Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Vintage Thursday Thingie: Ruth Wakefield Cookbook

This is a special cookbook for me. It is Ruth Wakefield's Tried and True Recipes and is a sixth printing of the first edition of her famous cookbook (later called The Tollhouse Cookbook) from 1936-37 .

It was given to me by my aunt and Ruth Wakefield signed it on the front flap.

My aunt didn't seem to think too much of it-she wrote a recipe over it!

This is such an early edition, it does not have a recipe for Tollhouse Chocolate Chip cookies. I guess she invented them between this edition and the next (I think it came out in 1940). There are a lot of myths about how she came up with chocolate chip cookies-even on the Nestle site, they say she wanted to make chocolate cookies but was out of semi-sweet baking chocolate so she used a Nestle chocolate bar, breaking it into pieces and expecting it to melt in the batter. I find that rather silly: her recipe for chocolate cookies clearly states, melted chocolate-she would have melted the candy bar too. I think she was just a genius-she cut up the chocolate bar into her cookie dough to see what would come out.

She made a deal with Nestle: they put her recipe on the back of their candy bar and she received a lifetime supply of Nestle chocolate bars! It wasn't until later that Nestle began to make chocolate chips specifically for cookies.

There are a few cute drawings and lots of recipes that use pineapple!

Here's one for Pineapple Pie

Pare and grate 2 small apples

Add 1/2 can grated (crushed) pineapple

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons melted butter

1/8 teaspoon salt

Mix thorougly and pour into uncooked crust. Cover with crust and bake 15 min. at 425. Reduce heat to 350 for remaining period of cooking.

The Phillies Won! The Phillies Won! Wow!!!

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

More stars in my eyes: Star Quilt with Vine Border

I seem to have a lot of Star quilts; its something I hadn't realized before. This is another quilt that I've finished for the New Year's Eve Challenge. I'm so glad I joined this Challenge as its given me the oomph I needed: I've wanted to finish this quilt for a while (I really like it) but I couldn't think how to quilt it. I couldn't even decide if I should hand or machine quilt it. Under the pressure of just telling myself: ok, now's the time, I did it and I'm very happy with my quilting choices. I waffle quilted ( wavy line grid) the center

and I like the effect, then I outlined the machine applique vine very close to the vine (like in- the- ditch quilting) and quilted a cable in the top and bottom borders.

I had filled the centers of vines with my initials and multi-colored flowers, all done in outline embroidery( much like Redwork) so I decided not to quilt the background of the vine borders with a filler design (which I probably would have done if I had hand quilted.) I did once see a photo of a quilt that was machine quilted over outline embroidery designs but I guess I'm just not brave enough.

The machine appliqued vine border is inspired by the vines found in a mosaic floor from a 6th century synagogue at Naro in Tunisia. I used to work as an archaeological restorer, though never on mosaics (pottery, stone and once, Roman glass) . I love designs from ancient mosaics-years ago, we spent almost a week walking around Pompeii (the frescos are also wonderful). Ami Simms wrote a book "Classic Quilts:Patchwork Designs from Ancient Rome" years ago featuring designs from mosaics but she dealt with patchwork not applique designs.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Vintage Thursday Thingie: Antique Backgammon Set

I've "borrowed" this backgammon set from my husband. He bought it in the late 1960s, before we were married and it was quite old already.
It is inlaid with different woods and mother of pearl.

How quilt like is this center medallion?

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Monday, October 20, 2008

'Til the Cows Come Home Quilt

I finished another quilt for the New Year's Eve Challenge. It too has been in the closet for a long time: I know I finished the top before we moved into this house and we're here since 1999.

This quilt is a case of the fabric driving the design-I found the fabric and of course it just said "Cow". The colors came out truest in this picture. Its simply quilted with meander on the cow fabric and everything else just outlined at 1/4". No cable in the border this time, just straight lines.

This is not a diet quilt- everytime I look at it I want to eat ice cream! Now ice cream is on the grocery list :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Vintage Thursday Thingie: That '70's Patchwork Book

According to the author, Rachel Martens," Here are authentic old patterns for quilt blocks which appeared in FARM JOURNAL from the Twenties".


I confess. I had a jacket with fringe.

Too cool for school

Cowl neck sweater, ironed hair?

Remember, in Fashion one decade you're in and the next-you're out!

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Little Pink Flying Geese quilt

Here are some close ups of the Dancing Star Quilt showing the hand quilted echo quilting around the stars, the cable in the border and the outline quilting in the sashing. I've realized how many of my quilts have cables-I think that cables are my "default" quilting design-I do like the motion that cables have.

When I wanted the little triangles in the corners of the star blocks, I used the easy method of laying a square on the corner and sewing on the diagonal and then trimming. I used the leftover little half square triangles to get a jump start on this little Flying Geese quilt.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dancing Stars quilt-a vintage quilt reproduction

I'm skipping Vintage Thursday thingies this week but to see lots of vintage goodies, click on the button .

I haven't really written about the quilts shown in the banner above and I thought I'd start to do that today. The pink star quilt "Dancing Stars" is my reproduction of a vintage quilt pictured in Ruth Finley's book "Old Patchwork Quilts", the second book ever devoted to quilts and originally published in 1929. Its a wonderul book and she writes so well that you feel like you are having a conversaiton with her-a conversation spanning decades.
The original quilt is featured in a black and white photo in Plate 22. The caption reads "Evening Star A combination of piecing and applique. Colors brick-pink and liberty blue".

I made a few changes in my reproduction/interpretation: I chose to use two different pink fabrics and I changed the sashing using a striped fabric rather the pieced on-point squares of the original. There were little applique diamonds surrounding the stars which I eliminated and instead used small triangles in the corners of each block.

I hand quilted this quilt very simply-multiple echo quilting around the stars, outline quilting the sashing and dog tooth border and quilting a narrow cable in the white border.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bow Quilt finished

I finished the first quilt for the New Year’s Eve Challenge: the Bow quilt.

I meander quilted the bows and outlined quilted the background in the blocks.

I quilted a little bow in the sashing

and a wonky cable in the border.

Today I pin-basted two more tops from the pile: I chose them because they were the right size for the two leftover pieces of batting I had… sometimes it pays to have a closet full of tops.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Quilt tops to quilt

Here’s the first top I’ll tackle for Finn’s New Year’s Eve Challenge. It has been in the closet for at least 12 years – look at the fabrics, “smells like the ‘90s” doesn’t it? Amazingly I still have the fabric for the border-I just kept passing it over, saying to myself that it was for the Bow quilt. Now I’m so glad I did.

Here’s the pile I’ll choose the next top from.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Vintage Thursday Thingie: Chenille Bedspread

I love using this ‘30s Chenille spread in our guest room-it makes it springtime no matter what date it is on the calendar. This spread has been well loved and is, in fact, “balding” in the center (but then, bald is good :).

Scroll down to my last post to see my reproduction of a vintage quilt: the Poppy quilt by Marie Webster.

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