Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Needle & Thread Time

I really enjoyed being able to sit and work with needle and thread in September. I'm continuing to enjoy my needle and thread time now that it's October.

I'm attempting to hand quilt one of my 2012 UFO Challenge Quilts. It's a double wedding ring wall hanging dating back to 1999. Right now I'm only doing some "stitch in the ditch" but I do hope to do some kind of design in the middle of each ring. Believe me when I tell you that I win never win ribbons for my feeble quilting stitches. LOL

Unfortunately I have noticed quite a pucker in one of the melons. Oh well - it is what it is. I had only been quilting about 18 months when I took the class for this quilt. Maybe my next one I won't have so many puckers ;)

Links to Piecing Hexagons

After doing a search on Bonnie’s blog about how she pieces hexagons, I found the link here. She has included wonderful pictures of the step-by-step process. Seriously, pictures really are worth it when doing a tutorial. Thank you Bonnie.

As a side note, go check out her Tips and Techniques page as there are a ton of helpful tips there.

Here are a few more tutorials I found.

Quarter Inch Mark

Bee In My Bonnet has three posts about making hexagons.

Cutting the fabric

Paper Piecing Tutorial (she uses a paperclip to hold the fabric and hexagon paper together – genius)

Putting the hexagons together 

I think I figured out what part of my problem is in piecing the hexies. I purchased plastic template hexagons. I think they are too thick for me to feel comfortable holding together with the fabric. It’s not like sewing down the binding of a quilt or each joining two pieces of fabric together to create a block. You are holding an odd shape of either plastic or paper – the hexagon, plus the fabric shape or square and trying to baste a seam. Plus for those of us with um, larger fingers, it can be a bit daunting trying to work with smaller pieces. So I’m going to try to take back this bag of plastic template and hopefully find some paper hexagons. Unfortunately I don’t own the hexagon shape maker from Creative Memories – I know bummer!

Happy piecing!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

One Hour Needle & Thread Round Up

I didn’t do a good job of keeping track of how many hours I spent with needle and thread during the month of September. At one point I hurt my hand and that took about a day to recover. Other days “life” simply was too busy. I did try to do at least 15 minutes when I could. I’ve found the car line for the boys school works great as “needle and thread” time.

So for this month I’ve completed the following: Southern Bouquet (red work)
a felt candle mat
and another embroidery project
This has been a fun month of working on various projects. I’m wanting to start some hexagons, but I’m afraid when I tried today it was a big fail. Might need to find someone that can help me along. I’m also going to start hand-quilting a quilt from 1998. My machine is having issues and well, this will be a good project for the school car line and the colder months.
I’m so glad Bonnie spurred us on to dig out some new or old projects and sit down to try to finish them. Go check out what everyone else has been up to this month by visiting Bonnie’s link here.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Menu Plan: September 23 - 29

I went shopping without first making a menu. If that wasn't bad enough, I also did not have a grocery list with me. I 'winged it'!! And I probably overspent. Oh no! I made up this menu plan on Saturday night, after getting groceries. I just "found" it again this morning. Ugh

Breakfast: eggs, bacon, toast (I know very original)
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: pork roast, green beans, potato salad, pumpkin pie

Breakfast: eggs, smoothies with fruit and mini pumpkin muffins
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: pork stir-fry, apple pie

Breakfast: eggs, smoothies with fruit, toast
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: kielbasa, corn, salad

Breakfast: eggs, smoothies with fruit, Teff bread as toast 
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: chicken -- not sure what else

Breakfast: eggs, smoothies with fruit, pumpkin muffins
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: cheese tortellini with homemade sauce, salad

Breakfast: eggs, smoothies with fruit, toast or muffins
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: pizza - homemade, salad

Breakfast: eggs, bacon, pancakes
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: Ya, nothing has come to mind yet. Thankfully I have a number of days before I need to worry about dinner on Saturday night. :)

Here are two recipes for teff bread. I have tried either one but obviously I will this week.
Whole Life Nutrition's (Nourshing Meals) dark teff sandwich bread
Gluten-Free Gourmand teff sandwich bread

Finding my homemaker groove

I have a confession to make. Please don't bring your white gloves to my house as they won't be white for long. Having a regular cleaning or tidying up routine has never ever happened for me. I'm a "fly by the seat of my pants" kinda gal and get the most cleaning done 30 minutes before company arrives.

Since my handsome boys have started school this year I'm determined to accomplish settling on some type of home cleaning routine and get this place looking ship shape. I'm giving myself to the end of school to really have my act together. ;)

Here's the list I scribbled down for today. I've already started on two items - cooking down the tomatoes and finding the menu, which means I know what's for dinner and I've begun preparations. It's barely 7:30 am and I'm off to a good start. Ya me!

Need to start thinking about what needs to be accomplished for the rest of the week. There will always. E laundry. Maybe Adam and Eve had it right with those leaves - no laundry to do! Ha! Now that we are having cooler mornings I need to do out some long-sleeved shirts for my youngest. Does any one else think they have too many clothes? I know I do and we usually do purge the boys clothes when the seasons change. Well all this chatting isn't getting my to-do list done.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Child Training Bible–Giveaway

And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about then when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Have you heard about the Child Training Bible yet? I think this is one of the best ideas I’ve seen for helping to instruct our children in righteousness with the Bible. Really wish this was around when my boys were younger. But a person is never too old to learn from the Bible, so glad I still have some time to help my kiddos learn. 


I’ve just seen on Facebook that Growing Home is hosting a giveaway of the Child Training Bible. Head over to her blog and enter the giveaway. While I hope you win, I really, really, really want to win this giveaway.  Winking smile

Random: Open Tabs

Here’s a very random post about what “tabs” I have open in my Firefox browser. Interested? Let’s see what we have.

First up is Granny’s Vital Vittles series on the “Pantry Principle”. The initial post includes links to the other four posts in this series. Go have a read – we can all learn from others.

Let’s move on to a subject that can be a bit controversial – ADD/ADHD. I’m not here to debate whether a child/adult does or does not have this or whether medication is or is not needed. I was only able to get to this link by using some type of archive site. The reward charts and 7 rules of behavior is good for any one – regardless if the child is special needs or not.

Are you wanting to dive deeper into a bible study? Well, it’s not too late to sign up for the Good Morning Girls fall study in Colossians. All the materials are free. You can do this study on your own, get a group of friends to study with, join a Facebook group or even an email group. Go to the message boards and find what you are looking for. Colossians starts Monday, September 17th. If you are wanting your children to dig deeper into learning from the bible, there is also a kids study plan. You can read about it here.

Doorposts has some really great materials to help with parenting your children. They just put out a free study on friendship.  For some kids making friends can be a challenge. As does recognizing who is a good friend and when a friendship may need to end. Go snatch this free study guide and let’s help our children learn about being a good friend and how to have great friendships.

The Test Kitchen of Melissa Fallis just hit the tabs moments ago. I think her three posts about freezer cooking via the crock-pot is worth sharing. Even I forget about the crock-pot. I think if I had more meals at the ready, then I could remember to use my “assistant” more. So for those of us that need help in getting meals on the table for our families, here’s post 1 of the freezer cooking, post 2 and post 3.

May you have sunshine and rainbows!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hand sewing

I've hurt my right index finger. If course this is my dominant hand and the one the controls my needle and thread. So until my finger is able to grasp a needle I'm finding other quilting related activities to occupy myself. Hopefully by tomorrow or the weekend I'll be back to working my needle and thread through some fabric.

Here's a book I found at the library yesterday. I'm going to enjoy browsing while waiting in the school car line for the boys.

Monday, September 10, 2012

One Hour of Needle and Thread - week 1

Bonnie posted her progress of hand sewing/quilting for one hour a day, so here is what I've accomplished.

Most of my time has been a little here and there such as the car line at school or while the boys do their homework.

Go over to Bonnie's to see the progress others are making.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

September is National Sewing Month

Bonnie over at Quiltville has issued a challenge for National Sewing Month - spend one hour -- that's right just one hour a day doing some hand quilting, piecing, embroidery, redwork. Don't think of it of one solid hour, if needed break it up in 10 or even 15 blocks of time. You'll be surprised at how quick the time flies by.

I was still out of town when Bonnie issued the challenge, so I started my project yesterday while at the dentist with the boys. Yesterday I did 1.5 hours on this redwork piece - I think I made a good bit of progress.  Today I've done about 15 minutes with more to come later tonight.

Here is a picture of my progress:
And here is the pattern I purchased from People, Places and Quilts in Summerville, SC:

I think when I finish the original project in redwork, I want to do it with lots of color for all those flowers and leaves. It would appear that I could be done with this project long before the month is ended. In that case, I'm going to add some embroidery to this big quilt. Eventually I want to hand quilt this one too. It is one of the 2012 UFO's I was hoping to complete.

I don't have a specific place in which I do my hand work - it's done all over - dentist, doctor, desk, rocker, you name it. So glad to have this challenge as it helps me to focus on some quilting even if I can't get to my sewing machine at the moment.

There is still time to link up over at Bonnie's blog. Come on over and join the fun. You won't regret it.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Morning Cuteness

This is Moshi. She is a puppy we are
fostering through a local rescue-shelter organization. She is our third foster placement and fourth dog as the first placement were two puppies.

We had been seriously talking about adopting Moshi, to the point of trying to name her. In the end I've decided that adding a new puppy to our mix of senior dogs would not be a step in the right direction toward simplifying our lives. I'm taking advantage while she is here for lots of pictures and some serious snuggle time as she loves to snuggle.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Unearthing UFO's

I have been working in the quilt trying to organize it. It's a job and them some. It's not just the quilt room, but also the stamping, paper crafts, scrapbooking room, and various clothes - quite the amount of stuff to deal with.

But look what I found - more UFO's yes there was another sigh! One is for Christmas so I might be able to finish it before December 25th - note I didn't specify a year! Ha. The other one would be perfect for the summer. Let's see how many summers will go by before this is finished.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Finished: 2012 UFO Challenge #8B

This UFO had three parts that needed to be finished. I've only finished one and the was listed as 8B. I meant to finish this in time to use in the table for Easter which was April 8th, ya that didn't happen. I think I finished it only a week later so that puts this finished in mid-April. Instill have two more parts of this UFO to finish in order to totally cross it off the list.

Finished: 2012 UFO Challenge #6

I just rediscovered this quilt and saw it was finished. Another one to scratch off the list. I believe this was completed in April but wasn't the one to be completed as I've had to do some swapping of UFO's. So far this year I'm failing in this challenge but going to keep stitching along and hope to finish better than I started.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Welcome to where Cuteness Rules

With Facebook being the social media outlet that it is, it’s not surprising that we have found ourselves in this situation. A local pet rescue/shelter group posted a picture of four adorable puppies requesting foster homes. Yup, you see where this is going, right? Puppies – really how much work could they be?

Late Friday afternoon I received a call asking if we were still interested in fostering some puppies. Well, of course. Just let me throw my sandals on, get the kids in the car and put some gas in the van. An hour later we were looking at these adorable faces.

~ Introducing Cuteness ~

We keep saying, we are NOT going to adopt these puppies. And thankfully I believe that we will all be able to allow the puppies to go to their fur-ever home!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

February: 2012 UFO Challenge

The UFO chosen for February by Judy at Patchwork Times was #1 – my delectable mountains quilt that was started in 1998, thus making it my oldest UFO.

The only progress made on this quilt was lining up a local quilter to quilt it on her longarm machine. Otherwise, not a stitch was sewn or ripped on this quilt.

So early on in the month I decided that I would work on another UFO from the list, one that wouldn’t need to go to an outside quilter. I thought completing my African Plains, #6 on the list and not terribly old – it was started sometime in 2001, so this definitely could be finished during February. Except for purchasing black fabric for the back and deciding on what color thread to use for the quilting, that was all the progress made on my “stand-in UFO” for February.

But, my hands weren’t idle. I was working on something, but it wasn’t from my UFO list (sigh). I was able to make some serious progress on this little whole cloth wallhanging I picked up in Syracuse, NY in 2008. Here it is for the January Friday Night Sew In

And here it looks today – definitely made progress on something for the month of February.

Now for the March UFO – it’s #8, which actually makes me happy. I decided when I was creating my 2012 UFO list that #8 would simply have to be an ABC kind of UFO. These are mainly completed. They just need to be squared up, decide on a backing fabric and binding and hop to it. Let’s hope that for March I won’t have another UFO failure, or rather lack of significant progress.


Happy Quilting ~

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Valentine’s Day ~ do you celebrate?

For me Valentine’s Day has always been one of those “let’s just get through this day” kind of days.

And just like Christmas, it just seems to sneak up on me. One year I was able to make a set of placemats from some heart fabric, although I’m not sure they were finished in time for Valentine’s Day. They weren’t the best or the prettiest, but they still serve their purpose when we use them.

Have you seen the tutorial for the Scrappy Nine Patch over at Diary of a Quilter? Looks very easy and even doable with only a few days left before that big Valentine’s Day.

Source: Diary of a Quilter

Or if you’re looking for something for the kids to work on, how about checking out Mama’s Learning Corner Valentine’s Day printables.

However you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day, remember to have chocolate!

Friday, February 3, 2012

I'm a Winner

I was very surprised when Becky from PracTips contacted me to let me know I was the January challenge winner for the posting an idea of how to creatively use an object. Can't wait to see what the February object will be for the challenge. Go check out Becky's blog at PracTips to see her tips and ideas on saving. If you have children, you might enjoy her entry on using  chore charts.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February UFO Challenge

Well Judy over at Patchwork Times was very quick in posting the challenge for the month of February. It's UFO #1 - my Delectable Mountains quilt from 1999 - the OLDEST one I have still as a UFO. This is also a quilt that I've already determined will have to be sent out for quilting. I'm going to be checking with a local quilter in hopes that she'll have time to work on it this month. Otherwise I may have to pick another UFO from the list. So if you are playing along in getting some UFO's completed this year, show us what you are working on. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Update: Pantry Challenge

So here's a little update to the pantry challenge.
My goals were:
1: Clean out my freezers ~ DONE - more like I organized them, which I consider a "win-win"

2: Make more meals for the freezer ~ still working on it. February will be "freezer surprise" month.

3: To have my boys start helping in meal preparation ~ DONE - the youngest loves omelets and has become quite the little omelet maker lately. The oldest is also helping more in the kitchen, especially with baking bread and cookies.

4: Really figure out the amount of our grocery budget ~ still working on it.  While I have most of our receipts for the month, I haven't organized them nor have any idea how much was spent on the various categories. So that will be a project to tackle in February.

I also fell off the menu planning wagon. So while February will be a number of "freezer surprise" meals, I do need to jump back on that menu planning wagon as we won't be having "freezer surprise" meals every day. I am sure I'd have a revolt or mutiny from the "men" - LOL