Monday, August 30, 2010

Puddle Jumping Mystery Clue Four Done, a BOM Goes Wrong and Schnibble...

I think this is my LEAST FAVORITE block so far from Amy's Passions BOM! Ok..I like the block, I don't like how it came together for me..or didn't come together as the case may be. Serously things just didn't size right and for now it is set aside. I wish I could say I want to recut and try again, but today. i . don't!
I sewed the binding on Joy Luck Schnibble and used my barettes (and some of Gma Nan's I got) to hold it down for hand binding. I like this one more and more and am not sure I want to give it away!

AND Puddle Jumping Clue Four is done! I only had to unsew one block that I managed to turn around and sew (might have something to do with the fact that I was also watching Inside Austin or something like that on Netflix at the same time I was sewing) incorrectly. This is looking REALLY busy to me but there is one clue left so maybe there is sashing or something that mellows it out some. Can't hardly wait til tomorrow (I think it is) to find out! At least I am caught up on this. I love a mystery!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Puddle Jumping Mystery Clue Four in Progress

Made the binding for my Joy Luck Schnibble today...didn't get around to attaching it though! I spent alot of time working on the Puddle Jumping Mystery--clue four.
You might notice that at the top and bottom in the center there is an extra block hanging off...I got a little carried away on my sewing and had to unsew the ends off a whole section of blocks!

Here is what it will look like...just the middle and corners are together in the picture above and I managed to get them into three sections before giving it up and going down to ride my bike.

I really like how it is coming together! Should have these blocks together after a few more hours at the machine...I still have one Amy's Passions BOM for August to get thinking I may start with that after work tomorrow...I have an early day due to a class cancellation so I should get some sewing in! Off to bed to read "Thunderstruck" or "The Shell Seekers" the two books I have in progress at the moment.

Biscotti Recipe at Last!

Tricia’s Biscotti
2 ¾ c. flour (or a combination to equal this amount-- oat flour, flax seed flour, whole wheat flour, almond flour)
1 c. sugar (you can use less than this unless you are making cinnamon and sugar biscotti)
3 eggs
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1-2 t. vanilla (or orange flavoring with cranberries)

Combine the dry in a bowl, mix then add wet ingredients and extras (see end of recipe for ideas on extras). Mix well. Flour your surface and split dough in half…roll in the flour into two long squarish rolls about one inch thick. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Take off pan immediately and let cool about ten minutes. Slice sideways and set on pan in staggered formation and rebake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. It will keep for several weeks.
EXTRAS ideas
1/2 package chocolate chips and 1 c. dried cherries
Orange flavoring with 1 c. dried cranberries
Anise flavoring
Maple flavoring with 1 c. pecans
Cherry flavoring with 1 c. almonds
Instant coffee flavoring
Chocolate chips with Cocoa powder
Sugar and Cinnamon
Christmas time: 1 c. crushed Ande’s mints

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sewing Day at June's House

I started out the day picking up our Bountiful Basket bright and early and then by meeting Kelly (Kathy's sister) at Weight Watchers. I officially started today, but actually started following the plan last Sunday when Kathy joined. So I have lost a little more than six pounds so far. We are all taking turns cooking really healthy, digging into our healthy cookbooks and I am packing good snacks and lunch, etc for work. Also have been making friends with the recumbant bike again. Am back up to 30 minutes with resistance. I don't enjoy it yet (haha) but feel like I am accomplishing something...I gave up farming on farmville (dumb game) because I decided that I cannot say that I don't have time to exercise if I DO have time for a silly, annoying game! I will try to remember to write here how it is going...might keep me that much more motivated. Now on to the quilty news of the day!

I had another great sewing day at June's house! This first picture is Ros who is celebrating finishing the binding on this quilt she will donate to her church for an auction...I might just have to buy a few tickets! It looks great.
Here is June helping BJ hold up her quilt...below is BJ with an adorable expression on her face! This huge quilt has been all hand sewed and hand quilted and it really close to done. BJ said she has been working on it for more than a decade...maybe even more than two if I remember right. It looks amazing...she is inspiring me to do an all by hand quilt!
I happily sewed away on my Puddle Jumping Mystery...I sewed ALL I had pinnned, ironing and then pinned the next part but didn't get a picture of that yet. I also made this "Wreath Over the Door" for the Designer Mystery BOM designed by Sandy Gervais. This one went together easier than the other two and is really cute if you ask me!

I got back my Joy Luck Schnibbles from I need to make some binding and get it on it...although I still have a half bound baby quilt to work on! I also passed off five quilts to Ros for quilting! One is a QOV, and the others are likely to be Christmas or wedding gifts.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Go Pack Go!

Just had to show you the Packer tablecloth Grandma Nan must have been saving for a rainy day. It was brand new in the package. I decided that today is that rainy day and put it on my table, well yesterday. And the Packers won big time, so maybe it helped? Smile. And I couldn't resist putting up another photo of Short Story Schnibbles that I took outside today too.
I tried to make a photo collage of all twelve of my Schnibbles from this year to show you all, but can't recall how I did it I could do was a slideshow which I added to my blog. If you know a quick easy way to do a collage to post on a blog I would love to hear about it!
Tonight I got the backing all set for the above quilt and the backing for my Atkinson Designs quilt that has been done for awhile but I was undecided about getting more fabric for borders...decided done is better than sitting here so I pieced a back from leftovers and a black nightshade fabric I got a week or two ago. I now have four to bring to Ros (five if you count the Quilt of Valor she said she would do and send on to Alycia for us).
I then cut out clue four of the Puddle Jump Mystery and pinned, and pinned and pinned so that I can sew away without thinking too hard tomorrow at June's with BJ and Ros. I also still have one of Amy's Passions blocks to do and the Designer Mystery BOM too. Packed them up in case I run out of stuff to sew. Better to have too much at June's than not enough, right? Now I need to go figure out what food I am bringing. I will be picking up a Bountiful Basket and meeting Kathy's sister to hit a Weight Watcher's meeting before sewing. I had a great week and rode the bike about every other day so I am off to a good start!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Schnibble at Last and an Antique Hexagon Quilt

Schnibbles Short Story (the last of my A Year of Schnibbles Quilts) is a flimsy. I like it much better with the border...brighter...mine is larger than the pattern since I didn't trim, but it is all good. The fabric is fruitcake. The last parade will be September 1st. It has been a lot of fun!

And this little hexagon quilt is the second quilt I promised to tell you about that relates to Gma Nan. Some of you may remember the story when I helped her move into her apartment and she gave me the Broken Star quilt a few years ago...this was the other quilt she had which she wasn't ready to give up. My family decided that since I am the quilter I should have it....I am over the moon with this. I wish I knew who the maker was but all I know is my great grandma Annan had it handsewed and handquilted and my uncle Lewis used it as a baby..and most likely Jim and my dad Allen after. Then their mother died and Annan took it for safekeeping. After Grandma Nan married in and started raising the three boys she and Gpa Len had another son, Rick...Annan returned the quilt to Nan and Rick used it too. Many babies used the quilt (most likely me too) since it was a good size for babies but for the past 25 or so years it has mostly been in Gma Nan's dresser---waiting for me. I feel so tied to the people of the past and this quilt and the other one make me smile and tear up at the same time.
I haven't decided how to display it but I really want to preserve it and God help me if the house burns down I am collecting up AT LEAST these two quilts or I go down with the house. They mean almost as much to me as the kids!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Short Story: The Next Chapter

Managed to sneak in some sewing between my terping jobs the rows are all together on Short Story...just need some borders and this one will be set for Ros :) And if you are wondering, I did not trim the blocks at all..just fudged and did the best I could and overall it isn't bad.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Prizes, Prizes!

So while I was in Wisconsin the first time I won this Moda Scrap Bag from BearPawQuilts! I was late in sending in my address, then it came and I was back in Wisconsin so I am just now getting to my thank you to them. the fabric is beautiful and I had no idea there was so much of it in a scrap bag. I will be buying them in the fun is that. Oh, and I won this prize for June's Schnibble.
Then I managed to get lucky again for the July Schnibble drawings! I had heard I won my very first layer cake from Carrie and Rosie! It looks like this:
So today I was working my first full day back to college interpreting and I had a suprise few hours off...Kathy met me and brought me the mail and look at what I actually got!!!!

Not one but two Fandango Layer Cakes and a Lollipop Layer Cake too! So I have a tripple decker layer cake going on and best of you see that huge awesome clear zip up bag? I love it...I have a small one I got before on a win from the generous Carrie and it is my traveling sewing kit for classes and such so it gets lots of use. Now I have a big one to put a project in too. I was absolutely over the moon with this win. Thank you, thank you, thank you! And I loved the note too and am going to keep that in with my autographed book...could be a collectors item one day :)

Now I just have to finish up that last Schnibble for August, it is pinned but that is as far as I have gotten in getting it in rows.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Nimble Thimbles All Day Bag Class

A few action shots from our Nimble Thimbles Bag Sewing Class! It was a great day with lots of nice ladies with one bag more exquisite than the next! Here is our end picture where all of us showed off our bags.

I am in the back row in red...I can only name about half of these ladies but I hope to one day know them all that well.

And here is a close up of the two bags I made. The large one is called "Reversible Tote Bag" and I made it from fabric I had originally bought for my own apron...but then I changed my mind so it was perfect for this. The smaller one is by This and That and is called the Clutter Bug" bag. I used Denyse Schmidt fabric that I have been hanging onto for a long time...finally cut into the charms and I really like how it turned out. The top band is from the same line but just looks like it is pieced.

And tomorrow is back to full time my sewing will slow down some :( Also, Kathy and I have decided to join Weight Watchers and I am back on my bike. I hope to be posting a little note with pounds lost going up as my weight goes down. You know what they say...if at first you don't succeed, try, try, again!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Texas Star Take One--Don't Forget Your Galloping Horse!

If these pictures are small the reason is because I have no experience or skill with set in seams. I will say the last time I attempted it the block wasn't finished so at least this one is finished.

Make sure you climb aboard your horse and get to a good gallop in bad lighting to look this block over! It is one of Amy's CHALLENGING BOM's for August, Texas Star. It isn't the right size, the center isn't quite round and the seams don't quite match. But, hey--it is done. That's all I am saying about that.
Tomorrow my guild is having an all day sewing deal where we make two different bags. I picked out my fabric and got things cut and loaded up and I am excited to go. So there should be a blog post tomorrow.
Thanks too to Bear Paw Quilts for my grab bag win! I got it when I got home, but haven't had a chance to take a picture of it yet!

Grandma Nan's Viewing, Funeral and Pack Up

Hard to believe that all that was on my mind last Sunday when I got the call was the good deal I got on this jar at Goodwill (five bucks) and filling it with yarn to display and be functional. I was planning to blog about it but then I got the call from my uncle about my Grandma Nan's sudden death.
Here is her obituary, skip over this if you like, but I wanted to include it here.

Nancy A. Neff

DIED: August 15, 2010
LOCATION: Chippewa Falls, WI
Nancy A. (Pope) Neff, 79, of Chippewa Falls, died unexpectedly Sunday, August 15, 2010; she passed away peacefully in her sleep.

Nancy was born in Milwaukee, Wis. on June 5, 1931 but soon after, with her family, moved to Phillips, Wis. where she grew up. After attending college in Superior, Nancy moved to Eau Claire working at National Presto Industries where she met and married widower Leonard H. Neff in 1957. Leonard had three sons, Lewis Hamilton, Leonard Allen and James Jeffrey whom Nancy adopted. In 1959 Leonard and Nancy had a son, Richard Franklin.

Nancy was preceded in death by her parents, Bernice and William (Bill) Pope; her husband, Leonard; beloved sister and brother-in-law, Patrice and Richard Roehrick of Winneconne, Wis.; sons, Lewis and Leonard and daughter-in-law, Norma. She is survived by sons James and Richard; beloved daughter-in-laws Mary, Lisa and Marjorie; grandchildren Florence, Kailen, Jamie, Brittani (Lewis); Angela and Tina (Leonard); Carla, Patricia, Brian and Sidney (James); Belinda (Richard) as well as many great grandchildren. She knit for each of them and taught all the girls who were willing the art of knitting, doll-making, quilting, baking, ceramics and crafts. To each Nancy was a generous and loving daughter, wife, mother, sister, in-law, grand and great grandmother and friend.

An active member of Notre Dame Parish, Nancy was a member of various groups and organizations such as Catholic Women’s Club, St. Joseph’s Hospital Partners (Auxiliary), Elk Ladies and Old Goats and too many card groups to list but you all know who you are!

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at Notre Dame Church, Chippewa Falls. Rev. Brian J. Jazdzewski will be celebrant of the funeral Mass. Burial of cremains will be in Hope Cemetery, Chippewa Falls.

Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, August 17, and until 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Horan Funeral Home, Chippewa Falls. The Ladies of Notre Dame will recite the rosary at 4 p.m. and there will be a Christian Vigil Service at 7 p.m. both Tuesday at the funeral home.

Memorial funds will be distributed to groups such as St. Joseph’s Hospital Partners and Notre Dame Parish.

Family and friends may express online condolences at
The best part of the whole quick trip to Wisconsin was meeting this little one...Bella (my cousin Tricia's baby) and seeing my daughter Hannah. My son Mackenzie was at a family reunion for his Dad's side (that Hannah didn't go to) so I didn't even get to see him.
Here are some pictures of us before the prayer service at the funeral home.

Here is a picture of Grandma Nan for viewing at the funeral home. Normally I don't take photos or post them of these things, but from a respectful distance (Grandma looked great) I wanted to show that unbeknownst to me they had put the quilt I made for Grandma on her casket with her flowers. She would have loved this...I let the youngest grandchild, Lindy, keep the quilt. She spent tons of time with Grandma and might be the one affected most by this. Grandma was almost a daily part of her life. You can also see that she was part owner of the Packers! You can't see it, but they put her card playing money in with her! She has been creamated and was buried next to Grandpa Len in the Chippewa Cemetary yesterday.

My cousin Carla and I (with some help from my sister Tina and Carla's daughter Maggie Lou) made up this first poster with pictures of Grandma Nan and those she loved through the years.
This one my two aunts made up, I think.

After the funeral all of the immediate family went back to Grandma's apartment and packed up most of it. There is only one uncle, aunt and cousin that live in Chippewa now and my my uncle had a heart attack a few months ago so we wanted to help with the moving out. I got some of Grandma's things that I will share when I get a chance to take more pictures. This bald Santa was one that I helped her make....several years ago we made a bunch of them and this one never got hair or a beard...that is okay though because the one I have has a broken I will be stealing his hair and beard and making it all good.

I also took two little leaves off of her African Violet plant and am hoping I can root them out and make a plant that reminds me of Grandma. If they die I will just buy a plant myself! They are tiny leaves in a shot glass cup but they look bigger here!

And yes they survived three days in my purse so I am hopeful they will survive!
I also got this Shut the Box game which I think is very cool and I wish I had known about it when my kids were younger and two decks of Packer cards (and a Packer magnet) in a case. Coleman got a nice set of Dominos with Mexican Train Game. I have never played that game and Coleman just taught me how to play Dominos...we had a cheap kiddy set and now we have a nice tile set and will think of Grandma Nan every time we play!

So that is the story of one post I will tell you the story of the other quilt!
We will miss you Grandma Nan!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Home Again and Biscotti

First off can I just say that in both Wiconsin and Arizona it is hot enough to melt an ice cream truck this time of year. I am glad to be home again after five days in Wisconsin for my Grandma Nan's viewing and funeral and the packing of her apartment. I haven't uploaded my camera photos (just a few from my phone that went on facebook) so I will wait to talk about that when I have some pictures. One hint, there are two quilts involved in my trip and both made me smile :) despite losing my Grandma Nan.
This is my cousin Tricia teaching me how to make biscotti. I have always wanted to learn and got a recipe from an online friend a long time ago but had never made it. A few weeks ago Ros brought some to our sewing day at June's and she shared her recipe with me too. I have been planning on making it, but last night my cousin had us overnight (she lives near the airport in the Cities and drove us there in the morning) and she had to make biscotti for her fabulous husband. (Seriously she met him on E Harmony and they married and have a three month old and are so very happy--she deserves a great guy). So she taught me, and I now have three recipes and a zillion variations to try out.

Do you have a favorite recipe for biscotti or a variation you especially like? I would love to hear about it!
I am happy to be home, am behind on everything and go back to work full time on Monday. Summer has slipped through my fingers entirely too fast.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Not the Post I was Planning on Today

My beloved Grandma Nan passed away last night in her sleep. She was 79 years young. This first photo is of her and I and my dad (who passed away last Sept.) on her 75th birthday party. The picture with my messed up star quilt is one of my favorite memories of Grandma Nan. She liked to sew and when I lived back in Wisconsin we would often get together to sew. She helped me with this quilt...I laid it out on the living room floor and was to match up what went to what and pin and she would sew at the kitchen table. It was alot of up and down for me and we did alot of rearranging trying to get the pattern right. This was pretty early in my quilting and with no design wall, etc. this really was too difficult for me. Grandma trusted my pinning and such and we caught a few minor disasters and unsewed and resewed, etc. I recall learning how to do inset seams because I found a few turned around pieces and took them out and redid them before sending it off to be quilted. I was so proud when the quilt was done! After it was quilted and hung up and I took photos, well one day weeks later I realized that with all that froggin around we still had screwed up (this the name my messed up star quilt)! Somehow I had completely mixed up two of the colors in the placement and we had carefully pinned and sewed them together with them in the wrong places. You can see the green in the picture does not add to the star idea! Anyways, by then it was too late and I have all these fabulous memories of sewing with Grandma Nan so it doesn't really matter :)

The picture was taken at my graduation party. The last picture was taken a little over a month ago when I was visiting Wisconsin...we went out to eat and I shared that picture back then, but we also stopped by her place for a quick visit and took these pictures. This is my oldest son Coleman with me and Grandma Nan. She is the last of my grandmas. I still have two living grandfathers. I am just sorry to lose her so soon after losing my Dad.

Today I went through pictures for the funeral home and have figured out my ticket for the most part, started packing, called in to work, etc. I am operating in a fog. I am hoping that my sister comes back to Wisconsin with me for the funeral, but if she doesn't Kathy will go. Usually I am the strong one, but today I feel tired of being strong. I will miss you Grandma, hug dad for me til I get there.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Carolina Crossroads Clue Four is Done :)

Here is my stack of forty half nine patch units for Carolina Crossroads! Very tiny pieces and a bit fussy to put together but that has been the theme of today's sewing! I also had some help from Kathy so half of clue five is cut too.

They are really cute units, but tiny, tiny. And below is the huge collection of clues I have put together so far. Getting close to putting one of the blocks together and then I will really feel like I am getting somewhere. I would love to have this done by November when word is Bonnie will be doing another mystery. Of course, I am in on that one when the time comes. Oh and see how well my spiral bound book is working for me?
That is it for sewing tonight. Should be back at it tomorrow!

A Little Bit of This and a Lotta Snow!

Barb and I got our A Quilting Life BOM made right away this month.   Bekcy completed her "Ruby" Jubilee!  LOVE IT! I just got the ...