Sunday, November 29, 2009

blog break extended...

Happy almost December everyone! Don't faint at the sight of a new blog post now...I'm just here to leave a short message in case anyone stops by and wonders what's up. I'm doing fine, having a blast with some things and really not in the mood to blog at the moment.

So rather than take the whole thing down, I'll just say that my blog is on indefinite hiatus at the return at a later unspecified date. Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year's holiday season!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloweenies!!!

Have a safe and goulish time tonight!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

remember me?

Well did you think I was never coming back? I haven't really been on the computer a whole lot these last few weeks and no's perfectly fine by me! Life ebbs and flows and sometimes you just take breaks from things. 3 1/2 years of blogging is a long time with no break, so maybe I was due. Honestly, I'm just great... happy as a clam! I'm focusing on some other things at the moment and enjoying other pursuits. I'm sure I'll get back to quilting one of these days. Computer time has almost been nil since typing is the worst thing for the forearm tendons and they are still quite vocal about getting used at all!

So what have I been doing? Well every night I try my hand at a little stitching.
Sometimes I can go for a couple hours and sometimes a couple STITCHES. But it's not a race, I love doing these blocks. I'll be sorry to see this quilt finished. With 2 of these quilts I doubt I'll sign up for another one, although I do love them! But I have more than enough bom's to keep me busy for a while. I've gotten behind in just a few of mine! *grin*

Had to pop out yesterday to the Fresh Market to pick up some stuff and a big 'ole piece of salmon. Does anyone else have one of these stores? I love Trader Joe's but that fresh meat counter is just fabulous. I mean anything you want they have! Shame we don't eat any other meat but salmon.

I know lots of people don't like salmon but man o there anything prettier than that beautiful colored jewel getting all lovely on the pan? Honestly..a hot pad and a fork and I could eat right off the pan until I was sick! But I don't. I'm a good girl. I cut it into pieces and store the whole thing in the fridge. That way we grab a slice or two and pop them in the microwave whenever we want some all week. Plus do you know how good this is for your cholesterol? V-e-r-y very good!

I found a new FREE bom the other day that I thought I would share in case you missed it over at Sentimental Stitches. It's called Beyond the Cherry Trees. A fabulous antique quilt that she is drafting. Note that the first block is supposed to be all red flowers. If you look closely you'll see that the red disintegrated as old quilt reds often did from that era. I'm not starting this quilt at the moment, but I'm saving those patterns. They won't be free forever too, so if you want them go now.

Before I head out again, I'll leave you with my little goober-head! He can get as comtfy as possible with ease, can't he? I almost got his picture with both hands above his head but the shutter sound pulled that top arm in and he woke up. He's still cute as a bug. Oh and see that hoop? I've plugging away at that too! Every so often I take a few rows here and there and one day it will be finished too!

I'm sorry that I haven't gotten around to too many blogs in the last few weeks. I do try to read your posts in blogger every week, but haven't really spent the time to comment. Typing is the one thing that sends the muscles reeling. So I avoid it if I can. Have a great Halloween if I don't see you before then!

Monday, October 5, 2009

does it change with age?...

I'm amazed at how quickly time seems to slip by these days, aren't you? It never went this fast when I was younger. Where the heck did September go? Now it's October 5th! Now don't fall over, but I have done some SEWING!! Real sewing, yes I have!

I finally got inspired to start Cheri's Trick or Treat Halloween quilt that I said I'd have done before October...better late than never. I have 4 of the pumpkin backs done and hope to get the last 5 done today as they take almost no time at all to do. Especially with the FPP technique...flip, sew, flip, sew, peel off!

Now, I want to share a...*recipe* with you. See, I am a salad snob! I can eat them at restaurants, Sonic, even the grocery store salad bar...but never at home! I hate salads made at home. I've tried but something is different and I can't figure it out. But this technique... It's not so much a recipe as it is a technique..... really enabled me to eat salads at home for the first time in years!! I read this on some body's blog and if ANYONE knows who, please share so I can give her ALL the credit. Here's what you do.

Take any lettuce at all...this happens to be from a head of iceberg, but it's even better to just open a bag of washed iceberg with carrots and purple cabbage already done for you....

Now CHOP the heck out of it! I don't go as small as the recipe maker, she makes it tiny. I stay about here...

Put in your bowl and get the carrots. I save myself the steps and go for the shoestring carrots. Do a few more chops and they end up in little pieces.

Then move to the tomatoes. I use Roma tomatoes and scoop out all the seeds and wet stuff. It just makes a mess and the meaty part stays firm better. I chop it to about the same size as the carrotts...1/4 inch size or so.

I'm done at this point! It has all I need. But you can add green peppers, mushrooms, cucumbers. Anything you want, just chop it into tiny pieces. I'd watch the liquidy stuff if you expect it to last for a few days though.

Mix it all up and I am one happy camper! I can spoon some into a bowl and have salad at home! At home!! Never before have I liked it, but this is great. It's also super easy to go with less salad dressing this way too. Just toss and toss and it gets covered well. I make this full bowl and it last me 4 meals.
**I will warn you that the next time you open the lid, you might think the lettuce has turned hasn't. All that carrot makes the cut lettuce edges turn orange, but it's perfectly fresh. Heck carrots turn everything orange.

I don't remember where I read this, but I really thank this person who wrote it on her blog! She is a doll and please let me know who she is, if you recognize her recipe! Now I'm gonna go back to sewing! Hope to have something to actually show soon that deals with quilting!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sorry's the link! It's working below too now. Sometimes if it's off you can look at the address in the little line on the top of the screen and see what the problem is. I just had one too many http// 's at the beginning!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

hey, how ya doing?

Now come on, who could distrub this to make the bed? He was already there when I got up and made my half, so I left him. Came back to finish after eating and reading the paper to find this...

Yea, right. You wouldn't move him either! How does their fur know how long to be? It is so weird that one row can be an inch and the next part 6 inches!!

I'm really working to switch my frame of mine from every blog post being about "here's what I did" and "here's the next step!" to more of a "hey how ya doing, this is what I have to talk about today"...subject based posts. Jan just made a post exactly stating how I felt and what I'm trying to get accustomed to doing. I used to do it but it will take some time to revert, but I'll get there. Plus I'm lacking a few things others have.

I can't walk outside and photgraph the backyard and outdoors...don't have one.Condo, remember. I also have to admit we are homebodys. We like it! We don't go out too many places....fairs, shows, stuff like that. We love being here together.
But I'll get it!

Monday, September 21, 2009

alternatives to sewing...

I used to be a voracious reader. I would lay on the sofa until the wee hours of the morning reading if the book was that good! When I developed fibro, the muscles in my arms would ache and spasm from just holding a book open and upright. It slowed down and threatened to stop my reading all together. Suddenly one day my sweet hubby surprised me with a cardboard book holder improvised in the garage and I was back in business. It was crude, full of duct tape, and used a thin wire across the bottom to hold the book open. I LOVED it! But it had flaws. The books slid out at the bottom and the wire required the whole book be lifted up to turn the page. So I gave him some gold elastic string and some foam core and back he came with this version above. My hero....swoon! We even developed 3 or 4 better versions together finally ending up with this one here. Duct tape works for everything, right? It holds 2 sizes and works like a charm. I sit it on a tv tray with the top lifted open and resting on the sofa arm. I never had to hold a thing and I was off again reading everything in sight.

Then I found quilting. I was instantly consumed. I found Bonnie Hunters Quiltville site and stumbled onto her blog and wow have things changed from that point. Other than Harry Potter, I haven't read in what?...5 years or so except for very occasionally. You can't hold a book when you are hand stitching. If my rump was in front of the tv, I was stitching. Then I found more and more blogs.I started a blog and soon my blog got more popular. So more comments and more comments to leave, emails, thank yous for comments and so much goodness to read. You guys are truly talent prolific ladies.

I think I can pinpoint the overuse of my arm to about the time I started doing the paper pieced Civil War Bride blocks and spending 3 or so hours on the computer reading 120 some blogs. Clicking and typing for hours each day. I know my quilting time has suffered because of it. I don't want to stop blogging, and I don't want to stop reading all your lovely posts but commenting is going to have to get even far and few between, as will my own posts. I'm desperately trying to learn to be less wordy. More pictures and very few words...ha!

In that frame of mind, I realized I better find something to occupy my mind and hands while I try to be good and attempt once again to heal my arm. That's where the story about the book holders started from...I decided to finally go back to reading. I got a big book the other day from Amazon with lots of loveliness. Just had to order the newest Kaffe book. Don't let the different cover confuse you, it did me! It must be the US version, but inside are all the same wonderful quilts.

I also stocked up on my favorite mystery writer, Joanne Fluke. I've missed quite a few of her latest books. I'm still reading the Cherry Cheesecake Murder but I'll have plenty to keep me busy.So I can read until my arm gets better. I'll still be around, but I'd rather do fewer posts than stop all together. I'll still be reading, but I might not leave as many comments. It will be hard to do...I think I'm addicted to seeing what you all have to say and what you've finished! Hopefully I'll be able to get more handwork done soon to show too.

Friday, September 11, 2009

jelly glasses...

Thanks so much for all the wonderful comments you left me. I still miss that lady more than I can say. Not knowing my father's mother, she was all I had. When I wrote that post...which by the way took over a week because I had to stop every 10 minutes to blubber and then dry my tears...I remembered the days making her grape jelly topped with paraffin wax. In a make-do world she didn't have real canning jars for things like jelly and jam so that's what they did.

When Anna wrote a lovely comment and remembered the paraffin wax, I wrote back asking her if she ever had the old Flintstones jars that came filled with pimento cheese spread and the flat little metal top that just snapped onto the glass? Yes! Seems a lot of you remember those glasses. That's what Nama used for jams and jelly. The half inch of paraffin was carefully poured on top to seal the jelly. No top needed. We had tons of these glasses we used for juice in the mornings at our house.

Well here they are! Having none of my grandmothers glasses left, I wandered onto eBay after thinking about those glasses just to see if any were still around. Just a few were there and once I saw these two I knew I had to have them...HAD to. Today they came! I feel like I have two little pieces of my grandmother in my hands. No matter to me that they were never hers or that they came from's the memories. That and a few really weird coincidences once I started looking closer at them.

The white glass is Pebbles First Birthday party.The teal is the Bedrock Pet's very hard to photograph these glasses, so I couldn't see everything on the eBay pics. I'm looking over them this morning and what do I see??? What is the elephants name?

JUDY??!! She's on her perch and ain't she pretty! Com'on how freaky is that? Judy? Then I get Wilma and Betty!! Not one of the guys or kids or animals...but the 2 gals! Two lovely ladies!Wilma and Betty.None of these were in the eBay pictures. These glasses were meant to be here in my house!! poor Betty has been thru a lot with all those scratches! It's a silly thing really, but just having these this month makes me feel better!

Now onto the other books!! I'm still reading, but these stitchery books are fabulous!

The postman brought these to me yesterday and I have to say wow! Some good tips and so far lots of lovely patterns...especially the Sublime Stitchery book...loads of patterns in that one. I will say they don't mention the back enough, but I think that's just a pet peeve with me. If everyone says don't worry about it, I guess I won't.
Now I'm off to do some more sewing on the ABC Quilt Sampler!

Monday, September 7, 2009

remembering nama...

When September rolls around every year, my thoughts always seem to wander back to the days growing up with my grandmother. September is her birthday month and the time I seem to miss her the most. Christened "nama" by my oldest sister who couldn't quite pronounce the hard 'gr" in grandma, she was forever known in our family by that affectionate name.

We had such lovely times, she and I, during the summer weeks spent at her house. My oldest sister, being 10 years older, was 18 and going away to college when I started going and my older brothers had no interest. My younger sisters were 2 and 5; way too young for overnight visits meant to be anything other than babysitting. But I wasn't there to be watched...I was there because I wanted to be. It was something special that only she and I shared. Even when my sisters were older, they never had any interest.

(My grandparents and all six grand kids. I was about 8 in this picture and just started going for overnight visits at their house.)

I remember every detail like it was yesterday. Sitting close to each other on the porch gilder, separated only by a colander, snapping ends off just picked green beans from the garden and then snapping them into bite size pieces. Snap..snap..snap... ends going back into the bowl and beans in the colander to be washed for supper or canning the next day. Over and over, we'd snap with a tiny push of her toe on the porch floor to keep us gliding gently back and forth as we worked. I remember dinners of thick chicken and dumplings, iron skillets pulled from the oven with gooey glazed donuts for breakfast, and the bottom shelf of her fridge door always lined with cold coca-cola in slender green bottles. The best grapes vines around that produced sweet grape jelly always put away in used glasses topped with a thick seal of paraffin wax. The trips up the road to visit the Woolworths five and dime store for supplies. Funny how I can remember it all like it was yesterday. I explored every nook and cranny of that house and still remember every square inch.

Nama taught me everything I know about sewing and needlework. She's the reason I crochet left handed. I know I've told this story before, but some may not have read it so bear with me. After hours of trying every way she could think of to teach me, the righty, I grabbed the needle in my left hand and said enough, just show me what to do. It took about 5 minutes and I was crocheting. We moved along to Huck toweling later, making a visit to the very old downtown JCPenny's to buy new toweling. Together we sat at the kitchen table as I worked on a set of Christmas place mats for my mom. Later she taught me crewel embroidery on lovely pillows that were used in her living room. Big thick blossoms and leaves sewn with large needles and thick crewel thread. Sadly, the one thing I never shared with her was quilting. She had made quilts in her teens but never discussed it and I was not a quilter until long after she passed away. I think she would have loved my quilts. It would have been another thing we could have shared.

In June, I came across a give-away featuring several lovely embroidery transfers as the prize. Just seeing those flooded my memory with all the wonderful Days of the Week towels that were used in Nama's kitchen. I had forgotten all about them. She collected these and made them herself when she had the time. I don't remember a towel in her kitchen that didn't start with a bit of stitching. I didn't win the give-away, but I was now determined to find some of those patterns. Luckily I quickly found a great online site that also turned out to sell the heavy feed sack towels too. I quickly picked out a few patterns and ordered 15 towels. Once they arrived, I was all ready to start...then I got worried. Could I still do the work she taught me? I know I do loads of stitchery, but always with a thick piece of batting behind to hide my flaws. Now the back would right out there for all to see. I got intimidated and let them sit. I asked questions of experts and watched videos of stitching how-to's, but still waited. Then a few weeks ago I realized September was approaching..her birthday, and thoughts of her flooded back into my head...and I relaxed. Out came the towels for a good washing and the first pattern was chosen to start sewing. After a few cautious stitches, I was having fun. It took longer than normal since I was being so careful and re-learning, but I really do love to do stitch work.

I thought I'd show you the first one. Friday's little dancing sugar bowl. I think if you love your work, and do your best, the back isn't as important as having fun. I had to realize that it's going to show on the back, but you try to be as neat as possible. The videos and techniques at Mary Corbet's Needle and Thread really do come in handy. I didn't include a picture of the back, but I will if anyone asks for it.

I working on the next little guy right now and thinking of ideas for a Christmas DOTW design for another set. It's been a pleasure working on these with my grandmother, I feel her all around me guiding me as I work. She was a fabulous woman who taught me more than she will ever know.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

CGQC September picks..

Holy Crud, I haven't been back since Tuesday? Hubby took of Friday, yesterday, so somehow the weekdays have merged and it's the weekend. Anyway...I need to make my picks for the CGQC things I intend to get finished this month. I got exactly ONE thing finished last month so I think rather than pick 3 things again, I'll stick to the current project at hand and just dive in head first to get it FINISHED!

...the ABC Quilt Sampler. No it's not an illusion...same picture as before. Still making progress and coming along, but working on other things too. But I had to make my official Quilt Club post so I used it again.
I'll be back with a real post very soon!

Edited to add:I realized this was probably the only month to get this done so I think I'll add another project to the list. Not something ongoing, but a new little quilt. Cheri Payne's Trick or Treat seen here in a sample from the Country Loft quilt show. Might not quite get done, but who knows....I could surprise myself.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

working along...

and still plugging away at the sampler. This seems to be the hardest part for me, all those little extra strips and pieces with little applique parts that can't go on until you've sewn big pieces together.

But it's all working out nicely. Slowly but surely.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


I tried a new recipe tonight and let me say first off...never turn your back on pancetta in a pan to chop cabbage.
It burns.
It almost burnt the house down. (okay I'm being a little dramatic)There was smoke, lots.... and open windows and all the fans turned on and oh well at least the smoke alarm didn't go off.
Which I now realize might not be such a good thing. But I did not need that sound too on top of all the others.

So the recipe, it was wonderful. Just as it was described by Alicia. (I am soo not a picture or food stylist, but I wanted to show it to you, so I stole her chopped plate idea) I am certainly going to be going back to Sweet Paul's to find more recipes. Everything looked so yummy!

My handsome Noodle was on the bed this morning while I was drying and flat ironing my hair, devilishly trying to get me to come over to rub his tummy. Okay so he attracted me for about 10 minutes of good tummy rubs, until someone else had to join in the fun.

Nosey Pixie can't let a good time pass him by! My poor pillows look so small and swallowed up on that big bed, I think I need more. Notice my puffy side on the left? It's my new feather bed mattress topper. Fabulous, if you like soft comfort, but it does make for a rather un-even looking mattress until the puffy comforter goes back on when it cool down. It make a perfect pillow though for boys who like to lay their heads on puffy sides, or plop right in the center and sink in!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


You know how I said all I've really wanted to do this month was sit crossed legged on the sofa and quietly stitch, watching Miss Marple dvd's right. Well it works in the quilt's favor if it includes some stitch work this month. Luckily the abc sampler did. Along with some hand stitch work yet to be prepared, I got tons done.

See, I haven't been doing nothing...I think this is called the flower filler block.

Not everyone adds the lettering in here, but I liked it. If you hate doing embroidery once you applique is stitched in place, like ME...then you'll want to lay out your pieces and get some idea of placement before you use the light box and trace. Don't worry about the untrimmed edges. I wait to trim until after I know what size it needs to match. With Cheri's quilts it's better. These are not meant to be super neat...remember it's folk art. Primitive, folk art.

Another reason I chose to make the numbers almost invisible..a tiny treat that you have to look to see. Once you are done, you assemble, then sew your flowers and leaves down.

Also got the W for wheelbarrow block done, and the little add on numbers for the bottom border. It doesn't get attached until much later, but it's edges are already pressed back.
I also have the background for the Victory Garden done, but not the applique pieces. That should give me a couple good night of hand stitching work to do. Plus, that new project I talked about. I'll keep that for another day. Not a new quilt, just a little side project to keep me happy.
Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

abc sampler...

When I started this month I fully expected to have this top done and hopefully quilted...ha! I had good intentions, really. I got some good progress made, and still do, so lets share what I did get accomplished.

I think I left off on the U blocks, skipping the T for tinman. After doing one already in the slol quilt, I was surprised how hard this one was...well just his head really. I had to re-do the math.(if you are doing this quilt and want specifics, go to the detailed pages on each block here...and can always be found on the top right sidebar under "my other pages") He gets his label and this one didn't really work well for adding the bigger capitol letter to the wording this time. Adding in the sq. in a sq. filler blocks underneath, he got added to Santa and his tree completes that little section. I figured since I was on a roll with the faux freezer paper technique, I'd go ahead that day and get all those pieces I moved on to the X block, the Y block and finally the Z block!!

Then I was done for a while in the sewing room and sitting under the fan on the sofa looked pretty enticing to me. Sitting and stitching. SO I figured if stitching was working so well I might as well go with that feeling and just grabbed everything left for the rest of the quilt and went to work!

I'll share all the stitchery blocks tomorrow or the next day. I have quiche cooling to put in the fridge and a lovely new project waiting for me on the sofa! Have a great day!

Monday, August 24, 2009


What is it with August and sewing? I think over the last few weeks I've popped on several blogs and read the same thing every where....August is a slow month for quilting. Wonder why? I did work for the first few weeks then slowed down.

For me it has been the heat. I do not tolerate the heat at all. Hate it. Above 90 degrees and I get irritated, confused and nauseous...above 95 and I get downright cranky...and mean. Ask hubby. It's been running at 95 or hotter with the temps feeling like 100 or more this last week. I've spent the time in a very dark condo, shades and curtains drawn, a/c blazing, sitting on the couch with light handwork, or a book and watching Miss Marple, perfectly content on doing nothing. Happy as a clam to piddle along.

Not a lot of anything else has gone on. Barely any sewing. My lone finish for the CGQC is done and the others won't make it this month. My tendinitis is still bad and learning a new skill didn't help it get better. I should have stopped when I realized it was making things worse, but I was too far into the mesmerizing punch... punch.... punch of making fabulous designs.

I had always wanted to learn needle punch, but the stores here don't carry the supplies. SO I called the Country Sampler one day, picked out 2 patterns and asked the gal to kit them up for me and send me everything else I needed except the hoop. They came! and I got chicken! Luckily I had Debbie to guide me along. Seriously check out her creations!

But rather than start on one of those and ruin the hand dyed threads, I picked a lovely free doodle design from Primitive Betty and started with that and my own DMC. She calls this Boo Jack. This is way too cool for words!... and hard on the arm and hands. But once you start you just can't stop! I love how it turned out. I had planned to spray it with Distress it but I don't think it needs it. It's darker than the picture shows and very perfect for Halloween this year.

I did accomplish some good progress on the ABC sampler so I'll show those blocks over the next few days plus the other things I've been doing.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

club tag answers....

I am enjoying my time away from the computer, except I can't seem to stay away totally...why is that? But I did know I had to check back in to take care of some club business during the month so....time for some more Charming Girls Club business!

Here we go!

1. Share your favorite sewing or quilting tip:
Well, there are so many. I'd have to say learning the faux freezer paper technique. Getting such crisp lines and placement without having to do traditional paper piecing! No ripping tiny bits of paper off the back, weakening seams! Never again! I have a tutorial here and there are others online. Saves tons of time!Easy Peasy!! and reusable!!

2. Share your best tip for managing your time more effectively:
Ha! Your expecting something profound right? I suck at this it seems, hence the current "break". If I had to say one thing I would say I can't live without my lists. I know they keep me organized and on track even when everything is totally messy and all jumbled up together.

3. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?:
I'm assuming this is vacation wise, so I'll answer that way.

Iceland...Reykjavik to be exact. Don't be shocked, you know I love cold! Hubby wants to live there, but visiting for a while would be cool too. Not as cold as you might think and very laid back. Second would have to be Europe...all over!

Okay ladies. I'm working hard on my ABC quilt and I need to stop to finish Liberty Sam too. I'm not sure about getting the big one totally done but I'll try my best. See you in a few more weeks.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

finish one...

It really didn't take too long to get this in gear and done. Especially with super simple, walking stitch straight quilting all over the place in no certain order. I remembered it from Kathy's tablerunner.

Easy-peasy and already on the top of my dresser!

That's entry one of the Charming Girls Quilt Club done.

I've been working on my ABC Sampler blocks and I have the X, Z and T for tinman done. The stitching for the Y is done and I'll make it today, along with the yo-yo for adornment. But you'll have to wait for pictures for a little bit.

I'm taking a break. Call it a summer vacation, stay-cation, rest, or whatever. My arm is tired and on the brink of being really messed up so I'm gonna lay off the computer for a few weeks. I really want to focus on just getting some things done around here with no interruptions. Just me and the sewing machine!
So I'll be back towards the end of the month and I can always be reached my email. I'll pop in for my Charming Girl duties too.... never fear!

See you all in a few weeks!