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March 2017

Our Life In Pictures – March 23 – 29, 2017

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Friday, March 24, 2017

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Sunday, March 26, 2017

(Impromptu Relaxing Trilogy Movie Day ;)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017. Our son, Alec was admitted to The University of Missouri Law School in Columbia – his dream come true! We are over the moon excited for him! I spent the afternoon cooking up a Celebration Dinner of Blackened Chicken Alfredo (one of his favorites)

and a Boston Cream Pie for dessert (the closest dessert I could do in MU colors of black and gold ;)!

I also spent much of the afternoon crying, because he will be moving so far away from home, and we're going to miss him terribly (and, of course worry about him, too)! Strange, that a heart can be so over-joyed, and yet so deeply sad all at the same time.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

I started embroidering these darling bunny tea towels today. This Vintage Pattern was originally printed December 19, 1948 – it's such fun to be stitching something that women nearly 70 years ago were also stitching ;)!



St. Patrick’s Day – Family Style

This year, we celebrated St. Patrick's Day with the kids and grandkids. I was in charge of the food

and, Kate was in charge of the fun!

We took a fun family walk,

and even got photo bombed by the kids ;).

The boys played a few games of kick ball, we did sidewalk chalk,

I slow cooked some corned beef in the crock pot and made our standard St. Pat's fair

Rueben sandwiches!

Kate planned a ton of fun activities! We made green volcanoes

and played Leprechaun's Treasure,

and we made super fun St. Pat's shirts with Landon and Tate

And, I guess us old folks must still have it, because

we wore these two little ones OUT ;)!!



Filled with Excitement and Joy for Both Our Kids!

We truly are just over-flowing with joy and excitement for both of our kids!

I just keep thinking about that line in one of my favorite movies, "The Story of Us", where Katie says "First there were no people there, and then there were people. And, and they grew."

It's still hard for us to believe our kids are grown (really doesn't seem like that long ago that they were little). And, it has been one of the greatest joys of our life, watching them grow into adults. Of course, we didn't know when they were little how their personalities would develop, what career they would choose, or who they would marry and who our grandkids would be . . . . It all seems to have unfolded really slowly over the years, and yet it's passed by at the speed of light at the same time. And, this past week was a big one for both of them!

Our son, Alec, had his interview for admission to UMKC School of Law last Tuesday – and he's in! They accepted him at the interview! This is no easy task (only 57% of those who apply are accepted), and he's one of them. He's worked extremely hard for this, and we are elated for him, and so proud of him.

And, then, there's our Katie Bug! She's an amazing mom, and she's always doing fun activities with the kids. Parenting is really hard work, and somehow Kate just does it with a grace and ease, and we are super proud of her, too! She's expecting our third grandchild, and she had the reveal party on Wednesday! She had Landon (with a little help from Tate) hit a ball filled with

pink sand that sprayed out to announce – IT'S A GIRL! We would have been happy with either, but given that we already have two awesome grandsons, we are really excited to welcome a Baby Girl to our family!

So, a big congratulations to our two amazing and wonderful kids! And, a big thank you to them too, for all of the love, excitement, fun and joy they continue to bring to our lives ;)!



Our Life In Pictures – March 9 – 15, 2017

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Friday, March 10, 2017 (for our date night this week, he took me to see La La Land ;)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Monday, March 13, 2017

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

It's a Baby Sister for these two Big Brothers! (I don't think they knew what to make of all the excitement and cheers from the crowd ;)!



Good Times in the Kitchen (& Planet Earth II)

I've mentioned several times that we are foodies, and love cooking, so I thought I'd share a bit more of what goes on in our kitchen ;).

During the week, the cooking falls mostly to me, and I've made a list of easy, tasty recipes from several cookbooks for what we call our "Simple Meals." My husband got me this cookbook on our Valentine's Date, and I can't wait to add several of these recipes to the list.

But, on Saturday, well –that's what we call "Gourmet Night"! On Saturdays, we pull out the fancy cookbooks (mostly French),

hang out for a few hours in the kitchen, listen to old music, dance, laugh, chop, cook, taste, season, and eventually sit down to a really fun, relaxed dinner.

We are not expert chefs by any means. But, we laugh a lot and have a really good time

I mean come on – how cute are these tiny little hens ;)?

And, here my husband is

skillfully creating a nice golden brown skin on our Cornish hens with his blow torch (and, um, in case you were wondering – no – this was not part of the recipe ;). But, perfect cooking isn't really our goal – it's the joy of the process, the excitement and challenge of cooking something new, and the fun of being together that we are really after. And, mostly, we think our food is really tasty.

And, this past Saturday, a fun surprise we hadn't anticipated:

Three teeny, tiny wishbones ;)! Our son got one wish, and I got the other 2, but I gave one of my wishes to my husband (you can do that right?) – so we all got a wish.

And, we've added another special cooking night to the mix for the next several weeks! Did you all watch the first series of Planet Earth? I can't believe that was 10 years ago already. If you haven't watched it, really you should. It's an amazing glimpse at nature and wildlife from around the globe. Back then, we made it a special occasion every Sunday night for the family!

Well, Planet Earth II has just been released, so we are making a special Sunday night of it each week. And, this time, we decided to try recipes from a different country each week – so that we can taste the food from other places on the same night we get to see the nature and wildlife from other places around the world.

This past Sunday we did Indian food

Chicken Curry – very spicy, and really good! Plus, the first episode of Planet Earth II was amazing.

So, there's a little peek behind the scenes in our kitchen – definitely not always perfect, mostly very tasty, and always super fun!



Celebrating The Simple Life – Quilt Style

Today, I'm welcoming "Happy Homemaker" to our snuggly quilt family!

This one was truly a labor of love, and I'm so happy with how she turned out! This was a free tutorial for a Kansas Dug Out quilt from Rita over at Red Pepper Quilts, and I couldn't be more grateful ;)!

This quilt composed of 480 different colored fabrics, and more than 20 tone-on-tone white fabrics, and 480 Y-Seams (yikes)! The fabrics range almost my entire quilting life, scraps from some of my first quilts, all the way up to and including fabric I had when I started cutting! It is backed with Lori Holt's Days of the Week white and yellow print from Calico Days, which fits this quilt perfectly.

It includes bits and pieces of fabrics covering cooking, gardening, preparing celebrations for all of the holidays, cleaning, laundry, storybook prints . . . and lots of flowers and hearts, too ;).

(I used that little kitten print in my first machine pieced quilt, so it's around 15 years old ;).

What can I say? I really do love staying home (I'm a homebody), and being here for our family. If you've been around here long, you know that cooking and sewing are two of my favorite things, but I even sort of like cleaning and laundry – well, I mean – in like the exercise way! I'm not very excited about doing it, but it feels so good after I'm done ;)! It's fun decorating and planning fun family stuff for the holidays and even just every day ;), and gardening – well, I'm not blessed with a green thumb, but we have a blast with our herb, flower and small veggie gardens each year!

So, here it is – a quilty Celebration of Life,

The Simple Life.

Welcome to our quilty family "Happy Homemaker"! I think you're going to fit in quite nicely around here!



Patchwork Heart – Free Pattern

And last, but certainly not least, here is the Patchwork Heart block, for those of you who want to add just a little more love to your quilts ;).

This one is super simple to sew, and will likely grace the most coveted block spot in my quilt – the center J!

You can use the templates if you like, or you can rotary cut these like I did. Here are the rotary cutting instructions:

From Background Fabric

5 – 1 7/8" squares cut in half diagonally once to make Half Square Triangles

6 – 1 ½" squares

From Multi-Colored Fabric

5 – 1 7/8" squares cut in half diagonally once to make Half Square Triangles

20 – 1 ½" squares!

You can download the PDF block diagram and templates for the Patchwork Heart Block HERE!

Shwew, it feels so good to have these all available for you! Had I known you'd like these blocks and want to make them, I'd have written patterns when I cut and sewed the originals. But, you know what they say, hindsight is always 20/20. Thank you all so much for your patience in waiting on these patterns.

And, thank you again from the bottom of my heart for all of the love and positive feedback on these fun little blocks! I'm so grateful for your encouragement, and that you'd want to include these blocks in your quilts!



Patchwork Cupcake – Free Pattern

This one is for all of you who wanted to share add some "cupcake-y" goodness to your quilts! Oh, how I do love these fun little cupcakes!

You might notice these are a bit different than the ones I originally posted – and a lot cuter, I think. I have no idea how this happened, but somehow I did not save the original pattern in EQ7! So, here is a new and improved cupcake ;)!

I want to be honest with you girls – these are difficult to sew. There are a lot of "wonky" angles, and you have to match up the seams on those angles, too. On top of that, pressing in opposite directions to match up those seams, seems to shrink the seams pressed inward toward the cupcake, while the seams pressed out remain the correct length (so I spent quite a bit of time with my seam ripper and "adjusting" to line things up). And, my cupcakes are 4 ½" each (for our 9" finished blocks)!

So, for those who love a challenge (and all things mini ;), you can download the 3" finished "Patchwork Cupcake" block diagram and templates HERE!

For this size, make 4 cupcakes and stitch them together as shown above.

For those of you who don't want to work with such small pieces, but still want to add some "cupcake-y" goodness to your quilts, you can download the 6" finished "Patchwork Cupcake" block HERE!

And, your block will be one, larger sized cupcake ;)!

I think either way would be darling!

I hope you all enjoy making these fun little cupcakes, and if you do, I hope you'll e-mail me a picture or tag me on Instagram so I can see your yummy blocks!



P.S. Here are a few tips to make sewing these blocks a little easier:

1.     The dark black lines on the templates are your sewing lines, so do not cut your templates or fabric on these. The lighter, outside gray lines are the cutting lines.

2.    Take your time in neatly cutting out your templates and fabric (it will make all of the difference). I like to use freezer paper templates for accuracy – see my "Vintage Apron Pattern" for details.

3.    Study the diagram and break the block down into sections to sew.

4.    Many of these patterns have "wonky" angles and they were originally designed for a larger sized block for Kate's and my Farm Girl quilts, making them much more challenging in these smaller versions. So, just have fun with these and don't worry about perfection (I promise they'll still be super cute ;).