Thursday, August 18, 2022

Dollie quilts

Given the likely crazy few weeks ahead, I am sharing a "mini" of sorts a little early.  These two dollie quilts were cut and finished by my Grandma Mary Lou in the early 90's, from a tiny Grandmother's Flower Garden top she rescued: 


She meander machine quilted the white backgrounds, and tied the centers of each "flower" - 


They are so charming and sweet.  



And now they are packed away.  *All* of my quilting stuff is ready to move over to the "dated-but-new-to-us" townhouse next month: 



This does not even include all the quilting stuff I had in Tokyo, which was part of our "sea shipment."   It's just too much stuff.   Sometimes I daydream about chucking it all and taking up embroidery, watercolor, and knitting - all of which, combined, would take up far less space! 

In other news... David and I have been walloped by Covid.   We had avoided it for SO long that it was sort of a shock to get it.  The worst symptoms for me have been bad headache (like, scary bad) and extreme fatigue.  We are on the upswing I think, and counting the days til we will safely be able to visit with people again.  

With September right around the corner, I've also been considering joining a local quilt guild.  I feel shy about it, but I think it might be a good idea.  What about you... do you participate in a local guild? 

xo

Cynthia 





Monday, August 1, 2022

Two more pot holder sets, and my favorite fruit cobbler

July went by in a blur.  Some part of me wonders if I will ever quilt again!  It took me a month to finally tack back the binding on these last two sets of scrappy pot holders: 


The backs are from tenugui that I bought over ten years ago, the first time we lived in Tokyo.   It's really high time I use the things I've been saving!  Yes I am counting these pot holders as a "mini" for July.  Look at all the minis linked by Wendy at The Constant Quilter


Kaela and family have moved into their dream home.  Many hands have made lighter work for them but it is still overwhelmingly exhausting.  Everyone is focused on helping them get settled before the twins arrive.  I am humbled by how tiring it is to keep up with a two year old! 

Lots of family have come around to help.  I love seeing my two girls working and laughing together! 


Scorching hot days.  I lasted 30 minutes at the park with Charlotte the other day - 


Our sea shipment arrived from Japan!  But, since we are moving so soon, we asked the crew to just stack the boxes in the garage.  When we are finally able to move into our "new" townhome in September,  we will open everything up and TRY to find a "place for everything".   Downsizing isn't for the faint of heart but I do believe in it!   We have already moved an entire bedroom set over to Kaela's home for one of their guest rooms. 

Yesterday my niece Alyssa joined us for Sunday dinner and brought these cheerful flowers - loved looking at these as I set up "August" in my bullet journal today: 


Lastly I just want to share a wonderful recipe with you.  This is a fruit cobbler I've been making for over twenty years.  I make it all the time in the summer.  Last night I used blueberries and blackberries.  Peaches are amazing in this cobbler too.  You can use any fresh fruit.  


I love getting everything ready for it while I am making dinner.  From this "mis en place" setup, I can very quickly get it into the oven right as we sit down to dinner.  

Batter Fruit Cobbler 

serves 4-5 

This is from The Perfect Recipe by Pam Anderson, and it is adapted from a recipe from Nathalie DuPree, a very well known southern cook from the 80's.  

4 T butter

3/4 C flour

3/4 C sugar (reserve about 1 T for sprinkling) 

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 C milk

2 C fresh or frozen cut fruit or berries (not sweetened or thickened) 

1.  Preheat oven to 350.   While oven is preheating, put butter into a pan  (8 inch square, or 9 inch round, or deep dish pie plate, or cast iron skillet) in the oven to melt.  

2.  Meanwhile in a small mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients together, and then add the milk.  Whisk just long enough to incorporate the ingredients. 

3.  Remove hot pan from the oven.  Poor batter into the pan over the butter (don't stir).  Arrange or sprinkle fruit over the batter.  Sprinkle with the reserved 1T sugar.   Do all of this quickly and get the pan right back into the hot oven. 

4.  Bake until batter browns, 40-50 min (sometimes longer).  Just make sure the middle is done.  Cool slightly and serve with good vanilla ice cream.  YUM. 

xo 

Cynthia 


Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Potholders for days, a brief word about current events, some appliqué

I've been happily (happily...? not really, not these days, with our country in the state it's in... but you know what I mean) ensconced in my messy sewing room, making potholders from scraps.  


I piece scraps into improv log cabin blocks, about 10" square, layer with batting (four layers of Dream Cotton Select), and backing.  I quilt very simply.  I try to eyeball the center and quilt down and across the center, which helps when it comes to how a potholder is folded when you are using it.  Sometimes I make an additional quilting line once the potholder is finished, to achieve that good symmetrical fold. 

I trim to 9" squares, and bind with double-fold binding cut 1.25" wide.   It's a lot of work to hand tack back the bindings, but I still prefer to bind this way and not all by machine.  

Then I wash them.  In the photo below, the purple-bound potholders on top have already been washed.  

These will make some simple gifts.   They wash up well and shrink to about 8.5": 


I love making potholders - the smallest possible quilt, and something practical and not precious.   I'm totally counting these as a June monthly mini;).  I've been absent for months from the mini scene at Wendy's The Constant Quilter.  Check out the minis on her blog!  I always love seeing what people have been making. 

Binding all these little potholders, I have been watching all of the January 6th hearings.  Today, I was so impressed with young witness Cassidy Hutchinson's courage and poise.   

With the distressing recent events and decisions in our country, I try to stay informed without becoming too overwhelmed and depressed by it all.  One voice I appreciate is Heather Cox Richardson's newsletter "Letters from an American: a newsletter about the history behind today's politics".    She's an historian and professor at Boston College.  You can email me and I will forward you one of her newsletters, or you can find some of her older newsletters here on Bill Moyer's website.  

But back to quilting for a second.  The other project I'm working on is this BOM from Barbara Brackman, Ladies Aid.  The blocks are huge.  I wanted this quilt to have that soft "light blue and dusty pink" feel from the mid 80's.  Just gentle and homey.  I made myself kits, thinking I would finish this up over Christmas vacation.  Ya, no, that didn't happen. 




Getting an idea of what this will look like.  One more block to prep and appliqué. 



Cynthia