Jul 29, 2013

HO HO HO Blog Hop

I am very happy to report that I finished up my project #2 last night, taking the last stitches in the binding about 8:30 last evening.  Woohoo there!  Of course, I cannot wait to show you what I have to share with you but I will not have to wait too long.  Today I am moving on to a hexie idea I have, doing some minor laundry and just generally kicking back a little bit.  DJ wants a hair cut this afternoon and other than cooking dinner I am not feeling any pressure from deadlines.   Not for another 3 1/2 weeks anyway when the next items will be featured.

I do have some photos to take, however and I put out a call to the Belles to see about an outdoor location for this. Hopefully tomorrow will work out.   Of course today's indoor shot attempts were a little comical---and I think I may show you just why soon enough, LOL.  Skyler had me quite amused and laughing, let me tell you!

I thought I would post the entire schedule today---Carol our most excellent cheerleader did not announce any changes to it when she sent a reminder post so I assume it is all "a-go".  I will probably do daily schedules as well..  The hop runs from Wednesday, July 31st to Friday August 9th with time out for the weekend.   I see some familiar names but also some new ones, possibly past participants or first time hoppers!  Always a blast to see what everyone has come up with.  Who knows?  You may get some ideas for your holiday crafting too!

Wednesday, July 31

Thursday, August 1

Friday, August 2
life, quilts and a cat too   <<  That's me!  >>

Monday, August 5

Tuesday, August 6

Wednesday, August 7

Thursday, August 8

Friday, August 9

Jul 26, 2013

this and that

Okay, found on facebook this morning and since I DO have a cat often featured on here-----  well, I thought it was funny anyway.  (He does NOT go on the table or the counters but who knows what he does at night when we are not around to scold him!)

I am happy to report that I have finished up project one for the HO HO HO blog hop that starts next Weds July 31st.  Tons of  binding but I slogged through it yesterday.  Today's plans, after I run a few errands, start quilting item two.  You know the drill----can't show till the assigned reveal day which is Friday, August 2nd in my case.  Sadly, lack of pictures for the blog!  I'll post the schedule early next week.

I don't even have pictures from Tuesday's quilt group to share though I had my camera with me.  I should have gotten a picture of the purse Teresa finished. Or the giftie quilt she is making for one of her kids.  Or Janet's red and white quilt top, made from Faye Burgos fabrics that she bought at a quilt show.   Gorgeous!

The weather was not conducive to meeting but we had a good turnout in spite of that.  (This year it has rained so much that if we were to let that stop us, we would never go anywhere,  LOL).  A few quilts were pinned, more scraps to sort through, one gal sewing, one cutting, one clipping threads, me embroidering.  A couple more were teamed up on a fall project another group is doing.  Nancy dropped by with the dachshund puppy she had just picked up---now that little sweetie deserved a picture.  Oh and a potluck lunch complete with a birthday cake for all the May to September birthday gals.   Just a fun time of fellowship and friendship and no big decision making about where to go for lunch either, LOL.  Normally we have to start thinking about THAT about 45 minutes before we are actually going to go.

And sew it goes in my little corner of bloggerland----

Jul 21, 2013

One week later..........

I sure didn't mean for a whole week to go by without posting.  I meant to post yesterday as a matter of fact and even had a couple picture to share but somehow it didn't happen, LOL.  Thunderstorms and having to power down the computer may have had something to do it with it.

 I have finished up the piecing on HO HO HO blog hop project 2 now and went over to the church meeting place to pin both one and two fairly early on Friday morning.  I was home in time for lunch which was all DJ was concerned about.  Rather than set up to start quilting, I finished up the binding on the remaining two sides of this Tons of Black Challenge quilt from last year.   Now it is ready to be counted for the guild obligation but I am allowed to donated it for the Bama Belles cause too.  I am thinking that this might be a good one for the Ogden House project that my friend Gene Black headed up last year provided they are doing it again this year.  You can read about the efforts HERE.

I can't show you the other stuff so this will have to do!  Pattern Source:  Quilting Assistant Mock Trip Around the World.  I would do another of these in a heart beat as the blocks can be arranged just about any way but I like this medallion style one probably the best.  The website gives you a couple of other ideas but I came up with a few others.  See my past post HERE for that.

I am also considering making a pillow case/gift bag for projects 1 and 2 but I have never done one of those roll up type deals.  I mentioned that to my friend Norma yesterday but I had a kit that I had one at guild to practice on first.   I said I would probably have to watch a video first to get through the process---or holler for Jane to help me, LOL.  She has made quite a few of them so I knew where to turn.  Norma came up with a couple of links before I had a chance to google it.

Missouri Star Quilt Company has one that she finished up the interior seams on the serger found HERE.  Robin Gallagher of Robin Quilts, Etc. also has a video for the pillow case but uses a french seam on the remaining two sides  HERE.   I recently said that I would like to have a basic serger and this would have been a good chance to use one.  I did the french seams BUT see how much off I am where this band meets?  Actually I think it is my fault for not re-cutting the strip in the kit.  The quilt shop tears their fabric.  I pressed it is half as instructed but there are spots where it is about an 1/8 of an inch off in the width.  I know because 1) I can see it is NOT even and 2) I measured it after the fact. 

Robin said to seam it on the other two sides, like an L, at first a quarter inch seam sewing with wrong sides together  and then turning it and doing a 1/2 inch seam.  to encase the raw edges.  I know how to do french seams from the old garment sewing days.  That just made for a big blob in the corner that I ended up clipping anyway.  I should have done it one seam at a time and it might have been easier to press it too.  Oh well, this was a "try it and learn" endeavor.  I know what I would do differently next time.

It is sort of cute though, isn't it?  Ballerina mice.  Who knew?   If they are still wanting these at guild I may donate it.  If not, maybe we can do a few more and send them with our quilts when we donate them down the line.   OR I might just use it myself, LOL.  Probably not. 

Other than that I did a bit of research for a hexagon idea I have for the late August hop.  I need to know how big it might finish so I  have cut something out to try my theory.  This is a case of combining a few things from a few sources to get the result I THINK I want.  It may not work but then again, it just might, LOL. 

Here we go again with the thunder bumpers and it is pouring down rain!  Same thing happened yesterday and we had two inches fall in a very short time.  Skyler has seen enough and is heading for his hiding spot under my bed!  Thankfully, I had run the grocery errands before this came blowing in.   I had planned on quilting today but that may need to wait till things calm down a bit in the weather department.  I'll swap out machines anyway.  Plus there is a whole boatload of binding to press as well. 

Hope you are having a good weekend in whatever you have chosen to do----

Jul 14, 2013

Sunday check-in/guild meeting

Another Sunday rolls around---lunch has been made (yum! chicken quesadillas with black beans and corn), eaten and cleaned up after, a load of towels are in the dryer, a fresh batch of iced tea brewed, groceries bought and put away.  I'm ready to sit down and blog---and then sew, LOL.

Friday I got my 1st HO HO HO challenge project completely pieced, binding cut, backing sewn---ready to pin.  I had also cut out the 2nd HO  HO HO challenge project while I was at the cutting and trimming detail and have not touched it since Friday evening.  Actually what I ended up doing to take me up to bedtime was seamed the backing----FINALLY!---for my Popsicle Sticks queen-ish sized quilt, finished up almost a full year ago.  Last spotted HERE.  Since we had guild on Saturday and Denise the friend who I had talked to about quilting it would be there I wanted to hand it off, along with the roll of king sized batting that was waiting as well.

Time takes a toll on a hanger when you have a big quilt top and then 10 yards of backing fabric looped over the same heavy duty hanger.  It is amazing that the hooked top has not completely straightened out but I can tell you the hanger bar was extremely bowed!  I broke it trying to straighten it up or I would show you.  DJ when pressed into folding detail said "where did find all this stuff?"  I took it to mean "where have you been keeping this" as he had never seen it.  3- 3yd sections of WOF minus selvage fabric is a LOT of fabric to try to fold up.  I think that is what prompted his remark, not sure.  But the answer was " my bedroom closet where it has been for almost a year."   Free Spirit Habitat dots on an aqua background that I had gotten from Thousand of Bolts.

As I mentioned, yesterday was Friendship Quilters guild day.  I had two objectives besides being there for the program and to do my secretarial duties

  • deliver that quilt stuff to Denise 
  • another friend had asked on Facebook about Orvus Soap.  I think she has moved recently and hers who knows what box and she just needs a little bit to wash a very special project.  She put out a call for it and I responded.
You see, I have a huge 7.5 lb jar of this stuff from the Farm and Fleet Store in our old hometown in Illinois.  It moved down here with us clear back in 97--in a few days we will hit our 16th anniversary of our move.  It is, of course, an agricultural product low sudsing, phosphate free for cleaning cow's teats before milking, I am told.  I had suggested that she try an agricultural supply place if there was any in her area but I would bring it with me if she wanted to come by the meeting place, with a jar.  LOL  I shared.  I had first met Diane years ago before Friendship Quilters had formed and I knew she had been a guild member so it was old home week.  I spotted a few folks hugging her when she came in, like old home week!

The program really was an outline of the cool things they have lined up for us for the Christmas in August sew-in.  Last year I made my iron caddy there and did an Heirloom spool but we did it in July, LOL.  They did all kinds of things like yarn scarfs, folded ornaments, wool and heirloom projects, pitty pat slippers, kindle covers etc.    I hope to do a mug rug, mug carrier, and decorate a plain mug---a complete set.  I am also signed up for the microwave bowl cozy but I should have also signed up for the magic Christmas stocking too.  I so want to replace our existing ones!  Email firing off now to the teacher!

We had a guild raffle table again this meeting----this is the fund raiser to help pay for our lunches at the sew-in dates and the next one coming up is Christmas in August.  I won the mystery grab bag this time!!!  I tell you, the girls really pack these with goodies.  First, there is this cute bag (burlap) that I could have used to stick that quilt top and backing in instead of the two handled brown paper shopping bags I did use.

And here are all the goodies that were in there!!  I hit the motherlode, I'm telling you.

There is about a 2 yard section of that Debbie Mumm print that would make great placemats and make me a new apron, maybe.  A sweet pillowcase kit from an area quilt shop---pink mouse ballerinas, too cute!  Needles, needle threader, pins.  I need some of those flat head pins for a project so that came in handy.  Dresden plate ruler, scissors, 2 tape measures. Gutterman thread, some perle cotton. Craft fuse that might come in handy for a purse.  Applique baby quilt book, and more batting fuse tape!  That will definitely come in handy.  That purple thing that looks like a scalpel is a seam ripper, I am told.   I am sure that I will goof up in some way sewing, soon enough, to have to give that a whirl!  Also a luggage tag made with red hat fabric along with the pattern and template for making more.  Purse sized tissues, envelope opener---can't find mine so that will come in handy too.

Jane and Terri had to make a trip up to the Ashville Quilt Shop shortly after guild to pick up their Block of the Month packets.  Normally they meet the 1st Saturday of the month but that was the 4th of July extended holiday weekend so it was backed up a week to the same day as guild.  We stopped for lunch and Jane drove on up, Ashville being about 20 miles north of Pell City where guild meets on US Route 231.  I picked up a little something I had left behind last time we were there, LOL and with a 20% discount.  I also priced their Janome sergers as I am thinking I would like to have one with these purse projects and such I have been making lately.  I didn't get one but am considering that my birthday and Christmas money from DJ might go towards one, with a bit kicked in from me.    I don't think I got home till about 2:30, maybe?

I knew I probably would not sew yesterday when the day started out.  Once we got home I had those goodies to put away plus my mind was on Hexagons.  Yep, I signed up for the hop following the  HO HO HO one but primarily because I thought it might jump start another project I have already started but I need a "fresh, just for this hop" project as well.  Something not overly involved.   I was digging around in my notebooks looking for a specific pattern I had purchased a few years back as a possibility.

As far as I can see, most hexagon pattern also need a 60 degree diamond and a 60 degree equilateral. I absolutely cannot find my old Sara Nephew (I think it was?) 60 degree equilateral triangle ruler.   I was looking high and low for that in all the possible project boxes it could be in.  I have the Marti Michell version but those measure differently, height of the square differently than the EZ quilting set of Easy Hexagon, Easy Six and Easy Three combos that I have owned for light years.  MM's measure by the finished edge.    For example, a 3 inch finished edge will finish 6 inches point to point and the finished side to side measurement is 5 1/4.  I think I can try making Linda @ Buzzing and Bumbling's coasters with this ruler rather than the Quilt Sense ones that Linda used.  I would try it anyway, just to see.

Also I do not have the instructions for using the Easy Three and was hoping that I could find it online.  (I emailed customer service instead. ) Apparently EZ Quilting site has been swallowed up by the Simplicity site, combined with EZ quilting, Wrights,  etc.   I really do not want to buy another ruler, something suggested in the pattern, when the things I already own should work!!  Now what I did find was a long missing EZ angle ruler---the 4 inch one but still missing is the 6 1/2 inch one, LOL, the in between sized EZ angle.  Always something!

The long and short of it,  I think one pattern I have on hand should be fine if I just stick to the Marti Michell version of measurements and just following the sewing instructions and ignore the cutting directions more or less.  The Easy Stuff will work with any of the designs in a book by Sharon Hultgren in my library, though Easy Three is not mentioned there either---and she designed the ruler, LOL.

Aline turned in this quilt when I saw her yesterday.  I probably should have had DJ go stand in the living room with it.  This is the one she was binding at the meeting on Tuesday.  She finished up but mine is still waiting for me.  I probably should set aside a half an hour or so for a few days in the morning and I would get mine done in no time.

This quilt and 18 others are probably going to be going to a children's home in Gadsden that houses wards of the state.  Nancy and her husband Steve will be moving there soon as his job requires that they live in Etowah County.  She brought the matter to our attention and it is a way Bama Belles can help.  I have just enough finished quilts on the shelf to make it happen too.

And sew it goes------the busy MIND of a quilter whether she is actually sewing or not!  Well, I have some books on tape calling my name so I will finally put pedal to the metal and get going on project two.  I would like to be able to pin both of these by mid week if possible, the church is available for me to sneak over and use the table.  Goal set!

Jul 10, 2013

check in

Bama Belles met yesterday.  Several quilts were pinned, maybe three or four of them.

A few others are waiting---Donna had put borders on her chevron quilt but she wanted to make a pieced back.  Beverly had finished up this wonderful scrappy 3-D bowtie but we were not sure that she had enough batting.  A polyester allergy precludes her getting anywhere neat the roll that we use.

Aline, Jane and I were all working on binding.

Nancy is moving up to the neighboring county and had brought some things to share plus needed me to help her with the join on her binding on a large king sized quilt she had hand quilted.  She also brought in a large pile and bags of scraps that Marilyn and Donna primarily were sorting through.  She had brought "thank you" notes from the family--4 kids and a mom who had recently lost their husband/dad---that we had given quilts to earlier this year.  It was about all we could do to get through reading them without crying.  Nancy was puddling up and handed it to me---like anyone who knows me knows how easily I am moved to tears.  Still, I didn't expect to get those notes in the first place.

Marilyn reported that her church group had gotten 30 quilts completed that will be delivered to a mission field in Mexico.  The Belles had helped by providing some tops, backings, and even had gone over to help.

Earlier Bev had shown a double heart string top she had made and needed a little advise on something she was working on.  Her husband's dead car battery made for an early exit though---that and they had just returned from vacation and needed to do laundry, get groceries, etc.  You know how that goes!

The top here on the right is one that Lois whipped up from a batik kit she had gotten for 10 bucks at a guild garage sale.  She says she has enough for two or three more quilts but I am going to take the extras off her hands---next time.

A few folks were missing as usual for various reasons.  When are we ever all together in one spot though?  LOL  Some of us went over to Panera Bread for lunch. YUMMO!  I had the other half of my sandwich today for lunch.

On a personal level, Project 1 for the HO HO HO blog hop is just about completed.  Just needs borders.  I got the top finished up on Monday evening.   I had intended to get the borders added today and I still might but I need to rest up and cool off first.

I had a bit of a restless night so when I finally did get up it was about 2 hrs later than I had been rising.  Trust me, Skyler did try to get me up but I was not being too receptive to that idea!

Since I had come home with  cukes, tomatoes, a few yellow squash and peppers I knew I had to do something with that stuff.  DJ had run into our across the lane neighbors at the hardware store and they had squash to share and told me that when I got home.  I have no clue what to do with the banana type peppers that are in the bag and was going to swap the peppers for a bit more squash and left a message on their answering machine.  Meanwhile, Robert came by with several zucchini but did not take the peppers----DJ let him get away too.  I still have them and remain clueless.

That started off another kitchen siege---about 4 hours straight in the kitchen again today.  Worst part is that DJ was trying to replace the weather stripping on the front door so it would close better.    Translation:  no a/c and the sun was beating in that part of the house.   ( Old door, they don't make or measure them the same way, I guess.)  I had the oven on and it just kept getting hotter and hotter in here.  By the time he got the weather stripping in (had to go back to the old stuff as the door would not shut) it had hit 85 in here.  I need to cool off before I even attempt to get in the shower and drive off.   It has dropped to 82 and I have two fans blowing in here to help it along.

So what did I do/make?

  • a large container of Easy Refrigerator Pickles.  Nicked my right hand 3rd finger on the mandolin too.  Time out for bandaid break. 
  • I grated up several of the zucchini and made two loaves of Mom's Zucchini Bread.  I'll use the yellow squash, some of the zukes along with some carrots and onions for a veggie stir fry along with a pasta dish tomorrow night.
  • I put some London Broil in the crockpot for Italian beef sandwiches for tonight's meal.  No recipe I just dump the meat, beef broth, some pepperoncini, sliced onions and minced garlic in the pot.  Had I known if those peppers I have were mild or hot I suppose I could have tossed them in there????
  •  I sliced up all the tomatoes though initially I thought I might peel and chop them up to put them in the freezer.  We need some of the tomatoes for the sandwiches though.
  • While I had the electric knife out, I sliced up both loaves of zuke bread to quick flash freeze for coffee break time.  I offered DJ a taste but when I said it was zucchini bread he didn't want it.  I had to reassure him that the zukes just made it moist but it was a cinnamon, nut deal.  He took some but made no comment. 
  • I made a Mocha Fudge Pie----actually that is the only thing I had planned on actually making this week other than the Italian Beef.    This is actually a recipe from Cooking Light back in 98 or 99 but I did find it online HERE,  It has been a long, long time since we had this.  Seemed like something light for dessert.  
  • I have washed and re-washed some of those bowls and such twice today and tried to keep the kitchen cleaned up.  
  • I still would like to try cold brewing some coffee for iced coffee--love that!---but need to track down some cheesecloth first.  The paper had an article about this in the paper but Pioneer Woman tells how to do it in this post  http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/06/perfect-iced-coffee/

Would you be surprised to hear that I never did get dressed today?  Oh I put on clean undies but stayed in the nightgown externally.  Why get my clothes full of batter, flour, oil, etc?  I don't care as much about my nightgown, LOL.  Wouldn't you know though---the mail lady honked because I had a package delivery (backing fabric for PRJ 1 was part of it).  Here is DJ minus his shirt and me not technically dressed.  I went out anyway.  It looks like a house dress, why not?

If I can get a bit of ambition after I get out of the shower, I may go ahead and cut the borders for PRJ 1.  I am guessing that I may just finish up the binding on the donation quilt though.  I had one short side and most of the first long side done at the meeting.   I need to show it at guild (we meet on Saturday) in order to get credit for the mandatory donation quilt. My guess is that standing at the cutting table, like more standing at the kitchen counter, is NOT going to happen.   I will start fresh tomorrow and cut out what I need for project 2 while I am at it.  Yep, I have an action plan.  

There is another blog hop starting after the HO HO HO---this one is hexies and yes, I signed up though I almost forgot in all that kitchen flurry that today was the signup day.  They book up quick!  I have a couple of ideas and I know this will light a fire under my rear for one of them.  See sewwequilt.com for details!

Okay, shower---fresh clothes.  

Jul 5, 2013

just playin'

I have one of those Nancy Martin perpetual calendars "365 Quilt Blocks a Year" atop my computer for years.  Some blocks I would never make --too complex or ugh, way too many pieces.  Some I might make if I eliminated some lines or changed the piecing method.  Still others elicit the response of  " I wonder what they might look like in a top if I do............."

The July 3 block was Independence Square---the traditional block  (Brackman #2049 attributed to Nancy Cabot in 1938) adds a sort of cornerstone deal in the outermost corners. Why I don't know as it is colored with the same piece of fabric.  Someone else besides me, thought to drop the cornerstones because Brackman #1621 does.  Colored the same, named the same but no cornerstone and dates to a Capper's Weekly publication in the 40's.   This is the version in the calendar actually since the first blocks in July are all patriotically colored like the US flag.

I didn't advance the calendar pages primarily because I wanted to see what this looks like block to block. However, I didn't follow up on it till this morning---just playin' on the computer quietly and not wanting to wake DJ.   BlockBase 2 software has the ability to do a "quick quilt".  You search for the block you want, right click to select that option and up pops a 4 x 4 version straight horizontal set.  You know if you want to take it any further, whether it needs some sashing or an alternating block.  In order to start playing with that further, I have BlockBase linked to EQ.   Interesting but not being a John Deere tractor enthusiast, I am not necessarily crazy about this coloration.  LOL.  Notice that I DID color in the cornerstones though.  If you are doing to have a piece there, why not continue it out from the nine patch center?   Bet our quilting foremothers did it that way too.

I drew this in a 2 x 3 18 inch block set, 36 x 54 without borders----translation:  it would work for Wrap Them In Love  if bordered since the target is 40 x 60 or thereabouts.  Kids come in all sizes, after all.  I picked 18 inch because if you look at the block above, this has a 9 x 9 grid.  Sewing 1 inch finished pieces for all those parts, even if strip pieced, has little appeal to me.  The next size up would be 1.5 inch finished or a 13.5 inch finished block.  Better and maybe.  2 inch finished----yeah, 6 blocks = faster finish.  It has possibilities with the right fabric choices.

Then I was on to the  "I bet you can drop some of those lines where the pieces would join and make it in block components and rows instead of traditional blocks"  You have sashed and cornerstoned squares in the 4 corners.  Join two of them together and you have elongated rectangles around the quilt's periphery. There are triple rail sections, some evenly spaced and some not.  The nine patches are obvious.  That just leaves a large sashed and cornerstoned square, an enormous Puss in the Corner block or uneven nine patch.  I used EQ's custom set and the sections are 6 x 6 inches and 6 x 12 inches plus 12 inch Puss in the Corner.  Sections of this remind ME of how you make a Warm Wishes quilt anyway--great pro bono quilt that is far simpler than it looks!

Next since I would not want to do the John Deere tractor combo, I randomly re-colorized the final drawing.  Red, white and blue is sadly diminished in my stash after 4 or 5 QOV for the veteran's home, not likely do another anytime soon.   I kind of like this Easter Egg looking one.

Would I make this up as a quilt?  Maybe.  Strip pieced it would go together easily.   I may even have some of the fabric to make something like this---the purple for sure, the yellow probably.  Come to think of it, I even have some yardage that has both the aqua/turquoise and purple together.  My friend Cindy shared it with me when she came for the fall sew-in last year and it is still waiting.   HMMMM.  Have I found an idea of how to use it???  It is far too pretty to be used as a backing plus that stripe-y, chevron thing may be interesting framing the nine patches.

And she is off, LOL.  A little spark, a kernel of an idea, an image and some tweaking.  A maybe.  I will be stitching in a bit--HO HO HO hop coming after all.  I didn't get lot done yesterday, 3 blocks short of the halfway point.  I was playing cards too much, if I am confessing, but it was a holiday.  Today is laundry day but I don't think I am going anywhere, especially since

  1.  I am not dressed (laundry, see above, LOL)  
  2. It is pouring down rain, muggy, overcast.  
  3. My night gown is cooler than my other clothing, see #1. 
Thanks for stopping by----

Jul 4, 2013

Happy Birthday, America!

Happy Birthday, America!

I'm afraid that I am going to have to borrow an old photo from 2011 for this post.  We had a 100% chance of rain today and are under an advisement for flash flooding. It is quite overcast at the moment and looks like it might pour any minute.  While the cloud cover may keep it a bit cooler, I am sure that it will put a damper on any planned holiday activities, whether civic or individual plans.  For example,  Oxford (AL), south of us, is planning a big whoop-de-do that have dubbed "Freedom Festival".  The event is corresponding to re-opening of the revamped Civic Center complete with a large shooting fountain the lake.  I hope they also replaced all that cracked up sidewalk/walking trail that goes around the lake as it was really rough in spots.  A lot of folks use the park and it will be hopping on the 4th, weather permitting.  For days, the weather folks have suggested having a plan B as Thursday seemed to have a strong possibility for showers and Friday, 80% chance of rain.

So what will be happening at my house to celebrate?  I did most of my kitchen detail tasks yesterday, about 4 hours worth actually,  so I could take the holiday "off."  I told DJ I would fix us a smoothie with the leftover strawberries and blueberries from a previous meal and to that end, had baked some muffins for our "coffee break", mid-morning nosh.   Supper is pretty much taken care of as well with a batch of Hot German potato salad made that I can reheat to get it hot again along with a nice fruit salad.  That just leaves grilling the brats. I may go back up my car a bit and bring the grill around to the car port once I am dressed.

I AM going to sew though.  Sewing is not work, it is my hobby and most of the time it is fun too.  I take that back---some days it CAN be work.  However, if I think that it is becoming a labor to do,  it might be time to step back and do something else for awhile.  Knit, embroider, hand quilt, play in the kitchen.  I am getting into a bit of a rhythm with these blocks now that I have made a few, doing some books on tape from the library system's audio check out as I sew.  Today's goal it to get to the half way point---if more get made, than even better!

I hope you have a wonderful day in whatever you chose to do.  I know one pal is a birthday girl and another is off on an Alaskan cruise with her husband.  You just know they will both have a great time!

Jul 2, 2013

Tuesday check in

This little cartoon that I found on Facebook this morning probably says it all---and the figure even has red hair!

Morning's are usually computer time around here and today was no different.  I visited the "Put Your Stamp on It" Blog Hop participants and checked a few odds and ends on Pinterest, thinking like yesterday. that I need to move a few things around on my boards.  After that, I did a few things out in the kitchen to prepare for meals within the next few days. I had to make yet another run to the store but I think that will be the last of THAT nonsense (should have pulled the recipe rather than trust things to memory), gassed up the car and got a big old cup of coffee that I will ice up later once it chills. 

The sewing machine part?  Well, after Skyler got me up at 5 to feed him, I could not get back to sleep.  The noisy cars out on the road below were being just that.  Also I kept thinking about the little bit I had managed to sew yesterday.   My design is on point and there is just not enough contrast between the block elements and the setting triangle fabric I had chosen.  It looks too light and blendy, not quite what I had in mind especially with what will become the border fabric.  Don't get me wrong, I like the fabric but just not there.  Fortunately I was not too heavily into the project before making this decision to replace with the fabric I had considered first.  I had gotten a yard of each so I was prepared.  Thing is I over cut, LOL.  I only needed to cut 3 squares to cut 12 quarter square triangles, not 4 squares for 16.  I did this on BOTH yardages.  Where is my head???

Actually in retrospect, I cannot think of a project that I have changed my mind about so many times.  I am not normally this indecisive.  It is the 3rd option I have started sewing and it will be the one that finally sticks.  However, the waffling has probably made it necessary to order more backing fabric as it has also been used in the body of the piece.  I need double what I have on hand at this point--another 1.5 yards.  The request was for white or cream on the back and I do not have 3 yards of something else on hand.   I may be making something else to include with this gift piece down the line so any leftovers may show up there. 

And no, I can't show you as it will be a HO HO HO blog hop entry.  I have just shy of a month to get this done and another entry besides.  That is my goal anyway.  It has taken some time to get this squared away in my mind including cutting, drawing, swapping of fabrics from one holiday item to the other.

I have spent a good deal of time in the kitchen in recent days too.  By choice but mostly because I had decided that I wanted to make some traditional style gyros meat (minus the vertical spit) and make my own soft wrap bread.  I researched online and my cookbooks to sort of combine a couple of recipes but basically followed the recipe I found on all recipes.  (The link above). On Sunday I made the meatloaf because that is essentially what it is, Greek style meatloaf but I wanted it to chill so I could cut it very thinly. 

Yesterday my task was to make the soft, gordita style wrap bread.   I have made this once before and thought I had it timed out so we would eat around 12 like we normally do.  Well, I missed one line on the read through and review.  Cut the dough into 8 sections and then let it sit another 15-30 mins.  I told DJ that lunch would be a little later than I had hoped.  He was teasing me about how hungry he would be by then but of course, I was not having that.  "Have another slice of toast if you can't wait.  We eat when it is ready, same as always". Silly boy.  Still, I still don't think he knew just what I was doing out in the kitchen all that time because he kept going " You made this bread??  From scratch??"  Even when he saw me dry frying it and I had him manning the griddle pan to re-heat/crisp the meat a bit, he commented about the meal.   After we ate, I rolled out the remaining six dough balls and fixed them so leftovers today will be a breeze plus now we have some for the freezer.  The bread is excellent with the Grilled Chicken and homemade Caesar salad part of the recipe from King Arthur that I linked to. 

Yummo for THAT lunch though I thought the meat needed just a tad more salt.  He didn't care for the feta cheese I told him to try on the sandwich.  More for me!  Amazingly, he loves my only slightly tweaked Chef John's Tzatziki Sauce!  I had made some a week or so prior to go with a turkey burger recipe I tried that had a Greek vibe going on.  The burger was just okay but the tzatziki was good!  I threw the leftovers in the freezer and it came out just fine.  I expected it to be a little more watery but it really was not.  Now the amazing part is he does not care for cucumbers nor is he particularly fond of yogurt.  The local pizza place that does serve gyros as well as wonderful grinders (the founders were Greek) skimps on both the meat and sauce and does not give you any feta cheese.  He loves their stuff but he said mine was better!  There was a restaurant we used to go to in Bloomington-Normal where I always ordered the gyros plate, patsitsio or moussaka.  I think longingly of that restaurant for that reason at times but attempt to make my own versions of those dishes.  Much too far away and then never enough time when I am back in Illinois.

Anyway, he was happy, I was happy.  Since I told him it would probably just be a turkey sandwich for supper,he was even happier when I fixed fresh corn on the cob and grilled smoked sausage for supper instead.  Then we had a slice of Easy Lemonade Pie with fresh strawberries on top.  I want to make my version of those Berry Almond Chicken Salads (like Wendy's) using the leftover romaine from the gyros, so fresh berries it is.  Anything leftover after that? Smoothies.

It is fun to dig out the recipes for a few things we have not had for awhile.  I forget what I was that I fixed last week but DJ was happy to see whatever it was, LOL.  He, that seldom comments was quite complimentary.  Mostly though I am trying to avoid turning on the oven much these days turning instead to the crockpot, stovetop, electric skillet, grill and microwave.  More main dish salads and sandwiches than casseroles and soups.  Too blamed hot and muggy to want to have the oven on more than 30 minutes, max.

So I think I am off to make a simple pasta sauce to go with some salmon I just baked unless it needs to simmer longer than I recall.  I WILL get back to my HO HO HO item #1 after lunch, I promise.