Friday, August 31, 2012

Patchwork Patterns, Ruby McKim

When I first heard about
quilting and decided to give it a try
there were very few resources available.

I remember seeing patterns printed in the newspaper,
but they looked so old fashioned.

I started my first quilt in 1973
after I saw my friend's sister was making a quilt
and she was a hippie, nothing old fashioned about that!

I jumped right in.
Here is the story of my first quilt.

After sewing a gazillion rectangles together
I figured there must be something more interesting than that.

I received a copy of this book in 1974.
It was the beginning of an exciting journey.
I never knew that squares and triangles could create so
many different patterns.
It was a treasure trove of ideas.

Everyone got pillows for Christmas
so I could experiment with all of these patterns.

Do you notice how different this book looks from the books
and patterns we purchase today?

Simple single patterns,
the pattern pieces didn't include seam allowance,
no finished ideas,
and no color photos.

 Ruby McKim did include value placement ideas
with the simple black and white drawings.

This was actually a wonderful way to start
creating quilts and designs.
There were no preconceived ideas of what
was possible.
It was totally up to my imagination and creativity.

It's very easy today 
to make quilts
only the way a pattern shows
and with only those fabrics.
I admit I've lost some of my creativity.

 But look what's also in the pamphlets
I'm giving away.

"Something New, Ready Cut Quilts"

 Quilts kits for those who wanted it just that way.
Don't you love the prices in 1931.

Quilt kits are still big business for a quilt shop.
There are a lot of quilters, myself included at times,
 who want it just that way
even today.

Don't forget to leave a comment
on Monday's post.
 I'll be drawing on Saturday for
the winner of these
original Ruby McKim booklets.

 They could be yours,
to spark your creativity.
 Until Next Time-

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Peach Beehives

From cobblers to salads
from breads to ice cream,
the lovely summer peach
is such a  delight to use.

My family's all time favorite
summer peach recipe
Peach Beehives.

These little beehive replicas 
 are so easy to make
and so delicious.

A friend gave me this recipe
way back
in the mid 70's
and now it's a tradition
to enjoy this summer dessert. 
Each peach is wrapped in a narrow
strips of your favorite pie dough.
I had to use store bought this time.
 Leaving the skins on the peach  and starting
with the stem side down,
wrap the pie dough around and around
overlapping until the peach is covered.
Make sure the dough is
firm around the peach so all
that delicious peach juice doesn't
leak out.
 We always have to make
a few bees out of the leftover dough.
That's the fun part.

Bake at 375 degrees for 
30-40 minutes,
depending on the size of the peach,
or until lightly golden brown
on a baking sheet that's lightly
greased or on parchment paper. 
That's a brown bee on the top,
not a pecan!

We add a nutmeg sauce
which is made by:
creaming some butter ( 4T )
adding some vanilla (1 t.)
milk (1 T)
a pinch of salt
Confectioners Sugar ( 1 cup)

Make it what ever consistency you like and the
amounts might vary depending on
how many peaches you bake.

Serve warm, but not hot.  
Those peaches inside stay pretty hot.

Take a bite, 
close your eyes,
enjoy the last days of summer.

Don' forget to 
leave a comment on Monday's 
anniversary post to win 

Until Next Time-

Monday, August 27, 2012

Blog Anniversary and a Give Away

My blog,
Timeless Reflections,
has been my opportunity
to create an online diary.

Nothing earth shattering
or world changing.
Just a glimpse into me
my family,
my passion about quilt making
and life around me.

Writing is not my career,
and, yes,
the only C I ever received 
was in
Freshman Creative Writing at
Western Michigan University.

I appreciate all of you
for taking the time to 
follow along,
and leave a comment or two.

As a thank you,
it's time for a give away!
I have 3 origianal
booklets printed by McKim Studios, I think,  in 1931.
 I'd like to share these with one lucky follower.

These are a treasure with patterns, history
and the cutting edge of quiltmaking.

"The friend who sent us this lovely design to copy
also sent a helpful suggestion as to patterns:
She suggests using blotting paper
instead of cardboard for the cutting units,
as they stay placed so firmly on the cloth.
A wax crayon is excellent with which to trace
around these."
We've come a long way since then.

So leave a comment.
I'll draw the lucky winner next Saturday,
Sept. 1.

Thanks as always.

Just a side bar:
Notice how my hair style really hasn't changed 
since 1956!

 Until Next Time-

Friday, August 24, 2012

Pointy or Plump

Pointy or Plump?
Were you thinking I was going to share
about a recent trip to a lingerie department?

I use to teach quilting classes before and 
while I worked at the Fig Leaf quilt shop.

One of my favorite classes to teach was
 beginning applique classes.
My goal was to help quilters learn to like 
the "A" word.

The challenge for most appliquers
is keeping the curves curved
and the points pointy.

This month I've been working on
 this quilt and appliquéing stars and leaves.

The pattern was drawn with plump star points.
I'm so use to making pointy points
that doing plump points has been a challenge.
It's like doing a very tiny curve on
the star tips.

Here's some plump one.

Here's some pointy ones.

I would tell my students not to worry about 
turning corners or making points 
until the stitching reached that part.

By anchoring the point with a stitch,
 and then turning the corner, it's pretty easy to 
make perky pointy points.

Older appliqué instruction included pressing
under seam allowances with an iron, which meant 
burnt fingers and big plump corners.

Finger pressing is a safer and easier
way to create a smooth curve.
(no spanks required!)

Instructions also recommended clipping
seams allowances to create smooth curves.  
All that did for me was to create pointy curves.


I guess I could be talking about lingerie .

Until Next Time-

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Peachy Keen

It's peach season and 
there's nothing better than the 
smell of a ripe peach and then the juice
drizzling down your chin.

I've collected a lot of peach recipes over the years.
My all time favorite recipe is peach beehives, 
I'll share it with you later when my
Florida daughter comes to visit next week.
It's one of her favorites.

In the meantime,
Elizabeth and I needed to make cupcakes
and the flavor of the month
has to be Peaches and Cream.

We decided to use one of our
favorite sour cream and vanilla cupcake recipe
and doctor it up with some peach puree.

The buttercream frosting became Peachy Keen
with some peach preserves added along with
a couple of drops of red and yellow food coloring
to enhance the color.

Peaches and Cream Cupcakes
Makes 1 dozen

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temp
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup peach puree ( I added a dash of lemon juice
to keep the peaches from turning brown.)

Preheat the oven 350 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients together and set aside.

Beat eggs and sugar until light and creamy
Add butter and vanilla and beat on low speed for about  
one minute until well blended.

Add the dry ingredients on low speed until just blended.

Add the sour cream and beat until smooth

Finally, add the peach puree.  Mix.

Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
Bake about 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean, cool on 
a rack for about 5 minutes and remove from the pan and cool
completely before frosting.

Peach and Cream Buttercream

11/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
3 cups or more confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup peach perserves
1 Tbs vanilla
2 Tbs of heavy cream

Whip the butter until light and fluffy.

Add the confectioners' sugar and beat until combined.

Add peach preserves and vanilla and beat until smooth.

You can add a drop or two of red and yellow food coloring to make
it a peachy color.

Add the 2 Tbs of heavy cream, mix enough to combine and then
increase the speed mixing for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy.


Great Cupcakes,
Happy Co-workers

Until Next Time-

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Elusive Buckle

The alarm went off at 2:30 am
and we were up and ready to leave the motel
by 3:30 am to join the other 
795 ultramarathoners at the start of
" The Race Across the Sky"

I wished Running Man good luck and 
reminded him I would see him in 23 miles.
The gun went off at 4:00 am
 and what seemed like an endless
stream of headlights were
 quickly swallowed up in the early morning darkness.

The first runners completed the first quarter of the race
in 3 hours and 5 minutes.
Hey, I'd like some of that energy.

Running Man was close to his target when he
came onto this check point.
As a crew,
which stands for 
Cranky Runner,
Endless Waiting,
we had a list of items to prep and
things to do and items to exchange in and out, but 
basically, we were there trying to meet his needs
and to keep him healthy and safe.

All seemed good, 
but later when we looked closely at the headlight he had given us
 we noticed it was cracked
and commented that he had blood on his elbow.  
He hadn't mention the fact that he
had, we assumed, fallen somewhere along the trail.

But on he went. 

There's such excitement, enthusiasm and a  party atmosphere 
in an event like this.

Some runner have no crew and only use drop bags to 
get their supplies, while others
have such huge groups complete with signs, horns, matching 
Tee shirts and even costumes.
We loved how this van had the race drawn on the
windows and was marking their
runner's progress.

Notice how the runner looks at the end.

Running Man just had Elizabeth and me waiting at 
the check points.  
But we were there and always ready.

Twin Lakes was the next big check in point.
Unfortunately, we did more waiting than we had planned.

Here's Running Man
  making his entrance down the steep rocky hill
into the station.
 The 40 mile marker.

He had seemed tired to me.
He didn't have the
"eye of the tiger."

He had twisted his knee when he had
fallen early in the morning.
He had caught the toe of his shoe on a large root
that crossed the trail,
twisted his knee and fallen on the other one,
and landed on his head protected only by the headlamp..

At this point, he sat for a while,
trying to decide what he needed to do
and wrestling with what he wanted to do.
His 40 miles completion was
no easy thing.
He was disappointed.
And I know he would have pushed himself to
complete more of the race, but
he chose the safest path
and turned in his timing chip.

 Here is the first racer across the finish line.
Note the time:
100 miles in 16 1/2 hours.

The mantra of the race is
" You can do more than
you think you can."
 "Running Man"  We're proud of you! 

Until Next Time-

Friday, August 17, 2012

Running Man is in Leadville

It's the middle of August 
And I just got out my winter coat,
Mittens and hats,
Sweatshirt and boots.

It's an odd wardrobe for this time of the year,
Unless you are heading to 
Leadville, Colorado.

Running Man has plans,
Big plans for this coming weekend.

It's time for the 
Race Across the Sky,
The Leadville 100 mile race.

Leadville sits in the Rockies at a starting
Altitude of 

The trail goes along  here

Then up over this.

You run 50 miles out
and then you turn around and 
run it all again heading back to the start.

The course is brutal,
Unforgiving, and 
Both a mental and physical challenge.

Running Man made his first attempt
Two years ago.
He ran 60 miles.
You can read about that adventure Here.

Elizabeth and I will be his crew.

Now he has more race experience and 
A 100 miles finish.

He's ready to try again.
It will be a long weekend,
Hopefully with good weather
 And swift feet.

Until Next Time-

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Few Random Thoughts

 I'm glad I was able to
work on a few of the
Just Takes Two blocks
that I had previously cut out.


  It's funny how a nickname can stick.
I never really had one as a kid.

But I can show you why
I call Ed,
"the Running Man."

Two special little
babies that make me smile.
8 months

2 weeks

I'm blessed.

Until Next Time-