Mumm on Monday

Monday morning I worked on Block #52 of the Live, Love, Teach quilt until it was finished. This is Julie's original block submission:

Here it is rendered in fabric and floss.

My hand was a little sore from being tensed up over that satin stitch, and so I was glad when those musical notes were stitched. That brings me to the final four on these, which I'll finish up next month. Yahoo! For one thing, I'll be making two t-shirt blocks...something new to me. Many thanks to my friend Dana for putting me onto the right stabilizer for this job.

The shirt on the left is already cut so that I only need to center and cut the block to size. The shirt on the right has a placket sitting a little too close to the logo. In order to center the logo, I'll have to cut it too small, and so I'm thinking of putting a border around it to bring it to size. Does anybody see a problem with that? And if I do that, I'll probably do the other one the same way just to be consistent.

I had a little housework to do and then I continued on with piecing the Mumm's the Word quilt top. The third row (the lowest one with the trees in the image below) required some construction.

I needed to add a row of filler blocks to the bottom and right side of the fish, and then I added four filler blocks to the top of the house. Then I was ready to sew it together and add it to the top portion. The fourth row was pretty simple. When I had that sewn on, the entire center of the quilt was finished.

Amazingly, even with all those seams, I've done almost no fudging to make things fit. Credit goes to Debbie Mumm's excellent instructions. You can still find this quilt pattern for free on her website. Next, I'll be adding two small borders and then the pieced outside border. Hopefully the pieced border will go together as easily as the rest of the quilt. It's doubtful I'll have any more time to sew on this before I get back from my upcoming four-day class. 

As of this morning, the sixth of 12 blocks for the Hocuspocusville quilt is off to a good start .

There are many miles of stitching to do before it will be finished. 

Today I need to pick up an egg share from our CSA farmers, and then I need to make a quick trip to the grocery store. There are already meals prepared for Mike while I'm gone...don't want the poor man to starve to death while the little woman is away. Nevertheless, I need to pick up a few staples. Also, I need to clean up the upstairs a little bit. Our window washer guy is coming tomorrow; so, of course, I'll be cleaning up for him. When we had a housekeeper, I always cleaned the house before she got here too. How many of you do that? Certainly I wouldn't want the people who come to help out knowing that we live like pigs when they're not around. Sorry, pigs. No slight intended. 

Also before taking off, I want to get my sunflowers in the ground. I'd hoped that the weather would be a little nicer yesterday, but it rained off and on all day. There were also a few hail storms, and so it wasn't a great day to be in the garden. In any case, there are a lot of little odds and ends to take care of before I go, and that always seems to be the case. Probably I'll have time to post again tomorrow, but if not, I'll be posting while I'm off to Vancouver for my class.

You know I always want to share when I try something new that turns out to be truly delicious. Sunday I made this Dijon and Cognac Beef Stew, and I think it might have been the best stew I've ever eaten. Mike loved it and he packed up the leftovers for two days worth of lunches. 

Image credit: Michael Kraus for the New York Times

It takes about three hours to make it, but the hands-on prep time is short. Just spend a little time chopping and browning and then let the clock and the stove top take care of the rest. I used a cut of sirloin for my stew meat and I substituted brandy for the cognac. Also, I used whole grain mustard for the "Pommery". I'm not actually sure what that is...maybe a brand name? Anyway, I think I got it right. When it first came to a simmer, the Dijon aroma was fairly strong, which scared me a little. I tasted the broth, and it was already quite flavorful. After simmering for a while, it was very, very tasty. Yum. I'll definitely be making this again.

Finally, we had a rare occurrence here yesterday when the hummingbirds could actually tolerate more than one of their kind at the feeder. I wasn't able to get a multi-hummingbird shot, but you'll want to see this picture of Maggie sitting in the literal catbird seat. She sat for a good 20 minutes watching the birds and chattering away as they came and went.

Oh yes, and I almost forgot. Thursday marks Mike's one year point until retirement...a sort of "minus one year" anniversary. He'll be joining me in Vancouver on Friday for a celebration of the first day of the last year of his 38-year engineering career. Think about that for a second. We're using these interim celebrations to practice up for the Big One.

7 comments from clever and witty friends:

Quilting Babcia said...

Celebrate away! You've both earned it. Maggie has certainly made herself right at home, she picked just the right folks for her forever home! Have fun at your class, I'm looking forward to seeing what you create.

Dana Gaffney said...

That stew looks and sounds delicious. I doubt you'll be doing a stipple over Sue's quilt, but I forgot to tell you that t-shirts with the plasticy pictures will break your needle, beware. Enjoy your celebration.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

The stew looks fabulous! What a cute photo of Maggie chatting with the birds.

Brown Family said...

I wish I had time for that Debbie Mumm quilt! It is very sweeet.

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

I'm drooling over that potful of delight. I love meat that has stewed for hours and tastes so delectable; the falling apart as you try to fork it is my fave.

Kate said...

Congrats on getting the Debbie Mumm quilt center all done. It's going to be a fun quilt. Enjoy your class this weekend.

quiltzyx said...

I could almost smell that pot full of yumminess! My mouth is watering!
Nice job getting Mum's the Word together. If I started something like that, I would only get so far & then it would no doubt get lost in the stacks. You do inspire me to try to get myself together & get SOMETHING done! Thanks for that!!
I can also hear Maggie's chattering at the hummingbirds. I miss that sound. :)