Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Taking The Cow For A Walk

Now, I don't know if this story is true or not, but my darling daughter swears it is.  When she was in high school one of her teachers raised "show cows".  If a student misbehaved, rather than give them detention or have them write lines, he offered the option of having them 'walk his cows'.  She said they had to walk the cow around the pasture for him because they needed to be handled for when he showed them.

You decide if it's true or not.  I just smile when I think of it, though.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Too Much On My Mind

Yesterday I fully intended to post something on the blog, but time got away from me I guess.  Sorry about that!

Nothing sewing related going on.  I did make Johnathon a rice bag in 'flame' material.  He wanted one for his feet at night!  hahaha.  I think that's so cute.  He had his first basketball game over the weekend.  Ev and I went to watch him play and really enjoyed it.

I was at Wal Mart and picked up three packets of different flavored muffin mixes for Johnathon to make and dropped them off at their house during the day.  He called me last night to thank me.  So sweet!

Had some sad news this morning.  My friend Lori's husband passed away this morning.  He had been sick for a long time with cancer.  My heart breaks for her.  Please keep her and her family in your prayers.  Thanks.

Good Coffee Cake

If you haven't already done so, check out the Life on the Farm blog link on the left side.  A few posts down she lists a recipe for a good and easy coffee cake.  I made it last night ant it was a big hit!

There were only a few ingredients in it and it was very easy to make.  This one's a keeper!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Miss Addy Giving Me "The Look"

Addy climbed up on the loveseat with me last night, then gave me the look like "aren't you going to move your feet?" hahaha!  I just thought it was nice of her to come up there and keep my feet warm!

I see the bottom of my Christmas Tree banner in the background.  I love that banner but it is time for it to get put away.  I have a Valentine's Day one that can go up in it's place.

Journal Entry

As per your request, here is an example of what I put in my quilting journal.  This is how I did it up until now.  I think my new journal is going to have a little more details.

Thursday, January 21, 2016


While on retreat, I sewed the 6-1/2" neutral blocks together in rows of 20.  The quilt was supposed to end up being 20 blocks by 20 blocks.  Well, somewhere along the line I must have measured things a little too loosely.  Once I sewed row one and two together I realized this quilt was going to be way too long and wide.

When I got home from retreat I laid out the strips on the bed and sure enough, I needed to remove at least two blocks from each strip and only sew 18 strips together.  I sat in a comfy chair the other night and detached those two blocks from the strips and listened to some Ricky Tims while I did it.  It was very relaxing.

The upside is that I now have quite a few left over six inch blocks and can make a lap quilt out of them!  This will probably end up being one of the first nursing home quilts tops of the year.

Old And New

On the left is my current quilting journal.  The first entry was in January of 2011.  It's just a composition notebook that I made a cover for.  I like to record how much time I work on a project.  The notes in the old journal are minimal.  Just a line saying what I'm working on.  That's why it's lasted several years.  I'm near the last page in it, finally.

I decided that I would start a new quilting journal this year.  Need to make a quilty cover for it.  That will be a fun little side project.  This time, I may fill the journal with other information in addition to just my quilting time.  Not sure yet which direction I will go with that.

I Press, Therefore I Am

Can you tell I'm getting a little slap happy?  haha.  After work yesterday I went up to the sewing room and straightened up a bit.  There was a bit of chaos from my pre-retreat fabric hunt and gathering of supplies.  Once that was all cleaned up, I sat down and pressed all the strips for the 6" block and applique quilt.  I think I'm going to call it "Block and Tackle".  It has blocks and I'm going to tackle a new method of applique.

Felt good to get the strips all pressed.  The next part is to sew them into pairs, etc.  It will go quickly.  Would like to get some done tonight if I can.

Addy has been staying out of the sewing room the last few times I have gone up, which has been a big help.  Let me rephrase that.  It has been a big help WHILE I AM UP THERE.  There is always a surprise waiting for me when I come back down to the main floor after sewing.  It will either be a good surprise - she didn't tear any thing up!  Yay!  Or it will be a not so good surprise - she chewed up a wooden spoon/plastic food container/ the garbage/ a sock...  Sigh.  Last night while I was up there I heard her getting into something.  I went down right away and caught her with a plastic container I had just taken out of the fridge and emptied into the garbage.  The container was in the sink to be washed and it had held sauerkraut.  Well, you can imagine that the dog not only drug the container into the front room, she dripped sauerkraut juice all through the kitchen, sitting room, and front room in the process.  I cleaned it up, took the container away, and went back upstairs.  When I went to sit down later that night, there was a faint odor of sauerkraut by my chair, but I chose to ignore it.  I grew up with the smell every Sunday at dinner time, so it's not an unpleasant odor, just not one I usually associate with relaxing in the front room.  haha.

You just have to love that dog.  It's a good thing we do.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


This was what was in front of me on my drive in to work this morning.  There was a pick up truck driving ahead of me.  You can see the fog and snow.  I thought that the line of fog was real neat, how it was just a thin layer.  You can see it blocks out just the middle of the trees!

We ended up with about three inches of snow.  Roads weren't bad and schools weren't cancelled.  It is just a pretty winter scene and I love it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

More Retreat Pics

I had myself a nice little corner set up to sew while on retreat.  I brought my folding table to put the machine on and the front desk loaned me a chair.  I kind of tucked back into the space between the couch and divider wall and used the coffee table to lay out my squares and the arm of the couch to lay out my rows once they were sewn.  It was a good little set up.

Mary sat directly across from me and used her folding table from home and the hotel desk and desk chair.  The room was large enough that even with all our equipment, there was still room to maneuver around.  The beds were set back in the other portion of the suite, which was nice, too.

Progress Pics

Here are our NYE mystery tops!  Mary's got a little different twist on hers, but I think it looks really good.  Her's is going to be one row bigger than what she is showing here.  Mine is the baby quilt size, which still was quite large.  I was really happy with the way things turned out!  Now to get it all quilted and bound.

Monday, January 18, 2016


That's how I feel.  Refreshed and recharged.  Going to Bloomington for a mini quilting retreat was just what I needed. 

Mary and I met on Friday afternoon and started sewing right away.  Both of us brought our Featherweight's to work on.  I worked on my NYE mystery and sew did she.  I finished mine (I was farther along with it) and started on a new quilt for home.

We took a break to go to a restaurant that the hotel concierge said we might like.  It was okay, but I think we both would have been happier with a less pricey meal.  Went back to the room and sewed some more.  Before we knew it, it was 12:45 in the morning!  Stopped for the night...

Saturday morning we were up sewing at 6:00.  Breakfast was provided in the hotel and we took advantage of it.  Good hot food and a nice variety.  We ate there and sewed some more until later in the morning.  Then we took a road trip to a couple fabric stores.  It was a nice break, but I think both of us agree we would rather stay in the room and sew next time! 

We had plenty of snacks and goodies so we didn't need to go out for lunch.  By the time late afternoon rolled along, we were ready for another break from sewing.  We found a pizza place that looked interesting, so we went out.  It was located very near the college campus.  It was a great choice.  Food and service were exceptional.

Back in the room we sewed until 9 when we decided a milk shake was in order.  There was a Steak and Shake close by with a drive through window, so we piled into the car and headed out.  I got my old standby, a chocolate malt.  Yum.

Sewed until 10:30, then we were done for the night.  Mary got up Sunday morning at 5 a.m. and started sewing again!  I waited until about 6 to get up and start sewing...  Call me lazy bones, I guess.  Hahaha.  We had the complimentary breakfast again.

Check out time was at 11 and we stayed to the last minute.  Sewed right up until time to pack it up and head home.

We will be doing this again!  Will post pictures soon.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Shaping Up

I finished cutting all the squares for the top, and am trying to decide what to do about the shapes.  One idea I have is to use all kinds of different shapes and place them randomly in every other square or at the intersection of four squares.  Hearts, stars, flowers, circles, triangles, house shapes, and more have all popped into my brain.  I'm thinking more and more that they will be added as the longarm quilting is done.  That means my goal for the retreat is to finish the part of the top that is all neutral squares.  I should be able to do that.

That also means I may have time for another project or two.  I'm going to take the NYE mystery along and finish it up if I can.  Maybe I will take some scraps and make some wonky star blocks for the Paducah swap this year.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Square Dancing

I've decided to use 6-1/2" squares in the quilt I'm making this weekend while I retreat.  I'm using neutrals for the background.  Here's what the pile looked like last night:

I culled it down to about two thirds and started cutting squares.  Here are a sampling of the squares:

I did end up cutting all but 19 squares before I had to stop.  Tonight after work I intend to finish cutting those few squares and then I'll have that part all ready for the weekend!

Still not sure if I'll be putting hearts or flowers or both on the top.  Haven't really decided.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Tuesday Musings

I have three stacks of material pulled out for this weekend's retreat.  One stack is a yes, the other is a maybe, and the third is a maybe not.  I need to cut the fabric into squares before the retreat if I can.  I'm shooting for a neutral background, so I pulled fabrics that have a white or light background to them and not a dense print.  Tonight I'm going to make my final decision on what fabrics to use and maybe start cutting.

It's very cold here today and has been for a few days.  I think the temp right now is about 15 degrees F.   Brrr!

Haven't done any more on the NYE mystery since the weekend.  I may take that with me to the retreat too.  I have the middle part all laid out the way I want to sew it together.  Need to stack the blocks up so that doesn't get out of order.

Made cheeseburgers last night for supper, with home made baked fries and corn.  Was a simple and good dinner.  Tonight I'm going to make a big pot of spaghetti sauce.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Clue Four Done

Clue number four for the New Year's Eve Mystery is finished.  Here's my border strips all pressed and ready to go.  All that's left is to put the blocks together and the border on it, and it will be done.  This really could have been done in a day, easily, if there were no distractions.

I like the way the colors look together and with the white background.

A Twist On An Old Recipe Favorite

Have you ever heard of a 'popcorn cake'?  I hadn't.  So when a friend of mine was talking about making one, I just had to get the recipe and try it.  Here's what it looks like.  It's kind of a cross between popcorn balls and rice krispie treats.  There's popcorn, caramels, marshmallows, m and m's, and nuts in it.  It tastes good, but not as good as I thought it would.

Friday, January 8, 2016

A Good Day

Today has been a good day so far.  This morning my son got a call for an interview for a new job.  At noon, my daughter and I went out to lunch.  And my hubby is feeling much better after a bout of stomach flu a couple days ago.  It's nice when things are moving along in the direction they are supposed to go.

I did not get to sew last night.  Bonnie had quilt cam, so I plopped myself on the couch and watched it, then pretty much went straight to bed.  Hoping to get some sewing done tonight.  Ev may have to work tomorrow afternoon, and if he does, that will be some good time to sew, also.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

My Little Squares

This was what it looked like behind my sewing machine last night.  I went up to sew at 8:30, because I really needed to do SOMETHING other than sit in the recliner and fall asleep.  I started on clue four and for the first few minutes I was whining to myself that I really just wanted to go back downstairs and sleep in front of the t.v.  Then I got into it and before I knew it, it was 9:30!  I considered sewing even longer, except I needed the instructions for the rest of the clue and they were downstairs and I was too lazy to get them.

While I was sewing these, I was thinking about the owl quilt I made a couple months ago.  Those polka dot fabrics would be cute little owls.  Problem is, they are from a jelly roll, so they would be baby owls!  haha.  I am thinking of making a quick wall hanging.  We shall see what happens...

Looking forward to seeing Mary and my little retreat in a week.  We are just meeting up for a couple days and plan to sew like fiends.  I'm thinking of creating a top similar to one I saw in a quilt shop.  It is all squares, but sewn on top is a group of raw edge hearts that have the edges snipped so they will fray.  Still thinking about it.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Quilt Found A Home

I ended up giving my mom the one Jimmy John quilt that I had finished for Christmas.  She loves it!  This is where it is living now.

We had meatloaf for supper last night, with mashed potatoes and broccoli and cauliflower.  Even though I had it all done by 7, I didn't end up eating until after 9 p.m. because I had a couple people drop in to visit!  That was fine by me, but boy was I hungry when they finally left.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Pressed And Ready For Clue 4

Here are the two sets of blocks for the New Year's Eve Mystery.  At least I think these are finished blocks...  Haha

Do they go this way?:

Or do they go that way?:

I honestly have not peaked at the clues ahead, so I'll just have to wait to be surprised.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Two Yummy And Easy Recipes

Over the holidays I made a few new recipes, and was very pleased at the way they turned out.  They are keepers!  The first one was for a cheesy potato soup.

The recipe didn't give amounts for all the ingredients, and I did alter it a bit, so here is my version:

1 stick butter
1 onion, minced
6 peeled and diced potatoes
1 can chicken broth
1 quart half and half
1 16oz pkg velveeta, cut into chunks
1 lb (or less, depending on package sizes these days) bacon, diced and fried, then drained (you may also use a jar of bacon bits instead)

Saute onion in butter.  Add chicken broth and potatoes.  When potatoes are fully cooked, use potato masher to mash most of them, leaving some chunks.  Add half and half, velveeta, and bacon until completely warmed through.

This really was a great recipe, and it warmed us up on a cold night!

The next recipe was for a quick cookie/candy.

It's more of a method than a recipe.  Take Ritz type crackers (I used Aldi brand) and make sandwiches with peanut butter in the middle.  Then dip the cracker sandwiches in chocolate bark.  Let set up on wax or parchment paper.

These were fantastic!  They tasted like a Kit Kat candy bar.

Mystery Clue Pictures - Spoiler Alert!

Here is my progress on the New Year's Eve Mystery so far:

The above picture was the first clue.  I am really hoping there is enough contrast between my scrappy blocks and each other, and between the scrappy blocks and the white.  I'm thinking it will be okay.

Above was the second clue in progress.  Glad I decided to make the smallest size.  I feel like I can really get it all done soon, rather than have it end up in the 'UFO' pile.

And here is my progress on clue number three.  I'll just keep plugging away at it!  Thanks for the encouragement, folks.  I appreciate the comments!  :)

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Halfway Through

I am on the third clue of the mystery.  Liking the way it is turning out.

My vacation is almost over.  Not wanting to go back to work tomorrow.  Sigh.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Two Of Six

I have finished two of the six clues from the New Year's Eve Mystery.  Well, the clues are sewn, but I do have to do the pressing.

Also have been looking at quilt shops in the Bloomington are that Mary and I can visit in a couple weeks.

Friday, January 1, 2016


The new year is here!  Here's hoping all have a wonderful 2016.

I did manage to get one of the six clues finished on the Nye mystery.  Just taking my time and having fun with it.