The Best of 2017

Hello! How was your Christmas? It has been such a fun and busy Christmas at my house. I have had a houseful of family and friends. Nothing says Christmas more than lots of good food and family:)

But now that there is a moment to breathe and think, I am happy to reflect back on a year full of creating. It has been a wonderful year!

It was hard to choose my favorite posts from this past year, but after thinking about it for a while, I have decided that the best projects must be the ones that have enabled me to connect with and make new friends.

The Top Five:

1. Long Time Gone QALI enjoyed quilting along with Angie @Gnome Angel and many other online friends. We all stretched our sewing and color combining skills as we made this Long Time Gone Quilt by Jen Kingwell together. My FAVORITE part was quilting along with my friend, Cindy. It was fun to compare our finished quilts:)

2. The Splendid SamplerAfter a full year and a half of two blocks a week, I finally finished my Splendid Sampler! I was introduced to so many talented designers and made 20,000 plus Splendette friends:). I loved watching and being inspired by their beautiful blocks and quilts. There was a hole in my sewing table when these blocks were sewn together as well as a small hole in my heart as I left the group behind.

3. Fantastic Bake AlongThis year, I started a monthly Fantastic Bake Along Group. We all Bake a recipe selected by someone in the group and then share our results later in the week. Talk about yummy fun!! We have made pizza, homemade bread, quiche, and more. I have truly LOVED baking along with such SWEET people❤️❤️ The group is open to anyone and everyone. We would love to have you join along:)

4. Stardust Melodies I enjoyed crocheting and singing along with Polly Plum on her Stardust Melodies Afghan. Each block worked up fairly easily in an evening. It was like finishing new blanket twice a week:). It was fun to read about how excited everyone was as we waited for the next block to come out.

5. I Wish You a Merry QAL And last, but not least, is my beautiful I Wish You a Merry QAL quilt. I think I have made the most new friends with this fun Christmas quilt. I have connected with the designers who are all fairly new to blogging. I must admit I wish I could have been part of their group. They did such a good job!

There you have it, my top five of 2017. Some of you who follow me may be asking, “Tracy, why haven’t you included Delilah, or Down the Rabbit Hole?” Well, while I have connected with many new friends with these beauties, they aren’t finished yet. They will have to wait for next year.

Speaking of next year, I am so excited to begin the MYSTERY QALnext week on January 1st! Cindy @In a Stitch Quilting and I are trying this new approach to a QAL and would LOVE to have you join us!

Thank you for dropping by today. I am excited to be linking up with Meadow Mist‘s Linky Party. I’m headed over to check out what all the other bloggers have done this year:)

I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day!

Wishing You a Merry Christmas!

I hope all of you, my online friends, have a lovely Christmas this year. I hope you get a quiet moment or two for reflections on things that bring you peace and happiness . I hope you have plenty of good food and sweet family. It would be most pleasant if you have little ones around with excitement in their eyes.

I am especially thankful for the friendships I have made with so many talented people like you this year. Thank you for your kind words of praise and encouragement. You have made my holidays SWEET indeed:)

I will be back after the holiday with a highlight of this year’s favorite projects and the preparations for the MYSTERY QAL. I’m so excited!

Until then, once again, Merry Christmas!

Christmas Came Early This Year!

I love brown paper packages tied up with strings, especially if they have my name on it❤️. I was able to be part of a “shoebox swap” this past year. I gathered up quilting goodies all year long and sent them off to my secret friend in December for Christmas. That was fun, but the really fun part was that all year someone else did the same thing for me! How fun is that?!

Yesterday my beautiful box full of goodies arrived from the wonderful Candi @Quilts n Things. I opened it up and look at what was inside!!

Oh my goodness! I won the shoebox prize for sure❤️❤️! I sat and opened each little present, looked at the beautiful fabric, and ate a few bites of yummy chocolate. Just look at all of the goodness Candi was able to pack in one box!

Crazy, right?! There were so many fun goodies that it is hard to talk about them all, so I will just focus on a few.

Candi made me this darling folded fabric Christmas ornament that went right on my tree:)

She sent me a much needed box of colorful clips. How did she know that I was in the market for some of these?

AND she sent me a cookbook filled with delicious SWEET recipes! Perfect, right?!

I am so glad I had this quiet, early Christmas just for me. Candi, Thank you so much!!

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

I have been busily sewing for Christmas so this Rabbit Hole Quilt hasn’t gotten a whole lot of quality needle time. The last time I blogged about it I had just finished the appliqué corner blocks.

And I had finished the beautiful fan centers. Yes, I am in love❤️

I had dreams of sewing the corners down, adding the leaves and the diagonal pieced border. Well, I did get the corners sewn and half of the leaves are appliqued, but the diagonal border will just have to wait until after Christmas. It’s all good:)

I am grateful for the long trip to Idaho this past week. I was able to use the drive time to sew the leaves.

I am getting the hang of sewing in the car, but there are the occasional needle pokes with the bumps:)!

Ah, the battle wounds of a quilter! Lol😊. I do like how this quilt is coming along. I took a few shots of my progress in the snow of Idaho.

Enjoy the T-Sweets snow shots because this may be THE ONLY time I will have a quilt photo shoot in the snow! I am an Arizona warm weather quilter for sure.

Warm weather and quilts? Am I crazy?! I guess I am:). It does get cold where I live and it even snows maybe once a year so it’s ok, right?

Thank you for dropping by and reading about my hand quilting journey today. You really do make my day SWEET!

I want to thank Kathy for putting this all together. Here is the list of others joining along. I am heading over to see how they all are moving along on their projects. I hope you can too:)

Kathy, Lori, Margaret, Kerry, Emma, Tracy, Deb, Connie, Deborah,  Susan , Jessisca  ,  SherryNanette, Sassy and Edith Here is one last picture I took of the snowy Idaho trees from my truck window. Merry Christmas!!

Fantastic Bake Along -Cherry Tart Results

I had such a fun time with this month’s Cherry Tarts Bake Along:). I made 18 Tarts and they were all gone in an evening. I will tell you that story in a little bit.

First, I just have to show you my favorite way to serve Tarts at our house– on Santa’s back!

Don’t worry Santa, they don’t stay there long:). They get eaten almost as fast as I put them out!

This first batch of Tarts was oh so yummy. I like how the crust to frosting ratio really makes them so SWEET! I also think the color is very festive as well.

Ok, now for the story. — You may think we had 10 or 11 People over to help with the task of eating all of the Tarts …no, there were just a few of us. It went like this:

We have a good friend who comes over two or three times a week and happened to come by the night I made the Tarts. He was the lucky taster of the first tart.

Being the kind mother that I am, I sent this picture to my children announcing the eating of the first tart of Christmas:). Within minutes my son, daughter in law, and grandson were at my house to join in the tart celebration.

The Tarts didn’t stand a chance. They were gone in no time. You can bet I will be making more of these before our Family Christmas parties:)

Thank you for dropping by today and reading about our crazy family tart adventure:). I am excited to head over and see how the other bakers fared in their kitchens. I wonder if Tarts will become part of their family traditions too?

If you would like to make up a batch of Tarts for your family, the recipe can be found here.

Have a wonderful rest of your day!

I Wish You a Merry QAL Indeed❤️❤️

I am happy to post that I have finished my Christmas Quilt! Yea!! It has been such a fun journey quilting with many of you and making some new friends along the way:)

This Quilt Along consisted of 12 different blocks designed by 12 different bloggers. Each block was so creative and fun to make, but I think my favorite was the angel block that I added a bit of embroidery embellishment to.

But as I look at that cute string of lights just above it, I have a very hard time not saying that that one is my favorite as well. Wait, oh, wait! Santa’s belt is absolutely adorable tool! Ok, they are all the best in their own way:)

I had a hard time deciding how to set these blocks. The designers each showed how they set theirs and there are quite a few others online. None of them seemed quite right to me. I laid them out all together and really liked them.

Having them all grouped together made the blocks really take center stage. But,…. you knew that was coming, but one, the quilt was a bit small, and two, I had quite a few scraps that needed to be used. I am a Scrap Happy quilter and could not waste any of these beautiful scraps!

I cut my scraps into 3.5″ squares and laid them all out in the center using the blocks as a sort of border.

I laid the squares out into a color way that was pleasing to me. I marked each row with tape and then piled the squares up in rows for easy sewing. Just pick the piles up and sew the squares in order.

I then sashed the blocks with more scraps from a different project. The blue was a bit bold so I just turned it over and used the back side as the right side. LOL! It worked fine for me:)

That blue and white polka dot looks perfect now! No one but you and I know the difference. Hee hee!

I used a soft fluffy minky, fleece on the back that looks like snow, but is anything. but cold. It is soft, warm and cuddly:). I bound it in black to tie the black all together.

And here is the finished quilt:

Isn’t it so festive?! I just love it::)! And just because I love to take pictures of my finished quilts, here a few more fun shots :

I am happy to be linking this post to Kate’s Scrap Happy monthly event. I am tickled pink with how the scraps really added to this quilt. It is perfect to me:) In fact, it’s SWEET!!

This is also my third finish for the Q4FAL. Yea!!

This quilt is now all wrapped up and placed under my tree. I am anxiously awaiting Christmas when my daughter in law will open it up:)

Thank you so much for dropping by today. I am off to my son’s graduation in Idaho this weekend. Even though this Arizona girl is no where near ready for a few days in the snow, I am so excited for him to finally graduate. Yea!!

But no worries, I will be posting my Fantastic Bake Along Cherry Tarts results. Some things are just a must in my life and Cherry Tarts are one of them! LOL:)

Until tomorrow,

If you are interested in making this quilt yourself, here are the links to the designers of each block

Abbie at Sparkle On

April at JANDA Bend Quilts

Becca at Pretty Piney

Bobbi at Snowy Days Quilting

Diane at Cwilt Fabrics & Haberdashery

Jennifer at The Inquiring Quilter

Laura at Slice of Pi Quilts

Karen at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

Sandy at Sandy Star Designs

Sherry at Powered by Quilting

Vanda at Quilt in Piece

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.