Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Finish

As much as I love this table topper, I decided to give it to a friend for her birthday. I found a perfect blue candle and white candle plate to go with it. After snapping this, I found one area that needed some extra attention, so I ripped and fixed. Then I ironed it and wrapped it up. It felt good to be done.

Did I mention I have 1 more of these charm packs and enough yardage to make one more for me? I told you I loved it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Flea Market Fancy Quilt Top Lakehouse Version

Have you been over here lately? That Ms. Amanda Jean amazes me with all of her quilting.

I wanted to make a quick baby quilt. I had some Lakehouse charm squares that I love. In fact, I think I have had them for over a year; you can only love and hoard something for so long and then you really ought to do something with it. So with a quick trip to the quilting store to pick up some yardage, I was able to make this fun pink, green, and yellow Lakehouse Flea Market Fancy quilt top. I really do like the simplicity of it.

I loved this pattern so much that I plan on making it in a full for my spare bed using some fabric in my stash. Someday. This is a really quick quilt to whip up. If you'd like to make your own, the directions are here.

It is 48 inches square, which is probably a bit big for a baby quilt but I like to give a quilt that will grow into toddler hood with them.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Loser Monday Post

Sharon asked that we all post a diet friendly dessert this week. So I will start with dessert first. . .

Strawberry Shortcake
Serves: 4
WW: 4

1 pint of strawberries, cleaned and slice
1/4 c sugar (you could make this even more figure friendly by using Splenda)
1 cup Bisquick Heart Smart mix
2 TBSP sugar
1/3 c fat free milk
Fat free whipped topping

Stir strawberries and 1/4 c sugar. Let sit and get good and juicy.
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Stir Bisquick mix, 2 tbsp sugar and milk just until soft dough forms. Drop by 4 spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Split warm shortcakes; place on a plate. Top with berries and whipped topping.

Are you sick of lettuce? Here is a nice twist on salad minus the lettuce:
Confetti Greek Salad
Serves 2
WW: 2

1/2 c cucumber (I prefer the crunch of English Cucumbers)
a handful of baby carrots
1/2 stalk of celery
1/2 red pepper
1/4 small sweet onion
1/2 c tomato

Put in a bowl, toss to mix.
1/4 c feta
3-4 tbsp Kraft Low Fat Extra Virgin Olive Oil Greek Dressing
Sprinkle of black pepper

Have you tried the new dressings put out by Kraft made with EVOO? They are delicious and I am addicted to the Greek dressing. I love Greek dressing and could never find a WW friendly version! Well, hold on my friends because this is only 1 WW point for 2 TBSP!

Diet Update:
This week: I lost 1 pound
Total since the challenge stared: 3 pounds
Total since dieting in the fall: 21 pounds
Remaining pounds to lose: at least 17 pounds

Sharing Some Sewing Love- SWAP projects

Well, the secret is out. Jen was my partner. She just emailed me that she received her package, so I am at liberty to write about it. I know Jen checks my blog often, so I didn't want to ruin the surprise.

My main homemade project was this table quilt. Of course, Jen could hang it or do just whatever her little heart pleases with it, but the pattern was for a table quilt. You may remember I have made this pattern previously in fall tones. I do wish I would have quilted Jen's version a bit more than I did. I get a bit nervous when quilting the finish piece. But I thought, overall, it turned out very nice and cheerful. This was a Moda charm pack I bought last year.

I also made this cute towel in complementing colors. I downloaded this heart from I know Anna has used this site before, but it was my first time. I really liked how easy it was to download from. The heart is meant to be really cutsie with the flowers on it and it is wonky in shape not symmetrical. Husband thought I did something wrong and I had to explain that a heart does not always have to be symmetrical! LOL

I threw in some baking accessories because I know Jen and Amelia bake together. I also threw in some fat free mochas because I wanted to put something sweet in the mix, but Jen and I are both on the diet challenge! And, there were a few more odds and ends. I really enjoyed being Jen's partner. It was a fun swap.

Just a reminder to the rest of you swappers, 12 days left to send out your project! I have heard from 3 of you so far. Keep those projects coming.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

It's a BEAUTIFUL thing. . .

Over winter break, one of my resolutions was to finish quilt tops that were partially done. I finished the house quilt which had sat in the drawer with all of the blocks done since the fall.

When I first started blogging last year, I took a class on paper piecing a New York Beauty quilt. A few of you may remember that, but most of you I hadn't connected with yet.

The owner of my favorite quilt shop encouraged me to take it saying anyone could paper piece. Well, she was right and I did love the ease of paper piecing. However, the next part...the part she failed to tell would be very difficult and I was too fresh of a quilter to realize what I was getting into....the curved piecing part, well that wasn't quite so simple. My blocks really were wonky and a bit out of shape, even though they connected with the arks just like she told me too.

Last night, I sewed all of the blocks together and then put the borders on. I had put this off for almost a year and I know the reason why I did. I feared it would be an uneven, crooked nightmare putting them together. (Please imagine the horror show movie music playing here.)

However, I am delighted to say that it was not bad and really the blocks look pretty good. I am proud that I tried a new technique and lived to tell about it!

I also think that getting an extra year of sewing experience behind me before dealing with the mis-shapened things really did help me. I have done a ton of sewing this year and there have been several times lately that I have noticed huge ways in which I have grown in technique.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Look what was in my mailbox!

I have been the very lucky winner of a couple of great blog giveaways recently. The first, was at Mid-Ohio Knitter. I won some fabulous charms from Moda's Pampered Pooch Line. This was very lucky for me as I had loved it when it first came out, but was still a pretty green quilter and I didn't get much of it. Our friends are having a baby this summer and they love dogs. They don't want to know the baby's gender, and I thought this charm pack will make them a fabulous baby quilt. A big thank you to Vickie! I'm sorry I didn't think to snap a shot before I ripped the charm pack apart! I was just so excited, LOL!

The second giveaway was at Carol's Craft Blog. She was very generous also and I won these nice patterns! Isn't that cool?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hey VALENTINE I sent your package

I sent out my package today. I have been contacted by 3 other swappers who sent out their packages. Be watching your mailboxes, you never know when cupid might drop off a package for you! I will post my pics in a couple of days after I know my Valentine has received hers!

Just 2 weeks left, swappers! I truly hope you are sewing your projects and having a lot of fun. I know I sure did making my project.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Biggest Loser Monday

Diet Challenge Update:

Loss to date: 2 pounds
Remaining pounds to lose: at least 18

Today's Feature Menu Item:

"Everything but the Kitchen Sink" Chicken Soup

I titled this homemade soup because you could put lots of different vegetables in it, if you wanted variety or depending what you had. I used all fresh vegetables, but you could use frozen or canned.

Saute in soup pot:

2 tsp grated garlic
3/4 c carrot chopped
3/4 c celery chopped
1/2 c sweet onion chopped
2 medium Idaho potatoes chopped

12 c FF chicken stock, bring to a boil

4 ounces mini-penne pasta and cook following the box directions

At about 2 minutes prior to pasta being done, toss in 6 ounces cooked chicken breast (chopped) and 1 cup chopped mushrooms.

Season with 1 TBSP dried parsley (fresh would be delicious, too) and pepper and salt to taste.

Servings: 5 large bowls
WW: 4 points each

Strawberry Smoothies

1 individual FF strawberry yogurt container
1/2 c light cranberry juice
3/4 c chopped strawberries
1/2 c ice

Servings: (2) 8-ounce glasses
WW: 2 points each

Chicken Strawberry Salad Wraps

1 Wrap Up (I use La Tortilla Factory Smart & Healthy Wrap Ups, Traditional made with EVOO)

3 ounces of precooked chopped chicken breast (I used the precooked bag you find in deli section)
1/4 c chopped celery
3 ripe strawberries chopped
1 TBSP sliced almonds
3 TBSP miracle whip light
1 pinch of splenda

Wrap in wrap.

Serves 1
WW 5

The wraps I mentioned I find at Meijers in the Mexican foods section. They are a bit pricey, but are well worth it. They are delicious and loaded with fiber. They are only 1 point a piece (8 inches, too). I use them for fajitas as well as wraps.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy Valentine

I have been busy stiching up a surprise for my swap partner. I decided since obviously this person checks my blog to post my project after I mail it. But, here is a hint. . .a tiny, tiny glimpse. I just hope she likes it. It is a bit busy, but I do like the fabrics.

Also, I have not forgotten my drawing I promised you swappers. Remember, your package must be in the mail by February 6th to be entered in the drawing. That's 20 days away folks! I have been checking blogs and am happy to see most people at least mentioning they've been busy working on their projects. I don't want any sad valentines out there. I think I have decided to draw twice since the swap was larger than I had orginally estimated.

The first prize will be this apron I made. I just love it.

The second prize will be this cute bag pattern I found. I looked over the directions and it seems like a nice pattern.

I think the 3 bags are just adorable. Hopefully someone will appreciate this.

Get those packages out girlies! Don't forget to email me when you do! Later Valentines!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Loser Monday Update

Greetings! Just a reminder that every Monday I am going to leave a weight loss report for the Diet Challenge I am participating in. I am hanging in there and hoping to see some loss sometime this week when I weigh in. I usually don't weigh myself until the second week of dieting, so that I don't get that dissappointed 2nd week (which I usually don't lose so much on). I will see in the morning, if I weigh in or not. You'll be the first to know!

Would you like to make yourself a delicious, homemade, comfort food kind of meal?
Then I am going to give you the world's best meatloaf recipe. If you have kids or a fussy husband (who didn't like his mother's meatloaf), they will really like them.

Since I started this diet back in September, I searched through my files for a before picture. Something to remember how much heavier 40 pounds made me look, well I came up empty handed. But, I did find something from late October, so this is me a 30 pounds over my goal weight. It's not a great picture, but my problem areas stand out to me. . .my round face, my thick thighs, my large gut, and trust me a rather large behind hiding back there!

Mini Meatloaves

1lb lean hamburger
1 box of stovetop stuffing
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup of water

Preheat your oven to 375. Spray 12 cupcake pan with Pam very lightly. In a bowl mix lean hamburger, 1 box of stove top stuffing, 1 cup of water, and a tsp of garlic powder. Evenly place the mixture into the 12 cupcake tins. Take your knuckle and indent each meatloaf. Squirt about a tsp of BBQ sauce on top of each. Bake for 30 minutes.

Servings: 12
WW: 2.5 each (I usually eat 2 depending on how many points I have left for the day.)


6 medium to large potatoes (Idaho, Red, or Gold work well)
1/8 cup of EVOO (approximate it)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or 1 TBSP dried parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
pinch of black pepper

Spray a baking sheet with PAM. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop the cleaned potatoes in half the long way. Then take each half and quarter it four times. Try to keep the wedges the same width for even baking. Place them in a bowl. Mix the EVOO and spices in a measuring cup and poor over fries. Toss with hands. Lay out on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 -40 minutes or until they are starting to turn golden.

Serving Size: 4 ounces
WW: 3 points

This is so good, you will love it. I altered it a bit from Rachel Ray's original "For Pita's Sake" for diet purposes.

Pita Salad

Serving Size: (I refigured everything so this would make one large salad for me, but would easily serve 2 side salads.) 1
WW: 5 points

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet.

Mix in a small prep bowl:
1 pinch dried cilantro
1 pinch cumin
1 pinch dried red pepper flakes
1 pinch paprika
1 pinch oregano

1/2 PITA: spray both sides with PAM and rub with the above mixture

Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool slightly. Rip into pieces to toss into salad.

Rough Chop (I like big chunks) for salad and place in medium bowl:
1/2 c fresh mint
1/2 c fresh parsley
1/2 c red pepper
1/2 c green pepper
1/2 c tomatoes
1/4 c sweet onion

Add pieces of Pita.

1 TBSP lemon juice
1 tsp fresh garlic chopped
1 pinch of splenda

Tortellini Soup (a family favorite)

Servings: 5 large bowls
WW: 3

1 c chopped celery
1 c chopped carrots
1 c chopped sweet onion
2 cloves chopped garlic


10 cups FF chicken broth, bring to a boil

1 1/3 c dried 3 cheese Barilla tortellini (found in your pasta aisle at grocery store)

Turn heat down a bit and cook for 9 minutes.

Chop about 3 cups of fresh spinach (remove big stems).

Three minutes before tortellini is done, toss in spinach and 10 ounces of cooked, chopped chicken breasts.

At the end of the cook time, add 1/2 tsp- 1 tsp of ground nutmeg (taste test) and salt and pepper.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Table Runner and Pattern Review

Although I am back to work, I still feel like I am on a roll here. I have the top of this table runner done. I was really pleased with myself (for a change) and felt that all of my points looked good on this project. The pattern for this easy table runner is from Heather Mulder Peterson's Little Charmers II pattern.
Pattern Review:
You know I love anything that uses Charms
Good use of diagrams
Good list of required fabrics
Easy to follow written directions
I like that there were 3 options, plus Heather goes on to explain how you could make a quilt using this pattern.
This was a snap to make; I did it late one evening.

I used Nature's Chorus for the colored squares and then a bright white I had in my stash, so the stars would stand out and not blend in. I was quite pleased with that decision, when I was done. I have ended up falling in love with Nature's Chorus, so beware you may be seeing lots of it in future blogs. Its weird though, I wasn't really wild about it when it first came out, but I guess I warmed up to it.

Are you in need of some decorating fabric? You should check out the Fabric Shack because they have a whole bunch of Joel Newbury 54 wide fabrics on sale for under $7.
Yes, I cashed in on that. I have a bag in mine I needed some heavier fabric for. That is quite the savings. Also, they have changed their shipping policies (at least for domestic requests) $5 flat rate for orders up to $75, which I also thought was quite the deal.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Loser Monday- Diet Challenge Update

Hey dieters! I am a few days late, I apologize. . .I missed the whole post on Monday concept! Oops. I did start my diet on Sunday though, so that is the good news.

My story:
I am following Weight Watchers points and I have had a lot success with this diet in the past. The first time my weight crept up on me was right after I graduated from college. I was getting ready to get married and decided I wanted to lose the weight. I lost over 30 pounds and became a lifetime WW member. Well, then I had a baby. I gained 60 pounds during my pregnancy. It was awful. I had about 35 left to lose at my 6 week post check up. I lost that and this time I did it all on my own following the program. Well, (does anyone see a trend here?) this time I had the most to lose yet. . .I just don't know why I let it creep up that bad. I was sick of counting. I was sick of dieting. I was sick of a couple of situations related to work and I think I was eating to compensate. So, this fall I decided it was time to regain control. I started dieting in September and lost 20 pounds before Thanksgiving. I was thrilled. I managed to only gain 2 pounds (although showing no dieting or self control) from Thanksgiving until New Years (and I was pleased with this). So, I am back on the wagon. I want to lose at least 21 pounds maybe 25. I know I can do it.

Some easy nutritional changes I have made this week:
  • journal what I eat
  • I have heard that green tea boosts the metabolism, so I have been drinking 14 ounces each morning. I am not a fan of traditional green tea, but I do like Republic of Tea's Blueberry Green Tea, which has great antioxidants as well.
  • I have been getting my milk portions each day. I have found in the past I lose best when I do this. I drink 1/2 percent, because it TASTES so much better than skim and it is the same WW points.
  • I have upped my fiber-foods! Are you looking for a tasty treat....try Fiber One bars, they are only 2 WW points....and they have loads of fiber. I like the chocolate ones or the caramel ones best. At Betty Crocker's site, they have a coupon right now.
  • I have dug out my favorite cookbook: Jyl Steinback's The Busy Mom's Slow Cooker Cookbook which has more than 320 Low Cal Low Fat dishes. Talk about comfort foods....these are delicious. I love how all the nutritional info is on each dish, so it is fast to point out. I also love how hubby loves the meals in it. This week I made Chicken Tetrazzini. Husband's favorite it the clam chowder though.
  • I made the following low point, high fiber soup for my lunches this week. It is only 28 degrees here, so I also like that it warms me up.

Kris's Favorite 3 Bean Soup ( a bit altered from a Family Circle recipe)

In a stock pot, saute 2 cloves of garlic, 1 medium diced sweet onion, 2 TBSP Chili Powder in 1 TBSP EVOO. Meanwhile, chop 2 sweet bell peppers (or sometimes I substitute 1 green pepper) and 1 medium size zucchini. Add to the saute and saute another 5 minutes. Dump in 2 28 cans of petite dice tomatoes, 1/4 cup of ketchup, 1/2 tsp of dried oregano. Cook about 8 minutes. Stir in a 14 ounce can of each: black beans, navy beans, and small red kidney beans and cook for about 3 minutes. 2 points for 2 cups. Makes a huge pot. Portion and freeze leftovers for future.

SWAP Closed

The SWAP is closed. Everyone has been emailed. Please email me if you swappers did not receive your partner's information or if you received something crazy like 2 emails/partners as Buddy was helping me.
Thanks for all of your kind comments. I tried very hard to please everyone, so I hope everyone is pleased.
Let's get to sewing, gals!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Updated Valentine Swappers- Show Some Sewing Love Swap

First, thanks to all of you who have contacted me thus far to be in the swap. I just want it to be known that I have lots of participants willing to ship internationally, don't think we won't accomodate those of you out of the United States. There is still time to sign up, if you are interested.

I have heard from the following people (this includes a few more than an earlier post):

Wendy M.
Marlene B.
Loralynn M.
Harley W.
Tracey A.
Jill C.
Ruth S.
Lesley M.
Sheri H.
Julie G.
Awtem N.
Jen W.

Mary B.
Dawn H.
Maria H.
Carol L.
Leah C.
Vanessa S.
Julie D.
Sanda A.
Toni A.
Barbara R.
Suzee A.
Robin M.
Jodie S.
Lynda B.

I will be sending your swap partner information on Tuesday at the close of the swap regristration. It looks like we are going to have loads of fun, gals! Start working on those projects.