Thursday, June 28, 2012

Night shift...again

I want to blog.  I really do.  I also want sew and eat normal.  Instead I am working and now going to bed.

I have done something.

This is a collection of burp cloths and baby wash cloths made from scraps of flannel.

Off to bed.  Another night shift tonight.

Sweet dreams.........

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Repurposed Egg Crate

I should have something to show for this.  Shouldn't I?  I swear I have been busy this week.  Mostly all that stuff that HAS to be done and catching up on my sleep.  Working nights really messes with me.

Some how I have gotten "decorating" my porch into my head.  I am not a decorator.  Someone should be slapped for getting me on to Pinterest.  I see stuff and remember plans I had for some day.  I guess today is some day.  My porch is my WIP.

Isn't this pretty?  This is the third or fourth year I have used this and I love it every year.

It started out like this.

A few years ago I decided it would work as a planter and side table for my porch swing.  I made a fabric liner for the base.  It lasted through three seasons but needed replaced this spring.

I had used leftover ticking for it the first time.  I admit, it may have lasted better if I had emptied it and stored it during the winter.  I did not.  Probably won't this time either.  Obviously, I need a new liner.  I looked for more of the ticking (I am sure I have) for about 5 minutes and then pulled down the green.  It is from the clearance rack.  I remember I paid $3/yard for it.  I was going to make porch cushions but fortunately my MIL gave me something brighter/better.

This is VERY easy to make if  you find something similar you want to make a flower pot from.  Measure the bottom of your item.  Mine is 11.5" square.  The first time I made it I only had 2" sides.  I went deeper this time.  Add 8" to 10" (4 to 5 for each side) to your measurement and cut out a square.

From each corner cut out the 4 or 5" you added minus a half inch.  If you cut 8" bigger, cut out 3 1/2" squares.  If you cut 10" bigger, cut out 4 1/2" squares.

I really didn't care what it looked like, so I left the selvage on.   It is NOT necessary to hem the edges but I took this opportunity to try out a new foot on my Featherweight.

This the foot and the hem on the first one I did.  Then I remembered I wanted it deeper this time (like I already told you!).  So, I made a second one.

 Match the cut edges at each corner and sew a half inch seam.  Like shown below.

This seam forms the corners.

 Sew all four corners the same way.  Don't worry if your fit isn't perfect.

Cut a piece of heavy plastic to put in the  bottom and fit the liner with the plastic inside into the basket or other item.  I have been known to use grocery sacks but prefer heavy plastic.  I use what comes around the peat moss I buy every year.

Get some plants you like.

I broke these up and shoved them into the four corners and filled around them with potting soil.

 This does dry out quicker than a box. I might try adding the plastic higher.  See those two blue boards on the right?  In previous years they went on top and this served as a table.  The zinnias are too big for that but I have other table plans.  Stay tuned!

Some more pictures of plants I re-potted today. 

So....this is my WIP.  I have great plans for my porch and I think my friend, Dana, over at My Simple Gifts  
might help me out with some of them.  She is a super talented lady - a true artist - and you should check her out.

I have some quilty things to post about but I am going to stop here and hope I make another post tomorrow..

I am going to link up with Sew Many Ways and Sew Much Ado We Did it Wednesday, My RePurposed Life Be sure to check everyone out.


p.s.  This is what I ate while I typed this.

I call it The Ugly Cobbler.  I am trying to use up last year's blackberries.  It is a sacrifice, I tell you.  I may have a second piece and call it supper!

Friday, June 15, 2012


I recently found a new blog to follow, Boo's Basket.  Today she linked up with Lauren for High Five on Friday.  So, I am following suit with my new blog buddy.

My five favorite things from this week:

1.  My oldest son asked me to go with him and a buddy to see Willie Nelson.

That is a good thing because my son is 28, married, has two brothers he gets along well with and multiple friends but he asked ME to accompany him.  As a mom, that is pretty cool.

2.  I found a tremendous deal on quilting stuff that I posted about here.

3. My husband decided that watering the garden is acceptable.  We have had this ongoing argument the past few years.  He maintained (as an Indiana grain farmer) that it was survival of the fittest and if it couldn't make it on what fell from the sky it was too bad.  He finally caved and started watering the garden. It was astounding what one watering did for it.  He is a believer now.


He just makes me grin.

5.  My final item is my neuro.  He is a great guy and he doesn't treat me like a moron.  So, he is taking my new symptoms seriously and now I am having more tests (not too happy about that but...).

Friday Finish: June 15

This was my long change.  That means I have been off work since last Friday.  You would think that would mean I accomplished a lot.  Not my reality.  I really wanted a Friday finish.  So, while fixing supper I ran up the sewing room and finished this.

It is a baby swaddler.  Remember my plan to make at least one baby item a week?  TaDa!

Maybe this picture will help clear it up.

You might ask why a woman with three grown sons and no grandchildren has a Raggedy Ann doll on hand.  The truth is I have several.  I collect them.  I like to say, "I am a Raggedy Ann in a Barbie Doll world."

Back to the swaddler.  Here is the inside.

See?  You slip the baby in there and wrap the "wings" around her.  There is velcro to keep it snug.  I started making these when my grand niece was born premature and the hospital recommended they have some when she went home.

I have another baby finish.

See the little pink hat?  I crocheted that.  I am now working on a blue one.

I have also been playing around with tinting jars this week.

I don't have the colors quite right but my technique is getting better.  I really want red.  Going to try adding some brown to the pink to get red.

I am going to link up with Richard and Tanya and the Fabric Addict. I hope they don't mind my non-quilty finishes.  I have been working on Sarah Beth's quilt this week but I posted about that here.  I have made more progress but no more pictures.

It wasn't quite the week I wanted but it was productive.  See my next post about the good things this week.

Keep Stitchin'!


Found another linking party over at Brasier House.  Please check everyone out and COMMENT.  We love comments. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012


No presentation to it.  I made my first one of these about 12 years ago and my boys thought they were wonderful.   For their birthdays I do them nicely.  This one was just to get some grins.

Hope it made you smile.  After all, for most of you the weekend is almost here!


3 on Thursday: Best and Worst

Once again I am participating in Cole's 3 on Thursday.  This week the topic is the best (and worst) things about being your age.

My age is 47.  I really need to update my profile. It says I am a mid forties former teen mom.  Quickly approaching that big five oh.

Okay the three BEST things about my age:

My Kids:  They are raised and every indication is that we did an okay job.  Well, maybe not EVERY indication.  My kids are normal.  There has been some drinking and hell raising.  There is some driving too fast and spending money on things that make me scratch my head.  But mostly they are good men.  The still come home regularly, pay their bills and two of them have married wonderful young ladies.   Statistics said they didn't stand a chance but everyone of them went to college.  The youngest is not quite done.

Home:  When I was a kid we moved every six months until my mom remarried when I was twelve.  Then I lived right smack dab in the middle of a junk yard.  My mom fought like hell to keep THAT away from the house but it was often a loosing battle.  This is where I live now.


That black spot in the center of the back picture is a pair of dogs playing.

There are things I wish we had done differently but my husband or I know where every nail, wire, pipe and board went in this one.  We built it all with our own two hands with the help of family and friends from time to time.

The third thing is Self Confidence.  Frankly, I don't give a $#!% what anyone other than my kids think and mostly they approve of everything I do.  That is a very liberating experience.  I do still want to please others but I now find it okay to pleas me!

Okay the Worst things about my age:

Kids are grown and gone.  I really miss having kids around.
My health. Genetics suck sometimes.  I hate going to the doctor (went yesterday) and I hate taking meds and thinking about whether I can manage something with the current issues.
The economy.  I want to think about retirement in ten or twelve years.  It really doesn't look doable.

And, if I were to be totally honest, I really miss the firmer body of my youth and hate the age spots and spider veins but those are cosmetic and I COULD fix them.  I just would rather spend my money on sewing machines, fabric and travel than plastic surgery, gym memberships and creams.

I wrote this without reading anyone else's  posts.  It will be interesting to see what other say.  Hop on over to Cole's and check them out!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

It followed me home....

Yesterday I was browsing Craigslist looking for vintage sewing machines.   I found several listings from one lady in Indy trying to sell her mom's quilting stuff.  I had to sell off my mom's stuff four years ago and empathized greatly.  I contacted her because I was interested in three of the kits.  I was just trying to be helpful.  I swear I didn't do it for me.

This morning after my doctor appointment I went to her home and bought those three kits.....and got directions to her dad's where the rest of the stuff was.  Well, I drove all the way there. It was out of my way.  It would have been foolish to drive there and NOT buy.  Right?  That is my story and I am sticking to it.

This is my "haul" from two locations.  Generally, I stop at a quilt shop when I go to the doctor.  Kind of like getting an ice cream cone if you got a shot when you were a kid.  Today I did not.  I figured I had done enough already.

That double wedding ring is all pre-cut.  The fabrics are 30s reproduction and it just screams MARY!  The one on the left is called Williamsburg, I believe.  If I pulled out the green and put a navy in, it would be very patriotic.

It is hard for me to resist a good buy on 30s stuff.....and red.  I love red.  I am not a fan of Sun Bonnet Sue but they are not preprinted.  So, I will make my own redwork!  Who doesn't need another charm pack at $3?

The reason these patterns look so red is because I was on my deck under the red umbrella.  Not taking them again.  I just couldn't resist the pump or the windmill.  I have always loved both.  The goldfish pond in my back yard recirculates through an old pump like I used until I left home.

Girl stuff is easy to find.  Some day I may have grand sons.

Okay, these aren't for me.  The snowman is for my aunt and patriotic is for my sister.

I think this will make a great baby quilt as will the Spring Babies on the bottom right of the first photo.

I also bought a crochet book,  couple of zippers, a ring for a lanyard and that preprinted piece for practicing quilting.

Jay and Amy were both super nice people.  I am glad to help them out.  But they may have been nice to me because I spent $218 on all this stuff! I let all this stuff hop into my Explorer to come home with me.

I have to start giving people whatever I make instead of what they request.  No more buying!  I don't want my family to be trying to dispose of my stuff in the same way.

I understand why people have give always, now.  It isn't just being nice.  It is making room for more!!!

Side note:  In March at retreat I said I had never bought a kit.  Today I bought six!!  I also ordered two last month.  At least, if I get fired tomorrow, I can sew without spending a dime for about 6 months.

Keep stitchin'  (it is necessary to justify the "keep buying"!)


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

WIPs & a Mom Date

Still on my "long change", so am trying to stay busy and to post.  Yesterday the entire state of Illinois was green and yellow on the radar.  Since the storm was moving east and slightly south and I live on the western edge of Indiana in the southern half, you would think we would have gotten rain.  We did not.  I did, however, get the pounding headache the storm front brought.  That led me to be stupid several times.  I am such an expert with a seam ripper these days.  Mom would be mortified.

Here are four finished blocks from yesterday.

I have several more in progress but these are all that are done.  It takes 20 for the quilt I am making. I am not real pleased with the second blue.  I tried rearranging them and like it even less.  Annoying since they are all from the same fabric like.

I may work on them some more this morning.  I volunteered to help my MIL finish up the quilt she was making for her granddaughter for Christmas 2010.  We are supposed to do that today after she returns from errands.  She has a tendency to add more and more errands to her list and be gone a long time.  So, she may not be back for this to happen because I have to leave this afternoon.  I have a mother/son date.

My oldest (nearly 29) called me last week and asked me if I wanted to go with him and a buddy of his to see Willie Nelson tonight.  Probably wouldn't have went on my own but since he asked.... How could a mom turn down an evening out with one of her sons.  As they mature there are so few opportunities.   So, I am leaving this afternoon to drive to Indy for the concert.  Works out well because I have a doctor appointment in Indy tomorrow morning.  Just staying over. 

I know four people having babies in the next 7 months or so.  A couple of them are pretty close to me.  I foresee several babies in the future, too.  I have a small stash of baby things I have made but I am determined to add to it.  My goal is one item a week.  I am currently crocheting a hat.

Isn't that thing cute as a button? By making a pink one I am probably insuring that all these babies are boys.  That will make the dads happy.  I will use it eventually and pink yarn is what I had.

I better try to sew a little before I start my day.  Have a great week!

Keep stitchin'!


ETA:  I finished that hat yesterday and am working on a blue one.  I am linking up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.  Be sure to check everyone out!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday's Makings: Cinnamon Roll Ice Cream

I love ice cream.  I always have.  I am kind of picky.  I don't want "ice milk" and I don't like it to have too much fat in it.  I really didn't care for Coldstone creamery.  It left my mouth feeling greasy.

Several years ago we had a small shop in a very small town (pop. <1000) south of here.  They had a delightful ice cream called Cinnamon Roll.  They closed but after several attempts I have my own version that is liked around here.

Saturday my husband wanted spaghetti and meatballs for supper.  I don't like them, so....I made homemade ice cream for dessert for me.  What can I say?  I am still a kid about some things.

You would think an ice cream connoisseur such as myself would have ice cream dishes.  I don't. Use your imagination.

My ice cream is actually more of a frozen custard because it has eggs in it.  My freezer is a 6 quart freezer and I will give the recipe for that but you can easily cut it down to whatever size you want.

3 cups white sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
pinch of salt (probably unnecessary but Grandma always did!)
1 can of Milnot (evaporated milk)  You can substitute 2 cups of milk if you want

10 eggs, beaten till frothy

2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon maple flavoring
1 teaspoon butter flavoring

3/4 cup chopped pecans.

1 quart of heavy cream
~half gallon milk

Blend sugar and cornstarch in a heavy pot (at least 3 quarts).  Stir in Milnot.  Heat with stirring over a medium to medium high heat until boiling.  Using a hand blender or a mixer, stream one cup of the hot syrup into the eggs while blending.  Add the egg mixture back to the pot, again with mixing. Heat the mixture with mixing until it is just before boiling.  Remove from heat.  Add in cinnamon and flavorings blending well.  Stir in cream to cool mixture and stop cooking.  Pour the mixture into the canister for the ice cream freezer.  Add the nuts and use the milk to top the freezer off to the fill line.  If using a stick blender it is good to give one final "blend".

Ice cream freezers are cheap but frustrate a lot of people.  The key is the salt.  Use a LOT and it will go faster.  For our 6 quart freezer I use 2 cups of salt.  Layer ice and salt repeatedly around the canister and start churning.  It will take 45 minutes to an hour for a tub to churn.  Just leave the canister in the tub with the salted ice and cover with towels or rugs until ready to serve.  Most people LOVE homemade ice cream.

If you want vanilla, leave out the flavorings, cinnamon and pecans.  Add one and half teaspoons of vanilla instead.

This recipe is just right for us - not overly sweet or overly greasy.  My sister does cut back on the eggs to 7 because of a transcription error years ago.  I use Milnot for the same reason my grandmother did.  Canned milk was easier to store than fresh and the boys drink the fresh.

I just finished this bowl.  I hope someone else is soon enjoying some.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Better Late than Never

Hello, all.  I have been MIA.  There have been various minor calamities happening around here.  I also had to work.  All the kids have been home once or twice in the past 10 days.  I know, excuses.  Truth is, I just didn't have the energy to blog.  I feel bad about that because this was in my mailbox last Saturday.

I had won a giveaway over at Stephanie's blog.  Stephanie is a very funny lady with lots energy judging from all the quilting she gets done.  I highly recommend her blog.

Back to ME and what I got out of this deal!  I picked this envelope up at the end of the driveway and dutifully laid it on the bar while I carried everything in.  It was 95° after all and I had been grocery shopping.  Then I opened it.  Look at what all I got!

I was so excited and ready to sit right down with those books.  As I walked around the island toward my rocking chair I saw this.

Reality check!  So....I put away the perishables and then sat down!

I want to thank Stephanie for her generosity.  My DIL has already had her eye on part of it.  I have to watch that girl like a hawk. If I didn't love her so much I would lock her out of my sewing stuff.  Well, mostly she just drools and threatens to take stuff.  I really shouldn't complain.

Stephanie, you made all the women here happy with your gift.  Thank you!

I have finally been sewing.  I have made 80 flying geese and am in the midst of trimming them.

They are part of the center of the Orion's Star quilt I am making.  The block looks something like this:

I have to make 20 of these blocks.  I have a ways to go! In case you can't tell, this is an Eleanor Burns pattern but I found a better way for me to make the flying geese and I use it.  The fabric is Kansas Troubles, Cattails and Clover.  It is a good thing I like it because I should have plenty leftover.  This quilt is for DIL#1.  She is super excited.

I have been reading this past week.  I started a book in a series I finally discovered I started in 1997!  No wonder I was lost.  So, I am going back and rereading the previous books.  They are WWII military books.  I enjoy them.  The author gets a little repetitive but at my age I need that!

I hope you all are enjoying your summer.

Keep stitchin' and stirrin'!