Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pumpkin Extravaganza

Come the cool fall weather, I get a real hankering for pumpkin. A slice or two of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving isn’t nearly enough to satisfy my seasonal craving, so I’m always on the look-out for alternative treats.

My friend, Linda, brought me an extravaganza of pumpkin goodies recently: cream cheese frosted pumpkin bars, muffins, cookies, and whoopee pies, each delicious and rich with pumpkiny flavor. To give proper credit, her daughter, Emma, did all the baking. Can you imagine how good their house must have smelled?

Here’s an autumn inspired doll quilt with a pumpkin theme. The pattern is Pumpkin Seed, a slight variation of the popular Orange Peel design. In this case, the appliquéd segments are a bit narrower than the more robust Orange Peel.

18” x 21”

My friend and former QBU colleague, Mary Radke, made the quilt top for me, using Cherrywood hand dyed cotton fabrics. Mary machine appliquéd each pumpkin seed segment to a background square. I hand quilted, outlining each segment and continuing the pumpkin seed design into the border. The design turned the corners nicely at the top of the quilt, but since the bottom corners were unresolved, I filled the space with the date of completion.

Have a great Thanksgiving. I’m very thankful for you!

Monday, November 1, 2010

To Everything There Is A Season

These are the Autumn Purple Ash trees in front of our house, as they looked a couple weeks ago. Their peak fall color is short lived, so I‘m glad we managed to capture it. Just a few days after these pictures were taken, the blustery weather left them with nary a leaf.

There’s been a flurry of change and emotion within our home, as well. Both our sons moved out of the house this fall and I’m struggling with an“empty nest.” For those who’ve not experienced this firsthand, it may be hard to appreciate the distinction between kids who live at college 9 months of the year and those who move away from home permanently. Trust me, it's different.

I asked a friend how she’s coped with her four kids leaving home. She replied that all we can do is hope our fledgling children are happy, safe, and doing well (they are). Anything else is my problem (yep). I’ve actually seen both boys since they moved and can report that I didn’t need nearly as much Kleenex when saying goodbye the second time around.

What’s been adding to the upheaval is that we’re simultaneously transitioning my senior parents from their home of forty years into supervised care. Dad’s dementia and Mom’s tenuous health make it impossible for them to live on their own anymore. Dad moved into an assisted living facility near my brother’s family in Ohio, and seems to be adjusting well to his new surroundings and routine. Mom, on the other hand, keeps bouncing between hospital and rehab, while fighting a nasty infection. She can’t make the move under her current circumstances, and I fear she never will.

So, in an effort to keep this space moderately quilt related (and take my mind off the above for awhile), here’s an autumn inspired quilt I made in the late 1990’s. The anvil blocks measure 8” and when set on point, strippy style, make a handsome quilt.

It was custom machine quilted by a gal who has since sold her machine and retired to Arizona (to take up golf). Boy, do I miss her! Passing a quilt to Robyn was always a pleasure, trusting that whatever design she chose would be perfect for the quilt.

Can you see the feathered wreath she fit inside each block?

Quilt lore has it that many antique quilts were made with dark fabrics to hide dirt and stains between infrequent launderings. I make mine that way just because I like the way they look.