Saturday, January 23, 2010

A few blocks

I don’t have any string projects to share yet for Stephanie's String Challenge, but I do have a few “crumb” blocks.  I made these following this tutorial at Quiltville.


DSCN5365Most of these scraps came from a  bag I got at the thrift store.  I’m always on the lookout for sewing “stuff” and I can only imagine what the clerk thought – probably something along the lines of  “why is this crazy lady buying a baggie stuffed full of little wrinkled up pieces of fabric?!!”  Yeah, that crazy lady would be me…

Well, anyway, I had a lot of fun making these blocks, but for now they are stacked in my ufo pile still waiting to be made into something…anything…got any ideas?  :) 


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Red, red, everywhere there is red…

In between sewing my red “bricks” together, I have begun quilting this small, child-sized top that I finished before Christmas. 


The picture is a bit off, but the colors are really strong.  I was drawn to these two coordinating, very geometric, red and blue prints in my stash and paired them with a red and white dot.  I am simply doing a vertical, straight-line quilting design.   The backing fabric is one piece, consisting of a white background with a tiny, blue and red geometric design.  I haven’t decided on a binding yet.  Depending on how this finishes out, this may go into my etsy shop.

The holiday sweets have long been devoured around the Morning Glory Lane household, and I think we might be going into sugar withdrawal.  I’ve been craving something sweet, and I think these may get made before the week is out…

Blonde Brownies

Thick and chewy…mmmmm

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional

2/3 cup butter or margarine

2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs, slightly beaten

2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup chocolate chips

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nuts together in large bowl, set aside.  Melt butter and add brown sugar – let cool for 5 minutes.  Add  eggs and vanilla to sugar/butter mixture and then all of this to the flour mixture.  Spread batter in a greased 9-inch pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips, pressing chips slightly into batter.  Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 25 minutes, or until desired doneness.

With sweet wishes,


Monday, January 18, 2010

An afternoon of sewing…

I just spent the entire afternoon sewing!  I don’t remember when that has happened before!  Hubby took the boys to the Museum of Science and the girls spent the afternoon studying and doing homework.  This is what I got done…


This is AmandaJean’s Charming Handbag at Moda BakeShop.  I used a charm pack of  Fig Tree Quilt's Patisserie that I had purchased this past summer, and for the lining used a dusty-pink polka-dot from my stash (although I just bought it last weekend, so does it really count as stash?!!).   I don’t purchase charm packs very often, so I’m glad I found a way to show these off.  The pattern uses 32 charms, and I used 3 more for some interior pockets.

For the most part I followed AmandaJean's directions, but I did add some batting (warm & natural) to the straps to give them some more body.  And I also lengthened the straps a bit.  I really like how this turned out.  It is a good-sized bag, and I think I will use it to carry sewing supplies/projects. 

We’ve had a nice three-day weekend.  It started out with homemade pizza on Friday night,  then some cleaning and organizing on Saturday morning, hubby and the boys watching some Big Ten basketball on the television in the afternoon, a little shopping trip yesterday, and finally the trip to the museum and my sewing time today.  I think we’ll have to start out the weekend with pizza more often! ;)

In case you get an inkling to make your own pizza some time soon, I thought I would share the super easy (and quick) crust recipe that I use.

Pizza Crust

1 package of yeast(2 1/4 teaspoons)

1 cup warm water

2 1/2 cups flour

2 Tablespoons oil

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons salt

cornmeal for dusting the pans

In large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water.  Add oil, salt, and sugar.  Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon.  Knead in the bowl slightly and let set for 5 minutes (cover with a cloth towel or napkin).  Roll out or press out to the desired size and place on “cornmealed” pizza pan or stone.  Top with sauce and toppings and bake at 450 degrees until done.  Serve!

*I usually take this recipe x5.  I know it sounds like a lot, but it is nice to have leftovers for the next days lunch or snacks!


Thursday, January 14, 2010

My “Go-To” Project


I have  a few “standard” gifts I give for new babies, weddings, birthdays, etc.  This blanket is one I usually do for either a new baby gift or a first birthday gift.  It’s a quick and easy pillowcase-style blanket with a novelty print on one side and a coordinating print on the reverse.  I usually topstitch around the edge and tie with with a matching yarn.   For the batting, I like flannel, but I have used cotton batting, or even recycled cotton or flannel sheets.  I like it to be warm, but not overly heavy.  Size varies, sometimes depending on the yardage I have in my stash, but keeping in mind that it is intended to be a toddler blanket – a finished size of approximately 32”x44” is nice.

The one pictured above is for my recently-turned-one nephew.  It has brightly colored snakes and lizards twined around tree trunks.  Over the years I have made so many of these style of blankets – I wish I had kept track.  Each of our kids has one, and they have been affectionately dubbed according to the print on the fabric.  Our 15 year old still has her “strawberry blanket”, and her sister has her “carrot blanket.  The boys each have a “bug blanket” and “frog blanket” respectively.   I hope this newest “snake blanket”  addition will not only bring warmth, but comfort, and get carried around and washed until it is worn thin with love.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Seeing Red

I started a new quilt over the weekend.  I pulled five different reds from my stash and started cutting.  I was inspired by all of these gorgeous quilts over at Red Pepper Quilts.  Her work is stunning, not to mention prolific!!!


What do you think?  Too much red…or is there such a thing?!!


Speaking of red, make sure you check out Craft Hope's newest project.   Hmmm, now I’m going to have to check my yarn stash for some red yarn…;)


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Gifted Treasures

DSCN5322 While we were back staying with family over the holidays, I was given a wonderful treasure of vintage fabrics – many of them feedsacks.  They had been lovingly saved over the years, and I am thrilled to give them a new home.

Look at “Mr. Vitamin G” along with a gorgeous winter scene on blue…

DSCN5323DSCN5324And then lots of red and green…


If you look closely, in the back ground is a lovely white tablecloth with what, to me, looks like drawn work.  (of which I know nothing about, but still greatly admire the many hours of work that must have gone into it!)  The tablecloth is very large and, unbelievably, without stains.  It will be treasured and used only on special occasions.

There’s still more…








and more…


  I loooove this purple print, and the fruit, too. 

I have lots and lots of ideas for these that I can’t wait to get started on.









And last, but not least, a few more…

DSCN5329DSCN5330All of these also included a large stack of flour sack fabric, too!    I feel very, very lucky to have been given such a generous gift. 

Now if I could just find the gift of time…;)

Happy, happy weekend,


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Home Again

It’s so good to go, but it is so wonderful to be home again!  There’s nothing like your own bed and your own kitchen!   As usual, the trip went by in a blur.   The actual drive there and back went fairly smoothly.  We avoided most of the bad weather, and although the kids watched a few more movies than I would have liked, we arrived (both ways) sanity intact!  ;)  We were packed into our van like sardines, and I’m sure we provided more than a few laughs to fellow travelers on the roads! 

Christmas Eve and Day were spent between families, and both just flew by.  Since moving to the east coast, we have always traveled back to celebrate Christmas with our parents and grandparents, all of the aunts and uncles (our siblings), lots of extended family, and friends.  The first year we moved, our youngest was 5 years old and very concerned that Santa would find us since we were far, far away from our own home.  Fortunately, Santa Claus did indeed find us.  Somehow he must have known that our children would be worried, and he left a detailed letter explaining that he would make an “extra special”  trip to our house on the night we arrived back from our journey.  And every year since, he has left a note (and sometimes a small gift) beneath the tree of whichever family’s home we are staying on Christmas Eve night.   It’s been a sweet tradition, and makes the coming home drive a little bit easier after leaving behind both of the grandmas and grandpas and the rest of our family.


Sadly, we did have a few upsets during our visit – some health issues with two of the great-grandmothers and some car trouble.  We had to have the alternator replaced in our van (on hubby’s 40th birthday, no less!)  Fortunately, we were able to take care of the van without too much disruption.  I am so thankful this didn’t happen on the drive there or back!  We are keeping both of the great-grandmother’s in our prayers.


The one person we did not get to see was my sister and her husband.  My sister is a nurse and had to work both on Christmas Eve and Christmas.   Hopefully we will get to see each other soon.  I did take a picture of her quilt before I wrapped it up.

The front…


and the back…


The colors are much prettier in person – I would love to have a better camera! ;)   I hope she likes it!

This week is back to work and school…sigh.  The tree is down and most of the mess is picked up.  Now I hope to find a few moments to linger with a cup of coffee (and some left-over fudge!) and catch up with some blog reading!

With happy Christmas memories,