Sunday, June 24, 2007

Childish Things

Spent a few delightful days with my two sisters this week! "Baby" Sister and I took off in her Grand Prix with her XM radio blaring 50s music and went to southern Missouri to visit "Big" Sister---yep, I'm a middle child!!! And doesn't that just explain a lot?!? We hit every antique mall we could find and ate every meal out---who could ask for more? Well, maybe a quilt shop would have been nice, but neither of them are into the crafty side of life. We really need to get together more often. The only downside to this was that I missed out on Primitives of the Midwest and a chance to meet up with fellow bloggers Quiltgranny, A Simple Girl and Quilting With Ragdolls---would love to have done that!!!! Maybe next time....

I have been enjoying Laura's doll quilts so much at Pine Ridge Quilter that I thought I'd post a photo of a recent one I made.

I am so-o-o enjoying mixing hand embroidery with piecing right now. The patterns for the Itsy Bitsy Spider were found here. Aren't they cute??? And so childlike. Even though the designer used them on a skirt (equally cute!), to me they were crying out to be on a doll quilt!!!!

Another collection (bet you're getting tired of these, huh?) are my little tin dishes. I don't have many. They are outrageously high at antique shows and on eBay. But they are such a fond remembrance of growing up 40s style. We had so many tea parties and mud pie bakeries in the back yard. And, of course, my own tin dishes did not survive the rain and rust LOL! I am thankful to whoever took better care of theirs so I could enjoy them!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Fiesta (And a Little Jadite Too!)

I had mentioned several posts back that I would post some pictures of my Fiestaware and kept forgetting to do that! This is not the entire collection but is a good representative. I also have "a thing" for Jadite--lots more of it around here too. I have had "a thing" for 30s and 40s dishes for about 30 years and used to be very compulsive about collecting it. Many a weekend was spent scouring flea markets, antique malls, and want ads. Fortunately, my husband has always been a good sport about my various obsessions!!!
Rocky--ever the ham--couldn't resist a Monday morning photo-op.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Dribs and Drabs

Long time no blog! I have been out of town for a few days and am trying to get caught up with blogreading and blogwriting! Not a whole lot of quilting going on the past few days. I did get another block for the 12 Days of Christmas wallie appliqued last week. He is the 12 Pipers Piping guy.

Another little project in the "how to avoid housework" department has been soapmaking. No, not the lye variety that our great-grannies might have concocted! These are the simple glycerine-chunks-melted-in-the-microwave-with-soapdyes-and-soapfragrances-added variety! Here are some curing and some still in the molds. Won't they make cute gifties with a hand-crocheted spa cloth???

And summer gifties for my sisters...crocheted dishcloths and appliqued kitchen towels to add a little summer fun!

Today is our guild's installation of officers ceremony and potluck luncheon. These are always such delicious fun. Aren't quilters just the best cooks??? I am taking my sour cream banana bundt cake:

1/3 cup softened butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups flour
1 1/4 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 cup sour cream

Cream together butter and sugar, add eggs until well-blended. Stir in vanilla and bananas. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to batter, alternately with sour cream. Pour into a greased and floured 10" bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 55 minutes, till tests done with toothpick. After cooling, the cake can either be dusted with powdered sugar or lightly frosted. I like the canned sour cream frosting with this (about 1/2 the can). Note: this is probably NOT on any weightloss diet program!!!!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Nickel Squares

Last mini-group meeting we started discussing what we might do with all our charm squares we had exchanged during our year-long swap. None of us had definitely decided, but all of us had some thoughts running around in our heads! I have bookmarked several patterns in both the Nickel Quilts and More Nickel Quilts books. The first photo is of a Paducah Nine Patch block from Nickel Quilts which I fell in love with the moment I saw it. One problem may be that it will take 169 of these little babies to make a queen-sized quilt!!! Definitely need some quick cutting strategies. Definitely!!! The second photo is of some pyramid samples. I have always wanted to do a pyramid quilt. The top one is using an equilateral triangle acrylic template which would be very handy. But, of course, I like the bottom isosceles triangle better--for which I have no acrylic template! The one I used was cut from template plastic and may not be as accurate as need be. Hmmm...wonder if there is a place that will custom cut acrylic templates??? One of our members is set on making hers a true "charm" quilt--one template only and no fabric repeated. Another gal is leaning towards just making HSTs with lights and darks. It will be so much fun to see what we all come up with. We are planning a "field trip" this Friday to the IMQA show. I went last year and just loved it. Even though I don't own a longarm machine, there were plenty of other yummies to hold my attention. They advertise over 400 quilts to view, thousands of thread varieties, hundreds of FQs, and on and on. Our plastic will be smokin' ! Then we'll lunch at Cinzetti's, a wonderful Italian spot. It will be a great outing.

In a recent issue of the Kansas City Star magazine, they ran an article on the Golden Ratio--a mathematical and architectural concept which is a ratio (phi) that gives an aesthetically pleasing proportion. While I never did get into Feng Shui, this concept intrigues me as something that might be helpful in planning quilt designs. In a nutshell, here's phi: Picture a line divided into two unequal segments. If the line is divided at exactly the right point, one segment would be 1.618 times the length of the other, and the whole line would be 1.618 times the length of the longer segment. (Sorry 'bout all that math!!!) The ratio shows up a lot in nature and art--it's the ever-increasing widths of the segments of a spiral seashell. It's the ratio of the width of the Parthenon to its height. It's the ratio of the length of your forearm to your hand. Michelangelo's David has the phi proportions. I find this so fascinating and want to do much more reading. Well, did you guess which lamp has the phi going on? The one on the left! The base of the lamp is about 1.6 times the height of the shade. It looks balanced. The lamp on the right has a shade that is much taller, making it look awkward. Hmmm...I think I need to redecorate!!!