Tuesday, November 30, 2010


It’s that time of year again. Our neighbors have put up their Christmas decorations. You see the big blow-up snowballs, snowmen, Santa, and of course all the lights. Then I see this:
Awww, how nice, reindeer pulling a wagon!

Wait a minute. What?...Is that?..........Yes, it is.
The reindeer are deer archery targets!
Complete with Rudolph's red nose!

The Potato Bag

The hot item these days is the potato bag. What is it? A cloth bag to microwave your potatoes. Why a potato bag? The bag allows the moisture to stay in the potato, so you get fluffy potatoes with no hard spots, no tough skin. It’s also great for sweet potatoes, carrots, corn on the cob, warming tortillas, biscuits, and rolls. And it’s super easy to use.

For best results, use the Warm Tater batting. Here’s what The Warm Company has to say about their new product:

Potato bags are all the rage and The Warm Company has the right batting for all your microwave and kitchen projects! Warm Tater is 100% natural cotton that hasn’t been chemically treated making it ideal for cooking potatoes, corn, rolls and warming tortillas in the microwave. Warm Tater is heavy weight 100% natural cotton that acts as an insulator keeping the moisture inside for fresh, hot steamy potatoes & so much more!

 Warning: Warm Tater is not intended to be microwaved alone. It is not fire retardant or flame proof and The Warm Company (or the authors of this blog!) does not make this claim.


So, how to make one? There are several ways, all good. Instructions come with the batting. However, this is my personal favorite way.

You will need: 
11” by width of Warm Tater cotton batting (the width is about 23 ½”)

Two pieces of fabric 11” by half the width of fabric (One will be the lining of the bag and the other will be the pretty outside of the bag. It is not necessary to prewash the fabrics or the batting, but ironing the fabric is helpful. I cut 11” across the width of two fabrics and then cut at the fold.)

Cotton thread

***It is very important for everything to be cotton. You will be cooking with it! We don’t want dots of melted synthetic thread!

All the usual sewing/quilting items

This makes a bag for up to 4 potatoes, depending on size of potato.


• Place your fabrics right sides together, one right on top of the other, on top of the batting, lining up the edges neatly.

Friday, November 26, 2010

the day after....

Talked to the family yesterday and last night.  Thankfully everyone was doing okay.  My  mom said that she and Dad were doing okay.  My son said that he and his wife were STUFFED!    He said that they had had to turn on the heat since it had turned 'cold'...they were having some hot chocolate! One very important blessing this Thanksgiving is  that my grandson was able to come home from the hospital Thanksgiving morning!  He suddenly developed croup!!  I have some experience with a variety of illnesses but NOT croup!!  I had always heard that it was scary and it was!  We took him to the doctor on Wednesday morning and by 3pm he was in the hospital having all manner of tests and treatments.  By last night he was almost back to normal. (yes he was climbing again!) with just a slight cough.  Today we are all exhausted. 

As I was talking to my sister yesterday, I was telling her about our yucky rainy weather that was supposed to turn into a winter mix ( and it did....the deck had white on it and the roofline is dripping this morning), she told me that she wouldn't tell me how nice it was there.  Let me guess...shorts, t-shirts, air conditioning! 

Nearly everytime I talk to LaDonna, my husband says.."What do you have to talk about?...you JUST talked to her!"  I  tell him that he just doesn't "get" it.  My sister and I have always been close.  She was MY baby when she was born.  I even remember jumping up and down in our grandparents'  living room when GrandDaddy came home and told me that I had a baby sister.  Some people do not have a relationship with their siblings.  My husband doesn't.  I consider myself very fortunate that I am blessed with such a sister and our  relationship .  Even though we are separated by miles, I know that she is always there.  and I love her very much.

Well I guess I'd better go check the laundry...I do have a few things to do today.  My husband asked me this morning before he went to work what my plans were....I don't plan much anymore...I get done what I can.  Though it would be nice if I was able to get in my sewing room for more that 5 minutes!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

It's Thanksgiving!

It’s Thanksgiving! Just the two of us this year. No pressure, no time schedule, just a relaxing day. When we were discussing what we wanted for Thanksgiving, it was a no-brainer that Tony would fry the turkey. Always so good! What to go with it? It’s just the two of us. We would get sick of all the leftovers if we did our big traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Tony suggested fried cabbage. I said we have to have some form of sweet potato, so how about the sweet potato fries we have in the freezer? We looked at each other and I said, “I guess we are celebrating our Southernness this year, everything fried!” Why not!?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Update blog!!????

My dear sweet favorite daughter-in-law, I too have been ...uh...uh....busy.  However, for not nearly the enjoyable happenings of  my sister.  I have been trying to catch up on the laundry...the washer has been fixed.  The repairman had to put in a new motor, new brake and new clutch. I didn't even realize that a washer HAD a brake and clutch!  Anyway it has been going strong.

And this past weekend was supposed to be a time for Husband and me to get away and finish up Christmas shopping.  Well, what do they say about the best laid plans????  Daughter developed pneumonia with high fever (and had lots of stuff to do for school), granddaughter had sinus infection with low grade fever, grandson had sinus and ear infection with a not-so-low fever. I got to be nurse and babysitter while Daughter attempted school stuff.  It was not the weekend that was planned.  A few things did end up getting accomplished. However on  Monday everyone went back to the doctor...changed medicines and had to get xrays which meant a trip to the hospital.  Granddaughter is better; daughter is somewhat better; grandson ( still running a temp) is still in the wait and see mode. And it looks like it will be just us for Thanksgiving...between being sick here, and Mom and Dad not doing too well, they won't be coming so some of the items bought this weekend will get to wait until Christmas.

So all of the fun enjoyable "stuff" is going to have to wait even though my sewing/quilting room is pleading for me to come visit!


Excuses, excuses!

My sweet niece-in-law has told me I need to update the blog!  She's right.  But, but .... I've been busy!  I've been quilting!  I've been shopping!  I"ve been planning more quilts!  I've become addicted to the cheesy holiday movies on Hallmark!  I think about adding more pictures of my quilts to the blog and then I get distracted by all the TSA stories, the bring-a-tear-to-your-eye of the wonderful homecoming soldier stories, the researching of possible places after my husband's military retirement, the funny forwards, the list goes on and on!  Do I have a focus problem?!  Anyway, consider my wrists slapped, dear niece! 

On to posting and another excuse!  Other blogs I'm following have posted a pledge to show the steps they take in making a quilt.  Follow the progress, not just the finished quilt.  I'm all for that.  Unfortunately, everything I'm working on is meant to be gifts, surprises.  And I didn't think to take pictures along the way.  I need to change my mindset now that I have a blog!  I'll do better in the future! 

My local quilt shop, which I love, love, love is having a SALE! (A wonderful excuse, can't you hear it?!) Now, I work there on an as needed basis, just enough to maintain my employee discount!  But this sale was even better!  Lots of bolts at only $2.50 a yard!  Normally $8 to $10 a yard!  So, even though I don't need more fabric, I bought some.  To be fair, I will need it later on!  It takes a lot of yardage for the back of a quilt so I couldn't pass this up!  I bought Christmas backing so when I get enough Christmas blocks made I will already have the backing and binding.  I bought some fabric that I think will be great for a backing for my grandmother's dress scraps someday quilt.  I bought some other odds and ends fabrics because there was an additional discount if you bought all that was on the bolt! 

I could have bought more except for the.. well, umm... money thing and the my-stash-is-going-to-outlive-me-and-scares-the-movers-thing.  But with the price of cotton going higher and higher, my stash could be quite the investment!  At least that's what I tell my husband!  

After all this, now I have a great excuse for still being in my sweaty dog walking clothes when my husband comes home for lunch.  It's all my niece's fault! 


Friday, November 12, 2010

Be Careful What You Ask For!

The phone rings. Yeah, it’s my son! “So Mom, I’ve been checking out your blog. You’ve got more about the dogs than you do me!” This is sort of true, maybe. Probably will be true in the future! Be careful what you ask for, my son!

When my son was 12, I decided it was time for us to make a quilt together. I wanted to teach him how to sew, have basic sewing skills, and become familiar with the sewing machine. We worked on all of it together, the selection of fabrics, cutting, sewing, and quilting it by tying. He did a great job and later continued his sewing skills by making sleep shorts and small cross-stitch projects. Nowadays, his friends bring their mending jobs to him! He hasn’t made another quilt, but he understands and appreciates the work and time spent on the ones I make.
Here he is at the sewing machine.

Press as you go! With a slight distraction from what’s on TV! He also took breaks by playing Nintendo; see the controller on the ironing board?! He learned unsewing as well; there's a seam ripper on the ironing board.

One finished row!

The completed quilt! I still have the quilt. It is a treasure!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

As usual, my sister says it so well.....thank you Veterans for everything you do and have done!  One person that should be added to the list, and that  is Jim.  He is a  family friend who seved as a Marine. We graduated together; he went off to basic training; then after his time in service he went to college with LaDonna.

For a change of subject.....my washer has been out of commission for over a week now.  The repairmen is supposed to be here today (from 8am-12pm) to check it out. I can only hope that it can be fixed...after all it is only 21 years old!  I shudder to think of having to buy a new one!!!

I have accomplished little in these past few weeks.  I have been trying to finish up some Christmas quilting but that hasn't worked out so well. The grandchildren have kept me busy.  The grandson is into everything.  I have to go and get him off of the top of the piano right now!  No sooner did I get him off of that and  my grand daughter had to go potty!  So between the two, I am kept hopping!  Plus, it has been so nice here that I've tried to get them outside as much as possible to burn off some of the energy! You would think that I would lose  weight !!!!  Gotta go, he is standing on top of his sister's play kitchen!!!!

Veterans Day

Honor, respect, courage, bravery, strength, duty, responsibility, tradition--these are just a few words I think of on Veterans Day.  I'm so glad our country honors our brave men and women of the military with Veterans Day!  During the course of my husband's career, I have seen the appreciation for the military grow and not just on Veterans Day.  My husband and I can be out shopping or at a restaurant and people will thank him for his service.  So different from years past.  It is so nice and thoughtful and we appreciate it very much.  When I hear people thank my husband, it humbles me and makes me very proud of him at the same time.  I squeeze his hand a little harder and try not to cry.  

Thank you, veterans!  Thank you, my veterans, Daddy, Tony, John, Crystal.  I love you!  Happy Veterans Day!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Well, duh!

Why didn't I think of this before?!  I'm sure all y'all quilters out there have already figured this out, but I guess I'm just a little slow!  I normally don't make test blocks when I make a quilt.  I know I probably should, but I usually don't.  However, when I'm figuring out a quilt from a picture, especially when it's a commissioned quilt, I make a test block.  After all, I have spent lots of time and money gathering the fabric.  Since I don't want to take a chance on messing up the good fabric, I use similar colors from my stash to get the look as well as the block just right.  One of my commissioned quilts was in Christmas colors so I used some of my years old Christmas fabric.  On my next commissioned quilt (which is not in Christmas colors), it dawned on me, why don't I make all my test blocks out of Christmas fabrics!  That way, when I have accumulated enough, I can make a Christmas Sampler Quilt!  See why that's my "duh" moment?!  Here's a picture of my latest test blocks. 

I now have 6 Christmas blocks of different shapes and sizes that I can someday make into a Christmas quilt.  Key word is someday!  But at least I'm on my way!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Houston Quilt Show and Our Moment with Greatness!

Like the banner says, Tony and I had a great time at the Houston Quilt Show!  Yes, my husband goes with me to the shows and he enjoys them!  He's also very helpful at carrying all my purchases!  One funny thing that happened was at the Quilt in a Day booth.  Eleanor Burns was there in one of her famous feather boas when my husband had one of his sneezing fits.  His sneezes are very loud and almost all the time come in threes!  He stepped out of Eleanor's booth and tried to muffle them as best he could, but they were still very loud.  People all over the surrounding booths were calling out "Bless you!"  Eleanor stepped up to him and said with a smile, "You scared the devil out of me!"  Her son was quick with a response, "Isn't that a good thing?!"  Everyone, including Eleanor laughed! 


My Dad

During my visit to Tennessee when we were cleaning and organizing at my parents' house, we found this old vest pattern.  These guys are stylin', man. 

My dad decided he wanted some vests.  However, he's not quite the same size as he was in 1972.  And I'm not as skilled as I was in my clothing sewing days, so I found this pattern: 

He wanted a denim vest and a red plaid vest.  Here's my dad in one of the vests I made: 

I had to match plaids. Yuck!  Do you realize how big that 5/8" clothing seam allowance looks when you've been making 1/4" seam allowances for quilting?  I even had to make buttonholes!  It took me way longer than it should have, I'm so out of practice!  But at least he's happy with them. 


Where Has the Time Gone!?

“Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.” John Lennon

This year started with the best of intentions. Projects were going to be finished, space was going to be cleared out, I had commissioned quilts to design and complete, …I had some major GOALS! I was going to beat my personal best in completions! Yesss! You know where this is going. Things happened. Plans changed.

“There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.” Brian Tracy

My mom was very sick. My dad developed new health problems. Health situations with my parents became my priority.
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