Snow in October has a plan!

A quick work-up in EQ7 and a check to make sure I have enough fabric and out comes a solution for the borders!Log Cabin 1

Yup…should work!DSCF9282

It’s raining cats and dogs outside right now so I’m going to go upstairs and get this going!

Talk to you all soon!


Snowing In October – Jim Names a Quilt

Jim walked into the guest bedroom -which also serves as my design wall and staging area – looked at the wall and proclaimed “snowing in October!” followed very quickly with “hey, that block needs to be turned…”.

See if you can find the block he’s talking about…DSCF9282

This top was partially made up by MOM.  I think it was her first attempt at a bed size quilt waaaaay back when I was in High School.  I can’t remember the exact year but it was definitely between 1982-1986.  She made a sampler block quilt about this same time period and rumor has it my brother wore it out.

The pattern is Eleanor Burns’ Quilt in a Day Log Cabin…DSCF9276

…and when I was home last winter I had my Mom find all the pieces and give them to me…DSCF9283

The top consisted of 15 blocks sewn together in the Fields and Furrows arrangement (and one turned wonky).  There was a missing component, an eyelet center that was lost so I found some fabric that looks coordinated and completed 5 more blocks.

There is enough of the fabric strips to make 7 more blocks.  I think I’ll ponder this for a day or two.  The extra blocks could be pillow cases, or the strips made into half square or quarter square triangles for the border, something  to jazz it up a little or used for the backing or binding.  Just something to think about.

This was a pattern book from a time when the rotary cutter hadn’t yet made it into mainstream quilting…DSCF9277 DSCF9279  DSCF9280 DSCF9281

Everything was TORN!  I remember doing that too back in the early days.  I hated it because you get all those loose threads entangled on everything!  Uggh!

It also makes it hard to get things perfectly sewn.  My blocks are slightly larger then Mom’s so I’ll have to play with these a bit.

This is a SUPER easy pattern to put together.  I made the 5 extra blocks in an hour.  This pattern is still available, but has been updated of course and is also a feature of two videos …

Part 1:


and Part 2:


Easy right?

Can’t wait to get this one off of the WIP list and onto the ‘Needs to be Quilted’ list!

Till next time, have a great weekend!



Design Wall Wednesday – Almost There!

Progress is steadily being made on this Scrappy Saber Sawtooth Star quilt.  I sewed the flying geese borders on last night and this morning.  Now the only thing left is the outer border!  Whoot!


I think the darker borders make the blocks stand out!  Glad I went with that…

Till next time!


The Sweet Ride! A Fun Chocolate Themed Bike Tour!

I’ve heard of this ride but always find out about it too late!  This year I saw a blurb in the village newsletter and made sure I put it on the calendar!

This is the Sweet Ride.  It is a bike tour around my little town with stops at participating shops.  This year the beneficiary was a Senior Dog adoption group called Young At Heart so OF COURSE we had to participate!

Start and End: Morkes!  This is a family owned Chocolate Shop! DSCF8926-001 DSCF8928-001

Stop 1: Signature Sweets!  Another family owned business.  They were serving Chocolate Gelato!  Yummy!  Plus, they were making paninis for our lunch later on in the ride…


Then it was time to meet the pups up for adoption!  These dogs were ALL so sweet.  I sure hope they get great homes.  Check out their website (link up top) and watch their video.  They are raising money for a permanent home…



DSCF8932-001 DSCF8933-001

Stop #3: A new business for us is Loving Care Animal Hospital!  They were in Rolling Meadows but are now in Palatine!  It’s always good to have Vet choices.  They were serving up refreshments and more chocolate!DSCF8934-002

Almost my favorite place in town…Mikes Bike Shop for Stop #4.  I love looking at all the fun new bikes.  Another family owned business and a great place to bring your bike for tune-ups or stop in to check out what’s happening.  They were serving Chocolate Milk and cookies!DSCF8938-001 Then the last stop was D’Vine Wine!  Okay…there’s a theme here…another family owned business!  This time it was Chocolate Wine!!  It tasted like a chocolatey Bailey’s.  Yummy! DSCF8940-001

We did buy some refreshments while we were there….who are we kidding?DSCF8939-001

Then back to Morkes for lunch.

All in all we rode 25 miles so the little indulgences along the way certainly were burned off.  We chose to do the add-on miles to make it longer.  The stops without the add on miles is about 10 miles so a family with kids could do it with ease.

I need more of these rides…or just rides in general.  Mikes fixed me up with a new water bottle holder…you can see it there on my handle bar!  No more reaching way down between my legs to get my bottle!  (My bike is the blue girly bike below)…


Now I’m recovering…but will be ready to go again!


Design Wall Wednesday

Here is what’s happening on the design wall…   DSCF9255
I have completely run out of neutral strings on my Scrappy Saber Saw Tooth Star.  That’s good news and sorta kinda bad news as I really DON’T want to make strings for the next border I had planned in the pattern.  See the pattern below…Scrappy Saber Sawtooth Star

All that neutral white color  are strings.

So back to EQ7.  I played around with some other border options.  A Dark Dark…Scrappy Saber Sawtooth Star 2

And a Light Dark…Scrappy Saber Sawtooth Star 3

I could just do whatever and see how it comes out.  This topper is after all supposed to be whatever I pull out of the scrap pile anyway.  We’ll see.  As it is designed right now the quilt will measure 70″ x 70″.  From my days in the bedding textile industry we made our comforters for a twin 64″ x 86″ and queens usually were 86″ x 86″.  This would fit a twin without a pillow turnover.  Or a very comfy lap quilt.

The other item you can sorta see behind this topper are Birds In The Air blocks.  DSCF9244

I was inspired, as strange as it may be, by a recent report in the news about Nancy Rink’s STOLEN quilts.  One of those quilts had me at HELLO!  After reading the news about the theft I thought this would be an excellent block for many people to make on their own and collectively we could give back to Nancy what was stolen.  It was a thought and I challenged my fellow quilters over at Quiltville’s Open Studio if they wanted to be involved and the response was amazing.

A long story shortened I contacted Nancy and we have been in touch about actually putting together a different quilt of hers but all is on hold right now as we await further word from Nancy.

So as we wait…with more and more quilters signing up…I’ve been working on these blocks.  I also have her original pattern but my blocks are three colors as opposed to her 2 color.  This ones for me.  I’m secretly in love with these fabrics…DSCF9245

I don’t know why as I’ve never been one to shop much in the 1800’s reproduction section.  I guess I just needed some inspiration.  These colors actually look great in the living room so we’ll see how this comes out!


Lots of triangles on this one!

Have a great Wednesday everyone!


For more information about the stolen quilts of Nancy Rink see these links:

Video of the report

Pictures of the quilts on Teri Lucas’ Blog



Tomatoes Tomatoes Tomatoes!

The tomatoes are starting to ripen and daily I have been picking 3-4 off of the plants.DSCF9226

The yellow ones first, then the red.  Now I’ve got quite a bit and need to make something quick!

Fresh Garden Tomato Salsa!DSCF9230A perfect salsa to eat on it’s own, with chips or top a hot dog!



4 cups tomatoes, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
Cilantro, chopped — add to your taste, I added 1/3 cup
A dash of Cumin
A dash of Salt
A dash of black pepper
1 Tablespoon dried Mexican Oregano, crumbled

Mix all the above together and enjoy!


Ever have one of those days? Severing my 7 pin towing cable! But having a great trip!

I actually forgot to take a picture of what it looked like when I pulled into the campground.  Here is a photo after Roadside Assistance came and cut off the 7 pin connector that was just hanging on by the black rubber…


Somehow I managed to pinch the cable in between the tow hitch and the trailer.  Snap!

Thankfully I was able to use my Good Sam roadside assistance card and a crew was at my campsite within an hour working on the repair.

I know that’s a crappy photo and not at all focused on the cable but I know you’ll be able to see what it is that I did.  This was my first solo towing trip for a Girls Campout and it was a real education.

Now that I’m back home safe and sound, problems fixed…thank you Jim for meeting me at Carquest (also needed a new fuse) and bringing me replacement clips (lost those too) and thanks to Master Truck and Trailer for checking my 7 pin connection and teaching me how to re-set my brake controller.    And thank you Mary for finding 5th wheel guy in the v8 diesel to come and check over a few things!  I feel like my crises has given me a new found appreciation for people that are willing to help.

Sniff sniff…

So has this deterred me from doing this again?  No.  I’ve just been educated and now (although that was rather painful) what to look for and not make the same mistakes.



Talk later you all!


Headphone Cover Replacement Tutorial! – For old school earphones and people that can’t use ear buds…

Hi Everyone!

This is a super quickie project.  One I’ve had on the brain for a while but just this morning decided to do.  Headphone covers!  DSCF9197-002

I’m old school.  I have tried ear buds and other ear pieces but to my dismay, those usually hurt my ears.  Jim has some super monster noise cancelling headphones that are very comfortable but are REALLY BIG.  Great for the airplane but not so great if you want to go for a walk and listen to the radio or music…big and bulky on the head plus when you are outside you want to hear SOME noise around you…just to be safe.

So I have these headphones but over time the spongy covers have all but disintegrated or have fallen off.DSCF9199-001

Over time this foam just goes bad…DSCF9200

…probably not what you want up next to your ear anyway.

To make replacements you’ll need the following:

1. Paper
2. Pencil or marker
3. . Thread
4. Scissors
5. Sewing machine, properly threaded with a size 10-12 needle, preferably a machine with zig zag as that is what I’ll be demonstrating.  (though you could improvise if needed if you wanted to do this by hand or with a straight stitch)
6. Hand sewing needle
7. Scrap fabric
8. Scrap piece of cotton batting (other batting would work too but try to stick with natural fibers and low or medium loft, not of that 2 inch foam!)

Ready?  Let’s begin!

Step 1: Trace the outline of the earpiece.         DSCF9200-001

Step 2: Draw an extension, this is about 1/2″, or enough to turn back over the edge of your earphone…DSCF9201
…mark some placement markings.  I marked a T for Top and a B for bottom.  Cut our your pattern…

Step 3: Layer your batting, your scrap piece of fabric and your pattern and cut two…DSCF9203
I transferred my markings onto the batting…DSCF9206
Step 4: Sew a zig zag around the outer edge of the earphone pads.

First I set up my machine.  Stitch length at 1, width of zig zag at 1-1/2…DSCF9207 DSCF9208
…sew all around the discs…DSCF9209 DSCF9210
Step 5: Hand gather the pads.

Cut a piece of thread about 25 inches in length.  Thread it through a hand sewing needle and double it up.  Tie a knot including both threads…DSCF9211

…inserting the needle from back to front.  This will bury the knot to the inside… DSCF9213
…and sew a running stitch around the pad.  The stitches are not that small, you want them big enough so you can pull the threads to gather in the pads.
Start gathering in the pad.  Just pull on the thread and ease in the gathers around the edge.DSCF9215
Step 6: Attaching the pad to the earphone.

Match up your markings and patiently work the pad around the earphone.  You’ll pull tightly on the threads…DSCF9216 DSCF9217
Tie a knot and cut the threads.DSCF9218
If needed (I did on these earphones) run a second line of gathering stitches to snug the fit (I ran a second set of stitches on one side of the pads), knot and clip the threads!

Viola!  Check the fit and you’re ready to rock!DSCF9221

The great part about these pads is they can be made with whatever fabric you want.  If you want to use scrap like me…great!  If you want to fussy cut something cute, awesome!  If you want to make an itsy quilt block, even better!DSCF9223


Happy Sewing!


Scrappy Saber Sawtooth Quilt Update!

I had no idea this 8 pointed star block was also called the Sawtooth Star.  I guess it all depends on what you grow up with or learn as you learn your quilting.  Apparently it’s fairly popular…so nothing new here.

However, just like the Churn Dash block quilt, this block is super easy to make and very quickly I’ve produced quite a number of them from my stash pull.

I’ve been using EQ7 to come up with some kind of placement for the blocks.  Here’s the latest.  It is built like a medallion quilt only the medallion portion are the 16 sawtooth star blocks sewn together in the center…

Scrappy Saber Sawtooth Star

From there I get the best of both worlds.  I’ll get my strings in as a border around the center and then the remainder blocks get a spacing between them as then next border.  It looks complicated but trust me it actually is turning out very simple.  Completely based upon  a 2-1/2″ base.DSCF8783

The string blocks are being made WITHOUT paper.  I can’t stand removing paper from string blocks and I really find that step completely unnecessary.  I am trimming down the strings into 5 inch blocks…DSCF8785

The blocks will be cut in half (2-1/2″) and placed zig zaggy around the center 16.  Then the 2-1/2″ strip will be cut in half again to yield the block separator…DSCF8786

…for the third border.  This is why I LOVE EQ7!  I would never have been able..okay…maybe never is a strong word, but seriously, EQ7 did this calculation for me within a few clicks.  I was stunned at how simple it all was.  The best $150 I’ve ever spent!!!

Can’t wait to see how all this is going to finish.

Happy Quilting!


Epic Fermented Pickle Fail!

This is my second attempt at naturally fermented food.  And my second FAIL.  My first attempt was sauerkraut gosh, that was 2 and a half years ago and I’ve not tried it since.  But somehow all the Youtube videos make it look so easy and fool-proof.

Harrumph I say!

So today was completion day for the fermented pickles and I brought up the crock from the basement… DSCF9196-001and looked under the hood, removing my weigh down bag and plate…DSCF9197-001I skimmed off some scum and took out a pickle…DSCF8772Eww!  Oh my goodness…this thing is a mush turd with a hint of garlic and dill.  Completely gross.  After a few minutes of what to do I decided to pour the whole batch out into the sink and dissect a few…DSCF8768I began to pick them up and some were hard!  Oh maybe I didn’t have an all out disaster as previously thought!  I sorted out the mush from the ones that actually were firm..  DSCF8770The mushy ones are on the right, only about 5… DSCF8773The ones on the left were really quite firm…DSCF8774
Ever the analyzer I proceed to dissect the lot. The fermented mayhem is splayed out before me…DSCF8775
…and I slice and inspect…DSCF8776 DSCF8779 DSCF8780

Okay…it looks alright…  but how does it taste.  I get up the nerve to taste it.


I can’t even describe accurately what the taste was.  Tinny?  Yes, it was a bit salty.  No, it didn’t taste spoiled, no it wasn’t slippery it was just really really awful.  I’m thinking it might have been my spices that were making such a bad taste or too much dill.  I don’t know.  As far as the mushy cukes I think I waited too long to get these cucumbers into a brine.

I’ve been reading about pickle problems and from what the experts (Ball) say fermented pickles need to go from field to crock within 24-48 hours or else they get soft.  Certainly I had a few softies.

Oh well.  Live and learn.  Hopefully my next attempt at the Uncle Kruncker Pickle factory will go more smoothly!

Happy Happy everyone!