Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Good Clean Fun...

What fun we have been having! The kids and I have had art class, yesterday. We saw this on facebook somewhere- sorry, I couldn't find the link- and loved the look of it. It just sounded like a lot of fun! Fabric dying at it's most basic- and cleanest- level.

You take a large mouth vase- the type you get a dozen roses in- and strecth some cotton fabric over it- hold in place with a rubber band or in our case, a hair band. Then you take some Sharpie markers, yes the permanant kind, and make rings of dots. Then you drip a few drops of rubbing alchohol in the center of the dots with a cotton swab and watch it work. They spread out into a lovely kaliedescope of colors- blending and merging into a ring. How cool is that? And then, of course we had to do something with them- made a dozen fast postcards- just cut then out, the kids glue sticked them onto fabric and I machine appliqued them down. Ta-da! A fast, easy, clean, cheap, fun little project.

Monday, August 30, 2010

More scrappy blocks...

I love this blue block. Yes, I know, I don't usually "do" blue. But this scrappy one I love. Can't say why, just do. I am having fun going through the "Around the Block" by Judy Hopkins... just picking out 12" blocks and trying the pattern- correcting some. (Sorry Judy- but, honestly, the only mistakes I have found after making about 75 different blocks are the quantity of pieces- and if you look at the pictures, you can figure that out.) I think this block would be great set with other blocks just like it in the same colors. I do like a blue and white quilt.

I have two more blocks to go and then I will have enough to sit in the closet(Not me silly, the blocks!)...until I get around to setting them. Need a medalliaon for the middle of the quilt. And I also need setting fabric- plenty, as I plan on setting the blocks on point... after coping strips. I've been using only scraps from the scrap drawer- lots of fun to use up some of the surplus.

Have any big plans for the week? My friend, Kathy, is coming over with a quilt for me to quilt- haven't quilted in nearly a month so this should be fun. Hope I haven't lost whatever I had. Really need to clean the quilting room- it has fallen into a state of confusion while I have been playing. That's life. I think the second apple tree is ready to give up her fruit and apple sauce is ready to be made. And then I plan on visiting my friend Sandy. Can hardly wait. Hope you have a great week!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Something quilty at last...

I know, I know, Joe, you've been waiting with bated breath for me to post a quilt. You just have to be patient with these things.

This is one of the challenges that Sandy got me into. She is such a slave driver. Applique. Blech. But the end result will be worth it. the end result will be worth it. the end result will be worth it. Figure if I say it over and over, I'll believe it. Shew. Now "all" I need to do is the machine applique. The ribbon on the wreath and the wreath is done... now a gajillion flowers. and holly leaves. Lots of holly leaves. Need to purchase some matching thread. Of course the project was supposed to be in more traditional colors and fabrics. I like batik and that's what I had, so... yep that's what I used. Batik in reds are hard to come by so I used a lot of rust and hot pink and I think they blended into a nice reddish hue. Oh OK, there's some orange and purple in there. But they made me smile and that's about all it takes for me to put something in a quilt. (Noble Needle quilting and Sewing, Yultide Ribbon Wreath, Catalog Item NNQ-68.)

There you go, Joe. Something of interest to you. I never seem to make pretty pies anymore, but they are mighty tasty.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Caught them!

They do like to read. Especially Bekah- her lips move when she reads- so cute. Abe is a big fan of Richard Scarry- some of my kids liked him and others...eh, they just didn't get it. Abe definitely gets it. John likes good adventure. And Eva likes something scary. My Mom recently cleaned out her basement- with my sister's help. Yes, she has always been the good daughter. giggle. I do OK. Anyway, Mom sent me several boxes full of books from when I was a kid. A looooooong time ago. Bekah especially is snarfing them up- even reading old textbooks. I don't let her know that, as I figure as long as she is entertained, it's all good. Another thing about them- they are like little puppies all piled together. They like to line the love seat- not the couch- with a minkee and then use the other minkee as a blanket. All squished together. Makes me sweaty just thinking about it, but its how they like it done. And they're quiet and they're still... amazing.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mummy , it's yummy!
That's Abe's opinion, anyway. How could one mind spending hours in the kitchen with such a happy, helpful crew? We canned 40 quarts of apple pie filling, today. One of them exploded upon removal from the canner- long story. Suffice to say, no one was hurt and we had a very tasty snack with a pie crust rolled out and baked on a cookie sheet. We even had whipped cream. Yes, it was yummy. John and Abe were the main apple pickers- we are so thankful to have our own trees, Bekah washed the jars- she has the smallest hands, and Eva peeled and peeled and peeled. (Yes, Grandfather, she has a bad rash that has migrated to her eye. Poor thing!) The nifty new apple peeler Bill bought is replacing my old one- which I loved, but this one has a swivel head on it and even slices and cores it for you. All I had to do was make the syrup and pack the jars. $15 well spent. And the helpers were all you could ever hope for. So... apple pie? Apple crisp? I think we have that covered for the winter.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Something entertaining for Joe. It doesn't take much to entertain.... Paul really went after Grandfather's green beans. It was so sweet of Grandfather to pick them for us. We cooked a big ole pot and they lasted about 15 minutes. Big hit around here.
John had a plan... keep Abe quiet for 2 whole minutes. Quite the challenge. He had him meditating. It was pretty cute, not to mention such a rare occurance. Abe still and quiet.
There is more salsa to make and apples to can- apple pie filling. The weather has turned hot again and I am having a difficult time getting the children to brave the heat and the misquitos to climb apple trees and pick some apples. Maybe tomorrow. Bright and early. Big plans on a Friday evenng that may not last to Saturday morning. sigh.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Summer Heat...
Hasn't it been a hot summer? Good for my dad's tomatoes. I have had several tomato sandwiches a day for the past two weeks! Time to stop as the bloom has definitely faded... The little ones and I made salsa- does that get hotter as it sets in the jar? I thought I made a very mild batch but upon opening a jar...ouch. a tad hot. still yummy.
Took John to the free fair while all the other children were out of town. Child #5 sometimes falls in the middle and we had a great time with him. He and his Dad had a great time riding this particular ride- the Zipper. They enjoyed rocking the cage and would come off the ride dripping in sweat. We didn't stay too late at the fair- 90* at 9pm. shew. Stopped for a relaxing evening at McD's- great air conditioning.
I am making a sampler quilt from some of my stash. Need to use some of it up so that I can actually close the lids on my tubs! But I was at Sandy's, today. The last day of swimming in her pool. Anyway, that girl has some serious yardage! I have to tease her about it because we found the pattern she has been looking for- for a week- in the recipe cupboard! But hey, at least we found it! My sewing time has been spent on Bible flashcards. Almost done with a set. Already have a buyer.
Daniel- son #2- is coming home for the night. It was his birthday earlier this week. We'll be having an Apple Crisp to celebrate. Better get to it. Hope everyone is having a good week.

Monday, August 16, 2010

While the children are away...

the quilter will play. The children had a wonderful week at Grandmother and Grandfather's. I have been regaled with many a story of their time in the mountains and I am sure there will be many more stories to come. Abe is happy to be home. I think he missed his Mama. 6 years old and the baby of the house. Might need to do something about that. No, no more babies! How could you even go there? Just encourage the 6 year old to act thus. The girls seem happy to be home too, even if they do miss "the forest." And "the food." Grandmother is a better cook than I. And certainly a more prolific one.
I went to the Appleseed Quilt show in Ft. Wayne with Sandy and her friend Marsha and found some yummies. Sandy and I also hit a couple quilt shops on our way back through Ohio- it took us about 9 hours to make a 3 hour trip- had to stop and eat a couple times and then there were the quilt shops... you guys understand. So now my stash is enhanced with blues and earthtones. I need to get busy sewing because all of my tubs are overflowing. What a predicament.
I bought a little punch needle pattern and whipped up a tiny hen- think my loops are a tad long and that this isn't so much a hobby to which I could get addicted. And what's the point of having a hobby if I can't be addicted to it? Explains the whole quilting/sewing/crocheting tennis elbow thing. Lots of repetitive motion. The punch needle had that going for it, but it lacked room for...finesse. I bet John will enjoy it- I could always pass that hobby onto him. What's a mother for?

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Funny thing...

How does a little band of velcro keep your entire arm from hurting? And how could I have tennis elbow when I haven't played tennis in 20 years? Nice to know why my arm has been hurting so much over the past month. Getting laundry out of the washer was almost impossible and even lifting my iced tea glass was uncomfortable. Sweet William was the one who thought of it- he has had it himself a time or two. Maybe I am crocheting too much. I certainly can't blame quilting as I have been doing very little of that. But I am certainly glad for the relief that a band of velcro affords- even if it is a tad scratchy.

Made some chocolate fried pies, this morning. Thought of my dear friend Donna. They weren't half bad even if I did use canned biscuits for the crust. The kids inhaled them and have made requests for another batch in the near future.

The little ones are getting ready for a grand adventure. Spending a week at Grandmother and Grandfather's. They have been packed for nearly a week- Abe packed his "Drifters" CD- so he can sing Stand By Me to grandmother. I don't know how we will get by without them, but it will be an adventure for us, also.

Thursday, August 05, 2010


A little simplicity can go a long way. I am usually the type that lives by the motto- "MORE IS MORE." But lately I have been down sizing and going with the "less is more" theory. I saw the "small change" quilt over at Julie's site- http://www.barnquilter.blogspot.com/ and I had this stack of little strips that I had mistakenly cut for a log cabin block. It always helps if you read the directions. Anyway, I had this stack of 2"x3.5" strips... made a cute wallhanging. Eva liked it so much she made a longer version for a table runner for a wedding present for her cousin. Wish I had gotten a picture of it, it was so sweet. Anyway, I was inspired by Keryn over in Australia www.artfulsister.blogspot.com to try to make a feather filler with no filler- no bouncing or curlycues- just feathers. Hers were amazing- mine are pretty pathetic by comparison- but one has to start somewhere. I about got it figured out as I was finishing Eva's! Still needs lots of work, but it was fun trying something new.

The table runner is made from my modern Asian fabrics. I fussy cut the center flowers, but just made all the blocks alike- in two colors- the orange and the aqua. I did a diagonal stripe in the quilting- not too regular. And it looks nice on the buffet.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Had a surprise visitor, yesterday...

My brother! David flew in during his trip home- to Georgia from Wisconsin. There is a little airstrip in the middle of a cornfield just a couple miles down the road. Of couse,everythig is in the middle of a cornfield in this part of the state. Including our home. It doesn't look too bad from a distance! It was a big thrill for all of us to get to see him flying overhead- "What's that noise?" He spent the night with us and we got to see him lift off and head on South. A very pleasant surprise.

Monday, August 02, 2010

A is for Alabama...

This is the first block in the 50 Fabulous Paper-Pieced Stars... next is Alaska. I had to do the Alabama star as I have a son and daughter there- blubbered just a bit. But ya know, I think I'd rather work on my Dear Jane blocks. Paper piecing is a bit tedious for me and I enjoy it on a smaller scale. These stars are 12"- you could small'in 'em down, but nah. I think they'll go to the back burner for a while and I'll pull out the DJ. I made this star with my hand dyed fabric. Always fun, but I am just not lovin' it- maybe it is the black. I might switch to navy. Maybe. I am in more of a cleaning mood and I reckon I better strike while the iron is hot as that rarely happens. House work over sewing? Well ya know, it must be bad! See ya on the flip side!