Quilting, Cooking, and Stitching

Thursday ended up being a no sewing day. I went for my monthly pedicure, and then I had a few errands to run. What is it with the errands this week? It seems as if they're never-ending. When I got home, I needed to do a few things ahead for dinner...more about that later...and then it just seemed like the day got away from me. It seems as if I need more hours in my day to accomplish all that I want to. Some might say that I need a shorter list of things to accomplish, but where's the fun in that? That's kind of like saying you need fewer cats in your life, and that's obviously...well, I don't think I need to say any more about that, now do I?

So, it's not entirely true that I had no time for sewing. I did get through Lesson 3 of the free motion quilting sampler. Before I did that, however, I wanted to give a try to some other ideas that spawned from Lesson 2. There are some great videos on the Sit Down Free Motion Quilters Facebook group, and the addendum to Lesson 2 was this sort of apple core motif:

I used the cut-off flannel backing from Live, Love, Teach for my practice piece. It wasn't the best choice of fabric, but what else am I going to do with it? So the one above was the motif I was shooting for. When I did it the first time, I got my insies and outsies confused and ended up with this:

Not bad. It's a little like giant pebbling, only with that sort of diamond shaped thingy in between. (Technical quilting terms, so try to keep up.)

Then, I moved on to the "simple swirls" for Lesson 3. Here's my practice piece.

And I was pretty satisfied with that, so I committed it to my sampler:

Here are the three blocks I've quilted into my sampler so far.

This morning I spent some time working on the Gingerbread Square block until it was time to move my hoop. I'm going to say I'm about 25% done with this now. Lots more to do, for sure.

And now it's hooped up ready to go again.

I'll have to set it aside for a day or two, however, because Block 4 is out now on the Bee-utiful Quilt-A-Long. Cute, huh?

Block 5 should be out today, and so there will be more to do on this before I head back over to Gingerbread Square.

So for last night's dinner, I focused my effort on that weird head of sugarloaf radicchio. Also, the recipe for this salad made short work of the one fennel bulb from this week's share. I'm not really a fan of raw fennel since the anise (licorice) flavor is not to my liking. I'm not fond of certain white wines for the same reason. Nevertheless, roasted fennel loses most all of that undesirable flavor, and for this salad, I roasted the radicchio first as well.

It's a Mixed Green Salad with Caramelized Radicchio and Fennel, based loosely on this recipe from Martha Stewart. So, I substituted the oakleaf lettuce  from this week's share for arugula in the original recipe, and I used the root end of the radicchio in place of the two heads of endive from Martha's recipe. I cut about three inches at the root end, and then cut it into wedges leaving the root intact. That worked out just fine. Also, I couldn't find blood oranges, and so I used regular orange oranges. It was pretty good. It's not something I'd probably make on purpose, but now I've defeated the fennel and about 1/3 of the radicchio. I have plans for the remainder of the radicchio that will finish it off once and for all. 

This morning I'm walking with Sue, and so it's time to eat some breakfast. Mike has all the lumber he needs to finish off the catio this weekend, and not a minute too soon. I'm looking forward to seeing it all put together, and I know Smitty will be a happy camper too. 

7 comments from clever and witty friends:

Sally T said...

You need fewer cats in your life. --Smitty

quiltzyx said...

Busy, busy, busy! I did get the top done for my 10" swap quilt. Now to decide how I want to quilt it.
Congrats on conquering the greens. Wooohoooo!

ytsmom said...

OK, I probably missed it, but what is this free motion quilting sampler that you are doing? Craftsy? Thanks!!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I have never had radichio and I am not a fan of fennel either. Your Gingerbread houses are going to be such a fun quilt. I should make a FMQ sampler just to try some things I've seen on the internet = use as a resource.

Dana Gaffney said...

You're making really nice progress on the FMQing I like the motifs you're doing and it's so pretty with that thread on white. Looking forward to seeing how the cats like the Catio.

Kate said...

You've done a great job with the free motion quilting, finding some interesting side patterns out of your main project. I don't like fennel either, drives My Guy nuts because he loves it.

Dar said...

I have never had either of those strange sounding greens, but I admire your determination to use them up in new recipes. I also think your guy is brave and adventurous to eat what you make. Mine would just turn his nose up at anything strange and not even try it. Too bad, he misses a lot of good food, but you can't change an old cat's habits.