Saturday, August 31, 2013

My First Try...

Remember me telling you about the apples that our neighbor gave us from their tree???  Well, I decided to try my hand at home made apple butter!  But since I'm not one to stand outside over a hot fire and kettle in the August heat...or anytime, really...I did what I always do these days and consulted the internet!  I found some crock pot recipes for both apple sauce and apple butter.  I decided to try my hand at the apple butter!!!

I started by washing the apples...I used about 20 in all...

These apples are not the "beauties" that you see in your produce aisle because these have never been sprayed with chemicals so they look like REAL apples!  Spots and all!  But you know what???  Those spots are just surface blemishes.  There was no damage underneath. 

After washing the apples, I did this to them...

...and threw them in the crock pot...peelings and all!!!

I added two 3" sticks of cinnamon, a teaspoon of cloves, 3/4 c. white sugar, 1 c. of brown sugar (packed), and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

I let it cook on low for about 10 hours, then turned it down to "warm" setting for overnight.  This morning it looked like this...

I used my thrift-shopped, $2.00 Braun immersion blender....

...and then it looked like this...

...nice and smooth...even though the peelings are in there, too!  (Forgive the orange's my cheapo camera.)

This made 3.5 pints of the BEST-TASTING APPLE BUTTER ever!!!  I water-bath canned 3 of the pints for later use, and put the 1/2 pint in the fridge for use now!!!  

I'm thinking I'm going to take my dear neighbor up on their offer of more apples and make some applesauce, too!  :)

In other news, I want to give a shout-out to the West Virginia University MOUNTAINEERS football team for pulling it off against William and Mary College, 24-17!!!  GO 'EERS!!!


Friday, August 30, 2013

Quilter's Yard Sale...

Bonnie Hunter over at is having another Quilter's Yard Sale!  Since I have some items that I don't need/will never use, I'm linking up to in the hopes of clearing some of these items out of my sewing room.  :)

All prices include postage to the USA.  If you are outside of the USA, we will need to figure out what postage will be and see what we can come to an agreement on.  I use Paypal for my transactions but prefer to have the money sent as a "gift" under personal, so as to keep fees down, thus able to keep my prices low.  

Thanks in advance for looking at my items for sale!  Now...let's get started...

Fabric panel called "School Days" by Classic Cottons.  

It measures 27" X 32".  
$6.00 ppd.

"Pumpkins & Spice" by Whimsicals/Terri Degenkolb (book).  41 pages of 14 prim designs using her fabrics, but other fabrics can be substituted on the ones that don't use the panel. (Five of the designs use pieces of her pre-printed panel.  The other designs can be used with any fabrics.)  This book has never been used!  All applique templates are still attached inside!  Lots of cute patterns/designs!  If you are into "primitives", this book is for you!  
$5.00 ppd.   SOLD!

"Seasons Under Heaven-Fall" by Prairie Grove Peddler, pattern for 17" X 20" quilted wall hanging.  CUTE!  Get a jump on your Fall decorating!  
Brand new.
 $4.00 ppd.

"Acorn Harvest" by The City Stitcher, pattern for 3 different wallhangings.  All 3 designs are lovely!  Can't decide which one is best?  Make them all for one low price!  
Brand new. 
 $4.00 ppd.  SOLD!

"Thankful Harvest" by The City Stitcher, pattern for 32 3/4" X 39 3/4" wallhanging.  
Brand new.
$4.00 ppd.

"Kit Naps" by Mary Gendreau, pattern for  21 3/4" X 19 3/4" wallhanging.  
Brand new.
 $4.00 ppd.

"Fabric Approval Department" by Kelly Gallagher-Abbot, pattern for 32.5" X 17.5" wallhanging.  Any quilter with cats is familiar with this Fabric Approval Department!  This committee of five is carefully checking out the stash and definitely approve!  
Brand new.
$4.00 ppd. 

"Old Field Road" by Moda University, pattern for 74" X 85" quilt.
Brand new.
$4.00 ppd.

Thanks for looking!  If you are interested, you can either leave a comment below or email me at aorlflood at comcast dot net.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Just Keepin' It Real...

Quote for the Day:
"In real life endings aren't always neat, whether they're happy endings,
 or whether they're sad endings."

~Stephen King 

If there was an award for "Butt-Ugliest Pie", I would have won it today.  

I TRY to cook.  Really, I do.  But I just seem to end up messing it up, somehow.  :(   With this pie, I forgot the "pats" of butter in the filling, the crust was too dry, and I obviously had the oven temperature up too high.  But in my defense, our oven is crazy and tends to run about 50 degrees hotter than what you set it at.

BUT...the pie STILL tastes DELICIOUS!  :)   Even the crust doesn't taste burnt.  Just dry.  But that is easily taken care of with a dollop of whipped topping!  :D

The pie is an apple pie made from apples given to us by our neighbor!  (They gave us pears, too!)  Andy went over to get the fruit and he said they only have a couple of semi-dwarf trees but they are LOADED with so much fruit that the branches are almost touching the ground!

This year we have been blessed with all kinds of produce from friends and neighbors...zucchini, tomatoes, corn, green beans, apples and pears!  :)  What a blessing we consider these gifts of garden abundance!

This past weekend I started adding the sashing and cornerstones to the "Sherbet" quilt.  I think that's what I'm going to name it.  I know the colors look darker in the pictures, but they are really quite pastel-ish.  

I'm continuing to add the sashing and cornerstones to it today...

And now, I have an EMPTY CONTAINER that used to hold the blocks while I was making them!

(I buy pizza boxes from a local pizzeria to store my projects in while I'm working on them.  It allows the blocks to be stored flat.)


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Fun Project...

Quote for the Day:
"Heidi, bring out whatever ridiculous thing Tim souped up today!" 
-Al Borlen, from Home Improvement

I am going to confess that I have a little "quirk"...I DESPISE shelf liner paper.  Actually, "DESPISE" is really not a strong enough word.  I know I know...I'm pretty crazy about stupid things at times.  But seriously, lining shelves with paper ranks right up there with having a root canal.  I hate fighting with the paper, then cutting it too small, then cutting it too big.  Then throwing the scissors and paper out the nearest window.  You know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, when we installed the new cabinets in the kitchen...oh, say about 2 years ago...I never lined the shelves.  The cabinets were all nice and new and pretty, I didn't want to cover up the shelves with paper.  

But as a realistic person, I did realize that I would need to do something to protect the shelves.  

After using "peel and stick" floor tile last March to cover the shelves of this shelving unit for my sewing room, I really knew I was on to something...

It makes for a nice, smooth, easy-to-clean surface.

I went back to "Ollie's", which is a liquidation store in Bridgeport, and picked up two more boxes of the same floor tiles.

As a shelf liner/protector, they don't have to be anything fancy or heavy-duty...just cheap and easy to use!  :)  These are the same ones that I used on the shelving unit in the above picture.  You get 25 sq. ft. of tiles for $9.99.  Very cheap!

Notice that these particular tiles have a "stuning" high-gloss!  LOL  Maybe that misspelling is the reason that they are at the liquidation store???

Anyway, onto today's project.  Lining the cupboard shelves.  Sorry, I have no "before" pictures, but basically, it was a standard "shelf".  It did have some sort of wood-grain paper laminated on 1/2" particle board.  

Using a utility knife, a tape measure, a large plastic cutting board, and my 12.5" square-up quilting ruler, I cut the tiles to size, pulled the backing paper off, and stuck the tile to the cabinet shelf.

The first shelf turned out very nice, so I continued on.  

The upper shelves were super easy to do because you just remove them from the cabinet and do it all right on the table.  

Don't they look GREAT???  I love how they look and that they are so easy to clean!  Whenever I get around to redoing the walk-in pantry, I'm going to paint everything white and then apply these to the wooden shelves.  It will make cleaning up spills and sticky yuckies so easy!!!

I still have more of the cabinets to do in the kitchen, but I got 2 cabinets (6 shelves) done today before my back started hurting.  This is definitely a project that you can do a little at a time as you find bits and pieces of time.  Eventually, I'll  get it all done.  But I think I need to go back and buy more of the tiles so I'll have enough to do the whole pantry, too.  Things at "Ollie's" are usually discontinued items so when they are gone, they are gone.  Technically, everything doesn't have to match, but I kinda think it would make it look more cohesive if they all did.

BTW, I saw on Pinterest that you can also use these "peel and stick" tiles on metal shelving to create a more flat surface and so small things don't fall down through the metal shelves.  Cool, huh?  

And one more cut the tiles, simply score the front of the tile a couple of times with the utility knife.  Then "bend" the tile back at the scoring until it "snaps" where you scored it.  You will then need to take the utility knife and cut the backing paper at the bend to separate the two pieces.  Very, very, very easy to do and makes a nice clean edge on the tile.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Can I Get a Hallelujah???

Yesterday, I posted a picture on Facebook of some quilt blocks that I've made over the last 1-2 years.  I only needed 3 more to make the 25 blocks that I need for the quilt, but for some reason, I had just developed an aversion to this particular quilt.   Well, not really to the quilt, but to all the mental work that this quilt was demanding of me.

Do you ever get that way with your quilts or projects?  This particular quilt is a "sampler" quilt, which means that each block is different, so it is difficult to do much chain piecing on it.  Each block has to be done individually and there has to be a lot of thought that goes into the fabrics as there is no pattern telling me WHAT fabrics to use where, etc.  PLUS, most of these blocks are ones that I had to find on the internet to do.  It started out as a Craftsy Block of the Month, but after the first several months, I found I didn't like some of the chosen blocks.  Thus, I had to find my own to do instead.


Anyway...back to Saturday.  I posted this picture on Facebook and declared that it was time I made the last 3 blocks for this quilt...

Now...just in case you are a little OCD like my daughter (and I)...this is NOT the layout for the quilt.  I just threw the quilt blocks up on the design wall to see what all I had and to assess the colors, etc., so I would know what I needed to still add.

Then I went to work making the last 3 blocks and I am happy to announce that as of now, all 25 blocks are D-O-N-E for this quilt!!!  

NOW can I get a HALLELUJAH???  ;)

Here are the last 3 blocks...

Instead of suffering through the choosing and deciding that is needed to make more blocks to make this quilt queen-sized, I have decided to do 3" sashings, possibly with cornerstones to break up all that sashing. Between the 3" sashings and the borders, it will end up the size I want.'s not "laziness", it's a "design decision".'s laziness.  What can I say? decide what fabric to use to make the sashing...


Friday, August 16, 2013

Ummm...Loretta...You There????

Quote for the Day:
"Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings."
~Jane Austen

Oh, Lordy....what to say?  I never intended to drop off the face of the earth like this.  I so admire people who blog everyday...or at least frequently.  Many times I feel I have nothing to add to the blogosphere.  But, also, many times life gets hectic and time gets away from me.  I spend so much time going from appointment to appointment that when I'm not traipsing about, I just want to "veg".  

Remember two weeks ago when I told you about the epidural injection that wasn't?  Well, this past Thursday I had another, different kind of injection.  This one was a medial nerve block of L2, L3, L4, and L5 right medial nerves and was actually FOUR different into each of the lumbar levels mentioned.  This is supposed to relieve my lower right back pain, but will not do anything for the nerve pain down my legs.  So far, the injections seem to have helped.  The injections were done yesterday and as of today I've had no pain in my right lower back.  Time will tell how successful the injections were, (they aren't meant to be permanent) but I'm hoping the pain stays away for a while!

Now on to funner things!  :)

The construction company has finished their parts of the new garage, workshop, and carport.  We are waiting for the gutter company to come apply gutters to the garage and workshop and for the garage door company to come install electric garage doors to the garage.  At some point, we will also be having an electrician come in and install electricity to the garage (so those wonderful automatic garage doors will work!)  

Here are the pictures as they look now, sans the gutters and garage doors...



This picture shows the garage, carport and house.  You can see how closely the garage and carport match the house colors!  :)

In my "spare" time, I've been looking for a pattern that I can use to make my 1930's repros/vintage embroidered linen quilt.  I LOVE star quilts, so have been looking to find a pattern that I like and that will work with what I want to do.  The center of the star needs to be big enough that a crazy-pieced block using the vintage linen can be used.  I don't want the stars to touch each other, either.  I think.  

I think I've decided on a pattern and layout, so I made a practice star.

Does the pink fabric look familiar to you, Kristin???  ;)

I don't like the usual way of making flying geese (for the star points) where you sew squares on the diagonal and cut and toss the corner.  So I made this block using a "new to me" method of making flying geese called the "No Waste" method.  Let me just say that this new way is Da Bomb!!!

This will be the method I will be using to make ALL of the star points for my upcoming quilt!!! There is NO wasted fabric!!!  I only had to "sliver-trim" the flying geese blocks...and when I say "sliver-trim" I mean SLIVER-TRIM!!! There were only very slight shavings to get them the correct size!!!

The block is 12.5" unfinished.  Can't wait to get started on the real thing!!!  :)


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

SEX and Other Things...

Like Mrs. Bobbins in the cartoon, I decided to have SEX today (Stash Enhancing eXperience) for a WHIMM (Work Hidden In My Mind).  

I fell in serious love with this quilt at the quilt show because of the soft tones of the feed sacks...

I love love love the 1930's reproduction fabrics that are out these days, but have never bought more than a stray piece of them.  

As you may remember, I collect vintage linens with embroidery on them, but sometimes they have (or develop) holes or stains.   I've been putting those aside with plans to make them into a quilt, somehow.  

I saw this blog post from HenHouse where she made some quilt blocks using vintage embroidered linens and 30's repros together...

I don't think that I have THAT many embroidered linens to make enough blocks for a whole quilt, so I decided to combine the idea of the two quilts somehow.  I haven't come to a definite conclusion, but I'm thinking of adding strips of 30's repros to the embroidered linen pieces to make them, say 8.5" or 9.5" unfinished.  Then take the 30's repros and making some pinwheel or other pattern block and alternating the two blocks.  

Which leads me to my SEX today.  After my hair appointment in Fairmont, I went to the LQS there and picked up some white Moda muslin and some 30's repros FQ's (fat quarters, for the non-quilters who read the blog!).

I will add them to the few 30's repros that I already have...

Hopefully, this project won't be a PIG (Project In Grocery sack) for long.  I'm looking forward to making this beautiful quilt, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to have a couple good, stiff drinks to be able to cut into the embroidered linens and to cut through the embroidery to get them small enough to put into these blocks.  Cutting into the vintage linens will be like cutting into a damaged quilt...I'm afraid I will hear it shriek like lobsters do going into the boiling water.  :(    You do know that quilts cry when you cut them, right?  They do.

This quilt will be for ME!  :)  I don't make many for myself...I usually give them away.  But this one will be specifically for me.  And Andy.  Maybe.  :)

Now, here's an update on the construction progress of our buildings....
Basically, nothing more has transpired with my garage, but Andy's workshop is pretty close to being done.  

It still needs a window installed in the back wall, and the trim and gutters installed, but other than that, it's pretty much DONE.

Of course, give a guy a toy and he can't WAIT to play with it...

Andy had to try the doors to see if everything worked and I caught this picture just as he was raising the roll-up door!  Yep...the door works!  :)


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Quilt Show!

The local quilt show was held this past Friday and Saturday.  I try to attend every year, but last year I wasn't able to due to a flare up with my back.  This year, I attended on Friday afternoon.

Here are some pictures of the quilts that really "grabbed" my attention:

But THIS ONE....this one got my vote for "People's Choice"...

It was made from original feed sacks and was one of the FEW that were HAND QUILTED.  It was truly a thing of beauty!  I came back several times just to gaze on it.  :)  I hope she wins the people's vote! are three quilts from patterns that I have done myself...

Bonnie Hunter's Easy Street:  

their version... even won a ribbon...

my version...

...mine's not quilted yet...and I don't have a ribbon for it.  :(

Stars Over the Prairie:

their version...

my version...

Carpenter's Star:

their version...

my version...

I always commiserate that there are so few hand-quilted quilts entered into the quilt shows these days, but I have to be honest that I have NEVER entered one of my own hand-quilted quilts into a show.  Mostly because I give mine away and never have one available to enter, but also because I'm just afraid of being judged on my hand quilting, ie, stitches not even, etc.  Maybe, one of these days, I'll have a quilt to enter and just see what comments the judges have for me.  Maybe...