Two Quilt Shops in New York State

July 29, 2011 § 4 Comments

While I was staying with Sylvia we visited a couple of quilt shops in New York State. First was The Village Sampler at Big Flats which is half way between Corning and Elmira. Here’s a photo of Sylvia and her lovely friend Louise outside the shop. I got so engrossed inside I forgot to take photos!

After we’d spent an hour or so here we went to Watkins Glen to visit O Susannah’s Quilts! Watkins Glen is a really cute town with a huge waterfall right at the end of the main street.

This is quite a large quilt shop and packed full of really beautiful quilts and fabrics. The three of us spent a good hour or so and quite a bit of money here!

Shopping can be quite tiring even when it’s fun so Sylvia and I took advantage of the two rocking chairs out the front of the shop and Louise took a photo of us. More about Watkin’s Glen and some photos of the goodies in the next post…


A bit of sewing…

July 27, 2011 § 2 Comments

I’ll interrupt my travelogue through the states of NY and Pennsylvania to show you what’s been happening on the sewing front. Firstly I’ve received some more of my blocks from the Bee in Oz block swap.

I’ve also finished my part of the Christmas Banner we are making at sewing group. I don’t have Christmas fabrics in my collection so I chose to use bright, happy, festive style fabrics instead. My block topic was gifts so I added real bows. too.
And I’ve done Kate’s Bee in Oz block.

Needles Quilt Shop, the Wellsboro Diner and the Hideaway Cabin

July 25, 2011 § 3 Comments

Before I show you some more photos I’ll just answer some of the questions raised in the comments on the last post.

Linda – yes that’s me in that photo

Fran – Thanks and I’m looking forward to visiting again too.

Cheryl – I guess what I find different in the homes I showed is that slightly “grand homes” in Australia are not usually made of weatherboards like these ones are. The grander homes are made of brick or stone. I find the larger weatherboard homes very picturesque.

Needles Quilt Shop

This Wellsboro quilt shop is my favourite of all the ones I visited. Mainly because of the people. They were lovely and so amazingly helpful. The shop has a really nice balance between modern and old-fashioned values.

I was looking for a plain “cheddar” fabric for my friend Di (3) and though they didn’t have it as a plain they went out of their way to find a real cheddar as documented in a book of civil war fabrics. The they searched their shelves to find a fabric that I could use as a sample to search for it in other shops and they gave me a sample.

Thanks Mary and Katie.

The Wellsboro Diner

While in Wellsboro Sylvia and I had a late lunch (3.20pm – time flies when you’re having fun) at the Wellsboro Diner which is one the very few original diners left. This one opened for business in 1940 and is really a cute place to eat. The food was really good too. I had real hash browns – the best I ever tasted – crunchy on the outside and soft and creamy in the centre.

The Hideaway cabin

Sylvia has a lovely hideaway cabin on the slopes of those wooded hills you saw in the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon in the previous post. (At least I think that’s where it is. You know how it is when you’re a passenger you tend to lose all sense of direction. – Sylvia please correct me if I’m wrong.) It’s a lovely one bedroom cabin that she and her husband Wayne are renovating. It was great to sit on the porch and swing on a real porch swing – something I’ve never done before.





The Pennsylvania Grand Canyon and more…

July 24, 2011 § 6 Comments

While I was visiting Sylvia she took me to see the natural beauty of the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. We went on a day when the weather was lovely. It was quite hot in the sun but just beautiful in the forests. Here are some photographs.


The white flowers are Mountain Laurel which is apparently the State Flower of Pennsylvania. On our way there and back we went through some lovely little towns and I took photos of the houses which are so different from those here in Australia.

In the next post I’ll show you Sylvia’s lovely hideaway cabin and the Wellsboro Quilt Shop and historic diner.


Rural New York and My Friend Sylvia Part I

July 22, 2011 § 2 Comments

Sylvia and her home

The friends I went to Canada with dropped me off near the NY-Pennsylvania border and my friend Sylvia picked me up and took me to her lovely home in the woods.

While Sylvia and I had corresponded for some 2+ years personally and through an email quilting group, and had Skyped and spoken on the phone we had never actually met in person. It was lovely to meet her for the first time. She really is a beautiful and very kind an generous person.

It would have been even better if I hadn’t almost immediately become ill! Poor Sylvia had to look after me as I got colder and colder even though it was a hot evening. They were so kind and even switched the central heating on for me! They baked all night and I shivered. What a terrible house guest! Eventually it was discovered that I was terribly dehydrated and once I was finally topped up I began to get warm again but it took me two days to feel human again. I knew was I really sick as I went to bed before 8pm and I’m normally a night owl!

Sylvia and I share a love of quilting and while I was there we had great fun. She showed me some of her lovely quilts, taught me how to make a quilt using some fusing techniques she had learnt at a Laura Wasilowski workshop and took me sightseeing and to visit the local quilts shops. Here are some of her quilts and Dear Jane quilt blocks which are so amazingly small!

Four Patch Posies

Country Cousins

Forest scene wall hanging

Seed packs printed onto fabric and quilted

Beautiful crazy quilt

Stunning embroidered quilt

In my next post I plan to show you some photos of the beautiful Pennsylvania Grand Canyon National Park and some of the lovely small towns we visited as well as some of the local quilt shops Sylvia took me to. See you then…

Not-so-naughty (& Very Yummy) Chocolate Brownies (with Walnuts and Dark Chocolate Chips)

July 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’m interrupting my holiday posts to bring you this recipe that I cobbled together  created 🙂 last night. My friend Sylvia made brownies for me while I was in NY state and I really enjoyed them. I fancied some last night but didn’t have a recipe. I trawled the internet and read several recipes then I took the barebones, changed them to make them less naughty and to accommodate the ingredients that I had in the cupboard and added some flourishes to the method. My husband thinks they are the “best he’s ever had”, so that’s quite an endorsement.

Why they’re not-so-naughty

These brownies don’t use butter. I used a mix of Macadamia Oil and Flora Proactive Buttery (Cholesterol lowering margarine) and I substituted Splenda for half of the sugar.


• ¾ cup Cadbury’s Bourneville Cocoa
• ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
• 1/3 cup Flora Proactive Buttery
• 1/3 cup Macadamia oil
• ½ cup boiling water
• ¾ cup caster sugar
• ¾ cup Splenda
• 2 eggs, separated and then lightly beaten
• 1 1/3 cups plain flour
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• ½ cup chopped walnuts
• 2 cups of dark chocolate chips


Put the cocoa, the bicarb soda and Macadamia oil in a large bowl and blend well. Add the boiling water and stir well.

Separate the eggs and beat both the whites and yolks well. (You don’t want the whites stiff but you do want them fluffy.)

Stir the sugar and Splenda into the cocoa/oil mixture then add the beaten yolks and mix well. Fold in the the beaten whites. Add the 1/3 cup Flora and whisk gently with a balloon whisk. You’ll find it blends very easily.

Stir in the plain flour and salt. (You can sift the flour if you want to but I didn’t bother.) Fold in the nuts and the chocolate chips and stir to distribute through the batter.

Pour the batter into a baking tin lined with baking paper. My tin was too large (14 x10inches) so I folded up the baking paper at one end and kept it in place with another small baking tin. I guess you need a tin that’s roughly 11″ square – you’ll have to experiment like I did.

Bake at 160 deg C for 35 to 40 minutes (150 deg C if you have a fan forced oven) or until the brownies spring back when touched and begin to pull away from the sides of pan. Cool in the tin before removing and cutting into squares.

If you make them please let me know how you go.

A House Ithaca and Niagara Falls

July 18, 2011 § 2 Comments

A House in Ithaca

On our way north from DC to Canada we stopped overnight in Ithaca NY. Our friends had organised for us to stay in this beautiful old house which is used as an event venue and B&B. There were five of us and we had the whole top floor which used to be the servants’ quarters. The second floor had two staircases – the “back stairs” which led to the kitchen, and the formal staircase which had beautiful carved wooden columns. The house was very elegant inside, though the dust from the vintage soft furnishings caused me to have an asthma attack and a sinus problem!

I took some photographs of the beautiful design features. Take a look.

Niagara Falls

After Ithaca we drove north to Canada where we spent a few days. I was so busy there that I didn’t take any photos but on the way back south we stopped at Niagara Falls and I took these photos.

Next post – rural New York state. See you then…

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