29 October 2020

October Monthly Goal Complete

Is anyone else not ready to say goodbye
to October?  It's a month of such vibrant color and
heaps of change.  A month of incredible flavors.
A month of preparing and then finally settling in.

I feel like I got a lot out of October this year so if I
have to say goodbye, at least it will be with no regrets.
I travelled, I cleaned, I prepared, I watched the leaves
and even enjoyed some snow while sitting by a fire.

There was a little home improvement on the
side while I worked with peppers, herbs, squash
and pumpkins.  And I worked on my glowing quilt.
You really can't ask for more than that from a month!

Knowing it was going to be a very full month, I kept
my October goal to just getting the September Glow
blocks sewn into a top--with or without borders
as time did or did not allow.

Due to its construction, this required pinning
every single seam match-up so
oh-my-goodness did this take forever!

Today I'll be working out the border(s) but
at least I completed my main goal.
See you all in November!

Happy End-Of-October, and happy quilting!

Linking up to:
Elm Street Quilts:

l Like Thursday #4

A beautiful fall Thursday to all.
So much to like in the fall!

Though it feels more like winter lately.
Lucky for me I like snow.

Remember last week's
 "trees in the corner of our backyard"?
The leaves are now turning more and falling.
(and the snow is melting)
A few years ago I did the coolest thing.
From the very first sign of fall, I took a picture of
that maple every single day and then
lumped them all together so you could see
the change all at once.  Some things just
float your boat, you know?  This was one of
mine and I should make it a yearly thing.
Maybe a different tree every year?

I like the new fabric I just got in the mail.
Especially the three on the right.

I'm not sure I like the snow and freezing temps
hitting my record-breaking 58-lb pumpkin.
They are not meant to last forever I guess.
Maybe the chickens will like him...

I like making soup from broth made from our
own chickens, herbs and veggies--it doesn't get
any more homegrown and healthier than that!
And I love my new Dutch oven!  It's bigger and
a little flatter than my old one.  But heavier.
Wow is that thing heavy!

Chloe likes my Halloween quilts, naps
and being curled up by a crackling fire.
Me too, kitty!  Me too!

I like icicles.

I like the snow settling in over the garden,
giving much-needed moisture to the strawberries,
asparagus and the other plants that remain.

Aw, c'mon--who doesn't like snow on evergreens?

I like---
(as we say here in the Midwest--all. the. time!)

Okay, icy snow removed--let's try this again:
I like keeping the birds fed over the winter.
They like it here by the pool.  The snow/water
collects on the cover and the entire combo makes
it a favorite spot for all winged creatures for miles
around.  The squirrels get in on the action too but,
though they are cute and funny, they're mostly just
pests (rivals?) to one who gardens and has a pecan
tree in her back yard and an orchard of fruit trees.
And they steal the birds' food.

I like how some herbs hang on well into the
first cold months.  Most of this rosemary was
trimmed and brought in but later, in a pinch,
I can still work with what's here.
I really like having so much available to me
without having to go to depend on store.

You know what really does well in the winter?
Sage.  I like me some sage!  I have a few
fantastic sage recipes that I'll have to share over
the next months but for now, this one from
Proud Italian Cook completely rocked our world.

Hubs went a little crazy with the breadcrumbs on his.
We added grilled chicken, btw.

I'm not a huge squash lover but the fall ones
(butternut, acorn) are starting to grow on me.
The breadcrumbs alone in this recipe will have you
thinking about all the possible places you can put their
yumminess to good use.  The pasta part was a little dry
 but the squash imparts such an amazing and, to me,
surprising flavor that you don't care.  I'm wondering if
just more olive oil on the pasta will do the trick?
This one will be a regular in our fall menu, especially
as I grow butternut.  And the sage.  And the parsley.
See?  Right out my back door.  Fun stuff.

I like rolling around on the new wood floor in my
sewing room--which should have been there
from the beginning.  

Here's the story on that one.

I like sitting out here on a nice day, making
plans for the garden and other things.
It's probably gonna be awhile before this
happens again so I'll stick to a warm
coffee shop till then!

Happy quilting!
Please check out other fun likes over at

27 October 2020

Something New & Tuesday To-Do's

Happy Tuesday to all!
*First of all, I just found a bunch of comments from the
last few weeks that never went to my email.  I apologize
for not responding...and I'm still trying to figure all of this
out:  the new Blogger format...UGH!

As I write this, it's 25 degrees and snowing!
Winter has hit right in the middle of fall. 
I'd be happy with a couple more weeks of
autumn but I guess snow is cool, too.  It's just
that Christmas songs are popping up in my head.
Can't they wait just one week?!?

With so much going on lately, I've been a little off
on my Tuesday lists.  Travel and fall clean-up
first, and now a "little" sewing room construction.
My list will follow but I'm excited to share how
my "surprise" construction project turned out.

Several years ago we re-floored our entire house,
some in carpet and the rest in wood flooring.
I spent so much time picking out the perfect wood floor
(it's really hard to match it to so many surfaces)
but it was worth it--we love it.  The decision to
keep carpet in the bedrooms was an obvious one
(though I think I'd be happy with wood everywhere) 
but when it came to my sewing room I wavered back
and forth for months:

Carpet = better for my back when standing, quieter,
warmer, no fabric-fuzz showing constantly.
Wood = much easier to maintain in the long run,
no allergens, prettier (in my mind), chair can roll

I figured my back was the main issue so I went with
carpet (a short berber)...and soon regretted it.
I liked the cushion and warmth but it started showing
wear within months where I stand at the cutting table.

Then I had a freak accident:  a whole domino
mishap with a soy candle grand finale.
The kind that you watch happen in slow motion.
It cleaned up--and came right back within
weeks (repeatedly) so I finally just lived with it.
And, I would find myself sitting at my machine,
slightly off and contorted in my chair because it
didn't roll well and unknowingly I wasn't lined up
correctly--and this was actually hurting my back
probably more than standing on a hard floor would.
Within a year, I'd decided I needed the wood but
it just seemed so wasteful to pull practically-new
carpet that I put it off, all the while keeping an eye
on the product, making sure it wasn't discontinued.

Sad empty sewing room, yucky floor

Lately I've been getting some extra sewing in while
watching movies and football with the hubs.  When I
do this, I set up a temporary sewing station that
happens to be on the wood floor.   I've been able
to feel the difference an easily-rolling chair makes
so...I finally ordered my floor.

I have felt pretty guilty about that first bad decision.
When they took the room measurements I was told
transition piece would have to go in the doorway
even though the same wood is in the hallway.
 (It's not a floating floor.)
It's a little hard to explain but this really upset
me because I love the look of the smooth flow
 from room to room and I knew it would be a
reminder of that bad decision. However, I held on
to a wee bit of hope because I knew the installer
to be very good at what he does.  Just maybe...

By the way, if you want a
Fabric Collection Reality Check, there is nothing
like moving everything out of your sewing room
to make you realize that you should stop buying.


Okay, we already knew that but I mean
REALLY realize!

So guess what?  When the installer arrived, he took
one look at that doorway and said, "Oh, yeah. 
I can make that work."   A ha!

And by 3 pm, I had a new floor.

How funny to look at these pics from last Thursday,
knowing it was so hot (84 degrees in the house).
Just a few hours later, the cold north wind came up
and the temp dropped fast.  Now I'm looking out
at snow.  This is much more cozy!

But, anyway...
The minute they left, I walked into my room and
knew it was the right decision.  I love the look and
the practicality of this floor.  Fuzz, dirt, spills and
wear but in an instant, it can be back to looking
brand new again.  Carpet on the other hand...

The doorway is not 100% perfect but it's so close.
No one will ever know and it's so, so much better
than a dumb plastic transition piece sticking up.

I chose to leave the carpet in the closet because
without it it would be nothing but a fuzz collection
in there.  This transition looks fine and it's not even
seen when the door is shut but I think that plastic
strip would look just awful in my doorway.

Okay, I've gone on about my floor long enough.

What have I gotten done?

September Glow had to come down off of the design
wall for the floor installation so, after some feverish
sewing, I was able to get 7 of the 10 into rows.
Love those marking pins.

I had to re-figure the arrangement of the last
three rows but all 10 are sewn up now.

I also sewed up 6 "catchers" for the chicken coop
from their feed bags.  I won't explain these;
just know they are part of a system that keeps
the coop much cleaner, especially in the winter when
it's no fun being out there in the cold.  It's a big deal
get these done because I always put them off;
plus, they take up so much space in my closet.

Our oldest son came home for a quick visit and to
celebrate, belatedly, his 21st birthday, along with
our granddaughter's first birthday. 

My Meow! quilt was gifted along with the
Snow Day quiet book (timely!) and 2 cute sweaters
knitted up by Vicki at Vicki's Crafts & Quilting.  How
fun to give ALL hand-made gifts!

In all, not much accomplished but I did empty
my entire sewing room and then bring it all back,
which is bigger than a thorough cleaning and
reorganization.  In my mind, this trumps anything
else on a weekly to-do list!

Next week?
I so (sew) need a nice calm week of sewing.
It seems it has been forever!

1) Get September Glow into one piece!
This is also my October goal so it needs
to happen in the next couple days.

2) Load Ombre quilt

This was from last summer.  I have no plans for
it so I set it aside till I found a backing but I've
finally decided to just use a white-on-white that I
need to move out.

3) Work Christmas gifts
I've been in the mood to do this all last week
but now that there is snow on the ground?

4) Enjoy my floor
Easily accomplished with #'s 1, 3 & 4.

I'm thinking it needs a nice big jelly roll rug.
I'm wondering if a large one would be hard
on my shoulders/back, or even my machine?

So, the cold days have hit.  I have a day of sewing
ahead, soup on the stove and some sourdough
bread in the oven.  Remember all that broth I made
last summer from our old chickens and fresh herbs?
And the lemon thyme that I dried?
It's time thyme to start putting it all to use.

A great recipe made even better with some
extra effort.  (I add extra lemon and 
often replace the kale with spinach.)

Happy quilting!

Linking up to
Home Sewn By Us:  Tuesday To-Do #64

22 October 2020

What I'm Liking This Thursday (3)

I'm writing this on a lovely misty fall morning.
Who doesn't like those?

I'm going to kick this list off with roses.
I especially like yellow ones.
And peach ones.
(I didn't get a pic of those.)

They can be counted on to bring color to any garden
throughout the warm months but it's time to cut them
back and give them a much-deserved break.

I like bringing the last roses in and putting them all over
the house.  I don't always take the time to do this the
rest of the growing season--but I should.
Take time to stop and pick the roses!

I like cooking with herbs so this is what happens
when that freeze threatens--and this isn't even all
of them!  I love fall and winter but I always miss
my herbs.  I don't grow them indoors--absence
makes the heart grow fonder, you know.

I like getting the chicken coop all cleaned up for winter.
The chickens get some of the herbs by their window
and all through the coop.  These are beneficial
for their sensitive lungs.

I like getting ready for winter!
Off goes the patio furniture and up comes a nice
supply of firewood and kindling, all just outside of
my sewing room window.  A huge order of firewood
is being delivered this weekend.
My lemongrass plants have been trimmed, dug
up and potted, waiting for hubs to bring them in.

I like my brahma hen...even if she
was supposed to be a huge fluffy rooster.
Look at those feathery legs!

Show off!

I like watching these trees in our back yard turn.
Over 120+ years my family has been here, this land
has seen multiple farm houses so from a landscaper's
viewpoint, trees aren't always in the most
"aesthetically pleasing" spots--but I don't mind.
These are kind of scrappy trees but I just love
this little corner of the yard every fall.  We had to
remove some to put in the pool and that added
to the odd layout but we're slowly adding more.
Soon, I'll make my yearly visit to the nursery
to see what end of the year deals I can get.

I like smoking the last of the peppers.  After
removing every single seed, I smoke them
till crispy/charred and then crush into spices.
(The food processor works great here.)

This year it's poblanos, Anaheim chilis and,
of course, chipotle from the red jalapenos. 
I like cooking with these flavors.

I like making naan.  Some are for dinner tonight.
The rest are going into the freezer for pizzas
on those nights when I run out of time to
make dinner...or don't want to.

I don't like the way the new version of blogger
messes with my font.
(Sorry, had to slip that one in there!)

I have no pics from the sewing room this week.
It's currently undergoing some construction and
everything is sitting in our sunroom.

Chloe's "likes" for the day:
~ my fabric no matter where it is ~
~ the chaos of moving things around ~
~ catnip ~

Happy quilting!
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