Tuesday, August 30, 2016

What's Up There?

I let Addy outside this morning and when I went by the window this is what I saw.  She was staring straight up into the tree in the yard, not moving a muscle.  When I went to let her in a few minutes later, I saw there was a young squirrel in the tree!  Silly dog.

Didn't do any sewing last night.  I did, however, make two more loaves of zucchini bread from this recipe:


It turned out very good, so that recipe is definitely a keeper.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Weekend Sewing

I did manage to sew for a couple hours over the weekend.  Saturday was taken up with watching Johnathon.  I didn't mind that, really.  We played a lot of cards and watched t.v.

I have to say, the closer I get to having all the blocks done for the Christmas Churn Dash quilt made, the more I want to make the quilt just a little bit bigger.  Like about 25 more blocks worth bigger...  I know, crazy, right?  Well, I had extra green and extra red blocks because originally it was just going to be red and green blocks.  Then I decided to add gold blocks, so I have those just about all sewn.  Now I'm thinking it needs to be even bigger for my bed.

The pattern I settled on is a trip around the world.  It was going to be 9 blocks by 9 blocks, but that would only make it 81" square before borders.  Even with borders, I just didn't feel it would adequately cover our king size bed.  So now I'm making it 11 blocks by 11 blocks, which makes it 99" square before borders.  This will work.  I will add a couple borders to it and it will be plenty big.  I hope...

The quilt has taken on a life of its own...  hahaha

Trying New Things

Ev and I went to Joe's Crab Shack for dinner yesterday.

My 'inner hippie' just had to get a picture underneath the peace, love, and crabs sign!  haha.

Food was good.  I had stuffed, bacon wrapped, grilled shrimp.  Oh, my was it good.

It came with hush puppies, carrots, green beans, and rice.  Ev had redfish in lobster sauce.

This was the first time we had gone there.  The meal was good, but the prices were a little high for us.  Probably won't go there again unless it's a special occasion.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Two By Two

I have all the block pieces ready to be sewn.  Put 2 together last night and 2 more together this morning.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Pressing Done

Finished sewing all the pieces for the churn dash blocks last night.  Even got them all pressed!  woohoo!

Started matching them up with blue middle squares and trimming the dog ears on the half square triangle pieces.  Got about a third of the way done with them and called it a night.

Drained more of the pool last night.  I don't want to run that little pump for too many hours straight, so I just put it on when I get home from work and turn it off a couple hours later.  Hoping to have it all drained by the weekend.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Gold Churn Dash Blocks

Here is my stack of pieces for the gold churn dash blocks.  The darker gold have their matching rail pieces cut and ready to be pressed.  I need to get those pieces ready for the lighter gold and two other colors.

So I cut strips and sewed a few of them together last night.  Didn't sew for too long because I just kind of lost momentum.  haha.

When I got home from work, I put the pump in the pool to drain more of the water, then decided to label the cords behind the television.  Now, that wasn't just a random act.  I was forever unplugging this to plug in that and not knowing what was what.  In addition to labeling cords, I also put another surge protector back there so I didn't have to unplug and plug in all the time.

Just don't ask me if I cleaned behind the t.v. while I was doing all that...

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Mountain Climbing

My daughter is on vacation in the mountains.  She said there were 277 stairs to climb to get to this view.

What a lucky gal!

Yeah, Best Laid Plans...

Best laid plans of mice and men...  I didn't get to do any sewing last night because I was running errands until after 6, then worked in the yard for a while.  We need to get our swimming pool drained and dismantled.  It's time has come and gone and right now all it is is a big swamp for bugs!

Ev had to mow the ditch before I started draining it.  He had done that Sunday, so I was ready to go.  Last night I just got it drained down to the eyeball.  Tonight I'm going to put the little pump in it and try and get about half of what is left out of it.  When it is completely empty, we can start taking it apart.

The bad part is that we also have to take apart the deck that goes around a third of the pool.  That will be a project.  Ev is worried about the area under the pool and getting it back to level grass.  That doesn't worry me too much.  I just want the pool gone!

So after I got the things done in the yard, I still had to come in and make dinner.  And I was pretty gross and yucky so I had to take a shower.  Then Nick came by to borrow the truck and lawnmower.

So you can see, I didn't have much time to sit down and sew.  But there's always tonight!

Monday, August 22, 2016


I am planning to get back in the groove of sewing, starting tonight!  During my vacation, I did some rearranging in the sitting room, so now my 15-91 Singer, Polly, is more accessible.  I should start using her more.

This was the view out of the car window when we were going to Wrigley.  That's Buckingham Fountain.  It's in beautiful Grant Park.  We were driving on Lake Shore Drive at the time.  One thing I do not like is city traffic.

So I have made up my mind to do some sewing tonight, even if it's just for a few minutes.  The half square triangles for the gold churn dash blocks are all pressed and ready to go.  The blue squares for the middle of the blocks are done.  Now I am working on the rail blocks.  They make up pretty easy.

Oh, and I want to make myself another small pressing board.  Mary has one that is just the right size for taking on retreats and I think I can make one pretty easily.  Just something on my to do list.

I'm Back

Ah, what a lovely sight!  Here's where we were last week.  We took a trip to Chicago to see our Cubbies play (and beat!) the Milwaukee Brewers.  Had a fantastic time.

Our week of vacation was mostly filled with little things.  We did a lot of motorcycle riding, just around the area.  Ate out quite a bit.  Didn't do much cooking.

I also didn't do near as much sewing as I had wanted to.  In fact, I hardly sewed at all!  That's okay, though.  I have lots of time in the evenings to do that when Ev is at work.  I enjoyed spending all that time with him.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Rainy Monday

We have rain, rain, and more rain here.  Ev was trying to get the grass cut before it started, and the mower belt broke, so not only did the grass not get cut, he has to replace the belt!  So our day today is going to be a trip to Lowe's for a mower belt and new mower blades.  I'm hoping to get lunch out of the deal, since we will be in metropolitan area.  No guarantees...

I finished sewing all the gold half square triangles on paper and spent the time I was watching the Cubs on t.v. pulling the papers off.  They are ready to be pressed and have the dog ears trimmed.  Just kind of moseying along with this project.

Really have to get those nursing home quilts quilted.  I want them out of my head!  hahaha.  I just want them done so I don't have to think about them anymore.

This is Nick's second week on his new job.  He seems to be doing okay with it.  Was a bit of a rough time for him before he got this job, so I'm hoping things level out for him now.

Johanna and Ben are going to Colorado!  He is in some kind of contest with his work and they get to go to Colorado to participate.  They should have a great time.

Hope to get some pictures up soon on the blog.  I know it's boring without them.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Countdown To Vacation

Just a few more hours and Ev and I will be on vacation!  Looking forward to some rest and relaxation time.  May not be on the blog very much for a few days.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Morning Commute

Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows that I live in a rural community.  I drive 8 miles on an extremely lightly traveled road to get from my little town to the next small town where I work.  My 'commute', if you can even call it that, is not difficult.

This morning there was a half grown groundhog in the middle of the road.  Still alive.  I don't know why that little bugger was there, or what he was doing, but I do know one thing.  If he didn't get out of the road soon, he was going to be some buzzard's dinner before noon.

That pic is not of the groundhog this morning.  The one in the picture is walking through snow.  What I wouldn't give to be walking through snow right now....  We have another heat advisory for this afternoon.  Heat index supposed to get above 105 deg. F.

Sew For The Gold

A little Olympics humor there in the title....  haha.

Did a bit of sewing and pressing last night.  I had all my pieces of gold material ready for sewing into triangles.  It just needed to be pressed.  After I got that done, I cut some of the background fabric and sewed a couple sheets worth of triangles.

I may go to the dollar store today and pick up some more of that doodle paper.  It tears away so nicely on those triangles.

It was just too warm to stay upstairs for any length of time.  I was also kind of wore out, so just getting that little bit done was an accomplishment.

Made chicken alfredo for dinner.  It was very good.  I just used the precooked chicken breast strips.  Turned out just fine.

After a couple false starts, Nick is finally starting his new job today.  I sure hope it all goes well for him.  He needs to find a place to roost.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

What Happens In The Sewing Room, Stays In The Sewing Room

A little bit of kitty and puppy love going on under my sewing table.

Last night I finished all the green churn dash blocks and picked out fabrics for the gold blocks.  Most of the fabric needs to be pressed, so that's the next step before I can make more blocks.

Been watching the Olympics while sewing.  It's nice to have a television in the sewing room that actually gets a good picture.  When we had Dish, the t.v. upstairs got horrible reception for some reason.  It's fixed now that we have cable.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Pile Of Sunshine

That's what these gold fabrics look like to me!  I pulled them out of the stash to use for the gold churn dash blocks in my Christmas Quilt.

Didn't do any sewing last night.  Nick and Olivia came over and had dinner.  I made regular burgers for me and Ev, and made them zucchinni burgers.  Turned out pretty yummy.  Also used that french fry seasoning from Beachy's in Arthur for the first time.  I put it on new potato wedges and baked them.  Pretty good.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Ideas On Paper

Now I'm thinking I will make the Christmas Quilt bigger than originally planned.  And, I'm thinking of adding gold churn dash blocks into the mix.

I have enough green and red blocks made, but would need to make 25 gold churn dash blocks.  No problem!  hahaha.

I also would like to put sashing and cornerstones in between them.  Sashing will be the background material.  Cornerstones may be the blue that I used in the middle of the churn dash blocks, or maybe red.  Haven't decided on that just yet.

This was just going to be a throw for the couch, however it's now going to be large enough to cover the bed.  Funny how these things just grow and grow...

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Simple Conversation

We went to breakfast this morning.  While at the little cafe we go to I saw something that made me smile. There was a group of 6 people, 3 women and 3 men. They were middle to older aged and just looked like everyday folks. Their conversation, the bits and pieces I caught were just of everyday topics. What really touched me, was when the waitress came up to the oldest man in the group, who was wearing bib overalls, and set about to fix the twisted strap of his bibs for him. Just a simple sweet gesture, but it made me smile.

Life is good.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Something Fishy

My Great Uncle called me at lunch time today.  Apparently he has a hankering for fried fish.  He wants to go to the Homecoming a few towns over that is pretty famous for it's fish fry.  Who am I to say no?  hahaha

I just hope it isn't too hot and humid.

Four More

Before work sewing netted four more green churn dash blocks.  Only 12 more to piece and I will have all the blocks ready for my Christmas quilt.

I'm thinking I might use the background fabric for the backing if I have enough.  Or maybe that red print I just got 9 yards of at the garage sale yesterday.  Although, I am thinking that red would go really nicely on the backs of the nursing home quilts.  Just thinking aloud...  lol

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Garage Sale Goodies

Sandy sent me a text last night about a garage sale advertisement.  It said there would be lot of material and thread from a closed out quilt shop.  It said three rooms worth!  Well, now how can we turn that down?  The sale started at noon, so we both took our lunch hours to check it out.

Sadly, it did not turn out to be as good as advertised.  We got there right when it opened.  Most of the material was baby quilt panels.  There were some completed quilts, but really not much in the way of cotton fabric.

Here's what came home with me:

9 yards of this red print.

Some miscellaneous cuts, including a cat print and a bag of scraps.

And a few more cuts.

Only 16 More!

I have just 16 more green blocks to go and I will have all the blocks done for the Christmas churn dash quilt!

Last night i only spent half an hour in the sewing room, but it was enough time to get a few more blocks made.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Another Iron Post

After trying to put several things in the slot without much luck, I finally thought to try a piece of pencil eraser.  Looks like it is going to work!  It's pretty snug in the slot, but I also added a piece of tape for good measure.

I have some blocks that need to be pressed, so I think I will use this little dude for it and see if the eraser fixed the issue!  Not that I am EVER excited about ironing, but I am a little bit now, just to see if this works.  I know the excitement will fade - quickly!  hahaha

Travel Iron

I picked up this Black and Decker Stowaway travel iron at the thrift shop a while ago.  This past weekend was my first opportunity to use it.  All in all, it was a good little iron.  It got VERY hot.  I mean, scorching hot when turned to high.

The only real issue that I had with it was that the handle didn't want to stay up.  It has a collapsible handle and the latch kept working it's way loose.

I am going to see if I can find a way to fix it.  I have a couple ideas.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

It Called Me

Once again, I went upstairs, just to put something away, and the sewing room called me.  It lured me in and I ended up making several more green churn dash blocks.  They do come together quickly.

Here's what they look like next to each other:

I'm not sure if I will alternate red and green or set them in a different way.  There are different blues for the centers and different reds and greens for the blocks.  Some of the blocks even have different colors in the triangles than in the rectangles.  The background remains constant.

I was thinking that for a border I might do two or three long strips of blue and the background fabric and try and mitre the corners.  Just thinking about that right now.

Happy Quilt Top

It wasn't my finish, but a finish just the same.  Here is Mary's completed Christmas top.  She alternated between big squares and four patch squares, using all different Christmas fabrics.  I just love it!  It looks so happy and bright.

The inner border is material she picked up at the fabric store before we started sewing Friday.  It's so cute.  It says 'Let it snow' over and over and is a pretty light blue.

I think the quilt could use a pretty gold for the binding.  Just my opinion...  haha

Another Pair

Another pair of night pants!  But this time, Mary made them.  This was the first time she ever made a garment, and I think she did exceptionally well.  Good job, Mary!

Can you see the quilt on the corner of the bed?  I brought it from home just to turn the room into a more homey place.  It was one I did many years ago.  It's a string pieced quilt that I quilted as blocks and sewed together on my old Kenmore.  The one and only 'quilt as you go' that I have ever made.  It's been through a lot, but has held up pretty well.  The good thing about scrappy quilts is, when you have to patch them, the patches just blend right in!  haha

Monday, August 1, 2016

Side Trip

Isn't this interesting?  We passed this house when we were out and about and it caught my eye.  Look at all those wooden carved bears!  I think my favorites are the two cubs climbing the pillars on the porch.

Fun Time

Does it sound crazy that Mary and I meet halfway between our houses and sew all weekend in a hotel room?  Maybe it does to someone that doesn't quilt, but for us it makes sense.  We each drive a couple hours, so it's not a horribly long distance to go.

I brought Clarice, my 301 Singer machine to sew on and Mary brought Olga, her Featherweight.  I will confess that I also brought Grace, my Featherweight, but she didn't come out of her case.  Last time we did this I fiddled around with something on the machine and lost valuable sewing time.  So this time I just brought two machines in case that happened again.  I would just switch machines and keep on sewing!  Luckily, it did not happen, so all was good.

The room we rented was very spacious.  It was considered a suite, so there was an extra area that we set up to sew in.  I brought my little table.  It worked out just fine.

Weekend In Bloomington

Look at this happy stack of blocks!  Mary and I met in Bloomington Friday and spent the weekend sewing.  It was great.  We didn't even turn the television on in the room once.

I am making a Christmas themed quilt with red and green churn dash blocks.  All of the red blocks are completed and I have about a third of the green blocks done.

The churn dash blocks come together quickly.  I had the half square triangle blocks done and the blue squares for the middle cut before we went to Bloomington.  I needed to sew and cut the rail blocks.  I I didn't get all the green blocks put together but I feel like I have a good jump on them.