Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Virtual Cookie Exchange

 It's that time of year again. Welcome to the Virtual Cookie Exchange and blog hop hosted by Carol at Just Let Me Quilt. I am excited to share a favorite Christmas cookie recipe with you that I make each year as well as a family tradition and a quilt too.

I will start with the tradition. When I was first married, 35 years ago, I started collecting the Department 56 New England Christmas Village. For several years either my husband or my mother would buy me a new piece as a Christmas gift. Originally I would put the village under the tree each year. Since we have a real tree this was a tedious last minute chore as my village grew larger. Eventually, we purchased a television/sound system cabinet whose broad top was perfect for my village. We no longer have a TV in that cabinet, but it still serves as the display case for my village which is now one of the first decorations that I put up each December. 

I try to make the set-up just a bit different each year. It makes me smile just looking at the photos.

Here it is when it is lit up at night.

The quilt that I am sharing this year is my first, and so far only, attempt at redwork.

This usually hangs on the wall that you face as you enter the front door of my home just below the railing that surrounds the second floor landing. I made it several years ago and am quite pleased with how it turned out.

Finally, the cookies. Isn't that why you came to this exchange in the first place? Each and every year, we make decorated Christmas cookies as a family. I make the simple sugar cookie dough, chill it and then roll it out. We all participate in the decorating. This pic of my son and daughter decorating and using the cookie cutters is from a couple of years ago.

Some of the cookie cutters I inherited from my grandmother, some were my mother's, some are ones I have collected over the years. You can see them piled up near the flour jar. We usually have quite an assembly line going. Decorating requires brushing on beaten egg white and then sprinkling with colored sugars, nonpariels and perhaps some sugar trees or stars and the like before baking.

Here is one batch right before baking.

As you can see, we get creative.

Here is the recipe if you would like to try these yourself. They are delicious.

Christmas Butter Cookies

Ingredients:   1 Cup butter, softened (I use salted butter)

                    1 Cup sugar

                    3 eggs, separated, save the egg whites for later.

                    2 1/2 cups sifted flour    

                    1 tsp. vanilla

        1. Cream butter in a large bowl, gradually beat in sugar.

        2. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition.

        3. Slowly add sifted flour.

        4. Add vanilla.

        5. Divide dough into two rounds and wrap each in 

            waxed paper, chill at least 1 hour.


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

2. Roll chilled dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Use your favorite cookie cutters and place on a Silpat lined baking sheet (or plain cookie sheet). 

3. Brush each cookie with egg whites that have been whisked. 

4. Decorate with colored sugars, nonpareils, or other small sugar decorations.

5. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes. Watch the cookies, thin ones can burn.

These cookies can also be cooked prior to decorating with icing if preferred. Just eliminate steps 3 and 4 of the decorating and make the cookies a little thicker. Decorate with icing once cookies have cooled. 

Be sure to visit all of the other blogs that are participating in this Cookie Exchange.

December 1

Creatin' in the Sticks

Doreen – Just Let Me Quilt Guest

Bumbleberry Stitches

Home Sewn By Us
Quilt Schmilt

Food for Thought

Life in the Scrapatch

Ms P Designs USA

Just Sew Quilter

Cathie's Craftworks

Cynthia's Creating Ark


December 2


Karen's Korner

Sew Many Yarns

Selina Quilts

Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life

Days Filled With Joy

Words & Stitches

Just Because Quilts


December 3



DayBrook Designs

Karrin’s Crazy World

Samelia's Mum

Songbird Designs

For The Love Of Geese

Stitchin At Home

Dreamworthy Quilts

That Fabric Feeling


December 4

Just Let Me Quilt

Quilt Fabrication

Seams To Be Sew

Happy Cottage Quilter

Pumpkin Patch Patterns & Quilting

The Darling Dogwood

Kathleen McMusing


DesertSky Quilting 

I hope you enjoyed your stroll through these wonderful blogs. I know I will be collecting some new and delicious recipes to make this year and in the future.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 29, 2020

2 of 24

I have finally finished the second of 24 pages of Three Boats. Happy Dance!

Now I can move on to the next page below it. Page number 13 is next.

I also made some progress on October Morning this past week. 

You can see that I have started adding the green tree/bush that is to the right of the dirt road. I just realized that you can see the fence emerging too.

I also spent some time making Christmas masks to distribute at Thanksgiving. Here are the Christmas sides of the masks.

I made the insides from non-Christmas fabrics so that they can be used throughout the year.

We enjoyed a visit from our daughter, her husband and her pup, Ruby. They quarantined two weeks prior to visiting and will do the same when they return home in order to visit for Thanksgiving. 
We enjoyed a walked in a local state park.
Ruby also enjoyed playing in our backyard with one of the old toys that we have.

Our son was unable to join us as he couldn't quarantine that long without going to work. He is going to try to visit at Christmas.

I am reading the third book of Nora Roberts' Chronicles of the One series, "The Rise of Magicks". 

I am thoroughly enjoying this trilogy, though it was difficult to get through the original premise of the series which deals with a massive pandemic. It is worth it to read this very interesting trilogy.

I am joining Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching. I will try to add some stitches to Three Boats, but today is the day to get the Christmas decorations out of the garage. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Slow Sunday Stitching.

I've been working on adding a sleeve to a quilt that I made several years ago. 

It has been hanging over the railing of my second floor landing. Now I want to hang it on the wall next to another quilt that I have made. 

I finished that Slow Stitching yesterday. Now I have to hang it using the Hang It Dang It that I bought a while back. I love that gadget.

I have done a little bit of stitching on October Morning this week.

I added the green amongst the other colors and you can see that I just began the dark green that will become an evergreen next to the church path. I want to fill in everything to the left of those tree trunks. My university class is over, just the final exam in December, so I should have more time to stitch while waiting for math students during the day. 

I needed to use up some bananas that were quite ripe yesterday so I made muffins. 

The recipe is The Palace Cafe's Banana Walnut Muffins that I clipped from a magazine years ago. You can find it here. They are quite delicious. Once again I shared with my mom and MIL.

I have also started some assembly-line mask making. I wanted to try a new style that I found recently, but since my time is limited I used one that I know my family finds comfortable. 

I have the fabric for 8 Christmas masks all ready to sew today. I had fun going through my Christmas fabrics and scraps. Once side will be Christmas fabric and the other won't so that the masks can be worn year round. I want to have them ready to hand out at Thanksgiving, though a few will have to be sent in the mail as the recipient will not be present. We are all trying to do the right thing and limit our gathering. 

I am not sure why some of my post is left-justified and the rest is centered. It should all be centered. Sometimes the new Blogger has a mind of its own.

I am joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching. Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are stitching. I will find some time for some hand-stitching on October Morning today, but I do want to finish those masks.

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, November 15, 2020

November Stitch Along Update

It is hard to believe that November is already half over. There is only one Stitch Along update this month. This is where I was at our last update: 

I seem to have had a lot of stitching time lately as I am almost finished with the second of 24 pages. 

The finish is oh so close, but there is a lot of confetti stitching in that little space on the bottom right.

I baked a couple of pumpkin breads yesterday. 
I will be sharing these with my mom and MIL. 
These are from a clipped recipe that my mother had, but never tried. It is quite tasty. I happen to like raisins in my pumpkin bread. I may add them next time.

I was going to wait to make these closer to Thanksgiving, but there will be pumpkin pie then so the bread is good now. It appears that the holiday may be quite different than I had imagined. Probably different than we all imagined. Please wear your masks and stay safe.

Thanks so much to Avis at Sewing Beside the Sea for hosting this Stitch Along.

Please take the time to visit the other bloggers below who are part of this stitch-along.

Thanks for stopping by!



Sunday, November 8, 2020

Slow Sunday Stitching

I have been enjoying my stitching time a great deal lately. It means that I can ignore all the election noise going on here in the USA. 

I have been happily working on October Morning. I gave a test to my university class this Thursday and spent about an hour of the two hour exam adding stitches to the bottom of this piece. I even had to move the hoop.

Now I am going to start working on the trees to the right of the church.

I have also added quite a bit of stitching to Three Boats. 

You can see that I have started adding the bright blue of the ocean.

I thought I would give you a peek at my stitching corner. This is on the large landing of my second floor near the staircase which is to the left. 

This is where I work on Three Boats as it is a wide enough seat to support my stand and the light coming in the windows is very helpful. You can see one of my first designs on the wall between the sconces.

I am joining Kathy for some Slow Sunday Stitching today. Pop on over to her site to see what other bloggers are stitching. It is a beautiful, unusually warm day here, so perhaps I can stitch a little on my front porch.

Thanks for stopping by!