Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pink baby quilt done!

And here are the pictures to prove it!

I used a pantograph and had a couple little issues, like I didn't line it up right and crossed a few lines, but I don't think anyone is going to care!  It's a pretty nice sized baby quilt so it should take her through a few years.  It was all from stash.  The back is pieced with some of the green from the front and a deep pink that I really love.  I wish I had had enough of that to use for binding, but the light pink I used worked just fine.

I haven't put a label on it yet.  If I get one on it, fine, if not, that's okay too.  I'm just glad it's done enough to give at the shower!

As much as I would like to wait until Saturday to get material for the other baby quilt, I think I may end up at Wal Mart on my lunch hour tomorrow to buy a couple yards so I can get started on the top Friday night.

A cold rain

That's what we have been getting today, a cold rain.  This has been such an odd Spring.  One day temps in the 90's the next day down in the 70's.  Go figure.

I was upstairs before work digging through the stash.  I picked out a medium light pink solid to use on the baby quilt as binding.  I would like to have had the bright pink that I used in the pieced back, but there wasn't enough.

I also did a quick look into my blue stash and have decided I need to get more baby blue colored material.  I have a lot of blue, but nothing that seems suitable for a baby blanket.  The mom has decorated the nursery in a zoo theme, so really, I'm guessing just about anything goes, color wise.  I'd like to do something bright and funky.

Saturday my friend and I are meeting in Arthur to visit the Amish shops.  I am planning to purchase some material for this baby quilt there. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pink baby quilt quilted

I finished quilting the baby quilt tonight.  Had a few minor issues, with tension, of course, but also a couple little things with the machine.  When I pressed the single fire stitch button it did some strange things, but I might have inadvertently put it into a different stitch mode.  Going to have to read up on it.  I am not getting excited about it in any way.  I'm just documenting these things because I will look back on these early days of having the machine at some point and probably get a good chuckle at just how green I was!

So tomorrow I intend to trim the quilt and cut the binding strips.  If I happen to get the binding attached, so much the better!  Not sure what, if anything, I'll put on the label.

Made some chili for supper tonight.  When Ev and I were in Memphis at BB King's restaurant Ev ordered this hot dog that turned out to be fantastic.  It was split longways and grilled in a skillet, then served on a bun with chili and cheese.  I made my own version tonight with a hot dog and my own chili.  Wow, it was yummy!  Certainly not diet food.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Moving right along

I put the batting together with the baby quilt top and bottom on the frame, wound bobbins, and corrected tension issues.  Then sewed one row of a pantograph.  As long as I can keep the tension in check, I should be able to finish the baby quilt tomorrow or Thursday night.  At least the quilting part.  Then just have to bind it.

Monday, May 28, 2012


Not pinned as in the 1950's when boys and girls going steady were pinned.  Not pinned as in the new craze sweeping cyberspace called Pinterest.  Nope, pinned tonight are the back and the top to the baby quilt.  I pinned them to the rollers after we got finished watching the first episode of the Hatfield's and McCoys.  I didn't put the batting on it, but can do that fairly quickly tomorrow when I get home from work.  Then I think I'll just start a simple panto on it, so I can get it done quickly.  Why, oh why do I wait until the last minute to finish these things?


Let me just begin by saying this - Ivy is really lucky we love her.  Really lucky.  Oh, and if you are eating, you might not want to read this until you are finished.

For a few days now, maybe four or five, I have been smelling something bad when I walk into the house.  I have been getting the trash out of the kitchen regularly, thinking it was the trash can.  That didn't help.  I made sure the trash in bathroom was empty.  Didn't seem to help. 

The smell was even strong in my bedroom.  Looked all around the bed for the source.  Didn't find anything. 

(Remember, we are throwbacks to the seventies and still have a waterbed?)

This morning, around 7 a.m. Ev says he thinks the bed has a leak because there was something wet on the sheet down by his foot.  I said I would fix it when I got up and we both stayed in bed for an hour or so yet.  Then I thought I would fix the leak right away before I got in the shower.

I get up and go over to his side of the bed, where he is still laying, and pull the covers back at the corner.  I don't see a leak on the top, so I move the mattress away from the wooden frame of the bed and this horrific smell hits me.  There is a DEAD BIRD there!  OH MY OH MY OH MY...  Talk about gagging and freaking out!

I couldn't do it, I just couldn't mess with a dead bird.  I woke up Nick and he and Ev got rid of it.  Then I cleaned the mattress and frame really really really good.

Ivy is a black dog.  The bird was black.  My guess is she brought it in the house one night and we didn't notice she had it in her mouth.  Then she proceeded to hide it in the bed!  So, so, so, very gross....

Ev's making jokes that the dog is a serial bird killer and that was one of her trophies.  My mother is making references to the horse head in the bed on the movie the Godfather.  I'm leaning toward Ivy putting it there as a talisman to warn off other birds....

Saturday, May 26, 2012


My strips are sewn into stripes.  I have a large panel of 2-1/2" strips alternating pink and white that I have sewn together and pressed.  Tomorrow I will cut them into strips of alternating colored squares and sew them back together into one big checkerboard of pink and white.  Then I get to play on Gemma!  Hee hee hee.  I'm going through longarm withdrawl, not having a quilt on the frame!

Had some running to do today.  Went to grocery store and bought lunchmeat and some other meat.  I picked up a couple slabs of spare ribs.  Ev is going to grill them tomorrow.  Went to Wal Mart and got a few other things I needed.  Their bank of coolers all along one wall was out, and they were working on fixing them.  They had plastic hanging in front of them but they were told that if they were out for two hours the food all had to be thrown out!  Wow, that will be terrible.

Very hot and humid today.  I didn't want to be outside much at all.  In fact, I didn't want to be doing any of that running, but it had to be done.  Tomorrow I plan to be home most of the day.  Want to get that top done and loaded on the machine!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Ah, the weekend approaches...

I have been looking forward to having three days off since we came back from a week's vacation!  These last couple of nights I haven't blogged, and I'm sorry I have neglected you!

Last night I went over to my friend's house.  Her daughter is the one having one of the babies in August.  Her baby shower is next weekend.  Guess who hasn't got the top finished to put on the frame yet?  Guess who just started cutting the strips for the quilt and hasn't sewn a stitch on it yet?  This morning I went upstairs and forced myself to cut the strips for a simple baby quilt top.  It won't be fancy, but it will be functional.

We did have a nice visit last night.  I saw the baby's room and got a feel for her color scheme a little better.  I took over a pizza and we just sat and ate and visited.  When her daughter moved back home, she brought her dog, a pit bull mix.  Now, I will tell you this flat out - pit bulls scare me.  The possibility of serious injury from one of their bites has made me very leary of the breed.  All that being said, this dog was so sweet I just fell in love with her!  She looks like a pit but is not quite as big as I think they normally are.  She is solid as a rock, though.  When I walked in the dog was a bit skittish because I was a stranger.  By the time I left, she was licking me and laying her head in my lap and sprawling out at my feet!  Ahhh - acceptance by a dog - what an honor!  :)

Everett has had to go in to work early every day this week.  I've had a little bit more to do in the evening, because he usually does the dishes.  I've also been cooking a lot more because he takes a couple meals with him when he works a 12 hour shift.  And, I've been cooking more meals for Nick because he has been working all week and needed stuff to take for his lunch break also.  All that cooking made a lot more dishes, too!

I did mop the basement floor area where the longarm is.  I just felt like the broom was pushing the dust around and it needed a good wet mopping.  I don't want to get the materials or batting dusty or dirty if I can avoid it!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Breakfast for dinner

I made breakfast burritos for dinner tonight.  This was the simplest version of them.  I just scrambled some eggs, fried some sausage, and mixed them together with cheese and salsa.  Then I filled tortilla shells and rolled them up, and lined them in a baking pan.  Baked for about a half hour with a sprinkling of cheese on top and called it good.  And it was - good!

Monday, May 21, 2012


I finished quilting the rose print words quilt tonight on the frame!  Took it off and put it upstairs where I need to trim it and add binding.  That's for another day, though.  Tonight I'm done.  Feels pretty good....  :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

So close

I am so close to having the quilt that's on the frame finished, I can feel it.  However... the best laid plans of mice and men had it's way with my plans today.

Ev has been working on the pool all day long, putting the new pump and hoses on the filter and getting it all started.  He needed my help here and there, so I worked on the quilt in between.

I got ready to make the last turn on the quilt and realized the backing was about four inches too short!  Argh!  Well, I guess if I have to make mistakes, this is the time to make them.  I basted a line straight across the backing and lined up a piece to lengthen the backing, right sides together, then used the longarm to stitch the seam.  Channel locks on the machine head really helped with these tasks.  Then I trimmed, and unpinned the backing.  I repinned the now longer backing and repositioned the entire set up.

With all the distractions and corrections, I didn't get the quilting finished today.  It's very close.  I'm satisfied.  I will be able to finish it this week.  In the mean time, I want to get a baby quilt pieced this week so I can get it on the frame and quilted before June 3rd.  That's when the next baby shower is.  This baby is going to be a girl, so I have a pink and white pattern picked out.  A week from that, June 10th, is the next baby shower and it's for a boy.  Busy, busy, busy.

And, to add to the mix, I have a tee shirt quilt to make for a customer.  I'm waiting for the pieces to come in.  The customer will prep them by putting stabilizer behind the pieces.  I will have to square them up and sew them together before quilting and binding.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Pool in progress

Ev's been working on the pool today.  I think he really wants to get it open early this year because both the kids are home and will be using it.  Today he took the cover off and is adding water.  We have the parts that need replaced - pump, hoses, etc.  I think he's done for today so probably will get on that tomorrow.  What he really needs to do is put the fence part up back by the shed so Nick is in the yard and not the alley when he opens the shed door.

Have put a couple hours in on the longarm today.  Just about ready to roll the quilt again.  I've rolled it once already today.  I'm liking how it's coming along.  This is by no means a show piece, but it's not the worse work in the world either!

Took Uncle Ray to dinner last night at Beaver Dam State Park.  They have a nice little restaurant on the lake.  You can even sit out on the dock at a table and the waitress will come out and serve you.  This is a good time of year to go because the bugs aren't bad.

Johanna made an alfredo sauce yesterday for dinner today.  I cooked some chicken breasts to put in it and am getting the noodles ready.  It's almost supper time and I'm hungry!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Recipe for supper

Last night I made a pretty good dinner.  It's a simple recipe my grandma made.  I had thawed out some pork chops I had in the freezer, intending to put them on the grill, but the more I thought about it, the less I wanted to grill them.  They were from some meat we had purchased from a locker plant and the flavor was just not as good as expected, so these chops needed some help, rather than standing alone.  Here's the recipe for what I call simply:

Pork and Fried Cabbage

4 pork chops, removed from bone, cut into smallish sized strips
1 medium to large onion, chopped
1 small head of cabbage, shredded
1/ 2 bag of egg noodles, cooked and drained per package instructions
Garlic Powder
Caraway Seed
1 stick margarine

Cover bottom of pan with oil and heat to medium/high temperature.  Add strips of pork chops and cook until nicely browned.  Add chopped onion and continue cooking until onion is cooked through.  Season well with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Add margarine and allow to melt.  Add shredded cabbage and let cook down, stirring frequently.  Add caraway seeds, about half a teaspoon, if you like them.  Add cooked egg noodles, mixing in well with other ingredients.  TK

P.S. You can add a can of mushrooms or even fresh mushrooms if you like.  My daughter doesn't like mushroom and she's living back at home, so I omitted them - this time!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Catching up on sleep

That's what I need to do, catch up on some sleep.  Seems like since I got back to work this week from vacation, I haven't been able to completely rest up.  That's what I am going to do real soon here.  Going to shut the p.c. off and watch the back of my eyelids...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

More words

Worked at the longarm for a bit tonight.  I put the words "friendship" and "laughter" on it.  Advanced the quilt today.  I might just be getting the hang of that frame...  Still playing with the tension on the machine to get it just right.

Made spaghetti noodles so Ev can have some spaghetti tonight if he wants it.  Took out some pork chops from the freezer for tomorrow night.  I think I'll do them on the grill.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Moving forward

Tonight I spent an hour on the longarm after work.  I did some more pebbling in the small border and did a leafy meander in the background.  I had to advance the quilt a little bit so that I could put something in the oblong areas.  I put the word 'joy' and a couple flowers in one of the areas.  My stitching to outline the area was a little wobbly, but I'm hoping when the quilt is washed it will blend in.  And if it doesn't, that's okay too.  This is a practice piece, and there will be mistakes.
So I'm just having fun with this.  A lot of fun!

I made some hamburger helper for Ev tonight and also a pot of spaghetti sauce.  He's been working some long hours and this way he will have some good stuff to eat and to take to work.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Quilt practice

Typing those words, quilt practice, reminds me of when I was in High School and had to go to band practice.  We used to practice for the football games or concerts, or whatever.  It was fun and so is this quilt practice!

Here's a few pics of what I have been doing on the frame:
I've done a loopy meander in the larger, outer border.  In the inner border I'm doing some pebbling.  The loopy meander is something I have been comfortable with for a while with my domestic machine.  It came pretty natural to me.  Yesterday I didn't have any issues with it, however today I was getting some eyelashes going around curves.  Had to so some adjusting on that one.

The pebbling is a little more intense than I thought it would be.  I'm glad that border is not very big!  In the squares I have done a simple flower.  I like it!

I think in the big oblong areas I'm going to write some uplifting words.  And in the tan and rosebud area I'm thinking about a meandering leaf.  Not set on those things yet, though.  Still thinking about it.

So tonight I spent an hour downstairs on the machine after work.  That's a good amount of time for me to be practicing, I think.  And I'm not going to put any pressure on myself - if I want to take a day off, that's okay. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day, Vacation pics and goodies from fabric store

Happy Mother's Day to all my blogland friends!  Hope your day was a good one!
This was outside of the Loveless Cafe in Nashville.  The food there was really good and the service was exceptional!
 A few fabrics from Hancock's clearance table.  I really like the one on the far right.  It just feels so spring like.
I needed a little cutting mat and this one is perfect.  Also, who can resist the Hancock's catalog?  It's got pages full of eye candy.
 This Peanut's Christmas panel was on the clearance table and called my name.  Not sure what I will do with it yet, but I really liked it.
And a couple more pieces off the table.  I wish there had been more colors because the pattern is very nice on these.

Today I worked a couple hours on a quilt on the longarm.  I finished loading it then quilted a little on it.  There are a couple borders on it and on the outer border I just did a loopy meander.  The next border is a narrow one, and I started doing some pebbling in it.

The main part of the quilt has three components.  There are three inch squares, oblong pieces, and the background.  In the squares I think I'll do a flower.  I'm thinking about quilting words in the oblong pieces.  I haven't figured out what to do in the background yet.

It's back to work tomorrow.  Sigh.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Got home this afternoon.  Tired, but happy.  Had a great vacation.  Topped it off with a stop at Hancock's of Paducah where my hubby bought me a Mother's Day present.  Can you guess what it is?  He bought me a roll of batting for quilts on the longarm!  I'm a lucky woman...  Going to bed now.  Will upload pics tomorrow if I have time.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Nashville, TN

We made it to Nashville from Memphis.  Last night we went to BB King's restaurant on Beale Street.  Ev was in his glory, as Wednesday Night is 'bike night' on Beale Street and there were hundreds of motorcycles parked on the closed off street!  And the  Wall to wall people just partying and having a good time listening to music.  Too much of a crowd for me, but Ev loved it.  And this is his vacation too...  hee hee.

We made a detour into Mississippi this morning before heading to Nashville.  We stopped at a Harley Davidson dealer right over the border and bought shirts for Ev, Johanna, Nick, and Austin.  We bought Nathaniel a little hoody jacket.  I want to find something for Adam if I can, just so he doesn't feel left out.

Going to see the Opryland Classics tonight at the Ryman Auditorium.  Excited about that!  Will post pics when I get time.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Here was a stop on our way to Memphis that we just had to make!  Lambert's Cafe in Sikeston, MO is famous in the area.  They throw the rolls at you from across the room, and come around with big dishes of their freebie side dishes, such as fried okra, fried potatoes, macaroni and tomatoes, and black eyed peas.  It was amazing!

When we got to the hotel, we were warmly greeted with anniversary wishes and goodies.  The room is fantastic!  Going to Beal Street tonight for dinner, although after that huge lunch, I don't know how much we will eat!  Having a great anniversary trip so far! 

Monday, May 7, 2012


Today I loaded this quilt on the frame.  It took me about an hour, maybe less, to get it loaded properly.  Then I started quilting it.  I quilted a pantograph from the back of the machine.  The backing is a busy pattern, which I will photograph when I get it bound.  I worked on it in a couple of spurts and took it off the frame at 8:30 tonight.  I figure the quilting took me about 2 and a half hours.  I am sure that when I get better at this, those times will decrease considerably.

This quilt wasn't very large, maybe 44x44.  I'm pleased with the way it turned out, especially for a first quilt that I did on the longarm.  I did have a little bit of trouble with the thread when I hit a certain material in the top that was different from the rest of the fabrics.  It wasn't a 100% cotton material and had a sheen to it, like it might have been a sateen or something.  I found that if I went very slowly I could get through that problem area, but not before I had quite a thread nest on the bottom to deal with! 

Feeling pretty good about things right now! 

My poor tire

Brand new tires.  I just got brand new tires on my car a week ago.  Today, just a few blocks from home, I picked up this huge bolt and washer in my tire.  Ugh.  Got it fixed and all is well.  I am thankful that it did not happen on the highway or when we were out of town.


I haven't been on the computer much, since I have been playing on the new machine.  This past weekend was pretty busy with family stuff, too, so I have been patiently waiting to just dive into my quilting.  Yesterday I put the border on the small 'star struck' quilt and plan to put it on Gemma (that's what I named the longarm). 

Lou suggested just playing around on muslin for a long time, however I can't wait!  The playing I have done the past couple days has been on muslin and as long as the tension is okay, and it has been, I feel confident enough to put a top on now.

My sister in law wants me to quilt her lone star top.  She said the diamonds in it are larger and she doesn't want fancy.  I have told her a couple time I want to get good at it before I do any tops that aren't my own.  She is insistent that I look at it next weekend.   Well, I'll look at it, but I will not stress myself out over taking it and worrying over it.  If I decide to take it, I will tell her there are no promises, that it's getting a very simple pattern and if she doesn't like it, she can pick it out!  And again, I'm not even sure I would take it in yet.  I really don't like to be pushed into things, however, maybe she is just confident I can do it, and that's what it is.  Either way, I'll deal with it.

Ev and I are on vacation this week.  Really looking forward to having the time off. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Friday, May 4, 2012

Close to delivery

Tomorrow is the big day!  Taking delivery of my Nolting tomorrow!  Woohoo!  I am so excited!  Doug and Lou are supposed to be at the house around 10:30 a.m.  I can hardly wait.

Johanna is moving back, so I have to get Nick all settled in the other part of the basement.  His bed is set up already, and as soon as I finish painting today and it's dry, I'm going to arrange it as best as possible for him.  Johanna is saying she is only staying for the summer, then moving back to school when Fall semester starts.  Nick just has to tough it out until then.  I feel bad that I'm taking this new room, which used to be his bedroom, for my machine, and shuffling him to another part of the basement (in the laundry area - oh, such a bad mommy...).  He has taken over the outside shed as his own domain, so I know he has somewhere to go for privacy.  It's a short term solution, having his bed down there, because when Johanna moves back to school, he will go back upstairs. 

I offered to bring all my sewing room stuff downstairs and he could have my sewing room for his bedroom.  That room is the room at the top of the stairs and you have to walk through it to get to the other bedroom.  He does not want it, and feels he will have more privacy in the laundry area. 

At any rate, today I am going to leave work at noon, go to lunch with a friend, then go home early.  I'm going to get a jump start on my vacation next week.  Will put a final coat of paint on the basement walls, then get Nick's area situated and ready for him.  Maybe I can work out some way to partition it off and give him as much privacy as possible.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Basement progress

 So tonight I put the primer coat on the basement walls.  These are three pics, all of the walls are white even though one looks more yellow.
 I had just this one little section with the green board to finish, and I did.  All the primer is on the walls.
And I have to say, I'm pretty tired!

25 years and a day

That's how long Ev and I have been married!  I didn't get a chance to post yesterday, because it was a busy day.  Ev had a doctor appointment out of town that I went with him to (just a check up).  When we got back, we worked on the basement a bit and then he had to go to work.  No big celebration or anything.  Next week is our celebration - going to Tennessee!  Really looking forward to it and also to celebrating Ev's half century birthday.  I put a picture of him in the paper when he was around 25 with his name on it and telling people to wish him a happy 50th birthday!  The paper is a weekly, so it came out yesterday and he had a bunch of guys at work giving him all kinds of grief.  I won't repeat here the names he was calling me - all in good natured fun!  haha.

So the basement is ready to be primer painted.  I'm going to do that tonight.  Hopefully I will get the entire room done and then tomorrow be able to put the coat of regular paint on.  The basement looks so different now already than it did a couple weeks ago.

Doug emailed that he will be there with the machine around 10:30 Saturday morning.  Combine that with Johanna moving back home, and it's going to be one busy weekend!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Honey, we need more spackle!

I ran out of spackle today, while Nick and I were hanging drywall.  There are a few seams to tape and spackle yet, but nothing that can't be done in under an hour.  We have one more full sheet of drywall to hang over by the washer and dryer, but the area where I'll have my machine has all the drywall hung.

I put a box fan on one of the corners because the spackle isn't drying very fast.  It's been an extremely humid day, so I'm not surprised.  I just hope it dries by tomorrow afternoon because I want to put a second coat on it, then sand on Thursday and possibly paint on Friday.  We are going to Lowe's tomorrow after Ev's doctor appointment, so we can pick up what we need then.

I know I haven't been sewing much, but I feel like working on this room is as good as sewing because it's all for the machine's arrival.

I wish everyone was as excited about this as I am!

Link to a giveaway

Judy Laquidaria is sponsoring a cool giveaway on her blog!  Here's the link:

Judy moved to Texas, kicking and screaming, not too long ago, and now is so in love with the Texas that all her blog readers get a wonderful depiction of life in the Lone Star State! 

Thanks, Judy, for the great blog posts and giveaways!