Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Scary Good Fun!

My favorite Halloween quilt:  Poisoned Apple from 2012.  I hope you don't mind a little repeat.
I've been working on Halloween hexie blocks at recent workshops.  These are so so fun!  I offer a starter kit for these in my Etsy shop.
Scarecrows on Parade!   As I mentioned, our town has a scarecrow display every year.  Coco and took a stroll and here are some that we really liked.
 At the Library - love the dog!
 Poor "Carrie" she lost her head in the wind.
 The Seahorse Inn - they change their sign every year.
 The French Pastry School
 Local landscaper
 The street view in town
 Coco is getting a closer look at the realtor and scary dog display.  She's wearing her special Halloween Ribbon collar 
 Might be my favorite!
 Or this one - love those minion hay bales!
 This looks a little like my boy, Andrew - especially when he took a painting class in college.
While staying at Susan's last week, I took these photos of her decorations.  Love this tossed salad with vintage tableware.
Here is my outdoor display.  I love how dusty miller fronds look with pumpkins. This looks cool and creepy in a bird bath.
Tomorrow I'm off to visit The Pieced Together Quilters for a lecture and trunk show.   They are in central western NJ if you want to visit and see my quilts.
Hope your Halloween is Scary Good Fun!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Civil War Wonderfulness

Of course I know that the Civil War was NOT wonderful.  Having said that, it has provided our country with an indelible historic saga of struggle, heartache, loss and ultimately redemption and pride.  I have a strong passion for all aspects  of Abe Lincoln and the Civil War and the quilts that were created during this time.

Here is my quilt:  Thane of Cawdor (from Macbeth) made in 2006.  Many of these blocks were swapped with friends in Illinois.
And my latest:  Reconciliation - made with last years FunWithBarb swap.
On my recent trip to the Garden State Quilters, Barbara presented me this copy of a piece created by her grandfather, Stan Bower, in 1930.  When she was in grade school these were passed out to every student on Presidents Day.  I am overwhelmed to have such a lovely gift.  This is Hand Lettered folks!  I intend to frame and display it in my home.
Here is a link to her blog where she posted about a special civil war quilt and go here to read about her grandfathers Lincoln artwork.

Last Saturday, the American Quilt Study Group, New England Region, had a study day the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA.  It was a wonderful day of civil war history.   We enjoyed a lecture, admired the special Sesquicentennial quilt exhibit and shared show and tell.  We also discussed the 2017 AQSG Seminar, which will be in New Hampshire.

Here are lots of photos from the day - I am so sorry that I have not included the names of those photographed.

It was so wonderful to have some of the quilt makers in attendance to tell us about their quilts.
Show and tell - a small sampling.  When I'm ogling, I forget to photograph.
Bonus - I met fellow blogger and BB SIATW Cynthia of wabi-sabi quilts!

It was a great day filled with new quilting friends and lots of inspiration.....then this happened.  The Barb Mobile needed a new battery - STAT.  My hybrid was totally dead.
After a little hand sewing in the car, Mr. AAA came and fixed me right up with a brand new battery.  AAA is a traveling girls best friend.
Viewer Mail (again)
I have been overwhelmed with kindnesses!  Thank you Nancy, Debbie and Lori
Laurie, Diane and Rondi
Thank you all for your sweet surprises and thoughtfulness.  I'm sure my mailman wonders just what is going on around here.

Finally - a special thank you to all the GSQ members who came out for dinner, the lecture and workshop.   It was a treat to see so many quilt friends!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

This, That, the Other and Nothing

That's what this post is about.  Every feel that way?  Like "what am I DOING?"  A lot of things, but nothing very exciting.

Since this blog is a journal of my creative ideas and endeavors here is a recap of the week.  If you follow me on IG this will be mostly a review.

I drafted and made a 4" butterscotch basket quilt.   I think I'd like a little dolly quilt but I need a different yellow.  I'm going to raid my friend Susan McDs fabric vault next week.
I picked up these mums with three different colors on the same plant!
Coco and I have been going on jogs in the state park to enjoy the New England colors.
I thought I'd share my post office after reading Rachael's delightful blog post here.  My mailbox is up around the rock in my front yard.   I can never see if he's come or not, so I go and look about 3pm.
 And here it is.  I keep meaning to paint it and make it cuter but.....
You know you live in the country when the nearest post office is a counter.  (that is not a real cob web, lol)   This is where I drop off package  to be scanned that I've labeled at home.
Our town has a Scarecrow Festival every year and this in front of Robert's Foods (aka the Post Office).   It is a scarecow - adorable!  I love the udder and rubber boots.
I'll take photos of the others down in town (the real town).

Reader Mail:  Thank you Amy, Kathy, Meredith and Sheila for the recent surprises!
check out this packaging note - what a scream! (second line)
Another free packaging smile came on this water bottle that I got at the hair salon.  Well, shucks, thanks!
On Saturday I'm visiting the  New England Quilt Museum with my new friend, Marge.  The American Quilt Study Group is having a Civil War Quilt Day.

Next week I'll be visiting my friends and past guild members for a trunk show and Hex Vex workshop at The Garden State Quilter Guild - for info click here.  Can't wait to see my quilt friends!

It has been great fun to see bow ties on blog posts, Facebook and Instagram.  I think it will be a great swap.  Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Baby You're The Greatest!

That is what Ralph Kramden used to say to Alice.  And that is what I'd say to my  Alice if I could.  Alice Payne that is!

I finished my top yesterday and I'm so thrilled.  It's 74" square.
Mr. Fun first tried holding it over the railing in the house.  He is such a trooper.
I intend to quilt is as Alice did:  Diagonally over the applique', a simple cable in the sashing and then pretty fan quilting along the out border.
Since I'll be hand quilting through all the layers, I elected to cut out the backing and extra layers of fabrics.
How do you feel about this?  I'm okay with it.  I don't intend to use this quilt heavily.
Here is a soup recipe that I promised on InstaGram.  It's is Escarole soup with turkey Meatballs.
 It was sent to me by a guild friend and loyal FWB reader, Maureen.

For the Meatballs:
20 ounces lean ground turkey breast
1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 egg
1/4 cup onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tsp kosher salt
For the Soup:
8 cups fat free chicken broth
1 head escarole, chopped
1/2 cup orzo (see notes)
fresh pepper to taste
  • In a large pot, heat the broth over medium heat, covered.
  • While the broth is heating up, in a large bowl combine all the ingredients for the meatballs.
  • Using your hands, mix until well combined.
  • Roll into small sized balls about 1" or so.
  • When the broth comes to a boil, drop in the meatballs.  Add the orzo and chopped escarole.  Add pepper to taste and simmer about 10 mins until orzo is done.
Here are MY notes:
  • I couldn't get 20 oz of turkey, so I got a pound and adjusted the bread crumbs.
  • I didn't have seasoned crumbs, so I added Italian seasonings to plain crumbs
  • I wish I had cooked the orzo separately because they absorbs so much liquid in the left over portion.  I would then have added it to the left overs individually.
  • I simmered it about 20 mins to make sure the turkey was fully cooked.
I loved it - thanks Maureen!

Exciting and Fun Mail:
Thank you so much Linda for the cute fabrics and Dixie for wonderful Halloween kitchen towels.  What a lovely surprise.   You both are so thoughtful.

And thank you Helen form Till We Quilt Again for picking me as your IG winner.  What a super prize package full of all sorts of fun.  Thanks Kelly for hooking me up with your quilt friend and the giveaway.

Thank you also for all your support and encouragement watching me inch way through these 9 blocks of the AP quilt.  I appreciate it so much.

Thanks also for all the bow ties packages - as soon as I have them all I'll be swapping and mailing!