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Tuesday, June 8, 2021

To-Do Tuesday

This is the state of my room this week. A nice clean floor!

Welcome to To-Do Tuesday, hosted by Chris at ChrisKnits, where folks share their accomplishments for the past week and their goals for the coming week. This past week has been good for me! My foot is getting better every day, and I hardly have a limp now. I even helped my husband vacuum, and best of all I got to mop the house! If you don't have an O'Cedar Spin Mop, you don't know what you're missing. Yes, after 51 years of keeping house, I now LOVE to mop! But that's a story for another post. 😉

For once, Jack is not in my chair!

Here were my goals last week:
✔1. Sandwich rose quilt - DONE and ready to quilt
✔2. Work on Monthly Color Challenge block - PROGRESS - I picked fabrics for making 3 blocks
3. Plant green bean seeds - NO PROGRESS - the green bean seeds I thought I had from last year are not in my seed basket, so I will purchase a pack next time we are in town. I did get my tomato plants staked though!

My goals for this coming week:
1. Start quilting rose quilt
2. Plant green beans
3. Block for Riley Blake Design block challenge
4. Work on Monthly Color Challenge blocks

If you click right here, you can see how others fared this past week. Have a wonderful week!
Wednesday, June 2, 2021

To-Do Tuesday and A New Logo

I had a foot doctor appointment yesterday and got clearance to wear a shoe instead of a boot! Don't look too close, but I still have some swelling in my right foot. The doctor says that is normal. The kitties are glad not to have that big boot clomping around. And I have my energy back along with my Sew-Jo!

Looking west, here is the newly weeded garden and tomato plants..
That's the back of our house in the background waiting for landscaping!
(The arrows point to my sewing room window.)

These were my goals last week:

✔ 1. Start on RSC red blocks - FINISHED and posted here

2. Sandwich rose quilt - NO PROGRESS

3. Plant zinnia seeds - SOME PROGRESS - We plan to have zinnias in the prepared bed outside our bedroom windows. (You can see the blank space in the photo above.) Planting will have to wait until mid-June when our new windows are installed. That way the contractors won't stomp on them! But I did weed my garden. In the process I got 18 itchy chigger bites. Now I spray myself liberally with bug spray before going out in the yard.

Here is what I hope to accomplish in the coming week:

1. Sandwich rose quilt

2. Work on Monthly Color Challenge block - it's a surprise color this month!

3. Plant green bean seeds

This photo was taken looking east. My husband planted these tomatoes for me
while I was unable to do much, and they are flourishing!

I have a new logo! I purchased it on Etsy because I loved the colors and design. I plan to revamp my Etsy shop with a new banner of the same design. I want to get myself sewing and sell some stuff!

I'm tardily linking with other To-Do Tuesday folks at ChrisKnits. Go check out some stellar accomplishments by clicking this link!

Monday, May 31, 2021

2021 RSC Reds For May


Scraptastic Star = 12-1/2 inches unfinished

My plan for participation in the 2021 Rainbow Scrap Challenge is to add to the green, blue, and orange blocks I made last year. The color for May is red, and I had a lot of fun fabrics in that scrap bin. I'm looking forward to purple for June!

Four-Patch Irish Chains = 8-1/2 inches unfinished

I'm still making Four-Patch Irish Chains, Scraptastic Stars, strings, and Geese Migration blocks (quilt block pattern by Cynthia Brunz). Melissa Corry created Scraptastic Stars. I love Melissa's blog because it's so upbeat and helpful. While I was on her blog for the Scraptastic Stars pattern link, I re-read her post about Leaders and Enders and realized I had not done leaders and enders in AGES! Once I implemented that process, my RSC blocks went together much faster.

Strings = 12-1/2 inches unfinished

Geese Migration = 10-1/2 inches unfinished

As I worked with the reds on Geese Migration I found it difficult to find a "light red". Apparently I have very few of them in my scraps. I found a few in my stash, but I was determined to use my scraps. And by the way, my red scraps multiplied because I could barely close the bin!

I'm joining the Scrap Happy Saturday linkup hosted by Angela at So Scrappy and Oh Scrap! hosted by Cynthia at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework. Be sure to check out all the red scrappy goodness!

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

To-Do Tuesday and May Monthly Color Challenge

May Monthly Color Challenge Block - 12 inch

It has been since the end of March (right before my foot surgery) that I participated in To-Do Tuesday. This event is hosted by Chris at ChrisKnits and is a chance for bloggers to review their accomplishments and make plans for the coming week. I did manage to finish a few blocks this past week, and I look forward to more time in the sewing room to get stuff done!

6 inch sizes for May Monthly Color Challenge

The blocks for the 2021 Monthly Color Challenge are inspired by fruits and veggies. The humble potato was chosen for May, and with that in mind I pulled a wonderful dark brown mini check fabric and a vintage print from my stash - see top photo. My potato is brown with blue eyes - lol! This linkup is hosted by Jen at Patterns By Jen, and she provides a free pattern (for one month). Jen has instructions for two sizes in her patterns, so I made one large (12 inch finished) and two in the smaller (6 inch finished) size.

I detailed my completed blocks for the Riley Blake Designs Quilt Block Challenge in this post right here. Now I need to get busy on red blocks for the RSC Challenge before the end of the month. With that in mind here are my goals for the coming week.

1. Start on RSC red blocks

2. Sandwich rose quilt

3. Plant zinnia seeds

A big Thank-You to Chris and Jen for hosting these fun events. You can check out other To-Do Tuesdays here and find more "potato" blocks for the May Monthly Color Challenge here!

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Riley Blake Designs Quilt Block Challenge Catch Up

The RBD Quilt Block Challenge began on February 2 and will end in June. There are 16 designers, and each one is contributing a pattern for a 10-inch block. The 12 block designs released are beautiful and fun to make, and I actually get impatient for the next pattern to arrive. These past few days I've been enjoying time in the sewing room playing catch up. I am still wearing a surgical boot on my right foot, so my left foot is operating the foot pedal!

Fabric requirements for RBD Quilt Block Challenge

Selecting fabrics is not my strong suit, but someone made a comment that stuck with me. I admired her fabric pull for a quilt and commented on the difficulty I have choosing fabrics. She replied that is why she relies on  fabric collections or bundles. With that in mind, I used RBD's suggested palette shown on the fabric requirements as a guide to pull prints from my stash. I've made a couple of changes, but so far I'm happy with my choices and feel that they coordinate nicely.

Reach for the Stars


Sugar Candy

Lady of the Lake


Nine Patch Star

The blocks for April and May are Reach for the Stars, Butterfly, Sugar Candy, Lady of the Lake, Glint. and Nine Patch Star. All patterns can be found right here. I've discovered that I really enjoy sampler quilts!

On Texas A&M campus with our son, daughter-in-law, two granddaughters, and graduating grandson!

Last week my husband and I made a quick trip to our old stomping grounds north of Houston. We stayed with our son and his family and went to the graduation of our grandson. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in computer engineering from Texas A&M, and we are bursting with pride! He has a fantastic new job with a company in Houston and will begin working in June. It's so hard to believe our first grandchild is 22. He has grown into such an awesome young man. Also this month is the graduation of our second granddaughter (pictured on the left above) from high school, and we will travel again to attend that ceremony.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

April Monthly Color Challenge Block

The monthly color challenge is hosted each month by Jen at Patterns by Jen, and she provides a pattern (free for one month) and a color prompt. The color for April is cherry!

I like this pattern for the subtle pinwheel in it. I think all of Jen's patterns rock this year! I made two of these before I had my surgery, so don't be fooled into thinking I'm using my foot to power the Janome! My foot is healing and getting better each day. I still have swelling that I control with ice packs and elevation, but I have been granted permission for partial weight bearing with a boot and crutches. That really helps me move around!

Naturally the color cherry reminds me of one of my favorite pies. I grew up eating my Granny Mitchell's pies and cobblers, and I loved everything she put between her flaky and delicious crust. As a kid I would eat the filling first then slowly enjoy the crust! She grew gooseberries and canned them, and her gooseberry pie was my favorite (let me know if you want the recipe). But it was followed very closely by her tart cherry pie. The pie isn't tart of course - it is sweetened with sugar!

I have a go-to recipe for a streusel cherry pie made with tart cherries right here, but today I'm sharing my tart cherry recipe for Cherry Streusel Coffee Cake. It's delicious anytime, but especially warm for breakfast.

Cherry Streusel Coffee Cake

1-3/4 cup unbleached flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup salted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sour cream
1 – 14 ounce can tart cherries, drained
3 tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons salted butter
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons whole milk
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray 9-inch square baking pan with baking spray.

In a small bowl whisk flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside and cream butter and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix medium speed until smooth. Mix together vanilla and sour cream and add to mixture. Mix until smooth. Slowly add flour mixture until just blended.

In another bowl, combine dry ingredients for streusel topping; cut in butter with pastry cutter until the size of peas. Add almond extract and toss lightly.

Spread two-thirds batter in pan. Toss cherries with 3 tablespoons sugar and distribute evenly over batter. Spoon one-fourth streusel over cherries. Top with remaining batter and sprinkle with rest of streusel. Bake 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

While cake is still warm, mix together powdered sugar, milk, and almond extract until smooth, adding more milk or powdered sugar as needed to make it pourable. Drizzle over top of cake and serve warm. My husband tops his piece with butter!

Be sure to check out other pretty cherry blocks at Jen's linkup right here!
Friday, April 2, 2021

Outstanding Blogger Award - Who Me?

Imagine my shock when read Diann's blog, Little Penguin Quilts, and saw my name posted on the list of bloggers she nominated for Outstanding Blogger! What an honor to be included in that list. Her other nominees are below, and I have provided links to their blogs:

Joy at The Joyful Quilter

LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color 

Deb at Happy to be Scrappy

Vicki at Vicki's Crafts and Quilting

Cynthia at Quilting is more fun than Housework 

The Outstanding Blogger Award is given as a way of supporting and acknowledging one another in Blogland. I think I first began commenting on Diann's posts in 2015 and made a QAYG (quilt-as-you-go) mug rug (see photo above, and posted about here) from one of her tutorials. She is encouraging and kind, and she is an inspiration to me every week!

To learn a little more about her nominees, Diann posed a few questions:

1. What got you started on your blogging journey?

My blog began on November 6, 2007 as a food blog when I had my catering business in Oklahoma. I began to incorporate quilts as part of my blog in 2010 after I took a quilting class, and as my hobbies changed, so did my blog name several times before I finally settled on Texas Quilt Gal

2. What's your proudest accomplishment as a quilter?

I made quilts for our son and daughter for Christmas 2018 (read post here.) They were made to resemble the yarn-tied "quilt" I made my husband with cheater fabric back in the late 1970s. That well-worn blanket was always their ideal quilt - lol! Their quilts were a complete surprise to both of them, and their delight was obvious. That made me so happy!

3. What makes you laugh the most?

Our family does group texts a few times a year. It's always fun, and my kids and grandkids make me absolutely weep with laughter at some of their comments. Also, we watch Everybody Loves Raymond reruns at night before we go to sleep. We never paid much attention to this sitcom when it was current (1996-2005), but now it makes us belly laugh!

Wool pressing mat

4. What's the best quilty gift you were ever given?

My husband surprised me with a wool pressing mat in 2018. Since I love to iron, it is one of my favorite things in my sewing room.

5. What's on your quilty bucket list?

  • I would love to someday own a longarm, maybe the Handi-Quilter Simply Sixteen. That would involve having a new room built onto our house - lol!
  • My hope is to make a quilt for every member of my family, including my niece and nephews and their spouses. I've made 10 out of 17 so far. When I finish the list I'll probably start adding great-nieces and nephews and hopefully great-grandchildren!
  • There are so many quilts I want to make, and here are a few:
    • Log cabin
    • Quilt using The Road to Oklahoma block
    • Irish chain

Normally a blogger who receives this award nominates their own candidates for Outstanding Blogger, but I would have a hard time choosing just a few because I love reading all your blogs. After all, my Blog List in the sidebar (sorted by most recent post) is named "Outstanding Bloggers"!
Wednesday, March 31, 2021

To-Do Tuesday

It's already Wednesday and Sunday is Easter! Where did the time go? I've been playing with that pretty giveaway bundle from Diann, so I am a day late to post my weekly progress. Let's see how I did last week.

1. Sandwich rose garden quilt - no progress but I admired the flimsy every time I walked by it!

2. Make the next RBD block - Woops! There is no block pattern until next Tuesday! 

3. Cut background pieces and start on HSTs for Homespun QAL - no progress - this one will probably have to wait a couple weeks.

✔4. Plant tomato plants - DONE - also got bushes planted in the front bed and set stones to line the bed.

I'm supposed to practice walking with these for the next few days!

My lapiplasty surgery is scheduled for early next week, and the preop was yesterday. Besides blood tests and X-rays, there was a mandatory COVID-19 test (negative!) before I'm allowed into the hospital. The rest of the week will be spent getting medications ready, hosting Easter dinner with our daughter and family on Saturday, and getting those all those little things done that I won't be able to do for awhile. I will be mostly off my feet and using crutches for two weeks before I get a "boot" on my foot.

I'll take a break from To-Do Tuesday for awhile, but be sure to check out the wildly creative bloggers right here, hosted by Chris.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

March Monthly Color Challenge and a Sweet Potato Recipe

The Monthly Color Challenge, hosted by Jen at Patterns by Jen, draws inspiration from fruits and vegetables. This month the color challenge block is the red-orange of yams. I've never had an opportunity to eat a yam, but I love sweet potatoes. Alton Brown has a hilarious segment on the difference (click here)  - it's less than four minutes long and I highly suggest it!

I love this pattern from Jen. I think it's genius. It's like a ghost pinwheel. I love her patterns so much this year that I'm making 2 or 3 at a time in the 6-inch and the 12-inch sizes. The above is a 12-inch.

12 inch block

Growing up in Oklahoma every Thanksgiving involved a sweet potato casserole, always with marshmallows on top. I still love it, and I have a wonderful non-marshmallow sweet potato casserole involving a brown sugar streusel that I would be happy to share with you. But during the past few years I have found a new love in savory sweet potatoes. My dear Mom lived with us from 2002 to 2010, and she would often ask for a baked sweet potato for dinner. She had me bake it until it was caramelizing then she would eat it with a bit of butter and a little sprinkle of salt. Only during the past few years have I started enjoying sweet potatoes in the same way as well as in savory dishes - Mom would be so pleased! I developed this recipe to incorporate sweet potatoes, and it is my very favorite soup. It is low-fat, filling, good for you, and delicious. The touch of sweetness imparted by the sweet potatoes is perfect with the spiciness. Try it with tortilla chips - yum!

Turkey Taco Soup

1 pkg ground turkey

1/2 onion, chopped, or 1 tablespoon minced dried onions

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

4 cups vegetable or chicken broth

1 can hominy, drained and rinsed

1 can black beans, undrained

1 7 oz can diced green chilis undrained

3 tablespoons La Costena chipotle sauce*

1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Brown turkey with onion. Add sweet potatoes and stir. Cook until turkey no longer shows pink. Sprinkle mixture with garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin and stir to coat everything. Add broth and bring to boil. Add hominy, beans, chilis, sauce, and salt; stir and cover. Simmer 30 minutes with lid on and 30 more minutes with lid off. Stir occasionally and cook until soup is slightly thickened and sweet potatoes are tender.

* You can add more or less to taste. Use the actual chipotle peppers in sauce if you prefer.

6 inch block

If you are interested in joining this fun challenge, click the corresponding button in my sidebar, and check out the "yam" interpretations by other quilters at Jen's link party right here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

To-Do Tuesday and Happy Mail

This gorgeousness came in the mail yesterday! I was the lucky winner of the giveaway by Diann at Little Penguin Quilts. There are 20 jelly roll strips and several 8-1/4 inch blocks. These colors are so pretty together and with gold threads throughout - the sparkle makes me happy! I'm going to think about what I can make with this bounty, but have a feeling it will be something just for me - lol!

Today is the day we review our goals from last Tuesday, make plans for the coming week, and post about it at Chris KnitsLet's see how things went last week:

1. Sandwich and quilt rose garden quilt - no progress, but I'm not discouraged!

✔2. Plant Sunshine Ligustrum plants; choose and plant tomato plants and landscape plants - DONE - we found a wonderful nursery and purchased the bushes and tomato plants. We decided to wait to plant the bushes after new windows are installed, and the tomato plants will enjoy the sun on our patio for a few days.

Riley Blake Designs Quilt Block Challenge Windmill pattern by Amy Smart at Diary of a Quilter

✔3. Make next block for RBD quilt challenge - DONE and posted here on Instagram

Homespun QAL pieces cut; pattern is Homespun by Modernly Morgan

✔4. Start on Homespun QAL - DONE and posted here on Instagram

And here are my goals for the coming week:

1. Sandwich rose garden quilt

2. Make the next RBD block

3. Cut background pieces and start on HSTs for Homespun QAL

4. Plant tomato plants

Be sure to head to the link party to see what other bloggers are up to this week!