Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Sequoia Quilt

This quilt was made especially for our girl. Today's her birthday and she had requested a new quilt for her bed. I love that the kids both appreciate handmade gifts and that they especially love their Mama's quilts. :) I told our girl that I wanted her to have some input on this and I made her scroll through my Quilting Inspiration Pinterest board. She loved everything about the Sequoia quilt so I ordered the book (that cover quilt is on my list too!)

I fretted over fabrics. The original quilt is only  56 x 70 so I enlarged my blocks to 6", but she loved the color of the original so I went in search of something similar. I stayed with a solid black and gray, but chose textured fabrics for the lagoon and white:

 This is such a simple quilt, yet the design is striking. Simple HST's...lots of them, 176 to be exact, but I love their versatility. Simple masking tape marked the rows:


I marked off each one on a copy from the book in order to keep from turning anything around and it worked like a charm:


I made them over the course of a week and I took the time to sliver trim each one:


I was stumped as to what to use for a backing, but we settled on this wide gray

 and I bound it in the lagoon.

 A Sarah Plain and Tall marathon was on TV as I worked on the binding. The scene I captured is when Jacob falls to the ground as it finally begins to rain, bringing an end to a prolonged drought. That's exactly what it'll be like when we finally get a good rain here:


After a run through the washer, the quilt spent some time on the line, soaking up as much of the New Mexico sunshine as it could hold for our girl:


See how dry we are. Not even a weed. I especially love the quilting pattern that Jackie chose:


It gives the quilt great movement and an additional southwestern design element to the graphic piecing:

When it came time to photograph it, I was stumped. My usual chicken yard fence location wasn't quite tall enough:

Although the wind was blowing quite nicely and it held up that big ol' quilt without nary a clip. Honestly, I just climbed up the ladder, laid it close to the fence, and the wind just sucked it up against the fence. It finishes at 90 x 110 so it's a pretty good size. There wasn't a spot on the hay stack that worked either, but the side of the barn turned out to be perfect:

Guess it's soaking up some of the New Mexico wind to send to our girl too:


Heck, I think it was trying to get to her without being sent in a box. Air mail...or wind mail:


I love everything about this quilt from the first stitch to the last,


but the thing I love the most about it is that it was made for this pretty incredible kid:

Happy Birthday, Sprout! Love, Mama and Daddy


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Too Hot to Turn on the Stove

I love discovering new recipes and DH is a good guinea pig so that makes it fun to cook, but this summer has been a scorcher and that takes a lot of the fun out of cooking. We had a short reprieve from the 100+ temps last week, but they have returned with a vengeance. 116°  today

and that's not even a heat index although our humidity is low compared to a lot of ya'll. We're talking 20%, which makes a difference, but when you work outside, it's just brutal, no matter what the humidity is. DH comes in at noon and is literally drenched. He's very sweet and says he doesn't want to create extra laundry, but I fuss at him and convince him to just change.

Our air-conditioner isn't cooling as it ought to. It won't drop below 78° when it's over 100° outside. We just had the coils replaced so something isn't right and our heating cooling fella isn't picking up when we call. Maybe he didn't like what I fixed for dunner last time he was here. 

So, all of this rambling has to do with the heat. I don't want to turn on the dryer so everything gets hung out on the line:

I am sewing blocks together, but pressing will have to wait because I don't want to spend time with my iron

And turning on the oven and stove after 8 a.m. is something I am desperately trying to avoid. Hence, there has been a lot of grilling going on around here. I have grilled salmon, burgers, shish-kabobs, skirt steak for fajitas, chicken and today it was steak:


And that basket of vegetables was SOO good, thus I'm sharing the recipe with ya'll today.


The mason jar has kosher salt in it. I had Baby Portobellos and Zucchini to use and when I saw this recipe on Pinterest, I thought it sounded promising:
I am linking to her recipe if you want details. I am more of a rustic cook and I just chopped and dumped - it's that kind of recipe. 

Grilled Zucchini and Mushrooms

Sliced Zucchini
Sliced Baby Portobello Mushrooms
Sliced onion
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt

*Just add the zucchini, mushrooms, and onions to your grill basket. Add some Balsamic Vinegar, olive oil, pepper, and salt. No, I didn't measure. I just splashed some on. Toss. Grill for about 20 minutes - tossing occasionally. That's it! And of course, you can add whatever's on hand that you need to use. The original recipe also calls for yellow squash, but I didn't have any. DH suggested we try it with fresh green chile and we're both addicted to green chile so that WILL happen, but we both just LOVED this. It paired perfectly with steak. Add a sliced homegrown tomato and we had the perfect dinner:


This would have been really good with a sip of wine had it not been noon, but we eat our big meal at noon and something really light for supper and had we had wine, we would have fallen asleep and missed our mineral delivery:


On the menu for tomorrow: grilled pork chops and sweet potatoes. Heck. At this rate, I may not turn on my oven until October!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Under the Needle - July

The day our girl came home, I had been texting with a friend and fellow ranch wife who has made quilts. She said she hates sewing - she just loves making quilts. I told her that no one had ever even suggest I sew anything but a quilt these days. Even mending requires an act of Congress and even then it's iffy.

Then our girl walks in and asks if I would mend some britches. I laughed and I sent my friend this photo along with this text:

So, I ate my words and cheerfully set about mending a couple pair of britches:

It was fun having company in the sewing room:

And look at Huck's reaction to the sound of the sewing machine:

When I would stop, he would look away and when I began stitching, we would get this face. We got so tickled.

And I don't have anything cuter to report than that, but I've been sewing more blocks for my Scrap Dance Waltz quilt:

I cut more fabrics for it and have spent some time making HSTs

I am of course making it bigger and I'll need 90 blocks if I do a 9 x 10 block setting. I've got 45 sewn so I ought to be ready to piece the top in another month or so. I've also been working on my EPP project. It's grown from this:

To this:

I am just smitten with those little stars.

I also made the binding - 11 strips - for the Sequoia Quilt I made for our girl and I started stitching it down yesterday. I rarely take time to do that during the day, but yesterday I did. Notting Hill was on so I spent an hour and a half binding:

It's 90 x 110 so it'll be a while. When I looked outside, I saw this:

Praise God! We're dry again so every drop is a blessing. We really need to grow some winter feed. Today is a no-sew day unless we get more rain...praying for rain. :)

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Time Well Spent

On Friday, we headed back to the mountains.


Our girl has a really good eye for photography and she graciously allowed me to share her shots:

  For hermits, we've sure been spending lots of time running back and forth to the mountain, but, I'm not complaining. It's just a 3 hr round trip. An easy day trip. My FIL drew an Elk tag this year. So DH has been taking horses up, allowing he and his dad to scout for elk, up high, where most folks can't get to or won't go.

In general, most folks like an easy hunt. Not the case for DH. He likes a challenge and doesn't ever want a canned or easy hunt. He drew a sheep tag and his hunt is in February, but these trips are good opportunities to spend time with his dad and they are good for the horses DH has been working on.

If you're going to scout for Elk, you've got to get up early so we drove up the night before. Granny and I fixed breakfast at 4 and the cavalry saddled up at 4:30 and headed for the hills:

I stayed behind with Granny and made sure they would be well-fed upon their return

And took their little dog for a walk:

My FIL will be 81 in 4 weeks and he still cuts their own wood:

DH took this shot:

Family time is always time well spent and we're always grateful when we are able to do so. Our girl snapped a couple of gems:

DH has an obsession with maps and GPS coordinates so I love this shot that she captured:

I'm glad we're close enough to be able to spend these short bursts of time with my in-laws and it was extra special that our girl could join us on this trip.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Ain't Nothing But a Hound Dog

There is a caveat to today's post. There are a few photos below that some of you may not wish to see. Skeet caught a rabbit, as ranch dogs are wont to do. We have literally tens of thousands of rabbits here and they eat A LOT of grass. One rabbit...not so much, but 10,000...you better believe it. Our livelihood is raising cattle. Not rabbits. And we have no problem with the rabbits, but we really are overpopulated with them and grass is at a premium right now with our lack of rain. Just wanted to give ya'll a heads up in case you wish to skip this post.

Our girl treated us with a visit last week. She LOVES her job. She's a livestock consultant for a non-profit company and it's perfect for a girl who is passionate about promoting agriculture. It's nice to see a girl who gets to fly on a company jet still take pleasure in the little things like baby barn kitties:


I told her she was going to get spoiled, but truthfully, she's about as down to earth as they come and it's so good to see a kid that's worked as hard as she has, find a position that fits her so well. Of course we think the company's pretty darn lucky to have her too. As a Mama, I reserve the right to voice that. :)

I teased her that her two dogs probably thought they had been transported to the moon when we went for our daily excursion.

She lives where it rains a lot and right now the country is green and lush and the dogs run through fields with grass so tall that you can only find them by watching the top of the grass wave.

Not a lot of green going on around here these days, but that doesn't stop these hooligans from kicking up their heels in jubilation:


Sheet was pretty happy to have his two compadres around


Where's the swimming hole?

Tongues were dragging

But that's the sign of happy dog

Skeet was on the job


When he dropped the rabbit and walked away from it, Harvey confiscated it:


Apparently, he wanted to introduce Huckleberry to the ways of a ranch dog:


And if you've stuck with me this far, there is a happy ending to this story. The dogs just stood there for a few minutes and when our girl turned around, the rabbit jumped up and ran off, leaving two bewildered pups in his wake.

When we made our way back to the pens, we found Harvey here:

He was stuck in the water trough. He was too long and his back end kept getting stuck under the pipe at the bottom of the cage when he tried to launch himself out:

It's there to keep cattle from climbing in the trough and tearing up the float. Never fear. Help is on the way. It takes the whole crew to pull off this rescue:

And hound dog happiness is once again restored:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...