Monday, March 1, 2010

Quilt Update and Italian Wedding Soup

I've been diligently working on my quilt everyday. I try to reserve an hour or two every afternoon to cut, piece, sew and press.

After many happy hours of solitary sewing I finally put the quilt together - pinning and basting the back to the batting to the top.

Some quilt facts:

Two hundred and twenty-four patches make up the quilt top. The patches are made up of nine 2.5 inch squares each. That adds up to 2,016 two and half inch squares.

This is what the wrong side of the quilt top looks like, so many stitches!

This is what the quilt top looks like:

I am finally at the actual hand quilting of the quilt and have new found respect for our great grandmothers and their daughters and all the other generations of women who quilted. And to think they did it without the aid of rotary cutters and electric sewing machines. After all this work I'm not sure I'll ever let anyone actually cover themselves with this blanket.

With all the snow we've been getting I find myself cooking more and more warm, satisfying food. You can make this nourishing soup in 30 minutes. It makes a nice size pot and tastes every bit as good the next day as the first.

Don't wait for an Italian wedding to make:

Italian Wedding Soup (serves 8)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

For the meatballs:
1 pound ground chicken
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs (or fine bread crumbs)
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg

Combine all of the above and mix well. Form into 1.5 inch meatballs and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, turning the meatballs half way through.

While the meatballs are baking:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup onion, minced
1 cup carrots (about 3 carrots), diced
3/4 cup celery (about 2 stalks), diced
10 cups chicken broth (canned or homemade)
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup small pasta (I use Acini di Pepe, but you can use Orzo, tubetini, stars or any other small pasta)
12 ounces baby spinach, washed and rough chopped

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion, carrot and celery (the mire-poix). Cook until tender (about 8 minutes.) Add the broth and wine and heat to boiling. Add the pasta and boil according to package directions for al dente.

When the meatballs are done baking, add to pot with broth and pasta. Simmer for 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in the spinach and simmer for one more minute.

Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top.


  1. I've always wanted to make this soup, but never got around to it!

  2. Oh, beautiful! I admire your dedication. I imagine the cold weather makes it more enticing to sit inside and quilt. You can always throw it on a quilt rack when you're done for everyone to admire (and not touch)!

  3. The quilt looks amazing! Great job! And the soup looks delicious. I wish that I had a big bowl right now!

  4. Buffalo - What are you waiting for? This recipe is not only quick and easy it is full of flavor.

    Whitney - I love comfort food in cold weather. I've never been one to have anything saved for "good"... I believe in using everything now and with love!

    Marguerite - thank you. Both the quilt and the soup gave me much joy!

  5. Yes, I have such wonderful memories of sitting under the quilt with all of my great-aunts, my grandmother, great-grandmother all talking in German. That was so the little ones hiding under the quilt couldn't understand what they were talking about. That and my great-grandmother, despite moving to American at age 13, and died at age 95 did not speak english.

    I just had Italian Wedding soup for lunch. We made a big batch and this was the portion that was frozen. I think it was even better after coming from the freezer.

    Your quilt is coming along nicely. It will be treasured, I'm sure.

  6. The quilt AND the soup are beautiful!

  7. I love the quilt! Are you hand quilting or using the machine? I would love to hand quilt one, but don't know just how long that would take with my arthritic thumbs. I make variations of that soup all the time, so good when it is cold outside.

  8. Nancy - I wish I had a group of friends I could have a quilting bee with! My friend Anne and I are trying to get together for a few hours one afternoon a week to work on the quilts. Such lovely memories you have of your relatives.

    Blissed - thank you!

    Kathy - I am hand quilting it. Each patch is 6"X6" and there are 14 across and 16 down. I can quilt about 5 or 6 patches in an hour. I have some arthritis in my right hand - thumb and wrist... it hasn't been too bad so far, but I know what you mean.

  9. I honestly have so much respect for anyone that quilts, with or without a sewing machine! I simply to not yet employ that amount of patience- maybe someday though!

    This soup looks delicious. I make soups every week and eat them for lunch every day. (At least that is my current THING- it will probably change once the weather warms up!)

  10. The quilt looks fabulous! And I love this soup. This looks like a great version.

  11. Reading about all of this quilting, I think I should pick it up! After I pick up gardening, and roller derby, and kick boxing, and yoga... I just want to do everything!

    Your quilt is starting to look fabulous. :)


Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

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