Category Archives: recipes

Is there a quilter who doesn’t like a good recipe?

a little of this, a little of that

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

Were you able to spend any time at your machine during our recent arctic spell? I’m working on some Dresden plates for a class, and trying to come up with a fabric adaptation of a knitted shawl pattern for myself. It’s cold in my favorite reading spot and I’m trying to find the perfect shoulder wrap. If it works, I’ll be sharing it in a demo at the shop.  I love that classic Dresden plate pattern, but not so much in the classic way–with 30’s reproductions and lace. I’ve been exploring to find other ways to use the plate or fans and have found some that are “out of the box”. I’ve made a wreath with the blades in the past, but these are beyond that. The internet is such a great source for inspiration. I started with a google image search and then just started following links. Amazing how much time goes by before you even know it. Here are two of my favorites so far. click here, or here.

I get inspired to make soup when it’s cold and blustery like it has been. Nothing quite so comforting. Here’s a good-looking recipe that I think I’m going to try soon. I’ll have to make a good list for the grocery store first. The light clam chowder version that is in the sidebar looks worth a try too. Click here for the recipe.

Heading out for a walk now with my canine companion. It will seem like a heat wave!

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looks too good to resist

Hello all, Mary Ellen again.

Was trying to catch up on my e-mail and blogs this morning and came across a photo of this recipe at Pat Sloan’s blog (our upcoming seminar teacher). (BTW have you signed up for your class yet? We’ll be mailing supply lists out soon, if you want to get yours the easy way please register this week!) Anyway this recipe really appealed to me. I have loads of fresh basil in the garden waiting for the right recipe, and have been overdosing on fresh spinach in my toss at salad bars. If you made your own bread crumbs from Fiber 1 cereal (click here), this could be a very WW friendly recipe.

Have a look at the photo and see if you can resist. click here. The text in the blog entry that goes with it is amusing too. I think the ingredients will definitely be on this week’s grocery list. Are there any other quilters out there like me, who like to eat more than to cook ? Hate to chop stuff up (that’s why I go nuts at a good salad bar) but love to enjoy the finished product. Let me know if you try this recipe out.

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kick it up a stitch

Hello all, Mary Ellen again.

I’ve been a viewer of Sewing with Nancy on PBS for many years. Now I tend to watch it on the computer instead; today I found a very humorous episode of Nancy and Mary Mulari doing a special for Wisconsin Public Television. The two of them are quite a bit more relaxed and silly than I’ve ever seen on the regular episodes. The premise is a cooking show and they do actually share some recipes, but the sewing projects are what gets kicked up. If you are a fan of Nancy’s, you’ll enjoy this.

Be sure to read Anita Grossman Solomon’s comment on the previous post!

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bits and pieces

Hi again, Mary Ellen here.

Early in my blogging adventure with you (I think at our first provider) I posted a recipe for a chocolate cake for one which was a big hit. It was one of those “recipe in a mug” concoctions that you cook in the microwave for really quick results. I’ve found another one for you! This one is a chocolate chip cookie for one-done in about 10 minutes, they say. Can anyone tell I have a tremendous sweet tooth? I never get this excited over broccoli! Here’s the recipe!

Fons and Porter are offering a free e-book of Civil War style quilt patterns if you sign up for their newsletter. One of the patterns is for a small Hummingbird/Periwinkle quilt. Here’s the spot.

While looking around for more “modern” quilting to write about, I came upon this great tote bag made for a swap the LA modern quilt guild ran. I’m not sure what it is that is so appealing since it really is a very simple bag, but it’s Darn Clever! Maybe it’s the look of the notebook paper background.  Here’s the bag.

The dryer and the oven timer both just “dinged”, so I’m off!

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Filed under antique quilts, free patterns, recipes, Uncategorized

Seminar aftermat – inspired to sew! …or sew inspired? :)

Hello everyone,

hope you are having a good Tuesday – as rainy as it is. You know, ever since I became a quilter I learned to love rainy day – it really is my favorite time to sew! Something in the sound of raindrops on the small roof right bellow my sewing room window…the rhythm? Not sure, but I just love it! And right now – there is about half a dozen projects on the pile by my sewing machine – so bring on the rain! 🙂

I wish I could be in my sewing room right now (yes, this in yet another lunch-time break post from work), for nothing like sewing puts my mind to ease…and today I am holding my breath until our daughter lands safely in Kathmandu, Nepal. She travels the world for her work and you would think I am used to it by now – NOT! I am so very proud of our girl, but my irrational, emotional,  mother’s mind is killing me during times like this! 🙂 Oh well, at least I can chat with all of you and then go back to my experiments here at work and then go to my sewing room tonight and sew ’till my mind slows down a bit and my heart stops missing her so much already (she will only be away for 6 weeks – calm down Marija!).

Ok, sorry about that little rant – let’s get back to quilting now. 🙂

My question for you – do you have a Seminar Let-Down or are you Sew Inspired after it?

I am definitely the second one! There is something about the good teacher, a room full of quilters sewing, learning, chatting a bit and a great mingle during lunch time that just fills my heart with joy and my mind with inspiration. How about you?

This year, I took a class from both Beth Ferrier (Hand Applique by Machine), and Anita Grosman-Solomon (Two-color Pineapple) and I am sooooo glad I did!  Both Beth and Anita are teachers that fall into that MOST EXCELLENT category in my book now.  Beth’s machine applique technique is now becoming my favorite way of doing it! (and I did try quite a few, trust me!). Look at all of us happy “flower girls” !

And Anita’s genius, so-well-thought-through process of cutting and sewing some of the classic (and not always easy!) blocks just blew me away! Her book, Rotary Cutting Revolution is so choke-full of amazing information, so detailed in instruction and so inspirational in color-play of her scrap quilts that it will be on my work table for a long time! Here are we all working in Anita’s class:

And when I say AMAZING method – I mean it, because ladies, all the pieces for not one, but TWO of these Pineapple blocks were cut in about 10 minutes time! Can you believe it?

In addition, both ladies are just wonderful to meet and talk to.

I really feel so grateful for the amazing treasure of our Seminar that brings these great teachers to our doorstep. How about you?

Tell us your Seminar experience!

But first – I need to use this venue to again thank our wonderful Seminar co-chairs, Mary Ellen Cannon and Jan Reiley and the entire Seminar committee for all their hard work! We all know, in theory, that it takes a lot of work to put together an event like this, but you only see really how much if you get involved. But here it the catch – it is also gratifying, learning and fun experience! So to all of you new and recent members – do jump in and get involved! I promise you will not be sorry and you will make new friends along the way – is there a better return for your effort? 🙂

OK, I think I typed all this in some record time and I hope you don’t mind my ramblings…But to end, here are some of my quick internet finds to send you off on exploration:

-First, some of you may know that I was so lucky to win two tickets to a fabulous event called Quilters Take Manhattan – a fundraiser for the wonderful Quilt Alliance.  So Martha and I did go – woo-hoo!! It was a fabulous day with my best friend and I will tell you all about our own experience in some next post, but in the meantime, here is a great re-cap with lots of photos from one of the event organizers, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, on her blog. Yes, we did meet wonderful Jennifer Chiaverini, yay!! Now I love her books even more.

Important note here – Quilt Alliance is a great organization with a very important set of projects focused on preserving and documenting what we all love so much – our quilts and stories that come with them! If you didn’t already, check it out and become a member if you can!

-Second – did you know about a Ten Minute Table Runner? I didn’t ’till few days ago! (I hope I didn’t miss it if ME already posted this! 🙂  ).

What a fabulous idea! I will be making some of these for gift giving for sure! So here you have the video on how to make it (including a variation for a bag- just too cool!), and here is a written pattern to print . Picture above is from this blog, where there is yet another tutorial for it!

-And third – since it is a lunch time now, I will leave you with this easy and great recipe for savory version of monkey bread, together with the blog it comes from that is a sheer treasure of recipes/tutorials for yummy stuff !!

Have a wonderful Tuesday and week ahead,


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Filed under recipes, seminar, tutorials

Say sha-tock-qwa

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

I was surprised to find that title phrase at the top of one of the blogs I periodically visit. When I sounded it out, I thought “is that Chautauqua?” and I was right. All of us around here know about the fall Chautauqua quilting weekend. Mary Fons, daughter of quilting rock star Marianne Fons, who is taking up the reins that Liz Porter put down for retirement will be at Chautauqua with her mom this fall. See her post about it here.

Many of you have tasted and loved Linda Hunter’s easy butterscotch cake. She sent her recipe to me to share with all of you.Click here Butterscotch Cake Recipe for the recipe.

Are you into English paper piecing? Love those Grandmother’s flower garden quilts made with gazillions of hexagons? You might be interested in this new book Hexa-go-go and the blog tour about it. Click here to see what it’s all about.

Babysitting a five year old all day today-wish me luck. I know I’ll sleep well tonight!

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a little of this, a little of that

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

Yay! It’s raining! I can hear my lawn saying “AAH! That feels great.”

Nice guild meeting last night. Here are a few random thoughts.

1. Had a few questions last night about supply lists for seminar . Everyone will get printed copies of the supply list(s) for their seminar class(es) in the mail in early August. The supply lists for our national teachers are available at their websites if you would like them early (see your registration form or our guild blog for addresses). You do not need any proof of registration to get them; they are available for everyone. We have the lists for the majority of our local teachers now posted at our website as well; the rest will be added as we get them. If you know of a friend, who does not have internet access, who would like a national teacher’s supply list prior to receiving our mailing, have them contact me. I would be happy to send them what they need.

2. Please make sure that the shop(s), guild(s), friend(s) of yours who share your quilting interest are aware of our seminar. If you are a liaison or just a helpful member, let us know if you need flyers or bookmarks to pass around. Glad to have your assistance in publicizing.

3. I was so pleased last evening when Helen Slominski gave me a copy of Anita Murphy’s Drunkard’s Path book. You might remember reading my post about Anita’s work earlier this summer. I sat right down with a beverage to start through the book. Even the introductory basic information was fun to read. Anita has a droll way with words. Let me quote a paragraph to you that rang true with me. Sometimes I spend hours trying to find just the right fabric combination for a project when I should just PICK SOMETHING, darn it! and get to the machine. Here’s what Anita has to say.

“Now if you have trouble deciding or selecting fabric, you might want to try a method that I have found helps me especially when I should have made the project last week. I can fuss and dream and visit with my fabrics and lose half a day. But when the deadline is drawing near, I set the timer on my oven to 30 minutes and when the timer goes off, I use what I have. And truly it goes together remarkably well. I even get compliments on my color selections. Try this timing trick and see if it doesn’t help you get through a decision quickly.”

I’m going to try it the next time I am stuck, and may even use it before that just to make myself learn to “get on with it , for Pete’s sake”. There are many more humorous tips in Anita’s book, that I’ll share now and again. And thanks once more to Helen. I promise to give this book a place of honor on my shelves, and I promise to make a project to share with you all–but I can’t promise when that will be ready to show!

4. Last night I brought a cookie to share for snack time. They went fast, which I hope means you liked them. It’s a recipe I got from one of my students really early in my career before I got gun-shy about eating things the kids made themselves. (If you know middle schoolers, you probably know what I’m talking about.) This is my go-to recipe for cookies which do not need the oven. Everywhere I take them, they are a hit. Add this winner to your recipe box.

Amy’s cookies

Melt together in a double boiler (or nowadays in the microwave) one 11 oz. bag of butterscotch chips and 1/2 cup of peanut butter. Add 5 cups of corn flakes and stir until all coated. Drop by teaspoonful onto wax paper and let cool/harden. You can speed it up in the frig if you have the room. That’s all there is to it. The hardest part is keeping everyone from eating them before they harden. (The crumbs or broken cookies make great topping for ice cream.)

Have a great weekend.


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Missed Monday

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.

Where did Monday go? Flew by with only laundry accomplished. Shouldn’t one get more done than that in a day?

So what’s up with you? How does your garden grow? I’m into transplanting now, and taking the absolutely humungous Christmas cactus plants outdoors for the summer. I have one that came from a start my Nana gave me when I started my first apartment. It now is so large that I have to turn it on its side to get it through the door. That was in the fall when I brought it in for the winter. I’m going to take it outdoors today-if it has grown much over the winter, I’ll be in trouble. It weighs a ton-I know that from attempting to vacuum up the fallen blossoms behind the plant stand. I may have to call for reinforcements from next door to help me.

Looked around on Pinterest this morning. So much inspiration. Here’s a collection from one of Rachel Griffith’s boards. She blogs at “ps i quilt“. You might like her quirky Southern take on things. Very fresh quilting style, and great down home recipes now and then. Try the biscuit recipe–great old fashioned biscuits, perfect for strawberry shortcake. If you want a sweeter dough, just add a few teaspoons of sugar.

Did you see that Anita Grossman-Solomon does have a quick cutting trick for the block in the magazine that I mentioned a few posts back (Seminar Spotting on May 12) ? She posted a comment (thanks, Anita!) and included a link to the cutting trick. Make sure to sign up for one of her classes this fall.

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Make It Monday

Hello all, it’s ME again.

The brownies were a hit yesterday. Very rich! About 1/2 of a regular brownie size and a bit of vanilla ice cream and you’re good to go. Definitely a keeper recipe. I’m going to write it up, and figure out how to start a recipe file. Oh! I’ll just send it to the file over at our website for now, and get to the file here eventually.

first loosey goosey blockFinished my first block for Loosey Goosey. Not real happy with the slight hole at the center, but I think when I take all the paper off the back, I’ll be able to fix it up with some steam. I’m leaving the papers on until I attach this block to something else. I’ve used all sorts of scraps with no regard for grain so I’m sure my block’s edges would get really wonky if I take the paper off now. Here’s a photo. I’m going to pick a nice easy pieced block, maybe with a twist, for June.

Today I’m working on a scrappy table topper using 4 blocks from the pattern for a jelly roll Irish chain quilt. It’s from the book Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott. I made the throw size and liked how it turned out. I’ve made several quilts from this book. The directions are well written, and I particularly appreciate the pressing plans. The quilts go together so well, with nicely opposing seams. I came upon a tutorial on-line for a “cathedral edge” binding that I want to try out on this topper. I made my blocks red and white, with assorted red Christmas prints and white with gold prints for the backgrounds. With only 4 blocks it was harder to combine the strip techniques of the pattern with my desire for randomness in the placement, but I think it’ll do for my experiment.

I’ll also do some more of the hourglass blocks I need for my sister’s signature quilt. Those go quickly, I just need a quantity so I’m doing a few at a time.

Gave the godsons their eye-spy quilts yesterday. They seem to be a hit, but not the eye-spy side! The boys like the roadway panels that I used for backing better. Just right for little matchbox cars and super hero toys. They did like that their names are in the blocks on the front. I told their mom that these quilts are to be played with and worn out, since she tends to “save” quilts so they won’t get ruined. I want these to get used up, frayed, and dirty from being played with everyday. How do you feel about the treatment of the quilts you make? Should they be used hard, or do you prefer that they be special?


Filed under Lucy Goosey, quilt books, Quilt-a-Long, recipes, Uncategorized

Saturday chores

Hello everyone, it’s ME.

I don’t know why Saturday still is the day I do a lot of the typical household chores. Now that I’m retired, I could do them any day I want. It must be programmed into my genes now after all those years.

I was elected to bring the dessert to the Mother’s Day get together tomorrow. by request, I am making a recipe from the Pioneer Woman’s cookbook Food from My Frontier. I am a sucker for cookbooks with big color photos, as this one is. She could give Paula Deen a run for her money as far as rich ingredients go, as well. Not every recipe has a pound of butter in it though. The dessert I am making is called Knock You Naked Brownies. I just took them out of the oven, and the bubbling caramel, chocolate chip gooiness (sp?) in the corners is very hard to resist.  Only the threat of third degree burns kept me from sticking a finger in to give a taste test! The only hard part about this recipe was unwrapping the 60 caramels used to make the middle layer (when mixed with the chocolate chips). I’ll give you a fuller review after I try them tomorrow, but I think I can safely predict that these are going to be a hit.

I’m working on my star block for the Loosey Goosey quilt-a-long.(See sidebar). I’m going with scrappy stars so it may be gorgeous, or it may be god-awful. If they don’t blend nicely side by side, I’ll just make individual things out of them rather than a wall hanging. We’re going to set up an album over in our guild photo gallery for the blocks, and then eventually the finished projects. Plan to bring your blocks to the May guild meeting for show and share, if you have one completed by then. It seems the consensus is that I should put up the new blocks once a month, so the next one will be in early June. No definite date, Loosey Goosey, remember.

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Filed under books (other), Lucy Goosey, Quilt-a-Long, recipes