Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Waxing Poetic

Recently I opened a new jar of strawberry jelly that I had bought from the store.  This, in itself, is not a remarkable event, but it did spark a memory.

Like many people in rural areas, my great grandmother made jelly.  Mostly, she made grape jelly because that is what we had.  Sometimes there would be rhubarb, peach or strawberry, but most of the times it was grape.  I learned how to make jelly from her and from a kindly neighbor lady across the street after Mammy passed.

When the jelly was done, it was usually put in recycled jars from just about anything.  As long as there was a lid that met up with the jar (and there wasn't any odor that would affect the taste of the jelly lingering on the lid) it was fair game.

After the jelly was put in these jars, a layer of parafin wax was put over the jelly to seal it.  I still remember this wax came in a box about the size of a pound of butter.  There were sheets of wax about a half inch thick in it.  Gulf was one of the brands.  Mammy would melt that wax in an old tin can on real low heat on the stove, then carefully pour over the jelly.

Down to the root cellar those jars would go and all winter we had jelly!  

These days, that's not the way we seal jelly.  A much safer way to do it, using a hot water bath canner or a pressure cooker, is the only way to go now.  I don't want anyone to think I'm suggesting they seal jelly in that manner.  I am not.

Funny how those memories just pop into your head sometimes.  When I opened that jar of jelly, for a very brief second I halfway expected to see wax on top!

Monday, June 29, 2015


My sweet puppy, Addy, has a birthday tomorrow!  She will be one year old!  She has sure grown into a big dog.  And just like Ivy, she has really taken up the sport of catching birds.  Today she caught two, and over the weekend she took out two more!  Not sure what her total is up to for the year, but it's rivalling her predecessor, that's for sure.

Still got a lot of pup in her.  You would never know that she had that leg broke by the way she runs all over the place.  I noticed, just in the past couple weeks, that when she is running around the yard she just leaps and jumps as much as she can.  She thoroughly enjoys being outside.  Sometimes it's hard to get her to come inside, because she just loves laying out in the sunshine or running around.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Off The Frame!

Paducah 2014 Swap Quilt is off the frame!

I'm so happy!  I can't wait to get the label and binding on it.  It's going with me to the retreat in a few weeks.  There's messy quilting on it, and mistakes, but I absolutely love it!  Such great memories of that trip with my friends that I love.  Brings back all those good feelings when I see this quilt. 

Now, what should I bind it with?  Maybe that purple that is in the cornerstones if I have any more...

Friday, June 26, 2015

Map It Out

In order to keep a continuous line of quilting (this is of course depending on if the thread cooperates and doesn't break...) a little mapping was necessary.

If I start in the upper left corner, and make sure I cross over to the bottom left after the top half is done, I can quilt this block in one pass with no stops.

Really hope that I don't have those thread breaking issues when I work on this again.  That is so frustrating.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Cutting It Close

This is a birds eye view of the end of the quilt on the frame.  The very left part is the bar.  Then you can see a piece of muslin seamed up to the backing.  It's a little hard to tell because it's the underside of the backing.  Then a bit of batting and then the bottom edge of the quilt top.

I was really cutting it close with that material for the backing and knew it was going to be tight.  I decided before I even put it on the frame to seam an extra piece of muslin to the backing in case it wasn't enough.  I'm glad I did, because it would have been very difficult to quilt that bottom edge!

Here's another pic at the corner, just to give you a different view.

All's well that ends well.

Decisions, Decisions

These are the kind of decisions I like to make!  What should I quilt in these blocks?

My idea for the green stripe one is to do a squiggly line in each stripe.

For the spool blocks, I was thinking of mimicking thread on the spool body and then outlining the rest of the spool.

Not sure what is going to go in this nine patch.  The blocks are big enough I could even write in them and the thought has crossed my mind to write Paducah 2014 and other things we related to that year's quilt show trip.  It's in the bottom corner of the quilt, so that could even serve as the label of sorts.

Haven't decided what to put in this pretty block yet, but I'm sure something will come to mind!

I really am ready to have this one off the frame and get it bound.  I'd like to take it to the retreat in July and show it off!

Dusty Sewing

When I went downstairs last night to sew, there was dust and grit on my quilt on the frame and on Gemma!  I knew right away what happened and could just kick myself.  I should have covered everything because Gemma is set up right below our bedroom, where we were putting in new flooring.  All that pounding must have shook all kinds of dust and yuck from the ceiling of the basement onto my quilt and machine!

I got it all cleaned up and all is well.  Was able to sew for a little over an hour and get the quilt turned to the very last row!

Now to decide what to quilt...  :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


I'm a bit tired today.  Last night, about the time that I usually go to bed, I got a notion to start clearing out my dresser drawers.  I had a big plastic tub that I put clothes that were out of season in and clothes I probably won't be wearing in.  The next step will be to clear out the tubs...  haha.

Even though it pushed my bedtime back a bit, it was worth it.  I'm glad it's done and the dresser is somewhat organized.  Somewhat.  Organized.

I grilled some cheeseburgers and some veggie burgers for dinner.  Nick came over and we ate together and he told me about his weekend.  Tomorrow he goes to the doctor, hopefully for the last time, about his collarbone.  It looks like it has healed really nicely.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Picture Says A Thousand Words

The older camper has trees down on top of it.  We don't have pics yet of the newer camper.

My Oh My

Remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned going to our camping trailer with my mother?  Well, last night a tornado blew through the campground and we are waiting to hear if our trailer is still standing or not.  Most likely it is not.

Thankfully, no one was killed.  Five people injured and one taken to the hospital.  Lots of property damage, though.

And when it comes down to it, this was a campground.  We still have our homes.  There are many that lost their homes last night due to the storm.

It's just stuff and no one was killed.  Thank God.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Three Yards Plus

I'm back to work today, after a week off.  It was a nice break.  We got a lot done around the house.  Homecoming was going on, so we went to some of the events.  That was fun.  I didn't cook much at all, which was a nice change.

When I got back to work, my co-worker gave me this piece of material.  I think there are close to four yards of it.  She went to the thrift store over the weekend and found it for 69 cents!  It's 100% cotton and will make a nice backing for a quilt.  Pretty cool, huh?


This is a horrible picture, I know, but I think you will get the idea of what it is.  I was standing behind my car, which was parked in front of my house, and looking straight down the road towards the park where the finale for the weeklong Homecoming celebration was a huge fireworks display!  There were quite a few trees in the way, but I could still see the majority of the display and it was just amazing.

While standing out there (in my pajamas, hoping no one I knew would pass by...) I was thinking about the town turning 150 years old.  Where I was, in front of my house, probably was just a field.  The downtown most likely was paved with bricks and had horse and buggy parking in front of the businesses.  Now, looking at it, I marvel at all the changes.

The weeks' celebration was dampened by constant rain, but all in all, it was a good time.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

I Sewed

Not quilting, but I did sew something today.  These are a set of bags for the corn toss game.  A friend of Ev's plays a lot of the game and wore out the set he had.  He asked if I would make another set for him and I did.  They are just six inch squares of fabric stuffed with dried corn.  The game is pretty fun and real popular in our area right now.

Father Daughter Ride

Here's the guys before their annual Father/Daughter motorcycle ride.  Al didn't have his daughter with him, but he rode anyway.  They all had a real nice time!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Not Much

Not much to report on the home front!  We bought a new vacuum cleaner.  Doesn't that sound exciting?  Haha.  I guess it seems funny to put laminate flooring down then buy a new vacuum, but this one is supposed to be great on hardwood floors, so we shall see.

It's Homecoming weekend in our town.  It's also the 150 Sesquicentenial celebration.  And it has rained and rained and rained all week.  The fairgrounds are soaked, the parks are soaked, the one parade for the little kids was rained out...  It stopped raining about an hour ago and I am really hoping that it stays stopped for a while so Ev and I can go to the grounds and get a sandwich from one of the vendors.  I haven't cooked much on our vacation and I figure, why start now?  haha.   

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Doesn't seem like I have gotten any sewing done lately.  But we did get the bedroom floor done! 
Here it is, with all my mismatched furniture.  I love the new floor!  My hubby sure did a good job on it.

It was not without a mishap though.  See, we live in an old home and there doesn't seem to be a level surface or square corner in the house.  When first starting the flooring, Ev needed me to stand on the row he just put down while he fitted the next row in.  That required using a rubber mallet and tapping block and some elbow grease to fit the pieces in. 

Can you see where this is going? 

Yup, he missed the block and smacked me square in the ankle!  Ohhh did that hurt!  Poor guy felt really bad about it.  It's bruised and a little tender, but nothing broke and I can walk just fine.  Luckily it was my bad foot that he hit, so I still have one good foot.  In case anyone was wondering...

Pretty Puppy

Addy was all dressed up today!  My friend Darlene made her this cute bandana.  Addy was strutting her stuff, for sure!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Good Progress

We have made very good progress on the bedroom floor!  Right now, we had to stop because the tapping block broke and we have to drive 40 minutes one way to get a replacement.  But that's okay, we were ready to take a break.  Tomorrow we should get the rest of the flooring down and a start on the trim. 

Some vacation, huh?  haha.  Actually, I'm glad we have the days off to do this.

Oh, and if you are wondering, the room is huge.  I think it's about 14' x 15'.  That's a king size bed in the picture, just to give you an idea of scale.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Flooring Again

We are taking this week as vacation.  Decided to do the floor in the bedroom.  So far we have removed the carpet and padding.  Feels like we made a lot of progress!

Friday, June 12, 2015


Last night Ben came over to help drain the water off the pool cover.  While we were working on it, there were a lot of bugs flying around, including wasps.  Guess who got stung?  Yup, I got stung on the top of my wrist!  It wasn't a bad sting and didn't hurt too much.  There's just a slight bump there now, so all is good.  Still don't have the cover off, but it's getting there.

Starting our week of vacation after today!  I'm so ready!  Really want to get the carpet pulled up out of my bedroom and that new floor laid.  Such a dirty and yucky job, but it has to be done.  At least the air conditioning is on, so that should make it a little more bearable.  Just not looking forward to the mess.  Ah well...

Hopefully during the coming week I will get some time to finish up the quilt on the frame.  And I need to keep moving on those nursing home tops.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Miss Addy

See my lazy pup?  She is laying sprawled out in the grass, with her deflated basketball.  My guess is she was romping around and got tired, so she just plopped down whereever she was at the time!

Addy really has become quite a good dog.  She is still in her puppyhood and will be for a long time yet, but she has calmed down a lot also.  I'm able to walk her a lot easier than any of the other dogs, which is very nice.

What I'm looking forward to next is being able to sew with her in the sewing room.  She is still way too inquisitive about everything in there and instead of sewing, I spend the time saying "No!" or "Drop it!".  I can shut the door and lock her out of the room, but I just don't like to do that if I can help it.  My best option is to give her a juicy bone right before I want to go up and sew.  If she has a bone, her interest in it trumps everything else!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Next Row

These are the next four squares I need to quilt in on this row.  There is only one more row after this and I can take the quilt off the frame, so I'm kind of chomping at the bit here to get it done.

As usual, I'm trying to figure out what to quilt in the blocks.   The orange block may just get some squiggly lines in the orange half square triangles.  I would like to see the other half pop because I really like that material.  It has dragonflies on it.

The four patch block may get some kind of different doodle in each block.  Or something that starts in the very center where the four patches meet and work it's way out in echoes.

Waiting for inspiration to strike for the other two.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


On the car - The shop found no leaks.  They kept it all day and ended up putting some dye in the coolant.  If it should leak again, the dye will tell them where.  Not extremely encouraging, considering I may be on the road alone when it decides to do this!  However, it may have just been a fluke.  Who knows?  We are going to try and make it through the summer with this car then get a different one before winter.  Just taking it day by day here.  And keeping a couple gallons of antifreeze in the trunk.

On Nick - He is doing well.  His collarbone is healing like it should.  He has a follow up appointment soon.

On work - The power has been restored and all is back to normal.  Or as close to normal as things ever get in my office!


Yesterday at work we suddenly lost power.  There was a very loud noise and then it was black in the office.  I thought that all the computer and electricals in the server room fell off the wall.  Nope.  It was outside.  See the pole?  Snapped in two places.  The base and again about 12' from the top!  And just 10' from where I park my car!  That ditch is filled with water and the ground is wet.  Not a good mix.

Seems that a truck pulling farm implements that were pretty tall caught a wire going across the road and just yanked everything down.  The pole just south of this one also needed to be replaced because it was tilted quite a bit.

No lack of excitement around here!  haha.

So, without power at work, I had to go home.  And sew!  I finished a pass on the longarm and started another one.  I have the sashing and borders quilted on this pass, just need to quilt inside the blocks.  This row and one more then the quilt will come off the frame!  Wheeeee!

Monday, June 8, 2015

A Bit of Car Trouble...Again

I really have to just bite the bullet and buy a new car.  Sigh.  Mom and I had a wonderful weekend camping, but on the way home, on my three and a half hour drive, my car overheated.  Luckily I was able to get to an exit and pull over at a truck stop.  Half an hour and a gallon of antifreeze later, I was back on the road.  But I was scared that it would overheat again for the entire rest of the way home.

Today the car is in the shop where they are trying to figure out what happened.  Depending on what they say, I may be car shopping this week.  We are not going to put any more big bucks into this vehicle.

It could have been much worse.  Thank God it wasn't!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Road Trip

Going to head up to our camping trailer this weekend.  Just Mom and I are going to be there.  Having a girls only weekend!  Can't wait!  :)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Don't Forget To Wash Your Feet

Does this make anyone else smile?  Just a blast from the past.  When I was little, I absolutely loved to run around barefoot.  I mean, in the Summer it was rare that I had shoes on unless we were going somewhere.

As you can imagine, by the end of the day my feet were pretty dirty!  Sometimes, if I had walked to the mailbox or across the road for anything, I would even have bits of tar on them.  My grandma would always make me wash my feet before I got into bed!  In the interest of not wanting to have to wash sheets constantly, it was probably a good idea...

One in the Win Column

Miss Addy and I watched the Chicago Blackhawk game last night.  Was a good game!  Let's hope they can keep up the momentum and go all the way to winning the Cup!

I received a call from the shelter yesterday where we got Addy from.  The gal asked if I would be interested in adopting one of her littermates.  It seems that the people who adopted the dog have now relinquished her back to the shelter.  They just don't want her anymore.  That makes me so sad.  How can you take an animal into your home and just change your mind once it's not a puppy anymore?

We are not getting a second dog.  One is our limit right now.  Addy has just settled into a good routine and we are making progress with her.

But I still feel bad and want to save every animal at the shelter...

Break On Through

Seems like that's what I did - broke through that barrier in my brain and just started quilting like a mad woman!  I spent an hour on Gemma last night working on the Paducah 2014 quilt.

This block needed some arrow trails, I thought.

Not sure if you can see them or not, but there are four big tulips quilted in this block.

This block has some happy sunflowers in each corner!

This is the only block in the row that still needs to be quilted.  I think I might do some kind of snowflakes in it.  Still thinking about this one...

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Moving Along

Finished hemming all three pair of jeans last night.  Feels good to have them done and not hanging over my head.  When I was looking for a larger needle to put in the machine, I found a size 18 that I didn't know I had.  I thought I would have to use a 16.  Using that 18 needle really made a difference.  It went through the heavy denim seams much better than I remember the 16 going through.  I sewed them on one of the old Kenmore machines.  I doubt any of the newer machines could have done the job.

I didn't have any jeans thread, which is a heavier thread, so I went over the stitching twice.  It made it look thicker and I think adds some strength to the hem.

Now I'm going to move on to the next four patch strip in purple.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Why I'm Not Quilting

Two of three pair of Ben's jeans are cut and pinned, ready to run through the machine.  Hope to get them all hemmed tonight.  The marking, cutting, and pinning isn't fun, but at least I'm almost done with that part.  Have to remember to change the needle in my machine!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Just a Little More

I'm ready to start the next four patch strip quilt.  These purple fabrics really are pretty, not like the picture.  The picture makes them look muddy, but they really aren't.

The fabric on the left is an odd size piece, long and narrow.  I can get most of what I need cut from it, but there just isn't quite enough.  So I picked out the one on the right to make up the difference.  I think it will work out just fine.

Mary made a top with her leftover four patches.  She alternated the direction of her blocks.  This is her top:

Had a real nice weekend.  Ev grilled ribs yesterday and the kids were over for dinner.  It was a good day.