Saturday, May 30, 2009

Computer troubles and Jane Austen

We’ve had problems with our server service all week-end. It started on Thursday, we called the cable company, they said they were “experiencing difficulties” and of course, just then, service returned…only to be off again almost immediately. Its been like that all week-end-a long holiday week-end here-service on for a sec, so you think its fixed, then off again.

However, there was a Jane Austen Festival on TV so I just sat and watched!It wasn’t the usual festival type fare either…not continuous reruns of Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility or Emma…this time it was really fun and different. Friday night was “The Jane Austen Book Club”-I had read the book and wasn’t too thrilled but the movie was a lot more fun-thoroughly enjoyable. Saturday night was a two-part mini-series “Lost in Austen”: a modern English girl, Amanda Price, devoted to Austen walks through a door and exchanges places with Elizabeth Bennett! Lots of fun, lots of making a mush of everything,lots of fun send-ups of favorite P &P lines -all spoken in very Jane Austen English by everyone except Amanda.

While watching all this, I did get some embroidery done: my first block from the Shabby Rose BOM

Monday, May 25, 2009

Disappearing 9 Patch Quilt finished!

I finished the Disappearing 9 Patch quilt and I'm really happy with how its turned out. When its tossed on a chair, it really looks good, with the pieced back blending in well so you can't tell the front from the back! Cool :)
Here's a pix of the whole front, so you can see the border and looking above realize what's the back..the wind was blowing rather briskly and blew the border up.
This is a close up of the machine quilting...I'm quite proud of myself-I usually mark a pattern when I'm free motion quilting a wreath or in a border but this leaf pattern is unmarked and was done completely "free-hand"!. It was fun and I'm going to try to do more of this type of machine quilting...sure is fast with no marking!
I used my walking foot for the wavy grid quilting and the outline quilting in the setting can see here how I traveled from one triangle to the next by quilting in the ditch. (Its much less noticeable on the quilt itself.)

I've picked the fabrics for my Spring Blooms Mini Quilt Swap...I'm going with 30s reproductions as 30s fabrics and colors always say spring to me!
I also have this jelly roll to dip into. Don't these just shout Spring!

Shhh, I've picked the design and have even gotten started!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Vintage Thursday Thingie: Dishes, Dinner Menus and Cookbooks

This is the set of Metlox Traditions dinnerware that I got in the 1970s when we were first married. (No, I didn't overprint my dishes with a quilt pattern :)...its a reflection of the Lone Star quilt that hangs on the opposite wall!)

Metlox, a California pottery, was founded in the 1920s and is still going strong today. The Traditions pattern first came out in the 1960s in white, the rose color came out in the 1970s both for this pattern and others.

A simple dinner or luncheon table what could be the menu?

Hmm, maybe I can get an idea from this 1936 cookbooklet from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

How's this?

Grapefruit for a first course? Anyone else remember grapefruit for a first course? I Mom served this all the time! Sometimes she would add brown sugar and melt the sugar under the broiler,mmmm...once she got an idea from a magazine-pour red wine on the grapefruit-we thought that was disgusting! but usually it was just a plain half grapefruit, sometimes pink, sometimes yellow...always hard for a kid to eat with good table manners!

Or this? Vegetarians in the 1930s! Imagine that :)

Again, grapefruit!
The Mushroom and Egg Cutlet is actually a variation of a very old recipe for egg croquets that appears at least as early as 1824 in Mary Randolph's The Virginia Housewife (wish I had the original :), alas only a facsimile!) I have actually made the egg croquets for our vegetarian I'll try this "updated" version!
Hope you enjoyed this and maybe got some dinner ideas too!...just serve celery as a first course!

For more vintage treasures, hop on over to Coloradolady.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Banana Cake Recipe

A new supermarket opened and not only are their prices lower, but the produce is so beautiful that I find I buy too much...instead of a small bunch of bananas, I put a great big beautiful bunch in my shopping cart! Of course, I ended up with over ripe bananas...I remember when I wanted over ripe bananas- to mash up for the babies (oh, that was long ago). Now the only thing I know to do with black bananas is make a banana cake.This recipe was given to me more than 30 years ago by my friend Eleanor's mother.

Mrs. Braun’s Banana Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C

1. Beat together 1 cup sugar and ½ cup oil.
2. Add 2 eggs and 3 mashed bananas (about 1 cup). Beat well.
3. Stir in 2 cups all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and
½ teaspoon salt.
4. Add 3 tablespoons milk and ½ teaspoon vanilla.
5. Pour into greased and floured bundt pan and bake 35 minutes.

For my chocoholics, I add ½ cup chocolate chips.

If you don’t have a bundt pan, use an 8” x 8” square pan…don’t use a loaf pan.

Once the cake is cool, I pour over it a simple milk and powdered sugar glaze but it is really good without it too.

Glaze: melt 2 tablespoons butter, add 2 tablespoons milk and 1 cup powdered sugar. Stir until it boils, continue stirring until thickened. Remove from flame, add 1/2 vanilla. Cool a bit and pour over the cake. (I never wait long enough for the glaze to cool!)

Everyone really loves this cake! When we were visiting Boston, my DDIL made it for us...she puts in lots of chocolate chips!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Vintage Thursday Thingie: Watercolor

This is a watercolor that I bought at a flea market a few years ago. It was really the opposite of What was I thinking? which I missed :( last week...this was so dirty and dust covered I only bought it thinking about using the frame for something. When I got it home and cleaned it up, I liked the watercolor-the frame is actually terrible! It is unsigned and I'm pretty sure its just an amateur painting, framed for their own pleasure (and now mine!).
It used to hang in the laundry room but now its on the wall outside my sewing room.
I got the rattan rice hat that hangs above it, in Japan in the 1970s when I was there teaching English...its quite old and was old when I got it.
Be sure to go to Coloradolady to see more vintage treasures.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Charity Quilt

This has been a bad allergy week...I thought I was over the worst when I was able to piece the back and then baste the disappearing 9 patch but I was wrong. The weather turned; we had a terrible sand storm followed by strong winds which just blew everything-pollen and sand everywhere-my eyes still haven't recovered! Lots of blogging friends are also suffering all over the world...hope we all feel better soon.

This week I got a call from Lola, the Haifa guild is again collecting charity quilts. They're donating the quilts to the children's ward at Rambam Hospital in Haifa-the largest hospital in north Israel. Lola and I met at the Quinglish last month. They're giving the quilts in two weeks so I decided I better give something I have finished and thought of this cute cow quilt that I finished last year as part of the 2008 New Year's Challenge. Its 40" x 40" so it seems a good size.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Quilt back, links and the last of the wild flowers

While looking at all the wonderful quilts during the Bloggers Quilt Festival I found a great pattern for the back of my Disappearing 9 Patch quilt here on Valori Wells blog. I had been thinking of doing a pieced back so I was really glad to find this. I changed it a little because the pattern is for a larger quilt and I added in bits and pieces I had left from a different 9-patch project. After I took this picture this morning, I got right to it and the quilt is basted!
I've joined my first swap and I'm very excited! Its called Spring Blossoms Mini Quilt Swap and its hosted by Michele from the Quilting Gallery.
I've also found the Shabby Rose BOM. This BOM combines two of my favorite things: applique and embroidery. I'm a little late getting started, Block 3 was just posted, but I'll catch up. I know exactly how I want to use the blocks from this BOM...I've been thinking of doing a shabby chic style disappearing 9 patch as a summer quilt for the guest room and I'll just sprinkle these in!
The weather has changed again, its been very warm but not at all sunny- kind of weird.
This is the last of the wildflowers (I know I haven't been very good about taking pictures) and the last of the green. The hills are all turning brown and that's it until next winter.

Here you can see a last stand of flowers surrounded by brown (except for the bushes and the olive tree.)