About Me

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I am a wife, mama and grandmama getting through life by hanging on to a needle and thread.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Wishing you and your loved ones peace, good health, happiness and prosperity in the coming New Year.

Whirl into Winter Quilt Blog Giveaway

I just heard about the Whirl Into Winter Quilt Blog Giveaway that begins tomorrow. There are 60+ bloggers participating in this giveaway and all of them are offering wonderful quilt related giveaways. I can't think of a better way to spend New Year's Day (other than driving to NC to snuggle with my new grandbaby, but that's out of the question for tomorrow) than checking out all of the great giveaways and finding some really cool new blogs to visit!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

He's Here!

Our little cowboy has finally arrived! He is perfect and definitely all boy weighing in at 9 pounds 5 ounces. We are very blessed! Now the really hard part starts...waiting until we can make the trip to meet our little guy in person.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Mittens...My Way

I finished my mittens, but they are not the pattern that I initially started out with. I'm not sure if there was something wrong with the pattern that I first selected or if I just don't have enough knitting knowledge to figure it out, but either way it didn't take me long to realize that it wasn't going to work for me. Instead, I found several patterns, took the easiest parts from each and put them together to make my own super simple mitten pattern. The result was a pair of warm roomy mittens that I was able to knit in just a few hours.

Mittens...My Way

Size: Adult Woman

Materials: I skein Lion Brand Jiffy yarn or approximately 115 yards of other bulky weight yarn.
Size 10 ½ US (6.5mm) Double Pointed Needles

Gauge: 4 stitches per inch

Cast on 28 stitches, join in circle and work 5 rounds of knit 1, purl 1 ribbing.

Knit each round until the piece measures 3".

Increase 2 stitches evenly spaced on next round. (30 stitches)

Knit 10 rounds.

Thumb Opening:

Knit 2, using waste yarn knit 6. Slip those 6 stitches back onto the left needle and knit around.
Continue knitting until piece measures 9" from the beginning.

Decrease for Top of Mitten:

Knit 2, knit 2 together, end with knit 2.

Knit 4 Rounds

Knit 2, knit 2 together, end with knit 3

Knit 1 round.

Knit 2 together over all stitches.

Draw thread through these remaining stitches and pull tight. Cut yarn and pull through stitches to secure.


Remove the waste yarn used to hold the thumb stitches. Place the 6 top stitch loops on one needle, and the 6 bottom stitch loops on another.

Starting with the bottom loops (nearer the ribbing), knit the stitches on the first needle. Still using that same needle, pick up 2 stitches in the “corner”. Knit the stitches on the second needle. Pick up 2 more in the opposite “corner”. (16 stitches) Rearrange the stitches so that there are 5, 5, 6 on each needle.

Knit 10 rounds.

Decrease on next round: *knit 2 together, knit 2, repeat from * across round.

Final round: *knit 2 together, repeat from * across round. Cut yarn and pull through stitches to secure.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Quilty Christmas!

There may be hope for my husband's shopping skills after all...look at the beautiful quilt kit that he picked out for me for Christmas! The quilt pattern is Yorktown Strippy Sampler and it is available free online (along with a lot of other free quilt patterns) at the Andover Fabrics website. I'm anxious to get started on this quilt, but I have a few projects that I need to finish first. Hmm...maybe wanting to start this new project will give me the extra incentive needed to finish those UFO's fast!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wishing You a Holiday Season Filled with Warmth

Wishing you and your family a Blessed Christmas. May your home be filled with warmth and love this holiday season!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Thoughts Of Warm Weather

A couple of years ago our guild held a summer day camp where I made this "Snow Sweetie" quilted wall hanging. It was a wonderful sunny hot day in August and as we were sewing we were all dreaming of snow and cold weather. Now we are having the cold and snowy weather that we were all dreaming about and all I can think about is the good old summertime! I guess we are never happy are we?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

First Day Of Winter

I am not a fan of winter, so you won't see a lot of "look at the beautiful snow" photos on my blog. What you might see is a lot of grumbling about cold and snow, but I will try hard not to complain too much over the next three months. I can't guarantee that I won't ever complain about the weather, but for today I will try to turn snowflakes into sunshine and say "Woohoo! There are 88 quilting days until Spring!"

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Two From One!

This is my family's all time favorite Christmas cookie and I like it because I can get two different cookies from one batch of dough!

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour
1 cup miniature chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream together butter and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Stir in vanilla and almond extract. Mix in the flour, and then one cup of the mini chocolate chips.
For Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies:
Shape dough into 2 x 1/2 inch logs. Place logs 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes in preheated oven, or until firm. Let cookies cool completely before removing from pan.
Melt the remaining cup of chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of shortening over a double boiler, stirring frequently until smooth. Dip one end of each cookie into the chocolate. Place onto waxed paper until set.
For Kris Kringle Cookies:
Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball. Place cookies 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake for 10 - 13 minutes in preheated oven, or until firm. Remove from cookie sheets and cool slightly. Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar and cool on wire rack.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Who Doesn't Love A Good Giveaway?

I found a great new blog the other day and it's too good not to share with everyone. A Giveaway A Day is a blog does just that...there is a new crafty giveaway each and every day! The giveaways are only for US residents, but I think everyone will enjoy seeing the different craft that is featured each day. I've added a button to my sidebar that links directly to the blog, so if you love giveaways as much as I do, be sure to visit there often!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I needed a break from baby projects, so I decided to try knitting a pair of mittens. I made a practice mitten a few weeks ago with fairly good results for a first try. This pattern is similar, only larger, so I'm hoping that they will actually turn out looking like mittens too! I found the pattern free online at woolworks.org. According to the information on the site's homepage they are in the process of shutting the site down, so if you find a free pattern that you are interested in, I strongly suggest that you print it off as soon as possible.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cowboy Car Seat Blankie

I fell in love with this Alexander Henry "Tumbleweed Tots" fabric when I saw it in my local quilt shop. I knew as soon as I saw it that the large print would be perfect for a car seat blankie. I backed it with a very soft bumpy minkee, but I'm not sure I love the bias striped binding. I think a plaid or bandanna print might have looked more "cowboyish", but maybe a candy cane stripe is better for a little cowboy who is due on Christmas anyway!

Monday, December 15, 2008

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

The tree is finally up and decorated. Between all of the cookie baking, the tree and decorations, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!

Most of my tree decorations are handmade, either by me, our children, grandchildren or talented friends. This snowman is one of my favorites...it is made from a burned out light bulb and uses a tea dyed child's sock for the hat. It's a great way to recycle light bulbs and anyone can make them!

While I'm on the subject of Christmas, I want to thank my friend, Melanie, at Jellybean Angel for this Christmas Spirit Award.
Here are the rules for the Christmas Spirit Award...

You must be a true Christmas lover to receive this award. The person to whom you give the award must also be in love with Christmas. You must link back to the person who gave you the award. You must list 5 things that you love about Christmas. If you can't limit it to 5 things, then keep going till you run out of space! Pass the award along to as many people as you like. That can be 1 or 50. It's up to you! But, you must pass it on to at least one person in order to keep the Christmas cheer going! Let your recipients know that you have tagged them by leaving them a comment.

These are five things that I love about Christmas...

1. Baking Christmas cookies (and eating them!)
2. Classic Christmas music (Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra...)
3. Working on Christmas projects next to the fire.
4. Shopping and more shopping.
5. Seeing my grandchildren so excited about the holiday.
I'm going to bend the rules a bit and rather than nominating specific blogs for this award, I would like to pass it on to all of you who love Christmas! Just leave a comment saying that you love Christmas along with a link to your blog if you choose to accept this award.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I guess I have been spending a lot more time in the sewing room than the kitchen because I'm way behind on my Christmas cookies! You can expect to see more cookie recipes over the next several days as I try to get caught up on my holiday baking.

I always use raspberry filling for these Swedish thumbprint cookies, but you can use any fruit flavor that you like.


1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 cup any flavor fruit jam

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add flour and mix well. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheets. Imprint your thumb in the center to make a 1/2 inch indentation. Fill with your favorite preserves. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown at the edges.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Taggie Blankie

Our granddaughter, Miss Three, has an addiction... to "silkies"! She loves anything satin (blanket bindings, hair ribbons, nightgowns or even a tag in the back of a shirt), so when I found this pattern for taggie blankets I knew I had to make one for her. I used flannel backed satin for the back and flannel for the front. The pattern called for 5 inch pieces of ribbon for the tags, but I thought that made the loop a little too large, so I cut mine 4 inches instead. I love the way that it turned out and I'm really excited to see Miss Three's reaction when she opens it on Christmas!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Reversible Drawstring Bags

I found this great reversible patchwork bag tutorial at Pink Penguin awhile ago. I love that the bag is totally reversible and it's so fast and easy to make! I used "cheater fabric" for mine, which made it even faster and easier to make. I think I'll be making a few more before Christmas...they will be great for those "hard to wrap" presents!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Blogging Friends Forever Award

Melanie at jellybeanangel awarded me this Blogging Friends Forever Award.

The rules are as follows:

1. 5 people are allowed to receive this award
2. 4 dedicated followers
3. 1 new follower to your blog who lives in another part of the world
4. Please link back to the person who gave you this award.

I will give this award to:

1. Julz of Julz Dezign
Julz lives in New Zealand and is a fairly new follower of my blog.

Anya is the one who talked me into the idea of starting a blog...without her, I wouldn't have a blog to follow!

3. Barb at *We* Quilt
Barb was one of the first people to comment on my blog and has been a faithful follower from the beginning.

4. Kathy at Creative Urges
Kathy is another one who found my blog early on and has also been a faithful follower.

5. Kutiekare at Quilting With Grace
"Kutiekare" has been following my blog for awhile and always has a kind word to share.

Monday, December 8, 2008

And The Stockings Were Hung

I'm a little slow posting my report for the second half of Judy's quiltathon, but the new grandbaby needed to be snuggled today and a grandmama has to have priorities.
Last year daughter-in-law #2 asked for a tree skirt and stockings for Christmas and I was more than happy to make them for her. I had fabric left over from that project, so I thought that I would make another stocking to match the others for the little cowboy who will be arriving around Christmas time. The pattern that I used is from Eleanor Burns' book Christmas at Bear Paw Ranch, but a similar smaller version is also offered for free online on the Quilt In a Day Free Pattern Page.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Quiltathon Progress Report

Judy Laquidara is hosting a quiltathon this weekend. I fully intended to spend the whole weekend sewing right along with her, but I got sidetracked yesterday by a shopping trip to the mall. I did manage to sew a few more burp cloths last night after I got home. I finished up the ones that I had started for the new grandbaby, made a couple for the holidays and even a couple for the little cowboy who will be here in just a few short weeks!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Let The Holiday Baking Begin!

It's the time of year for some serious cookie baking! It's tradition here to have an assortment of cookies for our annual Christmas eve celebration. I normally bake a batch or two each week starting right after Thanksgiving and put them in the freezer (under lock and key) until Christmas eve. I have a couple of cookie recipes that are only made at Christmas time, but most of them are my regular cookie recipes "dressed up" for the holidays. The cookies shown in the photo are my Double Chocolate Chip Cookies with the only difference being that I used 1 cup of mini chocolate chips instead of a whole package of milk chocolate chips and then as soon as they came out of the oven I pressed a junior mint into the center of the cookie. Mmmmm!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

She's Here!

We have been waiting for such a long time, but our little Miss Four was certainly worth the wait! She is absolutely perfect and instantly won the hearts of the whole family. We are truly blessed to have this little one join our family!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Kreativ Blogger Award

Much to my surprise, my blogging friend, Kathy, from Creative Urges has passed the Kreativ Blogger Award on to me! It's quite an honor...thanks Kathy!

The rules of the award are:

1. The winner may put the logo on her blog.
2. Put a link to the person you got the award from in your blog.
3. Nominate 5 blogs.
4. Put links to the blogs.
5. Leave a message for your nominees.

My five nominees are (in no particular order)...

Barb at *We* Quilt

Melanie at jellybeanangel

All of these ladies have wonderful blogs full of inspiration for quilters! Visit their blogs and I guarantee that you will be impressed with their talent.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Dear Jane, I've Missed You!

You all know that my life has been consumed with baby quilts lately and my Dear Jane project has been packed away in the back of the sewing room closet for much too long! Yesterday was the monthly meeting of our Dear Jane group, so I packed up my reproduction fabrics, sewing machine, and my cell phone (in case the stork should call) and spent the day sewing with the other Laurel Janes. It was wonderful to get out for the day with my friends and no, the stork didn't call.

The blocks that I completed yesterday (Shoe Fly, Yankee Puzzle, Log Cabin, and Churn Dash) are not in the original Dear Jane quilt, but I love the classic blocks and have decided to include some favorites in my quilt. The patterns for these blocks (and many others) are included in the Dear Jane software and can be found in the Block Library menu under "Good for Alternate Blocks".

Monday, December 1, 2008

Quick And Easy Burp Cloths

I found this tutorial for Quick and Easy Burp Cloths at Piper's Girls and thought it was a wonderful way to dress up the plain cloth diapers that we normally end up using for burp cloths. I tried the ribbon edging as shown in the tutorial, but the satin ribbon that I had was too slippery and I couldn't get it to line up straight no matter how many pins I used. Instead of ribbon, I sewed a contrasting 2" strip of fabric to each side of the main fabric, folded the edges under and top stitched it to look as if it were ribbon. Then I decided that I didn't like the surged edges of the diaper showing, so I put matching binding on each end to finish it off. I think I'll make a couple more using holiday fabrics and of course I'll have to make some for the little cowboy too!

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