Sunday, November 15, 2015

A "Me" Day

I took today as a "me" day. The hubby is out deer hunting so there were no having to stop & cook for somebody. What's wrong with making a sandwich when you're hungry?  I did exactly as I pleased today. :)

Slept in, then had a leisurely breakfast and a little computer time. Then I put the binding on a small project. That went quickly so I moved on to getting a backing made for a Christmasy quilt top that's was mostly finished three years ago. I didn't like the outer border I put on it so a while back I tore that off and put on one I liked better. Then back into the to-be-quilted pile it went. Today it got to come out to play.

Backing and top ready to load.

By the time the backing was made I was about ready for lunch so fixed myself some weird concoction of  Bush's Baked Beans and leftover roast was GOOD!! I was having a little more computer time after I finished eating and discovered that Bonnie Hunter's Quilt-Cam was on so moved the laptop to the sewing room and started sewing itty bitty spool blocks for Spoolin' Around from Bonnie's book "More Adventures With Leaders and Enders" while watching.

Each little spool block is a quarter of a larger block. I got enough done for FOUR bigger blocks by the end of Quilt-Cam. Would you believe the larger blocks finish at six inches? Yeah, crazy, but it's relaxing to just sit and sew little blocks that are all kitted up and ready to sew.

A little break and then time to take the quilt downstairs and get it pinned onto the quilting machine frame. I wanted to try out the Glide thread but couldn't get it to even wind on the bobbin properly so went back to my standard Maxi Lock. The machine likes that and I'll fiddle with the Glide some other time.  Here we are, on the machine with the first pass completed.

I'll mention here that the  Gros Beckert titanium needles work just fine in my machine. The ones I had before were Singer, but I guess they don't make them any more. I had read online that this brand might not work in older machines without putting in a different needle bar. Thankfully they work just fine. I wasn't looking forward to tearing my machine apart to change that part. Guess my machine doesn't qualify as "older".  :)

And last, but not least, a picture of last night's beautiful sunset.

My plans for the evening aren't very ambitious either, just some supper, watching Madam Secretary, a little computer time and some reading.  Hope you've all had a day as lovely as mine. Everybody should take a "me" day once in a while.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Just Life...

Put out the Halloween decorations today since it's October already. It's about my favorite holiday, but I've cut back my decorations just like I have for most holidays. A small house can handle only so much!

Canned a batch of pork on Wednesday, a batch of dried kidney beans in pints last Friday, and a batch of chicken in half-pints a week ago Wednesday. The pork wasn't exactly planned, but it's amazing what you find in your freezer when you start digging. When something's been in there for a certain length of time it's just best to can it. Also found some beef roasts that have been in there long enough that they should be canned too. When roasts come on sale it's best check the freezer to see if you really need any before buying more!! :) Don't think there will be any apples or pears to can or freeze this year. Between late frost, hail and bugs they aren't much good.

Enjoyed the lunar eclipse on Sunday night and took a few's really hard to hold the camera still enough with the zoom fully extended to get any kind of picture. Kept losing the moon from the camera's screen before it could focus. :)  Did get a couple pretty decent ones though:

And with that I'm heading to bed. Nighty-night!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fall is Offically Here.......

...and we are having a lovely rainy day. Not just showers, but pretty much a slow steady rain all day with a bit heavier at times. I don't mind at all since I had no plans for doing anything outside.

Today is Chicken Canning Day so I'm glad it's cool and with the breeze blowing in the windows it's stayed comfortable in the house. I really thought with all the chicken I cooked that my three dozen 1/2 pt. jars would all get filled with some extra for a couple of pints. Not so. Only filled two dozen with just a little left one canner-full.  Guess I will have to do some more another day. There is some nice broth though so I think I'll can it once the canner cools & the jars come out.

I've been slowly working on one of my long-term quilting projects whenever I get the urge to sew....little spool blocks. Four of these will make one 6 in. block. It's Bonnie Hunter's Spoolin' Around pattern. I have no idea how many little blocks I've made or exactly how many I need. I just know all the ones I cut & kitted up back at the end of Feb. are sewed up and I need to start cutting up more scraps.

Until I get more cut it's back to sewing 2-inch squares together.....and pressing the ones already done. You can always find a use for 4-patches made from 2-inch squares.

Sunday we celebrated our twin grandchildren's second birthday. It's just hard to believe they are that old already...and fun to see them learning so much.

Their daycare lady takes pictures during the day and posts to Facebook each day. I always look forward to seeing their cute little faces. They always look so serious when they're working on their art/learning projects.

I rarely leave one of the kids' houses without some sewing project that needs to be done...split seams, hemming, always something. Sunday's project was a little pair of 2 yr. old's shorts that had lost its fake button snap. Of course Grandma fixed it with the right-sized button, cutting the sewn but not cut buttonhole (remember, fake button, fake buttonhole) and a smaller button on the back, fastened with dental floss through the hole of the snap back.  Takes longer to write about it than do it!!  :)

Notice the pink rim on the button to match the pink stitching on the shorts....Grandma's GOOD!!!

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

I've Been Quiet..........

Mostly because there hasn't been much to say. :)

The hail in early August pretty much finished off the garden. We had the sweet corn mostly picked. The melons took a real beating. Haven't gotten a single good watermelon and probably won't...the vines were too beat up for them to mature. We've had ONE really good cantaloupe with hope for ONE more. The rest have either rotted or quit maturing.

The squash may have some fully mature ones. I hope so, I love roasted squash. If they aren't any good I may have to actually buy some!

The tomatoes took a beating, with the majority getting rotten before they are ready to pick. With what survived & the ones that kind friends gave me, I've canned enough whole ones, that with what was left from last year should get us through the year. I've been making veggie juice out of the rest. I have one batch setting here to get started on tomorrow and then I'm done!!  I may pick what few get ripe yet, just for eating fresh (BLTs, you know) and to give away.

This past week I stayed with the 16 & 12 yr. old grands while their parents went on vacation. It's easy at that age. They leave for school by 7:30, one gets home from sports practice about 5:00 and the other about 6:30 or so. Feed them and they head for their rooms till bedtime. I think Grandma was there just to make sure that other kids didn't decide that it would be a good time to party there since the folks were gone.

I got a lot of genealogy information entered into my database on Tues. since I was on my own with no distractions other than letting the dog out a couple times. After I got home I nearly gave myself a heart attack....decided to delete some older versions of my family tree. Unfortunately I was careless and deleted all of them, forgetting that my local storage was set to directly save to it was gone from there too. TOTALLY FREAKED!!!!!  Found an earlier version on the the old desktop computer....but all that work would have to be done over. Thank heaven for paper copies of all the info. Anyway, today I had accidentally deleted something, went into the Recycle Bin to restore it...and lo & behold, there was my  family tree backup from Tues.!! Yay!  Quickly restored it and don't have to re-enter anything. Why didn't I think to look there right away? (Slaps self upside the head. )

Since our son & his family have also been on vacation their little dog has been staying with us. We were kind of double-booked there at the beginning of the week. I think she thinks she's on vacation too because she doesn't have to stay out of reach of two little kids.

Here's a picture of my almost-finished project for Quilt Club on Wed.  We made the blocks last month and of course are supposed to bring back a finished project this month. I want more of the blue to show through the cream color on the frame so I think I will need to scrounge up some rougher sandpaper and work on it a little more. Needs a hanger on the back too. It will hang in my sewing room. (It's not grand enough to be a studio. )

Hope everyone is having a nice Labor Day weekend and that you're making the most of the last days of Summer.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

A Very Humid Sunday And Then.............

The storms started up. The first one roared through quickly with just rain & wind. The most damage was a tree blown down into the street near a neighbor's house.

The next one that came through about three hours later was the one that hurt. Heavy rain pouring down and lots of hail...some pretty big.

We found some bigger ones later after it quit raining.

The rainbow after the storm.

Once it quit raining we walked out to look at the garden. Not pretty.

Sweet corn is pretty well stripped. It's fortunate only the last four rows to the right were left to ripen. They may be OK.

Was the watermelon patch. Melons may or may not ripen.

Cantaloupe...I hope they aren't completely ruined. Littlest grandson loves cantaloupe & these were planted with him in mind.

The poor butternut squash. I hope some are far enough long to finish ripening.

I'm afraid the tomatoes might be a total loss. They look pretty bruised & will probably rot.

The experimental horticultural beans...we may never know what they were supposed to do.

And finally, more big hail and dented pickup hood (though the dents don't show up that well.)

I hope these storms are done!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Quilty Road Tripin'

Today was a most enjoyable day. Six members of our quilting group left town around 9am, headed for QuiltNebraska in Norfolk.

First stop was Tilden to take in their Prairie Days Quilt many beautiful quilts. (Wonder if any of my raffle tickets will win.)

 Next stop was Divots Devent Center in Norfolk to see the quilt display and make the rounds of the vendors. When we left the building my quilting buddies couldn't believe I hadn't spent a penny!!

 Next up was a stop at Big Red Keno for a very good lunch....the server asked if we wanted dessert and all we could do was laugh and say "no room."

 Let's see, then we visited the Norfolk Arts Center for another quilt display followed by a stop at the quilt shop, Pieceful Pastimes.

Next we made our way to the east end of Norfolk for a garage sale that advertised lots of quilting fabric.....I did spend a little money there.

Back to Divots for another spin past the vendors and then we hit the road home. By then we were all a bit parched so stopped at Sportsman's outside of Meadow Grove for cold drinks and then on home.

It was a really fun day. Here are just a few pictures I took of some of my favorite quilts from the various displays.

Click on the pictures to biggy-size them to see more detail.

Monday, July 20, 2015


Yesterday I had a nice, peaceful day at home doing laundry and canning beans while the hubby took his green '55 Chevy wagon to the Summer Fest car show in O'Neill. (You appreciate days home by yourself when you have a retired hubby who doesn't always know what to do with himself, but always expects you to set food on the table and invite him to eat.) He came home with these:

I have jars of green beans  and clean laundry to show for my day. You can't eat or wear trophies!!

Saturday, July 18, 2015


You know how we all complain about not having enough closets or cupboards?  Well after spending most of my work day today cleaning out one of the library's storage areas I'm thinking maybe we shouldn't have any more than the bare minimum of storage space. That way we would have to dispose of any leftovers from projects or things we just don't have use for.  It's truly amazing what I all threw out...some had been sitting there for over fifteen years and never been used. Some stuff was just outdated...why keep it? Some holiday decor was just plain shabby...I didn't want to use it anymore....why was it all crammed into a drawer??

While it maybe wasn't as bad as the picture above, it's so nice to see floor space! And a couple empty shelves!  And a sparsely occupied lower cabinet!  There are still some boxes of donated books that need to be gone through. I know they are all non-fiction, heavy on history and a lot of them aren't needed in our collection. Now that I've made a start maybe I can deal with them too. Even more floor space would be nice.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Big Finish For The Month!

Yep, here's my big finish for the month:

A mug rug made using last month's quilt club English piecing project. My sewing machine was being cranky when I was putting this together so it's certainly not my best work, but good enough to set a cup of coffee on.  Maybe the machine didn't like the batiks or the thickness or the iron-on fleece...who knows.

I just looked out the window and see storm clouds to the north. Earlier storms to the south of us moved off to the east. Those resulted in heavy rain and hail at Neligh and Oakdale, now there's a flash flood warning til 10pm. Hope it's not going to be a wild, stormy night. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Great Day For A Celebration

Happy 4th of July!

It's a beautiful day to celebrate Independence Day. We'll be going to daughter's for grilling out and fireworks.  

Sunday, June 21, 2015

AC is humming....

We have window ACs and while I get tired of the noise, I'm glad to have them when the weather turns to Summer. The sun was already getting hot when I went out for a walk around 10:30-10:45. Perfect in the shade then, but warming up.

This afternoon I think I will do some cutting-marking-sewing on some more of these:

It's a pattern I came across online. It's a video tutorial and I don't even know the name of the block, but thought it would make a good QOV quilt.  The blocks start out with 10" and 5 1/2" squares. The pattern as the video showed it was for 80 blocks, but each block finishes at 9" so the usual 48 blocks should be enough for a QOV sized quilt...especially since I like to add at least a narrow border.

Both of the towns where I spent time growing up are having celebrations this weekend. One is for their 125th and the other is their annual celebration. Last week another neighboring town had their annual celebration. We haven't gone to any of them. I know I must be odd, but I'd rather stay home and sew or read on the weekend. I loved the parades, rides, street food and that kind of stuff when I was younger but now the traffic, crowds and heat just pretty much make me think home is the best place. How about you?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Summer's Here!

Yesterday was our first really hot, humid day of the season....right around 100 degrees. After such a cool, wet Spring we aren't ready for this to be sprung on us....I was thoroughly wilted by the end of the day. First thing this morning the AC went in the window....hubby did as he was told with little complaint...he himself had to admit last night that it was pretty miserable in the house. It's cooled down now, it's supposed to be cooler outside for a few days and I can deal with that just fine

This afternoon is our quilt group meeting. It's a hand sewing project so no need to lug the sewing machine, which is nice though I'm not a big hand sewing fan. Always good to shake it up a little.

I've also been doing a little sewing now and then at home. Finished two tops for QOV quilts [no pictures yet] and this is my latest long-term project:

It's Bonnie Hunter's Spoolin' Around pattern. The little spool blocks are all scrappy and I'm going to use the fuschia and green in the setting triangles and borders like she has. It was those bright, happy colors that drew me to it in the first place.  Want to place bets on how many years it takes me to finish??

And last, but certainly not least, is a birthday gift from a friend:

She was thinking of the canning I do and made it out of good sturdy denim. I don't know if it shows up correctly in the picture, but the binding is lime green. Love it! Thanks again, Flicsha.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

Hope you are having an enjoyable holiday weekend and that you took a moment to remember and thank those who served and are serving. We made the cemetery rounds on Saturday afternoon in the mist. Yesterday we went out to DH's grandparents' farm where some of the relatives were gathered in the mist and sprinkles. Today we've seen some rain, some sunshine and it looks like we may be seeing some more rain. My project for today is working on a "Twister" quilt that will be a Quilts of Valor donation. Kind of appropriate for the day don't you think?

I've made this pattern before and always make a mess cutting out the blocks from the pieced together squares & border.

Maybe I channel Eleanor Burns? Only when she tosses the scraps over her shoulder onto the floor on her show there is a crew to clean it up. Here I AM the crew!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May Catch-Up

I think I've hit my stride...about one post a month. :)  Where to start?

The library used book sale ended on May 2. Lots of work setting up and taking down. Boxes of books are HEAVY.  One of the qualifications to be a librarian is to be able to heft 35-40 pound boxes of books :) We didn't get rich but sold quite a few books. There are still a few to dispose of.

Last week was pretty busy...worked on Monday & then Library Board meeting with all the attendant paperwork & reports; on Tuesday our son and twin grandkids came to visit and brought me a beautiful planter full of flowers for Mother's Day... that night with a May Basket exchange; Antelope Co. Library Assoc. meeting on Wednesday morning followed by Quilt Club in the afternoon. I hosted and had the project...Summer table runner. Somewhere in there I put together a dessert too.

Thursday was my long day at the library and Friday was a trip to Neligh....good chicken & pork sales at the grocery store, stops at the courthouse and dollar store. I'm so glad not every week is like that.

I've been cutting up a lot of fabric scraps into squares & strips during the past month or so. I like to sit down and just sew away sometimes. Very relaxing, but the pieces have to be ready! Sunday I cut strips for a patriotic Jelly Roll Race quilt and sewed it together this afternoon, then cut squares for making a patriotic Twister quilt. Both will be donated to Quilts of Valor at some point. I try to make two or three each year.

Just had a call after supper that tomorrow the sewer gets dug up for repairs....if it isn't raining too hard that is. Otherwise it will be the next day. Maybe, just maybe, it will work like it is supposed to after that and I can actually run a bigger load through the washing machine....curtains, towels, quilts, winter clothes to put away (maybe should hold off a little on that last one?) and just postponed laundry. For months I've held my breath every time I ran just a small-medium load and watched the drain like a hawk in hopes of catching it before it backed up. Darned machine will keep siphoning even after you hit the "off" button so you have to bail fast. Keep your fingers crossed that those old pipes haven't crumbled and make the job bigger than anybody wants to pay for.

Guess this will do it for another month unless something interesting happens.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Was just looking back at my blog and Oh. My. Gosh. It's been a month since I even thought of it. I'd been cutting scraps...making good progress when I came down with a really nasty least I think it was a cold...sneezing, congestion, coughing, know the drill, it's going around. Felt a little better by Easter Sunday so joined the family for supper that day and the traditional Easter Egg hunt for the little ones.  Still coughing a little, but the worst part is feeling so fuzzy brained and being ready for a nap after being up just 2-3 hours. Just takes time I guess.

Came across a blog this evening that I hadn't read for a while, Midwest Quilts . Hi, Jay! Glad to see you're feeling better and back to quilting and blogging. I tried to comment on one of your posts but I don't think it idea why. There are a handful of blogs that don't let me post so I just lurk.

I've been slowly getting a project together for our next quilt group meeting and this week I'm going to sew....fuzzy brain and all!  Sometimes you just have to take the bull by the horns and make yourself do something in order to feel better. It's time!!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Happy National Quilting Day!

I didn't even realize this was National Quilting Day until I started reading Facebook after I got home from work this afternoon!  So I can't say I celebrated it much except I worked for a while at cutting some scraps into 2" squares....not planned for anything in particular, just something to sew into four patches when I feel like sewing. So many of the quilt patterns I like and might want to make start with four patches. I also cut some 1 1/2" X 3 1/2" rectangles for little spool blocks. Another "when I feel like it" project.

This is a picture of the latest quilt I quilted. There were some challenges, but it came out OK in the end.

Anyone know the name of the pattern?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Finished and Confused

First of all, the finish...

Orca Bay.....a former mystery pattern designed by Bonnie Hunter from her book, String Fling: Scrappy, Happy and Loving It! It only took me four years to get it done. :)

And this is a friend's quilt I quilted for her:

Very colorful. The outer border is a deep purple and the lime green inner border sets it off perfectly.

Now for the confused....  Today at our quilt group meeting our project was a paper pieced star...a really cute pattern. But, I have to tell you, my brain just doesn't get along with paper piecing. I got one section of the star done correctly. The second section...not so good. :)  Maybe I'll be better able to concentrate at home and do it right. I made extra copies of the foundation papers just in case. LOL

Enjoying the beautiful Spring weather. Hope it lasts, though the Northeast is due for more winter-like weather again this weekend. They have had such a bad winter!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Big Talk & Rotary Cutters

Today was the day for Big Talk From Small Libraries, a webinar series hosted by the Nebraska Library Commission. If I remember correctly this was the fourth year I participated in this.  They last all day from about 9am to 5pm with some short breaks. Very inspiring, but that's a long time to be glued to the computer, so yes, I  was the one cutting quilt pieces for itty, bitty Spool blocks. I say itty bitty because four of these will make a 6" finished block. My laptop was on the cutting table next to me so I could listen & watch while I wielded the rotary cutters.

The presentations lasted until 5pm  and by 4pm I had cut up all the strips and had my container, a bread pan, about filled up with kitted up block pieces. Now when I feel like it I can just sew, sew, sew.

It was a good way to spend a cold day. Now, I wonder what we're having for supper.......

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Scrap Sorting & Pressing....

.....ready to cut into pieces the right sizes to make beautiful quilts. It's a very quiet Sunday, perfectly suitable for this sort of activity.

Fabric has gotten so expensive that it just makes good sense to try to use up the scraps...ala Bonnie Hunter.  I have a couple quilts in mind so I will cut for them as I go through these.  This box has been on a shelf in the basement storage area for quite a while. I'm finding old favorites from the days in the 1980s to the mid-1990s when I sewed for craft fairs.  Brings back memories!  The smallest pieces that I save are 2" squares. Some of the patterns I like use 1 1/2" squares but if I actually make them I'll start out with strips that size...much easier to handle.  Anything smaller than the 2" size finally goes in the trash....and then Hubby digs through them to find the ones usable as gun cleaning patches! Seems like the usefulness of this old fabric never ends. :)

Friday, February 13, 2015

To All

Happy Friday the 13th!!

And we get another one next month!!  I'm not superstitious so it's just another day. My day will be happy if the sewer line gets routered out yet today. I have calls in to two different guys. Whoever gets here first gets the job. I WILL be nice enough to call the one that doesn't......

Today, besides waiting for the sewer guy, I'm just cutting down some scraps into 2" and 2 1/2" inch squares for future quilts. I don't keep anything smaller than that. There IS a quilt pattern that I want to make that calls for 1 1/2" squares, but I think I'll start with strips sewed together, then cut in segments and made into four patches. I'm really itching to start something new, but I still have three quilts of my own to get quilted. Will I be able to hold out?

This quilt was started as a project at our January Orchard Quilters meeting. We held a Jelly Roll Race for the center part and the challenge was to bring it back finished to the February meeting. Or, at least finished into a top. I managed to get mine quilted and bound so it's in the FINISHED pile.

It's made from a Bonnie and Camille Miss Kate jelly roll from Moda, along with some yardage for borders and binding.  I just squeaked by on fabric for the binding because I had used the same fabric for my daughter's quilt at Christmas and I had only bought a yard...had something like an inch left over. I'm keeping this one and it will live on the back of my couch this summer. It's such a bright, cheerful quilt.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Here's To Short-Lived Resolutions

I've only ordered a yard & a half of fabric this year so far for a border on a top I've had put together for at least three years...maybe more.  Got it out with the intention of  making backing & piecing batting for it and decided I REALLY didn't like the border on it and ripped it off.  Hope I like the new fabric better.

As a side note....I'm ready for Spring.  This cold weather is getting very old!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

You Would Think.....

...that since I haven't left the house since Monday afternoon that I would have gotten a lot of sewing done.

Not so.

The phone rang a lot....can I blame my lack of accomplishment on that???  

Didn't think so!!!

Yesterday I sewed up 24 quilt blocks for a block drive (that ended at the end of Nov.).

Today I pieced together four border strips, packaged up those 24 blocks and a baby gift to go in the mail on Saturday.

See, I don't plan to leave the house tomorrow either.  :)  My plan for tomorrow is to put borders on Orca Bay. I may or may not get them all on, but I at least want to get the inside border and the pieced borders on. I want the quilt a little larger so I'll probably put on another border out of the same fabric as the inside border and then bind in black. That should look OK.

Unless I change my mind.

I REALLY have to do better this year than I did over the past week!!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Got Some Sewing Done Today

Finally, today I got to get back to my sewing machine and do some sewing that wasn't rush, rush for some specific deadline. I didn't do anything fantastic, just a set of blocks for a block drive for Alycia Carmin's QOV project. Actually the deadline for getting blocks in was the end of November, while I was embroiled in Christmas sewing. It's OK, I know they can still use the blocks for making QOV quilts at her group's sew days.

The pattern is very simple...go the the link above for the full directions. These blocks are in patriotic colors, but it would make a great scrappy quilt. It really does need the side strip to be one color or color family for contrast.

Now I'm off to bed.

Happy New Year everyone.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas---Lots Of Pictures

Count your blessings...these are only a few of what I took.  Click them to biggy-size.

Frank Sinatra hat--Daddy is a Frank fan.

Our cutest little Christmas elf!

The feast.

Let's get these presents opened.

On to the next ones!

Ooohhhh, we love these!

Her very own grocery cart.

Grandson's sports themed quilt with the Pittsburgh Steelers fabric on the back.

I think she likes it!

See what I got, Grandpa?

That thick, fleece lined stocking hat is coming in handy about now.

Daughter's throw-sized Jelly Roll Race bright colors, as requested.

Always some silliness going on!

Cookie break! Ollie is hoping they drop some.

More silliness.

Pie break!
We had a great day. It was so much fun to watch the two little ones enjoy their first real Christmas. Last year they were present, but at three months old they weren't doing much.  Hope you all enjoyed your Christmas too.