28 July 2022

July OMGoals Complete

Well that month flew by!
I honestly felt like I was really staying ahead
of everything and then up pops the link up
for our July goal finishes!
Speedy or not speedy, I them done so today I am
with my finishes.  Yep, I'm the crazy one that listed
"Quilt and finish three quilts."
All I can say is that putting it out there works!

Spring Dresden

74 x 74

Winter Woodland


Christmas Grace


And so ends my pile of 9 tops made earlier this year.
I'm more of a start to finish person so I do not work
well with multiple projects going.  Two (or three?--eek!)
at a time pulls me around more than I like but this pile...
well, let's just say I'll never do THAT again!
But now that they're all done, I'm kind of patting myself
on the back.  That's more than a quilt a month.
 Not too shabby of a showing for the year so far.
  What's next?  We'll just take it one month
and one goal at a time!
I'll see you in a few days with my August goal!

Happy quilting!

26 July 2022

Tuesday To-Do #22: Two-For-Tuesday and An RX for No Sewing?

It's the last Tuesday in July!
It's been a little rough around here and
I'm really ready for a new month.

First, let's join in the others over at
Texas Quilt Gal's Tuesday To Do link up
and then we'll see how my week went...
I mean, despite little mishaps and such.
Check this stuff out:
1) Load Spring Dresden and quilt.

I think this is my favorite of the nine.
It is so darned cheery!

If I hadn't already made up a label with Spring Dresden
on it, I would have named it A Bowl Full of Cherries.
(The backing and binding is all cherries.)
Still kind of regretting not remaking that label...

2) Bind and label Winter Woodland

I didn't get many pics of this one.
And remember, some nice day I'm going to be doing
a photo shoot with all of them and then I think I'll
post a virtual trunk show so you all can see what
they really look like.

3) Make HST blocks for Waves
4) Make leaf blocks for fall quilt 
No progress on either of these.  See the
"What did I do?" in my golf section below.

On to other things, I have another garden-fresh recipe.
I always try to get the most use out of our produce
while its fresh and full of vitamins so our current menu
is focused on tomatoes, peppers, onions and carrots.

This recipe for Maple Glazed Carrots is so, so good with
home-grown carrots (taste nothing like the store's).

I cut back quite a bit on most of the ingredients because
in my mind, that's how you can still taste the carrots.
(Otherwise, that's a whole lotta butter, syrup and sugar!)

The important thing is to saute them up hot in butter
so they get a nice outer coating on them and then do
the thing.  I toss the oregano sprigs in while they cook
to give it a small touch of that flavor.  In the pic above
 I used thyme just to switch things up a bit.  We like our
veggies crisp-tender so I cut the time in about half.
Cutting them into "coins" switches things up, too.

In the golf part of my world, these two babies are finally
part of my bag.   For some reason, the wedge took a couple
months to show up (?); the other is my "heavenwood" which,
thankfully, came within a week.  It's a toss-up what I'll be
working on next.  Hybrid or putter.  Hubs is pushing for the
putter; I'm leaning that way too...once I can play again.

What did I do?
The short story is I slipped down a few stairs and my back
(with my full weight on it) landed on the "point" of a step.
A couple days later I tried to golf anyway
(because really, I was just very sore where I fell)
but hobbled off early in the round when one
particular swing took it all out of me.  I've been in a
world of hurt since, wincing and shuffling around like
a 90-year old woman.  I can take pain but I hate
not being able to do the things I need/want to do.

I've since learned it's a slipped/bulging disc.
With a history degenerative back issues (surgery & hardware),
this ain't my first rodeo and you can be very sure I'll be doing
every exercise prescribed to stay off that operating table.
I just wanted to explain why I'm not supposed to sit
for any length of time...as in, no sewing.
(Need I add that standing hurts my other back issues?!)
Will I squeeze a little here and there?
Probably so.  And when I do sit, I'm supposed to do my
exercise (currently only one) every time I get back up,
along with every hour on the hour so you
can see very little will get done.
Such is life, eh?  I will make out my list and go on!

1) Quilt Christmas Grace; finish?
Finishing requires sewing on binding.  We'll see.

2) Maybe progress on other two projects?

As my mother would always say: 
We should never take our health for granted!
And I'd like to add:
Once you hit 50, start hanging on to stair rails!

Hopefully things are cheerier next time!
Happy quilting!

19 July 2022

2022 Tuesday To-Do #21: Speedy July, Ideas Needed and Recipes

Well, isn't July just speeding right along.
This is one time of the year I don't mind time
going by so quickly.  Other than a daughter's
 birthday, August has nothing to recommend but the
fact that 🧡 September 🧡 follows it.  I do declare it
 safe to bring out some mild fall decor during
August so that's kind of eventful, if you're me.
(With everything practically dead from the heat,
I need to see that color is on the way.)

Speaking of being practically dead, I'm currently
recovering from 8 rounds of golf in 10 days, in
said heat, but I am here today faithfully joining
How's that for dedication?
Was I dedicated to my weekly goals with
all that time spent on the golf course?

Last Week's Goals

1)  Finish binding Pines.

Another finish!
Among the little red pinwheels is a red/black check fabric
that I had my heart set on for making a bias binding.

One sad story later, I had put all the bias-technique work
into it, but somehow ended up with regular binding.
And some extra seams.
All I can say is that I had about eight interruptions over
the ridiculous 36 hours it took to get the task completed.
Sure, it still looks good.
But darn it all to heck, ya know?

2) Load next quilt

And quilted.  And trimmed up (after the above pic).
Currently working on the binding.

3) Sew 3-5 Waves blocks

4) Sew 6 more leaf blocks for "unnamed fall quilt"

5) Work with hubs to get a permanent outdoor
quilt hanger for photo shoots.  
We did talk about options but we're still undecided.
(I wouldn't be out taking pics in this heat anyway.)

6) Golf:  Work on the "heavenwood"
This has been something like 3 steps forward and
2.5 back, and repeat.  There are other factors at play
but I'm close to scheduling lessons.  We'll see what I
can teach myself from YouTube first.  Maybe.
About that 8 rounds in 10 days...
To avoid the heat, we were up by 5:15 am for part of them
 but it's hot by 8 or 9 anyway, and the rest were at various
sizzling hours of the day.  Needless to say I'm a tired girl.
This week promises daily triple digits so, at least for now,
the plan is for very little golf and lots of sewing.

In summary, even with multiple NOT DONE's, I don't feel
too badly about my week.   Finishes are a priority and
there was success there.  Plus, hubs was on vacay--thus
all the golf, but we also did a decent amount of work
around the house.  Hoping to keep chipping away at
it now that we got a kick-start in the right direction.

Food Talk
We had a good friend over for a dinner so this brought
to mind some foodie things I want to share. 


I like to make this lemon raspberry cheesecake in the
summer when the berries are fresh and the cooling
citrus flavor is always welcome.  My notes are as follows:

*I once put it to a full taste-test among family and guest
and all preferred the 'Nilla Wafer crust* over the
shortbread as listed in that recipe so I've included
the 'Nilla Wafer at the end of my post.

*It's worth hunting down the lemon emulsion but I
would caution using much.  Sometimes less is
more, especially when tummies might already be
fairly full.

*I'm a huge fan of using crock-pot liners for the water-bath
method because I learned very early not to trust foil.
Even the heavy-duty stuff.  Or even two layers of it!
However, I have had a liner leak so I do BOTH the foil
and the liner, and it's a darned good thing because that
very thing happened this weekend and the foil saved
the day.  The crust was crispy and delightful.  Whew!
Triple precaution pays!

Mixed Greens/Light Salad
Last week hubs and I went out to eat at our favorite
French restaurant to celebrate Bastille Day
(I'm not French, I just like France.  And celebrating.
And I've visited the actual place so that's cool, too.)
Because we like to entertain, we always pay attention
to menus, plating and such for ideas.  Fast forward to
planning our own meal for our guest, we both decided
we needed that little bit of mixed greens that he had
accompanying his Steak Frites.

I used to be really good at guessing what is in
a dish--it's a really fun game!--but I'm rather
out of practice.  But hey, this was an easy one
and I nailed it on my first try.

I really don't know the measurements but I tried
something like 2 T of sour cream, about 1 t sugar,
a pinch of salt and some red wine vinegar...
maybe 1-2 T?  Sorry, that's very vague but I have
faith in you.  You can figure this one out.  Anyway,
it worked.  Very well.  [Sorry, no pics.]
So the next time you need that little bit of greens
to round out your meal, think of me, make this and
let me know how it goes.
(Why not a full salad?  Remember when I said
sometimes less is more?  That.  And besides,
we'd already had an appetizer.)

Pizza & Sauce
Now this has nothing to do with our lamb dinner
but the next day we wanted something easy.
And from the garden. 
If you like [need] a fairly thin crispy crust with minimal
effort then this easy pizza crust is for you.
Even better?  I divide it into 4 pieces, putting 3 in the
freezer for, say, busy days of sewing.  One crust makes
a pie for the two of us, plus hub's lunch the next day. 

Curious?  Above is ham and pepperoni, topped with garden
offerings of red onion, green pepper and Italian sweet pepper.
After baking I topped it with fresh basil.  For cheese, regular
and fresh mozzarella along with parmesan and Romano.
And under it all?  My fave sauce from Emeril Lagasse,
also featuring fresh tomatoes and herbs from the garden.
(We're pretty farm-to-table around here!)
I like a tart sauce so I usually leave out the sugar.
Because I always make it from fresh tomatoes, mine needs
more salt and sometimes tomato paste to thicken it up.

I found this online a couple months ago so I tried it,
loved it, printed it.  When I went to add it into my very
disorganized and over-stuffed binder of recipes,
lo behold, there I found the exact same one already there.
(Truly, it's a wonder I even found it.)
Apparently I discovered it, loved it, printed it once before
 so here I am passing along a great pizza dough recipe
that's fully-endorsed by me.  And me.

Back to quilty things.
I was asked for ideas on a quilty issue and I can't
say I've come up with anything great so I'm
putting this one out there to you all:

This quilt was made by a grandmother's mom.
The grandmother (recently passed away) gave it to her
four granddaughters (all sisters, teens to early 20's).
Their mom is wondering if it could be split into
four pieces.  The most I could come up with would
be to make 4 table runners out of it but I just can't
advise cutting into that hand-quilting.  She did
suggest maybe giving it to the first great grandchild
and leaving it at that.   Any other thoughts and
ideas here would be appreciated.

Now for next week's goals...
As I said, it's going to be something like a bajillion
degrees here all week so I'll be holed up in
 my studio doing that sewing thing.

1) Load Spring Dresden and quilt.

2) Bind and label Winter Woodland

3) Make HST blocks for Waves
(for real this time!?)

4) Make leaf blocks for fall quilt 

Now you.
What's on your list?

Happy quilting!

'Nilla Wafer Cheesecake Crust
Fits an 8-9" cheesecake (springform pan).
1 1/4 c 'Nilla Wafer crumbs
5 T butter
3 T sugar

Mix all together and press into springform pan.  I have a
specific drinking glass that works really well at getting
a perfectly smoothed crust.  (It's practically therapy.)
Bake 325 for 10 mins.  Continue on with cheesecake

11 July 2022

2022 Tuesday To-Do #20: Quilt Season is Coming!

So begins the backside of the year, right?
It's totally my favorite by the way.
Fall and all its colors, holidays, cooler weather,
food, football, trips to West Point--you name it.
 It's all on the way.
And so is my "quilt season," when
productivity in my sewing room peaks.

Oh it is such a great time of the year to be a quilter
and I'm already getting excited for it, clearly.
The last thing I need is to enter Quilt Season with
a pile of things to finish so that has to be my focus:
turn those tops into finishes!

Well, er, there might be a little straying but I'll 'fess up to
that squirrel in a bit.  First let's join Texas Quilt Gal on
the Tuesday To Do Link Up and see what I focused on.

1) Bind and finish ATC II

2) Load next quilt?
I chose to work on Pine Tree Lane next.
And because I was feeling rather motivated, I hopped
right in and started quilting it up with "Ripples".
(Urban Elementz)

This one is great for any quilt with trees or snow
because it gives that blowing-wind effect.  It's also
wonderfully rewarding because you'll find yourself
with a finish in no time!  Which I did!

I have the binding made but just didn't get time
to get it put on yet--darn it!  I so wanted another
finish to show but it was not to be.  So close though!

3) Sew a few more blocks on Waves?
No progress.
Trying to figure out how to squeeze in
more time with this one

4) Start a new quilt?

I suppose this is a squirrel of sorts but I really felt like
starting a new quilt with fall colors was just what I needed
 to get the mojo going.  I'll share more on it next week.

The last time I joined in it was February!
Well, you know what?
Even February seems ages ago right now.
(Why does this year seem so out of control?)
But let's stay focused on the here and now
and list my current goals for the week:

1)  Finish binding Pines.

2) Load next quilt (down to 3!)

3) Sew 3-5 Waves blocks
Just to keep a little bit of momentum going, I'd like to
at least to try to sew one block a day (during the week).

4) Sew 6 more leaf blocks for "unnamed fall quilt"

5) Work with hubs to get a permanent outdoor quilt hanger
for photo shoots.   (More to come on this next week.)

6) Golf:  Work on the "heavenwood"
When I last left off, I was getting frustrated with trying
out so many new clubs and I just felt so off--my swing
my grip, everything.  But patience and practice seems
to be paying off and things are starting to really come
together.  I love my new irons; a new driver is on order and
I'm now trying out a "heavenwood" which is truly heaven 
for me in the fairway--when I strike it correctly (ahem).
I need to make some good progress with it this week.  I'm
already completely sold on it but I should probably prove I
can use it before I order it!  Overall, I feel like I'm improving
on about everything right now which feels great.
And even got my second birdie. 

It's sure to be a week filled with fun and completions,
and I'm already looking forward to meeting you
all back here when I share my progress next Tuesday!

Happy quilting!

06 July 2022

July Monthly Goal: Finish All Tops!

 It has been a long while since I participated in
My computer-time has decreased so much over
the first half of this year that I kept missing the dates
and here we are in July already!  This one almost got
away from me as well but in taking a bit of a
"me-day" to play catch-up on some things,
well, lo, behold--here I am!

July is usually when my quilting time really picks up
so hopefully this is the start of a streak that remains
unbroken for the remainder of the year?
I started 2022 really punching the quilt tops out:
nine of them in just a few months!
I'm not a multi-project person so as fun as it was
to fly through those tops, I need that pile of UFO's
 to go away.  Completely.

One Monthly Goal to the rescue, right?

 My aggressive goal is to make that happen.

All remaining tops (4):  quilt, label and bind.

Let's do this!

Happy quilting!
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