Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Gift Tags

I printed out the sweetest gift tags a couple days ago and sat down last night and got them all cut out. Then I punched holes in them and tied a little piece of baker’s twine to them.

I usually run out of tags before my gifts are wrapped and then I end up cutting sad little pieces of scrap wrapping paper into squares and writing on those. But not this year! Hehehe!!

Here’s a link to the blog where I got them - they’re free, although you may have sign up for emails or register to get them.

The link will take you to the home page. From there, click on “printables”.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A Few More Christmas Blocks

I can't even explain how cute these little Moda Bake Shop blocks are! Their petite 6" finished size is just adorable. I have to tell you - if you can squeeze out any extra time this month, you should be making these. I'm just using scraps of Christmas reds and greens and a variety of white-on-white scraps.

Here's a photo of mine so far:

I'm already thinking and planning some different setting options. But, I won't make any decisions until I see what Moda comes up with (which is bound to be better than what I could dream up! :)

Here's a link to the first day/first block.

I've got a couple more of those bus quilts almost ready to quilt up, so I'm going to have to pull myself away from these blocks.

Thanks for reading my blog!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Countdown to Christmas blocks

I tried really hard (to no avail) to resist the Moda Bake Shop's Countdown to Christmas blocks. They are sharing a 6" block every day in December until Christmas. The blocks are so darn cute. And only 6" finished - how much time could they take?!?!!  Ha! Well, I'm in it now so I'll see how far I can go. Here are the first two I made:

I took these pictures in the evening - the whites are actually true white.

I believe they're going to offer some layout options at the end of the series. I hope to be caught up by then - what else do I have to do all month?  ;)

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Christmas Pillow Cases

Wow - one of the unexpected benefits of this 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge is all the stuff I'm getting done!

Yesterday, I made these 3 pillow cases - one for each of our grandchildren. We have two granddaughters (4 and 7) that live here in Vegas and one grandson (4) who lives in Montana. He and his mom will be here for Christmas, so we're having a big sleepover with everyone on Christmas Eve! I can't wait!

(I've also ordered new jammies for the little kiddos, but they're not here yet.)

These kids are all so much fun! It's going to be a great Christmas.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

RSC2016 Update

Last year was my first year participating in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I got a late start and spent most of the year trying to catch up. I chose a scrappy bow tie quilt made up of 2" finished blocks. Nearly 800 of them!

I was so excited to get it all put together and add an appliqued floral border. I wanted to do the applique before I put the borders on so I wouldn't have to do so much twisting and turning of the large quilt. (This quilt top was surprisingly heavy - I assume it's because the extra small blocks have a lot of seam allowances on the back side. In fact, they almost cover the backs of the blocks, so it's like the quilt has twice the normal amount of fabric.)

Anyway, I made the borders but when I laid them out to pin to the quilt, the vines didn't meet at the corners. I felt pretty dumb for not having the foresight to see that was going to happen. And at that point, the quilt immediately found a new home crumpled up in the closet!

I posted a picture on Instagram with just one border and mentioned how I messed up and had kind of given up on it. Then I received some kind and encouraging words from @redbirdquiltco.

I did eventually get it back out and put together as best I could. I made four more flowers and tried to make the vines "grow" out of the corners.

It's a bright and cheerful quilt - it'll never be a show quilt. But, it never would have anyway...even if the borders had been perfect.

And now I'm a big fan of the saying "finished is better than perfect"!

Friday, December 8, 2017

An Elegant Pasta Dish

I have a wonderful pasta recipe to share. It's a fantastic dish and a nice change from some of the typical holiday meals.

Capellini with Salmon and Lemon-Dill-Vodka Sauce

1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup vodka
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
1-1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups flaked broiled salmon
10 ounces capellini (angel hair pasta)

Cook onion in oil in a 3-qt heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned - about 6 minutes. Add broth, cream, vodka and salt; boil over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally until sauce is reduced to 2 cups - approximately 40-50 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in dill, lemon zest, lemon juice, and pepper.  Reserve 1/2 cup of sauce, then add the salmon to saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until salmon is just heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.

While salmon is heating, cook pasta in a 6-qt pot of boiling, salted water until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta in colander. Return pasta to pot and toss with reserved sauce and cooking water. Serve pasta immediately with fish sauce spooned over the top.

yield: 4 servings

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Pot Holder Gifts

I like to make little gifts that my grandchildren can give their teachers during the holidays. This year they will need 4 gifts. So I decided to make pot holders. That seems like something everyone could use.

I sure hope I'm not the only one who goes through pot holders like Kleenex! Mine get dipped, sauced, stickied, melted, fried, boiled and baked. Sometimes, a little over-baked:

*thanksgiving 2017

Thank goodness my husband was wandering around the kitchen looking for something to snack on. He opened the oven to see how the turkey was doing and pulled out the pot holder pictured above, saying, "this looks done!".

So, I'm going to pretend this happens all the time to everyone else and make holiday pot holders. I started out with the set shown below - kind of baking themed. I made 2 of these sets. (They're the same - one is just flipped so you can see the fabric on the back.)

Then I made this set - a little more general holiday. I really, really like these pot holders. So I pulled out the fabric and looked for another style of ornament to make a couple more.

I made two more pot holders and one more towel, to finish up with these 2 sets:

Now I probably need to make a few more for myself!