Feather Lessons – Wreath

First, let me apologize for how long it’s taken to get a new lesson posted.  The camera battery went dead during the middle of making it.  Plugged the camera in but the next day realized it was not plugged in all the way and had not started charging.  Got it charged and it has honestly taken me three days to get this video to upload to YouTube.  I thought I was doing everything exactly like I had done before.  Finally, the video seems to be working.  Tomorrow and over the weekend I will get the remainder of the lessons posted so that by the end of the weekend, you will have all my lessons.  They will stay online for easy future access.

The feather wreath is probably the most difficult quilting on this top but it isn’t difficult at all if you take your time and draw on paper til you’re confident your stitching will look good.


This is one of the ones I did on the first Carpenter’s Star that I quilted.  You will see that it isn’t perfect but when looking at the whole quilt, it doesn’t look half bad.  The one thing I’d like for you to learn from these lessons is that when you star, up close and personal, with most any stitching, it isn’t perfect.  From a distance, things that look so perfect, just aren’t.  Please do the best you can do and don’t fret if your stitching isn’t perfect.


When I wrote my second book, all of the quilts were quilted and ready to send in . . except the quilt shown on the cover.  I knew it needed custom quilting.  Those black squares begged for feathered wreaths.  Several times I came close to doing a panto because of the time crunch.  Custom won out and I did those wreaths, on black fabric, using variegated thread.  Every imperfection shows when using a colored thread on black fabric.  When I saw that this was the cover quilt, I very nervously looked over these wreaths and hoped they were “cover girl” quality.  They aren’t perfect but they aren’t bad.

Here’s a video of drawing the wreath.  Spend some time practicing this.

Feather Wreath

Garden Update

This post was written last night . . before the storm came through. For all I know, all these gorgeous peas and tomatoes and peppers may be three counties from here by now! I’ll never complain about rain but dang, we don’t get a drop of rain for almost 5 weeks and then we get a flood! Well . . wherever my tomatoes may be today, I’m betting they’re smiling after all that rain!

DSC01632Yesterday Vince was out tilling up the spot where he will plant the grapes.  Can you believe how good that dirt looks?  I could see this morning that a whole lot of that dirt was washed a bit down the hill but there’s a trench there so it will be retrieved and replaced.  We’re so lucky . . so much of the land around this area is rocky and full of clay.  He finished tilling it up yesterday but I’m not sure if he has to add anything to the dirt before planting the grapes.  I know he has to add something to the soil where the blueberries will be planted.  They need an acidic soil.


Last night I dug up the rest of the potatoes and pulled up the plants.  We’ve eaten a ton of potatoes and had a fair harvest. We got our potatoes planted way late so I’m  happy with the amount of potatoes we got but we will definitely get them planted earlier next year.  There’s nothing like fresh potatoes!

I’m not planting anything where the potatoes were til I plant the fall garden.  It’s too hot and dry here to plant most things right now.


I’m so happy with my garden.  There still are no peas on the cream peas.  The purple hull peas are doing great.  We may pick some this weekend.  The green beans are doing good.  I’m picking green beans every 2nd or 3rd day.  We might can pick pinto and lima beans by the end of the weekend.  We’re getting lots of eggplant.  We’ll probably also pick zucchini and yellow squash this weekend.

I’m anxiously awaiting those cream peas and some fresh beets!

Strawberry “Ice Cream”

This should probably not be considered ice cream but I love it  . . a lot but I love anything with sweetened condensed milk.

We have a fairly large ice dream maker and I always kept it in the garage in MO and would pour the mix into the bowl and leave the ice cream maker in the garage to make the ice cream.  Here, we don’t have a garage and there’s no room in the kitchen for the large ice cream maker so we bought a smaller one – the Cuisinart Pure Indulgence, though we bought ours at Sam’s Club.  Last night, since it was my birthday, I decided to make the strawberry “ice cream” recipe that I’ve loved for so many years.  I don’t think I’ve ever made this for Vince and I expected complaints from him because it’s so sweet but he really liked it.


This was the hard part.  What’s so hard?  My preference would have been to turn this entire bowl up and drink it!  One package of thawed strawberries and one can of sweetened condensed milk.  To make things even harder, the milk was cold.  I could have eaten the entire can.  What makes that stuff so darned good?


After pouring the strawberry mixture into the freezer bowl, fill almost to the top with chilled Big Red soda.  Sounding good, huh?  No?? Smile

At this point, I was still wanting to drink the concoction!  You can do the same thing with crushed pineapple, cream soda and sweetened condensed milk.

IMG_1129It didn’t take long at all and we had strawberry “ice cream”.  This is what was left after we each had a bowl.

Vince loved it!  He went back to the container after I’d dipped all the ice cream out and asked if he could have what was left in there.  I know he approves when he wants to “lick” the bowl!