Saturday, August 17, 2019

Recipes Organized!

White Chocolate Fruit Tarts from my For Goodness Sake Catering blog

Since I've had a summer cold for about 3 weeks, I haven't felt much like sewing or crocheting. My cough has been so bad that I pulled something in my side, so now it hurts to cough! I haven't been sick for years, so this has been rude shock to my system. The only activity in my sewing room has been to sit and organize the recipes from this blog and my two former blogs - For Goodness Sake (my catering blog) and The Katy Rose.

You may access my recipes by clicking on the tab right under my header (or clicking here). Once you land on the Recipes page, there are categories listed so you can "jump" to each category, or you may just scroll through at your leisure. I tried in vain to make a nice blog table with thumbnails of each recipe, but it was just too time consuming, and I was lazy!

Every time I look at photos from earlier blogs, especially those from 2008-2012, I have to laugh at my attempts to create "bokeh" (blurry backgrounds), which was the rage back then, along with backlight (see above photo where I tried to do both!) So be aware the photos aren't as straightforward as my simple iPhone photos are now.

This morning I felt like trimming some HSTs for the Quilty Stars quilt by Emily Dennis. I see others post on Instagram proclaiming how fast it goes, and I'm sorry folks, it takes me for-EVER to trim HSTs! I am opting for the twin sized quilt.

In other news: We have watched storms and showers go east and west of us for weeks, but yesterday the heavens opened right on top of us, and we received .66 inches of rain - hallelujah! It's too late for my poor garden, and the trees have dropped leaves from stress, but we are so grateful.

I hope you are having a great summer!

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Summer Happenings, SewJo to CroJo, and Recipes!

This past week involved one of my favorite things - reorganizing! My sweet DIY guy built me some floating shelves for all my fabric, and I am so happy with them.

Here is a before and after shot of my fabric storage

So the day after I posted my lengthy Q3 goal list, I lost my "sewjo". I'm blaming it on the weather. Although our area has been relatively cool (low to mid 90s) compared to other areas of the country, the lack of a good soaking rain has a lot to do with my malaise. Stormy weather fuels my energy, and this summer has been seriously lacking in a good thunderstorm. To solve this, we should move back to Oklahoma! (Wishful thinking.) We only received 1.86 inches of rain during July, so we are in a bit of a drought.

What I am happy about is that although I lost my "sewjo", I did regain my crojo! I'm almost finished with this half double-crochet afghan. I'm using Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick in Wheat.

I have more projects in the works, such as another afghan using Lion Brand Mandala Thick and Quick in Seaglass, and a crocheted scarf, using Patons Sock Yarn in Blue Striped Ragg. I've started the scarf and am doing it in single crochet, maybe with a row or two of double crochet thrown in for fun.

I won a pattern - yay! All I had to do was enter a giveaway from reading a newsletter from Myra at Busy Hands Quilts. I've made one of Myra's patterns, and she is the best pattern author! I had a hard time choosing from among her patterns, but I chose her Castle Dreams pattern and will probably make a fall-themed quilt with it.

One of my January 2019 resolutions/goals was to participate in quilt-alongs and sew-alongs and to post monthly and quarterly goals. I really enjoyed the events, and they helped keep me on track to accomplish many of my goals. But now I am feeling a bit of burnout. Knowing myself as well as I do (hah!), I have removed the QAL and SAL buttons from my sidebar and will simply do things as I'm inspired for awhile, with no pressure.

One of the quilt-alongs I began was the Crochet quilt-along on Instagram. I made one block and posted it and have only completed 4 blocks out of 16 so far. When finished the blocks will resemble a crocheted blanket. I chose to make mine Christmas-themed. The colors will make more sense all together when it is completed, but I've chosen reds and greens, along with pinks and aquas.

I'm sharing two good recipes I recently tried. The corn dip was delicious; I made half the recipe, and we ate every bite in one sitting. The bread is made with sunflower seeds and was seriously good. It is great for sandwiches and makes good toast too!

Cheese Corn Dip
Serves 6-8 (I halved for the 2 of us)

2 – 15 oz cans corn, drained
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 pkg cream cheese, softened
Small can green chiles (I did not drain)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
4 green onions, diced

Spray small cast iron skillet with cooking spray. Combine first four ingredients and thoroughly mix. Fold in 1 cup cheese, bacon, and onions. Spread into skillet. Top with remaining cheese and bake 20 minutes or until bubbly. Serve warm.

Sunflower Honey Oat Bread
Makes one 8x4 loaf

1-1/4 cups milk
1 tablespoon yeast
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
3 tablespoons melted butter
2-1/4 cups unbleached flour
3/4 cup whole grain flour or combination of flours
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup dried cherries, diced (optional)

Heat milk to just warm; stir in yeast, honey, and oats. Let sit 10 minutes or until foamy. Stir in butter. Pour into mixing bowl.

Whisk together flours, salt, and cinnamon and add gradually to liquids, mixing on low. Once all flour mixture has been added switch to dough hook. Add sunflower seeds, wheat germ, and dried cherries and knead about 5 minutes. (You may also mix and knead manually).

Place dough in greased bowl (I spray mine with baking spray), cover with a dish towel, and let rise until doubled.

Shape dough into loaf and place in 8x4 baking pan, which has been prepared for baking with cooking spray. I also put a narrow strip of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan. Cover with a dish towel and let rise until slightly above rim of pan.

Bake 350 for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Cool in pan 10 minutes then remove to wire rack.

I'm joining the linky party at Busy Hands Quilts Finished or Not Friday.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

2019 Q3 Finish-Along Goals

My Q3 Finish-Along goals are lengthy!

In no particular order . . .

There are three quilts to quilt:
  • Meadowland quilt needs sandwiching, quilting, and binding
  • Home Awaits - needs sandwiching, quilting, and binding
  • Eternally Yours quilt - needs quilting and binding

Betsy Ross Flag wall hanging
In light of the recent unfair and ignorant denigration of our nation's first flag, I feel moved to make this "Betsy Ross" Flag quilt to honor the memory of those who gave their lives for America's independence in the American Revolution. Here's a great article setting the record straight about this honorable flag.

I simply fell in love with these patterns and want to make them:

Square Burst quilt. I love Julie's patterns!

Homeward Bound quilt. I recently discovered Busy Hands Quilts
and love Myra's excellent instructions.

Here are 3 QALs in which I am lazily participating:
  • Quilty Stars quilt by Emily Dennis - love her quilts! I intend to make mine scrappy.
  • Church Window quilt by Lo and Behold Stitchery. I may make the small version of this one.
  • Finish Crochet quilt blocks. I've made one block and only have 11 more to go - lol! I'm making this one Christmas-themed.
  • Make crocheted socks. I really want to learn to knit a pair, but I'm going to try the crochet version first.

That's it for now. If I accomplish even one, I will feel just fine! I'm linking to Cedar Fork Sarah's linky party for Q3 Finish-Along Goals.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Scrappy American 4th of July Table Runner

This little table runner graced our table for our Fourth of July celebration. Our daughter and son and their families were here, along with our grandson's girlfriend, as well as my husband's sister and nephew. We had so much food and so much fun! Our menu was my husband's smoked brisket and ribs, baked beans, potato salad, garlic french bread, and homemade ice cream and strawberry cake for dessert. I will share family photos and recipes in an upcoming post.

I forgot to get a picture of the table when it was "in use" during our celebration, but this was the basic decoration.

The idea for this table runner started when I organized my scrap bins a couple months ago and found some 2-1/2 inch squares left over from the Scrappy American Flag wall hanging I made last year. I'm happy to say that I used fabrics 90% from my scrap bins and 10% from my stash!

I had no pattern. I just knew I wanted the squares on point. I used this chart to cut the setting and corner triangles, and it was a perfect fit. I sewed the rows together diagonally, and there were a few rows I had to redo because I got confused - lol!

I had a piece of Aunt Grace's Garden that was the perfect size for the back (yay no piecing!)

I added a navy border and navy binding and simply stitched "in the ditch" to give a puffy appearance. You can see by the photo how hard it is for me to stay in the ditch!

Scrappy American Table Runner Details:
Mostly from my scrap bins

Aunt Grace's Garden by Judie Rothermel for Marcus Fabrics

Border and binding:
Hobby Lobby's version of navy Grunge

Piecing - Superior Threads So Fine #50 in Genoa Gray (503)
Quilting - Superior Threads So Fine #50 Navy Blue (431)

I am linking to Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts.

Monday, July 1, 2019

OMG for July - Quilt Those Quilts!

Can you believe it's July already? June went by in a flash! I had goals I set for myself that were not accomplished during June, but I think I can catch up this month.

Meadowland flimsy
My One Monthly Goal for July is to quilt the three UFOs in my closet. Eternally Yours, a pattern I tested for Julie at Running Stitch Quilts, is sandwiched and ready to quilt. The Coral of the Story, which was my entry for the Pantone Quilt Challenge, is waiting for a backing fabric. Since I didn't win, I may change the name of that quilt - hah! Meadowland was an Instagram SAL and now is a completed top that needs assembly with the backing I have for it.

In other news, I still need to make three blocks for Countdown to Christmas for June, and I have only made one block for the Crochet Quilt SAL. I am also starting two new SALs this month. Am I crazy???

This post is linked to Elm Street Quilts OMG for July.

2019 Q2 FAL Finishes

In April I posted my proposed second quarter Finish-Along finishes on Sarah's Cedar Fork Stitches, who is one of many hosts this event. On the list below, the first three goals were accomplished, and you may click on them to see the post associated with each finish. The other three are languishing on my UFO pile, so they will be included on my Q3 FAL goals!

1. Finish a green quilt for my granddaughter's April birthday
2. Complete a quilt for the Hands2Help Quilt Challenge
3. Complete a quilt for the 2019 Pantone Quilt Challenge, which I had intended to combine with the Beothuk Star QAL. I finished the flimsy for this challenge. I dropped out of the Beothuk Star QAL because I had trouble figuring out the instructions given on the blog. Sometimes I really need a paper pattern in front of me, and even then I make mistakes!
Not completed:
4. Quilt the Meadowland quilt
5. Quilt the Eternally Yours quilt
6. Piece the Craftsman quilt

I am linking to Cedar Fork Stitches 2019 Quarter 2 Finish-Along.

Friday, June 21, 2019

New Sew-Along and 4th of July Squirrel

Here is the first "Granny Square" block for the new Crochet Quilt Sew-Along. Fresh Figs is hosting the SAL on Instagram, and it is based on Joanna Figueroa's new Crochet Quilt pattern. The majority of blocks I see on Instagram have gorgeous Fig Tree and Bonnie and Camille fabrics in small-scale prints and pastel shades against a white or black background, but I decided to do a Christmas themed quilt. I always like to be different. ;)

There will be 16 blocks total, and the finished size is 66" x 66". I have a couple of treasured Mary Engelbreit fabrics I am (gasp!) cutting into for this quilt. The background is a soft gray grunge-like fabric. Again, I had to be different.

This is how a black background might look when finished

There are a LOT of pieces in this quilt, and the background alone has 960 1-1/2" pieces!

In other news, I chased a squirrel the other day and cut 2-1/2" squares for a Fourth of July table runner. All our kids and grandkids will be here for the 4th, and I want to have it ready by then. The squares will be "on point", and I had to find a chart to figure out what size to cut the setting and corner triangles. Yes I did get my degree in mathematics, but quilt math is harder than calculus!

I'm joining Busy Hands Quilts in Finished or Not Friday and also Confessions of a Fabric Addict in Can I Get A Whoop Whoop (love that name.) I hope you have a great weekend!