I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, August 29, 2016

August Quilt Blocks

Hi! August is almost over ! And though we expect another two months of summer, it does seem as if things are changing, summer is rushing by! [Because I live so near the finally-warm ocean, Fall begins around Veterans Day, in November.]
But the days are shorter, and evenings on the deck are no longer bright enough to sew past 7.30. Here is what I did this month. [The block is L shaped, the seashells are not part of the block.]

This is one of my favorite Wild Geese blocks. For months I've been planning how to baste the raw edges of the sunflower so that in time it could turn shaggy / raggy---frilly! But in the end, no. It just needed to be made this way.

And this is another Basket from P2, a little 5" filler block. I LOVE this little basket. I'm thinking it could make a great long term project like the Dotty Circles, scraps of pretty fabrics, something to have on hand to keep my fingers busy? If I start and lose interest--the four or six starters will make a sweet little doll quilt. Or ten years from now I will have a hundred Baskets and a full sized memory quilt.

And here are my next two Ohio Sampler blocks. Carnation or as I always learned the name Cotton Boll:

And the start of Oak Leaves and Reel. [waiting for green when the photo was taken.]

I never have enough green fabrics, I don't like green and never buy it so I'm always short of what I need . The green for the oak leaves did come yesterday, from Fat Quarter Shop. Very fast and beautifully packed fabrics. So much nicer than the way the ladies at Joann's wad things up. Though I still had to overdye it to get the kind of dill pickle green I can endure.

I fear my Ohio sewing lacks precision! The Ohio Sampler blocks are more challenging than the prim appliques of a P2 or WWGF. The designs are traditional and often symmetrical, somewhat formal, despite being folk art of sorts. I can picture the young women c.1890 competing to show off their needle skills, each wanting their block to be better than the rest. (The Ohio Sampler Quilts were made up of many blocks contributed by groups of friends and family.)

And as I sew I picture them whispering about me behind their hands, and giggling: "Did you see that Reel and Oak Leaf block Mattie Belle's great -granddaughter made! Tee hee hee."

Mattie Belle is my Ohio ancestor. She was from Virginia ''stock'' and her name was truly Mattie Belle. Mattie, not Matilda, or Margaret, or, lol...Madison!--and Belle was a nod to her Southern birthright. She was an expert quilter/ sewer, who gifted our family with such southern delicacies as buttermilk fried chicken, ham and green beans [eeeew], and bacon fried RED tomatoes with cream gravy. Fried in bacon drippings! My mom kept a green crock of drippin's in the fridge all her life. Oh and via my cousin, we discovered her recipe for pecan pie---the best!

This is an piece of an old quilt, the block is Laurel Leaves and Reel. [from my collection, but NOT made by my ancestor.]

Look how beautifully made it is, and how the quilting gives it such texture. Also interestingly, it is quite rough homespun material, possibly all or partly linen, not cotton. Just so you can see an
expert's work. It was probably originaaly green and cream or red/ green/ cream. Too faded to know for sure. Age? 1835-1855?

And finally, a little bit about P2's Flower Pot blocks. I was very proud of myself  for finding the large scale floral polka dot at the spring quilt show, and I worked a bit ahead and had my flower lollipops all premade for this month's assignment. Last night I got them ready to be sewed this afternoon, but this morning when I got up and looked at them----Oh NO! I hated how they looked.

Would using the smaller florals from the Big Basket block work better?

Nope, maybe not. Probably I will only know for sure when the whole project is complete. I can always change them, right?

Dotties 365 for August later this week, here. Have a good week.



gone to the beach...

The ''reel'' is the center section, presumably it looks like a cotton reel or spool, used for weaving?

Friday, August 26, 2016

A Walk and a Fail, of sorts

Hi! It's Friday, and the last weekend of August is upon us. It's very hot today, first day of over 90* here this summer, I think! But earlier in the week we had a couple of cooler days and I was somewhat foolishly tempted to go out walking with Mo and his walker. I was so excited to be outside enjoying the summer day that I forgot that I am supposed to strictly limit myself. Activity increases the inflammation and therefore the pain. Stupid stupid [and boring! sorry!].

We went really far! Look! We went to the koi pond.

It has quite  a bit of new landscaping this year, new rocks and a pretty purple marshy flower, new water hyacinths too.

Then we went on. And ON. Because I just had to visit the Gooses! A, the dog walker, thought I was pretty odd, snapping pix, but I know you too are dying to see the Geese!

All dressed for the beach. Even Baby has a bit of embellishment, isn't that great.


Now about that Cauliflower pilaf.

It was good. But it wasn't pilaf, or rice-y or nutty. It was just---cauliflowery. Not savory or wonderful.

I sauteed a sweet onion and minced garlic. Added some sliced yellow squash for color. Added the cauli and a bit of chicken broth. Cooked it over high heat about 6 minutes only, so the cauli didn't turn to mush. It needed a lot of lemon pepper and shaved parm to be interesting/ edible.

It looks right, but I don't know why I thought it would actually taste like pilaf. I'd rate it a C-.

We should take Kel's advice and stick to Trader Joe's peanut butter cups instead! Less work, more yummy. LOL.



gone to the beach..........

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Little Things

...mean a lot.

Hi! Small pleasures become so important when one has, like me, been so incapacitated and homebound for months on end. Just getting out for errands is suddenly a thrill instead of a tiresome chore. Monday my friend Elle [L] drove me to the physical therapy clinic to sign up and do insurance paperwork. [I'm rather dreading this plan, when any small mis-move can still cause intense pain. We shall see!?] The clinic people seemed pretty nice, always a surprise here.
Afterward we treated ourselves to a quick trip to Trader Joe's for their annual August flower special, 9 Roses/// 3.99. From the Fearless Flyer their ad paper: ''Why Nine? Because 9 is the most roses we can get for you and still sell for less than four dollars! Sounds good to me!

I chose classic ''tea roses'' which is what we called creamy with pink ruffled edges roses when I was a little girl. I think that is incorrect nomenclature, but to me they are still oldfashioned and special. No, Mel, they have no scent, sorry.

I dug out my little ironstone jug with the pink buds.

TJ's had other fascinating things! Riced cauliflower! I love cauliflower. This version is chopped rather fine, like rice. I think I will do a fast stirfry w/ garlic, onions, herbs, a little broth---like a risotto? Many options on Pinterest I haven't been cooking much, so even that is a fun challenge.I also got fresh corn, but forgot tomatoes, too bad.

And look at these perfect jewel-like red raspberries. Had to have a box, plus a small bag of TJ's shortbread biscuits. I added a little sweetener and a dash of Grand Marnier, spooned the berries over the biscuits, with a dollop of Greek yogurt. ! Guilty pleasure.

I got Mo some of their brown rice and chicken chews and  fancy bullysticks too. Then we stopped in the village at the little drugstore. I needed Rxs and also notecards and letter paper to write to friends who keep in touch via snail mail. Hard to imagine people who are not online, but a letter in the mailbox is still so fun,I think. I've kind of lost my handwriting knack, but I still enjoy this funny old custom. Any of you still write letters?
Oh and I got Mo a little baby pool! The pharmacy is a little neighborhood shop, with beach toys, sunscreen, and sand chairs, not just a Rx filler. Locally owned, I like to shop there, give them my business, so they stay. The little pool is for the next heatwave on the deck, though so far this week it has been dry,breezy and cool-ish. [75*]. Probably Mo will hate it.

Speaking of mail, I also received this pretty envelope from Mel, you know her from her comments here on my blog.

She sent me more of the  very interesting text print because I wanted more to use on P2's lollipop flower blocks' backgrounds. Now I better get busy! 15 leaves and four stars this month, hmmmm...

Sneak peek of P2's large basket block. The roses on the sky blue just seemed perfect for my day of summer and roses. [yes, it's crooked.]

Of course all this excitement exhausted me. I enjoyed sitting down in the afternoon with a cold ice tea and some time poring through this gorgeous and inspiring book, a Christmas gift that has never gotten put away.

And last, more morning glories. The hot sun and salt air and wind mean their leaves are ugly and shrivelled but each morning at dawn the brave little flowers open for their brief and special moment of beauty.



gone to the beach....