Wednesday, November 30, 2011

W.i.P. Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I've had full days since last W.i.P. Wednesday. I'll probably be saying the same thing clear through the holidays.

Completed projects
Flannel Snow-Kissed Star - If you missed the reveal post with pics of the complete front and back, see here.

4x5 Quilt Bee blocks - Made my final two "Missing Your Kiss" blocks, so will be getting them in the mail soon. My goal was to finish them by December 1, so looks like I just made it!

Ongoing projects
Red and black table runner - Began piecing. Lots of little pieces for this one, so I'm mixing it in with my other projects to keep things interesting.

Wonderland Christmas tree skirt - No progress yet, but I'm itching to start!

Wrenly HST quilt - Totally was going to baste this one up at the same time I did Snow-Kissed star, but alas, ran out of pins. It's still in the line-up though!

Upcoming projects  
* Project for Giveaway Day NEW
* Placemats for Christmas gift - NEED to get started!
* A light box - daughter dear and I both want to make one
* Hometown "Wild Thing" - will wait till January
* Pattern for Mango - really want to do this, but . . .
* Quilts for siblings #2 and #3

Let's go see what's new at Freshly Pieced! 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday at the Table

It was great fun having out-of-town family stay at our house this weekend, and I especially enjoyed the time we spent together in the kitchen. Having my baking done, I cleared out and let my brother-in-law, niece, and her hubby take over. Niece was clearly in charge.

They were making an appetizer for our family gathering, which we concluded is loosely based on this recipe. {see here} But the friend my niece got it from had tweaked it, and niece was making it her own.

The whole time they were cooking, I was sitting just outside the kitchen at my computer, and kept popping in to ask questions, find a utensil, and take pictures. At one point, I asked if the apps were very spicy. Niece replied, "No, but they warm the lips." Ha! I laughed at that. And I got a kick out of her hubby, grating cheese with a food processor for the first time, holler, "This is insane!"

The bottom line is, these were a hit, were pretty quick to make, and as tasty as could be - a winning combination for one of those holiday parties coming up!

Southwest Won-ton Wraps
1 pkg. round won-ton wrappers
1# hot Jimmy Dean sausage, cooked and crumbled
1/2 can kernal corn, drained
1/2 can black beans, drained
1/4 red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated pepper-jack cheese
1/4 to 1/2 cup prepared Ranch dressing

Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Spray mini muffin tins with non-stick spray - enough for 48. Place a wrapper over each 'cup' and press to line the cup, using a tart tamper if you have one.
Prebake shells for just a few minutes to crisp them a bit.

Combine all filling ingredients, and fill each shell to overflowing.
Bake for 7 minutes, flip the tins, and bake for another 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Serve warm if possible, but they are equally delish at room temp.

If you have apps, beverages, or other favorite "get-together" recipes, please share over the next few weeks. There are always plenty of functions to attend in December, and it adds to the fun to try a new recipe!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas is Coming, Baby

Last December, I made my new little granddaughter a Christmas stocking for her first Christmas.
Pattern is Merry by Thimble Blossoms;
fabric is 12 Days of Christmas by Kate Spain

When I won some fat quarters of Riley Blake's Celebrate Christmas a while back, it was pretty obvious that I needed to stitch up something for baby again. I've given you a couple of progress shots of my flannel Snow-Kissed Star (here and here), but now it's bound and finished!

Just for fun, I decided to personalize the back, using the paper-pieced alphabet recently posted by Kelly of kelbysews.
I quilted it with a long serpentine stitch, and not as heavy as some of my recent quilts. It washed up soft and cuddly, which should suit little one's taste just perfectly.

Linking up with {Sew} Modern Monday and Fabric Tuesday.

Very Cool!

Very cool indeed! When I saw this in my Quilting with A Quilter's Table group on flickr last night, my mouth dropped open! I guess I was shocked at the discovery of something in my group besides my original mini 'x'! Isn't it the cutest?!
It was made by P. of The Way I Sew It, and I'm as pleased as can be that she made such a beauty using my tutorial! {see here}

And thanks, Susan, for bringing to my attention that there is a big bloggy giveaway event beginning December 12, sponsored by Sew, Mama, Sew!  There are six different categories, with both handmade items and supplies, and it sounds pretty cool. See all the details here.

Lastly, I noticed a new swap starting on flickr, if anyone is interested, swapping Japanese x and + blocks, such as this one I made:
Anyway, just fyi - the group is here

Enough coolness for one post, eh?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Basted Star and Two Winners

With Thanksgiving Thursday and out-of-town family arriving yesterday, there hasn't been much time in the sewing room. But I did manage to baste up my Snow-Kissed Star, so hope to get quilting on it in the next couple of days.

Meanwhile, it's time to choose two winners for the Tuesday at the {Thanksgiving} Table giveaway! Letting the random number generator do the work, the winners are:
The first winner is #15 - Jamie Lee of busy bee quilts, who linked up her fun zig-zag Thanksgiving table runner (complete with tutorial!).
And the second winner is #4 - Kate of Katie Mae Quilts, who linked up her Grinch quilt top along with her mom's recipe for sweet potatoes!

Congratulations to you both!! Email me your addresses, and I will get the solid fat-quarter packs in the mail to you on Monday. Your gift certificate from Pink Chalk Fabrics will come straight from shop owner, Kathy Mack. So expect to see that in your email in the next few days.

Thank you again to all of you who joined me around the table. It was great fun!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Last Call

Today is your last chance to join in the Tuesday at the {Thanksgiving} Table giveaway! The details are here, but the basics are: link up to the giveaway post {here} to enter -  about food, fabric, story, home - anything relating to the table qualifies. A perfect chance to share about your Thanksgiving meal or table. The linky will be open until midnight tonight! Two winners will be chosen tomorrow, and each will receive a solid fat-quarter pack and $20 gift certificate from Pink Chalk FabricsNote to non-bloggers - just share in the comments section and email me a picture and I'll link you up! Everyone - make sure you include an email for me to contact if you win. And if there are duplicate entries, one will be discounted.

One thing I'm really enjoying about the link-ups is it's not just recipes. Oh, I'm a foodie that looovees recipes (remember this post?), and there's several new ones here that are going on my 'to try' list! But I also like to hear stories of sharing the table together, and seeing projects made to enhance the table. Because, though the Table is not always specifically a dining room table (like here or here), often it IS. And I like to think of the actual dining room as an inviting space - you know, with a nice place setting and maybe even a centerpiece, or at least a table runner. I like cloth napkins (and I like that my hubby irons them!) and I like sturdy dishes and fun glasses. I like comfy chairs so you can sit around the table for hours if you like. (Are we the only ones that spend the whole evening there when we have friends over?)

Anyway, I hope you consider linking up, if you haven't yet. Those who have already gathered have been enjoying some good table talk, which was the point all along.

Meanwhile, just a glimpse into my dining room, where I finally followed through on a project I had in mind month's ago - hanging my fall trio all together. (Made during Lily's Quilts Dead Simple Quiltalong.) I know fall is nearly over and winter soon upon us, but now at least the rod is hung & I can switch out the quilts as my seasonal whim dictates.
Look how that creamy print makes the center & right-hand quilt 'pop', 
while the one on the left looks so dull. I think I'll be 
switching the order in which they are hung - thoughts?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

52 lists in 52 weeks//week 25 . . . and week 26: Thankful

The "52 lists" assignment for this week:

But this being Thanksgiving week and all, of course I've been thinking of all there is in my life that I am thankful for. And any time my thoughts go there, it always boils down to six people. (In all honesty, I just typed 'seven' and had to go fix it. I lost one of those precious people this year, which makes this holiday - in fact, every day - bittersweet.) Six people who are at the center of my heart. I wake up each day with thoughts of them, I pray for them throughout the day, I love being with them, I miss them when they're away, I am most proud of them. They are who make me laugh the most, who I cling to for support, and when I hug them, I don't want to let go.

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving . . . I hope you have good friends and family to share the day with, and good food to eat.

Credit for the "Thankful" printable goes to The Creative Place.
Revised post to reflect my 'Thankful' list as week 26: "What I am thankful for."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

W.i.P. Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Alot's been going on since last W.i.P. Wednesday - a couple of features, entering my Mini 'X' in a tutorial contest, joining a new Modern Blocks bee, starting a new flickr group and a giveaway! {see here to enter} Yikes! I did manage one finish, and made starts on several new projects.

Completed projects
Scrappy Autumn Lap quilt - I've posted twice since last Wednesday about my Scrappy Super Swoon, but if you missed them, see here and here. I'm really pleased with this finish!

Ongoing projects
4x5 Quilt Bee blocks - Made two more "Missing Your Kiss" blocks. {see here} Three down, two to go.

Flannel Christmas star quilt - I cut out and managed to start piecing a Snow-Kissed Star with Riley Blake's Colorful Christmas. I have the center star done. Add two borders, and I'll be done with the top. I'm mulling over a plan for a pieced back - kind of excited about trying something new.

Wonderland Christmas tree skirt NEW - This is a pattern by Empty Bobbin. You may remember that I told you a while back that when I first started quilting, I never went fabric shopping without my quilting buddy along. Over the years I got more confident about choosing fabric myself. Well this weekend, my buddy and I had the opportunity to fabric shop together, just like old times. It was great fun, and I purchased (most of) the fabric needed for a tree skirt. I admit, my palette is somewhat unusual - definitely not the traditional red and green. But red just doesn't go well in my living room, and I always struggle with that. So brace yourself!
teal, green, gray, espresso

Red and black table runner NEW - Began cutting fabric. Will be using "Hollywood Boulevard" pattern by Atkinson Designs.
Hollywood Boulevard Pattern

Wrenly HST quilt - no progress here. Maybe when I baste up the Snow-Kissed Star, I can baste this one up too. That would be good.

Upcoming projects  
* Placemats for Christmas gift NEW - My coworker wants some placemats, so I hope to make her some Color Blocks Placemats from Sew, Mama, Sew! Should be fun!
* A light box NEW - daughter dear and I both want to make one!
* Hometown "Wild Thing" - will wait till January
* Pattern for Mango
* Quilts for siblings #2 and #3

Ok, now it's time to go over and check out what's new at Freshly Pieced! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

An Added Bonus

It's a fairly notable day in my bloggy world when I host a giveaway, much less gathered around the Table. So it's an added bonus to see my Ruby X mini featured at Quilt Story this morning. {see here}
You'll find a tutorial for a Mini "X" quilt here
and a flickr group here.

Thank you, Quilt Story! Thank you again.

Fresh Poppy Design

Tuesday at the {Thanksgiving} Table and A Giveaway

If there's a food item that means Thanksgiving to me, it's definitely the pie. It's not even that I'm a pie-lover like some people are. And it's not that I don't totally enjoy the turkey and gravy, the sweet potatoes, and (hope against hope) those homemade rolls. It's that I care about the pie. As a former pastry chef, there are alot of pies in my past! I wish I could remember the numbers I used to bake. All I really know is that I was engulfed in them, pretty sure even dreaming about pumpkin, pecan, apple, and marionberry. The orders for them, arranged by date and time of pick-up, covered the entire side of the fridge in my baking station. Trays and trays of pies baked with the love that somehow the buyers couldn't or didn't have time to invest.

And so it's not surprising, is it? That it matters where our Thanksgiving pies come from. Not that the big warehouse store in our town doesn't make a mighty fine pumpkin pie, but to me, there's nothing like pouring the filling in that crust, placing pecans carefully on top one by one, and later, pulling that fresh-baked goodness out of my oven. And there's really nothing like having home-baked-with-love pies cooling on my kitchen counter.

It's been a right of passage of sorts in our home. My now grown kids have each taken their turns baking the holiday pies, the pride almost tangible. For us, it's a couple of pumpkin and a pecan. Though I hear from far-off places that son, who is providing the dessert for his Thanksgiving gathering with friends, will be trying pumpkin pecan together this year. Though a different take on the originals, I'm confident the love-part will still be a key ingredient.

Here's what I'll be baking up this year.

Pumpkin Pie   makes 2
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1# pumpkin
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1 1/2 cups half-and-half or evaporated milk
2 prepared pie shells

Mix filling ingredients in order given. Pour into prepared pie shells. Bake 15 minutes in preheated 425-degree oven. Reduce heat to 350-degrees and bake 45 minutes more until knife inserted in center comes out clean. (I usually make up the filling the night before to let the flavors meld, as they say. And then serve on Thanksgiving with whipped cream. Yum. No wonder this is a tradition. And if you're inclined to use up the extra pie dough to cut out seasonal shapes to decorate the top, well that's fun too.)

Pecan Pie   makes one
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tb. melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
1 prepared pie shell

Mix first five ingredients in order given. Pour into prepared pie shell. Arrange pecan halves on top in rings. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 50-55 minutes. It should be a tad past golden, and jiggle slightly in the center.
Of course, cool these lovelies on your kitchen counter, stand back, and admire. While they're cooling, come back and enter today's giveaway! See all the details here, but the basics are: link up to this post to enter -  about food, fabric, story, home - anything relating to the table qualifies. The linky will be open through Friday night. Two winners will be chosen on Saturday, and each will receive a solid fat-quarter pack and $20 gift certificate from Pink Chalk FabricsNote to non-bloggers - just share in the comments section and email me a picture and I'll link you up!

Monday, November 21, 2011

More on Super Scrappiness

When I first posted about my Scrappy Super Swoon {here} it was dark outside. I knew I should wait to take some outside pics, but I was impatient, and you know, the weather and all. But today we had a bit of sun, and I got to take a new shot.
 I was hoping for a little breeze to flip one of those corners up a bit, but none of that. I did get to take a pic of the back though, for you who are into such. Pretty much a KONA medium gray, with a few color blocks of my favorite solids from the front - Glacier, Yarrow, Paprika, and a tad of Brown.
I used a bit of three solids in the binding, too, though I was disappointed I used too little to be noticable.
But all in all, I am really happy with my scrappy Swoon, and it seems to be enjoying its new home on our living room couch. It's super.
Linking up with {Sew} Modern Monday and Fabric Tuesday!

Oh, and if you missed details on A Table Giveaway, see here!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Table Giveaway

If there's a holiday that revolves around the table, it's Thanksgiving.
1. <a href="">thanksgiving-table HDR</a>, 2. <a href="">Place Cards</a>, 3. <a href="">Hanging out in the Quilt Loft</a>, 4. <a href="">Quilted Thanksgiving Hot Pads </a>, 5. Not available, 6. <a href="">DSC08021.JPG</a>, 7. <a href="">Thanksgiving quilt</a>, 8. <a href="">Molly's Sketchbook:  Linen Thanksgiving Napkins!</a>, 9. <a href="">Thanksgiving Apron</a>

Celebrate the table with me this next week with a linky party and a fun giveaway. Join me at Tuesday at the Table beginning November 22. Write a post about a favorite dish you're making for Thanksgiving, your holiday table, a table runner or placemats or napkins you've made, an autumn wall quilt hanging in your dining space, a new ingredient you try, or just a story from around your table. It really can be anything that relates to the table. Then just link up! If you want to join in, but don't have a blog, just share in the comments section and email me a picture and I'll link you up!

Linking up will enter you in the giveaway. I have a Winter Solistice Solids Color Fat-Quarter Stack  for each of two winners.
Solids Color Stack October - Winter Solistice
And Kathy Mack, owner of my favorite local online quilt store, Pink Chalk fabrics, has graciously offered a $20 shop gift certificate to each of the winners as well.

I'll leave the link party open until midnight on Friday, November 25, and choose two winners on Saturday. See you at Tuesday at the Table! Let's share the thankfulness.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Handmade by Heidi

Last night was Friday Night Sew-In. I had really planned on accomplishing alot more, but in the end I only have two blocks to show, both for the 4x5 modern Quilt Bee. These are fun blocks to make, but I can't say they are quick.

I did manage to tidy up my sewing room, though, and got a Christmas tree skirt pattern in the mail that I'm thinking of making, Wonderland by Empty Bobbin. You know, since I have nothing else on my w.i.p. list. Not. Anyway, more on that later, but you can check out the link to see the pattern.

There's something else I wanted to tell you about - a Holiday Tutorial Contest. Basically you link up tutorials you've made in 2011, and there are three categories - Gifts for Friends, Gifts for Little Ones, and Deck the Halls (Holiday Decorations). I linked up in category one with my Mini 'X' Quilt Top Tutorial, thinking a Mini 'X' would be a perfect little gift for a friend. There are all sorts of fun ideas for Christmas give-giving, so check it out whether you've written a tutorial or not. {here}

Lastly, I'm thinking a give-away is in order. Check back tomorrow for the details!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Scrappy and Super

I hope you aren't getting tired of all the Swoon - I know I'm not. After doing two one-block "mini" Swoons, a Swoon block for do.Good Stitches, and a full-size Swoon quilt, there was still one more Swoon I wanted to do before I put my pattern away.

Inspired first by Erin of two more seconds

then by Adrianne of Little Bluebell

and finally by Kate of Katie Mae Quilts who is stitching up Swoon blocks in all sorts of sizes(!).
see original post here

I just had to do it. My scrappy Autumn lap quilt, otherwise known as . . .

Scrappy Super Swoon

Made double-size, one big scrappy 48" block. Quilted with organic line quilting, first inspired by Jacquie of Tallgrass Prairie Studio (who has a great tutorial here).

I promise this will be it. {maybe}

Linking up with Celebrate Color and Finish it Up Friday.
Celebrate Color

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Win, A Buy, and A Join

You know I am Swoon-crazy, and I really enjoy watching others as they are swooning. One of those has been by Heather of Crafting . . ., who used Hometown by Sweetwater for Moda. Isn't it wonderful?

Oh a whim, I had purchased a couple of charm packs of Hometown, but it was Heather's quilt that made me realize what a good decision that had been! So you'll be seeing that quilt in the future, but meanwhile, I am more than happy to enjoy this little mug rug that I won in a give-away on Heather's blog. It is impeccably made and oh, so sweet sitting on my sewing table. I am really enjoying using it as I sew. Thanks, Heather!!

Stormy though it was, I decided to stop at Joann's last night to see if any DS Daisy Mae had come in. I was pleased to discover the entire line. 
17 of the 19 prints all lined up together

There's been quite a discussion on flickr about this line (as there is for every new DS line!), but I was pleased enough to purchase some small pieces of my favorites. I really like how the DS lines are usable together, so that's the main reason I added to my stash.

Lastly, I was super pleased (downright happy in fact!) to see a new bee starting, based on the book, Modern Blocks, that I told you about here. There's a thread on flickr that posts bee openings, and invariably, when I find something that sounds interesting, it's already full! Well, lucky for me, this time I saw that the new Modern Blocks Bee was looking for 11 bee members, and only a handful had signed up! I jumped right in (and here's the especially happy part) so did several of my blog buddies. I am so excited to be in a bee (no pun intended) with these fantastic ladies and experience how this kind of bee works. My month isn't until July, but I'm sure you'll be hearing about it before then. Oh, if you don't have the book, and are interested in seeing some "real-life" blocks made from it, well check out the new 99 Modern Blocks group. Very fun!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

W.i.P. Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

 W.i.P. Wednesday is here again and it's been a really fun week of quilting!

Completed projects
Ruby 'X' -  I entered this quilt in the mini quilt challenge hosted by amy lou who sews last Friday. See my original post {here} and a tutorial for the Mini 'X' Quilt Top {here}. (Confession time: It was pretty darn exciting posting my first tutorial!)

Ongoing projects
Scrappy Autumn Lap quilt - This baby is all quilted up (some organic straight-line way too close together!) and all it needs is its binding. Loving the palette of this one.

4x5 Quilt Bee blocks - Penny from sewtakeahike created a fun block called "Missing Your Kiss", and I'm using it for my 4th quarter bee block. It's really fun to put together. One down, four to go.

Wrenly HST quilt - no progress here . . . honest, I'll (try to) quilt this up next.

Flannel Christmas star quilt - I finally found the pattern I want to use . . . Snow-Kissed Star by Konda Luckau of Moose on the Porch Quilts. I have some fun Riley Blake Christmas fat-quarters that will make a great cuddly quilt for my granddaughter.

Upcoming projects  
* Hometown "Wild Thing" 
* Pattern for Mango
* Quilts for siblings #2 and #3

Be sure and check in at Freshly Pieced!