Wednesday, May 30, 2012

History Quilter Podcast Episode 27 Amish Quilts

Happy Wednesday everyone,

Usually I am thrilled beyond belief to be writing these posts to inform you about a new episode I have recorded but today, not so much.  As I mentioned in a prior post I've had a slew of hardware issues which affected recording but by this past Monday (I thought) I had them all worked out.  I recorded my latest episode and sent it out into the world but this morning I learned that the sound quality after the opening music is pretty dismal.

My sincere apologies if you cannot hear the podcast.  Now that it is out there I cannot do anything other than re-record and right now I have no time for that.

Hope that however you listen to this episode you can hear it. Again, my apologies.  

So here is what I spoke about:

My recently cultivated and amended garden with vegetables which are growing!
Tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, eggplant and pumpkin
Forgot to talk about but definitely worth of a mention - two cool podcast episodes I have listened to recently which are worth a listen:
This American Life  - Invisible Made Visible #464 - the podcast of their recent live broadcast. All of the acts are excellent.
Fresh Air with Terry Gross - Stand up, Walk Around, Even Just for '20 Minutes' - 5/9/12.  If not up in iTunes you can get it directly from the NPR website.  This episode is so informative and motivating to get anyone moving.

I talked about The Foster's Market Cookbook which I think is a great summer cookbook full of fresh and healthy foods that just say "summer".  They have a great website too - please visit

The Foster's Market Cookbook - from
Food Processor Chocolate Mouse - haven't made this yet but I am so intrigued and will try it soon. You can view the recipe here.
Laura Gardner for The Wall Street Journal, Food Styling by Brett Kurzweil, Prop Styling by Stephanie Hanes
Amish Quilts: has a series on Amish Quilting with shows from Elanor Burns from Quilt in a Day.  Find the link here.

The International Quilt Study Center and Museum has over 280 quilts in their collection that have the characteristics of "Amish Quilts".

I found a Math lesson on Pattern located here which illustrates the geometric design and simplicity that is (but not always) Amish Quilting.

From Rachel and Kenneth Pellman: "The World of Amish Quilts" Good Books, Intercourse, Pennsylvania 17534, 1984
I think this quilt exemplifies Amish Quilting from the early 20th Century perfectly.  The darker tones, simplicity in the pattern and gorgeous quilting (click on the photo to see the quilting detail) are all hallmarks of Amish Quilts.  
International Quilt Study Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2000.007.0083

I enjoyed the research on this episode as I was so curious as to where the Amish people had immigrated from along with their how their traditional/cultural/religious history was created.  I was especially fascinated to learn that the last group of Amish people in Europe has dissolved by the late 1930's.  Where did they go?

I'm off to school within minutes for my first summer session class and I'm very excited. The instructor sent us the syllabus over the weekend and I got right to the readings.  Can't tell you how thrilled I am to be taking this class as it feels like a history class. I've missed history classes so much - the readings, the analysis, the discussion...the history!

I'm also off to Portland, OR for four days beginning tomorrow visiting cousins - look for tweets/photos if you're on Twitter.
Have a great day!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

First Tomatoes and Giveaway Day Winner

Two Romas and one Early Girl have decided to be the first tomatoes to ripen in my garden. These are both from my older small plot but I must add that all of the vegetables in my new plot are doing great - everything is showing wonderful growth. More on that in another blogpost. 

My Giveaway Day winner is Strandkorbtraum!  

On Thu, May 24, 2012 at 10:39 AM, strandkorbtraum wrote:

The why is easy: I'm not receiving any radio in some parts of the building I work in and I'm not always home or ready to listen when the program is on ... 
What: well as a way to not forget all my English I usually go for the BBC, Radio Ireland and the Australian National Broadcast, they have some interesting, history and music podcasts. Australia had for a long time audio book podcast though they sadly decided to have almost only copyrighted books read that you can only get the podcasts inside Australia ... I do love the Scottish sports podcast, and I various gardening podcasts ... That's about it. Thanks for the chance! 
Podcast update: I'm just about to take the hammer to my CPU and microphone (actually multiple microphones) as they've somehow just decided to stop working correctly to allow me to record my voice.  I've been ready for a good four days now with tons of material and a new quilting history topic and plenty of time to record...and the hardware is now the problem.  Ugh. 

Hope you enjoy the rest of your Sunday,

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Setting Sail

No, not me.  I'm not setting sail anywhere, anytime soon unless it's on a nice calm lake. I'll fly, take a train, drive, ride a horse, run, walk or cruise on a water taxi, but a boat on the open ocean?   No way .  Sadly, my stomach and the open ocean do not get along.  

Last weekend I worked on the May block (Set Sail)  for the Modern Blocks Bee I am in. Lizz sent us a pale green and blue for the sky and a blue/green/yellow splatter for the ocean. 
Sorry so blurry
She asked us to pull fabrics from our stash for the sail, masts and boat.  Made me laugh as my stash is minuscule - not much to choose from.
Ideas were flowing...would this work?  
All cut out and time to sew
Very happy with the results.  I went with white masts which are hard to see. In hindsight I should have looked for something darker but hey, it's a learning experience.  
Set Sail Block by Susanne Woods  12 1/2" x 12 1/2"
A little digression - here are my boys having fun at the back of a water taxi in Venice, Italy.

I have no problems with a water taxi, especially in a setting such as this:
Venice, Italy  June 2006
Una splendida goirnata!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

T@tT: Cherries From The Farmers' Market

If you are looking for my Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day giveaway, please go here.  The giveaway will be open until Friday, May 25th at 5pm Pacific Time.  

I love my local Farmers' Market.  A ten minute drive toward the ocean on a Sunday morning leads me to Alamitos Bay Marina where the market is held.  With fabric shopping bags in hand and my hat on my head, I enjoy walking through the long row of vendors who sell fresh vegetables, fruits, honey, bread, cheeses, bison meat, fish and gorgeous cut flowers. It is such a pleasure to walk through and greet/chat with the vendors, try their samples (so fun to taste something new) and visit with friends that I run into.  I always leave with strawberries, various greens, flatbread & humus (never miss this booth - they sell 10 different kinds of humus and all are spectacular), and then add in whatever is fresh, depending upon the season and what inspiration comes to mind.  

This past Sunday Bing Cherries made their debut and boy was it a big one.  Numerous fruit vendors had them this week and what a wonderful pop of color they added to the market.  Of course I couldn't resist and added them to my fabric bag. 
Fresh Bing Cherries
I have no formal recipe for you in regards to these wonderful Bing Cherries as I think they are best eaten straight out of a bowl while sitting on the front porch watching the wonders of life.  Yesterday afternoon I had the pleasure of doing just that while watching my neighbor girls playing and having fun. 

Do you have a local Farmers' Market that you attend?  Is there something in season right now that you are enjoying?  Please share!  

I'm linking up with Debbie from A Quilter's Table with her Tuesday at the Table feature. Exciting News!  Debbie is hosting Tuesday at the Summer Table in June and I will definitely be participating all month long.  Please visit her today to learn all about it and please, play along!  

Enjoy your Tuesday!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Giveaway Day: Quilting Podcast Love

Happy Monday everyone ~ It's Giveaway Day! Sew Mama Sew's biannual event is finally here!
For those of you whom are new here, I record and publish a quilting podcast of my own called The History Quilter Podcast. I began recording my own podcast as a way to give back to all of the other quilting podcasts out there which allow me to be entertained and educated while washing dishes, exercising,  gardening, etc.  Because I get so much out of the quilting podcasts I listen to, I wanted to share them all with you:  here is a list of my fellow quilting podcasters and locations in which you can find them via iTunes or Podbean. After you have entered all of the giveaway's you possibly can, come back here and please check out my fellow quilting podcasters - I promise you will be entertained and educated.

Quilting Podcast list - in no particular order.  Click on their name to visit their website.

     The History Quilter Podcast ~ yea that's me.
     Lazy Daisy Quilts- Daisy
     The Off-Kilter Quilt -  Frances
     Quilting For The Rest of Us -  Sandy
     Hip To Be A Square - Pam
     Crafty Garden Mom - Tanesha
     Scientific Quilter - Darla
     Peacebrook Quilting - Victoria
     Quilt Cabana Corner - Sandi
     Katie's Quilting Corner - Katie
     Nonnie's Quilting Dreams - Nonnie
     The Pioneer Quilter - Kelley
     Quilted Cupcake - Jean
     Quilter in the Gap - Rhonda
     Jackie's Quilting Chronicles - Jackie
     The Quilting Pot Podcast - A.J. 

In honor of Giveaway Day, I'm giving away the complete quilt kit you see below which includes the Walkin' the Line pattern, 8 fat quarters, borders, binding and backing.  The quilt will measure up as 51" x 71".
My giveaway is open until Friday, May 25th at 5:00pm Pacific Time and I will announce the winner on Saturday.  I am happy to ship internationally so all may enter.

To enter my giveaway tell me if you listen to any podcasts, quilting, travel, food, anything - it doesn't matter...but also tell me why you like to listen to it.  The historian in me needs a little analysis, not just the data.  :)

Enjoy your Monday ~ yea it's Monday!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Guest Posting over at Sew Bittersweet Designs

Happy Wednesday Everyone,

I have the pleasure of guest posting over Sew Bittersweet Designs today with Melissa so please go take a look.  It's my first time guest posting and better yet, it's about a cake!
As for my WIP this week, I'm almost done with the Evening Empire Dress by Anna Maria Horner.  The zipper was going in well but then I stalled out with the directions on how to finish it up.  Then I got the idea to look at the zipper construction of dresses I already own and light I know what I need to do to finish it up.
Evening Empire Dress enjoying the morning sun
What's next? 
The T-Shirt Quilt - must get it done.

I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced this week. Lucky gal is going to Quilt Market! Please go visit to see what other's are working on.

Have a wonderful Wednesday,

Monday, May 14, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up

Here are a few of the things I did this past weekend:  
Tested my backyard soil.  Used a basic $3.00 kit from Lowe's. Followed the directions and took my results to my favorite nursery.  
Purchased the amendments that I needed and got to work with the tiller.  Honestly, it was fun. 

Attended the CSULB Department of History Awards Banquet to receive the scholarship I won. Had a great time and was very pleased to visit with the instructor who insisted that I apply.  She is a gem.

Worked on a cake for a guest blogpost coming up this Wednesday at Sew Bittersweet Designs.
 Planted my new "babies" as I like to call them.  Three different tomatoes, four different peppers, zucchini, eggplant and a Big Max pumpkin.  I'll explain it all on the next podcast.
 Got the younger son out in the front yard with me to add a bit more color.  He added the muscle to work on tree roots growing from the big tree to the right.

Saw this and absolutely loved it:  There is a point in the movie where one of the characters describes India as a an "assault on all of the senses" at which point I nodded (to whom?) as I knew exactly what she was talking about. Someday soon I'll post about my experiences in India.  

And I sewed....worked for hours on the bodice for the Evening Empire Dress.  The seam ripper and I had some serious discussions on Sunday as it took me three times to get the bodice sewed together correctly.   All that's left is the zipper and hemming.  

What did you do over the weekend?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

T@tT: Zucchine Arrosto

Last night I made Shrimp Linguine with a Sun-dried Tomato Cream sauce and although I had zucchini, squash and red bell peppers on hand for a side, I didn't feel like steaming them.  I had time so I thought I would pop them in the oven to roast for a different taste - boy was that a smart choice.

I used a recipe from The Silver Spoon , a massive 1,200 page cookbook originally published in Italy as  il cucchialo d'argento in 1950.  This tome was first translated into English in 2005 which is the edition I have, but has since been through another revision in 2011..... with 400 new photographs I may have to check it out.

Zucchine Arrosto/Roast Zucchini with Red Pepper
adapted from The Silver Spoon 

Going into the oven
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice your zucchini/squash/red pepper any way you like - I tried long slices this time. Lay on parchment lined cookie sheet.  Slice up three of four garlic cloves very thin and sprinkle over zucchini/squash/red pepper.  Sprinkle with fresh parsley & basil if you have some (used dried if not) and season with Kosher Salt and pepper. Then drizzle over the olive oil to your liking.  Place in the oven and roast to your liking.
Dinner is served.  
Try roasting up vegetables next time you are looking for a side dish- a splash of olive oil, slivers of garlic and S&P are all you need to bring out a new taste in your vegetables.

A little late today again due to school but it was for a good cause - last day of one of my classes!
Please visit Debbie at her Tuesday at the Table feature to see what her husband has been working's so cool!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

History Quilter Podcast Episode 26 Hawaiian Quilts 2.0

Hello everyone,
I recorded and uploaded History Quilter Podcast Episode 26 yesterday and is now available both on Podbean and iTunes.

Hawaiian Quilts received bit more airtime this episode due to Jaye's comment about the German tradition of Scherenschnitte or scissor cuts in which she shared how Scherenschnitte is the big sister of snowflake cutting.  Last time when I spoke about Hawaiian Quilts I explained how they mimicked snowflake cutting as the design appeared to be cut out of one single piece of fabric.

So what do you think?  Do you see the link between Scherenschnitte and Hawaiian Quilts?

Cut-out Design (Scherenschnitte) from International Quilt Study Center &Museum
more info here

Hawaiian Quilt photo from Extreme Craft/Mission Houses Museum in Honolulu, HI
What to see Scherenschnitte demonstrated?  Go visit Cindy of and watch her video at

What I read:  The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
                     The Midwife of Venice by Roberta Rich

My end of semester project for myself - time for some garment sewing:
Evening Empire Dress with Turn of Events Voile 
Eight years today...I miss her so.
My niece, myself and my mother - 2/6/04
New topic next time!
Go enjoy your day,

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Garden Update

I have two garden plots, one that has soil which is as good as gold and one that is not.

My older, tiny plot will grow anything as I've been working the soil for over sixteen years. Right now I've got a San Marzano tomato and an Early Girl tomato growing alongside three different types of lettuce. I love my "back 40" as I like to call it.
San Marzano Tomato

Early Girl tomato and assorted lettuce
Last summer because of how small this plot is, I had my older son dig up a large patch of grass in my backyard grass area so I could a) say goodbye to the garden plot I had at a local community garden b) grow more vegetables in my own backyard.  I had high hopes for this new plot as it was south facing and thought the soil was in pretty good shape because the grass always looked so mistake.  Nothing is growing here. Cabbage, broccoli, kale, tomatoes, onions, garlic, shallots have all floundered.

I know, so bare!  Someday a cute red barn will be in the corner. 
It could be the lack of sun but since I cannot make the sun change it's course to orbit directly over my house (and avoid the neighbors trees) I'm going to work on the soil.  Mr. UPS man brought me my new garden toy yesterday...yay!

Yes, I have a cultivator/tiller!  Once I till the soil, I will test it to see what amendments I need and try again.  I'm still hoping for canning multiple quarts of tomatoes late this summer...I'm such a dreamer.

I'm off to a much needed yoga class. Hope you all have a great day,

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

T@tT: Puffy Clouds of Chocolate

When brought out of the oven, Chocolate Pixies are like little puffy clouds of chocolate just waiting for someone to float by and gobble them up.  These come out of the oven a bit underdone to account for the residual cooking time which occurs once out of the heat - a perfect time to slide one off the tray and onto a napkin...gooey and chocolaty before it has time to set.  That was me last night...standing in my kitchen, enjoying the first cookie off the tray and of course...coughing.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who inevitably coughs when eating that first cookie/bar/tiramisu slice which has powdered sugar or cocoa on top? 

That first bites gets me every time.

This was going to be the end of my post but as I get this post ready to link up to Debbie's Tuesday at the Table feature at A Quilter's Table, she has asked for top foodie are just a few off the top of my head in no particular order: 
  1. First bite of Tiramisu in Venice, Italy.  Walking along the canals and (coughing) eating my piece. 
  2. Lunchtime in New Delhi, India where we would go eat for hours...oh the Naan!  So bloody hot inside the restaurant with the tandoori oven in the center - a wonder for me at eighteen. 
  3. Turkey Parmigiana my mother used to make for my birthday.  The best ever.  
  4. Foie Gras. 
  5. Pizza in Naples, Italy with silly we were - such a wonderful time.  
  6. Harvesting corn from my garden - standing in the row, husking it and biting into fresh good. 
  7. Last meal I had with my father on his birthday. 
  8. Sitting on the kitchen counter (I was 4) next to the sink while my father cleaned and cracked Dungenous Crab.  Remember getting full on the crab pieces he was giving me.  
Please visit Debbie at her Tuesday at the Table feature to see what other's are sharing for their top foodie moments.  
Enjoy your Tuesday and eat well!