3/30/14

Slow Sunday

We had a surprisingly nice day of weather today. When we woke up the sky was clear and the sun was shining. Rain was predicted to arrive around noon, and it did cloud over some, but I don't think the rain ever came. I grabbed the opportunity to go out and fill the bird feeders early, and I'm sure the birds were happy to see it.

My embroidery has suffered a little over the past week...I've just been doing other things in the morning. The last couple of mornings I've stitched my requisite 18 or so inches of floss. A little bit each day...that's my motto. Actually, I enjoy the small quiet focus as a way to start off the rest of the day's activities.

For the past couple of weeks, I've had a powerful yen for some jammers. This morning I baked some up.


They're a little like a thumbprint cookie, only, jack up the jam, pull out the cookie, and slide a biscuit under there instead. Now you've got a jammer. With just three tablespoons of sugar to the whole batch of a dozen, they are not terribly sweet. Most of the sweetness comes from the jam. I love them for snacking, and they're also nice for breakfast. If you'd like to give this easy recipe a try, you can find the little tutorial I did along with the recipe right here.

Today's batch is made with some marionberry jam I got from the Portland farmer's market and with some peach-apricot preserves I used in the Pioneer Woman's Peach Whiskey Chicken recipe I tried yesterday. We both really liked the chicken. Yesterday I expressed my reservations about using the four cups of barbecue sauce she suggested, but it was actually a good amount. The chicken needs to be immersed in the sauce, and then it slow cooks. She says to use a skillet, but I think a Dutch oven is a better choice. My skillet was full to overflowing. I set it on a baking sheet when I put it in the oven, and I was glad I did because it boiled over and it would have made a terrible mess. 

Also, I used two 15-oz. cans of drained sliced peaches in place of the fresh peaches, which aren't in season right now. There's a little up front prep, but then the dish cooks itself. We served it over mashed potatoes, and it was really quite yummy. I'll be making it again real soon. I wanted to suggest a non-alcoholic alternative to the whiskey, but didn't find anything I thought would be a good choice. I think it might work to use beef broth and maybe add some vanilla extract...maybe about a tablespoon. It needs the smoky flavor that the whiskey provides, but you can experiment if you're so inclined. A little molasses might also be a good choice.

So once I'd baked off my jammers, I decided to do a little sewing. I made the next block for the Pony Express quilt I've been working on. I talked a little bit about this block in yesterday's post. This is the Square and Star block available for free on Quilter's Cache. It is partially paper-pieced, and mine ended up at 10-1/2 inches unfinished. You could make it larger if you wanted to by simply increasing the width of the outer border.


And, this being a slow Sunday, I was ready to wrap up then. I actually turned everything off and started putting things away when the "Shine On" quilt...next on my list...started calling for my attention. I spread it out on my work table and started looking at it.


I had some ideas about how to quilt it. I'll put some pebbling in the moon to resemble the moon's craters. I had some ideas about the rest of it, but nothing concrete. Then I took out the pattern cover and the design started coming together for me. I'll tell you about it as I go since my descriptions of quilting ideas always seem to get a little wordy and confusing to me...I can only imagine how they must sound to you. 

Then I started thinking about thread colors. Quite a while back, I won some YLI quilting thread, and while I haven't used it a lot, I have been impressed with it when I do put it to use. Today, I pulled this spool off the wall of thread. It's called "Nordic Fiord" and that seemed somehow appropriate for this quilt. I think the colors are just right.


I'm using a smoky monofilament thread in the bobbin. I've had pretty good luck using those as my bottom thread.

Anyway...all that gazing and figuring and deciding made me want to just get started, so I turned everything back on, set up the machine for free motion quilting, and away I went. I've decided for the vertical portions, I'll do vertical wavy lines...thus:


For me, wavy lines are a good choice. Since I can't draw, I'm limited in how fancy I can be. But I'll tell you what: I'm very good at sewing a crooked line!

Then I decided to simply outline the trunks and greenery on the trees. Simple enough.


And I only just barely got started on this, but I have some pretty solid ideas about what I'm going to do with it. I shall reveal it as I go...just to keep you in suspense you know. Trying to decide what to do is half the battle for me, and so once I get that part nailed down, I'm "off like a dirty shirt" (as my sweet father-in-law would have said...dearly miss that man, gone nearly 20 years now).

So that's about it from me today. Don't forget that the March NewFO Challenge linky party goes live at midnight tonight. You don't want to miss the party, do you?


See you there. I can't wait to see what's new!


8 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

The new block looks great - Marcia has a wonderful site. I like to use YLI thread (especially in landscapes) and probably have that color in that drawer.

Scrapatches said...

Now it is a good thing that I am feeling very full with an empty little dish of a late night second serving of the apple crisp we had for dessert after a lively Sunday dinner of baked pork roast and pasta and veggies ... and there was some homemade bread in there today, too.

Otherwise I would be running to the kitchen and turning on the oven again o make some jammers ... and maybe peach whiskey chicken ... I got lost on PW's site for awhile ... and already thinking I need a room service humus wrap, too ... of course, I would have be the room service myself so as PW says, that would kind of defeat the purpose ...

Thanks for giving me these gorgeous quilt blocks and stitching to focus on while I remind myself that I am not hungry!

I am going to turn off the computer now and go get my fabric ready for tomorrow's sewing ...

I best not take another look at those jammers before I do ...

I just know I am going to be dreaming of jammers tonight ...

... sweet quilty dreams ...

Is it breakfast jammers time yet? ... ;) Pat

quiltzyx said...

Those jammers do look delish, & I'm not even hungry right now! And the chicken sounds great too. Now I am getting hungry!

The star block looks wonderful, except that now everything looks like food - chocolate & caramel here! LOL

I worked today, then had to put the guild newsletter together...but I'm STILL WAITING for the article from the Programs chair. ARGH!! Everything else is finished.

Dana Gaffney said...

Those jammers make me want to run to the bakery, they look so good. I'm so happy to see Shine On again, that's one of my favorites that you're doing.

carla said...

Hi!!!! Your new block is very pretty!!! Love the fabrics you used!!!! Your Shine On is my favorite too!!!! I think it is going to be amazing when finished!!!!

LynCC said...

Nice earthy browns and golds there in the block - pretty! You made me chuckle about being able to quilt the crooked line - this is something I can capitalize on, too. ;D

Brown Family said...

I like what you are doing with the quilting!

Kate said...

Love those deep and dark browns you used in your Star and Square block. I had to pin your recipe for jammers, that may well be breakfast for tomorrow.