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Sunday, October 31, 2021

Pieces of The Santa Fe Trail - Catch Up Blocks

Four of the 10 blocks for Pieces of The Santa Fe Trail

I finally caught up on my blocks for Pieces of The Santa Fe Trail sew-along. This SAL  started in April, and I didn't begin sewing until September, but it was really fun catching up!

I first read about this SAL on Wendy's blog, and after clicking on the link Wendy provided to Melva's blog, Melva Loves Scraps, I found excerpts of the most interesting story "Land Of Enchantment" to accompany the blocks. I began to look forward to more of the story, and finally decided to join the SAL. You can find my first block right here and read more details about the book and the blocks on Melva's blog.

Top row (L-R): Indian Star, Shoo-Fly, Prairie Flower, Grandmother's Block, Comfort of Home
Bottom row (L-R): Kit in the Corner, Snow, Double Nine, Indian Corn, Wagon Trail

Melva's block patterns are really fun, and I truly enjoy choosing fabrics and making these pretty blocks. I've gotten a few pieces turned differently than the pattern, but they still look good!

Indian Corn

Wagon Trail

I am so drawn to this story that is centered around the memoirs of a young girl on the Santa Fe Trail, probably because I've had a love affair with New Mexico since my first visit there with my Mom and Dad at age 16, when we had a glorious few days in Red River. I am really enjoying Melva's block patterns and look forward to the next one!

I am linking this post to the linky party on Melva's blog , where you can find other versions of the Wagon Trail block for October!
Saturday, October 30, 2021

October Color Challenge and Grapefruit Margaritas!

The month of October has sped by so quickly, and it's already time to post the October block for Jen's 2021 Color Challenge. "Pink Grapefruit" is the color for this month, and I'm including a recipe for grapefruit margaritas! Pink grapefruits are typically yellow with a pink blush. As I looked at my accumulation of blocks for the year, I decided to go with something a little bit different.

Each month Jen provides a free pattern and a color suggestion pertaining to the theme and with options for both 6-inch and 12-inch finished blocks. The theme for 2021 is fruits and vegetables. Last year the color theme was birds. It's a fun challenge, and there are prizes each month. Last month I won a fat quarter bundle from Benartex!

Although I have not tried this recipe, I've intended to since I first bought Martina's Kitchen Mix cookbook by Martina McBride. It sounds delicious!

Grapefruit Margaritas
Serves 2

Margarita salt
3/4 cup freshly squeezed Ruby Red grapefruit juice (from 1-1/2 grapefruits)
2 limes, juiced (1/4 cup) 
3 oz silver or blanco tequila
2 to 3 tablespoons Simple Syrup (see below)
Garnishes: sliced grapefruit, lime wedges

Rub rims of 2 margarita or highball glasses with wedge of grapefruit. Invert each glass into shallow bowl filled with thin layer of margarita salt. Gently twist glasses to coat  dampened rims in salt. Add ice to glasses.

Combine grapefruit juice, lime juice, tequila, and Simple Syrup in cocktail shaker filled with ice. Cover with  lid and shake vigorously until thoroughly chilled (about 30 seconds). Strain into  prepared glasses. Garnish with sliced grapefruit and lime wedges.

Simple Syrup:
Combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in small saucepan. Cook over medium, stirring occasionally, just until  sugar dissolves, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool completely. Makes about 1 cup, which can be stored in refrigerator for up to one week.

I'm linking to Jen's linky party, where you can see all the beautiful versions of her block pattern!
Friday, October 29, 2021

Inner Squirrel Party! A Blog Takeover by Stormy

I'm as surprised as you to find my blog taken over this morning by Stormy, who I recently discovered is my "Inner Squirrel". So without further ado, meet Stormy!

Meet Stormy!

Hi, I am Linda's Inner Squirrel "Stormy", and welcome to the Inner Squirrel Party, hosted by the imaginative Darlene at Creative Latitude! Darlene has a giveaway on her blog, yummy nut-filled food, and an introduction to other Inner Squirrels of Bloglandia, so be sure to visit these links!

If you know Linda, she has always considered herself like "Doug" from the movie "Up", easily distracted by projects other than what she should be working on. But she was wrong. I have been her purposeful Inner Squirrel since she first learned to quilt back in 2010! And "Doug" is not a name I would choose anyway.  Stormy sounds so much better!

When Linda finds herself drawn to projects blogged about by other creative people or photos posted on Instagram, she calls them "Squirrel-spirations" She is partly right in that bloggers and photos do inspire her, but I am the one who urges her to do more than just be inspired. In fact I claim responsibility for all the "squirrel" projects on this blog!

Let me give you an example of how this works. Back in September, when she posted on Instagram a photo representing the First Meteorological Day of Fall, she found herself drawn to the riot of colors in the photo, especially that unexpected purple. I knew that she loves Fall, so I began urging her to "make something with those colors". She resisted until she saw a mention of this blog hop on Wendy's blog Pieceful Thoughts. I persuaded Linda to email Wendy for Darlene's email address to see if it was too late to join the blog hop. Long story short - Darlene said welcome aboard! Then it dawned on Linda that she needed a project and that the blog hop was a mere two days away (wow, my skills of persuasion are strong!) So good Inner Squirrel that I am, I reminded her of that pretty leaves photo, and so she began thinking . . .

Again, I reminded her that a couple weeks ago, she saw some pretty, scrappy leaves on Diann's blog Little Penguin Quilts. Then she read that the pattern was from Carole at My Carolina Home, and it was part of an Autumn Jubilee. Did someone say "Autumn"? Linda was all over that! So armed with the pretty leaves photo and the free leaf pattern from Carole, away she went with a project for this post.

These blocks are the start of a pretty quilt, and it will be because Linda listened to me, her Inner Squirrel. Carole has instructions on her blog to add a scrappy nine-patch star and accent fabric to these blocks, so I will push Linda to get it done!

So you get the idea how this works, right? I am a very persistent Inner Squirrel, and if she wants to call me "Doug" or "Squirrel-spiration", you will know what my name really is! 

As you may have heard, I like nuts, and Linda is kind of nutty in my opinion. She is a weather nut and claims to be a trained storm spotter, yet she has never chased a tornado. She is a math nut and claims to have a degree in math, yet her quilt-math ability is non-existent. And she says she like nuts of all kinds, yet she really only likes nuts in her pecan pie and not in other baked goods. Say what? However, she does like this recipe with chunky peanut butter as an ingredient, and since peanuts are MY favorite nut, and this is HER favorite banana bread recipe, we decided to include it in this post!

Peanut Butter Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips
Makes one loaf

1-1/4 cup unbleached flour
6 tablespoons white sugar
6 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 medium very ripe bananas, mashed or whizzed in food-processor
1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 tablespoons plain fat-free yogurt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips tossed in 1 tablespoon flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray; add a strip of parchment paper to bottom of pan for easy removal.

Combine flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in bowl. In another bowl mix bananas, peanut butter, yogurt, egg, vanilla, and oil. Fold in flour mixture and stir until no streaks of flour remain, then gently fold in chocolate chips. Scrape batter into loaf pan. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until toothpick comes out with few moist crumbs. Cool in pan on wire rack 15 minutes; carefully remove from pan and allow to cool completely on wire rack before slicing.

Hi it's Linda again, and I hope you enjoyed learning all about Stormy! Please take a minute or two to visit these links and meet the other lovely Inner Squirrels - Gertie, Winnie, Samantha, and Sally!
Tuesday, October 26, 2021

To Do Tuesday 10-26-21

Well hey again! Yes it is To Do Tuesday - time to share your past week with others in a linky party. Last week we had 24 bloggers add their links! Join the party and add your post by clicking the link below.

DashAlong is sandwiched!

Here is the list I confidently made last week:
✅1. DashAlong and SAHRR - Progress - DashAlong is sandwiched and ready for Longmire!
✅2. Continue crocheted scarf - Progress - and I'm loving it!
3. Embroidery and big stitch at night - Nope
4. Catch up on Santa Fe Trail blocks - Progress - I chose fabrics for Shoo-Fly block
5. Start Autumn Jubilee QAL - No progress but thinking about it
✅6. Indian Corn quilt - Progress - I made two blocks

Two more Indian Corn blocks

Goals for this coming week:
1. Quilt DashAlong
2. Work on Santa Fe Trail blocks
3. Make more Indian Corn blocks
4. Make Color Challenge Block and post
5. Start on an Autumn Jubilee project
6. Continue to slow stitch or crochet at night

OK you've plodded through my lists, now let's take a look at yours! Please click on the link to add your post and join in the fun!

UPDATE: For some reason my blogsite is not accessing Marsha's linkup, so I am adding a link to her blog right here - go visit and see all the goodness going on there!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

One In A Minion Quilt - Exploding Heart QAL Finish

The colors are much more vibrant - they seemed to fade in the sunlight!

I started this quilt in January for the Exploding Heart quilt-along, hosted by pattern author Laura Piland of Slice of Pi Quilts. It seemed an appropriate time to make a Valentine's Day quilt but I wanted different colors than red or pink.

This pattern is made up of six different blocks using quarter square triangles, and I chose the scrappy version. I cut 328 squares from my selected fabrics, and those were sewn into HSTs to make the quarter square triangles.

At this point I was crossing my fingers the kitties wouldn't start pawing!

Quilt assembly was the most intricate part, and thank goodness Laura provided very precise layout instructions. It took some time, but it was fun to see the pattern come together. I can't imagine trying to figure out this arrangement on my own!

It qualifies for a Mullet Quilt - sophisticated in the front, party in the back!

I am a traditional quilt girl, but I am often attracted to modern quilts. This one was irresistible, and I love how it turned out. My husband claimed it early on, which really surprised me, so I wanted the backing to be something uniquely "him". He has been a "Minions" fan since 2015, so I had purchased a Minions panel with the intention of making him a Minions quilt. Well that never happened, so I used it to complete a pieced back. 

This guy is my "one in a Minion" 😍

I really, really enjoyed quilting it on the Simply Sixteen. It seemed to take a long time, mainly because shifting the quilt around on the frame and aligning the quilt with the carriage and the rails is all new to me. It's a learning experience that is very satisfying.

On the floor

Colors and fabrics closeup

Binding closeup

Quilt Details
Pattern by Laura at Slice of Pi Quilts 
Finished size: 72" x 72" 
Laundered size: 68" x 68"

Front Fabrics
Dancing Fortunella from Floralish by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery
Botanica Sunburst Chartreuse by QT Fabrics
Grunge in Metallic Lead, Key Lime, and Seeing Spots in Sunflower by Basic Grey
Blue Plaid Elements by P&B Textiles
Elizabeth's Dowry Blue Dots on Cream by Marcus Fabrics
Newspaper Butterflies on Yellow by Carrie Bloomston for Windham Fabrics
Background - Decostitch Cloud by Art Gallery

One In A Minion fabric panel
Minions blue fabric
Light mottled gray from JoAnn's

Navy with yellow dots from JoAnn's

FMQ Meander on HQ Simply Sixteen

Laundered, crinkly, and cuddly and waiting for cold weather!

Thanks for putting up with this long post! You can see other versions of this pattern on Instagram using hashtag #explodingheartqal or click right here.

I'm belatedly linking this post to Alycia's Finished ( or not) Friday!

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

To Do Tuesday 10-19-21

Here we are again at To Do Tuesday - how did you fare last week? Today we share our creative mojo and draw inspiration from other bloggers! If you are unfamiliar with To Do Tuesday, just click on the logo above to read more about it and consider joining us each week! Linkup is at the bottom of this post.

In my sidebar is a "button" that excites me every time I see it. It is the Autumn Jubilee hosted by Carole at From My Carolina Home, and it has leaves and pumpkins and soup and pumpkin bread in the logo! I saw it mentioned by Diann at Little Penguin Quilts and since I love EVERYTHING autumn related, I decided to join in. Carole has everything from recipes to quilt-alongs to tablescapes to purses to wool applique, so there is something for everyone. I hope to start on the QAL this week. The scrappy leaf pattern is so cute!

Here were my plans for last week:
✅1. Quilt Exploding Heart - Quilted and bound! I'll have a post up in a day or two.
2. Sandwich DashAlong and SAHRR - Nothing
✅3. Start a crocheted neck scarf - Progress - started and a few inches so far
4. Do a bit of slow stitch at night. - Nothing

Goals for this coming week:
1. DashAlong and SAHRR
2. Continue crocheted scarf
3. Embroidery and big stitch at night
4. Catch up on Santa Fe Trail blocks
5. Start Autumn Jubilee QAL
6. Indian Corn quilt

What is happening in your world? Please share by adding your post to the link below!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Saturday, October 16, 2021

Exploding Heart Status

Just a quick check-in to say Longmire and I are FINALLY quilting Exploding Heart! I lamented to Chris of Chris Knits that I hadn't been able to decide on a quilting pattern yet, and she suggested I look for finished Exploding Heart quilts for quilting ideas. I looked at the #explodingheartqal hashtag on Instagram and found one that was quilted with the look I wanted - cozy and casual. It is a simple "meander", which I have done before with Janice Janome, but the stitches look much better with the longarm. So thanks for the suggestion Chris!

Longmire and me and my OU Sooners shirt!

"Longmire" is a Handi Quilter Simply Sixteen that we recently purchased and is a dream to use. With the quilting frame being only 5 feet long, I have to shift the quilt on the frame quite a few times to get it all quilted, but I am getting the hang of where to place the quilt on the frame and how far I can quilt each section.

We are gearing up for NCAA football day and the OU Sooners game against TCU later tonight. I hope you are having a great weekend!
Tuesday, October 12, 2021

To Do Tuesday 10-12-21

Yes it is already Tuesday again! It's time to take stock of accomplishments, gridlocks, changes of direction, squirrels, fun times, experiences with the seam ripper, or anything noteworthy during your past week and let us know what you have planned for next week! Come on and join in the fun and let us get to know one another a little better. The linkup is at the end of this post.

Exploding Heart is sandwiched and ready to quilt!

Here were my ambitious plans for last week:
✅1. Hand stitching at night
2. Santa Fe Trail blocks - nothing
3. Indian Corn blocks - nothing
✅4. Quilt Exploding Heart, DashAlong, and SAHRR - Progress - Exploding Heart sandwiched.

Much of my week was spent texting with our daughter, who is in the early stages of divorce. We are so glad that she has good friends and a caring church family and that we live close enough to provide the extra support she needs during this tough time. She is showing amazing strength and determination in the midst of despair, and we are very proud of her!

What I hope to accomplish this coming week:
1. Quilt Exploding Heart
2. Sandwich DashAlong and SAHRR
3. Start a crocheted neck scarf
4. Do a bit of slow stitch at night.

Now it's time for  you to add your link below and to see what others have been doing and making!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Tuesday, October 5, 2021

To Do Tuesday 10-5-21

Welcome to To Do Tuesday, where we pat each other on the back and encourage one another. October has finally arrived, and I fell into Fall immediately. I wish that scene above was the road to my house! 

This is a pattern I recently purchased called Gemstones by QuiltFOX Design

I continue to purchase patterns as if I don't already have a million in my closet. The one above was on sale at a quilt shop, so I actually bought a paper pattern instead of my usual PDF. I think it's beautiful and hope to make it soon, but it may wait till next year.

Pieces of The Santa Fe Trail blocks

Last week was up and down both physically (a brief stomach virus) and emotionally (stressful family situation) so my concentration was off; but working on projects always provides a soothing rhythm in my life.

Here were my goals for last week:
✅1. Piece and sandwich Exploding Heart and DashAlong - Progress - I pieced the backing for Exploding Heart and will do DashAlong today
2. Piece backing for SAHRR Christmas quilt - I plan to do this today
✅3. Big stitch, embroidery, and cross stitch at night - Progress on big stitch
✅4. Catch up on Pieces of the Santa Fe Trail blocks - Progress - I have completed five blocks and have four more to do to catch up with the SAL

Here is what I hope to accomplish this coming week:
1. Hand stitching at night
2. Santa Fe Trail blocks
3. Indian Corn blocks
4. Quilt Exploding Heart, DashAlong, and SAHRR

So now it's your turn! Tell us what you've been up to and go for a visit or two to give someone a pat on the back.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter