Monday, November 29, 2010

Meal Planning

Dinner this Week - I am cleaning out the freezer, and shopping from the cupboard as much as possible. Goodness only knows what is in that freezer, so I think we will eat from there until I can't anymore. I always shop the sales, and the week after Thanksgiving doesn't seem very forthcoming with deals.
Sunday - Boneless Country style Pork Chops and Frozen Veggies
Monday - Roast Chickens and Garden Salad
Tuesday - Spaghetti and Meat sauce, Texas Toast, Steamfresh Veggies
Wednesday - Pepperoni Pizza (Home made)
Thursday - Chicken Strips and Alfredo Egg Noodles
Friday - Manwiches and French Fries
Saturday - Beef Stew and Dumplings
Sunday - Start again - I hope there are better deals next week!

I would really like to learn how to post recipes and then link back to them in posts so there could be an easy way to click on a dinner idea, and have it take someone back to the recipe. I'm just not very technical. If anyone knows how to do this, I would LOVE to be schooled in blogger speak!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hexagons - I'm still chugging along

I'm still working on my hexagon quilt, and probably will for a long time. It doesn't make for a very interesting blog I'm afraid. I thought I would post my progress though. I have completed 25 of the pattern blocks thus far, and I am working on number 26. I am almost finished with that one. I cannot help but dream of quilts of the future. I am looking forward to see what the New Year brings in Blocks of the Month to follow. I am hoping for some lovely applique blocks with flowers that I can save for the whole year, and then make a nice quilt with. Of course I have to learn to applique as I go. I have been reading all I can on the blogs that people post. It would be wonderful to find a blog that teaches a applique quilt for beginners with their Blocks of the Month.. you know.. start simple and move forward. That would be SO great!
The other quilts that I plan for the future are Cathedral Windows, my first attempt at this quilt was a horrible failure, however I will not be deterred from my dream.
I love Double Wedding Ring, and I have the pattern for this, and Cathedral Windows and also for Dresden Plate another of my favorites that I plan to make. They are probably not too far in my future. I am hoping DH will get me a gift card to the fabric store for Christmas so I can buy some fabric.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hexagon Quilt coming along


My hexagon quilt is coming along. I think you can see better now what I want it to look like as I have a few different colors of red in it now. These 12 hexagon blocks are not sewn together, they are just laid out so that I can peek at my progress once in a while and get excited about my quilt to come. I just pick them back up and stack them in a pile for later.
I currently have ALL of my fabric cut into squares ready to be sewn into hexagons.
I have 14 pattern blocks (12 hexagons each) complete. Only 153 left to go (Big smile).

Quilts I love


Are there quilts you LOVE? Quilts you have always loved? I am very new to quilting, and there are certain quilts that are on my list of quilts I want to make... someday. I am currently making my hexagon quilt. I have moved into a new step in quilting for myself. Something beyond stitching square to square, which is where I began. There are however those dream quilts I wish to make someday.
I want to make a Dresden Plate quilt. I keep putting that on my list when I sign up to win an Accuquilt Go.
I want to make a Double Wedding ring quilt. I put that on my list as well. (Big smile).
I think a Cathedral Window quilt is fantastic. I tried to make one once before, however it was before I knew about the grain of fabric. It didn't turn out very nice. I quit before I got too far. I would however like to give it another go at some point. I will keep it on my list.
My sewing machine doesn't work the best, so I think those will last me a lifetime stitching by hand. If I should get my machine working better, Look out!!! I see some beautiful blogs of quilts out there the creativity is amazing. Even blocks that seem simple. Triangles and squares are turned into the most amazing and beautiful creations, you can't help but want to make them and put them on your bed. You can always think of someone who could benefit from the wonderful warmth and cuddle of a quilt. They just sing of happiness.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Is it worth it?

Is clipping coupons REALLY worth my time? Well, I guess that would be a personal decision for everyone. I don't clip my coupons until I am going to the store for the week. I purchase 4 newspapers each weekend, and keep the coupon inserts in a file un-clipped until I flip through them while making up my list for the week. I clip what I need at that time, using the oldest coupons first so I can catch them before they expire if possible.
This week my savings were pretty good. I made up my grocery list from my menu, added in a few snacks and necessities. (Toilet paper, paper towels).
Here are the totals for the week.
The register first rings up the price of the groceries at the NON sale price. The price the store would regularly sell the item at if it was NOT on sale. If I had shopped for the items all on a NON sale date, I would have spent $322.23. I shopped for the sales, the store discounts, used my e-coupons, and clipped my coupons. I saved $137.25. I spent $184.98. I purchased meals for 4 people for 7 days, and I am including Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and snacks. I also purchased a Ham, and a Turkey which were not on the menu but they were on sale.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Meal Planning

Have you looked at your bank statement lately? I have, and I was shocked by just how many times I had been running to the grocery store. Now, I should know better at my age, but the store is just SO conveniently located! Well, the minus, minus, minus in the banking column was yucky! I decided it was time to go back to the meal planning that I know I should be doing. I am making a list of meals for our family, that we regularly eat. Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Side Dishes and Desserts. I will then type up those recipes, and include them in my blog so that my children can access those recipes. Some may seem very strange, and some may not need a recipe. I think we all know how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
I include everything in my lists, because I use my lists to plan my menu for the week. I don't want to have to sit and think... what do we want for dinner. I would end up with pizza every night of the week.. I LOVE PIZZA! Instead, I take a piece of paper and divide it up into 7 boxes across for the 7 days of the week, and 4 boxes down. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and snacks.
Step 1) List the meals you already have on hand. What is in the freezer? What did you buy last week, and not make? Put that on your list for this week.
Step 2) What is on sale at the store? I will add that to my list, and try to include that in my meal plan, or add it to my freezer for next week.
Step 3) What do I have coupons for? I will dig out my coupons and match up coupons to the ads. We have e-coupons as well here. Coupons are added to the store cards through cellfire.com and pgesaver.com which are helpful and free, in addition to coupon.com printable coupons and the coupons that I get in the Sunday paper. I love my coupons! I also look to local bloggers to help me figure out what is free and cheap on my shopping weeks at my stores. They are VERY helpful. I'm not opposed to help. (Thank you!)
Step 4) Make my list and TRY to stick to it. I do not go back to the store until a week later, so I have gotten better at making my lists. I had a computer crash, so I have lost all my family recipes that I had made and saved on my computer previously. I have to start again, trying to remember what we make on a regular basis. It is not as easy as one would think. Recipes to come.. stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hexagon Quilt Status Report

I am counting my quilt by the repeat pattern blocks required to finish it. I guess that it will take 167 full blocks to finish it (I will figure out the partial blocks later) Some of the full blocks will be broken down into those partial blocks to finish teh quilt. However from the 167 blocks I have currently completed 5.
I have 6 more blocks with the flowers complete and just need to add the green row. I shall have an update with more done very soon!

I got leather thimble dots sent to me from a yahoo group buddy, and tried these. They are nice, I have to say! Much better than a full finger thimble. Also, much better than a sore finger.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Beautiful Blog Buddy



Look at these Gorgeous Gifties that came in the mail from a Beautiful Blog Buddie! Aren't they just the most spectacular. I'm just touched beyond belief. I find it hard to put into words how much this means. In todays world where all you see is bad things on the news. Someone just decided on their own to send me some red fabric for in my hexagon quilt. It makes you think, WOW, there is still some good in this world, and people willing to do something special for others without asking anything in return. It has really touched my heart.
I can't wait to show them to you in their flowery hexagon form. Thank you beautiful blog buddy!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thimbles-??

I think I need to find a flexible thimble for myself. My poor lil stitching finger is sore! I have been having SOOO much fun stitching my hexagons. As of today I have eight flowers assembled. Not all of the leaves (the green row) are on them, but the flower portions are complete. Well all of the hand stitching on my finger has it sore, sore, sore. I'm addicted to these wonderful hexagons though. It is so relaxing to just sit and stitch by hand, and watch it all come together. I don't want to stop stitching. I tried a timble, and with that I was just all thumbs. It was too bulky and got in the way. I have never stitched with a thimble, and I guess I will have to work my way into that. Perhaps a flexible leather one? I saw on a blog at some point a stick on circle type thimble. I will have to see if I can find those as well although they seem similar to a bandaid to me. So for today, I will try a bandaid and keep on stitching.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hexagon Quilt One Motif



Here is one full motif for the quilt design shown at left. I will make MANY more of these (167 is my estimate). Various reds, and various greens. I will not assemble them until all of them are complete so that I can scatter the reds and maroons throughout the quilt. This should take a while to complete.

Hexagons Moving Along


This first photo I have included to show you that in the back I have removed some of the Hexagon templates. Now I leave the templates IN both of the templates left and right of the crochet hook as I stitch the seam that is being pointed to. It would have been better if I could have taken a picture of this step but I missed it. The cardstock templates keep me from making my stitches too deep. I cannot stitch into the cardstock. Instead, my needle is finding the top of that template and so I know my hexagon is going to end up the correct size when I finish. (Yay).

Now in order to stitch the seam that I am pointing to here with the crochet hook, I had to remove the hexagon of the lower maroon hexagon that is showing in the picture.

As you can see the maroon hexagon is folded, and I am able now to line up and stitch the seam easily. I have found it easiest to stitch from the outside to the inside, but, perhaps this is because I am a righty.