Tuesday, August 27, 2013


I'm just checking in.  I had another long dental appointment again today and I have another one in two days for a root canal.  I hope it's all going to be worth it.

I will be posting again just as soon as my head can formulate something to share with you.  In the meantime, I wish you loads of Peace & Plenty. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013


Off and on for the past few weeks I have been working on a little tomato quilt to celebrate our tomato harvest this year.  Despite the continuous rain, black bottom rot, tomato worms, etc, we had an incredible harvest.  We had enough to pass along to our neighbors, tenants and to eat more BLT's than any two humans should!  The harvest is over but the memories will remain. 

We garden in 5-gallon buckets.  One of my best memories was a day when severe storms with hail was predicted and my gardener hubby loaded all the buckets onto our trailer and drove them to safety in the garage until the storm passed!  You've got to love a man like that!! 

My goal is to take the tomato quilt to my wonderful LAQer Reggie some time this week.  I still need to correct the alignment of two seams and add the borders and it will be ready to quilt except for the backing.

Last night I was taking a look at it and turned my back for about a minute and the Girls moved in to give it a test nap before it's quilted ~~~~  they approve.

The same pattern could easily become an apple quilt just by changing the stem.  It was a fun and easy sew!

Wishing you all a blessed Sunday!

Friday, August 23, 2013


It's blazing hot here today with incredibly high humidity to boot!  This is really a Dog Day of Summer.  They say that the snakes shed their skins during this time and we should be extra careful when outdoors because the snakes strike at everything during this time.  We are preferring the air-conditioned comfort of the indoors today.  Even the Scottie Girls go outdoors just long enough to do their 'bizznes' and hurry back indoors.  Yesterday Dottie had quite a romp through the water hose.  Olive is afraid of the hose and watched Dottie from indoors.  How different two pups of the same breed can be!

Hubby came home from work a few hours early today, so I took advantage of that and visited our local fabric shop.  You probably won't be shocked that I bought a few little things ~~~~~

 Four nice fabrics to go into a  few small Halloween project as
borders and backings.  These are all Henry Glass Fabrics.
The dark fabric on the top is leftover yardage from the Summer Bazaar quilt I made for this summer.  I want to make a set of matching pillowcases and bought the orange print for the cuffs of the cases.  I like the way they look together. 
This dotty fabric is called "Anything Goes Basics" by Barbara Jones for Henry Glass.  So fresh and happy looking!
This lovely lavender fabric is for my purple collection for a quilt I hope to make this winter ~~ a Log Cabin variation from purples and creams.  Doesn't that sound yummy!!
This is a piece of 108" backing fabric to help me finish up a stack of circle blocks I made earlier this year. 
Once again you can tell I have lots of pans in the fire!  I hope your creative juices are flowing right now.  Fall is not that far off and it will be time to slow down and get cozy and quilt.
Thanks for stopping by.  Wishing you an awesome weekend!!


Monday, August 19, 2013


Sometimes the Girl Scout in me rises to the surface (after all these years) and I contemplate life and what I need to do to get things organized.  Although I have all the important things taken care of, I often wonder how hubby would deal with the mountain of fabric, threads and UFOs that inhabit the sewing room.  Although it's evident that I have quite a stash of sewing fabric and other supplies, I'm sure hubby doesn't have a clue how much fabric I REALLY have!  This makes me smile a big SMILE.

Facing reality, I know I will never use up everything I have bought.  Maybe I should start up an online fabric shop, or maybe find a guild/charity/sister quilter(s )to leave my stash to. 
Even if I live to 100 I most likely won't be sewing all that time.  For now, as my birthday looms in a few months, I will relish the stack, piles and shelves. 

Yesterday I finished sewing a pillowcase and a quilt binding and have crossed those items off my To Do list.  I have a lot of skillets in the fire right now and making a list daily really helps keep me on track. 

We are already putting parts of our garden to bed for the year.  The monsoon rain we had recently caused much of our garden to rot in the ground (buckets).  The tomatoes are gone but we still have peppers and zucchini squash. 

We will have chicken & dumplings for dinner tonight. The chicken is stewing while I write this so it has time to cool before taking it off the bones.  I haven't cooked a decent meal for several days now, so tonight I will make the effort to feed us better.  We will have chicken and dumplings, steamed veggies and homemade rolls and applesauce.  Dottie & Olive will love the leftover broth and chicken bits.  Dogs eat pretty well at our house!

Wishing you all a good Monday.  Remember to SMILE!


Friday, August 16, 2013


Since I haven't been venturing out much lately I made a quick trip to the wonderful little fabric store here in town.  As luck would have it, they had just received a shipment of some very nice Christmas prints.  Since I have been toying around with the idea of making a Dresden Plate Christmas quilt, I decided to give these fabrics a try ~~~

The fabrics are from the Holiday Frost line by Henry Glass.  I plan to use the dark red as the background blocks and the gray/white/black prints for the blades.  I like gray as a new holiday neutral.  It made a comeback last year and I'm so glad it's still around.  I would like to come up with something special for the center circles. 

There were also some black prints but I thought they would be too bold on the plates.  I'm going to try to exercise some restraint with this project! I definitely an not afraid of color, so exercising color restraint doesn't come easy for me.  I'm sure I will be asking for your opinion along the way.

A few hints for quilters:

I use a lint roller to not only clean threads off myself and my work table, but also for cleaning my cutting mat.  You might be surprised what you pick up!

Eyeglass cases make good holders for your rotary cutters.  Also, inexpensive potholders can be folded in half and sewn along one edge to make a pocket for your cutters.

If you do paper piecing, save one of your old rotary blades for cutting your paper-pieced segments apart. 

Wishing you a great weekend! 

                          Peace & Plenty

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


I'm always interested to see the sewing spaces of other quilters.  Some quilters manage to sew in spaces barely large enough to sit down and others have the luxury of a quilting 'studio' with all the amenities ~~  cutting table, pressing station, design wall, beautiful windows that let in natural light, etc.

My sewing space is in a small spare bedroom.  Until last summer the one solid wall had a daybed that was comfy but did little to help me stash away fabric or get organized. 

See What I Mean?

Jeff and I decided I needed cabinets in the worst way and off to Lowe's we went.  We came home with three wardrobes that needed to be assembled.

Volumes can be written about the trials and tribulations of putting together three huge cabinets in a tiny room using directions that only offered pictures ~ no words.  I'm a word person and Jeff is a fly by the seat of your pants kind of guy for projects like this.  He assured me he could assemble them with his eyes closed.  About two weeks later I had a lovely row of cabinets that I'm actually in love with. 

There is a shelf or cubbyhole for nearly every color/type of fabric I stash and eight roomy drawers for notions.  You are welcome to look around ~~~

I like the clean look of white cabinets.  On the top are several old family quilts, baskets and the only surviving doll from my childhood.  She is wearing a sweater and cap that I wore as a baby.  The little satin shoes were my daughter's.

Cabinet #1 houses black, gray, blue, green brown, pink, purple and orange fabric.  There are a few works in progress on the bottom left and on the bottom right is my collection of stabilizers for machine embroidery.  The glass jar is full of buttons.  The drawers hold embroidery hoops and miscellaneous notions.  The owl will be going to a child along with a quilt.  All of my fabrics that are a half yard or larger are wound on comic book boards and stand up in the back of the shelves.  Fat quarters and small cuts are folded and are lined up in plastic shoe boxes.  I keep small scraps in a tote underneath my sewing table.

Cabinet 2 is my favorite because it holds precious my pre-cuts on the third shelf right and left.  Whites and creams are on the top left.  A quilter can't have too many of these!  The red shelf also holds a bobbin winder and small heart pillows made from an antique quilt.  On the third shelf, jellyrolls and charm packs are on the left and layer cakes are on the right.   The top right shelf is my collection of holiday prints, followed by batiks and aboriginal prints on shelf two.  The drawers hold scissors and rotary cutters and blades, pins and clips and small rulers.  Extra fabric and pressing sprays are on the bottom.

Last but not least is cabinet 3.  This cabinet houses solid cottons, my UFOs (second left), yellow/gold fabric, 1930 prints, wide backings, yarn and my Featherweight machines plus miscellaneous items.  On the yellow shelf is a jar of hexagon papers and a button box.  The small basket on row 2 holds my thimbles.  The drawers currently hold strips, embroidered pieces and blocks ready to be sewn into quilts.  Let me not forget to mention that the large shelf on the left holds yarn and knitting 'stix'. 

I keep most of my regular sewing thread on holders on the wall.

I do most of my sewing with neutrals.  The stacks of white bobbins are for machine embroidery.  The green shelf holds colored threads and some machine embroidery thread.

Other than that, I sew on a folding table and do my cutting on the island in the kitchen.  I don't have a design wall or a wall large enough for a flannel-backed vinyl tablecloth.   I'm in the process of making a pressing surface to fit the end of my sewing table.  I'm not comfortable having the ironing board up with the iron on top since we got the dogs. 

I remember the day I was able to put my fabric onto comic book boards and organize them in the cabinets ~~~  that day was a little slice of heaven!!  Since then I've reorganized the shelves and added quite a bit more fabric, but I still love the cabinets and being able to close the doors.

What kind of a sewing space do you have?  This room is the best setup I've had so far.  I remember sewing with my machine on my lap at times for lack of space! 

Thanks for stopping in!!

Monday, August 12, 2013


It's a beautiful day in our corner of the Ozarks.  Hubby Jeff had jury duty orientation this morning and took the rest of the day off.  The Girls (Dottie & Sweet Olive) and I are just hanging out.  I changed the sheets on our bed and washed a few loads of laundry.  Our mailperson brought me a fistful of bills plus a small envelope from Missouri Star Quilts.  I definitely prefer mail from Missouri Star!

This spring we planted a package of Moon Flower seeds, which  only bloom at night.  Ours have not reached the blooming stage, but the leaves are shaped like hearts and I think they're so pretty.  They are climbing up an antique metal headboard.

Storms are in our area again, so the sewing machine had to be unplugged all day. 

This evening I will make smoked sausage in bbq sauce, homemade potato salad and  green beans with almonds.  I planned to make more 'bikini bread' today but I decided to wait until the storms pass.

I hope the skies are blue and sunny where you are. 

Wishing you a day filled with Peace & Plenty!

Saturday, August 10, 2013


I'm checking in just to say I made it through a highly uncomfortable and long dental appointment Wednesday.  I'm not feeling like myself yet and the temporary bridge wedged in my mouth is almost unbearable. 

Our rain has stopped for now, although everything is drenched and there is standing water everywhere.  It's nice to see the sun shine again.  They say much more rain in on the way, but for now we are enjoying the sunshine.

Our Internet service was out most of the day due to a statewide outage.  It's such a strange feeling to be cutoff. 

I will make some easy tacos and beans for our dinner this evening.  I made a creamy jello salad this morning.  I believe it was once named Watergate Salad (not sure what it had to do with Watergate).  Try this some time:  Drain a 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple well.  Mix the pineapple with a small package of lime Jello (dry) and 1 pound container of small curd cottage cheese and an 8 ounce container of Cool Whip.  Stir together and chill.  Other flavors of Jello can be used, but anything red makes this too sweet.  I think orange would be nice and maybe lemon.  This is a good way to get cottage cheese into someone who dislikes it.  Also, the measurement of the cottage cheese isn't carved in stone ~~  if you have more or less it will be fine.  If your cottage cheese is watery, drain it also. 

I tried to sew this morning but I couldn't concentrate so I gave up rather than create a lot of 'frogging'.  For those of you who haven't heard the term frogging related to sewing, it just means 'rip-it  rip-it'!  I sure have done my share of frogging!  My Greatgrammy Rose was a very devout Christian woman with some interesting theories.  One such theory was that it was ungodly to sew on Sunday.  She would tell me that every stitch I sewed on Sunday would have to be picked out with my nose when I get to heaven.  So, dear readers, my first few days in heaven will be spent doing you-know-what with my nose!  You've got to love a Grammy who was so passionately concerned about the wellbeing of my 5-year-old soul. 

Wishing you loads of blessings and Peace & Plenty!  Barb

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Just when I thought the storms were passing they started up again.  We have water covering half of our front porch and if it continues at this rate we will be flooded indoors in just a few hours.  This is a nervous time. One of our local banks has several inches of water in the lobby and a small town not far from here had to be totally evacuated and the downtown area is completely under water.  We don't live on or even near the water.  This problem is due to our ground being oversaturated with water and unable to absorb any more.  Our front yard looks like a lake.

After lunch I will be having a long and invasive dental procedure.  This is a continuation of the work I began in late June that couldn't go forward at that time.  I was sent home to heal for a few weeks and today is the second attempt.  I know I don't need to say how much I'm dreading this!

I was able to sew a few blocks together on the tomato quilt yesterday but still not enough progress to take pictures.  The past few days I've had to 'go with the flow' (literally).

Dinner tonight will be left up Jeff, who can cook almost everything I can, thanks to being a bachelor all his life until we got married a few years ago.  He vaguely remembers that he used to clean and do!

I will try to post again tomorrow.  Until then, stay safe wherever you are and remember those of us who are dealing with too much rain.

Peace & Blessings ~~~~   Barb

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


We had very severe thunderstorms again last night and got 6 inches of rain in 2 hours!  We have had 10 inches of rain in the past 3 days!  We are safe and dry unless it continues.  Dottie is distressed by all the thunder and refuses to go outdoors.  She is currently buried in my bathrobe and curled up in a corner.  Nothing seems to bother Olive.  She ran out in the storm to greet the day and took it in stride. 

I'm taking a chance just plugging in the computer.  I will post as soon as the weather clears. 

Best wishes...Barb

Monday, August 5, 2013


After a gray rainy weekend we have a gray rainy Monday with several more days of the same predicted.  I normally love rainy weather but Dottie and Olive almost refuse to go outdoors when everything is wet.  They don't like their skirts to get wet and I understand that.  This morning I took each dog out under the cover of a large golf umbrella.  Olive thought it was great fun ~ Dottie not so much.  I think she misses sunny California.

I wish I could say I got loads of sewing done this weekend, but these storms are electrical and I don't like to risk having my machine knocked out of commission.  So instead here is what I did ~~

I finally got serious and baked four more loaves of zucchini bread.  It was re-named 'Bikini Bread' by my daughter when she was 3 and bikini bread it is! We enjoy this so much that I make several loaves for the freezer and we pull them out throughout the winter.  I have to say they are as tasty out of the freezer as they are freshly baked.  Here's my recipe:

Pre-heat oven to 325 F.  Grease and flour two loaf pans.

Sift together 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.

In a large bowl beat 3 large eggs with a fork and add 2 teaspoons vanilla.  Stir in 2 cups granulated sugar and mix well.  Add 1 cup vegetable oil and stir until well combined (I mix this totally by hand but you can use a mixer if you choose). 
Stir in 2 cups shredded zucchini and mix.  Stir in the dry ingredients in thirds and mix well.  Add 1 cup chopped pecans and a 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple that has been well drained. 

Pour into pans and bake for 55-60 minutes.  This bread comes out of the pan better right out of the oven.  If you allow it to cool before removing it from the pan the bottom may stick.

I serve this with a spread of 8 ounces soft cream cheese mixed with 1 Tablespoons powdered sugar and a small can of drained crushed pineapple mixed together. 

If you will be freezing your bread, let it cool completely.  Wrap the loaf in a layer of waxed paper and then a layer of foil.  Make sure it is sealed well.  Then put it into a Ziploc bag and freeze. 

The zucchini is coming in faster than I can use it and give it away.  Tonight I will make some corn and zucchini fritters to go with our dinner. 

Our storm is worsening, so until next time I wish you bushels of Peace & Plenty!

Friday, August 2, 2013


We are in the Dog Days of summer right now.  Days are slow and hot, iced tea can't be made fast enough, lunches are open-face tomato sandwiches, Popsicles are my snack of choice and dinners are sandwiches or salads. 

It seems that a good deal of my thoughts and chores are revolving around our tomatoes planted in 5-gallon buckets that Jeff has so lovingly nurtured through storms and hail.  How many gardeners would load their tomato buckets onto a trailer and drive them to safety during a severe storm?  In light of this I decided to commemorate this act of kindness by making a smallish quilt featuring tomatoes!  Yes, I'm probably losing my mind.  Here's a sneak peek of what's happening ~~

These are 8.5" red squares and the corners are snowballed with 2.75" squares.  I cut out a stem fused and stitched them to the top of the tomatoes.  The leaves, also fused and stitched, are on the alternating blocks.  I had everything for this quilt in my stash.  I still have a bit more sewing to put this together, but it's a fun project.  You can find the pattern for this project in the July/August issue of McCall's Quilting.  This pattern would also make a cute runner, which would have been more practical for my kitchen.  I may make one when I'm done with the quilt!

If you are enduring Dog Days where you live, take life slow and easy until it passes. 

Wishing you a day filled with Peace & Plenty!