Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Decisions, decisions


I have a few evenings this week to just kind of do what I want and I am torn between cross-stitching, sewing, reading, or laying around watching reruns. What do you do when you have this time ahead of you and you just can't make up your mind?  I fear that I may waste a bunch of time just deciding so I think I need to just jump in and do SOMETHING!  

I have so many things started and I want to see some of them completed.  And then I want to get going on this:


The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt Bk

I bought the book a while ago and had set it aside.  I think my biggest dillemma is what fabrics to use.  I see such pretty ones like this from Kristyne.  And then there are the ones who use Civil War reproductions.  And then there are the really funky ones with fabric from all over the block.  I am leaning towards Civil War reproductions or maybe even navy, red and tan fabrics.  See what I mean?  I can't make a decision!

Anyway, I guess I had better head towards the sewing room with this and get busy!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sewing Weekend





This weekend Mary and I had our second annual winter sewing weekend.  As you can see we were quite productive!  We ate, we sewed, we shopped and we solved all the problems in our little corners of the world!  LOL



Our quilt group has been making wheelchair quilts for a local nursing home and one of the girls made kits for us to sew up.  I got my top done this weekend:


It was made from a cute print with birdhouses on it and a deep red fabric.  I added a border of good old Debbie Mumm fabric with blackbirds.  It was a fun and easy top to make.












I also got a binding sewn on the front of this quilt and it is all ready to stitch down on the back during  an evening of NCIS reruns or American Idol:














Then I was off to Tiny Town with Mary.  Head on over to her blog for her version done in  Blueberry Crumb Cake by Blackbird Designs.  It is gorgeous.   I used some Kansas Troubles leftovers.  We loved these table toppers!  Check out Carrie's post on November 9, 2011 for more ideas.

Lastly I started another Schnibbles project, X-Rated.  I am using some bright 'out of my box' fabrics for this - Dilly Dally.  It is not yet done, but you can see it is going to be a happy quilt! Some of the rows are sewn, some are pinned and some are just laying there.  :)   Did I tell you I love Miss Rosie patterns?

Even Fluffy got in on the action.


Mary brought a yummy cheese spread with crackers and I made cookie dough dip. We went out for fish on Friday night and Chinese on Saturday.  I know I won't need to eat for several days.

Cookie Dough Dip Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 12
The most delicious recipe for cookie dough dip you've ever tasted.
Ingredients
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup toffee bits
Instructions
  1. Cream together cream cheese and butter.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients and mix until well-combined.
  3. Serve with graham crackers or apple wedges.
A friend at work gave me the recipe and said she got it here:

I would show you a picture, but it is all gone.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Scrap Basket Suprises

Last year I signed up for the Fat Quarter Shop's Scrap Basket Surprises Club.  Every quarter I received two jelly rolls and fabric for the borders, binding and background.  All of the patterns were from Kim Brackett's book, Scrap-Basket Surprises. It was a lot of fun to see what came every three months.  Some of them were fabrics I may not have picked myself so I enjoyed working with them.  The first one I got was made with Kansas Troubles Summer's End fabrics:
The second one I received was Fig Tree Fresh Cottons:

The next one I received was Maison de Garance by French General:
I still have one more to make.  I plan to get that cut soon so I can sew it at our quilt group's Spring Retreat in early May.  I will post that one when it is done.  I also made one other quilt from this book for my nephew for graduation.  I used fabrics I had cut myself and it turned out great.  Unfortunately I can't find a picture of it!  The name of it was 'Pinwheel' and I used navy, dark green, black, and browns.  All of her patterns are easy to make.  She also has  a second book called Scrap-Basket Sensations and I have made 'Picnic' from that book using 30's fabics.  If you are looking for a good jelly roll book, I recommend either one of them.
Thanks to my husband for acting as a quilt rack!  

Monday, February 20, 2012

Fluffy and Tater Tot

Introducing Fluffy (on the left) and Tater Tot (on the right.  We adopted them two years ago last October from a shelter in our area.  They have been lots of fun and even though they are brothers, they are as different as night and day.  Fluffy is very shy and runs as soon as he hears the back door open.  Tater, on the other hand, is right there seeing who has come in. Fluffy is the one who wants to cuddle and have his cheeks rubbed, Tater is the one who is much more independent.  They were supposed to be Hannah's pets but they ended up with us.  She was going to name them Alvin and Theodore but she decided to stick with the names they had already been given.

I will often find random pictures on my camera that Hannah has taken - such as this one.  They have kind of taken over the house.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturdays

Saturdays just seem to be a get caught up kind of day.  In between housework, laundry, and errands, I like to find some time to do something fun for me.  Today I hope to work on this project

It is Joyeux Noel by Blackbird Designs.  Mary and I have come to the conclusion that if we put it 'out there' it encourages us to get busy on it, whether it is a quilting or cross stitch project or anything else!  So I am putting this 'out there'!!

Today will be a typical day of grocery shopping, laundry and I also have a haircut.  Later on it is a 'girls night out' with my sister in law Melissa, my daughter, my niece and my nephew's girlfriend.  We are going out to dinner and then see "The Vow".  We all knew our husbands and boyfriends wouldn't want to see that one!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Schnibbles Times Two



One of my goals this year is to make each of the small quilts from the book 'Schnibbles Times Two" by Carrie Nelson.  I actually made this one last year but I am counting it towards my goal!  There are 12 quilts in this book and you can make them with charm squares (5") for a small quilt or layer cakes (10") squares for a larger quilt.  So I figure if I can make one a month, I will stay on track!  This one is called "Imagine" and I made it with a Kansas Troubles line (I can't remember the name).


This one I finished last night.  It is called "Bennington".  I used Moda's Blueberry Crumb Cake.  I LOVE the blue and the brown together.  I think it is one of my favorite color combinations.

I think my next one will be from Fig Tree fabrics, Butterscotch and Roses.  Joanna Figueroa's fabrics are so pretty and just the right Spring time colors to work with in March!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day


Happy Valentine's Day to you all!  Some people will say it's just another day for the card companies to make money but I say any day that encourages thinking of others can't be all bad.  I hope you have a sweet day.  My husband and I discussed it last night over dinner and we decided we would just get each other a big bag of red licorice and we would be happy!  We have been married for more than a few decades so as he says, "If we don't know that we love each other by now, we never will".  He really cuts to the chase!  But he really is a sweet guy - I recently had some surgery and I couldn't have asked him to be more helpful, caring and good to me.  I picked a good one.  

The quilt above is a mini that I made a long time ago.  I like to get it out every year after I put the snowmen away.  Last year I made this table runner below from a charm pack.  I just love charm packs - you get to play with all of the fabrics in a collection without breaking the bank.




  

Monday, February 13, 2012

Blog design

As you can see, I have really goofed up changed my blog design.  I am hoping my daughter can come and help me out with it this week.  I appreciate the hints that Siobhan and Mary have given me.  I guess there is a learning curve, so please bear with me.   I know blogs are much more interesting also with pictures so I am planning to be adding more of those as I get the hang of this.


It is hard to believe that on February 1st this year I had my windows open at work for a while and yesterday it was a blustery winter day.  It certainly is true around here that if you don't like the weather we are having just wait a day or two and it will change.   We have actually had a mild winter and I know the skiers and snow-mobilers (of which I am neither) aren't very happy.  But you won't hear me complain!


I finished up a Schnibbles this weekend except for the binding so look for pictures of that this week after it is bound.  I also helped my sister-in-law, Melissa with a wallhanging she wanted to make.  She had the concept and I showed her the way to execute it!  She was real pleased with the outcome; she is shopping for backing and batting this week and I will quilt it for her.  It is also our quilt group's meeting this Thursday so I hope to have some inspiration from the group to show you.  


I will leave you with a really yummy cookie recipe, it is our family's favorite!


Peanut Butter Round Up Cookies

1 cup shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup peanut butter
2 cups sifted flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup quick cooking oats

Beat shortening and sugars together until creamy. 
Add eggs and peanut butter; beat well.
Sift together flour, soda and salt.
Add to creamed mixture, mixing well.
Stir in oats.  Form 1” balls from dough.
Place on ungreased cookie sheets.
Using fork, make criss-crosses on each cookie.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8 – 10 minutes.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Flags

Some of the girls in our quilt group are working on this flag pattern and a couple of us have got them done already.  Here is mine::


And here is Mary's:


Doesn't she take a nicer picture??  And I like her stars better too.  This is really a beautiful quilt and it will be fun to see the other's as they finish theirs.  I can't wait to see how our quilter friend NancyZ quilts them up!

Today it is cold and kind of snowy - a good day to sew and stitch.  I am planning to do some of each today!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Television Shows

Who is watching Downton Abbey?  I don't seem to be able to stay up on Sunday nights to watch it but I am catching up on this PBS website to see the past episodes.  I love the way the characters speak, the clothes they wear and the drama!


And from another era - Pan Am.  Another Sunday night show that I am catching on line.
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Again, I love the styles of clothing, and the story line.  Dean and Colette... I think they they belong together.

I don't watch a lot of TV but if there is nothing else on - We are always up for another episode of NCIS.  
I guess that is why I don't seem to get much sewing or stitching done.  I am easily distracted.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Thanks for Reading My Nonsense!

Thanks to all of you that have visited, read and commented on my blog!  This is a learning experience for me and I need all the help and constructive criticism I can get.  I hope to be tweaking it in the next week or two.  I like the clean simple look of it but with a graphic designer for a daughter who is awesome at this, I hope to get some help with my 'look' - hint, hint, Wendy!  She is a self- taught scrapbook designer and photographer who started scrap-booking when her daughter Hannah was born.  (Although there were some scrapbooks in highschool, but we won't talk about those, ok Wendy?)  Hop on over to her blog and check out her projects.
My Photo

I love you Wendy and I am proud of all you do!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Few Good Reads

I love a good book. 

I don't mind a sweet, happy ending book some of the time but most of the time I want a thriller, on the edge of your seat, not always a happy ending, something that will make you think kind of book.  I love James Patterson, Maeve Binchy, Jodi Picoult, Jan Karon, David Baldacci and even Stephen King.  Right now I am reading The Girl Who Played With Fire.  Last year it seemed like everyone read this series but I am almost always the last to get on the bandwagon.  I loved The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  This series isn't for the faint of heart.  They are graphic and edgy.  But they keep you thinking and wondering what will happen next.  If you aren't easily offended, I highly recommend them. 

I finished 11/22/63 by Stephen King last month and I loved this one too.  I downloaded it to my Kindle as I didn't want to haul an 850 + page book around with me.  Then I read The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks.  That was a typical Nicholas Sparks story.  I enjoyed that one also.  Around the New Year I read Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult.  That book really gives you things to think about and you will be surprised by the ending.

I'm always on the hunt for the next good read - so any and all suggestions are appreciated!  I just wish there were more hours in the day for everything I'd like to do.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Stitch Day

Once a month, Mary, my sister-in-law, Melissa and I try to have a stitch day.  We either cross-stitch, embroider, or some kind of hand work.  It is usually more of a catch up on our news day or a what should I do about this problem day than anything!  But it is good therapy for all of us and we often get a little bit of hand work done too - LOL.  Yesterday afternoon I worked on the sampler from the cover of Joyeux Noel:
Click here to view larger image
I am using the linen and the floss recommended and the colors are lovely.  I didn't get too far - I had a counting malfunction but it is another project that I will show you when it is done.

Melissa is my brother's wife.  I have four brothers and I love all of their wives.  They couldn't have picked out better ones!  They are all different and I love them all for different reasons.  Two of them live nearby and two live a distance away so I don't see them as often.  I am very lucky to have wonderful in-laws!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday

"Don't forget to pray today, because God didn't forget to wake you up this morning."

I saw this on Pinterest and it really hit home with me.

I hope you have a blessed week ahead!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I love weekends!

I guess everyone is gearing up for the big game on Sunday.  Who are you rooting for, the Giants or the Patriots.  It is worth noting that I even know who is playing!!  I am not a huge football fan like the rest of my family.  I don't dislike it, I am sort of a take it or leave it kind of fan.  But it is fun to watch the singing of the National Anthem, the half time show and the commercials.  And don't forget about the food.

My husband and I, along with our son will be going to my daughter's house.  I am going to roast a turkey for sandwiches.  It is easy and will feed them all.  I will also be taking a plate of cookies.  My daughter will be making a family favorite - Bean Dip.  Here is the recipe:
Bean Dip
8 oz. package cream cheese
8 oz. sour cream
10 1/2 oz. can of Bean Dip
1 grated onion
1 envelope of taco seasoning
8 oz. hot pepper cheese (grated)
8 oz. cheddar cheese (grated)
Soften cream cheese; add sour cream, bean dip, taco mix and grated onion.
Layer mixture alternating with grated cheeses ending with grated cheese on top.  I use a casserole dish with 2" sides and usually have three layers.  Heat in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. If you want it hotter add Tabasco Sauce.  Serve with tortilla chips or Doritos.

I will probably take my current read: The Girl Who Played with Fire.  Have any of you read this or The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo?  I loved the Tattoo and so far I am loving Fire.

It will just be fun to be with my family.

Go Giants or is it Go Patriots?  May the best team win!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Schnibbles

First of all thanks to everyone who stopped in and for all the wonderful comments and followers!  I appreciate your kind words!

Yesterday I mentioned that I would allow myself to buy charm packs, etc to make Schnibbles.  You see, my quilt group has talked about having a group project where we take one book and make all the patterns in it.  I am not sure if the whole group is going to participate, but a few of us are.  My book is Schnibbles Times Two by Carrie Nelson.  I love all her patterns.  They are so easy and look so complicated.  I have already done one pattern from this book, Imagine (I think I used a Kansas Troubles line of fabric) and I am now working on Bennington using Moda Blueberry Crumb Cake.  I am using charm packs for all of them.  I have three other lines of fabric to make into Schnibbles so I am practically half way through!  I think there are 12 patterns in the book.  

I highly recommend Carries books and patterns.  And you will see that I use a lot of Moda fabric.  There are some beautiful fabrics out there by other manufacturers other than Moda, but Moda always seem to have the style and flavor of colors and patterns that I like.  

Now just stay tuned to see the finished projects!  I promise to post pictures!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Strengths and Weaknesses

Mary, who is also my quilting and stitching buddy (and my cousin) and I made a list of 'rules' (for lack of a better word) for this year, partly to use up some of our past purchases and partly to finish up some things we have started.

One of the reasons I decided to start this blog is that I hoped it would make me accountable and chronicle my progress.

This is my list:
1. No fabric purchasing, other than for Schnibbles (charm packs, border and binding fabrics.)  If I need backing fabric it will be a white or cream so that the yardage left over can be used in piecing.
2. Only items allowed to be purchased are needles, thread, batting and backing fabric.
3. No books, patterns or quilt magazine purchasing.  Borrowing patterns is ok.
4. A conscious effort will be made to purge fabrics and other craft items no longer useful for my needs.
5. No more cross stitch projects started.  I will finish the Blackbird Stocking project, finish the Christmas sampler, and work on Anniversaries of the Heart.  The only purchases made for cross stitching will be linen for the Stockings and floss for A of the H.
6. The only exception is for destination quilt shops.  Purchasing will be allowed there.

I need to let you know we got our inspiration from Renee at Sewn With Grace

Well, we already succumbed to temptation when we saw this on Nicole's table. We promptly ordered the
pattern.
014

Let's see how well we do the rest of the year.  Our intentions are good.  Honestly.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Welcome to my blog

Well, Mary has finally convinced me that I need to start my own blog.  So here I go, ready or not! (We tend to get each other into trouble in more than one way.)

A few years ago, I broke my ankle and was off work for 15 weeks.  I did a lot of reading and cross-stitching and then I discovered the wonderful world of blogs.  I think that Alicia's blog was one of the first blogs I read.  I fell in love with her and Andy's story.  I cried when their beloved corgi, Audrey died.  I still read her blog every day.  Then it was on to quilting blogs, cross-stitch blogs, reading blogs and finally cooking blogs (Our Best Bites is one of my favorites).

Anyway, about me, I live in a tiny town in western New York.  I mean tiny - one red light, two restaurants, two convenience stores and half a dozen churches.  Therefore my blog title refers to the directions I give to people as to how to find my house: Four houses down from the K-12 school.  The school is in the center of town and you can't miss it.  This is a wonderful place to raise a family but the economy has affected our town in a big way.  There are no employment opportunities so people are moving away.  It won't be too many years before our town is a ghost town.

So you will be seeing a little quilting, a little cross stitching, and a little reading news on this blog.  You may hear stories of my one and only granddaughter, Hannah.  At times it may be boring but I will try to entertain you.  So stay tuned as I tweak this new project of mine!