Jan 29, 2008

Roz's helpful hints

When changing a sewing machine needle, slip a piece of cardboard (a bit of junk mail could be used) over the feed dogs. This prevents the needles from slipping down through the needle hole in the machine.

Jan 27, 2008

Finding lost things

Ah Sunday morning--it's catch-up on my sewing day. I hope to pin baste my star quilt today, after I wash the kitchen floor. That floor looks grungy to me. I have these big tiles, and they are a textured surface, so grunge gets in the textures. How one person can make so much dirt, I don't know. I remember when my three kids were small, I was always cleaning and always a bit behind on the job. While I was cleaning in one room, dust and spiders webs were growing in the next one. I had a great time last night, as there was beautiful figure skating on TV. I really admire the artistic and athletic qualities of the skaters, and I even like almost all of the music that goes along with it. As I said once before, the skaters have so much persistence. It is inspiring to me how they get up and keep skating after a fall. They get up and keep on, and can still possibly win a medal. It's like life, everyone makes mistakes, but we have to get up and keep skating.
On Friday I finished knitting a blue sock for myself. But socks come in pairs, and in this yarn (astra, a sport yarn) it takes two skeins. And I couldn't find the second skein. Luckily, last night, while I was looking for something else, I came across the blue yarn. I had put it away in the little laundry hamper where I keep my yarn. Furthermore, this morning when I was out on my patio checking on my drenched potted plants (it's been raining here) I found an earring that I lost last week. Luckily, I had not yet given up and I had not thrown out the first earring! OK.

Jan 22, 2008

Fourth Day quilt

Good news from me today. I have finished piecing my "Fourth Day" quilt. Somehow, although it's made with scraps, it gives me a peaceful feeling. Some weeks ago, while I was going through some troubles, I made a big bunch of crazy squares. And I used some of them on the borders of this quilt. Everyone has problems--that's life. But a dear friend of mine--someone who had been through the very worst in life, advised me to be strong, and to appreciate the good things I do have. So I put my troubles to some good use here. Does that make any sense? I'm making a simple explanation into something complicated. This quilt is made into 2 sections, to be joined together after I machine quilt it.

Jan 20, 2008

Good news from me--I'm back at the sewing machine today and I've sewn together half of the blocks for my "star" quilt. What have I been doing today--well, I had to work on my files. I have a notebook going and I'm adding up my tax deductions. Luckily I have been filing them all last year in a filing cabinet, so it's not so bad. I got the medical ones done today. And I've been catching up on my reading a little bit.

Jan 17, 2008

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

Gosh, I've been so busy. I had to get a new washer-dryer. The old one came with the place when I moved here, and it was rusting lately. I mean, bits of rust were flaking off into the laundry. I've got the new one running now, and I hope that it will be satisfactory.
Today I'm going to treat everyone to a hot bowl of soup. After the soup is made, it can chill out in the fridge, and you can just warm up bowls of it in the microwave. If reheating it on top of the stove, watch closely, pea soup can burn. This soup is low sodium and low fat.

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup
1 cup dried split peas
1/3 cup barley (optional)
2 carrots
1 parsnip
1 stalk celery
1/2 onion
1 potato
2 quarts water
1/2 teaspoon thyme
pinch of marjoram
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
dash pepper
2 teaspoons soup powder or bouillon cube
Wash peas and barley and place in a large pot. Peel and slice or chop vegetables. Add all ingredients. Heat to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer one hour, stirring occasionally.

Jan 14, 2008

Post 101

Wow, I made 100 posts already! I guess I'm chatty, all right. Today I'm sharing my Four Patch quilt that I made in 2004-2005. It's the quilt that has the teapot applique that I use as my signature. I needed a bigger quilt because we previously had a full size mattress, and when we moved to the condo, we had room for a queen size. This queen sized four patch quilt is very easy to make. But I saw a photo of a similar four patch in a magazine and it had some applique blocks replacing some of the four patch squares. And I love to be able to add embroidery and applique to my quilts--without getting too carried away. These photos do not show all of the applique and embroidery, though.

Jan 13, 2008

OK, OK, I confess that I didn't do any sewing today, but I did do some errands and house cleaning. I even read a chapter in the mystery novel I'm reading. "Our Dancing Days" by Lucy English. I love to read books that have the UK as the location. I'm feeling more energy today, so I ought to get back to sewing soon. I did do some knitting and hand embroidery--does that count?

Jan 9, 2008

So what have I been doing lately? Not much sewing. Some knitting--I'm making socks for one of my grandsons. And some embroidery. I purchased a CD by Joshua Bell. Wonderful violin music. I like a lot of different kinds of music. I like to play nice music during the day. I only watch the news--no daytime TV. Speaking of TV, I just went digital. Big excitement for me here. The digital TV came with DVR. I never heard of it before. I had to phone the cable company to ask what it was. It records shows and kind of makes the VCR obsolete. Well not totally, as I have a TV and VCR in my bedroom. So that's my new toy lately. If only there were a lot of good TV shows to watch. I hope that they can settle the writers strike soon. I'm on the writer's side, I know that they are not been paid enough for all the creativity and original ideas. I don't think I'm being too political here.

Jan 6, 2008

"At Knit's End"

I've read a super book by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. It's "At Knit's End." It took me quite a long time to read. Not because it's long or difficult, but because it's as rich as a frosted cake. I couldn't read more than a few pithy pages at once. I read it in a dentist office once, but I had to quit and find a magazine. People were staring at me funny because I was giggling while waiting for a root canal. Stephanie has a blog called The Yarn Harlot.

Jan 4, 2008

Tutti Frutti

Isn't that a cute name for the color of this yarn. It's Paton's Kroy yarn. My granddaughter should love these. I've been doing a lot of sock knitting lately. It's fun. And I'm still working on putting together that star quilt. I hope to get most of the blocks put together this weekend. I've got them sewn in rows so far.
We are bracing for a big rainstorm this weekend. I heard from someone who lives near San Francisco and she said that they wanted rain, but not all the water at once. It's headed this way.