Saturday, August 19, 2017

Reese's Quilt...


I finished binding the last of the quilts I have here at my house, just in time to pick up more ready-to-be-bound at the longarm quilter's home on Monday. Things are progressing. Yesterday I posted about Charlee and her "twin" cousin born just a few weeks before her. Well, this quilt is for Reese (Charlee's "twin" cousin). Reese is as sweet as they come. Seriously. Chocolate brown hair, like her momma, with beautiful blue eyes like both her parents. Here's her version of the quilts I made for the two grandbabies...


I used the same fabrics I used for Charlee's quilt, except I used a pink background for the bunnies, instead of the white. Otherwise, they are alike. Again, these darling fabrics come from the "Wonderland 2" collection from Riley Blake. The back of the quilt is gold polka-dots on cream with a strip of fabrics from the front of the quilt...


These bunnies melt my heart...


I'm excited to get this next round of finished quilts back from the quilter, and I'm ready to start piecing quilts again. I only have about 10 more quilts to put together and some of those are all cut out ready to sew. I think I'll be done by November. That's my goal. Of course, we do have a complete kitchen renovation scheduled in mid September, but I'll just be managing that project not doing the work. {Excited!}


Friday, August 18, 2017

Charlee's Quilt...


Baby Charlee's quilt is finished! Charlee is one of two granddaughter's born last spring. She's a beautiful little angel, and we're so grateful for her. Her "twin" cousin -- born just a few weeks before Charlee -- is getting a similar quilt, but I chose the white background for the bunnies for Charlee's.


Here's a sweet story about Charlee's name. My grandfather, Charles James Reed, was born in Wales in the late 1800's. He served in WWI for the Welsh Fusiliers, and after the war immediately immigrated to the United States. He married and had only one child, my mother, before he passed away (from conditions experienced in the war) when my mother was just a little girl. With only one child, you wouldn't think his legacy would continue much through the generations, but last count he had twelve grandchildren, great-grandchildren, or great-great grandchildren named after him. I think that's amazing. Of course by now, the g-g-grandchildren are also being named after their fathers or uncles, etc. Charlee, however, is only the second girl named after him. My mother was the first -- with the middle name of Charlene. I'm so proud that Charlee carries her father's and my grandfather's name.


I am absolutely in love with these fabrics. They are from a Riley Blake collection by Melissa Mortensen, called "Wonderland 2." I bought them on Etsy, and they are currently 20% off. They are such adorable fabrics. You can buy them here.


Again, I used a half-triangle pattern for the quilt, leaving big squares of the bunnies. Love those bunnies...


When my thirteen-year-old granddaughter was visiting a month ago, she suggested on Christmas morning my husband and I Facetiming our children's families so we could watch them open their quilts. Good suggestion. After all this work, it would be wonderful to see each one open their gift. 


The back of this quilt is simple...



Today I'll finish up Charlee's "twin" cousin's quilt who was born a few weeks before her.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Berkley's Quilt...


Our little granddaughter Berkley is a force to be reckoned with. She lives with determination and gusto, and we love her for it. She'll be turning nine next month. Her favorite colors are navy blue and coral, and the animal she's loved for as long as I can remember is the owl. I'm hoping I hit a home-run with this one...


I love the woodsy theme on this quilt -- mostly owls, with squirrels, bunnies, raccoons, and foxes and a colorful banner added for charm. Berkley lives in a beautiful rural, woodsy setting -- most of these animals probably reside in her backyard!


This quilt is a smidgen on the dark side for a little girl, but I fell in love with the owl fabrics. I just hope she falls in love with it too...


I use the same fabrics on the back -- lots of polka-dots and owls...


One more down! Quilting took a backseat in the month of July and it will for August too. I'm trying to finish some quilts before I spend more time with family next week. I'm hoping in September I'll be able to finish a bunch more quilts, because Christmas is only four months away. {YIKES!}

 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Avery's Quilt...


Avery is our second oldest grandchild. She'll be turning 12 next month. We have a family story that shortly after she was born her mommy and daddy unwrapped her to check to see if she had all her fingers and toes and she took offense. Legend has it she cried constantly for the next six months. In some cases legends aren't based on truth... this one is. One time, when she was about three months old, my at-the-time teenage son and I babysat Avery while her parents went to a movie. She didn't take bottles, and she decided she was starved a half-hour after her parents left. What ensued was enough to make my teenage son swear off children for a good long time. (I didn't blame him.) Finally, in desperation I got a bottle out of the kitchen cupboard and tried to give her a little water. I figured she'd cried for a solid hour and was probably dehydrated, if nothing else. That little kiddo turned beet red and her furor measured a solid 10 on the Richter scale. Mind you, I was an experienced mother, but she scared me.


Fortunately, she's calmed down considerably since those early days and turned into a beautiful young woman. We love her so much. Her favorite colors are coral, gold, and mint.  I found some beautiful fabrics in those colors, so I'm hoping she'll love this quilt...


I love the touch of metallic that many fabrics have in them these days. It makes the fabrics a little more luxurious...


There is a metallic gold thread that winds itself through most of the fabrics in this quilt. There's no real "theme" to this quilt -- you'll find tee-pees, and flowers, and bees, and unicorns, and feathers, and arrows.


I think the theme is often created by the colors in the quilt...


I chose this fabric  that was mint and coral and built the quilt around it...


Here's the back...



I hope she likes it.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Mushroom Bolognese with Summer Squash


My favorite meals in the summer come straight out of our veggie garden, and this recipe in particular -- using fresh summer squash, tomatoes, basil, and oregano from our bounty -- is heavenly...


I love to combine a thick, meaty Bolognese sauce with zucchini and yellow crooked-neck squash. So good! Over the years, I've tweaked and {in my not-so-humble opinion} ultimately perfected this Bolognese recipe. My husband has labeled it "the best," not that he's particularly impartial, mind you, but I do think this recipe is worth sharing...



Ingredients for Bolognese (Meat Sauce):

8 ounces of fresh white mushrooms 
1 slice hearty white sandwich bread, torn into quarters
2 Tbsp. milk
Salt & pepper
1 lb. 85% lean ground beef
1 lb. mild Italian sausage
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped fine
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 heaping Tbsp. tomato paste
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes (set aside 2 Tbsp. of juice) -- sometimes I use fresh tomatoes out of my garden
2 tsp. dried oregano or 1 tsp. fresh oregano
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
2 beef bouillon cubes 
1 rounded Tbsp. granulated sugar
Basil - fresh, about 10 leaves, sliced thin
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 

1. Pulse mushrooms in food processor until finely chopped, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Transfer to bowl and set aside.
2. Add bread, milk, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper to now-empty food processor and pulse until paste forms. Fold this paste (Panade) into beef and sausage and set aside this meat mixture.
3. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat and add onion and mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are browned and dark bits form on saucepan bottom, about 6 to 12 minutes. Stir in garlic, tomato paste, and ground red pepper; cook until fragrant and tomato paste starts to brown, about 1 minute. Add reserved 2 Tbsp. of tomato juice (from can of diced tomatoes), and oregano, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add meat mixture and cook, breaking the ground beef and sausage into small pieces, until it loses its raw color -- 2 to 4 minutes, making sure the beef does not brown. 
4. Stir in crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, beef bouillon cubes, basil, and sugar; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and gently simmer until sauce has thickened and flavors have blended -- about an hour on very low heat. Stir in Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper, if necessary. 


Zucchini and Yellow Crooked-Neck Squash

Wash and cut 1/4" rounds of zucchini and squash. Line a cookie sheet with foil, put a little olive oil on the foil and spread it around. Place your squash rounds on the cookie sheet. Spray rounds with Pam and salt and pepper. Broil in 450 degree oven for about 8 - 10 minutes. I test after about 8 minutes and if they are slightly soft, they're done!


Layer cooked squash in bottom of bowl. Spoon yummy Bolognese sauce over squash and top with fresh Parmesan or Feta cheese. It tastes heavenly and it's good for you. What's not to love?

{During colder months you can always enjoy the Bolognese sauce over pasta!}