My Turn for the Summer in the Country Blog Hop!

http://www.purrfectspots.blogspot.ca

Isn’t this Summer in the Country Blog Hop wonderful fun? We are seeing such creativity in the great patterns presented, plus we are enjoying delicious recipes – and there is even more to come! Today, it is my turn.

 

Welcome to Maria’s Quilt Scraps!

I must say that Island Batik Fabrics are simply fabulous!
 Working with them is a real pleasure! The fabrics I received are Creekside on the left and Country Rooster on the right.

2-fabric-sets

L-R: Creekside – Country Rooster

I’m sure that all quilters will understand this. For a week or more, all I did was look at these beautiful fabrics and revel in them. Having done that to my heart’s content, it was time to plan. I thought of, and discarded, many ideas because one spoke to me most of all and quite insistingly, too. The beautiful sunflowers, the animals hiding in the forest, the lovely water and sky colours, and the leafy greens all cried out to become an impression of a scene in nature. For a few days, I drew and redrew my design until I was finally satisfied with it. It became Sunflower Fields.

Sunflower Fields

Sunflower Fields

The next steps were to draw my design to size, cut out the individual parts, then cut them from my fabrics. Because of all the overlapping, I started my appliques from the top with the sky and worked my way down to the bottom of the scene ending with the smaller sunflower field on the left. Because the tree overlaps everything, it was applied last. To make the leafy print look tree-like, I cut out and appliqued sections to resemble branches. I used a loose satin stitch on all the raw edges. I did the same over the outlines of several of the sunflowers to help them stand out and create some depth.

My next challenge was the border. Art, whether paint or fabric, usually has a border to set it off. In this particular case, none of these fabrics would have worked as a border, which usually, I would have added. Because I wanted it to look as if we were actually out there in nature, looking at this scene, I decided against using a traditional border, which I’m sure would have looked good and set the scene off. Instead, I simply added a binding, but one with a difference. Each section of the binding matches the fabric it surrounds in the scene. That was a challenging first for me.

Three Sets of Absolutely Wonderful Strips

shaved-ice-lr

Shaved Ice

seven-up-lr

Seven Up

budding-blooms-lr

Budding Blooms

What fun looking at all of those delightful prints and colours! I can’t tell you how many pattern ideas went through my head whenever I looked at them. Finally decided that they needed displaying and showing off similar to the ways that paint and thread manufacturers – Aurifil, for example – do with their color charts. The bonus is being able to look at and enjoy them as I do the fabrics on my shelves. So, in the end, I came up with My Island Beauties.

My Island Beauties

My Island Beauties

As best as possible, I stacked them according to their widths (as there were 2 width sizes) and colour gradations. That left the gorgeous purples in a row by themselves. Didn’t want then “all by their lonesome” as we used to say years ago, so created more strip sets using those not used in Sunflower Fields along with some repeats from those fabrics. 

The black strips are Island Batik‘s Basic Black and it is the most luscious black I have ever seen! By the way, this is just the quilt top. I may or may not add another border. A piano key border comes to mind using up more of the fabrics from My Island Beauties. What do you think? Another border? Yay or Nay? Please leave a comment and let me know.

Once the quilt top was hung on the wall to take photos and I stood back, I got the impression of looking through windows at different landscapes: mountain areas, forests, canyons. What do you see?

My Summer Recipe

lemonpie-lr

Lemons, with their sunny colours and summery taste came to mind – plus, a friend from the South, told me that there, it is considered a summer dessert. My grandmother made the best lemon pies ever. Unfortunately, I did not get a copy of her recipe, so this one has been named for hers and enjoyed in our family for almost 40 years. Its origins, sadly, have been forgotten. My younger daughter continues the tradition of baking this delicious pie. The photo above is one of hers.

Best-Ever Lemon Pie

To-Do List:

  1. Prepare Pie Crusts.
  2. Prepare Meringue.
  3. Prepare Filling.
  4. Bake Pies
  5. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 baked pie shell – ready and cooled (recipe below)
Meringue – ready and chilled (recipe below)
Note: Both the above make enough for 2 pies. Recipe is for 1 pie. Quantities for 2 pies are included in parentheses.

Pie Crust
Preheat oven to 425°F

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 cup vegetable shortening (chilled)
4 – 6 tablespoons cold water

Directions:

  • Mix flour & salt together.
  • Cut shortening in with a pastry blender, or 2 knives, until the mixture becomes small crumbles.
  • Add water a tablespoon at a time, mixing it in with a fork. Add more, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough will hold together.
  • Divide the dough in half.
  • Roll out on a floured pastry board or between layers of waxed paper.
  • Place in a pie plate. (If making just one pie, wrap and refrigerate one for future use.)
  • Flute the edges around the rim.
  • Prick the bottom and sides with a fork in several places to prevent the crust from ballooning out.
  • Bake crust in center of oven, at 425°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges and bottom are browned. Keep an eye on it as oven heats can differ.
  • Remove to a rack to cool.

Meringue
Make it next, then  set it aside.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 tablespoons cold water
1/3 cup boiling or hot water
3 egg whites
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Directions:

  • Blend the corn starch and the cold water in a saucepan.
  • Let stand until completely cold. (Can be refrigerated for faster cooling.)
  • Beat the egg whites at high speed until foamy. 
  • Gradually add the sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff, but not dry. 
  • If adding vanilla, turn to low speed and add it.
  • Gradually beat in the cold corn starch mixture. Turn to high speed and beat well.
  • Cool, then refrigerate.

Pie Filling

Preheat oven to 350°F

3/4 cup to 1-1/4 cups sugar – depending on how sweet you like it. I have always used the
lesser amount. (1-1/2 – 2-1/2 cups)
6 tablespoons corn starch (12 tablespoons)
2 cups water (4 cups)3 eggs, separated (6 eggs)
1/3 cup lemon juice squeezed from 1-1/2 to 2 large lemons (2 large)
1 tablespoon butter – or for richer tastes, up to 3 tablespoons – I have always used just 1. (2 – 6 tablespoons)
1-1/2 teaspoons of lemon extract or 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind. (3 teaspoons)

 Directions:

    • Mix sugar and cornstarch together in the top of a double boiler./li>
    • Add water./li>
    • Combine egg  yolks with lemon juice and beat them well. – Add them to the mixture in the double boiler.
    • Cook over boiling water until thick (about 25 minutes).
    • Add the butter and lemon extract (or grated rind). Stir thoroughly.
    • Pour into a pie shell and allow to cool.
    • When cooled, cover with meringue.
    • Bake at 350°F for about 10 minutes or until meringue is lightly browned.
    • Transfer to a rack to cool. 
    • Refrigerate and serve cold.

Lemon Pudding
This recipe makes a delicious lemon pudding.
Simply make the filling and spoon it into desert glasses. Place them in the refrigerator to cool.Enjoy!

Giveaways

Island Batik Giveaway

To enter, click on the Rafflecopter link below. A winner from those entries will be chosen at the end of the Blog Hop on September 4th. Only  U.S. residents over 18 are eligible. One entry allowed per person.

Win a Free Pattern

Everyone is eligible to win one of my patterns. All you need do is leave your comments. Using Random.org, I will choose 3 winners from among those who comment. Each will each receive a pattern of their choice from those I have for sale on Craftsy. Winners will be announced at the end of the Blog Hop.

Good luck!  Thank you for stopping by. Be sure to visit again tomorrow when you will be visiting with Mary Mac.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


8/17 – Island Batik

8/18 – KISSed Quilts – Part 1

8/19 – Kauffman Designs

8/20 – Adele Mogavero

8/21 – MooseStash Quilting

8/22 – Pamela Quilts

8/23 – Freemotion by the River

8/24 – The Patchwork Pearl

8/25 – Fun Threads Designs

8/26 – For Quilts Sake

8/27 – Lemon Tree Snippets

8/28 – Bejeweled Quilts

8/29 – Tamarinis

8/30 – KISSed Quilts – Part 2

8/31 – Beaquilter

9/1 – Purrfect Spots Designs

9/2 – Maria Michaels Designs

9/3 – Mary Mack Made Mine

9/4 – Made In Scraps

9/5 – Happy Cottage Quilter

55 Comments

  1. No matter how hard I tried, I could not lick the meringue off the top of the Lemon Meringue Pie your daughter made…but on a plus side, my screen is very clean now lol

    Hugs
    Naomi

  2. Nicole Sender

    Lovely quilt! You lemon pie looks delicious!

  3. Sarah

    That is such a lovely quilt! My preference in regards to a border would be a plain black one that would frame and draw your eyes in to the “window panes”.

    • Thank you, Sarah. I think you are right about the border. As I look at the quilt top, that is the decsion I was coming to as well. The suggestions I’ve received are all good one, but like you, I want eyes drawn to the “views” from the window.

  4. Beth T.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful work with us. I really liked your comment, above, about creating without self-criticism. I recently attended an event with the author Louise Penny, and she talked about having a very difficult time writing her second book. When she spoke to a therapist about it, the therapist offered the insight that, “the wrong person was writing the book”–that Ms. Penny was attempting to have her critical self write the first draft of the novel, rather than her creative self. Once she sat down and allowed herself to be creative, knowing there would be time later to edit, critique, etc., she was able to once again write with joy.

    • That is such good advice! Very clever therapist! We should all remember it and take it to heart. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

  5. Karen Thurn

    Love your block and love your landscape quilt. As far as border or not, depends on whether you want it larger. I’d tend to leave as is and bind with scrappy leftover of al the colors. kthurn@bektel.com

    • Karen, your idea for the binding is a very good one. If I had leftovers of the strips I would do it.
      Unfortunately, I don’t have enough. I will definitely remember your suggestion for a future quilt!

  6. Gay

    Island Beauties is so simple but outstanding…..lets the fabrics do the work!
    Pie looks sooooooooooooo good!

    • Your are right, Gay. Those gorgeous Island Batik fabrics truly do all the work.

  7. Lori Smanski

    your quilts are gorgeous. and your recipe looks scrumptious. will have to try. thanks for sharing

  8. Connie Cain

    Love your quilts! Sunflowers are my favorite (was born in Kansas). And the strip quilt is wonderful, what a simple and beautiful statement. I just love batiks, they are mesmerizing and so different. 🙂
    craftyccain@gmail.com

    • Thank you so much, Connie. Drop by again on Saturday to see if you are one of our winners! Good luck to you and to everyone who has left a comment!

  9. laurie

    I really love both projects, such imagination!

  10. Raymond Hastie

    I love Sunflower Fields. If I had an ounce of talent… 😉

    • The actual fields are truly things of beauty. As a former art teacher, I am sure you have much more talent than you realize! So often, I found it was a matter of allowing yourself to explore your creativity without self-criticism. Truly!

  11. Your Sunflower Fields is adorable!

  12. Lynnette Lamance

    I love Island Beauties. I think it looks finished without another border. What I see when I look at the quilt, are windows and in each pane a different view of nature

    • So glad you like it, Lynnette. I’m also glad that you see what I see when you look at My Island Beauties. I didn’t see those views while working closely with it. It was only when I hung it and stepped back and then I was delighted to see that secondary pattern, so to speak.

  13. My favorite pie! I’ll have to try this recipe for sure! Love your quilt – very pretty!

    • Thank you, Pamela. Do let me know how you like the pied when the time comes!

  14. Chris

    The color chart was terrific. Your Sunflowers are great. I just lost the last of mine. Too hot and no rain. Lemon Meringue my husband’s favorite pie but I’m not turning the oven on till the temp drops to 80.

  15. I love love love your applique. What a fabulous way to show off those gorgeous fabrics. And the strip set quilt! Thumbs up on that one! Lemon Meringue is one of my favorites.
    Coconut custard is #1 and I can’t find a good recipe for it anywhere! LOL!

    • Thank you, Joan. If I ever find a Coconut Custard recipe, I’ll be sure to pass it on to you!

  16. Celeste

    Sunflower Fields conjures up a beautiful, relaxing day outdoors. The colours are soothing and relaxing. A beautiful scene.

    I love the rich colours in Island Beauties. The juxtapose of the black ‘window pane’ borders, helps to set each section apart, so that you can more fully appreciate the colour and design.

    Great work!!!

  17. Love what you did with the ‘strips’! Been working on something myself, but you’ve done it in a way that I also like very much. Love lemon stuff….may have to try this alternative to mine 😉

    • Thank you, Marlene. I am greatly looking forward to seeing what you have done with yours.
      Let me know if/when you try this pie. I’d love to know what you think of it.

  18. Lori Morton

    I loooove your Quilt! It is beyond Beautiful!! Is a picture of serenity & beauty…peaceful! Your are Amazingly creative…sooooo cool! Thank you for sharing your Talent! 🙂

  19. Teresa

    Love the way you have used the sunflower fabric and the lemon pie looks delicious. Thanks

  20. teri

    Love the color chart quilt. I always have trouble deciding how to use my lovely batiks. I don’t think I would add another border.

  21. Susan Jones

    I love those fabrics and the sunflower field!

  22. Nancy D

    Great quilts. Love the color chart!

  23. Maryellen

    Great use of the fabrics! And the pie sounds great, too.

    • I appreciate your comment, Maryellen – and yes, that pie is delicious!
      It’s what everyone who tastes it tells me. 🙂

  24. Allison CB

    Love your Sunflower Fields quilt – very cute!

  25. Love the Sunflower Fields, and great job with the binding. Have you ever tried facing a quilt? I do that all the time and it doesn’t leave a visual binding.

  26. Cecilia

    I think a piano key border would look nice. Thanks for sharing your projects and for the chance to win one of your patterns.

    • Thanks for visiting, Cecilia, and for your vote. I’ll tally them with the others at the Hop’s end.

  27. Beautiful landscape quilt Maria and how fun to make a color chart design with all of your batiks!

    • Thank you, Connie. 🙂 The colour chart was a lot of fun to make. I wish all the different strips showed up more clearly, her, though. The fabrics are lovely.

      • Whoops! That was supposed to be “here”, not “her”!
        Sorry about that.

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