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!