Monday, September 21, 2020

Southern Star blocks

The next block in our Summer Moon journey is what Carrie calls the Southern Star. This is a beautiful star block, and was very easy to construct. It's 90% half-square triangles, and the other 10% are just squares!

It's fun to play with the placement and decide if you want total scrappy happiness, or if you want it a bit more controlled . . . 

I decided I liked that last arrangement the best, so then it was time to sew up all three!

The next block will be the Checkerboard, and I will have some construction tips!

Till next time,

Friday, September 18, 2020

Anyone want a "creamsicle"?

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The stuff my snacking dreams are made of . . . orange sherbet and vanilla ice cream swirled together. Yum!


My Summer Moon blocks make me think of that!  (Here is a link if you would like to join me in my journey. I'm doing my sampler quilt in oranges, but you can use whatever fabrics crank your tractor!)

Summer Moon is Carrie Nelson's sampler quilt with three blocks of each design. They will have borders added at the end, that will enable all the blocks to be the same size - but for now, I made the necessary 5.0 inch, 6.5 inch, and 8.0 inch blocks from the "Big O" pattern. 

I wanted to show you!

Love those oranges!

More blocks soon!


Thursday, September 10, 2020

Sugar-free (and spiced) blueberry sauce

It's time for a cookery post!  How about some delicious, sugar-free, spiced blueberry sauce? The kind you can drizzle on pancakes or plop onto a slice of cheesecake? 

Careful, now, better wipe that drool off your phone (or computer) screen! (Grin)

We're going to make some that you can drizzle, plop, eat, and be totally guilt free! Seriously!
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First, you need some fresh blueberries. Duh, right? Here at the Lilypad, we are blessed to have some lovely blueberry bushes that my dear dad-in-law planted years ago, and we've never fertilized 'em or put pesticides on 'em, either! After thirty years, I think that qualifies as organical, no? 

Yummmm! Now, if we can stop ourselves from eating the fresh berries (slaps wrist) we will measure out two full cups.

To keep that glorious color that the berries will give us, and to add to the roster of flavors, let's squeeze some fresh lemon juice . . . . I've tried this with the juice in a bottle, and it just doesn't compare to fresh! 

Beautiful! I'm going to use the juice from the whole lemon; you may want just one tablespoon. I find I get about a tablespoon from each lemon half. (I roll the whole lemon on the countertop before whacking it in two, to make it easier to get the most juice possible.)

A multi-tasker! This is actually a tea leaf strainer! It works super for straining the pulp and seeds from the juice.

I forgot to show you that I added a quarter of a cup of water to the berries . . . now we add the lemon juice. 

"Truvia Sweet Complete" sugar alternative, (click on the Netrition logo on the right-hand sidebar) goes in next -- two tablespoons. You don't need much, cos these organical berries are SO sweet!

Final ingredient: one half teaspoon of xanthan gum. It's a thickener for low carb and keto cooking. Obviously, we cannot use cornstarch; the name is a dead giveaway! (Grin)  I've been using "NOW" brand xanthan gum for years, and you can find it at Netrition, too. (Just click on that logo on the top right....)

Now comes the "spiced" part! You can play with this according to your own taste. I usually add about a half teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and a half teaspoon of almond extract. You might find you like different proportions, or even leave out the almond extract. I have forgotten it before, and the sauce is still yummy!

Now, cook and stir over medium heat for about six to eight minutes. The mixture is going to thicken up a bit (remember that xanthan gum?) and some of the blueberries are going to pop, while others stay whole. It's going to smell awesome - but hang in there and don't sample it! Just cook and stir!

You might have to add a spoonful more water, according to how your berries do. I think it has to do with how fresh they are. And yes, you can make this with frozen berries! In that case, you won't need as much water, because the little jewels are going to have ice crystals on them!

Doesn't that look amazing? Well, it tastes amazing, too! (I'll have to share my sugar-free cheesecake recipe at some point!)

Just put a dollop of blueberry sauce on that slice . . . watch it sloooooowwwwwllllllyyyyyyy slide down and spread it's goodness everywhere!

This sauce will need to be canned to sit on the pantry shelf, or just slide it in the fridge and use it within a week or so. In fact, it will even freeze beautifully. But I'm telling you, I don't think it will last that long!

See? The photographer couldn't resist! 

The best I could figure on the internet calculators, this will enable you to have two tablespoons of pure blueberry happiness on cheesecake, ice cream, yogurt, and more -- and only have five net carbs to count!

Now I hope you will be inspired to make this in your own kitchen, so here is the recipe:

Spiced Sugar-free Blueberry Sauce

2 cups of blueberries

Two tablespoons of fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Two tablespoons Truvia (granulated sugar alternative, contains stevia and erythritol)

One quarter cup water

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

Add all ingredients except for cinnamon and extract, and cook on medium heat for about six to eight minutes, or until mixture thickens into a sauce consistency. Add the spices and stir to combine and mix throughout the sauce. Cool before placing in jar or other container. Store in fridge or freezer.

I hope you will click on the Netrition graphic up there if you need some Truvia or some xanthan gum . . . and tell me if you try this recipe! I would love to hear how it goes.

Now, if you have read this far, thank you! You are a true Lilypadquilting friend, and I adore you peeps. 

I've made such good friends over the past ten years. It's true that I have kept some anonymity to some extent, but some of you long-time friends know me for real. I'm going to do my best to keep things going, and offer up good content - I ask you to bear with me if I don't respond to comments as quickly, or if there's a bit of a lapse between posts. Mr. Snoodles has a confirmed cancer diagnosis, and we will be working our way through a schedule of consults, tests, scans, and treatments. Many of you have dealt with cancer before - you know the way your heart stops when you hear "malignant."  I believe my quilting and blogging will help keep me centered and grounded, and I can avoid the adrenalin rushes that will make me too scared to help him.  God is with us, and I'm hoping that I will be the best support that I can be for him, and if anyone out there would add us to your prayers, we'd be most grateful. 


Friday, September 4, 2020

Pincushion swap! (Really fun!)

 Heather at the Sewing Loft put together a fun swap for all of us who signed up!

I made a new friend "down the road a-piece" in Georgia, and received a cool package of goodies! 

First, though, let's look at what happened at my end of the swap! (Grin)

I heard that pinks and a little teal were her "sweet spot" for colors, so I dug out some of my "Sophie" scraps.

I constructed a tiny scrappy block for the front, and a strip (foundation pieced) block for the back and sewed them into a pincushion "envelope," then stuffed it with some weight and a piece of 0000 (you say that "four ought," according to Mr. Snoodles) steel wool and then batting on top of that. All those inside -- the steel wool is to sharpen pins and needles as they go into the pincushion.

A feather stitch along the outside just to "pretty it up" a bit . . .

And some other goodies to go in her package: she said she liked herbal teas, and I love 'em, too, so I sent some of my favorite dandelion tea blends....a pack of Halloween fabric charm cuts, and a pack of bright mini charms, too.....a ruler to square up blocks (one of my favorites because it is versatile. We are all about "multi tasking" here!).....

Then what fun I had, opening my package from Lois! Just look at the cute pincushion she made! I love it!

I was already obsessing over the adorable label - more on this later! 

Ummmmmm, peach tea! 

And this wonderful bag (love that sentiment) with goodies inside! 

Just look at what was in that bag . . . A coaster for this Southern gal's iced tea . . . 

And see? A pack of super cute buttons, scissors, pins, and some of those labels I was lusting after! Wow!

A planner with just the right themed cover . . . 

A WONDERFUL SMELLING candle! So peachy!

And a ruler, and a pin bowl, and even a soccer club coozy!!

I sure was happy dancing!!

It was like having a surprise Christmas party in August! Thanks so much Lois, for being such a great pincushion swap partner! I hope we can stay in touch! And thank you to Heather at The Sewing Loft for organizing such a great swap!

More merriment and mayhem coming soon - and a recipe!