Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Ready for 2014? I’ve got my projects lined up and hopefully I’ll be able to get to them this year. I have some UFOs I want to finish up:

Piece the Easy Street quilt. This was Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt in 2012. I’ve had the blocks done since the fall of 2013, and I even got one (short) row of blocks put together, but I would like to get the entire top pieced. It really shouldn’t take that long.

Quilt the Teddy Bear Parade top. I finished this top about 3 years ago. It’s small, so it should quilt up quickly. I should then be able to bind it quickly. Then if someone has a baby, I’ll have a gift handy J.

Quilt the Patriotic Star wall hanging. This is also small. I should be able to quilt this in one day, then bind it another. I would like it on my wall by July 4th.

Finish the blocks for the Folk Art Cats quilt. I have 3 done; 9 more to go.

Finish the Spring Bouquet BOM blocks. I only have a couple of the blocks done. I will probably iron the fusible pieces on the blocks in January while my sewing machine is in for service. Then hopefully I can get the fusible appliqué stitched down in February.

Finish the Sawtooth Cats quilt top. I’m at a point where I have to sit down and put the entire top together. I’ll need to pick a month to work on it.

Finish the Northwoods Cabin quilt from Fons and Porter. This quilt will go on our bed. I have the center medallion done. I want to quilt it in stages, and then add and quilt the borders as I go. It will take some doing, so I’ll have to pick another month to just work on this.

Now for some NewFOs I want to start this year:

Sally’s Mystery quilt. Sally is someone in my online quilting group who will be sending out monthly clues for a mystery quilt in 2014. I’m doing the smaller version of the quilt, so I think I can keep up with it.

Hugs and Kisses quilt. I plan on making a small baby sized quilt with some Hershey Kisses fabric I found at the QuiltFest in 2013. I don’t think this will take too long. I just need to take the time to do it!

Hello Moon quilt blocks. This is a monthly quilt-along from and I’ve not started on it. I have the background fabric and other fabrics for it. It’s a machine appliqué pattern and looks reasonably simple. I’m hoping to at least get the blocks for it completed this year.

Ocotillo Wall Hanging. I’d like to make a pixilated quilt using the techniques in the Craftsy class about making pixilated quilts. This is from a photo from my sister.

Family Tree wall hanging. I have a wall hanging kit from Keepsake Quilting that I bought about 5 years ago that is still sitting in the bag. I want to get it done!

Wall hanging for my bedroom. When I get my bed quilt done, I want to make a coordinating wall hanging for our room.

Halloween string quilt. I’m making black and white string blocks and want to put them into a quilt. Not quite sure how I’m going to do it, but I have til October to get it done.

Winter Friends Stick together wall hanging from Quiltmaker. This is a cute little embroidered and quilted wall hanging with snowmen for winter. It will probably be the last NewFO I start in 2014.

I’d also like to put together some quilts to sell, either at local craft fairs or start a store on Etsy. We’ll see how that goes!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday Menu December 30

What’s for Dinner?

I’m going to start listing a dinner menu for the week. I have a schedule (sort of) of meals for each week. It just makes it easier on me (who usually decides on meals) and for my family if they get involved in the planning…which I try to encourage. I would encourage everyone to have at least an idea of what they plan for meals for the week. It takes the stress out of dinner time, plus it allows me to make a grocery list and stick with it. If you’ve never made a menu plan, you might want to give it a try.

Our generic menu for the week looks like this:
Monday – Italian
Tuesday – Breakfast
Wednesday – Mexican
Thursday – Anything Goes (this is usually when I make a crock pot or other big meal, or we have leftovers)
Friday – Pizza
Saturday – Fish
Sunday – Soup & Sandwiches

Soup and Sandwiches came about when my husband and daughter were ice skating on Sunday afternoons. During the winter they would come home freezing, just in time for dinner, and soup was a great way to warm them up. Now that they don’t skate on Sunday afternoons, we sometimes have leftovers or whatever we can find. However, we usually still have soup and sandwiches, though in the summer we switch it up to salad and sandwiches. My menu plan is not set in stone…it’s on a dry erasable white board in the kitchen J. So as you’ll see below, I plan my actual menu based on what’s already available in the kitchen, and it can change if last minute plans occur.

For the week of December 30 my daughter will be working over the dinner hour Monday through Thursday so this may change to accommodate that, but this is what we have planned:
Monday – Tortellini with salad and bread
Tuesday – Soup
Wednesday – probably eggs, though we may have waffles or pancakes
Thursday –Super Nachos (I’m making tacos on the previous Sunday, so we’ll have leftover fixings)
Friday – Pizza
Saturday – Mexican spaghetti
Sunday – Soup & Sandwiches/leftovers

I know people who also make plans for breakfasts and lunches, that way there is no thinking and staring in the fridge in the morning or for lunch. We usually just grab hot or cold cereal for breakfast and sandwiches or leftovers for lunch. If you want to plan out breakfasts and lunches, then go for it. It will make your life easier!

What do you have planned for dinner for the week?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Looking Ahead to 2014

I’ve got several goals I would like to work on in 2014. Here they are, in no particular order:

1.    Travel 500 miles exercising. It doesn’t really sound like much when you consider it’s less than 10 miles a week, but for me it would be a huge accomplishment. I will keep track each day of just how far I’ve gone and keep a total going throughout the year. We have a treadmill, exercise bike, and elliptical, along with walking, so I can change things up and not get bored. I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going.

2.   I want to make good bread. I have been grinding my own wheat and baking whole grain bread for about 12 years, and I still haven’t come up with a really good sandwich bread. This year I would like to set my mind to that task and complete it! I don’t make all our bread goods…I always make English muffins for my husband, and we use freshly ground grain for our pancakes, waffles, etc., but I don’t make bread every week. I would really like to get away from having to buy bread at the store.

3.   I want to spend more time and get farther along on genealogy research. Last year for Christmas I bought my husband some nifty scrapbook stuff so we could put his family in it. It’s still sitting empty L. This year I want to fill that scrapbook up!

4.   I want to have a great garden! We had a pretty good one last year, but this year we want to expand it. It’s pretty tough with lots of trees in the yard, but we’ll give it a try.

5.   I would like to start heading towards selling my quilts and getting a small business going. We’ll see where that goes.

6.   Obviously, I’d like to finish up all my quilting and crafting UFOs and clear out my fabric stash…like that’s gonna happen! But, I do want to make headway on it.

7.   I plan to start canning and dehydrating. We didn’t have enough from the garden last year to do it. I will be on the lookout for canning equipment and dehydrators this spring. I really want to get away from storing extras in the freezer, which leads to the last item…

8.   I want to get back to a level of emergency preparedness I was at when we lived in earthquake country in southern California.  I want to have plenty to take care of my family if necessary. I’ll be writing more about this beginning next month.

So what’s on your to do list?

Friday, December 27, 2013

iPad Cover

My new iPad cover I just made. I messed the binding up a bit, but it will do. I really like the kitty button J.

2013 Quilting Accomplishments

This year I got more done quilting-wise than any other year before.  I completed 5 quilts and they are in their forever homes. I also completed 2 additional quilt tops. I completed 8 quilted wall hangings and mini quilts. I still have a lot of UFOs to complete, so we’ll see how far I get on those in 2014.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Almost There

It’s almost time for Christmas! I must admit I have not really been in a Christmas mood this year…not sure why. Anyway, I’m trying to make the best of it. I’m as ready as I’ll ever be!

Today I got the house all cleaned and ready for the big day. I just put a veggie lasagna in the crock pot for later, and I’ll run and grab some lunch. I will probably spend some of this afternoon working on Celtic Solstice, though hubby will be home early today, so I may sit with him and knit…it’s a sweater I started last winter. I really should get it done!

Hubby and daughter will be making Christmas Eve dinner tomorrow night, so I don’t have to worry about a thing. I will probably even make some haystack candies this afternoon or tomorrow. The butterscotch ones are the best!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Ready for Christmas

I finished making the last Christmas gift yesterday…a quilt for my daughter. All the presents are wrapped and (mostly) under the tree. I think we are ready for Christmas!

Speaking of my daughter, today is her 22nd birthday. Happy birthday! She and her dad are out at the movies today. They usually take a day around her birthday to go to the movies together. I HATE going to the movie theater, so I stay home and it’s their daddy-daughter date. Today they are seeing The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in 3D. Hope they enjoy. I’ll wait until it comes out on Netflix.

I’m off to the sewing machine. I think any sewing I do through the next couple of weeks will be working on Bonnie Hunter’s Celtic Solstice Mystery. I’ve not kept up with it, but I’m hanging in there. I’ve done some from each of the four steps posted so far. I’m hoping to link up with her linky party next week. We’ll see what happens. I actually still need to finish putting the top together for last year’s Easy Street mystery. Maybe I can get all the Bonnie Hunter mysteries done within the next month. That would get two UFOs off my list!

Next month I need to take my sewing machine in for service, so I will be out of commission. I think I will take the time to clean up an old Singer 201-2 and maybe do some stitching on that. I’m also hoping to have a list of goals to post by January 1. We’ll see if I get to that J.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thursday's Happenings

I have one more Christmas gift to finish. I’ve been working on a quilt for my daughter and I have it trimmed and ready to bind.  Usually I attach a separate binding on quilts, but for this one I’m folding the backing over to the front and I’ll machine stitch it down. I’m hoping to get that done today while she is out visiting a friend in Atlanta. Once she gets back home tonight, I don’t think she’ll be gone much between now and Christmas, so it’s now or never!

I think today I’ll also work on what I want to accomplish next year quilt-wise. I have lots of UFOs to finish and I’d like to also start some projects. I think the new projects need to be limited to no more than about six. Then maybe I can complete six of my UFOs and I won’t be any farther behind J. I completed six quilts this year, between finishing UFOs and starting new quilts, so it’s doable.

I was able to get my calendar for next year set up, so maybe once I finish this quilt I’ll work on more organization for next year. I really need to make a dent in my genealogy research, as well as ALL the crafty and quilty projects I have in progress and in the planning stages. I need to get it all in order so I can tackle some of it.

Now it’s time to go exercise and move onto binding work. Exciting day!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Magna Cum Laude

We just got back yesterday from a weekend at Auburn University watching our daughter graduate on Saturday…yes, magna cum laude! Woo hoo! We are very proud! Now on to bigger and better things for her…hopefully. At least she shouldn’t have homework! Gotta get back to sewing now…

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The 2nd Week of December Reads

I usually have several books going at once, and this week is no exception. On my Kindle I just finished Brush With Death by Karen MacInerney - has a yummy sounding blueberry muffin recipe which I just baked this morning...I'll let you know later how they taste. Yesterday I started Ham Bones by Carolyn Haines. Not too far into it yet, but I like the character Sarah Booth Delaney and Carolyn Haines' books are a really quick read for me. I am also reading Rutland Place by Anne Perry. I've read all of Anne Perry's Thomas and Charlotte Pitt books...I've just decided to start over and read them again.

I have a several actual books on my by Elizabeth Peters, a Harry Potter book, and Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason Solves the Case of the Ice Cold Hands. I do love mysteries. I usually have at least one non-fiction book going, and right now it's The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia by Rebecca Woods. I've read through it before, but I want to go through it again.

What's on your nightstand or on your Kindle?

The Beginning

Welcome to The Pieceful Kingdom!

I’m Linda and I live in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in beautiful East Tennessee. I’m an avid quilter and dabble in various other crafting hobbies. I’ll try most anything!  You can check out the tabs at the top of this page to see what I’m up to. I’m married to a wonderful man and have a beautiful daughter who has just graduating from college. We also have four furry kids – 2 dogs and 2 cats.

I’ve started this blog to keep a record of what I have done with my quilting and crafting, and so hopefully one day my future grandchildren can see what I did before their arrival. I’d also like to share my love of quilting and crafting with others, and hopefully learn from you as well along the way.

Bear with me as I find my way through the blogosphere, and like this blog, I’m still a work in progress. I hope you will join me on this adventure!

Thanks for stopping by,