Sunday, December 31, 2017

End of the Year 2017- Personal Report

Well, I finally did SEW yesterday! I completed half the flying geese for Clue 5. Today I'll press them and finished up with Clue 5. Clue 6 is cut and ready to sew. Clue 7 is ready to sew. I'm so glad the cutting is over!!! I didn't have any Accuquilt dies that would work for this quilt - all cut by rotary cutter. Whew! If I'm going to keep making Bonnie Hunter mystery quilts, I think I might need to invest in a 2" strip die...

Now I think I'd like to reflect on the year and see how I did with my personal goals.

2017 Goals:

1. I plan to continue with my daily quilting schedule, finishing En Provence, curved hexie project, a Sue Spargo quilt, basket UFO, Gardenvale, I'm a Farmer's Daughter

 I did finish En Provence (Ain't No Sunshine), Gardenvale, and I'm a Farmer's Daughter. I completed a total of 12 quilting/sewing projects including 7 large quilts, 3 small quilts, and 2 dresses. I didn't do everything on the list, but I did add some other projects. I'm satisfied.

2. Keep swimming and hiking. 

I did well on this at the beginning of the year, but slacked off later. Should have done better.

3. Take better care of my skin. 

I passed this one with flying colors. Rodan and Fields products have done wonders for my skin!

4. Read more. I'm going to set a doable goal - read 12 books during the year. I should be able to do that!

I passed this one with flying colors, also. I read 29 books!!!! Yippee! Yes, I'm happy about this!

Overall, I think I did pretty well. I've really enjoyed keeping count of the quits/projects I've finished and the books I've read. Tomorrow I'll begin with a clean slate. I have one quilt (New Bedford) that is essentially done, but I haven't hand stitched the binding. I guess I'll get to count that as  2018 finish. 

So tomorrow I'll list my goals for 2018. I may do things a bit differently as far as quilting goes. 

Thanks to you all for joining me here this past year! Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Fabric Cutting

I had to raid my stash for the Clue 6 triangles. And they are definitely more ORANGE than coral to pink, but they are still sunset colors and I think that is the point. I got all the triangles cut for this quilt; today I'll cut the triangles for the Christmas quilt. I still haven't sewn Clue 5.

And I got up this morning to Clue 7???? What???? You're killing me, Bonnie Hunter! Haha!

Yesterday's Instant Pot adventure was making applesauce. I used this recipe

I only had five apples so it's a small batch, but very good. I've gotten several emails about my Instant Pot and IP recipes...this seems to be a popular topic at the moment, so I'll continue to share the recipes I try and like here on the blog.

NOTE: A no-reply commenter wanted to know where I got my doggy Christmas mug - it was a gift, but I believe it came from Pier 1.

Enjoy your day!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Alabama Pine Burr

I have a quilt finish to share with you today (click the image to see bigger). I actually finished this months ago - it was one of those secret projects. Our guild has a challenge every year. This year we each drew a fat quarter out of a bag - mine was the yellow. We had to add black and white fabric to our fat quarter to make a small quilt - no other color allowed.

The Pine Burr block is the Alabama state quilt block - does your state have an official quilt block??? I've been so inspired by Blue Mountain Daisy - she does amazing things with this block! You should go to the link and look around; I'm sure you'll be flabbergasted at her work!

So that was my starting point. Originally I planned to make 4 pine burr blocks, but the yellow fabric didn't go very far.  So I ended up with one pine burr block and some borders.  This was fun to make and I hope to do more with this pattern with other colors.

I'm feeling a bit better today - not totally well, but better. Maybe I'll feel like sewing today???? I saw Bonnie Hunter's latest clue and I'm worried that I don't have enough orange/corals left. I think I'll try to cut out the clue with what I have on hand and then move on to sewing Clue 5. If I need more coral, I'll pick it up in a few days...

Even though I haven't felt like sewing this week, I've been thinking about it. I like to have goals each new year (NOT resolutions), so I'm working on a plan for 2018. I haven't finished my plan yet, but it's getting there.

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Instant Pot - First Meal

I met my only goal yesterday: to try out my new Instant Pot. I made Creamy Italian Chicken with Penne. Hubby helped me figure it out and a couple of calls to Daughter 2 (who has an Instant Pot) helped, too. This recipe was delicious! And it cooked in 7 minutes.

I liked that I put uncooked pasta in with raw chicken and everything cooked at one time in one pot. Easy cleanup! The pasta was cooked perfectly and the chicken was so tender. I think I'm going to like this thing.

I'm still sitting around doing nothing, waiting to feel better. The dogs are curled up together by the fire this morning. I'm hoping that my head will clear enough today so that I feel like sewing a bit later. 

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Taking it Easy... With Spiced Tea

I'm still struggling with this head cold of mine. I have resigned myself to the reality that clue 5 will not be complete when the next Bonnie Hunter clue comes out. And that's okay. I certainly didn't plan on getting sick. But the weather is cold and rainy this week - a great week to stay in and rest!

Last night Hubby and I made a batch of Spiced Tea Mix - it is perfect when you don't feel great.

Spiced Tea Mix

2 cups Tang
3/4 cup instant tea
Lemonade mix (enough powder to make 1 quart)
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice

Mix well and store in airtight container. Stir 1-3 teaspoons (to taste) in a cup of boiling water. 

Note: I use a big mug and 4 teaspoons of tea mix.

I got an Instant Pot for Christmas! My only goal today is to learn to use it. I'm making an Italian pasta dish tonight; at least that's the plan.

I also got a Mary Berry cookbook. I adore Mary Berry! I plan to make a recipe from the book in a few days.

But for now you'll find me in my recliner sipping on Spiced Tea from my new favorite mug. Yes, Cooper photobombed this photo! Hubby has recorded several movies for us to watch. Should be a relaxing day....

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Car Travel

When you're in the car for extended periods of time during Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt season, you take it on the road! This was me yesterday, marking diagonal lines on squares while riding to Birmingham. Yesterday we had the Wood family Christmas at Daughter 2's home. Saturday we traveled to Augusta - 9.5 hours in the car in one day for the Cheape family Christmas in Augusta.

Unfortunately, I came down with the Christmas crud, but it's just an old fashioned head cold and hasn't slowed me down much. It was nice being in the home of a Pharmacist yesterday...she dosed me up and I felt better!

We had a wonderful few days celebrating the season with family. Today I want to rest. And put away Christmas presents. And maybe sew a bit?

Have a great day!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Clue 5 is Cut!

I somehow managed to cut Clue 5 (times 2!) in between laundry, wrapping presents, and making another batch of cookies.

These are Pfeffernusse Cookies. I had never eaten them before our hot chocolate party - a neighbor brought some and I loved them! So I found a recipe and made some. There are SO GOOD, full of spices, including black pepper, cardamom, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. YUM! Holiday baking is now done. Shopping is done. Wrapping is DONE! I'm ready.

Now I have to draw diagonal lines on 800 little squares of fabric....

Merry Christmas Eve Ever!

Friday, December 22, 2017

A Pressing Matter

Duck, duck, goose? There's an oopsie in every bunch! I fixed it and finished pressing.

Boom! Clue 4 (times 2!) is complete. I cannot believe I'm staying caught up!!! Of course, I haven't had time to sew anything else, but I'm fine with that. I'll get these two quilt tops made and get back on track in the new year.

I made a double batch of the same spritz cookies last night - I want to have plenty to share over the next several days.

Today I'll work on cutting out the next clue and I'm making a batch of another type cookies - last day of baking! I also need to wrap a pile of presents. And I've promised myself that I will not run errands!!!! I think I have everything I need now to get through the holidays.

Yesterday as I checked out at one store, the cashier told me that it was her first day back after being out with the flu. Great.... So glad to know that.... Went home and washed my hands three times in a row!

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Shopping, Eating, Sewing, and Cookies!

What a busy day! We headed out early and finished our Christmas shopping. Yay!

Then on to have lunch out with an old friend and her husband. Fun!

Then home to grab a quick nap and sew. Above are the two units of Clue 4, the top for Bonnie's colors, the bottom in Christmas colors. I actually finished all the sewing for this clue, but I need to press them today.

Next I baked cookies. Aren't they cute? My favorite cookies are simple, no frills,

These turned out so well! We like them so much that I think I'll make another batch later this week.

I do have an errand or two to run today, but mostly I'll be home to press these pieced units and do a bit more baking.

Have a fun day!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Replacing the Christmas Squares

I took a dear reader's advice (thanks SGB!) and cut more squares for my Christmas Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt. This is the fabric I chose - it has the darker green, red, and ever the black of my other fabrics so I think it will work and provide more contrast against the black triangles. And I was lucky enough to have just enough of it in my stash!

As of this morning I have finished sewing Clue 4 for the quilt in Bonnie's colors; they need to be pressed. I have done half the sewing for Clue 4 in Christmas colors. I think I'll get in some sewing time today - hope so!

We have to be out and about for a bit; I need to do a bit more Christmas shopping! And we are eating lunch out. And there may be some cookie baking....

Should be a fun day! Hope you have a fun day, too!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Caught Up!

I stayed busy this weekend - can you tell? I finished Clue 3 (TIMES TWO!). Boom!


And yesterday afternoon I cut out Clue 4 (TIMES TWO!). Boom! I wish that the green and black had more contrast for my Christmas version, but it is what it is at this point. It will be okay (I keep telling myself!) - haha!

Today I'm planning to sew all day long so we'll see how far I get on this piecing. I also need to work on one other tiny project.

Enjoy the day!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Sleeping Dog

The only photo I have to share today is Mickey sleeping beside the fire. I'm still working away on Clue 3. As predicted, I finished this step for one quilt and got a good start on the second one. I should be able to finish today and be ready to cut fabric for Clue 4 later today or tomorrow.

We have another party to attend tonight - last one! - but I should have plenty of time to sew, too.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Sewing and A Garage Sale...and A Bit of TV

I'm moving along in my Clue 3; I should finish for the Bonnie colors today (only 1/4 left to go) and start the sewing Christmas quilt pieces, too. I think I'll totally finish Clue 3 for both quilts on Friday - not too behind.

We went to a 'garage sale' yesterday in our neighborhood. They were selling furniture from model homes here that they no long need. So these items were like new - never used, only staged in new homes. We came home with several pieces for the lake house. Of course for now we are cramming them here in the cottage - creative storage - haha!

I haven't made a TV report lately, so here it goes. We finished watching Newsroom recently - wonderful! We also watched Stranger Things, finishing it a couple of days ago. It was a bit weird and scary, but we really loved it. I typically don't like Science Fiction, but that just goes to show you that sometime you need to get out of your box.

Now we are watching White Collar - really good - recommended by Daughter 1. We finished Godless last night - great show! It's a Western, again a genre I would typically not like, but I loved this! My father loved Westerns, and he would have loved this. Stick with it - the first episode is disjointed, but it all comes together eventually.

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Good Start

I finally began sewing on Clue 3 yesterday. I doubt I finish this clue by Friday, but that's okay. I'll get as much done as I can. I should have lots of sewing time today!

I had a fun lunch with a high school friend yesterday - hadn't seen her in 30 years! And we now live in the same area. We were at the restaurant for 3 plus hours! Lots to catch up on....

I still need to do a bit of Christmas shopping, but most of it will be online - easy peasy.

That's it for me this morning - enjoy your day!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Hot Chocolate Party

 Our focus as of late has been our neighborhood party - we hosted our entire street, plus a couple of tiny streets Sunday night. Lots of hot chocolate, lots of hot cider, and lots of food!

We had one propane heater, two real wood fire pits, and one propane fire pit. The weather was perfect with a bit of a chill, but not too cold.

We had more than 70 people in attendance - what fun we had!

When we bought our cottage last year, we thought we were simply buying a smaller home with a nice golf course and pools. But we got so much more. We have this wonderful close knit community - a community that loves to socialize, give back, and help each other.

We are so happy here! And now back to sewing....

Have a great day!

Saturday, December 9, 2017


This doesn't happen often way down here in the deep South! So yes, we have to go outside early and take a few pictures when it does! The roads in the neighborhood seem fine.

 The inside of our cottage is looking festive, as well.

I spent the morning doing prep for our outdoor hot chocolate party (Sunday), but in the afternoon....oh yes, I did! I cut out all of Clue 3 for the mystery quilt in both color ways. And last night I marked the diagonal lines on half the squares. I'm hoping I can squeeze in some sewing time later today.

Stay warm!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...

We loaded up on Poinsettia's yesterday - FIVE huge plants! And today the hot chocolate making commences for our party. One more grocery store run is in order today. I was going to wait until tomorrow, but (believe it or not!) we might have snow in our forecast tonight. 

The doggies don't mind the cold weather - they are curled up by the fireplace, warm as can be.

Hope you can snuggle by a fire today!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Clue 2 Done! Times TWO!

I wasn't expecting to be saying this today, but I finished Clue 2 for the mystery quilt in Christmas colors yesterday! The flying geese have flown the coop and I can now prepare for this weekend's party...and maybe even sew on another project. It took one and half Hallmark Christmas movies to get this done - haha! It's the way I measure sewing time these days.

Today Hubby and I have to go to Sam's Club - a BIG shopping trip. Party stuff, you know....
And if I'm lucky I'll fit in some sewing time later.

Have a good day!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Technical Difficulties Resolved!

Aren't these pretty? I love them all lined up in little rows.

I'm so glad my technical issues are resolved - Hubby fixed it yesterday. I now have my Kindle Fire loaded up with everything I need. And I have my laptop back to normal. Yay!

Yesterday I FINISHED Clue 2 for Bonnie's colors. AND I got a great start on Clue 2 done in Christmas colors. I might just be caught up when Friday rolls around!

Today I hope to sew a bit more. And then I will let myself do some work for the neighborhood party we are hosting this weekend. It will not be too much work - on our street we have parties outside since our homes are all little. We'll have all our fire pits (3) going full blast, plus a patio heater. There will be hot chocolate and hot cider to drink. And everyone will be bringing snacks. Easy peasy. (I hope!)

Okay, let's get this day going! Enjoy it!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Flying Geese Out the WAZOO!

Sorry for the lack of photos - I'm having technical difficulties at the moment and hope to have them fixed soon. Last night while trying to get email on my new Kindle Fire....I managed to mess up something on my laptop. I'm sure I'll have it figured out soon. I'm lucky to have a software engineer for a daughter!


I made great progress on flying geese yesterday. I've completed 95 units (out of 200) for the quilt in Bonnie's colors. And the remaining geese for this quilt are halfway done! I hope to finish these today so I can start the Christmas quilt flying geese sewing tomorrow.

I am doing almost all the sewing while watching Hallmark Christmas movies - what fun!!!!

I have other things to accomplish around the house today, but I do hope to get a nice bit of time to sew!

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

A Bit of Sewing!

Yesterday I did get some of these pieces sewn! These are in Bonnie's colors. I've only made about 35 of these flying geese (out of 400), but it's a start. I'm really not sure if I'll get all these sewn by Friday, but we'll see. We're hosting a party at our home next weekend and I've got a busy week ahead.

I ended up going shopping yesterday with D1 - got two pairs of new boots! Excited! I also got some cool stuff for decorating for our party.

My new Kindle came yesterday and I LOVE it! Excited to start reading a new book soon...

I'm just excited about everything, aren't I? Haha! Tis the season, I guess..

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Cutting and Cutting and Cutting!

1200 pieces cut! This took a long time, as you might imagine. When you make On Ringo Lake (or any Bonnie Hunter quilt) twice, it take so many little pieces!

Hubby saw all these little piles of ten on the dining table and said, "So now you're ready to sew?"

Nope. If you're following along with the clues, you know that now I have to mark a diagonal line on the back side of the 800 squares. He shook his head. "You've got more patience than I have," he said. Well, he has a different kind of patience - the kind of patience it take to hit thousands of golf balls, trying to tweak his grip, his stance, and whatever else he might  be able to tweak in order to hit more accurately or further.

So last night I pulled out a sandpaper surface (to help grip the fabric), a ruler, and a mechanical pencil to begin the marking process. I got a good start. Actually I got 400 squares marked - halfway there! Today there will be lots of football to watch while I draw more of these lines. I doubt I do any sewing yet, but I'll be ready soon.

Enjoy your day!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Back to the Christmas Animals

Yesterday was good! I did finish all my Bonnie Hunter nine patches - enough for TWO quilts.

Then I moved on to the Christmas animals. I added the two side sections. Yay! I guess the next step for this quilt is to add some red or green strips around it and then there will be more animals to come.

But today another Bonnie Hunter clue is being I will be cutting fabric for that as soon as I finish my coffee and breakfast. I love Fridays!

So this iPad fell out of my hands as I was getting out of the car a couple of days ago. The screen is absolutely shattered. It still works though. For now I'm not getting it repaired - I immediately went to Amazon and ordered a Kindle Fire - it will do everything I need for probably less money than the repair. No biggie...

Today we also want to get our Christmas decorations out - it's about time! Most of our neighborhood has already decorated; we feel behind!

Have a great one!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Christmas Nine Patches

No, I never made it to the sewing machine yesterday.... We stopped on the way home from the lake for a lovely lunch of fresh vegetables at Sho Nuff Barbecue - yes, that's Sho Nuff. The food was so good! By the time we got home my full tummy was asking that I take a nap. And I agreed. By the time I woke up and got going it was dark and almost time for dinner, which turned into tomato soup since we were still very full. Maybe those burgers will be cooked tonight?

I have 35 of these Christmas nine patches made, so I should be able to finish them today. Do you notice my joining points? Pretty good, huh?

I first started making Bonnie Hunter mystery quilts to improve my shotty piecing skills. I believe this is my 4th mystery, and yes, it's working! My piecing is improving!

And I now know what my previous problems were:
-rushing through cutting
-rushing through sewing

Taking the time to slow down and focus a bit more has made all the difference in my work. AND I stop to measure blocks and pieces frequently to make sure I'm on track. I have to keep reminding myself: THIS IS NOT A RACE! I don't have to finish first. I just have to finish.

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Clue 1

Boom! I finished all the nine patches for Clue 1 using Bonnie Hunter's colors. I'm almost done with the Christmas quilt nine patches - maybe today I'll finish them? We're at the lake, but will come back home this afternoon. And dinner will be grilled burgers (quick meal!), so that should leave me a bit of sewing time. Hope so! I know I won't stay caught up on all the clues as they come, but this week I will!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

On Ringo Lake

Yesterday morning I rearranged my sewing room just a bit so that I was looking straight at the TV while I was sewing. It's Hallmark Christmas movie season, you know....

I made all these little units for my Christmas mystery quilt. These were easy and fast because they are not scrappy.

And then I moved on to the version in Bonnie Hunter's colors - very scrappy indeed! I still have to make the side units to go with these - the ones with the blue. I should be able to get that done this morning and then work on sewing all the nine patches together. So far, so good!

Today I need to find two plastic shoe boxes to store the parts and pieces for each of these quilts. I'm excited about the progress I made yesterday!

Have a wonderful day!