Friday, November 30, 2012

Orange Leaf

With some time to spend between Aaron's 1:00 pick-up time and Nora's 3:00 time, Aaron and I tried out Orange Leaf, one of the talked-about frozen yogurt stores.  It's the kind where you put one or more kinds of yogurt in your cup and one or more toppings and the whole thing is weighed.  I didn't offer Aaron the multiple kinds of goodness, just gave him a choice of one yogurt and one topping.  I'll offer him two of each next time, when we bring Nora.

The nice person in charge gave him four tiny paper cups so he could sample various flavors.  And just maybe he talked her out of one more.  He loved trying out different flavors but equally loved pulling the handles to dispense yogurt.  That boy loves machines of every kind.

I hadn't had any frozen yogurt in years and this was really delicious.  I had pumpkin pie with almonds.  Aaron had strawberry with M & M's.

A really nice bonus - there is a tee shirt store close by with a big van with the name, Big Frog, on the side.  Nice reading lesson material.  It makes my heart happy to see that Aaron is able to sound out simple words now.  I tried some sight words in the summer and he just wasn't interested.  I'd write "cat, for example," and he'd say "elephant."  His new preschool with their sound boxes is amazing.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Joy Boy

This is Anita Goodesign's Joy Boy, a new shop sample I just finished.  I have to admit to a preference for Anita Goodesign embroidery designs, and this one, done all in the hoop, is super cute.  Done in the hoop means that stitch-outs from several hoopings are all joined together with satin embroidery stitching.

First came the mittens and "Joy."  Next was the left coat, with left mitten joined.  Then the right coat, with right mitten and left coat joined.  Then came the pants and shoes, which were joined to the coat.  Last, the head and beard, joined with the rest.  The word "Joy" is strung on curled red wire.

Lots of heat-fix crystals.  I ran out, hope there are some at the shop for the bottom coat trim.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Communion Table Cover

Communion table cover for baby dedications, designed by Violet.  Violet and I wove strips of fabric backed with Wonder Under then ironed them to interfacing.  I added backing and batting and machine quilted the strips, then added the sashings.  Put binding on the bottom, attached the unquilted drop part, then binded the entire piece.  It was one of those times when I puzzled out Friday night how to put it together, then woke up Saturday morning knowing. 

There was a dedication on Sunday, with lots of family guests.  The baby behaved perfectly.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Quick Table Runner

Variations of this table runner are on numerous blogs and web sites.  I'm not sure who gets the original credit since it appears here and there.  It's sometimes called a ten minute table runner, but that's not an apt description at my house.  Still, though, 25 or 30 minutes isn't all bad.

This table runner takes 1/3 yard of the top fabric and 1/2 yard for the backing/trim.  Trim off the selvages and sew the fabrics together along the long edges, right sides together, starting at the top both times.  Square at both ends so both pieces are the same length.

Turn right side out and presss, with an equal amount of trim on both sides.  At one short end, fold fabric back to back and sew across the top.  Turn and the point appears.  Repeat at the other end.

Press well and use a straight or decorative stitch to topstitch along the edges of the inner rectangle.  

Note to friends and family:  don't be surprised if you get one for Christmas. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Two Baby Quilts

Two of my baby quilts went off today.  The month's pattern was to be two horizontal bars with pieced strips above and below.  Wedges, actually, but I'd just done wedges and didn't want to do more right away.  I had a baby-looking jelly roll so I made a jelly roll quilt and cut off three pieces.  That made the pieced strips.

Then I still had enough left to put two colored strips top and bottom and make another quilt.  Lots of quilting, but I didn't take a picture of the back.  There are numerous premmie twins, and this set should work well for twins.

Last month two members of my group took the quilts to the hospital.  They were invited in to see the little babies.  There were between 50 and 60, and each one had a quilt.  (In case anyone is wondering, the quilts are washed at the hospital.) 

Twelve quilts were delivered today, my group has been busy.  Of course I'm biased, but I think that the quilts from my group are especially nice.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Nora's friend showed up with a pair of fashion glasses, no prescription, and Nora was most smitten.  When Aaron saw hers, he was smitten as well.  So here are the two of them, looking mighty cute.  Aaron actually has an appointment with the eye doctor next month - who knows, he may have glasses for real.  If that happens, I hope he loves them as much as these. 

I made my dinner contributions early this morning - mac and cheese, applesauce, cranberry relish.  Listened to Smitten Table on NPR, love the Thanksgiving show.  And now I'm about to head outside to put the Christmas lights on my porch.  It's a wonderfully warm day, and that may not happen again for awhile.

Then, I'm going to try a ten-minute table runner.  I don't think it will only take me ten minutes because I'm a slow sewer, but even if it takes three times that long I figure I'll still be in the ball park.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Jackets and Extra Days

These jackets will be a Christmas surprise, so no story about them yet, other than to say that they are silk.  I'll be delivering them in a couple of days.

I was looking forward to a few relatively relaxing days after the intensity of the jackets, but now of course I'm looking at projects set aside.  Can I finish quilting a baby quilt before the group meets tomorrow?  And bind two baby quilts?

I think that some of this hustle comes because of an "early" Thanksgiving.  Even a few days makes a difference.  Maybe next week it will seem that there are extra days between Thanksgiving and December 1.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cranberry Banana Bread

Tonight I drove to Oakley for a church meeting, only to find the office dark.  A quick check of my calendar told me that in fact the meeting was tomorrow night.  Sigh.  I'd done my homework, too.

Back home again, a little comfort sounded good and I decided to bake a loaf of banana bread before resuming my sewing.  I added chopped cranberries because (1) I only had two bananas, not the three called for, and (2) the cranberries had been in my freezer since last year and it's now this year.

I'm really happy how things worked out, very yummy.  This recipe isn't especially sweet, but it's ever so good.  I remember the days when I'd put chocolate chips in my sweeter banana bread, but no more.

Cranberry Banana Bread
1 cup bread flour or all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ripe bananas, mashed  (3 if you aren't adding cranberries)
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
2 eggs
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup old-fashioned oats
half a package cranberries, chopped
1 cup walnuts

Combine dry ingredients, add the remaining ingredients, and mix with a spoon until everything is blended.  Put in a loaf pan and bake 45 - 50 minutes at 350 degrees.

(Thanks to Tiffany for the original recipe)

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Yesterday's visit to the Nature Center reminded me of the November day just two years ago when I was also there with the kids.  Same kind of weather as yesterday, mild and sunny.  Just smaller kids.

As for today, I need to get outside and mow the grass and clean up the beds.  Empty the rain barrel because it's supposed to rain again tomorrow.

When I drove up this afternoon, I noticed that my big white pumpkin was gone.  It was very heavy and took two of us to lift it in place, so not just anyone could have taken it. I'd like to know the story. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012


I love those precious November days in Kentucky.  You never know quite when they are going to be, but the wather turns sunny and the temperature is 70 degrees and there's one last gift from nature before cold, gray weather comes to stay.

Today and tomorrow are those days.  These pictures were taken in southern Ohio, but that's close enough.  Steph and I took the kids to the Cincinnati Nature Center, where both kids love the Playscape.  I always feel happy there, amazed at all the people and dogs in that spot in the country.

It was also one of those days when there was more to do than I had energy for.  I put the sleeves in a jacket I'm making, met a friend from the quilt guild to get the membership materials, spent hours at the Nature Center, then had to postpone evening events with a friend because I was just worn out.  Maybe tomorrow for that.

And, it's Homecoming at Brerea.  I'm looking at all the pictures on facebook and wishing that I was there, too.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Voting Day

This is going to be the same message as my facebook post of last night, but our political polarization has been so much on my mind, so I'm going to say essentially the same thing again.

Today, let's make a first step to putting our political division behind us. When you vote, vote with your head and your heart, then say a prayer of blessing for the person behind you in line.

As I said, I've thought and thought about this and what I can do and this is what I've come up with.  That, and going to communion in my church once the polls have closed.  There are two local churches doing communion (that I know of,)  Episcopal Church of the Redeemer and Cincinnati Mennonite Fellowship.  You can read more about it here.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Good for a Kid's Heart

As usual, when we left Winnie and Sarah's house, there were tears and pleading from the back seat to go back, just for a minute, please, please, please.  We headed for the North Carolina Arboretum for one last adventure and Aunt Sarah showed up on a Mule.  Instantly, the tears and pleading stopped at the sight.

We had thought the kids would love the temporary dinosaur exhibit, but it is the greenhouse that they love.  The marvel of the big walk-in refrigerator with its light switch, the long movable benches, and the jobs that could be done -

cleaning the floor

taking pictures -

watering -

sweeping the parking lot.  A made-up game of sweet gum ball hockey outside.  All good for a kid's heart.