Thursday, May 24, 2007

I am so tired these days I am having problems doing anything with my quilting projects. Yesterday at the stitching meeting I worked on one of my little can a 15x15 inch quilt can take 5 years. How many months per square inch would that be? Too many...
The quilt at the top is an antique maverick. It is so ugly it is beautiful. I think I may have posted it when I first started blogging. It is still one of my favorite quilts!

Thanks for all the ideas on what to do this bank holiday weekend. I think we will make it up to Shrewsbury and take a few trips across the Welsh border. (I'm going to try and get him to Strokesay but he isn't a castle type of guy!) Another american loaned us a book called Cadfael Country which we will use as a bit of a guide. I'm just happy we don't have to deal with an airport this weekend!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

MaggieART - Margaret Hunt: So we met ETV Roadshow and

I hope this link thing works.....My friend Maggie Hunt back in the states had a big day. A couple years ago she met a very talented artist that moved back to S.C. from NY. His art is primative but not...hard to explain but I love his works. He often has textiles in the paintings - quilts, clothes on the line....anyway a news magazine show featured both Maggie for her quilting arts and Jeff for his painting. You can see the taping of the show at her blog (make sure and go down to the second to last photo and check out the really neat chicken quilt!!! MaggieART - Margaret Hunt: So we met ETV Roadshow and

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Today is my wedding anniversary. We have been married for 8 years. Boy has that gone fast. I was thinking this morning as I absorbed my caffine that in 8 years we have moved 3 times (including the most current one overseas!) DH has changed cars once, me twice and his son 5 times...(Ishould hear a big thank-you from Detroit on that one....) We have visited 8 countries (seems like that should have been more but there it is....) To celebrate we are going to a local Pub restaurant, The Hobnail, for dinner later this week. Tonight I am making him Youvarlakia Avgolemono (Meatballs with Rice in a lemon sauce) and Greek Salad. He is not a big dessert person so I am making some biscotti with pistachios, cranberries, and apricots.

Thanks to Calico Cat for the fun link that I made the photo at the top easy even I was able to work it and that is saying something!

The photo above is another of the bed is a 1930-ish crazy quilt. There are some fun fabrics in there with lots of peach and blue. It is hand quilted with a very thin batting. It came from the eastern shore of Maryland. Makes me think of the crumb blocks!

We are trying to think of places to visit over the long weekend coming up. Since I am a huge Cadfael fan we may go to up there for a day. I'd like to take a long walk around Broadway if the weather holds up.

I am at sort of a stalling point on my quilting. Too many projects at awkward phases. I just need to put them all on pieces of paper, toss it in a hat, and pull on out. Not very scientific but it may work!

Here is the recipe for the Meatballs.....

1 pound ground beef

1/3 cup rice

1 egg, beaten

1 clove garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped

2 Tablespoons fresh dill, chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried)

salt and pepper

1/2 cup flour


1 cup boiling chicken broth

2 eggs, beaten

juice of 1 lemon

Combne meat, rice, egg, garlic, pasley, and dill. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Knead well. Shape into walnut size balls. Roll lightlyin flour. Shake off eny excess flour.

Place the meatball in a large skillet, pot or casserole dish that can be used on the stove top. (you want the meatballs to all be on one level) Pour in enough boiling chicken broth to cover. Simmer covered for 45 minutes. Add more broth or water is there is less than 1 cup of liquid left. Increase heat and boil a few minutes more, then remove pot from heat.

Beat the 2 eggs until frothy. Slowly add the joice of one lemon, beating continuously. Remove one cup of the hot liquid used to cook the meatballs. Slowly add this to the egg and lemon - beting continuously. (If you add it too quickly you will cook the egg and the sauce seperates.) Pour the avgolemono sauce into the pot of meatballs. Stir gently. Serve hot with lots of crusty bread! (makes about 24 meatballs. It should serve 4 but my DH and stepson could finish off the pot in very little time...)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Quilt Show

This has been such a busy week...can't do too many like this! Thursday I went to an auction preview to see another sampler. It was a good news/bad news: Bad news - the sampler wasn't anything I was interested in; good news - it made the decision on going to the quilt show on Friday easy!

I met up with some of the Fairford quilting group on Friday at the Quilt show in the Malvern Three Counties Showground. For several of the folks it was their first quilt show so it was fun to see their reaction to the quilts and the vendors. (And before I forget I got the most American-like hot doughnut at the coffee stand outside the showground...heaven!)
I was impressed by the show. Most of the quilts have a definate British feel to them. The best in show was a green wholecloth done with the Welsh/British designs. I loved this quilt! The quilting was beautiful. The photo seems to emphasis the color gradation a bit more intense than it is in person.

The second quilt also won several ribbons. I would be more specific about who made the quilts however as I ran to my car in the rain (surprise, surprise, surprise...) I must have dropped the show booklet. Must have been that mudslide I did for the last 15 feet to the car. Anyway back to the quilts...the blue applique was done entirely by machine. Now I do my applique by hand and admit to being a bit of a "hand stitch snob" but this quilt may have converted me! The holly block on the bottom orw second from the left was don so that the leaves looked like they were velvet. The stippling was soooo tiny and perfect.

I really like it when I see colors or techniques that I had turned my nose up at a show and find myself loving the quilt! The photo on the left is one of those quilts. She used the cathedral windows technique but used beautiful fabrics and then surrounded it by the flying geese. At the end of the day - a very classy looking quilt. (So unlike the cathedral window potholders I made in high school!)
I will post more photos later...blogger is being tempermental and taking its own sweet time with the photos. I volunteered to help at the British American social groups table at the boot sale this morning which ment and early wake-up only to get the whole thing set up then the rain came pouring down (seems to be a theme here.....) I got home drenched and cold. I went right back to bed to restart the day.....

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Rainy and tired...

It has rained, rained and rained some more. This is getting old. I just haven't had the engergy to do any quilting...or much of anything for that matter.

So you are getting some more photos of my long day of folding quilts...those of you who viewed earlier posts will notice that we are now one level down on the same bed from the maryland applique!

I love log cabin quilts. This one isn't in the best shape but it has some great fabrics and I love how the center block is split dark and light. It also has a very funky red and green border. I am wondering now if I am going to bother putting these all back on the bed anytime soon....

Monday, May 14, 2007

Maryland Applique Quilt

My niece and nephew have gone back to the states and the house feels very quiet. Even the pets are fast asleep.

I thought I would post a few photos of my Applique quilt dated 1864. Most of the signitures are from Maryland however there are two from Pennsylvania. It makes sense since the towns listed are all on the border of the the two states.

The blocks are about 17 inches. The fabric that now reads blue would have been green. The dye process then was to over dye the blue with yellow to get green. Unfortunely it didn't stand the test of time!

I saw a few blogs that quilters were listing their fantasy or dream quilt. This would be mine. I've had it for over 12 years and each time I take it out I wonder why I have waited to start making the blocks! They are not overly complicated. Many are so "wonky," like the flower and berries above, that I could almost applique it freehand! I just need to sit down and start. I think I have collected enough fabric to make it ten times over.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Family tourists

I've seen more of England the past few days than I have in the past several months! My niece and nephew are visiting and we have put a lot of miles on the car and worn my legs out!

Friday we to several villages around my area then headed up to Stratford on Avon. My niece is an English major so I thought this would be a good fit! I was amazed at the number of Americans that were there! I also didn't realize just how big a town it was...lots of shopping available. The guide at the Nash house was particularly good. The photo above is of the garden there.

Friday we headed up to Warwick Castle. It was a good choice. I had no idea my nephew was that interested in medieval armor! You could easily spend a day took me almost that long to walk up the narrow steps to the top of the turrets! The gardens there were beautiful too. Later we walked around the town - lots of interesting antique shops that I need to go back and investigate! On the way back we stopped in the village of Broadway and later went to Hailes Abbey. A pretty packed day. I made dinner that night, chicken with eggplant, then we went to a thatched roofed pub in Prestbury for an ale. It also gave me a chance to retell the ghost stories I learned from some of the locals! (It claims to be the most haunted village in England!)
We had a great rainbow too. You could see almost the entire arch and as we were trying to take photos of the very base of the rainbow another rainbow started to form. Very fun.
Today unfortunately was very rainly. We dropped my nephew off at the busstation so he could make his way back to Heathrow and then on to San Diago. My niece is here for a few more days. She and I went into Tewksbury and saw the abby but after getting soaking wet decided that going home and putting in a few movies was a good idea. She has been traveling for weeks and was pretty worn out. So today we watched "Good night and Good luck," and the second Harry Potter, "The Chamber of Secrets." We also made Tacos and brownies. Good comfort food.
I have tried several times to get through to my Mom to wish her happy birthday but so far no luck - just the answering the machine. So frustrating.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Piles of quilts

I only have time for a quick post this morning. My niece and nephew are coming to visit and still have bits of quilting and needlework covering too many surfaces! Part of the getting ready for them to visit however was taking my antique quilts off of the spare bed. I store them there flat on the bed wih a sheet inbetween each and a sheet on the top (to keep Goldie hair off of them!) It took a long was sort of like meeting old friends.

I wanted to show a photo of the one on top because I noticed that one of the members of the blog ring was using these blocks in a quilt. (sorry I can't remember who...Dh was talking the entire time I was blogging!)

Good news on the stitching group front. I found a group on a village only a few miles away that meets every other week in the village hall. It is a nice group. Several of them are in a patchwork class together. I did some hand applique for the first time in ages!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Flowers and other things

The past two days have been more seasonal with bits of rain. We needed it. I also needed to stay in and ge the hosue ready for my niece and nephew's visit later this week. It is so hard to do laundry and dust when the sun is out! Note how british I am becoming - I automaticly start talking about the weather! Anyway, the showeres hasve also given me time to work on the little needlepoint bag I bought at the gardensale the other day (1 pound for two unfinished bags.) There are some very tiny beads on this that started to fall around me like bits of hail the moment I took it out of the bag. I think I got most of them back on...enough for me anyways! I'm going to try my hand at putting one of them together this week. I am going to run over to the Beckford silk and get some black for the inside.....Before you ask -I have no idea what I will do with it when I am finished. It will remain impractical and pretty - there is space in the world for that no?!

I noticed a lot of flower photos as I cruised the blogs this weekend so I decided to post a few from my village. On the left are the lilacs I see from my front door. The cottage across the street has a beautiful front garden with a half a dozen different types/color lilac bushes. I feel a bit spoiled since I get to enjoy the view of a great garden without any of the work.

At the top is some queen Anne's lace. The sides of the road are just covered in this right now. It reminds me of my family's cottage by the beach...we made small bowls from clay and pressed the Queen Anne's lace flower into them for decoration. Then we buried the pot in the hot sand and let them bake. The things moms come up with to keep kids occupied during summer vacation!

We walked up to bluebell woods on Breedon Hill last week and glimpsed the end of their blooms. Next year I will plan better and see them at their peak. It was still worth the climb. It has a very Tolkien/elfen feel to it...old trees, quiet, small running brook, lots of low dark green undergrowth. Can you tell I really like it there!

Unfortunatly to get to the Blue bell woods I have to go through this...the dreaded rapeseed blooms. It feels like they are everywhere. A few weeks ago I was going on and on about how pretty and bright they made the hills I can barely open my eyes wide enough to see!

Finally a photo of a huge (ok about 3 inches long) snail that has taken up residence in our garden. I know they eat the plants but he is so cute! I just keep meoving him over to the blackberry canes that we want to get rid of anyway....

Friday, May 04, 2007

Call me sneezy

I've lived in some areas of the US. that are renowned for pollen (for instance Georgia where you have to brush the yellow pine pollen off your car in the morning so you can see out the windshield!) however I have been fortunate to never really having a problem with allergies...that is until now!

About three days ago both my husband and I started to sneeze, sniffle, and generally wheeze. These hillsides of blooming orchards, hedgerows of white hawthorne, lanes of queen's annes' lace, front yards full of lilacs, and field upon field of who knows what is killing me! Poor MacBeth (my black scottish terrier) comes running out of the fields looking nuclear - there is so much pollen on him he glows!

On top of this I did a really stupid thing. Hearing me sniffling the woman at the organic farm stand suggested I try some of the unfiltered local vegetable oil. She said it would help me build up an immunity to the new pollens. Sounded good. When I got home I tasted the oil. Tasted good. So I poured some on my salad thinking I was helping my body defeat the allergies. A few minutes later I could feel my throat closing and was having troupble breathing. Not good. Fortunately we had lots of Benadryl on hand. A few of those, drank lots of warm water and wore steamy towels around my neck and I am still here to write about it...what an idiot I can be!

I know some of you will say that the field in the photo above is not supposed to cause allergies. My only arguement to that is a) the amount of rape grown in our area has increased 5x since the studies were done b) a major reason given for it not causing allergies was the seed is too heavy to be blown far by the wind...I wonder if they really checked the wind streagth coming off our hills and if they considered the effect of a small blcak terrier running through the plants (it took a bathtub full of Dawn detergent to get the sticky stuff off of him.... (by the way ours is the hill on the far right in the photo which was taken from halfway up Breedon Hill.)

Enough whining (or sniffling)...on to fabric and fun stuff. The photo on the top is the second basket with my quilting group. This will be the first bit of applique for them. The photo on the left is of another block (hidden star I think) that we will do. I'm not sure if I like this one very much but I don't dislike it enough to make it over in different fabrics! Besidesit may be one of those blocks that looks better when joined up with the others in the sampler quilt.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Craft Trail

Growing up the Adams house, which was built by John and Abigal, was only a couple miles from our house. Everytime we drove by my sisters and I would say, "some weekend we should go tour the house." To date I still have not visited it. Now this comes to mind because this is a bank holiday weekend and my friends are all talking of going to Holland, Poland, Italy, Turkey, DH and I are going 10 miles down the road to a food festival then are going to do the craft trail around Breedon Hill which you can see from our front door. We've decided to be local tourists.

The photo at the top is of a local potter's shop, Toff Milway's Conderton Pottery. His work is beautiful and he and his wife are two of the nicest people I've met in England. His workshop is one of four that make up the Breedon hill craft trail. My DH hasn't been to any of them so this weekend we will make the curcuit and find a anniversary present for us!
Today I have to focus and get some blocks and directions made up for the Fairford group. Tomorrow we are doing baskets. Below is the Harvest Basket. We will also so the Scrap Basket and the Stamp Basket. Of course I have the directions written up for the last two which I haven't made a sample yet. The Harvest BAsket I have made a sample but have not written up the directions....focus, focus, focus! (it is a great day for a walk though.....)