Thursday, July 23, 2009

Re-writing my autobiography

Dear Blossom Followers,

Remember a few posts ago when I mentioned we are writing our autobiography by the way we decorate our homes. My autobiography in the city house needs to be re-written.....FAST. My daughter's wedding shower is in a little over a week and I'm not ready yet. It is time to do some serious tidying up. So, I began in the sewing room of course.

I bought this cute pie safe a few years ago in San Andreas, CA at The Barn. I had it so stuffed with fabric that I didn't take a picture to show you because I was too embarrassed. (Did the doors "bow" from the weight of the fabric?) I couldn't close the doors before, and now I don't want to close them.

All Fig Tree fabric is on the top shelf along with Beach House and At Water's Edge...all from my favorite designers.

The second shelf has some left-over Stone Cottage and a basket full of goodies for a new project.

The luscious brown, orange, green, purples and plaids are for a new Autumn project. Did you know that plaid is my favorite color? The pinks and greens are for another design that I've had in my mind for over a year now. (Stayed tuned, they could be the next block of the month from me!)

All of the fabric that I removed from the pie safe is now "safely" stored on shelves in the closet.

Here's tomorrow's project. This cabinet was a great "find" from an old Post Office. It is great for storing fat quarters. You can see in an instant what colors you have. Now I just need to re-fold and re-sort the FQ's in all of the little mail slots. I'll post a picture of this when I'm finished.

This reorganization feels "good." Maybe no one from the bridal shower will go upstairs....but I won't cringe if they do.

More to come as I work my way through the house.
I'm working on my borders for Blossom of Friendship in the evening....but it's been hard to stay awake.

As always,


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

To quilt or not to quilt

Good morning everyone,

Melissa, friends Ann and Michelle from Texas, and my husband and I, decided not to spend our day quilting and went for a walk through the North Grove of Calaveras Big Trees State Park located just three miles Northeast of Arnold, CA on Highway 4. Here we are standing on a stump of a tree that is so massive that square dances were once held on it.

The diameter of the tree is measured 4.5' off the ground. A couple of the trees in this park are over 30' in diameter. We needed about eight more quilters to complete the circle around this one!

Resistant to fire, wind is the worst enemy of the trees. You can actually walk through some of the fallen trees.

Early on, a horse and buggy could pass right through this tree. (Left to right, Lynn, Melissa, Ann and Michelle.)

Conveniently placed along the trail are benches that are tilted back. You can recline and gaze upon the spectacular redwoods without hurting your neck.

This is what was right in front of us. The trees are named Mother and Son.

"Toto, we aren't in Kansas anymore!"

We had a good day of fresh air, scenic beauty and companionship. Life is good.

As always,


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Quilting at the Cabin

Hello Friends,

So what does the owner of a quilt store do when she has a few days off? Well, she gathers up two friends from Texas and heads up to the mountains to spend a couple of days at the cabin....that's what!

We've got Melissa's room already for her. I promise you we will take good care of her and not let the bears near her. We are not responsible if she goes outside after dark!

I've got dinner all planned for either tonight or tomorrow night. Here are the meatballs for sopa de albonidgas just waiting to jump into the broth boiling on the stove. (Recipe below.)

Now look at what these berries turned into.

A wonderful berry crisp. I'll reheat it and serve it with vanilla ice cream tonight...yummers.

Maybe we'll eat dessert first!

No quilting retreat is complete without double chocolate brownies!

Recipe for Sopa de Albondigas

1 medium onion chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
8 cups beef broth or stock
4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon crushed oregano
1 teaspoon salt

1 lb. ground pork
1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1/2 cup uncooked rice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten

Condiments to put on top of your bowl
chopped avocado
chopped fresh cilantro
chopped fresh tomatoes
sour cream
grated Monterey Jack cheese

To make the broth, saute onion and garlic in the olive oil. Add tomato sauce, beef stock, fresh tomatoes, cumin, oregano and salt. Meanwhile mix together ingredients for meatballs. Shape into little balls and drop into boiling mixture.

Cover and cook for 45 minutes. Serve with the assorted condiments. This soup is actually better the next day. I mash up some of the meatballs prior to serving.

The evenings have been a bit on the chilly side, so this will hit the spot.

Wish you could all be with us.

As always,

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Month #9 - Miss Zinnia

Dear Quilters,

Welcome to July and month #9 in the Blossom of Friendship block of the month. Miss Zinnia is so cheerful with her big pink flower. You each received a fat quarter to cut out her basket which will give you plenty of material.

I'm still working on border flowers in between getting ready for company for the 4th of July holiday. I'm just about ready to pack all the quilting supplies away, as my 22-month-old grandson Jess, may decide to run off with (heaven forbid) my rotary cutter!

This is a little quilt from Little Quilts that I made and hand-quilted years ago. I put it out on the front porch to welcome our oldest son and his family for the weekend. If you can zoom in, you can see the crocheted lace my grandmother made. I cut up small sections to make curtains in some of the windows. I found a wicker sewing basket that had been packed away for years and it was packed with treasures of tatting, lace and old hankies.

I put the bunting out (where did that word come from?) I actually use the triangle to call all the little kids in for works! Of course all the little ones gather around and need to be picked up so they can hit the triangle just as hard as they can signaling every creature within a mile that supper is on the picnic table. Those are memories they will carry with them for a lifetime. Of course they will probably all have bad hearing from the loud clanging they made in their youth at Grammy and Poppy's house.

Now what to do with these luscious berries?

Have a happy and safe 4th of July.

As always,