Saturday, January 11, 2020

Way to Early and Random Thoughts



Cassie woke me up at 1:30 a.m.
Me now awake and not able to go back to sleep. . . . 
Thinking always gets me in trouble . . .  so wisdom tells me to go read 
quilt blogs to redirect my brain. Cassie on the other hand is nestled in the quilts on my bed while I troop through the house taking blog worthy pictures.

My Ninja Air Fryer that son David gave me for Christmas. Still learning how to use it.



My experiments using the Air Fryer. . . . crispy bean burgers and sweet potato fries. They taste better than what they look. Second attempt with the sweet potatoes fries were not as 
dark but not as crispy either.

During my early morning reading blogs escapade I read O'Quilts blog. 
She's making these beautiful rope bowls. 
So early morning I set myself to go looking for the one that was gifted to me.
I found it . . . .it is pictured above with a partially made quilt block. Name of the block pattern is "Bird's Nest."

My in progress paper pieced blocks. . . started making these a couple of years ago. Can't rush into things!! Maybe blogging about them will get me motivated again. The alternate block is "Wyoming Valley" . . . makes you wonder how they come up with the names for these blocks. 

Ty, my oldest son and his wife Mindy gifted me this wonderful and very sharp knife for Christmas. 
It is a German made Wusthof knife. In passing while talking on the phone with Ty I mentioned that I purchased a Faberware chef knife from Walmart that wasn't working any 
better than my other chef knife.

Making progress on David's afghan . . . need to rip out a row as I am off pattern. 
Need to do it in the daylight so I can see those stitches. 

 In August I changed to Whole Foods Plant Based Diet for health reasons.
I was successful in bringing my blood pressure down. Though my cholesterol and triglycerides were good in June I am looking forward to seeing greater results during this coming year's 
annual check up.

Now I think I will see if I can catch a few more ZZZZs.



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Friday, January 3, 2020

Not Exactly a Quilt



David's Afghan
I asked my youngest son what he wanted for Christmas. He wanted an afghan to go with his new navy recliner. It has been years since last picking up my knitting needles. I chose an easy pattern using bulky yarn so it would make up quickly. The yarn is so soft which is going to make this basket weave design afghan very cozy!

He received a gift bag with balls of yarn as I didn't have enough time to complete an afghan to give him at Christmas. 

I am enjoying knitting after long days on the computer doing bookkeeping and accounting. January is notorious for being my busiest time of the year. Knitting helps me to relax after a day of stress. 

It took me three starts to get the pattern to work. The yarn is so dark in color it was difficult to see if the pattern was forming correctly. Also, I was having trouble with the size 15 circular needles that weren't long enough. Picked up size 15 straight needles which also were too short and even more cumbersome to use. I happened to have a another set of size 15 circular needles that were longer but  a bit larger than the other but smaller than size 16 needles.

As my title states not exactly a quilt but have made a bit of progress on a quilt in the works.

On my last blog post which was August 2019 I posted a  picture of a block that had a mistake in it. I have since repaired the block and started another paper piece block for the quilt. 

Until next time!


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Thursday, August 8, 2019

Oh No!!




Oh no! I hadn't noticed the blooper until one day walking down the stairs. Even on the design board it went unnoticed. Can you see it?

It will be my next project, one that hopefully will keep me involved in quilting again.

It will take a bit of effort since it is paper pieced to take apart. My plan is to unstitch the center piece without taking the complete block apart.


Next I will have to shake the dust off all the pieces in the basket to complete the remaining blocks. This quilt has been in the making for a couple of years.

Workload has prevented me from sewing much as well attempting repairs, painting, landscaping, pressure washing my house and shed, shampooing carpet and getting the floors cleaned. My "To Do List" is quite ambitious.

 Finishing this quilt will be my next project, one that will keep me involved in quilting again. 



But most importantly I have to find time to be Granny "J." It has been quite a challenge. Today I met my son Ty and his wife Mindy while passing through Charlotte for breakfast. Look who I got to hug and hold! Meet Luke my newest grandson. Momma is feeding him grits!


What kind of grandmother would I be if I didn't post more pictures of him. :)









A Tah Dah! In the early mornings the last few weeks I could be seen wearing an oversize t-shirt, black shorts with paint splotches all over them with paint brush in hand. Quite a scene I am sure!! My front door needed some TCL, wood fill and paint. Also added a new porch light new black numbers at the top and a new wreath.

Joanie


Monday, September 10, 2018

Finished with Decorations











I found the pattern for The Tall Christmas Tree in a quilt store in Kentucky. I fell in love with it at first sight sensing that I had to have it!  How unique I thought! That was three years ago.

I came home with the pattern and began shopping at Thousands of Bolts - Only One Nut. On their website they have a Designers Palette where you place fabric swatches from their inventory so you can mix and match. I played with the design palette until I found the perfect fabric for my tree.

If you google "The Tall Christmas Tree" you will find many different styles from traditional to modern. I saw one that had candles, but the tree wasn't at all traditional with  your typical red and green Christmas colors.

I am celebrating the finish! the quilt has been 3 years in the making due to life interruptions.



Another celebration - my birthday. How sweet it was of my friend to take me out to dinner at Don Pedros Mexican restaurant.







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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Picking Up the Pieces





 Paper pieced quilt blocks that have been on my design board for the past two years. 



 Basket full of pieces waiting to be made up into blocks. 
Hmmm, I wonder if I will have to shake some dust off of them. 



Quilting is completed, binding and hanging sleeve are done. 
Now to make some decorations and find the best placement for them. Almost done!!



Taking inventory of Works In Progress! 5 quilts waiting to be quilted. With this many quilts needing to be quilted I am beginning to have the urge for a longarm machine again but not sure it is in the finances at the moment. And once completed I will have to find new homes for them. If you have seen my previous stack of quilts you know that I don't need any more quilts. --> Stack of Quilts


See me at WIP Wednesday!
 http://www.estheraliu.blogspot.com/







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Saturday, August 25, 2018

Stack of Quilts and Beach Time



Before leaving for Wilmington to spend time with my kiddos I stacked my quilts. These are not all that I have made. They are all the ones I have kept. Most of them are from block swaps and block challenges, 6 to be exact. I need a creative way to display them aside from hanging over the stair banister.

The last couple days here in Charlotte the evenings have cooled down with peaks of Fall showing up, the season where thoughts of bringing out quilts and baking begins.

At 5:34 a.m. precisely Miss Cassie, my Lhasa Apso, decided it was time for us to get up. So what do you do early on a cool morning after exceedingly hot and humid weather? You bake!

Typically, I usually make blueberry muffins but didn't have any blueberries.  Using what was in the pantry and refrigerator I concocted the cinnamon walnut muffins pictured below. They are made with oatmeal flour, yogurt, honey, grounded up flax seed and chia seeds. Miss Cassie was yipping for her share. Spoiled she is! But she is pretty smart as she knows what tastes good! They were quite yummy this morning as I sat down to enjoy with a cup of Green Tea while doing my Bible Study.


Before leaving for a trip to Wilmington I had to water my gardens and flowers and pick produce. I had been watching this particular watermelon waiting and hoping that I wouldn't pick it too soon. The tendrils were dry, the bottom was white and the thump on it sounded hollow. It seemed like a good time to pick. I was motivated to pick it since I noticed a deer in my back yard for the first time ever and was concerned that she might eat it. I slid the knife into the 14.5 pound watermelon and it literally cracked open. It was perfect and so sweet! Thank goodness that I was planning a visit with my son and daughter-in-law who could help me eat it. It was eaten quickly!



The Marigolds in the garden are huge. They grew from seeds that I picked from last year's Marigold plants.


Aside from the watermelon, I have cantaloupe, zucchini, 3 types of pepper plants and 3 Beefsteak tomato plants, 6 brussel sprouts and 1 grape tomato.  In pots are oregano, thyme, basil, and mint. There are 2 rosemary plants that grow year round. I started the Spring with cilantro but it went to seed.


As I mentioned above I had planned a trip to Wilmington to visit my son and daughter-in-law. Miss Cassie travels with me as Ty's philosophy is dogs are family which I intend to agree!! Miss Cassie came out of her hiding hole (the downstairs bathroom) as she noticed suit cases were coming down the stairs and heading toward the garage and car. She makes sure she won't be left behind by waiting out in the garage.


Ty, Mindy and I ate at Tarantelli's Ristorante Italiano in Wilmington which is close to the Boardwalk Saturday evening. The food was divine!

After dinner we took a stroll down the Boardwalk. It was popping with activity since it was the week when University of Wilmington students were moving in. Lots of music and people. Ty wanted ice cream but the line was so long that they opted to pick up some on the way home at the grocery store.

Mindy and I spent the day at the BMW/Porsche dealership where Ty is sales manager. It was so interesting watching the sales team work together and meeting the people he works with.




Sunday morning we began the day sitting in the screened in porch with the sheers floating in and out with the wonderful breeze and Miss Cassie and Cheech joining in with us. The conversation was flowing.

Then we took a ferry to Southport where we had lunch in a restaurant that over looked the Intercoastal waters. We started with claim dip and crunchy pita bread which was quite yummy.

We strolled around Southport, a small town with historical, quaint homes. We then drove to Oak Island and stopped off to walk on the beach. The Intercoastal waters are not as pretty as the ocean but still fun to walk the beach with the wind blowing, smelling the fresh air and picking up a few shells.

We drove home where Ty made us a scrumptious steak stirfry with broccoli and other veggies with cherry sauce. He served it with stir fried cauliflower rice with bits of sweet potatoes seasoned to taste. It was quite yummy. Afterwards we strolled up to the pier and around the neighborhood with Cheech, a dachshund and chihuahua mix. We definitely got our exercise on Sunday. Would you believe I slept in on Monday?

Once getting up on Monday, Ty at work and Mindy working (she works at home) when she isn't required to show up for a meeting), Miss Cassie and I walked up the pier very slowly. Cassie isn't walking as fast these days. I took a wagon with me in case she couldn't complete the trip. It was heating up and getting very humid so I carted her back to the house in the wagon while she was letting me know she wasn't quite happy about it. She did though loved sitting under the shelter part of the pier, as I did as it was so cool with the breeze blowing. It was so peaceful!


Tuesday was my birthday. Mindy surprised me with a gorgeous orchid plant. Ty, Parker and I went to the Bridge Tender Restaurant, another waterfront restaurant in Wrightsville Beach to celebrate my birthday! It was so sweet.

Parker, my grandson was quite tired since he worked all day in the hot sun. Wednesday would be his first day back at University of Wilmington.

My meal was scrumptious with blackened Mahi Mahi, with shrimp and bits of crab meat served on a potato and carrot stew made with a tomato sauce. The leftovers tasted great even the day afterwards!! Ty and I shared a piece of key lime pie which was the size of a 1/4 of a pie. It was made with whipping cream which took out the tang that so many other recipes have. It had raspberry sauce dribbled on it.

Afterwards we traveled in different parts of Wilmington that I hadn't seen before. It was a great birthday! Love my family!

Would you believe I didn't gain any weight on this trip?

If you have ventured to my blog tell me how many quilts you have at home that you made. If you are not a quilter tell me if you have ever visited Wilmington or the surrounding area and some of the highlights that you have enjoyed. And if you have never been to Wilmington and have a garden tell me how your garden grows. Or you can share your latest recipe that you have made and really enjoyed.





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Saturday, August 11, 2018

On The Potters Wheel

The Clay by Ron DiCianni


Daily I have been involved in a study titled "The Lord's Table - A Biblical Approach to Weight Management" authored by Mike Cleveland. I first heard about this study in 2012 by a friend who has her doctorate degree and counseling ministry. She was leading the study in another city which was too far to travel so I requested she send me a copy. In 2012 I was overweight, began the study only to be interrupted by the busyness of life.

Now fast forward to 2018 I have picked up the study again having a desire to know more about it. Ironically, my desire was peaked not due to being overweight since I am down 38 pounds having accomplished this by changing the foods I eat and exercising, but mostly since I was having some gut issues. Most likely my problem was stemmed from foods that weren't agreeing with me and stress.

Possibly I thought, and very much feeling led to go find the study that was in my bookcase, I might obtain new found knowledge, wisdom and insight as to how to resolve the physical concerns that I was experiencing.

The subject of the first chapter was surrounded around the scripture I Corinthians 10:31 - "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." Notice it doesn't speak about the foods we eat, but about honoring and glorifying God. In order to glorify God we must be wise with the amount of food we eat, and choose to eat wholesome food, food that God created that nourishes our body.  Further in the study it speaks about overindulgence, and some possible reasons why we indulge. There is a balancing act of eating foods to nourish our body, but yet not to be given to gluttony. Also, if we think of eating to glorify God, wisdom then encourages us to avoid certain foods that are not healthy, that promotes disease or foods that don't agree with us.

As I mentioned above losing more weight is not my purpose for participating in the study. It is the want to find other nuggets of wisdom that I can apply in other areas of my life. In I Corinthians 10:31 it states to glorify God in all that we do. Introspectively, I have learned that I haven't allowed myself to be totally moldable by God. Isaiah 64:8 - "And yet, O Lord you are our Father, We are the clay and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand."  Jeremiah 18:2-4 "This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: "Go down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him." When I apply these words to my daily walk I realize I haven't totally let loose of my own agenda, not always giving and willing to glorifying God. I have a strong heart desire to do so but many days I trip. Fortunately, God doesn't give up on us. He takes the spoiled, marred, ruined vessels that he chooses not to set aside or discard in favor of those that emerge perfectly. They were remade! God can mend cracked pots. So I strive to learn how to keep my focus on God, be thankful and trust God even when all seems upside down, stressful, hard or difficult.

Debbie Prgybgeski wrote an in depth devotional titled "Clay on the Potter's Wheel". https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/prayer/clay-on-the-potters-wheel.html

On the humorous side in an effort to keep my hands out of the bag of tortilla chips at times when I am feeling bored I am reminded of Chaucer who penned in c. 1386 in his 'Tale of Melibee' "Idle hands are the devil's tools" (Proverbs 16:27 "Idle hands are the devil's workshop.) to pick up my quilt and finish it.

Go here to see my latest - Quilt in progress

The link below is a quilt block that I created June 2013 which is still driving traffic to my blog.

Dresden Block
Blog message on Dresden Block



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