Updated: Aug 11
It's March. It's my birthday month.
December, January, and February are beautiful snow-filled months. It's like a fairyland here.
March in Minnesota is a whole lot different. It is the month that the snow starts to melt. The beautiful snow-covered trees start to look dingy, and the snow on the side of the road is black with grime. Absolutely do not wear white in the month of March and always have a towel handy to wipe off that mud before you dare walk in the house!
We Minnesotans spend many an hour at the car wash scrapeing
huge ice chunks of ice and dirt that accumulate under the carriage of our cars. I mean major chunks that should they fall off while you are driving can push you over the side of the road during March. The only thing good about March is you know April is coming except, of course, the fact that I was born in March. Then again, it was always lent and I couldn't have a party because it was lent. I might have mentioned this in the past. But I'm not bitter. No.
What I am excited about this March is my One-Block Wonder Quilt! I have had this quilt on my wall for almost 2 years. All the hexagons were pieced but I wanted to incorporate the faces of the animals and somehow it wasn't coming together.
Before I could tackle the OBWQ though had two quilts I needed to design for my granddaughters who are graduating this spring.
The first quilt I was inspired by was a Kaffe Fassett pattern for my granddaughter Lydia. This quilt was
a dream to put together and quilt because I love bright colors. Initially, I purchased 20 different floral patterns for this quilt. After I cut out all the diamonds and had 20 piles of those diamonds. I started putting them together and no matter how I arranged them it just didn't look right. I hated it. I scrapped everything. I went into my stash and pulled out my favorite fabrics and the quilt was designed. I am very pleased with it.
Bookcase quilts have never inspired me. But my granddaughter, Hannah, had made the request. She had seen one done with selvages. This idea did not inspire me either, but she had requested it so I begrudgingly worked at it. I struggled mightily with this bookcase quilt. I looked for two years for a pattern that I liked but was never pleased with anything. Last November I made the decision that comes hell or high water I was going to start that quilt on January first and be done with it by February first. It was not painless. Frankly, I struggled with every single piece of selvage and every angle. It's DONE! Is it my favorite? No. But I hope it is her favorite quilt.
Then, I had all of those piles of cutout diamonds from the first quilt. I could not toss those pieces. I just couldn't set them aside and not do something with them. One night I started outlining each diamond with a small black strip. Oh my, I fell in love with these pieces! I am not sure what I am going to do with them but here is a small sample of what it looks like. I have a bit more design work to do, but I think this piece will be special once completed.
One Block Wonder Quilt
Finally, I am into March and I can tackle the OBWQ that has been in the back of my mind for so long. I did this with an Alexander Henry fabric by the name of Lion Eyes - I have quite a few bolts of this fabric should you want some yardage. You can find it here: Fabric Sisters Three. I would purchase 5 or so yards. You will need 5 repeats, the repeat on this fabric is 24" and at least one yard for the cutouts.
I greatly enjoyed making this quilt. Not sure why it took me two years for it to finally come together in my head and I have absolutely no where to hang it.
My find for the month.
I make a mess when I am working. I had been ripping out a lot of pieces and had a huge mess on my sewing table and on the floor. Dennis came by with a small handheld vacuum cleaner in hand. He walked over and sucked up the entire mess. In an instant! How the heck could I have missed this wonderful tool for my sewing room? For my birthday he bought me my own vacuum for my space. It's wonderful! Just look.
It's St. Patrick's Day and I am 100% Irish. I will give you my Irish goodbye as I need to go out and celebrate this day even though it is only 5 degrees out.
Looking for a unique gift? You can find my lovely handmade potholders at my Etsy Store. They come gift boxed.
It's Spring! Well Almost. Perk up your kitchen with a new set of hot pads. Made from my own hands. You can find the in al sorts of colors here.
Mother's Day is coming.
If she sews, she has a lot of rulers.
A Ruler Rack from Rita's Racques
The Best Quilt Ruler Rack On The Market
is just what she needs and wants.
I have fallen down a rabbit hole making bread . This bread is easy, quick to make, and it has the best crust. You can use spices in it or just leave it plain. Dennis tells me it reminds him of being at home with his mom when he was a boy. Maybe you can bring back a memory or two as well.
Crusty Garlic Dill Bread
3 3/4 flour
1 tsp yeast
2 tsp salt
4 tablespoons dill seed
4 tablespoons dried minced garlic
About 2 2/3 cup of water at 108 - 110 degrees. The hot water from your tap should do. If you have a thermometer check it.
The night before (takes about 5 minutes):
Combine dry ingredients and add water until the dough is wet and sticky, a bit glossy.
Cover the bowl and let sit overnight.I use an unused shower cap for this.
In the morning:
Pour the dough on a floured surface, and kneed for a few minutes. Cut the dough in two for two loaves. Kneed each loaf for just a few minutes and place on a parchment sheet. Let the dough rise for 30 minutes.
While the dough is rising fill an oven safe pan with 3 to 4 cups of water and place it on the bottom of the oven. Place a large cookie sheet in the oven. This is to bake the bread on. Turn the oven on to 400 if using a convection oven or 425 for a standard oven.
Once the dough has risen for 30 minutes, remove the cookie sheet from the oven and place the parchment sheet with the loaves on the cookie sheet. Take a knife and slice across the loaves and sprinkle with a bit more flour.
Place the bread in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Once the loaves look good remove the pan of water and drop the temperature of the oven to 300 for about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
The bread doesn't keep long so I usually share the second loaf. If you have an air fryer and the bread is getting a bit hard butter a slice or two and drop it in the air fryer. It's delicious!