Monday, December 29, 2008

Holiday cards, revisited...
Remember how I posted last year about card garlands? This year, we've found a new craft that the girls are just crazy for. I know it's a bit late for the tree... but I'm running late, again.
We sliced the front of our cards into 1/2" strips with our scrap book cropper (don't have one? Oh, they are so much fun!! And easy to use- the girls can use it without Mom having to worry about trimmed digits. Mine is a Fiskars and I love it!) Anyway... You slice the 1/2"strips and then you punch holes at each end of the strips- put a fastener through the holes and then you spread out the strips- for some reason it just naturally makes a ball. The bigger the card the bigger the ball. You have to use the strips from the same card for each ball- no interchanging as different length strips mess up the balls. Reminds me of old fashioned paper chains. So recycle those sparkly cards! The ones with glitter are way cool. They look great on the tree and make wonderful little extra bow accessories for gifts. When you want to pack them away to save for next year, you just slide them back together flat.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Rebekah's Feast...
Here's Bekah, my little flutterbudgetfairydiddle. She has personality by the gallon. She also has "pinkeye." And a dirth of teeth. She has lost 6 teeth in the past month! That's what happens when you are 7 years old. Most of us call her Boo, Joe gets to call her Becky- but nobody else is allowed to do that. He dotes on her. She is always by my side, jabbering away. She loves to color and draw pictures, and play with her "dollies." Cooking is one of her favorite things to do. Boo and Eva are best friends and they do everything together. Preparing a feast without Eva wasn't easy on her- the entire time we were out shopping for her feast Boo is talking a mile a minute about what Eva would like and she even bought Eva a present with her own money. She doesn't like people to stare at her and has been known to burst into tears if they do. She is, just a touch, shy.
My stomach is still aching from her feast. It was sooo good. Perfect for 6 growing young men, but maybe a bit heavy for their old Mom. She had a Xmas theme. Her table was set with blue lights and a stem of a poinsetta with had mysteriously fallen from my plant. I suspect the boys with their Nerf guns. She bought each child a chocolate santy and even put a bow on his head. There were sugar cookies with hot "toto" for an appetizer. Boo served up mashed potatoes with gravy and grilled cheese sandwiches. Joe says, "Wow. Starch city." The guys used their sandwiches as spoons and I tried it and it was really quite tasty that way. She had bug juice to drink- blue koolaid with gummy worms. Her "zert" was strawberry shortcake- thanks to Sara Lee. All in all, it was an incredible feast.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Joe's Feast...

This is my oldest child, Joe (18y). He is a really good kid. He has always been headstrong- most people who know Joe would be surprised that I'd say that because he is always looking just like that picture- smiling and batting those ridicoulously thick eyelashes...but I am just so thankful that he seems to be headed, fullsteam, in the right direction! He is a sweet and thoughtful guy- a real problem solver. He drives a big ole truck and wears steel toed boots, but don't let that fool ya. He's extremely creative- notice a trend? Joe's a writer and most days he has to write at least a few pages of a fantasy novel he is working on- so when he's published, you can say, "I knew him when..." He also draws these amazing pictures, full of detail. Must take after my Mom, with the writing and drawing. He's as steady as a rock and once he makes up his mind, it's a done deal.

His feast was a Mexican fiesta. No big surprise as Joe is easy to please and he knows what will please his brothers and sisters. The kitchen was decorated with green and red crepe paper. He wrote their names on a piece of crepe and draped it over their plates- looked very artsy. He had nachos and cheese. Tacos, with all the fixin's. For dessert he had brownies with ice cream, hot chocolate sauce and whipped cream. He gave everyone their own Xmas cup with snowflakes on them. His drink was juice mixed with Sprite.

Joe has a sweetheart. Her name is Laurie. Aren't they an attractive couple? But they are so sweet and good to each other. She thinks he hung the moon. What mother could ask for more?


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Eva's feast...

Eva is 9 years old and she is one of the sweetest girls you will ever meet- ask anyone who knows her. She is just so sweet. She amazes me. She has always been very grown up for her age. She never whines of complains. She tends to be very matter of fact and practical. I love that about her. She keeps everybody grounded. Eva loves to mommy her baby dolls and to play outside. When it's time to work, she just puts on her apron, rolls up her sleeves and dives right in.

Eva's feast was amazing. Just amazing. Remember that she is 9 years old. She was very firm when she announced to me that she was going to have a "Jesus Feast." OK. What does that mean? Well, she had it all figured out. She bought a pair of socks for everyone(6 pairs for 4$) so we splurged a little to get some for the girls and Abe. Why socks? Well, she wanted to wash all their feet. And she did. One of the boys said, "Awkward." and it is when you are not used to that sort of thing. But she did it so sweetly and Daddy helped her change out the water after every pair of feet. She then presented them with their new socks so that their feet wouldn't get cold. She also provided head dresses for everyone- a piece of fabric with an elastic headband to hold it on. Us, being goofy. We had a couple strays in our mix- as usual. When she told me of her plans for her feast, I was just...amazed. I said, "Eva, you amaze me!" And she says, "I just listen to the Bible stories. It's amazing what you can learn." Mealwise, she had figs and grapes and pears for her appetizer. Grape juice in fancy glasses. Then there was flatbread and zahowie- a middle eastern type of salsa which is wonderful with bread. Fish was her main dish. We had a mini drama when my deep fryer up and died. Why tonight, of all nights? Eva just puts her arm around me and rubs my back and says, "It'll be alright Mom. I'm sure Daddy will get you another one." The frying pan came back in play and we moved right along without a hitch. Then her dessert was a great big M&M cookie which she made herself and decorated with the word "Jesus" on it. She said it was hard to think of a Jesus dessert.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Folks' Feast...

I got a phone call a few days ago, Mom asking if we had an open evening for her and Dad to host a feast. Told her we could certainly open a slot up for them. Now, that is carrying things a bit far- a 5 hour drive to host a feast! But Dad has taken 5 deer this fall and he was wanting to share- an event we were all very supportive of! Our freezer is now well stocked. So they drove up late Wednesday, their feast was Thursday night, and they left this morning. Follow that? A short visit, but very sweet.
Mom and Dad had a cranberry theme. The table was beautifully set with all kinds of greenery from their place, and a row of cranberry votives. She had fancy paper plates so that cleanup would be a breeze- smart lady! Cranberry chicken, cranberry jello salad, cranberry gingerale, cranberry relish, cranberry muffins... and tater tots and baked beans. For dessert she had a cherry chocolate cake- which was cranberry colored, and an apple cake. We all needed to be rolled away from the table! It was soooo good.
It was very sweet of them to make William and I the guests of honor- even placing tinsel crowns on our heads and providing horns for the children to blow. Dad gave us a very kind and generous tribute and stressed to the children what good parents they have and how they should value us and appreciate us. I think we must have blushed 10 shades of, cranberry. We were really touched by their thoughtfulness. It was a wonderful time together and they are gone too soon.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Jacob's Feast...
Jacob had his feast, tonight. He's 15, and a barrel of laughs. Jacob is quick-witted and sensitive- always in tune with others around him. He's musically gifted, plays the violin and sings like nobody's business. He's a hard worker and I can always count on him to do his chores 100%. Jacob has the best imagination of anyone I know- myself excluded. He loves his dog, a black lab, named Shadow. What can I say? He's a breeze to be around. A real joy to spend time with.
His feast... well, I think his Dad and I might has broken a rib or two, we laughed so hard. He settled on a Barbarian feast- told you he has a great imagination. His table was very simply set with a candle center-piece I had picked up at a thrift shop a few years back. With 5 "whoa! Those are the biggest red candles I ever seen!"(of tapers, Abe, 5y) He had gifts of pens and mechanical pencils with pretty ribbon tied around. The kids were each given a sample piece of ribbon and they had to find the match and that was their seat. John commented on how nice and roomy the table was... no plates. The appetizer was rather uneventful with three big platters of all kinds of fresh fruit. Apples, pineapple, grapes, raspberries, bananas, oranges and pomegranate. Everyone munched and had very civilized conversation. He had Jones' sodas and served them in big ole mugs. And then the meal started rolling out- literally. Plop! There goes a potato on the table, and then an ear of corn..."Um Jacob, don't we need a plate, man?" Bill started rolling laughing right there. The boys were trying so hard to be polite when reminding him he needed plates. He says, "Who needs plates? We're having a barbarian feast!" He grabs a leg off a chicken(3 chickens straight from the store's rotisserie)- and plunks it down in front of Abe- jaws drop, disbelief written clearly on every face. Silence at last, Mom thinks. He was halfway around our sizable table before the kids started to see the humor of the situation. Heads still shaking, they caved and started using their hands to butter their rolls and tear off their own piece of meat. Abe picked up on the theme way too fast. Rolls started flying through the air and butter started dripping off fingers and Bill proclaimed that we needed to do this more often. I don't think my sides could stand it- I laughed so hard as the kids really just let lose and enjoyed themselves. Daniel even removed his jacket- I am pretty sure that only happens on bath day. The food was yummy and I am sure that helped the kids over their initial shock that Mom said it was okay to play with their food. There was a bit of nervous twitter around the table as dessert was about the be served- I don't think anyone relished the idea of eating icecream off the table with their fingers! But Jacob had mercy on them and served up a tasty coffee cake- everyone in this family has a soft spot for cinnamon. The dish chore was a breeze- just wiped all the bones from the table and soaped it down. Done! ahhhhh... that really was a blast.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

John's feast...
This is John and he's 12. A more cheerful, accomodating kid I've never known. If he knows his Dad is working on the house, he grabs his coat and is out there with him the whole time. A hard worker. He has a sewing machine set up, full time, in my quilting room and he sews most days. When he isn't sewing, he's duct taping something together. He's eternally creative and is constantly inventing things. He is rather confident and bold, admirable qualities in an adult, curious in a child. He's an optimist in the extreme. Nothing gets him down, or not for long.
His feast had an autumn theme- he's not a huge fan of winter and prefers the warmer days of summer. He said that it is not technically winter, yet. The snow outside the window was defying his logic. So he had a gazillion paper leaves shrewn across the kitchen floor- because walking in leaves is "the best." A garland of leaves down the length of the table, complete with twinkle lights and kerosene lamps. His menu was thoughtfully planned with jerky and nuts as an appetizer and corndogs with mac and cheese as his main course. Apple cider to drink and candy bar cake for dessert. Poor William is terribly sick with the tummy 'flu. But he showed up and did his part before creeping back to bed. John bought the children a movie to watch($5!) and because it was a childrens' movie, he gave Will and I extra gifts. A chocolate candy bar for his Dad and a very nice applique landscape for me. Wasn't that sweet and thoughtful? That's John!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild.

For Thy Church, that evermore
Lifteth holy hands above,
Offering up on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love.

Lord of all to Thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!! We have so much for which to be thankful! We'll be singing this song around our dinner table, tomorrow. Hope everyone has a blessed day!
(yes, Daniel is missing, again. That kid! It is so hard to get all 8 together, these days.)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Twinkle twinkle... all of my stars put together, and I am almost done with joining all the strips. You can kinda see how the overall pattern is coming along. I am loving that and as it is going to be a wall quilt, it'll show up very nicely. I'm taking a little break so that I can sit and chat with you all for a few minutes. There are a lot of intersections to match up- I have even been pinning- aren't you shocked? I almost don't have enough pins for an entire row! I can only work on it for so long before I start heaving big sighs. Then you know it's time to work on something else- I've quilted one quilt, pinned another one on the quilting frame, and I finished up about a dozen little pocket papers. See? I never go too far from the project! Can't seem to get myself out of the quilting room, these days. I have lots of big windows out there and the radiant heat is just yummy! And the view is pretty awesome, also. There is a light dustiung of snow on the ground and with Fernando Ortega singing softly in the background... well, it's pretty irresistable!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Movin' right along...
Finally got all 200 some qst and hst all trimmed up to 3.5". quite an accomplishment. Now I am putting them together to make 32 stars in red and green. There are places where I have 8 points coming together...theoretically. I try, anyway. All in good fun. It's like making a doily. Sure the doily is nice, but it's just a bonus. It's about the journey to the doily, ya know. The process is what I love, even more than the finished quilt. I love the sewing and the coming together of color and pattern. I even like the pressing, making it all smooth and seeing if I can't make some of those points come out better!
It's a drab day, today. Snow is all gone and a cold front is upon us. We'll be staying home from the holiday and I wonder if we can get any family or friends to come and share our turkeys. Yes, we have two- I love the leftovers, don't you?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Autumn quilt...
done just in time for the wintry weather! Snowed most of the day- very little stayed, but the children were all bouncing off the walls- pointing out each and every snowflake. Remember the excitement of the first snow? I still feel the same thrill.
My friend, Sandy, gave me these sweet 9-patches. I just couldn't resist them at this time of the year. The quilt is entirely too big for the wall, it's a queen size, and so you can only see the top third of it. The days have been just too windy to take pictures outside. And talk about gloomy! But I've kinda enjoyed the cloudy days and the rain- good excuse to hunker down and read a good book- like I need an excuse! (I am reading the Twilight series and enjoying them.)
I finally, finally, finished all the trimming of the hst and the qst! I am feeling so pleased with myself. Now I am ready to start the fun of putting together a big ole stack of stars. Hope everyone has some fun sewing this week.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

November. It's cool out and the trees are all bare. The fields are stripped clean, yep, it's November. I love this time of year. It feels like we are on the cusp of something wonderful. Thanksgiving and the holidays are straight ahead. But for now, we get to start burrowing in for a long winter.
I have been sewing up a blue streak. At least I feel like I have been! My newest quilt is progressing, if somewhat slowly. I have all the sub sewing done- now to trim a couple hundred hst and qst to 3.5". Not my favorite part of the quilting hobby. But a sweet stack of trimmed squares is slowly growing- nothing like knowing that you'll be sewing with the perfect sized pieces, huh? I have been trying to trim a few every time I walk by that countertop with the cutting mat on it. Just plodding along and making progress, even if it is slow. I trimmed a section of my finger off with the rotary cutter a few days ago. A first for me and I figure my due as I have been using that thing for 15 years now. Bound to happen sooner or later- especially with a middle name like "Grace." No, not my literal middle name, just the one people call me when I demonstrate my clutziness. So a bandaid keeps me from bleeding on the fabric and lets face it, that's what we were all worried about, wasn't it?
I finished this doily before the maiming of my finger- isn't that a pretty color? It's for a sister of a friend. The floor boards are 12" wide so you can see that it's a bigun. I have had to lay the crochet aside as it is hard to work around the ouchie and the constant throbbing.
Hope everyone has a safe weekend- watch those fingertips!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Some of our favorite people have come for a visit- all the way from Alabama(Roll Tide!) They always come laden with various goodies for all of us. The girls are all decked out in princess apparrel- feeling very pretty, as you can tell. I got some new pyrex pans- with the fancy lids. I never seem to have enough pans, especially when company comes.
Sewingwise, I've been steadily chugging along on a full size quilt- one of the biggest I have tackled for a while. It is for a large wall in a friend's log cabin. I'll share my progress as soon as there is something to see. I also finished two table runners for my friend Donna- she is having a huge Thanksgiving bash at her house come Sunday. We about have the decorating under our belts. I've finished a doily and am working on a few others.
It's hunting season and my youngest hunting son, Jack(12y) got his first deer on his first day hunting. Time to start filling the freezer. Have a great week!

Monday, November 03, 2008

My love affair...
with spray starch! Dontcha just love that stuff? My Aunt Eva turned me onto it when I was starting my first year of college and I've been hooked ever since. It's great for your regular ironing, but wow! what it can do for your quilting! It firms up the fabric so it doesn't stretch when you're working with it. Gives a nice crisp edge for sewing. Crumb blocks are just lovely with a little spritz of starch- smooth and flat. Sewing curves is a cinch once you spray the fabric first. I love the fresh linen scented starch, best, that and the lavender. OK, the lemon is nice, too. Haven't tried it? It's cheap and I think you'll like it!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

New front door...

Nothing fancy, but Sandy wanted to see it. They had a fancier one, but I didn't think that it would match the more humble aspects of the house. Notice I have no doorknob- something we keep forgetting to pick up at the hardware store! The electric is run and the insulation is in, progress, progress. Movin' forward.

The little baby quilt is finished. I just threw the blocks in with some of my vinage fabs. I think it turned out sweet and very old fashioned. Working on another one that Sandy embroidered with her fancy machine. I spent the day with her, yesterday. She loaded me down with new projects- her old ones that she was tired of and I am thrilled to have! There is a fall colored 9-patch, the baby blocks, a stack of dresden plates, and some redwork snowmen! What a windfall! I have company coming next week so I need to try and set those aside and concentrate on the housecleaning. But then again, what's the point of cleaning too much in advance? The kids will just mess it up... see how easy that little justification was? sigh. I'm hopeless.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Enjoying Autumn...

sewed up a little backdrop for my old birdhouses. That was Sandy's idea. She is always making more work for me. OK, you know me, it isn't work to get to play out in the quilting room with the pretty colors of autumn. Now, I am commiting to make one for each season. Hmmmm wonder what colors I'll use for winter? Maybe plaids in flannel in a bearpaw pattern... or icy colors of pale blue and lavender... see? It's a sickness!

Been sewing curves...

using up some of my repro stash. Made a little baby quilt- I'll see if I can't get a picture of it in the next couple days. It turned out very sweet and old timey. And that's a good thing in my book. Who's it for? I'm trying to make the nursery at the church building more...welcoming. For someone else to use. Been there, done that.

Been smiling...

This bright green just makes me smile. It's just a pokey ole hallway- to the quiltingroom and guest quarters, but now it has plenty of personality of it's own! Need to trim the doors and openings... But that can wait. In the meantime, you'll find me peeping around the corner to see if it's really as green as I thought it was.... yep, green!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Woodlot at Dawn...

a picture for Darcie. She loves skyscapes. Especially the dawn ones. Isn't the hoar frost pretty? The corn is getting cut this evening and then it will feel so naked out here on the prairie.

Isn't that the sweetest bag?

Sweet Darcie strikes again! She sewed me up this adorable project bag and it was filled with crocet thread. The bag is completely reversable and just so darIing. It has really inspired me to finish a few started crochet projects- like this little table runner. I just love this bag!! I have made two of them, myself- nothing like an example to hold in your hands to use as a pattern! They aren't as pretty as Darcie's(I made mine from vintage fabrics) but the recipients were in as much raptures as I was over mine.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sandlyn's Gameface...
~a fabric copy of a painting. I wish I had a picture of the original, but you will have to take my word for it- it looks very similiar. I couldn't figure out how to snag the picture from photobucket- I am so technology challenged! This is one of the wallhangings I quilted up last week. Told you I was doing something quilty! I just didn't want to unveil it until it was in the rightful owner's hands!
The original artwork was painted by a sweet little girl named Sandlyn, the daughter of a childhood friend of mine. She has spent a lot of days, weeks, months in hospital. This picture was painted during one of her more recent recoveries and I loved the big ole smiley face in the middle. The color blocking was what drew me to it- all quilters would notice that first. You all know how much I like to translate childrens' artwork into fabric, but as I pieced and sewed and appliqued, I found that under the smiles there is a lot of... well, maybe knowing more about pain than anyone should. Certainly more than any child should. Breaks your heart, huh? So if you'd lift up a prayer for her, I know she could use them.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

October days...

I love October! The days are cool and fulll of warm sunshine and the nights are nippy and that makes for great snuggling under the quilts! The gardening is a thing of the past and the holidays are far enough away to not throw me into a tizzy. All's calm and sweet.

I have a dining room that is being built- I can hardly wait until it's done, but I am loving the sound of hammering and sawing- all these things mark progress. The dining room will be a monster in size- 17'x28'- now that is big enough for at least 3 dining tables! I'm gonna throw me a bunch of parties! Doesn't that sound like fun?

I have been sewing a lot and making myself scarce around the construction zone- that way, every few hours I can come out and ohhh and ahhh over all their progress!There are walls and windows- still needing a door, but we have it all roofed. Today is quiet, my sweet William is at work, and will be picking up insulation so the boys can make progress without the foreman.

I have quilted another quilt for my bed- even have the binding on already! I'd take a picture of it, but then you'd see my cluttered bedroom...I've quilted a few different projects, actually. Wallhangings and table toppers and such. And then I've been sewing on a few different things- a valance for the livingroom, out of scraps of the pink and black quilt- which I'd take a picture to show you, but then you'd see my dirty windows. What a dilemma... My Aunt Isobel is always asking how I get all this sewing done- well, I'm not washing my windows...or decluttering my bedroom... I will, I will... just not today.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I've been working on my applique- I still am not very good at it, but I kinda enjoy it- in moderation. (I got this "pattern" from an old magazine, McCall's Quilting, April, 2004. Flower Bed by Michelle Scott) I just think it is the sweetest little block- I added some old vintage fabric to the border and even though it's unexpected, I think it still works. I don't think I'll be doing a whole quilt in applique- any time soon. Seems like there are more and more applique patterns in the quilting magazines. Maybe that is the result of the newer, fancy, sewing machines. It is a lot easier than it used to be. I have a queen sized quilt on the frame now, and then I'll be quilting up this sweet baby and another child art quilt. My sweet William bought me 40 yards of cotton batting(my favorite) yesterday. Ahhh... that should tide me over for a while.

Oh, I've been intending to mention my opinion of Warm Co.'s newer batting called Warm and Bond. I wasn't impressed. Stiff stuff- I mean really stiff- I've washed it once and still it's, yep, stiff. I'll not be buying any of that again.

Hope everyone has a grand day. My 5th son has a Birthday, today, so I'll be taking him to lunch and then cooking up a Mexican feast for dinner. Happy 12th birthday John!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Waste not, want not...
So I had all of these tiny little slivers of fabric left from trimming my HST... just a little pile of fluff, really. But they made me smile and I wanted to share that feeling. So I ironed them onto a piece of pellon, stitched my way across it- zigzaging this way and that until I felt they were secure and then cut out hearts and appliqued them down on a postcard. How easy and so sweet! So now I'm sharing the smile with you!
BTW, guess who finally picked up DSL??? I am so happy. What fun this is- to click, click, click, type a minute and click again. Post done. Used to take me 45 minutes, now takes me five. And I can visit all my blog friends in about 5 minutes instead of an hour. Technical question- now don't laugh. Some of you return a comment to me(on email) when I leave a comment on your blog. How do you do that? Thanks! Hope everyone had a great weekend and are ready to charge into the new week!

Friday, October 10, 2008

New project...

I need a new project like I need another hole in the head... But that doesn't keep me from starting something new. Nope. Sometimes ya just gotta do things in spite of yourself. I saw this pattern in the book, "40 Fabulous Quick-Cut Quilts" by Evelyn Sloppy. Yes, I might have used a pen name if I were her, but there's nothing sloppy about her book. Full of great scrappy quilts. This quilt is made from a simple 9-patch(w/2 HST), just twisted and turned about. And it is soooo easy. One of those mindless day projects. OK, I might have a whole lot more days like that than the average bear... quit your pickin' on me. At any rate, I am using my reproduction fabrics and I am loving the bubble gum pink with the red and black.

Different color way. I made this blue and brown one for a curtain/cover to the porch door window in my bedroom.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Ain't it a blast? I actually finished the tied-dyed quilt! Quilted and bound. It's in the dryer now- trying to make it softer- that "Warm and Bond" was so stiff, that puppy could have stood in the corner all by itself! Thanks to Grant for dying it for me, I finally have a queen size quilt for my bed! We used to have a king bed, but that was just a ridiculous waste of space, so we scaled down to a queen- but all I had was king-sized quilts. No problem? Oh, yeah, it really was. The things were so big, they kept sliding off the side of the bed. Of course, this quilt is a bit loud for my tranquilt blue and brown bedroom, but I love it just the same. Oooo... wouldn't a blue and brown tie-dyed be cool?
The little table runner is for my dresser. I had some civil war repro fab that was callin' to me. It wasn't enough to do much with- just a few fat quarters, so I added a touch of hand-dyed blue and made a few blocks just for the fun of it. Then I practiced my Mactavish and my Stitch-in-the-ditch on it- still need a whole lot more practice, but it's just for me and hey, who are we kidding? It'll be covered in clutter shortly, anyway! hope everybody is making some kind of progress, today!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

baby hold on to me...

the future is ours to see...whatever will be will be... so baby hold on to me...

Don't I just look giddy in this picture? Is it because I am with my baby? Well, yeah! But also because I survived the "Island in the Sky" trail!! Shew! Note to self- if a West Virginia trail has the word "sky" in it, expect a vertical climb!! But the lovely breeze at the top made it all worth while.

Went out with Sandy, yesterday- spent the whole day having a blast with no schedule or purpose! We had breakfast and then we were the first through the doors at the local quilt guild show. Here's my loot- sorry the picture isn't better. I found some sweet repro fat quarters and I am still collecting red and white- I have no idea why- I have more than enough for my redwork quilt! Just a habit, I suppose. And I also guess that I could make two quilts... The "jingle" is a panel for the holidays- there are six other blocks. I might piece some stars to go with it- fast and easy. I bought a batik just because it didn't seem right not to. My favorite thing that I picked up is my "Little Bits" pattern for 15 tiny little 2" blocks- Called Lynn's pins. Guess what I am hoping to make as gifts, this year? There are enough paper patterns to make 45 blocks. So I hope to make some pins, but thought that they would also make a great "mini."

The tied-dyed, whole cloth quilt that my loot is sitting on is my new quilting project. My cousin dyed it for me last summer and I finally am getting around to quilting it. I was all out of cotton batting so I bought a Warm batting called Warm and Bond- odd stuff. Stiff and has a scratchy hand to it- but we'll see how it washes up. I'll let ya know. It was on sale so I thought I'd give it a try. I am quilting a flame meander on it- starting out tiny in the center of the design and getting larger as it moves out. Not so simple for me to remember where I am, but I'm moving right along.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Had a wonderful time...

Can ya tell? The water wasn't too cold, and while you couldn't have stood to swim in it at this time of year, it felt quite refreshing on the tootsies. Our cabin was just a little bit up the bank. All day and all night, you could hear the water as it splashed it's way down the mountain. Today, I noticed that the wind rustling through the corn, all copper and dried, sounds just like Glade Creek. Isn't that cool? Whoda thunk?

Bill and I stayed two nights in the cabin(Babcock State Park) and then we mosied up the road to visit with dear friends and pick up Daniel. Bill is always happiest when he has a tool in his hand, so he, with some help, built a very nice deck for our friends. I had a relaxing time of it, sitting in a lawn chair and offering a very lightweight hand now and then. Bill, Daniel, and Alan had some manly bonding- hope I didn't get in the way, too much.

After a few days there, we made it back to the farm, and we were happy to see that the kids hadn't done Grandmother or Grandfather in! Listen, just feeding 7 more people is a huge job for anyone! No one seemed the worse for wear and I think we all had an equally good time. Grandfather had lots of help with the chores and Grandmother had a very appreciative crew at the dinner table- especially the bread pudding!

Now that we are home, I am slowing trying to move in the direction of some sort of order. I am wondering if I'm catching a cold or if the cut soybeans are the culprit. I've actually dusted off the sewing machine and the quilting machine- how cool is that? I have sewed a few blocks just for the fun of it and I have a quilt loaded on the rack- ready for the batting that I need to run out and pick up. I like to put all of my running into one day, how about you? I just hate to ruin a perfectly good day at home with an errand- maybe I just hate to take my apron off... At any rate, I'm having breakfast with Sandy in the morning, cold or not, and then we are going to a small guild quilt show and then, I'll run my errands so I can stay put for another week! It was a wonderful vacation, but as ever, it's good to be home.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hi friends!!

Sorry I have had such a difficult time posting with regularity, lately. I have been busy. Honest. Like my "new" quilt? Isn't it unique? My friend Kelli acquired it in Sisters, OR. The backing is a sweet pink and it is all hand-quilted. The batting is some super thick cotton. I just thought the applique is fun, if a tad unusual. I'll try to get a bigger picture of the quilt, soon. Kelli also sent me another winning quilt that I can't wait to show you, but that might need to wait until I get back from our anniversary.

We had planned to go to ND to see Darcie and watch some races, but then we had to change that as we didn't have enough time to make the trip. So... we are going back for a couple days to the place where we had our honeymoon in WV. The kids are staying with my folks and we are also planning on picking up Daniel while we are in the same state. Next week, my whole family will be back together! sigh. I can't wait. So... I'll be seeing you in a week or so.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Just couldn't resist...

posting this picture. They are so sweet and can't you just see how happy they are? Sigh. Joe was here for one week and then he had to go back to Alabama(Laurie Anne) for a week- only a week, as he promised his little sisters. We actually swapped out- I have her baby sister for the week. fair enough trade.

We have made 10+ gallons of applesauce, this morning. Might make some apple butter from some of it. We have been playing, otherwise. You believe that? Well, the kids have, anyway. They had a bonfire late last night. This morning, after the first 8 gallons of apple sauce, we took a break and I whipped up some funnel cakes- Sarah Fran- my neice, had never heard of them. Isn't that sad? She is now a big fan- especially with honey. What's not to like?

I did get a wallhanging quilted and bound. A small job. But now I am back to the stove to finish up the applesauce. Everybody have a great day!

Thursday, September 04, 2008


all around. So sorry I have been "incognito." Canning season really does a number on the creative side of my brain- not to mention the worn out body I'm wearing these days. I'd guess that we are approaching 300 quarts of various garden goods- and they will be good this winter, I'm sure. Gotta keep that in mind when you are just too tired to stand!

That "falloween" quilt was my last bit of sewing. I did piece, quilt and bind it- that's got to count for something! I closed up the machine and it's stayed closed as I had company and canning. Guess which one was more fun? I finished this HUGE doily a week or so ago and I've been too tired to do more than a row or two on other crochet projects. That's when you know you're tired, when you can't keep your eyes open to crochet. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, though. Applesauce and apple butter and then, really, I'm done. really.

Friday, August 29, 2008


Julia, I canned about 8 gallons of tomatoes, yesterday. My sis-in-law pitched in and helped...ooops, I think that was supposed to be our little secret. She doesn't want the word out that she can do manual labor- some one else might put her to work, too. Ah well, that was the risk she took- working with me! Anywho, I gave a couple gallons away because I was just too tired to deal with them. So, in a nutshell, this is how I can them.

  1. I blanch them in boiling water and then plunge them in cold water. The peels just fall off- the coolest thing.
  2. Roma tomatoes just need the stem end cut off- larger tomatoes I cut in half.
  3. I stuff the tomatoes in the jars- until there is about a 1/2" headspace. No water added- just let the juices fill the jar.
  4. My fruit is very ripe, so I add 1 t. of lemon juice for more acid.
  5. Hot water bath.

I have always wanted to make salsa and such, but it just seems like I can't find the time. Imagine that. Blue Book is better at explaining it all than me, I'm sure. And I figure you might have elevation issues, huh?

No sewing. my boy is coming home, tonight. Can hardly wait!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Blue Skies...
shinin' on me. Nothing but blue skies can I see... Well, that and a great big garden. Been up to our elbows in produce from the garden and apple trees(it's too humble to be called an orchard.) But my, the apples it has produced! We have canned 100 quarts of apple pie filling! And there are still plenty of apples on the tree. But reason says that there will be no more room for all the jars I am accumulating! Still I march on, canning like there will be 7 years of famine. Feel like Joseph and his time in Egypt! Aunt isobel asked where I put all the jars- good question. When I figure it out, I'll let you know. I have shelves in my laundry room. Shelves in the kitchen. Maybe I'll put a few dozen jars under my bed. The master bath closet has some extra shelves...The cellar might be an option... but it is damp down there... It's a challenge, to be sure.
Monday we canned 98 quarts of apple pie filling and green beans. I have officially called an end to the apple pie filling- now I am giving apples away. Wished you lived closer. These are great apples- no worms and beautifully large. My posse joined me for the day- Teresa, Rose, and SarahFran. They were so much fun to can with- to do anything with, actually. We cranked up Patsy Cline and were all swaying to the music...I go out walking, after midnight.... We had an absolute blast. But wow! I was completely whipped by 10pm when I took the last canner out!
That is the back of sweet Bekah's head. She flies through her rows of green beans- she loves canning. Yesterday she picked a bushel and almost singlehandedly snapped them all- with some help from Eva. She just scoots along the row and all I see is the back of her head as she moves faster than me! There will be a lot more green beans to can and tomatoes too. Julia, I'll try to post about canning tomatoes in the next few days, K? back to the kitchen...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Finished and feelin' fine...
About the spider- he's too cute to weird me out. Sweet Bill wants him for his store, so I guess the quilt is going on tour! I had a good time making this little quilt- it was just a lot of silly fun. I used up almost all of my scraps for the "border" and backing and that's the last of a green(binding)- that I've had for three years and has found it's way into many a project.
Now, it's back to earth. More apples and corn and green beans to can. Maybe a canner or two of tomatoes. And I have company coming so the house needs a brush up. The sewing will have to take a back seat. All for a good cause- food for the winter and great company.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

So far...

so good. This is the center of my fall-o-ween quilt. I love quilts with words on them. I have been working on some pumpkins and such for a wide border- growing it to a bigger size. Who knows, I might even throw in a spider- feeling brave, huh? I am determined to use up all the feature fabric as it isn't really anything I'll use much in the future. Guess I'll be piecing the back.

We've been busy trying to get some canning in, this week. Still so much to do. My back aches just thinking about it. But I'll be very happy this winter when we need a summer-day treat. I tend to only plant what we will freeze or can- like tomatoes, green beans, and corn. The apples are plentiful. It's been a good growing season, this year- if a bit late, in harvesting. I've been caught sewing when I should be canning...

My oldest boys have been gone for about a month now- vacationing on their own. One in Alabama and one in West Virginia. We are missing them, especially with so much work to do... but also, just their lovely company. Bekah(7yr) talked on the phone to her big brother Joe(18yr) for about 45 minutes, today. I figured that if he wanted to cut it short, he could have, but he seemed to enjoy the chat as much as she did. He'll be headed home next weekend. Dan(17yr) will probably be gone another month. sigh. We sure do miss him, but I hear he is having a blast fishing, swimming, cake tasting, and studying.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Fall-o-ween quilt colors- plus one block. I am trying to become more proficient at applique, and I'm learning as I go. I checked my perfectionism at the door and just forged through. Being a perfectionist can really squelch creativity. And who needs that? I am still trying to figure out how to get around curves. I'll get plenty of practice with the words, creepy and spooky! The pattern I'm using is from the American Patchwork and Quilting magazine(Linda Lum Debono,Oct 2008.) I couldn't resist the candy corn applique on it! It's a little on the small side- just a wallhanging, but I'm thinking I can add a few pumpkins and some more checkerboard and grow it to a throw size. There was a pattern in the mag that was more to my liking- plaid flying geese and big fat pumpkins in yummy earthy tones, but the kids won the vote and they are getting bright and bold. It'll be cheerful, for sure!

Monday, August 18, 2008

good to be green...
I had a pretty good Monday. Got up bright and early for a Dr. appointment in Indy. Made time to sew a little bit before we left. Big Grin- yes, I will get up an hour earlier than I have to, if it provides me with an extra hour of sewing machine time. Bill always goes with me- I can't decide if he is just afraid I might bolt and spend the morning at the lqs (and for the record, its a reasonable suspicion on his part), or if he just enjoys my company. I know for a fact that it's a lot more pleasant with him along. I slept the entire trip. What's not to love about that? Admittedly, not very entertaining for sweet Bill, but he said that my sleeping allowed him the opportunity to listen to sports radio and take a gander at the newspaper- a practice I freak out over. My Dr's name is Dolly. She is a sweet lady and always very good to me- and still I dread seeing her. My need to please is a lot of the pressure, I'm sure. Had great results of a couple tests. My cholesterol was down 200 points. Booyah! Blood glucose was down. Just had a good visit- which is always a pleasant, if seldom, experience. Plus she gives me lots of med samples. Makes me feel like I've been to the diabetic candy store when I'm all loaded down with free insulin!
Bill...ya know, there's just no nice way of saying it...killed, slaughtered, butchered, put to rest... a few of our broilers. Bekah about had a melt down when one of them came running at her sans head- she thought it was going to follow her all the way to the house, like it could find the house without it's head!! She made it safely indoors and stayed put until she was sure the coast was clear.
The mantis was Jacob's beloved pet. He was a sweet critter, but he ran away. One of his little brothers forgot to put the lid back on the terrainium. They are very smart and you can even teach them to recognize your voice and do tricks. So Jacob is feeling blue and missing him. Looking for a new one- at least it doesn't have eight legs- I don't "do" spiders.
The green doily is just a sweet one that I made and gave my niece, Rosemary. She is such a dear. She and my other niece, Sarah, have been a huge help to me as I am trying to get the bounty of the garden and apple trees into storage. I'll have to dig the felted wool out for a project for Sarah- she is the queen of crafty! Maybe I'll make her a cute little drawstring bag for her knitting projects.
Getting ready to start a Halloween quilt- a first. I am going to have fun stuff on it- no witches or devils- just pumpkins and maybe a bat or two. Going batty! I'll be talking to ya soon!