Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Epic Escape

Probably the funnest thing we did over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend was go to Epic Escape in downtown Grand Junction.  They have these all over now, where they set up a room with clues and you have to try to solve a mystery or puzzles to get out of the room - you have one hour to do it.  It was SO much fun!  It's also very family oriented, something the whole family can enjoy.

This team was in "The Hunted" game and were "locked" in a cabin.  They were able to solve the clues and puzzles with seconds to spare.
Our team was in "The Missing Manuscript", which is apparently the beginner room for those who've never played before.  I still thought it was hard!  We were able to get out with a couple of minutes to spare, so we beat The Hunted team by a minute or two.
There is a phone in the room and get three free clues to help you as you go along.  Our granddaughter even helped us find a clue, as she moved a rug that we probably wouldn't have otherwise moved - and there was a clue hidden underneath.

Here is our happy group afterward.  I really can't express how much fun we had.  I'd love to get a group together and go back and do the other two rooms.  They are adding a fourth as well.  So, so fun :)

We had to top that fun activity off with some gelato from Gelato Junction and a nice walk around downtown :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Fun Family Weekend

I have been busy enjoying family!  I thought I would recap a little of our fun weekend the next few days.  I have some work to catch up on so it will be a couple of more days before I get back into the sewing room.
We started off Thanksgiving Day with the Turkey Trot - 5K - in downtown Grand Junction.  Over 1600 people participated and raised over $50,000 for the GJ Fire Department's charitable foundation. It was a beautiful day and we had a great time!

Baby rode in style and got a nap along the way.  My son's girlfriend competed and came in 8th place in her age division.  The rest of us were in the "casual" just for fun category.... trying to burn off some calories before the big turkey dinner!

We played a game called Kubb in our backyard while awaiting the cooking turkey.  It was such a nice day!

We used my daughter's selfie stick to get a good group picture at the table.

And we set the table with my Polish Pottery :)

We had a great day and of course, ate too much, but so enjoyed spending time with family :)

I hope your Thanksgiving was awesome!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving a day late!  I hope everyone had a wonderful day. I am so enjoying having our kids and their families home for the weekend.  What fun! Nothing better!!
Here is one of my favorite dinner roll recipes.  I was a little worried they weren't going to turn out yesterday, but they did and were delicious!
Ann's Roll Recipe
1 pkg. dry yeast
3 T. warm water
1/2 cup margarine
1 tsp. salt
1 cup boiling water
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups flour
soft butter
Dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. Dissolve margarine and salt in boiling water and set aside until lukewarm. Beat eggs and mix in sugar, yeast and 2 cups flour - mix well  Add remainder flour and the water/margarine mixture and mix well.  Place in lightly greased bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.  3 1/2 hours before serving, roll out dough in 2 rounds, 1/2 inch thick.  Spread with soft butter, cut in pie shape wedges. Roll, starting at the wide end. Place in baking pan and let rise 3 hours.  Bake at 400 degrees for 6-10 minutes.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Ready for Family!

I love Thanksgiving!  Not only do we take more time to reflect on all that we are thankful for, but it's really a time to just enjoy being with family.  That is what I am especially thankful for this year, this time to enjoy spending with all of our children and their families.
Besides preparing food, I made up the Victory Board and bought some cool prizes - worth playing for! We love to play board games and a few years ago we started competing to see who could win the most.  It's all in good fun :) This year we are throwing in the Turkey Trot and the Epic Escape game as well!

I got out the playhouse and some toys in anticipation of our granddaughter!  So excited to see and play with her!  She is growing so much and doing so many new things since I saw her a month ago.  I can hardly wait!
The recipe today was given to me by my friend Sandra, when we all lived in Nebraska.  This is another family favorite!  In fact my youngest son requests this for his birthday "cake" nearly every year!
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
Cream together:
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp. soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
Stir in:
1 cup flour
1 cup oats
Press into greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Cool and frost.
Melt 3 T. butter, add 3 T. cocoa and 3 T milk.  Stir in powdered sugar (to desired consistency) and add 1 tsp. vanilla.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Presto Chango

And just like that, my sewing room is transformed into a guest room! Not the cosiest of guest rooms, but the Murphy bed is quite comfy and it has my nice Market Fresh quilt on it :)  I've tried to move my cutting table before to make more room and both times I've broken it.  I think my hubby is tired of fixing it for me.  This time I left it in place but I did clean it off so a suitcase or duffle bag can be set there.  We are very happy and excited to have family coming for the next few days!

Since I will be doing more cooking than sewing the next few days I thought I would share some of our family's favorite recipes.  This one is called "Curious Cake" but we have long since called them Caramel Brownies. I received a recipe chain letter about 30 years ago, right after we got married (long before email :)  Normally I don't participate in chain letters, but I decided to do this one.  You were supposed to receive 36 recipes in the mail.  I received ONE.  But it was for these amazing brownies which we love and have been a real treat for our family for all these years.  I do not know the lady who sent me the recipe but her name is on the hand written recipe card: Evalyn Smith. Here is the recipe!
Curious Cake
1 box German Chocolate Cake Mix
3/4 cup melted margarine
2/3 cup (one small can) evaporated milk
1 cup chopped nuts
1 package semi sweet chocolate chips
14 oz. package of caramels
Combine the cake mix, margarine and 1/3 cup of the evaporated milk.  Mix well.  Press 1/2 of the mixture into a 9x13 pan (save the other half for the top). Bake for 5 minutes at 350 degrees. Melt the caramels with the other 1/3 cup evaporated milk in a double boiler, stirring until smooth. After the first layer has baked for 5 minutes, top with chocolate chips, nuts and pour over the melted caramel. Carefully top it all with the other 1/2 of the cake mixture (spread gently).  Bake for 20 minutes more. Cool completely and cut into squares.  Completely unhealthy but very delicious :)

Monday, November 21, 2016

Top Done!

I was asked if I was making an Irish Chain quilt because of the block photo I posted a couple of days ago.  I believe that is the block you would use to make an Irish Chain quilt but I was making them for the border of this Monterrey Medallion quilt.  The quilt pictured on the cover is a little different than the simpler version that I made.

I was able to get the top all pieced together!  I'm happy with the way it turned out. I love all the fabrics and pretty colors and I can hardly wait to start quilting it.

And.... This large queen size quilt top hardly made a dent in my stash of Civil War Reproduction fabrics!  That's OK, I already have another quilt in mind to use some more ....
But if anyone needs some pieces for your Dear Jane or scrap quilt, give me a shout!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

It's Coming Together!

It's taking shape - this big scrap quilt!  I'm into the phase of piecing where I am hauling large rows over to the sewing machine and pinning, sewing and pressing very carefully to get everything lined up.  It's time consuming but also fun to see the design all come together.  My goal is to get the quilt top together before Thanksgiving, turn my sewing room into a guest room and take a break to spend time with family, then get some quilts quilted after Thanksgiving and hopefully before Christmas!
Have a Happy Sunday :)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

A Quilt for a Friend

I'm making progress on the quilt I'm making for a friend!  I made 36 of these blocks in the last couple of days - now it's time to sew it all together!

Are you trying to finish up something before Christmas?

Friday, November 18, 2016

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

I had to share this beautiful Christmas tree skirt made by my friend Pam.  I'm so impressed!  That is a lot of wedges to line up!  It turned out fantastic :)
Speaking of fantastic - we went to see the "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" movie last night and really enjoyed it!
I've been working on Christmas gifts, buying, wrapping etc.  We will see more of our family at Thanksgiving this year than at Christmas so I'm needing to get some gifts ready before Thanksgiving.  The movie was a nice little break from this flurry of activity :)  Here is hoping you have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Show and Tell

A mix of pictures today!  Here is my granddaughter helping her mother in the kitchen :)  I distinctly remember those days!  My daughter used the wait until the phone rang (back in the "old" days when the phone was attached to the wall with a cord) and then head right to the refrigerator and start throwing everything out!  She was just out of arm's reach!

Look at the wonderful quilts shown for show and tell at the CO West Quilt Guild!  Really fine examples of artistry and quilting.  Probably some lucky recipients of nice Christmas gifts this year too!

My morning walks have become interesting with deer and big super moons!

I am still working on a quilt for a friend (while also trying to get my Christmas shopping done :)  I made a little progress yesterday.  I hope to have some pictures to share soon!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Get Your Groove On!

Just getting you ready for the holidays with a little dancing video!
Have a great day!  Work hard and get a lot done :)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Marla Ferguson

Marla Ferguson was our guest speaker at the CO West Quilt Guild meeting the other night.  She spoke about "putting your feelings and emotions into quilts."  She told us a little about herself, shared several of her quilts and her journey in quilt making, and how quilting has helped her through some difficult times.
She is a fantastic speaker and her lecture touched a lot of people.  Her quilts are really amazing too - she is an artist!  Here she is holding one of her quilts and I snapped a few photos of the rest of the quilts as they were spread out for us to look at.

She also sells greeting cards with pictures of her quilts on them.  I like this idea!  These would make fun gifts for family and friends if you have some great photos of your own quilts that would look nice on the front of a card!

If you want to learn more about Marla and her lecture/trunk show, you can check out her website and blog at:

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Add 40 Star Blocks

I made some progress on my scrap quilt this weekend.  I made 40 star blocks!  All that is left is a variation of a log cabin block to make one final go around the outside perimeter - 36 more blocks.  I haven't bought a single piece of fabric yet for this quilt.  I'm making good use of my Civil War reproduction fabrics left over from Dear Jane.  Even the light colored fabrics are scraps from the Civil War shirting fabrics. I've actually hardly made a dent!  I think I have a few more scrap quilts in my future :) I'm really happy with the way this one is looking so far!

I changed some of the star blocks around from this picture to the the picture below, to try and spread the colors out a bit better.  Not a huge difference, but it satisfied my eye a little better :)

I hope you had a nice productive weekend too.  Now on to Monday and the start of a bran new week!  Have a great day!

Friday, November 11, 2016

A Quilt for a Friend

I have been wanting to make a quilt using Civil War reproduction prints left over from my Dear Jane quilt.  This week I started this one, which will be a gift for a friend.  I got this far then decided I did not like the dark background fabric I used in the center star block, so I took it apart and used a lighter background fabric instead.  I like it better!

Today I started working on 9 1/2 inch star blocks that surround this center area.  I need to make 40.  I got 12 done today.  Make progress!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Happy Birthday Al!!

This blog post is about some dear friends, Al and Annie.  Al (pictured below) turned 95 years young today.  He is quite an amazing person.  More on that in a minute...

Annie, while still in her youth (she's only in her eighties) is always teaching us at our Little Bits meetings.  She brought this Bristol Board, that she has marked with different dimensions and she uses it for pressing.  You know how some patterns will have you "turn under and press 1/4 inch" and most of us just guess or estimate that 1/4 inch?

Well, with 1/4 inch and many other dimensions marked on the Bristol board, you can take the guess work out of pressing those edges on your projects!  She said the iron (even steam) does not hurt the Bristol board, yet the board is thin (like poster board) so you get an accurate measurement when turning up the edges and pressing.  I hope I'm explaining this well because it really is a nifty idea!  If you have any questions, please leave a comment.

About a week ago my hubby and I went and listened to Al recite Cowboy Poetry, that he wrote himself, and has completely memorized.  He had everyone rolling with laughter at his poetry, mostly based on true experiences from his life.  There were a few other poets and musicians as well, including Kathy's husband Terry, and we had a delightful evening. (Kathy is also in our Little Bits group.)
I hope my memory and vitality are as good as Al's when I'm 95 :)

On a quilting note, Annie completed her Postage Stamp quilt that we started in our Little Bits group awhile back.  Her Thursday Quilters  group hand quilted it!  It turned out SO nice!  There are only a bazillion seams in this smallish quilt so I feel sorry for those hand quilters, but they did a fabulous job :)

Al is a veteran of WW II, so it is fitting that he celebrates his birthday today and is honored for his service to our country tomorrow.  I'd like to thank all of our veterans of any war for working and fighting to protect our freedom.

Have a wonderful day!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


At our miniature quilt group meeting last week Max showed everyone how to make these quick and easy bags, that really hold a LOT of stuff!  Yes sometimes we don't work on miniature things at all!

Eleanor also brought a bag for show and tell that she had made.  It turned out very nice!

I'm off the the CO West Quilt Guild meeting soon! I'm going to show my tuffet for show and tell :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

To Make You Smile

I love this video of our granddaughter "shopping".  Not much to see at her eye level but she was a busy little shopper anyway!  Have a wonderful day :)

Sunday, November 6, 2016

More Hexagons

Here are more Show and Tell pictures from my Little Bits miniature quilt group.  June is hooked on hexagons!  She said the binding on this little table mat was very difficult though and she's ready to "be done with it".  Are you ever ready to "be done" with a project?  I find myself getting that way.  That is why my borders and binding are usually nothing spectacular!

The photo above has larger hexagons and is a larger table topper.  Also, notice that she inserted some set in triangles which made the binding easier!

This one isn't quite finished but I love the big flower prints!  This will brighten up any table!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

An 86 Year Old Quilt

Our miniature quilt group meeting this week was at Bobbi's house and she shared with us a beautiful Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt made in 1930.  It is in amazing shape for being 86 years old!  I believe she said it came to them through her husband's family and she is very happy to have it!

It is hand pieced and hand quilted and has been very well cared for.  The colors still even look fantastic!

And it has a label!  Notice too, how difficult that binding would have been to put on.

This is a large quilt too.  Bobbi had it laid out on a king sized bed and it covered the whole thing and draped over the sides a bit.  What a lovely family heirloom...