Saturday, June 13, 2009


Everyone loves giveaways and I've got a couple to tell you about. First, Tonya is giving away lots of goodies including FQs and your can find out more about it here Check out splitting stitches for a great fourth of July giveaway. And if you just love the new honey bun packs that have started to come out, check out ranettes daily stitch Finally is having a tell a friend giveway with a frosted memories FQ bundle in the offering. till next time.....

Notes from the River House

I thought you might like to see some pictures of what’s growing here at the River House.  Here are my beans and peppers.  And the second picture is our tomato patch.

 peppers and beans tomatos

This is our dill.  And our patch of grapes.

dill   grapes

Here is the punkin patch and I wanted to show you the empty space.  Well, it’s not really empty, it’s waiting for tobacco seedlings to come from Tennessee.  They were supposed to have been here about a month ago, but the grower had terrible weather so they are running behind schedule.  But the good news is they are promising shipment next week.  Why grow tobacco, you ask.  Well, how many people can say they grow tobacco?  Besides it has purty flowers. 

pumpkins emptyspace

Next time I’ll post some pictures of the flowers.  They are getting a slow start, like Tennessee, our weather hasn’t been perfect.  Lots of cool days and nights.  Since it’s technically still spring, I guess I can’t complain.  I’m sure come this time next month, I’ll be getting cabin fever because I’ve had the house closed up with the air on for waaay too many days.

Till next time…..

Monday, June 8, 2009

Chicken coop quilt is finished

finished coop quilt totalview

I am so pleased with the way this turned out I just had to post a picture of the completed project.  I really love it! 

Till next time…..

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My weekend…so far

This weekend at The River House has been another busy one. DH worked hard all day

rain2rain1yesterday and got my rain barrels set up. You can see here how they look. We saw a set in a catalog and they had this nifty gauge thingy on the side so you could always tell how much water was in them. He said he would add that for me. Now I’m just waiting for the next rain for free water, whoo hoo!

While DH was busy with rain barrels I was busy with a project of my own. If you look at my side bar you’ll see a link for info about quilt barns in Ohio. Well, not to be outdone, I decided to do my own version of a quilt barn. Mine is a quilt coop! I have been working on painting a hens and chicks block on the back of the chicken coop. I need some

coop quilthelp though. I had originally planned for a navy blue border around the block, but I kind of like it the way it is now. (Ignore the blue painter’s tape, the red still needs a second coat.) I’d like to know your opinions.

Well, that’s all for now. I’m going to head out to the strawberry patch and see if I can beat the chipmunks' to the ripe ones this morning.

Till next time…..

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Twiddletails is having a teenie giveaway

Just head over to twiddletails and post a comment under her "just because" post to be entered in her giveaway. Till next time.....

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I'm baaack!

Sorry it's been such a long time since I posted. Spring is a very busy time for us here at The River House. We got the garden in, mostly. Still waiting for our tobacco plants to come. Seems the grower down in Tennessee has had lots of rain and then frost so we're not expecting our plants until mid month. Which for us here in Northeast Indiana means, we'll probably not get much in the way of harvest. I told DH we would have to build us a greenhouse around them come October. But the tomatoes are in, the peppers are in, beans, cukes, squash, onions, and pumpkins are all up. I picked strawberries today and had them for breakfast. All the flower gardens are planted and have started blooming and the chickens have started going broody. Dear Hubby has also been busy fixing up some rain barrels for me. We drove to Lima OH to get the barrels and he's been busy building a stand for them. Once done, I will be able to attach a hose to them or set a bucket under a spout. Can't wait till they're finished. They each will hold 55 gallons of water and later this summer when the weather turns dry they will come in pretty handy. I haven't had a lot of time to sew, but did get the second half of the Lone Star put on. I'm floating the star and now all it needs are the borders and off to the quilter it will go. Also got a couple of sets of 9 patches done that I'm doing for a quilt along that crazymomquilts is doing. I also managed to get a schlep bag finished. Got the pattern here . I bought some oriental FQs to make another one. The one shown here is quilted. The next one I make won't be. Just the thing for shop hops, don't you think? Speaking of which, if you live in NE Indiana there is one coming up this month in and around Shipshewana, June 26 and 27, nine shops total and all in beautiful Amish country. If you smell burning plastic around that time, don't fret, it's just my credit card overheating from over use! Well, guess that's it for now. Time to go out to the coop and gather eggs. I promise not to be so lax in posting now that things have settled down. Till next time.....

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Just a quick note

Just wanted to brag on my SW Engineer son, Josh, for making me the Air Force Mom pic over on my sidebar. Great job, kiddo, I love it!

Busy, busy time

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms and grandmas out there! My wonderful Air Force son, Peter sent me these beautiful flowers for Mother's Day. And then in yesterday's mail I got two cards from him and from the Utah grands, Paris and Annalynn. I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful family! I hope all you mom's out there have a wonderful day today.
Now that spring is officially here with warm weather and rain, things have been really busy around here! We have planted over 50 trees, several bushes, some flowers and have tilled up a new garden area. We already have a veggie garden but we want to plant ornamental corn, sunflowers and tobacco this year and I didn't want that in with my veggies. We have the new area tilled and post holes dug for the fence, just need to get it fenced in--need to keep out those pesky groundhogs--and get it planted. As for the veggie garden, the strawberries are blooming and I'll be picking rhubarb today. Several varieties of tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, onions, melons, zuchs and cukes will be going in soon. And I'm going to try my hand at butternut squash this year. I have a wonderful butternut squash soup recipe I got from a friend. Butternut Squash Soup
It is supposed to get pretty chilly the next couple of nights so thought I'd wait till it warms up just a tad bit more before setting out the plants.
I've also been renovating and clearing out the flower beds. We have a lot on shade on our property so I'm slowly starting several different shade gardens. I have one full of hostas, astilbes and ferns and one with lots and lots of columbine. I plan on posting pics as I go along. This year I bought about a dozen different perennials to replace some that were lost over the winter and to add to the garden.
We have had a couple of rainy days which meant I got to stay inside and sew! These are the 9 patches I've been working on for the one a day quilt along that
Crazy Mom Quilts is doing. I'm doing them all in pinks and purples. I have a ton of FQs in those colors.
And I've been working on DDIL Andrea's Lone Star quilt. Here's half of the star done. I'm using Jo Parrot's book, "Template Free Stars" and so far it's been pretty easy.
I have the other half completed just need to sew the halves together and do the inset squares and triangles. That's going to be the nerve wracking part. I had a friend who did a very small 8 pointed star and when she added the set in squares and triangles her whole top bowed up in the middle. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that doesn't happen here. A queen sized quilt bowed in the middle would NOT be a pretty sight!
That's pretty much what I've been up to this week.
Till next time......

Friday, May 1, 2009

Diet and Exercise

Since October I've been working really hard to lose weight. I developed "runner's knee" last summer and the amazing thing is a runner I am not! Unless of course you count running between the ironing board and my sewing machine. Uh, there's about a foot of space between them. Anyway, I went to the doctor, he prescribed meds, sent me to PT and I was to use a cane. PT did wonders and my wonderful therapist didn't even suggest I lose weight to help the knee. But everyone knows the more weight you carry the harder it is on the joints so I started dieting. I am a Weight Watchers alumni (became a life time member back in the late 80's) but as you've probably guessed by now, I sort of fell off the eat right wagon. But I did go back to what I had learned in WW, and that meant writing everything down, counting and measuring. I also started exercising. My routine now consists of yoga and walking. I do two different yoga programs. One is Kurt Johnsen's Yoga for Life on the Veria channel and the other one is Deni Preston's Total Body Workout on the BYU channel. I have been doing yoga for about a year and a half now and love it! Not only for a firmer and more limber body but I also needed to improve my balance. Don't want to be one of the those little old ladies who fall and break a hip. Both programs are great and focus on different things depending on the day. On the days I don't yoga I walk using one of Leslie Sansone's programs. We can get them on demand through FIT tv for free. Right now I'm doing her Heart Association's Start Walking 3 mile program. I get too bored just out walking around the neighborhood. Leslie keeps things interesting and although I've seen the show a lot of times I never get bored with her. So anyway, since October I've lost 50 pounds! I got out clothes for this summer I hadn't been able to get into for ever. And I also have noticed when I grocery shop I am now shopping the outer fringes of the store. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies and very little processed foods. I'm also experimenting with new things I've never tried before. And with that said here's a great no bake granola bar recipe using agave syrup (something new I discovered). NO BAKE GRANOLA BARS 2 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal 2 cups uncooked quick oats 1/2 cup yellow raisins 1/2 cup brown sugar substitute 1/2 cup agave syrup 1/2 cup peanut butter 1 tsp vanilla 2 tsp cinnamon In large bowl mix cereal, oats and raisins. Bring brown sugar substitute and agave to a boil stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over ceral mixture, stir till coated. Press into a 13x9 inch pan and cool. Cut into 16 bars. 140 cal. each. till next time.....

    Sunday, April 26, 2009

    Saying goodbye to a dear friend

    I have had the good luck to be a member of a quilt group made up by some very wonderful ladies. We call ourselves the Rowdy Bunch. We have several "long distance" Rowdies those who have moved away but are still members of our group. Our motto is "Once a Rowdy you're always a Rowdy!" Well, now we're losing one more. And this post is to say goodbye to Jeanie. She and hubby Clifford will be leaving for Tuscaloosa, Alabama this week. Jeanie, I wish we had found you sooner. You have become a wonderful friend and you will leave a big hole in our little group. You gave us ideas, things to talk about, and laughs. You taught us all about your bubble and I have to admit sometimes I have tried it and it works! You fit into the group just like you were meant to be there. We will miss you terribly. Please keep in touch with us or you might end up with the whole Rowdy clan on your doorstep! You know how much we love road trips! Take care dear lady. Till next time....

    Saturday, April 25, 2009

    Thar's moles in them thar hills!

    As I've mentioned before we live out in the country on a river. Which means we get a lot of critters that pass through, fly around or take up residence. Right now we've got moles, voles, gophers or some sort of other subterranean creature that is creating a virtual subway in our yard. Every day you can see me out there heel toeing it around the yard as I step on the upraised tunnels not only packing the ground back down to where it belongs but hoping to squash the little varmit that is digging it up. So far, no luck. I am being outsmarted by a creature that doesn't even see the light of day. If we still had cats perhaps they would catch them and Zudi the maltese is pretty worthless as a mole chaser, although she sure can send the chickens running! I saw this thing on the internet (don't you just love the internet? It's like having the library at your service 24/7) that is called the Rodenator. It is a propane/oxygen thingy and you stick this wand down in the tunnel, ignite and wham! the gopher or other subterranean creature is blown up! Well, not really blown up, supposedly the concussive force of the explosion kills the little critter. Ok, I guess I was right the first time, they're blown up. That seems a little excessive to me. I keep thinking that perhaps this mole is really just helping us out by aerating our yard and all it asks in return is a few nibbles off my plant's roots. I guess I'll just keep doing my little heel toe dance on the mounds and hope it gets tired of having to reopen them and move on. Till next time....

    Friday, April 24, 2009

    Zudi the maltese has picked a winner for the charm squares

    Zudi the maltese has picked a winner for Thimbleberries Timeless Grace charm pack. I put all the names on pieces of paper and let her pick one. After chasing her around for about 15 minutes trying to get the paper away from her it turns out the winner is.....Bopeep who has the blog Quilting Granny. You can see it here. Congratulations Bo! Send me your snail mail address and I'll get it sent out to you. Till next time.....

    Wednesday, April 22, 2009

    It may be spring in Indiana but it's still winter in Minnesota!

    Here in NE Indiana spring has finally arrived! I thought I'd share a couple photos of some of the things that are making their appearance in our yard. This is called a trout lilly. It is growing all over at the back of our house along the river bank. They seem to like it moist with lots of organic matter. And along the bank we have tons of hardwood trees so there are lots of maple, oak and hickory leaves. We just let them lay which means we have no grass back there, but the trout lillies seem to love it.
    Here's a little Jack in the Pulpit that I have planted in one of the many shade gardens we have. Lots of trees means lots of shade. He hasn't bloomed yet but he will soon. He really seems to like the spot he's in. When I first got him he was just one lonely little plant and now he's a nice mound!
    We are so lucky to have flowers popping up, birds building nests and grass that needs mowing. My poor sister, Wendy and her family in Minnesota are still suffering from the winter doldrums. She sent me this picture of a strange ice "creature" that has latched onto their truck tire! I think that if you live up there where the winters can be so harsh, you have to be a very strong person. I don't know if I could do it.
    Till next time.......

    Saturday, April 18, 2009

    A de-stash giveaway for Granny Day

    This site has lots to look at and you can enter for a giveaway. Just post a comment about a color and how it makes you feel. Like right now, I feel like the color yellow, like the daffodils that are blooming. till next time...

    Thursday, April 16, 2009

    Zudi the Maltese is having a giveaway!

    Zudi the maltese came home from the vet on Wednesday. Her spaying went well and now you would never even know that she had had surgery! She's been zipping around like a crazy dog! Since Zudi the maltese is so glad to be home and feeling better she thinks a good way to celebrate would be to have a giveaway. So to keep Zudi the maltese happy I'm giving away a charm pack of Thimbleberries Timeless Grace fabrics. To enter just post a comment about how your dog, cat, pet chicken, iguana, etc. helps you with your quilting. Here at my house, Zudi the maltese likes to run off with spools of ribbon. If you don't have a pet then just post any old comment. And if you link back to this post on your blog you'll get an extra entry. Just make sure and let me know. The winner will be announced on April 24th.
    Till next time.....

    Tuesday, April 14, 2009

    Home Alone

    I'm here all by myself today. Zudi the maltese is spending the day and night at the vet's. Today is spay day for her, poor baby! I know she was wondering why she wasn't getting any snacks last night. And this morning her poor tummy was growling! It's amazing how a 6 pound ball of fur can leave such a big hole when she's not around. :o( You can better believe that she's going to be babied when she comes home tomorrow! I had planned to keep myself busy today so I wouldn't worry. And thanks to my wonderful long arm quilter Lisa O. I have my Rocky Road to Fargo, (or Rocky Road to Kansas, or Endless Chain) quilt back and it needs to be bound. Here's what it looks like . Lisa did a wonderful job on the quilting. Here's what she did in the body of the quilt. And here's what she did in the border, Feathers! I love feathers! But then again, who doesn't? I have sent a lot of quilts to her and I am more pleased with each one I get back. She's really great! Besides binding the Rocky Road quilt, I also get to play with my newest fabric that came in yesterday's mail. It's Windham's Paper Dolls! I have 2 sets of grand-daughters. One lives in Utah and turns 7 next month, so I'm thinking she might be a bit old for them. And I have a set of almost 2 year old twins that live here in town and I'm thinking they might be a bit young for them. But I have them and when they get a little older they can have them. DH, metal man to you all, made the comment that maybe I'll have them all done by the time the girls are old enough to play with them. Ha, ha, ha, not funny, metal man! Well, I'm going to sign off here and head to my studio. There are quilts that need making! Till next time.....

    Monday, April 13, 2009

    Weekend at Grandma's

    I hope everyone had a nice Easter weekend. I spent my Saturday in the kitchen. Once again it was bread day.
    I started off making 2 1/2 dozen brown and serve rolls for Sunday's dinner. They are so good. I have made this recipe dozens of times and they always turn out.
    I also made up a batch of pitas. Here's a picture through the oven window so you can see how nice they puff up. They look like little pillows! I turned these all into pita chips which I love with roasted pepper hummus. Yum! I just cut up the pitas, spritz with some olive oil and sea salt. Put in a lightly oiled pan in a hot oven and bake away.
    And to finish out the day, we had homemade pizza with sourdough crust. I used up all my starter for the crust so now I have a bowl sitting on the counter
    getting nice and sour for another round of baking later this week. This time it will be sourdough. My hubby, metal man to you all, is a diabetic and I read that sourdough bread isn't suppose to raise blood sugar like regular white bread. Don't know if it's true or not, but we sure do like it toasted in the morning with butter and strawberry jam!
    I used the time waiting for the breads to rise to work on a snowman BOM put out by Sandi at
    This one, in case you hadn't guessed, is for January. A friend of mine, Hi Jeanine!, did a bluework snowman quilt several years ago and I have always wanted to do one since I saw her's. This is the beginning of mine.
    As for our Easter, we had a nice quiet one at home. The local grandkids went visiting other relatives so it was just dear hubby and I.
    Till next time......

    Another giveaway

    Head over to the the bitchy stitcher for some laughs and a quilt giveway! quilt giveaway

    Saturday, April 11, 2009

    Tornado touches down in local woman's sewing room....

    story at 11. Ok, this really didn't happen but by the look of my sewing room you'd think it did. I joined a challenge from Quilting on a Budget to try and get more organized. You can see by this picture that it is in pretty desperate need of something! I tried taking the bull by the horns and I did do some picking up and straightening this past evening. And you wouldn't believe what I found! Remember my basket block that gave me conniption fits and I promised myself I was going to get over my basket phobia by making a basket quilt? Well, can cross that one off the list! Look what I found under all the debris! And it's sandwiched and basted, just waiting for me to quilt it! It's called Amish Baskets and it was a freebie BOM I found on the net several years ago. I am sorry but I don't remember where. I do remember why I never did get it quilted, I was looking for that perfect template for all the open spaces. Well, I have that now too, just didn't remember why I bought it! And I also found this little cutie stashed away. I did stop cleaning and straightening to get it sandwiched and basted. I'm going to quilt this one up now. I need something springy and this one fits the bill. I guess the whole moral of this story is, if your room happens to look like mine, and I know I must be an anomaly, HA!, you never know what you might find once you begin picking up and straightening up. Till next time.....

    Friday, April 10, 2009

    Crafty Girls are having a giveaway

    You still have a few days left to get in on the charm pack giveaway. Crafty Girls

    Thursday, April 9, 2009

    Giveaway at Pig Tale and Quilts

    In honor of her daughter's birthday Pig Tale and Quilts is having a giveaway. You can check it out here Birthday Giveaway. If you enter her drawing please mention that you learned of the giveaway on my blog. Thanks

    Tuesday, April 7, 2009

    Giveaway at Patches and Pieces

    Rhonda from Patches and Pieces is sponsoring a FQ giveaway in honor of her mom's birthday. You can check it out here. Fabric Giveaway

    Monday, April 6, 2009

    Rain, computers, quilts and cookies

    It rained here most of the day on Sunday. In fact we got over an inch and a half. We live in what used to be part of the black swamp. There is a river behind us, a pond beside us and remnants of the Erie Canal across the street. So when it rains we get swampy and I do mean wet shoes, socks and pants leg swampy. Makes going out to the chicken house no fun! So, I spent my Sunday inside sewing and baking, while my dear hubby, metalman to you all, got his new computer up and running. And since he got a new one, so did I! Well, new to me, I got his old one which compared to my old one is practically state of the art. Since I was in the mood for something sweet, I made some wonderfully sinful peanut butter sandwhich cookies filled with a chocolate ganache. The recipe came from A really neat site filled with free ebooks, recipes and tips. And they also sell mixes, their donut ones are great, and kitcheware. Just in case you're one of those, "I have to taste it for myself", kind of people here is the recipe. Just a note here, don't skimp on the ingredients. Use real butter and the semi-sweet chocolate you have to chop up. Oh, and let the ganache set up. It becomes nice and thick and makes a wonderful filling. And if you happen to have leftovers, it's great to dip fruit into also. Ask me how I know.... Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies with Ganache Filling Ingredients 1/2 cup butter 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 large egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3/4 cup peanut butter 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda Directions 1. Cream the butter and sugars together with the paddle attachment of your mixer. Add the salt, egg, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the peanut butter and mix. 2. Add the flour and baking soda and beat until combined. 3. Refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes to firm up slightly. 4. Divide the dough into two portions. Using wax paper, roll each portion into logs 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Refrigerate for two hours or until firm 5. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Cut cookies into slices just thicker than 1/4 inch. Place them on a greased baking sheet and bake 12 to 14 minutes or until the cookies just start to brown on the edges. Cool on a wire rack. For the filling: Mix 1/4 cup whipping cream, one tablespoons butter, and 2 tablespoons of light corn syrup in a heavy saucepan. Heat until it simmers. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately add six ounces of semisweet baking chocolate chopped into pieces. Stir until the chocolate is melted into a smooth sauce. The filling will thicken as it cools. This can also be made with one cup of semisweet chocolate chips though the lack of cocoa butter in the chocolate chips will affect the flavor. If you use chocolate chips, increase the butter to two tablespoons. I also managed to get my Strip Twist top finished. To be real honest, this is the first time I have ever made a scrap quilt. Being a confirmed, hi I'm grandma chicken and I'm a fabricholic, I have always bought fabric for a project. But I'm trying to be more frugal. And frankly, well, I'd rather buy fabric. It always seems that everyone else's scrap quilts are always so pretty and this one turned out eh, ok. Besides, new fabric is like a new car, there's something about the feel and smell of it that just draws you in. If you're one of the talented ones who make beautiful scrap quilts, drop me a line, I'd love to learn your secret. As for now, I guess I'll just keep my LQS in business. Till next time.....

    Friday, April 3, 2009

    New Look!

    If you remember I told you I was the lucky winner of Quilting on a Budget's blog makeover courtesy of Well, my new look is up and running. Thanks a bushel to Sharnee for such a nice blog template and the instructions were so simple that everything just fell into place. It's wonderful don't you think? I would of have it up and running sooner, but it's spring break time here in NE Indiana and I got to spend a couple of days watching my grandkids. I had a wonderful time! I learned all about Blue's Clues and a show called Pinky Dinky Do. They learned about the ducks and geese we saw and the frogs we heard on our daily walks. And I taught them the peanut sitting on a railroad track song, how to walk like an elephant and how to play Simon Says. The best thing about grandkids is that it's not my job to turn them into responsible adults, my job is just to have fun with them. What's that saying, "If I knew grandkids were this much fun, I would of had them first!" till next time.....

    Tuesday, March 31, 2009


    I have been quilting since the mid 1980's and only seriously for about the last 10 years. And there is one block I would just rather not do and that's any kind of basket block. I have been working on a $5 BOM from my favorite quilt shop, Pieced Together Quilts. It is a great shop run by Julie and for the time being, her mom Sue. This BOM is a scrappy sampler put out by Moda University. And the block for this month is, you guessed it, a basket. It took me forever to get that block put togther. I think I did more frog stitching than anything. But through no fault of my own, eventually it did come together. I have decided that one of my soon to be projects is going to be a basket quilt. Can't go through life with a basket phobia so what better way to overcome it than by immersing myself in baskets. Just remember, once I do start the basket quilt, I may very well become a basket case myself and have to go away for a long, long rest. LOL! till next time.....

    Check out this great fabric giveaway

    Wonder Mommy is giving away 2 yards of beautiful fabric from the Anna Maria Horner line. To enter just leave a comment. Fabric Giveaway Hurry the giveaway ends April 3rd. till next time....

    Monday, March 30, 2009

    I'm doing a happy dance

    Whoo Hoo! Just found out I won a new blog makeover courtesy of Joan at and! I am so excited! Keep checking back for our new look coming soon! Thanks Joan and till next time.....

    Sunday, March 29, 2009

    It's Sunday again, already??

    Sorry I have been so remiss in keeping things updated on here. But I have just been so busy! Still working on cleaning up from our ice storm we had last December. Have cut, hauled and burned a ton of limbs and have a lot more to get rid of. I also mulched our grapes so that they don't get overtaken with grass and weeds like they did last year. I spent one day this week at our dear son's house babysitting the carpet people. DS and wife had carpet put down in their basment. Lowes did the work and they did a great job! We had them out here at our house about 2 years ago when we remodeled our kitchen and their worker guys did a fantastic job! Yesterday we went to our grandson's 4th birthday party! Hard to believe he's 4 already. I made him this teepee. It's from a pattern by SewBaby. I used a painter's canvas drop cloth and then PVC pipe for the poles. I think it turned out pretty snazzy. I am going to give DGS some paints this summer and let him take it outside and decorate it. Speaking of our grandson, he has started Tae Kwon Do. Isn't he a cutie in his Gi? He knows a lot already and really seems to enjoy it. I have all my blocks for my Strip Twist Quilt top put together. Just now working on the borders. Have the inner border figured out, it is going to be a dark, not quite navy, blue. I'm thinking of a piano key outer border but not sure if that will make things too busy. Will have to audition it and see how it works. And, I've got the fabric ordered for a Lone Star quilt I want to make. I'm using Jo Parrott's book, "Template Free Stars". The quilt is going to my Air Force son and his wife for Christmas. DDIL is from Texas and I thought it would be very appropriate for her. And she loves red, white, and blue so I'm doing it in those "style" of colors but am using civil war repros so they're a tad muted. Can't wait to get started on it. But have to admit, I am a little nervous. I just hope it turns out. Will keep you all updated on my progress. I want to use a wool batt in this quilt also, another first for me. Well, that's about it for now. Till next time.....

    Friday, March 20, 2009

    Time Flies When You're Having Fun.

    This has been such a busy, busy week. I can't believe it's Friday already!
    Finally my Rocky Road to Kansas quilt top is finished and is at Lisa O's--my longarm quilter--as we speak. I can't wait to see what she does with it! I will make sure and post a picture after it's quilted so you can see her lovely handiwork.
    Here in NE Indiana we have had lovely spring weather and besides getting my quilt top finished, I spent a lot of time outside cleaning up from our long, long winter. Things outside are beginning to look civilized again and we've even got bulbs peeking up out of the ground--that is if I can keep the chickens from eating them! They have been starved for green stuff and now are eating everything in site. But they are giving me lots of nice brown eggs in return so I can't complain too much.
    My mom got her birthday apron Wednesday. Happy Birthday mom! And she loved it! Her kitchen is a persimmon color so I had looked high and low for fabric to match it. And she said it did wonderfully. I also made her a batch of my now famous (I know I should have a bit more humility) brown and serve dinner rolls. Here's the recipe:
    2 packages granular, or compressed yeast
    1 cup water
    1 teaspoon sugar
    5 teaspoons salt
    1/4 cup sugar
    2 cups scalded milk (cooled)
    10 cups sifted flour (about)
    1/2 cup melted, cooled, shortening*
    Sprinkle granular yeast over warm (110 degrees) water; or crumble compressed yeast over lukewarm (85 degrees) water.
    Add 1 teaspoon sugar.*
    Combine salt and 1/4 cup sugar in bowl; pour in milk. Stir to dissolve; cool to lukewarm, then add yeast mixture.*
    Mix in 6 cups flour, then add shortening and about 4 more cups flour.*
    Turn out on a lightly floured board; knead until smooth and satiny.*
    Put dough in a greased bowl; then grease the top of the dough. Cover with a clean, damp towel; redampen occasionally. Let double in bulk in warm place (85 degrees; I use the top of my fridge.) After doubled, punch down.*
    Knead again on floured board; divide into 4 parts. Cover with damp towel; let rest 20 min, then shape into 4 loaves, or 4-6 dozen rolls. (Also, see variations below. They don't all have to be rolls!)*
    Let rise in a warm place (85 degrees)until 3/4 as high as regular rolls or loaf would be. (Otherwise, they fall when baked.)*
    Bake pan rolls in a slow oven (275) for 40 minutes; bread: 75 min. Let set 20 min. in pans. Turn out and cool at room temp.*
    Wrap in freezer paper (I use zip locks) and freeze for up to 3 months.*
    TO SERVE: place rolls or bread, on an ungreased baking sheet, and brown in a very hot oven (about 450) for 7 minutes.
    QUICK BUTTERHORN ROLLS: Roll dough into a 10 inch circle, 1/2 inch thick. Brush with melted butter; cut (like pie), into 12 pieces. Roll up each piece from wide end. Lay on well greased baking sheet, with tip underneath.*
    INDIVIDUAL BUTTERFLY COFFEE CAKES: Roll dough into a 6x10 inch rectangle, 1/4 inch thick. Brush with melted butter; sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Roll like a jelly roll; cut into 1 inch slices. Place on a well greased baking sheet. Pinch in with forefinger and thumb to form butterfly. Press a toy wooden clothespin in the center to hold the dough into a butterfly shape while it bakes. (I make a little band of tin foil.) Bake, then remove holder.*
    CINNAMON BREAD: Shape dough in a 6x10 inch rectangle, 1/2 inch thick. Brush with melted butter. Mix 1/2 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and sprinkle over dough. Roll up like a jelly roll; flatten ends with hand and turn under, pinching in place. Put into a well greased 5x9 inch loaf pan before baking.
    The recipe is from a blog called Joy's noise.!4FE2CF1E2B2EB323!131.entry.
    For those of you in NE Indiana, if you have nothing to do this Saturday, why not visit the Quilters Gathering at the Memorial Coliseum. Admission is only $10 after 12 noon. Not only is there a great quilt show but my favorites--Vendors! If DH and I weren't going to a Maple Syrup Festival, I would certainly be going.
    Oh and before I forget Happy National Quilting Day tomorrow!
    Till next time....

    Sunday, March 15, 2009

    Weekend Ramblings

    Here it is Sunday evening already. Where did the weekend go? Why is it weekends always go so fast and weekdays so slow?
    Yesterday I spent a good part of my day in my "sewing studio", working on a scrap quilt. The quilt pattern is from called Strip Twist. Bonnie Hunter is a great quilter and an inspiration. What she can do with scraps, wow! I wish I had her talent. I have also been slowly working on my own version of her scrap savers project. And I do mean slowly working. I have one of those huge black lawn garbage bags full of scraps and I swear those scraps are like bunnies! I do believe they multiply at night when no one is looking. But anyway, the quilt is turning out a lot better than I imagined. Now I need to come up with a funky border for it and then it's off to the quilter. My quilter is Lisa O. She does a great job and boy is she speedy! You can give her a quilt on Monday and get it back that Thursday. And not only is she a very talented long arm quilter but she's very reasonably priced. So reasonable that DH, metalman to you all, offered to get me a Voyager and Hinterberg stretch frame--they're on sale through today. But I thought why should I? It would take me 30 quilts at $100 a piece to equal what that package would cost. And my wonderful quilter, Lisa O. charges way less than $100 per quilt. So for now, I'm content just sending them to her. But who knows, once I reach that 30 quilt limit, I may just go wild and spend the $$. But not all my quilts are sent out. I do like to handquilt also. So that 30 quilt limit at the quilters may be a long time in coming.
    On with my ramblings. Today was a beautiful spring day, warm with lots of sunshine. All the birdies were out singing and working on nests already! The flood waters have receeded so DH, metalman to you all, and I worked out in the yard for most of the afternoon. Now, I feel like I might have a tad bit of sunburn and I'm very tired. You know, the good tired, where you worked hard and got lots of sunshine and fresh air.
    Well, I'm off to put a load of laundry in the washer so it will be ready to hang out first thing tomorrow morning. No, I'm not one of those frugalistas or anything like that but remember how I said my favorities things were a quilt on a frame and to knead bread? Well, you can add laundry hanging on a clothes line to that list.
    Till next time.....

    Friday, March 13, 2009

    Bread Day

    Today was bread baking day. I love making bread. It's almost as good as quilting. There are 2 things I love, seeing a quilt on the frame and kneading bread. Today I made whole wheat pitas and a loaf of sourdough. I keep the sourdough starter sitting in my fridge and about once a week, I feed it and bake with it.
    I have fallen in love with pita chips and red pepper hummus so as soon as the pitas cool enough to handle I cut them up, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and then bake them into delightfully crunchy chips. I could eat them all in one sitting!
    The sourdough loaf will be made into toast for breakfast along with homemade sugar free strawberry jam. Yum!
    While the bread was rising I spent the afternoon finishing up my mom's birthday apron. The last time I talked to her on the phone I just casually asked her if she liked aprons. Hmmmm.....wonder if she's suspicious?
    It's the Mary Mulari pattern I had told you about in a previous post. It was very easy to do although I think next time I will do the yoke differently. The pattern has you making it seperate and sewing it on once you put the 2 apron pieces together--remember it's reversible. I think I'll add the yoke section to each piece and then sew them all together.
    So now you know how I spent my Friday.
    Till next time....

    Wednesday, March 11, 2009

    Errand Day

    In order to keep my mind off the ever encroaching flood waters, I decided to go shopping! Well, I had other errands too, but any reason to drive near a fabric store is a good one. First stop was Hobby Lobby. Don't you just love Hobby Lobby? I mean, they have everything! Crafts, yarn, lawn ornaments, furniture, knick knacks, you name it. And ours still has fabric! And that fabric was on sale at 30% off! So, I bought some wonderful Kona solids to start on the free BOM by Florida Cabin Fever Quilters Guild, called a Touch of Amish. The picture doesn't do the colors justice. But take my word for it they are pretty. Never met a Kona color that I didn't like! Also got a couple yards of Kona Snow. Not for anything in particular, but just because.
    I also went to Joanns and got this fabric for an apron I'm making my mom for her birthday. Shhh....don't tell her it's a secret. It's a Mary Mulari pattern called Church Lady Apron. I hope to finish it on Thursday. Will post a pic when I do.
    Till next time....

    Tuesday, March 10, 2009

    Rain Rain Go Away!

    It has rained cats and dogs here today. Our front yard is flooded, our backyard is flooded our side yard is flooded....well, you get the idea. Our property backs up to the mighty Maumee River and the river is up over 21 feet and still rising. And the weather guy is calling for more rain and thunderstorms tonight. I'm thinking it's time to drag out the old canoe.

    So what to do when it's a dreary, rainy day? Sew! I made Zudi the Maltese a new bed. Well, she already had one in the kitchen but she needed another one in the computer room. When metal man (more about him later) and I are on the computer and Zudi the Maltese is here she barks and grabs our clothes until we pay attention to her. Now she has a comfy, cozy place to snooze while we surf the net.

    Isn't she a cutie?

    Well, that's it for today. Have a good one!