Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy Birthday to my mother

Henrietta is 85 today!
Both my mother and my mother-in-law have New Year's Eve birthdays.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

visiting my quilts (and my family)

A wonderful Christmas season in that I was able to spend time in my mother's and both my sisters' homes. And, was able to visit my quilts!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

 In the aftermath of opening gifts.
AND, the An Extravagant Welcome quilt is installed! Two years after it was completed...
My uncooperative children, standing in front, are not impressed. Watch soon for detailed photographs.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

cascadia quilt-a-long

As you can see, it is still in progress, but I want to share my version of Lori's Humble Quilts sew-a-long. I am not happy with my quilting of it, so it is being taking out and I will rethink. Come back soon to see it in all it's glory!
There are many quilts posted at her site, so take a look at the wonderful interpretations. Thanks, Lori, for another fun project.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

visiting my quilts--Christmas village edition

We were to a caroling party hosted by our friends Craig and Lisa this weekend and I was delighted to find them using one of my quilts as a backdrop for their Christmas village.

Monday, December 15, 2014

consumables for gifts

I prefer to give (and get) consumables for Christmas gifts. Here are some of my favorite purchases for this year. All but the last two can be ordered on Amazon, but I bought them all locally.
Stroopwafels, in either the honey or caramel version. Your Dutch friends will love you. Your non-Dutch friends will become ready converts. These are great placed over a steaming cup of tea or coffee to melt a bit. Any brand will do, but I like Daelman's hexagonal packaging! I've been finding them at Marshall's for $4.99.
 Love Crunch cereal by Nature's Path. I give a case to my grad-student son. About $4 a bag, but it comes on sale at our store and I've found it at Aldi for about $2.
Gerolsteiner Mineral Water. I buy this by the case (I prefer the glass bottles) and bring a bottle or two as hostess gifts for every holiday party we go to--a nice non-alcoholic addition to the bar. Costs about $3.60 a bottle at my local market.
Inglehoffer mustard. Also bought by the case and has been our neighbor gift for the past two years. A favorite activity on our block is giving each other small gifts. At $1.89 a jar, (and really cute with a bow stuck on top) it is a fun gift to give and get.
Another case purchase! We give this hand soap to the staff of our mother's assisted living home. $3.99 directly from Mrs. Meyers. I get a variety of scents, but my favorites are Iowa Pine, Rosemary, and Radish.
My favorite local jam, Pear Tree Preserves. Bought the Jam of the (every other) Month for my mother-in-law. Also bought jars for friends. $8 a jar.
Soy candles from Bright Endeavors, a social enterprise of New Moms here in Chicago, where they teach business concepts to young mothers. I was there today to purchase candles and talked with some of the young women as they prepared a big order of custom candles. They cost $4.50-$11.00. A great product from a great organization. And, as soybean farmers, a way for our family to promote our harvest!

I love driving down Lake Street

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Made 1993, adapted from a Country Threads pattern.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

a trip to New York

Eve and I were to New York last week to visit Paul, go to the opera, the Matisse exhibit, and, of course, make a stop at Mood. Our hotel was in midtown so we made it to Mood twice! Swatch the dog was there and approved of my purchases. Alas, no Tim Gunn.
Purchased were pink shirting, red and white windowpane, red plaid, pistachio with brown dots, and two paisley lawns.
I am following along on Lori's quilt-a-long at Humble Quilts using 1 1/2 inch squares from my bin. I cut up some of the Mood fabrics so they can be sprinkled into the little quilt.
But the favorite part of our trip was attending Evensong services at St Thomas. I got there early to watch the choir boys rehearse before worship. What a lovely, lovely service. I left into the bustle of 5th Avenue in a state of deep peace.
Should I ever move to New York I might just have to become an Episcopalian!
At The Death of Klinghoffer
At Pippin
At Laduree for tea
They smiled in the next photograph, but smiled ironically, so I went with this one.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

visiting my quilts

When I visit my sisters I also get to visit my quilts.

harvest fest

I was able to attend my sister's church's harvest fest. Each year she organizes a theme display that is open to the community. Past themes have included wedding dresses, quilts, baptism gowns, military uniforms, and dolls. This year, the theme was St Nicolaas.
A couple of my quilts were included in the display.
The tree quilt was started about 20 years ago from a Trudie Hughes book. I had it quilted this year, and worked on the binding this weekend. (It is not completely bound yet, but pinned for the display...)

My father brought the klompen home from the Netherlands in 1952 from his army days stationed in Germany. They are staged to look like they come from a Jan Steen house.
To be told you have a Jan Steen house is code that you are a bad housekeeper, like houses depicted in Jan Steen's paintings.
My sisters and I all have Jan Steen houses.

The carrots are for Sint Nicolaas' horse.
The three Santas have Janna's three sons' names quilted into the beards. I don't remember who designed that pattern. Made about 15 years ago.

the corn is out

The 2014 corn harvest is complete. Our family always celebrates this with a meal of oyster stew.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

rick rack

Made with rectangles cut 2 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches.
As I took pictures I saw two blocks are flipped and need to be picked out and re-oriented (they aren't seen in the pictures).
Faculty week begins so my summer of sewing comes to a halt.
I do have LOTS of binding ahead and will have plenty to show over the next few months.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Block Party 2014

A lovely day where we celebrate our neighbors.
Our block of LeClaire has one of the longest running block parties in Chicago--this was our 57th.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

broccoli and pasta

This is a dish of Andy's mother. He tried to describe it for many years but I could never get it right. My last visit with her I asked her to make it as I watched.

I made this in a large sauce pan on the stove.
You don't drain the pasta--the water is totally absorbed.

Saute in olive oil:
One onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic minced or a teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 pound (1/2 box) acini di pepe #20
Add to pan and brown slightly.

Add 1 quart water and bring to boil

Add one head of broccoli chopped pretty small, stems and head both
Don't stir yet--put lid on and let pasta cook while steaming the broccoli

After about 5 minutes stir, you may need to add more water to prevent scorching

Put lid on again--the broccoli needs to get pretty soft but not soggy
Cook until done.
Stir often, add water if needed.

Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan  cheese--use shaved if you can get it
Salt and pepper as needed

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lady Godiva

Working on the binding of Eve's graduation quilt (Chinese Coins).
For my whole childhood this Lady Godiva fabric was in my mother's stash. We were so fascinated by this lovely woman and the clothes worn by the court. Mom would always laugh when we showed it to her.

The selvage of the fabric said "Banned in Boston".
I thought it was time to use this piece and combined it with other storybook type light fabrics for the back. Eve's graduating from Wellesley just outside Boston sealed the deal.

From my mom:
I remember getting that piece when I saw it on a 'remnant pile' at a store. It may have been Penney's in Sioux Falls. I am sure it is more than 50 years old. I always loved the feel of the softness of the fabric, it was like a batiste. Often thought of making a pillow case of it, but never did."