Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July is Over?!?!

Whew can you believe the month of  July is finished?

My July goals were kind of simple because I work, and jury duty.

1.  Work on the quilting of the Ginger Rose quilt.  Nope first it was too hot, then I got side tracked.  It is still sitting by the machine to be quilted though.

2.  Work on my jewel box quilt.  4 blocks this month.  I got this one completed early in the month.  I actually finished 4 blocks!

3.  Get some more farmer's wife quilt blocks completed.  8 blocks this month.  Got this one covered too!
4.  I am going to finish my curtains for my family room!  Thought about them, but that is it.  I got side tracked with another project I wanted to work on. 

5.  Work on my country charmer I want to complete at least 2 blocks-  I haven't had a chance to touch these not that I don't want to but I have been working many hours for many days in a row so by the time I get home, I wash my clothes, get a shower, and grab a bite to eat and head to bed. 

6. Get caught up with the Lazy Sunday Morning Mystery quilt
I got part 2 caught up but not part 3 because I wanted to do something different.   So I would say that this was a partial completion of the goal. 

I did get some of my tomatoes processed (peeled and frozen) so when I have enough I can make either a batch of Salsa, Tomato basil soup, or spaghetti sauce. 

Did you accomplish any of your goals for July?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saturday Accomplishments

My week has been hectic!  How about yours?  You would think with the kids moved out and just DH and I that life would be kind of slowing down.  Not even remotely!

We have a garden, not huge, but it has the things we use.  Tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, pablano peppers, and jalapenos.  The summer has been harsh.  extremely hot temperatures with tons of rain, hurricane force winds on several occasions.  Last year I had Roma Tomatoes which were the size of a big beefsteak tomato.  I probably harvested off of 8 plants at least 3 bushels of them.  We made salsa, spaghetti sauce, and tomato basil soup and still had tons left over. 

This is my poor garden this year.  The winds have toppled my tomato cages, there are weeds which are huge, but you can't go into the garden for long because of the huge mosquitoes.  We had two nice days.  Day 1 I pulled weeds in my flower beds, and berry patch.  Day 2 I mowed the lawn for DH and pulled more weeds in the berry patch, a few huge weeds in the garden, picked up the huge deadfall branches from all the storms.  Harvested a small handful of berries, and a couple of tomatoes.  Even after using mosquito repellants I was bit all over my body, even through my clothes! 

Yesterday the neighbor guy came by and sprayed for mosquitoes.  It is really worth it for the 30 days we do not have to run to and from the car for fear of being eaten alive.  The problem is that with all the rain he couldn't spray for over a month.  Early this morning I went out and harvested what tomatoes I could find.  Yeah no mosquitoes!

I even managed to find 2 nice slicing tomatoes for lunch later.

I processed the Romas by at least blanching them, removing the skins,  and putting them in a gallon freezer bag.  Unfortunately I think we are going to have to purchase a couple of bushels of tomatoes to process for the tomato basil soup, spaghetti sauce, and salsa. 

After my domestic chores, I finished my Lincoln Schnibbles quilt.  I decided that I needed to quit messing with it.  I tried some new to me techniques. 

1.  I made my own bias binding.  Easy peasy, and I found a great tutorial here on how to estimate, cut, and sew it together.  I was pleased with how easy it was.

2.  I used the method for Susie's Magic Binding to make the binding.

3.  I made a super cute quilt label (for once)!

4.  I made it so it could be hung easily just using a dowel since DH scowls at me when I put anything on the walls.  :D

This is how it turned out.

I need to wash it now. 

Lessons learned?

 I need to make wider binding than what is in the tutorial for Susie's Magic Binding.  I had to really fight mine, and that takes all the pleasure out of it.

I finally got a really nice biased finish to my binding though but it took me several tries.

Some times it is best just to call it finished even if it is not perfect and walk away!

How's your Saturday?

Oh and my intention of pulling weeds was put on hold.  It is raining.  Guess I will have to work on a new project  I am in the September pin cushion blog hop and I have some great ideas rolling around in my little brain that I just need to "Make it Sew!"  LOL  

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Summer Cold

I have not had a chance to post for a few days.  I have had a couple of really long work days, and one night I worked.


one of the disease infested little vermin gave me a cold.....wonder which one?

Today was a day off.  So....

I slept in since I worked until well past midnight, and by the time I got home, and showered it was breakfast time in London.

I worked on Lincoln.

Still working on the quilting for the outer borders, but the inside is all finished.  Need to work on my FMQ skills.

I weeded one of the flower beds.

Mowed the lot and all of the outlying areas.  DH does not allow me to get close to buildings, trees, structures, of any kind.

The Lot
I weeded the berry patch, lots of thistles this year, and morning glory vines! Yuck!  But my raspberry and blackberry plants yielded these little fruits.

I also found a bunch of tomatoes.
Let the canning season begin! 

I pulled weeds for a wee bit longer, but the mosquitoes were too much and drove me back into the house. 
Oh and my sew every day in July was a huge fail!  The day where I worked for 13 hours did me in and by the time I got home I was too tired to even consider sewing. 

Anything exciting in your neck of the woods?

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Friday night was a wild one.  Straight line winds of about 70 mph, torrential rains, thunder and lightning which was flashing so much you would have thought that we were walking the red carpet with paparazzi following.  Of course it happened when I was working on the layout for Lincoln.  The power went out!  I have had little blips since I lived here but this was the first full blown power outage.

DH sprang into action.  Out the door to force his way into the garage to find the generator, extension cords, and gas cans.  I was rummaging for candles, a lighter and/or matches.

Funny enough my biggest complaint about living out here is all the light pollution.  The neighbor who lives behind us albeit over an acre away has extensive outdoor lighting, and they Never. Shut. It. Off.  I could see it being on during the evening, but the middle of the night all the lights are blazing.    DH has a photo cell light over the garage that lights up the whole driveway area from the barn to the house, and almost to the road.  Hey there are neighborhoods in Detroit with less outdoor lighting.

The absolute darkness except for the constant flash of lightning was eerie, but kind of a refreshing change too.  Until DH came in told me to find a gas station.  Um yeah sweetie there is a power outage. It appears that everyone in the area had the same idea, and we all ended up in a little town called Flat Rock, which was completely black and with some of the funky intersections with no lights at all it was amazing no one was in a horrendous car accident.  Since it was black there, I decided to head East toward I-75 and in the next town they had power!  So the gas station was running. 

I returned home just as the generator ran out of gas.  The generator filled and I was sent to bed,  I will admit I am very spoiled.  I love a cold bedroom, and with no power, I had no A/C, couldn't run any of the ceiling fans, and the driving rain prevented me from opening the windows.  The bedroom was stifling, so I opted to sleep on the couch.  DH took the couch in the sunroom.  When the storm died down, the windows were opened.  I fell asleep for a while, but was awoken by DH slamming the windows shut again.  We had another storm coming through, again with the extreme winds, rain, and thunder and lightning.  To top it off the generator stopped working.  Dh headed outside into the storm to see what was going on with the generator, and I tried to figure out where the buckets were, because if we had no power, the sump would not be working, and we would be flooding very quickly. Fortunately DH got the generator running, and we ran to check to see that the sump was up to the top and edging quickly to the brim.

The power came on at about 5am the next morning, and I woke up to discover that my quilt wall had somehow ended up on the floor, well at least the majority of the blocks.  In a gigantic pile!

I am trying to recreate it based upon a quick picture that I had just snapped with my phone before the power went out. The majority of the day was spent napping after the long, wet night.  I sewed a couple of blocks together. 

Even though I worked today, then had to return the grand kitty to her mama I still had a few minutes to sew so tried to get my pieces arranged in the sewing order, and put a couple of blocks together again today.

Day 21 of sewing everyday in July!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Lovely Hot Friday

I wanted to go to Ohio to a show called Kaleidoscope of Quilts XVI which if I remember my roman numerals is 16.  I mentioned it to DH the other day that if I did not have court I was going to go.  I called in last night and I was dismissed for the day today.  I told DH and he just smiled.

Imagine my surprise this morning when I realized that he was still asleep and the alarm had not went off.  He decided to go with me so he had taken the day off.  I don't blame him one bit, the weather has been hot here in the 90's all week long and with the high humidity it feels like it is in the 100's.

Anyway off we went to Sylvania, Ohio.  We took the scenic route down Telegraph road which used to be one of the old North/South roads.  We wandered through farmland, past small businesses and marveled at the difference in the crops from just 20 miles away and near our house.  Obviously they have not been getting the torrential rains which by the way still have our fields swamped.

What eye candy.  I am sorry I could not get close enough to get pictures of the tags, and the quilts so they were legible.  I was very disappointed to discover several were pretty blurry too.  So I am going to apologize right away.

Love the use of value and batiks in this quilt.

DH and I both loved this friendship quilt with the signature blocks, but also the center motifs especially the barn, silo and windmill.

I loved the movement in this quilt made with the simple log cabin laid out in the barn raising pattern but with the secondary stars, and maple leaf in the blocks.

DH loved this quilt when I explained to him that it was a paper pieced quilt he kind of raised his eyebrows and told me he just could not see me having the patience to make a quilt quite that large.

I thought this quilt was beautiful it is an Edyta Sitar Pattern. 

We loved this quilt it was a very happy yellow.
Sorry the picture is not great but DH loved the movement in this bargello.  It actually reminded me of a disappearing 9 patch looking at the color gradations.

This little quilt of valor was gorgeous.  Loved the colors, and the quilting.

I made this quilt large because I loved the peacock feather fabric which was used in it, and how it gives such a feeling of movement.

I have seen it before at the quilt show at Sauder village.  My favorite part about this quilt?  The antique looking post cards, the old cars, the old wheels, the look like they are from an old photo album.  I love it all.   OH yeah and this quilt was made by a man. 

I love this Judy Niemeyer quilt and have seen many Glacial star patterns, but this was a surprising and delightful color combination. 

Sorry about the blurry picture.  This is a small quilt, but I thought how they put blocks in the border which pushed outside of the boundary of the quilt was very neat. 
Another blurry picture but see those teeny tiny flying geese in relation to DH humungous paw?  This quilt was so cute though and the little flying geese just needed to be shown. (Don't freak peeps, he is not touching the quilt!  He is afraid of the quilt police at the show!)

After the quilt show we wandered up to Dundee, Michigan to have lunch at The River's Edge Grill.  Then took a leisurely drive up the north side of the River Raisin into Monroe.

Then out to Calder's which is a dairy farm out in the middle of the boonies, to get ice cream, butter, and fresh corn for dinner tonight.   I had a wonderful time with DH while he was playing hooky.

Oh my I need to get dinner on, and I want to do a wee bit of sewing tonight because it would be my 19th day of sewing in a row.

How was your Friday? 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Two Months?!?!?!

Today was the first day that I had to appear at court for jury duty.  The county that we live in is rural, lots of small towns, and the local claim to fame is the town that George Armstrong Custer-yes the Little Bighorn Custer;  is from this area.  Custer lived with his Aunt and Uncle in Monroe, Michigan.  Anyway, jury duty in Monroe county is for 2 months! Yes 2 months.  I received a letter which tells me 15 different days which I may have to appear.  I call in the night before and they tell you whether I have to appear or not.  I was assigned 2 more days today! 

I woke up early with DH today, dressed, and headed to the sewing room to resew the blocks that I tore apart last night.  Surprisingly I had all of them sewn back together before I had to leave for court this morning.  DH actually messaged me when it was time to leave.  The county is a bit manic about their jurors showing up and if you do not show up they will issue a bench warrant! 

I have decided I never want to have to go to trial in this county.  Six jurors are selected from a panel of 18 people!   I was not chosen today so I was dismissed at about 10:30 am so I came home and finished my blocks for the Lazy Sunday Mystery.

 I took a quick gander at the next set of instructions and decided I just was not ready to start cutting for that part yet.  So this was put away in the project box, and Lincoln came out!

I finished sewing all the blocks and laid them out to get an idea of what it would look like. 
I think I am going to love how this quilt turns out. 

Day 18 of Sew every day in July. 
Tomorrow I will sew a little but I am going to instead get some inspiration. 
The Kaleidoscope of Quilts show in Sylvania, Ohio.  I can't wait!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Date with The Ripper

I have been working on these for days now....it seems like forever actually even though I sewed very little on the days I worked (only an a couple of hours!) Today though I was up early and in my sewing room.  I worked on sewing these babies together.

And these.

And finally started on constructing this block.
I laid all the parts out so that I could just chain stitch all the blocks together, finished and discovered that I had sewn some together incorrectly.

The top is correct....which means the bottom is wrong. 
I have a pile of 22 wrong. :(
So I have a date with Mr. Ripper. 

On an up note I won a give away from Quilt Taffy a lovely set of charm squares from the Free Spirit line called World Tour. 

Something about it reminds me of  the middle east which I was fortunate enough to visit when I was a teen.  Imagine being a teenager and visiting the Pyramids of Giza, the Bazaars of Syria, the Lost City of Petra in Jordan, the Dead Sea in Israel and many other wonderful places.  Take me back many, many years.

Oh and this is day 17 in a row which I have sewn, 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Reinforcements Have Arrived

I have actually sewn for 15 days in a row now.  Doesn't hurt that it has been hot and humid!  For weeks we have had hot weather with torrential rain, to the point that our fields are flooded.  No rain for 3 days, some sunshine, the fields are drying up but the mosquitoes!  You can hear them headed for you when you walk out the door.  They sound like a squadron of WWII bombers headed your way!  Walking to the garden to pick a few squash for dinner, or to the mailbox be prepared to be covered in welts when you return.  

Anyway Saturday, and Sunday I worked on the Lazy Sunday Mystery from Quiltmaker Magazine after I got home from work. The pattern is by Bonnie Hunter.  Instead of doing scrappy I used some more modern fabrics and decided to stick with just 6 fabrics.  

I actually had to take a picture to keep the order of my fabrics right in my head.  Wow there were a lot of pieces to cut out and after 2 days of cutting I could finally start to sew today.  

This is what I completed so far.  There is a lot more sewing that is going to have to go on with these to get this section completed and there was a new one that came out recently!  

My stash enhancement aka reinforcement fabric arrived today.  So when I get all of the part 2 of my Lazy Sunday Mystery completed back to the Schnibbles quilt Lincoln!  I am determined to finish that baby up.

While cutting for what seemed like forever I did finish a book called In Deep Voodoo by Stephanie Bond.  Nice light, little murder mystery, romance with a great end for the whodunnit.  I actually have the second book of the series and started to read/listen to that today.  Nice summer read. 

So what are you sewing on today?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Whew at Least it Isn't Friday the 13th!

Friday was my day off.  No obligations, no babysitting, just time to sew.  I got over my quilter's block and worked on the jewel box quilt and finished 4squares today which helps me reach another goal for my July goals which is:

2.  Work on my jewel box quilt.  4 blocks this month.  Yes I finished 4 blocks today!

I am getting low on my Kona Black solid which I am using.  I work for the next few days so I will have to wait to do a stash enhancement trip.  I think the original amount I purchased was approximately 3 yards and I have about a yard remaining.  If I am going to make 36 blocks that would mean that I will need about 4 more yards of black! 

This is day 12 of sew every day in July.  I am still amazed at how much I can accomplish in small increments.  I work tomorrow morning, but I know I will have a bit of time to sew tomorrow.  I think tomorrow will be a Lazy Sunday mystery day.  I would like to get it cut up for part 2 and sewn together. 

10 Things this Summer

Sherri at A Quilting Life is inspiring quilters to make a list of 10 things they would like to do this summer.  Some people listed cleaning their sewing space, working on embroidery projects, trying new quilting techniques, many things on the lists, not all quilting or sewing related either.  None of them have to be finished.  Just work on them!

Here is my list:

1.  Finish my first Schnibbles quilt  Lincoln. 
2.  Farmer's Wife, keep working on the blocks.  I am at 24 so far.  I am going to try to do 2 a week.  That would be approximately 22 until the end of summer and I did 8 this week so I am off to a great start!
3.  Work on my jewel box quilt.  I finally figured out how big I want it to be I need 36 blocks.  I would like to do at least 2 blocks a month. 
4.  I really need to buckle down with my cross stitch.  These end up being stocking cuffs for the family at my mothers.  (Crinkles up nose) yeah I am slightly behind...Gabe (grandson who is now 4 1/2), Nikole (SIL), DH, Finn (grandson who is almost 6 months), Pablo (new nephew who is a month old already!), and there will be a new grandson Cayden who is due soon also.  I am only 6 behind...yikes.
5.  Start my drunkards path quilt.  I have the fabric and played with the template and the curve master foot and truly enjoyed piecing the blocks.
6.  Continue to work on the machine quilting for the Ginger Rose it is big and when it is hot I do not like to wrestle with the quilt and the machine.

7.  Get caught up on the Lazy Sunday Mystery I had some of part 2 cut out but not the sewing.  I think that part 3 is actually out now. 

8.   Finish making the curtains for the family room.  I keep saying it but can't seem to commit to the project.
9.  Put together a few more country charmer blocks. Someone pointed out summer officially ends in September I would like to finish 6 of these babies.
10.  I have so many choices.  I am going to go out of the quilting, sewing realm to the one thing I absolutely know I will have to do eventually.  Canning!  Last year was my first real foray into canning.  I made salsa, spaghetti sauce, tomato basil soup, and green beans.  I also processed a lot of different kinds of squash, but those were frozen, and the freezer is still well stocked.
The peppers I did a couple of weeks ago.  We are trying different recipes, and they are cold packed.  So for those of you that don't can- heat up the brine and pour over the veggie.  In this case the jalapenos then put in the fridge for a week or two.  The tomato basil soup is going to be a must though, I don't have any of it left.  We made 8 quarts because I was not too sure about it ( I had never had tomato soup before) and we ran out by Christmas last year.  So I know that we need to make at least 36 quarts this year.  Also this is my last quart of salsa, and I used the last pint of spaghetti sauce the other day.  Which explains why my garden is full of 18 Roma tomato plants. 

I love making lists it keeps me kind of focused, and it is fun to see what I can check off.  Come on make a list and join. 

Today is day 12 of sewing every day.  Jewel box blocks here I come.