Saturday, November 30, 2013

The New Month Begins

As I look out the side window I see that we still have the pretty snow of a couple of inches from Thanksgiving, I realize that we have the door of another month of closing oh so quietly.  As the December window opens to let in the cool but crisp air as the sunlight reflect brilliantly bright on the undisturbed snow against the white fence of the neighbors fence. But as I look I can see that the wild rabbit has been to visit. Does he like the wild apples from the neighbor’s tree? Or is that the chipmunk that likes to tease the cats by running across the deck a mere inch off the glass doors?

I see that I haven’t posted since the 10th, but with the holidays and the swaps and the hand quilted baby quilt that is in the hoop; I would once again re-literary that busy is a vastly understated word and of course, without fail I must confess that I bring this on myself. Unfortunately I can show you any pictures of what I’ve been making right now but once the swaps are completed; it will be pictures galore!!

And the really bad thing is every year as the ball, cherry or apple drops, I tell myself that I will change, that I’ll do things differently.  But then the newsletters and e-mails start to roll in full of distracting pictures on BOM’s, new patterns, of a new swap that will be starting. you know the ones I’m talking about… the ones has us ohhing & ahhing and dropping that now new UFO flutters to the floor. The ones that has most quilters rushing to the nearest quilt shop or even worse – the computer.  Where they will lulled by the siren of quilting to look, click and buy more than the one thing they were looking for in the first place.  Now realize that I’m not complaining by in means. I personally believe it the quilters, crafters and such are the true stimulators of the economy. 

But anyhow- where was I going?  Oh yeah, this year as those distracting pictures are coming into my e-mails; I’m actually unsubscribing  from them. I’m looking at my yahoo groups & decided that clearing those out too would be a good move. Next on the chopping block will be the endless listing of blogs that I follow.  Most of those I picked up during a series of blog hops that I did.  Do I visit many of them or was it just a chance to win something?  I can spend days just reading those.  Yes I learn many things that I would like to try and do. Yes I have won a few things and yes I can still find a boat load of free patterns to take up the space on my hard drive where they will just sit without anything being done with them.

Then we have all those computer games that I love so much. It doesn’t matter the type they are albeit hidden objects, marble matching, bubble popping, alien invaders, they are equally represented in my ‘puter. Again another distracting factor for hours on end.  Humm… what it sound like is the possible cure for this problem would be to ask for a good old fashion kitchen timer. Something that I set for an hour and place across the room.  LOL.  Wow - now that is something I could really get behind of. Now I going to have to get me one.  Wonder if there is an acorn one? I would love a really cool one. hint hint ;)LOL.

But this next year is about less time on the computer and more on the “ME” stitching. Several people have brought it to my attention that everything I make is going out the door for some sort of reason.  Which means in truth I get nothing done for this house, my family or me. So now I going to be super choosey on what I take on come the new year.  I have decided that “Scrappy” is the word of the year.

I have two challenges that I offered up to my Wednesday morning quilt groups to help me accomplish my decision.  Starting Jan.1st, I will be implementing a “Start the New Year Scrappy” challenge. What this will be is that I’ll doing for that one is as the name says. So what is involved?

  • On Jan.1st I’ll start making a scrappy queen size quilt for myself and have it COMPLETED by years end. Yes - I know that is a whole year but that is a simple goal.  Just one completed new project to start off with.
  • It can be any pattern that we want to make, so I thought I would do something from the many blogs and free patterns that I have on my hard drive.  I have heard that Bonnie Hunter has some wonderful scrappy patterns to work  with.  So off I go to Bonnie’s website & I picked the Bricks & Stepping Stones pattern. 
  • For the Bricks I’m going to have no repeat prints but the little 4- patches are using 2” squares so repeats are okay there. That is once I get enough black pieces.  I’m going to have to figure how to acquire them rather it be trading, bartering or some other means. 

As for the second one, I’m going to do an “UFO No More” challenge.  I have a list of projects that I’m going to do. It’s a simple challenge you would think; but it’s harder than I thought this current year.  So I’m grabbing the bootstraps and sticking to my guns!!!  Here is what the list looks like currently:

  • Sunflowers and Crows. This is a personal design that I was hand quilting before putting the dragonflies went in.
  • Mystery.  This was my 1st mystery and I want to try to a ribbon border around it just to see if I can. 
  • Next is a nine-patch scrappy swap from group in 2012.  I have 25/30 blocks that I’m going add to and make into 1 of 2 twin size light weight quilts for the guest room. 
  • Stitchin’ Stitches Round Robin.  Now this is a new project that is a new adventure for me.  I am wandering into the world of round robins.  I will be working in a small of group of 6 ladies on this. This should be interesting to do.
  • Tulips from Wisconsin.  This is the tulips that Ms. M from Wisconsin sent me last year.  It’s the one where I’m hand appliquéing the blocks so it takes me a bit longer to do. It slowed considerably that it’s no longer a WIP but an UFO.
  • The Q&N 2012 Challenge top which is in Phase 2, which is the appliquéd portion of the 1st added on sash to enlarge it.  I’m still working on it with Ms. D. of Canada and is a long term project.
  • Hand Quilting Ms. P’s grandbaby’s quilt.  This one I’m doing as a special request so not really an UFO but a commitment.
  • Of course I’m still working on the FWS blocks but once again that is a long term project as a BOW.  I need to catch back up on those blocks too.
  • Then I have a cross-stitch flower project that has been in UFO status that has actually turned a decade older in my neglect.  There are so many errors in it that I can hide it in plain sight now.  LOL

Now I have a few rules that go along with an challenge.  For every 5th UFO project I will be able to pick a New project to start but it must be finished.  NO UFO status allowed before moving on to another new project. From the New I can pick any kit that I have assembled, received as gifts, whatever.  If no sewing has started on it, it’s not an UFO.  I must show the state in which each UFO is beginning with and another once I have finished it to show proof of it’s “UFO No More” status as the last step of completion. Seems simple enough right? We shall see.

I will continue to do my book reviews but I’m going to separate those as I have something like a half dozen to do right now. And they would take up just as much space as this posting is up to this point easily.

Now that I have put pen to paper, (so to speak) stating my goals with the turning of the old to the new, I hope that you might join me in my challenges.  Please feel free to share your goals in the comment area. If you have a blog link you can leave that too as a way of sharing.  Do you have a great way to store neatly stacks of scrappy squares and rectangles as I try to emulate Bonnie’s technique please tell me how you keep them that way.

Well it’s been nice to see y’all but I have some stitching to work on. Without much ado…





Sunday, November 10, 2013

What Can I Say … Other Than … Busy

I would love to be able to tell you about my quilting week but I have been working on Secret Santa gifts. I have gotten myself in deep again like I do every year to compensate the lack of much of celebration here.  But that is something that I won’t go into here.  I can say that I have two of my Secret Santa package items done. They just need to be wrapped in pretty paper before they are boxed to go.  I have two that are in progress to almost the half way point.  I think I got ideas for the other two.  And I have been working on the Dragonfly baby quilt in the evenings.

I do have something quilty that I can show you. I do take part in the Homesteading Today group and it’s time for our 3rd forum block lottery.  So I got my piece of 12” Cloisonné Koi Fish fabric that came from China.   It is s00oo pretty. And I went scrap pulling and came up with a creative design that has a Churn Dash taste to it.  I call it “Koi Pond”.  I love how the block came about.  I have a little bit left that I want to use for an appliqué project that I have in my head.  But that is for another time and after the new year. 

DSCN3770   DSCN3774    DSCN3775

With the chill in the air these past weeks, I considered that this was a good night for the oven to be on.  For one of these supper,  I tried something different. I basically made “a wing it” recipe of deconstructed Stuffed Cabbage Roll Casserole. I made two versions of it.  I stripped a small head of cabbage dividing it between a 8 X 8 and 9 X 13 pans equally.  I then mixed some cooked rice & burger, layering them on the 8 x 8 bed of cabbage then poured a small can of Hunt’s tomato sauce.  In the other pan I mixed the last 3 ingredients then added to the pan.  I stuck them in a 350*  for around an hour.  The little pan I left uncovered but put foil on the larger one.  We ate the little one and it wasn’t half bad.  We are sticking the other one in the freezer for later.  I was happy to find a way to do a previously time consuming dish that I use to get from my now deceased MIL once a year when her & her son – E. would spend all day making.  Which is funny since I hated stuffed cabbage rolls as a child.

There have been nights that have me so achy that I use my heated blanket as a big heating pad.  Even with that and 2 Aleve, it can still be hours before I can fall  to sleep. So this is when I do my reading.  Yup I do a lot of reading.  It’s nothing to read a 250/300 page story on my e-reader at this point. Now I do venture out of the fiction side of things and head to the Non-fiction side of the library.  So this time I pulled on from a genre that I do enjoy reading about. Horses!! I’m still like many other girls that went through my “horse” stage.  And like many, I never grew out of.  I begin with “Ivory Pal: Born to Fly Higher” by Cindy McCauley.

ivory pal


Try as they might, the trainers could not get Ivory Pal to comply with the "traditional" Tennessee Walking Horse training techniques. The beautiful palomino colt had completely given up, shut down, relegated to a box stall 24/7, until he met his new partner Rafael Valle. His fate was about to take a U-turn. A heartwarming true story of a "show horse reject", his trials and triumphs, and his relationship with Valle built on trust and mutual respect rather than on fear and intimidation.

This was an interesting book to read. This Love Story will have you remembering why you loved the those horse stories when you was a little girl.   I actually know a little bit of the "traditional" training for TWH's from a farm that I lived on as a teen that my parents managed. I remember, even back then; the pity I felt for those wonderful horses every time I saw the owner & trainers would show up to the barns. I was elated to read an account from a person who turned the TWH world on it's head.

This was a beautifully written book from everyone associated with the book. It moved me to tears and it also shows what can happen when a right person and right horse comes together. It's like the planets were in alignment when Rafael Valle and Ivory Pal meet by chance on a weekend. And the story can only get better for the both. Some times it not conforming to others plans but finding your own way by yourself. Or even with a partner that the cosmos has lined up and dropped into your lap. 

I highly recommend this wonderful, heartwarming story to anyone likes horses, have horses, dreams of horses of any kind. This touching story shows love can move mountains. I will give this book a solid 5 stars. The only thing I felt a loss over was the fact that on my e-reader I couldn’t see the pictures that are clearly throughout the book.  But  I will be asking my rural library to bring this in as it will appeal to many on several levels.

This book came to me by Hooves and Tales/Bookmasters Inc. via net Gallery for my honest opinion. The opinion stated above is my own without influence from those involved in the making of this book. This book was released on Sept. 1, 2012

I confess that having my e-reader does make things convenient but I love the feel of real pages in my fingers.  The weight of a book reminds me that books have been my constants in my life.  Through the good and the bad, the bindings hold together the means of escaping into my world.  Anyhow, right now on my bedside is an actual book that I recently finished.

I just finished reading  Beyond the Storm by Carolyn Zane.  This is the 1st book in the Quilts of Love Series. From what I understand, these books are able to stand alone by lots of authors.  This 268 page book was made available by Abingdon Press. There are several words that come to mind.  Heart-wrenching, Teary, Hopeful, Surviving and Survival .

beyond the storm


After a tornado rips through her town, store owner Abigail comes across a piece of fabric from a wedding dress among the devastation. Abigail is moved to start collecting other swatches of fabric she finds – her neighbor’s kitchen curtains, a man’s necktie, a dog’s bed – which she stashes in shopping bags. As she pursues her seemingly absurd quest, horrible realities spark the question, “What kind of a God would allow such tragedy?” As she struggles to reconcile her right to happiness amidst the destruction, Abigail begins piecing together a patchwork quilt from the salvaged fabric in hopes it will bring some peace. But a new relationship with
Justin, a contractor, may require too much of her fragile heart. Will her pain and questions of faith give way to the courage to love?

This bases for this book has me looking at the Super Tornados of the past year as in Joplin, Tuscaloosa and many other villages, towns and cities that were effected .  I had found the book while perusing the NetGallery books available when I walked into the library to find the book on the New Books Shelf. yeah!!Yeah!! I was excited to see this book that I actually started to read it before I even checked it out.

The book had me in tears at some points and I’ve been thinking how it would change me if I went through this myself.   Even though I personally haven’t gone through one of these monsters, I felt that I could connect the characters in the book.  Yes - I do believe that there are monsters out there and that they are real.  In my own life I have been in situations that has me questioning my own faith. But what these people real or fictional are dealing with seems to put on a whole different level.  I was moved as I read on.  I connected beyond just reading a story.  To me that makes for a good read and again reminds me that healing can come about in many forms, even that of a quilt.  I even like the the discussion questions that was included in the back of book. 

I not only recommend this book, I would buy copies and put them in packages for my friends.  It doesn’t just reach out to quilters but I feel that it reach out to all kinds of readers.  This book makes me excited to see what the rest of the books in this series pans out.  Out of 5 stars I would have to give them 10.  This is a series worth keeping an eye out for in the future. 

This week I have several books coming to the end. Including a exciting new series by Nora Roberts's “Dark Witch”.  Keri Arthur’s “Kiss the Night Goodbye” which is book 4 in the Nikki & Michael series as a start of the 4 books that should be on review next time. 

I have to say that things are in a constant hairy - scary state of mayhem as I work on those 6 different Secret Santa's and that wonderful dragonfly baby quilt for Mrs. D..  I do tend to get myself into these situations and even as I start freaking out, bouncing around from one ideal or project like a headless chicken; I know that somehow I will get things done.  I know that at the end of it all, I will breathing a sigh of relief as I sit in awe over all the great goodies that I have received in return.  Even as I frantically speed towards the end, I am already thinking that I need to start earlier next year… and will most likely end up right back in the flying pan come the year’s end. 

I tell myself that the next year will be different, that I will work on knocking down that UFO list, those WIP’s that I have inherited from friends and work on those that I have started myself and then there is the one or three projects that I want to make.  You know … the typical quilter’s disease… there is a;ways something new to grab our attention.  That new pattern, gadget, fabric -- whatever it may be.  We all suffer from in it with a variety symptoms and there are no cures to found. Which begs the question: would you take the cure if one is found?  Granted we would save a fortune, for this is not a cheap endeavor by far.   And the reason we do it can surprise those who would take the time to ask.  But where would we be if there was no quilts sent out in the world . Some interesting questions to leave you with as I sign off and send this across airwaves.  So goodnight my lovelies.


Friday, October 25, 2013

As the Weather Turns…

I start thinking of the dreaded “s” word that will soon be drifting down it’s lacey, lazy way.  Slowly at first maybe, accumulation not until later; possibly as soon as mid-November.  I look around myself as I take inventory of the book stash and projects on hand for those days that just going to the mailbox will be a chore.  Even now, I’m slightly bundled up with  a thermal, cardigan sweater and with socks on no less.  And those who know me well enough, knows that I’m a barefoot kind of gal.  I have yet another cup of mocha creation of Almond Swiss Mocha coffee and Dark Hot Chocolate mix… yummm. There ain’t nothing like it on a brisk day of a temp. 53*.

On inspection, I find that I’m not short of quilt related things to do this winter.  Maybe I'll finish some of these projects on hand.  One can never tell about these things,  you know. I have projects in many different stages just waiting for me.  I rejoice in the fact that I have made the smart move for getting  my little Sony PS-300 e-reader.  And as long as there is internet access, I can download to my hearts content.  When all else should fail like the power in some wild snow storm, I have squirreled away 2 large brown bags of paperback books to read by candle light.   To keep my fingers nimble, I have plenty of hand stitching laid away.  I even have some yarn bits put aside for making my knitted pin cushions.  An ongoing crochet blanket that only comes out on the coldest of days as I have been working it with dual  yarns that would have me sweating like I was in sweat lodge any other time of the year.  It’s a massive piece, a super generous King size that is about 10.5’ wide and only about a third of the way done. 

In the floor hoop this week, we have Ms. D’s baby quilt.  I’m using simple black Coats & Clarks All Purpose thread.  The reason is black will pop against the white and the block colors.  I’m pleased with the results so far.   This, of course; is being hand quilted in a simple running stitch.  This photo shows just Sunday’s afternoon /evening work.  I had the 1st three Lee Child’s books on cd going as I stitched the time away. Debbieann's Baby in the Hoop


I went off and made two triangle pin cushions for a couple of gift boxes.  I had to hide them as the cats try to steal them to play with.  Silly Kitties! 


I worked on many things this week.  I finished the Harlequin Halloween quilt top.  Come next Wednesday, I’ll be sandwiching all together.  I also finished the Lemon RedWork block before moving onto Beets.


I went back and revisited FWS and have come up another 3 blocks.  This week i made #6 – Big Dipper, #19 – Checkerboard and #9 – Box.  Which is in the pictures below.  But I realized yesterday that I had already made the Box block.  Uggg!! I hate when that happens, but it’s not a big issues as I will needed an additional  34 blocks to make the King size quilt.

DSCN3757   DSCN3759   DSCN3760

Then I spent time with the e-reader as finding out it’s actually easy to deal with while laying down.  I find that I don’t have to fight with it like I would the larger books.  Up for review is “Escaping Reality-The Secret Life of Amy Benson#1” written by Lisa Renee Jones.  This ARC e-book comes to me via NetGallery for the purpose of reviewing & giving my honest opinion.  This book was published by Julie Patra Publishing on July 22, 2013. As always the thoughts that follow are of my own mind and not associated with any of the parties in the making of this book.



Infinite possibilities....
Infinite passion.....
Infinite danger....
His touch spirals through me, warm and sweet, wicked and hot. I shouldn't trust him. I shouldn't tell him my secrets. But how do I not when he is the reason I breathe? He is what I need.
At the young age of eighteen, tragedy and a dark secret force Lara to flee all she has known and loved to start a new life. Now years later, with a new identity as Amy, she's finally dared to believe she is forgotten-even if she cannot forget. But just when she lets her guard down, the ghosts of her past are quick to punish her, forcing her back on the run.
On a plane, struggling to face the devastation of losing everything again and starting over, Amy meets Liam Stone, a darkly entrancing recluse billionaire, who is also a brilliant, and famous, prodigy architect. A man who knows what he wants and goes after it. And what he wants is Amy. Refusing to take "no" as an answer, he sweeps her into a passionate affair, pushing her to her erotic limits. He wants to possess her. He makes her want to be possessed. Liam demands everything from her, accepting nothing less. But what if she is too devastated by tragedy to know when he wants more than she should give? And what if there is more to Liam than meets the eyes?

I really enjoyed this book as it caught my attention from the first page with the first sentence with the mysterious envelop.  I could feel the  fight-or-flight  reflex as it gripped our leading lady “Amy” .   The author uses her 1st person writing so that  we see things progress in “Amy’s” eyes.  The fear the letter that is from her “handler” has her on the run again from her “life”  and onto the airport as her instructions tell her to do.  There as she waits for her flight, her eyes connect with him - who is tall, dark & handsome who is so-o-o focused on her. 

Him - he’s name is Liam.  He is the epitome of women dreams, with hints of bossiness that sends tingles up your spine.   And “Amy”  finds him to be seated next to her in first class on the airplane and looks like he can chase away all of Amy’s boogieman back to the closet from which it came.  He causes her to forget everything around her and has the voice that is soothing.  From there things get all hot & steamy as Amy allows Liam to take her places she hasn’t experienced before.  But as the book goes on, Amy begins to wonder if Liam is her “protector” or  is he her “handler” . 

The cliff hanger that we are left with has us panting for more.  This book will have you rethinking what you think you know as it’s equal parts of suspense, mystery and erotic.  I must give a word of caution: this book has been given a PG -17 due to the adult sexual contents.  I personally would give this a hearty 5 stars rating as it left me wanting more just like a my favorites shows do with their cliff hanging season finale!!  Ms. Jones… I’m so waiting for the next book & I’m hunting down your other books too!!

Well I was going to add a couple more book reviews to this post but I think I’ll just do a “Reads & Review”  later in the week.  Hope to see you there. Thanks for stopping in.  Please feel free to leave me a comment. The Girls also thought they needed a picture this week – so here they are on the freezer watching me stitch up those dragonflies on Sunday.

The Inspectors B


Friday, October 18, 2013

Quilting, Canning, Reading & Reviewing – Two Weeks Worth

So why is the blog late this weekend?   I actually have a good reason this time around…. I swear.

Well it’s because I spent Saturday cleaning house and quilting on an UFO that was given to me.  It’s a pattern called “Harlequin Halloween” quilt.  Which I am proud to say,  I got all the rows put together .  It’s made from blacks, oranges, & white fabrics.  Once it’s finished, I already have plans for it.  As you can see the “Girls” decided that their input was needed as they was more than happy to give me their opinions.  From there I moved over to my Redwork. I’m on the “Pears”  square which is almost finished. Giving me 4blocks done. 


Sunday was spent canning white potatoes in a pressure cooker.  At the point that I headed home there was 13 quarts cooling on Mrs D’s counter.  Some are big chunks, small round slices and a few little chunks.  These are potatoes that were left in the field after the machinery go through.  Once that happens, you are allowed to go and pick up any left behinds.  But they might have been hit by the machinery, they either need to be used with in a month; or  find a way to preserve them.  Which led to learning how to can them.  With the copy paper box that I took over there today, I would say it was about a 1/3 of them.  We are thinking by the time it is all said & done; we will have around 3 or 4 dozen quarts put a way. 

After potatoes, we are thinking of what to do with all the wild apples that are just getting ran over.  I’m thinking of apple butter myself.  That is something I can do in my crock-pot here at home.  I’m thinking that I might do a mix of sizes for that. We love apple butter and it makes nice gifts too.  I like putting some on a pork roast just before putting it in the oven. Yum!!   Mrs D is thinking along the lines of pie filling and maybe some applesauce.  I like to fry them to put on things like  ham, pancakes, waffles, ice cream, etc.. I mean with the bumper crop this year, there are plenty just waiting to fall and the best part is they are FREE -- just like my potatoes were.  One of my favorite four letter words!!  LOL.  I can see that there are different type apple trees around here with their different skin colors so that should make for a nice mix of sweet and tart apples to play with. 


On the reading front, I have been doing a bit more of that  as I downloaded 8 more books to my e-reader.  I have a variety of materials to work with just to keep things from getting stale as I do most of my reading in bed as I try to doze off.  The truth is no matter if I go to bed at 11 pm or 2 am, I usually don’t get to sleep until 2:30 – ish.  There is a medical term for it but anyhow the e-reader is light enough that it’s easy to handle while I read with it’s one pound weight. 

So far I have read “After The Kiss  by Lauren Layne. This one will have you thinking of words like: Steamy, Hot or Oh My!.
This e-book came to me through NetGallery for my review & honest opinion so please keep that in mind as this is only my opinion and not one associated with the book. This is the first in the  “Sex, Love, & Stiletto Series”  This was published on 8/26/2013 by Random House Publishing Group-Loveswept.


In the first book of a delightful new series from Lauren Layne, the star columnist of Stiletto magazine will do anything for a story. Anything . . . except fall in love.

Julie Greene loves flings. Loves steamy first dates, sizzling first kisses, and every now and then, that first sexy romp between the sheets. Comfy pants, sleepy Sundays, movie nights on the couch? Shudder. But when Julie gets assigned the hardest story of her career—a first-person account of that magical shift between dating and “I do”—she’ll need a man brave enough to give a total commitment-phobia a chance at more.
Normally, Mitchell Forbes would be exactly that man. A devastatingly hot workaholic who tends to stay in relationships for far too long, he should be the perfect subject for Julie’s “research.” But what Julie doesn’t know is that Mitchell is looking to cut loose for once in his life. And the leggy journalist notorious for avoiding love is exactly the type of no-strings fling he’s looking for. In other words, Mitchell is the polar opposite of what Julie needs right now. And, at the same time, he’s exactly what she wants.

It didn’t take me very long to read the 156 pages but it’s fast pace did keep me in grossed in the story line.  Now we all have read the stories that start out with a harmless joke, bet  or betrayal before, but this book thinking about the “chick flicks” we all love to watch when no one is looking.  You know the ones I’m talking about.  (wink, wink)  Lauren takes you into the realm of a “big name”  woman’s magazine editor’s office.  Our female main lead - Julie Greene will do anything for the sake of “research” for her column and has the (mis ?)- fortune to met Mitchell  and the story takes off from there.  I won’t give too much away with this little gem of a book that had me giggling at some fun antics that the characters find themselves in.  But the love scenes are steamy, with hot details and has visions of a “Scarlett O'Hara” style southern woman delicately fanning herself and muttering “Oh My!!” in attempt to keep from swooning.  I really enjoyed the book and can’t  wait for the next book in the series “Love the One You're With  in the Sex, Love &Stiletto Series #2 by Lauren Layne and is due out December 09, 2013. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and give it 5 out 5 stars. 

Next I have up for review is “ The Icecutter’s Daughter” by Tracie Peterson.  This is the 1st book in the Land of Shining Water Series.  This book could be described as thought provoking as the other Land of Shining Water book that I read.  I would go as far as to say it’s Endearing, Knowledgeable and an Amazing Delight to read.  This book come to me from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing group for free in exchange for my honest opinion. This my opinion and is not associated with anyone involved in the making of this book.  Once I was finished with it I happily donated it to my local village library in Barryton, MI.  This was the second book that I read of Tracie Peterson and in this series.  You might remember when I read “The Quarryman’s Bride” and gave my review here.


Overview – First book in the Land of Shining Water Series

As the lone female in a houseful of men, Merrill Krause dedicates her life to caring for her family and their business, as her dying mother asked. Besides, it suits her; she's never felt like she fits what most people expect in a girl—she'd rather work with her father's horses and assist with the ice harvest. And though she's been mostly content up to this point, a part of her wonders if there will ever be anyone who will notice her amid the bevy of brothers determined to protect her from any possible suitors.
When Rurik Jorgenson arrives in their small Minnesota town to join his uncle's carpentry business, he soon crosses paths with Merrill. But unlike other men, who are often frightened away by her older brothers, Rurik isn't intimidated by them or by Merrill's strength and lack of femininity. The attraction between them begins to build...until Rurik's former fiancé shows up with wild claims that bring serious consequences to Rurik.

Can Rurik and Merrill learn to trust God—and each other—when scandal threatens their newfound love?

This is another well this written story by Tracie Peterson.  I once again felt drawn again into the story as we visited Minnesota on the last last day in the year 1895.  As Tracie historically takes us back the end of the 19th century with her care of proper detail  during her research. She makes you connect with the characters. You can almost feel the bone chilling cold as Merrill  opens the book out in the barn trying to assist one of the family’s prized Belgium mares give birth.  You feel the weight on her shoulders upon the death of her mother, the lost of having what could be  and the family “tradition”  of caring for the male members as the only remaining female in the house.  You can feel the pain & suffering for the lost at the chance for her own future with her own husband-to-be Rurik as she breaks both of their hearts by running away from her heart and given into her duty bound responsibilities.  Only to have him leave and come back again.  The struggle of Faith and “Tradition”  is a struggle that we all we can relate to at one time or another in our  lives.  Can forgiveness find it’s way in all the needed places?  I won’t give anymore away the great story that will have you questioning  yourself about  what you wondering  what would you do in this situation.  Could you make a different choice?   Would you chose between what is expected or your dreams?  I love that Tracie leaves you thinking about the moral of the story long after you are done reading the story.  It could leave you having some interesting discussion with those around you. I could keep going on but what I will do is tell you that you need to read this book as I gave it 5 out of 5 stars.  I have to admit I’m looking for more books by Tracie Peterson in my near future.  She has quickly endeared her books to my “must read” authors. 


This week I found myself still in the middle of canning potatoes.  By the time we got finished on Wednesday, I have 40 quarts put away for the winter.  It will be nice that I’ll be able to save the potato money and use it on some thing like meat and stretch the family budget just a bit more.  I am glad to have learned a new skill that I can put to use in the future.  Now I want my own pressure cooker and collection of jars to play with.  Hey… yet another thing to that makes me feel like a pioneer lady from 2 centuries ago.  This is what half the stash looks like just before I had to find some storage room for the “fruits of my labor”.  So now I have canned potatoes and tomatoes.  I’m still thinking about apple butter … and apple pie filling … fried apples…. yes I have apples on the brain.  LOL.


In the Redwork Challenge front I have finished my pumpkin and pears blocks.  I am currently working on block #5 lemons.  These are such a delightfully simple project that I work on in the evenings as I relax.  And with all this canning - that is a blessing.  I now have show you the pictures of course….

DSCN3743  DSCN3751

 Of course I got that Harlequin Halloween quilt top finished this week after I was able to wrestle it away from the “Girls”.  Once I figured out that it was better to undo the diamonds that had been put together to get it to go together properly.  This was the first diamond pattern that I have attempted and it’s not for the faint of heart.  I had to starch the dickens out of them to keep them in shape when piecing them together.  But without much ado … the top is made.

DSCN3749   DSCN3750

Now that the hard part is done, I can move on to the those Secret Santa projects that I need to get cracking on.  I finally got that dragonfly baby quilt in the floor hoop for hand quilting and only two and half weeks later than I planned.  So much for staying on a timeline (rolling eyes here).   And with that, I’ll sign off for this week.  Thanks for stopping by  and yes comments are always welcomed.   Which reminds me…. since I had one comment  on the subject of making my FWS quilt a queen or king, I had one comment and made the choice to extend it in hopes of more comments.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Reads & Reviews

So this is the “Reads & Reviews” portion of my blog this week.  I know that I had fallen way behind on sharing my current reading materials with you since my last review in August.  Well I’ve been trying to play catch by reading non stop.  It’s sort of like cramming for  that final exam in school.  I had at least a half (?) dozen books to read for the reviews that stretched across many genres.  There is a number of titles up for review and I hope that one or more of them peak your interest.  What I’m going to do is split them up a bit as there is quite a number of them.   And oh yeah…I’ll going to do the reviews in alternating colors so that it will make it easier to differ in between each other.  So here we go folks.

The first book up for review is “Untraceable”  by S. R.  Johannes. The overview is provided by site.


Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival. When her dad goes missing on a routine patrol, Grace refuses to believe he's dead and fights the town authorities, tribal officials, and nature to find him. One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating accent and a secret. As her feelings between him and her ex-boyfriend get muddled, Grace travels deep into the wilderness to escape and find her father. Along the way, Grace learns terrible secrets that sever relationships and lives. Soon she's enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it's going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to save everything she loves

I found it refreshing that the author made the choice to have our heroine to be a strong , determined and capable. That she could tackle the hard issues that she faces throughout the book with out the stereo-typing of short skirts, high heels and in need of a “male” to do all the hard work. But she also made her “human” with feelings all on to her own.  The story grips you from the word go and keeps in a whirlwind of emotions all the way through until the last page.  I won’t give a hint on how this book ends, but I will tell you it was so worth reading!  It had a more “real life” feel to it even though it’s fiction thanks to the wonderful wording the Shelli uses. She is able to make you feel like you are right there.  It took me back to when I lived in Tennessee as a pre-teen and ‘venturing out in the woods myself.  I could hear the birds, the crunching of the undergrowth and smell the dampness all around me again. This book has many things going of it in family/grown up issues, adventure, a bit of a love triangle, and brings the subject of animal cruelty to the foreground. The book makes me wanting more from S. R. Johannes and I hope to read from her in the near future.  I have to give this book 5 out of 5 stars.  I have to admit it but for  a YA Book… it can cross the age barrier without any problems.

Next comes, “The Companions: The Sundering,"  Bk.1 by R. A. Salvatore.  The overview is from Barnes &

This latest installment in New York Times best-selling author R.A. Salvatore's beloved fantasy saga, The Companions moves Salvatore's signature hero Drizzt into a new era of the Forgotten Realms. As Drizzt's fate hangs in the balance, he reflects on the lives of the trusted allies who stood by his side throughout his early life—the friends now known as the Companions of the Hall. Meanwhile, the first stirrings of the Sundering begin.

Now this will have an interesting arrangement for each of the books in this series.  With each new book we will introduced to different author.  Now I have come across this before in a few series, sometimes it’s good and other times, not so much.   This book comes to me via NetGallery in exchange for an honest review. meaning that this is just my own opinion so please take it with a grain of salt knowing that it is no reflect on the author, the publishing house and anyone else associated with the making of this book.   One thing to know is that it helps to read the previous books by the author in order to get a better understand of the characters.  I have admit that I haven’t read the Drizzt’s book in many, many years.  I was at one point an avid D&D person about ohhhh … 25 years ago. Wow talk about dating myself…LOL.   Anyhow as I read on, I like the way the details come about. You almost can see Salvatore’s love for gaming  come forth in the background.  Although I have read some of the previous books way back in the day, I felt that I was in mid-story.  Once I looked past that little hurdle, the story was put together well.   For as long as the author has been writing, it’s nice to see him come full circle and returning to his roots.  He was a great writer that had some passable books but this isn’t one of them; for the better.  I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

I read this too.  “Corpse Flower”   by Gloria Ferris.  This ebook came to me from Dundurn press, via NetGallery; so for the clarification. This is my opinion to be taken with that preverbal gain of salt.  It has no reflection on those in the making of the book whatever their association was.  

From country club to trailer park ...

Swindled out of a fair divorce settlement, former socialite Bliss Moonbeam Cornwall works a number of part-time jobs to pay the rent on a rundown trailer and keep her motorcycle on the road. House cleaner, yoga teacher, library assistant, cemetery groundskeeper, drudge for her agoraphobic cousin -- the work never ends. But Bliss still can't save enough money for another day in court. So, when her cousin offers her a generous fee to find a pollinating mate for his giant jungle plant, she agrees to help. How hard can it be?

That's when she discovers that her neighbors', her employers, and even her cousin are involved in a string of illegal activities -- including grow-ops and suspicious deaths. Police Chief Neil Redfern's persistent scrutiny is interfering with her goal, and Bliss suspects he may be up to his badge in the crimes he's supposed to be investigating. With no one to back her up, Bliss must make a decision. She can give up on her dream, or she can start fighting dirty. Either way, she risks becoming another murder victim.

I actually liked this story.  It was a great little mystery with it’s 408 pages and gave a peek into  a “possible everyday-type person”  that just trying to survive in any means possible.  The multiple jobs, the sticking & stinking way of not only dealing with her agoraphobic cousin but with his ex-wife too.  To the underhand dealings of her ex-slime err husband as he strives to bigger/better hopes through politics. The book had me giggling  at the antics of all the characters as Bliss seems to find out that everyone around her has “pot” on the brain, including the somewhat sleazy parrot. Say What??  Bliss makes for a character that makes you glad you might not have her life & really glad at the end of the day.  This would make a great “pick-me-up” story at a time you need some humor and giggles in your  day.  I give that story a 4.5 out 5 stars.   My hats off to Gloria Ferris as I add her to my list of “New & Upcoming Authors” to read.  My thanks to Dundurn Press for allowing me to review this book for them as “Corpse Flower”  is due to come out Jan. 7, 2014

So that it’s for the night.  I’m thinking of doing “Reads & Reviews” as a separated part of my blog on it’s own day or even it’s own blog.  I would love to have your honest opinion on the subject.  Please feel free to leave a comment on the subject. 


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Farmer’s Wife Returns

This week I spent time revisiting my Farmer’s Wife Sampler Blocks.  It has been something like 6 months since we got together as I actually have to admit that I missed it. So I pulled everything out now that I have all the templates copied out, sat down with a pencil to start figuring some of the randomly assigned blocks that our hostess has given us over on Q&N.  This week we got the name & # for our 31st block.  I’m so far behind on these that I kind of gave them my sewing machine priority for the week.  I really needed some distraction on Tuesday and this was a good distraction.  It distracted me to the tune of 3 and half blocks.  I’m still working on the 3 Brown Bag theory with the sorted scraps.  Just for a refresher, this means I “blindly” reach into the bags and pull out my pickings.  I have to use what I've pulled out without prejudices.  This way allows for some interesting blocks.

So on Tuesday I have made 3 blocks. I got #1- Attic Windows, #2 - Autumn Tints  and #9 - Box.   And on Wednesday, the same number with #72 -  Railroad, #111 Wrench and # 68 - Postage Stamp. 

Attic WIndows, Autumn Tints & Box   Wrench, Postage Stamp & Railroad

I’m pleased with my results as the variety is really showing through.  As I write this I have a total of the 12 blocks.  10 of which are done properly and 2 that was “re-designed” blocks that could be used as “fillers” if I should decide to take this to the King size quilt (103” X 103”). If that happens, I would have to have add another 34 blocks in order to come to the total of 145 blocks.  The “Original” quilt is a Queen size (83”X 103”) with it’s 111 blocks.  Huumm that does put forth a question… do I continue the journey beyond the 111 blocks or not?  I’ll have to give some pondering but I wouldn’t mind hearing some feed back on the subject from you … my readers.  Huh, that has me thinking that it’s time for me to give something away.  I’m going do a little surprise package as a give-a-way.

I have finished yet another RedWork  piece this week when we had a doctor’s appointment on Thursday.  I finished up “Strawberry” block  going into Mt.Pleasant. While I was there & on the way back I got about 1/4 of the pumpkin block done.  During the evenings I managed to get that number up to half way done now.


Now this morning, I once again re-visited something from my past when I made a bowl of Coco Wheats.  I haven’t had these since I was a kid I believe.  Do you remember eating this yummy chocolate hot cereal?  I even remember the Coco Wheat Brownies from back in the day.  Guess what I found on the side of the box… yuppers …you guessed it, the brownie recipe.  DSCN3725

So there will be more FWS blocks in the making this week so more pics are sure to arrive for your viewing pleasure in the upcoming weeks as the skies are turning gray, windy and all over cooler.  I saw that many of the maple trees have reached the half way point of their splendor color change.   It makes me think about the winter  that is right around the corner.  In order to deal with cabin fever, I’m making a list of project to work on.  It looks like something like this at the moment.

  1. Work on hand quilting a baby quilt for best friend
  2. Start my “Flags of Valor” kit that I just received as a memorial piece for recent lost.
  3. Secret Santa on the Quilt and Needle  gifts (times 2)
  4. Secret Santa on Quilting Board gift.
  5. Santa Sack Swap  gift.  (done, just waiting for pretty wrapping & it’s mailing date)
  6. BBD Redwork Challenge piece before Jan. 10th
  7. Working on Appliqué Tulips blocks
  8. Continue to do my border of appliqué my Q&N Challenge “Make-Do” top which is in Phase 2.
  9. Put Roman Stripe blocks that was given to me.  Thinking a gift to other half for the Holidays.
  10. Continue work on my Farmer’s Wife Sampler (FWS) blocks. 
  11. Work on “My Autumn View” quilt as I try to collect for more fall/leaf prints for it.
  12. Work on my scrappy 9-Patch blocks

Yeah and that is just off the top of my head.  There is sooooo much to do that it would take me years just working this list.  LOL.  But isn’t that the curse of a quilter? We are so often plagued with the “squirrel!” effect (like the little dog in the movie “Up”),  that we would have would have to live several hundred years to finish what we started.  Oh but what fun it is to find something new to play with.


Well anyone who knows me, know that I love adopting scraps from anyone looking to clean out their bits & pieces. As I adopt scraps that friend’s send me, I add them to the bags for the quilt.  I love adding them into the mix, as I know that all my friends will be in the quilt with me.  I love the concept of the “make-do” quilts.  I think they can be interesting to see how someone might use some other fabric in close relationship to the 1st fabric when the quilter runs out of it.  Was the piece too small , so she sewn two small pieces together  to make it big enough?  Did she run out of blue fabric and had to use some black to finish the quilt?  Do you think about that when making your own quilt?  Do you just use what you have on hand or do you run to the shop to get more?  Something to think about in the future.

Now do you remember the question that I asked earlier?  What would you do think?  Should I consider going for the Queen size FWS quilt or the King size FWS quilt? Please leave me a comment for a chance at a little mystery package. With each comment, I’ll add something to the package.  I can’t wait to see what you guys think about the subject.

On another subject, I have caught up on some reading and what I’m going to do, post those reviews in a separate blog post; as there will be several of them at one time.  So be sure to look for that in the next day or so.

That’s it for this post, so it’s time to put it to bed as they use to say in the newspaper business.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Slow week

This week has been an odd week for some reason.  As I look back into my quilting journal, I know that I have been busy dong things but I just needed a refresher as to what I was doing?  And then the everything started to click into place.  On Sat., I spent the day doing several things.  I decided that I would try my hand at the Bird Brain Design Red Work  Challenge that they announced in their newsletter about a special Exhibit at the Road to California Quilt Show come January 23-26 of 2014.  You could find more information Here. So then I started to trace out the rest of my choice and that took some time. I had one element already traced and had stitched most of it up.  I once again pulled that paper piecing project and made another block only to put it away again in frustration.  The block came together okay but once the two halves came together that become wonky.  Ggggrrrr!!!!

Come Sunday I spent the day on the computer before getting motivated to get busy @ 6:30pm.  Yea that’s right that is pm. LOL.  So I decided that it was time to start prepping more dolly dresses by grabbing some little calico prints. From there I managed to get 22 dresses traced & cut out from about 3 yards of variety of prints. So once theses are sewn, that would give me 32 dresses in towards the 60 needed. Which isn’t bad in the couple weeks that I have been forth since I started cutting them out.  Which is a good thing with the Holidays right around the corner and Secret Santa swaps in the works.

After waiting all day for Mrs. D on Monday; her, me and another quilt buddy went to Elm Creek  so that I could show some samples of my stitchery for a chance to do some store samples.  They took my info. and I’m hoping that I can do some work for them in the future.  From there we went up the road to the Amish Store… “Surrey Rd. Quilt Shop” just after I spent time looking through the new McCall’s Quick Quilts (Oct./Nov.)  where the quilt cover grabs my attention.  Oohhh… Oak leaves and HST’s!!  As we are going along, Mrs.D announces that she brought me a little something back from her trip in the Upper Peninsula.  Oh baby!! Charm pack, buttons and a Sweet Pea petit four… oh my!

DSCN3702 So I flip to  page 55 where I read “My Autumn View” is lap quilt size.  Huhhhh! That is too small for the bed.  It calls for 2.5” squares but has me thinking  & ask my self- “Self - why not use 5” charm squares ?”  So with a small purchase of 2 pretty prints on black background and a Moda Marble print for the “light” side of the HST’s for a uniform look.  I’m looking forward to get started on this project.


I know that I will be able to put this on the bed as it is gender neutral and prefect for the cabin in the woods theme that pops up in places. I can slowly introduce my own personality into our space. But that is a whole different subject that won’t be addressed here.  i still need more fall/leaf prints in order to have enough for this beauty.  And we all know how I just swoon over anything of Oak Leaves & Acorns… ooooooo swoooooonnnn.  LOL. This also makes it as “non-girly” as I can be and makes my heart go pitter-patter. Later on I finished my little redwork  apple block .


Tuesday was laundry and Mrs.D said “bring it over here” . As the machine runs and the pinning of clothing on the clothesline, we start discussing projects. I up dated her in the search of fall fabrics, which finds me following her to one of two trailers where she has part of her stash in it. A large tote, a paper box and a grocery sack , have some more fabrics that she is thinning out.  SCORE!!! But more details on that on another day.  I started the next block in my Redwork  project.  This time it’s a strawberry.

Wednesday was quilt group and I took a quilt in to be sandwiched, taking up a good put of the afternoon. I come home and to find another package which turns out to be my second table runner from the swap where I showed you the ones I made last week.  Here is a nice collection of eye candy for the both table runner packages.

DSCN3684   DSCN3686  DSCN3687  DSCN3688

This beauty was from Mrs. A. made this one and also made a 8 count of matching napkins rings that will look great on my Thanksgiving Supper.  I really love “dressing” my holiday table and my company love the effects. The back is a lot brighter than the picture depicts. I’m love the way the front marries into the oak table and walnut walls.  A prefect fit and welcomed addition to my small collection.

The second set is the table runner set that Mrs. N. made.  She hit the mark on my love for oranges and leaf prints. The canter of the blocks have a Cathedral Window effect.  I found it to be an appealing effect to my eye. On the back she used a flannel fabric that is super soft & pet-able. As an extra she made this really pretty hot pad  that I actually placed my little cottage table top clock on. 

DSCN3690   DSCN3692DSCN3694   DSCN3695

Both these lovelies found their way to through the Quilting from the table runner swaps and I’m looking forward to doing another one come spring.  I have had a wonderful experience with this swap and ended up two wonderful  examples of the great work that happens over there.

Thursday finds me gathering up an arm load of books, patterns and magazines along with a notepad as I head for my comfy spot and start perusing through the stack looking for some ideas for a QB’s Chat non-swap Challenge for the month of Oct.  This is a new thing that started this past month where I gave you the sneak peek of “Autumn’s Trails” last week.  But anyways, we have a monthly theme to our own interpretation. This new month is “Harvest Time” and must include either a vegetable, fruit or nut somewhere in the piece.  I finally chose a design that fits the requirements and pull out the scrap bag for this one.  This is a hint of things to come but I can’t show you anything beyond that as it will also become a gift.  I love when I can do something that can function with more than one purpose! 

DSCN3696 Friday actually sounds boring in comparison as I finish cutting out the needed pieces from the pull of scraps pictured above.  I did some sketches of future challenges, and continued to stencil on a couple of projects getting them ready for hand quilting and of course stitching on the RedWork that is currently in the hoop.

Saturday was a mixed bag of things… Myself & Mrs. D head back to Crossroads Quilt Shop as a show of support for the shop keepers as we learned both of them have each a form of cancer.  After she makes a purchase of assorted needed Pellon’s for her projects.  She finds a “Flag of Valor” kit in the 35% bin. So a $59.99 kit becomes a $20.99 steal. Mean while I’m very good and didn’t purchase a thing but took the opportunity to peruse the large number of panels, to fondle the flannels, stroke & dream about new cotton fabric lines and lust over the newest batiks. Upon leaving, I’m handed a bag with the Valor kit in it (oh sweet!! ) and off we head for the little bakery half a block up for a sweet indulgent of home made yummy-ness.  I had a lemon Danish and an Apple cider fry cake. Ahhh - the flavors of falls.

Once I get home I receive some saddening news in which has me wandering listlessly between projects. I spend some out stenciling more leaves on my “Autumn’s Trails”, the baby quilt and the redwork.  And today I sat down to put this together after reading emails, responding to things on my forums that I’m part of and decided what I might do for dinner. 

I do want to thank Ms. Pat for her comment that left last week  and was pleased that she enjoyed seeing all my pretty’s on my blog.  Having said that, I just wanted to say that I love comments and look forward to see more of them.  I'm slowly catching up on my reading and will have some reviews in the future again.  Please be patient with me on that front.  I think it’s time for me to get busy in making my little scissor carrier case. I’m looking to make a few of these to give as gift to my crafty friends.  It’s a fast & easy project that I can do in a short matter of time.


Friday, September 20, 2013

My Mojo has come home.

My Mojo has returned over a week ago and boy did it make up for the time that it was missing.  I have been super busy and. On the 8th I spent the day with my friend, Ms. D. came over to help me trim & ready the Kitten quilt so that she could help me quilt it since I don’t have a walking foot for my machine.  Once I got home, I pinned the binding onto the brown & orange table runner and pinned the hems on 8 out of 10 little dolly dresses that we are making for the “Santa” program in the local village; all the while I was watching “Killing Lincoln” that Tom Hanks had narrated.


On the 9th, I spent the day at Ms. D’s house learning how to can what will become spaghetti sauce.  This was an interesting experience for me and I was able to take 11 quarts and 1 pint home as my bounty from the bushel  minus the few that I ate for lunch.  I spent the evening doing my Hostess duties in pairing up names for a Secret Santa that I’m running on the Quilt & Needle board.  From there, I proceeded to finished pinning the last 2 little dolly dresses so they are ready for the sewing machine.


Come the 10th - I sat down determined that I would iron & cut out the fabrics needed to work on the 2nd table runner.  I am still using the pattern that I drew up for the 1st one that I made with just a small change to it.  While I’m making my cuts, I realized that as I start to sew my HST’s together that I messed up the cuts making them too small.  UGH!!! GRRR!! Wait…hummm …maybe… YES!!  I can still use them!! Yeah … do quick “Happy Dance” .  I’m doing a Non-Swap Challenge featuring a Maple Leaf on the QB.  Instead of getting mad & frustrated … feeling like throwing the machine out the window… I grabbed some graph paper and started sketching out a quick design.  Okay deep breath… this looks like it might work … and cut more HST’s for the new design.  Guess working on the table runner wasn’t in the cards that day. From there I cut the batting for my Canadian friend’s grand baby quilt so that I could take it to quilt group on Wednesday morning. At TV time I work on hand quilting a little wall hanging for a Santa Sack Swap project that I’m also in. 

The 11th finds me at the library, but upon looking at it; I put it away as I have some questions for  my friend before proceeding.  After group and lunch, I spent the day cutting, ironing & prepping fabrics for several projects that are slated for the week.  In  the evening, I managed to get half way around the little Santa piece as I try my hand at doing a meandering type stitch by hand on the border.

So the 12th has me actually sitting down to piece that 2nd table runner and trace out some more dolly dresses. And of course more hand work - but this time I picked up the Challenge top again. 

Friday found me once again at the library with a multitude of things to do there.  I called the friend that had me make the kitten quilt to meet me so that I could give her the finished product.  I also took the time to write out all of the Farmer’s Wife Blocks that we have been given from the Q&N group into a notebook to serve as a logbook.  I had the ladies help me print out all the templates for the whole quilt. So now I’m really ready to get back into the groove again.  When these started I was sort of on track & I really want to get back on track now that the BC has gone back to dad’s for school. 

Sunday I spent the day with Ms. D. as a passenger on a road trip, where I continued on hand quilting and we ended up with another half dozen quilt magazines to read on the way home, but in the evening I spent the time working on appliquéing the challenge top inching my way to the half way point on that one side of the border that I’m working on. Once I finish that last half of the flower bud … let the trumpet’s blare & I’ll rejoice as the first stitch goes into the tri-level full flower.

Monday was spent assisting Mr. S. with an outside project that has been looming at us as we needed to finish this project before the winter settles in.  Ms. D & Hubby are over to help and stay for dinner.  She also brought with her an assorted mix of reds & yellows as possible binding for the Santa wall hanging that I hope to finish later that evening.

Tuesday had me flipping & trimming the 2nd runner and I’m so happy that it looks like I won’t need to use pre-made binding to hide some shifting in the fabrics on the edges.  I started stitching my “non-swap” maple leaf project when Ms. D. came over – who made a comment about how “messy” my multi-purpose room.  Once she left – I went into “cleaning” mode to the room. After several hours of straighten & re-stacking fabrics, books & assorted odds and ends,  I finally finished the wall hanging …yeah!

Last week I had read an e-mail from Bird Brain Designs about their “Red work” Challenge.  I had contemplated it a while and decide that I would try very very hard to finish a project and submit it.  So come Wednesday I printed out the needed patterns while at the library.  We went to lunch at The Rock Cafe on the Ferris State campus and made a trip to a little quilt shop in Paris.  I was really good and bought nothing but was able to take two vintage Aunt Martha’s hot transfer pattern packages for free.  I don’t know when these came out but it’s nice to the packages in such nice condition and the prices. 

Vintage Iron-ons

It was a nice little reminder that I had my Red Work challenge and I was looking forward to getting started.  I had gotten the 1st pattern traced and started stitching it.  But thinking about what I had read in the rules & e-mail I had decided that I needed to clarify a couple of things before proceeding.  So Thursday morning I made a phone to Carol Bledsoe of BBD who was very pleasant & took a few minutes out of (what I am sure) her busy schedule to help me with my questions.   The up side was I got the green light to continue with my BBD.

I also managed finish another wall hanging by finally getting the label on it. So that was another item off my “to do” list and that is always a good thing.  I got the Maple Leaf top finished yesterday and it waits for sandwiching and hand quilting.  I got great maple leaf template when I was with Ms. D. on a road trip on Sunday in the most unusual place.  This came from a hanging display at Bath &Body.  After the purchasing some really nice smelly things that was gifted to me… Ms. D. asked for one of the leaves and the clerk was more than happy to clip one for us to take home.  I laminated it and I’ll scatter them out on the top when I hand quilt it in brown variegated threads.  I’m calling this piece “Autumn’s Trails” at the moment.   I think the brown thread will look interesting as contrast against the red & green. It should really look nice  with the brown crackle frame that will  go with the brown in the leaf print.

Autumn's Trials leaf

So here are the two table runners that went into the mail this morning for the swap on the Quilting Board. This was a design that I drew up myself and I really like the way they came out. 

DSCN3673                      DSCN3676

Well I need to think about signing off for the day since dinner is calling my name.  I’m thinking a nice taco salad is what I want. So ‘til next time.