The Reindeer Have Landed!!

I am so happy to be a part of a super fun “Shoebox Christmas Gift Exchange”. Each year, a group of happy, funny, quilty friends swap names and pack boxes for another member of the group. The whole year feels like Christmas because we each buy things to fill our friend’s box all year long.

This year my box came from my quilting Sister Deanna @ Wedding Dress Blue in Utah. I know I should have waited until Christmas to open my box, but I couldn’t wait!

Just look at my amazing gifts!! I am so excited and happy about everything Deanna included.❤️❤️ I love the Riley Blake charm packs, the notebook, and of course the chocolate. She included a pattern and a quilting magazine as well.

She quilted these bright pot holders and stitched up a needle case for me. How did she know that I really needed both of these?

My appliqué and embroidery is going to be a whole lot easier now!

Deanna and I are both members of The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints. She knew that I would love to read this book about enjoying the simple things of life each and every day.

I am looking forward to a quiet morning to sit, relax, and read. Now that is a gift!

She also included a lot of depression era fabric along with a started wedding ring top. What?! Woo hoo!!! I have always wanted to make a wedding ring quilt. Now I have one already started for me. I am the luckiest girl ever!

There are quite a few other wonderful goodies like an embroidered girl, and a playful kitty square, but I think my favorite item is the truly authentic fabric remnant from January 1940!

I am going to place this piece in a special place in my workroom just to remind me of the quilters of times past. These ladies didn’t have rotary cutters, digital sewing machines, acrylic rulers, or self healing mats. Yet they still created lovely quilt. I have so Sew much to be grateful for!!!

Thank you Deanna for such a SWEET box! I am truly grateful for my blessings of friends and especially quilty friends❤️❤️. I hope you all are too:)

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Grinda Shawl #2

I love being able to check off Christmas list presents. Don’t you? I am especially happy to check off another beautiful Grinda Shawl. I used a Scheepjes Whirl yarn in the most beautiful shades of cream and blue.

It is always easier to crochet or sew something the second time around. The language is clearer and the stitches are familiar.

When my dear husband asked me to make his mother a shawl along with the shawl for my mother, I knew that it would be no problem at all. In fact, I welcomed the opportunity to see this shawl made up in a different color scheme.

I absolutely LOVE the the subtle gradients from cream to royal blue. It looks so beachy.

Once again, I fell in love with the pretty lace edging. I am definitely going to keep this little pattern in my arsenal of edge stitches:)

And I just know that you have been anxiously awaiting seeing both of these gorgeous shawls together. Well, wait no longer. Here they are–

Aren’t they so pretty? They can only be prettier by adding the dear SWEET faces of the two mothers I love the most in the whole world!❤️❤️. It is going to be a very Merry Christmas this year!

The Grinda Shawl is a free pattern from Lilla Bjorn Crochet.

Virtual Cookie Exchange— You’ve Got to Try these Cookies!!!

What would the holiday season be if we didn’t have a cookie swap? I mean really, the tastes and smells of the season are such a big part of the fun!

If you are looking for a show stopper, party popper cookie to take to your next holiday get together, look no further. This is the cookie that everyone will be eating two of and then asking for the recipe. It is a soft, sweet, and yet tangy bite of Golden Delicious goodness. These are my favorite Golden Orange Cookies

The magic ingredient in these cookies is the orange zest in the frosting. It gives the cookie that fresh little bit of tartness that compliments the sweet just right.

You can get the zest off of an orange or lemon with a sharp knife or a grater, but I like to use a zesting tool made especially for that purpose.

The zester peels just the dark colored orange part of the peel while leaving the bitter white part behind. After I zest the oranges, I cut them in half and juice them as well.

As you are making the dough, it will appear VERY dry. Don’t worry, after you add the grated carrots, it will soften up to a wonderful dough like consistency:)

Another trick to this cookie is to scoop them out onto a greased pan and then flatten them a bit with the bottom of a jar or cup.

They cook in 10-12 min and are ready to take out of the oven when the tops look and feel dry to the touch. They do not spread hardly at all.

At this point the cookie is not very sweet. It is just a warm, soft cake like cookie. It reminds me of a muffin top:). I like to glaze them with the frosting while they are warm.

Once the cookie is frosted, it is almost impossible not to eat one or two of them. I mean, someone needs to test them and make sure that they taste ok for the rest of the family…..if there are any left! Lol😊

I know you are going to LOVE these cookies! Here is the recipe–

Golden Orange Cookies

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

Ingredients

  • 1 c. shortening
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 1/2c flour
  • 2 c grated carrots
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbs vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c chopped nuts

Frosting Ingredients

  • 4 c powdered sugar
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs orange zest
  • 1/2 c orange juice

.

Directions

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and dry ingredients. Mix well. (dough will be dry and crumbly) Add carrots, nuts, and vanilla. Drop 2″ balls onto a greased baking sheet. Press flat to 1/2″ thickness with the bottom of a cup or jar. Bake at 375* for 10-12 min. Until the tops are just barely dry.

Frosting

Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Spread over warm cookies and let cool.

Makes 2 dozen cookies

I want to give a big thank you and shout out to Carol @ Just Let Me Quilt who has organized this virtual cookie exchange. Carol, you are the best!!!

Here is the list of the other bakers in today’s cookie swap. I am excited to head over and indulge myself in some delicious calorie free eye candy cookies! I hope you will be joining me. It’s going to be SWEET!!


Today-

Creatin’ in the Sticks

Vroomans Quilts

It’s A T-Sweet Day!

Domestic Felicity

That Fabric Feeling

Home Sewn By Us

Karrin’s Crazy World

Adventurous Applique and Quilting

Bumbleberry Style

Melva Loves Scraps

Beaquilter

 

Yesterday

Kwilty Pleasures

Tu-Na Quilts, Travels and Eats

Songbird Designs

Creative Latitude

Ms P Designs USA

Alycia Quilts

Happy Cottage Quilter

Sew Many Yarns

For The Love of Geese

.

Tomorrow

MooseStashQuilting

Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life

Kathleen McMusing

DesertSky Quilting

Life in the Scrapatch

Ridge Top Quilt

Cynthia’s Creating Ark

Bejeweled Quilts by Barb

Pumpkin Patch Patterns & Quilting

Operation Domestic Goddess

Just Let Me Quilt

.

Until next time, I hope your kitchen is filled with happy baking!❤️

Go Teal It On the Mountain Hand Quilt Along

For this edition of our Hand Quilt Along, I have made two blocks to donate to Kate at Tall Tales from Chiconia’s Ovarian Cancer fund raiser quilts. She has such unique and fun ideas. This year’s quilt once again uses the Ovarian Cancer signature teal color. She is calling it “Go Teal It on the Mountain”. All of the designers are making mountain themed blocks.

When I thought of the type of blocks I would make, I reminisced about the two mountains that have been the backdrops of most of my life.

Pusch Ridge

I grew up in Tucson and went to high school in the shadow of this beautiful mountain. I have such fond memories of it’s tall cliffs and desert landscape.

I knew at once I wanted to make a block honoring this rugged mountain. I decided to appliqué the mountain and the cacti. Here it is all roughly laid out —

I haven’t appliquéd since this spring. It was so much fun to be using the needle and thread again. It really sewed together quite quickly. I had the block done in no time at all:)

I like how this block turned out. I think it captures the feel of the mountain.

Mt. Graham

For most of my married life I have lived in the small cotton farming community of Safford, AZ at the base of majestic Mt. Graham.

Mt. Graham has a large flat mesa near the base. It is very unique and beautiful. I love walking in the cotton fields and looking at the shadows on the mountain.

It was not quite as easy to get the story of this mountain on the quilt block , but I like it. Here is the rough lay out.

The embroidery seriously took way longer than the appliqué of the whole block! Maybe I should have just left it off, but once I figured out it was taking so long, I was more than half way finished. Oh well, I like the added touch:)

Here is my finished Mt Graham Block. I love how the cotton turned out. It is just like home:). I guess Home SWEET Home is the appropriate description ❤️

I hope you have enjoyed reading about this HQAL. If you would like to join in the fun, here is how:

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.

Scrap Happy Hurricane Blocks

It seems that hurricanes and fires have been plaguing the United States these past few months. My heart goes out to all of those who have been affected by these tragedies. I have seen several blogs that have asked for quilt blocks to make quilts for hurricane victims. I am only too happy to help.

My first set of blocks are going to —

Carole @ From My Carolina Home

She asked for these lovely light and dark nine patch blocks.

I enjoyed rummaging through my scrap box and reminiscing over these beautiful scraps from a quilt I made a few years ago:)

————

HURRICANE MICHAEL 10.5″ STRING BLOCK & MORE QUILT DRIVE

My next set of blocks are going to Elana @ That Fabric Feeling. She is asking for 10.5″ string blocks in any color scheme you choose. I have a lot of bright scrappy strips, so my blocks are bright.

It was very easy to sew my strips to an 11″ foundation block. I started in the middle and just kept sewing a strip and then flipping it over and then sewing another. I just made sure that each strip was long enough to cover the foundation piece.

After sewing them all down, the block looks uneven and messy. The magic happens when the block is trimmed down to size.

Isn’t it pretty? I sew around the edges to keep the strips from shifting. Here are my four blocks all laid out. They are bright and happy just like a Sunshiney day:)

I hope these blocks will help with making the quilts that Elana is organizing. If you want to join along, Here is the information:

Please help the ongoing quilt drive to provide comfort to the survivors of Hurricane Michael. They plan to give as many quilts as possible, and each child’s quilt will include a book.  They are collecting any of the following:

• 10.5″ blocks:  String or Scrappy, (Here’s an easy string block tutorial.  Cut your foundations 11″ to start and after adding strips, trim down to 10.5″. )

• Twin size or smaller quilts for children

• Unquilted tops in twin or smaller sizes, (please send backings)

• Batting, binding or clean fabric

• Children’s books, (new or in great condition)

Send your blocks, quilts, books or materials to:

UMW Quilting Group- Hurricane Quilt Drive Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 6610 Vaughn Road. Montgomery, Alabama 36116

———-

Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog today. You are so SWEET! I am happy to be joining Kate @Tall Tales from Chiconia’s Scrap Happy Day. I hope you have a moment or two to check out what the other scrappy quilters are making in their sewing room:)

Kate, Gun,  TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen and Connie

Until next time!!

A Christmas Gift with Grinda

I finished my Grinda Shawl. Yea!! It really didnt take too long at all. I started back at the end of September and have only worked on it every now and then. Here it is finished and ready for my mother for Christmas!

Isn’t it lovely? I know she is going to be so happy with it. I really liked how it looked from beginning to end, but the blocking of any crocheted project really adds the finishing touch.

As you can see the lace to the left has not been blocked and the nice, straight, and airy lace to the right has been blocked. Just a quick shot of steam is all takes. Just make sure you don’t touch your iron to the actual threads.

Isn’t it funny what different lighting does to color? The first two pictures were taken in the afternoon while this final photo shoot was taken in the morning. The top two are more accurate as far as color goes.

Oh well, A deep plum is beautiful too! I hope you can see the hearts in the bottom row of the shawl. These will be a reminder that my mother is well loved by me and so many others.

I think the edging really finishes the edge nicely. I may try to add this to another project someday. It is easy an beautiful!

I was so happy to show my husband this delicate shawl. I held it up and asked what he thought. He said he loved it and then added, “Aren’t you going to make one for my mom too?” Sooo….

Here I go with Grinda Shawl #2! Lol:)

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my blog today. I hope your day or evening is SWEET!

Delilah, Delilah!

It is time to open the box and finish some projects that have been put on the shelf for too long. I probably need to join the Q4FAL because I am going to finish two very long time waiting Quilts this quarter.

The first is my beautiful Delilah quilt. It was a block of the month quilt that ended last year, but I got behind on it when I broke my wrist this past spring. I have two months worth of quilting blocks left to make.

I started with the block called “Black Cockatoo”. I don’t know why, but the cutting of this block was so so difficult! The small triangles were almost the same size so they were easy to confuse.

I had to be very, very organized and design each block as I went. I was glad I had my preview boards! If you want to make one, you can learn how here.

But I had quite a few blocks to make., and I don’t have that many design boards. A few years back I made a traveling design board. It is also a wonderful tool! I used a block and quilted it into a small quilt 10″x 17″ or so. I cut a vinyl tablecloth into “pages” and sewed them inside with the fabric side facing up.

It is easy to design most 6.5″ squares on the pages and then easily transport them anywhere. The blocks stay nestled safely inside just waiting to be sewn together. They don’t stick to the vinyl, but stay nicely put to the fabric side.

I am singing a happy song and dancing a happy dance! SWEET!!!

The cutting of this block took FOREVER, but the actual sewing was one of the easiest blocks in this quilt. There were all straight lines with no curves or y-seams. Yea!!

They are all sewed and I only have one more month of blocks to go. I am on a roll!

Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you are able to have a creative moment or two today as well.

Until next time,

Happy Halloween!!

I know I just posted about this project, but the stars have aligned and the day has finally arrived. I am FINISHED with the embroidery of my Salem Quilt Guild panels!!! BOO YA!!

I started this project back in 2016. I finished the first panel and then I took 2017 off and re-started back in April this year. I made a goal to have the quilt done by Halloween.

My evenings have been filled with stitching and more stitching. I am happy to say that I never got bored of this project. Each little section or witch was a new adventure and story.

I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite panel or witch. Each one was so unique and fun. The pictures tells the story so well:)

I really did enjoy the journey. Here is a picture of my very last stitch. It was a happy, sad moment. isn’t that always the way it is? My night stand will be a lot less crowded now!

My final witch was the quilting teacher. She is taking this spell very seriously! This is what the whole quilt is about anyway–coming together with friends to learn to quilt.

I had to get out my other panels and look at them all together. It is a HAPPY HALLOWEEN today!

it was fun to visit them again. I hadn’t forgotten them, I just did not experience them everyday like I did when I was sewing them.

So… now I have made a hard decision– I could finish this quilt with its setting and backing, or put it back in the box and wait until next September. Setting it now would go into the Christmas holidays… I am going to put the panels back in the box.

They will be patiently awaiting their quilting grand finale next Halloween. I will have a Halloween project ready to go. AND I won’t be over loading you, my blogging friends, with this Halloween project while we are dreaming of sugar plums instead of pumpkins. You’re welcome!

Now, if any of you are inspired and want to try to make your own witches quilt guild quilt, it is from a pattern by Crabapple Hill Studios and is called Mystery at the Salem Quilt Guild. It comes as a paper pattern. You will need to trace and color the pattern onto your own fabric.

Be prepared for a long journey. You really have to enjoy the process or this is way too much embroidery work.

I also recommend tracing ALL of the panels at once. I know the excitement to start stitching is so tempting, but after the first panel is sewn, the excitement has calmed down and now the tracing is work. Believe me I know!

And my last tip is to have a lot of already threaded needles in a pin cushion by your sewing area. It makes it much easier to keep stitching if all you have to do is tie a knot and pick up the next thread:)

Well, it has certainly been a SWEET day around my house! I hope you all have a nice Halloween filled with happy trick or treaters:)!

Here is a picture of my daughter and her two spooky little boys!

Oh, and by the way, she just started a podcast on SoundCloud that you or someone you know may enjoy. It is called Real Life Mom Friends.

https://soundcloud.com/real-life-mom-friends-the-podcast/1-how-we-do-halloween

Hand Quilt Along —Mystery At The Salem Quilt Guild

I can’t believe it, but I really am almost done with this last panel for my Crab Apple Hill Studios Salem Quilt Guild! Last time I posted about this, I had three witches and many baskets to stitch up.

But these past three weeks have been very productive.

My cute husband and I binged The Haunting of Hillhouse on Netflix using our handy VidAngel app. Talk about a fun spooky story!! Just look at all of the stitching I was able to do while I was scared. It was way better than covering my eyes with my hands! —

I finished this surprised little purpled hair witch. I added a contrasting back gusset for a bit more added color to the panel.

I also finished this happy and shocked off her feet witch. I bet that spell tickled her nose!

I think my favorite stitching was the basket of books and quilts. I always love a good shopping day:)

Here is my whole classroom panel. It is almost done.

I only have the stitching spells board and the teacher left. I am sure I can get this done before Halloween. But the setting is another story.

I may wait to do the setting until next October…. well, we will see:).

I hope you are having a simply SWEET day! I am so grateful you spent some of your day with me. If you are enjoying reading about my quilting progress, please feel free to leave me comment. I always love to make new creative friends like yourself❤️

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.

KathyLoriMargaretKerryEmmaTracyDebConnieSusan,  NanetteSassy , EdithSharonKarrin, and Gretchen

Grinda Shawl Parts 2 and 3

I have really been enjoying crocheting this delicate shawl. It is filled with advanced beginner stitches that stitch up in no time.

I like the contrast of the front loop raised stitch and the lacey stitch of the body. It separates each section and adds a bit of interest to the eye and touch.

I am using a Scheepjes Whirl Cake that I bought on Etsy. The color is in these lovely plum tones called “Tasty Nom Nom #789”. I like how gradually the color changes into a delicate ombré effect.

The pattern for this shawl is called the Grinda shawl designed by Tatsiana @Lila Bjorn Crochet, and it is free! Yea! I always love that word, don’t you?:). Tatsiana is so talented. I love all of her designs❤️

It is quite easy to follow the pattern. It has written instructions and a stitch map for each section. I use the stitch map. I find it easier to just look and stitch instead of read and stitch.

I’m excited to start part 4 of my Grinda Shawl. It is the final section before the lace edging. It’s almost done…well, these next few rows are longer and take quite a few more stitches to finish. It may still take a while:)

Oh well, I enjoy the therapy of stitching in the evenings while watching a show with my cute husband. By the way, we are watching “Ozark” and are addicted! Thank you Tierney for the recommendation:). We watch with a program called Vid Angel to clean it up to our tolerance.

This beautiful shawl is going to be a Christmas gift for my mother. She will not be able to see it very well because she has macular degeneration, but she will love the texture.

I am enjoying this project so much, that I might make another shawl for my mother-in-law as well!

Thank you so much for dropping by today. Please feel free to leave me a comment. I would love to hear from you:)

I hope you are having a totally SWEET day!