A little at loose ends today, I've spent time in the sewing room playing with pumpkins. The cute little pieced background idea came from this blog: Quilt Granny's Shoe. Thanks, Sharon! The wonkiness seemed to suggest some wonky pumpkins (punkins) so I messed around with a blobby shape and came up with this guy. The letters were first located on the computer, then printed off in mirror image. This makes them all ready to trace onto fusible webbing without having to reverse them. Next up, I'll machine blanket stitch everything, add borders, sandwich and quilt. Maybe it will make it up by Fall!!!
Today is my best friend/husband's birthday. Instead of a cake, I got him a blackberry pie. He is more of a pie man than a cake man. I couldn't resist a slammy card which read: "You're not getting old...Hell, you were old last year!" We're not the mushy type LOL! He's three months older than I so I always delight in saying I married an older man!!! I still don't have his gift, but we are going truck-shopping this afternoon. Hmmm...should have gotten him a fishing pole while I had the chance.
One of my most favorite parts of summer is the taste of sweet homegrown tomatoes. The past few years we have had NONE, NADA, ZIP, NIL. Our friendly neighborhood groundhog has seen to that. He would just devour every little red orb right off the vine (and some green ones too!). So disappointing. This year my DH decided to plant his tomatoes at a different location, an area around a building he rents for his small business. Lo and behold, we had a bumper crop this year!!! We have supplied neighbors and friends with all they could eat and then some; we have eaten BLTs out the ying-yang; we have had fresh mozzarella and tomato slices on bruschetta; we have had tomato slices with our breakfast---well, you get the picture. I decided yesterday I wanted to have that precious tomato love in the coming winter too. Back in the day I would always freeze small batches of tomatoes for use in chili and soups. So....yesterday:
I blanched a few tomatoes at a time in a large pot of boiling water for about 1 minute, then plunged them into a bowl of ice water. The skins come off so easily! Then I cored and cut the tomatoes into 8ths (removing any tough or bruised parts) and ladled them into Ziploc 1-quart freezer bags. I put about 2 cups in each bag, labeled, and stuck them in the freezer. Most will go into this great recipe:
VEGGIE CHILI: Saute about 1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper and about 1/3 cup chopped onion in a large pot in a small amount EVOO (Rachael Ray's term for extra-virgin olive oil) till tender. Add 2 cans kitchen cut green beans, 2 cans dark red kidney beans, and 2 cans of peas--all of which have been drained well. Add 4 cups of the tomatoes which have been thawed and chili powder to taste (I use 2 Tablespoons). Let simmer for about 20 or 30 minutes. Enjoy!
For a little relaxation in the sewing room I pulled out these Jan Mullen books. I fell in love with this Australian designer's free and easy techniques the first time I saw her on Simply Quilts years ago. I had been wanting to incorporate a funky sun in a wallhanging and decided to play with her circles ideas. This one was flipped-n-sewn to a piece of batting. I'll use a lightweight interfacing fabric for the real McCoy. But it sure was a fun thing to putz around with!
Like most of the country KC is in the throes of a heat wave. I am so ready for autumn! Not much sewing this week. DH had surgery for removal of his left thyroid and drainage of his right one. The surgery went well. The final pathology report did show microscopic cancer cells but the surgeon is certain he got all of it. We are hopeful.
I did get this little tomato block done for the Farmer's Market quilt we are doing on Pat Sloan's Yahoo group. Such fun! I love to go to local farmers markets. There is always such yummy fresh produce and lots of nifty little things to see, like homemade crafts and kittens in boxes. I especially like them in the fall (did I mention I am ready for autumn???) with all the gourds and pumpkins and Indian corn and bittersweet bunches. Bring it on!
Spent a morning recently making binding for the three quilts. I always manage to make way too much LOL --and I even measure! But it is okay to have some leftover for craft projects. Aren't toilet tissue rolls just the handiest for rolling the binding onto! They kinda look like flying saucers from this angle...
Done Done: Two donation quilts for Quilts in Force and Scrapbag Explosion!
It was a busy weekend trying to get these UFOs all finished and out of the sewing room. I must, must, must tidy up the area. It is so hard to concentrate when there are things piled everywhere--especially things that should be done and out the door!
Next up for finishing: Twelve Days of Christmas and Chocolates & Cherries. It still won't be a completely clean slate, but getting close. Sometimes UFOs don't bother me and other times they drive me up the wall. This is one of those "other times"!