Saturday, April 21, 2012

Rainy Saturday

This isn't my window, but it sure looks like it could be.  It is a rainy Saturday here, not a good day for a softball game or moving day, both things people in my family were planning.  So today I will clean, sew, read and cross stitch.  All the things I love to do (except the clean - I am not crazy about that but I do like the results!).

It is said that April showers bring May flowers.  We have had some unseasonable weather this Spring and it has really teased us with warm weather.  I am READY for warm.  My friends who spend the winter in Florida are starting to return and I hope they bring some warm weather with them.  We are planning our first camping trip of the summer in a few weeks and I want to have nice weather for that.

I will also be planning my projects for our quilt group's Spring retreat coming up very shortly!  I like to cut my projects ahead of time and so I can concentrate on sewing.  It will be a fun weekend.  Mary is planning some great treats for us - we are like little kids who can't wait to see what surprises will be on our sewing table every morning.  We will have a Chinese Auction to help us pass along our unwanted and unused sewing and quilting things, a book table with quilting books, novels and non-fiction books we can part with and lots of food and laughter.  We had our monthly gathering the other night and we all realized that this weekend is coming much faster than most of us realized.

April also brings my birthday.  I don't mind turning another year older - especially this year!  This year has made me realize how precious life is and I treasure every minute with my family and friends. So bring on the cake and the many candles!!  LOL

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Row by Row Update

Some of the girls in my quilt group are doing a row by row swap and last night I worked on my row for Mary.  She has given me fabrics from Blackbird Designs Ella's Linen Closet.  These are beautiful, old fashioned looking fabrics and will make a great quilt.  Here is a sneak peek of her block: 

We are supposed to keep it a secret as it travels from person to person and you won't see yours for a year or so (we are getting two months to complete a row and then pass it to the next person).  It will be fun to work with different fabrics and colors and try to come up with just the right block for each person.  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Stormy Day Bean Soup

It isn't stormy outside, but the weather man has called for some snow flurries!  What happened to the 70's we had in March??

This soup is an easy way to use up some leftover ham.  We cooked a big ham for Easter and ate most of it but there was enough left to put in the freezer for another day and also to make this hearty soup.  I got the recipe from an old Betty Crocker cookbook.

Stormy Day Bean Soup

1 pound dried navy beans (I often use great northern beans)
7 cups water
1 ham bone
2 cups cubed cooked smoked ham
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1 bay leaf
Dash pepper

Rinse beans.  Heat beans and water to boiling; boil gently 2 minutes.  Remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 hour.
Add remaining ingredients.  Heat to boiling.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until beans are soft.  (Add water if necessary.)
Remove bay leaf and ham bone.  Trim meat from bone, add to soup.  Season to taste.  Makes 7 servings (1 cup each).

My husband loves this.  And so do I!  It is easy and delicious.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Getting Some Things Done

I have been working on finishing up some things that have been kicking around for a while.  I did a little rearranging in my sewing room (still working on the best furniture arrangement) and I found these three minis that I sewed together from some left over half square triangles.  You know, when you sew a square on diagonally and cut off the corners?  This is what you get:

They finished at 10" x 13" and each little square is 1" finished.  That is a lot of half square triangles!!  I free motioned stippled them, mostly to get in practice for this:

Another Schnibble!  This one is called X-Rated.  It was a lot of fun to put together.  I used leftovers from a bundle called Dilly Dally from Moda.  It is so bright and cheerful!   I am working my way through Schnibbles Times Two by Carrie Nelson and want to make all the projects in her book this year. 

I also have been cutting projects for the semi-annual retreat that my quilt group goes on in a couple of weeks.  I usually take enough for a month or two of sewing... but you never know what you will want to work on!  I try to take some 'mindless' sewing because we fill the room with talk and laughter and you don't want to miss what the next table is saying or the joke on the other side of the room!  It is a great group of girls and we will have a lot of fun.  We go on Friday and come home on Sunday after lunch.  

On the cross-stitching front, I hope to have some finishes to show real soon.  I have been trying to cross stitch at least 3 or 4 times a week, which is 3 - 4 times more than I was doing.  I have a few things started there that I would like to get busy with.  

Our family had a nice Easter weekend.  I took Hannah to the movies on Good Friday - I told her the day was hers to plan and so she wanted to see The Lorax and we also went to lunch at Bob Evans.  She ordered her meal all by herself and she did a great job.  She is getting so grown up; hard to believe she will be 9 in May.  Sunday we went to church.  Our church covers a large wooden cross with some kind of wire and during communion we fill it with flowers and greenery.  It is beautiful when it is finished.  Next year I will get a picture!  Then off to Easter dinner at my brother's house.  All of his family, our family and my Mom were there along with a few girlfriends and boyfriends.  We stuffed ourselves with turkey and ham and congratulated ourselves on another great meal!  

One more finish - I finished The Hunger Games trilogy.  I did like most of it...  I got impatient with Katniss a bit but all in all it was a great read.   I also saw the movie a couple of weeks ago.  It was very good and the few variations from the book did not bother me.  I hear the next movie comes out in 2013 so I will probably re-read Catching Fire next year just to refresh my memory.

So between, sewing, stitching, reading, working and STILL doing PT for my knee, the days go by so fast.  I can hardly believe it is almost mid-April.  Soon summer will be here...  :)