Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Red with Envy

Quilters had an incredible opportunity 
to view an amazing 650 red and white quilts
last week that were on exhibit through
the American Folk art Museum in NYC.

I have appreciated reading other bloggers account of this
incredible presentation from the collection of Joanna Rose, a
quilt collector.  She wanted to put her entire collection
of red and white quilts on display in one spot as a birthday gift
to the city of New York.  Wow!

 I love red and white quilts as do so many quilters.
So in honor of the year of the red and white quilts,
I am making my own small contribution.

A whole bolt of Kona Snow fabric.
Just ready for ...
the addition of RED.

The choice of the pattern is still
milling around in my mind.
But I am ready to see what I can do.
I know there will be a lot of
red and white quilts made this year.
It'll be great fun.
Join in and decide what you'll make.

Until Next Time-

Monday, March 28, 2011


Maybe it was because of the weather.
So far today there's been sun, rain, hail and the
possibility of snow.

I've been fickled too.
I've jumped from project to project.
Cleaning, laundry and grocery shopping, known
at the dutiful three.

With that out of the way I could work on
other FUN things.

I sewed a few 2" half square triangles 
for the triangle exchange class at the store.
It's based off of Edyta Sitar's book, Friendship Triangles.

I made 4 sets of 28.  I love scrap quilts and this an
easy way to get a great variety without tearing up 
my sewing studio.
The great thing about this exchange is that no one is to 
remove the paper and press.  All anyone has to do
is sew on the lines and cut on the lines of the paper.
It helps to maintain the preciseness of each square.

Next I did a few labels.
Finished this embroidered one

I did some cutting,
Oh, no more Dr. Seuss!

some trimming,
That's Sunkissed fabric from Sweetwater.
sewed one block to make sure everything was right.
One done, 41 blocks to go.

Then I needed to bake something.
I just needed too.
I made these gargantuan 
Peanut Butter Cookies with Milk Chocolate Chunks
 It's like eating a warm Reeses.
Peanut Butter Cookies with Milk Chocolate Chunks
from Baked: New Frontier in Baking
Yield: about 28cookies

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (+3 T)
2 teaspoons baking soda (-1/4t)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, softened
1 cup granulated sugar, (-2T)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar (-2T)
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter (+2T)
6 ounces good milk chocolate, coarsely chopped, I used milk chocolate chips.

1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl.

2. Beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Scape down the bowl and add in the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. The mixture will look light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla extract and the peanut butter. Beat until just combined.

3. Add in half of the flour mixture, mix for 15 seconds, and add in the rest of the flour. Mix again until just moistened. Fold in the chocolate chip. Cover the bowl tightly and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours

4. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheepts with parchment paper.  Drop dough by big rounded Tablespoons, I used a #40 cookie scoop,  on the baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart. Press down gently with your finger tips, but do NOT press too hard and do NOT press it flat.  Sprinkle the tops with granulated sugar.

5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, being sure to turn the pan around halfway through the baking time, until the tops of the cookies just begin to brown.  Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool before removing to another surface to cool completely.

I did adjust these for altitude. That's what is written in (red).

Like the weather, I did a little bit of everything.
It made for an unpredictable interesting day.

Until Next Time-

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fabulous Friday

For Today:
Looking Out My Window: The willow tree has a hint of green.  Love it.

My Weekend Plans Include: I believe I am being recruited to have the annual raking day on Saturday.  It will only be a party of 2 this year.  So it will be a small and slow party.  

I’m Reading:   Cruel and Unusual by Patricia Cornwell.

Movie Marquee: Temple Grandin and The Social Network.  Temple Grandin is at CSU.  It's a great story, if you'd like a movie recommendation.

Something Quiltie: We got a new book at the store last week, 501 Quilting Motifs by That Patchwork Place.  It's from the editors of Quiltmaker Magazine. It's a great collection of designs both for handquilting and machine.  I'd highly recommend it.

One of My Favorite Things: I grew up in the outskirts of Detroit. Besides cars, Detroit is also known for MoTown Records.  It included artists like the Four Tops, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Smokey Robinson, and Stevie Wonder.  I still like the sound.  I just don't sing and dance in front of the mirror anymore.

Are you tapping your toes?
Any memories from then?

I'm Thinking About: Jessica is heading to Florida next week to spend sometime with Kate.  She's the lucky one.

What’s For Dinner:  Wish I knew. We'll be hungry by tonight.
A Favorite Photo:    
American Gothic?

Have a wonderful weekend,

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Progress verses Process

Wednesdays are one of my usual days off
from working at the quilt store.
After helping to figuring out everyone else' projects
sometimes it's hard to be motivated to work on my own.

Today was more about making progress
rather than enjoying the process.

My list of almost finished projects
was lengthening and seemed a bit out of control.
Today seemed like a good day to attack
that list and cross out as much as possible.
More borders to sew on.
I've been working on Crabapple Hills
pattern, Snowmen from A to Zzzz
for quite awhile. A long while!
I just finished the embroidery.  Had the fabric ready for the borders.
Ready, set, go!
Not quite done yet.
I still need to do the embroidery that
covers up the seams between the blocks.
I'm motivated now so it won't take long.
Can't wait to show it off once it's completely done.

Also got the backing ready and 
made the binding.
It's wound on an old spindle and
will be ready whenever the quilting gets done.
It will seem like such a treat to have it ready and waiting.

My quilt group continues to work on 
Anne Sutton's Snowbound pattern.
So far I'm keeping up.
Finished the March block with a few days to spare.
I'm using wool for the snowman and doing
hand applique for the other pieces.

When I visited Jessica's classroom last week and
took the Very Hungry Caterpillar pillowcase to add 
to her classroom reading area, I was surprised
when the kids noticed it right away.
That's motivation for me.

I found this fabric at the store with a sale tag on it
and decided the kiddos needed an Easter pillow as well.

My son in law is graduating from culinary school this week.
Don't you think he needs a couple of these.
Pillowcases with chefs.
It's a fabric from Timeless Treasures.

Now I'm left with handwork, a binding, embroidery, and
more handquilting on my Ocean Waves, that I promise I will 
get done soon.

I made good progress today and
even enjoyed the process as well.
So what's next?
Why start something new of course!
Until Next Time-

Monday, March 21, 2011

Another Souper Monday

It's officially Spring according to 
the calendar.
Look what I found at Whole Foods.
Pricey but I needed a sign.

Pussy Willows
Once upon a time we use to have a pussy willow shrub.
I don't think many people have them in their yards here.
I'm hoping maybe one or two of them might root
and I could plant it somewhere.
We'll have to see what happens.

Despite having a bit of spring fever,
I included soup on the menu for this Souper Monday.
Not quite ready to give that up.  A pot of soup 
significantly impacts
meal planning and prep time.
That's a good thing.

Jarlsberg Vegetable Bisque
is one of my favorites and I hadn't had a chance to make
it yet this year.
I've had this recipe for years and years and occasionally
think of it when I go to Sam's.  I can get a nice block of 
 cheese for a good price.
Jarlsberg cheese is known for it's nutty, buttery, and distinctive sweet taste and
large round holes.

It's great  for cooking and for eating.
It's a Norwegian cheese.
I love it.


Read more about it at,1848,153168-230202,00.html
Content Copyright © 2011 - All rights reserved.
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
4 c. chicken broth
2 c. coarsely chopped broccoli
3/4 c. chopped carrots
1/2 c. chopped celery
1 sm. onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. thyme, crushed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 c. heavy cream
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 c. shredded Jarlsberg cheese
In large heavy saucepan, melt butter. Add flour and cook several minutes, stirring. Remove from heat. Gradually blend in broth. Bring to boil, stirring. Add next 8 ingredients. Cover; simmer 10 minutes until vegetables are tender.Blend cream and egg. Gradually blend in several tablespoons soup. Return to soup and cook, stirring until thickened. Blend in cheese. Serve.
Look, I found my recipe on

Enjoy another souper Monday before 
it gets too warm.
That's my plan for today.

Until Next Time-

Friday, March 18, 2011

For Today:
Looking Out My Window: Spring ?, Winter ?, Spring ?  Winter ?, it's up for grabs today.

My Weekend Plans Include: If the weather cooperates it might mean doing a bit, a small bit, of raking.  Maybe just enough to fill the dumpster for Wednesday's trash pick up.  I know I should be recycling the sticks but there are so many, a few won't matter.

I’m Reading:  Finishing Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and starting Cruel and Unusual by Patricia Cornwell.

Movie Marquee: The Pillars of the Earth

Something Quiltie: Hopefully, I'll have time to sew a binding on the "Secret Shop Hop Quilt".  I always use my walking foot to attach it to the quilt and leave extra batting in the seam allowance to fill the binding once it's turned.  As a judge at quilt shows and also having had many of my quilts judged, having a filled binding is something that judges love to get you on.

One of My Favorite Things: A perfectly grilled Reuben Sandwich.

I'm Thinking About: I love this quote from Dr. Seuss. 

“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.” 
~Dr. Seuss

What’s For Dinner: A repeat of that perfectly grilled Reuben Sandwich. Couldn't ask for anything better on a Friday night.

A Favorite Photo:

A room with a view
The Amalfi Coast in Sorrento, Italy
Mt. Vesuvius is in the background

Have a wonderful weekend,

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

The Redente clan

Until Next Time-

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Welcome to Kindergarten

On Monday I had the privilege to visit
Mrs. Wolfe's, Jessica's, kindergarten class.

What a delight.
She has some very sweet kids.
Kindergarten has changed a lot.
It's no longer playing and napping and having a snack.
In fact, none of those activities are part of the curriculum.

It's full day with  readin', writin' and 'rithmetic.

But Jessica is so good.  She incorporates a lot of
body movement and music in the required material.
And the kids are learning fast.
But there's also time to just be kids.

Yesterday they had a guest story teller....
Mrs. Redente.
I think today she is going to tell them
I was her mother.

That always shocks their minds.
How in the world could Mrs. Wolfe
have a mother. Wow!

Thanks Mrs. Wolfe for the wonderful day.

Until Next Time-

Monday, March 14, 2011

Border Patrol

When I finally get to the borders of a quilt,
I always think that I'm done.

Stop right there.
Borders, especially if there are multiple borders,
take a lot of time to sew on correctly.

Enter the Border Patrol

 Don't precut borders until the center section is done.
Just because the pattern says they need to be...
doesn't mean that your borders are that length.

Never take a fabric strip, sew it on the edge and cut it off. 
 You could be creating a quilt with a different measurement on each side.
Which is OK if that's the ultimate goal.

Otherwise, always measure YOUR quilt before cutting and sewing.
Take that measurement in the
center of the quilt.
Actually, take a couple of measurements and 
use the average.
Then cut your borders to fit YOUR quilt.

The outer edges of the quilt might have stretched during
the sewing or there may be bias edges that can
influence and distort the dimensions.

Using the center measurements will prevent the
quilt from having an hourglass shape.
Good for Marilyn, 
not so good for quilts.

Until Next Time-

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fabulous Friday

For Today:
Looking Out My Window: March is one of our snowiest months, but Spring has been definitely teasing.  We have a goose couple, Gander and Gertie, continually hanging out in the yard.  Wouldn't it be fun if we had babies soon.

My Weekend Plans Include: I'm heading to Denver again to have a girls' weekend.  I'm sure the three of us can figure out some fun things to do. Sorry Kate, wish it was the four of us.  On Monday I'm visiting Jessica's classroom to finally meet "her kids".  It's interesting how they react when "Mrs. Wolfe finally tells them that I am her mother".  

I’m Reading:  Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.

Movie Marquee:  Shackleton and The Girl Who Played With Fire.

Something Quiltie: Making a "Hot Dog Pillowcase" is fun and easy.  We have new Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric at the store.  I made a quick pillowcase for the library corner of Jessica's kindergarten classroom.  Kohl's has all of Eric Carle's books on sale with the appropriate stuffed toys.  This should brighten up the corner.

One of My Favorite Things:  Checking out what's new at Crate and Barrel.  Can you figure out one place I'm heading while I'm in Denver?

I'm Thinking About: I collect this and collect that, wish I could collect more time.

What’s For Dinner: Stuffed Peppers, found hiding in the freezer.

A Favorite Photo:

"Girls Day Out"
 It's about having fun together.
Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Have an Interesting Day

Don't let things get you down,
Just have fun.

Until Next Time-

Monday, March 7, 2011

Roseville Applique Quilt

I didn't have much time to quilt this weekend
and I've
been trying to work on my Roseville Applique Quilt.

Finally, got my first block done.
Yea, I know you can see the berries are just pinned on
but I do have it sewn now.

So I pulled out all the fabrics, I had previously decided on,
and began the process of designing the next block.

Sometimes it helps to have someone else look at your
design.  They might see something you've missed.

On block two, I started with the largest 
elements of the design.
It's the easiest place for me, especially,
when the block has so many pieces.
I've just pinned the applique pieces to the pattern
as I cut them out.

Each piece is auditioning to be in the quilt.
Some will stay and others will be booted.

You can't just stack up your fabrics and see what
works.  You need to see them
in the right shapes and places.

Because this block is a asymmetrical
I find it more challenging to keep the colors, values and textures

Always step back, look and squint.
Taking a photo as you go helps to 
evaluate the block.

Keep auditioning.
It's the only way to be happy with the 
block when you are done.

I've tried to balance the reds, and golds because
they are my strongest colors.
I've also tried to balance the darkest values as well.
The urn will also have some dark blue reverse applique on it,
so it won't be so much of the same fabric 
and you can also see
the fruit at the top left has some reverse applique, some lighter gold goes there.
I also haven't pinned on the darker green stems that are included.

A couple of subtle changes and now
I'll let it rest.
I'll keep checking and see how it looks with block 1.
Any suggestions?
It's a wild one.

I'm actually going to do block 3 as well, before I put the fabric away.
I'll show you as I go on that one too.
Until Next Time-