Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Fall Ahead

14 more days until the first day of Autumn and I am ready!  We have had one hot summer here, and this week the temperatures are back in the 100s.  Today it was a hazy 101 degrees and tomorrow 104 degrees is predicted.  Swimming weather!

When the weather is this hot, it is desirable to stay indoors and keep cool.  In honor of cooler temps to come, I made a quick little rail fence and maple leaves quilt out of a fall-themed jelly roll I had on hand.  The overall size of this quilt, before adding the binding, is 40" x 56".  The finished rail fence block is 8" square, finished strips are 2" x 8".  The finished leaf block is made up of 2" squares with a 2" x 6" and a 2" x 8" strip added to make it an 8" square.  (If you are wanting to create your own autumn rail fence/leaf quilt, add 1/2" to these measurements for seams.) 

Now all I need to do is add the backing, do some stitch-in-the-ditch quilting, sew the binding all around, and this will be the perfect quilt to snuggle under on those cool Autumn nights.  I may just wait until the temperature drops a bit before I finish this one.


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Pretty Potted Pencil Holder

It's no secret, I am not the most organized person in the world.  I lose stuff all the time, especially my pens and pencils.  It is really annoying when I am writing or designing something in my sewing room and my pen disappears.  Then, of course,  there is a frantic search, upending everything to find it.

Out of necessity, I decided to make a pencil holder.  That way I would have access to more than one pen.  I could have used an empty jar or cup just as easily, but I had some terra cotta pots laying about and thought what a cute pencil holder it would make. 

This was a lot of fun to do, and made up fairly quickly.  I used acrylic paints in red, black, brown, and white.  Her cheeks and lips are the red and white paints mixed to the shade I wanted.  The end of the paintbrush was dabbed into white paint to make highlight dots.  I found some accessories in my button jar and embellished a scrap piece of ribbon.  I also found some dolly hair left over from another project and gave my "assistant" a lovely curl.  I have the matching plate that sits under the pot which will be perfect to hold other stuff I easily lose, like bobbins, thread, paperclips, etc.  The plate doesn't need to be painted, but I will glue the two pieces together for practicality. 

As I was making this one, I thought of several more designs I could do and may do more in the future, because afterall I don't just lose pens and pencils in my sewing room.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Labor Day Chili

Happy Labor Day!  Yay!  No work today!  Hope everyone got to sleep in this morning.  I love designated lazy days, when you don't have anything specific planned and the whole day is ahead.

Oh yeah. I have to cook dinner.  (sigh)

In the spirit of the holiday, I think I will cook up a pot of my Taste of Honey Chili and later slap some burgers on the grill.  My chili recipe is my own concoction with a couple of surprise ingredients.  The brewed coffee makes for a heartier base than just water, and the honey and cinnamon add just a hint of sweetness.

Taste of Honey Chili


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (or 1 or 2 teaspoons minced garlic from jar)
  • 1 can (40-oz.) kidney, pinto or black beans, drained
  • 1 jar Picante Sauce (your choice:  Mild, Medium or Hot)
  • 1 can (4-oz.) diced green chiles
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup brewed coffee (left over from breakfast)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  1. Cook beef, onion, bell pepper and garlic in large skillet until beef is browned and onions are translucent; drain.  Transfer to large pot.
  2. To pot, stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover. Cook, stirring frequently, for 20 to 25 minutes.  After chili has cooled, pop it into the refrigerator for a few hours (even overnight) to let the flavors meld.

Suggested garnishes, if desired:
    Shredded cheese
    Diced tomatoes
    Sliced olives
    Chopped green onions
    Sour cream
It doesn't get much easier than this, and it's even better the second day.

So, what's cookin' at your house? 

Something Wicked This Way Comes

By the pricking of my thumbs, 
Something wicked this way comes.
Save the date, you must succumb,
This wicked hop will be fun!
 Halloween Haunts 2015
Are you ready for Halloween?  I see pumpkins and scarecrows and costumes everywhere.  If you love Halloween and would like to participate in a fun blog hop featuring your spooky projects, then be sure to sign up for Halloween Haunts 2015. The fun will begin October 16, 2015 when participants will begin revealing their BOO-tiful creations.  Marian at Seams to be Sew is hosting this ghoulish hop, and you can find out all the details on her website.  

Don't be a scaredy cat!  Join in the fun!  Last day to sign up is September 12th.