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

Friday, January 30, 2009

Virtual Tea Party

I'm having tea today with my blogging friends as a part of Kathy's Virtual Tea Party. I've brewed a pot of English Breakfast tea and made a batch of pecan sandies. These cookies are wonderful with any kind of tea and even though it isn't good manners to do so...they are really good for dunkin'!

Pecan Sandies

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream vegetable shortening and sugars together until fluffy. Add vanilla and egg to sugar mixture and beat until smooth. Add flour, cream of tarter, baking soda and salt to sugar mixture, stirring until completely mixed. Dough will be stiff. Stir in chopped pecans. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten balls to 1/4 inch thickness. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until slightly golden. Cool and store in an airtight container.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tea Party Invitation

In case you haven't heard yet, Kathy from Creative Urges has made an invitation for quilting bloggers to join her for a virtual tea party tomorrow in honor of her 1 year of blogging anniversary. What fun! Be sure to stop by her blog for a cup of tea and wish her a happy anniversary for a chance to win a special little gift!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Star Spangled Banner

Every once in awhile I will come across a treasure while browsing through the local antique and second hand shops and I think this stitchery of the Star Spangled Banner that I found last week is a real treasure! It's hard to tell its age, but the embroidery is amazing and it's in wonderful shape. At some point it was made into a pillow cover, but I think I may make it into a wall hanging...maybe a star border made with civil war reproduction fabrics? It's not like I needed another project, but I just couldn't pass this one by!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Taggie Balls

Remember the taggie blankie that I made before Christmas for Miss Three? Well, my friend, Nancy (blogless), took that idea one step farther! Look at these great taggie balls that she made for my two new grandbabies. She used this baby ball pattern from Craftideas.info and just added three ribbon tags in each seam. She said that she enlarged the pattern by 25% to make the ball a bit larger and she also suggests basting the tags in place before sewing the ball together, but other than that the pattern remains the same. What a fun way to use up scraps of novelty fabrics and bits of ribbon!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Whirl Into Winter Quilt Blog Giveaway Win!

I entered several giveaways during the Whirl into Winter Quilt Blog Giveaway and of course I was hoping that I would win something, but I really enjoyed visiting all of the participating blogs more than anything. As it turns out, not only did I find some really cool quilt blogs, but I won something too! Joyce at Quilt Friends Forever drew my name for this "Born in the USA" quilt pattern. It's hard to see in the photo, but the red and white blocks are mini log cabin blocks...what a neat pattern! Thanks again, Joyce!

Friday, January 23, 2009

No-Sew Fleece Blankets

Even my sister (who is not a quilter...yet) had to get in on the National Day of Service fun. She made these two fabulously soft No-Sew Fleece Blankets to donate to Project Linus. I love the fleece that she used...what little girl wouldn't love wrapping up with Disney Princesses or Hannah Montana?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Another Finish!

Here is the second Project Linus quilt that I finished for Jovaliquilts National Day of Service quilt for charity project. Thanks to Cheri for coming up with such a great idea and motivating me to finish up these quilts. Not only will our local Project Linus chapter be receiving two more quilts, but I can also mark two UFO's off of my list!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

One Down!

I managed to finish one of the Project Linus quilts that I committed to have done for the National Day of Service on Monday, January 19th. It's nothing special...just a pretty novelty fabric with a border added, but I think a sick child would really enjoy the bright colors, animals and numbers. I have one more Project Linus quilt ready to be quilted and finished and if this wonderful quilting weather continues through the weekend it shouldn't be a problem because I won't be leaving the house!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

All About The Buttons!

Look at the wonderful knitted mini purse that I won from the A Giveaway A Day! blog! The mini purse was made and donated by Barbara from All About The Buttons. Be sure to check out Barbara's Etsy shop where you will find more of these great mini purses in different colors as well as lots of other hand knits and handmade craft items...all decorated with buttons!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

National Day Of Service Challenge

Martin Luther King Day was first observed 23 years ago and in 1994 Congress designated it as a National Day of Service, inspired by Dr. King's words, "everybody can be great because anybody can serve." This year President-elect Obama is asking Americans to participate in a national day of service on Martin Luther King Day (January 19) by doing some kind of volunteer work. Cheri at Jovaliquilts came up with the wonderful idea that quilters can join in by spending the day making charity quilts. There is no school on Martin Luther King Day which means that I will have four little girls (two under the age of two) for the day and that evening is our monthly guild meeting, so quilting on the 19th is probably out of the question for me. That does not mean that I am not going to participate though! My plan is to finish the two Project Linus quilts that I have started and turn them in to our outreach chairperson at Monday night's guild meeting. Here is where the challenge comes in...I challenge all of the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild members who are reading this to participate in the National Day of Service with me and bring a finished quilt to donate to Project Linus to next Monday's guild meeting. If you aren't a member of the MLQG you can still participate by making and donating a quilt to your favorite charity, hospital or nursing home. Let's all rise to the challenge!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Banana Bread

It was pointed out to me recently that it has been awhile since I have posted a recipe. Yesterday it was cold and snowy...perfect weather for baking. Actually it looks as if this whole week is going to be good baking weather, but I remember my promise not to complain about the cold and snow, so I won't go there. Instead I am going to sip a cup of tea and have a slice of banana bread while thinking warm thoughts!

Banana Bread

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the butter mixture until smooth. Finally, fold in the sour cream, bananas and walnuts. Spread evenly into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool loaf in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Note To Self...Scissors Are Sharp!

Doesn't it say in the first paragraph of the first chapter of the quilter's handbook that scissors are sharp and that you should keep your fingers away from the blades? I'm sure that I have read that somewhere, but today I forgot that little tidbit of information and managed to cut a nice chunk out of the side of my finger. Yep, I said ouch along with a few other frills and flourishes, but the good thing is that I didn't bleed on the quilt!

Friday, January 9, 2009

I Would Rather Be Quilting!

This is just a small sampling of UFO's, WIP's and new projects in waiting that I would like to be working on. Unfortunately, duty calls and this time of year I am particularly busy doing the end of the year paperwork for our business and getting tax forms and such ready to send off to the CPA. Hopefully I will be out of the office and back in the sewing room very soon because quilts and knits make much better blog posts than tax forms and spreadsheets!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Another Alternate Block

I'm afraid that My Dear Jane quilt is slowly turning into something other than a Dear Jane quilt. Today I made another alternate block, a friendship star. Like I said in an earlier post, I love these classic blocks and have decided that I am going to include them in this quilt. I guess I'm going to have to come up with another name for this project...because it's not even going to be close to a Baby Jane when I'm done!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Rebecca's Basket

I am so glad that I was able to attend the Laurel Jane's monthly meeting yesterday! Not only was I able to complete another block, J-12 Rebecca's Basket, but I was also able to see an absolutely beautiful Dear Jane quilt that is well on it's way to completion! I now have a renewed faith that this project is actually doable! You can see photos at Anya's blog, so be sure to have a look!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Knitting With My Fingers Crossed

I stopped at one of my favorite yarn shops the other day and found this gorgeous chunky blue green yarn in the bargain bin. As soon as I saw it I knew I would have to make a pair of Yo Mama's Big Fat Booties with it, but unfortunately it was the last of its kind and a few yards short of what the pattern requires. Needless to say, I told myself that hopefully the pattern over estimated the yardage needed to make the slippers and that one skien would be enough to make them. Last night I started knitting...have you ever tried knitting with your fingers crossed?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Border Ideas?

My two oldest granddaughters each gave me a wonderful quilt block printed with their original artwork for Christmas. Two blocks aren't quite enough to make a quilt, so I think I will to make each into a little wall hanging to display in my sewing room. The blocks are 8 1/4 x 6 1/4 and I would like to add some kind of pieced borders to dress them up a bit, but not anything so busy that it will distract from the artwork. Does anyone have border suggestions for these two beautiful blocks?

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