Sunday, July 31, 2016

Basting Hexies!

Yesterday morning I made great progress on the next section of Bliss! Curved hexie papers - cut! Fabric - selected! Basting - done!

I worked with some Cotton and Steel yesterday. Don't you LOVE Cotton and Steel?

This is the fabric I ordered for the backing for my Lollypop Trees quilt. I saw from the tracking info that it was delivered to our mailbox yesterday. In our new neighborhood we have a mail station just down the street and around the corner. We combine Cooper's late afternoon walk with getting the mail. I couldn't wait for that walk! I was an eager beaver - so happy to have this package!

Today I think I'll baste the Lollypop Trees row and be ready to quilt!!!

Some of you have asked for updates on my mom and my FIL. I'm happy to report that my mother is doing great! She has been having physical therapy which had made her stronger and she feels great now. And she's making lots of new friends in her assisted living.

My FIL is not doing as well - his doctor's appointment was as expected - the cancer has metastasized. There is another appointment later this week with a radiation specialist...

I hope you find time to sew today - I certainly will!

Saturday, July 30, 2016


MISSING: One 14" long baguette, nicely browned and crusty. Last seen on kitchen counter at 8 am Saturday morning, inside a brown paper bag on kitchen counter. 

Witnesses in the home were distracted by vacuuming (hubby) and basting hexies (me).

Clues: Two small pieces of brown paper bag were found under our bed.

The suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty. But we all know he's GUILTY!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Yes, Hexies Happened...But Also Food Adventures

I think I mentioned that hubby and I have been watching The Great British Baking Show. Hubby is not a cook - I do all the cooking, but he does grill out and he can scramble an egg. But even he has been intrigued by this show. In one of the episodes the contestants made baguettes and we were determined to try to make some.

We worked together through the morning on this little project. And they turned out perfectly!

And for dinner we hit a local food truck that a good friend had recommended. We came home with lots of well seasoned boiled shrimp.

Man, it was good! I couldn't eat even half of mine and hubby didn't do much better, so we have plenty of leftovers.

We're up early this morning - have to hit the road for Birmingham for the day. We're attending a small luncheon to celebrate hubby's retirement. And then we're going with hubby's family to his father's oncology appointment.  It will be a long day with both happy and sad moments.

There will be hexie photos soon, I promise! They ARE happening behind the scenes.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Let's Hexie!

It's so good to be working on BLISS again! Yay! I pressed the first three parts and laid them out on the driveway to photograph. Today I'll be glue basting curved hexies!!!!! That makes me smile....

We're almost a month in on hubby's retirement.

Here are my observations so far...
-We enjoy doing things together. Yesterday that entailed (hubby's suggestion) going to the mall to walk since it's too hot to spend much time outside. We both came home with a couple of new pairs of shorts. Then it was a trip to the carwash (hubby's suggestion) to get my car cleaned (cool soap patterns on window above...), and a Chik-Fil-A sandwich.
-He loves to vacuum! He's taken over this job completely and even mops the floors when needed.
-He loves to snack - need to keep a supply of snack items on hand.
-He's beginning to get more interested in cooking - this morning we're making baguettes for lunch.
-He cannot wait until the weather cools off so he can get out on the golf course!

I hope you make time for hexies today!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The R Word...Times 2!

Here is Cooper, lying in the sun on a little dachshund bed - haha! He doesn't quite fit...

Did you figure out why hubby has been on vacation for four straight weeks? He's retiring!!!! Officially his last day is July 31 but he had enough vacation to stop working a few weeks ago. YIPPEE!

And now you may understand more why I stepped away from Hexie Love, the magazine. We've known for several months that his retirement was coming soon. And by golly, I wanted to be by his side in all the fun.

Bliss came out yesterday! No photos yet, but trust's looking great!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Progress on Lollypop Trees

Yesterday was so productive for me! My new studio arrangement is working so much better for me. I took the four finished blocks for Lollypop Trees and sashed them into a row.  I've decided to quilt this quilt myself and I plan to do it a row at a time. I ordered several yards of a Kaffe Fassett print online for the backing.

Bliss also came out to play! I'll be focused on it today, in fact. Time for curved hexies!

We have one little fig on our newly planted fig tree - it's a start!

And the Limelight Hydrangeas are in full bloom. Love these!

We went to the pool yesterday, but it was closed for maintenance. Sad face... The outdoor pools were open, but we opted to come back home - no sunscreen...

So what else is going on around here?
-Hubby's on vacation...for the FOURTH week in a row!
-I made a batch of low fat banana pudding ice cream last night...
-It's too hot to do anything outside!
-Hubby and I are hooked on The British Baking Show...we might make Baguettes today...

Have a happy day!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

And So it Grows...

I tried to sew for a bit on the front porch yesterday. I really tried. But the heat got to me after only a few minutes. It's just too hot!

And my little hourglass project is growing.

Hubby and ran several errands yesterday. Then I stayed up way too late watching TV. Then I slept really late this morning. But we did make it to church this morning - it was a nice service and sermon - we talked about it all the way home, so it must have touched us both.

This afternoon we both are staying busy around the house with little projects. I'm reorganizing the laundry room which is trying to become a dumping ground - I will not allow that to happen! When you live in a small home, organization is so important. I found some nice bins at Dollar General yesterday to try to control the chaos.

I plan on some hand stitching this afternoon and evening. Tomorrow? The hexagons will begin flying as I pull out my Bliss quilt!

Have a good Sunday!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Wings and Hourglass Units

Late yesterday afternoon hubby and I took my car for an oil change and tire rotation. We decided to grab dinner while we were out. Wings became popular at a time in our lives that we were home with little kids - we never really got into them. So now we are discovering them! They were SO GOOD and we will definitely pick these up again before long!

I pulled out some of my newly cut quarter square triangles yesterday and made my first hourglass block. Fun!

I'm digging into my boxes of 2.5 inch strips to make these, using the Companion Angle ruler to cut the pieces.

Before I knew it, I had four little blocks sewn together!

Later in the evening hubby went out to work in the yard just before dark. (It amazes me how much time he spends working in the yard when our yard work is now done for us!) He moved some plants around, even after dark!

So anyway, I took that time to slip back into my sewing room to make more units. I was thinking I might name the quilt, "Stolen Moments" - because I plan to work on it at times like this.

Made another one! But then I decided I might name the quilt "What Did Cooper Steal While I Was Sewing?" While making the next block, Cooper wandered around the house doing his usual thievery - 1 moist towelette (from the wings), 4 bathroom cups, 1 drink koozie.  I found them in a pile in the living area.

This will obviously be a very scrappy quilt! What fun!

Today we hope to make it to the pool - it's been over a month and my body really misses that activity.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Back to a UFO... and some publishing news...

I got a few things done yesterday that had been on my list. I cut some quarter square triangles to have at the ready to make Bonnie Hunter's hourglass quilt leader/ender project. Haven't sewn a stitch yet, but at least I have some pieces ready to go.

I have this pretty bowl and haven't found a place to put it. So I put the triangles in the bowl and set it on my desk. Yay!

I decided that my next UFO would be my Lollypop Trees appliqué quilt. I found the blocks that I have completed - all four of them. And I found the block that was in progress. Not much to do on it! This quilt has 16 blocks so I do have a long way to go. But it feels good to pull it out again.

And the big news from yesterday: AQS is no longer going to publish books! WOW! This came out of the blue! As an AQS author, I received the news in an email yesterday. But I can't say that I am that surprised.

I will always be grateful to AQS for publishing my three books. I decided to use AQS because of the fact that they have been the only quilt book publisher that also puts on many large quilt shows and I thought I've have an "in" to teach in them.

Unfortunately that did not turn out to be the case. Three books over more than 10 years and I've only been invited to teach at two AQS shows. I heard from friends who were NOT AQS authors who were called on to teach at AQS shows without even applying. Hmmm.

I have often thought that AQS was not keeping up with the times in terms of social media. Other quilting publishers have active blogs that feature their authors. Social media (blogs, Facebook, Instagram, etc) are the way of the world now and publishers who stay current in these media are obviously doing themselves a favor.

When I signed my first contract with AQS, it had wording which stated that in the future any other books I wrote must be done through AQS. At the time I was so excited to be getting a book published that I didn't worry about that. But it forced me into a longterm relationship. Short of hiring an attorney, I couldn't publish a quilt book with another publisher. And so, I have to admit I'm relieved now that if I do write another book (and I just might!) I can contact another publisher to access their interest.

And that is enough said about that!

I need to get going this morning. It's grocery store day! Hope you have a lovely day!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Tah....DONE! The Watermelon Quilt!

I finished this little quilt yesterday. These are fun and I can finish them quickly. I designed it, but I got LOTS of inspiration from other quilts on Pinterest. I started by sewing the watermelon squares together, then I freeform cut the watermelon.

I've already decided that the September quilt will have a football theme, but I'm giving myself a break before I start it.

So Cooper...he ate half a pan of cornbread yesterday. And I didn't even realize it until I was preparing our dinner last night. Guess I need to make another batch...and guard it with my life. Ha!

Today I think I'll get out Bliss and see what's next on it. And maybe I'll dig out a UFO... I'm also interested in Bonnie Hunter's new Leader and Ender challenge - I've always wanted to make an hourglass maybe I'll cut some pieces for that, too.

Hubby is still on vacation. We've been busy with so many odds and ends, including lots of paperwork...more on that soon. His father's cancer is back (or maybe it was never gone?), so that's kept our minds occupied. We'll be attending his next oncologist appointment with him next week to see what comes next. And so it goes...

Make it a great day!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Serpentine Quilting!

Yesterday I finished quilting the little watermelon quilt using the Serpentine Stitch on my Bernina - stitch number 4, stretching out to make it curvy. Makes for a beautiful background. Today I aim to get the binding on.

Here's a peak at my sewing table under the window - I found this cute little rug to anchor my chair - so adorable!

Last night's dinner: zucchini casserole (zucchini, onion, brown rice, low fat mayo, 2 eggs, cheddar cheese), yellow squash and onion, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes. Yum! Followed it up with a scoop of homemade Banana Pudding ice cream (1 1/2 cups 2% milk, one can sweetened condensed milk, 1 t. vanilla, 2 mashed bananas, broken vanilla wafers). Double yum!

It's going to be a HOT one today. But we need to get out and run some errands, so we'll brave the heat for a bit.

Lots of love from Opelika, Alabama...

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sewing Room Tour!

So here is my little sewing room. I took a panoramic shot so you could see everything in one picture. Let's start on the far left. There is my ironing station. (My sewing machine used to be here.) Then there is the television - I use the cabinet below for storage. Just to the right of the TV you may be able to see Mickey's little crate on the floor - he sleeps here at night.

Under the window is my sewing machine. I can spin around in my chair to face the wooden desk, which double as my cutting station with cutting mat.

The back right corner is a bit cluttered - Those boxes are things from Augusta that I need to sort. In the corner is Cooper's big crate. I have an Ikea table with adjustable legs positioned over his crater - my Accuquilt Studio cutter lives here.

Then there is a closet - yes, I've filled that easily with my stuff!

And then we have a nice comfy chair and ottoman.

It's a tight fit, but it's working well for me much better now. I have everything I need at my fingertips.

I'll share more close up photos tomorrow...

And what did I buy at Christmas in July? I bought this Juniper Berry pattern and the layer cake of fabric to go with it. Oh, and a new spool of Auroral whiter thread. Mine is running low.

And I bought these two fabrics. I'm planning to make a chemo hat with them - must prewash first.

I also bought something else that I have a feeling will be my new quilting obsession.  I'll share it SOON!

Have a great day!

Monday, July 18, 2016

A Quick Recipe and a Lazy Dog

I have not sewn a stitch since Thursday. Need to stitch today! Friday was for errands. I also attended the Christmas in July event at our local quilt shop - fun! Maybe I'll share my purchases tomorrow...

Saturday we had a day trip to Birmingham. We met our daughter and son-in-law for lunch and then visited with my in-laws. I do NOT miss the Birmingham traffic!

So that's where the quick recipe comes in. Saturday night we were both tired and hungry. What to cook that was both fast and yummy? Here is my go-to quick and easy meal:

Lemon Pasta

1 16 oz. box spaghetti (or other pasta)
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Parmesan Cheese
Pine Nuts

Optional additions:
Diced tomato
Chopped green onions
Garlic Powder
Asagio cheese

While water is boiling for pasta, toast Pine Nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly. They will turn golden brown and lovely. Set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and return to pan. Toss pasta with olive oil, lemon juice, Parmesan Cheese, and Pine Nuts. No measurements - just add ingredients to taste. Be sure to serve with salt and freshly ground pepper.

This has become one of my husband's favorite meals! And it's so economical - the most expensive ingredient is the Pine Nuts - but they absolutely are ESSENTIAL! I had some Asagio cheese in my fridge - we grated some on top of ours - YUM! (Hubby LOVES Asagio cheese!)

And the lazy dog...

A few days ago Cooper discovered the guest bedroom bed... this room has a large double window that looks out on the street. I finally decided that I wasn't going to fight this battle, so I threw an old coverlet on top of the bedspread. He understood that it was my way of saying, "Go ahead, make yourself comfortable." And so he does. Every day.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Onward on the Watermelon!

Yesterday I had two goals. The first was to baste the little watermelon quilt. I not only basted it, I also started the quilting. I only need to quilt the background now - I'm thinking squiggly lines for this...

The next goal was a bit bigger. After living in our cottage for a couple of months and getting back into sewing, I've realized my sewing room set up was NOT working for me. I'd had my sewing machine tucked behind a door. I was beginning to feel like I was sewing in a cave, all closed in. Something had to change.

Hubby and I sat down and considered options for moving things around. I decided which one I like best and we moved the furniture around. He took care of all the cords, outlets, and surge protectors. It took about an hour start to finish and I like it so much better! The desk I brought back from Augusta plays a huge role now - it is my cutting table. I've ordered a new cutting mat to fit it. I also found a place to keep my ironing table set up all the time.

I feel so much happier in my space now! Once I clean it up, I'll share some photos.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Watermelon, Anyone?

Yesterday (after successfully getting my Star driver's license and mailing Odyssey to Paducah) I worked on my mom's August door quilt. What to do for August????????

It's so HOT here in Alabama in August. And I've been particularly drawn to eating chilled watermelon this summer. And so...watermelon it is! One big slice. I appliquéd the seeds last night. I'll be adding some white rick rack to the inside edge of the rind today. And maybe a little border. And then it will be ready to quilt!

I hope to do all these things TODAY!

It's amazingly quiet on our street this morning. I think they've suspended construction on new homes for the duration of the golf tournament. It will be a nice, quiet day to sew. And that's what I plan to do!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

This, That, and the Other...

Here's the 'chemo hat' I made over the weekend. Cute, huh? The pattern is free and can be found HERE. It's Milly's Tie Hat - very easy to make! I'm making another later this week for my second friend with breast cancer.

Here's what's going on in our neighborhood this week! Our golf course is hosting a major PGA event. It's all very exciting. We have to have a parking pass just to get to our own home for the next several days. I haven't beens swimming in a few weeks, but this is NOT the week to go. Golfers and their family will be staying at the Marriott and I'm sure the pools will be crowded.

Hubby will be volunteering on Thursday and Friday on the course. He has to go for his second round of training today.

So this was my birthday dinner - just what I wanted! Burger, fries, and side salad. YUM!

So what are you doing today? I have an appointment with the DMV - must get my Driver's License renewed. My appointment is for 9:30 this am and I have to take SO many documents with me in order to get the Star license, so I can travel by plane within the US without a Passport - this new rule takes place next year, I think.

And then I need to get Odyssey shipped off to Paducah for the Grand Rapids show next month. Maybe some sewing will happen, too - hope so!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Happy, Happy!

It's my birthday! And I started of the day with a haircut (MUCH needed!) - much better! I have big plans to stay home the rest of the day and sew and read and sew.

Yesterday I did get my SEW on! I made a cute chemo hat/scarf for a friend (delivered it this morning) and I made these four patches. These for for my Bonnie Hunter Allietare quilt that I had started last year just before we decided to sell our home. Two moves later, a graduation, a wedding, and moving Mom to an Assisted Living...I'm ready to work on it again. My colors are totally different from those Bonnie used. This is step 3. I have more strip sets cut to work on these today.

Hubby and I are going out to eat tonight - looking forward to NOT cooking. While I'm sitting here in my recliner with my computer and a dog in my lap, Hubby is vacuuming. He loves to vacuum (and I do NOT). He's on vacation again this week.

Have a wonderful Seven Eleven! I will!

Sunday, July 10, 2016


Flowers in our backyard...

I sewed with friends yesterday...aaahhhh....

I took my trusty Featherweight and she did her job well.

Today I don't plan on leaving the house....aaahhhh....

I've been on the go too much lately. But not today. AAAhhhh...

I might sew. I might read.

Hope you have a relaxing day!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Let's Fly Our Flags!

These are tough times in our country. Lots of sadness and rage. I choose to do something positive. We are flying our flag. And trying to perform random acts of kindness. Fly your flag!!!!

So where have I been the last few days? No, not on a plane....

Hubby has been on vacation for the last week - and we stayed SO busy! Wednesday we ran over to the lake to pick up a utility trailer. Thursday we left at the crack of dawn to Augusta. My favorite part of the drive is near the Atlanta airport - watching the jets take off and land.

We spent 3 hours working on cleaning out mom's apartment. We broke down a bed, cleaned out a closet, rolled up rugs, etc., etc. We loaded up two pieces of furniture on the trailer to bring home, along with boxes and boxes of photo to sort.

Then we went to visit Mom for a bit and take her the little patriotic quilt for her door. (So she's flying her flag, too!)

We knew it would be a LONG day, too long to leave the dogs unattended. And so they came along! Mickey rode in my lap in the front seat, of course. Cooper was content in the backseat. The were so good! And we're glad to know we can take them on a long road trip.

Friday we spent the morning rearranging furniture to make the "new" pieces fit. The "new" pieces are antiques my parents collected when they were young. Then in the afternoon some Birmingham friends were in town and came by for a visit. Next up was a manicure and then grocery shopping - didn't get home until 7:30 pm.

Today will be relaxing and fun! I'll be SEWING!!! Yay!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Tah Dah! Tah DONE! July 4 Door Quilt!

I finished this little quilt! This was so much fun to make. I had to add a hexie star - I's not five pointed, but as you know, hexies are six sided - works for me!

I put the last stitches in the binding on the porch. I love to hand stitch here! Our neighbors came by for a visit, which ended up with tours of both of our homes to compare our house plans. We didn't get home until almost nine, and hadn't even eaten dinner yet. But it's so nice to have REALLY wonderful neighbors!

I found these cute little buttons - I may add one to the center of the start - we'll see....

We got a little rain shower yesterday morning! And we got another one during the night!  Oh, that makes us very happy!

So, I'm hearing some of you would like the recipe for the White Almond Texas Sheet Cake...
You can find it HERE.

I hope you have a wonderful day!