Sunday, August 13, 2017

Dresden Plate Quilt, Selvages, and Garden Update with Zucchini Report

The Dresden Plate is at the top of my FAVORITE QUILTS LIST.

I have made two of my own and I have a third in progress.  This quiltmaker repeated all of the fabrics identically in each plate, and also positioned them identically in the background square.  She used different fabrics for the centers.

I quilted S.I.D. around the sashing, outside of the plates, and around the inside circle.  Mauve thread was used in the sashing and inside the plates; the rest was white thread.  The maker requested feminine quilting, so I went with flowers.  So pretty.

One of my hobbies seems to be collecting selvages.  I have, probably, twelve pounds of them by now.  Never done a thing with them.  But LOOK!!!  I MADE SOMETHING!!!

OK, On to the garden update.  Can anybody tell me what the hell these are?

I swear to God, I planted Butternut Squash seeds.  I'm not sure any of them sprouted because I ended up with these football sized things, AND I have pumpkins growing too, which I also did not plant. I have "people" who do that for me. 😀 These HAD to come out of the compost, because that's where the pumpkin seeds would have been.  I am accustomed to butternut squash growing from the compost, so when I had volunteers back in the spring I gave some seedlings to my neighbour.  Won't she be surprised!  ha ha ha, I'm so bad....

Cherry tomatoes have been ripening for about two weeks now.  Oh, so good!  And the rainy summer has made the peppers very happy - look at the size of that jalapeno.  It is easily the size of the overfertilized produce that you buy at the grocery store, but mine are organic.  Yay me.

Now, what you've all been waiting for...
Picked this week:  13
Picked YTD:         59

This week I made five jars of Zucchini Pickles from one of my Bernardin cookbooks.  I've never made them before, so hopefully they're edible.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Cool Summer Quilt, Zucchini stuff including a recipe & "the weekly count"

This quilt is so fresh & cool looking - perfect for summer.

Beautiful batiks.

So, as you can clearly see, it is August.  This is the first four loaves of the season.  DH had some for breakfast with peanut butter, and he managed to choke out the words:  "good zucchini bread, wife".  If you want my recipe, it's in THIS post.
Picked this week (up to Aug. 5th):  10
Picked YTD:  46

On one of my excursions down to the dungeon,  I mean the fruit cellar, I noticed that I still have LOTS of jars of diced tomatoes from last summer.  And I have lots of zucchini in the fridge.  Oh, what's a girl to do???
Step 1:  pour a glass of wine.  Hah.  That's always my first step. 😀
Step 2:  get out the Looneyspoons cookbook.  That's usually my second step.  I love (!) that cookbook.  But sadly, Janet & Greta didn't have anything written up that would get rid of some of those two items that I NEEDED to use.  So I had to get creative.  And let me tell you - it was very, very good.  I've made this twice now so it was not a mistake.

Penne Pasta with Tomato Sauce, serves 4
Loosely based on Lawrence of Arrabbiata, Looneyspoons collection
4 sausages, any flavour seem to work
1 ½ c. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup of any of the following optional additions – add as many as you like: diced zucchini, diced mushrooms, sweet peppers
1 small hot pepper such as jalapeno (optional)
1 quart jar of diced tomatoes (or a large can)
2 tbsp. tomato paste
½ tsp either crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper (you might want to skip this if you used a jalapeno – your choice)
1 tbsp. Balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. each dried basil and dried oregano
12 oz (340 g) uncooked penne pasta, about 4 cups dry
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
·         - In a large frying pan cook the sausages until they are nicely browned.  Drain off fat but leave the crusty bits for flavour.
·         - Remove the sausages to cool for a bit.  When cool enough to handle slice into ¼” thick coins.  Set aside.
·         - Into the dirty frying pan add the onions and the garlic, sauté for a few minutes.  Add a bit of water if necessary to prevent sticking & burning.
·         - Add the optional vegetables and the jalapeno, sauté until they start to soften.
·         - Add the diced tomatoes, and stir for a few minutes, scraping up any crust from the pan.
·         - Add the tomato paste, vinegar, and the sliced sausages.
·         - Leave that pan to simmer gently for about 10 minutes.  Pour yourself a glass of wine.
·         - MEANWHILE...put a large pot of water on to boil.  Cook the pasta until al dente, then drain and return to the pot.
·         - Add the contents of the frying pan to the pot.  Combine and leave to sit off the heat for a few minutes, giving the flavours a chance to meld. 

·         - Add the parmesan.  Finished!!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Cute Kitties & Zucchini Report

This is at the top of my "Cute Quilt" list for July.

The pantograph design is "Hip Kitties" (purchased from Urban Elementz).  And serendipitously, the cat motif lined up beautifully along both side borders.

Friday was our 33rd wedding anniversary.  We took a play day.
 Together!  Mini putt, then lunch, then the afternoon was spent throwing dirt at each other.
 No, no, no, not like that.  We finished weeding and hilling the potatoes out in the garden.  Thanks for the help, darling. 💕


Picked this week:  13
Picked YTD:         36

I'm heading off to Beach Day at Diane's on Tuesday, so I might just have to make a Lemon Zucchini Loaf.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The African Quilt, Today's Pet Peeve, and First Zucchini Report of 2017

OMG, this African Quilt is quite a work of art.

 Where to start, where to start?  Well, GOOGLE is where we all start today, I think.  Because the little corner of my brain where "African designs & motifs" is supposed to reside is apparently empty.

Lots and lots of s.i.d.

After s.i.d. then it's time to add in some African background quilting.

I have a great deal of admiration for quilters who are so adept at applique.  It also appears that she has an embroidery machine that (wait for it...) she knows how to use.


Passive-aggressive people.  link here
Seriously.  If you're going to be mad at me because I (apparently) hurt your feelings, maybe you could do me the courtesy of TELLING ME WHAT I DID/SAID.  You can even YELL at me, if that's the only way you can get it out.  Because quite likely, what you are hurt/angry/insulted/shocked about is a MISUNDERSTANDING.  Which, obviously, I cannot clear up IF YOU DON'T TALK TO ME.  If it's not a misunderstanding, if I actually DID something that hurt your feelings, I would like to apologize and not do it again.  Because in spite of how you are thinking right now - I do NOT want to hurt you.  You're one of my 'peeps' and I love you.
How do you think it makes ME feel, when you are supposed to be someone who LOVES ME, and you are walking around acting like I hurt your feelings on purpose?  C'mon.  You've known me for a zillion years and you should know that I don't go around intentionally hurting people's feelings.  If you REALLY think that's what I do, you should not be in my life because apparently you do not think I'm a very nice person.
You probably noticed a little bit of personal hurt feelings and anger here but there ya go... that is Today's Pet Peeve.  I apologize to any of you reading this if it gave you stress, but I had to get it out.  Have a martini, you'll feel better.  😁

Ooh, this first report covers three weeks.  I meant to take a few with me yesterday when I dropped off boxes to the Quilts of Valour rep in Hamilton.  But I'm gettin' old, and I forgot.  Stupid.

Picked so far:  23
Tossed in the compost:  0
Given away to customers:  3

Thankfully, these are all little ones.  The teeny ones get chopped up into salads, where it's pretty difficult to identify them.  There are six or seven plants in the garden in two separate clumps.  I seem to be getting about three per day in the 5" size.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Summer Hours and Garden Update

Summer hours.  If I were a normal person that would probably mean I was knocking off at noon on Friday and heading up to the cottage for a long Long Weekend.  But oh, nooo.  Not me.  Here was my Monday this week:

9:00 - 11:00
  • shower
  • strip bed
  • clean four bathrooms, remove shower curtains for laundering
  • put away a load of laundry from... several days ago.  Can't remember.
  • wash two loads of laundry
  • hang one load on the solar dryer
11:00 - 12:00
  • pick garden produce
  • rehang the washed shower curtains
  • put fresh sheets on the bed
  • put away last night's clean dishes
12:00 - 12:40
  • lunch - leftover orzo pasta salad, blueberry/banana loaf with almond butter
12:40 - 1:25
  • take down & put away load #1 of laundry
  • hang load #2 on solar dryer
1:25 - 2:00
  • take Sadie & DH for a walk
2:00 - 3:00
  • go down to my sweatshop & quilt
3:00 - 3:20
  • take down & put away load #2 of laundry
  • hang load #3 on solar dryer
3:20 - 5:40
  • surreptitiously eat 5 Twizzlers.  It's either that or a cocktail.  Did I make the right choice?
  • go back to sweatshop & quilt
5:40 - 6:00
  • eat supper.  Thank God DH cooks because it seems I ran out of time today.
6:00 - 6:10
  • bring in and put away laundry load #3
6:10 - 7:10
  • relax with the newspaper and the Sudoku puzzle
7:10 - 9:00
  • gardening.  Which is a euphemism for 'weeding' and 'swatting mosquitos' and 'crying'.  Pics follow.  I think I want a wife.

This was taken on June 11th

A similar view on July 3rd.  Wowza!!  Three weeks growth.
So, yeah, all the rain we had made my garden sooo happy!  Especially all the grass!  I could probably hide dead bodies in there and no one would find them.  I am resorting to my favorite mulch system - newspaper.
I have about 1/4 of the garden mulched with newspaper & compost.
I keep running out of newspapers.

Now, I'll leave you with a couple of 'pretty' pictures.
The left half of the cutting garden, which is in front of the veggie bed.
The evening sky on Canada Day, after the rain finally stopped.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Strippie Sampler Quilt and Dear Universe...Knock it Off Already

Oh.  Love, love, love the red.

This is the first quilt she's ever made.  Nicely done!

Dear Universe!  Please!  Bugger off with the rain, already.
June 2016:  37 mm of rain.
June 2017:  67 mm of rain.
Thunderstorms forecast again for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Canada Quilts, Red Hats in the Rain...rain...rain, the Potty Incident

Three great Canada quilts for the kids in this gal's family.



This is (ahem) MINE.  When I was at Quilt Canada last week I bought the license plate panel, then came home and made up a quickie for the front door.  Now to get it bound and actually hang it on the front door.

Yesterday was Red Hat day.  Our outing was to Whistling Gardens.  Our admission included a tour and the water fountains choreographed to music.  What fun!  In the pouring rain!

It wasn't really pouring during the show.  But it was definitely raining.

We got in about an hour of the tour but gave up when it started to rain.  We decided to have our lunch early in the picnic area.  Do you see the rain pouring down?  Thank goodness for the tented picnic area.
It managed to stop raining in time for us to head over to Hewitts Dairy in Hagersville for ice cream.  A perfect finish to our day.

Aah, the Potty Incident.  That mirror, which used to hang above the sink, belonged to mom.  I kept it when she had to move into assisted living.  Why her spirit decided to fling it off the wall last night is beyond me, but I sure hope the "seven years of bad luck" thing is just a rumour.

Monday, June 12, 2017

That Crazy 365 Quilt, and garden update

This is the Crazy 365 Quilt.  (crazy is my word, not really the name of the quilt)  A block per day for a whole year.  The little ones are only 3" x 3".

Never in my life would I make a quilt like this.  Kudos to all the crazy quilters who did.

This gal likes blue, so here's number two quilt.

Those ice cream cones are too stinkin' cute.

Sigh.  The garden.
Here's a view from the east.  The cutting garden is on the left, with the veggie bed on the right.  Food seems to be creeping into the cutting garden though.  Last year it was the tomatoes & strawberries.  This year it's butternut squash & the same strawberries.

The zucchini seeds are up!!!

The beans are under chicken wire for a while to protect them from the stupid rabbits.  They were cavorting on the lawn - two of them - while I was taking these pics.  Little bastards.

Yes, look closely here and you will see TOILET PAPER ROLLS.  No.  Not in case I have an, um, emergency.  They are around celery plants, and will, I hope, keep the dirt out of the stalks.  We'll see.  This is an experiment.

Yippee, yippee, yippee - a red strawberry!!!

We've been eating more than our fair share of asparagus.  I pick a few stalks every day, which gives us enough for supper about every three days.  Step 1 - wash and trim off the bottom of the stalks.

Step 2 - put them in a container with some water in the bottom.  Cover with a baggie and store in the fridge.

We'll be getting plenty of lettuce now too.  This gets a fresh trim at the bottom stem.  Then I swaddle it gently in a damp paper towel, and then the plastic bag.  This is an old trick of mom's.  It keeps for an amazingly long time this way.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sampler in Black & White, Asparagus Recipe

I can't make up my mind what I love more - the Black & White part, or the Sampler part.

This quilt was interesting to work on because in spite of the "modern" appearance, the maker requested the quilting be done in a more "traditional" style.

I tried to accommodate her request for 1/4" outline quilting as much as possible.

 Many places required MORE quilting (in my opinion) so I used straight lines to continue the mood.

Some curves were needed too, to soften the hard, angular edges.

Yum.  I love curved piecing.

If I live to be one hundred I probably won't figure out how to effectively photograph black quilts, so hopefully you can see the quilting of borders, etc., on the grey backing.

I try to blog weekly, but that doesn't always pan out.  The last few weeks have, um, challenged my serenity.  DH and I took his truck to his brother's shop for some major repair work, which ended up taking three weeks due to some unforseen circumstances.  During that three weeks hubby and I were a one car family.  Working at home is great for such occurrences but my ZEN mentality requires a weekly reboot at my yoga class.  Which didn't happen.
Thankfully, the Universe provided me with a love of gardening, so I spent many hours out in the mud, and occasionally the rain, weeding and  planting... side dressing with the occasional curse word.
If you want the lowdown, I have planted:

  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 10 sweet peppers
  • 8 lettuce
  • 8 celery
  • 6 cabbage
  • 20 tomatoes (4 different varieties)
  • a dozen garlic plants transplanted, and six clumps given away
  • a lonely potato volunteer transplanted beside the other potato volunteer
  • beet seeds
  • bean seeds
  • pea seeds
  • zucchini seeds! 👍
  • butternut squash seeds
  • basil seeds
  • Thai basil seeds
  • flower seeds, several varieties
Planting asparagus a few years ago is paying off in such a wonderful way!  (mind you, I'll be sick of it by the end of June)  Try this... sooo good! 
If you are too lazy to click on the link, here is the recipe.

Asparagus/Tuna Pasta

100g dried pasta- we prefer bowties for this recipe
  • 2 bunches asparagus, trimmed, cut into 2cm lengths
  • 425g can tuna in olive oil, drained, flaked
  • 1 cup thin cream or PHILADELPHIA cooking cream (low fat works too) 
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • squeeze lemon juice as desired
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 brown or red onion- finely diced
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • fresh parmesan cheese for garnish

Cook pasta in a pot of salted water, until al-dente- and set aside.
In a separate pan- add oil, minced garlic, onion and chopped asparagus. Lightly fry for approx 5 minutes.
Add cream, lemon zest and tuna.
Toss pasta through the sauce
Add a small squeeze of lemon juice and a generous shaving of fresh parmesan cheese. Salt & pepper to taste.