12/11/15

Bad Weather Blues

The crappy weather has given me plenty of time for sewing and housework. Lucky me! Yesterday, I finished off the top for the Icy Blues table runner. The first order of business was to finish up the smaller of the flying geese blocks:


In previous posts, I've given you the link to the free pattern for this quilt from All People Quilt. Before I go on, I want to let you know that there's a mistake in the pattern when it comes to making the smaller of the flying geese blocks. Consider this your warning to look carefully at it and compare it to the picture before doing any cutting, especially if you're short on fabrics. I won't go into the error here (mainly because it won't make sense, and it would be boring). I'd be happy to tell you in an email what's wrong with it if you're gung ho on making one of these for yourself right away.

So once I had the error sorted out and the blocks made, I was ready to sew the large and small flying geese blocks together.


And then I added the border, and it was done. The pattern had that outer border with mitered corners, but I couldn't see any real point to that. I just did them the traditional way. It ends up at 21.5 x 43 inches, which is larger than expected. Still, I have a large dining room table, and so it will be perfect. 


Of course, I had my trusty cat helping me through this process, walking all over things, and knocking them off the table. Oh yes...sew helpful.


Who me? I'm not here to help...I'm just here for the nip, man. Just give me the nip and everything will be cool...real cool...yeah, icy...downright frigid. Actually, don't touch me!

Since we're talking seasonal runners here, and my goal was to make a winter runner (as opposed to a holiday runner), I was unsure whether this one was going to be for my table or my kitchen peninsula (commonly known around the Three Cats Ranch as the "breakfast bar"). Once I had that decided, I developed a yen to make something else for the breakfast bar. 

Another pattern was picked out, but then I realized that the sweet holiday table topper in the image below could be remade in blue scraps to make it a winter table topper. My friend Marei made this one as a gift a couple of years ago. It's a perfect size for my breakfast bar, and it's a great scrappy project. You can find the free pattern right here.


Since I didn't even put a dent...not even so much as a scratch nor a mar, not even a nick, not even a scrape, not an abrasion, not even a scuff in my blue scraps (I could go on with other words for that, but you probably are getting the message by now), I think it's the perfect project to work on in my endeavor to cover all my table tops with winter runners/toppers.

That one will have to hold off for just a bit, however, because I'm all of a sudden hot to trot to get the Quilting Snowladies sewn into a flimsy. Aside from my bonus points project, it's the last thing on my list of goals for December. I've been thinking about how to set the embroidered blocks for quite a while, and I think I'm finally satisfied with what I have in mind. I showed it to Mike last night and he didn't object to anything, which is always a good sign. (On the other hand, maybe he's learned that it's best to keep his mouth shut when I'm telling him my design ideas. Engineers. Enough said, I think.) 


So there's only laundry on today's agenda. Other than that, it's sewing, sewing, and more sewing. I even have leftovers for dinner. Do you ever have those days when it's full steam ahead, balls to the wall, better-stay-out-of-my-way-because-I-have-scissors-and-I-know-how-to-use-them sewing? That's me on the Quilting Snowladies. Today. Their time has come. That is all.

Before I go, however, I think it's my week to try tasty recipes because I tried another one last night. For all the time yesterday's recipe took, this one is super, super simple, and also delicious. I made it because I needed to use up the last of the CSA sweet potatoes, and so I found this recipe for Maple-Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes.


I used two packages of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. For one thing, it's pretty much impossible to find organic bone-in-skin-on thighs these days. I'm not a total devotee to organic foods, but I do buy organic chicken. The other stuff just scares me. Besides, I've kind of gotten used to the boneless, skinless variety and the other stuff just seems awfully greasy. So...I made that substitution, and then I discovered I was completely out of maple syrup. I used honey instead, and it was really good. It only takes about ten minutes to get it into the oven (and about half of that time was used trying to drain three tablespoons of honey from the bottom of my honey bottle). After that, the cook can just sit back and wait until the timer goes off. Then...eat. Mmm, mmm, mmm. 

The honey was good, but I still want to try it again with the maple syrup. I think the maple flavor would be nice with the sweet potatoes. If you're a cook who likes things done wham, bam, thank you, ma'am, then you'll love this recipe.

And I'm not ashamed to say that Mike and I were so lazy about Christmas this year that we bought one of those pre-decorated trees from Jackson, Perkins. I used to say that all we had to do was plug it in, but even that is a thing of the past with this year's tree. This one actually runs on batteries. Yeah. Some years, hauling the box out of the basement and all the rest of it just seems like way too much trouble. 

So anyway...we set it on the table last night after we got the batteries loaded into their little casing.

Hey...what are you guys doing? Putting up the Christmas tree? I could help! Really...I think this looks like something I could help with! In fact, I insist that you let me help with this...


So, yeah. The tree is up. And I mean up...up high.

6 comments from clever and witty friends:

Dana Gaffney said...

Gracie looks younger and so beautiful, not at all like a junkie :). Smitty looks like the next picture will be him flying through the air to land on the tree.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Ha, that wouldn't dent my blues either - pretty runner. The small one shouldn't take that long either. I gave my furkids some nip last night - a treat for torturing them with the vac. The sweet potato dish looks like one that one of our members brought to the guild mtg party - was yummo! You know, by putting that tree high is only more of a draw to 'I HAVE to reach that'!

liniecat said...

My pal adopted 3 x 1yr old siblings recently and normally has a 6' real tree.
Wisely she's giving it a miss this year, she says they are still at the leggy teenage, daft as a brush stage, so she's avoiding trouble and damage!
The chicken looks tasty!
Over here they tell us to never wash chicken, given that all chicken tested seems to have ecoli etc, your more likely to spread that round the place by washing. The cooking properly, kills off the bugs they say ( currently, watch this space, next year advice could change of course)
Tell me, what is Kosher salt
. I mean is it salt salt? Noticed it twice in recipes this week yet never heard of it before!

gpc said...

The engineers I've know could not have kept closed mouths if they saw a problem, so I am in the Good Sign category. Love the runner -- in fact, you may have convinced me to make on for my kids' new long table. Too bad they won't get it until next Christmas . . . or the next.

gayle said...

Ah, cats and Christmas trees. So many possibilities for calamity and entertainment...
Going to have to try that chicken recipe!

Kate said...

Looking forward to seeing what you do with the snow ladies. Our tree is finally up. I let the teenagers do the decorating. Much less work.