Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Blueberries


Recently I took the boys blueberry picking.  I wasn't sure how it would go since they are both still young but I remember picking berries every year as a child and I want to continue the tradition with my kids.  Dominic liked it so much that he said he wanted to do it again and he picked almost as many berries as I did!  Malcolm on the other hand was trouble - he was happy to watch and wander until he figured out that you could eat them and then he picked and ate so many I was afraid he was going to be sick!


What do you do with 4 pounds of blueberries?  Make spiced blueberry jam!


I've made this recipe for several years now and I've made a few changes to suite our tastes.  I'm not a big fan of star anise so I use cloves instead and I also add a teaspoon of cinnamon.  And, I use only 2 1/4 cups sugar and half the vinegar.  It turned out wonderful.  It does smell like cider vinegar when you first open a fresh jar but it never tastes like it.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Stars


The Seattle Modern Quilt Guild is doing a star quilt-a-long.  I've always loved star quilts (in fact, my first two quilts were 9-patch stars) and I immediately started searching for a new/different type of star quilt to make when I realized that I have two star quilts in progress already!  My 60 degree diamond stars and my wonky stars project.  My diamond star quilt is all hand done using the English paper piecing method.  I used to carry it with me all the time and I made 60-70 stars before I put it aside for a while since I ran out of templates and fabric!  Three months later (and lots of fabric shopping and scrap trading) I have another set of templates and lots of fabric to cut into so I started work on it again.  I didn't realized how much I missed working on it until I started up on it - I find the handwork very relaxing. 


This past week the boys and I headed over to the Olympic Sculpture Garden in downtown Seattle and had a lovely picnic in the sun and then we discovered a children's play table in the cafe/gift shop building.  The boys were happy to sit and play out of the sun and I was happy to sit and stitch!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Laundry soap


This past week we made our own laundry soap.  I remember making soap when I was little with my Grandma (except we used ivory soap instead of the Fels Naptha).  It's super easy and quick - even Dominic helped. 


I used this recipe.  And I only spent about $6 on the supplies and easily have enough for 4-5 batches of soap.  It works well so far and it's very eco-friendly. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Seattle Modern Quilt Guild show

The Seattle Modern Quilt Guild held the opening of its first show last Friday night at the Island Quilter.  The opening was wonderful - lots of people came and I had a lovely evening chatting with the Guild ladies and fabric shopping.  The Island Quilter is a fantastic shop with an amazing selection and this huge gallery space that is just perfect for displaying quilts. 



This was the first time I've ever had a quilt in a show!  I finished my Wonky Pinwheel quilt just in time to submit it.





What I loved about the show was the tremendous variety of quilts.  Everyone was modern but modern in a different way and each really shows the personality of the quilter. 



There was some amazing hand quilting,



beautiful simplicity,



to scrappy love,



and all the baby quilts hung in a row.