Saturday, January 14, 2017

Do you wanna build a snowman?

Primitive Gatherings

Snow, ice, rain, mudslides--the weather outside is frightful.  Watching that weather map is scary.  Temps in Tennessee went from 7 degrees to almost 70 degrees in three days.  Adaptability is the word of the season.  Head colds, flu, bronchitis are keeping the people in the health care field busy.  

Each year, the folks at Primitive Gatherings choose a theme and build their limited edition mugs, ornaments, wool appliqué patterns and quilts around that theme.  For 2016 it was a snowman.  This little guy was quick and easy to make--the jury is still out on his carrot nose--looks to me like he is sticking his tongue out and say blah to the weather.  This guy will make a great addition to our primitive Christmas tree.


Sunday, January 8, 2017

7 degrees

Grant House 1865 Sampler
Chessie and Me 
30 count Confederate Gray
NPI Silks

7 degrees!  The outside temperature is 7 degrees--winter has found me.  While listening to the national news last evening, the anchor person said there was only one state in the lower 48 states which did not have snow!  Brrr, it is cold.  There are benefits to cold temps: delicious soups, hot chocolate and snuggling with Miss Callie Mae Calico.  Cold temps mean staying inside and stitching, lots and lots of stitching.  Am down to the over one work on the Chessie and Me sampler.

Emma Lerch
The Scarlet Letter
stash linen
Ver A Soie Silks

She doesn't look like much yet, but Emma is big and bold!  I only had one color of the silks (the other colors are on order) and the one color I did have was in her border.  Stitching on Emma is pure pleasure.  With football playoffs, national championships games and cold temps, I will have more time to devote to Emma and her border.

Stacy Nash Club
Country Sampler House on Pumpkin Hill
32 count Belfast Linen Charcoal Gray

Let's not talk about the number of club pieces which are waiting to be stitched, let's not talk about the challenges of stitching on dark fabric, let's talk about the contrast of colors with the dark linen and lighter fibers.  I found some awesome trim and backing fabric in my stash for this piece.

The high today is forecast to be 30 degrees, great weather for staying inside and pulling some more fiber through linen.  

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2016 Year in Review

The year 2016 is winding down and some have purchased party dresses and are ready to ring in the new year.  Being traditionalist, AppleJack and I will ring in 2017 the same way we rang in 2016--snuggled under our warm down conformer cutting zzzzz's.  We are party animals!  I usually watch at least one of those network TV shows which gives  the year in review, you know the ones.  The network gives a rundown of top news stories and of influential people who have passed.  As I watch these shows, my mind tends to wander (especially when they talk about all the negative things) and I find myself taking my own inventory of what I have accomplished and what I would like to accomplish in 2017.  As I put my list together it is always a little scary and sometimes disappointing because I want the list of accomplishments to be a loooooong list of finishes.  Here goes:


Hooking:  American Eagle Chair Mat
Not a stellar year for hooking, I did use my stash wool and am pleased I was able to make something I had seen on a blog come to life.  This will make a nice addition to my patriotic collection.


Quilting:
First the larger quilts:  Just One Star was quilted and the binding sewn on by my 89 year old Mother.  Susan, the long armed quilter did a fabulous job with the quilting.  In addition to being a prize winning quilter, Susan is just a super nice lady.  My Mother enjoys hand sewing the binding, she says it gives her something to do in the evenings and the quilts are more cherished  knowing her hands are a part of the quilts story.  Each time I see this quilt it makes me smile.


North and South (could not locate my photo)  The piecing is finishing and I have an appt with Susan in early 2017 for the quilting.  Due to my own ambition, the making of this quilt became a major project.    Setting this quilt took hours.  Hopefully, after Susan works her magic with the quilting, this quilt and I will be friends.




Jo Morton's:  Am giving myself a huge pat on the back for the making of three Jo Morton quilts, yes three:  Be My Valentine, Sadie's Quilt and Christmas log cabin (could not locate the photo of Be My Valentine).  Jo Morton's are teaching me patience and accuracy and to appreciate my Itty Bitty Rulers.


Primitive Gathering Frivol: Crown of Thorns  Lisa, Primitive Gatherings is a huge proponent of starching her fabric pieces.  Perhaps in 2017 I will try her method to see if it improves the accuracy of my quilting.


Wool Applique:  I treated myself to a wool appliqué class with Rebekah Smith in Mooresville, Alabama.  Rebekah was wonderful, the class was awesome her designs are just to my liking.  I have been watching YouTube and improving my blanket stitch.  (I have learned to make a three stack wool penny with backing).  There are many wool appliqué projects and wool in my stash and I see many wool projects in my future for 2017.  Oh, Rebekah will be releasing her second book in June.  Preordered thru Amazon, check.


Stitching:  Yes, after starting this sampler in 2012, I finally finished, framed and enjoyed for Christmas 2016.  It's Stacy Nash's Christmas at Hollyberry Farm.  I also finished three Stacy Nash club kits offered through Country Sampler;  December 25th pinkeep,The Gift is Small and Love is All and Sampler Sewing Bag.



A strawberry from Erica Michaels.  Quaker Berry is stitched and is off a the finishers.  I also see more Erica Michaels strawberries in my future.


Ahh Annie Magnolia (my photo file is not playing nice and I could locate a photo of Annie) aka Anne Pennsylvania Peacock.  Annie has been in my stash for more years than I am willing to admit.  Am so glad, Annie was stitched, framed, traveled and is living in Arkansas.  The best part AppleJack, his daughter, and grand daughter sat around a bond fire and talked about his life with his Grandmother, the real Annie Magnolia.  

I always want the list to be longer and finishes great.  Oh well, there is always next year, after all the Chicago Cubs won the World Series.  Hope springs eternal!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Country Sampler-Stacy Nash Club Schoolgirl Sampler Spring Sewing Bag

Country Sampler-Stacy Nash Club
Schoolgirl Sampler Spring Sewing Bag
Linen --Weeks Stash
NPI silks

A finish is always exciting.  Let's not talk about the number of club kits I am behind, instead let's talk about the one just finished.  I changed the linen 32 count Raw Belfast Linen to a Weeks linen in my stash.   I also changed one of the colors, it went better with my finishing fabric.

Since this is a sewing bag I am including some felt for needles.  I saved a fabric wrap by Moda--it looks like a measuring tape and will be including across the pocket.

It's off to the finisher and fingers crossed this will be a project to share with the stitch girls when we reunite in March.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Pecan Pie Bars



Crust Ingredients:
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans
Filling Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups dark corn syrup
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
Directions:
  • Heat over to 350 degrees F
  • Combine 1 3/4 cups flour, softened butter and sugar in a bowl.  Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs
  • Add the 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • Press crust mixture evenly onto the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch ungreased baking dish
  • Bake 18-22 minutes or until the edges are very light golden brown
  • Combine filling ingredients
  • Evenly distribute the 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans over the hot partially baked crust
  • Pour the filling ingredients over the top of the pecans
  • Bake 30-35 minutes or until filling is set and knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean.
  • Cool completely (refrigerate overnight)
  • Cut into bars
I find putting the pecans on top of the crust and pouring the filling over the top of the nuts helps the nuts to evenly rise to the top.  Cooling the bars completely is a must.  Since the bars need to be completely cooled before cutting they can be made ahead which is another plus for a delicious carry out dessert.  One of the stitch girls made these pecan bars for the last gathering, they were delicious!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year


It is a most wonderful time of the year and very busy time of the year:  baking, shopping, wrapping gifts, mailing Christmas cards.  One of my favorite trees, my all handmade ornament tree.

 Another view of the hand made ornament tree.  AppleJack asks me how many hours he thinks I have spent stitching these ornaments, I have no idea.  Each time I see this tree it makes me wish I had spent more hours.

The snowman ornament took on special meaning today:  It was 73 degrees yesterday and I was raking leaves and sweating.  We awoke this morning to a chilling 23 degrees and snow!  Don't think a white Christmas is forecast but certainly a cold Christmas.   Brrrrr sure glad we have those mugs for hot cocoa

Merry Christmas!  

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Feather Trees and Baskets

Feather trees were first created in Germany in the 1880's or 1890's and are considered one of the first types of artificial Christmas trees.  Goose, turkey and swan feathers were a plentiful commodity on the farms and easily transformed into Christmas trees.  Feathers were dyed green and wired to wooden sticks and then drilled into a dowel into the shape of a typical white pine German tree.  Artificial berries were attached onto the ends of some branches and wire candle holders adorned others.  The branches were placed some distance apart so ornaments were easily hung and admired and lit candles would not burn other branches.  The American market was first introduced to feather trees by German immigrants in Pennsylvania and Texas.

AppleJack and I have used this feather tree for many Christmas seasons.  Don't look to closely--some of the red berries at the tips of the branches are missing, our cats, Miss Katie and the General, ate the berries.  The tree is decorated with miniature white oak baskets, some barely measure one inch.  We have been collecting the baskets for several years.  The baskets are a reminder of our Appalachian heritage.  This year we were fortunate enough to find more miniatures at the spring wool festival in Dickson.  The sampler behind the feather tree is Stacy Nash's Christmas at Hollyberry Farm.  Gulp, the design was released in 2012, it took me a few years, but I finally have a Christmas sampler to enjoy.  Kinda makes me want to stitch another Christmas sampler, maybe after I finish stitching And Heaven and Nature Sing.