Friday, April 21, 2017

Jo's Little Favorites II

Uh oh, she (Jo Morton) has done it to me again!  Jo will be releasing her second Little Favorites book in mid-May.  (Don't tell AppleJack, I already pre-ordered)

This is one of the quilt patterns from her Favorite's II.  When I participated in the LWC class, Jo called this quilt Raspberry Parfait.

The quilt hanging on the back of the chair is Pottery Shards--another quilt I made from the LWS class--this quilt is also in Favorite's II.

Don't start thinking because I have made two of the fifteen quilts from Favorite's II that I would not be adding this book to my collection.  Because there are quilts like this one with the beautiful fall colors calling my name.

Nashville is receiving some much needed rain, so no garden work or weeding tonight--I'm going to dig in my Jo Morton fabric stash and start choosing fabric for Favorite's II.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Blue and White

Bibliophile:  a person who loves or collects books, especially as examples of fine or unusual printing, binding or the like.  In my case add color,  photos and directions.  I treated myself to a new book:  Blue and White by Minick and Simpson.  I have always been drawn to the style of Minick and Simpson which is present in their quilts, hooked rugs and fabrics.  Am keeping the book handy for inspiration and ideas.  Am thinking about a blue and white room of my own filled with these elements from my own home.

When Grandmother Bessie was newly married she lived with Sarah Miranda, her mother-in-law.  Sarah Miranda had a loom in one of her upstairs bedrooms and wove coverlets for each of her nine sons.  Each time I see this coverlet, I think of Grandmother Bessie and Great Grandmother Sarah Miranda.

This Wild Geese quilt helps to drive the cold wind away during the cold, long winters.

Isn't the blue in Miss Liberty's skirt a pretty shade?

A simple nine patch doll quilt

A cross stitch coverlet pinkeep

Blue Willow dishes

A hex in the works

Tyler's Lion--another cross stitch design

Maybe one day, I will have a blue and white room just like this one from Minick and Simpson

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Spring Gathering

Stars in the Garden
Yellow Creek Quilt Designs
Primitive Quilts Magazine Spring 2013

Anne finished her hexie--and it is beautiful.  Anne's father is making a frame for this quilt--the hexie's are 1/4"

Carriage House Samplings
A Mind Independent and Free

This photo does not even begin to do this piece of needlework justice.  This is a Carriage House sampler Anne adapted showing her father's genealogy.  The bottom half of the sampler is stitched one over one with her father's genealogy--a true heirloom!  (Am guessing this piece to be approx 4' long)

Samplers NotForgotten
Bird Song

Debby stitched this beautiful piece of needlework.  The colors are vibrant and the wonky flowers just make this piece of needlework all the more interesting.  (Sorry for the upside down photo--I couldn't figure out how to turn it)

Primitive Quilts Fall 2016, Winter 2016 and Spring 2017
Wool Applique Sampler by Blackberry Primitives

Linda is stitching this wool appliqué quilt offered as a block of the month, or kit through Blackberry Primitives.

North and South
Primitive Quilts Magazine

Susan finished the quilting on my North and South quilt in time for the gathering--once again, she did a beautiful job--she never disappoints!

The Gatherings are such a special time--friends, good food, beautiful needlework, talk of future projects.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Lemon Loaf

   3 large eggs
   1 cup granulated sugar
   1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream or Greek yogurt
   1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
   2 tablespoons lemon zest
   1 to 2 tablespoons lemon extract, to taste  
   (not teaspoons and not lemon oil and not lemon juice)
   1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
   2 teaspoons baking powder
   1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Lemon Glaze
   1 cup confectioners' sugar
   3 tablespoons lemon juice, or as necessary for consistency


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with floured cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan, set aside
  • To a large bowl, add the eggs, sugar, sour cream and whisk vigorously until smooth and combined
  • Drizzle in the oil while whisking to combine
  • Add the lemon zest, lemon extract and whisk to combine.  I used 2 tablespoons of lemon extract because no actual lemon juice is used in the loaf and I found 2 tablespoons lemon extract necessary for full bodied lemon flavor, but add to to taste.  Don't use lemon oil and lemon extract interchangeably because they are not, oil is much more potent and intense.  Do not use lemon juice in place of lemon extract because it is not strong enough and the acidity can alter the overall results.
  • Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and stir until just combined, do not over mix.  Some lumps will be present and that is okay, do not try to stir until smooth.
  • Turn the batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.  Bake for about 50 to 52 minutes, or until top is domed, set, and toothpick inserted in the center crack comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs but no batter.  In the last 10 minutes of baking, tent pan with foil (loosely drape a sheet of foil over pan) to prevent excessive browning on the top and sides of bread before center cooks through
  • Allow loaf to cool in pan on top of a wire rack for at least 30 minutes (I cooled four hours). before turning out onto rack to cool completely before glazing.
  • For the lemon glaze:  to a small bowl, add the confectioner's sugar and slowly drizzle in the lemon juice while whisking until smooth and combined.  You may need to play with the sugar and lemon juice amounts a bit as necessary for desired consistency and flavor.
Evenly drizzle glaze over bread before slice and serving.  Extra glaze can be spread on the cut surface of the bread like you would spread butter on toast and it soaks right in making the bread even moister and more lemony.  Bread will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freeze for up to 6 months.  I do not recommend storing loaf in the fridge because it will dry out.

(recipe from Averie Cooks)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Market 2017

Stacy Nash
Animal Crackers
Blackberry Velvet
Dames of the Needle Linen

For me the Nashville Needlework Market is Christmas, Birthday and Anniversary all rolled into one big happy weekend.  The conversation goes like this:  
AppleJack:  What would you like for Christmas? 
 Me:  I would like goodies from the needlework market.  
AppleJack:  Does this also apply to your birthday and anniversary?  
Me:  I will make it easy for you.

Those designers they were at their creative best!  So many wonderful designs, fabrics, trims, etc.  How do they do it?  Each year they just get better and better.  It is no secret I am a huge fan of Stacy Nash designs.  When Stacy released the animal crackers,  I immediately added them to my market shopping list.  Being a cat lover, Theodore and Clementine were singing to my cat loving, needle loving heart.  Stacy has more animal crackers in the works:  rabbits, pigs, cows, sheep.  

Louisa Coulimore
Sophia Knighte

Red Samplers!  This was Nicola's (Hands Across the Sea) first needlework market and selfishly I hope this will not be her last.  Have you seen these samplers? and charts?  WOW!  Nicola does extensive research on the sampler maker which she shares on the inside covers of her charts.  Nicola calls herself a stitcher and each chart/graph is designed with the stitcher in mind:  very detailed, special photographs and instructions for special stitches, the legend listed multiple times throughout the chart (no flipping pages searching for the legend).  These samplers/designs are so enjoyable, I put them in a basket beside my stitching chair just so I could read and enjoy them--they are a great resource and reference tool.  If you have not seen these designs--treat yourself to one.  Sophia Knighte is my other red sampler--I did not want Louisa to be lonely and I found the perfect silk fiber for them:  school house red.

Kathy Barrick
Swan Garden
Fiona & Edward

Kathy Barrick is another one of my favorite designers.  When Kathy updated her blog with her market designs, my shopping list grew.  

Blackbird Designs
My Dear Hearts

The Blackbird girls, Barb and Alma never disappoint.  This heart is from their newly released book, My Dear Hearts.  I found this fabric and fiber in my stash and I think it will make a suitable substitute.

Chessie and Me
La D Da

Two more of my favor designers (I have many favorite designers, have you noticed? )  Chessie's houses sing to my primitive heart and Lori's Lovely Letters can be stitched as special gifts.

No market would be complete without linen, trims and ribbon.  They will add a special touch to those finishes.

 Stitch dots from LittleHouse

My apologies for the poor photograph.  These are a new to me gadget and I am very excited about them.  AppleJack and Callie Mae are hoping these beautiful magnets will keep the needles on the linen and out of the chair and out of their hiney.  Ouch!

Before I have to speak the words,  "My name is Betty and I have a problem," I will stop.  It was a great market.  To the designers and shop owners THANK YOU!  Thank you for the hours you spend charting designs, stuffing envelops, packing boxes, standing on your feet, and traveling. Thank you for your tolerance with shopping lists and requests, for packing orders, drives to the post office and driving/flying many miles.  Your hard work is very appreciated!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

A Saturday in March

Last Saturday, March 4 it looked like this.

Fast forward seven days, March 11 and it looks like this

Yesterday, I was smelling the heavenly scent of the Hyacinth.

Today, I'm watching my hosta wearing her snow blanket.

Daylight savings time begins tomorrow.  This bunny is looking forward to longer daylight hours, me too.  Spring begins in eight days, Mother Nature needed to let everyone know she carries a big stick in the gardening world.

 Finished up the first of the Blackbird stockings while watching Foyle's War on Netflex.

Making slow progress on the border for Emma Lerch--one lonely pink flower with many more to be stitched.

Am auditioning recipes for the Gathering, which is March 25.  To date Lemon Loaf is the front runner with Lemon Cookies a close second.  Miss Callie Mae says "Meow" for the kind birthday wishes, she is still stalking the postman for market arrivals.  Hope each of you is enjoying a peaceful productive Saturday in March.

Monday, March 6, 2017

and then she was 10

How did that happen?  Our Miss Callie Mae is ten.  It seems like yesterday when she came to live with us.  She was living at Happy Tails and she chose us!  On the ride home, she never cried, she came into the house, took a stroll, and declared it was an acceptable place for her to live.  Neither of us has ever looked back.  Each day she wakes up happy and has brought joy into our lives each and every day.

She knows what she likes and what she does not like.  She likes an ice cube in her water dish.

Some say she is persistent and determined, others say she is stubborn.

She has learned the world's problems are easier solved after a good nap.

She is fastidious and insists on having her hair brushed every day.  (AppleJack is her stylist).

She keeps a watchful eye for the postman because she knows the postman delivers goodies from the recent Nashville Needlework Market which makes her adopted Mother very happy.

Happy Birthday Miss Callie Mae--your family loves you very much!

Have you seen Stacy Nash's Animal Crackers cats Theodore and Clementine?  You bet your boots they are in my shopping cart.  Watch out Mr Postman, Miss Callie Mae is watching.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Spring Bling

All over town the daffodils are blooming, it is February 19.  There are many days and nights when the temperature is barely above freezing.  The calendar says it is still winter and there is a chance of snow.  There have been years when the daffodils were blooming and there was snow on their blooms.  March 20, one month from now, is the first official day for spring.

Winter is full of browns and grays, but Spring dips into her magic box of 120 Crayola crayons  and paints the earth with dazzling yellow daffodils and forsythia, bright red tulips, chartreuse green of tender new grass, red velvet leaves on Japanese maples and sweet pinks of flowering crabtree trees, magnolia and redbuds.

In celebration of spring, I decided it was time to add a spring quilt to my little quilt/tabletopper collection.  My quilt fabric stash has many Civil War reproduction prints and I just received 26 fat quarters from Jo Morton for the LWC 16 for 2017.  There are a few 30's prints which would work but the fabric winner for my spring bling quilt is from Joanna Figueroa and her fig tree fabric.  One day while I was shopping in my LQS, her fabric caught my eye (no small feat when there are hundreds of bolts of fabric).  The fabric seemed to embody the colors of spring.  A bundle of fat quarters founds its way into my shopping cart.  

Martingdale released a new book called I Love Churn Dashes.  Jo Morton has a really sweet church dash set on point quilt in this book.  One of the patterns in the LWC 16 for 2017 is a church dash.  Ahh, the elements are coming together--fabric, pattern.  I have been reading, studying and watching You Tube demonstrations to improve my quilting skills and have added a new ruler to help with accuracy.  The church dash blocks are 3 1/2"  

I will enjoy the daffodils while they are blooming and the colors in the spring bling quilt when the cold winds return.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

This and That

April Bunny
Stash Linen (Lakeside? 32 Ct)
NPI silks

In my endeavor to stitch more seasonal pieces, I have chosen April Bunny by Nickyscreations for a spring piece and sweet pinkeep for the old dough bowl.  In my linen stash was a piece of soft green--bunnies enjoy tender green grass.  NPI silks has a brown range of fibers called Bunny Brown and this seemed a no brainer choice of color to stitch the bunny.  The chenille trim is from R & R Reproductions, it is called Kelp.

Blackbird Designs-Home for the Holidays
Poinsettia Stocking
Stash Linen

The Blackbird Girls, Alama and Barb released a book at last years Nashville Needlework Market called Home for the Holidays.  Four of the designs inside the book are sampler stockings.  Yes, it is February and if I start now, I might actually have at least one of these stockings finished to add to my needlework tree.

The Poinsettia stocking is stitched with Cherry Bark, Brick and Baked Apple--a wonderful blend of colors.

The backing for the stockings is French General fabric--I found this is my stash and it is under consideration as a possible backing choice.

Prairie Road Designs
Wool stash

A couple of years ago, I saw this whale at the Beat the Heat Wool Event in Clarksville.  I thought he was really cute!  The designer has a whole menagerie of animals.  

Jo Morton fabrics for LWC 16 for 2017

There are no LQS hosting a Jo Morton LWC so Jo Morton offers the patterns and fabrics for sale through her blog.  I am such a sucker!  

I have been reading and studying Jo's techniques and tools and am going to put on my patience cap, steady my best quilting skills and attempt to make more of Jo's LWC's