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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas !!

Merry Christmas to you in whatever language you say it!

We are STILL having a White Christmas. Something we haven't had in several years. I'm glad the kids enjoy it. Our family has decided Christmas is about children, so dedicate all our resources to the younger generation. Here's a photo of one of the youngest ones with her new sled.
Hubby just came in and asked when breakfast would be ready so today's post will be short I guess. (Trying to be nice to him since it's Christmas !!) Just kidding! I DIDN'T tell him I'm busy QUILTING!! (I was trying to get caught up with the mystery quilt over at A Pocketfull Of Mysteries. Ah, well, there's always tomorrow! Hehe!! I'm sure I'll be too tired after we get home tonight.
Love, Peace and Joy to each of you.
Christmas Thanks,
That Jesus came to offer salvation to each of us ( Not sorry if you don't like that, it's how I feel. You can believe in whatever you wish. Not trying to tell you what to believe.)
Beautiful Morning--the SUN is shining, however briefly
AND my new Janome MC6600P (my early Christmas from Hubby)

Monday, December 22, 2008

And Still More Snow

This is a photo of a set of placemats and coasters I made and quilted for a friend who loves cats in a big way!

I babysit for my daughter who lives about 40 miles away. Usually it's about a 45 minute drive. It took us 2 HOURS last Thursday, so hubby is taking me over there this evening as he has work tomorrow and I need to be there by 7 a.m. (YUK!!!) So I'm trying to get myself ready to go. I'd much rather lie down in front of the TV and take a nap! It seems that's where I do my best sleeping(laughing). Especially during my favorite TV show, Dr. House.

I think we have close to two feet of snow now. Sigh. Maybe more, it just keeps coming down. I hear Portland has relief in sight, but I hold out no hopes for our elevation. Hubby said MAYBE it would melt by March! If we're lucky! I think we've entered the next ice age!!! I saw a weather map yesterday and it appeared that you could go from Seattle, WA to New York State without ever getting out of the snow. Everything North of the Mason-Dixon Line! Ok. That's it, I'm moving from the Northwest to the Deep South, maybe Florida or Puerto Rico!!

I got a really bright idea while sorting through my quilting stash. I came across some Dale Ernhardt fabric. (Son-in-law is REALLY into him in a BIG way) It has 7" or so #3 race car on it and his signature etc. I cut out a car, the signature, and a large 3. I have some checkered flag fabric for the back. I'm going to machine embroider Owen's 1st Christmas on the back, and then fuse the back and front together, maybe add a decorative stitch around the edges. I thought it would make a cute ornament to commerate his first Christmas. We'll see how it turns out. And of course, I have to do a Tink for his big sister, Aspen.

I've been being pulled in so many other directions that I've given up on doing the quilt for my Mom for Christmas, maybe Mother's Day!! Doing that has really taken a huge load off me. It's like I can relax and actually ENJOY the holidays now.

Hubby just called from the shop and said he's about ready to take off. Oh what joy! And the heater is sadly unable to keep up with our near-zero weather. I'm NOT looking forward to this trip !! I've got 2 pair of tights, 3 pair of socks and a heavy pair of pants on. Also a heavy sweater and sweatshirt with a hoodie. I've got a VERY heavy coat that Hubby bought me many years ago, a stocking cap and the coat has a hood. I think I trew in 3 pair of gloves. Think I'll be able to keep warm? I will be SOOOO glad when Spring comes!

I'm going to be doing a mystery quilt called Moasic Tiles. I've never done a myserty quilt before so this sounds like fun.

Also I've seen a quilt called Storm at Sea that I want to do. I wish I could find the photo of it again. It was really unusual. It had been quilted from the back I think and really made the rolling of the sea stand out. I've seen other interpretations of this pattern, but this was the most striking. Also another one I'd like to do soon I don't remember the name of but the block is a star that is made with various strips on each 'arm' of the star. Looked like really an awesome way to get rid of those 'scraps' that we quilters just can't seem to part with. Recently I saw some fabric postcard that a friend had done with selvege edges. How's THAT for re-purposing? I've never even THOUGHT of saving them, but after seeing what she had done, I went digging through the trash!! Now to just have enough time!!

I need to find somewhere in here to put a TV. I've been watching all the storm coveraege lately instead of keeping my 'nose to the grindstone.' NOT GOOD. TV isn't THAT important. I usually keep the volume up so I can hear it in here. If there is anything that sounds interesting I can always go in there and see what's happening.

If I don't get back before Christmas,

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas


Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow, Snow, Everywhere

It makes me think of those lines from the Ancient Mariner, "Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink."

The trees were so laden down Keith had to brush the snow off so they wouldn't break. We have more snow from this continued storm than we've had total for the last several years. This is really unusual. Normally the first few snowfalls are just a few inches, and they melt away. This is our first snow and it appears as though it's here to stay. Of course, who knows? With our crazy weather it could warm up and all be melted by Christmas.
This is more like the winters were many years ago. I've always heard that the weather goes in cycles. It appears that we are headed back to the hard winters. I've seen photos of Multnomah Falls when it was frozen over. I believe that was the winter of '52. Anyway, it was in the early 50s.
I remember as a child in Portland when the snow was so deep we made tunnels under the snow. And then there was a Silver Thaw. (They call them ice storms now.) Silver Thaws were so pretty. As a child one doesn't think about how the roads are, or the damage to the trees, etc.
Just the term sounds much nicer than ice storm!
Stay warm and dry,
Happiness List
I'm happy the power hasn't gone out.
I'm happy I've no place I HAVE to be today.
I'm happy my pets enjoy being in the house with me.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mercy! It's been a week since I posted here. I've been very busy trying to finish up the GIFTS!

According to my favorite weather site it is -3 right now. Yes, you read that correctly! MINUS THREE!! Oh, burr! No wonder, that although the temp SAYS it is 75 in here, it feels chilly.

I haven't used a sewing machine with a knee control for YEARS. Evidentally old habits die hard. My new machine has a knee LIFT for the presser foot. I've found that trying to sew with the lift partially raised does not let itself to nice looking sewing. Hehe!!

Only four more placemats to quilt and the QUILT to finish. I may JUST make it. Maybe by living on really strong coffee! I also would like to try my hand at fabric postcards. They look like 'sew' much fun. Family and friends are used to getting their holiday cards AFTER Christmas, so that won't be a problem. I have an idea in mind but I'm not sure I am artistic enough to actually DO it.

The last few nights Hubby has been spending the night out in the shop to keep the wood stove going for his baby chicks. Not a problem. I like the house quiet when I'm concentrating, no distractions.

One of these days I'll sit down and actually figure out how to post photos on here. It makes blogs more interesting to be able to SEE what the writer is referring to. Well...what do you know? I've been looking in the wrong spot. I just found a button that says "Add Image" Now what's my excuse?

I've been told that if you keep a journal and write down just three things you are thankful for each day, it will make you a happier person. are three things for today.

I'm thankful Christmas is still 8 days away
I'm thankful our oldest is coming home for the holiday
I'm thankful I can stay home safe and snug for a couple days

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Remind Me Next Year

Next year I'm going grocery shopping BEFORE Thanksgiving and buy enough for the entire month of December. I couldn't believe it! The grocery store itself wasn't TOO crowded but people were practically fighting over the parking spaces. Oh, mercy! Wish I could just buy EVERYTHING on the internet and stay at home!

I got the fabric I needed to finish 2 sets of placemats/coasters. Then I just need to get this quilt done. Then it's on to second granddaughter's quilt. I was given the pattern for the cutest kitties that I'm going to use as the border around the center of the quilt. Think of a fan quilt with kitty heads and tails. She wants a black and white cat in the center (tuxedo type colors) so I was thinking of doing these 'fan' kitties in black/white/pink. She's also a VERY pink girl. She loves pink.

I've got the batting and backing for the quilt crying to be finished. There's really nothing stopping me, and all that. Granddaughter #2 is coming for the weekend so I really NEED to cook something and not let her think her Grandma is TOTALLY into her sewing machine.

Would you believe? I came up two inches short on one of the borders on that quilt. I just can't believe it. I measure and remeasure before I cut. Oh GRRRR!!! I'm really tempted to just cut that much off the width of the top and bottom borders. I don't want a TWO INCH piece at the end of one border. I'm So disgusted! I've got to make up my mind how I'm going to fix this problem and get on with it. It reminds me of the old game, "Heavy, Heavy, Hangs Over Thine Head."

Hubby thinks I'm nuts, but I took a picture of the head of his dog, Ringo. Then I printed it on some of that printable fabric that you can run through the printer. I adhered that with double sided stiff stabilizer to an old cordoroy Christmas stocking. Now she has a personalized stocking. Poor Daisy has to make do with one that once belonged to our beloved Lindy, the Cocker Spaniel. Maybe I could cover up the knit-in Cocker with a picture of her. Hmmm. Not sure how it would stick to sweater-knit fabric. I could always make her one of her own.

Three Things I'm Thankful for Today

I didn't get crushed in the shopping crowd

Our friend has made it through heart surgery she's in her 80s)

I have a warm home--it may not be what I would like but it's warm and dry)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Rainy Sunday... Good Quilting Day

With much trepidation I suqared up the corners of my first un-square quilt. I basically had to breathe in, breathe out as I CUT the crooked side of the quilt. So, for better or's trimmed.

Now to cut the borders, sew them on, and then the BIG deal of quilting it. The last quilt I did was tied with embroidery floss. Not hard to do but a real back-killer Not to mention trips to my sister-in-law who has quilt frams. Right then I decided I WAS going to learn machine quilting. Nothing fancy for this quilt. Just Sittch In The Ditch.

I've got this new Janome just itching to show me what it can do!! I got the MC6600P. It has the Accu-Feed System. I've played around on "sandwiched" scraps. For the non-quilters who may read this, that is top, batting, and backing.

I'm being a real coward about doing all this since the quilt is a Christmas gift. I want it to be perfect as it can be.

Hubby's chicken flock grew in size over the weekend. Friday morning his order of 25 chicks arrived safe and sound from Texas. I was really concerned that this time of year they would arrive as frozen chicken nuggets! The hatchery included 2 extra so they must have had the same thoughts. So his flock has grown from five hens and three roosters. We have a friendly neighborhood fox who just LOVES our chicken yard. Hopefully we have the fox-friendly places fixed os it can't get in again.

It isn't getting that cold here in our area but the Border Collie has decided that at her age she NEEDS to be a house dog. Hubby thinks she stay out alll day and only comes in after dark. She's so sneaky!! As soon as he's gone, she's ready to come back in the house.

Picture this in your mind's eye. The Mini Doxi has one of those cute little beds, even wth a cover over it so she can 'hide.' It sits under the table my computer monitor is on. The Border Collie goes over there and stands and looks and looks. You ca just imagine her thinking, Why does that little beast get such a nice, soft bed and I have to lie on the floor? So I took pity on her.

I love to re-purpose things. While searching around for something to make her a bed from I found a VERY old sleeping bag. I was at the local fabric store where there was a $3/yard sale on some "not very pretty" fabrics. One piece was like what was referred to as cotton duck years ago. I bought enough to make a pillowcase style cover for the sleeping bag.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy`

I've been so busy lately sewing with my new machine that I've hardly touched the computer. I do have a couple of placemats and matching coasters done. I need to search through the stach and see if I can find another fabric to make two more. I've also finished the two quilt tops that I was working on. Now the big job of squaring them up and doing the quilting!

And, of course, there's the never-ending mending basket. I'm short so most everything needs to be shortened if I don't want to look like I'm wearing clothes that would fit my mother in length.

Christmas shopping is nearly done, one grandchild left to get gifts for. Hooray!! Since our family has grown so large, the adults have come to the conclusion that Christmas is for kids. So most of the gifting goes to them and just small things for the rest of us. Really makes life simpler.

Hubby is building me a new sewing table. It's a challenge to come up with a design that will fit in this teeny tiny space but yet be large enough. We've finally decided on a modular design. I'm getting so anxious for it to be done. I've been going through things I thought I needed in here so I'll have room for it. Thank God for large storage sheds.

I'm hoping this finds all of you:
In control of Chiristmas, not the other way around
Enjoying life

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008 is History

It was just me and my Mother this year. We had a very simple meal, didn't feel overly stuffed when the meal was over, and had an enjoyable afternoon. We chatted with the family in California who are doing the early-bird shopping in the morning. UGH!! One of the perks of growing older...a person no longer HAS to do those things. The "kids" think I'm too old for much shopping and I'm NOT about to disallusion them !! Although my best friend and I did agree the other day that "shop 'till you drop" doesn't take as long as it once did.

I bought the most beautiful fabric yesterday. It's pale pink with a silvery sheen to it. And so soft. It reminds me of the cotton sateen that was popular when I was young. It must have been more expensive than most, because as I recall, to have something made from sateen was a real treat.

Well, I'm off to go practice some machine quilting so I won't make a mess of this Special Quilt I'm trying to get finished.

Have a Great Weekend coming up,
And a safe trip home from Grandma's House.


A roof over my head, humble as it is
Peace and quiet
That I live in the country

Thanksgiving Eve

Is everyone ready for Thanksgiving? This will be the first year that I haven't cooked the Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner. My family that's close has all gone to our oldest daughter's for the holiday. Someone needed to stay home to take care of things on the farm. (mainly the dogs and cats) Now before you go feeling sorry for me being all alone, I won't be. My mother is coming over and we will have a brunch of homemade soup and salad. Since I'm diabetic I shouldn't be eating most of the goodies anyway, so have a little extra for me, ok?

Before Mom decided to come over I was going to spend the day working on Christmas gifts. I'm having so much fun with my new sewing machine I hate to take the time to sleep or eat ! I have so many ideas for quilts and other sewng projects that I know I'll never get them all done in time for gifts this year.

Big Dog, aka Ringo, is getting a bed to sleep on. I don't know why, since she's in here sleeping on the floor. Picture this--she's a Border Collie and walks over and looks and looks at Daisy's bed. (Daisy is my Mini Doxie.) You can just imagine her thinking, I WANT to lie on THAT bed.

Since I believe in re-purposing things, I hunted through the "treasures" in the shop and found an old, old ragged sleeping bag. I'm going to make a pillow case type cover for it that I can slip off to wash. At least now Ringo will have the choice of whether she wants to sleep on the floor or on a doggy bed. Then I just need to make a harness so she can drag it around the house with her. Have bed will travel. Just kidding!

Have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving, and safe traveling.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Seeing Old Friends and dogs.

I took an unplanned ride with a cherished friend today. Took most of the day but we had a great time. There's nothing quite like getting to visit with a friend to make the day brighter. We even got to see two herds of wild horses. (I TOLD you we live out in the boonies!)

She has gone to school to be a hypnotherapist and is setting up an office in a nearby town. So we went shopping for drapes and things for her new office. She also was picking up her granddaughter for the weekend.

My husband and I each have a dog. I have a mini doxie and he hasa border collie. I won't let her in the bedroom (she needs a bath) so she has to sleep on a throw rug close to the door. The doxie has one of those little doxie sized cuddly beds with a cover over it so she can feel like she's in a cave. Then it's stuck under a small table so she can feel safe(and out of the way). Invariably, the border collie comes along, sticks her head under the table, and acts like she wants to crawl in bed with Daisy (the doxie). It looks so funny! I think I'll get her(Ringo) a new bed for Christmas. Poor old dog. She deserves a bed too.

I'm thankful Ringo can't jump anymore or she'd be in our bed. Gotta be a limit somewhere!!

Thanksgiving Thankfuls


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Useless Trip

Took the afternoon off from sewing and made a trip to the fabric store. What a waste of time. They didn't have ANY of the fabric I wanted, but I DID manage to pick up a cute flannel
for a quilt back.

Do you collect way too much STUFF? I don't have just fabric. I have more dishes than two people need, and yet we use a mismatched collection of Corelle. Even for company (country term for guests). They get a kick out of choosing what pattern of plate to eat from. So I'm not only entertaining the guests by having them over, but by the plates we use! So don't think you have to drag out the Lennox or whatever to make the guests feel special.

I also have books...and books...and books. I especially love OLD books. If my house burned down (up?) I'd miss my old books most. I still have several of the Little Golden Books from MY childhood. None of them are of any great value. To anyone but me, and I treasure each and every one. The book that got me started collecting is called Muslin Town by Gwendolyn Lampshire Hayden. (a distant relative). It's the story of a pioneer family in Eastern Oregon. It has a special place of honor right here above my computer. i could write pages and pages about my favorite books.

And then, of course, there are my family heirlooms. Some of them are more like the proverbial albatross around the neck. And I will pass them down to my children for them to drag around with them. Or not. One of my treasures in this category is an old crank telephone that was in my grandparents home when it burned on Christmas Day 1948. One of the neighbors pulled it off the wall and threw it out into the yard. Does that speak to how much more value they put on items we wouldn't think twice about? If our house were on fire I'm sure a PHONE would be one of the last things we'd think of trying to save. So, I've moved it and moved it over the past forty years. I don't dare even try to hang it on the wall. They "shore don't make them walls like they used to, Martha."


Warm home (it's COLD outside!)
Soft, cuddly dogs that love me

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Quilt goof-ups

Mercy! It's Tuesday evening already! I would have had Quilt #1 top all done, but I've been having some sort of block. (No pun intended!) I keep sewing the block together wrong. They are set on point and it's driving me to distraction. UGH! How frustrating. Can I cry now?

So I sewed a couple of criss-cross coasters instead. I'll rip the necessary blocks apart this evening while I watch TV with one eye LOL At this point I just want to be done with that quilt. I porbably need to take a day off from sewing and go to the fabric store !

DH is cutting some blocks to raise my sewing/cutting table up higher to save my poor achey-breaky back. Sorry Billy. Just couldn't resist.

Today's Thankfulness

No rain
Stayed home and sewed
No snowmen in my yard LOL

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's Sunday evening already. Just exactly WHERE has this weekend gone? Sure sped by in a hurry to get somewhere else. I've been working on that quilt most of the day and decided it was time for a break. A few of the blocks aren't the size they should be so that's the next step--to fix them. Then it's on to the layout and stitching the top together. YEA !! When I get the top done I'll post a picture of it. The next one in the works is Dress Up Cats (September 07 Quick Quilts). I found the cutest multi colored fabric. It's got buttons on it. I used that as my inspiration fabric and found small polka dots and some pin dots to cordinate with it. Now just to get it done. The cats are all cut out. I just need some background and backing fabric and I can sew away on it. Then there's cupcake pin cushions, criss-cross coasters, a new sewing machine cover (for me), and get started on my give-away quilts using all my scraps. (I have CONTAINERS full!) Oh, and finish MY wall hanging. I'd also like to do a Christmas table topper of some sort. Our kitchen table is getting so beat up I'd like to cover it with SOMETHING. Think that's enough projects to keep me from sleeping too much between now and Christmas? I do.

Enough for tonight. I'm ready to vegg out for awhile.

Thankful list:

No rain today
Sun was out
Got all the blocks done for quilt #1

Midnight Mumbles

It's nearly 1 am and here I am sitting at the computer. I finally got tired and bleary eyed sewing and dedided to quit for the night. I just discovered an awesome site about using all those little pieces to make scrappy quilts for the less fortunate. This has been a goal of mine. It seems that every winter, even here locally, I hear about houses burning down and familes losing everything. Since I'm SO cold-blooded I've been wanting to do SOMETHING so others could stay warm also. The site is called Creative Scrap Quilting. Very fun site!

I have only three more block to make for Mom's quilt, then I can start assembling it. Somewhere between the store and home I've lost (misplaced) one of the FQs. So for now I'm that much short for the last block. I even checked my receipt and, yes, I DID buy enough. Now just to find where it"s in hiding! I hope DH hasn't burned the garbage yet. I'm wondering if it didn't make it out of the bag when I got home.

I'm going to toddle my body off to my nice comfy bed now. See ya all tomorrow.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Roasted Veggies

This is a wonderfuf way to use up those fall veggies. Simple too. On of my main requirements. Martha I ain't! More like Rachel. I CAN do Martha, just don't want to take the time. Anyway, here it is.

Chunk up whatever veggies you have. Today mine is pumpkin, butternut squash, red potatoes, rutabaga and turnip. I think that's all. That's just to give you an idea of what all you can use. Oops, I forgot to add a quartered onion and some carrots. In too big of a hurry. Haven't put it in the oven yet so I can go add those. Put all your veggies in a large bowl and add 3 tbs EVOO (extra vergin olive oil for those of you who don't watch Rachel), salt, and rosemary. I know I have Rosemary SOMEWHERE but she's in hiding so I used something else. Mix and place on a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Bake at 450, 45-50 minutes, or until done.

Quick and healthy to boot. Enjoy

Thankful for:

My dog
My family

Julianne's Quilt

I made this one for Julianne's eighth-grade graduation. I got the bright (?) idea to make her a quilt about two weeks prior to the day we had to leave. She wanted just a lap cozy quilt, as she lives where it doesn't get to ZERO in the winter. Lucky her. As you can see it's a pinwheel quilt, with free pinwheels. She had chosen the backing fabric on a trip she made with me to the fabric shop. So I pulled colors from that VERY colorful backing for the top. It was a very fun quilt to make. I put the daisy motifs in the centers as that little do-hickey thing-y that holds the pinwheel together. Read that as, to hide where the wheels didn't quite match. Also, Daisy is my Mini Doxie's name and she just ADORES Julianne. Not reciprocated though, Julianne prefers the Border Collie, Ringo. We hid some bills, dollars not phone bills, in the little pockets created by the wheels. Although giving her the phone bills would have been nice! Just kidding!

I loved pinwheels as a child, and was very excited when someone actually bought me one. So this quilt brought back many fond memories for Grandma. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the entire quilt before I gave it to her. I'm trying to do better at photographing my projects!


To a quilter a UFO is an UnFinished Object, not something floating in the sky. My UFOs include Garden Favorites, a Debbie Mumm block-of-the-month. Um-hmm, if you do NOTHING else! It's from 2007 and I'm on Block Seven. I'm also working on Vintage Memories. It will be just the quilt top and a backing for a new cover for our duvet. I wanted one that looked like a quilt but couldn't find one so am making my own. Each of the grandchildren will get a quilt from Grandma. I'm on the second one. She wants a black/white cat in the center of hers. I have some scraps of black washable velvet that I want to use to make the cat soft. And, of course, Christmas gifts. Those will be secret until AFTER the holiday.

It's showing the promise of another beautiful day here in eastern Washington. Cool, however. Winter is shoving Fall out of the way. Winter is never fun on The Farm. Can you say, messy and muddy? More time away from quilting due to more HOUSEWORK. That's a nasty nine-letter word! Nearly as bad as COOKING! Those all take time away from QUILTING.

Thankful for:

Granddaughter #2 is visiting for the weekend
No SNOW...yet