Monday, September 28, 2015

Courthouse Stars Top Complete!

Well, I took my sweet time finishing up
but the top is complete.

I typically do not like leaving off a border;
However, I do see this as one of those times
where "no border" would work...
but, I really like borders.

I'm thinking dark blue, red or brown.  
And about 3 or 4 inches wide.

This has been the hardest quilt to work on
in terms of keeping track of where I'm at.
I really hope there aren't any mistakes
(As in:  "blocks the wrong direction."  Believe me, I'm well aware of the
pulling and distorting that has occurred.  Sure hoping the quilting,
and a good wash, hides all of that!)
but if you see one, please let me know
before I go any farther!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Picking Up Speed

Just last week I was looking at only 34 of these blocks.

Such slow progress; 71 seemed a long way off.
However, I spent a good portion of Wednesday
sewing with friends and away from home so
I was actually able to complete 15!
(I'm not sure I'm up to hauling around so much of my sewing stuff again anytime
soon, though!  Yikes!  How do some of you do this so often?)
To put that into perspective, I'm not sure I made
more than 6 or 8 any other day.
Not that they're that time consuming--ok, they kind
of are--but more than anything, I just found them
hard to stick with for any big length of time.

My design wall here doesn't hold all 71
but trust me when I say I completed them all
by last Wednesday...and I'm quite proud.

I'm also proud to say that I've already started my next
batch of blocks.  I may need 72 of these 
but they fly together compared to those stars.

I couldn't wait to see a few put up...
but this was not what I was hoping for.
Even knowing quilts often require stepping back
quite a bit to get a good perspective, this was just
a little disappointing.

But onward I went.
And it still wasn't making me happy till I snapped
the above picture and saw it on my phone.
Okay--now I was seeing it.

And before long, I was looking at this!
(I was really flying through the blocks and having fun at this point!)
Once again, I ran out of room on the wall and
even have more made up in a pile.
All this in one day!
I'm loving it now; my only issue is that I always
lean toward "darker" lights.  I just like them that way.
So, do you think those light blues are too dark?
I think if I'm careful to position them next to the really
dark strips whenever possible, they should be fine.

Random time:

My youngest getting ready to march for
the first time.  He's really enjoying the challenge of
being in a high school band--I think he's been ready
for that for a couple years now.
(Right in center of pic; center line, closest to the camera.)
So much going on this fall!
I'm so anxious to get the boys' football pics, along
with the buttons and the "mom's jersey".
(The players moms wear jerseys with their son's name/number in a glittery font)
Now if we could just have some football weather... 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Thirty-Four Down...

I was hoping to finish more than 34 blocks
but the last few days hardly left time to breathe
let alone sew.  I did take the time to get
a small peice of batting up on the wall so
I can get a better look at things.

Friday found this football mom not only
baking cookies for, but also helping make
and serve a meal to about 175 football players.  
Team and individual pictures were taken,
followed by the freshman and varsity scrimmages...
and a back-to-school dance for the kids.   

Saturday I canned 2 batches of peach habenero sauce
& roasted a batch of Hatch chilies to make
Chili Rellanos for Sunday's breakfast.
VERY yummy!
 My changes:
1)  I added more eggs, milk & flour; used a 9X13 pan
2)  I avoid canned food if I can so used whipping
cream/milk combo instead of evap milk.
3)  Plain tomato paste bland--used taco sauce.
4)  Had sausage links to use up so cooked those,
sliced lengthwise, layed them on the second layer.
5)  Topped with green onions after cooking.

Sunday my husband and I made a great meal
featuring a whopping 25 lbs of chicken fingers.
(It took about 4 hours to make these!)
My son held a fantasy football draft party with
7 of his football-playing friends.
We estimated they put away about 14 lbs of the
chicken, along with plenty of deviled eggs and
calico beans.  The rest of the chicken is added
to the for-lunches stash. 
 (4 gallon-sized bags in the freezer!)
This makes for a happy mom...and happy teens.

And, I also had my second theology class
which is a huge challenge to my mind but
causing me to love my Faith even more.

I know I'm unusual but I very often find myself
saying, "Thank goodness for Monday!"
It's definitely one of those days.
Back to sewing finally!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Quick Pictoral Catch-Up

I wanted to quickly share what else was going on
around here.  Sure, I'd love to live in the sewing
room but I'd also like to live in the garden, and
the kitchen.  Lucky for me, I have those options.

Pepper preserving is usually a big to-do in October
when I'm trying to get them out of the garden before
it freezes.  I'm doing things in smaller steps this year.
In the colander is a large bunch of green onions.  Yes,
I freeze these but they only work for soups and things
of that sort and not garnish as they turn soft/mushy.
It's awful nice to have them on hand.

Preparing for roasted poblano soup in the cold months.
I only got a few bags of roasted corn in the freezer
for this as well but we'll call that enough.  I have 11
small bags (each makes one batch of soup) of roasted poblanos though! 
I also made a batch of spicy salsa verde which found
its way into three batches of turkey enchildas.  
Yes, I cooked up a small turkey as well which gave
me all I needed for the enchiladas and some nice
slices of breast meat for wraps in lunches.
And I free'd up some freezer space.
It's not my choice for Mexican fare, but if you cook it
up with lots of garlic, peppers, etc, it's a good second
to chicken.

I've been trying to contain the pumpkins and gourds
in the garden but they don't seem to care.  I took this
last week.  You can't see the fence now.
Thank you, Lord, for all of our rain!

I grew mole peppers this year for the first time.
They aren't to be confused with mole sauce,
which has no mole peppers in it at all.
They seem to be a medium pepper
(well, in my garden, everything seems to be hotter so maybe they're really supposed to be mild?)
and I have no idea what to do with them.

One day I made a beautiful batch of pasta/pizza sauce.
Emeril has what I've found to be the 
Bonus: you get to drink wine while making it.  
These four quarts made all kinds of things
including lasagna and a lot of pizza.  My son likes
to just make up some pasta and sauce for a quick
snack...normally that doesn't seem so healthy but
with this homemade sauce?  Better than what most
kids snack on any day!

 To me, having this on hand is like gold.
The tomatoes have backed off for now so
it's on to other things like... 

these.  These peaches are gold too.
I've made ice cream and syrup and I've frozen some
for smoothies.  I still have plenty to go but I don't seem
to be real motivated to do much with them...
besides just eat them, and share them, though I do
intend to make some peach habenero hot sauce today.

More gold.

And this.
I've had mini-vans and Traverses for the last 15 years.
It was time to down-size.  I don't care much about cars
but I will admit to always wanting an Audi.
Maybe it's the German in me...

Here it is before I drove it off the lot.
My brand new '16 Audi Q5.
As I shouldn't have muddy cleats and sweaty boys
in it much, if ever,
I'll be keeping this one for quite a while.

I'll be back in the sewing room tomorrow
and will post my latest block count.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Courthouse Stars Update

I'm trying to be content with the slow pace of this quilt.

I'm kind of just shooting for completing a minimum
of two blocks every day but that's a pace that is just
not going work for me.  I really want this top done
before September.

Of course that's not rational but a girl can dream.
Well, it's really more than "not rational."  It's flat
out impossible, especially with everything else
that's been going on around here.  
I'm nowhere near even half-way!

Yay!  New square rulers that aren't all deformed from years of cutting!

I received my new squares in the mail...
and quickly discovered this little 4" one was no help.
Because of the "seam bump" down the middle of these
hourglass pieces, the ruler kind of "rocked" on top,
causing an uneven cut.  The 6" sits flatter on it, though
it does require some muscle to really push down to
hold it in place while trimming these to an exact 2".

Soon I had 8, then 12, and then 

my pile began to grow at a pretty decent pace.
I'm not sure how I feel about my more-subtle colors,
and I'm already thinking ahead to what border
would pull all of this together and still make it pop.

I'll check back in soon with my latest count,
and to catch up on some other things...

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