Christmas · love of my life · machine quilting · quilting

Oh Santa Baby, I Love You!!

My husband made me cry…like a little girl…I got cooking pots! And a wok! From Pampered Chef!


Ok, so if you are thinking “I would cry if I got cooking pots for Christmas, too”, and you mean that in a not so good way…let show you my old cooking pots.


This is like Extreme Makeover Cookware edition.  I am 41 yrs. old and I have never had my very own, brand new to me, cookware.  Now I do.  My old ones are a hodgepodge of hand me downs from my Mom.  I made mention one day to my hubby, after looking at a Pampered Chef catalog, at my hairstylist’s shop, (he was having a book party) that they had some nice cook pots.  I said I’ve never had any nice cook pots.  He asked if I got any…I said no, they are expensive.  And that was the end of that conversation.  Well, DH called our hairstylist and told him that he needed to know about these cookpots I saw when I was at his shop.  Yep, I’m really, really proud of my cookpots.  And I’m really proud of him, too.

Santa Baby also got me this platter I fell in love with, at a local Christian bookstore. He said it’s the only chicken I’ll be getting this year…lol!


My parents came this morning and just left about an hour ago.  In fact Mom just called to let me know they are almost back to their house.  We had a great time, and since I have DH’s Christmas present quilt still loaded on the longarm, I actually got to show them how it works.  They have seen it before, but I’ve never had anything on that I could actually quilt in front of them. 

Hmmm…maybe I should mention before Christmas next year, that I’ve never had a really nice mixer…. 😉

Christmas · family · food · quilting

Can You Stand More Domesticity??

I thought I’d share some of my favorite holiday dishes with you.  These are things I was able to prepare today, for our Christmas dinner tomorrow.

Pretzel Salad

Crush 2 cups of pretzels.


Mix the pretzels with 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 & 1/2 sticks of melted butter.


Pat out in 9×13 glass pan.


Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Let cool thoroughly.

Mix 1 cup sugar, an 8 oz. package of cream cheese (softened), and 1 & 1/2 cups of Cool Whip. Spread over cooled pretzels.


Heat two cups of pineapple juice, just to boiling, and dissolve a 6 oz. box of strawberry jello in hot juice.  Stir in two 10 oz. boxes of frozen strawberries.  Partially jell in fridge (this won’t take long – don’t forget about it!) and pour over other mixture.  Place back in fridge to set jello.  It’s delicious!


I also made a quick cranberry salad.  It’s really good, too.

For it you will need:

1 small can crushed pineapple, one 3 oz. box strawberry jello,  1 cup boiling water, one can WHOLE cranberry sauce, 1/2 cup cold liquid (juice from pineapple can & water to make 1/2 cup) 2 tsp. lemon juice, 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional).

Dissolve jello in hot water, stir in cranberry sauce & mix until melted. Add 1/2 C of additional juice.  Add remainng ingredients.  Chill until set.


one 12 oz. pkg Dream Whip or already prepared Cool Whip one 8 oz. pkg cream cheese, 1 tsp sugar

Blend until creamy & spread over salad.

Before topping:


After topping:


The eggs are devilled. My family really loves these, so of course I made extra so they could have some today, too.


I also made two pecan pies, and one Bisquick Impossible Buttermilk pie.


I even squeezed in a little piecing while cooking.  I didn’t get any quilting done on DH’s courthouse steps today, though. 

I’m really looking forward to seeing Mom & Dad tomorrow, and having a nice day at home with family! Now I’m going to settle in and enjoy a nice quiet Christmas Eve with my sweetie.  May you & yours have a blessed & joyous Christmas!

Christmas · food · quilting

Enjoying My Vacation and Trying to be a Diva of Domesticity

Wow, two posts in one day.  I needed to post my stashbuster report, but I had so much more I wanted to share .  Since my holiday officially started on Saturday, here’s a peek at what I’ve been doing.  I don’t usually have all this extra time to do all these special little extras for my family.

Saturday, along with getting some quilting done, I dipped pretzels.  Not a difficult thing to do, but my family really likes these.  Plus, they are not chocolate, which I love, but can’t eat much of because of migraines.  So this is a Christmas treat that I try to do every year.  They look good as a holiday header, too, don’t ya think?


Today, (hope you are sitting down, brace yourself) I made homemade bread! And I don’t even have a bread machine.  Go me! Here is the proof.



Hmmmm…how do I make sure I have it rolled out to a rectangle that is 9″X12″? With my trusty Omnigrid ruler, of course! Isn’t that how any quilter would do it?


Almost ready to go into the oven.


And if that wasn’t a great enough feat in and of itself, I made meatballs, for spaghetti  & meatballs for supper. I’ll even show you the recipe for these.  Hopefully, you will be able to read it, by clicking on the image and enlarging it.  If you want to try these, and can’t read my Mom’s writing, let me know and I will clarify it for you. I got this recipe from my Mom, who got if from my Grandma, (my Daddy’s mom).  Other than that, I don’t know where it came from. But they are really good, and pretty darn easy, as you use the microwave. Click on the thumbnail to enlarge the recipe.


Before cooking.


Partially cooked.




In the sauce.


Ready to be enjoyed with a slice of garlic bread, made from the homemade bread! Yum!


Then, after cleaning the kitchen from all that, I got a head start on Monday’s cooking, by mixing up some of my Grandma’s barbecue sauce recipe, so that I can cook Lil’ Smokies in the crockpot with the sauce, for Christmas Eve finger/snack food day.

Hope you are enjoying your Christmas holiday, too!

Christmas · crafts · daily life · food · quilting

Pumpkin Bread – Round 2

What? I baked two days in a row! That like never happens.  And while yesterday’s batch is tasty, it is not the pumpkin bread of my dreams.  But the recipe, for Lynn, is the one from my old Betty Crocker cookbook, and can be found here,  However, in my old cookbook, they used 2/3 cup shortening instead of oil. 

Today, I tried another recipe, found in a cookbook that was put together by my church for a fundraiser.  Again, it’s good, and it makes the house smell yummy delicious, but once again, not the pumpkin bread I’m dreaming of having.


I’m also playing around with a fun project I found on Karyn’s blog. I found her blog through Kelli’s blog, which I found through Ruthann’s blog, which was posted on Judy’s blog. 🙂 These are all wonderful blogs, full of inspiration, and worth a visit.  You might want to make yourself a cup of tea beforehand. Anyway, back to the project in progress.  These are so much fun…almost addicting, so many different possibilities. Thanks for sharing it, Karyn.


So what, you are wondering, is the pumpkin bread of my dreams?  My Mom’s!! And she is supposed to be copying the recipe for me. 🙂

Now I need to get back to something quilty.  I’ve been working on chopping up scrap pieces, according to Bonnie Hunter’s system.  More on that in my Sunday Stashbuster report later on today.

Christmas · daily life · longarm quilting · quilting

Just Some More Christmas Fun

Oh, the weather outside IS frightful! But here in my livingroom, it’s delightful…at least to me.  I’m not much of a decorator, not at all.  It’s something that really does not come naturally to me.  But I did get some candles for my new fireplace candelabra, and I love the way it looks in there.  So, even though everything around it is quite an ecclectic mix of stuff, I thought I’d share it with you anyway.  I’m sure it wouldn’t pass the Martha test, but I like it. 




My big snuggly reindeer:


Mmmmm….gotta have something sweet.


Look at this adorable birdhouse I bought today.  It’s a chicken! And y’all know how bad I want some chickens!


Hope you are staying warm, dry & safe. It’s icy here and will probably ruin my chances of making it to the longarm meeting I was hoping to go to in Amarillo tomorrow.  I’ve been trying to go for three months now, since I found out about them, and something has ruined my plans everytime.  Oh well, I guess it will just leave more time to quilt!  I think I will go work on my courthouse steps blocks now.  Thanks for stopping in for a visit!

Christmas · daily life · quilting

Merry Christmas!

I like the blogs that have a little pic of the blog owner in the sidebar.  However, I can’t figure out how to do that here…it may not even be an option, but if it is, I can’t find it.  So, I added a new photo to my About Randi page.  I thought I might as well have some fun with it while I’m at it.  Some friends emailed themselves to me like this the other day, and then I saw that Gayle & Steve had done it to themselves, too.  So I couldn’t resist. I elfed myself.  Enjoy a laugh on me 🙂

Christmas · daily life · quilt top · quilting · quilts · sewing · stash busting

WIP & Other Ramblings

Since it’s Wednesday, I’ll start with a WIP update.  The courthouse steps blocks are coming along, mostly on my lunch breaks from my day job.  Two more strip sets to sew on and they will be ready to become rows.


I got a goodie in the mail today.  We have a pretty fireplace, but it had an ugly brass screen from the 80’s, and the doors didn’t even work right anymore.  I’ve been pondering getting rid of it for awhile, and after seeing this post on Kelli’s blog, as her Show & Tell Friday, I was inspired to actually do it! So Friday, I ripped off the old ugly screen, and ordered this awesome candelabra from Pottery Barn.


I hope I get a chance to stop by the store for some pillar candles tomorrow.  I can’t wait to see them all lit up in there. We haven’t used it to burn firewood in a few years, so I think I will really enjoy the candles for a nice ambiance. We need to find a good chimney sweep and get it all cleaned out in there before we have a real fire again.  Anyway, thanks Kelli, for the inspiration to do this! I love it! And, this candelabra is 50% off at Pottery Barn online, while supplies last.

I am going to get to take a few vacation days, in addition to the two days I get off for Christmas.  I am really looking forward to a nice break from the real world, and getting to spend some quality time here at home.  I’m still stitching the binding down on my Starry Log Cabin, but we already have it on the bed 🙂 .  I’m just turning it as I stitch.  I should have it finished and labeled before Christmas.  Speaking of, I ‘spose I need to get off of here and go do some stitching right now.  Later ‘taters!

Christmas · daily life · longarm quilting · machine quilting · quilt top · quilting · quilts · vintage tops

Good Sunday Mornin’! Edited to add some Stashbusting

One last day in my four day weekend.  I’m so sad to have to go back to work tomorrow.  Yesterday, I did something fun. A few months ago, I was watching one of my Linda Taylor dvd’s of her PBS series, Linda’s Longarm Quilting.  She had an episode on quilting vintage tops.  That set me off on an Ebay binge…lol.  I finally got an opportunity to work on one of them. Isn’t it a beauty? I tried to keep it as square as possible, but it is a little wonky.  Now it goes on the WOB list (waiting on binding).  I hope it also qualifies as part of my stash busting effort, as it was on the shelf with my stash, and I used backing fabric for my stash, and will use the same for the binding.


Just look at all the beautiful fabrics in here.  I love them!


I used a repro backing that I got from Christian Lane Quilters.


The story, from the Ebay lister, is that she purchased this top from an elderly woman named May, who she reckons to be in her 80’s.  But get this…there wasn’t just this one top…there are two of these beauties! The tops were pieced by her mother, from May’s and May’s sister’s dresses. She said there was no one left in her family that would want them. They are from somewhere in Missouri. The seller had them listed separately, and I won them both. Here is the other top. 


This is a pic of the backside, showing all the handstitching.


Now then, if you are reading this, and have fallen on the floor hyperventilating because I dared “machine” quilt these old tops, sorry, but you will have to get over it.  I know there are some that are totally against this, but please save yourself some time and do not bother to send me flaming comments.  I know, as a piecer myself, that if years and years down the road, some future quilter comes into possession of some of my unquilted tops, nothing would make me happier than for her to love them and finish them in whatever manner suited her. I think May’s mother would be tickled to see her projects finally finished, and know that they are in a good home where they are loved and appreciated.

I had some spare backing and batting left at the bottom when I was done quilting, so just for fun, I pulled out a strip of scrap fabric and did a quick feather practice.


Yes, yesterday was a good day! I got some of the ornaments hung on the tree, set out a nativity scene, and made more progress on my cousin’s binding.  I hope your weekend is goind great, as well! Even though I am not done decorating it, I will conclude this post with some pics of my tree and nativity scene for Kay.


Also, on the stashbusting topic, I would like to add that I resisted the tempation to even go look at the end of bolt Thanksgiving sale at Thousands of Bolts.  When I got the email, I deleted it and did not go shop for more fabric!

Christmas · daily life · longarm quilting · machine quilting · quilting · quilts

What’s on my bed?

I have a cheap bedspread that I bought from JC Penney’s.  However, on top of that, I have a queen size quilt that I made.  It’s an oak leaf reel from a Fons & Porter issue.  Since my bed is a king, it doesn’t cover, so that’s why it is on top of the bedspread.  Not the greatest decorating touch, but I am hoping that before too much longer the starry log cabin I am working on will take the place of both of these, and be the “star” of my bedroom. 


Yesterday, I did get the binding stitched to my cousin’s quilt, and last night I began the handstitching to the back.  The finish line is getting closer!

As I was complaining to my husband that I needed to put up the Christmas tree ( I am so not in the mood for Christmas decorating this year), he reminded me that we threw our old tree out last year! I forgot this! Why didn’t I remember when we were at my parents the day before, when I was five minutes from a Walmart, rather than an hour from one?  Crud! So we go out shopping here for a Christmas tree yesterday.  They had some really ugly, pitiful looking ones at our Alco, but they weren’t exactly “cheap”.  Well, not proportionately cheap to the ugly, anyway.  Then we went to the local flower shop.  Beautiful trees, but I was gonna have to drop over $450.00.  But they did have a 25 year warranty.  Finally found a new tree the local True Value.  And it was more than I wanted to spend, also, but I guess I’ll get over it.  It’s prelit with the hinged branches, like the ones at the flower store, but no 25 year warranty.  I might want a new one before 25 years is over, anyway.  I thought I was never gonna finish “fluffing” the branches last night.  Also, it looks much larger in my living room than it did in the store.  I was kinda wanting to downsize, but I didn’t manage to get that one right…lol.  We usually put the tree by the fireplace, where my new leather chair and ottoman are now.  So I had to find a different corner to tuck it into.  I guess I’ll start putting the ornaments on today.