Monday, April 29, 2013

Not Getting It Done in April... and May's Not Looking Much Better

April was a good month, not a good sewing month, but a good month. Well, as good as a month can be without rain. Sigh. I'm betting y'all just wish we would get rain so I would quit griping about it. :) Pray harder...please.

These were my goals for April:

1. Piece the leftover blocks from our girl's Gypsy quilt into a Baby Gypsy quilt, and make binding. - Didn't touch it

2. Piece the main blocks for the Three R's Quilt - Cowboy Style Quilt (Photo from Riley Blake and Shelly) - Nor this

3. Make 10 more blocks for my Granny Square quilt - I actually did get this one done and prepped 28 more. Small whoop.

4.  Baste and Quilt Haley's Wedding Quilt - I chickened out and ran out of time so I took this to Jackie. 

We'll be working cattle in May so I doubt I'll be making it to the sewing machine much, but I'll punt and make a list.
1. Piece the leftover blocks from our girl's Gypsy quilt into a top, and make binding:

One item's a list, isn't it? :) 

I'm linking up with Judy so pop over there and see how productive everyone else was in April. 

I'm going to need more than good intentions to make May a productive month.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Peach Tree Kountry Kitchen Chicken Salad

I imagine everyone has a favorite Chicken Salad, and I'm going to throw mine into the hat too. There's a little cafe called the Peach Tree Kountry Kitchen in Boerne, Tx and they used to serve this salad. Not sure if they still do, as it's been a coon's age since I've been there, but I have been making this salad for about that long. My Mom gave this recipe to me and when the weather warms up around here, it gets made often.

4 C cooked, diced chicken
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp chopped, green onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper (I just use black)
1/8 tsp cayenne
6 slices bacon, cooked, an diced
1 1/2 C celery, very finely chopped
3  Tbsp sweet relish
1/2 C mayo
1/2 C sour cream

*Combine chicken, lemon juice, green onion, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, add bacon, celery, relish, mayo, and sour cream. Mix well.

We love this served on a toasted Homemade Ciabatta Roll:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Adding to the Granny Square Pile

I love these little blocks. I don't know why they keep getting shuffled to the bottom of the pile.  They do take a bit of time to piece together. Maybe the fact that there are 86 pieces in one 9" block keeps me from staying focused, but look how pretty they are:

The original quilt calls for 36 squares and the quilt finishes at 79" square. Yes, you know what comes next. I am making the quilt bigger. *Big Grin* I'm aiming for 56 squares in a 7 x 8 block setting.

It's spring, and most people are working with lovely, fresh colors, but this little project has been on my UFO list long enough and I need to chip away at it. 18 blocks are already in the pile and I had 10 blocks on my list of things to get done in April so I whipped those out, and then cut enough fabric and prepped for the remaining 28 blocks.

As well as made the strips for the border. I think there are about 250 border strips in here:

Whew. That was a lot of cutting. I'm tempted to stay with these, but time behind my sewing machine is rare these days.

I think this will be a lovely winter quilt, and these blocks still bring me joy when they come together...spring, or not. Let's just hope it's not NEXT spring before I get it finished. Looking at these photos, I realize that this one project sure does take up a lot of boxes.

Now if only I could solve the mystery of the never diminishing box of strips:

Friday, April 19, 2013

Adventures in EQ

I've had EQ7 for a while now, but I've only opened it once and figured out how many blocks I needed to make for a quilt last year. A few weeks ago I received the latest issue of Quiltmaker and a quilt caught my eye. I've been wanting to make a southwestern quilt and I showed you this one a few months ago that I've got on the radar for the foot of the bed:


 but then I saw this one:

This was a staff challenge and this one was made by Eileen Fowler. I like the idea of using Batiks like she did, but that would be the beginning of another fabric collection and I certainly don't need that! They don't give a pattern, but it's a row design and how hard could it be? So I set about sketching it on a blank piece of paper last night and this morning I dusted off EQ and played. First off, y'all did not warn me how addictive this is! Hubby left at 4:30 so I found myself with a few extra hours, but I lost the entire morning and barely managed to whip together something in time for dinner. This is worse than Pinterest and I try not to get on there for that very reason.

This is a little brighter than I intended, but I just used the fabrics they had available and by the time I got to selecting colors, my eyes were beginning to cross. I have a big wall behind the bed and I think I'll work this up to hang in that spot:

At first I worked it up for a bed quilt, but I really want to keep the bed simple so a largish wall hanging it is.

Next, I think I'll try importing the fabrics I've pulled and see if that doesn't tone this down just a notch, but this sure is a fun way to play with designs. Y'all know that I'm a Texas girl at heart, but I'm thinking that New Mexico is  finding a spot there as well. :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

No Sewing Zone

I'm not spending much time at the sewing machine these days so there has been very little in the way of sewing going on around here this month. I actually pulled the mower out last week. The only thing green around here is the yard because I have been watering like crazy just trying to keep the trees alive.

I've also been spending my time:

*cooking for company
*cleaning up fabric piles so company has a place to sleep
* enjoying our girl when she came home for one night
* chausing the neighbor's cattle off of the hwy when some nut decided to cut the fence in two places. Who does that?!
*working in the yard and garden
*Bouncing across the pastures when DH feeds
*Going to the trap range and giving Tim the quilt Gail and I made for him
*Doing taxes
*Waiting for the pilot car every time we go to town
*teaching myself to crochet and working on that when I am waiting for said pilot car
*missing our boy
*enjoying more suppers by the fire
*replanting seeds when the wind whipped all of my little seed cups down and scattered them across the yard. Our sweet 15-yr old cowdog rushed to help and promptly covered what he could by plopping down on his belly in an attempt to shield them from the wind. Sigh. I fussed at him and he gave me that pitiful look. He can't hear a thing these days, but he knows my, "OH, No! GUS!" was a scolding. Then I felt badly and sat in the yard for 20 minutes with a 60# dog in my lap while I told him he was the best dog in the world, because he is.

Most of the time, sewing takes a back seat around here and I'm good with that because I know I'll get back to it eventually. I've got a quilt that needs to be ready for a wedding, but I've also got a hubby that's about to head out to work on a water trough and I think he could use a  trusty sidekick this afternoon.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

For my Chicken Loving Buddies

OK, this one is for all of you gals who have a fondness for chickens. I saw this quilt at the quilt show this weekend and I immediately thought of all of you. Well good gravy! How in the world did I get away without a picture of the entire quilt???!!! Really? I must have been so captivated by each one that I just wasn't thinking. Yes, those of you that know me can laugh now. Well here is the info and the individual blocks:

I wish you could see these in person. I think Trish did a great job in choosing the fabrics:

The chicken wire is not printed. It is stitched:

  I have to track down these patterns. I'm not sure if I could do this or not, but where there is a will, there is a way and I'm going to name each one of these after one of you.

 Yes, I know some of these are roosters. :)

 I don't know who's who just yet, but it will come to me as I stitch.

One lady told me that the patterns were really expensive so this may be a really long project, but look how cute they are!

How can you NOT love them?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Monday, April 8, 2013

Dimmit Quilt Show

This weekend I pulled my arm, loaded up, and crossed state lines to a quilt show. This little Texas town of 4,000 pulls out all the stops for a big quilt show. It's actually put on by the Ogallala Quilters Society. I planned on meeting up with my friend M, but she was feeling poorly (Missed you, and hope you're back to feeling like a spring chicken soon!) , so I went in search of adventure on my own...always a gamble and usually leads to trouble. :)

My Nano and "Killing Lincoln" came a long for the ride so I was completely immersed in the Civil War on the 3 hr drive, and had the urge to scout out Civil War fabric while I was there.

I took a few pictures to share with y'all. Be forewarned - many of them are of a western nature. Gee, I'll bet that's a surprise. :)

This was the Best of Show Quilt:

 I was completely charmed by these tiny houses although the thought of so many houses crammed so closely together made me want to hyperventilate.

Each block measures just 3" :

And each little home had a fussy cut image centered in the window:


This was a quilt made by a local man, Charles. He took a class with Michelle Watts, who is our local quilting celebrity, using the 9° Circle Wedge Ruler:

And this one looks familiar!

I need to make one of these. Yep! Deanna, from Wedding Dress Blue made an appearance:

And what would a quilt show be without a Texas quilt? Those of you who are Texans, know how passionate we are about our state, and yes, I know I wasn't born there, but they adopted me. I'm an Aggie, and that makes me a Texan. :)

 Our LQS has this fabric, and I've looked at it numerous times, but wasn't sure how to use it. I really like it here:

I haven't seen these embroidery patterns before. The quilt was called "Raised on the Ranch" so of course, it called my name:

I've got a Texas Wildflower quilt dancing around in my head and I've got yards and yards of this fabric:

This center block is darling:

And even when I wander off the ranch, I've got bovines on my mind:

  I've got a bit more to share, but this post is already picture heavy so I'll save it for the next round.

And of course, the venders are always a treat. I loved being able to wander and visit with some of the nicest people you'll ever want to meet. I came home with a few odds and ends:

I've been wanting a cone thread holder and I found a cast iron one so that came home with me, as well as a few cuts of fabric. I'm working on the Granny Square blocks and these will fit in nicely. I found 2 nice towels for embroidery - love the feel of these and will be picking up more when they get some neutral colors in, but the rust and turquoise were fun. Then there is a kit for a grocery bag. I want to make lots of these and I liked the heavy canvas straps on this one. I also picked up a few pretty cards. Dear Sir, I'm sorry I made you tear up, and thank you kindly for the extra card. and I brought home a couple of vintage calendar towels from a lovely elderly couple who I wanted to adopt.  

Remember those towels? My mom had them, often they would arrive in packages from Europe. This couple and I visited for a good hour and I was so charmed by them so I came home with one towel from the year I was born.I had to get it when I saw this little cowboy sheriff and his little woman. They made me laugh:

And then the dear lady wanted to give me the one from the year we were married:

I loved the recipe for a happy family. You know, I love the feel of these old fabrics. They just have such a pretty weight to them. I wonder if the fact that I am reminiscing like this has anything to do with my age. Nah. Me neither. :)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Butting Heads with Technology

I dig my heels in every time new technology arrives, and something 'new' seems to pop up almost every week. Now let me start out by saying I love the Internet! How else would I have come to know all of you lovely people? And since there are no phone lines out here, I like my cell phone now that they have built a tower on the ranch. Before that, no service. There was a phone in the house - the kind with a cord that hung on the wall - but it was just a glorified bag phone. There is a small tower behind the house with a little box that stores the bag phone. Once everything went digital, the analog phone no longer worked. Before that, we had a party line in Texas.

I do text so that is my nod to technology.

However, we only have one television. No DVR. I do not have a smart phone. I don't get picture mail. I don't have a dishwasher. We just installed central air 2 years ago. We drive a 14 yr old truck and when I test drove a couple of new ones, I balked because I felt like I was driving the space shuttle. I did not like it at all! I do not need a heated steering wheel cover nor do I need a step that folds down so that I can get into the bed of said truck. I am plumb happy with my old truck thank you very much.

Now, I don't begrudge anyone all of the bells and whistles that technology provides, but I am a simple gal. And yes, you can be a simple gal with bells and whistles, but the following is a true example of what happens when technology and I collide.

After 4 hours, in two days, and after lovely, lengthy conversations with Alex, Henry, Dustin, Alexis, and Melody, I finally have iTunes downloaded into my computer. Yes, the downloading is set to be stupid proof. No, I could not download it. But, in my defense, it took 2 senior advisers from Apple to finally get it done. Not to mention some finger, toe, and eye crossing. No bad words. I'm pretty patient when it comes to this kind of stuff, but it does make me want to weep. It should not be this hard.

Oh, my goodness! I just wanted to listen to an audio book from a library. Our library doesn't offer that so I had to get a card through my mom from her library. It came with 3 pages of instructions.

When the kids left, I inherited our girl's old Nano. It's a pretty lime green. The first time I tried to hook it up, I wiped out her entire library. Over 2000 songs. Poof. Gone. No, I do not know how that happened.

I thought it would be perfect for listening to audio books while I was trotting down the dirt road. I told myself, "I got this". Humph.

Just hit download. Do you see the box that pops up? No. It's right there. On the screen. No. Sorry. No box. Uninstall Bonjour and Quicktime and temp files. No. Can't download it on Chrome. Sigh. Error messages. Feel sanity slowly draining away.

Finally! Success...along with a message that I have used up all of my cell phone minutes.

Install Overdrive for WMA books.
Adjust AAC import settings.

Honestly! This book had better be AMAZING because I'm probably going to forget how I got it installed and  it'll be the only book I'll ever have on here. What book? Killing Lincoln.

That reminds me that I have to return it at the end of the month. How do you return a virtual book? Here we go again. Sheesh!

I'm going to play in the dirt. Just me, seeds, dirt, and a little whining to the good Lord about how this technology was supposed to make life easier.

I might be burying that Nano too...right next to the carrots.

Maybe they can get it to work.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Keeper of the Stars

Today is our anniversary. 26 years, and I still have to pinch myself. 

No sewing scheduled. No trips to town. Just some bouncing across the pastures in the old feed truck and a little supper by the fire with my groom.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Getting it Done in April

April? Already? Can you say WHOOSH? :)
March was good to me and I finished everything on my list even though most of it was also on February's list. :)

1. Bind Chimneys and Cornerstones QOV - DONE

2. Bind Scrap Jar Stars - DONE - I'll get it posted as soon as I get some pictures:

3. Bind Bunny Hill Baby Boy Quilt (Rocky Fence Rails) - DONE

4. Piece the top for Haley's Wedding Quilt - DONE

That means another 3 UFOs are now finished!

Now it's time to make a new list for what I hope to accomplish in April.

1. Piece the leftover blocks from our girl's Gypsy quilt into a Baby Gypsy quilt, and make binding.

2. Piece the main blocks for the Three R's Quilt - Cowboy Style Quilt (Photo from Riley Blake and Shelly)

Finished Quilt

3. Make 10 more blocks for my Granny Square quilt

4.  Baste and Quilt Haley's Wedding Quilt

I'm up for the challenge, but it's going to be squeaker. :) I'm linking up over at Judy's for this month's Getting It Done. I work well when I make lists - they keep me focused and I need all the help I can get with that, so thank you Judy!
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