Saturday, May 20, 2017

Urban Gardening Festival

Today was the Urban Garden Festival at Ellington Agricultural Center.  A free event sponsored by the Davidson County Master Gardeners. Mr. Tin Man was one of my favorite things.  Made entirely from common tin cans.

There were all kinds of fun things at the festival.  These are Tennessee Fainting Goats.  They have a very useful purpose--they are used to clear overgrown areas--honeysuckle, kudzu, and poison ivy are some of their favorite foods.  This goat is a first time Mother and her baby is about three weeks old--she was a very attentive Mother.

This scarecrow was at the entrance to one of the many cottage gardens.

The cottage garden was filled with this beautiful lilies and poppies.  The gardening fence was bamboo.

There were hundreds of these lilac and blue flowers blooming in the gardens

Master Gardeners must have two green thumbs.

This is a pollinator house--a house for bees and insects, made entirely from recycled, reclaimed materials:  concrete blocks, pallets, bricks, broken pottery, sticks.  

AppleJack loved this idea--instead of trying to mulch, weed and mow around trees, the Master Gardens had planted ground cover.  

Raised beds--I am so borrowing this idea.

More square foot gardening--I have the perfect spot in our garden for these raised beds.

Ferns the perfect plant for those shady areas

Ferns in all varieties and yes, some of them came home with me.

Sun loving plants growing in a recycled satellite dish--those Master Gardens sure know how to reuse and recycle.

A pottery scare crow--very clever.

Jaw dropping hostas were growing everywhere.

Thank you Master Gardeners for the beautiful gardens!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

M. Quertier 1799 Quaker Sampler

M. Quertier 1799 Quaker Sampler
Scarlet Letter
Stash Fabric
Gloriana Silk-India Ink 

Emma Lerch decided after the border on her sampler met with no fudging, she needed a break and headed south to soak up some rays and have some fun in the sun (spring break).  M. Quertier 1799 has been in my stitch stash for a long time.  Every time I go looking for a new project there is M. Quertier staring at me and asking:  "when is it going to my turn and when are you going to stitch me?"  After seeing Carmen's beautifully stitched Ann Grimshaw and Faye's beautiful Sarah Comfort Quaker samplers, I decided it was M. Quertier's turn.

Truth be told, I started M. once before and soon realized she is a big girl and the piece of fabric, I had selected was not large enough and stopped stitching after this motif.  Hmm, maybe I will finish stitching this one motif and turn it into something fabulous.  

M. stitched her sampler in 1799 at the Ackworth School in Yorkshire, England.  The Ackworth School was unique because girls received nearly the same educational instruction as boys.  Marsha Parker of the Scarlet Letter writes:  Out of this school came a fascinating style of needlework, characterized by a distinct, clear, formal style of lettering, unique symmetrical whole and fractional medallions with geometric, floral and animal motifs, a vocabulary of short sentimental expressions and other readily identifiable spot motifs.

Schoolhouse Red is a beautiful Gloriana fiber, but M. and I decided to stitch her in black like the original.  It has been a long time since I stitched Quaker medallions and I had forgotten what a joy they are to stitch.  There are several sets of initials on M.'s sampler and I wish I knew more of her story/history.  Are the initials the initials of her friends, family, teachers or classmates?  She wanted everyone to know she stitched the sampler in the year 1799 because it is stitched on the sampler three times.

The Beatrix Potter Quaker Sampler was originally available from Needleprint and has been out of print for several years.  Stitchybox Samplers has purchased the copyright and is re-releasing Beatrix.  From what I have read about this sampler, Beatrix Potter did not stitch the sampler, it was hanging in her home and because it was found hanging in her house, it was called the Beatrix Potter sampler.  Both the Beatrix Potter sampler and M. Quertier samplers contain similar motifs and I thought it would be fun to reunite these classmates.  (Oh the plans of mice and men, let's see how long it takes for the wheels to fall off the bus on this plan.)

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Lemon Meringue Pie

AppleJack asked me to make a pie, a real pie, no store bought filling.  I turned to one of my tried and true recipe books:  Starr Recipes from Greystone.  Unless you are from the Knoxville, Tennessee area or are "older" you might not recognize this cookbook.  The copyright date is 1970.  For fifteen years, Mary Starr served as Women's Director for WATE-TV.  Grandmother Bessie was a faithful follower of Mary Starr.  Basic recipes with no frills, easy to prepare and delicious.  I believe every single woman in my family had a copy of Starr Recipes in her kitchen.  When I moved into my first apartment, I think this was one of the first recipe books I purchased--it has proven itself to be a good investment.

Lemon Meringue Pie

4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar, plus 6 tablespoons for meringue
1 1/2 cups water
3 eggs (separate egg yolks and egg whites)
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
5 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh is best)

  • In a small saucepan combine 4 tablespoons cornstarch, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup sugar
  • When mixture is well blended, gradually add, stirring to dissolve 1 1/2 cups water
  • Cook mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened
  • Add the slightly, beaten egg yolks (remember to temper the egg yolks), return to heat and cook and stir two minutes longer.  
  • Remove mixture from the heat and stir in:  2 tablespoons butter, 1 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind and 5 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Cool and pour into a cooled, baked pie shell
  • Cover with meringue made from three egg whites and 6 tablespoons sugar
  • Brown meringue.  Let cool.  Pie is better if allowed to cool for several hours before serving (if you can wait long enough for it to cool)
This is a very easy, basic and tasty pie.  It won't last long when served and be prepared for requests for second serving.  

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Fresh from the Finisher

Erica Michaels
Quaker Berry

Fresh from the finisher and just in time for spring strawberry picking.  The farmers market had a strawberry festival yesterday.  The weather was rainy and cool and we opted to stay home.  This just means we will make an early morning run to Kelly's for fresh strawberries picked fresh from their patch.


Hard to resist sweet little bunny rabbits when they are this cute.  (Let's hope they mind their manners and stay out of AppleJack's garden).  A nice addition for my spring smalls basket.

Stacy Nash Country Sampler Girls Club
Pumpkin Hill

I am way behind on stitching of the club pieces.  Finally a Thanksgiving piece.   Note to self:  spend more time stitching club pieces.

Stacy Nash Country Sampler Girls Club
School Sampler Spring Sewing bag

Whoops should have rotated the photo.  

A place for needle and pins and floss

The tape measure is the selvage from some quilt fabric--thought it would be fun to add.