Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Old Quilt-New Finish

This is the grey quilt I pieced quite a few monts ago. I finally finished the quilting on it-tossed it into the wash/dryer and it is an instant heirloom! The quilt blocks were made by someone else, I purchased them about 15 years ago when visiting in FL, the grey fabric is from my childhood-curtain in my room so this really is old already! I had sewn and bound this quilt with just stitch- in-the-ditch quilting but I experimented and loaded it on the frame even tho it was no longer layers and it worked just fine! I learned that it is hard to sew a straight line-curves are much easier but it was good practice and I am so happy with the results.

A Tribute to Fidelity

In honor of the momentous event of being married for 32 years tomorrow, Bill and I decided to do a bit of beautifying in the yard and we picked this spot right out front.
Bill removed the grass from around the cactus and moved it to bare spots around the front. I cut the weed barrier paper...

We moved the plants in for their positioning

and two hours later we have this-

A fitting monument for our marriage----->flowers and prickles!

(This is the very same cactus that Bill's co-worker gave him a few years ago in NY and it has survived transplanting, drought and insect infiltration and is finally properly displayed! Thanks, Sal!)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Woman Stuff

I need to mop my kitchen and bathroom floor more often here because of the sand and more specifically, because of the black dirt in the sand. I just couldn't stand the cost of the cleaner and mop refills for my Clorox Ready Mop and so I have made my own-I cut up a few dollar store microfiber towels, serged the edges and no more mop head replacements! For the cleaner solution, I mix 1 tsp of Clorox bleach and 1 tbsp of Dawn dish detergent in an old dispenser-I squirt it out on the floor and mop away. When finished, I toss the dirty towel in the laundry and the floor is clean and disinfected at a fraction of the cost-it dries quickly and without a stickiness that retail cleaners can leave! I like a clean house and love being able to attain it without the dollars going down the drain! Give it a try!

While the floors are drying I put together the 63 blocks for the golf quilt....from the design board to the blocks.....I am making progress!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Guy Accessory

Bill has been hunting for this mower attachment (it is officially called a Befco 6' finishing mower) for his tractor for a while now and finally made the decision today. This attaches to the 3-point hitch of his John Deere tractor to mow our 11 acres, and the 3 acres we own where my parents stay. Since we are heading into the real rainy season, it will be a real time-saver for mowing responsiblilities. Yes, I know it is the wrong color for JD products and that is because he bought it from a Kubota dealer--he did try the JD dealership first and they couldn't come near the deal he found at their competitor's! I just might try a midnight paint job! Well, now that I look at it, they kind of go together, don't they? I took this picture way out back where there is not an abundance of grass...but there are paths to the pond that Bill will keep mowed because snakes are easier to spot when the grass is short-enough said about that!

A Little Bit of This and That

The garden is starting to give of its produce...

....see the snowpeas and summer squash?! It is getting very hot during the day and since we have had no rain for 3 weeks we are watering every day. It is worth it!

Our neighbors have had another goat give birth-preemie twins-just under 4 pounds and the other at 4lbs. They are brother and sister-doing okay but oh, so little! (Average birth weight is 7-10 lbs)
This is a friend's little guy, Finn, who was a preemie himself (a twopounder!) His mommy was (is!) my daughter's friend from school days in CNY but now she lives near me in FL and since we are both wives and mothers the differences in our ages are less noticeable and outnumbered byt the common bonds we share! We get together for fellowship and Bible study every 2 weeks-it is wonderful for both of us--->we also share quilting, sewing, knitting, gardening, reading and the Lord-what a strong foundation!

My dahlias are blooming! I planted a bunch of bulbs my Dad brought me from his garden in NY. I planted 6 in a sunny spot (top) and 6 in a shadier spot (bottom) both had only 2 plants come up and both are blooming but one is fuller than the other with lots more blooms-so which plant looks happier? I am going to see which one endures the summer better before I plan to move them. Thanks , Dad, for sharing a bit of your yard with me!

A friend loaned me her nursing cape so I could make her a second one for when the first got dirty. It was very easy to make and I am going to make 2 more since the hardware (overall buckle ) comes in a set of two! There are several nursing moms at church who will want one when they see it! The little bit of color in the corners are folded squares of flannel for little pockets/wipe cloths. Very handy to whip up with only 3/4 yard of fabric, stiffener for the top, and a buckle for the handle-all for under $10 when they retail for $30! I am so glad sewing flows in my veins.....

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Little Northern Visit

Had a great time in GA visiting daughter and her family! David turned six! It was nice to enjoy being with both the kids for their birthdays this year! Marsel and I were able to sew, knit, read and laugh and watch some Agatha Christie on pbs...a really great week. Bill recouperated and did yardwork, car repairs, shopping/lunch with David and even did some electrical and plumbing repairs-a very productive dad!
We conquered most of the mother/daughter dresses -they just need to be hemmed. We both sewed at the same time using serger and sewing machine and ironing station in rotation-it went well and it is so nice to have a useful designated sewing area in her room now. Yes, even though I have been sewing for 40 years, unsewing is still part of the whole package-I won the 'unsewed- the- most' award on Monday! Marsel was glad to witness the event!

I also did a few of these in the evening watching some Miss Marple....dishcloths with palm trees-

I didn't dye this batch of yarn-the other green became white as soon as it was washed-will have to figure out where I went wrong on that because the rose color I did the same way turned out fine...........well, obviously not exactly the same way or the green would have been fine, too! (I had bought this sugar 'n cream cotton yarn last month when my mom was in FL, I told here I finally knit it up and we had a good laugh cuz she hadn't touched her skein either until Friday night when I started mine, too--we had a moment of connection!)

The weather while we were in GA was very similar to FL just a bit cooler during the day 80 degrees but the nights were a lotta bit cooler-40's--this is where they really feel the influence of their mountains!

Bill and I and the cats are grateful to be home after such a good visit.............tomorrow, the garden and house will get our attention!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Posting Postponed.........

We are heading to our daughter's in GA for a week. We will be working on various sewing projects at her house-mainly a mother/daughter set for her and Abigail so will have pretty pics for you next week.

This is a pretty daisy we saw on the beach last week and I forgot to post it then-

We are going North because it is my grandson's 6th birthday-here is one of the gifts:

And in between laundry and packing this is my next project-a quilt for my sons----->

We are taking these with us to share the bounty growing in our vegetable garden!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Batik Queen Posing

Here it is! I am thrilled with the outcome. I did wash it today and give it the old look that is my trademark. The cats helped me hang it and did their best to mess up the pictures-the wind 'helped', too but I perservered! In case you haven't noticed , I am thrilled with my Mega Quilter and Inspira frame-I would never have been able to qult so elaborately if I didn't have it.

I bought this kit when we had first moved here, and it just spoke Florida to me-now with the palm tree, it really does!

Here is a close-up of the back-Since the machine only has a 6" design space, this pattern of the trees is used twice across each 12" row of blocks. The borders have a curved design to symbolize the ocean waves.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Batik Queen

Hope to finish this today as we visit friends in Lake Mary today............Bill isn't feeling well after a bit of tainted food from Taco Bell yesterday so I have to drive-there goes an hour of sewing time.....! I will have plenty of sewing time later as we sit by the pool and talk all day!

Monday, April 7, 2008


No,it isn't 1740, but we did take a field trip today to Fort Matanzas with friends and despite the gloomy weather we had a great time!

Our trip started with a boat ride down the Matanzas River to the Fort.

A nice guide presented a great slice of history for us about this Spanish outpost.

We climbed up to the roof for a good stiff breeze with a view!

Bob and Judy, Cindy and Bill --->we figured out that we have

been friends for 24, huh!?

The Lord makes a bond for life and then eternity!

No, they aren't trying to figure out where we are but it sure looks that way!

After our return trip we took a brief hike down the boardwalk to the beach and then back to the car to escape the wind-it had a bite even tho the temp was 70.

Judy and I stayed on the boardwalk while the guys braved the wind and went down to explore along the shore-it was pretty empty there today.

Finished this pair of shorty socks while in the car. It is superwash wool I spun in November. I knit them toe up-always a good mindless project. (Going to start another pair tonight.)

We closed out the day with dinner at Corky Bells, a restaurant on the St Johns River in Palatka. It was too chilly for us to walk along the pier at the marina right in front of the restaurant but we had a great dinner and the company was suberb! We are all lumping in front of the tv now for the final game of March Madness (guys wonder why women don't 'get' sports but why does March madness finish in April now-it isn't a women who organized this!!!!)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Garden Fresh

We have eaten a few cherry tomatoes from our garden and even some radishes. We have learned that our soil is very acidic and needs quite a bit of sweetening before it will flourish. Right now, all the squash are starting to run and with several occasions of rain recently it is starting to look healthy. Also, the area vegetable stands are full of local grown choices like sweet corn and beets-We had beet greens last night and just look at the color:

They tasted as good as they looked. They were labor intensive for washing-each leaf had to have a personal rinse front and back because the sand clung to it securely! It was worth it! Oh, and the sweet corn-well it was the best, as all first-of-the-season is!

I have been knitting these short socks. Sometimes the even knit of plain socks is just the right project.....

even, smooth and rhythmic; stitch by stitch socks appear under my needles.

(Toe-up and short row heel on #2 needles.)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Quilting Bee Results

Both of the quilts Mom and I have worked on at the quilting bee are finished-it has been all that a quilting bee is supposed to be-good conversation, great fun and worthwhile fruit of your labors when finished!

This is the baby boy's quilt is a bow tie pattern and its close-up of the hand quilting....
Here is the girl's quilt , a dresden plate.......
And the close-up of the hand quilting...

Both quilts measure about 42" x 50"-good sized crib blankets! All the ladies who made it and quilted it are going and gone back up north-all were snowbirds but Millie (my neighbor with the goats) and myself-see you all next winter ladies!

BTW, Dad and Mom made it safely to NY-they called this afternoon.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


See, proof that I do still knit! This is a pair of slippers from some handspun. The pattern is from the 2007 Knit a Day calendar (Feb 2). I knit and sewed them up with the last 4" of yarn-too close. I left the pom-pom off cuz that is the kind of person I am........

My parents left for NY today, going back now that their winter is drawing to a close. It is the latest that they have ever stayed and we savored every minute of it. I will miss them.

This is what I am currently working on in the sewing room-

it is a queen sized batik quilt. I am machne quilting it on my Inspira frame. It is going good but not as quickly as the small wall hangings--duh! I gave myself the speach I give my daughter when the kids slow down when on a walk-"the journey is more important than the destination"-it is good advice for all of us. I put an audio book on my Zen and it was very relaxing-I am improving with every row! (There are 10 rows and it requires 2 passes for each row) Yes, those are palm trees I am quilting it with-it is still a wonder to be here and so I am not tired of them yet-dont think I ever will be, frankly!

House is cleaned and ready for company-hope some drop by tomorrow..................

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Hail, Hail, the gangs all here!

Sorry for the delay in posting but here is our family picture from Easter morning at church.
Oldest son and daughter-in-law were not here but this is most of us.
(Key-from left to right--->Bill, me, youngest son, middle son, daughter, son-in-law, grandkids)


The bird bath fountain sprung a leak so Bill fixed the leak and put a new sealant on it and I gave it a new paint job!  I had to let the pai...