Friday, July 30, 2010

Almost final

I used a tool to sew a straight line. We have all used seam allowance lines or the edge of our presser foot to guide us. This is a seam guide tool that came with another sewing machine and I used it to make my straight seams spaced out farther.

The quilt is all machine quilted and the borders are almost done.

Here is the final look of the border. This was blocks my Maternal Grandmother hand pieced in the late 50's. I have stored them for all this time and got them out and added the sashing and borders. It is now done. Chris

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Almost done

I have made major progress. I have 1 1/2 blocks to quilt. It got so warm in the West room this evening and the warmth of the quilt on my lap I was sweating. I have the A/C on and it is way to warm in there. I will get up in the morning and get the last two finished and then the borders need some work also. Not sure what I am going to do with them. We have had a lot going on in our area this weekend. Air Show with John Travolta and his DC3 plane in it and also major flooding with the Mighty Mississippi raging and the Rock River flooding. My son is a Firefighter and EMT. He has been so busy this weekend rescuing people from the flood waters and getting them to dry ground. He is a 911 dispatcher in a small river town and he has been overwhelmed with calls and emergencies this weekend. He got home last night and shut his phone off. He didn't want to even hear it ring. Hopefully with the better weather things will crest and start to recede. I know other places in Iowa, Northern Illinois and the Chicago area are effected. The storms are headed for the East coast now. We aren't getting trouble from the hurricanes this year but from heavy rains in the interior of the states. Stay dry and safe. Chris

Friday, July 23, 2010


Boy did we need it. I am glad we didn't get what Milwaukee got though. I have had to water the garden for days. The wind yesterday was so hot and drying I really needed to water morning and night. I picked 41 cucmbers last night, I am sharing with others. I have pickles that I need to use and I can only make so many things without over making. I have tomatoes and beans to can today. Stay safe and cool. Chris

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gray Day

One of the first Red Peppers. It is a sweet Bell pepper. They have nice thick walls to them.
This is my garden shed. Just for storage wish I had a like car port over the door and I would use it as a potting shed.
Trumpet vine in bloom. they have such a vivid orange color. The Hummingbirds love them.
This is the East side of my garage. It looks over the road at the back of our house, but it is the entrance road to the community. My house is on display on three sides hence the amount of flowers I have.

This is in the middle of the yard and on the street side of the garden. That carpet of yellow is Rudbeckia.

I love color in the yard and your eye wanders to other areas all the time because of the different things planted all over. Chris

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


We have a friend who owns a carwash. He gets scented pads for the inside of your cars and they come in these containers. He thought my husband could use them and I took them over. They are clean and they smell good too.
They have a hinged lid and it seals to keep things clean. They are about 8X6X5 inches tall.

I need to take the labels off of them, but I am going to cut squares and HST also rectangles and place on the inside. Then label each box and I can grab and go.

I am sure there will be more down the road and I can add to the collection later on. I had been looking at storage boxes at Wally World and these were free. My kind of recycling. Chris

Monday, July 19, 2010

Went shopping

All I bought today was some safety pins and a new thimble. All kinds of sales going on in the Joann's store and I used my coupons and walked back out. I didn't even spend $6. I thought I was a good girl. They handed me a 50% coupon for in store use for next week so maybe I will go back and see what I can pick up then. I have been trying to get some UFO's done and until I do I am holding off on purchasing anything. With all this heat we have run the A/C non-stop and the bill was high. Hope it cools off some so we can open up the house again. I took my mom to get her out of the house and she got a couple things like a new cutting mat and some machine needles. The Locusts are singing. Isn't that a sign Winter is 9 weeks off. I can't believe it is almost August. Where has the summer gone? Chris

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Machine quilting

It is way to hot to be outside. So I am quilting and trying to get this one done. I have 2/3 of it done and need to keep plugging away. I have another one to get pinned and started. Really 2 tops to do. I really like this one, but you know yourself it become tiring to do the same steps block after block. If I get it to the binding step then I can sit in the living room at night and hand sew. Tomorrow is suppose to be hot again. Planning on sewing some more. I canned green beans today and clean up after the grandkids and the Birthday party. Things haven't been going real well around here and I have been quiet. Hopefully I can get back into the sewing and loose myself for a period of time without all the stress. Chris

Friday, July 16, 2010

Hot and I have the oven on

Tomorrow is my grandson's 4th birthday. Daddy called last night and said they would be down over the weekend. Not sure what Day. I made cupcakes and will frost them in green frosting. He likes the Incredible Hulk. He has a girlfriend now and is flirting. I guess she is a new neighbor and they play well together. Brody is all boy and he knows how to use the eyes to get his way. Don't all little boys know how to do that? He likes to ride his bike and camp and go out on Daddy's big boat. But he still likes to play with dollies. I am sure that will stop soon. I also made a big pot of Vegetable Beef soup. I had precooked stew beef and it needed to be used so I got some frozen veggies and tomatoes from the pantry. Boy does it smell good. Oh did I tell you the heat index is 90*F outside and I had the oven on and the stove going. Smells good in here. Stay cool. Chris

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Canning time

Today was canning time. I made refrigerator pickles first. Cucumbers green peppers and onions in a brine store in the fridge. Yesterday I went out and picked beans. It got to over 108*F heat index today and I knew it was going to be that way. So I got the picking done and it was 1 3/4 gallons of beans.

Here they are in the pint jars. cleaned and ready for their sauna. I pressure can them and I got 8 pints. I have to many allergies to processed food I can everything that I can get my hands on. Sometimes I think it is the cans the commercial caners use. They have a plastic lining in them so the metal doesn't leach into the food. I think the plastic is part of my allergy problems. The preservatives aren't good for you either and all the salt. If I buy canned tomatoes from the store and make something out of them I break out in hives. I have canned food for over 30 years and I prefer the taste. This little garden I have here is enough for me to have vegetables all winter.
We lived on a farm and I canned over 450-500 quarts of food every year. Never had to buy canned vegetables or fruits for years. If you haven't done it it is lots of work but the results are great. Chris

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Look Look I got the garbage

Remember I told you my Mom threw away scraps. Well I went and got after her and told her she was sinful. She went out and pulled the scraps out of the garbage. They weren't goopy like I thought. I can use the greens for leaves in applique and I can use the strips of colors in some scrappy quilts I have on my to -do- list. Iam bad. But I got the scraps Chris

Monday, July 12, 2010

I know crazy

This is what I have been doing today. I mowed and weed eating and trimmed back flowers then it was to hot so I decided to make some more flower shapes with Hexagons.
The one on the left is .625 inches on a side or 5/8 of an inch. The one on the right is .5 or 1/2 inches on a side. I challenged myself to use scraps and to make them two colored hexies besides. That is a penny on the right side and a quarter over the one on the left side. My Mom had called this morning and said I was nuts to do all this hand work. Why not use my machine more than I came up with this idea. She did the ultimate sin today she threw her scraps away. She was tired of using them. I about had a heart attack over that. But I am sure they are in gushy garbage so I don't think I will go retrieve them. This is fun and I like seeing what I can come up with out of a pile of scraps. Call me Nuts but I am having fun and using scraps that aren't going to the landfill. Mother did you hear that? Chris Oh yes and I am using thread up so I have less small amounts on spools in my drawers.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dryer broke but not anymore

I went to dry a load of clothes yesterday and the dryer wouldn't turn on. I waited until my husband woke up from a nap and he tried it and he said we need to take it out of the laundry room and tear it apart. Mind you this room isn't much bigger than a walkin closet. The washer as you can see had to come out first to get to the dryer. Jeff is so weak he can't do the lifting and pulling anymore so I got the refridgerator cart out of the shed and lugged it into the house. I got the washer which weighs a ton out of the laundry room and got the dryer moved so he could take it apart. We had the back off, the tub out of it and the front off.
Jeff use to rewind electric motors so he knew what he was doing. He did this kind of work for over 20 years. But not all the tools were in the house and he couldn't get up off the floor without help. So I scrubbed the walls and the floor underneath it. Also I got the inner parts of the dryer cleaned up while it was apart. Happy to say he used all my sewing machine oil up to get it fixed, but hey it works and I didn't have to replace the dryer right now. The room is all cleaned up and pleasant to look at now. But I am wore out and I went and bought a pizza for supper. No cooking for me after all that. Chris

Cool this morning but look out later

I went out to take pictures before the afternoon heat wilted everything. This is Rubeckia. I got a small start from a friend and it has gone overboard. Have to thin this one out. The old Fashion Rose of Sharon. This is a perfect picture. The Japanese Beetles love these flowers.

Russian sage and Purple Cone flowers. I wish you could smell the Sage. It is heavenly.

See all the holes in the petals. Those Japanese Beetles love all the pretty flowers. Why can't they eat the weeds only.

Here is one of the pepper plants I started in the house. They are growing well.

This one is even turning red. I can't wait.

Today it is going to be to hot to be outside. The humidity and heat will be close to 100*F. So I think I am going to buy some more safety pins and pin baste a quilt top. The A/C will feel good today. Should mow, but to wet this morning to start and by the time it dries out it will be to hot. Today I will play with fabric. Yesterday my dryer went on the blink. Not sure if repairable. May have to shop for a new one. Towels and jeans are my big hangup. I can line dry everything else. But we can't have a clothesline where we live so on hangers in the bathrooms. Always a way. Chris

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Another Purse

I worked all day yesterday sewing. I made tow purses. This is the one I think I made a mistake on. The tab in front has a dark flower base on a dark piece of denim. Lesson learned. I need to think through the color combinations. This is a gift for my neighbor's 81 year old mother. She will like it so I am not going to change it now. I have another purse made from a commercial pattern and I am frustrated with it.
It is a huge bag a Hobo bag and it doesn't look right to me. So today I rip it out and stat over with the pieces I have. Not sure how many more of these I am going to make. I need to find a quicker method of making them. I have been making them by doing the applique by hand. I guess need to brush up on my skills with the machine. I would like a black one for the winter. Maybe a little larger and have a matching smaller bag to slip in for quilting supplies while away from home.
I do like to take a project with me while waiting at an appointment. May have to brain storm on that one and see what kind of applique I can come up with for the main purse. Off to the sewing room and see what I can come up with. Chris

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Garden pictures

Purple Cone flowers are everywhere this year. They multiplied before my eyes. They will have to be thinned out in the fall.
This is a type of Lily. It is called Freckle Faced Lilies. They have Iris like leaves.
This one is called Candy tuft. Same kind as the other lily. There are red ones and white ones but these are the only two I have.

This is a shot of the garden. The bushy stuff is the tomato plants. I think I planted them to close with the amount of rain we had they over produced all the foliage. I can pick my first batch of beans tomorrow. Can't wait.

Shasta Daisies. I have two clumps of them and the other one is dying out in the center. So I need to separate and move after they bloom.

Purple Cone flowers, but one white one. See it? I moved them to this spot and I had white ones in the spot where they came from so I must have gotten a piece of the root.

My hostas are about 30 inches high. The leaves I mean. The flowers are over 4ft high. They have only been there 4 years. They came as starts from the John Deere Historical site in Grand Detour, Illinois. My neighbor use to work there and they thinned them out 4 years ago. Never thought they would do this well.

Rose of Sharon Bush is in bloom it normally gets eaten by the Japanese Beetles, but I found a product that is systemic and no bugs eating it this year. Yipppppeeee!

Things are so dry now I am watering. We had almost 8 inches more rain than normal in the month of May and June. Now it is dry. Rain all around us. So everything is wilting because they were use to all the rain and nothing for days. Chris

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy July Fourth

This is what it all means. Freedom. We have it and want to keep it. Pray for the Soldiers that are in harms way so we may be free. Chris Be Safe!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy Red White and Boom

Well the festivities start in some towns tonight and others tomorrow night. We have a town festival going on called the Petunia Festival. The streets in town are planted with Petunias along the road and next to the sidewalks. Also this is the year for a big Ronald Reagan festival going on also. Ronald Reagan was raised in Dixon, Illinois and was a lifeguard at the park. His boyhood home is open for the public. It is on the historical registry. I can see some of the fireworks from my living room so I think to escape the mosquitoes I will stay home. Chris

Friday, July 2, 2010

Sewing Treasures

Back in the day buttonholes were done by hand most of the time. Hence the term Buttonhole stitch. These were in my Grandmother's possessions.
She was a seamstress and did garments for people for hire. She would sew all week long and clean only on Fridays. I am sure this was the best attachment you could have for your sewing machine back in the 40-50's. This box says it is a 50th anniversary model. They weigh a lot and they have been used a lot also. Inside the box is a paper in my Grandmother' s handwriting saying she purchased it in March of 1952. That was a month after I was born. She probably paid about $5 for it and ordered it mail order from a magazine.
I found both of these in my Grandmother's sewing things. I never saw her use them. By the time I noticed her sewing she had a newer Singer Buttonholer for her machine. The machines they fit was an old Franklin with a bullet shuttle bobbin.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

I am Woman

Today is going to be busy. I stripped the bed and washed the sheets. I did the dishes wiped off the counters and ready to get outside. My days of having cooler weather to get things done are over. It is after all July 1st. Where is the Summer going? The yard needs mowing, the weeds need pulling and the flower beds need mulch. Where do I begin? I have spent two days recovering from falling in the garden on my caboose. Why is it so hard to get started after the big 5-0? I am way past that now and it is harder every year to get up and get moving. I have lost some weight, but it is a struggle day to day. Plan on doing some hand stitching after I come back in and see if I can get some purses assembled this weekend. The weather is suppose to get hot and humid. Stay cool. I am off to see how far I get today. Chris