19 July 2021

Tuesday To-Do #26

As we work our way toward August, I'm
feeling driven to finish all of my open projects
to be ready for some [guilt-free] fall fun.  The
continues to be such a helpful motivator.
If you haven't joined in yet, well, there's no
better time than the present!  It's easy:
you make a list, you do the things
and then share the things you did.
Bam.

Checking in from last week:

West Point Quilt
Work on blocks
Done
11 blocks completed (& 2 not-so-completed)


I want to try an Irish chain block in the
alternates but this depends on the stash.

Positivity Quilts
Finish quilting Cinnamon Latte
Done.


Here is my sneak-peek at the quilting.  Mostly it went
well but I struggled some at the beginning of most of
the rows, which of course is right on the dark rust
border where it shows the most.  I guess binding
might smooth the look over, and then there is always
the likelihood that all will  "come out in the wash".

Load up #2 (unnamed)
Done.


Still working on a coffee-proverbs kind of name.
Looks a lot like café au lait to me but I don't want
to ignore the quote.  Think think think.

Side-note:
How cool would it be to do an entire collection of
quilts named after all the yummy latte drinks?  These
would be calorie-free, too--though sadly, minus the
caffeine...which I'm in dire need of at the moment.

Gardening
Continue with carrots; weeding
Done.
A general garden update:
 

Eggplant seems to take forever to produce around
 here.  For the first ratatouille this year I gave up
and bought one <gasp!>; for the second, I just left
it out completely <bigger gasp!> but now it looks 
like I can get back to being legit.

Among the peppers the green chilies, poblanos,
Italian sweets, jalapenos and some bells have kicked
in but in small quantities--so far.  By fall, I'll have
more than I need so I can be patient.  I'm still
getting lots of yellow squash, zucchinigreen onion
and tomatoes.   With enough cucumbers to feed an
army, I thought I'd try green chilies in some
"spicy refrigerator pickles" (to date, jalapenos are
our fave) but the chickens are still the biggest
consumers of cukes around here.


With another inch of rain over the weekend
the pumpkins and gourds are all doing very well.
I'm going all-out-fall our front porch this year.
The pumpkins and gourds are always the main decor
so I really worry that they'll succumb to the wrath of
the squash bugs.  Just yesterday, I bagged 100's of tiny
 squash bugs and eggs from the squash section.
Would I have to go buy those ladybugs after all?


And then I stumbled upon this happy sight while weeding.
Yes that's a bindweed but it's covered in ladybugs
who just hatched so he gets to live a little bit longer.

Bastille Day Foodie Pics


Appetizer:  Apricot Brie
(Hubs with the oysters back there; I've never
seen the big deal about them personally.)


Entree:  Scallops 


To Finish:  Café Mocha
Blessedly unsweetened and very yummy but
I've been regretting not getting that lemon torte.

Looking to next week and beyond:

West Point Quilt
Start on chain blocks

Positivity Quilts
Cinnamon Latte:  Bind and mail off.
Poz #2:  Work on quilting (same design as C.L.)

Garden
Pull remaining carrots; keep up weed patrol

Squirrel
Never mind that I really should be finishing my
Farmer's Wife Quilt.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to be
joining in this one by Pam Buda because I just want
to do something for FUN.
(Anyone else suffering mid-summer mojo issues?!?)
I do not have much luck with putting mini's up for
art but if I can get a nice pull of fabrics that would
work in our living room, this will be green-lighted.

Happy quilting!

18 July 2021

Positivity Link Up: Finished Tops

 I have two tops to share today for


My first top, Cinnamon Latte, is already quilted
and awaiting binding.  Upon completion,
hopefully this week, it will be mailed off to
Bernie for Mercyful Quilts.


I'm saving the reveal for when I have it completed
but for now, here's a sneak peek at the quilting.


I'm still working on a name for my second top.
To make it one a little more unique, I put a panel
with quote from Proverbs in the center:
"She is clothed in strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future."
 "Positively Proverbs" is kind of the obvious
name but I'm still thinking on it.   
After working through several ideas I settled
on an off-white solid fabric on each side to fit
the panel in with the blocks.  Up close, it looked
fine but once it was in and I looked at it in a pic,
(aka, farther back) I wish I'd given it a little more
thought.  I may yet go back and insert a strip of
the smaller off-white squares...but it's already
hanging on the long-arm frame.  If I use a
gold quilting thread, it might put a little design
onto that solid, helping it to blend better.
Hmm....
This one will either be sold (proceeds from all of my
sales go to charity) or given to a church fundraiser.  

Happy quilting!

12 July 2021

2021 Tuesday To-Do #25

Have you noticed that when the fireworks are done,
everyone seems to go into "summer's over" mode?
Even though we're only 3 weeks into summer.
I'm not denying that that I have fall on the brain as
much--well, more really--than the next person but
while I'm thinking, I still want to be soaking up the sun.
Why?  Because when fall arrives, I want to be ready.
I need want lots of time to plan and play around so
I've been working on a post with my fall thoughts.
Stay tuned for that one...

For now, let's link up to Chris Knits and
Monday Making and talk about those to-do's.

Positivity #1/Cinnamon Latte
Load and begin quilting
Done.  Quilting has commenced!


This design is one I haven't done before but it
only took a pass or two to feel comfortable.
It's certain to become a "regular".

Positivity #2
Add border(s)? and make backing
Done.


I decided to add borders and now the top,
backing and batting are completely ready.

West Point Quilt
Any progress
Done!
This might be a shocker but yes--progress.


I made the final decisions for my second quilt and
a game plan to efficiently make more at any time.
Choosing one block that works with my 3-inch
fussy-cut logo was key.  I can use this one block
for an entire quilt, or use variations of this block. 


This mix-and-match game means any
leftovers (blocks or pieces) from one quilt
will be a head-start on the next quilt.


If you're noting my fussy-cut logo isn't perfectly
straight, well they're not printed straight.  I even
have to chuck a few per row


  I still get a lot out of it but at $25/yd, I don't feel
liking wasting much.  If a few are slightly off,
so be it!  With that small of a block,
I am hopeful it won't really show. 

Garden
Keep eye on pests; pull more carrots
Done.
This time of year the focus is on fitting what we can
into the meals and on preserving the rest in the
most convenient manner for its uses.

For example:


The largest carrots are cut into chunks and frozen
10-12 per package for a [killer] beef stew recipe.
Their remaining ends and the other carrots are
diced and measured out for other recipes.  I also
 make up some carrot-onion mixes for the pot pies,
onion-pepper mixes for Philly cheesesteaks
 (sandwiches or bowls), carrot-onion-garlic mixes
for Turkey Day stock and so on.  All are welcome
on winter days spent in the sewing room.

Looking ahead:

Bastille Day is tomorrow!  Typically I find a nice
French dish to try my hand at but hubs is taking
me here for some French dining instead.  Though
I haven't found their version of L'Entrecôte Sauce
 to be legit, I'm still a fan of the place.  I know I
should give it another try but it's now been about
10 years since I had it in Paris.  I'd like to say I
could still pick it out but I'm no longer sure.
(Pretty sure that's grounds for another visit.)
I may make up something yummy and
French this weekend....like crêpes.

Next week's to-do's

West Point Quilt
Work on blocks

Positivity Quilts
Finish quilting Cinnamon Latte
Load up #2 (unnamed)

Gardening
Continue with carrots; weeding

Happy quilting!

05 July 2021

2021 Tuesday To-Do #24

How was everyone's holiday?
We had glorious weather--hot enough to get in
the pool but nothing that made you miserable if
you weren't.   We ate, drank and were merry
as we did our part in lighting up the sky.

On to the order of biz for the day because, as
they say, there's no business like sew business.
Or something like that.

West Point Quilt
Finalize & pick fabric
Not yet.  Every time I think I've finally
zero'd in, I go back to looking at more ideas.

Positivity Quilt #1:
Choose panto, load on frame; figure out a name.
Mostly done.


Two of you helped me come up with a great
name for Pos #1!  Cinnamon Latte! 
It's positively perfect--love it!


I've chosen the panto but still need
to get everything loaded up.

Positivity Quilt #2
Finish blocks and begin piecing.
Done.  And more!


If you were particularly observant last week when
I posted my July Monthly Goals, you saw my little 
"extra" on the quilt wall with these blocks.


I came across this panel when I was picking through
my stash for fabrics.  I always thought it would make a
nice touch on the back of a quilt but it found its way to
the front of this one where I literally and figuratively
built the entire quilt around it.  It's hanging for this
pic so things don't look that straight but they are.


I needed to make it stand out without taking anything
away from the black pluses so I inserted a thin flange.
Quilting over this will be an issue but I'll work with it.

Another top completed, unless I add borders.
It's driving me crazy to not have this in proper
lighting but I guess all in due time.  It'll be quilted
soon and the finish pics shall reveal all.

Garden:  Lots.
Done.
Paths weeded, remaining potatoes dug and onions
mostly pulled.  It's always a relief to see the early
crops wind down and watch the fall ones take over.

My favorite garden day of the year, next to picking
the pumpkins and gourds, is planting the pumpkins
and gourds!   They're now all in and are already
starting to poke through.  Huzzah!

Looking ahead:
Well, the sad day has arrived.  There just comes that
time for everyone to be back to their respective places.
Our oldest son, home for the weekend, is back in Omaha
and the cadet and will be back at West Point tomorrow
for field training before the school year begins.
Time for me to get caught up on things and then 
focus on those finishes.

Positivity #1/Cinnamon Latte
Load and begin quilting

Positivity #2
Add border(s)? and make backing


West Point Quilt
Any progress

Garden
Keep eye on pests; pull more carrots

Till next week, 
happy quilting!

01 July 2021

July Monthly Goal (I Get Excited About All-Things July 4th)

 I'm not much of a summer person but July
does give me something to get excited about:
patriotism, decorations, food, explosions.
It's all there on the 4th!


Just a heads-up:  this is a long post with a whole
round-up of inspiration for the upcoming holiday.
For those visiting from Elm Street Quilts' link-up,
my OMGoal is at the end but I'd love for you to
hang out a bit and maybe share some of your
own July 4th faves if you have the time!


I love Revolutionary War history!
The HBO mini-series "John Adams" is one of my
favorites and I watch it almost every summer
The book John Adams (McCullough) is very
long but very good--worth the time.  (For
history, you can't go wrong with McCullough.)

I know I've mentioned this before but several years
ago on a trip to Boston where we took in all the
historical sites, we slipped down to Quincy, MA
for the day and visited John and Abigail's
homes, most notably, Peacefield:


Oh the history!  I was in heaven.  SO much to see!
 If you've seen the mini-series, you'll recognize this
home, though it was later that his son John Quincy
who finished the library to the left there and there
are more trees and flowers all around.  
This is my kinda place.

"The Patriot" (Mel Gibson) is another goodie.
There is also the series "Turn" which I think is still on
Netflix.  We dropped Netflix quite a while ago so I
couldn’t say but I should get my hands on the dvd.
I recently surprised hubs with the book
that it's based on--he was verrah happy with that.
(Washington's Spies by Alexander Rose)

Gettysburg ('93) and Gods and Generals ('03) are
both good ones, based on the Shaara novels.
Michael (father) and Jeff (son) Shaara books
make great gifts for the men in your lives but if
you are into history at all, you will enjoy them
almost as much.  Hubs has every single one;
I've read two now so lots to go.  You can find
them on audio, too, btw.


Two years ago we visited Philadelphia
where we caught more of our country's
revolutionary history. 


This must be done in the fall, btw!



I keep some pics on my phone to use as wallpaper.


I love the red, white and blue decor!


I just don't have enough of it so I'm trying to make
 at least one new thing every year but, just like a
FQ bundle greatly trumps a single fat quarter,
making five new things would be better.


I should work on that.


I love fireworks.  I can be a real piro, and it just
isn't a real party without my Saturn missiles!
If you're into mortars, you can't beat Excalibur
and the Never-Ending Fountain is a whole lot of
spark for your buck.  A few tips from a piro!
I've already made my trip to the tent and
I'm ready to go.

And the food.  Oh my goodness.  Holidays are the
time to forget the diet.  FOR-GET it!  But you also
don't want to spend the whole time in the kitchen.
There is nothing wrong with good ol' hotdogs!
Around here, it's Chicago-style dogs, and we
take 'em seriously.   And Mexican Street Corn
(elote); if you don't want the mess of cobs, here's
 a fantastic Mexican Street Corn Dip that can be
made up ahead of time and kept in the fridge
till it's time to bake--even easier, use a disposable
foil pan.  And for the hubs, I make a blueberry pie
with lattice top.  Every. Single. Fourth.

With the 4th on a Sunday, we'll be celebrating
all weekend around here.  We're a whole family of
foodies so we love foodie-movies like Ratatouille,
The Hundred Foot Journey, No Reservations and
Chef.   Appalling language aside, Chef inspired
us to try out the Cubanos (yes, his actual recipe).
For this killer sandwich, I guess you could go buy
bread <insert food-snob snort here> but we're
aiming for authenticity and just where can you find
Cuban bread smack in the middle of Kansas anyway?
Trust me, this Medianoche Bread is easy-peasy.
You can even make it the day before.
Don't think about the calories; remember, this is
 the only holiday of the summer and all diets are OFF.
Speaking of OFF, make sure that's on your grocery
list--the mosquitos, you know.
Also put lard on the list because you'll want to use
that and not the optional shortening in this recipe.
Shooting for AWE-THIN-TISS-I-TEE!


To finish OFF this meal, I've chosen to make
There's no describing this one.  Beyond words.
 It's one of the top  5  8  10 best things I make.
(Gosh darn it, I have a LOT in my cooking
repertoire so it's really hard to pick a "Top" list!)
I know I just said not to spend the whole day in
the kitchen so I just pick and choose my
showstoppers (preferably all make-aheads!)
and the rest could be bagged chips for all I care.
But, everyone likes to bring their own
show-stoppers so we end up with quite the feast. 
(It's a proud mother that I am!)
Anyway, this thing will bring you to your knees.
I'll drop my mic there.


One other little thing that has nothing to do
with this holiday but it does occur at the same
time:  pumpkin and gourd planting.


I was up bright and early this morning putting
in five varieties of gourds (a few multis) and five
varieties of pumpkins.   I looooove them all. 
This day always means fall is on the way!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Apparently I felt the need to share ALL of my
July goals but I'll now wrap this up with the goal this
post is supposed to be about:  something quilty.

 Here she is, my patient patriotic persons:
My July Goal


To finish both of these Positivity quilt tops!


Well, I guess it doesn't seem all that awesome of
a goal since one top is already done and the other
isn't that far behind so let's add in quilt them!
There.  That should make me an overachiever.
I'll leave off completely finishing, binding and all,
but don't be surprised if I do.  Gotta leave myself
open for squirrels and such.

Now go out there and blow something up!
(If you're lucky enough to be where you're
free to do that.  If not...I'm so sorry!)

Happy Quilting!
Linking up to Elm Street Quilts
One Monthly Goal

28 June 2021

2021 Tuesday To-Do #23

When we left our super-sewist last week, 
her last words were something along the
lines of, "Kill it." 

A bit dramatic?  I'm not sure I killed it but I think
I got a good amount done.  Hubs and the cadet
went up to Omaha to see the other son and
to take in some College World Series games so
for the better part of three days, I had my own
little sewing retreat.    


I pulled out my little tv and listen-watched John Adams
 while I got my entire Positivity Quilt #1 top put together
and cut out my second.  I admit to dreams of finishing
 the second top but sheesh, where did the time go?


The To-Do's that Got Done:

West Point Quilt(s):  Choose design and pull fabrics
A little done here.  I've found a few designs to consider
including a third plus quilt if it works with the fabrics.
That is kind of the rub with this one:  trying to work
in the West Point prints.  But not sure I'd want to do
three of the same right in a row.  

Positivity QAL
Start piecing; work on post for link-up
Maybe hit fabric store for Poz #2
Done.


On Poz #1:  Entire top completed!


Block link up post here.  I've also posted
a couple construction tips here and here.
I have my backing cut but not sewn together.
I keep saying these are prettier in real life but
it's cloudy and rainy so I can't get a good pic.

Poz #2:  All cut out and piecing started.
I'm making due with what I have (no shopping).


I want to get more blocks done before I reveal my
little "extra" on this quilt.  Nothing super-intriguing
but I am liking how pretty it's looking.  As with the
other,  I can't wait to get this into proper lighting!

Gardening:  Buy ladybugs.
Not done (maybe today?).
I've already lost one of my spaghetti squash
plants to vine borers; a zucchini is on its way out.
The irony here is that I think these dumb wasps
are actually eating the squash bug eggs & babies?
Just a thought--I haven't seen any since last week. 

Now for some Fabric Tracking:


To translate and summarize my blurry screen-shot:
Over the last few weeks, I've purchased 13.5 yds
but  I've used up 13.9 yds so I'm hanging in there,
still in the negative.  Killin' it?  Not exactly but,
hey--rock on.


Above, the latest purchases and yard amounts.
Already put the blacks to use in Poz quilt #2. 

Looking ahead:
I have a "July Goals" post coming but basically, it's
the usual Fourth of July celebrating but with an
extra guest--always a good excuse to do what needs
to be done anyway, and that is clean this house.
I've been avoiding it way too long.
I still hope to make a dent in all of these as well: 

West Point Quilt
Finalize & pick fabric

Positivity Quilt #1:
Choose panto, load up on frame; figure out a name.

Positivity Quilt #2
Finish blocks and begin piecing.

Garden:
Lots of garden work on the to-do's this week.
Outside of weeding the pathways, it's mostly fun
but trying to get to it will be tricky since we've been
getting lots of rain.  (No complaints there!)

Happy Fourth of July and happy quilting!
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