Making Plans for My Favorite Fall Shop Hop

I just got on the Amish Quilt Shop Hop website to see what the theme is for this year. It is, “Creating Traditions”.

Amish Quilt Shop Hop

What a great theme. I wonder how the shop owners will translate that theme into their quilt block layouts. There are 10 quilt shops participating this year.

The dates for the shop hop are October 30-31, November 1-2, 2013. Mark your calendars now. I can’t wait to see the fabric collection chosen for this year.

For more information click on the Amish Quilt Shop Hop logo above.

My 4 Legged Running Partner

One of my favorite running partners is my 8 month old puppy, Daisy.

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She’s a great pace partner. She runs right beside me.

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Looking around and taking in the scenery.

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But she keeps pace right with me.

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Every now and then she nuzzles my hand with her nose while we’re running. It’s the sweetest thing. We’ll be running along and all of a sudden I feel this cold little nose touch my hand. I look down and she’s looking up at me with this happy expression on her face.

This is our first English Shepherd so I don’t know if it’s an English Shepherd thing or if it’s just Daisy’s personality. I take it as her way of encouraging me, “Keep going, you’re doing great!”

I’m just glad to have such a great, always ready and always willing running partner.

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Thanks Daisy for another great run!

Berry Season Continues

Now that strawberry season has come to an end for this year, black raspberry season has begun. And there are a lot of black raspberries this year!

I made a berry cobbler to celebrate the first berries. I adapted a recipe from the Food Network website. It is Paula Deen’s Slow Berry Cobbler. It’s a slow cooker recipe that is easy and delicious!

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The recipe calls for 3 types of berries, but I used my frozen strawberries (from the last picking) and fresh black raspberries from my raspberry patch. The recipe also called for baking mix, which I do not have. So I made my own using this substitution recipe for Bisquick. It uses just a few simple ingredients that I always have on hand.

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I mixed the berries; frozen strawberries and fresh black raspberries.

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Stir in sugar and 1/2 cup of the baking mix.

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Put the berry mixture in the slow cooker that you sprayed with cooking spray. Then in another bowl mix baking mix, sugar, melted butter and milk.

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By the way…I love Snowville milk! It is from a southern Ohio creamery called Snowville Creamery. Check out their website. If you can get their milk in your local grocery store I highly recommend trying it. It is the only milk I buy.

Okay, mooooving on…sorry about the cow joke.

Don’t over stir the mixture.

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With your hands drop pieces of dough on the top of the berry mixture in the slow cooker.

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Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle over the top.

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Cook on high for 3 hours. The smell of berry cobbler cooking is so amazing. It just smells like home, like summer, like grandma’s house…it smells yummy! And the best way to eat cobbler is with good vanilla ice cream!

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Slow Berry Cobbler (adapted from Paula Deen’s recipe)

Filling:
16 oz strawberries
16 oz black raspberries
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup baking mix (see substitution recipe below)

Topping:
1  1/2 cups baking mix
1/2 cup sugar; divided
4 Tablespoons of butter; melted
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

Spray the inside of slow cooker with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl combine strawberries, black raspberries, 2/3 cup sugar and 1/2 cup baking mix. Pour the berry mixture in the slow cooker.

In another large mixing bowl combine 1 1/2 cups baking mix, 1/4 cup sugar, melted butter and milk. Stir with a spoon but do not over mix. With your hands drop small amounts of dough on top of berry mixture in slow cooker.

In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Sprinkle over dough in slow cooker.

Put the lid on the slow cooker. Cook on high for 3 hours. Dough will puff and berries will be bubbling.

Serve warm with ice cream. Enjoy!

Bisquick Baking Mix Substitution
(makes 2 cups)

2 cups flour
3 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 Tablespoon of melted butter

Mix the dry ingredients. Add melted butter and stir till crumbly.

Putting it All Together

The quilt top from the 2011 Amish Quilt Shop Hop is coming together.

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I really like it! The colors look so vibrant. I’m really taking my time with pinning and sewing so that I get sharp points and corners.

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I use a lot of pins, I mean a lot of pins!

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That is how you keep the fabric from moving when you get those corners and points lined up.

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Sharp corners make this quilter happy.

A Useful Digit

Have you ever considered how useful our thumbs are? Probably not, unless you’ve injured your thumb to the point of rendering it useless like I did the other day.

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While washing my Ninja food processor I cut my thumb on the blade. You know, those very sharp blades on food processors. I even told myself as I carefully swooshed it in the hot soapy water, “Remember to be careful those blades are sharp!” I will spare you the gory details. Let’s just say I’m glad I’m not squeamish about the sight of my own blood or I would have been on the floor.

So, for the next 2 days I was reminded just how useful our thumbs are. Here is my list of everyday tasks that require your thumb.

  • texting
  • removing your contacts
  • pinning fabric
  • brushing your teeth
  • using the remote control
  • typing
  • writing

It made me stop and thank God for giving me thumbs. What useful digits they are.

While Running I’ve Met the Most Interesting…

ducks?! This guy was waddling along beside the bike path I run on.

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He was about 1/2 mile from the lake where all the ducks gather. Don’t know why he was on his own. He even let me get a close-up.

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I thought he was a Mallard duck until I researched Mallards. This guy is not a pure Mallard because of the white on the front of his neck and he is bigger.

I love running outside. It seems that I always run into interesting wildlife or beautiful flora and fauna. Last week a deer popped out of a grove of trees about 15 feet from me…of course I did not have my camera with me.

 

Strawberry Sorbet

My strawberry patch is still going strong. I’ve already made freezer jam, so what to make now…Strawberry Sorbet. I found this recipe on Food Network’s website. It’s Paula Deen’s recipe for Strawberry Sorbet and it is really good!

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It has just 5 ingredients…I didn’t include the water in the picture. I thought that would be silly.

IMG_3409The first thing you do is make the simple syrup. Bring the sugar and water to a boil on medium-high heat. Do not stir! After it comes to a boil reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for 3 minutes until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool.

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Put the cleaned and halved strawberries in a food processor with the lime juice and puree. I used my Ninja…I really like this thing.  IMG_3412

Pour the strawberry mixture into a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds.

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I pressed the mixture with a spatula. A few seeds did get through, but that’s okay.

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When the simple syrup has cooled, pour it into the strawberry puree…

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pour in the corn syrup also and stir.

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Put the strawberry mixture in the refrigerator to chill. Then using your ice cream maker’s instructions make the sorbet. I used my Kitchen Aid.

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After making the sorbet I froze it in freezer containers.

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This sorbet recipe is so easy to make and it is delicious.

For the recipe click here, which will take you to Food Network’s website.

Flying Geese Ruler

Here’s my confession…I’m not one of those gadget loving quilters. I’m usually pretty basic when it comes to my quilting tools. But the finishing kit for this Amish Quilt Shop Hop quilt that I’ve been working on came with a Flying Geese Ruler from Marti Mitchell. I really like this ruler!

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First of all, the pink tag holder that came on the ruler is brilliant! When I’m done using the ruler I can re-attach the directions so that they will always be on the ruler. Such a simple thing but so helpful. I won’t have to go searching thru drawers and stacks of paper looking for the directions the next time I use the ruler. Good thinking, Marti!

To use the ruler for my project I used the 3 1/2″ strip line. The top of the ruler has a flat edge that lines up on the top of the fabric strip. The picture below shows the cutting of the next triangle.

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Then you flip the ruler around to cut another triangle, without wasting fabric.

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After you cut the triangles you then trim the corners as shown in the picture below. This step is surprisingly helpful as I will show you.

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Here are the cute little triangles that you trim away. You could save these for you next project…! Please don’t, don’t do that to yourself! Throw them away!

Okay, next step.

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I did the same for the turquoise fabric triangles. I’m making border strips, not flying geese even though I’m using the Flying Geese Ruler. The corners for the turquoise triangles are trimmed also.

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Here is where those trimmed corners really matter. Lining up the triangles is so much more accurate with these trimmed corners.

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I pin to hold the triangles in alignment while I sew.

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Here are the finished border strips. I am greatly impressed with this ruler and look forward to using it to make flying geese, but it’s nice to know that this little ruler pulls double duty making triangle borders as well.

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Newest Members to our Farm

We recently purchased day old chicks to add to our farm. We have had chickens for several years now. This time we purchased Golden Comets. They are supposed to be a very good food-to-egg-ratio chicken. This is a picture of them the first week we brought them home.

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They are so cute and fluffy.

Even Daisy our 6 month old puppy thought they were cute.

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A baby checking out the babies.

Here are the same chicks just a few short weeks later.

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There are 8 hens and 1 rooster. The rooster is the cream-colored one looking up at the camera. From the beginning he has watched out for his “girls” and acting as their protector. That’s ok as long as he doesn’t get aggressive with us…then all will be well.

And now they have moved up to the “Big” coop.

Pretty coop

It was time to get them out of the basement and transition them in with the other chickens.

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Here are a couple of roommates. Dash the rooster and Henny Penny. My husband constructed a lattice box in the corner of the coop for the chicks.

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This allows them time to grow so that they will be big enough to defend themselves if need be and gives the other chickens time to get used to the new residents.

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See the little cream-colored rooster looking up at the camera again. He’s a very alert little guy.

And here is a hen doing what hens do.

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Thank you for the delicious egg!

Purposing to Perfect the 9-Patch

The next items to piece were 9 patch blocks and setting triangle units.

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They went together really well. Here is how I pieced the 9-patch blocks.

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I made strip sets like the ones in my Straight Strip Set post. Then subcut them into 2″x5″ rectangles.

Here is my pinning technique…

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I sandwich the units together making sure the seams lock together. As you pinch them together you can feel the seams locked next to each other. Then I place a pin on either side of the seam.

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I like these long pins that are easy to grab as I’m sewing. I take just a small “bite” of fabric with the pins.

Here is how I pin each unit before sewing.

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As I said in my earlier post, proper pressing is very important also. I press after each piece I sew together.