For each spider, you will need:
A napkin
2 chocolate sandwich cookies (plus a few extras to allow for breakage)
4 pieces of thin red licorice
2 Chinese noodles
8 round cake decoration candies
6 shelled sunflower seeds

1.  Place the two cookies side by side on your napkin.  A spider has 2 body parts.  The front part is called the cephalothorax.  The back is called the abdomen.  The cephalothorax is like the head and chest of the spider.  It contains its brain and stomach.

2.  Carefully open the cephalothorax and lay each piece of licorice across the middle of the cookie.  Put the top back on the cookie.  A spider’s legs grow out from the front part of its body.  (How many legs does a spider have?)  Your spider should have 4 licorice legs on each side.  Spider legs are covered with tiny hairs.  It can smell and feel vibrations with these hairs.  Spiders also have two tiny claws on the end of each leg which help it cling to its web.  If a leg is lost, a spider can grow a new one!

3.  Many spiders have 8 eyes.  Lay your tiny candies on the cephalothorax in two rows with 4 in each row.  Even with all those eyes, most spiders do not have good eyesight.  How can a spider know when an insect is caught in its web?  (It feels the vibrations with its legs.)
 
4.  In the front of a spider’s body are its jaws and fangs.  Stick 2 noodles into the filling of the cookie so they stick out under its eyes.  Its jaws are very strong, and its fangs are sharp and poisonous.  When a spider catches an insect, it uses its fangs in two ways.  First, it injects its prey with poison to paralyze it.  Then, because spiders can only digest liquids, it injects the insect with digestive fluids that turn its insides into bug soup.  The spider then sucks up the meal.  It leaves the crunchy outside of the insect for another animal to enjoy.
 
5.  Open your spider’s abdomen.  This part contains the heart and lungs.  In the back of the abdomen are 6 tiny spinnerets – tubes that release thin threads of silk to make a web or an egg sack.  Place 6 sunflower seeds inside the back part of the spider’s body to remind you of the spinnerets.  Put the top back on the cookie.
 
6.  Enjoy your delicious spider!

You might also enjoy my previous blog post here.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Scripture Cake for Harriet Powers' Birthday

Birthday Cake Quilt Block
 
If you've been reading State Fair by Earlene Fowler along with the Quilters' Book Club, you know about the famous quilter, Harriet Powers.  An African-American slave, she was born in rural Georgia 176 years ago on October 29, 1837.  In honor of her Bible Quilt, which today hangs in the Smithsonian, I thought we'd celebrate her birthday with a Scripture Cake!  Enjoy!
 

SCRIPTURE CAKE
1½ cups Judges 5:25 
3 cups Jeremiah 6:20
6 Jeremiah 17:11
3½ cups Exodus 29:2
2 teaspoons Amos 4:5
2 Chronicles 9:9 to taste
A pinch of Leviticus 2:13
1 cup Genesis 24:17
1 tablespoon 1 Samuel 14:25
2 cups 1 Samuel 30:12
2 cups chopped dried Song of Solomon 2:13
2 cups slivered or chopped Numbers 17:8

Follow Solomon’s advice for making good boys, Proverbs 23:14

TRADITIONAL RECIPE
1½ cups butter
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
3½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
A pinch of salt
1 cup water
1 tablespoon honey
2 cups raisins
2 cups chopped dried figs
2 cups slivered or chopped almonds

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2.  Cream together butter and sugar.  Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.                                                                                              3.  Sift together flour, baking power, salt and spices. Add alternately with water to creamed mixture.                                                         
4.  Stir in honey; fold in raisins, figs and almonds. Mix well. Turn into two well greased 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pans.                                                                     5.  Bake about 60 - 65 minutes, making sure not to overbake, until loaves test done by the toothpick test. Let cool for 30 minutes in pans before turning out onto rack.

This is your last chance to make any comments on the October Quilters' Book Club selection, State Fair by Earlene Fowler.  What did you enjoy about the book?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Answer in the comment section below.  If you are reading via email, you must first click on the blog title to be able to comment and read the comments of others.  By commenting, you are entering your name in a giveaway for a $20 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop!  The more times you comment throughout the month, the greater your chances of winning!  A big thank you to Fat Quarter Shop for this wonderful giveaway!

You might also enjoy reading a previous post about Harriet Powers here.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Cobblestones Quilt Block for My Curl Up with a Good Book Quilt

Cobblestones Quilt Block
 
Each Friday, I'm posting a block of my Curl Up with a Good Book Quilt, which I'm making as part of the online Quilters' Book Club.  This 12" Cobblestones quilt block represents the book A Single Thread by Marie Bostwick, which we read and discussed in March 2013.  The book takes place at a quilt shop called Cobbled Court Quilts in the fictional New England town of New Bern, Connecticut.  I thought a Cobblestones block represented Cobbled Court Quilts perfectly!  I used the Bricks and Cobblestones block here, using just the Cobblestones part. 

In the Quilters' Book Club, we read and discuss a quilt novel each month and then make a quilt block to represent each book.  I have long admired red and white quilts so decided to keep it simple and go with just two fabrics, Kona Snow and Kona Rich Red, for my blocks.
 
In November, we're going to be doing something a bit different.  We'll be reading Aunt Jane of Kentucky by Eliza Calvert Hall, written in 1898.  It comes highly recommended by author Sandra Dallas.  A community of volunteers converted the book to digital format.  If you have a Kindle or a Kindle app, you can get it from Amazon.com here.  (Thank you so much to member Mary Ann for this link!)  If you want to read it directly from your computer, you can do so here, courtesy of Project Gutenberg.  It's a public domain book so is available free in either format. 

Aunt Jane of Kentucky, a woman who made many quilts, once gave a poignant reason for her love of quilting: ". . . when I'm dead and gone there ain't anybody goin' to think o' the floors I've swept, and the tables I've scrubbed, and the old clothes I've patched . . . but when one of my grandchildren sees one o' these quilts, they'll think about Aunt Jane, and wherever I am, I'll know I ain't forgotten." Backwoods Home Magazine
 
We have another wonderful surprise for November.  Plume Books is offering a giveaway of two copies of Jennifer Chiaverini's latest book, An Elm Creek Quilts Companion, which isn't being released until the end of this month.  For those of you who are avid fans of Chiaverini's Elm Creek Quilts Series, I think you will love this book! 
 
This month, we've been reading State Fair by Earlene Fowler.  If you've read other Benni Harper mysteries, do you have one that you would recommend for a future Quilters' Book Club selection? Inquiring minds want to know!  Answer in the comment section below.  If you are reading via email, you must first click on the blog title to be able to comment and read the comments of others.  By commenting, you are entering your name in a giveaway for a $20 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop!  The more times you comment throughout the month, the greater your chances of winning!  A big thank you to Fat Quarter Shop for this wonderful giveaway!
 
You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

My Easy Envelope Quilt - COMPLETED!




I finally completed my Easy Envelope Quilt.  It is 35" wide x 38" long.  Each envelope is about 4-1/2" x 6-1/2" and opens just like a real envelope.  It will hang in my classroom, with a poem in each envelope.  I found a fun crayon fabric at Equilter.com for the border and backing:


As a reading teacher, I meet with five groups of students each morning, 3 to 4 students per group.  Each week, I'll have one student in each group pick a poem for the week.  I'll make copies so each student will get that week's poem.  Over time, each child will develop a nice collection of poems to enjoy.
 
Now to find a poem for each envelope!  
 
You might enjoy reading my previous blog posts about this quilt here and here.  And if you'd like to make the quilt, you can find a video of it here featuring Alex Anderson along with pattern designers Lynda Milligan and Nancy Smith.  If for some reason you can't access the video, this pattern appears in Linda's and Nancy's book Hearts Aplenty.  I found it on Amazon here
 
What is your favorite poem?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Please answer in the comments section below.       

Sheep Fold Quilt Block and a Song for Sunday

 
 
Crown Him with Many Crowns
 
Crown Him with many crowns,
The Lamb upon His throne:
Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns
All music but its own!
Awake, my soul, and sing
Of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King
Thru all eternity. 
 
Crown Him the Lord of love:
Behold His hands and side -
Rich wounds, yet visible above,
In beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky
Can fully bear that sight,
But downward bends his wondering eye
At mysteries so bright.
 
- Matthew Bridges, 1852 and Godfrey Thring 1874
 
 
 
 

(Sky photos courtesy of my husband!)
 
You might also enjoy my previous blog post here.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Events in State Fair by Earlene Fowler, Part II

Calico Spools Quilt Block
This month, the Quilters' Book Club is reading State Fair: a Benni Harper Mystery by Earlene Fowler.  Do you love to quilt AND love to read?  Then I invite you to join us.  Each month, we read a book, discuss it through comments on my blog posts, and then make a quilt block to represent that book.

If you'd like to make a block to represent an event in the book, here are some suggestions to get you started.  More suggestions can be found in a previous blog post here.

Murder of Calvin Jones:
Star of Mystery Quilt Block (Very specific tutorial with many good illustrations for this paper-pieced block)


Sewing Day for Black Cloth Dolls
Notions Quilt Blocks (sewing machine, spool, pin cushion, etc.)

Spool Quilt Block

Calico Spools Quilt Block

And please check out this site about black cloth dolls.  It will only take a few minutes, and you won't want to miss it.  Mostly photos!  http://www.blackclothdolls.com/web.pdf

Have you ever made a doll, or has someone made one for you?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Answer in the comment section below.  If you are reading via email, you must first click on the blog title to be able to comment and read the comments of others.  By commenting, you are entering your name in a giveaway for a $20 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop!  The more times you comment throughout the month, the greater your chances of winning!  A big thank you to Fat Quarter Shop for this wonderful giveaway!

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.

 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mystery Quilt Block and Events in State Fair by Earlene Fowler, Part I


This month, the Quilters' Book Club is reading State Fair: a Benni Harper Mystery by Earlene Fowler.  Do you love to quilt AND love to read?  Then I invite you to join us.  Each month, we read a book, discuss it through comments on my blog posts, and then make a quilt block to represent that book.

If you'd like to make a block to represent an event in the book, here are some suggestions to get you started:

Events:
Theft of the Harriet Powers Story Quilt Replica

Cattle Drive:
Hole in the Barn Door

If you'd love to see photos of the Harriet Powers Story Quilt, here's a link sent in by Quilters' Book Club member Lisa from Georgia.  Take the time to check it out.  You won't be sorry!
 
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=harriet+powers+quilts&FORM=IQFRBA&id=683331B93C3171B017E4CCC9C2D6F7E41968E654&selectedIndex=0#view=detail&id=683331B93C3171B017E4CCC9C2D6F7E41968E654&selectedIndex=0

And here's an interesting article about Harriet that I think you'll enjoy:
http://www.georgiawomen.org/2010/10/powers-harriet/

Is there a quilter from the past or present whose work you admire?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Answer in the comment section below.  If you are reading via email, you must first click on the blog title to be able to comment and read the comments of others.  By commenting, you are entering your name in a giveaway for a $20 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop!  The more times you comment throughout the month, the greater your chances of winning!  A big thank you to Fat Quarter Shop for this wonderful giveaway!

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October Autumn Basket Quilt Block



This October Autumn Basket block is part of my Wooly Basket Calendar Quilt.  The pattern is from the Starry Pines Pattern Company: http://starrypinespatterncompany.com/spindex2.html

I used wool for the hand-appliqued basket, cotton flannel for the background fabric, and black perle cotton for the embroidery. 

October's Bright Blue Weather

O SUNS and skies and clouds of June,
    And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
    October's bright blue weather;

When loud the bumble-bee makes haste,
    Belated, thriftless vagrant,
And Golden-Rod is dying fast,
    And lanes with grapes are fragrant;

When Gentians roll their fringes tight
    To save them for the morning,
And chestnuts fall from satin burrs
    Without a sound of warning;

When on the ground red apples lie
    In piles like jewels shining,
And redder still on old stone walls
    Are leaves of woodbine twining;

When all the lovely wayside things
    Their white-winged seeds are sowing,
And in the fields, still green and fair,
    Late aftermaths are growing;

When springs run low, and on the brooks,
    In idle golden freighting,
Bright leaves sink noiseless in the hush
    Of woods, for winter waiting;

When comrades seek sweet country haunts,
    By twos and twos together,
And count like misers, hour by hour,
    October's bright blue weather.

O suns and skies and flowers of June,
    Count all your boasts together,
Love loveth best of all the year
    October's bright blue weather.

by Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885)

Caramel Apple Dip
1 (14 ounce) bag caramels
2/3 cup milk
½ cup miniature marshmallows
Apples, cored and sliced
Sure Fresh

1.  In a 3-quart saucepan, place unwrapped caramels, milk, and marshmallows.  Heat at low temperature until caramels and marshmallows are melted.  Watch carefully and stir constantly.
2.  Serve as a dip with apple slices, which have been treated with Sure Fresh to keep them from turning dark.
 
Apples harvested from an average tree can fill 20 boxes that weigh 42 pounds each.  The average size of a United States’ orchard is 50 acres. 


You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here

Interview with Earlene Fowler, Author of State Fair: a Benni Harper Mystery, Part II

State Fair Sunflower Quilt Block
In the Quilters' Book Club this month, we're reading State Fair by Earlene Fowler.  I thought it would be fun to learn a bit about this author of quilt mysteries that feature Benni Harper.  On Earlene's website, I found an interview that was taken from the Berkley Prime Crime website.  The beginning of the interview can be found here.  Here is the rest of the interview.  Enjoy!  
 
 
 What is it about Benni Harper that people relate to?
 
I think she's a pretty understanding person and is anxious to give others the benefit of the doubt. She believes in grace and tries to give it to others. She looks at more than just a person's outside appearance or actions and tries to figure out the person they are underneath. She can be stubborn, which I think a lot of people relate to. And she can also be a little spoiled, or maybe sheltered is a better word. She hasn't seen much of the world outside of the small town she grew up in so sometimes has an overly optimistic view of life that people from larger cities can find irritating. She has not seen the true evil that Gabe has, and she is sometimes too naïve. That's why she can't always understand Gabe's protective instincts toward her. Being married to Gabe has matured her. She's a much different person in the twelfth book than she was in the first, more mature, though she is still much more innocent than Gabe. Being married to her is a good thing for Gabe because I think he is too cynical, has seen too much of the harsh and ugly side of humans. They balance each other. Each has changed the other in a constructive and loving way.

What part of researching a book do you especially enjoy?
 
First, I only write about things I like, so I enjoy all of it! That's something I make a point to tell new writers. This isn't school, writing a novel isn't a term paper. You get to write about whatever you want! So, first I read everything I can on a subject, which is not like work at all to me. For example, when I wrote KANSAS TROUBLES, my third book, part of the plot had to do with the Amish. I bought and read every book I could track down, but I only used about 1/20th of what I learned. I sure enjoyed the research, though. I love the travel my writing allows me to do, as well as interesting experiences I would probably not have had otherwise, such as ride-alongs with police officers, riding fence lines with ranchers, going to a dude ranch, touring the stables at a horse racing track, even having a Catholic lay minister walk me through giving confession so I could write about Gabe's experience. For DELECTABLE MOUNTAINS, I watched a children's play being produced from tryouts through the final performance. I was only able to use a fraction of what I saw, but I was sure impressed with the director, as well as the kids. Writing has enlarged my life in so many ways, much in the same way reading always has.

What aspects of your personality are especially suited to being a writer?
 
Though it's hard for people who meet me (or even some who know me well), I love being alone more than anything in the world. It was even hard for me to get a dog, as strange as that sounds. I've always been a bit of a loner, though I appear to be an outgoing person. I grew up in a big family so I've learned to be around people and I've worked at many jobs that dealt with the public, but being alone in my fictional worlds has always been how I preferred to spend my time. I actually start to get jittery and cranky if I don't have enough alone time. I need that time to write. To write, you really need to like being alone. Lucky for me, my husband understands because he's a bit of a loner too. We're perfectly matched.

Do you consider yourself a loner like Earlene or an outgoing person?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Answer in the comment section below.  If you are reading via email, you must first click on the blog title to be able to comment and read the comments of others.  By commenting, you are entering your name in a giveaway for a $20 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop!  The more times you comment throughout the month, the greater your chances of winning!  A big thank you to Fat Quarter Shop for this wonderful giveaway!

If you'd like to make the State Fair Sunflower quilt block shown above, I found the pattern in the book Kansas Spirit: 15 Historical Quilt Blocks and the Saga of the Sunflower State by Jeanne Poore.  This block is also very similar to part of a block pattern found here.

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Earlene Fowler, Author of State Fair: a Benni Harper Mystery, Part I


In the Quilters' Book Club this month, we're reading State Fair by Earlene Fowler.  I thought it would be fun to learn a bit about this author of quilt mysteries that feature Benni Harper.  On Earlene's website, I found an interview that was taken from the Berkley Prime Crime website.  Enjoy!  

 



Why did you decide to use arts and crafts, specifically quilts, as a theme for your series?

By acting on the old saying to write what you know. I attempted to write literary short fiction for ten years before I wrote my first novel--FOOL'S PUZZLE. During that ten years I quit writing many times in discouragement. During those "off" times I did crafts--leather tooling, quilting, needlepoint, counted cross-stitch, basket weaving--so when I decided to write a mystery I wanted to write about things I knew about and also things I loved. I've always been drawn to the folk arts (what is sometimes called outsider art) rather than the fine arts probably because of my parent's rural and working class background. It's the art that regular people make after the real work of making a living is done. It was at a quilt show that I got the idea to name my book after a quilt because it suddenly occurred to me how evocative the pattern names were, how much they sounded like stories. I gave Benni a job I would have liked, being a curator at a museum that honored this type of art. Also, my maternal grandmother, the one from Arkansas, made the most beautiful quilts and I own some of them. I've always admired that art form even though I'm not a very good quilt maker.

What is the most difficult part of writing for you?

I know some authors who really hate starting books, but that has never been hard for me. I love the feeling, the possibilities that are there at the start of a story. For me, it's always been ending the story. Not because of the technical part of figuring out the plot, but the emotional part of letting the characters go and also letting the book itself go. The day I drive to Federal Express to send the manuscript to my editor is the hardest part of writing. Once the clerk takes
it from my hands, I feel utter desolation. It feels as if it is no longer entirely mine, and, truly, it isn't. But that's part of writing and publishing. I always wish I could keep the manuscript for a few months without someone reading it, savor the fact that I finished it and it's mine. Once it's gone, I start to let go a little. You have to if you want to survive emotionally. By the time my readers have it, it's gone through revisions, copy-editing and many readings so I'm not
so attached.

We'll continue this interview tomorrow.  Were you surprised at any of Earlene's answers, or were her answers ones you would have expected?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Answer in the comment section below.  If you are reading via email, you must first click on the blog title to be able to comment and read the comments of others.  By commenting, you are entering your name in a giveaway for a $20 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop!  The more times you comment throughout the month, the greater your chances of winning!  A big thank you to Fat Quarter Shop for this wonderful giveaway!

If you'd like to make the 10" Writer's Block quilt block pictured above, I found the pattern in Judy Martin's Ultimate Book of Quilt Block Patterns


You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Quilters' Book Club - Looking Ahead to November


In November, we're going to be doing something a bit different.  We'll be reading Aunt Jane of Kentucky by Eliza Calvert Hall, written in 1898.  It comes highly recommended by author Sandra Dallas.  A community of volunteers converted the book to digital format.  If you have a Kindle or a Kindle app, you can get it from Amazon.com here.  (Thank you so much to member Mary Ann for this link!)  If you want to read it directly from your computer, you can do so here, courtesy of Project Gutenberg.  It's a public domain book so is available free in either format. 

Aunt Jane of Kentucky, a woman who made many quilts, once gave a poignant reason for her love of quilting: ". . . when I'm dead and gone there ain't anybody goin' to think o' the floors I've swept, and the tables I've scrubbed, and the old clothes I've patched . . . but when one of my grandchildren sees one o' these quilts, they'll think about Aunt Jane, and wherever I am, I'll know I ain't forgotten." Backwoods Home Magazine

If you'd like to make a Spool Quilt block, here's a fun tutorial you might want to try.  Here's another pattern you can check out.


We have another wonderful surprise for November.  Plume Books is offering a giveaway of two copies of Jennifer Chiaverini's latest book, An Elm Creek Quilts Companion, which isn't being released until the end of this month.  For those of you who are avid fans of Chiaverini's Elm Creek Quilts Series, I think you will love this book!      

“Over the course of the bestselling Elm Creek Quilts series, readers have expressed a longing to visit Elm Creek Manor, meet the quilters themselves, and admire their beautiful creations. Jennifer Chiaverini’s An Elm Creek Quilts Companion is the next best thing to a guided tour. Inside, readers will discover a treasure trove of delights, including the Bergstrom family tree, character biographies, quilt block illustrations, full-color photographs of quilts featured in the novels, and 'Behind the Scenes at Elm Creek Quilt Camp,' an exclusive short story inspired by questions from real readers. No Elm Creek Quilts fan will want to be without this indispensable guide to the cherished series." jenniferchiaverini.com
 
The 320-page book includes the following chapters:
1.  Introduction (background information on the series)
2.  The Elm Creek Quilts Library - summaries of each book in the series
3.  Timeline - of the Bergstrom Family over the years
4.  Residents and Visitors - brief description of each resident and visitor of the    Elm Creek Manor   
5.  The Bergstrom Family Tree - to help you keep track of everyone!
6.  Places - a brief description of each place mentioned in the books
7.  Elm Creek Manor - a helpful floor plan of the manor
8.  Artifacts, Souvenirs, and Associations - a brief description of artifacts, souvenirs, and associations found in the books
9.  Quilt Blocks - quilt block illustrations and descriptions as well as full-color photographs of quilts featured in the novels
10.  A Stitch in Time: Behind the Scenes at Elm Creek Quilt Camp - a short story 

Are you a fan of Jennifer Chiaverini and her Elm Creek Quilts series?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Answer in the comment section below.  If you are reading via email, you must first click on the blog title to be able to comment and read the comments of others.  By commenting, you are entering your name in a giveaway for a $20 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop!  The more times you comment throughout the month, the greater your chances of winning!  A big thank you to Fat Quarter Shop for this wonderful giveaway!

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.
 
 

October Redwork Birdie Stitches



This block is part of the Birdie Stitches Block of the Month by Little Miss Shabby available free online here.  When I saw it, I knew it was the perfect project for me.  Instead of using several colors of embroidery thread, I chose to use just No. 8 perle cotton in red.  I have done redwork on a single layer of fabric, and the knots show through from the back. I've tried backing the fabric with very lightweight iron-on interfacing, but the interfacing wrinkled. This time I used a double layer of the Kona cotton. I ironed the layers together and used an embroidery hoop. I didn't baste the two layers together, but it has not been a problem. I've been very pleased with the results so far.

Enjoy this wonderful time of year!

When the Frost Is on the Punkin

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin’ turkey-cock,
And the clackin’ of the guineys, and the cluckin’ of the hens,
And the rooster’s hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it’s then’s the times a feller is a-feelin’ at his best,
With the risin’ sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.

They’s something kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here –
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin’-birds and buzzin’ of the bees;
But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock –
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin’ of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries – kindo’ lonesome-like, but still
A-preaching’ sermons to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below – the clover over-head! –
O, it sets my hart a-clickin’ like the tickin’ of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!
 
Then your apples all is gathered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the celler-floor in red and yeller heaps;
And your cider-makin’s over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With their mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage, too! …
I don’t know how to tell it – but ef sich a thing could be
As the Angels wantin’ boardin’, and they’d call around on me
I’d want to ‘commodate ‘em – all the whole-indurin’ flock –
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!
  - James Whitcomb Riley (1849–1916)

 
 

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.

Snow Churn Quilt Block and a Song for Sunday


Nothing but the Blood

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

- Robert Lowry (1826-1899) published in 1876

If you'd like to hear this hymn, check out Page CXVI's version here.



(Just so you know, it has snowed here already this fall but not so very much.  These are photos from a previous year!  And if you'd like to make the Snow Churn block, click here for the free pattern from Quilters Cache.)
 
You might also enjoy my previous blog post here.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friendship Star Variation Quilt Block for My Curl Up with a Good Book Quilt


Each Friday, I'm posting a block of my Curl Up with a Good Book Quilt, which I'm making as part of the online Quilters' Book Club.  This 12" Friendship Star Variation block represents the book The Quilter's Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini, which we read and discussed in April 2013.  In the book, an intergenerational friendship develops between Sylvia Compson and Sarah McClure as the older Sylvia teaches the younger Sarah how to quilt.  I found the block pattern free online through Quilters Cache here.     
 
In the Quilters' Book Club, we read and discuss a quilt novel each month and then make a quilt block to represent each book.  I have long admired red and white quilts so decided to keep it simple and go with just two fabrics, Kona Snow and Kona Rich Red, for my blocks.
 
In October, we're reading and discussing State Fair: a Benni Harper Mystery by Earlene Fowler.  Grab this book from your local library or bookstore and join the free, online Quilters' Book Club for our monthly book discussion and sew-along.
 In November, our book selection is a bit different.  We'll be reading a book that was highly recommended to the Quilters' Book Club by Sandra Dallas, author of The Persian Pickle Club and Alice's Tulips.  It's called Aunt Jane of Kentucky by Eliza Calvert Hall and is available free online right here.  It was written in 1898 and consists of nine short stories.  


Here's another Friendship Star Variation block - set on point.  It's in another quilt seen here.

Have you ever had a special intergenerational friendship?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Answer in the comment section below.  If you are reading via email, you must first click on the blog title to be able to comment and read the comments of others.  By commenting, you are entering your name in a giveaway for a $20 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop!  The more times you comment throughout the month, the greater your chances of winning!  A big thank you to Fat Quarter Shop for this wonderful giveaway!

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.

A Hug and a Kiss Quilt for My Newest Daughter-in-Law, Part II

A Hug and a Kiss Quilt in the Dappled Sunlight
 
This is the quilt I just finished for my newest daughter-in-law, Shea. 
 
Fabrics for the quilt top were purchased from Hancocks of Paducah.  Shea chose the same colors she used for their wedding - pink and gray.
 

Hoffman Bali Batik Watercolors Cotton Candy
 
Hoffman Bali Batik Watercolors Guava
 
Hoffman Bali Solid Watercolor 1895 587 February
 
The pattern was designed by Kathy Brown and is available free online here from mccallsquilting.com.
 
I changed the pattern just a bit.  Shea's quilt is 56" wide X 74" long (12 blocks in all) so is smaller than the 96" X 96" quilt of the pattern (36 blocks in all).  I only used three fabrics so it looks more uniform and less scrappy than the original quilt.
 
When I made a mock-up of the quilt, the "X" blocks formed long diagonal lines with "O's" in the center of the lines.  Since we wanted each "X" and "O" to stand out, I added sashing of the gray (February) along with pink (Cotton Candy) cornerstones to separate each block. 
 
I'll post close-ups next!
 
You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post about this same quilt here.