Friday, July 31, 2015

Just One More... For Now

This beautiful Singer 401 will be joining my collection tomorrow.  Ahhhh.  Bliss....

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Timing is Everything

For months I have been going into this antique shop just a short distance from my office.  They have had this machine with a wonderful cabinet there that I would like to have.  I would like to have it for the cabinet.  It would replace one of the crummy tables I have in the basement down by Gemma and I could store thread and tools in the drawers.  I posted a picture of it before, but here it is again:

The price has been reduced by almost half.  Yesterday I gave the shop owner a downpayment and will be picking it up on Friday.  The machine is a Western, which I am not familiar with.  If it works, It will be nice to have in the basement in case I need to sew a quick seam.

The guy who brought this machine to the antique shop is also the same person who I purchased Polly, the 15-91 Singer from.  Last night, while sewing on Polly, the foot pedal started to give me a tiny shock.  Well, in my opinion, ANY shock from an electrical appliance is a bad thing, so I call the guy and asked him if he had a replacement pedal I could purchase.  He does and he will even bring it to the house this weekend and switch them out, since the pedal is hardwired to the motor.  Good deal!  Hopefully the replacement pedal will work, because it's only a few buck, but if it doesn't, I can order one from Singer.  That will be a little more cash and I'll have to wait on that.  Let's just hope the one he has works.

While I had him on the phone, I mentioned to him that I was still on the lookout for a Singer 301 machine.  He said he didn't have a 301 but has a 401 right now.  Oh, my.  My.  Oh.  My.  You know where this is going, right?  Long story short, he's sending me some pics of the machine tonight and if it looks good I'm going to ask him to bring it to me this weekend when he comes to fix Polly.  The price is way, way less than the machine usually sells for, so I'm good on that front.  Now, how do I explain all this to Ev?  Machines are so much harder to hide than fabric....  haha.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Stuffed Peppers

I had a really good dinner last night!  Before coming home from work I stopped at my great uncle's and picked up some green peppers.  He grows the kind my great grandpa grew and I just love them.  Decided to make a batch of stuffed peppers right then and there, since I had the meat already in the fridge.  Dinner was real good.  Stuffed peppers, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, cucumbers in sour cream (they were right out of the garden also) and fresh canteloup.  Oh, and a big glass of iced tea!

Kinda crazy to have the oven on in this heat, but those peppers weren't going to wait.  I still haven't baked another cake.  Need to get on that!  haha.  Yeah, because I really NEED cake...

Sewing on Polly

Remember when I brought this Singer 15-91 home a while back?  I decided to keep her on the main floor of the house, not upstairs with most of the herd.  She's a sweet, simple machine and I really enjoy sewing on her.  I named her Polly, after my grandmother who was named Pauline.  Grandma was one of the main influences on me with sewing.

Last night it was terribly hot upstairs, especially after I made dinner (all the heat from the kitchen goes right up the steps and lingers there).  I couldn't have stayed up there to sew if I had wanted to.  Yes, there is a window a/c unit in the adjoining room, but it takes too long to really cool off and I wanted to sew sometime before midnight.  So I decided to sew on Polly.  I worked on the bags for the game and ended up making enough bags for two sets (16 bags) for an hour and a half.  They needed to be turned right side out and filled, then they will need the opening sewn shut.  Hoping to get to that tonight when I get home.  Ev is just going to put the word out that I make these bags, so I'm not going up to Tilley's.  I really wasn't too keen on going up there alone, and this solves that issue!

I also thought I might sew those tops together with the four patch strip blocks on Polly.  Might as well, since they are all ready to go.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Catch and Release

Singer 99K, dated 1956, made in Great Britain, in cabinet, $39.00.  I did not bring her home.  She needed some lovin' with her electricals.  They were all there, but I wouldn't have used the machine.  The plug was non-polarized and was missing the guard on the flat aread and the foot pedal was rusty.  The machine head was in good condition, but the finish did have quite a bit of crackle on it.  Hand wheel turned smoothly.  Cabinet was ugly.  Decals on machine still in great shape.

Nope, she stayed at the thrift store, waiting for someone else to take her home and love on her.

I did bring something else home...


Top left is about a yard of a calico print, with the date of 1987 on the selvedge.

Bottom left is a seersucker with trains printed on it.  There were two pieces and they probably total 4 yards.  Probably not 100% cotton, though, at least not from my burn test they aren't.  That's okay, they will go in a kids quilt and no one will care.

The rest are Christmas prints.  Santa's and reindeer, probably a yard and a half.  Kitties and toys maybe a yard and a half.  Toy soldiers is two pieces and totals probably 4 yards.  Christmas trees maybe 2 yards.

So total of 14 yards of fabric.  And I paid $5.32 for all of it!  Not a bad haul!

Pretty Pieces

Before I passed out from the heat, ha ha, I put those pieces together for one strip set for the second Jimmy John quilt.  I really like the look of the batik fabrics.  This jelly roll of batiks was darker than the last one.  We'll see how it turns out!

I have got to get upstairs with the vacume and clean the floor.  It's so full of threads and stuff, it needs it bad!  Just a little leary about using my new vacume on the threads, although I've been told they will come right off the roller very easily.

Been thinking about making meat loaf for dinner tonight, but my great uncle called last night and said he had some peppers for me, so now I'm thinking stuffed peppers would be good!  Not too keen on turning on the oven, but we have to eat.

Bag It Up

Here are the pieces for another set of bags for the corn toss game.  I ended up with enough pieces cut for two sets before it was all over.  I double the material, so each bag actually is constructed out of four squares.  I double stitch all the seams, too.  It just helps them last a little longer because they do take a beating!

Thinking of putting them on my Etsy store, but don't know if they would sell or not.  Going to try and get them done before Thursday.  That's when Tilley's has their bags tournaments, so maybe I could sell a few sets up there.  We'll see.

Was pretty hot yesterday.  Couldn't really stay upstairs very long to sew, even with the fan.  Went up before work today and cut more pieces.  It wasn't too bad up there early in the morning.  I am just going to have to break down and bring the things I need down to the sitting room and start sewing on Polly, the 15-91 Singer!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Something Fishy

I had been hearing about these fish over at one of the lakes in a nearby town.  People said they come right to the surface of the water for people to feed them.  Sunday, Ev, Nick, and I took a motorcycle ride over to the lake.

This is the restaurant and boat dock on the lake.  At the end of the restaurant, just before the boats, on either side of the dock these fish come to the surface, begging to be fed!

Mostly they were carp, but there were bluegill and even a few catfish.  They would get so excited when you threw food in for them, that they would splash you!  Some of the fish were huge!

Not sure who enjoyed seeing them more, me or my guys!

It was a beautiful day for a ride, but quite warm.  When we got back home we all jumped in the pool.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Thrift Store Non-Finds

I say "non-finds" because even though I found them, I also left them.  The first one was tempting.  It was a Singer 327k in a cabinet that looked in fair to good condition.  It's a drop in bobbin, though, and they are just not my favorites.  Also, after doing a little research, I discovered that this machine is belt driven and right now I'm on the hunt for gear driven.  She was a cutie, though, in that aqua color.

The other "non-find" was probably beyond hope, except as living life as a boat anchor, and I truly hate to to think that would really happen, just because of my love for old machines.  What caught my eye was the base shape and the odd little part on the front.

Maybe this is an old treadle machine head?

No sewing machines came home with me from the thrift shop today.  But it was fun to look!

Final Retreat Recap Sunday

Here's what Mary accomplished during the retreat.  She finished the center of the top for her sister's quilt.  It's really bright and cheery, with sunflowers in some of the strips.  She put a border of the light color on it when she got home.  Her sister is going to love it.

Sunday morning, if you can believe it, I got out of bed at 5:59 a.m. and went straight to the sewing machine and started sewing!  Mary and I shared a room and she got up at the same time to sew.  I really wanted to get a jump start on the second Jimmy John top and I managed to sew all the strip sets together.  I didn't get them pressed there, but at least they were sewn.  That was a big boost for me.  I knew that I would be more likely to continue working on it if it was that far along.

At one point, I took a break from sewing strip sets and made a second pillowcase.  So did Mary.  We both went home with a set of pillowcases, which was a nice little bonus.  There were other little gifts here and there from friends that went home with us.  It all just added to the really nice experience we all had.

I may have been the last one sewing, because I remember still putting those strips together while everyone else was starting to pack up their gear.  I sewed right up until 10:45 a.m.  Lunch was at 11 and then we were to leave for home.

Lunch was wonderful, of course.  Sharon made quite a spread.  There were cornish game hens, cut in half, baked potatoes, corn on the cob, salad, and cookies.  The meals at the retreat were exceptional.  Thanks again, Sharon, for making our stay there wonderul.  We will be back!

A Little Bit of Cutting Up

I spent an hour last night cutting the strip sets into segments for the next Jimmy John quilt.  I had my Ricky Timms cd playing and it was very peaceful to just sit up there in my sewing room.

I think, before I do any sewing, I might pick out the border material for the Paducah 2015, 16 patch quilt.  Would like to get that cut and even sewn on so the top is all the way finished.

Still need to put those two sets of blocks together into quilts for the nursing homes.

So much to do, so little time!

A Winner!

Here's Sharon from Country Home Quilting holding up the finished top of her row by row quilt.  She finished it during our time there at the retreat.  She finished it completely after we left and hurried on over to the quilt shop in Rochester, where she won the challenge to have the first completed row by row quilt!  Congratulations, Sharon!  It's a beautiful quilt!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Retreat Recap Saturday

Get ready for another long post...  Before I get into Saturday's events, just want to mention that Friday we also had a mini show and tell at the retreat.  There were big quilts and small quilts, placemats, tote bags, and all kinds of goodies!  It was nice to see everyone's different work.  Here are a few pics:

Sandy and Sheri finished their projects way earlier than expected so a road trip was in order!  They set off for the quilt shop in Shelbyville Saturday morning and came back with identical kits to make Christmas quilts!  Both of them got a great start on the quilts and Sandy even finished the top Sunday when she got home!  It was so nice to have Sharon there to help with the directions on the kits, because they were quite intense.

We were all up pretty early on Saturday, some earlier than others..., and really got in the groove of sewing.  I was able to get the entire top done for the first Jimmy John quilt, including the borders!  Mary got her sister's rail fence top finished and Marla worked on a beautiful black and white quilt.  Sheri and Sandy worked on their Christmas quilt kits.

Lunch was even a pretty picture!  Sharon really outdid herself with the meals the entire weekend.  Here's what our lunch plates looked like:

Yeah, the pic is turned sideways, but you get the idea.  Chicken salad, canteloup, blueberries, grapes, crackers...  And cookies for dessert.  Yum!  Dinner Saturday was lasagna and all the fixin's.

By 9 p.m. I had the top finished, and really didn't want to start anything, so I pressed the blocks for two of the nursing home quilts.  I had brought them with in case I had time to press them, but told myself that was all I was doing with them because the retreat was MY time to do MY projects.  Those blocks won't take long to sew into tops, and then I will have 6 tops ready for this Christmas.  Will have to get them quilted and bound soon.

I also went ahead and pressed the strips for the second Jimmy John quilt but didn't do much else because of the time.  I didn't want to start making mistakes.

Saturday, while Sharon was sewing with us, she made one of the pillowcases that I described a few posts ago.  She showed us how to make them and Mary and I each made one Saturday evening.  It's funny, because I had seen this technique demonstrated on the internet but until I saw it in person, it just wasn't clicking.  I had that "aha!" moment.

An Hour of Ironing

Doesn't this look exciting...not.  I'm not very fond of pressing, but it's a necessary part of quilting.  Last night, I decided that I was going to press those strip sets for the second Jimmy John quilt while Bonnie Hunter had quilt cam.  It was good for me to do it while she was on because the time went quickly.  And, to tell the truth, those strip sets are so pretty, I didn't mind too much.  Here they are all pressed and neatly waiting for me to cut them into sections.  Hopefully I will get to that tonight.

After all the strip sets were done, I thought I might as well press a few of the three inch spool blocks that I made as leader enders for a couple years.  I have a basket full of them and they all need to be pressed before I can sew them into a top.  I ended up pressing about 40 of them.

It barely made a dent in the basket of blocks, so I'm optimistic that there are more in the basket than I originally thought.  I'm tired of making them and have pretty much decided that whatever I have done is all I'm going to make.  The quilt might have alternating solid blocks, or maybe it won't.  I am also thinking of doing a wall hanging with a few of them.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Retreat Recap of Friday

This is going to be long...  I waited a few days to post this because I knew I would be needing a pick me up in the middle of the week, and reliving the retreat would provide that!

Friday morning I left about quarter after eight and headed to a quilt shop in Shelbyville to meet up with Marla.  We were going to jump start the weekend by stopping there.  It's a nice shop and has friendly people working there.  I tried to talk the owner out of selling me her 98 year old grandmother's 301 sewing machine, but she was pretty adamant that she wasn't selling....  haha.  I purchased some 2-1/2" precut squares in a Christmas print.  Think I might make some square in a square blocks with them as the center.

After Shelbyville we dropped off my car at the retreat in Sullivan as it was on the way to Arthur.  While there, Sharon, the retreat owner, asked me to pick up some material she had waiting for her at the quilt shop in Arthur.  Well, that was right up my alley, so we made that our first stop!  Didn't buy anything for myself in the shop, but I really enjoyed looking around.  Marla purchased some fabrics there.  We did get a glimpse of Sandy and Sheri up the street, but since we had set a meeting time for noon at Yoder's, we didn't catch up to them right then.

Noon wasn't that far away, so we headed over to Yoder's and met up with the rest of the crew.  Mary, Sheri, Sandy, Marla, and I were all ready for a break, so we went to a nice sandwich shop, Roselyn's, and had a sandwich and a drink.

After lunch, we headed to Miller's Dry Goods.  That's where most of my money went!  I bought over six yards of a couple different fabrics that were on the clearance rack for either 2 or 3 bucks a yard.  They will make great backings and I just couldn't turn them down.  I also bought a few one yard cuts.  Miller's was having a store wide 15% off sale.  My total purchase amount was right around $50, but I had a filled punch card from there, so I got an additional $10 off so I came home with quite a bit of fabric for $40!  Score!!!

The next stop was Beechy's Bulk Foods.  That's where I get most of my spices and seasonings.  All of us bought some snack foods for the retreat there.  I think one of our group bought all of the angel food cake they had in the store....  hee hee.

By the time we were done there, we could head over to the retreat and get settled in.  Woohoo!  With only one wrong turn, we found our way back to Sharon's place (Country Home Quilting).  It was very warm and humid, so we got our gear out of the cars and into the basement as quickly as possible.  One of us brought THREE sewing machines, can you believe it?  One to sew on Friday, one to sew on Saturday and get a little TLC, and the other for the rest of us to ooohhh and aaaahhh over it's beauty.

Once everything was in place, the sewing began!  And sew we did...  with a break for dinner around 6:30 (meat loaf, mashed potatoes, fresh corn on the cob, salad, and brownies - very yummy!), we sewed well into the night and then some.  I might mention that there was a little bit of wine involved for some of us.  I think I ended up going to bed around 1 a.m.

What I accomplished sewing on Friday was to get a good start on the first Jimmy John quilt.  Sharon's set up is absolutely wonderful.  Where the machines are set up there is ample room for everyone to comfortably set up their machine and have plenty of space to piece projects.  The cutting table is huge!  I had a bad case of "cutting mat envy" when I saw her mat - 92" long and I don't remember how wide, but it was at least 48".  Love it!  There were three pressing stations, with big boards at each of them.  One of the irons was a Rowenta steam machine of some sort that was amazing.

Okay, I better save some for the next post... haha

Quick Gift

I whipped up a quick pillowcase for Johnathon last night.  It's made out of transformer fabric, so pretty good for a seven year old boy I think.

He got a new bed over the weekend, so this should make him happy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Etsy Shop

I opened up an Etsy shop last week.  If you would like to visit it, the name is:  My Ivy Quilts

Right now, I have beaded stileto's for sewing.  Each one is unique and hand made by me.  Here is an example of what they look like:

They are 4-1/2" long.  I have one by my machine and I use it quite a bit.  It's handy for when you need to get something just right and can't get your fingers that close.  I am selling them for $4.50, which includes shipping in the U.S.

My quilting friends at the retreat all liked them!  That was the surprise that I took for each person, so I couldn't mention them here on the blog until after they received their presents!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Jimmy John (Number One)

I did it!  At the retreat this past weekend I made this top, from start to finish.  It's a pattern called "Jimmy John" that is free on Jo's Country Junction (see right rail for blog link).  This pattern uses one jelly roll and some additional yardage.  I did change up the borders a bit from the original pattern.

The jelly roll I used in this one contained some batiks and other neat fabrics.  I was a little slap happy by the time it was finished, around 9 p.m. I think.  We had been up sewing from 8 a.m.

I started the second Jimmy John quilt with another jelly roll.  This one has all batiks in it.  Both of the jelly rolls were purchased at Hancock's of Paducah during our trip there in 2014.

My friend, Sheri, on the right side of the quilt, is helping me hold it up.  The quilt actually goes on the bed with the rows going up and down, but neither of us are that tall!  haha.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Pretty Pillowcases

While at the retreat we learned how to make easy pillowcases!  I know this pattern is on the internet somewhere, and it is not my original pattern, but I will share here what we learned.  It is really easy and fast!

Start with a piece of material 12" x width of fabric and another piece 27" x width of fabric.  The 12" piece is the band of the pillowcase and the 27" piece is the body.  Position the band material long ways, right side up.

Place the body material, right side down, with the cut edge along the long edge of the band.  The selvedge edges of this piece will not be pinned to anything.  Pin the cut edge in just a few spots.  You will be repinning it.
Loosely fold  the rest of the body so that it will fit within the 12" area.
Bring the long edge of the band up to meet the other edge with the folded part of the body in between.  Repin the long edge.  It will be the two long edges of the band and one 27" edge of the body that are pinned together.  Sew this long seam.
Now, reach inside the tube and pull out the body material of the pillowcase.
Press band seam.  Straighten the piece by trimming the band to the same size as the body.
Fold the piece, wrong sides together.  You will now have two edges that need to be sewn.  One long side with the band and body, and the bottom of the body.
Sew these two seams together with a scant seam.  This is the first stem in creating an enclosed seam.
Turn inside out, so that right sides are together, and press.  Stitch a quarter inch seam, or one that is deep enough to enclose the scant seam.
Turn right side out and press!  One pretty pillowcase!
There are some video's out there on the internet if you need more of a visual.

More on the retreat experience to come.  It was wonderful....

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Getting Ready

Spent some time productively in the sewing room getting things ready for the retreat this weekend.  I have the materials picked out for two Jimmy John quilts (free pattern at Jo's Country Junction).  They are mostly batiks and use jelly rolls and a bit of yardage.  I doubt I would be able to get two completely done, but want to take the materials, just in case!

The jelly rolls are from Hancock's of Paducah.  I think they were bought over a year ago.  I could be wrong and I bought them this year.  Either way, it's time for them to see the light of day.

I opened up a shop on Etsy this week.  I will give more details after the retreat.  Still adding things to it.  And one of the items in the shop is something I'm giving to my friends this weekend, so I can't really say anything here until they get thier little goodies....  heee hee hee.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


The green four patch strip blocks are going to be a bit more scrappy than the last several blocks of this pattern.  I wanted to use up lots of scraps.  There will be one constant.  The narrow strip of green on the left side of this block will be the same in all the blocks.

I sewed for about half an hour last night but had to quit because of the heat upstairs.  Yes, I have a machine downstairs, but it was too much aggravation to drag everything down, then put it all back up when I was done.  I finished sewing all the narrow strips to the green blocks.  Tonight I would like to get the wide strip sewn to them.

After that's all done, I have to do the dreaded pressing of all the purple and all the green blocks.  Then it's a quick job to assemble both tops.

Still have to pack up everything for the retreat this weekend.  I know what I am taking, just need to get it all together!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


This is one of the blocks for the purple four patch strip nursing home quilt.  I have almost all the blocks assembled.  Last night I was upstairs sewing and would have gotten the blocks done, except the wind started blowing very hard and it looked like we were going to get one nasty storm.  I didn't feel comfortable staying upstairs, so I quit before I had all the blocks done.  Shouldn't take long to finish them up tonight, though.

Monday, July 13, 2015

One Paducah Done

Last week I finished the 2014 Paducah quilt!  Love, love, love it!  Going to take it to the retreat this weekend to show my friends, then going to put it out for use.  Not putting a picture of it up  until the gals see it....  hee hee.  I also have another surprise for them, but can't tell what it is on the blog because they read it.

Looking forward to seeing my friends and having a wonderful sewing weekend.  Also going to do some shopping in Arthur at the Amish shops.

I also have all the pieces cut for two more nursing home quilts.  Started sewing pieces of the blocks together yesterday.  Ev wasn't feeling too good in the morning, so I just spend a few hours in the sewing room.

New Decor

We went down to Lowe's over the weekend and picked up a new area rug for our living room and a couple throw rugs for on either side of the bed.  Very pleased with our purchases!  This is the rug in the front room.  Ev wants to get an identical one for in the sitting room, however I would like to get something with the same colors, but not the same design.

Friday, July 10, 2015

It's A Dog's Life

Does it look like Addy is smiling in her sleep?  And no, I did not purposefully end up with a dog that matches my couch.  It just happened that way.  Honestly, I would like a different couch, but this one will do for now.


Dinner last night was home made breaded chicken strips, steamed broccoli, and a new to me recipe for zucchini/squash casserole.  I modified the recipe from it's original state.  Here's my recipe:

Zucchini or Yellow Squash Casserole

4 cups shredded zucchini or yellow squash
1 small onion, chopped
fresh corn kernels from 2 ears of corn (or drained can of corn)
2 eggs
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix (NOT prepared, just the dry mix)
salt and pepper
8 oz shredded cheese, divided in half (I used pepper jack cheese, but cheddar would be good too)

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a baking dish, or put a couple teaspoons butter in a cast iron skillet and melt them (this is what I used and it came out very nicely).  Combine all but half the cheese and pour into baking dish or skillet.  Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.  Bake for one hour.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

In a Bind

I finally started putting on the binding on the Paducah 2014 quilt.  I don't know why I waited, it is going so quickly!  I didn't finish it last night because Addy was in a mood and I couldn't really trust her to be alone very long.  But I got all the strips cut and sewn together, and I started sewing them to the quilt.  Hopefully tonight I will get it finished.

While I was sewing the binding on, my eyes kept wandering over to the back of the quilt.  I just love how the back looks with all the different quilting.

It's a bit difficult to see in the picture.  I'm sure you get the idea.

So Addy's latest trick is to pull the hose out of the swimming pool.  Not the garden hose, the hose that is supposed to hook up to the pump (we are having technical difficulties and are waiting on parts...).  When she pulls this hose out, it starts draining water from the pool!  Oh.  That.  Dog.  sigh.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Chocolate Zucchini Cake III
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 cups grated zucchini
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.
2.In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the eggs and oil, mix well. Fold in the nuts and zucchini until they are evenly distributed. Pour into the prepared pan.
3.Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cake completely before frosting with your favorite frosting.

Recipe is from

Yeah, it was pretty good!  Cream cheese frosting made it even better!  Cream cheese frosting:  8 oz pkg cream cheese, 1 stick butter, 2 teas vanilla, 4 cups powdered sugar.  Soften butter and cream cheese and cream together until smooth.  Add vanilla, then add powdered sugar one cup at a time.  That recipe was also from