Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is late this year so Christmas is closer than we might think. I hope everyone is having a good day with lots and lots of good food and people you love to share it with. This is a relaxing holiday (except maybe for the cook) with not weeks of preparation to enjoy the day. Below is part of my contribution to our dinner this afternoon - the Crazy Orange Salad. I posted the recipe earlier and it is mighty good.
And this is the recipe for my pumpkin pie. Have been using this one since the mid-70's and it has never failed. Click to enlarge the picture and you can read it well. In the late 90's after we bought our computer, I did a cookbook with lots and lots of recipes from over the years. I gave them to all the girls in my life and several of them are using it on a regular basis. I love to do things like that.
I digress - I want to wish you a lovely day - and to the rest of my family, Bill and Ann, Norah and Chad and Molly and Doug - I love you and wish we were all together but know you will be with someone else you love! And Christmas is coming! xxxxxxxxxx000000000xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
(Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Smart Bag

Isn't this pretty? I had an e-mail from Barbara the other day with this picture attached. She was one of the girls on the last road trip and one who also bought the pattern and fabric for the smart bag I told you about in an earlier post. Great job, Barbara - it's beautiful. (Click to enlarge)

Here's an Awesome Blog

Aren't these things neat? I have found such a great website with tons and tons of wonderful graphic designs in the form of wallpaper, cards, etc. What great ideas can come from those things. How cute are these? The blog is called print & pattern and it's awesome if you like lots of pretty designs. Lots of retro patterns, also.

What a great fusible wallhanging could be adapted from something like this.

So pretty! You can't imagine how much there is on that site! Better yet, you can click on
and go see for yourself. The archives go back to 2006 so there's lots to see. Enjoy!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's Snowing!

Not our first snow - we had a little bit a few days ago - but this is the wet, sticky kind that makes everything look so beautiful. Here is the tree the birds were in a couple of weeks ago. Now leafless but still with all the berries, the snow sits on top of the pretty red fruit. Before the berries came on, the branches were upright - now they weep. The photo looks blue - rather like an evening picture - but I used no flash as I took it through the window and that would have been nothing but a big reflection. Regardless, it's kind of pretty.

Earlier I made a quick trip to Kroger to get the things I need to make my part of our Thanksgiving feast! There will just be Sherry, Barclay, Hannah and I - and Gracie, of course - but I can tell you that is good company!! And we will have a great dinner, some wine, maybe Scrabble or Rummykube. My contribution will be Hannah's favorite Crazy Orange Salad, some cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Here's the recipe for the orange salad - yummy!

Crazy Orange Salad
1 3 oz. pkg. dry orange jello
1 8 oz. tub cottage cheese - well, drained
1 11 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained
1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
1 -4 1/2 oz. tub Cool Whip (or more if desired)
In a medium mixing bowl combine dry jello and cottage cheese. Stir in oranges and pineapple. Blend with Cool Whip until mixture starts to congeal. Chill until serving time.

(Click to enlarge)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Two Down, Two to Go

These are finished. Very happy with the way they turned out. I have some blue marker to spritz out where I marked the center of the colored blocks so I knew how far to take the quilting motif.

This one is being appliqued right now. I will embroider a hook on each ornament. Tablerunners go together quickly and are a good way to practice machine quilting. Have laid out the start of another one on the table downstairs. Plenty of fabric left! Oh, well, as we all know - you can never be too thin, too rich or have too much fabric. Need to work on the first two things!
(Click to enlarge)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Another Fun Road Trip

Yesterday I went on another road trip with three of the gals from Guild - Leslie, Barbara and Judy. I thoroughly enjoyed being with them and hitting some great shops (one not so great) along the way. We even went to the one in Saginaw twice - coming and going. All the Christmas fabric was 40% off - way great deal. At Common Threads in St. Louis - what a great shop - Leslie found some lovely wool for a hanging she wants to do. It was there that they showed us the Smart Bag - a darling bag made very easily with two fat quarters and a printed sheet of iron-on interfacing. I am going to give that a try and will show you the results when I do it. I also bought some more of the Moda Christmas Fabric to go with what I have already.Among other things, Barbara came away with a great kit for a navy blue and white toile quilt. Judy found lots and lots of good things and everyone was very pleased with their shopping!! Wow, the fabric is just gorgeous!

Thank you girls, for asking me to join you for a great day! (Click to enlarge)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Little Project

Working on a tablerunner with the fabrics I bought Saturday. Scarcely made a dent in them with this but have some others in mind.
My quilting on the back is looking pretty darned good - maybe there's hope for me yet.
(Click to enlarge)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Fun Saturday

Yesterday I spent the day with Stephanie, Kathy and Nancy on a road trip to northern lower Michigan checking out some wonderful quilt shops. What a treat for me and I'm so glad they asked me to go along. Above are the purchases that I made - the single hole plate for my Bernina was something I had wanted for a long time and it does seem to make a big difference in free motion quilting. I have played around with it for a little while this morning. Check out the lovely Christmas fabric - such different colors and patterns. Yummy!!! And Gwen Marston's new book has wonderful applique patterns. Have never tried wool batting so picked up a small size package of that. Great purchases, I would say. Thank you, my friends!
(Click to enlarge)

Friday, November 14, 2008

You Never Know What You Will Find on the Web

Here is my much loved old clock which I grew up with and have heard ticking and chiming most of my life. After our parents passed away, I brought the clock back to Kansas and have had it ever since. When I was online the other day looking at blogs, I went to a site called Sweet Cottage Dreams and in the November 2nd entry there was the picture below. Wow, my clock's sibling is all decked out for Halloween. The story is that a friend of the blogger, who loves to decorate her home for Halloween, had the body of the clock and took it to a designer to have it outfitted for the holiday. I hope they don't mind that I put this picture in my blog. I knew instantly that they were the same.
A kind of haunting little story goes with my clock - when we moved from Kansas City back to Illinois, we actually bought a house that was only about a mile from where I grew up. The clock was wrapped in a blanket and on the back seat of the car for the move over since I didn't want it in the moving van. We stopped at our new house when we got to Chillicothe and then took off to go to my sister's where we were spending the night since the moving van was coming next day. We crossed the railroad tracks at the street where I grew up and the clock struck in the back seat! Ray and I were both dumbfounded. There had been nothing heard from it all the way over to Chilli. The next day when our furniture came, I was telling the movers about the clock striking in the back seat. One of them was a black man and he said "That's your people!" Hard to imagine what made it strike - maybe it was my people. (Click to enlarge)

Another Kaffe Fassett Book

His books are so beautiful and his fabrics are so drenched in beautiful colors. Gorgeous. This is one that I like a lot - maybe I will try my hand at it after the holidays. When do we ever stop wanting to make everything we see? So far, I still do! I am making smaller things now so that I try more different things. Fabrics keep getting more beautiful and so do patterns. Quilting is a great thing to get caught up in - no room for boredom here. (Click to enlarge)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Machine Quilting Class II

Look at the pretty one Leslie did!
A couple of our quilters having a great time!

What a fun day! We had the second all day machine quilting class at the Civic Arena and there were ten of us participating. Three of our group today - I had planned on taking more pictures and did not get it done. The same as last week, we watched the dvds purchased by the guild for the library and then tried to duplicate what we saw on our practice "sandwiches". Kathy and Stephanie hosted again this week. The dvds were from Patsy Thompson Designs, Ltd. Really good video and Patsy did a wonderful job demonstrating the designs.
I have a long way to go but I'm getting there. We were doing what Patsy called hyperquilting. Eveyone was getting the idea and once you catch on the rest is practice, practice, practice. Kathy, one of our hosts, has certainly caught on to this!!! Her work is just beautiful. You go, girl!(Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

ATC's for November

Guild met last night - we had a very large turnout. Q2 is growing by leaps and bounds. Such a good group. Next month is our Christmas dinner meeting and again it will be at Pat and Jerry's in Auburn. Having a dinner out is so much easier than fixing something and having a potluck. Those are good, too, of course, but it's nice to sit back and be waited on.

Here are the ATC's for November representing any country we wished. Julie chose Scotland, her country of heritage, Claire picked the good old USA and I opted for Germany. Deb wasn't there last night. The Rapunzel card is from Claire for her October card. I think we have been exchanging cards for about two years now. Lots of fun. (Click to enlarge)

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's Been a Pretty Autumn

I know I posted a picture of my mountain ash tree with the lovely berries earlier. That tree now has lovely golden leaves to accent the lush orangy red of the fruit. When I looked out my window this morning, there were lots of little birds perched on the branches although they do not seem to be eating berries. I took some pictures of them through the window and in this one you can see several of the birds. I think it looks kind of like a painting. Don't for get to (Click to enlarge)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Almost Done

My previous post has some rather blah pictures in it so will put in a couple of pictures of the Christmas projects I have been working on. The stocking hanging still needs to have some beads sewn on for embellishment. Will post a picture of it in its entirety when it is finished.
Here is one of the tablerunner that I made and am binding now. Turned out great. It's pretty mod but I like it - love the chartreuse with the reds. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Machine Quilting Class

Yesterday about 16 or 17 Q2 quilters spent the day learning and becoming more comfortable with machine quilting. What a lovely day! Kathy and Steph hosted the meet. The guild had purchased some dvd's which we watched and then tried to duplicate on our "quilt sandwiches" which we prepared in advance. The pictures that I took there did not come out well - I think I may have had it set on macro. However, I just took pics of some of my practice samples and will post a couple of those. Believe me, I have a long way to go but it is becoming more comfortable. This was a very helpful class and took the mystery out of some of the different patterns used for fill. I can readily see that once you get the idea, it will be the practice and actual quilting of the designs that will enable you to quilt with confidence and have your work be appear to be more effortless and uniform. We will have another all day class next Thursday and I look forward to that. (Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Just One More Time

I would say that my Christmas cactus is in glorious full bloom. Cross my heart - I promise no more pictures of it on my blog! However, could not resist this one last time. (Sunday morning - I know I promised, but this plant has become so much more beautiful I had to add a new picture today. Can you see the difference a few days have made?) (Click to enlarge)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Looks like History is Being Made This Evening

After a long, long campaign that was way too nasty, it seems like we are witnessing history being made on this night in November 2008. This could be my last time to vote in a presidential election or I may have two or three left!! I hope and pray that things can be turned around in our country and that we can get out of the mess we are in. I just looked up on the web to check who was president when I was born in 1928 - Calvin Coolidge. My first vote was for Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 when I was 24. Back then, you had to be 21 to vote so had to wait four years. I have never missed voting in a presidential election.

Just now on tv - Barack Obama has been declared the new president of our country. God bless him and give him the strength and wisdom to lead and guide us to peace and prosperity.

Monday, November 3, 2008

My Christmas Cactus

Last Tuesday, I posted a picture of my Christmas cactus that is full of buds and getting ready to burst into bloom. It is starting to really blossom now - will post a couple of pictures. The color is so bright! (Click to enlarge)

I Goofed on my Recipe

Hope no one ran directly to the kitchen to make grapenuts bread! The amount of milk is shown as 1 cup and the actual amount is 2 cups! I have corrected it in the post. Actually, when I made the bread yesterday I only used 1 and the mixture was so thick I added some more. Had been a long time since I made it. My bread was very firm (but good, regardless) and I will make more soon and try to get it right!! Don't things like that keep a person humble? (Shirley and I are the same age - she is the reason all of the little girls in my generation had to have curls!! What a darling little girl she was. Saw a picture of her on line the other day and she is still a darling old lady!)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Grapenuts Bread

Right now I have in the oven some grapenuts bread from a PEO Cookbook that Ann gave me probably 6 to 8 years ago. It's a great recipe and the bread makes yummy toast!! It also freezes well. Starting to smell really good!

Grapenuts Bread

2 c. sugar

1 c. grapenuts cereal (or grocery store generic brand)

2 c. sour milk (use 2 tsp. vinegar to sour sweet milk)

2 eggs

4 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

Soak grapenuts, sugar and sour milk together in the refrigerator for an hour. Add eggs. Mix the flower, soda and baking powder together and add to mixture. Stir well. Divide between two loaf pans - the larger size - and bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool, slice and enjoy! (Click to enlarge)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

YoYo's and Teddy Bears

In the late 1980's when teddy bears were everywhere, I made some. Here are three of them. I had named them after flowers but cannot for the life of remember who is who. The little blonde bear, I think, I called Sweet Allysum. There is a picture of another bear - which I think was the first one and was named Nicotania - in a post on potties earlier in the blog. They really are cute but were quite a daunting task to make. And, the yoyo coverlet----there are over 1100 yoyo's in it. I got started on the yoyo project because of my sister - she was so ill for a long time and she still did handwork. She was working on yoyo's when we went back to Illinois to visit her. When I got home, I cut out lots and lots of circles and sent them to her. Also cut some out for myself and started making yoyo's. Decided on putting them together like the grandmother's flower garden with the white path between them. It's a very pretty coverlet. Will take another picture of it one day so that more can be seen. My sister has been gone nine years now. The little heart pillow is one that Hannah made in a class in school that is evidently like what we used to call Home Ec.
(Click to enlarge)

Happy Birthday, Ann

Today is my daughter-in-law's birthday. This is a kaleidoscope made from a picture taken when she, Bill and I visited Molly in Portland several years ago. Sending you lots of love on your birthday, Ann!! (Click to enlarge)