Monday, February 1, 2016

Something on my design wall!

I am just about settled into the new semester schedule, so I took a block of time to work on blocks :) I'm participating in a string block swap ... and here are some of my blocks
I'm hard at work with some designs, as well, but those aren't ready for sharing ;)

What is on your design wall this week? See more at Patchwork Times.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

January 5 - Around the Bend

When looking ahead at 2016, I have made plans, but I don't have control over the year. I can look down the path, expecting certain things, but the path is winding on its way through the months. I can't see what is really around the bend.

This year my Army Guy is retiring. This is exciting in many ways; he won't be at the beck and call of the Army, he will be closer to home, and maybe the honey-do list will get some attention. BUT he will need to find other employment because we will not be able to live at the same level on his retirement pay. There is a bend in this path. We can't see what is around the corner, so how do we plan for what is coming besides praying for a good job opportunity appearing when we get there.

Also this year, the Boybarian graduates from high school. As a homeschool mom, this means my job will be complete in May. I am making plans to move on, becoming a quilt teacher. BUT these plans are not totally in my hands. I can work on classes, marketing, designs, but unless quilters want to learn from me, it will all be a dead end to that path.

What other things are lurking in the bushes along the path of 2016? 

Friday, January 1, 2016


I don't think I'll be able to keep up the pace of a post a day in 2016, but I hope to be more prolific on my blog than I was last semester. This coming semester has a MUCH lighter class load, so I should be able to be in the Sewing Dungeon a bit more. That is a concrete plan for 2016.

Today I finished quilting the Picnic Quilt. I am looking forward to teaching this as a class with a Summer Picnic Party theme. I've been perusing summer music and pricing out sunglasses and other summer type things to set the mood.

This evening I will bind the quilt so I can get it sent out ASAP so the Cardinal Creations can have the class sample to show people when they sign up for the class :)

*I* do not make resolutions, I make plans ... do you have any resolutions (or plans) for 2016?

Thursday, December 31, 2015

December 31st - Mad Libs

This  year  we  are  staying  in for New Year's  Eve  and  enjoying each other's company.  Each  of  us  was  in charge  of something  to  eat. The  Boybarian  made  pizza, Princess  Sunshine  made Puppy  Chow (AKA Chex muddy buddies) and I  tossed  together  a  fruit  salad. Popcorn  will come  into  play  later  in the evening.

Princess  Sunshine  received  a set of Bananas  dvds  for  Christmas  so we started  our evening  laughing  with The Village Idiot  and Bone. Games are in the plan, we just haven't  decided  what  to  play.

While  waiting  for  the  decision, we have been  working  through  Dr. Who and Star Wars Mad Libs. Much laughter has ensued  and Princess  Sunshine  has now  been dubbed  Queen  Asparagus ...

What  things make you and  yours laugh? Did  you  spend  your New  Year's  Eve laughing with loved ones?


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

December 30th - on my quilt frame

Today  the  picnic  quilt  was loaded  on  my  quilt frame. Before  I  started, threads and fuzzies  needed  to  be cleaned  up. I  like  to  use  the  Bastis lint rollers from Ikea. Maybe  it  is because    I  never  remember  to look  for lint rollers  in any other  stores, but at Ikea the lint rollers  are usually  found  near the checkouts, so I  can remember  to  pick  them up ;) 

What things do you always forget to pick up?

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

December 29 - a recipe :)

Last week I made some Faux-Schino Cherries for our traditional coffee cake. The reason we do this is because it is SO hard to find any that are naturally colored. One of our children has reactions to various food dyes, so we have had to search out alternatives.

These are not low sugar! They just don't contain all the extra chemicals in those beautiful jars on the grocery store shelves. We chop them up and use them in baking, so they don't have to be the most beautiful in the world (and they aren't when made from frozen cherries). If you want prettier cherries, you most likely have to start from fresh cherries which are not available all year round in our neck of the woods!

I hope this helps somebody out there looking for alternatives like we were! My nephew just asked for this recipe as he lives on a different continent and is not able to find maraschino cherries consistently ... and he would like to share Nana's Coffee Cake with his family :)

Faux-Schino Cherries
(no chemically colored fruit for us!)

Approx. 2 lbs frozen cherries ( I have used both sweet and tart, they are both yummy!)
2 cups liquid from cherries (add water if needed)
1 ½ cup sugar
1 star anise pod (I never remember to buy these, so I have left these out)
Pinch of kosher salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons pure almond extract(or more, to taste)

Thaw and drain cherries, reserving liquid.

In medium saucepan combine juice, sugar, anise pod, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves.

Add the cherries, lemon juice and almond extract and simmer for 5 minutes.

Let cool and transfer to container(s) and refrigerate until needed.

Monday, December 28, 2015

December 28th - blowing, snowing, sleeting and the Sewing Dungeon

Today was a good day to hunker down and stay home. Meetings were cancelled, people were encouraged to stay off the roads, and even the public library closed down. The wind is strong and the freezing rain/sleet/snow mix is hitting the sides of the house hard. People I know have lost power and I am praying (selfishly) that we do not lose power at our house!

So, today I spent hours in my Sewing Dungeon. I have finished the picnic quilt top, tomorrow it goes on the quilting frame.
I had a few moments of panic. The blocks were laid out on the living room floor and I was missing one block. There was no way I miscounted, as I double counted at each step along the way. But that block was not there.

As I was starting to cut more pieces to replace the missing block, I saw the halves of the block had slipped and were lying down next to my sewing desk. Those halves were soon sewn together and the sewing of the top commenced.

This top will be a class sample. I will be teaching a Summer Picnic Quilt - using a Summer Party theme in February. These bright colors will be just the ticket in the midst of winter in Michigan. If you are in driving distance of Cardinal Creations between Cadillac and Lake City, you can sign up for this fun day!

How do you spend blustery days inside?