Thursday, March 31, 2016

How I work

I have always had to have more than one project going at a time, that's nothing new.  However, I have discovered recently that even in an hour or so that I may be sewing, it helps if I mix it up a bit.  The last few times I have been upstairs I have worked on a few different things at a time.  I would work on a potholder, then go to the bags, and then even a third little project.

Hey, whatever helps me get things done, right?  I'm just going to roll with it.

Found It!

Doesn't this look like some crazy space blanket?  It's my chunk of insulbrite that I've had for years.  I think it looks different now, like maybe with the shiny stuff layered between batting.  At any rate, it works just fine.  I'm going to layer it between two pieces of batting anyway.

It was not in the first place I looked, which was a big tub that I keep some batting scraps in upstairs.  I was just getting ready to check another place, and this other big tub, which I forgot I had, caught my eye.  That's where I found it.  I really do need to do some organizing.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Trying To Keep Up

See that pen and scrap of paper clipped to the composition notebook?  That's my current quilting and sewing journal.  Each time I sit down to sew, I record the time and when I'm done, I mark it down also.  I put a little note to the side what I worked on.

When I get time, I transfer my notes and the amount of time into the composition notebook, with as many details as I can.

I'm trying to keep up with the journal and not let it get too far behind.  In the past, I have let it go too long and then it became a chore.

More Bags For Game

These red squares of canvas were already cut and had the one edge serged, so after I was done playing with potholders for the night, I sewed a couple of them together.  The colors of canvas I have are red, blue, brown, and black.  I think I'll make the other bags for this set in blue.

These need to be completed by Saturday.  There is a benefit/auction Saturday for a lady who is not doing well with cancer.  Her husband used to work on our cars years ago, and is a really nice guy.  Ev and I are going to try and attend the benefit, but even if we don't go, I want to have this set of bags for the game to donate.

Potholders (Again)

Making progress on this Amish folded star potholder.  The background piece of material will not be seen, so I used some material that I didn't love.  Making these takes a bit of time, because you have to stop and fold each little triangle a certain way.  But it is coming along nicely now that I seem to have the hang of it!

Each time I make potholders I have to stop and think about where I have the insulbrite stored.  I have a couple ideas of where it might be... lol

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

An Hour Or So Of Sewing

Monday nights are typically not for sewing.  I'm usually too wiped out from work on the first day of the week.  Last night, however, I actually felt like doing some sewing, so I went upstairs and worked for a little over an hour on another Amish Folded Star potholder.  I had a difficult time making these when I tried to do them a few months ago, but I was determined to try again.  Suprisingly enough, they went a lot easier this time.  It finally clicked in my head the way the math was working.  Will wonders never cease?  hahaha

Johanna is fighting a bout of pneumonia and a double ear infection right now.  Poor kid just works herself into being sick sometimes, and this time it really caught up with her.  Doc put her on some strong antibiotics and ordered her to rest this week.  I sure hope she listens to him!

Nicholas has a second interview for a job tomorrow.  We all have our fingers crossed and are saying prayers he gets it.  From what he has gathered, there are quite a few people being interviewed also.  

All prayers and thoughts appreciated!  Thanks!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter Dinner

There were a couple things that I did a little differently this year for our dinner.  The ham that I bought was the same brand, but I only bought a half, so we don't have ham coming out of our ears for a week.  It was a Kretchmar brand and I bought it at the IGA store in Staunton.  I know I could buy it somewhere else, but I just try and get all my meat there because the quality is top notch and the service is above and beyond.  Kretchmar isn't a cheap brand, but well worth the price.  If I could afford it, I would buy a Mickelberry brand, but they are even more expensive and getting harder and harder to find.  So Krechmar it was.

Johanna asked if I would make a Coca Cola ham, so I looked online and really, the only difference between the recipe and what I normally do was that you used Coke instead of 7 Up.  But, wow, what a difference in taste!  That ham rocked it!  We all ate quite a bit of ham, but Ben won that contest.  Every time I looked at him, he was reaching for another piece of ham!  I absolutely love it!  It makes me feel so good when they kids and their s.o.'s like what I cook.

Another dish I made that I hadn't made before, was glazed carrots.  They were time consuming, but not difficult.  I used a 1 lb. bag of baby carrots.  Heated some butter in a saucepan and dumped the carrots in there with a little salt and pepper and let them cook on low until they were tender.  Then added some orange juice and a squirt of honey and let it reduce.  Took probably 45 minutes for them to be completely done, but they sure were worth it.  Yum!  Next time, I might cut the carrots in smaller pieces so they cook quicker, but it really wasn't a big deal.

I sent a lot of leftovers home with Johanna and also with Nick.  It was a wonderful day and I was so thankful that all the kids were home for dinner!

Johnathon was with us, too, which was very nice.  We had a little egg hunt in the front yard before dinner, which he got a kick out of.

Shadow Cat

I believe the caption under this picture should be "What do you mean, 'we're out of tuna'?" hahaha.  It's so funny, sometimes when I sit down in the recliner, this cat will run full speed at me and jump in my lap immediately!  The she proceeds to purr like crazy.  She is such a social cat, and loves to be petted by anyone that will take the time to do it.

Easter Bags

Here's the Easter bags I made this year.  They were smaller than previous years, but were filled to the brim with goodies.

Johanna and Nick each had a candle, some peeps, a chocolate rabbit, a bag of jelly beans, easter colored gum balls, and assorted chocolate pieces.  Ben and Olivia had the same, except no candle or peeps.  The box of peeps was big and I told Johanna and Nick they had to share, and the same goes for the candle!

Johnathon had a chocolate rabbit, jelly beans, chocolate pieces, a tootsie roll bank, a new shirt, and a box mix to make whoopie pies in his easy bake oven.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Almost Easter

Today I got the goodies to put in the Easter bags for the kids.  Not going to be very big bags this year, just the token candy stuff.  And a chocolate rabbit for each of them, of course.

Not sure what kind of Easter themed material I have in the stash, but if I don't have anything, I will just use some bright colors to make the bags.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Not Motivated

I don't know if it's the weather or what, but I have just not been motivated these past couple days to do anything.  I THINK about doing things, but then I just sit in the chair and vegetate!  haha.  There is so much I want to have done by the time we go to Paducah, and it's getting closer every day, so I had better get off my duff and finish up some projects.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


I received a call today from someone who has a Singer 301 they want to sell.  Oh, I'm so tempted to get another one.....  I need to be strong!  haha

Monday, March 21, 2016

Out With The Old, In With The New

Maybe not so new, but new to me.

Since I have room in the sewing room from getting rid of the 401 and cabinet, I am gearing up to make that thrift store table into a custom sewing table for the 301.  I went to Lowe's and picked up all the things I needed to turn it into a sewing table.  Now I just have to get the courage to make that first cut into the table top!  That is rather intimidating, for some reason.

The instructions I'm using are from the blog "From Marta, With Love".  It's her "Ikea Hack" on a table they sell.  I will post pics as I go along.

Oh My

I feel like I have been remiss in my duties!  (always wanted to use that word in a sentence... haha).  In my last post a new blog reader commented how she liked that I posted daily and here I skip a few days because I went out of town!  Argh!  Sorry, new and old readers alike.  I went to visit my mom over the weekend - actually made it a three day weekend by taking Friday off.  All is well there, and we are back home and plugging right along.

As far as quilting goes, the backing that was purchased for a baby quilt I made recently is not big enough.  Sigh.  So I am adding some fabric that was mellowing out in my stash to either side of the purchased piece and calling it good.  I don't think the baby will mind.

When I went to visit Mom, I also planned a trip to see Mary for a few minutes.  I decided that since I have the Singer 301, I really don't need the 401.  The 401 is in good shape, except it will need a new foot pedal.  The 301 and 401 take the same foot pedal and the one the 301 came with was not usable.  I gave it to Mary, along with the 401, just in case she knows someone who can rewire it, but if not, she can purchase a replacement online.

Another good thing is that I also gave her the cabinet that goes with the 401, so I now have more room in my sewing room!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

A Little Break

Taking a little break from sewing this week.  Not much to report on that front.

Ran down to Edwardsville last night to exchange a collar I bought for Addy.  There isn't a Petsmart or Petco any closer, so that's where we have to go.  It's about a half hour drive.

And since I had to do some running around I just ordered a pizza for dinner.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

35 And Counting...

35 days until Paducah!  I have been busy making up a couple little goodie bags for my friends that I'm going to hang with in Paducah.  (This does NOT mean, if you are reading this, that you have to make me a goodie bag, Friends!)

I've been pleasantly surprised by the quick delivery of a couple of items I ordered online.

One of the items I am putting in the bags I have actually had for months.  When Ev and I went to Nashville, IL during the summer, I stopped at Lee's Variety Store there and found something cute to put in the bags.

So, yes, this was just a tease I am sending out to my quilting buddies.  You know who you are!  hee hee hee.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


This is a pretty crude drawing of one of my possible layouts for the wonky star blocks.  Those cornerstones are supposed to be snowball blocks, however they really didn't turn out well.  I did this sketch on my Kindle late last night and the stylus pen I have doesn't have a very fine point.

At any rate, IF I have time, I'm going to try and make 40 three inch wonky star blocks for the cornerstones.  That's a big if, as I have a few other things that are more important right now.

Box Of Goodies

We had some office supplies delivered the other day and I scrounged the box they came in.  Took it home and filled it with scraps for Mary!  Going to see her pretty soon, so I thought I might as well get it ready so I don't forget.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Daylight Savings Time

I don't like this time change business.  In my humble opinion, the time should be left alone all year around.  From what I understand, the premise behind daylight savings time was to help the farmers get their crops in by changing the time so they had more daylight hours in the evening.  If a farmer works a day job and goes home to take care of the crops, this makes sense, but if he is a full time farmer, it doesn't.  Also, I would be the majority of farm equipment these days has headlights on it, thereby reducing the need for daylight while in the field.

That being said, it's just not fun having to readjust my inner clock!  It won't matter in a couple days when I'm used to it, but right now I'm dragging...

Wonky Star Blocks Done!

Over the weekend I finished up the Wonky Star blocks for our Paducah swap.  This was the stack of the last bunch of pieces before they were assembled into blocks.

I'm trying to decide what I want to use for cornerstones in the setting of these blocks.  I have a couple of options running around in my head.  The one that I think would look the nicest would be to make 3 1/2" wonky star blocks with the same background.  That would mean a lot more work, but it would be worth it in the long run.

My second option is to make a snowball block out of the 3 1/2" squares.  It would also be a bit of work, but not as much as the wonky stars.  I could also just use a plain square of different colored fabric scraps.

What it really comes down to is how much time and energy I have left before the show.

This week I absolutely have to get a quilt loaded on Gemma.  It needs to get done before I go to the show.  Ideally, I need to get three specific quilts done before the show.  That's really shooting for the moon, isn't it?  haha.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Sew Time

Even though there was some excitement last night, I still managed to get upstairs and do some sewing.  This morning, before work, I even went up and sewed a bit on the wonky star blocks.

I have 5 more blocks just about finished.  I also started sewing the star point pieces for 5 more blocks (this means 20 pieces, as each block has 4 of them in it).  Pressed everything and trimmed where needed.

Since I am down to only needing 15 more wonky star blocks, this really gets me close to the end.  If I get ambitious, I may just push through and finish them up over the weekend.  Then I can move on to other things.

Nothing Ever Happens In A Small Town...Until It Does

Last night, on my way home from work, I stopped at the gas station in my home town.  I asked what all the commotion was, because there were several emergency vehicles, including fire trucks, flying into town.  The gal at the gas station said she heard there was a hostage situation!  I really didn't believe her, because it didn't make sense - why fire trucks?

Well, come to find out, at the exact same time, there was a house fire that they had called for backup from two different communities.  The house was right next to a senior citizen complex, so that made sense.

Then, on the outskirts of town, there actually was a supposed hostage situation!  This was the staging area for the police and tactical units.

I'll take boredom anyday.

Thursday, March 10, 2016


Had to take a detour yesterday from the usual routine to take Nick to the dentist.  Yes, he is old enough to go by himself!  However, there was the possibility that they would pull a tooth, so I wanted to be there to drive him home if that ended up being the case.  As it turns out, the tooth has infection around it, so they have to treat that before they can pull it.  Poor guy.

Anyway, I did get 6 more wonky star blocks finished last night.  I had been putting the pieces together for those blocks for a couple days and they are finally finished.  This morning I started making some more.  I have the pieces started for five more blocks.

There are 33 completed wonky star blocks now.  That means I need 15 more to reach the goal of 48.  It's very do-able.  Making them in batches of 5 or 6 is working out very well.

Made a chicken, broccoli, rice and mushroom casserole last night for supper.  I had some, but Ev ended up going to Denny's at 11 p.m. with Johanna!  She had to work until 11 and called her daddy to see if he wanted to meet up for a late supper.  Since he was just getting off work, it was good timing.  I was glad they had that time together.  And this means I won't have to make much for dinner tonight because there is plenty of casserole left over!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Not A Minute's Peace

Addy just will not give me a minute's peace sometimes.  She gets it into her head that when I sit down she has to get me moving.  I'm starting to wonder if she and my doctor are in cahoots.  Anyway, last night she pulled the quilt off of me and then got a hold of my pajama pants and tried to pull me up!  Sigh.  It's the Australian Shepherd in her.  She's trying to 'herd' me, I guess!  haha

Last Night's Soup

It doesn't look like much, but this was my lentil soup last night.  It really does taste good.  You can see, I had a piece of leftover garlic bread with it!  haha.

I really don't have a recipe for it.  Just make a vegetable based soup, with lentils in it.  Vegetable broth, lentils, carrots, celery, onion, tomatoes, bay leaves, season salt.

I did soak my lentils all day this time, which made them cook a lot faster.

Finished Product

Here's the finished bags that I sold to Tilley's.  I called one of the newspapers and asked how much it would be to run a little ad when it gets closer to summer.  It's $8 for a small box ad, but I'm just not sure I want to spend that much.  It doesn't seem like a lot, but once I factor in my materials, that 8 bucks cuts into my profit quite a bit.  That's if I only get one or two orders.  Now, if I thought I could get a bunch of orders from that $8 ad, I wouldn't hesitate.  Ah, decisions, decisions.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Delivered Order

Sunday afternoon I was able to deliver the two sets of bags for the corn toss game to the customer.  Since they will get a lot of use (the tavern has a league one night a week), the owner ordered another two pair for sometime in July!  I'm tickled at getting that order.

He also said he would put up a sign with my phone number and that I make bags for the corn toss game.  Hey, every little bit of business helps.  I'm happy about that.

What I should do is make up several sets, and not fill them yet, just to have on hand.  Then when people order them, they will be just about all ready.

Made homemade pizza yesterday for supper.  Ev didn't want me to cook tonight since we have a lot of leftovers.  I am going to make some lentil soup that I had planned on.  Promised Nick I would bring him some tomorrow.

44 More Days, But Who's Counting....

It's Monday morning and it has been a rough one so far.  Walked into a hornets nest (figuratively) at 8:00 a.m. at work.  Then when that settled down, went to read some info and found information I had previously missed that set my world back a few notches.  Don't want to get into it here, but suffice it to say, the Paducah trip cannot come soon enough.  And I may just forget my cell phone at home!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Using My Old Serger

This is my old serger.  I rarely use it, but it is nice to have.  It was new somewhere in the late 80's I think.  It still runs like a charm.  I would probably use it a bit more if it were not a three spool.  It doesn't have that extra line of straight stitching to hold pieces together.  The main purpose of this machine is to put an overlock stitch on a hem.  Which it does quite nicely.  It has the cutting blade to trim fabric as you go, too.

What I'm using it for now is to finish the edges on the corn toss bags.  They will take quite a beating and need to have plenty of reinforced edges.

The bags finish at 6" square, so I have cut strips of 6-1/2" canvas and am serging one edge.  Then I cut the canvas into squares and leave the opening to fill them on the serged edge.  Once I sew the other three edges, I serge them together and turn the bags right side out to be filled.

The red bags are waiting to be filled and the black, brown, and blue are ready to be sewn.

If I start using the serger more, such as for these projects, I think I may rearrange my sewing room.  The Bernina (that I never fell in love with) probably has not been used in years.  I may stash it under a table.  May replace it with the serger.  Still want to get that custom table made to put the 301 in.  Or, I could put the 301 in the table the Kenmore shown in the above picture is in.  Not in any hurry to do anything right now.  Maybe after Paducah I will get it all together... hahaha.

Ordered some quilty goodies online today.  I love getting packages in the mail.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Pretty Pieces

Didn't get upstairs anymore last night, but did go up for a while before work this morning.  I put the second star point on each piece, pressed them, and sewed them into rows.  Just have to sew a few more seams and I'll have four completed blocks.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Colorful Canvas

Here are the four colors of canvas I ordered for the corn toss bags.  That red is not quite as orangish as the picture looks and the brown is more brown than tan.  I think they will make good bags for the game.

The owner of Tilley's has a league in the spring and is the one who requested the bags.

As a side note - when I ordered this canvas, I got to thinking.  Is this the same canvas that people use to paint pictures on?  It wasn't terribly expensive and if a person had the ability to make the wood frame, they could really get some bang for their buck buying the canvas like this.  Yeah, sometimes I go off on tangents...  haha

Half Wonky

Twelve minutes of sewing this morning before work netted 16 pieces that were half star point blocks!  The still need to be pressed but this is a good start to pushing through and finishing making these blocks.

Nineteen blocks are completed and we were shooting for having 48, and those 16 pieces will be for 4 more blocks.  That will put me almost half way there.  I just need to keep plugging away.  If it were a little warmer outside, I would probably get more sewing done at night, but I just can't leave Addy outside for any great length of time with the temp so cold still.

A Tisket, A Tasket, Here's My Scrap Basket

It is difficult to judge size in a picture, but this basket is about 12" across and 5" deep.  It has quite a few bits and pieces in it.  This is where the scraps for the wonky stars are at the moment.

I have so many scraps, I think it's time to purge.  I sent Mary a box full last week, and I think I'm going to fill a box or two again and give them to her next month.  There are just too many for me to ever realistically use.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

More Wonky Stars

While making the wonky star blocks for our swap is very fun, it was a bit time consuming because I would reach into the scrap tub, pick out a piece, cut it to how it would fit best, then sew it onto the foundation square.  I have cut the time in half by going through a bunch of scraps and cutting them to the approximate size needed and putting them in a basket next to the machine.  There's enough variety that I don't have to even look, I just grab and sew.

The blocks do force me to press in stages.  I have to press after each scrap is sewn, then again when the rows are sewn and finally when rows are sewn together.  They do look nice when done!

I also have 8 squares of red canvas ready to be made into bags for the corn toss game.  Ordered red, black, brown and blue canvas for two full sets of bags.  I'm thinking that I might get out the serger and serge the edges, just to give them a little more strength.  They do take a beating.

Paducah Is Getting Closer

Today I mailed a check to the hotel we are staying at for the balance of the room.  I wanted to get that out of the way.  It's kind of a mental thing.  The room is paid for so now all the money I save is for food and goodies!  Oh, and gas, but hopefully that won't be too bad because Mary and I split the cost on that.

50 more days!