March 30, 2009
And, if you're interested, the CAP published an article about our blanket project here. I'm humbled beyond belief. Hero? Not sure about that one. I think all of us deserve that title. And all praise and glory goes to God.
Handstitched binding and beautiful fabrics - some vintage, some new (Amy Butler, Heather Bailey, Anna Maria Horner).
March 23, 2009
Help, help me, Rhonda.
This is biting off more than I can chew. No doubt about it. But I kinda have to. It's in the fiber of my being (to bite off more than I can chew). My Aunt Mary made a king-sized cathedral window quilt for my parents when I was young. It was stunning. When my father died the quilt went to one of my step-brothers, whom I hope is sleeping under it to this very day. The quilt was absolutely stunning. I miss it.
This pattern is breath-taking. Tantamount. An accomplishment, like climbing Mount Everest (or I always thought of it as this difficult).
Folks, I have found a tutorial that seems - dare I say it - a bit easy. Tedious, certainly, but not as hard as I'd imagined. I can't promise it will be soon, but I definitely gotta make me one of these!
Thank you, Hyena In Petticoats!
This soup is so simple and delicious that my children eat it. If you have young children and try to feed them grown-up soup, you know exactly what I mean. My kids are strictly opposed to anything green floating in soup (i.e. - herbs, flavor). They will also turn it away if they detect even the slightest hint of an onion lurking in there.
When we all passed around the funk a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to throw something together to heal their little bodies (and mine). I didn't use a recipe; I've made this out of my head plenty of times before. After eating this soup, both T and A swear that they were healed (Lazarus-style). They both begged me to make it after church on Sunday. Seriously, begged me. Folks, it must be kid-yummy because them asking me to make anything short of cookies is WEIRD.
Without further explanation, here is my "recipe" for simple chicken soup. Feel free to enhance the beauty of it in your own way.
1 storebought rotisserie chicken with the skin (oh yes, I did just say that) OR 8 cooked chicken breast tenderloins that have been slightly browned in butter and garlic and chopped
6-8 C water (I totally eyeball this)
6 chicken bullion cubes (have more handy, but start with 6)
1 bay leaf
pinch of sage
dash of marjoram*
dash of parsley*
fresh ground pepper & kosher salt to taste
6-7 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
8 baby carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, deribbed and chopped
2 C ditalini pasta
I use one of these to get started:
Put the water on to boil. While you're waiting, grind up (i.e. bang with a blunt object) the bullion cubes and whisk them into the pot. Add the bayleaf, salt, pepper & herbs. Chop and add in the potatoes and carrots. Boiling them in the soup itself will allow them to absorb the flavor of the stock, as well as thicken it just slightly. While they are boiling, take the rotisserie chicken off of the bone. (I choose traditional rotisserie chicken and not lemon, garlic, or BBQ - be careful; that rotisserie display at the Walmarts gets crazy and you have to pay attention!). Chop it up pretty roughly, selecting an even amount of light and dark meat - and I include a bit of crispy skin, too. That's where the extra flavor is going to come in for this soup. Once it's chopped (I use just over 1/2 of the chicken), it goes into the soup. The celery, too. Reduce the heat to medium and add the pasta. It's important to keep stirring while the pasta cooks because the pieces in this soup are heavy and will hold the pasta down. Continually taste and season accordingly.
That's it. It'll take you 30 minutes to put it together and it will feed your family for at least 2 days. Ohhhhhh..... yum.
It's so, so good. Go make it!
* I know, I know... I told you that T and A won't touch soup with green floaties... but this soup has surpassed this rule! I've watched them slurp down the above-mentioned floaties and ask for more soup!
Also, I meant to take a picture but forgot until it was devoured from its bowls - and then it wasn't all pretty in the stock pot anymore. I hope you'll forgive me and just go make the soup.
We have shipped 117 amazing blankets so far to the CAP for distribution to the young children in Eastern Appalachian Kentucky. Again, THANK YOU.
When I began this project, I knew I wanted to use my stash to make up some cuties for the babies. Here I had all of this fabric to spare, and there they were - cold and needing. *I digress. * Anyway, I decided to make 3 quilts for the babies.
The first was a stacked coin quilt (finished pictures of that to come, as I finished the handsewn binding on that one last night).
I also made two disappearing 9 block quilts using 9 fat quarters each (plus backing). Talk about easy! For these I measured all of the fat quarters I was using and trimmed them to a uniform size. Then I laid them out on the floor in a pattern I liked. I sewed them together like this - so easy! Once I had one enormous block, I cut it in half in both directions to make four big squares. I flipped those four squares around and sewed them together to make the top. It literally took me less than an hour to do both of the quilt tops. I sandwiched my batting and backing fabric and top quilted both of them using a random criss-cross pattern and purple thread. I will admit that I was afraid I'd run short on time, so I machine-sewed the binding on both of these quilts. In hindsight, I wish I'd handsewn them, but I know they were made with love.
I'm here to tell you, they are.
Don't believe me? Check it out for yourself.
He was so proud after that tooth finally came out. His very first.
And, I present to you...
Moo + a (clean) kitchen towel + the rocking chair that was old when I used it as a toddler = GRANDMA MOO-SES
March 16, 2009
Admit it. You've never seen cuter.
Moo is ready for Spring in her new yellow patent leather thongs. She is ready for market, as you can see by her pink and yellow shopping basket below. She's loaded it full of her favorite things: two maracas, the suckle sow, a variety of vehicles, one Cabbage Patch shoe, and barnyard animals - all of which say, "moo" or "ROAR!"
While Mabel went to Market (For God's sake, look at that piggy right up there! Could you not eat it up?), I figured out how to attach my walking foot to my sewing machine. Then -
"Topquilting" may have just bumped "handstitching-the-binding" down a peg on my list of favorite quilting steps. GLORY. It. is. FUN.
Want to take a guess at how many I topquilted?
Here are two, both for Mountain Baby Blankets:
(Do you see Roo's toes poking out? It was all he could do to hold still. Tee hee.)
Random crisss-cross quilting with purple thread (the likes of which my machine had never seen, by the way). LOVE.
I swear I almost went to get my first two quilts just to topquilt them! It was so. much. fun. Totally solidifies my want of a new machine that will allow me to free motion quilt as well.
I also did some embroidery this weekend while keeping watch over one in my nest who was feeling under the (55 degree) weather. I have appliqued 3 sparrows onto my newest quilt. I can't wait to see it finished!
March 11, 2009
Check out the lists and lists of free patterns at With Heart & Hands. These are a bit more traditional.