Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sweet Poppyseed Almond Chicken Casserole

Don't we all love a good chicken casserole? I know we do...

Well, I have a new one for you. I created this recipe last week and we LOVE it! It has a touch of sweetness and a little crunch. I love creating new recipes and this one is a keeper!

Sweet Poppyseed Almond Chicken Casserole

3 cups cooked, chopped chicken
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted almonds
1/2 cup low fat mayonnaise or sour cream
2/3 cup chicken broth
1/2 bottle low fat poppyseed salad dressing

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Spread in a lightly greased 9x12 inch casserole dish. If desired, top with butter cracker crumbs or sliced almonds or BOTH. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

Isn't that simple? And oh, so good!

The only sewing I did yesterday was some appliqué, but I won't bore you with another photo of the same thing. I'm not sure what I'll work on today. I really want to get back into the Farmer's Daughter blocks and also The Bee's Knees hexie project, so maybe that's what I'll do.

Have a fantastic day!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Colorful Day!

It ended up being another finger/petal day. I have so much fun picking out the fabrics for these.

Would you believe that last night I almost finished appliquéing these? Go me! Easy on the back and productive...

And now for my quilt shop purchases... I HAD to have the Tula Pink cats! And the cat eyes, too.

And more fabrics from the you see the little mouse hiding in the top fabric? So adorable!

I came home with a few neutrals, too - love the hedgehogs and do you see the April (giraffe, not month) fabric? Love it!

I ended the day by reading on the front porch...ahhh! We do seem to spend more time on our porches here than we did in our last house - it's so peaceful here. We grilled salmon last night on the back patio...a nice end to a nice day.

One day this week Hubby helped me retrieve my old Pfaff machine from storage. Today I want to set it up and see how well it's working. I'm thinking of taking it to retreat instead of my featherweight or my Bernina. I would really like the capability to do specialty stitches (blanket stitch) while at retreat but I'd rather not haul my Bernina. Fingers crossed....

Have a fun Saturday!

Friday, April 28, 2017

New Bedford is Ready to SEW!

Yay - I finished cutting up this kit! It's all packed up in a little bin - raring to go - raring to sew.

And then I prepped the 3rd Rowdy Flat Library Quilt block - and believe it or not, that's NOT a Kaffe fabric in the center. I'm open to using whatever works - I needed a large floral image to put in the center of the block and this fit the bill perfectly. 

Yesterday was momentous - I had my FIRST tomato sandwich of the year - my favorite lunch of ALL TIME! It was SO good - happy tummy here....

 In the afternoon I had a nice little nap (okay, so it was a particularly long nap!) and I woke up with Baby on my chest. Mickey was down on my legs under a quilt, but somehow Baby migrated up to snuggle with me. Haha!

Today I'm visiting my local quilt shop - I have a gift card burning a hole in my pocket - and I hear new fabric just came in...

My back is feeling SO much better - not 100%, but much improved. I'm still trying to be very careful (no swimming, no machine quilting), but I can do a bit of machine sewing. That being said, I have no idea what I'll work on today. I'll figure it out though...maybe dresdens? We'll see.

Have a fun day!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Cutting Day

I'm almost finished cutting the New Bedford quilt! I only need to cut two more fabrics and this will be ready for retreat next month. And then I ran my errands...

The farmer's market was fantastic - I grabbed some zucchini, tomatoes, and butter peas. Yum!

I also bought this contraption - I'd never seen one of these before, but when I found out what it was for, I had to have it. It's a trap for carpenter bees. Did you know this already? 

Carpenter bees drill holes (big holes) into wood, as in...on homes. We had carpenter bees make a nice big hole on a gable last summer - Hubby filled it. We've noticed they're back this year, re-drilling the same hole. Apparently they can get into this trap, but they can't get back out. So we'll give it a go! I'm after you, carpenter bees!

 The Opelika Library was wonderful as well. They have a great selection and were very friendly. I cam home with a haul from there, also. And I came home with instructions on checking out e-books.

Last night I finally finished with the appliqué - I may add some embroidery still...we'll see.

Mickey is still obsessed with his 'baby' - if we go outside, Baby comes, too. He carries it around everywhere.

Have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Not Much Done...

It's obvious that my lack of a defined schedule is affecting me - without that purpose and direction and focus I'm not as productive on some days. All I did yesterday was to appliqué more of the little yellow/orange circles on the flowers of the RFLQ. Only 4 more of these to go. 

Oh well, I guess we all need a slow-down day here and there, right?

Let's talk about little Mickey today. A friend of mine gave me this little dachshund toy to give to our dogs - her dogs have no interest in it. As soon as I showed it to Cooper and Mickey, it was Mickey who INSTANTLY claimed it. Hubby and I thought he'd destroy it. But he didn't. He seems to think it is his baby. He licks it and grooms it. He carries it EVERYWHERE. He snarls and barks at Cooper if he comes near it. 

We didn't let Mickey sleep with 'Baby' in his crate last night - we were afraid he'd bite off a piece and choke. This morning he remembered Baby and was so happy to be reunited!

He loves to sleep with his head resting on Baby. Oh so protective. Sweet Mickey...

I am determined to get more done today. I think I'll start by cutting more pieces for the New Bedford quilt. For those who asked - the fabric is from a line called New Bedford by Denyse Schmidt by Free Spirit.

I also plan to get out a bit. I've been wanting to visit the Opelika library and get a library card. Our previous home was in the city of Auburn and I already have an Auburn library card. I've heard that the Opelika library has some great selections. I love to check out e-books for my Kindle through the library.

There is also a great farmer's market not far from the library - I want to check that out, too. Should be a nice outing...

I haven't posted much here lately about Rodan and Fields, but I'm still LOVING the products! This week a brand new product was introduced - Active Hydration Therapy. I just got my hands on some yesterday and LOVE it! 

Tonight there is a virtual Facebook event starting to introduce the product- you could view it anytime through Sunday evening. There will be prizes available!!! Are you interested? Let me know! This is such a great opportunity to make some money on the side with very little effort. Where else can you get paid to wash your face and have improved skin? Even if you're not interested in the business, but want to learn more about the products, I'd love to add you to this event. Just let me know and I'll add you. 

And there's an added bonus: I'm offering a full size Active Hydration Serum AND a full size Last Boost (a personal favorite!) as a gift to the next TWO people who join my team! You can keep and use them yourself...or you could sell them...or you could gift them. 

Here's wishing you a FABULOUS day!!! 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Cutting Fabric

I began yesterday by cutting up fabric for my New Bedford quilt. I labeled each bundle as I finished.

I ended up cutting out about half the pieces for the be continued another day.

Then I prepared the next block for the Rowdy Flat Library Quilt. The next step will be those fingers/petals, BUT I'll finish the first block before I do that.

I decided my back wasn't quite ready for machine quilting, so that will wait.

When I came out of my sewing room I couldn't find Cooper. Cooper! You're not supposed to be on the guest bed! But who can fuss at a sweet sight like this? Not me! And at least he stayed off the quilt. I'm going to find something to spread on the bed so he will not mess it up - he loves to look out the front window.

So what will I work on today? I may work on dresdens. Or I may cut out more of the New Bedford quilt. Or I may cut out a block for my Farmer's Daughter quilt - need to get back into it. Or I may prepare another Rowdy Flat Library Quilt - I have the 3rd pattern already. Once I get these initial circles in place, the remaining block is portable.

In a few weeks I'll redo my weekly schedule, but for now I'll just float around and do what I please.

Wishing you a very pleasant day!

Monday, April 24, 2017

An Applique Day...

Yesterday afternoon I finished the 8 butterflies on my Rowdy Flat Library Quilt. The bodies are all cute little stripes.

And I found the perfect fabric for the big butterfly wings - it's a Kaffe floral that looks just like butterfly wings to me.

This almost finishes all the appliqué on this block.  I'm working on adding little circles to the flower centers - look at the lower right corner - see them? And I'm planning to do a bit more embellishment before I call it complete. More is more is more, right?

For those who have asked...this is the pattern for the t-shirt I'm making - Vogue 9057, designed by Marcy Tilton. If you're interested in buying gorgeous knit fabric (instead of recycling, like me), check out for a beautiful selection...

TV show update: I watched Mary Kills People last night on Lifetime. Boy, did it grab me! I loved it! It's a bit like Dexter, but not gory. Dexter was a bit too gory for me... 

I have lots of plans for today - so many that I probably won't get them all done:

-Grocery shopping...
-Machine quilting on the Autumn Garden quilt (if my back is up to it)
-Cut the background for the next RFLQ block (and prepare the bias for the circles
-Begin cutting out a quilt (New Bedford) to take on retreat

Have a great Monday, y'all!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

T-shirt Progress...

Yesterday I finished piecing the back of the t-shirt. I also cut out the collar. I sewed the front and back together and added the collar. Above, the front...

And here's the back. I still need to cut out and add the sleeves. It's a bit wild and crazy, I know. I tried it on and it fits me. This is a size Medium. Might be fun to wear to a football game...

Late last week the workers put in the stonework around the edge of our new patio - it really finishes it off well. Now I need to find some new chairs. The chairs you see are okay, but I want 4 matching heavy chairs, probably Adirondacks.

Yesterday afternoon we visited some greenhouses a friend had told me about (thanks, Caroline!). It was a bit of a drive, but well worth it.

We came home with a carload of flowering plants to dress up our backyard and patio.

And that was our Saturday. A nice day! My back is still hurting but getting progressively better each day. I think one more week will make all the difference.

Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

En Provence (Ain't No Sunshine) Top is Finished!

En Provence (and all Bonnie Hunter quilts I've made!) are those quilts which make me say, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can." Just like the little engine that could. Just keep going. Just keep going.

And eventually, EVENTUALLY, I do it. And I did. Yay! Another finished top! And that was enough machine sewing yesterday - I rested my back the rest of the day with a bit of appliqué.

And when I finished the top, I cleaned out my Wednesday bin. I put away all the leftover strips and chunks of fabric. And now my Wednesday bin is empty.

I love this quilt and can't wait to quilt soon as I finish quilting Autumn Garden. Oh, and I have a good name for it. You remember I left out all the yellow? So I think I'll call it, "Ain't No Sunshine." Works for me.

I need to revamp my entire weekly schedule. Let's see, I finished my Wednesday top and my Thursday top. I still have the dresdens (Gardenvale) in progress, along with The Bee's Knees curved hexie quilt, The Farmer's Wife hand piecing, and the Rowdy Flat Library Quilt. And then there's the t-shirt I need to finish. I have another quilt kit I purchased in Houston last Fall - I need to pull it out and do the cutting. And I now have a queue waiting for machine quilting. Lots of fun projects still to come!

As for today...Hubby's headed to the golf course this morning and I think I'll work on collaging the back of the t-shirt and cutting it out. It will be easy to cut out the sleeves and collar because they will have only one piece of fabric each. If I could get these remaining pieces ready, sewing the top together will be a piece of cake.

Last night I cooked collards and navy beans with a bit of ham. And cornbread. Yum! True Southern cooking! I don't do this often, but we enjoy it when I do.

Enjoy your day!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Top Progress

I finished piecing together the front of the t-shirt I'm making. Now I need to do the same for the back, and then cut out the collar piece and the sleeves. Have I mentioned that I bought several knit tops at the thrift store and cut them up to make this? I shopped with a color scheme in mind. Knit fabrics can be hard to find - so this way I can try out the pattern and the collage technique without spending a fortune. I bought enough knit garments to make several tops. I tried to look for fabrics/garments that would coordinate - orange/blue/white and black/gray/white.

In my pursuit of the perfect tool to make 1/8 inch bias strips, a kind reader sent me this link. Woohoo! Bias bars! My order has been placed! Boom! So many of you have been helping me with this! Thanks so much for the info!

Hubby and I went to a local gardening shop yesterday - love their chickens that wander around. Nope, we didn't buy anything, but we had a fun outing and went out for lunch while we were out and about.

Last night was quilt guild. We had such a fun evening! We do occasionally have national speakers/teachers (Pat Sloan is coming this summer!), but we also make use of our members. Last night one of our members gave the program on her appliqué quilts. There is such talent all around us! And we appreciate every bit of it!

Today I want to work on En Provence. I know... it's supposed to be hexie day, but I've been doing so much hand work this week due to my back ache - I'm ready to sit at my machine! And my back is feeling pretty good today. Four patches, here I come!!!

Have a nice day, y'all!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Birdie Almost Done...

My bird (number 8) is almost done; he only needs his feet and his button eye. Maybe today?

I was looking through a friend's book yesterday. I have several Kaffe Fassett books, but not this one. May have to get it...

This quilt really appealed to me - I love that it's made from scraps of many colors. I'm thinking I could use my vast supply of 2.5 inch strips to make it...

And this was another favorite. I love the color and vibrancy. You can't go wrong with simple squares and circles. I need to finish some projects so I can start more! 

My back is getting progressively better. Yay! I may even give machine sewing a try today. I'm itching to finish En Provence.

Today is pine straw day in our neighborhood. The HOA has someone bring in pine straw and spread it twice per year. I see it has been delivered. So nice we don't have to worry with this chore. 

Wishing you a happy sewing day!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Birdie Coming Out to Play...

This little birdie is coming out to play today. Since this has turned into a hand stitching week (due to my back), this might make a nice change of pace today.

Yesterday I made more progress on my RFLQ flower pots. (I may have to stitch a bit today on those, also.) As I was struggling to press tiny stems that are only 1/8" wide, I decided I needed to buy a 1/8" bias tape maker. No biggie, right? I have bigger bias tape makers - they are usually around $6 - totally worth it! So I went on Amazon to search.

I found one! But the price? *&^#%)!???


What??? You've got to be kidding me! I think I'll continue making do! I can think of much more important things to do with that amount of money...

As for my continues to improve! I was very diligent yesterday spending time with the heating pad and then ice. Back and forth. I'm  hoping that by the weekend I'll be able to machine sew again. I'm itching to finish En Provence and to work on machine quilting Autumn Garden. Until then I have plenty of hand stitching at the ready.

I stayed up a bit late last night watching the live Rodan and Fields new product launch with a friend - so exciting! I'll tell you more soon, but it's amazing and I can't wait to get my hands on it! I know I have some readers in Australia - we're getting ready to launch there - what an opportunity for Aussies! This is a fabulous way to make some bucks by simply washing your face (and watching yourself look younger). Contact me if interested! Of course it's also a great opportunity to make money here in the US and Canada also. Especially since we were just named the NUMBER 1 skincare line in the US!

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Flower Pots

Yesterday I finished the bows...whew! The main reason I don't like working on the bows is they have 5 (!) inner points. These are a challenge for me, but I did a better job on these than I did on the last block. Practice!

I never did work on hexies because I was in so much pain and it was simply easier to work on what was close at hand.

Last night I began the corner flower pots. I redesigned the pots to avoid more of those tricky inner points - why torture myself?!

I've worked on getting my stems skinnier this time around - much better I think. And the flowers? I cut them from wool. Why not add some wool to this quilt to add a little texture and dimension? I'm thinking I'll appliqué a smaller cotton circle on each wool circle...or else I'll add a button or perle cotton embroidery. We'll see...  I'm sure you can tell I'm having much more fun this time around!

If you're wondering why I'm NOT doing back basting appliqué (my personal favorite!) this time, it's because it's hard to get perfect placement of the pieces starting from the backside. If the pattern came with the entire block layout printed out so it can be traced, it would work. But the pattern only has the motifs - you have to arrange them as indicated in a photograph. So working from the front is helping me to align the pieces easier. I learned so much from that first block I made!

As for my back...
I'm thrilled to report that I woke up this morning feeling better! It's not well, but I can definitely tell it's better.  So I'll keep doing what I'm doing. Hubby made me an alcohol ice pack this morning. I'm rotating from a heating pad to ice (as prescribed by Daughter 2) and I think by the end of the week I'll be MUCH improved.

Today is a big day in Rodan and Fields land...there is a big new product launch today! Can't wait to get my hands on it! More about this later...

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Marking Fabric...

When I began this block for the second time and decided not to back baste, I needed a few marking tools. For light fabrics I use a mechanical pencil. But I needed something for the darker fabrics. I looked around my sewing room and found this marking pen - it was brand new in its package - never opened. I've probably had it for YEARS - I don't remember buying it.

I started using it and it seemed like it was all dried up. Okay...must be too old. So I put the fabric aside and started looking for something else to use. I came back and the white marks had magically appeared! Time to read the instructions on the package. It said, "Marks appear as the ink dries." OH! Magic! So now I'm loving this marking pen.

So we had a simple Easter day. We moved our fire pit from the screened porch to the new patio. Big mistake, for me anyway. It's pretty heavy and Hubby had one end and I had the other.  Did I mention it's really heavy? 

I was fine until I got out of the shower about 30 minutes later. BOOM! I've pulled a muscle in my back. I was pretty much miserable the rest of the day. And I'm still suffering today. I know it will pass in a few more days, maybe a week. Until then I'm just trying to be careful. And that means no machine quilting today - darn!

Hubby ended up helping with our simple Easter meal - he learned to make deviled eggs. I made broccoli salad. We had Honey Baked Ham and corn on the cob with it. Yum!

Since I don't feel like sitting at the sewing machine today, I will do hand sewing and reading. Maybe my hexies will come out to play? 

I wish you a happy Monday!