Sunday, April 25, 2010

Renew Your Spirit

Maternity by Pablo Picasso

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Garden Bouquet Quilt: Month 17- Balloon Flower

“If I called this flower a platycodon I don’t suppose many of you would know what I meant. But if I refer to it as a balloon flower open to the breeze and sun you would recognize it at once. Am I right?”

“Right you are, Nancy. We recognize it, but what color shall we make it?” “The balloon flower is blue or white. Since we are making these flowers on a white background I suggest that you use blue. You might use a fine blue and white check or stripe. That will give the effect you want. Be careful, though, that you do not choose too dark or strong a blue. Now let’s get to work.”

The members did just as you have learned to do. First, they cut the pattern from paper, traced it lightly on white triangle, traced it again on lightweight cardboard. Then they put the original with its accompanying directions in the Nancy Page quilt scrap book for safe keeping. If you haven’t the directions for making one of those scrap books write to your paper for that leaflet.

After the cardboard tracing was made it was cut into its parts These were laid on the color fast, soft material of which the flower, leaves and stem would be made. For the stem, Nancy suggests, as you know, bias tape. Its use saves {part of the article is missing & from here it goes on to say…} After the birds were appliquéd the block was ready to be put into the quilt.

By the time this block was finished the fourth row of urns with their birds and flowers were completed. Now the group were ready to add the white diamonds. The four blocks, the daffodil, poppy, rose and balloon flower were seamed to lower sides of white diamonds that were joining the third row of flowers. In each case the lower left of a diamonds was seamed to the upper right of a new block and the lower right to the upper left. Nancy admitted this sounded complicated, but it wasn’t, once the pieces were laid out on a flat surface. It is just a matter of putting the white diamonds in between the flower block diamonds. At the two outer sides of the quilt there is a white triangle, in place of a white diamond. These triangles later furnish the straight sides of the quilt to which a border is attached.

The club worked so steadily at the seaming and joining that they scarcely noticed Nancy when she came in with Chinese tea and rice flour cakes. She explained that these were in keeping since the flower was often called a Chinese bell flower. The members expressed appreciation and made the rest of us so hungry that it is time to say, “Let’s stop and eat.”

I haven’t been able to work on my Balloon Flower block so I don’t have anything to show off. I will update this when I do get the chance!

Do you have any Garden Bouquet Quilt blocks to show off? Leave a link to your blog post about it in the comment section or email me a photo at heathers_custom_sewing{at} so I can share with everyone!

I hope you are enjoying this series!

Quick Links to:

Month 1: Beginning Instructions, Urn, and Basket Instructions
Month 2, Part 1: The Tulip
Month 2, Part 2: The Saucy Bird
Month 2, Part 3: The Meek Bird
Month 3: The Cactus
Month 4: Lily of the Valley
Month 5: The Wild Rose
Month 6: The Trillium
Month 7: Canterbury Bells
Month 8: Nasturtium
Month 9: The Pansy
Month 10: The Tiger Lily
Month 11: The Primrose
Month 12: The Zinnia
Month 13: The Daffodil
Month 14: The Phlox
Month 15: The Poppy
Month 16: The Rose

Hand Appliqué
Machine Appliqué
Alternate Method of Appliqué Tutorial
Biased Binding Tutorial

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cloth Diaper Review & Giveaway!!!

It's finally here! It's time for the cloth diaper review and giveaway I'm participating in! Check it out & enter to win!!! I'm super excited about this! :)

Stuff Parents Need

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Classic Buttermilk Biscuits

Prep: 10 minutes
Bake: 8 to 12 minutes
Over: 500 degrees
Makes: 12 to 16 biscuits

  • 5 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour (measured after sifting)
  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp packed butter, chilled
  • 2 cups chilled buttermilk
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted


  1. Heat oven to 500 degrees F. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Add chilled butter, coating in flour. Working quickly, cut in butter until roughly half the butter is blended and half remains in large pieces, about 3/4 inch.
  2. Make a well in center of flour mixture. Add buttermilk all at once. With a large spoon stir mixture quickly, just until it is blended and begins to mass and form a sticky dough. (If dough appears dry, add 1 to 2 Tbsp additional buttermilk.)
  3. Immediately turn dough onto a generously floured surface. Using floured hands, knead briskly 8 to 10 times until cohesive ball of dough forms. Gently flatten dough with hands to even thickness. Using floured rolling pin, lightly roll dough to 3/4-inch thickness.
  4. Using a dinner fork dipped in flour, pierce dough completely through at 1/2-inch intervals. Flour a 2 1/2- or 3-inch biscuit cutter. Stamp out rounds and arrange on heavy parchment lined baking sheets. Add dough pieces, as is, to baking sheet.
  5. Place on rack in upper third of oven. Bake 8 to 12 minutes until crusty and golden brown. Remove. Brush with melted butter. Serve hot.

Cheddar Ranch Chicken


  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese


  1. Combine the dressing and flour.
  2. Coat each chicken with the mixture.
  3. Combine cheese & sprinkle on top.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until juices run clear.

Cloth Diaper Review AND Giveaway!

I'm so excited to announce that I've participated in a cloth diaper review with Ms. Tiffany & her little one! I have been anxiously awaiting this!

I sent her one of these Bizzy as a Bee Cloth Diapers for her to try out.

She is new to cloth diapering and is writing about her experience on her blog, Stuff Parents Need.

The diaper review will be on this coming Tuesday, April 20th, 2010, on her blog. You definitely want to check this out as she will also be hosting a giveaway of one of my cloth diapers too! All the information and how-to's will be included in her post so stay tuned! And if you haven't yet… follow her blog!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lemon Bars

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon extract
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Powdered sugar


Combine the crust ingredients and pat into an 8-inch square baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, for topping, combine the sugar, eggs, flour, lemon juice, extract, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix until frothy; pour over crust. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until light golden brown. Dust with powdered sugar.

Tuna Cakes

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 25 Minutes


  • 2 cans (6 oz) tuna in water, drained
  • 1 package (6 oz) stove top stuffing mix for chicken
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 3/4 cup water


Mix the tuna, stuffing, cheese, mayo & water in a bowl. Cover & refrigerate for 10 minutes. Heat a large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium heat. Scoop tuna mixture, using 1/3 cup for each cake, into skillet in batches.
Gently flatten cakes using a spatula.
Cook 3 minutes on each side or until they're golden brown on both sides, turning cakes over carefully.

Creamy Chicken Alfredo

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Bake Time: 8-12 Minutes

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken-breast halves (I'll use only 4)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs. minced onion (I'll probably just sprinkle on some onion powder)
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream (don't use milk, the fats in the whipping cream keep the sauce from separating)
  • 1/3 cup grate Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh parsley (I'll probably substitute dried parsley to save on the budget)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place flour in a shallow dish or pie plate. Sprinkle chicken with salt; coat with flour. Heat 2 Tbs olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add chicken; cook, turning once, until golden, 2-4 minutes per side. Remove chicken from skillet; place in a 13X9- inch baking dish.
  2. Heat remaining olive oil in same skillet over medium heat until hot. Add garlic and onion; cook until garlic is fragrant and onion is tender, 1-2 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; add whipping cream, Parmesan and pepper. Cook until sauce is bubbly and slightly thickened, 2-3 minutes. Spoon over chicken in dish.
  3. Bake chicken until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center of chicken registers 180 degrees, 8-12 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley. (I don't have a thermometer so I just do a visual check by cutting into the thickest part of the chicken & looking to see if it's done.)


My boys don't like a lot of 'weird stuff' (aka different tastes and/or textures) in their food so this is a very basic meatloaf.

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Bake Time: 75 Minutes

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 slices of bread, crumbled
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbs. mustard

In a large bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture & mix well. Place in a glass loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Pour off any grease drippings. For the topping, in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, ketchup & mustard. Spread over the loaf & bake an additional 15 minutes or until no pink remains. (You may have to pour of the grease drippings again.) Let stand for about 10 minutes before cutting.

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