Thursday, February 26, 2009

This was one of my Christmas presents from the great white hunter son #2 and our DIL. When I make apple sauce for the freezer after we pick apples in the fall, I peel a lot of apples, so he thought this would make the process go faster. It peels, cores and slices the apple.

The Momma (DD) got 40 lbs of apples from the fresh fruit and vegetable co op that they belong to. We shared so I have a "few" apples to deal with. I made the great white hunter a apple pie and so it was the perfect time to try my peeler.

It works well, but I don't think it makes the process faster. You have to dig it out and get it going, then make sure you get the apple on there just right so that you get the entire core out. It didn't take longer though, and I really liked that the apple slices were all the same thickness and cooked more even. I will definitely use it when I need to peel several apples. Colin is going to love it, it is a "contraption" and he is into contraptions!

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Little Here, A Little There

Although I have been busy, no finishes to report. I have been going through my sewing messy room and finding all my partly done projects, gathering together fabric and directions and putting it all in one spot. Finally figured out that I would have more storage if I finished just a few of the things I have started. So, one by one, I am going to work on one of them, at the same time working on one that I really want to work on. So eventually if this system works, a lot should get finished soon. I was amazed at how much work I seem to put into a project before I reject it and move on. It is a disease we quilter's seem to have and I am trying to find MY cure anyway. If I loved it once, I can love it again...

So, the Crayon Box is ready for borders. It would have borders if I were not having color issues with it. I wanted this one to be completely out of the closet, not buying anything. So dug out all my fabric that was big enough for borders. I did not find anything that works with all these busy colors but BLUE. Seems like every time I do a scrappy quilt, I settle on a dark blue or green border. So I am thinking maybe a deep rose color? I tried red but that seemed too safe also. Gonna take my great white hunter for a color consult...........he is so much better at that than I am. So much for all the fabric coming from what I have on hand. I am open to any suggestions anyone would have

Strip quilt is coming along nicely, I have a bunch of 6 1/2 muslin squares setting by the sewing machine, the strip bin by the chair and the goal is to make four sections for 1 square a day. Some days there are more, some days none but it is moving along. Of course, it is busy with colors too and then I will need to find a border color.........this one might just be the red. I love these quilts!

This is my reward/challenge for working towards a finish on the other two. I struggle with half square triangles, getting everything lined up right when there are a gazillion of them is still hard for me. So, this is perfect. Still goes along with my scrappy goal of using up some of the Good Will fat quarters and is much different from just scrappy for scrappy sake. I found another pattern for a basket that uses half square triangles that is next on the "new" starts list. Next on the list of unfinished projects is a yellow and blue log cabin that I started before Christmas. I hope to get out from under this pile eventually and have some finished items! This comes from a great tutorial on Kim's Big Quilting Adventure.

Meanwhile, I will be in awe of the quilter's who whip out a entire complicated top in a weekend. I am missing that patience factor, I sew awhile and then have to walk away from it. I think I have Quilter ADD.

I have my BOM blocks for February done, looking forward to March! I redid the Gail Pan block for Jan. on the pale yellow so that leaves me with the one done on white. I think I might just do Feb. on white also and have two going, think it would make a nice gift and I do enjoy those blocks.

Friday, February 13, 2009

"Sweets For My Sweet,

Sugar for my honey"................not sure why but when I look at this picture, that old song keeps running through my mind.

I made sugar cookies and peanut butter for my great white hunter to take to work today. Now my great white hunter likes all the cookies that I bake but sugar cookies with loads of icing, no sprinkles are his very favorite. It has become a tradition for him to frost one cookie when I make them..........he puts a huge glob of icing on one cookie and eats it, declares they are the best ever. Over 40 years of the best ever cookies under our belts.

The recipe comes from my beloved cookie recipe book that I blogged about here. This one has gone to school, cub scouts, work and on and on. The peanut butter cookie recipe is here. It too has special meaning to our family.

No other plans for Valentine's Day here. We have gifts for the grands and might go out for a special dinner. We agreed to no cards and gifts, at this stage in our life, we don't need that. Not sure when that happened, but I guess after all these years, you just know.

In case, someone wants to make some "Sweets" for their "Sweet", I highly recommend these.

Ethel's Sugar Cookies

3/4 cup shortening (1/2 margarine)

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 teasippn lemon extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla (I always use lemon)

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Mix shortening, sugar, eggs and flavoring thourghly. Stir flour, baking powder and salt together, blend in. Chill at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Roll dough 1/8th inch thick on lightly floured board. Cut with 3 inch cookie cutter (or whatever size you want). Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned. (when the edge looks light brown........remove).

Hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day with your loved ones and include some "Sweets for my sweet, sugar for my honey". If I have to have that song in my mind all day, might as well share it!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Off to a Show

Have you ever had moments when you thought about what you would do if money was no object and you could have or do whatever you wanted? I have to admit that I have and one of the first things would be.......I would go to SHOWS! We are very fortunate to live in a spot where there are many venues to see just about anything you might want to see. Even the local casino's draw some great talent. One of my favorite's is Gammage Theater at ASU. They have wonderful touring companies of Broadway shows. If I could, I would be there almost every time the show changed!

But, back here in real life, those shows are very expensive, even the "cheap" seats. So we have to pick and choose the ones that we really want to see. Last Christmas, one of my gifts was a ticket to go with the Momma (DD) and Julia to see "ANNIE". DD and I saw the movie version when she was small and it was great to take Julia together. My great white hunter and I went to see "JERSEY BOYS" there. It was great hearing the Four Season's songs from the 60's along with the story.

Last night, my great white hunter and I went with the Mama, Julia and Colin to see the Broadway musical "THE LION KING". It was wonderful!!! The sound track is a favorite of mine. When the Momma got married and moved out, I realized that she was taking her CD of the soundtrack with her and had to go buy my own. It blasts out of the speakers on a regular basis still, so this was a perfect match for me.

Seeing the kid's reaction was priceless. They were both all dressed up, Julia in a pretty dress with her hair in curls and jewelry. Colin in a blue long sleeved dress shirt and pants with new dress shoes. We made a night of it and went out for Mexican food first. We made some great memories. I am sure that years from now, we will be telling Colin how he fell asleep during the last act and missed the end completely! How he could sleep with all that noise is beyond me. He has been sick and just ran out of steam as only a six year old can do.

You know, maybe it is best that we can only go once or twice a year. If you go all the time, it might lose its magic, that feeling of being a special occasion. I would not want to give that up because it is as special as the show itself. I am counting my blessings that we can manage to go occasionally, and I am looking forward to the next time we go to a "SHOW".

Excuse the flash glare, try as I might, my skills with the camera are about as limited as my computer skills.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Early last spring, I proudly posted this picture of my Martha Washington geraniums. They did wonderful and we enjoyed them most of the summer. I watered faithfully, a must in the AZ never ending sunshine.

Come late summer, potted things just can not get enough moisture and die here. So when they start that process, I usually just let them go and replant the next spring. This one started looking really bad and I stopped watering. I ignored it for the next few fall and winter months...........not even taking the dead plant out of the pot like I normally would, so I didn't have to look at brown.

This reminds me of the Gloria Gaynor song from the 70's, "I Will Survive". We have had a very mild winter here and possibly this gets some moisture from the lawn sprinkler but.......goes to show what determination is, be it plant or animal. I was so shocked yesterday when I went out the door and was face to face with this wonderful bloom. So, not only did it survive the elements and owner neglect, it rose above all that and put out its most lovely flower. Talk about thumbing your nose at the world!

Looking at this, maybe there is hope for the economy if we all have the same stubborn determination that this lowly flower has shown.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Fabric Circle

Cutting up all those Good Will fat quarters and making the "Crayon Box" blocks has added greatly to this:

which has resulted in these.

Now that this piece of fabric, strip, scrap bin cycle is going around and around, where does it end? Does it ever end? What came first, the quilt or the scrap or visa versa? No matter, I have found my groove least for a while. Doing what makes me happy!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Strip Crazy

If you are reading on a reader, you got a bonus picture. Somehow hit the wrong button, again! Fingers are getting old and stiff here. Sigh.............

What do you do when you have a stack of quilt shop quality, name brand, one of a kind fat quarters that you bought at Good Will? They were, I am sure, wonderful when they were bought, but are not equal to today's lovely colors and prints. In fact, some of them are dark and ugly to my eye. They are taking up space, that to be honest, I would like to fill with fabric I LIKE. So, you head to Bonnie's Quiltville site and find the easiest, fastest strip quilt, you can find and go for it. I supplemented with strips cut from my box of odds and ends of small pieces and remnants to have some light colors. That has helped use some of that up too. Here are my "Crayon Box" blocks, ready for the sashing strips and corner stones.

I had great fun with this. It is super easy and went together fast so it got me out of my slump so to speak. I wish I had found something like this when I was just starting out. It would have done wonders for my confidence so I highly recommend it for someone looking for a beginner quilt pattern. Did it make a dent in the fat quarters.........NO. But I have found several other patterns on her site that use the same 2.5 inch strips and they are part of the plan. Not stash busting, scrap and bargain fabric busting at my house. (so I have more space for stash!)

The Momma(DD)and I were talking around Christmas about use and abuse quilts. I made a rail fence a few years ago that I gave to her family. I called it a "Hug from Nana". The label said to use it whenever you needed a hug from Nana. They call it "The Hug" and use it all the time. The kids play with it, wrap up in it, they use it for a spare blanket and take it when they travel to use on their blow up bed for the kids. It has been washed and used until it is soft and comfy. We decided this family needs more "Hugs". So thanks to the Good Will stuff and Bonnie's patterns, they should go fast. I know if I do a quilt with a lot of work in it, my family won't use it like the "Hug from Nana" quilt and I want quilts that get used.

If I am not heard from in a while, tell someone to go look under all those 2.5 inch strips, I am in there somewhere!

On another note, talked to my sister yesterday and she has been laid off from her job. She is single and self supporting, lives in a small town with very few prospects of another job. It was one of those things that you knew was coming. I have, for the last few months, waited for this nasty thing to affect my family directly. My son managed to withstand a major layoff at his place of work, my dd and the great white hunter have found themselves in the position of having to be the ones to put the lay offs into action at theirs. I fear for our country and its people. GREED got us here, plain and simple and I hope we are strong enough to rise above it as a nation. I am watching progress that took years to make, simply disappear. Hoping that some one can take the pieces of this nation and put it back together in some type of orderly QUILT LIKE action. We are split into many bits and pieces and it will take the same hard work and effort to sew it all back.