Thursday, February 28, 2013


Last night I ended up bringing Ev some of the leftovers from my dinner out.  That way I didn't have to do any cooking when I got home.  Now, tonight I need to make something decent.  I remember a recipe with chicken and swiss cheese but we just had chicken so I don't think I want to do that.  I'm going to the store at lunch to shop so maybe something will jump out at me.

Now, I really don't want something to literally jump out at me, but that is a distinct possibility here at work because it seems that there are critters living in the walls/ceiling.  This does not make me happy or comfortable, but not much I can do about it other than let the boss know.  Up to the building owner to get pest control in here.  Eww.

I've really been enjoying Earl Grey tea lately.  It's a pleasant change from regular old tea bags.  The Bigelow brand is my favorite right now.  My brother gave me some of the Starbuck's brand (can't remember the name right now) over Christmas which was very good.  I'm out of it, so have to settle for the kind I can get at the grocery store.  I also like the English Breakfast tea.

I seem to be in a t.v. slump.  Not that I watched much t.v. to begin with, but right now there just doesn't seem to be much on that I'm interested in, even my long running series.  I used to wait for Wednesday night so I could watch Criminal Minds, but now I turn it on for the first couple minutes and turn it off.  It's just too dark and depressing and the plot seems to be repeating itself.  I watched Downton Abbey and really really did not like the way they ended the season.  And Sons of Anarchy doesn't start back up until September, so that's on hold, too.  About the only show I'm still semi interested in watching each week is Hart of Dixie and if I miss it, I have it set to tape and will watch it whenever, no big deal.

I'm even kind of in a reading slump.  I finished reading a three book series and started another series by the same author.  However, I'm seeing the same pattern emerging and am quickly losing interest.  It was a free ebook, so if I don't finish it, it's not a big deal either.

So, what I really need to do is jump into a sewing project.  Goodness knows I have plenty to choose from!  Maybe it's just the Winter blahs, but I really do like Winter, so who knows?  sigh.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dinner plans

Tonight I'm probably eating out with family, although I will still have to make or bring something home for Ev at least I don't have to make a big meal.  The last few days I have been cooking and I'm ready for a night off. 

What I do want to start doing is putting on the blog what we are having or have had for dinner each day.  I desperately need new ideas to incorporate into our menus.  Last night was a new recipe - Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Jo.  It was okay, but not really much of a keeper.  A couple weeks ago I made a taco pie with crescent rolls for the top crust.  That was a keeper and I've already made it a second time.

I've recently made prepackaged parmesan breaded chicken breasts.  They were good with mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans and a salad.  We also had a home made lasagna with what was left from the spaghetti sauce last week.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Note to self

Note to Self:


Remember how convenient it was to have the label and binding cut and ready to go once the quilt was finished?  Keep that in mind for the next quilt! 


Yup, on that last quilt I made I cut the binding strips and sewn together before the quilt was done.  That seemed to me to make putting on the binding less of a project, not that it's really a big deal anyway.  It was just that I was more motivated to do it because the strips were all ready to go.  The same with the label.  It was written out and the edges finished, just ready to be put on the quilt. 

Rainy weather

We have a rainy day today.  I'm not sure what we are supposed to get later, maybe a wintry mix, but whatever it is, I would like to be snug at home when it arrives!  I've already stopped at the grocery store and picked up the ingredients for dinner tonight.  All I have to do is stop at the gym on my way home and exercise.  Usually I go Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but last night I didn't do very much.  I feel like I need to have a do-over, so I'm going tonight.  Plus, tomorrow I'm not going because I have somewhere to go right after work.  Maybe I should just start trying to go every day after work and that way I'll probably get three days worth!  haha.

Dinner tonight is a new to me recipe.  A coworker said she made it and it was pretty good.  It's called 'Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joes" and the recipe is on six sisters stuff website.  I just googled the name of the recipe and found it.  Looks pretty good.  Hope it tastes good!  It also looks easy, which is what I'm going to want after exercising!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Quilt number two finished for the year

I actually finished this quilt for my dad's birthday on time!  That doesn't mean that I wasn't sewing the binding on  Sunday morning before his party, but hey, it got finished!

The pattern was from The Tulip Patch and is called The Helix Quilt.  My dad is a retired engineer, so I thought something geometric such as this would be appropriate.  I made the quilt lap size due to time constraints and I'm glad I did.  It was a lot less of a task to finish that way.  There really wasn't a lot of piecing in this pattern, as you can see from all the white space to the sides.  I liked the pattern okay, but after it was finished it really reminded me more of Charlie Brown than of a helix!  haha.  That's okay, too, because I like Charlie Brown!

Here is the label on the back.  I did a couple things differently with the label this time.  First, it is just written in indelible ink rather than stitched.  That also was due to time (and my energy level, which was waning by the time I got to this point).  Second, I stitched it to the backing before loading it on the frame.  Positioning it just where I want it is going to take a little more finess, but all in all I was pleased with the results.  I particularly like the fact that the label has been quilted over.

I must get that customer's t-shirt quilt finished!  Yesterday I pieced the backing for it and took the top and back downstairs to load on Gemma.  I didn't get it loaded, but that's the next step.  I'm tossing around just floating the top rather than attaching it to the leader because it's so thick.  The knit material with the interfacing might also get too distorted if I attach it to my leader with the snap system.  Just some random thoughts on that.

Mom's quilt is still a work in progress.  It's second on my to-do list right now.  It's already late, so I've just resigned myself to the fact that it might as well be a little later.  Hey, at this point it might turn into a combination Mother's Day/Birthday gift!  haha.

We still have snow on the ground.  I expect most of it to melt by the end of the day.  Tomorrow the weather service is calling for a possibility of more snow.  That won't make me mad!  Bring it on!

Friday, February 22, 2013

A day off

I had a productive day off of work.  I sewed on a quilt top and completed it today.  This is good, because I need it done by Sunday!  I loaded the top on the frame, and I'm waiting for the backing material to come out of the washer and dryer to piece it together and then load it.  Tomorrow I hope to be quilting on Gemma.  I've got the label and the binding all ready, too!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Some 'after' pictures

We did get snow and sleet.  Our office closed at noon and we are not going to be open tomorrow.  I was within sight of my house on my way home from work when I saw the first snowflake.  Great timing!

The first two pictures were taken early in the storm.  It came down fast and heavy.  The second pictures were about midway through.  At the end of the snow, I think we had about 3 inches total with a little ice or sleet on top of it.

I got a lot of sewing done today!  This extra time has been a real gift!  I'm working on a quilt that is a present for someone and it needs to be done this weekend, so I'm really grateful for the extra time! 

I worked on the quilt from 2:30 to 8:45 tonight.  Made myself quit because I was tired.  I also found I had sewn a piece incorrectly and that's a big sign it's time to call it a night!  The biggest time drain was cutting half square triangle blocks down to size.  Yuck.

The 'before' picture...maybe

This is a picture of my car, at work, on the totally dry pavement at 8 a.m.  The weather service is calling for a massive winter storm to hit today, so here is the 'before the storm' picture.  That white stuff on the blacktop is not ice - just rock or something.  It is cold, though.
So, we shall see what the weather brings.  If it starts to get too bad, I'm outta here.  I'll head the 8 miles home and be snug as a bug in a rug, if the power doesn't go out!  I did some sewing last night on the Gracie, my Featherweight.  She just purrs like a kitten!  I keep her down in the main part of the house, not in the sewing room, so I can set her up on the kitchen table and sew.  Now that we have new lighting in the kitchen, it's so nice and bright in there.  It's pleasant to sit at the table and piece while I have supper cooking on the stove and the t.v. on in the background.  I did that for over an hour last night and got quite a bit done!

Not sure, but I might take her with on my trip to Paducah.  If I've been using her and there doesn't seem to be any issues, Gracie would be the perfect travel machine because of her size and weight.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mystery Solved

While visiting my mom this past weekend, we came across this photograph.  We were pretty sure it was a relative, but weren't sure who.  I brought the pic home with me and asked my uncle last night if he knew who it was.  He knew immediately that it was his father's sister, Annie.  He told me that she was his favorite aunt and had been born in 1904.

For some reason, I'm fascinated with this picture.  I see shades of myself in her face.  I also think about the fact that decades ago she sat and posed for this photo.  Did she, in her wildest imagination, ever think that her great great niece would take a photo of the picture on a digital camera phone and upload it to a blog on the internet?  I doubt it.

What was her life like as a girl?  Did she learn to quilt or crochet?  She was my great grandfather's sister.  Now, to many that wouldn't be much of a connection, but I was so very fortunate to actually have lived with my great grandparents when I was young, up to about the age of 9.  I have a close connection in my heart to them.

So, Great Great Aunt Annie, send a smile down to me from Heaven and know that you are not forgotten.  And say hi to Great Grandpa!

Some chicken

To be read as the words in Charlotte's Web "Some Pig".  Some Chicken.  That's what I ended up having last night, although it was not fried.  Uncle Ray and I went out to dinner and instead of fried chicken I had the chicken salad sandwich.  It was good, and I'm glad I had it instead of the fried.  But I do love fried chicken....

I marked some squares to make half square triangle blocks yesterday.  I need to mark 60 squares to make 120 half square triangle blocks.  That's not too bad.  I've just got to get it done then sew those little puppies and keep moving.

I'm kind of hoping we get snowed in tomorrow!  If I am home, and there is power, I should be able to make some major progress on things.  Kind of doubt that it will happen though, because the bad weather isn't supposed to start until in the morning.  Maybe I will at least get out of work a couple hours early if it gets bad.  We shall see....  Johanna is supposed to drive to school in the morning for a test so I'm hoping the bad weather holds off for her until she is home.  Or that the University cancels classes.  Fat chance of that, though, as they hardly ever do that.

Another quilter and I have been emailing and she mentioned something she does on her longarm that I think I might give a try one of these days.  She loads up a big old chunk of "what was I thinking" fabric as the back for a quilt, throws whatever batting she has on it, then another chunk of miscellaneous fabric for the top.  She just keeps adding batting and top material until she is out of backing, quilting it however she wants.  Then she cuts it apart and binds it, making pet beds for the animal shelter.  I think this is just a wonderful way to donate time and energy to a very worthy cause.  Plus, it will help clear out the stash of that, shall we say, UGH, fabric?  hee hee hee.  Most of my questionable fabric is what people donated to me when they learned that I quilt, so I don't have any attachment to it, other than that I am a packrat and have a hard time throwing anything out.  This would also provide a great opportunity for me to practice some more and not worry too much how things turn out.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A long weekend

Sorry I haven't been posting for a few days.  I had a three day weekend and took advantage of the time off by going to visit my mom.  It was her birthday last week, so we had a nice birthday weekend celebration.  Didn't do much other than visit and go out to dinner.  It was a good visit.

And no, I didn't get her quilt finished.  sigh.  That's okay, though, because it's close to being done and when it is, I can just mail it to her.  That way, it will be like an extended birthday!  My brothers and I did get her a different gift, so she had a present to open.

Weather service is calling for a storm to move in tomorrow and Thursday.  Wouldn't bother me any, as long as I could stay home and not lose power!

Still going to the gym three days a week.  Even if I don't lose weight, at least I'm doing some exercise, which is good.  But tonight I'm taking my uncle out for fried chicken.  Rather counterproductive...  oh well...

Friday, February 15, 2013

One big egg

A picture is worth a thousand words.  This is my biggest cast iron skillet, about 14" in diameter.  You can see it covers the entire stove burner.  That is ONE farm fresh egg in the pan.  The eggs I got from my country friend are huge.  This was my lunch today.  One egg on a toasted bun with a slice of cheese.  Yum!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

The traditional (at least in my household!) Valentine's Day goodie bags!  One for each of my kids and their sweeties.  The selection of Valentine material at Wal Mart was very thin this year.  I wanted four different patterns.  Each bag is about as simple as they get.  This time, a half yard cut was seamed on the raw edges and a piece of ribbon sewn a few inches from the top to use as a tie.  The selvedge edge of the material is at the top of the bags, so I didn't even bother to finish the edges.

Olivia, Nick's girlfriend, has mentioned that she likes buttons.  I was lucky enough to find the pink material in the back of the picture.  It has all kinds of little buttons on it.  Johanna saw the four materials and said she liked the one with the X's and O's on it.  The back red bag is for Nick.  It has different heart designs on it.  And the front white with red hearts, which reminds me of novelty boxer shorts, is for Ben.

My hubby and daughter came up for lunch and hubby brought me roses!  Aren't they pretty?  I'll take them home tomorrow night so I can enjoy them over the weekend.  Now that the crazy kitten is gone, maybe they will be safe on the kitchen counter.  Or maybe not.  Nick might bring the kitten over for the weekend.  Sigh.  Oh well.

I stopped at the grocery store on my way back from lunch and picked up the makings for sloppy jo's tonight for dinner, and a cake mix to make for my mom's birthday.  While in the grocery store, I passed the aisle with the diapers and baby wipes.  One of the packages of wipes must have been open because you could really smell them.  That took me back to the days when my now 22 and 23 year old kids were babies!

It must have been a 'scent memory' day, because when I went down the baking aisle to get the cake mix the smell of brown sugar was strong.  That reminded me a lot of my great grandmother's kitchen.  She baked a lot, especially chocolate chip cookies.  Good memories, both of them!

I hope everyone is having a nice Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Giving credit where due

I would love to give credit where it's due, but for the life of me I am not able to remember where I saw this block put together!  Here's what I'm talking about:
The inside rectangles are sewn into 4 patches, then a strip is added on either side.  They will be alternated, side strips going vertical then horizontal.  I have gone back through the blogs I like to read, thinking it was on one of them, but can't find it.  The pattern might have come from Missouri Star Quilt Co. as I like to look at their tutorials, but I just don't know.

Anyway, it's a real nice block to make and pretty basic.  The inner pieces were made using two and a half inch strip sets, sewn into pairs, then subcut into three and a half inch sections.  They are sewn to another section of the same type into rectangles that will then measure six and a half inches long and four and a half inches tall.  A strip one and a half inches wide is sewn to each of the long sides. 

That's where I'm at now.  I chain pieced the rectangles to the strips and now I need to cut them apart and press them.  Then I'm going to put them together into blocks of four.  I do have about four strips to sew the sides too yet.  That won't take long.

Don't know if I will get much sewing done tonight.  Right after work I'm going to the gym for an hour (I pay to be tortured!).  Then at 7pm I'm planning to go to Ash Wednesday Mass.  By the time I get home it will be 8 and I doubt I'll get upstairs then.  Maybe I will just press some blocks while watching t.v.

I watched the second night of Westminster last night.  The Old English Sheepdog came in second for Best in Show, beat out by the Affenpinscher.  Personally, I liked the Sheepdog better.  He just looked like a big old loveable dog!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Thank you, Mr. Lincoln

Thanks Mr. Lincoln for being such a great president that I get a day off for your birthday!  It was a good day for me to do some sewing.  I have almost all the pieces for Mom's quilt sewn.  They will need to be trimmed and pressed next.

That will wait for another day, because tonight is the second and final night of the dog show.  Every year I wait for Westminster and have decided that one day I will get to the show.  Guess I'm putting it on my 'bucket list'!  haha.

Since I was home, I did make a big dinner.  I made some thin pork chops, mashed potatoes and gravy, and corn.  Yummy!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Papal Resignation and the Dog Show Tonight

Today Pope Benedict announced he will be resigning at the end of February.  This is rather confusing to me.  I didn't think it could be done, but apparently it can.

Westiminster Kennel Club's dog show is on tonight and tomorrow night.  I think I'll set my little table up in front of the t.v. so I can press and cut pieces while watching the pooches!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Regal Shadow

Shadow, our cat, likes to look out the window.  Here she is, surveying her kingdom:

Now, what do you suppose she is saying here?:

hee hee hee.

Last night, after we went out to eat, I went upstairs and finished sewing those few pieces.  Then I pressed half of them before Darling Daughter wanted to turn her heater on and go to bed.  Not wanting to drag everything downstairs, I just called it a night.  The upstairs rooms are all on one circuit (old house) and there is no ductwork to them, so we use space heaters.  You can't have a space heater plugged in in one room and an iron plugged in in the other room at the same time or it blows a fuse.  Typical old house. 

Tonight I would like to get the rest of the pieces pressed and cut some of the strips for the sides of the blocks.  Maybe I will get around to sewing them too, who knows? 

Nick is moving out tonight.  He has a couple buddies coming to help him move the big stuff.  I don't think they will be in the house that much and all I would do is get in the way, so that won't interrupt my sewing.  And they sure don't need Mom to come supervise, either the moving out or moving in!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My afternoon snack

This is what happens when I get bored.  I eat.  And take pictures. 

At least I was eating healthy this time.

Making progress

Last night I sewed quite a few of those pieces together in a short time.  This morning before work I went and sewed almost all the rest.  I had to leave for work with only ten sets left to be sewn!  That was hard to do!

Tonight Johanna and I are going out to eat right after I get home.  That means I won't have to cook supper, so when we get back I can go upstairs and get a little bit more done.

That is, if I can move my arms...  Last night I went to the gym and for the first time did some exercises with my arms and upper body.  Oh wow am I ever out of shape...  Well, I have a shape - it's called blob - haha!  Anyway, my muscles are crying right now, but that's a good thing.  It's not like those little pieces of material weigh very much.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

All lined up

...and ready to sew!  See the line of matched pieces going up to the machine?  And see the line going out the back?  I was a busy little sewer last night!

It was kind of funny, really, because I just had to drag myself upstairs at first.  At quarter after six I thought I would just go and do fifteen minutes on the machine, just enough time to get the stack I already had cut sewn together.  Well, after those were done, it really wasn't a big deal to sit up there and press those strips while Wheel of Fortune was on, so I did that.  Then I started watching another program and finished pressing the strips.  I still had energy, so I went ahead and cut all the strips into matching sets, ready to be fed into the machine! 

It was 8:30 when I finally came downstairs!  And that was only because my daughter came home at 8 and asked when I would be done upstairs because she really wanted to go to bed and didn't want to hear the t.v. or machine!

It felt really good to get all that done.  Tonight I'm going to the gym directly after work.  I'll probably spend an hour there.  Then I intend to make some potato pancakes and sausage links for supper.  If I feel like it, I may just head upstairs and get some more sewing done!  Who knows, this could become a habit!  hahaha

I haven't purchased the book "Fifteen Minutes of Play", however the concept of just doing 15 minutes of sewing every day is not a new one.  The book does look interesting and it's on my list.  I may end up purchasing it in Paducah at the Quilt Show this April.

Yesterday morning I put together that ham and bean soup for dinner in the crock pot.  It turned out very very good.  I was pleased with it.  Send a container over to my uncle.  I know he enjoys that kind of stuff, too.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Progressing a little at a time

Here's what I'm working on.  I need 168 of the above pieced units.  That mess of strips to the side of the machine will make that amount, if I get moving on the pressing and cutting!  I've pretty much set aside the idea that this quilt will get finished before I go visit my mother for her birthday, but you never know...

Monday, February 4, 2013

Dinner plans

Tomorrow I am planning to make bean soup. There is leftover ham that has to be used up. I must be crazy to feed my family more beans... lol

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Superbowl Sunday

Good food. Good game. Good grief I'm tired!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Just 20 minutes

Just 20 minutes.  That's all it took to put the top of that tee shirt quilt together.  It's ready to go on the frame.  I am not going to put it on the frame until after next weekend, though.  Nick is moving out and he will be taking the terrorist kitten with him.  When the kitten is here, if she gets in the basement, she will get on the quilt that I have in the frame.  So, I think I'll just wait until she is residing elsewhere and put the customer quilt together.

In the meantime, I have once again started a project with a deadline less than two weeks from today.  I'm not sure it will get done, but I started a quilt for my mom's birthday.  It's a fairly simple pattern, using strip sets for the most part.  I think it was a tutorial from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.

Friday, February 1, 2013


I think that is what Shadow is saying with her paw!  This kitty was very comfortable sitting on Johanna's lap last night.  She was sleeping and had her paw over Johanna's arm as if to say "You're MINE!" - awwww.  Daily dose of cute factor has been met.

I'm frustrated with myself.  I haven't been able to motivate enough to get some sewing done.  I have that tee shirt quilt for a customer waiting to be done.  It's just three long seams that have to be sewn on the top then it can go on the longarm.  Really, really need to get that finished.

I would like to get Nick's signature quilt done so he can take it with him when he moves.  It just needs the binding put on it.  He is renting an apartment by himself and is moving out next week.  I'm happy for him and I think this is a good thing.

It's cold here today.  The temp when I left for work was a balmy 9 degrees F.  Brrrr.  Our high is only supposed to be 25.  It is February!

I'm battling the nightly nose bleeds again.  It's getting very old.  The humidifier is on in the bedroom but it's not helping much.  I feel like I need to start taking some iron pills because of all the blood loss!