Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A quilt finish

I have a finish!  I saw a picture once of a quilt that looked something like this. However, I'm relying on my memory so maybe it didn't look like this at all!

This is the quilt that I've been practicing spirals on. All of the fabric is from my stash; most pieces are from my scrap drawers.

The outer (green) border is quilted in Paisley and the inner (blue) border is just a squiggly line with loops. 

The backing is a dark beige with flecks of green, red, and blue. It looks really dark here. Photos were inside on this rainy day.

This quilt is about 54" square and will be donated.

I am quilting another quilt - I have to get in my 15 minutes of practice a day. I think my skill which was never great is slowly returning.

Monday, August 29, 2016

A couple of knitting finishes and more

I've been keeping busy and I just don't seem to get around to blogging! 

There's been lots of dehydrating: onions, potatoes, dill, cucumbers, zucchini, bananas, brown rice, tomatoes, more tomatoes, and whatever else I find.  I will use many of the tomatoes for tomato powder and the zucchini for zucchini powder. The tomato powder can be reconstituted into tomato paste, sauce, puree, and juice. The zucchini powder will be used in smoothies. Some zucchini will be reconstituted for baked goods. I finally tried reconstituting bananas we've always just eaten the banana chips and it worked great for baking. 

I roasted some garlic and made garlic butter - roasted garlic mixed with butter, basil, and a little lemon juice. I also made one 'stick' with oregano instead of basil. Everything is mushed together then put into a block and it's stored in the freezer. It's pretty good! 

I've been playing with my new Instant Pot - some successes and some opportunities to improve. There is a learning curve and I am climbing it! The tapioca pudding was quite runny but good. The yogurt really didn't set up. I guess two opportunities to improve isn't too bad. Everything else I've tried has been great.

I finished a scarf that I began knitting a while ago. It's made with Zauberball; I love the color and the pattern Girl's Best Friend.

I'll wear this around my neck as a scarf not a shawl. It should look great with a dark shirt.

I bought some Wooly Wonka yarn; the color is White Birch. I thought it would be great to use with some other yarn for socks. Well, it wound up loosely and then I decided to use it from both ends. What was I thinking??? I ended up with a mess! 

I cleaned up the tangled mess it took a while. The socks are now done and they look great. I used the leftovers from my Baddeck Socks and the leftovers from my scarf (above). The socks match except for the foot part.  I was hoping to get the tops to match so I'm happy. I used Dorothy's Slip Stitch Spiral Knit Socks pattern.

I have been quilting for 15 minutes most days and will have a finish soon. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Free Motion Quilting

I am doing at least 15 minutes of free motion quilting every day.  I really need the practice. 

I began quilting a quilt - recall the spirals are wonky. I want to watch the Olympics so I am only quilting a few minutes a day.

My stitches are becoming more even.

And the some spirals are getting better!

By the time I have this quilted, maybe I'll be back in the groove. In the meantime, I hope you are enjoying the Olympics.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Christmas in July or August...

I made this Christmas table runner in April and then it just patiently waited to be sandwiched and quilted. One would think it could have been finished in July but I'll take August! I decided that I had not done any free motion quilting since April and I really needed some practice so this would be perfect.

It's about 12 1/2" by 33" but for some reason it took two pictures to include the whole thing.

The top is made from some scrap batiks. The backing is a scrap of beige cotton.  I decided to quilt the paisley pattern - it is well ingrained in my mind. Don't look too close - there are lots of uneven stitches.

Here's a close up of the front.

A few other things:

The Prism Quilt is pieced!

I began free motion quilting a quilt today with spirals - I'm thinking I'll call them wonky spirals.

Have you every made a stir fry using orange juice and cornstarch? As I cooked the veggies and meat, I used a little chicken stock and soy sauce (Bragg's liquid aminos) and then when things were close to being done, I added the OJ thickened with cornstarch. So far we've had this with chicken and with shrimp. The friend who suggested it has also used it with pork.

My poison ivy is improving. The doctor gave me new meds on Thursday and at last, I can see some real improvement. Hopefully I'll be my normal self soon!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Kaffe Fassett top has borders

Remember my Kaffe Fassett top?
Unpressed top
It has borders! I wasn't sure what to do because I have very little fabric K. Fassett fabric, that is and I really wanted to finish this top. I had a fat quarter of orange so I made that work for the inner border and then I had just a yard of the purple that I used for the outer border.
Still not pressed well!

The 'plain' blue in the quilt - the secondary square and the center squares - isn't a Kaffe Fasset fabric. It is a hand dyed piece that I bought at Delve in Cedar Rapids, IA. It will probably be the binding also.

The quilt is about 73" square and I love it. Now I just need to decide what will go on the back - that might be a shopping trip.

It's been a busy day here - we picked up some major produce yesterday- a little at a farmer's market and lots at my favorite produce farm. 

The dehydrator has been running since last night. I know it's really hot out. I dried cucumbers and tomatoes last night. Today I did tomato puree. I want plenty of dried tomatoes so I will have tomato powder all year.  I'll do more next week.
Tomato puree
I also cooked onions in a slow cooker all day today to make dehydrated "fried" onion rings. They will go in the dehydrator in the morning with the rest of the onions which I diced in the Vitamix. Today the slow cooker was out on the screened porch; tomorrow, the dehydrator will be out on there.
Onions cooking down in slow cooker The slow cooker was full 10 hours earlier.
And we got some fresh peaches so I made some hand pies and peach cobbler. 
Peach hand pies. The prettier ones were frozen for later.
I froze some of the sweet corn and the yellow beans. Whew!

I love fresh produce, especially when it is organic. It's well worth a few day's work to enjoy it all year.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Baddeck Socks or Baadeck Socks

My Baddeck Socks are done! I bought the yarn at Baadeck Yarns in Baddeck, Nova Scotia in June. I thought it was only fitting to name these My Baddeck Socks or should I call them My Baadeck Socks?

I love the yarn - Turtlepurl Yarns Striped softshell turtle toes. The skein came in two pieces so I could easily make matching socks. The name of my color is What does it Mean? My socks are super soft.  

I used Ann Norling's Adult Basic Sock pattern. I probably won't use the pattern again as there are other patterns that I like better.

One thing I learned from the owner of Baadeck Yarns is to knit the first row in top down socks. I have always started the ribbing immediately. Knitting the first row is easier and the socks look and feel better.

Quilting - I'm making progress on the two tops I began at the retreat.
Dehydrating - Cucumber chips are good!
Poison Ivy - It's still with me - seems to be a little more severe than I originally thought. The first steroid treatment will end tomorrow. I think it's improving but looks like I still have a ways to go...


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