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

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Last night when I shut the light off in my sewing room the cowboy quilt was actually starting to look like a quilt! The vertical rows are all done, now all I have to do is trim them to length and sew them together. After that, all that is left is the miserable job of removing the paper from the star blocks...I hate that chore! I did use Carol Doak's foundation paper though and it really is a lot easier to remove than regular copy paper, so maybe the job won't be as bad as I am anticipating.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Rainy Days And Mondays

It was perfect quilting weather here in north central Pennsylvania this past weekend...chilly, gray and wet! Unfortunately, I didn't get to spend as much time quilting as I would have liked, but I did manage to finish the five pointed star blocks for the baby quilt. I won't have much time for sewing today either. Miss Three makes sure that I don't get any free time on Mondays, but I'm hoping to find a couple of hours to work on the baby quilt later this evening. As long as I find an hour or so each day this week to devote to the cowboy quilt I should be able to make my goal of finishing the top by Friday.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Five Pointed Stars

One of the things that my son and daughter-in-law asked to be included in the baby's quilt was five pointed stars. I knew that I didn't want to applique the stars, so I went in search of a pieced star pattern. I found the perfect paper pieced five pointed star pattern at Quilter's Cache. I started working on them yesterday and they are going together a lot faster than I expected and certainly a lot faster than I could have appliqued them!

Friday, September 26, 2008


I have a design worked out and the fabric has been purchased, so now it's time to start cutting and sewing the cowboy quilt for the new grandbaby that is due in December. The plan is to have vertical stripes with five pointed stars (which will be paper pieced) throughout. I am in hopes to have the top pieced this week so that I can at least show that much at the baby shower next Saturday. Yes, that only gives me a week to get the top done...I guess I'll be spending every spare minute in my sewing room this week!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Boo Baskets!

Are you tired of looking at fabric baskets yet? I made these up this week using Halloween prints. Won't they be great for holding trick-or-treat candy?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

As Promised...

As I mentioned in another post, I've been taking some grief from my friends who are dieting about all of the cookie recipes that I have been posting, so as promised here is a more diet friendly main dish recipe.

Stuffed Pepper Soup

1 1/2 pounds ground beef sirloin
Salt and black pepper
1/2 teaspoon allspice
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion, cut into bite-size dice
3 green bell peppers, seeded and cut into bite-size dice
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoon basil
1 quart chicken stock
1 can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
1 cup orzo pasta
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano, to pass at table

In a medium sized skillet over medium-high heat brown ground beef and season with salt, black pepper and allspice. Transfer browned ground beef to slow cooker and add garlic, onion, peppers, basil and bay leaf. Stir in chicken stock and tomatoes and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Add pasta and turn crockpot to high 30 minutes before serving. This soup gets very thick, so watch it very carefully the last 15-20 minutes of cooking, stirring often. Serve in shallow bowls with grated cheese.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Addicted To Yarn!

Hello. My name is Susan and I am addicted to yarn! I just went into the yarn shop for a small skein of something pink and fuzzy to use in the cuffs of the baby girls socks that I am knitting next. I found that easily enough, but I had to look around the store and before I knew it, my arms were full of yarn! A wonderful beige cotton with flecks of red, green, gold and blue through it, the softest variegated blue bamboo yarn, a self-striping acrylic wool blend called "party time", and a wonderful shade of blue merino superwash wool...I couldn't stop myself! Does anyone know of a 12 step program for yarn addiction?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

World Alzheimer’s Day

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative: Raising Awareness & Funding Research

Today is World Alzheimer’s Day. It is a day to remember the millions of people worldwide who suffer from this horrible disease. Ami Simms, an advocate for all those with Alzheimer's, has designed the virtual quilt patch to help raise awareness and honor all of the people who have/had Alzheimer's disease.

My purple patch is in honor of my mother-in-law who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's several years ago. She is getting to the point where she no longer recognizes most of her family members, doesn't remember ever being married or having children, grandchildren or great grandchildren. She is still able to live on her own with some assistance, but the day is fast approaching when we are going to have to make the decision to move her to a more supervised environment. I dread that day...

Ami is also the founder of the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) which is a volunteer effort to raise awareness and fund Alzheimer's research through art quilts. Find out how you can help by visiting http://www.alzquilts.org/giftsthathelp.html.

Another way to help Ami in her efforts is to join in the Priority Hope Challenge that Tonya at Lazy Gal Quilting recently posted about. The deadline for this challenge is November 20th (which is right around the corner), so don't delay!

It doesn't take a great deal of effort from any one person to help and together maybe we can help the researchers and doctors find a cure for this horrible disease.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

One Down...One To Go

Here is the baby blue hat and socks all finished...finally! Obviously, I don't spend as much time knitting as I do quilting or sewing! I'm going to have to spend more time at it though because I still have a pink set to make and time is getting shorter...the results of the last ultrasound moved Miss Four's due date up to November 27th!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

8 Going on 18

Not long ago Miss One asked me if I could make a purse for her...it seems that our little grandgirl is growing up whether we like it or not. Today Miss One turns 8 years old and she's getting her big girl purse. I used the Handy Bags pattern by Designs to Share and am very pleased with how easily it went together and how it turned out. I also made a matching tissue holder and change purse to go along with it and once I add a little spending money she should be all set for a special birthday shopping trip!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Here is a closer look at just a few of the quilts in the MLQG exhibit that are quilted with one of my favorite quilting motifs...feathers!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Easy Lemon Cookies

Last week one of my friends complained that I was sabotaging her diet by posting all of these cookie recipes. I promised her that I would post some diet friendly recipes, but I stumbled across this recipe the other day and it was just too good not to share!

Easy Lemon Cookies

1 package lemon cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar for decoration

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Pour cake mix into a large bowl. Stir in eggs, oil, and lemon extract until well blended. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough into a bowl of confectioners' sugar. Roll them around until they're lightly covered. Once sugared, put them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 6 to 9 minutes in the preheated oven. The bottoms will be light brown, and the insides chewy.

*I didn't have any lemon extract on hand, so I used a tablespoon of lemon juice instead. I also chilled the dough for about an hour before baking to make the dough easier to handle.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Look At What I Won!

A few weeks ago I stumbled across Piper's Girls weblog while searching for ideas for things to make for the new grandbabies that are due in December. I found a treasure of ideas there as well as a contest and all that was required to enter was to tell what gift you like to give at baby showers. I was reading through the comments and decided to leave a comment as well...never expecting to win. Was I ever surprised when I found out that I had won this wonderful bundle of 19 Heather Bailey fat quarters! The line is Pop Garden and they are just beautiful! I'm not quite sure what I'm going to make with them just yet...for now I think I'm just going to enjoy the pretty package until the right pattern comes along!

Piper's Quilts & Comforts is a wonderful quilt shop located in Salt Lake City, Utah. I wish I lived closer to Utah, so I could visit in person, but they also offer online shopping...that could mean trouble for my Visa card! Piper's Girls blog features many items from their store as well as tutorials and free patterns, be sure to give it a look!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We Will Never Forget

On September 11, 2001, beginning at about 8:45 in the morning, a series of terrorist attacks destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center and severely damaged the Pentagon. 2,603 people lost their lives in the twin towers including firefighters, EMTs and law-enforcement officers who were working in the rescue efforts, 125 people lost their lives in the attack on the Pentagon, and 246 lives were lost on Flights 11, 175, 77, and 93. In all, 2,974 innocent people lost their lives. We remember and will never forget.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Quilt Jail

Here's another Dear Jane block, E-9 Quilt Jail, completed! I followed along with the instructions at Dear Baby Jane and it went together easily. Squaring up the block was a little more challenging...can you see my "oops"? I'll give you a hint, the borders aren't all the same width anymore! It's a good thing that there really isn't a quilt jail or I would be doing time for that one!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Just How Many Ways Can You Applique?

It seems that I have found myself in a search for the perfect way to applique...err that is, the perfect way for me to applique. When I first started on this Dear Jane journey I thought the fusible interfacing method was going to be just the ticket. It had worked well for me in the past with larger projects, but I soon found that trying to sew and turn the tiny DJ pieces was, let's say, a little more than frustrating, so I decided that I was going to have to find a different way to applique. Last night after some discussion at the Laurel Janes meeting I decided to try a modified freezer paper technique. With this kind of paper piecing you trace your pattern on the dull side of the freezer paper (no need to reverse the pattern), cut it out and iron it to the right side of the fabric, then trim the fabric a 1/4 to 1/8 inch all the way around the pattern. As you are sewing, you tuck the fabric under the applique piece using the edge of the freezer paper as a guide. Once you finish sewing the piece down the freezer paper peels right off! As you can see, it worked pretty well!

*Marcia Hohn at Quilters Cache has a wonderful applique lesson page outlining several standard methods as well as the technique that I just described here.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Laurel Janes

Tonight is the monthly meeting of the Laurel Janes. I missed last month's meeting, so I have some catching up to do! I have an applique block, E-5 Five Dime, all ready to go and I am hoping that one of our resident applique experts will be on hand to give me a few pointers on needle turn applique.

*If you haven't already, make sure that you check out Anya's blog...she has some good pictures of the quilt exhibit posted too!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

MLQG Exhibit 2008

Here are a few snapshots of the exhibit that I took last night before the gallery was filled with nearly 200 people! The reception was a wonderful kick off for the exhibit and I think all of the quilts were well received...I heard nothing but oohs and ahhs all evening long!

Those of you who can't make it to see the show in person, don't worry...I'll be posting a closer look at all of the quilts throughout the month.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Tonight's The Night!

Two years of planning will be celebrated tonight with the gala opening reception of the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild's 2008 Exhibit! The reception will be held from 7 pm-9 pm this evening and will include refreshments, door prizes and of course, a beautiful display of quilts. The exhibit will be open September 6-28 from 2 pm until 5 pm daily with free admission. If you are in the area, please make it a point to visit the exhibit...you won't be disappointed!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

That Didn't Take Long

Just one week of Kindergarten under her belt and Miss Two was sent home from school early with a fever. Of course Miss Three isn't to be out done by her older sister and decided a case of the sniffles would be good competition. A trip to the doctor for both sickies this afternoon revealed that Miss Two's fever is due to an ear infection and Miss Three's ailment is "just a virus". Needless to say, spending the day with two sick kids seriously cuts into blogging time, laundry time, lunch time and sewing time was totally nonexistent...now I'm just ready for bedtime!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cake-like pumpkin cookies are another family favorite...especially in the Fall! It never fails, when the leaves start changing and days start getting cooler my family starts asking for these cookies and I’m happy to oblige!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, and salt. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well; stir in chocolate chips. Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown.
Note: These cookies don’t “stack” well, so make sure to put a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap between layers.

Monday, September 1, 2008

And So It Begins...

Today we began hanging the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild 2008 Exhibit. Everything was in disarray this morning and it was hard to envision just where the 100+ entries would all go! I won't show you a picture of how it looked when I left tonight, but I will tell you that the Gmeiner Art and Cultural Center looks very different this evening than it does in this photo and the gallery is now full of beautifully displayed entries! There are still a few things left to do throughout the week, but by Friday evening's Gala Opening Reception I can guarantee you that it will look FANTASTIC!

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