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Welcome! My blog is mostly about quilting, a little about life in general, and just whatever else comes to mind. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Beach quilts finished

I love the beach any time of the year, but when it's winter in Kansas, day dreaming of the beach can keep me sane.  Spring has been slow arriving this year.  We've been warm the past couple days, but there is snow in the forecast for tonight. Yes, really. :( So I pulled out a couple beachy projects to cheer me up with warm thoughts.

First up is Beach Walk:
The patterns are by McKenna Ryan.  This was a BOM at the shop a few years ago and I made the sample blocks then.  I had the middle put together, but lost the border fabrics (twice! lol) and was afraid to quilt it anyway.  Last week I decided enough was enough...I had to quilt it and get it back to the shop. So with borders found (again!), I got the top finished.  I was nervous about the quilting because there are millions of tiny pieces just fused down.  The quilting needs to catch everything well enough for it to hold up as a wallhanging.  I decided to use clear thread, which can be tricky.  But I faced my fears and got it done!  I finished the binding and most of the embellishments yesterday, and got the last of the embellishments done this afternoon at the shop.  Now it's hanging at the shop DONE!!! :)

Here are a couple close-ups that show some of the embellishments...seed beads for the birds' eyes and rope for the boat and buoys.


I also pulled out a little kit from the shop that had been sitting on my shelf for a couple years.  The pattern is Sea Breeze Pillow by Chitter Chatter Designs. I decided I'd rather do mine as a wallhanging and am happy with how it turned out.  This one also has some embellishment: embroidery in the hair, scarf, jeans, grass and the sun's rays.  I finished it up last weekend.


I've got my fingers crossed that spring will get here and stay for good SOON. Has spring arrived where you are?

Thanks for stopping by,
Nan

Friday, April 5, 2013

Long time, no post.

"Real life" has demanded my attention in several areas lately.  Priorities dictated that quilting and blogging had to take a back seat for awhile. But I'm happy to have some time this morning to show you some quilting that I've been able to do here, lately. :)

First up is this baby quilt that will be a gift.  It's made from the Jelly Roll Race method, which has been popular in the last year or so.  My small group did this together maybe last year...maybe the year before?  I can't remember.  Anyway, I stopped just before the last seam was sewn, when the quilt "top" was long, skinny and cut in half.  Instead of sewing the two halves together for the last step to make it a throw size quilt, I kept it as two smaller quilt tops.  Borders were added to each half, and two Jelly Roll Race baby quilts were born! :)  One went to the charity group I work with, Pieces, which makes quilts for kids in the pediatric unit of the local hospital.  And the other is now finally quilted, bound and ready to give:
My next two finishes are even smaller...but are still finished UFO's! These daffodils are from a series of Patchabilities mini's that I did at the shop. I gave the March one away last spring, and started to make a replacement one. Last month I got it done, with time left in March to display it!
Finally, our guild quilt show is this weekend (if you're near Lawrence, check it out at our NEW LOCATION, Crown Toyota on S Iowa by Wal-Mart).  I have had this embroidered center for several years.  This last week I added the borders, did some simple quilting and got it bound and ready for the silent auction for charity at the show.
Even though none is very big, I'm happy to have these three finishes to report.  And there has been other progress!  My Minglewood top is now at Eula's for quilting (she's going to do fancier quilting than I have the inclination to do myself these days). For Easy Street (Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt - see badge on the right side of my blog), I have done the 16 Block A's and am ready to piece the Block B's. Here are the A's:
For handwork, besides binding, I've been keeping up with the shop samples for Vintage Tin. I see that my last progress report on it was way back here...so there's a lot you haven't seen yet!  Here's most of what's done so far on display at the shop:
And the April block is at the front of the shop:
So that's what's been happening on the quilting front around here.  What are you working on?

Thanks for stopping by,
Nan



Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Crockpot Chili

Here's another crockpot favorite at our house.  I mentioned here that you can cook ground beef in the crock pot.  After that, what's left but stirring and simmering?  Pefect in the crockpot, because after the initial stir, you're done til you can't stand the smell anymore and have to dive in!

Crockpot Chili

Before bed, put 2 lbs ground beef in the crockpot.  I use "auto shift" which starts out on high, then goes down to low after awhile.

In the morning, drain or sop up the grease.  (The leaner the beef, the easier this job is.) Stir the beef til it's crumbly.  Then stir in:

3 cans tomato soup (or for a nice twist, try a box of tomato and roasted red pepper soup instead)
2 cans kidney beans, drained
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 T chili powder, or to taste
1 t garlic powder, or to taste
1 t onion powder, or to taste

***Tip*** Add 2 bay leaves while simmering (and take out before serving).  It acts like Bean-o!

Simmer on low all day.  You can also start the beef in the morning if you'll be home mid-day to do the rest.

Garnish with cheese, salsa or peanut butter (I know, I know...but don't knock it til you try it!) if you like.  Serve with cornbread, and winter is almost bearable.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy!
Nan


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Easy Street, step 5 and other show & tell

This past week brought some wonderful time to relax and also for part of the time, sew like a fiend!  I finished step 5 of Bonnie's Easy Street mystery:
And I also finished two quilts as gifts, which can now be shown because they've been given.  Both are made from blocks I swapped with SewManySwaps.  First up is batik Jacob's Ladder:



Next up are these fun pinwheels made out of Kaffe (Fassett) and friends. 





I also snapped these pics the other day of the Minglewood top that I finished just before Thanksgiving.  It's a shop sample, so is hanging there and waiting for it's turn for Eula to quilt it. I still couldn't get it all in even two pics, but when it's quilted, I'll find a way.




Finishing up the year on a quilting roll feels good!  Have you checked some things off your to-do list lately?  What's up for you next year?

Thanks for stopping by and Happy New Year!
Nan




Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

When one of my sister's and I visited our great-aunt Millie over Thanksgiving, her friend Joan brought over a delicious carrot cake.  I asked for the recipe and made it as our contribution for Christmas Dinner with hubby's family.  It came out great - so moist and delicious!  Carrot cake has always been one of my favorites, but I thought it seemed like a lot of work so had never tried it.  Buying already shredded carrots makes this easy!  (Shhh...I won't tell if you don't tell!)



Tropical Carrot Cake

2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon each baking soda and cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon each salt, nutmeg and allspice
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 and 1/4 cups oil
2 cups finely shredded raw carrots
1 8 oz can crushed pinapple, drained (about 3/4 cup)
1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
1/2 cup flaked coconut

Stir together flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and allspice; set aside.  In large bowl, beat eggs slightly.  Gradually beat in sugar until mixture is thick and lemon-colored. With rubber spatula gradually stir in oil.  Add flour mixture, carrots, pineapple, nuts and coconut; stir until well mixed. Divide among 3 greased, floured 9-inch layer pans or into greased, floured 13x9 pan.  (I used a tube pan.)  Bake in preheated 350 degree oven, 35 mins for layers, 55-60 minutes for sheet cake or tube pan, or until pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pans at least 10 mins, then turn out on racks to finish cooling.

Let cool completely before frosting with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

4 cups powdered sugar
2 8oz pkgs cream cheese (I used neufchatel cheese), at room temp
1/2 cup butter, at room temp
4 teaspoons vanilla

Mix all ingredients until well blended.  Refrigerate until ready to frost cake.

I had leftover carrots and frosting (and no more cake!), so made these muffins.  They're yummy warm, so don't know if they'll make it til they cool to use up the leftover frosting! lol

Thanks for stopping by,
Nan

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Chicken Tortilla Soup

A friend of mine asked me to please post more of my crockpot recipes.  She knows I'm the queen of the crockpot, and like me, she'd rather be sewing than cooking! lol  So here goes the hands' down favorite at our house:



Chicken Tortilla Soup



In the morning:

Put three large (or four if they’re small) frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot with a box of chicken broth.  I set my crock pot on “auto-shift” which cooks on high for a while, then shifts down to low some time during the day.

In the evening:

Cut up the chicken.  Add one large or two small cans of Mexican style corn, a can of Mexican style black beans and a can of Mexican style diced tomatoes.  Drain the beans, but leave the tomato & corn juices from the can.  If you like thicker soup, you could drain the tomatoes and corn and/or add a can of tomato paste.  Cook for another hour or so.

Serve with salsa, cheese, sour cream, fritos, etc. – whatever you like.  Watch it disappear before your very eyes!
Enjoy & thanks for stopping by!
Nan
P.S. I'd like to add a recipe tab to the top of my blog.  Can someone please tell me how?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Easy Street, parts 3 & 4

Merry Christmas!  I hope your holiday was wonderful. :)  Mine was!  And among the festivities I managed to squeeze in some sewing time.  Once all the have-to's were off my list, I was eager to get back to my big want-to: Bonnie's Easy Street mystery!  (Tab in side bar to right.)

All along I've stayed current on the cutting, but I finished sewing steps 3 and 4 over the weekend.  Here are my shaded four-patches from step 3.


And here are my flying geese from step 4, sewn together with some of the step 2 geese.

I've gotten a start on Step 5, and since Bonnie blessed us with a nice short step for this busy week, I shouldn't have any problem being caught up in time for the next installment, to be released this Friday.

Are you participating?  How are you coming with it?  I love all the parts, so it's hard to imagine that they won't look great in blocks.  I've done a little rearranging of parts to guess the layout, but who knows?  There are so many possible combinations.  Ooohhh, I love a good mystery!  Thanks, Bonnie! See how others are coming along with Bonnie's linky here.

Thanks for stopping by,
Nan