Quilt Number Three Starts Today, A Weekend Guest and a Cherry Pie in the Oven.

Starting inherited pieced quilt #3 .
Guess with the cooler weather and the leaves turning I have the "bug" to sew.  No sooner than I had the second quilt finished and on the bed to admire than the tape measure was in hand measuring number three for backing, 6 1/2' by 7 1/2'.   Again, this was pieced by three generations of my late first husband's family and recently given to me. 

This morning I caught up all of the mending as Brian was off on errands, rolled out pie pastry for a cherry pie, and mixed up the filling from the cherries the Saltzman's shared with us.  (I sure wish I had thought of making the cherry pie filling and freezing it in foil and plastic lined pie plates as I have done with the peaches and apples!)

Cherries frozen in the spring make a great pie filling now.
I love making the French Pie Pastry in the food processor.  It is the best ever, fast, and the dough handles beautifully.  I keep 2 sticks of butter dices up in the freezer just to make it up anytime!  Here are the links to my new favorite pastry and for making a fresh cherry pie.  I hope you are fortunate enough to make one real soon!

Four names with dates of birth are embroidered in one corner of this hand pieced quilt top.
At any rate I traced the names and have started embroidering them onto a corner of the "new" quilt top this morning.  This is fun too!  It will keep my occupied until I get to town to purchase fabric for the backing and a spool of yellow quilting thread I need to repair a quilt Brian's Grandma Ruby made.

It is good I am so easily entertained!

Monday Morning:  It was a lovely weekend and I managed to finish the embroidery as well as have a family dinner and a lot of fun.  I expect it may take me months to do this particular quilt as I plan to hand quilt it.  There are several other projects I plan to sprinkle in as I go to keep things interesting.


Parting Thoughts as this Quilt is Finished. How I stop to rethread and how I start again. A look at corners and the underside.

Last night when Brian came home I was down to the last six inches and he was happy to let me finish this quilt before supper.  Of course he was pleased to see a new batch of cookies too!  These are a repeat of the Cinnamon Crisp Monster Cookies and bake for 18 minutes which worked in well with this sewing project!

You bake them by 1/4th cup mounds and they yield 24 "monster" cookies!  I am sharing the link back to the recipe above.

I really like the way the corners turned out,  I think it very nice. I also like the appearance of the underside of the finished quilt.

To finish this way I use a very large needle and of course the lovely alpaca yarn.  I want to share with you how I finish a line of thread and start again and hide having done so!

This is more or less a darning needle.
When down to 3-4" of thread I pierce back into the last stitch to end.
After pulling through do not pull tight but insert the needle back through the loop then pull taught. Repeat this again.
Next I bury the thread by inserting the needle and running it back 1-2" then back out through the top.
Here you can see the needle going in then the tip coming out an inch back.
Now I clip the thread.
To start again after re-threading my needle with yarn I take the following steps to hide where I am starting.
After threading the needle tie a knot in the end and trim.
Open a stitch about 1/2"  to 1"in front of the ending knot.
Insert the needle and push it back between the layers of fabric and up at the ending knot.
Pull the thread gently through.
When the knot gets to the stitch you have coaxed open work it down between the layers and pull taut.
Now you are ready to start again.


Tutorial, Hand Work, How to Make the Antwerp or Knotted Blanket Stitch

I love learning new hand stitching techniques!  This is one I am particularly fond of.  It is my second attempt to master it and as with so many things I was making it harder than it is!  I like anything with the blanket stitches worked into it and the Antwerp is a variation and is also known as the Knotted Blanket Stitch.

I am half way around the vintage quilt now and thought I would take a break and share this.  I am really enjoying this a great deal.  It is a chilly, cloudy, rainy, and rather bleak day but my tea kettle is warm and Molly is here on guard as always as I stitch happily away!

Start from the bottom folded edge and hide your beginning knot. Then pierce the needle through all layers about 1/4" above the fold and bring it down on top of the loop.
This is how it should look as you pull the needle through.
Now pierce the needle back front to back through the bottom of the taught lower portion of the loop.
Next bring the loose end of the thread or yarn first beneath the needle than over and across the front.
Gently but firmly pull until the knot tightens.
Repeat the next stitch.
I  try to hide my knots starting and finishing by pulling them into where I over cast stitched and closed the front and back fabric of the quilt.  This is a stitch that is also used as a decorative edging.  I like it because it presents itself and not only attractive but quite durable and long lasting.


Finishing Tied Rustic Vintage Quilt with Antwerp Edging Stitch or Knotted Blanket Stitch

Antwerp Edging Stitch
Monday I cleaned off the dinning room table and spread the rustic hand pieced vintage quilt I have been working on across the top.  It has been a couple of weeks since I have had it out and this would be a good week to try and finish it.  Rain and storms all week and rest my strained left leg a bit.

Trimmed, turned, and pinned.
I trimmed it cutting the batting back about a quarter inch inside the rough edge of the top.  Then I trimmed the muslin underside equal to the pieced top.  Next with straight pins in hand folded both the top and the bottom pieces under equally about 3/8" and at the folded edge pinned all of the way around the quilt.

Slip stitched edges.
My plan is to use quilting thread and hand slip stitch the two folded edges together.  This is my way of basting it together before the decorative finish is applied.  I am crazy about alpaca yarn.  I have no explanation for it.  Just one of the little mysteries of life!  At any rate I want to then do a fancy Antwerp blanket stitch using alpaca yarn matching the ties holding the quilt together all the way around to embellish the finished edge.

Yes, I know this is different, but I like different and so this is the direction I am headed with it!  We shall see how it works out!

My view in the dinning room!
Alpaca yarn is terribly soft and non allergenic.  It makes a soft and not a bit scratchy contrasting
 edge.  I have always loved anything finished with a blanket stitch so I love the idea of trying a variation of it on this piece.

My favorite stitchery book!
Also worth mentioning here is an amazing woman who has more than mastered the hand stitching of the world as far as I can see! Sarah Whittle has published a wonderful book I purchased about a year or so ago and she is a Contemporary Embroidery Artist I am quite in awe of!  Her book details more stitches than I would have guessed exist.  It is called "The Needlecraft Style Directory" and gives beautiful instruction, history, and illustrations of stitches from around the world.  I would highly recommend it for anyone interested in hand work or it's history.


1-2-3 Banana Bread

Another 1-2-3 recipe! ONE yellow cake mix, TWO eggs, THREE ripe bananas, just beat together for  2-3 minutes with your electric mixer and pour into a buttered floured loaf pan. Then bake 45 - 50 minutes at 350 degrees F. until a skewer inserted into the center tests clean.  Cool on racks and store tightly wrapped.  If you like stir in a few chocolate chips or rough chopped walnuts or pecans to the batter just prior to baking but that is purely optional.

Yield one very quick and easy loaf of banana bread.

I saw this little recipe a few months ago and it stuck in my mind but I am sorry to say I cannot for the life of me remember where or exactly when.  But, it was too easy a little recipe to forget!


Baking Peanut Butter and Bacon Treats for Our Dog Molly

This is Molly Sampling Her First Peanut Butter Bacon Treat.
Molly had a terrible seizure on Wednesday at the Vets office and I am spoiling her.  So much so I am making her special treats.  These are an adaptation of an adaptation I previously made her called Peanut Butter Treats.  I used things I have on hand and that I know she likes! In fact there is nothing in these a person could not eat!

Dog Bone Cutters of Course.
Ingredients for Peanut Butter and Bacon Treats:

1 C. + 2 T. water
1 rounded teaspoon of chicken stock granules
1/4 C. peanut butter
2 T. bacon drippings
1 1/2 T. honey
1/4 C. strawberry jam
1 t. kosher salt
3 1/4 C. all purpose flour
1/2 C. cornmeal
1/3 C. whole wheat flour + more for rolling out
2 T. cold mashed potatoes
1/4 C. dry milk powder
2 t. yeast

Add all of the ingredients to a large mixer bowl and blend with paddle attachment on lowest speed.  Scrape off the paddle and the sides of the bowl and attach the dough hook.  Machine knead the dough for 15 minutes. Add additional whole wheat flour or droplets of water as needed until the dough forms a smooth and elastic ball and DOES NOT CLING TO THE SIDES OF THE BOWL.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment or sil-pat baking mats.

Ready to Go into the Oven.
Lightly flour the board and rolling pin with whole wheat flour and roll the dough to just over 1/4" thick.  Cut into desired shapes.  Bake both pans at the same time on racks near the center of the oven rotating and switching them half way through the baking time.  Bake 50-60 minutes.  Then LEAVE THE PANS IN THE OVEN AND TURN OFF THE HEAT.  LEAVE THE TREATS IN THE CLOSED OVEN FOR AN ADDITIONAL 2-4 HOURS.   

Molly Will Share with Elsa the German Shepard When She Comes To Play.
Remove from the oven an cool completely.  Store in an air tight container.  Yield depends on the size cutters you are choosing.  I yielded one very happy dog.


Triple Apple Loaf Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting PLUS Trying a New Product, Boiled Cider from The King Arthur Co.

Apple cake and Peanut Butter Icing......yum!
Today I was committed to doing something with the last 10-12 pounds of apples Mike Linton brought the other day. 

This apple slicer/core remover makes the job easier and the slices uniform.
I really like the idea of making the cooked apple pie fillings and freezing the fillings in foil and plastic lined pie plates then labeling and stacking up the frozen disks in the deep freeze!    I think I have 8 or 10 now.      This is the link to that recipe.

I line them up then let them cool something under 2 hours.
Yesterday my order from King Arthur Four came with the much awaited 3 pounds of cinnamon chips and bread sacks. Plus, a bottle of their much touted "boiled cider".  It is said to give apple products a real flavor boost and I am anxious to flavor some of these pie fillings with it as well as a cake I have a yen for!  Love trying something new and their products have never disappointed me!  I stirred in a tablespoon of the boiled cider to the filling for 3 pies.

This does add a depth of apple flavor and I am all about flavor!
This cake recipe is adapted from one I found on and they credited Cara Eisenpress.  I have cherished memories of my Grandmother making her apple cake with peanut butter frosting.  However I don't want to make a great big cake.  In fact a loaf cake was just what I had in mind.  Since Brian and I will probably consume most of this I wanted it to be chocked full of flavor and things we love.  The peanut butter icing is a walk down memory lane.  If you have never eaten a slice of crisp, juicy, sweet apple with a glob of peanut butter clinging to it, I urge you to do so.  Only then will you have a full appreciation for what I am doing here!

Diced apple, raisins, and walnuts tossed in cinnamon sugar!
Ingredients for Triple Apple Loaf Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting:

1/2 C. grape seed, safflower,  or other oil
3/4 C. + 2 T. sugar
1/4 C, maple syrup
1 extra large egg
1 t. vanilla extract
1 T. boiled cider (or apple cider or apple juice)
1 1/4 C. unsweetened applesauce
1 C. flour
1/2 C. whole wheat flour
1/2 t. salt
2 t. + 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. ginger
1 t. baking powder
1 apple. peeled. cored, and diced
1/2 C. golden raisins
1/2 C. chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.   Cut out parchment paper or foil to line loaf pan and butter and flour well.  Set aside.

Chop the walnuts coarsely and toss with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and set aside.

Stir together in a medium sized bowl the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, baking powder, and raisins and set aside.

Beat the egg in a larger bowl then add the sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, boiled cider, applesauce, and oil until thickened.

I didn't even get out my mixer for this!
Fold in the dry ingredients just until well blended.  Stir in the apples and nuts being sure you scrape in all of the cinnamon and sugar from the nuts!

Lining pan with parchment gives sharp corners and easy removal from the pan.
Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool completely.

Plus looking good ti smelled great while baking!
Ingredients for Peanut Butter Frosting:

1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 T. soft butter
2 T. cream
1/2 t. vanilla
1-2 rounded T, peanut butter (to taste)

Combine all of the ingredients and beat with an electric mixer adding droplets of cream until the desired consistency.   Adjust the amount of peanut butter to your taste and liking.  Frost cooled cake.

If you can resist devouring this it will keep nicely for 5-7 days, longer if refrigerated.

Yellow Squash, Zucchini, and Yellow Pepper Spaghetti Cut on Mandoline Julienne DELICIOUS Spaghetti Alternative

Vegetables cut on the Julienne blade with my mandolin equals delicious vegetable "spaghetti".
This is such an exciting alternative to pasta that I am beside myself!  Plus my non diet food husband thinks it is just delicious!  Very healthy alternative for dieters as well as gluten free folks. 

This is the third time I have prepared some variation of the recipe in the past few weeks and all have been met with RAVE REVIEWS.

NOTE:  This is great using zucchini alone or combined with other vegetables, use what you have or what sounds good!

Harry Brown my Egg man gave me several yellow summer squash, something I am normally not fond of, and asked me to try the zucchini fries using them.  And I will.  But first I used them along with zucchini and a yellow pepper in this dish.  At this point I am sold on this!

 The vegetables:

I have two mandolins but this Asian one Juliennes very finely the end result much like angel hair pasta in size.  Previously I boiled  the shreds for 3 minutes.  Last night I covered and cooked on high a big dish, maybe 4-5 shredded squash, for 9 minutes.  It was tender crisp, faintly sweet, and delicious.  I did butter the casserole and drizzle the squash and peppers with a little olive oil, kosher salt , and black pepper.  It was so good with the spicy shrimp!  The recipe bears repeating.  I would use these vegetable shreds in any recipe calling for spaghetti!

Any seafood can be used in this dish.  I had shrimp in the freezer.
The Shrimp:

1 pound raw, shelled, and deveined shrimp
2 T. each butter and olive oil
2 t. Sriracha hot sauce or to taste
2 T. water, white wine, or stock
salt and pepper to taste

This is the other star of this dish!
Saute shrimp in oil and butter until opaque. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.  Serve over hot vegetable spaghetti.

Spicy Shrimp on Zucchini.
Yield 2-3 servings.