Thursday, June 7, 2012

"Tribute to Judie" my latest work in progress

Normally, since I design patterns, I don't have time to make quilts from other designer's patterns.  But my long arm quilter quilted a  "Tribute to Judie" by Carol Hopkins Designs for one of our local quilt shops last year and I happened to be at her home the day she took it off her machine.  We both absolutely fell in love with it.  I am such a huge Civil War fabric fan.  She and I traded fabrics and each came up with enough to make a queen sized quilt.  Wow, what a lot of little pieces were needed to make about 350 star blocks 3 1/2" square.  I am finally in the process of laying out the quilt.  The blocks are set on point and I am using a variety of browns as the alternate blocks.  Here are some pics of what I have laid out so far.   I can't wait to finish it up and put it on my bed.  Have any of you made this quilt?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Focus on Fun

I had some darling vintage style fabric showing kids marching in a patriotic parade in my stash that I didn't want to cut up.  So I designed this quilt using large pieces of my focus fabric in the blocks as well as in the border.  I had so much fun making it, that I made a lap quilt with monkeys and a wall hanging with jack-o-lanterns.  This pattern will work for any focus fabric up to 4 1/2".  The blocks and sashing use the partial seam piecing technique.  I used an acrylic octagon template to fussy-cut the centers.  Why not look through your large print fabrics to see what kind of fun quilt you could make?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Green Chili Rice

I'm addicted to this yummy rice. It goes well with any Mexican entree. It's an easy dish to take to a pot luck party and always gets rave reviews. You will need the following ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Brown or White Minute Rice
1 can chicken broth 14 oz.
1 can green chili enchilada sauce 10 oz.
1 Tblsp dried minced onion
1 can diced green chilis
1 can original Rotelle tomatoes
shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese for the top

Drain liquid off tomates. (If you prefer a less spicy version, just omit the tomatoes.)
Combine everything except the cheese in an 8 x 8 baking dish.

Mix it all up and bake uncovered for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

Top with shredded cheese and bake 5 more minutes until cheese has melted.

You can serve this with additional toppings if you like, such as fresh chopped tomatoes, guacamole, olives, sour cream, cooked chicken, etc.
Note I usually increase the recipe by using a 28 oz. can of green chili enchilada sauce, 2 cans of broth, 4 cups rice, and 2 Tblsp onion. I leave the green chilis and tomatoes the same as the original recipe.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hearty Italian Marinara Sauce

I used to buy Ragu or Prego sauce for my Pizza, Lasagna, and Spaghetti dishes, but now I love to make my own sauce.  There's just no comparison, this crock pot Marinara sauce is divine.  Simmering it all day allows the flavors to blend into sweet, rich, fabulous, tomato goodness.

4 cans Italian style diced tomatoes
1 6 oz. can tomato paste or 8 oz. tomato sauce
1 Tblsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion finely diced
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tblsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tblsp. brown sugar
1 Tblsp. dried basil leaves
1/2 Tblsp. ground oregano
2 whole bay leaves
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coarse ground black pepper
or crushed red pepper flakes if you like it spicy

Put everything into the crock pot, cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer on low for 8 hours. Remove bay leaves before serving.  Start a pot full in the morning for a quick meal when you get home from work.   Absolutely fabulous for Lasagna, Spaghetti, or Goulash.


Spaghetti and Meatballs

Who doesn't love a heaping plate of Italian spaghetti and meatballs?  For this recipe, you can use your favorite store bought spaghetti sauce for a quick meal, or use my crock pot marinara sauce recipe if you have the time to make your own.  For the meatballs you will need the following ingredients:

1 lb extra lean ground beef
3-4 green onions
1 egg
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/8 cup milk
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp fresh minced garlic
1 tsp basil leaves
1 tsp oregano leaves
1/4 tsp salt
dash of pepper or
crushed red pepper flakes if you like it spicy

Place slice of bread in your blender to make crumbs.

In a mixing bowl combine, egg, milk, and bread crumbs,  Whip a little to moisten the bread.

 Slice the onions thinly.  Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix well.

Shape the meat into 1" balls.  Place a wire rack in the bottom of a large baking pan.  Place the meatballs on the rack so they are not touching each other.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Cook spaghetti according to package directions.  Place spgahetti on a large platter, cover with your favorite sauce and meatballs.

Ladybug Twist & Shout

My granddaughter's nursery is decorated in ladybugs.  I designed this fun quilt for her room with flower-pot pinwheels and ladybugs dancing all over the quilt.  The flower pots are done with a little bit of simple paper piecing.  I used large rick-rack for the flower stems and a bright button for the pinwheel centers..  The ladybugs are appliqued and their anntenae are embroidered.  I added a piano key border using the leftover fabrics.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

And The Winner Is???? Blog Hop Party Results

Thanks so much to everyone joined the party, followed my blog, and took the time to look at my patterns during the St. Patrick's Day blog hop party. I had so much fun reading all of your comments and finding out which patterns you liked.  Sorry for the delay in announcing the winner.  I know I was supposed to announce on Saturday, but I thought my litttle grandson would get a kick out of drawing the winning name from my lucky leprechan hat when he came for his Sunday visit.  He did think it was great fun to draw out a name. In fact he had so much fun that he wanted to draw out two names.  What kind of Grandma would I be to disappoint the little guy by saying no?  So the two lucky leprechan winners are: 

Vicki T.  who chose Starflower and Pretty Petals
Lisa Cox who chose Triangle Tricks and Grandma Chessie's China
Congratulations to both of you.     Yipppee!  Hooray!  Awesome!

Please send me your-mailing address so I can ship your patterns this week.