Thursday, December 3, 2015

Christmas Cookie Exchange '15

Welcome to my blog. Thanks, Carol, for giving us this opportunity to share cookie recipes with others.  I know I have seen some great recipes this week that I want to try!

It was a great time for me to do a virtual cookie share.  My two beautiful granddaughters were here the entire week before Thanksgiving.  We have been making lots of candy, cookies, noodles, and pies.  I have taught them well.  They are 13 and 10, and they can make pies and noodles by them-selves, not to mention the cookies and candy.

The first cookies we made were spritz cookies, a recipe my mom used to make.  She would "hide" them in the upstairs bedroom of our old farmhouse--the room we didn't use in the winter because it was too cold.  We would sneak in and sample them long before Christmas.  They are made with a cookie gun.  We used an old metal one when we were growing up.  Now, the girls and I use a Pampered Chef gun.


1 lb. butter                                1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs                                       1 tsp. baking powder
4 1/2 cups flour                        1 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter (be sure to use real butter) and sugar.  Add unbeaten eggs.  Combine flour and baking powder.  Add flour mix and vanilla.   Divide the cookie dough into 2 parts and swirl green coloring into half of the dough and red coloring into the 2nd half.  Press with a cookie press onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.  

I asked Julia and Lauren to bring a recipe to share, also.  They chose jello cookies that their Grandma, Carolyn Ogren, has been making since their mother was a child.  They are made with lime or raspberry jello.  Make 2 batches if you want colorful red and green cookies.  We used lime jello.


3/4 cup butter, softened                                               1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup sugar                                                                2 1/2 cups flour
1 3-oz. package jello                                                    1 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs                                                                           1 tsp. salt

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix thoroughly butter, sugar, jello, eggs, and vanilla.  Blend in dry ingredients.  Roll dough into 3/4 inch balls.  Place 3 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet; flatten each with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. (We use a glass with a design imprinted in the bottom so that there is a design on the cookies.)  Bake 6-8 minutes.  Makes about 4 dozen.

I want to share just a few pictures of our candy-making.  We made 2 batches of peanut brittle, caramels, peppermint bark, and peanut butter fudge.

Grandpa came in to supervise.

Lauren's peppermint bark.  Yummy!

                                    Julia making caramels while Lauren stirs the peanut brittle.

                                             Stretching the peanut brittle--soooo good!

We also had time to walk in the woods, go out for pizza and have a great Thanksgiving dinner.  I hope you were as blessed as I was on Thanksgiving.

Thank you, Carol at Just Let Me Quilt, for a great hop!

Please stop by for yummy cookie recipes from our blogger friends today:

Thanks for stopping by!  Happy cookie baking!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

February Fun

We have been busy in February!  I didn't have nearly as much time to quilt this month.  Our daughter, Anna, lives in New Orleans and wanted us to see some of the Mardi Gras festivities.  We were able to go and see 2 great parades--Muses and Endymion.

The floats were fabulous!  We had a great time.  Both parades were very family-friendly.  
It was hard not to get in the excitement--people on the floats were throwing beads, footballs, frisbees, cozies, more beads, little basketballs, cups, and more beads.  

When we left NOLA, we met friends, Terry and Sue, at St. George Island in Florida.  We rented a large house a block off of the beach.  Sue's brother, Dan, and his partner, Howard, were there for part of the week.  

Then, we went to Tallahassee for a few days to visit with Terry and Sue's son's family, Jonathan, Erica, Norah, and Clara.  We went to Wakulla Springs and went on a swamp tour.  We really enjoyed the birds and the alligators.

                                Back at the house, we enjoyed spending time with Jon's family.

We came home to frozen pipes in our well pit, but that has now been fixed.  It was good to get home between storms.  We really enjoy being back in our own bed after 2 weeks of travel.

I did manage to get some quilting done this month.  I finished Anna's 4th library quilt before we went, so I was able to take this one to her.  It is actually the logo for her charter group, Firstline.  The words are their values.

I also made another ipad case--this time for my sister, Carol.  It has velcro closures and a place for her to put a stylus.

After returning to Illinois, I wanted to make a tote for Anna.  She picked out the material at Mes Amis in NOLA.  It is a great quilt shop--tons of fun fabrics.

I had just enough material left to make her a snap bag.  I should put it in March's blog, but it goes with the bag, so here it is:

It's been a busy month--lots of travel, time with family and friends, lots of snow, frozen pipes, sandy, cool beaches.  We've enjoyed February, but we are really looking forward to spring flowers, warm weather, and sunshine.  

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Good-bye Quilty January 2015!

January, like December, has been a busy month for quilting.  It all started when my daughter, Anna, asked me to make little purses for her to throw from her Mardi Gras float--anywhere from 10 to 30.  I took the pattern we had used for tie purses at my quilt club, cut it down, and made 27 Mardi Gras purses, complete with bead handles.  I put "bling" on a couple of them, and sent them on to NOLA so that Anna could "bling" the rest.  Then, I made 2 more for my friend's, Marlene's, granddaughters.  They were fun and quick!

This month in quilt club, we made reversible table runners.  My friend, Rosie, is a great teacher and a great quilter.  This is my finished project, and I love it.  When you finish, it is all quilted and reversible.

My husband is such a blessing.  When I mentioned that carrying 2 laptops in a backpack was pretty heavy, he ordered me an ipad.  Of course, the ipad needed a cover for protection.  I used the same fabrics I had used for quilt club to make a reversible table runner.  I used the pinks, blues, and yellows. After I got my ipad, my husband really loved it, and he ordered one for him--another cover!
This book fabric suited him much more than my pinks, and blues, and yellows.

Very good friends of ours, Brian and Lori, adopted a sweet baby girl, Nora.  I had been working on a quilt for her before Christmas, and I was finally able to finish it.  I love these adorable little girl fabrics!

Lastly, I had promised a quilt to another friend who was a little homesick.  Cindy, I am sorry it took me so long, but it is finished and will be in the mail this week.

I'm taking a Craftsy quilt class by Ann Petersen on How to Quilt Big Projects on a small machine.  She totally bastes her quilts with a spray baste.  Then, she irons her quilt to "set" the spray.  I put 2 ironing boards together to have a long enough surface to iron this quilt.  It worked really well, and I will definitely do it again for my next quilt. (I purchased an extra ironing board for $1 at the thrift store.)

Winter is really a great time to sew.  I've got lots of other projects in mind.  Next, library quilt number 4 for Anna's libraries in NOLA and an ipad cover for my sister, Carol.  Then, who knows what great quilting adventure will be next.

Thanks for taking time to read my blog and see what all have been in the works at my house this month.  I hope you had a great month quilting, too!

Monday, January 12, 2015

More Library Quilts

In April, I posted a picture of the first library quilt I made for my daughter.  Since then, I have completed 2 more quilts.  That leaves 2 more to go--she has 5 school libraries.  I plan on starting on the 4th this month.  Here, I am including pictures of the 2nd and 3rd quilts I made for Anna.

"Grab a Book and Grow" came about after seeing a picture of a tree with books for leaves.  I made these books 3-dimensional.  It was lots of fun looking for appropriate fabric for children's books.  I used a leaf pattern to free-motion quilt the borders.

Next, I found a poster of a boy reading a book, and all kinds of objects were just jumping out of the book.  It was really fun to turn into this quilt.  I have plans to make another one of these some day.  I think it is my favorite, so far.

I'm not very good with faces, but I loved this concept.  I hope you enjoy these.

Birthday Gifts in 2014

Since my New Year's resolution is to post what I am making, I thought I would go back and post a couple of birthday gifts that I made this past fall.  The first is a log cabin table runner made for my daughter-in-law, Susan, in September.  It was made from a kit, and I loved the fabrics.

I also made a wall hanging for my granddaughter, Lauren.  She loves hummingbirds.

I really enjoy machine applique.  I enjoy hand applique, as well, but those wings would be really difficult if I was doing needle-turn.  I was very pleased with the outcome.

Christmas Gifts

I love making Christmas gifts for friends and family.  I made several this year.  I purchased a quilt pattern a few years ago, and these snowmen were across the top of it.  I thought they would make a really cute tablerunner--and they did.

I made this for our pastor, Tim Laird, and his wife, Betty Sue.  They do so much for our church and are a great addition to our community.  Betty Sue and I have become good friends.

 Ladies, don't forget to sign your gifts.  It is important to document our work.  This is the back of Tim and Betty Sue's gift.

I taught a lesson at our quilt club on this beautiful poinsettia wall hanging.  I made 3 for gifts and one for a benefit last year.  This year, I made one for myself and one for one of my very best friends, Sue.  I forgot to take a picture of Sue's (oops!), but I did take a picture of mine.  They are the same except I used a different border for Sue's.  I made one of these for Tim and Betty Sue last Christmas.

I like the 3-d effect of the red and green leaves.  They are made by sewing front and back together, right sides together, making a slit in the back, and turning them.  A simple seam to sew them onto the background gives them the 3-d effect, along with some red beads.

Another lesson this year at quilt club was taught by my friend, Norma.  She showed us how to make purses from neckties.  It is surprising just how much fabric is in one tie.  I decided to use my husband's ties to make purses for my 2 granddaughters and my daughter, Anna.  I also used my father's tie to make one for my daughter.  Then, I e-mailed my 2 daughter-in-laws' fathers and asked for ties from them.  My daughter-in-laws, Susan and Jae, were surprised to get gifts made from their father's ties.  I was able to put pins of mine on the ties made from my husband's ties and a pin of my mother's on my dad's tie for Anna.

The Bugs Bunny ties were my husband's, and the purses were for my granddaughters, Julia and Lauren.  The sunflower purse was from my husband's tie for my daughter, Anna.  The top left purse was made for Susan, my daughter-in-law.  The gold striped tie was made for my daughter-in-law, Jae.  I remember my dad wearing the blue and brown striped tie.  I'm sure Anna appreciates it and my mother's bumble bee pin. I think they will be great memory pieces through the years.

These are my gifts for this Christmas.  They were lots of fun to make.  I love giving gifts that I have made and hope everyone enjoyed receiving them!

Mardi Gras Purse Tutorial

 My previous post showed the  Mardi Gras purses I made for my daughter, Anna, to throw from her float this year.  Here are the instructions for making this simple, little purse:

2 squares 8 1/2" X 6" for purse
2 squares 7 1/2" X 6" for lining
2 squares 7 1/2" X 6" lightweight fusible interfacing
1 button
24" to 30" cording, ribbon, or beads for handles

Cut a piece of paper (I used cardstock) 7 1/2" X 6" for a pattern.  Round off the bottom 2 corners.

  Use this pattern to trim squares for the purse, lining, and interfacing.  Save the extra 1" piece from the purse fabric to make a loop for the button.

Fuse interfacing to wrong side of purse fabric.  Sew around the 3 sides, right sides together, leaving the top open, using 1/4" seam allowance.   Clip curves. (I use my pinking shears.)   Turn purse right side out.

Sew cording or ribbon straps to (outside) side seams...cording will hang out below the bottom of the purse when placed in the lining.  Top of strap goes on outside of purse with end standing up.  If you are using beads, wait until purse is completed and hand sew to the inside of seams.

Sew around the lining fabric, right sides together, leaving the top open AND about 2" on the bottom center. (This is the opening for turning your purse.)

Take the extra 1" of purse fabric and fold both long sides into the center.  Fold in half and stitch lengthwise.  Form a loop from this fabric.

Place the purse inside the lining (right sides together) and pull the purse handles through the opening at the bottom.

Match and pin the side seams, place loop at center of back of purse (loop down inside of purse),  then sew all the way around the top of the purse.

Pull the handles and outside of purse through the opening at the bottom of the lining.  Stitch the opening closed.  Push lining inside of purse.  Press around the top of the purse and top-stitch.

Sew on button.

Glue on gemstones or sequins to give it some "bling" or leave it plain.

Note:  A simpler way to add the handles would be to simply stitch inside the purse along the side seams when the purse has been completed.  This is what I had to do with the beads, but it would also work with the cording or ribbon if you aren't looking for as finished a product.  You could also use velcro in place of the button and loop.