Thursday, December 27, 2012

December 27, 2012

I sure hope everyone had a joyous Christmas!  We had a white one! Yes, it snowed! We woke to rain -- wonderful rain.  Then around lunch time it turned to snow. Only a couple of inches. But Cold oh, man it's cold! Right now I am sitting -- blissfully I might add --  on a very cold morning with a hot cup of coffee and a quilt in my lap hand quilting.  Five dresden blocks done!  Only eleven more to go and the sashing and outer borders but who's counting? LOL  I am TRYING to learn to use a thimble.  Some may think it odd that I never learned to use one in my younger years.  I just never did.  This morning I have been watching YouTube videos of hand quilting and I will be practicing what I have learned.  Wish me luck!

We had our children and grandchildren for Christmas Dec. 23.  It's always nice to have a full house again if only for a little while.  We enjoyed one of our hams from a Hampshire/Berkshire cross we had raised. It was EXCELLENT! 

It has been a week or so!  Recap-- on  Dec. 19  we had our Kraz-z Quilters Christmas party. It was fun and then things went down from there.  Temps were warm and humid that day--70s.  That night around 10pm there was a cold front blew in.  Blew would be a mild word. 

The winds gusted big time.  One of the big wind gusts blew a large limb out of the tree by our back porch.  It fell onto our electric service line pulling the service meter almost off the pole. It caused a small grass fire! We had to crawl through the big limb's branches to get out to the water faucet and garden hose.  We got that out pretty quickly. Things happened that caused us to have a power surge go through our house! Like the electric company personnel told us -- we had 220 going through our 110 outlets.  Not good!  We saw sparks coming out of some of the outlets initially.  Thank God it didn't burn our house down.  Hog Man being the smart man he is--flipped all the breakers off.  He made a quick call to the electric company to get them to come turn off our electricity. LOL Not many people WANT their electricity turned off.  With the wind gusts and the service hanging on the pole the electricity kept arcing when the wind blew hard. And each time the sparks flew I would pray that there would not be any more fire. Somehow or another our problem was relayed from dispatcher to serviceman that we were out of electricity. When the repair person drove by they saw we had our security light on and thought our electricity had come back on. They didn't call to check probably thinking since the house was dark we had gone to bed.  The security light is on the other side of the service meter.  Long story short--we spent the night without electricity, a huge limb on a live line and up until 1am or so watching sparks fly.  Like Hog Man said--Thank God, my wife's a quilter--we wrapped up in quilts and stayed warm.

First thing the next morning Hog Man calls the electric company back and  a whole crew shows up in no time flat.  As the electricity came back on we immediately knew what was working and what wasn't.  Thank God our heating and a/c unit was okay.  The refrigerator, microwave, tv, stereo, clock radios, all gone.  Our freezers full of meat are okay!  Washer and dryer are okay! We had a big surge protector on the computer, printer, and internet and they are okay--big surge protector is toast.  We have four or five holes in the roof.  And lots of limbs and sticks to pick up after the large limb was moved.  When it happened Hog Man was watching the nightly news and I was sewing at the dining room table.  I was working on a fabric basket on my Kenmore sewing machine.  It was not affected at all. Praise the Lord.

Insurance man came the same day.  We will have a check soon.  To say the least 2012 has been a challenging year.  And thank God He not only walked it with us but protected us all along the way. 

We are counting our blessings here at this house.  May you and yours be blessed.

From the Catering Quilter

Monday, December 17, 2012

Hearts are Broken

Hearts are broken across this nation after the shooting on Friday in Newtown, Ct. A school that was locked should have been safe.  God bless and comfort those who lost loved ones.  God bless those heroic teachers and personnel who saved many lives.  May God bless not only the children but adults in this situation that they may heal and have peace again.  God bless all the police, FBI, medical personnel, etc. that they may heal and have peace again. 

I have a five year old grandson and I can't imagine the pain these people are going through.  We had the occasion to babysit him this weekend and you can guess that I gave him lots of hugs and kisses along with his precious little sister.  And then his mother called and asked if we were okay yesterday! Seems as though he woke up that same night throwing up!  Poor baby--there is a yucky stomach bug going around.  And yes--we are okay.

We babysat them at their house.  It's always interesting to babysit your grandchildren at their house.  You get to see all their STUFF.  And play with their toys-- while Hog Man is glued to the hunting channel. LOL We played Memory.  Well, we sorta played. DGD Paisley being a two year old didn't quite understand and kept getting the cards out of order.  Her brother was pretty patient with her and I am very proud of him for that. Hog Man had arranged to pick up some young Hamp gilts from a family that were showing near McKinney Saturday afternoon.  So we loaded up the kids and they got to experience their first pig show. DGS Mason wanted to do what the other kids were doing in the show rig--walking with their pig and lightly tapping them to turn them and keep their heads up.  We explained that he couldn't that day but he could come spend some time with us and practice at our house -- Papaw could show him how.   He told me that he had two weeks off from school at Christmas.  LOL   For a little boy that doesn't like getting dirty -- this will be very interesting.  He does love animals, though and always ask, "Where is Sissy (aka Little Doggy)?" as if he wants to say "she's a part of the family why didn't you bring her?" 

We had our WCQG Christmas party on the 8th.  It was lots of fun with lots going on.  New guild t-shirts were passed out.  Games were played--"Pin the flowers on the quilt" and pass the gift to the right/left poem.  There were quilts donated to send to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.  Lots of show and tell.  And of course, lots of good food and fellowship.  Our Christmas party is a mini reunion for past and present members and of course a time to invite friends.  It's always wonderful to see old friends and visit. 

I have a finish! The star quilt came off the frame the first Wednesday in Dec. and I finished sewing the binding on this past Friday.  Woohoo! 

This is the first quilt I have marked lines with a Frixion pen.  I used a blow dryer on a hot setting to "remove" the lines.  On the dark area I used an Allary chalk marker.  I was pleased with how the markings stayed on during the quilting.  I will throw the quilt in the washer this week.  I love the "homey" feel of this quilt, the "wonkyness", and the fabrics used. 

I am making good progress hand quilting on DD Amanda's dresden plate quilt.  As of this morning there are four 14 inch blocks completely quilted. Woohoo!  I have been quilting most every evening while watching TV. 

DS#1 spent a few days with us.  He had a medical test that didn't allow him to drive afterwards so we accompanied him to his appoinment.  He woke up with a migraine (he's been having a lot of them most of this last year) so he stayed an extra day.  Could you say a prayer for him to get relief from his back pain and migraines?  Thank you.  He recently bought his first sewing machine.  He brought it with him and I showed him how to thread it, wind a bobbin, and he made his first stitches.  Another quilter!  He already has fabric bought and a pattern selected.  We just have to find a weekend to cut and sew. 

This will be another busy week with Kraz-z Quilters Christmas party this week and then our family Christmas gathering coming up.   There will be lots of cleaning, cooking, decorating, and sewing gifts going on around her. 

Blessings from the Catering Quilter.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

A Quick Post

Hello and how are you this December day?  We have had unseasonably warm weather--80s in December?!  A year ago yesterday we had snow.  The electric bill will be nice anyway. 

The computer still has problems and I am eeking out bits here and there.  If it can hold off until AFTER Christmas it would be so nice. 

Hog Man is continueing to do well.  He is stiff and sore some days after work.  Especially if he's been on his feet on the concrete a lot. 

We had the two youngest grandkids last weekend while their parents had a weekend off.  So that meant I had to put away ALL the sharp objects--translates scissors, rotary cutters, pins, etc. plus the projects I had going.  I folded up the ironing board and put away the iron--that doesn't happen too often--LOL.  Then I had to replenish the fridge and pick up some toddler type foods.  Milk, apple juice, fruit, graham crackers, raisins, macaroni, etc. etc.  I hadn't been to Wal-Mart in awhile. I avoid it. It always takes me at least two hours seems like plus the fifteen minute drive both ways.  I made it in under one hour.  Of course, I was sprinting through the store.  LOL 
They had a blast! You can see the exercise bike in the background!

Since the weather was so nice there was lots of play outside.  We made Kool-Aid play dough.  There was coloring on construction paper. DGS Mason discovered the hole punch.  He was in love! He punched holes in everything to his little heart's content.  Of course, this grandma learned from past little ones to buy washable markers. ; )  

My quilt at Kraz-z Quilters came off the frame yesterday. Yay! Now to get the binding made and put on.  I have started hand quilting DD Amanda's Dresden plate quilt.  I can't wait for the weather to get cooler.  It is mighty HOT with a quilt in your lap in the mild weather we've been having.

I also machine quilted a quilt I had acquired from the quilter I bought the machine from.  Our guild is sending quilts to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.  I got the binding made and sewn on. Sweating the whole time! It is a large one -- 91 x 98 inches and will make someone a good bedsized quilt. My hope is to bless someone who has lost so much.

Our Christmas party for the guild is this Saturday so lots to do to get ready for it.  Donation quilt winner will be drawn Saturday!  I have to go pick up new guild t-shirts from the printer today.  Hopefully I can sell some more tickets on the quilt and I have to pick up some door prizes.  Laundry and balancing the checkbook are in there somewhere!  LOL 

Blessings from the Catering Quilter

Monday, December 03, 2012

Computer Woes

I thought I would post while the computer is cooperating.  I started getting messages about the hard disk last week and backing things up.  Oh, No! Oh, yes.  So if you don't hear from me the computer has died and is in the shop.

Blessings from Catering Quilter

Monday, November 26, 2012

Blue Tailed Norther

Came through before sundown today.  The weather has been "chamber of commerce" as they say.  Just lovely. Just no rain. We need rain. 

Thanksgiving was great. We traveled to San Angelo/Ballinger to gather with Hog Man's family to celebrate.  On the way home we stopped by and picked up DGD Aimee and she spent several days with us.  I helped her to complete her quilt she had chosen to do for her Bronze Award in Girl Scouts.  I showed her how to do things and she did the work.  I showed her how to do the "quick turn method" (page 5 on this link tells an excellent way for a newby).  It worked really good for her.  Then she turned it and whipped the opening closed.  Then the next day she tied it.  And she did it!  She is a quilter! Woohoo!

She looks pretty proud of herself as she should be! Good job, sweetie.

I hope your Cyber Monday started out better than mine.  I had a cup of water in the microwave heating it to heat Hog Man's thermos before pouring the coffee in and out from under the microwave came a SCORPION. It was a small one but none the less a scorpion.  It quickly crawled back under when I started trying to whack it with the fly swatter. I hauled that sucker out of their with the fly swatter and splat -- no more scorpion. 
Then- THEN! Hog Man went to work. Telephone rings about fifteen minutes later.  Conversation went like this--"Hello, are you the ones with the hogs?" We get that a lot so I didn't think much about it UNTIL.  "Yes, we are."  "Well, I'm your neighbor and I've got one in my front yard."  "We will be right there." Guess what--Hog Man forgot his cell phone this morning. I wasn't dressed yet. You know it's Monday morning when things happen like that. Before I could get completely dressed another neighbor was knocking on the door.  Long story short, I got in touch with Hog Man; he came home; the two sows who got out got put up; and things settled down real quick. A feed bucket works wonders! Thank goodness!  Never a dull moment.   
 Blessings from Catering Quilter

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Good News

Hog Man had the Doppler sonogram and the blood clot is gone! Woohoo! And--he went back to work on Monday morning. No TV blaring all day = bliss! He was a tired fella when he got home. It will take a little while to get accustomed to the routine.

When we were in Denton Thursday we went by Harbor Freight. Our first visit to one. I had to remind Hog Man of his appointment time. He did find somethings he was needing and for a good price. I picked up a couple packages of rotary blades to try. At $1.99 plus tax I sure hope they work. It will beat paying quilter's prices. Has anyone tried the blades and do they work for you?

Well, they are sure doing their part to make us independent of foreign oil around here. I think they have put in more than seven wells in our local area in the last couple of months. Truck traffic! One of my elderly neighbors said they stopped counting at 100 trucks one day. I believe it! There were days that it was night and day. Like in all night. And all day. I have seen more equipment go by and turn this corner! It used to be quiet when we first moved out here from town. Not anymore. Before the drilling we had noticed an increase in traffic. Now that there are wells there will always be tanker trucks going by.

Blessings this Sunday from the Catering Quilter

Sunday, November 11, 2012


I saw on Facebook the other day one of those things you often see on friends pages. It had to do with time. It went something like -- Time flies but you're the pilot. How come I don't feel like I'm the pilot? It's more like sand flowing between your fingers.

I guess it could have to do with HOW I choose to spend my time. Really?!! That could explain a lot. There's always the Gotta Do stuff like cooking meals, cleaning, laundry, bathing, paying bills, feeding the animals, etc. Then there is the mindless stuff -- reading emails, facebook, blogs - when there is time. Included in the mindless stuff is TV. Very mindless. Mostly just background noise in our house.  Then there is the Love To Do stuff and I always seem to find time to squeeze in lots of it. Stuff like quilting. I was just telling someone the other day I wasn't going to start another quilt. Lasted about as long as butter takes to melt in the microwave! I'm going to blame Bonnie Hunter on this one. Yes, it's her fault--mostly all her fault. I've been watching her on her Quilt Cam. Reading her blog about sorting and folding her fabrics. I started feeling guilty about the bags of unsorted scraps by my sewing table. I pulled them all out and sorted them by size. I now have a BIG bag of scraps that I am cutting down while I watch the mindless TV. I have a TV tray set up with a cutting mat and I am cutting 1 1/2", 2", 2 1/2" and 3 1/2" squares and thin strings. The thin strings will be used to make more fabric covered clothesline baskets.   The 1 1/2" squares are being sewn into nine patches -- read ----- new project. I fell in love with one of the patterns in Bonnie's book Scraps and Shirtails 2.  I brought the sewing machine into the living room a couple of weeks ago so I could be in the same room with Hog Man in the evenings. I will cut for awhile and sew for awhile. I get up first thing in the mornings and sew for a few minutes. It doesn't take a lot of concentration to sew little squares together. The blocks finish at 9 inches.  They are so cute! Don't you think?

I have other things I need to be doing. Don't we all? But sometimes I think we just need something to focus on other than what there is in our lives to focus on. You know what I mean?

I went to Saginaw to the Thursday Quilters last well, Thursday, of course.  I was running a little late to begin with that morning. I should have loaded my stuff the night before but I was tired and Hog Man said he would help me in the morning. Long story short--I was a few minutes later leaving than planned. Not that it was going to make any difference. Right before I left my ears perked up at the TV when I heard two things-Rhome and Hwy. 287. Seems there had been a bad wreck early that morning involving two 18 wheelers and the road was shut down. Oh, no. Oh, yes. And right before my turn off to Saginaw--there was another wreck. Well, I got to Saginaw but just 45 minutes later than planned. But they were very understanding. I always enjoy visiting with quilters wherever I go. These are hand quilters who meet in their local communtiy center once a week and quilt on four quilts each week. They have enough room to have four quilting frames up at one time! The first time I visited them that blew my mind. And to have 29 members! They take a break mid morning and have refreshments and go around the table with show and tell and also what is going on in their lives.  One lady there is a very prolific quilter. She makes charitable quilts for the homeless. She has made over 60 this year! People give her scraps and she makes these quilts. Wow is all I can say.  Another lady was going to go on a quilting cruise this week. How exciting! And I'm sorry I forgot my camera.

Hog Man is-- bored. And you know what a bored man is like! Not fun. He will be getting another Doppler sonogram or whatever it is called to make sure the clot is gone. He has the okay to go back to work since he doesn't have anymore pain. Finally! Bless his heart-- patience is not one of his strong points. Anyway, I'm not sure which one of us is going to be the happier one on the first morning he goes back to work. : )  Sissy aka "Little Doggy" is going to miss him something terrible.

Anyone else having trouble with allergies. Mine always act up in the fall of the year. I heard them say something about ragweed on TV tonight. All I know is I am so ready to feel better. Some years it doesn't bother me and other years it is bad. Coughing, sneezing, drainage. Yucky. Nyquil is my friend. Best sleep. 

I'm been making my sourdough bread. The kind that you feed the starter every ten days or sooner. I experimented with making cinnamon bread using the sourdough. Oh, yeah. I've been making our bread now for months and haven't bought any. At first, I was eating too much of it. I mean--what is better than a fresh loaf of bread -- make that warm fresh loaf of bread-- with butter. But I have slowed way down on it. Several years ago I was given a long loaf pan. I like to shape one of our loaves (the recipe makes two) in that pan. It makes for a smaller slice of bread. We generally eat one and I share one loaf. Now that I am making the cinnamon bread I make a plain one and a cinnamon one. 

Blessings and warm cinnamon bread to all,
Catering Quilter


Thursday, November 08, 2012

Bonnie Hunter has asked for our help

And here is her post from her blog

Help for Sandy Survivors!


This is an urgent post.

I’ve been emailing back and forth with Victoria Findlay Wolfe of
over the past several days trying to line up something that we can do to help those left in the wake of Super-Storm Sandy’s destruction.

So many are still without power, having lost their homes or having experienced severe damage ---

So much is needed!

As quilters, what do we do best? We Quilt!

Here is what V sent me to pass on to you:

Super Storm Sandy and my area of the world.

Having missed the entire storm, by being in Houston for Market, I felt helpless as my family were in NYC without me. I started to organize a quilt drive for our area while I was still in Houston.
Once home, I realized how seriously the storm affected my neighborhood, my friends, and fellow New Yorkers, CT, PA and NJ... Homes have been wiped off the face of the earth, people are cold, and wet, and we have rain and snow coming. I need to be able to help NOW.
I just had a call from Raul Russi, Head of the Acacia Network, whom I had previously partnered with on Quilt Drive for homeless families being taken out of shelters and put into transitional housing.
He said, "We have 150-200 quilts here, right now. And since the rest of my families are INSIDE already, can we deliver these quilts in our medical trucks to the people in the Rockaways, NOW?" I said, "YES! Let's go!"
Once we have more quilts, we will continue to set up more distribution points around our area including Staten Island, Long Island, NJ, CT.

Home-made or Store Bought QUILTS AND BLANKETS: ANY SIZE.

Quilts will be accepted, and handed out as quickly as they come in.

Give Selflessly.

Thank you cards will not be sent out due to the urgency of the events of SANDY.


LABEL YOUR QUILTS, Name, address and email.

The person who receives your quilt may want to thank you themselves.

Send Quilts & Blankets to:
Basic Housing, Inc.
Attn: Robert Gonzalez / H.SANDY
540 East 180th Street, Bronx, NY 10457
your name, email & address & Phone

Please ship them with delivery confirmation.

Any questions, Please email:

Lane Falcon:


Victoria Findlay Wolfe
More from me:

We’ve received the call. It’s time to act! When Hurricane Katrina hit and the Red Cross was calling for twin quilts, the most versatile of sizes, I put up the directions for a very fast and still very attractive Trip Round The World quilt. It takes 5 fabrics, and winds up at about 72” X 85”. I can sew this top in an afternoon, and so can you. It doesn't have to be quilted -- tying is fine!

If you are looking for an idea and want to dig in, give this one a try --- even if you are a very experienced quilter who likes more intricate patterns, this one finishes up nice and quick.

Let’s see what we can do to help each other.

While we are a nation divided over the outcome of our recent national elections, this is where the “We The People” come in ----it’s time to forget about the politics and waiting for the government to take care of things. WE THE PEOPLE need to just get in and do it.

I'm asking your help in getting the word out. Can you please forward this post to your email lists, your facebook pages, your message boards and online groups to spread the word? We need many hands ---help me spread the word!

Now go sew!!
I'm with her. It is going to take "We The People".  Can you help? My heart goes out to these people who have lost everything and are facing winter temperatures NOW.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Back from Retreat

It was so much fun and I got a lot done--for me. LOL  I had all the borders for the Dresden Plate quilt pre-cut and ready to sew before I left home. First thing I did Monday -- I started sewing the WRONG border on first. LOL I caught myself before I had sewn it completely. Rip, rip. I got my head on straight and things progressed well from there on out.

LOL Anyway, I got the off-white inner borders on; the pink inner border on; the piano keys sewn together and two of those borders sewn on before time to leave. I finished up last night. WooHoo! All that is left is the QUILTING!

Is this cool or what? This was one of our treats. And it was delicious!

There were two other quilters with us and somehow I didn't get their pictures. Sorry, gals. They were working on hand piecing projects. Really pretty. We stayed at LeRetreat House in Gainesville. She offers a program called "Stay 5 nights get the 6th free". You don't have to stay five nights all in one retreat--they accumalate over retreats. I got a free night this time.  WooHoo! 
The cold front came through early yesterday afternoon and it is much cooler. 40s compared to 70s to wake up to. I won't mind not having 80s for highs, though. After all it is fall and we NEED fall temps. The leaves have been turning and are beautiful.
Hog Man did pretty good while I was gone. He said he got bored. His blood was tested one day while I was gone and it was too thin. So they have changed his prescription. Two more weeks of this and hopefully that nasty blood clot is completely gone.
I will get a picture of the completed quilt top later. It is overcast here this morning so the lighting is not so great.
Happy quilting and blessings,
Catering Quilter

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Time Gets Away

One of my quilting buddies asked me how often I post on my blog. I told her I tried to post once a week. It was a gentle nudge to remind me I needed to post!

Update: Hog Man is still on his blood thinner and things seem to be working. The tender spots have gone away. First week he rested in his recliner with the hot pack on the affected area several times a day. He never stopped doing his chores he just rested more. The blood thinner makes him tired so it forces him to rest. He really has enjoyed YouTube videos of hunting and various things. There are so many interesting things available on YouTube! He has a couple more weeks of this then we will see what comes next.

Thank you, Hog Man, for holding it for the picture.

I have been trying to get the Dresden Plate quilt ready for quilting. I took the sashing strips and worked on them in September at our guild work day. I got half of them made that day. Then I sewed the other half at home. I then sewed the blocks and sashing together. Layed them out on the floor. The Dresden Blocks did not lay flat! Too much ease. I disregarded when I was joining the blocks and sashing that there seemed to be a lot of ease. My measurements had been off! A 1/4" ease is acceptable - more than that is trouble. I had trouble. I knew better but I was trying to hurry. Haste makes waste is so true. Hog Man looked at it and said it would quilt out. I knew better. So out came the seam ripper. A whole days worth of sewing down the tubes. Lesson learned. I trimmed the blocks down an 1/8" on each side to square them appropriately. Resewed them and now they lay flat and I am a happy camper. All of that took time. But I would do it again. In the process I had to stop and clean the lint from my machine and oil it. The little Elna requires frequent oiling since it is a metal mechanical machine. I so love this little machine. It is a joy to sew on.

All kitted up and ready to sew on retreat!

Now comes the borders on the Dresden Plate. I am going on quilt retreat this week and am packing it up and will complete it there. Three borders. Two plain and one pieced piano key outer border. The piano keys are cut. The plain pink border is cut. I will cut the plain off-white border today and get this packed up.  All done! And just in case I have time to work on something else I will pack up another project or two. Lord knows I have enough started!

I did discover something else with the Dresden Plate quilt. It's not going to fit on our hand quilting frames at Kraz-z Quilters! I know it was God. A few weeks ago I got his gentle nudge to measure the frames there. Not going to work. The quilt top will be 98 1/2" when completed. So I will be hand quilting it at home on a hoop. Hog Man is insisting that I allow him to make a frame so I can invite friends over to work on it. It is very sweet of him but I'm not sure where I would put a frame. They take up a lot of room. We will see. At any rate--plans have definitely changed!

Some of the diamonds and other pieces are pieced together to make them big enough. I just love this simple quilt and will enjoy it as a throw on the sofa.

So I stopped working on the Dresden Plate quilt long enough this past week to get another quilt ready that would fit on the frames--my turn is next. I had acquired a quilt top some time ago that is hand pieced and had wanted it hand quilted. I am going to get that wish. I made marking templates using template plastic. The quilt maker had made large (1/2") seams so there wasn't going to be 1/4" quilting inside each piece without a lot of unhappy quilters having to sew through seams (tough work). I marked the quilting lines using a Frixion pen on the light colored fabrics. The Frixion pen's marks can be removed with an iron. I have used a hair dryer set on a hot setting. On the darker fabrics I used an Allary chalk marker. They come in different colors so I was able to use a color that would show up depending on the color of the fabric. I will let you know after this is quilted as to how well the marks remove. ; )

The booth set up for Oct. 6 was cancelled. We had a cold front come in that day and it was unseasonably cold. We had an outdoor booth planned and we were also forecasted to have rain. I called and cancelled. Turns out it didn't rain but the wind did blow and it was cold.

I did get to sit at a booth yesterday with another fellow guild member at an outdoor booth at a nearby fall festival. It was nice to visit with folks we knew and sell tickets.  We had our regular monthly meeting that morning and instead of staying for the program I left in order to help Phillis. Friday night I started with a scratchy throat. Then Saturday I started sneezing. Late yesterday afternoon it wasn't pretty. I took Nyquil (love that stuff) last night and slept like a baby. I am feeling much better -- just have a dry mouth. I hate a dry mouth. I started drinking fluids late yesterday and am still pushing liquids. But I do feel so much better. I can't be sick with quilt retreat tomorrow! A girl's got her priorities! Today will be spent packing and doing some cooking for Hog Man and retreat.

Blessings to you and hope you are enjoying the beautiful fall weather and color,
Catering Quilter

Saturday, October 06, 2012

What a difference a few days makes

Or there was a "wrench thrown in those plans".  Last week Hog Man had complained a little about his left leg having some sore spots in it. At first I was busy and didn't really pay attention. Then it caught up with me. Like "Wait a minute-what did he say?" My hair dresser had told me about her leg problems (blood clot) so my ears perked up. So after we got the booth done at Post Oak he made an appointment with his primary care doctor. He took one look at it and said he thought he might have a blood clot. Oh boy! Went for a doppler sonogram or whatever they call those things. Yup, there it was. A small one on a surface vein. We had gone to ER --still no insurance -- and thank God D.A.R.S. will cover this--and don't get me started about the ER doctor. He reminded me of Sheldon on the Big Bang tv program just older with gray in his hair. His mannerisms were so alike. Can we say NO bedside manner whatsoever?! He questioned Hog Man's dr. diagnosis. He thought it was something else. But the technician that came in was a breath of fresh air. So nice and took her time and found the pesky clot so Mr. Sheldon ER Doctor had to eat his words. And THEN he thought it wasn't serious. Told Hog Man to go home and take ibuprofen and use hot packs. Like the title of this post--what a difference a few days makes--Mr. Sheldon Er doctor advised us to make a follow up appointment with primary care doctor. The best advice he gave us! Primary care doctor thought it was serious. Okay. He wanted to confer with Hog Man's surgeon. They did and now Hog Man is on blood thinner and hot packs and will not be going back to work for several more weeks.  God has been with us through everything and He will be with us through this as well. Praise his Holy Name.

Prayers please? Thank you.
Blessings from the Catering Quilter

Sunday, September 30, 2012

So Enjoying

I am so enjoying this cooler more fall like weather. And we've had some rain. Really really nice.

Hog Man has officially been released from the doctor. Woo hoo! It's a good thing! The day before his doctor's appointment--the water pump went out on his pickup. And that sucker did not want to come out -- it was original and liked where it was LOL. Man, last week was one of those busy, busy weeks. He had two doctor's appointments.  I had the booth at Post Oak to get ready for--cutting fat quarters and such. We always go out the night before and set up the canopy. And then the booth itself. And Hog Man has been busy with -- pigs! Hard to believe I know! Show pig season is right around the corner. He's got some nice ones for sale.

Our booth at Post Oak went very well. We always enjoy all the quilters who shop with us. We had some drizzling rain on Friday--didn't dampen the shopping. Then on Saturday it started with drizzle and got heavier as the day progressed. Our canopy did pretty good--except right down the center where a seam ran the length of it. We managed pretty good moving tables away from the center. Then when the rain picked up--a helpful husband of one of the Post Oak quilters found a tarp and he and Hog Man tied it up on one side. Then we were able to make the rest of the afternoon okay. We were both pretty tired when we got home. It had been one of those weeks--lots of extra activity going on. We got all the wet stuff dried out.  Everything is back in place. Table covers have been washed and put away. All except for the canopy. Hog Man set up just the top to dry it out. We were on our way to Wal-Mart to look for some kind of waterproofing spray and of course hunting season is right around the corner -- as in--hunting license and gear-- when he remembered someone had made an appointment to come by to look at show pigs for sale. So Wal-Mart has to wait.

Sissy aka "Little Doggy" hasn't been feeling well. She has an upset stomach. We left her outside the two days we were gone and we figure she ate something she shouldn't have eaten. So needless to say--I am going to need to clean carpets after this little episode. But hopefully she will be better really soon. Poor "Little Doggy". 

I had ordered some of Bonnie Hunter's books for my store. I am very impressed with her books. They read much like her blog. Very personable and detailed instructions for the patterns. Lots of pictures of the projects. One of these days I am going to take the time to cut down my scraps and organize them like her Scrap Users system.  That is after I get DD Amanda's Dresden Plate quilt assembled since my turn for quilting is next! I did get half the sashing strips made at our work day after last month's guild meeting. This week I plan on sewing more of them and then on to the nine patch corner stones and then the borders.

Today after getting all the wet stuff washed up, dried, folded and put away I went outside and dug more grass burrs. Ugh! The rain is nice--not complaining mind you. But the grass burrs really really like the rain. Let's just say the hundreds I dug will not be seed to come up next year. Yay!

Time to call it a night.
Blessings from the Catering Quilter.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

First days of Autumn

The sun is later coming up and earlier going down. The night time temperatures are cooler. We call it "Indian Summer" when the afternoons are warm and the nights are refreshingly cooler. High school footbal is in full swing. Communities will be having fall festivals soon. Then before we know it--it will be Christmas! Screech! Bam! Where did that come from? Well, isn't it true? We blink and it's here. It comes faster every year. How does that work anyway?

But isn't that what life has become? Going faster and faster. Seeming to get less and less done. With more technology shouldn't we get more done? Oh, maybe the problem is the more technology. Could be. Could very well be.

I rather like technology, though. Especially when I can watch Bonnie Hunter on Quilt Cam sewing and talking to us just like we were there. I mean how neat is that? And how neat is it for her to use modern technology to show us how to sew on a treadle sewing machine? It's like two worlds colliding don't you think? I have watched Quilt Cam while I have sewn. It's like a sew day or mini retreat. I set up the laptop near the sewing machine and sew and sew. So much fun.

I could've put the title of this post "Home Again Round Three" but who's counting? I made a quick trip to my mother's to help out this week. Hog Man has Dr. appointments--we are so hoping the doc will release him to go back to work. I've got a lot planned for the next several weeks. A booth at Post Oak, a booth at Coal Miner's Heritage Festival in downtown Bridgeport to sell raffle tickets for WCQG, another possible booth, quilting to be done, sewing to be done--and you throw in there regular things like cooking, cleaning, laundry, yardwork, regular quilt meetings and it makes for a busy time. And throw in surprise visits from little visitors. Life is good. Thank you, God.

Blessings from the Catering Quilter

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Home Again round 2

Home is such a nice place to be! My step-dad passed away Friday after suffering a massive heart attack Thursday. His service was Monday morning. My mother has done very well considering. He had been in the nursing home over a year after suffering several strokes. So she thinks it will be easier since she has already been living alone. He will be missed we know. But it was merciful for God to take him home.

We drove home last night. I will need to go back and help her with paperwork in a week or so. Hog Man had a therapy session scheduled this morning. He made the trip pretty good. His knee did stiffen some after all the riding in the car. We took his CPM machine and ice man with us. And of course Sissy, aka "Little Doggy", who is my shadow.

We have been moving hogs around today. : ) Did you know it is hot? It is in the upper 90s. But it's got to be done. We would have done it early before it got hot but for his therapy session. We will survive. We do a little and come back in for him to rest and get a drink and cool off. Then back again. So far two sows and babies moved out of the barn to make room for two more due this week. More babies! We will move the mothers-to-be in later when it is cooler. 

A week ago--seems like a blur--while we were waiting for all the paperwork and such to dismiss Hog Man from the hospital I decided to do a little shopping for a couple of hours. I had a gift certificate from Material Girl Quilt Shop in Denton, Tx that I won on the WCQG bus trip in May. And it was to expire SOON. So I redeemed it! She had fat quarters on sale for $1.25 each.

I found several that will work nicely in the sashing and border on DD Amanda's quilt -- that I HAVE to finish SOON. Then after getting my fix -- LOL I went on to Sam's Club to get the things on my list. I visited Chic-fil-A for lunch. I hadn't eaten at one of their restaurants in years. Nice atmosphere.
This is one of the little quilts I took to the hospital to put the binding on. These were the triangles sent home with members to sew into a square and bring back. I really like it.
This is the backing fabric. Sorry for the fuzzy picture. They are paper dolls. So cute. Fabric was donated by a guild member.

Disappearing 9 Patch I put together as my contribution for the guild's baby quilts going to WCPRC. Bound at the hospital.

I have another little quilt for the guild's baby quilt project put together. I will take a picture later after I quilt it.

Friday, August 31, 2012

No more frustration

 No more frustration from not being able to talk or move his body like he wanted it to move. My step-dad passed from this earth this afternoon. I'll be back blogging soon. Prayers for my mother, please.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

We're back

Knee manipulation was Monday. They kept him overnight to wean him off the epidural. Yes, he had an epidural and catheter. Ladies, he found out what that is like. LOL : ) His was not bad at all. He experienced no pain and got to watch the doctor do it. The manipulation worked! He has more bend in his knee. Yay! Mission accomplished. He is a little sore this morning with a little swelling. He has already been to therapy and back. More therapy and he will be well on his way. Just wonderful.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Machine Quilting

I had gotten into a slump -- not wanting to machine quilt. But the quilts keep stacking up so out of necessity I got with it.
You may remember seeing this on my blog back in March as part of the "Follow the Leader" blocks from guild. It is now finished-totally. Isn't that backing fabric great? I machine quilted two more little quilts for guild. No pictures. I have them loaded to take to the hospital to sew binding while I wait. Yeah, Hog Man has his date for knee manipulation. They don't know whether it will be out patient or if they will keep him over night. So I go prepared with hand projects. Then I will post pictures. They are sweet. In my opinion. ; )

We (the guild) continue to make blocks each month. I think I skipped one month and then asked if they wanted to continue and everyone agreed they enjoyed doing them. I endeavor to find something different to keep interest and also try to keep it simple. So far so good.

This month's block is so easy. Tell you what I will try to get a pattern up for it next week.

Stay tuned. And as always -- Blessings,

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A young visitor

DGD Aimee came for a visit this week. We had fun. She has decided to make C.A.S.A. quilts for her Bronze Award in Girl Scouts. We had previously decided on some fabrics and I had cut some squares. So we got started.  We laid them out and decided how she liked them best. Then she sewed them together. Her 1/4 inch has improved! She has the concept down about sewing into rows and then rows together. But she is ten years old and got bored after a bit. So we boxed it up and played some games and put together a puzzle.
She loves sewing on the little Elna. Who wouldn't?

All laid out and ready to sew.

Tuesday morning we got up early and loaded young feeder pigs and took them to auction in Gainesville. Then went on to Montague, Tx. to pick up Hog Man's boar, King, who had been lent out the last few months.  We got home right before it got extremely hot. Most of this week has been 106 to 108 degrees. Wednesday morning was much cooler and over cast. A wonderful surprise!

On Wednesday we went to Kraz-z Quilters. We picked up the quilts that were ready for C.A.S.A. and delivered them to the local C.A.S.A. office.  There were fifteen small sized quilts. Aimee got to deliver the one she had made this last year. She got to ask the question she wanted to ask, "Do the children get to pick out the quilt they want?" The answer was "No, the counselor picks one that they think they will like." 

Then on Thursday we loaded up our sewing machines and projects and sewed with the bee from Wise Co. Quilt Guild.  There were a dozen or more ladies sewing on various projects.
Hard at work.

 Aimee got her quilt top completely sewn together. I worked on our Disappearing Nine Patch blocks for baby quilts for the guild's charitable project.
Proud little quilter!
Then on Friday I decided to make another loaf of yeast bread. And the bananas were waning fast so I made a double batch of banana bread. Then lunch --I had promised Hog Man chocolate chip cookies. Then I was tired. Amen. I washed some laundry. Then we rested and looked at Pinterest until her daddy came to pick her up. Aimee worked on other crafty things on her own during the week. She loves drawing, cutting, glueing, etc. And of course we watched the Olympics! Loved it.
Sissy got a bath and brushing. Sissy looks real thrilled doesn't she?

She had wanted me to play hide n go seek outside. I drew the line there. I decided to play the old woman card.  There's only so much this grandmother is willing to do.

Hog Man continues to improve. He is driving himself to therapy three times a week. We can see definite improvement after this week's therapy. His knee is straightening more and getting stronger.  Praise the Lord.

This next week I hope to get back to a more normal schedule and get work done.  What is normal anyway?  Haven't been there in so long I'm not sure.
Anyway machine quilting is on the schedule.


Thursday, August 02, 2012

Oh, my it's HOT!

We've been at 108 degrees for several days. In the evenings it cools (relative word) down to 100 by 8pm. Early mornings are nice--EARLY. Upper 70s low 80s. It is forecast to cool somewhat lower 100s in the upcoming days. 5 or 6 degrees will make a big difference. We have had no rain and everything is turning brown.

I was keeping the tomato plants watered because they still had some tomatoes. Until I noticed that the grasshoppers are stripping the plants. No use keeping the plants alive to feed the grasshoppers.

We go out every morning and run water for the hogs to lay in to keep them cool. We made a run this morning to Weatherford (early before it started heating up) to take butcher hogs.
I've made some more fabric baskets. Shh, they are gifts. The one on the left--I thought that was all of that fabric. Surprise-I found more after cramming organizing. So now I can make another one to make a set.
Hog Man is cleared to drive. He is happy. BUT the Dr. wants to go ahead and do manipulation under anesthesia. His knee is bending somewhat better but not straightening and it is really stiff. We both are so ready for this saga of our life to be over. He will continue therapy until that procedure is scheduled. But good news--he can drive himself. I have gained four and a half hours a week to do something. Like dig grass burrs or work in the yard in the early morning before it gets hot.  Grass burrs stink. If you agree click Like and Share. Wait this is Blogger not Facebook. Sorry.

Remember this is PERFECT weather for sewing. : ) 


Sunday, July 29, 2012


More jam making. I had some larger zucchini given to me so I made Zucchini Jam.

And I found a container of peach pulp in the freezer and made it into jam. AND I found three packages of frozen peaches that I didn't know I had and I am so happy. I like those kind of surprises.

I didn't take pictures of Lovey's pigs. It was very hot that day--108. We're not sure if the heat was the cause or just what. But she has stepped/laid on most of the litter. She has two left. These things happen sometimes. We are just really glad we didn't lose her. She seemed lethargic and didn't eat for several days. July and August are tough pig farrowing weather for sure. We have two litters due in August.

The therapist worked Hog Man over pretty good on Friday. We always ice the knee as soon as we get home. It swelled some that afternoon. So we iced it again. Today it is looking better. One of these days real soon it is going to be so much better. He is not a happy camper yet. It's taking longer than what he had anticipated. He has a friend who had knee surgery last winter and got over it really quickly. Patience is not a virtue when it comes to waiting for Hog Man. He has tremendous patience to untie knots in string and even knots in my tiny necklace chains but not waiting. He hates sitting in waiting rooms. He's a pacer. It used to drive me crazy. After 37 years I've learned to be patient. He would laugh at that! How about somewhat patient?

Today Hog Man is getting picked up to help a fairly new hog breeder ear notch
his pigs. He will enjoy himself immensely. What is ear notching? Ear notching is a code for breeders to know which litter the pigs are from simply by where the notches are located in the ears. If pigs are pure bred and registered these notches are listed on their papers. Useful for identification.


Sunday, July 22, 2012


Yeah, I know it is too hot to bake but I still have the urge. Like using up those bananas that turn brown. I found this really good banana bread recipe that I like. It uses buttermilk--I think buttermilk makes baked products so good.  It adds a golden soft crust and texture that melts in the mouth. I saw on Pinterest a recipe for a coating for baking pans and tried and now I am singing it's glory!  I am telling you IT WORKS. And I also found Baking 911 and it is so interesting to know the REASON why we coat pans differently for different baked goods. Baking 911 also has the recipe for the coating and calls it Professional Baker's Grease.

Here's the Banana Bread recipe I like:
1/2 cup butter (I like to use 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 olive oil)
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 egg, beaten
2-3 ripe banana, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk

Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and combine. Add mashed bananas and vanilla and combine. In separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt -- whisk together. Stir into wet mixture alternately with buttermilk.

Coat your loaf pan (9 X 5) or a combination of smaller loaf pans 7" and 5"  and one mini loaf pan -for giving away ; ) with Professional Baker's Grease (you will be SO glad you did).  Fill pans slightly less than 2/3s full and bake in preheated 350 degree oven. 9 X 5 = 60 minutes or more 7" = 45 minutes and 5" = 35 minutes and always check with toothpick a couple inches away from center (if you check center it might be slightly gooey but still done--weird I know). I think this is the case with tea breads.  Oh, and I don't own a pastry brush -- need to get one-- I used what God gave me-- my finger to dip into coating and "paint" my loaf pans.

Hog Man continues to recover. We had a Dr. appointment this last week. He might have scar tissue in his knee. : ( Aggressive physical therapy is the first approach and if that doesn't fix it then the doctor will need to manipulate under anesthesia -- hopefully this will not be necessary. Prayers, please!

It was 108 degrees here yesterday. It was HOT! And still no rain. Lovey had her piglets yesterday morning-- early. I will need to take my camera and take pictures. I have been blessed to have had help from two guys with the feeding and unloading of feed while Hog Man is recuperating. I feed the animals 3 or 4 days a week. I must admit-I think I'm getting good at it. Don't tell Hog Man, though. As soon as he can take over the job it is his job with my blessings.

We had guild meeting yesterday. A good meeting with a work day. We brought our sewing machines to work on our charitable projects-- Christmas stockings for C.A.S.A. and tote bags for Disabled American Veterans for the local auxiliary. It is always so much fun to get together and sew. Lots of talking and laughing. And eating. Of course. New recipes to try at home. : )

Then yesterday late we had a surprise visit from DGD Aimee and her friend while the parents ran some errands. We crafted! We made supper and ate. And they oohed and aahhed over the baby piggies. We broke out the Clover Flower Frill templates that I have been wanting to try.  We had a lot of fun. One thing that wasn't fun at all -- a scorpion dropped from the ceiling onto Aimee's leg while sitting on the sofa. She was great and sat still. I ran and got a fly swatter. It crawled off her leg and she exited the sofa. Splat = dead scorpion! I hate those things. She sat the rest of the time holding tightly to my hand and resting her head on my chest. Poor baby. I know I would've freaked out if it happened to me. Oh, for winter. Remind me I said that come January.


Monday, July 09, 2012

Feedsack Tote Tutorial

This tote measures 17 x 15 x 6 inches and is made from a Moorman's ShowTec swine feed sack. It is made of a waterproof material similar to a tarp but lighter weight.

My sack already had the string and paper closure removed on the top. I cut the sack bottom off with craft scissors then I took the bag to the bathtub and gave the sack a bath with warm water and  liquid dishwashing detergent. Hang to dry. 

After the sack is dry I used my rotary cutter and ruler to straighten the bottom. Then I measured three inches and made another cut. Repeat. These will be the straps.  

I cut these open with my craft scissors. Then I measured and cut them 24 inches. 

Then I finger pressed about 3/8" under on both long ends of each strap (do not use an iron-it will melt). Then fold in half. I used my binding clips and it worked great. Paper clips or paper holders would work. Take it to the sewing machine. I have already inserted a size 16 needle or you could use a jean (denim) needle. I set my stitch length to a large stitch.  I topstitched both straps beginning with the folded edges first. Then I turned and topstitched the other side on both straps.  Your straps are ready to be sewn in the tote.

I smoothed the sack out aligning the crease lines front and back. Then I sewed the bottom of the tote right sides out using a 1/4" seam. You will be sewing another seam on the bottom shortly and that will create a french seam.  
My sack had a line where the string had perforated the top. I folded the top down on that line and then folded it again 1".  I used my binding clips again to hold it in place. I measured from the fold lines of the front of the sack--15 inches and decided I would space my straps 5 inches from the side. I slipped each end inside the folded area.

I topstitched because my stitches on the top looked nicer than the ones on the bobbin side I was careful to keep the straps pointed toward the bottom of the bag and to sew the ends into the fold. I removed the binding clips as I came to them. I stitched again making sure I caught the folded edge that was on the underside (about 5/8").
I pulled the straps out and then topstitched and backstitched.
I turned the bag wrong side out. Then I smoothed it out. Then I sewed the bottom seam with a 1/2"to 5/8" seam. When the tote is turned out this will make the French seam.  Now it is time to box the corners. With the top of the tote on my cutting table and the bottom of the tote facing me I finger pressed the seam I just sewed in one direction. Then I folded it like this.

Then I flipped it to the other side and using the crease lines in the original sack I measured from the point to the crease line on each side.  I marked it at four inches and drew a line.

 I sewed on the line making sure the seam stayed turned the same direction on the back side. I did the same to the other corner to box it.  Then I cut off the corner leaving a good sized seam allowance. I then turned the seam allowance under and stitched it down turning it toward the side of the tote. Repeat to the other corner.  The tote is finished. Turn it right side out smoothing and straightening. 

The smaller tote is the first one I made.  I have a Pedigree dog food sack to make another. These will make nice grocery bags. They will come in real handy when we shop at Sam's Club.

Let me know if you have questions or if anything isn't clear.


Sunday, July 08, 2012

Hellooo Summer

Wowzers it's been HOT! We haven't had the long run of 100+ that many across the state of Texas have had or like many across the country for that matter but we have had days of 100 or more.  Thank God for air conditioning.

Hog Man continues to improve. A therapist is coming every day M-F and working with him. He is almost to where he can use his cane. The walker is still more reliable at the moment, though. His recovery has been slow. He didn't have much range of motion with his old knee so his muscles are having to be built back up.  It is happening. I can see a difference in him. It is not happening as fast as he would like. He is bored.  But all in all he has totally been less grouchy with this surgery. And I like that! I know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I am so looking forward to it. It is going to be so much better.

What have I been doing? Cleaning, canning, and sewing--my sister and her husband were in Texas for a visit and spent a night with us. So that meant a major straightening in the guest bedroom. This is where I do my sewing. This is where I DID have a table stacked two feet deep with STUFF.  All that stuff had to find another home. So I crammed organized it in every drawer or shelf I could find room. LOL  My DD Amanda and family came for the 4th and brought us hot dogs and fixings. I took her to show her the clean room and she almost fainted. I know I've done good when she reacts. LOL

Oh, and I found the embroidery patterns I was looking for while cramming putting things away.  I am so happy to know these patterns are not lost forever. And I put them in a drawer this time with my embroidery floss. ; )  But the pincushion that is lost remains lost. Weird. It could've fallen into my trash basket. And got thrown away. Maybe I will still find it somewhere.

Aren't these tomatoes gorgeous? This bowl was full before I canned some today.  The big one there with a little green--I picked it before the grasshoppers decided they wanted to eat it.  I got 5 pints. And I decided to dice them this time. Why not?  I like diced tomatoes so much better when I'm cooking.
I love canned tomatoes! I will continue to can as many as the grasshoppers decide to share with us. LOL

I also made Hellish Sweet Relish that I love on pinto beans and hot dogs. There were more jars. I've already shared. : )

I have seen some of these tote bags made from feed sacks around the internet and decided to try my hand at it. It was easy. I found another sack wadded up in the back of Hog Man's pickup. Yippee. And I discovered the dog food sack is made out of the same material -- a waterproof poly vinyl type something. 

I am taking photos while making the next bag and will post a tutorial next post.