Thursday, December 19, 2013


As with most quilters I have a large, self replicating stash. Even though I am working (kind of) on seven quilts all at once, I decided to join a mystery quilt group on the web which was billed as a stash buster. So, what did I do right off the bat? Purchased (yes, actually went to the quilt store) four and a half yards of background fabric. White. Boring – maybe. That really didn't help my stash at all.

Artquiltmaker offered to set up her Accucut machine when I went over (that was last Tuesday) so I could cut my bazillion (well, 256) two and a half inch squares. What a great machine! I had the squares all cut in just over an hour. But, could not even tell I had used any fabric out of my stash! Geeze...

My New Year resolution for 2013 was not to purchase any new fabric. I pretty much didn't – well, except for that white – buy very much. But I'm not resolving that again very soon. 2014 the resolution is to walk every day. That should last about a week :-]

Today I joined a mini-group and we are planning on making a star quilt at the next meeting in January. I'm looking forward to making the stars - think I will use the batiks I didn't buy myself (the Big Guy bought them) on Small Business Saturday and use white as the background.

Well, that will be nine (!) quilts in progress. Don't think I'll get bored.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Pie Day

Every year artquiltmaker and I do pie day. This began when we got tired of not being able to eat pie Thanksgiving or Christmas because of gluten intolerance. Some years we have made as many as six pies! From scratch! In one day!

As the years meandered on we refined technique and made the process easier. The first and best change was the crust. We found GF crusts at WFM, tested them and found them swell! That saved half a day at least. GF from scratch pie crust is very difficult, really hard, close to impossible. Did I say it was hard? Finding tasty, beautiful and gluten free crusts was wonderful.

After the crust we honed down the varieties of pie. The lemon meringue went by the wayside the year
I used Austrian hooch, stored in a lemon juice bottle, instead of lemon juice! The kids were forbidden from that one when we figured out what I had done. It wasn't very good, either. Cherry stopped when we spilled or miss-measured the brandy. Cured Sean of his love of cherry pie. We only make mince now when Cathy comes because she and I are the only ones who like it so the leftovers tend to get moldy. Not good after all the effort.

We have two pies that are always favorites: cranberry-rhubarb and of course, pumpkin. This year those two were definite bakes. As the crowd has been reduced this year three was the magic pie number. So of course it was c-r and p. The third became artquiltmakers choice which turned out to be blueberry.

One complaint AQ always has is sloppy filling. She wants the filling, be it cherry, lemon or any other, to stay in the crust! This year she began internet research on filling early and found a 'gel' which was supposed to keep the in the crust. Tonight will be the test as she cuts the blueberry pie.

In spite of all I have already said I have not yet gotten to the point of this post - this year's pie day. I live 82 miles from AQ. There is no WFM within 50 miles. If I need something from WFM I plan to stop on my way to AQ's. I needed one item from WFM on this year's Pie Day. It would take me five minutes at the most. The hang-up was that the Big Guy was with me. He thinks it is Christmas when he goes into any type of store. He LOVES to shop! We luckily found a parking spot easily and quickly (I know, a miracle). He got a cart – which I didn't need for my one item – and asked if I wanted various items. I told him to have at it, I would just go get what I needed. Which I didn't because they were out! Then began the great search for the husband – whose cell phone was unhearable in the WFM babble. 10 minutes. After finding him I then had to convince him that he had enough stuff (all good stuff to be sure) and find our way to the shortest (HAH) line. Forty minutes later we were once again on our way. AQ texted me while we were going over the San Mateo bridge – she didn't have enough blueberries! We got to DC and stopped at Trader Joe's. They don't carry canned blueberries. We went around the corner to Safeway – no parking spots and a million people driving around the lot in a stupor. Finally found a spot two blocks (it seemed) from the store. The Big Guy (thank you God) stayed in the car. Four and a half minutes later I got back to the car and we headed off, finally, to AQ's. Arrived about 1:45! That made Pie Day half over! We had a bite to eat to refresh ourselves and it was time to pick up the Young Man from school (a happy task I undertake each Tuesday). I went to ARHS and got him. We had a quick errand to do – pick up reeds for his clarinet – and took off from school to San Bruno (I thought) to the music store. Well, the store is actually in South City. When I realized I was lost TYM phoned home and got directions. That should have been that except South City doesn't seem to believe in street signs! Additionally, there seems to be more than one Grand Avenue and the one we were on was an endless loop! I made sure TYM paid close attention because getting lost in LA as a child with my mom gave me a great knowledge of how to get around that giant city. I must have inherited her getting lost gene!

We finally found Braunstein's only to discover neither of us had any change for the parking meter! Since I know squat about reeds and TYM doesn't drive, I sat in the car, ready to move immediately should a meter maid appear, and he ran in to get the reeds. Another ten minutes on the Pie Day clock. As we pulled out of the parking spot TYM stopped me from heading the (wrong) way I planned and unerringly directed me home. It was 4:30! The last pie was ready to go into the oven. AQ did it! I could rest easy in future years knowing there would be pies for holidays whether I was there or not!. I did a little clean-up and helped make dinner. Artquiltmaker you rock!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

An old post never posted - from this summer.

I have 15 minutes before my Irish Soda Bread comes out of the oven.  What better way to spend it than to blog!

Our tomatoes are in fine form. Twice this week I harvested over fifty.  Sunday and Tuesday I cooked them in the crock pot.  Not hard but ended up with pretty unexciting sauce. On Wednesday I remembered that we purchased a new pressure cooker earlier this year. I dug it out and got my pressure cooker cookbook out and made the recipe for marinara sauce. It was delicious! It only made two quarts as opposed to the five quarts I got from the crock pot but oh was it good! It is also gone! Today I made tomato vegetable sauce. It is really good, too.

My quilting is in fine form, too.  I am working on a BOM and a buck-a-block. Because I have some trouble following directions, I make a test block before I use the fabric for the BOM or B-A-B. I also have to put together the BOM finished in April.

Birthday Blooms - blocks finished
original design quilt for her grandson, who got married in January of this year. That was a rush job that turned out nicely
Yesterday I finally started sewing again. Was not able, both time-wise and ability-wise to work on all my quilts while my mother was ill. The small bit of piecing that I did do had to be ripped out so I avoided my studio for six weeks.

But I'm over that for now and was on a roll yesterday!

I started putting “Birthday Blooms” together. Thought it would be really hard because all my blocks did not turn out to be 12.5” squares, as I mentioned earlier when I was working on that BOM. Have to say I will probably never do that group of patches again. I found the directions difficult to understand and the designs overly fussy. They could have been much simpler.

I did, however get them all done and I can see the end in sight. Have to discuss with our cousin how she wants the quilting done. I am willing to do it after doing the quilting on the two lap quilts I finished last summer and enjoying that. But the last one I did for her was professionally done and she might want that again.

In addition to working on “Birthday...” I made two S­hoo-fly squares for my birthday quilt which I am calling “Shoo (butter)fly”. I have ten squares done now. The ones I did yesterday are a deep aqua. A lovely color.

I also finished last month's BOM. It was really hard and I didn't like making it. I always (since last years fiasco of a BOM) make a scrappy one (brown) before I use the provided fabric. But this time I did it so long ago that it didn't help. But it is done.

Then I made the “P is for a Portly Pig with Puffin Slippers” patch for my ABC donation quilt. That will be a challenge to put together because there is a variety of sizes for the different squares. But I do like putting the quilt top together, one of my favorite parts of quilting, so am looking forward to that.

When I finish this post I am going back to the studio and sewing some more – Yippee!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Life getting shorter.


This is an old post I didn't get published when I wrote it. Am posting it today to document the beginning of the end for Mom. Will document other bits of her last month when I feel able
to revisit that pain.

Super G with her great-granddog, Princess Beene - a great foot warmer!

Mom has had a very bad week.  She has been getting more and more helpless since the Alzheimers diagnosis in May. When I  was down with artquiltmaker the middle of September she was having trouble getting dressed.  Last Wednesday she put her jeans on wrong and tripped and fell in her bathroom. We don't know what she hit - I suspect it was the edge of the bathtub - and she broke two ribs, sprained her shoulder, may have cracked her elbow and has various bruises and contusions. I was planning on going down the next day anyway so just left home about 5p.m. and got to Santa Clarita at 11p.m.  Went to Henry Mayo Hospital first thing to find her pretty much out of it. She didn't know who I was which was heartbreaking for me. Apaperaddict arrived a few minutes later and my youngest step-sister soon after that. The doc came in and said she could go home - no reason for her to stay! She couldn't walk, wasn't eating and was incoherent. Our patient advocate, Apaperaddict, put on her 'nasty pants' and won the sparring match with the discharge dummys. She stayed an extra night until we found an appropriate skilled nursing facility for her.  Skilled, however is debatable!
Several months ago I was whinging and whining to artquiltmaker about not having a decent word processing program on my computer and what a pain that was when I was trying to blog. I had (have) about given up blogging because much of what I typed kept getting blown away. She suggested I try Apache Open Office.

I dutifully downloaded the free product and waited for something to happen. Voila! Couldn't find it on my computer and spent what now seems like hours trying to use it. Finally gave up. This morning Adobe Acrobat announced an update when I opened Mozilla. As I mostly play games on my computer (remember, my word processing is close to non-existent) I began downloading it. As I was following the directions, which included going to downloaded programs, it occurred to me that maybe I needed to do that with Apache! Looked through downloads and found the program, opened it and began the process. Lo and behold, I now have a word processing program that works! Thank you artquiltmaker.

As many of you know, we lost my sweet mom October 28th. Her final three weeks were dreadful and the only good part was that she only suffered three weeks. I miss her so much.

Earlier this week I was transferring birthday dates into my 2014 calendar and realized how much time I spent with Mom this year. I expect to be going down to her home at least twice more, once in December to finish clearing out the copious amounts of stuff she collected over the years and then, when the house sells, to move furniture. And I know what I will be doing with all this extra time I will have! I am going to (and have begun to) clear out all the copious amounts of stuff I have collected over the years! I started yesterday - one half of a shelf is now neat and tidy! Yea me.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Garden Gnomes

The big Guy as a garden gnome!

The Big Guy has a birthday next week. What to give him is always a conundrum for me as he has at least three of everything he might want!  While riding home from Mom's last week with artquiltmaker we stopped in Pismo Beach at Quiltin Cousins. This is a cute little shop with lots of fun fabrics.  The owner had curtains on the windows in the back of the store made from a garden gnome border print fabric by Michael Miller.  TBG is a master composter and dresses like a giant garden gnome when he speaks to gardening groups. What better gift than a garden gnome pillowcase!

(FYI - I just blew away two paragraphs two times! AARGG)

 Well, enough of this. Here is the picture. It is obvious what I did and that when laid on the bed it will be just fine!

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Big Guy and I delivered the Orphan Block Quilt to our daughter in Montana in August. We stayed a few days to visit, too!

A week before Christmas TBG asked me to  make this for his daughter (my favorite step-daughter) for Christmas! I said I'd love to  make her a quilt, how about for her birthday in March? Even that was a stretch as I had several quilts going - a block of the month, a buck-a-block and two childrens quilts for my girlfriends grandchildren. But I always love starting a new quilt. I love deciding what kind I am going to do, the design, the colors and piecing it all together. Roller Derby Daughter is a combination of all the good qualities of both her parents and she is a pleasure to be with. I had promised her a quilt with wool batt because it gets cold in Montana, where she lives. But more about that later.
This mermaid block is from a piece of Laurel Burch fabric I have and love.I used it because RDD has great and long hair, very curly.

This is the backing that I chose. It is  reproduction of an eighteenth century fabric commissioned by the DAR. I made the back all one fabric in case RDD didn't like the front.

The bright color strip is from a color challenge quilt I did early in 2012 at Quilter's Quarters - Stockton.  It was a lot of fun.

Just thought I'd stick this in! It is my own design and I stitched in the ditch to quickly quilt it.

This pinwheel was in my orphan block bin. I don't remember why I made it but I really like the dark-medium-light contrast in it.

This was the first block of the block of the month I did last year. It was the second one I did and I reduced it from a twelve inch block to a six inch block. I like it a lot better small but the lower left corner was really hard to piece!

This block was a practice block I did with my own fabrics before doing the block with the "official" fabrics. It was after I realized that my piecing left something to be desired. Doing a practice block worked out the kinks. The center is appliqued.

All in all this was a real learning experience for me. Here is what I learned: 
1.  I don't like following directions
2.  I am a freethinker when it comes to making a quilt. My design, my way!
3.  I am a little sloppy when I sew.
4.  I give my quilts to non-quilters (usually) and they love them no matter how they look so I can do what I want.
5.  I will do a quilt and let others pick the colors but I don't enjoy it.

P.S. Here are three of the other quilts I was working on  when I started this one (all finished and delivered)

This is called Puppy Love.

This is Kestrel's cousins for a little girl named Kestrel who lives in Idaho.

This is R.J. and Sarah's wedding quilt and it currently lives near Venice, Italy. It is my own design and my cousin-in-law and I picked out the colors. I designed the quilt and I love it.

Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Today I'm trying something new! I have been having a lot of trouble typing in my thoughts on blogger. Words  into thin air. So I am going to type all the words into my word processing program then transfer to a new blog post.

I am finding that the words still jump around, disappear and evade the cusor. For some reason it seems more manageable in the word processor.

The other day I was happily typing away when a whole paragraph flew into the ether, never to be seen again! The pictures stayed so, in theory, I could go back and re-write it. However, that would entail finding the train of thought I had been riding!  That engine left the track at the same time the paragraph took off!  I'll give it a try, anyway. In the meantime this little missive will get posted.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Dud of a dinner

For Christmas last year I received the cookbook "Nigella Express". This lovely book is full of easy recipes using ingredients I mostly have on hand.  We had gotten some large shrimp for dinner and I decided to make "Red Shrimp". It has red curry powder, chili paste, onions, garlic, papaya, coconut milk, broth, sweet potatoes, butternut squash (we are still eating our abundant crop from last year!), lime juice, and a few other things.  It called for being served over noodles. I found some (very old) rice stick noodles and cooked them up. They are kind of like spagettini so I didn't cook them too long for fear of ending up with mush.

Well, the noodles weren't at all mushy - they were more like long strings of rubber!  And the shrimp dish was VERY SPICY! The shrimp were good but everything else was almost inedible!

Well. Last night was the first time in 22 years that the Big Guy didn't eat all his dinner! And he's the guy who eats raw firecracker peppers! In fact, he threw half his dinner away! He was worried about insulting me but rather, by throwing his away, he gave me permission to throw mine away this a.m. when I got them out to make for breakfast!

As I always do, I made notes in the cookbook - leave out the chili oil/paste. Use mild curry. Forget the lime juice in the sauce.  Buon apetito!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Tea Pops

The Thingy

The Big Guy and I love ice cream. Who doesn't? But the lactose bothers us both, if we buy a half gallon in the store we buy two because I don't like the kind he likes, and then we eat it all in three days.

So the other night we took Roxy in her service dog jacket and went to BR for ice cream so there would not be any in the house to chow down on. It was $10! For five scoops of ice cream! That is one for Roxy and two for the adults. Geeze - two ice cream visits and we could have gone out for dinner! I definitely needed an alternative.

Blueberries in resevoir
Last time I was at K-Mart I had mindlessly thrown a popsicle maker thingy in my basket. It came home and has been sitting on the counter for a couple of weeks. Well, my ice cream dilemma and the popsicle thingy met head on and tea pops came into being. I filled the body of the thingy with blueberries and topped it off with decaf green tea. Last night we tried them. Delicious!

The calorie count was almost nil. None for the tea and maybe 30 for less than a quarter cup of blueberries. Maybe next time I will do sliced bananas and almond milk with a dash of vanilla. Yum!

Thoughts while driving

This is the test block for Birthday Bloom 12. It looks long and skinny because it IS! Plan on putting it in my next orphan block quilt.
As many of you may know I drive a lot. Always have and will until I suffer the loss of my driving privileges in twenty years or so.  I also quilt.  In the past year I joined a block of the month class at Quilter's Quarters in Stockton. The quilt we worked on was called "Birthday Blooms". It is a pretty quilt with, as the name implies, a flower for each of the 12 months of the year.  I had so much trouble with these patterns that my quilting confidence plummeted! Successive months became more and more difficult. I missed the last class but did get the block to put together. Early in the class I figured out that if I made a bloom out of my fabric before using the fabric included in the block for the quilt I could work out the kinks without destroying the actual quilt block. Let me tell you, it was really painful! And it got worse as the year of months went on.  I spent much of last week working on the test for the last block and bemoaning my inability to quilt with Debbie Chase, owner of Quilter's Quarters (who has always been most encouraging) and anyone else who would offer me cheese with my whine! While driving one day I listened to a Radio Lab segment on PBS . Don't know where I was going as all the miles kind of mush together in my brain. But the point is that the program was about hearing voices in ones head. I realized that I was listening to all my childhood voices which said I wasn't as smart as I should have been. I decided to reprogram my voices and so started thinking about all the wonderful quilts I have made and the people who love them and think I am a fantastic quilter. Then I thought about all the classes I have taken and the techniques I know. I sat down in front of my super little Feather Weight, picked up the directions and really looked at them. Low and behold! The directions for cutting were in color order, not top to bottom of the block order as I assumed. The last block is going together very well and I even have fabric left over! I love to quilt again and look forward to the new year of Block of the Month (which are paper pieced - my favorite technique!)
On another note, anyone know how to get rid  of the the 'send feedback' box on this screen? Perhaps I should send my feedback?!

This is about half done and is going together very well! Yea, me!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

It's June already!

On the 21st, this week, we will experience the longest day of the year.  Last night, sitting next to my mom she looked at me, took my hand, and said "I don't think I'm going to live much longer".  Talk about an attack on my heart! I know she isn't well, I know she is old (90 later this year!) but still, she is my mom, I love her, like her and enjoy her company. In the years since  her husband died we have become very close. My response was "Well, hang in there as long as you can.".

The segue from the longest day of the year to my mom is this: after the twenty-first of June the days get shorter and now the time I left with my mom is getting shorter. I want to think about how I want to spend this time.  The first thing I am doing is spending more time with her. I travel down every two to three weeks to stay with her, go to doctor appointments, do paperwork and visit.  I am sad to see her physically getting smaller and smaller. Part of the process, I guess.

Sitting with  mom on the couch, holding her hand, reminds me too much of the same period of time in my younger sister's life, when she was dying of cancer and I had the privilege of spending time with her.
I hope I am a comfort to mom. I hope I can pass her heritage down to my children and grandson.  I hope I get through this with grace.

I hope my sense of humor reflects hers and remains intact.  Prayers, please.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Finished and inspired from April.

Last week I finally finished "Kestrel's Cousins".  After I had put the binding on I realized I had purchased some Kaffe Fassett fabric for the binding but didn't use it.  I'm doing Quilter's Quarter's Buck-A-Block which uses KF fabrics.  So I may use it for that.

Between the Buck-A-Block and Block-of-the-Month I will have enough blocks for three quilts (because I make a sample block  before I do either of those). I have challenged myself to use the Flynn Frame I HAD to have to quilt them.  It is currently gathering dust behind my studio door. Am determined to become a better machine quilter.

Well, I just blew away a whole paragraph! But I remember what it was about so I can write it again!

As promised, I ripped out some of the stitching on my whole cloth quilt and remarked it. Thursday night I worked on it for about and hour and completed quite a bit.  I can see a pinprick of light at the end of the whole cloth tunnel - whoopee!

I briefly looked at The Scientific Quilter blog this morning. The name inspired a possible new design for a block - will let you know if it comes to fruition.

Artquiltmaker and I are on a road trip to visit my mom. We had a very nice trip down. I didn't have to drive at all and was totally relaxed (except when the raven dive bombed the windshield) because AQ is such a good driver. Of course that is because I taught her to drive!

We stopped in Paso Robles at Birch Quilts (the online store is called Fabric Worm) which is a light and airy shop with

Once again it has been a while since I've blogged. Got bad news, not unexpected, from Mom's doctor.  He says she has Alzheimer's. He expects she will be able to live alone another six months to a year. She can no longer drive or make legal or financial decisions.
Mom goofing around - she has not lost her sense of humor

Needless to say, this has created a new dynamic in the family.  The steps have stepped up to help. Perhaps we should have asked sooner. Friends are driving her around.  My girls (women) are doing paperwork and spending more time with her. Apaperaddict daughter, who has been spending more time with her had to leave on a month-long trip for work. Artquiltmaker has been doing tons of paperwork and liaising with the attorney and financial guy. I have many easy little jobs.  I am, however, paralysed. I feel as though I have lost my best friend!  So I do nothing until I am under the wire and then scurry around like a little mouse.

On a totally different plane, The Big Guy and I were Chrismated into the Holy Orthodox Church on Orthodox Great and Holy Saturday - May 4th.  This journey, started last September, has brought us peace, joy and direction. Saturday was wonderful.

The Big Guy and I after Chrismation in the narthex of St. Basil's Greek Orthodox Christian Church

 TBG has on a white kilt which I made Friday in about 90 minutes! We couldn't find white pants on short notice and, of course, fabric is always available. Making the kilt was similar to making drapes!  We looked stunning - he more than I.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

On a rollFrom early April!

 This post has been lost in my drafts! Wrote it about a month ago...

I did get to my whole cloth quilt yesterday.  Sat and ripped out the corner flowers and the rabbits.  Decided that it had enough busyness and only needed the straight lines finished. So I think I am on the downhill slope for that one.  About 15 years on my ufo list!

Am planning to stop by Quilters Quarters after the guild meeting this morning to pick up my buck a block and the Birthday Bloom block. When I have finished those I will dig in my ufo bin for the next project to finish.  I am thinking that I will do the one I started in a class with Marian Nathan Robertson (not sure of name) where I hand dyed the fabric.  It is pretty retro - grey, pink and charcoal!

While runching through my ufos I found this finished top and back! I hand pieced it in a class at College of Marin about 13 years ago! The Big Guy and I looked at it on the bed and decided to make it a summer weight quilt and also to hand quilt it as it is hand pieced. Maybe I'll use that new technique with perle cotton.  So it looks like I won't be at a loss for quilting to do for the rest of this year. 

Laurel Birch flannel for the back
 I also want to work with my Flynn Frame to improve my machine quilting.  Am planning to use the 12" orphan blocks from Birthday Blooms and make them into wall hangings or pillows and  practice machine quilting on them.
Hand drafted and pieced sampler blocks.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I can't believe it is April already and I've only posted once this year! I have been quilting, though! Finished the quilt for my cousin's grandson and it has been deployed, with them, to Italy. My first international quilt and it is an original design by me!


The quilt for Roller Derby daughter is at a new long-arm quilter.  We are trying Ladybug Quilts service. They are the local Manteca quilt shop and I spoke with the owner and long-armer at the Manteca  Quilt Guild show in March. They are reasonable but, as usual, slow. The Big Guy keeps asking when it will be done.


One of the ladies at church has invited me to join the Tuleberg Quilt Guild which is the Stockton guild.  Tomorrow will be the second meeting. It is a large, cheerful group.

Another of my lady friends from church is in the hospital.  She has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. If you are so inclined pray for Annette - thanks.

The large ones are my fabric, small are Fassett fabric
This year I decided that, in addition to the block a month at Quilters Quarters, I would also do buck a block. The point is to keep me quilting and it has.  In addition to doing the monthly block, which I do twice - the first time with my own scraps to work out the block because they are hard - and the second time with the fabric provided. That quilt, called Birthday Blooms, is also going to one of my cousin's grandchildren. The buck a block is with Kaffe Fassett fabrics. I have to say that I am disappointed with the
quality of the fabric. But the colors are nice.  So with that one I make the block with 2 1/2" Thangles and the fabric provided, then I make it again with some of my own fabric and larger Thangles.  So, by the end of the year, I will have two quilts to put together.

All of these are birthday blooms for the quilt

The upper right and the lower left are practice blocks, the others are for the quilt. Almost done, I think there are two to go.

Yesterday I finally got back to the quilt for our friend Hugh's granddaughter - Kestrel's Cousins.  Worked diligently on the quilting and finished that! Picked the fabric from my bottomless stash - The Big Guy always helps with that and is rarely wrong - and cut out half of the binding.

Still needs the binding

I've also been working on my whole cloth quilt. Dreamt about the other night and am going to rip out the last part that I did and redesign it. Again!

Removing this

Want it to look more like this

I also made a quilt top for a color class that only one person signed up for - it will be scheduled for later in the year and maybe we will get enough people.

Can you find the mistake?
 Hopefully this post will not be the last for four months again! I do enjoy writing and must push myself to continue doing it.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Happy New Year!

I just spent about twenty minutes blogging only to have it all blow away! The program came up with a message which said "you have unsaved changes", wouldn't let me save, and all my lovely words disappeared!

The feedback feature doesn't solve any problems for the writer so I feel that it is useless.  Researched other blog sites but decided this was as good as any, so am not changing.

Well, I was complaining anyway and who wants to hear that?

I've had the flu and now have a cold so the new year has not started off auspiciously for me. It can only get better!

I did have a very nice Christmas. Almost everything I got was on my wish list. What wasn't I liked very much anyway.

A couple of years ago I got a Cat Borde (sp?) knitting book but never got the 48" needles I needed for the project I wanted to make - a dog bed for our beloved canine companion, Roxy.  Not that she will sleep in it! She prefers being under the covers of our bed, between us with (long) legs stretched out. But I digress. So for Christmas I received not one, not two, but three different sizes of 48" knitting needles!

I am now working diligently on finishing my cable sampler muffler (on regular, boring, aluminum needles) so I can start on the dog bed!

My daughter, has a gluten free slow cooker cookbook that I looked at and really liked.
I received Stephanie O'Dea's follow-up of that cookbook, "More Make It Fast, Cook It Slow" for Christmas, too.  I absolutely love it. I have made twelve of the recipes so far and only one wasn't good. I admit that I didn't follow the recipe on the one that turned out badly. The dog liked it so it wasn't a total loss!

I also received a "Nigella Express" cookbook which is great to read but I never seem to have the ingredients on hand to  make the recipes.  I admit I am not a meal planner prior to going grocery shopping. Perhaps I could try that for the new year so I can get maximum use of my new cookbooks. I now have three gluten free cookbooks so am all set for healthy eating in the new year.

I still have two Christmas presents unfinished! A table topper for my mom and a quilt for Roller Derby Daughter.
Mom's Table Topper

The top is almost pieced and today I researched batt.  She would like to have wool as she lives in a cold and snowy climate.  When she visited during the summer she slept under my quilt with wool batt and really liked it. After some online research I think I am going to use "Quilters Dream" wool batt. Although my favorite quilt shop, Quilters Quarters, carries wool batt and I like to support them.  So we will see.

Scrappy Quilt for Roller Derby Daughter with Orphan Blocks