Bontanics Quilt Top

 

Surprise, surprise!  I’ve completed a quilt top with another Carolyn Friedlander pattern.

This is her Botanics pattern, and it was the first pattern of hers that I saw.  I loved it and ordered it and opened it…. and was totally intimidated by it.  I’d never tried needle turn applique before and all the pinning and basting seemed like so much time and work… so I never started.

As I was reviewing 2016 and setting goals for 2017, I came across this quote by Walt Disney:

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”

I realized that there are a number of areas in my life that I’d like to change, and I was talking about doing it but hadn’t actually started.  As I considered my creative goals, I also realized that there are some patterns I’ve talked about making for a while.

So I’m trying to quit talking and begin doing.

I got the pattern out, started cutting, ironing, pinning and basting.  And finally, stitching.  The pinning and basting weren’t quick, but they did get done.  The stitching wasn’t quick either, but lots of time in January reading books aloud as a family made it easy to stitch for a few minutes every night.

When the basting stitches are all pulled out it’s really fun to stand back and smile.  Adding the borders was a quick and rewarding last step.  Now it’s a finished quilt top!

This is the fourth Carolyn Friedlander pattern I’ve worked with this year.  I finished the Aerial Grove quilt top, used her Facing East pattern to start a traveling quilt, and am currently working on the Catenary pattern.  I have a few more CF patterns I really want to make.  Carolyn’s style is so unique and I enjoy learning from her as I make these quilts.

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” -Walt Disney

What will you do today?  Let’s go make something awesome happen!
Jennifer

 

Lone Star Party! {a finished quilt}

 

Who wants to party alone?  In this quilt, the lone star officially has friends, and I love the way they look together.  Like a sky full of stars, the lone star party is an improv collection of seven different sized lone star blocks.

With a white background, the quilting is difficult to photograph but I love how Melissa of Sew Shabby Quilting interpreted my request for movement between the stars.

She also quilted each star beautifully.

It’s gorgeous and I’m grateful for such beautiful quilting.

lonestarpartyback

I used a Melody Miller print for the backing and another Cotton and Steel print for the binding.

As I mentioned when I shared the quilt top, this idea had been in my head for a long time.  It is so gratifying to bring a mental picture to life and have it work the way you hoped.  This quilt is a new favorite for sure!

For more lone star photos, including my detailed step-by-step tutorial for making a lone star of your own, visit my lone star page.  You will also find a free PDF with cutting instructions to make lone star blocks in 8 different sizes.  It’s a bold, dramatic block that is a lot of fun to play with!

Thanks for visiting!
Jennifer

 

Cranberry Granola

Last month I spent a wonderful morning with a couple of dear friends making granola.  As the snow fell outside we chatted and learned a new recipe.  I liked it so much that I stopped at the store on my way home so I could make a couple more batches before my kids got home from school!  I’ve made it several times since then, and it’s become a new favorite.

Cranberry Granola

6 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup pecan pieces
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

1 cup frozen cranberry concentrate (check labels to get 100% juice and find the one that has the most cranberry juice in it. I could only find blends but they’ve worked fine)
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 Tablespoon cinnamon

1 cup dried cranberries

In a large mixing bowl combine oats, almonds, pecans and coconut.  Set aside.  In a medium saucepan combine 1 cup cranberry concentrate, brown sugar and cinnamon.  *Don’t mix the concentrate with water – just scoop it straight from the container into your pan. Heat to a simmer to fully dissolve sugar.  Pour over oats mixture and stir until evenly coated with the juice mixture.

Cover 11×17 cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Spread granola evenly over pan and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and stir in cranberries.  Return to oven for 8-10 minutes or until granola begins to look golden brown.

{Your kitchen will smell heavenly while it bakes.}

Cool on cooling rack and transfer to airtight container.

My kids love to snack on it plain or eat it with milk.  My favorite way to eat it is with a scoop of plain greek yogurt and fresh berries.

 

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