Monday, November 30, 2015

Virtual Cookie Exchange Blog Hop - My Day

So when my friend Carol announced she was going to host this blog hop, I quickly emailed her and said I'd love to join in!  I can't wait to see everyone's fun creations!  Thanks for a fun idea and for hosting Carol!!!

I am known in certain circles as the "One Who Brings Cookies"  and it is fun for me to make them for others to enjoy.  

At Christmastime, I make dozens and dozens...always at least a double batch at a session and many are made ahead of time to freeze for pulling out as needed for family gatherings, church youth group, and sometimes "just because" for my son...the recipes I am sharing all freeze well and are easy to make.

I have been scaling back the amounts of baking I do in this last year as my husband has been on a very low carb diet in which he lost 50 pounds.  

I must say I appreciate the opportunity to share with a few like-minded people who might not consider my cookies to be a hindrance to their diet :)  Buaahhahahhahahahahahahaa!!!!  insert evil laugh here.

**Hint number 1:  Puuuhhhhlllleeeeeeze use Parchment Paper, it really makes for a better cookie!!!**

Cookie 1:
Chocolate Chip...(Rise High Cakey version)
I am a fan of thick chocolate chip cookies, light on the chips...when making these for others though I usually do put in the full amount of chips as most are traditional about these things.  I think they are best with only one or 2 chips per cookie, hehehehe.
Cream together -
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup crisco butterflow shortening
1 cup brown sugar
then add -
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Mix together in separate bowl-
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
Combine and chill batter for at least an hour.
Use a #20 disher or Tablespoon to drop batter onto parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 13 minutes at 375 degrees F.
Makes around 3 1/2 - 4 dozen cookies.
Cookie 2:
Oatmeal Raisin
The secret for these is the baking raisins, they make a big difference.  Also be aware that the cookie continues to bake when you remove it from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet. Don't overbake these!  They should be crispy on the edges and chewy in the centers. Taste testing maybe required to get perfect bake time, hehehehe.
Cream together -
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup minus 2 tsp Crisco butterflow shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar
then add -
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Mix together in separate bowl-
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1  tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

Combine and mix well.

Add/Fold in-
3 Cups Quick cooking Quaker Oats
1 Cup Baking Raisins

Drop by rounded Tablespoons onto Parchment paper lined baking sheets and bake 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees F until golden brown.  Cool on baking sheet .
Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Now, finally...when my family thinks of ginger cookies it is not the little men we think of.  I do make those, but we use sugar cookie dough and mini m&m's and little sugar eyes for those to especially appeal to my younger nieces and nephews...
 No, for gingery spicy cookies, this is our go-to recipe...

Cookie 3:
Molasses Cookies
The secret for these is the Turbinado coarse sugar, it makes them chewy inside and crispy outside.  
Cream together -
2 cups sugar
1 cup Crisco butterflow shortening
1/4 cup softened butter

then add -
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses

Mix together in separate bowl-
4 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 tsp ground ginger
2  tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves 

Combine and mix well.

Place in a separate bowl-
1 cup Turbinado Sugar in the Raw  Coarse Sugar to roll cookie balls in

Shape into 1 1/2" balls and roll in coarse sugar then place on Parchment paper lined baking sheets and bake around 10-11 minutes at 385 degrees F until golden and tops are cracked.  Remove to wire rack to cool.
Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Thanks for taking the time to visit with me today!  Please continue on with the hop and visit the others I am fortunate to share today with listed below!

December 1

And don't forget to check back on the rest of the hop with these folks!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A finished lap quilt

 Sorry for the poor pictures, I had this wrapped and given away as of this morning so had to make do in the rainy weather yesterday with a quick picture.  I adore the colors of this quilt but felt led to gift it to our church's Christmas family so off it went :)  I may have to revisit these colors together as it is a beautiful combination and my fingers may have felt a bit like hanging onto it for me!  This was a kit I bought from Fig Tree Quilts.
 I used my go-to organic straight line quilting which worked well with the spool blocks.
 This was our Thanksgiving morning which involved a bit of squirting water and a new dishwasher, not the best timing but I am happy to be blessed with a handy hubby!!

Monday, November 23, 2015

First Snow and a Concert

So I am not sure that I am happy about this first snow or not...winter has arrived, but it is beautiful.
 A pretty heavy first act at 4 1/2"...this is making me wonder if it will be another heavy snow year...
 This one really stuck to the tree branches!
 Not much need for the shovel as it is to be 50 degrees by Thanksgiving this week.
 But a sight to see for a couple of days!
 And I just have to say, my husband and I took our son to see For King & Country at a local church last night and it was a truly wonderful concert.  They are one of my son's favorite bands and I think my husband and I left fans as well...they had a great show :)

Friday, November 20, 2015

Shenandoah Valley Botanical Block 2 Blue Flag - Iris

I am sewing along with the Shenandoah Valley Botanical Quilt project - the pattern is provided by the Virginia Quilt Museum and all pattern sales benefit the museum. Dawn, from Collector with a Needle, and Doreen, from Aunt Reen’s Place, are hosting a quiltalong for this quilt, here.
The pattern size as provided by the museum easily makes 9 inch blocks. I am doing mine in wool so that I can make that size, many are enlarging the pattern and all the participant's resulting blocks are worth a pretty!

This is my Block 2, Blue Flag or Iris...
 So fun to select the threads to applique these, in this case I used some wool Aurifil.  The blue wool I used is from a piece my friend Marie dyed for me...maybe not true to life Iris color but I love it :)
 The green wool I used for the stems gave my a bit of trouble- I should have used a tighter felted piece for such narrow stems.
 And here are the blocks I've made so far, we were to make 3 of the first pineapple block but I chose to make 4 as I am changing the layout slightly.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Deer Sighting

Lorna sent me this pattern as a prize for participating in her latest Linky contest with her Dog Gone Cute Blog Hop.  I decided to try it out and it came out very cute!  I love the way Lorna's animal patterns egg you on to finish them with their cute little faces appearing as you go.

If you need one of these deer in your life you can find the pattern here.  I believe this also works into her full Forest Friends quilt.  Thanks again Lorna!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Fancy Forest Start

 I enjoyed making Elizabeth Hartman's Legendary quilt so much I decided to start her Fancy Forest quilt pattern.  First up is the Fox.  I am using Basic Grey's Sweet Serenade for the background and this first fox is leftovers from my Legendary quilt - a Nancy Gere print.  I am down to a small piece of this print, going to miss it - it is supposedly an 1800's reproduction print but it is a great print to mix with the modern fabrics.  I am sneaking text into this quilt by using the black Carolyn Friedlander print from Architextures.

 So now this is where I am...4 foxes and a bunny rabbit.

This is the view out one of my windows in my quilting room.  Turkeys!  They are really fun to watch.  They are so happy our field was planted in corn this year.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bag It Sew Along and a Win

My friend Patty has a great and very informative Sew Along called Bag It going on right now geared to help us all make some homemade gifts this Christmas, or anytime.  There are lots of great bag ideas and subtle differences to grow your skills.  And there are prizes from some great sponsors, just for doing what you love - sewing!

 I chose to make the zippy pouch detailed in her first post as it will be perfect to stash in my purse.  This was my first time making fancy fabric zipper stops, I have had to cut down zippers to use before but I have always just sewed across the end several times to make a thread stop in the past.  This is much prettier!
 You will have to go to Patty's post to find out how to make it, I added a pocket to the lining for fun and was happy to find that it did end up text right side up as I struggle sometimes with those kind of details :)
 This quilting just makes me smile, and this bag matches the boxy bag I made quite awhile ago.

I added a cute charm for the zipper pull - this was a most excellent purchase from Michael's clearance section in the jewelry section...I may have bought several, no, I definitely did!!  Did you have one of these rulers as a kid?  The kind with the shape templates in the middle?

So, yesterday a surprise came in the mail too! I have Patty's daughter to thank for pulling my name from the hat in the giveaway from her last Harvest QAL where I made a table runner...remember this?  I had great fun making that as churndash is my all time favorite pattern and I am a sucker for a good quilt along.  I still have it decorating my kitchen table and have received many compliments.
She still has the whole quilt pattern available here.

Anyway, this is what she sent me - a box of wonderful. :)  I love all those fabrics, as you know I am a bit more than a bit partial to Sweetwater and their texts and plaids(see bag above, hehehe).  I really absolutely adore that zippy bag she gifted me too, it's been my favorite when I see the group shot pics shown in her Bag It posts.  How did she know I was coveting it so?  I feel very spoiled.
Thank you so much Patty!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Legendary Quilt - My Version

I couldn't resist making this pattern Legendary by Elizabeth Hartman for two reasons,

My son took this picture on our visit last month to Pike's Peak...Evan is my muse and I often make quilts for and/our because of him.

And because I identify fairly strongly with the big guy - I wear size 11 women's shoes.  Yes, I am lady bigfoot...

Anyway, on to the quilty details, complete with fabric nerd info as I used some of my real favorites here and they truly look great together.  I have been trying to work within just my stash most of this year and this quilt was no exception.
Background: Moda Vanilla Grunge
Tree trunks: Benartex City Girl, Kitty Yoshida - absolutely perfect for tree trunks!!)
Tree 1 : Kaufman print by Robin Zigone
Tree 2: Windham Fabrics New Colonies, Nancy Gere
Tree 3: Benartex City Girl, Kitty Yoshida
 Tree 4: Kaffe Fasset
Tree 5: Moda Comma, Zen Chic
Tree 6: Benartex, City Girl, Kitty Yoshida
Tree 7: Moda, Comma, Zen Chic (looks like little white doves in the tree)
Tree 8: Benartex City Girl, Kitty Yoshida

Big Foot:Mary Koval from Mary's Favorite Blues
Tree 9: Denyse Schmidt, Chicopee (this print is actually grey and yellow but makes a perfect fave!)

Tree 10: Tula Pink, Prince Charming
Tree 11: Denyse Schmidt, Hope Valley
Tree12: Moda, Comma, Zen Chic

Tree 12 labeled above
Tree 13: Moda Bella Solid, Pistachio
Tree 14: Denyse Schmidt,Hope Valley 

The finished quilt top.  I am very happy with the color play here, may have to do another quilt with these to quilt it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Trunk Full of Quilts- Virtual Show and Tell

I love everything that Soma of Whims and Fancies does, be it paper pieced quilt block designs, gorgeous quilts, knitting or a virtual trunk show among friends.

So how could I resist her newest: 
Online Quilt Trunk Show | Whims And Fancies

I have many favorite quilts but just a few finished from 2015...
This is my Dog Gone Cute quilt I finished, the blog post is here.

And my Fall Table Runner, blog post here.

 This is a baby quilt I made this year for a baby at church, blog post here.

  And another baby quilt donated to a hospital charity, blog post here.
A toddler quilt for a little girl cousin, blogged here.
A toddler quilt for a little boy cousin, blogged here.

And for a couple oldies but still well-loved goodies...

This one was finished in December not quite a year ago.  This one contains many of Soma's beautiful patterns and is a favorite around the house made for my son.
This reminds me I need to get a better picture of it too!!  Blogged here.

A couple Halloween lovelies...
This one blogged here.
 And this one blogged here.

And some even older lovelies here...

This is another favorite blogged here.

This is one I use practically everyday...

Blogged here.

Thanks for slogging through this long, picture heavy post.  It was fun to go back through some of my makings in the last couple of years.  And thanks to Soma for organizing this fun trunk show and tell event.  I can't wait to see what you, dear reader, and all our other friends post!

Linking with Whims and Fancies

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Catching Up With the Farmer's Wife QALs

My week off to go exploring the western end of our country created a backlog of Farmer's Wife blocks that needed to be done in order to keep up with both the qals.

I have mentioned that am quilting along with both qals on this to keep my momentum going and to help with a quicker finish :)

The qals are from two great bloggers: Angie from GnomeAngel, who is doing one by skill level starting with easiest and the one I started with, Kerry's from verykerryberry which is going numerical/alphabetical

The majority of the blocks I had to finish to catch up were from the GnomeAngel qal.

Celebrating neighbor's generosity in times of struggle.  I traditionally pieced this one.

Celebrating a grandmother raising her grandchildren.  I paper pieced this one.

This one celebrates taking time to play with your kids so I used a fun kitty conversational print with piano and drums.  I paper pieced this one.

Celebrating happiness in owning one's own farm through struggle and sacrifice.  I paper-pieced this one.

Old Maid:
This one celebrates a woman raising her younger siblings. I traditionally pieced this one.

Celebrates teaching your children to earn the money they spend.  I paper pieced this one.

Whew!  Glad to be caught up :)  That means I now have  23 blocks done of the 99 presented in the book.  About a quarter of the way there!