These days my time at home is being spent mostly in the yard. With a garden and orchard to care for and working an extra day at work sewing time has been cut back a lot. So no big sewing projects going on, but I have been enjoying working on a few blocks here and there. I couldn’t resist giving this butterfly block a whirl. It was quick and fairly easy. I didn’t really have any project to use it in so I am making one up as I go. I figured out how to sew hexies together on the machine a few years ago and have been doing it that way ever since, but I really wanted to try piecing them by hand just once so I made this flower for the center of my butterflies by hand and hand appliqued it too. I am thinking of making a scrappy hexie border for it and for that I will machine piece them. It really goes together quickly. I mark a dot at the quarter inch seam in the corners and sew to the dot and move on to the next one. I have paper pieced before and in fact my first quilt project was paper pieced so I never was afraid of it because I didn’t know I should be so when I saw Kerri’s Kaleidoscope pillow on her Lovely Little Handmades blog I went right to work drawing up my pattern and stitched a few together. Today I came across some more information and an already drafted pattern on Red Pepper Quilts blog. I am glad I found her tips for sewing the them together because I was having a heck of a time with the centers having big bumps in them. I tried pressing them open, but that didn’t really help much. Not sure where I am going with this project either, but the colors I have chosen would look really nice in my bedroom so maybe something for in there. I would like to try my hand at big stitch quilting on this project since it is something I haven’t done before and I love how Kerri’s turned out.
Well, since I am not sewing much I am spending lots of time watering the garden and it is coming a long nicely. I love the hay bale beds we made, everything in them is growing leaps and bounds. I have been harvesting a lot of squash and today potatoes, I even have had some to share with neighbors. We are going to have pumpkins this year and they are getting big already. I think the bales are heating up the soil and compost a little more than the ground soil temps and that is what is making things grow so big.
We have also started harvesting the first real crops of fruit from our little orchard. We first harvested Cotton Candy Aprium which is in its third year. Usually just as it flowers we get a frost or hail or something that destroys the fruit, but not this year. We got a nice harvest off of another apricot that is only 2 years old and a neighbor gave us more apricots that he didn’t know what variety they are, but they are quite tasty. There is not enough fruit to do much with, but we tried drying some and yesterday I baked muffins, today it was pies to which I also added some raspberries that have been producing in spurts. I think it will be peach time soon!
I have been on a mission to find the perfect pie crust recipe that can be my go to crust and I have gotten really close, but today I tried a different technique that I never thought of and that was to mix the butter and flour by hand. It was messy, but since I could feel it I think I did a better job mixing it and it wasn’t over mixed like is so easy to do in the food processor. I made 2 pies which are still in the oven. I am trying to come up with a flavorful crust because I think pie crusts are really quite boring and bland so today I added cinnamon to the crust. This recipe also called for adding an egg with some milk beat into it at the end instead of water, we don’t drink milk so all had on hand was almond milk. Almonds and apricots are usually quite good together so I am hoping this will be tasty. I got my recipe from King Arthurs Rant. What a fun site to visit if you like detailed descriptions of recipes with lots of pictures. Of course, they recommend their products, but they have great products so I don’t mind. In fact I do order from them quite often. I love to bake almost as much I love to sew. Now I have some pies to take out of the oven!
This is where you can find me, flitting around from flower to flower in the sun!