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

Friday, December 28, 2012

Happiness Is A Warm Blanket!

After seeing the zebra blanket that I made for Miss One's birthday, the rest of the grandkids wanted new snugly blankets too, so I've been busy crocheting edgings on four fleece blankets to give to the little ones!  Not only did I get them all done in time for Christmas, but I got them done just in time for winter's arrival.  We have pretty much had a week of snow, wind and bitter cold temperatures with more to come...perfect weather for staying wrapped up in a warm blanket!

For more information on how to make fleece blankets like these click HERE.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Wishes come and wishes go every Christmas time 'tis so, none more tender, none more true, that this wish of mine to you; sent in all regard to say- joyous be your Christmas Day!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Another Ruffle Scarf

I have knit more than a few ruffle scarves over the past year, but this is the first one that I have knit using Rozetti Flora yarn.  This is by far the simplest to use ruffle yarn that I have ever worked with.  It unravels easily and there's no certain hole to knit into...just measure one and a half inches and make your stitch!  This particular color (rust) has a fine metallic thread running through it that adds a nice shimmer to the super soft fabric. It's going to make a great scarf!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Spritz Cookies

These Christmas Spritz Cookies are definitely not on my new low-fat/low-cholesterol diet, but it just wouldn't be Christmas without them!  Thankfully the grandkids will be around to eat them, so I won't be tempted to eat the whole batch myself!

Christmas Spritz Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.  Stir in the egg yolk, almond and vanilla extracts.  Gradually blend in the flour and salt.  Fill a cookie press with dough and shoot cookies about 1 1/2 inches apart onto a cookie sheet.  If you like, sprinkle with colored sugar at this time.  Bake for 6-8 minutes at 350 degrees.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

Pint Sized Pines

Aren't these knit pine trees from Simply Notable just the cutest little things?  Almost cute enough to start drinking wine just for the corks!  Maybe I'll have to see if some of my wine drinking friends will save a few corks for me, so I can make some of these trees for next Christmas!  You can find the free pattern at www.simplynotable.com.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Mini Amish Quilt

I put this mini Amish quilt together as a practice piece so a friend could teach me how to hand quilt without a hoop.  It took me twice as long as it should have to finish, because I ripped out all the quilting that I did first and started over. However, I'm much happier with what I have shown here than I was with my first attempt.  I don't know that I will ever be a hand quilter, but I do like the hoopless quilting method, especially for quilts like this that are too small for a hoop!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Saturday, December 8, 2012

And The Winner Is...

The winner of the hand-knit hedgehog with matching nap mat is...
2. Needled Mom said...
I love the sweet little hedgehog and her cozy quilt.

Thanks to everyone who visited Hanging On by a Needle and Thread and took the time to comment during the Sew, Mama, Sew! Giveaway Day.  I truly enjoyed reading each and every one of your comments!  If you didn't win and had your heart set on having a hand-knit of your very own, visit Half Pint Knits...new items are added frequently!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas Mug Rugs

I thought the little quilt that I made for Miss Holly turned out so cute that I would make a couple more to use as mug rugs.  Just 12 - 2 1/2" squares stitched together and quilted with a simple grid and I had them done with plenty of time to be able to use them this holiday season!

If you would like a chance to win a mug rug like these and a cute little hedgehog friend too leave a comment on the Sew, Mama, Sew! Giveaway Day! post below, but hurry, the giveaway closes at 8:00 pm EST tonight!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


We have had record high temperatures here in northern Pennsylvania the last couple of days making it feel much more like early fall instead of early winter!  Perfect weather for photographing this floral charity quilt outside on the lawn.  This was another group effort quilt that was pieced by one friend, quilted by another and bound by me.  It will be delivered to a local hospice very soon...just in time for the return our typical December weather!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sew, Mama, Sew! Giveaway Day!

Meet Miss Holly, an adorable little hedgehog from Half Pint Knits!  Miss Holly is a well mannered hedgehog and would never dream of poking anyone with her quills, but her eyes and nose may not be suitable for very young children.  Miss Holly loves winter, but she is easily chilled, so she is all bundled up in her favorite red wool scarf!  She also comes with a cozy quilt, which could also serve as a mug rug, but watch Miss Holly around your hot cocoa...she's been known to take more than just a sip while no one is looking!   Would you like to give Miss Holly a home?  Just leave a comment below telling me how you keep warm when the weather is cold.

The giveaway will close Friday, December 7 at 8:00 p.m. EST.  The winner will be drawn by Random Number Generator and announced on Saturday, December 8th .  The winner will be notified by email, so if you are a no-reply blogger make sure that you leave your e-mail address with your comment.

Visit Half Pint Knits Etsy Shop to find more hand-knit items for children of all ages!

Don't forget to check out all of the other fantastic giveaways this week at Sew, Mama, Sew!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

Giveaway Day Is Monday!

The bi-annual Giveaway Day at Sew, Mama, Sew! is Monday, December 3rd!  Once again, I'll be teaming up with Half Pint Knits and we have a fun holiday giveaway planned.  Be sure to stop by here on Monday to see what cute little critter will be up for adoption!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cranberry Applesauce

Even people who don't care for cranberries will love this cranberry applesauce!

Cranberry Applesauce

6-8 large apples, cored and quartered
1 bag fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar (more or less according to taste)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (more or less according to taste)

Place apples, cranberries and water in a large saucepan. Bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until fruit is soft. Pass warm mixture through a food mill.  Add 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon to warm sauce.  Refrigerate.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Two More!

Two more star blocks completed for the Scrappy Star Sew Along at Terry's Treasures!  Just four more to go and then I'll have to decide how I am going to set them!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Scarlet Ribbons

The assignment for the latest Out of Line Quilters project was to create a monochromatic quilt using a color that starts with the same letter as your first name.  I love red, so the color scarlet immediately came to mind and shortly after that I thought of the song, Scarlet Ribbons, and decided to use that as the title for my quilt.  My quilt is very simple in design and construction, but I met all the requirements and most importantly, I'm pleased with the end result!

You can see Anya's quilt from this challenge at  http://hillscreekquilter.blogspot.com/2012/11/challenge-defined.html  and Madalene's challenge quilt can be seen at  http://workingwall.blogspot.com/2012/11/a-challenging-evening.html

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

5 Years In The Making!

Last month our guild president issued a Finish 6 challenge.  We were asked to make a numbered list of six UFO's.  A number will be drawn at the guild meeting and for the next month you are to finish the project with the corresponding number.  The number drawn last month was #3 and here it is my #3 UFO ALL FINISHED!  Don't ask me why it took 5 years to complete this little crib quilt, I really don't know the answer, but you can see evidence that I have actually tried working on it over the years by clicking HERE.  I guess what I needed was for someone to hold me accountable...thanks goes to the president of the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild for that! (She didn't mention public ridicule for not finishing when she issued the challenge, but I'm not willing to take the chance!)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Zombie Knitting

I am hopelessly addicted to the AMC show, The Walking Dead.  Not sure if I like it because it's about as far from reality TV as one can get or because of Norman Reedus, but I can't get enough!  The trouble is that it's darn hard to knit and keep your place while watching zombies!  My solution?  A lifeline and a cute little zombie stitch marker!  The lifeline is the red yarn that you see running through the loops.  If I make a mistake and need to rip out any work I can rip back to the red yarn and pick up those stitches and start over.  The little zombie stitch marker is just cute, plus it marks the beginning of each row as I knit.

You can find a video explaining how to use a lifeline while knitting at www.knittinghelp.com/video/play/using-a-lifeline

Looking for a cute handcrafted and custom made stitch markers?  Check out Knit Girl in Idaho.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Low-Fat Oatmeal Cookies

No one will ever know that these cookies are low-fat!

Low-Fat Oatmeal Cookies

2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
 2 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup chocolate chips or raisins (optional)

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars.  Beat in the egg, followed by the applesauce and vanilla extract.  Stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and oats until just combined.  Add chocolate chips or raisins, if desired.  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.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Not Just A Quilter

My granddaughter showed up at the house the other day with a couple of critters in her backpack who needed a little TLC.  Poor Mr. Opossum's tail was nearly amputated, but a small stuffing transfusion along with a few stitches and he was as good as new.  Miss Monkey just need a stitch or two in her paw and she was right back in the swing of things too!  I guess maybe I can add veterinary skills to my resume'!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Snipped, Washed & Fluffed!

Here's my rag quilt, all snipped, washed and fluffed!  Everyone who has seen this quilt asks if I robbed my husband's closet to get the flannel, because some of the prints look exactly like his favorite shirts, so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when my husband claimed this quilt as his!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Grandma's Batter Bread

This homemade yeast bread takes some time to rise, but it really couldn't be any easier to make!

Grandma's Batter Bread

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups flour

Mix together melted butter, sugar, salt, yeast and 1 1/4 cups flour.  Add warm water and beat by hand until mixture is smooth and has no lumps remaining.  Mix in remaining flour (1 3/4 cups) until dough is smooth.  Cover with a clean cloth and let rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).  Stir dough down gently and pour into a lightly greased 9x5 pan (the batter will be sticky).  Cover and let rise again until the dough has doubled in size (about 30 minutes). Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Iron Tote

I'm sure most everyone has seen the casserole carrier patterns around, but if you haven't, you can find a great tutorial at Karen's Crafty World.  Anyway, when I first saw the casserole carrier pattern I thought that it would make a great iron tote/ironing pad for classes and retreats.  I used Insul-Bright for the batting, silver ironing board fabric for the lining, and a cute cotton print for the outside.  I got to try it out last Saturday and it works perfectly with my little travel iron!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Good For The Heart

Thanks to a trip to the hospital with an irregular heartbeat on Friday, my weekend didn't quite turn out the way I had expected.  I ended up being hooked up to a heart monitor all weekend, but I was still able to attend our guild's mini retreat on Saturday and complete two quilt tops for charity!  Honestly, what could be better for the heart than spending the day sewing for others with a room full of friends anyway?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Treat Bag

I made this little treat bag to put a few goodies in so I could send it to our grandson for Halloween, but I think I am the one who got the real treat...this is a fantastic pattern!  The size of this bag is perfect for small projects.  It has a flat bottom and the handles are positioned so that it sits upright without flopping over at the top.  I have a feeling that I'm going to be making a few more of these bags!

You can find the complete tutorial at Fishsticks Designs.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Houston Bound

I have four Priority: Alzheimer's Quilts headed for the International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX this year.  No, my quilts may not be hanging in the main gallery with the quilts made by the big name quilters, but I still count it as a privilege to have quilts for sale at the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative booth October 31st to November 4th.  If you visit the International Quilt Festival be sure to stop by the AAQI booth in Row S and see all 2000 quilts that are for sale and while you are there buy one or two to take home with you!  All profits fund Alzheimer's research!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Project

I have been on a mission to use up a bag of flannel that has been taking up space in my sewing room closet for I don't know how long.  Last week I started cutting 9 1/2" flannel squares and came up with enough to put together a rag quilt.  I have never made a rag quilt before and was quite surprised at how quickly the quilt went together, but I think the time consuming part is going to be snipping all the seams.  I suppose if hurricane Sandy lives up to all the hype I will have lots of time to snip by candlelight over the next day or so!

Friday, October 26, 2012

For The Guys!

I was talking with the social worker at the hospice recently and asked her if they were in need of any particular kind of quilt.  Her answer was immediate, "We always ALWAYS need quilts and blankets geared towards men!"  It hit me like a brick!  Isn't it true?  Those of us who make quilts for charity often make fun quilts for kids or quilts from our stashes (which most likely consists of flowers and "pretty" fabrics).  How often do we make quilts to donate with men in mind?  I put out a plea for help to my guild sisters and the response has been tremendous!  Last month I delivered 18 "manly" quilts to the hospice and the blocks, tops and finished quilts are still rolling in. I just finished quilting and binding the quilt in the photo and once a few more are finished up I'll have another batch of quilts to deliver for the guys in hospice care. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Adding Up!

I just finished two more star blocks for the Scrappy Star Sew Along at Terry's Treasures!  Now that the blocks for October are done, I have a total of six blocks!  They are starting to add up!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Many Hands

Have you ever heard the expression "many hands, make light work"?  This quilt is the perfect example of that old saying!  The scrappy jelly roll quilt top was made by a friend, another friend donated the fleece backing, I did the wavy quilting and another friend donated the binding and in no time we have a beautiful quilt to donate to the local hospice without any one person having to spend much money or do a lot of work!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Stitches Of Love

For the most part I like to stitch for charities within my community, but every once in awhile I end up with a finished project that cannot be used locally...such as this single preemie blanket and baby hat.  There's not a thing wrong with either project, but for one reason or another they just don't fit the requirements of any of the particular charities in my area.  Not to worry, Stitches of Love will find a great home for them!  Stitches of Love is a 501(c)(3) corporation based out of the Providence Presbyterian Church in Quakertown, Pennsylvania.  Their mission is to provide hand-made items wherever there is a need whether it be here in Pennsylvania or another state in the country or even foreign counties such as Haiti or Afghanistan.  There's no doubt in my mind that these items will end up just where they are needed most by sending them to Stitches of Love and that's so much better than leaving them in a bag in my closet!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild 2012 Exhibit

As promised, here is the slide show of all the entries in the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild's 2012 Exhibit. Many thanks to Anya (Hills Creek Quilter) for putting it together for us!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Finish 6 Challenge

This month begins a new challenge for the members of the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild...Finish 6.  Those who want to participate are asked to make a numbered list of six UFO's.  A number will be drawn at the guild meeting and for the next month you are to finish the project with the corresponding number.  It's no secret that I am not really a quilter, I am a piecer, so I knew it wouldn't be hard for me to find six quilts that needed to be finished. (Actually, I have enough quilts to do this challenge twice, but I don't want to be that challenged...I'll save those for the next guild UFO challenge!)

My Finish 6 Challenge List

1. Purple Jelly Roll Quilt
2. Tumbler Quilt
3. Thangles Quilt
4. Bonnie Hunter Quilt
5. Calico Blocks Quilt
6. Batik D9P Quilt

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thank You!

Just a quick heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped make this birthday so very special for me!  All of the comments, emails, cards, phone calls and get-togethers only helped to prove that friendship really is the best gift anyone could ever receive!

(Click over to Hills Creek Quilter to read about another special gift that I received for my birthday!) 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Happy Birthday!

I was really hoping to visit a local fall festival for my birthday, but cold, windy and rainy weather made me rethink my plans.  My husband said he would do whatever I wanted with a smile on his face the whole time (meaning if I wanted to go to the mall and shop, he wouldn't complain). Not a bad offer, but I know from experience that shopping with my husband is no fun for either of us.  I decided that a Jeep ride through the woods would still be pretty this time of year even if it was raining.  Follow that with a nice dinner out and how could I go wrong?  About half way through our adventure we passed an antique shop that was open and hubby asked if I wanted to check it out.  I couldn't pass up that deal, so around we turned and in we went!  Just inside the door I spotted a sewing machine case marked $45.  Imagine my surprise when I opened the case and found this 1912 Singer 66 with "red eye" decals inside!  There was no doubt in my mind that this machine was meant to be mine for my birthday...and so it is!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Silent Sunday

I'm trying to let this birthday go by as quietly as I can, 
but I know I can't ignore it completely...

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Beaver Valley Piecemakers 18th Annual Quilt Show

Beaver Valley Piecemakers 
18th Annual Quilt Show

Holy Family Parish
1851 3rd Avenue
New Brighton, PA 15066

Friday and Saturday
Oct 12th and Oct 13th
10 AM till 5 PM

Oct 14th 2012
11 AM to 4 PM

Admission $ 7
Children 12 & under Free


I wish that it wasn't such a long drive from here to there...it sounds like this is going to be a great show!  If you are a little closer than I am be sure to check it out and let me know how it was!  For more information visit  www.bvpiecemakers.com

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Polka Dots And Plaid For Progress

Polka Dots and Plaid for Progress was the theme for the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild's 2012 Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative Competition.  Guild members were challenged to make a Priority: Alzheimer's Art Quilt using at least one polka dot and one plaid fabric.  Fifteen entries were on display during the guild's exhibit and viewers were asked to vote for their favorite.  At the awards ceremony later this month the viewers choice winner will be awarded a prize, but the real prize will go to the AAQI when all of these quilts are donated to help raise money for Alzheimer's research!

On a side note, last week our efforts were recognized by the local newspaper, The Wellsboro Gazette!  Yes, that is me standing in front of the quilts, and those who know how much I love having my picture taken (not) know just how hard it was to get me to pose for that photo!  The only reason I allowed the photo at all was because the editor wouldn't run the article without it!  I guess I'll do just about anything to get the word out about what great work the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative is doing!

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