Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Strawberry Caramel Sauce

I mentioned in my last post that I was going to try to can some strawberry caramel sauce.  Well, I made it and it is very good. It was my first experience in caramelizing sugar and I don't think I let it get quite as browned as I would have liked. But, I will definitely try to make some more with other fruits just to see what happens if I cook it a little longer.

The directions say cook the sugar water for 10 to 15 minutes on medium heat. I had to cook it much longer to reach the desired temperature and the browning color. I think I have my heat a little too low.

Marisa suggests using the caramel sauce over ice cream or a slice of pound cake. I'm thinking over pancakes or waffles, as an apple dipping sauce, lightly drizzled over cheese cake. Or a chocolate cupcake. Hungry yet?

As I was looking through her list of recipes, I came upon one for Pear and Chocolate Jam.

My very favorite pie is caramel pie that my mom used to make. I would always request it on my birthday. It was delicious straight from the oven, only cooled enough for it to hold its' shape. And it was delicious cold after it sat in the refrigerator for a day or two. My sister made us some a few weeks ago; but, it just wasn't the same.

And I almost picked up the phone to call mom when I was canning strawberry jam because I failed to take the foam off the top of the jam before jarring it.  I am sure I will do that many more times in my life.

Larry and I drove about 23 miles to a little town to the north of us for dinner. Rivertown BBQ. On the way home, a beautiful rainbow appeared.  I'm a little disappointed that we couldn't get a better picture.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Three-day Weekends . .

are always great. I really expected to get a lot of sewing done, but I never made it to the sewing room.

Saturday morning, I walked and cleaned a little bit. Saturday afternoon I canned 6 pints of boneless chicken breasts. I like to have some ready for quick meals.

Sunday I visited with my dad and brothers and sisters. We enjoyed grilled burgers with all the fixings.

On Monday, Larry and I went to pick strawberries. I was hoping to pick 3 or 4 gallons. We were lucky to be able to pick 2 gallons. When we arrived, 20 minutes after they opened, there was already 30 or so people picking. I was afraid what we picked were not very ripe and really small. But once we got them home and laid out on newspaper, they didn't look so bad.

We stopped back by my dad's on the way home and I decided to stay and help my sister weed the vegetable garden.

Monday evening, I washed and sliced the strawberries. I canned 6 pints of strawberry pie filling. Don't they look good. Then after they were washed, I realized that we had found really good berries.

This is the first time I made a pie filling so I am interested to find out what we think about it. I am trying to make everything I can low or no sugar so Larry can enjoy it too.

Tonight I am going to try some Strawberry Caramel Sauce with the strawberries I have left. I absolutely love caramel but don't have it very often. I try to stay away from sweets.

So anyway, I'll let you know how that goes.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Day 4 of the AMB Blog Tour

Today's states are Maryland with Spring Water Designs and South Carolina with The Crafty Quilter's Closet.  

My day is getting closer. My final block is laid out on my cutting table waiting for me to stitch it tonight. I'm working on writing the pattern up to post for those of you who would want to make it. And I am planning a couple of giveaways in addition to the fat quarter bundle.

If you have missed a day or two, stop by AMB to catch up.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Day 3 of the AMB Blog hop and giveaways

Today visit Green Quilts and A Quilting Jewel to see the blocks for Alabama and Massachusetts. 

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Around the house . . .

I went to a local orchard on Saturday and picked 2 gallons of strawberries.  I made ten 4 oz. jars of no-sugar strawberry jam for Larry. I actually eat it also. We all know we don't need all of the sugars we eat. I used low sugar/no sugar pectin and Stevia.

Yesterday evening, I dehydrated three trays of sliced strawberries. I didn't want to do very many until I tasted them to see if we would like them. I also made 5 half pints and 3 4oz. jars of sugar sweetened strawberry jam with the rest of the strawberries. 

I think I will go back to the orchard and pick some more before they are gone. I want to can some strawberry pie filling but I need to order some clear jel to make it. Just got that ordered.  Then I would like to make some fruit leather (fruit roll-ups) also.

I did not make it to the sewing room at all. I finally got finished with the dishes and cleaning the kitchen at 9 o'clock and decided it was time to sit down. I turned on the Cardinal's ballgame and took it easy.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.

Day 2 of AMB Blog Tour & Giveaway

Scheduled posts today are from Butterfly Threads Quilting (Georgia) and Taffy Talk (Idaho). Be sure to drop by to visit these two states without leaving your home.

Remember to stop by to sign up for the giveaways and see their awesome blocks. I love the whimsy-ness of the Georgia block and the simplicity of the Idaho block.

Monday, May 19, 2014

AMB Blog Tour begins today!

Be sure to stop by Blue Striped Room and Cheryl Lynch Quilts for the first day of the AMB Blog Tour. Remember each participating blogger is having a giveaway of 8 fat quarters.

 AMB Giveaway

That means that during the course of the blog tour, you will have 50 chances to win fat quarters and other great giveaways the individual bloggers have planned.

Today's featured stares are Pennsylvania and Deleware. For a complete list of blog tour dates, visit AMB.

My block and post for Arkansas is scheduled for June 4.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Just when I thought

I couldn't stand appliqueing another tiny circle

I realized it was the last one.

Until I realized I needed four mini blocks to go in the corners of the outer border.

These are only 5 1/2  inches square. I tried pinning the small pieces like I usually do but they were just too small. So I glued them down. Now, I realize that I didn't glue the small yellow bud insides on. I better go do that before I forget.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

When I was growing up,

I was sewing my own clothes by the age of 13 or 14. I mean pants, dresses, blouses, western shirts, blue jeans, etc.

I can remember laying the cutting board out on out huge dinner table. (It was 4 feet wide and 8 feet long--to be able to sit 12 people each evening.)

Do any of you remember these? You know the ones that fold out to lay your fabric and pattern out on.

Anyway, I can still remember how hard it was to make that first cut every time I started a new garment.

Now, I stand here staring at this fabric.

Getting ready to cut into it to make my block for the AMB Blog Tour.  Even though I have made a sample pattern and tweaked it until it is just right, I am still apprehensive about making that first cut. In fact, I am every time I have a brand new piece of fabric. It doesn't matter what size but fat quarters are the worst. After I have made that first cut, the next time it is scrap fabric and I don't care if I make a mistake.

But, it brought back happy memories of me standing at that long dinner table when I was a teen. Often times I would have an older sister come to check the pattern to see if it was laid out correctly and to make sure I didn't miss any pieces. Checking to see if the arrows on the pattern were following the grain of the fabric.

Now, I think of the jumpers that I made my daughter in kindergarten. Her teacher thought she had a bunch of brothers and sisters and that I had to make her clothes. She asked me about it at a parent teacher conference. I told her, "No, I just like to sew and make her jumpers."

I need to write a book of memoirs to give to my children.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Just saying "Hi"

on this dreary, chilly day. The humidity is so high it feels damp inside the house. I assume part of that is the coolness because the heat is not on. It would feel good to turn it on for a few minutes to get rid of the dampness, but it should warm back up in a couple of days.

So, I'll just layer on warm clothes and use the space heater by my feet when I go in to sew after while.

Still working on the block for the AMB Blog Tour!  Still needs a little tweaking.

Then is will be back to the shades of pink applique quilt. I also need to sew a few more 4 inch blocks for the "For His Glory" Quilt. 

I think we have 12 more days of school. I am ready for a break. It was my first year teaching 6th grade. I already had them when they were in the 3rd grade; so I knew they were a handful. And . . .
they have been. lol 

Happy stitching, snipping, and quilting!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Design Wall Monday

Well, thanks to Craig, my Janome is back home. I'm a little embarrassed to say how much I missed it.  I sat down last night to work on my block for the AMB Blog Tour! I still need to tweak it a little bit. Hopefully, Tuesday night I will get it down to perfection. lol Is that possible?

Be sure to check out Clothworks to read all about it. There will be a give away of 8 fat quarters at each of the 50 blogs that are participating. That's a lot of chances to win. 

Now that the Janome is back, I can also work on the border for this quilt.

I have most of the flowers sewn on the points of this border. I think I just need the yellow centers in the buds. I just couldn't get my old sewing machines to make a good satin stitch. I think I have decided to add a simple 4 or 5 inch white border with a mini block in each corner to finish off the quilt to a size I will be happy with. 

What is on your design wall? Check in at Judy's to show us.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Road Trip

without leaving your home.
I was graciously asked by Candice of Clothworks to participate in a new blog tour to promote a new line of fabric. It is a new line of fabrics by Clothworks that is completely American made. The cotton is grown, milled, and dyed in the United States.

From the Clothworks' website:

Hit the road with American Made Brand

Welcome to our AMB Blog Tour! 
Designed to take you on an inspired 
 trip across the USA. 
Our blog tour visits all 50 states 
over 25 days starting May 19th.

Every Blogger has been specially selected as a representative of the state they call home. At each stop on the tour, explore how each designer re-interprets their 12″ x 6″ state license plate in a finished quilt block of the same size and sign-up for giveaways of American Made Brand fabric.  You’ll find all types of blocks – truly something for everyone! You are going to want to collect them all.
So check back here each day starting May 19th and explore this great country of ours with AMB; no gas required!

The day for the state of Arkansas is June 4, Day 13. I am busy designing my block. Stay tuned for more information. 

Happy snipping, stitiching, and quilting! 

Sunday, May 4, 2014


by my Janome machine.  It is still in the shop. So, I got out two old machines that I have. One is a Kenmore. I finally got it to work but it does not make a good satin stitch.

The other is an old Dressmaker. The first machine I ever purchased. I think it came from Fingerhut.  I had to switch a belt out from a different machine and finally got it to run. But, it doesn't make a good satin stitch either.

So, I am trying to patiently wait to get my Janome out of the shop. They usually call me after a couple of days, but I haven't heard anything from them.  I took it in last Saturday. I called on Wednesday and was told they were just putting it on the table to look out. I remembered a second problem I was having with it and told them about it.

Why is it that I can go weeks without using the machine and it doesn't bother me. But then it is gone for a week and it drives me crazy.

I guess that's just our human nature. I should use the down time to clean, etc. But, that's no fun.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Tornadoes Rolled Through!

I am amazed at the technology available to meteorologists these days. They have the ability to warn about the upcoming storms so we can try to find an appropriate place to be safe.

As most of you have heard, Arkansas was plummeted by tornadoes last Sunday.  The local weathermen began warning us of the upcoming storms beginning on Friday. I spent Sunday morning getting a few things put in our safe room. (Not an actual safe room, but the safest area in our unique home.) A few things that would help us stay alive for a few days if we were trapped.

We are very thankful that the tornadoes missed our town and I thank the meteorologists for repeatedly warning us. Yet, there were posts on Facebook from people complaining that the weathermen were scaring us by telling us about it too early and building it up to be worse than it was. I, on the other hand, am thankful that I had time to gather a few items to place in our shelter area. I am thankful we have an area in our home that we can feel more at ease in than the regular house area.  AND, I am especially thankful that we were spared.

Are they always right? No. But, I feel like they are more often than not. So, I guess people need to understand that if they don't want to hear the latest weather, they don't want to know what is going on, or don't want to be scared--then turn the TV off and don't listen.

On the sewing front, my machine is at the doctor again. Grrr! I have two old sewing machines that I got out for the first time in over 20 years. Nope, they are not good for doing my satin stitch applique. I cannot get a pretty satin stitch on either one of them. So, I am at a standstill on my latest quilt.

Hopefully, I will hear today what is wrong with it. There are so many sensors and things that can go out on them. I am afraid mine is at the point in its life that I am going to have to keep getting those things replaced until it is like new. Or it may be time to trade it.

I have a Janome that does only straight stitching. Does anyone know of a good, inexpensive maching that does zigzag well without all of the electronic parts to go bad.

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting.


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