My crafting and family life journal

Gathering season

Gathering season has started. The dehydrator is running almost daily and canning will start next week. This year between the mild winter and drought this summer, we have more wild life than I care for during growing season. The deer ate most of the low hang fruit and nuts, a variety of creatures finished off the hazelnuts, pears, carrots, and beets before they were ready to pick. The birds fought us for cherries and blueberries. We really don’t mind feeding wildlife, but we wish that they would share.

Although we lost a fair amount of fruit and nuts this season, the vegetables out did themselves. We have had several harvest of kale, summer squash, eggplant, tomatoes, green beans, kidney beans, cucumbers and herbs. The pie pumpkins came in early and large, and potatoes came in on schedule. Both are sitting in the utility room seasoning before being moved to winter storage.

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For the past week the dehydrator has been working overtime to process various vegetables and herbs for winter soups and stews.

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Yesterday I processed a large batch of kale into a dried powder for use in smoothies and soups.

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A few of the kale stems were also given to the dogs as treats…for some reason our dogs love veggies.

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Apples are also starting to mature, so the first batch of apple cider vinegar has been started in the crock.

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Do you grow your own produce? If so, how are your gardens doing and how do you process the harvest?

I finally  finished my Cubic Stars quilt top. For the last year I had hand stitched this  English paper piecing top for a number of hand dyed fabrics along with a couple of other favorites. Now I just need to sandwich the top and put it aside for hand quilting this winter.

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Reducing the UFO pile

One of my resolutions for this year was to finish at least half of my UFO projects before starting anything new. To assist in accomplishing this goal I moved all of the started project out into the open so that they wouldn’t be forgotten ( for those of you who know me, and what a neat freak I am, know how difficult this was…)

The visibility has helped, With the exception of the quilt for the new grandson I have been able to keep my resolution.

A project I just finished this year was a painted needlepoint canvas. What makes this project a special accomplishment is that was in my stash for close to 10 years. I really enjoyed working this piece so I have no ideas why it took so long to finish. Now I just need to figure out what to do with canvas piece….

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Baby quilt moving along

I love rainy weekends. We get to cut down on outdoor chores and working on fun things. This Saturday I baked a few loves of sourdough bread, and sat at my sewing machine for a few hours. Sewing time this week let me finish the bottom of my grandsons quilt and start on the appliqué on the top portion of the top.

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I still need to cut and appliqué a few stars to float around the sun before I can finish sewing the top together… It looks like the little man may get his quilt before he is six months old 😀

Baby Quilt Started

this weekend I stared working on the quilt for my new grandson. It has been a number of years since I have worked on a baby quilt, so I am having a lot of fun with the fabrics and patterns.

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All of the pieces have been cut and last night I started working on the appliqué section at the top of the quilt. I was going to use buttons for the eyes on the sun, but then thought about all of the things babies put in their mouth. Any ideas for what would be a safer option for the eyes?

Winter in the Village

I finished the Winter in the village quilt top… One more item out of the UFO pile. The 90+ degree days of late have given me good reason to spend evenings in my sewing room in the basement of our home working on projects.

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It is nice to have the top done. I will be sending it off to be quilted as soon as the backing arrives. The colors will be so nice to have on the bed in the gray winter months.

Now I need to finish picking the fabrics for my grandsons quilt and start quilting the piece for my daughter.

July Gardens

Some of the produce in our gardens are really starting to produce and others we are fighting with the voles and chipmunks to get a share. When watering Thursday I noticed that there were a number of holes in the beet bed and some of the greens laying on their sides. Closer inspection noted that voles ate some for the beets and left their greens behind. So I picked the beets mature enough to use, pickling the beets and using the greens for a great pasta recipe found on Chowhound called “Beet Greens and Feta Pasta“. The recipe took all of 15 minutes to prepare and was delicious.

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This morning I thinned the kale bed and harvested about 15-20 pounds of greens and a small bunch of Swiss chard.  Some of the greens were used to make a Coconut Curried Kale and Sweet Potato dish that I found on the Cookie + Kate blog. The dish tasted wonderful and herbs and spices made the kitchen smell wonderful.

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Another portion of kale was used to  build a kale lasagna for the freezer and the balance went into the dehydrator to turn into kale powder for winter soups, stews and smoothies. The Swiss chard picked today will be turned into one of our favorite tarts tomorrow.

Today we finally got around to covering the grapes to protect them from the deer and birds who have been nibbling on the little green globes.

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This growing season we tried a few new varieties. Two that are looking promising are an orange eggplant and scarlet runner beans.

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For the first time our potato plants have developed seed potatoes. The cool evening this season and rich soil in the beds assisted the potato plants in producing a large number of flowers and seed pods.

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