Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Virtual Cookie Exchange

Today is Day 3 of the Virtual Cookie Exchange, hosted by Carol at Just Let Me Quilt.  Carol always does such a great job with these blog hops and is so good at keeping us in line and ready.  Thanks, Carol.


                                  These are the fabulous maker/bakers you'll meet:

December 5

I always enjoy the Virtual Cookie Exchange.  Over the years I have accumulated so many great cookie recipes shared by wonderful bakers.  

We have too many favorite recipes to count, but one that is a constant favorite around here is the Raspberry-Nut cookie.  Not only do they melt in your mouth, but they look so festive too.  It's a recipe that was found in a Sunset Cookies cookbook.

1 cup softened butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cup ground pecans (ground finely in food processor)
2 cups all purpose flour
Powdered sugar
Approx. 1/4 cup raspberry jam

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar until creamy; beat in vanilla.  Gradually add pecans and flour, blending thoroughly.  Cover and place in refrigerator until firm enough to handle (1-2 hours).  

On a floured board, roll out dough to a 1/8" thickness.  Cut with 2" cookie cutter.  Using a very small cookie cutter, cut out center of half of the cookies.  Bake at 375* for about 12 minutes or until lightly browned.  Transfer to racks and cool.

Sift powdered sugar over cookies with the center hole.  Place small dollop of jam on bottom portion of cookies and top with sugar covered cookies, making a sandwich.  Can be stored in an airtight container.

This is the time of year that I love to decorate our home with Christmas quilts.  Although not quilted yet, this is my latest Christmas quilt.  

A few of my other favorites...

Another fun thing to do with fabric, if you are not a quilter, is to make a festive ornament.  My mother and I taught these in my daughter's 4th grade class, so they are very doable this close to Christmas.  We had so many compliments from the parents on them and thought I would share it here.

What you will need:
3 or 4” styrofoam ball
white Gesso
school glue
ribbon and beaded trim
iridescent glitter

 Dilute gesso slightly and paint the styrofoam ball.  Allow to dry.  

Cut out fabric motifs while the ball is drying.  Using white school glue, paint the back of the motifs with the glue and apply to the dry ball.  

Once all the motifs are placed, paint a slightly diluted (with water) glue over the entire ball.  Sprinkle lightly with glitter.  Allow to dry completely.  

Using the ribbon and beaded trim, make a bow and glue to the top of the ball with a ribbon hanger.

Hang on the tree. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Quiet Time Sewing

 I haven’t been at the sewing machine much the last few weeks due to acquiring a bit of new hardware in this creaky body, but I have had fun catching up on some hand sewing projects.  

First in the queue were a couple quilts that needed the binding stitched down.  I had done the machine sewing in anticipation of my sewing vacation so the hand stitching was left.  Years ago I participated in a New York Beauty sew along.  I can’t remember who sponsored it, but the earliest note I made in my blog was in 2012.  Well…..ten years later it is now in the finished pile and I love it.  I am not a professional quilter, but Karrie at @karrie_ann_longarm_quilting on IG is, and she did an incredible job on it for me.

 After that it was time to tackle the points on my Kaffe Escher Cubed quilt.  The pattern had called for cutting them off, but I thought it would be fun to leave the points if I could figure out the binding of the angles.  I really like the way it turned out too. 

And lastly  I finished the Christmas stocking for the newest granddaughter.  I have made the felt stockings for each of the children in my daughter's family and love seeing them all hung at Christmas.  Ramona also makes them for her grandchildren and has a nice way of finishing hers off.  She was kind enough to give me her hints in completing this one.  I have always lined mine, but she makes a lovely quilted backing stocking for hers.  The stockings are Bucilla kits with all of the needed parts to complete the stocking - beads, sequins, threads and felt.  They are really quite fun to sew and they have such great detail.

These are the stockings for the rest of the children. 

Next week I will be participating in the Cookie Exchange Blog Hop so please be sure to pop back then.  It's always a fun event with some great recipes over the years.  

Monday, October 24, 2022

October Happenings

 October has arrived and fall is definitely in the air for us.  We've had cooler days and a few chilly nights.  The colors that we do get are making grand appearances with the changing season.  We've managed to escape - so far - the terrible Santa Ana winds that are so common in October.  I won't complain about that.  We've even had a few rain showers, one including a thunderstorm this month.  I hope this is a sign of more moisture for us this year.

I've managed to get some sewing in this month.  Connie from Freemotion by the River  had a cute tutorial for pumpkin mug rugs on her blog.  I had to dig into my oranges and make a few for friends with October birthdays.  The orange ones were so cute so I made a blue one too.  They went up so quickly and look so festive.  

One of the younger granddaughters has been over for a bit of sewing.  She's doing such a great job as she works on some Log Cabin blocks.  Her 1/4" seams are great.  We are working hard at sorting lights and darks, but I think she will be pleased with her finish. 

I resurrected my Small World quilt last week while searching for something else and managed to complete section 3.  I'm looking forward to section 4 next. 

I also decided to join in on Sewcialites 2 this time around.  It just started last Friday so it's not too late to join in if you are interested.  This is my first block.  

We have lots of October birthdays in our family, but our daughter celebrated a special one this month.  Her husband arranged a surprise party for the family at our home with two private chefs.  The food was absolutely amazing, all five courses.  Their two oldest children assisted and served us.  It was indeed a special event. 

In the garden, the pomegranates are bigger and better than ever.  Our tree has been loaded and we can't give them away fast enough.  One can only use so many!

Now that the weather is cooler, I've encouraged my daughter and granddaughters to start on a sourdough journey.  We've had so much fun sharing photos of our loaves among the group each month.  They are all making amazing loaves with nice rises and great crumb. 

It's hard to believe that we are nearing the busy holiday season.  I'm sure everyone is ready by now....right?  How many days do we have left?


Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Farewell Summer

 Just like that, the seasons are changing and we bid farewell to summer.  We enjoyed a mild summer until we had about two weeks of incredible, record breaking heat.  Wow....it was toasty!  We even hit 112* one of the days.  Other than the heat burst, it was a delightful month.  I always love going back through the photos to do a post.  It's incredible what can happen in a month.  

We had a granddaughter that got married so we had lots of fun wedding events and family visiting from Iowa.   I did manage to get a bit of sewing done too. 

For a number of years I have been in a group of friends who sew and swap together.  Each year we choose a new project.  This year is a round or row robin.  The most recent round that I have finished is the mountains and pine trees that went on this spectacularly paper pieced buck.  I love the way this one is coming along.  There will be one last round added to it.  This one may get "lost in the mail" at my house.  ;-)

Another one was this panel piece in such pretty colors.  I added the geese round to it.  

There was a bit of wedding sewing as well.  The bride and I stitched the flower girl dresses and made the wedding veil.  It's a poor photo, but this will have to do for the time being. 

I know that I should be thinking of sewing fall projects, but this heart has been calling my name for sometime now.  It is my version of Kyra's Heart Quilt.  I loved pulling out all of my Kaffe, etc. fabrics for it.

We managed to slip in a few short day outings.  We always enjoy seeing the September flag display at Pepperdine University for their 9/11 tribute.  There is one flag for each person killed on 9/11.  It is a lovely sight on the hill overlooking the ocean.  It's hard to get the full scope of the sight in a single photo, but it is very sobering.  

Another day trip that we always enjoy is a drive to the local wine country.  The grapes were quickly harvested in the heat and the leaves will soon start to change.  I always enjoy seeing the rose bushes planted at the beginning of the rows of vines.  It is said that they are planted for disease control.  Apparently the roses will display any disease first and the vines can be treated before they become infected.  

Not sure this guy is much help to the vintner.  

Now for a chuckle.....we celebrated our September birthdays during our little heat wave.  I had made spice cupcakes with a buttercream penuche icing, a family favorite.  They were beautiful, but when it came time to serve dessert, the icing had melted right off of all 3 dozen cupcakes.  What a disaster!  They looked awful, but still tasted good.

Happy fall to all those in the Northern Hemisphere and happy spring to those down South.