Frog Applique Quilt

My son Nicholas and his wife Laura are expecting twins! So, for this joyous occasion and because Laura loves Frogs I designed twin frog quilts for the babies. My idea for the frog came from the fabric. Rachel and I drew them by looking at the frogs on the fabric. Actually, Ray drew them and I tweaked them to my liking. The squares are 4 1/2 by 4 1/2" with the surrounding fabric 2 1/2" by various lengths. Center white strips are 2 1/2" wide. Frogs have batting behind them and then I appliqued them using the blanket stitch on the sewing machine. Mouths, eyelashes and part of frog's vest are embroidered.  Girl frog's tutu is made from tulle. Finished measurements are 46 1/2 x 46 1/2".
Girl Frog

Boy Frog


Pleasantly Pleasing Unpretentious Pretzels

These are DELICIOUS!!!!!!

First, in a small bowl pour 1/2 cup warm water, 1 teaspoon sugar and mix together. Then add in
 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast. Let rest for 10 min.
Now, in a bigger bowl add 1 cup warm water,1 tablespoon sugar  and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix in the yeast mixture with this. The recipe calls for 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour but I only used about 3 cups when mixing together in the bowl.
Make sure surface is clean and dry and sprinkle with flour.  Pour dough onto surface and knead for  about 5 minutes until dough is firm and elastic. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Make sure you have an adorable 2-year-old that wants to eat raw dough
sitting next to you and then divide dough into 12 equal parts.
Roll dough out as if you were making a snake....about 10 inches long. Then twist into a pretzel shape. Place on greased baking sheet. Shout out to LO for remembering this recipe. Isn't she just so cute!

 Combine 1 egg with 1 tablespoon water; stir briskly. Brush tops of pretzels and sprinkle with coarse salt and sesame seeds. Bake for about 15 minutes at 425 degrees and eat while warm. They are the BEST!!!! We are giving them away to neighbors for Christmas gifts (that is, if we don't eat them all first)!


15 Minute Table Runner

Need a quick Christmas gift?? I've got just the thing for you! A table runner, that is a snap to throw together when you're in a last minute gift giving bind! No machine quilting required, no batting, & it's easy to modify to suit your needs! Let's get started. 

You will need:

1 piece of fabric for your top that is 5/6 of a yard
1 piece of fabric for the bottom that is 2/3 of a yard

*Remember, you can make this ANY size! If you want it wider, or more narrow, you can do it! Just make sure your top fabric is 6 inches bigger (width) than your bottom fabric. 

1 piece of fusible interfacing, 5/6 of a yard

Step 1- Press (with starch, not water!) and iron your fabric
Step 2- Iron your interfacing onto the WRONG side of your top fabric (5/6 of a yard). Follow the instructions that come with the interfacing 

 Step 3- Place fabric right sides together, and sew along the edge LENGTH wise, 1/2 inch seam. 
Step 4- Now sew along the other edge LENGTH wise, your bottom piece will not line up exactly because it is SMALLER. That's how it is suppose to be. YOU WILL NOW HAVE A TUBE OF FABRIC WITH THE ENDS OPEN. 

Step 5- Press open seams
 Step 6- Turn tube right side out
Step 7- Iron your runner with the top fabric making a border on the bottom side. Mine ended up being 1 1/2 inches on each side. Make sure you measure. NOW YOU SHOULD HAVE A FLAT, IRONED, TABLE RUNNER WITH RAW ENDS
 Step 8- Trim ends so that they are equal (I had to cut the selvage off my ends)
 Step 9- Fold your runner in on itself, top sides together, and pin together lining up evenly, do this on both ends. Sew together using 1/2 inch seams 
 Step 10- Now open your runner flat, and press the seam open (looks like a hood!)

 Step 11- Flip ends right side out. Your runner should look like this (this is with the bottom facing up). You can add buttons onto the end, or any other embellishments. 
Step 12- Wrap it up to give away, or use it on your own table! ENJOY! 

Bonus Step, Lucky number 13! 
Use a non-washable fabric marker and write a Christmas message on the backside of your runner. I am going to trace the hand prints of grand-kids onto mine and give it away to Grandma! 

Quick, easy, & made with love! The perfect gift for the Holiday! 



Christmas Bag

Finished Christmas Bag instead of Wrapping, I'm sew Green!
It measures 12" wide by 18" high.
I cut out fabric pictures and also cut out the
no-sew fabric adhesive the same size as the
pictures and ironed it on following adhesive
Then I peeled off the back paper,
placed them where I wanted on
fabric and ironed them down.
Top is folded down 1/8" and
then another 1/8', pressed and
sewed. Next, I sewed down bias tape
about 1 1/2" from top of bag and
threaded 1/4" wide elastic through.

This is what it looked like
after I ironed them down.
Lastly, I turned sewed the side and bottom together with 1/4" inch seam and it was done. It took about 15 minutes to complete. And, all your friends, neighbors, relatives and environmentalists will think you are clever and a lover of the Earth.


Christmas Treats

Every year I make the same three Christmas Treats to give away. They're very simple (a little time consuming) but very delicious, and they look pretty impressive (well two of them do, the other one a baby could make, but it's still delicious!). 

The Easiest- Pretzel hugs with M&Ms. I like these the MOST with hugs, you can use plain chocolate, or the peppermint white chocolate (those are my second favorite). Preheat your oven to 250. get some cookie sheets and put parchment paper down. Unwrap all your hugs, place them on a whole pretzel. Pop them in the oven for about 3-5 minutes (you don't want the chocolate completely melted, but you don't want it too hard, experiment a little). Remove from oven, and place an M&M in center. I love these because kids can help, and they are difficult to mess up! 

 A Bit More Difficult (but still easy!)- Peppermint bark. I love to make this because I love how it looks! It's so festive, and Christmasy. First cover the back of a cookie sheet with foil. Then melt 15 oz of white chocolate in a double broiler and spread 1/3 onto your tin foil in a rectangle pattern. Crush up peppermint candies and spread over white chocolate. Chill for 15 minutes. Mix 8 oz of dark chocolate, (I like guitard brand) with 6 TBSP heavy cream, and 2 tsp peppermint oil (I like to use the oil, but you can use extract), in saucepan over medium heat until melted and combined. Pour over white chocolate quickly (it's going to try and melt your white chocolate!) and spread to cover. Chill for 25 minutes. Reheat remaining white chocolate, pour on top of dark chocolate, spread evenly, and sprinkle with remaining crushed peppermint candy. Chill, chill, chill (I chilled overnight). Remove cookie sheet, use pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut into squares. Looks SO pretty! 

 Sort of Difficult but Mostly Time Consuming- TRUFFLES! This is a recipe I use from THE PIONEER WOMAN, I have made these for the last 4 years, and every time I make them, I am amazed at how WONDERFULLY DELICIOUS they are... It's like I forget or something.... I'm not going to copy and paste the recipe, but I will tell you my modifications. I use Guitard semi sweet chocolate for the coating instead of milk chocolate (I don't care for milk chocolate). I also add about 1 TBSP of coconut oil to the dipping chocolate (not the truffle ball chocolate). I've made these in numerous flavors! Orange Chocolate, Chocolate Raspberry, Chocolate Hazelnut, Chocolate Pistachio (it's good, trust me), Chocolate mint, but my favorite is always the dark chocolate sea salt.... I love the mixture of sweet and salty.. These are literally SO DELICIOUS! You must make them!! You must!! Just don't complain when you gain 5 lbs from eating an entire cookie sheet of truffles (these barely make it out my door to give away). 
What are you favorite Christmas Treats to make? 
What other flavors of truffles should I try? 


Santa's Hat Table Runner

This is a pattern I bought at Pine Needles which is located in Gardner Village which is located in Salt Lake City, Utah... which is perhaps the quilting capital of the world. I altered it somewhat to suit my liking and without trying to insult the creator of such pattern I think mine is stinkin' dang cute! This was also another attempt at quilting with my walking foot. You can't see the stitching, but I did quite a bit and tried to get a little trickier.Oh, yes, and my friend bought me a yo yo maker so these yo yo's are a product of this device. It only took me five practice tries before I got the hang of it. Decided it is easier than making them without gadget so I bought another one in a bigger size.  


Homemade Music Ornaments

I really wanted to incorporate music notes into my tree. I looked for ornaments with a music theme, but didn't find any that I liked. I'm kind of picky once I get something in my mind. I wanted them to look a certain way and match the other ornaments I had. Obviously the only solution was to make my own! 

Step 1 : I went to Michaels and bought big glass ornaments. I think they were normally $5, but 50% which means I got 4 for $2.50, and 8 for $5 bucks! Not too bad. 

Step 2: Remove top, I then used white acrylic paint to make a flower design around the top.
 Step 3: While your paint is still wet, sprinkle with your glitter color of choice. I did 4 gold and 4 silver
Step 4: Allow paint to dry (this will take some time since you painted on glass, I waited overnight)

 Step 5: Find some music that you're not using and cut it into strips. Roll the strips like a scroll and (gently) stuff your scrolls into the ornaments
Step 6: Add a feather because you have some lying around, place top back on, hang ornament. 

 Step 7: Smile because these ornaments were only $5!! (I had all the other supplies already!)

Caution: Since these are made of glass you need to be careful, I was sticking in some music and a piece of glass caught my finger (cheap michaels...). Then the entire top of one ornament came off! I was still able use it luckily. Just make sure you don't cut yourself with these! 

I'd love to see any homemade ornaments you've made, this was my first experience and I love seeing new ideas! 



Plethora of Pillow Cases

As is obvious, I have an affinity for alliteration. Grandma Janice is here for some of the holidays and she has been busy sewing. Here are a few of her favorite things...(I also enjoy using phrases from famous musicals when and wherever possible). She has made pajama bottoms, nightgowns, blankets and of course her famous 'cuffed pillow cases' In fact, as of 7:55 pm mountain standard time she has stitched up a whopping 64 of these heavenly head-holders.
 Here are her simple directions if you would like to give a quick, inexpensive, homemade gift. MATERIALS NEEDED: for one pillow case you need 30" fabric for case/base, 9" for cuff and 3" for accent cuff (these are all 42-45" wide fabric) STEP ONE: press all fabric.
STEP TWO: Press accent cuff in half so it measures 1 1/2 :" wide. Lay cuff down RIGHT SIDE UP. LAY ACCENT STRIP ON TOP OF CUFF RIGHT side up and pin to cuff every 3".(BIG HINT: If directional fabric is used for base/case, place bottom of fabric towards cuff end. Make sure left hand side is even. You will be able to trim any excess off later.) 
STEP THREE: lay base right side down (right side is away from you) pin raw edge to cuff and accent strip and pin all layers together. 
STEP FOUR: Starting at the bottom of base begin rolling towards the top where you have pinned until you are about 3 or 4" from the top (the cuff layer is exposed underneath your rolling, you should be able to see the bottom part of it). Once you are done rolling the grasp the cuff and roll it over the top and pin it to what you have already pinned which will now make your pillow case five layers thick.  After this is all pinned stitch 1/4" seam across top of fabric.

   STEP SEVEN: Finish seam with a french seam or serging. Finish the long seam first and then the shorter seam. HOW TO MAKE A FRENCH SEAM: Stitch seam 1/3" wrong sides together on the long side first. Turn inside out and press. Stitch over that seam with a slightly larger or 1/2" seam. Turn back to wrong sides together and do the bottom seam in the same manner.

In case anyone hasn't noticed my mother is the most incredibly amazing, talented woman in the world!