Quilt for Elly from a Neighbor

Like most crafts, this cross-stitch quilt has a story.

My neighbor’s mother had started it with the intention of gifting it to her 1st great-grandchild. Unfortunately, she passed away before any great-grandchildren were born. Despite not being the crafty sort, my neighbor held onto it. Eventually, she gave it to her daughter-in-law with the hope that it would be completed and placed in her daughter’s room. Unfortunately, the daughter-in-law wasn’t able to dedicate the time necessary to finish such a large and detailed project. Rather than let it languish in a drawer for years, she returned it to my neighbor.
Last week, my neighbor gave it to me in the hopes that I will complete it and place it in Elly’s room.

I look forward to working on it during the upcoming quilting season. The dog days of summer are my quilting season because it is too hot to garden or to knit.

Though I will probably tackle the project included with the quilt, a table runner.

It has been years since I have cross-stitched. I could use some practice.

What We’re Having for Breakfast This Week

Pumpkin bread

It was made from the last batch of pureed butternut squash that I had frozen in the Fall. A farmer had advised me to use the “neck pumpkin”, his term for butternut squash – not mine, in my pumpkin recipes, stating that the canned pumpkin at the stores was actually the neck version and not the jack-o-lantern version. He was right; the butternut squash is a perfect substitute for pumpkin.

Dan, who loves pumpkin, will have to wait for the squash to be harvested from my veggie garden before he gets any more pumpkin desserts.

It’s my first time growing butternut squash. Fingers are crossed!

Planning an Easter dinner

This is my first time hosting an Easter dinner. Although I quickly agreed to do it because I love an excuse to cook, I panicked shortly after confirming with family that Easter would be at our house. I wasn’t sure what to serve besides the traditional ham, potatoes and challah.

It took me a few minutes of trolling the internet to find a list of sides that I thought I could pull off with Elly’s help or hinderance depending on her mood.

deviled eggs
strawberry spinach salad
ham glazed with molasses, apple jelly and tart cranberries
carrots in butter & extra ham glaze
mashed potatoes
corn
challah
carrot cake
meringue cookies

So I’m not pulling my hair out Easter morning, I’ve made a few things in advance, such as the challah and the meringue cookies.

The deviled eggs and carrot cake will get made up tomorrow leaving just the ham, carrots, and potatoes for Sunday morning. I refuse to count the corn, since all I plan to do is heat up a bag of frozen kernels. Elly could handle such a task if only she could reach the microwave.

Wishing you a Happy Easter!

Knitting a Hexagon

In Barbara Walkers’ 4th Treasury book, she gives instructions on how to knit a hexagon with 2 different yarns. Loving the look of it, I thought it would be an excellent way to showcase my handspun wool.

This isn’t my handspun wool. Before committing the wool I took so long to spin on my drop spindle, I wanted to try the pattern out with some commercial yarn. I’m using Manos del Uruguay and Crystal Palace Yarns Taos wool.

Now I just need to relearn how to pick up stitches. I’ve forgotten how.

What We’re Having for Breakfast This Week

Cinnamon Rolls!

Though it’s hard to beat the convenience of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls, they don’t hold a candle to the homemade version.

I used this recipe for the rolls and filling. The icing is nothing more than powdered sugar mixed with milk and a splash of vanilla extract.

I didn’t make any changes to the list of ingredients outside of swapping  butter for margarine, but I did make the following changes to the instructions.  After sprinkling the filling over the butter, I gently pressed the sugar and cinnamon into the butter to keep it from falling out during the slicing process. Rather than cook the rolls right away, I let them rise a 2nd time, partly because I believe yeast bread should almost always be allowed to rise twice in order to achieve a light and airy texture and partly because Elly was whining for a nap. Lastly, I grabbed parchment paper rather than Pam spray. Parchment paper makes clean-up a breeze. Gosh how I love the stuff.

Final review of recipe: Yum!

Elly’s New Shoes

On Saturday, I took Elly shoe shopping for the first time.

I learned that my neighbor’s advice was right on the money: Payless Shoes has an excellent selection of kids shoes.

The first shoe I picked out for Elly to try on gave me a good idea of what not to get. She fussed over the snugness of the shoe. It was clear why when I took them back off; the straps had left red marks.

I needed a shoe that wasn’t too tight width-wise. Elly still has her baby fat on her feet … and elsewhere. Her feet are so fat they look swollen. ha!

I ended up buying her sandals in size 6-wide. The best thing about them is that I can just drop her foot into the sandal and then strap her in. The section over her toes is held together with velcro. Velcro is also used in the strap around her ankle. It’s so easy to put them on her. Plus they provide her a bit more protection than the moccasins she was wearing without slowing her down. I couldn’t be happier.

Elly seems pleased too. It’s like having toys on your feet. Who doesn’t love playing with velcro? Thankfully, she hasn’t figured out how to undo the ankle strap, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time.

Fabric for an Apron

Nancy’s post last week about aprons reminded me that I wanted to feature the fabric I brought back from Mexico in a half apron.

It will be an unusual apron, but that is the whole point. The hard part will come after the apron is complete and I have to decide whether or not I should keep it for myself. My original intention was to give it away at Christmas, but I’m already regretting that decision. Am I being terribly selfish? Oh, how I wish I had bought more than 1 square of the Madonna fabric. Then, the decision would be ridiculously easy. I would just make 2 aprons: one to give and one to keep. If wishes were horses…