Monday, November 28, 2022


  I've only ever once bought a whole bolt of fabric ever.  And really it wasn't even the whole bolt. Back  then, SIL Joyce was buying pretty close to a whole bolt so I said, "what the heck? I'll take the rest."  That was many, years ago when I was first starting to quilt and I've never done it again.  Until now.

I bought a bolt of horse blanket

 I'm not sure how to explain it.  There is/was a cute shop in town that sold some antiques, some upholstery fabrics, trims, buttons, some new chotchkies, a little of everything and we loved it.  I tried not to go in TOO often because I'd come home with something.  The grand girls went there exclusively to find something for their mom's birthday and Christmas and as she walked out for the last time Adelaide cried.  We will miss this place.

Anyway, when I found out they were closing I stopped in a few times.  I had my eye on this bolt of horse blanket because come on, when do you see a bolt of horse blanket? And what would a person who doesn't have a horse do with a bolt of horse blanket?  It didn't matter. I kept stroking it and decided it had to have the headache test.  Headache test:  when I see something that's unique and keeps drawing me in I ask myself "When you get home will you have a bigger headache if you DIDN'T buy it or if you DID? " One of those kinds of things.  A missed chance kind of thing.  How often do you see a bolt of something this cool?  And unique?  And cool?  And no, I had no idea what I'd do with it when I got it home.  But I had to be the one to take it home.

Because the shop owner knew me and because she was closing shop she gave it to me for a song. I wrestled it out to the car - it weighed as much as a ten year old.

Daughter loves plaid.  It reminds her of her school year at St. Andrews in Scotland so I called her.  She came to inspect and decided whatever, she would find a use for some of it.  

She has a small room.  She measured the room and decided cutting two 90 inch lengths would fit nicely as a rug. The bolt is 42 inches wide.  Cutting two pieces 90 inches long and seaming them together with carpet heat seam tape would make a nice sized rug.
So I spent a couple of nights sleeping on the hows. It is tightly and densely woven. I zig zagged the edges (no, I don't have a serger) to control the ravel, ordered 2 inch cotton twill tape, cut it to length for the cut edges, ironed it in half, pinned it on and miracles of all miracles my little machine handled the binding beautifully. 
Two 90 inch pieces are now cut with edges bound. 

On noodle making day I took it  over to daughter's house so we could combine the two pieces. Everything matched perfectly, but of course it would.
We think it looks great and is surprisingly comfy to walk on.   
Now, what to do with the rest of the bolt !?!?

Monday, November 21, 2022

Noodle Day and an amendment

 I am amending this post because Robin said I should add a little of the back story/history of the noodles and she's right! 

It was noodle day yesterday and the torch has passed to the girls.  Actually, it passed to them years ago but I'm not usually there to help and learn.  Believe me, they have their system.  Forty-eight eggs.  Lots of flour, much cranking muscle.  We spelled each other as someone got tired and the job tedious.  We were making so many noodles it took determination to get through it. 

These noodles are something PH's mom and aunts made for every holiday and while the women are long gone now, everyone is making sure there is someone from each family learning how to make them. One cousin has six grandsons and he and his wife are holding noodle making classes so those boys learn how it's done. They are cooked in chicken  broth instead of water  and eaten without sauce, kind of like a spaetzle but noodle length and rarely does anyone put gravy on them (I do, but I am the in-law!)No holiday table or family gathering will happen without these noodles, even picnics in July!Each aunt would bring a pot of noodles and plunk the pot on the table and each batch was different and everyone could walk up to the table and name who made which batch.   PH's mom's were thick and very yellow and it wasn't until our daughter was teaching herself how to make them that she called  PH's  brother to ask how she got that yellow color.

Well.  In the old days they had chickens on the farm that gave eggs with  very yellow yolks. But after she moved to the city and used store bought eggs she resorted to a drop or two of yellow food coloring.  One of the aunts rolled hers paper thin and the other's were a different color, much lighter.  

I am a devotee of the Pasta Grannies episodes on YouTube.  Have you seen them?   Eighty, 90, even 100 year old Grannies in Italy showing us how they do it.  I am addicted to those little ladies, they are inspiring. They've been making pasta every day of their lives and they are strong!    So when I collapse on the couch after making a batch of brownies I put an episode of Pasta Grannies on TV and am reinvigorated.

It was a very productive afternoon and I think we might have enough for the two holidays!  Hopefully.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Snow day

Remember when I said the snowfall the other day was perfect because it was just a little, not a lot and not on the roads?  Well, scratch that. We've had 8 inches here at our house but can get up our driveway thanks to the plow service.

The kids had a snow day from school so Elizabeth and her friend walked over here to go tromping around in the snowy woods. 

Bottom line is it's pretty but still icky.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Perfect snow

This is a perfect snow.  Just a little, not a lot and not on the driveway or streets. If only. We woke up to this today but they are promising more and more for the next three days.  

Here's another geography lesson.  Michigan is unique in that we are surrounded by the Great Lakes,  lakes which people think of as inland seas because they are so big. It's about 120 miles or so across Lake Michigan.  Draw a line directly down the middle of the state and Lake Michigan governs our weather to the west of that line.  When the cold Canadian air comes across Lake Michigan, which is considered warm because it isn't frozen, snow happens.  We call it Lake Effect snow and that impacts the western shores and depending on the wind speeds, can reach into Grand Rapids, a 45 minute drive    from the lake. Anything west of Grand Rapids can get really pounded with lake effect snow.  I am  about 15 miles further inland (see that little blue box east of Grand Rapids? It says Grand River?  That's about where I am. We can skirt by many big snowfall inches by just being that little bit farther from the lake.  Lansing? No lake effect unless the winds are very, very strong and carry the snow that much further.  Detroit?  No lake effect.  

Then there's what is called system snow and everybody gets that. It's a storm that wonks everyone.  Tomorrow's forcasted 6 inch snow? Lake effect.

Absolutely no stitching being done.  

Sunday, November 6, 2022


Not a lot of stitching going on because other things are happening.   I commented once to some quilty friends that I can and do go for days, sometimes weeks without picking up a needle and then someone, bless her, said that is because I do other things.  It's true.  While I love cutting pieces of fabric into little pieces and putting them back together again it's my something but not my everything.  Reading, now not a day goes by without that happening.

We had a birthday, our Charlie turned 17 and wow.  We all went down for the day and celebrated with him by watching an Ohio State football game on TV.  Mike's bestie was with us and since those two are inseparable I told him he had to be in the cousin photo, too.
PH is on puzzle number 2 for the season. The first was too easy and done too quickly so I pulled this one out.  It's much more challenging so he likes it better.

Yesterday I coated 446 peppermint patties in by one.  I make the minty middle one day, stack them between cling wrap on a cookie sheet and put them in the fridge overnight to harden.  Next day I melt the chocolate and dip them one by one and put them on a sheet and into the fridge to harden for about 20 minutes each then into big containers separated by parchment between the layers so they stay nice. I took 4 hours for this step. But I was listening to an audio book, an easy one, so time went fast.

Elizabeth requested seafoam (sometimes called honeycomb.)  I made some to take to her on Halloween but the first batch was a puzzle.  I wasn't sure if it was what she and her dad remembered, it seemed too holey.  This is batch 2 and it came out just about the same but less chewy, more crunchy like I remember it.  After breaking it apart I covered it in chocolate and took it over for Halloween night buffet.  Well, they both declared it a winner and requested more for Christmas.  Daughter said I made the pieces too big, Son in law and Elizabeth said the big pieces were great.  My worry that it was too holey was put to rest when SIL said it was so good because it wasn't tight and condensed like you get in the stores.  When I make it for Christmas I will have Elizabeth here to learn how it's done.

Friday I finally could make Chooky's  zoom meeting with the world.  Sometimes the timing just doesn't work so I can't always make it.  But Friday I could for a couple of hours.   It's good to have a hand project to work on for zooms so I brought out my tin of Liberty circles, found a spot in the spare bedroom  and we chatted and worked.   I don't have the computer equipment others have, no lap top, just an iPad that I prop onto books till the height is right, drag over a lamp and sit in a too stiff chair.  Most everyone else is in their quilt room, some are in their recliners working on hand work, but it doesn't matter, if you can bring up their image and turn on the audio, it works. When the weather is good I'm outside on a porch but  those days are done till next year.