to my readers

This blog is now all about my personal life, including updates concerning Jerry's health. For quilt and pattern related posts please visit

Monday, May 30, 2011

Livin' up the Last Day of May for Me!

It's the last day of May.
What will you do???
Do at least one last BIG thing for yourself.

Hey, even if it means to go buy a candy bar.
One won't hurt.
Which will you buy?

Or dance in the rain.

Have you ever?

Or watch a good movie.
How about this one?
(Thanks, Pat, for the idea!)
One is never too old for the Muppets.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A bit of learning for me in May

May for Me has really not turned out how we expected, has it?

Marcia, spent a good part of the month caring for her mother in the hospital.

I have spent the last week of the month with my leg all propped up.
(Well, except for that one evening when I forgot that I wasn't superwoman.)

In spite of these things,
it has been a wonderful month! 

With the quilt along, I learned so much about design. That's why I did learn. I love to teach; but I love to learn as well. I have a brand new machine and I was so eager to try all different aspects of it, I decided to use my May for Me quilt as a learning piece. 

I started with pebble quilting. This is done free motion. I am not good at free motion at all; and I really wasn't sure that I like the look of pebble quilting. But it was SO EASY and even when I messed up it just looked like part of the pebbles! I did the pebbles in all of the stitchery blocks.

Next I wanted to try out my new Accufeed foot. 
My new machine (Janome Horizon) has a built in walking foot.
I just did some simple straight line quilting in the four patches.

Then I realized this really wouldn't work for the other blocks,
so I tried out my new quilting guide. 
I set it a bit less than 2" and did diagonal quilting.

For the sashing, I decided my quilt was already a mish mash of quilting patterns,
so why not try some pre-programmed stitches.
Normally, I am not a fan of these. At all.
But this wave wasn't so bad.

It would be ok in something that was very narrow.
(sorry it's fuzzy.)

Next I did another pre-designed stitch.
I did tulips just on the outside sashing.
I really didn't like them much at all.
And I got crooked.
This is the other problem I have with my arm. 
I really have a hard time feeding the quilt evenly and not letting it tug to the left.
My left arm doesn't extend and I really struggle with this step.
So, I need to stick to something that isn't hard to keep straight.
And I am sticking to small quilts too.
Smaller means less tug!

Finally, on the outside border,
I finished my mish mash of learning with just a cross-hatch design.

On the back I used a dark color so that I could purposely see my stitches.
I was testing the tension on my new machine for all of the different types of quilting.
I was very pleased with the result. 
I never changed the tension at all,
whether I was free-motioning or not.

I am loving my new machine for sure after this!
And I have a cute little quilt to hang every spring,
that will remind me of our first ever May for Me!
and all of the wonderful new friends that I met along the way. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I am so Stupid!! (so how about a giveaway?)

That's what I keep telling myself anyway.
That I am stupid, stupid, stupid. 
NOW QUIT SCROLLING to see what I'm giving away.
You have to listen to me first.

Here I am stuck here in my recliner. 
And, yes it is fun looking at all that fabric...
BUT...I am grounded from using it. 

Remember? I am supposed to be grounded for a whole week. 
No walking. No working.
I am to be playing queen. 
Well, that is certainly hard to do when you live with all men.
But I can't even blame them! Nope.
I am S.T.U.P.I.D.

I decided that it wouldn't hurt too much if I did some quilting. 
I have some very cool small orders that I want to get made up.
I was walking almost normally by this point--
so I thought, why not?
STUPID...that's why. 
All that hopping from cutting table to ironing board to machine.
By yesterday morning I couldn't walk again.
By yesterday afternoon the pain had intensified so much that it was 10 times worse than last weekend. 

So, I called to find out how paperwork was going on getting me some med help. 
It will take at least 30 more days to get an answer. 
ummm, you guessed it.

So, here I am.
 I can barely rotary cut as it is because of my stupid shoulder that doesn't work.
I tend to get a bit wonky sometimes.
AND now I have to attempt a system so that I never have to stand 
(at least for TWO WHOLE WEEKS now) while sewing.
I can lower the ironing board, but what about that silly rotary cutter?

Well, as I pondered, popped a pain pill, pondered, popped a pain pill...
IT came to me! NO--not an idea...a facebook message.
And guess what it said?

I won this:

It's a die fabric cutter.
I've actually been wanting to try one to see if it helps my shoulder for rotary cutting.
This is the 'baby' size.
If it works really well, 
then maybe someday I can get the regular size.
(which has more dies available).
It will be interesting to see how well it works number one for my shoulder.
And number two sitting down.
In other words, could someone physically disabled work it ok?
Well, I guess we shall find out.

Of course..there is a catch.
It comes with no dies.
And it also needs a different cutting match for each die size.
I've had a gander around
The dies are a bit on the pricey side for this Hillbilly.
But, I could collect them here and there. 
I'll let you all know how that goes. 

And FINALLY...a giveaway for you.
Was it STUPID making you read all that to get to the freebie?
I have this cute little stitchery pattern booklet that I literally had to
 JUMP through hurdles to get. 

It's from Australia,
and it's been very slightly used. 
The patterns are cute as can be. 
You can follow this at the Stitch-a-long blog going on now!
I am also going to include 5 Christmas Fat Quarters.
Not that I can take a photo.
I am grounded to the recliner. 
For two weeks.
STUPID, huh?!

What do you need to do to win this booklet
(that cost me $28 YIKES) 
and 5 fat quarters?

Follow and Comment.
You could even tell me something stupid that you've done recently.
(only one comment counts).

Those that  joined in on the 
May for Me Mystery Stitch n Quilt Along
get an extra entry if you send me a photo of your finished top.
It does not have to be quilted.
You may email  me, post a photo to your blog, 
or upload to flickr.
And come back here and comment that you did.
The is the ONLY way to get two entries.

I'll leave this open for a couple of weeks so that everyone will have a chance to finish up.
I mean...I've nothing better to do than sit around in this recliner
and read your comments. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Seth's Herbs: Sugary Sweet!

Stevia Rebaudiana
otherwise known as "Sweet Herb".

Sweet herb is just that. 
The leaves are amazingly sweet as sugar.
The stem however, isn't.

If dried, the leaves can be sweeter than sugar by about 15x.
Stevia (sweet herb) has no reported toxic side effects.
In fact, the Japanese like it so much they ate 700 metric tons in 1987 alone.

Sweet herb can be used in cooking or baking. 
I am currently growing sweet herb. 
I think I'll go buy some more!

Here is a recipe using Stevia powder:

Monster Cookie Balls

© David Richard
Monster Cookie Balls2 Cups Rolled Oats
1 Large Apple, Finely-Diced
3/4 Cup of Raisins or Currants
1 Cup of Nut Butter (Your Choice)
1/4-1/2 Lb. Whole Pecans
1/2 Stick of Butter or Non-Hydrogenated Margarine
1/2 Cup Carob Chips (Optional)
2 Whole Eggs
1 Cup of Spring or Filtered Water
2 tsp. STEVIA Herbal Powder or l/2 tsp STEVIA Powdered Extract
Combine rolled oats, eggs, water and butter in a mixing bowl. Stir in nut butter and remaining ingredients (except the pecans). Form into balls and place onto an oiled cookie sheet. Place a whole pecan on top of each ball. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
Recipe by David Richard

For more great facts or recipes,


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Months in the Making!

I have been waiting months and months to show you my Creation Station. 
For some, their workshop is on the kitchen table or a small corner of the basement.
Me too...for years...until I sent the teenager to live in the basement
and took over his bedroom.

I doubt you will see another workstation quite like mine.
Well, I know each of us are different and none are exactly alike--
but I assure you--mine is, well Hillbilly Style!
(Let me remind you once again--a Hillbilly is NOT a redneck.
Ok, moving on...)

I was going to show you all the way around my room,
but you would just see a boring closet, desk, sewing zone.
But I will show you my Quiet Place:
The recliner is where I sleep.
Next to that is my Snoopy table that I LOVE,
along with my Scooby Doo alarm clock. (Yes Scooby Doo)
On the wall is my Peanuts Quilt still in the making.
I will use it at night when it's finished.
The shelf holds all my Peanut books.
Don't ya love it? It's a nice place to fall to sleep at night.
But even better is what I look at as I am falling to sleep.
Wanna see? In a minute...

I have seen many people on blogs show how they store their fabric
on comic book cardboards.
I just do not have money in the budget to buy cardboard!
So, I got to thinking...where do I have cardboard around the house?

Toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, wrapping paper rolls...
all FREE!

Ready to see the view from my recliner now?

Hows that for inspiring?

Shelves line the walls of my Creation Station.
I've got the fabric in rainbow order.
(You know...ROY G BIV.)

Here is the white/gray/black wall above my closet:

Of course this many rolls has taken months to collect.
We use very few paper towels (I'd rather wash towels than waste paper);
and I never use wrapping paper rolls. (umm I have fabric!)
So I have begged and begged and begged my friends to save theirs.
I've still a LONG way to go:

Green is finished but I need rolls for Blues, Purples, and turquoises.
Too bad they would be too expensive for you all to help me save 
and send them by mail!

What about when I use the fabric and there are empty spaces?
Since I have plenty of fabric, I try not to buy more.
I have oodles of my own hand dyed and holiday fabric, and novelty,
as well as floral and paisley, and African and Asian
(YES lots more fabric) just waiting for their chance to get on the wall!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Things that help: Grocery Day!

Well, I still can't access my blog or leave comments using chrome.
 I am using Explorer now and it is working fine--but so annoyingly SLOW!

I can walk! Thank you for your prayers about my knee.
It seems to be tendon issues. I cannot completely extend it yet,
and I am still being a couch queen (May for Me!) for a few more days.
But I can now limp around with no pain.
I'll be hiking again before you know it.

I've enjoyed every part of May for Me.
Including my Wednesday "help" posts.
This final one is one that really really helps us out;
but before I show you I need to explain a bit about how we eat around here.
We made BIG changes to our diets a couple of years ago
when I was pregnant and blew up like a balloon with gestational diabetes.
My doctor said it was so bad that I am guaranteed to be a diabetic someday.
My husband has diabetes; as does his parents, my dad and my grandmother.
If we ate like every other American...
it would be a for sure thing that Stephen would get diabetes too=]

In our house we do NOT bake for the most part.
We don't have any sugar or flour in the cabinet.
We don't eat any bread, pasta, rice, corn, or potatoes.
( above--Big No No's!!)

We do eat the same things almost daily.
This is much healthier for you.
For thousands of years people survived on eating the same basic diet day after day.
Boring? Well, at first.
But we are very used to it now
and I love that I don't have to plan menus.
We basically have a rotation.

Breakfasts are premade biscuits (our only bread consumed) and sausage.
My husband cannot function without his morning biscuit and coffee.

Lunches rotate. Right now it is a small chef's salad.
I am careful with what I put on the salad.
We also get  yogurt and fruit for a snack during the day.
When we aren't doing the salad thing for lunch,
we do homemade bean dip with tortilla chips.

Supper is usually a 'meaty' soup, or beans.
We do have a bit of rotation though.
And we love Tuna Tuesday and Fish Friday. 
We very occasionally cook up some other meat dish.
And on payday we treat ourselves to eating out at the Mexican restaurant.

That is how we eat. All the time.
For shopping, we don't live near one of those big fancy grocery stores.
We use the W-place in our town.
I made a shopping list of everything that we regularly buy,
and I set my list up as if I was walking through the order.
So no going up and down the list while on each aisle.
We just take the list and pick up the items in order.
So quick and easy!

Sorry, it's a bit crooked, but you get the idea.
I am fairly sure no will want to copy our list,
since it lacks anything from the baking aisle,no canned goods, etc.
Plus, you'll want to make your own list--
matching it to your grocery store.
Organize your will give you more ME time!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Finishing up...and more blogger issues

Well, I have been googling for the problem. Your comment problems are a blogger issue again today. It has to do with different explorers. Those using Chrome and firefox seem to be having the most problems. I had to jump over to Explorer and here all is working fine. So, it's not me..this time :)
Since I had to post this update, I am just posting the rest of the quilt too...that way I am not giving more than a gazillion posts in one day!!!!!

May for Me Mystery Quilt n Stitch Along

Ready to finish up?

Rows 1 and 4 are just mirror images of each other. 
For each row you will need one windmill block
(the big pieced block that you only made two of),
Four of your four patch blocks, 
Two scraps measuring 3 x 4, 
 one of your stitchery blocks,
and a row of sashing 2 x 21 1/2.

Lets start with your first row. 

Stack two four patches on one of your 3x4 scraps,
then stack your other 3x4 scrap on two four patches.
Join the stacks.

Next stack a pinwheel above your dutch girl block.

Then sew the row together as follows:

As you can see, I already attached the sashing at the top.
(But not the bottom!)

Row four is done the same way, but opposite.
It's easier to just show you:

Finally, sew all four rows together, then square them up for sashing.
Add sashing down the two outside edges.
(Measure your quilt to get the exact measurements.)

Finally, add a border, quilt and bind.
I added a 3 inch border.
Sharon brought up a good point about how to measure borders.
When you do your borders,
make sure you take your measurements from the center of the quilt
and cut them to size before you sew.
When you just sew them on, then chop them off to size,
your quilt does not square up as well.

I'll show you the quilted version another day.
So, now that it is all together,
What do you think?
Give me all feedback. 
Positive and negative. I am here to learn, you know.
Just like the rest of you!


I have been told that it is very hard to leave comments on my blog.
Is that true? I've tried to make it easy by not making you put that stupid little code or anything.
Does anyone else have trouble leaving comments all the time like my sister?
Please let me know!

Please hop over and see Mary Lou's post today. What a testimony she is to her faith in spite of circumstances!


Finally, I will issue the other two rows later this afternoon...3 posts in a day just to drive everyone crazy. But I have a schedule here and tomorrow is for other things. Time to get this quilt finished!

Rows 2 and 3

May for Me Mystery Quilt n Stitch Along

Welcome to the final week!! 
Over the next couple of days we will make our rows and borders.
Then the finish is up to you.
Don't forget to keep uploading to The Flikr Group.

Today we are going to make the two rows for the middle of the quilt.
(Yep, we skipped right over row 1.)
For the first one, you will need 8 of your four-patch blocks and your Windmill stitchery block.

Here is a photo of how to lay it out:

Two four patches stacked on the left, then the windmill,
then the rest stacked on the right. 
That is pretty much all the explanation you need on this row.

For the next row you will need three pinwheels, your tiptoe stitchery block, and five extra squares of scrap, measuring 2" x 2" each.
Sew your 2 x 2's in a row first:

Then attach your stitchery to the bottom of this row:

Now sew two pinwheels to the left and one to the right:

I originally didn't plan to put sashing,
but as you move on you will see the blocks don't all match up seam to seam,
(they are all different sizes)
so sashing looks better. Cut sashing strips 2" x 21 1/2".
Put a row of sashing between these rows,
then one at the top and one at the bottom:
(oops, wonky photographer!)

I am looking forward to seeing your uploaded rows to the May for Me Mystery Flikr Pool

Monday, May 23, 2011

A time to be lazy

Oh, I am so mean!!
I am not going to issue the rest of your quilt today.
Well, I might if you all think you can stand two posts in one day...
but I've got to make some changes to it.
The wonderful Sharon from Vrooman's Quilts got to peek at it early.
I had her proof read it and she found a couple of typos
 but I cannot fix them until later today.

I fully intended to keep up while at the campground,
but their internet was down.
I got lots of unplugged time!

As for how our little trip went...
the good, fun part we will let Stephen tell you.
We did have a nice time.
It rained all day one day, but the rest of the trip was beautiful.
We always stay at the same campground;
it has an indoor pool, a playground, a restaurant,
and this weekend the fiddler convention,
so we got to listen to free music the whole time.

I got over my cold fairly quickly;
so that was a huge blessing!
I did have a bit of discomfort at night,
but that's because I didn't have my poor over-used recliner with me.
My stupid shoulder just gets fussy about that.

Now for the bad news.
I am not sure how it happened,
but I completely messed up my knee.
I didn't do alot of walking;
like I said we had a relaxing time.

But one evening I sat down to watch Stephen play at the playground,
and it started hurting.
Within a half hour I couldn't extend it.
By the next day I couldn't put weight on my leg,
you should see me trying to walk!

So, for now, I am grounded to the couch/recliner.
(or I'll be sitting on the floor with Stephen alot today.)

When something crazy happens to me,
I always try to find the blessing...
and I have found several!

1) Hubby did the laundry last night as I cannot go up and down the stairs.
I don't think I've ever seen him do laundry. What a blessing!

2) I get to be queen of the couch. May for Me!

3) It is my left leg. Which matches my left arm that doesn't work correctly. (and I can still work the sewing machine peddle!)

4) I've been puzzling over a couple of things having to do with my quilting.
I had found a brick and mortar shop that rents booths, 
and they were supposed to have a booth ready for me in May.
I went in the shop and the lady had forgotten. That's fine, I'll forgive her for that.
But, she is very dis-interested. Her store is very primitive...and my products are not.
She almost was talking me out of it. Well, I am thus talked out of it. :)
Thanks to my leg I have just too much on my plate to try to worry about this!
And finally, I have to do some re-organization of my charity quilt program.
As it is, I am being taken advantage this is the perfect opportunity to shut it down,
and re-think the whole thing...when I can walk again.
What a blessing to be given the 'excuse' to be able to do this.

5) I have to rely on God for my healing. 
I am sure that some of you will call me strange for this.
(It costs $400/month for the spouse on my husbands plan. 
The boys cost $50 each so they are covered.
As for me...I'd rather stay at home with my kids,
than have insurance.)
Now, of course, if it gets worse,
or doesn't get better by me babying it,
then I will figure a way to somehow go to the doctor.

In the meantime,
I am going to enjoy being LAZY!!!!