Sunday, October 19, 2014

Retreat!!!

I'm leaving my pretty tree at home and heading up to Tobermory to spend a week with the Beach Girls.
My contributions:
  •  one breakfast - blueberry/peach oatmeal bake
  • one appetizer - butternut squash tart with fried sage leaves
  • one supper - baked salmon with roasted potatoes, butternut squash, beets, salad
  • cocktail - Frosty Lemon Martini
I have about six projects loaded up, and if I sew as per usual I will get to maybe three of them.  But that's better than none of them, right?

My big excitement this week was winning my very first INTERNET prize.  Fabricsnquilts.com runs a scrappy challenge and I won quilt batting.  Yay!!  Hopefully that won't be my last prize.  But ya gotta play to win.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pam Bono complete & Pumpkin Cornbread

The pattern name is Those Blooming Buds.  It seems that in all my awesome brilliance I forgot to snap a photo of the whole quilt after quilting. 
Here are a few shots of the blocks.
These Pam Bono quilts are so pretty, but they definitely have some weird shapes that need to be dealt with.
 Ooh, pretty back!

Today I have to pretend I'm on a diet.  I've been eating Chinese Food and cheesecake for two days, then because there is no milk, this morning I had to have my oatmeal with CREAM (which was decadently delicious, by the way).  Dear me.  Can you say 'lardass' ?

BROKEN STUFF THIS WEEK (aargh!!):
  • two welding machines.  Only one fixed so far.
  • burglar alarm.  Hmm.  Maybe I shouldn't be posting that on the blog, where criminally-minded quilters will see it, then come in and steal my stash when I go in to town for low-fat milk.
  • the computer attached to the big-ass t.v.  Mysteriously healed itself after a drive to 1-800-LUKE.
  • the dishwasher.  First it leaked last week, then the next load was fine.  Saturday night it left a large-ish quantity of water in the bottom, and all the lights are dead.
  • my sleep cycle.  Two mornings in a row I've been up at 5 am.  You can probably guess that I'm going to bed pretty early too.

Pumpkins make such a nice display on the porch table, especially when accessorized by the quilting-witch-bear.  Yes, that is a whole new species of creature.
 If you decide the pumpkin has outlived it's usefulness on the porch you can chop it up and have it for breakfast.
Pumpkin Cornbread

Yield:    serves 8
Active time:  10 minutes
Total time:    40 minutes
Special equipment:    whisk, 9-inch cast iron skillet

    1 1/4 cups corn meal
    1 cup (about 5 ounces) all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 eggs
    1/4 cup (about 1 3/4 ounces) sugar
    1 cup pumpkin puree
    1 cup milk
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Procedures

    1    Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400̊F.

    2    In a medium bowl, whisk together corn meal, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

    3    In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, pumpkin, and milk until combined. Stir in dry ingredients.

    4    Place butter in skillet and place in the preheated oven for 2 minutes, or until butter is melted. Take skillet out of oven and pour in batter, smoothing top. Bake until top is golden and cracked and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool before cutting.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Pam Bono WIP and RIP, and more random thoughts

The current WIP is a quilt designed by Pam Bono.  There is enough stitch-in-the-ditch on here to sink a battleship.  The RIP part, in case you haven't heard, is that this week Pam was the victim of a murder/suicide.  Her husband shot both her and the family dog, and then shot himself.  All dead.  What a horrible circumstance.

Decorating 101.  Apparently DH knows more about accessorizing the dining room than I do.  I must get out more.

Love of Wildlife 101.  Sometimes, like once or twice a year, I really hate the birds.
More random thoughts:
  • On a nice cool, rainy, fall day, the dog you love so much will decide to find the flower bed with the nicest, blackest, soil.  Then she'll dig to China.  Which apparently requires all four paws.  And her nose.
  • I really hate it when DH says:  "Sure I'll (insert some minor chore).... tomorrow".  Tomorrow never comes.
  • I really love it when the flies are stupid enough to fly into the vacuum cleaner head.
  • If my niece had told me she was flying to Calgary today I could have saved the $28 it cost me to ship my brother's birthday present.  That money would have been better spent on vodka.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Kid's Bird Quilt, Zucchini Report (yay!) and random thoughts

This is such a cute quilt.  Purple and orange were my favorite colours when I was young.  Mom was so accommodating, she let me paint my bedroom HIGH GLOSS ORANGE and dress it up with purple drapes.

And I had the perfect pantograph.  Don't you just love the neon green set off with dark purple thread? This backing is minky.  Hoo baby!  So soft and slick, it feels like you dumped the whole bottle of liquid dish soap on the floor and then did a little dance.  Naked.  And you wondered what I did in the evenings.  ha ha ha.  Eeuw - now try to get that picture out of your head.

ZUCCHINI REPORT  The plants are disgusting looking.  Grey, papery, dusty-mouldy, shriveled up leaves.  But they are determined.
Picked this week:  1
Picked YTD:        61

The Random Thoughts:
  • I've been eating lots of toasted tomato sandwiches.  Mmm.  Butter and a bit of mayo, with thin slices of tomato.  Sadie always gets the top slice of tomato with the stem end, and the bottom slice that's all skin.  Somehow she can HEAR the tomato-slicing knife coming out of the knife block, even when she's outside.  Then she'll stand at the back door (giving a little 'woof' if you take too long to notice she's waiting) until you pass over her share.
  • DH does not like sliced tomatoes on his plate when you have scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast.  Even when you point out that tomatoes are a FRUIT.
  • After toasted tomato, the next best sandwich is toasted TURKEY eaten about three hours after a huge turkey dinner, while the turkey is still slightly warm.
  • Perennial phlox is invasive.  OMG.
  • Five minutes of stitching on the longarm, when done badly (and lets face it - we all have our less-than-perfect moments.  sigh.), takes one hour to pick out.  Multiply that by a whole border around a quilt.
  • Sad news.  George Clooney is off the market.

Cutest quilt ambassador, ever.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

9-Patch Quilt, Stash Report, Zucchini Report

9-Patch - a beautiful, classic quilt pattern.
It was quilted with a classic pattern too - Orange Peel design.  Also called Pumpkin Seed design.  There is stitch-in-the-ditch along both sides of the skinny border, keeping that nice and crisp.  Then a pretty border pattern.  I made no attempt to line up the circles with the 9-patches - there is not enough vodka in the world to calm that kind of crazy.
Mmm, nice back!
This past week I had TWO outings.  Whew - the social life is picking up.  On one adventure I hit the new Village Square Quilt Shop in Burlington, which is where I bought the 2 fat quarters on my stash report.  The second outing was with my Red Hat gals - we went mini-golfing at the lovely Rock Chapel course in Flamborough.  It was nice that I did not win the award for Most Honest Golfer (also known as Worst Player EVER).

I have two quilts for the Quilts of Valour program quilted and washed, ready to return.  I get the tops, backs, & batting from the local QOV co-ordinator and do the quilting.  Up to 12 quilts annually.  Then I find some unsuspecting eager guild member and rope them into thank them profusely for doing the binding.  When I get them back I wash them and add the label.

 And on the personal piecing front, I'm working on scrappy placemats made with Tumblers (cut by JAWS.  See the page at the top if you don't know what JAWS is.).  I think I have nine mats pieced so far.  And that's a good thing.  DH slops all over a placemat as soon as it hits the table.
STASH REPORT
Used this month:  0  (but hopefully this will change soon... 2 projects almost complete!!)
Used YTD:          64.2 m
Added this month:  .5 m
Added YTD:         119.75 m
NET 2014:           up 55.5 m

Much to my surprise, and DH's horror, the zucchini is managing to push out a couple more fruits.
ZUCCHINI REPORT
Picked this week:  1
Picked YTD:        60  Ha!  What a nice, round number.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Log Cabin Quilt, Garden update

Log Cabin quilts are one of my favorites.  They are so traditional, but you can change them in many ways.

In this case, the background colour of the fussy-cut log center dictated the colour choice for the logs.  In the coloured sections this was quilted with stitch-in-the-ditch.  The mauve bands were done with a feather design - a triangle motif that was flipped this way and that way.

Pretty back.
GARDEN UPDATE
The ZUCCHINI is toast.  Done.  Finito.  Dead in the water.  Total count this year:  59 fruits.  Not bad, considering what a cool summer it has been.  Yeah - technically it IS still summer, even thought the nightime temp this past weekend was supposed to be 4 c.
On Sunday I harvested the hot chili peppers, the oregano, and the basil.  All of them went in the dehydrator making the house very, um, fragrant.  Lemme tell you - basil is a particularly fragrant herb.

DH has been picking off the green tomatoes which will never ripen, allowing the bigger fruits to mature.  Hopefully.  I want to do a batch of salsa for the canner with these, so they'd better co-operate.  We still have a load of potatoes out there, and enough green beans (maybe) for one meal.  I'm hoping the tardy cabbage will keep growing, since they are cool season lovers.

My big excitement is a new customer whose daughter owns a mushroom farm.  When I get the remainder of the mulch unloaded from the trailer (which has been there for months because of the stupid fractured foot) I'll call her and get over there to load up a pile of mushroom compost for the veggie bed.  Mmm.  I should have some smokin' hot asparagus next year!!  For once, I'd like to get the garden bed all cleaned up in the fall, with compost spread and rototilled before winter.  That may cost me some of my spring volunteers of lettuce and cilantro and dill, but they are persistent little buggers and will likely show their faces in my cutting garden.

Note to self:  do you realize you just said you were all excited about used-up poop?

Monday, September 8, 2014

My Idiot Dog & Zucchini Report

This is my idiot dog, watching a Polar Bear on tv.
I suppose I shouldn't call her an idiot, since I was watching the Polar Bear on tv, too.
However.  She spends a lot of the daytime outside, barking at the Turkey Vultures, which are easily twice her size.  So I'm thinking perhaps she really IS an idiot.  She's lucky they tend to live on  carrion, not irritating dogs.

ZUCCHINI REPORT
Picked this week:  5
Picked YTD:        59.

The weather is cooling noticeably - the zucchini harvest is definitely slowing down.  The beans are almost finished, and I can rip out the dead peas any time.  I think I will have to go out and yell at my cabbages to hurry up, or they won't even be worth harvesting.

My latest kitchen FAIL was the zucchini chips I attempted in the dehydrator.  Yeah.  Um, no.  It's a good thing I believe in nothing ventured, nothing gained, and that it's ok to crash & burn.