Thursday, December 22, 2011

I made these!

Christmas Pudding Ornaments

Baking and Blogging

Chocolate Peanut Butter Shortbread

3/4 C butter, softened
1/3 C creamy peanut butter
2/3 C sugar
1 t vanilla
2 C flour
2/3 C mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375.  Combine butter, peanut butter, sugar and vanilla in large bowl.  Beat at medium speed until creamy.  Reduce speed to low and add flour.  Beat just until mixture forms a dough.  Stir in 2/3 C mini chocolate chips.  Pat dough evenly into lightly greesed 15x10 jelly roll pan.  (I put a sheet of wax paper over the top and roll out with my pizza dough roller).  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until set and lightly browned.  Immediately cut shortbread into columns and rows.  Cool completely, THEN remove from pan. 

Drizzle:  2/3 C semi -sweet chocolate chips & 2 t shortening

Combine drizzle ingredients and microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring each time until melted and smooth.  Drizzle over shortbread.  Let set.  Enjoy!!

Not too late for Christmas Goodies, RIGHT?

White Chocolate Cranberry Shortbread

1 C butter, softened
1/2 C sugar
1 t vanilla
2 1/3 C flour
1 C dried cranberries, chopped
3/4 white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine butter, sugar and vanilla in large bowl.  Beat at medium speed.  Reduce speed and add flour, beat until mixture resembles course crumbs.  Stir in cranberries and chips.  Press mixture firmly into 2 ungreased 9 inch round baking pans.  Bake for 22 to 26 minutes or until edges are light golden brown.  Cool 15 minutes.  Immediately cut each pan into 16 wedges.  Cool completely.  Carefully remove from pans. 

Drizzle:  1/2 C white baking chips & 2 t shortening

Melt remaining chips and shortening in 30 second increments in the microwave, stirring til smooth.  Drizzle over cooled wedges.  Let stand until set. Yum!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sneak Peek at Girly Gifts

Christmas Presents for all of the nieces this year...






Saturday, December 3, 2011

Meet the reason why I haven't been blogging or quilting much......

Sometime in October, I decided we needed a dog.  Not just any dog, and INSIDE dog.  We've always had outside dogs, all for hunting, and they belong... OUTSIDE.  I never understood how people had dogs in their house.  I didn't get it.  It was so much work, it was so messy, no way, not me. 

VERY long story short, I changed my mind.  After a wild goose chase at the shelter, the internet and Craigslist, we found this little guy in Burr, NE.  I had Jackson with me on this adventure and when those two met, it was a match made in heaven.  This pooch was so sweet and he crawled right up on Jackson's lap and starting kissing away.  How could a mom say no??? 

We are SOOOOOOoooooooo happy he is here. He has had a few accidents, yes. He's done a small number on the woodwork on our back entryway.  But, it's only about 5 inches off the ground, and who looks at the wood trim 5 inches off the ground in a back entry any way.  He has a special infatuation with my husbands shoes.  But we love him. 

I even bought some adorable fabric to make a custom cover for his crate!!!  (shocker!)

Baby Madeline's Quilt

Back in August, I sent a text to a dear friend of mine, inviting her and her husband and kids to my husband's birthday party.  A little later, they texted back, telling me they would love to come, but they would be having a baby.... ON MONDAY!  (this was a Friday).  WOW.  I guess it had been TOO LONG since we've seen each other! 

So, on Tuesday of the next week, I visited baby Madeline Rae Fairchild in the hospital and gave her some of my homemade flannel burp rags.  I decided I would make baby Maddie a quilt. 

I bought fabric a few days later.... and sewed it in a day!  I hope she enjoys it!

From the book "Simplify"

First attempt at a label for one of my quilts

I think she likes it!

Sweet and Sour Supper

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

2 lbs ground pork
1 sleeve soda crackers, crushed to crumbs
2 eggs
salt and pepper

Mix the above ingredients.  Form into 1 1/2 inch balls.  Brown in large skillet.  Drain.  Return meatballs to skillet.  Set aside.  Mix sauce below.

1 C ketchup
2 T vinegar
4 T brown sugar
2 t soy sauce
1 can pineapple chunks (NOT DRAINED)

Mix above sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Pour over meatballs and simmer for 20-30 minutes. 

For even more sauce, add 1 can tomato soup.  Serve over rice.  Enjoy! 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Projects - Finshed and Unfinished

new mini quilt

New something for my living room.  To hang or not to hang.....

Look at the calves in the background!
 Meet Bertha and Spots

My almost finished baby quilt for Madeline Rae Fairchild

My first real attempt at hand binding something more than a table topper!

First project on the new Janome machine!
A tree skirt for my mom
I need to finish the binding ('s kind of a hot mess right now!)
More pictures to come.....


Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 C margarine, softened
1/2 C peanut butter
1/3 C sugar
1/3 C brown sugar, packed
1/2 t baking soda
1 egg
1/2 t vanilla
1 C all purpose flour
1 C oats
1 C chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, beat margarine and peanut butter on medium speed until combined.  Add sugar, brown sugar and soda.  Beat until combined, about 3 minutes.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Add flour and oats.  Mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Drob by teaspoons on ungreased baking sheet. (to help them flatten, I press with fork)  Bake 10-11 minutes til edges are golden.  Let stand on sheet for 1 minute, move to wire rack to cool. 

I usually double this recipe which yields 5 to 6 dozen cookies! 

My Helper

Rainy Day Off = BAKING!

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

(I credit this recipe to my nephew Reid in Minnesota... he has perfected it!  Thanks Reid!)

3 C Flour
2 1/4 C Sugar
1 1/8 C Oil
1 1/2 C Milk
3 Eggs
1 1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t poppy seed
1 1/2 t almond flavoring
1 1/2 t butter flavoring
1 1/2 t vanilla flavoring
(I also add 1 t lemon flavor to boost up the flavor, but you can leave it out too!)

Mix the above ingredients for 2 minutes.  Pour into 3 greased and floured bread pans.  Bake 50 to 60 minutes at 350 degrees.  After baking, prick the top of the bread with fork.  Mix together the following ingredients in a small bowl:

1/4 C Orange juice
3/4 C Sugar
1/2 t almond flavoring
1/2 t butter flavoring
1/2 t vanilla flavoring

Pour over warm loaves of bread.  Cool on wire racks.  ENJOY!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I can't wait to try this...

I follow the TLC Stitches Blog and I keep coming across this awesome tutorial for a faux piped binding.  I haven't tried it yet, partly because I keep forgetting where it is!  So....  this is my way of keeping track of it, posting a link on my blog.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Kentucky Triangles

The adventure begins! 

My first quilt shop bus tour began on Saturday, 9/17/11.  I was up at 5am in order to be on the road by 6 to make it to Lincoln by 6:30.  We had a small surprise when we loaded the bus....a very small bus.  17 ladies on a 21 passenger short bus, plus the driver, minus a bathroom!  No problem, we'll make the best of it! 

We left the Cosmic Cow at 6:45am.  We were on the road to Prairie Point Junction in Cozad.  What a great store! I would love to come back to this store and spend more time.  They had an entire wool corner I didn't even look at (I didn't know I liked wool at this point in the trip!!!) I picked up a number of new patterns here... my favorite BY FAR is Gone to Pieces by Ribbon Candy Quilt Company (did I mention I LOVE this pattern?)!

Then, I started searching through the wool and felt patterns.  I've never attempted something like this before.  I don't know a single thing about hand stitching.  However, there was a gal on the bus working on a project. 
Mary with her project she started AND finished on the bus!

She promised to show me a simple blanket stitch.  I said I would take her up on it!  So I also got the Oval Penny Mat pattern by The Woolen Needle.

I picked up 3 great black fat quarters.  I will buy a great black any time I see it.  I LOVE to put black in my quilts!  Finally, I grabbed a Warm Memories Charm Pack.  I hope to make a table runner for my sister-in-law, at her request.  This Kansas Troubles collection will go great in her Minnesota home! 
Hi Nancy!

Next to the railroad and under the under pass, our next stop was The Quilt Rack in North Platte, NE. 

This place had the most fat quarters I have ever seen.  They were stacked on top of every cabinet of fabric.  It was overwhelming!

This is where we had lunch. While eating, one of the shop workers was helping me out with some questions I had on their wool and felt selection. I didn't even get her name... She had a slight mohawk and feathers weaved into her hair, but she taught me the blanket stictch! What a cool chic! She sat me down at the lunch table, gave me a needle and some black perle cotton #8 and I went to town. I thought I had already made my purchases at that store, but I went back for more.  I picked up a number of wools and some perle cotton... I can't wait to get started!!!

The next leg of the trip was a 4+ hour bus ride.  We were traveling in northern Nebraska and southern South Dakota.  Windy, windy, windy, hills of all kids, terribly rough roads, no place for a bus to pass, awfulness.  This nearly broke me.  But finally, we arrive in Chamberlain, SD at The Quilt Shop

This little shop had a little bit of everything.  We walked in and most of the front room was jewelry... already made and the materials to make your own.  This shop specialized in bundles.  Bundles of every size... half cuts, fat quarters, fat eighths, even sixteenths.  The house was a maze of small, teeny, tiny rooms, fabric bundles on top of bundles on top of bolts.  It was nuts!  They also had a great glue that they recommended for wool projects. 

As a goodbye treat they sent us on our way with a fresh bag of homemade caramel corn.  Since it was 9:00pm, I snarfed it down, only to load the bus, drive a block and stop for supper!  Oops! 

Supper was at Michelle's Marina.  Great food, funny waitress and a group of men who flew model airplanes in the area.  The Marina was still sandbagged from the recent flooding.  The waitress said the water came within inches of their levy.  Their man-made levy went past the middle of the windows.  I can't imagine what would have happened if that had let loose.  They were very lucky. 

We load the bus again at 10pm... one more hour to our motel in Mitchell, SD!  We crashed at the Super 8 for just a few short hours and we were up and going again at 6:45.  For a girl who enjoys sleeping in a bit on the weekend, these two mornings were tough, even knowing that I had fabric in my future! 

Off to Dell Rapids, SD to visit Always Your Design

This was a great shop in an adorable town!  These ladies were so nice and helpful!  They had a great wool selection.  Their samples were beautiful.  Another gal and I picked out the same sample hoping they would have a kit and the pattern.  Since this was day two of the round robin shop hop, they were cleaned out.  We will be able to go online to their website and order the kit instead.  I can't wait to get started on these wool projects! 

Here I picked up some Christmas fabrics.  My mom requested a tree skirt for her smaller Christmas tree in the basement.  So, naturally, I bought enough fabric for two!  I think I need a new tree skirt too! I lucked out, they had the same pattern there that I purchased a while ago, so I knew just how much to buy.  Normally, I'm not that lucky (see my fabric quantity dilema in Fremont). I also found an embroidery stitch cheat sheet.  This should help me navigate my new wool world. 

We arrive in Wakefield, NE, AHEAD of schedule (is that possible?). 

As we turn the corner to The Quilt Shop, we see another bus at the store!  This bus was from North Platte and Cozad.  They had been having bus trouble for the entire trip.  Since this bus had about 50 shoppers, all taking their turn in this tiny store, we waited for them on our bus.  The kind people from Country Traditions in Fremont brought them their lunches so they could catch up a bit on their schedule. 

Since this was the second to the last stop, I was thinking I was on the down hill slide of purchases.  Not so fast....  I found some fantastic brown and grey/blue fabric that would match my living room perfectly.  No clue what my plans are with this, but it just had to go in my stash.  Browsing the books, I find a book I've had on my wish list for quite some time - Prairie Children and Their Quilts - so I added that to my pile.  A friend talks me into some plaid charm packs.  I manuever to the back of the store where I meet the Woolies flannel line.... love!  I picked up some spare yardage cuts of all different sizes.  No purpose, but I just couldn't leave them there. 

Last stop, Fremont, Nebraska!  I've been to Country Traditions before, so I knew what to expect.  The store is huge, in a beautiful, old, dowtown brick building.  They have a great selection of books, patterns, charms, fats, flannels and sale stuff. 

I tell myself I'm done, but I guess I wasn't.  I came across an adorable black flannel with snowmen on it.  The collection was irresistible.  I start picking fats like crazy.  Then I realize, I don't know what I am making with this and all fats probably won't cut it (refer to earlier mention of not being properly prepared).  The gal helping me with cuts heads over to the books, grabs a book and I'm easily convinced to buy it before I know it.  Here is where I should have stopped and thought back to my purchases.  This fabric was PERFECT for the Gone to Pieces pattern I picked up yesterday.  This book, I won't name names, basically includes one quilt pattern shown 4 different ways for $25.  Ouch.  Not the best decision.  So, when I'm unpacking my loot later on, I realize my mistake.  The black snowman collection will now be made in the Gone to Pieces pattern.  And it will be EXACTLY what I wanted!  My $25 pattern?  I guess it's mine.  Maybe I can rent it out.... HA!

We pull into Lincoln just after 6pm.  I met some great new quilting friends and caught up with some old friends too! 

I learned lots and lots and I shared some of my own tips (who knew I had tips??!!)! 

My girls.... lets call them the KENTUCKY TRIANGLES.... what a great time!  Let's do it again shall we?  In our own vehicle?  On our own timeframe?  With our own scheduled potty breaks?  Sounds good to me! 

I gather my goodies, load up the Tahoe and turn around to head back home (we were just 5 miles from my house while on the bus home from Fremont).  Ahhh... its good to be home.  What a fun trip.  I hurt, I'm tired, my head is pounding, but I'm mostly happy with all of my purchases.  I'm thrilled to be sleeping in my Sleep Number bed tonight (a step up from the Super 8).  My hubby made me a wonderful supper.  My kid missed me and was happy to see me.  My guys went to Cabelas today.  I found out they made a few purchases of their own, a goose call, a blind of some sort!!!  YIKES!  I'm so glad they had a good weekend together, especially this close to harvest.  Soon Andy will be working like crazy (I still wonder how he can work even more during harvest than he does already) and Jackson will be wanting combine and semi rides.  OOH!  That gives me a thought... since they have a semi this year, does that mean I won't need to drive the grain truck???  More sewing time?????????  A girl can only hope!

Now, to stay out of a quilt shop for the next year or two and actually use up all of my purchases.....

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Quilting Adventure - Shop Hop on Wheels!

On Saturday, September 17th, I will board a bus at 6:30am for "A Quilting Adventure" with the Cosmic Cow Quilting Store in Lincoln!  A few months back, a friend from childhood contacted me on facebook and asked if I was interested in going on a quilting bus trip.  And now... here it is!  The trip is this Saturday!

We will be visiting the following stores:

Prairie Point Junction, Cozad, NE

Quilt Rack, North Platte, NE

Quilt Shop, Chamberlain, SD

Always Your Design, Dell Rapids, SD

Quilt Shop, Wakefield, NE

Country Traditions, Fremont, NE

I love shopping for fabric and patterns, who doesn't!?!  And the best thing, I don't have to drive! 

So, hopefully, I will be blogging about the adventure from the road!  Wish me luck!

Happy Quilting: Burgundy Buttons Sponsored Giveaway!!

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

No sewing this weekend!

A tradition we have started a few years back, every labor day we head to a cabin at acorns resort on milford lake.  Each year we seem to have different friends and family with us. This year, today, we are celebrating the 12th anniversary of our marriage. What a wonderful way to celebrate.....taking time out of our ordinarily busy schedule to spend time with each other, our son and family and friends. sewing this week!  Just a book, good food and my favorite reclining lawn chair from cabelas!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New GO BIG RED quilt made for a good friend moving back to Chicago...
Fabrics all cut, pattern layed out
The squares are layered to create a rag look

Blocks are 9" with a 6" and 3" square sewn on top.  Then I added about a 9" border.
Stay warm in Chicago Nicole!