Friday, September 19, 2014

MY UFO List is Getting Short!

I started the year with 16 unfinished quilts and I'm down to 5. I'm sorely tempted to finish those 5 before I start any new projects, but there might be  a quilting law against that and the temptation to start something new is strong and squabbling with the temptation to finish these. I've only started one new quilt this year. The "begin something new" voice is getting loud.

I've got 2 finished quilts to share as soon as I can get photos taken.

My Granny Square Quilt is pieced and at the quilter's and the binding is made so I've taken it off of my working UFO list because I can.

And my Raw Edge Circle Quilt is at the quilter's too. That leaves 5.

1. One of the quilts is DH's wool quilt and I'm basting it today and getting ready to start hand quilting.

2. I've finished making these blocks:

 for this quilt:

 I'm currently working on the applique. All the letters are cut out and fused to the background, leaving only the stitching so that ought not to take too terribly long. I love this pattern from Shelly at Prairie Moon quilts and I think it'll be perfect in my entry way, which is also my mudroom - laundry room.

3. I don't even know if the Wild Horse Quilt can be considered a UFO. I cut off a piece of the focus fabric back along 2009 and began to piece together a border strip as a test to see whether I liked it or not and I did, but I ran out of fabric. I'm not working from a pattern - I'm just making this up as I go along, but I'm back to square one. I seemed to do that a lot when I first started making quilts. Today I'm thinking I just ought to go with coordinating pinwheel blocks in alternating rows with the horse fabric, another row of nine patches, and maybe add a pieced border.

4. This strippy scrap quilt is my leader-ender project.

5. This one just needs to be deconstructed and an entirely new plan made. I hadn't even made a quilt when I saw this fabric at the local quilt show and I decided then and there that I needed to learn to make quilts. This is an old Moda line called Portabello Market. Apparently I didn't think I needed a pattern either. Let's just cut here. Yeh, that looks good. And let's cut some squares and I'll just pull this a little tighter to make it fit since I cut it too short. :)

I still like the fabric, and somewhere along the line I found a layer cake:

but the 'Who Needs A Plan?' quilt needs a new plan.

And I've got a whole slew of new projects clamoring for a spot on a fresh new list.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Spice Snickerdoodles

I'm sharing another recipe I found on Pinterest because it's simply too good not to share. If you like soft cookies and pumpkin...the wait is over and if you don't, you are missing out. :) And if you don't like pumpkin pie, chances are, you will still love these. And no,  I don't like pumpkin pie. Is that un-American?

I'm telling you... these are Fall in a cookie.

I made these on Sunday evening and took them to work on Monday. Let's just say these made it to my favorite cook book immediately and I'll be making them again... tomorrow.

I didn't have any pumpkin pie spice so I made my own from here. It could not be easier:

Pumpkin Pie Spice

4 tablespoons  ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
4 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves

This recipe is from Shelly, over at Cookie and Cups

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs plus 1 yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups flour
  • Coating
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

How to Make
  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. In bowl of stand mixer cream butter and both sugars together for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in both egg and additional yolk into butter along with vanilla and beat until smooth, scraping the sides as necessary.
  4. Mix in Pumpkin Pie Spice, baking powder and salt until combined.
  5. Reduce speed on mixer to low and mix in flour until dough comes together.
  6. Chill dough for at least an hour.
  7. When ready to bake, line baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 375°
  8. Mix coating ingredients (light brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice) together in a bowl, set aside.
  9. Roll dough into large balls, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and then roll into the sugar/pumpkin pie spice mixture, coating completely.
  10. Bake for 7-8 minutes until cookies are lightly browned on the bottom. Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack to cool.

I did not use parchment paper and I baked mine for almost 15 minutes. I baked the first batch for the 8 minutes the recipe called for and they were not baked through. However, it might have helped if I had read the directions and baked them at 375° instead of  350° . :) 

I was skeptical about not using cream of tarter too. I've never seen a Snickerdoodle recipe without it, but fear not, you won't miss it. The recipe also states that this dough needs to be refrigerated for at least 1 hour. Don't skip this, otherwise the dough is too soft and you will fuss at it... and me, for not playing nice and refusing to shape itself into balls. Better yet, make the dough the night before.

I'm off to mix up another batch!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Change of Plans

We spent most of this past weekend prepping for a week of cow works. Yesterday was a busy day at the sale barn and then I planned on feeding the crew for 4 days, with a long day working the Horse Sale on Saturday. Our local quilt show is this weekend and I didn't see any way I was going to find time to even stick my head in the door.

Y'all already know that around here, our plans are often dictated by the weather and with a forecast like this:

our plans have changed. Thankfully, we cancelled before I loaded up with mountains of groceries. And we're praying that we actually get to put these to the test the next couple of days:

The county's been out for 3 weeks working on the road.

This is the first road we've ever lived on that was maintained. I made the maintenance crew a batch of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies last week. DH said they sure did brag on 'em, but I can't have people hanging around the ranch and not bake something for them.

So, with the change in plans, I have a bit of time to play:

I'm hoping to get the last 2 pieced borders on my Granny Square quilt and get a backing made for it today. And here's hoping the good Lord brings us a gully washer! I won't even complain if it's too wet to go to the quilt show!

Friday, September 5, 2014

A Friday Finish - Pony Tales Baby Quilt

A few weeks ago I finished up one of my oldest UFOs. I started this little quilt in 2010 - about a year after I started quilting. I discovered this pattern at a quilt show in Dimmit, TX and I knew I had to have it. Then the perfect fabric crossed my path in Lovington, NM and the cutting began.

I used this fun cow print for the backing:

 And I wish I had more of this sweet flowered print in my stash:

I'm hoarding the last yard. These were part of the 2009  "Wanna Be A Cowboy" line by Samantha Walker for Riley Blake.

This was my first attempt at hand applique and I didn't have a clue as to what I was doing. I remember thinking I had lost my mind, but that didn't keep me from moving forward. I also recall how long it took me to choose each and every piece and I didn't have much of a fabric stash at the time.

These little faces are just too sweet:

I found that I really enjoy hand applique, but its going to take lots of practice to neaten up those stitches:

The thought of quilting it terrified me so I took it to Jackie, who had become my new best friend. :) Alas, she did not offer custom quilting. She said she was hoping to pick that up eventually, but honestly, all of us quilters kept her so busy that she didn't have any extra time on her hands...until now.

Her daughter is a teacher and she quilts too. Sandra helps Jackie in the evenings and during the summer and this year they bought a second quilting machine, took classes, and they now offer custom quilting.

Through the years, she would mention this little quilt and I assured her that I didn't need it, but if she tired of having it hang around, she needn't keep it. She said no, she was looking forward to quilting it, and she took care to take it out and refold it often to keep it from becoming creased. She said that, often, customers would notice it and inquire about it.

When I started working at the Sale Barn, 3 of the gals also quilt and one of them was talking about taking a quilt to Jackie and how she saw the cutest quilt and she sure wished she could find the pattern. I laughed when she described it and said, "That's mine".

I told Jackie that they were more than welcome to practice on my quilt. I make them to use and do not need perfection. This was one of my first quilts anyway and my first attempt at applique and I told them both to just have fun with it.

And I think they did a wonderful job! Look at these darling little flowers

And I'm impressed with their first attempt at micro stippling. I've struggled with that. Look how cute this is!

Our horse crazy girl was still home when I picked it up and started working on the binding and she fell in love with it. She said I was not permitted to give it away. I had to keep it for when she had children and I told her that was the plan..the far, far away plan. :)

Its the smallest quilt I've ever made and at 36 x 42, I worried that it was too small, but it could be used  as a wall hanging in a nursery. Our girl kept insisting that babies are tiny and do not need excessively large quilts. I reminded her that they grow quickly and she piped up, "Well that just means you'll have to make them lots of quilts as they grow". I can do that. :)

So, I may not need it now, but I'm as tickled to have it back as I am sure Jackie is to be rid of it!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Passion For Books

I'm always reading a book. I'm a huge fan of libraries and I started reading aloud to the kids from the day they were born and we read aloud every day until they were well into their teenage years. And we read a lot of really incredible books through those years. I was passionate about finding good books for us to read and for the kids to devour under the covers in their own beds, in secret, far past their appointed bedtimes. They thought they were getting away with something and I just loved that they were becoming avid readers.

This is one of my very favorite photos from when they were young. We always had 'quiet time' after dinner. When they were little, they napped, but as they outgrew their naps, they read and sometimes I would peek in and find one had tiptoed out of their room and then I found them like this:

Quiet time still happens around here. :)

The kids were always busy being kids. Besides books, I was also passionate about letting them have a childhood filled with adventure and imagination and work ethic all rolled into one. They often left he house after breakfast and we only saw them when they were hungry...or 'starving' as they liked to say. One day our 5 yr old collapsed into his chair at the table and announced that he was 'utterly famished'. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out where he had heard that and then I came to the conclusion that it must have been from a book we had read.

Trips to town were always made more enjoyable when we carved out time for stops at a bookstore. Barnes and Nobles, used book stores, and libraries were always welcome destinations and eagerly sought out.

DH is also an avid reader although his reading interests do not include novels. He likes to read books like, "The Principals of Horseshoeing" or "Hashknife Cowboy", or "The Horn of the Hunter", or about history, biographies, and military special forces.

I just love a good book. I love biographies and books about real events in history because I think real people live fascinating lives and I am intrigued by history.  I enjoy a good novel too. I'm not a huge fan of best seller books or reading what the media deems as a best seller. But, once in a while, a couple will sneak in. Here's what I've been reading this summer.

I loved The Forgotten Garden:

I listened to The Homesman :


And The Book Thief

And Killing Lincoln


I also listened to The Light Between Oceans

And to Moloka'i :

I am currently reading  The Worst Hard Time on my Kindle

   And a while back, when I talked about books, y'all gave me lots of recommendations that made it to my  "Books to Read" list. I should be turning pages for a long time!

Looking back at this list, I think I am ready for some light reading. These titles dealt with some serious issues and it's time for something a little more carefree. A dear friend just recommended a series of books by Susan Whittig Albert. They are about a big city lawyer who left the rat race and moved to a small town in central, Texas. My friend - thank you T - said they reminded her of me. The author mentions Wimberley in her author's note so I couldn't resist.

I checked our library's collection and they have the entire collection in their SW section, so I brought the first one home:

Mrs. Albert has also written this book:

which caught my eye immediately and is next on my list.As well as this book, recommended by one of my readers:

As much as I love my Kindle and listening to audio books when I drive to Texas or walk, there is just nothing that compares to the feel of an honest to goodness real book in your hands.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...