Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tasting Table Tuesday - AAQI

Is it Tuesday again already?  How time flies!  Especially when you're having this much fun.  I spent a WONDERFUL week with my daughter and grand-daughter, although it wasn't entirely restful.  The yard sale was tons of work - as they always are - but we managed to get rid of a fair amount of "stuff".  The leftovers are all loaded in my car ready for donation and/or consignment.

Now I'm busy getting ready to quilt Haberdashery.  I finished basting it today - now I just have to clear off my table and get my Juki ready and I hope to finish quilting by the end of the week.  We'll see...

You may have noticed the "AAQI" in the title of this post.  If you haven't heard of it before, it stands for "Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative".  Created by Ami Simms, this organization sells and auctions small art quilts and uses the proceeds to fund Alzheimer's research.  It's a wonderful organization, and you can read more about it by clicking on this link.

I made and donated my first and only art quilt for them last year.  It's an 8" x 10" mini-quilt inspired by...
... this My Guy quilt that I made as a gift for my stepson,

and it was so easy/fast/fun that I vowed I would make several more.  So much for that promise...  As usual, my ideas for these small quilts always got put on the back burner because I was always busy doing something else.  Each time I finished a quilt I thought "hey - I could make a great mini-quilt for AAQI with the scraps!" but that's as far as I'd get - just a thought.  Somehow, I always find a way to finish the "must-do" projects that have deadlines attached, but the things I dream about doing always get postponed.  Am I alone here, or do you have this problem too???

Anyway, I decided to come up with a way to prioritize these important little quilts and I think I have a plan that will work.

As you probably know, I have an Etsy shop called "Cotton Cellar" and one of the categories in my shop is "Quilts".  My plan is to make and donate an art quilt to AAQI each time I sell a quilt on Etsy.  The mini art quilt will be a spin-off of the larger original quilt - either in design or fabric, whatever works at the time.  And each quilt is submitted to AAQI with a story, so the buyer of the original quilt will have the option of having me include a special sentiment in honor of a loved one if they choose.

By making this commitment public here and on my Etsy shop, I hope to have the push I need to make these little quilts a priority in my work schedule.  I'll post something here on my blog whenever I make one of these little quilts - hopefully soon - all I need now is for someone to purchase a quilt from my shop!

Here's a link to the AAQI listing for the Mini Black & Tan quilt that sold, if you're interested...


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tasting Table Tuesday

The schedule here is still a little out of whack, but I'm lovin' it.  My daughter and grand-daughter are here for the week, so there's been no sewing in the Cotton Cellar lately.  Although the little one has been playing with my fabric scraps and any other odds and ends she can get her little hands on.  And she LOVES corn-on-the-cob!
My daughter loves to sew too, so today the three of us took a trip to Ithaca NY to go fabric shopping at Quilter's Corners and Homespun Boutique.  I came home with a nice little stash of new treats.  At Homespun I bought a nice soft woven grey cotton for the back of my Haberdashery quilt (and it's 56" wide, so no seaming needed - gotta love that!) and a gorgeous skein of hand-painted yarn, and at Quilter's Corners I bought a stack of 11 fat quarters (buy 10 get one free!), a quilt pattern called Ballerina by Jaybird Quilts, and a book of geometric machine-quilting designs by Charlotte Warr Anderson called One Line at a Time.  I didn't actually NEED anything except the backing fabric for my quilt, but everything else just jumped off the shelf and said "take me home!".
We had a tasty lunch at the Ithaca Bakery.  It was pretty crowded, but the food was great and the service was friendly.  Thumbs up from me!
Now back to the Yard Sale preparations - Saturday will be here before we know it!  Cheers!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


I missed my Tasting Table Tuesday post this week, but I had a good excuse.  Hubby and I took off for a little road trip.  I've always wanted to go visit Fallingwater, so we finally made the trip.  If you haven't heard of it before, it's a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and it's one of his most famous designs.  The house was built as a summer home for the Kaufmann family, founders of Kaufmann's Department Store, which is now owned by Macy's.  It's in southwestern Pennsylvania, which is about a 4-5 hour drive from here.

We took a 1-hour guided tour and our tour guide was excellent.  We weren't allowed to take any photographs inside the home, but we were encouraged to take all the outdoor shots we wanted.  Unfortunately, they don't allow me to post them on the internet - they are for personal use only.  So if you want to see pictures, please go to their website and take a look at theirs.

Here's one picture I took in their garden though - I don't think I'll get in trouble for this one, since it could have been taken anywhere.  The sun was really bright while I was taking pictures of the flower gardens, so I had trouble seeing the display screen on my camera.  But I really wanted a close-up of this butterfly, so I just  held the camera where I thought I might catch the butterfly in the frame, zoomed as far as I could, and hoped for the best.  For a "shot-in-the-dark", I thought this turned out pretty darn good!
If you ever get the opportunity to tour this fantastic example of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, I highly recommend it.  It's a fantastic experience!  For more information, click on this link.

We spent 2 nights at an old Victorian B&B, called the Historic Stone House Inn.  What a great experience!  Totally unlike anything we've ever stayed at before, but it was great.  They also have a fantastic restaurant and tavern, so we had wonderful meals while we were there.

Then we traveled north to Erie and spent a couple of days visiting with my parents.  Aren't Mom's hydrangeas gorgeous this year?

I couldn't resist taking some pictures - the colors were just magnificent!  She sent me home with some cuttings, so I'll see if they take root.  I'm not much of a gardener though, so I'm not holding my breath.  But I really hope it works, because I'd love to have one of these in my garden!
Hope you had a good week, and I'll try to have something new to share with you next Tuesday.  Cheers!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Ta Da! Over the hump!

I've FINALLY finished tearing all the foundation paper away on my Haberdashery quilt!  Whew...  Good thing I had XM Radio to keep me company for all those hours and hours.  I've selected my outer border fabric, so that's next.  But hubby and I are headed out for a few days of R&R and a quick visit with my parents on our way back, so it will be another week or so before I get the borders sewn on.  Then the question is - How to Quilt It???  But that's another day's problem...  For now I'm just thrilled to pieces that all the paper is gone!  But not so thrilled at the mess on my sewing room floor - my vacuum cleaner is going to get a work-out tomorrow!

In my spare time, I've started going through my "stuff".  You know, all that extra junk that takes up valuable space in a small house.  I don't know if it's my age, or what, but I've reached a stage in my life where I just want to simplify and de-clutter.  My daughter is coming next week and we're planning a Mother/Daughter Yard Sale on Saturday July 28th.  It was her idea, and I welcomed the opportunity to to a little de-cluttering of my own.  So if you're in the Wellsboro area, mark the date on your calendar and stop in and say hi!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Grilled Salmon

One of my blogging friends just published a post about her love of salmon.  That got me yearning for an old recipe that I haven't made in a year or so - the best salmon recipe I've ever tried.  It was given to me by my sister-in-law and it's heavenly.  I don't think she'll mind if I share it with you.
If you're reading this Jean(ie), this one's for you!  Enjoy!

Grilled Lemon Salmon

2 tsp. fresh dill or 3/4 tsp. dill weed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 lbs. salmon fillets
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
3 tbsp. chicken broth
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 tbsp. soy sauce
3 tbsp. green onion, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon peel
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small lemon, thinly sliced
2 onion slices, break into rings

  • Sprinkle dill, salt, pepper over salmon.
  • Place into large ziploc bag or glass container
  • Combine brown sugar, broth, oil, soy sauce, green onions, lemon juice, lemon peel and garlic.
  • Pour over salmon.
  • Seal and refrigerate for 1 hour, turning once.
  • Drain and discard marinate.

To Cook:

  • Prepare outdoor grill with medium-hot coals, or heat gas grill to medium-hot.
  • Oil grill.
  • Place salmon skin side down onto grill.
  • Arrange lemon and onion slices on top.
  • Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes easily.
  • Can also be baked in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

I have to admit that I seldom make this recipe exactly as written.  I make substitutions for whatever I don't have on hand at the time, but it's always good!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tasting Table Tuesday

Busy week - but I've managed to get the paper foundation torn away from half of the blocks on my Haberdashery quilt - the other half still to go...  I think I need another glass of this...  Check back in a couple of days and maybe I'll have something more interesting to report.  Cheers!

Sunday, July 8, 2012


My scrap bowl runneth over.  I bought a set of these stainless steel IKEA bowls at a yard sale a few weeks ago and one of them has been on my sewing table ever since.  Rachael Ray uses a garbage bowl when she cooks, so why can't I use a scrap bowl when I sew!  I drop all my snippets, scraps, trimmings, threads, etc. into it while I'm working.  This time it's full of paper bits that I've been tearing off my Haberdashery quilt.  And yes, there's the occasional candy wrapper in there too (salt water taffy wrapper is buried in there somewhere).  There are 35 blocks and I've timed myself - it takes 30 minutes per block to remove the paper.  Now the question is - can I get it done in time for our Quilt Guild's show in September?  We'll see...  this is one time-consuming quilt, that's for sure!
I've also got some crocheting going on in another bowl...
And there's nothing like a big bowl of fresh cherries this time of year.  Yum!!!  Especially with a nice glass of Shiraz!!!  Think I'll go have a little of both!  Cheers!

Friday, July 6, 2012

New Etsy Listings!

It's been a productive week!  It's been so hot that I don't mind working in my Cotton Cellar.  At least it's cool down there!  I finished the 2 custom cell phone pouches... 
 ...and made 4 zippered cosmetic bags.

The blue and black ones are all ready spoken for, and I've listed the red and tan ones in my Etsy shop.
Click here for the Etsy listing for the red one...
and click here for the Etsy listing for the tan one.
Now I'm headed out for a nice dinner out with my hubby.  Too hot to cook...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tasting Table Tuesday

I realize the day is almost over, but it's still Tuesday (at least in this part of the world), so here's what I've got on my Tasting Table Today.

It's a shop sample for display at Needles Quilt Shop, and I used a pattern I designed last year.  This is the third quilt I've made using this pattern, and the first two went to my grandkids - of course!  I printed some patterns for Needles to sell at their shop, and I'm considering selling some in my Etsy Shop, but I need your opinion first.  Should I offer them as...

  • printed patterns only (shipped to buyer)?
  • PDF version only (emailed to buyer)?
  • or both????
Please leave a comment if you have an opinion to share.  I'd love to hear what you think!

For those of you who want to know, the sailboat fabric and the large dot fabric on the back are both by Alexander Henry - "The Marina" and "Sunshine Dot".  I quilted it on my Bernina using a walking foot and a modified wavy stitch.

Next on the list are four zippered cosmetic bags - two are custom orders and the other two will be Etsy listings - plus a couple of custom cell phone pouches.  Vacation time is fast approaching, so I'd best get busy!