About Me

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

Friday, December 30, 2011

Meet Henry

Meet Henry!  I don't make a lot of stuffed animals, but when I came across this Softie Scotty Dog pattern I knew that I had to make one for my daughter-in-law.  Henry made with upcycled wool from a thrift shop skirt and hand stitched, so he's a little "ruff" around the edges, but I know he's going to be loved!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pint Size Snuggie

It seems that the lil' cowboy loves his daddy's snuggie, but he gets frustrated with all the extra fabric due to its extra large size.  I am not a tailor, but I figured that even I could make a blanket with sleeves.  A quick Google search provided several tutorials for snuggies in all different sizes, with all of them claiming that a snuggie could be made in less than an hour.  I used this pattern as a starting point. It is a great child's snuggie pattern, but I still had to scale the measurements down for it to fit a three year old. Time total to adjust the pattern, cut the fabric and sew the whole thing together?  Less than one hour!  Hopefully this little snuggie will keep the lil' cowboy warm without frustration.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

May your home be filled with peace and love on this Christmas day and the whole year through!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hand Print Snowmen

Look at these hand print snowman ornaments made by my very talented daughter-in-law and grandson!  Grandparents and a few other lucky recipients all received one of these special ornaments to hang on their tree this year.  What wonderful keepsakes they are!  The tutorial can be found at Mom's Crafty Space.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Big Reveal

I missed out on the big challenge quilt reveal for my Out-of-Line Quilter's group because I've had the dreaded "Just Before Christmas" bronchitis, but Anya was kind enough to share a photo of all the quilts with me so I could see what my quilty friends made with their challenge fabrics.  I think everyone met the challenge beautifully...these are some truly amazing quilts!  Visit our group blog, Random Acts of Stitching, if you would like to read more about these wonderful quilts.  

Friday, December 16, 2011

Knit, Knit, Knit!

I've been knitting like a maniac this week!  Maybe next year I should start my knitted Christmas gifts a little earlier.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mission Accomplished!

Remember the challenge to use these fabrics in a little art quilt that I accepted back at the end of October?  (If not, you can read about it HERE.) Even then I was questioning what kind of trouble I had gotten myself  into, but honestly I really didn't think this this little quilt would bring as much trouble as it did.  The real challenge for me wasn't the fabric selection, but it was all about the inspiration that just wouldn't come...until a skunk looking for a home for the winter found its way into our basement.  To make a long story short, for two very long weeks in November my house smelled very much of skunk and flower garden air fresheners.  Once my sense of humor returned, my quilty friend, Nancy, suggested that I commemorate the event with an art quilt.  Yes, the fabrics seemed to work with the theme, but how should I go about making a skunk
art quilt?  It was then that the old Pepe Le Pew cartoons came to mind...remember the waves of green stink that followed him everywhere he went?  That became my inspiration along with the floral scent that I used to try and cover up the skunky odor.  Now to decide on a name...  should it be, "OMG What's That Smell?" or "No Amount Of Air Freshener Is Ever Going To Cover Up This Stink!"?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Crystal Blue Persuasion

Even though I was having a hard time finding inspiration for my December Priority: Alzheimer's Quilt, I managed to come up with a little quilt of which I am quite proud.  Not only is this quilt made of fabrics that I dyed myself, but I'm pleased with the overall design and I think the addition of the glass seed beads finish this quilt off nicely.  The thing that makes me the proudest of this quilt really doesn't have anything to do with the design or workmanship, but has everything to do with the fact that it completes my New Year's Resolution for 2011!  This is the first time I've ever kept a New Year's Resolution...ever!  Over the past year I have made 12 quilts and raised $519.95 for the AAQI and it was a whole lot more fun and easier to do than losing 20 pounds or exercising every day!  I believe that I'll be making the same resolution again for 2012.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Spritz Cookies

Spritz cookies are a must at our house for Christmas...mainly because they are my favorite Christmas cookie!

Spritz Cookies

1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened (no substitutes)
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Sift together the flour and salt; set aside.  In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.  Stir in the egg yolk, almond extract and vanilla extract.  Gradually blend in the sifted ingredients.  Fill a cookie press with dough and shoot cookies about 1 1/2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  If you like, decorate with sugar or sprinkles at this time.  Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies just start to turn golden around the edges.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Totally Awesome!

The sales have all been totaled and it's official, the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative sold 1,141 Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilts during International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX, raising $62,000 for Alzheimer's research during the four and a half day quilt show.  Yes, that was one thousand one hundred forty-one little quilts that sold for a total of sixty-two THOUSAND dollars...record sales for the AAQI at the Houston show!  Those are some totally awesome totals!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Maybe the stress of a looming deadline can spark a little creativity. Once I took the plunge and made that first cut, the pieces started going together and surprisingly what I have done, so far, doesn't look too bad!  Stay tuned...if I can stay on task I should have a finished quilt (or two) to show soon! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Time And Creativity

If not for deadlines I would rarely finish anything, so I fully understand the need for time limits.  However, I do question how it is possible to be creative with time constraints.  Normally (for me) inspiration comes first and then I begin work, but what happens when there's a date circled on the calendar and inspiration doesn't come?  Panic sets in and fabric starts flying regardless of an idea or plan!  Now the question is...can art really come out of panic and lack of a plan?  

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sleeping Bag

Our youngest granddaughter is turning 3 years old this weekend. (Yes, it has really been three years!)  She has asked for an "American Girl" doll just like the ones that her older sisters have.  It will be nice for her to have her own doll so that she can play along with her sisters, but I thought it would be nice for her to have something for her doll that her sisters don't have...a sleeping bag!  I used a tutorial from Peas in a Pod along with some of my vintage sheet collection and had the whole project done in no time at all!  I love how it turned out and there's no doubt in my mind that I will end up making three more for the other dolls in the family!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes

At first my 4 year old granddaughter declared that these cupcakes were "too pretty to eat", but she quickly changed her mind after "one little taste"!

Chocolate Cupcakes

1 2/3 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon white vinegar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with 12 paper or foil liners.  In a small bowl combine flour, brown sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  Add water, oil, vinegar and vanilla; beat until smooth. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Frost with chocolate frosting when cool. 

Chocolate Frosting

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk

Cream butter, cocoa, corn syrup and vanilla in a small mixer bowl. Add confectioners' sugar and milk; beat to spreading consistency.

Monday, November 28, 2011

And The Winner Is...

And the winner of the vintage sheet fat quarter bundle is...

#8 stitchinpenny said...
I am thankful for my loving and wonderful husband, my beautiful and intelligent daughters, my considerate and kind sons-in-law and my fantastic granddaughters.


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Now it's time to shift gears into full freak out mode and get all those Christmas projects finished before December 25th!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Giveaway

Thanksgiving is by far my most favorite holiday of the year.  A day to celebrate all of the blessings that we have and the people that we love.  With a son in the military, it's a rare occasion to have the whole family together, so this year I am thankful to have all of our children and grandchildren here at home with us!
Thanksgiving is also about sharing, so in keeping with the spirit of the holiday I am giving away nine vintage sheet fat quarters similar to the prints used in the Jelly Roll Quilt that I recently completed.  Simply leave a comment below telling me what you are thankful for this Thanksgiving to enter.  The winner will be selected by Random Number Generator and announced on Monday, November 28.

Comments are now closed!
Congratulations to the winner, stitchinpenny!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Finished Quilt

It seems like forever since I have had a finished quilt to show, but this Jelly Roll Quilt was just so much fun to work on that I couldn't stop until it was all done!  Now I really need to get back to work on the stack of Christmas projects that I have waiting to be finished.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Silent Sunday

(I think my forsythia might be just a little confused about the season!)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fingerless Gloves

Don't you hate it when grocery stores keep the shopping carts outside during cold weather?  The handles are always so cold that you can hardly hold on to them with bare hands and it's nearly impossible to shop with mittens on, so what's a girl to do?  Make fingerless gloves!  I found a great free pattern at A Friend To Knit With.  They are very easy to knit and work up fast with worsted weight yarn and size 7 needles.  I may make a pair to match each of my winter coats and an extra pair just to keep in the car too!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cotton Cellar

I can't tell you how long I have been trying to convince my quilty friend, Kathy, that she needs to have a blog of her own and today I'm happy to say that she has finally given in and started blogging! Not only is Kathy an accomplished quilter, but she makes the most wonderful purses, occasional baby hats and shoes and you never know what else she may come up with!  She knits and crochets every now and then too!  Click over to Cotton Cellar to see Kathy's latest project and be sure to give her a warm welcome to blogland while you're there.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Doughnut Muffins

These muffins were so good that they honestly disappeared before I could take a photo!  I think I will double the recipe the next time I make them!

Doughnut Muffins

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup flour


1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 6 muffin cups or line cups with paper muffin liners. In a large bowl, mix 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup butter and nutmeg.  Stir in the milk, then mix in the baking powder and flour until just combined.  Fill the prepared muffin cups about half full. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. While muffins are baking, combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Remove muffins from oven and muffin pan. Immediately, dip the tops of the muffins into the melted butter, then into the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Repeat with each muffin, until all muffin tops are covered. Serve warm.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day

Heartfelt thanks to our nation’s military service members, both veterans and active duty, for their dedication, courage, accomplishments and sacrifices to protect our everyday freedoms.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Vintage Jelly Roll

I decided to make my Jelly Roll quilt a little different from the others by using 2 1/2" strips cut from my vintage sheet collection.  I love how the different floral prints blend together and give it a watercolor effect!  The pattern doesn't call for borders, but I thought that the top needed a little splash of color so I added a narrow pink border and then finished it off with a wider floral border.  Now to get it put on the frame and do a little quilting...

Monday, November 7, 2011

How Fast?

This past weekend a few of my quilty friends and I decided to find out just how fast we could piece a 48" x 64" quilt top by holding a Jelly Roll Race.  If you aren't familiar with the Jelly Roll Race Quilt Pattern visit Heirloom Creations for a full explanation, pattern and video.  In a little over an hour we all had competed quilt tops in a wide variety of colors.  If you're looking for a fast and fun quilt this is a great pattern and it's even more fun to make if you're racing against a group of your friends!    

Friday, November 4, 2011


1. To wear away along the edges; fray. 
2. To exhaust physically or emotionally.

The role of caregiver can be very rewarding, but with it comes a lot of stress and frustration that can leave one feeling quite frazzled!  In honor of National Family Caregivers Month my Priority: Alzheimer's Quilt for November is dedicated to all of the men and woman caring for a family member with Alzheimer's disease. 

For a free 12-page brochure that discusses ways to reduce the stress associated with caregiving for a person with Alzheimer's visit www.ahaf.org

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Quilts And Airplanes

One wouldn't normally think of quilts and airplanes as being paired together, but the display that I recently saw at the Glenn Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, New York was really something to behold!  The museum always has a wonderful assortment of early aircraft and a variety of local historical items on display, but combine that with dozens of beautiful quilts all made by local quilters and the museum comes to life!  The exhibit will be on display through Sunday, November 6 and it is well worth seeing if you happen to be in the area.

Friday, October 28, 2011

1,500 Quilts To Houston

1500 Priority: Alzheimer's quilts are on their way to the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas, and I'm excited to say that several of those quilts were made by me and can a couple of them can even be seen in this video! If you are going to be at the festival please stop by the Exhibit Hall (row T) and check out all of the beautiful quilts at the AAQI booth. Quilt prices range from $20 to $350, so there are quilts for every budget! If you can't make it to Houston you can purchase Priority: Alzheimer's quilts online at www.alzquilts.org. Your support is needed and appreciated. All Profits fund Alzheimer's research.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

White Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

These cookies may very well be my new all time favorite...yum!

White Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup molasses
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 package white chocolate chips

In a large bowl, mix shortening brown sugar, egg and molasses until creamy.  Stir in flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves until mixture is well blended. Stir in white chocolate chips.  Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Monday, October 24, 2011


It's funny how one thing leads to another and then all of a sudden you find yourself in the middle of something that maybe you wish you hadn't gotten into!  A few of my quilty friends and I were talking recently about stretching our quilting creativity and before any of us fully realized what we were getting ourselves into we had come up with a challenge...we would draw names out of a hat and then select a few fabrics outside of that quilters' comfort zone for them to make an art quilt with.  As you can see, the quilty friend who had my name took it easy on me, so I don't think I'll have much of a problem coming up with an art quilt using these fabrics.  Not everyone in the group was quite so lucky though!  Hop over to Hills Creek Quilter and see what my batik loving friend, Anya, has to work with!

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Bit Of Applique

I was recently asked to make a teapot block for a quilt that a friend is working on and of course I was happy to oblige!  I went in search of patterns online and found several paper pieced block patterns, but none in the required size which meant only one thing...I would have to resort to (gasp) applique!  I found Pat Sloan's Mad Hatter's Tea Party Blocks and fell in love with the whimsical (i.e. easy to stitch) design, but even those were too big, so I used those patterns as a guide to draw my own teapot pattern.  I'm quite pleased with how the block turned out (even if it is appliqued) and I think it will be a nice addition to my friend's quilt!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fade To Black

Fade To Black is my contribution to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative for the month of October.  With Alzheimer's disease vivid  memories slowly fade to black, just like the colors in this quilt.  It is my hope that the funds from the sale of this quilt, and others like it, will help find a cure so that the memories of all will remain bright and clear!

Monday, October 17, 2011

And The Winner Is...

And the winner of the book, From Incurable To Incredible, is...

I Have A Notion ~ Kelly Jackson said...

I'm sorry to say cancer runs in my family...it took my father, grandmother, grandfather, and my aunt. My sister, brother and myself have all had skin cancer removed so it is a very real concern in my family.
I'd love to read uplifting stories...and I'm sure I'd pass it along...I do that with most of my books.

Congratulations, Kelly!

Thanks to everyone who took the time to enter this giveaway!  If you didn't win, you can purchase a copy of From Incurable To Incredible at Amazon.com or Barnes&Noble.com.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

From Incurable To Incredible Giveaway

Because October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, because I just spent an amazing week with my friend and author, Tami Boehmer, and because cancer patients can never have enough hope, I am giving away a copy of Tami's book, From Incurable To Incredible.
From Incurable To Incredible is a book of cancer survivors who beat the odds. The book features 27 cancer survivors who were all given a terminal diagnosis, but shocked everyone by thriving years past their prognoses. These “miracle survivors” have different cancers and circumstances, but share two things: a poor prognosis and incredible drive to overcome it.  With stories full of inspiration and hope this book is a must read for anyone, whether they have a cancer diagnosis or not.
For a chance to win a copy of From Incurable To Incredible just leave a comment below telling me why you would like a copy of this book.  Has cancer touched your life? Do you know someone who beat the odds against a cancer diagnosis? Do you want to give this book to someone who needs a little extra hope to help fight a cancer diagnosis?  Or do you just want to read a good book with a positive message? For an extra chance to win, just blog about this giveaway and leave another comment with the link to your post! The winner will be selected by Random Number Generator and announced on Monday, October 17.

For more information about Tami Boehmer and From Incurable To Incredible visit www.tamiboehmer.com

From Incurable To Incredible is available for sale at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com 
10 percent of the proceeds from all sales of From Incurable To Incredible goes to LIVESTRONG and through the month of October, an additional 10 percent benefits the National Breast Cancer Coalition.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Woodloch Resort

As you know, I was traveling last week, so I don't have any new projects to talk about, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention the wonderful resort where I was staying.  Woodloch Resort in Hawley, Pennsylvania is an amazing all-inclusive getaway set in the middle of the Pocono Mountains on the shore of Lake Teedyuskung.  Woodloch truly has it all...you name it and they have it and if they don't have it they will do their best to get it for you!  Golf, go-carts, hiking, biking, boating, swimming, spa treatments, evening shows in the night club...the list of activities goes on and on.   If you're looking for a fabulous getaway for the whole family or just for two Woodloch is for you!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Project Linus

One of the benefits of being the Outreach Chairperson for the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild is that I get to collect all of the beautiful quilts that are donated to Project Linus by our guild members.  Before I deliver the quilts to our local Project Linus Coordinator, it's my job to check the quilts over for any stray pins or loose threads and attach a Project Linus label to each quilt.  It's one thing to make a quilt to donate, but what a pleasure it is to get a chance to look over each donated quilt and see the tender loving care that has been stitched into each one!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ready For Delivery!

The Detour Around The Yellow Brick Road quilt is finished and ready for delivery!  I'm quite excited that I get to deliver this quilt in person as I made it for a childhood friend who I haven't seen in over 15 years!  We're going to be spending a few wonderful days at a resort in the Pocono's together, just us girls, giggling and laughing the days and nights away just like we did back in the 6th grade!  It's going to be so much fun!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fleece Blanket Time

It's been awhile since I have made a fleece blanket for Project Linus, but the last few evenings have been chilly enough that I wanted a warm project to work on.  Not only does a fleece blanket keep you warm while you are working on it, but it also warms your heart once it has been passed on to a child in need.

You can find full instructions for making fleece blankets like this one at www.skipstitch.com/instructions.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

'Tis The Season

Christmas is less than three months away, so you know what that means...it's that time of year when we are all crafting furiously, but we don't dare share too much about our projects for fear of spoiling the surprise.  Showing bits and pieces of projects without explanation makes pretty uninteresting blog posts, but I'm hoping that keeping a few secrets will make the holiday a little more special for a few people on my Christmas list.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Moving Forward

I made it around the detour and I'm moving forward with the Detour Around The Yellow Brick Road quilt.  I'm pleased with the finished top, even if it isn't exactly the pattern that I started out to make.  Now to see if I can quilt it without any detours!

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