Super Sunday

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Today was a huge day. I got so many things completed or close to complete. I am pretty proud of myself.

I started out the morning with trying a recipe that I saw on Pinterest.  If you are not on this site, you should be. It is more addicting than StumbleUpon so consider yourself warned. I saw this recipe and, of course, I didn’t actually pin it so I improvised this recipe.

I placed one can of flaky biscuits in a bundt pan with plenty of brown sugar, white sugar and cinnamon on top. I poured melted butter over the sugared biscuits and then baked them. I was pretty happy with how they turned out. I had to hide the last one to take to work for breakfast in the morning. I served the biscuits with apple sauce, yum!

I jumped right into working on a “Love” quilt that I am making. This was really just a procrastination of doing what I needed to do, which was finishing the “Love” wall hangings that I have been working on.

I finally got myself motivated to finish these up after wasting some time graphing out this “Love” quilt on graph paper . These projects were another Pinterest find. It was a great find too because I found this great blog and started subscribing to it in my google reader. Sew Mama Sew has a great site with tons of freebies and helpful information, be sure to check her out.

She teamed up with Kelly from Kelbysews to offer a tutorial and a few free letters for a True Love ~Love Mini-Quilt. The mini- quilt uses paper piecing. I am new to this skill but it keeps cropping up in my projects recently so I thought it would be fun to make a couple of gifts using the free pattern.

I made the first block using up the decorator fabric samples that I have been trying to work through and some green cotton that is probably older than I am from my Grandma’s stash.

This turned out so cute and I felt so good about actually being frugal that I made a second one out of some fabric that I purchased to make my roommate at the time, an apron. The apron got procrastinated and then I didn’t have a sewing machine. When I finally sat down to make the apron. I cut it out wrong and ruined the pieces to finish.  The fabric was still fine, it was just too small to make an apron without a seam in the middle. The whole project was shoved into a Rubbermaid container just waiting to become something lovely. I thought that it was only appropriate to use the fabric that I purchased for my roommate to make something else for her. I made her this love block using the non-traditional valentines colors. This is labeled as a “Mini-Quilt” but I thing that it would make a really nice wall hanging to put up in February.

I am not sure why the block looks so mis-shaped, It is actually a nice rectangle but I think that the ground  under the pic made it look lumpy. Sorry about that.

I liked this colors in these blocks so much, I made a second set for myself. I am currently working on turning it into a quilt, along with some other heart blocks. That is another post.

After finishing these and eating lunch, I set out to taking a shawl off the blocking board. I started this shawl, seriously, two years ago. I recently set out to rid myself of knitting UFOs (unfinished objects). This was on the list. I started it two years ago to give as a gift and luckily enough, that person’s birthday has not happened yet this year so I can still give it to them.

For the shawl, I used Citron which was published in Knitty in 2009. This is my second time using this pattern. It is a lot of fun to knit until you get to the end and then it takes forever.  I did like how the yarn pooled on this pattern. The stripes get smaller as the shawl gets bigger which makes for a pretty fun effect. I am happy with the result.

Continuing in the battle against UFOs I found a lone sock in project bag with some yarn. I finished the second stock today. These are a two year old birthday gift for a friend from work.

This evening, I was feeling pretty accomplished but still motivated. I started on quilting the baby quilt that I am making for baby Lawson. I will have a whole post on that when I complete it. This will be my first quilt doing the quilting as well as the piecing. I will let you know how it goes.

Star of Mystery

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I finished the fourth quilt block in this Solstice Stars Series quilt along. The Star of Mystery is another paper pieced block and  I am really enjoying working with my new paper piecing skills. This is my second paper pieced block and I have used the paper piecing in other projects that I have been working on. I really like how precise it allows me to be without having to pay a ton of attention.

I am pleased with how the quilt is coming together. Fresh Lemons has one more block in this series so I will finish that block and then hopefully find another star block or duplicate one of these blocks to round out six blocks for a lap quilt or baby blanket or something. I have not really decided what the end product will be yet. Please leave me a comment with your suggestions.

Orange Border Baby Blanket

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This is the third blanket in a series of “Sisters” that I made. I purchased way too much fabric for the first blanket that I made. I guess it is good that I liked the fabric because I ended up making three blankets from it so far. (Yes, I have more left)

I got inspiration for this blanket from a series of jelly roll blankets that I had seen while looking for patterns for Ashley’s baby blanket.

I improvised this pattern using the 5″x5″ squares that I had from Ashley’s baby blanket and a background fabric that I picked up on the sale rack at Hobby Lobby. I cut the background fabric into 5″x5″ squares and the pattern fabric squares in half to create 2.5″x5″ rectangles and laid the pieces out to create the diagonal lines that make the pattern in this quilt.

I then sewed the blocks into long strips and simply sewed the strips together.

I was pretty happy with the result but I thought that this blanket needed a little color to finish it off. I found a really bright orange at a local quilt shop that match the orange in some of the print fabric and attached a 3″ border.

I do not have anybody in particular in mind for this blanket but I have lots of friends and family with babies coming so I know that it will go to a good home. This quilt top along with the other two “sisters” are at the quilter getting finished, currently, once I have them all back, I will post a picture of the finished quilts.


Another Star Quilt Block

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I finished the third block in this star series that is being put on by Fresh Lemons. I am really enjoying the quilt along so far and I am learning a ton. I have even been able to incorporate some of the skills that I have learned doing this quilt along into my other projects. If you are enjoying following my renditions of these patterns please check out the Fresh Lemons Flickr page as well as her blog.

I am still in the process of using up my stash of decorator’s fabric so I am trying to keep this in mind when I am picking fabrics for each block. I have about about 12″ x 12″ so I am limited on size. I think that I have done pretty well so far keeping them matching.

I am getting ready to run into an unforseen issue and that is running out of my background fabric. I am going to need to go to the fabric store and see if they have more. I would really like to finish the quilt with the same background fabric since the pieces may not be as cohesive as I would have chosen.


Uh Oh… I lost my 9 Square

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I have been experimenting with different quilting techniques. This was my second attempt at a quilt after the one that I made using a jelly roll technique for my cousin, Ashley. This quilt is based upon a free tutorial from Quilts and ATCs.  She has all kinds of “disappearing 9 square” tutorials so be sure to check her out.

I started out using the same fabric from my jelly roll quilt which was cut into 5″ square.

I did have to cut a few more of the solid white pieces to fill in but this was a great way to use up my extras (I bought WAY too much fabric on the first quilt).

These pieces are then sewn into a simple “9 Square” which is just a block that is 9 of the 5″ put into a 3×3 matrix

The next step is to cut your 9 square in the middle both ways. You will have four pieces.

You then turn two of your four “blocks” 108 degrees in the same direction.

You can see that the top right and the bottom left got turned 180 degrees. This is looks more confusing than it actually is. I tried it with paper first so I could play with my colors and patterns to understand how it was going to work. The confusion will not be helped by my post because I was not careful to document my movements. Please see the Quilts and ATC’s post for a better tutorial.

After you sew these “blocks” together, you will have disappeared your 9 square and end up with a full block that looks like this:

I put four of these blocks together to make a small baby blanket. A guy that I work with, and his wife, are having a baby. I think that I will finish this quilt top for them.

A Shower for Rilynn and Ashley too

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My cousin Ashley had her daughter, Rilynn last week. Please see the Puppy Hats post for all baby pictures and other things to make you coo.

My cousin Carla had the great idea to host a baby shower for Ashley back just before Christmas. I know that I am late getting this posted but here goes anyway.

Ashley did Rilynn’s room in a pink and grey theme and we decided to continue that for the shower but add a winter wonderland twist. Yes, there was a lot of thought that went into this baby shower. Carla is an overachiever. I was in charge of the cupcakes, the invitations and the baby blanket.

The cupcakes came from a local bakery here in Coffeyville. The ladies at Utopia are amazing. They are super friendly and I go there way too many mornings in a week. The food is great, the coffee is great and the people are even better. (shameless plug) I go to them for all my baking needs. They are so much better at it than I am and I love working with them. They made this beautiful cupcakes that went perfectly with the shower.

Carla had this great idea to use twigs that she spray painted to decorate. She put adorable sparkly snowflakes on them and they looked great!

 Before I get into talking about the quilt, here are a few more pictures from the shower. 

Another cousin (yes, there are a lot of them), Kristin, was in charge of the food and she did a great job. She had sandwiches, fruit and gobs of other wonderful things to eat.

These are the pink poinsettias that I picked up to decorate with. I loved their color so I took a glamour shot.

The gift table turned out really pretty. I will have an entire post dedicated to that quilt on the end so consider this a teaser. I took all these pictures before anybody really got there so this was less than a fourth of the presents that ended up there.

The shower was a big hit and we all had a bundle of fun. Ashley ended up with a couple car loads of presents and Rilynn was sufficiently welcomed.

I will leave you with a cute baby pic. This is my sister and Carla’s daughter. They are both hungry.


Puppy Hats

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My cousin Ashley requested that I make her a couple of hats for here wee girl that look like her dogs. She has a sweet little pug named Tanner and a great dane named Gracie. They are great dogs and good friends of my own pups. She requested this about 4 months ago. I just finished these last night. I procrastinated.

Ashley had her daughter on February 2, 2012 and named her Rilynn Leigh. Rilynn weighed 5lbs 2oz and was 18 inches long. She is the more perfect beautiful baby if ever there was one. Rilynn is a lot like her momma, and every other woman in our family, in that she does things her own way and she could not wait to get into the world. This totally foiled my plans of having her puppy hats done in time for her to wear them when she got here, that is fine though, we are glad to have her.

I was really excited to knit this beautiful baby a couple of hats that look like her puppy friends but I was a little taken aback by the task. It is hard to make a hat look like an individual dog let alone two dogs that are so different in looks, size and shape. I took a stroll around Ravelry to find a hat that I could modify into being the perfect pug or dane hat.

The dane was the first one that I did and the actual knitting was the easy part on this one. Finding a yarn that matches the coloring of Gracie was a different story. Etsy came to my rescue, again, and I found this beautiful yarn by TheKnittedLoop.

This turned out to be the perfect yarn to match Gracie. I used a pattern by Keri McKiernan called Easy Peasy Newborn Sock Hat. I heavily modified this by adding ears and a nose as well as stitching on eyes and I ended up with a very cute “Gracie Hat”.

I was pretty happy with how this one turned out so I jumped right into the pug hat. I used some Misti Alpaca yarn that I had stashed that was pretty close to a Tanner color as well as some silk blend sock yarn I had stashed as well. I started with a pattern for a little turban that I found on Ravelry.  Lazy Daisy Dress-up kit by Anna & Heidi Pickles is the pattern that I used, the kit is a pattern for a really cute little dress but they also have a pattern for a little turban to go with it.

This is the original pattern with credit for the image going to Anna & Heidi Pickles. I knitted the hat as directed in the pattern and then added a little nose and eyes and ears. I think that it turned out really cute and the Alpaca made the hat so soft and snuggly. I cannot wait to see it on little Rilynn!

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Whirling Star Quilt Block

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I finished the second block in this online quilting bee that I have been participating in. This block used a method that I had not used yet in quilting, paper piecing.

I found paper piecing to be really challenging to wrap my head around but once I watched a few tutorials on you tube (Here is the one I found most helpful) and dove right in, it was a lot of fun and produced a great result. I am looking forward to exploring that method more.

So far I am having a lot of fun participating in this quilt along. I am also using up all these pesky fabric samples that I cannot make myself just throw away. This is probably limiting the creativity that I can have on the fabric choices and is making me use less modern prints but waste not want not, I guess.

If you are interested in participating, Fresh Lemons Quilts has some great tutorial and a great group on flickr to look for inspiration.

Here are the two blocks together. I am trying to use fabrics that will coordinate from the stash that I have. This is proving to be more difficult that I originally thought because each sample is less than 12″x12″, this does not offer a lot of flexibility so we will see how it turns out.

Rosette Rolls

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My dear friend Taylor bought me a wonderful little cook book when I was a sophomore in college. It is the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. The more that I use it the more I like it. The best part, besides the wide range of recipes entailed, the book is not bound but it is in a binder type book. This is so nice because I can take one page out and use it, then put it back when I am done.

I have a long and detailed history with bread making. Bread making and I, we have gone though phases when we were hot and heavy. I was making bread a few time a week using my grandma’s sour dough starter. We have since cooled our relationship to a casual friendship, I am still good at making bread but I do it maybe once a month.  I have made a “butter horn”bread type of recipe before but it was more involved than this recipe and I am very happy with the result of these.

  • 1      cup whole milk
  • 6     tablespoons butter (room temperature)
  • 1      package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105 degrees F to 115 degrees F)
  • 2     eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3     tablespoons sugar
  • 4     cups all-purpose flour (not unbleached)
  • 1      tablespoon kosher salt
  • Melted butter
  • Softened butter
Directions1.Heat the milk to 120 degrees F to 130 degrees F; add the butter and set aside to cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, in a large bowl dissolve yeast in warm water. Add cooled milk, eggs, and sugar to dissolved yeast and stir to blend. With a wooden spoon stir in 2 cups of the flour and the salt; stir until smooth. Add 2 cups of remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, stirring vigorously for 3 to 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic and only slightly sticky. (Only if needed, after 3 minutes of stirring and dough is overly wet, stir in 1 tablespoon flour at a time.

2.Cover the surface of the dough with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Cover the top of the bowl with a second piece of plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled (1 to 2 hours).*

3.Lightly butter 24 muffin cups. Gently press the dough to deflate. With lightly buttered hands pinch off generous 1-inch pieces of dough. Fold the dough over, turning and tucking the edges to form a ball. Pinch the seam together to seal. Dip in melted butter and arrange three dough balls in each muffin cup. Let rise until fully doubled (about 1 hour).

4.Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake rolls for 20 to 25 minutes or until well-browned. If needed, to prevent overbrowning, cover rolls with foil during last few minutes of baking. Remove from oven. Brush with softened butter. Return to oven for 1 to 2 minutes.

5.Remove rolls immediately from cups to a wire cooling rack. Let cool about 5 minutes before serving. Makes 24 dinner rolls.


I took a less work intensive method in making my rolls. I used my bread machine do to the kneading and initial rise. I rolled out my dough and formed the rosettes using the method described in the cook book. I did find a good tutorial at Redhead Recipes blog though here is the link.

For some reason, I only want to make bread on a cold day and in the old house that I live in, there is not a warm snuggly spot to rise dough. I am terrible at using the oven to rise my rolls, I always end up with half cooked little steamed dumplings so  I engineered a little hot box for my rolls in my hall way above my floor heater. I put the pan on a chair above the floor heater after turning the heater on and up to 80. I aimed the humidifier on the rolls so there was a nice and warm, moist place for my yeasts to get happy.

My little engineered yeast incubator worked great. I ended up with some beautiful rolls and a very happy husband. I had to make a second batch the next day because we ate so many of them.



Christmas Crafts

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I did not go over board for Christmas this year. I did a few fun smaller projects for a select few (mostly the people who didn’t get hand made gifts last year).

We got a new pup back in May and he is smaller than Joe and gets pretty cold so I knitted him a little sweater. He is just so cute about his sweater and loves it. He likes for it to be on, that is a welcome change from Joe who chewed (literally) off a sweater that I knit him two years ago.


I intend to make this sweater a design project in the near future because I had a really hard time finding patterns that do not involve seaming and are just a “casual” sweater for a little dude.

Do you notice those beautiful gifts in the background of that picture? Why, Yes, I did go a little over board on the gift wrapping this year. I am not sure why I get so wrapped up (he he) in wrapping paper but I sure did this year. We purchased most of our gifts in Jamaica this year (blog post to come) so it was a lot of fun to wrap everything up and remember our trip with each package. I bought my paper on sale from Target on December 26th last year so that made the whole experience more enjoyable. I hate spending an arm and a leg needlessly.

Speaking of spending an arm and a leg needlessly. Sometimes I shoot myself in the foot trying to be frugal.

This summer, we put up a bunch of peach butter, peach jam, and salsa to give as gifts. Each jar was beautiful and full of goodies that taste delicious (I don’t care if I did make it, they were good). I thought that a good way to finish them would be to cut a little square of fabric to put between the ring and the flat. I thought it would be cute to make is Christmas fabric but I didn’t want to buy fabric when I just needed a few scraps. I looked though my fabric stash and didn’t find anything satisfactory.

I had been thinking about making a tree skirt using a pattern by Citrus Holiday. It is simple and they made it look to cute and easy. I decided to just buy the fabric for the tree skirt and then use the scraps for my jar tops.

The pattern called for:

  • ¾ yard of 45″ wide fabric for EACH triangle (eight total)
  • 1 yard of 45″ wide fabric for binding around all tree skirt edges and for tree skirt opening ties
  • 1½ yards of 54″ wide cotton muslin for tree skirt back
  • 1½ yards of 54″ wide lightweight quilt batting

I joyously went to the fabric store and purchased the prescribed amounts of the different fabric and came home to get to cutting out my pattern. I measured out the first wedge and realized that I had purchased WAY too much fabric for just one tree skirt. I am not fond of having huge pieces of extra fabric laying around so I did a little measuring and decided that I could make two tree skirts with the fabric I purchased and give one as a gift. I proceeded to measure and cut out two tree skirts so that I could use the scraps for the jar tops.

I continued in my bliss with the cutting and I was kind of into the project so I went ahead and pieced together the first tree skirt. I enjoyed this process so much I went ahead and pieced the second one the next night and then tried to make bias tape. This turned out to be quite the process so I felt the need to buy this handy tool off of to help the process along.

The tool worked great and I was happily finishing just in time to take the tree skirt up to give to my mother in law. Here is how it finished up. I was pretty happy with the end product.



I sat back and enjoyed my craftiness, so proud of myself to not be a wasteful spender and buy fabric for something so silly as to put on the tops of jars.

Then I realized, I spent almost 10 times more by buying fabric to make these tree skirts and all the tools that I “needed” to make them as I would have just buying the fabric for the jars. I was suddenly less proud of myself.

I learned that next time I need to keep my project scope a little less fluid and maybe to a cost benefit analysis before just diving head first into another “inspired” idea.

On the upside, I do have a beautiful tree skirt (mine is almost done, I just need to do the binding) and my Mother In Law just loves hers.

On the downside, I was cutting squares out and applying them on my way out the door on my way to Christmas.

Christmas was lovely and it was wonderful to see all of our family again. I will end this post with this little “gift” I think he is just the cutest little thing and he was so tired he didn’t mind being “wrapped” at all.