Bon Voyage!! -Gathering yarn for my trip


The day has finally come!  We leave tonight to start our 30th anniversary cruise:). Yea! Yea!  We will be traveling to the Jewels of the Aegean on the Oceania Riviera.   Well,  that really means we’re going to Greece and Israel!!    Can you tell that I am excited? 

Oceania has been so nice to work with so far. They sent us a very nice itinerary booklet with our names printed on it.  It is very customized to us.  We feel pampered already!

This is a 5 1/2 star ship that is geared to food lovers like myself.  I really am a foodie so I am excited to see what makes this ship known for its dining.

I of course am gathering my travel projects.  I would never let 19 hours on a plane go without some handwork.  You get me, right?  We crocheter/quilters are a keep your hands busy breed!


I figure that now is the time to start (and hopefully catch up) on my peacock bag.  Aren’t the colors pretty?  They are the originals from the CAL.  I love my little starfish stitch markers.  They match so well!  

I ordered this beautiful yarn cutter to wear as a necklace in the plane.  I didn’t even know they made these until one of you fantastic bloggers blogged about it.  I wish I could remember who, but I can’t so to all of you,  Thx!  

I also ordered this fantastic camel hair yarn with thoughts of the Middle East. 


It is really soft and pretty, but still kind of smells like a camel, lol:)!  I wound these hanks up into two lovely cakes of yarn that I am also going to bring just in case I finish the peacock bag.  It doesn’t look that hard…..

I plan on buying Israeli and Greek yarn and fabric to bring home as my souvenirs.  Won’t that be fun?

Soooo… I am off to start packing!  

SWEET!!!

–Tracy:)

Moving Along On My Mandala

This beautiful mandala is slowly but surely coming to an end. There is light at the end of the tunnel:).  I don’t know why, but every crochet project has that middle of the way monotony for me, and this mandala has been no exception.

You would think that with all of the pattern and color changes, the level of excitement would be at an all time high, but no, I still experienced a bit of the middle of the row doldrums. Although with this project, not nearly as much as on a one stitch only type afghan.

The purple and blue, especially blue, sections have been this “push on” section for me.  But look at it now.  It is BEAUTIFUL!

I think that all things beautiful and lovely take time and effort.  I am glad for the moments of every SWEET stitch:)


I wish I could take this with me on my anniversary cruise, but it is way way WAY too big to cart along on a plane!!  So it will have to wait for me until I get home in a few weeks.

If any of you are interested in making your own Mandala Madness, the pattern is free at crystals and crochet.

Thank you for dropping by!

–Tracy:)

Piecing Done–on to the Quilting:)


After the long wait in a box on the shelf, I am so pleased with how quickly this little spinner quilt came together:). I just love the colors and random kaleidoscope blocks. It is a BEAUTY!!   I have a special secret about this quilt that I will let you know about in the near future…hee, hee:) I’m so excited!



I put it on the rollers for quilting, but will not be able to actually quilt it for a few weeks because I am going on a cruise with my SWEET handsome husband to celebrate our anniversary:).  Love, love, love!!!  I definitely will be posting about it.

I hope you all have a great weekend.  I am off to shoot wedding photos for my niece and her soon to be husband:)  Do you see another wedding cake in my future?…….

–Tracy:)

Snickerdoodle Love

I cannot put into words how delicious these cookies are.  They are crispy cinnamon goodness on the outside and soft, flaky, moist deliciousness on the inside.

Most Snickerdoodle recipes make a flat, limp cookie.  This recipe makes a thick, firm, but oh so soft cookie.   They are the number one asked for cookie around our house.

Many years back, I went to my best friend, Dana’s house just as she was pulling out a batch of these cookies.  Snickerdoodles, really?  I thought Snickerdoodles were just a cookie you make when you don’t have any chocolate chips!   I took a bite and knew that these were not your ordinary Snickerdoodle.   The cookie melted in my mouth but also had quite a bit of  substance to it.  I was converted and now am a big fan of the Snickerdoodle, but only THIS snickerdoodle.

My daughter has become the queen of the cookies around our house. One summer she made every cookie recipe in our church cook book. She made a new recipe everyday. My other kids say it was the best summer of their  lives!

She has a magic touch with cookies and especially this recipe for Snickerdoodles.  I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t just LOVE them!  She made up this batch for the photo shoot because my sister came in town and ALWAYS likes to have them when she comes.  They have become her family’s favorite as well:)

Snickerdoodles

  • 3/4c room temperature butter not margarine
  • 1 1/3c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2c flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Cinnamon Sugar

  • 1c sugar
  • 2tsp cinnamon

Combine cinnamon sugar ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400*.  Blend butter and sugar until creamy.  Add eggs and blend well.  Add flour, baking powder, and salt.   Form into 1 1/2″-2″ balls and roll in the cinnamon sugar

Place on a greased pan about two inches apart and bake until lightly browned.  Touch the top of a cookie, it should feel crisp to the touch, but the edges will not be brown.  Start checking at 8 min and cook about 10-12min depending on how big of dough balls you made.

The balls will not spread very much, instead they will kind of rise.  Take a flat cup or jar to press the cookies right out of the oven to flatten them.
Remove the cookies from the pan and cool on a wire rack. Makes 12-15

You can eat these warm or cold.  They are abso-DOODLY wonderful!!!!

Thank you for stopping by:)   I hope your day is SWEET!   If you make these Snickerdoodles today, I know it will be!  – Tracy:)

How I Can Green Chiles

Last Friday I was lucky enough to go to Hatch, NM and buy some roasted green chiles.  You may remember my overly joyous post about them last week.. lol!


Well, after eating as many as we could as chile rellenos and in omelettes and tacos,  the day has come to can the rest and have them happily waiting to be used the rest of the year. I am sure this will not be a year supply, but it will be a  small, delicious reminder of Hatch and summer until next year:)

Here is how I can mine.  Of course, always check your canner instructions to be sure that it is set up correctly.  You may also want to wear gloves.  Be very careful not rub your eyes or nose.  Ouch!

  • I gather my beautiful green chiles that are roasted and peeled
  • I put some of them whole in pint sized jars filling to about 1/2″ from the top.

  • I take others to a cutting board that I place in a cookie sheet to prevent the seeds and juices from getting all over the counter.
  • I cut the stems off and then rinse out the seeds and chop the chiles into small pieces. 

  • I place the chopped chiles in  1/2pint jars.   I add left over juice and water to fill about 3/4 full.  Don’t they all look so pretty standing together waiting to be canned?

  • I run a knife along the inside to get out any bubbles and wipe off the rim and sides to leave it nice and clean

  • I add 1tsp salt to the pints and 1/2tsp to the small 1/2 pint jars.

  • I boil the lids for 5 minutes and place them on the jars and screw on the rings.

Now for the actual canning–  

  • I add a few inches of hot water to my pressure canner and place my jars in, cover and start to cook on high heat.

  • I wait for the steam to come out of the top and then set my timer for ten minutes.
  • I place my 15lb weight on and wait to hear a jiggling sound. And then lower the heat until it jiggles once or twice every minute or so.
  • I stay nearby, but I can clean or write a post on my blog while my chiles pressure cook at 15lbs of pressure for 35min.  Oh my house smells so good!!
  • Turn off the heat and let the canner cool until the sealed canner pot lid turns on its own.  This can take up to an hour or so. Sometimes I leave them here overnight and take them out in the morning, but today I want to do multiple batches, so I will wait.  
  • I always open my canner with care, facing the lid away from me so the steam will not burn my face or hands.

  • I take the VERY HOT jars out of the canner and quickly place them under a towel.

  • Extreme temperature change can cause the jars to crack.  
  • I cover them and let them cool.   I love to hear the popping sounds of the lid pulling in on itself and creating that perfect seal. Popping is a great sound sound–cracking is not.
  • I know they are sealed when I push on the center and it doesn’t move at all. There is definitely no popping sound.  The lid is tight and quiet:)


And now they are all done!  It’s really not hard at all to preserve a bit of the summer with your canner.   If one jar doesn’t seal,  I don’t stress.  I put it in the fridge and make tacos with it.  No worries.  It’s all SWEET, spicy goodness!

–Tracy:)

Scrap-Happy:)

I am  very excited to join Kate @talltalesfromchiconia with her monthly “scrap-happy” challenge.  I have a box of brightly colored scraps that I have been wanting to make into a Maple Leaf rag quilt.  I think that this is going to be my scrap-happy project for the next year or so.  I’m so glad to have a monthly deadline:)

This is a scrap quilt to the max!   I sew these scrappy strips together in strings of six and use a kaleidoscope ruler to cut them into wedges.The filler blocks are sewn crazy block style (anyway at all just adding more scraps at any angle until the piece  is large enough to cut the desired shape) then I cut it into the diamond type shape and sew it  down to a  foundation piece which is also a scrap. 

I promise, I will make a tutorial one of these months with more details on the method.  Until then, I will just post these pretty pictures and try to envision how totally SWEET  this quilt is going to be when it is all finished!


Thank you Kate for the motivation:)

–Tracy

Patiently Waiting

I was cleaning in my sewing room and came upon these beautiful kaliedescope blocks that I started last year before my two sons’ weddings.  I was happily surprised to see them again:)

I quickly put aside everything else and decided that they had waited long enough and today was the day that they were going to again meet the sewing machine.  I added the corner triangles to make them square. And then trimmed the block to a a neat square:)


Aren’t they so pretty?  It’s amazing what a 45 degree ruler can do!


I then gathered up my teals, reds, and yellows and started cutting strips and stacking them into piles to make log cabin blocks.

For any of you who have never made a log cabin block, it is really very very easy.  You cut the strips or “logs” and then, starting with the center squares, sew them together in a clockwise direction making the block bigger one log at a time.

SWEET!


I think I will be able to finish this tomorrow or the next day.  I wonder why I waited so long?  Oh yes, two weddings and summer vacations and well, life…..

Until tomorrow–  Tracy:)

Hugs and Kisses- APQ Quilt Along 2015

Good morning:)!  It is another Memorable Monday and today I would like to share my American Patchwork Quilting Magazine – Tone it Down quilt.  But I re-named it Hugs and Kisses.

Last year American Patchwork  Quilting magazine hosted this fantastic quilt along that my friend and I just had to join:)   The colors are just my favorites.  And once again,  I doubled everything  so that I could get a king sized quilt for my bed.  I LOVE IT!

Each block has a warm red, orange, or yellow “x” and a cool blue or green “o”  in the center. Now you see why I have named mine Hugs and Kisses! xoxoxo


I cut hundreds and hundreds of tiny little squares and rectangles from my scraps.  And sewed and sewed.  I wish I would have taken a picture of each square’s little zippie bag filled with the scrap pieces  for that block.  I would just take one block at a time and slowly but surely, this huge masterpiece was sewn and pressed.


I loved laying it out and seeing how beautiful it looked with the x’s creating the pattern over the low volume prints.


I had the hardest time choosing a binding for this quilt.  I decided to just use scrappy left overs here as well:). I love how they shine next to the red backing.


I am so glad that I took the extra time to make this into a king sized quilt instead of just a throw.  I think it is perfect in my room.  Every time I make my bed, I smile:)


Here it is embraced  by a piece of art from my SWEET grandma above and a crocheted afghan from my great-grandma below.  I feel so loved with hugs and kisses all around!

Thank you for dropping by.   I hope you have a Memorable  Monday as well:)

–Tracy

A Car Quilt Set for the Birthday Boy!

My grandson, Quintin, is turning two next month, and he LOVES cars and trucks.  My husband drives a big red Dodge truck and he calls him “Grandpa Truck”.   It is adorable!

Sooo.. Of course I had to make some fun car things to celebrate his birthday.  I ordered a race track panel with matching fabric to make a quilt that he can sleep under and play with.

The panel is just the middle part.  I pieced the borders with the matching fabrics.  It now looks like a bigger panel, but it’s not.   The backing is a super soft yellow flannel.  

I can’t wait to watch him play with his cars on it and then snuggle up with it to sleep:)

Then I bought a small travel pillow and made a pillowcase with his name embroidered on it.

I used the Moda Lissa tutorial on how to make travel pillow cases.  While the pillowcase really was very easy to make, I found the tutorial itself quite confusing.  If I ever make another of these (which I am sure I will), I think I will try to make a tutorial on her tutorial.  Lol!

I love how the embroidery just pops out on the band.  I sure wish it was easier to match up those letters though…Oh, well.  I got them all in and fairly straight too.  Yea:)!

And a race track would not be complete without a few cars to race on it.  So I made a zippered pouch to fill with his cars.

I quilted the fabric before I sewed it all together to give it a little bit of strength and sturdiness.  I added the cute bands as well.  Hey, when you have such cute fabric scraps, you need to use them!

I used a large plastic toothed zipper that is easy to zip open and closed.


This has been such a fun project for a  super SWEET boy:).  I am excited to watch him open it!

Thank you for stopping by

–Tracy:)

Destination Dining – Sparky’s


Ok-  I am definitely a foodie.  I have no problem at all with waiting in line for a party in my mouth. Because I like adventures in dining so much,  I thought I would start a new post section called “Destination Dining”

Today was the second year in a row that my sister in law, Michelle, and I drove three hours each way to get a hamburger and chicken tenders at Sparky’s in Hatch New Mexico.  


Hatch is all by itself in the middle of nowhere. There is really nothing there except green chiles and Sparkys.  It is the green chile Capitol of the world.  But even though there is nothing there, people come from all over and wait for Sparkys world famous green chile hamburgers.  They are a good day’s drive!


Every time I set out for the drive I ask myself, “is this really worth it?”  And then we drive up and get out of the car.  Ooooh, the smokey, green chile smell!!!!!  Yes, yes, it is worth the drive.  I take one bite and I know that I will do this drive again.  Maybe even next week! Lol:)

It’s hard to describe why this hamburger is different than all other hamburgers, but I will try.  It’s not that it is the most beautiful burger ever put on a plate, it is just the most flavorful.  The meat shines with perfect seasoning.  It is moist with flavor that explodes in your mouth.  The green chiles are mild, yet give just the perfect amount of heat. If you are ever even a little bit close to Hatch, it is worth the detour!  


We splurged and  bought a green chile lemonade .  Yum!  It is definitely a different flavor. My husband doesn’t like it, but Michelle and I do. Sweet, tart, and spicy.  Just what a birthday girl needs:)


Also a delight are the homemade, beer battered fries and chicken tenders.   So good!

And of course we had to buy some roasted chiles while we were there.  Luckily Michelle’s birthday is right in the middle of chile season:). 
They place the chiles in a roaster and let them sizzle and pop until the skins are all black.  Then they spray them with a pressure wash to remove the skins.  They come out so green and pretty.  And the smell is SWEET!!


As you can tell, I really had a great, foodie day today.  A birthday road trip for a Dining Destination.  Life doesn’t get much better than this:)!

Thank you for stopping by:)

–Tracy

Oh ps- Sparkys is only open Thursday-Sunday