Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Marshmallows and Tiny Houses

 Two things I have done in December and am excited to share is my first attempt (successful) at marshmallows. The second is my Tiny House project. Lots of pictures so get comfy. First, the Marshmallows. I used Alton Brown's recipe and it was super simple. You do need a candy thermometer though. Here is the process in pictures:

Gelatin and water, waiting for the syrup
Pan prepared with powdered sugar and cornstarch

Syrup in the pan, waiting to boil.

Pouring hot syrup into the gelatin as the mixer is going.
Out of order, but the syrup cooking to 140 degrees
Again, dammit, out of order, thanks blogger, covering with powdered sugar
Whipping until stiff peaks form

There they are! Stiff enough. Don't want to set them up too soon.
Into the pans they go.

I used 2 8-inch square pans instead of the one 9x13. It was easier to deal with.

Again, all out of order for no apparent reason. but they were delicious and amazing and I will do them again!

Now, tiny houses. I have kept up at one per day. Here is where I am after today...

Actually, this was Monday. I am having so much fun with these, and keeping at it is easy. You can check my Instagram for all the pictures of this. I am @grammie_q and I post the house there every day.

Have a Happy and safe New Year's eve and here's hope for better things in 2021 for all of us.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Missing in December

 I know i have not been here in the month of December. In fact, my last post was November 25. I have thought of posting, but this Christmas season has been especially difficult for me. I find it hard to pretend that all is well, or normal in any way. But today, I decided to post a long-ish catch up post . First, let me just say Happy Winter Solstice to one and all. From now on, the days start getting longer. Yay!

I have been doing some sewing and baking and other crafty things, which I want to share, and document here. So here we go...

First of all, I finished my Penny Sampler quilt top. This was a year long project done with monthly installments from Rachel, at Stitched In Color. I really enjoyed this one. Up for the new year is making the backing and quilting it. I have a plan.

Second, I finished my Geesey Geesey quilt top, also a sew along with Rachel. She has ideas that inspire me. What else can I say? This one will also get quilted in the new year.

I made two throw pillows for my bed, to go with the Christmas quilt that resides there now, during the holidays. After Christmas, the covers will go back into storage until next year.

Next is my tiny house project. Since I first began making these a year or so ago, I wanted to make a bunch to put into a small wall hanging type of quilt. I could never make myself just start making them, though. So I decided on December 1 to do a 100 Days Project. By March 10 I will have 100 tiny houses to put together. Right now, this is the only sewing going on here. That will change eventually, but for now, I sew for 15 minutes a day. I am truly enjoying this little project. I share them daily on Instagram.

There is also some hand embroidery going on here and I did finish another crocheted blanket. I haven't uploaded the pictures yet, do that will have to wait for another day. I also tried my hand at making homemade marshmallows and I have to say they are pretty darn good. I will upload all those pictures soon and share them here. 

For now, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Thanksgiving Prep

So I started my thanksgiving prep on Sunday. One of the first things I made was this golden syrup. I found several recipes on line for this. It is a product usually found in the UK. They use it for many things. Smitten Kitchen recommends it for pecan pie. I decided to try and make it because the imported version is tough to find and very expensive.

Now, thanks to Blogger my pictures are once again re-ordered. So this is a picture of an embroidery piece from the garden book.
And this is my rendition of the radish piece. This is the first of many from this book that I hope to complete. They are very detailed and beautifully done in the book.
And lastly, for now, I made some Brioche hamburger buns for our dinner last night. Recipe is from King Arthur. Not difficult, but you do need a stand mixer. They need 15-20 minutes of kneading in the mixer. Your arms would fall off. But they turned out lovely and very tasty. I put seeds on half and left half plain.
Now I need to make my list for the rest of my prep over then next few days. I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving, even if it is smaller than normal. I know that next year will be better. Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Where Are You Christmas?

 I am having a tough time finding my Christmas spirit this year, as I know many of you are. Usually I am starting to plan and sew and enjoy music and movies. This year, it all feels forced. I am trying. I listen to holiday music, and think it sounds nice, but it isn't giving me the feel that it usually does. I have my list of movies to watch, but I feel kind of meh about actually sitting down to watch. I have high hopes that once I watch a couple I will feel different.

I have already bought and sent my gifts to the grand children. Many I ordered on line and just had them shipped. Why ship twice? And since they had to go all the way across the country, I wanted it done plenty early. I have never done that before.

I dug out some Christmas fabrics, and after some hemming and hawing chose some to make hexies out of.

I have an idea for a Christmas pillow for my bed. I will soon be putting my Fair Isle quilt on the bed for the season and the pillows that are there don't reflect the season at all. I still need another design for the second pillow.

I am enjoying making the pillow covers, but it still doesn't feel like Christmas to me. I need it to feel like Christmas. I look at projects from years past and they make me smile, but they don't inspire me to decorate.

I think I know what's really missing this year. And it's this...my family. I haven't seen them in over a year. The ache in my heart is huge. I am missing them growing up and we all know how quickly that happens.
So, for now, all I can do is keep trying. I will watch my movies with my husband and we will listen to lots of Christmas music. I have some twinkle lights up in my room and decorations will eventually go up elsewhere in the house. I will still miss the littles and their silliness that makes the holidays magic. And I will dream a dream of next year. And that will have to do for now. Thanks for lending me your ears.

Monday, November 23, 2020

November Penny Sampler Blocks

 I finished my November blocks for the Penny Sampler Pattern Club. Next month, in December we will tackle assembly of the whole quilt. So I wanted to share the blocks, and then the quilt so far, up on the design wall.

This is the tea cup. I did a bunch of tea cups for the last Penny sampler, and then I made a small quilt out of them for my sister for Christmas a couple of years ago. Because I had already done a lot, I decided to just do one for this quilt. I love the elegance of the cup.

And this is my mitten. I love the fabrics I chose for this. My only wish is that the top of the mitten could have had more of a curve. People who have seen this don't realize it's a mitten. But I am mostly happy with it and it was a simple block to make.

So here are all the parts hanging on the wall. It gives you a pretty good idea what the whole thing will look like. I am pretty happy with it and I love all the new blocks since the last one. They will be very different quilts. Have a lovely week.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Flying Geese and Embroidery

Now, the flying geese have absolutely nothing to do with the embroidery. But I decided to cram them both into one post. First, the flying geese. Rachel at Stitched in Color is doing a sew along of her Geesey Geesey pattern and of course, I had to join in. I have always wanted to do a flying geese quilt. This was my chance.

I saw a lovely rendition of this quilt using some of these colors. That was what grabbed my attention.

I used a no waste method of making the geese which I got from Melissa Cory at Happy Quilting. I love her method and the important thing was to make the geese the correct size.

The background, or "sky" in my quilt is made from some Kona white that I dyed in a Shibori style, using Rit dye in pearl grey. Some of them are lighter than I wanted, but over all I am happy with the way it looks in the blocks. I want to try dying again now that I have some idea of how it works.

I just had to chop off all the dog ears. Having them there bugs me. I need clean edges.
And yes, I worked ahead. I have started arranging them and looking at them to find the best positions for each one. I will be back soon with the finished top.

And now on to embroidery...

I found this book of embroidery vegetables that I fell in love with. I want to do a bunch of them to frame and give to my daughter. She has become quite the gardener during the pandemic.
But first, I need to finish this sampler from Rebecca at Dropcloth Samplers. It is almost finished. I have been working on this for months. Whenever I need a hand stitching project, I pick this up. I love hand stitching.
So I think that just about catches us up. Take care, and stay healthy.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

A Couple of Things

 So even though I don't post much, I am always working on something here. I need to keep my hands and my brain busy. Otherwise I would go crazy. So here are a couple of things I am working on.

Remember this? It is the Scrap Happy Rails quilt from Amanda Jean's book No Scrap Left Behind. This was the day that I pin basted it.
And now it is all quilted. And on my bed. I need to take it off the bed and get a proper bunch of pictures to share. Maybe this weekend when my hubby is home. I had a plan of how I wanted to quilt this, but with the small throat of my Bernina, I couldn't make it work. So I had to change the plan. I started with all over swirls, but after a short bit, I began including some hearts instead of all loops. Then I wrote the word Love as a secret message. I ended up doing this randomly through out. I love it so much and the crinkly texture hides the secret messages.
This is a ripple blanket I am crocheting for my youngest grandson. Blogger decided to put it here in the middle of this post and I can't figure out how to move it, so here it is. Crocheting is one of the things I do to keep my hands busy.
Meanwhile, back at the quilt...I did get a couple of pictures while I was doing the actual quilting so I can share those.
This is an absolutely great quilt and a good size. I love all the quilts in Amanda Jean's book and I know there will be more in my sewing future. I promise to get some better pics and come back to share them soon.  Have a great week.