Posts Tagged ‘apples’

Stuff With Deadlines

July 10, 2013

On winter evenings, when I’ve run out of energy and ideas, I serve the family stuff on rice for dinner. Whatever is left in the fridge goes over rice – sometimes with a sauce, sometimes not. This week, as I prepared to fly out to visit my mom, my studio presented me with stuff with deadlines (no sauce).


Actually, it was only one deadline and I could have dealt with it after my trip but getting those quilts finished for my great-nephews inspired me to submit to the Quilting Arts challenge before the very last moment. The theme is hands.




My hands are human and alien. Look closely and you’ll see two of the hands have only three fingers. I included a quote from my book (with Ann Anastasio), When Chenille Is Not Enough.




Since I hadn’t worked with sheer fabrics before, I did a “practice” project. It turned out so well it became my August block for the Progressive Party calendar project.


Lani Longshore Progressive Party August


August represents apple harvest time to me. We have a Granny Smith apple tree in the back yard that produces enough fruit for a freezer full of apple sauce, several apple cobblers and more than a few pies.


The Progressive Party calendar project begins this month. I leave you with my July block, which celebrates the 4th of July, Bastille Day, and Canada Day.





November 9, 2011

This is my week for going into terra incognita, if not terra obscura. I started on the prototype for the stadium bag for my sister-in-law.


Bag without hood

She wants something roomy and waterproof. We decided a cross between a sleeping bag and a poncho would work. We also decided it would be a good idea to do a muslin before we cut into the real stuff. I have other uses for my muslin, so I used some orphaned double-knit polyester instead.


Bag with hood

Aside from coming up with a design that so far doesn’t exist in nature or the camping stores, I’m also doing this long-distance. That’s why the pictures are of me inside the bag, not Cynthia. That also means I have to attach notes as to what I want her to do, such as:


Imagine zipper here

And so I begin another adventure. At least the last of the apples are processed.



Series of challenges

October 5, 2011

I started this week with energy and a long to-do list. Mom went back to Maryland on Friday, I had Saturday to miss her, and Sunday to get started on my deadlines. Sunday went well enough, but Monday . . . didn’t. Somehow the cough that I thought was on its way out turned itself around. By Tuesday night it was back in full swing – along with a scratchy throat and strained vocal chords, to the extent that this morning when Mom called she thought my husband had answered the phone. So I said a prayer of thanks that Sunday was productive, because I did manage to get finished with my absolutely-must-accomplish-now list.

This first project, however, is not from that list. This is one of the boxes Mom and I made for the crocheted angels. Mom glanced at the soda carton and thought it might be the right size if we cut it down a bit. I pulled out the scissors, hot glue gun and some Christmas fabric.

We made the lid from poster board. Mom was delighted to find a way to recycle the soda carton. I was thrilled to have another use for the stack of Christmas fabric that never seems to get smaller no matter how many projects I make.

Another item on the list was the Challenge Group project. Our assignment was to take a garment-related phrase and turn it into something else. My phrase was “she pursed her lips.” As it happens, my friend Ann Anastasio and I are working on a series of patterns (loosely) based on our novel, Death by Chenille, and its sequel-in-progress, When Chenille Is Not Enough. I decided to use the Challenge project to play around with purse designs.

This inside pocket is made from chenille (like I said, loosely based on the book).

Last on the list is “do something with the rest of the apples.”

I’ve made enough apple crisps for the season, there is no more room in the freezer for applesauce, and I’ve filled three containers with dried apples. Recipes are welcome, but I should tell you I’m a vegetarian so your German grandmother’s pork and apple bake won’t work for me. Here’s one for you, however:

Potato-apple tart

1 large potato, sliced paper-thin

1 large Granny Smith apple, sliced thin

3 oz Gruyeres, sliced thin

2 onions, sliced thin

1 tsp butter

1 tsp olive oil

tsp flour

1/2 cup milk

1 sheet puff pastry

Slice the potato, apple and cheese and set aside. Melt the butter with the olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, and cook until caramelized or until you run out of patience stirring the rascals. Add flour and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add milk. Stir until milk stops bubbling, then return to very low heat and cook until thickened.

Spread puff pastry on a buttered baking dish. Layer potato, apple and cheese slices in center, leaving an inch of pastry all around to turn up. Pour onion mixture over top (you may want to spread it gently if it is very thick). Turn up edges of pastry. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

Ducks in a row

September 14, 2011

My mom arrives tonight for her annual visit. The house is as clean as it’s going to be (once I dump the dead flowers from the vase), her favorite breakfast cereal is in the cabinet, and her bed has clean sheets. Now I need to get as many projects up to the hand work stage as possible.

I’m hoping to get most of The Computer Ate My Homework series quilted. They’re very small, and I should be able to get most of them to the binding and embellishing stage today if I am diligent. Here is the last, Mailer Daemon:

I also made more progress on the tile quilt. This is the last of the four blocks:

They lived on the design wall for a couple of days like this:

Then I had an idea for a border:

My husband thinks it needs one more border, but he doesn’t want any of the fabrics I’ve already used. His idea may require another trip to the fabric store. Such a shame.

In the meantime, the Granny Smiths have been ripening:

I’ve been picking and processing fruit for nearly a month, but there are still more apples on the tree. One more duck to chase . . .


August 10, 2011

This is the beginning of harvest season for us. I gave up the back yard garden once the farmers market came to town, but we still have the fruit trees. Mind you, I do enjoy the fresh fruit, but this time of year I spend a lot of time picking, peeling and chopping.

In years past, I would bake a couple of pies, then freeze bags of applesauce. Then I moved to baking one pie, one crisp, and freezing bags of applesauce. Both kids are out of the house now and I still have a bag of applesauce from last year, so I’m thinking this season I’m going to dehydrate most of the apples. We’ve always done that with the pears, and sometimes with some of the apples. I love dried fruit, and my husband has developed a fondness for our dried apples. Also, I need something to put in the cookie jars.

Back when the kids were little and I baked cookies, the Frosted Fish Fannies jar always had something lovely inside. Then my tiny tots got big enough to snatch the cookies as soon as they had cooled down to eating temperature. The Frosted Fish Fannies jar sat on the counter, empty. Now the kids are on their own, neither my husband nor I need cookies, and not only is the Frosted Fish Fannies jar empty it is abandoned.

So, of course, I bought another cookie jar. The BBC America catalog came in the mail and I couldn’t resist the Talking TARDIS jar. It makes the wheezing sound of the TARDIS landing when you close the lid. Anyway, I really can’t justify two empty cookie jars taking up counter space, so I think I’ll store the dried fruit in them.

I managed to do one sewing project this week. I really did turn Rocket Chicken into a table cloth, just as I threatened in the last blog, by backing it with some fabric I bought years ago for a quilt I never made. I’m not sure one actually needs to name table cloths, but this one is special so I called it Rocket Chicken and the Cowgirls.

Now I’m off to the kitchen to peel some pears.