Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Cooper and the Geese

I took this photo of Cooper in front of dozens of geese late yesterday afternoon. You may think it was near the lake, but no...we are back home. This was in our neighborhood, near a pond. Cooper doesn't bark at the geese or chase them - he just likes to watch them.

We came back a day early because we got to a good stopping place in our work. Today will be a quiet day - remember? I'm not cooking for Thanksgiving! It does seem weird though - no turkey smell, no sweet potatoes simmering on the stove. I may make a pie just to sooth my soul.

I hope to sew a bit today. I want to work on those Christmas animals. And maybe I'll do some hand sewing.

I found this quilt image on Pinterest and simply love it. Such a simple pattern, yet very striking. Yes, I may need to put it on my list...

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

My Little Digger

In the Fall/Winter the water level is down at the lake exposing a rocky, sandy shore. While Cooper dashes back and forth, jumping in the water when he feels the spirit, Mickey stays high and dry. But he has discovered the joys of digging in the sand.

We have been very productive here. I've completely cleaned out one closet and have made great progress in the kitchen. We also repaired the flagpole, replacing parts and getting it back upright beside the water. Hubby drained the oil from the lawn mower and replaced it with new oil. He removed the blades to take home to the cottage to sharpen. It will be ready for next year's mowing. 

And so it goes. It's been really nice being here this time of year when no one else is around except a few full timers down the street. We've enjoyed good meals, with wine and cheese before dinner and hot chocolate later in the evening. 

Have a great day!

Monday, November 20, 2017

At the Lake...

After a fun filled weekend, we are at the lake now. We came up yesterday for  few days of working around the house. Although there was be a hard freeze tonight, Cooper doesn't seem to mind swimming in the cold water.

Today Hubby blew and raked leaves, we both moved around rocks near the water, we worked on the boat cover, and I also worked on cleaning out the pantry and kitchen cabinets. More of the same this week. We'll go back to our cottage mid-week.

I brought a bit of hand sewing with me, but we'll see if I get to it. We've been wanting to have a few days to work here and this seemed to be the perfect time.

Enjoy your week!

Thursday, November 16, 2017


Yesterday I worked on stitching the red and green strips to these cute Christmas animals. I don't have a pattern - just trying to wing it and make it work.  LOTS of math here. Only the center part is stitched together, but I think this may be the final layout. I know I won't finish this quilt completely by Christmas, but hopefully I'll finish the top by then. My realistic goal is to have THREE Christmas quilts complete by Christmas 2018. This is the first one. The row of Christmas tree I made last week in number two. And On Ringo Lake (Bonnie Hunter's mystery) in Christmas fabrics is number 3. I think it's doable!

I'm not sure what today will bring. I was tired and slept late...still easing into my morning.
Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Yesterday I set up my Accuquilt and spent the morning cutting strips. Yes, it's red. I know, I don't usually use red fabric in my quilts. But I'm on a Christmas quilt kick and a Christmas quilt must have red, right? I also cut up some green (of course).

This will be a fun quilt to make and I don't think it will take very long. I'll keep you posted!

So what did I decide about making two Bonnie Hunter mystery the same time...???? Well, I'm going for it! BUT the Christmas color way will not be scrappy - that's my one concession - only four different fabrics.

I made a big decision this week - I'm not cooking for Thanksgiving. I ALWAYS cook for Thanksgiving, so this is kind of a big deal. But we have a lot going on and we're going out to eat instead. And I'm rather glad! Woohoo! More time to sew!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Yesterday I basted a quilt! I know...where's the quilt top? I took a photo before I placed it on the batting...secret project, you know.... Anyway, it's ready to be quilted now.

What wrong with this picture? Hahaha! Little Mickey rules the roost!

My shoulder is almost completely well and that is very good news indeed. I'm ready to get back to sewing and stitching.

These days I want to clean up and organize my sewing room, preparing to begin Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt journey. In fact I've been toying with the idea of making TWO mystery quilts in different color ways. Crazy, right? That's probably asking too much of myself. I was thinking I might make one in Christmas colors, too? I'm going to have to think this through first....

Enjoy you day!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Applique Update

Since I didn't sew yesterday and have nothing new to's an update on this appliqué project. Slowly, but surely....

My shoulder is so much better today! I knew it was just a muscle tweak, but I'll baby it again today to make sure it gets back to 100% by the end of the weekend.

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, November 9, 2017


Okie dokie! I'm ready for Bonnie Hunter's mystery! Are you? I love these colors...

I did sew a good bit yesterday. I even finished a 'secret project' quilt top. I'll share it here eventually, but it may be a couple of months.

Last night's dinner was a hit. I had never made risotto before - but it's not so hard, just a lot of stirring. It was delicious!

It's a rainy day here - haven't had one of these in quite some time. But I've pulled a muscle in my shoulder so I'm not sure how much (if any) sewing I will do. It may be a TV day instead...

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

On a Winning Streak...

After winning the raffle the previous night - homemade cinnamon rolls! - I headed to World Market yesterday morning to do some shopping. Have you heard about their Golden Llama Treasure Hunt? Every day they hide 'golden llamas' around every store. I found one! I received a $50 certificate that I had to spend that day. What fun!

 I bought this big metal container to put at the lake house - I thought it would be good to hold quilts for when they are needed. Or maybe firewood?

And then I headed to Target to shop the Hearth and Hand Collection by Chip and Joanna Gaines. I grabbed a few things, including these dish towels - I plan to make throw pillows with them.

Next I picked up a new friend for lunch. We'd never met (a mutual friend put us together) though we found we have LOTS in common. We're planning some shopping trips together soon.

I only did hand sewing in the evening. Today is another story though! My machine will be humming soon!

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Christmas Quilt Beginning...

After my dentist appointment, I started a Christmas quilt! I've never been one for seasonal quilts - seems like a lot of work for a quilt that will only be 'out' for a few weeks of the year. But I've changed my tune. Now that we live in a much smaller home and I cut WAY back on Christmas decorations, I think a few Christmas quilts would be nice to add to the ambiance during the holiday season.

I didn't use a pattern for these trees - just winging it! Kind of cute, huh?

Last night I attended the neighborhood Ladies Club meeting. There were lots of donated items that were raffled. I was lucky to win a platter of homemade cinnamon rolls! When I came home they went straight into the freezer for a later date when we have family around. I donated a wallhanging quilt and the recipient seems happy with it.

I'm so blessed that we have landed in a neighborhood with so many really wonderful people. We love it here.

Enjoy your day!

Monday, November 6, 2017

A Productive Day

Yesterday I finally got into the sewing room! Okay, so I didn't sew in there...but I did spend time getting organized and cleaning off my desk (which doubles as my cutting table).

And I cut some fabric - Christmas fabrics! Yay!

I made two loaves of banana bread - I tried a new recipe: Pecan Coconut Banana Bread. Yes, it's delicious! Find the recipe HERE. (I didn't make the streusel topping...)

I also cleaned out a bathroom drawer - one more of these to go!

Though I hadn't planned on grocery shopping, I decided to take care of that, too. I sat down and planned meals first. How do I 'plan meals'? That requires another paragraph! Haha!

I shoot for cooking three different evening meals each week. I try to make dinners that will have leftovers. My plan is to have one meal that is quick and easy, one meal that can be cooked in the slow cooker, and one soup, because it's Autumn and I feel like we should have soup! In the summer, I might plan a nice salad instead of soup...

This week's meals:
Quick and Easy: hot dogs and baked sweet potatoes (I had some Omaha Steaks franks in the freezer)
Slow Cooker: Italian Pot Roast and Parmesan Risotto served with steamed broccoli, recipe HERE
Soup: Trisha Yearwood's Chicken Tortilla Soup, recipe HERE.

I like to try new recipes and both the slow cooker meal and the soup will be new to us. After planning the meals, I entered the items I needed on the Walmart website so I could do a grocery pickup in the late afternoon. I was a bit worried about letting them pick out a roast for me, but they did a great job!

Today I have a dental appointment, so that will take up part of my morning. But I'm hoping I'll get back to the sewing room when I get home. 

Have a great day!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Only a Bit of Sewing

Have you noticed I haven't been my usual sewing self lately? I haven't sat with my machine in quite some time. And I only have this little bit of hand appliqué to show. It's been rather crazy around here and there just hasn't been a block of time for sewing.

I'm hoping to change that this week!

I want to get back on my secret nine-patch project. I want to pick up Bring Me Flowers again. I have some wool fabric that needs cutting to size. And yes, I want to pull fabric for the Bonnie Hunter mystery!

BUT, I also have some bathroom drawers that need cleaning out and organizing, some over ripe bananas waiting for me to make banana bread, and....a few other chores. There should be time for everything this week - just need to jump in headfirst!

It makes me feel better to have listed all these things here - now I have a plan.

Enjoy your day!

Friday, November 3, 2017

A Little Bit of Sewing

I finished the basting on this piece and finally started the appliqué last night. Yes, this will take a LONG time. And thats okay, because I'm in no rush.

Earlier in the week I got together with some Rodan and Fields buddies and we made zipper pouches from eyelash fabric. One of the ladies had never even sat in front of a sewing machine before! She learned to sew and even put in a zipper! We had lots of fun and made a ton of these little pouches.

Yes, we love our Lash Boost!

My hubby was doubtful with I signed on as an R&F Consultant, but yesterday he said, "You're really having fun with this, aren't you?" The answer was a big and fat YES! I've had lots of fun and it takes very little of my time. My own skin looks better than it has in YEARS and I love to help others find the correct products to improve their own skin. And we have a little 'sisterhood' of consultants who get together occasionally and cheer each other on.  And the money? Yea, that's the cherry on top! I donate a good bit of my profits to charity and save a bit for fun money. This morning I ordered some fabric for the Bonnie Hunter mystery - love the colors this time around! No purple - yea!

This morning I'll be doing more hand appliqué while I watch last night's Project Runway - I alway save it for Friday.

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The 27 Ingredient Chili

Are you looking for a good chili recipe? One that will feed a crowd?? Look no further!

I discovered this recipe many years ago when I was reading a cozy mystery, The 27 Ingredient Chili Con Carne Murders by Nancy Pickard. The recipe was in the book.

Yes, there are 27 ingredients. But it's not hard to make - just a bit of chopping. And it makes a ton of chili!

I hadn't made it in years and couldn't find my copy of the recipe, but I found it HERE. This chili is SO GOOD! I made this batch last week. It freezes really well - I put most of it in the freezer for Iron Bowl weekend. We've found it makes for a fun evening to let your guests try to guess all the ingredients. Eat and enjoy!

Monday, October 30, 2017

My New Love....

Here I was last night...hand basting that lovely linen piece I showed you. Yes, the fire is going in the background. I am loving doing this! Forget about the appliqué...I just love this process!

And here is the other side with the navy Grunge. I love the way it looks on both sides, even without doing the appliqué. Wouldn't this be beautiful as a bedspread???? Just like this???? It's so soft and luscious. Hmmm..... My wheels are spinning and lightbulbs are going off in my head. I want to buy yards of natural linen and keep stitching. But for today, I simply need to buy another spool of button and craft thread - mine is almost gone and I really want to work on this today.

We were lucky enough to have both daughters around here this weekend - always puts a smile on my face!

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

New Quilting Project

Have you seen this Edyta Sitar subtle print? It's an appliqué layout. I have a sweet friend who was getting rid of a few things...yes, I'll take it!


I decided to go simple and use only one fabric - a navy Grunge. I'm rather excited about this! I have put the Grunge on the backside, facing out. I'll make the front of the piece the real backside and use the appliqué placement lines to baste along.... Today I'll begin the basting.

It's a chilly morning around here and little Mickey is enjoying the fire. We are enjoying it, too!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Pulling Fabric

Yesterday I pulled some fabrics for a new project or two. I kept this pile out on the coffee table overnight hoping for inspiration. And this morning I think I've figured it out! Yay!

Last night while Hubby was watching sports... I headed back to the bedroom to watch Project Runway...with my two buddies.

I think they slept through the best parts. But I enjoyed it.

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Dress Questions....

I'm finding it interesting that I have received exponentially more views from recent posts of dresses I've made than on my quilting! I've gotten lots of questions, so here are the answers.

What is the pattern for the knit dress?
Simplicity 8383

Where did you get the fabric?
I ordered it on-line at She has a gorgeous selection of knit fabrics (and other garment fabrics, as well).

Was it hard to sew with knits?
No, it wasn't bad at all. I did use a 'stretch' needle.

I can make quilts, but have never made a garment. Would this be an easy pattern to make?
Yes! The instructions are very good. If you've never made a garment, just know that the seam allowance should be 5/8 inch instead of the 1/4 inch we use in quilting.

As you can see above, I stitched the stars on top of the circles to finish these blocks...ready for the vase!

Have a nice day!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Black Bean and Smoked Sausage Soup

Last night I worked on appliquéing the circles. These are fun! Yes, I did some nine patches during the day, but I can't show them to you yet. #secretproject

Yesterday I concocted  a soup recipe from my pantry. And it was so good! I want to save the recipe so I'm going to share it here and then I can pin it.

Black Bean and Smoked Sausage Soup

3 cans black beans (I drained the juice from 2 of the cans, but not the 3rd)
2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoons taco seasoning (or one packet)
1 package smoked sausage (we like Conecuh brand), sliced thinly

Put all ingredients in a large pot or dutch oven. Bring to boil. Simmer for 30 minutes. If you need more liquid, add a cup of water. 

Not sure what I'll sew today, but I'll sew something...
Enjoy your day!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Another Dress Completed

Ta Dah! This was quick and easy! I still have to hem it, but that won't take long.

You can see that I used a coordinating fabric for the back and sleeves. It's very comfortable and fits well.

It is POURING rain this morning, making it a great day to stay in a sew. I think I'll work on some nine patches that are waiting for me...

Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Circles are Ready...

Yesterday I wanted to prepare these circles for appliqué...and I did! Edges are turned under and pressed. These are ready to appliqué to the little backgrounds for the next Bring Me Flowers block. This goes to show...a little bit of progress each day can go a long way.

While I was sitting still watching football I decided to polish my nails. Do you think this is too bold and dark? My kids have convinced me that it's 'in'. The color looks navy here, but it's really a deep teal. I think I like it????

Here's a shot of my three fellows...the four legged ones want to lick the bowl. Typical.

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The New Dress

I thought you'd like to see the pattern for the dress I started this week. This is Simplicity 8383. I'm making the version on the model. I liked this pattern because of the 'cold shoulder' sleeves and the fact that the bottom of the dress flares out a bit from the body. I also like that the sleeves come almost to the elbow, covering my arm flab. Haha! I am a smaller size in the chest and shoulders than I am on the bottom so I cut out the dress accordingly. Maybe I will find time this weekend to finish it - I don't have much left!

I love to watch Project Runway and every season I feel inspired to sew garments, but I never actually do it. I'm so glad I'm actually doing it now!

Speaking of clothing, recently I went to a CAbi party. Are you familiar with CAbi clothing? I wasn't, but I fell in love with them! The quality is fabulous and the designs are so cute. I ended up ordering 4 pieces and I got them yesterday.

The sleeveless blouse can be worn alone (with the camisole under it), or it can be worn under the pullover sweater with the cute collar sticking out, or it can be worn under the long cardigan. The two sweaters will also mix and match with other items I already own. I feel like I have a new wardrobe!

Yesterday I had coffee with some friends in the am. And then I hit a wall. This week was busier than I had expected and I was tired. I sat and relaxed all afternoon - except for walking Cooper. Today I want to prepare the next Bring Me Flowers block for hand stitching. And that's it! A slower paced day is what I need!

Enjoy your day!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Dress Progress and Guild Meeting

I worked on this dress yesterday. The neck is finished and the front and back completely sewn. I only have to finish the sleeves and hem.

Last night was our guild meeting - here are a couple of my favorites from show and tell....


Our program was the shop owner of Sunday Best, from Georgia. She is all about coming up with new ideas for products and has invented cool stencils that help in making lots of half square triangle quickly.

She brought several quilts and patterns using half square triangles.

She found this pattern on an antique quilt - Seven Dancing Sisters - and came up with the idea of using English Paper piecing to make it. Paper Pieces is now manufacturing the paper pieces for this at her request.

Yes, I fell in love with this pattern when I saw it! But I think I will hand piece it inset of using papers. 

When I first moved to Auburn over five years ago (!), I thought I would hate evening guild meetings - we had them in the morning in Birmingham. But I've found that I love them in the evening. Even driving home after dark isn't too bad because it's not a long drive and not much traffic. 

This has turned out to be a busy week - I'm pooped and ready for the weekend!!! TGIF!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Dress Cut!

I did get the dress cut out yesterday. This will be a casual knit dress with 'cold shoulder' sleeves. The front of the dress will be the fabric on the left. The back of the dress will be the fabric on the right. This plan was out of necessity: I only had one yard of each fabric. That wasn't enough to make a dress from one single fabric. These two knits go so well together so I think it will be cool. Hope so!

Late in the afternoon I went to Walmart for a grocery pickup I'd order earlier in the day. All went well, except when I came home I found the doggies had eaten their weight in doggy treats. UGH! I had left the laundry room door open and Cooper managed to reach them. I think he brought a few to Mickey, too. What a pair! 

Now that we're have cooler weather, I'm craving something hearty and hot. So I've got a beef stew in the slow cooker. 

I think I'll spend the day doing some machine piecing. Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Another Block!

I finished this block last night - I love it! I can tell Fall is here, not only by how cool it is this morning, but also because the light is changing...hence the poor photograph. It looks so much better in person! I think I'll have to find a new spot to photograph during Fall and Winter.

I'm still trudging away on my 'secret' computer project and it seems to take away from my sewing time. But I still try to sew some every single day.

I cooked a shrimp dish last night and it was really terrible. I thought I was adding garlic powder, but added garlic salt instead. It was WAY too salty! But Hubby ate it without complaining and I managed to get it down, too. But it was pretty disgusting. It happens sometimes.

Today I think I'll cut out another dress. I'll be using a different pattern and some pretty knit fabric I have on hand. And maybe I'll work on one of my piecing projects? Sounds like a plan!

Have a great one!