Cats and Stars

My kitty consultants were hard at work yesterday. It seems kitties have very strong opinions about color value. I was working on the next two blocks for the Charm Stars quilt. The stars are made from a combination of light and dark color values as well as neutrals. Sadie was not happy with my choices at all.

You've chosen a lavender, where you really should have chosen a light purrple.

She read over the instructions and looked at the diagram several times. We couldn't agree on the color choices or placement.

Pawsibly you need new glasses, because I read it a diffurrent way.

In disgust, she gave up.

Sometimes no amount of purrsuasion makes any difference.

She decided to bed down on the already-made blocks for a nap.

It's depurressing when my human will not listen to my expurrt advice.

So, despite her disappointment, I laid out the HST's my way.

They're a little tricky getting the right configuration of darks and lights.

Of course, Smitty had to put in his two cents too.

Don't listen to Sadie. Any cat with a short tail like that is not to be trusted.

By day's end, I had them sewn together.

I still need two more blocks for this quilt. I'll do the last two in browns.

It was time to think about dinner by then. As I mentioned, Matthew won a sort of all-in-one cooker just before Christmas, and this is the first time I've felt courageous enough to give it a try. Mike thinks it looks like R2D2. When it makes its little button beeps, it sounds like R2D2 too. So it's a rather large appliance, but it steams, roasts, air fries, pressure cooks, broils, steams, slow cooks, dehydrates...let's see...I'm sure I've left something out.

I was planning to air fry two pork tenderloins. But first, I needed to read the instructions, and this was rather intimidating. There were two pages of ways I could die using this.

They contained many scary words like "DO NOT" and "NEVER" and "ALWAYS," and I don't know about you, but my memory isn't good enough to be trusted with "nevers" and "alwayses." In all, there were 61 ways to die.

Also...that many cooking functions translates into lots of pieces. It took me at least 20 minutes to figure out what went where, and which parts I would need for last night's dinner.

In the end though...it turned out good. I used this recipe to marinate and then air fry the pork tenderloins. (By the way, you can use the marinade and cook the pork tenderloins however you like. No air frying is required.) They took about 30 minutes, rather than the 20 listed in the recipe. Mine might have been a little larger than specified. Either way, they were quite tasty. Mike and Matthew had the pieces at either end. They thought theirs were a tad dry. My slices from the middle were just right.

So that was something new and exciting. I'll try one of the other functions next, but I'm not sure which or when.

Speaking of new and exciting, I'm starting a new project today. I know I said "no new projects," but here's the deal: My plan for the year is to finish quilting one quilt and to finishing sewing together one quilt top per month. When those two things are accomplished, I can work on my WIPs. And after years of experimentation, I believe a list of five WIPs is a reasonable number to have going. You may disagree...and I can hear you laughing, so be quiet! So with that excuse explanation out of the way, I'll just say that recently, three positions have opened up on my dance card. The first one will be filled with this pattern I purchased nearly 10 years ago.

When we were traveling through Las Cruces, New Mexico, I had a day of visiting three different quilt shops. This one came from a shop called "Sew What's New." You can read my blog post about it right here. My visit was in 2011, and so I wondered if they were still in business. It seems they are. You can find them on the web right here.

So, as is my usual practice, I'll be doing this one block at a time. The first will be this "Guacamole" block.

When I purchased this pattern, I was fairly new to quilting. There are some tricky bits to this pattern, including curved piecing of the block backgrounds, and homemade fringe on some of the background "tablecloths." I'm kind of glad I didn't try this way back then because it would have been rather confusing. And I'm not sure it won't be confusing still, but I'm hoping I'll be able to get 'er done. That's on today's agenda. It looks like all those striped fabrics I've been collecting are going to come in handy for this project.

Also yesterday, I started stitching the next Appalachian Memories block. I like to start with the quilt block on these. When I stopped for the morning, I had it this far. 

I'll be heading there as soon as I publish this post.

Also yesterday, I took another picture of the star magnolia. The flowers still have not opened, and we're expecting rain all week. I'm afraid the flowers will be fairly battered by raindrops by the time they are in full bloom.

I had good intentions of getting out and picking another bucket of weeds yesterday. By the time I was dressed and heading outside, the rain had started up. I'm easily discouraged from weeding, and so that was the end of my weedy day. Darn. It's looking pretty dark and cold right now, and so I doubt I'll get any more done today either. It's my expectation the weeds will wait for me. They're very dependable that way.

11 comments from clever and witty friends:


Loved the joke--about the weeds--sooo true--
so you will be jumping down the rabbit hole and doing a new pattern--can't think of anything better to do right now!!
and it's a good thing you don't have to distance yourself from your fur babies that would be unbearable!!
luv, di

Quilting Babcia said...

I'll stick with my trusty skillet and crockpot. That new thing is way too complex for this tiny brain. There's only one more pot I'd like to have someday and that is a cast iron dutch oven. The lighter weight one we have now can't be used in an oven over 350 deg. That New Mexico Kitchen looks like a fun challenge, and I'm sure you're up to it.

LavenderBlue said...

The Instant Pot (and air fryer lid) are the best things in my kitchen. I barely use my oven any more so no mess in there. They save time, eliminate dirtying multiple pots and pans for one recipe, and the food is juicy, tender and delish! Barbara, I especially enjoy your cookinig segments and your sharing of recipes. Thank you.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

The new stars look great. A kitchen gadget that you need a degree to read the manual - not in my house! Cast iron skillet, microwave, and crock pot work just fine.

Julierose said...

Those pork chops sound yummy--
Your Star is very pretty--despite the dis-Purraging kitty
I have finished 12 masks with binding ties...phew--done and mailed to
family members...
Enjoy being home..sending ~~~~waves:))) Julierose

kc said...

We'll, if there's one thing you can depend on, it's kittypinions and weeds. Oh wait, that's two things. Or, in your case, many things! Lol, it's late. Or is it early? I dunno, it's about 5 am and I've been up since 3! Combination of stiff back and worried about oversleeping and not getting up in time to hit the grocery store and worried about going to grocery and contaminating ourselves! Darn, no dancing, lots of sitting, so back is really bothering me ... Too much late night snacking, so bad dreams, new neighbors moved in yesterday, one on each side.. both from San Antonio, a hotbed for COVID 19.. who could sleep??

If only I could see, maybe I could finish up my little FL flamingo, all he needs is the beads added, but I cannot thread that needle. I tried using the wire threader, but the eye is sooooo tiny, it won't pass the thread and wire. One or t'other, not together.

I think your stars contrast fine, Sadie was just trying to get you to play with her instead of the blocks I bet.

That Ninja looks way to complicated for my feeble and sleep deprived brain... But I bet your Resident Engineers love it! Be neat if you could figure it all out and use it as your go-to appliance for the camper.

Stay well and safe!

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

I admit that I don't know if my Insta Pot air frys. I don't think so. I need to check that out because I have been wondering if I should actually GET an air fryer. I probably won't, lol. You are off to a great start on your next projects. I think your kitty assistants agree to disagree. You have raised them well, lol.

Rain here too. I'm hearing a lot of thunder right now. I can never tell at first if it's just the kid across the street starting his truck. Nope. Lots of thunder.
Stay well.
xx, Carol

piecefulwendy said...

I'm feeling much better now that you've started a new project. I'm not even telling you how many WIPs I have here. I'm trying to rein in my quilting ADD, but not very successfully. I have one quilt completed that I listed on my to do list for the week; I was doing so well. Then the last couple of days have been spent playing with something new and very appealing to me. Whether the other two to-dos get done is yet to be determined. Ha! Those kitties are great help. Wilbs has been complaining much lately, I think he smells spring in the air and would like to be out roaming. Enjoy the air fryer; not sure I'd enjoy all the details, but the food looks tasty!

Linda said...

Man that is a big machine - much bigger than my Instant Pot - but the tenderloins look delicious. Looking forward to seeing New Mexico Kitchen and thought your experience at that quilt shop was "different". ;) My kitty consultants don't have the expertise of Sadie and Smitty and usually just flop on whatever I'm working on.

Kate said...

Your purple stars turned out beautifully. Sometimes you just have to move on with your choices even if the family doesn't agree. I'm sure Sadie will get over it. That cooker looks like something only an engineer could love, it's got so many bells and whistles on it. Hope you get in lots of stitching time this weekend.

Lyndsey said...

Sorry Sadie but the choice of fabrics for the stars was perfect. Starting a new project sounds great Barbara, I'm about to sneak a new project in myself. Oh for the halcyon days of your NewFO link ups, that was such fun.