Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Plugging Away

What on earth have I been doing?  Well, not a lot.  It seems like I am busy all the time but since I don't seem to get a lot done, that probably is not quite accurate.  You see I go to the studio almost every afternoon and sometime during that afternoon I fall asleep.  I do laugh about it now but I was really surprised when it began happening: I have NEVER been a napper.  But now it is happening almost every afternoon.  But when I am awake I knit and have been working on these:

This is block 3 of Esther Aliu's Sweet 16 BOM.  Mine is all fused and I have about 2/3's of it appliqued.  There will be domes over these sweets but I am going to do them all at once when we/I have all the blocks finished.

Here I am working on the applique and in front of the machine is some of the spools of thread that I set out to see what matched best.  I do seem to spend a lot of time setting threads under the machine's light and on top of the fused applique looking for the best match.

Fortunately I have a pretty good stash of threads.

The problem with having so many choices is that it sometimes is difficult to see the difference between shades of thread or it is frustrating when the shade you need is between two that you have but don't have that in-between one.

Once I start appliqueing one block I start work on the pieces for the next block, in this case Block 4.  One of the funny things that occurred while choosing fabric for this block was the discovery that I rarely purchase floral fabrics.  The block called for a flower to be placed next to the cake and I really had to hunt to find one.

My flower is a lot bigger than the one in the pattern but I really liked it so here it is.  This block is only fused and will not be stitched until the above one is completed.  Meanwhile I have drawn the units of the next block onto the fusible and all those parts are sitting on the ironing board, ready for me to choose fabric for them.  Unfortunately there are 5 very colorful "sweets" on that tray so it may take some time to prep the pieces and then put the jig-saw puzzle together.
Meanwhile I have a new toy, an Instant Pot pressure cooker.  Judy at Patchwork Times has talked a lot about her's and all that she can do with it.  I, on the other hand, have reveled in the fact that once I got sick my husband took over all the food preparation and I could see no reason to change that.  Then I somehow stumbled onto a Facebook community where people shared their IP experiences, good and bad, and helped each other.  And so many recipes that sounded so good.

The internal components are really simple but the problem is going to be that the "experts" keep sharing all the additional things you can use with this pot.  And everything you make is made faster and the moisture and flavor stays in the pot.

So I picked my first recipe,

Bought 3 large chicken breasts and put them in the pot with water, spices, and sauce.  And out came perfectly ready meat.  Due to unforeseen circumstances we didn't get to have the tacos but the chicken went into a couple of great salads and were wonderful.
I have made hard boiled eggs that peeled perfectly and a pasta dish last night that was great (and enough for two more dinners are safely stowed in the freezer).

Just in case anyone is wondering, I don't plan to take over the cooking.  My plan is to cook about once a week and then also try my hand at sweets. 

And, of course, last but not least, we have Stubby and Sherlock either commiserating or plotting.  It always impresses me at how well our animals get along

We have company coming this weekend and I am still trying to decide if I am going to cook for them.  It has been so long since I have done that and one of them is a vegetarian, something I have never had to consider.  So I guess this weekend is going to be a surprise for all of us. 

Have a great week and weekend: see ya next week.  Gari 

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