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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!

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

To-Do Tuesday - Is It Spring Yet?

One of the slides from the Advanced SKYWARN online class

Between doctor appointments, yard work, and prep for spring weather, there was not much going on in the sewing room these past few days. I did an online Advanced SKYWARN webinar and am still organizing my screenshots to refer to during severe weather. I have signed up to take the class again in April. The weather app on my iPhone is Radarscope, which is used by the majority of trained spotters. Being able to interpret the radar screens during severe weather is a goal of mine, and I want to review all the information again. The class is taught by National Weather Service forecasters at the Fort Worth office. We can ask questions and have them answered during the class, and the instructors are so engaging and kind, willing to share their knowledge, and appreciative of their volunteer audience! You can find more information about the SKYWARN program by clicking the logo in my sidebar.

These blocks from Riley Blake Quilt Block Challenge weren't on my To-Do list,
but they were done and posted about right here!

Reviewing my To-Do Tuesday list from last week:

1. Continue to quilt on squirrel quilt - some progress, but still undecided on quilting

2. Decide on finishing borders for SAHRR block - still thinking

3. Sandwich rose quilt - no progress

4. Get back to work on Exploding Heart blocks - no progress

5. Gardening goals: plan front bed landscaping and prep garden for planting onion sets - I changed my mind about planting onion sets but will plant tomato plants for sure. We have decided to plant azaleas, perennial grasses, and Sunshine Ligustrum in the front beds and I will plant flowers and some herbs in the back beds. Also planning to purchase a peach tree and a Bradford pear tree (ornamental) for the back yard.

My goals this week:

1. Sandwich and quilt rose garden quilt; I really want to get this finished soon, so I can mail it to my niece before my foot surgery, which is scheduled for the first week in April.

2. Plant Sunshine Ligustrum plants; choose and plant tomato plants and landscape plants.

3. Make next block for RBD quilt challenge

Homespun QAL Block by Modernly Morgan

4. Start on Homespun QAL. I purchased the pattern to this pretty quilt by Modernly Morgan and signed up to participate before I scheduled foot surgery! We will see how far I get. I'm in the process of choosing fabric. Our task this week is to cut all the pieces.

We spent yesterday running errands and a hair appointment for me. Today we will make a trip to a plant nursery west of town then drive to babysit this sweet boy while our daughter gets a little break to get her hair done!

Be sure to check out other participants in To-Do Tuesday hosted by Chris at ChrisKnits!
Friday, March 12, 2021

Riley Black Quilt Block Challenge

Yup, I jumped on another challenge, this one because I think the blocks are so pretty. I read about it on Amy Smart's blog Diary of A Quilter, so I'll blame her! Riley Blake Designs is sponsoring the event, and each Tuesday (except for the last Tuesday of the month) for 16 weeks a Riley Blake designer will offer a free downloadable 10-inch block pattern. The end result will be a sampler quilt. You can find all you need to know about the challenge right here or click on the button in my right sidebar.

Below are photos of each of the blocks I've made so far. Under each block, click the name of the block to go straight to the free pattern.

The first block, Pinwheel Star, designed by Amanda at Jedi Craft Girl, features a pinwheel within a star

Shining Star is block #2, designed by Bev McCullough at Flaming Toes

Carina Gardner designed block #3, the Framed Flower block

Stella is the #4 block, and it was designed by Sandy Gervais.

Rachel Erickson of Citrus and Mint Designs, is the designer of Ocean Waves block #5

On the fabric requirements information page, RBD included a color chart of the fabrics used in the sample quilt, so I used that chart to find similar colors/shades in my stash.

The blocks have been fun to make. Stella is a beautiful block but was the most difficult to make so far, because it includes a triangle in a square. The pattern recommended a Tri-Recs ruler but included a template. I used the template, and the result was a less than 2-1/2 inch block. I realize this is maker error, but next time I'll cut it more generously, Others that posted on Instagram had issues also, so I don't feel alone!

If you are interested in joining the challenge, you can still catch up. The blocks really are a breeze to make, and I impatiently watch the website each Tuesday because I look forward to it.

Here is where I spent part of my time this past week. I have a severe bunion that is causing pain and walking issues. I have had this bunion probably 15-20 years, but until the last couple of years the biggest issue was finding shoes that were comfortable. Now my big toe overlaps my second toe, and the result is pain, numbness, and difficulty walking for any length of time. I saw an ad (of all places - on Instagram!) for lapiplasty, a new procedure that promises a shorter recovery time and better long-term success than the typical bunionectomy, and I found a doctor within our insurance network that specializes in this type of surgery. My surgery is the first week of April, so I'm going to be hurrying to get a few things done in the sewing room, because I'll have to be off my feet for two weeks following surgery before I can wear a "boot". I'm not sure how that boot will work with my foot pedal!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
Tuesday, March 9, 2021

To-Do Tuesday

Our daughter came yesterday with the two youngest grands for some running in the back yard, hot dogs made by Papaw, and Grandma's sugar cookies. It was windy and temps were in the high 60s - the sun felt good!

Happy Tuesday! I spent the majority of my time on one project last week, but I had a great time in the sewing room. And that's all that matters, right?

Here are the goals from last week:

Squirrel quilt project

1. Finish quilting squirrel - some progress

2. Sandwich rose quilt - no progress

3. Sandwich Meadowland quilt - no progress

4. Work on SAHRR pinwheel border - did not do; I have some different ideas to finish this project!

Riley Black Quilt Block Challenge block #4

✔5. Make Riley Blake block for RBD quilt block challenge - DONE and posted on Instagram here

Crazy Crochet Bag

✔6. Think about "You're Crazy" challenge block for Project Quilting - DONE and posted here

Here is my list for the coming week:

1. Continue to quilt on squirrel quilt.

2. Decide on finishing borders for SAHRR block

3. Sandwich rose quilt

4. Get back to work on Exploding Heart blocks

5. And after reading Cheree's To-Do list, I am adding some gardening goals: plan front bed landscaping and prep garden for planting onion sets.

Today I'm linking with Chris at ChrisKnits. Go have a look at what others accomplished this past week!

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Project Quilting 12.5 - Crazy Crochet Bag

The challenge for Project Quilting was to make a project using Crazy Quilt techniques. I made a little bag to hold my crochet needles! 

If you are unfamiliar with Crazy Quilting, you can search the internet to find many excellent videos and tutorials along with the history of this fun way of putting fabrics together. Basically it is putting odd pieces of fabric together, overlapping and covering edges with embroidery stitches. My initial intent when I started quilting was to make crazy quilts, but I've never made even one!

The inside is crazy too! 

I wanted a little bag to hold my crochet needles and not have to look for them. I should be able to see this bag easily!

I quilted the back with some simple waves

I used an old favorite Moda fabric for the back, and the gingham binding is from my stash.

I added bits of lace and a button, but my favorite is this sweet trim that I cut from my high school prom dress - yes it is 55 years old! I put some yellow French knots on the lace part. Aren't those beaded dangles the fanciest!

This was a fun project to play with, and it has honed my interest in a future crazy quilt. You can find information about Project Quilting by clicking the button in my sidebar, and be sure to go to Kim's blog to see other participants' beautiful creations!

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

To-Do Tuesday and 90-Minute Rolls

This past week I've been obsessed with making blocks from various projects and only one thing got done on my list from last week. Above the current state of my sewing room, with projects begging me to look at them.

Here are my goals from last Tuesday:

✔1. Finish yellow blocks for RSC - DONE and posted here

2. Finish quilting Squirrel - no progress

3. Sandwich flower quilt - no progress

4. Sandwich Meadowland quilt - no progress

5. Finish making blocks for Exploding Heart quilt - no progress

I asked Mr Texas Quilt Gal to take a picture of me trying on some "fancy" boots, and this is what I got.

One distraction from my list was a day of shopping for work boots for Mr Texas Quilt Gal. I swear no woman takes as long as he does to decide on shoes. But he is very kind to help me and fetch other sizes when I am trying on shoes, so I was happy to help. One of the stores we visited was Boot Barn, and I found some boots with black glitter trim that I loved. But I have foot surgery in my future, so I am holding off for now. And Mr. TQG found his work boots!

90 Minute Rolls

Here are the rolls I made last week. This is a recipe I've used since 2014. The original recipe, "30 Minute Rolls", can be made more quickly by not doing the first rise and simply forming them into rolls after you make the dough. I like to do that first rise, so mine take longer - hence the "90 Minute Rolls" title. They never fail to be light and fluffy and delicious. We had these with ham, baked beans, and deviled eggs. And a stick of butter! Here is the recipe, with my notes. I mix mine entirely with a KitchenAid, but it can be done with a regular bowl and kneaded by hand. 

90 Minute Rolls
Makes about one dozen

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water

1/3 cup oil

Heaping tablespoon active dry yeast

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

3-1/2 cups flour (can sub part whole wheat or rye flour)

Combine water, oil, yeast, and sugar. Let mixture rest 15 minutes.

Whisk together 2 cups flour and salt and add with egg to yeast mixture, mixing on low until combined. Switch to dough hook and add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time. Mix with dough hook for 3-5 minutes. (Dough will probably be sticky.) Remove dough to greased bowl, flip it, and cover with kitchen towel. Place bowl in warm area and allow to rise for 20-30 minutes. (I use the Bread Proof setting on my gas stove.)

Remove dough to generously floured surface and knead for a minute or so until dough is easy to handle. Form into rolls, place in greased 9 or 10 inch round aluminum cake pan. Dough can also be made into crescent rolls and placed on a parchment lined cookie sheet, or into cloverleaf rolls and placed in a generously greased muffin tin. Cover with kitchen towel and allow to rise 20-30 minutes or until rolls are about doubled in size.

Place pan in oven that has been preheated to 375 degrees. Bake 10-15 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

Note: Dough is pretty sticky. Some recipes list “3-1/2 to 4 cups flour” in the ingredients, but  I do not add additional flour until ready to make into rolls. I think that keeps the texture light and fluffy.

The National Weather Service calls these "scary looking clouds". No severe weather attached, but they produced some gusty winds and a "dustless devil" that blew items in strange ways for about 5 seconds!

Last week I "attended" a virtual webinar - SKYWARN - for volunteer storm spotters. These classes are sponsored and taught by local meteorologists with the National Weather Service. The class is very interesting and much needed during our potentially volatile spring. I needed to refresh my training from 10 years ago, and it was actually enjoyable to be able to sit at my desk to take this class. Next month is the advanced training class, and I can't wait. 

My To-Do list for the coming week includes the things I did not do last week:

1. Finish quilting squirrel

2. Sandwich rose quilt

3. Sandwich Meadowland quilt

4. Work on SAHRR pinwheel border

5. Make Riley Blake block for RBD quilt block challenge

6. Think about "You're Crazy" challenge block for Project Quilting

You may find other creative quilters' inspirational goals right here at Chris's linky party!