Sunday, July 28, 2013

Garden Bricks

I used Amy Butler's Belle line for this quilt.

I had enough leftovers to make a pillow. That was interesting. I didn't really measure anything except at the end to make it fit a 20" pillow. So I had to add a little here and a little there.


I quilted it with the Plummage pantograph in a light beige thread.

And I finally got to use a nice bias print plaid from my stash for the binding.

In other one run of pickles sealed up.

Great weekend. Hope yours was equally great!


Saturday, July 27, 2013

More canning today

Before I get to my normal Saturday sewing, I am doing a bit more canning.

I used Mrs. Wages salsa mix on the left, homemade on the right. I hate to admit it but Mrs. Wages beat my homemade hands down. Mine was too bland. The mix was nice and hot. I suppose if I made the homemade often enough I'd figure out the right blend of spices. The salsa made from the seasoning mix just looks prettier too.

I've organized my canning jars in preparation for the two batches of sweet pickles I am making. One batch is already to the last stage of soaking in the sugar and spices.

The crock looks pretty rough, and it is an antique, but I assure you it will do the job.


Friday, July 26, 2013

I won! I won!

One of my favourite fabric and quilt designers is Heather Mulder Peterson. She had a giveaway for a set of fat quarters from her new line, "Here Fishy Fishy" and I won it! Isn't it adorable? She used the colors and theme in her own little boy's bedroom. Check out her blog and store.



Sunday, July 21, 2013

Drying herbs

The basil has been very bountiful in our little herb garden so I am going to try to dry some. Simple process. Hang up by the stems for about two weeks. When dry and brittle, crush and store in air tight jar.
I've got them hanging in my dining room. I hope to hang more later on.

UPDATE:  I did some more reading on drying herbs and found out the preferred method for basil is to chop it really fine and lay it out on a cotton towel or screen to dry.  This method is supposed to dry it without it turning brown, preserving the green color.  So, I've take them down, chopped them up and they are now on the dining room table spread out to dry.

How to make an ironing board

I saw this on the Missouri Quilt Company web site, but I am not sure if it is still available. This is a very simple method to make a custom ironing board for your quilt studio. I have a small 30x30 table I use for ironing and have used a little 12x18 ironing board for years.

It is really too small, and I can't easily wash it when needed. My friend gave me a piece of 1/4 inch board, about 18x27. I think it came off of an old stereo/radio.

Take an old towel. Measure and cut so after sewing the sides up, the board will slide into it.

Sew the side seams together. I had to use my walking foot.

Slide the board inside. I also slid in some insulated batting I had on hand, but I don't think that is really necessary.

Fold the extra under the side away from you. You want to leave it so you can slide it off and wash it as needed.

Simple. Frugal. Functional. Since I used batting inside, I could also make a cover from some really pretty fabric. I love having more space to iron.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Amy Butler Fabric

Started my next project. I am making a new lap quilt for our living room. The idea is to bring in some new colors with a quilt and some pillows. I purchased a couple of layer cakes in Amy Butler's new Belle fabric line. Big prints, lots of different colors. To me it looks like a modern take on flour sack fabrics. It is different than my norm but I think I'll like it. I decided to use a simple brick pattern to highlight the varied fabrics.

Pretty good progress for only a few hours work.


Friday, July 19, 2013




More Canning and pickling

My first attempt at making salsa. Ten half pints. Didn't use a pre-mix, although I hear they are very good. Decided to use fresh ingredients. My sweet gardener friend gave me the tomatoes and peppers.
She also loaded me up with enough cucumbers to get another run of sweet pickles started. I hope they do ok in the plastic bucket. I normally use the crock, but since I only had one and it was full......
This time I figured out an even simpler method of keeping them under the salt water. No rock in a bag, but quart jars full of water on top of a plate.
Love summertime!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Round and Round (again)

After all the canning yesterday......

There was still something I wanted to get done this weekend....

Another Round and Round wall hanging (pattern by Camille Roskelley).

The one on the left will go in my office at work, at least for now...

The tiny stippling on the Christmas one took a while, so I did a wider stippling on the left. To be honest, I like the smaller stippling better. I'll try to remember that for the future.......


Saturday, July 13, 2013


Our little town postponed the Fourth of July fireworks to tonight. Below is the view I had walking down our hill to where Jim parked his truck, where we sit and watch them. Beautiful.


The show begins....



Productive day

Have had a very productive day. Ran four miles, then we changed and picked wild blackberries for an hour and a half. Three ticks later, I have enough for three cobblers. Then picked beans. I'm thinking I've got enough for about 16 quarts.



Friday, July 12, 2013


I am so blessed. I have a friend who has a marvelous garden. She called today and told me they still have plenty of white half runner green beans in their garden and they have canned and frozen all they want. So....they are mine for the pickin! Getting all my canning stuff together this evening......

I also hope to have a wild blackberry cobbler tomorrow. After a morning run, my young friend and I are going to go to a U-pick-it place for blackberries. He has both the wild and the tame. I've still got blackberry jam from 2011 so I don't plan to make any more but the wild berries are so sweet and good for cobblers and smoothies. Maybe I can get some for the freezer.

I absolutely LOVE canning. Makes me feel like a pioneer.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sweet pickles

Yay! My friend delivered 18 pounds of cucumbers to me today. Now I can make my sweet pickles. Jim was getting a little worried. We opened the last jar several weeks ago.
I love that my recipe calls for "enough salt to make an egg float." I never could get the egg to float, even after putting four cups of salt in, but I also had at least four gallons of water in the crock. I think the egg wasn't fresh.
And necessity is the mother of invention.

That is a big rock, in a ziplock bag, on top of a bowl to keep them submerged. Fourteen days of soaking them in salt water then I'll spend a few days with alum, vinegar, and finally sugar.....THE BEST EVER SWEET PICKLE RECIPE.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Round and round wall hanging

Finished this beauty this afternoon. I used 8 charm squares from Nancy's Holiday Favorites by Nancy Halvorsen. And white. That's it. Well, except the red ticking I used for the binding. Single ply. Not fun, but it worked and it was the only red stripe I had. The pattern is by Camille Roskelley, Round and Round.




Love this. I may have to make the big quilt using this pattern. It uses seven of these big blocks.


Friday, July 5, 2013

Easy, quick project

One of the patterns I ordered this weekend is called Round and Round by Camille Roskelley. It is pretty neat being able to download a pattern and have it in your hand to work with. I found a Christmas charm pack and made this little beauty in only about two hours. It measures 25" x 25".

I think I need some red stripe for the binding. Now, to figure out how to quilt it.....



I so enjoy our hydrangea bush.  I've filled three vases with the beautiful blooms for several weeks now.