My Favorites of 2016

Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs is hosting a Best of 2016 Linky Party that has got me thinking of my first year in the blog world.  It has been so much fun journaling about my creative adventures and reading about so many of yours!  It has been a wonderfully SWEET year indeed:)

I had a hard time choosing my five favorites, but here it goes, drum roll please…….

#5Navajo Code Talkers

This beauty was a Quilt Along with a friend 

#4-  Splendid Sampler

 I am still not caught up in this fun QAL, I learned that I LOVE embroidery blocks:)!

#3- Crocheted Camel Hair Scarf

  I crocheted this for my beautiful daughter with camel hair yarn to remind me of my trip to Israel

#2-  My First Giveaway 

I was happy to celebrate my first 100 followers with a quilt give away!

#1Mandala Madness

It doesn’t get any better than this 6ft beauty!  I learned so much:)
There you have it.  My top five.  I have had a great year and look forward to a SWEET 2017!!

Glazed Pumpkin Bread

Just one slice of this delicious Pumpkin Bread is never never enough! I have practiced and compared many recipes to come up with this perfect recipe. I have done all of the trial and error so you don’t have to. You’re welcome:)!Every year I make enough bread to give to family and friends. In fact, this year I made a whopping 21 full size loaves and they are all gifted out. I even wish I had more pumpkin to make into a few more loaves to give away!

Well, with that all said, Here is the recipe:):

Glazed Pumpkin Bread

Recipe by Tracy@It’s a T-Sweets Day

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2tsp salt
  • 1tsp cinnamon 
  • 1tsp nutmeg
  • 2tsp baking soda
  • 3 1/2c flour
  • 3csugar
  • 1c oil
  • 3/4c water
  • 2c pumpkin purée
  • 4 eggs
  • 1c nuts chopped

Directions:

Sift salt and spices with flour. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Grease and flour 2 bread pans. Fill 3/4 full. Bake 1 hour at 350* or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Glaze with frosting while still warm and in the pan. Sprinkle more chopped nuts on top. Let sit in pan until cool. Run knife around edges and turn upside down to get out of the pan.

Frosting:

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

Combine all ingredients to make a frosting glaze. It should be fairly thin. 

Enjoy this SWEET bread!

    Reindeer Presents

    We have a fun Christmas tradition at our house.  The kids have always been able to open one gift, usually pj’s, on Christmas Eve.  I’m sure many of you share in this tradition.  But what makes this extra SWEET here at our home is the fun reindeer wrapping.

    I found this cute pattern in a holiday craft book over 15 years ago, maybe longer.  I spent a good amount of wrapping time cutting out the reindeer on a heavy cardboard and gluing features on his face and hooves. 

    I obviously can’t give out the pattern here, but I think it would be really easy to come up with something similar by checking for cute designs online, or even just freehanding a drawing yourself!  Maybe even changing it up with a cute elf holding the present instead?

    I also decorated a gift tag with “open on Christmas Eve” written on it.  My family knows not to throw these cards and reindeer away.  I place them in a folder and use them year after year.  Yea!

    My children are not little any longer.  They have, all but one, left the nest.  And yet, they still look forward to their Reindeer PJs .  Sometimes a reindeer even brings my husband a new set of pjs!

    Last year, I made all of the girls these super fun frilly pj bottoms.  They were made with a home made pattern that I talked about here.   I  had so much fun making them:)

    This year it was the boys turn for homemade pjs.  I found a fun pattern online for joggers called Brassie Joggers.  I bought some cool fabric that screamed boy to me.  I was able to whip up 4 pair of men’s joggers and a cute pj set for my grandson in no time at all. A couple of afternoons is all it took:)


    I found the pattern to be a bit tricky though because the PDF file came with the sizes layered.  My MAC did not separate them by layer so I just had to guess on the correct size.  

    I had my son come and try his on early to make sure everything was a go. He informed me that the pockets were too small.   So I had to enlarge them as well.  I’m glad I did though.  I’m sure they will be more useful now.I like the top with the elastic and the draw string.

    I’m sure that Rudolph and the rest of the reindeer are eagerly looking forward to Christmas Eve so they can share their pj surprises.  I know that I am!

    Scrap-Happy Thank You Quilt and Quarter Square Triangle Tutorial

    My husband and I work with a bunch of fantastic young people in the ward of my church.  They are going to college or working and are so excited to be starting their life’s adventures.   If you you want to feel young, surround yourself with enthusiastic college aged students!  It’s Great! There is a couple who also works with them, but is from out of town.   They are missionaries who have spent the last 18 months spending their whole day and most of their nights just being there for the kids.  They feed them, smile, serve them, and love them.  

    Well,  this couple’s mission is over and we all are going to miss them.   Being a quilter, I knew that the best way to say good bye is with the warm hug  of a quilt!  

    I cut a bunch of 5.5″ squares from some left-over backing fabric I had in my stash, and had the kids all write thank you notes on them with crayon. –I just love using my scraps.  It makes me so happy:)!!

    Crayon is an amazing thing.  You color on the fabric and then take it to the ironing board, place a paper towel over it and press.  The wax is sort of absorbed in the paper towel while the color is permanently embedded in the fabric. It’s so cool! Next, I gathered up some of my scraps of red.  I have a lot of red left over from my “In the Sewing Room” spinners quilt that I recently gave away here on my blog.

    I wanted to make  this quilt a two color quilt so that the bright messages would really pop!  I decided on a quarter square triangle for an alternating block.  This frames the art perfectly, plus they are super easy! Here is the “recipe”:

    Quarter Square Triangle Block

    You will need a Perfect Half square and Quarter square Triangles ruler by June Tailor.

    • Determine the finished size of your block. I finished mine to 5.5″
    • Here is the very important step–Cut one light and one dark fabric 1 1/4” larger than your finished size.  I added 1.5″ just to be safe.  I cut my squares 7″
    • Each square will make two blocks– I needed 108 blocks so I cut 54 dark and 54 light 7″squares.
    • Because these are such large squares, I marked on the back to get a straight stitch line.
    • Take out the quarter square ruler. You will notice on the left is a double slot opening. This is wide enough for a pencil to draw lines.
    • Line it on the diagonal on the back of the light fabric and mark both lines.
    • Place a light fabric right sides together with a dark fabric and sew on the marked lines. 
    • Use the right side of the ruler to cut down the center of the stitching lines.   This goes really fast!
    • Press these open with the fold to the dark side.  
    • Match these half square triangles into pairs right sides together with the colors going opposite directions.  The seams should nest or “kiss” each other.
    • Repeat the process.  Mark the sewing lines
    • Sew on the lines
    • Chain sew on each side and cut apart after both sides are sewn
    • Cut down the center of the lines using the right side of the ruler.
    • Press open.
    • Next is the really fun part!–Line the block to the center “x” markings of the ruler and cut on both of the desired square measurements,  left and right sides. I used the 5.5″ markings
    • Cut the two sides, and then flip the block and then cut the other two sides.

    Perfect!!  Aren’t they pretty?!You will have a bit of waste, but I prefer trimming down to get that perfect square:)Here is my beautiful finished Thank you Quilt.
    I quilted it with a fun, freehand loopy stitch and added a red bindingOh, I just love quilts!!  This one was especially fun because we all added a little bit of love and memory to it.

    I am excited to link this quilt up with talltalesfromchiconia’s Scrap-Happy monthly blog project for December.  A service quilt seemed fitting.  

    I hope you all are having a nice Christmas season filled with all of the SWEET things and people you love!

    Live Nativity 

    I am in charge of our church/community Live Nativity each year.  I absolutely love doing it.  It really starts my Christmas season off right.  We have about 3500 people come to enjoy the outside Nativity and then go inside our building next to the beautiful temple to listen to local musical performers and see a crèche festival with over 200 small nativities.  The crowning jewel is a larger than life sized sculpture of the Holy Family that was sculpted by a famous local artist, Justin Fairbanks.Each year I have three different casts, one for each night.  Here are two of our Mary and Joseph’s from this year.  The bottom picture is of my son and his beautiful wife:)

    I asked a few talented ladies to hep me sew costumes.  Here is a picture of a few of our shepherds and our wise men.I made the angel costumes.  Those sleeves were tricky, especially since I didn’t have a pattern.  I like how they turned out though.  Each costume is kind of a one size fits all.  When they dance, the sleeves really flow and look elegant.

    It has been a SWEET Christmas season for me already.  It all started with going to Israel back in October.  What a great year!!  My life is truly blessed:)!  I recognize the Hand of God so near me every day.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog.   Merry Christmas to you!

    Cinnamon Honey Butter

    Have you ever had a beautiful homemade roll smothered with SWEET cinnamon honey butter?  If you haven’t, you have been missing out on one of life’s greatest pleasures!  

    For Thanksgiving my friend wanted a copycat recipe of the honey butter at Texas Roadhouse.  I put my mind to it, and this is what I came up with.  It is a kind of frosting butter, just like the Roadhouse.  Yum!!

     Here is my variation of a Texas Roadhouse Copycat recipe–

    Cinnamon Honey Butter-

    Recipe by Tracy @Its a T-Sweets Day!

    • 1c butter. 
    • 2c pwd sugar 
    • 1.5tsp cinnamon 
    • 1/8c honey. 

    Combine all of the ingredients in a mixer and  whip until light and fluffy.

    I hope you’ll give this easy recipe a try and let me know what you think.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

    Dear Daughter chapter 11

    This quilt of love is almost done!  I have really looked forward to and enjoyed making each chapter.  My face would light up when I would see Sherri’s email filled with the templates and instructions for each months addition:). What a SWEET journey this has been.

    Isn’t this section beautiful?  Matching those points was a bear though.   I could really use some advice on perfecting points.  If you have any, let me know because I must have sewn and unsewn 3 or 4 times on some of these.  Here is an example–  you can see the gap even though I thought I was sewing to perfection.I gently removed the stitches and tried again with pins only to have it off again.  So I unsewed again and only stitched a few stitches just over the point That helped quite a bit and the re-do matching was much easier if it still came out a bit off.  I finally got the point to match, but the fabric is puckerey.  Puckers don’t bother me as much because it is a quilt and quilts are by their nature, puckered.Dont get me wrong, I would prefer perfection, but hey, I’m not perfect.   

    Here are the two new blocks for this chapter:There were two beautiful bear claws in two corners and a Happy flower with a lovely saying on the inside.

    I used my handy Perfect Circles templates to help with the circles by the stem.It was easy to get these perfect circles by whip stitching  around the template and ironing right over the plastic.   I sprayed them pretty heavily with starch as well.  When the circle was dry and cool,  I just had to snip one running stitch and pull the template out for these perfect circles!

    I absolutely LOVE this quilt and block. Thank you for reading about my journey.  I hope you have a wonderful Tuesday:)! 

     If you have any tips on point matching  other than sew more accurately, I would love to hear them:)

    Crocheted Power Cords

    My phone cord is splitting at the seams.  It is on its last leg for sure. Ugh!!  I know I’m not alone here.  This is the inevitable fate of all plastic covered cords.  I bet you have one or two of these beauties around your house as well.I have been seeing fancy phone cords advertised on Facebook and have been tempted to buy a bunch to give as gifts.  Then I thought to myself, “Why should I spend $20.00 on a cord when I can crochet one instead?!”  Why not?

    I had some sock yarn that has been waiting for me to learn to knit into socks for a long while now. (I don’t think socking is ever going to happen).  Wrapping my cord will have to be this yarn’s fate.

    Here is how I did it:

    • Cover the split cord with electrical tape

    • Start wrapping yarn by laying about a  6″ tail on the cord and then wrap around it for about 1/2″
    • Place your 2.5mm crochet hook under the cord, hook the yarn and single crochet around the cord.
    • Repeat this all the length of the power cord.  It is fun to see the different colors peek their heads out with the fun variegated sock yarn🙂
    • When you come to the end of the cord, where the ridge is higher from the plug. Cut yarn with a 12″ tail and fasten off 
    • Finish this last 1/2″ or so by circling the tail around the cord and placing the end under the loop and pulling tight. -this is like the crossover of tying your shoe lace.
    • Repeat the crossover knots until the end of the plug.
    • On the last loop, go under three times, pull tight, and cut thread.

    There you go!  Easy, easy:) It took me about an hour from start to finish this cord.  Doesn’t it look great?!  That is a whole lot stronger and cooler than that flimsy rubber coated original.

    I enjoyed making this so much that I covered a not so tattered cord as well!  How could I resist when I have all of that beautiful yarn?

    I hope I have inspired you to hook some SWEET power cords for yourself and maybe even a few for your loved ones.

    Thank you for dropping by and reading my blog.  Please feel free to comment if you have any questions.