Happy National CSA Day!

This morning my friend Sue sent me this image.

Ordinarily we walk on Friday mornings, and we will walk rain or shine. Snow, though...snow is a different animal altogether. We wouldn't mind a walk in the snow, but driving in the snow is another matter. There was just a dusting (plus some leftover from Wednesday) when I got up this morning, but it's been snowing pretty much nonstop for hours. Seems like a good day to stay in and sew.

Yesterday I got to work on the Bee Loving quilt. You might remember this as the Bee-utiful Quilt-along that started on the Moda Bake Shop last June. Pamela Morgan designed this adorable quilt, and it proved to be very popular.

If I'm remembering correctly, the blocks were released two per week over the summer, and I managed to keep up through the end. The embroidered blocks have been finished for months, and they've been lounging in the sewing room awaiting their turn to be sewn into a flimsy.

The original quilt was created using a line of fabrics created by Deb Strain, known as "Bee Creative." The quilt-along was so popular that the fabrics sold out nationwide in no time. I ended up purchasing at least one from the line, but then I went in search of alternatives. There were a few in my stash, and then I purchased a couple more online. These are the fabrics I'm using in my quilt.

The one on the left has been in my stash a long time, and I'll use that for the outer border. The bottom fabric will be used for the quilt back. Above that are the fabrics I'll use for the sashing and inner border. Finally at the top is a word fabric I'll use to frame the blocks.

Smitty appurroves. He's pretty easy when it comes to fabric. Lay them on a flat surface, and he will lay on them.

The original quilt had all the blocks framed in a "word" fabric, and so I decided to use this scrap of Lynette Anderson fabric in mine. It's a leftover from many quilts I've made, and I think when this quilt is finished, I'll have used all but about a fat quarter-sized piece. It has the word "bees" in it, and so I figure it works.

Originally, I used it for the backing in A Gardener's Journal.

So yesterday, I managed to get all 20 blocks framed.

Today I'll get to work making the sashings and sewing the blocks together.

Before I go, however, I need to tell you that February 24th has been designated National CSA Day (Community Supported Agriculture). According to Small Farm Central, February 24th is the most popular day of the year to sign up for a CSA share.

If you've been reading long, then you know we love our CSA veggies here at the Three Cats Ranch. A while back, I wrote a blog post about the many good reasons to purchase a CSA share from a local farm. There's a bit of a learning curve when one commits to a full season of vegetables. We've signed up for our third season this year. Since writing that post, I've learned even more about preparing, eating, and preserving the harvest, and now we are eating CSA veggies almost every night, all year long, even well past the end of the season.

Just last night I tried this recipe for Oprah's Kale and Farro Soup. It was so yummy, and the sourdough bread from yesterday was perfect for dunking.

Farro has become my favorite grain. It has the nicest texture. I used to have to go to a specialty market to get it, but now it's available in our local supermarket. The best thing about the soup was it allowed me to use some frozen butternut squash, frozen kale, frozen tomatoes, and homemade veggie stock all from last season's CSA share.

If you're interested in finding a small farm close to you, there are a couple of resources with searchable databases. You can look here at Local Harvest or check this page at the US Department of Agriculture website. You can search at either site using your zip code.

There's just one housekeeping task to take care of today, and that won't take long. Otherwise, it's going to be an NBS day (Nothing But Sewing). Stay warm and dry, my friends. And thank you to all of you who have left snotty happy comments about the nice weather you're having. It seems as if we're setting weather records all over the country, some good...or, here in Portland, not so good.

8 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I love those Bee blocks and your selection of fabrics will make it shine. Like seeing Smitty tending to his duties like a pro. Our local church has a CSA sign up and several local farms contribute, but not until next month (not that far away. We are very warm right now, but will be sliding back down to our normal winter temps and weather in a couple of days.


I love your bee blocks--I also have mine all made--and have looked and looked for the right fabrics to finish it--and have seen 2 new lines that will be out in March that I am thinking might be just the right ones to finish it--Seen them on Shabby Fabrics site and they are called--Bee Inspired and Let it Bee--
enjoy the moments, di

Renata S said...

Over the past 2 years, I have enjoyed following how you use your CSA vegetables. We have participated in something similar that gave us vegetables that we didn't know how to use. You have inspired me to use the new to us vegetables. I enjoy your recipes. Of course I also love the quilts, gardening, cats, and travel adventures.

Lyndsey said...

Those bee blocks are beautiful and I like your fabric choices.That is another stunning quilt getting nearer to completion. I'm pleased you've signed up for another year of veggies as that means I have another year of new veggie recipes to look forward to and to try out.

claudia said...

That is a great selection of fabrics to finish your Bee blocks! I'm looking forward to seeing it all together.
We (I say we as though I have a mouse in my pocket) The room mate is finally getting the garden spruced up and ready to till. He was going to work on it yesterday, but we got and inch or two of snow instead! Perhaps one day I will understand the weather here. And then again, maybe not!

Wendy Tuma said...

Such a cute sign; aren't friends the best!? You've made good progress on your quilts as of late. That farro soup looks really good, and having sourdough to dunk is even better! I've just begun using farro and I like it too. My other favorite is black rice (yum!). Have a wonderful day stitching away!

Janet said...

The bee blocks will sew up into a lovely quilt and you have picked lovely fabrics for it. I haven't heard of farro before. I'll have to research it.

quiltzyx said...

I do like your fabric choices to finish up the Bee Loving quilt. I do love me some text fabrics!! Glad to see Smitty is still doing such a good job in the fabric department.

The soup & sourdough looks really nice. We had fresh-made soup at work twice this past week. Leslie made a veggie & pork soup one day and split pea the next. Mmmmmm. Funny, I don't really care for peas, but love a good split pea soup!! My mom was the same way. Must be the "Smith" in us.