Saturday Musing

Saturday, February 28, 2009

I was having sewing withdrawal, so late last night I snuck into my sewing room. I pieced a large backing for my Christmas courthouse steps out of what I could find left of that pesky Christmas fabric. The binding will be colorful too I think. Pieced a backing for Mia's Wonky Stars and made binding for Mia's quilt too. Today I am going to test drive the new bobbin case. So close on many things, but I won't have any finishes by tomorrow. Bummer! But I am working on projects so it's all good! Finishes are coming.

Motivation Friday

Friday, February 27, 2009
It's been a busy week. No sewing since company came, but I broke in the spices and the apron.
You'd think my relatives never eat, they were saying "Hurry Up, we want to eat!" The food was good, all three spices were tried. I cooked a lot using the original, fried the cabbage with the white pepper blend. And one nephew put the HOT on all his plate, he said it was good too! My nephew and his wife are getting ready to move to Naples, Italy and were visiting. He is career Navy. They will be there for about 18 months.

And of course cooking led to more cooking. In between I baked a double batch of pecan chocolate chip cookies. And I was trying to read blogs in between. Not good. The timer went off and I thought I had taken the pan out of the oven. NOT!!
So I put them all on a plate together, I wanted to see if Ken would notice. I hid the others.

Look what I found him doing today.

Not a man to let an overdone cookie go to waste! Here is what they were supposed to look like.

We like our cookies chewy, not dunking material. Ken thought they were my CHOCOLATE chocolate chip cookies and the color was normal!

My bobbin case came yesterday, tomorrow I will try it out.

Not Cajun but Greek

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Just a quick post, I baked the cake for tomorrow, it's a Greek New Year's cake called Vasilopeta. Baked in it is a *surprise*. There are many internet recipes for this, mine is made with six eggs, warmed milk, lemon juice and lemon zest, with slivered almonds and sugar sprinkled on top half way thru baking. YUM--it smells delicious!

Apple compote is done, my pork roasts are thawing, the black eyed peas are soaking. Next I will make a couple loaves of honey buttermilk bread. If you are wondering what I am making the menu is--

Pork roasts with gravy and apple compote
Black eyed peas with ham
Smothered cabbage
buttermilk cornbread
rice (to put the gravy on!)
orange salad
Vasilopeta cake
Buttermilk honey bread
Homemade apple butter

Don't worry, we will have plenty of food because all my relatives are making a dish of some kind to add to the table.

Wednesday Ramblings

Monday, February 23, 2009
Today's post will be a hodge podge of things.

First, I received Judy's box. It's perfect timing as I am cooking New Year's Cajun recipes I received from Vicky for my visiting relatives, and anyone else who shows up! Judy and Vicky both grew up in Louisiana.

I need the apron, I am a messy cook!

I made a top out of Tia's blocks, and plan to make a backing and binding to match, I have plenty of the border fabric. The fabric for the blocks came out of Paul's (my favorite brother in law's) box. Sorry, but the afternoon light really washes out the color. If you enlarge the pictures you can see the colors better.

I had a few blocks left over.

In Paul's box was a whole bunch of cut out squares. I think his mother was at one time planning a 9 patch. When I have time, I will play with these and see what I can come up with.

Last night we went out to eat and saw a movie, if you like action/spy movies, see Liam Neesom's Taken--I could go again! The plate from the salad bar is Ken's, the beer is MINE!

I read this on Pat's blog. I'm still cleaning my computer screen.

"Someone asked me if I was a quilter. I said well......I'm like a man and sex...I think about it all the time, talk about it all the time, read about it all the time....but I don't do it so much!"

Pat, you made my day reading this. I hope you are feeling better, and remember, it only takes one leg to run a sewing machine!!

Monday Goals

Okay, I've crawled out from under the covers to make this post. No, not really, those mistakes are all easy to fix or live with. I have a very busy week planned, company until Friday, so most my goals will be easy ones.

  1. Fix the square on the log cabin
  2. Put the borders on the pink Jacob's ladder
  3. Play with Tia's Wonky Stars

I can't quilt until my bobbin case arrives, so won't put any of that on my list. Tia's Wonky Star's are great fun, relaxing. I made 13 more last night. I hope to sew some into a top to mail her, the rest will go "loose" and will be combined with other peoples.

I also want to try some QAYG Heartstrings blocks, I will look into my baskets this evening.

I've been reading about everyone knitting socks, and although I don't knit, I was gifted these socks. I should have remembered to wear the black sandals, I have an orange (used to be red before they faded) and a black pair. Very comfy!

PS--I read everyone's Stash Reports, even if I don't comment. You are all so interesting!

Sunday Stash Report

Sunday, February 22, 2009
Nothing bought, nothing finished, still at that same old +8 yards for the year! I'm trying to remain positive here, but I'm spinning my wheels this week.

It started out well with Judy's "Slap ya Mama" giveaway. And, then there were the Pink Jacob's ladder blocks. Remember them? One going the wrong way? Oh well, I can live with that. In fact, I kinda like it that way! And the big box of fabric with the four lovely berry bowls, hey, this week is looking good!

Then I got a bit off focus making Wonky Stars for Tia's project. They were fun!

Next I decided I wanted to participate in Judy's Bear in the Wood's quilt, and I started with step one, a gadzillion HST's. No problem. Uh, well, just a small one. I cut twice as many as I needed. Well, at least I have plenty! (mumble mumble, wonder what I'll use all those extra squares for.....) Here they are sewn together, ready for step two. Notice the large bottle of tylenol.

I sewed all my Christmas courthouse steps together. Wow, something that's looking like it might be close to done! Ummm, if you look at the picture closely, there is one square sewn a quarter turn the wrong way. Now, that bothers me and I'll take it apart and fix it. More tylenol.

I decided my back felt a little better, I'd quilt. Can't seem to get the tension where I want it. Played with it, hmm, looks pretty good. Made almost an entire pass. Checked the back. Crap! So, spent the next four hours unpicking what I had done. Grrrr!! (more tylenol) I've finally decided that it's not the thread, needle, bobbin, or anything like that. I've narrowed it down to the bobbin CASE. Yeah, I'd dropped it and stepped on it, NONE of the bobbins feed evenly. So on Monday will call and order a new one, I don't have one on hand. So no quilting for a few days.

And, to add insult to injury, I was talking to Henrietta, and she was laughing. I had wished her Happy Birthday on the wrong day! Now I'm breaking out the Bourbon!

I going to put my head under the covers until, oh, say maybe May! And I'm taking that bottle of tylenol with me! And the bottle of Bourbon!

Motivation Friday

Friday, February 20, 2009
Okay, how is my week shaping up. Quilt a top, it's started but not done. Borders on pink/white quilt. No, but I have decided what I'm going to do, it hung on the wall till I decided how I wanted to finish it. Yesterday my husband helped (the pieces were large and hard to handle, the courthouse steps is now officially a top!

Its too big to show all of it, but now the dark/lights really show! Next I will be able to start piecing the backing. And in case you think I've been slacking off, I started Judy's Quilt-a-Long. Aw man--first step is a zillion HST's!

But I went to the pile of fabric from that box and cut lots of little squares, I'm about half done. Luckily Judy gave us a few weeks to get it done. I may need them!

Bear in Woods Fabrics

Thursday, February 19, 2009
Last night I decided on the fabrics for Judy's Bear in Woods quilt along. In "that box" there were many homespun checks, plaids, and stripes. I have decided these will make the bear paws. In darker colors, lots of reds, blues, browns, dark greens. Even a dark black. And the rest I will add in as I go along. I am trying Henrietta's "fly by the seat of the pants method". Hey, it works for her, I will try it! I am going to try to make that quilt mostly out of that box. The only thing that wasn't in there was background. I have plenty of that. It's going to be a scrappy quilt, I love scrappy and bear paws make me think "scrappy". So here are some of those fabrics---

I know it will be more work to cut out from many pieces, but I have decided that this box of fabric had a purpose and this is one of them! And, I really didn't have a stripe in my stash that was even CLOSE TO working. Well, one, but I only had half a yard!

Wednesday Ramblings Early on Thursday

I'm sure you've all been reading about the terrible fires in Australia. I can't do a lot from the middle of the Midwest, but in my blog reading I came across Tia. Tia lives in Australia, and is an Army military wife. Please read her blog, it is very interesting!

But remember the box I was gifted? When I was reading Tia's blog, I happened to be washing and ironing the contents of that box. There were bits and pieces of many fabrics in there. But there was enough of one blue to make block centers, and I cut some of the rest to make 13 blocks. To me, that was a good use of part of that box! The background fabric is all the same, Kona Snow. Yes, I used my stash!

There are 12 blocks that finish to 12", and an extra orange one--just because I thought the orange was bright and pretty!

I know there are many different organizations out there you can help, but this is the one I chose.

I still need to work on my goals, I don't like to quilt at night, too hard to see, so think I will work on those courthouse steps. If I get them together, I can start on piecing the backing. I am hoping I have enough leftover Christmas fabric to finish with! I thought back, this is the 3rd quilt I've made using that fabric, one was a large king, one a large queen, and this one will be rather ginormous too! LOL--House insulation as Henrietta says. And speaking of Henrietta--today is her birthday! Happy Birthday Henrietta--I hope that husband of yours took you somewhere nice!

Monday Goals

Monday, February 16, 2009
Goal time again. First, let's review last week's goals. I didn't bind Jane's star. I decided I will bind several quilts at the same time, I just find it easier. I did get another quilt loaded. My courthouse steps isn't a flimsy--but I have it into 16 sections now and am "previewing" it on the design wall. And I worked on a UFO. So it wasn't a bad week, I got a lot done, did lots of sewing.

This week I plan to---

  1. Quilt a top
  2. Put borders on the pink/white quilt
  3. Finishing sewing together the courthouse steps.
  4. Piece a backing for the courthouse steps
I think that will be enough for this week. I have some other things to get done that aren't quilty, so I will keep busy.

And the box from my sister and brother in law? It was filled with all sorts of fabric. Some cut into squares and bundled up. A cardboard template. Lots of homespuns and solids. I think Paul's mother was planning a 9 patch quilt, as there is a bundle of 9 patches already sewn together. I will wash it all up, and see what I can make out of it.

And when I quilt, I often wear some "more supportive" shoes. Okay, maybe more padded! I wear some hard foam sandals with my wool socks.

I will say I wear my wool socks almost year round!

I'm Finding It Hard To Type

Sunday, February 15, 2009
I keep my laptop in front of the couch on a small folding table. Kinda like a hospital table but on a much smaller scale. It's very handy. So handy my friend can get underneath it and stare at me.

Although she is a very quiet dog, she does like to be close to you. As close as possible without getting on the furniture! The other day I was sewing and she was laying underneath the machine, she would lift her head so I could use the foot pedal, with her head on top my foot! She's not a little dog, so she had to squeeze to fit under the machine. But she is great company and I do enjoy her!

And you may notice I have my heavy fleece housecoat on. And when I walk her at night, yup, that's what I wear. And on my feet, designer footwear!

Wool socks, my fuzzy slippers inside Ken's slippers! Hey, it's cold out, and I walk Ruby when it's very very dark, my neighbors are all asleep and can't see me--thank goodness!! My housecoat is very long, I had to pull it up a bit to take the picture.

Today my sister and her husband brought over a box from cleaning his mother's house. Oh dear, the contents were a gift, so do I have to count it on the stash report? Tomorrow I will show pictures of all the stuff that's in there. Well, maybe a peek!

Some transferware saucers!

Sunday Stash Report

I'm started to sound like a broke record, 0 in, 0 out, stuck at the +8 yards for the year. But I'm getting closer to finishes.

And thanks to Judy, I won the "Slap ya Mama" gift basket. I am really excited to be able to try this seasoning, it's not available in any stores here. And prompted by Judy's challenge, I made Gumbo, Etouffee, Jambalaya, and Beignets. And all the recipes were keepers. I'm a messy cook, so the apron is REALLY appreciated! Thanks Judy!!

Remember I said I was working on a pink/white UFO? A few years ago a friend moved and brought over a box of fabric, it wasn't going with her. I had been inspired by Henrietta who made this beautiful pink/white quilt. This is her's--

It's quilted with twirling hearts that intermingle and go from very small to larger ones, it almost looks like trapunto when you see it. Well, I wanted one too. So in the box was some pink and cream fabric. Very old. I washed it up (in case it really shrunk or bled) and then cut it into enough blocks for this. And it sat for a few years. Last week I found it again and worked on it. I was hurrying so I could take a picture for today's blog post.

Notice anything?? The funniest part is Henrietta did the exact same thing when she made hers. I am playing with just leaving it, after all, it IS funny!

Motivation Friday

Friday, February 13, 2009
I've been working away here, and feel like I've gotten a lot accomplished. I had sewn the courthouse steps into 16 pieces and it COVERS my design wall from top to bottom. The top blocks are flopped over, I didn't get on a ladder to hang them. At first I thought there wasn't enough color definition in the blocks, but I think in the picture there is. What do you think?

I loaded another top on the machine. And I have been working on a UFO, I trimmed the pieces, now I just have to decide on a setting.

Today my sister and I are going to make Valentine goodies. I like to bake, and having a reason to bake and give them away is a good thing. We will have lots of fun doing this.

Everyone have a Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday Ramblings

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Becky tagged me with this Honest Scrap post. The idea is to reveal 10 honest things about yourself that you haven't blogged about and list 5 addictions. Then tag 5 friends.

Five Addictions I'm willing to admit to--
  1. Antiques--especially old dishes and sewing machines
  2. Angels
  3. Coffee--I have to have it EVERY morning, perked in an old fashioned coffee pot on my stove. No sugar, no cream.
  4. groceries--I am a hoarder of canned goods. I once owned 27 cans of chili beans. I am working on this!
  5. carbs
10 things you may not know about me--
  1. I am the youngest of four children
  2. I spent almost my entire childhood within two miles of my grandmother--she was very influencial in my life.
  3. I love to drive but hate to fly
  4. I am an avid birdwatcher
  5. My favorite vegetable is broccoli
  6. I want to try train travel
  7. I wish I could play the piano WELL.
  8. I can trap shoot
  9. I learned to drive when I was very young in a pasture in a yellow International pickup.
  10. I don't like my food to "touch" when it's on my plate, but love to eat casseroles
I won't tag five people, but feel free to try this. I found it very hard!

The sewing is progressing slowly. I have sewn together 48 of the courthouse steps in pairs and will lay them out again to "preview". I want to play with my Bricks and Stepping Stones box to relax. I may pick up a pink/white UFO to play with for a while. Ken is sleeping, he works tonight. Ruby is sleeping. I guess I am the only one awake!

Monday Goals

Monday, February 9, 2009

Oh man, I was reading last weeks goals and I didn't do very well. Only 3 out of 7! I hope I have more energy this week!

I did goal #3--the Jacob's ladder blocks are in the mail. #4--the Christmas Courthouse steps are ready to be sewn into a flimsy. #6--I worked a bit on a UFO. So this week I promise myself I WILL DO BETTER!

1. Bind Jane's star
2. Load another quilt
3. Sew Courthouse steps into a flimsy
4. work on a UFO

Enough I think for this week, there are 64 courthouse steps blocks, that may take a while! And I vacillate between UFOs. Am I anxious for spring? Do I need a vacation? I can't seem to settle down to anything lately! I had planned to make more blue and white Jacob's ladder blocks, but think I will wait to see what the other participants in the swap send me back.

Eagle Days

Sunday, February 8, 2009
Spent today out and about, we went to Eagle Days down at the Visitor Center where I volunteer.  The place was packed, they have room for about 70 people each program, and had been completely filled both days.  First we saw a--
Red Tailed Hawk.   She was quite comfortable with the audience.  Next we saw a--
Gyr Falcon.  She was more excitable, so she wore a hood until she was outside her cage for a while.  She was a lovely white with speckles on her back and wings.  This is the breed of falcon royalty in Europe would hunt with.  Next was a--
Screech Owl.  He was hard to photograph because his eyes "glowed" in all my pictures.  He was just a tiny fellow.  Did you know each "ear" is in a different spot on each side of his head?  This helps him locate prey easier.  And last of all was--
the Bald Eagle.  He was too large for them to hold on their arm while they talked, so he just sat on the floor.  Yes, the kids were pretty close up front.  There were two rows of kids sitting on the floor in front of the chairs.  (if you look you can see that the handlers have ropes that are fastened to the birds legs so they can't get away.)
When you see their talons, you know why the handlers wear heavy leather gloves.  They said their beak is not near as dangerous as the talons! 
There is open running water by the dam year round, so often many eagles sit in the trees waiting to fish or just resting.  Today lots of fishermen were by the dam, so the eagles had moved downriver out of our sight.  But on a quiet day the rangers counted over 65 of them in the trees one morning! 
I live on the migratory flight path for Bald Eagles, and have seen as many as 200 sitting in a corn field (not many trees where they were)It was quite impressive, they almost looked like short people sitting out there.

Sunday Stash Report

My numbers haven't changed this week, 0 bought, and 0 finished. I've stuck at +8 yards for the year--so far!

But I did get a few things done. I made enough of the blue Jacob's ladder blocks I can mail them away tomorrow.

I finished trimming the Christmas Courthouse steps.

They are ready to become a flimsy.
I made homemade laundry soap.

And Ruby went to the spa. (or just had a bath and brush!)

Today we are going to "Eagle Days" in Yankton.  They will be bringing in live Bald Eagles and having a program.  This will be held at the Lewis and Clark Visitor Center above Gavin's Point Dam.