Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bright Hopes Quilt Block and a Song for Sunday

Bright Hopes Quilt Block Pattern Information
 
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
 
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not;
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
 
Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above;
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.
 
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine with ten thousand beside!
 
words by Thomas O. Chisholm (1866-1960), 1923
 
 
You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post Cups and Saucers Quilt Block and Coffee with Nell at Carrie's New Coffee Shop.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Cups and Saucers Quilt Block and Coffee with Nell at Carrie's New Coffee Shop

Cups and Saucers Pattern Information

Nell Fitzgerald has invited you to join her and the rest of the quilt group for coffee at Carrie's new coffee shop in Archer's Rest, New York.  You arrive early.  While you wait for them, catch up on your reading of A Drunkard's Path by Clare O'Donohue. 

Coffee Mocha
1 cup brewed coffee
2-1/2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Whipped cream
Cinnamon

In saucepan, combine coffee with cocoa powder and milk.  Stir over medium heat until simmering.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Pour into cups and top with whipped cream sprinkled with cinnamon.

Makes 2 servings

Brown Sugar-Caramel Latte
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup half-and-half or 2% milk
1 Tablespoons caramel ice cream topping
3/4 cup hot, brewed coffee

1.  Stir brown sugar into half-and-half until dissolved. 
2.  Whip with a milk frother or small whisk. 
3.  Pour coffee into a mug and stir in caramel sauce until dissolved. 
4.  Pour frothed half-and-half into coffee and serve.

Makes 1 serving

How do you like your coffee?  If you're a tea drinker, what's your favorite kind of tea?  Inquiring minds want to know!  By commenting, you'll be entering to win a copy of A Time for Peace (Quilts of Lancaster County) by Barbara Cameron.  If you are reading this via email, you must click on the title of my blog post to be able to comment and read the comments of others.  The winner will be announced on April 1. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Strawberry Basket Quilt Block and What's on Your Nightstand?

Strawberry Basket Quilt Block Pattern Information
I'm participating in the monthly feature, What's on Your Nightstand?
Participants post what they've been reading the past month as well as what they're planning to read in the future.

Baby Board Books:
My husband and I have a Grand Book Club with our ten-month-old grandson who lives in another state.  We sent him some books and bought copies of the same books for us.  His parents read the books to him several times, so he was familiar with them. We got together via Face Time, and I read aloud Jamberry by Bruce Degen to him while he followed along with his own book. His dad sat with him, but my grandson turned the pages.  Later, my son commented that Jamberry is currently our grandson's favorite book.  My son just read it to him five times in a row!  I keep all of our book club books together, so we can quickly have a book club "meeting" whenever our grandson is up for one.

Hatberry
Shoeberry
In my canoeberry
Under the bridge
And over the dam
Looking for berries Berries for jam


My husband and I recently visited a fabulous children's book store in Denver called The Bookies.  We picked up two of my grandson's favorite books Yummy Yucky and Potty - both by Leslie Patricelli.  Now, both grandson and grandparents have copies, so these have been added to our Grand Book Club books collection.

Picture Books:
Through another blog, I heard about The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt.  It is written in the form of letters from each crayon to a boy named Duncan.  If you're a teacher, it's a fabulous way to teach point of view.  If you're a parent, both you and your child will LOVE this book.  Our school librarian just added it to our school collection. 


I watched the movie Miss Potter for a second time.  It's a wonderful movie about Beatrix Potter, author of the beloved Peter Rabbit stories, and stars Renee Zellweger as Beatrix.  I reread her The Tale of Peter Rabbit and The Tale of Jemima Puddle Duck just for fun. 

How to Babysit a Grandpa by Jean Reagan is a delightful book.  "Within the pages of this book, you will find essential tips for being a good grandpa-sitter, including:  how to play with a grandpa, things to do on a walk, and snacks grandpas like to eat."  How to Babysit a Grandma is coming out this month.  My grandson is not old enough for these books yet, but they will be perfect when he's about 3 or 4. 

Middle Grade/Young Adult Books:
My third graders just finished reading Marvin Redpost - Kidnapped at Birth? by Louis Sachar.  All of my students (mostly rather reluctant readers) loved it.  There are eight books in the series, each perfect for third graders.  They are chapter books with about 70 pages and enough white space on each page to make it reader-friendly.   

Book Club Books:
For the free, online Quilters' Book Club, I read A Drunkard's Path by Clare O'Donohue.  It's the second in her Someday Quilts Mystery series.  Check out all my posts about this book here.  It is considered a cozy mystery and is set in the fictional town of Archer's Rest, New York.  Archer's Rest is based on the actual town of Sleepy Hollow. 

For my local book club, I've just begun reading Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons for our April discussion.  It was first published in 1932 and is set in England. I'm looking forward to reading it. 

Just for Fun:
From the library, I checked out A Fine Romance: Falling in Love with the English Countryside by Susan Branch.  Then I bought my own copy of it because it's the kind of book I want to be able to enjoy whenever I want to.  I wrote a bit about the book here.  My family and I exchanged homes with an English family for 3-1/2 weeks one summer, and Susan's book brought back so many wonderful memories.  If you've ever been in England or would love to go, I think you will love her book, which is a journal of her two-month trip there.  Susan's books are always hand written with gorgeous watercolor illustrations.


Audio Books:
I've been listening to Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop CafĂ© by Fannie Flagg.  It's set in the fictional town of Whistle Stop, Alabama.  I've seen the movie several times but don't think I've ever read the book.  It's read by Lorna Raver, who has the perfect Southern accent for reading this book! 

What's on Your Nightstand? Inquiring minds want to know!  By commenting, you'll be entering to win a copy of A Time for Peace (Quilts of Lancaster County) by Barbara Cameron. If you are reading this via email, you must click on the title of my blog post to be able to comment and read the comments of others. The winner will be announced on April 1.

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post Welcome Spring with a Bees and Fields Quilt Block.

Welcome Spring with a Bees and Fields Quilt Block

Bees and Fields Quilt Block Pattern Information
Welcome, Spring!  I am so thankful that it's officially spring!  Spring begins around March 20 of each year.  That day is called the spring equinox.  An equinox occurs when the sun is just above the equator.  At this time the days and nights are of equal length everywhere.

After that, daylight continues to get longer.  In fact, in spring, the temperatures spring upward and the hours of daylight get longer at a quicker rate.

Spring

I’m shouting
I’m singing
I’m swinging through trees
I’m winging sky-high
With the buzzing black bees.
I’m the sun
I’m the moon
I’m the dew on the rose.
I’m a rabbit
Whose habit
Is twitching his nose.
I’m lively
I’m lovely
I’m kicking my heels.
I’m crying “Come dance”
to the freshwater eels.
I’m racing through meadows
Without any coat
I’m a gamboling lamb
I’m a light leaping goat
I’m a bud
I’m a bloom
I’m a dove on the wing.
I’m running on rooftops
And welcoming spring!

                        Karla Kuskin

Our first day of spring has brought beautiful, sunshiny (albeit windy) weather with a high of 57 degrees.  What was your first day of spring like?  Inquiring minds want to know!   By commenting, you'll be entering to win a copy of A Time for Peace (Quilts of Lancaster County) by Barbara Cameron. If you are reading this via email, you must click on the title of my blog post to be able to comment and read the comments of others. The winner will be announced on April 1.

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post March Redwork Snowman and Spring Daffodils.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March Redwork Snowman and Spring Daffodils

 

Our March weather has been very strange, even for Colorado!  One day it's snowing, the next day it's blue skies and sunshine.  Yesterday, I even received two warnings on my phone about a dust storm, which was definitely a first.  I never saw any dust, but we certainly had a snow storm!  Today, we're back to blue skies and sunshine.

Solution

When I went out to play
  The day had just begun.
“Put on your coat,” said the wind.
  “Take off your coat,” said the sun.
 
Now who was in the right?
  And which advice was better?
I solved the problem for myself –
  I just put on my sweater.

by Leland B. Jacobs  

No daffodils outside but two bunches on my dining room table!

Daffodils

I wandered lonely as a cloud
that floats on high o’er vales and hills,
when all at once I saw a crowd,
a host of golden daffodils;
beside the lake, beneath the trees,
fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

William Wordsworth




What is your favorite spring flower?  Inquiring minds want to know! By commenting, you'll be entering to win a copy of A Time for Peace (Quilts of Lancaster County) by Barbara Cameron. If you are reading this via email, you must click on the title of my blog post to be able to comment and read the comments of others. The winner will be announced on April 1.

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post Tall Ships Quilt Block and an Irish Tea.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tall Ships Quilt Block and an Irish Tea

Tall Ships Quilt Block Pattern Information
 
In 1836, my great-grandfather James Lynch immigrated
from Ireland to the United States on the English ship Sir Harry Smith. 
He was only 13 years old. 
Today, I honor him with an Irish Tea!  Welcome!
 
Spring lambs and daffodils make a wonderful centerpiece.
The lambs were painted by my mother-in-law.
 
 
 
Tasty Irish Soda Bread
 
 

Delicious Irish Cheeses
 
These little chalkboards are a fun way to label cheeses and other foods.
I hated the chalk dust as a classroom teacher, but these little boards are fun!
 
 
 
 
Green Andes Mints for Dessert
 
Republic of Tea Lucky Irish Breakfast Tea from Bernideen's.
 
A friend recently had surgery, and three of us went to her home with goodies for lunch.  I brought many of these same items for our St. Patrick's Day Lunch.  Good food, laughter, and conversation among old friends!
 
Have you ever travelled across the ocean by ship?  Inquiring minds want to know!  By commenting, you'll be entering to win a copy of A Time for Peace (Quilts of Lancaster County) by Barbara Cameron. If you are reading this via email, you must click on the title of my blog post to be able to comment and read the comments of others. The winner will be announced on April 1.

You might also enjoy my previous blog post An Irish Blessing for You.



Monday, March 17, 2014

An Irish Blessing for You


St. Paddy’s Day Fruit Medley
4 large kiwis, peeled and sliced
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced but not peeled
1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
1 cup honeydew melon balls
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons sugar

1.  Put the kiwi and apple slices, halved green grapes, and melon balls into a bowl. 
2.  Sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent the apples from browning.  Add the sugar and mix carefully. 

Do you have a special recipe that you fix for St. Patrick's Day?  Inquiring minds want to know!  By commenting, you'll be entering to win a copy of A Time for Peace (Quilts of Lancaster County) by Barbara Cameron. If you are reading this via email, you must click on the title of my blog post to be able to comment and read the comments of others. The winner will be announced on April 1.

You might also enjoy my previous blog post Alpine Cross Quilt Block and a Song for Sunday.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Alpine Cross Quilt Block and a Song for Sunday

Alpine Cross Quilt Block Pattern Information

Above All

Above all powers, above all kings
Above all nature and all created things
Above all wisdom and all the ways of man
You were here before the world began.

Above all kingdoms, above all thrones
Above all wonders the world has ever known
Above all wealth and treasures of the earth
There's no way to measure what You're worth.

Crucified, laid behind a stone
You lived to die, rejected and alone
Like a rose trampled on the ground
You took the fall and thought of me above all.

words by Lenny Leblanc and Paul Baloche

You might also enjoy my previous blog post Mexican Star Quilt Block and What Is Green?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Mexican Star Quilt Block and What Is Green?

Mexican Star Quilt Block Pattern Information

What Is Green?
Green is the grass
And the leaves of trees
Green is the smell
Of a country breeze.




Green is lettuce
And sometimes the sea.
When green is a feeling
You pronounce it N.V.





Green is a coolness
You get in the shade
Of the tall old woods
Where the moss is made.





Green is a flutter
That comes in Spring
When frost melts out
Of everything.





Green is a grasshopper
Green is jade
Green is hiding
In the shade -











Green is olive 
And a pickle
The sound of green
Is a water-trickle.





Green is the world
After the rain
Bathed and beautiful
Again.




April is green
Peppermint, too.
Every elf has
One green shoe.


Under a grape arbor
Air is green
With sprinkles of sunlight
In between.




Green is the meadow,
Green is the fuzz
That covers up
Where winter was.





Green is ivy and
Honeysuckle vine
Green is yours
Green is mine.



by Mary O'Neill from her Hailstones and Halibut Bones

What is your favorite green item?  Inquiring minds want to know!  By commenting, you'll be entering to win a copy of A Time for Peace (Quilts of Lancaster County) by Barbara Cameron. If you are reading this via email, you must click on the title of my blog post to be able to comment and read the comments of others. The winner will be announced on April 1.




You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post Weathervane Quilt Block and Missing the Smells of Spring.

Weathervane Quilt Block and Missing the Smells of Spring

Weathervane Quilt Block Pattern Information

Smells
Through all the frozen winter
My nose has grown most lonely
For lovely, lovely, colored smells
That come in springtime only.

The purple smell of lilacs,
The yellow smell that blows
Across the air of meadows
Where bright forsythia grows.

The fall pink smell of peach trees,
The low white smell of clover,
And everywhere the great green smell
Of grass the whole world over.

Kathryn Worth


Which springtime smell are you missing the most?  Inquiring minds want to know!  By commenting, you'll be entering to win a copy of A Time for Peace (Quilts of Lancaster County) by Barbara Cameron. If you are reading this via email, you must click on the title of my blog post to be able to comment and read the comments of others. The winner will be announced on April 1.
You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post Pudding and Pie Quilt Block and Happy Pi Day!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Pudding and Pie Quilt Block and Happy Pi Day!

Pudding and Pie Quilt Block Information

Happy Pi Day!  In case you are rusty on your math terms, Pi is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter.  Pi = 3.14  (In other words, the circumference of a circle is about three times the size of its diameter.)

The 6th graders at my school are celebrating Pi Day in a fun, educational way.  Ahead of time, they created Pi Day T-shirts that they are wearing today.  The T-shirts feature appropriate Pi-related terms and definitions.  Several students brought pies this morning.  The students will measure the diameter and circumference of each pie for a hands-on lesson on the concept of Pi.  I love it!

This is the apple pie that my friend Cheri made for her daughter to take to school today.  Didn't she do an amazing job? 


If you want your own hands-on Pi lesson, here are some delicious recipes for you to try.  Don't forget to measure the circumference and diameter of the cooled pies before you eat them!

Peach Upside Down Pie
Pastry for double 9-inch pie

2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup toasted and chopped almonds, walnuts, or pecans
1/3 cup brown sugar

5 cups peeled sliced peaches
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons tapioca
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1. Prepare pastry.
2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
3. Line a 9-inch pie pan with a 12-inch square of foil, letting excess foil overhang edge. Spread with butter and press nuts and 1/3 cup brown sugar into butter.
4. Fit a bottom crust into pan, over the nut mixture. Mix remaining ingredients and pour into crust.
5. Cover with a top crust. Trim edges, seal well, and prick pie with a fork. Brush lightly with milk.
6. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 degrees and continue baking for 35 to 40 minutes.
7. Cool pie. Turn upside down on serving plate and remove foil. The top will be a crunchy layer of the nutty mixture. Cut pie into wedges to serve.

Hattie's Apple Crumb Pie
4 large, tart apples
1/2 recipe Plain Pastry
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Pare apples; cut in eighths and arrange in 9-inch pastry-lined pie pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar mixed with cinnamon.
3. Sift remaining 1/3 cup sugar with flour; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over apples.
4. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake about 40 minutes more, or until apples are tender.

What is your favorite kind of pie?  Inquiring minds want to know!  By commenting, you'll be entering to win a copy of A Time for Peace (Quilts of Lancaster County) by Barbara Cameron. If you are reading this via email, you must click on the title of my blog post to be able to comment and read the comments of others. The winner will be announced on April 1.

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post March Wishing for Spring Basket Quilt Block.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

March Wishing for Spring Basket Block

Pattern Information

Is It Robin O’Clock?

Is it robin o’clock?
Is it five after wing?
Is it quarter to leaf?
Is it nearly time for spring?

Is it grass to eleven?
Is it flower to eight?
Is it half-past snowflake?
Do we still have to wait?

by Eve Merriam

It’s Time for Spring

My sweater’s tight and itchy.
My snow pants are too small.
Last week I lost a mitten.
I can’t find my scarf at all!

My woolen socks have lost their toes.
My boots have lost their tread.
And I have lost the love I had
for words like “skis” and “sled”!

But … my fishing rod still fits.
And … my baseball bat still hits.
I have a kite that wants to fly.
So … Winter, call it quits!

by Bobbi Katz
 


What is your favorite part about spring?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Please write your questions in the comment section below.  By commenting, you'll be entering to win a copy of A Time for Peace (Quilts of Lancaster County) by Barbara Cameron.  If you are reading this via email, you must click on the title of my blog post to be able to comment and read the comments of others.  The winner will be announced on April 1.

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post Stitcher's Square Quilt Block and Quilter Clare O'Donohue, Author of A Drunkard's Path.

Stitcher's Square Quilt Block and Quilter Clare O'Donohue, Author of A Drunkard's Path

Stitcher's Square Quilt Block Pattern Information

This month in the Quilters' Book Club, we're reading A Drunkard's Path by Clare O'Donohue.  It's the second in her Someday Quilts Mystery Series.  We'd love to have you join us.  Grab the book from your local library and start reading!  If you want to read it on your Kindle, click here.   
 
I found this biographical information on author Clare O'Donohue's website:
 
"I was born in Chicago, Illinois, the youngest of four children.  My parents are both from Ireland, but they met in London, moved to the US, and settled on Chicago’s South Side, where I was born and raised.

"I always knew I wanted to be a writer and in fact wrote my first novel (mini-novel actually.  It was 60 pages) when I was 15.  It was a mystery.  After college I worked as a newspaper reporter and writing teacher before moving to LA and getting my first job in television.  That was on the HGTV show, Simply Quilts.

"I worked on the show for four seasons, eventually becoming the Supervising Producer, but I’ve written and produced for a lot of other shows as well.  In the last twelve years, I’ve worked on shows for The History Channel, truTV, Food Network, A&E, Discovery, TLC, and others.  My work has taken me all across the US and abroad and I’ve met a diverse group of people – from CEO’s to prison inmates, Malaysian orphans to famous athletes.

"But all along I thought about writing a novel.  I still loved mysteries so I finally sat down to write one.  And lucky for me, I had the time.  There’s a lot of what we in the freelance world like to call downtime, but is more commonly known as unemployment.  Since I wasn’t earning any money, I also had motivation to write something that could catch the interest of a publisher.

"And, luckily, I did.  In 2008, I published The Lover’s Knot, the first in the Someday Quilts series.  Now I’ve added A Drunkard’s Path and The Double Cross, and The Devil’s Puzzle."  Note:  (The fifth in the series, The Double Wedding Ring, was released in September 2013.)

Clare

This Drunkard's Path Quilt was made by Clare O'Donohue.
She's a quilter as well as an author!
Clare O'Donohue has graciously agreed to participate in our discussion and answer any questions you may have.  What would you like to ask Clare?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Please write your questions in the comment section below.  By commenting, you'll be entering to win a copy of A Time for Peace (Quilts of Lancaster County) by Barbara Cameron.  If you are reading this via email, you must click on the title of my blog post to be able to comment and read the comments of others.  The winner will be announced on April 1.

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post Art Square Quilt Block and the Main Character in A Drunkard's Path.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Art Square Quilt Block and the Main Character in A Drunkard's Path by Clare O'Donohue

Art Square Quilt Block

Do you love to quilt AND love to read?  I invite you to join the free, online Quilters' Book Club.  Each month, we read a book, discuss it through comments on my blog posts, and then make a quilt block to represent that book.  I research several potential blocks to go with the book's themes, setting, main characters, and events.  And I find the patterns free on the internet, making it easy for everyone to access.  Each member can choose the block or blocks they'd like to make.

To join, become a follower of my blog so you won't miss any blog post.  To make it super convenient, you can also sign up for my posts to be delivered right to you via email.  It is never too late to join and begin reading and sewing along with us.     


Our book to read and discuss during March 2014 is A Drunkard's Path by Clare O'Donohue.  Get the book from your local library or bookstore and join us!  It's also available on Kindle right here. 


The main character in the book is twenty-six-year-old Nell Fitzgerald.  At the beginning of the book, Nell is beginning to take art classes and preparing for her first date with Police Chief Jesse Dewalt.  She works part-time at her grandmother's shop, Someday Quilts, and is an amateur sleuth on the side.  If you'd like to create a quilt block that represents them, I found some free patterns on the internet:

Main Character Nell Fitzgerald:

Art Square Quilt Block Pattern shown above

Grandmother's Choice Quilt Block

Grandmother's Choice Quilt Block II shown below

Star of Mystery Quilt Block Pattern

Grandmother's Choice Quilt Block

Nell's first quilt is a Christmas wallhanging.  What was the first quilt that you ever made?  Inquiring minds want to know!  By commenting, you'll be entering to win a copy of A Time for Peace (Quilts of Lancaster County) by Barbara Cameron.  If you are reading this via email, you must click on the title of my blog post to be able to comment and read the comments of others.  The winner will be announced on April 1.  

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post My Irish Great-Grandpa Sampler Quilt and an Irish Tea.