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 http://quiltingonabudget.blogspot.com and www.acornglue.com! I am so excited! Keep checking back for our new look coming soon! Thanks Joan and acornglue.com 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. http://powerofone.spaces.live.com/Blog/cns!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 http://www.quiltville.com/ 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, http://www.floridacabinfever.com/ 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!

Monday, March 9, 2009

First Blog, First Post

Ok, I'll admit I'm new to this blogging thing. Well, actually, I read lots of other people's blogs, but this is the first time I've actually decide to make one. I guess, I should get a half way decent picture of me to put up. That in itself will be interesting.
I live in NE Indiana and we're on the tail end of winter, thank goodness! It's been a very eventful one and we'll all be glad to see it go. For the past several weeks, I have been busy making maple syrup. That's a first for me this year too. Turned out pretty darned tasty.
Until next time....