Saturday, July 23, 2016

Changing Channels

We headed out on a short summer road trip earlier this week and I decided that taking Minnie along to work on in the car would be easier than trying to wrestle with Danuta's Garden, so I hurriedly cut enough hexies to do a ring around three four-diamond hexie pieces that were already together.

There were lots of good intentions but I spent so much time being navigator and taking in the sights that the pieces never left the bag. Yesterday, after everything was unpacked, I spent the afternoon working on the first one.

It's been ages since I've sewn on this one but it's like an old friend - very easy to reconnect with.

Our travels took us into Skaneateles in the Finger Lakes District of New York State. What a gorgeous area - we are already looking forward to a return visit or two.

It is set at the north end of the lake tucked in amid scenic rolling fields of corn and wheat and we thoroughly enjoyed boat a tour of the lake.

We did a day trip into Ithaca and enjoyed a stroll around the Cornell campus, a visit to the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art and lunch at the famed Moosewood Restaurant (we're not vegetarians, but when in Rome...). They are having a very dry summer so all the lawns are parched but I'm certain that it would be even nicer when everything is green.
And, (quel surprise!) there's even a quilt shop or two. Just before we rolled into Skaneateles we came across Patchwork Plus whose claim to fame is having 9,000 bolts to choose from. It is a beautiful shop - very organized and incredibly neat. I was totally overwhelmed so the only thing that came home with me was these three pieces.

I thought that it was quite cute how they tied it all up with a strip of batik....M

Monday, July 18, 2016

The First Half

I'm at that stage where a quilt goes from being pieces to feeling like the beginnings of a quilt. You know because the weight of the piece that you're working with has shifted and suddenly it's something more substantial than just a pile of blocks. There's the hint of what it will be when it is quilted and on a bed.

There were six rows of seven blocks.

Three rows are now joined with sashing so there's three more to add and then the star border.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Going Bananas

Well, the Candied Hexagons backing is together so I say that's reason to celebrate. Or bake. But first we'll look at the backing a bit.

It's nothing original - just four vertical strips in differing widths. My only criteria was that the pink be along the sides so that it would carry over into setting triangles that are in the same colour, so I split a width of fabric, added a narrow strip of green and a width of the dark rose. There is enough of the light pink left to bind it with so I'm happy about that.

I'm going to hand quilt it but wasn't keen on rolling around on the floor to baste it - it's tough on the knees. I contacted Roberta to see if she could baste it on the longarm and she is happy to oblige. This one is HUGE: 90 x 107"!!! WHAT was I thinking??? Can you say king sized?

Then it was time to bake. I've been surrounded by ripe bananas lately, lots of them, so I made a Banana Chocolate Chip Loaf. Then I made a Banana Pecan Loaf and froze it. Still bananas hanging around. I've never baked bananas into a cookie before but found this great recipe for Banana Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chips so I gave them a go.

I also broke in my new mini cookie spatula that Jane gave me for my birthday and it works like a charm.

Butter is my fat of choice when baking but I decided to follow the recipe exactly, so I used shortening. I also used only one cup of chocolate chips and it was plenty. The cinnamon and nutmeg are a nice addition and the banana will keep them nice and moist.

The Official Cookie Tester swung into action and declared them a hit. I seconded the motion by having two of them fresh from the oven....M

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Candied Hexagon Top Is Finished

My Candied Hexagons got laid to the side recently but I picked it up again on the weekend and finished inserting the pink set-in triangles along the sides. Love it.

That pink Art Gallery fabric is just yummy and works really well with everything else.

I took it out to the garden for a little photo shoot...

and used it as an excuse to also take a pic of my beautiful roses. They are loving this hot summer that we are having, and only bloom every other year, so they are a wonderful treat.

There isn't enough of the pink for a backing so I'm going to have to piece one. Working with large pieces of fabric is my least favourite thing about quilting - just hate muscling everything around cause I don't have a large work surface. Much prefer working with smaller pieces. Oh well, it's not the end of the world....M