I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, July 23, 2021

Mid-Summer Quilt Progress

 Hello hello! This was on my weather feed most of this week: "There will be mostly sunny skies. The high of 84 will be carried in on some breeze." 

What a perfect description of a perfect summer afternoon. It's just past mid-July! So if your summer is June through August, summer is halfway over! [get out your pumpkins , ladies! We start Christmas right after Labor Day! (not).]  Here summer begins on the Fourth of July and runs through late September, maybe even to Columbus Day [or the poor thing's current iteration Day]. The days are sunny and breezy, not too hot this year. The bad news is the Big Trucks have invaded, trying to fix the ongoing flooding, making it hard and scary to get to the beach on weekdays. And the dirt and noise are rather spoiling our deck days too. But I persevere, of course.

Fall Pineapple:

In the end I went with the festive gold coin dot on grey grunge for the ground.

This time I even remembered to do a grey-tone image to check value and contrast. Not that I pay much attention to my results---as you can see I used the low contrast but brilliantly awful green for the stem star and leaves.

Next week we'll audition the corners' fabric. I have two good plaids but they don't really sing to me.


Silent Night Is HUGE! Luckily I just happened to spread it out on my queen sized bed, planning the Tree placements.

It will have to lose a vertical row of stars on the left:

As well as the already planned removal of one or two rows of stars at the top.

Very glad I didn't spend all winter making the second batch of stars. I have a note, 3 years ago!, I needed 11 more or 15 if I did the full length. That is 44 or 60 Flying Geese blocks! not as easy peasy as it sounds. Plus they're all the same and rather ugly. [the blue is too dark].

Here is how I will narrow those down. 

Plenty of room for the trees and doggy; the sled baby was always going to be above left on the border if I use her. 

Earlier this week I removed the excess stars and border, next up is needle turn appliqueing the trees.

I haven't chosen a color for Kitty my feral sweetheart, who in real life is all black, but won't show up. Maybe grey for Stripey, her ex mate, and my childhood tabby toms, Pixie and Charlie.  Doggy will of course be Mo a pug.


Lately I've been a bit despondent and when I'm sad I shop! Maybe should not, but it really does cheer me up and so much more fun than say, a therapist, lol. I think I have mentioned this wonderful online fabric shop before, 1000s of Bolts .HERE

Almost all the fabrics are $5.39 a yard. Quite a bargain, when most quilt cotton fabrics are pushing $11.00 a yard. The web site is easy to browse and fun. The thumbnails are small but when you open a pattern's listing, there's good information and a function to click and see a very enlarged view of the fabric. Many TQC Bygone Browns are there, for example, as well as some of TQC  Special Scraps line. And many more, all from reputable, well known manufacturers. Even if you do not like choosing a random refresher for your stash, this site is a fabulous source for yardage for quilt backs and border yardage..

[the blues and teal didn't photo true to color. Best view is the stack top of post.}

below, actually a beautiful faded turquoise.

This is an odd worm/ vermicelli/ seaweed. In some lights it looks lavender [its stated color], in most lights it looks puce tinged brown. "fugitive lavender"? Many mid 19th century quilts have a lot of faded browns that were once mourning lavenders or purples. Half-mourning I think, year two. It was a weird fashion fad.

Love this chrome yellow, even though the scale is a bit oversized. Quilt back!

Great pink, also could be for a quilt back.

Modern and so cute: sewing tomatoes , but the look of a traditional conversational shirting.

Autumn-y cheddars, with picotage.

below in top right corner, a wonderful small true cedar with a tiny motif, 
and another, not shown, TQC's Special Scraps cheddar.

French Proven├žal style, again a bit large but I like it. The red could work as a 19th century turkey red. The blue is actually a deep cobalt sky blue.

There is a one yard minimum and at 5.39 a yard, that's not a problem. I probably will go back to order yardage for backings. The stock changes fairly quickly. If you like it buy it when you see it.

So fun! Beautifully folded and packed, unlike the linen from Fabric.com which arrived in a wrinkly wad.


I do gravitate to brights! Here are my little posies of the past few weeks, cut form my Cut and Come Again pot of zinnias.

Each flower is different and so adorably old fashioned.

This week I added the cut field roses 4.99 to my food delivery. I asked for ''any color except red", not a  fan of red romantic roses. Look what the shopper chose! I was in heaven. Made a summer display w more zinnias in a found seaglass jar.


Mo is home from his sleepaway vacation. He was very miffed with me. And exhausted!

He sulked for three days but is improving now. In his defense, on his way home he had to go to the vet for his annual checkup and vaccinations.  And I understand why he would feel betrayed, poor darling.

Looks like a great weekend ahead! Have fun. Also full moon tonight, be sure to take a look. The moon is actually a brilliant red-orange but the camera washes the color out. Color is caused by the forest fire smoke out west, we are told.



gone to the beach......

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Something for the Weekend

Hi everyone! I woke up today, on what was touted as the hottest day of the year so  far---to a blank clock, blank computer screen, motionless fans. Yep, power was out again. Not quite as bad as last winter when the power died on the coldest windiest night. But nasty. 94 % humidity, everything feels damp and soggy. I don't know why the sudden ceasing of power wakes me up---the subtle electronic hum is gone?

It is back on now.

Anyway, we haven't cooked for awhile. Today's recipe is a warm ancient grains salad, inspired by this article: here

My version is quinoa and farro, both so called ancient grains that are high in protein, with complex [good] carbs and fiber, with goat cheese and lemon vinaigtrette.

Farro Quinoa Salad with Warm Squash and Goat Cheese

Both quinoa and farro can be tricky to cook and many have instructions that make copious amounts of the grains. I like to use these bagged, 90 minute fast prep versions instead of making my own. The quantity is just right about 1 2/3 cups in each bag. The grains come out nice and chewy, al dente not mushy.

You can use any grains you like but this is best with one of the grains being larger and toothsome, farro, spelt, buckwheat, barley, brown rice.

While the bags are microwaving, keeping the kitchen cool, make a light lemon juice,olive oil, garlic dressing. I add lots of fresh black pepper, tarragon, parsley [fresh or dry]. Pinch of sugar, pinch of salt. Some grated parm.  Whisk well. White balsamic vinegar is fine too if you don't have lemons.

Add the warm grains to the dressing and toss, fluffing the grains with a fork. Cover and let sit at room temp while you bake 2 to three C of 1" cubed butternut squash. [thereby ruining efforts to keep the house cool, oh well]. To bake the squash, lightly toss with olive oil, bake 400* for about 20 minutes, test for softness w a fork.

When the squash is cooked, remove from oven and set aside while you dice sweet or red onion to taste [2T] and a generous handful of sliced cherry tomatoes. 

Gently toss with the grains and a small container of crumbled goat cheese [or feta, bleu, or parm]. 

Add the warm squash, toss gently. Serve warm or room temperature, alone or as a side with chicken or steak or kebabs.

I added a diced avocado, optional. This tastes good but the avocado should be added separately when serving, especially if you plan to reheat the dish or make extra for snacking and light meals the next day, as avocado doesn't heat well and it becomes gloppy and dark in a few hours.

As always with my recipes you can change things up and add whatever was fresh from the farmers market that morning---sliced radishes, diced peppers, cucumber, arugula. Corn off the cob, saved from last night's BBQ. Different herbs?

Have fun.

The bagged grains are available in most supermarkets, with the fast cook rice. Also I found similar online at Walmart and Target. Or be creative..my mom always made double recipes of her classic rice pilaf and made a similar Rice Salad with the leftovers then next day/


Mo is still at sleepaway camp.

The house seems so empty without him. My friends have really good AC, but he is suffering from the heat. He had the special treat this morning of the spa van coming to give him a cool bath. I'm sure he'd prefer ice cream!

Next recipe, if I get to the farmers market! Apricot Crostata, yum yum, here  **You may recall me making similar rustic tarts galled galettes. Here is  the explanation of the two names for the same food. "A galette and a crostata are essentially the same thing (one French, one Italian). Crostatas and galettes are typically free-form and rustic, with the dough edges folded up around the filling, which can be savory or sweet.



gone to the beach