Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Farmer's Market Quilt

As many of you know I am a member of Pat Sloan's Yahoo Group. Pat is a very prolific designer and shares many of her designs free with the world through her website in the free pattern section. One such pattern is for her Farmer's Market Quilt. We've been working on it as a BOM, and I love the patterns. I finally finished April's block, which was plant seedlings. Some of the other blocks were for eggplant and zucchini, a box of donuts, strawberries, and more. Check out this pattern if you're looking for something fun. When I go to farmer's markets, I usually buy homemade bread. I'm not supposed to eat donuts, so when I did my bakery block, I made loaves of bread and just a few donuts. White and pumpernickel breads are what I chose. And, of course, I had to include a chocolate iced donut.
These blocks have been so much fun. Choosing fabrics to fit the design is always a challenge. Seeing photos of what the other ladies in our group have made is always interesting. Everyone interprets things differently, and some even made their strawberries chocolate covered. The jam jars and homemade pies were especially fun for me. Here's also a photo of the quilt top before the seedlings are added. Our next block will be unveiled sometime next week, and I am really anxious to see what Pat has come up with this time. The jar of flowers introduced me to yo-yos and I also bought the heart shaped template for yo-yos, and will try making these with GD Krissy this summer. I had started Pat's pattern Slice of Summer in a class last summer with Pat. I think that might be next on my list of projects to finish. Have a great day. Linda

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Friends - Part II

Today I'll tell you about my other best friend, Liz. In 1974 before Rod and I were married, I sold Tupperware, and my manager gave me a party in the "country" that she didn't want to do. Liz was the hostess of that party and it was one of the best I ever did. Our friendship evolved from that one night. Liz had 5 kids, all older than mine. She and Ronnie married quite young, and had already been through some rough times job-wise. When Rod needed a job, Ronnie helped him to get into the mill where he worked as a machinist. When we were looking for property to build our house, they helped us find a suitable lot not too far from them. I have learned so much from Liz over the past 34 years. She taught me how to manage good, healthy meals on a very tight budget, taught me the importance of giving my children responsibilities as they grew, and showed me that I should be proud to be a stay-at-home mom and not feel belittled by those people who questioned "why I didn't work". The mill closed in 1982, and we went through 5 straight years where Rod never worked a day. During part of that time, he went back to school and got his degree. I could never have survived all that without Liz's friendship. Ron and Liz moved away when Ronnie found work elsewhere, and have sinced moved a couple more times. Now, they they're retired and spend summers in Ohio, and winters in Texas. I don't see her as often as I'd like, but we still seem to sense when the other needs a boost. Phone calls always seem to happen when they're needed. Liz got me started into the world of craft shows, she's always been a crafter. I started selling ceramics, and as I've progressed from ceramics to woodcrafts to quilting, so has Liz. When I was on bedrest with the twins, Liz would come one day each week and clean my house, do laundry and prepare a meal for my family. In exchange, she would do her laundry here since her well was weak. I've been blessed with two great friends. A relative once commented that I didn't seem to have many friends. I replied that when you have good friends, you don't need that many. And that's the truth!! So today, on Gratitude Tuesday, I'm thankful for my two best friends. I love you guys!! Have a good day. Linda

Monday, April 28, 2008


In my lifetime I've had only two best friends (not counting Rod). The first is Kathy, my SIL. Kathy and I became best friends in 5th grade, and never stopped. Together we survived grade school, high school, the Beatles, losing friends in Vietnam, boyfriend troubles, and her family's move. In 10th grade they moved to another town, and although Kathy made new friends in the new school, I was left behind with a very sad heart. We still saw each other one night each week when her dad dropped her off before taking her brothers to Boy Scouts. How I cherished her weekly visit, and we would dream about how we would still be best friends and raise our kids together. I went away to college, and when I came back, her bratty little brother wasn't so bratty and certainly not so little. I fell head-over-heels in love, and so my best friend became my SIL. We have raised our kids together -she had three girls whose ages intertwined with my four girls. And now, we keep our grandkids together. Kathy married a guy who had gone to high school with my sister, and we were like the four musketeers.Keith was probably the closest thing I ever had to a brother and I loved him dearly. Sadly, Keith passed away in September, and there's still a big hole in our life. This was the last photo taken of Rod and I with Kathy and Keith. Friday was his birthday, and the girls and I sent Kathy flowers in the hopes that we might somehow brighten her day. And when she called to thank us, I knew that it had. Tune in tomorrow for the story of my second best friend. Have a good day, Linda

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning. . .

That's what I'm singing this morning. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, there's a slight breeze, and my birds are singing so beautifully this morning. Our proerty is lined on one side with large pines and they are a perfect haven for the birds. We feed the birds - Rod keeps the feeders well stocked. Maybe they sing so well because they're so well fed. At the feeders yesterday we had the normal noisy blue jays, a young cardinal and his lady, wrens, sparrows, and those large black/dk. blue grackles. But yesterday we had a special visitor -- a red-headed woodpecker. He was a good looking dude, with shiny black eyes. We have one little guy (or girl) who sits in the top of our largest weeping willow tree and just sings his heart out. His song is the most beautiful of all, and yet he's so tiny. Do you think our Maker gives the most beautiful song to the smallest bird to keep him from going unnoticed? Is it like that with people too? After all the little children have the most wonderful laughs. We, as adults, have to smile when we hear the laughter of a small child. It's just the way it is. I love the sound of laughter. I always have felt that if I could make one person laugh once each day then I was doing something in life that truly mattered. Why not try to make someone laugh today??? Linda

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Time Change

DD Mary has commented that I haven't been posting everyday, but I only have a little time in the morning to sew, and if I post on the blog it takes away from my sewing time. So, I've decided to do my postings in the evening while watching TV. The Saddle Up quilts are done finally, and I have a backpack to donate as a door prize about halfway done. Then I plan to do a purse, and call it quits for the Saddle Up. Hopefully, next week I'll have something to write about. Linda

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My Sewing Corner

Well, the binding strips are still missing in action. I've searched everywhere I could think of, and still no bindings. So, I will cut new binding this morning. But, I did rid up my sewing room and put a lot of things away that should have been put away when I was done with them. Do you do that? Are you guilty of moving on to another project before cleaning up after the one you just finished? When I first moved into this room about two years ago, I loved how it looked and didn't want to "junk" it up. So after each and every project, I put everything I had used away, and then started fresh. But somehow I got out of that habit. And so, I've decided that it's time for a good cleaning, putting everything in it's place before I start the next project. I really love Mary Engelbreit - her bright colors and patterns inspire me. So when the opportunity arose to have my own little room in the house, I chose a fabric for the curtains and went from there. Orange is my favorite color, and the bright blue was also in the fabric I chose for my curtains. I have moved some things around as I learned what worked and what didn't, and for sure it looks a lot more messy than it did in these photos. But it still makes me happy to sew in this room. The Saddle Up quilts will be finished by the weekend, and the weather man is calling for rain, so I think this coming weekend I will clean, dust, put things away and straighten up the stacks of fabric before I move onto something new. Hopefully a clean and fresh room will give me a fresh outlook on life in general. Have a great day. Linda

Monday, April 21, 2008

This and That

Wow, it's been a few days since I did any posting, so let's catch up this morning.

Our Pennsylvania Primary is on Tuesday, and I for one, will be glad to see it come and go. We are constantly being bombarded with TV ads, phone calls, and posters put forth by all the candidates. No one offers solutions, they just attack the other guy. Don't you wish you had some of the millions that they spend to get to the White House? Frankly, I don't understand why anyone wants the job. You go into office looking young and vibrant, and come out looking old and worn out.

DD Mary invited us to her home for dinner last night. She did ham on the grill, and was upset that she didn't have any ground cloves to put on the ham. Well, she improvised and used apple pie spice -- I think she's on to something. It was superb. And she made a dump cake for dessert. I'd heard of it, but never tried it. As the kids today would say -- it was da' bomb.

Came back from the train show on Friday night. It was disappointing. Gas here in PA is running about $3.50/gal. and there were a lot of no-shows. Some of those who were there had smaller set ups - almost like they brought what they could fit into one truck. We didn't buy a whole lot, even came back with money left over (first time that's ever happened). We did get a new trolley, though. And get this - we found a little picnic table with an umbrella. Had to have that!!

Saturday morning Mary, Kristin and their kids came for breakfast and Pappy made his "world famous" donuts. He uses refrigerator biscuits, lets the kids cut the holes out with pop bottle lids, and fries them. A quick shake in a lunch bag with some powdered sugar, and voila! - Pappy's donuts. Krissy calls them Pappy's world famous donuts, but then adds that they're not really world famous -- she just calls them that.

I've lost something. No, it's not my marbles, but my binding. I had the binding strips all cut for the last quilt and had them bundled together. Now, they have disappeared and I'm too tight to cut more. So, today will be spent looking for the bindings. The other quilts are done, and I'm anxious to move onto something new. If any of you have seen my binding, please tell it to come home. Have a great day. Linda

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Earlier this year, I decided that for me it would be a year for finishing up projects that were either started and not finished, or just not started at all. And boy do I have a bunch of them. I've almost finished the Saddle Up quilts, and need to decide what to do next. I need a new wallhanging for my living room, and I have three quilts that are in various stages of completion. Two of the quilts are sampler quilts which I hand pieced, and they need the borders to get them ready to send to a quilter. The third is a basket quilt made from 30's repro fabrics and it needs to have the sashing done. So I think I will finish one of the sampler quilts, and send it out. I have two BOM's that need to be completed, and I have picked a pattern for the new wallhanging. So, with that incentive, I will definitely finish up the Saddle Up Quilts this coming weekend, because I desperately want to move on to something else. Tomorrow afternoon we leave for the train show, but we'll be back Saturday night, and hopefully I can sew on Sunday. Linda

Monday, April 14, 2008

Am I Spoiled?

My mom certainly thinks so. She commented to Rod on Saturday that in all the years she and my dad were married, she doesn't think he ever cooked her breakfast or lunch. So, am I spoiled??? Most definitely. He brings me coffee every morning before he leaves for work. He emails me each morning from work just to let me know he arrived safe and sound. And, every weekend that we're at home, Rod makes breakfast for me. He was a short order cook when we got married, and hasn't lost his touch. His eggs are the best, and his pancakes are to die for. Lots of times when the kids are coming for dinner, Pap cooks pancakes. But yesterday was really special. As a surprise for the three kids who were there for dinner, Pap made his "world-famous" club sandwiches. All are made to order and those who don't like mayonaise, lettuce or tomato, don't get them. He even puts the toothpicks in them, cuts them into fours, and turns them on the side -- just like they did in the restaurant. DD Mary even took a photo of hers yesterday so that she can scrapbook a page about them. Is that a hoot?

No, I didn't get all the quilts finished. But I'm close. I have this problem. When Rod says, do you want to ride along, I go. My granny always said "When your man wants you to go along, don't question. Just take off your apron, brush your hair, and go." So, I guess it's Granny's fault. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it. So, what to I do when my hubby spoils me??? I spoil him right back. Love you, Rod. Linda

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Simply A Sewing Saturday

Wow, it's finally Saturday. We had a great Family Pizza Night last night. The margarita pizza turned out great - we diced our tomatoes and added shredded prociutto. Mmmm. Very pound-friendly, too. All the kids loved the pizza night since we all like something different on our pizza. I had planned on making my own dough, but got a little lazy so we used a purchased pizza crust that comes in a pouch. Our Walmart has this pouch for less than a dollar, so it doesn't make sense to go to the trouble of making my own dough. We used the margharita pizza recipe linked to this page, but omitted the garlic. I love this pizza crust mix. Haven't seen the Hush Puppy pouch before, but will have to look for it. We had some shells left over, which I will freeze between sheets of waxed paper for a quick dinner some night. Now, it's off to the sewing room to quilt one of the last two quilts. Have a Super Saturday. Linda

Friday, April 11, 2008


This morning it's already 64 degrees, but for the weekend they are predicting temps in the 40's. What is all this about global warming? Oh well, it will be a good weekend to sew, and hopefully I can finish up the Saddle Up quilts. Tonight all the kids are coming for Pizza Night. We are going to make up a bunch of shells and pre-bake them and then everyone can put on their own toppings. I have recently been introduced to Margarita Pizza, and I do love it. I've never been big on red sauce, so this is just up my alley. So tonight we will try making one of these. We love doing family nights like this - sometimes it's tacos, sometimes burgers, sometimes hot dogs with all the fixings. What types of family nights do you have? Have a great weekend, Linda

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Something New

I think I'm tired of making the quilts for the Saddle Up. It just seems forever since I did anything for me. Selfish, huh? I told the twins last night that I will finish up the three that are ready for quilting, and combined with the two that are already done, it will have to do. I don't think there will be as many riders this year because of the price of gas - hauling horse trailers must take quite a bit. They say that it will be fine. Five Quilts isn't a bad donation. I believe that people are going to spend the same amount of money on raffle tickets regardless of how many quilts are offered. Hope I'm right.

I'm behind on so many things. I have my latest Farmer's Block from Pat Sloan to do. The seedlings are so cute, and one member even used seed packets for her labels. See samples here at Pat's Blog. I have two months of the Be Attitude BOM from This-N-That Fabrics to catch up on, and Izzy could use a few more bibs. So I'm really anxious to start something new. How about you?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

What's my Problem?

You know, I've always been an early riser -- love the mornings. Usually Rod brings me coffee before he leaves for work at 6:00 A.M., and then I get up, get dressed and am in the sewing room before 6:30. This week, however, I can't seem to get moving and it's been after seven when I get here and I haven't touched a thing on the sewing table yet this week. I'm on a new medication, so maybe that's it. Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!

The daffodils in the yard are finally opening up, the pussy willows are in full bloom and the forsythia are close to being a profusion of yellow, so one would think that spring has arrived. Hah -- they're calling for rain and snow mix this weekend. Sounds like a perfect weekend to lock myself in the sewing room and get things done. I wanted to have a couple of quilts ready for binding so that I could sew on the way to York the end of next week, but now we have a Zune and I'm in charge of skipping the songs we don't want to listen to. Sewing might now be an option this time.

We're getting our Wish List ready for the train show. Krissy says we need some small pine trees and some more apple trees. And of course we need the new playground. The merry-go-round goes around, the seesaws and swings also move. We like that idea. She also wants the hamburger joint, but we're just not sure about that one. One of these days soon, I'll post a photo of Rod's train layout. It's in what used to be the family room downstairs and he's built it from scratch with a little help from family members. He says it will never be finished because it will always change. I haven't seen it since early winter, so maybe this weekend I'll sneak down for a peek. We have a circus, a town, a farm, an oil well, and a sawmill. It's pretty impressive or at least it was the last time I saw it. Have a good Wednesday. Linda

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

New Baby

This morning we have a new baby -- he has four legs, a mane and tail. The twins each have horses, and this morning Pat's one mare finally gave birth to a colt. He's pretty cool. The mare carried 17 days over and Pat was half hysterical with waiting.
I didn't accomplish a thing yesterday, and today looks like a repeat. I don't know why, but I went great guns over the weekend and now have no desire to sew. I get my hair cut tonight, and maybe the new Linda will feel like sewing.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Which are the twins?

From left to right is Pamela - twin, age 28; next is Kristin, the vet - age 31. Then Pat - twin. And finally on the right is Mary, the oldest - age 32. Looks like two sets, doesn't it. All the girls live within 5 minutes of me, and it's wonderful.

Monday, Monday

Here it is another Monday. Why does the weekend go so fast? I had a very great weekend. On Saturday, I pieced the John Deere quilt for the Saddle Up. The pinwheel pattern won out -- just seemed to make sense to have John Deere with a windmill. Yesterday I got three quilts pinned ready for quilting. Mary stopped on her way to the grocery store, and I asked if the kids could stay. I don't get to see Krissy much, and I really miss her. So I spent the afternoon on the back deck with the two oldest grandkids. Kristin stopped later with Izzy, and then the twins came. So all four girls were here and they cooked dinner. (Kristin sampled, although she wasn't staying for dinner). We were just planning summer cookout fare -- sausage, hot dogs, and burgers with chips, but Mary made these onion strings. MMMmmmm so good. I could have had eaten just these for dinner.

Here's a photo of the four girls in the aprons that I made them for Christmas. The pattern is the Church Lady Apron from Mary Mulari. Each girl's apron is reversible with fabrics of some of their favority foods. I'm hoping to make at least one to donate as a door prize for the Saddle Up. Have a great day.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Phone is Fixed

Yahhhhh. The phone is fixed. So ends the quiet weekend. Now the kids will be calling every hour.

Back from Town

Well, I'm a little late this morning because we went to town -- you know banking and the like. I promised you photos of two of the Saddle Up Quilts, and, and thanks to DD Mary, I have those to post today. Mary is our family photographer and is pretty much self taught. She gets some great shots, and most of the photos you will see on my blog are courtesy of Mary.
This photo is the bandana log cabin I finished. It is three colors of bandana fabrics and the pattern was a Pat Sloan Log Cabin Insanity Pattern. Thanks Pat.

This is the jar quilt in it's entirety. I really had a ball with this quilt, and have even more to put on the next one, which will be mine. The top half of the quilt contains the snacks, candies, veggies, and vinegars. It was DGD Krissy's idea to tip over the jar of candy corn.
On the bottom half of the quilt we have sewing items, carpenter items, pencils, safety pins, and toys. Just click the photos for a close up look. Hope you enjoyed my quilt show this morning.
An update on the phone situation. When DD Pam couldn't hear me on the phone, she called the phone company and was treated as rudely as I. So she asked to whom she could complain and they gave her the number of the PUC -- probably thinking she would never call. She did and within 40 minutes there was a technician here. He worked for over an hour and couldn't fix it, so he put in an order for a splicer to come and find the problem. He thinks it's a crack in the line into which water has run. We've had a lot of rain lately. I can't say if the phone is better or worse, because now the line is totally dead. No phone service!!!, but boy has the house been quiet last night and this morning. Thank goodness for the cell phone which is here now since DH doesn't work on the weekend. More on Monday. Happy Sewing. Linda

Friday, April 4, 2008

Friday Again

Another Friday -- another week has come and gone. This week has seemed exceptionally long for some reason. I got alot accomplished, though. Two quilts are done, two more are ready to pin, and two more are in process. Two weeks from today, DH and I will be going to the York Train Meet in York PA. We have been preparing our wish list, and I hope to visit a couple fabric shops while we're there.

This morning I'm having a problem with my phone service. The static is so bad you can't hear whose on the line. I called the repair service yesterday and they told me that they can have someone here on April 12. April 12 !!! Exactly where do they have their heads???Now today the line is worse. It will only let me call out when it thinks it's necessary. I had to dial repair service 5 times before it finally connected. So again I call repair service, and when I finally get to speak to a real live person, she tells me to call back after 8 o'clock and speak to a supervisor. Bubby has a seizure disorder and I'm diabetic. How am I supposed to call an ambulance in case of a medical emergency, I ask her. She tells me very matter of factly that it's not her problem. Not her problem!!!!! What happened to the days when customer service meant good service from real live people, not recordings? OK, now I'm done venting. Breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth. OK.

Carolyn, I also made myself a thread catcher, and you're right -- it is a good gadget. I also loved Mary's comment about the phone being her favorite kitchen gadget. The twins live just up over the hill from us. They share a house, and money is tight so most nights they have dinner with us. We provide the food, and they do most of the cooking. It works for us. Some days when they call and ask what's for dinner I tell them whatever they bring in. Last night we had gyros from our local Greek restaurant. Mmmmm, good. Tonight we're having scrapple and mush that we brought back from Bird-in-Hand last weekend. I just love it with homemade apple butter on it. My dad's grandfather migrated from Germany and settled in the Lancaster area before moving on to Western PA. Guess that's where I got my love of sausages, scrapple, chow-chow and other PA Dutch specialities.

And now on to the sewing machine. Have a good weekend, all. Linda

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Gadget Day

First let me tell you that I am not a gadget person. I don't buy every new notion or gadget that comes along. Perhaps it's the Scotch in me (the nationality not the liquor) that makes me try to use what I have instead of investing in something new, but I'm probably the last person to buy new gadgets just to be "in". I made some exceptions recently though, and boy am I glad I did. The first investment was a thead stand which I puchased when I got my Flynn Quilt frame, and just recently tried. I had never used such a thing, and was having trouble with metallic threads breaking when I used them. With this stand, the thread comes off the top of the spool and I'm having no breakage problems. The second thing I invested in was a kit I purchased from Quilt in a Day. It contained quilting safety pins, the safety pin grip covers and a Kwik Klip. I spent Sunday afternoon putting the covers on, and I thought my fingers would never be the same. But it was certainly worth the effort. The pins no longer tangle in my jar, they are easier to see when quilting, and much easier to remove. So now I know that sometimes it pays to spend a little money on gadgets you think you don't need. The next time I go to a quilt show I'll take a little more time to check out the gadgets available.

Do you have a favorite gadget? Share it with us. Maybe we could all benefit from your posts.

Wowser Wednesday

It's Wednesday, and I have no kids today. Kris is off and so keeps the baby, and SIL Jimmy is still on layoff and has the Bubster, so my sewing machine will smoke today. I started quilting the jar quilt with the variegated green thread I bought at Lancaster, and it's my big wowser for today. I bought the thread because I liked the colors, but when I quilted on black with it, it looks almost flourescent. Wait until you see the quilt -- photos coming later this week. I love jar quilts. You can put so many neat things in the jars, I even found fabric with money on it, and who doesn't need a jar of money in their pantry!!! I scanned in a vinegar bottle, and a steak sauce bottle and took the shapes of them for various things. Raspberries are in one bottle for raspberry vinegar, chili peppers in one look like peppers in oil, and green grapes are for white wine vinegar. Have you ever made a jar quilt? There are so many patterns out there for the jars. Here's a cool little site I found with free patterns. If you've never done a jar quilt, put it on your list of things to do. They become addictive.

Those of you who read about our sweet Gravy having to be put down, take a few minutes to read DD Mary's blog at She gives a great tribute to Gravy and how much we all loved him.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ahhhhhh Spring

Today when I awoke it was 63 degrees, the birds were singing, the fish are swimming in the pond, and the pussy willows are opening. I think spring might actually be here. Yesterday I quilted the bandana log cabin quilt and have just one more side to sew the binding down on. Yes . . . . I still sew most of my bindings by hand. Haven't quite mastered the art of machine sewing the binding. It never seems to look good on both sides. I've tried straight stitching, zigzag, blanket and it never looks straight. Maybe on the next quilt I'll try blind hem and see how that does. Right now the jar quilt is under the machine and is probably about 1/4 of the way done. I've been using some of the variegated threads I bought at the Hampton and Lancaster shows and really love the way they look. Hopefully I can post some photos later this week.

Don't forget it's Gratitude Tuesday. I'm thankful for warm temperatures, and the promise of new life in the way everything is turning green. What are you thankful for this morning? Take the time to stop and give thanks today. Linda