Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Stop and Smell the Roses

I've fallen a little behind the pace hand quilting my Dutch Treat #2 due to some doctor appointments and other interruptions.  I have three more blocks left to finish on row #10.  I've tried to do two rows a week and had been keeping that up until the last week.  But with only 4 more rows after this one to do, I still hope to finish it, including designing, appliqueing and quilting the borders before year end---  "hope" being the key word.

I've also worked on a few other things in the last week.  Block 3 of Raggedy and Friends

Block 4 has already been posted so I need to get started on it.

I've worked on a couple of other projects that I can't share just yet.

And last but not least I helped Tom with a project.  A couple months ago he spotted some black flowers at Wal-mart and came home with them, a couple yards of fabric and an idea for a Halloween wall hanging he wanted to make.  Little by little he got it designed and pieced.  Yesterday he had testing done to confirm the need for carpal tunnel surgery on his right wrist and he finally realized he wasn't going to be able to quilt it himself, at least not if it was to be done by THIS Halloween.  So he surprised me by asking me if I'd quilt it for him (he does not usually appreciate my offers to help).  I quilted it yesterday afternoon and put the finishing touches on this morning. 

Here's his Halloween Art quilt called "Stop and Smell the Roses"

Since he wanted a curved edge I suggested a "birthing" method of finishing the edge.  That allowed me to roll a bit of the contrasting back to the front and stitch in the ditch to give the appearance of a very narrow piping.  I like the effect.  It did present a bit of a challenge to deal with the bit of extra fabric on the front from doing this but I was able to quilt it in.   

Kind of cute, don't you think?  Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Best Date Bars

Last Saturday I baked (among other things) a pan of these date bars to take to church for coffee fellowship. Arrived at church and realized I'd forgotten them at home. Wisdom says to freeze them for the 31st when we take treats again, but I'm not sure they will last that long! OMG they are good! Back in the 70's I used to buy a packaged mix for date bars (one of the few packaged things I ever used or liked). I loved them and the boys loved them. In the last few years I've been thinking about them and searching for a recipe. Recently I bought a Taste of Home annual and found this recipe. Not quite the same, but every bit as good!

1 pound pitted whole dates

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

2/3 cup orange juice

3 teaspoons vanilla extract


1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Dash salt

1 cup cold butter, cubed

3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Vanilla ice cream, optional


In a small saucepan, combine the dates, brown sugar and orange juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 3-4 minutes or until thickened and dates are tender, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press half into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Carefully spread with date mixture.

Stir walnuts into remaining crumb mixture. Sprinkle over filling; press down gently. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares. Serve with ice cream if desired. Yield: 2 dozen.


Here's a smaller version for an 8x8" pan
1 cup chopped dates

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

1-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 egg white

Monday, October 18, 2010

Beyond The Half Way Point

Just a quick report in.  I've been steadily working on Dutch Treat #2 and in four weeks I've finished quilting row 8 of 14, so a little more than half way.

It's still hard to get a picture that actually shows the quilting. With blocks this size and such busy motifs, the quilting is 1/8" or less around each shape and in the ditch of the sashing.  There are times that I am going through six layers of fabric and batting (because of turned under edges with the reverse applique). 

I am still pondering the border for this one.  Part of me loves what I did on Dutch Treat #1 so much I want to do it again

and part of me wants to do something different. I do know I definitely want a scalloped border again.

Our weather has been absolutely gorgeous!  Wish it could stay like this until next April or so.  I wouldn't miss winter at all!  I have red and yellow roses blooming like crazy.

This week is the first chicken and noodle dinner at church.  We do this fundraiser six times a year...Oct, Nov, Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr.  So I'll be baking pies tomorrow or Wednesday. 

Happy quilting.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Quilt Show

I've been continuing to quilt on Dutch Treat #2 and have also been trying to do a little more purging and straightening up in my quilt room (and elsewhere around the house where quilt supplies seem to migrate). 

Since I don't have any progress pictures of my own to show you, I'll share some of the pictures I took 2 weeks ago at the Ozark Piecemaker's Quilt Guild Show in Springfield, MO.

As usualy, there  were some truly awesome quilts.

Best of Show

The other top award winners can be viewed on the guild's website  Click on OPQG Show link on the left hand side. Then scroll down towards the bottom of the page to see these winning quilts much better  than the pictures I took.

I was surprised to see one of my Purple Heart wallhangings on display with Judy Howard's Patriotic Quilt Exhibit

Here's a link to a slideshow of the pictures I took that day.

Yesterday was such a pretty day, we decided to take a break andspend a few hours at a nearby lake.  So we grabbed some Subway sandwiches and headed out.  What a gorgeous day!

We watched a blue heron patiently scouting for it's supper.

A good place to work on some Suduko.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's Fall

Fall is definitely here.  First pot of chili, herbed oatmeal pan bread, and Rumble In The Jungle football  tomorrow.

This is such good bread with any kind of soup.


11/2 C. boiling water

1 C. old fashioned oatmeal

2 pkg. yeast

1/2 C. warm water

1/4 C. sugar

3 T. butter, softened

2 tsp. salt

1 egg

4 - 4 3/4 C. flour

Pour boiling water over oatmeal and let sit until luke warm (110-115 degrees). Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar, butter, salt, egg, oat mixture and 2 C. flour and beat until smooth.. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough forms. Knead for 6-8 minutes and let rise until double in a greased bowl. (about 30 minutes). Punch down and press evenly in a 13 x 9 x 2 inch cake pan (greased). With a very sharp knife, cut diagonal lines 1 1/2 inch apart completely through dough. Repeat in opposite direction, creating a diamond pattern. Cover and let rise until double, about an hour. Redefine pattern by gently poking along the cut lines with knife tip. Brush with 2 T. melted butter. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile combine:

2 Tbsp. parmesan cheese

1 tsp. basil

1/2 tsp. oregano

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Brush the bread with another 2 Tbsp. melted butter and sprinkle with the cheese and herb mixture. Bake for another 5 minutes. Loosely cover with foil and bake an additional five minutes. Serve warm.

Have a good weekend everyone.