Quilts for Sale

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


My DIL Suzie has given me the most wonderful gift - a new, updated blog!  Beginning now, please follow me here:

See you there!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Blog Bark

This was posted on Facebook friend  and artist Tristan Robin Blakeman's status today.  I just love it!  Woof woof.

Check Tristan's page for more info:   http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=732277006

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What Waistline?

What's a girl to do when faced with this - fresh from the oven?  I don't think I've seen my waistline since the Nixon administration!

My DH just returned from a three-day hiking trip to his favorite spot - the Mt. Mitchell area of the Blue Ridge.  He came home with beautiful fresh NC apples, Amish cheese and other delights.  Since he loves to cook and insists on doing it all himself, dinner tonight was lovely - not a Wendy's salad or a deli wrap which I'd been having.  We had a beautiful roast chicken, fresh green beans, brown rice and freshly baked apple pie. The pie is not at all on my eating plan, but he went to all that trouble and I certainly did not want to hurt his feelings.  It was DIVINE!  I'm really glad he's never gotten into baking  bread or other treats.  I have enough trouble staying "on plan" as it is!  Yowza!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


 Grilled Scallops from
131 Main

 I treated my husband to an early dinner at 131 Main last week for his birthday.  We were delighted to learn all appetizers, including the grilled scallops shown above, are $5. between 5 and 7 p.m.  I chose the grilled artichokes - DIVINE!  My DH celebrated with a gorgeous prime rib;  I stuck with the flounder and mash.

 Caramel Cake with Caramel Filling
and Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

 For dessert, I baked a caramel cake (DH's favorite) with caramel filling and caramel cream cheese frosting.  The caramel filling, which cooked for nearly 3 hours until I said, "You're done!" was quite rich, prompting me to use just half.  Our son Matthew suggested the cake would also be good with no caramel -  just frosting.

A word to the wise:  Use full fat cream cheese and full fat butter. I realized too late I'd used "light" butter which would not solidify.  So, I added more powdered sugar and additional regular butter to make the icing firm enough to spread.


Instead of directions from Kathryn Conrad's MyRecipes, I saved time by using a Betty Crocker butter moist yellow cake mix to which I added 1/4 C. brown sugar.  Bake according to directions.  Let cool.. 

Recipes for the icing and caramel filling are from Kathryn Conrad via a Google search.


Combine 1 1/2 C. brown sugar, 1/2 C. evaporated milk and 1/4 C. butter in a saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Cook (without stirring) until a candy thermometer registers 238 degrees, soft ball stage. Transfer to a heat-resistant bowl and beat 3 minutes or until thickened and easy to spread.  Quickly spread filling over cake layer on plate.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap; chill 15 minutes or until set. Spread a thin layer of Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting over filling.  Top with second layer. Frost cake.  Chill 20 minutes or until frosting sets, then cover and chill 4 hours or overnight.  Let stand 20 minutes at room temperature before serving.


1/4 C.. light brown sugar
10 T. butter, divided
1/3 C. heavy whipping cream
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Dash of salt
1 3/4 C. powdered sugar

Melt brown sugar and 4 T. butter is saucepan over medium heat.  Stir until sugar dissolves.  Bring to boil over medium heat, remove from heat.  Whisk in cream; blend well.  Transfer to a heat-resistant bowl.  Cool at room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Place remaining 6 T. butter and cream cheese in a large bowl; beat with mixer set on medium-high speed until smooth.  Beat in vanilla and salt.  With mixer running, slowlyt pour in cooled brown sugar mixtgure; beat until smooth.  Add powdered sugar (I sifted mine) gradually, beating well afer each addition until completely smooth.  Chill slightly for a firmer texture, stirring occasionally.

As previously stated, spead frosting over caramel filling on first layer, add second layer.  Frost sides and then top of cake.  Chill.

Notes:  This is a delicious cake, but its caramel filling takes forever to cook.  If you could find a faster/easier substitute, it wouldn't be quite so labor intensive.  In its original form, the process took five hours.  And I didn't even make the pecan praline garnish!


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Back Soon

Thanks to all my faithful readers for being so patient.  The last couple of months have been crazy.  Regular posts will resume next week.  

Hope you're all enjoying fall!  I can't get enough of it.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Sunset - Sunset Beach NC

Our vacation this year was fabulous!  Temperatures were perfect and skies clear with warm Atlantic waters of 80 degrees.  Enjoy these few photos of my family.

My nephew Dr. Josh and DIL Suzie help Addison jump a wave. 

Joshua, Addison, Olivia, baby Charlotte and Lisa
Olivia and Suzie get ready to boogie board.
My son Matthew and his wife Suzie at Lisa's luau.
My sister Sue and her husband John
Suzie, Matthew and 5-month old Charlotte, Josh and Lisa's baby.

The whole luau gang
Photo credit:  http://mattandsuzie.com/ 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

FIRE AND ICE - Opening Reception

If you're in the Columbus OH area Saturday, please stop by Galleria Evangelia for the opening reception of the "Fire and Ice" exhibit..  My piece Hot Stuff is part of the show.  Details below.

Fire & Ice Exhibit

Fire & Ice
Opening reception Saturday, September 11, 2010
Show Runs September 11- October 3, 2010

Galleria  Evangelia  will present an exhibition of Art Glass and Art Quilts by Columbus’ exceptional  artist in both mediums.

Quilts are presented by  The Art Quilt Network,  founded in 1986 by the internationally known quilt artist, Nancy Crow. From a small core of artists the group has grown to 60 highly creative members from America and Canada who meet twice a year in Columbus, Ohio (and occasionally in other cities) for a three day retreat. The purpose of these gatherings is to provide a non-competitive, supportive environment where new ideas, information and each artist’s most recent works are shared.

Many Art Quilt Network members have been the recipients of national, state and local art grants and awards. Many members have taught and exhibited throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Art Quilt artist include Linda Fowler, Marla Hattabaugh, Frauke Palmer, Gwen Surratt, Susan Voeghtly, Barbara Watler, Georgie Cline, Susan Nash. Pat Owoc.

Glass artist from acclaimed Glass Axis Studio include Brian Beecher, Lisa Horkin, Michael McNerny, Daniel Miller and Daniel Schreiber are among participants.

Galleria Evangelia
4269 North High Street
Clintonville, Ohio 43214

Friday, August 27, 2010

My Work in Columbus OH

Hello again, dear readers. After an absence of several weeks, I'm finally getting things almost back to normal. 

My piece Hot Stuff will be in exhibited in Columbus OH.  The "Fire and Ice" exhibit runs Sept. 11 to October 2 at Galleria Evangelia, 4269 N. High Street.  614.354.557.  The show features art glass as well as textiles from Art Quilt Network members.

 Hot Stuff
26 x 27"
Machine pieced of hand-dyed*, repurposed and commercial cottons.  Hand quilted with embroidery floss.
*Border fabric hand-dyed by Debra Lunn and Michael Mrowka.

 Artist's Statement:  Red hot glowing heat, the brilliant oranges of burning.  These are words which define FIRE to me.  HOT STUFF, with its random movement, conveys the sporadic rampage of fire - the unpredictability of its course.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tragedy Averted!

I was awakened this morning by a tremndous noise and concussion which shook the house.  "What was that?" I yelled.  No response.  A quick look from the bathroom window into the backyard showed nothing. I then heard rapid knocking on the front door just as my DH burst in through the back door.  "Are you OK?" I heard our neighbor Liza ask.  She'd heard the noise and rushed here from four houses away.

My DH and Numa, our grandpuppy, had been in the garden when Bill suddenly heard a loud pop/crack.  He looked up just in time to see a 60', 24" diameter portion of the neighbor's giant oak tree heading straight for him - fast!  He and Numa took off on a dead run, narrowly escaping the crush.  The tree reached half-way into our garden, where my DH spends much time.  He and a young couple had been standing just under the tree late yesterday, searching for their lost dog.  If the limb had fallen then, all three might have been killed.

The limb - so big I literally thought it was a whole tree at first glance - fell across power lines, disconnecting electricity, phone and cable.  It also knocked out a window and crashed through a corner of the garage next door as well as damaging my DH's car.

What happened this morning was yet another reminder of how precious each moment is.  Had my husband not been fleet of foot, well...............I don't even want to go there.  He said "It was literally like running for a bunker in Vietnam and hoping I'd make it."  He's safe.  Numa is safe.  The other stuff is just that - stuff.

Duke Energy was here within 30 minutes to pull a new line.  The cable is being repaired as I write.  The phone?  "We'll try to get someone out there by 6 p.m. FRIDAY!"  FRIDAY????? How can they be that busy, when almost no one has land lines now?  They've probably had to lay off their repair crews due to lack of business.

I'm posting from my DH's wireless laptop.  My computer is DSL - so no internet for days unless I get a tv crew out here for an "Action 9" report from the back yard.  I'll post photos after phone service is repaired.

We had a very close call this morning and know how very blessed we are.  Be safe, everyone.

Update:  All systems are up and running.  The phone guy (Scott, who was wonderful) arrived after 5 and spent nearly two hours rigging a temporary fix.  We now have both phone lines and DSL operating.  We're not sure whether my DH's threat to call action 9 or have a press conference at corporate headquarters five blocks from here was what did the trick, but our file had been marked "highest priority."  If you want action, you have to make some noise.

As the day has passed, I've felt more and more emotional about this morning's event.  That tree came down in probably less than three seconds, and yet my DH and our grandpuppy escaped.  I've just had an "adult beverage." 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Our only child is 31 years old today.  Thirty-one!  Just before our son was born, my Mother told me, "Your lives will never be the same."  How wise she was.  There just aren't words to express how we feel about Matthew.  I would never have believed it possible to love someone that much.

July 29, 1979
The first time ever I saw his face.

My DH Bill holds Matthew for the first time.

Matthew and his wife Suzie
outside Thai Bangkok
July 28, 2010

We had an early birthday celebration yesterday.  It was grand!

Happy Birthday, Matthew.  We love you to the moon and back!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Thrifting Mondays

I've been told my computer is a dinosaur, even though it seems I just bought it.  My DH has found it has almost no RAM.  Consequently, it has begun to "act its age" - grinding slowly away.  My son worked on it recently, pronouncing it a "major fail" and advising, "Mom, you need a Mac."  The CD burner and scan functions have disappeared.  Today, it refuses to read memory cards.

So what we're left with for Thrifting Mondays are photographs of things already uploaded.

 Thrift shop quilt.
It's just big enough to cover a double mattress.

 I bought this humble quilt just to use as a snuggleup.  The fabrics are unusual - both cottons and flannels.  I'm usually pretty good at dating fabrics, but came up empty on this one.  New? 1980s? Curious minds want to know.  What do you think?

Target of Love - a clue to newness?

Maybe it's made from scraps - old and new.

The white designs are actually machine-embroidered on the red fabric.
I'm leaning more towards "new" all the time now.

Should have rotated this picture for you.  Sorry.
The quilt backing is also pieced.

Let me know what you think about this quilt's age.  It has no label, no ID of any kind.  But it just felt cozy, so came home with me.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Thrifting Mondays

I've set daily goals for myself, attempting to get a lot of things out of the way before hand surgery later this summer.  Yesterday's "assignment" wasn't completed until after midnight, delaying my Thrifting Mondays post to today.

I'm drawn to quirky items, especially if they're red and especially if they're kitchen or advertising related.  I have no idea where this coin box was used, but the word HONOR pulled me in.

When I enter a thrift store, I always check the linen racks first.  No longer easily found, vintage percale sheets are prized.  Nothing feels as good and restful on a warm night as slipping between cool, cotton sheets.  Chenille bedspreads, found for just $4.50 back in the day, are now scarce, as are vintage pillowcases.

Quilts keep popping up, but 90% are not great.  I cannot remember the top, as I bought a "cutter" quilt simply for the backing fabric - whimsical circus animals and dancing marionettes - circa 1940.  

A "cutter" quilt was bought just for its backing fabric.  How fun!

Until next week, good thrifting!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lovely Day

Our son Matthew had an appointment in Charlotte so spent the day with us. It's always great to relax and visit and to laugh. Matthew has a great sense of humor and a quick wit. Always fun.

We enjoyed a great Vietnamese lunch at Lang Van, then relaxed at home, taking lots of pictures.  Matthew got together tonight for dinner with an old college buddy.  They planned to hear a friend play in a local club.

Father and son reunion.

My favorite from today.
Photo credit: Bill Guerrant

DH and moi.
Photo credit:  Matthew Guerrant

Family - the most important thing ever.  We are truly blessed.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ice Box Pickles

Pickles, 1 of 10

Several asked for the pickle recipe mentioned yesterday.  I'm guessing this is very old, as the name is Ice Box Pickles, not refrigerator.


7 pounds (approximately) pickling size cucumbers w/skins on
3 large Vidalia onions
4 C. sugar
4 C. cider vinegar
1/4 C. uniodized salt
1 T. turmeric
1 1/2 T. mustard seed
1 1/2 T.  celery seeds

Wash and slice cukes and onions in a food processor.  Layer and pack down mixture in quart or pint canning jars.  Heat remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Stir and be sure sugar is dissolved.  Pour liquid over cukes/onions in jar, filling to the top.  This step is easiest with a wide-mouth funnel.  Cap jars.

Cool.  Refrigerate and marinate for two weeks, inverting jars several times every few days to mix ingredients.

Pickles are good for six months in the refrigerator.  Enjoy!

Note:  Ten pounds of cukes made 10 quarts of pickles.  We needed an  additional 1/2 recipe of the brine in order to fill all the jars. 

Pickle Time

Love the little tendrils on the cucumber vines.

We love gardening.  Well, let me rephrase that.  I love reaping the benefits of our garden.  My DH has been amending the soil here with organic materials since 1972.  With the addition of compost, leaves, grass clippings and scraps such as egg shells, peelings and coffee gounds, he's turned the formerly hard red Carolina clay into wonderful, fertile, 97% organic soil.  An entire year's worth of rich compost, as well as leaves are double-tilled into the earth each year.  We have an agreement with a neighbor to pick up his bagged grass clippings for soil amendment.  It makes it easy to gather the bags once his gardeners complete their work.  We also pick up bags of grass put out for trash pickup.  Many on our street use commercial lawn crews, making it easy for us to obtain other organic materials.

It's always a struggle for me to convince my DH that my perennial garden needs compost too.  I may have to begin my own or start buying mushroom compost - the best! I don't work my area of soil as diligently as Bill.  After all, I grew up on a farm in Illinois which has some of the richest, black dirt anywhere.  One could dig it with a teaspoon - effortlessly.  Trying to dig the hard clay is very labor intensive.

Our bounty is great, so we share veggies with neighbors.  My DH, Bill, has a reputation for being the "garden authority" on our street.  He's even conducted tours for the little kids and their parents, hoping  to spur them on to having gardens themselves one day.  Several have started, but have either not amended their soil enough, planted cool weather crops in the middle of summer, or tried to grow veggies in shade.  They'll come around, I'm sure.

Ten pounds of sliced cucumbers and onions!

Today was pickle making day.  Bill was given a recipe for refrigerator pickles which have become his favorite.  I like them too, but not the fact that they take up so much refrigerator space.  My favorites are the bread and butter pickles from Irma Rombauer's "The Joy of Cooking."  Those pickles can be stored in the pantry.

Figs next door are almost ripe.  Few people know, but the place has been unoccupied for over 15 years.  The owners show up occasionally to do yard work and have given us total access to their figs. Tomatoes are coming in like gangbusters.  And I'm determined to freeze more blueberries.

I'll be freezing peaches soon, a task postponed from a few days ago.  My concentration these days is trying to find our diningroom table.  I know it's in there somewhere!  Tomorrow will be day three.  Just ridiculous, my inability to throw things out!  I see a giant yard sale in my future!

I think we'll have a tomato pie very soon.  Check back tomorrow for the pickle recipe.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sentimental Journey

Today would have been my father's 97th birthday.  He's been gone since 1983, but I still miss him every day.  Here he's shown sitting in a car in front of his boyhood home in Cortland IL.  My sisters and I stopped to get photos of the house when home for a family event.  It was a beautiful, big old home on Pleasant Street - still standing until it was torn down to make room for airport expansion in DeKalb. 

Standing in the picture are friend Harry Olson and my father's older brother Floyd on the extreme right. Note the knickers and caps.  Too cool.

August 10, 1920

Monday, July 12, 2010

Thrifting Mondays

Chinese Coins thrifted quilt top - my latest one!

One of my favorite thrift stores sells huge bags of fabrics for $3.50.  The bags are clear, allowing a look at some of the contents before committing.  Sometimes it is all 1970s polyester double knit, sometimes towels, sometimes old upholstery fabrics or scraps of doilies.  On occasion I've really lucked out and found quilt tops. 

My first were a very poorly stitched double wedding ring and an equally bad grandmother's fan - in the same bag!  Since each had the same pale yellow fabric, I asumed they were madc by the same person. Shown below is the next bagged up charmer I found - a crazy quilt with some very nice sections. 

Although the overall look of this crazy quilt is primitive, I loved its innocent quality.  Note the bunnies nibbling a carrot in the middle block.  The leaf next to them is bigger than they are.

My last find was the quilt shown at the top of the page.  I'm guessing the fabrics in the Chinese Coins piece were from the 1990s.  Can anyone give me a closer date?

This latest top is fairly square - not all wonky as the first quilts were.  It will be a good practice piece for machine quilting. 

What exciting finds have you made recently?  Would love to hear about them.  And don't forget to check Selena who gave me this great Thrifting Mondays idea.  Her blog is one of my favorites. http://apronthriftgirl.typepad.com/

Sleep tight, babycakes. xoxox   Ellen.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sarah's Art Car

I believe we always end up where we're supposed to be, that so-called coincidences happen for a reason.  Yesterday, I met the most wonderful young woman when we both "just happened" to pull into the credit union at the same time.  She was driving an older, brightly painted Dodge Caravan.  As I got closer, I saw what I hadn't previously noticed.  The background of the driver's side was covered in car art script.  This is a person who obviously has a lot to say.

I told the driver and artist, Sarah, how much I liked her car.  Soon she, her father Eddie and I were chatting as if we'd known each other forever.  From her father I learned Sarah's Honors Art 4 project had been her car, on which she'd earned a grade of 100. Sarah will be attending college this fall in Ohio - also the home of acclaimed quilt artist Susan Shie. Susan is perhaps best known for the air pen writing which covers every square inch of background space on her quilts.  Who knows - maybe Sarah and Susan will run into one another in Ohio.  Wouldn't that be cool?  susanshie.blogspot.com

I wish I'd gotten a close-up of Sarah's writing.
What looks like a person examining the roof of her car, is actually
 sculpture at the credit union. 

I was caught up in conversation and so quickly taking pictures, I was looking without seeingIt wasn't until I loaded the shots into my computer that I saw this was an anatomical painting of a heart with wings.  With our family history, you know that's the first thing I would have asked about.

Sarah's garden of flowers.

Sarah's car is a feast for the eyes and brain, coming and going.

Sarah and Eddie - Thanks for taking so much time to talk with me yesterday. You both blessed my day!  I'd love to hear back from you.  Please contact me by email:  ellen@ellenguerrant.com

Thursday, July 8, 2010

More Stash Reduction Sale Pix

As promised, here are a couple more photos from last night's sale.  Above is an overview from one of my tables.

Nancy Cook's stash was very well organized into bags. 
Here she refolds a gorgeous piece of wool twill.

Nancy Edmiston and I caught up with what's new in each other's lives.
Jane Godshall must have spent weeks measuring and organizing her stash.  She has gotten such a head start on her future Etsy shop. 

Sorry about the out of focus photo.  That's what happens when I try to take a picture while laughing!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Stash Reduction Sale

The stash reduction sale at my quilt guild tonight was fun, but attendance down during this holiday week.  I did sell all my stretched canvases, several vintage linens and trims (always my best sellers), a very nice tabletop quilting frame, fabrics and some hand-dyed wool. 

There were incredible deals - beautiful fabrics, antique quilts, books, vintage buttons, patterns.  Members not there missed an awesome sale.

We were set up next to Nancy Cook, quilter extraordinaire. http://www.nancygcook.com/  Her DH went to school with my DH's brother, so the guys had a great time visiting.

Here are a couple of pix: 

Nancy Osterberg's stash

Karen (Center) Ponischil's collection included a few familiar fabrics -
such as the chicken print Vicki Amon is holding.  The coral hand-dyed wool in Vicki's hand came from my stash.

My DH was kind enough to help me on this very hot day. After he'd set up my tables and unloaded the car, I noticed him helping set up AV equipment. He also helped those without "man power" set up and tear down.  Thanks, honey.

We don't keep ice cream in the house, but tonight was an exception. I picked up his favorite - buttered pecan - and mine (at least for tonight) - strawberry.  Can you believe he resisted?  Not me.  I haven't had ice cream in forever, so savored every spoonful.  YUM!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Thrifting Mondays - Week Four

I loved this primitive quilt the moment I saw it.  Problem was, it was in the hands of someone else.  I was determined to have it, deciding it was a matter of will.   From several aisles away, I just kept looking at her, quietly repeating, "Put it back.  Put it back.  Put it back."  She was with a group and on  the phone with another. "Put it back."    My heart jumped as she put the quilt on its hanger, hung it up and walked out of the store. In seconds it was in my hands.  Apparently, she (or her friend on the phone) had decided $8.00 was too much to pay for this  country quilt.

Who doesn't love dogs?

The big appeal for me was the folk-art quality of the puppies.

They were hand appliqued and quilted - in a Baptist fan design.
Circa 1940