Aqua Wedding Doily

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Aqua Doily

Another wedding, another doily. This one is the 29-45 doily from Pierrot Yarns. The pattern would be in Japanese, but it's actually done via a chart! I've never read a doily pattern from a chart before, but I've made plenty of doilies, so it wasn't too tricky to figure out. It was, at times, difficult to read on my print-out, so I'd just go to the PDF and zoom-in to see what's what.

Aqua Doily - from a chart!

I rather like doilies in fun colors. Makes them feel a little less stuffy or something. This pattern has a little less negative space than most I prefer, which menas it took a bit longer. I also usually prefer a little more pineapple pattern to it, but this one is alright. It's a little different from my usual and I like it. Who knows if the recepients will!

Aqua Doily

Gold 'n Green Gemstone Throw Quilt

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Finished Quilt!

It's been awhile since I've made a quilt, but I have completed this pandemic wedding throw quilt for my sister and her new husband. It took about 9 months, and ended up getting completed several months after the wedding, but hey I got there in the end! According to wedding etiquette, you can send a wedding gift up to a year after the event itself and not be considered late, so...there!

Playing around with fabric choice

My inspiration was this Sunset Quilt by AQuiltIsNice which was in turn inspired by this mini-quilt from Cortney Heimerl, but I changed up the color scheme to be less feminine (and to match the couple's living room decor). This one, like all quilts, required a bit of math to work out the sizing, quantities, total amount of fabric, etc. And as always, I did not purchase enough at the beginning and had to buy more fabric. But the design required different shades of greens and gray, so it was no matter that the background light grays aren't necessarily a perfect match, either.

Working out the pieces of the quilt Laying out the quilt top

Ah, but you haven't even seen the best yet. I mean, the quilt top is a perfect mix of modern and traditional, while being rather straight-forward to assemble. But I'd been inspired awhile back by paper-pieced gemstone quilts on Pinterest, and since I'm no stranger to paper-pieced quilt appliques, I thought gemstones would make a perfect personalized adornment for the back of the quilt. Modern, but a little less traditional. Two quilts in one, another one of my favorite approaches!

The Finished Quilt Back

The patterns came from Andrea Tsang Jackson's Patchwork Lab: Gemology: Transforming Fabrics into Facets. They're not really beginner quilt work, but they are gorgeous. At first I thought I'd only make one or two, but then I just kept going...

Paper-piecing Gemstone Appliques Paper-piecing Gemstone Appliques
The ruby cushion gemstone quilt applique, in progress

And then I had five differently colored, sized, and shaped gemstone appliques in variously coordinating fabrics. Except for maybe the cushion ruby gemstone, but whatever. There's some pink in the couple's living room. You gotta live a little. I also opted to arrange the gemstones in a sort of "tumbling" arrangement. For these things it's best to be a little random, as it'll cover imperfections (i.e., no need to perfectly align/orient anything!).

Finished Quilt! Finished Quilt!

The backing fabric was a serendipitous find at JoAnn Fabrics. I don't typically purchase quilt-sized fabric for my quilt backings, often preferring to do a scrappy back instead. However, the hand-drawn diamonds in gray of this fabric really was perfectly matched to my plans.

Gemstone Applique Quilt Close-up Gemstone Applique Quilt Close-up

I ended up machine quilting diamond/square shapes into the quilt, keeping my seams mostly in the light gray background triangles. This results in a series of concentric squares on point, that mimic the quilt back fabric. I also opted to alternate the quilting thread between gray and dark green for some added interest.

Finished Quilt Top

You may also barely be able to make out some hand-quilting that's in the middle diamond of the quilt top. That's the couple's wedding date. Less noticeable on the back, but you can still sort of perceive something funky's going on in the middle! The plan for this personalization also helped inform the tumbling arrangement of the gemstones - there was no way I want to hand quilt through one of these appliques!

The Finished Quilt Back

Overall, I'm very, very pleased with how this quilt came out. I think it's a real gem ;)

M+D Wedding Quilt

Success: Spinach, Bacon, Cheese Egg Bake

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Spinach, Bacon, and Cheese Egg Bake

Apologies for the nighttime photo, but it's all I have! I adapted the above egg bake from ASavoryFeast's Spinach, Bacon, and Feta Egg Bake for some friends when they returned from their terribly delayed, re-routed international flight. (We may've had a slice, too, on our way out the door that morning).

I added in ~10 or so strips of bacon, instead of 5. Likely doubled the quantity of spinach, used 10 eggs instead of 12, and replaced the feta with sliced Swiss Cheese and Shredded Cheddar. So...I basically followed the recipe for cooking times only, lol.

The recipe is good, but I think I over-salted it, or maybe added too much extra cheese and bacon, and that gave it a pinch too much sodium? I'd certainly make this recipe again, but maybe drop all the salt!

2021's Tomato Teepee

Friday, October 8, 2021

Another month and tomato teepee has fruit!
August 21, 2021
Tomato seedlings planted
May 23, 2021

I grew last year's tomatoes in a 3-stoke "tomato teepee" structure. This year, I went for 4 stakes, and stuck my remaining 2 tomato plants elsewhere in the garden. While the tomatoes are somewhat accessible in this structure, as they get near the top it gets harder and harder to maintain. I think in the future, I may end up making a sort of box-cage out of forsythia branches, to allow for more air flow near the top of the plants. Something to make it easier to maintain the tomatoes.

Tomatoes in the tomato teepee Tomatoes in the tomato teepee
August 21, 2021

Tomatoes pretty much always succumb to disease. To stave it off a bit, you cut off all the spotted/diseased leaves. So by the end of the season, you end up with some very naked plants. This is perfectly fine, but it does look a bit ridiculous...
Tomato Teepee Before Tomato Teepee After - all diseased leaves trimmed off
August 30 & September 10, 2021

Cherokee Purple Tomatoes, Year 2

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

2021 is year 2 of growing Cherokee Purple Tomatoes. They did well enough last year, and I still had plenty of seed, so why not grow more?! I have 2 Amish Paste, 2 Purple Cherokee, and 2 Black Cherry Plants. The rest of the tomatoes I started were all donated to friends (or didn't make it through a toasty day in which I forgot to remove the garden cover).

Amish Paste, Cherokee Purple (weird), Cherokee Purple, Chocolate Cherry
August 20, 2021

The above photo appears to show four different types of tomatoes, although I'm only growing three varieties! One of my Cherokee Purple plants produced not purple, but perhaps pink tomatoes. They still have the "green shoulders" of Purple Cherokee, although the shoulders are actually yellow. I believe the color shift is due to a difference in the tomato flesh, not necessarily the tomato's skin. I've saved seed for next year, so we'll see what we get then!

Harvesting tomatoes
August 21, 2021

Harvesting: Black Cherry Tomatoes

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Chocolate Cherry Tomatoes
August 30, 2021

This season I changed the proportions of tomato plants that I grew. Instead of 3 Cherokee Purple (slicers) and 1 Little Mama (paste), I grew 2 Purple Cherokee + 2 Black Cherry + 2 Amish Paste, which has provided a much better variety of tomatoes.

Chocolate Cherry Tomatoes
August 30, 2021

These black cherry tomatoes from BakerCreekSeeds gave me a nice germination rate. A very nice germination rate, so I was able to share with many other gardeners. They have a sweet taste, but not as sweet as Sun Gold. I suppose it's a pretty classic cherry tomato, and even I like to snarf the occasional black cherry tomato here or there. I am not a raw tomato person, but these are tasty!

Chocolate Cherry Tomatoes
August 30, 2021

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