Thursday, March 31, 2011

A LIttle Bit Of This.......

There's lots of people in this world who spend so much time watching their health that they haven't the time to enjoy it.
~Josh Billings

I am healthy!  That's what the doctor said yesterday morning.  Just a routine visit, nothing more.  I still have to go in for a fasting blood work-up and make an appointment for an ECG and then I will be good to go for another 6 months.  Nice to be told twice in one month that I'm healthy - as long as you can ignore the ALS - all systems are go.  So, for the rest of the morning I was able to get some sewing in.  The afternoon started with the scheduled visit of our ALS case worker.  Mostly just a chit-chat but she let me know what she is planning for the support group over the next few months.  The evening was our grocery shopping run.  Home to put groceries away and then a few minutes to relax in front of the TV with a cup of decaf.  Whew!  It was a busy day.



Tater Day

Did you know there was such a thing as Tater Day?  Tater Day is a large festival in Benton, Kentucky. It was started in 1843 as a celebration of spring, and a time when all of the townsfolk would get together and trade in sweet potato slips, used to grow the plants. It is also the oldest continuous trade day in the United States, in which goods such as guns, Coon hounds, tobacco or livestock are swapped or sold. The biggest part of the festival is the parade, which completes one circuit around the town. It includes Political floats, Marshall County High School marching band, horse and buggies, clowns, vintage cars, horses, Ms. Tater Day, and other things for which Marshall County is known. There is also Junior Ms. Tater for little girls ages 5 to 12, and a Little Mr., Tiny Miss, and Baby Ms. Tater day pageants and floats for the younger kids. Tater Day also has carnival rides, games, a market, mule pulls, and several other exciting events. Another event is the "biggest potato" contest that attracts large potatoes from across the town and a potato eating contest. You can get a kickin' funnel cake too! Woohoo!



Yesterday the mailman brought me a wonderful squishy envelope all the way from Pauline in North Yorks, United Kingdom.  Pauline was my secret swap partner for Leona's Mug Rug Swap Adventure.  Inside I found two darling mug rugs and two mug wraps......

Here are the two mug wraps on two of my mugs.  Are they cute?  I especially like the little flower buttons on the right one.  I had never seen mug wraps before but I'm sure they will help keep my coffee nice and warm.

And here are the two darling mug rugs that Pauline made for me.  She used some great coffee fabric to create these.  Perfect since they won't show where coffee drips may fall on them.  I don't have Pauline's email and I don't think she has a blog so I hope she sees this post.  Thank you so very much, Pauline, for the wonderful mug rugs and mug wraps.
On a side note....the customs declaration stated that there 2 mug rugs and 2 mug raps in the envelope.  Can you just picture the custom agent reading the description and trying to figure out what those items were?  I'm surprised the envelope hadn't been opened just out of curiosity - lol.


Yesterday I worked on my mini quilt......

It's already sandwiched and ready to quilt today!  I did learn one important thing about my sewing machine yesterday.  For the majority of the applique I was using just the regular blanket stitch and kept wondering "why, oh, why is the applique getting wavy?".  My tension was set correctly and the fusible web was staying flat (that's another story for another time).  On the last piece of applique I decided to go to the applique setting of my machine.  Set the stitching for blanket stitch there.  Lo and behold it stayed flat!  Who would have thought there would be a difference between everyday blanket stitch and applique blanket stitch.  Learned my lesson!  Made myself a BIG sticky note "For Applique - USE APPLIQUE BLANKET STITCH".  Wow!  And to think that the whole piece could be non-wavy as we speak.  Oh well.  Chalk it up for another lesson learned.



Yesterday I finished the second block of the Baltimore Album quilt.....

I think I have circles pretty much down pat.  There are a couple that look a little wobbly but for the most part they all look round.  The leaves are definitely not uniform, but as somebody told me last time - nature is not perfect (even though I want mine to be - lol).  Now onto block 3!



Today I hope to finish the April mini quilt.  If time allows, perhaps I will start another Bee block that I need to make.



P.S. I Quilt is having a giveaway.  You could win a copy of Quilt Album.  Winner will be drawn April 6th.

Sew Many Quilts is having a giveaway.  You could win a pattern from Jaybird Quilts.  This giveaway ends at midnight on Monday, April 4.

OCD: Obsessive Crafting Disorder is having a Sherbet Pips giveaway.  Kristie is giving away 23 slices of 10" X 10" pieces of Sherbet Pips - that's almost 2 yards.  This giveaway ends Friday, April 1.

The Confused Quilter is having another used book giveaway.  Staci is giving us a chance to win one of 6 Thimbleberry books.  This giveaway ends Friday, April 1. 

Quilt Dad is having a giveaway. You could win a fat quarter bundle of Nesting Chairs.  John will be picking a winner on Sunday, April 3.

Quilting Gallery is having a sponsored giveaway.  You could be one of 10 to win  a sampler package of  Saral's Wax Free Transfer Paper.  Winners will be selected on Wednesday, April 6.

1 Choice 4 Quilting is having another great giveaway.  You could win 7 yards of fabric from the fabric line by Anthology called Sweet Tooth.  There are 14 different fabrics in 1/2 yard cuts.  This giveaway ends Sunday, April 3, at 10:00 pm EST.


Sometimes I feel like an old dog learning new tricks.  Just when I think I know my sewing machine, it throws me a curve.  Same thing with the computer.  Hit the wrong button and everything disappears - permanently!  All the electronic gadgets out there can be stifling.  I'm still learning things about my phone and I've had it for several months now.  Quite often someone will say something their phone will do which will cause me to check for the same thing on mine......well, I'll be - mine does that too!  Then there's the TV and the DVR.  Don't ask me the ratio and aspects, just let me watch my TV programs when I want and to be able to zoom through those annoying commercials.  Believe me, I'm not complaining.  I just wish I could keep up with the modern world of techno-information.  I definitely go through gadget overload.  How about  you?

Do you realize if it weren't for Edison we'd be watching TV by candlelight?
~Al Boliska

It's the last day of March!  Are you ready for April?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bees, Sneeze, and Weas

The trouble with weather forecasting is that it's right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it.
~Patrick Young

They promised us sun yesterday.  All day long sun.  Can you guess how much sun we actually saw?  About an hour.  The rest of the day it was hidden behind clouds that weren't supposed to be there.  The temp was a nice 68 (as promised) but little sun.  The birds were singing and flitting about.  The bees were even lazily buzzing around trying to get their wings warmed up without that promised sun.  The tulips remained closed but the Gerberas decided to show us some color.  Maybe today?  Maybe tomorrow?  That allusive sun.  The provider of all warmth.  I really didn't miss it and am not looking forward to those days of endless sunshine and the heat of summer.  But if you're going to give me clouds you might as well throw some rain in there too.  Thank goodness I'm not a weather forecaster.




In 1924, the Kleenex brand of facial tissue was first introduced. Kleenex tissue was invented as a means to remove cold cream. Early advertisements linked Kleenex to Hollywood makeup departments and sometimes included endorsements from movie stars (Helen Hayes and Jean Harlow) who used Kleenex to remove their theatrical make-up with cold cream. By 1926, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, the manufacturer of Kleenex, became intrigued by the number of letters from customers stating that they used their product as a disposable handkerchief.
A test was conducted in the Peoria, Illinois newspaper. Ads were run depicting the two main uses of Kleenex; either as a means to remove cold cream or as disposable handkerchief for blowing noses. The readers were asked to respond. Results showed that 60% used Kleenex tissue for blowing their nose. By 1930, Kimberly-Clark had changed the way they advertised Kleenex and sales doubled proving that the customer is always right. The word Kleenex is now commonly used to describe any soft facial tissue. However, Kleenex is the trademarked name of the soft facial tissue manufactured and sold by the Kimberly-Clark Corporation.



Today is Wednesday so that automatically makes it One Flower Wednesday.  I almost forgot about making a hexie flower until late Monday afternoon.....

I guess I'm still on a green kick as far as flowers go.  All the little frogs made me think of spring when the little toads and frogs usually start appearing along creeks and lake shores.  To check out other wonderful hexie flowers you can click on the link above or on the button on the side bar.  There are some very talented ladies out there creating some of the cutest and prettiest flowers around.



Yesterday I went waaaaaaay out of my comfort zone to create a block for April, this month's hostess for Bee In Oz......

She sent us most of the material needed for this mosaic block - I added two pieces of my own fabric.  As most of you know, I'm very much a traditional piecer.  Give me a pattern or the measurements and I can pretty much produce whatever you ask.  But to ask me to go wonky or abstract and I start to sweat.  April did provide an excellent tutorial but I still had to work with odd shapes and NO PATTERN OR DIMENSIONS other than the finished size of the block - 12.5".  I didn't intend for the block to be cut in half with such straightness and the upper horizontal sashing was supposed to me more angled too.  But this is what I produced.  I really do like the affect of the narrow black sashing and all of the angles that were created.  I just didn't like being the one to create it.  I have to say, being a member of Bee In Oz has really tested me and we've only been at it for four months - lol!
We were also asked to create a 3" signature block....

It may not look like it but it really is square - lol.  And working the mosaic in miniature was even more challenging.  Thank goodness I get a month to rest before I find out what I will asked to make next month - whew!



And this is what Snickerdoodle (on the right) and Weasley (buried under the afghan) did while I pulled out my hair creating the mosaic block!



I don't know how much sewing I will get done today but I would like to work on my monthly mini quilt since April is just two days away (if you count today!)



Sew We Quilt is having her end of the month giveaway.  You could win a copy of The Quilters Bible and a jelly roll of Bella white.  This giveaway ends Monday.

Sew We Quilt is also have a GO! Baby giveaway.  As with the previous giveaway, this one end Monday also.

The Vintage Sheet Blog is having a giveaway.  Jodi from Come Tarry With Me is giving away a yummy bundle of goodies or vintage sheet pieces.  This giveaway ends Monday, April 4th.



As we journey through life there are bumps in the road that throw us for a curve.  My DH's BFF just lost his mother to cancer.  She fought the fight valiantly for over two years but the cancer finally one.  Her death made remember my dad's final hours.  He knew when his time was almost over.  He made sure we knew where things were and which doctor to call.  He made sure to tell us he loved us and to tell us he would always be with us in spirit.  Apparently this not an uncommon occurrence.  That wonderful woman did the same thing with her family in the wee hours of Monday morning.  No matter what the doctor's say, a person knows when it is their time to go.  I have heard of too many cases like this.  I hope, that when it is my time, that I too, will be able to call the family around for one last hug and kiss, and final word, a final good-bye, see you later.  Don't worry, I'm not planning on doing that any time soon but I just hope it happens that way for me too.

The day which we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity.

May your day be full of sunshine and rainbows, smiles and happiness!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Two Swaps

If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.
 ~Benjamin Franklin

I think the fabric gods and retailers are out to get me!  Ever since my promise not to buy any fabric for a month, I have been bombarded with amazing deals.  First, one of my LQS decided it would no longer carry fabric and would be selling only machines, furniture, etc.  As a result, they were having a clearance sale with all fabric at $3.95 a yard and all fat quarters at 50 cents a piece.  I persevered and stayed away from the store.  Then, today I receive an email informing me that with a coupon code I could have 20% off Bella Solids and Kona Cotton from an online store!  It's like they are taunting me...."Let's make Linda break her promise!".  Oh, it's a cruel, cruel world out there :)



National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day

National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day celebrates small business owners. These individuals spend countless hours nurturing and growing their young enterprises. The workload demands, and lack of a hired staff, often translates into long and late hours, and many missed family and personal events. But, all in all, they love what they do. After all, they are their own boss.
New businesses have always been a vital, yet not fully appreciated, part of the U.S. economy. On they retail side, they bring different and unique products to the marketplace. They provide stellar and personal service support. When you call, you are more likely to get a real, live person. And unlike big national chains, they know their products. They are outstanding performers in niche markets. In manufacturing, they create many new concepts and ideas, making them creators of new products.
Celebrate National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day by showing your their stores today, and everyday.



Yesterday I was able to complete one of the two blocks I am swapping this month for Block Swap Adventure.

This block is for Charlene.  She requested greens and teals for her block.  I really wish I had some sunshine to take this picture in because the colors are so pretty and the photo doesn't do it justice.  I used the Disappearing 4 Patch but enlarged it to make it a 12 inch block.  You can visit Charlene at Geema's Wonderings.



I also had time to make my swap block for Quilting Blocks Swap Australia - #1

Doris wanted a block that started with D made with black and white and one color.  The name of this block is Dewey's Victory.  This block was fun to make and I think fit Doris' request all the way around.  Doris doesn't have a blog so you can't visit her :(

I was able to finish both of these blocks with no interruptions as my house cleaner had to cancel for the day.  So continuous sewing was possible but my house remains dirty.  Guess that means I should at least sweep the kitchen floor.



Today I would like to make one hexie flower and complete another bee block.



The Confused Quilter is having a used book giveaway.  You could be the lucky winner of one of five books.  The giveaway ends Friday, April 1st. 

The Plaid Scottie is having her Blogiversary Giveaway #4.  Kaelin is giving away a Ta Dot Fat Quarter Bundle and a darling doll quilt.  This giveaway ends ?

The Intrepid Thread is having a giveaway to celebrate the opening of her new online shop.  You could win a $20 gift certificate to Jewel's new store.  This giveaway ends ?

A Quilting Life is having a sponsored giveaway.  You could win a $25 gift certificate to Sew Fabulous Quilt Shop.  Sherri will select a winner Wednesday night.

Jona & Lili is having a giveaway.  You could win a $25 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop.  This giveaway will end Friday, April 1st.

Oh, Frasson is having a giveaway.  You could win a copy of Modern Log Cabin Quilting.  This giveaway ends Thursday night.

Em Celebrates is having a giveaway.  She is starting off with a selection of fabric.  Em will announce the winners next Monday.



My sewing room/office had little piles all over it when I was through sewing yesterday.  There was a  little pile on my sewing table, a smaller pile on the little table I use for cutting by much sewing machine.  There was another little pile on DH's desk (my pile, not his) and a big pile on my cutting table.  Lot of scraps that needed to be sorted, folded and put away.  I have an endless pile of papers on top of my printer.  Pages that I'm sure I must need but never seem to have time to go through.  And then there are the little stacks on my desk of things to do, recipes to file and a list of books to add to my "to read" list on the computer.  Believe it or not, I do not like clutter.  I have gotten real good at turning a blind eye to this stacks - except when it comes to fabric.  If it's not put away by the end of the day it drives me nuts - unless it's on the spare bed and then it can sit for weeks on end.  That is my sorting station and my place for WIP (a couple have been sitting there for months!).  Do you have stacks that you ignore?

If the shelves are dusty and the pots don't shine, it's because I have better things to do with my time.
~Author Unknown

Monday, March 28, 2011

Only One Completion

There aren't enough days in the weekend.
 ~Rod Schmidt

Why does it seem that weekends are made for running.  Well, at least Saturday was.  We ran errands all over town.  Farmer's Market, Pet Smart, Target, Vons, and the list goes on.  I feel so lucky to be home during the week but I can't run these errands since I no longer drive.  So my poor DH has to usually spend one full day of his two days off on the run.  Last weekend was the rare exception with relaxation but then we had to drive 4 hours from home to be able to do that.  Sounds a little ridiculous, doesn't it.  Maybe next weekend will be better.  On average we have a quieter weekend every other week.  How was your weekend?



Did You Eat Your Spinach

Did you know we missed Spinach Festival Day on Saturday?  In 1936 the Winter Garden Chamber of Commerce organized its first Spinach Festival. Bushels of spinach surrounded the platform, and people dressed as Popeye and other Popeye cartoon characters danced with joy as the band played "La Paloma." Texas Governor James V. Allred proudly proclaimed Crystal City as "The Spinach Capital of the World" that same year. The first festival was a great success and the tradition of the annual event held until 1941 when World War II ended all festivals. In 1982, forty-one years later, the Spinach Festival was revived. On March 6, 1987 Crystal City Festival Association President Mike Delgado presented a letter from President Ronald Reagan to the residents of Crystal City recognizing it as the nation's leading producer and shipper of spinach in the world.



Friday I finished the hot pad for the swap I'm involved in.  Cheryll over at Gone Stitchin' is the gracious hostess for the Let's Exchange fun.  The next exchange sign up will be April 1st.

I used the fabric line Daydreams by Deb Strain for moda.  I have had this fabric for a couple of years and I think it worked up nicely.  Looking at it now I would have done the braid a little differently but I still like the effect it created.  And here is what the back looks like.....

I went with a simple stitch in the ditch for the quilting.  I thought too much quilting would lessen the protection qualities.  I did use Insul-Bright for the batting. This will be going out to my secret partner this week.



I have several swap and bee blocks to get made.  My goal for today will be to complete two of the swap blocks.



Cat Patches has started up Fun Fact Friday again!  You could win a book, a pattern, a fat quarter and a nifty tool.  Barbara will announce the winner on April 1st.

Pink Please is having a giveaway.  You could win a jelly roll of Just Wing It by moda.  This giveaway ends March 31st at midnight.

Quilt Times is having a giveaway.  You could win a copy of Schnibbles times two.  This giveaway ends midnight GMT on Thursday 31 March.

The Q and the U is having her third of 3 giveaways to celebrate her year of blogging.  The actual giveaway is a mystery but we do know that it is equal to a yard of fabric.  This giveaway ends Wednesday, March 30, at 7:00 pm AST.

Lucky Duck Dreams is having a stash giveaway.  Colleen is giving away three cuts of pretty green fabrics from her stash.  She will draw the winner on Wednesday, March 30th.

Quilting Ranny is having a charm pack giveaway.  You could win Sandy Gervais 'Oopsie Daisy,' charm pack pattern, all of the fabric to make the pattern and the accent buttons too.  This giveaway ends April 1st at noon PST.

I'm having a celebration giveaway on April 4th.  It will be my 200th post so be prepared for something good!



This week is going to be one of those weeks.  Today my cleaning lady comes.  Good because I will have a dust free, clean house.  Bad because it puts a crimp in my sewing time.  I don't feel I should be in her way if I want the sewing room vacuumed and dusted.  In the evening I get my hair cut making for a late dinner.  Tuesday looks good.  Wednesday starts off with early doctor's appointment for both DH and myself.  Nothing more than routine follow-up appointments but they still take time.  That afternoon I will be having a visit from our case worker for ALS.  She has only been in this position for a few months and feels it is necessary to visit everyone in the support group (and I suppose it is).  I'm sure this will be a good thing for both of us.  After dinner we will be doing our bi-weekly grocery shopping.  Wow!  I'm already tired and it's still early on Monday - lol!  I think the rest of the week will be fairly tame - or at least I hope it is.  What is your week looking like?

I cannot count my day complete

'Til needle, thread and fabric meet.
~Author Unknown

Monday is a great day, I hope yours is fantastic!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Chicks and Integrity

No one is listening until you fart.
~Author Unknown

 Did the quote make you smile?  It did me and I love starting the day with a smile!  I did absolutely no sewing yesterday.  My foot didn't touch the pedal and my fingers touched neither needle nor thread.  I did touch fabric but only to put completed blocks into envelopes to send them on their way to swap partners.  It was a computer day.  A day to prep work for Block Swap Adventure and April swap partner assignments.  It took me a little longer than last month - both a good thing and a bad thing.  Good because we have more members this month (we're up to 66!) and bad because I had some trouble with a couple of emails.  Ended up taking about 4 hours! Whew!  But it's done and the emails will go out this morning.  Then I had to prepare packages for shipping.  The mailman will be picking up 5 large envelopes and one box.  So back to normal today.  My sewing machine awaits.



International Waffle Day

Like many of Western civilization's finest achievements, the long and scrumptious history of waffles can be traced to ancient Greece, when Athenians cooked obelios — flat cakes between two metal plates — over burning embers. The word waffle is related to wafer, as in the communion wafer — one of the only victuals that early Catholics could eat during fasting periods since wafers didn't contain animal fats, eggs or dairy products. During the Middle Ages, when bakeries decided to compete with monasteries in the wafer market, the secular — and considerably tastier — waffle was born.  Eventually, waffle irons engraved with coats of arms, religious symbols and the familiar honeycomb pattern (said to resemble interlocking crosses) were used to brand the baked treats. In medieval France, an entire guild was established in 1270 to train the vendors who sold waffles on the street. Because the simplest version only called for flour and water, it soon became a staple of country cooking, though wealthier peasants would add honey, eggs and aromatized wine.
The Pilgrims discovered waffles in Holland, where they spent time before arriving in America, and brought them across the Atlantic in 1620. Dutch immigrants popularized the dish in New Amsterdam before it was taken over by the British in 1803 and became New York City. Thomas Jefferson, as legend has it, bought a waffle iron in France as a sort of culinary souvenir and began serving waffles in the White House, helping spark a fad for "waffle parties" nationwide.



Remember that spoiled egg with the chick embryos in it? 

Over the weekend I finished my wool Chicks Candle Mat.

You can't see it but the little chicks bodies were first whip-stitched into place before adding the 'feathers' and 'wings'.  Lots and lots of tiny stitches.  Some of the stitching was done in the car while hitting bumps and curves so some of their little legs ended up a little wobbly.  We'll just pretend that they are the newer chicks and just learning to stand ;)

And here it is on the living room table doing what it's supposed to do - holding a candle. 



Last week while cruising through blogs I discovered Tiffany at Lower Columbia Modern Quilting and Crafting.  She talked about Swapping Integrity. 

Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness of one's actions.

On her blog she had a pledge that I took and hope you will consider taking:

I, Linda, pledge to do my very best to have integrity and honesty in my swap commitments. To be on time, to participate in discussions, and to communicate if I am going to be late or unable to complete my obligations to my swap partner.

If you would like to take this pledge publicly, you can connect to Tiffany's blog either at the link above or on the button on the sidebar.  Even if you don't, I hope you strongly believe and follow the pledge to the best of your ability.



OK. So I didn't do to well on yesterday's goal of working on the hot pad.  So, once again, that will be my goal.  With an emphasis on finishing it.


QuiltStory is celebrating their new sponsor, Fat Quarter Shop, with a giveaway.  You could win 5 yards of Sugar and Spice-winner's choice.  Ends ?

Jackie's Art Quilts is having a giveaway to celebrate reaching 150 followers.  Jackie is giving away 5 beautiful fat quarters.  She will draw the winner on Thursday, March 31.

Gene Black an Alabama Artist is having a giveaway.  You could win an adorable zip bag that Gene made plus the rest of the half yard of fabric he used to make it.  This giveaway ends Saturday, March 26.


I have made myself a promise.  No more fabric purchases for at least one month.  31 days!  I can do this!  I know I can.  I really have enough material to last me probably a life time.  I would maybe have to by some white or cream background fabric at times, but really nothing else is needed.  This is a challenge to myself.  I can't keep buying fabric just because......just because it's on sale......just because it's cute......just because I haven't bought any in 3 days.........  I'm even going to mark the date on the calendar so I can't cheat and say "I don't remember what day I made that promise".  Now that I have put this promise out there for the world to see I will definitely stick to it.  I think I can.....I know I can.....I will succeed!!!!

To promise not to do a thing is the surest way in the world to make a body want to go and do that very thing. 
~Mark Twain

Friday is finally here - enjoy it and your weekend!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Blocks, Blocks, and More

If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: "President Can't Swim."
~Lyndon B. Johnson

Let me preface this by saying if you work for a publishing company I'm not necessarily pointing a finger at you.  Do you ever get tired of listening to the news?  I sure do.  It seems as if they try to sensationalize everything that is bad and ignore the good.  For example - The birds are flying south for the winter - watch out, they may cause hazards to aircraft.  The reporters seem to take just the tiniest bit of truth and stretch it into a worst possible scenario.  Yes birds do fly south for the winter, and yes, there have been collisions with aircraft but if you compare the actual events, this is a very rare occurrence.  I would like just one day where they report only the news as it happened - no additions, no what-ifs and no dooms day possibilities.  I wish I could share a correction in our paper recently with you.  They had to follow it up with a correction of the correction.  That's our local paper for you - lol!



Frozen Food
Did you know that March is National Frozen Food Month?  Well, neither did I until I did some reading.   We think of frozen food as a new invention, but it is actually one of the oldest methods known for preserving food. From the days when man first inhabited cold regions, he froze fish, game and other meats for future use. The first known patent for freezing food was granted as early as 1853 in England. The method used was to immerse the food in ice-and-salt brine. Many other patents were granted for freezing food at that time, all using ice-and-salt mixtures.  But frozen foods could not be used extensively until the development of mechanical refrigeration. This made it possible to freeze and transport meats over long distances.  In 1916, experiments in Germany showed that foods could be frozen by the quick freeze method, which meant freezing the food in a few hours instead of in several days. In 1917 a man called Clavence Birdsage began to work on methods for freezing food in small containers for sale in stores. It wasn’t until 1919 that the first commercial pact of this type was put on the market.  As the result of his experiments and the work of others, it was found that many vegetables could also be preserved in this manner, and the frozen industry was on its way.  I know I would be lost without my frozen foods!



Yesterday I made the 11th block in the Layer Cake QAL hosted by Moose on the Porch

This block was designed by Vanessa Wilson of Crafty Gemini and is called E-ccentric Quilt Block.  I'm not wild about this block but I do think the fabrics from Sweet and Sour worked up nicely in this design.  Only one more block to make in two weeks and then I will be putting the blocks together for a quilt top!



The other day my mail box was overflowing in swap blocks, purchases, and winnings.  I received my first 7.5" Barn Door Swap blocks.....

These two wonderful blocks were made for me by Karyli.  I love the fabric she selected for the blocks.  You can check Karyli's blog out at Sew and So On...

I also received.......

I just hate it when I see this envelope in the mailbox.  The postal people always make it sound like this couldn't have ever been their fault.  YUCK!

But luckily Kate had slipped the contents of the envelope into a sealed bag as I had suggested to all of my Bee members.  None of the nasty, icky, sticky, who-knows-what-it-is stuff could get through to the precious fabrics.

Kate was a bit behind but the wait was worth it.  She made me this wonderful block and included a cute little note.  Love the block, Kate!

I am currently involved in Leona's Mug Rug Swap Adventure and she recently had a giveaway for the members of this group.  I was one of the lucky winners of.....

QuiltPink for hope published by Better Homes & Gardens.  There are some awe inspiring quilt designs and 50 quilt block patters in this book.  Each quilt in the book has a story attached.  Leona also included some wonderful charm squares.  Thank you so very much for, Leona, for this and for hosting the swap!

I recently placed an order with Connection Threads.  They had some batiks on sale that I just couldn't pass up.....

Aren't these beautiful?  I was sadly lacking in batiks and since some of the members of the swaps I'm involved in seem to request batiks I decided it was time to increase my stash.  Once again I'm blue heavy.  I really need to work on that.  If you are in the market for batiks, check out Connecting Threads.  You certainly would have a hard time beating their prices and their customer service is outstanding!  And they still have a selection of batiks at 30% off!



Today I hope to finish the hot pad for the swap I'm in.  I definitely have to prepare emails for swap partners in the Block Swap Adventure as they are do tomorrow!



A Bowl Full Of Lemons is having giveaway.  You could win Silhouette SD Machine.  This giveaway ends March 25th at 11:59 pm.

Green Fairy Quilts is having a giveaway.  Up for grabs is a Punctuation Jelly Roll.  This giveaway ends Friday night, March 25.

Cut To Pieces is having a giveaway.  You could win a Hawthorne Threads Scrap Pack.  Ends?

Sew Many Ways is celebrating her one millionth visit with a giveaway.  You could win a beautiful 24 inch Sterling Silver necklace.  This giveaway ends ?



The passing of Elizabeth Taylor brought a sadness to my heart.  Such a regal and beautiful woman.  She was in so many great movies and supported some great causes.  I even remember her bit parts in General Hospital and also in All My Children - quite the surprise.  I think the movie I most remember her in is National Velvet.  I saw this as a child (no, not when it was first released) on TV.  Even through all of her health issues she remained a lady, a star, and an international beauty.  Elizabeth Taylor will be missed.

Elizabeth Taylor was an icon — the mortal Hollywood actress for whom the grand Greek word might as well have been invented.
~Lisa Schwarzbaum

Will your Thursday be full of thread?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Will You Contribute?

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
~Roger Caras

I'm have completed the wash created over the weekend.  Two loads of towels had to be done - the ones we used and the ones used on the dogs' feet and bellies every time they went outside.  I can't hardly get them to go outside when it's raining at home but up in Santa Cruz they were happy little explorers even with the rain pelting them.  Following their noses - probably chasing the scent of skunk, opossum, or raccoon - smells they don't come across at home.  Once their curiosity was satisfied, in they'd come, muddy feet and all.  Tails wagging and smiles on their faces as if to say "The yard is safe again and all because of me".  "Aren't you glad I'm here to protect you?"  All dried and happy to be warm only to repeat the entire process an hour or two later.  Me ruled by my dogs?  Never!  Well, yes, all of the time and very willingly- lol!



Our Weasley as a puppy.

National Puppy Day is a special day, recognized on March 23rd annually, to celebrate the magic and unconditional love that puppies bring to our lives. But more importantly, it's a day to help save orphaned puppies across the globe and educate the public about the horrors of puppy mills, as well as further the mission for a nation of puppy-free pet stores.
National Puppy Day was founded in 2006 by Pet Lifestyle Expert, Animal Behaviorist and Author, Colleen Paige, who is also the founder of National Dog Day and National Cat Day. This holiday, as well as others, are part of Colleen Paige's Animal Miracle Foundation & Network, a non-profit organization which offers financial assistance and educational programs ranging from pet cancer to fire safety and travel safety for kids and pets alike. AMF also hosts many wonderful holiday festivals and trade shows throughout each year and brings local shelter pets to these events hoping to find them a forever home.


I am a little late to the game but I have decided to answer Colleen's request for Quilt Blocks For Cancer.  Colleen, of Lucky Duck Dreams, is a a five year Stage 4 uterine cancer survivor.  She has a desire to give back to those who suffer since she was cured.   Two years ago Colleen started Team Lucky Duck to participate in Kernersville, NC Relay for Life event.  This year she is unable to participate due to a family event but would still like to raise money.  Colleen is asking you, her (and my) blog friends to send quilt blocks to her so she can assemble them together to make a quilt to raffle off. The quilt block can be a memorial, in honor of, or just a celebration of life.   Yesterday I made a block....

I memory of both my father, Thurman, and mother-in-law, Mildred, who lost their lives to colon cancer.  Colleen suggested making the block in the color that goes with a certain cancer and the color for colon cancer is dark blue.  Mildred lost her battle with cancer 10 years ago and flowers were a reminder of something she loved.  My father lost his battle with cancer 33 years ago and the green reminded me of his eyes and his love of all things green. 
Won't you help Colleen by creating a block for this wonderful cause?  She needs to have the blocks by the end of the month (sorry for the short notice - my fault not Colleen's).  Just click on over to Lucky Duck Dreams for all of the important information.



Today is Wednesday, so of course that means it is One Flower Wednesday.   One our trip home yesterday, in between the bumps and curves of the road I managed to make one hexagon flower.....

I'm not really excited about this flower but I must have thought it would look okay when I cut out the fabric.  Maybe I was tired or the lighting was bad but I'm really under enthused about this particular hexie flower.  It will make a good filler in my GFG quilt - maybe in a lost corner or along the outside edge somewhere, or maybe even on the back.



The 11th Layer Cake QAL block was released yesterday so that is my goal for today.



Rocknquilts is having a 100th Post giveaway.  You could be the winner of four beautiful fat quarters and the very special Tribute to QN Founder Bonnie Leman issue of Quilters Newsletter from Feb./March 2011.  This giveaway ends Sunday, March 27, at 9:00 pm CST.
Creative Home Expressions is having a giveaway.  You could win a $50 gift certificate to!  This giveaway ends Friday, March 25, at 11:00 pm EST.

Charming Chatter is the new owner of the Traveling Stash Box.  Kelly added so much new stuff that she now has TWO Traveling Stash Boxes to giveaway.  The new winners will be announced on Monday, March 28.

Sunshower Quilts is having a GO! Baby giveaway.  You could win a GO! Baby Accuquilt cutter and 3 dies.  This winner will be selected on Friday, March 25.

Red Pepper Quilts is having a giveaway. You could win a bundle of Sarah Fielke's new fabric collection - From Little Things.  This giveaway ends Thursday, March 24, at noon AEDT.

Little Miss Shabby is having a giveaway!  She is giving away a fun little Sherbet Pips & other fabrics charm pack.  This giveaway ends Thursday evening with the winner announced on Friday.

I'm Just A Guy Who Quilts is having a sponsored giveaway.  Ryan is giving away four bundles of Animal Party Too.  Winners will be drawn on Friday, March 25.

Hint:  I'm coming up on my 200th post so look for a giveaway that I will be having on March 28.



Roller coasters.  Lots of fun if you like the world to turn upside down or to spin quickly by.  I have only been on one of those mind blowing, treacherous rides in my life.  But, like many of you, I am riding the roller coaster of Spring.  This weekend we had wicked winds - winds that snapped my patio umbrella's wooden pole in half and moved two heavy patio chairs about four feet sideways.  And rain - more than an inch which is huge for Bakersfield (our normal is under 6" for the entire season).  And snow - the local mountains received 60" from one storm - something unheard of for around here.  Yesterday - calm and beauty.  Blue skies, birds singing, trees sprouting leaves and warmer temps.  Then Mother Nature will hit us again today.  More rain, more cool temps and gray skies.  It's hard to believe that we are in the latter part of March.

Weather is a great metaphor for life - sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, and there's nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella.
~Terri Guillemets

Work your Wednesday into something wonderful!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Not 1, Not 2, But 3 Winners

“The real winners in life are the people who look at every situation with an expectation that they can make it work or make it better”

~Barbara Pletcher

winner [win-er]

1. a person or thing that wins; victor.
2. winner take all, a situation or outcome whereby the winner receives all the prizes or rewards.

Even though you can't all be the winners of the giveaways, you are all winners to me.  I would like to thank you all for taking the time to enter one or both of my giveaways.  And, especially for taking the time to read and/or follow my blog. 
Now for the winners of the giveaways.......

For "There Was An Old Lady" selected the number 59

Snoodles said...

I left a comment for Linda - her freezer paper tutorial is super!
Jacque in SC


For "Shop Hopper", select number 63 - a no-reply blogger :(
So, helped me again and this time selected number 42

ledamewood said...

Have to agree, my favorite pattern is still the Shop Hopper, but love the other bunny too.


For the Round Robin Book Giveaway, selected number 15

Needled Mom said...

I think I should eat some potato chips today!!!
Your mug rug looks great. I am sure your partner will love it too.
Time allowances are difficult on any given day. Like you, I have way too much to do to sit with idle hands as I watch TV in the evenings. Hand sewing really helps me feel like I am not wasting my time.
I would love to read the book and pass it on too.

Congratulations to all of the winners!  I will be sending off emails to the three of you shortly so that I can get your snail mail info.



I know today's blog wasn't my normal format but with having been gone for a few days I'm totally out of whack.  I didn't keep up on giveaways but I did get a couple of things made (to be shared later).  I feel weird having a post without a photo fact of the day.  We did have a wonderful time on our little weekend getaway.  The weather was much nicer coming home than going.  The hills were ablaze of green and the sky was brilliant blue when we could see it in between the clouds.  The orchards were all through blooming but you could see all of the fallen petals creating a ground cover of either white or pink.  We even saw the first few California poppies braving the cold along the roadside.  Tomorrow I will be back to normal - whatever that may be - LOL!

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.
~Henry Van Dyke

Today is Tuesday - do something fun!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Barn Doors and Virtual BOM

When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.
~Susan Heller

Getting ready for a trip, no matter how small, is time consuming and a little nerve wracking.  So much to remember!  Don't forget to cancel the paper... have the mail put on hold....let Mom know you will be out of town.  And then you have to remember to take everything!  Clothes for enough days (always a spare pair of underwear) food and treats...hand stitching supplies....reading for how many meals?  Not to mention the stuff around the house.  Make sure all of the windows are closed and locked...make sure the coffee pot is you want the kitchen light left on?  UGH!  As you read this I'm probably on my way home, getting ready to go home, or am already home.  Surprise!  You didn't even know I was out of town - lol!  Took a short trip up to Santa Cruz to the family vacation house up there.



Big Bird

Besides Sunday being the first day of spring, did you know it was also Big Bird's birthday?  Big Bird is an 8-foot, 2-inch yellow bird who lives on Sesame Street. Since Sesame Street premiered in 1969, Big Bird has entertained millions of pre-school children and their parents with his wide-eyed wondering at the world. Big Bird is also a bird who makes friends easily. The world-famous bird has been a central character on Sesame Street for the program's run, premiering in the first episode. The big yellow bird can roller skate, ice skate, dance, sing, write poetry, draw, and even ride a unicycle — pretty talented for a character described in the TV show's writer's guide as a 6-year-old. But despite this wide array of talents, he's prone to frequent misunderstandings, like thinking that the alphabet is one long word. Big Bird lives in a large nest behind 123 Sesame Street and next to Oscar's trash can, and he has a teddy bear named Radar.
Did you know....
*Big Bird's feathers are white turkey feathers, dyed yellow. There are approximately 4,000 feathers on the puppet. (According to the Count, he has over 5,961 feathers--he counted them himself.
*Jim Henson had originally planned on having the performer inside Big Bird perform the character by wearing the suit backwards, so that Big Bird can bend his knees backwards like a real bird
*Big Bird made a special guest appearance on an episode of Deal or No Deal, to help contestant Lamar Wilson overcome his childhood fear of the bird.
*Big Bird received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994.
*Big Bird was featured on a US postage stamp in 1999 and on postage stamps in Fiji, Kiribati, the Cayman Islands, and Samoa in 2000.



Last week I finished blocks for both of my swap partners in the Barn Door Swap.

These two blocks were made for Shauna for the 7.5" part of the swap.  Shauna requested scrappy.

These two blocks were made for Tiffany for the 12.5" part of the swap.  Tiffany requested mostly black.  I know the top one fits that request, I just hope she thinks the bottom one does also.
Both sets of blocks will go out in the mail this week!



For those of you who don't seem to have enough to do (is there anybody out there that feels that way?) and are looking for an easy stash buster project, Quilters Quarters is offering a free Virtual BOM.  The first block has been released..

 This is a simple block and will work perfectly in....
Doesn't this look like fun?  The patterns will be available weekly and you can download them for later use.  If you want to receive the new blocks in your email,  you can sign up for the enewsletter.



To make it home safe and sound and then do the wash that was created over the weekend.



Samelia's Mum is having a Share The Love giveaway.  There are two different, but equally great, prizes to win that include fabric and a cute button(s).  This giveaway ends Friday, March 25.

St. Louis Folk Victorian is having a Destashing giveaway.  You could win some lovely fabrics that Kristy no longer wants.  This giveaway ends Friday, March 25, at 10 pm CST.

Quilter In The Gap is having her first giveaway.  She is giving away a huge amount of triangles in 8 different colorways.  This giveaway ends March 27th.

The Plaid Scottie is having a Blogiversary giveaway.  She is giving away two sets of fat quarters and a 'ginormous' scrap box of scraps.  This giveaway ends at midnight on Thursday, March 24.

Hawthorne Threads is having their weekly giveaway.  This week you could win Riley Blake's entire Feeling Groovy Collection in Fat Quarters.  The winner will be selected on Thursday, March 24.

It's the final hours to enter both of my giveaways.
If you would still like to win one of these patterns....

From B. Bumble and Company then you need to enter the giveaway HERE

If you would like to enter to win......

and send this book on it's way then enter A NOVEL GIVEAWAY.
Both of these giveaways end tonight at midnight!!!  The winner will be announced tomorrow, Tuesday, March 22.  REMEMBER - IF YOU ARE A NO-REPLY BLOGGER AND DON'T INCLUDE AN EMAIL IN YOUR COMMENT YOU CAN NOT BE THE WINNER!!!!!  I have to have some way to contact you.  There are already a few of you that have been eliminated because of no-reply :(



I love spring with all its fresh green foliage and beautiful flowers.  The birds are twittering and the sky is bright blue.  However, I hate the allergies that it causes.  We have a huge pine tree in our side yard that is dropping its yellow pollen all over the place.  This is the one of the few things that I am truly allergic to.  My eyes get scratchy and my throat sounds almost hoarse.  Then why does it take me a few days to realize that, no, I'm not getting sick, its just spring?  I knew it was coming.  I could see the yellow pollen pods forming on the tree for many days.  But until my DH pointed out the yellow on the sidewalk, on the ramp and in the gutter I had totally forgotten about what that pine tree was doing.  Oh well, a little tissue, a few eye drops and some allergy medicine will get me through.  Beautiful tree!  Just hate the pollen - achoo!  Sorry....bless me!

Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.
~Virgil A. Kraft

May your Monday be merry!
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