Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oh Christmas tree skirt...

I finished my Christmas tree skirt last night. I pieced it and quilted it this past weekend. It actually went together pretty quickly. I was inspired and loosely used the tutorial over at crazymomquilts. There were a couple changes due to the fact I needed a little tree skirt not for a big tree.

We have a table top tree at my house. This is the first year we have actually had enough ornaments to completely cover it! I collect an ornament from every place we visit so it is full of places we have gone. I like that aspect. It also has many snoopy ornaments from my husband's childhood, too.

I am proud of the fact that I did not have to purchase a single thing to make this skirt. It all came from my stash! I had leftover Christmas fabric from last year, leftover batting cut away from previous quilts, and scraps of red and green fabric.

I also have enough scraps leftover that I am going to make a table runner based off the same design with bigger log cabins.

Monday, November 24, 2008

New fabric and no more stains!

Look at all these pretty things! I broke down and bought a new iron yesterday and a new ironing board cover. My old cover was very stained. It seems that my old iron had rust inside which would leak out occassionally and make spots like these.

Those lovely stains came from my iron! If the cloth was wet, this is what would happen. Yesterday I was working on a tree skirt for our little Christmas tree and it sputtered out a couple little brown spots on the white portion. Yuck! They came out, thank goodness, but I was done with the old iron.

Just to make sure I didn't get any more spots, I purchased a new ironing board cover, too! It is cute with the little brown irons all over it. It is from K-mart. I had no idea that you could buy a ironing board cover based on how often you ironed; they had daily, weekly, and monthly. The more use it would get, the more expensive it was. I went for the weekly but I do iron almost daily; Really, could there be much difference?

A local quilt shop was having a 20% off everything in the store sale, so I picked up some more pinks for my pink star quilt a long. I am going to create borders around each block in one of these fun Amy Butler patterns. I love these fabrics! So pretty!

Edited: The ironing board cover I picked out was $9.99-the daily cover was almost $15! Brand new iron-only 19.99. (Good deal for the relief and prettiness it brought me!)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Art on Youtube

Saw this at Mayfly

This is awesome. I love everything about it.

Pink Star Quilt A Long

I finished some star blocks this week using crazymomquilts tutorials. This will be the second quilt I have made using some of these star blocks. Here is the first It is amazing how much quicker they go together the second time!

I suppose I should start quilting some of these tops before I keep making new ones, right? That will be my New Year's Goal for 2009-finish all of my tops! Later this week I will make a to do list. I don't want to think about how many half finished projects I currently have right now...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Friendship Star Swap

These stars will be going out in the mail today for a swap that sewmanyquilts is sponsoring. I have two more that are almost pieced together. I will get an equal amount of stars back in the end! I love the Alexander Henry fabric I used on the bottom three.

See there has been sewing going along with all the cooking lately. I hope everyone is having a great day!

P.S.-I just found another blog that has a couple of recipes that can be made ahead of time for Thanksgiving-Sweet Potatoe Casserole and Sweet Potatoe Cheescake!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sausage Pinwheels

Here is another easy recipe for making the holidays a little easier. Plus, they are really tasty! We always had these Christmas morning when I was growing up. They are also really good as an appetizer for parties.

All you need is a roll of ground sausage and a can of crescent rolls.

Lay out your crescent rolls.

Smush those seams together. (Yes, I just made up a word!)

Spread your sausage out on the crescent roll.

Roll up the crescent roll long end to long end. Be careful that you don't let this happen!

You then have a log like this! I keep rolling it out so it is longer and thinner than it is when you first rolled it up.

I then roll it up in freezer paper and freeze overnight. It will make it easier to slice into pieces when it is frozen. When it is fresh, it is easy to smush but you can go ahead and slice it up.

Slice into pieces. Then bake at 350 degrees for approximately 15 minutes or until the sausage is brown and the crescent rolls are a golden brown.

I go ahead and make the roll and then slice it into pieces and freeze all the pieces in a gallon sized freezer bag separated by freezer paper. You can then cook all of the pieces at the same time or you can pull out only what you want to cook that morning. This way you can cook an individual meal or for mulitiple people.

We, as a family of four, would generally be able to eat the entire roll in the morning but this is snacking on these throughout the morning. One roll could easily feed 4-6 people without any sides or more if it is a side dish. They are really good.

On another note, a friend of my family just started a blog bearbearcreates. Her husband has been friends with my father since they were in high school. I am sure that they have very funny stories of my dad that I will not hear because they were quite the rascals when they were young. (I know that much!)

She is new to the blogging community so go on over and say hello. I know that she will appreciate it! She is making the cutest dresses for her granddaughter and some lovely paintings.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Scones are so good!

This past weekend I starting cooking some breakfast items for Thanksgiving. I did the same thing last year when my family came to visit and they turned out great. It makes it easy to be able to pull out breakfast from the freezer and heat it up instead of spending a lot of time cooking in the morning. Plus, if we want to cook, we can always add bacon and eggs! I made sausage and cheese scones and pumpkin scones. They are both so good!

Sausage and Cheese Scones
Makes 2 loaves

4 c. all purpose flour
2 tbsp. baking powder
4 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
6 tbsp. chilled butter cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I use sharp.)
1 roll ground sausage-cooked
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
4 large egg whites

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  1. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Cut butter into the bowl, mixing it up until it looks crumbly like meal.
  3. Stir in the cheese and cooked sausage.
  4. Whisk buttermilk and egg white together and then add to the dry ingredients until just moist. I do this in my kitchenaid with a dough hook and then skip kneading. If you are doing this by hand, then turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly 4-5 times. Make sure you flour your hands because the dough is very sticky!
  5. Pat dough into two 8" circles on prepared baking sheet. I spray it down with cooking spray.
  6. Use your pizza cutter and cut into 8 wedges. Cut into but not all the way through. I generally stop about a 1/4 of an inch from the bottom.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees Farhenheit for about twenty minutes. It took more like 25 minutes this time until lightly browned.
  8. Cool.
  9. Cut wedges all the way through and wrap individually with saran wrap. I skipped the plastic wrap step this time since we will be eating them next week!
  10. Put in a ziplock bag and freeze.
  11. You can reheat these in a microwave for about 30-50 seconds until warm or pop them into the toaster oven for about 5 minutes at 350 degrees. (Keep an eye on them!)

Pumpkin Scones

4 3/4 oz. canned pumpkin
3 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. white sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves (I left this out because we didn't have any.)
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tbsp. baking powder
8 oz. unsalted butter-chilled and cut into chunks
3/4 c.-1 c. buttermilk
egg wash-optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

  1. Combine dry ingredients: flour sugar, spices, salt, and baking powder.
  2. Add butter and mix until it is mealy. The pieces will be about the size of green peas-a little smaller.
  3. Add pumpkin and mix.
  4. Slowly add buttermilk while you are mixing. How much buttermilk you add is determined by the moisture content of the pumpkin puree. Stop pouring when the dough begins to stick together. It should be crumbly, but not dry. When you feel it, it shouldn't be slick or wet.
  5. Form a ball of the dough and pat it out onto your cooking surface. It will be about nine inches in diameter and 1 1/2 inches thick. I used a baking stone dusted with flour, but it will probably work well on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
  6. Use your pizza cutter and cut into 8 wedges. Cut into but not all the way through. I generally stop about a 1/4 of an inch from the bottom.
  7. Bake until golden brown. It took mine almost half an hour. I kept having to put it back into the oven to cook some more. I started checking at twenty minutes.
  8. Cool completely. Cut wedges all the way through and wrap individually with saran wrap. Place in gallon freezer bag. I have not tried freezing these before, so I will let you know if they don't freeze well. I hope they do!
I also premade and froze my great-grandmother Mama Zerah's homemade dressing. It is so good! We have enough for Thanksgiving and smaller portions for future dinners to come. It is one of my favorite things.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Craft Room and fabric for LQS4

I love it when people post pictures of their creative spaces, and since I just spent a day cleaning, I thought I would share mine! This is my sewing area with my lovely old/vintage sewing machine. My mom passed it down to me. It is at least 35 years old-which is older than me!

Check out the new crown molding put up by my husband a couple of weeks ago! Those are the three quilt tops that I still need to quilt. From top to bottom: Scrappy Disappearing Nine Patch, Batik quilt, and Star Quilt-A-Long.

I love this map! We mark wherever we travel with red and blue markers. It is hard to see in this picture. These are some of my many books, too. The picture on the top shelf is of me getting a book signed by Anne Rice. I have first editions of all of her books except for Interview with a Vampire. Almost all of them are signed!

Finally, here are the fabrics I am sending out for the newest edition of the Craftster Lap Quilt Swap. These will go out to one group. I love the dogs on the cream! The three on the left are from Moda's Pampered Pooches line. The swap signup deadline ends tomorrow if you are still on the fence about joining!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New bathroom curtains-finally!

I finally made some curtains for our refinished bathroom. We needed something to help with the blinds and to cover the top shelf.

Now that big tub of bathroom supplies has a place to hide!:)

Some of you remember when the bathroom looked like this during this past summer.
I am sorry if I scared some of you! It is so much better now. If you would like to revisit this whole experience go here and then here. It took me awhile to make these simple curtains...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Links to contests and free books!

As many of you already know, Old Red Barn Co. is giving away three quilts this time! Follow the link in the sidebar to enter-if you win, you could always send it my way, right?:) This is one of the three she is giving away.

Our Front Porch is giving away a hundred dollars of jewelry from her etsy shop.

In the Shadow of the Sun King Summary

I just received this book "free" from Thomas Nelson publishing. It came in the mail yesterday. You agree to review the book on your blog and on another site like amazon or barnes and noble. According to their website, the review can be positive or negative. I will definitely give you an honest opinion! When you have done that, you link them to your blog and review and they will send you another free book! Love free books! Go here if you are interested!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Craftster Lap Quilt Swap: Signups are up!

All right, for those of you who are interested there is another lap quilt sign up in progress over at Craftster. They usually fill up pretty quickly, so if you are interested sign up fast! Right now it is open to 36 spots. You can sign up for 1 group, 2 groups, or 3 groups. There are a couple of restrictions from craftster. You must have been a member for at least a month and have at least 15 posts.

Sign-up date range: 11/10-11/17
Date to send item by: 12/3 for fabric; 2/17 for blocks

It is a lot of fun! Here is one quilt top made from two previous swaps:

These are some of the blocks I made for the last swap:

I don't have my blocks pieced together from the latest quilt swap, but I will link to other fabulous ones like sewhelpme's, quiltdad's, ritapizza's, and athenamat's. Athenamat was the original organizer behind this whole creative endeavor on craftster and we hope she will be watching fondly from the sidelines (from this round only!) as she embarks on her first "real" job as a lawyer. Sewamy has also been a past participant but I can't find any good picks of her quilts right now from the swap.

Are you enticed yet? So sign up already!
Go here to check it out!
More links to pictures/blogs to come!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Tokyo Triangle Quilt: Progress Nov. 9th!

I have slowly been working on my triangle quilt this past week. Once you have a lot cut, it actually can go pretty quickly. I have been cutting and then drawing my sew lines while watching t.v. or a movie here and there.

This past week I was able to make another 130 of these flying geese units!

With the units I made last week, I now have 216! These are my brand new ones. I didn't bring out the older(er) ones for a picture. Coming soon! I am slowly getting there...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

50 States Quilt Block Swap

Here are all the blocks so far laid out together! I am missing Idaho and Vermont-I still need to make those.;)

From Pertelot: Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey, Louisiana, Conneticut, South Dakota, and Deleware.

From Jenicat from left to right:
Ohio, Georgia, North Dakota, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Tennessee, Nevada, and Texas

From love2teach: Idaho, Arkansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Wyoming, California, and Wisconsin

From chinarockfishakm: Rhode Island, Maine, Hawaii, South Carolina
Alaska, Arizona, Oklahoma, and New Mexico

From Mcbenno:Nebraska, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York
Virginia, Michigan, Mississippi, and Indiana

My blocks! North Carolina, Montana, Utah, Colorado, Alabama, Washington, Kentucky, Oregon, and Florida

Here are all the blocks I made laid out together on the floor-minus Washington. I don't know how I forgot it when I took the picture. They are all in the mail now on their way to their new owners.:)

For those of you who enjoy swaps, a new craftster lap quilt swap is opening on Monday at Craftster. Check here on Monday!

Edited to switch one Rhode Island to New Jersey

Friday, November 7, 2008

More state squares received!

I have received more squares from love2teach!









My favorites are Wisconsin and Idaho. I have two more sets of squares coming soon!