Monday, August 29, 2016

Pink is the color

Maybe you figured it out. It is a girl.

Her name will be Adalyn Jae. She is due January 2nd, 2017. This will make 3 little girls under the age of four. Heaven help us.

EPP AKA English Paper Piecing

I had been told I am crazy doing this little stitching. Well it is satisfying to me to use needle and thread when I sit to watch TV at night. 

I was also told and saw that this book is no longer in print. It has sold out. I found it on a website I was looking at. . They have both of Willyne Hammersteins's books available plus many others. I have loved the look of this cover quilt and am fascinated with the shapes. The pieces are larger than the mini hexies I am doing no so they should piece together quicker. The trick is picking out the correct color combinations to produce the effect you want. 

This is side ways, but you can see EPP can be done with other shapes besides hexagons and jewel shapes. 

The author is a commuter to her office everyday and she makes kits up to take on the train to her office. She says she has several quilts and blocks started in each pattern so she doesn't get bored with the same blocks. 

The book is written in several languages. So it is easy for others to read. She is from the Netherlands.

Today we are trying to recover the house and rest, but we get girls again for a couple hours. Mom and Dad are going to the Dr.s appointment together to see if the gender of the newest little one will be revealed. 

They have a couple names picked out, but nothing is for sure. Take care and see you later Chris 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

I am wore out

We had three grandkids over the last two days. And we get two of them back tomorrow. 

Derek the 15 year old wanted to come and he helped grandpa finish the roof over the ramp. The girls just came to hang out. 

We went shopping today and bought shoes for the three year old and got them bubber boots as they say. Rain boots. They wear them when they go to help do chores with all the animals. 

We had another fast moving storm that dumped another 1.6 inches again. The grass grows by inches over night. The farmers don't want rain at this point. They want the crops to start drying out. This kind of moisture causes mold in the crops. 

Hopefully tomorrow afternoon we find out what the gender of the baby is. If he or she cooperates. Time will tell. 

My son has had issues of late raising his Teenage kids. You want to be their friend, but then some hard parenting has to come into play. He has experienced that from his oldest. I think they are finally getting beyond the resentment and the hurt feelings. Grandma has had to step in by Dad's request and try and smooth things out. I try and not blame, but make sure everyone has choices and we have to pay the consequences with the choice we make. I think some progress has been made and maybe they will move forward. Life is to short to hold grudges. 

Well I think the nightgown is going to get put on and maybe an early bed tonight. I had two year old feet in  my back and side all night long last night.  Chris 


Friday, August 26, 2016

The roof over the porch

This is what you see when you walk out the kitchen door. We had a small deck there. We decided to cover the deck so that we could sit there and keep the weather off the kitchen door. We used deck boards that are treated and we won't stain or paint them. They will be covered on the top with shingles. This will give the outdoors look to the roof. 

This was taken from the garage looking towards the house. See I still have my driveway space, but this way we have a usable deck. We used it, but when it was hot yu were right out in the sun in the afternoon. This is the North side of my house.  

This is from the driveway on the front side of my house. We are taking about changing the steps on the front side of the deck to give us a little more deck space. That maybe will be before Fall weather. It was hot and humid
yesterday. So we retreated to the garage and shade many times.
This is the ramp area and we are going to add a cover over it also. We had to attach to the wood on the house so that is why the siding is off. We get the last of the roof done the siding will be fitted back in place. 

This is the approach coming back up the ramp to the kitchen door. I really like the look. It was a trade off of adding a porch to the house. We just decided we didn't want to sit on the front side of the house. This will be our little getaway. We really like it and now maybe I can get back to sewing. Chris

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Rain, Rain go away

My husband took these and didn't change the date on the camera, but this is about 10 am this morning. I went to go get groceries and as I was standing in the check out the heavens opened up and just poured and didn't stop. I could barely see to drive home it was coming down so hard. This is the street and the front yard and sidewalk in front of my house running with 5-7 inches of water. 

This is the back yard. the yard is really soggy with all the rain we had last week. We are to get 1-4 more inches overnight with flash flood warnings. 

This is the drive and the side of my neighbors house and yard. It is all soaked in now, but the grass is really wet. 

Tomorrow we are suppose to put a roof over the side deck. Wish it was done today. I got soaked bring groceries in. I change my clothes and wrung water out of my shirt. I was soaked. Now it is hot and humid. 

I am getting tired of being woke up in the middle of the night with thunder and lightening, but Mother Nature doesn't listen to me. Chris

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Hand stitching

It is starting to gain in size. It is a slow process. I haven't felt real good with my allergies so sitting and hand stitching suits me. It might be five years before this has any definite size to it. 

I took it out into the natural light at 7 pm to take this picture. I keep emptying small spools of poly/cotton thread. I use it to baste the papers and fabric pieces. Might as well use it up, because I don't do much garment sewing anymore. I have been using the lighter threads on the lighter pieces and the darker threads on the darker hexies for the basting. 

Here are a few more pieced, but not added yet. I find colors and make up the flowers and the stars and when the color works I then attach it to the main piece.

Yesterday we got a delivery of wood for the out side deck. We are going to make a cover for it and the ramp we have. The weather when it is bad really hits that side of the house. We thought carrying groceries or going in and out would be nicer with a cover porch. We are thinking about adding an outside ceiling fan to the roof so we can sit out there and be comfortable also.

We really wanted to add a covered porch to the front of the house, but it would cost way more than what we cared to spend. Also in the afternoons and evenings the sun is beating on that side of the house. The porch with the ramp is on the North side of the house so it made more sense to cover it.

We painted the tall posts so we don't have to stand on ladders so we got the wood delivered early to do prep work before we get help to do the heavy lifting hopefully on Thursday.

Over the last 72 hours we have received 7 inches of rain. Not as much as in the South, but it did cause flash flooding in the area. We are ok, but I feel the pain for the families in the South that lost everything some of them for the second time.

The Olympics are almost over and the Fall TV season will be starting soon. The reruns are driving me nuts so I guess I go back to the hand sewing again for this evening. Chris

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


Where has the year gone to? I have been dreading this time of year. Normally Fall is my most favorite season.

It has been a time that I am approaching a year since my Mom struggled with her cancer and it is reminder that life comes and goes so fast.

About this time last year my Mother's illness was taking a turn to the end and she needed more help. This year has been hard to face, but I could wish her to come back and deal with all the pain.

I really think this is why I have had such a struggle with staying focused. I question in my mind did I do enough? I in reality think I did and there wasn't much more I could do. Made her last days filled with family and also as pain free as possible.

Hopefully no one else has to go through this ordeal. I know others will and I understand your pain and the sacrifice one has to go through.

Thoughts are with others who are dealing with this ugly disease. Chris

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Grandchildren Day

Yesterday morning I went and got the girls. Autumn is 3 1/2 years old. She wants to go to school and before Winter I think she will be in Pre School.

Katelyn will be 2 in a couple months. She just is into playing for now. Yesterday she could say gampa for Grandpa. I said say gamma and she told me I can't. So later she wanted something from me and I said what do you say and she said to me pease gamma. Funny how she could she just didn't want to. 

Derek came in the afternoon and wanted a haircut and also a backpack for school. They start Wed. So we went and got the haircut first and went shopping. Freshman in high school this year. Where has this time gone.?????

Found this picture of him and me on Grandparents day in kindergarten. 

He wanted his Grandmother to be at lunch. Seems like a lifetime ago.

Taylor was working  so no pictures of her.

Last night her class had a tragic loss. One of their class mates was killed in a car accident. She was  Taylor's age. Planning on going to her Senior year and that life is snuffed out to soon. It can happen so quickly.

In a small town everyone knows everyone. I feel for her classmates and her family.

Watch out for young drivers and kids walking to school. Chris

Monday, August 15, 2016

Just a little progress.

Writing this post in a hurry. Will have to leave in a couple minutes to go and get the girls. 

This is the progress on the Tumbler minis. I am hand basting onto the paper shapes and then stitching them together. I want to make a collage of minis for my hallway down toward the three extra bedrooms. I think this will make a statement since I have nothing on the walls.
I plan on just making different hand worked quilts for this hallway. 

Hope you have a good one. Chris. Start watching for kids going to school and the school buses stopping to pick up kids.  

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Tiny, Tiny, Tiny

I have been piling a bunch of small pieces in a tray I salvaged from having meat in it from the grocery. These were small pieces, but I hate to throw anything away.There are a bunch of colors in here and if they aren't big enough for the tumbler shapes I have then I can use them as the half tumblers for the outside edges. Last year I thought I would make a few mini quilts to hang in my hallway. I keep thinking I need to start them and I found the shapes online.

This is quarter laying below the shapes I am using. I am doing EPP with them and basting them onto the papers. 

The printing on the shape says 35 mm, but I changed the size when I printed them. Smaller in fact.I knew my pieces were small and decided I would make them work for a small tumbler quilt to get my collage of quilts in the hallway started. 

Here are 6 pieces sewn together. I will be at this for awhile, but it a small project for handwork. I like to do handwork while watching TV and sitting with my husband at night. 

I got another star flower done in the mini hexies today. I need to cut some of the tan fabric to make my ring around the smaller flowers. I think tomorrow will be busy for awhile. 

My little ones are coming in the morning. Mom and Dad have to be at an appointment. So I will meet her about 8:15 am and they will come and play for awhile. 

Today was tolerable as far as heat and humidity. In fact I vacuumed the front room and hallway. So it was a productive day. I did three loads of laundry and cooked dinner and did my dishes. 

I want you to know I got 6 hours of sleep last night without waking up. I don't know what got into me, but I was surprised. Probably won't sleep that much tonight. 

School starts for the local kids tomorrow. Seems so early, but they are getting bored. Stay safe. Chris

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Real good intentions

I got up and started my day fairly early. Was to the store and back before 9:30 am. Went to the thrift shop and got some clothing for the older kids. Got that washed and ready to go.

Went in to sew and finished two seams on my quilt as you go project and then had to stop and get to the hardware store and never got back to the sewing.

It is like the days are slipping away and I have no  control. Maybe tomorrow.

I am not feeling the best tonight so maybe I will just sit and watch the Olympics and then find the bed and see how I struggle with sleeping. I think that is why I don't feel well. I haven't slept through the night in almost 30 years. No I am not exaggerating at all. I am not a good sleeper I wake up every time I roll over.

Hope you get some sleep. Chris

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Still hot and muggy

More of this handwork got done. Just to hot to do anything else. My thimble is sitting there by one of the hexies. 

This shows on little element basted. I do it with thread and then leave the thread in because I do not stitch through the paper. 

I keep saying we are going to have an early Fall. Well here is proof. this is the Maple tree in my back yard. See the orange red leaves in the tree. they have just shown up in the last couple days. We see spider webs everywhere also. that is another lign.

This isn't as clear, but there are more in the same tree. 

Look at this just above the roof of this house in the middle of the picture. This I noticed last week. It was green just about 10 days ago. So our time for Fall isn't to far off. The meteorologist on the TV station we watch out of Davenport, IA was in Wisconsin last week and he said they were changing colors up there also. 

We are to get lots of rain over night 2 plus inches. So my husband is out mowing this evening. Heat indexes are almost 100 right now out. It is 6:15 pm Central time here. Not going to cool off unless we do get some rain. 

Stay cool and I am going to do some more hand stitching. Chris 

Hot, Hot, Hot...

It is so hot outside I think I could fry an egg on my driveway. Of Course I had to go to the store. I got somethings bought on sale so I guess the trip was worth struggling with the heat.As you can see the mini hexies have been my friend as of late. To hot to machine quilt with a queen size quilt in your lap. I pick out a few color combos from the 1.5 inch strips I have cut and a couple colors of thread and I go to town. I have the papers all cut up and some applique pins at my chair and I can watch the Olympics and/ or watch a movie and try and stay cool. They just flashed across the TV we have storm warnings in our area for the next hour. It has to do something as hot and humid as it is. 

As you can see it is growing a little at a time. I keep looking on Pinterest and find so many more designs.

I looked into the Millefiore Quilt Book, It is not available in many places. I found a source for it and it is the same price so I think as a treat to myself I will order it next week. I enjoy this type of handwork.

I have a plan to change the sewing room again. I will have to run it by my husband. It means moving a heavy piece of furniture and I am sure I will get the eye roll treatment. Ok I just asked and he said ok. Surprise surprise. 

The sky is changing color and the wind is picking up. So I hope we get rain without the wind and hail they are talking about. We need to mow, but I am afraid it will dry out and burn the yard with this heat. I hear thunder. Chris

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


I have been doing a little hand stitching while watch the Olympics. This is Taylor. She is 17 years old now and will be a Senior in high School in a few days. 

Yesterday she was with her boyfriend and she kept telling him I did all this sewing and all this little hand work. Talking about the Hexies. She acted like I was crazy. 

She is learning how to crochet and that is working with your hands. She loves to Bake and does a good job at that. Maybe we can get her to decorate cakes. That is a talent I never could do. 

I have twisted my knee sometime in the last month and it had been plaguing me with more pain all the time. So I have gotten the heating pad out and stitching on my small flowers and stars. 

Slowly getting beyond the pain in my knee. We have a big project coming up with putting  roof over our side deck and ramp. We will have to have help and I am sure meals will have to go along with the help. So will plan on getting the materials here and maybe in a couple weeks we can get this rpoject started. Stay Cool. Chris 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Had to get out and take a tour of the yard

These are some planters we bought this year. My husband decided to paint them with the Hammered Copper paint and then antique them before they got put away for the season. I think they really look great. 

Hibiscus is starting to bloom. This flower is about 9-10 inches across the bloom. 

Here is a planter I amde up this year with small sedums and succulants in it. I think it is really doing well. I think we are going to try and bring them in for the Winter. 

Morning glory's growing up around the pole and birdhouse. They are just starting to bloom good. 

 This has purple blooms opening everyday.
This is the birdhouse out in front. It has pink and purple flowers on it.

They are a pretty pink. They are annuals and you have to plant them from seed every year. 

This is another planter that I bought already made up. I think it will come in also. 

Some call these Black Eyed Susan's. But they are Rudbeckia. They are a hybrid of the road side flowers in our neck of the woods. They are such a rich color of yellow.

This is just a few of the pictures I have of my flowers. I thought it would be nice to share. Chris  

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Been quiet, but a little busy

Well my husband has been busy. We bought this piece at a rummage sale last year. It is a cast iron grate that was in a floor well in front a professional building door as a shoe grate. It has feet on the back side so that dirt and slush would fall through the holes so it wouldn't get tracked in a polished floors. 

He took it out the other day and painted it with a Rustoleum product called hammered copper. It looks like hammered metal in copper colored. Then he stained it to make it look more antiqued. 

We decided today it needed to be hung someplace that it wouldn't get knocked off. It weighs about 17.5 lbs so you wouldn't want it to fall on your head or shoulder. We had to go to the hardware store to get long enough screws to make sure it was secure on the wall.

This is what I have been busy doing. I got all the blocks sewn together in rows and started getting it shaped up to make the long strips to sew the quilt together. Remember this is quilting as I go. The black strips are faced with batting and you top stitch them onto the top and then all the quilting is done. 

This one is just pinned in place. I need to wind bobbins to get this one completely sewn. I am using a blanket stitch to sew down this strip and batting so it is secure and not shifting. The darker strips make the colors in the crazy/crumb blocks stand out. 

To bind the edges I plan on sewing black strips and bringing the black fabric to the front to finish the edges off with a self binding. This is coming together better than I had hoped for and other than the black fabric everything else was scraps or thrift/rummage sale fabric. Batting was from a huge bag of scraps my Mother had. I have pieced this batting together to make this work also. 

If there is a will there is a way and I am not wasting a single scrap, but making something interesting to look at. Plus a warm quilt to sleep under. 

Repurpose and recycle is my Motto. Now I got to figure out something for supper. YUK! Chris  

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Nothing new

I think my allergies have turned into a sinus infection. It isn't bad, but not dealing with it well. I guess it gets to bad will have to get some meds.

We still are in a heat wave. Suppose to rain later tonight. We have done a little yard work in the morning to keep up. We watered some of the plants tonight the heat has taken it's toll on them. My potted plants were just completely spent so the last ones were cleaned out tonight.

No sewing just hasn't been something I have wanted to do. I will get back to it.

Trying to keep an upbeat attitude with not being on top of my game and I did get a hair cut today, but even that didn't help. Chris

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

No sewing yet.

I did get up and do some outside work this morning. Got some things dumped that were not blooming anymore from pots. Then I cut back the flower stalks from the Hosta's. They get dried and ugly.

I have done dishes and also picked up from the girls being here last night. They didn't get much out because they weren't here very long.

I might get some stitching done this evening. I really need to have my hands busy, because I get bored and want to snack instead. Not good.

We haven't had a garden for a couple summers now and I find that I am missing the process. It was getting to be to much planting, weeding, picking, and canning all the food. I am scared to buy certain foods at the store because I have reactions to the cans and the plastic ling in the cans.

Awful to have this much of an issue with what I can eat. I guess I shouldn't eat anything. LOL Chris

No hand stitching got done.

We got a last minute call that they needed a babysitter. My son got an extra shift at the last minute and their Mother had a trustees meeting for their village. So grandma got two girls and they got to see the new Jeep grandpa fixed for them.

They sat in it, but Autumn wasn't going to drive it she wanted the old one. So Grandpa got upset and it wasn't a nice evening.

But their Mom came and got them and I think they were tired, but I was wore out when she got here at 10:30 pm, but was still awake at 12:30 am. I have only had about 4.5 hours sleep so the nap
time for me will be welcomed.  Fall like weather shows up. It doesn't even cool off at night.

I got rid of some potted plants that were spent and will have to water dome before it gets to hot. Chris

Monday, August 1, 2016

Corner shelf and more stitching

This was an ugly white distressed shelf from a rummage sale. It needed some repair and a fresh painting. My husband distressed it to match a cabinet we have in the eating part of the kitchen. 

I am a chicken lover and so I have chicken items in my kitchen. I needed a spot to place some of the figurines. He [painted this a flat black and then sanded the edges and stained them with the same color stain we used on the kitchen window frames we did earlier this year. Then several coats of stain varnish mix. I think the results are striking against the wallpaper we put in this last Winter. 

This is a small corner, but needed something to make it look good. I have put off doing a lot of decorating the room because I wasn't sure which direction to go with it. I think now I can see a clearer path and how I want it to proceed. 

This is the cabinet he refinished a few years ago. It had been red, but he painted it black and distressed it the same way he did the shelf. Now the space is coming together and I have some vintage kitchen utensils I can get out and put up to go with it. 

On to sewing. I got a few more blocks stitched together then I had to stop and help my husband. I have a few more pinned and ready to stitch. 

Today the light was right to get the serpentine stitching in the middle of the black sashing. I am getting excited to think I am finally maybe going to have another quilt finished. I have only finished one this years so far. Lots of sewing, but finishing has not happened. 

Today is a question as to what will happen. I have to coats for my little ones to replace zippers in. I need to get to the store and get them purchased. I hate coat zippers. It isn't so bad after you get them ripped out. That is the worse. Chris