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.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Another One For The History Books

Another Christmas Day is about over. It goes all too fast. We spend hours upon hours shopping, creating, decorating, cleaning cooking....and in just a few hours it's over. It was fun though. Watching 15 month old twins tear into their presents and then play and play is great entertainment. It seemed everyone else liked their gifts too. I made quilts for Daughter and Oldest Grandson and now that they have them I can share pictures.

Daughter showed me a picture of a raggy type quilt that looked a lot like this, but was a lot more fussy work than I like to do, so a Jelly Roll Race quilt it was. She requested bright colors and this jelly roll was about the brightest I could find.

Oldest Grandson and I had talked about a quilt for his room at Easter. He wanted blue and a sports theme and this is the result. The back is a Pittsburgh Steelers fabric and exactly matches the wallpaper border in his room. He's a great Steelers fan!

I hope everyone has had a great Christmas and now we can look forward to the New Year....a new start.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Playing Along

Bonnie Hunter announced today that she would be hosting a Christmas Eve Linky Party tomorrow where we can share pictures of our favorite quilty Christmas projects. The Linky will go live at 5am.....needless to say my link to this blog post will be posted later.  :)  I'm not a morning person and make no apologies for it.

Anyway, here are two of my favorite Christmasy projects:

Christmas table topper started at an Orchard Quilter's meeting probably 9 or 10 years ago. I've used it every year since.

Roll, Roll Cotton Boll made from a Bonnie Hunter mystery pattern. It's the closest I come to having a Christmas quilt.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Frosty Morning

Our frosty morning after the heavy fog we had yesterday and last night.

It would have been so much prettier with some sunshine.....which we haven't seen for well over a week now.

Monday, December 15, 2014

How Do They Know???

Today I'm just about finished quilting the last gift quilt for Christmas. It's not very big and the machine is stitching perfectly. Yesterday was a whole other story!

How do machines know when you want to get something finished and time is running short? I got the quilt loaded, the machine was oiled, the bobbins were wound, put in a new needle. The first row or two went pretty good but I noticed some little loopies on the back so tightened up the upper tension---a couple of times. That didn't do any good so I switched bobbins. Nope. Re-threaded the machine. Nope. Switched top thread from Perma-Core to Maxi-Lock. Better but now we have skipped stitches. Finally consulted the troubleshooting section of the manual and it suggested a larger size needle. Switched them out and.....wait for it.......SUCCESS!!!  The last two and a half rows of the quilt look really great. :)  Oh,'s going to an 11-yr. old non-quilter so I doubt he'll ever notice that the back isn't quite perfect. No pictures yet, but I'll be sure to get some before the quilts get wrapped.

Are you ready for Christmas?? I'm resigned to the fact that not everything that I would like to get done will get done. But, there will be presents and food and what doesn't get done can wait until later. There's no sense half-killing myself over things nobody else will notice and there's no sense being too exhausted to enjoy the day with the family.

And, I forgot to was a SNOW DAY!!! Nothing better than a snow day. It's kind of a bonus day and I look forward to them like a little kid. Rain, snow, wind, but I didn't have to go out in's all good.

Now, back to that last quilt.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving Prep

Have you done yours?

I'm thankful I don't have to sew on the kitchen table. I don't have a dining room or dining room table so that's not a problem either. :)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Super Heroes

Our little Halloween Super Heroes.

Bat Girl is moving so fast she's just a blur!!

Cute little capes.
Hope you all had a fun Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Quilt of Valor Block Drive

Alycia Carmin in Colorado is running a block drive for Quilts of Valor from now till the end of November. Click here for the full scoop --

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What Quilt Do You Have On Your Bed?

That's the question Jo over at Jo's Country Junction has asked. Bonnie Hunter's "Jamestown Landing" is the quilt on my bed.

It's the only quilt I've finished in the last couple of years that I have kept.  As soon as I saw a picture of it I knew I wanted make it....the process just took a couple of years.

Now it's your turn to show what's on your bed and share it on Jo's blog.

Friday, October 3, 2014

It'll Be Here Soon.....Halloween, That Is

This year I'm ready.....

A Halloween quilt for the back of the couch, made using my Twister ruler.

And a table-topper for my table. I have a weakness for Halloween fabric and had built up quite a collection.  These two projects at least made a dent in it.  I'm thinking it might be fun to make a Spiderweb quilt since about all that's left of some pieces is strips.

Came home from work yesterday with some sort of bug.....upset tummy, fever, aches & pains, totally tired.  Took some ibuprofen when I got home  and soon after that crawled into bed and went to sleep.  If anyone had a "library emergency" last night I hope they dealt with it somehow.  Hubby had orders to tell anyone who called that I was sick and sleeping. With two ballgames, in two different towns, in two different directions, I imagine the library would have been a pretty lonely place anyway. I feel considerably better today, not 100%, but better.  Just tired and draggy.

Speaking of the library, go to the homepage at  and notice the tab marked "OverDrive".  YES!! E-books and audio books can now be checked out & downloaded online.  Patrons can log in with their complete 8-digit library number and a PIN.  Check with the library on these. This has been a few years coming and we hope that library patrons who joined other libraries in order to download will "come back home" and download via our library. We haven't had any training in using the process yet, so just click on the "Help" link once logged in. We'll be learning right along with you using the same link.  I did notice that they have some pretty good videos explaining how things work, a list of compatible devices and any software you might need to download.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Let Them Eat Cake!

Our twin grandchildren were one year old on the 19th and celebrated their birthday Sunday in their new house. They moved in on Saturday and had a birthday party on Sunday for a whole bunch of people. Mom & Dad looked a little tired on Sunday. :) Of course, we had the required birthday-cake-all-over-the-face pictures....

Holden wasn't really into it...he'd just had supper and he was tired...missed the afternoon nap. Hayden, on the other hand, got right down to business stuffing that piece of cake into her mouth. And then looked around for more. It really was good cake....the other grandma baked & decorated it.

And here's their new house:

I think they are going to miss their acreage, but this house has so much more room & it's in a nice quiet part of town where they won't have all the noisy truck traffic that developed on their road after a big grain handling facility was built to the south.  And hey, you can see by the piles of shingles that it got a new roof just before they bought it.

As for me, I've been working on some Fall projects that I will post later and celebrating National Sewing Month by cruising the online fabric stores and buying fabric. I added up the amount and realized I may have gone a bit overboard. Most of it has a planned purpose and like I always say, fabric is an investment, and the price isn't likely to go down.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Pears 'n Apples

The harvest is good this year.

Hanging in clusters, like grapes....really big grapes.  :)

More were added after I took this picture.
Last of the McIntosh apples...they're really nice this year.

Some serious canning and dehydrating work here.  The Golden Delicious apples are my preference for dehydrating and they're ready to pick too.  Tomatoes are about done, red bell peppers are getting ripe, squash is about ready to eat. The sweet corn didn't produce as much this year for the amount planted, but all in all the garden did well this year.

Pretty soon we'll be eating a lot of Pear Pie and Squash, Potato & Sausage Casserole. We look forward to it all year.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Latest Finish

Today we have a beautiful Fall day and I should be outside enjoying it. Instead, here I am, in the house sewing and taking breaks to play on the computer.  Here is a picture of my latest finish....just so you know I do get some things done. I always like to take my finishes to Quilt Club for Show 'n Tell before I put them on the blog.  That way my hometown quilting friends get to see them first.

It will be donated to Quilts of Valor. It's a good thing there's such a worthy cause to donate to since I love making them, but what would I do with all of them? Pictures to go through from time to time take up much less space in my small house.

And here's the next will look completely different when finished.

I have a perfectly good UFO that just needs borders before it's ready to quilt, but do I work on that??Oh, no!! Starting something new is so much more fun.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Don't Even Think About It!!

Has your DH or one of your dear children ever asked to use your fabric scissors?  Should they have the audacity to do so, this diagram might be useful:
I found it on Bonnie Hunter's blog and it was just screaming to be shared. :)

There's a quilt on the frame, so maybe I'll have something "quilty" to share soon. This past month I've spent a good bit of time freezing & canning corn & canning tomatoes.  I had picked another batch of tomatoes & a neighbor brought over a 5-gallon bucket full that should all be ready to can on Friday. I still have some canned whole tomatoes left from last year so will maybe do one more canner full of those and then start making tomato/veggie juice.  It's my choice of juice for breakfast.

Have you used the Tattler reusable lids....plastic lid & rubber ring? I used some last year and didn't have much trouble, but this year I've lost 2 jars (bottoms fell out) due to over tightening the metal rings and had two jars pop open as soon as they came out of the canner. I decided I had reused the metal ring from the first jar that popped open on the second one and that it must be defective, so it got tossed.  Put on a different ring, re-processed about 25 min. and all was good. There is a knack to using the Tattlers. Kind of like when my Grandma used the old zinc lids with the rubber rings.  When putting the lids on the jars just tighten lightly....finger tight, the directions say. Then when they come out of the canner you finish tightening them up.

After having the long weekend and my regular days off work, I head back tomorrow. Not really terribly enthused about it, but the money buys quilt fabric and pays for Internet service, among other things, so..............hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go.  :)  :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Time For More

Today was our Orchard Quilters meeting at the library. The project was making the Missouri Star Quilt Co. "Disappearing Hour Glass" block. (no picture, sorry)  I had watched the video several times and made a couple sample blocks at home that turned out perfect. The first two I tried to make at the meeting were a disaster & I gave up on them. The next two looked fine, but when I took them home they were about a quarter inch bigger all around than the samples. A ruler and rotary cutter took care of that problem in short order. Even managed to save one of the disaster blocks!  I think the problem must have been that the samples were sewn on my main machine and the ones at the meeting were done on my traveling machine. Made some more on the main machine after coming home and they turned out fine. Thus my theory.

I had finished a couple things that I took along for Show 'n Tell so now I can post the pictures here.

It's my version of a Jelly Roll Race quilt using Jo Kramer's directions and her daughter Kelli's strip calculator to make the size of quilt you want.....not what the original Jelly Roll Race quilt gives you. The back is made out of 20" squares of hand dyed fabrics in greens & browns that I made years ago. It will be a donation to Quilts of Valor (QOV).

This was another kit provided by fellow quilt group member Jennifer. I didn't need a child size quilt right now so added it to her collection for donation.

The next couple days off work will probably be devoted to freezing corn. The tomatoes are getting ripe so there will be canning in my future...not nearly as much time for sewing. I want to keep working on the Disappearing Hour Glass blocks before I forget how to do them and maybe work on the Orca Bay quilt. It's getting high time to finish it...there are others I want to start!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Blame It On Microsoft...........Partly, At Least

Ever since the summer of 2005 our automated circulation, cataloging, web opac system at the library and the computers we use for it have worked very well.  No problems to speak of. Suddenly last Saturday I discovered that the WebOpac program wasn't working. The webopac.exe file had gone missing. Strange.  In reinstalling it I found that Avast Anti-Virus was blocking it. Easy enough to fix...just uninstall Avast and install AVG in it's place. It should all be good now, right?? Well, it would have been except I couldn't enter the license and activation numbers. After fiddling with it on Monday and Thursday, calling tech support, only to find out they wanted five years worth of maintenance fees to bring us "up to date", I finally solved the problem yesterday, Saturday.  MICROSOFT INTERNET EXPLORER had to be set as the default browser!!!!  A week's worth of frustration!!! All that stress and aggravation because of Avast, Microsoft and the automation software company who wrote the software to only use Internet Explorer.......and didn't say so in the instructions.

This weekend is our local annual celebration.  The parade was this afternoon and I opted out.  De-papered string blocks instead.  Hubby went to watch and came back and said it was a long, drawn-out, tedious affair.  So I guess my intuition was telling me it was better to stay home where it's cool and out of the wind to get something done instead of being downtown getting a good sunburn.

This coming Thursday is the last Story Time for the summer at the library. I've had fun planning crafts and picking out books, making posters, etc.  I really thought we would have better attendance than we did, since there are quite a few kids in the right age group in town. We started out with five kids each of the first two weeks and this past week were down to two.  I don't have much hope for this last one. If parents won't see that their kids get to the library it doesn't happen.  It's a good thing I enjoyed the getting ready part.

Hope everyone's enjoyed their weekend and that you all have a good week ahead.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

I'm A Little Slow With This

This is what we made at our July Quilt Club meeting:

Mine is a nice centerpiece for my table. Some members were going to make more for a set of placemats.

Can you believe the crazy stuff on the news any more?  A civilian airliner shot down. What's the point in that? Tens of thousands of Central American minors illegally flooding over the southern border, with 100,000 expected by years end. What kind of parents would turn their children, some only 8 or 9, over to a coyote or a drug cartel to smuggle through Mexico and into the U.S.? Are they so naive as to believe that those kids will be safe? That most of the U.S. will welcome them with open arms? Sometimes I think ignorance really would be bliss and avoiding the news on TV, newspapers and the Internet might be the best course.

Heading back to my sewing room to hide from all the craziness.......

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I Was Saving These.....

...for Show 'n Tell at my quilt group meeting before I posted here.

This is a donation quilt that was started at last month's meeting.  We each received a pre-cut kit made by one of the members. When we return the finished product to go to charity we get another kit that we can make up and keep if we choose. I thought it turned out pretty....the binding just MADE the whole quilt. I hope some little girl will love it.

This one was started with one block made at the May meeting. Same deal, bring back the finished product and get a surprise. I had the top finished by the June meeting and got it quilted and bound in time for the July meeting. It will be donated as a Quilts of Valor quilt when I get a couple more quilts made.  You just get more bang for your buck if you have at least three quilts to mail at once.  One at a time gets pretty pricey.

This one will be staying at my house.  It's the Jamestown Landing pattern by Bonnie Hunter.  The very first time I saw a picture of it I knew I had to make it. The pattern was first published in an Australian quilting magazine and I tracked it down and bought a copy.  The pattern is also in Bonnie's book, String Fling: Scrappy, Happy and Loving It! available to buy on her website.  I found the layout diagram in the magazine to be most helpful in putting it together.

Happy quilting everyone!