Friday, June 15, 2018

a good find at Goodwill

  I am always so glad the Goodwill stores are available to take my unneeded and unwanted items, but I hardly ever go inside to shop...I am afraid I will load up on other people's cast off goods!

But one day I had some idle time while I was waiting for my big comforter to go through a wash cycle at the coin laundry (needed a super size machine) and I thought I would take a look around the nearby Goodwill store.

A bit of everything in there! A lot to look at.  I came across a shelf with some folded fabric and dug around through it. Hmmm, mostly upholstry fabric and yards of old polyester double knit.

Then I noticed a crumpled, cloudy looking plastic bag with some bright fabric inside.  I looked at it from all angles and could see a couple of quilt blocks inside too.
 I thought maybe there would be enough fabric there to put together a small donation quilt.
At the price of $2.99 that would be a good deal all around.

When I got home and emptied it out of that creepy looking bag, there was more than I thought!

There were two finshed quilt blocks and a lot of fabric strips.

Someone had a project planned and started...and maybe decided they didn't like it and wanted to ditch it and move on.
My first thought was that I'd figure out that block pattern and make more of those for a quilt...but then I decided...I really like those fabric strips and I don't want to use them in blocks like that.
Maybe not even for a donation quilt.

I'm not so nice after all now, am I?

Well, maybe I can do both.  Keep some and use some.  We shall see.

Now I am not going to be able to pass by a Goodwill store without being tempted to stop in and check for fabric. Sheesh!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

my big nine patch quilt finished

I finished this a couple of weeks ago but I've just now got around to taking it outside for a photo session.

It measures about 78" x 92". 

All of the nine patches are cut from my small scraps and scraps that my quilting friends have given me.  I like working with the small pieces...but I had to buy the yellow and dark blue yardage to tie everything together.

I am happy with the way it looks.  Especially the way some of the little nine patches stand out more because they are made from darker or brighter fabrics.

I had someone in mind when I started sewing this quilt but I lost confidence about halfway through and switched to making a different quilt for that person.

It is machine pieced and quilted.

There are 168 nine patches in this quilt.  I first intended to make it larger, so there's a bunch of nine patch blocks left over that I'll be using in another quilt.  

The backing fabric is rows and rows of daisies.

I'm not sure what I will do with this one. It's too big for a couch snuggle quilt and not big enough for our king size bed.

Nah, I won't be using it as a tablecloth...

For now, I'll just put it away in the closet.

This is the second project I have finished since I vowed to finish all my unfinished projects!

Friday, June 1, 2018

quite a storm!

We had one of those big thunderstorms that can do a lot of damage to trees that are fully leafed out with all their new spring foliage.

Really strong winds and rain slamming down in sheets.  It was scary to even look outside while it was going on.
Trees bending over farther than you would ever think they could without breaking. Leaves and twigs flying everywhere.

Then it was over and time to go outside and look at the damage.

Messy, but nothing big was down in the back yard.  The pool caught a lot of debris.

But out front by the driveway, a trunk section split off my Heptacodium, I think it will recover.

And a medium sized branch torn off a very old Redbud too.

Back toward the field several smallish branches from the Sassafras lying around everywhere.

No major losses but there will need to be a clean up before time to mow again.

I didn't read much on the news about the storm. It must have been worse in some areas than in others. 

And we did need the rain.

Monday, May 28, 2018

parmesan pork chops

I am always on the look out for low carbohydrate recipes - or ways to cut back the carbs in favorite recipes.

The original version of this pork chop recipe called for a bread crumb coating. I changed things up a bit and used parmesan cheese for the coating instead.

Here's what you need - boneless chops 1" thick, real mayonaise, garlic salt, black pepper and parmesan cheese.

I cut my own chops from a boneless pork loin that was on sale.  I wanted them to be at least an inch thick so they wouldn't dry out.

So, you just spread a generous coating of mayonaise on each chop, sprinkle with garlic salt and black pepper, then dredge in parmesan cheese.

Flip to the other side and do the same thing...

Bake on a rack or broiler pan in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes until chops are cooked through.
I turn on the broiler for a few minutes at the end to get the parmesan browned and melted.

Tastes better than using breadcrumbs!

These hold up well as leftovers, too.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

a crochet baby afghan

First...I have been noticing that the term "afghan" is seldom ever used these days to refer to crocheted and knitted blankets.
As I was growing up, my Granny, who crocheted a lot of them, always called them "afghans".

It seems not as descriptive to refer to one as a baby "blanket", and to call it a baby "throw" conjurs up images of some horrific contest where babies are being....well, you get the picture.

So, whatever you call it - I have finished one.

The pattern for the block is 6" Mum Flower, and you can find it HERE as a free download.

With the extra rows of crochet border, this one finished at 27" x 36".  I didn't block it but I should have flattened some of those mums out in to shape a little better before I took the photo.

This is the first thing I have completed up since I vowed to finish up all of my partially done projects.

And it's definitely time for this one to be finished.  I see that my printed pattern says 2009 !!
That's when I first started making the blocks - yikes!

Yep, Nine years is long enough.  This one will be donated - maybe to Newborns in Need.

Monday, May 14, 2018

all purple flowers are blooming

It sure is nice to see some spring blooms.  But it seems like nearly all of mine are purple.

Especially in this area. That's May Night Salvia in the front and large Iris in the back.

These smaller Siberian Iris are also in the above photo but hard to see - so here's a close up.

I like the mix and contrast of the Siberians with the larger Iris.

In the same bed but blooming only at the top of the arch...are my Clematis - also purple.

Later in this same area my purple butterfly bush will be blooming.

I do have some different color in another bed...these pretty peach colored Iris and also some bi-color Iris there in the rear.

And, the Peony is blooming - white.

And a Viburnum - also white.

Wouldn't it be a sight if all things bloomed at the same time, like in a Thomas Kincade painting?
It would be overwhelming though.
I like all things blooming in their turn.  So what will be next?   I think maybe Daylillies.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

wool pressing mat

No matter what sort of hobby you're interested in, there are always lots of people trying to figure out some sort of specialty gadget or accessory that they can get you to buy.

Usually, I try to be careful not to buy a bunch of extra quilting supplies (although I do have a weakness for pattern books), but occasionally something will come along that I just have to buy.

That was the case with this wool pressing mat.

I kept seeing the mats being mentioned by my favorite quilting bloggers and on online message boards.  Everyone seemed to love the way that pressing quilt blocks on the mat would give such good results...nice flat seams.

I ordered mine on Amazon (here)  It had all good reviews.

The wool mat is nice and thick - designed to hold the heat so the item being pressed is heated from above and below.

Time to give it a try...

Yep, I can see a difference!  I think it will be even better using my full size iron...this mini one doesn't get as hot.

One thing I noticed though...a bit of moisture under the mat after using it, even though I didn't use steam. I will have to remember to flip it after use to let that evaporate.

Overall I'm happy with the purchase and would recommend this item to anyone who quilts.