Thursday, September 27, 2007

Quilts - past and future

In the past, I have made dozens of quilts and usually averaged 3-4 a year. My quilts have never been fancy but are simple, mostly machine made and meant to be used. But the last quilts I made were for Christmas gifts in 2005. I realized I really missed quilting, so I started one last night. I made the first block this morning before work.
One block down, 60 or so more to go!
The current quilt will be a strip or string quilt. I just cut up a bunch of fabric into random width strips. They are 1 to 2 3/4 inches wide. I also cut out 10 inch squares of light fabric that will be the base I piece each square on. The "correct" way would be to use a natural muslin fabric but right now, I am all about using what I have and not spending money on anything I don't have to.
This quilt will be mostly red and blue, with some yellow, green and black. Some of the fabrics have a real country feel to them. I think this quilt will look scrappy, and that is fine with me.

A red, black and white churn dash quilt for John. and a strip pieced quilt of vintage fabric for Jimmy. (2005 quilts)
Plaid scrap quilt for Bobby. (2005)
This one was made in 2004, is all damask scraps and was lots of fun to make. It now lives at the home of one of Jimmy's friends and I hear it looks great in her guest room.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Thrift store flop

I post about many great deals from thrift stores and garage sales but not every purchase turns out to be as good as it seemed.
I bought this Lands End dress shirt for $1 at Salvation Army, it looked like new and was even freshly starched from the cleaners. I washed it and noticed when I took it out of the dryer that is has the initials WBB embroidered on the cuff. My husband laughed and said he did not mind the initials because he always rolls up his cuffs. But when he tried it on, it was too small for him.
So, does any one have a husband with the initials WBB that needs a 16 X 34 shirt that runs small?

There's always room for Jello

I was home most of today so I decided to make a batch of striped Jello cups. I have been making these for years and they are a family favorite. The Jello is easy to make but it takes lots of time to make all the layers.
I start with one small box size of Jello and make it with 1/2 hot water and 1/2 ice. Divide it between the cups for the bottom layer, put in the fridge, and set the timer to come back in 1 hour to make the next layer. Repeat until the cups are full. Try to put contrasting colors beside each other so the layers show better. This batch is 5 small boxes of sugar free Jello, strawberry, lemon, orange, lime and cherry.
It would be cheaper and greener to not use the disposable cups but I like the disposables for this. My family usually eats these for evening snacks and I don't like waking up to sink full of dried Jello on dishes.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

This weeks thrift store goodies

I am especially happy with this weeks finds.
5 light-weight dinner plates, $1.50. Jeff dislikes using heavy dinner plates so I think he will like these, even if they do have roses on them.
Polka dot wall basket $1, now hanging so cutely in our breakfast nook
Fabric, about 5 yards total, all decorator weight, $4

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tagged - my favorite things

Breanna at me to share from of my favorites. So here we goes...

Favorite:Sound –whenever any appliances we own are working like they are supposed. Sadly, our major appliances rarely last more than 5 years and I am truly grateful every time they do their jobs.

Late Night Snack – I have been dieting since June and don’t eat late night snacks anymore, if I do have something, it is ice water or Diet Dr Pepper.

Smell – lavender or cinnamon

Color Combination – aqua with red or pink

Nut – I like all of them but pecans and cashews are my favorites with English walnuts right behind

Time of Year – I like May because I live in a college town and most all the students go home in May and our town turns back into a nice and quiet village, no traffic or lines anywhere.

Books – I used to read lots but don’t seem to much anymore. I usually read newspapers and magazines. I like all the Mitford series and Beth Moore’s books for Bible study

Female Actress – Maureen O’Hara

Flower – daisies

Vacation Spot – We like Branson but have not been in several years.

Pizza – Deluxe with lots of vegetables

Subject in School – Home Economics

TV Channel – HGTV and I LOVE Clean House on Style

Radio Station – our local Christian station, KLVV

Holiday -- Easter

Perfume – I don’t wear it much

Shoes – I have cranky feet – no arches, heel spurs, bunions – and I like cute shoes but the comfort test always comes first. Right now, I mostly wear black and pink FIT flip flops that are supposed to my exercise my legs. I paid way too much for them and my regret over doing that got me back to seriously thinking how I spend my money. The shoes are pretty comfortable

Candy – again, I am dieting and don’t eat sugar. But I do like all chocolate especially with nuts, I just don’t eat it anymore

City to Shop – We rarely go anywhere except Tulsa or Oklahoma City. I don’t really like either one but I guess I like OKC best.

Beauty Products – Ponds cold cream and moisturizer

Item to Shop For – I do love thrift stores and garage sales.

And now I am supposed to tag two people, how about Louise or Terri or Heidi or Joanne or Tammy or anyone who is reading this and wants to do this.

"Free" dishclothes

I made these 6 dish clothes for the kitchen from a fairly new bath towel that must of had faulty workmanship. The edge of that white bath towel ripped in several places and I tried to repair it with zig-zag stitching but the edge just got too ragged.
So I cut that towel into 6 generous-sized squares, cut off the corners to a nice rounded shape and zig-zagged all the edges with white thread.
The fun part was trimming them with vintage pink, red and aqua rick rack from the thrift store, and a little bit of red and aqua bias trim too.
While I am not too happy about the short life this had as a bath towel, I needed new dish clothes and I am glad I thought to reuse it for this purpose. Old towels have always got cut up for cleaning rags at our house but this towel was too nice for rags.
So now we have 6 very pretty dish clothes that will make me smile when I use them.
This was a very easy sewing project. I know lots of people think sewing requires as much skill as brain-surgery but that is not true. Sewing is one of the biggest budget helpers I can think of and is easily learned.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Thrift purchases

Jeff and I went to few garage sales this morning, he was the chauffeur and I was the shopper.
the nifty little Seamstress steamer was 25 cents and it works great!
complete set of Tupperware measuring cups 25 cents
vintage Tupperware grater and Velveeta keeper 15 cents each
vintage crochet books, 25 cents each.
my mom will be getting these as part of her birthday gifts in November. She loves to crochet doilies.

$4 dollars worth of jars.

I will have to put some of them in the attic because I don't think there is room to store them neatly in the kitchen. But I am thinking some of them may end up as the containers for edible Christmas gifts.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

new apron

This is a bias cut flapper apron and the second one I made from this pattern. I got the pattern on Ebay from
It has 2 versions, one is a single layer of fabric and the edges are finished with bias tape. The other is a lined version. I made my first one with 2 different pink fabrics. The one in the picture is an apple print on both sides and the pockets are trimmed with black rick rack. If I find a good deal on a couple of packages of the same color bias tape at a thrift store, I will make the bias trimmed version.
I like this pattern because it sews up so easy, looks feminine and also because the pattern is very wearable, it fits around my neck and just rests on my shoulders. It does not put pressure on or pull down my neck like a regular chef apron.
I have been wearing aprons for years because I am so messy and the aprons really protect my clothes. For 2 1/2 years, I was a fraternity cook and I always had on aprons at that job.

Our favorite pot-luck dish

I make these stuffed eggs often and I always take them to any covered dish or potluck event we go to. My family thinks we should have them at every family meal too.
I make the filling a little bit different from standard deviled eggs, it is more like egg salad. For every 5 eggs that I boil, I boil one extra and mash the whole egg in with the filling. The rest of the ingredients are standard, just mayo, mustard, salt and pepper.
When I put the filling back in, I use a one-inch scoop and it works beautifully.

The Frankhoma plate belonged to my husbands grandparents. We got it in 1991 and every stuffed egg I have made since then has been served on this plate.

Stuffed eggs are a very thrifty choice for side dishes too. Just be sure to plan ahead a little, I like the eggs to be at least a week old so they peel easier.