Sunday, October 28, 2012

Disfunctional Families

We had a pleasant surprise today. Jeff's oldest daughter called and asked if she could come visit. She will be 37 years old in a few days and she hasn't been to our house since she was 16 years old. Mind you we have seen her at family functions, but not to visit one on one.

My husband had been married before I met him and he had three children. We see the son all the time, but the girls were a different story. As teenagers both girls lived with us and didn't like my rules. So they left and didn't come back. Sad to say they have lost out on a lot of family time with their Dad.

Amazing how at some point they all grow up and figure out time has slipped away. I feel bad for the girls because their Dad was about ready to write them off. So glad Ami decided to come today.

Hopefully she remembers the door is open and she can return any time.

Teenage years are difficult even if your parents are together , but when the riff between them never gets resolved it is really hard. My step kids are pretty good kids and two of them have made good choices with their spouses and are happy. All any parent or step parent wants for their kids is to be happy. Chris

Last of the color in my yard

This is the front tree. It took longer to get the color than the one in the back. The back tree is empty now and all the leaves are mowed up. This is so pretty and all my neighbors have commented on it recently. Hate to see the color go, but I know it won't be long before it is bare also. Yesterday the leaves were falling in buckets full.
We have some lovely yard ornaments as of this last week. I guess the electric company is going to change some under ground wiring and so all the yards close around me will be torn up starting tomorrow. We worked so hard on getting this yard to look nice and now it will be a mess and this late in the year it will be next Spring before it recovers.

Maybe some new flower beds will evolve from the redoing of the yard. Should go out and take detailed pictures so I know where everything is at under ground and I can then dig without troubles. Not to self do that today.

We knew almost were everything was because we were here when they installed all the wiring and gas lines.

Planning on making a decent meal today. I am tired of small meals and nothing tastes good. Still maybe won't today, but making and effort for my husband. Need to do dishes and then onto sewing today also. Have a Great Day. Chris

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Still Sick

I am so tired of this and it has only been 5 days. Maybe 5 more. You cough so hard you get a headache and then ten minutes later you think you are improving only to go through another wave of ick.

We got furnace filters and water filters changed today. My husband run over the leaves to mulch them up and I am still not feeling better.

Going to bed early and hopefully some more sleep. I have drank so much water I am about to float away. I really hope no one else gets this crud it isn't nice at all. Chris

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Jury is out

Not sure if I will live with this Cold! I get up in the night and hack and cough for about an hour and then can get a little more sleep to only do it again a couple hours later.

I have been trying to make a block or two each day to get something done and here is my progress.
Lots of cutting and pressing going on. Only about half way on the top quilt. This is taking a little longer to get done because of the applique. The double 9 patches are all done just finishing up the applique blocks. Then I have a question in my mind. I have a center circle to add to the applique blocks. The circle that was used with the pattern isn't very big and it shows it red. Not sure I like the size or the color.
I am going to make some circles in different sizes and colors and test the waters to see which I like best. I am considering making this with a black background or a dark brown background.
It is cold out today and yet it is suppose to be sunny. The high isn't getting real high like 41*F. I am ready to get rid of all the flies and the Box elder bugs. They swarm on the screen doors and then you open them to go in or out and they fly into the house. We live along the river and in the middle of the corn field that hasn't been picked yet and they are trying to find a warm place to be.

The trees are about done dropping their leaves and the garden has been put to bed for the Winter. I 'm ready for a change and yet ask me in January and I will be wanting to get back outside and get into the garden. My color fix will have to be the colors I use in my quilts. Chris 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Being a Good Samaritan

No pictures of this today. Two days ago my neighbor called and she was in trouble. She has a trach and it had come out. She was ill with a cold and coughing horribly bad. I spent 2.5 hours with her in the emergency room at the local hospital. Well I am coughing now. I normally don't get sick and this maybe will be my undoing.

My husband can't handle getting sick so I have to stay away from him and wash and disinfect everything.

Today maybe will be a soup day and that way to keep everything going down the throat good. I was in hopes it was allergies, but I am still on the fence over that. We have had a huge amount of humidity and also warm weather. I can deal with allergies because eventually I know they go away. Cold and coughing are not something I like to have.

I have done some hand work and a few more blocks of the scrappy quilt I showed you the other day. Still sorting through fabric stash and getting it better organized. I still need to sort by color, but it if it is folded nicely and visible that was the first step. I need several more hours to complete the cleaning up process. Maybe a good thing to do while I am contagious.

With the holidays approaching at the rate they are I need to get better organized. I have to get into closets and find all the Christmas stuff and get it ready to put out. My heart isn't into all the decorating anymore. Kids are older and they don't even notice if I put anything out or not. I guess Grandma has lost her touch to make them notice.

When they were little they loved to look at the colored lights and all the pretty things, but it becomes dust collectors in my book now. I haven't like the holidays for years. To many family issues that went unresolved. I go through the motions and try to stay positive.

Hope none of you have this cold crap. It isn't fun. Chris  

Monday, October 22, 2012

Cutting and scrapping

I have really been cutting a lot of small stuff up. These are 9 inch blocks when finished. So it is using a lot of small stuff to get these made. I like the challenge to see if I can get enough for a quilt without using larger pieces to cut off of.
As you can see it will be a darker quilt. More masculine in my estimation. But not a lively bright colored one. My country looks are appealing to several that see it. To me they look old and warm feeling.

I have been trying to help outside to get the flowerbeds done. We have hauled tons of debris to the trash dump. We are about two days to having all of it done and hauled. It is raining today so it will be and inside day. We need to recover from all the labor we have done of late.

I went to the grocery store and bought meat on sale so today I need to divide it up for freezing. As soon as I get done here I will get that started.

I did some hand applique this morning. I have blocks to finish for another quilt and then I need to spend time inside and get things finished up ready to quilt. The outside work has taken a lot of time away from sewing.
Hope everyone has a great day. Chris

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Crazy but using up scraps

Still cutting and still sewing scraps. These two blocks will alternate throughout a quilt. It is just using up small pieces and trying to get rid of some of the overwhelming piles.
As you can see it is it is all different pieces. I think I might have enough of these color groupings to make two or three like this. Not sure my patience is that diligent. I really should be finishing some things. No quilts this year for Christmas.

My Granddaughter and I went through my starts but not finishes the other day and I have almost 13 in the works. Some just need to be sandwiched some need lots of work and some need backings.

We live on a tight budget and I buy when I find some extra money, but not until then. The next order of business is to get something sandwiched. The quilting on the one I want to get done will take sometime, but not forever.

My garment sewing is at a standstill until we get paid. Then it will progress. We still have a couple things to fix before we are shut in for the winter. Weatherstripping is about it. Three doors need the new sweeps on the bottom and two need some attention to the weatherstripping around the closed door.
Wednesday we are going to go and get all that.

A couple more flower beds need attention and then we are ready. Let the weather do what it is going to do.

Well her is a quote from Katie: "Scraps are like dust bunnies they multiply" So true. Chris

Friday, October 19, 2012


No pictures today. I have been cutting scraps and trying to make blocks. Then yesterday morning my iron quit. I figured back and it is over 18 years old. It gets turned on for hours at a time and sometimes even over night by accident. That isn't a good thing. So this morning I got out another iron.

Well this one turns off with no activity going on. No reset on the iron you have to unplug it and replug it in. Pain in the back side when you are on a roll sewing. Finally I got another one out I have had for about 15 years. None of them take steam anymore. I own a spray bottle and keep it handy.

I have two nightgown T shirts I bought several years ago and I love them to sleep in. They are not to long to get tangled in your legs or the covers. One is in shreds and so I cut it apart today. I wanted to use up some cotton/poly knit I had and I am 18 inches to short to get the two main pieces out of it. Yes I can piece a piece in, but I am not convinced I want to do that. The more seams you have the more  places the seams will break in rolling around in a bed. May have to finally break down and do it though.

I have three colors in the same weight of knit so maybe they will be color blocks made into nightgowns. No one else will have any like them. Maybe a "Fashion Statement"

I have been sorting through my stash on my shelves and pulling out small pieces that need to be used up. Refolding the fabric and placing it back on the shelves looks good, but we will see how long it lasts.

I know when I go places to look for blues and more gold colors. I am low on them and to round out the color palette. I need a few oranges to rusts also. I am always looking for neutrals. Yes I know the new neutral is gray. Have to think about that some.

The weather is gloomy and the TV has new programs, but they don't even interest me. The prediction for our area for this winter is dry again. I don't like shoveling snow but the trees and the farmers need the moisture. We live in corn country and if the farmers are not happy no one is happy. Time will tell.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Chris

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Have I lost my mind? Well maybe!

Why would anyone do this? Make 3.5 inch squares and then piece then together? Well here is what I did. I had made all the blocks for the applique quilt and these were still hanging around. I have used them in other blocks and I decided since most of the fabric was in strips to keep sewing. Insane well maybe. They are pieces that are both prints. No solid .
They then come together with neutral fabrics to make a bigger block. Lots of tans and browns and shades of red. definitely country in look. There is a another pieced block to go with it, but I have to cut a lot of 1/4 square triangles for it. As I pick up a piece of fabric I am cutting pieces off of it for this. Yes I said I would finish some things well I told you it would be hard to do.

I started yesterday to do some garment sewing for myself and I am at a stand still until I get to the fabric store again. Today I will do some cleaning in between some sewing.

I have some applique pieces ready to glue baste in place. So I will start with the prep for another of the applique blocks. So when I sit to watch TV tonight I have my hands busy.

Rain coming in for the next three days so we will get to the outside work first then the cleaning. We got the garden all cleaned up last night. Dug another 12 pounds of potatoes yesterday. This was a second crop. We weren't sure it they would grow. Some are small, but they will all cook up well.

My scrap buckets still are full. I guess I don't sew fast enough to get them cleaned out. What is wrong with me?? My mind is on overtime right now. LOL Chris  

Monday, October 15, 2012

This is what is in my backyard

I look out my new door and this is what I see. I think Fall is here. The colors are not as true as I would like them to be in the picture. They are a deep orange to almost a burgundy color in some of the leaves. This tree was in someone else's back yard the the tree guy said it was dead. It was dug out and brought here. We babied it and look what we have. In it's full glory it is a looker. Chris

Wet weekend

We had almost 3 inches of rain in about 32 hours. Nothing all Summer and then so much in one day. I finally went to Joann's that opened almost a month ago and when I left the water in the parking lot was over my ankles. I came home and got dried out and then I watched TV and did hand applique.
I finished all the blocks for this quilt and this is waiting for the applique blocks to get finished. I have made up my mind to get some finishes under my belt before I get to involved with anything new. We will see how long that lasts. LOL
I have been surfing the web and found several ideas that are interesting to me which I will put my own twist on. I like this time of year to look at old quilting magazines also. Inspiration is out there just have to find what interests you and your tastes.
I do look at the pattern and not the colors that are used.
So many times the same elements are used but in a different color combination. Expanding your mind to the colors you lean towards and visualize the difference. Or step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Get a new color pallet going for yourself. In going to the Joann's I saw many brighter colors and yet I still can see them in many traditional patterns.

I only bought a coat pattern for myself. I looked and thought I have so much fabric at home and I am not tempting myself with this and getting frustrated. I did see some drapery fabric I liked and thought about a slip cover for a recliner I have. That will be a major project if I do that.
I got a call from my son last night and we had loaned him and antique cabinet for his TV several years ago. Now he doesn't want it anymore. I guess I have the van so I have to drive to get it. Maybe in the next couple days when he is home I can take off and get it loaded. Have to move things around to put it back where it was. Then if I am going to do that It means cleaning that room really well. It needs it. Dust the walls down and shampoo the carpet. Sounds like Fall house cleaning to me. YUK!

I had to stop in the middle of sewing the other day and I am ashamed to say I hadn't cleaned my machine in a while. Well it was dry and needed a good cleaning and oiling. New needle was in order also. Back in working order and yet I am hand appliqueing. I am going to get it ready to make this coat.

Will let you know the progress here. Later. Chris

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Well here is the project for today. I sent Jeff outside to mulch up leaves and I am tackling the china cabinet. Washed the mirrors and the shelves already. Now onto the rest of what was in it.
This is only part of it. Why does a person collect stuff like this???? It all has to be dusted or washed and placed back in the cabinet.
I finally decided to fill the sink with soapy water and do most of it that way. Many of the things belonged to my Mother's Mother and some I have collected over time. I have a small amount that was my Mother-in-law's also. I have been given salt and pepper shakers as gifts and I don't use them, but the person that gave them to me comes to visit all the time.

My boys don't want any of it and their significant others don't want it until the kids are raised so Grandma keeps all the stuff. I am down to cleaning it maybe once a year now so I need to see about getting rid of some of it. Off to wash some more of it before lunch. Chris

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Have you ever bought fabric not knowing what you would use it for?

Most of what I have I bought without a clue as to how I would use it. I have garment fabric that is not used because my tastes have changed or I am not sure what I want to make out of it. Oh my the shelves need straightening also.
I bought this fabric for a applique background and I wish now I has twice as much as I do. But it was on sale and it was the end of the bolt.
Fabric buying is trick job. My dilemma do I buy enough or do I have enough to work for what ever I decide to make with it. Do you have this trouble also? How much fabric do you buy when you find a piece that works for you? Chris

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Everything but sewing is going to go on.

We are cutting back flowers and we have potatoes and beets to get dug up. So today the sewing will have to wait until after dinner.
I am getting old and the racking is killing me. We have two huge pine trees to the side of our neighbors property and they are to the west of us. The wind has been blowing from the west and the needles from the trees are raining down on our yard.
I have racked about 15 bushel basket of needles and only about 1/3 done with it. The one good thing is we use them in the flower beds for mulch. When they get wet they mess together and form a good barrier for weeds to not grow through. Not everyone can use then because of the soil conditions. We live on limestone so our ph in the soil  is low. The needles are acidic so it balances out the ph balance and we get pretty good soil that way.
We have the second bed prepared so today before it rains we want to get out and get the second bed done. Then only one more to do. Next Spring we can sit back and just look at the flowers as they emerge and less work to do.
If I get to the sewing sooner because of rain I will let you know. Chris

Monday, October 8, 2012

Credit where credit is due

I am not a needle turning kind of person. I use the easiest method to do applique. I have used the freezer paper and glue stick method, also the baste around an applique shape and feel like it is a lot of work. I started this block last night and I got pretty far on it since I wasn't sure what I was doing.
I didn't like the paper removal after I stitched the shapes onto the background. Well I was reading a lovely and information blog. Many of you do read it. . Teresa uses glue sticks and freezer paper also, but she does it a little different.
AS you can see the shape is cut out and the freezer paper is fused to the front. Then the glue stick is used and the seam allowance is turned under and no paper removal after it is stitched to the background. It is peeled off of the top and no little bits to remove. Yippppppppeeeeeee! Thank you Teresa. The light bulb finally went on for me using the method you use.

Take time and look at her block. She has an amazing storage system working for her. Also is a great appliquer. Oh to grow up and be like you. LOL Chris

Sunday, October 7, 2012

All them stitched

Well they all have their white edges to make them rectangle. I realized I hadn't washed the sashing fabric and with it mostly black decided I had better do it. So it is in the washer now and will get dried in a few minutes.

The grandkids are coming today later so I put the blocks away and the fabric can be folded later and put on the shelf. She hasn't noticed it yet.

Decided I would make chicken and noodles in case they are hungry. Dean and Taylor both like it. Derek will pick at it. I make egg noodles from scratch so it tastes really good. I don't need all the carbs but once in a while it is ok.

I made stuffed peppers last night and it was good for a change. It is all veggies and some meat. Fall weather and more comfort food is in order. Chris

Saturday, October 6, 2012

More Color update

I decided the white had to be incorporated in this block. I think this sets it off better and makes a transition to the sashing better. This is for Taylor who is 13. Not my choice of fabrics but right up her alley.
Lots of cutting to get the corners to fit, but I like the look better. Chris

Color and more color

Here are 38 of my bright colored hexies. See the background fabric. It was 50% off at the fabric store a while back and I think I have to make some choices. It will be a twin sized quilt.
Thought about toning it down with white to make the hexies square and then sashing with the black-orange and green fabric. Need to ponder this one for a while and see which I prefer. The pile in the back needs the black dot hexies sewn into place and then I am ready to decide. 
I made up my mind I needed to finish something and not start anything else. I have so many ideas and wants going through my head and yet I need to get something done.

The cold is setting in at night so it won't be to much longer I will be back inside all the time. Then things will get done. At least we don't have the snow like some other areas of the country. We went out and picked butternut squash yesterday and I have beets and potatoes to dig yet. Then the garden will be done for the year. We started to cut back flowers and plants in the flower beds. We have pine trees that are dumping needles like crazy so we are racking and placing the needles in the beds for mulch. Hey it is cheap just a little labor. Enjoy these Fall days. Chris

Friday, October 5, 2012

Where has this week gone?

We have been busy and yet doesn't seem like a lot got done. Some major projects got completed and I guess they took up most of our time.

I have been pretty tired and not sewn a lot lately. Need to get that to the top of the list again. Dishes, laundry and cleaning seem to take up all the free time I have had between taking out doors and replacing them.

I have some things on my sewing table that need completing before I go to much farther. I have been starting to many things at once and nothing is finished.

We had a Joann's open up in town about 6 miles from me and I haven't even set foot in the store. It has been open about 3 weeks. I must be sick or something like that. I guess I am not in need of anything right now so I am waiting until I have a purpose of going in there.

I do need to make some clothing for me. I have fabric sitting here and I need to get going on some things for Winter. I have flannel and corduroy that I want to make in shirts and I even have the buttons. So maybe in the next couple weeks I can get going on that project. Hope you are all well. Chris

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Finishing work on the door

We ran into an issue with the door opening into the room. The door swept over the carpet and drug. So my husband wants to take out the carpet and place tile there. So in the mean time he cut the carpet and took the pad out from underneath and made a frame work of the carpet to tack down the carpet cut edges until we find the tile we want.
Here is a picture of the door from the outside. This is called a french door, but it only opens on one side. We can only handle the door opening on one side. We have a fireplace to the right of the door and it shouldn't be open to the wind. It does have a screen that slides like the sliding glass door screen which at some point we will change.  
Here is the picture from the steps he built last year. I would like to add some coach lights on the back of the house on either side of the door. We need to replace the one fixture that is there. My house is on display on three sides so it should look nice on all three sides.
We are to get two days of cold hard frost and this is the last of the flourish of the Grape Hyacinth Bean flowers. In a few days they will be ugly. Not ready for Winter but the door is in now so we are farther along with out getting ready for Winter to-do list. Chris

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My Handyman got the door in place

There is a hole in my living room wall. The sliding glass door was out of the wall and this is the look from the inside.
The siding had to be pulled loose to get the old door out. Don't think that wasn't fun putting it all back. We had a neighbor come down and help get the heavy moving done. He called us the Hole in the Wall Gang.
As you can see from the back it looks funny. A guy we know drove by and asked us from the road what in the heck were we doing.
Jeff is getting the prep work done to get the other door put back in place. It needed a moisture barrier put under the sill and the edges. Then all the leveling that needed doing was not fun either. But it is all in place and closes right and the door seals really well.  
He wanted me to get a paper towel wet at one point and I turned in the living room and tripped over a rug and fell. I started for the floor before I knew what happened. My face was coming down towards the raised hearth we had and I was trying to move to keep from hitting it. Good things some big floor cushions were up against the hearth and it saved me major injuries. My pride was hurt more than this old body so I am sore from the fall but I am ok.
All is completed on the outside. All the caulking and the siding is all nailed back in place. Today the inside trim work and some insulation needs to be put in place. We eventually will take carpeting out in front of the door and in front of the fireplace and replace with tile. That is a Winter project. We are always finding things to do during the Winter months. The room is so much quieter and I am sure will be warmer with the French doors than the slider. So we worked for about 7 hours on this job, but we are happy with the outcome. Forgot to tell you the door was free. We spent only $16 so far for some siding channel and we need to change the locks and it is far better than what we had. Thanks to our neighbor. Chris

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Lots going on today

Where do I start? I have had these pieced for a while now and they were just sitting there in a pile. They needed pressing into submission. When you do so many strip pieces together they become an accordion.  
I got out the starch and made some weakened spray starch out of the old fashion kind of liquid starch. I sprayed them good and pressed them into a more normal shape that I can square them up and make into place mats.
After pressing they do cooperate better. Now I want to get them all measured and trimmed to a rectangular shape that will work.  
This is a picture of the back side of my house from this Spring. Well it is going to change some today. We currently have a sliding glass door on the back side of the house and we were given a French Door system. Today is the day to take the old door out. We have someone that wants the door for their house and so it is a switch that will happen over a couple days.
The inside has been prepared for demolition. All the trim and caulking has been taken off. So it is just screwed in the opening now. We have a neighbor that well come and help get the old one out and set the new one in place. He is the recipient of the old door we are taking out. So as the steps are going on we will be taking pictures and I will show you the upgrade to the back of my house.

Also I received some new to me chairs. They are platform rockers. I got rid of a love seat last night and so I have a little more room in my living room. We had huge furniture and it wasn't easy to place in the room with all the doors and open spaces in the way. At some point I plan on making slip covers for these chairs. We will see how soon that happens. I want to paint and also new drapes. I know I want I want! Not much sewing will happen today. I need to get dressed and get a few dishes taken care of and get something in the crock pot for supper. So off to the races. Later. Chris