Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lobsters and Baby Quilts!

I shouldn’t have ever complained about the cool weather we have had this summer.  This hot and humid stretch is still here and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.  It’s the sticky, humidity I wish would go away!  Although, I have to admit, it feels quite like the Illinois weather I grew up with.  On the bright side, it has been excellent weather for the beach.  My sister was visiting last week and we did a little beach-going and local sightseeing, while enjoying some fresh seafood.  We didn’t partake of these beauties, they were a little too out of our price range, but it looks like someone got to savor one!

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I have had an Etsy shop for quite a while now, but have yet to list anything.  My goal for this month is to remedy that.  I have been working on some baby quilts and other baby items – hats, bibs, burpcloths – all the usual suspects. 

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Some are made with vintage sheets and linens, some with repurposed fabric, and some with nice, soft quilting cottons.  These are two quilt tops awaiting their backing, quilting, and binding.   I know these pictures are soooo bad.  I’m going to have to work on this before I list anything.  I’ve seen several good articles on Etsy.  I think I will start there.  August 2009 070



Monday, August 17, 2009

Apron inspiration

I was inspired by Jodi's apron that she made for a recent contest (and for which she was a winner!). I had been wanting to make an apron for a gift, but couldn’t make up my mind on a pattern.  Jodi used the Apron-in-an-Hour pattern - the pattern can be found here - and it really does make up in an hour!  This is definitely on my list to make for future gifts.

August 2009 046It’s hard to tell with my limited photo skills and camera quality, but the main fabric of the apron has tiny, polka-dotted mushrooms on a muted green background.  I used a multi-colored, zig-zag stripe I had in my stash for the lower band and the ties.  Since it only uses a fat quarter for the apron panel, this is now going to give me an excuse to buy all those novelty fat quarter prints I’m always drooling over.  I really, really love this pattern, and I am grateful to both Jodi for inspiring me to try it, and to Stop Staring and Start Sewing for her generosity in sharing it with all of blogland.

The apron became a birthday gift for my sister, and I think she loved it.  Since we live far apart, I hope it brings her a smile when she wears it.  There’s nothing like bein’ in the kitchen with family, even if it’s only in spirit!



Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cool Treats #7

I’ve saved one of my favorites for last.  At our house we like to drizzle this with some hot fudge or chocolate sauce.  You can also substitute a chocolate cookie crust for the graham cracker. 

Peanut Butter Pie

8 oz. whipped topping

2 (8 0z. each) cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 cup peanut butter

1 graham cracker crust (or chocolate)

In large bowl, combine whipped topping, cream cheese, sugar, and peanut butter using a wooden spoon.  When mixed, spoon into pie shell.  Refrigerate several hours.

I hope you have enjoyed the past weeks’ worth of “Cool Treats” as much as I have had sharing them with you.

Happy Weekend!


Friday, August 14, 2009

Cool Treats #6

You didn’t think I’d only post one chocolate recipe, did you?!!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Refrigerator Dessert

1 package chocolate chip cookies (example Chips Ahoy or similar, store brand is fine)

1/2 cup butter

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened

1 large container Cool Whip

1 (3 oz.) package instant butterscotch pudding

1 (3 oz.) package chocolate pudding

Crush all cookies, reserving 1 cup crumbs for topping.  Melt butter and mix with rest of crumbs.  Press into a 9”x13” pan.  Refrigerate.  Meanwhile, combine cream cheese with approximately 3/4 of the whipped topping.   Spread onto crust.  Refrigerate.  Meanwhile, mix butterscotch pudding as directed and spread on top of whipped topping mixture.  Mix chocolate pudding as directed and spread on top of butterscotch pudding.  Spread rest of whipped topping over all and sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs.  Cover and refrigerate over night.



Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cool Treats #5

This one is a little more labor intensive, but very worth it! 

Creamy Ladyfinger Cheesecake

1 (40z.) package cream cheese

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoon vanilla

1 pint whipping cream

2 packages lady fingers

1 can cherry pie filling or fresh strawberries

Cream the cheese, sugar and vanilla with wooden spoon.  Whip cream in separate bowl until thick, fold into cheese mixture slowly.  Line a spring form or angel food pan with lady fingers, covering sides as well as bottom.  Pour cheese mixture into pan and refrigerate.  When well chilled, top cake with cherry filling.



Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cool Treats #4

An oldie, but goodie…..

Five Cup Fruit Salad

1 cup coconut

1 cup mandarin oranges, drained

1 cup crushed pineapple, drained

1 cup miniature marshmallows

1 cup sour cream

Mix all in large bowl.  Cover and chill for several hours.



Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cool Treats #3

Here’s one that is a little fancier.  I wish I had a picture to share of these  - they are very pretty!

Lemon Slush Cups

3 large lemons

15 ice cubes

1 (6 oz.) can of frozen pink lemonade concentrate

1 Tablespoon sugar


Cut lemons in half.  Twist on juicer to squeeze out juice.  Measure and save 2 Tablespoons lemon juice.  Scoop out insides of lemon skins (pulp) with spoon to make clean lemon “cups.”  Cut thin slice off of each bottom so cups will sit flat.  Crush ice cubes.  Combine pink lemonade with 2 Tablespoons lemon juice and sugar in blender.  Add ice and blend until smooth.  Spoon into lemon cups and decorate with blueberries.



Monday, August 10, 2009

Cool Treats #2

And now for something chocolate…..

Chocolate Mallow Malt Pie

1 short bread pie shell

2 cups miniature marshmallows

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup milk (do not use skim)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup whipping cream

1/4 cup chocolate or vanilla flavored malted milk powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup chopped pecans

In top of double boiler, combine marshmallows, chocolate chips, milk, and salt.  Cook over hot water, stirring occasionally, until marshmallows and chocolate chips are melted.  Remove from heat and cool until slightly thickened.  In small mixing bowl, combine whipping cream, malted milk powder, and vanilla.  Beat until very thick.  Fold in chocolate-marshmallow mixture.  Spoon into baked pastry shell.  Sprinkle chopped pecans around edge of pie.  Chill several hours or overnight.



Sunday, August 9, 2009

Cool Treats Week

Since we are deep into the summer, and the temperatures seem to continue to climb, I thought I’d share a week’s worth of cool treats.  I know my sweet tooth doesn’t go away with the heat, and a trip to the Dairy Queen isn’t always possible, so each day this week I will post a no-bake, cool treat.

Cranberry Parfait Pie

1 graham cracker or shortbread crust

3/4 cup cranberry juice cocktail

1 (3 0z.) package lemon jello

1 (16 oz.) can whole cranberry sauce

1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel (optional)

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

1 pint vanilla ice cream

whipped cream

In saucepan heat cranberry juice to boiling, remove from heat.  Add jello and stir until dissolved.  Pour mixture into large mixing bowl.  Stir in cranberry sauce, lemon peel, and lemon juice.  Add ice cream by large spoonfuls, and stir until melted.  Chill mixture until mixture mounds when spooned.  Spread into pie shell.  Chill several hours or overnight.  Dollop each serving with whipped cream.



Thursday, August 6, 2009

Crochet a little

Over the past winter and spring, I decided to try and teach myself how to crochet.  Evidently I felt I needed yet one more iron in the fire!  I at least had the sense enough to start small and stay small.  After learning a few of the basic stitches, I came up with the idea to make cotton coasters from left over yarn.  (I like to knit cotton washcloths, too!)  With four kids, I am constantly on the go, getting them to and from school and other activities.  I usually try to grab my yarn bag when we leave the house so that I have something to work on when I have to wait.  These, like the washcloths, were small and very portable.

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Once you get going, they are super easy to make and work great under your glass of summertime iced tea!  Here’s how I did mine – I adapted this a little after I wasn’t always consistent in my finished size.  Mine certainly aren’t perfect, but they were fun and fast to make!  If you have never crocheted before, and think you might want to try, check out's crochet site.

Crocheted Cotton Coasters

Using a cotton, worsted-weight yarn,  Chain 4.

Round One:  Make 11 Double Crochet (dc) into the fourth chain from hook.  Slip stitch to join.

Round Two:  Chain 3.  Double Crochet into the slip stitch used to join the previous round.  2 Double Crochet into next dc, continue dc’ing in each dc around the circle, ending again with a slip stitch to join.

Round Three:  Chain 3.  Now this is the round I sometimes had to adjust as I would get “waves” and needed to use fewer dc’s.  I think it all depended on the particular yarn and my tension – the yarn tension, that is!  Adjust as you go along, knowing each one might be different.  DC into slip stitch.  *DC into next dc, 2 dc into each of the next two dc, dc into next dc, 2 dc into next dc.  Repeat from * around entire circle, ending with slip stitch to join.

If you have really small cups/glasses, you might want to end after round three.  I wanted mine on the larger size, so I went with one more round.

Round Four:  Chain 3.  DC into slip stitch.  *DC into next dc, 2 dc into next dc.  Repeat from *  Join with slip stitch.  Fasten yarn and weave in ends.

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The colors make me happy,and they coordinate well with my small collection of Fiestaware, too!  :)


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Keeping cool with the crock pot…

With the arrival of the heat and humidity, and the absence of central air, the crock pot sees extra heavy rotation in our house.  Tonight’s menu consisted of Scalloped Potatoes and Ham, sliced watermelon, and a green salad. 

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

6 – 8 slices of ham:  I just use whatever I have on hand – sometimes it’s  deli slices, sometimes I have a few leftover slices or chunks from a large ham, or sometimes I have even used a small can (tuna size) of chopped ham.  You can even leave out the ham and make it a vegetarian meal.

10 – 14 medium sized potatoes, scrubbed and sliced thin (skin left on)

1 large onion, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

6 slices of American cheese or about 1 cup shredded cheese of your choice

2 cans of cream soup (celery, mushroom, chicken, etc.)

Put half of the ham, potatoes, onion, and cheese in the slow cooker.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add second layer of ham, potatoes, onion, and cheese.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Spread undiluted soup on top.  Replace cover and cook on High approximately 4 hours.  Leftovers reheat well.

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Happy Crocking!


Sunday, August 2, 2009


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I finished a quilt top!  In older pattern/quilting books, I’ve seen this rail fence pattern labeled as The Spirit of St. Louis.  I assume that the “St. Louis” was an airplane and that the color placement resembles the propellers.  But this is only a guess as I haven’t been able to find a lot of history on this particular block.  I’ve also wondered if it had anything to do with the World’s Fair in St. Louis, MO. 

While I’ve been “wondering” instead of sewing, my nine-patches for Amanda Jean's have been sitting.8.2.09 Blog and Ed Portal 005 I am soooo behind on this project, and I was so enthused when I started.  I still love the colors, and I have almost all of the squares cut, but I am moving at a snail’s pace!8.2.09 Blog and Ed Portal 006

I’ve also been working on a couple of bags.  I am almost finished with the Romantic Patchwork Handbag from Fig Tree Quilts Easiest Handbags Ever.


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I really like how the body turned out – it is just a basic quilted rectangle bag, but I’m not happy with the handles.  I’ve finished them, but haven’t sewn them on.   I am thinking of narrowing them a bit.  I also need to make the covered cardboard insert for the bottom of the bag to make it sit flat.  The pattern  also suggested that you could bind the inside seams of the bag for a more “finished” look, and I definitely will do that next time. 

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I am headed to the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA this afternoon.  I haven’t been there before and am anxious to take a tour.  Next week they are having a huge festival which looks amazing!