Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fall Exchange Received and Sent

I have been so bad about posting lately!!! However, I must share this Fall exchange with you.
I participated in the SBEBB Harvest Time Exchange and received a gorgeous exchange from Nicki~ She selected one of my favorite designers, Bent Creek and stitched the design over 1. Oh how I love over one! Nicki's stitching is gorgeous, I am so impressed. She finished into a darling pinkeep~I feel so lucky.

SBEBB: Harvest Time Exchange
Designer: Bent Creek
Stitched By: Nicki

She also surprised me with SIX very pretty specialty threads. Those silks feel amazing!In addition she sent my way a lovely piece of green hand dyed linen. I am so in need of a larger stash so THANKS!

Harvest Time Exchange from Nicki

Leena received my Seasonal stitcher's Fall exchange so I can share this picture with you. With the help of Vonna's tutorial I finished it off as a flat fold.

Seasonal stitcher's Fall Exchange

Designer: Homespun Elegance

Design: Wishing Thee Plenty

Stitched for: Leena

I just now packaged up my USEBB Ornament Exchange and it will be mailed out tomorrow. I will post pictures as soon as I hear that it has been received.

Block #2 of VoHRH is complete, Yahoo!!! I had planned to photograph it today but life got in the way. I will post a picture on or before the 12/1 deadline. I look forward to seeing everyones progress pictures, even if you did not complete the block be sure to share a photo.

Hope everyone enjoyed their holiday. I am still full!

Until next time...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thanksgiving Recipe


Each Thanksgiving I make homemade cranberry sauce using the recipe listed below. It has become a favorite at our table so I thought I would share it with you.

The pumpkin pie recipe is so easy, very fast, and delicious!

Apple Orange Cranberry Sauce

Yields: 4 cups

1/2 of an orange
2 cups water
1 granny smith apple
3 cups fresh cranberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Squeeze the juice from the orange half and set the juice aside. Remove the membrane from the inside of the orange shell and discard. Cut the shell into very small pieces and put these into a small saucepan with the 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Peel, core, and chop apple into small pieces. Place in a saucepan. Sort the cranberries, discard soft ones and add to the apples. Add the reserved diced orange peel, the reserved orange juice, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and partially cover. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and the cranberries burst~ 10-15 minutes.

Transfer to a bowl and let cool before serving or cover and refrigerate; bring to room temperature before serving.

Double Layer Pumpkin Pie
4 oz cream cheese
1 cup plus 1 Tbsp milk, divided
1 Tbsp sugar
8 oz tub cool whip, thawed, divided
6 oz Honey Maid Graham Pie Crust
15 oz can pumpkin
2 pkg (4-serving size each) Jello Vanilla Instant Pudding
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves

MIX: cream cheese, 1 Tbsp milk and the sugar in a large bowl until well blended.
Gently stir in half of the whipped topping. Spread onto bottom of crust.
POUR: 1 cup milk into a large bowl. Add pumpkin, dry pudding mixes and spices.
Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. (Mixture will be thick)
Spread over cream cheese layer.
Refrigerate 4 hours or until set. Dollop with remaining whip topping.
Store in refrigerator.

I have not yet tried the recipe listed below but with all of the delicious Vermont Maple Syrup I have, this is one recipe that I must try.

Maple Cranberry Sauce
Yield: 4 cups

1 (12 ounces) package fresh cranberries, washed and picked over
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup cranberry-raspberry juice
1/2 cup fruity red Zinfandel wine
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 cup walnut halves, coarsely chopped

Place cranberries, maple syrup, juice, wine, and orange zest in a heavy saucepan.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 10 minutes, until cranberries begin to pop. Skim off any foam that rises to the top. Remove from heat and gently smash a bit to open the cranberries, but do not mash. Stir in walnuts. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until

ready to serve. You'll probably want to double this delicious cranberry sauce recipe. May be made up to a week in advance and kept refrigerated.

Cranberry Sauce leftovers ????

Yes you can make desserts using leftovers! For the best muffins you've ever tasted use leftover cranberry sauce as the filling. Buy a regular muffin mix, spoon the cranberry sauce into the middle and bake as directed. For a real treat use orange muffin mix!

Until next time...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Fair & Square~ Stitching Tips

My stitching partner for Fair and Square round #3 was Paula C. She told me that she plans on finishing her blocks as Ornaments (great idea), so I decided to stitch her a Christmas design from one of her favorite designers; Prairie Schooler.

Fair & Square round #3
Prairie Schooler book #48
A Christmas Visit

Fair & Square Exchange for Paula C.

Last week I received a wonderful gift in the mail. A very good friend of mine surprised me with this Twisted Oaks kit. It is absolutely gorgeous!!! While in Vermont I drove to The Whistling Duck, a great needlework shop in Williston, VT. I was able to purchase the fabric for this, but I will need to purchase the Dinky Dyes online before I can begin stitching.

Twisted Oaks Design: Honor Thy Needle-Pyramid Etui

If you are in search of Needle Necessities floss, which is no longer in business, I know that the Whistling Duck has some in stock. they do not have a website but you can phone them and place an order. The shop owners are so nice and extremely helpful.

I had a bit of a mishap with the finishing of one of my PIF's (pay it forward). I stitched part of an AMAP design, on white linen using red silk, with plans to finish it as a scissor holder. I am not sure where my head was, but I placed the piece (wrong side up) on my ironing board to press out any wrinkles. For some reason I got "wacky" with the spray bottle and almost drown the piece. After pressing it, mounting it onto cardboard, and preparing the back piece, I sandwiched it together and placed it under some heavy books. The next day I returned to my sewing room ready to stitch on the cording. To my shock I saw that the red from the thread had migrated onto the white linen UGH!!! With a Q-tip in hand I thought that maybe I could blot it out...no such luck. What would I do now? I know, I will wet it and try to get the thread to bleed all over the fabric. Would it look like hand-dyed fabric? I wish, but NO it looked worse. What would I do now? Throw it out! Yup, that's what I did. Sadly, someone out there would have been receiving their PIF, but must now wait until I stitch up a new one.

Some helpful hints for cross stitch can be found at The Caron Collection, Jay's Stitching Hints , and Bonnie's Cross Stitch Zone, Needlework FAQ's.

Thanks for stopping by. It is always so nice to read your comments and to see that someone new has visited!

Until next time...

Monday, November 5, 2007

Must Have Gadget

Kreinik Custom Corder

The Custom Corder by Kreinik ($15.95) is by far one of my very favorite gadgets for cross stitch. This handy tool allows you to create your own cording, in the color(s) and fiber that you prefer. It is fast, easy to use, and produces a professional looking trim in seconds! It can be used with a number of threads including DMC, silk, metallic, rayon, pearl cotton, and fine yarns.

It is best to purchase a weight to use with the corder. I bought mine at a LNS for about $3.00, when I arrived home my son informed me that he could have supplied me with fishing weight. The weight makes for a more uniform twist to your cording.

You can purchase the custom corder from the Kreinik website, some LNS and craft shops, and I have listed additional websites that do carry it.. I included the retail price from each, but this does not include shipping.

Sewing Super Store $8.74

AC Moore $10.49
Craft Town hobby Land USA $13.09
Scrapbook Memories $9.99
Sew and So (in the UK) L ll.99
Tandem Cottage Needlework (in the UK) L 10.99
Amazon $12.49
Marilyn's Online Needlework $11.95
The Sewing Place $14.49
Addicted to Crafts $10.29

Micheal.com gives instructions for making cording without the use of the Custom Corder.

For those that make their own cording I have a helpful tip to share:

I usually have a small piece of cording left over, rather than discard it I "label" it. I get out my Label Gadget (oh yes, another gadget) and I make a label identifying the fiber used and the number of strands. When I have a project in need of cording, but am not sure of how thick the cording should be, I can use this collection of "samples" to determine what would work best. Having the label on the sample lets me know immediately how many strands I need to use.

I absolutely love gadgets and find that, in most cases, they are time savers! If you have any cross stitch or quilting gadgets that you can't live without please share them in your comments!
There are far more quilting gadget, someday I must share those.

Until next time...