Monday, February 1, 2016

From The Sewing Room

As I told you in an earlier post, I am working on the monthly button up quilts, and aim to finish them this year.  I got my February Button Up done in time to hang on February 1st!  After changing out the letters a couple of times, I got the color to make them show up the way I wanted them to.
I hung it in one of the orange trees to take a photo.  I quilted it with all over hearts and loops.  I stitched words into each large heart, like Be Mine, Sweet, and Love.

I went around each applique with a featherstitch on my Viking.  But I did the free motion quilting on my Singer One. 
In the center panel where the word February is, I did a smaller stipple.  I  backed it with this fun Valentine print of boxed chocolates.
You can see the stipple from the back side of the quilt here on the right side.  This is where the center panel is.
These are fun to do, and I am ready to dive right into March now.  Also, I am taking a Twisted Heart class on Thursday at my local quilt shop.  So I will have two going this month. 
I have discovered the world of pod casts!  I am so loving watching and listening to these while I knit or sew. 
I can't remember this gal's name. She is from England, and what a hoot she is.  Lots of fun. 
I haven't been doing too much cooking.  A little here and there, but just every day things.  Lots of breakfast for dinner lately.  I did make this steel cut honey and maple oatmeal in the crockpot one night, and it was ready for breakfast the next morning.  But what a mess is made in my crockpot.  Doubt I would make it that way again.
I popped into one of my thrifting haunts the other day when I was out for some chicken feed.  I found this lovely vintage table cloth!  I just love red and aqua together!
I fully expected to find a stain or tear.  But was in pristine condition.  I washed it and gave it a good press with spray starch, and it looks great for my Valentine's table.
Greg got me that cute Rooster napkin holder one day when we were at the Farmer's Market here in town.  I keep this one on the table where we eat.
And speaking of Roosters....Big Red, or Rudy Rooster, whichever it may be, he is out there with the girls, having his way with them, and talking the big talk!  That's him over there on the right with his hackles up!
He seems rather happy with his harem of hens.  I hope we can keep him.
That's it for today.  I have lots of errands to run, and things to do. 
Oh, by the way....someone asked about how I fold and store the larger cuts of fabric in my sewing room.  I think it may have been Noreen?  Many of those pieces in the drawers are 1 to 4 yards. I fold them the same way, and they are just fatter.  The baskets hold smaller cuts, like fat quarters and half yards.  But all are folded the same way.  I do have a few bolts with fabric, and those are just stacked up along a cabinet in my sewing room, left on their original bolts. 
I thank all of you for coming by to say hello.  A few of  you who stopped to leave a massage, don't seem to have a blog that I can go visit and say hello back.  But I do thank you for your visit!  I hope you come back to see me soon! 
Take care everyone!
XO  Kris

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Greetings & Salutations

What movie?  Who knows?  It was one of my favorite books to read to my children!  The movie was a favorite too!
I have been busy!  I am getting my energy back more and more every day.  Feels good to be productive again. 
I think I will start with cooking.  I cooked a turkey breast one day last week, and we had two nights of delicious hot turkey sandwiches with mashed potatoes and gravy.  A few sandwiches for lunch.  And then with what was left, I made a turkey pot pie.  So easy....I just use the ready made dough, and a frozen bag (or 2 in my case) of veggies, 1-2 baked potatoes, and either a couple of packets of gravy mix, or box gravy.  (Trader Joes makes a really good boxed gravy)  I usually make this using a deep dish pie plate, but I couldn't find the one I wanted to use to save my life, so I used a 9x13, which I wound up liking so much better for this.  Cuts out much easier!!  So line the bottom of dish with one of the packets of dough.  Let it get to room temp before rolling to size.
 I put the turkey, mixed veggies, cut up potato ( I will usually cook two russets in the microwave, but since I had left over mashed potatoes still, I only cooked one, and then used the rest of the mashed), one finely diced onion, salt and pepper to taste.
I cooked the gravy on stove top, and then added to the bowl.
 Mix well, and pour into your dish.  Roll out second dough to top dish. 
It is much harder to flute the edges when using an oblong dish, but flute a little bit, and cut some steam vents into dough. I like to brush the top of mine with egg white to give the crust a nice sheen.  I cracked an egg into a dish, then took an empty water bottle, squeezed to depress air out of bottle, then hold directly over egg yolk.
Then release bottle to suck up just the yolk.  Works like a charm every time.  No broken yolks either.
I bake it at about 425 for 45 minutes, or until top crust is golden brown.

Let it sit for a few minutes while the pie settles a little bit.  Delicious and so easy!
I took the remaining carcass of the turkey and made 4 quarts of broth. 
I left an inch or so at the top, and screwed lids on lightly, then put into freezer.  Once set up, I tightened the lids. This can be used in any recipe calling for chicken broth.  Oh, be sure to strain it into your jars, to remove any small bits. 
So about 3 dinners, a few cold sandwiches, and all of that broth, yielded from one 5 pound turkey breast.  By the way, I like the Jennie O frozen turkey breast in a bag.  So easy to cook, no mess, and a winner every time!  I buy mine at Walmart.
I also made a big batch of granola.  Greg eats this nearly every day.  I love mine on yogurt.
This big jar was a thrift store find.  I love that is has a rubber seal for freshness.  And the size is perfect for granola.  The jar is sitting atop a 12 inch quilt block from Farm Girl Vintage that I wasn't going to use, so instead of tossing it, I used it as a machine quilting opportunity to practice.  I quilted the heck out of it, and did some practice with writing words as well.
Now let's sew.  I had purchased this set of patterns for 12 months of seasonal wall hanging quilts, probably 10 years ago.  I made the first three for the season we were in, and then never made another one.  Every year I say I am going to finish them, and never have.  This is the year.  So with only a few days left in January, I made this wall hanging.
In my haste to finish it and get it hung, I inadvertently left off the snowflakes that go above and below the word January.  Oopsie.  I did an all over loops and swirls to machine quilt it using my Singer One.  Since I was in a big hurry, I did not do any button hole stitching on the applique pieces, like I had done on all of the others.  It looks just fine to me with out, considering this only hangs for a few weeks a year, I just didn't do it. 
I also cheated on the tabs with which the wall hanging is hung  to the foundation quilt. On the foundation quilt, there are three large buttons.  Each wall hanging has fabric tabs sewn to the quilt to attach it to the buttons.  Hence the name of the pattern, "Button Ups"  However, I had an idea that would work and allow for a quicker finish.  I sewed three black elastic hair ties to the back of the quilt where the tabs would go, and this worked perfectly.
This is the foundation quilt that each one of the monthly wall hangings get buttoned up to.
The center panel I did in a cream flannel.  The outer borders are a simple series of rectangles.  I have mine hung from a quilt rack/shelf in the family room.  However when I moved my furniture recently, the new configuration partially blocks the view of the quilts. 
Moving this shelf will probably be in my future since we love the sofa being on that wall. 
In this room, I also have a large quilt on the wall that I did several years ago.  It is a Cheri Payne (Saffiote) pattern.  I cut this quilt out 12 years ago, just before my Dad got sick.  During this time, I lost my Dad.  I also lost my  quilting mojo for a couple of years, and couldn't even touch it.  Then, one day, I just decided it had to be finished.  I am so glad I did.

I love the sunflower border with it's meandering vines all the way around the quilt. 
The other day I set out to give my sewing room a good cleaning, and put away the fabrics I had been using during my Christmas sewing.  This led to a complete overhaul of everything!  I wound up doing a reorganization of my fabric using the KonMari method.  Everything is folded and stood up so that each piece can be easily identified without pulling anything out of the pile!

Every single bin is folded the same way.  A big job, but so much easier to see what you have at a glance.  In the wicker chest, it is all sorted by color too.
In my fabric sorting, I discovered this Valentine Panel that I had purchased a few years ago.  I can't even remember the designer.  I decided to back it and go ahead and machine quilt this too.  If you follow me on Insta Gram, you know I had nothing but trouble with the machine quilting of this for some reason.  My thread kept breaking, over and over.  SO many stops and starts on this.  It is hurky jerky, and I hated it.  I wasn't even sure if I would bind it.  But I am not one to leave things unfinished, so I put a solid red binding on it to frame it, and then hung it on the my green door in the kitchen.
I don't usually label a small wall hanging or table topper.  So on those, I will stitch my name and date.  This is in the bottom right on this one.  It too looks awful.  So when my kids toss all of my things at the Goodwill one day, someone will know that Kris made this in 2016!
I have the February Button Up all cut out, and partially appliqued.  Hopefully I will get to display that one for the whole LEAP month!
Over the weekend we did a lot of picking in the grove.

It is so nice to be drinking fresh squeezed orange juice again.  Nothing like it!  Hopefully those avocados will be ripe to make a large batch of guacamole for Super Bowl.
I was at Target the other day and found this darling little red cake plate for 5 dollars.  I looked at the price, and said this can't be?  But it was!
 I collect mice.  The little mouse is an Annalee doll.  Mommy, it is yours!!!  I found it when I made a new lid for the crochet Christmas house.  It was inside!!!   Can I have it?  The picture is a wee bit blurry, but the doll is holding a heart and on her little gingham apron it says Be Mine.  I have our butter bell jar on the plate, along with a small aqua dish.  The red cow creamer is a Pioneer Woman piece.  The little quilted mat is a Lori Holt block from Farm Girl Vintage that I made.  I have an aqua ceramic egg dish there on the counter as well.  I love red and aqua together! 
Well, that's about it from here in my neck of the woods.  I am going to go have lunch with my Mommy today.  A little shopping afterwards maybe. 
I leave you with this sentiment.  It is on a cotton flour sack tea towel that I bought at Walmart.
Until next time,
XO Kris

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


I have gone to lots of my favorite thrift stores this week, in search of a new bar stool to replace the one I fell off of and broke last weekend.  I did find a bar stool today.  And a few other things as well. 
First, yesterdays finds.  I just fell in love with this aqua quilted pillow with the scalloped edges.  It has ties on the back for easy removal of pillow slip.  The insert is down, and oh so squishy.  I washed it and ironed it, and it looks fab in my sewing room on my floral wing back chair!  It looks off white in this photo, but the quilted swirls were well captured. 
After it was cleaned, it went in my sewing room.  Love, love, love it.  I wish you could see the true color of it.
I like to sit there and knit, and look out the window in my sewing room.  Great light in there too.
I also found a huge box of cone threads.  They were mostly two shades of reds, and some blues.  I bought two of them for one dollar.
I went dotty for these little dishes!!!  I found the red oval in one shop, and then in another, I found the three orange dishes. 

I have been collecting colorful dishes of all shapes and sizes.  When we do our kitchen, I want to have one cupboard without doors, and my pretty dishes will be in there.
I also found this cute bowl, from Pier One.  It is the same size and shape as the Pioneer Woman bowls I have.
That was it for one day.  No bar stool though.  I went back out again today, and found it right away.  It was much sturdier than the one I had.  And the seat was larger.  (another plus, I suppose)  So maybe I won't fall off of this one!
I got this fun bright orange pillow.  It has a honeycomb stitch on the front.  It is the perfect shade of orange to match the cushion I recovered last year, or year before.  I put it on the front porch on the glider.
A nice big colander that will fit inside my large pots for when I boil pasta.  It is nice to be able to pull out the colander and not tip the big heavy pot in the sink over a standing colander sometimes.
These next two were fun finds.  A bamboo basket with an accordion folding netted top.  Perfect for outdoor BBQ's!  And then along the same lines, but different than any I have ever seen, was this metal dome with whimsical painted top.  Looks kind of like a Bee Skep.  It will get a lot of use for our outside dining come Spring and Summer.
This looked to be brand new, and never used.  It is part of the Tracy Porter collection that I have seen in Target.  I have purchased a few of these pieces in the past.
My really special find today, was a little piece of salt glazed Rowe Pottery, from the 2004 Historical Collection.  I couldn't find the exact piece on eBay, but many similar to it.  Quite pricey!!!  I paid 3.00 for it.   All of the things I saw that were similar were well over 50.00!!

I have lots of pottery, and just love it.  This piece is beautiful, and I will be looking for more of it.  
When I go thrifting, I rarely spend more than a few dollars per item.  I have several places that I like around here.  I know people are down on Goodwill, but I find their prices to be outstanding, with the exception of clothing items.  I love Salvation Army Family Store.  Although lots and lots of it, is pure junk, I have found the best deals there.  I have bought several sewing machines, and my embroidery machine there.  And their furniture deals are good.  They used to do clothing at a dollar a piece, and that is when I used to buy a lot of things just for the unique buttons, or a wool piece that I knew I would be cutting up and using the wool for other projects and such.  I made my Christmas blanket from red and green sweaters that I bought there.  I looked for sweaters with lots of cabling, and chunky stitching. I also bought sweaters there to make soft sweater pumpkins. 
My place for higher end clothing, is also near me. I have bought many dress shirts there.  Once I bought about 20 Tommy Bahama shirts that had just come from the cleaners, all starched and still with their paper tags on them.  It was stuff a bag day, and I got them all for 20 dollars!  I have also found a few beautiful Faconnable shirts there too.  Anyway, it is a fun hobby.  I love the thrill of the hunt.  You never know what you will find. 
When I was putting "the girls" to bed tonight, the sky was so pretty in streaky shades of pinks.
Can you see all of those little pieces of gate and stuck up along the bottom edge of the wrought iron gate?  That is to keep Lil' Jack from slipping out into the grove.  This weekend we are going to go find something that will work better and not be such an eye sore.  Boy the lawn looks brown.  Come on rain....we need you!!
I got into the chicken yard to lock the coops, and sure enough, there were Rebbie and her partner in crime, Cloud, high in a tree above the coop!
They are both Leghorns, and lay a perfect white egg every day!  Can you see their ear lobes?  They are both white.  That is how you determine the color of their eggs. 
I just think they are beautiful creatures!!!  I can't imagine anyone not enjoying chicken keeping!
That's it for today.  I hope your week is going well.
XO  Kris