Fun and Done Zip Strip Quilting Class

This is the sample that I created in the Fun and Done Zip Strip Quilting Class tonight.  What a fun way to make a quilt!

The Fun and Done series of quilts are ‘quilt as you go’ patterns where the backing, piecing and quilting are completed all in one step.  There are numerous patterns out there now using this technique.  This 4 square sample was completed in a 4 hour class.  However, the fabric kit was pre-cut for us by the instructor.  It would go much faster with a little more experience.

No, it is not traditional quilting, but it is a fun technique!  A 2 X 3 square quilt would make a perfect size for a placemat.

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Sampler Quilt — Update!

Tomorrow is the final day of the Quilt class that I am taking with my Mom.  I am a little bit behind schedule as we are supposed to have our quilt sandwich complete for class tomorrow — that isn’t happening, I am afraid.  However, I do have the top completed!

The quilt is supposed to be 5X5, but I added an additional row so that it would not be square.  In my post here the red and white fabric will be the back and the green/white/yellow/blue stripe will be the border.  The fabric came from Connecting Threads.

So far, I am happy with my first quilt top!

Roasted Pork with Brussels Sprouts and Carrots – Paleo

I made up this roast tonight and it was well received by the fam.  Braising is my preferred cooking method for pork loin to combat the otherwise dryness of the meat.  This particular recipe is very easy, requiring a minimal amount of active working time.  Your Dutch oven will do most of the work.

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Ford C-MAX Hybrid — Oh Yes I Did!!!

This qualifies as ‘Other Fun Stuff’ for my blog.  After 11 years of Ford Windstar ownership, I decided it was time to move on to a new vehicle.  I have loved the Windstar, but it is time for something new.  Today, I ordered a new C-MAX Hybrid!

We drove several new Ford vehicles this week, but the C-MAX was the most fun to drive, by far (well… we didn’t drive a Mustang… that probably would have been fun, too).  Dealers cannot keep them on the lot (in the Mid-West at least) so I had to place an order.  Watch for an update in about 8 weeks when it should arrive!  Excitement, excitement!!!

Sampler Quilt – a Work in Progress

I am taking an intro quilting class with my Mom.  My sewing experience spans many years doing primarily garment sewing with some craft sewing and just a tad of home dec thrown in.  Around 10 years ago, I purchased a combo sewing/embroidery machine and have had a lot of fun learning machine embroidery.  Now, there are beautiful digitized quilting designs and designs that incorporate piecing and quilting in the hoop of the machine.  Before I go crazy with something like that, I thought I should take a class and learn the basics.

I should mention…. this is not my first quilting class.  I took a class a few years ago and nearly finished the quilt top.  It was a super easy jewel quilt.  I do want to finish it because I bought very nice, expensive batik fabrics for that quilt… anyway, on to the sampler.

We are using Alex Anderson’s Start Quilting book pictured here.

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Doufeu Maiden Voyage – Paleo Pot Roast with Mashed Cauliflower

Pictured above is the finished product – a wonderful beef pot roast with veggies and gravy served over mashed cauliflower.  This is the first time I have made mashed cauliflower (recipe from Paleo Comfort Foods) and was the maiden voyage for my Le Creuset Doufeu!  If you have never tried mashed cauliflower, I highly recommend you give it a try.  It really is a wonderful substitute for mashed potatoes.  I was expecting a wet, runny mess… yet, the finished product has the thickness and consistency of mashed potatoes in the pot.  The fam was impressed!

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Primal (not quite Paleo) Pomegranate Dark Chocolate Cups

Here is a simple dessert to make with the in-season Pomegranate.  The tartness of the pomegranate in contrast with the bittersweet chocolate is divine.  These little chocolate desserts are not quite Paleo as there is sugar in the dark chocolate but they do qualify as Primal.  Sadly, the Divine brand chocolate has Soy Lecithin.  You may sub any chocolate you like.


  • 3-3.5 oz. Dark (85%) chocolate
  • 1t Coconut Oil
  • Fresh Pomegranate Arils from Large Pom

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Butternut Squash with Bacon and Kale

This is the side dish we had with the pork and apples tonight.  This huge skillet of squash was only 1/2 of the butternut squash that hubby brought home from the market.  It was one HUGE squash.

I did some web searching for a recipe and found two similar recipes, this one over at Everyday Paleo and this one over at Paleo Intensified.  Here is the final recipe I came up with following my research:

Poached Eggs

This morning’s breakfast included poached eggs.  Pictured here are the eggs for hubby and I in the Le Creuset Egg Poacher.  This is a new piece from the Le Creuset non-stick collection.  The non-stick coating is not Teflon, it is the new European accepted non-stick that is supposed to provide non-stick properties without the health risks of Teflon.  Continue reading

Bow T-Shirt for Mom

I embroidered this t-shirt for my Mom last night.  This design is from a very old Amazing Designs Beadwork collection.    Because it is a light-weight design, I hooped a piece of Wet and Stick stabilizer and positioned the shirt onto the stabilizer.  When I use a Wet and Stick type of stabilizer, I always do an outline stitch around my design to help ensure the fabric/garment does not shift during embroidery.  The bows are stitched with varigated thread from Superior Threads.  In addition to the Wet and Stick, I slid two pieces of light-weight tear away under the hoop before beginning to embroider.

Paleo-ish Spaghetti Squash Casserole

I say -ish because I did put 2 oz. of shredded organic cheese on top of the casserole… if you are a purist, not quite paleo.


  • 1 large Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 T EVOO
  • 1 lb grass fed ground beef
  • 1 t basil
  • 1 t Italian seasoning blend
  • 2 pasture eggs
  • 1 can 14.5 oz diced tomatoes with juice
  • salt/pepper

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Today is Bone Broth Day

Today is bone broth day.  The Le Creuset Stock Pots are working hard on a pot of beef bone broth (larger pot) and chicken bone broth (smaller pot).  The beef broth was started last night in the slow-cooker.  Ten pounds of grass-fed beef marrow bones overwhelmed my slow-cooker, but about 8 pounds fit and simmered through the night.  This morning I transferred everything to the larger stock pot and added the remaining bones.  These will continue to cook for another 12 hours.  The chicken stock is being made from wings and drums.  I like the wings because of all of the cartilage — they make a very gelatinous stock.

My goal is to make stock about every 3-4 weeks and freeze it.  I do freeze in large batches (haven’t tried the ice cube method) of about 8 cups per container.  The stock will then be used to make various soups.

Blueberry Placemats and Napkins

Thanks to Nancy Zieman and her ‘No Math Miter’ set, I am able to create beautifully mitered corners. Here is the latest set of placemats and napkins. Yes, these would have been nice in June or July during blueberry season, but they are still nice in early fall!

The embroidery design is from Embroidery Library. I embroider on single-sided pre-quilted with no-sho mesh cut away and a medium tear-away. Once the design is complete, I square up the fabric and fuse to fusible fleece to create a nice substantial placemat. To finish, I spray with Best Press clear starch and give a quick press. Best Press gives a great finish and allows any food spills to easily release in the wash.

Frittata for Breakfast

This morning we had a delicious frittata — 100% Paleo.  Ingredients include pastured local farm eggs, bacon, organic fresh spinach, shopped sun dried tomatoes, onions and thyme.  We paired the frittata with fresh fruit and pressed coffee.  I am still working on learning how to cook in the Le Creuset, having replaced all of my teflon non-stick cookware.  This frittata released nicely from the pan.  It seems pre-heating the pan before putting anything in it is one of the secrets.

American Sewing Expo!

Yesterday was a fun day at the American Sewing Expo!  I made a few purchases (I will need to add a photo later) and thoroughly enjoyed looking at all of the contest entries.  The couture club entries were great as were the art quilts.  It was quite inspiring which is a good thing considering I have 4 classes coming up in the next 10 weeks!