Monday, December 31, 2012

Something simple like a pillowcase.

This past week I got the dreaded called that my dear friend who is fighting cancer was in the hospital. Her daughter in law warned me that she was not good and probably wouldn't recognize me. As hard as that was to hear I knew I had to go anyway. 
Before Diane got sick she was my partner in crime. There wasn't a quilt store to far for us to travel, when we couldn't drive to one we would get on the computer and look for fabric online. Diane would always tell people not only are we quilters we are also collectors of fabric and patterns. We had our favorite fabric lines that we hoarded and would make all kinds of plans for but never found that perfect pattern that would justify cutting into our beloved fabric. Mine is Roman Holiday and hers is Sunshine.
As I was getting ready to go to the hospital I thought of her love of Sunshine and sadly thought she will never get to make that special quilt with it.
I thought how can I bring a little Sunshine to Diane. So I quickly made a pillow case with fabric similar to Sunshine.
When I arrived to Diane's room the nurses were trying to wake her up. When she saw me she smiled. I held up her pillow case and told her she should only be laying her head on Sunshine.  The smile I got made me know she was well aware of the fabric I used and our friendship.
As I left the hospital that day an idea came to me. Something as simple as a pillow case can brighten up a dreary hospital room and put a smile on someone face who is sick.  My goal now is to get in touch with the two local cancer hospitals in the area and ask if they will allow pillow cases to be made and distributed to patients.
Once I get the okay I will be calling on my quilting friends for help, just think, something as simple as a pillow case can bring such joy.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Busy month of December!

The month is almost over, what a busy month it was!
Lots of sewing for customers.
 I made two of these quilts.
Several reversible totes, the teachers just love them!
These blocks are for a Christmas quilt I started for a gift. Sad to admit I didn't get it finished in time for Christmas, just have to quilt it and send it off. I will post a final picture when the quilting is done. I also made several pillow cases but forgot to take pictures of those.
Next was the baking!

We can't forget Amanda's birthday!

Of course there is also the decorating of the tree.
But the icing on the cake this holiday season was winning the annual Gingerbread house contest. Each year my sibling and I have a Gingerbread house contest. We have been doing it for 5 years now and my Dad has always been the judge. This year we finally won!
Hard to believe I still have any energy left after all the crazy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

For Sale.

I am sure you have all experience this, but once people know you sew you get asked to do the craziest things. I have been asked to sew cushions for outdoor patio furniture, repair a bathing suit, alter a men's suit and the list goes on!
Hello, I am a quilter, not a seamstress!
But this time I have to say it was a blessing! My husband's friend came across a box full of sewing "stuff" as he called it! He knew I sewed so he gave it to him to give to me.
Wow! What a find, however these don't work on my machine.....Darn!
So I am selling them.
This box full of 11 different presser feet are for the 8 series Bernina machine.
The feet are as listed; #40C #1D #1C #2A #3 A #5 #18 #20C #26 #4D.
There are several other accessories as shown in photo.
Contact me at: for more information.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Looks good and taste even better!

This French Apple Tart is always a crowd favorite.
Little do my guest know that it is easy to make, shhhh don't give my secret away.
This recipe is one I got off the Food Network site many years ago.
 I have also made this with pears.
The ingredients for the pastry crust.
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced (1 1/2 stick)
1/2 cup ice water
For the apples:
4 Granny Smith Apples
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, small diced
1/2 cup apricot jam.
For the pastry, place the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse to mix. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times. The secret for a good flaky crust is not to over work your dough.  You want the butter to look like the size of peas. Next add ice cold water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough comes together. Dump out on a floured surface and kneed quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Roll the dough out to about 10 by 14. Place dough on prepared sheet pan and refrigerate while you prepare the apples.
Peel and core the apples, slice apples 1/4 inch thick and than cut apple slice in half.
Place the apples overlapping diagonally down the middle of the tart and and then down each sides. Continue until the crust is completely covered. I leave a small amount of crust around the sides and bottom and curl it up slightly to give the tart a slight lip.
Next take a 1/2 cup of sugar and sprinkle over all the apples, dot with butter.
Now you could add some cinnamon on top. The recipe doesn't call for it but I have done it in the past.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is brown and the edges of the apples start to brown.
Heat Apricot jam in a pot and bring it to slight boil. Using a pastry brush, brush a light coating of jam over the apples.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Farmers Market finds.

When most farmers markets are shutting down for the season ours in Arizona are just getting good again. Not much grows when it's 110 outside, besides who wants to walk around a farmers market when it's that hot!
I hit two markets this week, one in Scottsdale Thursday night and the other on Saturday in Gilbert. Saturday was a family event, Wally, Amanda and my Dad tagged along.
Wally found green chilies and asked if I would make him Chile Rellones.
I am always up for a food challenge and quite frankly tired of making the same old stuff.
So I googled Chile rellones to check out some recipes. I always take a recipe and make it my own and this one was no different.
First thing you have to do is remove the skin and seeds.
Have to be honest, not my favorite part.
Next I took a brick of Jack cheese and cut long strips, I carefully placed the strip of cheese in the center of the pepper and stuck them in the refrigerator while I made the batter.
For the batter I took two eggs and 1/4 cup of flour and whisked until smooth. I thought my batter was a little too thick so I added some chicken broth and salt.
You don't want your batter too thick, thinner that pancake batter is the best way for me to describe it. Now you could just use water but I had the broth out for my rice so I just used it.
Set my oil up in a large frying pan and started to dip my Chile's into the batter.
They didn't take long to fry up and surprisingly the cheese stayed in the pepper.
I served them with my version of Spanish rice and Wally wanted refried beans.

They were very good and easy to make.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My Nordstroms Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad.

The other night I had dinner with a friend at Nordstroms. I had ordered the Cilantro Lime Chicken salad and fell in love! The flavors were over the top and I knew I had to try and make it at home
A quick trip to Sprouts later I was in the kitchen with my mad scientist apron on trying to duplicate the flavors.
First I cooked the chicken, I seasoned it with salt, pepper, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, thyme, and lime zest. I drizzled a little olive oil and cooked it on the oven. The secret to moist chicken is to take it out a few minutes before it is completely done and cover it with foil. It will finish cooking and all the juices will stay in the chicken.
Next I roasted zucchini and red peppers. Now this salad had corn in it, I know this may sound odd but the corn must have been freeze dried. It wasn't hard, but it also wasn't chewy. So 10 minutes before the zucchini and peppers were done I put some corn on the tray to mimic the corn in the salad.
I also chopped up tomatoes and cucumbers.
Now onto the dressing. I added the juice of 4 limes into the Cuisinart along with two cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, and a tablespoon of honey. I then added the leaves of cilantro, about a cup full and pulsed until everything was blended.
Then I slowly added olive oil until my dressing was emulsified and creamy looking.
I chopped the chicken added all my ingredients to a bowl of mixed greens poured my dressing over the salad and garnished with Pepita and sunflower seeds.
The picture is not the greatest but the taste is over the top!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Just love fall.

Fall is my favorite time of year, the cooler weather, the holidays, and warm hearty comfort foods. I love making soups, homemade breads, crock pot stews, apple desserts and all the fall vegetables.
Today I decided to try this new recipe that I saw on Pen and Fork website.
I love Acorn and Butternut squash but have never try Kabocha.

My new favorite thing to do with vegetables is to roast then in the oven with a drizzle of Olive Oil and salt and pepper.
So I cut this squash in half, took out the seeds and cut into 1/2 wedges. I left the skin on because they are very hard and it makes it difficult to peel.
I drizzle with Olive oil, and salt and peppered them and roasted at 400 degrees until they were soft and getting golden brown.
Then I took a 1/2 cup of pure Maple syrup and brought it to a boil. Reduced it to a 1/3 of a cup. Added 1 tablespoon of Rice Wine vinegar and 1 teaspoon of Chinese 5 spice. Drizzled the syrup of the cooked squash and put it back into the oven for about another 10 minutes.
The glaze is so good that I think I am going to do the same recipe with sweet potatoes next time.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween costume!

My daughter Amanda has allowed me to make her costume this year!
Now I am sure some of you are wondering why I said "allowed" I will explain!
When Amanda was born my amazing Mother started making Amanda her Halloween costumes. Each year out doing the prior year.
My Mom

When my Mom got sick, Amanda and her Dad starting going to the Halloween store to buy her costumes. Now mind you they never asked me to go because I would never have let them pay that crazy money for something that is worn one day out of the year!!!
So this year I decided to make Amanda's costume myself, I mean really how hard could it be, I can sew!!!!!
So first Amanda had to decide on what she wanted to be, let me tell you that wasn't easy, if you have a 12 year old daughter you know what I mean.
We were in Target trying to get some ideas when we came across this plain white plastic mask, similar to one worn at a masquerade party. I suggested to Amanda that we buy it, decorate it with glitter and crystals and build the costume from there. Guess what????? She liked that idea.
So she spray painted it black and added her touches with glitter and crystals.
 Next I found some great fabric 50% off at JoAnns and started designing her dress.
I found this wonderful black shimmery fabric that look green in one light and purple in the next, so I used that around the neck and bottom of the dress.

I didn't have enough to go around the sleeves so I got out the glue gun and added some crystals.
Last but certainly not least were the shoes. Amanda had a old dingy looking pair of white sneakers, so we spray painted them black and added some glitter.
Her costume was complete and all under $20 bucks!
I am not sure how many more years she will be dressing up but I am sure I have passed the test and will be able to make next years costume.
By the way she and her friend Abi have decided they want to be Thing 1 and Thing 2 next year. Maybe I should get started now!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sooooo good!

 I just made these yummy Pumpkin Pineapple Spiced Muffins.
They are not the prettiest to look at but they are sooo good I can get passed their appearance.
They are so easy to make, only a few ingredients.
 Simply mix one box of Spice Cake Mix and one large can of Pumpkin, that's it,  no egg, oil, or water.
You could stop there and they would still be very tasty but of course I have to make this recipe my own.
So I added more cinnamon, fresh nutmeg and pumpkin spice. I had fresh pineapple in the house so I decided to add one cup finely chopped.
I baked them for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
They are very dense and moist, it's hard to eat just one!
However, with these you can splurge, they are 100 calories and less then 2 grams of fat each.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fall soup kinda day.

Today reminded me of a typical fall day back in Illinois.
 As a child, as soon as the weather changed my Mom would make a big pot of homemade soup.
So today I decided to channel my Mom and make soup.
I wanted to create a low fat healthy soup. I knew I had a head of cauliflower that needed to be used so I decided to try something with that.
We love roasted cauliflower so I roasted my veggies first.
I chopped a head of cauliflower, 6 loves of garlic and one large onion. I brushed them with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted them in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes.
I put 6 cups of low sodium, organic chicken broth in a pot and added my veggies. I simmer them on the stove for about an hour.
I added salt and pepper to taste and a large pinch of Thyme. Even though I had used roasted garlic cloves, I added two fresh cloves, roasted garlic has a sweet taste and I wanted a bigger taste of garlic.  
 I emulsified the broth and veggies to create a nice creamy texture.
When I tasted the soup I felt it needed something to bring the flavor up so I added the zest of one lemon.
The soup was good but still needed a little something, somthing, so I decided to make a puree of roasted red peppers to drizzle into the soup.
It really did the trick.

I made homemade caramelized onion facaccia bread to go with soup.
Perfect accompaniment to the soup.
I did what I set out to do, make a low fat, healthy soup. You can easily change out the chicken broth and use vegetable broth.  I think a basil pesto would also taste good  instead of the roasted red pepper drizzle.
My husband approved, he had three bowls of soup.
I will share the onion facaccia on another post.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Having so much fun!

I know I have said this before but....... I am loving this floral arrangement class!
This week we created an arrangement in a pumpkin.
Of course my mind is already racing at all the other vase possibilities.
I am obsessed with flowers now and have started a new folder on Pintrest of floral arrangements.
There is nothing better than having fresh flowers in the house.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Best dinner.

I wanted to share with you a great, healthy dinner I made last night. I wish I had taken a picture but didn't think that far in advance.
I had left over salad from the night before, lots of different greens with tomatoes and cucumber. I also had two roasted chicken breast, when I roast chicken I like to make extra and have it on had for other dinners.
I took a head of cauliflower, two red peppers and 3 zucchinis cut them up and brushed them with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasted them in a 400 degree oven.
I took 4 lemons and juices them into my Cuisinart, along with two garlic cloves, a hand full of fresh basil, salt, pepper, dried thyme and a pinch of sugar. I ran the Cuisinart until the were liquefied. I slowly added a 1/3 of a cup of olive oil while running the Cuisinart to emulsify the dressing.
Once the vegetables were brown around the edges I removed them from the oven  and let cool. I removed the skin on the roasted red peppers.
I chopped the chicken breast, added the roasted vegetables and drizzled the dressing on my salad.
A very healthy and delicious meal for my family.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Yikes I have done it again.

Yes, I have done it again. Gone way to long without a post.
I have really been enjoying my floral classes. I love learning about different flower combinations and all the different foliage you can add to an arrangement.
Here are a few of the arrangement I have made so far.

 It has even inspired me to add different plants to my outdoor gardens.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Stepping out of the box.

I have been having so much fun lately trying new things.
I have always wanted to learn how to make Mozzarella Cheese, I have seen it done on the cooking channel and they make it look so easy. My first thought was I am sure I can find a class somewhere in the valley, so I searched Google. I was really surprised to find nothing listed. So my second thought was  You-tube, I am always amazed at what it on You-tube. Sure enough I found several step by step tutorials.
I found that I needed Whole Milk, or best Unpasteurized, vegetable rennet and citric acid tablets. I figured if any place would have all three it would be Whole Foods. To my surprise Whole Foods did not carry Unpasteurized Milk, now they have every variety of Milk and Milk type products but not Unpasteurized. They recommend I go to one of the local dairy farms. Because the recipes said Whole Milk will work just as well I went with it. I found my vegetable rennet and citric acid at Whole Foods as well.
I  was surprised how easy it was to do!
So of course I had to make my favorite dish with my very own home made cheese.
Yes, it was as good as it looks, I have tons of basil in my garden right now so I made a pesto and drizzled it on the tomatoes and cheese. Now I just wish I can grow decent tomatoes in Arizona!
This summer I turned 50, yes, 50!!!!
Boy, that was tough, however, my good friend Anna bought me a wonderful gift.
She enrolled us in a 12 week Floral arrangement class. Last night was our first class and let me tell you, I LOVE IT!!!
Here is a picture of my first arrangement.
I can't wait to see what we do next week!
I will be sure and post each week.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sneak Peek

So as I said in my last blog I decided to pull out a UFO that I started back in 2007.  I really have enjoyed getting back into it and I have a small peek at my progress.
I really do have to get better at my photography,  the colors in this picture are a bit dull. Anyway you get an idea of what it is going to look like.  I did buy the  the fabric for the stopper boarder and outside border but now I think I need something different for the stopper boarder. Quilts really do talk to you once you start putting them together.
I don't know about any of you but every year when the kids head back to school I get motivated to get things done.
I started back on my UFO's, my husband and I have started work in our backyard and I have gotten back into my Wellness business.
I never do just one thing at a time, have you noticed?
Tonight I am thrilled to be attending an open house with a Homeopathic Doctor in our area. Of course she shares the same passion as I do about removing all the dangerous toxins in our lives, our homes, and the environment.  She knows the importance of good vitamins and supplements and why it is so important to be helping our bodies fight the effect of our environment. It's not enough anymore to just buy foods that are organic and free of additives and preservatives. Yes, it is a start but not enough! There are chemicals in your dish washing detergent, laundry soap, toothpaste, skin care, shampoo, household cleaners. You are exposing yourselves, your children, your families and the environment every time you use these products.  Do you wonder why you walk down the hallways at school and see every door has a food allergy sign hanging on it or why more and more people are getting Autoimmune diseases and worse Cancer.
As you can see I am very passionate about this, it's easy for me to get off track and start sharing why this is so important. I would love to share more and I can't wait to tell you all about the open house.
Until then back to sewing.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Wow, have I been gone that long???

I started to post this on my Facebook page but decided it really should be something to post on my blog. Oh yeah, I have a blog. Sorry I have been away too long. No excuses, just had my attention on other things, but I am back!
An average day in Mesa, AZ is bright, hot and sunny,  but today it is over cast and raining. Oh how I love a raining day! A perfect day to sew!

I spend most of my time sewing for other people, but today I  am sewing for my own pleasure. I took out a UFO I started back in 2007. ( oh stop with the gasps, 2007 wasn't that long ago!!!) For those of you who never heard the term UFO it means Unfinished Objects. To my delight I still love the fabric for this quilt as much today as I did back in 2007 when I purchased it.
As I took the blocks out of the box I had them stored in, I noticed how funky my seams and pressing were. My first thought was to rip them out and start over, but I heard my Mom's voice say "Frances don't you dear!!" So I put the seam ripper down and continued forward.
I am not sure when I became so anal about my seams and how I press but for those of you I have lectured over the years about slowing down, taking your time, accurate 1/4 inch seams and pressing, I will let you look at the first half of my quilt and yes I will even let you rib me about it.
I am excited to get this quilt complete, it is no longer going to be the quilt for my bed as originally planned but I am sure I will find a nice place for it in my home.
I did list this on my blog as one of my UFO's, it is called Remember When.
I will post my progress and pictures.
So I am going to turn the music back on and get back to my sewing!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Helping out a future star!

Next week my son will be graduating from ASU and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Broadcasting.
He has had so many great opportunities and is really living his dream.
Through out the past 4 years he had to complete many projects in the broadcasting field, including editing, scripting, filming, and in front of the camera as well.
One of his friends, Alex, asked me if she could interview me for one of her projects and of course I said yes.

I never saw the finished project until today, I was a bit nervous because I didn't know what to expect. I was thrilled when I watch the piece, I was amazed at how professional it turned out.
Here is the link to her project.

Thanks Alex, I am looking forward to watching your bright future.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

About time!

A while back I promised to share pictures of the Roman Shades I was working on for my kitchen windows.
I saw this great tutorial on Pintrest on how you can take a cheap plastic blind and make a fast and easy Roman Shade. Of course the girl made it look so easy, and it really was....if you start out with the right type of fabric!
She had used a cute tablecloth she found at Target and cut it to make two shades. Easy right???
So I went to Target and found a curtain on clearance, only 9.99 and in my color, score, so I thought. I couldn't wait to get started, I cut the curtain in half and only had to sew one seam on each piece. Next I layed out the shades and remove that plastic blinds that I didn't need. I took fabric glue just like the tutorial and glue my fabric to my 8 blind slats. Easy right. I let it dry for several hours and turn it over to find the glue had bleed through. My fabric choice was too thin.
Back to square one!
I went to every fabric store, home store, Target, looking for a heavy fabric, tablecloth, or curtain that would work. I was getting very discouraged.
In the mean time my husband sent me to Lowes to pick up something he needed for a project and I was passing the window treatment isle I thought, what the heck I'll check it out. Can you believe I found what I was looking for!
I purchased one panel and one valance and hurried home to start my Roman Shades once again.
Love the look!

Not the best picture, but you get the idea.
I had enough fabric left over to cover my two counter stools.
I am thrilled with the outcome, and can't get over how they changed the feel of my kitchen.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Get it almost done!

Well, today is the second installment of the "Get Em Done!" linkys party.
I was so sure I would have my daughter Amanda's quilt completed. So close!
Long story, short, I had it loaded on my longarm, started quilting and had to remove it from the machine.  (That's another story for another post.)
 However, it is back on the machine and I am excited to get it completed.

Take a minute and read some of my older post and you will see just a few of my distractions this past month. Never a dull moment, that's for sure.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Happy Cinnamon Rolls.

I have had several request for my cinnamon rolls recipe so I decided it would just be easier to post it here.

Now I have to say, I have tried many  different recipes and I have found this one to be the easiest.
I am not sure where I got this particular recipe, it is either from or, both favorites of mine.

1 quart whole milk (4 cups)
1 cup Vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 packages active dry yeast
8 cups (plus 1 cup extra separated) All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon Salt
Plenty of Melted Butter
2 cups Sugar ( I mix white and brown)
Lots of Cinnamon

For the dough, heat the milk, vegetable oil and sugar over medium heat to just below a boil. Set aside to cool to warm. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let sit on the milk for about a minute. ( make sure you let it cool to warm)

Add 8 cups of flour, stir until combined and cover with towel and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour.
After 1 hour add baking powder, baking soda and salt and the remaining 1 cup of flour. Stir to combine.
Preheat the oven to 375
Remove half the dough from bowl, place on floured baking surface and roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30x10.  Very thin.
Now pour about 1 stick of melted butter over the surface of the dough and spread evenly with your fingers. Next I pour 2 cups of the mixed sugars and sprinkle with lots of cinnamon. Spread evenly around dough. ( I like lots of cinnamon but you can add more or less depending on your taste.  If you like it real gooey add more butter and sugar.)
Now roll dough working slowly and keeping it tight. Once you have it in a log cut in half.  I then take a sharp knife and cut 6- 1/2 inch slices and place them in a buttered baking dish. Do not over crowd the sliced rolls.
Once you have finished doing this with all of the dough, cover sliced rolls and let rest for 20 minutes.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes till golden brown.
Now you can either serve them with soften butter or make a glaze.

I make a glaze with a stick of soften butter and several cups of powdered sugar, I just keep adding it until I have the consistency I like and than I add a Tablespoon of Vanilla.
We have a long history of cinnamon rolls in our family, my Mom made the best!
I have tried her recipe and mine never taste as good as hers did, so I decided to find my own recipe and I really like this one. 
 I think she would approve!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What's on your bed?

Are you like me, you go to one blog and there is a link to another blog so you click on that link and then there is another and before you know it you have spent an hour blog hopping.

Well, today I did just that! The blog I ended up on had a linkys party going on and her theme was What's on your bed. How fun was it to see all the beautiful quilts people had on there beds.

I went ahead and added a picture of my bed and I encourage you to do the same.

Be sure to check out her site and add you quilt too!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Bonnet Oh Bonnet!

My daughter, Amanda, asked me if I could make her a bonnet for Frontier Day they were having at her school.  For once it wasn't the night before and it was also something I thought would be quick and fairly easy to make.
Instead of buying a pattern I would probably only use once I decided I would Google free bonnet patterns, to my surprise there were several free patterns.  After looking through them, I picked the one I thought would be the fastest to make. The women who shared the pattern said the instructions were for a small bonnet. Knowing my daughter has a big head I added several inches to the pattern. Once I got started I realized how easy this pattern was and agreed to make one more for Amanda's BFF, Abbie. Abbie's I made a few inches smaller than Amanda's because I knew she had a smaller head.
Happy with days accomplishments, I took the bonnets to school to give to the girls. They were so happy to have matching bonnets they put them on right away. Well to say the least, they were huge!!!  I decided the smaller one would work for Amanda and I would make Abbie another one. So what started out a a quick bonnet project ended up being a 3 bonnet project.
I also made Amanda a quick skirt and apron to go with her bonnet.
Not the best picture, but you get the idea.

Now, can I get back to quilting.....please!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Okay, it's out there now!

I did it, I put it all out there.

I finally went into my sewing room and took a inventory of all the projects I started and put away before I finished. In the quilting world they are know as UFO, unfinished objects.
When I first started quilting I would complete a project before starting another one, but here is where the excuse comes in. When I started to work at our local quilt store, every time and new and exciting line of fabric came in I would have to buy it and start making something with it while the excitement was still fresh.
That is how I came to have so many UFO's, that's my story and I am sticking to it!
Now, those are just a list of projects I actually started, by no means are those the number of patterns, books, fabric collection I bought to make a project. That's a whole other list!
I brought my husband over to a friends house who just got a new fancy longarm machine. He saw her fancy room and all of her fabric, books, patterns and quilting supplies. When we got into the car he said to me "Wow, she must have a $1000 worth of stuff in that room." I said to him "Well she might but she has been buying over time."  He said, "You don't have that much...You have proably around $200 right?" With that I said, Yup! and changed the subject very fast.
Sometimes it is best to keep them in the dark, after all a happy wife is a happy life.....right!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lemon Curd Cupcakes.

Yesterday I made Lemon Curd Cupcakes and posted a picture of them on my Facebook page. Several of you asked for the recipe, so here it is.
These yummy cupcake have a lemon pound cake texture with a yummy pop of lemon curd. I got this recipe from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes book.
The recipe calls for Meyer Lemons but I used fresh lemons off my Dad's tree.

3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, sifted
2 tablespoons lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 3/4 (3 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp.
3 cups graduated sugar
8 oz cream cheese, room temp.
7 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Confectioner's sugar for dusting.
 Pre-heat over to 325. Line muffins tins with paper liners.
Whisk together flour, zest baking powder and salt.

With an electric mixer on med. speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in cream cheese.  Reduce speed and add eggs, on at a time . Beat in lemon juice and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches until combined. Bake for 28 minutes. When cooled dust with confectioners sugar.

Lemon Curd.
2 whole eggs plus 8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2/3 fresh lemon juice( about 6 lemons)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces, room temp.
Combine whole eggs and yolks, sugar, and lemon juice in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  This take a while so don't get discouraged.
Remove from heat, add butter a few pieces at a time, whisking until smooth.
Strain through a fine sieve into another bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on surface to prevent a skin. Refrig, until chilled and firm, at least 2 hours.
Using a pastry bag, insert tip into cupcake and squeeze some curd into cupcake and lift tip to create a small mound on top of cupcake.

Now this seems like a lot of work and it is, but these are incredible and well worth the time.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Foo Foo Pillows!

I have finally finished the decorative pillows to match my new bed quilt.

Every now and than I get obsessed with a fabric line. Okay maybe a little more than now and then.....
Martinique is one of those lines, I just love the colors, flowers, and paisleys  in this line. When I bought it I knew it was going to find a new home on our bed.
 The funny thing about quilting is you usually cut up the fabric into smaller blocks and lose a lot of the fabric design. I knew with this line I wanted to see larger sections of the fabric so I made our quilt with 10 squares of each piece in this line.
I had lots of fun making pillow cases, pillow shams and decorative pillows. Foo Foo pillows and my husband would say. He still doesn't understand the idea of, they are to look at, not to actually use!

I have had a hard time finding a bed skirt to match, I would just make one but unfortunately I didn't buy enough of this fabric and it is no long available.  I will find something that will work, when I do I will post it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

UFO's no more!

As I mentioned in my last post, I joined Sandra and her linky party to help keep each other motivated and complete UFO's.
Here are just two of the many UFO's I will be working on.

This first one is for my daughter Amanda.
It is a strip quilt made with a Jelly Roll.

I just have a few more strips to add and then I will use the purple as a stopper border and binding and the Paisley as a outer border.
I really need to finish this, my daughter keeps asking when will it be done???

The second one I would like to finish is a BOM I started maybe 4 years ago.
The sad part about this one is that the blocks are all complete, all I have left to do is the sashing and border.
This Block of the Month I did with my Mom, she passed away two years ago from Breast Cancer, so this was put away because it was too painful to work on. But if you knew my Mom, you will understand when I say, she is in my ear telling me to get this darn thing done already!!!

I have added a link to Sandra's UFO project on my blog, please feel free to join us and get some of your UFO's completed.