Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Updates on my QR and Starburst Quilts

I'm going to try to keep this post short. 
I've been remiss in posting the last week because one of my doctors has started me on aquatic therapy to try to gain back my strength and endurance and it is kicking my BUTT!  :)

I am slowly starting to have more energy - woo hoo!  And all my extra energy has been going into trying to get my quilts finished for the quilt show in March.

My QR code quilt is quilted and just needs a binding but I don't want to show any glorious pictures of it until it's finished.  But I couldn't stand it, so here:

 I chose my favorite Organic Wave quilting pattern and I think it turned out great. 

I have my Giant Starburst Quilt top finished and I'm working on piecing the back.  I'd like to get it quilted this weekend or if a magic fairy gives me a lot of energy - by Friday.  This quilt was my finishing goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes for February and honestly, I don't think I have any chance in getting it completely finished by Friday.  I think I should have made my February goal less optomistic.  Guess is will be rolling over for March.  :(
But it looks great, yes?

And now in other news, introducing our Christmas cactus that is in full bloom.  (and Sparky the cat)

We have had this thing for about 5 years or more and the last time it bloomed was when I brought it home from the store.  It spent years 2, 3, and 4 looking almost dead.  Then last January, I put it in our bathroom and suddenly, it started growing and getting fuller.
Then this happened.
It still has more blooms on it that haven't popped open.  Who knew?
**Linking up to Fabric Tuesday and WIP Wednesday**

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Pioneer Woman's Easy Calzones - A Recipe

I accidentally came across one of Ree Drummond's shows  (The Pioneer Woman) on the Food Network so I stopped to watch.  I knew who she was from her blog but had just never taken the time to watch her show.  On this particular episode, she was making Easy Calzones.  Well, my family loves calzones and the best place in town that had them, closed recently.  As I watched her show, I realized that these really did seem like easy calzones.  You use frozen yeast bread loaves as the bread and everything else is just pizza stuff.

Since then, I've made these 2 times and both times they were eaten very quickly - even the leftover ones.  Here is part of my last batch.  I'm dreadful at taking food pictures.  The ones on the Pioneer Woman website are way better.

Here is the recipe.  If you are visual, she does a step by step in pictures on her blog here.


  • 16 whole Frozen, Unrisen Dinner Rolls (I Use Rhodes) Note: Can Also Use Frozen Bread Loaves.
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Diced
  • 1 pound Breakfast Or Italian Sausage
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 15 ounces, fluid Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1-1/2 cup Grated Mozzarella Cheese
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • Black Pepper To Taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • Marinara Sauce, For Serving
  • 1 whole Egg Beaten

Preparation Instructions

Place frozen rolls (or frozen bread loaves) on a baking sheet to thaw. Cover with a tea towel and let thaw and rise for 2 to 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and allow to cook for a couple of minutes. Add sausage and cook until brown, crumbling the sausage as you stir. Add Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Remove from pan and allow to cool on a plate.
In a separate bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, eggs, salt, pepper, and parsley. When sausage is cool, stir it in. Set aside.
When rolls are thawed and risen, roll them out on a lightly floured surface until paper thin. Spoon 3-4 tablespoons (approximately) filling onto half of the dough circle. Fold half of the dough over itself, then press edges to seal.
*Note: If you want a larger calzone, use frozen bread loaves and use about 1/4 to 1/3 of the loaf for each calzone.
Brush surface of calzone with beaten egg, then bake for 10-13 minutes, or until nice and golden brown. Serve with warm marinara sauce.

 One of mine on a purple plate - someday I'll take better food pictures.

The longest part of this recipe is cooking the sausage.  These are so easy and they taste so good. 
I don't make my own marinara.  We use Bertolli brand and they have several flavors, all of which are delicious.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Finishes - Quilt Guild Challenge Blocks

First, I'd like to say Happy Valentine's Day!
Now that that's out of the way, lets get down to business.  My local quilt guild is having a quilt show in March.  Our challenge blocks were due this week and so I thought I'd show them for my Friday finish.

We were given two fabrics.  They are both from the Mama Said Sew line from Moda.  The "sew" text fabric was to be used for the background and the circle fabric had to be used somewhere in the block.  We could add in our own fabrics and we didn't have to use all the circle fabric, just some.
So, here is my first block.  It's the practice block from the 2013 Lucky Stars BOM from Elizabeth Dackson's Don't Call Me Betsy blog.
 Our quilt show theme this year is a modern theme.  Our instructions with our fabric were to think outside the box.  I think I did that pretty well.
 I didn't want to use red in my block, so when I was paper piecing this, I cut all of the red out.  I just used the gray, cream, and black part of my circle fabric.  Also, I used the "sew" text fabric for the background just like I was suppose to, just not the only background.  I also used this bar code fabric from Zen Chic.  
I love those little aqua elephants from Michael Miller.

Here is block number two.  It's called Strippy Spool and it is a tutorial block on the Persimmon Dreams blog.
This time I did use the red - just a lot of other red with it.  And I added the green to make it really pop.  I love the Bobbins and Bits line by Pat Bravo that this green fabric is from.  The other reds are fabrics from my stash.
Once again, I thought outside the box when I ran out of the "sew" text fabric.  I didn't have enough to make the HST blocks in the corners.  So, I used this other cream and black text print that I already had.  I did briefly consider driving across town to my LQS to buy more of the "sew" text fabric but to be honest, it's not my favorite fabric and I didn't want to be stuck with leftovers.
So, there you have it.  Now I just need to quilt two quilts and sew hanging sleeves on 4 quilts and I'll be all ready for the quilt show.  Ack!!  Wish me luck!

*Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts and My Quilt Infatuation**

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

EtsyMom Team Valentine's Treasure Hunt

The EtsyMom Team is having a Valentine's Day Treasure Hunt and ANYONE can participate.  You do not have to be a team member!

We have 8 shops that have hidden a Valentine's themed icon in ONE of their listings. You will be looking for the following icons:

The first 3 people to find all 8 hidden icons (their listing URL) correctly will win a fabulous prize so generously donated by some of our terrific team members. The hunt runs till Midnight on Saturday so feel free to come back and search again when you have time. When you find the listing, email the URLs to etsymomteam@gmail.com. You can submit all of them at one time, or come back each time you find one.

Here are the shops -


ANYONE is eligible to win – not just EtsyMoms! So tell your friends, family, and make sure to promote it on facebook, your blogs, twitter, wherever! If you are having trouble finding the icons, check in the sold items too! The icon may be hidden in one of the listings that sells before the hunt is over.

Winners will be announced and notified next week.

Contest runs from February 10th until  February 15th at Midnight!  You can't win if you don't play!
Check out the EtsyMom Team blog for questions or more details!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Finish it up Friday - Saturday Sampler BOM's

I've mentioned the Saturday Sampler before on my blog.  It's a neat thing one of my local quilt shops does to showcase new products for their customers.  They also have show and tell (of course!) and you can participate in a BOM if you would like.  This year she had to have a sign up list with a limited number of spaces because she can only fit about 120 or so chairs into the classroom.  It is packed every time.  Pretty good huh? 

So, my finish for today is my 12 quilt blocks for 2013 Saturday Sampler BOM.  Yes, I really did just finish them.  I held on to December's block all this time because I just didn't have time before to do it.  Plus one of the blocks that I had done - and I wrote a tutorial for here (the Honey Bee Block) - I redid it because I didn't like the dark red fabric.  It was just too dark for me.
 The blue, yellow and white block in the lower left corner is my redone Honey Bee Block.  These fabrics are all batiks with a white muslin background.
Do any of these blocks stand out to you?  The one in the top left corner of this last picture stands out to me.  The block is called Spinner but I'm not crazy about that fabric.  Looking at all the blocks together, I realize that there are only about 3 where I used the fabric that was given to us for the block and didn't substitute my own.  The Spinner is one of them but I may end up redoing it.  

I have one more finish.  My January 2014 Saturday Sampler BOM.  The Barbara Fritchie Star.

We were given the pink floral fabric and muslin for the background but I chose to use this Allison Glass text print as my background fabric for all of my blocks for this year.  I'm really proud of how well this block turned out.
**Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts and My Quilt Infatuation**

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Giant Starburst Quilt

At the end of last year, Canoe Ridge Creations blog posted a quilt along for a giant starburst quilt.  I loved her finished quilt and wanted to join the QAL right away but I had too much Christmas sewing still to do.  :(
 However, I did go ahead and buy the fabric amounts that were stated in the requirements.  I chose 4 solids that are all Kona Cottons.  They are turquoise, chartreuse, mulberry and corn yellow.  The white fabric is a text print called Poppy Patio from Jill Finley for Henry Glass fabrics.  It's a very subtle text print.

As soon as I could after the new year, I started this quilt.  I'm hoping to have the top finished by February 13th which is the last day to enter into our local quilt show.  You have until March to actually finish the quilt so keep your finger's crossed that I can finish the top by next week.
This is what I have so far.
I just need to do the half square triangle squares and then sew it all together.  It's going to end up being 60" x 60".  I know you can't tell scale by looking at this pic.

I love it so far.  
I'll keep you posted.

P.S.  I've decided to participate in A Lovely Year of Finishes hosted by Shanna of Fiber of All Sorts and Melissa of Sew Bittersweet Designs.  The idea behind A Lovely Year of Finishes is to set goals each month and then try to complete your goal.  If you do, and you link back up with their linky parties, you can win a prize.  But more importantly, you have finished something and that always feels great!

So my goal for February is to complete the quilt top, sandwich, baste, quilt and bind my Giant Starburst Quilt.
 *linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and a Lovely Year of Finishes goal linky party.*

Monday, February 3, 2014

Fabric Stash and a Broken New Year's Resolution

See, this is why I don't make New Year's resolutions.  You're just setting yourself up for a fall.  Or at least I am.

Back during the first of January, I resolved to not buy any new fabric until February.  It lasted a week.  I have now stomped on that resolution, then I drove over it with my car until it was dead, dead, dead.

My in-laws were kind enough to give me a gift certificate for $75 to Pink Chalk Fabrics for Christmas.  Last week, I decided to use my gift certificate.  I resolved to use my common sense and buy "blender" fabrics that I've been wanting for awhile.  And so I did.
Take a look at my new lovelies!

Pearl Bracelets by Lizzy House and Bike Path fabric by Allison Glass
True Colors by Heather Bailey and Joel Dewberry
some random fabrics including Tula Pink, Allison Glass, Robert Kaufman
and finally, a copy of this magazine Patchwork and Quilting Love from the UK that all the bloggers have been raving about.  I've been wanting to buy an issue for awhile but it's $12 American and that's a little pricey.  It has to be something I know is good for me to shell out that kind of dough.  Although, issue 4 which just came out, has a copy of the pattern for Maureen Cracknell's butterfly quilt.  I can't wait to get that one just for that pattern.

So, now you're thinking, "how did she get all that fabric and a magazine for $75?".  Well, I might have spent more than my gift certificate.  Those are really just guidelines anyway, right?

Then, right after this happened, fabric.com had an extra 20% off the already reduced price sale.  Sigh.
I haven't gotten that package yet.