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Monday, December 26, 2022

To Do Tuesday 12-27-22 - My Final TDT Linky Party!

Welcome to To Do Tuesday on this last Tuesday of 2022! Did you have a wonderful Christmas? Do you have New Year's Eve plans? Our plans are to celebrate a belated Christmas with The Littles when our daughter brings them on New Year's Eve.

Carol accepting To Do Tuesday hosting responsibilities from me

Today is my final post as host for To Do Tuesday. I will continue to participate as Carol from Quilt Schmilt - For The Love of Fabric signs on as new host starting next Tuesday!

Roseanne from Home Sewn By Us and Sharon from Five Shadows - Sew. Stitch. Smile. were kind enough to give me some background on the history of To Do Tuesday. This weekly linkup was first hosted by Christine at Stitch All The Things. Sharon recalled that Christine previously had some kind of "sewing room tools" linkup prior to the To Do Tuesday weekly party. In 2019 Roseanne assumed TDT hosting until 2021 when Chris of Chris Knits volunteered. We thank them both for their weekly inspiration and fun posts! I started hosting in 2021, and now lovely Carol will become a  part of TDT history!

I want to thank each of you for your kindness to me, your patience with my occasional tardiness, and the enthusiasm with which you post each week! I have loved "meeting" all of you, and getting to read your blog posts each week has been an honor as well as an inspiration (or I should say "squirrel-spiration"). I will continue to participate in as many weekly linkups as possible - it's just fun, right?

Christmas Eve dinner with our daughter!

Some of my RSC blocks destined to be a wildly scrap-patchy quilt

Now on to the business of the day! Last week my simple goals were:
✅1. Give the RBD quilt to my great-niece to take to my nephew at Christmas, and write a post about it. - Done and posted here - I handed it off to Kari who took it to Oklahoma on Christmas Day. My nephew texted me that he literally gasped when he saw it - that just made my day!
✅2. Enjoy a great Christmas with my husband and daughter. - YES! We ate at a restaurant on Christmas Eve and enjoyed a quiet, wonderful Christmas day together.
✅3. Play in my sewing room - maybe work on the Christmas quilt - lol! - I spent yesterday in my room - pulled out some of my RSC blocks to try to make into a quilt.

This week my playlist is:
1. Make my block for the 2023 SAHRR! 
2. Pick out fabrics for the 2023 RBD Block Challenge.
3. Work on UFOs

Bonnie asked me about the Riley Blake Designs Block Challenge for 2023, and you can find details right here or just click on the logo in my sidebar.

I hope you will join us by linking up your post - just click below and share with us! And don't forget to check in with Carol next Tuesday - you can find her website right here!

Happy New Year!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Kathryn at The Book Date has drawn me into her weekly book reviews linky party. This fun meet up has a following of avid readers who offer their opinions on diverse genres. It is a different kind of linkup for me, and I'm really enjoying it.

Running Stitches is the second book in the Quilting Cozy series by Carol Dean Jones. I wanted to read this book because I enjoyed the first one so much. You can find my review of that one - Tie Died - right here. I actually began making notes for this review while I was reading the book, which is a practice I would like to continue.

In the first book the main character, Sarah Miller, a widow in her 60s, has reluctantly moved to a retirement community. She meets and makes new friends, has a budding romance, learns to quilt, and is involved with the police in solving a murder mystery.

The second book is a continuation of the same storyline, and Sarah is again involved with "helping" the police find an escaped prisoner, Andy, who happens to be a friend of hers and whose fate was determined in Tie Died. Sarah is in contact with Andy several times, and unbelievably has police approval to communicate with him! Andy has a missing daughter and ostensibly escaped to search for her. He has to go into hiding, so Sarah is intent on helping him by finding his daughter.

When she isn't involved with Andy and his problems, she is learning about and making quilt blocks and is making a special quilt for her friend Charles. He is basically the perfect man for her, but she is hesitant to let her feelings deepen because she feels loyal to her late husband (even though he died 20+ years ago!)

Throughout the story are other characters, and there had been indications that the author was going to delve more deeply into some of their lives - one in particular named Ruth. Even though this was done with an awkward jump in the middle of the story, the character is a likable one, and the detour to her backstory actually brought tears to my eyes.

I have difficulty understanding Sarah's loyalty to and affection for her friend Andy. In the first book, the storyline centered around his "death"/disappearance/and eventual conviction of a crime, with Sarah taking risks for him that made no sense to me, especially since his character was so poorly developed. Other than helping Sarah learn how to use a computer and a couple of friendly conversations, there was little to explain her loyalty to him. In this book, she again takes risks for Andy and ultimately assists him in his return to prison with basically no consequences. Yep, it's fiction!

I enjoyed several things about this series, such as the references to quilting, her adorable rescued dog Barney, the town setting with a cute quilt shop, and the camaraderie between the characters. But when I start being annoyed with characters, I can tell it is time for me to stop reading this series!

I am currently into a light read called Snow Bells Christmas by De-Ann Black.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Majestic! - Riley Blake Designs Challenge Quilt

Here is my finally finished 2022 Riley Blake Design Block Challenge quilt - Majestic! It is destined for my nephew, who loves to hunt. Gary was born to my oldest brother and his wife when I was 8 years old, so he has always seemed more like a little brother to me. Gary and his family live in Oklahoma, not far from the town where we both grew up. I made a quilt for his wife Shelli back in 2016, and you can read about that here. Gary is the father of Cory, whose wedding quilt I recently made, detailed here.

Pinned to my design board
I really like the blocks presented for the RBD quilt-alongs, and I also made a quilt for last year's challenge, posted here. It is a fun challenge for me because I enjoy the format of one block per week for three weeks, then one week off, and I like almost all the blocks presented by various bloggers. All the fabric requirements and block patterns are parked on one page and easily accessible. It is a well-run QAL, in my opinion. And the next RBD Block Challenge begins on January 3 - details right here!

After finishing the blocks, I was undecided about a layout. I had purchased this deer panel for the back, but after fussing a bit with a layout, I decided to let it be front center and place the blocks around it. I think he looks majestic, hence the name of the quilt. Everything was just too "square", so I decided to set the blocks on point with some dark brown Grunge as setting triangles. This increased the block size from 10-1/4 to 14-1/2 and made for a larger quilt - and that was fine with me.

I wish I had changed out one block - the second one from the left - and redone it with more contrast.

Once the blocks were finished, I needed sashing to make the dark blocks pop. I added 2-inch strips of the background fabric, Decostitch in Cloud, between blocks and around the panel. I had to order more fabric from Fat Quarter Shop (which is here in Texas and came a little faster!)

While I waited, I coaxed Toby off the backing fabric and pieced a backing. that I had purchased from That's So Janice, the Etsy shop of  Janice at Color, Creating, and Quilting. Janice carries older and out of print fabrics for very reasonable prices, and I got 6 yards of this soft paisley flannel for $6.00/yard!

For quilting, I decided on a design that is less dense and fits right into the theme of the quilt - Maple Leaves. Once I finished, I wish I had found a variegated thread to blend, but I am still pleased with the overall effect. I did make mistakes with positioning, and in one spot two of the leaves were about an inch off. I showed it to my husband, and he laughed and said in all his life he had never even looked at the quilting on a quilt and that no one but me would notice! So I left it as is and simply corrected the next row, and he's right - I don't notice it!

My husband suggested the flannel backing as binding, and it turned out to be the perfect choice!

I decided to go ahead and launder it, to make it crinkly and to make sure none of the red fabrics on some of the blocks faded (they didn't). Toby jumped right up afterward and slept there for 2 hours! Gary's daughter (who lives about 20 miles from me) will deliver both The Wedding Quilt as well as this quilt to my nephew when she drives to Oklahoma for Christmas later this week.

Quilt Details:
Front fabrics:
"Close Encounter" panel, artwork by Jack Paluh for Marshall Dry Goods
Decostitch Elements in Cloud by Art Gallery
Various fabrics from stash
Hot Cocoa Grunge by Basic Grey for Moda

Backing and binding:
Vintage flannel paisley by Peter Pan Fabrics

Superior Threads So Fine
Piecing: #503 Genoa Gray and #402 Pearl, both 50 wt
Quilting: #402 Pearl
Binding: #425 Brown Sugar

Quilt Pantograph
Maple  Leaves from Urban Elementz

Finished size:
65" by 83" before laundering
63" by 78" after laundering

I am linking up with Joy's Monday This and That and Melva's Sew and Tell!
Monday, December 19, 2022

To Do Tuesday 12-20-22

It's that time of the week again - To Do Tuesday! Can you believe the next TDT will be after Christmas?!! f this is your first time, you are welcomed with open arms, and we hope you will share with us today. Just click on the link below to add your post to the party. If you need more information, just click on the Christmasy couple above.

I have a very exciting announcement to make:
Our new TDT host will be:
Carol of Quilt Schmilt - For The Love of Fabric !!

Carol is a pattern tester, quilt designer, and a teacher at her local Guild. She resides in British Columbia, Canada, and posts some beautiful scenery on her header each week. I know she will be a magnificent host, and we will be so happy to support her as she adds To Do Tuesdays' host to her weekly activities. Thank you Carol - we can't wait to link up with you!!

Mom and Daddy while they were dating, in the early 1930s

Yesterday was my parents' wedding anniversary. Mom and Daddy were married on a very cold night in 1935. They met when Mom was on break from her teaching job in Missouri and visiting her Dad in northern Oklahoma. Daddy was standing on a porch reading a newspaper when she walked by, and apparently their glance at one another was pretty electric. They were introduced later that week in Sunday school, and the rest is history. Their love story has enchanted me from the first time I heard it. Daddy passed away in 1982, three months before their 47th anniversary, and we lost Mom in 2010. I miss them both every single day, but especially during the Christmas season. All of us have someone we miss during this season don't we?

Christmas is coming!

What are your plans for Christmas? We will celebrate Christmas with our daughter. She will be alone for Christmas because her ex will have The Littles for several days. She will drive to our house after the 11:00am Christmas Eve communion at her church, and we will take her to eat at a restaurant we love. It will be very cold this week, so watching movies under a blanket is our plan, then we will have "Sammies and Jammies" on Christmas Day - a simple sandwich and dips menu in our PJs!

Laney at The Nutcracker in her pretty gray dress and boots, with a fancy purse!

Jenni, Laney, and me at The Nutcracker!

Here was my simple list of goals for last week:
✅1. RBD quilt sandwiched and quilted - It is on the frame and I am halfway quilting it!
✅2. Meet Jenni and Delaney on Sunday to go see The Nutcracker! -Yes - we had seats three rows back from the stage - it was marvelous! We forgot to have someone take a full length photo of us 😔

My playlist for the coming week:
1. Give the RBD quilt to my great-niece to take to my nephew at Christmas, and write a post about it.
2. Enjoy a great Christmas with my husband and daughter.
3. Play in my sewing room - maybe work on the Christmas quilt - lol!

Now it's time to add your post, then go visit a few blogs and leave a comment. If you see a post from Marsha's of Marsha's Spot and have issues accessing her website, just copy this URL and past it into your browser:  

Merry Christmas!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Monday, December 12, 2022

To Do Tuesday 12-13-22

It is time for To Do Tuesday - the day we share our accomplishments and give our friends a pat on the back! If you are wanting to join in but don't think you have enough to share, well think again - we like to read about your plans and dreams no matter how big or how small, no matter if it is a quilt or a photo or a recipe or a trip you've taken. Please click on the couple above if you need more information. The linkup is at the end of this post!


December 27 will be my last post as To Do Tuesday host. If you would like to be the linkup manager starting in January, please let me know before Christmas so I can make the announcement. If no one steps forward, there are other linkups during the week where you might consider posting. Here are just a few, and I apologize if I overlooked one - please let me know if I did and I will update the list. Once I started listing them I was surprised at how many there are!

Melva's Sew & Tell

Toby is testing the flannel backing for the RBD quilt

My goals for last week:
✅1. RBD quilt - Flimsy is almost finished - Had to reorder fabric (got it today- yay!) for the final outer sashing; backing is pieced and ready to go!
✅2. Gather plaids for Christmas quilt! - Done
✅3. Evening needlework - Most nights I am stitching
✅4. Christmas decorations - Done
✅5. Babysit Little Everett while older sister Delaney goes to a birthday party on Saturday - Plans changed and The Littles went to their Daddy's house for the weekend, so we met Jenni at the grocery store instead and shopped!
My playlist for the coming week:
1. RBD quilt sandwiched and quilted
2. Meet Jenni and Delaney on Sunday to go see The Nutcracker!

Now it is your turn to share - link up your post and go give someone a pat on the back or find your squirrel-spiration for the week! If you have issues accessing Marsha's Spot, copy this URL and paste it into your browser:   

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Thursday, December 8, 2022

2022 Virtual Christmas Cookie Exchange - Last Day!

The 2022 Virtual Christmas Cookie Exchange ends today! A big thank-you to Carol at Just Let Me Quilt for hosting!. If you have missed the past few days, you are still in luck - here is a list of the blogs participating today. Click on the links and go and have a look - you might just find a gift idea or two!
Wednesday, December 7, 2022

2022 Virtual Christmas Cookie Exchange - My Day!

It is Day 3 of the 2022 Virtual Christmas Cookie Exchange, and today is my day along with six other bloggers - see below for a list of others participating today and tomorrow. A big thank you to Carol at Just Let Me Quilt for hosting this annual fun event! Today I am sharing rag edged Christmas stockings and two recipes, so grab a cup of hot cocoa and come on in!

Rag edged Christmas stockings for my daughter and The Littles!

My daughter often sparks my creative juices, and she recently asked me if I could make Christmas stockings like some she had seen on Amazon. This is her first Christmas as a single Mom, and I know she wants to make Christmas as homey and fun for The Littles as she possibly can, so I said "Yes I can make those for you!"

Stockings pictured on my 2021 SAHRR quilt

The company that carries the stockings is Jubilee Fabric. They also sell homespun fabric, so I ordered a yard of each of Jenni's choices, downloaded a pattern, and got busy.

I cut two pieces each for the front and back, sewed a piece of batting in between each, then quilted a simple crosshatch using variegated King Tut Holly and Ivy by Superior Threads.

I have never made a rag edged quilt and was glad to find instructions on their website on how to fray their homespun fabric. Front and back were sewn together with 5/8 inch seams. I clipped the edges with scissors every 1/2 inch, taking care not to cut into the seam. The instructions were to launder the stocking in order to agitate the edges to fray. I was nervous about the fabric shrinking too much, so I only wetted the edges and tossed the stockings into the dryer on delicate. There are still some un-frayed pieces, but all in all the edges frayed pretty well, and it has the "rag" look I was seeking. They were so easy to make!

I bought three designs of 1" wooden buttons, and  one will be sewn on each stocking after my daughter decides which of the three she likes best. She will hang a wooden initial letter on each button, and I hope to post an updated photo with them on her fireplace mantel!

Chocolate Toffee Bar

Today I am sharing a toffee bar recipe I first made in 2012. I found the recipe on Lynda's Recipe Box and showed my husband the photo. Twenty minutes later they were in the oven - lol! These bars have a buttery crust and a layer of caramel in between the crust and the chocolate topping. The original calls for 1 cup of chocolate chips but I use the whole 12 oz package (of course!). If you do not use salted butter (my preference in baking), be sure to add a pinch of salt to the crust and to the caramel. I use dark brown sugar, but you can use light brown sugar.

Chocolate Pecan Toffee Bars
2 cups flour
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup salted butter
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped

Caramel layer:
2/3 cup salted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1 - 12oz bag milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup toasted pecans, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place crust ingredients in food processor and process until fine crumbs form. Pour into an ungreased 9x13 inch baking pan and pack very firmly and evenly to form crust.

Cook caramel layer ingredients in saucepan over low to medium heat until mixture begins to boil. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Pour over crust. Bake 18-22 minutes, until entire caramel layer is bubbly. Do not over bake. Remove from oven and sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips. Let set for 2-3 minutes, then spread melted chocolate chips with knife or offset spatula. Sprinkle with chopped pecans, pressing nuts gently into chocolate. Let cool completely before cutting into bars.

Hash Brown Casserole

I decided to share a "savory" recipe too, just in case you need something to balance the sweet! If you want a good breakfast casserole for Christmas morning, this cheesy crumb-topped one is your recipe - it is tried and true at my house. You can find the recipe here on my Recipes page. I have made it for my family and for large crowds at church, and every last bit is always scraped out of the pan. We like it with sausage - my favorite is maple sausage - but it is good without meat too.

Click on these links today and tomorrow and see some fun Christmas projects and recipes! I've already found so much squirrel-spiration and yummy recipes!

Monday, December 5, 2022

To Do Tuesday 12-6-22

Welcome to the first To Do Tuesday in December! Can you hear my silent scream of desperation? 😲 Happens every year, so I might as well face the fact I will not finish everything I intended to get done for Christmas. How are you faring this month? Please let us know by adding your post to the linky below, and share with all of us your December plans. If you need more information, click on the couple in the To Do Tuesday logo above.

The 2022 Virtual Christmas Cookie Exchange hosted by Carol at Just Let Me Quilt began yesterday! Below is a list of participants for today through December 8. Go visit some blogs and grab a new recipe and some holiday inspiration!

December 6


Just Sew Quilter

Ms P Designs USA


Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life
Stitchin At Home


December 7



Patchouli Moon Studio

Texas Quilt Gal - that's me!

Pinker n' Punkin Quilting & Stitching

Needled Mom

Quilted Delights


December 8

Just Let Me Quilt


Songbird Designs

Patchwork Breeze

Quilt Schmilt

Homespun Hannah's Blog

Happy Cottage Quilter

Here were my goals for last week:
✅1. Virtual Christmas Cookie Exchange project - My day is December 7! - Done and my post is scheduled for tomorrow!
❌2. Gail's Fall 2022 Scrappy Mystery project - I have reluctantly given up on this one.
✅3. RBD quilt - Although no sewing, I have finally chosen a sashing!
✅4. Evening needlework  - Still working on Christmas projects!

Magazine photo of Classic Comforts by Wendy Sheppard of Ivory Spring

I want to make myself a Christmas quilt! I love this pattern by Wendy Sheppard. It is in Quilts and More Winter 2022, and I purchased the back issue magazine on eBay. I have no idea if I will actually finish it before Christmas, but it will be a fun project!

Playlist for this coming week:
1. RBD quilt
2. Gather plaids for Christmas quilt! - See photo above
3. Evening needlework
4. Christmas decorations
5. Babysit Little Everett while older sister Delaney goes to a birthday party on Saturday

And now it time for you to share! We want to see what you are making, reading, eating, photographing, etc! Just click on the link below and add your post to the 25+ bloggers who join us each week. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

2022 Virtual Christmas Cookie Exchange Begins Today!

The 2022 Virtual Christmas Cookie Exchange begins today! Carol at Just Let Me Quilt is the host, and she has made it so fun and very easy to participate. Below is a list of participants for today through December 8 - just click on the links for some holiday inspiration and recipes and get your Christmas spirit on!

Monday, November 28, 2022

To Do Tuesday 11-29-22 . . . And Some News

Good morning and welcome to To Do Tuesday, where we share what is going on in our creative spaces. Last week there were 32 bloggers who linked up! If you are new to TDT, please click on the couple above for more information about how to join us. The linkup is at the end of this post.

First of all, some very sad news. Carolyn of Quarter Inch Capers by Carolyn lost her husband Bill on Thanksgiving Day. I was so sorry to read about this on her blog. She was OK with me announcing it here today. You can find her blog post right here, in case you want to express your condolences.

MY NEWS: I have been the To Do Tuesday "host" since September 2021. This has been a very rewarding role for me, because I have made so many new friends, and the squirrel-spiration is incredible! Lately I have found myself thinking frequently about stepping down to have more sewing time and less time spent online. When I feel "prompts" like that, I have learned to listen to myself. So with that in mind, my last day to host To Do Tuesday will be December 27, 2022. Let me know by December 26 if you would like to become the new TDT host so I can make the announcement. Also please contact others you think might be interested in hosting.

The "duties" consist of preparing a weekly post with a linkup to be published by late Monday or early Tuesday. There are no "rules" about visiting blogs, but I think every person who links up deserves a visit and a comment. I use Inlinkz as the host - a free platform for linkups, and creating a linkup is easy and fully described here on their website. If you prefer another platform, feel free to use it. If you have any questions, contact me using the Email Me form in my sidebar.

23 year old Brandon wearing 6 year old Delaney's pink backpack!

Fun times!

How was your holiday celebration last week? Ours was just delightful and went by SO fast. The food was plentiful and well eaten, and the kids enjoyed the ping-pong table and dartboard we put up in the garage. It rained most of the day, so we were unable to enjoy the back yard, but we played cards and watched football and snacked and nibbled right up until bed time!

Fabrics ready for Virtual Cookie Exchange project

Here was my list for last week:
✅1. Get ready for our son and family as well as our daughter and The Littles coming on Thanksgiving Day! - Everything was done and ready, and we had a wonderful time!
❌2. Work on Gail's Fall 2022 Scrappy Mystery SAL - I have fallen behind
✅3. Work on Virtual Christmas Cookie Exchange project - Cut out and ready to put together
✅4. Evening needlework - I had something under my needle several nights
❌5. RBD quilt - The only "progress" is putting back the blocks that Toby pulls off the design board

Remember, the Virtual Christmas Cookie Exchange starts next week!
Go to Carol's blog Just Let Me Quilt on December 5 and find the schedule

And here is the plan for this coming week - pretty much "rinse and repeat":
1. Virtual Christmas Cookie Exchange project - My day is December 7!
2. Gail's Fall 2022 Scrappy Mystery project
3. RBD quilt
4. Evening needlework

Now it's time to share with us - link up your post and go visit some other blogs for your weekly inspiration. If you are having issues with accessing Marsha's Spot, copy this URL and paste it into your browser:

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter