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Friday, September 30, 2011

Summer doings

Sigh. Summer has come and gone. The days are getting shorter, and we've already experienced frost, although this past September has been spectacularly warm. I've had to finally concede and turn on my furnace since it has been 14oC indoors on a couple of occasions.

I've had two wonderful produce from my non existent garden this year- rhubarb and golden raspberries. The rhubarb, I turned into rhubarb syrup to make a drink called Foxy Lady. You basically stew your rhubarb in water and sugar then strain out the pulp. The syrup you mix with some lemon juice, and stir in club soda or sprite or seven up. I used the reserved pulp to make rhubarb cupcakes, which were tangy like lemon cake but had a funny grey colour (I had mixed rhubarb pulp with white cake mix). Next time, I tint the cake mix- lesson learnt.

The golden raspberries were such a novelty since I had never seen them before. They were pale, like bleached out raspberries and was not as tart. In fact, they reminded me of biting into little peaches...they had a nectary quality about them although were not cloyingly sweet. Apparently they don't keep too well, so they aren't something you'd find in the store. Had I not noticed some ripe rasperries on the tarmac in the back alley, I would not have known the raspberries were ripe and ready as they looked albino.

I have also been working on cards and miscellaneous ATCs for a small group swap. The stamped image is from Magenta. I went crazy with my H2O paints by Luminarte, which are basically mica based water colour paint.

I also finished a baby quilt. I am well pleased with the result as I had attempted a whirlygig pattern and they turned out lovely. I hand quilted it as well. Much easier than attempting to machine quilt, the bane of my existence. I hope the recipients will like it since I do Love how it turned out and could see making a full sized lap quilt with this pattern. My saddest thing is I could not place my custom label on the back since I had used a fleecy backing and I cannot iron on my label onto it so I left it off. Sigh.

I have also been gripped by Hexie fever. What is that, you ask? it is a nasty virulent fever that once it takes grip, gives you delusions of grandeur as you dream about feverishly creating the hexies. So, it is a more traditional form of patchwork. It is also known as English Paper Piecing or Grandmother's Flower Garden. You cut millions of millions of templates and tack or baste the material to it. Then you hand sew, (yes, hand sew) the patterns together. I started with the flower pattern and as I started sewing everything together, my dream of making a queen sized quilt dwindled down to maybe making a small cushion. I am going to aim for a lovely lap quilt size but am resigned to the idea that it may take several years of this to get to it. I will need to make hundreds of hexie flowers, not to mention the white hexies that separate the flowers.Never mind, though. It is a portable hobby and it will help me hone my patience and persistence. Hah!!


Susie Dally said...

Lovely post! Those raspberries are lovely. The quilt is magnificent-it will become someone's beloved "blankie" the highest compliment your handwork can receive.

Nancy said...

Diane, great post! I love the ATC and your quilt is lovely, I prefer hand quilting--I think it is just so pretty. The Raspberries look interesting, I've never tried them. The Hex quilt is a challenge :) I remember my Mom had one that she had started in her quilting days. I don't think she ever finished it and I don't know what happened to the pieces!
Anyway, great to see you blogging :)

Roxy said...

Di, the hexies are BEAUTIFUL!