Sunday, July 29, 2018

Favorite Block, Sweet Friends, Garden/Zucchini Update & recipes

No, I have not finished the quilt I showed you last week.  I'm still plugging away at it.  If I could get DH to refresh his memory on how to use either the vacuum or the hoe I might make quicker progress.  However, if he DID get out the hoe, I'd be a little worried about his aim when he got near the zucchini plants.
I will tease you with what I think is my favorite block so far.  I love Dresden Plates.

As far as sweet friends go... Margaret occasionally sends me squishy parcels.  Those are the BEST things to find in your mailbox.  If you need to cheer up a quilty friend for some reason, or just remind someone that you're thinking of them this is a great way to do it.  It's much better than getting another hydro bill in the post.

This was the harvest on Thursday morning.  As of yesterday the cucumbers started to outnumber the zucchinis, so it's a good thing I planted a small variety.  They're bigger than pickling cukes but smaller than conventional ones.  And it's easier to give them away too.  I had two offers of zucchini politely declined by people this week.  Bummer.


Picked this week:  16
Picked YTD:         41
Gave away:           5

Zucchini recipe of the week:  Zucchini Fritters, link HERE.  I served these with Curried Tomato Preserves.  I like to try something new most years during canning season  and that tomato recipe was a huge hit for me.  I'm definitely making more this year.  link HERE.  

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Quilts (of course), Bugs, and Zucchini Report

Here's a pretty little thing I finished recently for a customer.  I love that panto - it's very delicate & girly.

This is what I'm currently working on.  It'll probably take me a week...maybe more.  Tons of straight line quilting and s.i.d., and a mix of freehand and I.Q. work.  (I.Q. is Intelliquilter - my computer drive).

I guess that sometimes we PAY for bugs.  DH inadvertently brought one home with him.  Normally I prepare broccoli by making a broccoli salad.  This time I think maybe I'll cook it.

Sigh.  Zucchini Bugs.  This is the underside of a zucchini leaf.  Do you see the small orangey dots?  Get a closeup look - it's a zillion eggs of  Squash Bug.  Here's a LINK.

This year my plan of attack is to cut that portion of leaf out, bring it in the house and flush it down the toilet.

This week's bit of zucchini humour: I usually do some gardening in the morning while it's still comfortably cool outside.  I come in, wash & put away the produce.  Then I go to work.  One day this week I was stitching away, thinking that the little tickle I could feel on the back of my neck was the chain from my necklace.  Um, no.  I grossed myself out when I realized it was a squash bug that had been hitch-hiking, probably in my hair.  gaahh... ICK!

Picked this week:  9
Picked YTD:        25  **this has been the haul from just two weeks
Gave away this week:  4

Monday, July 16, 2018

Zig-Zag Log Cabin & Redneck Mulch (with Zucchini Report #1)

This quilt has all the appearance of a Rail Fence, but it's actually made from Log Cabin blocks.

Quilted with a simple leaf design in a gorgeous turquoise thread.  Yum.

I have a love/love relationship with my summer garden.  I have a love/hate relationship with weeding. 
I kind of like weeding in the spring when I've been cooped up in the house all winter.  I love the smell of dirt, and the different fragrances from vegetation.  By now though, two and a half months in, I am pretty darned sick of weeding, and my elbow is killing me.  Why do they call it Tennis Elbow when in my case it clearly has nothing to do with a lah-di-dah leisure activity?
That will explain my dependence on what I like to call Redneck Mulch.  It's just several layers of newspaper, topped with grass clippings.  A few weeds are pretty determined and will poke out through the joins, where they might actually get a bit of light.  But they pull out sooo easily.  AND they are very sparse.  Where I do still need to pay some attention is right around the stem of whatever veggie is growing, since there is a substantially larger opening there.  The weeds take advantage of that.  (Ignore the Timmies cups.  Those were the 'pots' I used for the tomato seedlings, and the variety is written on the side of the cup.)

Tomatoes:  This year I planted 8 Romas, 4 PF Hybrid, 4 Big Beef, and 3 Sweet 100.  I will pick my first Sw. 100 in a few days, I think - one is partly red.

Every year, some of the potatoes that we missed when we were digging in the fall manage to overwinter and sprout.  I transplanted the first 5 volunteers into the proper potato patch (say that three times, fast. 😀) but the rest I've just left to grow where they sprouted.  There's at least 10 plants now.

Today I noticed there are peppers on the pepper plants.  Yay!  The beans didn't amount to a hill of beans (groan) so I had to replant them.  It'll be another month at least before I get any beans.  The stuff with white flowers that you're seeing in most of these pics is Cilantro.  Another volunteer which is just as invasive as dill.  Although I love cilantro, so it's ok.  I leave some to go to seed, then whiz the seeds in the (clean) coffee grinder for Coriander spice.

We planted three different varieties of potatoes - an early, a mid season, and a late.  So far DH has dug enough from the 'earlies' for boiled potatoes with butter (OMG, sooo good), AND a potato salad.

The asparagus is resting now until next spring, just building energy so it can feed me again.  In the photo it looks kind of white - that's from our well water.  Disgusting stuff, but there's been no rain to speak of for quite some time.  The county has a burn ban posted, and the Grand River Watershed has requested a 10% reduction in water use.

And now, what you've all been waiting for...

Picked this week:  16
Picked YTD:          16
Gave away:            10
DH was horrified the day I showed him my basket with SEVEN zucchinis.  He must have a horseshoe up his butt though - a customer that day was happy to take all seven off my hands.
In other humourous Zucchini News, the newsletter editor for one of my guilds asked me if I had any zucchini recipes I could share for the newsletter.  Hahahahahaha.... I have a million recipes.
And in MORE humourous Zucchini News, my nephew (the foodie) posted on his Instagram page a clip of him making stuffed zucchini blossoms.  I had to resort to that a few years ago when I had so much zucchini I thought DH was going to leave home.  And in today's newspaper there is a recipe featuring stuffed zucchini blossoms.  I guess that's going to the the summer's hot food item.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

A Modern Quilt, the Garden, Social Media

Oh, I love (!) modern quilts.  Especially when they have random bits of 'word' fabric in them, like this one does.

And I love quilting them with swirls & pebbles.  This makes a wonderful contrast against the straight lines & graphic design of the top.


I try to be a thrifty person when it's not too much of an inconvenience.  I dug up a coleus plant last fall and left it in a pot on the windowsill all winter, then took cuttings of it in the spring.  I got seven FREE plants.  No special hints - these root in one or two days in a glass of water, then just pot them up.

I did the same thing with a geranium.  Seven freebies.  Yay!  😀 Hint passed down to me from Mom: take your cuttings and let the cut stems dry out for several hours, then stick them in water.  They are not as likely to rot in the water if the wound has healed.  When there are nice roots, pot them up in a good potting mix and put them in a plastic bag to keep in humidity for a couple of days while they settle in to their new pots.  Open the bag before they get mouldy.

Prepare yourself...I will be starting the annual ZUCCHINI REPORT in my next post.  I've picked nine (?) so far this week.  I gave some away yesterday, then tonight I made a nice little stir fry with onions, garlic, zucchini, and diced tomatoes, topped off with crumbled feta cheese.  Yum!  And 'cause I know you're wondering:  no, DH did not eat any of it.


Do you get all depressed when you sit around by yourself on a Friday night, listening to DH snore from the bedroom, while you're cruising Facebook?  I do, sometimes, thinking that everybody in the world is having a much more fun and eventful life than I am.  So I pulled down the kitchen calendar and looked at what I've been doing since the beginning of June.

  • 3 lunch dates
  • 4 dinner dates
  • 2 movie dates
  • 1 family overnight company & daytrip
  • 1 family afternoon & dinner date
  • 1 family breakfast date
  • 2 theatre dates
  • 1 concert date
  • 2 guild meetings w/ pot luck supper
It would appear that I do, in fact, have a social life which includes family, friends, and lovely acquaintances.  So no more Miss Crybaby-Snotty-Nose!