About Me

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

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sign Of A Mild Winter?

We had several storms blow through our area yesterday with lots of thunder, lightning, rain, hail and wind. Storms like that are quite uncommon for our area...especially this time of year. Have you ever heard the saying "thunder in fall, no winter at all"? I can only hope that it's true!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Design Wall Monday

Nope, no design wall, no fabric, no pattern, no nothing...in fact there is hardly anything at all in my sewing room! I spent last week cleaning out, rearranging and reorganizing and I managed to empty half the room! Why? To make room for something new! Can you guess what I am going to put along that empty wall? (Read this post if you need a hint!)

Be sure to stop by Patchwork Times to see what other quilters have on their design walls this week and add your latest project to the list too!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Quilt Show Fun

Fall seems to be the time of year for quilt shows around our area! This weekend the Endless Mountains Quilt Guild started off the fun with their "Quilts and Friends - Bound Together" quilt show. There were lots of beautiful quilts on display that were made by guild members as well as several traveling exhibits including the God Bless America and the Hoffman Challenge exhibits. All of the quilts were artfully displayed, but the two paired in the photo really made me chuckle...it looked just like the cats in the quilt on the left were watching the birds in the birdbath quilt on the right!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Among The Gum Trees

Among the Gum Trees is a blog shared by a group of nine Australian designers who are offering a FREE Christmas-themed design every Monday through the months of October and November. Then beginning in January, on the 7th day of each month, there will be one free design from each designer. Not only that, but each member of Among the Gum Trees is having a giveaway to kick off the start of this great new blog. Stop by Among the Gum Trees for all the details about the giveaways and to see why this group of bloggers has the quilt world talking!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Favorites

It's official...quilting season has begun! Here in northern Pennsylvania quilting season will last for the next 9 months, which means there is a lot of time for trying new patterns and ideas! For this week's Friday Favorites, help me to plan this season's projects and post about your favorite quilt block or quilt pattern and be sure to tell why it's your favorite!

My favorite block has always been the basic nine-patch. I love it's simplicity, but I also love that it is such a versatile block and can be used in so many ways...especially when it is cut into quarters and used as a disappearing nine-patch!

Leave a comment telling me what your "Friday Favorite" is and if you want to play along on your blog, just post about this week's favorite and leave a link to your post in the comments section.

Read about other Friday Favorites at the following sites...
Prairie Moon Quilts

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I've been cleaning out my sewing room and I have found that I have lots of yarn left from past projects that is taking up quite a bit of space. I find it is much easier to use up fabric scraps than leftover bits and pieces of yarn. These are all different weights and blends, so they can't really be used together or can they? How do you use up odds-n-ends of leftover yarn?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Easy Whoopie Pies

This is a high calorie, non-diet friendly recipe and eating these whoopie pies will make your behind bigger and jeans tighter. Consider yourself warned!

Easy Whoopie Pies

1 package dark chocolate cake mix*
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Pour cake mix into a large bowl. Stir in eggs and oil until well blended.
Roll dough into balls about the size of a quarter, place on ungreased baking sheets and flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass. Bake at 350 F. degrees for 8-10 minutes. Let cookies stand on cookie sheet for 5-6 minutes before removing them to cooling rack. After cookies have cooled, put cream cheese frosting (see recipe below or use one can of pre-made frosting) between two cookies, putting bottom sides together.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Beat together butter and cream cheese at medium speed until completely smooth. Beat in vanilla. Beat in confectioners' sugar until well blended.

*Other flavors of cake mixes work as well. Spice or banana cake mixes are very good with the cream cheese frosting, but in my opinion, it's hard to beat chocolate!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

There Has To Be A Better Way!

There has to be a better way to store fabric! I keep mine in plastic totes stacked in the closet and normally that system works pretty well and the fabric stays organized, until the tote is dropped on the floor! It took me a good hour of precious stitching time to refold and organize this fabric after I dropped it on the floor yesterday. No, I didn't go to the extremes that Anya did a few weeks ago (see her post about fabric folding HERE), but my scrap box looks much better now (even better than it did before I dumped it), but there still has to be a better way to store fabric!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Design Wall Monday

Just how many projects should one quilter have going at one time??? My tumbler blocks are still on the design wall, but over the weekend I started stitching these blocks together for a disappearing nine-patch quilt. I also have the binding to do on the quilt that I quilted last week and I won't even mention my poor neglected Dear Jane project or the basket in the closet that is over flowing with UFO's! I sometimes wish that I could be more like my friends who just work on one project at a time, but for the most part I enjoy working on different projects and being able to pick and choose what I work on each day. After all, variety is the spice of life, right?

Be sure to stop by Patchwork Times to see what other quilters have on their design walls this week and add your latest project to the list too!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Free Motion Fun!

I spent yesterday afternoon at a friend's house playing with her Juki machine and Grace quilting frame. I've always said that I am a piecer and not a quilter. I'm just not crazy about the whole basting and quilting process...that was until yesterday. I love that I can put backing, batting and quilt top on the frame and not even have to think about basting, in fact, I had the whole quilt quilted in the time that it would normally take me to baste it! I just did a simple "loop the loop" design, but for the first try I think it turned out pretty darn good! Now I'm addicted...I am SO getting a quilting machine and frame!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Favorites

Autumn officially begins on Tuesday. I hate to see summer end, especially since mother nature cheated me out of so many hot sunny days over the last three months, so help me see the positive sides of Autumn's arrival! Post your favorite thing about Autumn, whether it is the bright colors of the trees, crisp cool days or your favorite apple or pumpkin recipe!

One of my favorite things about Autumn is baking! Of course, most of you already know that I love baking year round, but there's something special about fall baking and cooking. I was all set to share my apple pie recipe in this post, but that was before saw this recipe for Apple Cake in an Iron Skillet on The Pioneer Woman Cooks and decided to try it instead. It's a delicious apple upside down cake, but I have one recommendation...make sure that your skillet is at least 9" and deeper than the one I used or the topping will bubble over in the oven making your house smell more like burning Autumn leaves than apples and cinnamon. Not to mention that you will also have to spend the rest of the day with a can of Easy-Off and a Brillo pad!

Leave a comment telling me what your "Friday Favorite" is and if you want to play along on your blog, just post about this week's favorite and leave a link to your post in the comments section.

Another good thing about Autumn is that is the beginning of what I like to call "quilting season", so it's time to start planning this season's quilt projects! For next week's Friday Favorites, post about your favorite quilt block or pattern and be sure to tell why it's your favorite!

Read about other Autumn Friday Favorites at the following sites...
Prairie Moon Quilts
Krista's Krafting

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Squishy Envelopes Are The Best!

I just love finding squishy envelopes in my mailbox! You just know that a squishy envelope is almost always going to have something wonderful inside and this envelope from Corrie and Des at Quilt Taffy was no exception! Last week Quilt Taffy featured Anya's Selvage Post Card Tutorial and along with that post they held a special selvage giveaway. Guess who one of the lucky winners was?! These 5" selvage pieces would be perfect for postcards, but if I stitched a few together, they would be the same size as charm squares or I could add them to my selvage stash to use in my selvage quilt. Decisions, decisions!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Random Acts Of Stitching

There is a new blog on the block! Random Acts of Stitching has been created so that the members of the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild can share share guild news, project photos, quilting tips and other stitching related topics all in one central location. Everyone is invited to visit the blog to see what the members of the group have been stitching!

If you are a member of the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild and would like to join Random Acts of Stitching, just contact me or Anya. We will be happy to help you get started blogging with us!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Design Wall Monday...A Day Late

Yes, I know I'm late for Design Wall Monday. I'm blaming my tardiness on a NyQuil induced coma brought on by a horrible head cold. Last week Moda Bake Shop featured A Sweet Baby Quilt tumbler pattern that begins with charm squares. It was just the push I needed to try a tumbler quilt! I didn't have any charm packs on hand, but I did have a bunch of 5" scrappy squares which produced a lovely stack of various pink, blue and purple tumbler blocks. Once my head clears I will work at stitching them together instead of just playing with them on my design wall!

Be sure to stop by Patchwork Times to see what other quilters have on their design walls this week and add your latest project to the list too!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

It's A Start!

The free motion stitch of the day on 365 Days of Free Motion Quilting yesterday was "Cat Hairball" and after I read Leah's post I convinced myself that even I would be able to do that one! I layered a few scraps with some batting and sat down at the machine. After just a couple of minutes I was quilting right along with no trouble at all! If you notice in Leah's post, she implies that even a 2 year-old can free motion quilt this pattern, so I'm not claiming to have acomplished much, but at least it's a start!

Friday, September 11, 2009

We Must Never Forget

When I began Friday Favorites last week I didn't think ahead to what holidays would be falling on Fridays. I feel that 9-11 is too important to ignore just for a "fluffy" post. We must never forget what happened on this day 8 short years ago, so today instead of Friday Favorites I ask that you join me in remembering the men and women who died in the attacks of 9-11 and pray for the families who are missing them. I also ask that you say a prayer for the members of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coastguard (Active Duty, Reserves and National Guard alike) who serve to protect our nation against further terrorist attacks. May God bless America and all of our military.

It's been suggested that I post the Friday Favorites questions in advance so that the bloggers who want to play along can have time to prepare their post, so the Friday Favorites question for September 18th will be...

Autumn officially begins on Tuesday. I hate to see summer end, especially since mother nature cheated me out of so many hot sunny days over the last three months, so help me see the positive sides about Autumn's arrival! Post your favorite thing about Autumn, whether it is the bright colors of the trees, crisp cool days or your favorite apple or pumpkin recipe!

If you want to play along, come back next Friday and leave a link to your Friday Favorites blog post in the comments section.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

365 Days Of Free Motion Quilting!

Have you heard about Leah Day's new blog 365 Days of Free Motion Quilting? If you haven't seen this wonderful blog then you need to stop what you are doing right now finish reading this post and then go and see what Leah is doing for the quilting world! She's on a journey to post 365 different free motion quilt designs each day for the next year. Not only is she showing a different design every day, but she is also sharing instructions along with a video for each design! I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was to find Leah's blog. I have played with free motion quilting a little bit, but I am certainly not confident enough with free motion to actually use it on a quilt. Thanks to Leah's willingness to share her quilting knowledge and instructions, I may actually give free motion quilting a try!
Leah is not only the author of 365 Days Of Free Motion Quilting, but she is also the owner of Day Style Designs Online, so be sure to stop by both sites and see all that this talented young quilter has to offer!

(Images are property of Leah Day and are used with permission.)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Quilting & Binding

Here's a final look at the quilt that I have been helping a friend make for her daughter-in-law. (See the previous posts about this quilt HERE and HERE.) My friend chose to "quilt by check" and let Anya do the actual quilting on this quilt. The quilting doesn't show up that well in the photo, but it's a lovely meander that allows the design of the quilt to shine through. Yesterday we had a quick lesson in binding and once the handwork is done, the quilt will be finished and there will officially be a new quilter among our ranks!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Appalachian Quilt Trail

I don't think it's any secret that I love all things quilt related and I especially love to see quilt blocks on barns! A friend of mine who has a farm near Knoxville, Tennessee recently became a part of the Appalachian Quilt Trail and she sent me this photo of their newly decorated barn. The block pattern is called "Mountain Variations" and is 8' wide by 8' high! It's a beautiful addition to the barn, isn't it?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Snickerdoodle Blondies

The girls had these for the first time after school the other day and Miss One declared that they taste "just like Auntie Anne's cinnamon sugar pretzels". I'm not so sure that they taste like pretzels, but they are really good!

Snickerdoodle Blondies

1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, very soft
1 egg
1/2 tablespoon vanilla

1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease or line a 9x9 inch pan. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and set aside. In a large bowl, beat together butter and brown sugar. Add in the egg and vanilla; beat until smooth. Stir in the four mixture until well blended. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Combine the granulated sugar, cinnamon in a small bowl. Evenly sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the batter. Bake 25-30 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the surface springs back when gently pressed. Cool before cutting.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

"New" Scrap Basket!

Yesterday Anya and I made a trip to Coudersport for their community yard sale day with the hopes of finding a $5.00 Featherweight just like a friend of ours did several years back. Our luck wasn't quite that good, but I did find this wire egg basket that is going to make a fantastic scrap basket! It's huge and holds all my scraps with room to spare. The best part about it is that I can see what is on the bottom and even pull scraps through the sides, so maybe I won't have to dump it out the next time I'm looking for a certain color.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Bed Sheets Or Quilt Fabric?

Have you seen all of the vintage sheet quilts that have been springing up across the quilting blogs lately? If not, then have a look at the ones at Pins & Thimbles, Cluck Cluck Sew and Crazy Mom Quilts. I'm sure that making quilts from old sheets goes against the grain of a lot of quilters, but I am intrigued by the idea. I like the whole reclaim, reuse and repurpose concept and plus, some of these old sheets are just plain pretty! Yesterday I was dropping a few things off at the local thrift shop and while I was there I noticed a display of sheets, so I thought I would have a look. What was I thinking? I walked out of the store with a bag full of sheets. It's not like I needed the fabric or another project, but I guess this means that I'm going to have to make a vintage sheet quilt at some point. Do you think I should put them in with my fabric stash or should I hide them in the linen closet?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Good Search For AAQI

I just received the following email from Ami Simms. I guess I'll be spending the rest of the evening searching for information about tree sloths! Do you have a few minutes to do a search for a good cause as well?

Out of the 42,000 charities listed on GoodSearch.com the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative was selected to be the Charity of the Day today, September 4th.

Please go to www.GoodSearch.com and select Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative as the charity you wish to support. Click "verify" and then search for something! Anything! Type in the name of your favorite quilt block, find a recipe to make something for dinner tonight, or find out how many toes a tree sloth has. Just search for something. For every search you make, AAQI gets a donation.

Keep us selected and every future search earns us a dontaion! This could be HUGE.

Please pass this on to anyone you can think of who wouldn't mind a quick search to help out.

Thank you!
Ami Simms

(No, this is not a picture of a sloth in my backyard. The photo was located on Wikipedia via GoodSearch.com and is used with permission.)

Friday Favorites

This has absolutely nothing to do with stitching, cooking or anything else related to this blog, but I thought it would be something fun to try. (To be honest, I haven't spent any time at all in the sewing room since I got home from vacation and I'm struggling for a post idea!) For the next few Friday's I'm going to post about one of my favorite things (maybe quilt related, maybe not). Leave a comment telling me what your "Friday Favorite" is and if you want to play along on your blog, just post about this week's favorite and leave a link to your post in the comments section.

This week's Friday Favorite...

What is your all time favorite movie? You know, it's the one that you can recite every line word for word and watch over and over AND over!

I have several and can narrow the my list down to a few...Gone With the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird, Rio Bravo, but #1 always goes to The Wizard of Oz. I have such fond memories of watching that movie as a kid. I think because it was always such a big event at our house. My mom would mark the TV guide and we would look forward to seeing it all week long. It meant that we got to stay up late camped out in front of the TV with a bowl of jiffy pop popcorn (remember that?) and hiding under the blankets from the wicked witch and her evil flying monkeys. Those were the days!

Read about other bloggers favorite movies at the following sites...

Krista's Krafting
Prairie Moon Quilts
The Sewing Granny

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Redwork Embroidery

Quite a while ago Deb from The Angel and the Pukeko sent me this redwork kit. I had told her how I admired her stitcheries and I think she was hoping to get me hooked on embroidery. The other day, after waiting quite a few boring minutes in the parking lot for the girls to get out of school, I remembered Deb saying that these small redwork projects are perfect take along projects. Ah ha! I came home and put this kit in the car, so I can work on it the next time I find myself waiting in the car. Stitching is a whole lot better than sitting in the car and doing nothing!

Blog Archive