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Thursday, February 28, 2013


I always like to surf the net and see 
other blogs and learn from what they post.
I found this one this morning about making
this particular quilt.  I now have been
inspired to do a quilt just like this one.
If you are inspired like I was, then go for it.

Postage Stamp Quilt Tutorial

My scrappy postage stamp quilt begins with a variety of 2 1/2" squares of fabric.
I picked up this box of pre-cut fabric and miscellaneous blocks at an auction for $3.00. 

I'm all about eliminating clutter, so these quilt blocks are being recycled.

It did not take long to discover that some of the auction squares were not
totally "square". To resolve this issue, I cut a white square 2 1/2" x 2 1/2".
You can see it in the photo above on the right.

When the auction fabric is laid on top of the white square,
it is easy to determine if each piece of  fabric measures true to 2 1/2 inches.
The squares that did not measure up were set aside for another day.

The auction fabric was then sorted into piles according to color.
The squares fit perfectly into this wooden silverware box
making it easy to select various color combinations.

Materials List
  • various scraps cut 2 1/2" square (total of 183)
  • white or neutral fabric cut 2 1/2" square (total of 182)
  • 2 strips of fabric cut 2 1/2" x 29 3/4" (for top and bottom of inner border)
  • 2 strips of fabric cut 2 1/2" x 41 (for sides of inner border)
  • 2 strips of fabric cut 3 1/2" x 37 1/2" (for top and bottom of outer border)
  • 2 strips of fabric cut 3 1/2" x 51 1/2" ( for sides of outer border)
  • batting 46" x 54"
  • fabric cut 48" x 56" for backing
  • fabric cut 2 1/2" and sewn into 190" strip for binding
  • finished quilt measures approximately 42 1/2" x 50 1/2"

Step 1: Sewing the Center


  •  Sew squares using 1/4" seam allowance alternating one white fabric with one scrappy fabric.
  •  There are 15 squares in each row.
  •  There are a total of 19 rows.
  •  When this step is completed your project should measure approximately 29 1/2" x 37 1/2".
  •  Press seams.

Step 2: Attach Inner Border
  • Attach inner border (A) by sewing a strip of the 2 1/2" x 29 3/4" to the top and bottom.
  • Attach inner border (B) by sewing a strip of the 2 1/2" x 41" to the sides.
  • Press seams.

Step 3: Attach Scrappy Border

  • Attach scrappy border (A) by sewing 17 squares to the top and bottom.
  • Attach scrappy border (B) by sewing 23 squares to the sides.
  • (Please note: I could not display the correct number of squares for the border in the above diagram.)
  • Press seams.

Step 4: Attach Outer Border

  • Attach outer border (A) by sewing a strip of the 3 1/2" x 37 1/2" to the top and bottom.
  • Attach outer border (B) by sewing a strip of the 3 1/2" x 51 1/2" to the sides.
  • Press seams.
  • Finished quilt top should measure approximately 42 1/2" x 50 1/2"

Square up corners.

Pin quilt top to batting and backing.
Click here learn how to pin baste a quilt.

Painters tape is an easy way to mark a quilt for straight line quilting.

Complete quilt by attaching 2 1/2" binding.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013


As I was cruising the internet, I came upon this link.
I am not a bowler.  I don't even claim to being a bowler.
The first time I ever bowled is when I was 
seven months pregnant with my first child.
The looks I got from people when they saw
this pregnant woman bowling.  

Thanks to Fresh Home Ideas for providing
the directions on how to make these.

Bowling Ball Bug Final 

Step 1: Prime and Paint

Prime and paint the bowling ball. (We used three coats of red paint.) After the paint is completely dry, apply tape in the desired pattern. Stipple on black paint with a stenciling brush or sponge for texture.
Step 1: Prime and Paint


A quart is the smallest can of mixed paint you can buy at the hardware store, but smaller quantities of acrylic hobby paint are available at craft stores. If you do have extra, use it to make a colony of bugs—or gifts for the neighbors!

Step 2: Make a Stencil

Make your own stencil by cutting circles from two pieces of painter’s tape positioned to get the necessary width. (We used 2 1/2-in.- and 1 3/4-in.-diameter dots.) Stipple the dots. After paint dries, remove the tape. Paint the wooden beads any color you like and let them dry.
Step 2: Make a Stencil

Step 3: Add Antannae

Fill the thumb-hole with black caulk. Set in two antennae made from copper wire with wooden beads affixed to the top. You may need to prop them up so they don’t droop while drying for 24 hours.
Step 3: Add Antannae


Save time by having the copper wire for the bugs' antennae cut at the hardware store.


We used caulk to secure the beads to the wire, but polyurethane glue works, too.

How About a Friend?

Is your ladybug lonely? Make a bumblebee to add to the garden. To make the bumblebee, paint stripes with yellow and black paint. Add wings made of copper wire and hardware cloth. 
How About a Friend?

You can see more details at Birds and Blooms.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Today I got to spend time with some dear friends
that I have not been with for a very long time.
We get together at The Quilt Shoppe
and bring whatever we want to work on.

Dawn was working on blocks for the
Shop Hop in June.  
All I can say is that the blocks are 
awesome and I can't wait to participate.
 Ellen was working on putting labels on her quilts.
I brought my yarn and worked on my crochet.

 Ellen busily putting on the labels on her quilts

 Dawn's beautiful applique work with wool.

 Dawn's little doll and her clothes.  Just too cute for words.

 My granny squares in progress.  
I need to make 7 more and then I start putting it all together

 Of course I couldn't leave without buying some fabric.
I was just walking around the shop to stretch my legs
when I saw this cat fabric and I just had to buy it.


Monday, February 25, 2013


I found a recipe on Martha Stewart's website that
looked just so delicious.  The only problem is that
I didn't have the ingredients in the original recipe.
So I changed it! 
The original recipe's title is
Kale, White Bean, and Sweet Potato Soup.

So here is my revised recipe.

1 can (15.5 oz) Great Northern Beans
1 can (15.5 oz) Light Red Kidney Beans
1 small onion cut into quarters
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup shaped pasta
2 tablespoons dried chives
4 medium sized red potatoes
1 (8 oz) package spinach
6 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  1. Bring a large stockpot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.  Transfer to a colander, drain, and set aside.
  2. Heat the chicken stock and add the drained beans and the rest of the ingredients.  Cook, stirring until the potato pieces are tender.
  3. Serve and enjoy.

Friday, February 22, 2013


I've been spending the day making muffins for an event tomorrow.
My kitchen smells really good. 
Now to make sure my husband does not sample the muffins before tomorrow.

Thank you
1 cup diced apple without peel
1/3 cup applesauce
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup white sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon anise seed
1. Mix together sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and anise seeds.
2. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, sugar mixture, salt, milk, and applesauce. Do not overbeat. Stir in diced apples. Spoon batter into 12 greased muffin cups.
3. Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Serve after muffins have cooled a bit, about 30 minutes.
Servings Per Recipe: 12
Calories: 105
Amount Per Serving
  • Total Fat: 0.5g
  • Cholesterol: 1mg
  • Sodium: 165mg
Amount Per Serving
  • Total Carbs: 22.7g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 0.9g
  • Protein: 2.4g

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Flowers cascade down this beautiful crooked flower tower of annuals.

Searching for something to give the garden a bit of pizazz? Look no further than this crooked terra cotta flower tower. Annual flowers cascade over the sides of each pot like a flowing waterfall. It’s simple to make, gives a vertical burst of color, and can be used over and over again each year.
Supplies Needed
  • 5 standard terra cotta pots in the following sizes: 14”, 12”, 10”, 8”, and 6”
  • A 2-cubic-foot bag of potting soil
  • One 48” rebar rod or 48” metal electric tube
  • 15-20 annual plants
The semi-straight rod in the ground.
This tower is meant to be in the garden, flower towers can be made for patios or decks, but this tilted version cannot since this tower is stabilized by the metal rod in the ground. So, start off by hammering the rod at least 6 inches into the soil at the location you want to place your tower. Once it’s in deep enough, give it a little wiggle to make sure it seems sturdy. A little give is fine, but if the rod pops right out of the ground it needs to be placed deeper so that your tower won’t topple over at the slightest gust of wind.
Note that the rod is straight, but the pot is tilted.  That is because of the trench that was dug into the ground.
Note that the rod is straight, but the pot is tilted. That is because of the trench that was dug into the ground.
To give the tower a crooked look, a small trench needs to be dug into the ground so that the first pot will lean to one side. It only needs to be about 3 inches deep and 8 inches long. Once your trench is dug, you can thread the largest pot on the metal rod and position it to be crooked. This may take a bit of trial and error to get the right look. If the terra cotta pot doesn’t seem sturdy or isn’t leaning enough remove it from the rod and dig the trench a bit more. It should look like the pot is partially buried in the ground.
Voila!  A crooked flower tower!
Voila! A crooked flower tower!
Next fill the pot up with potting soil, and angle it in the pot toward the opposite side the first is on. This will let the next pot tilt. Then thread the second pot on the rod. This is actually much easier said than done, a metal rod is not pliable at all. So, to get the terra cotta pots to appear crooked they need to be angled just right. Honestly, it does take more trial and error.
Once the second pot is in position, repeat the process until all of the terra cotta pots are threaded onto the metal rod. Once all 5 terra cotta pots are on the rod and filled with soil, the tower is constructed. All that is left is to fill it with beautiful flowers. One of the advantages of tilting the pot at an angle is that each pot is pushed to one side of the pot below it. This gives more planting space, and opens up the varieties of flowers you can used as opposed to the traditional terra cotta flower tower.
This brightly colored accent annual gives an added punch of green to the pot.
The possibilities of annual flowers you use in the crooked tower are endless. However, you may want to keep these few simple rules in mind:
  • Flowing and cascading annuals work best. They will give the tower the look that the flowers are pouring out of your tilted pots.
  • If you need help selecting, look at my suggestions for annuals to use in “How To Make a Terra Cotta Flower Tower”. Also, a simple rule of thumb, if it’s in a hanging basket in the nursery or garden center, it is a good selection. Honestly, just look up, down, and all around your local garden center, they will have the best selections for your zone.
  • Consider adding “accent” annuals. These are annuals such as Sweet Potato vine or ivy. They don’t flower, but most cascade providing a dramatic affect when used in containers.
  • Tall upright flowers such as sunflowers won’t work.
  • Keep in mind the location of the tower when selecting the flowers. The basic rules of gardening still apply with this project. Sun plants need sun to grow well, and shade plants thrive in the shade.
  • The best flowers should have a bloom of one to two inches. Anything much bigger will not give that wow affect.
  • Flowers in containers need a lot of water. They dry out very quickly in the hot summer months. I recommend adding a product like Soil Moist to prolong times between watering.
Freshly planted calibrachoa.  They have the look of mini petunias, except they cascade in any container they are planted in.
Now that the tower is built and the flowers are purchased, the final step is to plant them. Starting with the lower pot, take each flower out of its container and tease the roots before digging a hole placing it in the pot. Don’t really worry about plant spacing. The plants can be jammed pretty tightly together. Alternate the colors or flowers along the way to achieve the desired that you want.
Once all of the flowers are planted, the tower needs a good dose of water. Water it all, including the pots. If you don’t water the pots too, the clay will absorb most of the water and leave very little water for the plants. A general rule of thumb when watering any container plant with good drainage is it to water it, step away from it for a few minutes. Then water it again. This lets the water soak in, and any run off occur before you really water it.
The vibrant colors of the calibrachoa used in this tower even attracts butterflies to your garden.
The vibrant colors of the calibrachoa used in this tower even attracts butterflies to your garden.
To keep your flower tower looking great all summer long, the crooked flower tower will need to be watered daily and fertilized bi-weekly with an all-purpose fertilizer
Each year the pots can be reused, but since annuals were used the flowers will need to be replanted. By selecting different flowers or colors each year you can drastically change the look of this unique container garden.

Information was obtained by

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Brownie Crust
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chip
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cheesecake Filling
2 lbs cream cheese, softened
5 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter (not natural-style)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 peanut butter cups, cut into quarters
6 peanut butter cups, cut carefully in half
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter cup


1.  Heat oven to 350°F Grease 9-inch springform pan with butter.
2.  Stir together butter, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with spoon or wire whisk. Add eggs; stir until well blended. Stir in flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; blend well. Spread in prepared pan.
3.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until brownie begins to pull away from side of pan. Meanwhile make cheesecake layer (see below).
4.  Immediately after removing brownie from oven, sprinkle milk chocolate chips, peanut butter chips and peanut butter cups over brownie surface. Spoon cheesecake mixture over chips. Turn down oven 325°.
5.  Cheesecake Filling:.(makes extra).
6.  Beat cream cheese in bowl of electric mixer until smooth.
7.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
8.  Add sugar, peanut butter and cream; mix until smooth.
9.  Stir in vanilla.
10.  Pour filling into prepared crust.
12.  Double-wrap springform pan with aluminum foil to prevent water seeping inches.
13.  Place springform pan into a larger baking pan.
14.  Pour hot water into the larger pan so that the water comes 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan.
15.  Bake at 325 degrees 1-1/2 hours, or until firm and lightly browned.
16.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for one hour.
17.  Run a knife along the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan somewhat.
18.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before decorating.
19.  Decoration- (makes a lot extra-try using it on individual slices after cutting).
20.  Remove cake from pan and put on a pretty plate.
21.  Bring whipping cream to boil in a small saucepan.
22.  Remove from heat and add semi-sweet and peanut butter chips. Stir, stir, stir until melted and smooth.
23.  Drizzle over cake and then add peanut butter cup halves around the edge of the cake.

Source for recipe:  Incredible Recipes

Thursday, February 14, 2013


 Today I made the choice to finish the wedding quilt.
The blocks are all pieced together and
I made the four point stars for setting the blocks.

Here are all the rows sewn together.
All that I need to finish is add the outside
border to finish off the four point stars.

The outside border to finish the four point stars
are now all sewn and I like the way it turned out.
This weekend I'll be spending the time quilting
it so I can get it ready out for the mail.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Two words:  Homemade + Twix!
If you love Twix candy bars like I always have, then boy are you going to adore this recipe!!!  
These bars are made from 3 deliciously decadent layers.
A layer of shortbread on bottom, creamy caramel in the middle, and chocolate on top.
 Bon Appetit, my friends!
Thousand Dollar Bars (aka homemade Twix bars)
Shortbread Layer:
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
Caramel Layer:
2 cups caramel, cut into small chunks
3 tablespoons heavy cream
Chocolate Layer:
3 cups chopped milk chocolate or dark chocolate, melted
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening (optional)
1) FOR THE CRUST: Preheat your oven to 300°F. Spray a 9" x 13" pan lightly with cooking spray, or line with parchment, and set aside. 
2) In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the flour. At first the mixture may seem dry, but will come together as you continue to beat at medium speed. 
3) Take the dough (it will be somewhat stiff) and press it evenly into the pan. Lightly flouring your fingertips will help with any sticking. 
4) Prick the crust all over with a fork. The holes will allow steam to escape and the crust will bake evenly with fewer bubbles. 
5) Bake the crust until it's lightly golden brown on top and the edges are deeper golden brown, about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife around the edges to loosen the crust. Set it aside to cool completely.
6) FOR THE CARAMEL LAYER: Melt the caramel and cream over low heat in a small saucepan. Pour the caramel over the cooled crust and set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill and firm up. 
7) FOR THE CHOCOLATE LAYER: Melt the milk or dark chocolate slowly in a double boiler or over very low heat. If it seems very thick, add a tablespoon of shortening to thin it. Pour evenly over the chilled caramel layer and spread to cover all of the caramel. Return to the fridge until the chocolate is well set. Cut into 2" x 2" squares to serve. It's best to store these bars in the refrigerator.
8) These bars can also be cut and dipped in milk chocolate to resemble Twix ® bars. After the caramel layer has chilled firm, cut down the length of the pan, splitting the bars into two long, narrow bars. Then cut each long strip into "fingers". Dip the chilled bars into melted chocolate and place on parchment paper to set for several hours.

Monday, February 11, 2013


I love to learn how to do new things.
Many times I can figure it out by reading the directions.
But I'm more of a visual learner and sometimes,
reading the directions over and over again does not connect with me.

Thank goodness for YouTube.
There are a lot of tutorials and I found this one
that was very helpful and easy to follow.
She did such a great job that the above picture
is of my very first Granny Square.  

I'm going to make several more squares,
enough to make a baby blanket in these colors.

I challenge you to try this out if you've never done one before.
If I can do it, you can do it too!

Saturday, February 9, 2013


I am so hooked on Pinterest.
I just love how I can store many ideas
of things that I like without taking space in my house.
This recipe I found on Pinterest and I tried it last night.

This dish has now become one of my favorites.
It's very easy to make and will be great
for whatever occasion you want to make it.

Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake

  • 8 oz uncooked rigatoni
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 c chopped onion
  • 1 (10 oz) pack frozen spinach, thawed
  • 3 c cubed, cooked chicken breasts
  • 1 (14 oz) can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (8 oz) container Philadelphia chive & onion cream cheese
  • ½ t salt, ½ t pepper
  • 1½ c shredded mozzarella cheese
Prepare rigatoni according to pkg directions.  Spread oil on bottom of 11×7 in baking dish; add onion in a single layer.  Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or just until tender.  Transfer onion to large bowl, set aside.
Drain chopped spinach well, pressing between paper towels.  Stir in rigatoni, spinach, chicken, & next 4 ingredients into onion in bowl.  Spoon mixture into dish & sprinkle evenly with shredded mozzarella cheese.  Bake covered at 375 for 30 minutes; uncover & bake 15 more minutes or until bubbly.
I made one change to the recipe.  I did not have a container of Philadelphia chive and onion cream cheese and I really did not want to go out to the store to get one.  So I instead used a regular cream cheese that I softened and added the a small amount of dried chives and onion.  Also, I didn't have the mozzarella cheese, so I used instead colby cheddar mix.  It turned out just fine.


Friday, February 8, 2013


I love Jane Austen and her books.
I can so easily transport myself to the era
of the books she has written.

Tonight I was just perusing the internet
when I came upon this website.
I was in heaven because the website
sells patterns for the time period.

I love to sew and seeing those patterns
makes me wish that I had been blessed
with daughters also as I've been blessed
with two wonderful sons.

So for those of you who have daughters
and love this time period,
this website is for you!



Thanks to the Cook Who Knew Nothing blog, she came up with this recipe.
It looks delicious and I can't wait to make it.
I might just make it for Valentine's Day for my husband.

For the meringue.
8 egg whites
2 cups granulated raw sugar
2 tablespoons dutch cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
For the topping.
2 cups thickened (whipping) cream
2 tablespoons strong espresso coffee
680 gram (24oz) jar of morello cherries
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup dark chocolate curls *
½ cup dark chocolate shavings **
* To make chocolate curls run a potato peeler down the edge of a block of chocolate. ** To make chocolate shavings use an ordinary fine grater or a Micro-Plane.

1. Preheat oven to 425ยบ F. Place a sheet of baking paper on two large baking tray and draw 20cm rounds.
2. Separate your eggs making utmost care not to contaminate the egg whites with any egg yolk. Any fat in the egg whites will prevent them from beating properly and will weigh them down.
3. Beat your egg whites until they are stiff and add your sugar slowly, one tablespoon at a time and beat until stiff peaks form. Turn your bowl upside down to make sure the whites are stiff enough. If not, beat another minute or so then check again.
4. Sift the cocoa powder into the raw meringue and fold through carefully ensuring you leave streaks of cocoa rather than fully incorporating it.
5. Shape the meringue into the two rounds on the baking paper/trays. Place meringues into oven and immediately turn temperature down to 120 degrees. Bake for 90 minutes then turn off oven, do not remove meringues until oven is cool.

1. Drain the morello cherries into a colander with a bowl underneath it to catch the syrup. Give the cherries a shake to make sure the syrup drains out of them. You will want the cherries quite dry so give them a bit of time to drain.
2. Pour the cherry syrup into a saucepan and over medium heat reduce it down to a honey-like consistency (about 5-10 minutes). If you over-reduce you can add a little bit of water and whisk through to make it more liquid again. Set aside.
3. Beat the cream with the coffee until stiff peaks form. With a silicone spatula spread half of the cream over the bottom meringue, place cherries on the cream along with half of the chopped walnuts. Sprinkle half of the chocolate shavings over the meringue.
4. Place the top meringue layer over the bottom. Spread the remaining cream over it along with the cherries, nuts and chocolate shavings. Top  with the chocolate curls. Drizzle the cherry syrup over the entire pavlova.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Today Brian Haggard came and did a presentation
on crazy quilt memories.  He brought his quilts
and shared with all of us his techniques.

He shared how his grandmother was the driving force in his
life-long interest in textiles.  She lived  with his family
and taughte him the process of quilt making from a young age. 
He said that it was a family effort with his
great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, and him
in making the beautiful pieces of art.

He preserves those wonderful memories
in quilting and hand embroidery to
pay tribute to the past generations.
His quilts are absolutely beautiful!

The first book that he published.
There was a long line of ladies waiting to have their books autographed by Brian.
Brian had all of us enthralled
Brian helping one of the ladies the best products for what she is planning to make.
Brian and myself.  I really enjoyed his presentation.

If you are interested in seeing more of his work, click on the link below and it will take you to his blog.