Saturday, February 18, 2017

Where to begin?  2016 was not a good year for me.  It was punctuated by losses...First my husband, then my father, and to top it off...a breast.  The loss of my husband was the most difficult.  Over a year later and most days I wonder if I'll ever be the same, and stop hurting...

But life goes on and I've missed the ritual of blogging.  I still chronicled my days to friends that I email daily with, but I feel like I need to get back to this long neglected blog.  

Quilting has kept sane and having that work to do, from wallowing (too much) in my grief.  

Last week Pat and I delivered a pile of quilts to Dr. Kaufman.

My friends have kept me in tops to quilt and it's good to be busy.

Pat has been churning out the quilts since she put up a design wall.  She made a number of tops from kitty blocks, a swap we had participated in.  I was able to load these four on one backing.

Pat also made these tops.

Tove has also kept me in tops.  This one worked for a boy.  We seem to always have many more feminine tops.

 Patty E. made this great quilt. 
Having all these tops lets me do my favorite part of the process...quilting and binding.  I already have two ready for the next pile-o-quilts for Dr. Kaufman.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Winter is here to stay...

At least it feels that way...  A week after our big snowstorm we still have quite a bit on the ground, and have had a few more storms come through.

The temperatures have been below zero several mornings, the lowest I saw was -8.  We are expecting more snow this week!  I think this is the longest we've had snow last on the ground since we moved here almost 10 years ago!
I've started the new year with a couple of finishes for Dr. Kaufman.  Tove sent these cute tops for kids.  I enlarged one of them with some child friendly print that she sent along with them.  Thanks again, Tove! 

I was able to get two loaded on one backing.  I love it when that works.  
Fortunately we've had some good sunny days, and the temperature in our sunroom warms up to 85 and heats the house.  More snow predicted this week!    

Monday, December 28, 2015

Wonderful Christmas

I had to scramble to decorate since Jackie, Justin, and the boys came down for did Paisley and the new grandpuppy.  This is Fred, a Soft Coated Wheaton terrier.  

He did surprisingly well, since he had barely adjusted to his new home before making the trip down to visit for Christmas.  

It was good to be all together Christmas day, since Dale wasn't up to making the trip to Colorado.  The day after Christmas we got the predicted snow.
 It continued on Sunday, though the kids were able to make it back to Colorado.  The trip took much longer than usual.  We had a hasty birthday celebration for the boys' 5th birthday (how is that possible) before they left...sporting new Star Wars bathrobes.


Monday, December 21, 2015

Cordial recipe

Friends from the quilting forum were more interested in the cordial recipe than making the cording for the labels!  LOL!

So here is the recipe:

Honey Peach Cordial

8-10 pounds fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, diced (about 6 quarts)

6 cups water

5 cups honey

2 pieces cinnamon stick (3 inches each)

1 whole nutmeg
2 tablespoons juniper berries
2 teaspoon whole cloves
2 teaspoons whole allspice
* 8 cups Scotch whisky
* Brandy, rum, or whiskey other than Scotch can be substituted.

1. Heat peaches and water in large saucepan to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 1 hour. Strain through fine mesh sieve, pressing with back of spoon to extract liquid. (About 8 cups nectar.)

2. Return nectar to saucepan. Stir in honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, juniper berries, cloves, and allspice. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer covered, 30 minutes. Strain, discard spices. Stir in scotch.

3. Pour into sterilized clear glass bottles. Cover tightly. Let stand in cool, dark, dry area 2 weeks. Sediment will sink to bottoms of bottles. Decant clear liquid, discard sediment. (I use the “sludge” to brush on cakes or cook down to make a filling.) Clean bottles. (I use Grolsch bottles with new rubber rings which you can get in a beer making equipment store.) Fill with cordial. Cordial can be used immediately but improves in clarity and flavor if stored 2 months before using.
I've more frequently made it with apricots rather than peaches, and some have substituted mango for the peaches.  My personal preference is to use Seagram's Seven which makes a very smooth tasting cordial.

One time I processed the fruit by cooking it and running it through a food processor for cordial making later--was up my daughter's in Colorado with the fruit and brought that home to finish making it.  BIG MISTAKE.  I never was able to strain out the fruit, and even after several years, I still have a gallon bottle of mostly "sludge" that I use to soak other fruit in or brush on cakes.  It was very disappointing to waste all that liquor!
 I finished up two quilts for Tove and got them sent off on Saturday.  
She is a prolific quilter.  I have one of my own that needs finishing this week! 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Holiday kitchen

I've been busy, busy in the kitchen.  I bottled a half dozen Grolsch bottles of apricot cordial.  Of course I had to do some taste testing to make sure the product was worthy of gifting. 
I made three batches of scone mix before I ran out of a key ingredient and a double recipe of lemon curd.  I baked some this morning which Pat and I will deliver to Dr. Kaufman's office along with a stack of quilts.

Of course I also had to sample the scones and lemon curd to make sure they were up to par.  Hey, it's a difficult job but someone has to be in charge of quality control! 

I made the cording for the labels on the cordial using Jude Hill's wonderfully addicting instructions.  I love to use all the little bits of fabric we trim.   

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Enough for delivery...

I finished two more quilts.  Pat put these together from old swap blocks she had.  
 Quilting with variegated thread helped give the muslin a little more interest.
She also had a wider backing, so I was able to load them consecutively on one long backing.  I love getting two quilts done at a time!  
The amazing sunrises and sunsets continued just about all week, until yesterday when totally gray skies decided to rain and snow on us.  The snow continues and it is a winter wonderland outside.   

I just swept a path to the studio to turn the heat on and feed the kitties.  In less than half an hour, it's covered again.  As always I'm thankful for the moisture...and a warm, dry house, with plenty of food, and no need to go anywhere.  Let it snow!

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Another gorgeous morning!

The sunrises just keep on getting better, and YAY! I finally got my camera reset, and am able to get clear pictures.  

Seems I needed to put it back on "superfine" and now I'm not getting the grainy pictures I was getting which was so disappointing!
 These are 360 degrees of the sunrise from our back yard, and I haven't done any editing of the pictures!  I just couldn't stop taking pictures.

And I did finish a quilt.  Another beauty from Tove.  Thanks again, my very productive friend! 


Monday, December 07, 2015

Winter sunrises

It's been cold in the early mornings, usually in the teens!  Thankfully though, we've had lots of sunshine to warm the house.
This morning was another of those spectacular sunrises, which mostly I just watch not bothering to record it with the camera.  They change so quickly.
Everything had a pink cast to it.  I love the play of light.  

I've been taking a pottery/mosaic class, and finished the top to my little table using a lot of "findings."  I'm happy with how it turned out and am going to do another project.  The pottery pieces are awaiting their turn in the kiln. 

Our lemon tree has ripening fruit.  It's so fun to watch.  

I finished knitting myself a hat.  It should keep my ears warm on our walks, although usually we wait until it warms up a bit before walking. 


Saturday, November 21, 2015

For the love of lefse...

We had a taste of winter early in the week.  I didn't think we'd get the predicted snow, but sure enough, an hour ahead of the prediction it started snowing.
I love it.  Of course I don't have to drive anywhere in it.  The kitties enjoyed it as well--after it stopped snowing and the sun came out.  This was their first snowstorm!
I got a quilt finished.  Another one from Tove, for Dr. Kaufman. 
I hadn't made lefse in a long while.  I used golden potatoes that came from the San Luis valley, purchased at Costco.  I also used a couple of russets that I had.
And wow, they really worked well.  I still had to eat a few that broke apart transferring it to the griddle--it's a tough job, but someone has to do it!  ;-)

Monday, November 09, 2015

Not so productive...

I made a top myself!  I still prefer quilting and binding to piecing...but once in a while the mood strikes me.

I used leftover half-square triangles from Pat A.'s quilt and put together this kid quilt.  I'll take it with me to Brazil for my cousin's great-grandson if I end up going soon.  If not, it will just go in the bank of quilts for Dr. Kaufman. 

I quilted this beautiful quilt for Pat for her guest room.  She is finally getting some quilts done for her house!  

I made a bowl too.  It was a lot of fun, and I'm trying to come up with ideas to make things with leftover batting.  This one used selvages wrapped over cotton clothesline. 

I piece together bigger pieces of batting and use them on other quilts, but I'm filling up another bag of strips less than six-inches wide.  I'm always trolling the internet looking for creative ideas!