Monday, March 31, 2014

A good weekend

Late Friday afternoon I got my car back.  It drives very nicely and I am pleased with it.

Saturday we went to Springfield for a little shopping and dining.  Went to a new store that had opened a while ago and to a micro brewery.  Had a real good time.  Nick, Johanna, and Ben all met us up there so it was a lot of fun.

Here's the tee shirt quilt I have been working on for a customer.  It's not very large, about 50x50.  I just did a simple meander all over it.  The quilting part is finished but I haven't taken it off of the frame yet.  I am using the rest of the backing to work up some quilting samples for my friend who would like me to quilt a top for her.  So far I have done simple loopy loops and a meander.  I would like to work up a couple of pantos to show her also.

I had a lot of trouble with thread breaking.  If I remember correctly, this particular thread gave me fits last time I used it, so I just muddled through and have decided that I am going to take that cone of thread upstairs to use for piecing.

I also accomplished something I have been wanting to do for a long time.  I have learned to knit!  Years ago I played around with knitting, but I never really figured it out.  This time, with lots of help from my friend Marla and a couple of You Tube videos, I think I got it!  My main goal is to be able to make a simple dishcloth... not a very lofty goal, but that is the reason I wanted to learn to knit.  I have always loved those knitted dishcloths!  I tried to duplicate them in crochet, but was just never able to come up with something I liked.  I have a huge cone of cotton yarn, so all I had to get was a set of needles.  Well, once I got in the yarn aisle, I did see some pretty colors of cotton yarn and had to pick up just a couple.  Here's what I have done so far:

It will certainly not win any beauty contests, but I doubt my dirty dishes will care.

Ev and I made a trip over to a furniture resale shop on Saturday morning.  I have been wanting to get a table that I could cut a hole in to set a sewing machine down on a shelf below so that it was flush with the table.  There is one at Ikea, however it is $65 and I just cringe at the thought of paying that much for something I am going to cut a hole in and possibly mess up.  The table we found is larger than the Ikea one, which is fine, and I was able to get them down in price to $30.  Ev is going to pick it up this morning. 

The machine that I would like to put in it is one I don't have yet!  haha.  I am seriously considering buying a new machine for piecing, but just don't have the cash for it yet.  So until then, I am going to hold off on cutting any holes in tables...

Friday, March 28, 2014

Still waiting

I am still waiting for the shop to get the parts and get my car fixed.  Could end up having this loaner over the weekend, which means I had better put gas in it because I am riding on fumes... 

In one of the local papers there was an article about a furniture resale shop a couple towns over.  Tomorrow Ev and I are going to take a ride over there.  I would like to find a table that is sturdy but not expensive, and not real large.  I would like to use it to turn into a sewing table by cutting a hole in it for a machine and dropping the machine down on a shelf below.  This is not my original idea, and if you want more information you can google Ikea hacks sewing table.  Go to the one on the blog frommartawithlove.  The table just needs to have a front and back apron to attach pieces of wood to for the shelf.

This morning when I was waiting to leave for work I went upstairs and made a couple of crumb blocks.  My friend, Sandy, asked me about them yesterday and I wanted her to see the technique.  The are so easy and brainless to make, I really should do more of them.

Maybe this weekend I will get the last blocks made for my swap with Mary (as well as finishing the tee shirt quilt).  I was playing in some scraps and came across some animal prints and thought it would be cute if I used one of the animals in the house block.  It could be looking out of the window.  Since Mary has always liked giraffes, that is what will be looking out of her window.  I have a tiger for mine.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Car woes

So I know my car is older and things are going to break down, but why do they have to cost so much?  Sigh.  My baby is in the shop getting a new ball joint, alignment, and a new tire.  There's no question about having the work done or not, because it has to be done.  I'm not going to buy a new car any time soon, so the amount that we have to put into this one in repairs is definitely less than a car payment would be.  Oh well, gotta do what ya' gotta do.  On the upside, I do have a nice new Ford Escape to drive as a loaner car.  Pretty nice ride.

On the quilty side, I got the backing and batting loaded for the tee shirt quilt last night.  I am going to float the top, since it isn't very big at all.  If I have time tonight, I may even be able to get it all quilted.  Will have to see how things go when I get home.  Tonight is my night out to dinner with darling son.  Probably go to Sunset for dinner, as I think he is kind of burned out on Tilley's right now.

I also have to sew up some quilting samples for my friend Sandy.  She has a top that she might want me to quilt and would like to see some samples to decide what she wants to do.  It's kind of exciting now, doing a little bit here and there for other people.  I'm also waiting on another gal to give me a top that I promised to quilt for our church raffle.  The lady who always made the quilts has stopped, so one gal is making the top and I am doing the quilting.  She is going to do the binding, also.  Works for me!

With those three projects, I am going to be about at the end of the roll of batting I currently have.  Good thing I am going to Paducah soon!  Whee!  Hancocks here I come!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Just a normal Wednesday today.  I sewed together the backing for the tee shirt quilt last night and took everything downstairs to Gemma.  Hoping to get it all loaded up tonight and ready to go.  It's pretty cold in the basement still, but this weekend it's supposed to warm up. 

Still feeling a bit queasy and so is Ev.  No clue what we had now.

Johanna asked me if I could sew little quilted runners for a couple of her window sills.  No problem.  Told her to get me some measurements.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Cheese Recall from Aldi

I probably should put this at the bottom, but whatever...  I have all of my packages of Happy Farms Cheese ready to be returned for a refund at Aldi and decided to call Parkers Farm to inform them of our illnesses.  Well, the customer service person told me two things.  1.  She said that Listeria takes 70 days to show up and 2.  Parkers Farm does NOT provide the shredded cheese to Aldi under the brand Happy Farms.  So, once again, I am stumped as to why we both were sick. 

This was my original post, but the information in the first paragraph is wrong if Parkers Farm does not provide the shredded variety:

Okay, dear readers, I might have solved the mystery.  Happy Farms Cheese, which Ev and I both liberally sprinkle on our chili, and recently ate, is made by Parkers Farm.  Parkers Farm is recalling it's products due to a possible listeria contamination.  I would venture a guess that the word "possible" could be dropped from that sentence...  The products were not just sold at Aldi and were sold under many different brands.  I just saw this recall on the local news tonight, March 24th.  Here's what has on it's front page:


On March 21, 2014 Parkers Farm is recalling all of its products within code date due to possible listeria contamination. If you currently have any of our products at home, please return them to your local retailer or discard. Please do not consume. Customer Call Center Hours: Monday - Friday 8am to 5pm CST. 1-800-869-6685


Parkers Farm Acquisition LLC., Coon Rapids, Minnesota, is announcing a voluntary recall of all products because they may contain Listeria monocytogenes.
This action is being taken as a precaution in response to testing conducted by the State of Minnesota. None of Parkers Farm products in the marketplace have been associated with any illness.
Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious and sometimes fatal infection in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individualls suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

I have returned

I am back.  Not 100% but getting there.  Still not sure just what I got sick from.  Now I'm even wondering if it really was food poisioning because Everett got violently ill last night.  I've had f.p. before and this was exactly like it, so I am still leaning to that being the culprit, but can't figure why hubby would get it a few days later, except that maybe his digestion is slower than mine?  I don't know.  If it was a bug, it was one heck of a doozy.

So, another lost weekend and no sewing, which makes me aggravated.  I probably won't feel like doing much tonight after working all day and being up half the night with Ev last night, so will just have to shoot for tomorrow and roll with the punches.

The only good thing that came of all this is that I lost 7 pounds over the last few days!  Not the way anyone wants to do it, though, that's for sure!

Just a few more weeks until Paducah!  Getting closer every day.  Hope we have nice weather.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Three words

Food poisioning sucks.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ready to load

After the excitement settled down last night, I was able to get an hour of sewing in.  I put the rows together for the tee shirt quilt and picked out material for the backing.  Have to prepare the back, but that won't be a big deal.  Would like to get it loaded tonight at least.  That was kind of my plan for tonight anyway, as my cleaning gals weren't supposed to come until tonight, however they ended up coming last night.  That was fine (it's their usual night, but they thought they were going to have to switch - not a big deal to me at all, just so the house gets clean!).  Nick teaches lessons tonight and will be stopping over around 7:30 so if I get right to it when I get home I should get everything I want done before he wants to go get a bite to eat.

So that's the plan.  We will see what happens!

I have decided to do some research on pricing these tee shirt quilts.  I may just jump in and put it out there that I am open for business.  I'm just so gun shy about this, though.  I know I can do the work, because I've done it enough times now, I'm just still nervous about taking in things from people I don't know.


Darling Daughter Johanna passed her state board tests in nursing!  She is now a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor's Degree.  I am just busting at the seams!  WOOHOO!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Making headway

Last night I was on a roll!  I made dinner, which was bacon and French Toast, then I also made a pan of Italian Sausage with onions and peppers.  The night before, I made chili and a batch of stuffed peppers.  I really don't have to cook now for a few days!  After doing a couple loads of laundry, I went upstairs and did some sewing.  I had prepared the fabric Monday night for the smaller blocks of the tee shirt quilt.  Last night I sewed them together and trimmed them to the same size as the other blocks.  Then I sewed them into rows.  Hopefully tonight I can get the rows sewn together, maybe even the backing ready if I have energy.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday Madness

Today is St. Patrick's Day - hope you had a good one!  I did some non-Irish cooking and made a pot of chili and a batch of stuffed peppers in the crock pot.  Then Johanna came over and she and I ended up at Tilley's for 35 cent wings!  At least I won't have to cook for a couple days.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A bit of green

I have two blocks like this made.  Guess I was feeling a bit Irish when I chose these pretty green and white fabrics.  This was a fun block to make and really not difficult, if you can believe that.  It breaks down into a simple section consisting of two strips, two squares, and one half square triangle block.

I pulled out the pieces for the tee shirt quilt and looked at them tonight.  There are seven large blocks that are prepared with the fusible backing.  I need to make two more to set it three by three, but the customer did not give enough tee shirts for that.  However, there were enough left over pieces, four of which have small logos on them, that I can create two more large squares from them.  I am going to put two logos in each big square and use them.  It really shouldn't take too long to do.  I am hoping the weather cooperates and warms up a bit so the basement isn't too cold to work in.

I also need to make some quilting samples on the longarm.  I have all kinds of fun things to do, just not enough time in the day!  The last block I am going to make for the swap is going to be a house block.  I don't think I am going to make them identical, though.  All the blocks up to this point have been identical. 

Burning the midnight oil

Yesterday I was in the sewing room a couple different times, despite my desire to be there the entire day.  I finished up the spool blocks and started on these little gems.  Would you believe these two 6" blocks are really quite easy?  This is block number 11 for the swap.  And below is the spool block, which is number 10.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Happy National Quilting Day!

What a great excuse not to do housework!  Ha ha.  I am finished piecing those spools for the tenth block in my swap.  Here they are while I was sewing on them.

I'm not sure if it's because of the tiny tiny pieces I have been working with but I'm not pleased with my sewing machine right now.  It seems to be having some difficulty with the bobbin thread.  I thought it was because I was using a finer thread, so I changed to a bit sturdier thread.  That seemed to help a bit, but it just feels "loose", if that makes any sense.  I think I'm going to take the bobbin assembly apart soon and make sure everything is in the right place.  I guess I can't complain about the machine, since I have put a lot of miles on her.  If need be, I will take her to the repair shop, but I don't think I'm at that point yet.  It really might have just been these tiny pieces that were difficult to chain piece that caused it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Stormy night

Here's the materials I picked out for the spool blocks in my next swap block.  I ended up exchanging that light green on the end for a darker green.  Did a lot of cutting last night for those two blocks.  Each 12" block will have 16 spool blocks in it that measure 3-1/2" square.  This morning I had about 10 minutes before I had to leave for work so I went up and put together a couple little pieces.  Fun!

When I got to work a friend who works at a sister office had left me some pieces to put together for a tee shirt quilt.  Since this is a paid job, I'm kind of glad I didn't get Roll Roll Cotton Boll loaded on Gemma.  Would like to get this one on and off quickly.  First I will need to sew the top together.  My friend cut 7 of 9 pieces and backed them with fusable, so a good part of that work is done at least.

We had quite a storm blow in over night.  The temp dropped from 80 to 30!  Brrr!  We had wind, rain, and snow.  Winter is not done with us yet.  Chicago has had over 75" of snow this winter!

I have something on my mind that is totally unrelated to quilting so if you don't want to be bothered reading any further, I totally understand, but I have to get this out.  After work yesterday, on my short drive home, I was thinking that some people always have to be 'negative'.  Nothing good ever happens to them, there is always something going wrong that they must complain about, and the glass is always half empty.  Oh, and it's always 'all about them'.  I am not that kind of person and there are times when it's difficult not to say to these individuals that they really need to step back and reevaluate things to find the good in their lives.  I also get very frustrated with people that are only happy when they are making others miserable.  How shallow is that?  It's like poison seeping into my soul when I am around these kinds of people.

Okay, I'm done with my mini rant.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A dashing square

Here's my ninth square for Paducah.  It's a churn dash block.  I love the fabrics in it.  Last night I made two of them.  I used my home made pressing spray on the pieces and was impressed with the nice crisp feeling it gives the material.  I'm thinking I might go back and press the rest of the squares with some of it.  It's supposed to be like the product "Best Press" and give the material some stiffness and help with the wrinkles.  What I really need to use it on is that antique bow tie top I bought a couple summers ago at a tag sale.  It is desperately wrinkled.

The home made solution is really easy - it's one cup of distilled water and one tablespoon of vodka.  You can add a drop of essential oil if you want, but I decided not to.  Once the fabrics are pressed you cannot smell anything on them at all (without the essential oil), and that is just fine with me.  I had to go over to my dad's to get some vodka because we don't have any hard liquor in the house!  And I'm too cheap to go buy a bottle of vodka just for a tablespoon!  Now, if it had called for beer that would have been a different story...  haha!  This is not my original recipe, by the way.  It's all over the chat boards and different blogs, so I don't know who to give credit to.  I have mine in a new spray bottle.

I think the next block I am going to make will be 3" spool blocks set into a 12" square (16 little blocks).  I've had a lot of practice making those blocks, since that's my leader ender with shirt fabrics.

Over the weekend one night we just had sandwiches for supper.  I had bought some ciabatta buns for my sandwich and have been bringing a sandwich from home for lunch at work.  Saving some money and have a good lunch to boot.  I might take my lunch and go to the park today.  It's supposed to get up to 80 degrees!  But then the bottom is going to drop out and we have snow predicted for tomorrow night!  Go figure...  Been crazy weather lately.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Backing ready to roll

Had a few things to do today, but this afternoon when I finally got a chance to spend some time in the sewing room I pieced together the backing for Roll Roll Cotton Boll.  No reason now not to get it loaded on Gemma! 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Friday fun and Saturday sewing

Now, doesn't that look like a great way to start off the weekend?  My friend, Marla, and I met up in Fairview and did some fabric shopping and then had dinner at Red Lobster!  Fried shrimp, crab legs, shrimp scampi, baked potatoes, cheddar bay biscuits, oh and a beer...  Mmmm mmmm good!  I left work a couple hours early and really had a great time.  Good friends, good food, and fabric shopping - what more could you ask for?
 Here's the 8th block that I made for my swap.  It's the broken dishes pattern and done in muted orange colors.  The one block looks like flames and the other has dragonflies on it.  I had been hording that dragonfly fabric, but what better way to use in than in a swap?
Bonnie has announce a new leader ender, but I am still working on the spool blocks that were the leader ender a couple years ago.  Here's my bucket full of spools.  Going to be a while before I have the 1023 I need to make a king size quilt, but Rome wasn't built in a day.
And all lined up and ready to go are piles of roses in the snow blocks.  Think I have enough projects to keep me busy?  haha!

Tonight Ev and I are going to watch a movie on t.v. and have a very easy supper of cold cut sandwiches and potato chips. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Seven done, five to go

Here's the seventh block for our Paducah swap!  The colors are more blue than the green they look in the photo.  Pattern is 'broken sugar bowl'. 

I have the material picked out for the next block, which I think is going to be 'broken dishes'.  No rhyme or reason for two brokens in a row, just happened!  haha.

The vegetarian chili turned out pretty good last night, I was surprised!  I don't think Ev ate any of it, but there were also quesadillas and I know he ate some of them.  Tonight when I see Nick I will send some of the chili with him.

Probably go to Tilley's tonight for supper, so I won't have to cook.  Whoopee!  Not sure if I will get wings or not, might have to try something different for a change.  Will get Ev a sandwich for his supper.

I called and reserved a parking space at a Kentucky business that rents out their parking lot for the Quilt Show.  Getting excited (okay, BEEN excited for a while now!) about the trip.  Trying to get all my ducks in a row for it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Making the cut

Last night I didn't actually do any sewing, just some pre-sewing stuff.  AKA cutting.  I cut out the pieces to make two 'broken sugar bowl' pattern blocks in different blues.  Tonight I plan to go upstairs and sew them together while my wonderful cleaning ladies are working their magic.

Yes, I have cleaning ladies.  I hope no one thinks I'm some kind of snob or rich you-know-what, because I am not.  These two gals come every other week for two hours and do the basics - floors, bathroom, vacuum - that sort of stuff.  They charge $40 total, which I have figured out I can afford IF I don't eat lunch out when I am at work. 

I will be the first to tell you that I am a horrible housekeeper.  I mean, I'm pretty bad at it.  I hate to do it, have no desire to do it, therefore I don't do it.  I work a full time job, as I'm sure most everyone of us does in this day and age, and when I go home I want my down time to be mine.  I already go home and cook dinner every night and do laundry and dishes.  I could go on and on, because I feel like I have to justify having someone else clean my house, but I will stop here.  Besides, it makes me and Ev happy to have a clean house.  That's worth $20 a week.

Tonight I am going to make a pot of vegetarian chili and some cheese quesadillas for dinner.  It's Ash Wednesday, so we will go meatless, plus Nick can take some of it home with him tomorrow when I see him.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

No More Puzzles!

I finished this puzzle yesterday evening.  I really think it's pretty and I loved doing it, but I have got to stop doing puzzles!  I don't get a single thing done when I have one set up.  I started doing this puzzle at 4:45 in the afternoon and didn't quit until it was finished at 9:30 last night.  Orded a pizza to be delivered for dinner.  At any rate, it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it.

Now it's going to be back to sewing and quilting.  I have half of the squares done for the Paducah swap so I had better get back to them here pretty soon.  Have a couple ideas floating around in my head for the next block or two.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Projects everywhere!

You might remember these blocks from a loooonnnnggg time ago.  I'm calling them "roses in the snow' and have been planning to make a quilt for my mom with them for quite a while now.  Over the weekend I managed to start sewing them into rows.  If you call sewing fourteen pairs together a start, that is.  Hey, it's a start.  Making it 14 rows by 12 across.  Probably put a border on it then, too.

I also finished the 6th pair of blocks for my Paducah trip swap.  Made two "corn and beans" blocks in different purples.  I think they turned out vey nicely.  I haven't decided on what pattern to make next.  Just doing whatever I am in the mood to make.

Yesterday was a bad weather day, with sleet and snow most of the day.  I took advantage of being house bound for most of the day and baked a couple batches of cookies.  I made a batch of chocolate chip with walnuts and a batch of raisin cookies.  Yummy!

I also started a new jigsaw puzzle.  It's another winter scene (you would think I would be tired of winter scenes by now!).  If the past is any indication, I won't be doing much sewing until the puzzle is finished!  I even got up before work and sat down to put just a few pieces together.  Next thing I knew, I was late for work!  haha.  I really do enjoy doing puzzles.  Just don't get anything else done when I have one out.

Pretty cold out today.  The temp is 8 degrees.  Brrr!