Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Confessions of a Thief

They say confession is good for the soul.  So here I am...confessing to all of you that I've blatantly stolen an idea off someone else's blog.  But I couldn't help it.  Really I couldn't.  I just fell in love with this picture I saw on Sew I Quilt.   

Can you blame me?  Isn't this just wonderful!  You would have stolen it too, right?  Tell me you would...

I went back again and again to look at it.  Those strips - a jelly roll would be perfect.  The colors - Moda's Maison de Garance would be the perfect colors.  Could I do it?  Just take it and run with it...or sew with it as the case may be.

In the words of the famous comedian Flip Wilson...the devil made me do it.  :)

To Madame Samm (it was her blog I saw it on) please forgive me for my thievery and thank you for understanding my weakness.  :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Can Anybody Explain?

  • Why you can sew two perfectly straight long strips together and they end up crooked
  • Why my feet are always cold
  • Why when I park my car waaaaay out on the grocery store parking lot so my doors won't get dinged someone always is parked right next to me when I get back to it
  • How one white sock always gets mixed in with the dark colors when I do laundry
  • How my bamboo plant can drink a whole bowl of water in one day
  • Why sometimes 72° in my house feels perfectly comfortable and some days I'm cold at that temperature
  • How the pattern I want to make next can hide in plain sight in my stack of patterns...even when I look for it several times and swear it isn't there
  • Why squirrels keep getting in my attic and what they're doing up there
  • How to organize sewing room junk drawers so I can find things after they're organized
  • How to sew rick rack on and not have the stitching show
  • How you know when marshmallows aren't good any more
  • Why two days after I throw something away that I think I'll never need again...I need again
  • Why my high efficiency washing machine is pulling threads on my towels till they look a hundred years old
  • Why they put expiration dates on coupons
  • Why Blogger won't let  me put two pictures side by side in a post
I think about some strange things when I'm sewing, don't you agree?  :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

One Thousand Blessings - Day 20

651.  Quiet Christmas mornings
652.  Christmas Eve celebrations at church
653.  O Holy Night sung on Christmas Eve
654.  Christmas greetings from friends as we enter church
655.  Christmas cards with messages about the birth
656.  Christmas sacks with bright ribbons
657.  Children who know why we have this holiday and say it loudly during children's time
658.  Little girls in Christmas dresses
659.  Ornaments on the tree that remind me of other days
660.  Pancakes for breakfast on Christmas morning 
661.  Being reminded by my son of the syrup Nanny used to make for the pancakes
662.  A roaring fire on Christmas morning
663.  Feeding the birds and thinking of Mother
664.  Knowing that on some day in the distant past Jesus was born and that He changed the world
665.  Candles lifted high in praise
666.  An offering plate piled with money destined for the homeless shelters and the food banks
667.  Christmas stockings, homemade
668.  Christmas candy, made only at this time of the year
669.  Love for my family that overflows my heart and brings tears to my eyes
670.  The grace that forgives me when I'm not successful at acting like Jesus taught
671.  Church bells ringing on Christmas morning
672.  Church choirs singing Christmas carols
673.  The Chrismon tree in the sanctuary
674.  Cinnamon and cloves simmering on the stove
675.  M&Ms - a Christmas tradition at our house

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wow, it's really almost here - Christmas, again!  Do ya'll feel that way?  We just had Christmas like a couple of weeks ago and here it is showing up again!  I remember my grandparents saying time flies when you get old but boy were they telling the truth.  

My kids have been here and gone again.  Chaos reigned.  Brownie crumbs on the carpet, apple juice on the dining room floor and Froot Loops scattered in the kitchen mean that today I'll be mopping and waxing - thank goodness I didn't do it before they came.  :)  

This morning Jerry asked where his coaster was that he always sits his coffee cup on.  Why, it's with all the other coasters in this house on the table by the fireplace where Andrew ( the two year old) put them, naturally.  At least he had them all together!  

And how did the television remote get from the end table by the couch in the sunroom into the back bathroom?  Hmmmm, he who has possession of the remote is in control so you don't give it up even when nature calls I guess.  

Do you have Dr. Pepper Grandma?  Diet Coke?  Sweet Tea?  Apple Juice?  Whole Milk?  Skim Milk?  You name it - I've got it!  Or little bits of it in the bottom of the box or glass because heaven forbid anyone drink all of anything.  Have we used every glass in the house because if you have one left someone wants it?  

Did you know that a four year old and a two year old wrestling make more noise than a jet taking off?  And that all children can hear every beep and ring on their I Pods but can't hear you ask them to pick up their toys? 

And did you know that a 13 year old girl with a throw pillow for her bed that has her initials in sequins will promptly lay her head on it?  And that a 12 year old boy can be totally silenced when given a shotgun that has been passed from father to son, from uncle to nephew, and eventually will be passed from cousin to cousin?   Don't ask me - that whole passing down thing must be some male bonding ritual I don't understand.
And who knew $10 gifts of candy flavored lip balm and a box of nail polish with a nail dryer would be the hit of the day for a 4 year old and 9 year old?  

Christmas at my house was chaotic and loud and messy.  It's totally unlike the normal day to day life of retired grandparents who never raise their voices, always put their dishes in the dishwasher (well one of us does), and have the same routine they follow every day.  We breathe a sigh of relief when the last car drives out of the driveway but the next morning I'm in tears because they aren't here.  I can still hear the voice of the two year old at the very last minute.  His parents were gathering up toys and suitcases and children to put them in the car.  He had on his pajamas because Mom and Dad were hoping for some naptime on the road home.  I could hear him....but couldn't see him.  And then, there he was, standing at the foot of my Christmas tree looking up at the top and singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."  See that and don't get emotional.  I dare you.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Children and Christmas Lights

Garvan Gardens, a beautiful botanical garden here in Hot Springs, has the most awesome light display I've ever seen.  They have acres and acres of the forest decorated with lights, toy soldiers, gingerbread houses, model trains running around and around, and even fish made of lights "jumping" up out of the lake.  My grandchildren loved it.  :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

One Thousand Blessings - Day 19

616.  The last stitch taken on the last gift  :)
617.  Sugar Cookies
618.  Red and white quilts
619.  Seat warmers in my car on cold days
620.  Seeing a needle in the carpet Before I step on it
621.  Advent candles
622.  The Hallelujah Chorus
623.  Wreaths on the fronts of cars
624.  Tiny white lights on Christmas trees
625.  Gingerbread men
626.  Wood stacked on the deck
627.  Packages that arrive days before you think they will
628.  Wrapping a present that comes out looking just right
629.  Santa aprons
630.  Stockings on the mantle
631.  Holly berries
632.  Thinking of someone and having them telephone a few minutes later
633.  Cuppa' Cozies
634.  Stacks of new fat quarters
635.  The feel of really good fleece
636.  A really good book discovered by accident
637.  Christmas carols in the sanctuary
638.  Men who hold the door open for me
639.  The "dismissed from the hospital" list in our church newsletter
640.  Christmas letters from friends
641.  Lamp  light
642.  Shops that open early
643.  A pink sky in the morning sun
644.  The sound of the geese far out on the lake
645.  Watching my husband feed those geese when they swim our way
646.  Getting a text from my sister saying, "I'm here" when she's been traveling on a snowy day
647.  Shopping online
648.  New followers on my blog
649.  Wiemaraner dogs
650.  Birds on my windowsill

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Girls Are So Much Fun To Sew For!

Every girl needs a few sequins don't you think?  And bubble gum pink paired with black...think Paris girls.  :)

Messenger bag purses are all the rage.  How many purses do you have in your closet?  I'm betting a few!  And if you're in the band well musical instruments ought to be right up your alley...

But if you want to be a little more sophisticated, well this brown and gold with gold checkerboard lining is just the thing to wear with jeans and brown boots, don't you think?

Monday, December 13, 2010

I'm On A Roll!

A Mug Rug Roll that is!  I love these things and just a warning to all my friends, if you're getting a present from me it's likely one of these.  :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

And The Winner Is....

Marcia from Dandelion Wishes!  Marcia I'll be e-mailing you but I'll need your address so I can send your gift...Congratulations!

Edited:  Well these senior eyes played a trick on me, once again, and Marcia has no blog.  Since I mixed things up royally!!! I'll be sending a prize to both Marcia (no blog) and Mamarazzi of Dandelion Wishes.  It's a two-for-one day.  :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Quick Bit of Christmas

If you're looking for the giveaway it's on this post.

Yesterday I walked into my kitchen and it was....blah.  I'm not putting up as many Christmas decorations this year as I usually do but I did put a few things the kitchen.  Something was just missing.  And then I thought of this:

I've seen a dish drying mat on several blogs - and in fact it was probably one of "my" blogs (the ones I follow) where I saw a Christmas one but I'm having a senior moment and can't remember which one.  Forgive me?  So I grabbed up an old hand towel and used it as the "batting" between two pieces of Christmas fabric and in about 15 minutes, well maybe a little longer to do the quilting, I have a cute piece of Christmas there on my counter.  I do have a dishwasher but there are several things I like to hand wash...this is great for that.  I'm thinking of making more...I need snowflakes, then Valentines, then shamrocks or leprechauns fun is that!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Guest Blogging and Giveaway

I'm posting over at Stash Manicure again today ya'll - a really cute, fun and fast! table topper.  You'll love making this one for gifts because it works up in a flash.  Go over there and check it out!  Then come back here and post a comment to win these prizes:
There's a great book from Fig Tree Quilts - love her stuff - a pattern for a small wallet from Lazy Girl Designs and one from Jean Boyd called Redwork Cottage (applique and redwork), a cute little hand towel I couldn't resist, and a Schnibbles pincushion made!  You don't have to do anything fancy - just comment to let me know you were here and if you're a follower be sure you tell me that so you'll get an extra chance.  If you aren't a follower yet, don't you want to be? What? Oh, that's me that wants you to be!   :) I'll close the drawing Friday at 6:00 P.M.      blessings, marlene

Monday, December 6, 2010

Block Exchange

There are three friends who ride with me every month to our quilt guild meetings.  It's about a 40 minute drive so we laugh and talk and laugh some more.  Last year we decided we'd do a 12 1/2" Christmas quilt block exchange as our gift to each other.  This is my block for 1010.  :)  Cute, cute, cute...don't you think?  I used a pattern from one of my Art To Heart books.  It's hard to see here but I did a machine blanket stitch in black around each letter.  Of course, now that they're done I'm second guessing myself.  Do you think it needs anything else?  Is it too plain?  Christmasy enough?  Sigh.  We are our own worst critics don't you think?

Are any of you out there doing block exchanges for Christmas?  I've got about 20 now that I've collected from silent auctions at my guild and from these friends.  I think after this Christmas I may have enough to make a top  - my most treasured quilt is one where the blocks were made by friends so  I know a Christmas one will be doubly special.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

One Thousand Blessings - Day 18

591.  High school football games attended with friends
592.  Perfect fall days
593.  Swarovski crystals
594.  Christmas fabrics
595.  The scents of Christmas - cinnamon, cloves, fresh cut trees
596.  Panera Bread lunches with my sister
597.  Fresh turnip greens
598.  Dinners cooked by my husband
599.  Birds on my window
600.  Chipmunks scampering across my deck
601.  A cold glass of milk
602.  Seeing a traffic jam in time to go around it
603.  Friends who text me when they're sad so I can comfort them
604.  My Mother's clock hanging next to my desk
605.  Planning trips with my husband
606.  Light boxes
607.  Red polish on my toenails
608.  Warm gloves
609.  Sleeping babies
610.  Homemade jelly on hot biscuits
611.  Christmas movies
612.  Old photographs
613.  Hand lotion that smells like my grandmother
614.  The remote starter on my car
615.  My Daddy's hat hanging on my dresser mirror

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Ya'll I just have to tell you about something I've been doing this year.  Maybe all of you know about it but I didn't and since I discovered it I've been pretty impressed.  Over on my sideboard you'll see a button that says Swagbucks - Earn Free Prizes.  Swagbucks is a search engine just like Google or Yahoo - that's my non-computer geeky explanation.  :)  When I'm looking for something on the internet I go to Swagbucks and search from there instead of going to google and searching from there.  I don't do a whole lot of searching like some people do but in the little bit I've done this year I earned enough points to get five $5 gift cards to Amazon!  Since I totally love Amazon that $25 went on a quilty thing or two as quick as I got them.  I know $25 isn't much but if you do a lot of searching you could earn a lot more!  They have lots of other prizes/gift cards so if you don't want Amazon you can get something else.  So if you're at all interested please, please go over and click on the button and register.  Of course, I'm saying please because I get credit for everyone I refer.  :)  It's the easiest $25 I've ever earned.  All I did was ... nothing, really.  I just went to and searched for cookie recipes, Moda Maison de Garance fat quarters, Janome needles, Bible verses, medical information, all the stuff I search for normally.  I even noticed on another blog today someone else out there using Swagbucks.  We quilters, we're a smart bunch....we can find a way to earn money to buy quilty things in everything we do!  Remember, click on the button and follow the directions - you'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Love This Book!

I love all the Art To Heart books but this is my current favorite.  I've said it before but it bears repeating...picking a favorite quilt book or fabric is kind of like picking a favorite child or grandchild...can't be done!  But just for today - I want to make every single thing in here.  :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Polka Dots Anyone?

I went to the local quilt shop at my sister's.  On purpose.  To buy fabric.  Cotton prices are going up - I've heard anywhere from 30-40% in the new year.  The owner of this shop says she's boycotting any going over $9.99 a yard but I suspect she won't be able to for long.  If she does she might not be able to buy any new inventory!  I've got a lot of fabric in my stash, but like many of you there's a good bit that's so old I don't even like it any more.  I won't get rid of it but it will be mixed in with newer pieces as "blenders" or some of it made into just plain scrap quilts.  I find that my tastes haven't change a whole lot in the last five years...I still love Kansas Troubles fabrics...but I also am attracted now (I didn't used to ever be!) to brighter colors.  I love teal and raspberry, for instance, when five years ago I wouldn't have looked twice at those colors.  And polka dots seem to call my name.  :)
A couple, well maybe three, layer cakes, a jelly roll, 3 fat quarters, a quilt kit, some yardage, a couple of patterns and a big spool of thread.  I'm looking and looking at it thinking, "is this really enough to keep me from buying any more fabric for the next six months?...or more...or less?"  Do you get panicky thinking about not buying fabric?  It kind of makes my stomach hurt.  :(

Monday, November 29, 2010

One Thousand Blessings - Day 17

561.  Time with my sister
562.  Local quilt shops
563.  Wearing boots with jeans
564.  Bible verses that appear just when you're looking for them
565.  New blog friends
566.  Quilt kits
567.  Junk/antique shops
568.  Thanksgiving dinners
569.  Family
570.  Natural springs that make beautiful lakes
571.  Safe travel for people I love
572.  Good books that teach me more about God
573.  Quiet prayer time
574.  Salvation Army bell ringers
575.  Hallmark movies
576.  Walking trails
577.  Ear muffs
578.  Friends who miss me when I'm away
579.  The wonderful people who pick up my trash every week
580.  Neighborhood watch groups
581.  Country roads with trees on both sides
582.  Christian book stores
583.  Cute coffee mugs
584.  Fresh country eggs
585.  Toast made with real butter
586.  Dark chocolate
587.  Milk chocolate
588.  White chocolate - anyone see a trend here?
589.  Dogs with big brown eyes who lay on my bed
590.  Wool socks

Sunday, November 28, 2010

My New Roommate

When I opened my bedroom door the first morning I was at my sister's house this young lady came running in, jumped up on the bed, and snuggled right next to me as I did my morning devotions.  When I got up and turned on my computer she opened one eye, looked at me, closed it back and didn't move.  I went to shower and dress, came back, and she was in the same place.  She actually is my nephew's dog but she is visiting Nanny for a while so that her master and family can look for a new house.  But I think she was pretty at home, don't you?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pit Stops

I traveled last week to my sister's house - 400 miles from my door to hers.  I've made that trip about a hundred times I think and I know exactly where to stop, meaning where I think it's safe for a woman traveling alone to make bathroom stops, or food stops, or even a stop for a short nap in the car.  One of my favorite stops is a state park in Mammoth Springs, Arkansas.  There's a natural spring which forms a lake and the water goes over a dam, where they make electricity.  There's a path around the lake and since this park is about halfway for me I usually stop to walk the mile around.  If I don't stop to walk I'm really, really stiff by the time I get to my destination.
Of course there are about a million geese here so you have to walk carefully to avoid the goose droppings.  And there's another small problem here as well.  When you go into the visitor center to use the bathroom the attendant stops you to ask where you're traveling from and to and how many are in your party.  I've told them before that I am not comfortable saying I'm traveling alone with a half dozen people that I don't know standing around listening - I think that's dangerous.  They looked at me like I was insane.  They still ask - my protest had no impact.  I'm not a rude person but I try hard to totally ignore them.  They're quite persistent.

Another favorite stop is, of course, this one:
This particular McDonald's has a big parking lot for eighteen wheelers so I can park right there and there are people in and out all the time.  I've always hated their hand soap because it smells bad so if I could wait to go to the bathroom I would but this week they had a new soap that actually smelled good.  Yea!

But this trip this was my favorite pit stop:
This is Marshall's Dry Goods in Batesville, Arkansas.  It's a warehouse type place with row after row after row of fabric.  This isn't what I call quilt shop brand name's the fabric you find at WalMart or Alco's or maybe even Hancock's or JoAnn's.  I don't know enough about those chain places and their fabric to know but I think I recognized some.  They had Christmas fabrics for $1.99  a yard, regular fabric $ 3.99 a yard, 108" wide quilt backing $5.99 a yard.  I bought a few pieces that I will use for scrappy quilts.  Mixed in with other fabrics they will be perfect.  And the people were so nice and very very friendly - it might be a regular pit stop from now on!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Thanksgiving Thought

How do Thanksgiving cacti know it's Thanksgiving?  I mean some of them are Christmas cacti...some are Thanksgiving.  How do they know when to bloom?

My husband and I will celebrate Thanksgiving this year with both laughter and tears.  The laughter of children and the company of family makes all the cleaning and cooking and planning and shopping for groceries well worth the effort.  But we will miss those who aren't able to be with us and shed tears for those who have gone before us.  However, we will gave thanks for the sure knowledge that we will day join them at the banquet table of the Lord.  We will praise the one who makes this bounty possible, who comforts us when we cry, and takes joy in our laughter.  We will pray for those who are hungry and cold, for the leaders of our churches and our nation, and for each other.  And then we will feast on the following:

Roast Turkey with Maple/Orange Glaze
Southern Cornbread Dressing
Giblet Gravy
Cranberry Sauce
Green Beans with bacon and brown sugar
White Shoepeg Corn with cream cheese
Broccoli and Rice Casserole
Cranberry/Cherry/Pineapple Congealed Salad
Rusty's Pink Salad
Orange/Pineapple Cake
Coca Cola Cake
Pumpkin Pie
Mincemeat Pie

I'm wishing you all a joy filled Thanksgiving with people you love.  blessings, marlene

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Have You Tried These?

Seriously good.  And that's all I'm gonna' say about that.  Except for just this one tiny thing.  Is there anything that wouldn't be good if covered with fudge?  I'm just sayin'.

If you haven't read Grandmama Jane's post about Thanksgiving you really should.  I think she's right on target and I loved this post.  She talks about not letting Christmas rush us through Thanksgiving...savoring not just the food, but the moment.  Wise woman is Grandmama Jane.

I'm still quilting on the stocking quilt.  And I learned something else about free motion quilting.  I have a really nice handwriting when I try, but writing on a quilt...not the same thing.  :(    Oh and I learned another thing.  Some creatures who live in the forest must have deformed feet based on the stockings quilted down there in the blocks on the bottom.  Good thing I used green thread on the green blocks.

Monday, November 22, 2010

How Many Mugs Can You Make A Rug For In One Day?

Say that three times really fast...I dare you.  :)
I love this blue cup!  I got Blue Willow dishes when I got married 46 years ago...the old cheap kind from Japan that aren't cheap any more....and I've collected more over the years.  This isn't Blue Willow but I love any blue and white dishes because they remind me of the sweet family that gave me mine.  And I have a couple of friends who love blue too.  :)

I can't be thinking spring when Christmas is coming so I went back to that season and those colors and made another one similar to one I made last week.  This time I embroidered some Christmasy words on one on the picture to enlarge it so you can read them.  They didn't show up very good in red...should probably have done it in white...but that's ok, I'm learning.  ;)

Rug #3....Scrappy trees out of my scrap bin, leftover squares from a string quilt that I cut into triangles.  They're kind of wonky but I know a child who will love these.  :)

I've now made 6 of these and I must stop for a while!  Somebody out there make me!  I have other things to do, a block exchange to get going on, a quilt to finish quilting, a quilt top to put a border on, and Thanksgiving dinner to prepare.  But at least the madness of the iron search has stopped...the 5th one did the trick.  It's a Sunbeam, it gets good and hot, it holds a lot of water and makes a lot of steam, and doesn't cut off for 15 minutes.  Go Sunbeam!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

One Thousand Blessings - Day 16

526.  Thanksgiving
527.  Help in the kitchen
528.  Husbands who cook...sometimes
529.  Blog friends who post recipes
530.  Children decorating a Christmas tree
531.  Children dancing and singing "My God Is A Big Old God!"
532.  Audio books whose covers have descriptions in large type
533.  Prescription bottles that are easy to open
534.  Dishwashers
535.  Old fashioned tea towels
536.  Grandchildren old enough to give you advice on computer issues
537.  College students
538.  Kids who know exactly what they want for breakfast...every day
539.  Sister Schubert Frozen Rolls
540.  Cool Whip
541.  Fog
542.  My new car...and yes I've said that before but really!
543.  New calendars
544.  Those who care for Alzheimer's patients
545.  Cameras
546.  Golden leaves on brown grass
547.  First time grandparents
548.  Praise bands
549.  Clocks with loud ticks
550.  Horses running through a pasture.
551.  Beautiful quilt books
552.  Gray thread
553.  New scissors
554.  Christmas/Thanksgiving cactus
555.  Handel's Messiah
556.  Friends at church who see you carrying a new women's Bible study and say "I'm in!" without even asking when you're starting
557.  Missionaries
558.  Texts from your child proudly announcing a big thing in their lives
559.  Homemade laundry detergent
560.  Checkbooks when they balance

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Was A Very Good Day

It's been a busy day here on the lake.  I had lots to do...I made a pumpkin pie with the pumpkin I baked yesterday.  That's the first time I've baked a whole pumpkin but the pie was totally worth it.  That's what I had for lunch...pie.  I'm not positive but I'm pretty sure that pumpkin pie, when eaten alone in a house that holds no one but you, has no calories.  Any nutritionist would agree.  Madame Samm...not a word!  :)

I made a couple of mug rugs....
I love black and white...and the touch of silver made it even better.

And since we all  need to be getting ready for Christmas:
I love the speed of these and the way you can try different quilting techniques on something small enough to complete before you're tired of working on it.  :)

I sandwiched the stocking quilt today.  I used a fusible batting on this one that is part bamboo.  I liked the feel of it and it ironed well onto the top.  I smoothed and pressed and smoothed and pressed.  I turned around to get the back to iron it on back.  I thought I had made one but apparently not so I started searching through my stash and found a couple of fabrics I could use.  One was an old Debbie Mumm fabric that I had gotten in, and yes my face is red, in 1997!  It was so old that it had faded along the fold line!  That's another reason to get rid of your stash ya'll!

And then I cut 130 strips for the piano key border for the Santa quilt - I think that's enough, I hope that's enough!

I got the nicest gift yesterday from Debbie at Strawberry Patch.  I won it when she had a giveaway for her 900th post.
  I love the sweet little coin purse (I already have it in my purse today but I put my tissues in it - I always have tissues with me.  Isn't that what grandmothers do?    And I couldn't believe it...I had just looked in the Hancock's ad to see if their machine needles were on sale and Debbie sent a package, and I was on my last spool of gray thread!  Her timing was impeccable.  :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's Official - Thanksgiving Is Next Week!

I bought a turkey today.  That means Thanksgiving is next week because I only buy a turkey the week before Thanksgiving, ever.  It wasn't a turkey like that one in the picture.  I'm good, but I'm not that good.  I mean, I can eat a turkey, but kill it - not so much.  Pluck it - nope, not me.  Do whatever you have to do with the inside parts - never.  Frozen, that's my kind of turkey.  And despite what they say on the package about how long it takes to thaw one in the refrigerator it takes at least a day or two longer.  Found that out the hard way a couple of years ago.

What else did I do today?  Did I get myself into the sewing room to sandwich the stocking quilt top?  Did I  make the border for Santa?  Did I make another potholder or a mug rug or a table runner?  Did I sort through the Mount Vesuvius pile of fabric in my closet floor?  None of that.  I bought another iron.  I  know, if you're counting, that this is number 3.  But here's the story.  I'm taking the Shark back.  You know how I said it's supposed to shut itself off in 7 or 8 minutes and that's really too soon for me?  Mine shuts off in  less than 6 minutes.  The Procter/Silex I thought I paid $20 for...I checked the receipt and it was only $10! It doesn't shut itself off for one hour so I'll keep it as a backup.  Today I went to Big Lots looking for something else (for those of you who don't have one it's a large deep discount store that has seconds or returns or stuff like that) and as I was leaving there it was... a Black and Decker iron for $14 that, miracles, I don't think has an automatic shut off at all!  I read everything on the box and on the instruction sheet and it doesn't mention that.  I'll test it later tonight to be sure.  If it gets hot enough it's a keeper.  I've also explored every single iron any of you mentioned to me...some are a little too pricey for me.  However, there is this one Panasonic on Amazon that's $93 and change that's cordless and that the 6 reviews say gets really, really hot.  If the B&D doesn't work out I might try that one despite the price.  I'm convinced that if I try hard enough I'll find one that I like and that won't quit in 6 months.  Wish me luck.

I also instantly morphed into Wonder Woman today.  I have no idea how that  happened.  When I was cleaning out my pumpkin to bake it, yes I said bake it as in the whole pumpkin, I thought the strainer was in the sink but, alas, it was not.  I stopped up the sink.  Big time stopped up.  I, at first, couldn't get the plunger to force a vacuum at all...darn these hands.  My hands are weak from arthritis and they just don't have the strength to get that plunger to work.  But finally, after an hour or so, I did it!  I plunged.  The stopped up part went on it's merry way, and my sink is back to normal.  I think God must have put an angel's hands on mine to help, seriously.  No other way that could have happened.

And, in addition, my icemaker stopped up.  I shook, I jiggled, I said a few harsh words.  No ice would come out.  So I took the bin out - and you have no idea how hard that is when your hands don't cooperate with you - got the ice pick to it, and magic happened.  All the stopped up part came out (there was tons of "snow" in there!) and it worked again.  I know the ice pick isn't a good idea but really, how good an idea is a hair dryer either when you've got ice and water there?

What have you done today?  Were you Wonder Woman too?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Cutest Potholder - Don't You Agree?

I found this great tutorial over at Riley Blake Designs, submitted by Jina Barney, for the easiest and cutest potholder I've seen in a while.  If you haven't been to that website there are some really cute (and free!) patterns.  I love Riley Blake fabrics - the quality is outstanding and the colors so rich.  I made the potholder from scraps in my stash - not Riley Blake ones this time because I don't have enough of their fabrics to have scraps yet.  :(
I do have a wonderful stack of fat quarters that I'm petting every time I go in the sewing room though.  As soon as I get another couple of UFOs taken care of I've got a lap quilt in mind for those.

This is the potholder made from their pattern:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I was thinking this kind of Make-over, but I got this one instead!

You know all those makeovers they do on television like on Oprah where someone comes on looking all frumpy and sallow and they take her backstage and put on fabulous makeup and the perfect outfit and she comes out looking like Sandra Bullock or Whitney Houston or Paula Deen?  You know those makeovers that we all wish we could be the recipient of  think are really stupid and know they won't look that way at 6:00 in the morning?  Well I had one.  Or sort of.  My blog had one.  Several of you have commented on my "new look" and isn't it just the most beautiful, serene, peaceful blog you've ever seen?  I think it is and I love it and I click on it and just look at it sometimes.  :)  And smile.  And did you notice I have a button?  I feel like a presidential contender with my own button.  You may have a copy...feel free.

Well the makeover and the button were all done by my friend Madame Samm at Sew I Quilt, which is her personal blog and is a real day brightener to read.  You should go there and follow her because, trust me, it's worth the read every time she posts.  She also manages Stash Manicure,  where she schedules 6 guest post-ers (post people?) every week who give tips and advice on managing and using all that fabric we're addicted to.  You should follow there too because you don't want to miss a day "on a accident" as my grandson would say.  :)  When you visit her tell her I said hi - she'll love that.  Even though she's a computer whiz..and I'm not, and even though she's tiny and petite..and I'm not, and even though she can still multitask..and I can't, (yes I'm jealous!) and even though she's in Canada and I'm in a different place, she's one of the blog friends I've made (and many of you know you are in this category too) that I hold in my heart and who makes me smile when I think of her.  Her enthusiasm is contagious and her sense of humor touches my funny bone.  Thank you Madame Samm...I love the blog and you, not necessarily in that order.

And yes, that picture in my header is really my view on these fall mornings.  I am truly blessed.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Working Weekend!

With my husband in the deer woods it was a very quiet weekend at my house.  I didn't cook, unless you count scrambled eggs.  I didn't clean, unless you count making my bed.  Making my bed is done on automatic pilot ever since I was 23 years old and my mother-in-law came over one morning about 10:00 and commented on my unmade bed.  She apologized immediately and was horrified that she'd said anything at all and I wasn't offended since she could see me with two babies crying, spitup on my blouse, cereal on the kitchen floor, and toys in the oven.  Don't ask.  But ever since then I've made a double effort to make my bed when I get out of it.  On to the weekend...I sewed.  And sewed and sewed and sewed.  Love it!
First I put the third border on Rosy Cheeks Santa.  I'm not ready for the 4th border yet but I'm still thinking piano keys.  This started out as a panel - that middle portion.  I put on the red border, the flying geese and the 2nd red border.

Then I put together all those green blocks I cut last week and ironed on the applique and did the blanket stitching for this:

This pattern is from the book 'Tis The Season.  I used mostly darker greens with khaki Kona cotton for the background of the stockings panel and I love that muted look.  I made it a bit larger than the pattern, squares a little larger plus more of them so I had to widen the stockings panel and add an extra tree and another stocking or two.  I have a particular place where I want to hang it so the bigger size works for me.

Today is the day I go to quilt guild.  Well, night really.  We start at 5:30 with a workshop, have a sandwich supper provided by members at 6:30 and our business meeting at 7:00.  I'll be showing these two quilts that I quilted last week.
The official name of this one is Blue Skies Over Planet Earth and the pattern came from a quilt shop in Louisiana (whose name I can't remember right now).  But it should be called A Drunk Monkey because my free  motion quilting looks like that's who did it.  :)  Don't you love the sun and shadow on it - it's laying on the floor in front of my patio door in the mid morning.
Krystal's Krazy Stars will be mailed this week, after I show it at guild, to my niece for her wedding present.  She got married last spring.  I'm not tooooo late.

I don't know about you all but I feel so blessed!  I'm able to stay at home and sew when I want (mostly), I am warm and fed and am surrounded by people I love and who love me, and I have a God who holds me in His heart.  The beauty of this world that I see every day fills me with awe and the friends I've made blogging put a smile on my face.  I am so thankful.