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Monday, October 3, 2022

To Do Tuesday 10-4-22

Welcome to the Fall edition of To Do Tuesday! This is the day we show off our project status from last week and share out playlists for the coming week. All of your activities are welcome - sewing, gardening, photography, tablescapes, reading, travel - we want you to join in! Just click on the Inlinkz widget box below to add your posts.

Starting today
To Do Tuesday will open on Mondays at 9:00pm
Closing time remains the same - Mondays at 11:59pm

Indian Corn Finish!
Last week my goals were:
✅1. Sew binding on RSS quilt and take to with us on Friday while we babysit our grandson so our daughter can go to the dentist. Our granddaughter will be in school, so our daughter will send us a photo of her with her new quilt. Finished the quilt and posted here but not yet delivered - Jenni postponed her dentist visit due to insurance issues, but they will visit over the weekend!
✔2. Get The Wedding Quilt sandwiched and ready for quilting! Halfway done and almost ready to load on Longmire.
✅3. Finish crochet hat and start on my next crochet project - maybe another hat or maybe a scarf. - Done, but I messed up and made it too tall, so it looks like a gnome hat.😆It will become a "work in the yard during winter" hat.
✅4. Look at my next two quilting projects: One is a quilt I started last September - Indian Corn - and the other project is the RBD (Riley Blake Designs) blocks, which I need to sew together with sashing - I looked at both projects and went ahead and finished Indian Corn - posted here!

These brownies are dense with the crackle top I love

My husband expressed a craving for brownies so I tried a new recipe - the result was delicious. You can find the original recipe here, but below is my tweaked version:

Best Brownies
Makes 9 to 12 brownies

3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
10 tablespoons salted butter, melted
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup melted milk chocolate chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans are optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 9x9 inch pan for baking. I sprayed mine with baking spray and added parchment paper to the bottom. Whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, espresso powder, and cinnamon. Set aside.
Mix melted butter and sugars until well blended. Whisk eggs with fork and add with vanilla to sugar mixture, mixing well. Whisk in melted chocolate. Add flour mixture and blend with spatula until no flour shows. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans, if using. Spread in pan.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with very moist crumbs. Cool before cutting (we didn’t wait!)

Last week I won a pattern just for posting a photo on Instagram for National Sewing Month - thank you to Melva for the prompt! I chose a beautiful foundation paper pieced pattern from Denise's stunning selection in her shop, For The Love of Geese. I  have only made one paper small pieced project in 2015, but I really enjoyed the process, so I look forward to trying a paper pieced quilt.

My playlist for the coming week:
1. Start on quilting The Wedding Quilt
2. Decide on sashing and start putting RBD quilt together
3. Work on coin purses
4. Work on autumn wall hanging
5. Work on crochet hat
6. Have our daughter and The Littles up for visit on Saturday!

It's your turn! Give us a chance to visit your blog and cheer you on - just click on the link below to add your post. If you see Marsha's Spot on the list, please copy this URL and paste it into your browser and that will help you access her website.

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please add your blog name to your comment - thanks!

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

I finished The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley today and wow, I loved it. It was first published in 2008, but I only read about it recently, on one of your blogs, and I'm so glad I did!

This is a book that weaves together two stories, one during the early 1700s during the early stages of the Jacobite rebellion and the other in present day Scotland. The descriptions of the scenery and the weather could not be any more evocative and made me long to live there.

Slains Castle, Aberdeen, Scotland - it's a real place!

Without revealing too much, I will say that this is a little different than the time travel in Outlander but has the same appeal for me. Instead of actual travel, it deals with the ancestral memories of Carrie, a successful historical fiction writer who is visiting Scotland. She decides to relocate there to jump start her next book. While staying in a quaint cottage near the remains of Slains Castle, Carrie finds herself compelled to write, as the story comes alive through the heroine, Sophia, who lived for awhile in Slains Castle. The intimate details of the story seem to spill out of Carrie, and after researching, she finds that the words she has typed are actual facts, including the names she has given her characters.

There is gentle romance in both time timelines, but fortunately no intimate scenes. (I'm no prude, but I don't need to read details about it, I like to use my imagination.) I have to admit, I tend to skim through the history to get to the "real" story, but Kearsley's characters' careful conversations about the politics of the period are rich and entertaining. And there is a very unexpected twist, which I did not see coming!

This book is the first in a series, so I will definitely get the next one, The Firebird!

I am linking to Kathryn's It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Indian Corn Quilt Finish

Presenting Indian Corn, my squirrel-spiration quilt for fall!

I started this quilt in September 2021 after being inspired by the colors in a cross stich photo posted on Instagram by Fat Quarter Shop and an internet photo of Indian Corn. I found the Irish chain-esque pattern in a pamphlet by Teri Christopherson of Black Mountain Needlework - Mad About Plaid.

The blocks are big at 15-1/2 inches unfinished and are placed in a 4 across-5 down grid.

When I make this quilt again, (I think it would be beautiful in Christmas colors) I would not follow the pattern instructions for the "chains". This pattern is designed for a quick make by strip piecing light and dark together see above left). Although the result is beautiful, this method created a lot of skew for me, and that affected the final assembly with many crooked and unmatched segments. I think I will more accuracy by sewing together two four-patches with two squares (see above right).

I finished the flimsy last November and had almost finished quilting when I ran out of the Magnifico gold thread I was using for the top. It was the week before Thanksgiving, and I had planned to have it displayed and ready to use when family came. I ordered the thread and it was not scheduled to arrive until the day before Thanksgiving, so I dejectedly put it away to finish later. Last week I pulled it out and was elated to finish the quilting - it was fun to see all the fabrics again!

Sunrise cast a warm glow on it!

This was a good scrap buster, and I had fun pulling fabrics from stash to use. I think these fall colors might be my favorite quilting colors.

My shadow approves of the gingham plaid backing in harvest colors 

Closeup of the backing and binding

Magnifico thread has a beautiful sheen 

Laundered and crinkly soft  for a cozy read with appropriately hued Jack

Quilt Details:
Finished pre-laundered size: 60 x 75 inches
Finished laundered size: 57.5 x 72 inches
Pattern: Indian Corn from Mad About Plaid
Quilting: All over meander on Longmire

Scraps and fabric from stash
Harvest Plaid from Joann's Fabrics

Petal Vines from the Harvest Moon Collection by Renee Nanneman for Andover Fabrics

Quilters Dream Cotton Select Loft

Superior Threads:
So Fine #50 for piecing and binding:
Genoa Gray #503
Marigold #421
Black #411

Magnifico #40 for quilting:
Ingot #2068

I am linking to Melva's Sew and Tell on Melva Loves Scraps!
Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Laney's Big Girl Quilt - RSS Summer Sew-along

Here is a fun finish for my littlest granddaughter!

Ruby Star Society Sample Quilt

What began as a summer sew-along has turned into a fall finish! After making a Gingham Table Runner, I spied another project featuring colorful squares of fabric on Instagram for the Ruby Star Summer Sewalong. I love gingham and plaid effects in quilting, and thought this would make a great summer picnic quilt. We haven't been on a picnic in years, but I love the sound of "picnic quilt"!

I printed out the free pattern and was just starting to pull some fabrics from stash when my daughter texted me. She and 6 year-old Delaney (we all call her "Laney") were "fighting" over a quilt that my daughter had claimed the last time they visited. (Side note: It was this quilt, and you might recall I made it for myself. Well it was mine until my daughter saw the back of it and fell in love - lol!) She wondered if I would want to make Laney her own "big girl" quilt so she wouldn't have to share her quilt with her - lol!

Laney loves this fabric!

RSS suggested these possible colorways for the quilt

As you know, when someone asks you to make them a quilt, heavenly choirs sing! On a whim I sent my daughter the picture of the sample sew-along quilt and asked her if she thought Laney would like the pattern. Well yes, she loved the pattern so I sent her some of the colorways suggested, and Laney chose the one that features Tarrytown by Kimberly Kight (middle colorway shown above). A big part of the attraction was the above navy turtle fabric. We narrowed down preferred colors, I ordered from two Etsy shops, and everything arrived fairly quickly.

The pattern features strip cutting, and with the charm packs, cutting was pretty fast. The making of the quilt was prolonged due to two cataract surgeries, but better late than never!

Binding choice was influenced by Diann at Little Penguin Quilts, who has used Tula Pink's gorgeous Fairy Dust in a few of her projects. I found it in lavender and there was every color needed! Quilting was a widely spaced "swirly criss-cross" (my name for it) because my daughter prefers less quilting.

Quilt back blowing in the breeze

Closeup of the backing
My daughter sent me photos of the colors in Laney's room as well as her sheets. I found the perfect backing, which not only coordinates with the fabrics on the front but also with Laney's sheets!

Cozy softness after laundering!

I have to say a word about the batting. Last year I used up the last of a big roll of batting I had purchased on sale from Joann's fabrics. I asked Kathleen of Kathleen McMusing for her recommendations. Kathleen is always so kind and patient with any questions I have, and she gave me such good information. I ended up purchasing Quilters Dream Cotton Select Loft, and I could not be more pleased with it! I never knew how much difference good batting can make in a quilt. My quilts are so soft and cozy after laundering, and you can actually feel the difference between my most recent quilts and my old ones. So thank you Kathleen!

We will deliver the quilt on Friday while Laney is in school,
so my daughter will send me a photo of Laney with her quilt
Quilt Details
Finished pre-laundered size: 68 x 69 inches
Finished laundered size: 65 x 66 inches
Pattern: Perfect Picnic, a free Buffalo-style plaid pattern found here

Fabrics from Tarrytown by Kimberly Kight for Ruby Star Society
Hole Punch Dots in White by Kimberly Kight for Ruby Star Society 
Stay Gold by Melody Miller for Ruby Star Society
Sugar Sunshine by Sara Watts for Ruby Star Society
Effie's Woods by Deb Strain for Moda
Tessalations Diamond Stack Purple by Victoria Bright for River's Bend 
Words Allover from Sweet World by Charlotte Grace for Wilmington Prints
Tula Pink's Fairy Dust in lavender

Quilters Dream Cotton Select Loft

Superior Threads So Fine #50 in Genoa Gray #503

Monday, September 26, 2022

To Do Tuesday 9-27-22

Welcome to To Do Tuesday - would you believe the last one in September? Eeeeek! On the one hand, I'm so excited that October is just around the corner, and on the other hand I'm already panicked to get my holiday projects done. If you feel the same, list out those projects and post them by clicking the link below. And as Cheree said on her blog last week "We'll encourage you to get things done!" - I love that!
I have decided to open the TDT linkup earlier in order
to accommodate those who prepare their posts early,
so how does Monday night at 9:00pm CST sound to you?
If you need earlier, let me know in the comments,
otherwise this will be in effect starting next Tuesday.

Coin purse done!

Last week's goals:
✅1. RSS quilt - I want to finish it so we can take it to our granddaughter on September 23 - We are going this coming Friday instead (our daughter had the date wrong)I'm marking this as a finish because all I have left is binding it! I'm buying some color catchers today to have ready when I wash it.
✔2. Wedding quilt - Progress of a sort - I got it out ready to press because it has been in a drawer!
✔3. Crochet hat - I am almost ready to cinch up the top and decide if I want to add a pom-pom
✅4. Make myself a coin purse, style similar to this one I made in 2014 - Done and posted here

Brown Sugar Apple Pie, recipe here

In spite of the continued high 90s heat, last week I just had to make something apple-ish, and this hit all the spots. And cooler air finally came last night!

RSS quilt is ready to bind!

My playlist for the coming week:
1. Sew binding on RSS quilt and take to with us on Friday while we babysit our grandson so our daughter can go to the dentist. Our granddaughter will be in school, so our daughter will send us a photo of her with her new quilt.
2. Get The Wedding Quilt sandwiched and ready for quilting!
3. Finish crochet hat and start on my next crochet project - maybe another hat or maybe a scarf.
4. Look at my next two quilting projects: One is a quilt I started last September - Indian Corn - and the other project is the RBD (Riley Blake Designs) blocks, which I need to sew together with sashing.

I suggest you assume this position as you go visit the other blogs,
otherwise you will end up with a Squirrel Alert page like mine on your blog!

OK it's time to get those posts linked up! Just click on the link below and add yours. If you have any questions, click on the To Do Tuesday button in my sidebar.

Inlinkz is spotty in accessing Marsha's Spot blog, so I suggest you copy the URL below and paste it into your address bar and go see what she has created!

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and add your blog name to your comment - thanks!

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Click here to enter
Saturday, September 24, 2022

A Coin Purse And Apple Pie!

This little purse has been on my "make" list since I made one in 2014 for my granddaughter's 11th birthday - she is 19 now! You can read about it right here on my old blog.

This canvas fabric by Cosmo has been in my stash for years.

I did a couple things differently from the last time I used this pattern:
1. I did not line the outer fabric with fusible fleece, which is very bulky. 
2. The tutorial gives instructions for gluing the fabric to the clasp, but I chose to sew it on instead using two strands of embroidery floss, which you can see in the photo above. There are several good tutorial posts and videos showing how to do this.

I bought several of these clasps from Sugar Carousel on Etsy

I used quilting cotton for the inside and lined it with light fusible interfacing.  I will try to hide the inside stitches next time. I will also work on the pattern to make it fit this particular clasp more perfectly. There are some gaps on the side upper corners.

Fits nicely into my new cross-body bag (purchased on Amazon)

More coin purses in the works!

The tutorial and pattern are found on this post by Sweet Bee Buzzings. My daughter saw my Instagram post and now she wants one. Then she showed the photo to The Littlest Granddaughter, and she said "Is that for me?" so more fabric has been pulled to make my girls happy!

After all that work, I needed sustenance! I started to make a Fresh Apple Cake, but my DIY Guy walked in, saw the apples and baking ingredients and got excited about pie, so that is what I made instead. It is my favorite apple pie recipe, and I call it Brown Sugar Apple Pie, even though it has both kinds of sugar. It is based on the popular Apple Pie by Grandma Ople on Allrecipes. I make it a little differently with added spices. If you want to try my version, here is the recipe:

Brown Sugar Apple Pie

4 cups chopped or sliced thin apples
1/2 cup salted butter*
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
Heaping teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 9-inch double pie crust
*If you use unsalted butter, add 1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 425°. Prepare pie crust for double crust and set aside.

Melt butter in saucepan, add flour and stir to form paste, cook a couple minutes over low heat. Add sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and water, bring to boil. Add apples, lower heat, and simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Roll out and place bottom crust in pie pan. Add apple mixture. Prepare top crust and place on top of apples. Crimp edges and cut slits or shapes in several places.

Bake at 425° for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 350°. (I place mine on a rack close to the bottom of the oven. It seems to cook the apples better and the crust edges don't brown as quickly.) Bake until apples are tender and juices are bubbling through crust. Mine is in the oven about an hour total. Place on wire rack to cool.
Tuesday, September 20, 2022

To Do Tuesday 9-20-22

It is Tuesday, and you know what time that is! Welcome to To Do Tuesday - please come on in and share your activities from last week and show us your playlists for the coming week. All are welcome! If you have doubts about it, just click on the couple above and go read what To Do Tuesday is all about.

In case you missed it, the winner of my giveaway for the Get On Board With Sewing blog hop was Judy of Busy Hands Are Happy Hands! The grand prize winner on Brenda's blog was "Lori S". Congratulations to the winners, and another big Thank You to Brenda and Melva at Melva Loves Scraps for such a successful and fun celebration of National Sewing Month.

Saying a final good-bye to Queen Elizabeth II
Last week was a so-so week in terms of finishing, but I enjoyed it anyway. The Queen's funeral and procession to Windsor yesterday was a major distraction.
✔1. RSS quilt - Quilting started but had to rip some out
❌2. Wedding quilt - Nothing
✔3. Crochet hat - Slow-going but good progress, white stripe has been added

Playlist for the coming week:
1. RSS quilt - I want to finish it so we can take it to our granddaughter on September 23
2. Wedding quilt
3. Crochet hat
4. Make myself a coin purse, style similar to this one I made in 2014.

Do you have a playlist for the coming week? Squirrel-wise it is very dangerous for me to visit your blogs, but I love seeing what you've been up to, so be sure to add your link below and then go visit the other blogs! Because of an Inlinkz conflict, you may have problems accessing Marsha's Spot blog. If so, just copy the URL below and paste it into your address bar:

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Monday, September 19, 2022

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Each week Kathryn at The Book Date hosts this event to share what you are reading or have read or about to read! Several of you share your latest books on your posts, and I have enjoyed many of your recommendations. Kathryn gives a brief review of her massive reading list, so it is a great read for me every Monday.

I'm not sure if it was Kathryn or someone on another blog who recommended this book, The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley. The description on Amazon drew me in "Fans of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series will devour this hauntingly beautiful tale of love and time travel". Well, yes I am a huge fan of Outlander (the TV series) AND time travel, so yes I had to have it!

My glass of  zin and my iPad!

The main character, Carrie, is an author who is staying near the Slains Castle in Scotland to do research on her latest book. Without revealing too much, let's just say that as she writes, she seems to have an ancestral or genetic memory of her main character, who lives during the first Jacobite uprising. So far I have enjoyed Kearsley's smooth transitions from present day to the past.

Winter Sea is the first book of "The Scottish series", so I am already looking forward to the next one, The Firebird.