Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"Live Well, Love Much, Laugh Often" =A Story Quilt from my Asilomar workshop by Pam Toombs-Great Fun!

This wonderful story quilt was done by Pam Toombs from Turlock,CA . She and her husband LOVE to entertain and they built a large oven in the backyard and a wonderful serving space and great plants etc. She made her list of things to include and she wanted her husband (and sort of resisted putting herself in but isn't it cute?),some Italian pots, a rabbitt, the oven, the plants, the brick and other wonderful details. It is now going off to the quilter who I hope is really good because this is such a good story. The words on the quilt have such a lovely meaning!"Live Well, Love Much, Laugh Often. Pam took my workshop at Asilomar this year and inspired us all with her quilting talents and fun nature.
I hope to post this again once it is quilted. Pam please send me the photo later, we love this quilt!

Painted Stories Make for Colorful Tales....

Above, I painted a story about my Grandmother during the depression and how she made hundreds of little pies and my Dad and his older brother would take them out in cardboard boxes and sell them to factory workers and anyone who would buy them. She made awesome pies and always had an idea of how to help the family through her skills. She was alot of fun and adored the seven kids and all of us Grandkids too. I even put in her famous raisin pie....(
delicious if you love raisins like I do).
Below-click on the hippie photo and read some of the things I wrote-quite fun if you lived during the 60's.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mary Lou's Retreat In beautiful Post Falls Idaho

I still have a couple of opening s for my retreat in Post Falls Idaho. YThrow caution to the wind and come and get "Out of the Box" and stretch the artist inside you and meet great people, eat great food and be inspired by Idaho beauty. We'd love to have you be a part of all of the fun and discovery. If you are interested in coming click below and sign up!
Or just write to Mary Lou

Western Washington Beauty in May Makes for Happy People

Teaching in Western Washington was fun for me because I could jam my car with quilts and fabric and fun. It is so beautiful on the coast of Washington this time of year and everyone is looking forward to some sunshine....SOON.
The student above who lives in Friday Harbour in the San Juans decided to play like she was making aprons instead of a flower garden...I laughed and snapped this photo.

My Grandmother came over from Sweden and my Grandfather came over from Norway-my Mother's lefse is the best in the world and sadly she isn't here this weekend to make it for me. There is nothing better than to eat something that brings up nice memories of the past and lefse fills that bill better than almost anything...stollen too.

Peggy Kent's yard in Paulsbo Washington provides lots to be thankful for in the way of beauty. Really, the flowers in the Spring on the coast os Washington State are just glorious!

I first learned about "Scoth Broom" in California and had no idea it is all over Western Washington. You can't poison it and you can't burn it and it spreads and chokes out good plants. I remember a friend had a grape vineyard and the scotch broom was just taking over. It is kind of like dandalions-they are so pretty if you don't know they are weeds.

I don't know what it is about clouds lately but I keep taking photos...everywhere I go the clouds call to me to look and appreciate them and the blue sky behind them...they seem to be different in each state though I know that soounds dumb. Clouds in art are so lovely....alas, I think it is hard to do well in quilts...how about you?

Please please think about showing off your own story quilt in Galveston this summer. Look at the right hand column and contact Peggy Baldwin for the address of where to send your quilt. I am sending some of mine and we wants lots! Please be a part of this.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Elvis Cake Recipe for Memorial Weekend (Delicious) thanks to LIZ

Elvis Fluffernutter Cake
Originally from All Recipes then adapted by Foodaphilia and adapted again by Cookie Baker Lynn

2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup milk
3-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
2 mashed bananas, about 1 cup
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips> Chopped up peanut butter cups for sprinkling on top

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease the bottom of two 9-inch round cake pans. Fit the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. Grease and flour the whole pan.
2. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beating just to combine. Stir in vanilla and mashed bananas.
4. Pour batter evenly between the two cake pans. Sprinkle the mini chips over the top of the batter. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
5. Let pans cool for 10 minutes on a rack. Carefully invert layers onto a plate, peel off the parchment paper, then carefully put back on the rack to finish cooling. If the cake cracks at all, don't fret as there will be plenty of gooey frosting to fill in the gaps.
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, room temperature
1 cup of smooth peanut butter
4 cups of powdered sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1 cup marshmallow fluff
With an electric mixer cream together the butter and peanut butter until it's smooth. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time. Add as much of the milk as you need to achieve the consistency you want.
Place 1/3 of the frosting into a separate bowl and fold in the marshmallow fluff till completely incorporated.
Frost the top of the first layer with the marshmallow frosting. Top with the second layer. Frost with the rest of the frosting and sprinkle mini chips over the top, pressing them into the frosting slightly.

Please read the next post because it has great photos, color and women !

Last week I spent a lovely time teaching a story quilt class and a flower power class at the LaConner Museum. WISH you had been there to join in the great fun and the great girls who were there. We had lunch each day at the Museum and spent time looking at my quilts and talking about techniques and stories and colors and their stashes and why different colors and fabrics work and why others don't. I love a little laughter and also some sweet sentiments and we had both. My show will be there until the 26th of June so you still have time to get over and see it. Some quilts will be retired and this will be your last chance to catch a glimpse.
Hope you can make it so you too leave the Museum with a giant smile on your face and many ideas for doing your own story in a quilt. In 80 years what will people know about you from the quilts you make?
I want a garden filled with these lovely cone flowers!

My goodness is this snail cute or what? This girl had taken one beginning quilt class before mine. Someone said to me "hey what you just taught us is not in the book" and I said "that is why you take classes isn't it?" I am always thinking of new things to add onto the older ones...quite fun!

How talented! She put a spool in the middle of a flower! Fun!

Stripes can do so much in a quilt and isn't this flower whimsical?

A bird takes shape to sit in a quilt...quite fun and this bird will wing it's way back to Vancouver BC.

Sometimes you can sit across from someone and not know they are using the same colors (different fabrics) than you are using. Isn't this fun?

Stephanie shows that stratas make for great flowers in flower power. Look at her lovely smile....and her laugh is quite wonderful too.

LaConner is known for their lovely flowers and tulips and color is everywhere. It is well worth driving to the Museum to see my quilt show, go to Calico Cupboard for a great meal and shopping for great clothes, jewelry and antiques. Awesome place with so much to see and do. I am very proud to have my quilts shown in such a magical town.

I have looked at these whirleygigs for years in LaConner. They were made by one of the girls who started "Bunnies By the Bay" and then a Chinese company bought their rights and now the building is shared by one of the girls and an artist guy. There used to be a lovely garden in front and then they widened the street. Now there are hardly any plants in front that are lovely like the last ones and the fence and whirleygigs are showing their age. It is really a cute spot though and well worth going to look at and enjoy. I always walk over there to look and let me dreams rome.

Friday, May 13, 2011

BattleCreek Michigan puts out great FLOWERS and feels the power of Flower Power

Above is one of the ladies that lives at the airport (she is paper mache). The artist was wonderful and his stuff reminds me of mine in a way. Very fun!

I couldn't help myself with this little blurb I took from a poster at the church-really this is the BattleCreek Flower Power Hall of Fame! Those girls from Michigan know how to sew and have fun. My one regret is that I did not get a photo of my hostess and her friend when they picked me up at the airport in wild hats and clothes...I was busy looking at the artwork and forgot what was really important-sorry Pat!
Below are the Flower Power Girls from BattleCreek Michigan. We had a lovely two day workshop and everyone said "we would like a third day!" There are so many possibilities and one day for this workshop is not enough. These make darling quilts and I have added many new ideas and patterns to what I started 6 years ago with hoochy flowers. This is my favorite piecing class because who doesn't love flowers, pots, birds, frogs, butterflies, bees and loads of other fun things?
BattleCreek provided many willing and fun participants. I was surprised to learn that not only is it home to Kelloggs but Post and Keebler too. I got a lovely recipe from Nancy for a cocoanut cake everyone said was fabulous. Stay tuned here and I am going to share it. The trees were all in bloom with many colors and tulips were everywhere. Lots of color and lots of buildings that would be great in story quilts. Many of the girls had super stories and I suggested they put them into a quilt so that in 80 years people would know something about them. Good advice for any quilter.
How about you?

I loved this wonderful t-shirt of Nancy's that had "Flower Power" all over it!

Spring flowers in front of the quilt shop in Marshall Michigan (I think it was Marshall)-if not it was Battle Creek

I used to do stained glass and I fell in love with this beautiful window done by the members of this church. The designer taught them how to do stained glass and look at the wonderful results. Just beautiful and the colors! Wonderful and inspiring.

Joyce's blocks as she got them done....

How sad is this? An Empty bottle tree in front of a quilt shop. Tsk, tsk. I have the bottles to fill it thanks to my friend in Oregon.