Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to you and yours. I hope the Easter Bunny visited and dropped off a pretty basket filled with goodies. If not, all that Easter finery will be on clearance tomorrow, go get you some. Continuing my paper piecing frenzy, I found a little carrot to sew.

I had to make a little "Flat Sally" for a certain little girl. I'm sure her Easter basket(s) will be brimming with candy and toys, but I wanted to tuck in a little homemade something. She'll probably try to eat it.

I had way too much time on my hands Friday and decided to try to make homemade Peeps from a recipe in the newspaper. College Boy was home and even helped me pipe the birds. First, you boil sugar and water to 245 degrees. I get sweaty when I break out my candy thermometer. Me and candy making, not so much. I've sacrificed many pounds of sugar over the years trying to make candy. I have stories.

After your mixture is hot enough to melt lava, you beat that screeching hot liquid with gelatin. Look at that mixer go. It takes about 5-6 minutes and voila, you have homemade marshmallows. And a sink full of sticky dishes and utensils. What a mess. :( This stuff hardens quickly, so you have to work fast.

We piped bird-like blobs and dusted them in colored sugar. I didn't taste them, but the kids say they taste nothing like Peeps. Preservatives must add that distinctive Peep flavor. I was going to use them as decoration for an Easter dessert, but they may just become a topic of conversation. I'm going to put melted chocolate some eyes on a few, pry them off the parchment paper, throw them on a plate and call it a day.

Luckily, you can't mess up deviled eggs. Well, unless you put sweet pickle relish in them. Ha! Just kidding, but we like them sans sweet. I tried making a few look like little chicks with triangle carrot beaks, olive eyes and parsley combs.

We're having a crab boil for Easter dinner. My favorite! I think someone is doing a ham, but crabs are the main course. My mom is making her potato salad and I also made a chocolate eclair dessert. I can't wait to see the spread. Potlucks are so fun.

Friday, March 29, 2013


I normally roast a whole chicken every Sunday for our family dinner. The leftover chicken is used for a second meal and I make stock from the bones and vegetables. I also made buttermilk biscuits Sunday and needed to find a way to get rid of those. With the homemade stock, lots of vegetables, leftover chicken and biscuits I threw together a chicken pot pie.

Finished my little Easter basket mug rug. It's about 5.25" x 7.25". I love working on miniature quilts and small sewing projects. It's fun to finish something.

Speaking of mini quilts, my name tag measures 4" x 3.5". I couldn't figure out how to put a neck strap on it, so I guess I'll just use a safety pin.

Look at this idiot lizard still in my studio. I keep hearing rustling and occasionally he pops out and startles me. I think he's losing color, he looks sickly. I wish he would follow me outside. Maybe when it gets warmer. They never survive inside.

Scrappy Trips is done. There was plenty of backing fabric, so I used a self binding method. Works like a charm and should be sturdy since it's machine sewn.

I was still in log cabin mode yesterday. The citrus colors of the squash blossom block inspired this mug rug.
Love this Angry Bird paper pieced block. I might turn him into a pouch. It's fun to find interesting paper piecing patterns. Let's see what kind of work I can avoid today. ;)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Working Hard

So many fun distractions today. I saw this Squash Blossom block by Bloomin' Workshop this morning and couldn't get it out of my head. 51 pieces later I got her done. Now I want cheese stuffed squash blossoms. I've never had them, but they sound delicious.

Instead of decadent cheese and squash blossoms, I made soup for lunch. It's been chilly this week, plus I had homemade chicken broth I needed to use. I found the inspiration for this recipe in a magazine and gave it a try. Here's my version:

Kill the Limas* Soup

1 bag frozen succotash (nasty baby plastic green lima beans and corn)
1 bag frozen broccoli
spices (salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, garlic and onion powders)
chicken or vegetable stock to cover veggies

Bring to a boil and then let simmer 15-20 minutes (kill those lima beans). Cool slightly and use an immersion blender or food processor to puree. Leave some chunks.

*I am not fond of frozen baby green lima beans. It's a texture thing. The taste is great, but the tough skin and mealy insides have never appealed to me.

My new Liberty Love book has a great pincushion pattern. Too bad I don't have many Liberty fabrics, but I do have lots of scraps. Lots and lots of scraps.
I need to find a home for this. I'm currently flush with pincushions. I may even be a pincushion hoarder collector. It's about six inches square and filled with poly-fil. If you'd like it, leave a comment below. I'll chose a random winner if it comes to that. ;)

The last of my Madrona Road fabrics. I organized my scraps early this morning and unearthed them. So I made a pouch. I guess I better get some real job work done. It's almost quitting time!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Wrap Up

I finished my scrappy log cabin quilt. These blocks took a while, but they were fun and put a little dent in my stash of scraps. Just a little dent. I bought the quilting, but then I almost always buy the quilting. Not my forte. I'm not even sure I want that to be my forte. I enjoy piecing much better. Quilting makes me perspire.

Some of the blocks close-up. I dabble in quite a few novelty prints, don't I? I've always been a sucker for them. They're descriptive in an artistic way. Kind of like my real job of graphic design.

The pieced back. I have to say I'm getting a little better at figuring out the math for the backs of my quilts. Those calculus classes are paying off. That's what I tell my kids. They surpassed me in math years ago, but guess who they make decipher their income tax returns? I made each kiddo sit with me this year as we filed. I plan to "retire" from that chore next tax season. I will still push savings accounts, home ownership, the stock market, CDs, diversifying, treasury bonds, retirement plans, etc.

All washed, crinkly, and wrapped up for Hollywood. She's never asked for a quilt, but she got one for her birthday anyway. I bought her a gift she really wanted while we were out shopping last month, but I wanted to have something to give her on her actual birthday. Her friends are impressed and I've had to text pictures of my wall o' fabric to her today to share with her friends. Apparently, I'm a phenomenon. Or weirdo. Sweet.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Time to Sew

Bunny Foo Foo
It's almost Easter, peeps. I found a funny bunny to whip up. He looks a bit deranged. Probably too much chocolate. I really miss assisting the Easter Bunny make Easter baskets. Kids grow up way too fast.

I made this Amish Cinnamon Bread yesterday after surfing Pinterest. My baby's birthday is today and she loves cinnamon coffee cake, so I thought she would like this. She's not much of a birthday cake girl. I normally don't eat sugar, but this bread is taunting me. Maybe I have a cinnamon deficiency.

We had a terrible storm yesterday afternoon. It was scary, but only lasted a bit. There are huge trees down and power outages in nearby communities. A poor little baby rat snake somehow got in the pool during the downpour. Inspector Gadget rescued him and put him out in the yard. First snake sighting of the season. Eek.

I was in a paper piecing mood the last few days. I'm attempting to make a name tag for our guild meetings. I let a six-year-old do the embroidery. Not really. And I just realized the machine is facing the wrong way.

And continuing an Easter theme, this little basket will probably be a mug rug. I'm still in a paper piecing mood, so I may tackle another pattern today if I have time. Happy Monday!

Linking up to Made by you Monday over at Skip to My Lou.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Why Hello Weekend

I used our leftover St. Patrick's Day corned beef to make this Reuben Quiche. The crust is toasted rye bread mixed with a bit of butter and shredded Swiss cheese. I thought it was better than pie crust, and I'm a pie crust lover. Even my quiche haters (everyone but me!) thought it was pretty good.

Procrastinating ripping off and re-sewing my Easy Street quilt borders, so I whipped up this cute little oven mitt. It was super easy and went together quickly. My machine struggled a bit on the thick layers, but I made it through.

I was procrastinating on this quilt top too. Shoofly blocks are kind of ho hum after making two or three. Most of the fabrics I used are Sandi Henderson's Farmer's Market. I threw some others in there for variety. I found a fun backing fabric and have enough of a striped print that I may use as binding. This baby is on it's way to Utah to get quilted.

Happy weekend. I hope to get some stuff done. Next week is Easter. I need to get ready for the Easter Bunny.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Rain Day

I couldn't resist this bee block by Lori Holt at Bee in My Bonnet. Lori hosted a row along and the blocks and rows for the quilt were so cute. This bee block is intended for the label on the quilt, but I just needed a little sewing sanity Monday morning.

This little mug rug is for a swap. I scaled way back on my swaps last year, but this one was a special request. Swapping is tons of fun and I love getting happy mail. I wish I had more time for it.

These Chicken Parmesan Meatballs were really good. They are easy to throw together and bake quickly in a hot oven. Perfect for leftover marinara sauce. I have big chicken parmigiana fans here, so I was wondering if these would fly. Sure was easier than pounding chicken breasts, breading and frying them. I usually bake them, but it's still kind of a process.

We are getting much needed rain today. I can even hear thunder. I love a rainy day. Bones is hiding under my desk. He's no fan of rainy days.

Monday, March 18, 2013

What a Crock

I've been pinning all kinds of things on Pinterest. My crock pot is getting a workout. I tried Greek Chicken Pitas and served them on warm onion pita with feta cheese, tomato, greens, pickled red onion, and tzatziki. I made hummus and burnt Cajun pita chips for an appetizer.

Mississippi Pot Roast was next up. I'm not sure why it's called Mississippi roast, but it was pretty good. I've made an Italian pot roast that was similar. The recipe called for a stick of butter, but I couldn't do it. That's butter waste. ;) I also used beef broth instead of the au jus package. You can see how much fat was in the finished cooking liquid. I threw some carrots, onion, and celery on top of the roast the last hour. The de-fatted cooking liquid was thickened and used for gravy on rice. Come to think of it, my friend's parents were from Mississippi and they cooked a pot roast and rice every Sunday. It cooked while we were at church and I was always invited to lunch

Since it was Pi Day (3-14), I made a blackberry pie. The pot roast and pie were made special for College Boy, who is usually at work when we eat. I knew he'd be home, so I made his favorite things.

For St. Patrick's Day, I threw this Guinness Glazed Corned Beef into the crock pot. The glaze was really good and a nice change from the usual boiled corned beef dinner. I never bought cabbage, so I made Reuben sandwiches instead. I'm going to miss the convenience of crock pot cooking this week. It gave me some extra goof off time.

This sand hill crane hung out in my yard all day Friday. When he wasn't warming himself in our dead crab grass, he was on his feet squawking or following me to the mailbox. They normally travel in pairs, but I think his mate got lost or killed. I have no idea why he thought she was in my house. For a minute I thought she might have got trapped in the garage. Wouldn't that be exciting?

Saturday's Sew Day was a blast as usual. We had a big group of quilters working on tons of fun projects, including 23 adorable pillowcases for Nemours Children's Hospital. Here's my owl one. I hope those big eyes don't keep someone awake! OvO

I also took advantage of the huge space we have at the library and attempted to lay out my Easy Street Mystery quilt. This sucker is huge. Turns out, I was short four blocks. :( I wondered why I had so many extra pieces! Good thing I kept them. I was able to sew three diagonal rows together at Sew Day and start piecing the blocks I needed.

Tada! Everything is put together and pressed. The top measures 86" square and I'm attempting to add borders now. The first border didn't fit correctly, so I need to tackle that today. Or just wad up the top and put it in a box. I believe this quilt has 2,181 pieces. Gah! I really prefer making smaller quilts. I had to sweep my back porch to get a picture and measure for borders.

P.S. I'm moderating comments for a bit because apparently the spammers like to make me blush. Usually Blogger catches spam comments, but recently I've had some "spicy" ones published. I hope you didn't see them before I deleted them. I blame my racy headlines. That's crock, spammers! Stay away from my blog.

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