Monday, September 30, 2013

Back to work

Today it was back to work after having a week off.  The day actually went by fairly quickly as I was busy.  And, typical for a Monday night, when I got home I was not in the mood to do much of anything at all.  I was very happy to have all that food cooked.  I ended up having meat loaf, sauerkraut, green bean casserole, and a half a potato for dinner.  I took some of the pork roast and kraut to Uncle Ray (in exchange for tomatoes...)  haha.

Looking forward to going to Peoria this Saturday for a class with Bonnie Hunter!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A few vacation pics

It's late and I'm getting ready for bed, but I will share a few pictures from our visit to the southern part of Illinois.  These first two pictures are from Cave In Rock State park along the Ohio River.  
 Here's Ev on the ferry between Illinois and Kentucky.  The river is really peaceful here.
 Lastly, here's me and Ivy after a walk through the woods and back to our cabin.
Had a real nice time and would do it again. 

Today I got into a cooking mood and I just went crazy.  Here's a list of things I prepared:

Meat Loaf - completely cooked and ready to eat.
Lasagna - assembled and in the freezer.
Italian Beef - cooked all day in the crock pot.
Pork Roast - cooked with sauerkraut and potatoes on top of the stove in dutch oven.
Clam Chowder - sauteed the onions and clams, ready to put in crock pot with rest of ingredients.
Salteesa Sausage - fried and ready to eat.
Green Bean Casserole - just because it sounded good!

Also have a pan of breakfast burritos in the freezer, along with a take and bake pizza from Aldi (if you haven't tried one of these yet, you are missing out!)

I figure I won't have to cook the whole week, and should be able to get lots of sewing done!  I worked on Briget's birthday quilt today.  Got all the squares sewn into rows and started sewing the rows together.  Shouldn't take long to finish and get on the frame.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A bit of sewing

I did a bit of sewing today.  Finished this nursing home top.  Only one more top to go and I will be ready to quilt them. 

There is a bit of birthday present sewing I have to do first though.  Today I cut 10" squares to make one of the last two tops for birthdays in the family.  I ordered two layer cakes for the other one from Missouri Star Quilt Company. 

Ev, Johanna, Nick, Ben, Olivia, and I all went to dinner tonight at Olive Garden.  It was a great time and I really liked having all the family together.

Since Joann Fabrics is almost in the same parking lot as Olive Garden, I ran in and got a bolt (yes, a bolt) of muslin and a new cutting mat.  hee hee hee.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I'm back

Back from our vacation in Southern Illinois!  We had a great time.  Kinda wore out right now, but promise to upload pics and post more about our little getaway!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Live music times two

Here's part one of the live music:

 My Great Uncle Ray playing his accordion today in his kitchen!  Brought back memories of his dad, my Great Grandpa, and when he used to play.  He's very good at the accordion and it was a pleasure to listen to him.
Ev and I, plus our neighbor took a motorcycle ride to a small town about half an hour away.  We were going to a bar/cafe and going to have dinner.  When we got there, the sign on the door said that they did not take debit cards.  I thought our bank had a branch in this town and looked down the road and saw it a few blocks down.  I hoofed it down there to use the atm, and saw this big cow on the top of a building.  Thought it was a neat thing to take a pic of and share.  I know, it doesn't take much to amuse me...
When we got to the little bar/cafe we were pleasantly surprised because they had a bunch of tables set up outside and had a live band.  It was just three guys playing guitar and singing, but they were pretty good.  So that was my second time hearing live music today!
And here's my sweetie, wearing his new Harley jacket for the first time this season!  He didn't think he was going to need it, but was sure glad he had it once we got to riding.  You can tell Summer has dwindled away.  It's not cold yet, but when the sun is getting ready to go down, it's a bit nippy.

Haven't done much in the way of sewing since Friday night when I finished the Four Patch Plaid for Mom.  I'm just relaxing and enjoying vacation.  I do think I am going to order a couple of charm packs or layer cakes to make one of the birthday quilts.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A nice trip

Ev and I went up to visit family over the weekend.  While there we ate at the restaurant attached to Bass Pro Shop.  They had this beautiful aquarium wall with the prettiest fish in it.  It was so relaxing to watch the fish.  The dinner was good, the company was great, and the atmosphere was relaxing.  All in all, a very good weekend!

No sewing, but I did take the four patch plaid quilt to Mom to give to a friend.  She liked it alot.

Mom and I also went to a new quilt shop that had just opened in June near her.  Mom does not quilt, but she went in with me.  The people were very friendly and the shop was very nice.  The name of the shop is Quilters Quest, and it's in Woodridge, IL.  Worth a trip if you are in the area.  Great shop owners!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

One day til Friday

I am so ready for the weekend.  'nuff said.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Lots of sewing

Tonight after work I got right to quilting up the four patch plaid top that was loaded on Gemma.  Got it all quilted and trimmed!  It just needs to have the binding put on and it will be ready to go.  Here's a close up of the quilting:

Nothing special, just a meander. 

After I was done on the longarm, I went upstairs for a little bit and sewed some four patch and solid squares into rows.

Then turned the mess of rows above into nice and neat pieces.  I sewed a few rows together.  It's not going to take too long to get this top done.

Have to be up early for a breakfast meeting for work.  Going to sign off for now.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday evening

I'm not doing much tonight except vegetating.  When I got home from work I made some bacon wrapped bbq hot dogs on the grill and some mac and cheese for supper.  Not real healthy, but it was easy.  Now that dinner is over and the dishes all done, I have a chance to relax.  I did ride the exercise bike for 30 minutes at least. 

Hoping to get away for a few minutes tomorrow from work to run over to the thrift store if I can.  I'm going to see if I can find more of those soup plates!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The weekend in pictures

Yesterday I went to the thrift store.  I had bought a potted collection of succulents when I was at the grocery store that desperately needed to be repotted.  I thought the thrift store might have a good decorative planter I could put them in.  Here's what I found:

The color doesn't show very well in the photo, but the bottom of the planter is green and there are roses around the top with a couple ladybugs on them.  I did my best arranging the succulents in it.  There were about 8 different little plants.  I'm going to take it to work tomorrow and put it on my desk.  Johanna was over today and when she saw the plants just fell in love with them.  We had to run to the grocery store this afternoon, so I bought her one.  Can't wait to see how she repots hers.

I also picked up this piece of crockery:

This slammed me back into my childhood immediately.  I had to buy it.  I wish there had been more of them.  These are the exact same kind of dishes my great grandma had when I was growing up.  This is what we ate dinner our of every night.  They are what I guess you would call a soup plate.  Flat on the bottom then narrow sides.  I've been keeping my eyes open for these for a long time and really hope to find more.

I made a huge pot of beef vegetable soup yesterday.  If I do say so myself, I think this was the best pot of soup I have ever made! 

I have extra noodles in my bowl, but you get the idea.  The green beans and zuccini were from Johanna's garden.  She had put them in the freezer earlier in the year.  The corn was fresh off the cob.  I just had a lot of goodies in there and it had a very good flavor.

I cleaned my plate.  I think I'll take a container of it for my lunch tomorrow at work.

I did a few sewing related things today.  Nick had brought over a dress shirt he bought then didn't like the way it fit.  He is a thin guy and likes his shirts to be that 'slim fit'.  I had to do the same thing a few decades ago for his dad's shirts.  I took in the sides and made the arms thinner.  He was very pleased with the way it fit.  That made me happy.

I also got the four patch plaid top loaded on Gemma.  I gave Mom a choice between it and another top to give her friend and that's the one she chose.  I love the way it looks so crisp and clean on the frame.

It's ready to be quilted.  I'm looking forward to working on it over this week after work.  If it gets done this week, I will take it up to my mom next week when we go for a visit.  I also put some four patch units together with solid squares.  That's my upstairs sewing room project.

One last picture.  Here's how Ivy spent part of her Sunday afternoon:

Hope everyone has had a nice weekend!

Saturday, September 14, 2013


Now that Nick has a new job, he gets to dress up every day for work.  I love to pick out men's dress shirts, so Nick benefits from this because I usually buy him a couple shirts when I see something I like.  Tonight Barb and I went to Kohl's and we scoured the clearance racks for his size.  Found two nice shirts and two pretty good looking ties for him.  He's going to have quite a nice wardrobe pretty soon!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I can't help it...

I just have to turn these four patch units into a top for the nursing homes.  I decided to put a solid square between the four patches, so that will mean I'm real close to having all the nursing home tops completed.  Here's what I was working on tonight:

The solid square is a sage green material that started life as a sheet.  The four patches for this top are a mix and match of greens and oranges. 

The other stack of four patches is mainly leftovers from Johanna's Jewel Box quilt from years ago.  Not sure what I will use in between those four patch blocks yet.

Made rueben sandwiches tonight for supper.  Another easy meal.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Fast Four Patches

I was able to get upstairs and finish sewing all the four patch units for the next lap quilt tonight.  Finger pressed them so they are ready for a quick touch for with the iron.  Then I'm going to throw them all in a bag and put them in rows just as they randomly come out of the bag.  I sure hope it isn't too crazy looking when it's done.  I considered putting a solid square in between each four patch.  If it looks too bad, I might just do that.

Tonight I made the chicken bacon ranch subs for supper.  It was quick and easy, and again I didn't have to heat up the house.

Johanna, however, did heat up the kitchen for a short period of time, but it was so worth it... she made some cracker bark!  Yum!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The wait is over

Tonight is the season premier of one of my shows.  I've got the t.v. all warmed up and ready to go!  Made an easy dinner of bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches.  The best sandwich in the world, I might add.  Although the turkey breast with grilled onions and blue cheese on grilled bread is a close second.

Didn't do any sewing today.  The sewing room is pretty warm today.  The temperature was in the upper 90's.  I think it was still 97 when the nightly news was on.  I'm ready for Autumn.  Very ready.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Times four

I found a bunch of mix and match four patch blocks that are all the same size - 4-1/2" square.  Also found a bunch of twosie pieces to make into more four patches.  There will be enough to make a lap quilt.  I sewed a few of the twosies together tonight after work.  They work up real fast so this top shouldn't take too long.  Then I'll only have one more to make.

Want to get the lap quilt for Mom to give away loaded onto the frame this week, also.  Our vacation is coming up quickly and we will be going up to visit.  Want to take it with when we go up.

Grilled some burgers for dinner tonight.  It was way too hot to cook in the house.  Was pretty hot outside by the grill, too, but burgers cook up pretty quickly.  I'm thinking tomorrow night we might just have tuna fish sandwiches.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Signed Sealed and Delivered

I finished the quilting on the nautical quilt last night.  This morning I put the binding on it and this afternoon I delivered it to my friend.  She really liked it.  That makes me happy.

I really liked the fabrics I had to work with.  The charm squares and yardage from Missouri Star Quilt Company was very nice.  High quality.  The batting was the Hobbs 80/20 and the backing was a stash fabric.  It was a tiny stripe and had a very nice feel to it.  Was a little bit of a seersucker fabric.  It quilted up very nice.

Didn't feel like cooking much tonight.  I picked up a take and bake pizza at Aldi and doctored it up with extra cheese.  It was the perfect meal for watching football on the couch.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Silly dog

Hotter than all get out and where does the dog lay? 

Middle of the yard in the sun!  Goofy mutt.

I finished quilting the baby quilt and trimmed the edges.  Ready for binding!  Hope to get that done tomorrow morning and deliver the quilt tomorrow afternoon.

Loaded and ready to go

Here's the baby quilt on the frame and ready to be quilted.  Ev has to go in to work at 1 this afternoon, so I intend to get downstairs and quilt when he leaves.

I do have to run to two grocery stores today.  First I have to go back to the IGA in Litchfield and return some bacon I bought yesterday.  When I cooked it it smelled awful!  Before you think it's silly to return food, consider that the package was almost six bucks!  Then I have to run to the IGA in Staunton, which is where I usually buy meat, and get a few things.  I should know better than to even buy meat somewhere else around here!  Oh well.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

27 Minutes

That's how long it took me to load the bottom and top on Gemma.  Still need to load the batting.  Then I will be ready to quilt away!  Woohoo! 

Ev probably will have to work Saturday, so that will be a good time for me to get that puppy cranked out.  Not sure what kind of quilting design I will use, but most likely it will just be loopy loops since I know I'm good at those...

Been thinking that the next nursing home top might be snowball blocks.  I'm thinking I would make 6" finished blocks, so doing 8 across and 8 down would mean 64 blocks.  Maybe use 5 or 6 different colored materials for the middle of the snowball and muslin for the corners.

Put some chicken breasts on the grill tonight and bbq'd them.  I overcooked them a little and the got a bit dry but not too bad.  Made mac and cheese, corn, and sliced a tomato.  Good easy dinner.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Pressed the back and the borders of the baby quilt today.  Took it downstairs and picked out the thread I want to use on it.  Just didn't have the umpfh to load it on Gemma, but it's one step closer at least. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Work it out

After work today I went upstairs to sew, just intending to be up there a few minutes because I was tired.  Well, two and a half hours later I came back downstairs! 

I pressed the center of the baby quilt and cut borders then added them to it.  I even mitred the corners, which I don't normally do.  It really does add a nice touch when the corners are mitred.  Then I took the piece of material I wanted to use for the back, a nice little striped blue and white fabric, and measured it.  Then I needed to figure out how to make it work for the back, because I was going to have to cut it into pieces and sew them together, all the while keeping the stripes going the same direction.  I figured it out and have it all sewn together and ready to go. 

Just have to press the border on the top and I can take it downstairs and load it on Gemma.

Oh, and I got a call today that another member of our church was admitted into the nursing home today, so that means I need to make two more tops.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Salsa and sewing

 12 jars of peach salsa! 
Here's the top I'm working on for a friend.  This is the center, which is all done.  I have to put a border on it then it's going on the frame.  Still haven't decided what to use for the back yet. 

All in all it's been a pretty good Labor Day Weekend.  Back to work tomorrow!

Rows done and more salsa

Last night I put the squares together into rows for the nautical baby quilt.  Some of the material is directional and I was thinking that I would keep it all going in one direction, however, when I went to arrange the rows, it worked out better if I turned some of them, so the directional fabric now is going two different ways.  I'm okay with that.

I have the peach salsa simmering on the stove.  When it's ready to go into jars, I'll make short work of putting it into the hot water bath. 

There are a couple things that have made canning this salsa a bit easier than years ago when I canned.  One is the 'power burner' on my gas stove.  It is a larger burner than the others and really heats things up faster and keeps them hotter.  This helps immensely with the hot water bath canner.  The other is my food processor.  I've had food processors before that weren't worth a cent, but this particular one has really proved itself.  It's a Black and Decker 10-cup model that Ev and the kids got me for Christmas a couple years ago.

Going to throw a few loads of wash in over the course of the day - got to get on top of it or dirty laundry will be taking over the house!  Think I'll ride over to IGA and pick up some good ground chuck and make some burgers today on the grill.  Have had a taste for them!

Hope everyone is having a nice Labor Day and doing what they want to do!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Can it!

Here's half of the salsa I canned.  Total ended up being 44 pints of tomato salsa.

Then I got to thinking how much everyone liked the peach salsa last year.  Sigh.  So, this afternoon I went to the farm stand and bought a 10 pound bag of peaches.  I actually had the guy bring out a case of peaches, but then changed my mind.  I didn't want to do that much work.  I have the peaches all cut and the tomatoes added to it, just need to add a few other ingredients and it will be ready to go.  Right now, Ev and I are getting ready to go out to dinner, so I am going to put the pot in the refrigerator.  It will be short work to add the rest of the stuff and start cooking it tonight when we get home. 

I'm also out of wide mouth pint jars!  Johanna is in Litchfield so I asked her to bring home a case when she comes home later tonight.  Last year I picked up two cases at the end of the season, but the tomato salsa took all of them and then some!  If I remember, I'll have to go check out the jars at Wal Mart and watch for them to go on clearance.  Dollar General only had two cases today of pint jars, and they were not wide mouth, so I didn't get them.  I just like to stick with the wide mouth jars because they are good for everything, from salsa to pickles to even baking bread in them.  Oh, and in our house they also serve as drinking glasses when the mood strikes...  haha.  And to be perfectly clear, we did this before there ever was a show called Duck Dynasty!  haha.