Thursday, September 29, 2011


Yesterday I had a sewing date with a quilting friend, Judy, which always proves to be a great afternoon.  There is plenty of laughing, sewing, idea exchanging, and most of all no husbands, kids, or cleaning house.  Judy and her husband moved to Brownwood from our hometown of Nevada, MO.  Yes, her husband is a 3M'er too. 
It was my turn to provide lunch so I made dessert first.  After all, as my mom says, "life is uncertain; eat dessert first".  Since it's fall plus the fact that I drove by Sligers and saw their parking lot full of pumpkins, I thought pumpkin bars were appropriate.  Now, since I am the only who will eat pumpkin bars, I also decided to make pumpkin loaves so that I could freeze them instead of eating the whole pan in 24 hours.  And so far, no pumpkin bars have made their way to the freezer; on the other hand, I haven't ate all of them either!

Here is the recipe:

4 eggs
1 - 16 oz can pumpkin
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
Beat the eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin together.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Spread in 15 x 10 baking pan and bake at 350 oven for 25-30 minutes.  Frost with cream cheese icing. 
1 - 3 oz. pkg creme cheese, softened
1 /2 c. butter softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla.
Mix together and spread on pumpkin bars.

Now that dessert is complete and I didn't croak or anything uncertain didn't happen, I'll move on to the crock pot pizza.  I received this recipe when I was still living in Nevada, MO.  Although I had never made it, I have sampled it... a very long time ago.  I had to substitute one of the ingredients.  The recipe calls for Kluski noodles.  I had never heard of those so I googled it.  It seems Kluski noodles are a polish type egg noodle.  I could make them from scratch or I could just go buy a package of egg noodles and be done with it.  Guess what, I went with the store bought egg noodles.  I'm pretty sure my friend in Nevada, MO didn't use Kluski noodles because I doubt she could find them in our little town way back when. 
1 - 8 oz. pkg of Kluski Noodles
2 lbs. ground beef
1 medium onion
1 - 30 oz. jar Ragu chunky Italian garden sauce
Green pepper, chopped (optional)
mushrooms, sliced (optional)
1 - 8 oz. pkg shredded cheddar cheese
1 - 8 oz. pkg shredded mozzarella cheese
1 pkg. sliced pepperoni

Cook and drain the noodles.  Brown ground beef and season as desired.  (I used a little salt and pepper, basil, oregano, and a garlic clove).  Add Ragu, onions, green pepper, mushrooms and simmer till vegetables are tender.  Layer noodles, meat sauce, cheeses, and pepperoni in a large crock pot.  Cook on low and serve when cheese is melted.  Approximately 30 minutes - 1 hour.  Serves 12 (or in my case with very hearty eaters, serves 8-10).

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lil Twister Wreath

While visiting my new granddaughter Josie Dianne Liles, I saw the cutest little wall hanging at the quilt shop in Nevada, MO at Nine Patch Quilt Shop.  She, being the shop owner, shared the pattern with me.  I took the squares to a friends house this afternoon for our sewing get-together and put this together in less than 2 hours.  I didn't keep track of the time and was talking quite a bit so it may have taken way less than 2 hours. 

I forgot to photograph the original layout of the 5" squares before I started cutting it apart with the Lil Twister Ruler.  I was so anxious to see the end result. It is so simple.  You start with 25 five inch squares (you can use a charm pack), sew them together in the following grid, add a 3" border and then cut them apart.   

1   2   3   2   1
2   3   1   3   2
3   1   1   1   3
2   3   1   3   2
1   2   3   2   1

As you can see (or maybe you really can't), you just line up the lines on the ruler with your seam line and cut them apart.  The key to success is to do one row at a time as they are easy to get twisted the wrong way and then you will lose your pattern.

This is one row cut apart and laid out ready to sew together.

And this is the same row sew together.

And this is the finished center of the wall hanging. I just need to add borders, quilt, and bind.  I have another idea for a 3rd row of green around the red.  I'll have to work on that and let you know the results in a later post.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Quilting In the Dark

Do you know what happens when you attempt to piece something after dark when your eyes are 50 years old?  Well, let me tell you, you may not like the results in the daytime!  I know it looks like it coordinates in the pictures attached, but trust me.  It doesn't!!!

In preparation for the arrival of my new granddaughter, I thought I would go ahead and make the pieced border on the baby quilt I was planning to make her. I knew I couldn't completely finish it as I wanted to applique her name in the center and my son wasn't telling me, or anyone else for that matter, what her name was going to be. I sorted through my stash and found several prints along with a few I purchased on my recent shop hop road trip to make the border. I thought it was going to be perfect. It turned out so cute, until I took it to the not so local quilt shop (it's 20 miles away) and laid it on their table to do a little "show and tell". I was mortified when I laid it out all together. It was horrible! I remember numerous times in my past work history of working in a quilt shop and the combination of fabrics that some of the little old ladies would bring in to show. I wondered how they could see to piece something together because their eyesite certainly wasn't good enough to match anything together! Oh no! I have become the little old lady!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sassi Pearls

I have two projects I'm working on that have to be completed before I head to Missouri to see my new granddaughter.  She hasn't made or appearance into this great world but she should anytime now.  My daughter-in-law is in labor as I write this so it won't be long now... we hope!  We don't know her name yet as mom and dad want to wait until they see her to make sure her name fits her.  And because I'm the procrastinator that I am, I haven't made her baby quilt yet.  I finally decided on a fabric and posted pictures earlier.  Last week I finally designed the quilt but I can't finish it yet because I want to put her name on it. 

The second project is a  donation quilt I committed to do for the Brownwood FFA Chapter.  Once again I procrastinated starting it because I couldn't decide what I wanted to do.  This weekend while shop hopping, it came to me.  I was going to make a Brownwood Lions Quilt for them to give away.  I will post pictures of both the baby quilt and the Brownwood Lions Quilt tomorrow. 

I mentioned that I went to a Statler Stitcher Sibs meeting in San Antonio on Saturday.  Actually it was in Pleasanton, Texas just south of San Antonio.  Our hostess, Sherry has a beautiful home, full of quilts, of course and lots of hooked rugs.  Just like quilting, hooked rugs are a lost art.  Sherry has many talents.  In addition to quilting and hooked rugs, she also makes jewelry.  Since we are going on a retreat in February, and have named ourselves the "Sassi Pearls", we wanted to make pearl necklaces to wear while at the retreat.  Sassi is an acronym for something but I can't remember what... San Antonio Statler Stitcher something I think.  Anyway, Sherry helped us make pearl necklaces.  We had a great time doing it and I can honestly say I probably won't be doing that again.  But it was fun and I can check it off my bucket list.... jewelry making, check. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Shops #19-24

It was a busy this weekend for the Quilting Queen.  I had a Statler Stitcher Sibs meeting in San Antonio on Saturday so decided to take in a few more shops in the statewide "Quilt Across Texas Shop Hop".  I went to Pocketful of Posey's Quilt Shop in Fredericksburg, Creations in Kerrville, Gone Quiltin in Bandera, Fabric and Friends in Castroville, Memories by the Yard in San Antonio, and Creative Sewing Center in San Antonio. Here are a couple of quilts that were made with the QAT fabric line. 

It was an interesting trip and a bit challenging at times.  I went by myself into uncharted territory, roads, and towns I have never been to before.  My little lady in the box; which Gregg affectionately refers to as Doris Jr. because he says she's always telling him where to go just like I am, got me to all of my destinations just fine.  Well, minus a few wrong turns, which Doris Jr. didn't like and had to "recalculate" numerous times!  Of course, the best part of the whole trip was this stop in San Antonio at Hollie & Kyle's apartment.  Hollie left the carseat in my car on Friday by accident so I "had" to stop back by again on Saturday to return it before I came home to Brownwood.  Gregg reminded me that that was "convenient" and sounded like an excuse to see my granddaughter again.  I don't have a clue what he's talking about!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Choco-lot - NOT!

Those of you who know me know I'm NOT a chocolate lover.  If you don't know me, I'm sure you're thinking WHAT??!!  What woman doesn't like chocolate.... right?!  Most women crave it on a regular basis and can get pretty testy when they don't get any.  Well, now you know someone who doesn't like chocolate. 

You won't catch me buying a chocolate Hershey's candy bar or ordering a chocolate dipped ice cream cone from Dairy Queen.  And it will have to be extremely frigid cold temperatures, which rarely occurs in Central Texas, before I will sip on a cup of hot chocolate.  At that point I'm sure my taste buds are frozen and until they thaw, I won't realize it's that yucky chocolate!  Please don't dip my strawberries in chocolate, drizzle it on my cheesecake, or cover my peanuts in it.  No Thank You!

However, I do like a few forms of chocolate.  For instance one of my favorite cakes is chocolate cake, but please no chocolate icing.  And I love brownies, as long as they aren't too "fudgy" or gooey.  Since I had to make 2 pans of brownies for church yesterday, I thought I'd share my brownie recipe with you.  (You will also not catch me buying a box mix from the store either; but that's another topic for later discussion!)  The recipe is super simple and quick; nothing fancy, just plain good brownies.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.  Oh, and by the way, they don't last long if you top them with real butter when they are hot out of the oven. 


1/2 cup butter, melted
6 Tbsp.  baking cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. chopped nuts (optional)

Combine melted butter and cocoa into medium mixing bowl.  Add sugar and vanilla.  Mix well.  Add eggs and beat together.  Add flour, baking powder, salt, and nuts.  Stir well.  Pour into well greased 8x8 pan.  Bake in 350 oven for 30-35 minutes.  Do not overbake!  ENJOY!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bueno Tacos

I was going to title this Taco Bueno but didn't want to get in trouble with the chain restaurant so it's Bueno Tacos.  Translated that's Good Tacos and that's what we had for dinner this evening.  Actually it was more like Bueno Taco meat since we rarely use taco shells.  Gregg fixes nachos (just chips, meat, and cheese) melted in the microwave and William and I fix taco salads (crushed chips, lettuce, meat, salsa, cheese, and ranch dressing).  Of course, I add tomatoes and fresh avocado.  I usually make Mexican rice to go with it but I forgot.  And was busy trying to finish a quilt so I was back and forth from the house to the quilting studio.  Oh and by the way, this isn't a picture of my taco salad but it sure does look good!

I also make my taco seasoning from scratch.  It is by far less expensive than the packaged kind you buy and has a lot less sodium in it too.   Here is the recipe if you'd like to make your own taco seasoning. This will season 1 - 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, depending on how spicy you like it.  We don't like it very spicy and I divide my 5 pound roll of hamburger into fourths so this recipes seasons 1 1/4 pounds of ground beef for me.  I also make this in bulk and keep it in a sealed container in the pantry.  It's an easy multiplication times 4!  I hope you enjoy it and find it as easy as I do.


1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper

Seasons 1 pound of ground beef. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Nine Lives (Or Quilt Shops)

Nine, count them, NINE Quilt Shops in one day!  Whew!  What a day.  My friend Priscilla and I decided to try to take in as many of the quilt shops in the statewide "Quilt Across Texas" Shop Hop today as we could.  We started out at 7:30 a.m. this morning, drove to Waxahachie to Common Thread Quilt Shop - which by the way was my favorite quilt shop of the day, then on to Midlothian to Quilts N More, on to Cedar Hill to Corner Square Quilts, on to Suzy's Quilt in Garland, on to Thomas Sewing Center in Mesquite, on to The Old Craft Store in Carrollton, on to Arlington to Quilt Among Friends, Lone Star House of Quilts, and Magnolia Quiltworks, on to Peggy's Quilt Studio in Pantego and last but not least, Cabbage Rose Quilts in Fort Worth and arriving back home in Brownwood at 7:30 p.m.  Are you worn out yet?  I was!  Even for this quilt-a-holic that was almost quilt shop overload!  And I was extremely good and only bought a few fat quarters to go with some projects I'm working on.  Here are a few pictures of some of the QAT quilts I saw today.  Some people are very creative! 


Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Blog Name

I was thinking that maybe I needed a "catchy" name for my blog instead of "The Quilting Queen Online Blog".  That doesn't sound too interesting.  It actually sounds pretty boring.  I texted Hollie, my creative writer in the family and said "I need a name for my blog.  Got any ideas".  This is her response about 4 hours later.  "Confessions of an obsessive quilter".  Obsessive... what is she thinking?  I prefer to think of it as a passionate quilter.  Obsessive... that sounds like I'm phychotic or deranged!  I can't help myself.  I LOVE to quilt!!!

I am however, open to your suggestions.  Please comment and tell me what you think my blog should be named. 

A Quilter's Prayer

A Quilter's Prayer

Dear Lord, I don't ask or require very much
Some colorful scraps of thread, fabric and such.
A sewing machine that works all day without hitches
Sewing straight and even seams and stitches.
A hand that is steady and can work for hours
Creating wondrous, colorful birds and flowers.
A needle so short and strong and fine
That it's hard to believe this quilting is mine.
Smooth thread with no tangles, ragged edges or knots,
That glides through the batting in difficult spots.
Square corners, no lumps flat even binding,
No waves or loose threads to later be finding.
When I have all these things there is great satisfaction.
This intangible quality is the attraction.
The quilt will be beautiful, comforting to touch.
Freely given to another whom I love very much.
I love quilting in every part.
From beginning to end, it comes from my heart.
I have so many ideas of quilts to make
But sleep is my enemy; I can't stay awake,
The patterns and settings dance in my dreams
As my mind plays with fabrics and color schemes.
I pray for energy, stamina and time
To make all of the quilting ideas that are mine.
May your sorrows be patched and your joys be quilted.

I borrowed this from a post on posted by gramgonecrazy.  I wasn't able to determine if this was her original work or not but sure hope so.  At any rate, it sums up how I feel most of the time.  I'm sure I won't live long enough to use up all my stash or create all the quilts I have in my idea bank.  Which brings up another subject at that I will post at a later date... A Quilter's Last Will and Testament. 


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Friends, Quilting, Shopping, Food

Whew, what a day. I visited 5 quilt shops today with two of my best friends, Angela and Priscilla. Our first stop was Barb's Quilt Nook in Kingsland, TX where I bought yet another "Texas" pattern. This is a small wall hanging just 21" x 27" so it should take me long to do it... right!?

Our second stop and the remainder of the trip were all shops in the statewide "Quilt Across Texas" Shop Hop. Ready to Sew in Cedar Park, Texas didn't manage to temp me with anything! At least not anything they had in stock. I really wanted a mini lil twister ruler or the itty bitty lil twister ruler but they were out of both. Shucks! However, I frequent there as often as I can get Gregg to stop so you can bet sooner or later I will own one or both of those rulers.

Stop 3 was the Honey Bee in Austin, Texas and they had a really neat quilt made from the "Quilt Across Texas" fabrics. Neat enough that I bought their pattern. Yep, another "Texas" themed pattern and I'm not even from this great state. I'm a transplant! Here is the Honey Bee Quilt to the right.

Austin Sew & Vac in Round Rock, Texas was our 4th stop. I bought a couple of yards of a red fabric I use quite a bit in my many red, white, and blue quilts and my "Texas" quilts. Their "Quilt Across Texas" quilt is below. It was a good design too but I didn't purchase their pattern because it featured machine embroidery in the middle and I haven't convinced Gregg I really need an embroidery machine yet. Their quilt is pictured below.

Our final stop was Georgetown, Texas at Poppy's Quilt Shop. Anita and her staff are so friendly and accommodating. I didn't purchase anything there either but I did learn a shortcut to Georgetown from Brownwood so I can get their quicker the next time I go!

The best part of the whole trip was that when I returned home, Gregg was grilling steaks and portobello mushrooms for supper. I fixed some asparagus to go with it and everything tasted great.

Fun with good friends, quilting, shopping, and food! What an awesome day!


Friday, September 2, 2011

Welcome Back

As you can see, I haven't blogged in over a year. I was off to a great start and then I fell off the wagon! However, I'm back! I am focused this time and have goals set about blogging and building my business.

Yesterday I went to Waco to the Hobbs Batting Factory to pick up a couple of rolls of batting. When I returned home my husband, Gregg asked me why it took so much longer this time. You see, he went with me the last time we went. Welll..... I had to confess, I took in a couple of quilt shops in the Statewide "Quilt Across Texas" shop hop. "Tomorrow's Quilts" was only a few blocks away from Hobbs so who could resist? I was very good there. I bought a couple of yards of red, white, and blue fabric for a border on a quilt I'm working on. I know, surprise, surprise, I bought red, white and blue. I can't help it, it's my favorite! Then I got a nice surprise when I checked out. The shop was giving away a free pattern to the shop sample quilt they had made with the featured "Quilt Across Texas" fabrics. Whoo Hoo!!! Here is the fabric I bought.

Well, since I was so close and "Quilting Cousins" in Clifton was less than 30 miles away; in Texas that's translates to "just across the street", I made a little detour to Clifton. They are the most fun pair of ladies I've met in a long time and a very cute little shop too. I was pleasantly surprises. Of course I couldn't leave without buying something too. I really did need this! I bought a panel and border fabric for a baby quilt for my new grandbaby that is due to arrive in a couple of weeks. I had been struggling with an idea for her (btw, it's suppose to be a girl) and when I saw this I knew it was perfect. Now I have no idea how I'm going to set it together but you'll see in a few days I'm sure. I have to get going on it, time is short here! I also bought a pink minkie backing.

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