July 28, 2008

Look What I Received In The Mail!

Oh look at what I received in the the mail the other day! I had signed up for Linda's PIF (Pass It Forward) challenge and this is what I received. Should I make you scroll down to see what is in this cute package?

Maybe a little more?

It is a adorable folder or a binder cover. I just love it! It is even better that it came from a blogging friend who took such care to make a beautiful gift. I have a Linda original and I love it!
I have been having fun thinking of the different ways I can use this.

I will need to get a binder that better coordinates with the cover colors, but I just couldn't wait to try it out. Thanks again Linda! Now to buckle down and get my the PIF gifts made and sent out. I have given the gifts much thought and have changed my mind as to what to make just as much! Not good!

I received this neat award from Nancy Rose the other day. Such an honor! Thanks Nancy Rose! She felt bad that my Summer Palace was ruined by a pesky critter and wanted to give me a little boost. It worked! I am to give this award to those who I believe deserve it too, but it is very hard to single out fellow bloggers. There are too many out there! If you are reading this, and have your own blog consider this award yours also!

I have been working and working on "The Monster" lately. There have been two main reasons to account for the progress I have made on this project. Number one, dear Hubby was out of town so that gave me more free time to spend on it. Number two, I aggravated an old knee injury and that has kept me from doing the other things I wanted to do while Hubby was gone. Oh the plans I had...they will just have to wait now. I have been propping my leg up and quilting away. If I can't do much walking or standing I can at least quilt! I have about 1/4 more quilting to do before I can turn the quilt in the frame. Oh I can't wait for that! I will post another picture of "The Monster" then as you should be able to see the border. Yippee!!!

July 22, 2008

Back To The CW Blocks

It was a beautiful afternoon here, and I was able to totally enjoy it by sewing away in my Summer Palace. I have been working hard on "The Monster" so I felt like I deserved a break and treated myself to a session in the Palace. It has been quite a while since I worked on blocks for my Civil War Diary quilt. I have one row completed and you can see the post about it here. Since there are so many blocks in this quilt I decided to sew the rows together as I went along. I thought it would help with the fabric selections for the blocks. In other words, I will be able to tell if I have two or three blue blocks next to each other, or if I need balance out the colors I have used. The block you see on the table is actually the second block in the second row. I decided that for the first block I wanted to use cheddar and blue fabrics. Well, the cheddar I want to use is one of the newer pieces I have purchased recently and it isn't prewashed yet. Did I want to take time out from sewing in the Palace to wash, dry and iron it? No way! So, on to block number two. I was able to work on the third block today too, but that picture didn't get taken. Guess you will just have to wait on that one. It was nice to work on this project again today, especially since I was able to sew in my favorite place.

July 17, 2008

Monster Report & My Blue Heaven

Yeah! I finished the borders on "My Blue Heaven" today! I enjoyed working on this scrappy quilt and taking a break from my much loved reproduction fabrics. I threw the top over The Monster for lack of a better place. (More to come about The Monster!) This pattern is from Bonnie Hunter's web site Quiltville.com She is one of my favorite sources for quilt ideas and patterns. If you haven't checked out her web site do it soon!

On to the "Monster In The Living Room" now. As many of you know this pink and green quilt has been in the middle of my living room floor for a while here... okay...for over a year (aside from a month long break at Christmas). I won't bore you with the original details. I will just give you this link to read my first posting about it here. This baby is wearing out it's welcome. I can happily report that I have two more rows of blocks to quilt and then it will be border time. Yep, the next time I turn the quilt the border will be showing. Yippee! Along with a heat wave that we have going on right now that is keeping me out of my Summer Palace, my dear Hubby has a long "Things To Do" list coming up so I have decided that this is the perfect time to work on this baby. This will be on top of my "To Do List" now, or at least for the next week! I have checked out a DVD set from the library of the television series "JAG" and will be happily listening/watching the DVD as I quilt away and enjoy the comfort of the air conditioner.

July 10, 2008

Oh No!!!!!!

I walked out my back door today to check on my flowers. I was met with this sight. We believe a raccoon decided to have some fun last night. Well, the raccoon may have had fun, but I sure didn't! There are holes ripped in each screen panel all around my gazebo, a.k.a. Summer Palace. A week ago this same animal tore two small holes in the screening. I decided not to patch them because that way maybe the animal wouldn't make more holes, he could just use the ones he already made. Well, guess two were enough. Every time I look at it I just get upset.

We were going to retire this palace at the end of the season anyway so I guess I shouldn't be that upset, but the season is far from over. The screen mainly kept the cotton wood that flies through the air and the big bugs out. I guess I should try to be positive and look at it this way, I have windows now. I may look into getting a live trap so this animal can be relocated somewhere else. It would surely be more happy in a wooded environment instead of a city one. I know I would be happier!

Since I was outside with my camera I thought I would share some photos of my flowers. They are prettier to look at then holes in the Palace screens. I grew some of these flower from seeds.I posted before about that here. The Sweet Peas are the flowers in front. This is the first year that I have planted them. The seed packet said they were mounding flowers and perfect for containers. Well, they are perfect for containers, but they are not mounding. They like to climb. When I saw that the plants were climbing over each other I placed a small trellis in the flower pot. They are now much happier and booming beautifully. Guess you can't believe everything you read?

One more photo of a few more of my flowers. I love them!

July 7, 2008

Stash Busting UFO

This is the quilt that I have been working on lately out in my Summer Palace. I wanted to work on some of my UFO's (unfinished projects to all of my non-quilting readers), and decided this is the one I would work on. I began this project last fall while on vacation. I talked about starting it here. It is to large to spread out on a floor for a photo, so I just laid it across the couch and took a partial photograph. It will end up being a queen size quilt in the end. I added the blue border earlier today and will be adding a border of hour glass blocks next. It is a Bonnie Hunter design called My Blue Heaven. I am liking what I see so far. My fingers are crossed that the hour glass blocks will fit. This has been a stash busting quilt, which means I pulled the fabrics for it out of my stash. Okay... I bought a few more blue fabrics to go into this quilt, but not many! So, I guess I had better rephrase my statement. For the most part this has been a stash busting quilt. It didn't make a huge dent in my stash, but it did make a small one. I am beginning to think about how I want to quilt this baby. Such decisions!

July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July and UFO's

Happy 4th of July!

I hope all of my American friends have enjoyed a Happy 4th Of July celebration today. My hubby had to work today so I spend the afternoon in my Summer Palace and sewed up a storm. I've almost got the "My Blue Heaven" blocks sewn together. Then it will be on to the borders.

I was reminded the other day of the deadline for entering items in the county fair. I entered for the first time last year and was awarded five ribbons. That was so much fun I was looking forward to this year's fair. Well, when I started to think of what I wanted to enter I realized I only had two finished projects. Wow! I have done a lot of piecing of quilt tops this year, but that is as far as the projects got. Bummer! It really isn't worth my while to just enter two items when I think of the entrance fee and the cost of the gas (It is about a 40 min. drive one way to get to the fair grounds). I will just have quit kicking myself for the lack of finishes and get on the ball so to speak. UFO's had better watch out!

July 2, 2008

Fruit Slush

There is a favorite Summer treat around here. It is called Fruit Slush. I thought I would share it with you as it is such a good for you treat and so refreshing at this time of year.

Here are the ingredients:
40 oz. canned fruit cocktail packed in light syrup (I love the Del Monte Very Cherry brand)
10 oz. sweetened frozen whole strawberries
12 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate
20 oz. canned crushed pineapple packed in it's own juice
3 med. bananas (sliced)
10 oz. maraschino cherries (I cut mine in half)
22 oz Mandarin oranges (this is the only fruit I drain before adding)

You basically add all of the ingredients together. Make sure to use a very large bowl! I put the frozen strawberries in the microwave a little bit to thaw so they can be broken up easier. Sorry the color is off in this photo - I have never claimed to be a great photographer!
I then package up the fruit mixture into one cup servings and put them into the freezer. Like my mixture of container types? If you are a Weight Watcher like I am, or try hard to be, I have put this through the point finder and came up with a one cup serving as three points. In all reality we can never wait for them to turn into a "slush" as we start eating them right out of the freezer. If you want the juice to be slushy, just let it thaw some before digging in. I ended up with fourteen one cup servings. You may be wondering why I drain the Mandarin Oranges while I don't drain any of the other fruit. Well, I guess it is because I couldn't get them in a light syrup, and I shaved some calories by draining them. Hope you give this a try some time. Let me know if you like them!