Thursday, June 25, 2015

Dotty Disappearing 9-Patch Baby Quilt

A sweet new baby girl has arrived in the family -- welcome, Nova Jade -- and her special quilt has been completed. The pattern is a Disappearing 9-Patch made with 5" charm squares of Classic Dots from Connecting Threads. Each center square was plain white before cutting. 

This quilt was so much fun to make, I think the Disappearing 9-Patch is going to become a favorite of mine. I used 96 polka dot charms and 12 white charms to make a dozen 9-patches. After cutting each into fourths, the yield was 48 6-1/2" blocks. Used 45x60" crib sized Warm & Natural batting and finished size was approximately 40" by 53" with binding.

To honor baby Nova and personalize her quilt, I replaced one 6-1/2" block on the front with a variable star block. Her name, birth month and year were embroidered on it in light green thread. I made the star points with the colorful backing fabric to bring it to the front and make the star pop.

On the extra block, I embroidered label information and attached it to the lower back along with my Handiworking label made by Lilla Lotta.

I figured why stop the dottiness now and bound the quilt with mini dots white-on-black fabric. Since I prefer not to prewash my quilting fabrics, I did wash and dry the quilt to clean and crinkle it up before sending.

Congratulations and much love to Nova's momma, daddy and super big brother!

So many projects, never enough time!

Friday, June 12, 2015

No-Bake Chocolate Tart and Easy Corn on the Cob

I'm all for easy cooking, especially now that we've hit the hot summer temps in Phoenix, and this chocolate tart is one of the easiest, most impressive desserts ever. It goes together quickly and tastes incredible. We made this one while we were preparing dinner ...

We topped the ganache with strawberries and chopped pecans but I'm also planning to make it with raspberries soon.

This link will get you the recipe and even provides a quick step-by-step video.

The chocolate tart this evening follows hubby's BBQ'd T-bones covered in Montreal Steak Seasoning with pesto butter and corn on the cob. Here is the best trick ever for microwaving corn in the husk and shucking it like a boss ...

Hope these tips make your kitchen as happy as they do mine!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Farm Girl Vintage Potholders

Made a birthday gift for a chef friend recently and I was excited to have Lori Holt's new "Farm Girl Vintage" pattern book on hand to work from. I'm completely smitten by the blocks and projects in this beautiful book and plan to make a sampler quilt from it someday.

The "Baking Day" and "Canning Season" potholders turned out great ...

Used some cute kitchen print fabric for the backs ...

And my custom Lilla Lotta labels made wonderful hang tags ...

Check out the Bee in My Bonnet blog and the Farm Girl Vintage book. So Much Fun!

So many projects, never enough time ...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Hug is in the Mail :: On Brave Wings

I mailed a hug yesterday to an amazing family member, a woman I greatly admire who has been through some stuff and still manages to show up and do it all with grace! I believe that shawls are hugs and sometimes you just need a good hug to remind you that you can do it and people are thinking about you and cheering you on!

This is the "On Brave Wings" shawl, with my hand-drawn design first hand embroidered, then layered with batting and backing, quilted by hand, machine quilted and, finally, binding attached by machine and finished by hand. A lot of prayer for good health and happiness has gone into the making of this hug.

Although this was designed with breast cancer in mind, wouldn't it be lovely for a young woman going off to college -- maybe in school colors, or for someone starting a new business or career or moving to a new city or country?

I also got to use one of my new Lilla Lotta custom labels on it ...

I'll be putting a post together with the specifics on making On Brave Wings, along with the pattern for the embroidered design. Soon!

So many projects, never enough time ...

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Lilla Lotta Love :: Custom Labels for Handiworking

I was very fortunate to get in on a limited production run of custom labels by Lilla Lotta recently. After a few messages back and forth, my artwork and payment were sent and voilĂ ...

Beautifully printed cotton tape with my logo was received ...

I love that I can use them flat or folded in half. Now I just need to get a quilt or bag or something made to put one on.

Thanks, Lilla Lotta, for my wonderful custom labels. I am so happy with them!

So many projects, never enough time ...

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Baking Biscotti

I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I'm finally in the mood for holiday baking, ahem, now that the holidays are over. The retail frenzy that is my day (and night and weekend) job is slowing to a mild roar as we roll into January. With a Saturday morning off and cool weather in Phoenix, I actually baked for no reason ... a pumpkin pie and biscotti.

One of the lovely ladies I work with gifted me with the "best biscotti I've ever had!" This is a direct quote from my hubby and I definitely agree with him. I was eager to find out if the recipe is a family secret or one she could share - yay - it's Giada's Holiday Biscotti. Here's the link.

Super easy to make, not too many ingredients, and just plain delicious. This is my idea of baking. And dunking. And eating!

Happy belated holidays and happy baking!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

A show of hands, please, for a cookie that qualifies as breakfast and tastes great with a cup of coffee or tea or a glass of milk! These are by far my favorite cookies to bake and eat, plus they feature bananas and oatmeal (yep, breakfast food). I've been making them for over 30 years and they never get old. I love a cakey cookie and these are soft, moist and so delicious. 

A few tips on making them even easier …

Mash the bananas in a small bowl with a potato masher. Over-ripe bananas are the best for this recipe and this is the perfect way to use up bananas that have hit that too ripe to eat stage.

Although they can be mixed by hand, I use my KitchenAid stand mixer, letting it run continuously on a low to medium speed as each ingredient is added. Then scrape the bowl down and let 'er rip for a really good mixing before you add the chocolate chips (which should probably be folded in by hand, but you can just mix them in on a low speed).

Back in the day, I used a couple of spoons to scoop and slide the dough off onto the cookie sheet. Now I go straight for a fairly large cookie scoop -- mine is a 3 tablespoon scoop, which usually takes a little longer to bake but makes a great size cookie for eating. And depending on the size you choose to make, you should end up with 2 to 4 dozen or so.

Every time I take them somewhere, I am asked for the recipe. Enjoy and ...

Happy Baking!