Thursday, November 9, 2023

Retreating in Kentucky

 I love quilt retreats! 

It's an uninterrupted opportunity to work on larger projects.  We are fortunate when we get together at Loucon Camp and Retreat Center near Leitchfield, Kentucky that we have lots of room to spread out with plenty of tables and great lighting.  But the biggest joy is the inspiration received from other quilters.

I have been pretty productive.  First project was putting a binding on a very large quilt.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture before I put it back in the car.  Next I added side borders to Cursor (I call it Lost) that I finished several years ago.

Sadly, I did not have enough fabric for the top and bottom borders ... so it went back in the box.  I'm hoping I have more at home; otherwise I'll have to consider another option.  Now that I look at it, I think the blue was intended to be the binding because that's how much short I am ... Note to Self:  Leave notes to self!

Then I turned my attention to Shadow of the Bear Paw, started at Quilt Camp in October 2018!

I finished five more very fiddley blocks and decided I was done, at least for the time being.  The pattern includes some uneven log cabin blocks that I'm not thrilled with so I need time to consider how I will set these blocks and/or if I need to make more.  I have made bear paw blocks with the scraps so I may work up a design with the paw blocks as a border.  Stay tuned!

I next brought out a random batik project that had no directions as to what I intended to do.  But while I was digging through my pattern drawer for the Shadow pattern at home, I came across an EQ plan for the batik blocks.  This is the result ...

(Sorry, I cut off the bottom in my photo.)  I will need to do something to stabilize the edges, but it's finally together and I love it!  I still have a box full of the four-patches, though, so look for yet another batik project in my future.

I added borders to Chunky Churn Dash ... it will be donated to Devo encouragement quilts.

Today has been a day of starts and stops ... not much to show yet so I'll wait to report more tomorrow.

Monday, November 6, 2023

Fall Has Fell quote some comic character whose name I forget -- probably Pogo.

Remember that maple tree I posted last week on Thursday?  I took that photo right before DH and I left for a quilt study weekend in Shipshewana, Indiana.  This is how it looked when we returned the following Monday.

I have one Knockout Rose that has survived the overnight freezes ...

... and the Beautyberry bush is loaded with berries.

I'm surprised some animal hasn't discovered them.  I've heard one can make jam with them, but I'm afraid to try.

On the quilting front, I'm seriously considering Bonnie's 2023 mystery.  How about you?

I'll be heading to the S'mores November retreat today.  I hope to have lots of progress (and maybe some finishes) to show you.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

It's Fall, Y'all

 At least that's what my calendar says.  And the leaves around us attest to that, as well.

But my Christmas cactus apparently didn't get the message.

Actually, I think last year I determined it was a Thanksgiving cactus ...

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

The Whole World is Asking

 What is Thymely Chicken?

I am happy to provide the answer:

Thymely Chicken

 1 Cup cooked rice
4 Slices bacon
1/4 cup Finely chopped onion
1/4-1/2 tsp Thyme
Bacon drippings
1 Cup (at least) shredded par-boiled or stewed chicken
1 Chicken-flavored bouillon cube
1 packet cream-style chicken Cup-o-Soup
Salt & pepper

 In skillet cook bacon; remove and crumble (save drippings) into rice.   Saute onions in drippings.  Add to rice/bacon + stir.  Add to chicken..  Salt/pepper to taste.  Dissolve bullion and soup in ¾ cup boiling water.  Pour over mixture and stir.  Bake covered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.


Tuesday, October 24, 2023

The Importance of Thyme

In a previous life as a family we were struggling to make ends meet.  Without excess funds for recreation, I tried to make "events" at home (not to mention getting help with the workload).  Cooking with the boys was one of those activities.  We found a recipe on Jimmy Dean's Sausage for stuffed zucchini boats.  

First of all, zucchini was totally foreign to us, but I bought some and we tried (and liked!) the recipe.  Secondly, we had never used thyme.  We were so intrigued by the flavor that we came up with a totally new recipe, Thyme-ly Chicken.  I still have that recipe card in my older boy's hand writing!

Well, I made zucchini boats for supper last night and texted a picture to both boys recalling how it made me think of those early days.  

The response from them both was enough to keep this old heart a-ticking for a long thyme!

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Never Assume

You know what they say about assumptions ... well I proved it true this week.  

I had seen a free pattern in American Patchwork and Quilting that I thought would be easy for comfort or encouragement quilts.  Since Devo was cancelled on Tuesday, I decided to devote my day to sewing anyway so I headed down to the studio to give the pattern a try.

The pattern calls for 3-1/2" strips and squares, but since I have so many 2-1/2" inch strips and squares I decided to convert the pattern.  I picked a background fabric and some coordinating charm squares that could easily be cut into four 2-1/2" squares.  I made a couple of sample blocks and they were just awful! Certainly not picture-worthy; you'll just have to take my word for it.

Then, as I glanced over my shoulder, I saw a stack of bright squares that would work in this pattern so I set about cutting 2-1/2" strips of a an older background with lots of bright colors.  I stitched enough squares into a strip of threes to make 13 blocks and cut the appropriate number of background pieces.

Once I started combining squares with strips I saw a slight discrepancy in the size between the bright squares and the newly-cut background which I figured I could accommodate in the seams.  Then I realized the error of my assumptions:  The bright squares are 2-5/8" !!!

No way can I accommodate that in the seam when every block has three of those squares right through the center of the block.  

I threw in the towel and poured a glass of wine!  The seam ripper will be busy today.

I know it's been a while since I posted.  I am well and  I've done quite a bit of sewing; it's just a matter of getting the photos into the blog.  I have found a work-around until I have the chance to clean out the cloud. It will be high priority come November!

Friday, September 29, 2023

No More Snails!

Yesterday I put the final paper-pieced corner on this little beauty.  I bought the panel at Back Porch Fabrics in Pacific Grove, CA in early February.  

I don't remember if I got the pattern at the same time (and at this point I can't even find the pattern to provide proper credit).  Later in February I picked up the cream and green grunge at Whittle's.  And quickly put the borders and first corner on ... then it sat until yesterday.  I have picked a pretty floral for the back and plan to get it quilted before the end of the year.

This morning I woke with a foot cramp a little before 5 so I decided to go ahead and get up.  Once the coffee was ready, I headed downstairs to finish the last 8 snails' trail blocks.  

They didn't go down easy, though. I was cruising along, pinning in my free time in front of the TV, and the last four had the third round TOTALLY wrong.  Wish I had taken a picture.  So it was rip and re-sew before I could get to the final round of triangles.  Believe me, I was very cautious about what I was doing from there on.  The snails are going back into timeout until a November retreat when I will have the pattern to show me what to do next.

With nothing major on my calendar today, I decided to move another project closer to the finish line.  I started Judy Neimeyer's Summer Solstice in 2018.  I made the 8 New York Beauty blocks in the class, but balked at doing the Lone Star with paper piecing.  I used strip piecing, instead and used class time at the recent LAB retreat to get that much done.  

Today I focused on the borders that will square this piece out to 58" square.  I had the great idea that strip piecing would also work, but figuring out the details made my head hurt.  Time for a glass of wine!