Thursday, September 25, 2014

Family visit






Ken and Patty, my brother and sister-in-law, are on their way home to Florida after spending some of the summer in the Adirondacks and stopped to visit us for a couple of days.















Ken discovered Bill's resting spot in the gazebo that's been almost totally overtaken by the wisteria.  This sheltered area stays relatively cool even on very warm days, and is well hidden from casual view.












Patty just completed this quilt for her guild's challenge, "50 Shades of Gray."   She made each block to reference her Southern heritage and the Civil War.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Millie




Our feral cat continues to avoid human contact, but enjoys the developed parts of our garden property. 

Here she surveys the lily pond, which also contains lots of frogs!

Some of the perennial gardens spread out behind her.















Now she had moved to the goldfish pond nearer to the house.  Her reflection in the pond mirrors her intense interest.












  Our autumn clematis is at full bloom and covers the lattice roof of a garden pergola.  The structure is about eight feet high and adds strength and diversity to our garden design.

Friday, September 19, 2014

LaConner Festival

  





Gaches Mansion is the home of the LaConner Quilt and Textile Museum in LaConner, Washington.

Their 2014 Quilt and Fiber Art Festival opens October 2.


I'm very happy that four of my quilts were accepted and are now on their way to be in the festival.







Storm Clouds at Sunrise   (34h X 66w)













Whirlpool   (70h X 73w)





















Yellow Brick Road  (54h X 50w)





Doormats  (49h X 67w)

















Tuesday, September 16, 2014

SAQA notecards




I am a member of the Studio Art Quilt Associates, and am pleased to be one of the artists whose work was selected to be included in this set of notecards. 

The notecards are available from www.saqa.com.

  Top row: 
Linda Anderson   "Where We Met"
Salley Mavor  "Birds of Beebe Woods" 
Grace Wever  "Enraptured I"
Cindy Grisdela  "Green Totem"

  Middle row:
Susan V. Polansky  "No One but You"
Maya Schonenberger  "Miracle of Life"
B. J. Adams  "Six Birds"

  Bottom row:
Marcia DeCamp  "Whirlpool"
Betty Busby  "Sand Dollar Spectrum"
Flois Flam  "Vistas"
            












Saturday, September 13, 2014

In the garden








This wonderful, scary spider, or a close relative, appears each year some place in our garden.  This iteration took residence in our red raspberries.  We dare you to reach in there!

















We don't know the name of this yellow-flowering beauty, but enjoy it never-the-less.  It likes the shade, and blooms every year without needing much attention.  Isn't it nice that nature presents her gifts, labeled or not...












We have multiple plantings of this Jack Frost, with their beautiful veined leaf pattern, and pretty small blue flowers in the spring.  We thought two of them were lost over the harsh winter and acquired two more --- Now we have four!







We have many groupings of hostas.  We should find time to separate them and start others.  There are always more jobs than time in our extensive gardens!





Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tomatoes







We had a wonderful tomato-growing season with several bushels produced at the ready for our use.  The tomatoes were of high quality with few blemishes or insect damage.










We made 40+ quarts of stewed tomatoes.  They make a very good addition to a winter meal, either as a stand-alone or as an ingredient in other entrees such as chili.















The second picking included lots of Italian roma tomatoes along with the other large and small varieties.  These baskets plus four more already on hand provided an ample supply for making spaghetti sauce.
















The first step in sauce making is to clean and cook the produce in our two large pots.  Celery, green peppers, hot peppers, onions and garlic are added.  Several pecks of tomatoes are compressed and used in this step.













A nice fall day made the outside filtering a pleasant task.  (The "squeezo" machine removes the tomato skins and seeds.)  This type of unskilled labor fits Bill's profile, and he is quite good at it!












The sauce is then cooked down to thicken, spices are added, and the colorful final result is bottled.

Twenty minutes in a boiling-water bath seals the lids, and our 25+ quarts are stored away.  A lot of work -- but we know exactly what went into the recipe and will enjoy the results all year long!


















Sunday, September 7, 2014

Harvesting






More evidence of a bountiful harvest!
The tomatoes on the left came from plants raised from seed by Jane Kuitems at her Herb Farm in Webster and are an example of her heirloom collection.  We always get several of her plants for our garden.








The red raspberries are a result of our careful care and year-round attention to the bushes.  We have been picking two, and sometimes three, quarts each day.  We freeze those that aren't eaten, by spreading them out on trays in the freezer before boxing them up. 










Our green peppers were perfect this year, and certainly larger than usual.  They, along with the whole garden, prospered with the 7 inches of rain in July!












Of course, we made stuffed peppers -- several panfuls to fill the freezer.  They make a quick and delicious meal on a winter night!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Sewing day

 



Jeanne and her friend, Anne from Toronto, came for a sewing day.














They were working hard on creating a wonderful quilt that Jeanne is going to give as a gift.

Nancy was also sewing and also working on her own composition in blue fabrics.












Anne gifted me with one of the wonderful small bags she made --Lovely!

















And she gave Nancy one that she made with floral fabric.

The mud cloth bag in the background is one that Nancy got at Craft Bits & Pieces.













Also from Craft Bits & Pieces -- Nancy got this curtain and is thinking about how she might save the blocks and use them in something else.















Jeanne showed us her best bargain -- this great kimono that she bought at an estate sale.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Grape jelly








Our grape vines are mature (planted in 1969), and they produce a reliable  crop each year.  We have Concord and Niagara in our small planting.



















The first step in jelly making involves selection of those picked and washing the good ones we plan to use.


















We cook them in a small amount of water until the individual grapes lose their color.

















The grapes are pushed through a sieve to separate the juice from the pulp.
















The juice is stored in plastic jugs which are refrigerated for later jelly making.  Some will be frozen and can be kept for a long time before being used. 

As you can see the purple concord grapes dominate the color of the juice.












Adding pectin and sugar, boiling at low heat, and filling the jars completes the task.  We freeze the final product for best flavor...  Yum, Yum!!

Monday, September 1, 2014

It's my week!



My Earthquake Faults quilt is included in this year's Quilt Art Engagement calendar published by AQS (American Quilter's Society).

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Barn work




We had a full day of excavator work done by Dave Pulcini and just wish that nephew Dylan could have been here to watch it all.  He would have loved it!


The project was to clear all the sod and vegetation away from the foundations of both barns. 














We are uncovering the base boards to determine how many and what percent need to be replaced.  There is some deterioration in spots with rot and rust evident.
















The back of the barn at the entrances to the horse stalls was similarly cleaned and scraped level.  Dave was very skilled, and it was a pleasure to watch him work.












The west end of the horse barn was clogged with old volunteer trees and heavy vines featuring the rope-like wild grape (terrible stuff!).  The material was piled away from the structure -- with its final destination to be determined.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Class reunion





One of our classmates who lives in Texas was traveling through our area over the weekend.  Since he hadn't attended any reunions in several decades, it gave us a good excuse for a mini-reunion.

We gathered on the deck at JD Wine Cellars at Longacre Farms in Macedon.








Without a lot of advance notice or planning, we had a good turnout and a great time.  There's talk of making this a yearly event.












Thanks go to Joan for getting us organized and planning a wonderful party.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Sewing day





Linda and Jeanne came to the studio for some sewing time, and Nancy joined us for a time, although she is sidelined from sewing til her hand heals.













Jeanne worked on this new shoulder bag, shown here with the top flap opened up.

And she modeled it for us in the picture below.