For a couple of weeks I've been studying this block, trying to decide on the best approach. In the end, I decided a combination of hand and machine stitching, traditional piecing and applique were in order; i.e., a little of everything. I started by piecing an inset circle to the green background, and then tracing the remainder for embroidery. I used the triple stitch on my sewing machine to stitch the white border around the gold circle.
Then I traced out the remainder of the hand stitching on a separate sheet with a plan to applique it to the background piece.
The hand-stitching took two sittings, and this morning I finished it off.
Allow me to introduce you to my newest sewing helper, Maggie.
Sunday morning, I got a bee in my bonnet to try something I'd seen in Bon Appetit to prepare breakfast egg muffins ahead of time. It's pretty simple. There isn't really a recipe for this, just some simple instructions, and you can use whatever ingredients you like. And I'll just start off by saying this was an experiment. I wondered from the get-go how well it was going to work. So here's what you do:
Spray six muffin tins with no-stick spray. Then...I had some ham, and so I put a little chopped ham in each tin.
Then I sauteed a little chopped onion and red bell pepper in a little bit of olive oil. It's what I had on hand, and so that's what I used, and then I put it over the ham.
I used a whole one dozen eggs for this, with a little bit leftover when I was finished. In other words, each tin will hold about two eggs. I just cracked them in a bowl, beat them with a fork, added a little salt and pepper, and then used a small ladle to ladle them into the tins. The Bon Appetit article said to pour it in, but I had the feeling I was going to get the whole shebang in one tin if I tried to do it that way. Eggs want to hang together and become one, so I went for the ladle method.
Once I had that done, I sprinkled a little grated cheddar over the top. This is the way I make scrambled eggs. I just used the same ingredients.
Also, I set the muffin tin on a rimmed baking sheet. I wasn't at all sure what these would do in the oven, and so I was playing it safe.
I placed the baking sheet in a preheated 350°F oven. Mine took about 20 minutes to bake.
When they were done, they looked puffed just like any muffin.
I used a plastic knife to loosen them from the tins, and then we put them between toasted English muffins to make a little breakfast sandwich. I used some of my home-made tomato chutney, but salsa would be good too. Also, I had some avocado already cut, and so I put a few slices of that on each sandwich. It looks a little thick, but we just mashed it down with our hands to fit it into our delicate little mouths (ha!). They hung together perfectly as a sandwich, and they were really tasty.
I wasn't exactly sure how to store the leftovers, and so I ended up popping them into custard cups. I think in the future, I'd bake them in custard cups too. Just follow the directions as before, but use pyrex custard cups instead of the muffin tin. It would save a step.
The acid test was really how well they would reheat because, to be clear, so far no time has been saved. The time saver is the fact that you can make them ahead and then reheat. But will they taste good? And the answer is a resounding YES! We reheated them in the microwave for 30 seconds, and they tasted just as good the second time around. This will be a great dish to make ahead for camping trips.
Okay, so when Mike and I got home from Vancouver yesterday, we picked up our mail that was sitting in the mailbox for a couple of days. Lo and behold, there was mail for Maggie.
It seems this romance between Juno and Maggie is heating up because Juno is sending Maggie gifts and love notes now. And look what he chose..."Temptations". Need I say more?
I'm thinking it might have something to do with her pretty blue eyes because listen to this song. (And this constitutes your first ear worm. You're welcome.) If you can't see the video, you can click right here.
Okay...so you need to be older than Maggie to remember that song, but that's okay. Maggie was so taken with Juno's love note to her.
Smitty is totally put out. Just look at this little flirt.
(Breathlessly) Oh, Juno...you make my heart go pitter pat. I can't tell which way is up any more...
Temptations, you cad, you...you must know I already have a reputation as a fallen woman, so please...tempt me more...
I feel so quivery inside...and it makes my ears go all funny.
so squirmy...so wormy...
I wondered if I'd ever find romance again after my streetwalker days, but romance found me!
It makes me feel on top of the world!!!
Oh gawd. Give me a chance to throw up somewhere. Good grief, Maggie...don't you know that Juno is just looking to score some tail?
I told mom and dad you were a little hussy. And look at you. Pull yourself together, young lady. Have a little respect for yourself.
Go bother somebody else, Smitty. My appetite for Temptations cannot be quelled. I'm just a purr girl from a purr family. Nom, nom, nom.
Okay...so that happened.
Now let me show you to your second ear worm. You're welcome. Again. If you can't see the video, click right here.
Over Saturday and Sunday, I was able to finish up the next five blocks for the Mulligan Stew quilt, and I couldn't help humming the song to myself. It's been nearly two years since I worked on this quilt. My list of projects got so long that I put a few of them on the back burner, and this one was among them. Now it's back into the line-up to be worked on again, and so I'm continuing on. You may recall this quilt is from this book by Debra Henninger.
When I first started the quilt, I said something at this blog post about the meaning of the blocks. Altogether I have the first 20 blocks finished. This next one is "Cowards--Will Give to get Rid of You". There are quotes and stories in the book that explain the blocks, although the story accompanying this one didn't make it very clear.
This next one is "Danger". Of course, danger could signify many things, but in this case, it had to do with the danger of hopping on and off moving trains.
The next one is "Dangerous Drinking Water".
The next one is "Dangerous Neighborhood".
Some of the stories are compelling. The block above was accompanied by this quote from Bud Hughes of Nebraska:
"In those days one saw a few true hobos but by and large most everyone we met were people going somewhere to find work or returning home. One ran into all sorts of railroad personnel, some would advise you which train to catch and where to catch it while others would threaten you. Once in Council Bluffs, Iowa, someone actually shot at us, at least close enough we heard the bullets ricochet around us."
Finally, this last block, signifying "Dishonest Person Lives Here".
The story accompanying this block was from Charles Rankin of Ohio.
"There just were not any work to be had, for anyone to find a job, you had to be lucky. One had to be at the right place at the right time. When you did find a factory open, there were always lots of people standing around at the gate, looking for work . . . I worked for an old farmer in upstate New York once, we helped him make hay for three days. When we finished the job, he refused to pay us for our work. He claimed that we didn't work hard enough, and that we should not complain, that he had given us food and a place to stay for three days. When we put up a beef, he threatened to call the State Police. He told us that because we were on the road, that the cops would not believe us and that we would get in trouble. In most cases like that, he was right. So we just moved on."
So that's my weekend. It's been busy. I'm just about to go make some breakfast muffins for tomorrow. There are a lot of new recipes I've been wanting to try, and I'm feeling like taking a break from sewing today. Also, the sun is shining, so it's a good day to get outside and feed the birds.