Friday, May 31, 2013


With all of the fresh rhubarb popping up all over the place I've been craving the  Lemon Rhubarb Buttermilk Bundt cake lately, so I decided to whip one up last night and had an interesting experience that had me thinking, 'Houston...we have a problem..."

I mixed everything up and as I was putting the last of the batter into the pan I did a double take - a corner of my rubber spatula was missing and I know it was there when I started! That upper left corner used to be square...eeek! My trusty Tupperware spatula was no more.

I took a table knife and ran it through the pan to see if I could find the culprit, but no luck, so I decided to bake it, spatula tip and all, and see if I could recover it from the final product. It reminded me of when we were kids and Auntie Ann would wrap nickels in wax paper and tuck them into the birthday cake, but not nearly as exciting.

As luck would have it, the piece had sunk to the bottom of the pan so when I inverted it onto the serving plate it was there in plain view.

A little strategic surgery before I glazed it and all was well again (this time I only made half the amount of glaze and it was still lots). We had a piece for lunch today and it is as good, or better, than I remember, so all's well that ends well.

It's been herky jerky with meetings and travelling lately so not much stitching is happening. There are a couple more hexies for Minnie that are now finished though...

love them both.

And after my culinary adventures last night I put the finishing touches on this one, which has yet to be pressed....M

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Home Sweet Home

Mom's Dresden Plate is all quilted and has come home to be bound and used. It was a huge job and I owe a great big thank you to the quilters at the church who hung in there until it was all finished. I think it even surprised them how long it took to do.

At one point they wondered if they would have any quilting to do this year but I think this one made up for any doubts that they might have had.

One of the comments that came back was that they weren't convinced initially about  quilting the plates in concentric rings - they'd never seen that done before - but once it was all done they quite liked it. They even thought it really looked like a flower :).

The primary reason that I went with that design was because there was already so much quilting throughout the rest of the quilt that I was trying to figure out a way to make the plates go quicker than outlining each petal.

Half way through marking it I began wondering if I was being silly putting so much stitching into it, but when I see it finished I am so glad that I did.

You'll remember that the backing (and soon the binding) are in this great yellow polka dot.

Now to make the binding and get it onto our bed.

I haven't done a whole lot of baking lately but last week I tried a new recipe - French Apple Cake. I had 4 apples that were riper than I like to eat raw so I was on the lookout for a good recipe to use them in, and I found it. Not only that, it was both quick and delicious. There's 2 tablespoons of rum in the batter, which gives it, as the author says, a lovely je ne sais quoi flavour. I used Royal Gala apples and they tasted more like pears than apples when it was baked.  It calls for 3 very large apples - I used 4 and could probably have added another one and still had a lovely cake. I'd highly recommend trying it.

It was best still a little warm from the oven but you could toss it into the microwave for a few seconds to get the same effect. We enjoyed it with a dollop of French Vanilla Bean ice cream but a Devon custard or warm butter rum sauce would be nice too. Isn't it great to have options?...M

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Quilts at Pooh Corner

Time for an update from the land of the baby quilts. Anne and her friend's mom continue to move along on the quilts that they started a little while ago, with great success.

She has started cutting the striped sashing for Winnie and continues handing the sewing off to her friend to put it all together for her. Her work is not only impeccable, it is proving to be a big help to Anne in getting the project closer to the finish line much faster than if she was doing it all solo.

They laid out the blocks and realized that they were one short of 30 so Anne made a block using the striped sashing fabric and it will become the centre block for quilt.

Anne is really tickled with how it is coming together; I believe, "It’s going to be a cutie when it’s finished", were her exact words. I think she's bang on.

And, she has finished machine quilting Twinkle, the little blue & pink one that she had been working on with Betty. It's been delivered to the gift shop at Madonna House and they were so thrilled to get it.

Look closely inside each of the pink gingham blocks and you will see where she has stitched either a tiny heart or a small star. Cute. Her stash continues to shrink, so she's doubly happy...M

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Jane Had a Finish Too

In addition to Betty's beautiful Five Dollar Quilt finish at the cottage this weekend Jane showed us a quilt that she had just finished. It's a delicate and lovely Nine-Patch that she just had recently been hand quilted by her niece, Sheila.

It has a very vintage feel, which is so Jane, and is perfect in her newly painted dusty mauve bedroom. She's got it on her white wrought iron bed with a lovely selection of pillows and it just invites you to take a nap. So traditional.

A strip of dreamy green with pink roses surrounds the pink setting triangles around the edge, along with another row of four-patches on the point.

The white fabric is a collection of tone-on-tone whites so it adds to the lacey feel of it. It's all pieced by hand.

If you look closely at the pillow selection you'll see that she wants only the best for her friends....:)

And, while we were all busy ooooohing and aaaaaahing over this one, she casually draped a second beauty overtop. It's the delicate pastel floral Snowball that she was working on this winter.

Now it has a wonderful row of scrappy flying geese all round (see, she really was paying attention when I gave her that tutorial) along with a strip of yet another gorgeous pink floral print.

If I'm not mistaken, there will be one or two additional borders added before it is finished, but it is close to the final size. It will be sooo easy to have sweet dreams under these beauties...M

Monday, May 20, 2013

What Begins At The Cottage... finished at the cottage.

Betty finished binding her spectacular Five Dollar Quilt this weekend and the whole thing is just a masterpiece. This is the one that she started last summer with blocks that she picked up for five bucks at a garage sale.

The binding is just perfect - a deep navy and white stripe that show off the rest of the colours throughout the quilt.

And the meandering lines of quilting just soften everything making it look like this quilt has been around forever.

There are so many different blocks to this one, each inviting your eye to stop for a little visit before moving on...

Of course no quilt is complete unless it passes Baylea's snooze test...seems to be working...

So, to celebrate, we enjoyed the first rhubarb of the season with what's become a bit of a 24th of May tradition, our favourite Rhubarb Torte (yes, I'm a leftie). How sweet it is!...M

Friday, May 17, 2013

It's Spring, and Time for the Bloggers Quilt Festival

It's that's time again...time to check out all the fabulous eye candy that gets submitted to the Bloggers Quilt Festival. It never disappoints and I find myself going back to the entries over and over again for a good look - stop by the site and see who is participating in Amy's festival this season. A 5-year old tradition, it just looks to be getting larger each year and this time around you can view the entries by category, Baby Quilt, Bee Quilt, etc.

I've entered a Throw Quilt that I made about 15 years ago. It's a sampler of sorts and I don't even know what the name of the pattern is but it is one that is dear to my heart. I saw a tiny little photo on a subscription card for a craft book-of-the-month club, or something to that effect, and went from there.

I love the fabrics in this one, and every time I see it it makes me happy. The colours just work for me - I love the rich, burnt oranges, plums and reds, and the deep greens & navy. The tiny star print for the quilt blocks was a real favourite when I made this one. It has a really autumnal feel to it so lets call this one Harvest Sampler.

There's a certain sentimentality to it as well. The block on the right is made with fabric from my grandmother and it was hand quilted by mom.

She incorporated a heart vine pattern into the smaller border that softens the sharpness of the blocks nicely.

I bound and backed it with the same red that I used for the inset triangles.

It's not overly large - 59 x 72" - just the right size to nap under, which is part of the reason that it is hung over the back of the sofa downstairs.

Here's a shot that will give you a sense of the entire layout, including the corners.

Have fun browsing the other Festival entries....M

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My Learner's Permit

I think I mentioned a few posts back that Pinterest is now my online drug of choice, and that it is totally addictive. Well, nothing has changed on that front except that it did lead me down the path of trying something new - a quilt-as-you-go project. So out came the scraps.

I'm wanting to make several items for the folks who run the gift shop at Madonna House, but am looking for the right combination of effort and result.  I recently pinned a few tutorial quilt-as-you-go tutorials and curiosity got the better of me, so I started to play around. 
One thing lead to another and before you know it I was making a cushion top. I referred to a couple of tutorials but followed Rachel's most of all. The first step was just to start somewhere, so I did.

She stitched direction onto the batting with no backing but I've stitched everything onto a foundation piece. For some odd reason I had visions of batting getting gummed up in my bobbin mechanism. This way it doesn't get hung up in the feed dogs either.

There's been lots of testing of fabric positions, and lots of changing my mind, which has slowed things down a bit, but I think I'll get better at that with time. Adding the directional rows of stitching really changes the look and feel of everything.

The pillow form that I have is 20", so it's a good size, and I'm thinking that I might make it completely reversible.

To say that I enjoy it is an understatement. I just LOVE the texture. I do think though that it's taking me longer than it needs to decide which colours to lay down next....M