Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goals for 2015, part 2

This is my fabric cabinet.  My husband made this cabinet from leftover wood from the log home.  It weighs a ton, empty, and full I'm sure it weighs two tons!  After they put the carpet down in the basement, I made the carpet people move it, empty, to the spot it's in now - never to be moved again! 
Anyway, it doesn't look like I have much stash, but trust me on this, I do.  It does look like it's a mess and needs to be cleaned up -- and that it does!  So, this is one of my goals for 2015:  clean out this cabinet, refold the fabric and make it more accessible, and then start using it up.  Most of this fabric is quite a few years old.  When I started quilting back in the 90's, it was the fashion to build your stash.  So, I bought fabric - and lots of it.  I didn't really develop a favorite style back then- I collected plaids at one time, homespuns, lots of fabrics with applique possibilities, baby fabrics; went through a Sandy Gervais phase where I bought a lot of her fabrics, early on I bought Thimbleberries fabrics - and I'm not fond of them at all, and then Kansas Troubles -- still love Kansas Troubles fabrics, some thirties, some civil war, flowers - had a whole stack of flowered fabrics too, and of course Christmas fabrics too!  You get the picture.  
Nowadays, I rarely buy fabrics at all unless I need something specific -- like baby fabric I bought for a couple of baby quilts in December.  So, the goal for 2015 is to whittle down the stash.  I think I'll be donating a lot of it to the homeless quilt project at church.  I have some fabrics that were donated by a former quilt shop owner that need to be cut, but when I'm caught up with those, I will be working on my own stash.

That leads me to another goal for 2015:  Cutting fabrics for the sew-in we have each month at church.  I'd like to cut enough fabrics to make up at least 5 kits each month.  We have a few quilters in the group, and they've provided a lot of already cut fabrics that we've been teaching our non-quilters to put together to make quilts.  But, as the non-quilters get used to piecing the quilts, they are getting faster at it, so just to keep up I need to make up kits each month.  We started this group last spring, and we consistently have about a dozen people show up every month to sew with us - it's amazing to me!  One lady even asked her husband for a sewing machine for Christmas because she enjoys sewing with us so much!
So that brings me to my final goal for the new year:  Putting together all the kits and projects and ufo's I have in the cabinet, in drawers, in bags -- you know how it is.  The above quilt kit was a gift from a friend a couple of years ago.  I pulled it from the depths of the cabinet the other day and actually cut it out yesterday and started stitching it together while the longarm was busy quilting another homeless quilt.  I'm sure I won't make it through all the wips and ufo's, but I'm gonna work towards that goal.  And I'm going to concentrate on making larger quilts in 2015.  2014 was the year of taking classes (Jo's Little Women and Kim Diehl's new class) and all but one of the projects were small quilts -- not only small finished size, but also smaller pieces and I think I'm done for awhile with both!  I'm going to work on lap size or larger and make them for certain family members in 2015.  Like the above quilt -- it's lap size and I think one of my nephews might like it.

So, that's my goals for 2015.  And, since tomorrow is the new year, I'll start cleaning out the cabinet tomorrow, and work on the above quilt.
Until next time....blessings, and I hope your new year is filled with happiness, and hope.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Getting Ready for 2015

A Blank Slate (Wall)
(Actually took the Christmas quilt down and haven't put up a different quilt yet!)

I've taken down Christmas and have spent a lot of time thinking over the past month.  I like to make New Years' Resolutions, but this year I'm just going to make goals.  You know the usual ones:  lose weight -- only I'm already working on that.  I spent a lot of money in 2014 taking two big trips and finishing the basement and remodeling my bathroom and putting in new floors and painting, etc.  So, 2015 I won't be spending much at all!  I'm not going to be a miser, but I've been working on decluttering a lot, so I will think twice about buying anything that I really don't need.  I do hope to be able to buy a whole new wardrobe after I drop a size or two!

I've had a lot of trouble this past year with my hands -- I have degenerative osteoarthritis in my hands (I just thought I had arthritis, but now my Rheumatologist has given me a name for it! vbg). Basically it means I've had numerous cortisone shots in my thumbs and fingers, especially this year and it's never going to get better.  So, I've been thinking about what that means for my quilting.  I love to hand applique, but eventually I probably won't be able to do much of that. So, as often as I can, with probably lots of rests in between, I'm hoping to finish off my appliqued Merry, Merry Snowman quilt, by Bunny Hill.  I only have a couple of more blocks to do.  I also have a couple of other appliqued quilts in the queue that I started years ago, so hoping to work on them as I am able.

So here's more goals for 2015 - quiltwise.  I bought the Statler stitcher for my longarm last May.  It came with Creative Studio 5.0 which is the program that moves the machine head to the patterns I've selected.  We've just been notified that CS6 is coming out in January.  So far, I can only do edge to edge quilting well and this machine can do so much, and I haven't had time to learn 5.0!  So, I'm going to be learning CS6 in 2015.  I really would like to learn all the machine can do.  And I have plenty of tops that I've saved for years to quilt once I learn to do some custom quilting.  And that includes the appliqued quilts I'm hoping to finish. The quilt on the machine in the picture is one of the quilts for the homeless that I quilt for my church group.  The group makes the tops and I quilt them.  We've had backing fabrics donated by a quilt store owner - that has been a godsend in itself.  The quilt shop is in Pecatonica, IL, so if you're ever in the neighborhood, the name of the shop is Lucky 2B Quilting.  Polly has donated more than half of all the backings we've used.
I have more thoughts and goals, but I'll put them in the next post. What are your goals for 2015?
Until next time, blessings....

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Merry Christmas....

A little early, but apparently I don't post much!  Just wanted to show you what my brother gave to me today:

Completely hand made by my brother and I totally love it.  I had asked him to make me a table/desk for my laptop.  It's all oak.

So that's my post for today! LOL  To catch you up:  I'm done remodeling the house -- it didn't really take that long to do, but I was surely tired of people in and out of the house constantly.  I have beautiful hand-scrapped 5" hickory hard wood floors in the kitchen/great room and hallway and I love them.  I have new tile floors in the bathrooms and new carpeting in the MBedroom.  And the rooms were painted.  I may have my fireplace converted to gas log -- but not this year!  Otherwise, house is done and I can get back to quilting.

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Until next time...blessings.

Friday, August 22, 2014


Just in case you ever wanted to know what chaos looks like...this is it! We got 3.4 inches of rain yesterday.  I've been working with a flooring company in addition to a remodeling company. So yesterday I picked out the wood floors I want installed in the living room and while I was talking to the salesman, I told him to just order them, but put them on hold because I needed to find a painter first to paint the rooms.  He gave me the name of one, the painter came out yesterday afternoon, gave me an estimate.  I asked him when he could do it (thinking I had months to get ready, because everyone is swamped with work around here right now).  He said today! (Because of the rain, his outside jobs are on hold, and most of his jobs are outside jobs right now.) He'll be done tomorrow -- including cathedral ceilings and walls! So in 3-1/2 hours yesterday I cleaned out everything from the furniture and what was in cabinets that he had to move to make it easier to move.  This first pic is the office and it has a bunch of everything in there!
This is the floor of my bedroom, which I already cleaned out waiting for the remodel to begin.  There just isn't any room for any of this excess stuff!
And this is the guest bedroom.  Good luck walking in there at all.  And the china and crystal will have to stay on the bed in here til the wood floors are put in and it'll be at least a couple of weeks for that!  If they come to do the bedroom remodel, I'll have to sleep on the floor in the basement!
And, I can tell you that a whole bunch of stuff will be tossed, given away or put away in its proper place after this mess!  I had to clean out my very small linen closet and hall coat closet and the closet that has the washer/dryer in it also.  When I first moved in last September/October, I put things all over the place and packed that linen closet full to overflowing, so that'll be the first one completely cleaned out. 

So, I've been in the woman cave, quilting quilts for the homeless (got two done today!), and attempting to make the lined curtains for my bedroom -- it's a real challenge since I don't sew, I just quilt!  You-tube is amazing, isn't it --you can find out how to do anything on it! lol

Until next time....blessings.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


I just read something in Guideposts yesterday that seemed like a profound statement to me: "Live Simply to help others Simply Live." It was stated by a couple in England a long time ago. They had sold their mansion and lived in a cottage a fourth of the size of their former house and they started many charities with their excess funds.
I've long been a fan of decluttering and simplifying.  But that statement really made me start to think.
I'm in the process of having a little remodeling done and it means I had to clean out my large walk-in closet.  When I moved in here, I thought I had decluttered, but I still seem to have more than I need and a lot of it went into my closet because I didn't have any other place to put it at the time.  These two pictures are of the guest bedroom where I dumped everything from my room. 

And, believe it or not, I've already sorted a large black trash bag full of clothes to go to my church -- they have regular clothing give-aways and all the stuff that's still in good condition goes to someone who needs it more than I do.  I haven't finished emptying the dresser drawers or the clothes dumped into this closet - and I have an office floor with boxes of shoes that I will never wear again -- those too will be given away. 
There will be nothing put back into the walk-in closet that doesn't belong in there, that I can and do wear, and that needs to be in there. 

I just think it's well past the time that I live simply so others can simply live.  That's my goal for now and in the future for cleaning out my house.  It'll take awhile -- trust me on that one!
And that's not even talking about the fabric and quilt stuff! :-)

Until next time....blessings.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar!

The deck on the back of the house was never stained.  Mostly it was just left to weather and was a nasty gray color.  So the first two pictures are of the deck after I power washed it, sanded some of it and washed the deck with Deck Wash.  I did that a couple of weeks ago and then waited for it to dry out after a few rainstorms.

It's been an extremely busy summer trying to get things done around here and still trying to catch up on quilting the homeless quilts.  So, finally Friday I started staining the spindles and railings.  Saturday I put the second coat on the spindles and railings and the first coat on the deck and the steps.  Today, after church and in the hot noon day sun, I put the second coat on the deck and steps.  Done is better than perfect and I'm happy with it!  The color is called Russet, but it looks a little reddish brown.  The siding on my house is a light tan.  Pictures were taken from the patio door that opens to the great room.

It feels really good to have accomplished this task by myself.  I still have to sand the porch rockers and stain or paint them -- hopefully before the snow flies!
Next up is a bedroom remodel that I will not be doing myself.  I will, however, be making the curtains for the windows. 

Until next time...blessings.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Sound of Music

Just got home from the Sound of Music musical performed at the Starlight Theatre at Rock Valley College in Rockford. 
It was magnificent!  Wow are there some beautiful voices out there! Directed by Mike Webb and he's been directing plays and musicals for more than 20 years there.  The Starlight Theatre gets its name from it's roof.  It's an open air theatre with a roof that actually opens in the shape of a star so you are literally sitting under the stars watching the show.  And the weather was absolutely beautiful today and tonight for this show.  Superb!

Until next time....Blessings.

Monday, July 07, 2014

A quilt - for a change!

Seems to have been a busy year for me.  I did go on an Alaskan cruise in June -- it was a Quiltmaker's Block Party Cruise and my niece came with me.  We had a blast.  I took two quilt classes - one a Debbie Caffrey mystery that was really a great quilt.  I got one third of it done in class, and just finished the top last week.
We went to Juneau, Sitka, and Ketchikan -- Alaska is really an unbelievably beautiful state.  We even got to see a whale breach!  Stunning.  I think all I got on film was the splash afterwards!
I think I'm done traveling for awhile now.  Summer has arrived in the midwest -- I think.  We've had more rain in the past few months that it just feels like an extension of our very wet winter!  I'm enjoying the sun though, and not going to complain!

The quilt I did today:  Jo's Little Women's Club 13.  Those little squares are cut 1-1/4"! I used a lot of fabrics from last year that I had cut into at least 1-1/4" strips and some squares.  It's time to use up the fabrics I have -- I have tons of new Jo Morton fabrics, but I'd like to use up the old stuff too. 

I have organized a sew-in at my church once a month -- we're piecing quilts for the homeless.  I have a group of women that have never pieced a quilt -- most beginners and most don't even have a machine, so those of us that are quilters bring in extra machines and try to show them what to do!  We have an unlimited supply of 2-1/2" - 5" squares for them to put together.  I've also been trying to cut up some of my older fabric into larger squares so they can actually finish a top once in a while!  So far, I've quilted 3 of these quilts, bound one, still have one to put a label on, and thankfully, my friend Nancy takes them and binds them for me.  She's also provided me with 6 more tops that she's put together for me to quilt!  It seems to never end!  We're shooting for another 25 quilts to distribute in October or so.  We distributed 27 in May and they were well received.  These quilts are 60"x80".

Until next time....Blessings

Monday, May 19, 2014

New Baby

 I have been missing in action apparently!  Our church delivered 27 quilts to the homeless in our community last week.  And it was decided we'd do it again when we got 25 more made.  And since I did most of the quilting and one lady did most of the piecing and binding, we decided we'd teach a few ladies to piece quilts!  So, I went hunting for machines this morning.  Found a couple at Goodwill and Mission thrift stores and then went to the sewing machine store and bought two used machines -- cheap!  They're all cleaned up and oiled and ready to go.  But the three I bought at the thrift shops were not.  So, I managed to get two of them cleaned and oiled and they actually work really nicely.  I'll attempt the third one later this week.  But, this one was a find!  An antique "Rockford" machine in fabulous shape.  Made in Japan for the Rockford Co., Rockford, Illinois.  Which is where I live. Since it is not a featherweight (!), I'll probably leave it at church in case someone wants to sew during the weekdays.  I'll leave one of the other ones at church too. 
Our inaugural Sew-In is planned for this Saturday, so I'll be hauling a lot of stuff between now and then.  But I'm kinda excited to teach others to piece quilts.  I know at least 4 people are going to be there -- and none of them has a portable machine!

Other news:  I bought the computerized Statler Stitcher for my Gammill longarm machine.  Had two days of intense instruction on how to use it and haven't had a chance to do anything on it for weeks!  Yesterday I finally got a small quilt loaded and practiced an edge to edge pattern - screwed up the last row, but the important thing is that I know what I did wrong!  It's an amazing machine and I can't wait to spend time working with it.  

I'm looking forward to summer (if winter ever gets over - we had snow the other day!).  I have lots of plans to work in the yard and stain my deck and plant some flowers and try to fit in time in the basement with my sewing/quilting stuff!  Oh yeah -- and take plenty of walks to loose 30 excess pounds!

Until next time, blessings.....

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Drum roll please....

The tiny bath in the basement is finally finished -- today! 
There's a shower to the right of the sink, but don't plan on using it -- kind of a selling point for the next owners -- after I'm gone!  I hung the mirror and tp holder and towel ring myself as soon as the plumber left today!

While the plumber was working, I managed to get this quilt quilted and bound for Steve's best friend's daughter.  She was born a few days after Steve died and I never got around to making her baby quilt. She'll be three in May.  Picture's not the greatest -- I took it with my phone.

Next on the agenda: Nancy at church is bringing me 13 twin size quilts for the homeless to make backings for and quilt. We'd like to deliver them soon, so I hope to get three done a week, if I can. 
Until next time....blessings.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Word is Still Patience

For the most part, the basement is finished - still waiting on the pedestal sink for the bathroom that's been on back-order for weeks.  Just about ready to tell them to buy one off the floor at Home Depot!  This shot is from one end of the basement looking towards the kitchen cabinets.  I did have the antique table at the other end cleaned off, but managed to load more stuff on it today!  The quilt on the longarm was just finished -- our church is making quilts for the homeless and I quilt them, so that's what this one is.
This shot is from the other direction - also a bit messy!
This is the small room between the longarm room and the stairs - it'll be another small office after I bring the computer desk down and set up my old computer,  The door on the right goes to the big room, the one straight ahead goes to a small storage room.
This is same room from other direction.  Opening on left is to the big room; stairs are on the other side of the wall on the right, the door seen to the right goes to the furnace room and a large storage area.  The bathroom, if it ever gets finished is just on the other side of the stairs.  I managed to hang the quilt hangers, just haven't found the quilts I want to hang on them yet.  It's a work in progress!
I sincerely hope the bathroom will be finished soon -- it'll be much nicer not to have to run upstairs all the time!

Until next time....Blessings.

Monday, March 10, 2014


My word for 2014:  Patience!
The plan was that the carpet and vinyl for the bathroom and under the fridge would be installed on Saturday.  The actuality:  The carpet men arrived at 12:30 on Sunday.  The vinyl is in, but nothing else is even tacked down.  And I'm pretty sure they aren't coming back til next Saturday - nobody has called me because I'm pretty sure they know I'm not a happy camper!  The contractor can't finish until they're done with the carpet and the plumber can't finish until the contractor is finished trimming the bathroom.  So, my word for 2014:  Patience!

Until next time....blessings!

Thursday, March 06, 2014


I had to have JR put to sleep yesterday.  He was down to 9 pounds and very ill.  We've been through a lot together, but I couldn't let him suffer.  I'm actually doing okay.  I never considered it, but it has given me some freedom -- I actually used to plan things around taking care of him, so now I only have myself to take care of.
Actually drove to Wisconsin this morning to have breakfast with my daughter!

Until next time...blessings.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Moving Along

This is the cabinet the contractor added to my kitchen while I was gone:  The bottom cabinet and countertop ended with the cabinet on the right.  The microwave on the shelf just hung out there in lala land!  So they matched the cabinets and installed the double cabinet on the left -- it doesn't really take away any space in the kitchen at all, but definitely adds much needed cabinet and counter space.
This week will see the rest of the woodwork finished in the basement, including staining 6 doors and the rest of the trim.  Saturday the flooring will be installed and next week the rest of the fixtures and trim will be installed.  I'm getting really anxious to see it all done.  My plan will be to put away the stuff I have all over the house first and then unpack the boxes still in the garage!

Until next time...blessings.

Friday, February 21, 2014


Hawaii was right! (The first picture was of Kona Joe Coffee plantation! - Those were coffee trees instead of grapes!).  I was at "Quilting on the Beach" in Kona, Hawaii taking classes and relaxing.  This photo is of the 9 blocks we got from the various quilt shops we visited on a shop hop tour of the big island.  This was just one shop's way of setting the blocks.  This was sponsored by the Quilt Passions Quilt Shop in Kona.  Lots of fun, met some fabulous people, took a couple of applique classes by Nancy Chong, ate a lot, took a Pearl Harbor tour one day to see the Arizona memorial, and generally left the stress behind!

Came home to a furnace that died (whoopee, got to replace the furnace first day back!), and the contractor had the walls up in the basement.  Should only be a couple of more weeks and the basement will be finished.  They also put in another base cabinet in my kitchen with more counter space -- yay!  Almost makes me feel like cooking now!  I'll post pictures next time!

It was a wonderful, once in a lifetime trip, and although I had to come back to more snowstorms and below freezing weather, I'm glad to be home too!
Until next time...blessings.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Another Clue

California is not right!  So here's another clue!
Until next time...blessings!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I'm Baaacck!

You didn't even know I was gone, I know!  So, guess where I was - here's a clue:

Notice there is no snow, no cold!  I got home Monday morning to a furnace that had died.  So, Tuesday I had a new furnace installed -- not exactly what I had planned, but I knew eventually I'd have to replace it -- it was 20 years old.

Anyway -- I'll post another clue next time!  I am happy to be home and the basement work is progressing.

Until next time, blessings....

Saturday, February 01, 2014


So, until the basement is finished, and I've gotten everything unpacked and put away, there's not a lot of quilting going on around here!
Before I covered the longarm in anticipation of the work being done in the basement, I was quilting a few quilts for the homeless.  My church has taken on the project of making quilts for the homeless in our area - and it's sad to say there are plenty in need and this has been a particularly cold, snowy winter besides.  There are a few quilters in the church, and the congregation has been donating fabrics as well as the quilters themselves and some of the quilt shops too.  I have a large collection of backing fabrics too that were donated.  I did manage to get 9 quilts quilted before the basement was started.  After that, I have managed to piece two more and I think the quilters have another 6 waiting for me to quilt them.

I also have (somewhere!), a lot of scraps that I intend to put to good use in making more quilts for the homeless.  With that in mind, I was playing a bit in EQ7 today and came up with a simple design for a 12" square block.  I have some jelly rolls which are 2-1/2" strips and I intend to use them to make these scrappy blocks: 
And a possible setting would be this one:  Although -- I didn't recolor the block, I would make the quilt much more scrappy -- the rail fence look of the sashing would probably get lost in the actual quilt.  I think this would be a good leader/ender project as well.
Can you tell I'm itching to get stitching?

Until next time....blessings.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Some Quilting

Not the best job by far, but done is better than perfect!  This was the latest project from Jo's Little Women's Club.  All hand appliqued - but I'm definitely out of practice.  It was fun to make it anyway.  (The pink in the bottom left corner is my slipper sock covered toe!)

We're back in the deep freeze with gusty winds and wind chill temps in the -40's.  I am so done with winter!  I can't believe it's just dragging on and on and nothing improves -- if it's not below zero, it's snowing!  Okay -- complaint done!

Until next time....blessings.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Basement Stuff

Samples of the vinyl flooring for the small bath in the basement, the carpet for the rest, and the kitchen cupboards that are going to be down there.  Just got the estimate for all that!  Whew!  I told them to order everything - I'm only going to do this once, so I want what I want.

I am getting really excited about the whole project.  They've finished roughing in everything -- next is getting the shower down there and then the electrician and the heating guys need to do their part.  Then the contractor will put up the walls and ceiling.

While I'm waiting, I cleaned out the office closet today AGAIN!  I still have some kitchen stuff in here that goes downstairs, but at least the main part of the closet has office supplies and files in it instead of blenders and whatever!  Still need to do a lot of paperwork sorting and a ton of shredding yet again.

I am so looking forward to getting everything unpacked from the basement, garage and all over the house and put away where it really belongs:  a place for everything and everything in it's place.

Until next time....Blessings.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The makeover has begun!

Both end walls are now framed in including the sump pump.  The plumber will probably be here tomorrow to start the bathroom and they should have the walls all framed by Friday.

Update on the Bacon Cheddar Chicken in the crockpot:  It was delicious.  I will fix it again - it took no time to put it together.  I put it on low for 5 hours, used only 3 frozen chicken breasts and 6 slices of bacon.  Really good!  Check out The Picky Kitchen.

Until next time...Blessings.

Monday, January 20, 2014


I just got word this morning that the basement finishing is going to start this week! I'm really excited -- can't wait.  These are the before pictures -  The first two are one room -- this is going to be my quilt studio.  The shelves on the back wall will be moved to another area for storage.
 At the end of this part of the basement, I'm having some kitchen cabinets put in -- just for a little more cupboard space than I have upstairs for those things you only use rarely.  And a counter to put a coffee pot and a microwave! 
 This third area will be a closed off hallway with storage at the other end.  I'll probably  put my book cases and some other furniture in the hallway -- stuff I need but not every day.  It will be open to the middle of the big room.
 This last space behind the door to the upstairs is where the small bathroom will go.  I'm having them put in a shower, in case the future owners of my house use the space as a bedroom or whatever!  Might as well put it in now - even though I don't plan on using it.
Let's face it -- once it's done I don't plan on going upstairs much!

On another subject:  My nephew and niece have started a cooking blog:  The Picky Kitchen.  They have 3 boys and a few picky eaters!  Mostly it'll be crockpot recipes.  I just put the Crockpot Bacon and Cheese Chicken in my crockpot a bit ago.  I made a smaller version -- 3 chicken breasts, 6 slices bacon, and put it on low. I'll let you know!

Until next time.....Blessings.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

I hate winter!

Have I mentioned lately that I hate winter?  Well, I do!  We got rain last night that immediately turned to ice.  Funny thing is that it was my daughter's birthday yesterday and on the day she was born, we had an ice storm and had to drive to the hospital on very slippery roads!  She mentioned yesterday morning that at least it wasn't icy -- I told her to wait, she wasn't born til 11:36 pm, so there was still time and right about 5 pm the rain/ice started!
Hopefully, they will come by with the salt trucks on my street soon.  I'm sure the main roads have been salted now, but there were tons of accidents last night.

This is one of the Jo's Club quilts I finally caught up on last month.  I didn't add the inner border, which I really liked, but just didn't feel like messing with!  The colors look a little washed out in the picture, but are a little richer in real life!
Yesterday I went to the place to order the cabinets and carpet for my basement.  I'm having a cabinet added to my kitchen upstairs and a set of bottom and top kitchen cabinets in the basement.  The one in the kitchen will match those already there, but the ones I ordered for the basement I really love!  Also picked out carpeting and the sink for the bath that will be built downstairs.  It was so much fun -- I could have spent hours there picking new everything for the kitchen and living room and bedrooms and baths upstairs! Can't afford it, but would have had a great time!

Until next time....blessings.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014


This has been on my list to finish for the past three days.  I finally finished this hat a little bit ago.  It will be the first of many I will put aside for next year's Hat and Mitten tree at church - for elementary school kids.

Finished all my to-do list today, plus I cleaned out my kitchen cabinets.  Bad news is that my office just got filled with more "stuff"!  

The contractor is sending out the guy we're getting the new cabinets and carpet from this afternoon.  I'm having a cabinet added to my kitchen and then a set of base and wall cabinets for a spot in the basement.  The over-flow from the kitchen will go in them -- things like crockpots and dishes I only use once or twice a year.  I'll put a coffee pot and microwave in the basement too -- gotta have the essentials for my quilting studio!  When they finish the basement, I'll have it carpeted also, so the guy will measure for all that tonight. Hopefully, they'll start working on it next week.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

I am woman, hear me roar....

I bought this quilt hanger/shelf last month.  It's solid wood, so kinda heavy.  I could wait for my son-in-law to hang it for me, or my brother offered to come over and do it, but I hate to bother either of them.  I figured I'd give it a shot and if I screwed it up, they could fix it!  So, today I gave it a shot!  And, it's level too!  I bought the shelf from Country Store of Geneva - love their stuff.  Also bought an old looking medicine cabinet for the new bathroom in the basement -- when it gets built, that is!  I'll be replacing the light over the table sometime too -- it's on my list!
Yesterday we were in the deep freeze with howling winds and -18° - wind chills in the -35 to -40 range.  Nasty day.  Today it's still cold, finally reached 0° this afternoon, but no wind, so its bearable.  Poor dog just about froze every time I took him out.  I'd bring him back in and wrap him in an afghan in order to warm him up.  I got nothing done yesterday either except I baked a cake and made a loaf of bread. 
My to-do list today is partially done, but instead of finishing, I did some extra things, like hang this shelf and clean out my bathroom cabinet.  When I moved in and started to unpack, I just shoved things into cabinets and closets, so now it's time to rearrange and clean them out.  I've done my walk-in closet and the bathroom.  Hope to start on the kitchen cabinets soon.
The quilt on the shelf, btw, was a Country Threads quilt on the cover of I think American Patchwork and Quilting magazine the first year it came out.  That was basically the first applique I did, other than the first quilting class I took.

Until next time....blessings.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

And, it's Sunday

My plow guys showed up a bit after nine last night.  They are so fabulous!  They plow the drive, and shovel the sidewalks - all in about 10 minutes.  'Course, the city came by again after they were gone and managed to dump a big hill of snow at the end of the drive, but I guess that's to be expected.  Better get used to it, this is going to be a long winter!

The chicken pot pie in the crockpot was delicious, which is good because there's enough left over for a few more meals!

I did manage to get everything done on my to-do list yesterday and may even be able to finish the hat today.

Only thing on today's list is to take the garbage to the road for tomorrow morning pickup!  Oh, and go to church and run the media program.  Done and done.  I do the bulletin on the big screen monitors at church -- I do the work at home and take it on a thumb drive to load onto the laptop at church.  When I finish it here, it's just the way I want it, but when I project it onto the monitors at church, there is always some little glitch!  Today it was a picture of a baby behind the words to a song - totally not what I had for a background!  But, I discovered today I can fix things on the fly if I catch them fast enough! LOL  Always exciting on Sunday morning to see what the gremlins have planned for me. 

The picture at the top is one of the Jo's Little Women's Class projects.  I was two months behind at the end of the year and managed to catch up over the holidays, so this is one of them.
Now I'm off to knit a little and nap a little, and watch some football -- too bad my Bears aren't playing, but I sure don't envy the Packers playing in this subzero cold.

Until next time....Blessings.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Someone turn the snow machine off...

This was taken out my front door a few minutes ago.  See the mailbox?  It's pretty much buried under a ton of snow that just keeps coming.  Plus we have a lot of wind today, and we've got deep freeze temperatures forecasted for another week at least.  I hate winter -- don't know why I stay in this part of the country -- other than I've lived here all my life and my family and friends live nearby! 

Only one thing winter is good for:  staying by the fire (which I don't have in the fireplace!), and quilting or knitting!  And eating good old fashioned comfort food - the Chicken pot pie is in the crockpot!  Only thing left on my to-do list today is again, knitting on the socks and the hat. 

Until next time....Blessings.

Friday, January 03, 2014

They sure don't make 'em like they used to!

I moved the 27th of September.  On the 28th, I had my new washer and dryer delivered and installed.  Which makes them just over 3 months old!  Repairman was out yesterday late afternoon.  Verdict:  Needs a new electronic board! has to be ordered through Samsung and it'll take about a week to get here.  So, next Thursday, hopefully, I'll have a working washer again.  And because I don't have enough underwear to get me to next Thursday, I had to go to the laundromat again today.  Not my idea of a fun day.  Back when I was a new wife, the first time, I had to go to the laundromat for a few years before we finally got a washer and dryer.  That was ages ago.  The one I went to way back then is long gone.  It was clean and new back then.  The one I found close enough now, is old, not all that clean, and the machines do not all work.  I only did two loads of laundry, and only washed them, since my dryer still works, thankfully.  But, I gotta tell ya, the laundry came out of the washer practically dripping -- their idea of spin dry and mine are a long ways from being close!  Okay - rant over!  Clothes are dry and put away now.

As long as I had to go out in the freezing temps anyway, I ran to the bank and the grocery store too.  Also stopped at Farm & Fleet and bought myself a 4 qt. crockpot, on sale!  I have a 6 qt., but it's a bit too large for some things.  I've been going through my crockpot cookbook: 365 Slow Cooker Suppers by Stephanie O'Dea, and so far have marked four recipes I want to try.  Tomorrow I'll be trying "Classic Chicken (Crock) Pot Pie".  I love chicken pot pie, and it sounds so good!  Cooking for one is not a lot of fun - and when I make any kind of casserole, I eat it for days, which is fine, because I don't have to cook again for a few days! :-).  I thought it would help if I tried something new about once a week -- give me some variety and forces me to actually cook instead of nuking something! So that's the plan!

Only thing left on my to-do list today is knit on the socks and knit on the hat!  Dinner will be parmesan encrusted tilapia fillets and a salad!

Until next time....Blessings

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Organizing the Knitting Stash

 The other day I was thinking about knitting and needles.  I wanted to try a different cast-on method than the one I use, so I grabbed a couple of straight needles and cast on (using the two needle knit cast on), this yarn for a plain jane scarf.
 I filled up the long straight needle and knitted a couple of rows.  That made me start thinking about a post I remembered Judy made awhile back:  (I follow Judy's blog every day).  Anyway, I asked her a question and before she even had time to read it, I thought about her post.  After trying to knit on straight needles - and I've only made a few dishcloths on straight needles, I have to agree with her -- I prefer to work with the circular needles.  So, today, after cleaning out my knitting mess:

I switched the scarf over to the same size circular needle -- which I discovered in my mess!
The picture above shows that I have at least 5 sets of US 2 circular needles for socks!  Apparently, I tend to buy more because I can't find or forget what I already have.

I have a lot of sock yarn too -- which at the rate I knit will last me a lifetime.  The worsted weight I'll use mostly for hats for kids.  I also have a bit of cotton yarn for dishcloths - which I probably won't ever use.  I have a bunch of long straight needles too -- might donate them, but for now I've bagged them and put them on the bottom of the Rubbermaid container. 

Still waiting for the repairman -- sometime between 1 and 5 today, so now I'm off to spend some quality time knitting!

Two posts in one day -- how 'bout that!
Until next time....blessings.