Quilt Show in the Garden 2015 – the Food

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The weatherman doesn’t always cooperate when it comes to my Quilt Show in the Garden. I’ve been having a little quilt show in my backyard (it started out as little, me and my dog Sonny) for the last five summers – three beautiful days, one monsoon rain storm and this last one. Last Friday the weather was supposed to be beautiful, until Thursday. Then storms were rolling in as they have been all summer. Severe weather was predicted for about 1:00 pm, the exact start time for the show. Additionally, the back yard was super wet from the frequent storms that we’ve had all summer. So . . . we went to Plan B, moved indoors.

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I will be writing two separate posts, the Food and the Quilts. Today I’ll tell you about the food. Desserts, drinks and quilts pretty much sums up the show. I always have great luck searching for food, drink and decorating ideas on Pinterest. I even have a Pinterest board titled Quilt Show in the Garden. Check it out for your next garden party!

For desserts, I made Hummingbird Cupcakes and Caramel Macchiato Gooey Cake Bars. Both were Pinterest finds, delicious and super easy! I even made the pineapple garnish for the cupcakes. And if any of you want to make the Macchiato bars, I have a lot of instant coffee left!

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I am also very fortunate to have good friends who volunteer to help set up food and quilts and also those who contribute their own desserts.

Special thanks to:

Lori for Chocolate Covered Strawberries / Maria for Lemon Bars 

Reggie for Chocolate Chip Cookies/ Darlene for Fruit Kabobs

Lori, Darlene and Anne Set-up Helpers

Darlene for Gift Certificate to Quilt Winner

As for beverages, I served Strawberry Lemonade (also from Pinterest), a variety of Refreshe wines and of course, bottled water.

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Be sure to click on all the links for the recipes, as well as share your own in the comment section if you like. Cheers to another successful quilt show. Happy 4th of July everyone!

Next: The Quilts

 

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Quilt Show in the Garden 2013

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It was a gorgeous June day for the 2013 Quilt Show in the Garden! I was so hoping for sunshine after last year’s monsoon and the weather really cooperated for the most part. We had a full day of fun with beautiful quilts in a garden setting, box lunches and a gathering of friends.

Last year I divided the event into two posts, with the quilts coming first and the food second. This year though, everyone was really ready to hear about the recipes, so we’ll start there.

Pinterest is the number one spot for party planning these days and it was my first stop as I planned my event.

Many of us have fun playing and pinning – I happen to designate one of my boards as “Quilt Show in the Garden” and pin garden party ideas, recipes, and tablescape ideas, every time I see something good.

This year one of the better pins that I found was for box lunches. The original blog post was for a bridal shower but can easily double for a garden party. I found great ideas for lunch, sources for boxes, bags and other supplies as well as tips for packaging. First though, I needed to decide on food.

My friend Lori is starting a small catering business – Lunch with Lori – and I was excited to help her spread the word by having her provide the chicken and pasta salads. I purchased the croissants from Costco, and my Breakfast Club quilt group all pitched in to make the fruit cups. The lunches were a big hit, and it really helped the entire day run smoothly to have the lunch packed the day before.

Bags for croissants and stickers for sealing

Bags for croissants and stickers for sealing

Fruit cups

Fruit cups

Salads, fruit and croissants ready to go!

Salads, fruit and croissants ready to go!

Boxes are filled and waiting for ribbon

Boxes are filled and waiting for ribbon

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Lunch Table

Onto beverages and desserts! My inspiration, of course – Pinterest! My daughter Michelle ALWAYS makes desserts for birthdays and holidays, so of course I tapped her skills for the quilt show once again. I chose three single-serve fruity desserts and we brainstormed on the last one for something quick, easy and chocolatey which happened to be the very popular Kraft recipe for  Oreo Cookie Balls.

Dessert Buffet

Dessert Buffet

Oreo Cookie Balls

Oreo Cookie Balls

The fruity single-serve desserts included Lemon Bars, Blueberry Pie Sour Cream Bars and Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes. (Follow links for recipes.) I found them all on Pinterest, though we decided to change the strawberries to blueberries in the sour cream bars since we already had the strawberry cupcakes. The swap was pretty easy, just a substitution with the pie filling. Everything was pretty fantastic, especially the strawberry cupcake frosting, which, since Michelle was a little pressed for time this week, I actually made myself. It tasted like strawberry ice cream! Definitely make these part of your upcoming summer outings and share your desserting in the comments.

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

Blueberry Pie Sour Cream Bars

Blueberry Pie Sour Cream Bars

Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes

Strawberry Champagne Cupcakes

Finally, drinks . We served Tequila Sangria (see last  year’s post for recipe), Lemonade Iced Tea and a bucketful of bottled baby waters, as my grandson has nicknamed the 8 oz bottles – which I have to recommend for parties because it’s much more likely that people will finish them when they’re smaller. IMG_2748

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Presentation has always been one of my favorite parts of event planning and again Pinterest was a great source of inspiration for my garden theme tablescapes.

I recycled/re-used the chalkboard trays I painted for our bridal shower in April, found an awesome silverware/napkin wrap idea, and even found ideas for my flower arrangements. Keeping with the Quilt Show theme, I ALWAYS utilize quilts as table toppers, my own and some beautiful antique quilts I have collected.

I chose orange and green as my color theme, mostly because of the adorable napkin/silverware combo I found, and I carried out the duo in the croissant bags, ribbon and flowers.

Carrots - the napkin and silverware neatly wrapped.

Carrots – the napkin and silverware neatly wrapped.

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If you haven’t perused Pinterest lately, I hope this post triggers your pinning for the rest of the summer, there’s just so many different ideas out there and it’s such an easy place to find them.

It’s so great to be able to incorporate my love of quilting with the fun of entertaining by hosting my Quilt Show in the Garden. Even though we did encounter a little rain this year, it was nothing compared to the backyard downpour of 2012. We were able to display the quilts and enjoy the sunshine for a few hours until a quick storm rolled in and we moved the party indoors. There was a great turnout, including many of my non-quilting friends, and we are all looking forward to next year. Thanks to everyone who came out for the afternoon, and since this was the food post a special thanks to Lori & Michelle.

Next up: The Quilts!

Steps to the Altar

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Steps to the Altar is exactly what is happening right now with my family, more specifically my son and future daughter-in-law. They are taking all the steps toward the big day, June 8, 2013.

The past few months have been filled with fun wedding events, including two showers, one given by each family.  My gift at the Abraham shower was their wedding quilt, appropriately titled, Steps to the Altar.

I started to design the quilt in January after Erin chose her bedding which is a mono-chromatic nickel. I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go from there. I had a few decisions to make and I’m not gonna lie, I did stress about this a bit. I needed to decide on the pattern, colors and fabrics and get moving.

There were so many different quilts that I had in mind but I ended up choosing the Steps to the Altar block while working on some samples for the block of the month class that I teach. We are working on Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler, the spin-off book from Jennifer Chaiverini’s novel The Master Quilter. I was flipping through the book, deciding which blocks to teach and came upon Steps to the Altar. After some research and looking at several block layouts, I decided on a block a bit different than Sylvia’s. After a bit of math for all the fabric calculations I was ready to pick some the fabric . After a few trips to a local quilt shop, my own stash and some internet stores, I decided on the block fabrics in greys and blacks, and I chose a border from The Morris Apprentice collection from Moda. Quilt construction went very smoothly – lots of HST’s and 4-patches. Did I mention this was queen size, quite a lot of fabric!

Quilt calculations, layouts and quilt journal

Quilt calculations, layouts and quilt journal

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HST’s and Four-Patches

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Steps to the Altar Block

The blocks came together and then it was time to measure the borders. I absolutely LOVE this border fabric. I thought it tied everything together. Steps to the Altar was just steps away from being finished.

IMG_2254 I was able to find an awesome black quilt back online – no piecing, 108″ wide. So as soon as the quilt top was finished, I handed it over to my friend Darlene (SewBusy Quilting) for machine quilting. Darlene did an awesome job. Binding was on, quilt label too, and then wrapped and ready for the shower! And with the quilt there needs to be some pillowcases, so with the leftover fabric, I made two sets.

Quilt Label

Quilt Label

Matching Pillowcases

Matching Pillowcases

I couldn’t end this post without a few words about the shower, and also share some pictures of the bride and groom. The shower, hosted by my two daughters, was champagne themed, a bubbly bridal shower. We got a lot of great decorating and recipe ideas from Pinterest and made place card holders from champagne corks which the guests could later use as photo holders. We also had beautiful layered candles made by Antoinette’s Candles.

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Bubbly Bridal Shower Invitations and “Save the Date” in the wedding colors, silver and purple

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Dessert Table, Blueberry Cupcakes and Chocolate Kisses

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Chalkboard Champagne Bottle Vases and Layered Candles

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The bride and groom as they open their quilt.

Michael and Erin

Michael and Erin

It was a beautiful day with friends and family. And as the happy couple continues to take their steps to the altar with more pre-wedding events, they look forward to their big day!

Congratulations to Erin and Michael!

Spring To Do List

2013 is going to be a very busy year for me, at least the first half. My son is getting married on June 8 so the time will be filled with shopping, bridal showers and parties. Not a lot of time to sew but a time to enjoy the activities and the anticipation.

In the sewing room, I keep a journal, mostly with my current sewing to-do list. I have streamlined this list considerably for the next two months, working on the must-do’s only so that I will have plenty of time for wedding preparation.

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My sewing to-do list:

1. Sylvia’s Sampler – I am teaching 16 blocks of Sylvia’s Sampler (Jennifer Chiaverini, Elm Creek Quilts series) to our Firehouse Group from February to May and then again September to December.

2. I’ll Be Home For Christmas (Primitive Gatherings) – our Breakfast Club is doing this wool applique, one block each month

3. Secret Quilt

4. Secret Quilt

I’ll write future posts on all of the above. Needless to say, #3 and #4 are surprises so let’s keep them a secret!

One project that I have completed in the last few weeks was a baby pillow – or should I say a bridesmaid’s dress made into a baby pillow, which my daughter, Michelle, discovered on Pinterest.

Michelle’s friend Bridget got married in 2009 and had an adorable baby girl, Isabelle Jamie, on February 5. Bridget knew she was having a girl so when Michelle found this idea on Pinterest, asked me to make the pillow. I didn’t get around to actually making the pillow until the day Bridget went into labor, but I assured Michelle that I could get it done in a matter of hours – and I did!

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Michelle, the Maid of Honor (in the dress that would become the pillow), with Bridget and Mike on their wedding day.

The first step was to find a pillow form that would work. I needed  a size small enough for a baby’s room but big enough to showcase the different parts of the dress. I decided on a 12″ pillow form, and  I went about cutting up the dress and then just started to sew.

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I was able to use the under skirt as the base of the pillow, the ruffled waistband across the center, and the lace skirt at the bottom of the pillow, which ended up really resembling the original dress.

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As Michelle pointed out to Bridget when we visited little Isabelle, the bride chooses her bridesmaid dresses but doesn’t have one for herself, now she does . . . or rather Izzy does!

My Quilts

Many times I am asked . . . how many quilts have you made? That’s a very good question, I actually don’t know, never counted. Which got me thinking, I should try to count them. So to start, I went to my computer for all the digital images in the file “Quilts” and ended up re-organizing all of “My Pictures”. That was really a good thing, took me two nights and now its done. Now back to the quilts. I then took the pictures in the Quilts file and started categorizing, baby quilts, kids quilts, tablerunners, wallhangings and on and on.

Next, I will need to go through the four photo albums of quilt pictures because I used to print every picture. When did we stop doing that? I think somewhere about 4 or 5 years ago. So the counting continues but for now, I’m just gonna concentrate on the digital images.

As soon I finish the last stitches of a binding, I either sew a label or sign the back of the quilt, then take the photo. That is my routine. Some people journal, there are a lot of great quilt journals available, others use “documentation”. One of my very good quilting buddies (you know her, she’s the one who felted wool from thrift store skirts and also the one who has the box labeled “Quilts to be done but not me”) has the famous “documentation sheet”. She should write a blog just from these sheets. Her documentation tells about the quilt, pattern, fabric, batting, who quilted it, who also did the same quilt, the quilt group . . . and MORE. I had good intentions of doing documentation for all my quilts but only got as far as printing out a bunch of sheets. So much for documentation, my documentation is the photo . . . and now the blog post.

So now to actually post my pictures on the blog on the “My Quilts” page. Its about time, right? I’ve been thinking about how this would work for about a week now, when I started writing this post. I had planned to post all the quilt pictures on the “My Quilts” page but as I started to load all the pictures it appeared to be just too many. What I decided to do is post and categorize on my Pinterest Boards. This will be much easier. Hope you will follow me on Pinterest to see them all (start with Baby/Kids quilts). I’ll keep everyone posted as to my progress but for now I’ll post a few on the blog, some baby quilts and some kids quilts. And I’ll TRY to remember the quilt names/patterns and where the quilt ended up, if not with me.

The count begins, enjoy the quilts!

Baby quilts and kids quilts . . . ready to go to a special little guy or girl!