Friday, August 31, 2007

4 Seasons Progress

It is coming along...slower than I would like but still progressing. It has went from this

To this...
And now to this, in less than a week.
Now the original plan was to use this beautiful floral for the border....I think not.
I think this one will be better...what do you think?

It is hard to see in the pic, but it is little fall leaves. Darlene, you know what it looks like, it is on your bag. What is your opinion? It will just be a 3 inch border. Now for the quilting, my favorite part. I am seeing some really beautiful 4 seasons swap pieces out there. If you are not in the swap and want to see some of the finished projects or those like mine that are still in progress, just click on the 4 seasons swap badge on my sidebar. This will take you to a page with a list of names of quilters in the swap. Just click on the names to visit their blogs and see their projects. I know Linda finished hers and Anne showed hers all finished today. Libby is done and Nadine is ahead of me for sure. There are many more and they are all incredible. So I will be quilting tomorrow and maybe have it finished by the beginning of the week. TJ is being baptized on Sunday so I will be gone most of the day. My Godson, Steve is back from his second tour of duty in Iraq and we have not seen him in 2 years. It will be very exciting to see him. He will be TJ's Godfather. Tomorrow is a big laundry day so I will have lots of time to hand quilt between loads.

We were unable to do the co-op today as will occasionally happen, but we are not waiting, and will make butter on our own on Monday. The kids watched The Wilderness Family movies today and just loved them. What great movies!!! In case you haven't heard, Joni bought a new calf and named her Charlotte. There is a picture on today's post. She is so cute and is very little for a calf. She will be adopted by Violet the cow and raised as her own. How ironic, huh? My own Charlotte was very small for her age when she came to us. Charlotte was very excited to hear that the new calf was given her name. She knows how much Joni loves her calves and she was touched. It amazes me how many people who have never even met us have reached out and touched me and my children just since I started blogging in June. Speaking of which, I am approaching my 100th post, being the blabbermouth I am, it will be here before I know it. I am already thinking of a giveaway, so stay tuned....

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Winter Wear

To me, any hand made gift is a heart made gift, so when my cousin Sheryl, who I have not seen in 6 years, came yesterday with a bag of hand made knitted scarves for me and my children, I was touched beyond words. I do not have the gift of knitting, so I was very impressed with the detail in her work. She commented "It is just straight knit, no pearl", and I smiled gracefully telling her how much I love straight knit. I had no idea what she was telling me, but it did not matter. I just loved the fact that she had created these for me and my children. Charlotte and Zach have been wearing their scarves around the house. Thank goodness the a/c is on!! Kyle received a scarf identical to Zach's only larger. He is off with his buddies and has put his scarf in his room, so no pic. Sheryl also made a beautiful hat and scarf set for my grandson TJ. Here is Charlotte modeling my beautiful scarf. They are all so soft.We are all set for winter now and believe me, we will need them!! Cousin Sheryl lives in Florida, but she was born and raised here in Northern Illinois. She understands the importance of a good scarf! No one in my family quilts except for me so my aunt and cousin were very excited to see my quilts. It felt good to see facial expressions and hear ooooh's and aaaah's of admiration for a job well done. That is why I admire the workmanship in the beautiful scarves that were made stitch by stitch for my family.

Well another week of school is over. Tomorrow we have cooperative cooking with 2 other home school families. We will be making butter (yes, shaken in a jar), and homemade banana bread to put it on. I will post on the home school blog about our cooking experience tomorrow afternoon. I love Thursday afternoons, because I get to turn this...
back in to a cutting/pressing table that looks like this.... To be honest, that is an old picture...the table still looks like the previous one. However, I am off to take care of that. Notice the roll of toilet paper...Zach's idea of a great way to clean up the glue he spilled. And the bin in the middle of the table..teachers current stitching project ;) Off to right the table and perhaps put it to some sewing use!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Flowers or Fruit?

I finished all the hand applique as planned just before bedtime last night. Now it requires hand embroidery to make what Sweet Hubby declared fruit, into flowers. He has no imagination nor appreciation of folk art. What do you see? Fruit or flowers, it doesn't matter. It looks "fall" to me and I am really liking the outcome. I am going to finish the embroidery and put on the border today. Maybe it will even get marked and basted. If not, then tomorrow for sure, as I want to be hand quilting before the weekend. I pulled out the pink and brown quilt today to show my Aunt Pete and cousin, Sheryl. My cousin is in from Florida to see our Grandma. She brought handmade knitted scarves for all of us! I will take pictures and post them tomorrow. They really are beautiful. Back to the pink and brown...pulling it out and touching it makes me want to quilt on it again so badly. After the swap piece is done, I will set up a schedule for my needlework. Hand applique on the masterpiece block and hand embroidery and machine piecing during daylight hours and hand quilting on the pink and brown in the evening. I have a UFO I want to get pieced before Christmas, so I have something to put in the hoop when the pink and brown is done, and I have a few table runners that need to go from inside my head to actually something that can be put on a table.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tackle It Tuesday

There are many areas around my house that need some attention. Mt Washmore is still Mt Washmore, though I will refrain from using up a perfectly good Tackle It Tuesday on laundry! I put it on my Commitment to Loveliness yesterday, anyway. Another thing on my Commitment to Loveliness list was to finish up the applique on my 4 Seasons Swap piece. Well things have changed. I now need to get the applique completed TODAY!! I found an incredible hand quilting pattern which doubles the already heavy quilting planned for this piece, but I am so excited about it that I have to try. I say try because it is so much, and the project does have a time limit, plus I am not sure if it will actually work on this piece. The background does not leave a whole lot of space. Anyway, I am over-analyzing and thinking "out loud" here. The point...If I want to attempt this, I have to do it NOW! So while Charlotte is reading out loud to her brother and I, I will be stitching. While Zach is practicing his numbers, I will be stitching. While lunch and dinner are being prepared, I will be stitching. I always love my Tackle It Tuesday's but I will truly enjoy today's!! Here is a sneaky peek at what is done so far.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Commitment To Loveliness

It's time for another Commitment to Loveliness! This is a fun way to increase femininity and beauty in our lives each week without even trying! All you have to do is choose five things that you would like to work on or do during the week that will increase the loveliness in your life! Here is my list for this week:
1. Finish the applique on the 4 Seasons Swap project.
2. Mark my Oct. Flower of the Month stitchery.
3. Work on my attitude...yes, I need an adjustment in some areas ;)
4. Not a necessary goal, but it would add loveliness to my life to actually take some hand quilting stitches this week.
5. Get Mt. Washmore down to a small hill.

What 5 things would add loveliness to your life this week? To join in and see what others are doing to add loveliness to their lives visit Charming The Birds From The Trees.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


The 4 seasons swap project is officially underway. Fabrics are pulled and freezer paper has been marked. It is 11 pm, but since I am on a roll, I have the iron heating up and figure I may as well get the pieces ready to stitch. I have seen many swap pieces underway on all the blogs I have visited and they are all so incredible! What creative swappers you all are. Many of you have your projects underway and some are even closing in on being finished. Autumn is so close I can actually feel it in the air. Darlene, you will just have to take my word for it!

I have enjoyed some stitching in the evenings. Last week was very hectic and I can only say, I am glad it is the weekend. Sweet Hubby will be helping our #1 son put a deck on his house tomorrow, so I have a free day. I may run to Hobby Lobby, (I forgot blue variegated thread), but mostly, I will sew. I need to re-cut some applique pieces for the Masterpiece block. The Masterpiece may be only a block by the time I am finished. The pieces are so small it is difficult to get the right size seam allowance. Cut it too small and you can not turn it, cut it too big and it slips through the other side. There is really no needs to be just so. I think I have used the F-word several times in working this block....that would be Fudge!!!

Well the iron is hot and the clock is is so quiet here I can actually hear the clock ticking!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

How Do You Store Your Books?

I know as a quilter you have TONS of books!! I actually do not have many quilting books. The books I do have are spread out all over the house. I would LOVE to get them in one spot. I think that is going to be difficult. I was sorting through my books to make more room on a certain shelf for the kids books, when I found these. Look inside.

And I found this.
There are 10 books to complete the set. My new find the other 9. Copyright is 1948 so I may have a pretty difficult time. Number 5 is in mint condition. I mean like no one ever even opened it. If you see these anywhere, let me know.

Back to my book dilemma...I am so excited to build a Heritage Library for my children. This includes not only children's books, but also my quilting books and my own collection of fiction and non fiction. Here is the book situation at my house now. I collected all the books from my kids rooms and put them in one place. Here. Not starting with many. The thing is I have boxes of books in the basement that can, and will be added to the library, but there is no more room here. They are sorted by category..all the first readers are together, all the chapter books, history, science, Christian, etc. So a place to add to the library is my main problem.
My quilting/sewing books are going to remain separate. I store them here.
The rest of the books are my bedroom...
This bottom shelf is 3 layers deep...a big no-no! Looks like a great Tackle It Tuesday project!!!
What will I do with the boxes of books in the basement? And have you ever loaned out a book and never gotten it back and you can not for the life of you remember who you even loaned it too?? My Left Behind series, which is all hardcover, and cost a bundle, is missing the first 2 books. Who did I loan them too? I have no idea. My Love Comes Softly series has at least 2, maybe 3 missing. Now I am just ranting! Back to the subject at hand... I also keep baskets of books in all the bathrooms. They just collect dust. That one doesn't even belong in there! I was looking all over for it. So I have some planning and problem solving to work through. I can not run to Ikea and grab bookcases...Sweet Hubby's orders. I will have to come up with a solution on my own. Maybe you could help...if you have a really organized manner in which you store your books, write a blog post and show it. Let me know in the comments that you are doing this so I can be sure to check it out. I will be spending the weekend in the basement re-organizing our storage area...a HUGE job, but necessary since someone got into boxes and made a mess. OK, so show me your books!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

You Sew Girl!

I have not sewn a stitch since Sunday night!!!! This has got to change! School is taking over and my routines are completely out of whack! No ones fault but my own. Now I just need to make time, right?! I think I will finish this blog post and get out some stitching.

Now, on a non quilt related topic, I want to share about a package we received from Joni and the Farmer today. It was incredible, and you can go to the home school blog to see what it was. I was so touched. It actually could be partly sewing related, as she included a package of stitchery patterns for me.Something else I would like to share. A new website that I have been looking forward to. Right now, it has an introduction and then a section on how to build a Heritage Library. This is valuable for any parent or grandparent. She will soon add a section on homemaking and other topics to follow. This woman is extremely wise. I am in awe of her talents as a woman. Yes, I believe there is a talent in being a woman. Check it out!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tackle It Tuesday

You all know how much I enjoy Tackle It Tuesday! What can I tackle this week? I had posted a picture yesterday on my home school blog of a sink full of tomatoes. Ann, who is an excellent homemaker, left a comment about how clean my sink was. You all know I am a flybaby, so I shine my sink everyday. What does it take to shine a sink? I am so glad you asked!!! It is SO simple. You just wipe it out and dry it out! The first thing you need to do is to start with a clean sink. Flylady has her own technique and you can go to her site via the link on her name to find it out. Since I became light green, I cannot use her method. Here is my own, which is my tackle today. It has been a long time since I did it.

1) Fill your sinks with HOT water, 2 cups of vinegar and a splash of baking soda. Watch out not to overflow this reaction. Put a couple of drops of tea tree oil in the sinks (optional). Let set for 1 hour.
2) Pull the plug and take a scotch brand scouring pad (picture below) loaded with dish soap (hopefully, plant based) and scrub. Rinse with clean water. Wipe dry. It's DONE!

Now if you take that scotch brand pad and scrub out your sinks once a day (which I am sure you do with a rag or sponge anyway) your sink will stay SO shiny. I wipe mine with a dry dish towel everytime I use it. After the tackle today, my sinks looked no different than before, because the magic bullet is the scotch pad. Today's process just disinfects and clears the drain to boot! The scouring pads are cheap and I cut them to size. My sinks are stainless steel, so if you have ceramic sinks, you may need to test this. I know the vinegar and baking soda are safe for all surfaces except marble. A clean sink will make a messy kitchen seem cleaner. A spotless kitchen with a dirty sink, will not look or feel clean.
I set out a new dish cloth and dish towel every night. The dish towel I used the day before becomes my sink towel. Everytime I use the sink, I dry it out....easy as 1,2...there is no 3!

UPDATE: To see what I do once a week to my sink, visit this post. The above is done once a month.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Dog Tired

Carly knows how I feel!!! What a day! It was good though. Our first day of school is behind us. I posted on our home school blog. You can find the link on the side bar if you want to check us out! Just a quick question. I posted a picture of this plant a while back. Someone said it was a chinese something...Now it is sprouting these beautiful, white, leaf like flowers with a flower like middle coming out of them. What is it? I'm not sure what it is, but it makes me feel good that it is not just being maintained, but is able to evolve! I usually kill things quickly. I am sure this is pretty hard to kill, but I am so pleased to see it "blossom".

I plan to get my 4 seasons project going either tonight, if I can stay awake, or tomorrow at "recess". I have freezer paper to trace and cut and fabrics to pull. There is a hint!!!
I want to thank Finn for giving me the Nice Matters award and a thank you to Jenny who said such nice things about me!! I have never been so blessed to "know" so many wonderful quilters. I think we are a breed of our own!!!! I am proud to be among you!

Well Carly has perked up, but I haven't, so I think I will brew a pot of coffee while I make dinner. Thank You in advance for the name of the plant (again).

Sunday, August 19, 2007

More New, Old Things

Several weeks ago, when I was helping my mom de-clutter, I was given several boxes of "stuff". This was back when I showed the stereo and girl scout sash, remember? Well a box got left in the van and I found it today. In it were more fun things. Lots of red glass, a 25th wedding anniversary picture of my parents, a milk glass split tray, and this...Pretty cute, huh? The part that appears white, is actually sheer. The pink gingham was used to do cross stitch designs on the apron..very clever. I love aprons, though I do not wear them. I have a couple of my grandmothers aprons and a pretty sunflower one my mom bought me. I do wear that one on holidays to protect my "fancy duds".
This was also in the box. I don't know why I like this so much. I just really do. I am going to use it to set my iron on in my sewing room. It looks "quilty" to me instead of "kitcheny". It is like plaster of paris with smooth stones set in it.

With fall just around the corner, I am thrilled to have this table runner. With my new love of stitchery, I am very happy to display someones talents. I do not know the people who made these things, but my mother does.
(I left it sideways so that way so you could get the effect.) Here is a close up of the leaves. The stitching is exquisite!
Finally, here is something that looks like it is custom made for my table. They are my colors and I really love it.

My mom thinks an old neighbor's mother in law made it. Beautiful workmanship and I know the effort that went into it and will treat it as such!

Well those are my new, old treasures. Thanks for taking a peek!!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Tying Up Loose Ends

School starts here on Monday, and I am spending the weekend tying up loose ends in the lesson plan. Our home school blog will be more active now with lots of pictures and information about our days and what we are learning.

Other ends got tied up this weekend too. I tied the charm quilt for Kyle's teacher and now need to get the binding on. Have you ever tied a quilt? I did, once, 16 years ago. Now I remember why I don't do it more often!
Yes, those are pliers. Sweet Hubby's contribution to helping me tie it! It was an arduous task, but it got done.Once I get the binding on, Kyle will present it to his teacher (she had him for 5 years) and I will post a picture of the two of them.

Toni, my swap partner in the Stitchery swap, received my mini wall quilt. She seemed pleased and so now I can show you the full view.

We are paying for the beautiful weather we had yesterday! Today it is cold and rainy! Very dark and dreary outside. One of those days where you want to sleep. I think I better get up and move around before I go do that!!!