Postings and ponderings of a quilting and knitting addict!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Time for a Give-away!

I have no idea WHAT I will be giving away, but I soon will have another one. Just as soon as we return from our trip to TX I will gather some items and let you all know what it will be. I bet I can find some really neat things on my trip that will go into the pot. I think it will probably include some fabric, perhaps some thread, perhaps a book... I'll gather a collection of several things that should interest quilters. I will post a list and picture of the items on about July 3rd.

WHY? I am almost to 3000 visitors on my blog!

You may go ahead and sign up for the give-away NOW by replying to this post. Please be sure that I have a way to contact you should you be the lucky chosen one. ALSO, please spread the word by posting on YOUR blog about my giveaway... I would love to have LOTS of names to randomly select from!

This contest ends on Thursday, July 16th at 5pm central time. Good luck to all!


Saturday, June 27, 2009

And We're Off... Again!

Just as soon as I get home from church tomorrow and finish lunch we will be jumping in the RV and heading toward Houston, TX. BECAUSE... I will be taking 2 days of classes with national quilt teacher Jamie Wallen! I am so looking forward to this... the class agenda is mostly "artsy" things that you can do on the longarm, and some fabric painting, too. Classes are being held at Karen O's studio in Bacliff, TX. It will be nice to meet her in person. She has a really neat blog, so do be sure and check it out if you are not already one of her regular readers.

I'll take lots of pictures to post here. I know you all will want to see what kind of things we create.

And then we plan on spending an extra day at Galveston. We have not been down that way since the hurricane last year, so I will be looking to see how many of our favorite spots are still there. Of course I will have to take a dip in the gulf to cool off... I feel so like a kid again when I go in the water there.

So now for some R&R, good classes, great food, and new friends!
Be blessed!


Friday, June 26, 2009

Nanny's Pepper Relish

Here's what DH did today... it really turned out pretty, and he and DS will eat it. I won't touch a single bite of it, as I am a tender-mouth and it is VERY HOT!

Nanny's Pepper Relish

6 cups ground hot peppers (cayenne)

4 med. onions, ground

1 head garlic, chopped

1 cup sugar

3 Tablespoons cumin

3 Tablespoons chili powder

1 bottle catsup *

Mix all ingredients well; boil for 5 minutes; put in sterile, hot jars and seal. Makes about 6 pints.

*Now let me explain about the catsup... this recipe was from back in the 60's, when catsup only came in the small glass bottles, the same type you now find on the table in some restaurants. I'm guessing that is about 18 oz. but it really won't matter if you use a little more. We used a 24 oz. bottle because that was what they had on sale last week.

All of these ingredients can be adjusted to taste. Like garlic? Put a lot in, or leave it out if garlic is not your thing. The same is true of the spices.

NOW... what do you DO with this fire-hot stuff? DH likes it on his purplehull peas, butterbeans, etc. DS would just eat it with a spoon... I think he has a cast-iron mouth and GI tract!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


WHEW! I knew it was hot yesterday... you melt down if you even THINK about poking your head outside. Then I listened to the news late last night and discovered out temp yesterday was 104 degrees with about 90% humidity! Today is supposed to be the same... that gives us 3 days in a row with 100+ temps.... but this is just JUNE! Usually it is August before we have to deal with temps this high. UGGGG!

That is why I am so glad quilting is an INSIDE activity. DH spends a lot of time outside because he WANTS to. And I spend a lot of time inside because... well, because I WANT to! HAHA! When winter comes I remind myself that I am thankful God planted me in the South because I just can't stand the cold weather. So now that summer is here I have to keep reminding myself that same thing. Bloom where you are planted!!

Today will be very busy... a customer quilt to get done, and I MUST deal with some fresh veggies that are on a fast decline. We will have Zucchini Rice Italian Casserole for supper with a side-dish of fresh cream-style corn. I usually leave it on the cob because it is so much easier, but this is the last of our corn so we will enjoy it the old-fashioned way. My grandmother always made the BEST cream-style corn slow cooked in a large skillet with lots of butter and black pepper. YUM! I will try to recreate it today.

Have a blessed day in whatever YOU are doing today, and BE a blessing to someone, too.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


1 1/2 rows of hand-stitching on the G9P quilt got done this evening. YAH!!! Progress! I'll still have to do the machine stitching, but once the corners are hooked together the rest goes very fast. This IS a do-able project.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

G9P Report

It's not good... TWO rows are now sewn together... 9 more to go. UGGG! I had lots of interuptions, and just plain fun visiting today, so I did not get a lot done. BUT I now have a plan of attack.

This project will sit next to my chair, and when I sit to watch TV I will work on hand-sewing those intersections. Once that is done the rest of the sewing goes very quickly. I also have a trip to Houston planned in another week... there will be some hand-sewing time.

So the report is pitiful, but the plan of action should get me moving forward on this dreaded project. No need in showing a picture of 2 measley rows sewn together, but when (if?) I ever get the whole thing together there WILL be a giant picture posted here!!!

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Chomp, chomp, chomp!


Friday, June 19, 2009

Special Day Tomorrow

Tomorrow is a special day... it is GHTDI Day. What is that, you may ask?

Gonna' Have To Do It Day... I'm GHTD the putting together of the Glorified 9-Patch Quilt rows. What a BUGGER that has turned out to be! I am really dreading it, but I am taking it to our guild Quilt 'Till You Wilt tomorrow, and hopefully I can have this done before I wilt! I have decided the only way to get this together is to hand-piece each intersection and then the in-between areas by machine. I have several people bringing quilts to me tomorrow to be quilted, so a good bit of my time will be spent taking in quilts.

And you are probably thinking, "Will she ever hush complaining about that quilt?"

I know... I ASKED for this... I thought it would be neat to do a pieced-curves quilt. And it does look wonderful in the 30s repro prints. Now that I am almost through with this I noticed that Quiltmaker Magazine has a pattern that is a very similar type of curved piecing with an extra square sewn in that terrible intersection, which eliminates all 12 pieces of fabric from needing to join at that one intersection... slick idea! Wish I had seen it earlier... I might could have done some altering to my pattern and solved a problem.

Anyway... hopefully tomorrow afternoon this bugger will be history, and I can move on to some fun project (like the Swanky jelly roll quilt I am planning for retreat). I am determined that I WILL have this done before I go to quilt retreat in Texas in mid-July. I do NOT want to haul this with me. Ironically, I started this G9P project at retreat last summer, so the piecing has taken a full year.

I know for a FACT that I do NOT plan on doing any more large quilts with curved piecing that comes together in the corners!!!!!!!!!!! Small ones, maybe, but no more large ones. (That means I will nix the idea of the Wheel of Mystery quilt that a friend did!).

I'll give a full report when I get home tomorrow, and I'm hoping the report will say, "DONE!"


Thursday, June 18, 2009


It has been a very long and busy day. My friend gave me 7 bags (I think she said they were 2-lb. bags) of berries. Each bag probably held about 2 quarts. OK... so that equals 3 1/2 GALLONS of blueberries, which yielded 56 half-pint jars of jam and marmalade. WHEW! Don't think I'll need to put up jam or marmalade for a LONG time. And anyone needing a gift from me this year.... guess what they are going to get!

I made a double batch of regular jam, a double batch of Splenda jam, a double batch of regular blueberry orange marmalade, and a double batch of Splenda marmalade. I've think I will have everyone covered with all of that!

For the jam I just used the recipe in the Sure Jel box. For the marmalade, the recipe follows. I was going to take a picture, but you know how I am about the camera, and besides, this dark purple stuff in the pot or in jars just would not show up very well. So here's the marmalade recipe.


1 1/2 med. or large oranges (I use large ones... I LOVE oranges)

1 cup of water

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

4 cups crushed blueberries

5 cups sugar (or Splenda)

1 box fruit pectin (If using Splenda be sure to get the pectin labeled "No Sugar" pectin!)

1/2 teaspoon butter or margarine to prevent foaming

Peel the oranges; remove white pith from the rind and finely chop rind. Chop orange pulp and set aside. Place rind in a large pot with water and baking soda; bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Be sure to NOT let this boil dry!

Add chopped orange pulp, crushed berries, butter and pectin. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat, stirring very frequently. Add sugar; return to a rolling boil stirring constantly; continue boiling for 1 minute.

Remove from heat; pour into sterile jars, seal, and invert for 5 minutes. Turn right side up and let cool completely. Yield about 6 pints.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What kind of blog is this????

I know... it is SUPPOSED to be a QUILTING blog. You sure could not tell that from the posts lately! Perhaps I need to change it to a RECIPE blog... I sure seem to be doing more cooking and canning than quilting, at least if you judge from the blog.

I really DID quilt today... actually I got 2 quilts quilted today. One was another American Hero quilt that will be sent to Washington State. The other was an OSU (Ok. State U.) quilt for a customer... really cute design. I worked VERY hard today so that tomorrow I could have some time off...

And then Paula called. It seems she had some frozen blueberries that were no longer frozen and didn't I want them, and if I don't take them they will just get thrown out, etc. (Can you say GUILT TRIP? Not that she intended it that way, but I just can't stand to think of ANYTHING going to waste!) We are not talking regular size packages here... we are talking HUMONGOUS!! And there are THREE of them. So guess what I'm doing tomorrow on my day "off"... HAHAHA!!! Is there any such thing??

Yep... blueberry jam for starters, and maybe some blueberry marmalade (this stuff is absolutely YUM!). So dig out the jars, lids, and rings, the sugar and pectin. HERE WE GO AGAIN!

I'll post recipes tomorrow... HMMM.... I guess I need to change this to "the Ponderings and Postings of a Quiltaholic AND RECIPE CLUB!"


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bread 'N Butter Pickles

I got this recipe over 30 years ago from a magazine, probably Woman's Day or Good Housekeeping. How do I know? On the back of the page I tore from the magazine is a coupon that expired on 9/1/1977!! I LOVE B&B pickles, so when we have an abundance of cukes I make some of these. They can be made with Splenda if you wish... that is what I do.
16 cups cucumbers, sliced about 1/4" thick (about 4 1/2 lbs)
6 cups thinly sliced onions (about 2 1/2 lbs)
1/2 cup salt
3 trays ice cubes
5 cups cider vinegar
5 cups sugar (or Splenda)
1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seed
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
6 1-pint canning jars and lids
1. In 7-quart saucepot, (I use a large plastic dishpan) mix well cucumbers, onions and salt. Cover with cold water and ice cubes; let stand 3 hours. Drain; rinse well and drain again; set aside.
2. About 30 minutes before cucumber mixture is ready, in another large saucepot, mix sugar, vinegar, celery seed, mustard seed and turmeric. Over high heat, heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 30 minutes or until syrupy, stirring often.
3. Meanwhile prepare jars and lids for processing. Add cucumbers and onions to syrup; over high heat, heat almost to boiling, stirring occasionally (do not boil). Ladle hot mixture into jars, leaving 1/2" head space.
4. Using spatula, release any air bubbles from around side and bottom of jar; wipe jar tops clean with damp cloth; close jars.
5. Invert jars for 5 minutes, the turn them over and allow to cool completely.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Alaskan Fabric (and other treasures)

Here is a little more information about the wonderful fabrics I found in Skagway, AK. Our first stop was a wonderful little shop that was about half yarns and needlework and the other half quilting fabric and kits. It was called Changing Threads. The first great thing I found was the fabric that looks like Northern lights. Two of these are "Celestial" by P&B Textiles. On the other one, the selvage says, Timeless Treasures, but I did not get enough of the selvage to identify the fabric line. The lighter fabric (shown below) is a Hoffman fabric called "Glacier Lights" by McKenna Ryan.

The second shop (and right next door to Changing Threads) was called Rushin' Tailor's Quilt Alaska. I found some wonderful batik fabric (see above) featuring trees, bear, moose, etc. And the best thing.... they were on sale!! Five gorgeous pieces of this fabric came home with me.

At the same shop I also found: quilter's emory boards. I got several different patterns of these... they will make great gifts. I also got a tiny can of "Alaska Winter Salve" which is made in Anchorage by Denali Dreams. I have terribly dry skin due to sun damage (while fishing) and this will be small enough to carry in my purse. Some of the ingredients are lemongrass, lavender, and sage. IT SMELLS WONDERFUL!

At an Anchorage market I found antler buttons made by Robert and Cheryl Clark . These are polished on one side to a nice sheen. I don't know yet exactly what I will do with them but they will probably be used in a small wall quilt.

So that is all the "quilty stuff" that I brought home from Alaska. Now to go get this washed and dried so it will be ready when inspiration hits!


Sunday, June 14, 2009

My OTHER blog...

I would love for you visit my NEW blog, "Enjoying the Journey", a journal of thankfulness and inspirations.

It is JUST beginning so there is only one post, but I am hoping to post almost every day with some type of short entry.

Check it out and let me know what you think!!


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Squash Pickle Relish... YUM!

This is my absolutely FAVORITE thing I can! My grandmother gave me this recipe about 25 years ago, so I think of her each time I make it. It is so beautiful in the jars and tastes wonderful! It is also a good way to use those assorted veggies that you have too much of. Although the recipe calls for yellow squash, I usually add in cubed zucchini as well because we have an abundance of those. In previous years I have also used green tomatoes and cucumbers, and added a little hot pepper to it. Anyway you make it, it is delicious and my friends love to receive this as gifts.

I eat this on my purple hull peas and my most-favorite is with fried fish. Very simple, and it CAN be made with Splenda to reduce the sugar. DH is diabetic so I usually make a small batch with sugar and a larger batch with Splenda. Also, I usually double or triple the batch. Why mess up the kitchen for 4 or 5 little jars of stuff?


8 cups sliced squash
(I slice the small parts of the squash, and quarter the large parts. When using zucchini I quarter the zucchini lengthwise, remove the seeds, then large-cube the flesh with the peels still on... that gives the relish more color and helps the zucchini hold together better.)

3 quarts cool water

2/3 cup salt

Place these three things in a dishpan or large pot and soak for 1 hour. While that is soaking:

In a large pot mix:

2 cups sliced onions (I prefer to cut mine in a large dice rather than slices)

2 cups sliced bell pepper (again, I prefer to large-dice them)

2 Tablespoons celery seed

2 Tablespoons mustard seed

1 large jar sliced pimento

3 cups white vinegar

3 cups sugar (or use Splenda)

While the squash is soaking simmer this mixture until the onion is translucent.

After 1 hour, drain the squash and add to the syrup mixture. Bring to a good boil but do not cook any more. Place in sterilized jars leaving 1/2" head space and seal. Invert jars for 5 minutes, then place right side up to finish cooling. Wait about 2 weeks before eating (that is the hard part!) Yield about 5 pints.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

They're Stuck in My Camera, Again!

Yep... the pictures I took to go with about my next 3 posts are stuck in my camera, again. So the posts about the Alaskan fabric I bought, the squash relish, and the bread and butter pickles will have to wait until I can get the photos onto my computer.

I so admire those that shoot photos and right away load them onto the computer. There they sit, ready for blog inspiration to hit, the click of a mouse button, and then they are added to a post.

Not me... I just can't operate that way. Probably because my camera is STILL filled with about 300 pictures from Alaska. I have already loaded them onto the computer but I don't want to delete them until I have time make a CD of the photos and be sure everything is safe and secure.

So then I take blog photos, and when I load them on my computer it takes longer, yada, yada, yada... You really don't want to hear all my excuses, do you? The facts are that I just LOVE WRITING, but DON'T like dealing with the photos.

Never fear... my blog will not become photo-less. That would be pretty boring! But this thought of writing without being expected to include photos has me thinking about possibly starting another blog (Like I really NEED to try and keep up with 2 of them???). The 2nd blog would mostly be posts without pictures, spur of the moment things. I'm thinking that a "thankfulness" blog would be neat... a space I could do a quick journal entry at the end of the day listing what has blessed me that day. I would really enjoy that and would not have the "dealing with the camera" dread hanging over my head.

I'll have to ponder that idea some more... after I finish the quilt I am working on, do housework because company is coming this weekend for a family reunion (Under pressure I can clean like the "white tornado"...remember the old Mr. Clean commercials?), figure out supper for tonight, etc.

Time for a second blog? Of COURSE I have time... it just means the pile of housework will be deeper the next time we have company coming. No biggie.... TURN THAT WHITE TORNADO LOOSE!


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Helpers at the Farm

Today we are blessed with some very good help on the farm. My Katie-Bug is spending the weekend with us, and she really enjoys the farm life. She and DH have spent an hour or so out picking from God's provision. I think she believes this is as much fun as hunting for Easter eggs.

She loves to hide in the vines. She calls this her "club house".

So what did they get this morning? Lots of good stuff for supper this evening! Rattlesnake beans (the purple stripes disappear when cooked and they look like regular green beans), cucumbers, grape tomatoes (which are HUGE right now since they are the first ones to get ripe), and some beets (the last of that crop). There in the yard they also picked from the mulberry tree. It seems to have gotten its second wind with that nice rain we had a couple of days ago, and is producing a few more berries for us. Now the 2 of them have gone to the woods on the 4-wheeler to pick huckleberries and blackberries. I think a cobbler for dessert will be on our table tonight.

Plans for later today: cooking (of course... time to don that apron she made a few months ago), beading (I have some new beads that will make very cute bracelets for her) and some sewing (we don't know what, but we will sew something).

Besides Katelyn, we also have one OTHER new helper on the farm. The new addition to our family is called PJ. (DH wanted to name it Paula after the person that gave her to us, but I would not let him... that makes it too confusing to know if he is talking about Paula the dog, or Paula my friend whenever the name is mentioned.) Poor PJ was abandoned by her family and Paula rescued her, then started looking for a good home. We think perhaps she is part Jack Russell, but who knows?

She is a very sweet natured dog, loves to run behind the tractor and 4-wheeler, and would LOVE to play with my cats. Unfortunately, they (the cats) do not feel the same way about her. They are letting her know that she in on THEIR turf, but are some what more tolerant of her today than they were when she first arrived.

I think one thing our recent travels helped me to remember: I am a country girl at heart! I loved visiting the big city of Vancouver, BC and touring on the trolley, but I am so thankful I don't live (and have to drive) in a big city, or ANY size town for that matter. Living down a narrow dirt road has a few disadvantages, but the positive things FAR outweight the negative!

Have a blessed day today and "bloom where you are planted". Enjoy God's bountiful provision, even if you have to visit a grocery store to get it... He made those fruits and veggies, too!


Thursday, June 4, 2009

It's Here!

I've anxiously been waiting for the IMQA Quilt Calendars to arrive. I had been watching the mailbox closely before we left on our trip... no calendars. But guess what was waiting on me when we got home.

I am "Miss July" (actually, Peach Smoothie is Miss July). I was so excited to be included in this... there are quilts from lots of well-know machine quilters here, all masters at the machine, and then there is little-ole ME, that no one has heard of. I feel so honored and blessed to be included with them!!
This quilt was truly inspired by the Holy Spirit... I was considering entering the quilt contest in AR but was really undecided, when a friend from church mentioned it to me. Inspiration soon followed and the rest is history, so to speak. All quilting motifs were designed by Karen McTavish. I am so thankful that the One that has inspired writers and artists through centuries still reaches down to guide us today!

Even DS was impressed with his mom's appearance on the calendar, and impressing him is hard to do! He gladly took one home with him, and he is the one that says, "I don't know why all these women pay you to do quilts for them when they can just go to Wal Mart and buy a blanket!" (Note to self... leave ALL good quilts to DD in the will... Just kidding!)

And a big thanks to Marilyn Karper for the WONDERFUL photography she did on all of the quilts. She really has a talent for capturing quilt details, and it is showcased well on this calendar. Thanks, Marilyn! You bring quilts to life in your photos!!

And yesterday I found out that I will be able to purchase calendars for sale to others, so my supply of 20 calendars will soon be arriving. See me if interested... $10 + tax. (You can also order them from the IMQA web site, but they are not yet listed there, so you need to call the phone number and ask for them.)

OK... enough commercials. Here is a "parting shot" of beautiful Alaska scenery. This is Mendenhall Glacier (and waterfall) in Junuea, AK.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

We're Home!

Actually, we've BEEN home for several days, but I am so busy catching up on other things I have not had time to post. I have been trying to catch up on blog reading a little at a time, but still have lots of reading to do before I find out everything that has been happening in your lives while I was gone.

No time to post photos today, but hopefully I have some really AWESOME photos of animals, glaciers, and many other things. The scenery was magnificent! Alaska is such a rugged yet beautiful and serene place (most of it... the towns are CRAZY with activity with the invasion of 3-4 cruise ships/day.). We had a wonderful trip in all aspects. This was my first time to fly and I really did enjoy it, but not something I would want to do very often.

I guess I'm still just an RV kinda' person... give me my own bed, surrounded by my own things, tooling along where we can stop on a whim, and not be at the mercy of restaraunts for food... that's my idea of a great trip!

So... what did I buy? A visit to 2 quilt shops in Skagway added some "Northern Lights" looking fabric to my stash (3 different color-ways!). I also found a great sale on some really neat moose, bear, and tree batiks, so those were added, as well as a really neat gray-sky background fabric that goes well with it all. Not sure exactly how I will make it, but this will be a trip-memory wall quilt. I took photos of a neat looking mariner's compass design on the carpet in the ship... so that might be an idea for the pattern... we will see. I also found some really neat antler buttons at a market in Anchorage. These will also be used on the memory quilt.

This week we are back to reality... housework, laundry, quilts pouring in the door, and vegetables from the garden to be dealt with. Today I have canned 9 pints of squash pickle relish. It is really intended for yellow squash, but we have so many zucchini right now I used about half squash and half zucchini in it. YUM! It is one of my most-favorite things we can. I'll try to get some pictures and post a recipe later this week.

Now back to work... church tonight so I will have to hurry and get supper fixed and see what else I can accomplish by 6pm.

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