Friday, July 20, 2018

Thankful for a Handy Husband

Ruler Wall

For a long time I've wished for a pegboard to hang rulers.
Mr. Lakeside to the rescue!

Yes, it's a bit crooked, but the 1" x 1"  we  used to hang it on was crooked.
I still need to dig out some of my frequently-used rulers to add to the board.
But I can't express how thrilled I am!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Thursday Morning Sunrise


Our morning temp is back in the reasonably cool range, 
fog is lifting off the warm water of Lake Dartmoor, 
and the sunrise was spectacular.

I am blessed.

And then there was none

It's been a long time since I've written a cooking post.  

I took one of The Mama's favorite Jello salads to Devo and Sew Tuesday as my contribution to the lunch salad bar.  It was a big hit!

Spiced peach congealed salad
Only, I wasn't expecting it to be so popular!  I was actually planning to serve the leftover salad at dinner for 3 Friday night.  So guess who will be making another one?  Thank goodness for Amazon (I'll explain later).

I hope you'll try this recipe, IF you can find the ingredients!  First of all, don't be put off by the term "spiced" peaches.  They are not spicy hot; it's a "warm" spice with cinnamon and cloves.

Congealed Fruit Salad

one  jar or 15-oz. can spiced peaches, pitted and cut into chunks
one 15-oz. can white cherries (Queen Anne/Royal Anne), pitted and halved
one small (flat) can crushed pineapple
one cup chopped nuts, pecans or almonds
one large box of orange-flavored gelatin
2 cups of boiling water
2 cups of  fruit juice with cold water added to 2 cups

Drain all the canned fruit into a 2-cup measuring cup and top up with cold water.  Make gelatin according to the directions, first dissolving the powder in 2 cups of boiling water, then adding the cold liquid.  Pour into a 2-qt. rectangular baking dish (8.5" x 11").  Add fruit and nuts, then refrigerate several hours till firm.

Just a few notes:  If you find the jarred peaches, go a little lighter on the amount of that juice you use.  Also, I have found that the canned fruit retains quite a bit of moisture so I usually go a little light on the cold liquid.  And, lastly, a lot of recipes will tell you to let the gelatin partially set before adding fruit, but I just put it all in together.  Yes, everything floats to the top, but it doesn't affect the flavor!

Sounds simple enough, until you try to find the ingredients.  Years ago when I started making this, spiced peaches came in jars, pits still in, cinnamon stick and cloves visible through the glass.  I knew I had found a canned brand long ago, but when I went looking at all the options here on the plateau -- namely Kroger and Food City -- neither stocked either the spiced peaches OR the white cherries.

Amazon to the rescue! My husband had ordered some discontinued canned goods on Amazon a couple of years ago so I thought I'd give it a try.  The first thing I discovered is that Del Monte brand has spiced peaches, but the banner appears very small above Sliced Peaches.

I ordered a box of 6 cans, and they arrived well ahead of the projected delivery date.  Imagine my surprise when the box came from!  I, who rarely shops at Walmart, never thought to look there so I took a few minutes while DH was getting a haircut last week to run into Wally World and YES, they had the Harvest Spiced Sliced Peaches.  But not the cherries.

I found a source of the cherries on Amazon as well, so ordered a box of 3 cans.

I don't remember where they came from, but I have since learned I can get them at, as well!  I still have 5 cans of peaches and 2 cans of cherries, but now I know I can make the salad as often as I like.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Squirrel Took a Turn

And then a rabbit appeared!

Last week I wrote about how I had come across some old fabrics that had been set aside for a project that will never be finished as planned.  So I began chasing squirrels, looking for ways to use up the strips, squares, and half-square triangles (HSTs) that had already been cut.

First I finished up some tiny 1" (finished) HSTs.

I really like these little beauties so they will go into something, if only a pillow cover.  Even though I don't enjoy Thangles™, I have plenty of the papers left and they really help with accuracy at this small scale.

Next I made some double 4-patches with the 1-1/2" strips and the 2-1/2" squares.  Then I added more simple 4-patches to create some breathing room.

I can see myself continuing with these blocks as leaders/enders and over time I should have enough for something.

Then while blog-hopping I came across SO many options using squares and HSTs, but one really stood out and tugged at my heartstrings.  Thanks to Gayle/mango feet and Cathy/Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting, I have jumped onto the Garden Mosaic bandwagon.  Check out the free pattern from Free Spirit fabrics here.

Since the pattern is called Garden Mosaic, I went through my 2-1/2" strip bin and pulled out all that had flora of any kind -- flowers, leaves, vines ... My units will finish at 4", rather than 3" as in the pattern.  I am also currently planning to make only one quadrant of the quilt so I only need 512 HSTs as opposed to 2048!  I got a healthy start on them yesterday at Devo and Sew.

The Rabbit?  During the Sunday cleaning/organizing binge I came across this wall hanging made from a panel that still needs quilting.

Sound of the Woods
Apparently I had planned to make snowball blocks with the remaining coordinating fabrics.  So I worked out a plan on EQ7 and got to this point.

My dilemma is that it would only be 28" x 35" as is.  Should I border/border, sash and border, or break down into pillow covers?

Sunday, July 15, 2018

New Studio

Coming together

Remember this pristine image of my new sewing room back in February?

And the fabric/cutting/quilting room?

I have been hesitant to show pictures of the studio lately as it has been piled high with boxes and cluttered with PIPs (project in progress).  Well, since I am expecting quilting visitors in the next few weeks, the time has come to make an attempt at decluttering.  I started with the fabric/cutting/
quilting room today.

View from the sewing room showing the cutting station:

Cutting station
You can see some of my scrap storage on the left, half of the quilting frame in the rear, and a general purpose "church" table in the center of the room.  I will use that table (assuming I can keep it clear) for measuring for borders and backing, as well as pinning for hand quilting. 

That cabinet on the left came from our kitchen two houses ago.  When we knew the buyer was a developer who planned to tear the house down (please don't be outraged; it made sense), we asked if we could keep the newly installed kitchen cabinets.  I will expand the quilt frame to a full 10 feet and maybe learn how to use it.

Planning station
The cabinetry on this side came from a pediatrician's office. I purchased it at Habitat Re-store for the last house and it was one of the first things we moved here.  Currently on the "planning table" are the potential fabrics for a quilt for our first king-size bed.

Shadow of the Bear Paw - Quilt Camp project
When/if I get the sewing room in shape, I'll share that with you.  At this point I am doing well to get to the sewing machine!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Squirrel Alert!

You know how it goes ...

In my last post I told you about sampler blocks I'll be exchanging with other quilters next month.  I think I also made a statement that at some point in the past I had started making smaller setting blocks to go with the sampler blocks.  My thought was now I'd just make some small things, like mug rugs or potholders, with the pieces and parts.

Well, on closer inspection, apparently I had only started organizing myself, with lots of little baggies to collect the bits and bobs required for the various blocks.  This is the sum total of my progress at the point I ditched the original plan.

Lori Smith Sampler blocks
I must have had good intentions, though, because also in the box I found 133 HSTs!
HSTs waiting to be trimmed to 2-1/2"
Apparently I was experimenting with the Magic 8 technique as these are all in sets of 8 (with one extra).  Also lurking in the box was a stack of partially finished 1" Thangles.

Thangles HSTs to finish at 1"
I am determined NOT to put that box back on the shelf (remind me of that next week) so yesterday I began finishing those tiny HSTs.  I tore the papers off while watching TV last night.  I think I'll combine them with some of the 2" (finished) HSTs to make these:

Those tiny triangles are a b**** to work with, though.  I've pretty much given up on keeping points; I figure at that scale who will notice.

My big push has been double 4-patches.  I started by strip piecing a bunch of 1-1/2" strips from the box.  I subcut those into 1-1/2" chunks and made 2" (finished) 4-patches.  I combined them with squares cut from the 2-1/2" strips from the box.

Double 4-Patches
Seeing them all together on the wall, I felt it looked a bit jumbled.  So I added some plain 4-patch blocks.

4-Patch combos
Not only is it now less jumbled, but it will be quicker to make something of a decent size.  Now, if I can just figure out how to work those HSTs into this piece ... hmm ...

Wildlife Wednesday

On Thursday

Charlotte was very busy last night.

The birds have become very adept at retrieving delicious bites while hovering.