Monday, December 31, 2012

Years End.....

And it's the perfect time to look back at our accomplishments as we ponder our future.   I did manage to get quite a few quilts finished and a few hand projects that I can call done.  Here's my 2012 completed items.
(some of these pics may not show the quilt finished but that's just because I don't have a picture that does it justice once I had the binding on.  So most of these are taken before binding)  Just trust me.  They're all finished.  haha

Along with these quilts I've also managed to get a lot of items started that I hope I can get finished in 2013.  For instance....I have three BOM's in the works and one commission quilt to be done (design to be determined) and 6 Christmas snuggle quilts to be made for all my girls. 

Along with my sewing plans I'm also the Guild secretary this year and it's the year for our Quilt Auction in Oct.  That will be a lot of planning and hard work but it does bring in a good amount of money for the guild.  We all try to donate at least three to five items to be auctioned off.  So I really need to get serious about what I'm going to donate.  

 I think this should keep me busy this year. 

I hope you're having a great day. Glad you stopped by.....Linda

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Our families favorite Christmas candy....

I really should have posted this before Christmas (I had good intentions) but I just ran out of time.  And partly because I forgot to write up the post.
So ...... here it is.  Better late than never.

Chocolate Peanut Clusters:
  • 1 - 24 oz pkg Chocolate Bark
  • ½ pkg (12 oz) White Almond Bark  
  • 12oz. to 16oz. Real Chocolate Chips (NOT semi-sweet) I use Nestle milk chocolate
  • 2 jars of Planters Dry Roasted salted peanuts
EDIT:  I see that Diana is asking about the chocolate and white bark.  I do prefer Nestle choc chips but I really don't have a preference of brands when I buy the bark.    I just buy a package of each wherever I can find it.  I've purchased from our local grocery store or from Walmart or any place that sells it.   Here is a picture of what is left of the white bark.....  The chocolate bark package is shaped the same.  They both have 12 scored pieces so they can be broken apart easier.

I use a 4-qt glass bowl and melt the chocolates in the microwave.  (you can use a double boiler if you want but I just don't have the patience for that) ;o)

First: Break the White bark into squares.  Add to bowl.
next:  Break the Chocolate bark and add to bowl.
then:  Add the Real chocolate chips on top.

   Over the years I've found this layering will melt the fastest without any scorching.  The white bark seems to take the longest to melt so by layering it on the bottom then the other chocolates help melt it faster.

Stick the bowl in the microwave to start the melting process.  Depending on the wattage of your microwave.... your time will vary.  (I have a hot & fast microwave)
I start with 1 minute... check it!  Reset time in 30 sec increments...stirring as the choc starts to melt.  Watch it closely towards the end or it will scorch.  Been there....done that!     Once most of it has melted I take it out of the microwave and stir well to finish melting any last little chunks.

Sorry I didn't think to get pictures at the beginning of this process.
 If you look close you can see a small chunk of bark (top center) that hasn't melted all the way.  So I just keep stirring until it has.

Add the peanuts and stir.

Keep mixing until all peanuts are coated.

Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper.  I use a teaspoon.  We don't like them any bigger because with this size we can just pop one in our mouth as we pass by.    lol

Let cool until hardened.  As you can see this recipe makes a gazillion at least.  
I've already put one whole sheet in a container to make room for these.  

This tin was full to heaping and as you can see the family did their best to whittle it down quite a bit.  
After a couple more days I'll bag what is left and stick them in the freezer to be enjoyed through the year when we I have a chocolate craving. 
I hope you enjoy them. 

 Glad you stopped by.....Linda

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Too quiet.......

All of the kids, grands and greats have gone back home and we are walking around this quiet house wondering what to do with ourselves.  So many hectic days getting ready to have everyone here and then..... it just doesn't last long enough.

Christmas day was filled with great food... family to love on .... gift giving and glad receiving .... and lots of fun and laughter.

Hubby & I spent a little time tidying up and then I headed straight to my sewing studio and finished up the last of Clue #5 of Easy Street.

I hope you're having a great day. Glad you stopped by.....Linda

Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's been smelling a lot like Christmas around our house these last few days.
I've been baking and yesterday I made four Pumpkin breads & three Zucchini breads.
I've wrapped and frozen the loaves to be pulled out by Monday so we can nibble to our hearts desire next week.

I've found so many candy & cookie recipes that I've pinned just for this season.
One of them was Peppermint Patties.
Here's the Pin for the recipe.
However I changed the 1to2 cups melted Chocolate Chips to mostly white bark with just a few chips to color the coating a bit.  I found the plain chocolate chips just didn't set hard enough.   The recipe calls to keep them frozen.  But that just wouldn't do around our house.  We set all candies & breads out on the buffet and we graze for days.  So melting chocolate and little fingers just won't do.  The bark sets up nicely.
I used a small melon ball spoon to make the peppermint centers.
Then flattened them between some cling wrap.
And stuck them all on a cookie sheet to go into the freezer for at least an hour.

I melted the chocolate and started dipping and guess what?  
Yep!  I forgot to get a picture of the dipping process.  
But just let me assure you....these definitely pass the taste test for sure!
In the freezer they went before I made myself sick.  ;-)

Also made four loaves of English Muffin Bread and .... Honey Butter Ambrosia
 Ohhhh Myyyy Goodnessssss!!!!   

I hope you're having a great day. Glad you stopped by.....Linda

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

If it's Monday.....

That means it's time to show what's on my design wall.  I'll be linking to Judy's Patchwork Times and also to Bonnie's Easy Street Link-up.

First.... I finished six small mug rugs that I had cut out of the blue panel.  This is what I started with...

And this is how I finished them. 

If I have time this week I may make some more larger ones but I'm not going to stress about it for sure.  

I've also been catching up on my clues in Easy Street.  Right now I have all of the sewing done on my pink (Bonnie's purple) flying geese but I still need to trim about half of them.  All of the Clue #3 geese are made but still need trimming.  Once I get those done I'll sew the pairs together.   That shouldn't take long and then I should be all caught up by the time the next clue is posted.    

 This week I'll be concentrating on baking the Christmas yummy's.  I don't know why I always make too many munchies because all the girls bring candies too.  
But it's Christmas after all!  And that's just what we do!

I hope you're having a great day. Glad you stopped by.....Linda

Friday, December 14, 2012

Shaded 4-patch ..... My Way...

I've been catching up with Bonnie's Easy Street mystery these last couple of days.
Clue #2 flying geese: done!

I don't have the strips at the ready like Bonnie does so even though I pull lots of different fabrics to go scrappy.... I still have to cut from larger pieces of fabric to get the pieces I need.  So if I'm going to cut larger anyway....I figure I might as well make them easier too.
So after seeing a link posted on quiltvillechat showing how to make an alternate shaded 4-patch by Stitching Circle .... I just had to check it out.
This sounded like just what I was looking for.....except those bias edges on the cut triangles.
So I thought about it and came up with my addition to that tutorial.   I followed her measurements and sewing instructions from #1 through #5.

BUT.....I did not cut my 4-patch at this time.  Instead this is my version.....

#6.  My 4-patch measures 3½" x 4¼" so I cut rectangles out of my turquoise fabric to layer on top.

#7 In order to draw the angle that would be needed I had to turn the easy angle over and line up the bottom measurements.  Draw a line on the wrong side of the fabric as shown in 2nd picture.  

#8 Layer the rectangle on top of the 4-patch and pin to secure.  

#9.  Sew ¼" along each side of the drawn line.    

Then cut along that drawn line.

and press open......two blocks made and NO BIAS to work with!

Clue #3 Shaded 4-patch: done!

I know I'm late to post this for most people but I'll link it to *My Tutorial* page at the top of my blog.   Maybe it will come in handy in the future.  

I hope you're having a great day. Glad you stopped by.....Linda

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Grandmothers Choice....

I'm feeling much better now that I'm caught up on my BOW.  Here are my versions of the last two blocks.
Block #14 Brides Knot: Invisible Woman

And Block #15 Centennial: New Zealand's Victory

Here's a pic of all of my blocks so far.  
As soon as the holidays are over I'll be heading to cash in that gift certificate and buy me some special fabric to start sashing these blocks as I go.  

I hope you're having a great day. Glad you stopped by.....Linda

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Guild Christmas party....

Monday night was such an enjoyable evening with all the girls in our 'Material Girls Quilt Guild'.  Our president treated us to delicious soups & sandwiches after a nice tour of her home as she showed us all the improvements she and her husband had made.  Quite an accomplishment for sure.  
This was our yearly Christmas party so after the good food we all gathered around the Christmas tree and a couple of Santa's passed out everyone's gifts.  A lot of happy surprises when we all found out who our Secret Stitcher was.
What a wonderful gift I received!!!  She gave me a pkg of Clover Binder clips (I've been wanting these) and a Bohn marker (awesome)  AND.... a generous gift certificate from my favorite quilt store in Holdrege.   I am a happy quilter I tell ya!  Thank you again Roxie.
And I gave my Stitcher a wire table stand for her desk at work.  (I'm showing it off here on my end table.)  I made her the paper-pieced tree quilt to hand on it.   Isn't that cute?  She could also hang two more if she wants.
It was a fun night!!  
I hope you're having a great day. Glad you stopped by.....Linda

Monday, December 10, 2012

It's Monday and I'm ........

frustrated about how far behind I got.  This surgery knocked me back a couple of weeks and now I'm playing catch-up.   I don't like being this far behind but on the other hand I'm grateful that I am as well as I am now.  Both of my doctors tell me that I dodged a bullet for sure so I'll stop complaining and give thanks.  This will be a blessed Christmas this year.

I think in a couple of days I should be able to catch up on the last two blocks for Grandmother's Choice....
 and the setting blocks for Carol Doak's BOM......

Then I can concentrate on catching up in Bonnie's Easy Street mystery.  I do have quite a few of Clue #2 .... the flying geese finished.  I'm using the No Waste Flying Geese method to make mine.  These are so cute and little.
Actually I have many more made that are not shown in this picture.... but they still need to be trimmed and that will happen as soon as my order comes from Quilters Obsession.  Thanks to someone who posted the link on the Quiltville Chat group for the Wing Clipper.   I've been looking for a geese trimmer ruler for a long time and finally have one coming.   Of course I just happened to find a couple other trimmers that I just can't live without.   Merry Christmas to me!

Now I'm going to head over to Judy's Patchwork Times to link to her Design Wall and I'll also link to Bonnie's mystery Monday link-up.
Grab your cup and meet me there.      
I hope you're having a great day. Glad you stopped by.....Linda

Friday, December 7, 2012

Block Base Sew-Along #5

I have managed to get a few hours in my sewing room this week.  I did do cutting and sewing for Clue #2 from Bonnie's Easy Street Mystery.  Haven't finished all of the flying geese but I've made a good dent.  More about that later....

I've just posted my latest Block Base Sew-Along block here.   These are my 4" blocks.
So cute!  And fun to get together.   Here is my block this time.  Looks kinda Christmasy doesn't it.  I really didn't do that on purpose.  But I guess my mind was in the season.  haha

I hope you're having a great day. Glad you stopped by.....Linda

Saturday, December 1, 2012

My life for the last three days....

I just want to let you all know what I've been up to the last few days.
I've just dodged a major bullet it seems.  I am so thankful!
Two days ago I had surgery to remove the blockage in my right carotid artery.  Doc said it was about 80% to 90% blocked.
What started as a simple consult (Wed morning) turned into surgery the next morning and dismissal the next afternoon around 3:00pm.  What a whirlwind!

So it may be a day or two before I go back to sew because right now I think I feel another nap coming on.
I hope you're having a great day.
 Glad you stopped by.....Linda