Stitching, and More Stitching

Yesterday morning I finished stitching the latest of the Live, Love, Teach blocks. Block #35 is for the Fifth Grade Team, designed by Nancy. Here's the original drawing.

Here it is rendered in fabric and floss.

And every finish requires a new start, so I wasted no time tracing out the next blocks for the Written in Thread wall-hanging. This is a pattern from Bareroots, and here's how it looked when I saw it made up in a quilt shop.

This is the image from the pattern cover. I'm using this image to choose my background fabrics.

The next ones I'm doing are in the mid to upper right hand corner. Blankets of love:

Does anybody else hear the Doobie Brothers singing? I'm sure they meant "blankets" of love, rather than "echoes" of love when they wrote that song. (Please tell me you're old enough to remember the Doobie Brothers.)

Also, the sewing machine...the background is a leftover scrap from the Quilting Snowladies. (Yes, I *am* going to sew the snowladies together eventually...just hold your horses.)

Finally, Stitch, Sew, Create. These are all small, so the three together make up a reasonable amount of stitching for any one project.

This morning I got a good start on the Blankets of Love, with the Doobies singing in my ear the whole time.

I might have finished it off, but those lazy daisy stitches are a little tedious and time-consuming. They are tedious, yes, but I still enjoy doing them. My last three stitcheries have all been in black floss, and so it's nice to be using some color again.

There was no more quilting on the Doors of Ireland yesterday. I think I needed a break from it. It's taking me so much longer than I anticipated. Instead of quilting, I spent a good part of the day in the kitchen. First, I roasted the two pumpkins that were in our final CSA share. Aren't those long pumpkins interesting? I've seen vintage stitcheries with pumpkins like that, but I always just thought it was a design decision. Now I know...they're the real deal.

While those were roasting, I tried another recipe for pickled Brussels sprouts. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, my first try was so strong of vinegar that the Brussels sprouts were rendered practically inedible. Undaunted, I went in search of a recipe that included some sugar and found this one from the Home Preserving Bible website. There are several variations included in this link. I made the "Sweet Pickled Brussels Sprouts". I always want a little bit of heat when I make something like this, and so I added 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the recipe. 

Although these are best if left to sit for three days, I couldn't resist popping the lid on one of the jars as soon as it was cool enough to handle. They were a little bit sweet and a little bit sour like a bread and butter pickle, and so I was happy with the flavor until something better comes along. For now, I'll stick with this one. 

Although I stuffed the jars with sprouts, pressing down to fit as many as I could, you can see that they still shrunk and floated to the top after they were processed. I'm thinking these sprouts were not as fresh as my first batch. After all, I made the first batch about a month ago. I purchased a stalk the first time I saw them in the local vegetable stand in our little town of Newberg. This batch from yesterday was purchased from our local megamart, and it's a month hence. It makes sense that they aren't as fresh as the first ones. As an experiment, I'd like to try this again and see if I can find some fresher sprouts. For now that's my theory, and I'm sticking to it.

By the time I had those processed, I was ready to scoop out the pulp from my pumpkins. The yield was 8 cups of puree. 

There are only 7 cups pictured in this image. That's because I'd set aside an additional cup to make pumpkin bread. And here it is...fresh from the oven. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. Baked goods fresh from the oven always smell so good.

And that was pretty much my foray into the kitchen yesterday.

In yesterday's mail, I received a kit from Bird Brain Designs. I saw this on Facebook, and instantly fell in love with it. Of course, I had to spring for the whole kit, and I'm thinking of putting all my other projects aside so that I can make it for this Christmas.

When I saw it originally, I went immediately to the website only to find they were sold out. Noooooooooooooooooo! Fortunately, there was a link to sign up for an email when they were back in stock. Now it is mine. Mine. MINE! Of course, it's all fabric and embellishment. I'll have to give it a little love before it looks like the one in the picture.

There's nothing on today's agenda except quilting, and so I should be able to get plenty done on the Doors of Ireland. I had dreams of finishing it by Thanksgiving so that I could have plenty of hands to hold it up for a picture. It doesn't look like I'm going to make it, but that's okay. Now I have dreams of finishing it by the end of the month. There will be extra hands here at Christmas too.

Our weather has turned cool and crisp. Most of the leaves are down from the trees, especially following the wind storm we had last week. The tree at our front door is the last holdout. There are three colors of leaves all on the same tree.

This next image was taken from the same tree. I'm thinking of making a quilt from it. It would be good practice to try this one before trying to do my Sonora Desert. (Did you see how craftily I postponed working on that scary project?)

Truly though, I think it would be pretty to use a dark brown background with another fabric for the trunk of the tree. I could piece the background and then applique the leaves. The red stems could be stitched in. It would make a pretty fall wall-hanging. Yep. I'm going to get right on that, because I really don't have enough projects to work on right now.

So there you have it. The latest news from the Three Cats Ranch. What's going on at your place?

8 comments from clever and witty friends:

Quilting Babcia said...

Lots of inspiration here! I love, love, LOVE that Santa door decoration!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

You have such pretty stitcheries all in a row!

Anonymous said...

Those trees and leaves would make a lovely wall hanging or table runner.

Just curious as to what recipe you used for your pumpkin bread.

senstrings at yahoo dot com

Dana Gaffney said...

That Santa is so cute I would make him immediately. I've been thinking about making a scattered leaves quilt, your picture and thinking has me back to it, I love those colors and since we don't have fall I could have it in a quilt.

Teresa in Music City said...

Love the fall leaves pictures - and you're right that would make a lovely quilt! Beautiful textures and color playing together there. Santa certainly deserves some uninterrupted time - he's clearly asking to be allowed to be part of your holidays this year! For your pumpkin pulp, do you do anything else to it between roasting and freezing? I thought of you a couple of weeks ago - My Guy took me to a really nice restaurant downtown for my birthday and our appetizer was crab cakes with mango chutney. OMG they were delicious!!! He kept saying, (between mouthfuls) "whoever heard of chutney?" Of course I told him all about your love of all things chutney. I didn't tell him that I had never even heard of chutney before I met you LOL!!!

gayle said...

That santa is adorable!
You always have the most interesting projects going on. The leaves quilt will be gorgeous!
I've made pumpkin bread every year for Thanksgiving for forever (it's my youngest daughter's favorite food!), but last year I found a recipe for a pumpkin monkey bread that was fabulous. There have been numerous requests for a repeat this year!

Lyndsey said...

We're celebrating Thanksgiving at guides on Wednesday and pumpkin bred would be perfect. I love the idea of the falling leaves quilt, it would be so cute.

Kate said...

Stitching, baking, and quilting. Oh, I left off the canning too. You are one productive lady.