Thursday, December 27, 2012

Minnesota Winter Chili - The Food of the Gods

I found a recipe in a magazine for Minnesota Winter Chili.  It is ever so good.  Since I live alone, I really don't cook alot but I thought that this is something that I can fix and it would  be good warmed up.  Of course since I don't cook a lot, I usually don't have all the ingredients in the house for any recipe.  I am not one to run to the grocery store.  I will check my cupboard to see what I can substitute.  I am going to give you "my" recipe. 

I started with a 4 qt pan.  When I was finished it was filled to about 1/4 inch from the top.  I started with the top ingredient and just kept adding.  You should cook it until at least the potatoes are done, but it could cook awhile longer to flavor it.  Cook it on a medium-low heat.  I covered it. 

2 TBS of olive oil
1 TBS of garlic salt
1 PKG of seasoning blend
1 can cut carrots
2 cups frozen little corn kernels
1 large potato diced
1 TSP ground cumin
2 TBS of Chili-O
2 TSP of sea salt
1/2  TSP of black pepper
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of tomato puree
1 can of kidney beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 can red beans, drained
1 can chicken broth
1 can 5.5 oz V-8 Juice

All cans should be approximately 16 oz unless noted.  If you have onions, celery, green and red pepper they can be cut and diced in place of the seasoning blend.   When it was ready to serve, I added shredded cheese and sour cream to the top of an individual bowl.        ENJOY!!!!

Before I close off, I want to talk about the little quilt in the picture.  It was made by Brenda Peavy.  I belonged ( no longer) to a quilting bee.  Just after Christmas we draw names for the following Christmas.  It works like a secret sister.  You never know who has your name until that Christmas when the bee exchanges gifts.  This was my gift this year.  The rooster, one of my treasures and one of the resident roosters in my kitchen occupies a prime spot on the table. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to one and all.  I hope you have a wonderful day no matter where you are. 

We are in for storms.  It will be wet, it is much too warm for snow.  If it was going to be snow we would definitely have a white Christmas.  Actually for some reason green just doesn't do it.  One day of snow would be nice. 

I don't do much decorating, one thing it is a lot of work.  I have two trees in my attic.  I can't get in the attic.  Last year I bought this little tree, it is cute and perfect for me.  It gives me a little of that Christmas spirit.  I had the reindeer in my closet.  He is precious to me.  I bought him many many years ago in a shop in Oceanside, CA.  The Dickens houses I have collected over many many years.  I scatter them here and there.   I rarely buy any any more.  One thing you have to store them.  I have a large glass cabinet I keep them in year round.  It is too difficult to put them back into their boxes and take them in and out.  This works..........
At one time, it would take me 3 days to decorate and then there was the putting away.  This I can do in about 20 minutes or so.  As most of you know, I do not have relatives here, so the decorating is for me. 

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 20, 2012

What Is On My Plate

It has been a busy December.  Yesterday, I mailed all of my packages for Christmas.  I have attended a couple of Christmas parties.  Fun was had by all.  I ate all the wrong things and my scale tells me so.  January is coming and I will worry about it then. 

I have a few things quilting related on the burner and a new quilt coming up.  George and I have been busy.  He is doing a fine job.  No broken threads, I am so very grateful.  The colorful tube in the picture is my cats tunnel and way down the room you can see Yethi and Jack laying in front of the door soaking up the sunlight.   

This is the pattern I am using.  Part of it is free motion and the rest I printed out on my printer and followed the lines.  I am doing each individual block.  The quilt is 64 blocks plus the borders.  It is big lap quilt measuring about 72x72. 

 This quilt you have seen the blocks peaking through in pictures of other quilts for some time.  I still have 4 blocks to make.  I have redesigned this quilt several times and now think I might have it right.  The borders are really going to add to the design.  This is the Hallelujah quilt.  Don't you think the leaves look like they have their arms up singing?  Notice the half square triangle to the left (actually there are several stacked together), they are part of the outside border. Notice the different patterns that the blocks make when they are put together.   Comeback and see this quilt when I finish it up.


I was into QB a couple of weeks ago.  They had just completed the first month kit for a new BOM.  I looked at the pattern and fell in love.  It is going to be gorgeous and the colors they have chosen are terrific.  I don't usually do BOM quilts, but I thought possibly I could do this one and still do all of things that I have waiting in the wings.

I guess that is it for today.  I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a great New Year. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Quilts in Everyday Life, 1855-1955

Quilts in Everyday Life, 1855-1955 by Janet E. Finley
 Quilts in Everyday Life, 1855-1955
A 100 Year Photographic History

It is my pleasure to introduce you to the book, Quilts in Everyday Life, 1855-1955.  This book is not the ordinary quilt book.  Inside, you are going to find fascinating pictures and stories of the people seen in those pictures.  You are going to find history of the quilts, clothing, time period, photographers, towns, and people.  Almost every picture (more than 325 images selected from the author's collection) has a quilt in it. 

Janet E. Finley, the author, is from Colorado.  She is a former Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, Colorado.  Janet has been a member of the American Quilt Study Group for 12 years and is a past president of the Columbine Quilt Guild. 

I have a special interest in the book.  Janet and I became friends because of one of her pictures that appeared in a magazine (it is also in the book).  The picture had the photographer's name at the bottom, Kiddoo.  How many people are named Kiddoo (time period 1895)?  The bells went off in my head - Kiddoo!!!  I quickly checked my genealogy.  Louise Kiddoo, the photographer's sister married the brother of my third great grandmother.  This started a new friendship.  I told her about Kiddoo. So thus, from Kiddoo, I had the honor of doing much of the research about the people and places in her photos. 

My husband's great grandparents, Edmund and Cerelda Chambers, with her string quilt also appear in the book. 

Edmund and Cerelda Chambers

Quilts in Everyday Life, 1855-1955 is available through Schiffer Publishers.  Anyone who is interested in quilts, photography or history will enjoy this book.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It's Done..........Hooray!!!!!

Mariner's Compass - Nov 22, 2012
It is finally done - that is the top is done.  I didn't think I would ever get this thing finished.  I did more ripping and redoing on this quilt then I think I have ever done on any quilt.  It is not perfect, not even close.  There are still things I could fix, but the best fix is to start over. 

I am pleased with the colors.   I think they turned out well.  You never know.  Sometimes I will have these ideas bouncing around in my head and sometimes they just don't work out as well as I would have hoped.  The common color in all the circles is blue.  I pulled the colors from the gold and the fabric used as the borders around the circles.  The center circle I wanted to pull the brown (in the outside borders) and the gold into the center to give balance.  All the dark in the half square triangles are the same fabric as the borders around the circles.  There is 51 different batiks in the quilt.  Click on the picture to enlarge it and you may be able to see the colors better. 

To see more on the mariner's compass as it came together, check the previous posting. 

On to the next project and I do have lots.................

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Mariner's Compass - On the Design Wall - Nov 1-19

 I have been working many hours on my Mariner's Compass.  Beth has finished her top.  She is off to the Houston Quilt Festival.  I hope that by time she returns I will have mine finished, but I still have many hours to go.  I am going to post a picture each morning until I finish  the top.  Come back to see it come together. 

October 25


October 31

November 2
November 3
November 5

November 9

November 11

November 14
November 19
Am I ever going to finish this quilt??? This is not the best quilt I have ever made.  I am a bit disappointed in it.  I should have followed my gut instincts and changed the sizes of the center border fabric.  It would have saved me a lot of grief and it would have given me a nicer looking quilt.  But, when I make the next one I will make my corrections and hopefully it will be to my satisfaction.  I would say that I should finish this (the top) in the next couple of days, but so far my predictions have not been too good. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October - Breast Cancer Month

All of you who have not had your mammogram this year, while you are reading this, pick up your phone, call your dr. and make that appointment to have it done.  I am an 8 year survivor of breast cancer.  Mine was discovered on a mammogram.  I was one of the lucky ones, mine was discovered early.  Statistically  one in seven women will get breast cancer sometime in their lives.  When you go to your guild meetings keep it in mine, that chances are that one in seven in that group could have had or will have breast cancer.   And ladies be sure to tell your husbands, brothers, uncles, cousins and whom ever that one in one thousand men also get breast cancer. 

Hope all is well.................

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mariner's Compass

Mariner's Compass
I am still working on the Mariner's Compass.  It is coming along, but this weekend I am going to have to quit working on it because I have another quilt that I must finish.  It is nearly done still needing a border and a pieced border, a pieced back, batting, sandwiching, quilting and binding.  Maybe it will be a ten day project.  Then I can return to the Compass quilt. 

What is new????  Not much here.  Things are about the same.  Everyone headed out this morning for Market at Houston.  I didn't go.  I am going to miss all the fun, but I am going to be richer.  That place is very dangerous for the pocket book.  For those of you who don't know they have Sample Spree on Friday night.  Temptation, temptation, it will part you from the contents of your wallet. 

It looks like rain, but it is not predicted.  It is still warm here - 83 now.   It would actually be good if we did get some rain.  We have not had more than a few drops all month.  October is usually dry.

For those of you who like English history.  I am reading /listening on CD (while I quilt) to a book by Alison Weir.  It is "Innocent Traitor."  It is about Lady Jane Grey.  It had to be tough to be royalty back in the 15th/16th century.  Those people were cold. 

Hope all is well on your end. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Visitors, Dogs and Quilting...............

Bob and Julie
I had company this week from Cedar Rapids, IA.  They are snowbirds and were on their way to their home in Texas.  It is always so nice to see old friends.  I have known Bob for nearly all my life (not quite).  He was a roommate of my husband, Jim.  He married Julie many years ago.  Julie and I have things in common, like quilting.  They were in a hurry to get to their home, it was damaged in a storm and they needed to get it taken care of.  Our visit was short, but enjoyable and I may see them again come spring, when they head back north. 

Mariner's Compass
I am working on a Mariner's Compass.  There is four of us meeting roughly every 7-10  days.  We found a quilt designed by Brenda Henning.  It is a lovely quilt and will keep us busy for awhile.  Here is a picture of one of the compasses.  It is not put together, it is still in pieces but it gives you the idea. This pattern is really neat because it has several large pattens for the big compasses.  You pick the ones you wish to use.   The quilt has 5 large compasses and 4 smaller ones.  This is suppose to be my project for when we meet.  I am behind and I will probably always be behind.  I would like to make the parts when we meet and put them together with my Pfaff at home.  I don't drag my Pfaff around unless it is absolutely necessary. 

The fabric to the side, is fabric that I have auditioned for the next compass.  The fabric around the compass is the fabric that I am going to use as background around the compasses.

Jack and Yethi
Winter is coming, I decided that my big dog needed a doggy bed.  She likes sleeping on the tiles, but in the winter they get cold.  She also has a very thick rug (like a wool) she sleeps on.  Yethi is now over 8 years old.  I have noticed lately that sometimes she walks like she is stiff.  I bought her a Simmons Orthopedic bed.  I found a place in my bedroom for it and Jack (the other dog) took it over.  He growled at her if she came close.   I have twin beds in my bedroom (pushed together), Jack has occupied one until now.  I guess I will have to make a trip to Petco and buy another bed. 

Hope all is well with you..................

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sweater and Kitties..........

A while back, like probably June, I wrote in my blog about the yarn that I had bought in Alaska.  I also wrote about me not crocheting since in the early 80's.  After a few times that I tore this sweater apart, I think I probably have the stitch size down. 

The sweater has an interesting pattern.  The border I changed a little bit.  I didn't like the way they had done it so I did it Sharie's way. 


The sweater was very easy to make, but it is rather an odd way to make it.  You make a huge rectangle.  Then you measure off a certain amount of stitches across the foundation stitches.  That places the armholes, the lower back and the upper back.  There is no way you can lay this thing flat once it is put together.  You can also make many mistakes and no one is going to know it. 

Not a lot new here, no shop hops to go on.  Houston is coming up soon but I have not made up my mind about going.  It is roughly a three hour drive from here.  The Circle plans on going for 2 nights.  Sounds like fun but I am sure it would be a costly trip and you know what, there is absolutely nothing that I need.  You say go and don't buy anything.  You are out of your mind.  You haven't been to Houston.  There is no way you can go to Houston and not buy lots and lots of things that you don't need.  I have tried not to buy the things that I don't need.  It just is not going to happen.  But don't be surprised at the end of the month, I have decided to go to Houston.

One more picture of my kittie kats.  They are so cute.  They follow me around everywhere.  Smokey is laying on my project boxes.  I was getting ready to go sew.  Both of them (JAC and Smokey) just had to know what I was doing. 

JAC and Smokey
Next blog will have something on quilting.

Hope all is well with you.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Bee's Knees...........

The Bee's Knees
I have been working on a couple of quilts since I last posted.  Both of them are quilts that I had started and were put on the back burner.   I will post one at a later date but this one I must have embroidered these blocks a couple of years ago.  I love the little bees.  I dug around in my stash and found most of the black and white and some of the yellow fabrics.  I needed a couple more to balance out the color so thus ordered those.  They arrived this week so I am busy making blocks.  I have decided to make it using the "Tossed Salad" idea.  The blocks are a few that I have made.  I still have a bunch to go. 

The Bee's Knees
If you look close all the bee's have knobby knees.  Most of the blocks I still need to trim the connecting threads and I need to cut the blocks to 6 1/2 inches (unfinished). 

I went to a church supper last night.  Those ladies really know how to cook.  They do a terrific job.  I wish they did it every night, although I would probably be as wide as a barn door if they did. 

Not much new here, fall is coming, I love that.  Our temps are cooling down.  This morning at 10:00 a.m. it is 69 degrees. 

Here is a picture of Smokey.  Smokey follows me everywhere.  He is very nosy.  I was putting the bee's blocks on the design wall, he just had to see what I was doing.

Hope all is well with you................

Thursday, September 13, 2012

In Full Bloom ................

In Full Bloom - Faux Binding

In Full Bloom

I have finished a quilt, In Full Bloom.  I love this pattern.  It is one that you can change up many ways with different focus fabric, panels, and embroidery squares.  I used a faux piping on the binding and on the last border.  I am not sure that I would do the last border the way I did it.  Without getting into too many details, there is four pieces of fabric plus the batting.  I thought this would be great, that the quilting on that border would really standout.  It does give it a good effect but it also makes it wobble just a little bit.  Then you add the binding to all of that and that seam is thick.  I will say the binding is full, no doubt.  I think to get rid of the wobble you could quilt it out to the edge.  It might work.  This is going to be one of my utility quilts so it isn't that important that it is perfect.  So, for this one, I will live with a little wobble. 

We survived Isaac.  We were lucky we were on the west side of the state.  The primary storm was on the east side.  We had about 2 1/2 days of wind and a good day of light rain.  It could have been so much worse.  Hurricanes, as in this one, you never know what you are going to get.  This was a catagory one hurricane.  Normally you would not evacuate and it would come ashore with some wind, some rain, and it would scoot across the state.  This time, it had a love for the state, it did not want to leave.  It hung around, blowing and raining and raining and raining some more.  The people on the east side of the state and into Mississippi have a horrible and costly clean up to do. 

I have to add this picture of JAC (Just A Cat).  As I have said before anything that might resemble a box, she likes to get into.  This is my bag that I keep my embroidery in.  I had been working on my project, tossed it down beside the bag to go to the kitchen to find something yummy and when I came back JAC had taken up residence in my bag. 

Hope all is well with you...............

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Waiting for Hurricane Isaac.............

I have a quilt sandwiched, and I am going to start working on that quilt.  Isaac is about to arrive.  The best thing to do, is grab a Dr. Pepper and retire to the sewing room. 

One of the girls from the Stitch and Cackle Quilt Circle brought me this little cartoon.  How many of us does this fit????   In case you can't read it - it says -  Hello, my name is Alice and I haven't bought fabric for six days.........

The wind is picking up.  According to the forecast we will not get high winds.  If Isaac continues on its current path we should not have big problems, although they are forecasting a lot of rain.  The hourly forecast for tomorrow in the afternoon is 5 hours of 100% rain.  It is typical for it to pour here.  There is a big difference in a nice little rain for a long period of time and a pouring down rain for a long period of time.  I am only concerned because I have a house in Sulphur, LA where they do not take care of the culverts.  They have a bad habit of allowing them to fill up with debris.  When that happens there is not room for water.  So thus the streets fill up, the yards fill up and if you are lucky your house doesn't fill up.  I have that house on the market to sell.  I have put many dollars into it.  I just don't need those kind of headaches. 

My next concern is the power going out.  It is hot here, and it is also very humid.  I do not do well in the heat.  I keep telling myself I don't belong here, but then if I go back up north, I have severe winter to contend with.  Cool, I can handle, cold I can handle, severe cold I have done it and don't want to do it again.  So, I can only hope that the power stays on and the AC works.

My prayer is that all of the people that are in the path of Isaac come out well on the other end.  These storms can be so devastating.  Hopefully all will be well. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That..........

My sister, she lives in Iowa.  She calls me every now and then and will ask me to look up something for her on the computer.  She has one but she is new to the internet, so I am glad to help her out.  She loves to go to estate sales and antique stores.  A few years ago, she lived less than 1 block off the Cedar River.  That was the year they had the 500 year flood.  She lost nearly everything in her house.  So she enjoys shopping for the little things that make a house a home.  A few weeks ago she called me and told me that she had bought some little houses and asked me to look them up.  I did and gave her the information.  I am also a lover of old things.  I thought, these are so cute, I wonder if I can find some.  So I started searching.  In England, I found these and of course I had to buy them. 

KLM Houses
The little houses are actually booze bottles.  Look at the bottom, it says distillers.  One of them is full, one is partially full and one is empty.  The seals have not been broken.  I assume with age the liquor disappears. 

KLM gives them out in the first-class section of a flight. 

KLM Bottle Backs

KLM Bottle Bottoms

Look at this wonderful piece of Batik.  I have been looking for a Batik (nothing in my stash) to go with my Hallelujah blocks.  I have tried everything under the sun.  I could not find something to go with all four colors that I was using in the block.  I found that 3 colors would work great but 4 would not.  I was out the other day at QB and found this piece of Batik.  All four colors work well.  I bought lots, like the rest of the bolt.  This is for a background fabric and I did not want to run out.  If there is fabric left over and I think there will be, it will go on the back of the quilt. 

And the last thing for today is a picture of the Crepe Myrtle bush in my yard.  The neighborhood has dozens of them.  Mine always blooms late.  It is blooming better this year than ever.  I decided to get a picture, it looked like rain and I was afraid I would loose all the blooms.  I would really like to plant several of these in the yard, I just need someone with a strong back and willing nature. 

Hope all is well with you. 
Crepe Myrtle Bush

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tossed Salad and etc...............

Tossed Salad
Where does the time go.  I have been busy but what have I been doing?  I don't really think it has been much.  I did go to a class a week ago.  Dot Collins came over from the Beaumont, TX area and taught a class on her pattern "Tossed Salad."   This is a really a neat quilt.  Depending on what you use for fabric, color, focus fabric, panels (cut-up), you could make a dozen and they would all look different.  There is 15 different squares in this quilt.  I made some of them once, twice, three and four times.  I used filler pieces to make the blocks match up where I had made my focus fabric 8" and 4" instead of the standard 6".   Here is a picture without the border.  Tomorrow I will make that.  So do come back to see what it will look like when finished.

The weather is still typical south Louisiana.  It is hot and humid.  But then we are suppose to be hot and humid.  When it comes down to it I think we have been cooler then many parts of the country. 

School started this week.  Where I live, it is a small town.  The main road has an elementary and a high school and a Catholic school on it.  About one block off there is a middle school.  This is all in a very short distance.  The traffic is horrendous.  If you can go with the traffic, it moves very slow.  If you have to turn left, forget it.  It is not going to happen.  I have complained over and over again that we need a light.  Of course nobody listens.  So I hate to see school start.  You do learn to time your trips.  Now you would think living in this little little town, you would not have a problem, not true. 

I have rattled on, so thus I will quit.  Hopefully all is well on your end.

Monday, July 30, 2012

End of July................

It is hard to believe that it is the end of July.  Can you hear Jingle Bells around the corner.  It seems like after the 1st of August, time just flies.  I have a lot to do, and I imagine if you are a quilter or a crafts person, you are thinking, "how am I going to get all of this done."

Michael's Quilt
One more project finished.  This is the doggy quilt for Michael.  You can't see the quilting but I put doggies and doggy bones on it. 

Starring the Waterlilies
 I am working on the back for Spinning Stars.  I still have more to add to this back.  Some if not all of you know that I piece my backs.  I make my backs without a pattern and by the seat of my pants.  It is rare that I actually take pencil and paper and draw them out.  This quilt top is based on a pattern by Dot Collins.  I took her pattern did a little change (surprise, surprise), made it a bit larger.  I am going to have her do the quilting.  She is an award winning quilter and does a wonderful job.  I would like to enter it in shows next year and the following year. 

There is a Lot of Spinning Going On

Hope all is well with you.................

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hallelujah and etc

I quilt with 7 others in the Stitch and Cackle Quilt Circle.  I am piecing 36 of these blocks.  This is my project for when I sew with the circle.  I am going to remake the yellow block.  The yellow although very pretty and shows well close up, at a distance it is washed out.  I dug around in my stash and found a bolder yellow.  It should work.

I am going to on occasion post some old photos - The Good Old Days -

This is the first one.  This was taken on about July 23, 1965 at Brainerd, MN.  I was feeding a bear. 

I started doing the family genealogy in 1984.  My aunt had passed away and I was the executrix for her estate.  Going through her things I found an old bible.  Inside was this list of people with dates and places.  Something clicked, I just had to know about those people.  I am still at it, still looking for things.  You solve one mystery and create 10 more. 

Ellen Jane Ellinger b. 1822
 In looking for all the people on both sides of the family, I found on my mother's side, Ellen's.  There is probably more.  I have found people with the middle initial of E.  I have no idea if it is Ellen.  One of my mysteries to solve. 

To read more about the Ellen's check out my geneaology section. 

Paul Hanson Book
A friend of mine, Paul Hanson from Mason City, Iowa has written a book - Reminiscings of an Iowa Farm Boy.  It is a wonderful book it brings back so many memories. 

This is a picture of the farm.  It is Century Farm, in other words it has been in the same family for over 100 years. 

I lived on this farm, when I was 17 years old.  I spent a year there going to school and taking care of chickens.  For a city girl it was a new experience and one that I have cherished all of my life.  The Hanson's were and are wonderful people.  They are family..............

Hanson Century Farm

Hope all is well on your end.