Fast Finish

Good morning, my friends. It was a busy day yesterday. I accomplished everything on my list except for the housekeeping chores. Housekeeping takes a back seat to the fun stuff. Maybe I'll get at it today. Maybe I won't. Last night, I was a tired pup. It seemed like a good idea to give myself a day off today. After sleeping it off, I'm ready to get back at it this morning.

As for yesterday's comings and goings, I went to work first thing to bake the Cranberry Ecstasy Bars. They aren't hard to make, but it does take a good part of the day. It takes about 20 minutes for the oven to heat up, which is about the same amount of time it takes to mix-up the ingredients. Mine took about 30 minutes to bake. I made just half the recipe this time around and baked it in a 9 x 9 baking dish. When it came from the oven, it looked like this.

From there, I needed to let it cool completely in the baking dish. Meanwhile, I went to work sandwiching the Little Green Frog quilt for quilting. My kitty inspector showed up to help.

He was appalled at my use of the University of Oregon's green and yellow school colors. As an Oregon State Beaver Believer, he may never forgive me...until dinner time. Then maybe.

It's a small quilt at 38 x 44 inches, and so it didn't take long to sandwich it. From there, I went to work with my Line Tamer ruler quilting a straight line diagonal grid. By the way, the ruler feet I purchased for my machine are working great for me. They were expensive, but worth every penny. I had no problem keeping the foot firmly within the track of the ruler. It as nice to be able to quilt nice straight lines without fear of breaking something.

When the center panel was quilted, the Cranberry Ecstasy Bars were ready for the next step. I inverted the baking dish onto a cutting board, and then made the frosting. They were frosted and then sprinkled with chopped dried cranberries. From there, it went into the refrigerator for an hour to give the frosting time to set up.

And then I went back to my quilting. I used my go-to "Paperclip" motif on the narrow yellow border. 

And then I did a sort of upsy-downsy ribbon motif in the outer border.

And then it was ready for binding. I took it off the machine and laid it out to have a look.

Here's how it looks from the back.

Here's a close-up of the quilting. I used to stress about turning the corners. I could never get the motif to look right as I rounded the bend. Then, I realized I could simply quilt something different there. No harm done.

So then, I cut the batting even with the back and trimmed the back to an inch from the top. Quilts for Kids prefers a machine binding, and so it's a simple matter to fold once and then flip to the top for a zig-zag stitch binding. 

Before starting on that, however, I finished off the Cranberry Ecstasy Bars with a white chocolate drizzle. I slid them onto a plate for their picture, and Voila! That's one festive and delicious Christmas baking project right there. 

I told Mike I was going to wish I'd made the whole recipe. He said, it was good that I didn't. They're too yummy to resist.

Okay, and so then I got back to my quilt and finished off the binding. (I might have straightened it out a little better for its picture.)

Here's another look at the back.

Now it's washed and ready for shipping off to Quilts for Kids. And this was my goal for December's

I'm feeling pretty smug about having my project finished so early in the month. When the party starts at the end of the month, I'll be there to link up.

If I decide to do any sewing today, I'll back track and make two more blocks for the Whimsical Quilt Garden. Here are the blocks I have for this quilt so far.

I haven't looked at the next blocks yet, and so I don't know what I'm in for. Sometimes I can put them together pretty quickly. Sometimes they take longer.

And when I've finished that, I'll be back to the first section of my white board, which is to quilt and bind a large quilt. The Heartland Barns quilt is next up for finishing.

It's  been lounging on Eliza for the past couple of weeks, relaxing its wrinkles out. I have a pretty good idea about how I'm going to quilt this, but I haven't made up my mind about thread colors yet. I'll probably use an off-white thread on the embroidered panels. I don't want the quilting to compete with the embroidery. Moving out toward the edges, I may switch to a dark brown or a dark green.

Okay, and so I said IF I do any sewing today. And if not, I might take a day off. And if I take a day off, I might take a day off from blogging tomorrow too. What would I have to say for myself other than I sat on the couch all day? So I guess we'll both be surprised. Tune in tomorrow for the exciting conclusion. And if you don't see any conclusion, then you'll know what it was.


Barbara said...

The fall is my favorite time of year. I love the colors. The sun is out, you get warmth on your skin but there's the coolness of the breeze. It's really comfortable. ~ Ricky Skaggs

Julierose said...

All lovely quilts; I really like those heartland Barns blocks--so pretty...
Raining here today--those bars look yummy--you make such lovely baked goods..
hugs, Julierose

Jeanne said...

Oh my, the cranberry bars will be happening here tomorrow.

Mary C said...

You deserve a day off any time from blogging, housework, and cooking.

Jenny said...

That was a big day. Your cranberry bars look delightful, I may have to give them a go. We dont have fresh cranberries here, but I do buy an use the dried ones in a couple of recipes.

Vicki W said...

Nothing has been better for my health than my food allergies. Otherwise, I'd be begging for that recipe and I'd eat the whole thing!

Kate said...

Those cranberry bars do look good. Hopefully you didn't eat them all in one go! You made quick work of that green frog quilt. It's a great quilt for a little boy. Sometimes a day of R&R is jut what's needed. I'll have to wait a few hours to see what you decided.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Mmmmm - your baking looks so good! I do love cranberries so might have to wave that recipe in front of the Resident Chef and see if he feels inspired.
I do love that Whimsical Quilt Garden with all the wonderful colours but...then....then....I spied the barns! Woo hoo...SO glad to see them again!!

Kara Benavides said...

As usual, Smitty (and you, I guess) has come to my rescue on how I will quilt a few borders in/on? my horizon. (Some days it feels more like "in your face horizon" than "Oh, look at the pretty sunrise horizon")(Ignore my punctuation - I did.)
Those barn embroideries are beautiful!

piecefulwendy said...

You've been busy, as always! Those bars look really good. I'll be right over for a cuppa and a taste. I'm currently wrestling with some sourdough bread that doesn't seem to like our cool weather and doesn't want to rise. Sigh. Sewing is so much easier (sometimes!).

Anne-Marie said...

I made a bunch of Quilts for Kids quilts this month too.