Friday, August 18, 2023

Hemming Curtains


Finally this morning, probably six months after I hemmed the other three pairs, I hemmed the last of the bedroom curtains, for the guest bedroom.

Since I rarely have guests anyway (and have an Aero Bed if I do) I swapped out the full size mattress for a twin xl, gaining enough space for a sewing machine for hot summer afternoons.  And a cozy space for winter afternoons.

During summer afternoons, my upstairs sewing room just gets way too hot.

The next step is to empty out the old-fashioned and bulky secretary, which you can't see here.  Why I've kept it all this time I have no idea. 

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Bedroom Chair


For about a year, I've been looking for a bedroom chair.  A place to sit and read during the cold weather months in my warm bedroom.  It needed to be nice, but it needed to be inexpensive.

A couple of weeks ago, all the stars lined up.  I found this chair at an estate sale, and it looked never used.  Sarah was visiting and could help me load it up.  It is the right color.  It is sturdy.  It's pretty.  And it was $30.

It just so happened that it was the same weekend that Sarah brought my living room chair and ottoman from North Carolina - more on that another day.  

Thursday, August 10, 2023

New Car


I have a new car, and for all that I considered, and considered, and  considered, I'm so glad to have it.  

It's another Subaru Forester, with pretty much the same trim level as I had before.  And because of that, I thought it would be pretty much the same . . and it isn't.  Things have changed in the past twelve years.  Including many more functions, and a bigger screen, and a few more inches.

My favorite thing:  the headlights.  The headlight covers on my old car were ready to be replaced, they were getting discolored.  Now I can see clearly again.  The headlights rotate when I turn, giving me a wider angle of light.   And they turn on automatically at dusk.  Start out on high beams but dim when a car approaches, go back to high beams afterwards.

Now I have an appreciation of why chip shortages are such a big deal.

My old Forester is now at my daughter's house, being fixed up to be ready for my grandson's approaching sixteenth birthday.  He is a little dismayed at the lack of pick-up but his mom is telling him that this is a good thing.  He does appreciate the hatch with the liner for sport and music equipment.  And he was very relieved that there is an aux connection for his phone's music.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Christmas Table Topper


Another retreat project - nothing special, just mini charm blocks pieced together.  Mini charms are 2 1/2" x 2 1/2".

What I like:  the fabric is a Christmas collection but it doesn't scream Christmas.  With the snowballs and pine trees and tiny glimpses of Christmas flowers and all thoe blues, it can continue on into January before the Valentine decorations come out.

We're in for 90-degree temperatures for the next five days.   Yesterday afternoon there was a surprise thunderstorm that went on and on.  Lots of rain.

Today is college orientation for my granddaughter.  She will be a University of Cincinnati Bearcat.

Monday, July 24, 2023

Baby Girl Quilt


At our most recent retreat, I made this baby girl quilt.  I found out after the fact that the mom-to-be wants flowers, not animals, for her little girl, so I was lucky there.

I've been trying to increase my water consumption and have found the perfect, for me, water bottle.  I can load it up with ice and water in the morning and it still has ice in the evening.  And for once, the ice in my ice cube trays is always fresh.

Strange thing - after drinking more water, my beloved Diet Coke just doesn't taste quite as good.

I dreamed of having a new and up-to-date refrigerator when I moved here sixteen years ago.  I quickly learned that the refrigerator of my dreams wouldn't fit in the space.  In the end, I was happy to find a refrigerator with glass, not wire, shelvesAnd no ice maker.

Friday, July 7, 2023



I love conflowers, and so do the bees.  

Here we are the end of the first week in July, and I haven't been shopping yet for annuals and sale perennials.  I think it might be timeIt either was too hot or there was an air quality alert or I was too tired or I just was lazy.

So, I've been relying on already-planted perennials from other years, and they have been putting on a good show, phasing in and out.

A few days ago I wasn't paying enough attention and caught my finger and fingernail in the sewing machine needle when it was in thread-cutting mode.  It had been a long time since that happened, if ever.  I'm not even going to blame this one on being old, just on concentrating on sewing too quickly.  My reaction time in getting my finger out of there was pretty impressive.

Monday, July 3, 2023

Design Wall


On my design wall these days.  Corey Yoder's Joy Filled pattern.  I'm not crazy about the colors, especially that dark gray, but maybe when it goes together I'll be happier.

And probably it doesn't matter too much.  What I wanted was an exercise in following a pattern and this was a good one to try.

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Sightseeing in the City


Yesterday the grands and I decided to have lunch at The Gruff in Covington, despite knowing that it might be hard to find parking since Cincinnati was hosting a Taylor Swift concert and the Reds were in town.  Big events at two close-together stadiums.

It turned out that finding metered parking was easy, and even though the restaurant was busy we were able to get a table outside in the shade.  

It was a day for sightseeing.  The restaurant is at the end of the bridge to Cincinnati, and people were making their way over.  There were many pink skirts, sparkles were everywhere, and there were plenty of white cowboy boots and cowboy hats.  Mixed in were Reds tee shirts with jeans or khaki shorts.

The Reds game was moved up a couple of hours to spread things out a little, although the game ended up going into extra innings.  Down to the last out, the Reds won in the eleventh inning.

I'm so glad we took a chance on going to lunch.  Seeing the excitement, especially in middle school girls, was just so fun.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

This Collage


Seen on my walk on the street behind mine.  Douglas.

Maybe if I went out and walked more, I'd see more things.  I definitely should do it.

It's a lovely overcast day.  I've been a little envious as I read some blogs - looking at you, Joanne - and hear of cool rainy days.  Here it's been hot, little rain in sight.

Eleven straight wins for the Reds.  People are paying attention.  Conversations are happening everywhere.  No matter where they go from here, there was this shining June moment.  

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Happy Birthday to Me


There was a lovely little birthday cake yesterday and a tall grand guy to bring it.

Seventy-eight years old, how can I not be pleased about that?

And yes, Aaron really is that tall.  He had his sports physical yesterday and the doctor said he has more growth to come since he is still growing so quickly.  Six feet three inches now, age fifteen.

Today is the sumer solstice, and I always love that day.  It feels as if we've climbed a steep hill to get here.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Charm Pack Challenge Two


Charm Pack Challenge two.  One of these days I need to try to quilt less densely, but not today.

There is another similar pattern, Carpenter's Star, that I'd like to try.

That new Reds player - Elly De La Cruz - can run like the wind.  So many people came to the ball park last night to welcome him.  And saw a walk off win with a hit by another young player.  Last season was long, but this team is fun.  

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Yellow, Green, and Added Purple


Comforter knotted in black at our last church knotting.  Green backing, green binding now completed.  The patches came from a bag of fabrics gathered together by Mennonite Central Committee.  I added some of the purple because it just needed more purple.

And because I was in a binding mood, I did the binding on my latest wall hanging.  Maybe I'll show you tomorrow.  It's in the washer now.

Our skies are overcast because of the forest fires in Canada.  It is hot and dry with air quality alerts.  Tomorrow will be cooler, but no rain.  My eyes have been dry and itchy.

The Reds have a new young player called up from Triple A, tonight he will be in the starting lineup for his first big league game.  He is expected to do a lot of things well, including base running.  Fingers crossed.  A fast base runner is always exciting.    

Wednesday, May 31, 2023



Graduation . . . come and gone.  High school over and out for Nora.

It was a big graduation in a big venue on Xavier's campus.  Family party the next day.  

Sarah and Winnie and the dogs came the night before and it was a big weekend.  I love it when Steph comes to hang out and spend the night with us.

There was a little weeding and mulching, shopping Facebook Marketplace for an antique dresser for Winnie and Sarah.

One day soon there will be a furniture swap - my "new" living room chair and ottoman will come from North Carolina and the dresser will go back.  On this trip, a storage ottoman came in the car.  

It's been a very long time since I had new furniture.  After a certain age, we just . . . don't.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023



Chives, one of my earliest perienniels.  Every spring I consider snipping some for cooking.  Every year I don't.  I forgive myself - they pull their weight in those purple spring flowers.

I read a lot of novels, and most I don't remember.  I just finished Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver, and that one I will remember.  This book was a surprise - I usually find her books to be hard reads but this one was mesmorizing.  

Around November I started receiving my ordered block of the month fabrics.  They have been sitting  around beside my computer, the fabrics are really lovely.  This morning I started stitching.  It was time.

Thing is, though, I'm missing one of the month's fabrics.  I contacted the fabric store and they sent me the tracking informaion that said the package was delivered.  They suggested that the packet was small and maybe someone in my house had moved it - nope.  I'd been watching for it, I know it never came.  I asked if I could just purchase that month's fabrics, but there was none left.

I'm not really upset - I figure that (a) one of my neighbors will finally bring the package, (b) there will be enough leftovers from other months to fill in, (c) my quilt will be a different size, (d) I'll find the fabrics on etsy, or (e) I'll figure out something creative to replace those two blocks. 

Thursday, May 11, 2023

More Misc


Comforter binding.  I just realized, now that it's finished, that I didn't do my usual 1/4" seam around the edge before I started the binding.  It worked just fine, but I do want to remember next time.  Just in case.

My high school graduating grand girl has just one more day of classes.  Graduation isn't for a couple more weeks, at the end of the school year, but seniors finish first.  

I just made my first container of Miracle Grow for the season.  The little seedlings on the back porch are growing well.  Cucumbers, basil, marigolds.  Mostly marigolds.

I've just started reading Demon Copperhead.  I hadn't planned to read it, but now that Barbara Kingsolver has a Pulitzer for the book, I want to give it a try.

Monday, May 1, 2023



Mending, alterations, I'm way behind.  It seems like that's the way it's going in my life right now.

Yeserday, I did hem a pair of pants.  And altered Nora's pretty brown prom suit.  For the pants, took them in at the waist, norrowed the legs, re-hemmed, anchored the buttons.  I never mind grand kid sewing.

At retreat several weeks ago I cut out squares for a comforter and figured out a layout.  I wish I'd taken a picture because now I can't remember that layout.  The fabric came in a bag from Mennonite Central Committee, pieces of donated fabric that someone put together.  Mostly greens and yellows.  It needs some purple.  That's ok, I have purple.

My older friend, the one I've been getting groceries for and taking out on Fridays, has been in the hospital.  Now in a nice rehab facility.  I've tried to visit often, but this weekend, not at all.  And I feel bad about that.  Last time I went she was sitting up in a wheelchair, looking outside at the trees and the birds, so much nicer than the hospital view of another part of the building, seen from her bed.  There was talk of bingo the next day.

The thing is, now that I'm not doing our combined grocery order, I've been putting off getting groceries.  Just dashing into the smaller store for a few things or ordering carry out.    

Friday, April 28, 2023

More Knotting


More comforter knotting yesterday in the church basement.  Seven of us knotted three comforters.  It's fun to think about where they might end up.  First, though, they need bindings.  And I'm behind on binding from a previous knotting session.

I find it so soothing to knot with a group of friends.  Random chatting.  A quiet space.  An easy kind of volunteering.

Landscaping trucks have been appearing in my neighborhood, with workers cleaning yards and spreading mulch.  Soon new plantings will be showing up.

Sarah came last weekend and did a lot of weeding and trimming.  That big rose bush - wasn't totally dead.  Once she got to the center there were lots of new shoots.  My neighbor wasn't as lucky - it looks like he lost an anchor tree and a couple of bushes from the front of his house.  We had such a mild winter with one short cold snap.  I guess that was enough.

A new Italian restaurant opened in my neighborhood during the pandemic, carry out only.  They are now open for inside dining as well with an expanded menu.  It's a dream come true, easy pick up with good choices, lots of parking,  It's easy to find something for dinner as well as a great salad for lunch the next day.  Amazing bread.  Reasonable pricing.     

Monday, April 17, 2023



One of the charm pack challenge wall hangings is quilted and washed to bring out the quilting.  In other words, finished.

My decluttering had pretty much stalled.  I'm not unhappy about that, I made great progress  and moved on to kitchen cleaning.  Now, though, I want to move on again.

I found a tub of mysterious fabrics in the basement.  I know I didn't buy any of them, they just aren't at all what I would gravitate toward.  At all.  I picked out a few possibilities for my stash, the others will leave my house today.  And it will remain a mystery.

I've been trimming back the big rose bush in my back yard, but now that things are leafing out I have to admit that the rose bush is dead.  Another mystery.  I'm not upset in the least - something prettier will take its place.


Monday, April 10, 2023

As I Remembered

The red beet eggs were as pretty as I remembered.  The grands didn't eat any, but they admired them, and that was all I wanted.  I ate one, though, and they tasted as good as I remembered.  With horseradish.

I may, and may not, make them again next year.  Maybe just two or three.

It was fun at church to see a few children dressed up and to see pictures of pretty Easter dresses on facebook.  I don't remember ever having one of those fancy dresses, but I always enjoy seeing them.

It looks like one of those magic spring weeks ahead, with temperatures warm enough to turn off the heat but not so hot that I consider air conditioning.  I can open the windows, work in the yard a little.  Sew upstairs in the mornings.

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Happy Easter!


Happy Easter, everyone!

I hope you have lots of sunshine, some good food, pleasant memories, and a few eggs, chocolate or otherwise.

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Red Beet Eggs

I really wanted to make these this Easter.  I want my two grandkids to see this part of my history.  I don't expect the grands to enjoy these eggs.  I don't even expect them to eat them.  I just want them to see them.  I'll cut them in half so they can admire the pretty pink with the yellows of the yokes.

Some time before Easter my uncle would have the job of grating a horseradish root, sitting on my grandmother's back porch step.  He said it was an awful job, the smell of the root was so strong.  My cousin and I would dare each other to stick our noses in a jar of fresh horseradish with vinegar, knowing that we would feel the pain deep in our sinuses.

That horseradish was a part of enjoying the eggs at Easter dinner.

I've read that we can buy horseradish root at Whole Foods, although I've never looked for itI'm sure my uncle would have loved having a small food processor to replace using a hand grater.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Charm Pack Challenge


Earlier this week I was at a quilt retreat with my friends.  As usual, we did as much chatting as sewing, but I did piece this Moda charm pack challenge wall hanging.  The charm pack is Carolina Lilies.

I've seen lots of other challenge pieces and the amazing thing is that they all look so different.  I have a second one on my quilter and it looks very different.

This morning I took Aaron to school - it was so dark and rainy when I started out.  It was a good reminder that it's nice to be retired.  There is no bussing at his high school and traffic at the school was heavy but everyone knew where they were going.  Even me, because Aaron told me.

I was relieved yesterday to find a library book that I thought I surely must have left at retreat.  How can I look right at something and just never see it?

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

March Christmas Cactus


For the past couple of summers, this Christmas cactus has lived on my back porch.  Pretty much got water and Miracle Grow when the other summer annuals did.  Was repotted once.  Bloomed nicely the beginning of November.

Now at least parts of it are getting ready to bloom again.  I'm pretty sure I never had a Christmas cactus that bloomed twice in one year, although the internet tells me that this isn't unusual.

Three things to help reblooming happen:

Minimal watering - that one's easy, I just forget it for weeks at a time,

Provide it with at least twelve hours of darkness - it didn't get complete darkness, but it did get lots since I gravitate to a warmer place in the evenings

Keep temperatures cool - it is in the coolest part of the house and close to a window.

I'm pretty excited about this - it's the little things.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Skipping A Generation


So many times sewers have told me that sewing skips a generation.  If that were true, Nora would be a sewer, since her mom isn't.

I tried, she did cute little machine projects when she was younger, but her interest soon waned.

I'm hopeful though, like I sometimes remind her mom, Nora's story isn't written yet.

I'm preparing projects for a quilting retreat.  I always try to be so thoughtful and so careful, but all too often I end up at the local WalMart, replacing something forgotten.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Not My Chair

This afternoon Winnie and Sarah went chair shopping for me at a higher-end resale store.  They did find this chair, with ottoman, in the style I like.

The upholstery, although it looks kind of gray in the picture, is actually a pale sage green with tiny pink tufts.  And the price was $899, which is a lot for a resale chair in a color that isn't quite right.

Not my chair.  There will be another day.

The SEC teams are doing well in the NCAA tournament.  I'd normally not root for Arkansas, but when they are playing the #1 seeded Kansas, I'll make an exception.  And I'd normally not root for Tennessee, but when they are playing Duke, I'll really make an exception.

I think most people in the Kentucky are happy to see Duke go home.  We have a long memory.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

After the Concert

My precious grandkids in their concert black.

Aaron on precussion in Symphonic II, Nora on trombone.  And Nora on bassoon in Symphonic I.

A couple of days ago Nora made the trip to elementary schools, including hers, to try to interest the fifth graders in trying an instrument when they go to middle school.  And of course I hope that those younger kids do just that.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Back to Free Motion


It's been a while.  A couple of months ago I oiled my quilter and then still never quilted.  Today I even needed a you tube video about how to thread the machine, it really has been that long.

(Quick lesson - free motion machine quilting is done with the machine's bottom teeth under the needle disabled, designs are made by moving the quilt in any direction.  There are also quiltering machines that do just that -  quilt.)

I'm not feeling confident about this, but confident enough, at least, to just start, I've never been a fan of doing a practice piece.  Now the pink is finished and I don't yet know where to go from here.

Of course I've been musing as I quilted, wondering when free motion quilting started being a thing.  My little green vintage Viking has the capacity to lower the feed teeth, so it was certainly possible to free motion a small quilt many years ago.  If there weren't thin battings, flannel could have worked.

Of course, in the 50's, machine quilting wasn't done much at all, if ever.  Now quilting is often done with two people, one who pieces, and one who professionally machine quilts with a long arm machine.  And that machine is often computerized with designs ready to upload.

My quilter is not a long arm, I call it a sit-down quilter, kind of a hybrid.  Small enough to fit in my sewing area.  Way less expensive than a long arm quilter.  Able to easily quilt larger quilts than a sewing machine.

But back to today.  There was a time when I felt good about my free motion quilting, but like anything else, I'm out of practice.  I really, really want to be good at this.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

March Winter

Snow out my window yesterday evening.  I never mind March snows since we are past November, December, January, and February.  And now, half of March.

The year Sarah was born, fifty years ago, there was an unexpected March or April snow storm on a Saturday when we visited my parents.  When we tried to leave, we got stuck in my parents' long lane and my dad pulled us out with the tractor.  We made it to my uncle's house in town and stayed the night there.  We watched tv and saw that the town's college had opened their gym for stranded motorists.  The next day the roads were clear and we went back to Detroit.

In my ongoing quest for a living room chair, I visited a local furniture store this afternoon.  No single chairs at all, just recliners.  Big ones, none push back.  Disappointing, but I feel like I've done my diligence in trying to support the local folks.

I did go to another local store last week, everything was special order there, not what I'd expected.


Monday, March 13, 2023


Aaron:  age 15 1/2 plus one day.

In Ohio young people can get their temps at age 15 1/2.  

I find the term "getting temps" strange, we used to call it "getting a permit."  

And yes, he is tall, probably six feet, two inches.

Yesterday I tried to watch Women Talking on Amazon Prime Video.  First there was an issue of getting it set up, it had been a long while since I'd used Prime Video.  And then I found the content hard to watch, gave up after a while, and reserved the book at the library so I can read it before watching again.  I'm sixth on the list so others are reading it too.  This morning I saw that it won the Oscar for Adapted Screenplay.

Somewhere on my list of goals for the year is to watch more movies.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Sermon on the Mount


Worship banner for a Sermon on the Mount series.

My mother made the rectangular blocks years ago, on crisp fabrics like cotton duck, with narrow strips precisely zig zagged on top.  Many years ago.  I wonder whether she made many more and made quilts with them.  Whether she just made some and didn't know what to do next.  Whether time just ran out for her.

Whatever, I ended up with a cardboard box from an electric blanket with these little rectangles, which trimmed down to 2 3/4" x 7 1/2".

With a rotary cutter it was easy enough to trim up the blocks, with scrissors like my mother surely used, it would have been impossible to cut the bulky edges smoothly.  My first try in putting them together was to lay the blocks flat and do a connecting zig zag - that didn't work.  I ended up doing conventional 1/4" piecing and then pressing the seams open with a very hot iron, then topstitching a fairly wide zig zag on top to smooth out those bulky seams.

My mother used a Singer machine, way back in the day when those Singers were real work horses.  I used a denim needle, which I'm sure wasn't available to her.  I broke one needle, I'm sure she broke many more than that.  Now we are usually conscientious about replacing needles every eight hours or so, back then needles were used until they broke.

Side note:  my brother offered me my mother's Singer when he finalized the estate.  It was at a time in my life when I was getting ready to move to a smaller house and I declined.  I regret that now.

For the sky, I cut out pieces of denim from old blue jeans, sometimes turning them wrong side out to get a lighter look.  It felt appropriate since my mother used recycled fabrics.  I relied heavily on cell phone pictures to get a feel of how the piecing would look from farther away.  How could I have even explained that to my mother, with her landline party line?

I have wondered before, when I've used my mother's work at my church, what she would think about that.  Her church was larger, maybe some of her work was featured on a communion table, I don't know.

If anything, she would have felt that perhaps her work wasn't good enough to be featured.  Same Mennonite denomination, art in church wasn't unusual.  All those years later, here we are.  


Wednesday, January 25, 2023


Cranberry pear crumble from Southern Living.  It's so good.  It was in either the November or December issue.

Brought to you by me because I can.

About a week ago my laptop lost internet access, no network choices, no nothing.  And today, I fixed it.  Yay! me!  In the interim, I'm been using an old laptop but I've been limited in what I could do.  I am so relieved.

I've decided that the end of January will mark the end of my decluttering process.  Just one more week.  For all that I've donated and discarded, things look pretty much the same and that amazes me.  Except for the attic, that looks a lot different.

This last week it's the sewing room, and that's as daunting as the rest.  I'm glad, though, that it's me going through everything and not someone else.  That could be humiliating. 

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Changing Things


My kitchen is small.  It's hard to know where to put things and make the most of the space.

I've had the spices in a cabinet over the stove, but I've felt bad when Winnie comes to visit because she loves to cook, and she isn't tall.  (Although she never complained.)  And like everyone else, I had expired spices in that spice box

So for now, most of the spices are resting in a drawer.  I can see what I have, and that's nice.  I still have some containers that are too big to fit there, so it isn't a perfect fix.

I've been working, really working, on getting rid of things I no longer use.  I did that once, when I moved here fifteen years ago, but I've accumulated things since I've lived here.  And I moved some things I never should have even brought with me.

It's slow going, and it's a sad process.  Things change.  I no longer need all those back issues of Quilting Arts because my quilting is different now.  Sadly, I took the things out of the tote that the grands called the art box and which would come out on a regular basis.  They probably don't even remember the art box.

That electric griddle, which I loved, had to go.  I had dreams of having people over for brunch like I did in my past life, but not this one.  How many store-bought quilts do I really need?  How many spools of half-used ribbon?  And why did I think I needed to save those sewing machine boxes?

Even though it's sad going, I'm moving toward my goal.  I want to be able to go into my little attic and easily find exactly what I'm looking for.  I want my basement floor to look uncluttered.  I want to go into my sewing room and not find things on the floor.

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Baking Tonight

 Joanne was blogging a day or two ago about finding a recipe for oatmeal bread, and it just happens that I'm baking oatmeal bread tonight for a potluck tomorrow.

This is my favorite bread recipe ever, and I've made so many loaves over the years.  It's from More With Less by Doris Jansen Longacre.  I think most of my Mennonite friends have this cookbook and we all have our favorite recipes from it. 

The next recipe after Oatmeal Bread is a wonderful Cornmeal Yeast Bread. 

My cookbook was a gift from my mother, and it was copywrited in 1976.  You can get an updated version from Amazon or from Ten Thousand Villages. 

For rising, I usually turn my oven to 150 degrees, then turn it off before putting in the dough. 

Oatmeal Bread

Combine in a large bowl:  1 cup quick oats, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, 2 tablespoons butter.

Pour 2 cups boiling water over the mixture and stir to combine.

Dissolve 1 package dry years in 1/2 cup warm water.  When the oatmeal batter is cooled to lukewarm, add the yeast.

Stir in 5 cups white flour.  (I usually use 4 3/4 cups.)

When the dough is stiff enough to handle, turn on to a floured surface and kneed 5 - 10 minutes.  Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled.  Punch down and let rise again.  Shape into two loaves and place in greased 9 x 5 x 3" pans.  Let the loaves rise.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes.  Cool on rack, brushing loaves with butter for a soft crust.

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Wonderful Advent Calendar

I was gifted this Advent Calendar from Sarah and Winnie.  Nine little windows with a little jar of jam or honey behind each.  The glass jars have red and white gingham-looking lids.  Yesterday's jam was peach apricot.

I've had some overdue alterations to do.  One was a pair of black denim jeans with a really heavy side seam.  It was the first time I've seen my new sewing machine in action for thick fabrics.  The needle  acts like a jack hammer, pounding through the thicknesses.  A little disconcerting but it worked well.

I've loved, loved my Viking Quilt Designer for many years.  It has a smaller platform that I've always appreciated, and it sews like a dream.  For alterations, it's been my go-to.  Yesterday, though, I decided to put it into semi-retirement.  It will come out for retreats and for hemming dainty cuffs and other small things.

My newer machines also sew like a dream, and they have LED lighting.  That's a big deal when sewing dark fabrics.  Their touch screens are much larger, and the new one has a needle threading system that I could only have dreamed of.  At a touch of a button, the needle is threaded.

It will take a while to get used to the empty space on the table where the Quilt Designer used to sit.  It's sewn a million miles and deserves a rest.

Monday, January 2, 2023

Restoration Banner


The beginning of a series banner.

A long time ago friends gifted me with a piece of an old tattered quilt.  It's lived in a dresser drawer until now, when I used it in a banner for a Restoration series.  It's the piece on the top.

That was the first week of four.  Week two had a few more strips, and week three a new quilt piece with little squares.

Week four, above, had little surface pieces added to make the new piece like the old one.  Kind of.  I embroidered lace snowflakes for more antique-y effect.

And now, it's a new day and I need to get it out of my car and deconstruct it.  Maybe tomorrow for that.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Happy New Year!

 From my favorite author, Silas House:

New Year Prayer

Find a body of water, and be still beside it for a time.
Build a fire and watch the flames.
Sit on the porch.
Lie on the grass.
Light candles.
Take a deep breath.
Write a letter to someone.
Discover something new everyday.
Tell stories
Listen to old people.
Ask them questions.
Give to others when you can and treat yourself occasionally.
Read real books and newspapers.
Always buy the grocery store flowers if they catch your eye.
Remember there is power in moderation.
Learn to cook or bake a new dish.
Enjoy every meal.
Savor your food.
Drink water.
Every chance you get, hold a baby.
When the opportunity arises, dance.
Always swim or wade in the water.
Study leaves.
At least once this year, pee outside.
Be completely quiet.
Turn your favorite song up loud.
Sing along.
If someone makes you feel bad all the time, get away from them.
Laugh with others.
Laugh when you're alone.
Spend time with animals.
Don't judge.
Think this:  "There  but for the grace of God go I" or "Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
Forgive others.
Forgive yourself.

And I'll add another:  Read a book by Silas House.  You won't be sorry.

Happy New Year!