Saturday, May 1, 2021

May Color Challenge

 

It's a new month, which means it's a new color challenge reveal.

This month we are using 

Brown

and we are featuring 

Potatoes


Potatoes are a root vegetable, native to the Americas. It was believed that the potato was originally domesticated by various Native Americans in multiple locations, but genetic testing of a variety of species trace a single origin in what is present-day southern Peru and northwestern Bolivia somewhere between 7000 and 10,000 years ago. 

Potatoes were introduced to Europe from the Americas in the second half of the 16th century by the Spanish. Today, there are over 5000 different types of potatoes and they are considered a staple food in many parts of the world. In 2014 potatoes were the world's fourth-largest food crop. Only corn, wheat and rice surpassed them. 

So, just how healthy are potatoes?


Potatoes are a nutritious vegetable, packed with essential vitamins and minerals that help support the body, boost the immune system and improve energy levels. Potatoes are heart healthy too because they are rich in potassium which helps lower systolic blood pressure and helps reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. They are also rich in vitamin C and fiber, both of which lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol. The fiber found in potatoes helps satiate hunger and support "gut" health.  Potatoes also contain Vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, and iron. They are gluten free, fat free, sodium free, and cholesterol free.  

Potatoes can be healthy, but it is important to consider how they are prepared when considering the overall health benefits. Studies show that there is a direct correlation between eating certain types of potatoes and potato products and an increase in waist circumference and weight gain. (Really?? Who would have guessed that?) So, instead of eating potato chips or fried potatoes, choosing healthier preparation options such as roasted, boiled, grilled, or steamed is the way to go. 

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Let's take a look at this month's block

I had the perfect mosaic fabric for the 6" version of this month's block, but I couldn't decide which fabric I wanted to use for the 12" block. I finally decided to stop fretting over it and just make two blocks. Problem Solved!!


These potatoes are the basic potatoes that I grew up eating. They are tasty and I have always enjoyed eating them. 


The potatoes in the fabric above are just plain fun. I love all the colors! There is a difference in taste, which provide a nice pleasant variety to many dishes.  

See what I mean about the mosaic fabric for the 6" block? Perfect!


I enjoy this picture of all three blocks. I like the fabrics and I like the block pattern. 


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For this month's block instructions, head over to 

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Thank you to the Second Quarter Sponsors!

Let's show them our appreciation and check out their products.

Jen has a complete list of the sponsor HERE. 


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It's recipe time and I think you'll like this one!

Roasted Spanish Potatoes
AKA Patatas Bravas


These potatoes are a delicious side dish that can be served with just about anything. If you like a little spice in the morning, they are wonderful with scrambled eggs!

Ingredients
2 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes - peeled or unpeeled - your choice, cut into 1" chunks
5 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth or white wine
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
14 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
2 or 3 teaspoons hot sauce (Tabasco)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Fresh Parsley, if desired for garnish
 
Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss potatoes with 3 Tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt.

2. Arrange in one layer in a casserole pan or on a rimmed baking tray. Roast until browned, about 50 minutes. 

3. While potatoes are roasting, heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a medium pan over medium/high heat. Add onions and saute 4-5 minutes or until they begin to brown on the edges. 

4. Add garlic and saute another 2 minutes. 

5. Add the chicken broth or white wine and turn heat to high. Boil on high until the liquid is reduced by half. Add tomato paste and stir until combined.

6. Add tomatoes, hot sauce, salt, sugar, and paprika. Stir well and reduce heat to simmer. Let sauce cook slowly for 40 - 50 minutes. 

7. When potatoes are well browned, toss them with the sauce and return the pan to the oven until the sauce dries out a bit and the potatoes caramelize, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh parsley, if desired. Serve warm. 

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You'll have some time to kill while the potatoes roast so you might consider gathering up friends and family to play the Potato Game
That sure looks like fun! 

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Speaking of fun, these blocks were fun to make and I like how they looks. 
Check out the May Bloggers to see what fabrics they chose to use for their blocks.
I'm also looking forward to some delicious recipes to try. 


Friday, April 23, 2021

Using Quilts

I love to see the quilts I've made being used!

Quinn used the red and black quilt at the track meet yesterday. 


It was VERY cold and it warmed my heart to see her wrapped up in that quilt. 



I was very happy to see that she shared her quilt with a teammate as they walked across the field to sign in and get ready for their race. 

I had a quilt with us up in the stands too. That certainly helped when sitting on those cold metal bleachers and it helped to cut the wind too. You may have to look closely to see it, but we are sitting on a quilt.  

Quinn came to visit us while she had a pretty long break between events. Sadie gave her a hug to wish her luck in her final race. I think she may have also been trying to steal some warmth too.  :-) 

Yep! I'll keep making quilts...

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Catch Up Post

I've been a slacker when it comes to writing blog posts. It's always on my lists, but doesn't always make it to the top of the list.  I finally sat down at the computer and decided to write a few words and share a few pictures. 

Remember the black and red version of Mapleton Avenue that I shared last month? It has been gifted to Quinn and I even got a few pictures.  Yay!




I finished my two-color plus a background Atlantic Avenue quilt and LOVE it! Jack picked these colors and he is very pleased with results too.  


In case you can't see it in the picture above, I used the same black and white striped binding for this quilt. I think it is perfect for these quilts. I have at least one more project on which I plan to use it, so I guess it really was a good thing that I bought quite a large amount of it.  


I had some "sewing for others" to do and this big beauty is now complete. I did not get a picture of this after borders were added, as it was too big for my design wall. Plus, it was raining and pictures just weren't going to happen before it needed mailed. I'll share some of the pictures that I receive from the person who commissioned it. 




None of these pictures do the quilt justice. The fabrics are beautiful and it was a joy to make. After the borders were added, this beauty measured 93" x 107" The pattern is Sweet Caroline by Myra Barnes of Busy Hands Quilts.  

I have a couple of secret sewing projects on which I'm working and I'm enjoying them very much.  Here are the fabrics for one of the projects.  These just make me smile.  ๐Ÿ˜Š


I have a few other projects on which I've been working. I'll get some pictures of those to share too. That may happen this weekend, but I wouldn't hold my breath. 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

April Color Challenge

 It's April 1st and it's time to introduce a new color for the 
2021 Monthly Color Challenge!


This month we are using 

RED

and featuring 

CHERRIES


Cherries are low in calories and chock full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, nutrients and other good-for-you ingredients. Whether you like them sweet or tart, these deep red fruits pack a healthy punch. 


These tasty and beautiful bits of heaven will provide you with vitamins C, A, and K. Plus, when you eat them, you'll benefit from receiving potassium, magnesium, and calcium. 


While digging around reading about cherries, I happened upon some dream interpretation information and found it interesting.

Cherries are a sign of prosperity. Dreams that involve blooming and/or sweet cherries, are a sign of promised joy, pleasure and success. If your dream involves you enjoying cherries, it means that your kindness will help you cope with difficult people. If you are eating sour cherries in your dreams, it is a sign of possible upcoming anguish.


I don't know about all that dream stuff, but I know that I like to eat sweet cherries plain and use sour cherries in pies. As you can from this picture, I'm not the only one in my house that likes cherry pie.  :-)


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I found some great cherry fabric in my stash and was happy to use it. It was going to be used in a project that I abandoned, so I was happy to finally have a reason to use it. 

I kept with the same green accent fabric and love how it looks.


I love how the red mosaic fabric looks with the green fabric.


To find the instructions for this month's block, head over to 

Jen always has great instructions and I know that you will 
love making this month's block.

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Thank you to the Second Quarter Sponsors!
Let's show them our appreciation and check out their products.

Jen has a complete list of the sponsor HERE. 



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It's recipe time! As hard as I tried, I couldn't decide on a recipe to share this month. I do like my pie recipes, but I LOVE eating just plain cherries. So, that's my recipe. I like them at room temperature, but they are especially good when chilled. And for a nice change of pace, put them in the freezer for a short time and pop them in your mouth when they are just starting to freeze. Oh my....

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Twist Those Seams!

Having super flat seams at block intersections or block units, makes quilting so much easier. A few years back, I learned how to twist my seams and that was a game changer.

Way back in 2014, I wrote up a blog post on how to twist seams and it was well received. I know that it helped a lot of quilters and that makes me happy. That information is still good, but I've made a couple of changes in process. You can see the original tutorial HERE


Recently, while facilitating an on-line Mapleton Avenue Sew Along for Chestnut Ridge Sewing, I demonstrated this updated seam twisting information. The pattern called for seam twisting, but many participants had never done it and didn't understand what to do. I included twisting in the weekly video and was thrilled to hear people say how much they appreciated the video.

With that in mind, I decided to edit the video to just the twisting segment and share it here. My hope is that between the original tutorial and this video, you become a Seam Twister!

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Quilt Pictures and More

I took a couple of pictures of my second version of the Mapleton Avenue quilt today. I am sooooo happy that I took the time to un-sew and change the layout!


I didn't take the time to stage some great pictures of this quilt because I really wanted to share it ASAP. I'll get better ones later. I love how these fabrics look against the changing grass color, the still-barren tree limbs, and that beautiful blue sky.  


I quilted a simple all-over meander and I am happy the results. I know that some people feel that a meander is kind of like cheating, but I disagree. I know how this quilt will be used and know that I wanted the fabrics to shine and not the quilting. Besides, I really do like the look of a meander.  A few years back, one of my granddaughters told me that she loves "those swirly all-over lines" that I quilt because she likes to trace them with her finger while she's trying to fall asleep. Who needs more reason to continue to quilt meanders?  :-) 

I am very happy with my binding! Yep; it's the stripes that were in the pre-cut package of strips.


There were two of each strip and I sewed them in an alternating orders so there was a nice flow around the quilt.



I love this picture and the beautiful tree and sky above it!


And just because I like to show it, here is the back. This was the original grey that I was going to use for the background on the front. I am very happy to have made the change.


I like how the stipe looks against this grunge backing.


Much to his chagrin, I had to get a picture of my quilt holder/binding consultant/quilt namer - AKA Jack. I am blessed with his constant support and encouragement.


Do you see that little bit of green way in the back on the left side? That's the Peace Bench that Ronan and Jack rebuilt last summer.


We had a very old garden bench that we were going to get rid of when Ronan asked if he could put it back by the "Peace Trees." I didn't know what he was talking about, so I asked him to explain. He said that the area way in the back is very peaceful and he loves to go back there when he's upset or just needs a break. There are a lots of trees, wild flowers, etc. back there, and it's because it's away from the house, it's quiet. (During the summer, it's actually hard to see from the house because of the trees and other plants that are quite tall.) 

Shoot! When he asked like that, how could we say, "No"? He and Jack spent a lot of time taking apart the bench, painting the wood (Ronan picked the color), and then putting it back together. They had a good time doing this and each learned a lot. Ronan ended up with his own toolbox and tools by the end of the project, which certainly made him happy.


When the restoration was done, Ronan asked his sisters to help move it to the Peace Area.  It was kind of an interesting undertaking, but it got done with no injuries or damage to the bench. 



All of this was done prior to Jack's back surgery and broken ankle. When he could finally get around without a wheelchair or walker, the kids asked if he could join them on the bench to say a prayer for his complete recovery. I love this picture! 


Of course the cousins love the bench too!


I am looking forward to spending time back in the Peace Area and know the kids are too. I think I'll take a few quilts back there and get some pictures.