Fantastic Bake Along -Cherry Tarts

It’s Christmas time and things are definitely going full steam around my house right now. I bet it is the same around your house too. So for this month’s Bake Along I decided to save the stress on someone else and I would be the host.

I realize that many of you will be too busy to join along. I get it, it’s busy. BUT if you do have an afternoon free for baking this week, I hope you will consider trying these absolutely wonderful, divine, fantastic Cherry Tarts.

This picture was taken a few years back. As you can see, my kids LOVE Cherry Tarts!

This picture was taken a few years ago. As you can see, my son absolutely LOVES Cherry Tarts!”

I warn you in advance though, once you make them, they will become a Christmas must each year like they are in my house!❤️😊

If you are interested in joining in the fun, here is how to do it:

Easy, right?! Just comment that you want to join along and you are in:)❤️. Now for the recipe:

Cherry TartsRecipe by Tracy @It’s a T-Sweets Day!Yields 18 Tarts Ingredients:

  • 1 can of cherry pie filling
  • 2.5″ Round cookie cutter

Crust:

  • 1 1/4c shortening
  • 3c flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2T vinegar
  • 1/3c cold water

Icing:

  • 2c powdered sugar
  • 1/4c milk
  • 1tsp vanilla

Directions: Make crust by cutting shortening, flour, and salt together using a pastry cutter or two knives. The shortening should be about pea sized. In a small bowl combine the egg, vinegar, and water. Add to the flour mixture. Mix until combined. If you need more pictures and directions on making pie crust, I have a more detailed recipe here.  Flour your counter top and roll the dough all out about 1/8″ -1/4″ thick.

With a round cookie cutter, cut as many circles as will fit in the dough. Place one or two cherries in the center of half of the circles. Less really is more with these Tarts.img_2388 Place the other half of the circles on top of the cherries and seal the edges with a fork.

img_2387 I have been making tarts for many years, so I have purchased a Pampered Chef Cut-n-Seal to help me seal the tarts.  It is easy to use and makes the tarts look very pretty, but it doesn’t make them taste any better 🙂

img_2386 Place the tarts on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350* for 30min. Some of the filling may ooze out a bit, that is fine. Make icing by combining milk, sugar and vanilla. Glaze warm tarts.

Finished! These Tarts are SWEET❤️❤️!

Thank you so much for dropping by today. I hope you will be joining us as we bake for Christmas:). Here is the list of those who have joined along in the past:

I am excited for Saturday! It’s going to be a delicious day:)!!

The Final Christmas Block!

The last block for the I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along came out this past Tuesday and I couldn’t hardly wait to sew it up. It is a cute string of lights designed by Laura Piland @Slice of Pi Quilts. She designs such wonderful things!

I mentioned in my last post that I am running a bit low on large pieces of my fabric. So instead of one large background square, I improvised a bit and added the border pieces to it. I really like the dimension it adds:). Quilting is such a forgiving art. ❤️. It’s all meant to looked pieced anyway so adding a few more pieces never hurts:)

The actual appliqué was very easy.

I glued the bias tape down with a glue stick and fusible web/ironed the lights down. Then I button hole stitched around everything. I made sure to have a paper towel on the back for stabilizer.

It turned out sew, sew cute! Now it is on to the setting. I can start on that next week with time left over before Christmas, right? It will be cutting it close, but I can do this!

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have a SWEET rest of your day! 🙂

Virtual Cookie Exchange- Chocolate Waffle Cookies

The sounds, sights, and smells of Christmas are all around my house! I have been sewing and baking while listening to Christmas music. It doesn’t get any better than this. 🙂

My sewing consists of Christmas quilts and Christmas Pajamas. My baking consists of COOKIES! I am so happy to joining along in the Virtual Cookie Exchange hosted by Carol over at Just Let Me Quilt. Yum!!

Cookies are a favorite around our house all year long. But we all know Santa loves his cookies so Christmas cookies are the BEST!!

My daughter spent an entire summer baking a new batch of cookies from our church cookbook everyday. Yes, you heard me right, EVERY day! My family calls that the best summer of their lives. 🙂

We soon learned if a recipe was a thumbs up recipe or a trash bin recipe. The way to tell was this — if there were any left the next day, they went into the trash bin along with the recipe. The really good cookies were all eaten before the end of the day.

There were quite a few thumbs up recipes, but the “Chocolate Waffle Cookies” were among the very top of the list.

So when I heard about this Cookie Exchange, I knew that these were the cookies I wanted to share with you. They are soft, moist, and oh so chocolatey. I know you are going to LOVE them!

Chocolate Waffle Cookies

Recipe submitted by- Tracy @It’s a T-Sweets Day!

Ingredients:

  • 1c butter
  • 1 1/2c granulated sugar
  • 1/2c cocoa powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 2c flour
  • 1Tbs vanilla

Frosting:

  • 1c butter
  • 3Tbs cocoa powder
  • 6Tbs milk
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • Slivered almonds or chopped nuts

Directions:

Make the frosting first so it will be ready to spread when the cookies come off of the waffle iron.

Frosting:

In a saucepan over medium high heat, mix together butter, powdered sugar, cocoa, and milk. Stir and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

Cookies:

Combine butter, cocoa, sugar, eggs, flour and vanilla. Mix well. The batter will be thick.

Drop by scooper or tablespoonful onto a hot waffle iron that has been sprayed with oil. Cook for 1 min. 15 sec.

Remove from iron with a fork. Generously cover warm cookie with frosting and sprinkle nuts on top. Yield – 2 dozen cookies

Yum! Yum! Yum! These are so delicious! There may be one or two missing, but I won’t say where they went…..hee, hee😊

Here is a fun card you can print up or save to your phone.

Thank you for stopping by and reading about my entry for the Virtual Cookie Exchange. If you have a moment or two and want to enjoy some calorie free eye SWEETNESS, head on over and check out what is cooking today or has been cooked up over the last few days in these talented blogger’s kitchens:

December 7

December 6

December 5

Until next time! –

Here is a graphic you can Pin to Pinterest 🙂

Light the World

This past week has been a week of Serving others and giving of time and talents to the community and to my loved ones. My heart is full❤️❤️

Nativity– Each year, the week after a Thanksgiving, I am blessed to be in charge of our church and community Live Nativity and Crèche Festival.

We enjoyed lovely weather and had over 3000 people attend.

The inside crèche festival was supported with over 200 Nativity displays and 600 drawings from local children.

We also had musical performances from local choirs and soloists. I feel so blessed to be a part of this event.

Quilting

I have also had the opportunity to quilt for the children of a dear friend who passed away last year. He left a beautiful wife and six young adult children behind.

My sewing friend, Lisa, gathered his shirts and made seven lap quilts! One for each of them:). I volunteered to quilt them on my long arm machine.

Lisa embroidered a name on each quilt to keep them from getting confused as to whose quilt is whose. What a great idea!:)

It has been a wonderful experience quilting and thinking of him and his family. The memories came flooding back as I looked at those shirts and thought of him❤️

Light the World– There are so many ways we can serve others everyday of the year, but I find it especially SWEET to focus on daily acts of service during the Christmas Season. If you are looking for service inspiration, please check out Light the World online. If we all take a moment of time each day this holiday season to give of our time and talents, we truly can LIGHT THE WORLD.

Mystery QAL Fabric Reveal!

I am very happy to reveal the challenge fabric for the first Mystery Quilt Along that starts January 1, 2018. This is a unique QAL in that the participants all use the same challenge fabric along with any others fabrics of their choice to make a quilted project. They choose the actual quilt or project themselves. It is a MYSTERY to the rest of us! How fun is that?!

Cindy over @In a Stitch Quilting and I dreamed this adventure up a few months ago. We have had fun planning and preparing the event for anyone who might like to join along. We hope YOU will find a pattern you like and surprise us all with something unique and totally you!

Here are the rules if you want to join along

Large projects or small projects, it doesn’t matter. Whatever tickles your fancy is the perfect project;)

Cindy chose our first fabric and she made it easy on us. Without any more talk, drum roll please….. the fabric is………..

Biscuits and Gravy Fluffer Nutter You be You

Cindy says she chose this fabric because she thought the name was so cute. I think it is perfect because the name includes “You Be You” and that is exactly what this MYSTERY QAL is all about –You being You and choosing what You like!

This fabric is available at Fat Quarter shop and other online stores. You may even be able to pick up a fat quarter or two at your local quilt store.

If you are interested in joining us, please leave a comment below and we will add you to the participant list.

Here is the list of those who said they are interested in joining along so far:

For sure joining the fun-

Thinking about joining the fun

I am so excited to begin sewing in January. I have ordered my Fluffer Nutter fabric and am thinking about projects. I THINK I know what I am going to make, but I won’t tell because, shhhhh, it is a MYSTERY!

Thank you for dropping by and have a SWEET rest of your day!

I Wish You a Merry QAL -North Star

It was another fun sewing day as I pieced my North Star Block for the I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along. This block was designed by Kathleen @kathleenmcmusing.blogspot.com

I followed the pattern except for the rays. I was running low on my black back ground fabric so I made a wider stripe..

I cut my square in half diagonally and sandwiched a yellow striping the middle. I then trimmed the square to the right size. It worked for me:)!

I just love looking at all of my happy Christmas blocks❤️. I am excited to sew the last block next week and then put it all together:)!

Every day is a SWEET and wonderful day when a bit of sewing and creating are part of the day:)

Moving Along Down the Rabbit Hole

I can’t believe three weeks have gone by so quickly and it is time to post about my Hand Quilting progress for the Hand QAL that Kathy is hosting over at Sewing Etc.

The last time I posted I had just marked and glued my wedges to my back ground fabric for my Down The Rabbit Hole Quilt.

I am happy to report that all of the wedge stitching is done. Yea! Aren’t they pretty? ❤️

I moved on to the twelve corner arch pieces that make the sunflower corners. I’m a bit worried they won’t all match up once I start to put them together, but onward I go!

I have found brief sewing moments here and there in between other projects. I even resorted to sewing in the car which was a bumpy challenge!

I was able to get the four corner blocks done and two of the side arches done

I have six more of these arch units to do and the leaves before I can call this round done. I bet I will have it all done by next time.;)

This is the layout of what it is going to look like when it is sewn together. Those flowers are going to bloom right off the quilt!

As far as the Salem Quilt Guild quilt goes, I did get a little bit more done. I finished coloring one panel and am almost done with the second. I can guarantee that this one will not move any further along than this for the next month or so. Christmas is coming and I have a lot of sewing and preparing to do. You get it, right?

I am thankful to Kathy for organizing this QAL. Here are the details if you would like to join us:)❤️

“This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.”

Kathy, Bella, Lori, Margaret, Kerry, Emma, Tracy, Deb, Connie, Susan and Jessisca If you have a moment and want to see some pretty eye candy, be sure to check out the other Hand stitchers as well:)

Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you have a SWEET rest of your day😊

A Hooded Towel for Christmas!

It has finally come, that time to put away the other projects and focus on my Christmas sewing. Yea! I love Christmas!

When my oldest son was born, a beautiful lady from my church made a hooded towel for him. That towel was WONDERFUL! It was large enough to wrap him up in and absorbent enough to really get him dry. I just LOVED it!

As I was thinking about gifts for my grandsons this year, I knew that I wanted to make a large, soft, hooded towel for them too. I wish I had kept that old towel to use as a pattern, but it has been long, long gone. I searched the internet and Pinterest for patterns that were similar or that I liked, but I couldn’t find one that gave clear enough instructions. So… to make this long story short — I just designed my own!

The pattern is EASY!! And the tutorial makes sewing the towel a breeze :). If you have any babies or toddlers on your Christmas list, you might want to try your hand at sewing them a Hooded Towel. 🙂

Supply List:

  • One Bath Towel
  • One Hand Towel
  • Matching Thread

Instructions:

  • If you want to add embroidery or ribbon or appliqué etc., add it to your hand towel first. Make sure that the embellishments are between 6” – 9” from the bottom of the towel. You can add bows and buttons or more after the towel is sewn.

  • With the right side of the towel facing down, fold the bottom of the towel up about 5”. If you are adding embellishments, Check to make sure that the fold covers the whole thing. If not, make the fold larger.
  • On the front of the towel, sew a top stitch close to the fold.
  • On the back of the towel, sew the top of the folded flap down.

The front will now look like this.

  • With the right side facing up, fold the edge you just sewed back on itself 6.5”
  • Sew these sides closed

  • Find the center of the towel on the fold and place a pin there.
  • With a ruler, place the 3’ mark at the pin and mark 3” on either side with a pin.

  • Sew from the pin to the end of the flipped edge.Back stitch and secure this edge quite a bit. I have marked in chalk your sewing line from the pin to the end of the flipped edge. You do not need to mark your towel

  • Cut the corners of folded edge next to the angled stitching.
  • Cut the free edge of the towel 3” from the fold as in the above picture.

This next step is the only somewhat tricky part, but it really just feels a bit awkward. It’s not hard. You can do it!:)

  • Mark the center of the folded, top of the hood with a pin.
  • Fold the back of the towel lengthwise starting at the pin. Fold the hood evenly in half lengthwise pinning as needed.
  • Sew from the top pin down to the bottom about 1” over. I have marked in chalk your sewing line

You will have a hood with a dart on the back when you are done . Yea! You did it:)

  • Finish all of your cut edges with a serger or with a zig zag stitch.

  • Sew the side wings down that are barely below the hood

  • Find the center of the long or wide side of your towel.
  • Pin the hood to the towel
  • Sew the hood down making sure to really back stitch and the beginning and end for added strength. You may even want to sew this seam twice.

Oh my goodness! You are done! Isn’t it the cutest thing?

And since I blog about my creative journeys, there are rarely any real homemade surprises under our Christmas tree. I figure it gives added anticipation. Lol:)! Here are the three towels that I made. After the initial embroidery, which took forever, these towels whipped up in no time!

And of course I had to grab my SWEET grandson and take quick photo to show you how truly adorable this towel really is! Just look how snuggly he is:).

I will not be posting the rest of the week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. I hope those of you in the States have a wonderful holiday filled with family and delicious food. I am Thankful for all of you, my online friends.

Fantastic Bake Along- Celebrating the Apple Results🍎

Good morning! This FANTASTIC BAKE ALONG has been so much fun:)! I appreciate Connie @Connie’s Creations for her inspiration Applesauce Cake:). Several of the bakers said they would be making this recipe for the Bake Along.  Yum!!  Apples are delicious and so very “Fall”.

This month is a “share your favorite apple recipe” month. We have a tradition around our house called “pre-Thanksgiving pie”. We like to make a few pies early and enjoy them because we are usually too full after the feast to really enjoy dessert. So why not start the week with a few pies to make our celebration last longer? It works for us:)!

This is my Award Winning Crusty Topped Apple Pie. I entered this recipe in our county fair a few years back, and won the Best of Show over all of the food entries! It is that good:)

Before I start, I want to share my feelings on Apple pie fillings. You may have different views on pie filling, but these are mine and really work for me — I do not believe that fresh cut, uncooked apples should be used in pies as filling. They shrink and add water to the filling making it runny and leaving the pie flat. Some pies even have a large gap between the crust and the filling due to shrinkage.

So… I only use canned apples for my pies. I am including my canning recipe here as well, but really any high quality canned apple filling will do for this pie. The crust and yummy topping really are what make it so delicious.

Here is the recipe:

Award Winning Crusty Topped Apple Pie Recipe by- Tracy @ It’s a T-Sweets Day!

Part 1- Crust

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4c shortening
  • 3c flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2T vinegar
  • 1/3c cold water

Directions:

Cut first 3 ingredients together using a pastry cutter or two knives. The shortening should be about pea sized. In a small bowl combine the egg, vinegar, and water. Add to the flour mixture.

Mix with a fork and then your hands just until moist and the pastry sticks together. Be careful not to over mix. If your pastry is too dry, add a bit more vinegar, like 1 tsp. Form the pastry into two balls, place in a bag, and store in the refrigerator for about 30 min.

Lay a tea towel out on your counter and dust it with flour. Flatten one dough ball with your hand a bit and then roll the dough into a circle larger than your pie pan. Dust the pin and dough with flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Put your rolling pin at the end of the dough closest to you and lift the tea towel causing the crust to roll over the rolling pin.

Lift the pin with the rolled dough over the pie pan and unroll the crust over the pan. Easy easy!:)

Lift the edge of the crust a bit and pinch the crust with your thumb and first two fingers. You will get a beautiful scalloped edge.

Part 2- Filling and Topping

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts Apple Pie Filling of your choice (my recipe is below)
  • 3/4c sugar
  • 3/4c flour
  • 3/4c melted butter
  • 2tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Spoon the pie filling evenly into the crust. It should reach to the bottom of the scalloped edges. In a medium bowl combine the melted butter with the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Stir until well combined.

Gently press the topping evenly over the apples all around the pie. Place the pie on a baking sheet. This is an important step because it really drips! Bake at 350* for 1 hour. Your house is going to smell so good!

Take it out and admire your beautiful pie for a few minutes as it cools.

Just look at that flaky crust:). Be sure to cut a slice to eat while it is still hot out of the oven. It tastes best that way:)❤️

Done! I made that whole pie, minus the baking time, in about 30min. Ah, the joy of canning my apples beforehand:).

For those of you who would like my Apple pie filling recipe, here it is:

Canned Apple Pie Fillingrecipe by Tracy @It’s a T-Sweets Day!
Ingredients  :

  • 9 c water
  • 4 1/2c sugar
  • 1/2c light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1c cornstarch
  • 3 Tbs lemon juice
  • 3/4c flour
  • 6 lb apples, peeled and cored

In a large sauce pan, combine the first seven ingredients. Stir until bubbly and thick. Turn off heat. Add lemon juice and flour. Stir to combine. Stir in apples. Pack apple filling into sterilized quart jars, leaving 1″ at top. Wipe rims and place lids on jars. Process in a hot water bath for 30min. Makes 7 quarts<<
ere you go! I hope you will give this award winning recipe a try sometime. You will not be sorry!

I am so excited to hear how the other baker’s fared with their apple recipes. Here is the list of bakers who said they would be joining in this month’s Bake Along:

Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you all enjoy the delicious apple recipes. For those of you in the States, Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m off to check out the other SWEET recipes😊

Mystery Quilt Along

Would you like to participate in an unusual quilt along? Cindy from Inastitchquilting.com and I will be hosting a brand new MysteryQuilt Along (QAL) beginning January 1, 2018.

What’s so unusual, you might ask? Well, back in September, Cindy wrote a post that intrigued me. It was called the Window Box Quilt. In that post she spoke of a challenge initiated by a group of her friends. The centerpiece of the challenge was one fabric. The only requirement of the challenge was that the focus fabric had to be present in their art piece. No other rules applied. They were free to use the fabric in any quantity to make whatever they chose.

Unfortunately the joint venture never got off the ground. I told Cindy that I would have joined in and we decided that this would be a fun adventure to try. We thought that maybe some of you might want to join us as well. 🙂

Very Similar

The rules of this MysteryQAL will be very similar. Early in December we will announce the chosen fabric. Once the fabric has been revealed, go ahead and purchase the fabric along with any other fabrics you want to include. Once your fabrics have been selected, YOU get to decide how you would like to use them. The fabric is the constant, the pattern is the MYSTERY! How fun is that?!

Then on January 1, 2018, visit our blogs and announce your intentions by leaving a comment. We will then add your blog address to our list of participants. You will have until March 31, 2018, to complete your item.

Blog About Your Progress

Throughout the three month challenge you are encouraged to blog about your progress. To make the QAL even more interesting visit the blogs of the other participants. Be sure to leave a kind comment along with your blog address so they can visit your site as well.

By visiting each others websites, we can support one another and create a community of potential friends. If you do not blog, you can still participate by posting your progress on Instagram using the hashtag #mystery_qal

A Prize

The week after March 31, one lucky participant will receive one yard of the next mystery challenge fabric! The lucky winner will be randomly selected. If all goes well, we hope to have more than two people, Cindy and myself, participating. LOL! 🙂

Are You In?

I hope you are in! 🙂 Who wouldn’t want to make some friends and maybe win a prize? The complete list of the rules and guidelines has been provided below along with a Mystery QAL graphic that you can add to your posts.

Any Questions?

Any questions? If so, you can leave a comment here, and I will be happy to answer them. :). Be watching for further updates. If you are a follower of our blogs, then you will receive automatic updates. Let’s make this a fun and inviting QAL!

It will be Cindy’s turn to pick the first MYSTERY fabric. I can’t wait to see what she chooses:)!!