Monday, September 29, 2008


Blowing the dust out of both the internal and external fans on my computer has definitely helped reduce how hot it was getting.

My no-fail pie crust recipe was on my April 17, 2007 post.

The site where I got my blog book is

Okay, what else have I forgotten to answer?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Book of Blog Posts

My book of blog posts during 2006 has arrived and I am most pleased.
The cover is shiny and did not photograph well but there it is. Click on the open book to see it better.

When they download (if that is the right word for it here) each post was on a separate page. This left a lot of blank space. I wanted to move them together and I did it by copy and paste. Sometimes the program would kick me off and I didn't want to loose any posts during that, so I used copy rather then cut. Of course then I had to delete, too. Took more time but.... Anyway, I cut 250 pages down to 194 and still left room for me to write comments here and there after the book was printed.

There are many custom techniques available but I stayed with the ones they offered. (Remember I am very challenged on the computer.) There are several and you can mix and match them. By doing this I made some pictures smaller and others larger. The program will tell you if you have selected a size that will blur it. You can just choose a smaller one. When I finished the book, it told me I had six pictures that were blurry and I should reduce the size of them. I didn't bother and now I can't figure out which ones they are. A page with just four pictures makes excellent pictures. You can comment under each pic too. A page with two pics and writing is also very good. I had choices of formats with the pics in various places on the page.

The color is good. I choose to put a thin black border around each picture and I like that. I choose an easy to read font and made everything bold. The original made everything in a small letter size so I had to highlight it all and change it. There might be a way to do the whole book at one time but I couldn't find it. I enlarged the headings, I think to 14. The body of the post was 12 and I made the date/time small and a different font. I like that. For most things I like 1 1/2 spacing lines but for this I used single spacing. It is very easy to read, especially with the bold and larger size print.

You can also choose page colors and backgrounds. Other than my cover, I stayed with plain white. The pages are automatically numbered.

Now I think I should have proofed the posts. But they were posted on my blog with all the errors so....

Overall I'm pleased with my book. Computer screens are nice but there is something special about a book to hold in your hands. And this is a great back up. I haven't been able to figure any way to do that to a disc so...

I don't know when I'll get to doing a 2007 book but I want to.

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I have four small raspberry bushes just outside my back yard fence. Some years they produce just a couple berries and other years, I get enough for my cereal. It mostly depends of how much rain they get. Two of the bushes are too near big trees. They try to produce berries twice during each summer. In July there were a few berries but the birds and Kipper got them. Kipper tugs any that he can through the fence. It is fun to watch him check them out - prickley branches and all. He thinks I planted the bushes on the wrong side of the fence. They are my favorite fruit and Kipper never turns them down either. We have had a lot of rain and recently the bushes made a good crop . I bought netting and covered the berries so they could ripen without birds or a dog getting first chance at them . This has resulted in me having had a few on my cereal every few days lately. Look what I got yesterday! That is the most berries I've ever picked at one time. Half of them joined my banana on my corn flakes this morning and the other half jumped on vanilla ice cream after dinner. Umm good!

Do you have a spoon like that? I love this one for cereal and soup. It is a Chineese soup spoon. You get milk or broth with every bite.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008


At one time I made and repaired much clothing for my family but no longer do I do so. There is always an exception and these shorts are it. They are a favorite of one of DGDs and she caught a back pocket on something and badly tore the material. The plaid helped hide the repair and they are now being worn again. I was intrigued with the elastic tabs and buttons on the inner waist band. There is one tab on each side and each has three button holes. What a nice way to adjust the waist band for an exact fit. I was thinking this would work well for me to get more room after I stuff myself on those cinnamon rolls. hehe

Today my helper and I got my yard ready for winter, well it is almost all done. I left the turtle to move water in the pond but will take it out in a couple weeks. Very tired tonight but very happy to have this task done. Oh, you might be interested to know that my homeless (employed but living in his car) helper is making arrangements to rent either a room or part of a house for the winter. Sure hope it works out okay for him as Michigan is no place to be homeless in the winter.

This will be a short post as I am limiting my time on my laptop computer. It has been getting hot and when this happened before, it was a only a short time until it fried. I have been backing up files and trying to figure out what to do. I found an article that says it may be because of dust in the machine and explains how to clean it. Have any of you ever done this? I think it is unique to laptops. I've decided to seek someone to give me another opinion and assistance.

I'm running a timer and limiting my time here to one hour so must run for now.
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Sunday, September 21, 2008


I have finished my first orphan quilt and the first of my New Year's Eve challenge quilts. I started with some abandoned pinwheel blocks and used scraps to make all kinds of others. I had never made a row quilt before so I guess that makes it another first. Three for one. Alright!

I added top and bottom borders for a finished quilted size of 39 x 58". I probably should have added borders on the sides too but it is an okay size for a child's utility quilt. I used the same border fabric on the back.

I quilted it on my sewing machine with a regular foot. My walking foot was hiding and unavailable. I did some adjustments and thought it was going to work fine. And I think it may have if I had done a lot of pinning. But I was too lazy, and instead I did some spray basting which resulted in some very uneven quilting. I do like the method of just sewing forward, stopping with needle down, making a slight turn, using the back stitch to sew a short distance, again stopping with needle down and finally pivoting so the next forward line crosses the first line. Another time I would definitely pin, pin, pin and make the quilting pattern larger. I wonder if it would have been as fast to tie it.

Anyway, this quilt allowed me to let my creative spirit run wild and that was so very much fun.
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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Good Food

Did you ever think about a food and just have to have it? I so wanted cinnamon rolls. I made these from frozen bread dough. I added butter, Splenda, cinnamon, raisins and walnuts. Just the way I like them.

I also made vegetable beef soup with all fresh veggies. It was really good too. Yes, I do like to eat.
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Another Look

I have been refolding my old family quilts. Well, that was the task but I also looked, photographed, and thought. This is one my mother had and I've wondered who made it. The quilter put her initial and the date 1930 on it. I have figured it out. It is my mother's Aunt Elizabeth Archer who lived in West Virginia. Why I didn't think of her before, I don't know. My mother was fond of Aunt Lizzie all her life. I'm still puzzled at the middle initial but that doesn't mean she didn't have one. If not a middle name, sometimes people were given an initial instead. I can't find any record of her having one. Her maiden name began with a D. What is that middle letter on the quilt?

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Quilt Show

These are pics of some of the quilts by the local African American Guild.

This one immediately caught my eye and tugged at my heart.
The scrappy one is 48 x 37 1/2". It took Margaret six months to make it. Comments said, "Used dryer sheets are cut to 6" square. Scrap pieces are sewed onto each dryer sheet. Four blocks are sewed to make a square. This throw was made for my son Allan for his hospital bed."

This one was really stunning. I'm not sure how it was done but top quality. It is 72 x 90" and Jeffalone made it to commemorate a family reunion which was held in Houston in July 2008. It was raffled to the family members and the proceeds were used to rent a travel bus for a three hour sightseeing tour of the city for the entire family. A male member of the family from Indiana won the quilt. I'm so glad he let Jeffalone bring it back to Michigan for display.

Although there were no contests or judging, this one was my favorite. The colors and design are really striking. My kind of quilt. "Bright" is 106 x 88 1/2 " and was made this year by Mildred with the quilting by Kathy and the binding by Margaret. The pattern is Roman Stripes. It was made in a class from fabric donated by Mildred's sister. She made it for her daughter. Mildred says it was,"fun and a joy to put this quilt together."

As you know, I have been collecting fabric to make a B&W quilt. It was from another quilt I saw at this same show a few years ago that I got my inspiration to make a B&W one. That one was a sampler. This Bear Paw is inspiring me again. It was made by Dianna and I got to meet her. Very nice, enthusiastic lady. Bear Paw on Parade was made this year. It is 92 x 67". She taught her quild members how to make this patten and one of the members gave her the idea to add the red.
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Monday, September 15, 2008

Ready to Sandwich

I have seven quilts ready to sandwich. I bordered those that I felt needed them, and made backs and binding for all of them. I hate making binding and that black was really no fun. I haven't dealt with the batting yet. I have a roll of cotton but these are utility quilts that will be laundered often so should have poly. Everything so far has come from my stash. Yay! Next step is to do some cleaning up and get to the sandwiching.

The last pic is the selvage from a large piece of fabric. It is so pretty. It it is probably hard to see but the pattern goes right to the edge and then there is fringe. I tore it wide enough so I could use it for something. Oh me, I'm trying to reduce but this sure says, "Keep me!"

What kind of quilter are you? That is a popular question that we often ask ourselves and others. Yesterday I was thinking about it again.

My DD-L found a site called Share My Quilt. People post pics of their quilts and others rate them and comment. I enjoyed looking at some of the quilts and managed to ignore the ratings. There are no stories about the quilts or the makers.

Saturday I went to a quilt display by the African American Guild. They are just the neatest group of ladies. And they display all their work with such pride - pride in just having made it. I have gone to this show for many years now and I love it. There are all levels of all kinds of work. Much of it would not be admitted to most shows. That is why I love it so. They do a very professional job of displaying all the quilts. No ratings or judging. Each info tag has a comments section and they have written great things there. (Yes, I took pics and will share more soon.) They made many of the quilts together at a community center where they have gone for years. Some of the quilts are made with a teacher to help them. A few are hand quilted and many have been finished by a long-arm quilter. There were panel quilts and even a whole cloth one. And a jacket and some ethnic faith-based themed ones I'd never seen before.

Anyway, two types of quilting sharing their love of quilting. As I look and contemplate, I learn more about myself.
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Friday, September 12, 2008

Inspiration from Old Dishes

Today I was reading in Yesteryear Embroideries about her Grandma Pearl. She showed her Grandma's dishes and thought about how people made-do during the depression. I started to comment on her post but decided instead I'm write here.

My grandma was named Edna Pearl. These are some of her dishes that I have. They too would be great inspiration for embroidery.

I remember my grandma cutting up envelopes she received to use for scrap paper. She listened to the radio and wrote jokes and other tid-bits from the programs onto the scraps of paper. I have a few of them. I also remember her big ball of twine that she saved. The butcher had tied it around the paper he wrapped the meat in. These memories are more from WWII times when there were lots of shortages too.

I have a friend who does remember the depression. With her mother and siblings, she had moved from a farm to a small city. The markets g
ave a pig farmer their produce that wouldn't sell because it had started to spoil. My friend's older brothers would go to the pile of fruits and vegetable and take pails of them to bring home. As a young girl, it was my friend's job to cut away the bad spots so the family could eat the good parts.

Making a Blog Book

On Taniwa's blog I learned about a place called Book Smart. ( They are able to download your blog posts and then you are able to edit them into the format that you desire. Then you buy a hard copy book that they send to you. I have always wanted to do that. I have written three books about my life and words and memories are precious to me. My big problem is my poor computer skills. After several days and help from my DD-L and Taniwa I got into the program. It has taken me two days to edit my posts into the font and form I wanted. There are probably better ways to do my editing but I did a ton of copy, paste, and then delete. I did get dropped many times so I was afraid to cut and paste. For someone who is more computer smart, they could do some great things with this program. I did my posts for the year 2006 and condensed them to less than 200 pages. I am going to do one more read through and then order the book. I haven't attempted to correct my blog posts but am just trying to make sure I don't have page duplicates. The posts had goofs, so my book will too.

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Saturday, September 06, 2008

Design Wall

Look what I have. I got some help and hung up a design wall in my den. Just no room in my sewing room for it.
We actually put up regular quilt hangers so I can easily take it down and put up a finished quilt for display. I'll probably get a couple more hangers to hold a finished quilt but I only had two in the house and they are fine for the design wall. I was using a sheet of plastic table cloth with flannel-type background but it didn't hold the fabric well so I put a layer of cotton bating over it and it works fine. What do you use for your design wall?

I'm still working on preparing UFO's to be quilted. Remember this flimsy that I made in FL last winter? Actually, I have two of them. I thought about using one for the backing but decided to piece some other fabrics and made two backings. I only took a pic of one of them.

Then I used the leftover cut pieces to make eight more 12" blocks. I put six of them together to make a doll blankie and used the last two
to make pillows or are they doll beds? They have a double layer of thick poly batting in them. I'm thinking I'll do some quilting in them - just to hold the batting in place. I plan to get the back for the doll blankie pieced today. I made enough binding for the two big quilts and wonder if there will be enough to the doll one. Probably not.

My LQS is dressing orphan dolls. They were acquired from garage sales. They also are making doll blankets so I decided to add a couple blankets for the child too.

This brings back great memories. I was a Girl Scout leader for many years. We had a large project of dressing dolls for donations. Our local Good Will kept all the dolls that were donated and the Girl Scouts made clothes for them. We would display them in a store window and any girl would love them. I wish I had a pic of them. I'm sure I took some but...

As I've told you before, my area here in MI is hurting so much. Lately, there has been a drive for school supplies. Some churches have been taking children to the store and getting them new shoes to start school. Ninety-seven percent of the students in an area elementary school qualify for free hot lunches. They are also giving them breakfasts. Now they are doing a back pack program for weekends. Every Friday the students get a backpack to take home. It has enough food for two meals and two snacks for the child to eat over the weekend. The kids bring back the empty backpack to be filled for the next weekend. There is some government subsidy for the hot lunches but all the backpack food is donations. Regardless of your political inclinations, I urge you to support programs like Head Start and hot lunches in schools. And health care too. Money put into children's needs will only pay back multiple-fold in the future.

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