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

Monday, April 29, 2013

May 1st Is WHEN?

Ah...procrastination at its best!  I've known this project for my art quilt group was coming due for months, but after I settled on an idea for the quilt and pulled the fabrics I promptly put it aside "for another day".  Friday evening I looked at the calendar and did a double take.  I thought I had another week left in April, but in all reality April is over and my art quilt group meets this Wednesday for the big reveal of our latest challenge quilt.  I've often thought that I do some of my best work under pressure, but this might be cutting it just a little too close...even for me!

Friday, April 26, 2013


Wednesday our guild's charity quilting group spent the day putting together a quilt top.  I volunteered to piece the backing at home, but rather than unpack my Janome, I plugged in my "new" Singer 301.  I do believe that I am in L-O-V-E with this machine!  It has a beautiful straight stitch and hums right along as if it was new...the only thing it lacks is a needle up button!

To see the quilt top that we put together on Wednesday click over to Hills Creek Quilter and read Anya's Many Hands Make Light Work post.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

On The Needles

Even though I seem to be having trouble finding time to quilt, it seems like I can always find a few minutes here and there to knit.  I think it helps that knitting is so portable and I can just pick it up whenever I sit down.  A simple pattern, like this baby hat, also makes it easy to knit a few rows without too much thought.  Eventually I will have another hat finished to donate to the NICU without much effort at all.

Monday, April 22, 2013

No Time To Quilt

The sun is shining, birds are singing, and the days are getting warmer.  Spring is here!  You know what that means though...there isn't nearly as much time to quilt because of all the spring chores that need to be done.  I do have projects for several different quilt groups that I belong to due by the first week of May, so hopefully I can figure out a way to balance spring cleaning, yard work and quilting soon!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Thanks To The Unseasonable Heat

Last week I spent a few days in Philadelphia with my son, daughter-in-law and grandson.  I went prepared for spring weather, but I wasn't at all prepared for temperatures in the upper 80's!  The jeans and long sleeve t-shirts that I had packed weren't going to be comfortable, so I suggested we make a quick trip to the Goodwill store down the street to find some summer clothes that I could make do with until I returned home.  While wandering through the store, I spotted a sewing machine case sitting on a shelf.  Imagine my surprise when I opened the lid to find this absolutely beautiful Singer 301 with all the attachments and even the original owners manual!  The price?  $5.00!  I went straight to the checkout and forgot all about looking for capris and t-shirts or how hot it was outside! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Maple Walnut Bars

I made these for a gathering a couple of weeks ago and everyone asked how come I had never shared them with everyone before.  I guess I tend to overlook my bar recipes in favor of cookies.  Time for a change!

Maple Walnut Bars

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup real maple syrup
1 egg
2/3 cup flour
1/2 reaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup quick oats
1 cup chopped walnuts

In a mixing bowl, cream sugar and shortening. Add maple syrup, vanilla and egg; mix well.  Combine flour and baking powder; add to creamed mixture.  Stir in oats and walnuts.  Pour into a greased 9" square baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Cool.  Cut into squares and drizzle with Maple Glaze.

Maple Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons real maple syrup
1 Tablespoon milk

Combine powdered sugar, syrup, and milk in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until smooth. Drizzle glaze over cut bars.

Monday, April 15, 2013

More HST Fun

I had so much fun playing with the layouts for my last half square triangle quilt that I had to make another!  I used 5" squares cut from novelty scraps and paired them with white for this quilt.  I love the brights and white with this layout!  It will make a great quilt to donate to our local foster care program.

Friday, April 12, 2013

I Love A Good Deal!

Sew Green is fast becoming one of my favorite craft stores!  This wonderful little store in Ithaca, NY is a thrift shop paradise for all crafters!  Fabric galore, notions, yarn, knitting needles, crochet hooks, trims, buttons, patterns and books.  If it's craft related, you're likely to find it at Sew Green for a great low price!  I recently found some wonderful wooden knitting needles and beautiful baby cotton yarn and I brought it all home for under $15.00!  I love a good deal!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Starry Night!

It's hard to believe that you could cut up a poster into squares, ask 24 very different quilters to replicate each piece in fabric and get something in return that looks even remotely like the original, but look at how well our pieces look together!  It really does look like van Gogh's Starry Night! There is still one block to be finished and then the piece will be sewn together and quilted.  I can't wait to see it once it's finished!

Monday, April 8, 2013


Here is my Finish 6 Challenge quilt for April...all finished!  I started this quilt a little over a year ago, so it isn't quite as old as some of my other UFO's, but it still qualified as a UFO in my book.  Now that is is quilted and bound I can move it over to the finished pile, which (I am proud to say) is now bigger than the UFO pile!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut cream pie is my all time most favorite dessert EVER!  Unfortunately there aren't many in my family who appreciate coconut the way I do, so I don't get to eat it very often (unless I'm willing to eat the whole pie myself, which I usually am, but a whole coconut cream pie goes to the hips in a huge way).  Anyway, there were a few other coconut connoisseurs coming to Easter dinner this year, so I jumped at the chance to make a pie that I wouldn't have to eat all by myself!

Coconut Cream Pie

1 (9-inch) pie shell, baked

Coconut Cream Filling:
2 2/3 cups milk
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cups coconut sweetened, flake coconut, toasted*

In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk and egg well. Add the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Stir in coconut. Pour into prepared pie crust. Refrigerate.

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 T. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup coconut sweetened, flake coconut, toasted*

Beat heavy cream with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add sugar and vanilla, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form.  Do not over-beat. Spread on chilled pie and sprinkle with toasted coconut.

*Spread coconut evenly on a baking sheet. In a 350 degree oven, toast for about 2-4 minutes, until lightly golden brown.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Why Are We So Hard On Ourselves?

Ok, maybe I was being too hard on myself in regards to the quilting on this quilt.  Now that it is off the frame, trimmed, and bound it really isn't that bad (especially if you stand back a few feet and squint)!  Seriously though, after I showed it to a few quilty friends (who will be brutally honest when need be) everyone agreed that the imperfections weren't bad enough to scrap the whole quilt and a couple non-quilty friends couldn't even spot anything wrong!  Why are we so hard on ourselves???

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Charming Fix

With all the quilting I have been doing lately my "to quilt" pile is really starting to dwindle.  Not that I am in danger of running out of tops that need quilting, but I have been in some serious piecing withdrawal!  A pack of colorful charm squares, some white fabric, and the free Charm Squares Baby Quilt Pattern from Oh, Fransson was just the fix I needed! 

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