Thursday, June 9, 2016

Oh my goodness, it is JUNE!

"I'm here, I'm here"...I feel like a student who has dozed off during class.  It has been very eventful around here since the last time I posted!

I think this is the center medallion for my little Repro Madness project featuring the LITTLE TREASURES 6-inch applique blocks that I have been drawing (available here).

I have been so wishy-washy about making quilting decisions.  Too much other stuff going on.  

I feel kind of "quiltstipated" (quilt constipated). I am even making up words to describe my condition...yep, I am a doctors' daughter.  

We made a marathon trip to Michigan and Pennsylvania to see friends, spend time with my FIL, and ultimately get my daughter and her friend to New York City to see the Broadway musical, "Hamilton."  My husband flew up to his Dad's, and worked from Swarthmore for 2 weeks.  Meanwhile, I moved Riley out of the dorm and did all the driving to make the trip happen...whew!

That was a lot of driving, then we came home to get ready for lots of family being here for the week around Memorial Day.

I had doodled this block a while ago, thinking I would use it in another Baltimore album quilt project.  The more I stared at those tiny applique blocks and pieced accompanying blocks from Mary and Ola, the more I thought the center medallion should be a big block.  

I am not going to trim it down for a while...part of me is still not sure. Then, I wonder if the block needs a little something some random pieces of fruit under the vase...or just leave a lot of open space for some kick-ass hand quilting!

I am still struggling with fabric choices for flowers in this project. Using the reproduction fabrics introduces difficulties in trying to add perspective and shading to the blossoms.

Oh yes, and then the blueberries started ripening Memorial Day weekend in North Alabama.  I have spent lots of really early mornings and very late evenings avoiding the heat and direct sun to harvest beautiful berries...

They are so pretty after the rain...I got soaked on this particular morning, leaning into the bushes to pick.  I am working on a drawing to capture the beauty of all the colors that a blueberry can be before becoming tastily ripe!

I have been putting them, dry, on cookie pans, freezing them solid, then putting them in containers, jars, and bags.  I have to work quickly to transfer the frozen berries, but if successful, they don't stick together and can be used by the handful, the "each," or in bulk.

It is Heaven to come in from working in the heat, getting a handful of frozen berries, and popping them in the mouth, one-by-one. Ahhh...

At some point, I want to find a recipe for a low- or no-sugar blueberry spread that I can put up in jars.  Something like a jam. Does anyone out there have a good recipe for something like that??

I am still trying to catch up on stitching all the 6-inch blocks I've is another one from the LITTLE TREASURES Flowers (2) bundle.  I named them Belly Flowers...

Trying to find my groove is continuing to be a challenge.  There is so much to do around the property, so trying to find my own time for designing and sewing is own guilt-free time. There is more family coming this month...third and fourth weekends in June.

Plus, my daughter is home for the summer, so we have been playing a lot of music together...her playing French horn or singing with me on piano.  THAT is awesome time together that is well spent!

Many of you have asked about the blocks on my header.  Those are blocks I was working on over two years ago.  We had recently celebrated our 20-year wedding anniversary, and I was in a playful mood, trying to come up with designs to celebrate that event.  Then the accident happened.  

My mojo around that project has been hard to find, but I think I have come up with a center 16-inch block that I love! I am hoping that will motivate me further.  I have seven 10-inch blocks done and ideas for the additional five that I need.

The quilting constipation, or "quiltstipation," in my life has got to stop!  It is time to move forward!

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)


  1. I have wondered what you are up to now that you don't blog as often as you used to - that is a beautiful music room that you have and so nice that your daughter will be with you for the summer. Do you have a lot of blueberry plants I know this is a big property you are caring for and didn't realize you had blueberries too - I get mine from my brother's farm - I do not have a sugar free recipe though. The way I freeze mine is to wash them then lay them all out on a bath towel for several hours to dry in an out of the way spot - the dining room table and/or the floor - when they are dry put them directly into the freezer bags and freeze they do not stick together because they are already dry. Good luck on a jam recipe or spread - mine never seems to be thick enough

  2. Since I "harvest" my blueberries from the grocery store, by the pint, I only make a small amount of jam at a time. Here's my method for one pint of blueberries and 1/8 cup Splenda:

    Rinse the berries. Pick off any stems. Discard any bruised/rotten berries. In a small saucepan, cook the berries over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the berries start to lose their juice. Turn up the heat and continue to cook the berries for about 5 more minutes, mashing berries as they get softer. Add 1/8 cup Splenda and stir well. Boil hard for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Makes about 1/2 pint of jam. (Use more or less sweetener, depending on your taste.)

  3. I have found that these times of absolute blankness or quiltsipation as you call it will lead to a burst of creativity and energy. It is a cocoon phases as it were to your butterfly. So don't despair-it will end soon with much good to come out of it.

  4. Your new medical term is very descriptive. I've been there. I love your center block and the reproduction fabrics don't detract from the shading aspect. They just magically blend in with each other to give the bouquet a wonderful realistic look. Wish my kids would come home and play their instruments. . . I'm jealous.

  5. I think your pot of flowers block is wonderful! Love the mix of fabrics you used. Will make a very good medallion center. Are you going to pattern it?

  6. Really like the flower basket. I used a low sugar pectin with berries and it was very good jam. What fun to spend time playing music, you probably play well together.

  7. I was going to email you yesterday and I looked and you had sent a reply back to me. Both of us have had a lot of upset in the last year and we will slowly find our path back to creativity. Life is hard enough without having as many upsets as we have had. I have been looking at your favorite site way to much and trying to get inspired.I think it is slowly working for me. As you get more settled in your surroundings and get organized you find a clear path. Hopefully you have some time to be creative and find your path through the mine field of life. I really like your center block. It is really interesting how you used your fabrics. Chris

  8. Your applique is so beautiful! Creativity comes and goes for me. I have learned to just go with the flow. I can't force it but when it does come I love it!

  9. I had never seen all of the stages of color of blueberries. They are beautiful!

  10. Lovely berries, of course it is winter here in New Zealand so we have a wee wait until we have that type of colour. More wonderful blocks from you. Nice to see your daughter playing the french horn, our home is filled with my husband playing the trumpet......thank goodness he can actually play the thing or it would be quite painful! :-)

  11. Oh, the blueberries are coming here soon and I'll be out there picking. Hubby thinks he needs blueberries every day. I do miss the blueberry farm from Florida but there's a small one nearby here, so we're not totally out of luck. Love all your little works. I can't even imagine. Maybe one of these days you can show me how.

  12. Teresa, your blog is the only one I could read every day. I find it inspirational yet down to earth. The applique center block is gorgeous - I love the curves. As soon as you said something about changing the block, immediately I saw a tiny pieced border of little diamonds going around all four sides with another border of cream/ivory before you add the other blocks. My mother used to freeze blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries like you do. Throughout the winter she would use them in blueberry muffins. She would add a bit of lemon juice and sugar to the recipe which really made the flavors sing. I can't wait to see the blueberry block(s)!

  13. I love your new word "quiltstipated". It is exactly describes what happens to us! Do you mind we (the quilting world) starts to use this?

  14. Wow, that's a lot going on. Your block is lovely. Ohhh, the blueberries, they make me hungry for cobbler. I would love to hear your playing/singing together.
    As always, thank you for sharing your wonderful talents.

  15. I just love to see your appliqué work! And those blueberries--yum!

  16. Enjoy your blog! Would love to read update about your hand and about Weasley?

  17. Oh, I was going to tell you, when you freeze your blueberries - use parchment paper or freezer paper to line the pan. They won't freeze to that like they do to the dish towel. Also, use your salad spinner to dry them. Hugs to you and yours!

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  19. FUN post! Beautiful blueberries . . . I miss being able to eat handfuls of them (their tiny little seeds don't always agree with me).

  20. Wonderful to read your new post Teresa, and I understand completely what you're talking about ... how is it June already? It seems like this year has just begun and we're already half way through!
    I just love the block you've been working on, the flowers are just lovely and the shape of the vase is fabulous! Keep up the wonderful work when you have the spare minutes!

  21. Thank you so very much for all the close ups of those gorgeous Civil War reproduction fabrics. It tickled me to be able to pick out ones that are in my own stash! Your flowers are fabulous in the applique!

  22. I don't know what accident you had, but I have such arthritis (and other things) going on with my hands and arms, that I understand stitching with and through pain. Your blocks are lovely.

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