Sunday, November 15, 2020

Stack & Whack, putting the garden to bed, and a Galette w/recipe

Here are two same-but-different quilts.  The blocks are the same, but the quilts have different settings.
This one has no sashing, and plain alternate blocks.  A dark and a print border.

This has sashing with cornerstones and an outer print border.

OMG that is a beautiful print.
I chose an Asian-style pantograph to pair with the Japanese fabric.

 GARDEN REPORT

DH dug all the remaining potatoes.  We had a bumper crop this year, in spite of the dry summer.  Watering every week produced some great tomatoes and the wonderful pile of 'taters.  

IF YOU LIKE CABBAGE:  I put in six cabbage plants back in May (?).  As I harvested them I left the plants in the ground and let them continue growing.  I kept harvesting from those six plants until last week when DH ripped them out so he could rototill.  Through the summer these were small enough to manage - perfect for soup or a quick coleslaw.  

PUTTING THE GARDEN TO BED

Every couple of years we add something to the garden to keep a nice soil tilth and lots of nutrients.  DH went to the local mushroom farm and got a trailer load of mushroom compost.  He also had a HUGE quantity of leaves.  I was downstairs in my sweatshop quilt studio, minding my own business, when he came in and asked "if I wanted to help with the leaves?".  Um, no?  Ha ha, that didn't fly!


After the leaves were down it was time to top them up with compost.  I am a very smart woman who has managed to never learn how to drive the tractor. 😁


This will have all winter to break down so we can feed ourselves again next year.

My to-do list today has pie-making hi-lited.

On one of the pandemic-stock-up shopping trips, a few bags of walnuts came home from Costco.  Walnuts only keep so long before they start to go rancid, so I put two bags in the freezer, but I'm still trying to use them a bit more often.  I found the walnuts.org web site and marked a few recipes.

KALE, BUTTERNUT SQUASH & WALNUT GALETTE
As I showed you last week I have that volunteer kale plant I've been working with, and I had some butternut squash already roasted, sitting in the fridge.  I also had two single crust pastry doughs in the freezer, left over from when I made the peach pies this summer.  I managed to whip this up for supper in practically no time!  Since I didn't have gruyere cheese I substituted with cream cheese and it was delicious.  I ate the last leftover piece this morning for breakfast with a runny egg on top.  Yum!

On a side note, cooking shows are often screening on our tv.  I mean, what else is there to do these days?  Anyhow... we were watching America's Test Kitchen (?) and they were making a galette
Hah!  I pointed out to DH how lucky he is that he gets fed this kind of stuff all the time.

COVID NUMBERS

Worldwide:  total 54 million, deaths 1.4 million, new 628,136
USA:  total 10,977,635.  Deaths 245,460, new cases 159,021
Canada:  total 293,183.  Deaths 10,977, new cases 4,613
Ontario: total 95,964.  Deaths 3,387, new cases 1,248

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Catching Up, again

 I seem to have put my blog posting on the same schedule as my house cleaning...pretty darned infrequently! My new system for cleaning is to keep an eye on a couple of the pictures hanging on the wall - if I notice gooey, stringy cobwebs hanging off them I make myself vacuum some time in the following week.  

I'm just going to give you some pics of a few quilts that I've completed for customers over the last couple of months, ok?  OK.

This quilt came with a special request to add a couple of hearts in the quilting.



This was so stinkin' cute.

This is a special quilt for some Florida people.


I love these Quick Curve Ruler quilts!


Another quilt made from embroidered blocks.  This is #3 for this gal.

Scrappy - my all-time favorite quilts.

Like many people these days, I've had it up to the wazoo with politicians.  I was SO ticked off with one local provincial representative that I actually wrote a letter to the editor.  They edited out some of it, but I think they should have kept the comment that Oosterhoff is part of the governing provincial party that has mandated the regulations currently in place.  WTF???


I have a new t-shirt to get me through the rest of the year.  This arrived in time for me to cry in my wine over the cancellation of the annual Tobermory retreat with the Beach Girls.  This cancellation might explain some of my fit over Oosterhoff.  He gets to play with his friends, but I don't???  WTF???

Then I soothed the savage beast with copy-cat Starbucks Pumpkin Scones.


This was my most interesting volunteer in the garden this summer.  It's a kale plant in the same spot where I had one two years ago.  It's been feeding us for weeks (a fact that DH is not particularly impressed with, seeing as it is a green leafy vegetable).  These days if he makes any kind of negative remark over supper all he gets from me is an eye roll and "suck it up, buttercup".  Yeah.  Not winning any BEST WIFE, EVER awards.  Oh, covid... how many marriages are facing some less-than-stellar-days thanks to you?


On a personal quilting note, I stitched up and quilted a whack of Christmas panels.  Since this pic was taken I have cut them all apart and trimmed to size. These will be donated whenever I get all that binding finished.

The current GOOD news is that Biden/Harris won the US election.  I cannot wait to see Trump get his arse booted out of the White House.

COVID NUMBERS

Worldwide: 49.9 million cases and 1.2 million deaths.  Daily increase in cases 540,000.

USA:  9.9 million cases and 238,000 deaths.  The US hit a new daily high of over 130,000 cases yesterday.  Sad.

Canada:  261,400 cases and 10,493 deaths.  New cases yesterday 4,246.

Ontario:  84,153 cases and 3,233 deaths.  We hit a new daily high of 1,328 new cases yesterday.  Sad.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

2 Quilts (one complex & one simple), What's Cookin'?, and Covid numbers

PLEASE NOTE THAT I ONLY HAVE A FEW OPEN SPOTS BEFORE CHRISTMAS - GET IN TOUCH SOON IF YOU WILL NEED QUILTING DONE.

Here's the complex quilt, with a medallion setting and a bunch of paper pieced sharks teeth.


And curved piecing.  Don't forget the curved piecing.

This quilt took me back in time.  When I was a kid, Mom had made me a skirt that I loved - dark grey with box pleats.  The inset in the box pleats was pink with a tiny black print.  I felt so sassy when I wore that...every step showed off the pretty pink.  To this day that is still one of my favorite colour combinations. 

Lots of s.i.d. and straight line quilting on this one.

Here's the simple quilt.  Well, not simple exactly - it's all on point, which makes the outer edges really stretchy when it's time to add the borders.  But simple in the sense that it's a one-block quilt, and the blocks are only 2 pieces.


This is from a Fons & Porter magazine, and the maker requested quilting similar to what was in the pics.  I love her colour choices, and she did a great job with the layout.

WHAT'S COOKIN'?

There have been lots of PIES coming out of the oven lately, both savory and sweet.
  1.  tomato sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms, cooked sausage, green peppers, tomatoes, onions
  2.  pesto, mozzarella, shredded cooked chicken, tomatoes, onions
  3.  tomato sauce, mozzarella, diced ham, pineapple, onion
  4.  peach (plus another one in the freezer!😁)


And I've been doing lots of sweating over a hot stove.  Peach marmalade, blueberry marmalade, peach-rosemary jam, mango chutney.  I will save DH's reputation and not tell you the story of how I came to be in possession of enough mangoes to necessitate the making of chutney.  You can use your imagination for that.   Not shown are the 21 quarts of diced tomatoes which I finished on Friday.  By February you can expect to see my arse another size larger.

COVID NUMBERS

Worldwide: 25 million cases and 843,000 deaths.

USA:  5.97 million cases and 183,000 deaths

Canada:  128,000 cases and 9,113 deaths.

Ontario:  42,000 cases and 2,800 deaths.

PERSONAL COVID UPDATE

I had my Red Hat girls over last week for a brown-bag-lunch-at-a-distance on the back patio.  Our patio isn't fancy, but it is nice and big.  We hadn't seen each other in MONTHS so it was really good to have a chance to catch up in person.  A few of the gals couldn't make it, but that's par for the course.  Since we're all members of the Caledonia Grand River Quilters' Guild we did a bit of guild catch-up too.  Our guild donated a quilt to the Fair Board to raffle as a fundraiser (see the Guild Feb. 9th post), so many of us bought raffle and/or 50/50 tickets.

I was supposed to leave for two weeks in Italy on Friday.  Yeah, no.  I have actually received a refund for what I'd paid to date, which is good.  I have not yet received anything regarding my seat upgrade for the flights...still waiting on that. ✈

I have another HAIR appointment next week. 👩 Yaay.  This stuff is way too long, and way too hot.  It's going to get a very generous trim.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Let's wrap up June (since it's already August!) Log Cabin & A Unicorn

Log Cabin - I love the colours in this.  The quiltmaker wanted it quilted "like in the magazine".

That involved feathered swirls in the blocks, from the center out to the corners, and then a simple meander in the rest of it.
No s.i.d. kept the cost down a bit.

Unicorn - this is all paper pieced.  Whoo baby!  

Thankfully the quiltmaker sent me a pic of how she wanted it quilted.  Otherwise I'd probably still be staring at it wondering what the heck to do.
I had to get a little bit of technical help from a longarm buddy who has done this style of work.  The background rays were done with the I.Q., and that was a bit of a challenge too, but in a good way.  I like learning new things.

On the personal front, the garden is coming along nicely.  The zucchini is a bust this year.  In an attempt to thwart the zucchini bugs I planted it in large pots on the patio. Two of the three plants died from wilt.  The third one is hanging in there, so far.  We shall see.  Thankfully a friend has an abundant crop and she's been willing to share.  The bumper crops this year will probably be potatoes and tomatoes.

Pizza and bread made from a big-batch artisanal dough recipe has made a frequent appearance on the dinner table.  In fact, it's pizza night tonight, in celebration of some very expensive mushrooms I picked up at the market.

Since the end of June:

  • I had a real haircut from a real hairdresser.  Sooo nice.
  • I've had several backyard dinner-at-a-distance with friends and relatives.  The hardest thing is definitely coping with the fact that I cannot hug anyone.
  • I've had two massages.  My neck & shoulder have decided they want to compete with my hip to see which body part can cause me more pain.  Aargh.
  • I had an honest-to-goodness restaurant meal, on a restaurant patio.  I was very trepidatious but it was long enough ago that I obviously did not catch anything.  Why does Blogger not like the word trepidatious?  Anyone???
  • I had a bone density test, then a telephone appointment to review the results (which are good).
  • I had an eye exam that had been postponed several times from last fall.
  • I was back at the dentist, just for my semi-annual cleaning.  
  • I actually received a refund for my trip to Italy that had been scheduled for August 28th.  That shocked the hell out of me, in a very pleasant way.
COVID STATS AS OF AUGUST 9, 2020

I pulled these numbers from the news this morning:
Global:  19.6 million cases, 270,000 daily new
USA:  5 million, 54,000 new daily
Canada 119,500, 220 new daily
Ontario:  40,000, new <100 daily (70 yesterday)

I have to remind myself not to get too cocky over the Canadian numbers vs. the USA.  We are opening up and I KNOW our numbers will be going up too.  Dear God, I hope not to that extent.  I like to think that our politicians have our best interests at heart and will handle things accordingly.  I do, however, have great sympathy for my friends in the US.  I can't see myself ever crossing the border again.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

A Lone Star Beauty and Covid Update #582. OK, not really...


This beauty had been in-progress by the maker for quite a long time. The Lone Star block is perfect.  She pieced it using the pre-printed fusible interfacing product, which makes for a very exact block.  It gets a little bulky in some areas, but that's a small price to pay for great accuracy. 

 The diamond wedges were all quilted with c.c. (continuous curve), and the outer edge of the star, along with all borders, were stitched in the ditch.  I created some ghost blocks in the white background to break that space up into more manageable-sized areas.

There's a nice repetition of the diamonds and squares in the background quilting.  And I love the contrast between the curvy and straight motifs.

This is definitely my favorite shot of the back. 💕

Covid Update To June 27th
May 23- broke a crown on a back molar
May 30- emergency dental assessment.  Dental offices are still closed but will hopefully open next week.
June 2- I had my dental appt for crown repair.  How often do you hear people say they are glad to go to the dentist?  Ontario's State of Emergency is being extended to June 30th.  Bars and restaurants are staying closed. Vet clinics and pet groomers are open.  Sadly, beauty parlours are still closed so hair cutting at home is still a thing. In Haldimand-Norfolk 164 migrant workers are now testing positive, and one has died in Essex county.  The farm corporation is seeking asparagus pickers - bring a group of 5, pay will be $25/hr per person, 7 am - 4 pm.
June 10- In the past week - short term rentals are now allowed in Ontario, so cottages are good to go. Ontario is mostly moving to stage 2, allowing hairdressers to reopen and allowing groups of up to 10 people.  Now we can have small weddings and small funerals.  However that does NOT include Toronto region, Hamilton, Niagara, Windsor-Essex or Haldimand-Norfolk.  The mayors of both Haldimand and Norfolk protested by getting their hair cut outside where the media could get lots of photos. I cut my hair again - this is Edward Scissorhands episode 4.  The Canada-US border will continue to stay closed past the June 21 end date, but the official end date has not been announced.  The Canadian gov't WILL allow immediate family to reunite on the condition the travelers are healthy AND self quarantine for 14 days.
June 12- Ontario will start allowing visits at Long Term Care Homes, Retirement Homes, Residential Care Homes, etc. although there is a long list of conditions that must be met first.  The 30 day limit on prescription meds is ending, and the TTC will require all passengers to mask up.  People can start a social "bubble" of up to 10 friends/family but they can't overlap with other "bubbles".  Grocery stores are ending the pandemic pay bump of $2/hr.  What? We don't need these people anymore? They are no longer critical? Oh, don't me started.
...I'm getting tired of keeping track.
June 17- my poor tooth ended up with a root canal which has left a lovely bruise on my jaw.  Looks like DH slugged me, lol.
June 25- we bottled a batch of wine which should keep me quiet for a few weeks.  Since we were out in the plague ridden world already we took the plunge and got a take-out pizza.  This was our second "restaurant food" since the pandemic started.
June 26- EXCITEMENT!!! I had dinner with a friend!  I packed up my supper, a bottle of wine, dishes, and a lovely gift from the Universe ...well, actually from the tee-total neighbours.  They'd had a celebratory breakfast and gave me the leftover (almost-full) bottle.  After eating our respective dinners-at-a-distance on my friend's deck we enjoyed the champagne with strawberries & whipped cream for dessert.
June 27 - holy sh*t. The US is reporting over 45,000 NEW DAILY CASES of covid. Keep our border the hell shut.

So, about those "Bonus Wages"...
Last month I got into a bit of a disagreement with a couple of people on facebook over the Ontario minimum wage.  Now the grocery stores are eliminating the 'bonus wages' they've been giving to employees for the past few months, and I've got my knickers in a twist again.  The grocery stores have been racking up large increases in their profits because so many people are uncharacteristically feeding themselves at home.  The executives at the TOP of those food chains (no pun intended) are, and/or will, no doubt be getting large bonuses to reflect their (ahem) "superlative performance" during the crisis.  What the hell?  Those low level employees are still putting themselves on the front line every. single. day.  And the people behind the counter at Tim Hortons?  Same thing.  Every. Single. Day.  It was suggested that entry level jobs are not meant to pay a living wage.  Yeah, sorry, I don't get that.  In my opinion that means it's a VOLUNTEER position.  But that's not why people go to work every day...making someone else wealthy while I work cheap?  Student wages is a different thing.  They're part time by necessity (ie school) and are generally supporting cell phone bills, video games, and date nights with their favorite snuggle person.  So sure, they don't need a living wage - they're just learning how to show up on time and do what they're told.  But adults who go to work should be making enough money to pay their rent, for God's sake.  How rich is rich enough?  Why is it always people WITH money who want to stop other people from HAVING money?

On a more pleasant note, I made Strawberry Orange Banana jam last night.  Pandemic Preserving, ha ha ha.  Here is a link to the recipe.  It's identical to the recipe from the Bernardin Home Canning cookbook I have, so yes, it's safe.


Sunday, May 31, 2020

Let's Get Caught Up, Shall We?

Oh, fer crying out loud.  Now Blogger has gone and changed the posting format.  I hope this all comes out the way it usually does...

This started out as a bunch of butterfly blocks from a guild Block Of The Month.  Whoever won the blocks donated them back to the guild.  I thought (?) I had given all the guild donation quilt stuff to the new chair of those projects, but apparently my organizational skills are not what they should be.

I had a cute lilac print in my stash that worked well with the blocks.  I needed to add some of the little antennae to a few blocks.  The back is a girly flannel, printed with a shoe design.  You'll have to take my word for that. 😀

Here's a four-patch posie quilt done by one of the Binbrook Guild members.  I led a demo station at the February meeting and this gal either had hers already pieced at home or was inspired to get one made after seeing the demo...I'm not sure which.

Looks great though, eh?

The same quiltmaker owns this.  She made this in a class I taught many years ago.  Her setting is different from the pattern, but it looks good - I like it!


Here's the sour cream coffee cake I mentioned in my last post.  I still have a tub of sour cream in the fridge so I may have to make another one of these.  Note to self:  For Gawd's Sake Woman!  Cut it in half and put some in the freezer instead of eating the whole thing in the space of a week!

Here's my Covid Journal up to May 22nd.

5/4 Worldwide 3.5 million cases and 274,000 deaths. Considering that situation occurred over four to five months, the numbers are mind boggling.  Canada 59,474 cases with 3,774 deaths. The U.S. has 1.1 million cases, 67,000 deaths. Dr. Birx is seemingly against the reopen protests because of the danger of virus transmission. The Republican-dominant Senate is reopening today, while the Democrat-dominant  House of Representatives is staying closed. The U.S. estimate on number of deaths has gone up to 100,000. Effective today, Longo's grocery stores (southern Ontario chain) requires all customers to wear a mask. In the U.S. a security guard at a dollar store in Michigan was shot and killed over this policy. Dear God, USA. Will you ever get your shit together?

5/6 Ontario will allow garden centers and hardware stores to fully open this weekend. Low rate hydro will continue until the end of May. Otherwise, emergency orders will stay in place until May 19th. After a failed experiment (on my part) with Zoom, I had a practice session with a willing friend and figured out what my audio problem was. Now I'm ready for the next Zoom birthday party which is planned for next week. Fyi, Zoom is no better than Messenger video chat (imho) although the paid version has a lot of features. Customer porch dropoff today - we managed an in-person chat 70 feet apart.

5/7 Donned my mask and made a grocery run for milk, veggies and fruit. Made a great score with a tub of Lysol wipes. Woo hoo. Whoops! One of Trump's valets tested positive yesterday.  Hamilton reporting 474 cases and 23 deaths.  Haldimand is at 196 cases with 30 deaths.

5/8 Mike Pence's press secretary tested positive. I was up around 5 again this morning (two days in a row, grrr). Early morning scrolling through my IG feed...those recipes look too good. So, this afternoon I made a sour cream coffee cake, a la Barefoot Contessa. Two hours later I got a message from a friend offering us some of the cinnamon rolls that she'd made. Well sure! We'll eat them too!  Here is a link to a news article outlining how the White House buried the CDC'S  guidelines for reopening.

 https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/cdc-report-reopen-white-house-1.5562558

5/9 Mother nature is on a tear...freezing temps and SNOW. Fuddle duddle. Ontario gov't is permitting education workers to voluntarily & temporarily move over to the health care sector, with wages & benefits continuing.

5/10 A Quebec based Cargill meat plant will close...64 workers are now positive. U.S. Coronavirus Task Force- three members in self quarantine due to exposure. Dr. Fauchi NIAID Director, Dr. Richfield Director of the CDC, and Dr. Hahn FDA Commissioner.

5/11 Here is a clip from the news: But the director of the University of Washington institute that created a White House-endorsed coronavirus model said the moves by states to reopen businesses "will translate into more cases and deaths in 10 days from now." Dr. Christopher Murray of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation said states where cases and deaths are going up more than expected include Illinois, Arizona, Florida and California.
And another: China, where the pandemic began in December, was the first country to reopen factories and other businesses after declaring the disease under control in March even as infections rise and controls are tightened in some other countries.  However, a spokesperson for China's National Health Commission says a rise in newly confirmed cases is a growing concern.  "In the past 14 days, there were seven provinces reporting new confirmed local cases," Mi Feng told reporters at a briefing on Monday. In Ontario, bad, bad Doug Ford entertained his daughters - who do NOT live with him - on Mother's Day. That’s against all your own rules there, Dougie.

5/12 This morning's news is reporting that today Dr. Fauchi will caution about a rushed reopening of the economy - which is at odds with Trump's urgent demands. Canadian premiers in BC and Ontario want the borders to stay closed. Me too!

5/18 We had LifeLabs come to the house and do our bloodwork.  We’re both overdue and we have a doctor’s appointment scheduled in a couple days.

May 19 Ontario schools are staying closed until at least September.

5/20 Virtual doctor’s appointment for DH and I.  Our doctor passed away in February but his sons are all doctors, and they are taking over his patient files.

5/22 Canada 82,480 with 6,342 deaths. Ontario 24,628 with 2,100 deaths. Daily cases in Ontario have been going up for the last 10 days - Mother's Day?

Here's ME, PERSONAL news:
  • My back/hip are giving me no end of grief.  The virtual visit with the new doctor has given me some relief in the way of "better living through chemicals".  I'm on a stronger anti-inflammatory but I still don't know what's going on.  It could be a flare-up from the car accident 20+ years ago when I was bedridden for the better part of three months with a herniated disc.  Up to yesterday, the longest I've been able to work at a  single stretch is 2 1/2 hours.  However, that's up from ONE hour a couple weeks ago.
  • Much of the veggie garden is planted, and I noticed yesterday that the beans have started to sprout.  I'm picking asparagus every day, which gives us a meal's worth every two days.  I've already got a couple loads in the freezer for winter soup.  The past couple of days I have also been picking lettuce.  Every year I start a few lettuce plants and get them out super early under little cloches, and every year the plants that sprout all by themselves are ready for early picking at the same time.
  • Last Saturday a crown on one of my molars decided to break.  Half of it flew the coop but the other half is staying put (so far).  Dental clinics are still all closed, so I phoned the office to see what message they'd left for patients on their voice mail.  I was directed to email the dentist, so I did that with a description of my problem.  She replied within an hour:  My office like almost all other dental offices has been ordered close during this outbreak and all of our PPEs have been ordered to be donated already. At this point I can prescribe you some pain medications, or perhaps some antibiotics if needed. However, last night, we were sent an email from Royal college of Dental Surgeons permitting us to reopen partially to treat urgent dental needs, we are getting prepared for that purchasing new PPE and equipment, I think  we are ready to screen our emergency patients by the end of next week, and then book for treatments asap after that if you could wait until then. If you feel you need  to be seen sooner, there are some emergency dental clinics that are open in Hamilton. I will attach a list of them with this email, if you have to get a tooth fixed, it needs to be classified as an  “emergency” care, so, please,  contact them so they can evaluate the situation and let me know if I can help you in any ways, regards, Since my tooth didn't hurt, that was all fine with me.  I had my emergency assessment yesterday and will hopefully get the replacement crown this coming week.  That is all dependent on dental clinics getting the go-ahead - because the tooth does not hurt and is not infected it's not considered an emergency.  My Tuesday appointment may, or may not, happen...we shall see.
  • Since I was already out, after the dentist I went to the bank, the liquor store, the pharmacy, and the garden center.  I came home kind of stressed.
  • I'm r.e.a.l.l.y. tired of the bad news.  Now the USA is basically on fire because another bunch of cops murdered a black man.  Dear God, when will it stop?  I am honestly starting to get depressed, and that is not like me.  Maybe I should order some new shoes.