Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Most of my adult life, I eschewed the idea of using a cookbook. I have committed to memory the meals that I learned from mom and make again and again. While I have no problem following a recipe when baking, I find it bordering on torture to do so when preparing a dish for dinner. Still there are times when you just want to expand your repertoire and even stumble on a recipe that gets added into the regular meal rotation.
Over time, I found I had an unruly pile of magazine and newspaper clippings and stacks of recipes printed from internet sources. I came upon a plan to organize them in a scrapbook where they are easy to locate. That scrapbook became my cookbook and lived on the kitchen counter. Funny thing about cookbooks - they are quite social. My little scrapbook cookbook was soon joined by friends. Precious counter space was being eaten up by my latest collection. Hubby suggested I start looking for something practical to use as a bookshelf in order to reclaim the counter.
Sometimes you don't have to look any further than your own backyard - or living room, as the case may be. It dawned on me that one of wire baskets from a stacking set might just be the ticket. See for yourself.
Plenty of room to hold the books that I refer to most often with room to spare as more books are added to the library. I want to pick up some little 's' hooks so I can dangle some little utensils in handy reach from the handles.
I was so pleased with the idea that I used another of the basket set to tidy up the cubby. Most of my quilt books are stored in the cabinets in the garage. Still I like to have a few on hand to leaf through for inspiration.
Now there's a little more room on the sewing table to spread out.
As I was rearranging and reorganizing, I came across the kit for this paper pieced star. I purchased it at The Country Loft last fall on a shopping trip with Julie from Through the Barn Door.
Word on the street is that Julie might be back in the neighborhood soon. If we are able to get together for another shopping excursion, I wanted to do so with a clear conscience by getting the kit put together. I changed out the border to add just a skosh more to the finished size.
I also finished up my first star burst block.
There is just a touch of ripple in the center. Part ripple/part optical illusion from the stripe in the fabric. Nothing that can't be overcome with quilting. I feel confident enough to go forward with the project. I'm off to cut and sew more diamonds.

33 comments:

Quilt Hollow said...

I just love your star block and color choice! I said it before, this will be a very pretty quilt..can't wait to see what you surprise us with! Great idea for your cookbooks and loved the post. You are right, some recipes do make it into the regular rotation while others are soon forgotten!

Darlene said...

Perfect! I'm not a cook and don't enjoy cooking - come from a family of boring cooks. Even when I follow a recipe, it just doesn't work out. Sigh! However, today I'm trying something that my grandmother used to make and I've been craving it like crazy - my kitchen smells devine. This is a good thing (as Miss Martha would say)

Cathi said...

How funny....I have the same sewing machine! My light bulb has gone out (the sewing machine's... not mine!!)There is nothing in the manual and not much is showing up on google. Have you ever changed yours? In the meantime, having an Ott Light set up just right works just fine. The quilt block looks great!

Erin said...

great organization for the cookbook/scrapbook merger! now you have more room to add on and spread out too! I do love the star(s)! You do such great work Libby!

paula, the quilter said...

That is a great solution for a bookshelf. When I first started making star blocks they always seem to end up looking like something Zena, Princess Warrior would wear. It was only until I started piecing them by hand that I got them to lay flat.

Diane said...

I love the fabrics in your star burst block!

Lisa Boyer said...

What a great idea! And it looks great! You are so clever...

~Bren~ said...

Your star burst block is wonderful. Maybe you could do a little tutorial on inset seams while doing your next one.
Great idea with the baskets!

Betweens said...

libby gorgeous fabric..your star is lovely can't wait to see more of them

some recipes only get clipped and become a someday for me...

Stina said...

Amazing things you can find at the backyard...love your idea...:o) I store a lot of things in baskets too.. items can be moved around if needed :o)
And wow ... your stars looks great... and you made a flat star block...congratulations...:o)

Joyce said...

It's nice to get organized, or so I'm told! Lol. I have a serious cookbook (maybe make that book,because I have too many quilting books too) addiction. That shelf wouldn't begin to hold my cookbooks. But I love to cook and use most of them so I refuse to feel guilty.

Carol said...

Love your star blocks...my favorite part of the star burst block is the way the plaids and stripes make it so interesting.

tami said...

That's a great idea with that basket for your cookbooks. I'm afraid I have way too many to fit in a small basket. I'm not quite sure how that happened because I rarely use cookbooks unless I'm baking either.

Judy said...

About 10 years ago I got all the family recipes together and made a cookbook for all the ladies in the family. I designed the cover, laminated it, typed all the recipes, drew illustrations and had a print shop print it and then put it together with spiral binding. Now I add new recipes to a cool lime green binder that stays on the microwave.

The Quilt Buddy said...

Great idea to use the locker baskets. I am thinking of getting some to hold my fabric.

Your stars are gorgeous. Your friend will be proud of you.

Enjoy the sunshine...again!

Liz said...

Love these baskets! Fabulous idea!

Jeanne said...

You are way ahead of me organizing your clips in a scrapbook. I have so many cut out from various places all shoved in different folders. Great stars, too.

loulee said...

Your blocks look great, that star is fun.
I love cook books and have lots, they out stayed their welcome in the kitchen though and live in the dining room now, they do have visiting rights though. LOL

kjquilts said...

Great idea for the cookbooks! I keep my favorites right out there so I can use them too.

Your star block turned out so nice. I can't even see where it isn't flat. You could always stitch a button in the center if it won't stay down! LOL!

Quilts And Pieces said...

Love your star diamond block! And the wire basket for the cookbooks is wonderful!

Guðrún said...

Your bookshelves are GREAT.

Chocolate Cat said...

You always have such good and practical ideas!! Love the stars. Have to admit I always use a recipe!!!!

Julie in the Barn said...

You are so clever to use that wire basket as a shelf. Honey organized our vast collection of ripped out magazine pages, little recipe cards from friends and internet printouts into binders. I haven't figured out his system yet and to tell the truth I don't think there is one!LOL. Your star from Country Loft turned out way better than mine. But mine is almost a pillow today. Maybe by tomorrow it will be done. I'm ready to go shopping!!!

Eileen said...

undreqSuch a neat idea for the shelves, Libby, Also a couple really neat blocks.

Colleen formerly of South Africa said...

Love the current projects, and those baskets for books.... wonderful. I just don't seem to be getting much finished these days. At least not something fun, I want to finish.

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

Excellent idea for storage And if I recall, I went a bit mad on the Lone start when i got your Margaret Aldrich book as well, there seemed to be a lot in the pictures. i did mine by hand, may have to find that instruction for the next, looks far quicker!
Love the other start as well.
Looking for just your kind of blocks over here.... any of your mates want to sew? They can come visit, Tracey

The Calico Cat said...

Love the way you used those baskets!

Wendy said...

Neat idea for the books, my kids laugh at me because I have all kinds of recipes written on bits of paper and those bits are stuffed in a zip lock bag.
The stars are fantastic blocks. I love any star block I see.

Sweet P said...

Great use of the baskets. I love to use different items for storage too. My SIL gave us her Christmas gift to us in a sturdy red and white striped box. I'm still trying to figure out how to use it.

I like your idea about making a scrapbook of favorite recipes. I plan on doing that with a scrapbook kit I bought recently. Great minds must think alike, huh? Only I'm a little slow to get to the idea.

Candace said...

How funny, Libby - I cook the same way - mostly from memory and things that my mom made (they're the best!) They say you cook the same 7 meals over and over again throughout your life - differently, perhaps, but essentially the same. I thought about that after I heard it years ago, and it really is true for me! I also do the same thing for all of my clippings - I'm up to 4 books now, and every year try to weed out ones I know I'll never make! Your wire baskets are really pretty!
Cheers!

yellowfarmhouse said...

Cute idea with the baskets and hey your using what you have - now that is a good thing sister. Your blocks look wonderful and that star burst block is very cool.

Hugs - Karen

dee said...

can I just say that I adore a woman who uses the word eschew in a sentence....

Karen said...

I very much like your star blocks with the diamonds. I like to piece those. There is another method of making them where you use only rectangles and squares. No "Y" seams. Wastes some fabric but is a good way to do it if someone lacks confidence in piecing diamonds. Someone like you would use all the waste pieces for another whole quilt!
I have often thought of purchasing some of those wire baskets. You found some good uses for yours.