Archive for July, 2009

This is the “Q’s” part of Minding My Peas and Q’s – quilting, of course…first off, all 36 blocks are pieced for my Wall of Fame Challenge…I won’t bore you with another photo until all the rows are together. Let’s see – today is July 26 – deadline is September 8…just might make it. I have also been playing around with  quilt labels.Sometimes I get really sidetracked and think about making a label before a project is barely started…I was going through some of my gardening books  and came across this lovely Lavender Banner from Lavender, Sweet Lavender.peasqs2 013

It might make a really pretty quilt label for the right kind of quilt. It could also be a wonderful stitching project – hmmm…too many things to think about. After scanning the image from the book onto my prepared muslin, I started inking in some of the design areas with Pigma Pens – this label is a trial run & is easy to do. Just a simple approach but it creates a specific style label to fit the project. Notice the year? Just allowing adequate time!

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I don’t often order fabric on line, but when I do need something, particularly in the reproduction fabric style, http://www.reproductionfabrics.com is my first choice. Our Quilt Study group – Liberty Ladies, has black or gray mourning fabrics selected for the August fabric exchange. I found this Shaker Gray vine print and also couldn’t resist a preview of the new Clara Barton Collection by Windham Fabrics ( Baum Textiles.) The Album Block print is a printed panel.  This is a huge collection – 47 prints to choose from – where to begin??!! It is fun to get 3″ samples in the mail though – and you can always use the little squares in a small project. Be sure to check out the free patterns that are available from some of the links on my right side bar – under Playing With Fabric. Lecien, Marcus Brothers & Baum Textiles are offering some neat quilt ideas.

peasqs2 004On a recent trip up to a cute quilt shop in Hazelhurst, Wisconin – The Quilt Cottage, a couple of yards of this commemorative print had to travel home with me. peasqs2 006

And now back to those Peas…what a week! Our cooler than normal July continues here in Northern Wisconsin and the peas are lovin’ it! Thursday night after dinner we picked Chinese Pea Pods, Sugar Snaps and about a 1/2 bushel of Little Marvel peas.

peasqs 002On Saturday morning, I found a comfy rocking chair on the front porch, listened to some music and shelled peas for 2 hours. This is the bowl of peas I got from those Little Marvels. Doesn’t look like much but should make a number of packages for the freezer.

peasqs 005In between the peas, we have also been enjoying our first real sizeable crop of raspberries. Being able to pick quarts vs. a cup or two as in previous years is such a treat. We had company on Friday night and for dessert I made a classic style cheesecake topped with our raspberries mixed with blackcaps (a type of raspberry) from a friend’s garden. Thank you Chris! A Raspberry sauce was dribbled over the whole works. The recipe follows.

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(Makes 1 cup)

1 10 oz. package of frozen raspberries, thawed, with its juice

2 tablespoons raspberry jam (seedless if possible)

2 tablespoons Chambord (raspberry liqueur)

In food processor, puree the berries, juice and the jam. Press the puree through a fine sieve into a small bowl.

Stir in the Chambord liqueur and then chill the sauce until serving time.

(Note: these measurements are just a base to start with – additional amounts can be added to taste – experiment!)

Now that it is Mid-Summer, the air is filled with fragrant blooms such as sweet peas.

peasqs 020And what a way to start the day – morning glories! This variety is called Glacier Star from Renee’s Seeds in California. Each blossom measures 4″ across. They are just starting to climb…more to come.

peasqs 009And finally, what I wait for all summer – the first Oriental Lily bloom. This is called Lemon Meringue and its delicate scent is heavenly next to my favorite chair.

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These doll size pincushions were made by me during one of those “you have got to be kidding” moments. At least they are larger than any tomatoes I have forming on the vines right now…

That about wraps up this weeks journal entry…I hope you enjoyed your visit. Til next time…

Always take time to stitch…

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has arrived in Northern Wisconsin! Yep, the proverbial phrase about something so far-fetched that it could only happen on a cold day in July has finally found its mark. The last couple of days have had temps holding in the 50’s with dark overcast skies. We have gold leaves falling from our river birch trees…though probably more stressed because we need rain. But, I honestly spied a maple tree on our road with a couple of red leaves appearing…in total denial about that sight! My tomatoes and peppers have not even set fruit yet. Our nights are down into the 40’s and a little farther north, Eagle River, Wisconsin had a record 38 degrees the other night. This afternoon seems warmer though – maybe there is still a little summer left after all.

Our son, who lives in Alaska, tells us they have highs in the 80’s – there is something really askew here, don’t you think? I never dreamed I would be considering hauling out an extra quilt for sleeping under at night in the middle of summer. These are  a couple to choose from…coldday 023

Sprucing up the front perennial garden area Saturday morning, this gardener was bundled up in layers.  As I walked around towards the back raised beds, the old fashioned fragrance from the Theresa Bugnet roses was so evident. My friend, Dee, calls them Theresa Bug Net.coldday 019The clematis is in full bloom – can’t remember the name of this particular one, but it sure is a reliable bloomer. coldday 017

Then it was time to get back to work – one thing about the cooler weather – the peas sure love it! We are picking at least every other day amongst the 3 varieties we are growing. These are the Chinese Snow Peas. My old yellow work stool is about 26″ tall, so that gives you an idea how tall the pea vines are.

coldday 005Our shelties love fresh pea pods and Sasha was patiently waiting – our other two girls were around front and missed out…Sasha wasn’t telling!

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This nice little harvest made it into the house – stir fry for dinner and will process the rest for later…the ziploc bags are stacking up in the freezer.coldday 016

And we won’t be running out of Sugar Snap Peas anytime soon…one of the nice things about gardens – you can always share…

coldday 025The Shasta daisies – variety “Alaska” have started to fill out nicely…maybe they like having those rocks around their base…just a few that were collected on our last Alaska/Canada journey. It seemed appropriate to pair them together.coldday 008

Making progress on the “Wall of Fame” quilt. Out of this unorganized looking pile of strips – so far 22 blocks are done, so had better get back to piecing some more…only 14 left to do. How do you organize your WIP strips? I used to have them laid over a folding laundry rack, but right now, the sewing room is so crammed with “stuff,” I don’t know where it would go. It is so interesting to see how other quilters organize their sewing space – lots of ideas – just need  the time!

coldday 004Have a great week and thanks so much for dropping by to visit…I love reading your comments and appreciate the time you take to leave them.

This week’s featured pincushion was made by one of my small stitching group friends, Kathy…she had been to Hawaii and naturally, being a quilter, brought some fabric back…a bright spot of summer on this chilly July weekend! I can smell the plumeria now!

Always take time to stitch….


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That is if you don’t count all the peas that are being picked and the raspberries are ripening, and oh yes, the 10 # box of blueberries that needed dividing up into little ziplocs…in other words, a normal summer week.  As I slow down a little, catching up with some of my favorite blogs, there seems to be other bloggers out there who also are taking a little time to unwind. Oh sure, there are always you overachievers out there – it continues to amaze me about all the  wonderful quilting projects being posted  and the lovely photos that accompany them. But I fall in to that category of stepping back, recharging the batteries and quite simply – enjoying this beautiful day. We have been going pretty steady since April with slim to none time for just plain sitting on the deck and having a cup of coffee. My husband is at a home club skeet shoot all day – actually it is a weekend event and yesterday we spent time visiting with friends, catching up and attending a terrific prime rib dinner after the day’s shooting events were over. So the plan for today…? Put the iPod on shuffle, take a coffee cup and a little stitching project that says “start me now!” and head for one of the patio chairs. Why not? The garden is pretty much under control, the house is semi-clean and I have the day to myself. Feeling a little guilty – but it might pass before too long. How many of us have that same mindset – everything has to be in just so order before we allow ourselves a little personal time?? Not that anything is my life is ever in “just so order.” :o)

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Background is marked and ready for stitching – one of my long anticipated projects  from those artistic ladies at Crabapple Hill – Hope, The Gardening Angel. She may grow into something with other stitching designs around her…

lazyday 006Have to share a photo of some “Mississippi Mud Cookies” I tried making on Friday…trust me, they are really good – lots of milk chocolately flavor and the texture has stayed crisp on the edges and yet softer in the middle…but I am having a visual problem with the presentation of these little guys…the 3 miniature marshmallows that you place on top of each cookie before it goes in the oven – well – when they morphed into something else, it kind of looked like the Bluebird of Happiness flock had flown over them – What do you think? Presentation is everything so says Martha – but I think these cookies get a D+ at best…wondering if the marshmallows would have reacted better if frozen when placed on the cookie dough?

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lazyday 002And then there were 12…only 2 new ones since the last posting…hopefully after my battery recharging time this morning, I will get back to the next dozen blocks…the clock is ticking. The problem has been that  I don’t get back into the sewing room until after dinner – dishes done, etc. Often it is 8:00 p.m. or later…lately just feeling really disorganized and here I go starting something new. There goes that guilt again! But, I just want to be outside for awhile…

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So, it is about time to head out to the comfy patio chair – the embroidery floss is calling…wishing each of you a lovely, slow down kind of a day and a good week ahead…as for me – I am looking forward to my own advice…

Always take time to stitch…

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4july 007Our local berry fields continue to supply us with tasty ripe, red strawberries…but even after knee replacement, the “u-pick” option is a no go for me.  I picked up my order Friday morning from our nearby Mennonite store.  At about 3 miles away – sooooo convenient as we live in a rural setting and prior to their arrival a number of years ago, we had little choice for even basics. Now we have a wonderful selection of seasonal produce plus basic grocery items and baking needs are available year round. What a welcomed addition to our community – they define what good neighbors are all about.

So, back to my berries…I ended up with 26 jars of freezer jam, a number of bags containing whole berries for the freezer, a special strawberry tart for dessert Friday night and enough berries for strawberry shortcake on the 4th of July with family.

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The lettuce, onions and carrots in the raised bed are doing so well – what a treat it is to gather a bowl of fresh greens after a long winter of boxed & well traveled offerings.4july 002

The summer daisies are starting to put on their show.4july 006

Nestled in the mock orange shrub outside my sewing room window – a perfect little (empty) nest – what a fragrant home the babies must have had!4july 010And now there are 10 blocks…there will be pieced sashings between the blocks to complete the log cabin variation layout. Slow, but steady progress…

4july 013Sometimes there are little interruptions though…right after breakfast this morning, we all decided to take a little walkabout…why? Somewhere along our walking path in the south field my husband lost his cell phone while mowing. (I quietly ask myself, why would you have a cell phone on your person while mowing – my DH can barely hear a regular phone ring in the house when it is quiet – but, far be it from me to figure out how the male mind functions…amazingly, we did find it by frequently dialing his number on my cell phone & listening for his personal ring. No cell phone service at the house, but walk up into the fields and you get good reception! Maybe we should move the house…?4july 014

I have added two more blog sites you might want to visit, especially if you are interested in quilt history. Barbara Brackman has a blog entitled “Material Cultures.” And those busy ladies from Blackbird Designs have a fun blog going on with lots of quilting inspiration and some neat free patterns to download. Plan on visiting them soon! Both links are to the right side bar – Barbara’s under Quilt History and Collections and Blackbird Designs under Stitching Inspiration.

Hope your summer days are filled with family, friends and good times – can we get these precious days to slow down a little…

And always take time to stitch…

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