Postings and ponderings of a quilting and knitting addict!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I Did Not Intend To…

I did not intend to take a blogging vacation for a whole MONTH, but that is exactly what has happened.  Life was SOOO busy in December with customer quilts, working on gifts, and other Christmas preparations.

SO, I still won’t be blogging for a few more days because…

IN ABOUT 30 MINUTES I AM LEAVING FOR SIL QUILT RETREAT AT THE LAKE !!  Let the sewing, fun, food, and fellowship begin! 

My projects are ready…

1.  America The Beautiful quilt top, a McCall’s Quilting magazine series pattern…  (All blocks are made.  I just need to join them together and add borders.)

2.  Night and Day quilt, an Eleanor Burns pattern…  (All cut out and ready to sew)

3.  Farmer’s Wife quilt (I am hauling tons of fabric and will begin cutting my first few blocks for that.)

4.  Plaid Obsession quilt, an Evelyn Sloppy pattern… (I made one of these for a gift, and DH loved it, so I will be working on one for him.)

I hope this is enough to keep me busy for 3 days!

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!  I pray God’s blessings upon you and all your family in 2012!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Things Just Not “Lining Up”!

Most days my job as a machine quilter flows smoothly.  The quilt goes in the machine, Gussie and Inetta (my Gammill machine with IntelliQuilter Robotics) do their thing of quilting, the quilt comes out of the machine, and we are all happy.

Sometimes there are slight “issues” I have to deal with… wavy borders, puffy blocks, lining (quilt backing) issues, but I am well practiced at dealing with minor issues.  MOST days things just “work”.

TODAY IS NOT ONE OF THOSE DAYS!  I will admit… this is a whiney post.  If you can’t tolerate a little whine you may want to just exit out now.

As I was loading today’s second quilt, I noticed the lining fabric was going to BARELY be enough.  Upon further inspection, I realized that the cut on both ends of the wide lining the customer supplied was way off-grain.  (PET PEAVE:  I TEAR my linings to be sure what you measure is what you get.  Why can’t other fabric sources do that?  There is no way to cut a 108” wide lining fabric on grain!)  A quick snip with the scissors, a strong tug, and I tore it across to get the grain straight.  I lost 6” of fabric!!  There is now no way this will work.  I called the customer and she chose a red lining that I sell to replace the one that won’t work. 

So, while dealing with this I decide to load another quilt in.  I get to the lining fabric, customer supplied, barely enough, both ends are way off grain.  Same scenario… except this one was so badly cut I lost 8”!!  A quick call to the other customer, she also wants the red lining.  No problem.  BUT…

I check the bolt, and there appears to be just enough.  I measure it out, and it is 6” short of what I need, so that means both linings will have to be smaller than I like on the sides in order to have enough fabric to do both quilts.  OK… I may just have to sew extra fabric strips to the side of one of them to get the larger quilt done.  I have a plan!

Then as I was loading the smaller one I realize there is super-sticky masking tape on several places on the right side of the fabric.  I pull it off and of COURSE it leaves sticky residue.  YUCK!  I worked with it for a while and finally sprayed with alcohol, then rubbed a lot.  The sticky stuff did finally come up.

I am now sitting here, a cup of strong coffee in my hand, whining to you all.  It has made me feel better (the coffee and the “unloading”).  A few more sips, then back to work on what was going to be an easy job, but now made more difficult by the short linings.  I WILL make it happen!  I am not going to let a little piece of fabric get the best of me!!

So what are YOU wrestling with today?  I hope you are able to find solutions over a cup of coffee or tea, too!  Thanks for listening!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What Happens When…

What happens when your internet service is down for 9 days?  You have 153 emails waiting for you.  I did not realize how dependent I am on the internet.

What’s the weather going to be like tomorrow?  Just go check the internet.  Oh wait… it’s not working.

Are the Saints playing today?  I can’t find the game.  Just go check… Oh wait… it’s not working.

Quilters have been calling.  “I sent you an email but I have not heard back from you!”  The internet is not working.

When #1 son got to his South America work location, he was instructed to send me an email or comment on Facebook.  But… it’s not working.  (He DID get there safe and sound.  I found this out from #1 daughter.)

My friend said, “I sent you an email about something special we could do at church for  our Christmas program.”  I just got it today, when after 9 LONG days of walking toward my office to check my email, then remembering it is not working, then turning around and heading back to the sewing machine (because if you can’t read email you might as well sew!), I am finally able to get caught up with what has happened while my misaligned Hughes.net satellite dish was not connecting us to the internet.

I am glad to say we are back connected with the rest of the world.  The good in all of this?   I got a LOT of sewing done!  Pictures to follow later.

Now the hardest part?  Catching up on what all of YOU have been up to while I was MIA!

Have a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving Day!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

What Can You Get For $20?



(You would think I would have at least DUSTED it before taking pictures, but obviously I did not, as demonstrated by my fat footprint left on the footboard!)

Yes, when I stopped at the garage sale they were trying to get rid of things.  I found ONE man’s shirt that I could use for quilt making.  I paid the man $1,  got in my car, and drove around the circle drive to leave.  WAIT A MINUTE!  What was THIS I saw out of the corner of my eye?

When I stopped and got out of my car again, the man informed me that he had been asking $45 for it, but I could have it for $20.  SOLD!


It is a small cabinet and takes up very little room in my house… good thing!  This cabinet is not actually made for this machine.  There is a gap of about 1/2” on the right side, but someone has made it fit nicely.  The cabinet itself has signs of much use.  That is OK…. I am not buying it for a museum piece… I want to SEW on it!


The decals are in excellent shape.

Here is what I could find out on the internet.  It is German made by Adolph Knoch.  It was probably made around the early 1900s, but that is a guess from the little bit I could locate on several different web sites.  Info was hard to come by… when you type in “Knoch treadle sewing machine” on any of the search engines it assumes you are talking about a Singer brand, since that is the most common type.


The inscription above the bobbin winder is something I can’t read… no experience with German.

If you can help me find any other info on this machine I would be very appreciative!

SOOOO, as soon as I order a new belt for it and spend a little time cleaning and oiling, I will get to sew on my new baby.  I have named my longarm, perhaps I need to name this machine?  I’ll have to give it some thought.

What can you get for $20?  A wonderful trip down memory lane.  I sewed on a treadle machine in Home Economics in high school back in 1970.  Yes, we had electric machines, but you had to SHARE the electric machines.  If you were willing to treadle, you could sew every day, so that is what I did.

From now on, I will slow down and take a good look around at every garage sale I go to looking for shirts.  Who knows what other treasures are there for $20?


Monday, October 10, 2011

It’s Not My Quilt…



It’s not MY quilt, but I sure would love to keep it!  These 20 hand-embroidered blocks belong to a customer.  My task was to turn them into a completed quilt.  


I have always heard that the back side of the embroidery should look as good as the front… these do!  So much so, that I turned one of the blocks wrong-side up, but thankfully discovered it as I was stitching the rows together.  They are absolutely BEAUTIFUL! 


I wanted them to have an old-fashioned look, so I went for 30s reproduction fabrics.  If you are a quilter, you will understand my dilemma…  it was impossible to find a sold fabric (or ANY type of small print) to match the background color of the outer border. 


The background was a very pinkish-lavender.  All fabrics I could find (shopping 5 different locations in the “Big City”) were either too dark purple or a very light lavender. 


I finally ordered something off the net listed as “Aunt Grace 30s Lavender, but it still did not match the background as well as I would have liked.  It looks fine, but it just did not match the picture in my head of what the sashing fabric should look like.  That “picture in my head” often causes MORE trouble when trying to find the right fabric!


All that is left to do is to hand-stitch the binding down, and that will be finished this week.  I’ll have just a few days to enjoy being in the presence of this lovely quilt, and then will pass it back to the owner.  I have really enjoyed working on this one, other than the fabric challenge.


Have a wonderfully blessed week!  I’ll see you on the blog next week with an update on a wonderful garage sale find.  What can you buy with $20?  You will be very surprised!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Meet the Knitwits

No, they are not crazy, they are a group of knitters who meet at the local library once a month to discuss the book we all read.  Of course, we KNIT while we discuss.  So maybe we ARE crazy… about knitting and reading!


Tonight was my first time to meet with them.  This is going to be WAAAAYYYYY fun!  We discussed the John Grisham book, The Confession.  I highly recommend it.  This was my first Grisham book (I usually go for light, easy reads) and I could not put it down.  I passed it on to DH, and he really enjoyed it, too.  (I also highly recommend, The Help.  Great book!)

I worked on trying to finish Mom’s pair of socks.  They are her birthday present.  I let her pick out the yarn, Felici, from KnitPicks.  I love these stripes!103_0273

So, I just thought I would post and let you know that I am still alive and doing well, but up to my eyeballs in quilts right now.  It seems I deliver 1 and pick up 3 or 4 more.  That is a good thing… I prayed for more business and the Lord is providing!

I’m also working hard because SOMEONE has a birthday soon, and SOMEONE wants to go back to south Louisiana to fish in the marshes again.  That means I really need to get some of these quilts out the door before I can go.  SIGH… I guess I will have to humor him since it is his birthday… Oh the sacrifices I make for him to be entertained.  Perhaps I’ll catch the biggest fish… AGAIN!!

Work hard, play hard.  Such is our life!

Be blessed in all you do today!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bitten By The “Bug”

Guess where we went this weekend?  Here are a few picture clues…103_0254

It involved…      Marshes.






The beach.  We made a trip to Lake Charles, LA.  Our main goal was to go marsh fishing in the kayaks.  We went just south of Hackberry, LA  to fish the marshes.


We caught a few speckled trout.  Guess who caught the BIG one?


It was 23” long, and weighed 4 lbs. 1 oz.  That is a REALLY nice spec!!  And then there is always the story of the “one that got away”… I lost another one just a little smaller than this one at the boat.  RATS!!  (Actually, I caught 4 of the 5 fish.  I love it when I manage to out-fish DH.)  It was too windy for fly fishing so we used casting rigs. 

After fishing we drove a few miles further to Holly Beach, LA.  This entire town was wiped out by hurricane Rita a few years ago.  NOTHING was left.  All buildings were completely leveled.


It is slowly being rebuilt.  There are now about 30 or so beach houses that have been restored.

Saturday we went to the Contraband Fly Casters Fly Fishing Expo in Moss Bluff.  I had an opportunity for some fly casting coaching.  We both bid on boxes of flies at a silent auction, and came home with 100 new flies to add to our collection.  103_0268

It was amazing to see the many different patterns the fly tiers could create! 

103_0266 103_0267    103_0265

I’ve been bitten by the “bug”.  I think I see fly tying in my near future.  DH has all tools and supplies needed, so it will just be a matter of sitting down long enough to figure this out.  Realistically, this will be an after-Christmas-quilting-rush hobby.

And of course we ate good!  Fried oysters and shrimp, then sautéed speckled trout.  YUMMO!

It was so much fun, we plan on doing the marsh fishing again very soon.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Very Special People


Today was a wonderful celebration at Zwolle FBC.  A reception honoring the lives of James Q. & Verlyn Salter was held this morning.  They are very special people in my life and the lives of many others.  They will soon be moving to Virginia to be close to other family members.  How do you say “goodbye” to people that have been a part of your life for as long as you can remember?  It is not easy knowing that you probably will not get to see them again this side of Heaven!

When I was a child we lived right next door to the Salters.  We played in their yard with their children and visited their home (often having a snack of some kind given to us).  I loved for “wash” day to come around.  Mrs. Salter used a wringer washing machine… I had never seen that before.  We would spend lots of time watching her do laundry on that machine!  It was an amazing thing to watch.  I’m sure she wanted to tell us “Go home!”  but she never did.

When I was young  they moved an oil rig onto the land right behind our houses and drilled.  (Mr. Salter reminded me this morning that it was 1962 when the well was drilled.)  The Salter kids set up a soft drink stand and sold soft drinks to the workers and those coming to sight see at the well.  (Small town excitement… there was little else to entertain us in Zwolle! ) Actually, they probably got most of their business from my brothers and I!!  It seems we were always going over to get a soft drink for a dime.  Those were the days!  When the rig moved and school started, I really missed having a soft drink stand next door.

Looking back, we were always at their house it seemed, or their kids were over at our house, playing softball in the back yard.  The Salters always made us feel welcome at their house.  Right after I turned 7 years old, my family moved out of town.  I’m sure when we moved from that old house the Salters probably celebrated… no more pesky Rials kids bothering them! 

Mr. and Mrs. Salter both played a very integral part in my spiritual growth.  Both of them taught me in Sunday School at one time or another.  Mr. Salter was the choir director for many years, and I loved singing under his leadership.

In addition, they both were teachers in the school system.  I have been in classes under both of them.  When I went into high school, Mr. Salter was our principal.  When I began my teaching career at Zwolle Elementary, Mr. Salter was principal of that school.  I really enjoyed working under him.

So how do you say “Goodbye” to someone so special.  You don’t… you just say, “God speed, and I’ll see you in Heaven!  May the rest of your days be blessed, may each step of this move go smoothly, and may you really enjoy being close to your family!”   

Love to you both for all you have taught me through the years!


Friday, September 2, 2011


There’s a change in the air hair at my house.  Really, this was brought on by a monumental event happening next week… I turn 55, and the result of that event is that I will need to renew my driver’s license.  Because that means having a new picture taken, I decided it was time for a haircut.  After the haircut, I noticed that the gray now greatly outnumbers the brown hairs on my head. 

Because of that, I have been toying with the idea of dying my hair for the first time.  (We are not counting the event in the 80s when I did the home “streaking” kit, that turned the streaks in my dark brown hair a wonderful shade of ORANGE!)  Because of THAT fiasco, I have not even been tempted to color my hair.  As I aged I enjoyed the subtle gray areas, the distinguished (HAHA!) look of graying temples. 

The joy of graying hair is gone.  I knew there was now a quick fix for the gray that is bugging me more and more these days.

I looked at that box of hair color sitting on my cabinet for a week before I got brave enough to use it.  I even asked DH what he thought… he was not much help in the decision.  Today was the day!

The box says, “light brown with highlights”.  Upon further pondering I have figured out, what that means is your brown hair will still be brown, but the gray hair will appear as “highlights”.  I really should have thought about that a little more beforehand.  Let’s go back to one of my opening statements… “I noticed that the gray now greatly outnumbers the brown hairs on my head.”  SOOOOO…

I now have a little bit of brown with LOTS of HIGHLIGHTS (read that as REDISH-brown).  The box says, “permanent… lasts for 8 weeks”.  That is a mighty temporary definition of PERMANENT.  Truthfully, as fast as my hair grows and as short as I keep it cut, it will be a very temporary situation.  I still wonder who that is looking back at me in the mirror. 

I don’t necessarily dislike it, but I’m not sure I love it.  And the wonderful news is, even if I decide not to color it again after it grows out, I will get to look at myself like this for the next 4 years because I will HAVE to get my DL picture/renewal next week! 

Perhaps I should have used good reasoning and WAITED a little longer?  Sorry, no hair pictures to go with this post.  Just check my DL the next time you see me.  Oh, and now that the deed is done, DH is VERY vocal about his opinion… wouldn’t you know it!

Good night.  I’m off to shampoo my hair 5 times and see if this changes anything.  Grow, hair, grow!!!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Had Forgotten…

I had forgotten…  the smell of rain in the air.

I had forgotten…  the wonderful sound of rain hitting the roof.

I had forgotten… the almost instantaneous perking up of the plants outside.

I had forgotten… the quick coolness (from 100 down to 75 degrees in about 15 minutes) brought on by rain-cooled air.

I had forgotten… the lift in your spirit, just knowing that we finally have enough rain to actually measure in the rain gauge.  Well, we COULD measure it IF I had remembered to buy a new rain gauge like DH asked me to. 

I had forgotten… what a blessing rain is because we’ve not had measureable rainfall in MONTHS at my house.  Others around us have received small showers, but we only got “4-foot rains”, as my hubby calls them… 1 drop every 4-feet. 

I had forgotten… but I now remember, because it has been raining steadily for the last hour.  I am totally guessing, but I think perhaps at least an inch of rain has fallen, and the weather service says more is headed our way.

Our “brave” puppy PJ is curled up on the couch, shivering and tucking her tail each time she hears a clap of thunder.  She will battle with snakes, but can’t stand the sound of thunder.  Go figure!  I guess we each choose where to display our courage.

I had forgotten… but I now remember to sing praises to the One who sends the blessing of rain to us.

Thank YOU, Lord, for the refreshing rain!  What a blessing it is to hear “…the sound of abundance of rain” again!   (1 Kings 18:41 )


Monday, August 22, 2011

Way To Go, PJ!!

She doesn’t look it in this picture, but PJ, our “rescued” dog,  is one very helpful pet!   Not only does she keep good watch over DH as he works around the place, she also does not like any animal intruders and is quick to alert us when something encroaches on our yard (except for people… she doesn’t even bark at people!). 

PJ 1

A few days ago we were visiting with friends in Natchez, MS and they were telling us about their dog, Hunter, being such a good watchdog.  This summer Hunter has alerted them to the presence of 6 snakes in their yard.  The first 4 were harmless, but the last 2 were rattlesnakes.  They told us that Hunter has a special bark he uses when he spots a snake.  They can tell from the sound of his bark that he has found another one.

This morning I was in my bedroom and PJ was right outside the window.  She started barking strangely.  After the story from my friends this really caught my attention… I usually just ignore PJ when she barks.  She was staring at a spot on the ground and going around it in circles, but not getting close.  She was barking and growling.  I quickly went outside to see what was the problem.  Because our grass is mostly brown from the drought, it took a while to spot it… there in the grass close to the steps was a 14” long snake.  It was very hard to see, but I could see enough to tell it was a poisonous snake (stocky body, triangular head).  DH had just left to go to a funeral.  I could not let the snake get away… he might later bite one of my pets or one of us.

I looked and found a sharp-shooter shovel.  The snake is now history.  This is my first poisonous snake kill, and I hope I don’t have to do it again any time soon.  Upon investigation, the snake was a water moccasin  copperhead. (I have also discovered that I need a class in snake identification.  Because he was in the process of molting, the coloration was not easily identifiable as a copperhead, but more the color of a moccasin!  DH helped with the identification when he got home.)  I hope he doesn’t have any relatives that come calling!!   I will for SURE be paying more attention to where I am walking in the yard!

ATTA GIRL, PJ!!  You have earned yourself an extra treat today.  Right now, she is laying on her quilt on the couch in the COOL(after I spent a while dusting her off) .  Tonight we will ignore the vet’s suggestion that she is to be on a stricter diet to lose weight and give her some sort of food treat.PJ 2

Add one more thing to my list of country-living skills…

Kathy Ellzey ---  SNAKE SLAYER!!!

Have a blessed day, with no slithery reptiles!


Monday, August 15, 2011

A New “Twist” On Painted Fabric

I LOVE to paint my own fabric!  Cindy Roth at Longarm University has a video on how she does this… very different than the methods I have used.  Check it out HERE.  Really neat technique!!

Here are examples of what mine have looked like in the past.  I think it may be time for ME to grab the paints and “play” again!!


painted sky painted blue greens Painted rainbox

Speaking of which, I really must find a project that will actually USE some of this painted fabric… right now it is just sitting on the shelf.

Be blessed, and USE the creativity the Creator has given you!  We all have it in some area of our life!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I Could Be Quilting…

But I’m not.  I have decided to actually do a blog post of unusual quilts I have done.

I could be showing you pictures of 2 really unusual quilts I did, but I’m not.  I did a totally STUPID thing when transferring them from one album to another and they are forever gone!  One was a quilt made from real FLAGS from foreign countries.  A missionary collected the flags and a customer pieced this into a quilt… double sided with flags.  It was most unusual… so sorry you can’t see it.       The other one was a baby quilt made from bibs, shirts, and onesies.  The customer cut out the cute pictures and sayings (such as, “Baby’s First Christmas, Baby’s first Halloween”, etc.) and appliqued them on quilt blocks.  It turned out SOOOO cute and unusual!!  SIGH…  I know… a picture is worth a thousand words!

I could be quilting, but I am not.  I AM kicking myself 5 times for being so STUPID on this!  KICK-KICK-KICK-KICK-KICK!  Quilt pictures are not the only things I lost… some hunting pictures, customer quilt pictures, other assorted stuff that I wanted to keep.  UUUGGGHHH!  That’s what I get for trying to organize my thousands of pictures without proper knowledge!  Some of the older ones may be retrievable from backups… we will see.

I could be quilting, but I’m not.  I decided to save my strength for dancing tonight.  DH and I are taking Cajun dance lessons at NSU.  We are making progress.  Our heads know what to do, but that does not always connect with our feet.  BUT we ARE having lots of fun and getting some exercise, too.

I could be quilting, but I’m not.  I decided today is the day I start plowing through the stacks of things in my office/sewing room to get it in some sort of organization.  (Actually, I am doing that today because I am looking for my other Cajun Dance Music CD, which I REALLY need!  See above paragraph.)  This will probably require me to totally unload the whole room and start over with placing things in some logical order so I can perhaps actually FIND things when I am through.  Why am I such a pack rat??  I promised #1 son I would have the computer area cleaned out by the time he gets back from offshore, Sept. 1.  I have a deadline!  SHEESH!  Why didn’t I tell him I would have it done by CHRISTMAS instead?

I could be quilting, but I’m not.  Instead I am taking pictures of socks just so I have a few pictures to post with this.  I know you are tired of posts with no pictures! So here they are…  Of course, you are probably tired of sock pictures too, because that seems to be the only things I am posting lately.  Hang tight… other pictures are coming soon, if I don’t accidently send them to the recycle bin before I can get them posted,


Top pair:  Felici Rainbow.  I LOVE these.  (These are the pair of socks for August… all done.)

Bottom pair:  handpainted Tree Fort, the pair for July.

And you know I can’t go without something on the knitting needles, so I cast on 2 pair.


The red pair is for me… cotton yarn with color accent strips.  The purple pair is for Katie Bug.  I’ve had a bit of a set-back on them… when she tried them on last night we discovered they were way too tight, so I had to rip WWAAAYYYY back on them and increase the size.  I was almost through with it!!  Now I get to do it “re-over-again”, as my Mom says.

The next post will contain QUILT PICTURES, I promise!!  I actually have finished several of my quilts in the last month, so I will share those with you (and try not to lose the pictures in the meantime!)

Be blessed!


Monday, July 25, 2011

The Tale of SOMEONE and the OTHER ONE

SOMEONE decided we might need some new toys.  The OTHER ONE agreed that sounded like something fun.

So, on Saturday we made another trip to Lafayette, LA to Pack & Paddle to test drive sit-on-top kayaks.


Meet Ben.


Ben brought lots of “toys” for us to check out.103_0155

Meet Bo.  Bo assisted us with the demo…


in this swampy section of Lake Martin, complete with an alligator. (CHOOT ‘EM!… obviously I have been watching too much Swamp People!)


We looked, we paddled, we pedaled. 


These 2  twelve-foot, sit-on-top kayaks just really wanted to come home with us, so we obliged them.  The camo  boat is SOMEONE’S, and the olive boat (complete with a pedal system) is the OTHER ONE’S.

Sunday after church we loaded up and went to a local lake.  SOMEONE got wet trying to get into his kayak.  The OTHER ONE almost got wet, but managed to park herself in the kayak without going into the drink.


This is the view from the OTHER ONE’S kayak… the fish weren’t biting, so I took some time to snap a few photos.  Note the pedals… this is almost like riding a bike, and the kayak really SCOOTS across the water.  There is a little lever that controls the rudder so you can steer.  It is really NEAT!


Here is SOMEONE, fishing and having fun.  (Actually, he was picking out a back-lash, but you get the idea.)


The tower you see is the spillway to the lake… really neat, huh!  Yes, it really DOES look like a castle.

SOMEONE told the OTHER ONE that the sunscreen was in the back of the truck.  The OTHER ONE told SOMEONE that it was not needed because it was very cloudy.  An hour later when the clouds left, the OTHER ONE was wishing she had applied sunscreen.  The OTHER ONE’S legs are now COOKED.

Although the fish were not biting much, we did manage to catch a few small bass.  We released them for another day.  It was 100 degrees with a heat index of 105.  We did not care.  SOMEONE and the OTHER ONE just HAD to go play with the new toys. 

And then SOMEONE and the OTHER ONE played and enjoyed themselves greatly… especially the OTHER ONE, who now has her OWN boat and can go where she wants to on the lake!

We are planning another trip later in the week… umm THIS time, the OTHER ONE suggested to SOMEONE that we go very early in the morning, and quit when it gets miserably hot.  Sounds like a plan! 


Friday, July 15, 2011

A Short List

1.  Retreat was WONDERFUL!

2.  I’m tired.

3.  I finished making 2 quilt tops… the green 4-patch posey for my bed and the t-shirt quilt (pictures later).

4.  Company is coming.

5.  No time for blogging.

6.  We are going out tonight.

7.  As in, “I don’t have to cook” going out.

8.  Tomorrow will be a busy day, also.

9.  You probably won’t have any pictures or posts from me until Sunday afternoon.

10.  How will you manage without me?  I’m sure you will do just fine!


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Broken Promises

So sorry but a post before I leave for retreat with pictures and dialogue is NOT going to happen.  It is after 10PM and I still have not packed the first stitch of clothing.  The quilting stuff is about ready to load, but that is it.

Since I will be pulling out very early in the morning, you won’t hear from me then, either.

(OK, Alicia… I don’t want to hear anything back from you about my failure to follow through on the promised post.  I’ll just say, “You know me very well, my friend!”  HAHA!)

Got to run… much to do still.  I’ll “see” you all sometime after the weekend.  I hope you all have as much fun as I am going to have!!


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Are You Sick Of It?

I am too!  Sick of looking at that same post over and over.  I promise I DO have other things to write about, and I even have pictures (trapped inside my camera at this point in time), but no time to get it all working together right now.

Why am I so busy?

I am trying to get all of my ducks in a row to go to quilt retreat in Cold Spring, TX.  We leave early Monday morning, and return late Thursday afternoon.  I am taking 3 projects to work on, and I am desperately trying to get all of the cutting done before I go so I can walk in the door and let the sewing marathon begin!

I am working on… the green 4-patch posey.  This is for my bed, and I desperately need a new quilt on there!  The one we are currently using is a “Mile A Minute” quilt done in 2004 right after I got the long arm.  I am so ready for something new in there!  The blocks are all made, the setting design is decided upon, and the strips for sashing and cornerstones are cut.  Even though it is king-size, I think this will be a quick project.

The second project is to complete all of the first 4 parts of a series quilt in McCalls Quilting called “America the Beautiful”.  Most of parts 1 and 2, and all of part 3 are done.  Part 4 just came out last week, so I have been working on cutting out and bagging up the blocks I need to complete.  I think this is a 6 part series so I am on the down-hill slide!

The third project is a t-shirt quilt.  I have not even begun working on that, but I am hoping to get the interfacing ironed onto all the shirts and the blocks cut before I leave, so I won’t have to haul all of that bulky t-shirt mess with me.

My 4th project (back-up in case I run out of other stuff to do), is knitting on the rainbow socks (August socks!).  I have one of them made but the heel is a little too large so I will rip out the heel and redo it.  That is the neat thing about the Cat Bourdhi method… even after the leg is done, I can rip out and re-knit just  the heel without disturbing the rest of the sock! I LOVE this method of sock knitting.

And in amongst all of that craziness, I got a wild hair to make a new quilt to take with me for my bed.  It was quilted on Monday, binding applied, and I am almost through with the hemming.  And then tonight I got another wild hair to make a matching pillowcase from the left-over fabrics.  It is DONE!  I’ll have pictures of these tomorrow, I hope.

WHEW!  No WONDER I am so tired!

I promise pictures and a new subject matter before I leave on Monday… PROMISE!


Thursday, June 30, 2011

So, How Do You Like Me NOW?

I’m not fishing for complements, I just want to know if this background/photo combination works.  The quilt shown is “Peach Smoothie”, and you can read her story HERE.

Of course, BLUE is my favorite color, so the background works for me!  This is much more “restful” than the very busy background I initially chose.

So… How do you like me now??  Inquiring minds want to know!

AND while I am on your computer, what’s up with the disappearing FOLLOWERS gadget?  I tried removing it and then adding again, but the pictures of my followers still did not appear.  Does anyone have an idea how to fix this?  I have noticed that the followers have disappeared on other blogs, too, so it is not just a problem with me (for a change).  All help will be greatly appreciated!


Change Gone Bad

SHEESH!  I just wanted to give the blog a “fresh look”.  I was tired of looking at that same background and header photo.

I struggled with this for several hours yesterday, replacing the background and trying to get a new photo to load in the header.

I am none too happy with the results… the background will be changed ASAP because I do not like the texture where the posts are… who wants to read THROUGH a checkerboard?  It is really tough on the eyes.

The photo is the photo I wanted, but only the left half of the photo shows.  It is a sunrise on the marshes, and was an absolutely perfect beginning to our day when we went fishing in south LA several months ago.  I tried re-sizing it and then posting, but I can’t get it to load… blogger informs me there is an internal error, which I assume means it can not retrieve the photo from my computer. 

It was an exercise in frustration, but today sometime I will try again.  For sure what is there now needs some work because it just does not work together.  Please bear with me while I redecorate… you know how frustrating home remodeling can be?  The same goes for a blog overhaul!!

Have a great day and be BLESSED!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

We Went…

We went, we bowled (OK ,but not great), and we ate really great stuff!  Lafayette, LA has wonderful food, for sure, and we sampled lots of it last weekend when we went to state bowling tournament.

Such as…
crawfish & shrimp chimichanga (at Coyote Blues)
oyster poboy (at Chris’ Poboys)
shrimp sampler platter (at Nimbeaux’s Cajun Restaurant)
shrimp and crab meat in wine sauce (at Don’s Seafood Hut)

Bad blogger that I am, I did not even take my camera.  Next time I will try and remember that blog postings without pictures are rather dull!

We stopped by The Borne Quilter in Lafayette to take advantage of their 3rd anniversary sale. I was strong... I bought what I needed (border fabric for a t-shirt quilt) and 3 more fabrics that would do well for striped bindings.  I'm hooked on striped bindings!!

While in Lafayette we also went to Pack N’ Paddle, a local sporting goods store.  It appears there is a possibility that 2 sit-on-top kayaks may be coming to live at our house.  We will be going back down in July to test-drive several to see if this is something we could use for fishing and recreation.

The Tree Fort socks are done… except I dropped a stitch when binding off the heel and now have to decide if I am going to rip out the bind-off and re-do it, or anchor the dropped stitch with more yarn and leave it as it is.  The jury is still out.

After a very long day quilting I am ready to relax, so I will now go work on the Bible study that must be completed by tomorrow night.  We are studying “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn.  This will be our first session, but it appears to be very interesting.
Have a great evening, and be BLESSED!


Saturday, June 18, 2011

I Couldn’t Do It!

I just couldn’t do it!  Today was our guild’s “Quilt Till You Wilt” Saturday, and I just could NOT make myself load up all the stuff I needed to sew.  It was too hot, and I decided I was NOT schlepping the machine, fabric, notions, iron, ironing pad, etc. 

I also could NOT make myself take fabric to cut.  The project I am working on required lots of little pieces and it is scrappy.  Each block is a different pattern so it is very tedious cutting… I tried cutting these types of things at QTW before and I make many mistakes… too many distractions for TR (thinking required) Cutting.

The blog readers selected “Tree Fort” yarn for me to work with next.  I cast one sock on this morning before I left for QTW, and I got the toe completed.  I spent most of the day working on it and HERE is what it looks like now!!


I will finish the heel and then open the instep to make the leg tonight.  I had no idea I could get this much done in one day!!  This is July’s pair of socks so I am way ahead of the game.  Next weekend we will travel so again I will have lots of knitting time.  It would be wonderful if I could finish July’s socks before July even gets here.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.


Friday, June 17, 2011

A Really Neat Quilt (and other STUFF)


Isn’t it absolutely gorgeous?  This antique quilt top was purchased  at an estate sale by a friend.  I absolutely love the funky fabrics, which I am guessing are probably from around the 1960s.  It is hand-pieced, and for the most part, nicely done.  (Who in their right mind would try to machine-piece this pattern with all those set-in seams?)  There was some fullness in some of the blocks, but for this pattern and the time period (pre-rotary cutter days) it was wonderful! 


I spent over an hour looking through the Barbara Brackman Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns to find the name of this block.  I FINALLY found it, only to discover it is an UNNAMED block… sheesh… what a disappointment and waste of my time!   Why didn’t SOMEBODY give this wonderful block a name?


And on the sock front… the green socks are DONE!  I just finished weaving in the thread tails, and I am ready to move on to the next pair.  (Speaking of which, only 2 people have voted on which yarn I should use next.  PLEASE go to the previous post and vote!!  Pretty-please!!  I will probably be casting the next pair on tomorrow, and I would love to have your input!)


There… you can see the pattern better when I am NOT using the flash.  I am LOVING this pattern, easy to remember as I am working along, and the cuff is just stockinet stitch and is intended to roll on the top edge.  For this cotton yarn it is the perfect pattern!


We have been busy this morning!  DH picked and shelled peas, and I have processed them.  Six more bags went into the freezer.  The crowders are all getting ripe at once in this extreme heat (104 degrees yesterday), and perhaps we will get some purple hulls, or maybe not.  I am putting as many as I can in the freezer to have this winter.  YUM!

I must run… lots to do this afternoon.  PLEASE go to yesterday’s post and pick your favorite sock yarn!  THANKS BUNCHES!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

So Close…


I’m so close to finishing the green socks I can taste it!  That wonderful feeling when you bind off the last stitch and weave in the last thread tail… I’m almost there.  Just a few more inches of cuff on the second sock and it is done.

I promise a better picture when they are finished.  WAIT!  Before  I can model socks I MUST shave my furry legs.  Oh well… it is probably time.

By Friday, these will be seen ON MY FEET!  Stay tuned!  Now I am off to put on my nightgown, turn on the TV and knit until I decide to go to sleep.  Life is good when the needles are clacking along, making progress on a sock.

Next up… (you KNOW I can’t go without a sock on my needles) is a wonderful hand-painted yarn, and I can’t decide which one to do.  On the far left is “Pony Ride”, and on the right is “Tree Fort”.  Top to bottom in the middle is :  “Cartoons”, “Berry Patch”, and “Tiger”.  HMMM… It appears SOMEONE has been doing a little too much yarn shopping lately!


So , 5 choices…  Which  one do YOU think I should use next.  I will let my readers decide, so be sure to give me your opinion by Friday, because you know just as soon as the green yarn comes off the needles I will cast the next yarn on!

Thanks for your help, and in the event of a tie I will let DH pick between the top 2.

And I’m OFF… I can taste it, that wonderful “FINISHED” feeling!  I must go get closer!


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