Thursday, October 31, 2013

Vintage Thursday - Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!!!

I am thrilled Ledra Slavik's and my quilting was featured on 627 Handworks today!  Thanks, Julie.
I have also linked up with the Colorado Lady's Vintage Thingie Thursday.
My Vintage Thingie for this Thursday this lovely oak rocker.  When I first saw this rocker, it was covered in many layers of paint. It was buried in the corner of my mother-in-law's enclosed porch for as long as I knew her.  Now the funny thing is I was young and na├»ve those many years ago and because the seat was missing I always this was some type of commode or potty chair.  Hahaha!!!
Boy, did I feel foolish when I was pregnant and my mother-in-law had this rocker refinished and added the leather seat.  She had is refinished so that I would have a rocking chair for the baby.
Well, that baby is about to turn 23 in November.
I love the brass nail trim around the top and all the beautiful spindles.

Yours in quilting,

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

WIP - Wednesday

Today is To-Do-List overload day.  I have a long list of Works in Progress (WIP) that need to be cleared up.

I have been working on the retreat planning committee since I joined the Covered Bridge Quilt Guild for 15 years now.  This will be my last retreat as I am resigning as Chairman.  Its a good thing to have new blood come in and run things.  Change is good and refreshing.  Today I needed to let Pilgrim Park Church Camp know the number of people attending the retreat for meal preparation.  I also needed to inform them of any dietary issues, i.e. diabetic, food allergies and/or gluten free, etc.

Next is the rooming assignments.  There is an upper conference center which has hotel style rooms with three beds in each.  The lower conference center has dormitory style rooms with four to six people to a room and large bathrooms that are shared.  Both areas are comfortable and accessible but it is less expensive to stay downstairs.

This year our teacher for the retreat weekend is Pam Hughes of Expressions in Threads from LeClaire, IA.  She has prepared some quick classes for gift type items for the holidays along with two larger quilts, Chasing Rainbows Quilt and Pop-Ups Quilt.  Pam was a guest speaker at the guild last year and the ladies really liked her quick gift ideas so we invited her back to teach at the retreat.  Pam will also be the vendor for the weekend and we all love to browse through the goodies and shop!

I love retreats!  I learn so much from other quilters just by listening to others experiences and walking around to see what projects others are working on.  I feel like a sponge and just absorb all the information shared by quilters and the teacher.

My new job with the guild is Program Chairman.  My first program will be with Ann Hazelwood, author, appraiser, and previous quilt store owner.  She will be giving her program on Friday, November 8th at the St. Matthews Church, Dover Rd., Princeton.  On Saturday morning she will be giving a workshop on redwork.  The kits are $3 a piece.  Will be making arrangements for Ann's overnight and meals.  I am excited about meeting her and I know our local quilt store, Quilter's Garden, is trying to arrange a book signing on Friday afternoon.

Enjoy your Wednesday!  Somewhere in this busy day, I hope to squeeze in some quilting time.
I have linked with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesdays. 

Yours in quilting,

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesday Tip - Recipes

I like to cook ahead so that I have more time to quilt.  With my husband working afternoons, we have had to change our eating schedule.  We like to have our big meal at noon before he leaves for work.  Also, leftovers are a good thing so he can take them in his dinner.

In talking, Rod and I discussed having Chicken Spaghetti Casserole.  I can make a 9 x 13 pan of casserole and it heats up easily in the microwave for a quick meal.  This is my friend, Sue-Sue's recipe.  She made it each year for a our quilting retreat at the church.  I have posted the recipe under my recipe section.  Monday I made two 9 x 13 casseroles.  I baked one and froze one for the future.

Rod had mentioned a pot of soup.  I made a double batch of cheesy broccoli soup.  I had run to the grocery store yesterday so I had bought a head of broccoli, steamed it and then added the broccoli to the pot of creamy broth. This recipe is also in my recipe tab.  It is a small recipe for two.
Today lunch is ready along with chicken spaghetti casserole for dinner.

Today I am headed off to a new job.  I have been hired at Bath & Body Works for the Christmas season.  I think this will be fun.  I will learn a lot about perfumes and scents.  We have been burning some of their seasonal candles around the house lately.  The living room has a cinnamon pumpkin candle.  Its a warm, welcoming scent.

Have a terrific Tuesday!

Yours in quilting,

Monday, October 28, 2013

Cutting It Up

WooHoo!!!  I have the rest of my star blocks cut out.  I was cleaning house and waiting for a customer to drop off a quilt this morning and then I headed back down to the studio.  There laid a pile of blue fabrics just begging to be cut into star units.  So I kept cutting and continued to dig for additional scraps.  I have 38 additional blocks cut out that can be used as leader and ender blocks while sewing. 
I have carefully put them in stacks and then into sandwich baggies.  The units in each block are only 1 3/4" big when sewn together.  The block will be 4 1/4" big unfinished.  These cut pieces are laying on the top of a Sterilite tub.  See my earlier story:
Have a good evening.  Time to make dinner,
Yours in quilting,

Design Wall

The end of last week was busy but I seem to have lost my longarming mojo.  I just couldn't make myself get going or find inspiration on what pattern to use.  Someone once told me, " if you can't move your mind, move your body."  So I grabbed WIP (work in progress) baggie and started making star blocks that were pre-cut.  It was fairly mindless as I chained pieced and then pressed units. The unit below is 1 3/4" square.

Then chained pieced the blocks together.  The blocks are 4 1/4" unfinished.
When I started this I only had previously completed four blocks.  I now have twelve completed blocks, one partially completed block and 20 blocks more blocks cut out.  50 stars blocks are required for completing the quilt.  These blocks are the corner stone blocks for Kaye England's  Amber Waves of Grain quilt.  It will have 50 blocks with each state's name and year they joined our country.  Part of my delay on finishing this quilt earlier was deciding how to add the state's name, i.e. machine embroidery, gel pen by handwriting, or hand embroidery.  I have talked with my friend who does machine embroidery and have decided to have her embroider the states and year. 

I have linked with Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday and Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

Yours in quilting,

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bonnie Challenge with Jo's Country Junction

Calling all Bonnie Hunter fan's!!!  Jo over at Jo's Country Junction and her friend, Nell, are challenging us to choose a Bonnie quilt that is a WIP (work in progress) or PIG (project in grocery sack), and try to get it finished before starting the new mystery quilt Bonnie will be starting the Friday after Thanksgiving.  Bonnie has released the fabric color choices for Celtic Solstice.
You now have about 5 weeks to choose fabrics and/or shop for your fabrics.  There are two sizes for this quilt 75 x 75 or 111 x 111.  For me there is no choice on size, I am a "go big or go home" type quilter.  I want bed size quilts.  My bucket list says I want to have one king size quilt for each of the 12 months before I die :).

So my list of started Bonnie Hunter quilts goes as follows:

1.  Spider String Quilt
2.  Roll Roll Cotton Bowl
3.  Texas Braid
4.  Smith Mountain Morning ( one row pictured below.)
My list of finished Bonnie Hunter quilts.

1.  Easy Street
I have decided that I will continue working on my Smith Mountain Morning quilt while waiting for mystery, Celtic Solstice to start.  I love the fabric selections made by a reader, Margaret, and shared with us by Bonnie.
My concern is I don't really have these colors left in my stash, at least in large amounts.  I would have to purchase substantial amounts.  I have used many of these colors in my Smith Mountain Morning quilt and that doesn't leave much for Celtic Solstice.  Mmmmm..... to shop or not, that is the question!?!  This question does help me visualize the quilt better.  I like this combo of colors.
Leave me a comment and let me know if you are joining Jo and Nell's challenge and/or planning on doing Bonnie's Mystery.
Have a stash happy Saturday!
Yours in quilting, 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Vintage Thursday - Favorite

One of my favorite things in our house is this hutch.  It resides in our dining room.  The story on this piece goes "if you don't come get it within 2 hours, it will be burnt in the burn pile with the garbage."  Rod and I were just a poor young couple just starting to make a home.  His mother found us this hutch and it was in poor disrepair. We hurried to borrow a pick-up truck and go out and load this piece in the back.  It evidently had been in someone's garage and held cans of motor oil and who knows what else.  When opening the drawer, we found mouse's nests and chewing marks on the drawer divider.
We searched for someone to help repair the backside of the hutch so the piece would stand square.  Then I sanded it down.  The inside that is painted ivory was so stained from whatever had been set on the shelves, that I sealed the shelves with primer and painted the inside.  The exterior got several coats of satin polyurethane. 
I love keeping my collection of glassware and serving pieces on the shelves.  The cat's favorite napping spot is up on top on the quilts.  It was such a hunk of junk when we hauled it home and I think it was a great rescue of an antique.
Tuesday, I was in a baking mood with the snow falling and it was cold outside.  I talked about baking cookies.  Well last night I finally got back to finish baking the cookies I had mixed up.
The quiches and the meatloaf I baked that night were a big hit with the family.
I have linked up with the 627 Handworks and Colorado Lady for Vintage Thingie Thursday.
Yours in quilting,

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tuesday Tip and Snow Storm

Can you believe on October 22nd, we had a snow storm?  It started raining here about 10am and by 11am it was starting to look like flakes.  By 11:30 it looked like it was raining polka dots the snow flakes were so huge. 

                                                      The dogs went out to investigate.

When I brought Indy upstairs to go out, he sure was surprised and then asked "Mom, you want to come out and play in the snow?"

After Rod headed off to work, I decided it was time to venture out and see Mother Nature's work.  One of the most picturesque sites is our Red Covered Bridge.  What do you think of it dressed in white?
Most winter shots wouldn't have leaves in the pictures.  Isn't the bridge beautiful with a dusting of white?  I headed back into town and picked up some groceries at Wal Mart.  I just wanted to get home and turn the oven on and bake.  But, I took the long way home and drove to Captain's Swift Bridge for a quick picture.  The snow didn't quite make this bridge pretty today. 
I headed home and carried in the groceries.  Let the dogs out to play in the snow before it got dark.
I turned on the oven while putting the groceries away and then started in on my baking spree.
First, I had been promising Rod that I would make a meat loaf for his lunches.  Mmmm.... love meatloaf sandwiches with Miracle Whip. 
Next, I googled a recipe for asparagus quiche.  I had purchased two pie crusts.  I cut up a fresh bunch of asparagus and cooked it.  I had to make-do for a few things by substituting, i.e. evaporated milk for heavy cream and mozzarella cheese for Swiss cheese.  They sure look appetizing.
And the finished results....
I am pleased, the quiches look and taste good.
Next I mixed up a batch of Oatmeal Scotchies cookies.  I will bake those another day when I want to warm up the kitchen.
My tip for this week is to use Nexcare tape on the back of your rulers to help prevent slipping.  This is not my idea, I have to give credit to Bonnie Hunter and students in the class I took on October 2nd.
You can find this in the first aid or band aid section of your pharmacy.
I just put two pieces on my Easy Angle ruler and it does help steady your ruler while rotary cutting.  It does not stick to your fabric.   I had a dispenser of it in our medicine cabinet.  I plan to put it on the back of a few more rulers.

Thanks for joining me on this winter wonderland day.  Time to put on my comfy clothes and turn on Quilt Cam with Bonnie Hunter this evening.

Yours in quilting,


New Look to the Blog

Last night I was playing around with the color of my background.  Found this bright, cheery orange and I'm going to give it a try for awhile. 

How do you like the new look?

Yours in quilting,

Monday, October 21, 2013

Design Wall

A busy Monday morning before sending the hubby off to work.  We drove over to the horse barn to  clean, fill the water tank, check the horses and took over a small load of hay.  The weatherman is predicting snow showers tomorrow.  Yuck!  We haven't had enough fall weather yet or fall color.  The leaves are really just starting to change.   The horses were good.  Our horse, Hoot, came to the barn to see what we were up to and took a nibble of the hay we set out. 

On the way back into town, I suggested we stop at Subway for lunch.  Rod thought that sounded good and we chatted about the busy weekend and the plans for this week.  Rod is still adjusting to the new work schedule, so he has no plans but to work, eat, and sleep.  I am trying to keep the home fires burning by doing extra to relieve his stress. 

I have not been in my sewing studio all weekend until now.  I have one block to share on my design wall.  This lovely star block which is part of the Legacy Sampler block of the month.  One more month to go.  This Block of the Month is available through
I am looking forward to the finish! 
Today I am linking up with Patchwork Times.  Have a motivational Monday.
Yours in quilting,

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Getting Ready for Winter

The hubby had been plans to get some winterizing done.  After a hardy breakfast, he had three goals to complete today.  First goal was to mow the lawn for the final time. Done!!

I tried to get a chore or two out of the way while he was outside.  I had been given some vegetables to freeze or can.  I cleaned and cut up several bags of carrots.  I blanched, cooled and bagged them up.
Woo hoo, 5 quarts of carrots to freeze.
Next, the zucchini squash has been laying on my counter top for longer than I care to admit. 
Washed, chunked and then shredded in the food processor.
 I dug out my age old zucchini bread recipe and made one batch of bread which yielded four loaves.

Second goal, replace the screen in the sliding screen door.  Now this is something that needs to be done at least twice a year as we have four dogs.  In their hurry to get inside, one of the dogs will inevitably forget that that screen is closed and run into it.  It might hold up for one or two hits, then RIP, and the screen is flapping in the breeze.  We decided instead of taking the screen door to the local hardware store for replacement, we would attempt the replacement ourselves.   It was a two person job and about a half hour of patience.   I had purchased the screen fabric at Wal Mart at a cost of about $12.  It would have cost $30 to have the hardware store do it.  I purchased pet-tough screen fabric so it will be interesting to see if it last longer.  It is darker in color so I am hoping they can see it better.  Goal two, done!

Somewhere in the middle of all this, Rascal the Yorkie, was yelping for help.  I found him under the oak commode in the living room appearing to be stuck.  By the time I grabbed the phone and pushed the camera button, he had figured his way out.

Third goal, pick up hay and stack it in tack stall for winter.  Hubby headed out to meet our farmer friend to pick up 25 bales of grass hay.  This will make our horse, Hoot, very happy this winter with a full belly to keep warm.  Done!

Blog writing for today, done!

Tonight, hubby says we are going out to dinner to relax.  Yippee!

Yours in quilting,

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Traveling Saturday

Saturday started off with our usual breakfast with the Miller's, our neighbors.  Then we spent the rest of the morning around home cleaning house.  I am truly blessed with a husband that help with housekeeping. 

We loaded up the car for the rest of our day.  Our first trip was to Midwest School of Cosmetology to see Nora graduate.  Nora is our son's girlfriend.  This was a small class of 6.

The happy couple.
Nora and her parents.
Nora with our family.
After emptying Nora's apartment, everyone headed over to Avanti's for some dinner and celebrating.  We topped it all off with cake and presents.  We dashed out the door for a wedding reception in Peru.  With a quick change of clothes from casual to dressy, we made our late entrance into the wedding reception through the back door.  The bride was gorgeous.  It was fun to visit with some of the friends we don't get to see often enough.  Danced a few dances with my hubby.  Yep, he's still got the moves after 28 years.
Hope you got to bust a few moves this weekend!
Yours in quilting,

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Finishes

This has been an adventurous week with many changes.  My husband's job changed immensely from last week to this week.  His job as we knew it ended last Friday, after 23 years.  He started a new job as a warehouseman in a new plant on Monday.  As we age, it is a little more challenging to change, and certainly has more wear and tear on the body.  We have adjusted our lifestyle this week from morning people to night people.  This has also played havoc with our sleeping schedules and availability to make plans.  Ah, being a grown-up is so much fun!  :)

My finishes for this week are a queen size quilt for my customer, Carol.  It was so nice and square.

My husband and son are standing on dining room chairs to hold it up for pictures on the back deck.
I am late writing and posting this post today.  I wanted to finish another customer's quilt first.  This is a fun, young, vibrant quilt.  This is only her second quilt but she stated she has a third top done. This one is a Christmas gift so needed to finish it so she has time to get the bind done.
Here's a close up.
The whole quilt.  I used Fuschia thread by Perma Core and the pattern is called Drop of Paisley by Anne 
Have a great weekend!  I hope you have some sewing time.
Yours in quilting,

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Vintage Thursday

Today's vintage thing is me.  Haha!  Its my birthday, I am over fifty years old and that makes me a unique antique.  My wonderful hubby did not forget my birthday.  He sent me a dozen beautiful yellow roses.
Of course, one of the few days I don't hop right into the shower as soon as getting up, the florist catches me still in pjs and robe.  Yikes!
I have linked up today with the Colorado Lady.
I hope you had something to celebrate today, also.
Yours in quilting,

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

WIP - Wednesday In Progress

This has been an interested week so far and promises to continue through the rest of the week.  Monday, my husband started a new job with Coca Cola after being with Peru Coca Cola for almost 23 yrs.  He started working as a warehouseman in the afternoons.   The first day they worked over 12 hours.  He is no stranger to long hours as he was a route driver for 23 years.  This has changed our lifestyle at home.  We have the mornings together and then he is off to work and I head downstairs to quilt.

Today we started out a little slow.  I got ready for a job interview and hubby slept in.  I haven't gone through a job interview for years but I certainly worked with many people in coaching them how to interview.  Before the interview, I had lunch with a couple of friends from church then headed to the Peru Mall for the interview. 

Upon arrival at the interview I was asked to pick out a product to take into the interview.  I chose a candle like I have at home.  This was a group interview of four candidates.  It was informal and flowed smoothly.  We were asked to share our product like we would with a customer.  I feel comfortable with how things went and hope I get the job for the holidays.  I miss daily contact with the public and think I will enjoy learning more about the products.  I am up to the challenge.

After the interview, I wasn't home long and my customer, Carol, stopped by to pick up her queen size quilt that I finished last night.  Visit me on Friday for the Friday Finishes.  I loaded my next quilt before leaving for the interview.  Here is a sneak peak of what I am working on and the final picture will be shown in the Friday Finishes.  Isn't it cute!?!
Hope your Wednesday was an adventure.
Yours in quilting,

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tuesday Tip - Cooking ahead

I like to plan a menu for the week.  That doesn't mean I am glued to the menu and won't falter.  If we get a call to eat out with friends, we do it and push the menu back one day.  One of the things I like to cook ahead and then freeze is bacon.  I learned at a quilting retreat that you can bake bacon on jelly roll sheets in about 15 minutes at 350 degrees.  You may have to turn a few slices over but for the most part it cooks without turning.

I cover my jelly roll pans with foil for easy cleaning.  Then lay out the strips of bacon on the pans.  Two pans will hold 1 lb of bacon.

And 15-20 minutes later....
I put the bacon in a freezer bag and throw it in the freezer.  I pull out what I need for a quick breakfast or making easy carbonara for dinner.
This leaves more time for quilting!
Today I made wild rice and chicken soup for lunch.  My husband started a new job and leaves after lunch for work.  This morning has been cold and rainy so a bowl of warm soup
 and fresh corn bread was just the ticket.
Sorry, forgot to take the picture when it came out of the oven.  This is after lunch, so must have been pretty good.  Half of the pan is gone.  We ate it with butter and honey.   Mmmmm....good!
Hope your Tuesday is warm and productive.  I have linked up with Freshly Pieced blog.  Hop on over and check it out.
Yours in quilting,

Monday, October 14, 2013

Design Wall

I am working on two quilts currently.  I have a customer's quilt loaded on my Avante and was ready to start quilting it Friday.  The quilt loaded beautifully.  The customer had taken her time and measured her borders carefully when adding them.  This makes the longarm quilter's job so much easier.  I ran into tension issues.  So I gave up and turned the machine off for the day.  Sometimes things just go better if you take a break and when you return, you have a clearer picture and things look differently.  Today I loaded a fabric sandwich next to the customer's quilt and thought I had my tension issues worked out.  I moved the machine to the start point and set the computer to start quilting and the tension was screwy again. I changed the needle, re-threaded bobbin and machine. Moved back to the practice sandwich and started the computerized quilting again.  Finally, the tension is improved and can go to work.
Four rows done!  Whoop ! Whoop!
I'm quitting while things are going good.
To unwind, I allowed myself to work on a few star blocks for Smith Mountain Morning by Bonnie Hunter.
Notice how there are multiple sheets of printer paper stacked up on my sewing machine table.  I layout multiple blocks, on each sheet of printer paper contains all the parts of one block to chain piece.  I layed out 8 blocks in advance and then sat down to sew.  The ironing board is on my left and I can just swivel and press.  Also, on my ironing board is a cutting board (my temporary design wall) filled with all my pre-cut pieces.
Late this morning I had to drive over to LeClaire, IA, to meet with Pam Hughes at Expressions in Thread.  I dropped off the order forms for the retreat supplies and discussed plans.  After the plans were made, I had to do a little shopping.  I had received a birthday card with a discount from the store.  It was burning a hole in my pocket, of course.  I found some great backing fabrics for two quilts and one border fabric. After this shopping, I was starving so I made a lunch stop at Hungry Hobo. 

The restaurant faces the mighty Mississippi River. I sat there eating and enjoying the beautiful view.
Lunch was a baked potato filled with broccoli, cauliflower and cheese.
I have linked up with Patchwork Times today.
Hope you had a productive Monday!
Yours in quilting,