Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The weather is very much on our minds as we prepare to travel. The high temperature today is to be 20 degrees F! Brrrrrrrrr
I am offering a Get 'R' Done class at TN Quilts in 2011. It will be every third Thursday of the month. It is for anyone who is stuck on a technique or just needs the uninterrupted time to catch up on projects. Come anytime between 10am and 5pm. Cost: $10. What a deal!
I found a piece of striped Christmas fabric in my stash. I used an old technique of counter change smocking to make a dress of my grandaughter. Hope to send some pictures in Jan.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The halls are decked and I am sewing Christmas outfits today.
The weather has kept me home from the quilt shop. Some snow on the ground and cold temperatures.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

We have been experiencing technical difficulties with our camera. In other words; the batteries are being held in place with a large rubber band and we can't find the cord to download the pictures to the computer!

Friday was the first day in over a week, that our daytime temperature was above freezeing. Very unusual for this area. My winter crops have suffered. Saturday I harvested what was left of the mustard greens. It was just enough to add to the sausage gravey for our biscuits. Yummy! Today, my husband harvested the last of the dill. It is now in the dehydrater. I think that was our third crop of dill this year. It keeps reseeding itself. I'm all for that!

Since the last post, I have added borders to the feathered star and greatly enjoyed the comments. I have sewn a second feathered star with a winter theme, a redbird graces the center.

Hope your Christmas celebration plans are moving smoothly along.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

One of the things I like to do in the Fall is to attend a Sheep and Wool Festival. This year I went to the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair near Asheville, NC with Martine. We had a good time shopping the vendors and petting the sheep, goats, llamas and alpacas and rabbits. We each found a few treasurers to bring home. All in all it was an inspiring day. I had several things designed in my mind by the time I had finished the two hour drive home.

I finished a class sample this morning, always a good feeling. It is a feathered star. I used Set P of Perfect Patchwork Templates by Marti Michell. I have started a Christmas feathered star with cardinals in the center. Now I need one more fabric before I can sew that one together. Do you think the one pictured needs a border or two? It is a 27 inch square at present.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

We had a wonderful Tuesday morning this week. It was perfect weather to take the kyaks on the lake with friends. Not one motor boat came by to ruffle the water. The temperature was perfect, the sun was shining, the birds were singing . . . you get the picture, a perfect day on the lake. When we got back to the house I saw the pile of deflated floaty toys that herald the end of summer. But that's okay, we love Fall weather too.
We have not seen any change in the leaves on the trees here. Know it won't be long.
My husband picked pears and paw-paws Wednesday. So, we are cooking pear butter today.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Our grandaughter is an early riser. When the family was here for Quiltfest she was up and going around 6am. She came into the kitchen around 7am and wanted to do something in the garden so she could use her new garden gloves. I suggested she and Opa dig up some potatoes. She immediatly told me she wanted to start from the beginning. So, Opa took her outside to the potting bench to look for seeds that could be planted the first of August. They planted a few radish seeds and a couple of zuccinhi. Well, you can guess which has flourished and here is a picture to prove it. She will have something to pick when she comes for a visit in a couple of weeks.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

It's a rainy day. Just right for the enjoyment of a bowl of soup. While looking through my recipe clippings I found a soup recipe I had tried in 2007 and rated as "good". So, I will share the recipe with you. My husband and I enjoyed a bowl for lunch.

Sausage and Spinach Soup

Fresh herbs are added after the soup cooks so they'll retain their bright color and flavor. You can substitute 1 teaspoon dried herbs for each tablespoon fresh, but add them with the tomatoes. Serve with a toasted baguette.

10 oz sweet turkey italian sausage ( I used what we had in the freezer, pork sausage)

cooking spray

2 t minced garlic

1/2 cup water

1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 (14.5 oz) can organic stewed tomatoes, undrained (I used fresh tomatoes from my garden, cut them up with skins left on)

1 (14 oz) can chicken broth

2 cups baby spinach (I picked New Zealand spinnach from my garden. . .in the rain)

1 T chopped fresh basil (also gathered in the rain)

2 t chopped fresh oregano (l large Cuban oregano leaf)

2 T grated fresh Romano cheese (I used Parmesan)

Remove casings from sausage. Cook sausage in a large saucepan coated with cooking spray over high heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Add onion and 2 t garlic to pan; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 c water, beans, tomatoes, and broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Uncover and cook for 3 minutes or until slightly thick. Remove from heat, and stir in spinach, basil, and oregano. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with cheese.

makes 4 servings

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I have just finished sewing a dress and shirt plus shorts for the grandkids. I used a new pattern, Simplicity 2907 sizes 1/2 to 4, so it worked for both kids. I was pleased with the details on these garments and will let you know how they fit.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It seems our kitchen is one of those magnetic flat surfaces that catches everything. So, this morning I sorted through and put away the stuff collected there. Then I treated myself to the use of the new log cabin table topper for Fall. It's one of the samples for my log cabin quilt block class. I have made log cabin blocks before, but I really like the results I get using the Marti Michell log cabin ruler. If you havn't tried it, consider joining me for class Saturday, September 25th at 10am.

Monday, September 6, 2010

My sister gave me a wonderful new cookbook; "Forgotten Skills of Cooking" by Darina Allen. She is called the Julia Child of Ireland. This past weekend I made the peach and Rose Geranium Jam. She doesn't advocate the use of powered pectin as there is pectin occuring naturally in the fruits.

I also learned that beet stems are edible. Such an interesting book!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fall is in the air this Labor Day Weekend. I picked the cucumbers and made 13 pints of bread and butter pickles. That is enough for the year. We purchased peaches at the Farmers' Market and cooked 6 jelly glasses of jam. Picked green tomatoes while pruning the tomato vines. We lunched on fried green tomatoes and dinned on green tomato casserole served with spaghetti.

Last night we enjoyed sleeping on the bed we have set up on the dock. It was cold enough to require the down comforter. Great sleeping weather!

I have designed a Halloween wall hanging for the side of our refrigerator, so it is narrow and long; 26" x 60". I started with a Halloween panel, added a piece of blackboard vinyl at the top and bordered the whole thing. After quilting it on my longarm, I zigzagged clear vinyl pockets for pictures, greeting cards and recipes. I then added casings to hold magnet strips in five places on the back of the wall hanging. These casings were stitched on by hand. The magnet comes in a coil from Michael's Craft Store and is easily cut with a pair of scissors. I have to learn how to rotate the picture on my blog. Hopefully my daughter will take care of this problem, hint, hint.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Time marches on whether I do or not!

Our blackberries have their feet in the lake which usually keeps them from burning up in this hot weather. We plan to encourage them to grow along the seawall and not in the rest of our yard. It was a good blackberry year. I canned jelly, syrup, and mulled vinegar. I found a new pectin, Pomona's Universal Pectin, that allows me to use a lot less sugar or honey or artificial sweetener. We are pleased with the results and it is cheaper than Sur-Jel.

As usual I have a late tomato harvest. They are struggling to produce but the results taste good to us. Our grandaughter was here to help us plant the seedlings I had started from seed. The volunteer cherry tomatoes are doing the best.

Quiltfest 2010 has come and gone. It was so good to have the house full of family and friends. There is alot of creative energy flowing through this group.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I quilted another sample on my long arm machine. You can't see it in the picture, but I printed letter and numbers of which I am pleased. I put the birthdays of our grandchildren. There are three unmarked cupcakes . . .

I will be teaching a class in machine applique. The sample is to show the different methods I will teach in class. Details can be found at http://www.tennesseequilts.com/

Saturday, May 1, 2010

At the end of the day we like to watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy (oh my, that sounds "old"). By my rocking chair (yikes) I keep a cone of cotton yarn from which I knit dish clothes for gifts. Wow, I just really depressed myself . . . Then we go to the studio and work with the quilting machine.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Eric Carle has written numerous children's books; "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", "The Very Busy Spider", The Very Quiet Cricket", "The Very Lonely Firefly", and "The Very clumsy Click Beetle". Andover Fabrics has printed some of the illustrations from these books on a new fabric line, The Very Series. You can see the fabric and get a free pattern download at http://www.andoverfabrics.com/. The piece I photographed is 33" x 44" and would make a great baby quilt. But there are several borders to add making the finished size 57" x 67". Fabric and kits can be purchased at TN Quilts.

Friday, April 23, 2010

My husband photographed this area barn with implanted airplane. We will take you to see the real thing when you visit.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Not often, but sometimes we run out of things to do at work. That's when temptation is oh so strong. All that beautiful fabric just waiting to be enjoyed. So, I decided over a month ago to have a project I could think on and then work on in those down times. It was a good plan. My project bag came home with me last week and I put the pieces I had cut on my design wall just to look at for a while to see if I still liked it.
I couldn't sleep last night. It was so nice to have something I could sit and sew without much thinking. Now I have to decide if I want the one inch wide inner border of dark green and then a wider border of another fabric yet to be selected.

Friday, April 16, 2010

In January 1922, the editors of "The Farmer's Wife" magazine asked their readers the following question: "If you had a daughter of marriageable age, would you, in the light of your own experience, want her to marry a farmer?" Some of the resulting letters have been published in "The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt" by Laurie Aaron Hird. I am really enjoying reading these letters. I must admit I was surprised at how many mentioned the importance of good books and magazines in the home. The quilt blocks are different than many I have seen and I will be hand piecing a few of them.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I have finally finished my grandaughter's Spring dress. But I am still trying to decide what to sew for my grandson. Any suggestions? Out of the scraps from her garments I have been sewing a quilt block. At last count, there are 20 six-inch blocks in the box. It will soon be time to sew them into a quilt. Maybe twin sized? I found the pattern for the quilt block in "Around the Block with Judy Hopkins". She has three such books and they are great references. Each block has measurements for 6 different sizes.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

We just finished a meal that had some fresh produce from the garden! We had roasted asparagus, teeny, tiny radishes in our salad and rhubarb crunch for desert.

I planted 10 more pounds of potatoes this afternoon. Peas and parsley were put in the ground last Thursday. Started tomatoe plants in the house today. I know, I'm late.
The jacket pictured above, is a sample from a class I taught three weeks ago. The pattern is "Five Easy Pieces" by Sharon L. Baker. The student has to draft the actual pattern pieces making for a more personalized fit. I really like mine and I didn't expect it to look good on me, but it does!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The first quilt is off the long arm machine!!! There is a whole lot of learning in that little piece. I have the next experiment ready to load ( before I forget how to).

Monday, April 5, 2010

My husband is becoming a bee keeper. This should be great for the garden and the kitchen. We do like honey. His first bees are to arrive today.

We planted potatoes and a garden path Saturday afternoon. Radishes will soon be ready to eat. Five rhubard plants have wintered over and the dill has reseeded itself. Green is popping up all over!! And wouldn't you know it, I have become sensitive to some of the flowering plants . . . itchy, watery eyes. Yuck!

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Where does the time go? I can't believe it has been a month since I have posted anything! But now we have news. Our A-1 longarm quilting machine has been delivered and set up. We have been shown how it works and now it is time to practise!! The newly remodled space makes it a joy to work there. The young men who set up the machine were envious of our view while we work.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

This morning is very gray and dreary. But the kitchen table is full of the seed packets we received in the mail Saturday. Now, I will sort them into "before last frost" and "after last frost" date piles. Another pile for "start in the house".

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The weekend brought us two days of sunshine and temperatures in the 50's! What a wonderful gift. My husband and I have been reading about the organic gardening of Ruth Stout. Couple that with Spring Fever and we were out the door to scratch in the dirt. Our first order of business was to create a new bed for peas. Using Ruth's method of mulching and no digging, we layered ash from the wood stove, rotted leaves and grass, composted dirt, and topped it all off with pine straw. Every six inches we pushed a branch into the earth for the pea vines to climb upon. I was surprised and pleased that the branches went into the ground easily to the depth of six to eight inches. Today, Dennis is adding a top dressing of horse manure. We will be watching the mail for our seeds to arrive. Next bed will be for potatoes.