Monday, January 31, 2022

For the Love of Cast Iron

 I have a tiny kitchen and space is at a premium so any kitchen tools have to earn their spot. I didn't always have a little kitchen, but no matter the size, my cast iron will always have a place. When DH and I married, I didn't know how to cook. I received a set of nonstick pots and pans as a wedding gift, but the real gift came from DH when he came home with a couple of pieces of Wagner cast iron from a little store in town. He had one skillet from his college days that's still part of our collection.We also have several Dutch ovens that are favorites for cooking over a fire. DH went through a sourdough stage and every morning we would wake up to fresh sourdough bread baked in those Dutch ovens. Mmmm!  Through the years, we added a few pieces from Lodge and this year DH bought me some pieces from Smithey:

Can one be smitten with a skillet?

American made? Yes, please!

He also bought me that gorgeous cutting board in the middle of the picture. It's too pretty to use, but I'm mustering up the courage. Some wives might scowl at a gift of cast iron and a cutting board, but this gal is plumb tickled and feeling pretty spoiled.

Until now, I've just stacked the skillets in the cupboard, but I've always wanted a place to hang them. Anyone who uses cast iron knows how heavy they are and there really isn't any wall space in this kitchen. The only available spot is a 3' wall that had a wooden shelf on it with hooks where we hung our keys, a few aprons, and things like my rolling pin, plus my grocery list. The light switch is there and there's a hole in the wall where the phone used to be. 

DH is very handy and he built a rack last weekend.

 He used some metal he bought years ago (to make horseshoes) and some welding rod for the hooks. 

It's perfect and everything is so accessible! There's a lot of weight hanging on that rack, but DH has it bolted in 6 places with 3" bolts - the bottom skillet on the left is 15" and probably weighs about 30#.

Please ignore that awful paneling. This old ranch house is in need of some TLC, but it's more important to me that our home is filled with love and I choose to focus on that instead of the sad paneling. One of these days I'll get it painted, but for now I just grin every time I walk by and rest assured, I am busy breaking in the newest members of my kitchen family.

Everything truly DOES taste better cooked in cast iron and between that and the grill and smoker, we're eating very well around here. 

Friday, January 28, 2022

Looking For My Sewing Groove

 I've been off to a slow start this year. I just can't seem to get in a groove. Some extra long days at the Sale Barn. A few days of feeling under the weather - flu, cold...something that really left me feeling zapped and then 2 days in a row of trips to town for memorial services plus some overnight company a few days later. 

Before I get into today's post, I wanted to answer a recent question from a reader. I have no way of contacting her so I thought I'd answer her question here.

 I want to say how much I have enjoyed your blog. I was partly raised on my Uncle's farm when I was just a little. Now into my seventies. I have a large ufo pile needing backings. A round 12 tops. Most are for charity but backing fabric has gotten so expensive that they have sat. Your post mentions that you need to make backings, Could you elaborate on how you do that. Thank you.

 Firstly, thank you for your kindness - I hope your memories of your time on your uncle's farm brings back fond memories. 

As for the quilt backings - I agree, fabric certainly has gotten expensive! I tend to either work from my stash or look for good sales. Even my stash fabrics have mostly been acquired via sales. A few years back, I discovered a sweet quilt shop in a little town in Texas. I'd always stop when I passed through. Their fabrics were always between $5.00 - $7.00 and when they closed, I bought bolts and bolts for $2.33/yd. I just piece 2 or 3 widths together for backings. If I don't have enough of one fabric, I will often use 2 or more fabrics that coordinate. I just pieced a backing yesterday for this quilt top that's been hanging around for a few years:

I was determined to use this fabric

But I didn't have enough so I pulled something from my stash that I thought would work and pieced a backing:

I once thought quilt backings had to be one fabric and if I have enough, I will still do that, but I found that scrappy backings are fun too!

 So, as for today's post - it didn't take long for me to veer off course. After posting my list of projects I hope to work on this year, I just kept walking past my sewing room. Yesterday I finally sewed a little, but I started working on something that wasn't even on my list. I made a laundry bag for our girl using the Lined Drawstring Bag pattern

I couldn't resist this canvas print:

I'll bet I've made close to 100 of these bags in various sizes through the years. I'm probably dangerously close to being known as the bag lady, although cookie lady would be ok too. 😉

Friday, January 14, 2022

Biscuits & Gravy Quilt

 Back in 2019 I saw this print in the local quilt shop and I couldn't resist.

It's a Riley Blake line called Biscuits & Gravy. Well, I just thought that was the best name ever! I knew I had to build a quilt around it and I knew I wanted something in a patchwork style. Enter this simple pattern 

I needed something simple to work on when I was in Texas and this fit the bill 

I picked it up from Jackie the Monday before Thanksgiving after work and was tickled with this pattern she chose called Geranium.


I managed to stitch the binding to the front of the quilt, but with a houseful for 5 days over Thanksgiving, it was set aside.

After all, I had more important things to tend to! But, I always need a quilt to bind during the NFR and this one was this year's NFR quilt even though I set it aside again at Christmas. I finally finished stitching the binding the first week in January.

It finishes at 72x84

I backed it with my second favorite print from the line because I found 4 1/2 yards of it in the clearance section for $6.00 at The Quilt Haus in New Braunfels when I was in Texas. It wasn't quite enough, but I added a strip of a Shadow Play fabric that I found at a new quilt shop in Clovis

I guess this is a controlled scrappy patchwork quilt since it's all from the same line, but I love it and I plan on making another one from real scraps soon:

Another happy finish!


Friday, January 7, 2022

2022 Quilt List

 With the exception of hand stitching a little binding, I can't even remember the last time I sat down to sew. I've had to shake the quilting cobwebs out of my head the last few days and figure out where I left off before Thanksgiving. 

Then I really had to spend some time digging through project bins to see what I might want to work on this year. I'm feeling pretty spoiled that I have so many options. It doesn't bother me to have UFO's, but I'm hoping to whittle them down a bit. I started a few of these last year, but most of them are a little more seasoned than that. 😉

1. Biscuits & Gravy - this one is back from Jackie and I just finished binding it a few days ago so post coming soon - just need to snap some photos.


2. Jellystone - I got this one back from Jackie in November and I'm currently binding it.    


3. I Spy - I spent quite a bit of time collecting novelty fabrics for an I Spy quilt last year and even more time looking at layout ideas online. I have yet to settle on one, but that needs to happen so I can move forward with this project.

4. Plaid Tail Feathers - this one is pieced but I need to select a backing and make the binding

5. HST Chaos - this was on last year's list - I made the backing, pressed it and handed it off to Jackie

6. Lincoln 16-Patch -  I've tried to focus on using jelly rolls that have been sitting around for a long time and this one used up two. I started out last year with completed blocks and managed to make the binding, piece the top and back and hand it off to Jackie. 

7. Black & Pink Floral Spring Splash - No progress was made on this one last year so it too is added here. It needs a back and binding.

8. Scrap Dance Waltz - This one is waiting at Jackie's too

9. Plus A Nine Patch - I matched this with a backing and handed it off to Jackie

10. Pinwheel Garden - Another that now has a backing and is in line at Jackie's.

11. Sweet Menagerie - This is a Moda Bakeshop Jelly Roll pattern that is also at Jackie's. I feel guilty taking her any more.

12. Farmers Market - I need to piece a backing and make binding for this one

13.  Baby Sails -  This one is rolling over from last year. I just need to make the little sail boats and I set the bin next to my sewing machine so this will be the first project of the new year.

14. Posh Pumpkins - another jelly roll quilt that needs a backing and binding before I pass it on for quilting.

15. Winter Blues - In my attempt to whittle down my collection of blue fabrics enough that the lid will fit, I started piecing a few blocks for this Bonnie Hunter quilt. I've got a long way to go on this one.

16. Follow Your Heart - I bought this kit 5 or 6 years ago and I'd like to have a finished quilt by the end of the year, but I haven't even cut into the fabric yet.

I like having a list to work from and everything on this list is subject to change on a whim but this gives me a good place to start. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

2021 Quilt Round-Up

 I always think I ought to accomplish more on the sewing front than I do, but looking back on the year, I somehow managed to finish 12 quilts even though I spent so much of the last 2 years in Texas helping my mom and then tending to the estate. That's a good number for me, but in complete honesty, only 2 of them were completed start to finish in 2021. The others were all carry-over projects from previous years. 

1. Quite Contrary

2. Fresh Flowers

3. Adventures in Africa

4. Howdy

5. Boho Songbook

6. Pinwheel Polka 

7. Spring Splash

8. Zoologie

9. Dinosaurs for Taos

10. Country Garden

11. Americana Quilt

12. Desert Flannel Rag Quilt

And here's a snapshot of my year in quilts:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...