WIPs and a Spring Harvest

I wanted to share some quilting progress with you today. I’ve been working on a t-shirt quilt commission for my husband’s co-worker. These shirts are from her two kid’s high school band years and they will be cherished through a memory quilt. She wanted the front of the shirts on the front of the quilt and the back of the shirts as the back of the quilt. I’m using royal blue sashing and golden yellow binding, which are both the MHS colors.

I backed the shirts with a knit fusible interfacing, then added the vertical sashing to create each row. I’m doing the “cheater” sashing method with no cornerstones, just long horizontal sashing strips in between the rows. Because of this, when you put your strips right sides together, you will not know if the vertical sashing strips are lining up. I used pins as markers on both strips to align when I flipped right sides together and this worked out well for me.

I’ve since added the side and top sashing and have completed the quilt top. Now to do the same process for the back. The back rows are ready, I just need to add horizontal sashing and join the rows. Mom was nice enough to bring me some threads she thought would blend in nicely for the quilting. Hopefully I finish the back this weekend and can start quilting next weekend.

I also started this new cross stitch! It’s a Lizzie Kate pattern 3 Little Words, Never Give Up. It’s actually part of a series that you can stitch together. I only plan on stitching the Never Give Up part since I think it’s fitting for my sewing room. A nice little reminder when I’m working on tough projects. I also found some great file cases from Daiso Japan dollar store and they’re perfect for holding my projects. I’m using DMC for colors I already had in my stash, then bought the overdyed floss for the colors I didn’t have.  I figured it would be a nice opportunity to start that collection of floss. The fabric is 32 count lambs wool…which is a bit stiff and has lots of slub. I don’t think I’ll be stitching on this again, but happy to have tried it nonetheless. I changed the color of the little bird, but finding that my choice might have been too light. I’m thinking instead of unstitching him, I would embellish with a strand of DMC Shimmer thread in a darker blue.

lizzie kate project caselizzie kate progress

Finally, here’s a quick view of my little spring harvest. I think I let these carrots sit too long and only one of them was large enough to eat. The scallions were teeny, but they had a great smell and color. My cilantro has already bolted and flowering, but I am still able to harvest some. I used all of this in my Pad Thai dinner that I made. Petey was quite interested. Such a cutie!

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Kohlrabi Harvest

It’s officially winter and I decided to harvest my Kohlrabi! I narrowed down my recipe choices and made this Carrot and Kohlrabi Slaw. It’s chilling in the fridge at this very moment. I’m pairing it with grilled chicken and mashed potatoes.

I’m not sure if this is how big store bought kohlrabi is or if mine is on the smaller side. Luckily this recipe doesn’t yield a huge bowl of slaw. It seemed to work well with my kohlrabi size.

kohlrabi harvested

I trimmed the stems off and added to the compost bin versus eating, so not completely wasted. I then peeled my little kohlrabi followed by grating it with my julienne cutting tool. I peeled and grated my carrots and chopped up some cilantro from the garden. While the recipe calls for 1/4 of a purple cabbage, I put just a tad less than this since my husband is not a fan of it. I also omitted the onions, since I am not a fan of fresh onions. I followed the directions to make the dressing of cider vinegar, honey, salt, and mayo.

ingredients julienne cut

We’re also not huge fans of mayo…you might be asking yourself, “Why are you making a slaw, you crazy person!” Even though we’re a little picky here, I still definitely love a good slaw! I also was quite impressed with this mayo I picked up at Whole Foods. The taste is pretty yummy.

I poured the dressing over the slaw mixture and tossed well to coat.

Slaw mixed with dressingslaw zoomslaw zoom 2

The final step is to refrigerate for several hours. Looks delicious, doesn’t it!?

I’ve recently started up on bullet journaling. It’s an alternative way of using a planner and you are pretty much drawing out the planner yourself. Customizing it to your needs and following some helpful steps to stay productive. It’s all about repetition in regards to writing down tasks and goals. The Bujo (Bullet Journal) community creates some pretty unique spreads and I would encourage you to check them out on Instagram #bulletjournal. A section of your journal, called Collections, is a place where you can add lists of any kinds. So far my Collections section is made up of recipes and special tips. Here’s my slaw recipe and a note to myself on how you should freeze cabbage. I had no idea you had to blanch cabbage before freezing! You learn something new 🙂

 

Fall Garden in December

Hello friends! It’s been a while since we last looked at my garden. In mid-October I shared a seedling update and we are now in the first week of December with some mighty plants! As a reference, I’m in USDA plant hardiness zone 8a, which means our extreme minimum temperature reaches 10-15 degrees (F). Currently in December, our days are in the 70s with nights in the 50s. Some days are warmer and others cooler. Lows in the 30s are in the forecast for next week and they look to finally be sticking around…we’ll see.

Remember those tiny mesclun mix seedlings that were the first to sprout? Well here they are now, over taking their little square foot plot. Noted, these will get a 1 x 2 ft plot next time! I desperately need to harvest some of these and make a salad or two, to allow some breathing room for the others in the mix.

MESCLUN MIX TOP VIEWMESCLUN MIX

As you can see, it’s definitely Fall season and the Silver Maple’s are losing their leaves quickly. I’ve already tried clearing the bed of these leaves, but what’s the point!? The tree’s are still going through the seasonal change.

The Black Seeded Simpson lettuce was slow to grow, but they are finally filling in. They still share their plot with some self sown basil seedlings.

BLACK SEEDED SIMPSON LETTUCEBASIL

Speaking of Basil, as you can see, the warm weather has allowed them to stick around. I harvested a huge portion for pesto last time around and they have since doubled back in size. Leggy, but still deliciously fragrant. In the background you can see the purple blooming stalks of the Thai Basil.

I’m so proud of the spinach growth! I tried spinach transplants once and they did not last. Because of this, I was weary of how the seeds would do. But check them out! That’s some grocery store sized leaves right there! Almost 🙂

SPINACHSPINACH_2

The carrot tops are putting on a beautiful show. I can even see some orange carrot parts peeking through the soil. They are still relatively small and I feel my oregano plant blocked sun from some of the seedlings. As the Maple trees lose their leaves though, more sun is reaching this bed.

CARROTS

Behind the carrots, you can see the cilantro is doing well. I have harvested a few sprigs already and they smelled incredible! They were very floppy for a long time and I wondered when they would grow a thicker stem for support. This happened pretty recently, which is when I decided to start harvesting.

CILANTRO

I have two Kale seedlings that are doing well. Still a bit small though. The one in the front is larger but has some wilting leaves. The one in the back (out of view) is smaller, but slowly catching up. I did abandon my watering routine for a couple of weeks with the time change, so I’m hoping they pull through. I just fertilized today so maybe that will help. The scallions are doing ok, I’m not quite sure what to expect with them. I will do some research and find out more about their growth.

KALESCALLIONS

The Swiss Chard and Romaine seeds never sprouted. I even tried a second round of seed sowing, but nothing at all. Either it’s just too warm or the seeds are too old. I also lost some of my transplants. The Cauliflower transplant that was in this bed kept losing leaves and never regained it’s strength. By the time it was down to a nub, I decided to just remove it. Same goes for the red Brussel Sprout plant, it lost leaves until there was nothing left. My Broccoli Raab died due to lack of watering, shame on me as I was really looking forward to seeing this broccoli produce. It had such interesting foliage, I was sad to see it go. It is definitely less hardy than the other varieties.

My Green Magic Broccoli transplant on the other hand is very hardy. It has been growing fast and is looking well. I love the large leaves of the broccoli plant and I can’t wait until I see the broccoli head growing out of the center.

BROCCOLIBROCCOLI TOP VIEW

Now something interesting happened with my other Brussel Sprout transplant. Since planting in early October, I’ve noticed it growing quite strangely. At first I thought I planted it wrong, maybe too deep or not level with the soil. Something was off!

Here’s the transplant to remind you of what it looked like two months ago:

Long Island Green brussel sprouts

…and here it is now! Do you see what I see!?

KOHLRABI

Something tells me this isn’t Long Island Brussel Sprouts! I sent a picture to my mom and she told me that it’s Kohlrabi. Kohlrabi! What’s that!?

KOHLRABI TOP VIEW

Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage family and the entire plant is edible. It’s texture is similar to that of broccoli, but tastes similar to sweet radish (or so i’m reading). It should have a crisp inner texture like water chestnut! I’m not sure yet what I will make from it. Some sites suggest a slaw, or pureed into soup, or roasted with other veggies like eggplant and potatoes. I’m leaning towards putting the stems and leaves in an Asian stir-fry for one recipe and slicing the bulb julienne style for slaw with a different recipe. Have you tried Kohlrabi before?

Here’s some great resources to learn more about Kohlrabi:
Kohlrabi Is Weird! And Here’s What You Can Do With It
Harvesting Kohlrabi Plants: How And When To Pick Kohlrabi
Kohlrabi: The Cool-Weathered, Out-of-This-World Vegetable

Finally, a little update on the garlic… They all sprouted and doing well 🙂

GARLIC

Happy Gardening!