Crochet Along Blocks – Center Heart and Catalina Squares

Two more  crochet blocks completed.  

“Center Heart”

Designer: Ginger Badger


Designer: Julie Yeager

Pattern: $3.99 at Ravelry

There are many beautiful color combinations shown for the pattern as well.

These are really nice!

Christmas Decorating

It’s the day after Thanksgiving.  While many people are out shopping, I prefer to avoid the stores on this day.  Over the years, our family tradition has been to decorate the house instead.  So, today, the boxes came out and the Christmas decorations went up.  To add to the festive atmosphere, a few inches of snow fell yesterday.  So, the evergreens on the front step are dusted with some fluffy white.

The stockings are hung, the garlands are strung and the tree is lit.  All I have left to do is put the ornaments on.

Just in time for the holiday decorating, I finished up a Christmas Bed Runner.  It is made with a pineapple block and scraps of red and green fabrics.

Bed Runners

My machine quilting adventure began in 2007.  While helping my husband pick up his car from an auto body shop, I drove past a store called Quilt Yourself.  Assuming it was a regular quilt shop, I dropped off my husband and went back to do some shopping.  What I found was not a place to buy more fabric, but a place to rent time on a long-arm machine.  Fascinated, I signed up for a lesson and was immediately hooked!  I now had a means to complete more quilts than I could by hand quilting.

Soon after, I started designing quilt tops with the quilting in mind.  Eventually, I designed a “whole cloth” quilt.  However, I quickly realized that to complete the quilt with the detail I wanted, I would need to spend many hours (if not days) on their machine, all at a fee of $25 per hour and a 45 minute drive each way to get to their location.

When I added up the cost of the rental time on their machine, I figured that it would cost about half the price of the actual machine.  Thus, I started thinking about purchasing my own long arm machine.  I did eventually purchase a BabyLock Jewel and it was time to make my whole cloth quilt – a design I called Cream and Sugar.  After 32 bobbins of thread and an undetermined number of hours quilting, one of my friends told me I should actually name it Obsessive and Compulsive.

The quilt turned our very nice and has actually won a few awards.

To add some color to the bed, I decided to make a bed runner.  Bed runners can pack a big impact in a small package.  They are widely used in hotels to add color to a room. While they may warm your toes on a cool night, they would be more worthwhile if they had other uses.  As pointed out by one of my sons, “why can’t you sew two of them together?”  His statement sparked an idea – a folded seasonal bed runner. Folded, the runner displays the current season. Unfolded, the runner can be used as a thin coverlet when taking a nap or  just relaxing on you bed.

If you are interested in making one for yourself – I have a pattern on PatternSpot. Enjoy!

Mashed Potato Donut Balls

It’s National Donut Day.  Here is a “healthier” donut ball recipe that my boys really enjoy:

Mashed Potato Donut Balls

Makes 40 donut balls
Calories: 25 per donut

1/3 cup potato flakes
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg (optional)

Peanut Oil for frying
Powdered sugar
Cinnamon Sugar

Preheat oil to 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together.  Drop by spoonful in to preheated oil and cook until browned on each side.  Remove from oil and roll in cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar.
This batter will usually “self-flip”.  So, if you have been frustrated when making donut holes or donut balls before because they would not stay flipped and the donut would over cook on one side, but under-cook on the other – this recipe will make you happy.

I prefer to use plain, nonfat yogurt instead of the sour cream.  Ricotta cheese is another alternative fat to use.  Instead of the sugar, I substitute 2T of honey and 2 T applesauce to cut down on calories. Enjoy!