Saturday, March 30, 2013

Our Daily Bread

One loaf of banana and one loaf of zucchini
To be shared with friends and neighbors during the Easter season.

(Winter and Mother Nature are still holding Spring hostage--good quilting weather)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Motivation and the Red Bow Tie Quilt

Saturday, March 16 was International Quilting Day.  I celebrated the day with a trip to my local quilt shop to pick up a couple of quilts from the long arm quilter.

This is my Flying Geese from Jo Morton Little Women Club #11.  Miss Callie Mae decided putting the quilt at the end of her day bed would be a good place for the quilt (just in case she got cold).

This is Pottery Shards also from Jo Morton's Little Women Club #11.  This is my favorite quilt from the series, the quilt is filled with reproduction fabrics.  One of the few quilts I have ever made which I give a thumbs up to the quality of my work.  This quilt is going to be so fun to use in the fall.

One of my best motivators is completing a project.  I feel a real sense of accomplishment when I finish anything especially a challenging project or one which has been in my stash for years an extended period of time.

Ahh, the red  bow ties.  Yes, they have been languishing in the unfinished project pile for years.  Gulp!

Pinned Image

Finishing two of the Jo Morton Little Women Quilts, an opportunity to further reduce my stash, an opportunity to complete an unfinished project and finding this bow tie quilt on Pinterest was the motivation I needed.

The number of bow ties has grown from 19 to 77.  Whoo Hoo!  Another 66 bow ties to make and then  I start setting this sucker quilt together.  Whoo Hoo!  Mother Nature is still playing havoc with Spring and the late spring has meant an extended quilting season.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It's my Birthday

  I'm six!

Thanks to AppleJack, I scored big time on my birthday gift!  My very own, I don't have to share with anyone condo.  Upon its arrival I gave the scratching post its first test.

Yep, it passed the test--it's a keeper.  My Cat Mother says I am persnickety.  Not so, I am just a girl who knows what she wants.

The tube as my Mother calls it, is the perfect place to hide out, catch a few rays and catch up on my zzzzzzzz's.

Mom says I have two speeds:  asleep or 110 mph

I seldom get into mischief and rarely get scolded.  

I wake up happy every day and bring joy to my parents lives.

I am Mother's best and cheapest consultant.

No birthday cake for me--tuna all the way!  All in all a good birthday.  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Misrepresentation of Spring or Phil's Legal Problems

Punxscutawney Phil is a groundhog, not a weatherman.  Clearly no one should be taking advice from a groundhog, but a prosecutor in Ohio is so fed up with the snowy winter (and Puxotony Phil's lies) that he is filling a lawsuit against the rodent.

Mike Gmoser, Butler County Prosecutor brought charges against the fury (alleged) criminal for lying to America.  "Punxscutawney Phil did purposely, and with prior calculation and design, cause the people to believe spring would come early." 

Phil has been charged with "misrepresentation of spring" thus committing a felony.  Phil does have a lawyer and plans on fighting the litigation.  Being that he is not a human being, there is a good chance that he could care less about the indictment--or how long winter lasts.

(Story from the Associated Press)

It snowed last night.  Snow being a relative term in Music City.  I have found a new way to control the weeds in Next Year (the garden)--a late spring with snow.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Grandmother Bessie's Fruit Salad

Grandmother Bessie was a wonderful cook!  One of her many chores was cooking for the field hands.  Field hands were the hired laborers to help with hay season, cutting tobacco, gathering corn, etc.  Doing hard physical labor the field hands had a voracious appetite!  The field hands looked forward to dinner (in the South, dinner is the main meal of the day usually eaten around noon time).  Because she was cooking for men "who had worked up at appetite," Grandmother Bessie cooked in large portions, super size large portions. 

Grandmother Bessie's Fruit Salad was a favorite dish among the field hands, neighbors, and her family.  This dish was shared at family get togethers, church socials,  and to ailing neighbors.  This recipe is an old recipe and women in the South have been preparing this delicious salad for many, many years.  In Grandmother Bessie's lifetime, I suspect she made a few gallons of this salad.

Grandmother Bessie's Fruit Salad

1  large can pineapple chunks drained
3 medium apples diced
1 cup chopped, toasted pecans
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup cream or less (whipped)

1 cup milk
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon oil or butter
1 tablespoon vinegar

Combine all the sauce ingredients except the vinegar in a sauce pan.  Let this mixture thicken over medium heat.  Watch closely as the mixture will easily scorch.  Let cool and add the vinegar and a dash of salt.

Pout the sauce over the fruit mixture and stir well, making sure the fruit mixture is covered and coated (fruit mixture will turn dark if not completely covered and coated).

Auntie M and Uncle Stu have invited AppleJack and me to share the Easter meal with them next Sunday. Auntie M asked if I would bring a salad to share.  Sharing Grandmother Bessie's fruit salad seems like the perfect dish to share with family and remember the many meals lovingly prepared by Grandmother Bessie. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Comes to Thistle Manor

Wool Applique 
(Made by Anne at Homespun Corner)

In spite of the freezing temps, in spite of the snow, in spite of my wearing my heaviest winter coat on my morning walk, spring has come to Thistle Manor.

Eggs from Hobby Lobby

Mr Sunshine did not make an appearance today, these bright sunny, lemon Gerber daisy's added cheer to an otherwise gray, overcast day.

There are blue birds.  This one is from the Sweet Summer book by Blackbird.  A golden oldie and sweet.

More bluebirds, this one from Stacy Nash called Early style Bluebird Cupboard Sampler.  (I took some liberties with Stacy's design and stitched Tenn and the year of Tennessee statehood)

Mr McGregor is busy in the garden.  (He better stop chewing on the dogwood tree!)

Spring pastel colors in this Grandmother's Fan quilt

Lambing season (Thistle Manor style)

So in spite of the low temps, snow and wearing my winter coat, it is spring at Thistle Manor.  Ask the young man at the garden center who helped me load 300 pounds of mulch!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Delightful image of cherry blossom

Spring officially began this morning at 6:02 am.  The good earth is coming back to life--Bradford Pears, Redbud, Forsythia, Flowering Quince, Saucer Magnolia, daffodils, crocus, snowdrops are all blooming.  (All this spring goodness has send AppleJacks allergies off the chart and to the doctor seeking relief). 

I am blaming the colder temps on the snowmen!  With the official start of spring, the snowmen are returning to the Northpole (aka storage closet) until the official start of winter.  The low temperature tonight is 25 and scattered snow showers are in the forecast.  Callie Mae says this is good snuggling weather.

Next Year is thriving with the cool nights and sunny days. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Celebrating International Quilting Day

This past Saturday, March 16, was International Quilting Day!  To celebrate the day, I took a trip to a couple of the local quilt shops.  A 40%  discount sale on fabric was a good motivator.  The brown fabric is from the Cocheco Mills Collection (Judy Rothermel for Marcus Fabrics) and the blue fabric is Charlotte by Sara Morgan for Blue Hill.  I am drawn to the darker fabrics and I never seem to have lights--hopefully the bundle of fat quarter shirtings will help with that dilemma.

Waiting for me at the Quilt Shop was Pottery Shards 

and Flying Geese.  The long armed quilter had worked her magic.  Both quilts are now ready for binding.

Work continues on the bow tie quilt, progress is being made,  There are many, many bow ties in this quilt.


While I was at the second quilt shop, I found this fabric called Farmer Fancy by Windham.  While this fabric line is new to me, I believe Windham released it several years ago.  The Farmer Fancy line is based on American coverlets and there are twenty-five different prints.  Being a huge cat lover and lover of American coverlets this fabric is under consideration for the backing on the bow tie quilt.  I'm thinking using this fabric as the backing might make the quilt reversible.  Whew!  All that red is a bit scary when I think about washing.  Sure glad the ladies at the quilt shop shared Shout's Color Catcher with me. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Feast or Famine

Yesterday was the day--the arrival of my Nashville stash!   Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy was it worth the wait.  An abundance of stitching goodness.

What's inside that bag?

Four pincushions by Nikyscreations.  Being a primitive girl, the simplicity of these designs call to me.  (And when I am needing a quick stitch and feeling the need for a sense of accomplishment, these designs meet the requirement)

Country Stitches (Brenda Gervais) very cleverly appliqued this basket onto a piece of fabric and created   a pillow. 

The minute I saw Paulette's Viktor & Irina I knew this was going in my shopping bag.  "Peace I leave with you."  Hearing those words always makes me feel more peaceful.

And since Peace seems to be something I am seeking, how could I resist Peace House by La D Da.  The giant rabbit weather vain leaping over the house--too much goodness.

Praise Ye the Lord by Carriage House.  "My sister Kathy designed this in 2002 and set it aside.  Somehow, it didn't turn up until a decade later!  This chart reminds me of the song Praise Ye The Lord, Hallelujah!"  I think Praise Ye the Lord and Peace I leave with you are destined to become companions.

Rachel Howells!  The giant birds, Adam and Eve, the man who looks like Santa Claus--a feast of goodness.

Spring at Hollyberry Farm!  

With all these new wonderful designs, of course, I needed some linen.  35 ct Weeks Dye Works cappuccino and 36 ct Edinburg raw--sampler linen.  (AppleJack calls all linen sampler linen).

Now to enjoy a Sunday afternoon of stitching.  I have a good case of gardener's legs with some blisters thrown in for good measure and needle and thread is an excellent remedy.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Weekend Agenda

I have a work play date with Next Year (the garden).  Here are some of the items on our agenda.

some planting





lots of mulching

and after all this, a warm soap in the tub with some Epsom salts, I suspect I might have a case of gardeners legs with this agenda.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Last weekend it snowed, this weekend the temps are the seventies.  Gardening at Thistle Manor is a challenge.  While at the garden center this morning purchasing more mulch, I found these pansies.  They are the same bright sunny color as the daffodils and seemed to be a perfect companion.


Throughout our married life AppleJack has spent countless hours in needlework shops, quilt shops, and quilt and needlework museums and show.  Today was my day to compromise--we went to a car show.  My knowledge of cars is limited, very limited.  Let's just say I know how to turn the key to start the engine and how to read the gasoline gauge.  Anything past this is pushing my limits.  Here are some of the sites from the car show.

This was one of my favorite cars, it is a 1955 Chevrolet.  My Aunt Molly had one of these cars.  This was the first and only car she ever owned.  She bought and learned to drive on a car like this when she was 55 years old!  She mainly drove the car to church and to the grocery store.  I think she was the envy of most of the men who ever saw her driving this car.

I think this is a 1957 Chevrolet.  Aunt Molly's car was this color


Aren't the tail lights on this car interesting?  It reminded me of the Batmobile.  (I think AppleJack told me this was a Cadillac)

A Woody, yes the door panels are wood.  

Don't have a clue what kind of car this is, Applejack reminded me it is a Ford.

This is the front of the car, very interesting paint job.  

An early American race car, a Willy's (per AppleJack this is pronounced Willis not Willy)

This car was offered to dealerships to boost sales.

Another one of my favorites, don't they have an interesting specialty?  

Turn the key to start the engine and purchase gas before the gauge reads empty, that's my knowledge of cars.  AppleJack enjoyed the car show and is very knowledgeable, he had a good time at the car show and that was enough for me.