Starting to make a bit more progress on my optical illusion pattern by Aaron Art. I finished the counterclockwise center yesterday evening and will move back to the larger clockwise outer circle in about a week. Once all of the cross stitching is done metallic threads of various colors will be used for outlining and to add detail to the piece.
Archive for the ‘Homestead life’ Category
New project start to bring in 2019 will combine cross stitch and quilting. I spent the past few weeks selecting fabrics and designing a finish of a piece of cross stitch completed last year. Since the needlework piece contains a series of diamonds filled with vintage patterns, gilded fabrics containing vintage patterns, and double windmill pattern were selected for the project.
The following images will step you through how I took my paper design from concept to the design wall.
I have my first craft finish for 2019. Almost 100,000 stitches later my Botanical Garden quilt is finished, washed, pressed and added to the finishing queue. The combination of blackwork and counted cross stitching on the piece was so much fun to work.
May the new year bring you all that you need and some of what you want.
Now that my holiday projects are done I started working on the botanical garden piece again. Finally figured out the blackwork pattern on the “B” letter, and finished outline the border. Just four letters to finish before I can call this piece complete.
In early November we made the 7 hour drive to my in-laws house for a weekend visit and family pre-holiday dinner. During the visit my father-in-law talked about how much his hands hurt now that the cold weather had set in. His complaint gave me a great idea for some things to add to their Christmas basket — a set of hand warmers that could be heated in a microwave or on top of a wood stove, paired with muscle salve I made earlier in the year.
The hand warmers were so easy to make that I thought I would share the process with all of you.
- Trace a hand outline approximately 2 inches wider and higher that the actual hand onto a piece of freezer paper or directly onto the piece of fabric that will be used for the hand warmer.
- If freezer paper was used iron the paper onto the fabric to be used and the cut 8 pieces of frantic using the template.
- Put the cut fabric pieces in pairs with the back sides of the fabric facing each other. On the top piece of each side draw 2 channel line from the top to the bottom (about 2.5 inches from each side works for most adult size hands).
- Sew each set of fabric pieces together along the channel line – any type of stitch will work.
- Stack two sets on top of each other and then sew a 1/2 inch seam around the outside of each set. Next, turn the sets right side out.
- Mix rice (buckwheat hulls also work well) and dried herbs of your choice (I used rosemary and eucalyptus) together and then fill the channels in the mitts with the rice mixture, filling each channel 1/2 to 3/4 full.
- Sew the openings of the mitts shut.
- Cut cuffs for the mitts (5 inches by 14-16 inches works for most adult sizes. Press a 1/2 hem over on one of the short sides of each cuff, then press the long side in half.
- Pin the cuffs to the inside of each mitt, placing the raw edge of the cuffs inside of the seamed edge, and the sew the cuffs in place.
- Pull the cuffs up, fold over the seam and tack in place.
Just finished my first holiday pillow of the season. The combination cross stitch and blackwork portion of the pillow is a free Elizabeth Almond pattern I found online. This pillow top was so much fun to do that I think I may do another one before the holiday season is over.
Another row finished, time to adjust the frame. Two more rows of letter blocks to finish the piece. Really loving how this is turning out.
Started preparing a batch of cranberry relish for fermenting this morning for Christmas. Cutting my start a bit close this year, normally like the ferment to sit for 4 months before using.
This is a very easy recipe to make. Take a bunch of fresh cranberries and rough chop them, add the berries to a jar along with some grated ginger and a cinnamon stick, and then cover the mixture with unfiltered local honey. Next, cover the jar and store out of direct sunlight for at least three months. Check the jar every week or so to assure the berries stay covered with the honey juice mixture — you may have to add a bit more honey now and again.
Our winter squash are coming in and it is soup time in our house again. For dinner tonight a made arch and creamy winter squash soup with a side of corn muffins.
If you have some winter squash you may want to try this recipe.
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups chopped winter squash (I used kabocha squash for tonight’s recipe)
- 1 pinch each sea salt and black pepper
- 1 1/2 Tbsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2-3 Tbsp maple syrup (can use brown sugar or coconut sugar)
- 1-2 tsp chili garlic paste (optional)
- Heat a large pot over medium heat.
- Once hot, add oil, onion, and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add squash and season with a pinch each salt and pepper, curry powder, and ground cinnamon. Stir to coat. Then cover and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add coconut milk, vegetable broth, maple syrup or sugar, and chili garlic paste (optional – for heat).
- Bring to a low boil over medium heat and then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until squash is fork tender.
- Use an immersion blender, or transfer soup to a blender, and purée on high until creamy and smooth. If using a blender, return soup back to pot.
- Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more curry powder, salt, or sweetener as needed. Continue cooking for a few more minutes over medium heat.
- Serve as is or with garnishes of your choice.
The winter squash harvest is starting to come in. Unfortunately, the squirrels have reeked havoc on crops this year. Many summer and winter squash were eaten prior to maturity or scared by their little nails. Some of the Hubbard squash grew to maturity but were to scared for long term storage and needed to be processed immediately. I used one of these squash to make our first pie for the season since Hubbard, butternut, buttercup squash and pumpkin are interchangeable in pies and quick breads.
The recipe that I used is as follows. I hope that your family enjoys it as much as mine does.
- 1 medium Hubbard squash
- 1/2 stick butter, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup evaporated milk
- 1 unbaked pie crust
- Maple Whipped Cream, optional, recipe follows
Maple Whipped Topping:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
- Slice into quarters, seed and bake squash for 1 hour in the oven on a baking sheet. When done, let cool.
- Scrape the pulp out of the skin, transfer to a large bowl, and mash. Set 4 cups of the mash aside.
- In a medium bowl, beat together butter, sugar, and brown sugar until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and salt.
- Add evaporated milk and stir mixture into squash. Beat together with mixer until smooth and pour into an unbaked pie shell.
- Bake on bottom rack of oven for 1 hour or until center of pie is firm. Serve warm. Add dollop of whipped cream if desired.
Maple Whipped Topping:
In a medium bowl, beat together whipping cream and confectioners’ sugar. Add maple syrup. Beat together until soft peaks form.