Sunday, December 27, 2009


I've finished my session 3 Sylvia's Bridal Sampler blocks. Session 3 was easy foundation piecing.

I had done some foundation piecing and hated it, so I wasn't looking forward to these blocks. I figured I needed additional help, so I signed up for a paper piecing class at Glads.

Wow, what a difference a class will make. I got cutting instructions at the club meeting, which help cut the fabric, to prevent wasting too much fabric. During class I was able to finish the sample and three blocks.

I would really recommend the class to anyone wanting to brush up on their skills or learn paper piecing. It is great fun!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to Me!

Caroline gave me the best Christmas gift ever. She helped me finish a UFO.

I bought this project a couple of years ago when my great-nephew, Kaiden, was still a baby.

I got stuck trying to get rid of puckers in the nose area. I brought it with me to Utah and Caroline helped me finish the nose with puckers. You know galloping horses and all.

The embroidery kind of hides the puckers, plus if you didn't make the project you don't see the mistakes as much.

The pattern is called Puppy Love, and I love that he is done. I hope you love him, Kaiden!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Little Helper

Daisy has turned into quite the little seamstress. Anytime she hears the purr of the machine, her ears perk up and she comes to see how she can help.

Usually, it is to sit on my fabric or to curl up on my lap. I love it! I can use all the help I can get.

So I'm working on my paper pieced blocks for Sylvia's Bridal Sampler. I love the tip I got at Glad's.

Nancy and Susan suggested making kits for yourself for each block. I love it. It has the foundation papers and the fabric cut to shape but a little over sized.

I'll post pictures of the blocks once I finish them.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tis the Season

It is that time of year, which means Miss Richfield 1981 and Christmas cookies.

Cheri has organized an outing with Steve and I for the last couple of years. She and her friend Bob set up dinner out at the Gay 9o's, and then head to the Illusion Theater for the show.

This year Amy and her husband joined us. After the show we had cocktails and appetizers at Bob's condo. Good food and great views!

Thanks Cheri and Bob! It was great fun.

Now I must confess that this year's cookie is brought to you by way of Debbie's Doings.

I made them this year and they were yummy. Absolutely delicious!

You may be wondering why a picture of only one cookie. Well of the 50 something cookies the recipe makes, this is the only one left.

I have to admit I had a little disaster with the white chocolate. I tried to melt the chocolate in the microwave, and it seized. Apparently white chocolate is harder to melt than other chocolates.

Any one know what true love is? Going out on a Minnesota night to get replacement chocolate.

Thanks, Steve!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Soup Du Minnesota

I must be in a french mood lately, with my titles.

What could be more Minnesotan than Turkey Wild Rice Soup?
Most turkeys come from Minnesota and wild rice is the state grain.

Plus it uses up your left over turkey from Thanksgiving.

Steve's brother gave him some real Minnesota wild rice, with the long medium brown kernels. It was so fragrant when it was cooking.

I didn't modify the recipe hardly at all this time. I did think it was a little thick when I finished following the recipe, so I put in the full pint of half and half and two more cups of broth.

It has such a nice aroma and flavor, all turkey.

Other than the hour to cook the wild rice, the soup was actually very quick to make. Give it a try. You'll love it!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Harry Covert

Steve and I had two guests for Thanksgiving dinner. My brother, Jacob and Harry Covert. Of course, we ate Harry.

The food was delicious. Turkey, ham, cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and green beans.

Dessert was a special treat. Pumpkin Cheesecake with Caramel Swirl.

It was a great choice. It has a lighter consistency than regular cheesecake, but you still get the creamy goodness of a cheesecake.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I'm Cut Out For This

I'm still sans my sewing machine. Steve told me I should take a break from sewing every now and then.

This past week I didn't do anything, until Friday night.

When you don't have a machine, what do you do? Cut out a future project.

I washed and ironed my fabric for my Amazon Star. Then I started cutting for the quilt.

I'm not sure if you all are familiar with Judy Niemeyer patterns, but she includes instructions and templates for cutting out her quilts.

I knew by looking at the quilt that it would be very involved, but the cutting was proof. Eight pages of cutting instructions. Ten ziploc bags later, I have everything cut and sorted.

I have to admit that the instructions were well written and easy to follow. The next step is to get my machine back and start sewing.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I'm Lost!

Can you tell what is missing from this picture?

Is there anything sadder than a sewing table missing a sewing machine? I was having trouble with the tension on my machine, so I took it in to be serviced at Gratz Sewing.

They are so good that typically they are booked out three weeks. I lucked out! I'll be getting my machine back in a week.

While I can't sew, I think I'll revisit finished projects that haven't made it onto the blog yet.

Earlier I had mentioned that I finished Mystery by Mail #43. Well, it is no longer a mystery. This is a picture of the finished product. Auntie's Choice.

I think it is lovely. The main block is Aunt Suki's Choice. I think it has an amazing secondary design that is created by added a pieced sashing in between the blocks.

I also love the earth tone Asian fabrics. Very elegant!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mystery Treats

I did Mystery Weekend this past Thursday and Friday.

Some of my favorite things about the weekend are the different fabric choices, show and tell, the great tips and the treats.

I have to say that I didn't bring the hit treat. Some one brought caramel peanut rolls. They were so popular, they disappeared before I could get one.

I brought Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread.

I have to say that it turned out really well. I made my own pumpkin puree, which I think added to the flavor and helped made the bread more moist.

Making pumpkin puree is very easy. Here are instructions.

Once you taste the difference, you'll never use canned puree again.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Marriage of Convenience

What do you do when you have turkey meat and pumpkin puree?

You put them together and make Pumpkin Turkey Chili.

When you put it all together and it still isn't working? Chili marriage counselling.

Steve and I obviously started with boiling a turkey carcass and harvesting the meat. We used it in place of the ground turkey.

Once we finished the recipe, it really wasn't good, so we added more salt, red pepper flakes, mexican oregano and cumin. We also added some broth and an 8oz can of tomato sauce to make it less thick.

The last step is to arrange your chili bowls into eyes, your cheese into a mouth and make a sour cream beauty mark to really enjoy your dinner.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Star of the Harvest

Cheri and I got into a little bit of trouble on our trip to Montana. We stopped at way too many shops and I bought way too much fabric. Of course, I wouldn't take anything back.

One of the thing, I bought was the pattern for Amazon Star designed by Judy Niemeyer.

I found kits online, but wanted to try to put together my own fabric selection.

I searched high and low and ended up at Eagle Creek Quilt Shop. I left my mark on the shop.

They now have my picture hanging up behind the counter to let everyone know that I'm not to be left alone with the fabric. Just kidding. Lori was very helpful. She helped me understand the pattern and pick out a beautiful selection of fabric.

The fabric is so different than those used for the quilt on the pattern cover. I love the oranges mixed with the teal. My background fabrics are golds. I can 't wait to see how they work together.

So far all I've done is tape my swatches to the pattern. Next step is to wash and press the fabrics. Then I cut strips and then use templates to cut up the strips into pieces for the pattern.

I'm thinking I need to start now if I want to be done before Jan. 2011 for the Star Quilt Show at Glad Creations Quilt Block. Hopefully I'll be making lots of progress and posting about it often.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Handbag for Peace

I'm going to start off with an apology. Nancy and Susan let me pick fabric to make a tote bag for a shop sample at Glad Creations.

I never started on it and now the pattern and the fabric I chose are in the discount section. Oops! Sorry.

To make up for my misdeeds, I volunteered to make the Claire Handbag.

I have to say that the pattern is really well written. Every step has an illustration and is easy to follow. This project took me about a day to complete.

I love the fabric that we picked for the bag. It is from the Flower Child line. It has a lot of fun bright prints. Glads has quite a few bolts from the line in different colorways.

Susan will be showing it at the second Wednesday demo, "Quick Christmas Presents" and at Scrap Tamers. If you come in and take a look at the sample and the pattern, I bet you will want to make this bag.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I've made a some great progress on my Sylvia's Bridal Sampler blocks.

I finished session 1 blocks in July. I've been plugging away at session 2 blocks between other projects.

I've gotten together with friends for Sylvia weekends. Anything to stay motivated.

Session 2 blocks were pieced using traditional techniques, but a little more challenging than the first session. Between the two sessions, that makes 35 blocks, which is a fourth of all the blocks in the quilt.

Some of the blocks were down right hard. Keep in mind that the blocks are 6" finished. Two of the blocks had 60 pieces in them. They had 3/4" half square triangles in them. What a challenge!

In the next session I will be learning to do foundation piecing. Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

30's Adventure

I'm signed up for Mystery Weekend #44 at Glad Creations.

I'm so excited I wish I was headed there tomorrow. I've decided to select from my stash. I pull out 24 fat quarters of 30's reproduction fabrics to use for my dark fabrics. They are somewhat color coordinated. Red, pink, blue, green and yellow.

I ran into a little bit of a hitch. I'm supposed to also have 12 light fabrics to use as well. I looked around and couldn't find enough fabrics that paired well with the 30's fabrics.

I ended up deciding to be a guinea pig and test out how the quilt will work with only one light fabric. I'm using a white fabric with a small blue print on it. I think it looks great with the dark fabrics.

I love the little kit I put together for myself. Three weeks from today I will be finished with the weekend. The excitement is killing me.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Going Green

I know I just finished a quilt, but I'm a bit of an overachiever.

I'm loving Atkinson Designs. The patterns are really well written. My favorite book is Happy Hour.

I've now made three quilts from the book and they all have gone together really quickly.

I started cutting out this quilt yesterday morning. I started sewing on it last night and now it is done. A real quilt in a day.

I started with fabrics from the Timeless Treasures Kiwi line and added some black and white fabrics.

This pattern is called Picture This. It is the perfect pattern to show off big print fabrics.

I love this quilt.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

10 lbs of Cheesy Goodness

So what is better than lasagna? Lasagna with 4 cheeses!

Our garden is now dead, but we have eggplant and some pumpkins. What to do!?

Vegetarian Four Cheese Lasagna.

It is just delicious. Steve and I both were thinking you could really substitute any vegetables for the pumpkin and eggplant. I think spinach would be good. Really anything you have on hand.

Next time you may find Steve and I making Vegetarian Four Cheese Lasagna con carne.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Two Color Classic

All of the pictures of my quilts will most likely have a cat in it now. You pull out fabric or a quilt and they are curled up on it looking cute.

I'm training them well to love fabric.

I finished the quilt I was working on. Solid fabrics, Rich Red and Snow Kaufman Kona Cottons.

It looks like it could have been made ages ago. Come to the quilt show at Glad Creations in January to see it in person. We are all making quilts to donate.

I'm still looking for a place to donate it to. I'm thinking The Aliveness Project, if they accept quilts. Does anyone know?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

My New Bestest Friend

I've started working on a quilt made of red Ohio stars on white. It is only going to be a throw size quilt, but I need 92 quarter square triangles blocks.

I love my The Angler 2. It makes it easy to sew the diagonal seams.

You put your fabrics right sides together and line them up on your quarter inch seam allowance.

You start sewing and keep the fabric lined up with the diagonal lines and 1/4" seam line at the end of The Angler.

Sew easy! Get out there and pick yourself up one, then you too can make triangle squares with out making a single mark.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Garden Baskets

Wahoo! Time to celebrate.

I've been working none stop on my Morris Garden Baskets. It is done and looks great.

I posted a picture of the fabric. The quilt didn't turn out the way I thought it would. I thought it would be very blended and it does, but the blue fabrics provide some great sparkle.

This is my second time making the Glad Creations' Scrap Basket. My mom picked the pattern out of all the patterns on Glad's website.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dinner With Friends

It is nice to have friends over and even better when you don't need to make everything. Amy and Cheri came over last night for dinner.

Cheri brought Cowboy Caviar Salad. She open a bag of fresh greens and a pint of Cowboy Caviar, a southwestern vegetable salad. Toss them together and you have salad magic.

Amy brought the meat. Nice thick hamburgers! Perfect when they were grilled.

I made Parmesan Potatoes. They were super easy. I didn't plan my time very well, so we had cocktails while they finished cooking. I modified the recipe a bit. I probably double the cheese and added about 1/2 to 1 tsp of garlic powder.

We started the night with 10 potatoes, and as you can see we finished with just a few leftovers. Cheri thought the potatoes would be great for breakfast and I totally agree. Now I just need to find a breakfast to bring the potatoes to.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Two Paws Way Up

Steve and I have what seems to be a strange assortment of vegetables coming out of the garden. Eggplant, potatoes and tomatoes. Wouldn't you know we found a recipe using all three.

Moussaka Cottage Pie!?

You might not be familiar with moussaka, but I'd describe it as a Greek shepherd pie with eggplant. I love the unique flavor of meat with cinnamon and cloves.

Steve and I modified the recipe a bit. We made our own mashed potatoes. We blanched our own tomatoes and chopped them instead of using crushed tomatoes. We grilled the sliced eggplant instead of cooking them with the broiler.

Steve and I loved it. We spilled a bit, so the kitties got to enjoy some too. They licked the floor clean, so I think they liked it too.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

From Retreat to Baskets

I just have to say that I had quite a weekend. Friday I picked up Judy and we headed to Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center for a quilting retreat.

On the way to Lanesboro, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to shop, especially with 20% discounts. Now I know I was going to try not to buy new projects and I didn't, but I did buy some fabric.

I got my back for my recently completed Mystery by Mail #43 quilt. I also got some border fabric to go with a layer cake that I bought in Montana with Cheri. I also bought some fat quarters for a project that I've been collecting for.

We met Cheri and Amy down there. I have to say I'm so glad for such good friends who share my love of quilting and will put up with my snoring at night.

I sewed all weekend on the quilt for my parents. I posted a picture of the fabrics for the quilt earlier. I'm making Scrap Basket. I made really good progress. I almost finished all the baskets on the weekend. I also finished the setting corners for the blocks, the sashing and got the pieces cut out to make the nine patch cornerstones.

I was questioning my choice of background, but the ladies at the quilt shop and the retreat seem to think that it worked. It is much easier to see now that I have the baskets pieced. I think they look great. Thanks everyone for the encouragement!

I'm hoping to finish the rest of the piecing for the quilt in the next couple of weeks.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Year of the UFO

It is time for Scrap Tamers at Glad Creations (GC). I've made my goals and completed my inventory. It is not as bad I as thought and every bit as bad as I thought it could be.

Above is the list of projects I would like to complete this year or work on during the year. Two projects are ongoing, Sylvia's Bridal Sampler and Star of the Harvest. The rest are UFOs and the Red and White Ohio Stars quilt is for the New Year's show at GC.

You will notice at the bottom of the spreadsheet above that I'm organizing my inventory differently. Thanks, Alice for the helping me come up with my categories.

I have UFOs (Unfinished Objects), Purchased Projects and Finished Tops. UFOs are projects that have been started but not finished, Purchased Projects are bought but not started and Finished Tops are finished/quilted tops.

I'm not doing too bad on the UFO's. I do have to confess that I dropped a UFO and donated the fabric instead. I highly recommend it as a way to decrease the length of your list. I have 10 UFOs, so I think that finishing them off this year is doable.

Now the bad part. I have way too many projects that I have bought. I'm choosing to ignore these 43 projects this year, except I don't want to buy any more. My other goal this year is to see how long I can go without buying a new project.
I figure I can move a project off the UFO list to Finished Tops when the top is finished. As you can see I have a few projects that I need to finish.

So there you go. 10 UFO's to finish and buy no new project for as long as possible.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Steve and I planted kale in our garden and we now have a row of it waiting to get harvested and eaten.

I found a very tasty recipe that uses kale, Winter Vegetable Hash.

As you can tell my hash doesn't look quite as nice as the one on the website.

I really like the mix of vegetables. I used fresh garlic instead of powdered garlic. I told Steve that I thought bacon would make it better, he likes it the way it is. Cheese might be nice addition as well.

Try it you will love it!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Little Bit of Spice

I seem to be doing a lot of cooking, because all my postings have been food related with no sewing related posts.

I have been sewing on Mystery by Mail #43. I have to say it is turning out great and I can't wait to see the finished product. I'll post pictures once it isn't a mystery any more.

Now back to the mysterious picture above. Steve and I had extra basil from making pesto. We came across Spicy Basil Chicken.

It worked out great because it used up some of the left over hot peppers from making salsa. I do feel like I need to warn you that the oyster sauce is going to stink and smell very fishy, but the finished product tastes great.

It is just spicy enough to add to the flavor without being so hot that all you taste is the heat. Yum!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Made In Minneapolis

Does any one else remember the Pace commercial? Made in New York City?!

Well, this salsa is tastier and comes to you from Minneapolis from people who really know how salsa should taste.

My sister, Martha, has bragged about her salsa recipe for years, and I guess she was right. It is good.

Here is her recipe.

16 Cups chopped tomatoes
2 Cups green peppers, chopped
2 Cups onions, chopped
2 or 3 hot pepper, finely chopped
5 Tbsp salt
5 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp pepper
1 Tbsp paprika
1 Cup vinegar
3-4 Tbsp sugar
6-9 Cloves garlic, finely minced

Mix all together and cook 20 min. Thicken with cornstarch ( ½ cup mixed with ½ cup cold water) Pour hot into clean jars and can using hot water bath method for 15 min. pints and 20 min. quarts. Makes about 10 pints or 5 quarts.

Steve and I modified the recipe a bit. At my sister's suggestion, we decreased the salt to 3 Tbsp. We also only did 14 cups of tomatoes because we ran out. We like our salsa a bit hot, so next time we would do more hot peppers.

Try the recipe! You'll love it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Lunch for 1

Anyone for lunch? If you are on your second day of leftovers, I recommend jazzing it up with popcorn and a favorite soda.

I've been wanting to make broccoli and cheddar soup forever. Well I finally did it.

Steve and I were at farmers market and we bought cheddar cauliflower and broccoli. I found a recipe, Broccoli Cheese Soup.

I read the reviews before making the recipe, so it ended up being more of a guide. I don't like fake cheese, so I replaced it with white sharp cheddar.

I also used half and half instead of milk, doubled the cheese, added grated a grated carrot and left out the water.

It ended up way too cheesy, but it was still yummy. If I did it again I would only used the called for amount of cheese. I'm definitely making it again.

You know, practice makes perfect!

Monday, August 31, 2009

A Year in Review

The 2008-2009 Scraptamers' Year is over today. What a year!

I made just a few quilts. I really feel like setting goals, keeping this list and being accountable to my readers helped me complete some many projects.

The next thing I need to do is inventory of my UFOs and my unstarted projects, and get them organized. Once I'm done with that, I'm hoping it will be apparent what my next year's goals need to be. Plus I'll be organized.

I'm sure that once I've gone through my projects, I will be swearing off fabric.

Stay tuned for next years goals and an inventory summary.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Beauty and the Beasts

I have a few of reasons why I'm not getting as much sewing done. Their names are Daisy, Pippin and Steve.

Aren't they cute! It would be hard to give up my sewing time if they weren't so cute.

They like to be in the center of everything, so they help me sew and cook. Ever so helpful!

Steve has me helping in the yard too, which is taking me away from sewing. If he weren't so cute I don't think I'd do it.

We planted shasta daisies and black-eyed susans along the drive way. They are just beautiful!

We'll see what other yard work Steve will find for me after he reads this posting.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Better With Bacon

The harvest continues at our little garden patch. We are getting corn now.

We pulled our last cabbage head this week and needed a recipe to use it up.

As the adage goes, everything is better with bacon in it. It is true with cabbage.

We made Fried Cabbage II. I loved it right off the bat, with just a hint of vinegar. Steve liked it better after the flavors had developed more.

I'm not sure if all the health benefits of the cabbage is undone by cooking it in bacon grease, but it does add great flavor.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Yes, We Can Can!

Steve and I are turning into quite the domestic goddesses. Watch out Martha!

This weekend we decided to do some canning. It all started with wanting to do something with the onions we were taking out of the garden.

Really, I got tired of smelling onions on Steve's breath, but don't tell him that.

We bottled Steve's mom's recipe for pickles. We also made Crisp Pickled Green Beans and Traditional English Pickled Onions.

The problem with pickling is that I can't tell you how they turned out for a month or so, but they do look pretty. Well, except the onions. They look like eyes floating in dirty water.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Veggie Dessert

I love to eat my veggies, especially when I can bake them into a dessert.

I needed the treat for my quilting group meeting. I also wanted to use up some of our summer squash, so I made Mom's Zucchini Bread.

It happens to be some of the last squash. Our squash plants got powdery mildew and rotted out. Thank goodness, no more squash.

I thought the bread might need a little more, so I stole the frosting off Carrot Cake III. I didn't do the nuts in the frosting, because of the nuts in the bread.

The frosting is light and fluffy. Delicious!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

To MT and Back to MN

So I'm back from Montana and came back with a bit more fabric.

Cheri and I packed up the car and headed out Aug. 5 in my car to Missoula. Like good quilters, we left plenty of room in the trunk for fabric.

We spent the week with Cheri's brother, Jeff, and his wife, Cathy. They took us out to see the town, the farmers market and sailing on flat head lake. Thanks for the hospitality!

We got back yesterday after visit 17 quilt shops. You can see the trouble I got into in the picture. Here is a list of the quilt shops we visited.

1. The Quilt Haus

2. Fiberworks


4. Main Street Quilt Co.

5. Vicki's Quilts Down Under

6. Quilter's Quarry

7. Bernina Sewing Center

8. Timeless Quilts and Friends

9. Deer Country Quilts

10. Glacier Quilts

11. Back Door General Store

12. Quilt Gallery

13. All In Stitches

14. Quilter's Corner Etc.

15. Quilts On Broadway

16. Quilting In The Country

17. The Enchanted Room

The sad thing is that I bought so much stuff that I've had to add another storage bin for my fabric.

I think I need to go back on a strict fabric diet, where I actually have to limit how much I can buy.

You know a real diet.

Friday, July 31, 2009

What A Wonder!

Okay, so I know the quilt looks amazing, but the wonder is that it is actually done.

This blog posting is going to sound a little like a victory speech.

First, I'd like to thank Amy. She saved me from my funk. I was totally stuck and she came over and helped me arrange my blocks.

She is amazing and really has an understanding of the One-Block Wonders.
I'd like to thank Steve for strongly encouraging me to get the blocks off the design wall in the dining room. Sometimes you need a little pressure to get stuff done.

I'd also like to thank Cheri for her tips and encouragement. Everyone needs that now and then.

The original fabric used for the quilt is pieced into the back and shown in the second picture.

It is interesting to me that a monochromatic fabric could provide enough interest for this quilt. I think the reason it works is because of the high contrast in value.

I'll post a picture of this quilt once it is finished and finds its place in the monkey room.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mid-Summer Soup

I just have to say that this is probably the best soup I've had in a long time. I haven't had soup since winter, but still it is a yummy soup.

Steve and I got some kale at the farmers market, so we needed a recipe to use it.

We made Sausage Potato Soup.

The recipe was more like a guide. I used spicy Italian sausage. I also put in a bell pepper and cayenne pepper. I also used new potatoes and grilled chicken breasts.

Try this recipe!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


The mathematician in me is kicking in. I'm 12.14857% done with my 140 Sylvia's Bridal Sampler blocks.

I'm doing the club at Glad Creations. They have the blocks divided into 9 sessions. I've just finished the first 17 blocks from the first session, Easy Rotary Cut Blocks.

I love the way the blocks are turning out. I like the colors; blues, greens and purples. You got to love the jewel tones.

I love the names of the blocks too. Steve can point out the "Contrary Husband".

Wish me luck as I start the next 18 blocks from session 2, Independent Piecing.