Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Whimsical Cats for a Sweet Baby in the New year by C.Julie Malone & Other Great Quilts

I had to share this adorable baby quilt by C.Julie Malone. She took the Kitty pattern out of the "Out of the Box with Easy Blocks" book and made this adorable quilt. I love the whimsy and the fun and how different each cat is.  My favorite is the lime green one. Haha.
These are fun and easy to make and she did a super job. This is so much fun to share! Great job Julie!
Carol Simpson did this cute original quilt by using the cats in the book...I love it, so happy!
Here is another cat quilt that was started on a cruise with Mary Lou
Would be cute to put this cat in a quilt...all she needs is a fun face to the side...
Speaking of cat quilts I like this one that I did about out cat in the garden. My kids wanted her to be purple...and hey, she turned out great
The quilt above has a yellow cat upside down trying to catch a fish....this quilt is called McGregor's Garden and is about my Grandson Mac-we put his favorite dog Betty in too
This was a cat quilt I did for Quilter's Alliance and it was auctionedf off and my friend del Thomas bought it. It was such a nice surprise that she ended up with it that it makes me blush.
Cats go good in story quilts just like dogs.
Do you have a story about a dog or a cat in your life? Why not put this into a great story quilt?
They are great fun and people LOVE seeing them.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas is Over for another year....

I took this photo in an airport while waiting for my plane. This woman made me think of how it feels when Christmas is over. This is how I feel today....phew. By the way, I have NO idea who this woman is but I am pretty sure after her conversation that she is not a quilter.
We do not buy alot for this holiday but we do DO alot and I worry about getting something my Grandchildren will like. We only buy for the children and in years past made an ornament for the adult we picked on a piece of paper in a bag. I miss this and am going to suggest we start this again.
     Here is Piggy after all of the attention and festivities...she feels the same as the airport lady.
I have been thinking about New year's promises...and I want to start in with fresh vegies etc. Rick Warren (who I greatly admire) has a new co-authored book called something like the "Daniel Fast". There have been many authors who have written about this from the book of Daniel. It basically calls for fresh things that are not packaged that God made...vegetables, fruits and grains. My heart Doctor told me a few years ago that "how you treat your body today will be how you feel in ten years." I think about this often and today with achey back, knees etc., I am thinking I need to work towards the next ten years. you know?
So here below is how I ate in Europe. The fruits and vegies were there but the cheeses, breads, pastries, delicious meats and hot chocolate (fab) and wines were there too.
Breakfast for Tina...They also served hot croissants, beautiful vegetables and fruits and fruit juices...
Cookies of all kinds and tastes....
A vegetarian mushroom torte I had...wonderful. They do amazing things with mushrooms!
Delicious pretzels of all kinds...savory and sweet
Cakes with gruits and berries...beautiful!

Above was a beef dish one of the girls had
These filled beignets were fabulous...my choice was always berry
A little snack on the boat....very good
More good little sweets
The cheeses above were all melt in your mouth...they were flavored with vegetables like peppers, beets,pistachio...and they did just make your mouth water they were so delicious....
Fruits and nuts of every kind...beautiful!
Here are the four of us toasting a little lunch with a thin pizza like bread with cheese and pear and hazelnuts.... Great fun....boy do I stand out in red or what????
I have to share this adorable pin that was a gift from Molly a couple of years ago...isn't he fun? Made of zippers and wool. I love anything happy that can be mixed with Christmas. Lots of German people smiled when they saw this.
These loaves of bread were five to six feet long! They cut them up and sold pieces of the loaf...can you imagine the oven? They smelled wonderful and were so much fun to see!
Isn't it amazing how every where in the world people have different things for holidays or celebrations?
    I am sometimes happy with a little bowl of soup and a few crackers with some grapes...and other times I want a little more. How about you?

Monday, December 23, 2013

Quilting Fun and Christmas Smiles and Merry Wishes

Here is another delightful wreath from one of my workshops...pretty fun.
Ahh Santa needs a nap along with the little ones he loves
Below is my first large Christmas tree quilt. Now I am working on my new one for workshops. This is the most fun I have had in forever. This is such a fun theme and you can make the most whimsical and wonderful ornaments with my patterns and directions. Hope to see you in the coming year.
And finally here is three WISE girls who went to Europe for Christmas Markets and fun and came home happy and healthy and thankful for our many many blessings (our friend candy took this photo and he is wise too)
Friend, I am wrapping small gifts for my Grandkids and listening to carols and enjoying the glow of the Christmas tree while my husband Mark sleeps.
I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Inventive New year filled with good friends, and God's many many blessings. Thank you for being so good to me this year and keeping me and my family in your prayers.
I hope to see you this year for more friendship and quilting fun.
                                    Mary Lou

Friday, December 20, 2013

Delicious Cookie Recipe and Quilted Wreath from one of my Workshops-Great Inspiration from Charlotte

Below is a nice letter I received from a former student who took my wreath class. She designed her own special wreath (her story) and it is fun and inventive and original. Enjoy!
 More information than you need, but I'm excited about the possibilities your inspiration gave me.  The little faces in the VW represent a smiling Dad, a talking Mom, 2 happy boys in the second seat and 1 crabby one in the back...the boys switched places often!  I used red felt to make Rose Bowl roses.  Each football has the year the game was played.  You can see that Dick changed from UW beat to Cougar beat for an Alamo Bowl (where we had lunch at Hooters along with Coach Price and his son) followed by a Rose Bowl. 
I also used gold felt for "W" put on with purple embroidery thread.  The red dots are also red felt with the smallest ones cut using a paper punch -- it works.
You can tell by my extended writing about it what fun I had making this wreath so thank you again for the inspiration.  charlotte

I am adding all kinds of things to this fun workshop.
See more in my new letter on my website- Marylouweidman.com
    Charlotte if I gave out grades this would get an A+ for sure! Thank you for sharing with us~
I am sharing these Christmas images again because I think they are so pretty.
The recipe below is from my girlfriend Kathy who lives in Eagle River Alaska and is a great cook, baker and quilter...she sends me great stuff!
Salted Toffee Chocolate Squares

12 graham crackers broken into squares
1-8 oz. bag toffee pieces (found in the baking aisle)
1 1/2 cups roasted, salted almonds, roughly chopped (I used pecans.  I
roasted and lightly salted them and they were great)
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 tsp. sea salt

Set the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick foil.

Lay the graham crackers on the baking sheet, touching each other.  Sprinkle
the toffee pieces and the chopped nuts evenly over the crackers.  Set aside.

Combine the sugar and butter in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high
heat, stirring occasionally.  Bring the mixture to a boil, until the mixture
has the consistency of a syrup.  Remove from heat and pour over the graham
crackers, trying to soak all of them.

Bake for about 12 minutes until the top is bubbly.  Remove and immediately
sprinkle with the chocolate chips and sea salt.  Let cool for about 10
minutes, and then use a pizza cutter to cut into 2 inch squares.  Transfer
the squares to a cooling rack.
This is my original cotton and embellished wreath. I give out the pattern for this in my workshop. Now I am doing all kinds of wreaths for holidays including WOOL wreaths and I am showing many embellishment ideas too. SO fun! Though you cannot tell this is covered with crystals and cool buttons and gold and silver charms.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Things of the Season and Poppyseed Muffins from my friend Laura-Enjoy!

I met this handsome German stranger on my trip and he was mysteriously quiet...I told him I was married and he didn't say a thing...
Germany had things hanging from the light fixtures and ceilings and they were so pretty. Think of anywhere you have to take ribbons and ornaments and hang them...this is what they did and it was awesome.
Starbucks in Swizerland was pretty much the same...delicious -poppyseed lemon muffins were good too.
Laura's  Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

2 cups flour              

1/2 teaspoon salt    

1 and  1/2 teaspoon baking powder       
 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup room temp. butter
1 cup  sugar
 zest from 2 large lemons
2 large eggs
3 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup sour cream
2 1/2  tablespoons poppy seeds
    Fresh Glaze
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

 Set oven -350 degrees  

Mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl,set aside

In another  bowl, mix the butter, sugar, and  zest, well until nice and fluffy . Mix  the eggs one at a time, mix until well distributed and then add the next egg.
Now mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture . Mix the lemon juice, and 1/2 of the sour cream until mixed in well.

NOW add half of the rest of the  flour mixture, and mix. Stir in the rest of the sour cream. Now add the rest of the flour mixture, and then the poppy seeds.

Fill 12 cup  tin with cup cake papers . Fill each with batter.
Bake about 30 minutes.
 Mix the lemon juice and powdered sugar together for form a thin glaze while the muffins bake in the oven.
Take muffins out of the oven and let cool 5 minutes and then  spoon the lemon glaze evenly over the top of each muffin.  This is expected to be put on lightly and not heavy like frosting. It is just for a hint of taste and appearance.
Now cool completely and remove from pan. Delicious!
This is the front of a shop, so cute!
 These two German Reindder were having alot of fun and I think alot of Glugwine too
This cute guy (kid) was the bartender part of the time on the boat. I told him he looked very handsome in his coat and he grinned and said "don't you think I look like the Movie star Gordon Levitt? I had to figure out who that was and yes, I think he sort of does. Very nice guy from Slovakia. Younger than my kids. :0)
Isn't this the happiest snowman you have ever seen?
I LOVE red and white and it was everywhere!
I wanted to bring home this buggy, isn't it lovely?
Isn't this fish sign cool???
I have NO idea what the sign above was advertising but isn't it cool?
Some of you will recognize "Piggy" who is my Grandchildren's pig they sleep with here when they stay. I took her to Germany and here she holds a Christmas tree and wears a fun hat I bought that my young Grandaughter asked for so she could wear it to school. Fun!
I saw this and thought it was so true. Things in packages aren't the only presents we get...think of our many blessings each day. Aren't we lucky to be thankful?
I sincerely hope that each person who stops to read my blog will have a lovely Christmas with many blessings.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Mary Lou's Delicious Sandwich Recipe for the Holidays and Color, Crowds and FUN in Europe!

I love the design of the suckers above and the gnomes below.
Colorful goods from all over the world...including some cheap stuff from China which we avoided.
I thought his Santa was especially fun!
Here we have fun with being elves and Tina gets to point us out....
I loved this idea of the stump and the table top like a mushroom. They had a special place for children to make gingerbread, roast marshmallows, a little house where a large German man read stories (wonderful voice!), made silver tree trimming, and other wonderful crafts, many!
Two pretty German ladies selling face bowls
Beautiful blues
Even stores could be fabulously colored...I especially loved this "shared of lime green" store.
Loved the charm of the rides for the children
This could hurt if you sat on it but it was original don't you think?
Here I meet a  French Man...I had to tell him I was married. He just stood there.
I think this was an evening where glugwine might have been the beverage of the night. We bought fresh hot pretzels, cheeses, grapes and fruits, wine and it might have been the best meal right there in our hotel as we shared and laughed. We all said we were overwhelmed at the color, the decorations and the nice people.
This was Rina's first breakfast in Cologne hotel...lots of meats, cheeses, musli, fruits and vegetables.
If you needed mittens in Germany, they were there!
Thie light were beautiful in Baden Baden and the nice thing is that every house and building is decorated to the nines and I love the many Nativity scenes around each city.
Sheesh look at the crowds you have to make it through in Germany to shop...lots of people drinking glugwine and kind of pushy in Cologne. though many were having lots of fun and were friendly and fun! No one cared where you were fun, we were all having Christmas fun together! Have this old and beautiful Cathedral in the background was so inspirational and made me praise God for being in such a beautiful place.
Mary Lou's Holiday Sandwich
One loaf of French Bread
slice through the middle end to end.
Now take one round of kielbases sausage (cut into small rounds like coins) and in a fry pan brown the sausage with two large yellow onions, one green pepper and one red pepper, add a little pepper and a small pinch of caraway seeds.
Brown all of this together until sausage is cooked through a browned and the rest is carmelized (I cook this on a low/medium heat).
Once this is almost done add two cups of sauerkraut and a 1/4 cup of reisling wine and a pinch of brown sugar. Cook off the moisture and set aside.
Now spread some shredded or sliced emmentaler cheese on the bottom of the French bread (about one cup (ish), then put the sausage mixture on top and then top with 1/2 cup sharp cheddar and 3/4 cup mozzarella mixed. now wrap the whole thing in foil well (tight) and put it in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serve with a good salad and something cold to drink.
This is one of my family's favorite meals in the winter.