Friday, January 31, 2014

I sure hope next month is warmer!

It’s been a bitter cold January and I’m happy it’s almost over, and I am really looking forward to spring and then the Spring Retreats!  Speaking of, I have openings at both spring retreats this year.  Check for more information.

While frozen inside I did a lot of sewing, creating more UFOs, yes I said creating.  I did finish ONE… but made five more…   I am working on one binding, maybe I’ll get it done in February.  I can tell you that it’s been a nice warm quilt to work on, nice to have while John is watching TV in the evening. 
The year of my quilting history I’m showing this month is 2011.  The project I’m sharing from 2011 is Jack in the Box which can be done scrappy or not.
This is my Jack in the Box in greens, and this one is for sale for a $250 donation, send me an email if you would like more information.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Spam or Junk Mail

I was talking with a friend today about emails that go in the spam or junk mail folders… Sometimes it is a real PITA, and other times… well other times it results in new friends. 

Because my email is published on the internet I get a LOT of junk mail, up to 100 some days, and sometimes a lot more than that.  But I always check it, sometimes three or four times.  Some of my best friends came from my junk mail folder.

Kathy lives in Virginia and she started out as a BOM question which ended up in my junk mail.  I don’t even remember what her question was, probably she found a mistake, but I sure am glad I found her email that day.  She keeps in touch with me almost daily and we’ve even started talking on the telephone, imagine that! 

Janet was in my junk mail, she wanted to sign up for a retreat.  Before she even attended her first one she sent me a deposit for the second one, she wanted to make sure she got a space.  She now comes twice a year (and has been known to show up a week early too…wink) 

I’m not positive, but I think Denny and Carol were junk mail at one time.  They were a little shy about coming to a retreat and not knowing anyone, and they’ve been coming twice a year ever since. 

Cindy in Florida was junk and her question was junk too… right Cindy?  She was looking for a pattern to use up some of her junk fabric, and I remember laughing at her and telling her there was no such thing.  She ended up making a king size junk quilt and kept it for herself. 

Yes junk mail can be a PITA but it can be the beginning of a new friendship too!   

Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday's wash day

So here’s the thing… when you don’t have a design wall you use the bed.  Works not quite the same but good enough.  When you don’t have a laundry counter, you use the bed to fold laundry.  Works just as good and you don’t have far to put the clothes away.

BUT, as any quilter knows, when you have a design wall it gets covered with threads, threads which are hard to get rid of.  Same applies to the design bed… but I found a way to get some of the threads off… on the clean laundry.  
Although I don’t think John will like threads on his laundry.. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Leftover Alphabet Soup

So what do you do when the weather is so frigid and nasty that you are stuck in the house…. You sew, that’s what.  And I’ve been sewing up a storm, but don’t blame me for all this nasty weather please.

I made two samples before the 15th for future mysteries.  I think I’ve posted before about those, but since they were mysteries, I couldn’t show pictures.  I made another version of our next mystery, and again, I can’t show photos. 

Then I decided to try something different, a possible mystery also, but got side tracked… I had so many scraps and pieces laying around they were getting in my way.  So I decided to try to put them together some way…  I had an idea, surround the bigger square with smaller squares.. I accidently grabbed a few pieces I’d made for that possible mystery… and when it was all done this is what I got. 
I’m calling this Leftover Alphabet Soup because most of the fabric I’m using is from the Alphabet Soup fabric line. 

Now back to that other mystery!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bird watching

We used to feed the birds all the time but stopped when we went on our cross country trip back in 08.  When we got home I realized that except for when the ground was frozen there was plenty to eat in our yard, and the bird numbers never changed. 

Before the storm on Tuesday I put up bird feeders, knowing that the ground would be frozen for a few days.  This morning those feeders are quite busy and it has give KG something new to watch out the window… he seems to really like the cardinals.

Monday, January 20, 2014

I got out

There are a few people who think I am agoraphobic and never leave the house.  Truthfully I do get out of the house more often than people think.  (Just saying… )

Today I went south to visit my dear friend Joan, all the way over the Indian River Inlet and way down state to Ocean View, 25 whole miles away.  Amazingly it’s not near as far to go in the winter as it is in the summer but that might have something to do with summer traffic. 

Anyway I walked in to find her standing at the stove stirring the starts of something that smelled oh so delicious.  She claimed she was making my Beef Barley Soup but it smelled so much yummier than mine ever smelled, she must have a magic touch. 

I really had a hard time leaving, I wanted to stay… for more fun chatting with Joan.  There is something special about her, soup for the soul and I’m not talking about what was on the stove either!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Mystery Day

Today is mystery day on Mysteries For Relay, but this one was slightly different.  There were so many different setting possibilities for the block that I couldn’t decide which one to use.  So instead I just gave them the block directions and then as the final step showed them just some of the setting possibilities for using the block. 

I think the ladies enjoyed it, at least I hope they did.  (I’ll post some photos later, there are still a few who haven’t started sewing yet.) 

The next mystery will be posted on National Quilting Day and the sixth anniversary of the group!  However instead of a one day mystery, I’m going to post messages about the mystery for more than a month before that, giving little suggestions and ideas on how to prepare for it.  The mystery will be scrappy, but it can be done un-scrappy also.  The full pattern and un-scrappy directions will be posted to the group on March 15th, but those who enjoy scrappy can be preparing for and even sewing long before that.  
The group is open to anyone who wants to make a donation, $5 for one mystery, or $30 for a whole year’s worth.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Do I need this?

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A few people keep after me to “update” my web pages often to make them more… well more what? 

The Google ad man who used to call me at least weekly said that if I updated more often I’d get more visitors.  And according to him that would get me more business.   

Another ad pusher told me that I lacked in search engine marketing, social media connections and mobile advertising.  (My own son keeps pushing the social media thing too… )
Facebook tells me that for $10 a day I could get an estimated 15 to 53 likes per day. 

So let me set them straight… I am satisfied with my web site as it is now.  I don’t want to spend money getting more “hits”, "likes" or business.  My retreats are almost fully booked and advertising them would be redundant, I don’t want to do any more retreats than I am now. Spending any money on advertising would take away from the money I donate to Relay For Life. 

Helping win the battle over cancer is more important to me than getting more hits or likes...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Where was I the last three days?

Where was I the last three days?  I’ll tell you where I was, in the sewing room!  I finished TWO quilts over the weekend, two new tops, two brand new mystery samples… which is why you’re just going to have to take my word for it, I can’t show you what I made. 

Going scrappy

Something I’d like you to look at

The block is nice but more importantly the lesson on scrappy. 

The first part about the blues is good but BEST of all is the part about the LIGHTS (starts at 2:52 ends 4:50).  I think one of the most important things about making a scrappy quilt is getting the right lights and this explains how to do that!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Soup day!

Today is a dreary day, wet and cold and just plain yucky.  I decided it was a good day for some Toot ’N Tellem soup.  Long long long time ago, shortly after we were married, my brother was stationed at Plattsburgh AFB in upstate New York.  He took us out to lunch at this place called Toot ’N Tellem so we could have a bowl of yummy soup they served.  Well let me tell you it was the best soup I’d ever had.  Fast forward 13 years and we were stationed at Plattsburgh AFB and guess where we went to eat often, yep Toot ’N Tellem.  If I ever ate anything else there I don’t remember it, but that soup was just to die for. 

Years later after many unsuccessful tries to duplicate the recipe I happened across this on a box of barley, and that was it!  I’ve made a big pot of it for tonight’s supper. 
Beef Barley Soup (Just like we got at Toot ’N Tellem) 

1/2 or more pound lean ground beef (my guys liked it better when I used a full pound). I brown the burger, and then rinse it with cold water to get off as much fat as possible. Return it to the pan and add one small onion chopped and garlic (Recipe calls for I clove garlic, I used a t-spoon or so of dried garlic flakes) and brown that all nicely. 

Then I add a can diced or crushed tomatoes, I used the 14 oz size 

Also add 1/2 cup or so of diced celery
1/2 cup or so of sliced carrots
1/2 teaspoon basil and one bay leaf 
2 cubes of beef bouillon, or your favorite beef flavoring (I get beef base at Sauders and use about a t-spoon of that.) 
1/2 cup of medium barley 
And seven cups or so of water. 

I bring to a boil then let it simmer for an hour, then add a bag of frozen mixed veggies and cook till the veggies are tender, usually 10-15 minutes. 

Note… Different brands of frozen veggies have different veggies in them. If the carrots and celery are in the brand I have in the freezer, I don’t add them. And if I don’t have mixed veggies, I throw in what I have, usually a 1/2 cup of each. Left-overs, if there are any, freeze great. Since it is just John and I tonight, I have enough for five or six meals from this batch. 

I serve this with my famous beer muffins… 
Mix together in a large bowl 4 cups Bisquick, 2 Tablespoons sugar and 1 12 oz can Beer
Fill 24 preheated greased medium muffin cups about ¾ full
Bake about 15 minutes in a preheated 400 degree oven.
Guaranteed Yummy!!!

Thursday, January 09, 2014


I haven’t blogged for the last few days because I was frozen… well that’s not quite true but it sounded good.  It’s been below freezing and into the single digits here with wind chills below zero, so I did what any good quilter would do… I sewed. 

Mysteries For Relay  has an upcoming mystery (January 18th) and I had only made one block.  I needed a sample and I needed to make sure my pattern made sense.  I made my sample, sent the pattern off to the testers, and then decided I needed to make a sample for the mystery after this one. 

And no I didn't wait for the last minute, I had another quilter who was busy making samples too. 

It’s almost 40 degrees out now and the poor heater is actually getting a break between heating sessions.  I am thankful for our heater and for the service company that comes out and makes sure it is in tip top running order every six months (First Class) 

And then I noticed water spots on the ceiling of the living room… three of them.  They look dry, nothing under them is wet, the floor on the room above is dry and I can’t find anything up there…  sigh… 
I think I’ll go back to sewing, as soon as I find a roofing contractor  

Monday, January 06, 2014


When I got up around 7:30 this morning my outdoor thermometer read 60.  I thought it was wrong so I checked the weather channel.  It said that my local temperature was 62.  I knew it was going to start off warm today, but not that warm. 

I thought about the kids who headed off to school today.. if that had been me I probably would have tossed my heavy coat back in the house and grabbed a lighter jacket.  I didn’t check weather, what it was was all I was concerned about.  How things have changed.  Now we know and I sure hope all those school kids knew that temperatures would drop drastically today.  It’s down to 42 here already, and they say our low tonight will be around 10…

I was going to run an errand today since it was so “nice” out.  Then the rain came…. It poured buckets.  I decided I would stay home and start a new project. 

I went into the sewing room a.k.a. office and looked around for the fabric I wanted to use.  It was in the tote bag I had put it in when I brought it home from retreat in November.  I knew if I opened that tote I might not get to sewing.. there was other fabric in there that needed to be taken care of. 

But I opened it anyway, it had to be done sooner or later.  I pulled out all the strips and scraps all the ladies gave me (THANKS EVERYONE) for my scrappy log cabin.  I pulled out the black and white strips Carol gave me (THANKS Carol) for my black and white project.  I pulled out a green fabric, 2 1/4 yards, hmmm what was that for?  Found my Baby Disappearing 4-patch and the backing fabric I bought for it, maybe I should work on that?  The three Christmas wall hangings need finishing too.  And on the bottom of the tote was the fabric I thought I’d use first…  thought maybe I’d start a new project… but…

Sunday, January 05, 2014

A finish!

Wooohooo my first finish of the year, a quilt I call Leftovers because it used up a whole bunch of leftover batik scraps.  The pattern is Four Patch Framed. 

Now I have a decision to make… do I finish three little wall hangings that are currently WIPs (Work In Progress) or do I start something new… I sooooo want to start something new. 

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Spring Retreat Openings

Delaware Quilts has openings for both Spring Retreats, April 1 to check out April 6, 2014  and Monday April 7 to April 13, 2014

Guaranteed LOTS of fun!

See the retreat page for more information.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Some days...

Some days I wonder if someone is looking over my shoulder when I work on new patterns.  I’ve been working on playing with this design since last summer sometime, and now Missouri Quilt Co has done it as their latest tut…  I was going to make it a mystery, but they give you the how to at

 Have fun with it, I did

Thursday, January 02, 2014


They said it was coming, but we were right on the snow/rain line and I really didn’t expect any at all… but before I went to bed I checked outside and this is what I saw!
All I can say is WOW!

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy 2014

As 2014 begins I am wishing you all a happy healthy and peaceful New Year. Here’s to a year of quilting joys.

I’ve updated almost every main page on the web site to start off the New Year. The history of my quilting continues, this month I am sharing 2010 and the project that goes with it is Any Size You Want.
There are links to the various projects on the project page,

Please remember that if you ever need a gift quilt and don’t have time to make one, I have many of my quilts for sale. The sale of every quilt benefits Relay For Life too, some 100% and some less, I do need some money for supplies and quilting. My sale quilts can be found at

As my History continues, there will not be any new Block of the Month (BOMs). However probably by summer the BOMs will start up again. I’m looking for ideas and suggestions… hint hint

There are now less than 100 days to the first 2014 Retreats. I have openings for the April 1 to check out April 6, 2014 retreat only this year, all other retreats are fully booked and have significant waiting lists.

Finally a new Relay For Life year starts this month too. Here’s hoping that 2014 will be the year of the cure! Thank you to everyone who has supported my fundraising efforts, we’re off to a great start already!