Friday, May 31, 2019

Gingham Baby Quilts Finished

I am completely smitten with these little baby quilts:

There is just something very simple and sweet and utterly charming about gingham:

I love it for binding and backing and it's even better as a quilt:

It just wouldn't be New Mexico if the wind wasn't blowing. We're praying that it'll blow in some rain. I know so many of ya'll have had more than enough wet weather and I continue to keep those in the path of flooding and tornadoes in my prayers, but out here, we're ready for a good soak.

These little quilts both measure 42 x 42 and I cut my squares 5", but you can cut them any size you like. Jackie quilted a pretty flower pantograph across the pink one - backed with a soft pink

And a sweet swirl across the teal quilt that I backed with a light teal

These are both headed to Missouri to welcome a sweet set of twin girls and I am digging through my stash for the next gingham quilt!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Industrious Mama

We have 6 guineas and this year one of them has gone broody. She's decided to make her nest in a corner outside the barn. DH put up some pallets to discourage intruders and yesterday he walked by and noticed she was off her nest - this is what he saw:

I think we have an over-achiever. He now has me researching how to incubate guinea eggs because there is no way she will be able to tend to all those babies. And yes, we know that only a small percentage will actually hatch, but if we incubate some of them, we may be able to increase our guinea flock.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Gingham Baby Quilts

For some reason, I've fallen hard for the simple gingham baby quilts I've seen lately and in the middle of binding one quilt and piecing another, I decided I needed to make one NOW.

I wanted to use this fabric:

and tried several other fabrics that I thought would coordinate. I tried every blue under the sun, but nothing really worked, so I settled on this:

Then, in the middle of another project, I remembered another fabric that has been lingering in my stash for many years so I pulled and cut


and sewed and asked Jackie to work her magic on two of them

YES. And it just so happens I need a couple of sweet little quilts for a precious set of twins that have recently arrived and if I'm making 2, I might as well make 3 because I can't get enough gingham right now.                   

Friday, May 24, 2019

Road Trip

Last Tuesday I spent some time in the air. I spent the week with my Mom to celebrate her 80th birthday. I'm not a huge fan of flying, but I came prepared.

It's been a long time since I made any progress on my EPP stars and this was the perfect portable project. My mom didn't want anyone to make a fuss about her birthday even though turning 80 is fuss -worthy. She said she was planning to run away on her birthday so I planned a little road trip for us.

Anyone recognize where we visited?

We enjoyed browsing through Magnolia Market:

And then spent a couple of hours poking through the venders at Spice Market:

I didn't need a thing, but I couldn't resist this little list pad and kitchen towel:

We ate at the hotel and the food was absolutely amazing - I ordered the Porcini Chicken Roulade ( chicken breast stuffed with creamed spinach and mushrooms topped with white wine cream sauce. Served with Parmesan risotto and vegetables. )

The next morning we ate brunch


at Magnolia Table:

The food was wonderful, but the thing that stood out the most was how very kind the staff was. I don't ever recall conducting business with a company where the employees were so attentive and personable. After we enjoyed a cupcake and cookie from the bakery, we loaded up and headed to Tyler, Texas to visit the rose garden that is supposed to look like this

Alas, this is what greeted us.

The recent rains had decimated the blooms, but we enjoyed the few that survived:

And simply enjoyed our time together:

That night we ate at a beautiful restaurant called The Grove. I feel like all we did was eat on this trip! We ended the evening by celebrating the birthday girl with a creme brule sampler

And she didn't quite outrun her birthday as we returned home on Saturday to find that friends and neighbors decorated anyway

I'm an infrequent traveler and I was surprised by the number of folks in the airport at 4:30 in the morning:

The neighbors are early risers and they took me to the airport on Sunday morning. I didn't want mom to have to get up that early, but moms will be moms and she was up anyway, packing me a sandwich. 😄

I'm so glad we were able to spend the week together and I'm very grateful that my mom is still active and in good health and willing to let her daughter drag her around on occasion.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

A Visit With Our Boy

When Blueberry Muffins are cooling in my kitchen, it means one thing:

Our boy was home for a visit and that made this Mama's heart happy! Seems we always put the kids to work when they come home:

He and DH cut down an old storage tank,

And stacked it to the side until we were able to bring a trailer out and load the metal:

But after work, there is always time for fun

And around here, this is what we do for fun

I treasure times like this

I'm so proud of this kid and the path he has chosen to walk and I love that he and his Dad were able to spend this time together. It was the best Mother's Day present!

Friday, May 17, 2019

A New Project

Last week I started a new project. I didn't NEED a new project. I have a long list of quilts I want to make and more project boxes than I am willing to admit to. And this project is not even on the list. Although technically, using my collection of jelly rolls is a goal. Why is it so hard to unroll a jelly roll? For me, I think it's just a case of finding the right project because when I saw this quilt

I grabbed this jelly roll

I searched for a pattern, but came up empty handed so I just did some figuring, cut those strips up, added a background fabric from my stash,

 and started making blocks

I didn't know how many I was going to make - I just figured I'd sew until I ran out of fabric so we'll see where that takes me, but for now, the stitching continues

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Chicken and Dumpling Casserole

Pulling another favorite from the files of my treasured family recipes to share with ya'll today. I've been making this one for 25 years and I made it a lot while we were raising our family. I haven't made it in many years now, but our boy was home this weekend (Hip! Hip! Hooray!) and I wanted to make food he loved and send him home with leftovers and this fit the bill.

Chicken and Dumpling Casserole

4 C cooked chicken, cubed
1/4 C butter
1/2 C chopped celery
1/2 C chopped onion
chopped garlic
1/2 C flour
4 C chicken broth
salt & pepper
cayenne to taste
1 16 oz bag mixed vegetables
3 C Bisquick (I have a homemade recipe that I've always used)
1 C milk
1 C shredded cheese
Tabasco, Sriracha, or hot sauce of your choice

I usually cook a ton of chicken with onions and salt and pepper at once - cut it up and keep it on hand in the deep freeze. It comes in handy for so many dishes and it's one of my favorite time savers when pulling a recipe together quickly. I do the same with ground beef.

Melt your butter in a large saute pan. Add the celery, onion, and garlic and saute for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle your flour over this and stir it together to brown the flour and let it soak up the flavor of the sauted celery, onion, and garlic. Slowly add your chicken stock, stirring and simmering to create a thickened base. Stir in the cayenne and vegetables and chicken - let cook for a few minutes. Pour into 9 x 13" casserole dish. Mix your biscuit base with milk and stir in cheese. Plop onto vegetable and bake at 350° for about 30-45 minutes or until biscuits are baked through. DH is not picky, but he does not like doughy biscuits so I bake them longer if they are still doughy. We're a spice loving family so we like this with some sort of hot sauce on top.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Helping Hands

Last Thursday, DH and I left at 5 a.m. and headed up to help his dad do this:

My FIL is 81 and has recently, single-handedly, replaced all the windows in their home. We knew he had the 2 living room windows left. He's of the generation that doesn't ask for help, but it's handy to have an extra pair of hands when you're replacing an 8' window:

And these hands are working hands

My FIL orders one window at a time so we'll be back up for the 2nd window and some point, but window #1 was the order of the day:

Their little munchkin of a dog was the official supervisor

For these two, any job worth doing, is a job worth doing well

Don't know what was up with this styrofoam, but that stinker was NOT coming off! It was attached with some kind of ridiculous adhesive. It took longer to remove that than it did to install the window.

Even a job they don't particularly enjoy, turns into a treasured memory through a photo so maybe my pesky habit of snapping pictures all the time will one day be appreciated. 😉 I love this shot:

I loved watching these two work together

 My FIL is pretty handy and this is a case of the apple not falling far from the tree and I think he enjoys it

More than he'll let on

 After the window was installed, we took my MIL out for a Mother's Day dinner and we were back home by 3. I'm thankful that we only live 2 hours from them - close enough that we can help - even though they won't ask for it, but spending time with his Dad is the best part.


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