Friday, May 29, 2015


If you every look at my right rail on the blog, I have a list of blogs I like to read.  Recently I added The Inbox Jaunt.  Lori Kennedy maintains it and has some wonderful posts that I have found very helpful.

There are no rules in doodling, at least not that I know of, and it's something everyone can do.  Even the artistically challenged!  So my desk pad is now filled with doodles!

These were some spirals that were supposed to look like wind.  I think they do.

This was a spiral lolipop flower.  It was easy to draw.  I think there would need to be less spirals when quilting it, though, because that would be pretty stiff with all that stitching so close.

And these flowers are definetely going to find a way into a quilt soon!  The paperclips above might make it into a border, too!

The whole doodling idea has just opened up my brain that has been logjammed when it comes to 'what should I quilt'?  Another thing I'm not going to be afraid to do is mark on the quilt.  Some registration lines might help me out, and they will wash out.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Nick Update

Just realized I hadn't said anything about Nick for a while.  Yesterday he had a check up with the doc and had the staples removed.  He is still limited to what he can do with that arm (basically nothing).  All in all, it is healing very well and everyone is pleased.  He goes back in four more weeks and hopefully then will be able to resume normal use of the arm.

In the mean time, Johanna decided to try and top her brother by falling down Saturday night and ending up with four stitches and a black eye!  She was getting out of the truck in the dark and just stepped funny and down she went!  Poor kid!

Almost Done

Last night I took this picture quickly so it's a little blurry.  This is the third top for the nursing homes with the four patch strips.  I have just two more rows to sew together and it will be done.  Shouldn't take long at all.  Then I get to do something fun like picking out the material for the background on the next one!

That machine in the background is not the one I'm sewing on, but it's similar.  I have three old Kenmore machines.  The one I'm using right now was my grandmother's.  The one in this picture was purchased from an antique store, and the third one is the one I sewed on for many years that I received new back in the 1980's.

I actually got my Kenmore from my grandma and grandpa for Christmas one year.  I think Gram must have liked the way hers sewed and thought it would be a good machine for me.  It really was and I have sewn many garments and many quilts on it, and quite a few quilts on her machine.

Right now I have to get myself moving on hemming three pair of jeans for Ben.  I really don't like to mess with that kind of thing anymore, but once I get started I know it won't take long to do.  It's just getting them measured and cut that takes the longest.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Skirts and Pants

No, I'm not doing any garment sewing, although my daughter's boyfriend did ask me to hem three pair of jeans.

I was thinking about my grandmother and my great grandmother and what they used to wear.  My grandmother on my dad's side always wore dresses if she was going out.  In her later years, she would wear a sweat suit in the house, mainly for comfort and warmth.  No jeans.

My great grandmother on my mom's side was a bit more progressive, even though she was older.  When I was younger, all she wore was dresses, but when I was in my early teens she started to wear slacks.  Pant suits.  Remember them?  As years went by, slacks were all she wore.  Not jeans, but the dresses were just for special occasions by then.

And as for me...  Well, I know that when I was in grade school, probably up until fourth grade, I wore dresses to school every day.  If it was cold, I was allowed to wear pants under my skirt until I got to school.

Now, of course, we all pretty much live in jeans.  With the exception of those who have to dress up for work.  Although the shedding of nylons and pantyhose in favor of bare legs has come about, I'm not sure my mother has reconciled herself to that fact.

No sewing last night.  In fact, I was in bed before 9 p.m.  Just tired, I guess.  I grilled some burgers and we had leftover potato salad to go with them.  Easy and good dinner.  Tonight I have some chicken breasts to grill.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Linen Look

Here's the start of the next four patch scrap quilt for the nursing home.  This peach fabric has a linen look and feel to it.  It has been aging nicely in my stash for a few (okay, quite a few) years.  I think it has a nice weight to it and will make a nice throw.

All of the blocks are done and pressed.  I was one piece short of making all the blocks without having to piece anything together.  There is one block that will have that 6 1/2" x 12 1/2" section pieced from three scraps.  Hey, it just gives it character, right?  :)

Red Four Patch Top Done

Some sewing was done this weekend.  I finished the top with the red four patch leftovers.  The background is material I picked up at Miller's in Arthur.  I'm glad I'm getting a few of these nursing home tops made early.

This time around I'm trying to make them at least 60" square.

Monday, May 25, 2015

On the River

Saturday Ev and I, along with a family friend, took a ride to Grafton.  We stopped at a place called the Hawg Pit.  It's a biker bar along the Mississippi.  They had a band out back, between the building and the river.  We sat outside, had a 'hawg dog' and a drink, and listened to the band.  Then we took a walk to the banks of the river and our friend Al took this pic for us.  There were a lot of boats out.  It really was a beautiful day.

And if you were wondering, a hawg dog is a huge hot dog, split in half and grilled.  Then it's covered with pulled pork and cole slaw.  It's huge!

Memorial Day Dinner

We have had a wonderful weekend.  Ended the day with a nice dinner of grilled steak, corn on the cob, and home made potato salad.  The steaks were cut just for me at the store this morning. 

Yesterday we took a ride up to Springfield and had dinner with the kids at Olive Garden.  We had some gift cards to use.  That was a good time, too!

Ev and I did get a load of junk out of the basement yesterday.  We took a pickup truck load to the dumpster.  It doesn't look like we made much progress, but a few weekends, and one load at a time, it will start to shape up.

Friday, May 22, 2015

So Much To Do

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed because I really have a lot to do this weekend.  I really want to get the back part of my basement cleared out, but know that I can't get it all done by myself.

I also would like to get started on replacing the flooring in our bedroom.  That's a major deal and again, I need help.

Not sure how much sewing will get done this weekend.  There is a neat new tutorial on Missouri Star's website for a floating squares top.  I liked the way it looked.  Not sure that I have enough solids, though, to recreate it.

I also want to take Ev to that property that is coming up for auction in a couple weeks.  Want to get his opinion on it.  There are just so many variables with that, and I'm not very auction-savvy when it comes to real estate.  If I knew that I could sell my current house for a certain price, then I would be inclined to bid on this property and not exceed that price.  However, those are just some great unknowns.  sigh.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

I Keep Rowing Along

This morning I sewed the blocks for the four patch strips in red together into rows.  There are five rows of five blocks.

Now they are all ready to be sewn together into a top.  I just keep plugging along on these.

I checked on the basement before work and the areas I mopped are almost all the way dried up now.  With the floor being uneven, it takes a while.  I have had two fans on it since the weekend.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Do we have a spoiled dog, or what?

Addy loves to sleep on our bed!  The thing is, when I go into the bedroom at night to go to bed, she is usually sleeping right in my spot.  On my pillows.  Sigh.  So, with much effort, I have to move 65 pounds of dog to another spot on the bed.  Who says I don't get any exercise?  haha.

I usually put an extra quilt over my pillows when I get up in the mornings because during the day Addy likes to lay there and look out the window.  As much as I love my dog, I'm not real fond of dog hair on my pillow...

She's a good pup.  Finally settling down a bit.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Stuck On You

This cute little pincushion has bunnies on it!  It was in a box of things my friend Lori gave me.  Her mother passed away a while ago and they were going through her things.  Lori gave me a box of sewing related items.  I didn't keep very much of it, but this little guy found a home.

This morning I pressed all 25 of those red four patch strip blocks.  I'll be ready to sew them all together tonight if I get the urge to go up and sew.

This weather has been goofy lately.  We had hot and muggy over the weekend and today it's in the 50's!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Morning Sewing

Because of the basement issues, there wasn't any sewing done over the weekend.  Monday morning before work, I managed to get upstairs and sew several more blocks together.  I have all 25 blocks completed.  They are ready to be pressed and sewn together.

One of the casualties of the basement flood was a sewing machine that I had down there that was waiting for me to repair it.  I picked it up for five bucks at a tag sale, so it's not a big deal that I had to pitch it.  I did pick a few parts off of it that the water hadn't touched that I could use on other machines.

Lots of Water

The Old Lake was full to the banks this weekend.  Friday we had 4" of rain fall in less than half an hour.  It overloaded the drainage system in our little town.  We don't have water come up in our basement, but this time we did!  It was a mess.

So I spent my weekend pumping out the water, hauling bag after bag of garbage out, mopping, and then bleaching the floor.  Yuck.  That was just in the front section of the basement.  There is still a mess in the back, but it is just a room with junk in it anyway, so it will wait until next weekend.

It's something that needs to be done anyway, but I didn't want to have to do it while everything was waterlogged!

Nick Update

No pictures on this post... hee hee hee.  Nick was able to take his dressing off the shoulder on Saturday.  This exposed 12 staples and a 5" incision on his shoulder.  The wound looks very clean and there's no sign of infection at all, so I'm very, very pleased.  He's not taking much in the way of pain meds at all now.  He had a lot of pain Friday and Saturday, though.  Today he drove to work for the first time.  He seems to be doing okay.  Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Pretty and Potent

Can you see that beautiful golden color in the far field?  It's not a crop, it's a weed.  It's Goldenrod.  I think the fields that have it are so beautiful, yet they are the source of my discomfort right now.  Allergy season is awful this year and Goldenrod is one of the big triggers.

But it's still pretty.

Nick update - surgery went well yesterday.  He has quite a bit of pain today, but we are controlling it with meds.  Hopefully the pain will decrease after today.  He's in good spirits.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Roll 'Em Up

Here are the 4 patch strips all sorted and ready to be paired with background fabric.  There are three rolls with 25 strips and one roll with 18 strips.  I'll have to make another 7 strips, but that won't be a big deal at all.

I'm thinking a yellow background for one, green for another, purple for a third.  The miscelaneous strips may get a neutral background.  Not really sure yet.  I mixed up the yellows and the greens together.  I thought that would give them a little pop.

Nick's shoulder surgery is scheduled for 6:30 tomorrow morning.  Well, that's when he has to be at the hospital anyway.  I'll be glad when it's all done.

Ready For Action

All stacked up and ready to go!  25 pieces of background at 6.5"x12.5", 25 pieces of background at 3.5"x12.5", and 25 of the miscellaneous 4 patch strips that measure 2.5"x12.5".  Those are the leftovers from my 16 patch blocks.

The background fabric was one that I purchased a bolt of at Miller's in Arthur on my last trip there.  I love that place.  The people are so nice there, too.  Looking forward to going there in July (if not sooner...) when we go on our weekend retreat in Sullivan.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Cut It Up and Nick Update

Last night I cut all the pieces for the background on the next set of blocks.  Now they will be real easy to just run through the machine.  Everything is ready to go!

I timed myself and it took 20 minutes to make 10 blocks when I was doing the one with the blue background.

We went to another orthopedic specialist yesterday about Nick's broken collarbone.  He definitely recommends surgery.  Says the bones are too far apart from each other and won't heal for a very long time.  Nick will have surgery Thursday morning.  I think we are all relieved with this decision.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day Storms

Happy Mother's Day (a little late) to all my blogland friends.  I got to see the kids over the weekend and spend time with each of them.  On Sunday, Ev and I went to the 4:30 mattinee to see "Hot Pursuit".  When we got out of the theater around 6:30, there were some nasty storm clouds rolling in.  We went through the drive through at Wendy's and picked up burgers and salads for dinner, then headed down Old Route 66.  It's about 8 miles of straight, two lane road, to get home.

The rain and wind were so bad, I could hardly see to drive!  About halfway home I had to pull the car over because I could not see the yellow line or the white line anymore.  It was extremely scary.  Thankfully, there was a good place to pull over safely.  We just waited until the storm calmed down a bit, then got back on the road.  It has rained and stormed off and on all night and morning.

Ah, Decisions, Decisions...

I finished putting all 25 squares together for the blue and 4 patch strip nursing home quilt.  Now I'm going to do one with reds and pinks.  These were my three fabric choices.  I'm going with the one on the bottom.  I really liked the swimming ladies, but think I may use that for a backing fabric.  The other one was too busy.

Felt good to get a few hours of sewing in over the weekend.  These blocks make up quickly once the pieces are cut.  And honestly, as much as I dislike ironing, the pressing on these isn't bad either.

I Second That

Going to get a second opinion today for Nick's break.  Seems like none of the doctors will give us a straight up answer.  Very frustrating.  And the clock is ticking.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Nick Update

Yesterday we took a trip to St. Louis to the orthopedic specialist.  He took new x-rays of his collarbone.  The x-rays look awful.  The bone is broken in different places.  He really did a number on it.

There are different ways to approach this, according to the doc.  At this time, we are choosing to allow it to heal without surgery.  If that occurs, he will still have a bump that is odd on his shoulder, but will have range of motion with the shoulder.  Surgery would eliminate the bump, but he would have a rod and screws in place then.

If it doesn't heal, surgery is still an option.  I don't know the correct answer.  If Nick remains in pain for an unreasonable amount of time, we will re-assess things.

With A Little Help From My Friends

Miss Shadow Cat helped me with some sewing last night.  She provided a 'calming presence'.  Ha Ha.

It was about 8:45 last night when I decided to go upstairs and do a bit of sewing.  I put together 12 more blocks with the four patch strip in them.  Then I cut enough pieces to finish another 10 blocks.  That will give me 25 blocks (I had 3 already sewn) and that's enough for one nursing home quilt.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Heading South

Going to take Nick to the doc today.  He seems to be doing well, in the pain department at least.

I went downstairs to get some laundry and as I passed by the longarm I just wanted to detour over there and start quilting!  Sigh.  Maybe this weekend I can get some things done.

I had a picture to post of Addy, but when I looked at it I changed my mind.  It was of her laying on her back in bed.  The pose was rather undignified, so I decided you really didn't need to see it!  haha.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Not Much To Report

Yesterday was not a sewing day for me.  Instead of going home from work, I took Nick to do some shopping, then we had dinner.  He was in pain and took one of his pills, so he was a bit loopy.  By the time I got him back to his place and settled in, then went home, it was almost 8 p.m.!  Still had to make Ev some dinner, so there wasn't any sewing time.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Next Pass

Here's the next row on the 2014 Paducah quilt waiting to be quilted.  Not sure what I will be quilting in these blocks, yet.  I think this is row four, so I'm half way done with the quilting!  Whee!

The Bear House

That's what I'm calling this block.  The Bear House.  If you can tell, I did some pretty neat quilting in this block.  The bottom green area has little spikey's to look like grass.  The brown sidewalk has lines to look like pavement.  The door has some lines going up and down with tiny loops.  Each window has the bear in it outlined and the one without a bear I outlined the trees.  The grey has lines going across about 3/4th inch apart.  Blue areas have microstipples.  The roof has scallops to look like shingles and the chimneys have lines to look like bricks.

I had a BEAR of a time on this block (haha).  The bobbin thread kept breaking and it was driving me crazy.  It was during that fiasco that I ripped a hole in the block next to it.  Went to push the machine to the side, off the quilt, and accidently hit the needle down button.  Oh was I aggravated!  Got over it and moved on.

And now we wait....

Not the best pic of my son, but you can see the contraption they have him in.  Some kind of sling that immobilizes the arm.  We saw our family doc yesterday and Thursday we see the orthopedic specialist.  Now we don't know if he will have surgery or not.  I'm hoping he doesn't have to have it, really.

He's doing a little better each day.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Always Something

Yes, it's always something.  My twenty something son had a crazy idea that he could skateboard like a teenager.  This resulted in a broken collarbone and a pending surgery this week. 

Yup.  Always something.  Sigh.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

A Little Perterbed

Today I worked on the Paducah quilt from last year.  And ripped a hole in it.  I was so mad I just put a patch on it and kept going.  Not much else I could do.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Chicken, Chicken, Whose Got The Chicken...

I picked up a family package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts at Aldi yesterday for a very good price.  I individually wrapped and froze four of them, then butterflied the last two.  I seasoned them up and threw them on the grill.  Put some bbq sauce on them and called it good.  I was pleasantly surprised that they stayed nice and juicy.  The meat was very fresh, I'm thinking.

So we had the chicken, some cauliflower and broccoli with cheese, leftover mashed potatoes and bakery rolls.  Pretty good dinner for a Thursday night!

Sat down to watch Bonnie Hunter on QuiltCam, but my internet would not cooperate.  Missed the first 20 minutes because the sound would not come on.  The after another half hour it totally locked up on me.  I gave up.  I'll watch it from the archives.  I was falling asleep anyway.  Ended up going to bed early and got a pretty good nights sleep.