Saturday, February 29, 2020

Melting Snow and a Quilt Finished

Although it's a fact that we often get more inches of snow in the month of March than in any of our other winter months, a lot of melting can go on during these still-winter months.

Matter of fact, the melting has become quite apparent already.

Even though we haven't seen the thermometer show temps much above freezing with any frequency yet, we have had days when the sunshine seems to be gaining in strength.  The walkway off our deck has often needed to be shoveled clear even on days when no snow has fallen because of the wind blowing the snow mounded up beside it.  Said blowing snow often covering the walkways with a 6" deep cover.

Now it's quite easy to see the way the snow banks are starting to melt.  (No, we don't have to use this hand pump mounted over our well to get our daily supply of water, but it's there in case we ever need it.)

We had a low over night of 3°, but today's predicted high is 31°, tomorrow's 40°, then 32°, 37° and 38° for the following days of the coming week.  Temps above freezing indicate spring is on its (albeit often slow) way to us.

I finally figured out how to get (scrounge together) enough matching fabric for the binding on my new spring shower curtain.  Sometimes I just have to think (and think and think) about a little problem for a while before a solution becomes apparent.

The basic pattern (with a little finagling to get the size I needed) is from a book by Evelyn Sloppy entitled, "Sew One and You're Done - Making a Quilt from a Single Block."

In the past, I've always put buttonholes across the top of my quilted shower curtains for attachment of the shower rod rings.  For the past two curtains now, I've used these handy-dandy grommets which I think look better and certainly take a lot less time to add.

I may be slow (r-e-a-l-l-y  s-l-o-w) but eventually come up with a solution whether it be not enough readily available fabric for completing a quilting project or easier, quicker and classier finishes!

Friday, February 28, 2020

Friday Morning Winner of Wall Hanging

Thanks to all of you who entered your names to be drawn to be the new owner of my wall hanging of the Non-Mama Pea Colors.

Whenever I do a giveaway here on my blog and get right down to the drawing of a name, I always feel a kind of disappointment that only one name can be drawn.  But, as they say, that's the luck of the draw.  (Haha.)  At least for the one person whose name is drawn.

'Twas easier this morning to put the names in a bowl, rather than to find a presentable hat, so that's what I did.

Closed my eyes, let my fingers shuffle among all the slips of paper until one felt tingly.  Drew it out and the "troublesome quilt" goes to:

wisps of words

So, dear lady, out in one of our eastern states somewhere, if you will send me your snail mail address, I'll get this little wall hanging off to you asap.

Thanks again to all who entered.  Have a great weekend, everyone.

Monday, February 24, 2020

The Giveaway of a Troublesome Quilt

I'm taking a chance that someone (of you, my faithful readers) will want to enter their name for the drawing of this quilted wall hanging I'm offering here.

A little background.  I set out to make a "spring-like" wall hanging for that big bare spot on my kitchen wall where I hang seasonal pieces.  Digging through my fabric stash I came up with two coordinating light greens, a pretty little flower print and, why did I do it?, two pinks that I thought would signify spring.

I like the design of the pattern which I thought of as "garden trellis" or "lattice work."  It wasn't the easiest piece to put together but as I've said before, piecing (even when it's a challenge) is the part of quilting I enjoy most.

Since I planned on having it for years to come, I hand quilted the whole darn thing.

Spring time rolled around and I put it up on the wall.  Unfortunately, every single time I looked at it, I just did not like it.  (It has to be the pink fabrics.  I'm not usually fond of pink nor do I use it much at all in my quilting.  Except maybe for baby quilts.)  I took the hanging down soon that first year and tried it again the next spring.  Nope.  Still didn't like it.

So, it's been stored for years in the closet where I keep my wall hangings.  And now is the time for it to go to a new home.  If I can find a new home for it.

The size is 31" square.  All hand quilted as I've said, the backing is a simple muslin, and dagnabbit, it, I can't get a picture of it in which the colors show true.

The pinks are more toward a salmon color, I would say, and the greens are more toward a mint green than the gray hue in the picture.

This shot of one corner perhaps depicts the colors in a little more of a true light.  (Nah, who am I kidding?  It doesn't.)

So, not only did I end up putting a lot of work into this wall hanging I've decided I'll never use, but try as I might, I can't get what I consider any good pictures of it to show.  Sigh.

After all this Debbie-Downer talk is there anyone out there that would be interested in putting your name in the hat for the giveaway drawing of this piece?

If so, please leave a comment to that effect.  I'll close the comments when I shut down my computer this Thursday night, February 27th, and draw a name on Friday morning.

Someone, please, take it!

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Stray Thoughts

Even though we like snow and the winter months way up here in Minnie-soda, it doesn't seem quite fair what Mother Nature has been pulling the last week or so.

We just get the plowing and shoveling done when we get big winds that blow the aforementioned snow right back in the same spots from which it's been plowed and shoveled.  Who's winning here?  Not us.

* * * * * *

I made a new chocolate pudding recipe yesterday.  (Why anybody would want chocolate pudding when he could have luscious, tasty, wonderful, smooth, satisfying vanilla pudding is beyond me.  But I do occasionally try to humor the man I live with.)  Anyway, this new recipe came out so chocolate-y that even Papa Pea claims one dish of it gives him a buzz.  I can't tolerate it at all.

* * * * * *

We've been getting some really sunny days (whoopee!) and can even notice the lengthening of hours (okay, minutes) of daylight now.  Makes me realize it won't be long until real spring time arrives.  I'm already thinking of setting up the plant starting equipment for those little seeds that need to be started 6-8 weeks before they go outside.  Thinking, you'll note I say.  Too early to actually start them yet.

* * * * * *

My daughter is the caregiver for a darling 19-month old boy during the day and then has his two brothers and a female cousin after school until the parents get off work.  She always has a nutritious snack for the kids when they come home (hungry as bears) and frequently makes scones which they've grown to love.

Scones traditionally don't has as much sugar as some other homemade goodies and the kids are always eager to have them.  Having never made many scones myself, I got the bug recently to try a couple of recipes for us.  One was a superb winner, and the other didn't go over as well.  Win a few, lose a few.

* * * * * *

Although our high temp today was 8°, my hibernation period and having time to do handwork thingies is on the downside.  (Maybe it's the downslide.)  So I've been telling myself that if I don't take time to quilt, embroider, work with felted wool and knit now (like right now), I'll have to wait until late next fall to fit much of it in.  To that end, as soon as I finish this, I'm back in my quilt room.

* * * * * *

I haven't done a giveaway here on my blog in quite a while and have two quilted pieces I'm ready to send down the road so I'll be posting about them soon.  Piqued your interest?  Good.  Keep watching!

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The Old and The New

The new first.  That's if you could call a fresh batch of bread "new."

A couple of days ago, I had a huge craving for some garlic cheese bread with red dipping sauce.  So first thing in the morning, I mixed up a batch of my old tried-and-true Italian Bread.  Made into four loaves, each loaf is a perfect size for two people to split,  Plus, it's a bread recipe that rises in the refrigerator so I can pull it out to bake just at the right time before dinner.  Yep, we gobbled up one loaf and the other three went into the freezer for future meals.

Definitely relegated to the "old" category is this waffle iron my in-laws gave me for Christmas 50+ years ago.  I make more pancakes than waffles, but this little appliance has had its share of batter run through it.  We had waffles for breakfast a couple of days ago with a choice of homemade blueberry syrup or maple syrup from a local source.  Yum.

Our onions are "old" from last season's garden.  I sorted through them yesterday and found them still in pretty good shape.  Only about two-thirds of a milk crate remains of yellow ones.

Despite the fact that red onions usually don't keep as well as yellow ones, I've always had good luck with them.  A few more reds than yellows left, as you can see, but that's fine as I'll just go a little heavier on the reds for a while.  They're the best in tossed salads and add color in many other dishes.

Next on the Really Need to Do List is sorting the remaining apples in the root cellar.  Fingers crossed they're keeping as well as the onions have in the basement.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Not An Interesting Post . . . Just A Test!

Good Morning, Everyone!

I'm still having a bit of trouble with my blog posts.  I've been notified by one reader that the size of my font (when she clicks on my blog) is still appearing very, very small.

If any of the rest of you are experiencing the same thing, would you let me know, please?

I'm assuming that the rest of you are also noticing that after my last post (and perhaps this one, too?) previous posts are not appearing as they should be. 

There's still the words where you can click on previous posts but they aren't automatically appearing on the screen below the current post.

Oh, sigh.  My talented daughter, who has worked as a web designer, has very kindly been spending time trying to get this all worked out but it's not going back to what it should be.

Any input you can share regarding what you're seeing when you read my blog is much appreciated.  Thanks!

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Lotsa (Handwork) Irons In The Fire

The good news is that I've finally begun to enter my winter hibernation period of doing what relaxes and rejuvenates me.  The bad news is that we're now into February and the winter is no doubt more than half over.  Some of you may even be looking at spring time bulbs pushing up through the cold soil, but way up here near the Arctic, we will probably have snow covering the ground until a fer piece into April.  So I think I can still squeeze some time in for my winter hibernating mode.  That's my plan, and I'm going for it.

Gotta admit in the last couple of weeks I've gone a little crazy with starting new (and, like a good girl, attempting to finish some old) handwork projects.  My creative juices are bursting out all over.  (Not the best picture to paint, right?)

Here's a peek at what I'm trying to do all at once right now.  Or at least what I'd like to do all at once right now.

I made the little blue and white cross-stitch to hang on a cabinet or drawer handle last year.  It came out okay, but I am just not fond of pastels.  Therefore, I'm making another one with an oatmeal colored Aida cloth and dark green thread.

The idea came to me to do this stamped cross-stitch of a snowflake, frame it and hang in a small, narrow section of wall in the kitchen.  I'll prevail upon my daughter to mat and frame it since she's so good at that kind of thing.

This is going to be a couch quilt when finished.  I'm currently sewing the strips together.  The missing fourth strip is on the sewing machine as we speak.  Next is a narrow inner border and then a larger outer border.

I started this new spring time shower curtain last summer.  (Wonder why I never finished it?  Probably because I was never inside long enough to do so.)  But spring will be here before we know it (it always is), and I want to have it finished to hang then.  A problem came about because I was using scraps, bits and pieces of fabric for this project.  In doing so (using only fabric I have in my stash), it's possible I'll run short of something.  The "something" in this case is enough of the light green I used for the outer border.  I don't begin to have enough of it for the binding.  I'm trying to figure out if I can just hem the piece  somehow (it would be the front, the light batting and the backing) rather than using a fabric for the binding that detracts from the whole.

It's necessary for me to have something easy peasy on my knitting needles to keep my hands busy when sitting visiting and still being able to carry on a conversation.  It has to be really simple so I can do the two things at once.  (And maybe chew gum, too.)  Socks are my go-to project for that so a couple of mornings ago, I cast on this sock yarn before going to meet a friend for a catch-up session with each other.

It's been so hard (such suffering!) not to buy any new fabric (I have P-L-E-N-T-Y to use up) . . . but I done failed when I saw this.  (But, but, but, it was on sale!)  Wouldn't it be perfect for the backside of potholders?  Yep, I thought so, too.

On top of this, I'm currently reading two books at once (hope I don't hurt myself), and I'm reading out loud from another one to Papa Pea when we sit down together in the living room before bedtime at night.

Oh, I do love this time of year when I'm able to spend a good amount of time inside keeping my hands and head involved with projects like all of these.  It's a good thing.