Tuesday, January 14, 2020

A Bit of Out & About–And Quilting!

Overcast and dreary -

A typical January day.

But we were not letting that stop us!  Yesterday was the day to learn to use the Instant Pot that Kim brought to Quiltville Inn in August – it had still been sitting in its box as I was too afraid to use it!

Jill and I headed out on a round about journey to retreat the Instant Pot, get the outgoing mail to the USPS office, do a bit of barn sighting around the area (I love showing new folks the cool old stuff around here!) and eventually make it back to the cabin where we would do something SIMPLE for my first foray – like hard boiled eggs for egg salad sandwiches for lunch.

But first – photo ops had to happen!


Boy that propane tank sticks out like a sore thumb!

In the top photo you can see how the Asplundh guys just topped the trees and left everything down the embankment to the creek below.  I’m not that worried – the kudzu will cover it by May!

There were cattle on the hill behind the inn -

Viewed from the back porch.

A favorite barn with block down the road from the inn.

I would love to know where that double track lane goes to!

These two barns have new red roofs -

And a barn block!

As we drove around Jill commented that she could see why I loved this place so much – all the stress just goes away. At this point we were about 8 miles from the inn, and hadn’t passed even as much as a stop sign. Just a Y in the road as we veered left to continue on highway 58.

Wilson creek, running its course -

We had a TON of rain on Saturday, Saturday night into Sunday morning.  The creeks are FULL!

Jill’s Crazy Patch Blocks!

She inherited a bag of her aunt’s scraps – much of the fabric dating to the 1980s – 1990s.  (I recognize a lot of this stuff!) And she is using her Accuquilt 6 1/2'' crazy quilt block die to cut the scraps from 10’’ squares, shuffle them, and sew them back together.  There are more colors to work in, but it looks so great up on the design wall!

The pinwheel blocks are her Leaders & Enders!

Why work on just one thing when you can do two at the same time?  In fact, I’ve had the same thing going on:

This batch of Shoo Fly Shoo blocks were made as Leaders & Enders while assembling my 9 Irish Courthouse blocks!  My basket is filling up!  Soon I will be deciding just how I want to set them.  But not quite yet.

If you haven’t joined in on our Leader & Ender challenge, there is still time! You’ll find the directions under the Free Patterns tab at the top of the blog.  The rules are easy – there are NO RULES!  We are just making the blocks from scraps (I have given 2 sizes) and using the pieces as Leaders & Enders in between what we are already sewing.

How many blocks you make and what you decide to do with them is up to you.  The main objective is to put the scraps to good use, and keep the lines of piecing continuous with REAL units, instead of always sewing off onto some random throw away scrap of fabric.  It’s like a free quilt.  And it’s fun to watch the stacks grow!

My nine Irish Courthouse blocks!

I have made the alternating – so 5 have blue chains with red in the center, the other 4 have red chains with blue in the center.  To continue the chains – I’ll be doing 4 patches as sashing – and who knows what for the border.  It’s fun not to think too far ahead and let things evolve as you go.

If you’d like to follow along – you can STILL find my Irish Courthouse PDF pattern at half-price in the digital pattern section of the Quiltville Store.  No coupon required – but half price is only good through January, so don’t delay!

Quiltville Inn Rally Drawing Time!

Yesterday’s winning group – The Naughty Room Quilters (Do I want to know the story behind this name?! LOL!) Has chosen  their dates – Arriving on August 13th, and staying the full week, WITH a workshop added, and checking out on the 19th just as I leave for Kentucky to teach for the annual Sew In with the Cozy Quilter.  It’s going to be a year of very quilty activity around here!

With those August dates removed from the line up – these are the weekends left for the 2020 calendar year:

Mar 5-8
Apr 2 -5
Nov 12-15
Nov 19-22

Many of these dates include the possibility of adding additional days to your stay should your group wish to extend your time at Quiltville Inn.  And of course I am available to add a workshop to your retreat experience should your group desire!

And the Random Number Generator says:

Group 137 – Sharon Waggy & The Waggy Quilters!

Sharon, I’ve sent an email to the address that you provided with your group’s entry.  Please choose from the available dates and get back to me ASAP so I can make the remaining dates available to our next drawn group!

It's not to late to add your group into the running!  Click the Quiltville Inn Rally tab at the top of the blog and add your group information to the form.  Entries not drawn for the 2020 dates are eligible for the 2021 dates, and I will start drawing for those in February!

Oh – and those hard boiled eggs?  FAIL!

Not sure what happened, but the steam released on the pressure valve – the count down timer never happened – and we ended up with soft boiled eggs!  Not that they were bad – just not hard boiled, and the whole process wasn’t what it should be. At least it didn’t blow up? Jill says this has never happened on hers.

Next we went to the manual  and learned how to steam water.  That seemed to go as planned -

So this morning we are attempting hard boiled eggs again, and will eat them soft for breakfast should there be another fail!  Maybe I’m just not cut out for Instant Pot Queen status?

And on we go into our day -

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Don't you just love the stripes in this one?

This, this and so much all of this! In oh, so many ways and for so many reasons. You don't even need to explain why.

While "No." is a complete sentence, silence is also an answer.

It is so freeing to realize this and to put it to work in my own life!

Have a wonderful Tuesday, everyone – it’s time to pressure cook some hard boiled eggs!


  1. I love my InstantPot and have made hard-boiled eggs in it successfully. Make sure that the pressure release valve is turned the proper direction when you start so that it will close once pressure builds up. Also, I have found that it doesn't work all that well as a slow cooker. Veggies don't get tender. I have read that is because it heats only from the bottom and the temperature on the slow cook setting doesn't get hot enough. A Crock Pot, on the other hand, being made of ceramic, holds the heat much better - all the way up the sides. That said, I have friends who say their InstantPot works well as a slow cooker, so maybe it is just mine that doesn't get hot enough. My work around has been to process whatever I have in the InstantPot for 5 minutes on the pressure setting once that slow cook cycle is over.

    Making rice (and brown rice) as well as steel cut oats in the InstantPot is worth the price alone. Happy cooking!

  2. Bonnie - have you seen any painted propane tanks? Google has photos of tanks painted to look like an ear of corn, watermelon, with flowers, etc. You could paint quilt blocks on it! đŸ¤—

  3. I hear ya on learning to use the IP. I had my techy hubster do the first time ;-) The vent nozzle still feels super loose to me but it does work. I swear I push it "back" a dozen times the first 5 minutes, to be sure it is really closed!

    You'll get the hang of it. Truly, it's my favorite rice cooker ever!

  4. don't be afraid of the instant pot....I love mine, Skinnytaste has some really good recipes using it. One of my favorites is this Santa Fe Chicken, it calls for using the crock pot but she also includes using the instant pot! https://www.skinnytaste.com/crock-pot-santa-fe-chicken-425-pts/ give it a try!!!

  5. Bonnie, the Irish Courthouse quilt has been my favorite to make so far. And I've done a lot of your quilts! I gave it away, so will have to make another sometime. I'm enjoying the mystery so much this year. I've been able to keep up!

  6. Hi Bonnie! Don't give up on your Instant Pot! It's a wonderful way to spend less time cooking and more time quilting! Check out the Instant Pot Group on Facebook for lots of tips and recipes! So excited to see everything come together for your Quiltville Inn! Thanks for all you do!

  7. how about painted wildflowers or Grandma's Flower Garden patches on the tank? If you pick out a size of hexies I bet hundreds of us would send GFG patches.

  8. How wonderful to spend time with a sewing friend! Also it was so much fun seeing the local area.
    Have a lovely day, friend!

  9. Throw some chicken breasts in with salsa and have shredded chicken...so yummy so fast and possibly healthy!

  10. OMG! Grandmother's Flower Garden hexies on the propane tank! I'm in!!! What a brilliant idea! Now you've gotten me all excited this morning! This could be dangerous. I don't have a propane tank, but surely there is 'something' that needs this treatment at my house! Bonnie - do it!!! It's too perfect of an idea to let it go! Come on. I dare ya!!!! Tag! You're it!!

  11. Hi Bonnie! You'll love your IP. Roast beef and a whole chicken are the best.

  12. The best, best site for InstantPot is https://www.pressurecookrecipes.com/ Amy and Jacky are the best. They explain everything down to the minutae and all the recipes are fantastic. They have videos and all. Would not have mastered the InstaPot without them.

    1. Thanks for this tip! I have accomplished the boiling water bit and a few other items.When we cooked rhutabagas in it, they came out better than I have ever tasted in the past.

  13. I would go for a picket fence on three sides to give them access when they swap the tank out. It would be a shame to decorate it and have it swapped out.

  14. I use my instant pot weekly. Love it. My favorite site is www.pressurecookingtoday.com. My favorite is the broccoli cheese soup and the potato soup with sweet potatoes/white potatoes.

    Love the Irish courthouse blocks.

  15. Your countryside reminds me of Vermont in the springtime, where a group of us have retreated for the past MANY years ! The barns, the dirt roads, the rushing water. So peaceful and carefree. Thanks for sharing. See you in Phoenix in 10 days for a "Garden Party."

  16. I got an Instant Pot for Christmas and have been trying 1 meal a week in it. It seems to take a long time when it shouldn't. I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

  17. Never used an instant pot, so am intrigued see your ideas and learning curve. I have a low pressure pressure cooker which I use for stews sometimes but usually end up putting it all in my slow cooker which always turns out perfect.
    Love your Irish Courthouse blocks they are so pretty and Jills crazy blocks are beautiful I’ve been thinking about getting that die for my accuquilt so I will pop it on my birthday wish list.
    That’s you for sharing the pictures of the barns the old one with the new red roof is such an unusual shape I love it.
    Love and quilty hugs
    Anne xxx

  18. Love making yogurt in the instant pot. So easy and so good.

  19. Those barns look like a Bob Ross painting!

  20. Well you were lucky at least your eggs were edible, I have burnt, yes burnt boiled eggs, not once but twice. In my defence, it was on a gas stove and it was new to me because I had never used one before and turning it to low, is not the same as on an electric stove. :) I also forgot about them.


If you are commenting as "anonymous" please leave your name at the end of your comment.

Did you know that ad space on this blog provides for all of the free patterns and free mysteries and challenges at no cost to you? Without ads, this blog would not be possible.

Thank you for understanding the many hours that go into this blog 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year. :)