Sunday, March 31, 2024

Table Scrap Challenge

 I just finished the last stitches on the little chicken block. The challenge for March was birds and purple. Well, a chicken is a bird and it is purple! I had fun making this block and decided to not put the red comb onto this one. He will be a chick instead of a chicken. 

Here are the girls in my back yard today. Well, 4 of the 5. Maple, DC (Daisy Chickalotta), Buttercup and Poppy. Eggnog was following me, so she was at my feet wanting attention.

Linking up with Joy and the challenge.

Happy Easter!

 We had a nice non-traditional Easter meal today with Grandma. Aidan worked to get the Big Green Egg back into working order and it is now up on some cement blocks to stabilize it and make it a nice level height to use. 

The kids cooked salmon on the grill last night for dinner and today Aidan was the grill master and cooked up some burgers and brats for our lunch with Grandma. It is a lovely partly cloudy 80 degrees today and right now Greg and the kids are outside in the back yard. The chickens are roaming free while they move the cage run attached to their coop run a little as they have dug up all the grass and made plenty of craters to take dust baths in. With the hawks around and the dog, it is safer for them to be in their safe area most of the time. The dog is inside with me watching those chickens and wanting to be outside with them!

Now that our company is gone, I'm going to relax with a little stitching. This purple chicken needs a red comb appliqued to it's top and then some simple quilting and a binding to finish it off. The pattern is from Sew Inspired but since I messed up how I placed the big rectangle mine is a little different.

This month I want to make progress on my Brimfield Awakening project. I have various charm packs that I will be using for this but I need to decide how I'll lay them out. Until then, I'll keep making the parts and then decide how the colors will flow on them. 

I did get one of the cats hand quilted this week. Each cat will be quilted differently. I think the next one will have circles or swirls after I get it outlined. 

I do love a prime rib (only the girl is with me on this one in my house - so I just have to fight her for it!) and since it is on sale now with the holiday, I got another one yesterday. It cooked up today and this is how it looks when I pulled it out of the oven. It is resting now, then I'll cut it into slices (the bones were cut off and tied back on by the butcher - those get sealed and frozen for soups!) and will seal a meal them and freeze them. Emily and I will pull them out for a quick dinner (her) or to add on top of salads for lunches (me). It will be gone by the end of June. This one was an 8 pounder. The last one never made it to the freezer and the remains are a beef barley soup in the fridge. 

Saturday, March 30, 2024

RSC Wrapping up Purple.

 It was a pretty productive month in purple. Some Arkansas Traveler blocks, some hand applique Sting of Beads blocks and some chicken blocks. 

This guy needs a red comb added by applique and then some quilting to finish him off as the challenge for the month. The cold I have had for a week is kicking my butt the last couple of days so it is not quite done yet. The challenge was purple and birds. Well, a chicken is a bird! I hope to get this guy finished tonight, so I can link up with Joy tomorrow. 

Note to self, pay attention to the way you lay out the big rectangle before sewing the two bottom parts on. The first one I had the long part side to side. I seem to have swapped that when doing the other 4 so I had to make some modifications to make it work. It will all work in the final scrappy quilt.... that just allows for some alternate space things... like eggs! I might unpick the two on the right and add a 3-d comb to those as well. I was going to leave them as babies as it takes a bit for the red combs to come out and get bigger, but I like the look with the comb better.

Linking up with the RSC on Saturday.

After sleeping in (10:30!), I have been moving slowly today. I did go get some groceries - the boy decided to go with to pick out snacks and their salmon for dinner. He now has his license as of last week and has driven himself to his guitar lesson without anyone else in the car this week. He drove today as well. Only Grandma is coming over tomorrow for Easter as my step-FIL is not feeling well with a cold and my FIL doesn't like to stray from home anymore. Since the kids are not too crazy about ham, and Grandma and Greg don't care, I offered an alternate meal and everyone liked that better. So, we will be having Brats and Burgers on the Big Green Egg tomorrow. We have not used the Big Green Egg in a while, so Aidan opened it up and got it burning hot last night to clear things out. He'll clean the grill grate tonight and has already scraped out all the old charcoal and bits out so we can put some fresh in. They are going to cook the salmon on the grill tonight for them. I'll be making some soup with the prime rib bones - some beef and vegetable barley I think. I might have picked up another Prime Rib from Publix today.... to cook off tomorrow and then seal a meal slices for the freezer. 

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Arkansas Traveler block

 I had picked out fabrics for the purple AT blocks a couple of weeks ago. I finally got a chance to sew them together today. I still need to work on the middle join, but I'm happy with how these blocks are turning out. 

Yesterday, the kids had a half day at school. No horses for us this week as the trainer has her daughters in town for the holiday. Nex weekend, we will be at a Girl Scout Encampment on the gulf. Kyra, the girl Emily rides with on Saturdays had a photography project and asked Emily to model with a horse for it. This was the only day that worked before it was due, so after picking up my kids from school I headed across town to get Kyra and then in a different direction to go to the new stable. They spent a good hour there in the rain, playing with the horses. After the finished with the first horse, Emily pulled this guy out and I snapped this photo of her and Pal, the Palamino she rode last weekend.   

This is Doc, he was the main model for the photos for her project for school. I hear Doc was in one of the Pirates of the Carribean movies. I guess I need to watch them again and see if I can see him. He is a big guy, but a beauty.

I've got a 'small' Prime Rib in the oven. Hubby will be in charge of taking it out at the right temp while I go get the kids. I need to grab another one from Publix, while the price is on sale for the holiday. It seems Emily now pulls a slice from the freezer to eat as an optional dinner option when she doesn't like what I make..... so I need to get another one so we will have some in the freezer for the next few months. 

Saturday, March 23, 2024

RSC recap

 It has been a productive week for me.

I was able to get the Scrappy Kites from last years RSC quilted and bound this week for a finish. This one is a 42x50 finish and hopefully will be donated as part of the Hands2Help this year.

Then I moved onto sewing the split nines from last year together into this top. It is 48x54 with each 6 inch finished block. 

I finally made a chicken block in purple! I used the pattern from Sew Inspired. I made the red part a little different. I sewed them right sides together and then turned it out. I see I need to 'fix' that part on the lower
left to make sure it is sewn securely together, it must have come undone a little too much when I turned it. 

I will be making my Arkansas Traveller blocks today, but the fabrics are already picked out and ready to run through the Accuquilt Die, so the hard part is done!

Linking up with the RSC Challenge.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Sewing time

 Thursday's are my day off working, and today I spent most of the time in the sewing room.

First, I sewed all these split nine blocks into a quilt top. I did not measure it but it should be about 48x54 with the 6 inch finished blocks.

Then I did some searches and worked on something for the Table Scrap Challenge... but it is not done yet, so you'll have to wait on that one!
I then pulled down some purples and cut out the sizes I needed to create 3 of the Arkansas Traveller blocks. I have not run them through the Accuquilt cutter yet, but that will be quick. Picking out the fabrics usually take the time. Purples have such a variety of hues, so I was trying to put the like hues together into the blocks. I'll probably run them through the Die after dinner (going easy with chicken and broccoli alfredo - a jar of sauce, already cooked grilled chicken strips and broccoli with pasta shells.)

Lets see - Monday was goulash for dinner. I did not add the cheese to mine but Emily does to hers.
Tuesday I was in a Gumbo mood and the sausage was on sale at Publix last week so I put one in the freezer and had one to make Gumbo. I used the recipe from the New Orleans School of Cooking cook book and it turned out pretty darn good. I put some frozen chicken breasts into the instapot to cook for the chicken and then a package of the andouille sausage. With a little rice, yummy. I've had it for lunches the last 2 days.
Wednesday was a pot luck meeting for Emily and I. I had made some deviled eggs, but they didn't look good enough to bring - I tried using a plastic baggie to fill them and I like the look of the spoon filled that I normally do much better!). I also made a banana bread so I took that one with me instead. The boys were on their own. 
I've got another set of eggs hard boiled. It seems Aidan likes them with a little homemade Italian seasoning dressing and then put on sourdough bread for a after school snack!  

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Split nines


I think these will be the next block collection to become a top.  I might swap things a bit. We will see if animals modify the layout before tomorrow.

I played and like this better. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Scrappy Kites is Finished!


This finished at 42x50 and will be a donation quilt this year.
This is my 3rd finish this quarter for the Ravelry Winter 2024 Challenge. Might I get another finish in? We will see how the rest of the month goes.

Monday, March 18, 2024

Almost a finish


I always think machine quilting will just take an hour! It always takes longer. I did machine quilting around each of the colored kites. Then I did sets of 3 lines in the border. I used the cut off backing to make the binding and machine stitched it to the top. I started hand stitching the binding last night. The dog was in the study with Greg, so the cats came out to explore. Peanut did some quality checks. 
I see a quilt finish this month!

Sunday, March 17, 2024


I have enjoyed a very lazy start to Sunday! I slept in past 9AM and then got busy throwing a corned beef with some potato, carrots and onion into the crock pot for dinner tonight. I'll grab a little of the juice to add to the cabbage which I will steam in the pressure cooker later tonight. I do love my cabbage cooked that way! The kids will be expecting some Irish soda bread to go with their meal this evening. Yummy!

The dog got a walk well after 10:30 and it was getting a little bit hot here in Florida. I believe we are expecting mid 80's and sunny today. The pool looks so much better after some attention at the end of the week. I just need to test the water and adjust the chemicals, but it is sparkling clear again.  

My plans today are to putter in the sewing room and machine quilt the scrappy kites quilt and get the binding made and attached. Stitching it down by hand will be my stitching this evening. I was able to pin it last night, so it is ready to go.

I watched a video this morning on how to color your embroidery projects.  Melisa at Pinkernpunkin blog has some adorable heart embroidery stitcheries she is releasing each month this year and I love the look the coloring adds. I have the first 3 hearts printed off and will start prepping the first one for stitching today. I think I'll start with the March block. Now to find the crayons!

I finally got a good start on the String of Beads blocks for the RSC this year. I saw a photo in an old quilting pattern book from the 80's and this is the layout. A little circle will be added at the middle spot, but I'll hold off on adding them as I am not sure if I want a sunny yellow for all of them or a shade of the middle colors. Plenty of time to decide. The two purples are done so I'm starting in on the reds from last month.

Linking up with Kathy and the other Slow Sunday Stitchers. It's after noon, so I'd better grab some lunch (I seem to have skipped breakfast!) and then head to my happy place to play with some fabrics. Enjoy your week.

Friday, March 15, 2024

RSC Saturday

 We are half way through the month and I have yet to make my purple AT blocks! That will hopefully be remedied this weekend. I did finally start the string of beads blocks in purple and got these two completed. The green outer peels will be consistent throughout the quilt. I have the peels traced onto the next background and the reds are ready to go.

I did a lot of digging and made a backing with leftover backings for this little quilt. I also dug through the batting cut offs and pieced 4 parts together to fit for a batting for this. Just need to get it pinned and some basic machine quilting on it this weekend and I'm hoping for a finish this month. 

Bear is doing a great job of holding the quilt down! He went to the Vet for his annual shots and got his new rabies tag. The boy is 85 pounds! 

Linking up with the RSC Challenge on Saturday

Wednesday, March 13, 2024


 Work is at the waiting for the 'big day' so today was a clean-up time after verifying the test runs overnight. Sigh. A relief to be at this point with a Saturday 'go' day. I'm off tomorrow and will ride with Emily this week after we bring the doggie to the vet for his annual checkup. He gets some anxiety meds tonight and tomorrow morning. 

I had pulled out a package of boneless, skinless chicken thigh from the freezer yesterday and tonight they were baked with a crispy curry rub in one of my stone wear pans and served with some rosemary herbed roasted red potato and some buttered corn. Yummy!

I added a few stitches to the peels this afternoon and have one purple block completed!

I went out to toss some watermelon to the chickens since Aidan and Bear were out back. I got distracted while walking to get eggs and ended up brushing down the pool, which needed a clean, a shock and a quick clean run of the motor overnight. It should clear up most of it that I have been neglecting the last few months. A little more work on it tomorrow and it should be ready to adjust the chemicals and be ready for swimming for the weekend, if they want. I need to pop out and check for the eggs. 

Good thing I did! I guess I only got one or two yesterday morning and no one else collected since then! There are 3 greens, 3 light brown and one dark brown.  The girls are laying like crazy, and we are getting 4-5 eggs a day. I just put 10 in the pressure cooker for hard boiled eggs. I have 2 dozen regular eggs in the fridge and 18 in the round egg holder on the shelf. Since they are backyard eggs and not washed, they can be at room temp just fine. I picked up heavy cream when I ran to Aldi at lunch, so I think I'll be making some creme brule tomorrow, deviled eggs with those hard boiled ones and I'll have to see what other things I can do with some eggs. I'll ship 18 off to my MIL's friend Betty, the next time we see her. We usually send a dozen or two down for her and my FIL to have but we have not been going down with Andy in the hospital, and now in a nursing home rehab facility. 

While chatting with my Mom this week, I saw this bird out my window. I'm not sure what it is but it stayed long enough for me to grab my phone and take some photo's. 

Time to clear out the fridge and toss the paper shredding I was doing this afternoon in the office as it is trash night tonight. Then, some stitching while watching tv I think. . 

I'm really hoping to get my RSC quilt pinned for quilting tomorrow at some point. I'm on call Saturday, so just need to be home most of the day in case I need to log in and cover as I am backing up 2 people. That sounds like perfect sewing time to me!

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

A little applique

 I got a little hand applique in this week. I had added the final light purple to this one.

Then I moved onto the next one and got the dark purples appliqued down. 

After another episode of NCIS on Netflix, I added two dark greens to this one. 

Hopefully the rest of the green leaves will get added this week to the string of beads blocks.

Aidan got his braces tightened today so we were home a bit late. Emily made us fried rice for dinner and it was really yummy. I pulled some frozen chicken out for dinner tomorrow night. We will see what it turns into.

Monday, March 11, 2024

Race weekend

 I did not take too many photos. Aidan did let me get a selfie of us in the stands and we got a photo of us on the track after the race. He even brought home some tire bits. He got quite fried with the sun on Saturday, and I imagine having the sun hit that sunburn on Sunday was not fun. Me - I looked horrible but I didn't get a burn with the floppy hat and the 'fishing' long sleeved lightweight shirt over my t-shirt. 

We did have a great weekend in St. Petersburg. The city was very organized, and everything ran smoothly. I hear they will have the streets opened by tomorrow and the airport back up and running by the weekend. 

We parked at Tropicana field and used the free shuttle to the track. Aidan had picked seats on the first turn, and we did get to see some fun action. Overtakes and some runoff misses. I think it will be a weekend he will remember!

The kids are on spring break vacation this week. Greg has school and I have to work so nothing major planned for us. Aidan has an ortho appointment to get his teeth tightened on Tuesday. Wednesday he is eligible to go get his license. You have to have your permit for a year in Florida before being able to get your license. He has done the hours of driving with us over the year. Emily might do a riding lesson during the week to check out a new facility and the dog has a Vet appointment Thursday morning. I'm thinking I might see about a spring training game next Sunday, but we will see how the week goes. I'm on call Saturday for a work project. 
 I hear my step-FIL is still in the hospital and they are waiting to release him to a nursing home. His heart is just failing, (90 and multiple heart attacks, surgeries over the years) and not pumping enough blood to his brain which is causing the hallucinations. His lifespan more than doubled his twin, who died in his early 40's. 
I'm hoping to get a little sewing in this week and maybe some painting in the front rooms. We will see how that goes!

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Another crazy week in my world....

 Work... is getting closer to a deadline but.... I did not work (actual work) today! I didn't get much done on the sewing front, was not feeling it.... but I did get to go ride a horse and chat with the ladies in my group! We were running a bit late today, so I went directly from horses to get the kids from school.

I did make some progress, though. I had started applique of the peels for the string of beads block this month in purple. I think I just could not see it in red, so was happy purple came up this month. The original quilt I saw was in green and purple ages ago. It made purple easier to start for this block. Lets just say, my normal way of 'winging' it did not go well. I did a few YouTube videos and saw someone who drew the outline on the fabric to applique and on the background. Why didn't I think of that? So... today I grabbed one of the white print squares for the string of beads block and drew the 8 orange peel shapes onto it. I also grabbed a scrap of darker purple and traced and cut out 4 of them. I unstitched the 3 lighter purples from the original background and started over on the traced block. Yup, that went a lot better and now I'm over the hurdle on that! 

I was able to get these 3 stitched before I headed to horses. I'll add that last one on tonight and then will add the dark green to the outer edges. 

Wednesday after school, I picked up the kids and headed across town to get to the area for the dedication ceremony of the Silver award lending library the girls made last fall. There was a bit of paperwork to get it placed on the county property. 3 of the 4 girls were able to attend. 

Her brother stayed in the car and started reading a book assigned for school. It is called Tuesday's with Morrie and he said it is a great book. Makes you think. I'll have to check it out.

This guy has found a new spot he likes. The sun hits here in the morning - it is right outside my office and looking out at the side yard. There tends to be a wild bunny and some squirrels and birds to keep him entertained.

It has been another 'fun' week of hearing about hospitals. My step-FIL was in the hospital for a few days last week then released for the weekend. Things were ok- crazy changes in bp and other issues, until Tuesday when they got weird. No energy, hallucinations, etc. He waited until Wednesday morning before going to the ER. He was admitted and things are not going well. He is 90 years old, had a major heart attack 20 years ago and his cardiologist has been very surprised he is still alive the last 5+ years! So, we are just trying to support my MIL as best as we can. I swear this man has about 20 lives so far with all his health problems, so we will wait and see what happens. Just to throw another log on, my Dad was at his cardio rehab and they didn't like a number on the machine so they wheeled him to the ER on Wednesday too! It turned out that it was ok, and all other numbers were normal for him, so they let him go home pretty quickly. Maybe it was too much celebrating my Mom's 85 birthday on Tuesday!

 Sunday, Aidan and I took a drive over to see my FIL (Greg's Dad) and drop some things to him. His hip is doing better, and he is getting around ok. Greg and Emily will head over this weekend to see him. Aidan and I will be in St. Pete watching cars go around the track for 2 days. Let's hope the rain holds off and the sun hides behind the clouds. It is going to be a hot one on Saturday! The kids have one last day of school before spring break. They don't go back to school until Tuesday the 19th. 

Friday, March 1, 2024

A border was added

 This has been the only sewing this week!

I looked at the wall of fabrics and pulled out this pink to audition for the kites border. Another gem from that mystery box!  I had enough to make a 5.5 inch strip all around so it added 10 inches to each side. A little bigger for a nice size kids quilt. 

When will it get finished? Who knows. We will see how the weekend goes but it is possible I'll get a little sewing time in.

Emily had her MPA (music performance assessment) for the symphonic band last night. They did 3 pieces for the judges, then did 2 sight reading ones. They had a 3 minute review without instruments with their director, then played. The second piece, they had 5 minutes to review, then played. They preformed at 9pm. Then the sight reading was at 9:30. We got home around 10:30.  They did well.

Work is crazy right now, so I did extra hours this week since I was out last Friday. Deadlines. 

Briskit is in the oven for a long slow cook. Hope it is ready for dinner tonight.