Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday Morning Quilting

Nora stayed all night with me Saturday night, and Aaron stayed with Aunt Tina, while Steph and Mike celebrated their 10th anniversary.  Nora and I went to the produce store and then got some Redbox movies.  We snacked on Amish cantelope and grapes and nachos and watched our movies.  I was surprised that she was willing to stay in the living room by herself and watch the end of the movie while I lay down and read in the bedroom.  As recently as this summer, she wasn't willing to spend much time "alone" at my house. 

This morning, I was up before Nora and when she woke up she came upstairs to where the quilting was going on.  She knows just where to find me.

She quickly admired the remnants of a stack of precuts, so I told her to pick her four favorites.  Then it was on to an informal lesson, lining up the fabrics right sides together and using the 1/4" piecing foot.  Using temporary basting spray - no pins for us.  I like to let her have free reigh when it comes to the quilting, choosing her own thread color, stitch, and placement. 

I think she's going to be a Modern Quilter.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Congratulations to Sarah

Congratulations to my daughter, Sarah, who ran her first ever marathon today in the hills of Asheville, North Carolina.  What an item to check off your bucket list.

And, notice the trophy in her left hand, 2nd place in the female masters category.  And yes, there will be a cash prize.

Twenty-six.two miles in 3 hours, 48 minutes, 40 seconds.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Early Autumn Day

There was a quick in-and-out today at Newport on the Levee to get a gift certificate at Mitchell's Fish Market for Steph and Mike's anniversary.  Their tenth, one of the big ones.  Today's the anniversary, and they're celebrating tomorrow at the Reds game and yes, Mitchell's.  And at the festival at the Levee.

Aaron was playing golf with his dad, so I picked up Nora after school and we went to Sweet Frog, to the appliance repair store to drop off my hand mixer, and to the Cincinnati Nature Center.  It was a glorious day for feeding geese, fish, and turtles.

We started on a hike, down the steps, past the waterfall, and around the curve, and then we spotted this deer.  We looked at it for the longest time, and it looked at us, and finally Nora and I turned around and went back the way we'd come.  Score one for the deer.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


I just finished this pillow, from the book Simply Solids:  A Twist on the Traditional Use of Solid Fabrics.  I have to admit that I didn't think it would come out pretty, until the very last minute, when it did.

This morning was my dreaded dentist appointment, but all went well.  The dentist told me that this is his busy season, that he officiates for the NFL and travels every weekend.  Who knew?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Saturday afternoon

Aaron and Nora are admiring the pizza crust shaping at Dewey's Pizza.  Whoever thought of the kitchen window concept?  Fascinating.

Steph is sitting at our outside table at Newport on the Levee.  Saturday was the perfect day for outside seating.

Nora decided that she wanted to get her ears pierced on Saturday morning.  I don't know who came up with the concept with piercing both ears at once, using two people to do it, but what a great idea.  Probably someone heard one too many kids crying between ears and decided that NEXT time someone was going to help out.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Pink and White Quilt

I purchased a Craftsy class by Joe Cunningham and used one of the first lessons to piece this baby quilt.  This is exactly my kind of class and I enjoyed the quick piecing, as well as unrelatedly using two thread colors for the quilting.  The little quilt was on a sofa when I photographed it, which is why it looks sort of dimensional.

I think that one of my goals for next year should be to celebrate the autumn solstice, without just letting it slide by.  Good food, good wine, maybe a nice fire . . . It's amazing how quickly the days are shortening now.  

Aaron spent the night with me on Saturday night and was the perfect only child.  At one point, he said, "This is such a special night for us." 


Friday, September 20, 2013

Completed Bag

You know those uncompleted projects that live at your house, sewing or not, that just suck the energy out of you every time you see them?  Pictures to hang, plants to put in the ground, grout to replace, touch-up paint.  And the sewing projects.

For the past couple of weeks, I've added a line to my journaling:  goal for today.  That usually means something that I've put off, something easy, most likely, that gives me a negative feeling whenever I see it.  Sometimes it's a piece of a larger goal, like cleaning the basement.

At my house, sewing projects often live on the floor, taking up room I don't have.  So, I'm really glad to have this bag finished.  My goal for today.  I don't even know when I started it, maybe before last Christmas.  Then, I ran out of thread for awhile, then just stopped at the point where it was time to sew things together.

It's felt, Indygo Junction IJ910.  Really, really cute, sort of granola, two matching pockets inside.  One of my favorite patterns, so there's no reason why this one took so long.

I love the new bare spot on my floor.   

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Hiking in the Smoky Mountains

I love the Smoky Mountains in every season, and right now I'm loving them in the fall.  Nice days, cool evenings around the campfire.  Perfect hiking weather.  Precious time with family.  Campground less crowded, more spreading out.

I always love the easy hikes around the Elkmont houses, dreaming about how they used to be.  Another day, the others in my party hiked to Charlie's Bunyon and raved about it, but I followed and poked around and did half the hike.  I'm a fan of solitary hiking, going at my own pace, not being self conscious that it takes me longer on the rocky climbing.

On yet another day, we hiked the Gatlinburg Trail to town, a nice flat trail that goes by quickly.  We ate lunch and shopped a little, perfect.  One of the highlights of this trip was the trip to the Smoky Mountain Brewery, this time for Monday Night football and the Bengals.

It's clear that I need to shop for new hiking shoes, in a larger size, and this time I may look for a lower version.  Why is it that my feet are suddenly growing, especially the toes?  I need to do some research!

Last night my neighbor brought over my mail, and we agreed to join a nearby gym when she retires in a couple of weeks.  She got me on the right day, when I was really motivated about hikes to come, and when feel like I have a good start anyway.  It's been a long time since I had a gym partner, and I'm pretty excited about this. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Not Sudoku

It's not a secret that lots of people say that crossword puzzles or sudoku are good for aging minds.  I'm awful at word pluzzles, at least challenging ones, and haven't done a sudoku for a long time.  I used to enjoy both when I got a daily newspaper, but I no longer have newspaper delivery.  A story for another day.

Instead, I tell myself that sewing and quilting provide some of that puzzle stimulation, and I do think that my spacial problem-solving, once not great, has improved a lot.  Where I'm going with this:  one of my customers wanted a new high chair cover for a new grandson-to-come.  She gave me her original cover to use for a pattern.

I hope she'll be pleased with this quilted cover, in the sport fabric that she picked out.  It has a brown lining, machine quilting, two cut-outs (one on the back,) and nine buttonholes, six slanted.  Pretty darn cute, I'm pleased with it and it required lots of thinking.

It has $22.00 worth of materials, most on sale for half off.  I didn't charge her much more than that, so I won't be making anywhere near the value of my time.  I'll take my payment in puzzle value this time.  If I ever make another one, I'll charge a LOT.

Monday, September 9, 2013


I've been seeing all these yummy-looking pictures on facebook recently, but yesterday was the first time I tried one.  Since I don't eat meat, that eliminates quite a few, and some of the others look so wonderful but contain ingredients that make them really high-calorie dishes. 

There was one that caught my fancy just because it was so easy.  A box of angel food cake mix and the large can of crushed pineapple.  That's all.  I tried it yesterday and it was as good as I hoped.  Just stir the pineapple into the cake mix and the batter sort of bubbles up.  Bake it in a 9" x 13" pan and that's it.  Very delicious, very easy.

And then on Saturday, I planned to make brownies for a picnic, but when I went to get brownie mix out of the cupboard I spied a box of blueberry muffin mix that I needed to use.  I mixed it according to the directions but added two mashed-up bananas and some walnuts to make a banana blueberry bread, baked it in an 8" x 8" pan, and put on a light vanilla glaze after it was baked.  I cut it in small pieces, and there was nothing left in the pan at the end of the picnic.

I also baked a lot of mini chocolate chip cookies for a reception, but I used the refrigerated dough from the grocery for that . . .  Once you try it, there's no going back.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Holly's Quilt

Friday night after work I delivered this baby quilt to my friend Holly.  Her new little boy will be here within a week or so, and she has one wall of the nursery filled with amazing alphabet letters.  She had a space on the opposite wall for this quilt, which also has letters, although not as jazzy as Holly's.  I used a pre-printed panel and cut it apart, so it's pretty coordinated. 

Today was Aaron's much-anticipated birthday party, with Star Wars everywhere.  I hope that when Steph posts pictures I can lift one of them - I was taking pictures with her camera and didn't get any for myself.  A few of the little girls had to have a quick Star Wars orientation, but they learned quickly that it was good fun

The adults at the party glanced at the Bengals game throughout the party time.  The second half was pretty miserable for the Bengals, and I can't believe that we're starting the season much like we ended the last one. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Brown Scraps

The twelve birthday party Jedi robes are finished, and there are brown scraps here, there, and everywhere (and yes, I do cut out the big stuff on the floor.)  I think that as I pick up the scraps I'll cut them in 5" squares and put them in a plastic bag.  The day will come when I'll look at Quilter's Daily Deal at the Missouri Star Quilt Company and there will be a lovely charm pack that will coordinate well with brown.  And I'll push the button.

I took one of the robes with me for my little presentation about sergers at American Sewing Guild on Tuesday night.  I stressed to the ladies to not forget about oiling their sergers.  We are so spoiled by our nice pre-oiled sewing machines these days that we are apt to forget that sergers need oiling.  I'm probably a little over the top with it, but I probably oil about every five hours of serging - not taking any chances!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sun Printing

Thanks to my friend Becky for sharing her pretty back yard, all set up for a day of fabric painting.  When I go to Becky's house, I'm always amazed at how quiet it is, no interstate or local traffic sounds, no city sounds.  It's like being on vacation.  AND, Becky made lunch for us, a cold cucumber/tomato soup and a veggie/bean salad.

And, thanks to my friend Carrye for the sun-printing mini-workshop.  Until Carrye arrived, I was pretty much just slapping paint on the fabric and trying to redeem it with stamps or more paint.  Carrye showed us how to thin the paint and to really wet the fabric.  She has the best stencils, too.

I gazed longingly at IKEA on my way back home but decided that IKEA should be its own day, with its own lunch.  Oh, and a shopping list.  Soon.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Jedi Robes

Aaron is crazy about Star Wars these days, just like his Aunt Sarah was at his age.  His birthday party is Sunday and will be Star Wars themed.

My part in all this is to make Jedi robes for the kids to wear at the party and then take home.  His mom is making light sabers with pool noodles, very cute.

I'm using McCall's 2854 -  I used it several years ago to make a witch costume.  There is a ghoul version with a hood, which I just opened down the center and trimmed the hood so it all flows together.  I'm using the serger exclusively, including just sewing down the fronts and along the bottom.  My goal is to be able to cut out and sew a robe in an hour, and I'm pretty close.

The photo ops should be good - I'm so looking forward to seeing all those little Jedi's.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day, everyone.  The view is from the deck of Don Pablo's, on the river.  The baby quilt group met there for lunch today.  By the time we left, almost all the tables were full.  We realized that most of the neighborhood's small restaurants weren't open today.