Friday, May 22, 2009

In the Kitchen… Canning Sweet Potatoes

Last year I learned to can. My husbands’ grandmother taught me. I really value the knowledge and wisdom of the older generations as they have much to teach if you’ll just listen. Plus, frugality is highly important in this economy. I received a large bunch of sweet potatoes as left-overs from the local food bank that I had no clue what to do with at first. I knew they would just spoil if I stored them away. Freezing them also wasn’t a possibility since there was just so much and we wouldn’t be able to eat them all before they became freezer burnt. My other option was to can them! I’m so greatful that I have this skill now. It was a fairly easy process although time consuming. I peeled them all, cut them all up, and placed the cubes into clean jars. Then I poured boiling water on top and screwed on the lids. I processed them in my pressure canner for 50 minutes at 15 pounds pressure. I ended up with 11 quart sized jars! I kept 8 & gave away 3 already to a friend. These will be great to have for future use!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My Irises

Iris, Most Beautiful Flower
Iris, most beautiful flower,
Symbol of life, love, and light;
Found by the brook, and the meadow,
Or lofty, on arable height.
You come in such glorious colors,
In hues, the rainbow surpass;
The chart of color portrays you,
In petal, or veins, of your class.
You bloom with the first in Winter,
With the last, in the Fall, you still show;
You steal the full beauty of Springtime,
With your fragrance and sharp color glow.
Your form and beauty of flower,
An artist's desire of full worth;
So Iris, we love you and crown you,
Most beautiful flower on Earth!
Edith Buckner Edwards (AIS bulletin January 1961)

Here are all the beautiful irises in my garden right now! Aren’t they wonderful?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hello, Summer!

by Gregory K.
Goodbye, classroom!
Goodbye, Teach!
You can find me at the beach...
Or in the park or at the pool
Or any place that isn’t school.
Goodbye, quizzes!
Bye, reports!
Hello days packed full of sports
And days when I’m just lazybones
While eating melty ice cream cones.
Goodbye, homework --
Lunchroom, too.
There’s so, so much I wanna do.
I know the school year flew on past…
But please, please summer -- last and last.

Ian is officially finished with Kindergarten! He’s had a good year with many notes home regarding his constant talking… nothing new to me as talking is part of who he is. He’s grown a lot both academically and physically. And he’s so excited that it’s summer time!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Show & Tell!

Hello! I’m participating in another Blog Carnival as part of my Etsy Bloggers Team. I’m supposed to share my Summer Line. Although I don’t particularly have a Summer Line I do have a ton of projects going on right now! Over the past 4 months I’ve collected lots of fabric but haven’t had a chance to make anything because I was busy working in my mom’s tax office. Thank goodness that time of the year is over with! Now that I’m back home I’m finding that I have so much to do. I went through some of my fabric & wrote out or drew up plans/pictures that I wanted to make from that particular fabric. Then I hung up the fabric & pinned on the drawing to help me stay a little more organized. Here ‘s the line-up…

At the time it didn’t seem like there was too much there but I think it multiplied somehow. Anyway, any chance I get I’ll take down a hanger, iron the fabric & cut out the project, then I hang it back on the hanger & stick it in the closet until I’ve got the chance to sew…

I have lots of aprons (adult & child), cloth diaper covers, and a few sewing projects for myself in that mix.

So there’s my “Summer Line”! LOL :)

In other show and tell news, my basement sewing room is coming along nicely. All the stuff is moved out of the space. To save money I’ve painted the 2 concrete walls with this really thick paint that has sand in it. It’s supposed to seal the walls & give it a bit of a texture. It worked really well! The floor underlayment has been put down. We bought this stuff called Dricore… it has the wood on top & a molded plastic underneath which raises up the floor & leaves it breathable underneath which protects against moisture. Click here to learn more. We’re also closing in this part of the basement to make it look more like a room. The walls have been framed up & drywall is going up. Yay! There will be a door going in between the long wall (which faces the outside stairwell) and a closet is going in under the stairs. I think we’re going to paint the ceiling to keep it from feeling too closed in and to also save money. We’re also going to put down carpet. Once all the remodeling is done I can move in my sewing room & begin work on the baby’s room.

So that’s all for now! I can’t wait to have my sewing room put together so I can have the time to do all those sewing projects!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Garden Bouquet Quilt- Month 6: The Trillium

Before the members of the Nancy Page quilt club began work on the trillium block they studied the diagram of directions for putting the quilt together. They did this because when they had finished the wild rose block they had made the first four blocks used in the top row of the quilt.
By studying the diagram they saw they needed to seam one of the smallest triangles at the upper left side of the first block, the tulip. This meant the twelve and one-half inch side of the tulip block.
Then at the upper right of the tulip block and joining to the upper left of the second block- the cactus- was put in one of the larger triangles. Another was seamed between the upper right of the cactus and upper left of the lily of the valley. A third was put in between the upper right of the lily block and the upper left of the wild rose. And at the upper right of the wild rose was put on of the small triangles. A large triangle went on the lower left of the first block, the tulip. Joining the lower right of the tulip to the lower left of the cactus went a large diamond- the first one to be put in thus far. Then came another diamond joining the right of the cactus to the lower left of the lily. A third went between the lower right of the lily and the lower left of the wild rose. And a triangle was seamed to the lower right of the rose. With that clear in mind the group was ready for the trillium.
First of all, to disarm all criticism, Nancy admitted that she “was shy one green leaf and the two which were drawn did not start from the right spot on the stem. But when you are an artist, you are entitled to use certain freedoms to make a design look well. And that’s what I have done.” “Explanation accepted and agreed with” said the group, “let’s start.”
The trillium is made just like the other blocks, using outline, appliqué with invisible stitches or button hole, or using colored crayons. Of course we all know that Nancy chose appliqué with invisible hemming stitches.
The method of taking off the pattern is similar to that used for other blocks.
The trillium may be developed on soft lavenders or pinks. The three small petals showing at the back may be green in a light shade or a deep shade of the same color used for the flower.
Since they are all exactly alike it is not necessary to cut more than one of them for a pattern.
In this block, as in the others, bias tape is used for the stem of the flower. The small circle in the center of the flower may be worked in a satin stitch using fast color embroidery cotton or it may be made of a tiny circle of material appliquéd.
The meek and the saucy birds are appliquéd in place and the fifth block in the quilt is finished.
Below I’ve take a picture of the layout described above for piecing together the blocks. I’ve chosen to not piece them together until all the blocks are appliquéd. I’m doing it this way because the way that is described here you will have to deal with inset seams. The way I’ll be sewing the together will be in diagonal rows, therefore avoiding any inset seams. But I won’t be able to do that until all the blocks are complete!

Here is the pattern for the trillium. Just copy and paste it onto your computer & print it out. Make sure the 1” square that I’ve drawn on is actually 1” after you print it out. You may have to fiddle with the size settings on your printer to get it the correct size.

This past month has been extremely busy for me and I didn’t get a chance to make the trillium block. I’m very sorry that I can’t show you my completed block! I will come back when it’s complete and update this.

Do you have any Garden Bouquet Quilt blocks to show off? Leave a link to your blog post about it in the comment section or email me a photo so I can share with everyone!

I hope you are enjoying this series!

Quick Links to:
Month 1: Beginning Instructions, Urn, and Basket Instructions
Month 2, Part 1: The Tulip
Month 2, Part 2: The Saucy Bird

Month 2, Part 3: The Meek Bird
Month 3: The Cactus

Month 4: Lily of the Valley
Month 5: The Wild Rose
Hand Appliqué

Machine Appliqué
Alternate Method of Appliqué Tutorial
Biased Binding Tutorial

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