Monthly Archives: January 2021

Winter Projects – I’ve Finished The First One

I had two big winter projects planned and I’m happy to say that I have finished the first and I’m working on the second.

For two years my youngest daughter, Lindell, worked in promotions for iHeartRadio. Last fall she told me she had a bunch of t-shirts that she received while working at iHeart that she would like made into a quilt. I told her I would be happy to do it, but it would not be until after the holidays, and she would have to pick out some flannel that she wanted go along with the t-shirts. I would make them into a rag quilt. For a tutorial click here.

It was early December when we shopped for the fabric but it wasn’t until after Christmas that I began cutting up shirts and laying things out.

iHeartRadio has several FM radio stations in Detroit, all broadcasting out of the same location. She worked for all of them. The t-shirts she received were from various promotional events she attended. Some of them were printed with a logo on the front and event sponsors names on the back and also identified her as “Staff” (“Camper?”).

I set them out in several different designs trying to find the right balance.

Each t-shirt block is backed by two layers ( blocks) of flannel. I stitched an X across each block to hold the three layers together.

Each of the flannel blocks is also backed by two layers of flannel.

On this kind of quilt the seams are sewn on the outside. Once they are all sewn together the seams are clipped about every 1/ 4 to 1/2 inch then when the quilt is washed and dried the clipped seams create a ruffle.

I continued to lay the pieces out on the floor in between steps to make sure things were coming together the way I wanted them to.

If Trooper was around when I Iaid it out on the floor he would immediately go and lie down on it. I often put a blanket down on the floor for Trooper to lay on while I brush him, so I guess he thought he was going to get brushed. This was ok because the very last step was to wash the quilt.

One of my biggest challenges was deciding how to include this pocket from a hooded sweatshirt that said “UNEEK Detroit”. It’s size and shape were unlike any of the other blocks so I had to come up with a unique way to use it.

I went with my first thought, to make it into a unique shaped panel at the top of the quilt, because I needed/wanted the extra length in the quilt. I stitched the pocket to a block of flannel with a unique pattern. The other option that would have worked was to make it into a pillow instead of putting it in the quilt.

I was quite pleased with the end result and my daughter was thrilled with it. I had to lay it out on the table for the final pictures since it was already washed. The table is not big enough to get the whole thing in on shot – sorry.

For the back side my original plan was to have a symmetrical design with the blocks but a mid-project change in the blocks on the front messed up that plan. Oops! None-the-less Lindell loved it and was eager to take it home and wrap up in her beautiful memories.

What’s keeping you busy these days?

Below is a sneak preview of my second winter project.

Be sure to follow this blog to see how this one comes together.

Thanks for reading and remember Make It A Great Day! 🙂

Word of the Week – Week #4

Our word of the week is eccentric.

According Merriam Webster Eccentric means:

deviating from conventional or accepted usage or conduct especially in odd or whimsical ways.


deviating from an established or usual pattern or style.

I love the idea of being eccentric. It is our eccentricities that define our individuality. I think that most of us have some degree of eccentricity but many people lack the confidence to embrace it. Instead they sacrifice their true selves in order to impress others and conform to society’s standards.

I Scream, Use Cream, We’ll All Love The Ice Cream

I’m Eating Ice Cream Again – YAY!!!!!!!!

The Back Story

I stopped eating ice cream a couple of years ago after learning of the potential health problems that can be cause by carrageenan. Carrageenan is a additive that is commonly used by food manufacturers. It has no flavor or nutritional value but is used as a stabilizer and thickening agent. It is used widely in dairy and dairy-like foods but is used in some other foods as well.

According to this report by the Cornucopia Institute carrageenan may cause digestive problems such as intestinal bloating, spastic colon, irritable bowel syndrome, and ulcerative colitis, so I decided to remove it from my diet.

As I began reading food labels I discovered that in most of the products I buy, like yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese, and almond milk some brands contained carrageenan and some did not so it was easy enough to choose the products that did not contain carrageenan. The two exceptions were whipped cream (whipped topping) and ice cream. I don’t use a lot of whipped cream but when holiday time rolled around I discovered that homemade whipped cream is super easy to make (with an electric mixer) and far superior in flavor and texture to the store bought products. With so many ice cream products on the market I kept searching for those that did not contain carrageenan, but every label that I read listed it as an ingredient. According to this carrageenan shopping guide there are a few organic brands without it but none that I have seen in stores.

So I stopped eating ice cream.

For more information about carrageenan or foods that contain carrageenan please see the carrageenan report or shopping guide linked above.

A Bit of Hope

I really didn’t find it difficult to not eat ice cream as there are plenty of other satisfying desserts that I enjoy (too many if I am honest.) I did, however, continued to check ice cream labels now and then.

Last summer my daughter, Tina, was telling me about buying really good milk and ice cream from a local dairy. I immediately wondered out loud if their ice cream had carrageenan in it. As I was thinking “I’ll have to check it out” she pulled up their website and began looking at the ingredient list for their various ice cream varieties. Oh, how disappointed I was to learn the this company that boasts premium quality products was using this potentially dangerous ingredient.

A Surprise

For the past several year Tina and Ken got us beautiful personalized Christmas ornaments for Christmas. I keep them displayed in our hutch year round. This past year my husband suggested to Ken rather than a Christmas ornament they could get us some type of farmer-themed vanity license plate for our car. When Christmas came I was expecting either an ornament or license plate from them, so imagine my surprise when I opened an ice cream maker.

Tina and Ken bought us an ice cream maker 🙂

It was several days later when I decided to try it out. I took it out of the box and found the instruction manual which also included a few recipes. After reading the recipe for chocolate ice cream I was excited that I happened to have all of the ingredients that I needed.

The Drawbacks

There are a couple of drawbacks to using this ice cream maker. The first is that you have to plan ahead. The container part of the machine that holds the ice cream has to be frozen, so it must be put in the freezer for several hours or overnight to assure that it is. Also all of the ingredients must be chilled, so for the chocolate ice cream recipe that requires the ingredients to be heated when combined that mixture had to be refrigerated overnight as well.

The second drawback is that the machine is very noisy while it is running. It needs to run for 20 – 40 minutes so the noise can be bothersome. (After tasting the results I decided I am willing to put up with the noise.)

The Advantages

It probably goes without saying that being able to control the ingredients that go into the recipe is a huge advantage. The other is that this is probably the best ice cream I have ever eaten.

The Recipe

Below is the recipe that I followed. Note the ingredients – whipping cream, milk, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla – it was thick and creamy with no need for a stabilizer! I did substitute 1 cup of half and half for 1 cup of whole milk (because that’s what I had on hand). It was scrumptious!!!

I included the Strawberry Sorbet recipe in the photo because we still have strawberries in the freezer from last spring so I plan on making the sorbet this week.

Thank You Tina and Ken for this wonderful gift! 💖

Word of the Week -Week Three

Our word of the week is:

Perseverance – it is defined by Merriam Webster as: continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition. 

It is how we learn, how we grow, how we succeed.

When I think of perseverance I am reminded of this poem.

Don’t Quit
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
                                                      Don’t give up though the pace seems slow.                                                     You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man.
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup.
He learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

                                                            Success is failure turned inside out.                                                            The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
                                                       So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit.                                                         It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

Word of the Week – Week Two

Our word of the week is Tranquility.

Tranquility – is a noun.

It is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as: a peaceful, calm state, without noise, violence, worry,  etc.

When I think of tranquility my first inclination is to close my eyes, clear my mind and block out any noise. I take a deep breath in then relax my body while exhaling slowly. I might visualize a deep blue sky with a few fluffy white clouds drifting by.

It is a place of peace, comfort and contentment, where everything seems right with the world.

At times I find it when I am enveloped in nature.

Tranquility is often fleeting – lasting only a few short moments. While it is impossible to live in a constant state of tranquility, I think that embracing those tranquil moments is perhaps the antidote to the barrage of, stress and anxiety causing, news and noise that have become so prevalent in our lives.

I pray that you find much tranquility to embrace this year.