Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The Bear Necessities Toddler Quilt

 Anyone else singing that song from the Jungle Book after reading the title of this post? I sang it a lot while making this quilt. I can't even remember how long I've had this fabric, but I made my first quilt in 2008 and I'm pretty sure I had this fabric before then. 

I may be mistaken, but either way, I had stashed it away, knowing it would eventually find it's way into a quilt. I had a lot of it, probably 3 yards or so and a few years ago I made this quilt and gave it to a sweet couple who are friends with our girl and who we've known since the kids were in 4-H. 

I knew I wanted to make another quilt and I settled on an Irish Chain pattern. I used gingham prints from a western line:

Once I handed it off to Jackie, she quilted these darling teddy bears across it:

And I just had to use the same print for the backing, finishing it off with the red gingham for binding: 

Teddy Bears from my childhood were unearthed from storage for a photoshoot: 

According to my calculations, this is the 100th quilt I've made. Right now I think it's absolutely my favorite timeless little quilt and at 48 x 64, I think it'll be perfect for a future grandchild...if the good Lord ever sees fit to bless us with any. LOL

But these sweet, classic bears will never go out of style:

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Jungle Baby Quilt

 Today I'm sharing a little quilt that began with a fat quarter about 2 years ago:

I only had one fat quarter and I just didn't have the heart to cut it up so I hemmed and hawed about how best to showcase the cute jungle babies .

I didn't use a pattern - just pulled coordinating fabrics from my stash for inspiration and that led to the patchwork border. I am always drawn to simple patchwork and I really do like what it does here:

Now that it's quilted, I wish I had added a small brown border around the fat quarter, but all in all, I like the simple design and will use it again.

I used this paw print for a backing because the colors coordinated so well with the front and bound it with a textured brown print from my stash:

The patchwork border really is a mess of everything that would work and that cheddar is even a reproduction print. Jackie quilted the cutest monkeys on it:

It's 48" x 48" and I'm pretty tickled with how that simple fat quarter was transformed into a fun, happy quilt:

Monday, September 21, 2020

Dirt Road Granola Bars

Today I'm sharing an old tried and true recipe from my family favorites. I've been making these for over 25 years and I can't believe I've never posted them. I don't remember where I got the recipe - probably from Taste of Home because back then, that was my source for a lot of recipes and this one has stood the test of time around here.

I always packed food when we left the dirt road and these were often packed into coolers when we were headed to homeschool or 4-H events, baseball games, stock shows, ropings, and ranch rodeos. It was always a challenge to keep everyone's hands out of them before we even left the dirt road.

Money was tight and we rarely ate out so portable meals were always welcome during road trips and these granola bars were a staple.


1/2 C softened butter
1 C packed brown sugar
1/4 C sugar
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 C flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 C quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 C crisp rice cereal
1 C chopped nuts (sometimes is use pecans. sometimes I use sliced almonds)
1 C raisins or chocolate chips (I usually use chocolate chips, but am going to use dried cranberries next time)

*Cream butter and sugars. Add honey, vanilla, and egg - mixing well. Combine dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt); add to creamed mixture. Stir in oats, cereal, nuts, and chocolate chips. Press into a 9"x13" baking pan. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until top is golden brown. Cut into bars when cooled. Wrap in plastic wrap.

The batter is really thick so you'll have to press it into the pan. If you want softer bars, do not cook past 30 minutes. If you're after crunchier bars, bake longer.

I've made these well over 100 times, but I haven't made them in a while so this gave me the opportunity to mix up a batch so I'd have a photo to share. 😉

Saturday, September 19, 2020

'Tis Apple Season

 On Wednesday, I made a quick road trip with DH to haul some cattle to the sale barn (not the one where I work). 

It's 2 hours there. Two hours back. And we're back home by noon. Heck around here that means you can get in another 8 hours of working. Grin. Actually, the days are getting shorter and it's pretty darn dark by 7:30 these days. And that's just fine and dandy with me because most days, I'm pooped by then.

On Thursday, I popped back into the truck and headed to a little mountain town to meet up with my in-laws and bring home a box of Jonathon apples. I really wanted to pick them, but my in-laws are past the stage where they think that's fun so a box I got. Years ago it was an annual tradition to pick apples when we lived in the mountains:

I was tempted to get 2 boxes, but I knew I'd struggle to get them both put up in a timely manner with all of the things on our calendar at the moment. So one box will half a box of Honey Crisp Apples because those are DH's favorite. Dried apples are a fall favorite so that was the first order of business when I got back to the house:

I had men to feed on Friday as we were branding a small bunch (just 40 hd) so apple pie was a given for dessert:

And although there will be multiple batches of dried apples, the rest will be put up in the deep freeze for future apple pies, as well as a batch of apple sauce for the pantry shelves:

Maybe I should have gotten that 2nd box!

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Recuperating after Monday

 Monday was a LONG day at the sale barn. 

After 11 hours, we were pooped. Our fall run has begun and with the drought, many ranchers are either making severe cuts in their livestock numbers or selling out and it's really sad to see. Without rain, there's no grass, and without grass, there's nothing for cattle to eat. And although we supplement with feed in the winter, it simply isn't economically feasible to supply 100% of their intake. 

11 hours isn't really that long except our 11 hours are pretty intense. We DO trade off and get a lunch break when we've got someone to cover for us, but if you've ever been to a sale barn, you know that the action is nonstop and you cannot let your mind wander for even 1 minute.

I often run errands during my lunch break because I know it'll be late when I get off and that I'll be wiped out, but some days I just need to decompress during a break.

After days like that, I need a little time to recuperate. And my favorite way to do that it to spend time with DH and Skeet 

and sneak in a little time behind my sewing machine. I finished piecing my HST Chaos top:

It still needs to be pressed, but I'm pretty sure it'll take me a good hour to do that and I wanted to sew so I pulled out these neglected Jellystone Blocks:


This is a good time to play with these pretty fall colors. I finished the blocks and then fed lots and lots of strips through my machine for the scrappy sashing:

This one has been on my list for a long time and I'm enjoying the process of building the pieces:

Monday, September 14, 2020

HST Baby Quilt Finish

This little quilt started out because I wanted to use up this fabric that was in my stash.

 It was a $3.00 add on at some point in order to get free shipping and then I pulled coordinating fabrics from my stash and just stitched up HSTs. 

I was able to get 2 little quilts out of it but I'm still binding the 2nd one. I used up another bargain fabric from my stash for the backing and bound it with this dark pink:

Jackie quilted this cute design across it with pink thread:

Her quilting always brings a ho-hum top to life:

At 45" x 45", it's the perfect size for a sweet baby quilt:

Don't let my green yard fool you. We're struggling through a pretty tough drought right now, but DH watered the yard non-stop while I was away at my mom's this summer and I took up the sprinkler duty when I came home.

The yard's never looked this good and yes, weeds mingle with the grass, but I spend about 30 minutes each day pulling weeds and the jury's still out as to who's winning the weed war, but I've got a green yard and a finished quilt so I'm claiming victory

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Progress on the Sewing Front

  I hear folks have been sewing up a storm since everyone's been staying closer to home this year, but I haven't found that I have any more time to sew now than I did before Covid appeared. In fact, I feel like I've been spinning my wheels when it comes to making progress on the quilting front, but last week I was able to spend a few afternoons in my sewing room and projects were moved forward:

The QOV I had been webbing back in May became a top, but it seems I don't have a photo of the whole top:

I was able to cut these fat quarters:

Make blocks and get this top pieced as well:

Probably 7 or 8 years ago, I popped into a quilt shop in Lubbock that was closing and this was one of the fabrics I bought. For $2.37, I bought what was left on the bolt which was 9 yards and it's finally finding it's place as a backing:

Then it took little time to cut and piece this little baby quilt top:

And since these are so quick, I made another:

Then I pieced a backing for a quilt top from a few years ago:

And that led me to pulling fabrics and making bindings for 4 quilts:

I also came to the realization that I've been making lots of baby girl quilts and I need to make some baby boy quilts to have on hand, but for now it feels good to just make a little progress.

Who knows when I'll get back into my sewing room, so I figured I had better make hay while the sun was shining. 😉

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