Lotsa Blocks

Despite spending hours on the computer yesterday morning deleting old images, I managed to cross off everything on my to-do list for the day. Starting at 4:30 a.m. helps. Oy.

There were two "baking" projects on my list, although this first one isn't technically baking. I made a batch of Peppermint Bark, which is to die for. It's super simple to make too. Even if you aren't a sugar fiend, this is a quick and easy gift for someone who's hard to buy for...a co-worker...that sort of thing. Also, did you know you can find Christmas plates and tins cheap at Goodwill? Then, you can gift it on a nice plate with no return necessary. Anyway...You can find the recipe for this right here.

Also, another old favorite, although I didn't make any of this last year. For sure, I wanted to make some this year. These are Cranberry Ecstasy Bars. It's a copycat recipe for the "Cranberry Bliss Bars" that are sold at Starbucks. My first taste of a Cranberry Bliss Bar, and I was hooked. Since retiring, I rarely go to Starbucks any more, and so I was happy to find this copycat recipe I can make at home. Originally, I found the recipe in my local paper, but you can find it right here.

It's not difficult, but it is a little bit of a production. If you want to try it, reserve it for a day when you're home all day. First you bake the "cake". Then, when that's cool, you frost it and then leave it in the fridge to set for an hour. Then, you drizzle a glaze over it. Tasty as all get out.

While I was doing that, I put the final framing border on my Quilting Snowladies blocks...this blue.

Then I laid them out in the order I want to set them. They still need their sashings and cornerstones, and then I'll be ready to add the border. That's on today's agenda.

This morning, I finished stitching the sixth of nine of the Gingerbread Square quilt blocks. This is the Candy Cane Quilt Shop.

When I work on this again, I'll be making Block #7, Sugar Hill Inn.

So then I needed something new to stitch. The next block for the Live, Love, Teach quilt will be completely embroidery, and so I traced that out this morning. I'll get started on it tomorrow.

When you look at the original design, you can see that the font is kind of important. 

I'm just going to outline that font that begins "And now...," rather than trying to fill in the blackened areas. Most of this will need to be worked in one strand of floss, which is kind of a pain. It's much harder to get the stitches nicely straight when working with one strand, but I'll get 'er done. I'll use the triple stitch on my sewing machine to stitch the outer circle. As for the rest, I used crayon to fill in the color. It'll probably take me a couple of days at least to do this, and then I'll be ready for the next Hocuspocusville block.

The Quilting Snowladies are going to get all of my attention today. We're going to eat out tonight and then see Ron Howard's new movie, "In the Heart of the Sea". Just now I Googled it and saw that it didn't get very good reviews. Nevertheless, I want to see it. The movie is based on the true story that inspired Herman Melville to write "Moby Dick". I heard Ron Howard interviewed on NPR recently, and I was impressed at how thoughtful and intelligent he is. It's hard for me to think of him as a middle-aged man since I'm old enough to remember him as Opie Taylor on Andy Griffith's show.

I know he's had other roles since then, but he'll always be Opie to me. Besides, it's always nice to see a child star grow up to be a fully functional and accomplished human being. 

So there you go. The Quilting Snowladies are all atwitter about turning into a whole quilt, and they are beckoning. Mustn't keep them waiting.

8 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Glad to see you worked out the 'hoop' and stitch problem and got that cut block finished. Oh, the snow ladies really pop in this setting and colors. I remember Opie and yes, hard to think of RH as anything, but. He's done a lot of great movies - I don't go by critics anyway, I don't always agree with them.

Feathers in my Nest said...

Your Christmas bark looks divine. and your stitching is Beautiful, what a gorgeous quilt!

A Nudge said...

I always like to read how you put a quilt together. I remember Opie, too. He's just a bit older than my kids. I remember him as Ritchie in "Happy Days" Those bars are very tempting.

Lyndsey said...

I love the frames round the snow ladies. I'm not surprised the ladies are getting excited about being turned into a whole quilt, I'm excited watching it.

Dana Gaffney said...

That's my favorite of the Live Love Teach blocks, it looks like she gave him a love of reading and I can't think of anything better for a teacher's goal.

Quilting Babcia said...

Snow Ladies is coming along so nicely with those framing fabrics you've chosen. That peppermint bark looks so very inviting, and easy, I might just have to try making some this year since we're having all the grands visiting.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

The snowladies are looking lovely!

Kate said...

The Snow Ladies are coming together beautifully. Looks like you've got both holiday and stitching stuff well under control.