Tuesday, June 11, 2013


I had the wonderful opportunity of visiting this annual event, held in the Athletic Field House of a local university.  This event is “quilters and seamstress heaven”. All around the edges of the huge room are vendors booths selling fabrics, threads, fat quarters, finished quilted work (purses, small quilts, table runners), there are sewing machines and long arm quilting machines. In the room’s core there are rows and rows of quilts, six hundred all together, arranged by color, made by local quilters. There are antique quilts, art quilts, patriotic quilts, doll quilts, etc.

There are classes, contests, and drawings. The contest that intrigues me the most is called THE IRON QUILTER CONTEST. Modeled after TV’s Project Runway and Iron Chef. As on the TV shows, the contestants are given a surprise theme to base their work on. They have access to a huge stash of fabrics and 3.5 hours to sew up a quilt showcasing the theme.

This year the theme was DISAPPEARING ACT.

Just like on Iron Chef, there’s an audience watching the quilters, rooting for them, annoyingly asking them questions, taking their picture. But when 3.5 hours is up they have to stop creating. The contestants line up their quilts on white boards, given an opportunity to tell about their thought process for the design they selected. Each quilt is set on a chair, for the judging.

                               This was my favorite, but it did not win.

                       When the zipper is pulled up, the squiggle disappears.

  Rochester skyline - what I loved about this quilt is the bridge trusses were dressmakers snaps.

The judges paced back and forth, examining the quilts and after much comparing of notes, the judges announce the winner. The disappearing squiggle !!! and she takes home the beautiful Bernina.

I did not take pictures of all the contestants work, just the ones I was totally impressed with.

Here are some pictures I took while meandering up and down the labyrinth of quilts - just my favorites.

  President George Washington. Can you imagine all those tiny scraps?  Even shadows? Amazing.

          This one was in honor of a person's 90th Birthday. Her whole life in pictures.

                           The remaining three pictures are vintage quilts.  

.................Turn of the Century (19th) Rochester businesses in favor of temperance.

                                                     Doll Quilt

On loan from the Susan B. Anthony House's "Meaningful Threads" exhibit - Women's Suffrage Movement

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Week With My Granddaughters

I recently returned from a holiday with my granddaughters at their house. We had such a delightful time together. We played, watched TV together, cooked, ate out, did a little homeschooling, went to church, shopped and fell into bed at night, exhausted.

The girls made some dinner items with my supervision. One evening, they made the faux fried (baked) chicken cutlets for our “chicken with roasted potatoes and salad dinner”. I sliced sideways through the chicken cutlets, then pounded them, to make them nice and thin. I oiled a cookie sheet. The girls slathered the cutlets with mayonnaise, then coated them with Italian flavored breadcrumbs and laid them on the cookie sheet for baking, while I prepared the potatoes to go into the oven with the chicken.

They were averse to slathering with bare hands so they wore plastic gloves, changing them often for new ones., as the old ones became just as coated with mayo and breadcrumbs as the cutlets did. So we kept the waste container nearby at all times.

They were thrilled with their cooking experience and ate the chicken with gusto. We even had leftovers to make chicken salad for the next day’s lunch. Chicken salad is Daddy's favorite.

Their next kitchen adventure was making a chocolate pie (a totally "kid friendly" recipe). I brought home from the store 1 prepared graham cracker crust, 1 large box of instant chocolate pudding, and 1 container of lite frozen whipped topping. We had milk on hand to mix with the pudding mix and chocolate sprinkles to garnish.

With this exercise, they did the whole in entirety with only mild oversight from Grammy. Put pudding mix into large bowl – slowly added 2.5 cups of cold milk while whisking slowly (at first). Being sure to incorporate all pudding mix and milk. Set aside and watch it thicken. Open graham crust package and thawed cool whip package. Fold a couple heaping tablespoons of cool whip into the pudding mixture (to lighten it and make it creamier). Scrape all of the creamy pudding mixture into pie crust. (lick bowl and whisk before putting into dishwasher). Refrigerate pie for at least a couple hours.  1/2 hour before supper, spread remaining whipped topping over pie. Sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles. Serve for dessert.

They were ecstatic over this dessert and actually made it again a couple days later. Here is Sammi licking her plate of any remaining chocolate pie remains.  

         J.J. wore Grammy’s shoes and modeled a pink choker Grammy made for her.

Grammy staged an outdoor scavenger hunt for them one day. Used their entire block to hide things, in plain sight, for them to find.

                    They took me out for a belated Mother’s Day gift, for “TEA”

                    A totally precious memory of a week to keep hidden in my heart.