Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Happy Week Between Holidays!

Hello everyone from the frozen north! I have been absent in blogland and am way behind in finding out what everyone is doing. I am in Michigan visiting family this week and am very happy to be on a mini-vacation from work and work. It is COLD here and this Georgia girl has been wrapped up in quilts that I gifted my parents previously and trying to keep warm. (Note: this is a great tip, send quilts to where you visit and then visit your quilts:)

I arrived here on Christmas night after working at SBux and thankfully did not fly into Detroit and get caught up in the aftermath of Mr. Attempted Terrorist. Of course now one person has yet again ruined air travel for everyone else in the world. I still curse the shoe bomber for making me take my shoes off and walk around on dirty floors.... S. predicts that we will not be able to wear civilian clothes on airplanes anymore and that TSA will issue everyone Homeland Security Snuggies (remember you heard it here first!). Anyway...

I'm having a nice visit here with family and spent about two days sewing with mom. I brought Bonnie Hunter's "Double Delight" to work on and also a super easy jelly roll quilt so I alternate between millions of 3 1/2" square-in-a-square blocks and easy jelly roll blocks. Am also having fun visiting Princess Shiloh, my parents Alaskan malamute, and my nephew dog Jack, my brother and SIL's Siberian husky. Jack remembers me because I bring him fancy dog biscuits--this time it's organic pumpkin and apple cookies.

Before I forget, the cats had a great Christmas and loved their presents from purrfectplay.com. Edgar Poe squeaked by on the "good" list and received little catnip mice to throw around.

Happy Tuesday! Catch up with everyone soon!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! Hope everyone is enjoying the day.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Twas the Day Before Christmas

...and the kitties were napping as usual. Here is Stella, Gomez, and Morpheus who like to nap together when they are not sleeping on the heat vents. I think Edgar Poe is still trying to convince Santa that he was good this year.....

Hope everyone has a great day today. I am off to SBux to make gingerbread lattes.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Most Tiring Time of the Year...

Not much holiday stuff going on here. Just working many many many hours at Starbucks and looking ahead to a week of many many many more hours that's about it. This year seems to be a bit harder than others. I think most businesses are cutting back on staff due to the economy yet still expect high sales goals. Please be kind to retail and food service workers out there...

Saturday was our Silver Thimble Quilt Club. I worked on my December BOMs and a gift quilt. I haven't even unpacked my stuff since then so I'll show photos later. I worked every night last week so didn't have time to make cookies for the cookie swap and I left a little early, really wanting a nap more than anything.

Today more SBux and another nap. Fun times! Anyway, I am glad I stocked up on some quick dinner options so when I'm too tired to cook there's some half-way decent food around.
Tonight it was dinner from Ikea!
I love Ikea's restaurant--it's so reasonable. So tonight it was meatballs with lingonberry jam, rice, and frozen petite peas. Next time I'm there, I'll get a couple bags to stash in the freezer.

Well blog posts may be sparse. Hope everyone is having a great holiday season. Sort of wish I was snowed in with the rest of the east coast. I would love to go sledding!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dear Santa

Dear Santa: I should have known that the Fat Quarter Shop girls had an "in" with you because both you and Kimberly know a lot about wish lists.

Santa, you know that I often wish for things that don't come in a box like world peace, an end to global warming, more ice for the polar bears, more hunter-free territory for the tigers, loving homes for all homeless pets, food for the hungry and affordable health care for all. Kimberly knows that my wish list often is sent in a box, brought by the UPS man, and opened with glee.

Another thing you have in common is that you visit good boys and girls once a year at night and my credit card visits the Fat Quarter Shop at night once... OK more than once...alright let's just say several times a year.

Now Santa, some people may say that I have enough fabric (in fact I sometimes say this too). Other people (like S....) say I have way too much fabric (I'm not sure he is a good judge of this however). I promise I have been good this year and if some people say I have been naughty, well, that's just their opinion now isn't it.

If there is a chance that I do not have enough fabric and you really would be a good judge because if anyone knows that you can't have too much of a good thing it is you Santa (and Kimberly!), any one of these is what I would love to find in my stocking this year (P.S. I have a really big stocking so don't worry about that)

1. Simple Abundance jelly roll

Santa, you know I am addicted to jelly rolls but one more wouldn't be too much; I would just have a simple abundance of jelly rolls:)

2. Shirtings fat quarter bundle
Santa this would be something to share. Five of my sewing friends and I are doing a reproduction fabric swap in January. These fat quarters would look great in our quilts.

3. Eva jelly roll
Remember how I love jelly rolls. I don't have this one either. Just so you know.
But if you think I do have too many jelly rolls, this line comes in layer cakes too. I'm just saying.

And because I am such a GOOD girl, I'll share the post with my bloggy friends too.
Love and cookies and jelly rolls,

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Invading Bad Melisa's

Yesterday, Becky, Karin, Kristie, Cindi, and I invaded Sweet Home Quilt Co. for a day of sewing. It's so much fun getting together with friends and spending the day not doing holiday stuff. Melisa was so nice to let us take over the second floor of the shop! I think we all got a little bit of sewing done and a lot more talking and laughing. A couple of people came upstairs to see what all the laughter was about.
Here is half of the table--featherweights, coffee, and fabric everywhere.
Cindi was working on a nicely aged project (how old was this again???)

Kristie was working on hand applique. She does the most beautiful embroidery and applique I have ever seen.
I liked this project so much, I just had to hunt down the fabric and get it too. Maybe now that she is almost out of school, she'll have time to make mine too (hee hee). The best part of hanging out all day at a quilt shop is the shopping breaks. I bought a few odds & ends just because I was there.

We also planned a new swap project for 2010. Nothing like hitting the year with more projects :)

The weather is really icky here in the ATL area--cold and dreary and rainy. I came up with the idea that it should snow while we were there so we would get snowed in at Sweet Home. How much fun would that be--stuck in a quilt shop! We definitely wouldn't be bored!

Requested Recipes

I had a couple of requests for the Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe from the last post so I thought I would go ahead and post it for everyone. It was a big hit at Melisa's yesterday. I use unsalted butter and real sour cream (none of that non-fat stuff). I figure if you're gonna have cake, have cake but that's just me.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 c. flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
1 c. sour cream

topping: 1 c. finely shopped pecans
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon

Mix topping in a small bowl and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 9" tube or Bundt pan. Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients alternately with sour cream and mix well. Beat 3 min. at medium speed. Spread 1/2 of batter in pan then sprinkle with 1/2 of topping mix. Spread rest of batter on top and sprinkle with rest of topping mix. Bake for 55-60 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan then invert onto plate and cool completely. You can dust with confectioner's sugar or top with a glaze if you want.

Becky requested the recipe for Andes mint cookies (click the link if you want to see a photo). I love Andes mints and I found Andes mint chips again this year at Target. Every year for Christmas my brother and I would get a little box of mints and try to see who could resist eating them all in the first few days. You probably can buy a box of mints and chop them up if you can't find the chips. Here is the recipe from the back of the bag.

Andes Mint Cookies
1/2 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
2 t. vanilla
2 egg
2 2/3 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 (10oz) pkg. Andes Crème de Menthe Chips

Blend butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and mix. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in chips. Chill for a few minutes. Roll into 1 oz. balls and flatten slightly. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Makes approx. 4 doz.

Happy Baking!!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Potlucks, Cookie Swaps, and Gatherings Oh MY!

It's that most wonderful time of the year when you have to rush home from work and whip up something for a holiday party.

One big piece of advice from me--don't ever let your co-workers know you bake from scratch. You are forevermore destined to bring homemade baked goods to every party no matter how busy you are and no matter how much you would rather sign up for drinks. Trying fitting in baking between working two jobs and it's even more of a (ahem) challenge.

Second piece of advice--get thee a Kitchenaid stand mixer and a Cuisinart food processor. You will love them!

We are having an office potluck/party at my day job tomorrow so I came home and made Russian tea cakes (or Danish wedding cookies or Mexican wedding cookies or whatever other name they go by...)
I also made molasses spice cookies.
This recipe (a new one for me from the new cookbook Gourmet Today) has just about every spice in the cupboard in it--cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and allspice and is not very sweet. Yum!
Here's the finished cookies. Rolled in sugar and perfect with a cup of coffee. While I was baking away, I thought I would whip up a coffee cake for a little gathering on Saturday.
Voila! Sour cream coffee cake
A bunch of friends and I are invading Sweet Home Quilt Co. on Saturday for a day of sewing. I thought I'd bring along a cake as a thank you to Melisa for letting us take over her upstairs and to keep us in a sugar high so we can do some major sewing.

Next weekend is our Silver Thimble Quilt Club cookie swap. I still have to decide what cookies I'm going to bring. But that's next week. For now, hurry up Saturday!!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Glory Bound is Bound and Gifted

Here is Glory Bound completely done and ready to send on it's happy way as a Hanukkah gift. It's for a family that doesn't have a quilt in their house yet. Isn't it exciting! Hope they like it...
The backing and binding was from my stash and the kit was from Silver Thimble Quilt club.
Pattern is "Glory Bound" by Bonnie Blue Quilts.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hurling Through December....

December is when the year goes from busy, to hectic, to zooming around at the speed of light and doing 2 million things while trying to be cheerful about it. (it's that whole cheerful thing that's hard isn't it???).

Take a mini-break right now and hop over to Pat's blog and enter her great giveaway. She also has a very funny post. I'll wait here for you.

Back? OK now where were we? Oh yeah, ending the first week of December. On Saturday, Melisa at Sweet Home Quilt Co. had a holiday open house. I went early thinking I would beat the crowds. It was packed!!! Only a Sweet Home sale could get all these Georgia quilters out on a freezing cold morning--me included. I picked up a book called "Jelly Roll Inspirations" and some odds & ends fabric and some sale fabric. Just a wee bit. Visited with a bunch of friends and then I hightailed it home to get some sewing time in.

I did finish this top
called "Hidden Stars" from this book. The fabric is a layer cake from Barbara Brackman's Civil War Homefront line for Moda.

Did I mention it was freezing cold? A lot of places around the country had snow. It was cold enough for snow here in GA this weekend although we didn't get any in the ATL. It was 28F at 6AM this morning when I left for SBux. That is really cold for GA at the beginning of December.

The first big cold snap of the year brings swarms of people to Starbucks for hot chocolate and lattes, and everything else. The first big cold snap also is the start of the "Cats sleeping on the heat vents" season at my house.
Here is Morpheus and Gomez demonstrating why it is freezing inside my house too.

So how is your December so far?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Those last steps...

Do you find the last few steps of getting a quilt finished the most difficult? KarenDianne at LeeHaven had a couple of posts about getting 75% done and then stopping and setting the quilt project aside. I enjoyed reading the comments about the points where other quilters get stuck and knowing that we are not alone.

I seem to get stuck at the borders. Quilt top is done except for the borders. (let's not talk about the quilt tops that aren't quilted...that's for another post).

Well I had help getting borders on my Peace on Earth quilt this past weekend Who knew Gomez was so good at measuring???

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December 1st

Can it really be December already????!!!???? Hanukkah is in 11 days and Christmas in 24. Not ready. Not ready. Are you ready?

Stella is shopping the sales papers and making her list....