Needle Noodle

When noodle is used as a verb, the Merriam-Webster definition is:  to think about something in a way that is not very serious.

BUT since attending the 2018 International Quilt Festival in Chicago, we’ve been thinking very seriously about the needles we’ve been using for piecing and quilting.  We’ve both been using a universal needle (80/12) to machine quilt because…well…that’s the needle in our machine.  Gasp!  Say it ain’t so!

In the machine quilting class taught by Cindy Walter,  Cindy said we can piece with a universal needle but we should use a stronger, sharper needle for machine quilting because we are sewing through several layers.  Cindy suggested using a denim needle, a top stitch needle (90/14) or a machine quilting needle to machine quilt.  Sandy and I now plan to use the 90/14 needle for machine quilting.


What needle do you use for machine quilting?

Speaking of machine quilting, I’d like to share a quilt with you from the Quilt Festival.  It was beautiful AND inspirational.  This photo is not the entire quilt, just a close up of one section.  Sheila, thank you for sharing this amazing work of art with us!


At the Waterhole by Sheila Finzer


More exciting news!  It’s week two of the 2018 New Quilters Blog Hop & Giveaway.   Please visit Beth at Cooking Up Quilts to register for any one of the 14 giveaways.

I’d also like to introduce you to the featured bloggers for week two.  Be sure to stop by each blog to see inspiration from fellow quilters, you won’t be disappointed!




Ann C.    









Snickerdoodle Hop

Carol from Just Let Me Quilt came up with a wonderful blog hop idea for the holidays: a Virtual Cookie Exchange. She had us at cookies. Follow the flour dust trail….

Our mother is a terrific baker and one of her specialties is the Snickerdoodle: a bit crispy on the outside, chewy in the middle and coated with a sweet cinnamon and sugar crust.


Helen’s Snickerdoodles

I have to confess that I was never a huge fan as a kid, but I’ve made up for my lack of judgement in the last 10 years or so. Mom can easily bake through a 25 lb. bag of flour from a warehouse store in a couple of weeks when she is preparing for the holidays.

And every grain of that flour traverses through a giant sifter that was extracted from a Hoosier cabinet and installed in a specially built kitchen cabinet for just such a baking enthusiast.  (This must have occurred in the ‘40s when the “modern” kitchen was added on to the house and the Hoosier was relegated to the basement (sans flour sifter, of course)).


Flour bin and sifter from a farmhouse Hoosier cabinet

Anyway, for our virtual cookie exchange, we present Helen’s Snickerdoodles. She says the secret to her special version is using extra-large eggs. Since you probably don’t have a Hoosier flour sifter, she recommends measuring the flour and then double sifting it.


To celebrate the holiday and this unique cookie exchange from Carol at Just Let Me Quilt, Cindy designed the Candy Cane 2.0 placemat that you can whip up quickly.

This placemat can be used as a table decoration while you display all the cookies you make from Carol’s Blog Hop.  You can use scraps in your stash OR you can dash out and buy some great Christmas fabrics that coordinate with your decor.


Candy Cane 2.0–a free placemat pattern!

Download this free pattern here:  Candy Cane 2.0 Placemat 12 03 17

But wait, there’s more!  We’ve learned another secret to delicious Snickerdoodles:  the cinnamon!  There are different varieties of cinnamon but our favorite is Chinese “Tung Hing”.  We’re giving away one 2 oz. jar of Chinese “Tung Hing” Cinnamon from The Spice House (located in Chicago, Illinois), to help the lucky winner re-create a farmhouse Christmas like Cindy and I used to share with our family.


Tung Hing cinnamon, sugar and Snickerdoodle dough balls–just waiting to be popped in the oven!

To enter our giveaway, simply leave a comment for this blog post before December 11, 2017.  We’ll pick a winner at random and contact the winner via email to arrange for a jar of cinnamon to be shipped directly from The Spice House to the winner.


Snickerdoodles – Freshly Baked!

We hope you enjoy the Christmas season with your family and friends!  Looks like someone in our house got an early start on cookie eating!


Check out all the other wonderful blogs taking part in the Virtual Cookie Exchange!

December 5 

 Creatin’ in the Sticks

Creative Latitude

Domestic Felicity

Pieced Brain


Ms P Designs USA

Cynthia’s Creating Ark

 December 6

 Sew Incredibly Crazy

Freemotion by the River

Moosestash Quilting

One Old Goat And Her Little Farm

A Little Bit of Everything, from Mike & Alisa

Hazel’s Daughter

Patchouli Moon Studio

Bumbleberry Stitches

Selina Quilts

Brenda’s Blog

 December 7

 Quilt Doodle Doodles

Kris Loves Fabric

Life in the Scrapatch

Home Sewn By Us

For The Love Of Geese

Stitch Days

Val’s Quilting Studio

Tu-Na Quilts

It’s a T-Sweets Day

Just Let Me Quilt