Monday, July 18, 2016

Jellyroll Donation Quilt & the First ZUCCHINI REPORT of 2016

I belong to an offshoot group of the Caledonia Quilt Guild, called the Scrappy Club.  In theory, we work with our scraps.  You know, the leftover bits from other projects.  In reality the ladies are often using lovely just-purchased fabrics that were always intended for a certain project.  But whatever - we mostly just like to sew together, have lunch together, and trade the odd bit of gossip.

But at our June meeting I HONESTLY used scraps.  Remnants.  Yay me!  I tried as best I could to pull together a range of creams, greens, reds, & golds.  It's not the prettiest of quilts, but it does have really cute border fabric.  Which, b.t.w. is ALSO a remnant from last year's Christmas gifts.

In an attempt to cutsie this up I added a cat applique.  Everybody loves cats, right?

The quilting really is super cute though - hugs & kisses.

And a nice label.  This is getting sent to Fort Mcmurray for the fire victims.  I will be dropping it off to Quilt Junction in Waterford as they are sending a shipment some time in August.

Now, drumroll please....


Picked this week:  2
Complaints from Husband:  2
Picked YTD:        2

Monday, July 11, 2016

Umbrellas & Garden Update & Recipe

Umbrellas!  Oh my gosh, so cute.

I quilted s.i.d. around all the applique, then quilted the umbrella spokes.  Next, an echo-ey meander filled in with splish-splashes.

Cabbage - check, Peas - check

Potatoes - check, check, check, check, check, check..... Good lord.

Zucchini in the cutting garden - check

Cherry tomatoes almost ready to eat -check

Now, can anyone tell me what friggin' rodent is digging this tunnel EVERY SINGLE DAY?  I fill in this hole every day, and every day it reappears.  It's getting a little bit tiresome.

We have been eating asparagus for quite a while and now I'm also picking peas every day.  Yum.  These combine really nicely in the following recipe.

Sautéed Asparagus and Peas
By Jennifer Segal
Servings: 4
Total Time: 15 Minutes
·         2 tablespoons unsalted butter
·         1/4 cup minced shallots
·         1 bunch thin asparagus spears, ends trimmed, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces on a diagonal
·         1 cup thawed frozen peas ** I've been using large dice of fresh peas in the pod
·         Salt
·         Freshly ground black pepper
·         1 teaspoon honey
1.   Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, 4-5 minutes.
2.   Add the asparagus, ¼ teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Continue cooking over medium-low heat, stirring frequently so the shallots don't burn, for about 5 minutes or until tender-crisp. Add the peas and honey and cook about one minute more until the peas are warmed through. Add more salt and pepper to taste (I usually add about 1/8 teaspoon more salt and a few twists of pepper) and serve.

Copyright © Once Upon a Chef

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Another Christmas Quilt & a Strawberry Recipe

You can never be prepared for Christmas too early.

The maker re-purposed vintage linens - either napkins or hankies (?).

Now... just to wait for December!

It has been so dry here that the hose is watering something pretty much every day.  Local strawberries won't last long in a drought, but they're always available at the grocery store.
I made this last week and it was very good!  Give it a try... (from Sweet Cayenne website)

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake from Back in the Day Bakery
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Yield: Serves 8
This Strawberry Buttermilk Cake recipe is an easy cake you can whip up in no time on a nice spring day. It's perfect to make when you're expecting last minute company to enjoy with a cup of coffee! Adapted from the Back In The Day Bakery Cookbook by Cheryl and Griffith Day
  • 1 ½ cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • ½ cup buttermilk (I used lowfat)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
  • Optional: confectioner’s sugar for dusting
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and make sure you have a rack in the center. Butter and flour the bottom and sides of a 9-inch deep dish pie pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl if you plan to use a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed. This should take 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the egg, buttermilk, and vanilla, mixing until just blended, about 1 minute.
  5. Gradually add the flour to the butter mixer with the mixer on low speed until just combined.
  6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and use a rubber spatula to fold in any flour residue into the batter.
  7. Add the batter to your prepared pie pan and use the rubber spatula to smooth out the top. Tap the pan firmly on the counter to remove any air bubbles and ensure the batter is evenly distributed. Arrange the strawberries on top of the batter, cut side down, into a design of your choice.
  8. Bake the cake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven heat to 325 degrees F and bake for 45-55 minutes more until the cake is set, the edges are golden, and a toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack.
  9. Dust the cake in the pan with powdered sugar before serving. You can slice it straight out of the pie pan.
  10. Store the cake in a airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 3 days. It’s wonderful chilled or warmed!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Challenges, Stash Report, & Laundry (idiot)

I belong to two quilt guilds and they both ran challenges this past year.  In the spirit of killing two birds with one stone, I combined the projects into one.

  • Caledonia was a paint chip challenge, where I drew the orange, lavender and turquoise.  Then I added black and white.  Sadly, at the June meeting I did not win a viewers choice prize.
  • Binbrook was a border challenge with a hot mess of weird instructions every month.  The voting on this challenge will happen at the September meeting.

I'm honestly not crazy about the QUILT, but I had fun with the quilting.  That argyle design took f.o.r.e.v.e.r.

I'm really not very good at those wee circles.

I had fun with the back, too!  I used up some smaller pieces that were travel gifts to me from my DB and SIL (who b.t.w. are currently in England celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary, and witnessing the financially devastating Brexit vote.)

The past couple of weeks we have been entertained by COCO Paving who first tore up our road, and are now PAVING our road.  I knew they were paving this morning because all the racket woke me up. Clearly, those guys don't realize just how much beauty sleep I need.
I like to think that I stay on top of my housework with a scheduled list of chores.  I stripped the bed and decided it was a good day to put the summer quilt on the bed.  So, I washed the non-summer quilt and hung it on the solar dryer to dry.  Then I realized that all I could smell in the air was liquid tar.  Sigh,  When I get that quilt out of the cupboard in September I will probably have fond, aromatic memories of road paving.  Idiot.

Used this month 8.2 m
Used YTD         37.74 m
Added this month 2.5 m
Added YTD      73.3 m
NET YTD:       +35.56 m

When I was at Quilt Canada last week I attended a lecture/trunk show by Julie Plotniko.  She had lots of ideas for easy, scrappy quilts and got me a bit motivated!  At Scrappy Club on Monday I started a new lap-size-ish quilt for donation.  If I stay motivated maybe the stash report will get down to a red bottom line soon.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Current Events & CQA Quilt Canada Show

Current Events:  I have a new 'ride'.  A black (oooh, mistake!) Honda CRV.   Photo courtesy of Gail, taken on our Red Hat outing last week.  No, I don't have my hat on yet in this pic.  But I DO have my lipstick on.

For the rest of the week I was at Quilt Canada in Toronto.  With the Beach Girls. :-)
Yes, I think we'd had a glass of wine by this time.

Carol Ann gave us all 5 fat quarters as a challenge for October's trip to Tobermory.  So it's her fault my stash report will look bad again this month.

As usual, I took a zillion photos and I won't bore you with them.  These are just three quilts that I found particularly interesting.

I thought this quilt was very creative.
The whole darned thing is made from clothing labels.

This is a really lovely gift of love for her daughter.
Chains and clock bits and all manner of weird & wonderful things.

This one caught my attention because I love samplers.
I love everything about this quilt.
And it was beautifully quilted, too.

We closed off Thursday night with a lecture by my all-time favorite quilter:  Jane Sassaman.

Now, it's back to reality.  Asparagus beetles and laundry.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Baby Quilt (UFO Challenge) & Garden Update

This little cutie was my UFO challenge project for May/June.  And it's all done except for completing the hand stitching on the binding.

I love Flying Geese blocks.  I use the Quilt In A Day ruler(s) by Eleanor Burns to make them.  Four blocks at a time.  What could be better?

It took me two tries and a ruined label to get this to print nicely.  There was much cursing involved.  I ended up zigzagging the label on to a piece of card stock to feed it through the printer.

DH got a little carried away with the potatoes this year.  I had to plant the zucchini in the cutting garden, and I think that's where I will be putting the pepper plants and some of the Roma tomatoes, too.  I'm wondering... did he plan that so there would be no room for zucchini???

This is the section that he fenced off for me to keep out the stupid rabbit.  Yes I know it needs weeding.  But you can clearly see the rest of the garden is pretty tidy.  This takes a bit of finessing to get into - I have to undo a couple of zip ties to open up a section so I can slide through.  Then the fencing falls over, which means I do a bit of swearing and have to go back out and pick the fencing up and prop it up and try again.  So ... you know ... I avoid it. :-)

**!@&*  Dammitall.  Asparagus beetles.  I go out and squash them every day.  Later, like 7 pm-ish they are slower and don't fly away as quickly, so that is a better time to do it.

And speaking of squashing...  As I pointed out, there is not a lot of room left in the "proper" garden.  So I decided to commandeer the front flower bed outside of my workroom windows to plant the butternut squash.  I went out Thursday night and dug a few lovely holes and gently plunked the wee plants into them.  Watered with a bit of Fish Emulsion Fertilizer (because you know I like to be all organic-like, eh?).

**!@&*  Dammitall.  I went out Friday morning and THREE OF THE FOUR PLANTS HAD BEEN RIPPED OUT OF THEIR PLANTING HOLES.  Probably a stupid CAT decided there was buried treasure a fish under the squash.  Stupid cat.

Mmm... strawberries almost ready.

See?  Tomatoes!!  These are the plants that were under the red warmer cones I showed you earlier.

It's been crazy windy and pretty dry so the watering must commence.  It's only 6 am and normally the wind is pretty calm at this time of day but stuff is already blowing all over hell.  Now, I'm off to fight with the garden hose...