Monday, July 28, 2014

Humming on the Radio

Tune in today to listen to a live conversation between me and Pat Sloan! Monday, July 28, 4 pm (eastern)

http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/magazines-more/quilting-podcast

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Alaska or Bust!

After many long months of planning, I headed out of town for the Breakfast at Sea Alaskan Quilt Cruise with Quilt Retreat at Sea. Scroll down to see the first installment of the photo album from our incredible journey.



It's a long, long flight from Syracuse to Seattle, where we were to board the cruise ship. A glance out the window on the plane, and a dramatic change in the size of the mountain (volcano) peaks, and it was confirmed. . . almost there.



Arriving in Seattle a couple of days ahead of the cruise launch, I was able to spend some time with a dear friend. After lunch and a short walk along Alki Beach, I had to do a double take--Statue of Liberty--I thought I had left New York?! This one was a gift to Seattle from the Boy Scouts.



Beautiful Seattle from the west.



. . . and from Pike Place Market.



After a day of spa pampering, Ashley and I ventured out to do the 'tourist thing' at Pike Place Market.



Where you can find, seafood. . .



. . .  more seafood. . .



Veggies. . .



. . . and fresh flowers. Lots and lots of them. At a very reasonable price!



This poster had to come home with me!



Undercover Quilts, in Pike Place Market was a 'required' stop!



Mmm. Yummy fabrics!



Back at Ashley's house, a familiar silhouette in some high branches. A good omen, I think!



Finally, it's time to set sail . . . Our vessel, The Rhapsody of the Seas.



On board and a peek over the balcony. Holy luggage, Batman! It's amazing how all this gets delivered with unbelievable efficiency!



And we're off. Beautiful Seattle in the sparkling sun from the ship.



While, far off Mount Rainier looms.



The first of many desserts on board. The Sail Away cake was SO yummy!



We made lots of new friends. Some of them crafted from towels!



The washroom in the state room was a half-step up. This picture pretty much captures what I looked like every time I had to 'go.' It must have taken me three days to get used to that stupid step up.



The scenery along the coast follows a consistent theme. Mountains. Water. Clouds. And a bit of sun here and there.



And majestic.



Our first port. Juneau, Alaska.



Brooks directed us to our first tour bus. He's a recent transplant to Alaska. When asked whether he planned to stay past the summer tourist season, his reply: Depends on whether I find a girlfriend. So here's a shameless plug on Brooks' behalf: He's available. Tall. Quite pleasant. And a real cutie pie. Know anyone?



RainTree Quilting in Juneau, was our first quilty stop since boarding the ship.



No one found anything to purchase. (Yah, right)



What a surprise . . . Terry photobombing Helene as she contemplates her next quilt project.



We continued on to Mendenhall Glacier.



Wow. Just wow!



That's an eagle perched on a ice float, one of many spotted on the trip. This one was not making the terns very happy.



More birds. Baby barn swallows.



And beautiful wildflowers everywhere you looked.



One more quilt shop stop, Changing Tides in downtown Juneau.



Quilty fabrics, and tons of gifty stuff.




Time to head back to the ship, so I can continue tripping my way into Alaska!

To be continued  . . . (yes, incredibly, I have more pictures to share next time!)


Happy Stitching!


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Happy Cake!

With the long weekend ahead, I thought I'd share a simple recipe that is perfectly suitable for a picnic get-together. Also known as Sunshine Cake, this simple recipe for Happy Cake came to me when I was at Needle in a Haystack Retreat earlier this year. Whenever quilters get together to sew, the conversation swirls around sewing and so many other things, too. Including easy recipes. And this one fits the bill. Enjoy!



Just a few simple ingredients that may already be in your pantry: lemon cake mix (could be yellow or white, too!), lemon flavored instant pudding mix, a large can of mandarin oranges, and a large can of pineapple, non-dairy whipped topping, and some sort of garnish--in my case crushed sour lemon ball candies--the garnish is optional.



Preheat the oven following the cake mix directions, and mix together the cake mix and the mandarin oranges, complete with any liquid in the can. . .



Mix it up good! And spread it in a greased and floured 9x13" baking pan.



Bake following the temperature and timing instructions on the cake mix box. Cool completely.



While the cake is baking and cooling, mix together the undrained pineapple and the pudding mix. Place the mixture in the refrigerator to set. When the cake is done and cooled, fold the pineapple mixture with the whipped topping.



Spread the pineapple topping on the cake and garnish as desired. I'm not sure I would use the crushed candy next time. When I placed the frosted cake in the refrigerator the candy dissolved, leaving nice lemony flavor but pools of liquid lemon drops. Not bad, but not appealing. Next time I might add some lemon zest or just leave it alone!



Yum!

As promised last week, here are a couple more row patterns that I wrote for the Row by Row Experience. Some details about Row by Row:

 - It starts on July 1
 - You travel from shop to shop (1,250 of them are participating in the US and Canada!)
 - Pick up a free pattern
 - Repeat until you have at least 8 rows then put a quilt together using the patterns you collected to be eligible for great prizes
 - Or keep repeating, collecting, and sewing rows to your heart's content. Make a quilt, or a table runner, or whatever you like from the row patterns you collected for a memento of a great summer-long quilt shop hop.

Head to Uniontown, Pennsylvania, and Sew Special to pick up the row pattern for Winter Cardinals.



And, last, but not least, Calico Gals in Syracuse, New York, the home of the Row by Row Experience is where you can pick up the pattern for Flurrious Winter.



These two rows have an extra border sewn on to the actual row so you can turn the row into a unique table topper or wall-hanging. Of course, you can ask for kits for everything at both shops! The row pattern is free for the asking when you stop in the store.

You can find more information and answers to your questions on the Row by Row Experience website.

If you pick up one of the row patterns I wrote, tell the shop owner I said, "Hey!"

This week I'm at Adirondack Quilt Camp in Long Lake, NY. Between the quilty classes I'm teaching I took advantage of a few minutes on the beach right around sunset. . . . (I seriously need a pedicure!!)


Life is good!



Happy Stitching!
joan

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Names and Places

All quilted now. Last week I showed a preliminary photo of this table runner. The pattern didn't have a name yet, and I put out a request for ideas. Wowee! Did I ever get some great responses! Thank you so much! The pattern is now at the printer and won't be available yet for another week or two . . . in the meantime, let me introduce . . .



. . . the Toss Across Runner! Many thanks to Mary Jean R. from northern New York. Hey, MJ, send me your mailing address and I'll send you a copy of the pattern once it's in stock! The pattern should be showing up at your local quilt shop--ask them to carry it--or watch for it in the Hummingbird Highway shopping cart in a few weeks!

As for the Row by Row Experience. Here's a few things you might want to know:

 - It starts on July 1
 - You travel from shop to shop (1,250 of them are participating in the US and Canada!)
 - Pick up a free pattern
 - Repeat until you have at least 8 rows then put a quilt together using the patterns you collected to be eligible for great prizes
 - Or keep repeating, collecting, and sewing rows to your heart's content. Make a quilt, or a table runner, or whatever you like from the row patterns you collected for a memento of a great summer-long quilt shop hop.

You can find more information and answers to your questions on the Row by Row Experience website.

As for me, I'm proud and honored to have provided the row patterns for a small handful of the many shops across the country who are participating. This week, I'd like to introduce you to three of the row patterns I wrote. I'll even tell you where you can find them!

Here's the row pattern you can pick up at The Quilt Foundry in Maumee, Ohio. It's called Summer Sails.



And if you're traveling through Kansas, maybe you should swing by The Sunflower Quilt Shop in Hiawatha. Their row is called Autumn Parade.



As long as you are in the middle states, a drive through neighboring Nebraska and a visit to The Quilt Basket in York will allow you to pick up Summer Kernels. Hey, I know the rows are supposed to be horizontal, but I just couldn't resist creating a Nebraska corn stalk. And the shop owner agreed with me!



And here's the Quilt Basket row rotated so you don't have to get a kink in your neck to look at it!



And just a heads-up, don't even try to call or email the shops and ask them to send you a pattern in the mail or over the internet. There aren't many rules with Row by Row, but one big one is that you have to visit the shop in person to get your pattern! So hop in the car, mini-van, scooter, or mobile home, be safe, have fun, and send me pictures, especially if you pick up one of the row patterns I designed. And tell the shop owner I said, "Hey!"

Next week I'll show you the rest of the row patterns I worked on.

Happy Stitching!