Saturday, August 31, 2019

A Nine-Patch Squirrel

It all started with this post on Instagram by @bevquilter123. She had been gifted a vintage quilt, and I just loved it all - the vintage-y look, the simple blocks, the scrappiness, and the coziness of it. I tried in vain to find a pattern but finally took my very poor quilt math skills and figured one out that finishes at 12-1/2 inches. After I finished the block, I asked Bev if she would measure one of the quilt blocks for me, and she posted that each block measured 11-3/8 inches. That's close enough for me!

The most similar block I could find was a Dutch Nine-Patch on Quilter's Cache, but it has squares all around instead of rectangles and squares.

After spending some time locating my graph paper (why did I hide it from myself?) I sketched a block and assigned dimensions. For the nine-patch in the center I cut nine 2-1/2 inch squares, and for the frame I cut four 3-1/2 inch corner squares and four 3-1/2 x 6-1/2 inch rectangles. It took me longer to pick fabric from my scraps than anything else!

I love the Tim Holtz pop bottle cap fabric in the center

Although I like the final result, I want future blocks to be more scrappy, like the vintage quilt. Unfortunately my scrap bins hold scraps that are usually not big enough, so I may have to resort to my stash.

In spite of a pile of HSTs waiting to be trimmed for my current project, I may still pursue this squirrel!

I am joining Sandra at MMM quilts for DrEAMi! (Drop Everything And Make It).

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Longing for Autumn

Here in southeast Texas, our little acreage is just about burned up. We received 1.86 inches during July and only 1.15 so far in August. Compare that to last year at 8.12 in July in 2.11 in August! Temperatures have been hot, not record-breaking, but combined with no rain makes for miserable weather. Our garden is crispy. We do try to keep the zinnias and arbor plants watered for the butterflies and birds.

It has been too hot to sit outside and enjoy the canopy
and sitting area my husband set up. Hurry up autumn!

This has also been the August from hell for my health. Bronchitis and an upper respirator infection have knocked me out. It started with an occasional sore throat in early July and became a heavy cough by the end of the month. The coughing has been the worst! The sofa, heating pad, a box of Kleenex, Aleve, and Zicam have been my friends. The one thing that has NOT been affected is my appetite! In spite of food tasting different, I eat with gusto. Hopefully, I am finally on the mend.

Rosie helped me do a little crocheting.

The current status of my sewing room is "anticipation" (Katy is holding the cover down over my pressing mat). I have SO many UFOs I want to finish and new projects to start before Christmas, and August was a bust. I'm hoping today I can finish trimming the same pile of Quilty Stars HSTs I mentioned in my last post - hah. I am crossing my fingers my next post will show progress on something!

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.