Wednesday, December 28, 2016

For the Record

This time of year, many of us take a little break from blogging. So in light of slowing down after the fast pace of holiday preparations, I thought I would review a book I recently read.

"For the Record" is the first book I've read by this author. She put a delightful spin on this novel. In the late 1800's women were still left in the dark as far as being in a business profession. Betsy Huckabee has dreams. Dreams of being a writer, stirring readers with more than local gossip and weather reports. When Deputy Joel Puckett breezes into Pine Gap Missouri, his life is about to take on new challenge. The small town has problems, and locals think they can deal with it in their own way. Deputy Puckett stands by enforcing the law. When Betsy decides to write a story about the tall Texan, she finds herself tangled in a web that may likely cost her and the Deputy more than they bargained for. 

The story was so entertaining, with lighthearted banter between Betsy and Joel. When they join forces to discover who is behind the crimes taking place in the small town, they end up with more of a surprise than they had ever imagined. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The review and opinions are solely mine.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Bread for the Journey

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 
John 3:16-17

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Prayer

Loving Father, help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the Song of the Angels, the Gladness of the Shepherds, and the Worship of the Wise Men.
Close the door of hate and open the door of Love all over the world.  Let Kindness come with every gift and Good Desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil by the Blessing which Christ brings, and Teach us to be merry with Clear Hearts.  
May the Christmas morning make us happy to be Thy Children and the Christmas evening bring us to our beds with Grateful Thoughts, Forgiving and Forgiven.
For Jesus' Sake........ Amen.
(Robert Louis Stevenson)

Friday, December 23, 2016

The finals

A couple of years ago I bought this panel, thinking I would decorate towels for Christmas. Well, I knew it would never happen. When I came across a pattern in a quilting magazine, I decided to use the panel for this final Christmas quilt.

And YAY the last Christmas gift is finished!!

Definitely a Whoop!

Monday, December 19, 2016

The weather outside is...

So many have posted about the snow in your area. But where I live, I think the Reindeer will be putting on water skis, instead of snow skis.

And here is why..........
I love living in Florida :-)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

SMS Winner

Pssst.... and the winner is...

# 16 Rebecca!
I've already contacted her and will be mailing out her prize this week!

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Friday, December 9, 2016

Happy Christmas quilt

Here is the quilt that I most want to finish this year!

A ufo for several years, I would love to finish it and hang it during the Christmas season. Most recently I added the border and found backing. Here's hoping I can have it all quilted by Christmas Eve.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day


Welcome to the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day.  It's a huge Giveaway campaign to help find new (and old) blogs.  Each year hundreds of bloggers participate. If you are new to my blog, I hope you will take a look around, check out my tutorials and book reviews, and come back again.

This year I am giving away two quilting books that use fat quarters.

I love fat quarters and have a very nice collection of them. So to spice up the giveaway, I'm including four fat quarters to help get you started on a new project.

How to enter?  Leave a comment on this post to be entered. To participate, all you need to do is answer this question. Are you making handmade gifts for Christmas this year? And because I ♥ my Followers, Followers (old and new) may leave a SECOND comment letting me know how you follow. 
Due to the rising cost of postal rates, this giveaway is for US readers only. You must have a way to be contacted. If the winner is a no-reply comment, it will not qualify and I will draw another winner.  Giveaway will close on Sunday December 11th.  Winners will be notified by email.

Thanks so much for stopping by.  If you are new, I hope you will visit again.  It's always fun to meet old friends and welcome new ones.

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Friday, December 2, 2016

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

I've been working on the 12 Days of Christmas by Kate Spain. Almost finished, just need to find backing.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Christmas project

While working on completing ufo's, I came across a couple of quilts patterns I started and, obviously, never finished.

Blocks for Kate Spain 12 Days of Christmas were hiding in a bag.
I must have started on the blocks and some other crisis took me away from completing them.
It's been fun to find these cheerful blocks and I hope to have it competed before Christmas.

How about you? Are you working on any kind of Christmas project for yourself?

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Being thankful

It seems during this time of year, we are reminded to be thankful. And it's sometimes easy to forget to show gratefulness for an act of kindness.

Today I want to thank blood donors. I have never given blood, but I know many people who do. There are people who share their life giving blood, in order to help others, many times saving lives. And I realize what a special gift that is.

Two weeks ago I shared with you about my friend, Lin. She experienced a Class 4 hemorrhage, basically losing almost all of the blood in her body, after a blood vessel burst behind her pancreas. Her heart stopped three times because of lack of blood. She was given 25 units of blood. That's pretty amazing, as the human body has about 10 pints of blood circulating. She was losing it faster than they could pump it in.

So today I am sending my thanks to the many men and women who donate their blood. You have helped keep this wonderful woman alive. You have blessed many people by your sacrifice.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Friday, November 18, 2016

Sweatshirt weather

One of the many things I enjoy about living in Florida is the weather. To be honest, I love the hot, humid, sunny days. What I don't like is when the days are shorter and the weather turns dry and cooler. But when it does, I dig out my sweatshirts and jackets.

 I am not a garment sewer. However, several years ago, I met my BFF at the Chicago Quilt Festival. We had a wonderful time together. We looked at all of the fabulous quilts and of course all of the vendors. At one booth, my BFF saw this jacket. She immediately wanted to make one, and said that I needed to make one too! Whoa-ho girl, I don't do garments! She finally convinced me and we purchased the pattern. As my BFF lives in cold country 1000 miles away, and I live in the south, we have to use our time wisely when we get together. BFF was coming to my end of the world and she said we were going to make these jackets! Whewww........ now I was in trouble. The first objective was to find a 100% cotton sweatshirt. Ha, ha, well let me tell you that it is VERY difficult to find any kind of sweatshirts in Florida! After much searching, we did finally come across sweatshirts that were 80% cotton. As I drove around, she had seam ripper in hand and tore out the cuffs and the neck trim.

We used Kansas Troubles, and Thimbleberries line of fabrics. I love the rich color combinations. My BFF worked diligently on her jacket and I followed along. It was a very fun project and we both came out with great looking jackets.

That year I decided to enter the jacket in the Florida State Fair. I have never entered any quilts in the State Fair before, but I felt the jacket was something a little different and maybe was worthy to show. To my amazement, the jacket took a second place red ribbon! What a wonderful surprise.
Here are some close up shots of the back and quilting. I also added a nice closure at the top.

Inspiring, yes. Warm, absolutely!

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The library

I remember when I was a very little girl the first time my mother took me to the Library. We were living in a very big city at the time but the library was a very small place, situated upstairs. We climbed the stairs and entered into a place that was magic to me. I remember the low shelf next to the window with lots of colorful children's books. I must have been about 4 years old, because I was not in school and probably not reading yet. I sat by the window and looked through many of the picture books. I am sure we took a few books home with us that day. We went back to that library many times, as I still remember checking out books from that library while I was in elementary school.

Books have always held a fascination to me. They are your friends when you are lonely, sick, or when you just want to travel to a different place or time. The library is also a great resource for quilting books. I have a very healthy collections of quilting books in my own library, but sometimes, I just enjoy looking at other books for ideas. I have checked out Harriet Hargrove and Sue Nickels machine quilting books and kept them for the maximum time allowed!

Recently I picked up these little gems.

What fun to browse through these books and enjoy the amazing resource the library affords. Have you ever checked what your local library has available? You might be pleasantly surprised.

Happy Quilting!

Monday, November 14, 2016

First Blush

I'm always amazed when I've been chosen to win a prize. Especially when it's beautiful fabric.

Wendy Shepherd of Ivory Spring recently hosted a giveaway for a fat quarter bundle of First Blush and the coordinating Aurifil thread. 

Did you hear me squeal when the package arrived? This certainly makes for Happy Quilting!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016

Veterans Day

Honoring all those who have served our country. Today is also Armistice Day, the day the armistice was signed, ending World War I, so other countries are also remembering their veterans today.

Thank you!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Update and thank you

Thank you to everyone who wrote to me concerning my friend. There were many dark hours that eclipsed since last Thursday.

Having suffered an abdominal aorta aneurysm that ruptured, my friend Lin teetered between life and death for many hours.
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Her heart stopped three times, the last time for 30 minutes.  Thankfully one of the doctors would not give up and saved her from certain death. The rupture was behind her pancreas, so doctors tried for several hours to stop the bleeding with a less invasive method. That not working, they took her to surgery. These were very tense hours.

She has since been weaned off of the ventilator. She has no memory of what happened to her. She is in a lot of pain (her incisions is from her chest to below her belly button).

Yesterday she was given a new set of pain meds and was able to sit in a chair. Her family, coming from Alaska, the Ukraine, and lower Ohio, has gathered around her. There were many prayers that went up for her from all over the world. Nurses and doctors stop by her room and are in awe at this miracle that unfolded before their eyes. The one doctor who did not give up, stood at Lin's door and cried.

God's hand was certainly on Lin as she was pulled back from eternity. And I thank each one of you who took the time to say a prayer. Her recovery will be slow and perhaps long, but she is resilient and a fighter, but I truly believe that God's hand has been on her.  Her job here on earth is not done.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Sweet Roasted Nuts

Today I am sharing another goodie. These are great to make just to eat, but they also make nice little gifts as well.

My niece made these Sweet Roasted Nuts and of course we all loved them and wanted the recipe. She basically said she did not have a recipe but told me how to make them.

The cast of characters

1 bag of pecan halves (or 1 1/2 cups)
1 bag of walnuts (or 1 1/2 cups)

Melt 1/2 stick of butter, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, a pinch of salt and a little vanilla in a sauce pan.

Coat the nuts in the mixture and then spread on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. You will know when they are done when you smell them!

Cool on wax paper before storing

I found these little canning jars at Target, and they are the perfect size for gift giving.

Easy Peasy!

I hope you enjoy making these little morsels. They are so delicious to eat and you could make someone very happy :-)

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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Friday, November 4, 2016

The phone call that rocks your world

This picture was taken several years ago when I was visiting my dear friend in Ohio. She and I visited so many quilt shops, enjoyed lots of wonderful meals and deep encouraging conversations.

Yesterday morning I received the kind of phone call that rocks your world. My friend was rushed to the hospital when she was experiencing extreme pain. The first hospital determined that she had a massive tumor in her abdomen. She was transferred to a larger hospital where the diagnosis was changed, first to hemorrhaging, then to an aorta aneurysm that had burst.

After several hours of doctors trying to stop the bleeding with non-invasive methods, her heart stopped and the procedure was not working. They were able to get her heart started again and gathered a team of surgeons. After many hours under the knife, they thought they had stopped the bleeding and felt that she was stable. But her heart stopped again, and again the surgeons went back in to find the bleed which was behind her pancreas. The doctors felt that this time they had stopped the bleed but waited 20 minutes, making sure it would not bleed again.

She has made it through the night, and her daughter was able to go into ICU and be with her a while. Her daughter relayed that when her mom heard her voice, she opened her eyes a bit and squeezed her hand.

Many prayers have been going around the world all day yesterday and today. If you think of my friend, Lin, please pray for her complete recovery. She has a long way to go, and the doctors have said she's not out of the woods yet. But just coming this far has been a miracle.

Thank you!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Fall Landscape

As the seasons change, I like to change the quilts around the house. This was the first landscape quilt I made a couple of years ago. It's perfect for this time of year.

Happy Quilting!

Monday, October 31, 2016

A little fall quilt

A pretty little wall hanging one of my quilting buddies made.

Just thought it would make you smile :-)

Happy Quilting!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Another finish

Years ago, someone gave me this floral fabric.

It was not what I usually would buy for myself, so it sat in my stash for a while. At first I thought I would make something for the lady who gave me the fabric, but as time went on, and so did she, it never happened.

Eventually I found the black on black to compliment the floral and the project started.

My plan is to gift this to a Vietnamese couple that attends my church.  He is undergoing chemo for liver cancer. They have difficulty with the language, but aren't quilts are a universal language?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Road to Testament

Recently I have been reading books written by Eva Marie Everson. When I find an author I like, I tend to devour everything they have written. Most recently I read The Road to Testament.


This a story is about a young woman who was raised in a life of privilege. At age 30, she is given an ultimatum about expanding her boxed in life.  She must return to the small town where her grandparents had, at one time, produced a "home and garden" type magazine. Resurrecting the magazine and working for the town newspaper turns out to be a challenge for Ashlynne Rothschild. Meeting gruff William Decker finds her arrested by his good looks and mysterious behavior. All which taunt her natural curiosity as a journalist. When she uncovers some deeply troubling evidence about some of the towns folk, Ashlynne finds she cannot keep her hands off. Jeopardizing the community, her career and her growing affections for Will.

Eva Marie Everson has a way of transporting you into the pages of her novel. I really enjoyed this book.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Pumpkin Pie Cake

 With the holidays approaching, I thought I would share a few recipes that we enjoy during the season.
My daughter makes this yummy dessert recipe. This is almost like a pumpkin pie cobbler. Try it warm from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Pumpkin Pie Cake

2 (15 oz) can canned pumpkin puree
1 (12 fluid oz) can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 (18.25 oz) package yellow cake mix
3/4 cup butter
1 cup chopped nuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease one 9 x 13 pan
2 In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Mix well. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
3. Sprinkle the dry cake mix evenly over the pumpkin mixture. Melt butter and drizzle over the cake mix. Sprinkle nuts over the top.
4. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until done.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

  P.S.  If you are a no-reply blogger or are Google+, please leave your email address, so I can reply to your comment. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Bread for the Journey

The bigger the storm the more we need to trust.
 "He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed."
 Psalm 107:29  (NIV)

Friday, October 21, 2016

Quilting with my walking foot

Machine quilting. It's been my goal, working to finish the UFO's that have piled up. So the question is... how to quilt them?

Over the years I have tried my hand at free motion quilting. Every time I get a little bit of control and ease in the quilting, I find that there is a huge break in time. I lose the momentum, and the next time I sit down at the sewing machine, my quilting looks like a disaster.

Taking the time to practice, practice, practice has brought a sense of frustration. So in light of completing the quilt, I purposed to do straight stitching with my walking foot.

Case in point... I started quilting straight lines through the body of this quilt.

Crossing over to make an X over the white blocks.
But I can also fancy up the quilting a bit, just by adding curves and arcs.

All done with my walking foot.
I machine quilted straight vertical lines on this last quilt. 

But then I felt I needed to do something more. So here is what I did.

Starting at one point, I spotted down two rows. Went back to the top and crossed over, again spotting two rows down.

I love the way it turned out.

My quilts are not going to win any prizes, but they are what I love to do. Using geometric designs works for me. Better to be finished than perfect :-)

Happy Quilting!