Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas Tree Shopping

We have a tradition in our family.  We put up our tree around my birthday, December 16th.  My mother did that when I was small to keep one from running into the other.  In the early days of our marriage we live in a 1968 house trailer - i.e. no room.  I also attended college and waiting until that date prevented additional stress for semester's end.  We also get a real tree.

We have had some doozies.  There was the year we didn't get a tree until December 23rd.  (Hubby swears it was December 24 but it was not!)  That tree made the Charlie Brown tree look like the Rockefeller Center's.  Another year someone told my husband about someone local that had nice trees, cheap.  That one smelled like pond water.  I spent the entire season spraying it with pine scented air freshener.

Our best tree ever was 1997.  That was the first Christmas in our new (current) house.  After years of small trees we were ready to go all out.  The farm we had bought from for several years had one they had groomed for their daughter's sorority house.  That sucker was 14' tall and perfect.  Someone else had given the sorority a bigger tree.  It couldn't have been a better one because this one was the epitome of Christmas trees.

They sold it to us for some crazy low price.  We brought it home and it took my husband and our two oldest sons to set it up.  It is a bit of a trick to work around the beams in our living room.  It was gorgeous.  Every year I try to duplicate it and every year I fall short.

Today we got this year's tree.  It was crazy.  It is December 1!  I work the next two weekends, though.  So we bit the bullet.  It was 60°F!  Of course, the tree we picked was as far away from the barn as possible and too big for the sled.  There are no boys home to help set it up.  One 5'4" middle aged woman does NOT work as well as a couple of 6' teenage boys.  We got it done.

It is only ten feet tall but frankly, I don't think my husband and I can handle much taller by ourselves.  Now, to decorate this thing.

My house smells wonderful but I really worry about having it in here for a month.  I know people do it but we never have.

How is your Christmas decorating coming?

Merry Christmas!


Friday, November 30, 2012

Finish it Up Friday: November 30, 2012

Hello, all!  I am still sewing.  Been working a lot, too.

As if I needed something else to do, I signed up for a Row Robin on Quilting Board.  I chose My Sewing Room as my theme.  I thought about just cutting a bunch of random fabric and sewing it to a piece of fabric.  Or, a fabric bomb.  That is what it looks like right now.

This is what I actually did.

It is rather difficult to get a decent picture of a 60" row and I have discovered my new phone compresses them a little much for my taste when I send them to photobucket.  Yet another think I need to learn - how to get the pictures from the phone to the computer.

Okay, okay...I know.  No one is interested in my technical difficulties.

If you are interested in what the blocks represent, here we go.  Otherwise, scroll to the bottom and check out the Friday Finish linking parties.

The block on the right is a Jacob's ladder.  I have made a lot of those (since my name is Jacob) and should be better but what you see it what I got.  The fabric line is from Connecting Threads a couple of years ago.  The block beside it is some fabric from Robert Kaufman (I think!) that I found at an almost LQS.  Do I really need to count the two hour drive among friends?  I chose the fabric because - horror of horrors - I like to sew clothing.  It is what I grew up doing.  It is what my mom and grandmothers did.

I am old enough I took home ec in junior high.  We learned how to measure for clothing fit.

This is my pretty lady.  No, I don't look like that when I sew.  Apparently, she follows this directive that is supposedly from Singer.

I don't even own powder and lipstick and I sew barefooted.  But she is elegant looking.  I could use a little elegance added to my mess cage sewing room.

It's a little busy, huh?  I need work on those spool blocks.  I finally just gave up and went with what I had.  You will never notice it from a galloping horse.  I used various selvages on the spool.

And.....because I live in a log home and I love 30s repro fabrics.  I thought this block was fitting.

Now, how did that happen?  That picture was rotated 90° to the left when I copied the link.  Same difference.  Like my feet and the leaves on my deck?  I think the leaves are supposed to be cleaned up this weekend.  We live with woods on three sides of us.  We rarely have them all cleaned up.

What did you finish up this week? Nothing?  There is always next week.  In the mean time, check out these fine folks who are hosting linking parties.

Crazy Mom Quilts
Richard and Tanya Link a Finish Friday

Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Thanks for sticking through to the end!

Keep stitchin'!


Friday, November 16, 2012

EDITED: Happy Version: Baby Quilts and Cradle

Hello, all.  I am dipping my toe buck into the blogging waters.

That was this morning.  I swear to y'all, I am NOT depressed.  Both sides of my family are prone to extreme depression.  You know, the kind where you don't turn on the lights or open the curtains, wear the same clothes for three days and nights straight and eat bags of Cheetos with a side of cookie dough ice cream?  My family has this down to an art.  We can do this sort of thing for YEARS.

Not sure what happened but every time I sat down I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  I have also stopped sewing for about three weeks now. I think I mostly got myself exhausted.  As I have mentioned before, I work a rotating schedule.  I was doing something every day I was off.  My house is clean.  My lavender bed cut back.  My baby gifts made and my research at work is up to date - this has involved emails and phone calls on my off days with my manager.

 Have to start back to sewing and blogging today because I enjoy them.  So, starting with blogging.

First, back in October I gave this quilt to a co-worker for her first granddaughter.

I made this from fabric in my stash.  My husband bought me the pink a pack of fat eighths.  I had the rest "laying around".  I thought it looked a little too "old lady like" when I finished.  So, I added this cute jumbo rick rack.  I think that really sets it off.

I ended up sewing the rickrack around both edges because it curled so badly when I washed it.  I told the grandmother, "I don't make art or heirlooms.  I make throw over the baby carrier, into the car, onto the floor, let a toddler drag behind 'em" quilts.  But, the mom liked it so much she put it in the nursery to use.  What a compliment!  I backed it in scraps of flannel.  I think I used two shades of pink but I am not sure at this point and I didn't take any pictures of the back.  I was feeling artsy, though, and took an entire series on my porch.

This is the finished Dr. Seuss quilt.  I still need to label it but because they aren't telling the baby's name, I didn't put the label on yet.  That entire name thing has gotten funny. They wanted to keep it a secret but started giving me clues - unasked.  Once they told me what it started with and how many letters I knew the name.  I had to wait until the next day to guess so I could come up with OTHER names to guess.  So, they told her mom.  We didn't tell people we knew.  When they found out at the showers, they got mad!  I still haven't told anyone.

 Probably after Thanksgiving I will label this.  It is still at my house right now and after T-giving none of the other kids should be home until the baby comes.  I really like how the striped binding turned out.  It is a big quilt but will be great for a toddler.

I had a different plan for quilting but my son asked, "Are you going to do the all over squiggly for the quilting?  I think that looks very Dr. Seuss like."  So, I did the all over squiggly.  I don't feel very comfortable with it but I think it looks okay.  I used a variegated Mettler thread.  Hmmm ....just realized I didn't photograph the back.  See that white with the rings on it in the upper center of the picture?  I used that in flannel on the back.

This is the big gift.  My husband built this cradle.  It is made from lumber from trees here at the farm.  He cut them, milled them and then made this cradle  - after letting the lumber dry several years.  He designed it himself based upon one his grandfather had made us.  Grandad worked in pine.  This is oak.  The platform is red oak and the frame portion is white oak.

My contribution was calculating the desired angles for everything for him and drawing out the curves.  He was having a hard time achieving the look he wanted .  I also made the fitted sheets - two - and a fitted mattress cover for it.  I made several blankets, quilts and other baby items, too.  Then her family had a baby shower and she got four more quilts from her great aunts.  This baby should NEVER be cold.

The cradle is a work of art, in my unbiased opinion.  The finish is as smooth as silk.  We still have the one Grandad made. It has my Raggedy Ann collection in it.  But M wanted to keep it here and figured the grands  can use it when they come to visit us and he will make each of the kids one.

Very unexciting post, huh? I tell you, all I seem to want to do is sleep right now.  Can't get caught up.  I worked nights the weekend of time change.  So, not only did I work 13 hours to cover the shift but I had to work over every night.  We also got no fewer than 6 phone calls per day about the election.  I think I am still trying to recover from that.  Trying to pull myself out of this cycle or it will be a LONG winter.

Today is the first day of deer camp at our house.  Indiana shotgun season started at 30 minutes before sunrise this morning. Hopefully, I will get some sewing done this weekend while the guys hunt.  Did I mention I have to complete a full size quilt by December 23 and I haven't started it?  It should go fast and be fun but I have other things to catch up on first.  Been in my sewing room this afternoon working on some of them.

Linking up with

Crazy Mom Quilts
Richard and Tanya Link a Finish Friday
Thank Goodness it's Finished
Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Please check out some of the projects and COMMENT.  We all love comments and questions.

Keep stitchin'!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Hello, again

Hello, all.  How have you been?  I missed you!  I have been very busy.  I will post some pictures later in the week.

Just wanted to say, I did draw for the Dr. Seuss giveaway and Deanna won!  If I don't hear from her by the end of the week I will draw again.

Thanks for all the nice comments.

This next part borders on potty humor.  So, stop if you have delicate sensibilities.

Still reading?  Okay, I am having a colonoscopy in about four hours.  If you have had one you know what I have been doing for the past day and a half.  If you have not, let me just say they want that thing EMPTY and washed clean before they go in.

People get disturbed by colonoscopies.  I tell you, it is no big deal.  I never remember anything about it.  The prep - that is another story.  This is my fifth one.  My dad has had colon cancer twice.  I had a problem in my mid 30s that prompted my first.  No cancer, but polyps.  Every time they find them I have to come back in three years.  Then, I had to complicate it by developing uterine sarcoma.  Doctors are REAL interested in what happens inside of me.  Seems someone is always scanning or probing me.  But, I digress.

It is amazing to me that my caller ID says my phone had not rung since Thursday until I started this prep.  All I have to do to get phone calls is take up residence in my bathroom. Last night at 7:00 p.m. I got called and asked to come to work.  It is a 30 minute drive.  At that point I couldn't even make the drive let alone work. Could I come in for just a little while?  Umm...NO!

Ten minutes ago I had just walked out of my current private lodging and the phone rang.  The dentist office had cancellations and would I come in today?  Ummm....NO!

Apparently, ingesting the equivalent of a month's worth of laxatives in 6 hours is what it takes to make my presence desirable.  I have been told I am full of s@#% on more than one occasion and this may prove it.

I really think I am at the point I would just prefer I go in, they knock me out and everyone do every test and exam they need to while I am there.  Then, I can wake up, EAT, and be done for 6 months or so.   I get really focused on getting to eat as soon as possible when this is done.  My husband says I am embarrassing and grumpy.  We negotiated food last night but I am changing my mind already.  When I got out of bed this morning I had lost 7lbs since yesterday morning.  Considering I am in my "ideal" weight range - okay, at the top of it but I am in it! - that is a considerable amount of weight.  No wonder I am hungry!

I also detest Gatorade.  I swear I won't drink it again until the next colonoscopy.  Cross your fingers that this one is clean and I get to go 5 years.  Then I would be in my 50s like normal people.

Back to my oasis.


p.s.  I grew up without indoor plumbing.  It is and always has been my favorite modern convenience.  In the past 24 hours I have thanked God multiple times for the gift of a heated bathroom with modern plumbing.  I love my porcelain!

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Friday Finish - FINALLY!

Hello, all!  I am so glad to finally have a Friday Finish.  I actually have a couple for this week and one I don't think I posted about from a couple of weeks ago.  Also....I am having a giveaway because yesterday I made my 100th post.  More about that in a bit.

Getting business out of the way first, I plan to link with

Amanda at Crazy Mom Quilts - Welcome back and thank you for hostessing!
Karen at Sew Many Ways - I am always looking for new friends and followers can win my giveaway
Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict - I may have let out a Whoop or two for today's finishes!
Richard and Tanya at Richard and Tanya Quilts - I am squeaking in on your giveaway.  Thank you!

So, my finishes.....I just peaked at Sarah's blog and I stink compared to that woman.  All I have done right now are tops - flimsies, some people call them - but I am celebrating after the "troubles I've known!"

First finish is an old one that I finally got a picture of.  We have had rain for several days and I am NOT complaining!  But it made pictures difficult in my house.  And, I do this alone.  So, my clothes line is a great help.

This is my Tetris top from Melissa's quilt along.  It is longer than my clotheslines are tall and I wanted the entire quilt.  I apologize if the picture gives you vertigo - it did me!

I think I am going to add the word "TETRIS" down one side and embroider on the other side. I thought I could put "High Score" and my name and date and put the recipient's name and her birthday as the score for the current player.

My next finish was earlier this week.  I had this one done a week ago but it would not lay flat.  So, I took all four borders back off and tried again.  The result is I lost four inches on each dimension.  Now it only measure 94"x110".  It is for my DIL and as I crawled all over the floor muttering, measuring and cursing my son asked me if it was for his wife.  When I told him yes he said, "Mom, it is good enough for who it is for.  We will love it.  Stop killing yourself over a half inch."  So, not perfect but....

There are two more rows of blocks I couldn't show.  I don't know why that blue photographs like that but it looks fine in person.

Photography does odd things.  The star and the first light fabric have the same design in them the "odd" blue does.  I am so glad to finish this.  I keep calling it "The Albatross" but it will be called Sarah's star when it is labeled.

My finish today is my Dr. Seuss quilt I mentioned yesterday.  This morning it was NOT going well.

I had it pieced but now hated the green.  So.....I cut off all I could.  Then I started adding borders.

MUCH better.  I was worried I was going to have to trash it for a while.  I am sick to death of borders right now.  I was so worried after the Albatross that I measured everyone of them about 14 times.

As I mentioned yesterday, these are the fabrics in my giveaway.  You will get a minimum of a fat eighth of all (including the two fabrics I didn't use in the quilt) except the Lorax fabric.  I had a cutting error and I don't have a full fat eighth remaining.  You need to be a follower and leave a comment.  I won't be drawing until after the baby shower on Oct 20.  Good luck!

This was my photographer's assistant today.

Doesn't she look pitiful?  Her name is Bonnie.  She is an English Shepherd.  We went to the vet yesterday because she has a hot spot on her neck and chest.  Hopefully the steroid shot will help.  Hasn't slowed her down any.  She is 56 pounds of mole catching, tennis ball chasing energy.  That mole catching is great but the holes not so much!

Thanks for wading through my monstrous post!

Keep Stitchin'!


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Taco Soup, Cabbage Soup and 100th post Give Away

I have delayed this post because I wanted it to be something special.  I finally had to give up.  I had suggested to Karen over at Sew Many Ways she have a soup linking party and she did but I had not posted my Taco Soup recipe.    So, this is a two fold post.  I am posting two recipes and linking up to Karen but I am also announcing a giveaway.  Recipes first.

Taco Soup

Souper easy recipe that is quick and hits the spot on a cool evening.

1 lb ground beef browned
1 small chopped onion (I sometimes use dried onions)
1 package taco seasoning
1 14 oz can of corn
1 14 oz can of red beans
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 14 oz can of tomato sauce

Brown hamburger with onion.  Drain. Stir in taco seasoning.  Dump in all cans UNDRAINED.  Heat to a gentle boil and simmer 15 minutes.  Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, and whatever other fresh items you like.  I always want green peppers and often use olives, too.

This can be "heated up" a bit by using tomatoes and green chilies in place of the diced tomatoes.  

I made a huge pot last month and canned it.

The jar on the left is ham and beans I also canned.  I have a son in college that really appreciates canned meals.

The other recipe I want to share is for Cabbage Soup.  I don't like cooked cabbage but I really like this soup.

Cabbage Soup

1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1/2 head of cabbage, chopped
1 14 oz can kidney beans, undrained
2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes,
2 cans water
4 beef bouillon cubes

Mix all ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer 1 hour.

Okay, enough with the food already.  I am having a give away.  I mentioned a couple months ago I am going to be a grandmother.  In preparation for that I bought Dr. Seuss fabric.  Way too much.  So....guess what my give away is!

I am giving away at least a fat eighth of each of these fabrics.  Well, except for the Lorax.  I had a cutting error and I don't have a full fat eighth.  This give away may increase but that is where it is starting.  The baby shower is October 20th and I will ship it on Oct 27 (have to work the regular job to pay for this habit!).  So, sign up by leaving a comment on this post.  There will be more opportunities to sign up between now and the shower.

I want to thank those of you that read (stalk the stats to see if someone actually does!) and particularly those that comment.  I am a talker - it is genetic - but sometimes find it difficult to commit the time to make these posts.  Hopefully I am back on an upswing with them.  I was really down about not progressing on my projects but will have some pictures tomorrow - if it doesn't rain!!!  I have a lot of problems getting decent pictures in here and I never remember until after dark.

Thanks again for all your support.

Keep stitchin' or stirrin'!


Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Soup Kitchen

Hello, all!  Sorry for the disappearing act.  I had such great plans and then my husband struck.  He brought home some creeping crud and infected me!  Never one to do things half way, I had to develop this crud in both upper and lower respiratory with a fever he never had.

On my road to recovery but not a lot of cooking.  I wanted to make several soups for Karen's Souper Saturday.  I made one - Loaded Potato Soup.

I took this one pitiful picture.

I know, I know.  Everyone else used such beautiful bowls and nice settings.  This was my lunch at work on Thursday.  Snapped with a cell phone at the last minute.  It is really SOOOOO much better than the picture.

 Loaded Potato Soup
(As my sister says, “This ain’t Mom’s potato cubes floating in milk and butter.”)

2 cans evaporated milk
2 cans chicken broth
1 cup or so diced or shredded chicken
¼ cup finely chopped onion
¼ cup finely chopped celery
¼ cup butter/margarine
4 to 5 potatoes diced into bite size pieces
Instant mashed potatoes

Bacon and shredded cheese

Melt butter in pan. Cook onions and celery until tender.  Chicken can be added and cooked at this point or precooked is fine.   Add chicken broth and potatoes. Cook until potatoes are tender. Add evaporated milk and a half cup or so of instant potatoes. Salt and  white pepper. Add more instant if not thick enough. I also like to add parsley before the potatoes but it isn’t necessary. You may have to adjust amounts to suit your needs. 

I serve with bacon bits and shredded cheddar.  My DIL tells me that the she has discovered I make the best bacon bits and there is one simple reason.  I cut the bacon up before I fry it.  I cut across the strips about ¼ to 3/8” apart and fry the pieces.   Drain well.

This obviously isn't a diet food.  Well, it is.  It is a Hungry Man Diet food.  It is very hardy and we love it.  Hope you do, too.  Hope on over to Karen's and check out all the other soups today.  I plan on trying several this winter!

Keep Stirrin'! 


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Make a Run for the Border

Remember those Taco Bell commercials?  Today I had a run ON borders.  I took this vacation to sew and this is the first day I did.  Stay-cations just don't work for me.  I get too easily distracted by other tasks.  Why I think I should clean out the fridge and scrub the tub instead of sewing is beyond me.  I am blaming a lack of sleep.  So, here it is 11:30 p.m. and I am making a blog post about today.  Hopefully I will sleep after this.

When I finally began to sew I started with this baby quilt.

It is a disappearing 9-patch.  I used fabrics I had on hand.  It finishes at 40"x40".  The mother is using hot pink, pink and brown in the nursery.  I am afraid this might be a little bit "old lady" looking but it is as good as I had.  I think some rickrack would be nice.  I am going to see about some tomorrow or Monday.  Hopefully I will still get it quilted this week.

Next I put together the blocks for Sarah's Star.

It is made for a queen size bed and that is a full. It called for three borders but Sarah decided it needed four in order to add all the colors she wanted.  It takes a while to press and cut four different borders on a queen size quilt but they are ready for tomorrow.

It has a 2", 3", 4" and 8" border.  It will be bound in a small print burgundy.  That is definitely on tomorrow's list.  I really didn't want to put the green in but she thinks it needs it.  I did in the beginning (which is why I bought it) but I am not so sure now.

I also started adding borders to my Tetris Quilt.

Here is the next border, a true WIP.

 I think I am going to embroider some stuff on the border.  Maybe "Tetris", Score, next block, etc.

I still haven't found the right cabinet for my sewing room.  I have a card table set up for extra surface area.  All of my books are stacked in the loft outside my sewing room.

Obviously there is no room on that book shelf.

All of these pics were taken in the past 30 minutes. I apologize for their quality.

This should be post number 98.  Two more posts and I am having a give away.  Also want to mention that Karen at Sew Many Ways took my suggestion (more like begging on my part) to heart and is hosting a Souper Saturday linking party on September 24.  So, get your soup recipes posted and link up to her.  I will post a couple, myself,  and I am looking forward to a bunch of new ideas.  I have my Pin It button at the ready!

It is off to bed with me but I am going to link up with Freshly Pieced for

 Scoot on over and see what everyone is doing!

Keep stitchin'!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Family is like fudge - mostly sweet with a few nuts!

Remember Friday?  I had a plan.  Well...I don't think I followed through on that.  I do have 14 jars of ham and beans canned.

I also finally caught up on all the laundry.  Can anyone explain to me why I have seven sets of dirty sheets and only four beds in this house?  I had washed the sheets a week ago last Thursday (don't tell Oprah!).  My kids have a nasty habit of changing the sheets on the beds when they come to visit and leaving the dirty ones on the floor in the room.  Until I go to clean the room again, I don't find them!!  They are all clean now but only my bed is made.  I might get to the others this week.

My husband says not to make them and let them do it themselves since they have been known to remove clean sheets when they arrived. It is a funny thing.  I have one son and DIL that obsess about if someone else  has slept on the sheets.  The others - including the doctor - shrug and say, "A night or two from them isn't going to hurt me."  I have to find another double bed.  That is the issue.  EVERYONE wants the double bed.  So, that is what whoever gets home first sleeps in.

Okay, enough ranting.....I went to my family reunion yesterday.   That is such a comforting experience.  It makes me realize no matter how weird I am, I fit in somewhere.  I am having a little problem sleeping right now.  Yesterday I was up at 0430.  I took a ham, cheesy ranch potatoes, 7-layer salad, Buttermilk Maple Praline cake and cereal bars. My dad asked if I thought we might starve.

It was a fun day and this is my favorite picture from it.

In this picture are my two sisters, three of my cousins and two of my second cousins.  Don't we look like a fun bunch?  I am the second from the right.  The one wearing dark glasses

I will leave you with advice from a blind man.  I have a cousin that was blinded when we were in our early 30s.  He says the meanest thing you can do to a blind man is leave a plunger in the toilet......He might be one of the nuts!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Shhhh.....Don't tell anyone....

In five hours my vacation starts!  I have no plans to go anywhere but I do have a list of things to catch up on.

Do you know what this is?

This is my practice with an ink pen for quilting patterns.  I ain't very good!  I have terrible hand writing and I think they are similar skills.  If I am this bad with an ink pen how can I expect to be any better with a quilting machine?  I may have to stick with my Groovy Boards for quilting but I am still trying to improve.

I am making a list for this week and will try to be honest on here.    It will be a big list.


Pick green beans.
Can the ham and beans I have ready.
Go to the post office.

Do laundry - especially all the bedding.  My kids have been home the past few weekends.  I found piles of dirty sheets in one of the bedrooms.  They change them but tend not to get them in the hamper.
Practice quilting while doing laundry and canning in the basement. to Terre Haute and get something to wear tomorrow.  Would love to get a pedi but just too much to do!
So...paint nails and toe nails.


Food for Family reunion - ham balls, ranch potatoes, buttermilk praline cake, apple tarts.
Go to reunion - remember camera and to NOT hug my dad.  He has a shattered sternum.  I saw him on Tuesday and hugged him like I always do.  Not a good idea.  I told my husband, "Yeah, I am gonna feel super special when they tell me I punctured his heart with the bone fragments of his shattered sternum!"  Daddy, of course, said it was alright and didn't hurt "that bad."  The old fool is a liar!!
Can green beans after reunion.

Reality is setting in.  I will be doing all the things I have planned for today because I am TIRED. But, if that isn't the case I  hope I am putting my sewing room back together.  Number 3 is living in an apartment this year.  He wouldn't commit to needing any furniture but now every time he comes home he takes something else.  So far I have lost a chest of drawers I kept yarn and fabric in and a desk that had an attached bookshelf.

As a result my sewing room looks like tornado went through.  I am still considering painting it while it is in turmoil.  I also need to come up with some sort of shelf to replace the missing storage.  My husband quietly suggested I could get rid of some things.  I ignored that and let him live.

Seriously, while I am off I hope to finish Sarah's quilt - including quilting, quilt Mike's quilt I made at retreat, finish the girl baby quilt I am making and make major headway on two boy baby quilts.  I also need to do my BOM.  If I get all that and my canning done I will be in good shape to work on Christmas presents the two weeks after that.

I am going to be busy next weekend, too.  We girls (me and the DILs) are going to see Wicked.  Pretty excited about that.

But right now, my major plan is a nap.

So...back to the list:

Embroider baby bibs
Make more buntings
Burp cloths
Receiving blankets
Rag quilt sewn - my husband can clip it.  He LIKES doing them.  Why would I mess with that?

Maybe I will add to this later today.  I am disappointed I don't have a finish for today.

I also have another thought for this week.  I am approaching 100 posts and I now have 40 followers.  I think I will have a giveaway for my 100th post.  If I reach 50 followers, I will have another give away.  I hopped all over for the Quilting Gallery blog hop.  Didn't win a thing but now I am following an inordinate number of blogs.  I would have had a giveaway myself but didn't join until after.

This post is TERRIBLY long.  Time to shut up, Mary!

Down to 4 hours and 20 minutes until I am on vacation!

Have a great weekend, all. Check back because I think I am going to have lots to say this week!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

First Contest for me...

Hello, all!  I entered the leaves, flowers and trees contest over at the Quilting Gallery.  Please stop by after tomorrow and vote for your favorites - hopefully MINE!

This is my entry.



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WIP Wednesday: 8/29/12; Sarah's Quilt Blocks are DONE!

Hello, all!  It has been a little slower than I planned on the sewing front.  But I finally got the blocks for Sarah's quilt completed.  I auditioned several layouts and tried them out on her and my son via text messages.  I have to say that all the constant contact annoys me sometimes but others it is great.  I don't have to guess.  I know which she likes best!

I apologize for the quality of the pictures but my only option was laying them out on my living room floor.  I live in a log home and other than a few minutes in the morning when the sunlight hits the sky light just right, the lighting is poor at best.

This one is called Zig Zag and is actually my favorite.

This is called Fields and Furrows and is what I thought I would like best.

This one was called Sevens.  It really isn't bad but I like having a secondary design.

The winner is.....

This is called Mountains.  The kids both like this best.  If it looks different than the others it is because this is a cell phone picture.  I realized after the fact that I had changed arrangements without a picture of this one.  So....the cell phone pic.

The fabric is the Cattails and Clovers collection by Kansas Troubles from last fall/winter.  I have three borders to add and have changed my mind about what I am using.  Fortunately, I really like the fabric and can use what I have already bought for another project.  So, it is off to the quilt shop tomorrow (darn my luck!) to find the correct borders.  I think I know what I want now that I have seen it all together.  Wish me luck!

So, which did you like best?  Please let me know.  I think I may make another of these at some point but right now I have to move on to baby stuff and a Christmas gift.

Linking up to Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

Keep Stitchin'!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

I promised a few months ago I would publish this recipe.  But life happens and I kept forgetting.  That could be my age.  I keep seeing these commercials....Anyway... I made it again last Friday and on Sunday I FINALLY remembered to take a picture of the last piece of it!

Probably could have displayed it better, but I was sleep deprived!

The past two times I have made this I have used the no cook noodles.  To do that requires more liquid but is a lot quicker than cooking the noodles.  I am including both versions here.  That way if you are a traditionalist, you can precook your noodles!

Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

10 lasagna noodles
2 jars of White Alfredo pasta sauce (I don’t recommend Ragu.  Too greasy)
1 cup of milk (1/2 cup if using precooked noodles)
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
3 cups coarsely chopped cooked chicken breasts (I just use 3 of the oversized breasts currently available)
½ cup chopped bell pepper (red looks pretty but green works fine)
¼ cup finely chopped onion
2 to 3 gloves of minced garlic
3 cups of shredded cheese, mozzarella is fine but I mix in parm if I have it
8 oz of ricotta cheese
4 to 6 ounces of fresh baby spinach
Lasagna pan or a 9x13 casserole dish

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Mix together ricotta, mozzarella, chopped chicken breast, pepper, onion, and garlic.  In a separate bowl, mix together sauce, milk and oregano.

To assemble the lasagna, spread about a third of the sauce on the bottom of the pan.  Top with a layer of noodles, slightly overlapping the edges.  It may be necessary to break a few to get good coverage.  Layer half of the spinach leaves over the noodles and then half of the chicken mixture.  Get your fingers involved.  It will probably be in lumps that you need to pat down to make a decent layer.

Repeat starting with half of the remaining sauce.  End with the remaining sauce.  It will be a tight fit but should work.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove foil and bake an additional 0 to 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and let stand 15 minutes.

This is a VERY rich dish.  Don’t leave out the spinach.  You can't taste it and you need the moisture from it to get it all to cook correctly. Besides, most of us can use the iron and vitamin D it provides.

If you have a Kitchen Aid or other large stand mixer, use that for shredding the chicken.  Just cut it into a few pieces, put in the mixer with the flat beater and mix for a minute or two to shred.  Easy!  Add the cheeses and vegetable and mix right there in that bowl.  Less mess.

Just came off of nights this morning and I don't have much more to offer.  This recipe reheats well.  I always need a balance of a salad or broccoli with it.  The boys like it just as it is with some garlic bread.

Keep stirrin'!


Linking up with Cole at All the Small Stuff for Tuesdays at the Table.

Friday, August 24, 2012

FIUF: August 24, 2012, Tetris QAL week 6

I am pretty jazzed.  I have my Tetris quilt all pieced!  It is awaiting borders.  This picture didn't turn out the best but it is done.  

I ran out of some of the colors and substituted in orange which I had plenty of for some reason.  I floated the last piece so it would look as if it was still falling.  

Then, I realized I did NOT take a picture of the week 6 block.  I couldn't have because I was so intent on getting it done it was never a block on its own.  I added the next three rows on to it.  Because I sewed those in black, I did some weird stuff as far as order.  So....use your imagination.  This is week 6: 

I really enjoyed this quilt along and I am going to use the idea for a Christmas throw with friends.  Last year we did a block exchange but I think a QAL will be fun.  We are starting with a fat quarter fabric swap.  If anyone wants to play along, let me know and I will post on here, too.  I am using a Facebook group for the IRL friends.

I am adding a couple of borders to this.  First is a narrow - one inch I think - light blue/silver.  After that I am  not sure.  Probably a dark border. Maybe even black.  I haven't decided what color to quilt with.  Any ideas out there?  I am thinking "organic lines" would work well.

I am just so glad to have this done. It will make a great Christmas gift.

Linking up with Melissa for the Tetris QAL and The Fabric Addict for a Whoop, Whoop!

Oops...forgot about Richard and Tanya's linky party.

Thanks to all the hosts!!

Keep Stichin'!!!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

WIP Wednesday: 8/22/12

Hello, all!  I know, I know.  Two posts in one day.  No, I am not trying to make up for my "down" time.  Just too much stuff to put in one post.  I am going to link up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.  And, boy, do I have a lot in progress!  

First up is my BOM.  I don't know when I last posted about this.  Looks like last month when I finished for July.  Long month.

This month's blocks were yet another basket.

I am about sick to death of baskets!!!  It went together okay.  I could have done better, I think.  I was quite surprised to have it together and find there were still a few pages of instructions.  It was telling me how to join the last three months together.  I was very confused.  See, most people are doing this in Civil War fabric.  So, when she is telling them all the substitutions I kind of zone out.  I decided I must have zoned clear to Mars last month.   I dutifully put the blocks together.  See them across the top?  There is a mirror image to go beneath the center section.

I still wasn't convinced I was quite right.  So, I trimmed nothing.  It looked awful when I arrived at class....where I found no one else had done this part.  She used MINE to show all the little "tricks" to do it correctly.  Nobody have me any tricks.  I just figured it out on my own!!  Good news is I am a wee bit ahead for this month.

Okay, what else has been in progress?  I have sewn every day.  I posted about the Tetris QAL Monday.  Yesterday and today I finished up forty five 6 1/2" 9-patch blocks for an exchange on Homesteading Today.  I only needed 41 but this morning when I went to my sewing room I found two that apparently the drunken monkeys had made and another two someone had bled on.  Probably me.  I cut myself twice with the rotary cutter yesterday and decided to stop

When I picked fabrics to wash I was having a green and orange moment.  I don't know.  I think I like them but....maybe it is the drugs.  I couldn't find my darn labels.  So, I ended up sewing labels on 20 pairs of them by hand.  People baste them on by machine but I hate that.  I always have such a time removing the stitches. I really like all these ladies but each time I do an exchange I swear it is my last because I HATE to prewash fabric.  I confess, I mix unwashed and washed fabric when I sew these blocks together to make a top.

What else?  Oh yes...

This is the Orion's Star I have been working on all summer.  I have 9 blocks done and am on the final round for the other 11.  I so badly want this done!

I have been making a baby quilt as my leaders and enders.  It is a D9P.    It is for a coworker's granddaughter.

I think I am caught up!  I need to be canning but not happening today.  I don't think I will sew anymore today, either.  What have you been up to?  Be sure to check out the others at WIP Wednesday.

Keep Stitchin'!!


Pinterest Started it.....

Scroll to the bottom for the cake recipe, please!

ETA:  I am linking up with My Repurposed Life....8/25/12


I may never have to leave the house again.  I can get antiques on eBay.  I can order most of my sewing supplies at various websites and now there is Pinterest to give me ideas.  Because I don't have enough already.

Earlier this summer I saw a coat rack on Pinterest that was made from old insulators.  It gave me an idea.  I had always loved those old insulators and I thought it would make a great towel rack.  I needed one in my upstairs bathroom, aka: The Boys' Bathroom.

I thought we had several in one of the barns.  I was sort of right.  We HAD several.  My FIL gave them away.  We did still have telegraph insulators.  Driving home from my son's one day my husband spied some of the electrical insulators at a junk antique store on the side of the road.  That man has a heck of an eye.  I was going 60 mph when he hollered.  We turned around and bought four.

I wanted a shelf above them and after trying to hang towels on them we found the smaller telegraph insulators worked better.

I still liked the blue green of the electrical insulators.  So, we used one in the center. I love how it turned out!

This wood was from a tree on our property.  I am not sure if my husband sawed this one or if it was so close to the house we had a tree trimmer do it.  It was milled on our property, too. We are so friggin' green I expect a Nobel Prize at any minute.

Hubby was reluctant to use these boards because of the bug holes in them but I felt it added character.

So, it started with Pinterest but we added our own touch.  Still gathering junk antique items to put on the shelf.  Fortunately for me it is high enough I can't see that it needs dusted.  So a few dust collectors are okay.

One of my other Pinterest finds was a recipe for a Buttermilk Skillet Cake with Praline Topping.   That is what I started with.  This is what I ended with.

It was good.  VERY good.  I tweaked the recipe slightly.  The main changes I made were using maple flavoring instead of vanilla in the cake and using powdered buttermilk.  I just added it to my dry ingredients and the water where the recipe said milk.  I also baked it in a 10 inch iron skillet.  Worked perfect!  So, I called my new version a Maple Buttermilk Praline Cake.

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 6 TB  butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon maple flavoring
  • 3/4 buttermilk or 3 Tablespoons dry buttermilk and 3/4 cup water

  • Praline Topping:
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • good pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (or walnuts if that's your thing)
  1. Preheat your oven to 375' F. Grease and flour an 10" over safe (ie: cast iron) skillet, along the bottom and up the sides. 
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, dry buttermilk,  baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another medium bowl, with a stand or hand mixer, cream together the granulated sugar and butter until fully incorporated, about 3 minutes. Use the full three minutes.  It really makes a difference.
  4. Add the egg and yolk, one at a time, beating for 1 minute between the two.
  5. Beat in the vanilla and maple flavoring.
  6. Now....with the mixer on low, add half of the flour. Beat until incorporated. Add the buttermilk (or water if using dried buttermilk), and beat again until incorporated. Finally, beat in the remaining flour until almost fully incorporated. Stop beating and continue with a spatula to fully incorporate the flour.
  7. Pour / spoon the batter into your prepared pan.
  8. Smooth the batter in the pan evenly. (Put a pan on the bottom rack. Just in case.) Bake for 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. While the cake is baking, make the praline topping: Combine the brown sugar, butter, cream and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a soft boil and let boil for 3 minutes.  Mine was a little grainy so I think I will cook for 3:30 next time.  It may tend to froth.  If it does just stir it down.
  10. After 3 1/2 minutes, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and nuts. Allow to set for about 20 minutes to thicken up a bit.
  11. Once the cake is out of the oven you can add the praline topping in the skillet or remove the cake, and while it's still warm pour the praline over the whole thing. Either way be sure to add the topping while the cake is warm.


Okay, finishing this post.  Linking up with Nicole at All the Small Stuff.  Probably link more later.

Keep stirrin'!!