Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Special Delivery

Not only did the good Lord choose a great guy as my partner in this life, but He also threw in some pretty cool in-laws. On Friday they stopped by and dropped off 3 quilt ladders that my FIL made


along with a box of mountain Jonathon apples:


So, I'm back in the kitchen peeling and chopping and slicing:


We'll soon be munching on dried apples - a favorite treat


Some will also find their way into the deep freeze for future apple pies and crisps and others will be cooked down for applesauce, but the first 2 were today's dessert. It's hard to beat a good bakes apple on a cool Fall day:


There were no words...only murmurs of delight and sighs of contentment. Hopefully I'll find some time in the sewing room this week. After all, those wonderful quilt ladders really ought to be filled!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Week 2

We're in the middle of our 2nd week of Fall Cow Works. 6 days. Breakfast at 5. Alarm set for 3:30. I've intended to write a post all week and now it's already Friday. Nights have been short and days have been long, but we're getting there. At this point, we're running on empty.  We're putting out lots of hay in the pens:


While DH runs the tractor,



I cut the twine



and Skeet supervises:


The boys have been spending their days gathering pastures, weaning off calves, hauling them to the pens, and running them through the chute - where they receive a vaccination and are treated with Cydectin before being sorted:


The pens are filling up with freshly weaned calves:


As for me, I've been spending my days in the kitchen.


On Monday I left Taco Soup in the crock-pot, Fritos, grated cheese - corn - and cookies for dessert before I headed off to work at the sale barn. I took the BQ5 quilt to Jackie after work before heading home. I cleaned the kitchen, took a shower, and hit the hay. Long day.

But after breakfast and dinner, a few preparations for the next day, a trot with Skeet, I was hoping to sneak in a few stitches, but I've yet to darken the doorway of my sewing room. That doesn't mean I'm not thinking about it though. If you're a quilter, you get that.

I saw this quilt last week:


And I immediately made a beeline for my scrap basket. I didn't see a pattern, but it looks simple enough. I dug out some scraps from a quilt I made back in 2012. That's a long time to be stuck in the bottom of a scrap bucket. I just wanted to make the best use out of what I had and that happened to be 3 1/2" chunks. So I made a few blocks over the weekend



And laid them out:


I really like this little pattern and I think I have enough to make a baby quilt...one stitch at a time...between batches of bread dough and dishes.

                                      

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

New Quilt Project

Recently our son asked me if I would make a quilt for his girl. He said she would really love one and that it would be the best gift she ever got. It made me happy that he asked and that the kids appreciate a handmade quilt. I wanted some direction, but the only help I got was that she loves horses and turquoise. So, the search was on. I settled on this fabric:


Sent a photo of it to our boy and received a 2 thumbs up. Next step: choose a pattern. Oye! Often a sticking point for me. I knew I wanted something with a modern flair and a little pizzazz and I probably looked at 10,000 choices. I looked through everything I had. A friend lent me her idea binder. I Googled. I Pinterest-ed. I Flicker-ed. And I settled on this pattern:


  It's a version of a BQ pattern...BQ5. You can see it here: BQ5
I dug through my stash, but was unable to come up with anything suitable although I did find this crackle background.

                      

 I looked in town and found this turquoise:

                      

It's called Shadow Play by Maywood Studios. The pattern arrived on Monday:


 I cut it out this morning

                             

and blocks are coming together quickly:

                             

Next time one of us has to go to town,  I'll swing by Jackie's and dropped it off to get it in line for her Christmas quilting run.

I have quite a bit of the main print left and am contemplating a second quilt. Before I had chosen a pattern, I ordered a few pieces, hoping they would coordinate. Shopping for fabric online when you are trying to match something is always a gamble, but I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived:

                        

I chose 3 Grunge fabrics and they could not be more perfect. I also have this arrowhead fabric in the top left corner of this next shot. It's not from the same line, but it has all the same colors - I won't use it in this quilt, but I'll add it to the next one:

                      


For now, I had better finish piecing this top!

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Twice Baked Potato Heaven

I made this dish for my cowboy crew on Tuesday and realized I hadn't shared it with ya'll. I've never met a potato I didn't like and my waistline can attest to that. I have cut back on them a lot, but I will bring out the good stuff for family gatherings, holidays, and my boys, aka: the crew...and ya'll.



I think this recipe came from a magazine...probably a Taste of Home issue, but it's written on a recipe card in my favorite recipe binder and if you like potatoes, this one is a good one.


Twice Baked Potato Heaven

5# potatoes, peeled, cut and cooked
1/2 C butter
8 oz softened cream cheese
1 C sour cream
10 slices bacon, cooked and diced
2 C shredded cheese
1/4 C green onions, diced
salt and pepper

*Drain your potatoes. Add butter and beat as if you are making mashed potatoes. Add cream cheese and continue mixing. Add sour cream, pepper, salt. Stir in 3/4 of the bacon, 3/4 of the cheese, and the green onions. Top with remaining bacon and cheese. Bake for 30 minutes at 350°. Dig in!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Company at Midnight

This week I'm setting the alarm at 3:45 for 5 a.m. breakfasts. I take showers at night because I just can't at 3:30 in the morning and because we work outside with cattle and horses and dirt. I'm pretty low maintenance and can be somewhat presentable with teeth brushed, face washed, and clothes on in less than 10 minutes while the oven preheats. So, we're turning out the lights by 9 p.m.at the latest.

Last night, we were watching the weather. Who am I kidding? Around here we are ALWAYS watching the weather. Yesterday it was 92 and today we might hit 52. It dictates everything we do and at midnight the radar looked like this:


So, we were on standby as far as our cow works. A big, loud storm came barreling through. Lots of lightening and thunder. The kind that makes you bolt out of bed. Then the electricity went out. So DH called it in and the co-op came out and got us back up and running:


It was just a fuse up on the transformer here at the house, but by that time, it was after 2 and we were wide awake. We tried to doze a little, but sleep was futile and just after 3, DH called our camp man and cancelled our day. Soon after, he made 6 more calls and shut down the crew. We had 0.7" here at the house. Our neighbor to the east had an inch and we share the road we were needing to travel today. It looked like it rained harder on the SE end where the pens are and there is no way they could run trailers in and out of there today, but rained out is a good problem to have.

And for those of you wondering if we'll get naps, the answer is no. DH made a trip to town and the phone won't stop ringing - crew. co-op, cattle buyers, brand board, truckers, packing plant, oil field, and the fellow who raises bulls we buy - he's been talking to folks all day. He's had me tending to the paperwork and emailing side of ranch work, but there are leftovers and it's still wet and drizzly so it's a good day, but 9 p.m. can't come soon enough.

Monday, September 24, 2018

A Taste of Fall and the Week Ahead

I'm back in the kitchen this week. We're beginning our Fall Cow Works so the last few days have been filled with lists and menus and shopping:


As well as a really nice rain on Thursday afternoon:


The earlier rains came fast and hard and filled our dirt tanks. This one was slow and easy (0.6" here at the house) and just what we needed. We've still got time to grow more winter grass so this was the perfect follow-up to the earlier big rain. On behalf of the ranchers and livestock - Thank you, Jesus.


On Sunday morning we processed some cattle through the chute:


It's not often that the 1st day of Fall feels like the 1st day of Fall around here, but it was 48° when we went out to the pens and I was absolutely jubilant to pull on the first flannel shirt of the season!


I'm already tired and I haven't even made the first batch of biscuits.Thankfully, the time hasn't changed yet and it doesn't get light until after 6 so breakfasts won't mean 2:30 a.m. wake-up calls. I pulled some things together this weekend though since I am cooking and working at the sale barn today. I'll cook and feed them breakfast (waffles, eggs, sausage, and fruit), clean up the kitchen, and get things together in crock-pots for their dinner. I made salsa,


salad, will throw corn in one crock-pot, Tortilla Stack in a 2nd crock-pot, and give them Cowboy Cookies I baked yesterday for dessert.


For the next 6 days, if you need me, I'll be knee deep in  bread dough and soap suds...after the sale. They're calling for 1300-1400 hd today. Someone please send me some strength and vitality to get me through the week.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Under the Needle - September

September has been a slow month in my sewing room. I haven't made much progress on much of anything. I did finish my big stitch table runner. Well, I finished the stitching on it and I am currently hand stitching the binding down as time allows


 I quilted several sets of yet more pot holders:


 And I pulled out this fabric:

to make an apron


Back in the day, when the kids were growing up, I made a lot of their clothes:


And it was fun:


I loved it:


And they were always SO excited when they got up in the morning and found something new I had made for them.


Our girl will fuss at this next one and surely comment on my fashion choice for her, but I still think she was pretty cute in  those rompers.

                                               

I always had to alter the patterns - adding 3-4" in length to everything. This is why:

.

Both kids were built like colts...all arms and legs.

Now, these paper patterns make me crazy:


But I really wanted an apron from this fabric and I will use it often:


I love the brown gingham bias:


And the straps that cross in the back


I ordered this Clover bias maker


All I can say is, this would have been SO handy back when I was making clothes! I love it and it'll be great for when I'm making all the ties for the drawstring bags I keep making.

My love of quilting has steamrolled my desire to make anything else these days that does not require quilt stitches. On the other hand, I have to admit that a lot of sweet memories came rushing in when I pinned that paper to the fabric.


Somehow, aprons and drawstring bags pale in comparison.
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