Sunday, November 11, 2012

This and That

 Zucchini’s Anyone?

It’s the time of the year that everyone has zucchini and everyone is looking for recipes to use those zucchini’s.  I have found a new that we are enjoying and I will share with you.
Zucchini Bites
3 cups of chopped zucchini
2 eggs
¼ cup skim milk
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ tsp oregano
1 tablespoon parsley
¾ cup chopped onion
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup Bisquick
½ tsp. seasoning salt
½ tsp. crushed garlic
1/8 tsp pepper
I sprinkle parmesan cheese on top before baking.
Mix ingredients together and put into a well- greased 9”x12” pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

 Sunny Sunday
I am so happy to see the sun come out at 1:00 pm.  It seemed like it was going to be another cloudy, dull day. 
I am having a productive day.  I have made 6 loaves of cinnamon/raisin bread and I have 2 zucchini loaves nearly ready to come out of the oven.  It smells heavenly in my kitchen.   I was really not in the mood to do this much baking, but some of the zucchinis were starting to show signs of rot, so it was time to clean them and grate them up for loaves. 
I want to share some resent projects with you.  I know I am a year or two behind all of you, but I just learned how to knit those frilly scarves.  I am not good at knitting anything, but these are so fun and forgiving if you make a mistake.  I will make more for Christmas gifts.  Then I would like to learn how to knit socks for my husband.

The other one I will share with you today is a project from our quilt guild.  15 members decided to do a ‘coffee can’ project.  We each put a fat quarter of fabric in a coffee can along with a theme of what we wanted our quilt to be.  Each month we got a different can and had to make a block, including some of the fat quarter from inside.  There were various sizes of blocks we could chose to make.  You did not see your can until after the blocks were all made.  After the reveal, you took your can home with the blocks and then the real challenge began…. to make them into a quilt.  My theme was stars and I was so happy with the blocks sewn by my friends.  And a challenge it was!.  After 3 days of laying out blocks, shifting them about and figuring out how to add sashings to separate them, I finally was able to sew my top.  It still needs to be sandwiched and quilted, but I am pretty happy with the final result. 
From the design wall to ,,,,


Have a great day, Darlene

Saturday, September 22, 2012

First Day of Fall

It is the first day of fall in my neck of the woods, but we are enjoying summer temperatures.

Soon the winds will be blowing these leaves away, but for now they are a feast to my eyes.  I don't often get reddish colors in my yard, so I think they are especially beautful.

I managed to get to the sewing room today and worked on some blocks.  They are the Solid Stars and Strings block pattern from a blog I have discovered: Making Scrap Quilts From Stash.  The pattern is available here:,  Isn't it great that so many talented people are willing to share their patterns.  I think it is so generous of them and I sure do appreciate it. 

These 4 blocks were completed some time ago and today I worked on 2 more. 

These are the 2 blocks I did today.  Just have to finish sewing the 2 halves together. So a total of 6 blocks.  If I can keep at it, I will soon have a nice sized quilt.  I must say they are fun to work on.  Using up some stash material is also fun.  Why do I never see a big difference in the stash pile??

I am fairly new to blogging and reading blogs.  I keep finding some interesting new ones  everytime I preuse the net.  Lots of great stuff out there.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Another Beautiful Day

It is September 6th and here in Northern Alberta, we are still enjoying summer.  We have not had a killing frost so the leaves are still on the trees.  I have been covering the garden tomatoes, vegetable spagetti and zucchini every night with a tarp to give them some protection from a frost.  It has gotten down to +1 C. but no damage yet.  Some years by this time, it is very fall like already.   So we are feeling very blessed.

The sunflowers in the garden were very showy.

I enjoyed taking pictures of my neighbour's sunflowers.  she had the most gorgeous and unusual colored one. They grew very tall, while mine were a shorter variety.

Here's another one

The garden has produced abundantly.  In a few days I will dig the potatoes and carrots for winter storage.  Tomatoes in the greenhouse were prolific and they have done very well in the garden too.

Once the tomatoes started to ripen I could pick a big bowl every few days.  I have canned over 60 pints.  For those of you who do canning, isn't it a good feeling to hear the "popping" of the lids as the jars seal?
My quilting has taken a back seat, but I will get back to it one of these days and then share some pictures with you. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

This and That

My grandkids came over with this beautiful bouquet of wild flowers.  Aren't they lovely?  The pink ones are Indian Paintbrush, but I do not know what the yellow ones are.  But what a nice combination.

We had rain this week and it arrived right after I had weeded my garden.  What good timeing that was. Now the plants will really flourish.  We are eating lettuce, beets, dill, spinach, onions, and potatoes.
And from the greenhouse there is ripe tomatoes and cucumbers.  I love summer.

My daughter is an amazing seamstress.  She made several wedding dresses for friends before she made her own over 20 years ago.  Right now she has a job altering wedding dresses, prom dresses and bridesmaid's dresses.  There is good money in doing this and she can work at her own pace from her own home. 
 I will show you a beautiful quilt she gifted me with last year.

I hope you have enjoyed my pictures and chatter for today.  Cheerio, Darlene

Friday, July 13, 2012

Another Beautiful Summer Day

Hi once again.  I have not been writing because of internet issues but I hope the problems have been rectified.  It is another beautiful, hot summer day in Alberta.  However we do have smoke in the air from forest fires to the north of us.  We could sure use some rain.  The lawn goes crunch crunch when I walk on it.  Fortunately, I have a drip system set up for watering the garden and greenhouse. 
I wanted to share a photo of my lovely pink peonies.  I brought a big bouquet into the house to enjoy them more.
This shot will show the tablecloth better and I will tell you about it.  For several years a group of friends have gotten together on Thursdays, in the winter time.  We call it Ladies Day Out.  It is just an  opportunity to fellowship with friends. Most of us will be quilting, but there are others who do crochet, embroidery, do painting, hardanger, cross stitch etc.  This project was a round robin between 5 of us.  Each one did a centre block and supplied some fabric and it was passed around so everyone added a round to it. You also had to add some of your own fabric.  Of course we did not see the finished product until the end.  It was so much fun and I was delighted with the finished item, including the memory, and to cherish something from my friends.  At a later time I will tell you about another project that is currently going on with the quilt guild that I belong to.
I have a long history of quilting.  I always wanted to quilt, but did not have any mentors in my family.  My mom and grandma did other handwork, like crocheting, knitting and embroidery.  I was on  my own but was inspired by my friend's quilts. Her mom was a quilter and sent new quilts to her by mail as they lived in different parts of the province.  I drooled over those quilts and just had to take a stab at it. My friend, at that time was never going to quilt - she had memories of growing up with a quilt always on a frame in their living room.  She changed her mind after a few years and joined me and others as we progressed.  We had a Singer  treadle sewing machine when I was growing up but I did acquire an electric one soon after I was married and so began my quilting career.  First I sewed fabric onto a newspaper for a foundation.  My fabric was pretty limited as was my budget for supplies.  But I had fun and was learning.

 Now this kind of piecing is called string quilting and I have started to do it again as a way to use up scraps.  I have made twenty 8"X 10" blocks so far.  I work at it when I feel like doing some 'mindless' sewing. 

One day I found an article in a magazine about Elleanor Burns and a pattern to make a quilt in a day.   I read it and was hooked.  I made a Trip Around the World Quilt - I believe it took me more than one day.  LOL
I still have the magazine by the way.
From that point on I just kept going and introduced many others to the pattern and  as they say "the rest is history".  I have not looked back.  9 years ago a quilt guild was formed in the community and I was a charter member.  I have enjoyed it so much and learned so much more from fellow quilters.  Patterns are endless, fabric is endless, sewing gadgets are endless.  I am still in love with quilting although I should call myself a 'piecer' instead of a 'quilter' because I realy do not like the actual quilting part - either by hand or machine.  In the early days I tied my quilts wilth embroidery cotton but now I stitich in the ditch with the machine or send the quilt out to a long arm quilter.

This quilt was from  a Jinny Beyers kit which took me a long time to piece together -some fussy cutting on it.
 I sent it out for quilting.  I love her patterns and her choice of colours are always 'eye candy' for me.

 Here's another one for you.

This quilt was a fun one to make.  I made it for a granddaughter.  It was a way to use up scraps and the hearts are done with the paper piecing method and appliqued onto a background fabric.

I have also learned to do English Paper Piecing and will share some of that with you at another time.

Happy summer everyone.

Cheerio for now.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Enjoying My Garden

Here is a view of my garden.  In the foreground are
a short variey of sunflowers.  Then gladiolas, potatoes and parsnips and the rest is not showing.

Cucumbers that are starting to produce and in the background are tomatoes next to the shelves.  I like to grow small cucumbers rather than the long english ones in my greenhouse. 

 And tomatoes.  I even found a ripe one hiding under the foliage.  I love my greenhouse!

My internet is acting up [going on and off] so I will try and post this much and talk to you all later,  Darlene

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Aaaah, my own blog site.  This just might be the hardest thing about setting up a blog.  I never find it easy to talk about myself and my accomplishments.  But here goes...  just a bit about me.  I am a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and friend.  This fall my husband, Jim and I will celebrate our 49th  wedding anniversary.  He is a workaholic and a jack of all trades.  We live in the country 7 miles from a small hamlet [that has less and less amenities], an hour from a larger town and two hours from a city.  Our home is located in Northern Alberta, Canada.  Our neighbours are mostly farmers or work in the oil patch.  We have 3 children.  Our oldest son lives in Edmonton, Alberta.  Our only daughter lives in southern Alberta and our youngest son lives in our yard. We are separated by trees and a quaint little path between our houses.  I have been blessed with 9 grandchildren and I great grandson [so far]. 
My interests are many.  I love to garden, have a greenhouse, love to quilt, scrapbook and make greeting cards.  Too many hobbies, actually, as I never have time to do all I want to do.  I also love to read.  I enjoy ‘real life’ stories [ ie: autobiographies or biographies.]  But I also read fiction and I really surprised myself by reading and thoroughly enjoying the Dragon trilogy.   Now I am wondering about the Hunger Games Trilogy and someone mentioned the Fifty Shades of Grey books too.  I will have to check them out.  I have a Kindle e-reader but I still read paperbacks too.  I am from a family of 5.  I was right in the middle.  My only brother and oldest in the family has passed away and also my oldest sister.  I have one sister who lives an hour from me and one sister who lives in Edmonton, Alberta.  I don't get to see her as often as I would like to.  We lost our mom a year ago, but our dad has been gone for over 40 years.  Life goes on. 
Today it is hot out, as most of Alberta is.  We are lucky enough to have a breeze so it is bearable.  My house is cool enough but if we get many days in a row of 30+ degrees, my house will feel pretty hot.  Then I will retire to the basement. 
 It has been a rather quiet day for me.  We went to a garage sale this morning.  Our family from the yard are vacationing at the lake so it it realy quiet.  I miss them.  We are going to have chef salads for our supper made from fresh garden lettuce and garden spinach.  Cheerio for this time, Darlene