About Me

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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Quilting Season

This is the view outside my window this morning and from the looks of our weather forecast, the flakes will be falling for the next week at least. Yes, quilting season is in full swing here in Northern Pennsylvania!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fabric And A Promise

A couple of months ago my daughter-in-law mentioned that she was redecorating and asked me to make a runner for the foot of the bed. I had planned to surprise her with it at Christmas, but as you can see, she only got the fabric and a promise that I would make it for her. I guess Christmas really won't be over here until I get this last project done!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Back To Normal

The presents have been put away, the tree has been taken down and the decorations have been tucked safely back into the attic until next Christmas. I am happy to say that aside from the stray pine needle that keeps appearing here and there, everything is back to normal. Today I am spending the day preparing some new projects...you might say that I'm moving from pine needles back to quilting needles and knitting needles!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

O Holy Night

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

Monday, December 21, 2009

Just Call Me Scrooge!

At the risk of sounding like Scrooge, I'm going to say that I'll be glad when Christmas is over and I can get back to my regular quilting and crafting schedule! There just isn't enough time around the holidays to do all the things that I need to do and sewing and quilting is usually what gets put on the back burner when I'm short on time. You can bet that on December 26th the tree will come down and the decorations will be put away and then after that you will find me in my sewing room!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Small Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies

You have probably noticed that most of my cookie recipes make small batches of cookies. There was a time when I had two growing boys in the house and I couldn't keep the cookie jar full, but now that it's just the two of us again those "big batch" recipes aren't very practical. I've slowly been reworking my recipes to better suit a smaller family, but I have always been afraid to tamper with my chocolate chip cookie recipe...until now. I really wanted to make chocolate chip cookies for my Christmas cookie platter, but I didn't want to make 6+ dozen chocolate chip cookies, so out of necessity I came up with the following recipe. I believe it's a keeper!

Small Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Combine first five ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. Add flour, baking soda and salt gradually, mixing well after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes or until light brown. Cool on cookie sheet for two minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 2 dozen

(To jazz up your plain chocolate chip cookies for the holiday just press a few red and green M&M's into the top of each unbaked cookie!)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

All "Fleece" Is Not Created Equal

I don't know what the proper name for this fabric is, but it is super soft and it is often found on the same shelf as the fleece, only it does not preform the same as fleece! As tempting as it is to buy this fabric to use for the fleece blankies with the crocheted edges, don't do it! The skip stitch blade will not work with this kind of fabric and before you even start perforating the edges you will end up looking like it snowed all over your pretty black Christmas sweater! The best way to know if you are buying fleece is to check the cut edge...fleece will not fray or ravel.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Quilted Christmas Ornament

Even though I have a million and one things to do before the 25th, I just had to give the quilted Christmas ornament video tutorial that I posted last week a try. It went together quickly once I got the hang of the folding and pinning. Do wear a thimble to help push the straight pins through the fabric into the styrofoam though or you will have some sore fingers when you are done!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

The Christmas cookie baking has begun! These are a new addition to the cookie plate this year, but I'm sure they will be a standard from now on!

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
miniature peanut butter cups, unwrapped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda; set aside. Cream together the butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix well. Shape into 40 balls and place each into and ungreased mini muffin pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a mini peanut butter cup into the center of each ball. Cool and carefully remove from pan.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Almost Finished!

This is the project that has been keeping me busy for the past couple of weeks, a Christmas gift that I was asked to make. (Note to self...say no to Christmas quilt requests that come after October 1st no matter who asks!). You can see that I just have the handwork left to do, so this afternoon I'll sit by the fire, put in my "It's a Wonderful Life" DVD and do some stitching with Jimmy Stewart! Hopefully I can get it all done today and deliver it tomorrow!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Christmas Crunch!

Oh my goodness, it's less than two weeks until Christmas and I still have projects to finish, cards to write, cookies to bake, decorating to do, gifts to buy, wrap and mail. I'm starting to think that I may have to give up sleeping just so I can get it all done! Is anyone else feeling the Christmas crunch?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

We woke up to about 6 inches of snow this morning. Schools and a lot of businesses are closed and my plans of spending the day sewing with friends have been canceled as well. I will admit that it is pretty and does give a festive look to my neighborhood even if it did ruin my plans for the day. I guess it will be a good day to play some Christmas music and work on finishing a few projects that need to be done before the holiday!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Snow Sweetie

A couple of years ago our guild held a quilter's summer day camp that was put on by Susan Paul of LVTOSEW. The theme for the day was "winter", which was perfect considering how hot it was that summer! We made this snowlady wall hanging, ate lots of great food, played games and had lots of fun! It was a great way to spend a hot August day and it always warms me up a bit every winter when I put this wall hanging up!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Prize Package!

Look at the lovely fabrics, charm pack and note cards that I just received from Rene' of Rene' Creates! Rene' is fairly new to the blog world and just celebrated her 50th post with a secret giveaway. She sent a prize package to everyone who commented on her 50th post and I happened to be one of the lucky few! Thanks again Rene'...I'm looking forward to your next 50 posts!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Virtual Christmas Quilt Show

Did you know that SewCalGal is hosting a Virtual Christmas Quilt Show? I didn't either until she invited me to enter my upholstery sample Christmas tree skirt yesterday! Now, don't think that I'm special, because she just happened to see my post and mentioned that I should enter...any quilter with a blog or Flickr account is eligible. Just post about your favorite Christmas quilt project and then add your link at SewCalGal's Virtual Christmas Quilt Show. While you're there, be sure to have a look at all of the beautiful Christmas themed entries!

The tree skirt in this photo was also made of upholstery samples. The blocks were strip pieced on a foundation and assembled the same way as the tree skirt that I have entered in the Virtual Christmas Quilt Show.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Tree Skirt

My daughter-in-law once worked at a furniture store and part of her job was sorting out the discontinued upholstery fabric samples and disposing of them. You guessed it, she disposed of them by bringing them to me! Over the years I have used them for a wide variety of projects, but one of my favorites is this Christmas tree skirt that I made a couple of years ago. The construction was simple. I used 9 1/2" squares and triangles, left an opening at the back and cut a circle in the center. Then I added batting, batting and bias binding. It was much too heavy to quilt, so I tied it at the corner of each block with the knots to the back. It was fast and easy to make and the variety of textures, colors and patterns of the upholstery fabrics made the perfect Christmas tree skirt!

Visit SewCalGal's Virtual Christmas Quilt Show to see more Christmas quilt projects!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Giveaway Day!

Grab a cup of coffee and head straight over to Sew. Mama, Sew! for their big Giveaway Day! There are hundreds of blogs and online shops participating in this giveaway, so there are lots of chances to win and you will also find some really great "new to you" blogs as well!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bread Machine Rolls

I made these rolls for the first time the other night and I'm not ashamed to say that they were delicious!

Bread Machine Rolls

3/4 cup milk, warmed to room temperature
6 Tablespoons butter, softened and cut into pieces
1 egg, beaten
3 cups bread flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Place ingredients into bread machine in order instructed by the manufacturer. Set machine to dough cycle. When dough cycle is complete, remove dough (dough will be sticky) onto floured board. Cut dough in equal sized pieces and shape into balls with floured hands. Place rolls into greased pan or muffin tins. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in sized. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.

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