Loose Threads: 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas Quilt Books and Recipes

I hope all of you enjoyed your Christmas celebrations as much as I did.  Here are the two new quilt books that I received for Christmas.  I love Judy Martin's quilts, so I actually bought Extraordinary Log Cabin Quilts for myself.  Her quilts are just amazing, and there are always a few quilts in her books that I want to make.  Pieced Hexies came from my son and daughter-in-law.  I am really having fun with hexagons, so I can't wait to try some of the ideas from this book.



I've started fussy cutting some Christmas fabric to use in some of the new hexagons.



As promised in my last post, here are the recipes for the Sweet Potatoes and the Banana Pudding that I made for Christmas Dinner.  There is a Print PDF button at the end of my posts if you would like to print the recipes.  There is an option at the top of the page to remove the images if you just want to print the text.

Sweet Potatoes - Ruth's Chris Style
(I adapted this recipe from http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2010/11/sweet-potatoes-ruths-chris-style.html).  I used canned sweet potatoes and added some cream to the recipe.
NOTE:  In my opinion, there is way too much sugar in this recipe - especially the topping.  I think it should be reduced to 1/2 - 3/4 Cup brown sugar in the topping and maybe cut the sugar in the sweet potatoes down to 3/4 cup.  The good news is that it smelled so good, even the people who had sworn off sweet potatoes before tried this recipe and loved it.






Here is the recipe for Ruth Chris Sweet Potatoes:

Crust (crumb topping)
1 cup brown sugar (I would reduce this to 1/2 to 3/4 cup next time)
1/3 cup flour
1 cup nut topping (pecans) found in the baking aisle of the grocery
1/3 cup melted butter

Sweet Potato Mixture:
1 large can sweet potatoes drained and mashed
1 cup sugar (I would reduce this down to 3/4 cup next time)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs well beaten
1 stick melted butter (1/2 cup)
2 Tablespoons cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a medium sized casserole dish with nonstick spray.  

Crust:  Combine brown sugar, flour, nuts and butter in mixing bowl and set aside.

Next combine sweet potatoes, sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs and butter in a large mixing bowl in the order listed.  Beat thoroughly with a hand mixer for about 3 or 4 minutes to increase the volume of the sweet potato mixture.  Add the 2 Tablespoons of cream and mix.

Pour mixture into a baking dish.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Sprinkle the topping on and bake for another 10 minutes.  Allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving.

If you go to The Girl Who Ate Everything Blog you will find the sweet potato recipe with directions on how to make this dish with fresh sweet potatoes instead of canned.  There are also a lot of other wonderful recipes there.

The Southern Banana Pudding was a hit, too.  It was a nice, light dessert (sort of) to have after a big Christmas dinner.




Here is the recipe:

Southern Banana Pudding

1 large package Instant Vanilla Pudding
1 large package Instant Banana Pudding
1 can of sweetened condensed milk (Eagle brand)
1 package (8 oz) softened cream cheese
4 bananas (not over ripe)
5 cups of cold milk
2 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream OR  1 large container of Cool Whip (that is what I used)
2 boxes of Vanilla Wafers (you will have wafers left over)

Make whipped cream (with hand mixer, whip heavy cream, 3 tsps. sugar and 1 tsp vanilla) OR just take the lid off the Cool Whip!!!!!
In a separate bowl, mix softened cream cheese and condensed milk with mixer until well blended
Stir in pudding mixes and milk and beat on medium until well blended
Fold in 1/2 of the whipping cream (or Cool Whip)

Assemble the layers:
I used a trifle bowl, but any dish will work.
Place a layer of Vanilla Wafers in the bottom of the dish.
Slice up one banana over the top.
Spoon pudding mixture over the top
Continue to layer:  cookies/bananas/pudding.   Your final layer should be pudding followed by the rest of the Cool Whip.  Decorate with Vanilla Wafers and crumbs.  
Put in fridge for at least 6 hours before serving or overnight.

Thank you for stopping by!

To all of my readers, subscribers and followers, I wish you all a Happy and prosperous New Year!



Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Cooking and A Little Stitching

'Twas the night before Christmas, and I've been doing some cooking for the big Christmas dinner tomorrow.  We made some Southern Banana Pudding.  This is a new recipe to me.  One important thing I learned from my Mother-in-Law was never to tell a group right before a meal that you were trying a new recipe.  That is a sure bet that most people won't take a chance on it.  So I'll just tell you and hope it remains a secret until tomorrow evening.




The little pudding in the old jelly jar is for my Grandson, Daniel.  


We also made a new type of cookie this year.  These are called Hot Cocoa Cookies, and the recipe is on the back of the Jet Puffed Mallow Bits container.  These bits are something I haven't tried before either.



We also made the good old stand-by Toll House Cookies.



Here is another new dish. (I know...I'm taking a lot of chances here.)  This recipe is a knock off of Ruth Chris Sweet Potatoes, and I'm pretty excited about this one.  In a couple of days I will know whether these recipes are keepers or not.  If they are a hit, I'll share the recipes with you.  There will also be chicken, noodles, mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy, green bean casserole, "green stuff", rolls, apple caramel pie, Velveeta/rotel dip and plenty of other things.


While taking a few breaks today, I finished another Road 66 hexagon.



Everything is prepared for tomorrow, and we are leaving for Christmas Eve service in awhile.

 Merry Christmas to all of my readers, followers and subscribers.   I appreciate each and every one of your visits.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Hexagons and Crock Pot Meals


I'm still making hexagons for my Road 66 quilt from Di Ford's book, Primarily Quilts.  These hexagons are 1 1/8" on each side.  Compared to the 3/4" hexagons I am working on for my Aunt Sarah quilt, these seem huge.  I need 18 full hexagons for the Road 66 quilt, and I have 13 sewn together.  I only have enough of the border fabric that I want to use for that many hexagons.  There are also 6 half hexagons and some partials that go in the corners.  I am really enjoying this project, and I think I'll be a little sad when it is finished.  I'm sure I have cut out and glued enough hexagons to make a good start on another one of these quilts!




I am looking at fabric a whole new way since I have started this hexagon project.




I've seen several people on line that are making crock pot freezer meals and others that are pinning recipes on Pinterest.  So I decided to give several of them a try.  These recipes came from www.mommysfabulousfinds.com.  She has lots of different ideas for crock pot freezer meals.  



I have frozen seven different meals from her web site.  Tonight we are having Slow-Cooker Chicken Teriyaki.  I will let you know how that turns out later on.  Also on this web site there is a recipe for Sweet and Sour Baked Chicken that is out of this world.  The pan was empty before I realized that I hadn't taken a photo!  That recipe is definitely a keeper.  
I will 


Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

I hope you are finding just a little time to stitch today!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Lucy Boston and Another Hexagon

The Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses blocks are showing up everywhere now, so I thought I would make just one.  




Several years ago when Linda Franz published the Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses book (I think it was 2009) and came out with the Inklingo shape of the elongated hexagon (1" honeycomb),  I bought the software and book and made a couple of blocks then (the two below).

If you can get a close look, I have used metallic fabrics in both of the blocks below.  I'm not sure how I feel about continuing with the metallics since this is a pretty labor intensive quilt and is all hand piecing.  A lot of people are afraid that the metallic part of the fabric will wash away during laundering.  Unfortunately, all of my Oriental fabrics were donated quite awhile ago so I have none of these fabrics left to test. I think a good rule is that if the metallic part of the fabric creates the design, then I probably won't use it. That's just my opinion.  I still have several block kits put together using these fabrics, too. 

 
Here is yet another hexagon for my Road 66 quilt from Primarily Quilts.  I'm getting close to having enough blocks and am just about to begin to join the flowers together. Stay tuned.......




I hope you are finding some time to do a little stitching today!

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Christmas Decorating and Hexagons


I received this lantern as a birthday gift from my friend, Pam, last April and have just been waiting until I could decorate it for Christmas.  (Meanwhile I have found several fall decorating ideas for lanterns for next year.)  I have been pinning a lot of lantern decorating ideas over on Pinterest.  You can see my boards HERE.  



I used one of my Mom's cut glass bowls and added a string of Deco Lights and artificial greenery.  It gives a neat look to the kitchen counter and walls after dark.



I put this lantern together in about 10 minutes.  It still needs some work, but I used ornaments and ribbon that I purchased at the dollar store.



I just put some of the ornaments in the lantern, shook it around, and added a bow.



Here are my two latest hexagons for Road 66 from Di Ford's Primarily Quilts book.  I think this brings my total up to 12.  Each hexagon is 1 1/8" on each side, and the quilt has 18 full flowers.



We had about 5 inches of snow over the last couple of days....the first snow of the season.  It was fun being outside in it for a little while.  I don't have a lot of shopping done yet, but I'm enjoying the season.  Hope you are, too!

Thanks for visiting!  

Monday, December 2, 2013

Rotherfield Grey Center


I have put another border on my Rotherfield Grey quilt.  The stars in the corners are English paper pieced and then hand appliqued' onto the background fabric.  The braid is pieced from my scraps and  fabric from friends.  The Rotherfield Grey quilt is in Di Ford's book Primarily Quilts.

 
Each border is something different, and the quilt will finish at 84".  The next border is scrappy hexagons.  I've been working on those whenever I had a scrap big enough to cover the 5/8" paper piece so they are ready to applique' onto the next border.



I'm linking up with Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday today.  You can see what others have on their design walls this morning by clicking the link.

I hope you are finding just a little time to stitch during this busy season.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Rosemary Youngs Lecture

On Thursday evening of the retreat, we were treated to a lecture and quilt show by Rosemary Youngs who is a member of our Dear Jane group.  She brought many of her quilts for us to enjoy and told us a bit about each one.  Her books include Civil War Diary, Civil War Love Letters, Civil War Anniversary, and her newest book is Quilts from the American Homefront.  You can order her books and patterns at www.rosemaryyoungs.com
Enjoy the show!






Love this applique'.





Great pieced backing.








Cute Sunbonnet Sues.








Rosemary's Nearly Insane quilt.


Amish Circle Letter quilt.














Rosemary showed her recently finished Dear Jane quilt at show and tell on Friday evening.  


Rosemary showed us 32 beautiful quilts that evening, and I really enjoyed seeing all of them.


Thanks for visiting!  

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Lollys Fabrics and the Farmstead Inn

Welcome to Lolly's.  This is my favorite shop in Shipshewana.  They have every type and color of fabric that you could ever imagine in this shop.  Here is MayBritt shopping on her first trip to the US.  Behind her is just part of the Kaffe Fassett and Philip Jacobs fabrics.




This is a favorite of a lot of the girls at our retreat......the Civil War room.



Here are some brights and over on the right are the Kaffe stripes.



The Farmstead Inn is a comfortable place to stay, and it really feels like home here.



Everything in town is decorated for Christmas.  


Lots of us sit by the fire in the evenings to stitch, read or just visit.



Every corner is beautifully decorated.



I took this photo standing in the intersection in front of the Blue Gate one evening.  



Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers who celebrate!!

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