Smile Please!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We were able to take pictures tonight without needing the extra set of clothes we took along! We strolled the mall and now we're home. Not exactly the life of the party!

Tuesday Family Pictures

Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Tonight we had family pictures scheduled. We were there on time, all cleaned up, ready to go. Sitting and waiting. Loud "rumbles" from Mason's diaper. Hmm. Better go check. Mom and Mason leave. Dad follows. Pretty soon Nick comes out and says "can you go help, I have to buy Mason some new pants". Oh oh! Yup, pictures were cancelled as Mom's shirt was hit also! So here we are back at home, baths over, clothes in the washer, the rest of us all dressed up with no where to go!!

ROFL Maybe we'll have better luck tomorrow!

Monday Goals

Monday, December 28, 2009
No goals this week! We are visiting Mason and family. Don't ask how the roads were! Mason was happy to see us. He knows a few "signs" from sign language, (Laura Beth used them in a former job) and so far I know "all gone" and "more". Makes meals easier! Today he wanted "more" strawberries and grapes with lunch! And after lunch we had a Christmas cookie with Grandpa.

Mason licked the frosting off, Grandpa ate the cookie!!

Sunday Stash Report

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Last stash report of the year. I am going to finish the year using two yards more than I bought. I've finished nothing (except the crib sheets which I didn't count--I haven't been counting fabric not used for quilting) and bought nothing. How have stash reports helped me?? It's given me ideas of how to use my stash, what I use the most, and when/if I need to buy fabric. Do I plan to continue next year--yes, and keep better records! Goal for next year--turn over more old fabric, more donation quilts, and work at using 100 yards more than I bought. Whew--I think they may be lofty goals--but goals are supposed to be something you work toward! Thanks for providing the incentive Judy!

I haven't started any projects over Christmas, the nasty weather makes me unfocused. So instead I have been ironing fabric from my scrap box, and cutting it into bricks, noodles, and string pieces. I'm sure I cut enough bricks for a full size quilt, and the stack of noodles is big too. I need to refold fabric and put it away, but then I will be ready to sew again.

White Christmas

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Blowing drifting snow. Lots of it. I'm ready for spring. Christmas celebration was short, the weather was awful. Even though we had less than a mile to drive in town, it was 4 wheel drive--pray you didn't get hung up! We had so much snow in front of our house that work sent a 4 wheel drive to pick up Ken and his night co-workers--and it got stuck and had to be shoveled out. We are supposed to go to Laura Beth's tomorrow, but depending on how things go and road conditions, I'm not sure if we will be able to leave. sigh Here is a picture of the snow heading off my deck--the snow drifted up on my deck, Ken has removed most of it. You go down the steps directly into a snowbank.

Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Almost Done!

Thursday, December 24, 2009
I worked this afternoon and evening on the food I'm taking to Christmas dinner. My sister and I made pies. Two pumpkin, two pecan, a coconut cream, and a sour cream raisin. And Ken requested the candies.

I still have to wrap my white elephant gifts, and in the morning I will make soup. Not sure if there is anything else I will make. Depends on the weather, we aren't predicted to get quite as much snow as first thought, it has dropped from 23" of snow to 14.5".

I hope Santa brings you everything you wish tonight!

Working on Wednesday

I'm down to the last minute baking. We are waiting for the blizzard to hit here, the weatherman says by Saturday we should have 23" of snow. Right now there is about 4" of snow on the deck and the wind hasn't come up--yet! I am prepared, I went to the store and bought essentials--bread, milk, eggs, and toilet paper! Last night I worked on making Mason some crib sheets. I had forgotten how to make something that wasn't FLAT!

The polka dot sheet is fleece, the other ones are flannel. I haven't made any in so long I had almost forgotten how!

Busy Day

Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Today was busy! First I mixed up 4 batches of cookies. Then I had a hair appointment. Freezing rain, I had to drive 30 miles one way. Halfway there, my passenger windshield wiper flew off! Now, not just the blade--the whole wiper thingy! But made it there and back. When I got home I popped popcorn for popcorn balls. My sister came over, and we made 48 popcorn balls, and about 20 dozen cookies. Tomorrow I will probably make a few simple candies. The best thing about the cold weather is I can store all these outside in the "deep freeze" in metal tins on my deck. Thursday my sister will come over in the evening and we will make pies, and on Friday morning I have to make potato dumpling soup. Whew!

I'm trying not to start any new sewing projects--LOL!! Just need to whip up some sheets for Mason.

I also made one of my favorite meals the other day. Kalua pork!

It's very simple. Take a 3-4# pork roast, or part of a boneless pork loin. Wrap tightly in a couple of layers of foil. No, no seasoning. Place in crock pot on rack or foil pie plate with holes punched in it. Add about 1 1/2" of water--cook on low for 16 hours. Yes, 16 hours! About 1/2 hour before serving I cook plain long grain rice in my rice cooker. Slice a head of cabbage and microwave in a covered dish (when you start the lid is MUCH higher than the dish, but it cooks down). Cook to the doneness you like. I like mine rather well done. Take the pork and shred with forks in a cake pan. Layer rice, cooked cabbage, and shredded pork. Then add soy sauce (Shoyu brand if you are lucky like me and have someone who will send you some from Hawaii!!). If you like ANY of these ingredients--you will really like this. The beauty of this dish is 1)it's SIMPLE 2)very little fat. Oh, and it goes well with popcorn balls and gingersnaps!

PS--I have discovered I will eat frozen cookies! I thought keeping them outside would deter me! Well, it does--SOME!

Monday Goals

Monday, December 21, 2009

My goals will be small the next few weeks. I plan to celebrate Christmas as much as possible.

  1. Sew Mason some flannel sheets

Yes, that's it. One goal!! Oh, and maybe stay out of fabric stores! I still want to bake some cookies, and make popcorn balls. I have a few presents to wrap, but basically I'm done.

How are your preparations coming? And yes, I think we ALL want a cleaning service!!

Sunday Stash Report

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Grinding down to the end of the year. I am sewing frantically! This week I finished my friend's quilt and the mystery quilt. I also made 4 pillowcases. All together that used 28 yards. I had to buy two yards for accent/ends on the pillowcases. I was in the hole -24 yards, add the two yards, that makes -26. Subtract the 28 yards, and guess what, I'VE USED TWO YARDS MORE THAN I BOUGHT! Hallelujah!!! I'm in the black! Next year I will keep better records, as I'm wondering what the total used and the total bought was. I suspect the number was pretty high, but I'm too lazy to go back and figure it.

For Christmas dinner I have to make pies. Not too tough. I have a few things to stick in the mail yet, but otherwise Christmas will be fairly quiet.

And because I'm curious--what one thing do you REALLY want Santa to bring? I think I'm going to hope for a cleaning service--I really hate housework!!

Motivation Friday

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I've been so busy this week haven't had time to post. I have this week's goals done, today I canned the two turkeys. (Groan!!) From those two big birds I have 19 pints of PACKED turkey. The binding is done on my friend's quilt. I have the *mystery quilt* binding done also. The Christmas decorations are all around us, my Christmas Grandmother's Flower Garden is on the bed. I have a Christmas ruffle I string onto Ruby's collar! I love the decorations, the family get togethers, the meaning of Christmas, but can do without presents! Little kids and presents, that's OK, but the rest of us neither want nor NEED anything! In our family we do "white elephant" gifts and that is a hoot!

I have a few presents to make yet, a few packages to mail out, and then I am done until Christmas. I still have some popcorn balls and cookies to make. My job to make pies for the Christmas dinner, but my sister Sharon will help me. She is much better at making the edges pretty!

How are your holiday plans shaping up? Are you done shopping? Are you traveling? Is the menu planned? Or are you like us and take is easy over Christmas, no big meals, just fun foods, games and good times?

Quiet But Busy!

Thursday, December 17, 2009
No, I haven't frozen into a human popsicle, I've just been busy! I have the binding done on my friend's quilt. Sorry, I can't show you a picture as she hasn't seen it yet! I've quilted the mystery quilt, and sewn the binding with the machine. Next, I have the hand stitching left. Again--no picture! But this won't be a "pictureless" post. The other day in the mail we received this--

This postcard makes me miss them all. We are planning to visit between Christmas and New Years, God willing and good weather! We would like to take a family picture while we are there, I am hoping Laura Beth can coordinate that.

We put up the rest of our decorations. I tried to take a video of everything changing color, but let's just say I'm a bit "technically challenged". My tree was sideways and I couldn't figure out how to change it!

Monday Goals

Monday, December 14, 2009

Can I have some goals this week that aren't quilty? Yes, I think I can too!!

  1. Make binding and sew it on my friends quilt
  2. Quilt the mystery top I put on the long arm
  4. Cook/can the two turkeys

We have the Christmas tree up, but there are only two decorations on it! I need to hang those ornaments and get out my Christmas angels, Ken found them!! It's just not Christmas without them.

And I have a question--how many of you make your quilt label and apply it to the backing before quilting? I decided to make my label, sew it to the backing, and then I'll quilt over it. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Sunday Stash Report

Sunday, December 13, 2009
Down to the last few weeks of the year! This week I get to figure in my finishes. The pink baby quilt used 8 yards, the red Heartstrings border, backing, and binding used 6.5 yards, and my dad's quilt used 16 yards. That is 30.5 yards. Ahh--it feels good! I am -24 yards in the hole, but I hope to break even by year end. I didn't buy ANY fabric Friday while shopping, and let me tell you, those coupons were burning a HOLE in my pocket! I am so anxious to read how everyone else is doing!

Saturday -- Need to get to work!

Saturday, December 12, 2009
Whew! All that shopping yesterday took my energy. I need to get to work. But, I thought I would show you my "quilty" purchases.

Yes, that's it. A package of "generous queen" size bamboo batting, a packaged set of square rulers, stick pins, and two packages of elastic. No fabric. Everything was on sale or bought with a coupon. The elastic is to make crib sheets for Mason. No fabric.

I need to get to quilting, and the cookies should be baked today. I also have two pork loins thawing that I'm going to thaw partially and then cut them into chops and roasts and refreeze. I find them easier to cut up when they are partially froze. Why not buy them already cut up? Whole loins were $1.19 a lb. the other day! Wish I had bought more of them. I also put two of those large turkeys in the fridge to thaw so I can cook and can them.

So you can see I need to do more than drink coffee and sit here!

Motivation Friday

Friday, December 11, 2009

Today I am taking my sister to a Dr. appt and then I may do a little shopping. I did load another top on the long arm. I'm hoping over the weekend to get it quilted, and then work on my "found" 9 patches. I guess for as busy as we've been, I'm on track!

It's cold and plenty of snow here. I have cookie dough waiting in the fridge, the Christmas tree is up, and we have found most of our decorations. My favorite ones, my angels, haven't been located yet, but Ken remembers he put them in an "odd" place, and will search for them more today.

Sorry about no pictures, but I've been so busy the camera has only been a thought!

PS--I have a 60% off coupon for Mill End, a 40% off for Hobby Lobby, and the usual JoAnne's Coupon. I need pins, elastic, and will look at the fabric and books! But I have many other non-quilty items on that list!

Visiting Family

Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Tonight we went over to my dad's and sister Sharon's to visit Sharon's son Brett who is passing through. Brett is in the Navy and stationed in Naples, Italy. Every time he visits in the winter, the weather is nasty. Yes, cold, blowing snow, Ken used the snowblower earlier but you can't tell. It is supposed to quit sometime tomorrow.

My nephew Brett

Ken having a snack

Great Niece Hannah is ready for bed!

Dad opening his quilt

Dad holding up his quilt

Merry Christmas early Dad!!

Monday Goals

Monday, December 7, 2009

Goals for the week.

  1. Work on customer quilt
  2. Work on the "Found" 9 patches

I've had a LONG weekend! The tan 9 patches, the pink baby quilt, and the Red Heartstrings quilts all have their binding finished! (at 5 am this morning) I have just a couple more projects to finish before Christmas.

But look, that was THREE finishes!! Later I will figure out how much stash that used, I'm working to break even by the end of the year! No pictures, it's cold and there's snow drifting down. I wanted to take outsides pictures, but Ken's asleep and I don't think he'd like it if I woke him up to stand out in the cold while I took pictures.

A few days ago Laura Beth asked if I could make crib sheets, she wanted some heavy flannel ones for Mason. I have one done in the washer and I will mail it to her and see how it fits.

That's enough for this week. We haven't put up our Christmas tree, I have some errands to run, and my nephew is here visiting for a few days.

I have my Christmas music on, I'm feeling good! If you stop by, I promise to make hot chocolate and break out some cookies!!

Sunday Stash Report

Sunday, December 6, 2009
The year end is almost here. I better sew faster! I forgot to add the 1 yard I bought for binding a couple of weeks ago, so that puts me -54.5 yds in the hole. BUT--today I made and sewed the bindings on two of my quilts, and one for the Heartstrings project, so I have some busts SO CLOSE!! Having these quilts bound is part of my goals for this week, so I better stitch quickly!

Here are the three quilts, all I have to do is hand stitch the binding down. And there is the leftover binding, I usually make a bit too much. I make all my binding the same size, so when I need some pieces for a scrappy quilt, I can just piece them together.

I wanted to bust 100 yards of stash this year, but will be happy if I break even. Having goals, stash reports, all help me finish my projects. While I FELT like I had oodles of fabric, after sorting and cutting all the smaller pieces, I was much more organized. I won't say the stash is under control, but it's getting there!

I don't plan on New Year's resolutions. Too long term for me. Weekly goals don't overwhelm me. But I hope the stash reports continue, I do love to read what everyone ELSE is doing!!

Working on Saturday

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I have crock pot lasagna on for supper, crock pot peach pie is on too. (I hope, I haven't used that crock pot in forever!) I'm off to sew!

Motivation Friday

Friday, December 4, 2009
Almost forgot to post! This week I was going to quilt the 9 patches--yup, got that done!

Not the best picture, but after I get the binding made and on I will try to remember to take another. This was a quilt-a-long with crazymomquilts.

I plan to be a "binding queen" over the weekend, so should catch up on those goals. And I have a customer quilt loaded on the long arm--so things are looking good.

Remember a few days ago I was rootling in my sewing room looking for a book? I never found the book, but instead I found these----

Yes, more 9 patches! I think these were from an internet swap several years ago, and decided I would set them similarly to the tan 9 patches, but stagger them. I am using some pale peach fabric for sashing. It's going to be a big quilt, I think without any borders it close to 90x100". I think there are 86-8" nine patches. I like 9 patches, and I like them best set in straight rows marching down my bed. This will make another UFO gone, stash used up, and a quilt finished. Now if I could just find my book!

Tuesday--feeling sad

Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Missing Mason and all his family. That's it. Sniff Sniff

Monday Goals

Sunday, November 29, 2009
Goal setting time! The cutoff date for customer quilts is December 15th, so they have to be high on the list.

  1. Quilt the tan 9 patches
  2. Work on the customer quilts
  3. Bind the red Heartstrings and the Pink baby quilt

I know that will keep me busy this week. My friend Sally would like to have a "girls day out", Ken is finishing up the last of harvest and would be very happy if "Annie and I" did some fall tillage for him. We really don't do "presents" on either side of the family, so no real shopping involved. The rest of the "kids" are all to the age that money is the best fit! And I know Mason doesn't need any more toys!

When Laura Beth was little, on holidays and her birthday she often received savings bonds as gifts from the grandparents and relatives. By the time she was out of college and married, they had added up. I think that is a good thing, and hope to do the same with Mason.

And I forgot to add one thing on my stash report yesterday, next week I will have to remember to add a yard of fabric I bought to bind the 9 patches. I had three crooked pieces left when I made the border and the backing--not enough to make binding.

So I bought this for binding

Right now the weather is nice, I am going to hang the last of the outside lights, and then I'm going to sew! Everyone have a great week!

Sunday Stash Report

Not very many weeks left, but that's OK! I busted a bit of fabric this week. I thought I had forgotten what a finish felt like. First, I finished a quilt using some of my FAVORITE brother in law Paul's mother's stash. I think I will name this quilt "Gingersnaps" because it has the cutest binding--it was a stripe I made on the bias so it winds along the edge like a barber pole.

You will recognize this quilt as Judy's pattern--Bears in the Farmhouse. Her's had quite a bit more for borders, but I was scraping the bottom when I was digging in Paul's mother's box for anything big enough to make borders. So I quit! I'd say this used about 6 yards, my sister bought the fleece on the back. Here is Paul with his quilt, now he has two and has to share with my sister! I like that Paul and Kathy can use the quilt and think of Paul's mother. More nostalgia!

And the other day I finished a "Happy Blocks" top, the only fabric I used of mine was the binding--so that used about 1/2 yd.

So now I am only -53.5 yds! But remember, I have at least three quilts ready to be finished, I may break even yet! Except for the bag of fabric I found yesterday (and can't for the life of me remember what it was for??!) I am happy with my purchases and what I've used. Wait, I almost forgot, I gifted some blocks from a swap--that used up at least another two yards. So now I'm -51.5 yds.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving--we ate, played cards, and had lots of fun! Tomorrow will be another day "for me"--I would like to string my Christmas lights, and load another quilt.

Saturday Silly

Saturday, November 28, 2009
I tried to slip it past everyone, but Henrietta let it out of the bag. Yes, yesterday was my birthday. I'm trying to handle it like Maxine--

And my friend Henrietta calls, she had sent me a package ages ago and I was to wait until my birthday to open it. (Actually, she called at 11:45PM!) I opened the box and this was in it--

Only a REAL friend would send you a lighted magnifying mirror so I can find those "stray" dark whiskers on my face! Unfortunately, in looking at my face I can really see the wrinkles too!

My sister Kathy and I exchanged "unsigned" birthday cards--so we can reuse them next year!

Tonight I was searching in my sewing room, and although I never found what I was looking for, I found a sack with fabric in it. Now I remember buying it, it was borders and backing for a quilt. But for the life of me I can't remember what top it was to go on!! Oh dear--I'm forgetting stuff already!! Fear not, I have plenty of tops that need a border and backing, so I'm sure this will be used! I found at least 4 sets of quilt blocks (enough to make at LEAST full size tops). I can see what I will be doing in 2010~!

PS--think how fabric finishing those block sets would bust!!

Motivation Friday

Friday, November 27, 2009
I hope all who have celebrated Thanksgiving already had a great day. Tonight we go to Ken's side of the family, tomorrow we have mine. My food is almost complete for both days. Tonight I am taking sweet potatoes cooked in caramel sauce with nutmeg and chocolate mousse. Tomorrow I will take the desserts (pumpkin pie bars, pecan bars, and chocolate mousse) a broccoli casserole and more of the sweet potatoes. My sister Kathy and my FAVORITE brother in law Paul are providing the house (hardest item to get ready!) the turkey, dressing, and potatoes. The rest of us will provide the other food. I'm pretty sure my dad provided the turkey--but at almost 90 yo he won't cook it! Thanks dad!

My goals went well this week. Since there was nothing planned for yesterday, I sewed. I completed a top I took home from the MN Heartstrings sew in, it's very cute. For fun I quilted it with a variegated thread in yellows--I just thought it looked like it would go!

I finished the binding on the rosy red fleece quilt, but a picture of it will have to wait--it's a present! I went and separated my projects into current stacks.

Left to right it's two finished quilts, then two quilts to bind, and then three tops with backing ready to quilt. We won't even talk about the flimsies stacked up waiting their turn. And of course there are customer quilts, they go to the top of the list!

But it's been a very productive week, I'm happy. And although the busts this week will be small, there will be busts!