Saturday, July 23, 2016

Mug Rugs

I feel like a "real" quilter now:  I left the 99K set up for sewing seams and used my 714 for freemotion quilting.  Whee!

Before I finished Mom's pillow, I whipped up some mug rugs.  It had been a while since I had done freemotion, so I decided to warm up with my two mini New York Beauty blocks.  I was much more confident tackling the pillow after quilting these.

The third mug rug is from leftover home decor fabric.  It's a never ending pile (although I'm really down to a just handful) - mostly selvedges and one 9x10" piece.  I threw in a piece of frankensteined batting and voila!  another mug rug.  Oddly enough, this one is my favorite of the bunch.  Not sure what I'll do with the other two.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

They're All Mine

A pan of frozen blueberries
Blueberries.  I haven't been able to eat them in a while.  Absolute sadness - they're my favorite berry.  So I didn't make the pilgrimage to my parent's house last summer to pick them from the enormous blueberry bush in their back yard.

But this summer they don't seem to bother me.  I visited my parents last weekend and behold!  the blueberry bush had started to produce.  My mother and I braved the warm weather and picked.  And picked.  I brought home a quart of these lovely little beauties.  I froze most of them.  The large handful I didn't freeze disappeared this morning.  Once the weather cools, there will be blueberry cake!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Pointed Pillow

My old machine came back from the shop.  Yay!  I hadn't expected it to return for another week or two.  I spent a few evenings last week quilting this pillow and some mug rugs.

Nothing fancy for the quilting.  I figured the piecing was busy enough.  The colors on the back look a little garish.  (Click photos to enlarge.)  But they blended nicely on the front.

I think of the Beauty blocks as the front of the pillow, but the back is just as pretty.  I had a terrible time freemotion quilting the compass star because of all the fabric at the point seams.  My foot kept catching on it, throwing off the pattern I was quilting.  I changed my approach and quilted most of this side with a walking foot.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Not So Bad

Eating pepper next to each other
Wedgwood has been with us two months and continues to settle in nicely.  I have not done many introductions with adult sows, so it's hard to say how much of her attitude is personality or how much is a reflection of the life she's had so far.  Wedgie was initially territorial about food.  If she was eating something, Boadicea couldn't have any of it and couldn't even stand near it.  So I was surprised after doling out morning pepper that the two of them stood near each other - almost touching! - happily munching away.

Wedg still doesn't know what to make of me.  I often reach in to pat the pigs.  She's ready to bolt, but it's hard to refuse a good scratch behind the ears.  At first I thought she'd be another people-pig like Boadicea, but now I'm not so sure.  We'll see how she is in another couple of months.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

So Bad

These S'more Stuffed Cookies are so bad.  I mean, they're delicious, crazy-sweet and need to be eaten fresh out of the oven.  It's hard to tell in the photos - the graham cracker and milk chocolate chip cookie dough is stuffed with marshmallows. So hard to eat just one.  I'm so glad I only a half batch to test.

I found the recipe on A Cookie Named Desire.  Baking was tricky:  just a minute too long and the marshmallow melts away to nothing.  I didn't bake them all up like a usual batch of cookies.  I formed the cookies and froze them raw.  That turned out to be a good plan - the frozen dough seemed to bake properly with a gooey marshmallow center.  The site recommends eating the immediately.  I have to agree.  I bake them one or two at a time in the toaster oven.  Oh, lovely, especially with ice cream.

Did I mention they're addictive?

Only two left.  Whew.  I'm not sure if I'll make them again.  They were a lot of work for something I'm going to eat all myself.  But they were delicious while they lasted.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

New Mitt

I make my own oven mitts.  I found a pattern years ago that had a big fat thumb in the middle, instead of the more traditional small thumb on the side.  Love the pattern (have no  idea where I found it).  It has no right or left, no sharp curves to sew or turn inside-out.

I admit, the old one is rather ratty.  Rob has wanted me to replace it for months.  It still works fine, although some of the fabric had burned through expose the terry cloth batting underneath.   (Who touched the bare heating element?  Not me!)

I'm a messy cook, so normally I choose dark colors for my mitts.  This time, though, I went for durability and heat resistance.  I picked what was left of my cotton upholstery fabric, stitching the heaviest onto the fingers and thumb.  I use old bath towels for the batting.  That's enough insulation for me but this time I went whole hog and added Insul-Bright to the palm of the mitt. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Three Cheers for Boadicea!

Boadicea's classic disapproving pose
Why?  Because today, Boadicea is three years old.

Boadi has mellowed a lot in the last year.  It's a good thing, considering she's gone from top dog with Cannoli to low-man with Wedgwood.  Oddly enough, she doesn't seem to care.  She's happy as long as she can sack out in a cozy or the hammock.  All alone or with a buddy, she takes it all in stride.

That's Boadicea for you.  The Boad abides.

Even though she can't pick on Wedgwood like she did Cannoli, she's started to rumblestrut at Wedg.  Although most things aren't worth arguing about, occasionally Boadi feels she must stand her ground.  It's the principal of the thing, even if there's plenty of good spots to hang out in the cage.  Life with the new roommate is balancing out.