Merrily We Quilt Along

Not a lot was accomplished yesterday. My pedicure mid-day kind of shot a hole in my timing, but it was probably good to take a little break from sewing. When I got home, I went to work finishing up the last little corner on the Gingerbread Village. (I'm thinking of calling it "Santa's Village" instead.) When all the roofs and windows were added, it looked like this.

When I did the previous village, I added in more trees, pots, and steps. This village is more playful with lots of peaky roofs, more trees, chimneys, and fewer colors. It was tempting to add in some steps, but really, I couldn't find a space for anything else. It was time to glue it all down. If you look in the upper right-hand corner of the image above, you can see that one of the doors has shifted. It got straightened out in the gluing process. The best glue for this is Roxanne Glue Baste-It.

The picture I took of this yesterday turned out blurry, and so I'm borrowing an old picture from when I did the first "Happy Village." It has a nice long, narrow glue tip, and so it's easy to get in under those tiny pieces.

As I was doing the gluing yesterday (doing the gluing: pure poetry), I realized I should have glued down the larger background pieces before adding the doors, roofs, windows, etc. Oy. And now I was concerned about how well this would work. I glued as much as I could and then endeavored to move it over onto the fabric I chose for the quilt back. This one was in my Christmas stash. It was large enough and had only the colors I wanted, and so it seemed like the obvious choice.

The best way to move these, I've found, is to slide them over onto my largest square ruler and then slide them onto the backing piece. After that, I laid the sparkly tulle over the top. So far, so good.

The next job was to pin baste it, and I added so many pins it isn't even funny. After I took this photo of the pins, I put even more oriented vertically, to be sure none of those pieces can move.

When it was all pinned to within an inch of its life, I picked the whole piece up and held it vertically. Sigh of relief. Nothing moved. After that, I laid rulers across the whole piece again and let it sit over night to give the glue a chance to dry. Today I'll start stitching on it. More to come on this piece.

After that I did a little more work on the Quiltmaker's Garden. I quilted some more of the gazebo "floor" and some of the uprights. Also, I added terry twists to the outermost right edge of the quilt. I had a hard time deciding whether to quilt "twists" at the extreme edge or whether to simply quilt a straight line. Obviously, I opted for more twists there, leaving some allowance for trimming and the quilt binding.

After that I quilted the fourth of five roses. One more to go.

And then I started quilting the "pavers" at the bottom of the quilt.

Looking again at the whole quilt, you can see that the "pavers" at the bottom are arranged in a zigzag design, and so I'm quilting with a straight-line zigzag pattern to emphasize that shape.

It's a little tedious, and it'll require cutting thread fairly frequently. Nevertheless, I think it's the best choice for that section. Fortunately, it's a small section.

That was as far as I got before we needed to get ready for our dinner out. We went to one of our favorite restaurants in the little town of Dayton, Oregon, just down the road a bit. I wrote about the Joel Palmer House in a previous post. Joel Palmer was one of the original Oregon pioneers, and the history of the restaurant is fairly interesting. We were there last time to celebrate 400 days until Mike's retirement. My, how time flies.

Interestingly, the menu that night was similar to last night's menu, with just a few changes. We started with this carrot tartare. I noted this was slightly pickled at our last visit, but last night, it was more sweet than pickled. Anyway...yummy. We licked the little spoon plate it was served on. Now that we're retired and officially old, we can get away with that kind of stuff and folks around us just smile and think we're cute.

The next course was a wild mushroom soup. Delicious. It's decorated with a little bit of creme fraiche. You need to understand that the Joel Palmer house is famous for using mushrooms in their cooking.

For the main course, I ordered the cheese tortellini. The sauce was wonderfully flavorful and creamy, and there were mushrooms mixed in throughout the dish. The red threads on top looked like saffron, but the chef told me they were Asian pepper threads to add a little heat. I'd already eaten them alone, and there was little heat, but they were so pretty there on top. Mike had the beef stroganoff, and his was delicious too. The beef was a whole lot more melt-in-your-mouth tender than the stew meat I use when I make it at home. Go figure.

For dessert, Mike had this little chocolate cake garnished with blood oranges.

Mine was a caramel apple crepe stuffed with ricotta cheese and apples. Of course, we both got a birthday candle to light the way.

It was a nice evening, as it always is at the Joel Palmer House.

When I got up this morning, I found this belated birthday gift from Matthew. You need to understand the history behind this gift.

When the kids were little and they'd ask me what I wanted for Christmas or my birthday, I'd always try to come up with something useful, but inexpensive, because after all, they had only a small allowance, and I didn't want them spending all their money on me. So I'd always say measuring spoons or measuring cups. This went on for years, and as a cook, one can never have too many measuring spoons or measuring cups, right?

So then one year Matthew asked me what I wanted for Christmas, followed quickly with, "And don't say measuring spoons!" which gave us all a good laugh. So when he asked me the other day what I wanted for my birthday, I was hard pressed to give an answer. There really is nothing missing from my life, and so what I really want is time...time for sewing, time with my family, time left in my life...time. What is more valuable than time? So, pressed for an answer I joked, "Well, you can always give me measuring spoons." And we all had a good laugh about it.

Then, fast forward to this morning...this. So funny and cute. Thank you, my dear Matthew.

On today's agenda, a little cleaning, but then I'll get started stitching the Gingerbread Village. I'll be glad to have everything stitched in place and shiftless. "Shiftless" as opposed to "shifty." You can't trust a shifty quilt.

11 comments from clever and witty friends:

NancyA said...

I am so intrigued with your village; what a fun project!

"Now that we're retired and officially old, we can get away with that kind of stuff and folks around us just smile and think we're cute." OMG--I love this line. I'm sitting here all by myself laughing out loud. As an old retired person myself, I need to keep that as my motto as DH and I do have some 'odd' moments!

QuiltShopGal said...

Be-lated Happy Birthday. Looks like an absolutely perfect way to celebrate. I love your story about the measuring spoons. So true about time. I wish I could give you years and years of time as a gift.

gpc said...

I am lusting after your dinner as we sit here contemplating Taco Bell. And I am amazed at how much I like your Santa thingy -- I didn't expect it to be a favorite. Maybe you should just pick a list of projects for me and I should just follow it blindly. That sounds like a good plan. And those are the cutest measuring spoons ever, and such a sweet reminder of Matthew's younger days. It sounds like he has always been a sweet son. They just make the bestest men.

Quilting Babcia said...

You are so right - time is a precious gift, one that'll mean even more when you get to be my age, lol! I love the sparkly tulle over your Christmas village, it's perfect.

crazy quilter said...

Looks so yummy! Happy Belated birthday to both of you!

WoolenSails said...

Love the houses, can't wait to see it quilted. You are doing a beautiful job on quilting the Garden piece, beautiful design.


piecefulwendy said...

Oh my, the pictures of your food make my mouth water. I had to laugh as I was posting pictures of the food I had already eaten on my blog, thinking of you while I was posting them because they were not like yours! Your evening out sounds perfect, and so fun that you were both celebrating your birthdays! I love the gift from Matthew and the story behind it. Nothing more fun than a good laugh with our kids, right! And yes -- the gift of time becomes more precious as the years go by. The pins in your gingerbread quilt remind me that it's a little quilt. I always think it's larger for some reason!

Judy1522 said...

Happy Birthday! It looks like you had a delicious birthday celebration. I love the cat measuring spoons. I can't remember what my husband said to me today but my response to him was I don't have enough time left to worry about that. That is something I find myself thinking and saying more as the years fly by.

Kate said...

Your birthday celebration looks very, very yummy. Gingerbread Village is really coming along. It's amazing to see how adding those windows, doors, and chimneys really does make the village seem to simply appear.

Brown Family said...

dinner looks good as usual. The Garden quilt is growing as you go! I h ope the shifty Village has been tamed!

quiltzyx said...

Don't you just love those flat, flower-head (or any of the other shapes they have now) pins? Glad the Village is shiftless at last!
Huh, carrot tartare. I just turned to Mr. Google to see more about this - figured it must be more than just raw carrots. The first thing that popped up:

"Finely dice carrots, shallot, and pistachios. Mix mustard, champagne vinegar, roasted garlic paste, and lemon zest together and fold into carrots. Season to taste with vinegar and salt. Garnish with finely minced carrot greens." (from food52.com)

Maybe they didn't use the vinegar this time & that's why it was sweet instead of pickled? Sounds good anyway, as did the rest of your b'day dinners & desserts!

Very cute measuring spoons from Matthew! From my sister Judy's MIL we learned that "you can never have too many tea towels" - which I reminded Judy of on her b'day this year! She still agrees too. :)