Wednesday, October 31, 2007

This is Shelby--she is a collie/German shepherd mix that is about 11 years old. She is the official Halloween greeter. She has a loud bark even when she is just talking, but she so enjoys the kids that come trick-or-treating and thinks they all should take time to pet her. And most of them all the collies or part collie dogs I have come in contact with or owned, she loves kids. We didn't count how many we had, but sure not as many as we used to have.
Last night we were gone to late to have any, and I think we missed a lot of them then. We did not get corned at all this year--don't know if it is cause all the kids we really know are grown or if kids just don't do it to people they don't know. They used to always make me jump when it hit the windows.
Some of the boys up the street used to get their mom's old purses, tie a string to it, and set it out in the road. Then when a car stopped to get it, they would be hid back in the bushes and jerk it out or their reach. They did it one time to many, and lost one of their mom's purses that way. But they still had fun that way...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fall scenes

This is my small quilt I have been working on...again not good pictures but you can get the idea. I have the binding sewn on the first time around and will turn it to the back and hand stitch it down next week. I am saving it to have hand work to do. I am pleased with my progress in free motion quilting. I hope I can do as well with a big quilt.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The little darlings

Don't you wish all siblings got along this well? She is forever taking care of him--she is the smaller one. You would never guess they are from the same litter from the same day if you were just seeing them side by side. I think he is twice as big as she is.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Here is the recipe for the easy chicken pot pie my daughter had...I forgot to get this past weekend when I was down there so she took it to work and scanned it and sent it. It did not state how much flour to use to thicken the butter/broth mixture. Also, she made almost double the recipe and we had to bake longer. We don't know if it was due to the fact that she made more or what--after the biscuits were brown, we laid aluminum foil over top of them to prevent them from burning.

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

1 bag Bird's Eye frozen vegetables
1 cup Bird's Eye white pearl onions (we decided we would have liked them better quartered)
4 cups cubed cooked chicken
3 TBS butter
3 cups low fat chicken broth
1/2 cup low fat half-n-half cream
salt and pepper to taste
pinch nutmeg
1 package refrigerated buttermilk biscuit dough
2 TBS parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place veggies in 2 qt. backing dish.
Spread chicken over veggies. In a small saucepan melt butter over medium heat, add flour, beat til smooth. Whisk in chicken broth, cook until thickened and sauce comes to a boil. Add cream and cook for one more minute. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Pour sauce over chicken and veggies. Separate biscuits and place over sauce. Sprinkle parsley over biscuits. Bake 18-20 minutes until biscuits are brown and sauce is bubbling.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I saw but I did not conquer...though all was going well in the in the free-motion quilting. Then there dropped something on my quilt and I first thought it was a thread and then realized I had not had dark thread anywhere about. It was the thread take-up spring from the top tension. It had broke. So I came up and called the place I got my Juki from and they were so busy I had to wait for them to call me back. It would take them a week to get the part, then have to ship it to me, so I called another place I have heard mentioned on the Juki forums at Yahoo and will see how this goes. I ordered two, just in case this ever happens again...but in all my years of sewing this is the first I have ever seen one break.

After it broke, I quilted a few more inches and it still seems to do okay, so will try more after I get supper fixed. I am in the mood to get this thing finished. My husband came down and saw what I had done and thought it was really nice. I think I am losing my fear of the quilting, I just need to learn to slow down and not try to go so fast.
I did go for a drive yesterday, but I did not take fishing equipment. I didn't go near the fishing holes I had in mind. I only drove
about 45-50 miles, but it took 2 1/2 hours, and I took almost 50
pictures. It was totally enjoyable...the only thing better would have been if it had not been cloudy in the morning and I could have went earlier in better lighting. As it was, I am still fairly pleased with the photos I took.

I came home, downloaded them, and played with some of them a little bit--switched some of them to black and white, which I love for some things. And the picture of the leaves in my header is from one of my photos, as was the one previous of the cornfield stubble. If you want to see more of the ones I took yesterday check out: for a better view. They are really nice viewed in the slideshow here. You can have them fill your whole page and it is almost like being there. I hope you enjoy them.

Now, I need to go quilt some! I am not getting anything done sitting on here!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I have been quilting--Yeah! It is going well enough, and I do enjoy doing it. I feel that my free motion quilting isn't the greatest, but I feel it has improved and I am not real ashamed of it so far. I will just have to wait and take pictures of it because I do not know how to describe what I am doing. Nothing fancy, that is for sure. The only thing I am wondering about is if I am quilting it too close for it to be snuggly. I am hoping not because I intend for it to be used.

I did do the diagonal lines on it Sunday, then yesterday was definitely errand day for me. Cleaned up dog messes out of the back yard, ran by the bank, stopped at the post office and to Walmart and grocery...then home to unload and put away things. Followed by mowing the yard. All before noon.

In the afternoon I gave the dog a bath, cleaned up after that mess and gave myself a shower--LOL Then vacuumed and mopped, fixed supper and washed dishes. Oh, I think I did a couple loads of clothes yesterday, also.

And have not did even half that much today...did do a couple more loads of laundry and fixed supper and washed dishes. While doing laundry I contemplated the quilt but still didn't know how/what I wanted to do. Then after supper and dishes I just went down there and started. I FMQ'ed for about 2 hours....I am going to give this to a friend, but I will tell her it is part of my learning experience. She will love it anyway I think.

I am hoping to go for a drive tomorrow and planning on taking my camera. But, I had that planned for today and got up to rain so it didn't happen. I should learn not to plan too much...things have a way of happening to alter the best laid plans. I am not even sure what direction I want to many places call my name. I am even thinking about throwing my fishing rod in the back just in case I am tempted to throw my line in the water. But with all the rain I doubt if anything would be biting..

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The day has come and gone again with not a stitch sewn. I was gone with my daughter most of the day. We were supposed to be with the scout kids to sell popcorn but the ones that signed up to sell went on the camping trip instead. What kid wouldn't? So after getting set up and staying an hour, my daughter just called it off since no kids were showing up.

We loaded everything back up, took it home, and went to the mall and walked through the major department stores. It is the first time I have been to the mall in months! (The only kind of shops I like to frequent are fabric/quilt stores.) The mall has been remodeled and some stores have changed spots, as well as there were a couple new stores. Neither of us bought a thing...I was on the lookout for that perfect purse, and she was just looking.

We had lunch and then drove to other DD's house. Rachel had not seen their new puppy that found them--part pit bull boy. The vet thinks about 3 months old. He does not meet a stranger--loves everyone. I think it is highly intelligent. It was a neighbor's and got out and came to them...then it disappeared when they went to work. So when their day off came, they went to this neighbor to see if they had caught it but they didn't know where it was and didn't really want it.

So, it ends up another neighbor had seen it roaming and had caught it thinking it was Sarah and Jeremy' they went back to the real owner and ask if they were serious about not wanting it. So that is how it came into their life.
I did pin baste a small couch sized quilt Thursday. It is left over blocks from that last quilt top I did that has an Irish Chain feel to it. I have not quite decided how I want to quilt it so haven't started. I am trying to let the muse hit me before I start. But I may just have to start cause I really want to get it done fairly soon.

The other 'problem' I am having with it is it is mostly off-white tone on tone fabrics. Yet there is the colored squares that form the chain feel to the quilt...I cannot decide if I just want to go ahead and use the same off-white thread on those or do I want to attempt to use a multicolored one on them. If I thought I would not have trouble with getting the tension balanced just right, I would definitely go for the multi-colored on top and the off white on the bottom for those colored parts. But it is very hard to get it balanced just right to not have the pokies coming through one side or the other.

So it is decisions delaying me yet again....

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

These are pictures of some of the quilts my mom made...I took them with a polaroid camara when I was still a teen-ager. I wish they were better quality, but I am still glad to have these to show. This is only a small sampling of the quilts she made. All before the rotary cutter! She cut out her template/pattern out of cardboard and would just hold it along with the fabric in her hands and cut out the pieces with scissors. I don't think I ever saw her use a pin or anything to hold the cardboard in place. Any part of the sewing that was done on a machine, was done on a treadle machine.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I spent the entire afternoon doing this tablecloth/banner thing for my daughter to use when the scouts are selling popcorn. She wanted something to identify her and the cubscouts and this is what she came up with. The background is a navy blue twin sheet, and she chose the yellow fabric for the letters.

She did the letters by choosing a font on the computer and enlarging it to the size she wanted, printed each one off, and I used misty fuse to fuse them to the background then did a close zigzag stitch around each one. I used paper towels for my stabilizer and that worked fine.

Yesterday we went to Indianapolis and picked up our Rav 4. I had been so excited the night before that I did not sleep at all....I did not test drive the vehicle at all. I just sat in it to see how it felt. And to see how I felt about looking out the mirrors. So when we got home we went for a fairly long ride. I really enjoy driving has tight steering and a tight turning radius. We got the V6 so it has some power. We only got front wheel husband had read on some forums and people had only front wheel drive and lived in Minnesota, Colorado, and Chicago and said they got around fine. Since we really don't plan on going really rough places with it, it should do us fine.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I just have to share this picture with you--Chunky is about double the size of the puss puss. She sure loves him--I very seldom see him go find her to lay with, but she all the time searches him out to lay down with. She almost always has to be touching him.
I had an appointment with the surgeon that sent me to get the stereotactic biopsy...the appointment was uncalled for in so many ways. I bet it was made just in case there was bad news, we would have been planning my surgery.

My best quilting buddy's mom passed away Monday while being operated on for an aneurysm. They had it repaired but she had a heart attack. They said if they had not did the operation, it was to the point of bursting?<<

I sure did not expect it, and neither did my friend or her sister. Up until this year this lady had bowled on a bowling league, she had been bitten by the quilting bug just a few years ago and was always working on something. She also worked on geneological stuff...loved her computer. She had had old computers up until recently, and she was not afraid to wipe everything out and reformat the things herself.
On to other things....I have the heat kicked on right now. I came home from Terre Haute and was just freezing by the time I got back into my jeans. (I actually put on dress pants to go to the visitation--but they had pockets!)
I have supper half made--it should be called Hungarian/Italian beef. My friend was telling me how she made it and I thought it didn't sound too good, but told her the next time she made it to call me and let me taste it. She did and I have been fixing it ever since. This is not an exact recipe--she didn't give me one. So just sort of learn to flavor it to your own liking. I do prefer chuck roasts and I try to get one without too much fat.
I cut it into 2-3 inch chunks and put in crockpot. Next pour in 15-16 ounce can tomato sauce--that is the part that made me question whether I would like it. Next I sprinkle on 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, sprinkle in plenty of garlic powder, and sprinkle in italian seasonings. Then I fill the tomato sauce can about two-thirds full of water and pour on top of all. Put the lid on and set the crockpot on low and leave till it is real tender--usually 8 or 9 hours is plenty. We always have a loaf of crusty Italian bread to eat it with and just tear the bread! For me there is just something about tearing it rather than slicing it.
Several people have tried this and only one didn't care for it. She is Italian though so I am not sure if she is just used to different flavorings, or I wondered did she not cook long enough or not enough of the garlic, Italian seasonings, etc. When it starts cooking you definitely smell it.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I have been sewing but not quite ready to take a picture yet. The nine blocks are together, but want to add borders. I have some strips sewn together for that...I am hoping to get to sew more on that tonight.

THIS post sure made me think about my mom. She always wore an apron, but only wore the kind without the bib. I have no idea why she didn't want them. Maybe they were hotter. Till I was about 8 years old, mom cooked on the wood burning cook stove. I remember sitting by the stove in the winter mornings, but I don't remember much else about it. I do know she was glad to have the electric stove to do the canning and jellies on once we got one. But everyone always talked about how much better food tasted cooked on the wood stove.

She also always had to have pockets--even in her dresses she wanted pockets. But it was almost a sin with her if someone made an apron that did not have pockets. (Maybe this is where I get my love of pockets.) One of the things mom used her apron for was to gather things in...if we went to the garden and she decided she wanted a mess of something, she would just gather up the end of her apron in one hand and pick beans or okra and drop into the apron. An excellent way to do in my opinion.

In fact, I carried it on in a sense when I worked at the orchard...if I was out checking varieties of apples, and wanted to take some back to the house for everyone else's opinions, I would gather my t-shirt tail up in my hands and pick into that. Of course I had to watch that cause it would gradually stretch the neck till it was almost down to my bra!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

We went car shopping yesterday--next weekend by this time we should have a brand new Rav4! Does anyone out there have one and how do you like it? I am so excited to be getting something besides a car. I prefer just a plain old truck in a lot of ways, but since we have the grandkids sometimes and can't quite the bigger sized truck, I am perfectly willing to settle for the Rav4.

I spent the afternoon with my daughter and Nick selling popcorn for cub scouts, while my husband went with Nate's boyscout troop to go check out a park and learn a few trees, etc. After the popcorn stand closed, we stopped by the grocery. My daughter picked up a rotisserie chicken, frozen veggies, chicken broth, half and half, and canned biscuits. She made this fabulous chicken pot pie from this. It was a real hit with all of us!

I hope to get back to my small quilt that I am making with leftover blocks from the last top I worked on. I have nine blocks left and have those sewed together to make three rows of three. And I have the sashing and cornerstones made and pinned to go the other way. It would not take long to sew these together but not sure time will permit tomorrow. But we can always hope.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Today has been a roller coaster for me. I put the kitties to bed around midnight, which is sort of early for me. And I had a wonderful night of sleep. I even managed to sleep on my stomach for just a few minutes, a feat in itself with just having that biopsy. Speaking of it, I must say I wonder does everybody's breast itch after you have this done? I am not sure if it is from the surgery, or from the strips they put on the begin with it definitely feels like it is from deep within, but I don't know if that is possible.

I tried to process my Connecting Thread order; I could not sign in in any shape form or fashion. I first deleted temporary files and the cookies, closed browser window and reopened and tried again. I had to call customer service and finally finished that order.

Next, I tried to get my order together for Hancocks of Paducah. I had to call customer service twice there. I did finally get the job accomplished, but not before wasting my whole morning. Here it is after 1:00 p.m. and I have not accomplished anything else. I had wanted to get those orders placed and go sew, and now I am not much in the mood to do anything.

I do need to go down there though and attempt to do something. I think once I start I will be okay.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Just have to add a little post to tell that they called about the biopsy--it is negative all the way. Not cancer, no pre-cancer cells. I just need to do the follow up mammogram in 6 months. I still don't know if I was in denial or if I really had faith.
Yesterday went by without a hitch--the biopsy was done on schedule. They approached it from a different direction. Now will be waiting to hear. Was a tad bit more tender than the first time around...I didn't get much rest last night. However after my husband left for work, I managed to get a couple hours of really sound sleep. Kind of feel refreshed.
But wait a minute...I have not told about the previous night. The night before the biopsy. I had one heck of a night. I still put the kitties in 'their' room at night till we can get some rest. However, I have been getting anxious to have them sleep with us. Tuesday night was the second night I have attempted to leave them out, with me sleeping on the couch. Just to see how they do.

I thought it was going great. Chunky Monkey climbed up on my side and was sleeping so peacefully. I was not sure where 'she' was. I think I even dozed off, only to wake up and think it just might work if I went on to bed. WRONG!

Soon as I opened the door, the girl appeared out of nowhere and the boy woke up bright-eyed! I am assuming bright-eyed. Could only kind of see their outlines. They flew to the bed and started pouncing around. It was Playtime! My husband was really sound asleep and snoring...I managed to round them up in the dark and take them to their room without him ever knowing a thing.

By the time that was done I was wide awake. So I stick in a quilting video, lay down in the floor, and am asleep in short order. (I cannot stay awake if I lay down to watch quilt videos--they are better than any sleeping pill.) I woke in an hour or so I think, got up and went back to bed. I went to sleep, but I swear I don't think I slept any time till husband got up, and what does he do after he goes to the bathroom? He lets the kitties out.

They come flying back in there, and the little girl especially considers the bed her own personal, private playground. She was up there in a flash, and pouncing on anything and everything. The boy was up and down and playing some, but not as bad as her. But wait! What is at the head of our bed? A mini-blind. And he sees the cords hanging down. She sees him see them. They both get up there right by my head and start trying to get the mini-blind cords. It was rattle, rattle, rattle. Rattle, rattle, rattle!

I got up again and snatched them both, took them back to the living room, and shut the door to our bedroom! So it wasn't like worry was keeping me awake--it was my two lovely kitties. But you know, I am not complaining. I think they have kept me sane the past bit.

And I know now that they are going to be quality control for my quilting. The first sign of that is I have a quilt I keep near the couch for when I lay in there or on the is one that my mom tied. Just strips sewn together. But it is warm and snuggly, and she made it. Well, they both like to claim it.

Then this morn after I had my really sound sleep, I came into the dining room where I have a quilt chest. It has clear plexiglass sides so you can stack your quilts in it and see them. Well, I keep the lid open with tops hanging over it. It looks really good like that. So I came in here, and there were both the kitties: they had pulled the tops down and were sleeping on them. I did manage to get get some snapshots of Chunky.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

This is Lucy, thinking about climbing up my legs. I am so glad that I wear does not feel good when I have my pj's on and she decides she wants to come up and see me. Usually when they are hungry and I go to get their food, the both come running and jump up to my thighs and hang on!
I have been trying to decide what to start next....I wanted to make something little and quick to send to another friend that I went to high school with. Her birthday is the 12th, so I really need to get busy. Is it stupid to want to do something with bright flowers at this time of year? That is what I really want to do, but have about decided to quick make a couch quilt out of the blocks left over from that last quilt top I made. The one that kind of his an Irish chain feel to it. I wonder if I could get it done, with getting that biopsy tomorrow???
She lives in Pennsylvania so I would really have to buckle down and work on it every minute. I really think she would appreciate it. We were not the best of friends in high school, yet we had went to the same little elementary school so in one sense we had things in common. Had not heard from her since high school, then a couple years ago on my birthday, I got an email from her and we have been emailing each other since.
Sometime we want to make it to Tennessee at the same time...when either one of us goes down, three of our other life time friends and whichever of us two is down there, always get together and go out to eat. And talk and talk.
It is close to midnight here. I couldn't write about mom last week...too many bitter memories surfaced after seeing my sisters. I really prefer not to dwell on the bad, but it did exist. But there was good, too.
I remember one summer for some reason we had a little bit of down time when we didn't have anything pressing in the garden or tobacco. Mom pulled out 3 quilt tops and we tied them all. I cannot remember what two of them were but one of them was Hands_All_Around.
I still have it. This is just a sample I found on the web...
I remember her laughing and saying people would think we were crazy making quilts in the summer; it was hot and we had not air conditioning. So she did have a point. But she also talked about we would not be getting cold in the winter.
Sometimes I wonder how she stayed so interested in quilting. There were no quilt shows, no magazines. I remember when it was an absolute thrill to find one of the women's magazines with a quilt featured. Then came Quilter's Newsletter Magazine. I still have all mom's old issues and love to look at them every now and then. I would like to know if it was the first magazine dedicated to quilting.....I have a feeling that it was, but not sure.
One time she was able to buy this big box of scraps from a sewing factory for $5. In my mind it was a huge box, and I honestly think it was at least 20-24 inches wide, probably 12-15 inches deep, and it was much longer than it was wide. I think it took both my brothers who were teen-agers to carry it in. (And they were not small teen-agers either.) It was a treasure chest for her. I think she only made quilts and braided rugs from them. To this day that is one of my best memories.

Monday, October 1, 2007


I finally finished this today and it is on its way to Tennessee to my best friend who is also my sister-in-law. It is my first attempt at something small and artsy...I still had to plan everything. I can start a quilt and just wing it, but with this I had to get bits and pieces from different books I have. Anyone can draw a pumpkin, but I traced these instead! I get all tense inside when I actually go to do something. But just sitting down there I can do okay when I am just doodling on paper. Maybe if I do more of it, I will get more free.

I made a big pot of chili for supper. I have eaten entirely too much. I love soups--particularly my own! Though I have yet to taste a chili I didn't like. I never measure anything when making chili or vegetable soup or potato soup. I do kind of go by my recipe for broccoli tastes like no other I have ever tasted. And once I made it, no other has ever satisfied me. I found the recipe on the web years ago, and altered it a little bit.