Cookies and Quilts Day 2

It’s day #2 of the Virtual Cookie Exchange Blog Hop hosted by Carol from Just Let Me Quilt

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Since Cindy and I are in the Christmas spirit, we thought we’d add another quick project.

Need a quick gift for a quilter/sewer in your life?

You’ve come to the right place!

I enjoy going to antique stores/yard sales/thrift stores, so I often look for items and inspiration there — in fact, it’s where I found the hand-pieced blocks for Christmas in Ohio Table runner that we shared in yesterday’s hop. 

While wandering the aisles of a thrift store, I found a cute former tea candle holder and decided to re-purpose it for a seasonal pincushion.  I’m gifting it to Kelly, my first quilt-instruction student.  She can use it right away as she begins her quilting journey.

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Tea candle holders are the perfect size for pincushions!

A couple of years back I made myself an Easter-themed pin cushion. I use it all year, but now I have the bug to create a seasonal collection of pin cushions.

Easter bunny pin cushion

A bit of thrift store china, a bit of cloth and stuffing.

I change out the rest of my decor every couple of months, why not my pin cushions? Plus, this will give my thrifting habit a focused task — win-win, right?

Quilt bloggers share recipes, Christmas traditions, quilts and great quilting stories for your holiday reading pleasure.  Today we are featuring the following blogs for the Virtual Cookie Exchange:

Creatin’ in the Sticks

Vroomans Quilts

It’s a T-Sweets day!

Domestic Felicity

That Fabric Feeling

Home Sewn by Us

Karrin’s Crazy World

Adventurous Applique and Quilting

Bumbleberry Stitches

Melva Loves Scraps

Beaquilter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual Cookie Exchange 2018

Carol from Just Let Me Quilt has done it again — created a delicious and beautiful blog hop to celebrate the season. And today is our day to shine!

In case you are just meeting us for the first time, Gray Barn Designs is owned by sisters Cindy and Sandy. Cindy lives in Ohio and I live in western NY. You can read more about us here. We’d love to have you follow us!

We’ve already had more than one heavy snowfall here in New York, so I decided it was time to jump right in to Christmas decorating. My almost 18-year-old son and I drove to  Kent Farms in nearby Andover, NY on Sunday to pick out our tree. OMG — I love the smell of pine trees! And I love the story of how this entrepreneurial family reinvented their family farm into both a retail and entertainment destination.

First we perused the trees on the lot and then we  walked into the barn/store/cafe to look at their displays — a barn full of free-standing antique doors covered in sparkly real pine wreaths (full disclosure, one of their designers is a dear friend of our family and she’s in this video!). I haven’t been to the farm in a long time — I had forgotten that it is so charming!

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As we weaved in and out of the lovely doors, I spotted him… the man of my dreams…

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I couldn’t resist him. He smelled like cookies and star dust.  I swear that I don’t know anything about those 3-year-olds who claimed I elbowed them out of the way to get this picture,….._MG_0059

Meanwhile, my son wasn’t having any of this (he wouldn’t even take on those little elfs who tried to stop me, just left his poor momma to fight her own battles<sigh>)…while I was having my picture taken, he hightailed it back outside to finish picking up our tree.

It was a great adventure, to be sure. Now the tree is up in the living room, the smell of pine has permeated the house. Real decorating begins tomorrow when mom comes over to help.

Meanwhile, I’ve got a bit of dusting to do so I can set the table with our new favorite pattern, Christmas in Ohio Table Runner, and a plate of Mom’s Molasses cookies. You can read more about this pattern here.

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Christmas in Ohio Nov 2018 free pattern

These molasses cookies are delicious all the time, not just at Christmas. Cindy and I hope you enjoy them!

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This is the first day of the virtual cookie exchange, so be sure to visit all of these wonderful blogs today:

Kwilty Pleasures

Tu-Na Quilts, Travels and Eats

Songbird Designs

Creative Latitude

Ms P Designs USA

Alycia Quilts

Happy Cottage Quilter

Sew Many Yarns

For The Love of Geese

 

 

November 28

Creatin’ in the Sticks

Vroomans Quilts

It’s A T-Sweet Day!

Domestic Felicity

That Fabric Feeling

Home Sewn By Us

Karrin’s Crazy World

Adventurous Applique and Quilting

Bumbleberry Stitches

Melva Loves Scraps

Beaquilter

November 29

MooseStashQuilting

Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life

Kathleen McMusing

DesertSky Quilting

Life in the Scrapatch

Ridge Top Quilt

Cynthia’s Creating Ark

Bejeweled Quilts by Barb

Pumpkin Patch Patterns & Quilting

Operation Domestic Goddess

Just Let Me Quilt

November Close Out

It’s that time of year again when November is drawing to a close.  The mini pumpkins on my mantle have been ceremonially tossed into the compost pile and all Thanksgiving decor has been packed away for next year’s celebration.

The 2018 Christmas season has begun!

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Candy Cane 2.0 Placemat – A Free Pattern

Last year, Sandy and I joined the Virtual Cookie Exchange Blog Hop hosted by Carol of Just Let Me Quilt.  We had so much fun that we’ve joined again this year.

This 3 day blog hop starts tomorrow and you’ll get to “meet” new quilters, collect new recipes and find more quilting inspiration.

To recap our post from last year’s blog hop, our FREE placemat pattern, “Candy Cane 2.0” made its debut.  It is pictured above and you can download the pattern by clicking on this link:  Candy Cane 2.0 Placemat 12 03 17

Last year, we also shared mom’s Snickerdoodle recipe.  Trust us when we say these cookies won’t last long!  You will surely have to make another batch before Santa arrives.     Snickerdoodles

As you can see from the footnote, this recipe can also be found in Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book originally published in 1950.   Mom inherited this book from our paternal Grandmother when she married dad and it’s ragged, ripped and stained from almost 70 years of use!

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Sandy and I learned to cook using this 1950’s version of Betty Crocker’s cook book.  It was our guide as we navigated the rough waters of learning to sift flour and separate egg whites.  How did we make meat loaf for hungry farm hands?  How did we make cookies when company was coming?  We consulted with Betty, of course!

This book was republished several years ago and mom bought four copies, a Christmas gift for each of us.  This is my “go to” reference manual.  I treasure this book and I use it often because Betty has always been a very good friend of mine!

We hope to see you all again at tomorrow’s blog hop…we have another amazing recipe from our friend, Betty, to share with you!

It’s getting real Thanksgiving up in here

Monday night before Thanksgiving and the pressure is on! I haven’t mopped my kitchen floor or finished dusting and let’s not even talk about the laundry piling up! Yikes! So instead of caring about any of these major tasks, I’ve been quilting:

  1. I’m teaching a friend how to quilt. She’s making the same quilt that my quilt mentor used to teach me: Turning Twenty Again. Honestly, this pattern is a classic and Kelly used her great eye for color and selected a lovely blue and tan fabric palette with some help from the excellent staff at Material Rewards. Kelly has done a wonderful job of cutting her pieces and yesterday we worked on laying them out. I can’t wait to see the final product. Ping Pong design table
  2. I gathered up some pre-cut 2.5″ squares and got to work creating a Thanksgiving colored pillow cover for my living room. I did some walking foot quilting using a  free spool of thread that I received when Cindy and I took a quilting class in Chicago last March. I’m loving the luster that this spool of Superior Threads provides! Note to self: up my thread game in the new year — my thread stash is very low and boring.IMG_49831.jpg
  3. Cindy and I are so excited about the start of the virtual cookie exchange blog hop that starts next week. Carol from Just Let Me Quilt is a master at organizing fun hops! We can’t wait to show you what we’re cooking up.
  4. Remember how I told you that I was sick of orange colors and I was ready to work on something red? Well, look what I decided to make for Easter: <sigh> This is a draft of a carrot block for a teeny tiny bunny quilt. I might need an orange intervention.IMG_4981[1]
  5. My Texas bestie received her quilted tree skirt on Saturday and she was thrilled. I can’t wait to see pictures of it in action (after she returns from a December trip to China — I’m glad I don’t live that life any more!!!)
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    Please note that this is really bad photography! It looks like there was a bleeding of the red, but there was not (whew)!

    I know that counting my blessings will take a long time. I hope you feel the same way about yours. Happy pre-Thanksgiving.