Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just want to take this moment to wish everyone a happy, healthy, and blessed Thanksgiving.  May you have all the warmth of family and friends surrounding you on this holiday.

And don't eat too much turkey!  Save some for these sandwiches, which are a very big favorite at our house.

Use your favorite bread.  Ours is an everything topping french type bread from Wal Mart.
Sliced leftover turkey
Grilled red onions
Crumbled blue cheese

Butter the outsides of the bread.  You can put mayo on the insides if you like, but the creaminess of the blue cheese is usually enough.  The turkey, blue cheese, and grilled red onions go inside the sandwich.  Grill to perfection on a hot griddle or pan.

Caution:  this may become your favorite sandwich too and you might find yourself baking a turkey just to make the sandwiches!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wednesday Scramble

This will be a very busy day for me!  After working half a day, I need to go home and start cooking and baking.  Even though we are travelling for Thanksgiving, there is a lot of food I need to get made.

Hopefully there will be time for some sewing.  That spiderweb string top just keeps calling my name every time I go into the basement!

And I can't forget about the tee shirt quilt I have to put together for Christmas.

There are just so many things I need to be doing, but do you know what I'm thinking about most?  Bonnie Hunter's upcoming mystery!  I want to play, I want to play!  haha.  This is the first year I have friends to play with - Mary and Marla are both doing the mystery too.  We are going to have a lot of fun with it.

Hope everyone is happily getting ready for the big turkey day...

Monday, November 24, 2014

The strange things I remember

At work today we needed some boxes moved.  I was using a dolly and when I was wheeling it back, empty, to the store room it made me smile. 
The reason it made me smile is that when I was little my grandma owned a bar and when she would wheel the cases of beer to the cooler, if I was around, I usually got a 'free ride' back on the dolly!

Weekend of sewing

Feel like I got a lot accomplished, even though I could have gotten more done.  I finished piecing the back for two of the nursing home quilts.  It's not really a Christmas print...
I had to add a strip on either side to make it wide enough, but there was enough in length so that I could load the backing on to Gemma and have enough to quilt two tops without reloading.  I'm even piecing together strips of batting for the quilts if I can.

The spiderweb string top is on the frame right now.  It is such a busy top!

In each 'spiderweb' the quilting will be a spiral.  The spiral is not perfect.  It's uneven and wonky, but that's the whole theme of the quilt, so it works.

In each 'star' the quilting will be a flower.  At least that's what I think it looks like.
And the borders have simple loops.

When I started quilting it, once again I was having some thread breakage on the top thread.  I decided to be real brave and loosen the bobbin tension quite a bit.  And guess what?  It worked!  Very pleased about that and with the results.

About a quarter of the spiderweb string top is quilted.  The next one in line is the unchopped block, which will have the same St. Patrick's backing.  hee hee hee.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Sewing fun

I really like to sew, in case you haven't noticed.  It's fun for me.  I can get lost in it.  This morning, before work, I tried to squeeze in a half hour of sewing because I wanted to get the cornerstones put on the last nursing home top.  I went up and cut the pieces I would need, then I ripped out the seams on part of the top where they would go.  I had 3 of the 4 cornerstones sewn on and was just about to start sewing the 4th, when Addy decided to misbehave!  With just 30 seconds of sewing left to do, I had to stop, get the dog out of the sewing room, and clean up a mess.  Then it was too late to go back to sewing and I had to leave for work.  ARGH.

But who can stay mad at this?


If I don't do anything else, I am going to at least go up and sew that last cornerstone on when I get home tonight!  There is only one more round to go on the top, and the material is all cut, so I probably will finish it while I'm up there.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


I started the last nursing home quilt tonight and made quite a bit of progress on it.
I started out with a preprinted panel for the center and added a three inch border then a border with the big flowers.  I am a bit stuck on that part because I'm about five inches short and will have to piece it.  Maybe I will do cornerstones.  It was time to quit, so I'll make a decision tomorrow.

Wednesday blahs

It just seems to be such a blah day today.  I'm looking forward to this evening when I can (hopefully) get some sewing done while the cleaning ladies are working their magic.  That is, if Addy will allow it...  haha.  She may end up in her kennel while they are at the house if she doesn't settle down in the sewing room with me.

I would like to get that last top done for the nursing homes.  Thinking if I do a medallion style that I might sew those squares (4-1/2" I think) that were in a bag of scraps into rows and put them as one round of the top.  We shall see.

One good thing is that I won't have to cook tonight if I don't want to.  I made stir fry chicken last night, as well as ribs and kraut in the crock pot.  I do have a small piece of steak that I would like to make with some mushroom soup and noodles, but that may be for tomorrow night.  I do like to have a clean kitchen for a few hours at least!  haha.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Top 8 done

Got the borders put on the eighth nursing home top tonight.

Potted plants

I normally do not have a green thumb, but these succulents require very little care.
When I put them in these containers they were very small.  Like about two inches tall small.  With my lack of watering, which is what succulents like, they have thrived.

See my Cubs banner in the background?  hee hee hee.

A balmy 22 degrees

NOT.  This morning the temp was hovering around 10 degrees when I had to leave for work.  Brrr! 

Last night I went to Tilley's with my brother, his girlfriend, and her son for wings.  They were okay, but I'm kind of off them now.  When Tilley's first opened I ate those things three times a week!  Now, I can take them or leave them.

This morning before work I went upstairs and cut strips for the border on the rail fence top.  Hopefully I will get them on tonight, but no promises! 

Bonnie Hunter had quilt cam last night.  I watched that until it was over then was in bed pretty early.

Not sure what I'm going to make for dinner tonight.  There are some short ribs in the fridge that are looking to be turned into ribs and kraut, so that might be on the menu. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Addy update

Addy is making remarkable progress.  She is doing very well with the housebreaking, with the exception of when she goes into my sewing room for some reason.  I think it's because other animals have had accidents in there.  Either way, she is still doing very good. 

Over the weekend we really worked with her and the cat, trying to get Addy to settle down and not maul Shadow every time she is in the room.  We made progress there, but still have some work to do.

We also are working on getting Addy not to jump on everyone when they come through the front door.  We had some success in that area, but it may have been a one time deal.  I'm expecting company tonight, so will see how things go.

It was really hard to leave for work this morning when all I wanted to do was cuddle up with this little ball of fur!  She had her ear flipped over, as usual!  I guess she is afraid she will miss something!

We weighed her over the weekend.  She is up to 38 pounds!  Getting to be a long legged pup, too.

And she had her first taste of snow.  She isn't quite sure what to make of this brand new world yet, but it won't take long and she will be rolling in it and romping around like all the rest did!  I remember Ivy's first day on the icy patio when she went sprawling on all fours!  Silly girl!  I still miss her lots.  Addy has helped with healing our hearts from that loss.

Can you see two different quilts on the bed in that picture?  There are actually three quilts I made on the bed.  One is under the smaller squares quilt.  I love having all those home made quilts on the bed!

Weekend cooking

Yesterday was a cold and snowy day.  It was perfect for a big pot of beef stew and some home made bread!
The bread looks a bit wonky, but it tastes pretty good!  The bread recipe made two loaves.  I froze the second one. 

Border wars

The rail fence top is almost finished.  I think it needs a border.  Here it is without the border:
My first choice for a border would have been the center stripe of light material.  I don't have enough of it, but I do have a similar print.

It would do in a pinch, but it just didn't grab me and the fact that the patterns are different bothers me.

Here are a couple other choices:

The top one is a light purple with a print sandwiched in between.  The bottom one is the same print then a medium purple.  I think I will go with the bottom choice.  Two borders, each 2.5" wide should do the trick.

I didn't put a border on the whirlpool block quilt and I'm thinking I should. 

One more nursing home top to make!  I was planning on another rail fence, but while blog surfing I came across a quilt Lynley made in medallion style.  That got me to thinking how quick one would be to make.  Going to figure out what size I need to start with and go from there.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Snowy scene

Here's a pic of my backyard through the kitchen window.  I need to move the screen up, sorry!  Anyway, the snow stuck to the grassy areas overnight.  We are getting a bit more snow right now.  Don't know if we will see any accumulation or not.

I want to get over to the grocery store and get the stuff to make a pot of beef stew this afternoon.  Might even make some more homemade bread.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday at last

It's finally Friday and I have a lot planned for this weekend!  I would love to get the last two nursing home tops finished, and hopefully one loaded on Gemma.  I have cut the strips for the first rail fence top, so it's all ready to be sewn into strip sets when I get home tonight.  Here's the materials I'm using:
I wanted to have something bright in it, so the fabric in the middle was what I chose.  I pulled colors out of the print for the other materials.  There will be 25 ten inch blocks in the top.  I need seven 2-1/2" strips from each material. 

Last night's dinner was a chicken and noodle casserole.  I loosely followed a recipe on All Recipies website.  Mine had kluski noodles, chicken breast, mushroom soup, cream cheese, parmesan cheese, onions, mushrooms, carrots, celery, and chicken broth in it.  Doesn't look like much but it was pretty tasty!
The original recipe had a breadcrumb topping, but Ev's not crazy about that, so I left it off.  The best parts of this casserole were the addition of cream cheese and the fresh mushrooms.  I brought some to work for lunch!

Addy has still not mellowed out towards the cat, Shadow.  She is just hyper dog whenever she is around the cat.  I keep thinking (wishing) that if we allow them to be around each other things will level out, but the dog just will not give the cat any peace.  Last night I was trying to hold the cat for a few minutes and Addy got right up next to Shadow on my lap!

Sorry the picture was a bit blurry but it was an action shot since I had to get the dog away from Shadow before she slobbered all over both of us...again.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


I took a day off from sewing yesterday to just regroup a bit.  Since I finished the spiderweb string top, I figured one day of not sewing would be acceptable...  haha.

We had our first snow flurries today.  Winter is edging it's way in these days.  They are predicting a bit more than flurries for the weekend.

Thanksgiving is going to be here soon.  Looking forward to visiting with family and enjoying a good meal.

Everett want's to pull the carpeting up in the bedroom before the holidays and get the new floor laid.  As much as I want it DONE, I don't want the mess.  Sigh.  We'll see how things progress.

Still haunting the little antique shop near my office for old sewing machines.  They haven't had anything the past few weeks that has jumped out at me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dinner is served

With yesterday being Veteran's Day and all, I had the day off of work.  I decided to bake some French bread like Johanna did over the weekend.  It turned out okay, but I think her bread looked better!
I had fried pork chops, peas, mashed potatoes and gravy, and a slice of fresh baked bread for dinner.
Watched my show last night, Sons of Anarchy.  It was gory and violent, as usual, and is nearing the series finale.  Going to be sad not to have it to watch anymore.  Guess I will have to find something else to watch!

String top finished

Yesterday I finished the spiderweb string top for the nursing homes.
It certainly has a lot of variety in it.  I'm just not in love with it.  I think I would like it more if it were just string blocks, and not have the solid stars with it.  It's done and ready to be quilted, and that's what counts!

Two more tops to make!  I'm somewhat on track because I wanted to have at least the tops all made by the time Bonnie's mystery starts the day after Thanksgiving.  If I can get those next 2 done in two weeks, I will be in good shape!  What would be even better is if I can get them done and have a couple of them quilted by then also...  I've got high hopes, I've got highhhh hopes...  (remember that tune?)

I can show you now....

I have been busily working on a couple projects at the same time.  One is the string blocks, but the other was a quilt for my friend, Mary.  Marla and I decided to make Mary a comfort quilt.  Here it is!
The blocks were the disappearing pinwheel churn dash blocks from the Missouri Star Quilt Company website.  Marla and I each made 10 blocks in blue and white.  Marla put them together and added borders, then I quilted it and put the binding and label on.  Here's the label:

Not sure if you can read it or not, but it says "Made for Mary with love and prayers by your quilty friends, Marla and Tammy".  My husband thought it said "guilty" friends and asked me what we did that we were guilty of!!!  haha.

The quilting was just a loopy loop because I wanted to get it done quickly.  I really have to break out of that box....

Monday, November 10, 2014

Bobbin along and sneak peak

See my little box of bobbins?
These are my "L" bobbins from Gemma.  I brought them up in this pretty little box to my sewing room.  They need to be emptied, so what I do is put them on the thread spindle and use them as the top thread.  I use up my "class 15" bobbins that have different colors on them for the bobbin thread in the old Kenmore.  The threads don't match but the Kenmore runs fine with that.  The best part is that I'm clearing out the thread and not wasting it!  I used them to make the string blocks.

Here's a sneak peak at what the blocks will look like put together.

Mary asked me if I would do another one and I answered her pretty quickly with a No.  But the more I think about it, the more I'm thinking I might.  Just not right away.  I have too much stuff to get finished for the holidays.

Dining at a dive

Ev and I took a ride Saturday over to a dive restaurant a few towns away.  I was having a craving for onion rings, and this greasy spoon was just the place to get them!
Here's the view from the end of the counter where we were sitting.  They don't have a lot of room to work, but they really get things done efficiently.  We each had a double cheeseburger, an order of onion rings, and an iced tea.  The burger patties are super thin, so a double is not really very big.  Then Ev decided he would like a Polish sausage to go for later.  Well, later ended up being in the car in the parking lot!  He had that sandwich devoured before we were half way home!  Cracked me up.

It was a nice drive and we enjoyed ourselves.  Not somewhere we will eat on a regular basis unless we want heart attacks for Christmas.... 

Baking bread

My darling daughter Johanna baked French bread yesterday!  Completely from scratch!  I was very impressed with her ambition and with the end product, even though I didn't get to taste it.  It looked pretty good to me.  What do you think?
I should bake some bread again one of these days.  Can't beat a fresh loaf of homemade bread, that's for sure.

Stringing along

Over the weekend I was able to finish sewing all 64 pieces for the spiderweb string blocks.  Each block takes 4 pieces and I need 16 blocks.  After the sewing was done, I pressed them, trimmed them, and took the paper off the backs.

They went from these pieces above, to being sewn together in pairs as shown in the picture below.

Now I need to use my new iron to press these open and sew the block halves together.  They will have gone from 64 pieces, to 32 piece, and soon 16 blocks.  I like that countdown. 

It was kind of funny.  I went upstairs at 9 p.m. last night just to finish pulling the papers off the last 20 blocks or so.  I told Ev I would only be up there about 10 minutes.  Well, once I pulled the papers off I wasn't quite ready to call it a night, so I just started sewing!  Sewed until 10!  I think if I weren't at a point where I needed to press the blocks, I might just have pushed through and made the blocks. 

Hopefully I will be able to get to that tonight. 

Dinner yesterday was meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, and brussell sprouts.  Pretty good eats!  Went shopping at the IGA in Staunton and bought several packages of meat so I have a little bit to choose from this week.  I wanted to put a roast in the crock pot this morning, but I didn't have the right seasoning packet.  If I can, I'll pick that up before I run home for lunch and the roast can still turn into Italian Beef before dinner time.  I like to use that Louis' Seasoning for my Italian Beef.  There are quite a few of the dinner rolls left over, so that will be all I need for dinner tonight.

Iron Pup

Can you guess what this sweet little puppy did over the weekend?
While I was working on trimming the spiderweb star blocks, Addy was visiting me in the sewing room.  She was on the side of the table I was working at and I couldn't see her head, but I had been checking on her.  She was busily chomping on her toy, as well as shredding a scrap of batting. 

I guess I got a little lax in my checking, because the next thing I knew, my iron had two cords instead of one!  I don't keep the iron plugged in, luckily, so she wasn't in danger of getting shocked. 

So, off to Wal Mart I went yesterday to buy a new iron.  There are some things I will repair the cords on, but an iron is not one of them.  It just pulls too much juice.  To tell you how serious I was about buying a replacement iron, I must have spent 20 minutes comparing the selection Wal Mart has!  And, surprisingly enough, there is a nice selection to choose from. 

I immediately gravitated to the Black and Decker models because I trust that name.  It came down to the home professional steam model, or the basic model that looked retro.  I liked the retro iron because of it's weight, but I was also concerned about it's weight being a negative factor if I had a lot of ironing to do.  The sole plate on the home professional model was larger than the retro, plus it pulled more electricity, so I'm hoping it gets hotter.  Sorry I don't have a picture of it to post just yet.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Happy Saturday

Was able to sew for a couple hours last night and really got a lot done!  The pieces for the spiderweb string blocks are nearing completion, finally!  Once all the pieces are done, I will press and trim them to be sewn into blocks.

The next (and last) two tops for the nursing home will probably just be simple rail fence blocks.  It is getting near the deadline, so I have to have something quick and easy or I'm going to run out of time.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Last night's moon

This was what the moon looked like last night around 5 p.m.
I thought it was really pretty.  The picture doesn't do it justice.  The sun was setting on the one horizon and the moon was rising on the opposite.  I was taking Addy for a walk when I snapped this picture.

No sewing last night, but I am determined to get some done tonight!  When I went into the basement to get a towel from the laundry this morning, I made a detour over to Gemma.  I took the backing material that was still on the longarm off while I was over there.  I wanted so badly to just stay there and play all day!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A little bit of a rant...

This is not quilt related. 

I do not like to talk politics.  Everyone has a different opinion and I respect that.  I expect people to respect that I may have a different opinion than they do, and if we disagree on a subject, we should refrain from discussing it if it will get tempers flaring.

I wasn't in the office this morning for 20 minutes and a coworker (not usually in this office, thankfully) began talking politics right off the bat.  After trying, unsuccessfully, to change the subject, I got up and started to leave the room.  At which point I was accused of being a coward and rude by this person. 

So be it.  If leaving a discussion because you do not want to argue is rude, then I guess I'm rude.  And I'm not a coward.  I do not force my opinions down someone else's throat.  This individual seems to think they are cloaked in self righteousness because of election results.  Personally, I think they are going to be singing a different tune in a short time because some changes may happen that will be a detriment to them.  Not that I wish that on them, but it's a very real possibility.

I am angry that no matter who is in office the fact remains that my family is struggling. 

I am grateful that we are in better shape than many, many people.  That fact keeps me calmer than I would be right now.

End of rant.  Back to your regularly scheduled quilting...  :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Hope everyone got out and voted today in the U.S.  Ev and I went to breakfast, then did our civic duty.  I had the day off, so I made the most of it.  I got a couple hours worth of quilting done on Gemma.  Will put a picture up soon.