Friday, April 27, 2012

How To Procastinate

While I've been buried under a to-do list that is at least a mile long, I've become fascinated by Spoonflower's weekly challenges. I've never considered myself proficient at drawing, but I've been trying hard to ignore that negative voice.

This week's challenge was to create a retro kitchen motif with four pre-selected  colors. As a baby of the late seventies, it seemed only right that I honor the groovy decade.

I actually don't ever anticipate winning a challenge (though I would love some Spoonflower dollars!) It's just interesting to spend time working in a new field with new challenges. I don't know how to procrastinate. I put work off by doing other work. It may defeat the point, but I often come back to my original projects with new ideas.

I apologize for the lack of posts & tutorials recently. I am working on so many fun projects for you that I really hope you will love..they are just under wraps for now..

Monday, April 23, 2012

Show & Tell From Class

I was so excited when one of my attendees from my quilting class last week 
sent me photos of her projects.
 Aren't they awesome?! 

 Love, love, love!

I have another class this Wednesday - hope you can make it!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Hungry Quilter #5 - I Saw Elvis Eating Overnight Oats!

Have I yet to convince you that overnight oats are amazing? I know I'm kind of harping on them, but I can't stop thinking of new ways to create them. I love starting my morning with a healthy meal, it really sets the tone for the rest of my day. When my best Bestie, Karen - aka Desert Deals Diva, requested that I try a peanut butter mixture, I instantly thought of the King's favorite.. peanut butter & banana sandwiches. With that, I humbly present..

I Saw Elvis Eating Overnight Oats
1/2 cup old fashion oats
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (you can substitute with any type of milk you prefer)
1 1/2 tbsp peanut butter (any nut butter or sesame paste will work)
1 tbsp chopped peanuts
1 tbsp chopped banana
2 tbsp chopped dates
1 tbsp chia seeds
dash of banana extract
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1.) In a mason jar gently combine oats, milk, peanut butter, peanuts, banana, dates, seeds, and banana extract. Seal the lid and pop it in to the fridge.
2.) In the morning it will be a tad dense. Add the yogurt and stir till combined.
3.) Enjoy! Try not to be alarmed if your hips start swinging and you break out in a 50's musical.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Hungry Quilter #4 - Tropical Overnight Oats

I am completely obsessed with the overnight oats right now. It's a beautiful thing! It's low cost, healthy, and I promise you that it tastes sooooo much better than that over processed, fake oatmeal (and I used to LOVE that!) 

The key for me is to remember the night before to make it.. This tropical version is my all time favorite so far!! I tried a pumpkin/apple that was okay, but not worthy of recreating. But this tropical one..oh yeah, baby it's worth making - you will love every bite..

Tropical Overnight Oats
1/2 cup old fashion oats
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (you can substitute with any type of milk you prefer)
2 tbsp chopped cashews
2 tbsp dried tropical fruits (papaya, pineapple, mango)
2 tbsp chopped dates
1 tbsp chia seeds
dash of banana extract
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1.) In a mason jar gently combine oats, milk, cashews, tropical fruit, seeds, and banana extract. Seal the lid and pop it in to the fridge.
2.) In the morning it will be a tad dense. Add the yogurt and stir till combined.
3.) Enjoy your quick to a tropical island..

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Quilting Class At The Library

I am still here. I am working like crazy these past weeks. I have nothing to show, err, that I'm at liberty to show. I will be back to posting some tutorial freebies soon, pinkie promise.

Until then, tomorrow I start my FREE paper piece quilting classes for the Salt Lake County Libraries. Want the details? Click on over.. I will teach how to do basic paper piecing and how to make it into this pincushion. Hope to see you there!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Hungry Quilter - Pizza Night!

We love pizza in our house. Realllly love it! If it's Friday night then you can be sure that Hubby will leave work at 5:01, grab us a movie, and I'll be busy making a pizza. I don't usually change it too much.My pizza? It is sliced"clean" sausage links, onions, sauce made from fresh tomatoes (yum!), and lots of cheese. I guess it's probably not totally clean, but it's a way healthier alternative to the other pizzas out there.

For a long time I would buy one of the two types of ready made pizza crust sold at our grocery store. Bleh. Both of them taste like cardboard and would always prove to be a disappointment. I decided to try Bob's Red Mill gluten free pizza crust mix. It is sooooo good. It is pretty quick to make and one bag makes 2 crusts. I use one that night and place the other ball of dough in the fridge for the next Friday. It says it's supposed to be good refrigerated for a few days, and a week maybe pushing it, but we've never had issues.. in fact I think the slightly older crust taste even better!

Do you have a Friday night dinner routine?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Japanese X Blocks For Charity

My guild, the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild, places a high priority on creating quilts for charity. I hope that when the gift receiver wraps up in one of our quilts, that they remember they are not alone. A quilt is such a beautiful expression of love and thought for another person.

For this first quarter, we were tasked with creating Japanese X blocks. Amy Gunson of Badskirt (don't you just love that name?!) created an excellent tutorial on her blog which is free for you to go try.. so go try and give her a big thanks =)

Here is my first finished block and glimpses of my unfinished ones. Every bit you see came from my scrap stash - what a fun way to bust through it!!

Have a favorite? I think I do and then I change my mind..

Have you made these before? Please share if you have, would love to see!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

We Hit 7 And Still In Heaven!

Yesterday my sweet husband and I celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary. It is amazing how fast the years have gone by. I can still remember the excitement of getting dressed in that fabulous gown, of our first kiss as husband & wife, and the many hours spent dancing that night.

Though our love story took many crazy paths before we married, we took that next step knowing we wanted to be with each other for the rest of our days. In the past seven years we've had two amazing daughters, a number of wild adventures, and more inside jokes than we can count.

It is an amazing thing to be married to your best friend. He knows every flaw ingrained in my being and is able to love me more each day. I thought I couldn't love him more seven years ago, and then I watched him become the most amazing father.. and my love only deepened.

I can't wait for another 70 years of marriage with this silly, sweet man. Another 70 years of laughter and fun..

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Hungry Quilter - #3 Blueberry Crumble Overnight Oats

I've always been a fan of a breakfast. I wake up hungry! Kiddo doesn't seem to need to eat till the afternoon, but Baby wakes up starving too. I've been on the look out for more clean eating recipes for breakfast as there are only so many egg whites I can happily eat. I've been seeing lots of overnight oat recipes and thought I would create one of my own. It is scrumptious and was devoured by my kids quickly!

Blueberry Crumble Overnight Oats
1/2 cup old fashion oats
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (you can substitute with any type of milk you prefer)
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
2 tbsp dried blueberries
2 tbsp chia seeds
dash of cinnamon
dash of agave
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1.) In a mason jar gently combine oats, milk, walnuts, blueberries, seeds, and cinnamon. Seal the lid and pop it in to the fridge.
2.) In the morning it will be a tad dense. Add the dash of agave and yogurt, and stir till combined.
3.) Enjoy the deliciousness and healthy start to your day!

Hilltop Sale & Giveaway!

Utah friends, what you are you doing this weekend? Well if you are pregnant, have babies or kids - you have to come to the Hilltop Children & Maternity Sale! You will be amazed by the awesome finds there and incredibly low prices. Sadly, I missed it last year and have been kicking myself in the rear over it. I can't wait to shop - I have quite a few items on my list!

The sale is open to the public 
April 13th from 9am -8pm
April 14th  from 8am -2pm

Hilltop UMW Children’s & Maternity Sale
Hilltop United Methodist Church
985 East 10600 South
Sandy, UT 84094

But wait, there's more! There is a very exclusive pre-sale on Thursday the 12th from 7-8:30pm! I hear some of the best goodies are sold then.. How do you attend, you ask? Well it just so happens that I have a 1 ticket for you! What do you have to do? Just leave me a comment on this post by Wednesday at midnight. I will post the winner's name Thursday morning and you will have till 5pm Thursday to claim it! Please, please leave me your email address or email it to me at

Believe me, this is one sale you don't want to miss!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Sweet Easter

Happy Easter! Sorry for the late post, but I've been enjoying this beautiful Sunday with my sweet family. Did you have a wonderful day? We sure did! I love Easter- I love dyeing eggs, hiding them for my kids to find, the delicious candy, the beautiful little dresses and bonnets, and a Mass full of promise.

We dyed our eggs last night, nothing like waiting till the last minute. Right now though, Kiddo is the only one old enough to really help dye and her attention span is.. well that of a 4 year old.. I think we were done in about 30 minutes.

And the blurry picture below, yeah that about sums up our morning (and yes Kiddo is in Christmas pajamas and Baby is in Thanksgiving pajamas.. that's how we roll). It actually was one of the sweetest mornings ever. My husband and I awoke to the sounds of Kiddo squealing with delight and gathering the eggs as fast as she could. Luckily Baby awoke soon after and was able to grab a few eggs as well.

We quickly rounded them up and headed off to Mass for a sweet sermon and yet another egg hunt. 

And one more picture of my Kiddo with the Easter Bunny.. Baby was sobbing in Daddy's arms.

I didn't even come close to eating clean today. I adore Easter candy and have been looking forward to my brunch at the Market Street Grill. It was a yummy day! To top it off, I made the Hubby and I some martinis. We had a ton of grapefruits and not sure what to do with them. I don't particular enjoy eating them, but I have issues with wasting food. The answer? Pink grapefruit martinis!

Pink Grapefruit Martinis
2 oz Absolut Citron
2 oz ginger ale
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 tablespoon grenadine
sugar cube

1.) Place a sugar cube at the bottom of a martini glass.
2.) Fill a martini shaker with ice and remaining ingredients, then shake-shake-shake and pour.
3.) Enjoy.. mmmm

Well yeah it didn't make a dent in our grapefruit supply, but it sure was yummy!
Happy Easter!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Quiltsy Spotlight

Do you have an Etsy shop? If you do, have you joined any of the Etsy teams? I'm on a couple and even manage one; I think it is a fabulous way to have an online support system. My favorite team, is the Quiltsy Team. Everyone quilts and everyone is supportive of each other - isn't that just awesome?? I truly love that instead of being scared or upset about competitors, we embrace them as friends and truly understand that there is room on the market for everyone.

Every day on the Quiltsy forum, people talk about their shops, their families, and of course their latest work. There are monthly challenges to help raise awareness of everyone's shops; a favorite challenge is to create Etsy treasuries. So much effort to help their fellow quilter, I really can't express how wonderful I think that is. 

I don't participate on the team nearly as much as I would like to. Managing family and work is a daily struggle, so sadly I'm usually a drive by commenter on the forum. I was pleasantly surprised when I was contacted to do a Spotlight post! Jennifer of the Olive Street Studio wrote and posted the very sweet article today.

Thank you so much for the feature - I love this team more than I can express!

If you are a quilter and you're on Etsy, you absolutely need to join our team today..

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Smitten With Samantha

To say I adore Samantha Walker's fabric maybe an understatement; Kiddo's nursery is completely decked out in her cowgirl design. When the opportunity arose to design for her, I jumped at the chance. Today on her blog,  I have a tutorial on how to do a fussy cut, reverse applique table runner using her Decadence line. I love this line! The colors are rich and the motif is around nature - a fabulous combination to use in your outdoor living spaces. I will have several more tutorials featuring this line later in the month on my blog, including the over sized pillow seen with the table runner.

I hope you will stop by Samantha's blog today and look around; she is one of my favorite designers and I know you will love her work!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A New Line Of Blankets

I've been adding a new line of flannel blankets to my Etsy shop. I will be adding several more throughout the month. They are a perfect gift for summer newborns - they are sewn without batting and are not too heavy. I hope you love them and if you have a specific request, just let me know!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Hungry Quilter - #2 Lamb Vindaloo Review

I am a *huge* fan of Clean Eating Magazine - I have loved every dish I tried and I love that the cuisine is so varied. If you are looking to start eating clean, I highly recommend getting a subscription. In the past month or so, they have also added a digital format which is awesome to have.

The Lamb Vindaloo recipe is exclusively from their March 2012 edition. While the magazine does have many recipes on their website, they don't have all of them. I hate to review a recipe you would potentially have to go buy, but I can tell you that it is worth it.

I didn't use lamb, I don't eat lamb. I don't have an opinion on others eating it, but for me I can't get past their sweet little faces and demeanor. I substituted with beef stew meat and I left a few spices out that I didn't have in the pantry. It was delicious, but way too spicy for my kiddos (they ended up eating very non clean corn dogs because I wasn't anticipating needing a different meal for them). I think this would be a fabulous dish for a night you are craving Indian food! If you want to be able to serve it to the children, I would remove the Serrano chilies from the vindaloo sauce.

The leftovers are calling my name! Time for some lunch; I'm going to toss what is left on a bed of romaine and call it good.

Kiddo's Quilt

I love reading posts and going to lectures on how to be inspired. The one key point I hear a lot, is that you must be in the moment and truly see what surrounds you. It's easy to go in to auto pilot most days and miss the beauty in our lives. I'm guilty of auto pilot most days..heck, I'm happy if my teeth are brushed and I am ready for the day before noon; that's life with two wee ones. However, these two angels also inspire a lot of my work.

In the past couple months, Kiddo has developed a very distinctive way of painting. She will paint the entire space with blocks of different colors, she often calls them her "quilts". She is very methodical in where the painting starts and what colors are to be used. I wonder if in her mind that is how she sees my quilts - blocks of color, artfully arranged. I have to tell you, I can not wait till she is just a bit older and can sew her first quilt. I have a feeling she will far surpass my talent and I'm very excited about watching that unfold.

For now I think I will imitate life that may have been imitating art. I have seen a number of postage stamp quilts popping up in the blogsphere. Michele created a beautiful one on Quilting Gallery and I have seen a few more in my Google Reader. I think it's a great way to use up my scrap stash that is on the brink of being uncontrollable. This week I'm cutting out little squares and will try to make a quilt for the girls that resembles one of Kiddo's paintings.

Have you made a postage stamp quilt? Any tips or want to share a photo?

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Hungry Quilter - #1 Tropical Mock Lara Bars

Some background...
I've decided to add a new segment to the blog called "The Hungry Quilter". I've always been a cooking enthusiast and for quite some time I had planned on becoming a pastry chef. I had a small bakery on Etsy while Kiddo was an infant and entered into countless cooking contests before Baby was born. Now I cook just for fun and well because the family expects dinner every night!

Last year I researched clean eating and feel in love. I lost weight quickly and in a healthy manner. It was amazing to see the impact on my family as well. My eldest daughter's digestion issues were radically improved in just a week and my husband enjoyed dropping the pounds without trying. It was easy for me to stay on track since I was training for a number of athletic events. When you are spending precious time training, you really don't want to eat garbage. Then our winter hit and I had a bad experience running.. I stopped exercising and enjoyed junk food for about 6 months. My weight went up 15#'s, my mood was not nearly as positive, and I watched sadly as both of my daughters return to suffering from reflux and other digestion issues.

It's spring time, it's time to train again for events, and it's time to permanently change our eating habits. I'm hoping that the more clean eating recipes I learn and create, the more likely I am to stay on track. My regular quilt/crochet/life posts will continue in the mornings with the food related ones in the evening. I hope that you will be inspired to try clean eating and see what a difference it can make in your life. I promise the food will taste good. I loooove food and won't eat something that doesn't taste delicious.

I love Lara bars! If you look at their ingredient list, you will recognize every one listed. There are no harmful chemicals or junk. My only complaint is that at $1/bar (and our family loves them!), they quickly make a large dent in our grocery budget. The answer? Make your own!

I didn't come up with the basic recipe, if you Google for Lara bar recipes you will find plenty! Here is my take on a tropical bar.

Tropical Mock Lara Bar
2/3 cup chopped dates (plain dates, not dipped in sugar or anything like that)
1/2 cup dried mango slices
2/3 cup plain cashews ( extra salt or anything)
a dash of unsweetened coconut flakes
a smaller dash of banana extract (probably not "clean", but it's a teensy insy drop)

1.) In a food processor, chop up the dates and mango slices until it forms a gooey paste. Remove from the processor and set aside.
2.) In the same processor (but you don't have to bother cleaning it first), chop up the cashews until they are good and small.
3.) In a medium bowl, mash the date mix with the cashews chunks. Sprinkle in just a pinch of coconut flakes and just a drop or two of the banana extract. Mash it up until it is well blended and sticks together; I use my hands for this step.
4.) Roll out the mixture and slice into bars. Wrap the individual bars with cellophane and toss into the fridge.

I love these for the super rushed mornings when I know I'll be tempted to stop for an artery busting breakfast sandwich. The kiddos love them too and are pretty sure they are a treat!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Garden Party - Summer Sweetness Block

I am very excited to be a part of Sewhooked's first blog hop party. I can't wait to see all the paper piece pattern goodness! I love that the quilting community can be so supportive and encouraging of each other.

For the garden party, I designed a teacup full of roses. When I think of a garden party, I think of a fanciful day full of flowers, tea, and the ladies dearest in my life. You could make the roses all the same shade or vary them as I did. My husband think it looks a yummy cup of fruit sorbet, so you are welcome to interpret it that way as well. I think I will be using this block to create a Mother's Day gift - wouldn't it be sweet as a pillow or table mat for someone that deserves a cup of kindness?

I think it would be fun as large quilt too, with many different patterns for the teacups.

The PDF pattern is here. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to drop me a line. If you are new to foundation quilting, I have a tutorial here.

Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you love the block and can use it in your quilting. I can't wait to see the other blocks this month.


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