Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Goodbye Old Friend

We said goodbye to my old van this morning! I get attached to my vehicles but it was definitely time for this one to go. I remember when I got my license and dad bought my Mustang, he traded in his pickup. It sat on the Taussig Ford used car lot for a while and I had to pass that lot everytime I went to town and I would get tears seeing it sitting there all alone on the car lot.

The 1992 Mazda MPV . . it was probably one of the best vehicles I ever owned. We bought it new in November, 1991 in Beaumont, Texas. We were living in Jasper, Texas and not long after we bought it, we had a house fire. The tires on the left side burned and I couldn't believe how much of the van melted! That was a surprise . . my vehicle was made of plastic! It was fixable so it was fixed and I was back up in running way before my house was repaired. There were many memories in that van because Chad was just 4 years old when we bought it. I can't tell you how many trips we made to FL in the van. It was such a great vehicle for traveling with a child.

In 2001, when we were finally ready to buy a new car (one of us was ready way before the other of us was ready!), I wanted another van just like this one. We were at the Mazda dealer, planning to trade in the old van, had the deal almost made and I asked what they planned to do with the old van. The salesman said "See that corner way back there. We'll park it there and then some auction company will buy it or it will be sold for scrap!" WHAT? My van . . sold for scrap? I started crying. Vince was just astounded so we left with the van. We ended up deciding to get a Honda CRV instead of another van and Vince traded in his vehicle . . not about to go through that fiasco again.

For 5 years the van has sat in the driveway, never driven but we've been paying insurance on it. In our effort to get rid of excess baggage, the van was donated to St. Vincent dePaul this morning. No tears . . just handed the keys over, went to the courthouse and did the paper work and we now have just one more vehicle to get rid of. Vince has a 1986 Ford Pickup and once we finish making trips to the dump with all our other junk, we'll donate it too and finally, we will have three cars for three drivers. Our driveway will no longer look like a used car lot (or should I say . . a salvage yard!)

Judy L.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Looks Like a Mess

But it isn't as bad as it looks! This is going to be our yummy dinner. We love chicken & dumplings. Seems like everyone has their own favorite recipe. The ones we like are the ones my grandma used to make. They're thin and chewy and I could eat the entire batch by myself. Only problem is . . so could Chad and Vince.

The round glob is Rosemary Bread. Yummmmmm!

I'll share my recipes:

Chicken & Dumplings:

Boil a fat hen in seasoned water. Because we don't like a lot of chicken in ours, I usually just boil a plain chicken, and I think it puts a little less fat in the water. I season with celery, onion powder, salt and pepper. Remove the chicken, allow the broth to cool and strain. Remove the chicken from the bones. Shred the chicken that you want to put back into the dumplings. If you don't want all the chicken in the dumplings, set it aside for another recipe.

For the Dumplings:

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup Bisquick
2 tsp. black pepper
2 eggs
1/3 c. milk (you may need to add a little more)

Mix all the dumpling ingredients. Roll out onto floured surface. Roll very thin - almost as thin as a potato chip. Cut into 1" x 2" strips. Dip in flour and lay out on floured surface for at least one hour. Flip them all over and let them sit out for another hour. They are better if you allow them to dry out a bit.

Drop individually into the boiling broth and cook til tender but NOT mushy. Just before they are done, add the shredded chicken. Do not stir the dumplings or they'll break up. I gently mash them down every now and then with a spatula to kind of separate them and keep them covered in the broth.

Rosemary Bread

In a large bowl, combine:

1 T. yeast
1 T. sugar
1 cup very warm water.

Let this sit until bubbly.


2-1/2 c. flour
2 T. melted butter
1 tsp. salt
1 T. chopped fresh rosemary

Stir all the ingredients together. Knead for about 10 minutes. Add more flour if necessary. Oil a large bowl. Place the dough into the bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover with a damp towel and let rise til double in size, about one hour.

Punch dough down. Divide in half. Shape into a small ball. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with 1 T. chopped fresh rosemary. Press the top down to flatten the balls a little.

Let rise for about 45 minutes. Bake at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes.

Butter the top and sprinkle with coarse salt if desired.

Judy L.

November Quilt for an Hour

I have the quilt done and everything ready so have no fear . . we will have a November project. I hope to be able to take the pix outside but the rain has been relentless for the past two days. Yes, we've had gorgeous weather for the past 2 weeks and I just never got around to taking pix. Mr. Weatherman has promised a beautiful weekend so if I can't get pix taken outside tomorrow, I'll take pictures inside and post them so by tomorrow night, you will see the November project.

Responses to Comments:

Debbie from Dubiquilts asked: How did you do the photos of the socks and shoes?

I use Paint Shop Pro and I used the clone feature and basically copied the carpet and colored it over my white legs. For the shoes, I took a picture but it was too dark. The shoes are made by Steve Madden so I went to their website and found a picture there and snagged it. Yep, probably a violation of the law but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

Su Bee asked: How did you manage to block out your legs, and does it work on hips?

See the answer above. I doubt it would work on hips. If so, I'd love to know . . as I just returned from the gym and that's hard work!

Norma asked: If it works, I will head out to the dealer and get one ordered!

I used it (#57 foot for the Bernina) or a couple of hours last night and I love it. I've been amazed at how perfectly straight and perfect (perfectly perfect??) Vicky's seams are when I've quilted her quilts. No matter how hard I try, my seams are never perfect. I think this new foot may just be the ticket. It was $33.95 at my quilt shop and if you don't have a Bernina dealer near you, if you contact Betty, I know she would be more than happy to get you one and send it to you.

Judy L.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Who'd thunk I could write a whole blog entry about feet? :)

The foot pedal on the left is the old foot pedal to the Bernina 1230. It no longer works (although DH is sure he can fix it - I threatened to do great bodily harm if he touched it before the new pedal arrived). The middle pedal is the brand spankin' new foot pedal and the one on the right is the pedal to the 930 that I have been using. Now I can put it back with its machine and pack that machine. DH can have the pedal on the left to do with what he pleases and the middle pedal will be my constant companion for a few days!

I haven't been real happy with my 1/4" seams for a long time but the last time I checked, Bernina didn't make a #57 foot for my old machines. I think I had heard they were making one now and my good friend, Betty, who is a Bernina dealer, got this foot for me - not actually the foot shown in the picture because the one for my machine is just a bit different at the top. I'm using it for the first time tonight.

For the real feet - here are both my socks done and I have a second pair started. When I finished the first sock, I was so anxious to move on to a new pattern and new yarn but I kept myself focused and got the second sock done. I've blocked out my white legs! I should have planned better and started the second sock at the same spot in the yarn as I did the first sock. The stripes on the left foot don't match up with the stripes on the right sock. But .. it's my first pair and I love them. Thanks so much Susan for getting me started on making these socks.

My son . . I just don't know about that boy. I will spare you the details of the week he and I have had but it has been probably the hardest week of my parenting career. I think (hope/pray) we have things lined out and we can have a few smooth days. Anyway, he has been asking me if I would buy him some kind of python shoes. No! I don't pay that much for shoes. OK . . will you pay half? No! You don't need those kind of shoes. Well, today he shows up with them. I don't think I would have worn them home if someone had given them to me. He loves them!! He asked me if I liked them. I didn't want to say NO! I said "well, they're not something I would have bought for myself but if you like them, that's what matters." I don't understand this boy at all.

Judy L.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

My First Sock!

I've actually had lots of socks in my lifetime but this is the first one I've ever knitted. I'm so proud of it! Can't wait to make a second one so I can wear them.

Does it look halfway right?

The lady at the knitting shop not too far from me told me that I would never figure out how to do the heel by myself. Well, she wasn't completely correct. Susan had sent me a site that has little video clips so I was able to watch the video and figure out how to do the heel and the gusset and then how to do the kitchener stitch at the end.

I'm not going to miss my stash at all while it's packed away .. I've purchased yarn to make several pairs of socks and I want some of the Alpaca yarn but I wanted to be sure I could figure this out.

Off to start the second sock before I let myself get sidetracked and start a whole new project!

Judy L.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

My Son and the Car!

For those who have been reading my blog for a while, you'll remember my son's driving record. He didn't get driving privileges til he was almost 18 because of a deal we made about him making A's and B's. He graduated and we told him when he got a job, he could drive. He got the job and Vince let him use his Mazda 626 but told him -- the first ticket or wreck you have and the car is history. Chad drove about 2 weeks, went to the bank by taking the LONG way around town and got a ticket going 77 in a 55 mile zone so he lost driving privileges. That was probably in June. He was able to go to driving school to get the ticket off his record and then he worked enough to buy the Mazda 626 from Vince and pay for his own insurance. That transfer happened yesterday. Chad drove to work and back last night. No ticket. Today he decided to go to the same bank. He gets there and calls me and says he had a flat, could Vince come help him. Vince went and yes, he had a flat. He has a tire that is shredded . . Chad doesn't have a clue how it happened. The tire dealer we use is closed til Monday. Sam's doesn't have the same tires so he has to wait til Monday to get it fixed.

I told him to never go to that bank again . . it seems to bring bad luck. He just can't believe he can't drive again til Monday .. Tuesday actually because I'll have to take the car to get it fixed while he's at school.


Judy L.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Taming the Stash

It's time to sell the little house in town and before I can even think about showing it, I have to make it look like a home instead of a messy, messy sewing room. I bit the bullet today and packed the entire stash. Except for a few pieces of fabric I kept out in order to finish projects that have deadlines, everything is packed. The first few boxes, I measured the fabric as it was going in just to kinda have a record of it - just in case I never see it again. Each box held between 110 and 120 yards and I packed 19 boxes. I didn't count the bolts because I'm not packing them.

So, no new projects from me for a while. I hope to be able to open the boxes and put the stash away in a new home some time after the first of 2007.

Thanks to all who responded about the Quilt for an Hour project. Glad to see there's interest in keeping it going.

Responses to Comments:

Karen from Cotton Spice asked: Got any sock patterns to recommend?

I'm the last person to be giving advice on socks but the pattern that Suze sent me is Classic Socks by Yanker Knitter Designs and once I got started, it seems easy. The knitting shop here gave me a free one from Plymouth Yarn Company to use with the Sockotta yarn. It's called "Ladies Basic Socks". I think the basic patterns are pretty much the same once you figure out how to do the heel, gusset, etc. I have not figured that out yet but I'm fixing to prop my feet up and knit and I think I might have a sock finished by bedtime .. if all goes well.

Judy L.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

About the Quilt for an Hour Project

Some questions for you:

1. Is it helping you accomplish more?

2. Are you actually using the one hour instructions?

3. Do you want to continue with one hour instructions or do you want me to just submit a pattern each month and do it at your own speed?

I have a wonderful pattern for November and I'm just chomping at the bit to show it to you . . but I'm not. And, for the most part, the entire pattern is actually another Stashquilter's pattern which I'm using with her permission. I'm not even saying whose it is because you'll all know exactly what I'm talking about.

I'm not very good at keeping secrets and this is killing me.

And, where are the pictures of the Leaf Season quilt? I have three so far! Sad, sad, sad!! :)

Judy L.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Not Much Happening

Seems like I think of a million things to blog about when I can't stop and write and then when it's time to write, I have nothing to say. That happen to anyone else?

Speck got really sick over the weekend. Friday evening, he kept wanting to go outside . . every 10 minutes or so. I thought he was just wanting a treat because he gets something when he goes outside and goes to the bathroom. The Saturday I realized he had a *really* upset tummy. Our vet isn't open on weekends so I hoped it would run its course and he would be better. By Sunday, he was hardly moving and his tummy was so bloated and he was really sick. Monday I took him to the vet and he got an antibiotic shot, two antibiotic prescriptions and something to help coat his tummy. The vet told me to give him Pedialyte, and oh, boy . . does he ever like the grape. He is much, much better now but he stands at the fridge and begs for Pedialyte. We may have created a monster.

And, Carol sent me this wonderful bag! Carol has a quilt shop and she told me that when these bags arrived, she thought of me and my knitting. I had just done a quilt for her and apparently she was happy with my work! :) Anyway, I just love this bag. And, it has pockets and it opens up and has more compartments. Isn't it the best bag for knitting and stuff?

Finally, I've been busy working on my sock! This is what it looked like before I messed up. I couldn't figure out what I did wrong but I think I went from one needle to the third needle and skipped the second needle and try as I might, I couldn't get it right so I ripped it all out and started over. I'm not giving up though! This yarn is so fun to work with. Maybe that's why I keep ripping it out and starting over! :)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Answering Comments

I said I wouldn't do this but I think this new blogger makes it almost impossible for return addresses to show up when I receive your comments by e-mail so I'm going to start responding to comments in posts. Maybe at the end of each new post, I'll respond to previous comments.

Leah asked: Will EQ6 be compatable with EQ5's Dear Jane?

I'm guessing it will. From what I understand, we will be able to open EQ5 files in EQ6, and the EQ5 file will stay as it was but the new file will be saved in EQ6 format. EQ6 files will not be able to save down to EQ5 compatible files.

Hedgehog asked: I can't wait to see those November quilt-for-an-hour quilts - purple/lavender and yellow/green - super!! Does that mean you've made two versions?

There will not be two versions but there will be two different colored quilts that I made and one that was made by another blogger.

The Calico Cat asked: How do you calculate fabric used?

Amy, I think I answered this in an e-mail. Did it make sense?

Judy L.

An Emergency Plan

Do you have an emergency plan for your family? I just turned the TV on and saw people in long lines in Hawaii trying to get into a grocery store. Everyone has their own circumstances and many will say they don't have the money or the space to store food/water for an emergency but living in these days, I would highly recommend that everyone have an emergency plan for your family, as well as a stash of food and water.

In KY where we live, where that little white circle is, we're in the "most risk" category for earthquakes. We have floods, we have snow. Others of you live where there are hurricanes and other natural disasters. We all live with the threat of disaster from terrorists too.

Although we can't plan for every possible threat and have every single thing we might need, we can make an effort to be prepared. When disaster strikes, don't make things worse by being unprepared and being one of those standing in line desperately trying to get necessities. Plan for yourself and your family. Don't count on or expect the government to be there for you. I'm not saying they should or shouldn't be there when we need them but it's time for all of us to accept responsibility for our own well being . . at least as much as we can.

Some of the things we do to try to stay prepared are:

  • Keep gas in your car. We never let our vehicles get below half full. Most of the time, I keep mine really close to full.
  • Keep non-perishable foods. We keep canned goods, dried fruit, peanut butter, crackers, etc.
  • If you have a gas grill, keep an extra bottle of gas.
  • Medicines. I keep a drawer full of Tylenol, Band-Aids, burn cream, antibiotic cream, anti-diarrhea meds, etc. As we need to replenish something in our medicine cabinet, I get it from the emergency drawer and then replace it in the drawer with a fresh package of whatever we used.
  • Keep things to do. What would you do or what would your kids do if you faced days with no electricity?
  • Toiletries. I would NOT want to run out of toilet paper so I keep plenty of that on hand. Yes, it takes water to flush the toilet and in dire circumstances, we may not have water. As long as we're alive, the body continues to function and wherever I'm taking care of that function, I want toilet paper! I won't even tell you how many rolls of toilet paper we keep but I don't think we'll run out! Deoderant, soap, toothpaste -- keep extras on hand.
There are so many things . . these are just a few. It's so hard to imagine even a few days without electricity. When Hurricane Rita hit my family last year, I was so surprised at some of the stories I heard. My niece,who has three little girls, was suffering big time because there were no fast food restaurants open. When they finally were able to get back home, I asked her how things were. She said "Aunt Judy, we can't even buy fried chicken!"

Mom told me it took forever for the grocery stores to open and then when they did, it took ages to get milk and bread. I think the stores in Lake Charles, for the most part, didn't have milk and bread for weeks. I told mom to make bread! They had electricity back on. I'm sure they had yeast and flour. HUH? She didn't know how to make bread.

A couple of years ago, we received about 20 inches of snow in one day. The snow plow never did come through our neighborhood and it was at least five days before we could get out. I think it was seven days before I ventured out but the braver souls were out and about after about five days. The first few days, the police were asking people not to be on the streets unless it was an emergency.

I think we're ok for the average emergency. If we lost electricity and/or water for an extended period, it would be really difficult though.

If you don't have a plan for your family, how about spending some time this week to come up with a plan?

Judy L.

Friday, October 13, 2006


If you're on the EQ mailing list, you've probably already seen this. If not, for EQ fans, you'll be amazed. Check out what they're saying about the new EQ6 which we should be able to order after October 20.

Looks fantastic to me!

Judy l.

Google's Spreadsheet

I love spreadsheets! I have several of them that I use daily - I keep my canned goods listed on a spreadsheet. I keep up with customer quilting that is scheduled and my openings on a spreadsheet. It sometimes is a hassle because if the spreadsheet is on the desktop, I'm on the laptop or vice versa. Well, Google has solved all my problems because now I can have my spreadsheet on Google and I just sign in and there it is . . no matter which computer I'm using. I could even sign in from the library or from a friend's house and access my spreadsheet. Isn't this neat? This is a spreadsheet I've set up for keeping up with how much of the stash I've used. I have a page for the fabric I've added to the stash too.

If you like spreadsheets, you may want to check it out. You can also save documents there too and you can have them where others can view them or even where others can edit them. I can see lots of uses for this setup.

I am also backing these spreadsheets up on my own computer . . I haven't forgotten what happened to my blog when I thought all was lost!

Judy L.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Peace & Quiet - NOT!

Chad decided a couple of weeks ago that he needed a guitar. His two buddies, Jared and Brad, both have guitars. So, they shopped and they shopped and this is the guitar Chad ended up buying. It's a Fender Showmaster FMT .. whatever that means. It is beautiful but he can't play it but that doesn't stop him from trying. His friends are teaching him and I told him I would pay for some lessons.

Having the guitar wasn't bad enough. Yesterday he bought an amplifier. Remember, we live in a house the size of a matchbox! He stays up all night and sleeps half the day. I go to bed at a reasonable hour and get up at 6 or 7 a.m. He wants to play the guitar while I'm sleeping .. in the next room with paper thin walls! Since he kept me awake half the night, I want to wake him up when I get up but then I think . . he might want to play the guitar if he's awake so I let him sleep.

I cant only imagine that if it were me, I'd be wanting to play it all the time too so I've been patient. Thank goodness for earplugs and noise cancelling headphones!

Judy L.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Knitting Progress

Here's how far I've gotten on my scarf. I have enough of this yarn to make a cap and mittens. I'm so glad I started knitting again.

Yesterday while at Hobby Lobby, I was talking with another knitter and she reminded me about a knitting shop about 10 miles south of here so I rode out there yesterday and got some more yarn.

Actually, the two balls in the bototm right corner were purchased over the weekend at a shop in Newburgh, IN and I'll use those for a hat. The two skeins in the upper right are for more socks. That's the same yarn Susan sent me and I love working with it. The lime green and eyelash are for making a felted wool purse!! And, the dishrag is what I finished that I'll give to the lady who helped me with my socks last Thursday.

So you don't think I'm not quilting, here's the backing of the November Quilt for an Hour project. This is the fabric I found for my friend who is the beautician in Lake Charles. I collaborated with a fellow Stash Quilter (I'll tell you more about that later) for the design for next month and made mine to match this backing. You have to wait to see the front! :)

I like the November project a whole lot and I think you will too. The front of this quilt is pink and purple but I'm making another one that is yellows/tans/greens.

But for now . . I've played around all morning on my own stuff and now it's time to get some customer quilting done. I have a really big quilt next that gets Angel Wings panto. I love doing that one!

Judy L.

Variation to Leaf Season

It's amazing what changing just one section of a quilt will do. Check out Cynthia's Leaf Season and see how different it looks with a dark square in the center of the alternating block.

Last week I was collaborating with another Stash Quilter on the November project and I was surprised at how much difference the quilt looked with just a subtle change here and there or a narrow border in place of a wider border.

Many of you already use Electric Quilt but for those of you who don't, I can't imagine how a quilter would not LOVE it! I so highly recommend it. The current version is 5 but they're hoping to have 6 out before the end of the year. There's a whole lot that I don't know how to do with the program, simply because I haven't taken the time to learn. For me, it was like most any other program I've tried to learn . . in the beginning it seemed overwhelming but then things began falling into place in my head.

I'll post the hour a day instructions when I get back to the laptop.

Judy L.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

No New Sewing Machine

Good grief . . I wrote a whole post yesterday about this and I have no idea where it went.

I decided against getting the new sewing machine for several reasons:

(1) I have a son in college (need I say more?). I could go into my long discussion here about what's fair and what's not fair but I'll spare you. I'll just say that Chad did *nothing* in high school so he ended up with no scholarships. His dad (we're divorced) will not help pay for college so that burden falls on me. For those of you who are longarm quilters, you know that the money earned is great spending money but it doesn't go very far paying for college. I'm afraid that $1,500 or $1,600 for the machine will be money I need down the road so I'm going to save it for now.

(2) I checked on ebay and the Bernina 1230 machines are going from $800 to $1,000 which would help pay for the new machine but I'm not sure I want to part with the 1230. It's still a great machine and except for having to add the walking foot to do binding, we can still have many happy years together.

(3) I checked with the Janome dealer who does the AQS shows and his show price is several hundred dollars less than my local dealer, plus he always throws in extras. At Nashville, he was adding the three new feet and the new plate. I would prefer to support the local dealer but I asked him about the warranty if we move and he told me that parts are covered by the new dealer but I would have to pay for labor. Chances of us being here for another whole year are probably slim so I'll just wait and see what happens.

So, I'll continue sewing on the 1230 and keep my mind off the new toy.

Judy L.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Sewing Machine Fever

I went to the quilt shop this morning to drop off quilts and pick up others. I bought *nothing* at the quilt shop. Went by the yarn shop in the next town and bought yarn to make a cap.

On the way home, I stopped by the local sewing machine shop to get oil for the longarm. They had the Janome 6600 machine on sale. I've been wanting this machine badly and this is the best price I've seen.

I don't technically need a new sewing machine. I technically want a new sewing machine. I want that built in even feed system.

I have enough sewing machines to last me a life time and all I ever do is make 1/4" seams. That's it! No button holes, no machine quilting, no fancy smancy stitches.

I don't need a new sewing machine, do I? Doesn't stop me from wanting it.

Judy L.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Now She's Knitting

My poor family. They may never have another home cooked meal, clean clothes, etc.

Dare I tell you when I first started knitting? Maybe in the late 70's or early 80's. I worked with a girl whose mom had a knitting shop in Lake Charles and Diane would sit at lunch and knit so I thought . . I'd like to do that too! She taught me how to knit but I only knitted sweaters. Well, I only knitted parts of sweaters. I never learned how to do sleeves or how to put them together. I would knit the fronts and back and a lady would knit the sleeves and put them together for me. I always wanted to learn to knit socks but I never took the time to learn. Since I'm not getting any younger, I decided it was time to learn to knit socks. I talked about it here a while back and Susan insisted on sending me a little package which contained the above yarn, the teeniest needles I've ever seen and a pattern for socks. I looked at the pattern, I watched a couple of online tutorials that Susan sent me links for and it baffled my old brain. There's a knitting shop across the river in Indiana and I kept meaning to go there and ask for help but just hadn't done it yet.

Monday night at my quilt group meeting, I asked if anyone had been to the knitting shop. Apparently she has wonderful yarn but may not be the friendliest, most personable person I'd want to meet. Our quilt group meets at the local Methodist church and one of the ladies said "oh, we have a great knitting group that meets on Thursday morning at 10." Now . . I'm really excited and can't wait til Thursday but . . I have a dentist appointment on Thursday morning and if I cancel it or even re-schedule it, Vince is not going to be happy because I've missed my last two dental appointments. Lucky me -- the dentist's office called Tuesday and wanted to change my appointment so I did that yesterday.

Went to the knitting meeting this morning and a really nice elderly lady got me started on my socks and see how much I have done already! This is so much fun!! The directions say to knit til the entire leg measures 6". Does that mean from the very tip top of the ribbing or does it mean just the knitted part below the ribbing? The heel part looks really intimidating so I may wait til I go back to the meeting next Thursday or .. I might get brave and try it. I'd hate to screw up everything I've done so far though.

I was struggling with the teeny yarn and tiny needles so when I left the meeting, I went to Hobby Lobby to get some larger yarn til I got re-acquainted with knitting. In fact, I even ripped out all I had done on the sock at the group meeting and started over. I bought this lime green to make a dish cloth for the nice lady who was helping me. I'll bet she's never had a lime green dish cloth! :)

And, I bought this yarn to make myself a scarf. I'm going to finish the dish cloth tonight so I can start the scarf tomorrow. No pattern for that. I know I should be able to just do it but I'll look on the internet for a pattern tomorrow.

Judy L.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Tail Wagging the Dog

I came across this fabric on sale at Big Horn Quilts and had to have it. A friend back home is a beautician who had always cut my hair. When we were back for Daniel's funeral, she met us at the shop on Monday (her day off) and did mom's hair and cut mine and Chad's hair and wouldn't let us pay her. She also brought tons of food to mom's so when I saw this fabric, I knew I had to get it to use for a backing for a quilt for Jennifer. So, now I need to make a top to go with the backing.

Speaking of shopping online, have you ever been to Thousands of Bolts? Their prices are unbelievable. I ordered more fabric than I should have and no . . I'm not saying how many yards. Last time I mentioned the number of yards, I think too many of you thought I had lost my mind. Let's just say that any time I can get Moda fabrics for $4.15/yard, I am in fabric heaven!

I ordered Friday evening late, the fabrics were shipped on Monday, I received a tracking number via e-mail and they will be here tomorrow. I will be waiting at the door for the Fed Ex lady!

Judy L.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Leaf Season EQ File

Several of you have asked for the EQ file. Instead of responding to everyone, I've put it on the Patchwork Times web page.

1. Go to
2. Click on "Leaf Season" on the left side menu
3. Go down a ways and you'll see "click here for the EQ file".

If you have problems getting it, please let me know.

Judy L.

Leaf Project Starts Tomorrow

Here's a few pictures of how I quilted mine. First is as much as I could get of the whole quilt. You can click on the picture to get a larger view. Since I'm trying to disguise where each block ends and the other begins, I quilted the two blocks differently.

Do you think if you hadn't seen this whole quilt going together that you would have to think about it for a minute before figuring out the design?

In the larger square of background fabric, I used variegated thread and quilted a leaf. I didn't want to meander around it so I just outlined it with a thread that matches the background fabric.
I got the leaf shape from Coloring Planet. There are all kinds of shapes you can find there when you're looking for a quilt design.

I'm one of the longarmers who thinks everything needs to be stitched in the ditch before other quilting is done so all the shapes were stitched in the ditch before any of the decorative quilting was started.

For the border, I used the same variegated thread and quilted a leafy vine in the brown areas, switched back to an off white thread and did loops in the white border.

Ready to begin?

Judy L.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

September & October Goals

The September goals were all completed . . by the skin of my teeth! It's almost October 1 already!

For the October goals, there's lots of machine quilting to do for customers this month so my own personal goals, while they appear to be many, can be done pretty quickly.
I work so much better if I have a list so . . there's my list!

Judy L.

Friday, September 29, 2006

My Week .. in a Nutshell!

My life is so simple and usually slow but this has been a busy week. Monday was my annual physical. I suppose no one enjoys this but it has to be done so . . it's done! Tuesday I had to go have bloodwork which revealed that my iron levels are low. Don't know why but I'm now taking iron. Not to mention that they are over $1.25/pill with insurance but they make me SICK!! The doctor said keep taking them so I'm still taking them but if I still feel this bad next week, they're history.

Then yesterday was the annual mammogram. Either I've gotten used to them or they don't hurt as bad as they used to. This is the one time of the year I'm thankful to be a size AAA! :)

I hate (really, really hate) getting dressed up and going out to business dinners and I had to do it twice this week and almost had to do it three times! Vince's company had something going on and oh, I thought of every excuse in the book to keep from going. I really didn't feel good but I went and I survived.

Next week I have to go to the dentist! While I'm on a roll, I might as well have needles stuck under my fingernails. Why is all this having to be done at once? And, the dog has to go to the vet for his annual next week too.

OK, enough whining from me. I needed a little "lift me up" so I dug this piece of fabric out of my stash and I'm making the purple and lime leaf quilt that I wanted to make. I got it started but I had to put it aside and get some quilting for customers done. But, first I'm quilting the first leaf quilt. It's going to be a gift for a friend and I love how it's turning out. Had hoped to get it finished tonight but that's not going to happen. Maybe tomorrow. It's on my September goals list so I'd better get it done tomorrow!

Judy L.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Ready for the October Quilt for an Hour Project?

Here's the project for October. Everyone ready? Once this top is quilted, it will be hard to see where each block ends. When I design quilts, one of my main goals is to create quilts where the blocks blend.

Here's a little mini lesson on how I blend blocks. Remember you can click on the image to get a larger view.

This is all my opinion - maybe right, maybe wrong. And, it doesn't it mean that if you do yours different, mine looks any better or worse than yours, ok?

Suppose you want to make this October quilt. I hope you all want to make it! :) Suppose you want to use tan or ecru on ecru stash fabrics for the background. The picture on the left is the EQ drawing with different tans used but with a specific fabric used for the background in each individual block - different background fabrics used in different blocks. In my opinion, it's kinda choppy and there's no blending.

Suppose you decide to do some planning and you use one background fabric for one leaf block (same background fabric for each block but different background fabrics in different blocks). And, for the alternating block, you use the same fabric in all the centers but you use the same background fabric for the edges of the alternating block that will be used in the neighboring leaf block. By using these bright colors, do you see what I'm talking about?

On the right is a drawing where this concept was used. Does this one look more interesting or . . is it just in my own mind? I guess I get really excited about blending the blocks because I hate going to a quilt shop and seeing the patterns and realizing without really scrutinizing the design, that it's two simple blocks and I can easily make that quilt without purchasing the pattern!

And last, here's an idea how this same quilt would look if you used scraps where I have the same brown. I drew this out using the same fabric in the whole block but you could easily just mix and match however you choose.

Maybe the main thing we can learn from this little lesson is that no matter how you make it, the quilt is going to be beautiful. There are as many ways to put together quilts as there are quilters. Some of the quilts that I've made that I thought were awful were the ones others loved and some I thought were so fantastic, I could tell from the expression of my friends that they weren't nearly so impressed.

So, have fun and don't stress too much about colors, points, or other issues

Thanks to all who wrote me about the roof. The roofer was here early yesterday morning. Two strips of ridge vent and just a handful of shingles had to be replaced. Vince will repaint my ceiling soon. It makes me want to scream every time I look up and see that water damage on my ceiling. That's the kind of things that bugs me tremendously. But, it could have been a lot worse and I am thankful it was not.

Judy L.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

This is what I see looking out my back door. It's just a rain cloud and no serious storms are predicted but . . look what I see when I look at my kitchen ceiling! I looked up at the ceiling and hoped it was a shadow from a lamp in the living room but . . it's a water stain.

The storm Friday night blew off a good size piece of my ridge vent. Chad got in the attic to see if he could do something from in there but the hole is huge.

I'm betting every roofer in this town is going to be busy for the next few weeks so here's Chad up on the roof trying to do what he can to minimize the leaks. Keep your fingers crossed that we have no more water damage.

Peach French Toast & Taco Soup Recipes

I should have taken a picture before we ate but I didn't think about it. Here are the recipes I mentioned yesterday.

Overnight Peach French Toast
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 stick butter
2 T. water
1 - 29 oz. can sliced peaches, drained
12 slices day old French bread, sliced 3/4" thick
5 eggs
1-1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Ground cinnamon

Bring water, brown sugar and butter to a boil. Remove from heat and pour into a 9 x 13 greased baking dish. After the brown sugar/butter mixture has cooled a bit, add the sliced peaches. Place the bread slices on top.

Mix the eggs, milk and vanilla. Pour over the bread. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.

Remove from fridge and leave sitting on counter for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Cover and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 30 - 35 minutes. Can be served with whipped cream and/or maple syrup.

Taco Soup

This is one of those recipes that I've adapted to our own tastes. We love frozen corn so I put more corn than most recipes call for. DH doesn't like kidney beans so I use black beans. Also, with the ground meat, this sounds gross but I boil mine first, then drain it, let it cool, crumble it and brown it with a little oil. I like my ground meat in soups/stews to be real crumbly with no big chunks.

2 lb. ground meat, browned and drained
16 oz. frozen corn
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 - 2 cans crushed tomatoes (depending on your preference)
1 can chicken broth
1 cup water
1 package Taco seasoning mix
1 package Ranch dressing mix

Dump everything in the crockpot and cook 8 - 10 hours on low. Add more water if necessary to get the consistency desired.

We serve it with grated cheese and tortilla chips. I add a spoonful of sour cream to my bowl also.

Judy L.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

What Color Goes with Gray?

What color would you put with these two grays? I am using the light gray as the background and the darker gray as an accent and border and I need a bunch of little nine patches. I could use a bunch of pinks and lavendars or I could use reds but I think the reds kinda overpower the gray.

If I wanted to make the nine patches scrappy, what colors would I use? What colors would I avoid with the gray? Yellows? Oranges?

Should I not use the grays? Come to think of it, I don't see a lot of gray in quilts. Do you?

Did we ever have a storm last night! Chad was at work. Vince was at home. I was at the studio sewing up a storm (no pun intended!). About 6, Vince called to ask me he heard the tornado sirens. He can barely hear them from out in the country but I can always hear them in town. I stopped sewing, went to the door and yes, the tornado sirens were going off. Turned the TV on and we were about to get nailed. I wasn't even paying attention and I'm usually so aware of the weather since I'm such a chicken. The sirens hardly stopped sounding for well over an hour. There was no way I was leaving in the midst of it to go home to the the basement but I was truly scared. Chad called from work and he was even a bit nervous about what he should be doing. The winds and lightning would calm for a few minutes and then fire up again. About 7:30, the electricity went off. Great! My car is in the garage and I had to get Chad from work at 9. I know there's a way to open the garage door by pulling a cord to disconnect it from the motor or something but I surely didn't want to get involved with that since I manage to break the door at least quarterly just by pushing the button.

Within about 10 minutes, the electricity had gone off at home too so Vince decided to come to town. I was able to take his truck to get Chad. It was well after midnight when the electricity came back on. Thankfully, we have a gas water heater and we were all able to take showers by candle light and get to bed.

It's been a bit stormy off and on today too but I think the worst is past us now.

Chad has his driving school today so the speeding ticket is officially off his record. In Kentucky, once a year you can go to driving school and get one ticket per year removed from your record. Of course, I have never had to do that! :) For Chad, I think a monthly erasing of the tickets would work much better than annually. We will see if he can make it longer than 2 weeks without a ticket this time.

Judy L.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Boring Quilter

Several quilters have posted pictures of neat and interesting pin cushions that they use. I'm so boring! Here's what I use. The one on the right is a plain Jane probably Wal-Mart magnetic pin holder with the fine glass head pins that I love. It sits beside my sewing machine. The one on the left is a lid to a pounce pad container and it holds the flower head pins that I use at the longarm. Now you know that I have boring pin cushions!

Sometimes I think I'm the luckiest person I know and sometimes I think I've just gotten darned good at making lemonade out of lemons or improvising.

Hobby Lobby has their 40% off coupon this week (they have it just about every other week) so I decided to get backing fabric for my Leaf Season quilt. I found this perfect leaf fabric. Oh, it's so perfect .. don't you think? But there was only 4 yards - not quite enough for a 75" x 95" quilt. I looked around and kept coming back to that fabric. The lady told me she could see if she could get more from another store. Nope, I want to quilt it tomorrow! Then I was over in the Christmas fabric (for no particular reason) and I found this tone on tone tan fabric. I thought maybe that would work and there was plenty of that. Walked by the leaf fabric one more time, just hoping I had miscounted and there was more fabric than I thought and I realized they match perfectly. The two fabrics are part of a collection and the tone on tone is exactly the same as the leaf background so that works! I can piece the backing. Oh, but the 40% off coupon is only good for one item and this would be two. This fabric was $8/yard. The nice lady just added the yardage together and wrote it up as one so I got the discount.

And, Taco Bell (my favorite reastaurant) is right there by Hobby Lobby so I treated myself to dinner out.

I got a lot of quilting done on a customer quilt today and I can finish it in the morning and by the time the leaf backing fabric is washed and dried, I should be ready to load it all and quilt it.

Judy L.

My Color

Yep, I think this little test has me pegged correctly!

Judy L.

You Are Grass Green

Down to earth and a bit of a hippie, you are very into nature and the outdoors.
You accept the world and people as they are. You don't try to change things.
You are also very comfortable with yourself, flaws and all.
Optimistic about the future, you feel like life is always getting better.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Terrific Tuesday!

This morning the weather was just fabulous. It stayed in the low 60's til well after lunch. Chad was up early and the turkey frying by 6:30. It turned out great! I can't wait to hear how his presentation went.

The plan was to get him to school at 9:30 and come home and sew but this weather just invigorates me. I opened the windows and had the radio going as loud as I thought I could get by with without the neighbors complaining. Ughh . . city living! Anyway, Willie's Place on XM 13 is my favorite channel and I can't listen to that with Vince or Chad around. They hate that old country music. Speaking of Willie, I read on the KPLC web page yesterday that Mr. Nelson and his entourage were stopped on I-10 in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana this weekend and seems they were smoking some of that funny weed and had some mushrooms. Not good!

Anyway, I decided to make a couple of loaves of bread, then decided to make Patty's Amish Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls. YUMMM! I guess it's ok to have sweet rolls for dinner since I had fried turkey for breakfast. Tomorrow I'll start a new diet. :)

And, tomorrow I'll work on those customer quilts that I was supposed to work on today.

Judy L.

Monday, September 18, 2006

You have Spoken!

I think every single one of you who commented thought the first quilt I made was not too holiday looking so I'll go ahead and quilt it for Randy. I had not used the backing yet so whichever top I decided to use, it would have the tow trucks on the back. I still have to make something for his wife. My dad had originally asked me to make his wife a quilt. Then, somehow he decided he the quilt was for Randy. I'll come up with something . . some time soon.

From about 7:30 a.m. til about 6:30 p.m., except for an hour or two when I met my friend, Becky, for lunch and went to Home Depot for peanut oil, I have been revamping my Patchwork Times website. I did get the Christmas Tree quilt directions posted but I wouldn't recommend anyone rushing to start making it til I go over it again. My brain is overdosed on html right now and I'm not going to try to check it tonight . . and probably not for the rest of this week. Customer quilts are waiting. If anyone looks at the web page and sees errors, I'd appreciate your telling me.

Nothing else interesting to report . . no pictures, no nothing! :(

Judy L.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Turkey Hunting

No, I haven't gone out in the woods looking for a turkey but they are hard to find in stores around here in September. Chad is giving a speech on how to do something and as he usually does, he makes it difficult. He's giving his speech on how to fry a turkey so he (WE) will get up at 5:30 Tuesday morning so he can fry his turkey, then I will bring it to school at the designated time. The grocery stores around here didn't have their turkeys yet and we were about to give up but I found one at Wal-Mart this evening. Solved that potential problem!

I finished the top I was making for the wrecker driver but I just think it looks too much like Christmas. I really like it. I had planned to quilt it using Baptist Fans but I see where feathers would look really good in those background areas. Dad told me last week that Randy's favorite color is green. I was pretty shocked since I hadn't known that when I started this top and the backing I found with the old tow trucks is green. I started another quilt for him that will have green but not red so it won't look so much like Christmas. Here's the blocks I have done so far.

And, here's what the whole quilt should look like. Thoughts?

Judy L.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

One Hour Quilt pictures

I've added more pictures from the One Hour project last month. Be sure to look at Mary's. She set her blocks differently and they look so neat. Amazing what you can do to change the look of a simple block.


Friday, September 15, 2006

October Quilt for an Hour Project

I had hoped to get this top quilted before showing it here but that obviously didn't happen. I have a really neat idea for quilting it. Do you love it? Doesn't it look like Fall? This one is set with 7 blocks across and 9 blocks up and down and the finished measurements are 78" x 96". That's a little big maybe for some but with a 5 block x 7 block setting, the finished size is 60" x 78".

Anyone want to do this one? I think when it's quilted, it will be really hard to tell where each block ends and I love those kinds of quilts.

I've spent the last two days sewing and working on my new web page. Web pages just blow my mind. I just don't get it! Try as I might, I can screw the same page up over and over and over again. It's so frustrating for me. But, I have most of the kinks worked out . .maybe!

You can take a look at the new web page if you dare. The plan is to post free patterns there. This one is called Leaf Season and it is there. There are probably tons of goofy errors over there now but I've put four patterns up, translating them between .pdf and Word documents to html so I will be very surprised if there's a single page without major errors. I will get it all right eventually (and I welcome your pointing out any mistakes you find!) but I've looked at this enough for today.

I'm hoping that you all find the html documents quicker and easier to follow than the .pdf documents. If not, don't tell me today .. after I've spent an entire day messing with changing them all. :(

I'm getting off the computer and going to work on binding!

Judy L.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Everyday Activities

I feel so boring! I'm not bored but I can't think of a single interesting thing about which to report to my blogging friends. Terrible? Not really. I've had a marvelous day!

Before 8 a.m., my doorbell rang. Considering that my doorbell rings about twice a year (and that's when the school kids are selling stuff), I was quite surprised. Went to the door and a nice man was there. Of course, Speck was chomping at the door trying to attack. The man asked if we owned property on 1389. Yes . . Vince is out of town and I'm thinking .. great, what's happened out there. It was the water company and they needed a right-of-way signed. I thought it was funny that he tracked us down at the house in town. Guess that's the advantage (or disadvantage) of no one else in this town (probably this state) having the same last name we have. That was easily solved.

Chad and I had lunch at Olive Garden. He got out of school a bit before noon and was off today. The food was good and we had a good visit.

It's nice and cool. The windows are all open. I love Fall. I'll actually be glad to have a freeze so these darned tomatoes will stop. I pick tomatoes every day and I can't eat them all, the neighbors are supplied, I've canned all I need for winter and I hate letting them go to waste.

The afternoon was spent sewing on the October "Quilt for an Hour" project. It's looking good! Maybe tomorrow I'll be far enough along to show you a picture.

Judy L.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Still Binding . .

I have absolutely nothing exciting to share except that I've spent every spare moment binding. Yesterday, I did the handwork on one quilt that was about 75 x 90, did another one that was about 50 x 65, and did one that was about 80 x 95 but it already had three sides done.

So, that's 4 down and I'm not counting how many left to go!

Today was a rainy day so it was nice to sit on the sofa and do the binding on another quilt, occasionally looking up to watch the rain fall. I had the radio on the oldies, Vince is out of town, Chad had school and then work so I had almost the entire day to myself.

My biggest challenge today was trying to convince Speck that he will not melt. He is definitely a fair weather dog and it's a struggle to get him to go out on a rainy day . . even if the rain has stopped and the concrete is wet, he has no intention of getting his dainty (NOT) little feet wet!

I will take tomorrow off from binding because my shoulder hurts. Old age is not being kind to my hip, knee and shoulder joints.

Judy L.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Stitching the Binding

Not only does the stash of fabric seem to be taking over my life, but the pile of tops waiting to be quilted and the pile of quilts waiting for binding is also out of control. This stack of quilts all have the binding sewn on by machine but are waiting for the handwork to be done. That's 14 quilts! I've been working really hard on the stack of "to be quilted" and I think there are only about 12 quilts in that stack now. That's huge progress.

Have any of you ever used this little tool? It's kinda neat. I don't use it often but got it out today since I plan to spend at least this entire week working on binding. You load these little clamp things up in the little plastic shooter and then just clamp the binding down. Works on the same concept as using the hair clips. It's made and/or sold by Martelli.

Judy L.

September 11

A few days ago Chad and I were talking and he said he still remembers exactly where he was and what he was doing when he got the news of the first plane hitting the World Trade Tower. He was 13 at the time. I told him he would always remember and it's up to his generation to tell their kids and grandkids about it, the feelings that we had that day and the days afterwards, the changes that have occurred for us Americans and others around the world following September 11, 2001.

Oh, how I wish America could be a country united, knowing that "united we stand, divided we fall" but there seems to be so much more division rather than unison in our land. Please do not interpret this as an invitation to let me know which side is right and which side is wrong . . do not want to hear it today! I want to be an American . . not a partisan!

We all have stories of what we were doing/where we were when we got the news. Here's mine:

I had finished doing a bit of morning chores and had gone downstairs to quilt. I turned on the TV to watch Simply Quilts. I had seen that episode so after a few minutes, I switched over to MSNBC which was my channel of choice in those days. Almost at the exact moment I switched, they were getting news of the first plane hitting. I immediately called Vince and told him. His first words were "it's a terrorist attack". I couldn't believe he would say that! My rose colored glasses again! I jumped all over him for being so negative and always waiting for something bad to happen. He asked me what I thought it might have been and I told him I thought a plane just got off course or something.

Then the second plane hit and I called him again. He was so sure it was a terrorist attack and by this time I was angry with him. He again asked me what other explanation I had. I was sure that the radar was all screwed up and the planes didn't know where else to go.

By the time the plane hit the Pentagon and I called him the third time, I was apologizing because even with my rosey view of the world, I had to accept that American had been attacked by terrorists. By the time news came of the 4th plane crashing in PA, I wanted Vince to come home from work, I wanted to go get Chad at school . . I just wanted my family right there with me. Of course, Vince had no intention of coming home from work and he talked me out of going to school to get Chad, although Chad later told me that he was surprised I didn't come get him. He said many parents did come get their kids and knowing me, he figured I'd have been the first one there.

Yes, our world is a different place from what it was on September 10, 2001. I suppose the world isn't really a different place because the plans were under way and the bad people were here but I surely see it is a different place from what I saw on September 10.

I will never forget . .

Judy L.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Do You Finish Them All?

Have you ever started a quilt and realized right off that you weren't going to like it? Did you finish it? Did you stick it aside and feel guilty that it wasn't finished? Did you pretend it didn't exist? Did you give it away as a UFO and let someone else finish it?

This is a quilt that I started a couple of years ago and soon realized it had WAY too many HST's, even for a quilter like me who uses HST's in almost every project. It was a stash quilt so I perservered and finished it and it sat for months (like . . maybe 18 months!)

Yesterday as I finished up a customer quilt, I wasn't quite ready to stop so I thought . . I'll dig out that pink and brown top and do the Baptist Fans on it. Loaded it and then I remembered I wanted to try these curvy feathers as an overall design.

Ughhh . . when you start quilting something, you have to keep on! I made one pass across this quilt and realized I did not like doing those. Those thoughts ran through my head . . take it off and throw it all in the trash! But, then I would be wasting backing and batting also, so once again I perservered. I really didn't put a lot of effort into it because I thought it was going to be so ugly. The main problems were (well, the problems I care to discuss here!) that I was using pink 40 weight cotton thread and every little "cross over the spine" or fat feather or skinny feather stands out like a sore thumb on the brown fabric. Had I used a 50 weight thread, it would have been so much better and had I taken my time, it would have been a lot better. I was just aggravated that it wasn't turning out good and I was tired . . should never have started quilting it late.

When I took it off the machine, expecting the back to be *awful*, I was pleasantly surprised. For my first time to try this, I don't think it turned out too bad.

I was outside trying to get the pictures before the storm got here and look who flew right in front of my camera. I thought it was a falling leaf and kept waiting for it to float on off. I wish I'd realized it was a hummingbird sooner so I could have zoomed in and gotten a better picture of it.

Judy L.