• Rita Nau

If You Could See What I See

I am a bit early this week as I am leaving for Quiltweek in Paducah.

Spring came to Minnesota this weekend. The trees are budding, its 70 degrees and Easter is now past.

Just finished a this simple baby quilt and the Easter flowers were perfect with this quilt.

It's easy to be happy when the sun is shining, and we have flowers. It is amazing what an effect a small bouquet of flowers can do! Go out and purchase a gift for yourself. It is a day brightener.


This week I want to share with you a book that has been around for years but one that every quilter needs. "The Quilter's Pocket Reference" by Peggy Scholley, has an answer to all of those basic questions we have, costs, yardage equivalents, batting sizes, yardage needed for backing - it goes on and on. I use this all the time as you may be able to tell from the ragged look of the book in this picture. It has answers to most of our basic questions. So, if you don't have this make sure to get yourself a copy. It solves so many problems we face as quilters. I can't say enough good things about this book.

It may be out of publication but I found it at Barnes & Noble for $7.95. I also found it on Amazon for $48.00. I think I would use the Barnes and Noble choice.


I will be in Paducah this week for the Spring Quilt Week Show. If you are around, stop by the bottom floor of the main building booth 2406.


This past week I had an MRI. I had an unusual experience during that test. I was "in the tube" and they did several types of tests using different frequencies. I was having a bit of trouble staying calm so I closed my eyes and tried to think good thoughts. Each time they changed the frequency on the machine I started seeing the most beautiful colors ever. I mean like a Rubenesque colors. Deep beautiful blues flaring into light airy blues. Then with the next frequency change I saw incredible reds to oranges. It went on with each change. I asked the operator if this was normal and he said most people don't experience this but some do. I felt pretty lucky that I did. What was really unusual is when I got home I turned on the news. I turned to my husband and asked what he had done to the TV. All of the colors were so deep and beautiful. He, of course, had done nothing.

The colors were something like this.

Now it was time to do some research. There is a phenomenon by the name of Synesthesia that describes this occurrence. According to Wikipedia:

"Though often stereotyped in the popular media as a medical condition or neurological aberration, many synesthetes themselves do not perceive their synesthetic experiences as a handicap. To the contrary, some report it as a gift—an additional "hidden" sense—something they would not want to miss. Most synesthetes become aware of their distinctive mode of perception in their childhood. Some have learned how to apply their ability in daily life and work. Synesthetes have used their abilities in memorization of names and telephone numbers, mental arithmetic, and more complex creative activities like producing visual art, music, and theater.

So, I am not crazy but feeling fairly lucky. The effect has not left me. It seems to be strongest when I look at the tv. Honest, if you could see what I see you would be amazed. Can't wait to pick out my next quilt.

I give you my Irish goodbye.



Recipe of the week:

In celebration of summer I am giving you the perfect summer meal menu. It's all easy and mostly on the grill. If I have a guest I want to impress this is the meal I prepare because it is simple but oh so tasty. A small loaf of french bread crisped on the grill goes great with this meal.


Grilled Potatoes Pork tenderloin

Coleslaw Brussel Sprouts

French bread

Grilled potatoes

8 - 10 Red pototoes - slice lengthwise 1/4" wide pieces

1 onion - sliced - in rings

3 T butter or olive oil

2 - 3 T garlic salt


Aluminium foil

Using two sheets of 18" lengths of aluminum foil place the foil so sides are covered but tit makes a wider base. Slice the potatoes about 1/4" thick lengthwise and place on foil. Slice the onion about 1/4" thick separating the rings. Place on top of the potatoes. Sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper mixing with the potatoes. Cut the butter in small slices and spread across the potatoes. Close the foil packet and cook on grill medium heat for about 40 minutes until the potatoes are golden brown and stuck to the foil. Even if these get too brown they are still delicious.

Oriental Coleslaw

4 C shredded cabbage 1 pkg ramen noodle soup - chicken based

1/2 C sunflower seeds 1 C almonds

Crushed the ramen noodles. Set aside flavoring packet for dressing. Combine cabbage, sunflower seeds, almonds and crushed noodles.


1/4 C. oil 3 T vinegar

1/4 C sugar 1 pkg ramen noodle soup flavor

Combine oil, sugar, vinegar & flavoring. Stir well. Pour over cabbage mixture. Stir & serve.


Marinate for 3 to 4 hours. If you want to do it overnight it still works.

1/2 /c olive oil 1/4 C red wine vinegar

1/3 C soy sauce juice of 1 lemon

1-2 T Worcestershire sauce 1 -2 T fresh parsley - chopped

2 t dry mustard cracked pepper to taste

4 cloves of garlic, peeled & minced

1 lb pork tenderloin


Combine all marinade ingredients and reserve 2 - 3 tablespoons. Place the pork tenderloin and marinade in a plastic bag or dish for 3 - 4 hours. Use the reserved marinate for a sauce on the tenderloin after cooking.

On medium high grill sear the tenderloin. Lower the heat a bit and cook for approximately 20 minutes or till the tenderloin reaches 145°. Warm the reserved marinade. Let the meat rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Cut into 1/2" slices and plate. Pour the reserved marinade over the meat.

Brussel Sprouts - Click for video

1 lb. Brussels sprouts, halved 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar 1 tbsp. honey 1 tbsp. Grainy mustard 2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes kosher salt 1/2 c. Freshly grated Parmesan, for garnish


Heat grill to high.In a large bowl, combine Brussels sprouts, olive oil, vinegar, honey, mustard and red pepper flakes and season with salt.Place sprouts on skewers. Grill, turning frequently, until sprouts are tender and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Garnish with Parmesan and serve.

"Where flowers bloom so does hope."

Lady Bird Johnson

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