A little embroidery to work on

Slow Stitching this weekend :

More work on the sampler ; I need to finish this…it will say Remember the Fallen. Below it will be another section to embroider with the names of three soldiers that were closest to my son and did not return with him from Iraq.

embroidery remember the fallen

I am almost done hand quilting the basket quilt but no picture…I think that a lot of people will be busy viewing quilts over at the Bloggers Quilt Festival and / or getting their own posts ready to link up so just a short report for me this week! : )

My festival posts are HERE and HERE.  And no, I won’t be voting for me, lol…but I might be voting for some of YOU :)  …the ones that inspire  me! :) 

Sharing at : Kathy’s Quilts


I have not done a randoms post in awhile, so here goes :)

On a morning last week, when I stepped out onto the back porch, I noticed a lovely cloud formation over my neighbor’s house…almost as if her chimney was spewing out clouds.  On yet another morning we had a glorious sky show.

sunrise collage

Several years ago I spent my entire tax refund of 3000.00 or so to have the back yard fenced in because of dogs. The grand kids have been told time and again not to use the gates or to shut them if they do, lest the dogs get out.

And yet, there was my dog Jugsy running loose one evening.

The child responsible was told the next morning to draw a picture and write a sentence for me about this.  Instead, I got a book! :)

Javis Jugsy Book

Speaking of dogs…I don’t swear on my blog but I am going to have to now. The other morning I heard someone screaming “you asshole” at the top of their lungs over and over again! It sounded like my next-door neighbor. What in the world was going on?  I stepped out onto the front porch and there she was at the end of her driveway, screaming and sort of sobbing.  Well, she was babysitting her sister’s dogs and one ran off…she was yelling “RASCAL” not the other! :)  I was already dressed and she’s older and was still in her pajamas,  so I went after him. He was half a block down the road. It was still dark, but once I started calling his name he came to me and all was well.

Then we had a good laugh about what I thought she had been yelling! :)

This is the neighbor who enjoys my spring and summer flowers and bushes, and whose tree I enjoy in the autumn. Here is a quick picture of her tree ….this is my view from my kitchen window on October 15th.

neighbors tree from kitchen window view mid oct

Now for a funny story. While my middle son is now a responsible husband and father, once upon a time he was living here and sleeping off a hangover as young men often do after being out for most of a Friday evening. Meanwhile the neighbor’s son was having a go at the leaves. Do you remember how back in the day leaves were quietly raked into piles?  And then we jumped in them?

Not so nowadays…those noisy blowers are the tool of choice and this was no exception. Well at some point after the leaf-blower had been going on for awhile next door, the noise reached my hungover son’s sleeping consciousness enough for him to holler at me to stop using the blow-dryer on my hair for so long.

Inside, the pillow covers have been changed out and I put out the fall decorations. The picture on the bottom left is an old painting from my grandparents. I always have it out but usually there’s a glare from this or that window. This time the photo worked out.

fall collage indoors try this one

indoor collage two

But here’s the real deal…one of the kids and I gathered some freshly fallen leaves from the neighbor’s tree. Freshly fallen…moist and leathery feeling. Some we used for a display at my son’s house, and some I put into a baggie and into the freezer.

freshly fallen leaves

Do you remember ironing them between waxed paper sheets and having to make little leaf collection books for school? We still had to do that when my boys were little, though I do not know if this is done today at our schools.

Anyway, the baggie-in-the-freezer idea is a tip from Jean Hersey’s book, “The Shape of a Year“.  If you gather them newly fallen and decorate with them, they will be dried up in a day or so, which is fine. But if you put them in the freezer, you can pull some out for your Thanksgiving table…they’ll be fresh and moist for that day.

I think I’ll save mine for mid-February when I can’t stand another cold day or more snow :)

You might also enjoy:    and would there be phosphorescence?”     or   Home Sweet Home Quilt & a Lawn that Doesn’t Need Mowed    or    No Black Friday Here : Thanksgiving Dinner Instead    or    Frugal Little Quilt Retreat

Sharing at : French Country Cottage

In the Kitchen: ‘on a roll’ / it’s the weather

“What are you making NOW?” asks the little before-school grandson. Outdoors it is still dark, and quite chilly, but the kitchen is warm and cozy due to the oven being on.

” A cake” I answer. “What FOR?” he asks. I just roll my eyes and remind him that the first question when he arrives after school is what is his snack that day!

A few mornings ago my second round of pumpkin pies was going into the oven. I made leaves with the dough scraps…the grandson’s is the happy face. I posted about apple & pumpkin pies last week and not long before that, I had made some peach-apple cobbler.

baking collage

I rarely bake anything in the summer and then when the cooler weather arrives I go berserk for awhile. I send most of it home with my kids, then I am sorry that I did not leave more for myself and so I bake  more. And that cake ?  Most it went elsewhere too :)

It’s been dreary, chilly and rainy here for the most part. In the kitchen is a new round of flowers picked the other day when I was certain that we’d have a heavy morning frost.

flowers in kitchen

We did not after all.

If the oven isn’t going the stovetop is. I am on a roll. It’s the weather….:)


You  might also enjoy :  Want Some Tomatoes?   or  Making a Rag Rug on a Loom  or  Summer Food Memories: we all have them  ( the reader comment stories are more interesting than the post…a good one to visit :) 

Sharing at : French Country Cottage

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Entry #2

The Blogger’s Quilt Festival over at  Amy’s Creative Side  opens on October 24th. Once everyone links up there will be quilts of every size, style and color to see and enjoy.

October 24 – 31 – Linky’s Open & Nominate for Viewer’s Choice

November 1 – 7 – Vote for favorites in each of the categories

November 8 – Winners announced

I will enter this table runner in the hand-quilting category. Many of you may have seen it before…but we have to have a new post about our entry…a post during the week that the Festival begins.

It is based on the first 3 blocks of the Benjamin Biggs Wedding Quilt. Once I had completed those three I decided to use them as a table runner for a table that is behind my couch. I spent quite awhile hand quilting and enjoyed every minute of it.



I had it out for the summer, only put away recently when I brought out some fall decor.

This was another learning curve project :) The first block in this runner is actually my third attempt at it! The second one seemed far easier, and while I had troubles with the third, it’s just all about practice, practice, practice.

Visit The Blogger’s Quilt Festival over at  Amy’s Creative Side once it opens on the 24th and enjoy lovely quilts of all styles and sizes. I can’t wait to see some of the appliqued quilts from the ladies who are masters at it…I find them to be very inspiring. 

My other entry is in a previous post, HERE.

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Entry # 1

The Blogger’s Quilt Festival over at  Amy’s Creative Side  opens on October 24th. Once everyone links up there will be quilts of every size, style and color to see and enjoy.

October 24 – 31 – Linky’s Open & Nominate for Viewer’s Choice

November 1 – 7 – Vote for favorites in each of the categories

November 8 – Winners announced

IF YOU QUILT: the quilts can be old, as in ones that you made ages ago, but the post has to be the week of the festival. It has to be a new post. Each person can enter two quilts but they must be in separate categories.  So while there is hand-quilting in this quilt, I will enter it in the small quilt category. I will enter a hand-quilted table runner in the hand-quilting category.

This quilt is no masterpiece, and I certainly won’t vote for it, lol…but I just love this quilt. I made it last year and it is currently draped over the rocking chair in my living room. Here it is airing on the line. It is based on a Kim Diehl pattern.

snowball quilt on line

Can I love an imperfect quilt that is not a masterpiece? Of course! This was such a great learning curve quilt for me. I had not appliqued a leaf with a pointy tip since making a honey bee block for a sampler about 10 years+ prior. Whatever corner that I started the applique in first probably doesn’t have any leaves with a good pointy tip but I kept plugging away and they got better.

Next..all of the snowballs and dark background are hand-quilted, and you can barely see that! Plus the little brown adjoining areas were so hard to quilt through with all of the seams, and the quilting is almost invisible.

snowball closeup

Now, a year later, with so many quilters doing big stitch quilting with perle cotton in colors, I can look back and think that a quilt like this would have been a perfect candidate for that.

After I struggled with the applique that I was learning to do, and all of that time consuming hand quilting, I still like my decision to tie the borders with yarn, adding some color and whimsy to the quilt. What I like most of all is that by the final corner, my leaves were fairly pointy, and that led me on to further applique, which I enjoy.

Some people are naturally gifted at things…others, like me, have perseverance. Both are just fine! :)

This quilt is used…to bring cheer and brightness to my room while draped over a rocking chair, and to bring warmth on a chilly day, draped over a grandchild or two. What could be better.

My Blogger’s Quilt Festival Spring entry was about a very old quilt….HERE

I’ll be sharing at Amy’s Creative Side  when the festival opens. Join in if you have a quilt, even if it is quite ordinary like mine, or if you do not, view all of the lovely ones once the festival starts :)

sampler quilt & hand quilting progress mid-october

I made some progress this week on my sampler.

  • I was pleased with the blue and gold star block for the sampler quilt until I started to think about where to put it and then it just seemed washed out.
  • In the end I put a frame around it and that brightened things up nicely.
  • I also wondered if I could use a few of the simple little baskets that I had appliqued this summer. While one would not work at all, I thought that the others could blend in. By adding a little line of color to them on the one side I think that I was able to make them work.
  • I finished the 4th floral applique and added it in. Originally I thought that I’d put the 3rd and 4th appliques on the other side of the eagle but I couldn’t reduce the size on one of them so it landed elsewhere.

The sun is a rare thing here lately…I can see that the star block looks more like black and gold than blue and gold in this photo, taken on a dreary afternoon towards the end of the week.

sampler on line mid oct

On the left side of the sampler, I thought to run some 6 or 7 inch applique blocks up from the bottom, and then a strip next to the star. I just started the applique on the strip.

flag applique

I am combining two projects…the eagle quilt + my desire to do a sampler, yet I still want the eagle and patriotism to be a focus. ( The Eagle Quilt project link can be found HERE and it is certainly not too late to join in : )

For Slow Stitching this weekend, I have been working my way across the bottom of the basket quilt towards the last block.

hand quilting mid oct working my way along bottom

I have been using some high tech tools for marking ! :)

hi tech tools

I am not sure what is older… that ruler or the Corelle bowl.

You might also enjoy : Perogy Lasaga Recipe  or Handwork : Table Runner Finish  or  Weather & Wine  or  “How Much Piecin’ a Quilt is Like Livin’ a Life”

Sharing at: Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching 

Also sharing at :  Sew Many Ways / Cozy Little House / Freemotion by the River / Savvy Southern Style/Freshly Pieced/Sew Fresh Quilts

How to Ripen Green Tomatoes

Here is my experience with how to ripen green tomatoes:

We had a strong chance of a frost awhile ago, and I picked my green tomatoes. We fried some, and as to the rest, while I remember my grandfather wrapping tomatoes individually in newspaper, here is what I did.

tomatoes under newspaper

The general advice is to either wrap them individually or space them…if one starts to rot or has a fungus it won’t affect the others. I had a cardboard box, a spare dresser drawer, and a plastic container. I placed these in the basement under the front porch portion, where there is no heat and little light. These pictures were taken about a week later in the late afternoon when the light was strongest.

tomatoes pull away the newspaper

As you can see, the tomatoes were placed between several sheets of newspaper, with a nice amount of space between them, and they were ripening nicely. No rot, and this round tasted great. Just be sure to wash them and let them thoroughly dry before placing them  between the newspaper sheets.

This is the first time that I have done this and I am quite happy with the results.

You might also enjoy : Making Delicious Pickles with Little Kids  or  Handwork: Table Runner Finish  or  Me? Have fun with Spiders?   or Birds & Blooms Late August

Sharing at  : Sew Many Ways / Cozy Little House / A Stroll Thru Life

Amazing old cookbook: food photography at its worst! :)

I ran into the mission store the a week or so ago. I haven’t been there since I picked up an entire stack of old quilting magazines for a few dollars so it’s been quite awhile.

This is a good time of year to pick up children’s costumes…one year I spent a small fortune on gift costumes for Kate and Brent; brand new, purchased online. Never again. This year I was just looking for dress-up-clothes.  Three young ladies will be happy to play dress-up with my bargains.

Throw them on the porch floor and take a quick picture : )

costume bargains

I picked up a super heavy and warm cable knit sweater for myself…the kind to throw over a lighter fabric top on a cold winter day. It was a name brand, like new, for a few dollars.

But what I can’t wait to show you is this cookbook. I am happy to find old cookbooks on occasion and for .50 or 1.00 what a bargain they are. However …this was the most amazing cookbook that I’ve ever seen.

cookbook cover

This is a cookbook from 1959.

ASIDE FROM CROPPING, I am not going to manipulate the photos in any way…these are true to life taken in natural light ( on the porch floor, of course! :)

It’s hysterical ! There is a section on teaching your children to cook with you and the suggested menu for one meal was hamburgers with relish, spaghetti, and peas and carrots.

spag peas carrots pic

I don’t tablescape or do tea posts, but I have seen a few …and I am sure that you have too, if you don’t do them yourself. Keeping in mind the absolutely gorgeous ones that you may have seen online from various bloggers, or your own blog,  here’s a tea from the cookbook.


Here’s a holiday dinner…the weird green thing is a glazed ham…something done with gelatin. At this point I decided that I’d be afraid to try any recipe in this book and I sent it home with my DIL for some laughs. I just can’t imagine putting this in front of my family at Easter.

the weird ham

And then there is this one.

I know. It’s hard to believe, isn’t it.

old cookbook this is just as bad

Whatever you might photograph and put on your blog from here on in, you’ll know how good you are, and you’ll marvel that General Foods paid someone for these photos back in 1959 :)

The only photo that I found to be a bit fun, due to the kitchen setting, dishes, etc. was this one.


I hope that you enjoyed this ugly old cookbook as much as I did :) I paid 1.00…the amusement: priceless.


You might also enjoy :  A Frugal Little Quilt Retreat  or  The Garden is Thriving   or  Saving Money Even When You Have to Spend it: they don’t make ‘em like they used to

Sharing at : Savvy Southern Style

Fall Fun

My little grandson and I had an entire “fall fun” sort of day together not too long ago. After a nice long visit with my mom, we headed first to one local farm and then another.

cornstalks at simmons

simmons farm display

simmons farm display 2

  • Simmons Farm is a working farm with activities for the children as well as seasonal “Pick Your Own” produce opportunities, and there is a petting zoo and market on the farm. My first job was there…picking strawberries as a kid.
  • The Springhouse is a dairy farm with a restaurant, and they too have fall activities for the children.

brent haystacks collage

brent on slide

tractor collage

Someday when he’s a teenager I will blackmail him with this picture :

brent flower blackmail someday

Well, clearly you all have varying opinions about that!!!

pumpkins with opinions

You might also enjoy :  March: ” we are caught between two forces”  or  Shades of November & Our 1st Snowfall”   or  The Front Porch; end of May

Sharing at : Sew Many Ways / Lavender Cottage Gardening / Frugal by Choice / Cozy Little House / Savvy Southern Style

PIE: oh was she ever right about this recipe


dough in bowl

cutting apples

apples in bowl

Rolling the dough

pie slice

I haven’t baked an apple pie in ages. I decided to make the recipe that Doreen posted over at House Honeys HERE. If you go over for the recipe, a few quick notes.

I used my regular flour and cinnamon, didn’t have the caramel or dried cherries, and I doubled the recipe in regards to the pie crust and apples, but just made the 1 pie amount of streusal, which was fine…it was enough for two pies.

In regards to the crust, doubling the recipe provided me with ample dough for two lattice-topped apple pies, and two bottoms for pumpkin pies. So if you double this, plan on a third pie or something :)

I had some happy kids the day that I baked these pies :) Oh. this was a good recipe…trust me :) Next time I’ll have the caramel on hand.

Sharing at : French Country Cottage / A Stroll Thru Life