Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Long Johns on the Line!

Recently I had the pleasure of another Supreme Testing Job for Stephanie at Loft Creations.  When she told me the name of the quilt, Long Johns, I raised an eyebrow!  Once I saw the directions, though, it couldn't have been clearer!  
Check it out!  The pattern uses a layer cake and is very clever, if you ask me!  I wanted to make it a little larger, so with Stephanie's blessing, I added a border.  I used a layer cake of Twiggy by Sanae for Moda that I've had for quite a few years.  I also happened to have some yardage of this fabric for the border, backing and binding.  I really like how it turned out!  Do any of you have childhood memories of a family member's long johns hanging on the line?  I sure do!  I guess that makes me a "woman of a certain age" but Mr. Squash tells me I am quite well preserved (wink)!
Here is is a little closer.  If was a fun and easy quilt to make and went together very quickly.  You can purchase the PDF for the pattern right now HERE.  Unfortunately I haven't been able to quilt it just yet.  Gracie May likes to jump up on my longarm table, so I've been hesitant to start anything until she gets a bit older.
I've been busy in the kitchen as well.  I've gathered a lot of wonderful recipes from some of my favorite food blogs, lately.  This one is Pear Gingerbread Crumb Cake from Sue at The View From Great Island.  I can't tell you how many of her recipes I've made and they always turn out great!

I also made another of Sue's recipes - House Made Green Tabasco Sauce.  Now that I see the photo I probably should have shaken it up a bit.  My jalapeno crop this year is phenomenal, so I thought this would make good use of it!  We just love green Tabasco sauce!  I'll order a pizza just so I can use the sauce!  It wasn't difficult to make, either, and Sue's instructions are very good!
Yesterday I made Spiced Peach Preserves from my friend Karen at Short Story Long.  Wow - is it ever wonderful!  There was a little left that was too small for a whole jar.  Mr. Squash and I made short work of it!  I just love this time of year when there is so much fresh fruit and vegetables to make magic with!

Speaking of Gracie May, we picked her up this morning from an overnighter at the vet. She was spayed yesterday but you'd never know it.  She seems as happy and rambunctious as ever!  Now the tough part will be keeping her semi-quiet for the next 2 weeks!  I think we need a lot of luck for that!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Our Very Own Barn Quilt and a Treeless Apple!

We're back home from our trip.  We returned home a day early on Friday.  Unfortunately the weather turned way south on us - rain and clouds, so we really didn't want to go fishing.  But we did manage to amuse ourselves - more about that in a bit.

A very large package and two very happy kitties greeted us as soon as we got in the door.  After loving Sasha and Gracie May, we tore into the package.  We had eagerly awaited its arrival all week only to find out it would be delivered while we were gone!  Our first Barn Quilt!  Isn't it pretty?  It's called a Wyoming Valley block.  I'd never heard of it until now.  I loved that it has some of the green in our house!  I got it from a wonderful Etsy seller HERE.
Sherry is very talented and a really nice person!  I don't think this will be the only barn quilt we order from her!  I can think of at least two other spots on the house itself that are just screaming for another barn quilt!  Do check out Sherry's Etsy site!  You'll find loads of designs for a very reasonable price!

 A treeless apple you say?  Yup!  I've gone over to the "dark side".  Since fishing in the rain wasn't any fun, we decided to spend a day wandering around University Village in Seattle.  My little Netbook that I've had for years and years was on it's last legs.  I'd heard about the new MacBook Air and thought it might be a perfect replacement.  
 I thought being a die-hard PC fan from nearly the beginning of PC's (1980's) that this would be a very difficult decision for me.  One look in the Apple store and I was sold.  This little beauty only weighs 2 pounds and has an 11 inch screen, but is oh, so powerful.
Check out how slim the profile is!  I measured the back when the top is closed and it's only 3/8"!  It didn't take me long to get used to the operating system, either.  Having Mr. Squash's old iPad helped some, but even without that knowledge I would have been up and running in no time at all.  I suspect in short order I'll be ditching all my other portable computer gadgets!

On our way home we stopped at an orchard we've been wanting to visit.  We came home with loads of apples and peaches.  Let the baking begin!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Harvest Begins.....

Mr. Squash and I are getting ready to leave town for a few days later this morning.  I though I'd better pick some tomatoes and other things before we go.  Usually we ask our pet nanny, who is more than happy to do it while we're gone.  With two cats on her hands now, we thought it best to have her spend all her time with them this trip instead.

I was not prepared for what I found in the garden!  All of a sudden the tomatoes have gone wild!  With 6 plants, it's hard to keep up with them even when they're ripening just here and there.  I think all the heat and dry weather we've had has given them a massive growth spurt!  In front are the last of the blueberries Mr. Squash picked this morning.  You can see just a bit of a very large zucchini poking out below.  The jalapeno crop is enormous - I was shocked at how many were ready to pick.
Speaking of things gone wild, Gracie May popped in to see what was going on while I was taking photos!  She knows she is not supposed to be on the kitchen counter.  Lots of times I'll be working on the other side with my back to this part of the counter.  I'll turn around and find Gracie May sleeping here!  Mr. Squash calls her a little Chortek, which I think means devil in Polish!  That's putting it mildly, but we still love her!
Check out the rhubarb!  I cut it all the way down and it just comes right back - kind of like the Energizer Bunny!  It will probably keep producing right up to the first frost!
We planted some 45 day cabbage in late June.  It lived up to it's name and produces wonderful heads of sweet cabbage!  We love to make coleslaw with it.  When we return from our trip I might just make Golumpki (Polish Stuffed Cabbage).

Hopefully we'll be back on Saturday with some fish tales!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Quick as a Squirrel Finish!

I recently got another Sweet Stitches Block of the Month in the mail.  This one is called Little Acorns.

I don't think I had it in the house for more than 10 days or so and have already finished it!  Now that's my kind of BOM!  I love anything to do with squirrels and this once is definitely a cutie!
Many of you have asked about the colorful bits in amongst the stitching.  These are little iron on appliques that are included with each month.  They are prints of original watercolors by Kathy Schmitz.  You can still order these HERE.  I get mine from Shabby Fabrics, but I don't think they offer them any longer.
Soon we'll be seeing squirrels picking up acorns all over town.  I love finding and picking up whole acorns on my walks around town.  Until we got Gracie May, I kept them in a little vintage wooden bowl on the counter.  One day I found Gracie May chasing something very small around on the floor.  Turns out she had raided the bowl of acorns and they were all over the house!  Silly kitten.  She keeps us on our toes, but between her and Sasha they provide us hours of entertainment and love!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Dressed to Cook!

A while back I mentioned I helped out the local economy at the Quilted Strait in Port Gamble.
I just finished this adorable apron.  The pink gingham came from the Quilted Strait.  The apron print fabric was something a dear friend saw and thought I should order!  Was she ever right to send me that link!  I love the fabric and knew I had to make an apron with it!
The pattern is Sassy Little Apron by Cabbage Rose.  The buttons are vintage buttons also given to me by the same friend!  I had a lot of fun making this - it's quick and easy.

Many of you have asked about the colored designs on my Sweet Stitches BOM.  I can't respond to some of you because you come to me as noreply-comments.  This means your email is not attached to your comments.  They are iron-on appliques and are prints from Kathy Schmitz's original watercolors.

Next week Mr. Squash and I are off to the West side of the state for a few days.  We hope to fly fish some of our favorite fishing holes that we haven't visited since we retired!  Stay tuned for some fishing posts!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Blocks, Ducks and a Helper

In between herding cats and summertime activities, I've actually managed to fit in some sewing time!  Some of it I can show you, some of it is Supreme sewing that will be revealed at a later date.
Here is the next block from my Sweet Stitches BOM.  It's called Sunny Days.  I just love the Sunflower!
Here is what I've had so far.  You can see the blocks better if you click on the photo.  I can't believe I'm up to date with all of them.  This month's block came today and I'll get started on it right away.
The other day Mr. Squash and I drove to a lake up in the mountains that we've been wanting to see.  It's called Jubilee Lake.  We took the paved road, but it can also be reached by driving up forest service roads from another side of town.  Since riding in Mr. Squash's Jeep is tough on my back, we decided to take a picnic and go the easy way.  It was somewhat cloudy, but also hazy from forest fires around the state.
We found a nice picnic table and set up lunch, only to be joined by this little family of ducks!  They must be really used to people as they got very close to us!
This is just how close they were.  The duck in front even reached out and tried to nibble my toe!  One of the ducks had either a hurt or a deformed leg, so being the softies we are, we broke up an apple into tiny pieces and fed them all - trying to aim for the hurt duck so she wasn't left out!
I have more sewing helpers than ever before now.  Here is Gracie May lending a hand.  She just fits on top of my machine!  Pretty soon, though, I think she'll weigh more than the machine!