Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Garden, Technology, Book Recommendation, Zucchini Report

THE GARDEN

At this point, the GARLIC is the most prolific crop.  The large heads are from my planned & intentionally planted bed.  The small heads are all volunteers.  Every year I think... no I mean I hope I have managed to cull all that stuff, and every year I find that well, I guess I missed a bunch.

What will I do with all that garlic?

  • I'll save a few of the large heads as seed stock and replant it in the fall.  
  • Some will be used for PESTO which will go in the freezer in 1/4 cup portions.  
  • Some will stay as dried garlic to be used as needed.  
  • The balance will get chopped up in one of the kitchen whizzers along with olive oil.  That will go into jars in the freezer and be used when we need chopped garlic for anything (stir fry, pasta sauce, salad dressing, etc).  You need to plan a little bit ahead of time and remove the container about an hour early so it softens up enough to dig out what you need, then put it back in the freezer.  Alternatively you can use an ice tray and freeze small portions, then pop the cubes out and toss them in a container.

TECHNOLOGY

Pretty much everyone I know has a tablet of some sort, whether it's an I-Pad or an Android device.  Me, I'm an Android girl.  My nephew 1-800-LUKE 💓 got me on Android many years ago and I'm loath to change.
Anyhow... everyone also has a cover for their tablet so they can prop it up, which facilitates ignoring their dinner companion(s) as they either peruse Facebook, read a riveting book during mealtime, or ruin their meal by reading the news.

My cool little cover includes a removable keyboard.

It sticks to the flippy cover-thing with magnets, which are embedded in the cover-thingy, and in the back of the keyboard.

Sadly, though, my keyboard magnets, which sit inside a little divot, are no longer glued.  They float around underneath the backing.  This is VERY irritating because the keyboard does not stick very well, AND since they've escaped from their divots the added bulk prevents the flap closure from securely closing the cover.
I had a little discussion with DH about my dilemma.  I know the guy has many many versions of glue, so I managed to convince him to find a bottle of Gorilla Glue in his cluttered workroom/garage.  My project today will be to slice open the backing, affix those magnets in their respective divots with the glue, then close up the backing and glue the slits closed.  (note to self:  make those slices where you can glue them closed without impeding the magnets!)

Speaking of books, I just finished a trilogy.  If you like distopian novels, and/or stories about pandemics, this was really good, by Megan Crewe. LINK  I don't think anything will ever top Margaret Atwood's MADDADDAM trilogy, but it was good nevertheless.

ZUCCHINI REPORT

No, the situation has not improved.
Picked this week:  4
Picked YTD:  11

Monday, August 12, 2019

Souffle & Recipe, & Zucchini Report

I feel like I finally earned my "adult" wings.  I MADE A SOUFFLE. And it was delicious!
This is from the LCBO Food & Drink magazine.  For those of you not in Ontario, that's the Provincial liquor store.
I have to thank Susan from our vet clinic - she posted this on Facebook several weeks ago, after SHE made one.  I probably need more practice with folding the egg whites in, but all in all I was very happy with it.  I cut the recipe in half, just in case it was destined for the trash.  DH and I ate it all, with a salad.  Definitely making this again. Yum.
Here ya go with a link....
CORN, CHEDDAR & CHIVE SOUFFLE

ZUCCHINI REPORT
Oh, sad.  So sad.  DH even brought more home for me after visiting with a friend.

Picked this week:  3
Total YTD:           7

Monday, August 5, 2019

Summer Blue Quilts, Beach Day, & Zucchini Report

Blue & White quilts are the perfect choice for summer.

This was quilted with "Tracery" pantograph.

Blue & Cream for a little softer effect.

Quilted with "Chocolate Leaves" pantograph.

BEACH DAY
This is the annual get-away celebrated by the Beach Girls (my longarm pack) for two nights to Diane's house.  If you've ever been on any of her bus trips - Diane's Destinations - you know that she is a super organizer who likes to keep her girls entertained.  This year she took us on a shopping adventure to Exeter, St. Mary's, and Coldstream.  I think we all bought stuff we probably don't need, but what the hell. You only live once.
We had our dinner that night at Eddington's of Exeter, and I had a chance to visit for a few minutes with James - the chef who cooked/taught on the trip to France last fall.
Our evening entertainment was spent with Ashes Alley  having a paint pour night.  Paint is not what I'm usually pouring (ahem! 😋).
Here is how it went, in pictures...

1.  Cover everything, including yourself, in plastic, before you start with the paint.

2. Fill a cup with paint.

3. Hold an inverted canvas over the cup.

4. Flip them both.  Warning... don't drop it.  Notice this is being done over a garbage-bag-lined box?

5.  Gently remove the cup.

6. Tip the canvas so the paint can slip-slide over the surface.

7. Watch in awe as the surface transforms.

8.  This is mine shortly after my pour.

9. Here it is the next morning.  It was transitioning during the night, with bubbles of colour coming to the top.

These take two days to dry so Diane is hanging on to them until we get together again at the end of the month.

ZUCCHINI REPORT

Alas, I have not yet regained my Zucchini Crown 👑.  That darned Nancy on Manitoulin Island is still ahead of me.  Grrr....  All season I've been flipping leaves over, checking the underside for egg masses of squash bugs.  These are copper-coloured bunches of dots. The dots are about the size of poppy seeds.  I tear a hole in the leaf, removing the section with egg masses, so I was shocked yesterday to discover a whole flock of little squash bugs.  Bastards.  I managed to murder many of them... squashing them - is that poetic justice?

Picked this week: 3
Picked YTD: 4

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Kaffe Fasset Chevrons, the Annual Zucchini Report, Recipe

I love bright quilts.  It must be the inner child in me.  And lord knows, enough people have told me to "grow up" over the years.  Not sure that will ever happen...

**Note - this is a Kaffe pattern, not necessarily Kaffe fabrics.
The simplicity of the design really makes the bright fabrics pop.

S.I.D. and simple motifs.

What a lovely view on the back.

So... after last week's post a friend of mine made reference to me losing my title as Zucchini Queen.  Dammit.  I picked this little guy - it's about the size of my thumb.  I HAD to get my numbers (or number, I guess) on record.  It went in a pasta dish.
LAZY PASTA RECIPE - serves 2 with some leftovers

  • 2 cups of rotini.  Cook as per package directions.
  • drain (but do not rinse) the cooked pasta and return it to the pot, OFF the heat.
While the pasta is cooking:
  • 4 cups of assorted chopped/sliced veggies, lightly sauteed to whatever level of tenderness you prefer.  I used onion, zucchini (see above 😄), broccoli, celery, sweet pepper, pea pods.  I basically cleaned out the crisper.
  • 2 sausages that had been barbequed a few days earlier were thin-sliced and added to the veggies.  You can use pretty much any kind of meat you have cooked and waiting to be either et or pitched.
  • 1/4 cup of pesto - add this to the cooked rotini, then add the veggies/meat.
  • combine everything in the pot and leave it covered, off the heat, for a few minutes.


**I made a ton of pesto last year and froze it in 1/4 cup portions.  I still have a few containers left and will be making another batch for the freezer soon.


This is my evening view when I sit ruminating over the loss of my zucchini crown.  So.Sad.

ZUCCHINI REPORT 2019
Picked this week: 1
Picked YTD:        1

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Rosewood Quilt & Garden update

Just like with children, you're not supposed to have a favorite.  But I can't help having a few favorite customers.
This is ROSEWOOD, by Moda.  So pretty.

As usual, when I do "custom" quilting there is a ton of stitch-in-the-ditch.

When the s.i.d. is complete I go back and put in the motifs.

This quilt got lots of feathers.

GARDEN UPDATE & THE NO-ZUCCHINI REPORT

Well, this is really embarrassing.  Downright humiliating.  I have a buddy who lives on Manitoulin Island and she has picked her first zucchini.  Me?  I got nothin'.  There is no excuse for that - it's plenty hot (!) with a 44 c. humidex, and there's been plenty of rain - we had another huge t-storm last night.  I guess my plants just need a good talking-to.
In other more respectable news, I have quit picking asparagus.  I will let it just grow for the rest of the summer so it'll be nice and lush next year.  The peas are still producing, although they don't really love the heat, so unless it cools down a bit they might give up the ghost.
The garlic is ready to be dug, as far as I can tell.  I had a couple of heads that rotted, but they were volunteers, not my "real" crop.  Hopefully the real ones are ok.
The raspberries have started to produce.  Yay, Snoopy dance!  Normally I manage to freeze enough to get me through my yogurt-&-fruit lunches until late winter.
I picked my first cabbage this week.  I used one half for a coleslaw and shared the other half with a friend.  A whole head is just too darned much.
It has been so stinking hot & humid this week that no weeding has taken place, and my flower beds are really starting to look like it.  It's cooled down a bit today so maybe I'll get out there later.  I spent a few evenings in the veggie beds putting down my red-neck mulch of newspapers & grass clippings (this year, those clippings have been mixed with chicken manure from the down-the-road farmer).  That mulch ends up being a real life saver when it comes to weeding.  Yes, it takes a lot of sweaty work in the beginning but over the course of the summer it definitely pays off.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Blue Stripes For Summer & Some Cooking

I've got a really interesting customer who designs her own quilts.  Medallion quilts are a challenge at the best of times, so I was VERY impressed by this one.

The quilting was kept simple (by that I mean visually, not technically - anyone who's done stitch-in-the-ditch on a longarm will understand what I'm saying).

Oh, I just LOVE pieced backs.

You can see most of the quilting designs in this pic.

OK, here's my "brag" shot.  That clematis was so gorgeous this year.  Likely because of the cool and rainy spring.  People didn't like that, but the perennials were sure happy.

My beautiful peonies, too!

SOME COOKING

I've had asparagus coming out my ying yang, and I'm still picking - not as much as in June but enough for a side dish once or twice a week.  Peas are getting added to the mix now too.  Yum.

  • Easiest asparagus cooking ever:  peel those stringy stalks, then chop into two inch-ish pieces.  Throw them in an olive-oiled saute pan with some chopped garlic and chopped ginger.  Cook for 5 - 10 minutes, depending on how soft you want the veggies.  One minute before you're done, add one teaspoon of honey and one teaspoon of sesame oil.  That one minute will melt the honey and blend the sesame oil.  Done.
STRAWBERRIES:
This is a delicious cake.  Because I make my own yogurt and I save the whey, I use whey as a substitute for the buttermilk.  Found on  Sweet Cayenne .  When the raspberries start producing I will try this recipe with raspberries, too.


Strawberry Buttermilk Cake from Back in the Day Bakery

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
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • 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.
  • Add the egg, buttermilk, and vanilla, mixing until just blended, about 1 minute.
  • Gradually add the flour to the butter mixer with the mixer on low speed until just combined.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and use a rubber spatula to fold in any flour residue into the batter.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dust the cake in the pan with powdered sugar before serving. You can slice it straight out of the pie pan.
  • Store the cake in a airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 3 days. It’s wonderful chilled or warmed!

OK, I'm going back out to the garden to weed now.  Still.  Again.  Whatever...

Monday, July 1, 2019

Happy Canada Day, and Quilt Canada

This is a great quilt to feature today, don't you think?  I feel so blessed to live in this great country.
Pantograph "Oh Canada".

Quilt Canada was held in Ottawa this year.  I had to grit my teeth to sign up for that - back many years ago when I was on the road with Royal Bank, everything "bad" that ever happened to me took place in Ottawa.  I accidently set a cash dispenser on fire, a childhood friend I bumped into stood me up for dinner, I was left stranded by a co-worker, etc, etc, etc.  But, you know, BEACH GIRLS, so I had to go.

THIS trip, my cell phone developed a bug that I still haven't managed to get rid of (must call Samsung...), and my credit card was declined at the Keg - even though it worked everywhere else.  Considering that I was there for the better part of five days I guess that's not so bad.

I took an Improv Piecing class with Krista Hennebury, which was a fun day.  Eventually I will set these bits into a quilt.

Here was breakfast one morning.  I loved the juxtaposition of the Froot Loops with the "healthy" breakfast.  That just made me laugh. 😄

This is the quilt that Diane had entered in the show.

Yes, those are all teeny-tiny little 9-patches.

Well, she was a big winner.  This is the ribbon for Excellence in Piecing.  Later in the week she found out she ALSO won Viewer's Choice.  Wow - big congratulations!!!

This was my favorite quilt from the show.  It evoked the fun times I always enjoy on my road trips with the girls.

A bit of a closeup.

This was the jaw-dropper for me.
One of the blocks.

Besides my improv class, I attended the lecture by David Taylor.  Hah, the guy is hilarious.  And he's very scornful of both fusible applique and raw-edge applique.  If you check out his his web site you will see why - all of his work is hand applique and it is INCREDIBLE. 

Another lecture was by Andrea Tsang-Jackson where she talked about the immigrant quilt and her summer as artist-in-residence.  She had the quilt with her and it was really something to see.

I was part of Laura Coia's Sew Very Easy Youtube Live show.  And when I say "part of" I mean that I paid money to be in the audience. 😉 This included a pattern and a bit of swag.

The free lecture by E-Quilter was very interesting too.  She presented a slide show from international quilt shows. 
Also this, in case you are working on any entries:

It was a great week, and now it's back to the grind.  Well, if you can call quilting a grind???

Sunday, June 23, 2019

A Few More Vintage Quilts

Back in April I posted a vintage quilt and the same customer brought a few more.  I always get such a warm fuzzy feeling when these are finished and OUT of the closet.

Log cabin.  Love. 💓


For this Dresden Plate, first you need to see where it started.  

I always love the transformation.


Working with a scrappy palette, using 5" squares, is not new.


You may notice that these quilts already have the binding attached, and they're ready for trimming/hand stitching.  I have several customers who like having that part done for them, because manouvering a large quilt around on a domestic sewing machine is kind of hard work.

There has been a lot of this going on.

The garden is mostly planted, and some is RE-planted because of the rainy, cool spring.  Yes, the zucchini is growing nicely! 😆

Next week, (assuming I manage to return to weekly-ish blogging) I will tell you about my trip to Quilt Canada in Ottawa.