Saturday, August 30, 2014

It's a beautiful morning

I am in a good mood this morning and rearin' to go!  The weather forecast is for rain, which doesn't really bother me, because most of my plans are for indoors.  We do have some yard work to do over this three day weekend, but if it doesn't get done the world will not end! 

One thing we are going to do is make a trip to Lowe's and pick up the tools to remove the carpeting.  We also need to get some Kilz brand paint for the floor.  I know there are spots on the sub-floor that will need to be treated for odors.  Just the way it is and I'm not stressing over it.

Our laminate flooring is on it's way to the store to be picked up, so I am hoping it will be in this week and next weekend we can start some major work.

I reserved a cabin in Southern Illinois for a few days next month.  Nick is going to go with us.  Johanna can't get off work, since she is very new on the job,  We will miss having her there.  The cabin is within an hour's drive of Lambert's Cafe in Sikeston, Missouri.  Ev and I went there a few years ago and really enjoyed it, so we are planning to go again.  I think Nick will enjoy it a lot!  Just a fun place to go.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

15 turned into 1.5

Or something like that.  I went upstairs to sew for 15 minutes because my backside was growing roots into the couch and I needed to MOVE.  Well, once I was upstairs, that 15 minutes turned into close to an hour and a half!  I finished putting the dark purple border on the Carpenter Star top.  It's all ready for quilting.

Next I picked out some fabrics for a third, yes, a third, Carpenter Star top.  This may or may not be the last one I make...  hee hee hee.
I really didn't think I would want to make a red/pink quilt but once I started digging in the red drawer, I found that cute print with the hearts and dots on it and fell in love.  The dark fabric behind it will work well as the dark and the border.  The bottom pink was option one.

The bottom pink on this picture was option two.  I am going to go with option two.  I think there is a bit more contrast between the dark and this fabric.  Either way, it's going to work out fine.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Almost done

Here's the center I finished last night.  Going to put a border of the dark material on it and call it good!  Going to make another one.  Not sure what colors I'll use yet. 

These come together so quickly, I really do love making them!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Pretty in purple

Here's a happy mess!  I've got about half of the rows done on my purple Carpenter's Star top.  I need to push on through and finish it up so I can start another one!  This pattern is so easy and looks real nice, at least in my opinion!
These three blocks, plus one solid light purple block make up the whole quilt!  The blocks measure 6-1/2" unfinished. 

It is so hot here.  The heat index is well over 100 degrees!  I'm very fortunate to work in air conditioning.  My husband is not.  I worry about him in this heat.

Last night Johanna, Nick, and Ben were all over for dinner.  Johanna brought some steaks she had marinating and we threw them on the grill.  Also had corn on the cob, macaroni salad, baked beans, and sliced watermelon from Johanna's garden.  It was a wonderful meal and a great way to end our week of vacation.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Saying Goodbye

My sweet puppy left today.  Last night she had a seizure.  Rather than let things go from bad to worse, we took her to the vet and she gently fell asleep.  Sleep well, my puppy.  We loved you so much.  Still do.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Vacation week

Ev and I are on vacation this week.  We haven't done too much.  Have a few home improvement projects going on. 

Ivy isn't doing too well.  Going to be making some tough decisions soon.

Pardon my absence from the blog during this time!

I have been working on the purple Carpenter's Star. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Book order

Not really quilt related, but I did want to share an experience I had today.  I called Barnes and Noble's bookstore that is closest to me (an hour away...) to see if they had a particular book in stock.  I wanted to take a ride down there and pick it up, however they did not have it in stock.  The gal on the phone was very kind and ordered it for me at the online price, plus gave me a discount, and it is being shipped to the house.  Yes, I could have done all of that online, but this way it kept the sale at a local level, which is important. 

During the conversation I had with the lady at BN we ended up discussing dogs, so you can figure where this led.  The gal was so nice, and so sweet, she actually asked me if she could call me in a week or two to see how everything was going. 

I was so impressed with the level of service and the personal attention that I received, I am planning on sending the store a letter telling them what a wonderful employee they have with her.

Not too often you actually find someone like that anymore.

For those interested in Ivy's condition, she is holding her own.  She is taking steroids to reduce swelling and lessen pain.  She doesn't have the energy she normally had, but doesn't seem to be in pain.  She lays around and sleeps most of the time.  We are giving her extra treats and extra lovin'.  Everett and I had vacation time this week and were considering going out of town overnight one night.  I don't know if we will do that or not, because we would be taking Ivy with us and I don't know how comfortable she would be traveling.  We are just taking that day by day.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Thank you

Thank you, everyone, who commented on the last post.  Yes, it's a difficult time and I've already shed quite a few tears, but we will get through it.  It really meant a lot to read your comments, which I shared with my hubby who is having a tough time with it also.  Ivy came into our lives when our kids were moving out of the house, so both of us lavished a lot of attention and love on her.  So we will make the best of a bad situation.

And to keep my mind off of things, I started another Carpenter's Star for the nursing homes.  This one I'm going to do in purples.

Friday, August 15, 2014


In yesterday morning's post I mentioned that I was about ready to take Ivy to the vet.  We thought she had gotten into it with some hornets.  Unfortunately, the swelling was not from stings.  Her lymph glands are swollen all over her body.  The vet sent off samples to the lab, but from what she could see under the microscope, it doesn't look good. 

My sweet dog is only 4 years old.  She is, and always has been, very loved.  We are not going to go to any extraordinary measures, but will keep her comfortable.  The vet has put her on steroids which will hopefully take the swelling down and make her comfortable for a while.  She also put her on antibiotics, with the slim hope that this is an infection.  Should know something early next week.

*Update*  The vet was very kind in pushing the lab to get test results quickly for us.  They confirmed the worse fear.  She has a very aggressive lymphoma.  Fast moving.  Ahhh, this is so lousy...

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Sorry I have been absent these past few days.  Not much to report on the sewing front.  I still haven't put the borders on the Carpenter's Star top, but hope to get that done tonight.  Nick was over Tuesday night.  I grilled burgers for Ev and I and grilled Nick a couple portabella mushroom caps. 

Last night I made a pasta dish.  It was just thrown together, but sure turned out good.  I cooked sliced chicken breast, onion, mushrooms, and diced fresh tomatoes.  Cooked angel hair pasta and added it to the mix.  Then I made a sauce with butter, cream cheese, sour cream, and milk.  Oh, it was yummy!  NOT a low fat dish...  although I did use low fat cream cheese and two percent milk.

Going to have lunch with hubby and Johanna today.

Ivy is still recovering from her tangle with the hornets.  I'm about ready to take her to the vet if she doesn't improve more.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Salads, Stars, and the Moon

We had such a nice weekend.  I was able to finish the center of the Carpenter's Star top.  I really like the way it turned out.  Need to add a border, probably of the dark blue, and the top will be done.
Those scruffy jeans below the top belong to Nick.  He was over for a bit and got drafted into being a quilt holder for me!  He played at Tilley's Saturday night.  I'm so proud of him.  He writes and sings his own songs.  It's some really good folk music.

Last night we just had chef's salads for dinner.  As usual, I put way too much stuff in them.  This was my salad and it was smaller than Ev's!
Home grown tomatoes, fresh farm eggs... what more could you ask for?  Well, Ev asked for home made blue cheese dressing, but that just wasn't happening. 

I was busy quilting on Gemma yesterday.  I quilted up some more fabric for my secret project, and I also quilted up this wall hanging. 

This was made from one charm pack.  The quilting is swirls and feathers and pebbles.  Nothing fancy and no stress during the quilting.  It was very liberating to be able to quilt this piece and not really worry about what the outcome was going to be.  Little by little, I am gaining confidence on Gemma.  The backing of this wall hanging is wild.  It's all these bright colors mixed together.  Since it was so crazy to begin with, I decided to use up some of my half filled bobbins on it.  The different thread colors blend right in!

And I found that my machine STILL does not like certain threads.  Here I was, quilting away with Connecting Threads Essentials all cotton thread in top and bobbin and Gemma was purring like a kitten.  I put another brand in the bobbin, and just like when I used it before (with like thread in the top) the bobbin thread broke every 12 inches or so.  That also gives me some confidence that it was not 'operator error' when the thread was breaking before.  I'm just going to stick with Connecting Threads.  I love their product.  While it is linty, it's not an issue for me since I have that little air compressor right there and blow the lint away every time I change the bobbin.  Works like a charm!

Did you see the supermoon last night?  It was so cool!  I was in bed and remembered that it was happening, so I got up and went out in my pajamas to take a picture.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Carpenter's Star

Tonight I spent some time in the sewing room making the half square triangle blocks for the Carpenter's Star quilt.  All of them are done, I just need to press and trim off the dogears.  I also need to cut the full squares of light fabrics then I can put the top together.  Really liking the way this is looking.

Chomping at the bit

That's what I'm doing.  Chomping at the bit to get started on the next quilt!  I'm going to make a Carpenter's Star.  Here's the fabrics I am going to use:
I hope there will be enough contrast between the medium and the dark.  I think there will be.  I decided on the pattern last night then when I got up this morning before work I went up and chose the fabrics.  I still had a little time, so I cut some of the fabric into squares to be sewn into half square triangle blocks.  Well, I still had just a few more minutes, so I sewed a couple half square triangle blocks:

I like the way they look.  These are going to finish at 6" square, so the quilt only needs 64 squares.  Some are half square triangles and some are just 6"x6" squares.  It's all in the placement.  Should work up pretty quickly.  I'm adapting the pattern from directions given at to make it square rather than rectangular.

And just so you don't think I am jumping into this before finishing the other top, here's what I did for borders on the 'unchopped' block!

The inner border is a light peach print and the outer border is a medium peach.  Those colors just seem real soothing to me.

Hoping to get these nh quilts all done early so that me and my friends can all do Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt together in November!

High Speed Car Chase

This has nothing at all to do with quilting, with the possible exception that I was on my way home from work to do some quilting...

Wednesday night I left work around 4:30 and headed home on Old Route 66.  While driving South on this 2 lane road, a car coming towards me going North suddenly gets all the way into the ditch, with none of their tires even touching the pavement.  I thought this was strange and then I hear this very loud "vrooom" like a car accelerating and all of a sudden here's this corvette flying past me, doing probably 100 mph, and there's a police car chasing it with it's lights and sirens going.  I pulled over, as did the traffic behind me.  We all waited a bit, thinking another police car would be coming by, then pulled out again.  It wasn't two minutes and another police car came up behind me, giving chase too.

Here's the article from the Litchfield News Herald.  I think they were in a hurry to get it into print because there are grammar errors, but you get the gist of it:

I'm sure you have to blow this picture up to read it, and I apologize that I'm not more tech savvy to get it from a picture to print. 

I will say, it shook me up when it happened!  Glad the guy was caught!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Almost done with another top

After thinking about it some more, I decided to put the blocks together in their 'unchopped' state and call it good.  Yes, they looked better as chopped blocks, but they looked pretty good this way, too.  And if I left them like this, the one block with the guitar in the center would not be broken up, which I think is cute.

So, I sewed the blocks into the top center last night and hope to get to the borders tonight.  That will be the second nursing home quilt top finished.  Still haven't decided what the next one will be, but have a couple ideas floating around in my head...  haha.

I'm in the process of establishing a legitimate business, with a name registered with the county and everything.  Yesterday's mail brought me the paperwork to send to the newspaper for publication for three weeks, then I have to send proof back to the county and it will all be done.  It's kind of exciting!  I even opened a P.O. Box at our local Post Office to use for the business.

I'm not sharing much of what it's all about right now, but when it takes off, I will let you in on the secret!  Notice I said "when" not "if"!  Positive thinking! 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Decisions, decisions

Remember the "chopped block" quilt from a few posts back that I made into a top for the nursing homes?  Well, these are the two types of blocks you make before you 'chop' them.  Just plain ol' blocks.  I was thinking that I could just put the blocks together at this stage, rather than go through the trouble of chopping them and sewing them together again.

Then I mentioned it to Sandy.  And she looked at the chopped block top and oohed and aahed over it and told me how much she liked it and how colorful it is.  And she may have, without meaning to, guilted me into making this top another chopped top.  Because she is right.  Sigh.

Last night I finished the blocks to this point.  Just have to press the ones with the white edges.  I was upstairs for an hour, but it was pretty hot up there, so I called it quits before pressing them.  Just couldn't stand the thought of being up there ironing in that heat.  Tonight, if nothing else, I want to get them pressed.  And really, I could drag the iron downstairs, into the a/c.

Ev's working a funky shift these next couple days, so I get to see him for a bit in the evenings.  We had dinner together last night at Sunset.  I had a very good, light, meal.  They had on their special a chicken salad stuffed tomato.  I ordered it and they brought out two medium sized tomatoes stuffed with chicken salad on a bed of lettuce.  The tomatoes looked and tasted home grown and the chicken salad was tasty.  I think I will be making this for myself in the near future.  I bought some chicken salad from the deli and I have tomatoes at home from a neighbor.  Ev had a patty melt, but it wasn't a good idea, because it was pretty greasy.  He was uncomfortable all night afterward.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Quilt club

The first Monday of the month a group of quilters have been meeting in the next town over.  I've been going to the quilt club meetings and have for the most part been enjoying myself.  Last night I went and had a good time.  Show and tell is my favorite.  I just really enjoy seeing what other people have made or are working on.

I made a meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, and fresh steamed green beans for dinner.  It was so good!  I put the meat loaf together as soon as I got home and it had just enough time to bake before I had to leave.  Same with the potatoes.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Fall wall hanging

Here's a peak at some of the sewing I did today.  This is the top of a wall hanging I made from a charm pack I got a while back from Missouri Star Quilt Company.  I used all 42 charm squares to make it.  Picked out a wild looking backing fabric for it and need to get it loaded on Gemma and quilted up. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Been a bit busy

Sorry for not posting for a few days.  I've been a little busy.  I've worked on the second set of chopped blocks.
I've sewn samples of a couple blocks Bonnie Hunter created named Carolina Chain.

I've been tending a mint plant my daughter brought me a couple weeks ago.  I've been watering it faithfully because I really want it to take.  My grandma used to have mint outside her back steps and I always loved to just pull a piece off and smell it.  This mint that Johanna planted for me is a wonderful addition in a glass of iced tea!  I'm getting real spoiled, having fresh mint right outside my door!  I hope that when the winter comes that I am able to freeze some of it.  I'll give it a try!

Can you see the little runner coming off the bottom on the left?  It would be so cool if it just took off on me.  I do not have a green thumb, so I'm really babying this plant.

I have been sewing.  Yesterday after work I spent a couple hours in the sewing room, pressing the chopped pieces and putting binding on another project. 

I am very ready for the weekend.  Ev is scheduled to work tomorrow afternoon.  I'm planning to just sew the entire day.  On Sunday I am planning on making him a special dinner.  I stopped at the locker plant this week and picked up some frozen frog legs.  Now, I'm not a big fan of them, but he loves them, so I'll fry them up.  I also picked up a package of pork burgers to put on the grill.  If you have never had them, they are treat.  Kind of a cross between a hamburger and a sausage patty.  We like them.  I might even cook them tonight.  Not sure yet.  I have some grilled chicken leftover in the fridge that needs to be used up.  If Ev hasn't taken it to work for his lunch, I might make something with it.