Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Feeling Squirrelish...

I have been canning, freezing, and drying a lot of produce in addition to getting a quarter cow packed into our freezer recently.  It makes me feel like a squirrel sometimes, frantically packing nuts into secret spots for winter months.  Not sure why that is, but I do find satisfaction knowing that we planted heirloom varieties in our garden, resisted using any chemicals on the bugs (although we thought about more than once), and we can use our produce throughout the rest of the year when our garden will (hopefully) be buried under lots of snow.  Recently, our thoughts have gone from cucumbers and pickles to apples and squash...

My new best friend:  the Apple Master!

This is batch #3 (unfortunately, batch #2 burned...oops)

 The results!
lots of apple butter (in two different shades), apple sauce, and rings

It really is a shame that the rings are already half eaten and will probably be gone by next week.  Also not pictured are 3 more jars of butter that have already been eaten or are in the fridge, half eaten. :)  Next year we need to pick a LOT more!

My favorite crop of all?  Winter squash.  Why?  They are yummy, can be cooked lots of ways, and most importantly, I don't have to do anything with them to preserve them for the coming months.  Yippee!  :)  Our crop this year has been truly fruitful...we have eaten at least 4 of these guys already (not pictured) and there is still a pumpkin, buttercup squash, and NINE butternut squashes that should be ready in the next 2 weeks or so.

We have truly enjoyed our garden and it's produce thus far, but I can honestly say that I am looking forward to that first hard long as it is after our squash is brought in...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hexagon Love 2

My dining room table is sure getting the love this week!  I finished a fall table mat (I really can't call it a runner) this morning.  Thanks to my friend Sonya for showing me the pattern and for the extra fall charm squares.  :)

You want to make one too?  The pattern is in the Fall 2012 Quilts and More magazine and finishes at just over 18" at the widest point.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Hexagon Love

I finished the hexagon table runner!  It ended up being too short for the buffet, where it was intended to be, but fits perfectly on the table and I have more hexagon plans for the buffet in the future... Unfortunately, it isn't going to be on the table very long because I made this to be our everyday table runner and I have a fall something being made right now.  After Christmas it should have a nice long stretch out of the closet and will hopefully have a coordinating companion on the buffet.  Please don't mind the quilt on the chair seat, but that is Tigger's favorite chair to lay on and the blanket is a quick fix to cat-hair-on-your-rear-end syndrome.  I forgot to take it off before I took the picture (and all of the stuff on the cupboard too).  :)

I am enjoying the fact that it matches our wedding china's soft gray band.  We don't use our china very often right now, but I feel like this dresses it down a bit so I think we will use it more often.

~ hand quilted love ~

I even gave some napkins hexagon love by hand stitching a leftover hexagon in the corner.  The napkins are made out of flour sack towels!  :)

Even better, Sew Mama Sew is having a contest right now for handmade tableware.  I love it when it works out like that.  Hopefully I'll win a sweet prize to fund the next project.  :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Homecoming Parade 2012

This week was homecoming in Gregory and we enjoyed a great parade and football game on a perfect weather day.  For context, the theme of the parade was "Disney movies" and our school mascot is a gorilla and we were playing against the Braves.  Unfortunately for the braves, they were crushed 65-14 and the game only lasted until halftime because of the score.  Some of our parade favorites:

Monday, September 17, 2012

The past week:

(In no particular order)

1. Table runner - It is almost done!  I have been working on the hand quilting this past week and finished it in the car today.  I am hoping that I can get the binding on it tonight so over the next day or 2 it will be finished!

2. Tomatoes from our garden - 13 pints of quartered tomatoes done.  Hopefully another batch before it gets too chilly...

3. Trip to Sioux Falls - We left after church on Sunday and came back today, so a quick trip.  We had a doctors appointment first thing this morning, so instead of waking up at the crack of dawn and potentially hit a deer (which is what happened the first time we tried to get to this appointment) we stayed at a hotel and spent the evening walking around Falls Park and going out to dinner with a crabby toddler.  :)  Unfortunately, we really didn't sleep in any later than we would have if we had to get up to drive, but at least we were laying in bed while Timothy sat between us watching Disney Junior at 6 am...

4. Apple Picking!  On our way out of Sioux Falls, we stopped at an orchard south of the city and picked 3/4 of a bushel of Cortlands and Jonathons.  A good chunk of them of them are currently simmering in my crock pot, melting into apple butter....

5. Baby Quilt - I have no pictures of it!  Oops.  :)  A rainbow striped quilt made following a tutorial on Cluck, Cluck, Sew.  I pieced the top in about an hour on Thursday night, sandwiched it on Friday, quilted it on Friday and Saturday, and put the binding on Saturday night.  It was thrown in the wash on Saturday night and the dryer sometime in the middle of the night when I was up with Timothy.  Taken to church and give on Sunday morning.  :)  It was my first free-motioned quilt...meandering line with a few loops thrown in.  So exciting and so much more practice needed in this area!  

Next up, hosting the wives of our church circuit tomorrow afternoon, and cleaning the house before they get here!  :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Friday, September 7, 2012

Lattice Quilt

All done!  It was quilted by Nancy with a pretty loop in lime green thread.  :)  I finished it over the weekend while we traveled to Spearfish.  It has found a home on our couch.  The idea of the inserting the oatmeal blocks came from here

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Labor Day Fun

After the chaos of losing our truck (it sounds like it is going to be repaired...yay!) for the next 3-4 weeks, we were still able to head out to Spearfish to spend time with family and take a break.  We left after church on Sunday and were able to spend the evening at the lake, where I managed to take an AMAZING photo of Timothy (don't ask me to do it again):

I think he was excited to sit in the big boy chair.  :)

And where he also learned the fine art of throwing rocks into the lake with grandma:

Monday was the family gathering (of which I have no photos), but we had a Taco Bell picnic in the park that evening and afterwards, Timothy practiced his newly honed skill in Spearfish Creek:

We had to head back early on Tuesday morning because Jared needed to get back in the office, but let me assure you that Timothy had a very long nap on the way home.  :)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Today's Haul

8 zucchini ~ 11 cucumbers ~ pile o' beans ~ 27 tomatoes

The beans and tomatoes from the past few days are destined to a lesson in pressure canning with my mother-in-law (I am really excited!) and the rest are coming with us to a family gathering.  The giant zucchinis have your name on them Kim!  ;)

We are happy with our crop thus far...we could do with less cucumbers at this point, but they are completely entwined with the pumpkins, so we just keep picking and the end up at church on Sunday morning for adoptions.  :)  Looking forward to the squash coming in; 2 butternuts in already, but 7 that are really close and many more that are a couple of weeks away, 4 buttercups in and 3 more to go, 3 pumpkins, 2 of which are done but killing time on the vine.  Yippee for squash roasted and in soups!

Oh deer

Thursday morning we were headed to Sioux Falls for a couple of doctor's appointments and, well, we never made it.  Praise be to God that the car did what it was supposed to do and protected our family, but the deer did not fair as well.  We are still waiting on the verdict about the truck.  :(