So, it's not entirely true that I had no time for sewing. I did get through Lesson 3 of the free motion quilting sampler. Before I did that, however, I wanted to give a try to some other ideas that spawned from Lesson 2. There are some great videos on the Sit Down Free Motion Quilters Facebook group, and the addendum to Lesson 2 was this sort of apple core motif:
I used the cut-off flannel backing from Live, Love, Teach for my practice piece. It wasn't the best choice of fabric, but what else am I going to do with it? So the one above was the motif I was shooting for. When I did it the first time, I got my insies and outsies confused and ended up with this:
Not bad. It's a little like giant pebbling, only with that sort of diamond shaped thingy in between. (Technical quilting terms, so try to keep up.)
Then, I moved on to the "simple swirls" for Lesson 3. Here's my practice piece.
And I was pretty satisfied with that, so I committed it to my sampler:
Here are the three blocks I've quilted into my sampler so far.
This morning I spent some time working on the Gingerbread Square block until it was time to move my hoop. I'm going to say I'm about 25% done with this now. Lots more to do, for sure.
And now it's hooped up ready to go again.
I'll have to set it aside for a day or two, however, because Block 4 is out now on the Bee-utiful Quilt-A-Long. Cute, huh?
Block 5 should be out today, and so there will be more to do on this before I head back over to Gingerbread Square.
So for last night's dinner, I focused my effort on that weird head of sugarloaf radicchio. Also, the recipe for this salad made short work of the one fennel bulb from this week's share. I'm not really a fan of raw fennel since the anise (licorice) flavor is not to my liking. I'm not fond of certain white wines for the same reason. Nevertheless, roasted fennel loses most all of that undesirable flavor, and for this salad, I roasted the radicchio first as well.
It's a Mixed Green Salad with Caramelized Radicchio and Fennel, based loosely on this recipe from Martha Stewart. So, I substituted the oakleaf lettuce from this week's share for arugula in the original recipe, and I used the root end of the radicchio in place of the two heads of endive from Martha's recipe. I cut about three inches at the root end, and then cut it into wedges leaving the root intact. That worked out just fine. Also, I couldn't find blood oranges, and so I used regular orange oranges. It was pretty good. It's not something I'd probably make on purpose, but now I've defeated the fennel and about 1/3 of the radicchio. I have plans for the remainder of the radicchio that will finish it off once and for all.
This morning I'm walking with Sue, and so it's time to eat some breakfast. Mike has all the lumber he needs to finish off the catio this weekend, and not a minute too soon. I'm looking forward to seeing it all put together, and I know Smitty will be a happy camper too.