Wednesday, December 29, 2010

SSCS Presents

This is what I received from my lovely SSCS partner Leanne.

I have to ask, Leanne, how did you know!?  I love the tablerunner.  I love the soft colours.  I was thinking of doing something with soft colous for a table I have in the livingroom and then this showed up in the mail.  It's perfect!

She also made a project bag.  It's already coming in handy.  It gets to go to its first sew-day tomorrow.

Thank-you so much Leanne.

12 Days of Christmas

This is what I gave my partner for our 12 Days of Christmas exchange.

My partner loves butterflies and I was planning a little butterfly related quilt until she saw this bundle of fat quarters I had brought to our fall in-city retreat and fell in love with them.  I wanted to figure out a way to highlight the totems.  Plus I thought it would be great to work in bears paws blocks.  Here is the end result.

To go with the mug mat, I added a Christmas mug and made hot chocolate mix and marshmallows.

I decided to wrap the parcels in brown paper and stamp the numbers on the parcels.

If you do that, just keep track of which stamp pad you're using!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

SSCS crafting

Let the unveiling begin!

Here is what I made for my SSCS partner Dawnie

This is the little ornament that I made for her from a pattern I found here.

This table runner was the main gift.  This was a fun project to do and when I was thinking of how to quilt it, I wanted something swirly to accent all the curves.  It was funny how many pebble quilted quilts I saw in the three days I was thinking on this.  I guess it just called to me.

Not planned, but I love how the back turned out.  I think it could even be a reversible table runner!

A few other little gifties found their way into the parcel.  This little seam ripper complete with travel bag is wonderful for separating blocks when chain piecing.

I also made these little mug mats.  The green one just called and called until I let it travel to Australia.  The red one made it into my 12 Days of Christmas parcel which I'll post on tomorrow.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Crafting

I did a little sewing for my nephew this Christmas.

I made him a little apron so he can cook just like Daddy.  This was a quick and easy pattern that I found here.

My friend's daughter very kindly modeled for these photos.  Isn't she adorable.

I also mad a little backpack for him.  This was also a pattern I found on the internet.  The finished product is wonderful and even has adjustable straps.  I won't post the link to the pattern though, it was really confusing and had a lot of errors.

Friday, December 24, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 12

On the twelvth day of Christmas....

I received a wonderful tree ornament made out of yo-yos and a cute make your own ornament panel.

Tomorrow I finally find out who I can thank for these lovely gifts! 

I hope each and everyone of you have a wonderful holiday.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 11

On the eleventh day of Christmas...

I received pins and beeswax.  The pins have a narrower shaft than regular quilting pins so they're great for precision work.  hmmmm.  Maybe I should make them a special pin cushion... :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 10

On the tenth day of Christmas....

I received more batik charm squares and sewing machine needles.  The beige fabric underneath is the 'wrapping paper', it's been great to receive this double present.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

12 Day of Christmas - Day 9

On the ninth day of Christmas...

I received a panel to make up two cute ornaments and a pair of scissors that fold up.  hmmmm.  I wonder if they meet the airline restrictions?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Presents

Here are a few more of the Christmas gifts I've been working on. I'm not sure how to rotate the pictures.  Does anyone know how?  I guess until then, maybe turn your monitor? <grin>

First up is this apron.  It's reversible with a pocket on each side.  This was a guild project a few years ago and I'm finally making one!

This little wall hanging was a fun one to make.  There are a few things that really make me think of Christmas and gingerbread men are one of them.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Making

We had our guild Christmas party on last Monday, so I can finally show you one of the things I'd been working on during the Christmas Crafting Blackout.

At our party we do a gift exchange.  Each of us bring a little gift and we draw names to see who gets to pick first, second, third, etc.  When it is your turn to pick a present, you can take any gift you want, even if someone else has already chosen it.  The funny thing is we're all stealing these gifts from each other and they're all UNWRAPPED.  We don't actually open any of the gifts until everyone has a gift.  Some of the stealing back and forth gets down right hilarious.

I made this casserole carrier.  I figured it would help someone bring more tasty goodies to our potlucks. :)  I found the pattern for the carrier here.  The pattern was well written and it was a fun and quick project to make.  I like that it's basically a square so it accommodates many sizes and shapes of casserole dishes.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Baking

I was doing some Christmas baking the other day and thought I would share some of it with all of you.

First up is Lussekatter (Lucia Cats).  These buns are traditionally served December 12 for St. Lucia day.  The figure 8 shape you see above is the traditional 'cat' shape.  I don't really see it, but it's not Christmas without these bun for Lucia.

1 teaspoon saffron threads
1/2 cup sugar
7 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
3 tablespoons active dry yeast
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 1/4 cups flour

1 egg
3 tablespoons milk

With a mortar and pestle, grind the saffron and one teaspoon of the sugar together until blended; set aside.

Melt the butter is a saucepan over low heat.  Remove from heat and add the milk and saffron mixture.  This mixture should be 98*F.  Heat or cool until the mixture is 98*F.

Place the yeast in a large bowl and pour about 1/4 cup of the saffron mixture over the yeast; stir gently.  Sprinkle the salt and 1 tablespoon sugar over the moistened yeast and let sit 5 minutes.  Stir in the remaining sugar, the saffron mixture, the beaten egg, and 3 cups of flour.  Sprinkle the remaining flour on top and knead the dough for several minutes.  Add more flour if the dough gets too sticky.  Shape into a ball.  Dust the top with flour, cover with a clean bread cloth (or tea towel) and let rise until doubled in size.  (About 1 1/2 hours)

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes.  Add flour as necessary if the dough gets too sticky.  Divide the dough into golf ball sized pieces.  Shape the dough into cats (roll into a tube and then form spirals from each end until they meet).  Or make them all bun shaped :)  Place a raisin in the centre of each spiral and place on a greased baking sheet.

Recover the buns with your bread cloth and let rise until doubled in size (about 30 minutes).

Preheat the oven to 425*F.  Beat 1 egg with 3 tablespoons milk.  Brush the tops of the buns with this mixture just before baking.  Bake for 5 to 10 minutes until golden brown on top and just beginning to brown on the bottom.  Cool on a cooling rack.

Next up are a light oatmeal cookie called havreflam.  I got this recipe from my uncle when I was baking for my mum's 60th birthday.  In Sweden, it is not considered a good party unless there are at least 7 varieties of cookies.  My uncle wasn't able to come to Canada for the party, but he collected many traditional cookie recipes for me to make.  My first attempt in making them, I made a *minor* mistake in the translation.  They ended up tasting good but were nothing like the traditional cookies.  The translation has since been corrected and this is the version that people in Sweden will recognize.


5 tablespoons butter
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper.  Melt the butter.  In a medium sized bowl, stir the oatmeal and butter together.  Let this mixture stand 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, blend the flour and baking powder together.  In a large bowl, whisk the sugar and egg together until foamy.  Add the oatmeal mixture and the flour mixture and stir until just blended.  The dough is quite liquid.

Drop the batter on to the cookie sheet by a scant teaspoonful.  Leave a fair amount of space between each cookie, it spreads quite a bit when baking.

Bake 6 to 8 minutes, until the edges are just beginning to turn golden.  Lift the entire sheet of parchment or wax paper onto the cooling rack.  Make sure you let the cookies cool completely before attempting to remove from the paper.

These two cookies have been a family favourite for as long as I can remember.  The shortbread with raspberry jam to the left is called Alexander's kakor and the shortbread with chocolate meringue to the right is called Skrynklor.  Until recently I'd never known Alexander's kakor as anything but 'granddad's favourites' but when my aunt was here for my mum's birthday she identified them by the official name.  Yup, they were my granddad's favourite cookies.  When ever we went to visit him, we (read my mum) would make the cookies and carefully pack them and bring them on the airplane just so he could have some.  Skrynklor translates to 'wrinkles', they're one of my favourite cookies and fortunately they don't cause wrinkles :) 


200 grams butter or margarine
4 tablespoons sugar
600 ml flour

1 egg white
150 ml sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa

Cream the butter and sugar.  Add flour.  Refrigerate the dough while the filling is being prepared.

Whip the egg white until peaks form.  Mix the cocoa and sugar together and fold into the egg white.

Roll out the dough into a rectangle and spread the filling evenly onto the rectangle.  Roll up the dough.  Cut into 1/4 inch slices.  Place slices onto baking sheets and bake in a 375*F oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

Alexander's Kakor
Make the same dough as for skrinklor but you use less flour.  (Usually about 500ml)

Split the dough into 4 equal portions.  Roll one portion of the dough into a tube (or long snake if you have kids that still play play-dough :) and place on a cookie sheet.  Press a small trough (with your finger) along the entire tube of dough.  Place a small amount of raspberry jam along the trough.  Make sure you don't fill it too full.  The jam bubbles up and makes a mess if you over-fill it.

Repeat this for the other dough portions.

Bake in a 375*F oven for 8-10 minutes.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet.  Once cooled, mix icing sugar with water until you've got a thick glaze.  Spread along the top of the cookies.  Once the icing has mostly set, cut the cookies into bit sized pieces.

Friday, December 17, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 8

On the eighth day of Christmas.....

More batik charm squares and pre-wound bobbins.  I won't have to wind bobbins for quite some time, how lucky can a quilter be!?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 7

On the seventh day of Christmas...

I received quilting needles and a magnetic needle keeper.  This should mean no more pins or needles in the foot! :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 6

On the sixth day of Christmas....

I received a lint roller and more batik charm squares.  I think my secret santa must have had 'a quilter's dream' as her theme when pulling my gifts together.  I would have never thought of a lint roller, but what a great idea for those pesky stray threads.

I'm starting to think of ideas for the batik squares.  hmmm....  Maybe another quilt??

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 5

On the fifth day of Christmas....

I received a precision screwdriver set.  This will be great for all those little tweaks and repairs.

Monday, December 13, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 4

On the fourth day of Christmas....

I received batik charm squares and a little ruler.  These squares are going to be wonderful; I've been collecting batiks for a future applique project.  This ruler has sixteenths of an inch markers!  That'll be perfect miniatures.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 3

On the third day of Christmas....

I received a lovely sewing set.  It has a pair of stork scissors, which I'd never tried before, along with a thimble and needles.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 2

On the second day of Christmas....

I received a lovely bundle of batik charm squares and pre-wound bobbins all ready for a little stitching.

Friday, December 10, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 1

The guild I belong to has been doing a 12 days of Christmas swap.  We did this for the first time last year and had such fun that we're doing it again.

Earlier in the year we picked names and have spent the rest of the year finding little gifts.  The names are a secret and we won't find out who has been giving us these lovely gifts until the very end.

The person who has been giving to me has been wrapping the gifts in fabric, so I have a double bonus of lovely fabric.

For day 1 I received a tape measure and this lovely printed panel to make ornaments.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

SSCS Received

A wonderful parcel arrived in the mail the other day.  My SSCS presents!

I have the wonderful Leanne to thank for these gifties.

Here is the amazing ornament.  She has done such fabulous stitching.  The little elf is such a sweetie.

These wonderfully squishy gifts are tempting me, but I'll be good and wait until Christmas.

Thank you so much Leanne!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


SSCS goodies are on their way!

So, if your name is ______ and you live in ______, keep an eye on the mailbox.

This poor neglected blog was very happy to hear that the Christmas crafting blackout is almost over.  Yeah!  And boy will there be lots to show after Christmas.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


I got to go to a retreat this past month.  It's was located a short drive out of town in a wonderful location.  This is what we were surrounded by.  Isn't it wonderful?

Here was our work room.  We had plenty of table space with good light.  We were able to allocate a few tables as cutting tables.  One of the ladies had these great wooden blocks to place under the table legs to raise the table up to a better height for cutting.  Our backs really appreciated it during the weekend.

The theme of retreat for me was Christmas presents, so I can't show anything I worked on.  But I got lots of SSCS gifts and other presents mostly done.

So, instead, I'll show you some of the wonderful projects other people did.

This was a Nancy Halvorsen panel one of the ladies embellished with this great border.

This was a cute Halloween banner that one of the ladies made for her classroom.

Each retreat we make a little take away.  This year we made these little hedgehog pincushions.  They look more like hedgehogs once you add the pins.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Curvacious Log Cabin

Last year, when my friend and I went to the quilt show in Houston, we each took several classes.

This quilt is one of the classes I took.  We each got a little kit with the fabrics and spent the morning learning how to make these curved log cabin blocks.

I left these block sitting for a year (fabric needs to marinate you know) until one of my co-workers asked for a donation to our silent auction fundraiser.  I pulled this out and quickly finished it off with a little stippling.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Whetstones and Chips

This is the third, and sadly final, quilt that we got to see. 

This one is Whetstones and Chips, dated from the 1840s and it apparently travelled all the way over from Scotland.

There was amazing applique done along the borders.

A close up of the other motif.

I don't know if you can see it, but a few of the mariners compass blocks needed a few repairs.

This shot shows the quilting.  These larger lines are made with three lines of straight quilting placed very close to each other.  There were also intricate feathers quilted in and around each of the blocks.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cherry Basket

This is the second quilt we had the opportunity to see.  I love how timeless the colours in both of the quilts are so timeless.  Even though they were made in the 1800's, I can see someone picking out similar colour combinations now.  In fact, one of our friends has started scouring the stores to lime green.

This quilt dates from 1840 - 1860.  I love how the baskets are oriented sideways on the quilt.

Each of the blocks was outlined with red piping.  Isn't that a great idea.

The quilting in this quilt was wonderful.  There were lots of interesting bits (that sadly don't show up well in the photos) like maple leaves.  I really like the circles the quilter added on the scalloped boarder.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lobster and Eggs

Recently some friends and I had the opportunity to see some antique quilts up close and personal.

This first one is a Rose of Sharon pattern.  I love the non-traditional colour combination that the maker chose.

Even though the quilt is Rose of Sharon, we kept calling it Lobster and Eggs.  Can you see why?

Can you see the fried egg?  How about the lobster claw?

This quilt was quite intricately quilted.  It was interesting, the maker did a lot of echo quilting all through the background but did not quilt through the large blue or red appliqued bits.

The border had scallops along with these funky chicken feet details.