Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Garden bounty

My darling daughter has a green thumb.  She brought me some of her garden's goodies, plus a plate of zucchini bread!
There was a canteloup, tomatoes, and yellow peppers from her garden.  And the zucchini bread was made from her zucchini.  I'm so lucky! 

I sewed for about 40 minutes last night on Gemma.  It was good to be working on the longarm.  This is a project I'm trying to develop into a marketable item, so I'm not saying too much about it yet.  Wish me luck!

I have another 30-40 minutes to work on the longarm, then the project needs some attention from the domestic machine team.

We have beautiful weather right now for the end of July.  When I left for work this morning it was 61 degrees!  Loving it!  Highs this week are only supposed to be in the 80's.  What a welcome break.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Chopped Block Quilt Center

Over the weekend I was able to finish the center for the first Chopped Block quilt.  It still needs a couple borders to make it the right size for the nursing home quilts, but that's not a big deal.
I love that it's so colorful! 

I also got a piece of animal paw prints at JoAnn's and loaded it with a plain backing onto Gemma.  Going to quilt it up and cut into certain sizes for a project.  Will keep you posted as things progress, just don't want to say too much right now.

Ev and I went to Lotawata Creek on Saturday afternoon.  We shared an order of stuffed fried mushrooms, then each had a salad.  We had never had dessert there before, so decided to try the fried banana pudding.  Unbelievable.  It was huge!

If you are ever in the Fairview Heights, IL area, you have to go to Lotawata Creek.  This restaurant is the best.  Great food, huge portions, prices not too high.

That's a dinner plate the dessert is on.  We took a lot home...  :)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Half an hour better than not at all

Last night I was able to squeeze in half an hour of sewing time between everything else that was going on.  I trimmed the blocks in their 'unchopped' state, then cut all of them into quarters.  I matched up pieces that I thought would be good together and have them all lined up like little soldiers on the side of my sewing machine, ready to be sewn! 

When I got home from work, I immediately took Ivy for a walk.  I really have to get some kind of exercise and Ivy just loves to walk (or pull-me-in-every-direction-she-can-especially-when-she-sees-a-rabbit).  We walked for a good 20 minutes.  I had some business to take care of that took about 45 minutes, them my friend Lori came over.  We hadn't seen each other for a long time and ended up having a nice visit.

Nick asked me to do his laundry, so I was also doing laundry all night.  He came over around 9 and picked up what I had finished so far because he said he was completely out of clothes...  Only a 23 year old would do that.  Well, maybe not...  haha.

Oh, and I also called one of my favorite people and talked to him for a while, and wished him a happy birthday!  That was the best part of the night!

So I am hoping I have the energy to walk the dog right away when I get home and then do some sewing.  Last night I just made BLT sandwiches for dinner and a grilled cheese for Nick when he came over.  Tonight I have no idea what I'll make, but something will pop into my head before the day is over, I'm sure!  haha

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mid week

Not too much going on around here.  Didn't sew last night.  My uncle gave me a mess of green peppers out of his garden, so I made a huge batch (13!) of stuffed peppers last night. I froze them in containers of two and three peppers each, so we have some ready made dinners.  Ev's not super nuts about stuffed peppers, but they will do in a pinch.

Since I had the oven on (yes, in the high heat of summer) I threw a few potatoes in it to have baked potatoes if we wanted them sometime.  Might make a couple twice baked. 

Monday, July 21, 2014


Here's another little walk down memory lane and some musing.

As a female, I have noticed that men, when in the presence of a woman, have a certain timbre (always wanted to use that word in a sentence) to their voice.  If they are speaking to us, or if they are speaking to another man and a woman is present, their voice sounds a certain way.  When men speak to each other, when there are no females around, their voices sound different.  At least this is my theory.

When I was a little girl, there were times that in the evening my grandpa would be sitting out in the yard and one of his friends would drop by.  I would be inside with grandma.  The windows were usually open if the weather was fair and as it would start to get dark I could hear the men speaking to each other.  I couldn't make out the actual conversation or the words, but it was pleasant to hear them speaking to each other.

Last night it was like time had folded itself over, like a page in a book.  I was in the bedroom, by the open window.  Nick and Ev had gone outside.  Nick was getting ready to leave after we had watched some television and he was talking to his dad out by the garage.  Again, I couldn't make out the conversation or the words, but the sounds of their voices took me back 40+ years.  Maybe my son sounds like Grandpa, although I have always thought he sounded like Ev, and that was what reminded me of this.  Maybe it was the crickets that were chirping in the background and the cool temperature of the evening.  I don't know.   Whatever it was, I welcomed it and sat there and smiled.

A Wonderful Weekend

I had a wonderful weekend.  Saturday was a perfect day to go to Arthur and shop with Mary and Marla.  We shopped and browsed and ate and visited for hours.  It was just a really relaxing day doing something very fun!

Saturday night Ev and I went to a wedding.  It was a very informal wedding, held outdoors, and a lot of fun.

Sunday the kids all came over and we grilled out during the afternoon.  Johnathon was the brave one and jumped in the pool.  It was a bit too cold if you were over the age of 6.  Later, Nick, Ev and I watched some Netflix until after 9. 

So, all in all, a very good weekend for me.  No sewing got done, but it will be there.

Tonight I'm meeting my friend Diane at Tilley's for 35 cent wings.  Yum!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Arthur Eve

Yeah, yeah, it's corny, I know.  But tomorrow we are going to Arthur!  Mary and Marla and I are all meeting for a girl's day out!  I'm taking the Packer's quilt to Mary to give to Mom.  Also taking a couple of the personal tables that Mary and Marla also wanted from Aldi.  I'm still half tempted to go buy myself another one since I really really like the one I got.

Looking forward to going to Miller's Dry Goods for oodles and oodles of fabrics, Beachy's for spices and baked goods, that place on the main street that sells cheese (mmmmm), and then to lunch either at Roslyn's or Yoder's.  Ahhhhh.

Last night I sewed for an hour on the chopped blocks.  Making the ones with the white center squares now.  Since I still have plenty of time to get the 9 quilts done, sewing on them is relaxing and fun.  No stress! 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Making blocks

I started making these blocks

This is a pair of chopped blocks from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  I'm making mine in all different colors.

The block is fairly simple.  It starts with a square in the middle, then has a round of one color, then a third round of a different color.  Then cut the block into 4 quarters and reaarange with another block that had white as the center and outer round.  I'm actually considering doing it without "chopping" it.  Maybe I will do one chopped and one not.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Time flies

Last night I thought I would get a lot of time to sew when I got home from work.  One thing led to another and pretty soon it was 8 p.m. and I was tired and ready to sit down and watch quiltcam!  I managed to cut up some strips and pieces for my leader ender spool blocks while I watched Bonnie, so at least I accomplished something.

One of the things I had to do was crawl around on the floor under my bed to get a new clock plugged in.  Here's Miss Ivy watching me from the bed.

Yes, she is laying on my pillow.  It doesn't bother me.  She likes to lay there and look out the window.

Monday night I did start making more of the Chopped Block pattern that was on the Missouri Star Quilt Company a week ago.  I think that I will just make blocks until I get tired of making them.  Then I will make as many quilts as I can from them for the nursing homes.

Monday, July 14, 2014

A different kind of quiet...

I will readily admit that I enjoy quiet.  I work with people all day long and even on my drive home, the silence in the car is a luxury.  I don't often turn the radio on in the car.  In the evening, if there isn't much on t.v. (and there usually isn't), I will turn it off and sit in the quiet house and read.  About half of the time when I am sewing I do not have the t.v. or radio on.

There are different kinds of quiet, though.  In my house, I consider it quiet with no t.v. or radio on, however there is still noise.  The ceiling fans, the a/c unit, a box fan - they all have a quiet whir, but it is still a little bit of sound.  It's something easily tuned out.

When the weather permits and the windows are open, my neighborhood is for the most part a quiet one.  But there is still that bit of sound... the sound from the factory a half mile away that is a low hum.  I know this is one of the big machines and what it makes because this is where my husband works.  He laughs at me because if that machine isn't running, I will tell him about it.  The factory runs 3 shifts, so that low hum is always there, with the exception of Saturday nights if the plant isn't working 6 days.  Sunday is start up night and Friday is clean up night. 

Yesterday I experienced a different kind of quiet.  It was the kind that soothes my soul.  Yes, that sounds deep and dramatic, but I really don't have any other way to describe it.  It's peaceful.  On my way home from the grocery store, I took a little detour and drove off onto this one lane road that has a few houses set in the woods, some of which border a lake.  The silence was beautiful.  No cars.  No factory.  Nothing but the wind in the trees, a few squirrels scampering in the leaves and up the trees, and birds chirping. 

Beautiful.  Just beautiful. 

I've said before that I'm not a bird lover, but this peacock was so pretty I just had to take a picture of him out of the car window.  He was near the woods when I was taking my little detour. 

Some day I'm going to live in the woods.

Ta Da!

Here's a couple pictures of the finished Green Bay Packer's quilt and pillowcases:

This is the front of the quilt.  The setting of the blocks is a little whimsical to me, but not so much that it's 'girly'.  This is going to a 6 year old boy.

And here is the back.  Honestly, I like the back as much as the front!  My hubby is holding it and it's actually upside down.  The "G's" and words are all upside down, but the touchdown panel goes both ways.  All the fabrics do face the correct way, I promise!  I'm thinking he might have accidently on purpose held it upside down because he is a Bears fan!  And you can just see the very end of the sign above the one doorway that says "Chicago Bears Ave" in this picture!

Not the most perfect of pillowcases, but I had enough extra fabric to make two, so I thought why not?  The writing on the edge part goes in a different direction than on the main part, but hey, they were just a bonus, nothing I'm charging the customer for, so I wasn't too overly concerned.

I'm very happy to have this done.  I will say it was fun to do, in the fact that I didn't have a set in stone deadline.  I didn't drag it out any longer than was necessary, and it was nice not to be rushed.  When I see Mary in Arthur on Saturday I will give her the quilt to deliver to my mom, since Mary and Mom live in the same town.

Friday, July 11, 2014


Just daydreaming about what my next quilt is going to be...  Have just a bit to do and the Packer's quilt will be done.  Then I am thinking I might put one of the tops on the frame, like the Paducah Swap or maybe my Roll Roll Cotton Boll. 

I also need to start on the quilts for the nursing homes at Christmas.  That will sneak up on me fast.  It always does.

When I went home for lunch today I was just a few blocks from home when I got stuck at a railroad crossing waiting for a train.  The gates were going down just as I pulled up to it, so I put the car in park and proceeded to count the train cars...  This has been a passtime of mine for years, living in a rural community where it's pretty frequent that you get stopped by a train.  This particular train had three engines and every car was a trailer transport with a double stack unit on it.  Some were Maersk Line, like what go on the big ocean liners.  There were 142 trailer tran cars.  I often speculate about what is in those containers and how much $$$ worth of goods is passing before me.

Next Saturday we are planning to go to Arthur.  I'm looking forward to it!  Hope the weather is nice.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Light it up

A week or so ago, Bonnie Hunter mentioned a magnetic light she is using on her machines that have a metal plate on them.  She might have mentioned she got hers at Lowe's, but I'm not certain.  Anyway, when I looked online at Lowe's, they were a bit more expensive than I was willing to pay.  After re-reading the post on Bonnie's blog and the comments that followed, someone mentioned getting theirs at Wal Mart for $4.  Guess what I got today...

How cool is this?  One of the reasons I don't use my Featherweight as much as I could is because the light on it either has a bad connection or I'm not seating the bulb correctly and the light goes on and off at will.  Hopefully this little gadget will do the trick.  I am also hoping it will work on one of my machines upstairs.  I use my old Kenmore quite a bit, and it's light works very well, however I also have another light over my work area that I would like to leave off during the summer months because of the temperature in that room.  If this little light sheds enough extra light on the work area, I will really be a happy camper!  It's very small, less than 3" across the top.

And, if all else fails and it doesn't work for either machine, I will use it for it's intended purpose - on the grill at night...  :)

Last night I made a huge pot of spaghetti sauce, noodles, and garlic bread for dinner.  After I had it all put together, I went upstairs and cut binding strips for the Packer's quilt.  Then I sewed them together.  They are now ready to be attached to the quilt with the label. 

I'm thinking that after this quilt is done I'm going to do something really fun.  Been wanting to make a summer wall hanging for a while, so I might just do that!  Will see how I feel.

When I was walking from my car to work this morning, this is what I saw in the rocks alongside of the building...

It's a pretty big ol' crawdaddy, or just his shell, not really sure which.  If it's still there when I leave tonight, I'm going to pick him up and take him home to show Johnathon this weekend.

One of the reasons I was looking in those rocks by the building to begin with is that yesterday there was a very large snake in one of the bushes right there!  I did not see the snake, but two others did.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Beautiful morning

This has been a beautiful morning so far.  I've taken a walk on my break at work and just thoroughly enjoyed the almost cool breeze.  Our pool is looking real good right now, too, but I think the water temp might be a bit chilly yet!

I was at an antique mall a couple weeks ago and bought this picture for my wall at work.

I had actually gone into the store to buy a different painting I had seen but this one caught my eye and I ended up getting it instead.

I went to quilt club last night.  It was a nice time, just visiting with a few friends and quilters.  Didn't really do much, as we had a real small group.

Tonight I am hoping to Skype with Mary.  Maybe I can get the binding strips done for the Packers quilt.

Thinking of making spaghetti for supper tonight.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


I finished quilting the Green Bay Packer quilt today!  Yay!  It is off the frame and just needs binding and a label.  So happy that's done.
This was what I was looking at when I quilted the last pass.  Very appropriate, I thought!

We had a very nice Fourth of July.  Just stayed home and sat in the back yard and watched the neighbors shoot off fireworks.

Everett is going back to work tomorrow.  After his hospital stay last week, I'm hoping that he will take it easy when he goes to work. 

We did get a little bit done around the house.  Finished putting the railing up on the front porch.  I'm very pleased with the way it looks.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Sorry for the interuption...

No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth.  Although it does feel somewhat like that.  We had a bit of a family emergency that involved an e.r. visit and a few nights in the hospital (I was not the patient).  Things seem to be back to normal now, whatever normal for me is. 

Through it all, I have not been sewing.  I'm hoping to get back to it this weekend.  I need it.