Sunday, October 23, 2011

LLQA challenge piece

The Land of Lincoln Quilters' Association (LLQA) has a yearly challenge.  This year's challenge, Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, was in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War.  I have a cousin who studies Mr. Lincoln as an avocation, and that love of the history of that time of American History has rubbed off on several of us cousins.  So for me, this challenge was more than using the challenge fabric in patriotic quilt.  It spoke to me of all that preceded the start of the war, and the aftermath of that war.

My mind immediately went to a log cabin block, and the phrase from one of the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates "A house divided against itself cannot stand."  So I knew I wanted a log cabin block, with blue representing the north, and grey representing the south.  The challenge fabric was the center block, representing the USA.  I wanted to show that those principles, that our founding fathers felt so strongly about that they fought the tyranny of King George, remained firm and solid.  It was appliqued down with gold thread, which represents the test by fire, which determines purity.  The blue logs are stitched down with grey threads, which represents that although on different sides, we are all brothers.  The grey logs are stitched down with red, symbolizing all the blood which was spilled.  It is on a black background to represents the Negro slaves, whose bondage was broken.  The lower right hand corner is raw, oozing cotton wadding, and shreds of cotton fabric, to represent the horrible gash that occured to our country.  The grey logs are laying haphazardly, representing that "States' Rights" is not always in the interest of the whole country.
Other Lincoln quotes "...that all men are created equal" from the Gettysburg Address, near the patch representing Gerrysburg, the only major battle fought in the north.  "With Malice for None" from his second Inaugural Address.  Mr. Lincoln's plan for restoring the nation was that we should welcome back our brothers.  How different would our country have been had he not been assasinated!
The other patches represent some of the major battles of the war.  The edges of the patches were singed, to represent the destruction of so much of the south.  They were free motion appliqued in a raggedy manner in red to represent the bloody conflicts.
My piece did not win a prize.  I was unable to attend the meeting as I was at a nurse practitioner conference in Peoria.  But I did not make it for the prize, but express my feelings of the war.  And isn't that what art is all about?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

NQR-non quilting related

I have been one poor blog correspondent, but it doesn't mean, you ain't been on my mind!  Sorry, I always have a song running through my head!

I promise that I will post pictures of our guild's recent quilt show!  I am waiting for our "Best of Show" program at the guild before posting.  All right, I also have been just dog tired, plus I am going to a nursing conference this week, so life has interfered!

For my close (geographically) friends and Facebook friends, you know that hubby and I have been on a weight management program for the past 11 weeks.  My goal is a 50# weight loss, and I am over halfway to goal!  Hubby has lost over 80#!  He still has 100# to go.  Maintenance is always the key, and hopefully by helping hubby with his weight loss after I reach mine, I should have some good maintenance habits in place! 

I recently found a receipe for crockpot Ratatouille, and thought I would share it with you.  This is definitely end of season, as this would be a great way to use up the bounty from your garden, or your local farmer's market!
I started with this basket goodies!  Produce was purchased from our local Meier's.  For you produce experts, yes, that is a butternut squash behind the orange pepper.  It will be used in another recipe!  I started with an eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, sweet peppers, sweet onion, and garlic.  They were all washed, deseeded as needed, then chunked into bite size pieces.  Garlic was sliced thin.  I also added minced fresh basil and oregano.  I layered all this in my oval crockpot, added 1/2 cup of water and fresh ground sea salt and pepper.  Cooked on high for 3-4 hours.  MMM!  The smells coming from the kitchen were so tantalizing!
Voila!  A succulent plate of ratatouille!  That plate is less than 100 calories.  Fat free, and oh so delicious!  This would be a great side dish for a grilled chicken breast, with perhaps a small side of brown rice!  Bon Apetit!