Monday, June 25, 2012

Wringer Washer Finish and Baking!

I finished Stephanie's Wringer Washer, finally!  If you remember, I was making it out of one of my favorite lines, Blueberry Crumbcake by Blackbird Designs for Moda.  I enjoyed every aspect of working with this fabric!  

Our weather has been a bit on the cool and wet side, lately, so forgive the absence of sunshine!  This pattern was fun and easy to make!  Since the pattern is called Wringer Washer, I thought why not quilt it with Bubbles, and I did!  I used a pantograph from Patricia Ritter called Double Bubble.  My mother actually had a wringer washer when I was a teenager.  She eventually got a top loader but kept on using the wringer washer until if finally gave out because she thought it cleaned laundry so much better!  
You might be able to get a better look at the quilting by clicking on the photo.  I used a So Fine thread on top and a magnetic bobbin from Fil-Tec on the bottom - they're the best - perfect tension every time!
For the backing I found this coordinating fabric from Benartex called Normandy Court by Michele D'Amore.
What else have I been doing, you ask?  I decided to try my hand at homemade cinnamon rolls.  I found this recipe from Jenny at the Picky Palate.  It worked perfectly, too!  It even has cream cheese frosting - Mr. Squash's favorite.  I have a feeling this will become a staple at the Squash House along with more exercise!
My front window box is filling in nicely.  This year I went with mostly foliage aside from the two fuchsias on either end.  This area is on the north side of the house and doesn't get much sunshine.  I really like the way it's beginning to look!

With any luck, we'll be fly fishing for the first time this season as you read this!  Hopefully I'll have a report on that in a day or two!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Strawberry Fields Forever

I loved the Beatles as a teenager -- still do!  How can we forget those psychedelic lyrics!  Whenever strawberry season is on, I find myself humming those lyrics to myself frequently.  This year while humming them I decided to make strawberry freezer jam! 
Our local grower has these wonderful, just picked, washed and cleaned buckets of strawberries, which really makes the job go fast!  The few extra dollars we spend on this is well worth the extra time gained for sewing or fly fishing or working in the garden.
It's so simple that I decided to show you.  I buy these packets of no cook freezer jam.  All you do is add a cup and a half of sugar.
Whisk together the sugar and jam mix.
Crush enough strawberries to make four cups.  I use my trusty, years old potato masher, but I suppose you could also do this in your food processor.  If you're using the potato masher, a flat bottom bowl makes it much easier.
Stir the crushed strawberries into the sugar and pectin mix and continue stirring for 3 minutes.
Ladle the jam into clean jars, place lids on and freeze for up to a year.  It also keeps in the fridge for about 3 weeks.  I got five, half-pint jars from one package and repeated this twice more for 15 jars!
Some of you have emailed and asked about Sophie and Sugar.  This has been Sophie's cocoon for some time now.  Not only does she like to be covered with her baby blanket, she is sleeping on top of a heated bed!  Our old girl really knows how to live!  I suspect her old bones feel really good with all the heat.
This is Sugar in the mornings outside.  Notice how the white hair on her face forms a pyramid?  She and I are on again and off again buddies.  If I do anything like brush her or wipe her eyes, she hides from me for days and we have to start the trust process all over again!  She's gotten very territorial with the yard, though, so we're sure she considers us as her permanent home now.

Next post I'll actually have a quilt finish to show you!