Sunday, August 31, 2014

2014 Stash Report Week 35

Yards in: 1
Yards out: 0.5
Cumulative yards in: 24.4
Cumulative yards out: 23.35
Net gain/loss: 1.05 GAINED

Spending since last post: $64.21
Spending this year: $274.36

I got the center of a small scrappy quilt finished last night:
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Ralph had no interest in helping.
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But today I set up the ironing board and got it all pressed. That stripe in the middle isn't really a stripe - it's the length-wise borders cut to size.
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Hopefully I can get to quilting tomorrow - the reality at my house is that my quilting machine often looks like this:
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I also spent some time today shifting things around, so now it looks better:
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Most of the spending was on batting :) Labor day sale at Jo-Ann netted 5 yards of Warm & White and a queen-size Pellon batt.

I also bought two spools of thread, a new rotary cutter, and two half-yard cuts of CUTE flannel:
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I just don't remember fabric that cute being around when *my* kids were babies. I was able to make four burp cloths out of this so far, for the half-yard used ~ I used the tutorial here. The first ones I made were the pink owls, backed with a snow-died t-shirt I never wore because it was too tight for me, and I was cursing the advice to use the knit. The pink knit for the puppies worked much better for some reason.
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And now the bib pattern I worked up has disappeared! I can re-do it, but that's just annoying.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Strawberry Freezer Jam

This is by far the family's favorite jam.

We start with a big clump of frozen strawberries. I think these are from the July trip to Florida, but it could've been an earlier trip.
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Mash 'em up and measure out 4 cups. I only had about a cup left over. I'll probably mix with the leftover crushed peaches and make jam out of that as well.
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Add 4 cups (!) sugar.
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Heat the pectin with water, boil, add to berries, and stir until all your sugar dissolves. Ladle into jars.
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They set for 24 hours at room temperature, then into the freezer. At least until the karate kid eats it all up!

10 Quilty Little Secrets

Pointed to this via LeeAnna, so here are mine...

1. My seams don't always match up. Eh, so what?

2. I hate paper piecing. Yes, I know you can get really accurate, but it's just. not. worth. it.

3. I lose rotary cutters all the time. There must be 5 or 6 floating around the house now - but I just bought another one yesterday.

4. I've never sewed into a finger, and I've been sewing on machines since I was about 5. And now I'm desperately hoping this statement isn't a jinx.

5. My first quilt had half-inch seams.

6. I buy scraps, I love them so much.

7. I have a quilt my Memaw made out of...polyester double-knit! With a black-and-white cheetah print back!

8. I cannot use a thimble to save my life.

9. I hand-quilt without a frame or a hoop [or a thimble, see above]. I shove the quilt in a bag and drag it around to karate classes and quilt while waiting for boys.

10. If I get a tuck in the back, that's just a part that'll be extra warm.

Now, head over to the linky party at 13Spools to see everybody else's :)

Ginger-Peach Jam

Since I hope to be entering this into next year's fair, I had to use a "tested recipe" - this is the one I picked:

Toffee is still helping:
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First, dump all the canning lids and bands into the sink.
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Stick the recipe to the stove hood with a magnet:
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Start prepping peaches! First, an X cut in the top and bottom.
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Boiling water bath for a minute, then ice water bath, then rest on the counter. Cut into chunks. Chop with the immersion blender.

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Add lemon juice and 7 cups (!!) sugar:
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Dice up the crystallized ginger, stir it all up and start boiling!
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In the meantime, sterilize your jars and lay out canning tools.
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Once you've got them in the jars, process in the water bath.
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This was made more complicated by my big pot that I usually use for the water bath blowing a hole in the bottom in the middle of the process!
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All done! All but one had sealed already, plus a couple of extra in the fridge that didn't get processed.
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It's quite tasty - not overpowering ginger; I might add a bit more the next time.

Basil vinegar

First step in preservation day: Clean off the stove!

The Indoor Electric Grill lives full-time on our stove-top, so the first step was to take it off. Which meant cleaning it out! A job worthy of Mike Rowe.
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Toffee helps.
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The next step is to collect the basil. No photos of the garden - TOO scary. I naively went out with my Classico pasta jar to fill it. HA! I cut maybe three quarters of our basil flowers and that filled the jar and the rest was all I could hold.
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Washed and drying a bit.
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I'm using a balsamic white vinegar from Trader Joe's for steeping.
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Shockingly, I had just the right amount of basil flowers. Stripped stems and leaves are left over.
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It already tastes lovely ~ once it cools, it steeps in the pantry for a week before tasting again. I do need to find clear glass bottles I can seal it up in. I see plenty of other herb vinegars in my future.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Laundry List!

I'm joining in Kathy's linky party this month for the first time (found via Deb's blog).

Since I didn't start out last month, I don't have any goals to cross off my list (and that's what it's all about, right? crossing things OFF!). So I can consolidate my slips of paper here :)

I want to have a lot of stuff to enter into the county fair next year - my husband is enjoying my quest to become "queen of the fair." So most of the goals are related to that.

1. Make ginger-peach jam and start basil vinegar this weekend.

2. Finish beret and start scarf to match.

3. Finish scrappy rose-pink quilt.

4. Work on blue-yellow quilt.

5. Work on red-white-black quilt.

6. Start applique quilt.

7. Make bib and burp cloths this weekend for upcoming baby shower. [The bib will be a test for a fair entry - I have the pattern drawn up but haven't made one yet.]

8. Get back to menu planning.

9. Spend at least 5 minutes EVERY DAY going through crafty stuff.

10. Start t-shirt quilt

11. Keep working on hooked rug

12. Stay off computer games. I've managed this the past week, and have been able to get lots more done.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

2014 Stash Report- Week 34

Yards in: 3.75
Yards out: 0
Cumulative yards in: 23.4
Cumulative yards out: 22.85
Net gain/loss: 0.55 GAINED

Spending since last post: $24.70
Spending this year: $210.15

I did some thrift shopping while taking The Lovely Daughter back to Florida, and found a small 3-drawer organizer for $5, a cross-stitch kit for 0.20, and some yarn and a crochet hook for $3.50.

And then I stopped yesterday at the local thrift store that has crafty stuff...all for $16. So, a total of 24.70 over the past two weeks. Good thing I resisted the $2000 thread cabinet at the antique store on the drive back :)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Long weekend

I took Friday off to recover from the road trip, and have actually gotten some stuff done so far this weekend.

1. I got a quilt top sewn together! I blogged before about taking some vintage blocks apart, and they're now resewn into this top:
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I quite like it - the blue sashing is appropriate for the period; there's a blue in the vintage part that almost matches it exactly. A close-up:
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Maybe tomorrow I can pull together a back for it, and press it.

2. I started crocheting a hat waiting for the Karate Kid at class last night.

3. I pulled the t-shirt rug back out to work on and cut some pink strips for polka-dots:
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The pink is  from a butt-ugly French bulldog t-shirt that was my mom's. Not a fan of Frenchies, but love that shade of pink!

4. T-shirts pulled for t-shirt quilts - these are all t-shirts my mom got from some wildlife charity. There are 12 altogether.
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I also have a bunch of blood donation t-shirts from my brother that I'm looking forward to working on as well.

5. I stopped at the thrift store after karate today. It's one of the few in the area that ever have any sewing/crafting materials. The score is here:
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There's 1.75 yards of flannel that'll make a nice back for a baby quilt:
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A real assortment - some tiny seed beads in a nice bead container; beeswax for quilting; some small pieces; a yard of Christmas fabric; some yarn and thread; six smaller crochet hooks; sewing patterns; interfacing; acrylic paint [even if the paint is worthless, it's two very nice brushes for $1]; and (of course) buttons.

Friday, August 22, 2014

2014 Montgomery County Fair

We went to the fair last Wednesday afternoon/evening (over a week ago) ~ I missed it last year taking The Lovely Daughter to college, but since she's not a Freshman this year, we didn't leave until Sunday.

The Ferris Wheel:
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Boys riding with me, and TMOTH waiting below:
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The view from up above:
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Terror on the face of the Small Man ~ he didn't like the fast rides:
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TMOTH entered a turned bowl:
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I didn't manage to finish the Furlough Quilt in time, but it'll be entered for next year.

Love the cows:
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One of the kids' categories is LEGO creations:
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My quilt guild's ribbon-winning quilt:
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Kid's entries are fun - this is the Starship Enterprise made out of marshmallows!
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Lots of Home Arts entries - I'm going to try to put in a bunch for next year:
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Love the chickens even more!
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Lots of fried stuff! We had BBQ from the Methodists.
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And riding the merry-go-round at the end of the evening:
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