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Wednesday, June 30, 2021

June Color Challenge And A Recipe

The color challenge for June is pumpkin! I like any reminder of autumn, especially this time of year, so looking for appropriate fabrics was a joy. Go look at the nice variety of pumpkin blocks at Jen's linkup right here.

12-inch block

I did struggle a bit with the pattern and was positive none of my points would match up. In fact at some point I began to question Jen's instructions, but of course in the end, Jen's brilliance became evident. Yes some of my points weren't perfect, but the points police have not visited here in a long time, so I felt safe.

Two 6-inch blocks

I've been making at least three blocks each month, in both the 12-inch and the 6-inch, so I should have an interesting layout at the end of the year!

Pumpkin is an ingredient in many of my autumn recipes, but here is an icebox cake for summer that hits the spot! And it's easy to make with a cake mix as the main ingredient. I use my KitchenAid for this, but a hand mixer works just fine.

Caramel Pumpkin Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
3 eggs
1/4 cup water
15 oz can pumpkin

1 cup caramel ice cream topping 
8 oz Cool Whip
1/2 cup toffee bits (either Heath Bits O' Brickle or Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits)

Whisk cake mix and spices together; add eggs, water, and pumpkin and beat about 2 minutes. Pour into a  prepared 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until cake springs back when touched and/or toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan completely.

Poke about 30 shallow holes in cake. Pour caramel topping into holes and all over cake. Spread Cool Whip to cover cake and sprinkle toffee bits all over. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving, then dig in!

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

To-Do Tuesday

Checkerboard Star - block #16 - last block for RBD Block Challenge - and my favorite!

It's time for To-Do Tuesday, and I'll be linking with other participants to share progress at the blog of Chris at ChrisKnits!

We enjoyed a fairly quiet last week with no doctor appointments - yay! We are gearing up for a visit from our son and family for 4th of July weekend. Since we made both extra bedrooms into an office and my sewing room, we have no guest bedroom. Luckily our kids don't care! The family of five will sleep in our living room on an air mattress and our reclining sofas. It will be the first time they've visited since we moved last October, and we can't wait!

Summer Picnic - block #15 for RBD Block Challenge

Progress was made in the sewing room on my goals from last week:

✔1. Start another QAL - PROGRESS and posted here
2. Work on Exploding Hearts quilt - NO PROGRESS
✔3. Make last block for RBD Challenge - DONE and posted here (see a photo of all the blocks below)
4. Work on purple blocks for RSC - NO PROGRESS
✔5. Finish blocks for June Color Challenge - DONE and will post this week

All 16 blocks for RBD Block Challenge

Since we will have visitors by the end of the week, I'm keeping it real on my goals:
1. Continue progress on DashAlong
2. Work on sashing and final layout for RBD Block Challenge quilt
3. Finish RSC blocks

That will be it for the week! Be sure to check out the plans of all the To-Do Tuesday participants right here.
Thursday, June 24, 2021


Yes I've joined another quilt-along, let's just get that out there first. But I can't resist them! This one honors a traditional American block, the Churn Dash, and I am a traditional gal at heart. Kairle Oaks is hosting, and you can find info about this QAL right here. She is also on Instagram as @kairleoaks 

Vintage churn dash block (found online)

The churn dash block dates back to the 1800s and supposedly represents a butter churn paddle. It is actually a variation of a 9-patch. It is a simple pattern with four HSTs, four 2-bar units, and a square in the middle that gives an opportunity for a fussy cut.

My first churn dash from 2010, part of a mini quilt

I actually made a churn dash block in my first quilting class. We made four traditional blocks set in a mini quilt. My points were pretty good because I was being taught by an official member of the Points Police.

The fabric requirements are a layer cake and background yardage - that's it. I chose Gingham Gardens layer cake and a Grunge background, which I believe is Grunge in "Paper". (If you know the secret to identifying Grunge colors from the selvage, please let me know!) I have loved Gingham Gardens for months but made myself hold off from purchasing any. As soon as I found out about this QAL, Heartfully Handmade just happened to have a 20% off sale, so that was my permission to purchase!

 This week our challenge is to cut the fabric and sew the "bar" pieces together. I couldn't wait to put a block together, and I'm loving it so far!

Jack has final approval over all aspects of the quilt process.

Exhausted from supervising

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Ruby's Rose Garden Quilt

Since the quilt has purple in it, my quilt model is holding it in front of a Vitex tree
(sometimes called "Chaste" tree) with its purple blooms

At last I have a finish! This one is from the flimsy I made during challenge 3 of Project Quilting back in February. If you'd like to read the story behind it, you can find that right here. Basically this quilt was inspired by a trip to Balboa Park rose gardens in San Diego in the 1990s with my Mom and daughter. I've named this quilt after my sweet Mom who LOVED roses and always wanted to visit rose gardens when she had the chance.

This is a photo (not mine) of some of the Balboa Gardens roses

I made this for my niece, Wendy, who is actually my nephew Tommy's ex-wife. Tommy and Wendy grew up in the same small town where I grew up. They weren't interested in one other during high school, but after they both had a marriage or two under their belts, they reunited at a high school class reunion. Sparks flew, and they were married within a few months. They are no longer married but remain good friends.

The backing is yardage I purchased in the sale room of
a local quilt shop in 2013, so I finally found the perfect use for it! 

Wendy is a special person who has a heart for the elderly. She runs an errand service in that same small town and goes the extra mile for those in nursing homes. When she delivered the quilt I made for Beverly last year, she made sure I received a photo of Beverly with the quilt. She also told me laughingly that she almost kept it for herself! So I've known for months that I wanted to make her a quilt, and this is the result. She also had a loving relationship with my Mom, so she will appreciate the story behind this quilt.

I really wanted to add a pretty border, but it was already fairly big (and busy!), so I made binding with the same fabric as the backing. I quilted it using simple cross hatch and "almost" in the ditch.

Naturally I used a purple sticky note to utilize a binding tip from Janine, who blogs from Quilts From The Little House. She folds a sticky note on the diagonal, lines it up with the edges of the quilt on the corner, and sews up to the diagonal edge of the sticky note and out to the corner to keep seam allowance consistent. It worked beautifully! I've never had more perfect corners. Thank you Janine! You can read more about her tip right here.

After laundering - nice crinkly goodness

Quilt Details
Finished size 
Before laundering: 54" x 72"
After laundering:  52" x 70"

Based loosely on a baby quilt pattern by Sedef Imer

Bouquet Splendor by Henry Glass
Bedsheets Coral Reef by Amanda Jean Nyberg for Connecting Threads
Dit Dot in Cornsilk by Jason Yenter for In The Beginning
Let it Bee Dots by Henry Glass
Various ginghams, prints, and solids with no selvage from my stash

Superior Threads So Fine #50
Piecing: Snow #401and Genoa Gray #403
Quilting and binding: Peach Tart #430

Backing and binding
Felicity by Sentimental Studios for Moda

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

To-Do Tuesday

Sneak peek at rose quilt - post coming soon!

Tuesdays roll around SO fast. I started this post yesterday just to see how I did on my goals, and I was pleasantly surprised! Let's see how I did.

My goals from last week:
✔1. Start quilting rose quilt - DONE and finished! I will do a post this week.
✔2. Plant green beans - DONE and a few are coming up!
✔3. Block for Riley Blake Design block challenge - DONE
✔4. Work on Monthly Color Challenge blocks - PROGRESS

I'm not sure I've ever used checkmarks in front of each goal - lol! It's a good feeling.

For the coming week here are my plans:
1. Start another QAL - YES I need one more! This one is for a wonderful traditional block - a Churn Dash - and is called a "DashAlong". You can find info about that one by clicking the logo in my sidebar. I am waiting for my layer cake (see above) to arrive from Heartfully Handmade and can't wait to get started.
2. Work on Exploding Hearts quilt. I started on this QAL in January and never even finished the prep. The pieces are in a box on my cutting table, and they are calling to me.
3. Make last block for RBD Challenge
4. Work on purple blocks for RSC
5. Finish blocks for June Color Challenge

Playing with his new Father's Day toy!

In other news: my husband did very well with his heart catheterization last week. The cardiologist did find blockage and put in another stent. While it may not improve his ejection fraction, we hope it will eventually give him more energy. It is a relief to have that procedure behind us! I talked him into purchasing a zero-turn mower, because it takes him such a long time to push a mower over our 1/3 acre. We bought at a local lawn equipment store and got a fantastic deal, quite a bit less money than Lowe's or Home Depot!

These little ones were here Saturday! They are eating Papaw's popcorn.

To-Do Tuesdays are hosted by Chris at ChrisKnits and you can find other participants' projects right here!
Tuesday, June 15, 2021

To-Do Tuesday

Sunrise in north Texas
It's Tuesday already and time for To-Do Tuesday, hosted by Chris at ChrisKnits. The rain and accompanying cooler temperatures here in north Texas have both come to an end and summer hit us with 90 degree plus temperatures.

Rosie and Jack (in the background) were very helpful while I finished the Rose Garden quilt

Here are my goals from last week:
✔1. Start quilting rose quilt - DONE! It is now officially known as the Rose Garden quilt - all quilted and still debating the binding.
✔2. Plant green beans - DONE, and I also planted cantaloupe. They are already coming up!
✔3. Block for Riley Blake Design block challenge - DONE and posted here
✔4. Work on Monthly Color Challenge blocks - PROGRESS

Plans for the upcoming week:
1. Bind Rose Garden quilt, post about it, and send to my niece
2. Start on one of my UFOs
3. Block for RBD block challenge
4. Work on Monthly Color Challenge blocks

Tomato plants have loved the rain, and I've picked a few cherry tomatoes!

We have a week jam-packed with doctors' appointments. My husband will have a heart catheterization on Wednesday to see if he has blockage. He had a heart attack in 2012 and had a stent and a defibrillator inserted. Things have been going pretty well, but his "ejection fraction" has steadily decreased. Normal ejection fraction is 60% or above - his is 15% - and his new cardiologist wants to rule out blockage as the cause. He has not done well on beta blockers in the past, but his doctor started him on them again to see if that will help. On top of that, he broke a molar last week, so we are visiting with dental clinics this week to find the best course of action. Fun times!

Be sure to click here and see what others have been up to during the past week. I hope the rest of your week is  wonderful!
Tuesday, June 8, 2021

To-Do Tuesday

This is the state of my room this week. A nice clean floor!

Welcome to To-Do Tuesday, hosted by Chris at ChrisKnits, where folks share their accomplishments for the past week and their goals for the coming week. This past week has been good for me! My foot is getting better every day, and I hardly have a limp now. I even helped my husband vacuum, and best of all I got to mop the house! If you don't have an O'Cedar Spin Mop, you don't know what you're missing. Yes, after 51 years of keeping house, I now LOVE to mop! But that's a story for another post. 😉

For once, Jack is not in my chair!

Here were my goals last week:
✔1. Sandwich rose quilt - DONE and ready to quilt
✔2. Work on Monthly Color Challenge block - PROGRESS - I picked fabrics for making 3 blocks
3. Plant green bean seeds - NO PROGRESS - the green bean seeds I thought I had from last year are not in my seed basket, so I will purchase a pack next time we are in town. I did get my tomato plants staked though!

My goals for this coming week:
1. Start quilting rose quilt
2. Plant green beans
3. Block for Riley Blake Design block challenge
4. Work on Monthly Color Challenge blocks

If you click right here, you can see how others fared this past week. Have a wonderful week!
Wednesday, June 2, 2021

To-Do Tuesday and A New Logo

I had a foot doctor appointment yesterday and got clearance to wear a shoe instead of a boot! Don't look too close, but I still have some swelling in my right foot. The doctor says that is normal. The kitties are glad not to have that big boot clomping around. And I have my energy back along with my Sew-Jo!

Looking west, here is the newly weeded garden and tomato plants..
That's the back of our house in the background waiting for landscaping!
(The arrows point to my sewing room window.)

These were my goals last week:

✔ 1. Start on RSC red blocks - FINISHED and posted here

2. Sandwich rose quilt - NO PROGRESS

3. Plant zinnia seeds - SOME PROGRESS - We plan to have zinnias in the prepared bed outside our bedroom windows. (You can see the blank space in the photo above.) Planting will have to wait until mid-June when our new windows are installed. That way the contractors won't stomp on them! But I did weed my garden. In the process I got 18 itchy chigger bites. Now I spray myself liberally with bug spray before going out in the yard.

Here is what I hope to accomplish in the coming week:

1. Sandwich rose quilt

2. Work on Monthly Color Challenge block - it's a surprise color this month!

3. Plant green bean seeds

This photo was taken looking east. My husband planted these tomatoes for me
while I was unable to do much, and they are flourishing!

I have a new logo! I purchased it on Etsy because I loved the colors and design. I plan to revamp my Etsy shop with a new banner of the same design. I want to get myself sewing and sell some stuff!

I'm tardily linking with other To-Do Tuesday folks at ChrisKnits. Go check out some stellar accomplishments by clicking this link!