Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Bound, Binding and Ready to Bind! (And Instant Pot Recipe!)

Moving this one to the completely done pile!

The “Jack’s Delight” blocks were SO much fun to make.  Have you tried them yet?

I used a selection of recycled fabrics paired with a great variety of favorite neutrals from my Scrap User’s System.  The center squares  in the blocks were also pulled from my pre-cut scrap drawers and I had a wonderful time deciding which fabrics were going to play together in each block.

Those sashings?  They also made a huge dent in my stash of shirt fabric strips.

What really adds to the texture of the whole quilt are the block corner triangles and the cornerstones, all from scraps of Essex linen left from cutting quilt kits for my Quiltville Travelers.  I needed a way to put those margins of fabric to good use, and they do here.  The combination of the Essex linen and the recycled fabrics brings an “instantly vintage” feel to the whole.

This is also why I decided on plain wider sashings and cornerstones.  It just needed a classic setting so the blocks could show themselves off and be the main focus.

Yep, perfect binding!

You’ll find the block pattern for Jack’s Delight in the March/April 2020 issue of Quiltmaker Magazine in my Addicted to Scraps column.

Next up in the binding queue – the red white and blue version of Irish Courthouse, but things weren’t going so smoothly!

I spent yesterday at my desk for long hours of pattern writing.  By the time I was done, the muscles in my back were in a spasm.  Did I stop there?  NO.

I needed to FORCE myself to get that binding on the quilt so that the handwork could continue at home and I could finish season 8 of Call the Midwife.

I should have listened to my body!

It was 7:30 pm by the time I got this far -

And I was still at the QPO!

I had started in to stitch the binding on – and half-way down one side the feed dogs quit moving the fabric.  The machine was stitching in place.

I fiddled with the stitch length selector lever thinking maybe something needed oil in there.  I cleaned everything oiled everywhere I could get oil to, and still - nada.

I checked the bobbin area – no thread was stuck.  (The 201 I am sewing on uses a class 66 drop-in bobbin.)

Finally I took the feed dog cover off to check in there.  Not any lint build up, but a finger against the feed dogs told me that they were SO LOOSE!  I checked – both screws holding the feed dogs in place were about to fall out.  How it had been sewing up to this point I will never know.

I tightened those puppies up, put the machine back together, threaded it up – did some test sewing on a folded over scrap and all seemed to be well.

I commenced sewing binding to the quilt, but I couldn’t figure out why the binding fabric was pushing and puckering.

Well, duh.  I had taken the walking foot off and put the regular foot back on to do the test sewing on the scrap fabric, and forgot to put the walking foot back in place before sewing binding on.

I had to remove binding from 2 sides of the quilt land start again.  Which is not the easiest thing when the stitches and tension are PERFECT!  ARGH!

Dresden knew to stay well out of the way!

So finally.  Walking foot back on, binding sewn down (machine stitching like a dream once again) sleeve and label added, I finally headed home. 

Dresden! Can’t you find a more comfy spot?!

But, at the same time, I get it.

I was this worn through, too!

I was too tired to even don a thimble.

I heated up my leftovers from my last Instant Pot Foray, plopped myself down on the couch, feet up on the ottoman and watched one episode of Call the Midwife with ZERO handwork.

But this recipe? It’s a Winner, Winner, Creamy Garlic Chicken Thigh Dinner ala Instant Pot!

This is a gluten free meal – the sauce is thickened with corn starch!

Creamy Garlic Chicken Thighs

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 bone in, skin on chicken thighs (I used boneless/skinless)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
  • Turn a 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot to saute. When it says "hot", add the oil.
  • Meanwhile, combine the Italian seasoning, salt, garlic powder, paprika, and pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle over chicken thighs, skin side up.
  • Sear chicken thighs, (skin side down if not using skinless) for 2-3 minutes or until the chicken moves easily.  If chicken is sticking to the pot, it is not ready to be removed yet. (you may have to tilt and swirl your pot during this process so that the oil evenly coats the bottom of the pot)
  • Remove chicken thighs to a plate, drain remaining oil and add in minced garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add broth to the hot pot, and scrape the bottom so the brown bits come up into the broth.
  • Turn off the Instant Pot, add the chicken thighs back in in a single layer.  (skin side up if not using skinless)
  • Put the lid on, turn the valve to sealing, and select Manual or Pressure Cook for a cook time of 10 minutes. (My thighs were boneless/skinless so I cooked for 8 minutes.) It will take 6-8 minutes to come to pressure and begin counting down.
  • When the cook time is over, let pressure release naturally for 7-8 minutes before opening the valve and removing the lid.
  • Remove chicken to a plate.  Whisk together cream and corn starch and stir into remaining liquid in Instant Pot.
  • Turn the Instant Pot to saute, whisk and simmer the sauce until thickened. Serve with chicken thighs.

I served this with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.  It was a total comfort food win!  There were plenty of left-overs and I enjoyed the last bit last night.

What will I cook NEXT?!  I am thinking a pot roast, or a pork tenderloin is in my near future. 

Next in line.

I finished adding the borders to the little green ditty that I have named Cairdeas.

Cairdeas (pronounced Kardiss) is an ancient Gaelic word meaning friendship, goodwill or alliance. With two back-to-back groups of quilters spending time with me in Ireland this coming May/June, I think that Cairdeas is very fitting!

I really had a great time with the entire making of this quilt.  I finished the Celtic knot stitchery on the plane to Kenya.  I loved making the little green stars, and what’s not to love about green and neutral four-patches?

My Ireland travelers will have this as their travel project (The stitchery part!) while we are in Ireland, and it will become a digital PDF download upon my return from that adventure.  I think this little quilt will need some glamour shots from the Emerald Isle, don’t you?

I hope to finish this up and get it out of the machine (And binding on?!) at some point today.

Today is also a momentous day. The Quiltville Inn cleaning crew is arriving to make EVERYTHING welcome ready for tomorrow’s arrival of the Pieceful Hearts Quilters from Augusta, Georgia!  Let the retreats OFFICIALLY begin!

As to the back spasm?  Rest. Gentle stretches. Aleve. Tens unit on “hyper shock” and I’m moving okay.  Today I hope to not repeat the process of sitting too long.

And I need to find a local chiropractor and massage therapist as driving 100 miles to my old ones, and the 100 mile drive back afterwards completely undoes the therapy I went to receive.

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Always remember that you are strong enough to handle your challenges, wise enough to find a solution to your problems, and capable enough to do whatever needs to be done.

But don't forget to breathe!

I love this vintage quilt found in Texas. Lavender and cheddar? Bring It on!

This is the quilt that inspired my own sugar bowl quilt from recycled shirt fabrics. . The pattern is found under the Free Patterns Tab at the top of the blog.

Have a great Wednesday, everyone -


  1. pork loin cooks really good in the instant - sear on both sides - add one cup of broth or water, season if the loin is not seasoned, I add an onion chopped put on for 65 minutes and steam off - cooks great every time.

    1. We love pork loin in the pressure cooker, too. One of our favorite ways is to add a can of chopped green chiles along with the onion! They don't add heat but a wonderful flavor. We will use the pork for soups, sandwiches and tacos!

  2. So sorry about your back spasm. Last month I had my first one ever and was completely immobile for a day and hurt for several days after. Aleve, heat and ice healed mine finally. The recipe looks wonderful. We are having very rainy days here so it would be a prefect time to try it.

  3. Love reading your blog... I’d like to share two delish tried and true Instant Pot recipes with you if you’d like to try sometime. So easy...


    This has to do with layering so there is no burn issue. Plus, I cook my pasta half the time listed on pasta bag. Might take a minute extra than 1/2 the time because of your elevation.

    Bon Appetit

  4. One thing that vastly helps so I don't get back spasms is to use egg sitter cushion everywhere when I sit for very long. I carry mine around to sit on. If I don't use it, pain. If I do, no pain.

  5. Love the recent quilts and look forward to the Quiltmaker block in March. Chicken looks great too, although I adapted it back to low tech for crockpot. I purchased 2 instant pots, one I returned, one I sold, guess I am too old for that new trick! 😂😉👵

  6. Awesome quilts all around! Sorry about your back, Bonnie. I feel your pain, as I started off the year in the same predicament! :o((

  7. Just got a LOT of fabric at an estate sale and so when I saw Jack's Delight, I ran to Barnes & Noble to get the magazine! These older fabrics are perfect for it--not using any batiks (my usual favorite) or Kaffe Fassett. Lots of calicos and prints! Loving it!

    Got an instant pot for Christmas. WalMart has the Pioneer Woman model on sale now for $49 which is the best price I've seen, if anyone's contemplating after reading your post!

  8. I just read your post from March 30, 2017. Dreams can come true. Happy Opening Day!

  9. Call The Midwife - reality TV. All the topics are REAL and depicted well. Love this show. And don't forget the Christmas Night special every year.

  10. Love the border on the top quilt and can't wait to get pattern. I find when I try to "just get to xxx point" that things happen like you describe. Always something to interfere with progress. Breathe!

  11. I learned a long time ago to stop working on a project when I get tired. I have had to rip out too many seams when I didn't listen to my body. So glad you were able to finish and get home safely.

  12. Good to hear that someone else appreciates their TENS unit!

  13. I tried the chicken recipe. Delicious! Thank you for sharing.

  14. Amazing recipe, seeing this recipe, I think that you have prepared it after working very hard, its test is really very good, you have done very good cooking curry.


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