County Fair Extraordinaire

Hello!  It’s Cindy hosting the blog today.

Last week, the Delaware County Fair was in progress here in Central Ohio and even with temperatures in the 90’s (not to mention the humidity level), it was a lot of fun!

Of course I have a quilt report for you!  Here are some highlights:

The fabrics in this quilt spoke to me!  The hand quilting made it even more special and as you can see, the judges thought so too!

These poinsettias were lovely and the applique was something I can only aspire to!  Check out the cute little french knots in the center.

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This quilt with batik fabric stems and leaves was just incredible!  I could have studied it for hours, admiring the fabrics, the colors and the quilting.

I’m working on my own “Grandmother’s Flower Garden” quilt and so I spent time studying this.  I always appreciate the antique quilt entries because we have so much to learn from the quilters of days gone by.

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These embroidered blocks were beautiful on their own, but adding them to a quilt made them even more special.  The outline quilting was precise and must have taken a lot of time.

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Moving on to the knitting section, how pretty is this?

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What’s a county fair without agricultural products?  Baked potatoes, anyone?

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These were pretty, stuffed peppers for dinner?

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How cute is this pumpkin pig???  Very creative!

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How about this teal pumpkin with bling?  Very cute and a real eye catcher!

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Well, this concludes my Delaware County Fair Extraordinaire tour for 2018.  I hope it inspires your creativity in quilting, cooking or crafting!

Have a great week!

 

 

Let us discuss: Quilting and Floating

I know what you’re thinking – “whenever Sandy is blogging and she starts to discuss swimming, we’re in for a discussion about skinny dipping at the farm pond.”

Your thinking would be correct. The scene of the recent crime.

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However, happily, I have another new kind of floating experience to share with you. This is a spa treatment. A sort of sensory deprivation experience where you are floating in an enclosed dark tank that is filled with 900 lbs (not a typo) of Epsom Salts and 10 inches of water. The water is at body temperature. You are free from the confines of clothing. Tibetan chimes are playing softly on the speaker (if you wish). The lights are off (if you wish). Then you step into the tank, relax and float away, with your mind drifting to wherever it wants to run. The Epsom Salts provides buoyancy – once you step into the tank you float effortlessly. It is healing. The water (and you) are neither hot, nor cold. (There isn’t a bug, a snapping turtle or a nosy neighbor driving slowly down the road to worry about!)

How did I find myself and our 83-year-old mother floating in two tanks of Epsom Salts, you might ask? Stay with me here…

While Cindy was visiting earlier in the summer, mom fell down a flight of stairs. Thankfully Cindy was there to assist at the time, but mom has just been hurting ever since. Different aches and pains pop up and we’ve taken her to several doctors, but she is in pain, not sleeping, and getting minimal relief with non-opioid pain killers (opioids being too scary to even consider). Post-tumble, Mom went to Florida to visit our older sister for a few weeks and someone there recommended a regular bath with lavender-scented Epsom Salts. Sue and Mom tried it and she felt better, but the pain in her knee promptly returned.

Last weekend I read an article about floating in an old issue of Life in the Finger Lakes (our version of “Southern Living” magazine). The feature was about Inner Peace Floats in quaint and charming Watkins Glen New York. (You really have to come here and vacation – Watkins Glen State Park has been voted the 3rd best state park in the country! Plus – I have heard that there is lots of wine in the area!!!)

Would you believe that Inner Peace Floats is in a building that used to house a quilt shop that I used to frequent? Now isn’t it true that everything comes back to quilting???

But I digress. What I really wanted to tell you is that my mother, who was brave enough to try something new, experienced profound relief from her knee pain as the result of that 1 hour float on Monday. She still plans to go back to the orthopedic doctor to discuss the root cause of the pain, but she is currently sleeping pain free and she is moving around as normal. Now, I don’t know if it was the floating naked part (which I am certain is therapeutic  <grin>) or the addition of the Epsom Salts, but I would highly recommend “floating” for pain management.

Now back to quilting:

True Blue (from Spice of Life Quilts) has been photographed for posterity and mailed to my friend for her retirement gift.

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The tree skirt I planned for my bestie is finally completed. I will deliver it in person in November when I meet her for a fall girlfriend getaway – I bought my tickets to Tampa today!

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Cindy and I created a beautiful quilt for our mother as a Christmas gift. I’m working on the binding while I watch Pride and Prejudice (I’ve never seen it or read the book and it comes highly recommended by Cindy). I’m enjoying the costumes and the formalities and the restrained British sensibilities — while I anxiously await season 4 of Outlander LOL!

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Tomorrow is a sewing vacation day with my friends/quilting mentors!

Are you imagining fall in the north? Here’s an interactive map that will help you track peak leaf-peeping opportunities.

Float on.

 

In a Jelly Roll Jam

Cindy reporting in from Ohio!

Last week, Sandy said she was in a pickle.  This week, I am in a jam…that would be a jelly roll jam!

When Sandy was here in August, she left behind 4 jelly rolls (psssst, me thinks she “accidentally” forgot them!)  These Bali Pops from Hoffman Fabrics are very nice.  There is a wide selection of brights and darks with lots of texture.

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The Sun Print fabrics by Alison Glass are pretty and cheerful.

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I bought this Dot Crazy jelly roll from Weeks Ringle when Sandy and I were in Chicago for the 2018 Quilt Festival.  Weeks and Bill Kerr are the co-founders of Modern Quilt Studio and we very much enjoyed talking with Weeks about their modern fabric design and quilting journey.

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So to summarize my jam, 4 Sandy jelly rolls + 1 Cindy jelly roll = 5 Cindy jelly rolls!

What should I do with 5 jelly rolls?  I think I have some choices here:

A.  Break apart the jelly roll packages, mix all 5 fabric lines together and sort the strips by color.

B.  Keep each jelly roll package intact to “stay true” to the fabric line.

C.  Entertain an unknown option I haven’t even considered.

What would you do?  Let me know!

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In a Pickle

It’s Sandy here, with a late summer farm <and quilting> report.

I’ve spent the last eight days babying along a batch of icicle pickles. These sweet pickles were a staple of our childhood, and I hate to say it, but I have traditionally been more of a dill/sour pickle lover myself. Mom makes icicles nearly every year and this year after being gifted with a box of cucumbers from a friend’s garden, she had to go out of town. That meant that the daily pickling chores were left to me.

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Day 1 of my week in pickles.

The recipe is very simple, if a little lengthy. It takes 8 days (albeit only 15 minutes on each of the days) to accomplish the task. I forgot to take a picture of mom’s recipe, but here is a ‘modern’ version — one that contains exact measures. Mom’s recipe calls for a “walnut-sized” scoop of alum and a “handful” of pickling spices.  What??? Apparently there were no OCD people in olden times.

I love canning time of year! It makes the house smell amazing and it makes me feel like I’m creating a gift for my family. Jams, jellies, tomatoes, corn, peaches, apple pie filling — they are all part of the late summer canning ritual on the farm. I remember a time in Texas when a dear friend of mine passed away suddenly — I spent that afternoon making jam while trying to ground myself and contemplate the loss.

Putting away food helps to connect me to my place and it fills the house with the most delicious smells.

Now as I said, I was never a fan of icicle pickles. However, I have to let you know that I grabbed a few this week before they were in the jar and I am now obsessed with these pickles. Time’s change, you know?

More evidence of times changing: it’s been many years since Cindy and I were captives on the farm and required to make hay all summer. That meant hauling around hundreds of bales of hay and unloading them from a wagon into the hay mow in the barn. Oh how we hated that work and those summer days, but miraculously, we both look back on them fondly.

Dad doesn’t have animals anymore, so he sells his hay to a local mega-dairy farmer. Here’s hay-making on the farm nowadays.

 

It’s still not officially fall, but I have been working on Christmas gifts. Cindy helped me finish up my long-delayed log cabin tree skirt and I’ve attached the binding, so depending on how you look at it, I’m way ahead of schedule or only two years behind in my Christmas sewing/gifting!

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Preparing to bond with my tree skirt!

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Looking back. It’s so easy to remember walking these fields looking for cows. I miss cows. 

Today is primary day in New York. The polls are open until 9 pm. If you are from the Empire State, don’t forget to vote! Free pattern.

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