My crafting and family life journal

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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Making progress

For the past few evenings I have been working on my house quilt top. Four rows down and four more to go, than on to the two borders. This one will add a nice bright spot to our bedroom.

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Peach Salsa

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I just love having a large batch of fresh, colorful vegetables to work with. Fortunately, peaches are in and the vegetable gardens are producing well, so this morning I made and canned a batch of peach salsa.

Fruit salsa is so popular in my house that this is the second batch that I have made in the last week (all will be gone by next spring).  I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do.

Peach Salsa

peach salsa

Ingredients

  • 9 cups fresh peaches, mangoes, or a combination of both, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp lemon or lime juice (fresh or bottled)
  • 4 cups fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large sweet peppers, diced
  • 2 cups onions, diced
  • 2 Tbsp dried jalapeno flakes (or fresh hot peppers if you wish. Add more or less to your desired heat level)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro or parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 T honey
  • 2 T clear gel to thicken

Directions

  1. Mix peaches with lime or lemon juice.
  2. Combine all ingredients in large pot.
  3. Bring to boil over medium heat and cook for five or six minutes.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Ladle into prepared canning jars.
  6. Screw on lids and process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes.

canned peach salsa

A bit of project time

Erma Bombeck said that when life deals you lemons make lemonade. This weekend we were given two days of rain, while we are very happy for the gardens it didn’t allow for any outdoor projects, so we put the project list aside, slowed the past down a bit and turned the weekend into a crafting period.

My partner pulled out the bead loom and started working on a project that haven’t been touched in months and I organized a long-term paper piecing project, and got re-acquainted with my sewing machine by working on a project I started last winter.

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I always have at least one long-term project in the works. This one is a scrappy English paper piecing project that has been underway for about a year and has about another 2 years before the king sized quilt will be pieced. All piecing is being done by hand and the fabrics are from my scrap bags.

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Pieces from a king sized quilt project I started this past winter. I should have all of the house blocks done this weekend.

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My honey’s bead project. About 66 lines done, another 300 to go. Another piece in the Alaskan wildlife series.

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