Husband’s 2010 Christmas Quilt

30 Mar

Before we were married, husband’s mother gave me A LOT of a very special fabric. It’s green and yellow and orange and brown. Triangles. The fabric is special because husband’s grandmother picked it out for him a long time ago (hence the color scheme). Unfortunately, she became ill and passed away before she could make anything for her grandson out of the fabric.

You can see the fabric here, on top:

Fabric laid out.

So, last October, I picked out some coordinating fabric to make a small lap quilt (see that laid out below the special fabric, above). I decided to follow Crazy Mom Quilt‘s tutorial on How to Make a Zig-Zag Quilt Without Piecing Triangles on the Bee Square Blog. I followed the directions there (really great directions!) and made a quilt top in time to wrap up and present to husband for Christmas.

Then I had to make the back, the quilt sandwich, hand-quilt, and hand-sew the binding. And today, ta-da!, all done:

All finished!

I’m pleased with it.

I’ve hand-quilted baby quilts another person sewed, and I’ve made a lap quilt that I tied, but this is the largest quilt that I’ve created entirely from start to finish by myself. I made a lot of mistakes, but I think I solved most of them. And I learned a whole lot.

There’s tons of special fabric left to make something else out of.

And, stroke of luck, there’s a cold front moving through today, so we’ll stay a little chilly. Maybe husband can actually make use of his quilt for a night or two before we have to pack it away for the hot Texas summer.

Until he gets home, Roxie has been testing out its warming potential:

Roxie cuddles in the quilt.

(In a little while, I’ll get up the courage to wash this. And then I’ll take more pictures when it’s poofy and soft from the dryer. In a little while…)


Herb Pots: The Beginning

24 Mar

I am not a plant-lover. (Except in the eating department, in which I love plants. A lot.) Plants and I have some difficulty communicating. Plants do not speak loud enough when they need to be fertilized. Or brought in out of the cold. Or brought in out of the heat. Or watered.

I have one plant that I’ve kept alive for a couple of years. This is because she is an ivy that lives in a mason jar by the kitchen sink. So I can really see when she needs water. And she doesn’t seem to mind when her water levels get very low before I notice…

So, it’s been a complete shock to myself that I have been wanting a garden. I want to grow something and eat it. I had a similar feeling a few years ago when I started knitting and quilting–I wanted to make something that people could use. There’s just something deeply satisfying about seeing something that you’ve created keeping someone warm and comforted. I think it would be similarly satisfying to see something you’ve grown being consumed by someone.

I grew up on a farm, in fact. We spent most of the summer and a lot of the winter eating things that my stepfather had grown. An amazing gift. I should know more about plants because of this. Unfortunately, I spent most of my home time in a tree, reading. Or painting a mural on the garden shed. Or sitting on the back of the tractor, dropping in okra seeds (wait! look! I did do something for the garden!). My stepfather had all the knowledge and did all the work.

Fortunately for the plants I admired, there is no full sun on our balcony. No full sun anywhere outside our little apartment. Except on a teensy windowsill.

So I’ve invested in an herb garden kit.

Here they are!

Wish them, and me, luck. I did everything I could to give them a good little start!

Sprout, little seeds! I want to eat you!

Vegetable Pot Pie

23 Mar

We’re not big meat eaters ’round here, as you may have noticed. Sometimes, husband eats chicken. Even rarer, he eats a hamburger. I restrict my meat intake to fish exclusively. Husband doesn’t like fish.

So, mostly, we’re vegetarian, with eggs and milk. But we haven’t forgotten our home-cooked roots, and remember comfort foods. One of my favorite things as a kid was chicken pot pie. It is everything I love: creamy, crusty, warm and filling.

I crave these kinds of “comfort foods” sometimes, and I know it’s not the meat that I’m craving. It’s the warmth, the smell, the memory. And so, I’ve found a way to indulge. Years ago, I found a vegetable pot pie recipe somewhere and wrote it down. If I find it again, I’ll link to it here. Over time, I’ve modified it a bit, so I feel secure posting my recipe here. It’s really yummy.

Just for fun, I made us a special Heart Pie a couple of nights ago:

We heart each other pot pie.

And here’s the recipe:

Vegetable Pot Pie

  • 1 can condensed cream of potato soup
  • 1 bag frozen vegetables (can be any–to get the “traditional” taste I use a bag of peas, green beans, corn, and etc.)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary (or more, because I love rosemary)
  • dash of salt
  • a little more than a dash of pepper
  • 2 9″ refrigerated pre-prepared pie crusts, at room temperature
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients (except pie crusts, duh).
  3. Place bottom pie crust in pie dish. Fill with filling. Cover with top crust.
  4. Make slits in top crust. Decorate with extra crust if you want. Cover with foil.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes, then remove foil. Bake an additional 10 minutes or so, until top crust is golden brown.
  6. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Spring Buds in the Morning

21 Mar

A 12″x48″ painting for our living room:

A painting I did.

(Acrylic on canvas. By me!)

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

17 Mar

No one’s getting pinched around here…

Raider in green.

Roxie in green.

P.S. Don’t worry if you think the dogs look disturbed here. They soon returned to their regularly scheduled afternoon nap:

Resting together on the floor.

In Which Raider Snuggles

17 Mar

We’ve had two visitors so far this week. It’s been wonderful.

Especially for the little dog, who went from this:

Poor little Raider snuggles alone.

To this:

Resting in the crook of an arm.

Another arm-snuggle.

Life is better when friends visit.

Preparing for Guests

14 Mar

We have company coming this week to stay in our office/guest room/craft room/basketball watching room.

The bed in our multi-use room is also known as “Roxie’s bed.” She spends a lot of the day relaxing protecting the house from her position at the foot of the bed, nestled into a quilt that I made a while back. Usually she keeps a shoe beside her, for company.

Having guests means that I have to wash the sheets because Rox’s relaxation techniques protective instincts add a fine layer of hair to the bed that I feel may put off some guests.

Roxie’s not a fan of the washing process.

Rox doesn't like this washing-the-sheets bit.

Roxie looks sadly out from the bed.

Relegated to the floor.

While Raider’s not really a fan of me spending time only photographing Roxie.

Raider invades the picture.

So Roxie, forced to spend time on the newly vacuumed carpet (rather than re-hairy-ing up those clean sheets), is left to sulk alone.

Ray says to play ball instead.

While Raider and I go to observe a higher calling.

(I hate to do this to her. She really really stresses about her bed being unavailable. But she is a dog. I mean, even I find all that hair a little gross. Sorry big girl.)