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:)!!

“Tying” Up a Scrappy Quilt

Good Morning to you!  It is Scrap Happy time again:).  I always look forward to linking up with Kate over at Tall Tales from Chiconia each month.  

This month’s project is one that I actually feel guilty about.  My sister-in-law’s father passed away back in 2015.  She gave me his ties and asked if I could make a quilt from them for her.

I carefully deconstructed them,  lightly pressed them and placed them in a box to work on after Christmas presents and wedding preparations, and then more quilts, and then they just kind of got forgotten.  I feel so bad!

I was cleaning through things and looked in the box,  and uh oh! I knew that now was the time.  No more waiting for this one!

  • I took the piles of deconstructed ties and cut them into  1.5″ to 2.5″ strips.  I didn’t care how many.  I just cut until I had cut the whole tie.
  • I cut 30 – 8.5″ Scrap fabric from some of my sub quality fabrics.  They really do make great stabilizers!
  • I started sewing strips from the center corner out on both sides.   I didn’t care at all about what width of strip I was using. 

  • When I was finished sewing strips to a block, the whole base was covered as in the top left photo.
  • I turned the block over and trimmed the block nice and square.
  • I then sewed around the edges to keep the ties from shifting.


Here is a picture of my neatly stacked blocks.  Aren’t they pretty?

  • Next I cut 36- 2.5″x8.5″ strips from a complimentary brown fabric (manly of course!) 
  • Then I laid out my blocks going in opposite directions.  A beautiful diamond design magically appeared!
  • I labeled each row with tape to make sewing the rows easier.   I could easily take them all piled together by row to my sewing machine and not get mixed up as I sewed along:)
  • I measured the length of the strips and cut 7 more 2.5″ strips that length and sewed the quilt together.

Here it is all pieced and ready for quilting.


While it looks nice before quilting, it looks especially fantastic after quilting!


The added texture and binding really help to “tie” it all together.  Lol:)!


I backed this quilt with an olive green plaid flannel.   I was surprised with how much I liked it:)


Now it is time to fold it up and get it to my sister-in-law, FINALLY!  I know she is going to be overjoyed❤️


Thank you for dropping by today.  I hope you have SWEET, Scrap Happy day!

Fantastic Bake Along- Celebrating the Apple!

A few weeks back, Connie @Connie’s Creations shared her Apple Sauce Cake on her blog.

Connie’s picture of her Applesauce Cake

It looked so yummy that she totally inspired me to think about Fall treats and the delicious taste and smell of apples cooking in the kitchen. I thought that with Thanksgiving right around the corner here in the States, it might be fun to share our favorite APPLE recipe this month. Who knows? There may be one or two new recipes we might want to add to our Thanksgiving feast!

Choose your favorite recipe or give Connie’s delicious Apple Sauce Cake a try, and post about it this coming Saturday. Doesn’t that sound fun?!

We would love to have YOU join in the fun too. Here is how:

My family has an award winning Crusty Topped Apple Pie that will be baking in my kitchen this week. They will be so happy! We call that Pre-Thanksgiving Pie❤️❤️

Here is a list of the bakers who have joined in the past or said they would like to Bake Along with us this month:

I really do hope you will join us in this month’s Fantastic Bake Along. It is going to be SWEET!

A Woods Themed Wedding Cake

I was asked to make a cake for Tori and Brayden’s wedding. I love decorating beautiful wedding cakes. Weddings are such a happy, SWEET time for family and friends:). I am always so honored to be a part of the celebration ❤️

Tori decided on a Mountain Woodsy theme and had lit pine trees with pine freshener all around. It was so cute! I decorated the cake with small evergreen branches and pine cones to match.

img_2042It is so interesting to me to note that the last few cakes I have made have all been the same general style. The brides all want buttercream with a heavy texture on them.

Tori started by wanting an all round cake, but when I mentioned this to her she opted for the square bottom to make her cake a bit more unique.

Isn’t it pretty? The stand was perfect for this cake. It was tall and grand like a stately tree. The cake was a pumpkin cake with a cinnamon cream cheese filling. Yum! It tasted so warm and fallish :)❤️❤️

It was a wonderful day. I am always so happy to be a part of someone’s special day.

Thank you for dropping by. I hope you have a restful, lovely Sunday.  It is my favorite day of the week because it is filled with worship, SWEET family and friends, and delicious food 🙂

Totally Tipster Lantern Fun

This week’s block for the I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along is this beautiful lantern by Diane Lomax @Cwilt Fabrics and Haberdashery What a fun word — Haberdashery! 🙂

The instructions were a bit different than other quilting patterns. Usually the strip measurements are given for rotary cutting, but this pattern gave the pattern pieces to cut out individually.

I used a bit of rotary strip cutting by measuring the width of the strip and then using the pattern to cut the angles. It worked for me:)

Sewing the base up was quick and easy!

Next came the fusible web appliqué. I like fusible web, but it can be a bit tricky getting the paper off of the back. It is especially hard when the pieces are small. I have a little Totally Tipster trick that does help though.

After you have ironed your webbing to the wrong side of your fabric, let it cool completely. When it is cool, drag a pin across the paper to score it a bit. It is easy to bend the paper and pull it apart now. Easy!

I pressed my pieces to the lantern and then got ready to sew them in place. I always, always use stabilization on the back of my machine appliquéd pieces. If you don’t, the fabric will pucker. Yuk!

Now for a Totally Tipster#2! I find that an easy and affordable stabilizer is a paper towel or two!

I place it on the back and sew around my pieces. It works great and is simple to tear away as well:)

After I was finished though, I wasn’t crazy about my window stitching.

That center line was a bit wonky because I had to adjust to make sure the fabric was all stitched down. I didn’t like it.

So… I made a 1/4″ binding tape and covered that middle line. I like it MUCH BETTER❤️

I think I like that added piece better anyway. I’m glad I was a wonky seamstress. Happy accidents are the best kind of accidents!

This has been another fun Christmas Block. I sew appreciate you reading my blog today. I hope you have a SWEET rest of your day or evening!

Until next time,

Delilah

My monthly Delilah Template of the Month Quilt by Jen Kingwell came in last week, and I found a bit of time to sew up my blocks. Hooray, hooray! AND they didn’t have Y-seams:) Another happy Hooray!

The last few months have been Y-seam intensive. I love how they turned out, but the piecing was tricky for sure:)

This month’s “Colored Turbine Block” was a breath of fresh air with straight seams and easy cutting.

It was fun to watch the wonky squares appear as I sewed the dark triangle to the block. I think colored turbine is the right name for this one. 🙂

Here are the four of my blocks together–

If I had made the top left one with black, there would be another pattern showing up as well. But I’m glad I opted for the gray though because I want a bit of diversity through the finished quilt.

It’s been a fun bit of sewing these past few days Thank you for stopping by. Life is SWEET!