Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from Funoldhag!   Here are a few fun pictures that are appropos for this spooky day and evening.

Spooky quilted items for this day.   These are all on my Pinterest board for Halloween.

Two scarey pictures!
And the last one - a really scarey picture!! 

On a serious note,  I know the whole country is thinking of and praying for the millions of people who have been affected by the monster storm that devastated the east coast.   So hard to fathom the extent of loss - lives, homes, businesses - that has occurred.  God be with them all. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Getting Ready to Send Off the Little Quilt

The little jungle quilt is all done including the label and is ready to be laundered and sent on it's way to Portland, Oregon, to await the arrival of it's new little owner.   As I was getting the label ready,  I thought of an adorable little dress that I bought for Norah the day she was born.  I remember the price I paid for it so vividly because it was very expensive for a baby dress 35 years ago.   Ray and I went shopping for something to take to Lawrence when we went to see our new little granddaughter later that day.   I spotted this at one of the department stores in the mall -
I thought it was just the prettiest little thing I had ever seen - and it was $18.00.  But we bought it!  All three of the granddaughters have worn it -
and here is Hannah wearing the little pink confection.  I think multiple dollies have worn it also over the years.  So it will go along in the box for Annie to wear and for Molly to save for the next little girl born to either her or one of her sisters. 

When I asked Sherry if she knew where the little dress was, she said it was in the attic.  Yesterday, she looked in their attic and found it and some other things to send to Molly, washed them up and brought them over last evening.   She found this darling pair of coveralls--

that was appliqued and embroidered by a dear high school days friend, Gail.  She embroidered a little rose after Molly - Molly Rose.
Also going along for the ride are a little knit jacket, cap and a hand embroidered undershirt.  The dolly is from a neighbor of mine who has since moved away.  Jane knitted a little jacket and cap for Henry but with her moving preparations didn't have time to do that for Annie.  She had a large doll collection so brought over this sweet little collectible doll that could be a sweet little decoration on a shelf in Annie's room.   The package will also have a little zippered comforter and the front pack that Sherry had for Hannah. 

We also skyped with Henry and his mom and dad.  What a busy, busy little fellow who has now found his hair and his belly button.  So fun to watch him - perpetual motion.  He will be Charlie Brown for Halloween -

Here's Charlie!   They were getting ready to carve pumpkins for the holiday.  Going to be here very soon!! 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Squirrel Buffet

A really bad picture - but I think you will be able to get the idea.  If you look closely, you can see what's left of a little pumpkin that was sitting on the step in front of my mums.   Gradually, something has been whittling away until there was quite a mess on the step.  When I went out the front door this afternoon, there were three squirrels that scattered to the winds when they heard and saw me.  My little pumpkin eaters!   So I decided to move the pumpkin to the ground right by the steps and also cleaned up their little mess of seeds and pumpkin pieces.
I left the inside door ajar and stood quietly trying to get a picture of the little picnickers.  You can just see one of the little guys having a treat in the above picture.   Unfortunately, the pictures were taken through the storm door screen so are very fuzzy.  A good picture of the door handle, though.  I almost got a picture of a squirrel sitting on the pumpkin eating.  Waited for quite a few minutes for them to come back but didn't work out.  They are such cute little things.  My neighbor from across the street said that almost all of the people who have real pumpkins for fall decorations are "feeding" the little critters who frequent our condo complex.  It's turned much cooler again, the leaves are almost all down and probably there will be some white flakes falling in the next few weeks.   How fast time goes by.  Have a great Sunday!!

(Henry's picture is in the perfect place for each new post.  Just looking at his adorable little face makes me smile and wish I could give him a hug and kiss.  Norah and Chad do a great job of keeping pictures and little videos coming.  We will skype with them tomorrow evening.  And also with the new little mommy to be, Molly, and daddy Doug.   The time is nearing for the eagerly awaited safe and sound arrival of the new little baby girl.  She will find lots and lots of people welcoming her with so much love.)  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Making Progress

Just about ready to make the quilt sandwiches and get the quilting done.  Pretty happy with these although it's kind of a hassle putting the ornament hangers on.  I am satin stitching them like I did the snowman's arms and smile, but the ones I have done so far are a bit wonky.  Guess it keeps you humble, right?   I am not about to try and rip out the bitsy satin stitches and redo them by hand.   The little black and white stripe I used really sets off the colors.  The snowman will have little black button eyes and some buttons down his front. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Christmas Sewing

 A few weeks ago, I ordered some Christmas fabric from Connecting Threads.  Yesterday I started cutting pieces for a couple of tablerunners and a snowman wall hanging that I like a lot.   Halloween isn't even here yet, but I have seen so many great projects for Christmas on Pinterest that it's got me thinking Santas, trees and snowmen!  
 In its first stages, the little wall hanging is ready for some machine applique.  Will decide on a border later.  I have lots of fabric to work with.
I made table runners like this several years ago.  This time I will machine buttonhole stitch around the ornaments then embroider the hangers.  I'm thinking a tiny black and white sashing and then a border of one of the prints.   I love the colors in this group of fabrics--I think I just love color, period!  Anyway, fun things to work on!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


In the last few years, I have done quite a bit of embroidery which I find to be very enjoyable and easy to pick up and work on for even just a few minutes.  There are so many sources for patterns - especially with the internet.  You can find vintage patterns, primitive patterns, coloring book pages, etc.  It is endless.  You just have to be able to get them into your files and then print them out to the size you want.   Above is a cute angel pattern--
And another.  These are rather seasonal - and there are tons of snowmen and Santas, trees, pumpkins, turkeys, etc., to give you something to make for the holidays coming up. 
 This cute gal is more contemporary--she's so cute.

The birds could also be an applique pattern.
This is a vintage pattern and one that is a part of a little girl for each day of the week to be embroidered onto dish towels.  Adorable.  If you would like to find the rest of them, the are on the Embroidery board on my Pinterest page.  The link to that is at the top of the sidebar.  There are also lots and lots of other cute embroidery patterns and old embroidered pieces there.  Lots can be found on Flickr and also by just putting what you want in the search box and googling.
This is one of my favorites - and I want to do it some day.  It is tinted with crayons and then ironed to set the color.  I just love this little girl taking care of her flowers.  So many fun things to do!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Finger Knitting

(When viewing the videos, do it on full screen by clicking on the window icon at the far right of the image.  Press escape to bring it back to small size)

The other day at lunch, Leslie was telling about having company at their cottage over the prior weekend.  The little girl visiting was telling her all about finger knitting that she had seen - can't remember whether it was at school or where it was - but she knew yarn was woven around your fingers and that it eventually would turn into a long woven piece from your hand.  Leslie, who was a teacher and I know would be so much fun for kids to be around, tried and tried but was unable to figure it out.  I told her she should have looked it up on Youtube.  The girls all tease me that I know my way around the internet so much better than they do.  (Hey, my dear friends, I think that's probably true!!!--you know I am kidding and being a smarta--!)   So, to back myself up I went on Youtube, put "how to finger knit" in the search box and the above video is what I came up with.  I sent it to Leslie and she said she wishes she had known that when the little one was there.  It is true that you can find a video for how to do almost anything on Youtube. 

Here is another one I found called "Finger Knitting on Steroids" in case you wish to take it up seriously.  It's long and you probably won't want to watch much of it but the first part shows a very clever way to make something bigger and the girl who makes the video is kind of cute to watch.   So, if you are like me, this is something new but some of you may have learned how to do this when you were children.  Never too late to learn something new!!  Next time you have one or more of your grandkids with you, this might be fun to do with them.  I know that Norah, Molly and Hannah would have all probably liked finger knitting! 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

More Fibonacci

This is actually the piece (four of them, really) that I put together for my project at the class on Wednesday.  I could have been much more creative than I was but actually liked the fabrics I picked out.  Now I can see what possibilities there are in the idea of finonacci.  (Love to say the word - makes me feel so smart!!)
With this setting, you can flip the pieces around many different ways and what is shown in the picture won't be the way I sew together.  I also may do a little applique someplace.  We'll see.  It's just about the right size for a tabletopper.    Anyway, I decided to go shopping down in my basement in the batik section.  Pulled some blacks - but not enough of some of the pieces that would have been really great.  That is the thing when you mainly applique - you buy smaller pieces of fabric such as fat quarters.  Then I got into the reds and purples.  This is what I came up with and I used the other setting for making this piece.   You make a strata (I think that is what it's called) using randomly placed cuts of the varying widths.  That in turn is cut into the varying widths and then sewn together.  Looks complicated - but this one was much easier than the one above.
 Much, much more dramatic - maybe a little dark but I like it so much better.  And it was quite fast.  Of course, I didn't have a great group of gals to chat and laugh with and kept my mind on what I was doing. 
Then Friday, several of us went to the Park Bench,  Ann and Patty's great shop, to their sale and afterwards out for a nice, long lunch.  Kathy brought along her beautiful orange and hot pink piece in the earlier post to find a border.  The one she picked out actually goes well with the one I just did so I bought some of the same batik.  Leslie and Linda both found fabric they needed for projects other than the fibonacci pieces.  A fun day with some fun friends.

Rainy, rainy weekend - which I don't mind unless it goes too long.  Yesterday my main accomplishment was getting binding cut for the little batik wallhanging with the icicles and snowflakes and for my black, white and red quilt that Linda quilted for me.  I really have a wrestling match applying binding on a big quilt.  My set up is far from ideal but I manage to get it done.  I have binding on two sides sewn on and will do the other two today. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Note

I said in my previous post  that I let you know when I put up a post on Pass The Tiara - our quilt guild blog - for those of you who might like to check out some of the quilts we worked on yesterday.  On my sidebar there is a cute little duck - click on him and you're there!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Fun Class

Today Q2, our quilt guild, sponsored a class in "Piecing Quilt Blocks Using Fibonacci Numbers".  I had heard of that but had no idea what it was all about.  Last night at our October meeting, Ann Simanskey, one of the co-owners of Park Bench,  beautiful two year old quilt shop in our town, gave a talk on fibonacci.  Ann's talk was a delight - funny, informative and she  got the idea across.  Above she is shown with Kathy, one of our members.  Kathy clutches her two pieces of fabric for the class.

This is what Kathy took home as the result of a few hours of cutting, sewing together and cutting again. 

This great piece was the other choice you could make and this was done by Janet.  This is the one that I made but did not get finished yet - however, I will finish it.  And I love the concept of it and think I will probably try it out with some batiks.  I will do a post for our guild blog and will let you know when I put it up so that you can go look at the pictures of the class members and their end results if you would like to see more.   All of the pieces came out great.

I took a picture of each of the attendees and had Diane take one of me.  Turned out pretty good so here's the old hag!   (Click pictures to enlarge)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Odds and Ends

The other day I made a recipe I found on Pinterest for oven baked chicken fajitas.  As you can see, it turned out great with the only problem being it was pretty hot for me - I am not much for very much heat in my food.  Had a great taste, though, and I will try it again and change the rotel tomatoes and green chiles to just tomatoes.  At least, I think that was the problem for me.  It was a very easy recipe and made a nice big panful so would be good for a small family.   For anyone who likes things a bit spicy, it's a good recipe.

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 large bell pepper, seeded and sliced (I use half a green and half a red)
  • 12 flour tortillas
  • Toppings such as cheese, sour cream, and guacamole – if desired

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken strips in a greased 13×9 baking dish.
  2. In a small bowl combine the oil, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, dried oregano, and salt
  3. Drizzle the spice mixture over the chicken and stir to coat.
  4. Next add the tomatoes, peppers, and onions to the dish and stir to combine.
  5. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Serve on tortillas with desired toppings.

I have spent a part of each of the last few days cleaning the messy drawers in my sewing area.  Found some things that I was wondering as to their whereabouts!   I do not have an impressive thread collection and usually go buy it as I need it.  I do have enough to usually be able to get a good start on a project. 
For the last several years I have been using Sulky for my machine applique.  This and
more in this nice, neat drawer are what I have.  This also has bobbin thread and other thread for quilting.  What looks like a mitten in there is a felted wool holder for my rotary cutter that I bought at our quilt bazaar a number of years ago.  Lori is the maker of that - and of quite a few pin cushions that I have.
Another neat drawer!  Mainly Coats and Clark thread in the boxes - have used lots of that over the years.   Any old wooden spools of thread I have are in my spool cabinet.
This drawer was a supermess!  I could find nothing with ease - and found things I didn't know I had.  Also way too many pencils!  Here are the little things I use as I sew - small rulers, tweezers, scissors, point turners, marking gadgets, and all my sewing machine feet, walking foot, etc.  A fun not is that there are three different styles of Merle Norman powder boxes holding things - I have been using Merle Norman since I was very young.  The white one in back is the oldest, the one with the foot (has a tan screwon lid) is a later one and the brown with the gold flower is a newer one.  The latest one I have is about half the size of those but not reduction in price, I am sure.  Great containers for things over the years.
You are probably completely bored looking at my drawers!  Last one - just thread, machine needles and bobbins.  I do love the neatness of all this - I wonder how long it will last?

I have to cut binding for this quilt that Linda quilted so beautifully for me.  It will be in the black with the wavy dotted stripes.  This was a lot of fun to put together.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Injun Summer (Reposted from Pieces of the Past)

For some reason or other, I got to thinking about something I used to see in a newspaper every year when I was a little girl back in Rome, Illinois. We took the Peoria paper, but on Sunday Dad usually went "uptown" to Chillicothe and bought a copy of the Chicago Tribune which had marvelous funnies--The Katzenjammer Kids, Fritzy Ritz, and Brenda Starr. Wow, a bonanza. (Brenda may have been in the Peoria paper, but that's neither here nor there. I loved her especially when there were paper dolls!!) I could recall seeing in a supplement of the paper a cartoonlike picture of a cornfield in the moonlight with dreamlike visions but couldn'temember exactly what it was like. I knew it was very fallish and sweet.

So, a little while ago I decided you can find anything on the internet - and started putting phrases in the search box. I tried "cornfield in the moonlight", etc., and did get some pictures that did fit the description but not the one I remembered. Then a phrase popped into my head - Indian Summer - and lo and behold up came the top picture with the address of a blog and I went there to find "Injun Summer", my picture - two of them - that I remembered from so long ago. This really is a "piece of my past" and conjurs up memories of the fall in Rome (Illinois, that is) in a much simpler time. There was an orchard behind our old house and I can still remember the smell of apples that were frozen on the trees and how wet the long grass was when you walked through the orchard. Read more about Injun Summer on the blog, My Over the Fence blog, where I found the old pictures I remembered so well.

(I did this post two years ago in my other blog, Pieces of the Past.  Reposted it there the other day since I thought it was so appropriate for the lovely fall season.  Decided not too many people read my other blog and maybe some of  Funoldhag's followers might enjoy this post.  Funny how certain memories stick with you throughout your life!  Hope you enjoy Injun Summer.)