Category Archives: Sewing

Rhubarb, textiles and a Really Cute Quilt Book

Enjoying your Summer?   I am enjoying it so much, except for the really hot days that seem to sap all my energy.  We are going to be in the nineties for the next few days and I am not looking forward to it.  That is possibly why I love Alaska so much.  I was never hot while I was up there.

We have had a bumper crop of rhubarb this year.  For years I tried growing it, but never seemed to be able to until the last three or four years and now it is growing very well indeed.  We had rainy, cool weather earlier, which rhubarb loves, and it grew and grew. I think all the chicken poo and composted cow manure I put on it last fall helped too.  I have made rhubarb pies before, but this year I tried something different.  Rhubarb and strawberry crunch.  I have used this recipe for years to make apple crunch.   Now it is David’s and my favorite way to eat rhubarb.  Here is how you make it.

First you go out in your garden and cut several stalks of rhubarb.


Wash it well and then cut it up into small pieces.


Doesn’t look like much after this, does it?  But then you do this.


You get these luscious strawberries that your husband found at Aldis and wash and quarter them.


You mix them all together with sugar.  I used one and a half cups for two pies.


I also mixed in about a half cup of flour to thicken it because rhubarb makes a lot of juice when it is cooking.  I think I could have added just a little more, but David says he likes the juice.


Then you get out your pfaltzgraf? pie plates.  Don’t have any?  Well, just any ol’ pie plate will do.  I spray canola oil in them, but you can butter them if you want to add even more calories.

Now for the crunch part.


Mix one and 1/2 half cups of flour,  3/4 cup of sugar, 1/4 tsp. of salt,  one tsp. of baking powder together.


Take two of your disproportionate eggs that you found under your free range chickens.  Don’t have chickens?  Any chicken eggs will do.   Break them into the flour mixture and stir with a fork until well mixed.  Then add 1/2 cup of canola oil.  (Do not use olive oil in this.)  I have always used canola oil so that is the only thing I can tell you will work.


Your dough will cling together which is exactly what you want it to do.

Now here is the tricky part.(Or not, but you may think it is.)


After filling your pie plate.  And I mean full, you pat the dough all over the top of it with your bare hands.  Try to cover everything.  You will think you don’t have enough dough, but it will cover it all if you work at it.


Now it is ready to bake.  Wait a minute.  I like to sprinkle sugar over the top as this is not sweet enough yet.   When I make apple crunch, I sprinkle both sugar and cinnamon on the  top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 to 45 minutes or until top is golden brown and dry to touch.


Now I doubled this recipe because I had enough rhubarb to make two pies.  Doesn’t this look yummy?  Sorry, both of these are gone already.  We had company and someone really loved this enough to eat two helpings.   It’s really so good.

If you have been reading my blog for even a short time, you know I love fabrics.  I have been in love with textiles ever since I was a girl when I sewed my first doll from an old sock my mother gave me.  I have been in search of fabrics and things to make with it ever since.

I also love ironing.  I was cleaning out a dresser this week and found some old handkerchiefs I forgot I had.  I have collected old handkerchiefs for years and have a lot of them.


I washed them and ironed them.  I love to iron.  Yes, I know, I am a throwback, a crazy woman, someone you must think has too much time on her hands.  There is just something about taking a wrinkled piece of cloth and making it smooth.


How could I have forgotten these beautiful handkerchiefs?  How could women blow their noses on them?  They use to, you know.


Also found some curtains I bought at an auction years ago.  I think I will hang these in my shop.


I washed and ironed this fabric I have had for years that we sold in our quilt shop years ago.  I am working on doll quilts and this will be the backing for some.



I am using a lot of 2 and 1/2 inch blocks for these doll quilts.


I got this perfectly darling, wonderful quilt book in the mail the other day.  I have been looking at it a lot the past few days.  There are so many wonderful projects in it.


It is written by this very talented lady.  I have been reading her blog for years and she has written some of the cutest quilt patterns and designed some really pretty fabric.   She is a farm girl like me and her book is right down my alley.


Sorry for the poor quality of my pictures, but if you can see, this is a really, really cute barn quilt.   Inside each block is another smaller block where the barn door should be.  I am loving this.


This is another version and this is the one I am working on now.


This is one of the six inch blocks that go in the barn block.DSCN0947

This is another one.  There are many quilt blocks to make.  Boy, am I going to have fun.


This is my  attempt at my first barn quilt block.   A lot of tiny pieces.  This is going to be FUN. Did I already say that?  You are probably thinking, this girl needs to get out more.  No, I just love quilting and cute patterns like this.


Oh, oh, oh, look at this darling chick quilt made with one of the six inch block patterns.  What a cute baby quilt this would be.


This pattern was worth the entire cost of the book for me.  A chicken quilt.  I have made a chicken quilt before, but this one in pastels is just so, so, have I said cute enough?  This one will get made by me.


Here are a lot of 1and 1/2 inch squares cut ready to make this six inch block.


Inserted into a barn block this will be, well, CUTE!!  Have I gushed enough about this book and the cute patterns?  I am just so glad I decided to buy this pattern book.  It has already given me hours of happiness.

Now to the garden.  My vegetable garden already looks like a weed patch although you can see the tomatoes, pumpkins and sunflowers above the weeds.  I go out occasionally and pull a few weeds and a few hundred more grow up to take their place.  I have never seen weeds come up and grow so fast before.

My flower gardens give me so much pleasure.  In my little kitchen garden(kitchen garden used loosely as the only edible plants growing in it is the rhubarb.)


I am not sure what this is called anymore, but I know it just keeps spreading more each year.


Hiding among the foliage I found this lily reaching for the sun.   Behind it is perovskia and love in the mist.  This garden holds mostly blue flowers and this lily stands out like a sore, but pretty, thumb.

Here’s to rhubarb crunch, textiles and a quilt book that sends me over the moon.  Bye.






















Textiles and Me Part2

Yes,  I love textiles.  There is something about walking aisles of fabric stores looking at all the beautiful fabrics, feeling their softness and silkiness.  There are fabrics for every taste, every color in the rainbow.  I feel the same way about yarns although I don’t use yarns very often.

Since Spring is coming(I hope) and I don’t plan on spending time in my shop sewing when the weather is warm, I have been sewing up a storm the last few weeks. I found fabrics I had forgotten I had and brought out some of the fabrics I purchased recently and began sewing.


This is a skirt I just finished.  I paired it up with a little bolero jacket I made a couple of years ago.


I used a handkerchief for its pockets.


I made this skirt and paired it with a top I bought last year and a shrug I bought several years ago.   I love going through my closet and finding things I haven’t worn for a long time and find they go with something else.  I like wearing shrugs or bolero jackets because I am five foot one and long jackets just don’t look good on me.   I can’t believe I am five foot one. I feel about six inches taller.  Really.  But my doctor says that’s how tall I am so I can’t argue with him.


This is the dress I wrote about a while back.  The one that I am not sure I like how it fits.  It may be because I am not used to wearing fitted dresses or fitted anything for that matter. I will buy clothes one and two sizes too big because I can’t stand anything close to my body.  This little bolero jacket is kind of a different shape also.  We shall see how much I wear this.  I love the fabric though.


I just fell in love with this fabric.  Kind of wish I had made another skirt from it.  Maybe I will do some changing to the dress later.


I put the quilt I hand quilted on our bed this week for warm weather.  Then it got cold again.


I made these pillow cases from feed sack material.  I told David these are just for show as I don’t think these would hold up to washing after washing.  I do love how they go with the quilt.


This is what I am wearing Easter Sunday.  I am also wearing a hat. I want to start a hat revolution.  Too many women tell me they don’t think they look good in hats.  I think it’s just because when they wear a hat, they are usually the only one wearing one and feel like everyone is looking at them.  If more would wear hats, then no one would think anything about it.  As it is now, if I wear a hat, someone always says something about it because it is a rarity.  I love hats and want to see them come back.  My mother had so many hats.  One day I will show you some of them which I have, of course.  I also have a little hat I wore when I was a little girl.


I’m loving my purse.  This pattern is so easy.


Now I will talk about Miss Molly Marshmallow.  Look at what she is doing to poor Bonnie.  Sitting on her head.  I know it’s a sign of dominance, but I wish Bonnie would bite her on the behind just once.  This is how she sits.   Like a queen on her throne.  David and I have been seriously talking about changing her name to Termite because this dog eats wood.  She brings up whole logs from the wood pile and gnaws through them.  She pulls branches off trees and chews them.  And I told you about the big hole she chewed into our house almost clear through to the inside.  David was not a happy camper about that and words like, “That dog is gong to find itself in a new home,” to ” Something has to be done about that dog,” were being said.  I was close to tears.  But, David repaired the hole and so far, Molly has not chewed the house anymore.  I think she may have heard what David was saying.  She is getting spayed in a week and I am hoping that will settle her down a bit.  Poor baby.


Here are two eggs David gathered today. See the little one?  See the jelly bean?  What in the world happened with that chicken???  Smallest egg we have gotten since the hens all started laying.  Must have been a bad day.

Here’s to fabric, dog sitting dogs and tiny eggs.  Life is always interesting. Bye.

Textiles and Me

For as long as I can remember, I have loved textiles and sewing.  My mother gave me an old sock when I was very little and I laboriously hand sewed a little doll from it.  I still have that doll and if I can find it, I will show it to you one day.  I played with that doll, drew a face on it and enjoyed it for a long time.  It wasn’t like I didn’t have other dolls.  I got a doll every Christmas and had a whole family of them, but because I had made this doll, it was special to me. I have been sewing with needles since I could hold one in my hand and know what to do with it.

I remember Mother getting a new Singer sewing machine one year.  She was so proud of that machine and it is on that machine I learned to sew.  Plus having six years of Home Economics where I learned to sew clothes and drapes.  I remember Mother sewing clothes for me.  It was so fun for me to go to JC Penney’s with her and pick out the fabric and coming home and helping to cut out an outfit and Mother sewing it.  I remember a plaid dress,  a red and white dotted swiss dress with a big velvet sash(that I wore to the Ruth Lyons television show in Cincinnati)  and several other outfits.  I always had to have new clothes for the beginning of school, for Easter, for Christmas and other times.  Mother made most of them.  I also got hand me downs from my cousins in Detroit who had very expensive clothes.  To tell you the truth, I didn’t like wearing hand me downs except for my brothers’ pajamas.  Yes, I wore my brothers’ hand me down pajamas and was proud of it.

When I got old enough to be in 4-H I learned to embroider and to do Huck weaving.  I sewed a pillow cover and a dresser scarf(do people use dresser scarves any longer?)  and made dish towels with Huck weaving on them.  I still have those towels.  Yes, I don’t get rid of anything.

The love of textiles grew as I grew. In seventh grade I had a Home Economics teacher, Miss Glunt.  She wore dresses to her ankles and those old lady black shoes you see in old movies.  Her hair was always in a neat bun.  She was a stickler for doing things right.  You had to rip out anything she didn’t think was done properly.  I sewed a Kelly green straight skirt with a matching jacket and a green and white printed blouse in her class.  We had a style show and I was so proud to model that outfit.  In later years I sewed several outfits in Home Ec. One year my very best friend and I went shopping and bought the exact same material, a floral pique and bought the same pattern and we made matching dresses and we got to model them together in the  style show that year.   Now that’s friendship when you are willing to wear the same outfit together!

One year I modeled an empire waist dress.  I remember feeling so beautiful in that dress.  Kind of like Cinderella.  I was not a bit afraid of walking out on stage and modeling that dress, I loved it so much.  I guess you could say I am a model. Ha!

When we had children, I sewed for them.  One year I made myself and one of my sons outfits and we modeled together in a city style show.  It was a contest and I was hoping to win a prize.  I think I got second or third place.

This is just to say, I love textiles.  I love the feel of fabric and yarns.  I can look for hours online at all the beautiful fabrics that are offered on so many sites. How my mother would have loved it.  She never lived to see computers so widely used.  I am trying so hard not to buy any new fabric because I really need to use up what I have which can never be done if I sewed continuously for the next twenty years.   I can’t believe the choices there are and that new ideas just keep coming.   I have favorite fabric designers, but that can change at any time as new ones are always producing new fabrics.

I sewed my own clothes for many years until I got into quilting and sewing clothes went by the wayside.  I sew skirts for myself and recently I sewed a dress, but I don’t like how it fits so not sure how much I will wear it.  I have a couple of favorite blouse patterns that I use occasionally, but that’s the extent of my clothes sewing.


This is a skirt I am working on.  I have hundreds of old hankies, another textile I love,  and I used one in the pockets on the skirt.  I can make a skirt in an afternoon.  It’s relaxing to sew and I get lost in the making of something that can be of use.


This is a purse I made for Easter.  It cost me next to nothing as I used odds and ends of felt and fabric I had around my shop.

I have a whole lot more to say about textiles, but I will save it for my next post.  Hope you have some textiles you love in your life.  A favorite blouse, skirt, pillowcase.  Surround yourself with textiles you love.  Bye.


Happy New Year.  Yes, I’m a day late, but I was busy New Year’s Day.  I had to watch all those old Twilight Zone shows I have watched dozens of times through the years.  I can remember when I was a girl and Twilight Zone just started and how we all gathered in the living room to watch it every week.  Rod Sterling or is it Serling, always introduced each show and the Twilight Zone music would come on and give me the shivers.

While watching Twilight Zone I did what I have done every year since I was a girl. I made pillowcases.  My mother always said we had to make pillowcases on New Year’s Day.  I don’t know why.  Luck?  We needed them? Tradition?  She just wanted me to do something?  Anyway, I make pillowcases on New Year’s Day.


I made three and I also finished a new ironing board cover.


I can never find pretty ironing board covers and I iron a lot since I sew a lot and I like having pretty ironing board covers on my ironing board.   They are so easy to make and I can change them out when I get tired of one or the old one gets too raggedy.  I wear out ironing board covers and irons regularly as I use them so much.  There are days that the iron is on all day.  I am very pleased with this one.  The fabric had lines I could quilt on and I finished it in a couple of days to include cutting it out, quilting it and putting in the elastic.  It fits really well.  Better than any store bought ironing board cover.  How many times have I written ironing board covers in this paragraph?   Belle keeps check on me hoping she can come in and sleep for a while in the shop.  A lot of the time I have three dogs sleeping in here while I work.  Belle snores.  Loudly.  I want to record her and let you hear her sometime.

I also painted lampshades.  I read a blog where this lady painted her white lampshades to make them look like Tiffany glass when lit.  I’m not that good an artist so mine aren’t elaborate, but with the shades painted, the lamps give off a softer light.



I may never have a white shade in my house ever again.

I also had to eat cabbage(sauerkraut) for New Year’s.  Once again a tradition my mother started.  I put a little brown sugar and some celery seed in the sauerkraut and it is delicious.  Sauerkraut and sausages.  Yum.


Tomorrow we are having Christmas with three of our grandchildren who were in Chicago Christmas day.  My grandsons are into Mind Craft things and so they got some Mind Craft things, but then I got it into my head to make some Mind Craft dolls.  This is supposed to be the Creeper.  Since my grandson doesn’t read my blog, I can show him.


This is his face.  His whole body is supposed to be made out of pixels, I think, but there was no way I was sewing that many little squares on fabric.  Hope he likes him.


I walked around today looking at our outside decorations.  We are leaving them up until January 6th for the twelve days of Christmas and then they will be put away for another year.  I really loved decorating our new front porch.

It was a busy day.  Oh, and I dyed my hair.  What color??  You will have to wait and see.

Hope you have a very pleasant, healthy and prosperous New Year.  Whatever it brings, just know there is One who watches over us all and wants the best for us.  Happy New 2015!  Bye.


The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It is, you know.  The most wonderful time of the year.  The season of giving and peace and love.  Oh,  you look around the world and see all the evil that is going on, but what you don’t see very often because it doesn’t make a good news story, is the good that is going on.  The nurse in the hospital who gives a lonely patient a little extra time and patience, the boy on your street who helps his elderly neighbor clear the snow off her walk,  the man who pays the tab for a soldier eating at the next table in a restaurant,  a teen-ager who calls his grandma and asks about her day.  There is a lot of bad, but if you look, you will see the good also.  There will always be sin in this world.  Jesus said there would be wars and rumors of wars.

We can all make this world a little bit better.  It’s the small things that count.  A smile, patience for that slow driver in front of you, a kind word, a pat on the back, a hug.  What if everyone decided that they were not going to be the problem, but the answer?  That we would all decide we would get along with our neighbor, that we would look on the bright side of things for a change, that your life really isn’t so bad if you can get up in the morning and do something for others.  It’s time to stop being so self-centered.  To stop wondering when things are going to get better.  You can make them better.

I decided quite a long time ago that I was not going to look at the glass half empty.  My glass is always half full.  If I don’t feel well one day I think I am no better than anyone else and cannot escape the trials of man and accept it.  I have lived through tragedies, sadness, pain, separation, and most of the other human ills.  We all must face these things at some time in our lives.  It is how you face them that counts.  I know people who have the most awful diseases who wear a smile on their faces in their adversity.  There is one thing they have.  They have Jesus in their heart.  It makes a difference, you know.  At this season rest in the knowledge that God loved us all enough that He came down to earth as a tiny baby and lived among us for a time.  He died a wretched death on the cross and took every one of our sins upon Himself.  He died but He arose the third day and now lives in heaven.  One day He will come back for those who believe in Him.  I believe.  He makes my life complete.

I love Christmas because I can give presents to friends and family.  I love making gifts and this year I went all out.  I can’t show most of what I have made, but I have already given some things away so those I will show.




I made felt ice skates for the children in my Sunday school class and filled them with candy and little toys and stickers.


I have a friend who loves cats so I made her this little ornament out of felt.


The lady I help in Sunday school got this because I told her she was an angel.


Another friend keeps bees so, voila!  When I found this pattern I immediately thought of her.


I was on a roll and made another ornament.  I may make more before I’m done.  I love working with felt.

I’ve been knitting up a storm too.


Hats and scarves for the children in my Sunday school class.



A year or so ago, a nice lady from my church gave me a big bagful of quilt blocks, embroidery floss, a whole quilt that she had cross stitched and several other goodies.  She said she gave it to me because she knew I would get some good out of it since I love to quilt.  There were enough of these school house blocks to make a full size quilt  So, I did.  I asked her who had made the blocks and she told me her grandmother.  I knew I could not keep this quilt for myself.  It belonged in her family so this Sunday I gave it to her.  It made me so happy to see her smile.  The quilt was probably started in the 1950’s and now sixty some years later it is finished and the family can enjoy it for years to come.


I think my brothers had pajamas made from material like this back in the day.


There were plaid blocks.


One block was made with a satin or crepe de chine.  Is that spelled right?

Yes, I have been a busy beaver.  And I have enjoyed every bit of the making.

In other news.  Molly Marshmallow continues to grow and grow.


Doesn’t she look adorable here?  Wellllllll.  This dog loves wood.  She chews on wood every chance she gets.  She has chewed on our house, around the windows, the wooden deck benches.  She goes out in the yard and drags up pieces of wood and chips them like a beaver all over our back deck.  She climbs on top of the woodpile, I don’t know why.  Maybe she is planning on working her way down it.  Anyway, today I took hot sauce and a brush and painted it all over the back of our house.  Molly immediately started licking it up.  Finally she decided maybe it wasn’t so good.  I am going to hot sauce everything I don’t want her to chew.  She loves chewing the heels of my shoes as I walk so on will go the hot sauce.  I hope I have found the remedy to her constant chewing.  It’s not like she doesn’t get toys and rawhide bones to chew.  I just hope she outgrows this affinity for wood and me.  I still love her, though and get a lot of laughs from her antics.  If you walk by me and I smell like hot sauce, you will know why.


I look at this face and I cannot stay angry with her.  She is a puppy and chewing is what puppies do.


My Santa rests on the couch before the big day.  He’s been asked at the store for stickers and other toys.  Little children think he’s the real thing.

A big package came to our front door the other day.  David and I had gone to a Christmas party and when we came home there was this box sitting on our front porch.


It was for me!!!!!!


Do not open until Christmas.  Oh, no!  I feel like a kid again waiting for the big day.

I knew it had to be from someone I knew who knew I liked chickens because this was on the package……


A rooster made out of what looks like an old quilt.  Interesting.  Hmmmmmmm.  Well, I guess I will just have to wait until Christmas until I can open it.


Couldn’t let Christmas go by without dressing up one of the hens for the season. This is Ada and she’s the only one who will allow me to pick her up now.  She got a little squirrely toward the end of the photo shoot and finally flew out of my arms, but David got a good picture of her.


Must go.  Just four more days.  Hope you are ready.  It will come whether you are ready or not.  See you on the other side.  Merry Christmas.  Bye.





Finishing Up and Starting Again

I have pledged to myself that I am going to finish some quilts I have begun.  I have a box full of them.  It’s fun to pick out new fabrics and piece a brand new quilt and I could do that every month, but there comes a time when one needs to finish what one has started.  So….


This week I completed a Christmas quilt I started last year.  These sheep were as crazy to make as they are to herd.  Every single one of these sheep is sewn together wrong except for one.  Every one.  And it’s not the sheep that is facing a different direction than the rest as that is suppose to be the wayward sheep. It’s the only one sewn correctly.  I am sure if you look closely you will notice one big mistake I made on one.  I didn’t notice it until I had it half quilted. Anyway, as a friend of mine use to tell me, “you won’t see it on a galloping horse.”  Now I have to find the horse.  I didn’t follow the pattern maker’s design completely.  There was suppose to be a shepherd in this quilt, but I didn’t like how it looked so I made an extra sheep and this block.



I like the way it turned out.  One project completed.  Check.

I finished two other quilts that I cannot show because of the season coming up.  Two more projects completed.  Check.


I made a skirt from some fabric I have had for quite some time. You can wear it this way.


Or this way. Almost like having two different skirts.  We went over to Nashville with some friends the other day and I got a couple of tops that go with this skirt.  We have been to Nashville twice in two weeks and not one time did I remember to take pictures with my camera.  There was so much to photograph there but I was too busy looking.


I put together this outfit and like it a lot.  Another project completed.  Check.


David and I took one morning and sealed the siding on our porch wall.  We make a good team and finished it within a couple of hours.  Now the wall should not  turn grey.


Project completed.  Check.




I made a couple of brooches.  I have ideas for several more.


Years ago, we needed a coffee table and there was a company where you could order furniture unfinished and not put together.  You built the furniture yourself and put your own finish on it.  So, I ordered this butler’s table and David put it together and I stained it a rich, deep brown.  It has served its purpose for many years.  The leaves on the table go up and down and most little boys and girls liked to lift the leaves up and down over and over.  Toy cars have been run on this table.  It’s been hammered, pounded and naturally distressed over the years.  David says you pay big money to get distressed furniture and we got ours for free!

I decided it was time to redo the table so I am painting it a cream color and will distress it a little or will have some children over to do it for me.


I’m putting several coats of paint on it.  When I am finished with it, it’s going in my girly room.


A friend brought me this pile of luscious fabric.  I am so blessed.  I will use this for sure.


Miss Molly Marshmallow is growing so fast.  She runs with the big dogs and doesn’t want to be separated from them.  She cries when I take Belle her walk even after I have already taken her on a walk.  She is doing really well on the leash.  Sometimes I let her walk herself and she will carry the leash in her mouth and walk along beside me.

The chickens are molting right now and I won’t show you a picture of them because it would embarrass them.  One of them is completely bare on her backside, poor girl.  She stays in the chicken house and acts ashamed of her looks, but David said he noticed today that her feathers are finally coming back in.  The egg laying has been pretty sparse right now as the hens conserve their energy to grow their new feathers for the winter.  I still get two or three dozen eggs a week.   The younger hens should start laying soon.


Fall is moving right along.  Soon it will be Thanksgiving,(when I am walking a 5K that morning before dinner) then Christmas and then we will be right back to Spring again.  The seasons are running together now.  I love each one and especially love the cooler weather we are having right now.  Hope you are having a wonderful Autumn.  Bye.

Give a Wife a Camera……..

Yesterday I was sitting in my girly room, minding my own business, knitting a hat.  Suddenly David pushed the camera into my face with this picture.


Okay, I thought.  A little blurry and I said take another one and he took this…


Much better.  You like my blue fingernails?   Then David started to show me more pictures.



Okay, what’s going on?  ” I used the zoom lens,” David said.  “Here, look.”  I looked at my camera and saw the zoom was fixed.  You see, last summer on a small trip we took, I dropped the camera in my car and broke the zoom thingamajig on it.  I have still continued to use my camera, but couldn’t zoom in.  Then, David, bless his heart, bought me a new camera for Christmas.  Unfortunately, me and that camera did not get along well.  It was heavy, took too long(for me) to focus and I had to change lenses if I wanted to zoom.  It’s really a nice camera, just too much for me.  I told him he could have it and take pictures for me while I would continue to use my little, broken camera.   It’s worked out pretty well.  David takes good pictures.

Then today he starts using my little camera again. “Did you fix it?”  I said.  “How did you fix it?  Oh, I am so glad to have my camera working again.”  Then he began to laugh and I looked at the camera closer.  It was a new camera.  Just like my little broken one, only better.  And I could zoom again.

David had ordered a new pump for our water fountain and I had brought him the box from the mail thinking nothing about it.  The camera was in the box with the pump.  He sure surprised me.  Soooo, today I went around taking pictures just checking it out.  Here they are in no particular order.



Getting ripe.




You know those bulbs I bought at a big box store and didn’t think they would grow?  Well, they are growing and blooming.  I have several different gladiola right now and each one is so pretty.



This one was almost hidden behind the Shasta Daisies.  It’s amazingly beautiful in person.




Magic or August Lilies.  In the Spring these flowers grow their foliage, but no flowers.   Then as the Summer progresses, the foliage completely dies and disappears and then these spikes of flowers appear.  Then they turn into this.



What I am wondering is, how do they know it’s August?


I have a lot of these around the garden.  Whoever lived here before us planted them and they have come up every year since we’ve been here for thirty-seven years almost.



Last Summer a friend and I went to a shop hop and I won this quilting book.  I haven’t made anything from it yet, but I keep looking at it and planning.


I think this is a darling pillow.  I would make it with wools and I think I will make this pretty soon.


Isn’t this bee skep pin cushion cute.  It’s kind of labor intensive, but I won’t take it off my list to make yet.


I love this purse although the giant bee on it kind of turns me off, but I could put something else there where the bee is.


Right now I am making a quilt from this book.


Yes, I am making a sheep quilt.  I am not going to make it exactly like in the book, but I think it will be cute when I am finished.  I’ll try to remember to show you when it’s done.  I won’t guarantee it.  But I will try.



For those of you too young to remember these are insulators that use to be on the top of electric line poles.  When the poles started to be taken down, the workmen would often just leave these laying around.  My dad collected a few and I have found some at auctions.  They are just a part of history and I like history.


My trusty Riccar sewing machine.  One of four I have plus I have a few other sewing machines.  A friend asked me one time why I had so many sewing machines.  I told her it was because I never wanted to be without a sewing machine when I am working on a project should the one I am using break.  Plus, we sold these years ago and I brought the leftovers home with me when we closed our store.


I collect old chairs.


I come from creative parents.  My dad used to build and paint these little houses and sell them.  I was blessed to receive some from him.


He made this little church.


It even has a bell in the belfrey.


This was the last thing my dad gave me before he died.  The cow’s eyes are a little wonky which makes me love it even more.  Dad had had gall bladder surgery that year and his health never got back to normal.  I use to just put these houses out at Christmas, but I keep them out all year now to remind me of my father.  I can’t wait to see him again and I know I will.


Shhh, this is my favorite chicken, but the others don’t know it.  Penninah always greets me when I come into the chicken yard.  Honestly, sometimes I think I can understand what she is clucking.  Here she is engrossed in my pants.


Ada and Abby are now in with the big chooks.  David said they went into the coop all by themselves last night.  He had been putting them in after it got dark.  Seems things have settled down and the big chooks have accepted them more or less although there is an occasional peck when the younguns’ get around their food.


The best fertilizer.  I’m just sayin’.


Bonnie.  I love this dog.  She is getting old. Ten years.  We are looking to get another puppy maybe this Fall.  When we got Bonnie, we had an older dog who got a new lease on life when Bonnie arrived.  They played together and ran and had so much fun.  That dog, Subaka, lived to be eighteen years old.  I hope Bonnie lives that long.  Seems that it would be nice if your dog could live as long as you do, but it’s not the way.  I have many dogs waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge.  Dogs are the best and the nearest thing to how we people should treat each other.  They love us unconditionally, forgive everything and only live to be with you.  Sounds like God, doesn’t it?


Belle, the silly girl.  She always manages to strike a very silly pose every time I try to get her picture.

Here’s to new cameras and the wonderful husband who surprised me with one.  Bye.








A Day in My Shop

I have a shop.  Some may call it a studio.  It’s where I go to create, sew and quilt and have some fun time.  It use to be a two and a half car garage, but slowly it was enclosed, wall board put up and painted, new lighting installed, a furnace added, air conditioner added, a new ceiling(I posted about this ceiling last year) the floor painted and all David’s tools were relegated to one small corner or out in the shed and shelves were put in for bolts and boxes of fabric.  I moved all the fabric I had stored in an upstairs bedroom out to the shop. Fabric we had sold at our quilt shop several years ago.  Hundreds of bolts.  Bolts that are slowly disappearing as I use the fabric for backing for quilts or in quilts.   I started out with about three hundred bolts and am down to about one hundred.  Does that tell you how much I sew?    Even then I cannot pass up fabric.  Online, in stores, in antique stores which are great places to find vintage fabric.  You just have to be careful when buying from there as the fabric isn’t all it seems to be.  I have bought fabric at what I thought was a great price and got it home and it had holes in several different places.  Not a bad thing if you are just going to cut out a piece out here and there, but, still, disappointing. I bought three yards of fabric just recently and when I got it home it was three yards alright, just three yards that had been pieced together in one long piece.  I am cutting it up for a quilt so no problem again, but I should have checked more closely, but the lady who had the booth was there and was soooo helpful in helping me find cottons after I told her I looked for fabric for quilts.  It is pretty fabric, though.

Now, when I can grab an hour or two or three, I will go out there and create.


I light a sweet scented candle because of these:


My two puppers who have decided they like to be indoor dogs better than outdoor dogs now.  That’s okay.  I love having them with me except when Bonnie gets all excited about the flies flying against the door window and slobbers all over it trying to grab them and eat them.  I wash that window every, single, day and right now it has slobber all over it.



Then I turn on talk radio.  Ever since I was a little girl, I have listened to the radio.  My mother always had the radio turned onto WKBV in Richmond, Indiana listening to the Chuck Yount afternoon talk show.  There was a Breakfast Club show she listened to, but I can’t remember the man who was the host of it.  Mom’s radio is where I first heard John Denver sing “Country Roads” and I have loved that song ever since.   It was on Mom’s radio that my brother heard that he had won a Gene Autry gun and holster in a contest he had entered. It was the time when the musical “Camelot” was popular and I just loved that song.  It didn’t matter where I was on the farm, out in the barn, in the chicken house, in the garden, when that song would come on the radio Mom would send one of my brothers out to call me in so I could listen to it.  Camelot was on television just the other day and I still love it.  I was blessed to see Richard Harris as King Arthur in the play years ago. I sat transfixed at every song and feel it was a highlight of my life.  I saw it again years later with Michael York as King Arthur and it wasn’t nearly as good.     The radio has always been a part of my life.  Now I listen to talk radio and the local news and I am fine with that.


I mainly work on quilts although I do do a few craft things with felt and I make purses when the mood hits me.  This is a quilt top begging me to finish it.  I have several more that are calling to me.  Right now I am working on a quilt for a gift for Christmas and a wedding quilt.


This is another quilt on the bottom, the backing in the middle and the binding on top.  I have about five quilts in process right now not including the large plastic box full of tops to be quilted.  So many quilts.  Too little time.  I will get them completed.  I will. I will.  I won’t.   Maybe.


A while back I made this quilt for a great-great niece.  A great-great niece.  Am I that old?   I love making baby quilts.  Sometimes I just make one because they are quick to complete and I am always hoping for another baby in the family.

I give away probably ninety-five per cent of the things I make. I use to sell things in our quilt shop, but I’m through with that now and I love giving things to others.

I haven’t had a whole day in my shop for quite a while.  The garden and yard and chickens take a lot of my time.  Good thing we have winter once in a while when I can stay inside and make things.  I’m not complaining.   I feel blessed to have a shop I can go to when I can.   I hope you have a place you can go to create, read, knit or whatever you enjoy doing.  A special, quiet place that is all yours.

Here’s to creative places and talk radio.  Bye.

Not Enough Time

Where did April go?  For that matter, where is May going on such a quick clip?  Slow down a little bit, May.  I would like to enjoy you for a while.

It’s been a very busy Spring, but in a good way.  Easter came and went and was a joyous day full of life and blessing and fun.


My older son gave me these tulips which I have already planted in the garden.


My daughter and son-in-law gave me these flowers.  They lasted almost two weeks.

Then I looked up and the month was gone and I still hadn’t planted many of my flowers.  I’ve been collecting flowers as I see them from here, there and beyond.  I seem to have a color scheme going which makes me happy.   I went up to Smith’s Gardens in Taylorsville this morning and got my flower fix for the day.  If you have never been to this cute little shop, you should go there sometime.  So many cute garden ideas and so many beautiful flowers and they are healthy and well kept unlike the flowers you find at certain stores I will not mention, but there is flowercide going on at some stores because their flowers are dying from thirst.


Lots of lavenders with some pink thrown in.


More lavenders and a pink hydrangea with some bright yellow Asiatic lilies for spark.  I am waiting for the stone mason to do our pillars before I plant around the porch.


The stone came yesterday and maybe by the weekend we will have our porch completed.   Well, except for all the staining I have to do.  I did get the railings stained this week and I love the color I finally picked.  DSCN7828

Our snowball bush which came from David’s Grandmother’s garden is full of flowers ready to pop.  I wish she could see it.  Maybe she can.


We have had some beautiful Spring sunsets.  The days go so quickly.  This life is but a whisper and then, it is gone, so make the most of each day.

I  bought some more fabric online this week.  This is absolutely, positively the last fabric I am going to buy until Fall, or maybe not!   Really, I think the website, is stalking me because every time I get online on certain pages there are pictures of fabric from their website luring me back to look at more.


I’ve had my eye on this fabric for quite some time and finally thought I had better get some before it’s all gone.  I love it and plan to make a skirt from it.


Another view of it.


Polka dot blouse, anyone?  I think that is what I will use this for.


I can’t say what I am using this for, but I have plans.

Back to flowers.  I can’t not show you a few of the plants I have ready to stick in the ground.



I found this columbine at Rural King.  When I went back to get another one, they were already all gone.  Get it when you see it or it’s gone.  At least that’s what always seems to happen to me.


Digitalis or Foxglove.  This is a perennial and I think it seeds itself, so I am hoping for lots of these in the garden in the years to come.


This is a picture on a box of  hollyhock roots I bought.  Mom always had hollyhocks by her bedroom window.  It’s an old fashion flower that looks good in a cottage garden which is what I am trying to plant.


A miniature fir tree that was just too cute to leave behind.


The lilacs came and went just like that.  Poof.  I barely had time to cut a bouquet to bring into the house.


I feel like I just wrote about rhubarb, but it’s been a year and we have it coming up again and I made the first pie.  It didn’t last long.


I had never made a sugar cream pie, but it sounded good so I made one of those too.  An older lady, in the church I went to when I was a girl, made the best sugar cream pies in town.  When there was a bake sale, everyone came early in hopes of getting one of her pies.  I have her recipe, but this isn’t it as she used real cream and I used evaported milk because that was all I had on hand at the time.  My pie didn’t turn out half bad.

Had to stop for a few minutes.  Sand being delivered for the pillars.  Their cart wouldn’t raise up because their battery had died, so I had to hunt up some jumper cables.  Grandkids, there’s a pile of sand in our drive right now that you would love to play in.


I will leave you with a picture of our flowering crap tree that is always beautiful.  It’s flowers are all gone and David and I saw worm bags on it.  He’s going to take a blow torch to them.  We have silk worms everywhere.  Or at least, that is what we call them. They creep me out because they show up everywhere and rise up like little snakes.  Ugh. Bye.




Porches, Patterns and Pooches

Crazy week.  When you think life is crazy, it sometimes gets crazier.  Last week I thought the building of the porch was weeks away.  All of a sudden it started Tuesday.  Not the building, the knocking down.   I barely had time to feel bad about it.  Yesterday morning, Wednesday, I slept right through the builders and David knocking the bricks down with sledge hammers.  The men said David was like a mad man slinging his sledge hammer.  I looked out our front door and there was a big gap where the front of the porch use to be.  Now is not the time to back out of this project.



David looks like the unibomber with his black hoodie and his sledge hammer.  Oops, hope the government doesn’t read this.  Just kidding, government.  He had way too much fun tearing down the bricks.  See the old siding behind him?  Clapboard.  Probably the original siding of the house.  Also we discovered the original porch was only half as large as it is now.  And our new porch will be much larger.  Fourteen feet by twenty-five and a half feet larger.  The pillars are still standing for now, but they won’t be much longer.  It has poured rain today and suppose to tomorrow.  Be nice for the weekend, then rain again.  Of course, now that we have started a building project.  We have holes in our  walls where new switchplates and outlets go.  We have cracks in the livingroom walls from the old porch coming off.  Dave and I will have much patching and painting to do after this is all over.  I have found when you start a project, you always end up having more work than you planned to do even when you hire someone to do the work. Understand?


This is the roof of our porch.  Later this will be all gone and a new roof and exposed rafters will be here.  We will be able to sit on the porch when it is raining and listen to the rain hit the metal roof.  Maybe I should put a bed out here.





Mom, do my nostrils match??  Bonnie, we are not talking about your nostrils right now.  But, um, they do look a little funny.  Plastic surgery, maybe?



“Look at me and my ball!  Look at me and my ball!”

Belle, I know I haven’t played ball with you today.  You are going to have some little boys to play with you this weekend so you better rest up.

I escape to my shop while the builders are doing their thing.  I was looking for a certain pattern, but as I was looking, it was like walking down pattern memory lane.  Here are just a few of my vintage patterns.



I sewed a lot for my daughter while she was growing up or at least until she decided she liked “store bought” clothes better than Mom’s handmade ones.  I made her a long dress from this pattern in a pink cotton fabric.  Ran ribbon around the sleeves and through the eyelet in the chest area.



My daughter looked every bit as sweet as this girl in the picture.


Back when Little House on the Prairie was popular, this pattern came out and I made my daughter a dress out of calico with an eyelet trim like the plaid dress on the cover.



I may have that dress somewhere.  I saved a few of my daughter’s dresses because I just couldn’t stand to part with them.






One year one of my boys dressed as a clown for Halloween and I made the costume.  I remember it was a really fun costume to make.  Glad I still have the pattern.



I can’t believe I even tried making men’s and boys’ clothes.  I used this pattern to make one of my sons this outfit.  I don’t know if I still have the pattern or not, but one time I made my younger son slacks with a vest to match and he wore it to school and he came home and told me his teacher didn’t believe him when he said his mother made his outfit.



Back in the day when bell bottoms were the rage, I made David a pair.  Just like the white ones in the picture.  He wore them, too.  A lot.


I’ve been noticing bell bottoms are coming back.  They call them boot cut, but some of the pants’ bottoms are very flared, just like bell bottoms.  I use to wear bell bottoms.  I was a flower child.(without the drugs.)  Never have tried illegal drugs.  Never had a hankering to.



I loved this pattern.  I made my daughter a cute blue calico outfit like the center picture.  She looked so cute.



One day, when my daughter was in kindergarten, she came home and said, “Mommy, I am going to be a butterfly in the school play.”  My mind started racing. You mothers know what I am talking about.  Was I suppose to make the costume?  My daughter nodded, yes.  Oh, no.  My mother happened to be visiting and we rushed to JoAnn’s and looked through all the patterns and found this one.  Perfect.  I made the butterfly costume and people actually gasped when my daughter came on stage with her long, blonde hair, rosy cheeks, in a pink leotard and her beautiful, butterfly wings.  It was a wonderful moment and I can still see her.

My children sprang things like that on me all the time.  Once my younger son came home and said he had to dress like Thomas Edison.  How did Thomas Edison dress, anyway?  We got together what I thought was a fairly decent outfit.  What I didn’t know, because I was never told anything, (still not) but my son was the star of the show, The Electric Sunshine Man.  He had a huge speaking part and had to sing solos and I didn’t have a clue.  Thankfully, one of the mothers video taped it and gave me a copy and I still have it.  I just sat there in stunned disbelief that he had learned all those lines and I didn’t know he was doing it. Really, I was awake during their growing up years, but my children constantly surprised me.  Still do.



Just wanted to show you a catalog I got in the mail the other day.  I usually order clothes from this company, but they also sell other things.



I love this cherub sleeping in what looks like a larger angel’s wing.  How adorable is that?



They sell bedding to die for, but since this complete ensemble would probably cost about five hundred dollars, I won’t be getting it.



If I were a rich old maiden lady living all alone in a mansion, I would have stuff like this all around me.  I just love this romantic looking stuff, but David, not so much.  I have my girly room and that is fine with me.  But really, don’t you love these things?

Spring seems to be upon us although she was playing coy for quite some time and now she is throwing temper tantrums with thunderstorms, heavy rains and tonight, tornado watches.  But that’s Spring for you.  But have you noticed how green the grass is getting and that the daffodils are finally blooming?  Even the ones I have had to transplant look like they will bloom this year.



A bud on the weeping cherry tree is telling me that soon Spring is going to burst forth in all her glory.

It appears I am going to have a houseful of grandchildren this weekend for an overnight so I must rest up tonight, because once they get here it’ll be gang busters.

Here’s to porches, pooches, patterns and the promise of Spring.  Bye.