Thursday, June 02, 2016

It's a Mess!

Does this look like a work space where one could layer and baste a quilt? Yeah, I've got some cleaning up and putting away to do before I can get Sea and Sand ready to quilt. But instead, I've started cutting out rectangles for the next baby quilt - I'm on a roll! You can see the fabric for it, laid out at the end opposite the camera, where I've been doing all my cutting lately. It's hand-dyed sateen, but not mine. My mother-in-law was childhood friends with quilt teacher Lois Smith, who gave her a packet of her sateen hand-dyes and some velvets too when the mil decided to give quilting a go after her husband died and she settle in Indiana. She decided it wasn't for her and sent me her small stash including these. I thought the shimmer and softness of sateens would work well in the quilt I have planned and the colors were right too. Thank goodness I had the foresight to test for colorfastness. They ran like crazy, as did some early hand-dyes of my own I'm using to fill in the color gaps. All got treated with Retayne this week, and I have just a few more colors to cut out. THEN I'll clean off the table and get to basting the other quilt.

SCREECH (ing to a halt)!!! Oh no I won't! I'll be using that space where the cutting mat is to frame up my ArtWalk entries. I'm so used to the exhibits going up towards the end of June that I was sure I had two more weeks to procrastinate, I mean, work on putting Rift into the frame I ordered and properly mounting the fountain sample into the frame on hand. I've identified an older piece that was in ArtWalk 2 years ago (different location) that should look good with these two, and then was sure I could get something done with that leaf cluster stamp. Have been waiting waiting waiting for notification of my location placement, and it arrived by e-mail yesterday, along with the jarring news that I need to drop off my art next Tuesday. So yeah, the next four days will NOT be spent on baby quilts, but on getting my art gallery ready and filling out paperwork and perhaps making one more piece. My fault for letting time get away from me and not double checking the schedule I have hanging in the studio. Ah, the life of an artist!


With that bit of panic hanging over me, I decided I best get this rhubarb pie made. I try to make one every year - it's one of my favorites and brings back wonderful childhood memories. I need to sketch it in my Comforts sketchbook, I realize. The rhubarb has been in the fridge since last weekend, the holiday where I cooked or bought "traditional" memorial day fare and really had way too much food for a single lady. The pie felt a bridge too far (no pun intended). I've been a bit tired this week and each day I'd sigh at the effort it would take to make the pie crust (my mother's recipe as best as she could quantify ingredients that she just put together until "it feels right"), and was seriously considering waiting until Friday when I could pick a pre-made one up at the grocery store. But I rallied last night, dividing the task into two parts: cutting up the rhubarb and mixing it with the sugar and flour after lunch, and making and rolling out the pie crust after dinner. (Amazing how hard it is to think this way in order to pace myself).


Letting the rhubarb/sugar mixture sit extra long turned out to be a good thing, the natural juices drawing out and mingling with the sugar unlike when I've followed the recipe's 15 minute directions. The pie came out of the oven late, but not too late to have a small test piece. Mmmmm - oh my yes! Pretty much like mom used to make. And that's canned milk poured over it. Please don't cringe. This is another thing I grew up on, and mom always used canned milk over cobblers and pies. As an adult who has increasingly upped the sophistication level of her palate, I assumed that now I would prefer half-and-half or cream on my rhubarb pie, or even icecream. But no, whenever I did that, it didn't taste right. So last night, it was back to good ol' canned milk, and my palate said, ah - now THERE'S the taste I remember! 

9 comments:

Chris said...

The pie looks yummy. Not sure about the milk, but then I was raised on ice cream. That spot is certainly not cleared enough to baste a quilt. But while you are on a cutting roll take advantage of it. I hate cutting. I do it all kinds of ways to motivate myself....cut all at once, cut block by block, cut a lot, but have no idea how much more I have to cut.

The Idaho Beauty said...

I'm convinced that canned ( condensed ) milk is an acquired taste. My mom used it instead of cream - one of those things that came out of the wars like SPAM that was embraced by the 1950's housewives as time savers or convenience foods. I still prefer it in my tea, and think it makes a better scrambled egg than milk. Now were this a cherry pie, I would definitely go for icecream!

I've been surprised by how much I've enjoyed cutting pieces out for these two quilts. Maybe it appeals to that part of me that finds it an enjoyable challenge to cut with the least waste, or that orderly part where I don't have to make design decisions really, just follow the pre-determined dimensions. I think I'm rediscovering what excited me about quilting in those early years of learning and exploration.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Oops! I just realized I said "condensed" milk when it is actually "evaporated" milk in a can. Condensed milk has sugar added and is very thick - not at all suited for use in lieu of cream!

The Inside Stori said...

I’m literally drooling!!!

Mary D said...

Pie, looks so very yummy but rhubarb is something I have never had nor do I really remember it being in our stores while actually I probably did not know what it was so moved right on. I have put it on my list to find and see what it tastes like,hmmmm. Evaporated milk was my mom's go to for mashed potatoes and creme sauces. Press forward in your get ready and all will be well.

Michele Matucheski said...

Time to catch up with you, My Old Friend! Satin in a baby quilt? Some may question that idea. Ha -- I have fond memories of the satin bindings on my blankies as a kid. I don't know how many of those I wore out, and that my mom replaced for me. It was an incredible comfort rubbing my fingers on that satin .... When it gets so hot this summer that I have to retreat to the basement (no air conditioning at our house), I will dye some fabric again. Rhubarb Season is back! Crisp and Pie. Farmer's market opened today It's been a long wait!) I finally bought a plant so we'd have our own supply. You mother's pie looks really tastey! The canned milk is creamier than fresh milk, and you don't waste a bunch that you can't finishliving in a household of one. You eat what tastes right.

Lucia Sasaki said...

Hi Sheila!
Beautiful picture of your studio, even it was a mess! It is colorful and make me expectant of what will emerge of this effort!
I liked your pictures of the rhubarb pie, here in Sao Paulo state I don't remember of seeing a real one, but I saw many in one of Jamie Oliver cookbooks. Your seemed very tasty.
Thanks a lot for sharing bits of your life, I think it is one of the best things of blogsphere!

The Idaho Beauty said...

Michele, envious of your very own rhubarb plant. ;-) When I had access to one, I could look beyond making pies for different ways to use it up. I know I still have a chutney recipe that uses rhubarb. As for the baby quilt, that is cotton sateen I'm working into it, not satin. Not as slick and more durable than satin, but still gives a bit of reflective sheen depending on the light. The sashings and borders will be cotton and I've mixed in quite a few hand-dyed cottons as well. So the sateen will almost be an accent.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Lucia, I'm thinking rhubarb may not be something that grows in your part of the world. I thoroughly enjoyed every bite of my pie! And I agree, the best part of following blogs from all over the world is seeing bits of everyday life, not just the art and quilting stuff.