Baby Shower

Monday, October 26, 2009 1 Comment »
The baby shower was lovely. Many wonderful gifts and much womanly bonding. Most of the attendees have known Kate since she was an infant, so the joy of seeing a new generation begin was palpable. Kate, the guest of honor, looked slim and lovely, with the only evidence of pregnancy being the "basketball" grafted onto her abdomen. Now why couldn't the rest of us have carried like that!

The shower was hosted by Kate's mom (and my dear friend) Jan, and Kate's sister-in-law, Jen. Together, they did a superb job.

My God Daughter is an Art teacher & and artist; her husband Sean is in graphic design. Recently Sean has developed mad photographic skills, as you can see by these beautiful portraits of Kate.
Between the two of them, they came up with a very cool idea for a shower activity.

They took a large canvas, and gridded it out with pencil lines -- semi random squares & rectangles (very quilt-like). Acrylic paints (in colors to coordinate with the baby's room) were provided, along with paint brushes. and print- outs of suggested designs. They also brought the diaper stacker from the nursery decor set to provide a little inspiration.

The idea was for each guest to paint a square, with the finished work to be hung in the baby's room. There were a few artsy types in attendance who did a really really nice job on their squares, but most of us picked a simple design like a sun, a flower or a tree & tried to do our best. Somehow it all worked. The over-all effect was very cute; Miss. Grace Isabel certainly has a spiffy, original work of art for her nursery. I am sure Mr. photographer took some snaps of the finished painting, so I will post when I get them.

Yes, "Amazing Grace" was a hit, and here's hoping it gets loved/used until it shreds!

Piece and love, Pat

Amazing Grace

Saturday, October 24, 2009 5 Comments »

Well, it's finished. Good thing, because the shower is tomorrow. I debated wheter or not to wash it, but I am glad I went ahead and did. Now the quilt has that nice, crunkly, soft old feel to it. Sorry that the pictures are not so hot, but my camera does not do well indoors, and it's been pouring rain all day.

I did just a straight line of strips down the back, and added a label.
I hope Miss Grace likes it.

Now if Nora could only quilt.......

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 1 Comment »

Like my friend Kimberly, I know that many of you have feline Quality Control Managers in your sewing rooms. Check out Nora! Make sure you have the sound on.

More CATcertos available here.

Slow Cooker Season

Tuesday, October 20, 2009 2 Comments »
It's slow cooker season again.

Head on over to this awesome slow cooker web site for some ideas and inspiration. Just click on the recipe links for everything from warming beverages to main courses to desserts.

Stephanie's recipies are very good and very easy; I've tried a bunch of them and can attest to their yumminess. Her daughter has a gluten allergy, so all of her recipies use gluten free ingredients, but you can easily swap out for non-GF. I can't wait to order her book!

Who needs to spend all that time in the kitchen when you could be quilting, or even watching those Phabulous Phillies!

Piece and love, Pat

Rainy Weekend

Monday, October 19, 2009 3 Comments »

Miserable, cold weekend -- just perfect for hunkering down and working on a quilt! I kicked the cat off my sewing throne, made innumerable cups of herbal tea, started working my way through the 8 DVD collection of The Dutchess of Duke Street, and sewed to my heart's content.

This quilt is for Miss Grace Isabel Flanagan, expected to make her formal appearance sometime in December, but being showered in advance next weekend. Her mother is my God Daughter, Kate Duerr Flanagan; her Grandmother is my very dear friend Janice Duerr, and her Great Grandmother is Isabel Ruddick. Kate and her hubby Sean have been trying and trying to create a mini Flanagan for a while now. Fertility treatments, in vitreo, all with no success. Well, sometimes things happen in God's own time, and such it was with Grace. When Kate and Sean least expected it, shazzam! God planted a seed, and Miss Grace Isabel began her journey.

This is my first attempt at creating my own pattern, and winging it. It was a leap of faith. Yep, I made a couple mistakes (right in the center of the picture), but I don't think anyone will mind. This quilt is a meant to be a work of love, not a work of art. Tonight I'll finish the machine quilting, then start the binding while I watch the Phillies beat LA (can I still sew with my fingers crossed?). Once the quilt is finished, I plan to wash it so that it gets that nice old-fashioned, soft crumply look.

I like to name my quilts, but it took a while to think of a name for this one that reflected all of the joy and love that this baby brings. Finally it came to me. It's called "Amazing Grace".

Piece and love,

Apple time!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 5 Comments »
Apple, Bleu Cheese and Smoked Ham Tart

We love bleu cheese in our house, so when I saw this recipe on the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day blog, I practically drooled on the keyboard. Add a salad, light a nice fire, and pour yourself some apple cider, chilled white wine, or a cold brewski -- you're all set to watch the game!

I happen to like the AB5 method & usually have dough in the fridge, but a good alternative would be to just buy a ball of dough from your local pizza shop.

Click here for the recipe.

Quilt Out Loud!

Friday, October 09, 2009 2 Comments »
Friday, October 9, 2009

A few months ago, I attended a taping of several segments of Quilt Out Loud at my favorite sewing machine store, Byrne Sewing. QOL is an internet TV program available only on QNN TV. And yes, you need to have a paid membership to QNN. No free lunch, as they say.

Anyway, it's a rather refreshing concept in that it doesn't focus on making quilts. It focuses on all of the things that quilters might be interested in -- including making cupcakes decorated like quilt blocks for your guild meeting; visiting a garden center to get color inspiration for your quilts from the plants; and book reviews. They even have "door knocker" segments where they knock on the doors of various quilters, and go into their homes/quilting spaces during the surprise visit. The hosts are Jodi Davis, a very sweet lady with a great on-screen personality, who makes beer in addition to being an accomplished quilter, and the outrageous (and funny) Mark Lipinski. I really like the program/segments a lot.

The two most recently released segments (filmed at Byrnes) are interviews with two women involved in designing fabric, Michelle Benko and Gail Kessler. For those of you from Pennsylvania, you might recognize Gail as the owner of Ladyfinger's, in Oley. She is also the Marketing Director for Andover Fabrics. They talk about topics like: Why do fabrics start looking the same? Who determines trends, both in fabric pattern and in color? and What about knock-offs? It's very interesting. Gail brought along her Golden Retreiver, Rosie, who was the inspiration for her most popular fabric line, Dimples -- a blender that's now available in a gajillion different colors. Michelle designs for Henry Glass, and has started her own company to produce "green" fabric.

I got my very own nano second of fame when they panned the audience at the start of the first segment. I'm the blonde in the center of the 2nd row, wearing a bright bue jacket & grinning like a fool. Hey, fame can do that to you. See my agent for autographs.

Unfortunately, Mark Lipinski is no longer associated with QNN or with Quilt Out Loud, so the current series of shows are the last in which you will see him. Personally, I think he was a hoot, and brought a lot to the show. I enjoyed meeting him immensely. He has bowed out of Quilter's Home Magazine as well. Sorry to see you go, cupcake!

I will try to post pictures later from the taping itself. The process is fascinating!
Love and pieces,

Hangin' on my Fridge?

Friday, October 09, 2009 8 Comments »
Sept. 26, 2009
I should be hanging this on my fridge. It's at least as worthy as the fingerpaintings my grand kids have done, or the assorted invitations for upcoming events.

Alright, it's not even close to perfect, but it's my first attempt at foundation piecing, and it's only 7 1.2" on the longer sides. Did I mention it has 30 separate pieces? Can I take into account that the classroom was about as well lit as a badly lit closet?

I will be doing more, and they will be better. Cross my heart.

Oh, and this is what the pattern looks like when it's done by George.