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Archive for September 6th, 2009

lazyday 003Straight out of the gate – I love chocolate! Have the cholesterol to prove it…actually this “fondness” comes naturally. My Dad, who is 91, loves it too and he shows no sign of slowing down. As a matter of fact, because he does have a balance problem, he keeps a cane next to his favorite chair. Mom (who can take or leave the stuff) keeps a little green, glass basket filled with candy on the coffee table nearby. Dad has mastered the art of lifting that basket very gently with the tip of his cane, while sitting in his chair  & safely bringing it to rest on his lap while he makes a choice of candy. I can only aspire to that kind of dexterity & it sure makes the point to keep chocolate in your life.

Guess you can tell where this journal post is headed…seems like quilters and chocolate just go together. The first time I ever really associated quilting with chocolate was about 12 years ago when I took a quilt top to a nearby long arm machine quilter. She gave me a tour of her sewing studio & one would assume, being a quilter, that I would be looking around at all the equipment, notions and fabric stash. Not I…my eyes locked on a lovely candy dish next to her sewing machine. It was filled with a wonderous variety of chocolate candy. Could this be? A person could actually bring candy into a sewing environment? What a concept!!! My doctor had always told me to eat everything at your dining room table – sitting, not standing. How could I have been led astray all these years???Well, of course, I quickly dropped off my quilt top, rattled off “do what ever you want” and dashed out the door. On arriving back home, the main thought was to find a suitable candy dish, fill it with Something Good and introduce  it to my own sewing room. Don’t recall what I chose to put  into that first attempt at upgrading my sewing space…probably had a few mini-Snickers laying around.  That was the start though and it has been downhill ever since…………

As the years went on, some of my friends became suspicious and finally accepting of my “fondness” for chocolate. Little gifts started appearing.

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Tins with a chocolate theme began to accumulate around the house…all making neat little storage areas for chocolate sewing notions…

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I found myself looking for “chocolatey” fabric. The first piece was a fat 1/4 which was just enough to make the little wallhanging that hangs by my sewing room doorway.The print has little candy bars all over it.

chocolatequilts 029 I branched out into accumulating lots of yummy browns – from milk chocolate, Hershey’s colored chocolate, chocolate with caramel, butterscotch or vanilla, and the dark bitter chocolates which are so much healthier for you.

I am very fond of my Churn Dash quilt – inspired by a Marsha McCloskey quilt in Patches in Time – an older Patchwork Place book. Have you noticed how many vintage quilts feature chocolate colors?

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But it was seeing the pattern “Box of Chocolates” in a Quilters Newsletter Magazine that was the total undoing of me. Pinks and browns – what a delicious combination. Like a box of Godiva – chocolates with cherry, strawberry or raspberry centers…I should have worn a bib the entire time I pieced this quilt.  It remains my favorite and is the first one I choose to wrap up in on a cold night.

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Well, as things often do…one quilt led to another…a small one – made from the above leftover 9 patch units. Who could throw chocolates away?

chocolatequilts 017My Friendship “T” quilt – made with blocks exchanged in my small stitching group – The Garden Club

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A hand quilted dolly quilt with a buttery chocolate border…chocolatequilts 025

Another little handquilted piece – “Friendship Stars”

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Most recently is my All Roads Lead to Chocolate quilt – from a Laundry Basket pattern called Crossroads. I just flipped the color combination to reflect pink roads leading to chocolate centers. It is a variation on Courthouse Steps/Log Cabin. It is finished in time to meet the deadline for our  Wall of Fame (finished) or Wall of Shame (not) at our September, 2009 quilt show. I need a piece of chocolate after all the frustrations with that one! It sets my teeth on edge…

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If making a chocolate colored quilt doesn’t appeal to you much, try this great brownie recipe. My friend, Joyce, shared this with me. By the way, she had her heart surgery on the 2nd and is doing beautifully! She is the one a bunch of us made the Roses de Noel quilt for recently. This recipe is called…

KATHERINE HEPBURN BROWNIES

2 squares unsweetened chocolate

8 Tblsp. butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup flour

1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a heavy saucepan over very low heat, melt chocolate & butter. Remove pan from heat & stir in sugar.Beat in eggs and vanilla. Quickly stir in walnuts, flour and salt. Spread batter in a well greased 8 x 8 baking pan. Bake 40-45 minutes. Remove pan to a rck to cool.

So, I am about “chocolated” out for now…and plan on taking a break from those colors. I think a diet is called for…how about some organic batiks? But if anyone sees a piece of fabric with “Dots” candy on it…let me know. I kind of like that too!

This week’s pincushion? A chocolate cupcake, of course! Made by my friend Chris.

Have a good Labor Day and

Always take time to stitch…

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