Sunday, December 29, 2019

Another day closer to ending 2019

As 2019 winds down, I start to think on what 2020 will bring or, at least, what I want it to bring.  In cleaning out a plastic tub, I ran across a book that I had bought.  It is called "The Gentle Art of Quiltmaking:  15 projects Inspired by Everyday Beauty" by Jane Brocket. 

This book has resonated with me more than once.  Take page 15.  The title of the chapter is "Decisions, decisions".  She goes on to talk about how easy it is to become paralyzed by the challenge of turning the pile of fabrics into a finished quilt.  Oh boy, this explains a lot of UFO's!  I also like that she admits that he seldom buys all the fabric needed for a quilt in one shopping trip.  It is too easy to get carried away and you might buy than you need or wanted to.  She, and I, like to shop for fabrics on the internet because you can put fabric in your shopping cart, take a break and THEN go back and see if you need everything in your shopping cart.  That's not so easy while you are in a shop and can feel all the fabric, hear the other customers talk about THEIR projects and what THEY are buying, etc.  Temptation get behind me!!!!!! (unless it is Stonehenge).

What are you trying to do in 2020?  I hate to call it New Years Resolution since they always seem to get broken.  I must correct myself.  They USUALLY seem to get broken.  In 2019 I've managed to complete two if not 3 of them.  I paid off my car and I paid off a huge loan.  I also lost 102 pounds and, going by today's date, only need to lose 20 more by the time I retire to meet another goal.  If I lose it, fine and if not fine.  I will adjust.  Sitting at the computer eating potato chips is not going to help but my body said it wanted potato chips so it is getting it.  :)

One goal that I have for 2020 is to REALLY limit my spending and sock money away to retire.  We'll see.  I am not good at saving.

Well that is what is my plans. I hope you have a wonderful day and week.


Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Oops - forgot the YouTube link

Ooops.  I forgot to put in the link to the YouTube where MSQC shows you how to do it.


Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everybody!  I hope that you have/had a great day.  For me it was a quiet day but I had some phone calls from friends afar that brightened up my day.  One of those phone calls came from a quilting friend who wondered how I did quilt as you go hexies.  I took some pictures and thought to put them here in case others wanted to see them too.

I am using the QAYG 2 1/2" template from Missouri Star Quilt Company.  You don't need this but it does help to make it a little quicker.  Just make sure that whatever size your hexie is (for the finished size, your outer shell is larger.  For this, the outer shell is approximately 3/4" larger.  I also got for Christmas (I am so nice to myself) a rotating 14" (even though the squares measure 13") cutting mat.  I.LOVE.IT!!!!

Now on to the pictures of how I did my hexies.  I don't do them like some of you probably do.  I found it was better for me to change it up a little bit.

Here is what my template looks like.  There are two sections to it.  The inner section and the frame or outer section.

The inner section pops out so you can have an easier time cutting that fabric out.

The hardest thing for me to remember is that even though it says 2 1/2", the finished product is NOT 2 1/2".  You measure hexies across the end.  Like the top of the hexie here would measure 2 1/2".  In the picture below, it is sitting on top of a charm pack which is 5".

You use the inner section to cut the fabric you want the inner fabric to be as well as the batting you want to use.  This is great for me right now, because I am using up a lot of leftover scrap batting.

That takes care of the inner portion for cutting so now let's look at the outer portion.  You use this to cut out the backing fabric.

This is where I change it up a bit.  To make sure that I do it right (yeah, I know me), I trace the outline on the back of the backing fabric.  Not only do I trace the outer guidelines, I also trace the inner.  I just use a mechanical pencil.  It is on the back and will be covered up so nobody sees it.

Now comes the assembly part.  Put the backing hexie that you cut out face down and then the inner batting on top.  The batting would go in the middle of that inner marking that I did.  That's why I do it.  It is easier for me to line up.  Easier for me means less headaches and pressure.  :)  Then you put your center fabric that was cut out on top of the batting.. 

I usually put one straight pin in the middle or some place to keep the three layers together while I fold the backing fabric in.  You fold it twice.  The first fold is up to the batting and front section.  Finger press and then you fold it again so it is up and over.  This way you don't have any raw edges.  You can pin it or do what I do which is baste it to hold it together until I get to sew it.   If you look carefully, you can see my basting stitches.  The individual hexies will look a little "puffy" but they will flatten out when you press them.

Here is a finished one.  It is nice and flat so I can stitch them together  after I get enough to lay out in the design I want.  I am doing mine by hand but you can also do them on the machine by stitching in that outer border and joining them with a zig zag stitch.  My sewing machine only does straight stitch and I could do that but I like sewing them by hand.

I'm not sure if I'll do a tacking stitch in the middle to help secure the layers together or not.  I can go back and do that after I decide.  Depending on what I want to make (quilt, wall hanging, table runner) I might be able to sew a button in the middle of it. 

What do you think? 

I hope you had a wonderful day and are enjoying Christmas and perhaps family.  I am going to call a friend so I shall stop here.  My ham is done and I'm about ready to make roasted garlic mashed potatoes.  Easy peasy dinner.

So to all my friends, I can Happy Holidays and thank you for being my friends.  Now to all I shall dash away.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Christmas Eve - Eve

Here we are on the night before Christmas Eve or Christmas Eve - Eve.  Are you rushing around doing last minute shopping?  Are you hurriedly finishing up craft projects?  I'm not.  I am being particularly lazy plus since it is only me now for immediate family, I don't need to rush as much.  Don't get me wrong, I have been busy but just not craft wise.  

So what have I been  working on?  The kitchen, cleaning, and cooking.  The only part of that trio that is fun was the cooking.  :)  I'll get to that in a minute.  First let's talk about the kitchen.  It is small and never enough space.  Then I discovered that the kitchen sink leaked.  Over the last year and two landlords ago, I've had people looking at the kitchen sink about 4 times.  They always say it was fixed and it was for a short amount of time.  This latest landlord (Mike) doesn't like leaking faucets and has been out a couple of times about it.  He had a person come out and look at it and it seemed fixed.  Then I noticed it was leaking again so he came out.  He tightened up things but it is still leaking.  It's not leaking much and the small pail he put underneath it in case it happened again, which it did hasn't even gotten the bottom covered.  He did put in a call to the plumber again and he will be coming out.  I told him not to pay extra.  Wait until after the holidays if he wants since it is a small leak.  Besides it was a good excuse not to do dishes for a bit.  He did put in the call to the plumber and he will be coming out, just not sure when.  

The other kitchen thing is that I now have a new Whirlpool refrigerator.  The landlord bought the extended warranty so it is covered for 4 years!  I had to take everything out of the fridge/freezer and then put it all back.  I decided that it would be a good time to look at expiration dates and what the freezer food looked like.  A lot of it got thrown out and now I am going through and arranging things better in the kitchen.  It's hard when you don't have cupboards.  The only cupboards are under the kitchen sink (well off to the side of it) so food is on 3 foot high bookcases, etc.  

That led me to going through some boxes that were in the kitchen for years.  I moved them into the sewing area so I could go through them.  I'm down to the last of the boxes and am proud to say that if I haven't looked for what was in them or used what was in them during the last year, they got recycled/thrown out/donated. 

Why is it that whenever we clean in the kitchen that I am ready to dirty it up again by cooking?  Today was no exception.  I looked around my more spacious kitchen (since I took down the card table) and my crockpots and smiled.  What would I make?  I had it.  I would make a recipe that was made at our last work buffet.  It is a crockpot corn casserole.  I tasted it before I knew the ingredients and I'm glad that I did.  It has creamed corn in it and I don't like creamed corn but I really did like this casserole.

Crock Pot Corn Casserole:

1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1 can corn - not drained
1 can creamed corn
1/4 cup butter - melted
1 egg (I am using two because these are those brown eggs and smaller I think)
1 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded and divided (substitute the type of cheese you want0
1/2 cup sour cream

Pour Jiffy mix, corn, cream corn, butter, egg and 1 cup cheese into crock pot and mix very well.

Dollop sour cream by small spoonfuls and sprinkle rest of cheese on top.

Cook on high 3-4 hours or until a knife inserted in middle comes out clean.

Let sit for 10 minutes then serve.

What I changed:

mix everything together (including sour cream) and then cook it.  It gets the sour cream mixed in better.  I didn't put more cheese on top.because it is just for me and I didn't care.  I can sprinkle more on top if I want when I dish it up to eat.

Like I said I don't like creamed cheese but this was good!

I've had a cold for about 1 1/2 weeks and am now feeling better but am being careful to take naps and rest in between bouts of "I have to get this done".  That means I haven't been quilting much or crafting much.  I am working on a quilt as you go hexies which is about all I want to do right now.  I have to rearrange what I want to do in 2020 but until then I will plug along.

I hope everybody has a joyour holiday and remember:

"Christmas is not so much about opening our presents as opening our hearts" - JaniceMaeditere

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Small business Saturday but I had to stop these shoppers and tell them that Walmart is not a small business.  They flew off in search of one a couple of minutes after my talk.

Having done my civic duty (grins), I decided to head home and work on block two of fleur.  I finished block 2 and next weekend will start on block three.  I was able to finish it since I took my downstairs neighbor to donate plasma so she could have some extra money over the weekend.  I just stayed out in the car and finished stitching block two.

That was about all I did except I finally cut into my Tilda fabric and did one block on the Intrepid Thread Challenge.  . 

Now it is nap time.  Terrible right?  Well maybe not because it is still Thanksgiving vacation as well as raining outside and listening to rain always makes me sleepy.  YAWWWWN.  See?  (grins).

Everybody have a great evening and I'll try to be more productive. guarantees.  :)

Friday, November 29, 2019

I survived Thanksgiving

That's how I will title this post.  I survived Thanksgiving.  First of all let me say Happy Belated Thanksgiving. 

I got carried up with getting ready to go to my sister in laws that I forgot to post Happy Thanksgiving to you, my readers.   Please forgive me for without you, I wouldn't be having this blog.  I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving too.

This year I took my sister in law up on the offer to go out to her place for Thanksgiving.  I took her up on it and it was nice and relaxed.  She is a great cook.  Here is a picture of my plate.  My first plate since I went in for seconds.  LOL.

I didn't have any salad this year since I wasn't crazy about the salad dressing.  I'm more of a meat and potatoes kind of person anyway.  I managed to corner my sister in law and nephew (her son) long enough to get a picture with them.  With me retiring next year, I'm not sure when I'll see them all together again.

Of course I had to have my nails done.  I was going to wear one color but the day OF Thanksgiving changed my mind to this color.  I thought it matched my jacket pretty good.

Everybody commented me on my nails and my weight loss (100 pounds as of today - YAY) which was nice.  Bobbie (sister in law) didn't mind that I interrupted my dinner to put in an order for Black Friday Nails.  The flyer on them said that last year they sold out within a couple of hours.  That happened this year too with Full Sale Ahead so I was glad to get an order in.

Of course there is a chance it could come back but I don't know since it is a limited edition.  Either way I will have a couple extra if anybody wants them.  Now I'm off to Michael's, Walmart, and the credit union to see if they have anything I want.  I know that the credit union has stuff I want (MONEY) but actually I will be depositing a check and then running to pay rent also.  I want to get all my running around done by 9 or 10 and then just relax at home the rest of the day.

I hope everybody has a great day!  By for now!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Fall cleaning? Spring cleaning? Summer cleaning?

Whatever type of cleaning you call it, I cleaned my area.  :)  I mean REALLY cleaned it.  Here are some snap shots of it.  This first one is the opposite side of where my sewing machine is.  It was really bad but now it is "ok".  It still needs work and I might still need to get some more shoe shelves (where the folded fabric is).

This one is off to the right side of the sewing machine and need to be gone though again.  It doesn't look like it is getting smaller but it is.

Of course one of my favorite places to do my handwork is at my computer.  Out of site is my TV but that is also usually on when I'm at the computer.  :)

These are only one aspect of my work area.  The boxes on the left of the sewing machine is for quilting and cross stitch, etc.  BUT on the right side of the sewing machine, I set up my Color Street station.  Color Street is my way that I hope to make money after I retire (ok, I'm starting early) and so I'm adventuring into retirement work possibilities.

Here is my Color Street set up.  It's just a small little section of my sewing area set up for the nails and such.  That area is a little crowded but totally workable.  Especially when part of it off to the left hand side are some items for a Black Friday Give away.  :)  The box underneath the table holds my packing material and envelopes, etc.

But what IS Color Street?

They are easy to put on and I love changing them often.  This is what I am currently wearing.

Color Street - Interstellar

I need to get the word out more about me selling these.  I am an "independent stylist".  Sounds impressive right?  LOL.  I love what names people come up with for positions and titles.  Anyway, one thing to help promote Color Street (CS) is to send out Twosies.  What is a twosie?  Some call it a sample but CS calls it Twosies.

If anybody in the United States is interested in getting a twosie to try (sorry, can't sell outside of the US) then let me know.  You can email me directly at or fill out a sample request form at:

That link can also be used to put in an order (shop my VIP Nair Bar) as well as to join my VIP Facebook Page (FB).  It is via my VIP FB page that I have little contests to get free products and just to have fun. 

Needless to say that this is keeping me very busy.  One day I am hoping to open up a FB business page but I have to learn a couple of more things before I can publish it and people can see it.  Wish me luck.

My wish for you is to have a wonderful day.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Cold rainy day but warm thoughts

I'm glad that I went to the Quilt show yesterday.  Today is a chilly rainy day and I don't want to be out in it.  I'm glad that I stayed home.  I cooked up some biscuits and sausage gravy.  That is always a nice filling dish to keep you warm throughout the day.  It is also filling so lunch was a mixture of spinach, mushrooms, ground turkey,

That was very good and got me thinking on what else I wanted to make.  I think I'll cook some potatoes in the crock pot for later in the week.  Well I will probably munch on them tomorrow since it is hard for me to resist potatoes.  We'll see.  

I haven't worked on quilting things for a bit because I have been sidetracked.  I cleaned up a closet (oh boy....that is taking FOREVER) and going through everything.  I got rid of 7 bags of clothes that are too big for me and I have a big plastic tub of things that need to be shredded.  Like Tony's social security card and tax records, etc.  I also did find something that is very interesting.  I found the guest book for my grandpa's funeral and also the one for Uncle Russ.  Uncle Russ' guest book also had newspaper articles about how he died!  After making copies, I will send them to my cousin in Alaska.  Another great discovery was more journals from mother while she was a sorority house mother.  The years I'm currently reading are from 1979-1981.  I thought I put everything in MY journals...she out writes me.  This was when she was the house mother for Alpha Delta Pi House at Illinois State University in Normal IL  The first page (October 20, 1979) is so depressing but by page two it certainly picks up.  What a difference getting a letter or phone call from one of her kids made!

I did manage to get a great picture of one of the lawn decorations a couple of blocks from me.  It is the best one I have seen so far I think.

There is another one on the other side so they are facing each other.  

Another picture that I found was in my work email.  It seems that the office dressed up as Dean Bond (my boss).  Here is a picture that was taken.  LOL.  Dr. Bond (Brad) is the man sitting down.

I am so glad that I work with people who have a sense of humor.  Dress like Brad day is just one example of it.  

Everybody stay warm and safe.  Have a great day.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Harvest of Quilts - warning - picture heavy post

It seems appropriate  for this time of year doesn't it?  It is the name of our local quilt guilds quilt show and I went to check it out.  I remember when it was used to be held at the old high school and had tons of vendors and quilts to look at.  Today was a little disappointment since it was barely there.  Still I found a lot of good deals (spent around $40) at the bazaar (people donated things for sale).  It was held at a small church and they displayed most of the quilts in the chapel area.  I tried to get a picture of it but the lighting wasn't letting me nor was how they displayed the quilts.  I did manage to get an overall picture.

I'm getting ahead of myself though.  First I had to check in.  The price for this?  $3 unless you had one of their bookmarks that they gave out at local establishments.  Then it only cost $2 and you just had to show it to them and you got to keep it.  I had it so it was worth it.

After checking in I went to the raffle ticket table.  I paid $5 for six chances to win this quilt.  I believe it is 90" x 90".

I doubt I will win but I didn't mind donating the $5. 

Off to one side was a section showing pictures of past shows and some challenge quilts. 

They were fun to look at and then I went into the bazaar section.  Danger zone for BonBon!!!  I managed to get out of there with only spending $40.  The prices were ridiculous.  So here the pictures of what I bought and listed by price categories. 

Twenty five cent purchases

This is a pattern - all patterns were $.25

$1 purchases


$2-$2.50 purchases

See this?  $2.  

the back of this kit (see above picture) says original price was $20

$3 purchases

$5 purchases

All of the crazy quilt blocks were in one package for $5

This is a needlepoint kit that is around 90% finished.  The kit still had thread in it so I need to see if it is enough to finish.

I think that I did pretty good.  The ladies were nice enough to keep my purchases at the check out table so that I could look at things further. 

I am glad that they did this memorial to members of the guild who have passed one.  Their names are in the black dresden plates.  I liked that but was sad to see that one of the names was the mother of a friend of mine.  I had heard she passed on (a number of years ago) but I was also happy to see her honored like that.

That is when I went to look at the chapel.  Too bad that those pictures didn't turn out but you get an idea of what it looked like.

That is all I have this time.  I hope you enjoyed it.  I also hope you have a great weekend.  It is NIU's homecoming weekend in DeKalb.  GO HUSKIES!

Until next time, happy stitching - happy life.