Saturday, June 29, 2019

Monkey Business Quilt

I struggle with finding ways to use panels - they are never square, but one morning, back in January, I couldn't sleep so I wondered into my sewing room at 3 a.m., pulled out some very seasoned fabric and trimmed these little monkeys I've had for years:

It was time to figure out a way to turn these into a quilt. I decided to frame them and I was tickled when I dug through my brown bin and found a good match. I KNOW I have too much fabric, but sometimes it comes in handy! I chose this pattern that I added to my notebook when a good friend and I exchanged binders - this was one of the patterns in her binder:


So I dug out coordinating fabrics and commenced to making blocks to alternate with my monkeys:


Once the top was pieced, I pieced the back using a coordinating fabric I had that probably would have been cute as  border, but I didn't have enough, so it found it's way into the back, making the back

as cute as the front:

Jackie quilted leaves across it with a perfect tan thread:

And I pulled a green print from my stash for the binding:

It's 45" x 54"


and I hope these little monkeys

are as tickled to be out of that bin as I am with how this came together:

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Spring Splash Baby Quilt

I don't often make quilt patterns more than once, but the Gingham pattern and this one are the exception. This is a free pattern that can be found HERE.  (Edited to fix the link - thank you Violet!) I first made it a few years ago:


And I finished a second version this week. I loved this paisley print I found at Hobby Lobby in 2017:

And I think it made a sweet quilt:

There are so many fun colors in this:

 I backed it with this blue print and bound it with a purple dot, both from my stash:


and Jackie quilted a fun swirly design across it:


It finishes at 40" x 40" and is snuggle ready:


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Loaded Scalloped Potatoes

Warning: If you're following a Keto or Low Carb eating plan, exit out of this post now.

I made these for the boys on Wednesday and let's just say they raved about them. Well, cowboys don't really rave, but they did in their own, very complimentary way. Let's just say that I haven't met a potato I didn't like, but lately DH and I have been cutting down on carbs and potatoes have been rare so I don't know if this tasted SO good because I've been missing potatoes or if this is truly the best scalloped potatoes known to mankind. I'm going with the second choice. I found this recipe HERE. I love everything I've tried from Jo. The woman can COOK now. And after I made this, I got to looking and I saw almost identical recipes floating around - Delish has one as well, but I started with Jo's so she gets the credit. I left out the nutmeg, but pretty much followed the rest of the recipe although I added more pepper and I didn't bake mine quite as long because the boys showed up earlier than I had anticipated, but it was perfect anyway.

Loaded Scalloped Potatoes

4 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 Tbsp flour
2 C low sodium chicken broth
2 C heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 lbs potatoes, sliced very thin
4 C cheddar cheese, grated
12 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
2 Tbsp chives, chopped

*Preheat oven to 400. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds until garlic is aromatic. Sprinkle flour over butter/garlic and whisk well until combined. Add the chicken broth and whisk until it thickens. Add heavy cream and whisk until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the sauce comes to a simmer and thickens. Remove from heat and set aside. Start layering by ladeling a couple spoonfuls of sauce onto bottom of pan. Spread 1/3 of the sliced potatoes. Top with 1/3 of the sauce, 1/3 of the cheese and 1/3 of the bacon. Continue layering with potatoes, sauce, cheese, bacon. You will have 3 layers. Sprinkle with chives. Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for 30 more minutes. or until the potatoes are tender.

*I'm not a fan of pre-shredded cheese or pre-packaged bacon bits - I know they are tempting, but I do take the extra time to cook my bacon and grate my own cheese. I think it makes a big difference.


Saturday, June 15, 2019

Fabric Acquisition and a Quilt Shop Tour

I can go for months and months without purchasing fabric and honestly, I could probably sew for decades without buying fabric and still have plenty, but the last few weeks I have added more to my stash.

It began with our Quilt Squad Extension group. We meet once a month, but I haven't been in a while. It's a great group of 14 fun ladies. Each Christmas the Extension Service puts on a Christmas party and all the clubs are invited for fun ideas, food, and games. Last year our group wore matching buffalo check vests. This year we are all making vintage Christmas aprons using the same pattern and we will use them as door prizes. So the hunt was on for something cute. We don't have many options in town and I know several in our group will source their fabrics locally so I turned to the Internet and fell in love with this print. I think it will be cute paired with a red and white dot. I liked it so much that I bought enough for 2 because I want one too!

Then I needed more of this swiss dot to finish my current project:

And that led to adding more to my cart for projects in progress and that free shipping is always tempting:

I don't often get to visit our local quilt shop as they are closed on Monday and that's the day I'm in town for work, but a few weeks ago, we had our sale on Tuesday due to Memorial Day and I popped in to our local quilt shop:

The Calico Cow:

It's not a very big shop, but Caroline always has a beautiful collection of fun fabrics:

And yes, the aliens are a big draw for tourists in this neck of the woods. She has a nice selection of western and SW inspired fabrics:

Batiks for her customers that love to sew with those although I was visiting and neglected to get a photo of those. A variety of blenders are always popular and there is a long wall of possibilities:

Lots of patterns - this rack is dedicated to our resident celebrity - Michelle Watts. She is a talented designer, teacher, and dear lady. Her designs are filled with Southwestern charm from the Land of Enchantment:

and books

They offer a variety of classes and have lots of samples available to entice you to begin new projects. This one of Michelle's is popular:

And I have a soft spot for roadrunners:

There is also a nice classroom in the back:

I was completely smitten with this line and couldn't leave without a few charm packs:

I found this floral on sale and have plans for it:

And these yard cuts for $7.00

These will be perfect in my EPP star project and make their way into future scrap quilts. Then I just HAD to bring some of this home:

I don't have a plan, but the wheels are turning. I'm leaning towards some kind of row quilt because I don't want to cut this print up too much.

And that is how I fall off the wagon. Thankfully, there is a nice, soft pile of fabrics to break my fall. 😉

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Between Biscuits and Pie

Last week I spent 4 days cooking for the crew. I enjoy it, but those 2:30 a.m. wake-up calls wear me out. I spent a little time tending to the garden in the cool of the early mornings although it's so small this year that it can hardly be called a garden, but it feels good to get my hands in the dirt:

I spent some time behind the mower:

And some time behind my sewing machine:

I played with pinwheels:

And I made some progress on my little EPP stars...

Progress is being made between biscuits and pie.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Cherry Cheesecake Lush Dessert

This past week I tried a couple of new recipes on the boys and they were met with thunderous applause...cowboy style, which translates to complete silence around the table interspersed with grunts of appreciation. 😉 When a dish keeps cowboys from telling the latest windy story about the rankest horse and the wildest cow gathering, it's a good sign. And if they are welcomed with such accolades, then they earn a spot in my favorite cookbook and a blog post to share with ya'll.


At some point I pinned this from Pinterest and I really do enjoy trying a lot of the recipes I collect there. This one links back HERE.


Cherry Cheesecake Lush Dessert

1 C Vanilla Wafer Crumbs
1 C pecans, finely chopped
1 stick butter, melted
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 C powdered sugar
16 oz Cool Whip
2 small boxes cheesecake pudding
3 C milk
2 cans Cherry Pie filling
1/2 C chopped pecans

*Combine vanilla wafer crumbs, finely chopped pecans, and melted butter. Press into 9 x 13" baking pan - bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. In a separate mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 1 1/2 C Cool Whip. Mix until smooth; spread evenly over cooled crust. In another bowl, combine cheesecake pudding mix, milk, and 1 C Cool Whip - mix until smooth. Spread evenly over cream cheese layer. Top with Cherry Pie filling. Spread remaining Cool Whip over pie filling and sprinkle with pecans. Freeze.

*The original recipe calls for 1 can of Cherry Pie Filling, but I felt like 2 gave the dessert a better cherry / cheesecake ratio. It also calls for refrigerating, but I popped mine in the deep freeze - because I ran out of room in the fridge and I think that's where I'll always keep it. YUM.


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Here We Go Again

On Monday we were 2 people short at the sale barn and although that may not be a big deal for some businesses, at the sale barn it throws everything into a tailspin. Our boss had to leave to attend her aunt's funeral and add to that the fact that my computer wasn't working and we ended up starting the sale 45 minutes late. Patience is not one of a livestock producer's / buyer's strong suit. 😉 However, it was just an unusually nutty Monday. I had to buy groceries after work because I was feeding a crew again for 4 days and I was setting my alarm for 2:30.

Storms, tornadoes and hail have been swirling around us all week and thankfully we've only had rain. I was almost home by 8:30 p.m. but the closer I got to the ranch, the darker the skies became. The sky had an eerie purple cast to it as these rainbows appeared:

And DH helped me carry in groceries in the rain. I only bought a few things because I was just too wiped out to get everything on my very long list, it was getting late, and the radar was looking like this.

We both just really needed showers and sleep, but he was concerned about the rain. If we got too much, we'd have to call off the works. So we paced and consulted the radar and paced some more. Then the electricity went out. So we fretted and finally went to bed and tried to sleep. Next morning - no electricity. Sigh. Here we go again.

This happened last time we worked too: A Four Quilt Night
We only had 0.4" overnight, but they were branding 140 hd on the East end - 14 miles away, and if it was too wet, they wouldn't be able to get trailers to the pens. And we had showers that added up to 1.7" in the previous few days. It all worked out, and the electricity came back on just after 3 p.m. yesterday. It was out for 18 hours which was 18 hours less than last time. It's sure no fun cooking for the crew on the fly like that, but they are all good sports and no-one went hungry although I missed my oven. I get to sleep in until 3 on Wednesday! Let's hope I'll get to make biscuits for the boys!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Under the Needle: May

This month I was determined to empty my little bin of Lily and Will Fabrics. I ended up getting two more baby quilt tops out of it. Quilt #1 this little Broken Dishes Quilt top:

Quilt #2 is this row quilt that is still just a top as well:

I've never made a Broken Dishes or a row quilt before. I really enjoyed making them both for the first time and the bin is empty. Well, it WAS empty. It didn't take me long to put a new project in it as I hope to make a dent in my jelly roll collection...and jelly roll project #1 is underway:

I had 2 quilt finishes this month - the Gingham Baby Quilts will be heading to Missouri on Monday:

And now I want to start about 6 more. Alas, there are just not enough hours in the day and I like my sleep! 
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