My Tasty Recipe for Art Quilt Success

It's officially summer, and that means blueberry season. I'm lucky enough to live right next to my father-in-law's blueberry patch–more of a field, actually. While they last, I just have to walk out my back door and down the path to have access to fresh blueberries for breakfast, a snack, or to use as the main ingredient for my famous blueberry cobbler (see recipe below).

Don't you always associate certain flavors with different times of the year? That's what we thought when we came up with the theme for the 2011 Quilting Arts Calendar Contest: "Flavor of the Month." And the submissions did not disappoint. Our mouths were watering as we pored over delectable quilts showcasing berries, ice cream, lobster, hot peppers, juicy burgers, and dozens of other flavors. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

The onset of summer has me pondering two of the winning quilts in particular, because what's summer without roasted marshmallows by the campfire (or at the grill) and trips to the ice cream stand on a hot afternoon? 

Diane Marie Chaudiere's "Done Just Right," the September quilt, is all roasty-toasty while Maria Elkins' "Strawberry Delight," the May quilt, perfectly captures the moment of tongue connecting with frozen delight. Diane achieved gooey goodness through fiber with a combination of felt, cotton and synthetic fiber materials, hand-dyed silk roving, hand-painted fabric, batting, dyed adhesive caulk, and beads plus needle felting, appliqué, quilting, beading, hand embroidery techniques.

Maria used her fused appliqué method along with thread painting and machine quilting on cotton fabric, accented by Prismacolor® pencils, Jacquard® fabric paint, Pigma® pens to conjure the perfect picture of a child slurping up every drop of her favorite ice cream flavor.

You can see more of the calendar contest winners and entries in the online gallery, and of course in the 2011 Quilting Arts Calendar. And if you'd like to see how mixed-media artists "Make It Pretty," check out the Cloth Paper Scissors 2011 calendar, too!

Now, who's ready for blueberry cobbler? Here's my recipe:

½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 cups blueberries
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons shortening
½ cup milk
Whipped cream, if desired (Note: I always desire!)

1. Heat oven to 400ºF.

2. Mix 1/2 cup sugar and the cornstarch in 2-quart saucepan. Stir in blueberries and lemon juice. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Pour into ungreased 2-quart casserole; keep blueberry mixture hot in oven.

3. Mix flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, the baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until mixture looks like fine crumbs. Stir in milk. Drop the dough in 6 spoonfuls onto hot blueberry mixture.

4. Bake uncovered 25 to 30 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.

Serve warm, topped with whipped cream, to hungry family and coworkers!

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