Sunday, December 30, 2012


Life has slowed down a bit in our corner of Missouri.  We had some nice snow on Friday, but what you don't see is the layer of ice underneath it all that transformed our little town into an ice skating rink in a few hours.  More snow is on the way for tomorrow.

This is a busy time of year for me.  I'm straightening and organizing my sewing room in preparation for a wonderful 2013 filled with new quilts and machine embroidery!  We have a small business and this is the time of year to close out the books and get set up for the new there have been very few idle hours around here for the past week.

I made a few snowflakes for the Sandy Hook Elementary project and was advised last night that they are no longer accepting any more snowflakes due to the enormous outpouring worldwide!  I'm thrilled about the response, but saddened that our snowflakes aren't there.  One of the drawbacks of living in such a small town with limited shopping is that I had to order the special stabilizer for machine lace from the Internet and it took a week to arrive.  Our snowflakes will go on our tree as a reminder of Sandy Hook.

Enjoy the remainder of 2012!  I wish you a very Happy and Healthy 2013!!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012


I hope Santa filled your stocking with every sort of goodie and treat and that you had a wonderful time with family and friends on Christmas day!  I especially enjoyed my time on the phone with my granddaughter Bree. 

Our Christmas day was slow and sweet.  We had several calls from family and friends and followed that up with a good meal.  Actually I ate far too much and will have to take it easy today with the treats!

Traditionally this is the day to go shopping for next years Christmas cards and wrappings...also to exchange those items that don't fit or please you and to spend your gift cards!!  This is the day I don't go near a store of any type!  According to the news the holiday sales were the lowest since 2008 when the country was in a hard recession.  The good thing about being a quilter is that we manage to get our hands on fabric regardless of the economy.  I wonder if I should put myself on a fabric diet..not buying any more fabric until I use up at least 1/3 of my stash ~~~ no that will never happen (no discipline in this area!!). 

This is the time of year when I reflect over the last 12 months and look forward to the fresh new year.  I'm formulating some goals for my quilting and also personally.  Like everyone, I would love to lose some weight and be more physically fit.  

Creatively, I plan to use the 25th of each month to work on Christmas gifts for next year...isn't that a wonderful idea!!  Someone shared this idea on the quilting forum at Missouri Star and I thought it was such a great idea.  I use the month of January every year to plan and gather supplies for making Christmas gifts next year.  I have also made a commitment to make a few quilts for the Cardinal Glennon PICU in St Louis.  This project is so worth of my time and efforts. 

Wishing everyone a great Day After!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Wishing all my readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous and Creative 2013!

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Reason for the Season christmas ecard

Just two more sleeps and Christmas will be here!  If the weatherman is correct, it should snow here on Christmas Day! 

Christmas isn't the same when you don't have children around to maintain the wonder and excitement of the day.  This year Hubby and I have chosen to stay close to home and do our visiting on Christmas Eve.  Christmas dinner will be ham, baked beans, broccoli casserole, fruit salad, jello salad, homemade rolls, Dutch apple pie and cheesecake.  Christmas morning we will have semi-homemade cinnamon rolls and coffee and starve ourselves until our dinner around 2:00. 

Here is a new twist on cinnamon rolls I'm going to try Christmas morning:

1 bag frozen cinnamon rolls (12 count)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup melted vanilla ice cream (measure after it's melted)
5 Tbsp butter

Put frozen rolls into a buttered 9x13 pan.  Put the sugars, ice cream and butter into a saucepan and bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute.  Pour this mixture over the frozen rolls.  Place in cold oven overnight.  In the morning bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes and drizzle the icing that came with the rolls over the top. 

I have a reliable source that promises these are wonderful!!

Wherever you are, however you choose to spend your holidays, we wish you joy, peace and love... 

                                     Barb, Jeff and Miss Molly

Friday, December 21, 2012


Just look at the beautiful quilt kit I won in the drawing at  I have been waiting anxiously all week for it to arrive and it showed up this morning!  I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!

The name of the kit is Falling For Fall and it's a great combination of piecing and applique in Fall colors. The fabrics are extra nice and the colors will fit in with our home perfectly.  I know what our new quilt next Fall will be!! 

Thank you so much, Jeanne, for your generosity and giving spirit!  I feel thoroughly blessed!  I think this may be the first thing I've ever won and it feels great!

I wish Peace & Plenty to everyone who reads this blog.  Until next time, take care and keep sewing!    Barb

Monday, December 17, 2012


I have to admit that it feels a bit shallow blogging about the joy of sewing in light of the tragedy in Connecticut a few days ago and the resulting mourning and sorrow.  I know  that our prayers are with each an every person and family affected by this heinous act.  I pray for God's grace, peace and comfort. The sorrow that this act brought into a community and our nation is unfathomable.

We had a slow weekend, but I worked a little on some rug mugs that resemble a fingerprint.  I found these designs at  They come in a wide rage of designs, but I bought just three:  the coffee cup, a heart and a spiral.  These little mats are nice to hold a cup of tea or coffee and a few cookies.


These take about 15 minutes from start to finish and are a good way to use up scraps.  They measure about 5 x 6.5 inches.  One or two of these are cute rolled up and placed in a mug with some teabags or hot cocoa mix.  A quick and thoughtful gift.

Until next time, I wish you Peace.....Barb

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Christmas is really sneaking up on us.  We're done with the busy part of the holidays and can slow down and enjoy the season.  I didn't go overboard on decorating this year  ~~  telling myself that less can be more.

One thing I always do it put up a small kitchen tree that holds a mishmash of miniature kitchen items as ornaments.  The star at the top is an old Pillsbury Dough Boy cookie cutter.  The tiny Christmas tree ornament with buttons was made by a dear friend and the placemats on the table came from a friend in Pennsylvania. 

I am currently working on a sock monkey bow tie quilt for the Cardinal Glennon PICU in St. Louis.  I joined a group at Missouri Star Quilts dedicated to making quilts for children.  I think this will be fun for me, as we don't have any small children in our family anymore and I love juvenile prints in quilts.  There's some serious monkey business going on around here! 

It's Hubby's day off and I promised him french toast and bacon for breakfast, so I'm off to put on my chef's hat!!

Wishing you all a wonderful Sunday filled with Peace & Plenty!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


There's a lot of excitement about the Twister ruler for making pinwheel blocks the easy and fast way.  I've had a Twister tool for a while and find it a little fussy to use, but this morning I decided to give it another chance.

I saw this design online recently and failed to make a note of where I found it, but it was posted as a tutorial and has been going around for a while.  Kudos to the designer!  This pattern makes a darling Christmas wreath that finishes at 18.5 inches before adding the outermost border.  I haven't added my last border yet.

You will need:

1)   25 5-inch squares of fabric (9 white, 1 red and 15 assorted green).  Having contrast in your greens helps the overall look.

2)  White border cut 3 inches wide

3)  Small Twister Ruler (Lil' Twister)

Sew your blocks together following this diagram.  Press well and add white borders all around.  I used spray starch for the final press.

Follow the directions that came with your small Twister ruler to cut and assemble blocks row by row.  I highly recommend you cut and sew one row at a time.  I find I can confuse myself using this technique with very little effort!!

The difficulty I found with the Twister in the past was with the cutting around the tool.  You need to be very careful to not cut beyond the tool because you can cut a slit in the adjacent block to be cut.  In case that happens, it's a good idea to have a few extra blocks hand to 'recreate' the cutting area where the problem happened. 

Once your center is complete, add an outer border if desired.  Quilt and bind.  I will be giving my wreath to my LAQer who has no time to quilt for herself!


Monday, December 3, 2012


I think the table runner giveaway was a success.  I hope everyone likes their runners.  Most of them are in the mail already ~ I'm just waiting for the last few winners to contact me.  They were very curious about what I was mailing at the post office today.  Turns out the clerk there is a new quilter! 

My husband Jeff was supportive every step of the way.  He put his Santa gear on and drew the winning names for me 'to keep it honest!'
He got a chuckle when I told him someone said he was a sexy Santa!

I guess things will slow down a little for me now.  Normally I don't sew that much in December.  I like to take the last month of the year to put my sewing room in order and make plans for next year.  I also like to reflect over the things I've made during the current year and figure out what direction to head toward next year. 

In 2012 I made three large quilts ~ two were kings.  The Log Cabin was a quilt I started several years ago.  Looking back I can see all the turns and changes my life has gone through since I started making it.  In my opinion, this is the most significant quilt I've made.  It was completed in April 2012.  The other king quilt was the Luna Notte quilt.  It's a simple framed square quilt made from the luscious collection of fabrics by Moda called Luna Notte.  It was completed in June 2012.   I love this quilt.  My daughter (who normally doesn't care that much for quilts) wants one from the same fabric and pattern for herself.  It will be similar, but not identical to ours.  After much searching I was able to find more of the fabric online.

Another large quilt (queen) was made from Prayer Flag by Moda.  The colors are lively but not wild and it looks good in our home.  I used the Jellyroll+Layercake tutorial from Missouri Star for the pattern. 

In the Fall I completed a fairly large Wacky Web quilt from Halloween prints.  I find Halloween prints so much fun to work with.  The prints are so cute and the colors are so vibrant.  All of the quilts mentioned above can be found in previous blog segments. 

Throw in a few quilts for benefits, several group projects, four Jellyroll Race quilts and a quilt for my daughter made from a hand-printed Indian textile, and it was a good year of sewing for me.  Let's not forget 17 table runners for the drawing here and several others for us and for a few friends and family.  Yes, it's been a productive year.

I almost forgot ~~  In August I got a new sewing machine which sews and embroiders.  I spend countless hours lost in the joy of machine embroidery.  Love it, love it, LOVE IT!!

As far as looking toward next year, I want to make a few baby quilts for my great grandchildren.  I may not become a great grandma for several years yet, but I want to make a few and have them ready.  I also still have a few UFO's to finish and the Luna Notte quilt to make for my daughter.  I would also love to make an Irish Chain quilt in red and white.  It sounds like a great new year to me!  I will be here to share it with you.....

Wishing you a life filled with Peace & Plenty!    Barb


My Hubby Jeff is a good sport and agreed to draw the names for the 17 table runner winners and here they are ~~~~

Alana Sullivan
Libby M
Sandy Navas
James Ayers
Donna F
Jeanne Crowell
Rhonda F
Marilyn E
Shirley P
Myrna Roy
Cyndi Zoller
Cecile Bolton
Nancy M

Congratulations to everyone!!!  Please email your mailing address to me at  Indicate in that email which category of runner you would like: Chicken, Christmas or Miscellaneous.  There are some darling runners in the Miscellaneous group.  There was such a great response to this drawing I will have to choose a runner for you.  Originally I was thinking of three runners - then things mushroomed and I had to get busy and make a few more!!

Thanks to everyone who participated!!  Wishing you all a day filled with Peace & Plenty....Barb

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Can you believe it's December 1st already?  Where has 2012 gone? The countdown to Christmas and for the table runner drawing (Monday, Dec 3) is marching on!  The Salvation Army kettle volunteers are already ringing their bells and Christmas carols are playing in the grocery store.  A few years back our town did a renovation and replaced the old street lights with new ones that look like old gaslights.  They are wrapped with garland and topped with red velvet bows and snowflake lights...very nostalgic.

We are doing less decorating in our home this year than normal, but not due to lack of Christmas spirit.  Could it be we're getting!

I changed our bed quilts for the ones we use during the holidays.  I make quilts, but I have never been one to make holiday-specific quilts other than patriotic quilts for the 4th.  I do make table runners in all sorts of holiday themes, but not large quilts. 

The quilt I use on our bed for Christmas is a Log Cabin I made several years ago.  The thing I like about it are the white blocks that outline the setting.  The backing is solid off white and it's hand quilted.

Our spare bedroom is called the Turkey Room because it's protected by Old Tom, a huge turkey that looms in the corner and faces the bed.  The room itself it small, which makes Tom look that much larger!  The quilt in that room is another Log Cabin quilt with embroidered pine cones.  This is one of our few purchased quilts.

Oh yes, here's Tom....

What can I say ~~  I live with a hunter, but he lives with a quilter! 

I wish you a wonderful first weekend of December and a day filled to the brim with Peace & Plenty!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Due to the great response to the drawing, I will be adding a few more table runners!!  Your chances of winning just got better ~~~  much better!!  Remember, the only way your name will go into the drawing is if you are a follower of this blog.   To become a follower click on the icon that says "Join this Site"  - follow publically - and click on "Follow This Blog'.  That's all there is to it. 

There will not be enough runners of any one category (Christmas, chicken, special email fabric, etc) for 12 please give me your preference and I will have to make the final call.)  Here are a few more runners:

Did you notice the email/forum fabric on the first cute is that fabric!  The two Christmas runners are cute and a little bit country.  The striped runner is modern but didn't photograph very well.  The  chicken with pink is one of my favorites.  The purple is made from really nice fabric.

There you go!  Good Luck Everyone!!!!

Monday, November 26, 2012


I have three table runners to give away on Monday, December 3rd.  All you have to do is be a follower on my blog and your name will automatically go into the drawing.  It just takes a click to sign up as a follower.  One is a modern Christmas print; one is a girly shoe print and the third is a funky chicken runner. 


Happy Holidays and Good Luck!


Thanksgiving leftovers are gone ~ not a smidgen of pumpkin pie left for my breakfast today.  I have a love/hate relationship with turkey:  I love it the day it's cooked and for sandwiches the next day.  After that, I think the meat gets an 'off' taste and I don't care for it.  So I had my beloved post-Thanksgiving sandwich of turkey breast, mayonnaise and cranberry sauce on white bread.  I boiled the turkey carcass and have the broth and meat in the freezer for soup later this winter.

Yesterday we put up the Christmas tree ~ well, it's most of the way up.  I'm not thrilled with where we put it this year and think I may try to scoot it across the room without 'undecorating' it.  This is one of the perils of downsizing to a smaller home!  I will post pictures when I get it settled in the right spot. 

Speaking of Christmas trees, do you remember the ceramic trees with little plastic ornaments on the tips?  My mother made me one about 20 years ago after she showed me hers and I said it was cute.  She made me the large one (about 18 inches tall without the base) and put ever so many ornaments of all shapes on it.  Then before she gave it to me she decided to glue the ornaments on (she used a glue gun).  Yesterday I unearthed the tree, removed the loose ornaments and gave everything a good bath in the kitchen sink.  It wasn't the ordeal I thought it would be and, after replacing the ornaments it looks pretty nice.  I think it will sit in our entry way this year as a reminder of how much Mom is missed and her love for everything crafty. 

If you are wondering if I've become a non-quilter, no need to worry.  Over the weekend I made a stack of half-square triangle blocks large enough for a Queen quilt.  It will be a chevron quilt eventually....

I'm not a blue person, but I have a love for blue/white quilts ~ actually I admire two-color quilts in general.  After the blue chevron is done I may do a red/white quilt.  This is an oriental-inspired print called Harmony.

Today is Cyber Monday - the counterpart to Black Friday.  Enjoy the shopping in your jammies!

Wishing you a day filled with Peace & Plenty!    Barb

Thursday, November 22, 2012


This is a very busy morning in the US.  I was wondering how many turkeys are already in the oven in our little town.  Right now our oven is filled with pies.  As soon as they are done, the turkey will slide right into the oven for a few hours of slow cooking.

Our family is very scattered this year and my husband and I will spend it together quietly.  Of course this is a day for remembering our many blessings.  We are blessed beyond belief with family, friends, good health, a nice home, our wonderful Scotty girl (Miss Molly), and a steady job for my husband.  One of my new blessings this year is this blog.  I have such wonderful followers and many of us have become friends.  I began this blog as a diary of my life in quilts, but it has morphed into a lot more of a blessing than I imagined. 

The kitchen is calling until next time, I wish you blessings too numerous to count!

                                Barb, Jeff & Miss Molly

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Thanksgiving preparations are taking place all over the US and our little town is no exception.  Turkeys have been defrosted, pies will be baked today and last minute trips to the local grocer will take place until they close this evening. 

Our Thanksgiving day will be small and quiet this year.  I'll be making a small version of our traditional Thanksgiving dinner:  Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy,  green bean casserole, fruit salad, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls and pies ~ pumpkin and Dutch apple.  Our family is several states away, so we will have to be thankful for phone calls and well wishes.

Wherever you are and however you choose to enjoy your Thanksgiving Day , I wish you a wonderful day filled with Family, Friends and Good Food.  Remember to do the math ~~~  Count Your Blessings!

Peace & Blessings,  Barb & Jeff

Friday, November 16, 2012


My daughter has been living in New Mexico on a horse ranch for the past few years and has made some wonderful friends from India who own a popular restaurant.  The owner and his wife travel back to their homeland often and bring back textiles and clothing, which they offer for sale in the lobby of their restaurant,India Kitchen.

The quilt I'm sharing with you today was made from a hand-printed panel which would be used as a bed sheet in India. My daughter wanted the panel left intact as much as possible, so I added a narrow inner border and the outside marigold yellow print border. The color marigold has special significance in India.

Please forgive the photo being sideways ~ it was rotated but it refuses to stay that way!  The quilting was done around the center circles and the designs around the border, with the center area being stippled.  The backing matches the black inner border that was added after I trimmed away the original black border that had holes from the printing process.  This was the first time I've worked on a panel like this and would love to try a few more. 

The best part is my daughter Christina loves the quilt and has been using it.  Her taste is very eclectic and colorful, so this fits her to a T. 

Until next time, I wish you Peace & Plenty     ~~Barb~~

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Home Again - Home Again!

My husband's annual deer hunting trip to northern Missouri ended prematurely due to weather problems.... very warm temperatures and pouring rain with no let-up in sight.  After three days of sitting in his hunting blind he decided to pack it in and come home.  He had a safe trip - a good three hour drive pulling a trailer loaded to the hilt.  Hunting is his passion, as quilting is mine.  Although he came home empty handed, he had a good time getting away and visiting with our good friends who host him every year. 

Miss Molly, our 13 yo Scottie, and I enjoyed a few days of leisure while Hubby was away.  I love the casual meals I put together with no cooking or cleanup....frozen pizza and salad, frozen pot pies, etc.  I didn't say they were exactly nutritious, just easy and filling!  We also caught up our our naps. 

I finally put binding on the Jellyroll Race quilt that I sewed together almost a year ago.  Talk about UFO's!  The fabric is a Soul Blossoms jellyroll by Amy Butler.  The border is a piece of batik I had left over from another project and the backing is a large pink paisley print.   I love the 70's retro feel of Soul Blossoms. 

One other small project got its binding ~ a Christmas table runner.  I made it last year also and think the border is a Kate Spain print (don't hold me to this).   The rest of the runner is a fabric purchased at my local fabric store.  This will be a gift for a friend.

The backing of the runner is a cute tree print.

I'm continuing to make more of the EZ table runners (see archives) and have several ready to finish.  These are a breeze to make and look like they are so much more work than they are.  For anyone needing a nice gift, I recommend one of these.

My posts have been sketchy lately.  Little has been happening other than the election and watching and praying for those affected by Sandy and the winter blast of last week.  I wish it was within my power to make it all go away for those suffering through this disaster. 

Until next time I wish you Peace & Plenty,   Barb


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Lady Naps

My Grandma Nan was an incredible Irish lady, 4'10" tall, who never reached 100 pounds in her 90 years of life.  She was lively, sweet and sassy and the best Grandma in the world.  While my Dad was in the Korean War, Mom had to work in the city and I was left in the care of my grandparents and Grammy Rose.  At that time I was still an only child and the first grandchild in the family and all the attention was mine!   

Grandma Nan and Grammy were clean ~~  no, they were CLEAN!  They were proud to have the house where "you could eat off the floors".  I used to wonder why anyone would want to eat off the floor.  The windows and screens were washed every week, the floors were mopped every day, there was never a dirty dish to be found and of course there was never any laundry in the hamper.  Both Grammy and Nan believed that cleanliness was next to Godliness and they practiced that mission with passion!  Everyone had chores to do and mine was to scrub the front porch and steps with a scrub brush and bucket of soapy water.  I got this job because I was closer to the floor than the grownups were!  I didn't mind because anything that involved water thrilled me and didn't feel like work.

In our house it was the goal to have all the housework, laundry and baking finished by noon.  At high noon we would eat a bite of lunch in the sun room, which we washed down with huge glasses of sweet iced tea.  Nan and Grammy put a lot of stock in young ladies having good manners and instilled in me the importance of chewing with my mouth closed, using a napkin rather than the back of my hand to wipe my mouth and not talking with my mouth full (this was a big one for me because I was a chatterbox).  After lunch we took a 'lady nap' for about an hour.  After our naps we would spend the rest of the afternoon sewing, reading, working on puzzles or just listening to the radio.  If I was extra good I might get a popsicle ~ which I had to eat outdoors so I wouldn't drip on the clean floors.   Life was good, so good!

This looking back makes me wonder why I let myself get so busy and stressed.  Tomorrow I think I'll stop working at noon, take myself a 'lady nap' and spend the rest of the afternoon in the sewing room. 

By the way, at our house clean enough is good enough!

Wishing you Peace & Plenty!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012


We live in a fairly isolated area and have not had any trick-or-treaters in the last five years.  I'm assuming the same will be true tonight since nothing has changed in our 'neighborhood'. 

Having the little kids come to our door dressed in their costumes used to be so much fun!  Miss Molly, our now matronly Scottie, was always happy to don her pink ballerina outfit for greeting the kids.  Molly is somewhat a celebrity in our county...she has participated in several 'personality' type dog shows and has made lots of friends and fans!  My husband's boss, who doesn't particularly like dogs, loves Molly and asks about her well being on a regular basis. 

Last night I actually finished the Wacky Web Halloween quilt I pieced together last year.  It was quilted by Reggie, my long-arm quilter.  I love Halloween colors....the oranges, acid greens, purples and yellows ~~ all set off with large amounts of black~~~~~

This quilt turned out fairly large. The backing is a spooky purple and it was quilted with variegated thread in Halloween colors.  I had quite a good selection of prints in my stash and only had to buy the border fabric for this project.  The free tutorial is available at Missouri Star Quilt Company.

There will be a big pot of homemade potato soup for dinner tonight with cornbread.  I would be thrilled if some little goblins stop by begging for candy!!!

My prayers are with everyone who has been touched by Hurricane Sandy.  The devastation is unbelievable and the loss of lives tugs at my heart.  I have never seen a storm in our country of this magnitude. 

Until we meet again...Peace and Plenty.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Lest you think I've forgotten about my blog, I thought I would check in.  Work continues on our old house and yesterday, and several days before that, I spent painting.  Last night after Hubby got home from work we tried to clear out the garage at the old house.  Today is Clean-Up Day for the local trash company and we were able to rid ourselves of several large items.

Our weather has been wonderful but by tomorrow evening our temperatures will be below freezing.  I will have one more day to enjoy our flowers in front of the garage (above).   

Since my last post I have mostly worked on a few more table runners for gifts.  I'm also collecting everything to make my daughter a Luna Notte quilt like the one I made for us this Spring....with a few fabric changes so they don't look identical. 

I have been from one end of the Internet to the other trying to find the jellyrolls, charm packs and yardage.  I believe I have everything on the way if they don't notify me that they ran out ~~  this is discontinued fabric.  Once everything has arrived it will be a joy to make another one.  This is one of my favorite fabric lines of all time and the pattern is beyond simple.

I will be back in full force as soon as I am able.  I'm assuming the cold temperatures will shut down a lot of the work at the old house.  We don't heat it and at times it's way too cold for paint to spread even indoors!

Until next time, I wish you Peace & Plenty!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012


This is the time of year when I become a hunting widow for short spurts of time ~ sometimes two or three days and sometimes a week.  For me this time is all about sewing, not cooking, staying in my jammies all day and catching up with my girlfriends over lunch.  Now that we have a wonderful tea room in town we have a lovely little getaway spot for great food and a walk through the antique mall. 

So far this year Hubby hasn't gone hunting, but I can feel it in the air.  He's beginning to stockpile hunting gear in the garage and making lists of what to take.  He loads the 4-wheeler and all his gear on our long trailer and looks like he's running away from home! 

Molly is good company when Hubby's gone.  She has a pile of afghans in my sewing room and she takes up residence when I sew.  I love to sew and hear her soft snoring in the background.  This is the time that I allow her to sleep with me and she never forgets from year to year. 

The work at our old house continues.  I am trying to get the painting done before the weather turns cold.  Paint just doesn't want to spread on cold walls.  Hubby put the washer and dryer back in their place yesterday after replacing the wall and all the plumbing.  It's been a real ordeal for him. 

Old houses know when they aren't being lived in and they begin to disintegrate from lack of use.  Houses need people as much as people need houses.  I love old houses with their beautiful woodwork and charm ~~ and let's not forget their quirks!  My MIL lives in an old farmhouse and the only electrical outlet in her kitchen is in the floor.  She's afraid of extension cords so she makes her toast on the floor.  The only outlet in her bathroom is inside the medicine cabinet!  Talk about quirks!! 

I will make meatloaf, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans and homemade rolls for dinner today.  If all goes well today I plan to make a Dutch Apple pie.   Stop by if you're in our neck of the woods.

I wish you Peace & Plenty until we meet again.....Barb


Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Some people dabble in oil painting and others in antiques ~~  lately I've been dabbling in making homemade cleaning products.  Why bother doing this when there are so many wonderful products already on the market?  Have you seen the price of laundry products and dishwasher soap lately??  The more money I save, the more I have to indulge my passion ~~  buying fabric.  Did I even have to tell you!!

There are countless websites and blogs dedicated to recipes for making every manner of cleaning product imaginable.  So, with an investment of under $20 I bought the ingredients to make countless gallons of laundry detergent, stain remover, fabric softener, glass cleaner and dishwasher soap.  A few of the ingredients I even had on hand.  I haven't used the Fels Naptha soap yet and I may just save it for stains like I have for several years.

My findings are that I like the liquid laundry detergent, although I have to use about 3/4 cup per load.  This is not a real issue because a gallon of detergent costs pennies to make.  With commercial products I used about 1/2 cup.  My recipe is as follows:  1/4 cup Borateem (borax), 1/4 Washing Soda (not baking soda) and 2 Tablespoons Dawn dish soap (blue).  Put ingredients into a gallon container and swirl in 4 cups boiling water, mixing well.  When mixture has cooled to warm, fill container with water.  We have a high efficiency washer and I feel this thinner liquid is better for my machine than something real thick.

The verdict is out on the fabric softener, which is made from hair conditioner, vinegar and water.  In the bottle it smells a bit like salad dressing, but once used the clothes smell nice.  I guess the trick is to find the conditioner with the right fragrance.  I have used this product on two loads and find that it makes our clothes a little too soft.  This may be simply a matter of tweaking the recipe and diluting it a bit.

These products took very little time to concoct, but I've seen recipes that call for grating soap and cooking the mixtures, leaving it overnight, etc., and that all sounds too time consuming and messy for me.  I like to keep things simple.

The blue jar holds the liquid soap and the milk bottle is the fabric softener.  It's fun to do the research on these recipes and experimenting a little with them.  Who knows, you might really love them and save money in the process!  Just do an internet search on homemade laundry products and be amazed at what you can find.

Until next time...Peace & Blessings!

Monday, October 15, 2012


This is the time of year when I often need a nice little gift in a hurry.   When I was a young Mom I was always wondering what to give to the school teachers, school bus drivers, Sunday School teachers, etc ~~ those special people you want to remember with more than a card but maybe you don't have a lot of time or funds for their gift. 

I recently stumbled upon a wonderfully simple and cute table runner while visiting a quilt shop.  I flipped it from one side to the other, took a few mental measurements and came home and produced one in 30 minutes!  Here are three I made yesterday~~~

Chicken Runner

Veggie Runner

You will need two fabrics:  A 9 inch piece for the center, cut the width of your fabric and an 18 inch piece (for back, borders and ends), cut the width of your fabric.  You will make a whole runner with only 3/4 yard of fabric!!

1.  Place right sides of both fabrics together and sew along both long edges with a 1/4 inch seam.  press your seams toward the border fabric.  You have just sewn a tube.

2.  Put your hand inside the tube and turn it right side out.  Fold your runner so the center section is in the middle and the borders on each side are the same size.  Now give it a good press. 

3.  If your ends need to be straightened, now is the time to do it. 

4.  Fold your runner in half the long way with the borders on the outside.  Beginning at the border edges, sew a 3/8 inch seam across each end.  You might want to trim a tiny triangle when you stop your seam to reduce bulk when this is turned (because it will be the pointed end of your runner). 

5.  Press the seam you just sewed open and then turn the end you just sewed right side out.  You now have a lovely pointed end on your runner.  Work a little with the point to make sure it's nice and sharp.

6.  Repeat sewing the other end of your runner (see #4 and #5 above).

The only thing left to do is to sew down the edge of the triangle on each end.  I sew mine with a blind stitch by hand, but you can certainly top stitch yours or use a decorative stitch.

If you want your runner longer or wider, you can cut your pieces running lengthwise, but it will take more fabric this way.  I have plans to try strip piecing my center fabric and finish it per the instructions. 

Your first runner may take you a little longer than 30 minutes, but there is a very short learning curve with this project.  Just think what you can make with fabric you probably already have in your stash! 

Wishing you Peace & Plenty of runners!!