Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Railroad Tracks Quilt and Dear Universe: Please Bugger Off!

I love the colours in this quilt.  And I would never, ever do this much paper piecing.

Quilted with tons of s.i.d.  Added x-hatching in the blue background and some little feathers in the gold centers.

DEAR UNIVERSE:  PLEASE BUGGER OFF!!

I've been up since about 2:30 this morning.  I think my stress levels might be just a wee bit too high. In the past month...
  • Door knob fell off (bought all new door lock sets = $600).
  • Fridge quit (quickie emergency fridge $400 plus new REAL fridge $3300).
  • New furniture is waiting to be delivered but the old furniture has not sold yet ($2600).
  • Must pick up 4 gallons of pre-purchased paint by month end, a bargain I got last year.  I've been waffling on paint colours but the deadline for pickup is Sept. 30th.
  • Sadie's been eating herself.  She's wearing a cone and is now on antibiotics twice daily for 2 weeks.
  • And the worst news:  my sister passed away unexpectedly last weekend.
Goodbye Sharon.  I'll  miss having a sister.  No one else can answer those dumb questions I have. 😢



ZUCCHINI REPORT
Picked this week:  3 (to Sept. 10)
Picked YTD:        83

Sunday, September 3, 2017

The Raven quilt, A Kitchen Story, and the Zucchini Report

This is The Raven quilt.  I love every bit of this quilt.  All hand applique.

Background quilting was simple crosshatching, following the lines of the fabric.

Everything was s.i.d.  Birds were feathered (of course!) and other bits were quilted as applicable.

It's much easier to see the quilting on the back.
A KITCHEN STORY
Somehow, the kitchen story seems to be taking place on the back patio.  Whaaatt??


Yeah.  Remember a couple weeks ago I spent HOURS cleaning the fridge before my in-laws arrived?  Wasted effort.  "Clean" and  "Cold" are, apparently, two different things.  Today my "cold" stuff was living in a cooler on the back porch.

The veggies were fending for themselves on the kitchen floor.  (ha ha - nice zucchini! 😀 )

When you are DESPERATE for a new fridge, on a long weekend no less, here is a little tip for you:  stores do not keep fridges in stock.  They have to be ordered in.  Except cheap, small fridges from Costco.  Ahem.

ZUCCHINI REPORT

Picked this week:  6
Picked YTD:       80

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Letters on a Quilt, Company Overflow, Zucchini Report

This definitely rates as one of the more interesting quilts I've worked on this year.

Very simple, design-wise.  But paper piecing the letters and the leaf block would not be my favorite thing to do.  The piecer did a super job on this, for sure!  It was quilted with a Canada flag panto which has been getting lots (!) of use this year.

Last weekend we entertained DH's family, so I was kind of overrun with inlaws for almost a week.  They started arriving on Friday and we waved goodbye to the last of them on Wednesday.  I managed to feed ten of us for lunch on Saturday and as far as I can tell I didn't poison anyone.  Yay me. 👍  However, it seems to have been too much for our front door.  DH went to open it on Tuesday and the door knob fell off in his hand.  It was only 30-some years old...I guess they don't make stuff to last the way they used to.  ha ha...

In the pic below you'll see seven quarts of onion soup, eight pints of peaches, eight half-pints of  Amaretto-Peach Butter, and a lonely jar of zucchini pickles. (There were originally several jars of pickles but I managed to give a few away, for which DH is eternally grateful.)  When I went to the market last Thursday to get some peaches, the peach guy talked me into buying four six-quart baskets of  'seconds', at a pretty good price.  I hate to lose out on a bargain but lemme tell you - I'm darn tired of peeling peaches!!  Last night I made a peach cobbler, so I'm down to the last eight peaches in the fridge.  They just might rot there.  Pfftt.  "OH NO" says my inner voice.   I spent three hours scrubbing the fridge before the inlaws came - it's not getting dirty any time soon.  And yes, it had been quite a while since the last cleaning.  Gross, to tell you the truth.


The onions out in the garden are WONDERFUL this year.  Big and happy.  There's enough to make another 30 quarts of soup, I figure (although that won't happen!).

ZUCCHINI REPORT (2 weeks worth)

With all the rain we've had this summer I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think the zucchini is thirsty.  I may have to water the garden.

Picked last 2 weeks:  15
Picked YTD:             74

I've got five or six in the fridge right now, so more zucchini loaf might be in my future.  But I've also got about eight starting-to-rot bananas on the counter which should go into banana bread, and the eight peaches in the fridge that need to be dealt with.

I may ignore the whole lot and go read a book.  I'm currently working my way through Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood.  I have waited months for it (the E-edition for my tablet) to come in from the library.  I love reading books on my tablet but when they expire they just POOF and are gone.  That is pretty friggin' annoying if you're on the second last chapter.  Interesting side note about this book:  every chapter features a pic of a quilt block.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Dresden Plate Quilt, Selvages, and Garden Update with Zucchini Report

The Dresden Plate is at the top of my FAVORITE QUILTS LIST.

I have made two of my own and I have a third in progress.  This quiltmaker repeated all of the fabrics identically in each plate, and also positioned them identically in the background square.  She used different fabrics for the centers.

I quilted S.I.D. around the sashing, outside of the plates, and around the inside circle.  Mauve thread was used in the sashing and inside the plates; the rest was white thread.  The maker requested feminine quilting, so I went with flowers.  So pretty.

One of my hobbies seems to be collecting selvages.  I have, probably, twelve pounds of them by now.  Never done a thing with them.  But LOOK!!!  I MADE SOMETHING!!!

OK, On to the garden update.  Can anybody tell me what the hell these are?

I swear to God, I planted Butternut Squash seeds.  I'm not sure any of them sprouted because I ended up with these football sized things, AND I have pumpkins growing too, which I also did not plant. I have "people" who do that for me. 😀 These HAD to come out of the compost, because that's where the pumpkin seeds would have been.  I am accustomed to butternut squash growing from the compost, so when I had volunteers back in the spring I gave some seedlings to my neighbour.  Won't she be surprised!  ha ha ha, I'm so bad....

Cherry tomatoes have been ripening for about two weeks now.  Oh, so good!  And the rainy summer has made the peppers very happy - look at the size of that jalapeno.  It is easily the size of the overfertilized produce that you buy at the grocery store, but mine are organic.  Yay me.

Now, what you've all been waiting for...
ZUCCHINI REPORT
Picked this week:  13
Picked YTD:         59

This week I made five jars of Zucchini Pickles from one of my Bernardin cookbooks.  I've never made them before, so hopefully they're edible.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Cool Summer Quilt, Zucchini stuff including a recipe & "the weekly count"

This quilt is so fresh & cool looking - perfect for summer.

Beautiful batiks.

So, as you can clearly see, it is August.  This is the first four loaves of the season.  DH had some for breakfast with peanut butter, and he managed to choke out the words:  "good zucchini bread, wife".  If you want my recipe, it's in THIS post.
ZUCCHINI REPORT
Picked this week (up to Aug. 5th):  10
Picked YTD:  46

On one of my excursions down to the dungeon,  I mean the fruit cellar, I noticed that I still have LOTS of jars of diced tomatoes from last summer.  And I have lots of zucchini in the fridge.  Oh, what's a girl to do???
Step 1:  pour a glass of wine.  Hah.  That's always my first step. 😀
Step 2:  get out the Looneyspoons cookbook.  That's usually my second step.  I love (!) that cookbook.  But sadly, Janet & Greta didn't have anything written up that would get rid of some of those two items that I NEEDED to use.  So I had to get creative.  And let me tell you - it was very, very good.  I've made this twice now so it was not a mistake.

Penne Pasta with Tomato Sauce, serves 4
Loosely based on Lawrence of Arrabbiata, Looneyspoons collection
4 sausages, any flavour seem to work
1 ½ c. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup of any of the following optional additions – add as many as you like: diced zucchini, diced mushrooms, sweet peppers
1 small hot pepper such as jalapeno (optional)
1 quart jar of diced tomatoes (or a large can)
2 tbsp. tomato paste
½ tsp either crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper (you might want to skip this if you used a jalapeno – your choice)
1 tbsp. Balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. each dried basil and dried oregano
12 oz (340 g) uncooked penne pasta, about 4 cups dry
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
·         - In a large frying pan cook the sausages until they are nicely browned.  Drain off fat but leave the crusty bits for flavour.
·         - Remove the sausages to cool for a bit.  When cool enough to handle slice into ¼” thick coins.  Set aside.
·         - Into the dirty frying pan add the onions and the garlic, sauté for a few minutes.  Add a bit of water if necessary to prevent sticking & burning.
·         - Add the optional vegetables and the jalapeno, sauté until they start to soften.
·         - Add the diced tomatoes, and stir for a few minutes, scraping up any crust from the pan.
·         - Add the tomato paste, vinegar, and the sliced sausages.
·         - Leave that pan to simmer gently for about 10 minutes.  Pour yourself a glass of wine.
·         - MEANWHILE...put a large pot of water on to boil.  Cook the pasta until al dente, then drain and return to the pot.
·         - Add the contents of the frying pan to the pot.  Combine and leave to sit off the heat for a few minutes, giving the flavours a chance to meld. 

·         - Add the parmesan.  Finished!!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Cute Kitties & Zucchini Report

This is at the top of my "Cute Quilt" list for July.

The pantograph design is "Hip Kitties" (purchased from Urban Elementz).  And serendipitously, the cat motif lined up beautifully along both side borders.

Friday was our 33rd wedding anniversary.  We took a play day.
 Together!  Mini putt, then lunch, then the afternoon was spent throwing dirt at each other.
 No, no, no, not like that.  We finished weeding and hilling the potatoes out in the garden.  Thanks for the help, darling. 💕


ZUCCHINI REPORT

Picked this week:  13
Picked YTD:         36

I'm heading off to Beach Day at Diane's on Tuesday, so I might just have to make a Lemon Zucchini Loaf.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The African Quilt, Today's Pet Peeve, and First Zucchini Report of 2017

OMG, this African Quilt is quite a work of art.

 Where to start, where to start?  Well, GOOGLE is where we all start today, I think.  Because the little corner of my brain where "African designs & motifs" is supposed to reside is apparently empty.

Lots and lots of s.i.d.

After s.i.d. then it's time to add in some African background quilting.

I have a great deal of admiration for quilters who are so adept at applique.  It also appears that she has an embroidery machine that (wait for it...) she knows how to use.

TODAY'S PET PEEVE

Passive-aggressive people.  link here
Seriously.  If you're going to be mad at me because I (apparently) hurt your feelings, maybe you could do me the courtesy of TELLING ME WHAT I DID/SAID.  You can even YELL at me, if that's the only way you can get it out.  Because quite likely, what you are hurt/angry/insulted/shocked about is a MISUNDERSTANDING.  Which, obviously, I cannot clear up IF YOU DON'T TALK TO ME.  If it's not a misunderstanding, if I actually DID something that hurt your feelings, I would like to apologize and not do it again.  Because in spite of how you are thinking right now - I do NOT want to hurt you.  You're one of my 'peeps' and I love you.
How do you think it makes ME feel, when you are supposed to be someone who LOVES ME, and you are walking around acting like I hurt your feelings on purpose?  C'mon.  You've known me for a zillion years and you should know that I don't go around intentionally hurting people's feelings.  If you REALLY think that's what I do, you should not be in my life because apparently you do not think I'm a very nice person.
You probably noticed a little bit of personal hurt feelings and anger here but there ya go... that is Today's Pet Peeve.  I apologize to any of you reading this if it gave you stress, but I had to get it out.  Have a martini, you'll feel better.  ðŸ˜

ZUCCHINI REPORT
Ooh, this first report covers three weeks.  I meant to take a few with me yesterday when I dropped off boxes to the Quilts of Valour rep in Hamilton.  But I'm gettin' old, and I forgot.  Stupid.

Picked so far:  23
Tossed in the compost:  0
Given away to customers:  3

Thankfully, these are all little ones.  The teeny ones get chopped up into salads, where it's pretty difficult to identify them.  There are six or seven plants in the garden in two separate clumps.  I seem to be getting about three per day in the 5" size.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Summer Hours and Garden Update

Summer hours.  If I were a normal person that would probably mean I was knocking off at noon on Friday and heading up to the cottage for a long Long Weekend.  But oh, nooo.  Not me.  Here was my Monday this week:

9:00 - 11:00
  • shower
  • strip bed
  • clean four bathrooms, remove shower curtains for laundering
  • put away a load of laundry from... several days ago.  Can't remember.
  • wash two loads of laundry
  • hang one load on the solar dryer
11:00 - 12:00
  • pick garden produce
  • rehang the washed shower curtains
  • put fresh sheets on the bed
  • put away last night's clean dishes
12:00 - 12:40
  • lunch - leftover orzo pasta salad, blueberry/banana loaf with almond butter
12:40 - 1:25
  • take down & put away load #1 of laundry
  • hang load #2 on solar dryer
1:25 - 2:00
  • take Sadie & DH for a walk
2:00 - 3:00
  • go down to my sweatshop & quilt
3:00 - 3:20
  • take down & put away load #2 of laundry
  • hang load #3 on solar dryer
3:20 - 5:40
  • surreptitiously eat 5 Twizzlers.  It's either that or a cocktail.  Did I make the right choice?
  • go back to sweatshop & quilt
5:40 - 6:00
  • eat supper.  Thank God DH cooks because it seems I ran out of time today.
6:00 - 6:10
  • bring in and put away laundry load #3
6:10 - 7:10
  • relax with the newspaper and the Sudoku puzzle
7:10 - 9:00
  • gardening.  Which is a euphemism for 'weeding' and 'swatting mosquitos' and 'crying'.  Pics follow.  I think I want a wife.

This was taken on June 11th

A similar view on July 3rd.  Wowza!!  Three weeks growth.
So, yeah, all the rain we had made my garden sooo happy!  Especially all the grass!  I could probably hide dead bodies in there and no one would find them.  I am resorting to my favorite mulch system - newspaper.
I have about 1/4 of the garden mulched with newspaper & compost.
I keep running out of newspapers.

Now, I'll leave you with a couple of 'pretty' pictures.
The left half of the cutting garden, which is in front of the veggie bed.
The evening sky on Canada Day, after the rain finally stopped.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Strippie Sampler Quilt and Dear Universe...Knock it Off Already

Oh.  Love, love, love the red.

This is the first quilt she's ever made.  Nicely done!

Dear Universe!  Please!  Bugger off with the rain, already.
June 2016:  37 mm of rain.
June 2017:  67 mm of rain.
Thunderstorms forecast again for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Canada Quilts, Red Hats in the Rain...rain...rain, the Potty Incident

Three great Canada quilts for the kids in this gal's family.
#1

#2

#3

This is (ahem) MINE.  When I was at Quilt Canada last week I bought the license plate panel, then came home and made up a quickie for the front door.  Now to get it bound and actually hang it on the front door.

Yesterday was Red Hat day.  Our outing was to Whistling Gardens.  Our admission included a tour and the water fountains choreographed to music.  What fun!  In the pouring rain!

It wasn't really pouring during the show.  But it was definitely raining.


We got in about an hour of the tour but gave up when it started to rain.  We decided to have our lunch early in the picnic area.  Do you see the rain pouring down?  Thank goodness for the tented picnic area.
It managed to stop raining in time for us to head over to Hewitts Dairy in Hagersville for ice cream.  A perfect finish to our day.

Aah, the Potty Incident.  That mirror, which used to hang above the sink, belonged to mom.  I kept it when she had to move into assisted living.  Why her spirit decided to fling it off the wall last night is beyond me, but I sure hope the "seven years of bad luck" thing is just a rumour.