Sunday, March 21, 2010

National Quilting Day

As lazy as I've been about quilting and blogging lately, I couldn't let yesterday go by without doing something quilty.  I visited one of my favorite stores, Keanes, in Mason.  They have a lovely little store with lots of home dec items, and a nice little fabric department. I also visited a store nearby, Yards of Fabric.  I was soooo tempted to buy some pretty spring-like fabric but I held mysef back.

I decided to pull out one of my UFO's to see if I could finish it.  I made these New York Beauty blocks in a class, probably 4 or 5 years ago.  At the time, I was pretty new to quilting and into everything being matchy-matchy.  I found a lot of batiks that I liked, and the teacher encouraged me to make the blocks all different.  She said, "Just start making the blocks without worrying how they will go together".  So, I did just that and ended up with 24 blocks that I really liked.  I tried putting them together in a pleasing arrangement and quickly got overwhelmed, so it became a UFO.  Since I had 24 blocks, I tried putting them together in a 4 x 6 arrangement, but I just couldn't get the pattern I liked.  So after fooling around, I ended up with a 6 x 6 pattern, which meant that I was now short by 12 blocks.  If this was going to get finished, I knew I had to do something different than making 12 more blocks.  So, I found some dark purple batik in my stash, and used that as a filler.  I like this better as it calms the pattern down a bit, and sets off the blocks   This is the pattern I came up with.

New York Beauty 001
I don’t think I like the bottom yellow block.  It kind of shouts at me.  Do you like this arrangement better?

New York Beauty
Here’s the center block.   A little low contrast on one of the blocks.  Would you swap that block out for something with more contrast?  I was going for similar colors in the middle.
New York Beauty 002
The only problem is now I have a 64 x 64 quilt.  My ordered brain says that the quilt should be longer than wider.  Any ideas on a border (if I even need one)?  I don’t have any more of the purple batik I used for the filler, but I do have lots of batik fabrics.

Hope your weekend was a good one!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pi Day

We were in a restaurant today having a late lunch, and I mentioned to my DH about the cute post that Linda at The Quilting Cat wrote about her beautiful cat, Piwacket, and the fact that it is National Pi day.  You know, Pi, the math equation?   So, what do you think he does when we leave the restaurant?  He stops at the Grand Traverse Pie Company to buy a pie.   Silly man, it’s not that kind of Pie day!!

Now, if you’ve never had a pie from this place, it is heavenly.  It is better than any homemade pie I’ve ever had.  It is a company based in Traverse City, home of the cherry capital.  So, of course, we had to have their very special cherry crumb pie, made with Montmorency Tart cherries from Traverse City, Michigan.

From Wikipedia, The Montmorency cherry is a variety of sour cherry (Prunus cerasus) grown in the United States, Canada and France, particularly in Michigan and in Door County, Wisconsin.[1] Montmorency cherries are part of the lighter-red amarelle cultivar of sour cherries, rather than the darker red Morello cultivar. The tree produces large, light red fruit (although some trees produce a darker red fruit) and has been cultivated in the United States since at least the early 20th century.[3] It is the most popular sour cherry in the United States and Canada, and is extensively used in cherry pies,[4] as well as in jams and preserves.  Montmorency cherries are also marketed in dried form,[5] and Montmorency cherry juice and juice concentrate is also sold.[6][7]

In checking their website, I see that they also offer sugar free pies, pies made with Splenda, and some interesting combinations like Cherry Peach, Cherry Apple, Blackberry Peach etc.  I had no idea they had so many varieties of pies.  Maybe that’s a good thing. . .   I knew they had been growing and adding several locations in Michigan, but it looks like they are also shipping pies all over the country.  Apparently, even Oprah thinks their pies are special because they are featured in her magazine.

So here’s to having your dessert first, and forget any plans for dinner.  Have you had your pie today??  I hope it was a good one.!!