Jul 30, 2011

some progress

Shortly after I posted on Thursday, my friend Nancy came by to pick up the borders and binding I had cut for her Civil war quilt. Her friend Shawnee was with her. I had met her recently at one of our quilt meetings last month so it was fine to have unexpected guest. For the 2nd time this week, someone wanted to see my quilts, particularly the 30's ones! My friend Teresa was over on Tuesday and wanted to see my stuff too. I obliged---on both counts, LOL.

I knew Nancy was a real animal lover so I pulled out my Amy Bradley Kitty City quilt and her Dazzling Dog blocks that haven't made it into a quilt --yet. Also, like me, they both do "redwork" so I showed them my Bird Brain Santa's too but I forgot about the calendar cat top in the closet. They might have been on quilt overload by that point anyway. Even I was! Of course, not all my quilts were made by ME personally. My mom is responsible for a few of them too.

I don't know how well you can see it in the picture above but I did get most of the Overall Bill button hole applique done yesterday. Just the fish still needs to be stitched down along with a few accent buttons. I'll use some black perle cotton and hand embroider the fishing pole and black floss for the line and hook.

BUT, and you knew there was a "but" with me, one of the things on my quilting "to do" list was to pre-wash the most recent patriotic fabric acquistions. It evolved and I ended up just washing the whole lot of it-- crammed in a 20 qt tote's worth. My mom had given a good bit of this stuff some time back and she probably DID pre-wash and press it. Me, anymore I don't. This is red and blue though and notorious for bleeding so an exception had to be made.

Shown to the right is the pile of fats and such that I washed and pressed yesterday till my back was begging me to "sit down, will ya??" I take that back, that pile of lighter blue stars that I am not sure where it came from is cut into approximately 16 inch squares. While the Cardinals and Cubs played ball last night, I pressed all that blue stuff and the smaller pieces I had washed in an lingerie bag--- while seated, LOL. (Cards won, thanks to good starting pitching from our new to us starter Edwin Jackson and Albert Pujols got his 1999 and 2000 hit, both doubles.)

Here is the pile I had to press this morning. 1 yard and longer pieces. Two fans blowing, the thermostat reads 81 in the hallway and I am standing over a stinkin' steam iron. HOT, HOT, HOT! I have been growing my hair out for about a year now and thank goodness, the top and sides are long enough to yank up and out of my face now, just sayin'!

And, here we are---I've been up since 615 so that job is done and packed up for now. (Yes, the lid does close. ) I want to cut some of this for my birthday party project, the red for knots on QOV bowties but just not today. Button hole applique needs done first. On the list, finish the Overall Bill above, do the other one and their hand embroidery, then it is "Summer" and the July Button Up--last seen HERE waiting for the last two weeks.

I did do a bit of the embroidery on "Biscuits and Honey" basket block as I planned but detoured slightly when I swapped out the July wall hangings for August's. This was the only one that I did not fix the tabs on when I did the other 11. Now they all can be snapped on and off the closed hanger rather than sewing them on! I finally wised up, LOL. (shown, Nancy Halvorsen's July "Be Attitudes" quiltlet)

Have a good weekend and thanks for stopping by!

Jul 28, 2011


I have been busy with things on the home front but not much in the sewing related department. Such is life sometimes. It is so blamed hot and humid (read: summer! so what do you expect?) that you honestly feel like expending the least amount of energy possible. The sun is so intense that just going out to the mailbox can reduce you to a puddle of sweat. I know that I am far from alone in this predicament. Much of the country is still roasty-toasty judging from the weather maps.

The quilt group met on Tuesday as planned. The fill-in spot is maybe about 2 miles from my house and I was not in charge of the key so I didn't have to leave the house till about an hour later than I normally would. Some of the group was missing but seldom is everyone there to start with. We had a couple of special guests instead.

Aline was on grandma duty so we all got to meet her first great-grand Lily who is just three months old. Grandpa was standing by at home just in case she got too fussy or it bothered the ladies. Good as gold!

I was happy too that my guest Teresa could come join us. We met thru my blog and chat on Facebook a bit but did not meet in person till the Pell City group meeting earlier this month. I helped Teresa with some foundation piecing on the Friendship Quilter's name tag thing---well, enough that she could finish up at home. I ended up sewing a bit on 3-D bowtie blocks using the Belles scrap challenge project materials. Nancy and Linda had there machines revved up and a couple quilts got pinned as well.

Nancy asked me to cut the borders for her Buzz Saw quilt made from Civil War reproduction fabrics. Being left handed, cutting has always been an issue for her. Accu-quilt has helped with some of that but she was afraid she would ruin the yardage by a miscut. She also needed some help in cutting the stripe she had selected for bias binding. I could have probably done it at the meeting---they have such a nice island unit in the kitchen at the church---but I would have had to run home for my large mat and my own rulers. I took care of that yesterday. I should have taken a picture of the top so far when I had it spread out to measure it but Skyler was making things difficult by laying on it and then trying to bite me when I tried to make him move. He is also quite attracted to the bag she sent home with me. My guess is that he smells either her kitties or dachsunds on it.

The wrinkle in the deal was she wants to do a double border and mitered corners. If I understood her correctly, Nancy wanted me to sew them. I don't do them but was a little familar with the process---or at least sorta knew what to do. She has put so much time and effort into her quilt that I felt she should finish it. I would do what I could to help her thought. I found a good video on the Fons and Porter/Quilter's Club of America site presented by Jodi Davis HERE that may help Nancy with the piecing along with some tutorials online. Jaybird Quilts had a good tutorial as well. I also checked my home quilt book library and found a section in the Rodale Quilting Library's Sensational Sets & Borders that may also be a help. LOL, I still don't want to fuss like that on my own quilts but I am pretty sure that I could pull it off if I had to. Just like a giant attic window block.

Today was laundry day so that took up a chunk of the morning along with a quick run to the bank for the Belles. I also had a few things to prep ahead in the kitchen for our supper and threw a couple burgers on the grill for our lunch. Next thing I knew it was 1 p..m. Day is half over without half trying.

I should get started on some of that button hole applique----and I might. I may, just for today, do a little embroidery on the honey and biscuits block from Bee Tree Designs' Flickr page. There is a ton of stitching on these things but I love them!

I hope that you are having a good day!

Jul 26, 2011

What a day!

A little fruit basket upset around here yesterday. Definitely no sewing was happening!

It being Monday, I had some errands to run. This time, it included a run over the church where we ordinarily meet to get our batting and other pinning supplies we will need for the meeting today at another location. (The fellowship hall has been in use for almost two months now for the ARC camps but we will go back in August.) Since another stop was at the office supply store, I picked up a new key board. WAHOO!! I'm a happy girl till the paint wears off anyway. (Why are they all black now???)

While I was gone, DJ had been on errands of his own! He had been saving up his change for a new HD tv. He has been watching the sales flyers for months now and spotted one he liked at a price he was willing to pay. That's it, above, settled in its new home, much much later in this narrative. "I need you to help me carry the box in from the car once we move my old one" he says. This was about 1030 in the morning and the excitement began!

The old set is big, bulky with that huge picture tube thing and heavy! The question was, would it even fit in the spot I needed to clear for it? Yes, but the curved front stuck out a wee bit. I can live with it. I would not be able to use the cheapo DVD player but I seldom used it in here anyway. We tried every which way from Sunday to hook things up. We moved it in and out of the spot at least 3 times and it was still not working. Did I mention just how big and heavy this thing is?? He was getting upset and ready to call in reinforcements. All that tangled up mess of wires and cords to deal with--what goes to what, "no that's backwards" and stuff that didn't want to screw in when threaded with a left hand.

I finally pulled out the Dish guide that came with the receivers to see what we were doing wrong. Finally I figured out that I no longer needed to use the RF modulator in the set up if I wasn't using any other add on's. One wire WAS reversed and plug in the 3 pronged wires from the receiver and it finally came on. Power button won't work on the dish remote and I am not sure that anything is controlling the volume at this point but the TV works. DJ said
"I would have given up long before you did." Fortunately that last idea took!

The question then became, what do I do with all that stuff that was in and around the set?? Cleaning and purging ensued. DJ has a combo DVD/VCR player but I still didn't need to keep a good many of the VCR tapes. I ditched the no longer wanted ones along with the storage case they were housed in and was able to clear a spot on the entertainment center for them. Old turntable set up was in that space above the drawer---out along with the speakers. Books moved down. CDS moved into a different spot. Cleaning ensued but it needed to be done anyway.

The box was hauled in but I pretty much told him that he was on his own for figuring out how to hook it up. I was not convinced that he still needed to have a RF modulator in the mix with a new TV but he did have the DISH DVR receiver to contend with along with his own DVD/VCR thing. I already had had my ONE good idea for the day, LOL. He read, he tried and then he finally ended up calling tech support. A pleasant, helpful young man in Puerto Rico got him up and running. Turned out he had it set up correctly but still needed some help with the process. Other than thinking we need to elevate the set up about 5 inches to help hide all those wires, he is happy.

So what to do with this stuff? I think the TV gets tossed. Power on button is sunk back in the set so who would want it? Turntable and speakers should go to the thrift store tomorrow, I'm thinking, when I have time and am not hauling extra quilting supplies around. That stuff cannot sit there forever but laundry shouldn't need to be done till Thursday.

I was still cleaning at about 730 last night. DJ said "aren't you ever going to give up?" Believe me, I was ready to but the bathroom needed some attention. My reasoning was that at least the a/c was running at that hour of the day, in theory anyway. I knew for a fact that come Tuesday morning, he wouldn't turn it on till it hit 81 or 82 in the house. (yeah, I know---nuts!)

So, move one thing and look what happens!!! I am ready for a fun day with my quilting buds. Maybe sew a bit---3-D bowties or that triple rail?? Either is part of the Belles scrappy challenge.

Hope you have a great day in whatever you chose to do. Thanks for stopping by--------

Jul 23, 2011

still no sewing..........

so what have I been doing with myself?? Still messing with those recipes from the stacked up mags until about 30 minutes ago. BUT 3080 recipes later and files backed up, I think I am officially done. It got a little faster once I figured out taste of home's system for labeling the files in their url. I didn't have to search for it first but is/was still time consuming to download and transfer. Thank heavens for recipe fox in a Firefox browser for grabbing the whole shootin' match along with the picture!

I thought I was done on Friday morning but found another stack of about a dozen to transfer over to the cooking software. I still have some taste of home magazines on the shelf but those may be covered with the books they put out at years end that contain the whole year's mags. If that is the case, then those puppies are out of there too.

In between, I seemed to be having problems with the replacement keyboard. Not long ago the one I had used for a long time was acting up but in my efforts to clean it up I buggered up the space bar. I dug out an old one from under the bed and everything seemed to be going okay till the space key, delete and one of ctrl keys were sticking. I popped off all the keys off this one individually and cleaned it thoroughly. Not so many strings, crumbs and fuzz, etc in this one but it still needed attention. It worked well enough to get the job done on the recipe project but still is intermittently acting up. I told DJ if he was looking for birthday ideas for me next month, he a new one. We did look a few on a recent walmart run just to price them. My conclusion is: as usual, you can pay about anything you want for something as there is a big range. (I also pointed out the 4 in 1 grill I am panting over, LOL but I think he will probably give me the money and tell ME to go shop. )

All that button hole applique is still waiting. To be honest I didn't feel much like sewing this week anyway. So, I didn't. What's another day or two? Since I have a bit of the day ahead of me and I already fixed our supper meal(a cold chicken salad) this morning, I might just do a bit on my basket embroidery block. Pick up and put down work sounds like "just the ticket".

See what came in the mail yesterday?? A friend of my mom's had purchased all this lovely flannel to make a specific quilt. She then decided that she did not want to proceed with it and gave it to my mom, knowing that she does a lot of donation quilts. Mom did not feel too inclined to work with the flannel and asked me if I wanted it. She knows how chilly DJ gets in the living room on all those blood thinners come winter time. I obviously told her to send it on, LOL. A sales receipt in the box said the buyer spent about $110 bucks for all that fabric. I prefer cotton myself but I don't want this stuff to go to waste either.

This what the lady had in mind to make. I just scanned the page of the magazine which was in the January/February 2004 Fons and Porter's "Love of Quilting" . The quilt was designed by Judy Martin and pieced and quilted by Jean Nolte. The pattern was originally published in The Creative Pattern Book by Judy in 2000 and used by permission in the magazine. Judy called the pattern "Texas Chain" and this quilt featured in the book was called "Cabin Cozy Flannel". If you would like to see other quilts made from this same pattern, go to


Scroll down to Creative Pattern Book (or ctrl plus F and type it in) and click on any of the Texas Chain photos that have been submitted by readers. LOL, one uses 30 repros and you know how I love those! (Mom, see the one by Pam Mineart that is a QOV like one.)

Dang! Those same three keys are sticking and/or not typing again. I may be getting an early bday present yet! He did offer when I was griping about it the other day.

This week's household "disaster" for the week seemed to be that another blind broke at the header bar, near where the cord constantly pulls. LOL, DJ was gone so I left the whole thing on the table with a note that said "help me". He pointed out why it had fallen when he got home. He found the right sized, right colored one in the utility shed but come to find out, it had broken on the bottom! Sheesh! We could not find one at WM in the right width or color nor did he want to go look at the two other Walmarts in our area. Anyway, he ended up taking the bottom bar off the one that had fallen and putting it on the replacement one, saving us a whopping 5 bucks had we found one to purchase. Where there is a will there is a way, right?

The only other "disaster" was purely culinary in nature. Last night I was trying to make crepes with seafood. I have made them before, long time ago using a recipe I had clipped from the paper from Nathalie Dupree. A look at her website shows that it was printed in her "Everday Meals from a Well-Stocked Pantry". Exactly, I had everything on hand to make it. I even have an ancient electric crepe maker but unfortunately lost the directions/recipe book. In retrospect, I should have just made them a skillet as I had one royal mess with crepes sticking or starting to cook when I was dipping the hot utensil down in to the batter. What a mess! And after all that, DJ hated them. It might have helped if I had put some of the sauce over the top of them like you would do with enchiladas. Actually I sort of wished that I had made a half batch of the filling for Seafood Cancun Enchiladas instead. Now, that would have been GOOD as well as DJ approved. I told him I didn't know what we were going to do for lunch today when I tossed it all out. (He picked a coupon for money off a large pizza and paid for/picked it up. )

Guess that is it for now. I'm going to use my fingers for something other than typing.

Jul 19, 2011

off on another tangent

I am off on another tangent that has absolutely nothing to do with quilting. The cooking magazines are piling up and I am downloading the recipes from the taste of home website to my cooking software. Then the mags can go off to the Friends of the Library. Based on what I got done yesterday, another day or so should take care of this particular publication. Meanwhile I am getting a few new ideas to work into the menu planning. That can't be a bad thing---other than the list is starting for a return trip to the store, LOL. Well, that is inevitable anyway.

Shown at left, Skyler is play mode. We had already played "where's the kitty?" in attempting to make the bed. He is not much help in the bed making department, trust me but it is part of our play. He got all enthralled with his sock ball and I just skipped the top quilt for now. Note his exit strategy from the room. Rather than just walk over to the blanket chest and down to the floor he would rather leap over to the quilt rack and then leap out into the hall. He was preparing to leap when I took the photo but not before he tagged me on the way out the door.

And here we have DJ's Cosmo patch. We got a free package of seeds in the mail and DJ decided to plant them just to see what would come up. Only problem was, it was starting to rain and the old red dirt soil is hard to dig so he was not too inclined to dig up what the packaging suggested. So he more or less, just dumped the whole pkg. in one spot and we now have a cosmo clump. Man, who knew these things would be so leggy?? I sure didn't expect them to be shooting past the window ledge but now they are approaching the top of the window. The whispy stems sort of remind me an asparagus plant.

So back to surf, copy/paste and import for me. And I still might fall back to an old standard for fixing that salmon tonight, LOL.

Jul 16, 2011

today's output

It took me a good chunk of yesterday but I met my goal to get this pile of 48 blocks cut from the giant 4 patch down to the nine patch components.

And here was today's goal-----I do not believe that the giftee reads my blog and will see the frienship blocks. I cut the background block oversized so they can be trimmed down by the assemblers. They still need to be button hole appliqued and then some embroidered elements and a small button on the suspenders. Suspender Sam/Overall Bill on the right is stylishly dressed in Williamsburg Inn except for his shoes. Sam/Bill on the left looks like he has a 30's Hawaiian shirt on with hula girls. Old blues for the overalls and hat. The other? Dig around in the scrap basket till you find something you like.

I used the Eleanor Burns turned interface version for most of this mainly because the others involved in the group project will as well. I knew from past experience on a previous friendship quilt to just use fusible product on the kite and fish as it is too hard to turn those bits. (I like regular or light steam a seam.)

I am also not entirely convinced that it is the way to go on small pieces like the arm/hand combo. The body section was fine and the hats turned easier than I remembered. The stitching line shows a bit through the very light color of the hand. The other objection was the interfacing would not really lay down flat enough with my attempts to smooth it out. The interfacing was so torn up that I ended up having to baste the slit I had made closed to yank things back up in the proper position enough to stick them down. It might have been easier to just do the templar-starch method like you would on circles, leaves---and the one black shoe. Once I had the one on the right laid out I realized I needed something with a little more contrast and had already but up the machine so I used the alternate method to prep it. I'll save the extra shoe I had already sewn for another Sam/Bill down the line.

Since I now have 3 projects that need to be button hole applique, you know what I will be doing for a few days, dontcha?

Hope you had an enjoyable day in whatever you chose to do----------

Jul 15, 2011

today's goals

I have doing well in making do-able short term daily goals. Most of what I had my list yesterday got done until Mother Nature decided to get serious about that thunder and lightning around here.
I didn't get fabric pulled for the friendship blocks after all but I know where to start looking for it--which color groupings and/or theme. I DID get all but 4 of the giant 4 patches done last night. I tried but I am not going to risk zapping out the mother board on my machine. I always make sure the machine is unplugged over night since I had to replace one on my Viking. Or if storms are approaching, stop and unplug.

I finished up the blocks this morning. So today, I am going to get giant 4 patches cut for the next step. I am going to have to put this away for a few days so I want the blocks laid out ready to sew so the pizza box will work just fine for stacking them up as they should be picked up and sewn.

Problem was, I had no empty pizza boxes. I emptied out one that I would not be needing for a bit though the emptied out "class sampler" will have to go back in there at some point. Space is finite and I would have no place to stack more pizza boxes if I were to go buy a few more from the restaurant. Looks like I need to sew some of these contents so they can be recycled instead.

What I have learned from this project:
  • My large table mat is too big for turning to make the 4 cuts. This is one project where one of those revolving mat things MIGHT work but I wouldn't want to spend the money on something I would rarely need.
  • My 12 x 18 mat is a bit too small too for cutting that last little bit cut. I may to get down the between sized Fiskar mat that I don't like so much.
  • My beloved Big Mama ruler is just a hair too short. Here, I just told Teresa in chat that I seldom use my 12 1/2 inch square ruler but here is the perfect spot for it.
Once that's done I'll focus on the friendship block requirements. I'll soon be swapping out machines to do a pile of button hole applique and hopefully quilt a bit. I'll see how far I get with today's goals------

ED. NOTE: The block won't all stay together when you try to make the 4 cuts so don't even try to keep it all lined up. Everything is cut 1 1/2 inch (in my case anyway) from the center so it doesn't have to. Plus I can go back to my in between mat and fav ruler, LOL.

Jul 14, 2011

half way there!

Yep, I am getting a little production done here today. The embroidery on Summer............

..........and flowers stuff basted down on the July Button Up.

Both projects are ready for the button hole applique once I swap out my machines. I like the BH stitch better on my Viking whereas I prefer to sew with the Brother.

I am still considering sewing getting to those 4 patch blocks but it is really thunder rumbling out there. I don't think we are under warnings yet but it certainly looks like it could at least rain a bit. I may wait till after supper if things are cleared up by then. Once the sun starts to lower in the cloudy skies, it sometimes will clear up when it nears the tree line. Who knows?

For now, I think I will pull the fabric for some friendship blocks I had offered to do.

pictures round the house

After running a quick errand into town, I was struck by how much more our crape myrtle trees/bushes had bloomed out. Had to get my camera! These did not load in the order I wanted but whatever...............

sunset shot from a recent evening

The red one--my favorite really

The purply-pink one as you enter the lane on its north side

Purply pink one and the white tree as you look back South

Today is hand work day, I guess. I already did the word "welcome" with perle cotton embroidery on the "Summer" piece top and bottom before I ran my errand---last seen HERE . Next up on my list is to baste the leaves and stems on July Button---last seen HERE. Then if I have the time and/or inclination, I can sew up the last 15 giant 4 patches for D4P. See how it goes.

Jul 13, 2011

WIP Weds, wk.29

Just to avoid a pictureless post, here is the button basket block that I finished up yesterday. I also put a few stitches in the block that followed but too few to show. Design source: Bee Tree Designs on her flickr pages.

So what have I been up to today? Earlier in the day I started pressing and cutting some of that white on white pile from the last post. I got a nice pile of 3.5 inch squares and a start on the 30 6.5 inch squares I need to complete my giant four patches for the D4P top I want to make. I want the smaller squares for 3-D bowtie blocks to go with the small leftover blue squares from D4P. BUT I had a few other things to do before I could really get deeply involved with the prep work.

Errands run? Check. Lunch made? Check. Thanks to Pat, our Belles hostess I came home from the meetings with some of the leftover tossed salad as well as fresh tomatoes, whole cantaloupes(!) and some of the leftover water melon. That changed my menu plans a bit so I made Chicken Cobb Salads for us for lunch. Other kitchen tasks? Check. I have some vegetable beef soup thawed from the freezer and chopped up some of fresh tomatoes and tossed them in with that. I also re-purposed the extra hard boiled eggs by making some egg salad for tomorrow's lunch. Other than making me a big old pot of iced tea in a bit I can hole up in the sewing room and get something done.

At this point I wouldn't mind just hanging with my head in the freezer or hang out in the bathroom or the utility room---the a/c seems to working best in those small rooms. But I put on my big girl quilter panties and fire up the iron. There is really not a spot to put this white fabric back into so I hope to get it cut for the various projects if possible. Skinny Strips needs some whites if I stumble on some significant yardage.

Hope you are having a good day in whatever you chose to do---------

Jul 11, 2011

what is wrong with this picture?

What is wrong with this picture??

I finished up the 2nd block and thought I would join it to the one I already had completed. WHAT? It does not even begin to match up. So what did I do wrong?

The first one, on the right---the interior strips/squares finishes at 1 inch. Turns out the directions on proficient needle said to cut it 1 1/4 inches from the center seam. (One seam is already enclosed from the initial 4 patch)

The one on the left---the interior strips/squares finish at 1 1/4. DUH! Someone that looks a lot like me did not look at the directions again and cut it 1 1/2.

But you know what? I think I like it better that way. Usually the smallest piece I work with is 1 1/2 inches, foundation piecing being the only exception. Surprisingly, the finished block is the same size--11 inches. Good thing that I caught it early and I will only waste one block with my boo boo It can go in something else down the line---abandoned block quilt or a row quilt that is in the donation stuff.

Also note the pile of white or near white fabric UGH. I do not feel like standing in front of a steam iron to press all that. The a/c is working double time trying to keep up and I still have to keep a fan blowing. (He has it set for 80 only because it does not agree with the thermometer set in the living room---which is lower.) Block sewing, it is.

Design "Wall" Monday wk #29

This is what I was working on. There is one completed and hanging from the bookshelf in my sewing area for a guide.

Yesterday proved to be a "lost day" sewing wise. I got off another tangent and started cleaning off and cleaning out the crud on my keyboard. It looks wonderful but after all that, I found I had buggered up the space bar. I lost and then found the wire that is under the key but it still sticks---badly. That is kind of frustrating so I ended up pulling out an old backup that may or may not have problems of its own, LOL.

After I had posted on Saturday, I sewed my way through the pile of cut 6.5 inch blue squares till I ran out of background squares. I knew that was going to happen. I figured I could count up a little easier once I saw what remained blue fabric wise. Amazingly, I only have to cut for what would be 15 blocks once completed. I am still not sure how many blocks I need for the veteran's quilt---5 x8 will finish a hair short and about 5 inches narrower than requested but how married are they to 60 x 90 anyway??? 6 x8 might be okay. Wouldn't you rather have one a little undersized than no quilt?

I am trying to use the bits of leftover yardage and strips from previous projects for both prints and backgrounds. I'll dig thru the white bin in a bit.

Today's main project will be to finish up the block on the small cutting board before the pieces scatter and complete the half sewn big 4 patches There, I have given myself a short range goal. My blog will hold me accountable.

This morning was laundry day though I still need to put it away. I was busy in the kitchen baking this Tex Mex Sheet cake for the Bama Belles potluck tomorrow. DJ said he might have to invite himself along since that cake smelled so good, LOL. I often made this when someone at work had a birthday and often didn't come home with much. He might just be hoping that he gets some of it. The recipe is in the Eagle Brand Classic Desserts cookbook but I found it online on cooks.com HERE.

Of course, baking shot the temperature in the house up to about 84 and that was with the a/c on. This bakes in about 20 minutes since you use a jelly roll plan but still have to preheat. UGH. I imagine that the gas dryer was not helping matters any either. We are under a heat advisory again today from 12-7. BUT I see some cloud cover rolling in and there is a possibility of t-storms. Other parts of the country are in the same boat, no doubt since these are the dog days of summer.

Stay cool-------

Jul 9, 2011

not much to show for it

It seems like I have been busy with some sort of sewing project all week but somehow, I do not have much to show for my efforts. Know what I mean?

So let's do a tally-------

  • Leaves and flower centers are all prepped for the July Buttonup. Binding is made but not pressed. 80 plus inches of 1/2 inch finished bias tubing is made but still need to be pressed. I am thinking that it would be easier to deal with if I cut it something around the lengths needed for the flower stems instead of the whole long length of it.

  • Binding is made for "Summer" but not pressed. I really do not like pressing binding, if you want to know the truth, LOL. How often have you seen piles of binding on this table over the years, LOL?? I even took a few stitches in the embroidered part of "Summer" (the word welcome goes on top and bottom borders) at today's quilt meeting but decided I needed a table and decent light to proceed with that!

  • A pile of hanging tabs were made for my "Be Attitudes" quiltlets. For all but the one that is currently hanging, I applied buttons to the front and snaps to the back of the tab and the quiltlet. That took longer than it should have as I must have sewn one of snaps on upside down at least 4 times. Towards the end I was getting really good at sewing the button with the same thread as the snap.

We had quilt guild over in Pell City today---one girl was sick so we were able to go in one vehicle. I was pleased that a new FB friend from the county who I met thru this blog was able to come to the meeting today so we could meet up face to face (Hi, Teresa!) I do so love show and tell. Betsy had the QOV top done in time so she could share it with the group today.

I need to get my butt in gear and get some tops made for that. Seeing some of the tops that others are turning in at the meetings is inspiring but I need to do my part if we all hope to cover 180 beds at the veteran's home! Mine is the next FAB birthday and we do plan to have a sewing day. Bday girl gets to pick the project and my choice was/is " Line Art" from Winter 2010, Quilts and More mag but they show it as one of the APQ free patterns online shown in what could be patriotic prints---HERE called Skinny Strips. I have at least some of the strips already cut for it when I cut my way thru the dark blue/navy basket last month. (Pat, you are exempt from that choice if you want to work on something else QOV).

After all two days of those tab things, I feel more like sewing that doing hand work today. Think I will go make a pile of giant 4 patches for a Disappearing 4 patch (D4P), speaking of cutting my way thru the blue fabric bin, LOL. I want this one to go to the veteran's home so that would be a start in the right direction.

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend in whatever you chose to do-----------

Jul 7, 2011

goodbye, bad tree

Woohoo! The offending tree has been dealt with and the chances of it causing us any further cable, power, phone outages or damage to the mast is minimal. Probably just in time too. The tree cutter guy told me that one of the other limbs had a big crack in it. It was just a matter of time and a big enough wind. We would be out another 250 plus replacing the mast----or more.

It also turns out that this mess was actually TWO trees, not one and both volunteer trees. The remaining one leans towards their lines and the cut down one, ours. We can't say we are sorry to see it go.

The neighbor's step-dad removed the brush from the fallen limb over the weekend so the yard is cleared out. THX Michael!

And, the guys were also contracted to take this broken limb down while they were here on the 2nd tree. Easier for them when they had both the equipment, personnel and the truck/trailer to haul the brush away.

To read about what precipitated all this tree business, see THIS post.

A bit of sewing going on today so I'm getting back to it. Hope you are having a good day.

Jul 6, 2011


My friend Betsy called this morning to see if she could come by and pick up the blocks I had made so this quilt top could be completed.

I missed the sewing date but had told her I had 4 blocks to include in the project. My blocks will just need sashing applied and then the rows can be joined. Close up on the blocks can be seen in THIS POST

Looks pretty, doesn't it? I am not entirely sure but I think this will be going to the Veterans Home in Pell City (AL). I'll find out down the line.


Color me distracted---in more ways than one! Because of the order the pictures posted, we'll go with this first.

Goodbye to most of the huge holly bush that was overgrown into the support post, the soffit and the driveway! DJ sawed off most of it yesterday but whittled away at it a bit more this morning. We both drug branches down to the burn pile last night, manually and in the wheel barrel---just ahead of a thunderstorm!

The biggest one you see down the row needs to go as well but can wait a bit. Actually till we are allowed to burn brush again (whole state is till under a burning ban as far as I know), we can't really pile much more on the brush pile.

I didn't get the best of pictures here but the crape myrtles bushes are beginning to show their color. The large more mature tree, white one, has been out for longer but not a whole lot of blossoms.

And look who was waiting for me to come back in the kitchen? He wants his treat bite (teaspoon of Fancy Feast canned) I was greeted with the full throated meow version. If you can't figure out what THAT means, then you don't speak "cat" very well, LOL.

Yesterday afternoon as I was working on the stitching project that I am piddling with (more about that in a minute), I got a call from my friend Lois. Did I want some sweet corn? Her husband Les had picked some that morning. I drove on over in short order. I guess they had been putting up corn for the freezer all day!

She asked me if I wanted some zucchini and cukes which were also producing in abundance. Now, I love cukes but DJ does not but I took a couple off her hands to slice up and marinate for my pleasure. Lois also gave me her recipe for zucchini soup which calls for 6 cups of shredded or sliced zukes. I peeled and shredded that all up last evening in addition to prepping the corn. I steamed the ears she already had husked and nuked the stuff on the cob. I have had good success using a recipe for fresh corn in the husks in the microwave---found HERE on cooks.com.

You see the good looking soup here---the extra bits. We will have some of it with our sandwiches for lunch. I tweaked her recipe just a wee bit adding a bit of thyme and celery. The sample I had about 1030 was delish! I add the leftover corn but now cut off the cob to the mix as well.

I was busy in the kitchen for quite some time. The soup was the last thing I made but before that I did up a batch of tuna mac salad for our supper, threw some chicken breasts in the crockpot for enchiladas later in the week and hard boiled some eggs for one of DJ's fav breakfast dishes. That puts me a little ahead of the game for meal prep.

In between there was a quick store run to get some more blueberries. I had two cups of fresh berries leftover from another purpose--the pie takes 3. I had toyed with the idea of making muffins but I didn't feel like baby sitting muffin pans all morning ( I am short a pan to bake them all at once). I use the Creamy Blueberry Pie recipe from allrecipes.com. The remaining cup of berries went up in the freezer to IQF for pancakes or whatever down the line.

So here is the sidetracked sewing project. 5 days into the month and I realized that I had not switched out the July wall hanging ----Be Attitudes and Calendar quilts. One is easy to do but the Be Attitudes uses a closed dowel rod hanger ( found HERE ) and hanging tabs. Each month I have to sew the tab over the hanger. After I put "Be Honest" up, I decided to just make some more tabs, get some more buttons and make one for each quilt fastening the back with a snap. I did an inventory to see exactly how many I need in what color groupings---one more green, 4 more blue and 3 reds since I already had 4 made that I could revamp. Just need to cut the tabs out and buzz them up on the machine and I will be golden from here on out, LOL.

I still have bias strips and binding to sew but I am on a roll with this tab thing and will see it thru first! Hopefully it will not be an all week deal----provided I can stay out of the kitchen for hours on end. Well, it is time to go warm up the soup. If Lois okays it, I will post the recipe down the line.

Jul 4, 2011

Design "Wall" Monday

........more like, design "desk" Monday.

I am prepping the appliqued leaves for July Button Up. Whenever possible, I want the raw edges turned under. I need 10 of them---9 was in progress and 1 to go.

Next up 5 flower centers---there are two different sizes but I'll use that brown piece you see there to do the job.

Then I will have to hit the machine. To the right you see blue binding and the tabs piece to seam for July piece. In the middle, the bias strips for the stems---I need 80 inches worth at 1/2 inch wide. Lastly, you see binding to sew for In Seasons Summer.

Hand work is slow going but I enjoy it even if it is a little "boring". I am making some progress on two projects.

DJ and I aren't doing anything special for the 4th. I cooked out yesterday and will just re-heat the leftovers. Fireworks were held last night at the Fort McClellan Duck Pond. Even if I knew where that was, we probably would have stayed home. That's fine with me!
Happy Birthday, America!

Hope all my stateside readers have a safe holiday.

Jul 2, 2011

Today's efforts

Today's efforts included cutting out and assembling the July Button Up to get it to this point.

I have the bias strips cut for the flower stems but not seamed yet. I also have the leaves cut and ready to baste around the templar shape. I have not fused down the flower petal shapes yet but pinned them on so you could get an idea of where I am headed with this thing.

Binding is cut for both the Summer piece and this one but not seamed.

Progress, nonetheless.

I am beat from waking up/getting up way too early so my sewing is done for the day.

Jul 1, 2011

how I spent my afternoon

........I prepped the applique motifs for my Nancy Halvorsen "Summer" wallhanging from her book In Seasons. I had been living with the naked base for a week or two so it was time----last seen HERE.

Most of it is fusible applique type thing. The angel dress is easier to sew a strip "set" and turn over freezer paper. Those stylized flowers right below it I used three different techniques: fusible for the spiky flower part, yo-yo type things for the centers and bias strip stems that I smartly sewed into the outside border so I didn't have to worry about a raw edge. (I wish I had done the same thing with the rising sun area.)

I'll get to the button hole applique in a few days. There are a few buttons to be added as well as some embroidery embellishments----bee flight and button with the hive, eye for the fish and I think star buttons for the angel's dress. "Welcome" is marked on the horizontal borders but I may do embroidery that once the thing is quilted.

I am thinking about working on the July Button Up tomorrow. Scroll down to BU7---it will click bigger. Should that be my action plan, I would do the button hole stuff on both pieces at the same time.

Having fun playing in the sewing room--------