Sunday, October 30, 2011

Monday tip on Sunday Night, Hey I was quilting

I got this one sandwiched and started on the machine quilting. It was going pretty well and I decided I would use leftovers for supper. I thought what should I do. I wanted to make a potpie and use left over roast and potatoes and carrots. I made this two nights ago for supper. This was the plan. I got out 4 frozen biscuits cut them in half and thawed them.

I got the left overs out and cut the potatoes and carrots in bite sized pieces. Added the meat to the mix and the gravy I had saved over the meat. I spooned the gravy over the cut up food in small casseroles I have.

Then I placed the cut up biscuits over the top of the leftovers. I placed them on a tray and got them in a hot oven. About 400*F.

They were in the oven for about 25 minutes and the top was brown and the food was hot.

They tasted real good and it was a warm meal from leftovers. I still have some meat left and I think I will freeze it to make beef and noodles on another day when I am sewing and don't want to stop for a cooking day. Chris
PS. Paula Deen says frozen pie crust, frozen biscuits are a good thing. LOL That sounds like Martha Stewart.

Got some inspiration

We went shopping yesterday. Decided it was nice enough to go and got a little later start, but it was beautiful out unlike today that is overcast and gray. I guess rain is on the way. So the inspiration. We went to two quilt shops. Both about 50 miles away. One is called Uniquely Yours and it is in Orangeville, Illinois. In the NW corner not to far from Galena, Illinois. It is out in the country in this woman's house. She has a newer home and she made a huge quilt shop in the back side of the house. It must have almost 7000 bolts of fabric. The other quilt shop is about 25 miles from the first. It is in a small town and is about the only business other than bars and gas stations in this town. It has a website you can visit. Lots of Civil War prints Thimbleberries and repro fabrics. This shop has it's own designs you can purchase online. . I found several ideas for quilts and wished now I had bought some of her patterns. This Thimble was and idea my Mother had and she couldn't see how to make it without a y-seam. So I made a test sample for her.

It is 3 3/4 inches square. This shop has many small quilts for wall hangings and for table toppers. some of the selection if you look at the site are very attractive and scrap busters besides.

I am not affiliated with this store just happen to be a customer. Small quilts can be so attractive and also nice gifts for the person who is hard to buy for. Enjoy the site and if in the area stop by you will enjoy your visit. Chris

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Do I have the discipline to do this

I have put aside all things I want to do. I have concentrated on Christmas things and now I am at a stand still with them. Not because I don't have things to do, but because I am not disciplined enough to do them. I want to do hand applique and I want to get things done, so what should I do??

Here is a project I am at a stand still on. I need to finish this, but I am at odds as to why to finish it. It was to be a gift and now thew reason for the gift is an ugly subject. Family issues which we will not discuss. I think I am burned out. I did a lot of piecing for several months and the reason to get them done was for Christmas gifts. I really want to finish them. I think the real problem was I started to sandwich the green quilt top I have and the backing wasn't big enough. I had to undo all my efforts to smooth things out right and add pieces. Now I am not in the mood to go back and start over.

I wanted to go to a quilt shop today and instead my time was taking my husband to the hardware store. The bathroom faucet broke last night and needed replacing. Money not planned on. Oh Well can't take it with me right. LOL

Tomorrow is the day we do the shopping. I am taking my Mom and we will make it a whole afternoon journey. So I guess I make myself go in and start over on the sandwiching process. Frustrations are going to hit me I know and I will want to give up. Persistence and maybe I can convince myself this is the right thing to do. sigh! Chris

Thursday, October 27, 2011


This is Bread in a Jar. The original recipe and idea came from Hillbilly Housewife. At the end of the post I will list the links to the recipes and the great blogs that go with this recipe.

You see some pint wide mouth canning jars. They are grease with shortening and ready to fill. this recipe makes 8 pint jars with Bread In a Jar.

. Here is the mixture from the recipe. I am making Cranberry and nut bread. The cranberries are in the stores again and I decided to make this up.

I use my canning funnel and that way the bread mixture doesn't get on the rim.

To fill the jars half full and make sure they are not overfilled.

I placed them in a roasting pan or on a cookie sheet and bake the jars until they are done. About 45 minutes and the toothpick is clean when poked in the center.

Remove the jars wipe all the little crusty bits off and place the new seals and rings on the jars and the heat in the jars makes the bread seal. The great part about all this is that they last for about a year in the sealed jars. This is a great idea for snacks taking to work for a mid morning snack with a cup of coffee and tea. Or for a single person that the rest of the loaf of bread would go to waste. This recipe has other options. Pumpkin bread, Banana Bread, Zucchini bread and Apple bread. So many things that can be done with it.

The potential for a great recipe and I have had the pumpkin bread already and it is delicious. The link for this is:
This website has all kinds of great time and money saving tips. Great recipes and also a newsletter that you can get weekly.

This is the 2fer. This I found on another blog and went nuts over the thought of the Cream Cheese Pound cake. Can you imagine the calories. Well they are there believe me. I am sharing this with several people so I don't eat the whole thing.

I don't have a bundt pan so I used an angel food cake pan. I greased it and floured it so it wouldn't stick. The stick is spaghetti to test the doneness. I don't have toothpicks long enough to test it.

Here it is all done and on a plate to cool. It looks so great. Hate to cut it but I want a taste.

This is the link for this blog and she has fabulous recipes and lots of pictures. The name of the recipe is Cream Cheese Pound Cake. She got the recipe off of the site she list at the bottom of the recipe. I tried to link it here and it didn't work sorry.It is called Elizabeth's Edible Experience. If you click on the source it will take you to the site.

I can take no credit other than I am sharing these links with you. Save the links because it is an ongoing list of great food and ideas. Chris Enjoy.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday tip

New looking or aged? Which do you like? You can use the same fabrics but the background fabric can make the look of the finished quilt look so different. See these are bright colors, but if you use a muted or darker background you can make bright colors look old in the quilt.

Look at your background fabric and if you think it is to light change to a muslin look or a darker print. If it is to dark change to a brighter white. Do you like Old or New? Chris

OMGosh what has she done!

This is a picture of the two grandkids. Taylor is 12 and Derek is 10. They came to visit over the weekend. We see them every other weekend. Kids of a divorce they like to stay at Grandma's. Derek is a messer and Taylor is an organizer. Well she did a number on me.

Things got piled together and stacked on flat surfaces. She feels she is helping and yet I didn't walk in there to really look until after she was done. I can't find anything.

My cutting area is cleaned off, but the closet is a dumping ground. I have storage tubs and also a shelving unit in there. If she didn't know what to do with something it got dumped in there. She thought she was helping and yes it is cleaner. The floor was vacuumed.

She has good skills she will carry on with when she gets older, but I guess I was to busy doing other things in the house and it is all my fault it got in that shape anyway. Chris

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dog had trouble with quilts

I have been fixing quilts. I got three fixed and one was to old to work on. It was in shreds and from wear not the dog This is going to take some work to fix this one. I told him and the kids anymore get chewed don't bring them back because I refuse to work on them.

I had one extra block leftover so I have the pieces I need to piece in the missing section. I found some of the binding fabric, but the back will have to be pieced.

The other quilts I was able to match the fabric or come very close to what was there. I spent hours on them yesterday, but three are back home.

The dog is left alone so much and in a kennel most of the time. When she is out she gets bored and this is what she does. She is a good dog, but she needs attention and I want them to find a home for her. Hard to give her up. Chris

Friday, October 21, 2011

Top number 2 done this month

Well it is a done deal. this top is finished. Need to get the backing for it and then I can get it finished. I really need to go shopping one of these days and look for backing for these quilts. I don't even have enough of three fabrics to make one back. I have learned a lesson not to buy plaids for the sashing and borders again. Most are printed on the fabric and they don't line up right when you cut them.

I tried to pull the colors out of the black sashing to make the borders. I think it makes it look a little more contemporary by doing that.

This is 87X87 inches so a fair sized quilt. Off to the grocery store for milk and cereal. Have a Great Day. Chris

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Getting closer to being done

Looks more like a quilt. Two long sashing rows to be sewn on then three borders and the top will be done. I even have the fabrics laid out for the borders already. This is the top as it is. I feel it will quilt out better than what it lays at the moment.

It is colorful and yet it looks old in some ways. I will have to get going and get something more done on it today. Chris

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Not a pretty sight

No there won't be any pictures you have to only imagine what I am talking about.
You ever have something in your house you know needs fixing, but the other half says how do you know? Like the washer or the dryer or the car isn't working right?? You mention it several times and how do you know??
Well I had wash stacked up to my kneecaps and my husband decided to take the washer apart. He had it upside down on it's top and he figured out it wasn't what he thought it was. We had the agitator out and I cleaned it. Got it back together and it worked better. I have said for months the dryer vent needed cleaning and it has a long way to get out to the side of the house. While the washer was out of it's spot he took the vac and cleaned what he could reach with the vac. Then the serious stuff came out to work with. He has a sewer rod that he took out and placed down the long vent and you should see what he got out of it. I have been telling him this is what was wrong, but how do I know??
He thought it was the washer wasn't pumping the water out of the clothes and I said it was the dryer. I dried a load of towels in less than and hour. That has never happened in at least 8 years. I guess I did know what I was talking about. Needless to say the wash is almost done and the washer and dryer are cleaner and working. Not what I planned on doing today. I want to throw my hands up and say I told you so but I wouldn't get anywhere with that. LOL Men! I don't know what I am talking about! Chris

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Had to stop sewing and rip

I had three rows sewn together and then I went to press and I had one on backwards. DAH!

I need to cut more sashing rows and then I can get the top on the road to being finished. It has several borders and I think this will be at least full sized when done.

I figure it can be used on a couch or as an extra at the foot of a bed if necessary. I am not sure I would do this quilt pattern again. The bias seams and the stretching has bothered me. I tried to be so careful and I feel like it is not truly square.

We wallpapered the inside of the trunk. Have you ever wallpapered the inside of a box. It took for ever to do.
It is clean and all is covered so she can store stuff on the inside without troubles.

It was a thicker wallpaper. It is designed to cover textured walls like cement and old paneling. It worked well in the application for this project.

She is coming for this on Thursday after work. I think she will be so happy with it. The first we saw it the likely hood of it being a usable trunk was questionable. But the look and the finished project was rewarding because it is a thing to look at now and can be used for several things. I think she is going to use it as a coffee table in her living room. She is into primitive and antiques so it will fit right into her decor. One man's junk is another man's treasure.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Scant 1/4 inch or 1/4 inch seams

I have read on some of the quilting forums and other sites about this question of 1/4 inch. Should we use scant or a full quarter inch. Well here is the problem I have. This is the 1/4 inch foot I have for my machine. It measures a full 1/4 inch from the center of the hole to the edge of the foot. So that means unless your are a perfectionist and you have perfect stitching skills your 1/4 inch foot is just a tool to maybe sew straight.

This isn't the clearest of pictures, but the lighter thread is 1/4 inch from the edge of what I saw as the line of stitching. The blue line is 1/4 inch more after the silver thread. With the two lines of stitching I am getting a full 1/2 inch of seam allowance. If and only "IF" I sew straight.

The way to measure is to take your foot off the shank and measure from the center of the hole in your throat plate out 1/4 inch. Not all machines stitch the same and have an accurate marking for their 1/4 inch throat plate markings. Check yours. Make sure the needle is in the center needle position also.

Place your 1/4 inch pressure foot on the shank and remeasure to see if the 1/4 inch is really taken with this foot.

My machine takes a full 1/4 inch seam not a scant 1/4 inch. Some machine companies say they are a scant 1/4 inch foot. Check. Also the debate over the thread thickness is on going. If the machine markings and your foot are not accurate the thickness of the thread isn't going to matter. I have an older Pfaff and the 1/4 inch mark is off and the seam is larger than the markings. Many of the machines have parts made over seas in place we don't know about and they are all metric and the conversions are not accurate. To be sure check and recheck your machines and your feet because the proof is in the pudding. Chris

Monday tip day

I hate to do dishes by hand. That is the only way for years I could get my glasses spotless. I was lurking on the blogs and websites one day and I found this listed on Dee's The Pioneer Woman site. She lives on well water as I do and I have used it ever since. I use my regular dish tabs and then I add this to the closed dispenser part in my dishwasher. It only takes about a tablespoon full and the glasses and dishes sparkle without all the liquid stuff you run out of all the time. I do not work or am I affiliated with this company I just like their product.
It is available in the big box grocery stores and now they do have a liquid to add to the dispenser in you dishwasher which I have not tried. I love this stuff. Water spots are a nasty thing to me and I really don't like them. It cleans up your baking dishes, but if you have hand painted dishes I don't recommend it. It will dissolve the paint. Some things still need to be washed by hand. My stainless flatware is sparkling also.
Tip number two. Vinegar, yes it stinks, but it is great to remove hard water deposits on chrome. It isn't harsh enough to remove the chrome, but the faucets need a touch up and it works great. Apply with a soft cloth and let sit. You will be surprised at how it eats the deposits on the faucets. It neutralizes soap build up also. So not just for your salads it works many other ways. It also disinfects surfaces after precleaning them. The smell goes away after it dries. Hope these help in your everyday life. Chris

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Remember this trunk

This is what we started with. Looks like an old junk trunk. We found a label that is stamped 1895 in it. After a lot of cleaning and sanding and painting it is all looking so much better.

The the final touch is the tung oil. We got a low gloss tung oil to help preserve the wood. It really is rich looking now. The strap had to be replaced and a hinge had to be replaced, but it is looking so much better.

This is what the tung oil is doing for the wood. It was old and dried out. It will lighten some when dry, but oh my what a difference

Here is the tray my husband made to put in the inside. The original was missing. He stained it and varnished it so it could be used.

It has been a challenge for him. He has Parkinson's disease and the fine trim painting was getting to him.
He is tickled that my friend is overjoyed with it. She just loves it.

This is the sky this afternoon. The wispy clouds are like cotton balls drifting in the air.

Here you can see a jet trail. We are about half way between the Moline Illinois Airport and O'Hare Airport in Chicago so we see a lot of air traffic going over head.

It rained this morning and has been off and on again sunlight the rest of the day. Chris

Finally let me upload

Here is the picture of all the borders. There are 4 of them. I like the way it pulls colors out of the quilt to make it all work together.

I got to the last piece and I was 3 1/2 inches short on the black border. It is pieced, but when you cut fabric short you have to make up for the deficit. It is dark enough I don't think it will be noticed when all is done and quilted and bound. Chris

I've been busy.

As you can see I have been sewing. The last border went on today. This is a picture of the third border. When I tried to upload the fourth border picture it wouldn't take so I am sorry. This is a queen sized bed so it fits well. Enough at the bottom for a pillow cover if wanted.

The last border is the same fabric as the sashing. My mom said the other day she would take it if given to her. I think this will be her Christmas gift. I do need to get backing and batting yet for it, but other than that it was all scraps other than the black sashing.

Now I have requests for three more of them. My grandkids and my step-son all like it. I will be seeing 9-patches in my sleep. Chris