Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Thistle House (Manor)

I was searching through my stash looking for NPI silks and came across this design by Ewe and Eye and Friends.  The design is called Thistle House.  Hmmm, Thistle House, Thistle Manor, methinks it is time to bring this design out of the stash.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Good Gardening Practices

One of my favorite and most often used gardening books is called The Mid-South Garden Guide.  It was published for the Memphis Garden Club in 1984. One of the many reasons this book has become one of my favorites is for the month by month gardening guide.  The book lists each month and gives direction for good gardening practices:  planting, pruning, fertilizing and which plants are blooming.  Here is February's gardening guide.
  • The first big job of the month is to get a dormant spray on the garden.  This is the most important spray of the year!
  • Fertilize roses
  • Prune evergreens
  • Blooming:  crocus, early daffodils, helleborus (Lenten rose) hyacinth, pansy, snowdrop, violet, flowering quince, forsythia, pussy willow, spirea and winter jasmine

While most of the United States is digging out from a record breaking snow, the temps in the mid south have been mild and spring like.  So.  .  . out came the gardening gloves and tools.  While the trees on the back of our property line provide shade, they also provide many leaves.  I always seem to be raking leaves and cleaning out beds.  The chick weed is in abundance.  Am applying Preem (a pre emergent weed killer) in hopes of getting a jump on the weeds.  I dug up the diseased rose and have sprayed-sprayed-sprayed the other roses with a dormant rose spray in hopes the rose rosette disease does not spread.  My gardening guy says "spray roses before they start showing signs of any disease." 

March 1st is Friday and the gardening guide says:  March, with its lavish display of daffodils and flowering trees, is one of the most beautiful months of the year.  It is also one of the busiest!  Good thing AppleJack bought me new gardening gloves and has dusted off the tools. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Countdown 10. . 9. . 8. .

Countdown : Grunge film countdown

The count down for the Nashville Needle Work Market has begun--fourteen days!  Of course, I have been surfing the web for sneak peaks and oh boy, oh boy is there some good stuff out there.

Here is one of the designs on my shopping list.  It is called Cat and Mouse by Kathy Barrick.  Being a cat lover this design is singing to my heart. 

New charts, linens, fibers, gadgets, accessories--be still my beating heart!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Unfinished Business

While I was searching through my stash for fabric for the HST quilt I found two unfinished projects.  This is one of the Jo Morton LWC 2012 Raspberry Swirl.  (I called the quilt Goose Tracks or Bear Claw).  While I was fabric shopping I found this Jo Morton fabric, I think it is called Jo's Favorites.

I also found these bow ties.  There are more bow ties waiting to be sewn.  So. . . the HST goes on hold while I work on these unfinished projects.  It is very satisfying to complete projects which have been in the works for awhile.

The day light hours are growing longer, spring is just around the corner and I will soon be working outdoors in Next Year, the garden.  While the temps are still cool, time to get the sewing machine humming.

Monday, February 18, 2013

In Honor of President's Day

One of my goals for 2013 is to stitch, quilt,  and hook more seasonal items.  Since today is Presidents Day, the flag quilt is making its debut appearance.

This hooked rug was a class taught at Homespun Corner years ago.  I hooked about one half of the rug and my friend Jan came to my rescue and completed the rug.  (Shhh don't tell anyone, I think she grew tried of seeing it my unfinished projects pile and took pity on me).  The rug is 8" x 26"

The rug will be great to use on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day and Veterans Day.  This hooked flag is not as old as the one Betsy Ross stitched but I think it has been in my languishing in my stash long enough to qualify for her old age pension.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

HST on Pinterest

Jo Morton design and fabrics/ APQ Oct 2011  Before one quilt is completed I begin thinking about the next quilt.  Working with the HST paper was such a positive experience, I have decided to make another quilt using the paper.  Pinterest is a wonderful source of ideas.  The borders on this quilt are particularly interesting.

ideas for left over half square triangles  This HST quilt is by Lisa Bongean (Primitive Gatherings).  An excellent way to utilize some of my stash fabric.

HSTs on point  HST set on point. 

Beginning a new project is always exciting.  Have already begun digging through my fabric stash.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Jo Morton's Broken Dishes

Jo Morton's Broken Dishes
Finished size 23 x 28

Here are some of the things which I learned while making this quilt:
  1. Using printed quilting paper is a seriously accurate quilting method.  This was my first time using   printed paper, it will not be the last.  It is fast and there is little fabric wasted.
  2. Sew with the bulkiest part of the quilt on top (you are not fighting with the sewing machine feet dogs.)
  3. Take your colorist expert with you to the quilt shop when choosing fabric.  Who is my color expert?  AppleJack of course,  he wrinkles his nose when he does not like a fabric choice and smiles when he likes one.   
  4. Using a simple kitchen tool like a bamboo skewer helps guide the fabric while sewing making for more accuracy.

5.  Check your work before you sew!  See that broken dish on the far right going in the incorrect direction.  

Please share your quilting tips.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Christmas at Hollyberry Farm

Stacy Nash
Christmas at Hollyberry Farm

I am determined to have a Christmas sampler!  Christmas and December are nine months away, am not waiting until the last minute.  In unision:  super slow stitcher

Am stitching my version of Hollyberry Farm Christmas sampler on Weeks Dye Works Straw.  Since I enjoy stitching with Needlepoint silks, I converted the Gentle Arts Sampler threads to NPI fibers. 

Stacy has released a companion piece called Spring at Hollyberry Farm.  Maybe I'll start stitching the companion piece in the winter just to balance out the year.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Rose is blooming.  My internal clock is sometimes confused by Mother Nature, Lenten Rose has an accurate internal clock.

The gardener is sometimes neglectful and does not always get the leaves cleared from the bed.

Faithful, dependable Miss Lenten Rose blooms right on time

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Morning Glory Muffins

Created by the owner of a restaurant in Nantucket in the late 1970's, morning glory muffins caught the eye of an editor at Good Housekeeping magazine back in 1981 and have been heralded as top notch muffins ever since.

These muffins are packed with fruit, nuts, and vegetables, making them a great source of fiber and vitamins.  They are very dense, heavy muffins, making them a perfect breakfast item for a busy day.  Eat one of these on your way to work and you won't think about food again for hours.

1/2 cup oil
1 cup sugar
3 eggs (add one at a time, beating after each egg is added)
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons soda
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped apples
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped nuts
2 cups shredded carrots
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat oil, eggs and sugar together

Mix apples, raisins, coconut, nuts, carrots and vanilla together, add to oil, egg and sugar mixture

Gently add flour, soda, salt and cinnamon to mixture

Gently spoon batter into muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.

Sis has served Morning Glory muffins to her family for years--they are delicious.  When AppleJack and I ate at Mack and Kate's on Saturday we were served these muffins, they were yummy.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Heart of Country

Ahh, one of my favorite times of the year (the other is the Nashville Needlework Market).  The Heart of County  Antiques Show at the Opryland Hotel.  Aisles and aisles and aisles of antiques.  Walking and walking and looking and drooling and ideas dancing in my head. Here is how Kramer-Hunkins & Associates describes Heart of Country:  American, English, Primitive and Period Furniture, Fine art, Folk art, Pottery, Quilts, Decoys, Sports, Nautical, Historica, Rugs, Baskets, Paint, Pewter, Silver. 

And if Heart of Country is not enough to put me in antiques overload there is the

Cover Photo

Photo: Tailgate-Music Valley Antiques Show is a long running  country antiques show, originally in Nashville and now just 15 minutes away in Hendersonville, Tn 
At the Expo Center Feb. 14-16

Photo: No snow in Nashville....c'mon down to Tailgate-Music Valley Antiques Show

Photo: Suzanne Baker is packing for Tailgate-Music Valley Antiques Show opening Valentine's Day!

Photo: MARIE MILLER ANTIQUE QUILTS packing now for Tailgate-Music Valley Antiques Show

I'm warming up my walking shoes!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Life at Thistle Manor

First things first:  to my stitchy friends in the north east, AppleJack, Callie Mae and me send our best and warmest thoughts.  Yes, I still long for snow in Music City and the snowmen are still on the job.  (They will return to the North Pole on the first day of spring).

In spite of my absence, Thistle Manor has been a beehive of activity.  Chloe and Pearce are getting married!  Aren't they are a seriously cute couple?  Betsy, Mother of the Groom has been in town making wedding plans.  AppleJack has offered his services and decided taste testing is his favorite wedding task.  He discovered a new restaurant, Mack and Kate's--yum, yum.  I highly recommend everything on the menu the mac and cheese.  Happy times!

The Jo Morton HST for the broken dishes quilt are completed.  I used triangle paper for the first time and the completed HST were very accurate.  Will definitely be using this paper for other quilt projects.  Had to make a trip to the quilt store to find border and backing fabric for the broken dishes and Valentine quilt.  Has anyone seen the new Indigo Crossing fabric by Minnick and Simpson? 

After consulting with my gardening guys, I have taken their advice and have removed the rose which fell victim to the rose rosette disease.  The rose rosette disease is carried by a microscopic mite and once the rose gets the disease it is a goner.  I have dug up the rose and will give the soil time to rest and recover from the mite and diseased rose.  Will be starting this gardening season with a challenge:  has the mite spread the rose rosette disease to the other roses?  Time will tell. 

Stitching on the Stacy Nash Hollyberry Farm sampler has begun.  Am so very determined to have a Christmas sampler for Thistle Manor 2013.  On a very sad note, I learned today the owner of one of the LNS died from lung cancer this week.  When I moved to Music City twenty-six years ago, she was one of the first people I met. 

AppleJack has requested Morning Glory muffins.  Sis shared the recipe with me many years ago and is one of our favorite treats.  If you like carrott cake this is the muffin for you.  In addition to making muffins, our Miss Callie Mae will soon be celebrating her birthday.  She does have a birthday wish list.    So, time to stitch, quilt, garden, bake and . . .

Saturday, February 2, 2013

In the Meadow, we can build a snowman

Notforgotten Farm
Parson Brown

The snowmen have regained favored status at Thistle Manor!  This morning there was more snow!  

The dusting of snow was so pretty on the Holly--the red berries, the green leaves sprinkled with the snow.  I had to move quickly to capture this photo, there was one half inch of snow and when Mr. Sunshine made his appearance, the snow melted fast.

Snow on the roof of an empty bird feeder.  The squirrels move as quickly as the snow.

Remember these guys?  They were the ones thinking spring a couple of weeks ago.  Are they still thinking spring or has the dusting of snow made them think there might be a few more weeks of winter?

With the cold temps, I have been working on the Jo Morton Broken Dishes quilt and enjoying calorie laden hot cocoa.  This summer while I am weeding in the heat, I shall think about this wonderful winter day and the beauty of the snow.

Friday, February 1, 2013

It Snowed!

They have redeemed themselves!  Music City received a dusting of snow last night, that means there is snow on the roof and the grass is almost covered.  Snow in the south is a relative term.  (Anything more than 2" of accumulation is considered a blizzard).

Of course, the grocery stores have had a run on milk and bread, schools have been closed for a 100 mile radius, and traffic is more insane than normal.  Ahh, gotta love snow.

(For weather watchers, Tennessee has had some bizarre weather this week, tornadoes, temps ranging from single digits to high sixties and now snow).

The weatherman snowmen have forecast more snow for the weekend!  An accumulation measured in inches rather than a dusting.  Perfect weather for hot cocoa and stitching.  Keep thinking snow!