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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

June recap - new recipes

I feel like a show off saying this, but June was a banner month with NINE new recipes!

-Chicken tortilla soup from One Big Table

-Shaved asparagus pizza from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook
Um, YES. The Smitten Kitchen rushed pizza dough is my usual, but the asparagus on this was perfection. We have already made this pizza a second time!

-Roast chicken with basil, scallion, lemon butter and potatoes from A Bird in the Oven cookbook
To be honest, we made this, at least partially, to make the leftovers into this (from the same cookbook):

-Chicken and rice salad with mint pesto and peas
Yum! Fresh and summery, we ate this for several days with no complaints.

After visiting my grandparents, I came home with pounds of blackberries, peaches and plums. So, the next four recipes were my attmpts to use them up in delicious ways!

-Seeded Spiced Blackberry Jam from Preserving by the Pint cookbook
I made two batches of this jam, and it was a very manageable, delicious recipe.
I really love this cookbook, because the batches are small and generally, the recipes require about two pounds of produce each.

-Salted brown sugar peach jam (from the same canning cookbook)
Epic! Oh, I want more peaches so I can have this deliciousness year-round!

-Plum vanilla jam (same cookbook)

It was so fun to successfully make jam! I have tried once before (unsuccessfully, years ago).

-Blackberry lime sorbet from The Perfect Scoop
This was very tart, with the fresh lime juice, so I loved it more than Elliott did. Summery!

-Grilled lemon chicken with rosemary, Cook's Illustrated May/June 2013
This was a whole grilled chicken, which you brine first. We will make this one again, no question! It was so tender and flavorful!

At the halfway point for the year, that makes a total of 34 new recipes. Onward!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Nothing but blues - (three years in the making)

It's true. When I checked the date that I started this English paper Piecing project, I was a little shocked. October 2013.

Nothing but blues progress

It has been a project with stops and starts, like any long-term project should (in my opinion). It gave me comfort during some difficult stretches, but has since been lingering. Crumpled. In my closet. So, when I was considering starting a new quilt for my sister's baby (yes! I will have a little nephew this fall!), this project popped into my head. As much as I love starting new things (and I even made a bundle for the new quilt), I decided that finishing this EPP project would be so satisfying.

I think it will make a lovely baby quilt, too.

Nothing but blues progress

It's got many fun prints and hues of blue.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

On making quilt backs

I know a lot of quilters dislike making quilt backs, but it is one of my favorite parts of the quilting experience. On occasion, I will use a sheet or a wideback, but more often than not, I make a scrappy back. It is a nice improvisational exercise, once the quilt top is finished.

In some cases, I like to use leftover blocks as a starting point.

FO: Improv Citrus
Do.Good Stitches quilt, finished 2012

FO: Kahlan's quilt
A quilt for my cousin Kahlan, 2014

Beachy Lazy Sunday back
Lazy Sunday Quilt, 2015

scrappy trip backSecond Scrappy Trip, 2015

And sometimes, it is just fun to pull a pile of favorite and/or lingering prints in a coordinating palette.

Florette back
Florette, 2015 Quilt backs are a great way to use your stash.

The back
Bridges, 2013

The back
Churned, 2014

If you haven't already, I hope you will consider the quilt back to be just as fun as the quilt top!

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