Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Under the Needle - April

Seems I never work on just one project at a time and at times I feel as if I'm spinning my wheels. This didn't all take place in a day or a week. This is just an overview of what's under my needle for the month of April. I'm binding one quilt:

Getting a backing ready for this quilt:

Taking this one to Jackie:

Piecing another little safari quilt

Cutting out pieces for this quilt:

Pulling fabrics for this quilt:

Adding to my little EPP stars when I'm on the road:

And stitching on my rag runner in the evening:

No finishes, but a little bit of progress on numerous projects. I gauge whether I'm getting anything accomplished by my little trash can...a full one means I'm obviously sewing and I  seem to empty it once a month. I'm good with that!


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

New Project

A few weeks ago I saw this post on Instagram

This is Sweetwater's Rag Runner - pattern HERE - and knew I had to make one...actually, many more  than one, but as soon as I saw this, I started pulling fabric. First up will be a western one...of course!

These are so simple, yet that stitching and fringe adds such a fun detail!

I like having a runner across my washer and dryer to keep it from taking a beating. My entryway is a laundry room/mudroom/coat closet/storage room and I try to keep it at least somewhat presentable. With men walking in and out it often has spurs and guns and ammo and tools and hats and vaccine guns sitting on available surfaces. Thankfully Skeet hasn't taken to bringing in his treasures
and depositing them there as well! His treasures are pretty nasty, but far be it for me to judge our beloved sidekick's choice of precious discoveries.

So, this rag runner will be perfect, although mine will be much longer. The original is 10" x 30" and I'm making mine 16" x 75".

It took a long time to cut strips off of each fabric I selected from my stash, but I chose 25 fabrics and cut three strips from each, stitched them up, added batting, and a backing from my stash and basted it:


And the hand stitching has begun:

With 75 strips, it's going to take a while, but it's the perfect project to work on when I get a few minutes in the evening.

I also know I'll want one in 30's prints, and patriotic fabrics, and a fall and Christmas one. And it all starts with a dive into my stash. I love that part!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Petal Power Baby Quilt

I can't seem to stay ahead of the baby quilts these days, but thankfully they don't take very long to make. Some old friends have an amazing daughter and she and her husband welcomed their first baby into the family and of course that means that a baby quilt is in order. It all started with this sweet fabric that I found when I made my last trip to see my mom in February and I thought I'd pair it with this polka-dot from my stash:


I wanted to build a quilt around it, but I was stumped for a pattern. Sometimes I get bogged down when it comes to making decisions and I have to let an idea sit and stew for a bit. Pinterest is a big source of inspiration for me and when I ran across this photo I knew it was what I wanted
                                          Quilt for baby | by mimi'sdarlins

It's called Petal Power and It can be found HERE on Craftsy.

It didn't take long to piece and I love the finished result! I wish I had a picturesque spot to take photos of it, but in this parched desert country, a shot against the chicken yard is about as good as it gets

Or on the clothesline. Quilts on clotheslines are good, even if they are surrounded by dirt.

I pulled all the other fabrics from my stash and backed it with a soft yellow Minky:

Our dead tree is sprouting forth new growth!

Jackie quilted it with a panotgraph called One Cloudy Day and I bound it with orange gingham:

It finishes at 49" x 49" and I hope it is well-used and loved as this new little blessing begins her adventure:


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Salsa Verde Chicken Pasta

It's been a while since I shared any recipes so I figured I'd share one with ya'll today. We don't eat a lot of pasta around here these days. When the kids were small I made our fair share of macaroni and cheese and spaghetti, but we're really trying to cut back on the pastas and starches in our...ummm...advancing years. :) But I caved when I found this recipe on Pinterest  HERE, and made it a few months ago. So, good! I made it again today and will take leftovers to work on Monday.

Salsa Verde Chicken Pasta

1 lb chicken tenderloins (the original recipe calls for chicken breasts, but I like the tenderloins) - I season them with pepper, seasoning salt, and  a little granulated garlic.
2 Tbs olive oil
2 C chicken broth - I use the Better than Bouillon
1 C Salsa Verde
1 C heavy whipping cream
3 C uncooked penne pasta
black pepper
1 1/2 C pepper jack cheese, grated
1 jalapeno diced (my addition)
red pepper flakes (my addition)

* Cook the chicken tenderloins (I buy mine at Sam's) in olive oil until done. Dice into bite sized pieces. Remove from pan and pour 2 C chicken broth into same pan. Add salsa verde, cream and uncooked pasta. Stir. Cover. Simmer until pasta is al dente. Add chicken, pepper jack cheese, and jalapeno. Stir to combine and simmer until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

This is this salsa verde I use. I accidentally grabbed the mild, but we like the medium better.


It's a quick one pot meal that made it to my favorites cookbook. Just add a quick salad and dinner is served:

Friday, April 13, 2018

Odds and Ends and a Little Bit of Fussing

In other words, just a little bit of everything thrown into one post. Last weekend we made a mad dash to Hamilton, Texas...about a 7 hour drive, to take a few more head of  roping cattle that didn't fit on the truck we sent out:


Quick trip: we left Friday, changed a tire

or two


 attended the sale and 7 hours home on Saturday.

Like much of the country, New Mexico can't decide what season it wants to settle into this week. 32° one night and 94° for the high 2 days later, but Skeet seems to be taking it all in stride:

He's very perceptive and an attentive head of ranch security

And can I just take a moment to fuss about the recent changes taking place at the Walmart in town?
2 cashiers for the entire store in the middle of the afternoon:


With over $200 worth of groceries in my cart. I am not going through the self-checkout. Trying to save $$ by eliminating their cashiers is going to backfire when dishonest shoppers can easily not scan some of their groceries. And what about elderly customers? That self-checkout is not going to be easily navigated. Just makes no sense whatsoever.

This is the 2nd day we've been sandblasted:


Makes it rather challenging to feed:


40 mph sustained winds with 50-60 mph gusts for 2 days.


Dirt in your teeth. Dirt in the air. Dirt in your coffee. Dirt everywhere.


Needless to say, spring cleaning has been postponed. The wind is exhausting. Just ask Skeet

It just wears everyone plumb out


Naps are taken very seriously around here:


In the sewing room, stitching projects have been progressing amidst daily life


and I'll be back with an update and a recipe in a day or two!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Cooking, Cookies, Cattle, Chickens, and Chain Piecing

In other words...my daily activities often include a lot of variety so this post is all over the place. :)

Yesterday started out cold for us (32°) and by 9 a.m. the wind had begun to blow. I made waffles

and eggs and bacon for 3 extras and dropped them off east of the house to gather the Corriente cattle we were sending off to Texas. It wasn't long before the truck arrived and they began bringing them up in small bunches to load:


When I got back to the house, I mixed up a batch of Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

 and bagged them up for the trucker and for the crew:


Everything was loaded


 and they were done horseback for the day by 9:30 so I didn't have to fix dinner for them. I figured a handful of cookies would make the road trip a little sweeter.

Tuesday's sale was short...only 508 head and I was finished at 12:30. That meant lunch and a good visit with my co-worker and then we ran errands together until her truck was ready to pick up at the dealership. We stopped at the nursery where I could have dropped a lot of money, but I just picked up a few sage bushes and Lantana. I can't grow much out here. If it isn't the whipping winds, or the horrid heat. it's the cheeky chickens....chickens behaving badly:


My chickens roam freely and have access to more acreage than they could possibly want, yet, they choose to dig in my front bed. I can't call it a flower bed because any flowers I have ever planted there are quickly beheaded by the wind and now, apparently, the chickens will dig up what's left. I guess that's the price I pay with a good dog that does not chase chickens.

DH had to make a trip into town to meet a fella who was buying a couple of bulls yesterday afternoon so that left me with time to sew. Chain piecing makes me feel like I am accomplishing something but it also leaves me with a tall stack that needs pressing:


I've had  a layer cake I bought on clearance...at Craftsy, I think, a few years ago. I was disappointed when it arrived as it only had 4 prints in it, but I was tired of having it lie around and figured I ought to make it into something and that something is of course a quilt...eventually.

Right now I'm off to throw some steaks on the grill and dig in the dirt...I'm taking advantage of the fact that there is no wind today!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

First Finish...Finally

My family thinks all I ever do is make quilts. Granted, there are a lot of quilts in our home and I give a lot of quilts away, but I don't sew ALL the time. Case in point. Everyone has clean clothes to wear. Everyone is always fed...the 2-legged ones as well as the 4-legged ones. The house is clean...mostly. Grin. All town errands have been tended to. The yard and garden is ready for spring. Cattle at the sale barn are all weighed and in their right pens...I hope. And it is April 4 and I am just now posting about my first quilt finish for the year:

It's just a simple little strip quilt for a little boy who was in the hospital fighting pneumonia. I found this little dinosaur print years ago...I seem to recall I found it at Walmart. It was just too cute to not bring home then and it's still cute now:

Simple square in a square blocks seem to be my go-to default when I want to showcase a fun novelty print:


I just pulled everything from my stash and backed it with a gray minky and bound it with a solid navy and as usual, Jackie's quilting is the star if the show:


At 40 x 45, it's just right for a little one to snuggle beneath.


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