A Crymson Life

Mario is a hit

I finished hand sewing the binding on Mario three days before the big baby shower.

I think it turned out really wonderful.  I didn’t measure it, it’s huge.  The pattern dimensions said it would be 64”x64” which is slightly over 5 foot square.  Sorta of humongous for a baby.  But both mother and father too be had huge smiles on their faces when they unfolded it.  And I was told they’d use it until the baby’s big enough. 

Doesn’t matter to me much, as long as it gets some love. 

Next on the to do list…Bullwinkle.

going to the beach

I spent a good chunk of Sunday sewing the beach blanket. 

Then Monday I did some finishing touches.  We had to try it out.

I used a lot more fabric than I thought I would.  The back is slightly patch worked using the solids from the front.

I still need to tie the blanket but until then it’s completely usable.  I’m sorta in love with it.

We leave Friday for the beach and we’re all super excited.  Now it’s just a matter of getting through work tomorrow and then packing up the car for a first thing in the morning departure.

millions of peaches

This weekend started off with a phone call from a neighbor inviting me to pick her peach tree bare.  I couldn’t pass it up, not with how good the latest batch of peach jam turned out.  This was a different peach tree though, and these peaches weren’t as wonderful.  The flesh was tougher and stuck to the pit.  Not as soft and juicy as the other batch.  I picked two grocery bags overflowing full of peaches, even if they weren’t perfect.

I did some research and ended up deciding to make some pie and another batch of jam.  I was all over the place with ideas for pie.  I’ve never actually had peach pie.  I stopped by all my usual baking blogs and found this Peach Blueberry pie reicpe on Joy the Baker’s blog.  I cheated and bought premade dough.  It worked.  The filling totally over shadowed the crust, I wish I would have had the time and patience to follow her dough recipe too.  The buttery homemade crust would have really made the pie perfect.  But I didn’t just make one pie, I made three and froze two.  So no time for homemade crust for me.

While it baked I worked on my beach blanket.  I’m determined to get this done in time for vacation.  Despite Hurricane Issac’s attempt to thwart any picnics we might have on a beach.  Actually it’ll be about 10 days after the hurricane so hopefully that’s enough recovery time. 

And then I had some pie.  mmmm pie.

the beginnings

pist..shhhhh…can I tell you a little secret?  I finished quilting Mario last weekend.  I know I haven’t snapped a picture yet, but I love it.  And I came to realize that I’m really enjoying this project.  Not quite enough to finish it quite yet though.  With only the binding left to go I feel pretty confident that I can take a small break from Mario.  My big secret is really that I’ve decided to try and cram yet another project in this fall.  With a deadline of 2.5 weeks away.  We’re going on vacation.  Gulf Shores!!!  the BEACH!! 

I’m not normally a beach vacation person.  I prefer the mountains.  I think R would have more fun at the beach and really once I envisioned showing him the ocean I couldn’t get beach out of my head.  Since I’d finally accumulated the fabrics I wanted for my picnic blanket I decided we had to have it for our trip.  SOOOOOOOOOOOO I started another blanket, another large blanket.  Yes I’m insane.

I had already cut up some of the fabrics, so yesterday I started sewing.  Here is about a 36 inch square portion of what will be our beach/picnic blanket.  It’s busy.  I”m ok w/ busy.  I’m completely in love with flamingo fabric.  That and the very whimsical alice in wonderland fabric that doesn’t quite go but sorta does so I kept it in there anyway.  I figure this is maybe about a quarter of what the final size will be.

I’m keeping finishing simple and will tie the blanket instead of quilting it.  I want it to fold up relatively small and with little bulk.  Probably won’t have the tieing done by vacation but we can use it as a work in progress if I can get to that point.  So excited.  We’re going to the beach!!!

baby blues

When he takes a nap, a good nap, I tend to get a lot done.  Last week he slept for me, a rare 3.5hr nap and I worked every minute of it.  The Mario top is all stitched together, yesterday I sewed the backing and basted.  Now just need to start quilting.  Bullwinkle is on hold since I figured out last week that I goofed up a part and need to revisit how to fix.  I also finished up this quick baby blanket for a high school friend.  I’m heading up to Chicago this weekend for the shower and am totally excited that I was able to squeeze this quick project in.  It is made of an array of kona blues from my Christmas present last year.  I love the pop of super bright red.  Hope she likes it!

peach jalapeno jammin

I wasn’t planning on making more jam so soon but my neighbor picked her peach tree this week and needed help using up her peaches.  Who am I to turn down home grown peaches…good ones.  White meat that just falls off the pit.  And oh man are they sweet melt in your mouth peaches, better than anything I’ve bought in the store this year or for a few years.  Peach pie is not my favorite thing.  Last year I turned the peaches into a peach cake and peach crumble.  Both are amazing but they are gone in one maybe two days.  One of the few things left growing in my garden after this horrible drought is my jalapeno plant and it had a couple peppers on it.  I’d heard of peach habanero jam so I thought I’d make some peach jalapeno jam.

There wasn’t a ton of recipes out there to follow so I ended up with this recipe which calls for 7.5 cups of sugar!  Kind of insane but I guess that’s what jam is, fruit and sugar.  I also liked that it had a slice of pepper placed in the jars so you can see that it’s a jalapeno jam.  That and two more peppers chopped up with the peaches.  With all the peppers I was expecting the jam to be really hot but I guess 7.5 cups of sugar is stronger than 2 peppers.  Two pieces of toast and I can just barely get a hit of heat.  Someone w/ any tolerance for spice wouldn’t even catch it.  I’m a little bummed.  Thought I’d have some heat in there.  But really the jam is still very good, I like it even better than the strawberry rhubarb from this weekend.

runners and jam

This weekend a friend stopped by to make some jam.  This is her first year canning and first jam session.  She’s learning deal…a lot of prep and work for a small yield.  BUT that small yield can be quite wonderful when it comes to homemade jam. We made strawberry rhubarb jam using a recipe I’d never used before.  Instead of adding pecitin to jellify the jam it had me slice up a lemon and add that in there for some natural pectin.  It’s still a pretty saucey jam but the flavors are nice. I go back and forth on this recipe, sometimes I like the lemon added in and the rind makes it sort of marmaladish.  Other times I really just want some strawberry rhubarb and the lemon can overwhlem that.  Here’s the recipe

Before making jam she gave me she gave me my birthday present.  Can I say how much I love this runner?  Pineapple fabric!  She has officially reminded me of my love for pineapples.

It’s so fun and summery.  Makes me happy every time I see it.  It’s currently moving from table top to table top around the house to find its proper home.

olympic sewing

Been watching the Olympics this week while I sew.  I’m making progress. Here are the strips for Mario and the goomba.  Next step, pressing and pinning.


Here is my progress on the Rocky and Bullwinkle quilt.  I’m swamped head deep in novelty quilts at the moment.  It’s a good thing I kinda like Rocky and Bullwinkle.  Otherwise this would have gone out the window with all the half inch sashing in this blanket.  Grah.  The pattern for this quilt made a twin sized blanket, but all I really wanted was a throw blanket.  So I settled on improvising a smaller blanket and now I’m not sure I went big enough.  I have plenty of extra fabric, just not so much the time.  After thinking on it for a few days I’m thinking I’ll add another row.  This will make it a rectangle too instead of an approximately 4ft square.  Bringing it with me to Chicago this weekend for another opinion.

Also started some more serious thinking on a beach/picnic blanket for us.  I’ve been hovering in online quilt shops for weeks now picking out the perfect combo.  I raided my stash of fabrics yesterday and picked out some good stuff.  Now I’m pretty in love with several fabrics featuring crabs and flamingos.  Not sure why I can’t get away from the novelty theme right now.  They aren’t so much cartoonish as more picnic and beach themed.  Crabtastic by Maude Asbury is my fave right now.

evolution of the turtle

Funny when I have all day to sew the sewing seems to go really slowly.

And Sunday when I’m racing against to clock to get as much sewing in before I have to pick up the house before everyone gets back, I seem to fly through more strips.

I go this far with the strips.  They aren’t sewn together yet.  I pinned them together before I realized I didn’t have any real pictures of my progress.  These were taken on my cruddy phone to give C update shots.  I’m just slightly over half way done piecing.  And I’m in mental freak out mode of this will never get done.  B/c after this I still have to baste, quilt, and bind.  Each process takes forever for me to do.  And I sewed the last few large pieces together of Bullwinkle.  Currently slightly freaking out that it’s not big enough.  Will reevaluate over the weekend.

About Me

Holga lover, advanced crocheter, new to quilting and knitting, and a veteran wine drinker.

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