Saturday, August 31, 2013

Salsa dance

That's not what you think.  I canned salsa today.  Put up 22 pints and still have about as much to go tomorrow.  My feet are killing me!  At least tomorrow it won't be as much work since I have the salsa all prepared.  Will just have to heat it up and process the jars.  Would be nice if the weather cooled off a bit.  It was very warm in the kitchen today.

Glad we have a three day weekend.  I wanted to get all the salsa done today, but since that didn't happen I'm glad I will have some time to sew after it's done and not have to rush back to work.

The material came from MSQC.  I would like to get started on that top.  It shouldn't really take that long.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Eleven is done

Ivy was feeling a bit left out when she found out Shadow had her picture taken with the last top. So here is the 11th top for the nursing homes and Miss Ivy is posing along with it. 

I need to make one more top, since I have committed to giving one of the tops to Mom to give as a gift.  My goal was to have all the tops done by the end of August, so I'm technically going to say I met the goal because the rules changed mid game... 

Received notification that my order from Missouri Star Quilt Co. has been shipped.  Anxious to see how the fabrics look in person.

I almost didn't go upstairs after work to put the borders on this quilt.  I had pressed and cut material and the center before work this morning so I knew I just had a little bit of work to do on it.  I had to stop at the grocery store after work.  Then when I got home I washed dishes, baked a cake, made dinner (mac and cheese, sauerkraut, grilled hot dogs), and rode the exercise bike for almost an hour.  All in all, it was a productive night.

A bit of a cut up

This morning I had about 20 minutes before I had to leave for work, so I went upstairs and cut the borders for the pastel nine patch quilt.  I also pressed the center of the quilt, since it wasn't so horribly hot upstairs early in the morning.

Last night my brother in law who drives over the road stopped for a surprise visit.  I was planning to watch quiltcam but didn't think he would care for it much!  Besides, I rarely get to visit with him and quiltcam is archived, so I can watch it later today.

I did make a nice dinner.  Fried some pork chops, made mashed potatoes and gravy, had some of Johanna's green beans that were in the freezer, and cut up a good tomato.  Was pretty warm in the kitchen when I got done, but so worth it... Yum!

No plans, really, for tonight.  May get some sewing done, or might start on those tomatoes for salsa, or might not do anything at all.  Hakuna Matata... hahaha  No Worries as they said in the Lion King.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Not much to report

No sewing tonight.  Picked up a bushel of tomatoes from a friend after work.  I put them in the fridge, but will have to make salsa soon.  Real soon.  Really hot weather out.

Monday, August 26, 2013

What I'm working on

Just a quick post here.  This is the 11th tops center.  I think I'll use a green for a border. 

Also I am going to have to make one more lap quilt.  Had a special order for one. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Eleventh top started

I started the 11th and last top for the nursing home quilts today (unless more end up being needed between now and December).  Using the little squares that I used for the last quilt in the pastels, I made nine patch blocks.  I then cut some pretty yellow material with little flowers on it into squares to alternate with the nine patch blocks.  Every block is made, just waiting to be put together.

I spoke to my friend that wants the baby quilt made.  She likes the fabrics I picked out from Missouri Star Quilt Company, so tonight I ordered three charm packs and a yard of one of the fabrics for a border.  MSQC is usually pretty quick on getting orders out, so I'm hoping it gets here quick.  I have not ordered yardage from them before, however, so that may make a difference.  We shall see.

In the meantime I will work on the 11th top and might even put something on Gemma.  My sister in law had mentioned she wanted me to look at a quilt top she made and see if I wanted to quilt it.  She was supposed to bring it yesterday, but I haven't heard from her.  I guess she forgot, but I should be seeing her next weekend.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Saturday night picture show

Here's the notebook cover I made, inside and out.  Just scrap blocks I thought looked pretty.
 Here's the tenth quilt top for the nursing homes.  Only one more to go!  Shadow cat wanted in the picture here.  Say cheese!
 Dinner tonight was spaghetti.  Last night we went out to eat and we kept seeing plates of spaghetti going to different tables.  Neither of us had ordered it, but by the time we got home, we were craving it even though we just ate!  Today I made a big pot of sauce.  Yum.
 And here's a cute sailboat block I made just for fun.
A friend called last night and asked me to make a baby quilt for a baby boy.  She mentioned sailboats, but after more discussion, we are going with something different. 

As you can tell, I got to sew for a while today.  Feel like I'm accomplishing a lot, and I like it!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Yay I got to sew!

Woohoo I got an hour to sew tonight!  haha.  I managed to get upstairs and finish a quilted cover for a notebook for a friend of mine.  Also put another thin border on the pastel squares and strips quilt.  It needs two more borders and it will be done.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Almost Friday

I'm glad the workweek is almost over.  I know Ev isn't thrilled about his week of vacation coming to an end, but at least we have another week of vacation coming up in September.  That week we will both be off and are planning a little getaway.

Still haven't gotten any sewing done.  Ev grilled some pork chops tonight and then we took a little ride.  I have really enjoyed having him home in the evenings and I'm not even concerned that I'm not getting upstairs to sew.  There will be plenty of nights I'll be home alone when he goes back to work (second shift) for me to get lots of sewing done.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wednesday night

Wednesday night = Duck Dynasty!  Ev normally is at work when it comes on so tonight it's a real treat to watch a new episode together.  And that, dear blog readers, is the extent of my Wednesday night plans...  Too hot to sew.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mending fences

Literally.  That's what we were doing yesterday after I got home from work.  Our fence had really taken a beating last winter and then this past spring.  We repaired the panels from the tornado right away, but by the gate still needed to be fixed. 

So, yesterday Ev dug a couple of holes and we sunk fence posts and poured concrete.  He's on vacation all week and has a few household things to get done.  Today he will (hopefully) finish up the fence repairs.

Since he will be home in the evenings all week, I don't expect to get much sewing done.  The tenth top with the pastel squares and strips is real close to being finished.  Now I just need to think up a design for the last top.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday Sewing

 Here's the pastel squares and strips quilt so far.  It's one of the nursing home quilts.  I'm going to put a one inch border all around it, then maybe a strip of the patterned fabric also.  Not sure yet.
Johanna came up while I was sewing and asked me to make her a pencil roll for school.  She's in her last semester of college, so this is it for school stuff now.  She picked out the fabrics and told me how she wanted it made.  Real simple.  Oh, and she also had a piece of cat fabric stashed in her room that she wanted a new rice bag made out of!  She wanted to put some cinnamon in with the rice, so we lined it with a couple layers of flannel.  I made her a rice bag a few years ago out of flannel that had penguins, of all things, on it and she just loves it.  Those rice bags work wonders for sore muscles or cramps.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Patches and strips

Changed it up a bit from the tenth quilt being all squares.  Once I started sewing the squares together I realized that they were not exactly the same size.  The majority were three inches square but there were so many that weren't it wasn't going to look right if I tried to line up the seams.  I thought it might work if I offset the seams, but it just didn't appeal to me.  Johanna and I put our heads together and came up with doing a row of the pastel squares then a row of one inch solid material and then a row of a print.  The one inch solid will border the pastel squares on each side.  The print will be consistent and be three inches wide.  She picked the materials out and I'm going with it.

I have all the pastel squares rows put together and started sewing the one inch strips onto them.

Took Ivy for a walk today.  She seemed to like it, especially when we went by number eight pond.

I got an email and I can attend the Saturday workshop in Peoria of Bonnie Hunter's!  Very excited about it!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Natural greens

Here's what I have on my kitchen table right now:

Aren't those the prettiest green peppers?  I love those light colored ones.  They are a bit milder and the skin is not as thick as the dark green ones.  My great uncle called me up and said he had some pepper for me tonight so I ran over and picked them up.  Going to throw them in the freezer.

Finished the purple 16 patch and 4 patch quilt top tonight.  Put a 4" border on it that really set it off. 

After I got done with it, I was going to come downstairs, but a box of squares caught my eye.  It was from the quilting room at church.  When the ladies quit quilting, they left a few odds and ends in the quilting room.  A box of squares and a few swatches of material were sent my way.  Well, there was a shoebox full of 2 1/2" squares in solid colors - pink, green, yellow, blue, and white.  I figured I would need 625 squares to make a quilt the right size for the nursing home, so I sat there and counted the squares.  I came up with about 125 short.  There's enough yardage there to make more than enough to make up the difference.  So, the 10th nursing home quilt has been decided on.  Pastel solid squares.  I see lots of chain piecing in my future...

Had lunch with my quilty friend, Sandy, today.  She is making a gorgeous quilt done in rows.  It's a class at a local quilt shop.  The fabrics are just beautiful and the pattern is turning out to be quite stunning.  Will have to get a picture of it when she's done and put it up, if she says okay, that is!

There is a slight possibility that I might get to attend one of Bonnie Hunter's workshops in October.  She is coming to Peoria and if there is room, I am going to get into a class.  The gal who is coordinating it sent me an email today and I responded immediately.  Haven't heard back from her yet.  Hope I can get in!

Purple frenzy

 Here's a couple of pics of the purple quilt for the nursing homes. 
I've got a nice piece of material picked out for a border and hope to get it on the top tonight.  I even had Johanna check it out and it meets her approval...

While she was in the sewing room, she decided to rummage through the fabric stash.  I had fallen asleep on the couch and woke up to her calling me upstairs.  She had different fabrics scattered across the floor trying to decide what to use and if there was enough of each piece.  Cracks me up.

Nick got some good news.  Yesterday he got a call from one of the places he interviewed and they offered him the job!  This should be a great move for him.  Where he is at is not so hot.  They went the whole winter in the office without heat, and that's just a tip of the iceberg of all the stuff that's gone on.  I'm glad he's putting this place behind him.

So the purple quilt is the 9th one I will have done.  Two more and I will have enough tops made for the nursing homes.  Not sure what those last two will be yet.  Something easy, probably.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Match 'em up

Today I matched up 102 small sets of pieces for spool blocks.  I'm keeping these in a basket next to the sewing machine and just grab one as I need it. 

I matched up the two patch blocks to make 18 four patch blocks and pressed them.  Then I sewed some of the four patch blocks to some of the sixteen patch blocks.  I was in the sewing room for about an hour, and was ready to quit, so I didn't get them all sewn together.  They are going together quickly.

I made bacon wrapped bbq hot dogs on the grill tonight.  There's also stuffed peppers left, but I think Ev took some to work tonight.  I get a kick out of it when he comes home and tells me the guys at work all are jealous of his meals when he takes something good!  I think he takes the good stuff just to get them that way!  haha.

The weather has been so comfortable and cool.  It's so unusual for August.  I am not complaining! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

A passion for purple

So I'm working on a quilt with purple fabrics for the nursing homes.  I left the fabrics laying out on the table upstairs, along with the blocks I had already made.  When I went upstairs today after work, here's what I found:

Remember when the two little boys are opening presents on 'A Christmas Story' and the younger one keeps picking up packages and saying 'It's mine!'?  It's like that when Johanna sees a quilt I'm working on.  "Mom, who is that for?  Is it for me?"

She cracks me up.

I put together some stuffed peppers and put them in the crock pot tonight.  That will be dinner tomorrow.  I also grilled some burgers and made some fries.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

18 16s for 9

That's what I made today.  18 sixteen patch blocks for the 9th nursing home quilt.  Now I need to make 18 four patch blocks.  I'm using different purple fabrics for this top.  It's funny how using a fabric that I don't really love, just kinda feel 'ehhh' about, with another fabric that I like a bit more, makes the 'ehhh' fabric seem warmer and a little prettier.  And the good part is I'm using up so much stash!  That makes me happy.

Worked a bit at the chicken dinner today at church.  Came home and cut grass.  And sewed for a couple hours! 

This was kind of a lost weekend for me.  I feel like I really lost Friday night, since I went to sleep so early.  Guess my body just needed to reset itself.  Saturday afternoon we went to a birthday party.  So it was a bit busy weekend.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Lazy view

I was too lazy to take the top downstairs and hang it on the piano to ph
otograph.  I just ended up laying it over the chair in the sewing room.  Here's the second embroidered top.  The blocks are 17-1/2" square.

This went together quickly, despite the fact that I sewed one block in wrong side facing up!  Had to frog it and resew.  Not a big deal, though.  Brain was just on autopilot I guess.

So this is the 8th top done for the nursing home residents from our church.  I found out that as of today there are only 11 people that will need them.  That number could change if any new people are admitted to a nursing home before mid December.  So to be safe, I think I will make 12 tops and quilt 11 for sure.

Tomorrow is the annual chicken dinner at our church.  I'm supposed to go help in the kitchen at 12.  I really am not looking forward to it.  But it's a good thing to do.  Hopefully the time will go quickly.

Sleep overload

Yesterday I came home from work thinking I would get another top made with five of the embroidery blocks.  I also thought I would make Ev's dinner and post on the blog.  Instead, my new bed (well, a few weeks old) just looked so inviting that I decided to lay down.  Just for a minute.  Next thing I knew I had taken a three hour nap!  It was 9:30 p.m.!  Needless to say, nothing got done.  Oh, I did manage to change the sheets before I got back into bed for the night!

Hopefully today will be more productive.  I'm actually thinking of loading the basket embroidery quilt on Gemma, just to get a feel for how difficult it might be to quilt on those blocks.  Don't know yet, just thinking about it.  Right now, though, Ev is just getting ready to take the bike out, so we might go for a ride.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Two tops

Here are the most recent tops I finished, the Four Patch Plaid and the basket embroidery blocks set with quarter square triangles:

The embroidery is going to pose a challenge when it comes time for quilting.  I haven't quilted anything with stitching yet.  I guess I will just follow the outline of the stitching, since there weren't any lines left to distinguish where the quilting was supposed to go.

This makes 7 tops done for the nursing homes.  Moving right along...

A decisive move

I have decided that the next quilt I make for the nursing homes will be from the embroidered blocks I rescued at a garage sale a while back.  I have about 30, 17 1/2" blocks, done in two different designs.  One design is a basket done in yellows and greens. 

Last night, after ironing the one border on the Four Patch Plaid and deciding that it didn't need another border and that the top was finished, I pulled out 5 of the embroidered basket blocks.  I found some nice material to make 4 quarter square triangle blocks to set with the baskets and proceeded to make them last night.  All that needs to be done now is to trim the quarter square blocks to size and sew them together.  It will need a border, I'm sure.

The only fly in the ointment is that when I pressed the embroidered blocks they had an odor of smoke still.  If anyone remembers when I bought them, you would know that I had to soak each block in oxyclean because they stank so bad and were yellowed from smoke (and possibly age).  I thought that had removed the odor, but when I hit them with the iron, it came back.  I am hoping that after the top is finished and quilted that I can soak it and get the smell out.  Probably hit it with some Fabreeze too.

I might do another top with some of the blue embroidery blocks.  Just kind of needed something mindless and fast.  When the basket top is finished, that will be 7 tops done.  I know I keep saying I have to get the two birthday quilts done.   I really do, but I seem to be on a roll with these others and hate to stop the momentum!  Next birthday quilt is due end of October and the second due early November.  I know I will be using the cool batiks for one of them, but not sure about the second one.  Decisions, decisions!

I'm also kind of excited about using my stash fabrics for backings on the nursing home quilts.  There are so many fabrics that I have in my stash that just aren't very well loved, at least by me, but would make good backings.  This really is a fun project for me!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Four rabbits and a groundhog

I'm a sucker for wildlife.  On my way to work today, before I had even gotten out of town, I saw four rabbits and a groundhog.  The rabbits were less than a block away from my house and were running around and playing with each other.  The groundhog was a few blocks away and was sitting up in a ditch, just checking out his world.  That was a good way to start my day.  I enjoy seeing critters in nature.

Tonight I hope to get upstairs and press what needs pressing on the Four Patch Plaid top and get the borders sewn on.  Then I can start on the next top!  I'm thinking I might try and use up more of those leftover strips.  Maybe I will make a bunch of 16 patch blocks with 2" squares and then some 4 patch blocks with 4" squares.  Just tossing the idea around right now.

Normally, when I purchase a book, I look at it for a while, ooohhh and ahhhh over the patterns, then put it aside to gather dust and age gracefully with it's forgotten brothers and sisters.  That's not what happened when I got Nickel Quilts by Pat Speth.  Although I have not followed the directions exactly (my units weren't all made from 5" squares - I used the sizes that I already had on hand), I have made three of the quilts from the book now.  I would recommend this book to anyone who is a scrap quilter.

Monday, August 5, 2013

And sew it goes...

I have finished sewing the rows together for the Four Patch Plaid.  All it needs now is to be pressed (yuck) and have a couple borders put on it.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Cake recipe clarification

Just to make a clarification on the cake recipe, the only two ingredients are the dry cake mix and the can of pineapple.  You do NOT make the cake mix according to directions.  Hope this helps and sorry I didn't make this clear earlier!

Enjoying my company this evening, so a short post here.  I did get a chance to put several rows together of the Four Patch Plaid.  It's halfway done.  I really like the way it looks.  This one is made with mostly greens and tans.  I'm thinking about doing another one with blues.  Just a thought.

Ivy and Ribs

Some pics of the dog, cat, and food.  Not necessarily in that order or all together!

Ivy has the entire king sized bed to lay on and where does she choose to nap?  On my pillow!

 This was last night.  See the darkness outside the window?
Ivy is counting sheep here!

So when daylight comes around, it's a different story.  I have to move my pillows that I sleep on and put a couple of old pillows I keep just for this purpose in the window. 

Then sometimes it's double trouble.  Shadow the cat likes to view the world through that particular spot also!

I guess they like to watch the birds and squirrels and rabbits.

Today my mom and stepdad are coming down.  I have some baby back ribs to put on the grill, and have made a really good cake for dessert.

 Here are the ribs before they go on the grill.  Actually, I am putting them in the oven on real low heat to get them mostly cooked.  My gas grill isn't big enough to do them justice for the entire cooking time, and I really don't want to burn over $30 worth of meat.  I'll cook them in the oven a while, then when they are ready to get sauced, I'll put them on the grill.

And this is the cake I baked.  Absolutely the easiest cake in the world to make and very very tasty.  One box regular angel food cake mix and one 20 oz can of crushed pineapple with the juice.  Put in 9x13 pan that was lightly sprayed with nonstick spray.  Bake 35 mins in 350 degree oven. 

I might have posted that recipe before, but it is worth repeating. 

So right now Ev and Nick are out riding, Johanna is at a friends, and I have a couple hours before company gets here.  Going to head upstairs and work on the Four Patch Plaid top a bit!  Hope I have enough pieces!  hahahaha.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Lesson learned

I need to learn to count.  Or read directions.  I thought I had all the pieces made and ready to be assembled for the Four Patch Plaid top.  I was putting the second half of it together and realized I was going to be short on the four patch blocks.  Like 25 pieces short!  sigh.  Luckily I still had plenty of strip sets left over from the 36 patch blocks and was able to make up the remaining blocks in about an hour.

I have enough of the two patch units and the solid squares.  If I had read the directions, they actually list the amount of units needed for each top.  So next time I should read and count first. 


Last night my friend and I went to Lotawata Creek for dinner.  As usual, the portions were huge and we ended up bringing home leftovers.  Here's pics of some of the goodies we had.

 Deep fried stuffed mushrooms.
 Chicken strips and mashed potatoes with gravy.
Good bread with honey butter.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

I like this alot

This is half of the Four Patch Plaid quilt.  The blocks are sewn into rows, but I don't have the rows sewn together.  This is six rows and I need 13.

I really like the way this scrappy mix looks so far.  There are a few pops of yellow, but mostly it's green and tan.  It is going together fairly quickly, too.  I put this much together in about an hour tonight.  Don't know if I will have time to work on it tomorrow as I have plans to go out to eat, but I would guess by the end of the weekend the top should be done.  It will definitely need at least one border, maybe two, to calm it down some.  I think maybe a muslin border for the first one.  Maybe a pleasant green for the second?

I want to and I am afraid to...

I want so badly to start taking in tops to quilt for others.  I'm also so afraid to start taking in tops to quilt for others!  What if, what if, what if? 

Where to start?  Guilds?  Quilt shops?  Online?  Will I be hurting myself if I just start by doing simple designs only?  Like meanders or loopy loops? 

Should I wait until I make all these nursing home quilts and do 13 quilt tops worth of practicing feathers?  People like feathers and will probably expect me to do them.

Comments and suggestions, please!