Thursday, July 28, 2016

Election Year

It seems that everywhere I go, someone wants to talk politics.  I do not want to talk politics.  This is not a political blog and I won't let it turn into one.

Today on my lunch hour I stopped at this little antique store before I went back to work.  The gal usually has a few sewing machines there and I like to take a peak and see if she has anything new in.  When I was done looking and was about to walk out the door, the gal starts talking about the election.  She was talking in code, because she doesn't know my political bend, saying things about one candidate being better than the other but not naming names.  Long and short of it, I can't even go into the antique store without someone talking politics.

Customers try and bring up politics to me at work.  I don't want to hear it.

Try turning on the television.  The commercials are all candidates slinging mud at each others.

During the last political season I even went so far as to disconnect our house phone.  No more lan line.  Too many calls from politicians.

Okay, there was my rant for the day.

Third Pair

Here's the third pair of pajama pants I made.

I think the pattern is pretty close to how I want them to fit.  May be a few little tucks here and there, but for the most part, they are the best pair so far.  I know the fit in the waist and hips is the best with this pair.

I just love this fabric I used on them.

Little hound dogs and ducks!  I had several yards of this fabric in my stash, and I kept waiting to use it for a backing or something.  I just couldn't seem to part with it....  Well now I have p.j. pants made out of it and I am very pleased!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Press And Snip

My half square triangle blocks are getting pressed and their little dog ears snipped!  Going to be all ready to move forward with making the Christmas quilt.

I did find two squares that were too small on one side and 8 squares that had the material sewn on the wrong side.  Not too big a deal.

Why do chocolate covered raisins taste so good?  mmmm  I picked some up at the store a few days ago and have been munching them at my desk.  Sooooo gooood.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


My half square triangle blocks are almost all de-papered.  They took a long time to cut apart and are taking a while to pull the paper off of.  Next step will be to press and cut off the dog ears, then they will be ready to go into the blocks.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Weekend Wrap Up

It was very hot outside over the weekend.  Hot and humid with heat indexes around 108 degrees F.  Yuck.  Yuck.  Yuck.

We finally decided to switch from satelite to cable.  Saturday morning the cable guys came and installed it.  Took them over 4 hours, but they really did a fantastic job, paying attention to every detail and not leaving until everything was perfect.  This is the way it should be, but these days, it rarely happens.  I really hope their customer service is just as good now that we have them.

We also switched our internet provider to the cable agency.  These decisions were not made lightly.  We had satelite for over 12 years!

Since there wasn't much I could do while the cable install was going on, I went upstairs to sew.  I made a pair of night pants, start to finish, sewed a set of bags to be filled, and cut pieces for my Christmas quilt.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

More Jammies

My second pair of night pants.

Still working on getting the fit right.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Hot And Humid

Our weather has been hot and humid this week.  So much so that I don't feel much like sewing when I get home from work. It just takes the a/c unit upstairs too long to cool it off for the hour or so I will be spending in the sewing room.

I really should set something up downstairs, in the basement, by Gemma.  I could easily set up a sewing space down there, and in fact have a domestic machine in a desk already in place.  The main reason I don't sew down there is very silly.  I just don't like to be in the basement alone for long periods of time!  Now isn't that just the stupidest thing you ever heard?  I mean, come on, I'm a grown woman and I am a little afraid of my own basement!  Totally stupid.

I also have all my sewing supplies and fabrics on the second floor, so unless I have everything done except the sewing itself, I would still need to spend time upstairs or haul everything two floors down.

Then there is the sewing machine I have on the first floor.  This is a pretty good alternative, but again, I have to haul things down from upstairs.  Not quite as bad as going two flights, though.

Anyway, I will figure it all out, I'm sure, but tonight I really want to get some sewing done, so as soon as I get home, I plan to go up and turn that a/c on so it's not unbearably hot up there.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Wrap Up

I made stir fry with pork, rice, and veggies for dinner.  Instead of eating it plain, I turned mine into lettuce wraps.  Wow, was it good!  Even brought some for lunch today.  Yum, yum, yum!

The sample block I showed in the previous post is for the possible Christmas Quilt I'm thinking of making.  Well, it's past the 'thinking' stage, I am going to make it.  I have been cutting pieces for it.  The half square triangle blocks on the corners are going to be made by sewing on triangle paper I made myself.

Half square triangles are a pain, to me at least.  If I have a lot to make, I want to find the easiest way possible to make them.  My method is to create a master on graph paper by drawing the squares, then the diagonals, and then the quarter inch from the diagonal line.  For these particular triangles, I was able to fit four squares, enough to make 8 blocks, of 3-1/2" unfinished half square triangles.

This means I will need a piece of each of the two fabrics approximately 9 inches square.  A little less works, but I say 9 to be safe.  For this particular project, I am using the same background and scraps of reds and greens for the half square triangle blocks.  I also need a 14" x 2" strip for the other pieces of the block, but if that has to be a different color, that's okay.  It is a scrappy quilt!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Sample Block

Just a quick post to share a sample block.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Blackberry Cobbler Recipe

I posted pics of the cobbler I made yesterday and thought someone might like the recipe.  I found it online and I believe credit goes to Betty Crocker.  I am putting the recipe up in it's original form, which is how I made it last night, however, next time I would cut the sugar to about 3/4 cup.  Even with the blackberries being a bit tart, for my taste, there didn't need to be as much sugar.  One other note, I think it is important to use real butter in the batter.  The butter was the star flavor of the batter.

Blackberry Cobbler

2-1/2 cup blackberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine blackberries and sugar.  Allow to stand for about 20 minutes until a syrup has formed.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Stir in melted butter and milk.  Spread batter in ungreased 8" x 8" baking pan. Top with berry mixture.

Place in preheated oven and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until golden and bubbly.  Serve warm with ice cream if desired.

Or eat directly out of the pan with a spoon.....  hahaha


MMMMM.  Blackberry cobbler times two!  I baked these two yummy cobblers from a portion of the blackberries I received.  One of the cobblers went to my great uncle here in town in exchange for these:

Not a bad trade, in my opinion!  One of the tomatoes was from Johanna's garden.  Uncle Ray grows the more pinkish tomatoes.  I love those peppers.  They are a lighter and thinner skinned pepper than the bell peppers you find in the store.  Very good eats.

About 9:40 last night I was getting ready for bed and decided to take a couple things up to the sewing room.  It was still awful hot up there, since I hadn't had the a/c or fans on at all.  I thought since I was up there I would go ahead and cut the material for the set of bags that was ordered and are due Thursday.

Well, I cut the pieces of canvas, then thought I could just go ahead and wind a bobbin with the industrial strength thread and then thread the machine, so it would be all ready to sew.  And then I just sat down to sew and before I knew it, the bags were all done!

Tonight I just need to fill them with corn and sew the tops together.

We had BLT's for dinner last night.  I think tonight we might have roast beef sandwiches.  In this heat, I don't like to make a big heavy meal all the time.  I have some sliced roast beef from the deli that I would put in some au jus to warm up.  Easy, peasy.

May get to work on the second pair of p.j.'s if I feel like it.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Garden Goodies

Three containers of blackberries, two dozen eggs, and one head of cabbage were the goodies I was lucky enough to get last night.  The cherries in the pic were just on the table and the eggs are in the fridge!  haha.

The friend who has chickens had a dry spell when some raccoons got into the henhouse.  She lost almost half of her flock!  It had been a while since she had any eggs, but last night she called and asked if I wanted any.  She said if I came right then she would give me 8 quarts of blackberries, too!  Well, I was off and running.  She also threw in a head of cabbage.

The blackberries are large and juicy.  I froze half of them, gave Nick a bowlfull, and plan to make a cobbler tonight after work.

I am so blessed.

Sunday, July 17, 2016


I veered off a bit from my usual routine.  I have been wanting to make a pair of night pants for a while. Yesterday I finally got around to it.

This is just the first pair.  The pattern I drafted needs a bit of adjusting.  But since they are for me, and for at night, I wore them anyway!  They turned out to be pretty comfy.  And they really didn't take long at all.

One thing that I did was to wash the material first.  I don't normally do that for my quilting, but have learned the hard way to do it in garment sewing.

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Quilt Is In The Mail

I mailed the quilt and pillowcase off to my uncle in California this morning.  He should have it Monday.

Last night I put the binding and label on it.  While doing the binding, Clarice did not want to behave.  When I was sewing, the set screw and thread guide on the needle bar fell off.  Since I didn't want to stop sewing, I just kept going without it.  This wasn't the smartest move, because then she skipped more stitches!  Sigh.  I just sewed over the areas twice.

Then I put a bit of Loc Tite on the screw and put it back in.  There are only a couple tiny threads to catch and I wanted it to stay in place.  Hopefully that does the trick!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Decision Made

How boring a picture is that?  haha.  I decided to use this grey to bind my uncle's quilt.  There is grey in the backing material and some grey in the front, plus I used grey thread for the quilting.  I think it will look nice.  Hoping to get it all done tonight.

Stormy Sewing

We had some thunderstorms last night that were pretty bad.  Luckily we didn't have any damage, but that wind was pretty strong!  Lots of thunder and lightening, too.  I was driving home during part of it and had to pull over because I couldn't see the road.

I did manage to get a little sewing done last night.  I finished the sample block for the (maybe) Christmas quilt.  This block was made with 1" finished strips.  I don't think I would use the 1" strips.  I think I would make it at least 1-1/2" finished, if not bigger.

I'm still thinking of reversing the colors and alternating blocks.  And the yellow in the middle, while really pretty, is just oo bright in my opinion.  I have a white material with speckles of red and green that might end up in place of the yellow.  I am just having fun playing with the blocks.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Nice Lunch

Today was one of the few days this week my daughter was going to have open for lunch.  We didn't go anywhere, just had lunch at her place, but it was very nice!

She has a beautiful garden and has tomatoes coming in, so the plan was to have tomato sandwiches.  Yup, that's it, just tomatoes and bread.  Well, a little mayo, too...  haha.  I used to have them all the time when I was a kid.  I love tomato sandwiches with a good garden tomato.

After we ate, we sat outside for a little bit before I had to go back to work.  She has a kitten that is so funny to watch.  She has a few outdoor cats and one of them, a rescued calico, had just one kitten a couple months back.  This kitten  thinks it rules the roost.  Here he is trying to intimidate one of the older cats!

Tonight I am either going to make chef salads for dinner or meatloaf.  Depends on how I feel when I get home!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Testing, One, Two....

This is a (badly lit) pic of the center of the block I'm thinking of making next.  I just want to make a few sample blocks and see what color combinations I like.  This was one of my little projects I worked on over the weekend.

I made my uncle a cute pillowcase with baby chicks on the fabric.  Going to send it, along with the quilt, to him later this week.  I finished quilting the quilt over the weekend and just need to put the label and binding on.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Gearing Up For A New Project

I found this block pattern on Quilter's Cache website.  It is called 'Cross and Chain'.  This drawing is of two blocks in opposite colorways.  I think I might make this in Christmas fabrics.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Started Quilting

The picture above shows the quilt I have on the frame after I finished quilting one pass and rolled it.  I am very pleased with the way it's turning out.

Here is a close up of the quilting:

I wanted it to look like 'wind' blowing.  I think it does.

If you notice, the fabric that is on the take up roller, the backing with the city skape on it, I have a funny story to tell.  See how some of the buildings are printed in grey?  Well, I am using grey thread for the quilting.  I went to check the back of the quilting while I was doing the first pass (I do this with a flashlight and by looking underneath).  All I could see, at first glance, was big old grey eyelashes of thread on the back!  That upset me, of course, until I took a closer look and realised that was the curve of the top of a drawing done in grey, with little lines going down to the inside!  Duh!

So all was well that ended well.  No big eyelashes or anything.

I only did about an hour's worth of work on it last night.  I didn't want to get too worn out on it, because it is a gift.  I want the quilting to look as nice as possible.

One thing I need to do is make a conscious effort to keep my speed constant.  I don't usually use the stitch regulator, so if I get to going to fast, my stitches get bigger.

I hope to get downstairs to work on it some more tonight.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Dragging My Feet

I haven't started the quilting on my uncle's quilt yet.  It's been on the frame for a few days and I just haven't gotten downstairs to start on it.  Last night I was just too tired, since it was the first day back to work after vacation.  Not sure if I will get to it tonight or not.  It might just have to wait for the weekend.

I am pretty sure I know how I want to quilt it.  I want to make swirls that look like the wind.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A Slight Diversion

I took a little side trip from my usual quilt making to make this cute table runner.

Mary emailed me the pattern a few days ago and I thought, why not give it a try.  It uses 1/2 yard of one material and 1/3 yard of another.  That's it.  I did embellish it with a couple of buttons.

The video may be found here:

Beware... if you make one, you may want to make another, and another..  haha.

Who's There?

Ev and I were driving through the country over the holiday weekend and came upon this fellow.

He was sitting on a tree branch above a creek when we happened to drive over a bridge.  When I got out of the car to take his picture, he turned his head, so you can only see his left eye.  This fellow was quite large.  He took to the air for a brief flight to a tree branch a bit farther away from our prying eyes.

I have never seen an owl like this before.  He really was quite a majestic creature.

*Note - I looked up pictures on the Audubon Society website of owls.  Apparently this fellow is a Barred Owl.  Pretty cool!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

On The Frame

Here's the quilt on the frame that I am making for my uncle.  I just got it loaded this morning.  Not in the mood to start quilting it just yet, mostly because I don't want to be in the basement right now.  It's a cool and rainy day and I'm enjoying having the windows open. Thinking I might even take a nap soon.  Then may go upstairs and do some sewing.

I'm really pleased with Clarice.  The sewing machine guy fixed here up real nice.  No more skipped stitches!  She is a real speed demon now too.  I'm very happy with her.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Lake Shelbyville

Today we took a road trip to visit friends. While out and about we drove around Lake Shelbyville.  It is really a pretty lake.

Clarice Is Home

The 301 came home today. I am hoping it is fixed. Too tired to check it out right now.