Sep 29, 2016

Goodbye, September

One more day in CDT and the month of  September will be gone with the wind.  We are getting a taste of more fall like weather this weekend but the overnight temps have been a bit lower.  I actually had a quilt pulled up past my feet for the first time in forever last night.  Almost a shock to see the hallway thermostat read 73 degrees this morning.  Bring it on, I say.

Like every other week in my life the week has whizzed on by since I last posted. Earlier in the week Marilyn had asked if I wanted to go with her and a friend to the Lick Skillet Show on Friday morning and then to lunch.  Then I popped that crown and needed to get in to see the dentist.  She was right--he was closed on Fridays but I had told them to go ahead without me and I would probably catch up to them.

Thing is my friend later asked me out to lunch again on Friday.  He lives about 45 minutes away and hoping to spare him the extra 15 minutes to my house, I said I would be in Oxford (it is on the way) at noon at the quilt show.  He could call when he got there and I'd come out.  What ended up happened is the phone rang as I was driving south and he left a voicemail  "I'll be at the front door shortly" an hour and half earlier than I expected him. At my house?? Turned out he was at the quilt show, paid his admission and maybe was walking through looking for me, not sure.  Then he met me at the door, paid my admission and walked through with me!  Oh, atta boy points for that.  I didn't get to the vendors at all but that might have been a good thing after the field trip day and AQS show the previous week.

Of course, we were running into all lot of people I know from Belles, JOY Guild and some from Friendship Guild in Pell City and introducing him.  At one point Wendell our JOY group prez and his wife were in the next group of quilts from us.  He stuck out his hand to shake and says to Charlie "we think a lot of your wife's talents" or something like that.  Charlie didn't say a word, I probably looked like a deer in the headlights briefly till I recovered and said "uh, we aren't married" but left off the part that this was only our 2nd real date!  Oh boy!   I felt embarrassed for Wendell  and I didn't really what Charlie's reaction was.  Charlie and I were laughing about it at lunch.  Later I thought had I wanted to "play" with Wendell for the gaffe I could have said " oh we aren't married---at least not to each other"  but that would have been 1) a lie and 2) mean even if it did strike me as a little funny.  Honestly, I thought he knew I was widowed but perhaps forgot.

Saturday was Bama-Kent State football day so he picked me up to go to Paul's to watch it.  The game was quite early so we all went to supper at Lone Star Steakhouse.  I had hoped we would see the National Anthem performed.   Susan from Patchwork Reflections' granddaughter Madison who is a student at University of Alabama was performing with the Million Dollar Band but doing it sign language.  It was International Sign Language  Week as well as Parents weekend.  I saw video later but not on network.

I saw Charlie again on Sunday afternoon fixing some Cubano sandwiches for supper.  (I scrapped the idea of going to the chamber music concert, LOL.)  Unfortunately right after we finished the meal my missing crown tooth kicked in with shooting pains into temple and jaw and it was bad.  He did what he could to soothe me and it finally let up but not before see me at my worst.  I didn't scare him away, I guess as I saw him Wednesday afternoon (yesterday) for lunch after our mutual doctor appointments.  I think we can assume I am definitely dating and having fun.   Oh, Oscar loves him, jumping all over him and giving doggie kisses.  I almost think he likes him more than he does me.  I rarely get doggie kisses.  Keeps trying to jump up right between us, LOL.  Since we met in Paul's living room last season, I messaged Paul that Cupid must surely come dressed in red Bama boxer shorts (or so I've been told, LOL), a big belly, Bama cap and hunk of chaw.  I don't know if he gave Charlie a nudge or not but suspect possibly.

Donna and Margarita came by Friday evening after the quilt show to pick up the guild donation comfort quilt as Margarita wanted to test out her new thimble and I had gotten the binding on it for her.  Also she wanted to see my sewing room set up.  I waited to set up to quilt the challenge quilt till today since I thought Stacy might come on Tuesday but frankly, I didn't have time to get started on it till today anyway.

I couldn't get in to see the dentist until Tuesday.  It was aching but thankfully, no more bad spells like Sunday evening.  I had to leave the Belles meeting to go and told the girls to go on to lunch without me as I doubted I would be able to chew for a bit.  BUT after talking with the dentist and taking an x-ray, I had a small abscess developing.  If we put the existing crown back on, there was not much bone to attach to and it would slough off and it needed a root canal.  No thanks---I'm getting it pulled this next Monday.  Way back molar anyway.

I had two of my quilts to pin and had left one of them set up on the table half done with Bev's help.  A quick text to say I was on my way back got a response that they were at Olive Garden, come on out and we'll wait to order.  Brenda and Bev were doing hand work at the meeting and I was helping Margarita a bit with a Dandy Quilt block she was making for her QOV retreat block.   Between Belles and the Tuesday evening group she got it all finished up.

I wasn't at Tuesday evening group terribly long but was in full mentor mode I guess, LOL.  Donna wanted go start on a Tree Farm quilt block for the guild Christmas block exchange but was having a little trouble understanding the instructions.  Got her going.  I had brought Stacy the resized idea for the Sweet Life quilt but she was looking through my Simply Retro book and liked the Framed almost as much as I do.  I told her I had one all cut out and that it is one I hoped to work on at the upcoming retreat, LOL.  It certainly will work for her wonkily cut Kaffe Fassett layer cake.   She had a stack of other fabrics and an idea she liked so we all had suggested of what colors to put where from her selections.  Margarita also needed some help with her stack of RWB fabrics for a quilt for a family member, "which color to use where" sort of thing using Ami Simms' Twisted Sister ruler and pattern.  Turned out she was a little short of what she needed for the block center choice.  I told her to just come by and see if I had something she could use as I have quite a bit of red in my stash.  Hopefully the one we pulled out will work--we swapped for some of her black and white.  Janice was doing just fine without me, LOL working on her block of the month that Donna is helping them with.  Her fabric choices are wonderful and she was doing two blocks rather than one.  Donna had wanted a star with a pinwheel center and to have the girls work with flying geese/quarter square triangles.  I found this one called Sarah's Choice on Quilter's Cache that fit the bill but she needed me to print it off for her.  The two guests came again so maybe they are going to be joining in regularly.

Wednesday off to the endocrinologist.  For once I was out of there in a reasonable amount of time.  My thyroid stimulating hormone is finally back in normal limits so I won't have to go back for another 6 months.  However, my scan showed the nodule is a bit larger than it was 6 months prior but still small enough that it does not need to be biopsied yet.  That will be repeated along with the labs.

I managed to get 5 of the 7 rows of my challenge quilt quilted today but have no clue what I want to do on the borders.  I am happy with the progress I did make so I can play a bit tomorrow and not feel so stressed about getting this thing done in time for the retreat.  Charlie is coming with his 3 yr old granddaughter so we'll go to the park and I already told him I was hungry for pancakes so maybe IHOP.  Will see what Abby wants, LOL.  Bama plays at 6 on Saturday and Paul says hamburgers before it starts.

And so it goes------crazy life lately but a happier one in many ways.

Sep 22, 2016

Welcome, Fall!

As usual, I have been keeping busy and another week has flown by.  Now we flip the page to autumn.  We had a cooler morning recently (mid 60's after my thermometer consistently has read 77 for months first thing!).   I had some hope that we were headed to some cooler weather but by afternoon, back up in the low 90's.  I'm ready!  You see some hint of the leaves changing, some are already dropping but I think that is more of a stressed out and drought summer more than anything.  We are about 10 inches behind our annual rainfall totals and it is affecting the lake levels which supply hydro-power.  The yard is all dried out as well.

The yard being dried out and dead might be a good thing after something that happened here in the neighborhood yesterday.  I was not home when this happened, thankfully, but there was a police chase.  Robert was outside working on his deck and saw part of the action and asked the officer he knew at the scene what was going on.   They had to drive right through my yard, around the neighbor's house where they hit a spot they could not get through (tree, shed, trampoline, etc).  There was a foot chase and they apprehended the guy at the end of the lane.  It is amazing that they didn't just go sailing down off the ledge to the road below---it is up at least 10-12 feet, just guessing.

The Police Department explained what happened on their Facebook post this morning.  Quoting the Lt. of our local PD.

"Yesterday a man decided to steal a truck in Anniston. He fled to our humble town of (_______) in this stolen truck, then fled on foot when he was confronted by the truck owner who tracked him on GPS. When PD officers arrived, a search was conducted and we spotted the criminal who decided to play a game of hide and seek.   A foot chase ensued and the suspect was apprehended. The suspect told us that during the foot chase he swallowed a large amount of meth and then began spazzing out. We escorted an ambulance that took him to the hospital for detox, and then we gave him another ride in our cruiser to adult time out at the County Bed & Breakfast facility where he can look forward to some new roomies and a scrumptious oatmeal breakfast."

My other neighbor 2 houses down whose yard was involved said two Police Departments, Sheriff's Deputies and an unmarked car were all down there and then of course, the ambulance too.  Quite the commotion!  Bob also said that there had been a rash of vehicle thefts recently so this may have been another in that string.  Anyway, it won't really hurt the dried up cow pasture I call a yard much to have those vehicles driving on it.

Where was I when all this was going on?  I had one of those sleepless nights but the version where I wake at some early hour and more or less, bail.  I pressed two quilts worth of binding and then started sewing on this block.  Then I had to run into town to have my thyroid tests repeated ahead of my appointment time next week.  From there I went over to our meeting place to pin my challenge quilt since I would already be halfway there.  I was gone from about 11 to 2 by the time I circled back to pick up a script.  Not sure what time this all happened.

This block Circle of Squares is one that I needed to make for the Fall Retreat I will be attending next month.  The hosting guild requested 12 inch finished QOV blocks for donation to be used in their ongoing QOV projects.  I am supposed to be making fall blocks too but they changed the format to a "bring however many, pull out however many".  I don't think I want a fall quilt when I still have a pass around round robin one I could finish.    You can see it HERE---that last border has got to be reworked.  I'm sorry but the super dark poly cotton has got to go along with the things in the corner (is that supposed to be a stylized leaf??) That has explained why this has sat so long in the closet.

Okay, I said my challenge top was done.  I finished that up Monday---one block to make, the joining seams.  I had planned to sew the backing, binding and prep the batting from sections of previously used rolls BUT that night I could not get to sleep in the first place so got up and did all that.  Then because I was so worn out, I did get to sleep.

Friday I had lunch out with a friend and we visited for awhile back at my house till he said he needed to go.  He was supposed to be meeting his daughter-in-law and the grandkids in town and they were all going to the circus being held near here that evening about 4 pm.  I think he was going to catch up with our mutual friend Paul while he was in town and had an errand to run as well.   He had been gone about 45 minutes when he called and asked if I would want to go with them, LOL.  I wasn't doing anything pressing and said "sure" having met the family members a few weeks prior to that.  It was fun though the venue was hotter than the dickens.  Everybody was thirsty especially after eating that salty popcorn.  It was nice to get to know Charlie a bit better than just watching the Bama games.

Saturday I was off early with the pals from the Tuesday evening group heading to the AQS show up in Chattanooga.  This is the last year they are going to have a fall show in TN and are moving it back to Paducah for both spring and fall, I had heard.  Margarita had rented a van so 7 of us could ride up together instead of taking a couple cars. It was a fun day.  We knew we could not keep up with each other and just said "be out front at 12 pm Bama time" and we would go on to lunch.

A vendor from Franklin, TN had this cool Scrap Box Chevron pattern which I did buy but was out of the Puzzled Nine Patch one.  Slick technique.  I also got some Deb Tucker Studio 180 rulers and ran into Lois over there---no surprise, LOL.

Friends of Donna had suggested the Terminal Brewhouse near the Chattanooga Choo-Choo downtown and it was not far from the Convention Center but the Garmin Lady had to straighten us out in getting there as several streets were blockaded.  Food was good and so was the company.  I think I got home around 3??   I only took two pictures as silly me, forgot to put my phone on the charger so it was red lining by the time I took those two.

I had asked Charlie to text me if anything good happened in the Bama game which started at 2:30.   At least 4 of us 7 are Bama fans but I doubted anyone would want to listen to the entire game.   At one point knowing my phone was next thing to dead, I asked Margarita to turn on the radio or Stacy to pull up the score on her phone.  UGH 24-3 late in the 2nd quarter meaning Aline's husband was not going to be a happy camper when he picked us at the rendezvous spot.  As I was driving back to my house, Bama did score a TD so it was 24-10 with like a minute to go.  I didn't dial up the radio figuring it was just going to be the half time yapping.  Charlie texted it was 24-17 as one of the Bama guys had a long punt return TD.  I had something to do here at home so texted back saying I might get brave and go over to watch the game once I was done with that.   When I arrived, I told the gang that they could send me home if I didn't bring them any luck with a win.  Fortunately, that was not needed.

Stacy had asked me to bring one of my portfolio of patterns to the next meeting so she could "pick out her next quilt".  She's working on the borders of her Chevron quilt now and looking for inspiration for her fabric stacks specifically a Kaffe Fassett layer cake.  Sunday I did a bit of re-organizing of the two I planned to take.  These were some of the more recent magazine clippings, internet printouts, purchased patterns or given to me patterns, etc.  Several years back I did a thing where I took everything out of all my notebooks---and there is a bunch from over the years---and separated them all out by categories.  One notebook might be kid/donation quilt ideas, another bags/totes and accessories.  Others were by technique---4 patch, 9 patch, baskets, curved designs, embroidery, applique, Log Cabins, strip piecing, etc etc etc.   The other stuff was just a hodge podge and still kind of is but I know it is the "newer" stuff though some dates back 5 yrs, LOL.

By the time I left I think she might have narrowed things down a bit.  One I had suggested for the large bold Fassett stuff was " Sweet Life" in Simply Retro so those could remain intact but we will have to re-size the block to use her squares.  The pattern in the book calls for fat quarters to make 18 inch finished blocks and layer cakes are not big enough.  13.5 inch finished will work as I was fiddling in EQ that evening when I got home.  It is one I have considered doing myself and she was able to pull it up on the phone to see the block.  Donna had been working with the girls to learn some basic blocks and techniques.  So far they have done a log cabin block and friendship star.  I think she said the next one was flying geese and she planned to do quarter square triangles, applique and foundation piecing as well.  "Sweet Life" has flying geese all right.

We had two guests that evening and at that point no one had their machine going but we were talking quilt and paging through the notebooks.  Actually that worked out well for Donna as I had a foundation pieced star block with a flag at center printed off that I had considered making for the retreat last fall and since I didn't make it, the printouts were just filed.  She said it was exactly what she had been looking for but could not figure out the math for the flag part.  I said to go ahead and take it.  I was going to do something else this year too, LOL.

I set up the sewing machine yesterday afternoon/evening to put the binding on the guild Charming Boxes.  Margarita had gotten a new custom fit to her finger thimble at the quilt show and told me I needed to save her some binding.  She's between projects that require it right now, I guess but took care of that last night.  I just need to hand it off to her at some point and I am happy that I won't have to worry about it especially since I still need to finish my own on Prairie Stix, LOL.

I had considered leaving the forward and side tables up around the sewing table to go ahead and start the quilting on the challenge quilt.  I've got to get started at some point BUT there is a possibility that I will have some visitors in the next few days or so.  A friend from high school who is a Facebook friend messaged me recently to say that he and another classmate were thinking about coming down to Chattanooga and meeting up with a 3rd classmate who lives in Hendersonville, NC.   What was there to do in Alabama?  Depends on what you want to do, said I.  You bike, like music, want to hike?  Like the mountains or the coast better?

They might come down, they might not and I am not sure which day. Frank is supposed to call me.  I've not seen any of these guys since the mid 70's.  Bill went to my dad's church and even dated one of my roommates.  Steve, I don't know as I don't think we had any classes together and I only went to Lexington Community High School my senior year in the first place.   I know they planned on camping a few days anyway at Cloudland Canyon State Park, GA.  BUT we are currently experiencing some gas shortages due to a leak at a major trunk line from Houston through Alabama and on to Jersey.  They are doing a diversionary line but just how soon the work will be done and all stations back up to full delivery schedules is not clear.  He talked to me about this on Sunday or Monday evening as Steve had reported outages in Hendersonville already and it might change their plans.  Turns out we had some as well but we don't get a paper on Monday anymore and I was not aware.  There is a distribution center in Oxford just south of Anniston but they are obligated to deliver to the big vendors first and maybe not all grades of fuel either.

There is also the Lick Skillet Quilt show locally on Friday and Saturday.  Or I could go up to the Collinsville Quilt Walk if I had a mind to.  Bama plays Kent State but really early--not sure if I am going over to Paul's or not.  So far I've not been invited or he just figures I don't need an invite, just show up.  (Last week both he and Charlie asked if I was going.)  Sunday I could go to the Chamber music concert at one of the local churches.  Who knows what I might be doing?  I also lost that same crown that I had to have re-cemented in June.  I've got a call into the dentist and waiting for a call back.  I am not fond of waiting for the phone to ring, I am finding, and having all my plans up in the air!

I changed out the quilts on Monday to the fall variety.  Still need to hang that blind in my bedroom but not happening today.  Today I cleaned up all my thread mess and vacuumed up all the floors and spot mopped in the kitchen.  Did the laundry, ran the dishwasher, etc.   Poor Oscar was despairing if I was ever going to walk him this morning since I was working in my pj's and headed to the shower after I was done cleaning.  We went but it was noon before we did!  This afternoon I am just enjoying my reasonably cleaned up house and trying not to make a mess.   I'll either drag out my binding or read.  The bookmobile is next Tuesday and I am still not done with the first of three books!

And that is how my crazy life is going lately.  Old friends from high school popping up, old roommate going to my parents to get in touch with me on the phone, I may be possibly "dating" somebody but not sure how I feel about that---just nuts!

Sep 14, 2016

Field Trip!

For several months now my quilt group and I have been considering going on a field trip over to the Birmingham area fabric shops.  Brenda knew of two located in Gardendale (AL)--Material Girls and Our Sewing Nook .  Since it was our regular meeting day, we just said "be at the regular meeting spot at 9 a.m. if you want to go. We'll work out how many cars to take then."   Four of us were willing to drive, if need be, even though none of us were crazy about driving on I-20 in and around Birmingham.  LOL, Brenda and Bev were the drivers, as it turned out.

Aline met up with me at my house at an appointed time.  We were about 2 miles down the road when my phone went off and kept going off.  I knew it had to be one of the girls but I really could not pull over at that point.  Aline couldn't reach my purse in the back seat or work my phone once she found it.  I knew we would be at the church in another 5 minutes and I would take care of it then.  Turned out Brenda had a flat that was caused by a screw buried in her tire.  She was right next to an automotive place when this happened.  She was coming but would be a few minutes late.

The first stop was Material Girls. About a week ago Brenda had alerted me that in all her excitement about going on the field trip, she forgotten that the shop was normally not open on Tuesdays.  A phone call to the shop owner was made and she agreed to come in for us to shop.  Turns out she watches her granddaughter on that day and they were both there to greet us.  When we were going further and further out to more of a residential area on Route 31, Bev said "where is this place?"  Turns out in a house next to Great American Tent Rental Company!  The prices were good per yard.  One of the girls found some Gingher scissors and Wonder Clips for a reasonable price too.  The owner was friendly and definitely accommodating!

My main objective was to see if I could find a green similar to the one in these blocks.  One of the guild members in response to a call out for comfort quilts for children had pulled these out.  This much of was made by one of the past guild members who has since passed away.  Others have been completing some of Miss Esther's projects over time.  The only fabric with the blocks is the pink gingham print.  There are three of the smaller framed Bear Paw blocks and one row is complete.  I am not sure where she was headed with the Art Square block (I think that is what is called anyway) that is on top.  So.......... 

First I found a few fat quarters of the print but not knowing how many more blocks or how to use the ones already made it was good that I found it on the bolt and was able to get a bit more in more linear yardage.  It is an Oriental flavored print but should be okay. The gingham has yellow and blues in the little figures on it.  The pink-y red is close but I don't see me making any more of those framed Bear Paws!  Big ones, yes.  Both should work to complete this for a donation quilt.

Then we were off to Our Sewing Nook which turns out is fairly close to I-65 North in a strip mall.  This was a Brother machine dealer who also had fabrics, threads, etc.  As a matter of fact, they were loading up a woman's vehicle with a high end embroidery machine as we pulled up.  I know Margarita found some "Frozen" fabrics along with a panel piece to make a quilt for her three year old granddaughter in the 40% off room.  Aline had some lovely fabrics that could be used for a Christmas quilt but did not "scream Christmas", if you know what I mean?  I found this--4 yards of fabric for 20 bucks in the discount room.  Moda "Folklore" by Lily Asbury.  I believe that this will go with some Sandy Gervais stuff I already have at home though have not pulled out the bin yet to verify.  The colors are similar with the yellow gold, orange, lime greens, aquas that I so love.    I am considering doing another Chevron quilt for my great niece Emily.  Should really finish Lily's first seeing as she is two now and the top has been done for some time!!  The leftovers from that quilt should go with this as well. 

Next stop:  Lunch
Brenda mentioned a couple of choices near our next stop.  The Smokehouse Steaks and Seafood Restaurant seemed like the best choice for 6 different folks to make a choice as it was served up cafeteria style in a "meat and 1, 2 or 3" sides options.  Salad or dessert could be one of the sides even.  Bear in mind that I had no real idea of just where I was all day but this spot is on Finley Avenue in Birmingham near the Farmer's Market. I know this only from googling it now, LOL.   Jackie who had recently re-located to the Birmingham area met up with us at the first quilt shop and had lunch with us.  She used to eat there often and vouch for the food.   I think we all enjoyed our meal.

Brenda had one more stop for us at Cottage Needleworks.  The business is now located in the woman's home when her lease ran out at her bricks and mortar location.  (She was a vendor at the recent Heart of Dixie Quilt Show Jane, Hugh, Aline and I had gone to in late July). I think we were in the Inverness area of Birmingham at this point??  not far from I-459 anyway on the return trip.  Bev and I had to laugh as we were driving and trying to keep up with Brenda's vehicle on that so busy 280.  Her Garmin which did not have the third address plugged in kept trying to direct us somewhere. We guessed back to I-20 but who knows?  She goes "make a u-turn" --we were stopped at a light with vehicles all around us--like "just how do you expect us to do that from the center lane?"  After about the 4th or 5th suggestion to u-turn, I said "we will u-turn when Brenda does and only then."  Wouldn't you know that Brenda overshot the house and did have to turn around in someone's driveway?

The fabrics were 7 dollars a yard and 5/yd if you took what was left on the bolt.  The fat quarter bundles were discounted from the lowest marked price as well.  The ones spread out on the left were in the bundle and I found the other two of the same line in the fat quarter mix.  This is called "Church Ladies Aprons" by Mary Mulari for Penny Rose Fabrics.  All my favorite colors are in here!  I also found this cut little pattern post card and some gray Aurifil thread.

And look!  It even kinda goes with the other stuff I bought earlier depending on what I do with it.   I have been looking at the Sweet Life quilt in Camille Roskelley's Simply Retro for some time now which calls for 16 fat quarters. Maybe that one with the fabrics already on hand, I'm thinking.

I should really head into the sewing room and get back to my challenge quilt especially since I goofed off all day yesterday!  So far all I've done is messed around in the kitchen for a bit---I tried something called  No Bake Avalanche Cookies.  Kinda reminds me more of a Pay Day candy bar, especially since I threw in some dry roasted nuts I had leftover from making Pad Thai recently.  I am looking for something to take to the sewing retreat next month and wanted to see if this will work.  Once they set up, they are headed to the freezer as I don't think I need the temptation around here---peanut butter fudge-like stuff! I also added some more Rice Krispies to it than called for at the end as some of the peanut butter/vanilla coating was more runny in the bowl.  Oh, I'm loving the idea of using scoops for this and the muffins I made recently.  So much easier!

Okay, way past lunch time here and time to get this show on the road since the day is half over already.  Guess you'll never know what I'll be up to when you stop in, LOL.

Sep 12, 2016

Monday check-in

So what have I been up to?  It would seem sewing and cooking or re-purposing leftovers.

Sewing:  Good Karma challenge top is progressing and at this point I am more than half done with two rows to go and the half row for the bottom.  You would have to see the design to see what I mean by "half row" and I can't share just yet.  I have taken a couple days off from it but needed to take a little break from it, creatively.  I got a whole row done while I listened to the Alabama-Western Kentucky football game on Saturday afternoon and laid out the next row yesterday but never quite got around to firing up the machine.  Maybe in a bit.

Friday I loaded up the car and went up to Jacksonville as the guild has a classroom at the FUMC that we are allowed to use for sewing days.  They are trying to get this started up again after taking some time off for the summer.  No one was there when I arrived a little after one but there are two sessions--one 12-4 and the other 4-8 so the after work bunch could participate.  I stayed two hours and then headed back home.  I had to grab another project box though.  A different machine is always in the car at the ready but I had a Layer Cake Lattice cut out with this pretty Riley Blake Summer Song 2 that I had picked up at the Heart of Dixie quilt show back in July.  Easy peasy sewing though not knowing where they tuck the iron I waited to press till I got home and did the sub-cutting here.  It is set aside again but it was fun fabric to play with for a few hours anyway.  Image borrowed from  as I think the line is old enough now to be almost out of stock.

I did some binge cooking on Thursday.  I like to do stacked rice bowls with taco meat so set up two servings of that and made the rest into Tex-Mex type soup.  It went in the freezer for the time being but a small bowl came out for two suppers when I needed the space, LOL.  Mostly it was baking--time to turn the bananas piling up in the freezer into muffins so the old tried and true Pearson House Hummingbird Muffin recipe was pressed into service.  The only thing I do differently is add a small cup of applesauce and ease off on the oil a hair and add a cup of coconut to the mix.  I also decided to make a batch of Libby's Pumpkin Muffins but I was getting low on flour at that point.  I like to divide the recipe so I can put craisins and nuts in half the batter and chocolate chips in the other. It makes for more dishes but that's okay.  I've got a set of big mixing bowls so it is not a problem.  I ended up tagging one bowl "needs another 1/4 cup of flour" and just putting the spice/leavening stuff in the other and buzzed down to Winn Dixie as soon as the oven was done from the Hummingbird Muffins.

I tried a couple of new recipes as well.  I had some pork tenderloin in the freezer and found a recipe for Cheater Pork Carnitas on Slow Roasted Italian, a food blogger I subscribe to.  While the recipe called for a pork loin I figured it would work.  She also used 505 Southwestern Salsa with Tomatillos, Garlic and Lime.  I didn't have that so used a can of green enchilada sauce, a can of chopped chiles, garlic and a fresh lime. (I saw it yesterday at Wal-mart when I got groceries).  I shredded up half of loins this morning for a couple carnita meals adding in a bit of Salsa Verde to moisten it.  Yesterday I had mixed up some Vinegar Slaw to top them with as someone had mentioned in comments, roughly using that recipe but adding some cumin and a pinch or oregano instead of celery seed to pre-packaged slaw mix.   For the rest of the shredded meat, I followed her suggestion of adding cream cheese and cheese to the meat and then rolling them up in 6 inch soft tacos for taquitos for the freezer.  Donna does not give measurements so I just eyeballed.  I cut the other loin up for Cubano sandwiches which call for roasted pork and ham.  The little sample I tasted of the meat was good--as long as it didn't get too spicy!!  I don't "do" hot.

When I got groceries, they had packages of the turkey tenderloins I have been fixing all summer marked down $2.50 a package since they had reached use/sell by.  Even though I was not planning on cooking yesterday, I fired up the oven and took care of those.  All set up for the freezer--some sliced and most of it cubed for salads.  I also decided I wanted some corn muffins with my defrosted Tex-Mex Soup but surely there was a recipe that had creamed corn added to it?   I found one for Creamed Corn Muffins and doubled it to use the whole can of corn and tossed in some green chiles too.  I did jumbo sized and just baked it 5 extra minutes.  They seem a little dry--maybe just a bit of oil added next time?

Let's see--what else?  The town had its annual Heritage Day festivity on Saturday.  This year the fire department was doing a pancake breakfast so I went.  I had woke up at 5:30 and they were serving from 5-9 so I went early.  There was one couple there when I got there and the Mayor came in as I was finishing up in addition to the women selling tickets and the fire department personnel serving.  It was too early for the actual event with folks still setting up their booths so I went home for a bit and then back in later to see what was going on.

If Thursday was cooking day then Friday was cleaning day.  I was tired of looking at the strings I had been tracking, the kitchen floor was a mess etc.  Vacuumed the entire house, mopped the kitchen floor and then spent the rest of the day picking up little lint bits or stuff Oscar and I had tracked in.  Still doing that, LOL.  I try to keep the thread clippings corralled but this time I have more fabric slivers and trimmings than usual with squaring up the blocks with each seam.

I also wanted to share this picture of my dad who at 86 years of age just completed his second trip walking the circumference of the Earth.   Can you imagine walking 49,804 plus miles?  I sure can't but he is to be congratulated on his endeavors.  Most of those are in their little Illinois town.  My niece Randi took his picture when she was down Labor Day weekend.

I only got 3 hours of sleep on Saturday night from like 4 in the morning till 7:15 but made up for it last night.  I was beat!  From about 10:30 to 5:30 and then back to sleep from about 6 to 8:45.  I could hear Skyler meowing at the closed bedroom door. I rarely am in bed after 7 a.m and he knows it!  Now, watch--tonight I'll have problems again but the Belles and I have something planned this week so cannot over sleep!  Tell you about that later.

Oscar is telling me it is time to go walk--he can't tell time but he is kind of on a schedule I guess, thanks to me.  THX for stopping by----

Sep 6, 2016

September is here

September is here--9 months into 2016.  Hope you all had a happy and safe holiday weekend.  I know folks think of it as being the last summer blow-out but officially we have till the 22nd till fall begins.   It has been a little cooler the last two mornings giving some hope for cooler days ahead.  While the afternoon highs are still in the low to mid 90's, I'll take cool mornings anytime!  The yard is browning up and getting crunchy again as little rain has been had at my house anyway, in spite of the weather situation in the Gulf recently.  The kudzu is flowering and DJ always felt that its days were numbered when you saw that, less growth.

I'm still hobbling a bit from the banged up toe incident but can at least get my shoe on if I wear thinner socks.  Oscar and I have been avoiding the hills on either end of the lane still but we are getting out there a few times a day for the abbreviated version.  Walking on the trail is suspended for the time being.

It was a quiet weekend here.  I sewed a bit on my challenge piece listening to Piano Guys, Secret Garden, Peter Hollens, Home Free or whatever is in the You Tube mix.  Read a bit, watched some of the Downton Abbey marathon on PBS even though I have seen the episodes and have the DVD's  (still love the show and will miss it!).  Finished the last dishcloth I was working on while watching the Bama-USC game over at Paul's with the gang on Saturday.  I cannot just sit and watch TV, ever. I could have taken some binding to work on but I knew lighting might be problematic as we could not have glare on the TV screen!   We went out to a local BBQ place for the rib special but I got BBQ and then went back to his house to watch the game.  I took some sheet cake I made experimenting with recipe a bit from the standard Tex-Mex version I always make.  Verdict:  I like the other better but this was good too.  I'll probably take the leftovers to one of the quilt gatherings as the leftovers hit the freezer.

Shifting gears:
Here are some photos of the No Bake Jolly Bar.  I wanted you to be able see the lovely quilting Jennifer did on it as well as the fabrics close up.  This corner has some of the add-on's I tossed in to go with the Prairie Line.  I had to put something else in besides all those stripes though I will use them in something else down the line---like bowtie blocks probably.  I think you can see past the kitty who finally got to lay on the quilt!  Actually he got to sleep on it the other night though I bailed for the other bed after a few hours!

I moved the hooks up a bit so the table cloth won't be dragging as much on the floor. At some point I'll probably hang up my Halloween and/or Kitty City quilt in that spot.  I really like how this quilt turned out!

There is, of course, something back on the design wall once I took the quilt down after the photo op.   The Good Karma challenge but I cannot share that till it is finished.  An extra charm pack is in the foreground.  Being a bit mathematically challenged at times (or lazy!)  I did not stop to calculate just how many packs I might need but really I was not entirely sure what I wanted to do when the order was placed and said "get me two" just in case and then ordered another later for the same reason   Some prints are duplicated, some are not.

That pile of rulers has proved necessary for squaring up along the way which is not something I normally do at all.  It is taking longer since I am taking this step, that and starching a bit. Normally I cut the pieces for my quilts using the same rulers and mat throughout rather than use die cuts.  Well, not so much lately but normally.  I like those jolly bars, LOL.   I am finding that the charms and mini-charms of the same line are a bit off by an 1/8 of an inch short.  That might sound a little like a fuss-budget but those 1/8ths add up.  I have to adjust my sewing line a bit to maintain accuracy and sliver cut.  When you can see a visible difference, it is automatic for me to question "which one is right?"

So I'll keep plugging and playing with the bright colored fabric.  I think I am going to like the results.  Right now I am going back and forth on that, LOL.

I've just received word that the newest great-grand for my family is here, a little boy and my sister's 4th grandchild--3 granddaughter's and now a grandson.  Since her birthday was yesterday, I thought it might be kind of cool if he came on her day but he only missed it by a day!  Congratulations to his parents and praise God for his safe arrival.

Think I'm ready for a bit of lunch so I'll thank you for stopping by and hope you are having a good day wherever you are and whatever is keeping you busy.

Sep 1, 2016

this and that

A little of this and that around here this week.  These two critters (below) keep me hopping as usual though I am a little slower on my feet.  Every time through the living room these two were watching me though Skyler was on the coffee table until I came out with the camera!  That's why you only see the retreating tail.

Monday morning on my way out to feed the yowling cat I ran right into the end of the couch, looking at him instead of watching where I was walking.   I had switched the couch and love seat positions when the treadle machine came and there is less room coming off the hallway but the couch used to set there so who knows?  If I didn't break my toe, I have certainly banged it up enough to forget about wearing anything but my sandals since.  Four days later I can walk a bit more easily but it still stings a bit.  I was able to do my grocery errands yesterday though it took me longer walking.  Of course, Oscar does not understand why we are not going for walks 3-4 times a day.  At most we have just gone up to the neighbors and that has just been since Wednesday evening.

Yesterday was binge cooking day.  Homemade pizza--ate a few slices and froze the rest.  Quick & Easy Oatmeal Carmelita Bars for the guild meeting today.  I also made the filling for Mexican Lasagna from Slow Roasted Italian blog but baked it today dividing it up into two loaf pans--one for now and the other for the freezer.   I peeled up what remained of a 5 lb bag of potatoes, cubed, boiled and put most in the freezer for hash or whatever down the line and some for frittata this week.  Some other fridge leftovers were added to ziploc bags and stacked up in the freezer.

Earlier in the week I got my fabric orders so I could cut binding and prepare backing.  Look at the messages that came on the Moda yardage.  The first is a Me and My Sister Brighten Up gingham piece.

This is the Sundrops line from Corey Yoder and goes on the Garden Gate top I just finished on Sunday.

Here is the completed top using said Sundrops line.  Sashing added in vertical rows, no top and bottoms added.  The backing is prepped.  The Fat Quarter Shop sold 3 3/4 yd pieces for backing and I think I was supposed to do it differently than I did as I had a good bit leftover.  Maybe 60 inch lengths and then sewn across the 42 or so WOF horizontally or something.  The quilt is 50 x 60 thereabouts.  Too late now!

The batting is prepped as well using leftovers from previous quilts.  I've got another partials for one more top before I open up another roll of 80/20 batting.

I also needed some yardage for binding on the Pinwheel tops for Belles.  These were some I thought might work from Connecting Threads.  I didn't cut it yet but I think the one in the middle is the closest.  Bottom one is called Burro, top one Terra Cotta--middle just plain brown.  Burro would work but I want to see what the blocks look like together first.

I got off on a tangent on Tuesday and I am not exactly sure just how or where I saw the link, probably facebook but it could have been one of the free patterns mentioned on Liz Katsuro on Jelly Roll Fabrics net as there has been fat quarter ideas as well lately.  Anyway, another variation of Disappearing Nine Patch crossed my path.  Normally this would be the last thing I would like to do but I sorta liked the idea I found on Outside the Line for their variation she dubbed "Double Trouble".  Tried it.

Two monster sized 9 patches that started with 5 inch squares.  Note 4 darks on one and 5 darks on the other and different backgrounds.  I didn't catch that part at first when I first cut my RWB's and had to un-sew and sub out the whites I had with the navy stars.

Cut at the halfway point all around (2.25) so you end up with this Puss in the Corner deal in the middle.

Swap out the cutaways

Ta-da!  two done blocks

BUT  why go to all that trouble when the resultant blocks turn out like this?  I see 4 sections in each block that can be strip pieced--2 1/2 inches x 36 with a bit more to spare for trimming/cutting.  And those corners?  Cut a square 5 inches.  Sew two 2 1/2 x 5 strips top and bottom and another 2 1/2 x 9 for the two sides.  Do that in both colorations.    Cut it into quarters at the 4 1/2 marks.  Also need two 4 1/2 inch squares for the center of the block.

These are not sewn together yet as I was just testing out my theory.  It does work though---and this one WILL finish at 12 inches whereas the Disappearing 9 Patch finished at a goofy 12 1/4.  Not sure what this is called but surely it has been thought of by someone.  Also I am not on the computer that has BlockBase installed to do a little detective work either.  HMMM a puzzle for another day.

My sister-in-law wondered what a whole quilt might look like this and was not getting the right images to pop up using "Double Trouble Disappearing 9 Patch".  I told her that it might not be the proper name for it but I was going to draw it up in EQ anyway to see what it might look like.  I often do that though I do look for google images too mostly to see colorations folks may have used if different than the designer has used.  I liked it in the blues showed on blog tutorial.  IMHO, set block to block it was far too busy.  Sashing tamed it down a bit and even made it look round, at least in the thumbnail.  I think I like it as a planned quilt too, same fabrics throughout or near to the same.

Will I make one?  Who knows?  I am supposed to working on my Good Karma challenge quilt---like now!  But I will not be able to show you that till after the retreat in October!  SHHHHH.  I finally got the binding done on the NO Bake Jolly Bar quilt but did not get a picture of it yet.  I did take it to guild today for show and tell or can take one here at home.  I plan on sleeping under it tonight even though it is a lap quilt!

Because I was fooling around with those blocks, I was a little late getting over to the Tuesday evening group.  Donna needed a little advice on putting on a hanging sleeve for the Lick Skillet Quilt Show later this month.  Though not a member of that group, they have allowed outside folks to enter their quilts so she needed to put a sleeve on her king sized Fall Leaves quilt.  Stacy was trying to do the join on the binding of a child's quilt.  Because it was a solid colored binding, it was hard to tell which was the right or wrong side the angled cuts may have been wrong and possibly cut two short.  I don't know that I helped her out much since it needed to be un-sewed and she did not have all her materials to fix it.  Maybe next week.  Margarita had all her Courthouse Steps blocks completed as well as 4 other small blocks and said she was all caught up with it now.  Janice was binding and Aline sewing.  I came home to work on my binding for a couple hours though I finished the last 90 inches of it yesterday---just in time for guild.  Two more quilts to go--one has the binding machine applied on one side, the other still needs to be done.  Another Tuesday project, I'm guessing.

Guess that's it for now.  If it is not raining, I'll hobble up the lane with Oscar at least part way anyway.