Sunday, March 12, 2017

I am still a gatherer...

We don't have mail delivery to homes here, and so a trip to the post office is in order for most days.  I like to walk the two-mile round trip, but the past few weeks the weather hasn't cooperated.  Mostly the wind has been the enemy lately.  

When I do walk, I generally find stuff.  The wind, rain, and snow is continuously unearthing new treasures and recently I laid out my newer collected finds on the picnic table.  

I knew the large white ceramic disk was some type of insulator, but had no knowledge of early glass jar batteries!  I found the three pieces at different times in the same general location.  
I find lots of old brown Clorox jars--well, pieces parts.  The lid on the Purex bottle has held up its claim of being unbreakable and rust proof!  I'm hoping to get back into mosaics when spring decides to arrive permanently.  

I've also finished some more quilts.  This small one from Yetta gave me an opportunity to try a new panto, Wallaby Weave, that I didn't want to commit to doing on a large quilt.  While it is dense, it's not too difficult.

Patti E. gave me this wonderful top.  

Besides keeping me with a healthy supply of tops, Tove sent this already finished quilt along with a matching tote.  

I also finished a large quilt for Pat.  I used Rita's Feather panto on it which while not overly difficult became tedious on such a large quilt. 

Thanks to all my friends who keep me stitching.  A little sign of spring from hyacinths I planted in the fall not knowing if they were still viable after some long neglect in Jackie's garage last spring! 


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

I never tire of beautiful sunrises here.  I have so many pictures that I usually just forgo bundling up to step outside and take another picture, and instead just watch the unfolding color displays.

I continue to quilt, and besides these two I finished for Pat, I have gotten a few done for Dr. Kaufman.  

Some time ago, I made a barn quilt at the request of a blogger friend for her book, Build a Barn.  The barn, my attempt at translating the Round Barn at Ojo Caliente into fabric finally came back to me, so much better after being quilted by Chris Ballard.  I have finally hung it in my home. 

I used a panel for the backing on this quilt, and quilted it with a truck panto from Dave Hudson.  Pat put together the top from swapped blocks.  It's nice to have one that works for boys.

She also put this more feminine top from swapped blocks.  

Another clouds and sky picture.  Today I can't see the mountains for all the dirt blowing around.   


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 me 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!