Saturday, February 29, 2020

Under the Needle: February

February was a mixture of snowy, wet, sunny, windy, cold, warm days. We're delighted with any and all moisture because that means we may actually have a green spring. We don't get many of those around here. February was also a happy month for sewing.

I made more progress on my HST Chaos quilt - it's supposed to be my leader-ender project for the year, but I have become smitten with these little low volume prints and I ended up sewing 20 blocks and laid a few out:

Then I had to re-evaluate as the blocks weren't nesting the way I liked. I decided that my 4-patch base wasn't the best course of action so I spent some time with my seam ripper and remade my blocks in this manner:

I cut and pieced the blocks for the Economie Zoologie quilt that I bought on clearance as a kit from Craftsy a few years back and stitched it into a top. I need to find something a little less colorful for the back because the top is pretty happy:

I cut and pieced this Wildflower pattern that has been in hiding in a bin for too long:

And I cut and pieced this baby quilt top:

I am making the binding for a quilt I picked up from Jackie on Monday:

I also pulled out my bin of potholder pieces and am attempting a machine binding.

Epic fail 😏:

I'll be ripping this out as we settle in to watch rodeo this evening. I have one finish this month: this baseball baby quilt:

It feels good to be making progress on some projects. I actually made a quilty road trip with some friends on Thursday. We went to one of our favorite shops for the first time in 2 years. We had a ball, but would you believe I walked out without buying a single thing? It's true - I walked out empty handed. I looked for a binding and was on the hunt for a couple of backings, but although I do my best to support local quilt shops, I'm not paying $12.99 / yd for backing. I was tempted by numerous pretty fabrics, but I have so many projects ready to work on here that I just could not justify bringing more home. March is going to be busy so I'm not expecting to accomplish as much in regards to sewing, but I'm ok with that. There's more to life than sewing, but a little stitching is good for the soul when things get busy.

Monday, February 24, 2020


Last week was such a nice week here. We had 2 late nights last weekend when we worked the Safari Club Banquet and I think we're both still recuperating. What does recuperating look like for us? It turns us into hermits. No trips to town.

Feeding cattle.

Cold days.

Warm kitchen.

Busy sewing machine.

Time to read.

Long walks:

Didn't think scrubbing the bathroom or washing windows warranted a photo, but I spent time tending to that too. I know DH is tired of spending 4-6 hours a day feeding, but we usually feed until May 1st and although that's still a ways off, we're praying for a wet spring so that we're not having to feed past that. Today I'm back at the Sale Barn so I have to crawl out from under my rock, but I think I can handle it for a day.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

White Wednesday

We had another little winter storm blow through on Tuesday night:

And although it was 24°, I bundled up just after 6 and headed out to soak in a little of the crisp air as Wednesday dawned:

It was absolutely still and serene - a beautiful way to begin the day

Skeet is always game for an early morning adventure


And the horses were slowly ambling in from the pasture for breakfast:


We don't get a lot of snow here in the desert, but our brown winter landscape was temporarily transformed


into a winter wonderland


And Skeet was not about to miss it


Did someone say breakfast?


Skeet says, "If you'll give me just a minute, I can probably rustle you up a rabbit"

I'm glad we ventured out to enjoy the snowy morning


Because our high was 45° and the snow didn't last long

Here's hoping your feathers stay warm and dry if you have to venture out into the snow

Monday, February 10, 2020

Take Me Out to the Ball Game Baby Quilt

My dear friend's youngest daughter had her first baby and that called for a baby quilt, even though M is a quilter too. M is the one that inspired me to become a quilter about 12 years ago. Her youngest daughter was also our girl's best friend growing up.They are avid baseball fans so I knew exactly what I wanted to make. I wish I had finished this up when M and I met up a few weeks ago, but I just didn't have all of my ducks in a row.

I knew exactly what pattern I wanted to use for this special little quilt. I thought a Trip Around the World quilt looked a little like a baseball diamond and I love the end result!

I've made almost 100 quilts, but this was the first time I'd made this pattern, but it won't be the last...I hope they love it!

Sweet little Rhys is already here. I'm blaming it on those ducks that he doesn't have his quilt yet. He'll have it for his first Valentine's day though.

I backed it with a navy Minky that shows Jackie's perfect quilting:

Isn't that perfect? It looks like baseballs. Honestly, Jackie is such a treasure. She adds the magic ingredient to every quilt I take to her.

I worked on the binding in the evenings while we watched the Ft. Worth Stockshow and Rodeo:

This quilt is 38 x 46, and winging it's way to one special little All-Star:

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Not a Salad Kind of Day

It seems I was a little premature posting the salad recipe yesterday and talking about our mild winter because I woke up yesterday morning to this:

On Monday our high was 75°.

Tuesday it was 32°.

These were taken at 8 a.m. as the snow began to stick:

The county was out blading our road so that calls for cookies for him:

And soup for us:

And after the morning in the kitchen, I treated myself to an afternoon playing with fabric:

And an evening of binding:

We're expecting more snow overnight so we're hunkering down and bundling up.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

BLT Balsamic Chicken Avocado Salad

I made this salad a few days ago and I wanted to share it with ya'll today. I know this is generally not the season for salads. Most folks are in the midst of soup and stew season, but we're in the SW and we've had an unusually mild winter. On January 31st we had just a skiff of snow - the first this winter - and although it snowed for quite a while, it was 32° - too warm for it to stick, but we welcome the moisture!


The day I made this salad, it was 70°. For those of you longing for sunshine, I wish I could send you some. We get over 220 days of sun each year here and most of those days, the sky is so blue, it hurts your eyes:

So today, you get a salad recipe that we are eager to make again. I found the original recipe here. at Cafe Delites.

I made 2 changes to the original recipe. I left out the water in the dressing and I added a dose of crushed red pepper flakes. Here's my plate, minus the dressing because I snapped the picture before I dressed it. So my apologies for sharing a naked salad.😊

BLT Balsamic Chicken Avocado Salad

Balsamic Dressing
~1/3 C balsamic vinegar
~1/4 C olive oil
~2 tsp Italian seasoning
~2 tsp minced garlic
~1 tsp honey
~1/4 tsp salt
~1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
~ skinless, boneless, chicken thighs or tenderloins

~6 pieces bacon, diced
~8 C mixed salad lettuce
~2 chopped tomatoes
~red onion, chopped
~1 sliced avocado
~1/4 C crumbled Feta cheese

*Whisk balsamic dressing ingredients together. Pour some into shallow dish and add chicken, turning to cover and marinate while cooking bacon. Remove and dice bacon. Season chicken with pepper, granulated garlic and seasoning salt. Saute chicken in same pan until cooked through. Arrange salad on plate. Top with bacon, chicken, avocado. tomatoes, red onion, Feta cheese, and pepper. Drizzle with remaining dressing. Dig in!
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