Tuesday, December 23, 2014

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 

Christmas doesn't end at the manger!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Lemon Cornbread Cake

[May I state for the record how frustrating it is to use an iPad to post on Blogger? The funny thing is, Safari gives me a "Complain to Google" button!]

...the jury of the D is still out on this one, but I loved it! A quick shuffle through the pantry landed me a box of Jiffy cornbread mix (what can I say, I'm nostalgic) and a box of "Cook & Serve" lemon pudding. From the fridge, I rescued an orphaned egg white, its full-fledged cousin, the last of the half 'n half, and a lemon that had known better days. A bit of sugar, a little flour, and a splash of olive oil rounded out a batter that baked up surprisingly tender for such humble beginnings. Mmmm...  (grin)

Try it!

Lemon Cornbread Cake

1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
1 small box Jell-O Cook & Serve lemon pudding mix
1/4 cup flour
1 egg white
1 whole egg
3/4 cup half 'n half
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 lemon, divided
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Beat together the cornbread mix, dry pudding mix, flour, egg white, whole egg, half 'n half, granulated sugar, olive oil, lemon zest, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Pour into a greased 11 x 7" pan. Bake in a preheated oven for 25 to 27 minutes, or until top springs back when lightly touched. Meanwhile, beat together powdered sugar and remaining lemon juice mixed with enough water to equal 2 tablespoons. Spread over top of warm cake to edges. Serve.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Disappearing Pinwheel

...such a fun little block! I first saw this technique in a Missouri Star Quilt Co. video tutorial --- then Jenny did a part two that resulted in a Churn Dash. Eek! I love those... Jenny strikes me as a very sweet lady. I'd totally like to meet her some day...  {grin}

Here's a little cheat sheet:

Monday, July 14, 2014


...a little color with the Palette Builder 2.1 - Beta software at Play-Crafts (and it's kind of fun!!)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Somewhat discouraged...

I've been visiting the Moda Bakeshop since pretty much its inception ---- I love that magical place! And I won't deny a deep and abiding love, too, for quite a few of the Moda pre-cuts.  {grin}  In my down time, I dig drawing patterns that are "Perfect for Pre-cuts" (yes, clever, but also a magazine name....I digress).

Last week I drafted a pattern for a throw quilt I named "Casablanca" that worked well with a 10" layer cake --- I was inspired by the quatrefoil repeat, Moorish tile, and a West Elm rug. Inspiration strikes in the strangest places, but I have friends living in northern Africa who are coming soon for a visit and were on my mind. I've been intending to make quilts for each of their 4 (soon to be 5!) kiddos and thought a taste of their adopted homeland might be a nice touch.

In the end, I felt the pattern was fun, cute, and rather nifty. Such that I finally talked myself into filling out the submission form and sending off my little one for consideration as a Bakeshop feature. I draw in solids, so I tracked down thumbnails of BasicGrey's fall line, Persimmon, and used those as my fabric starting points. (I can't be the only one who loves the fact that BasicGrey and Cosmo Cricket designs are available on both paper AND fabric, right???) Gorgeous, yes, yes!

Today as I was wandering through the various blogs I like to wander through from time to time, I came across some new pattern releases by Emily Herrick of Crazy Old Ladies. She posted them yesterday and honestly, my heart sank when I got halfway through the post. To me it's obvious our block construction is different and the overall pattern isn't a mirror image, but I am very bummed that my darling Casablanca is channeling the same vibe as Emily's Urban Trellis. Before today I'd never seen her pattern ---- in pictures, person, on the web, or anywhere. I don't know why this makes me so sad, except for the fact that I finally worked up the courage to submit something I'd made...only to discover somebody else was slightly ahead of me.  {sigh}

Monday, February 17, 2014


...a fun (and flannel-y) finish! I am quite the good project starter, but oh so painfully slow at finishing anything. That said, I am totally geeked about this contribution to the fabrisphere because it's for a very special new mommy and daddy. One of my dearest friends, Brooke, and her husband, Si, have been in the process of becoming foster parents. They were officially licensed on New Year's Day and just a few weeks ago welcomed a "permanent placement" into their home: a 15-month old boy named Nathaniel.

They are beginning the adoption process and hopefully by the end of this summer Nate will be theirs forever and ever! I got to meet their little man this past Friday and I completely agree with his momma ---- love at first sight! I can't post pictures of Nate, but I can show you his quilt:

Because I ended up meeting him sooner than I expected, I wasn't able to do the full-fledged quilt I had in mind (maybe for his birthday??), but I'm pleased as punch with this cozy flannel strip quilt with super soft ragged edges. It matches the nursery theme (by accident) and I found the cutest snuggly yellow lion to go with it.

For the quilt, I cut two 3" and 6" by the WOF strips from 6 half-yard cuts (flannel is funny -- my widths were all over the place and some had pretty 'deep' selvages, too). Each strip is three layers thick --- matching flannel for the front and back plus a solid for the 'batting' aspect. I quilted the layers together with a single center line stitch (you could do decorative here, I opted for straight) then joined the strips with a half-inch seam, making sure to keep all the seams on one side of the quilt. I snipped the seams width-wise at 1/8" and then sewed the perimeter with a 1/2" seam allowance and snipped those edges, too. No binding made a for a super fast finish! The whole thing went through two laundry cycles and frayed beautifully! It's a really warm blanket which is good for us northerly Mid-westerners.  {grin}

Welcome home, Nate!

p.s. I'm guessing by now that you figured out this quilt doesn't measure 60" ---- doh! It's more like 54" long, which is still a nice length when you're from the toddler set.  {wink}

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Quick Coin Quilt

...coin quilts abound and I especially love the strip-pieced approach since they come together so quickly. I came across an easy variation with applique called "Lola's Coin Quilt' on Quilt Story but the numbers didn't jive for the resulting quilt. Here's my take with Fat Quarter and Jelly Roll (2.5") strip options in place! The more fabrics you use, especially in the case of the FQ version, the greater the variety in the final quilt.

In a typical Moda Jelly Roll there are 42 strips, so you can create up to 4 baby quilts using this approach if you use the whole roll. For each 30x40" quilt, you need 15" of a neutral solid (just under 1/2 a yard) for the sashing + 10 full (or 20 half) jelly roll strips with selvages removed for the coins. If you choose the full jelly roll strip option, remember to double your cut units: 4 - 6.5" and 6 - 2.5" as you'll need to join these to create the 40" columns:

For a larger quilt, if you don't mind a break in your sashing at the midpoint, piece four small quilts using sashing cut from the width of fabric and join the quadrants to make a larger quilt. You'll need 55" total in length (or just under 1-2/3 yards) to cut 22 - 2.5"xWOF strips. Otherwise you'll need to cut your sashing from the length (you need 2-1/4 yards to cut 11 - 2.5x80" strips).

I used to hate math...then I took up quilting.  {grin}

Just a little PSA...

I like Moda, but I consistently wonder if pre-cuts are really worth the price. I admit I purchase Charm packs now and again, but balk at the price of Layer Cakes and Jelly Rolls. The one Moda pre-cut that I simply can't wrap my head around is the Mini Charm (or "Candy") cut they just rolled out:

I appreciate the convenience factor of pre-cuts and yes, the variety is nice, too. But Candy Bar (2.5x5") and Mini Charm (2.5") cuts, penny for penny, just don't make sense! Surely I can't be the only one out here in left field...  {grin}

Monday, August 26, 2013

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

....one of my favorite weekly link-ups is hosted by Lee at Freshly Pieced. Called "WIP Wednesday," it is a fabulous collage of works-in-progress by sewists and quilters alike, just what my middle-of-the week needs! I especially like the page format Lee unveiled earlier this year. Each linky has its moment in the spotlight on the front page, no matter when you link up. I have found so many great new-to-me blogs, too, by perusing the links.

I have yet to add my own (shame, shame!) but mostly because I just haven't devoted as much time to sewing this summer as I would like. Perhaps I ought to start setting a goal or two, to keep my and my sewing machine from getting too rusty? I haven't slowed down in the fabric stashing department, but I'm thinking it's about time I turned all that wonderful into something more than folded fibers on the shelf.  {grin}

Friday, July 19, 2013

Politics aside...

...can anyone tell me why Google would return a picture of former President G.W. Bush and President Obama in a search for a "Flip Flop Party" ---- I got a chuckle out of these search results. I'm curious how Bing would stack up.  {wink}

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

It's a Happy Day...

....when you can make lemon curd successfully in the microwave! Thanks, King Arthur, for a gem of a recipe. This one is definitely a keeper... Oh, so delicious!

I have an 1100 watt microwave and my curd was done in under 6 minutes. I started with four 1-minute intervals, then took the curd's temperature --- was looking for between 185 and 190 degrees F, a safe temperature for eggs. I got 187 at five-and-a-half minutes. I did strain the curd through a fine mesh sieve, just to cover my tail feathers, and stashed it in the freezer to speed up the cooling. (This was destine to top mini lemon cheesecakes that I dreamed up --- my recipe take is below!)

Want to make mini cheesecakes? I did the other night but didn't really feel like digging up a recipe, so I wandered through my fridge.  {grin}

V's Mini Lemon Cheesecakes
Makes 12

1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs*
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp. melted butter

2 (8 oz.) blocks cream cheese, softened
1 (5.3 oz.) cont. lemon Greek yogurt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp. lemon juice or 1 tsp. lemon extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and spray with non-stick baking spray (aka Pam or Baker's Joy).

For the crust, toss together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter with a fork in a small bowl until combined. The crust should clump together and be slightly moist; if not, add up to 1 tbsp. more melted butter. Divide among prepared muffin wells - about a heaping tablespoon per cup. Tamp crumbs down using a small glass with a smooth base; I use a juice cup!

For the filling, whisk together softened cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and sugar till smooth. Add the egg and lemon juice; whisk till incorporated, but don't over-beat! Divide filling among wells and gently tap pan on counter to remove any air bubbles.

Bake cheesecakes in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or till centers are set. (They may wiggle a bit, but will firm upon standing. If you over-bake these, the tops will crack!) Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Remove from the pan to a baker's rack and cool completely. Transfer to a covered plate and chill in the refrigerator till serving time. Top with lemon curd, berry compote, or just eat plain straight from the fridge like my dear one does!

* I used a combination of half homemade graham crackers and half gluten free Schar Italian breadsticks that I pulsed in the food processor. I'm not GF and this is not a GF recipe, but I did have them on hand from a recipe I made earlier in the week that was gluten-free. I like that not-so-sweet factor of the crust and that you can get away with using less sugar if you feel like it.