Autumn Sky: Sneak Peek

Hello Friends, the last couple of days have been busy.  I worked hard to push through a few things.  Autumn Sky is now on its way to the editor.  I am experimenting with quilting with straight lines.  Honestly, I find quilting straight lines MORE difficult than free-motion quilting.  I am exploring a few visual effects in straight line quilting.  I still have much to learn- don’t you just love all the learning opportunities in quilting?

Anyway, here is a sneak peek of Autumn Sky:


The fabrics might look familiar to you… yeap, you are right, the fabrics you see are some of the fabrics you see in my Bird Watching quilt.  You still have time to enter the magazine giveaway in my Bird Watching post here.


Meanwhile, our summer is shaping up quite nicely.  Yes, we are feeling the heat, including heat from the oven!!!  You see, Miss Baby and I are working in a bit of baking in our summer routine.  Miss Baby is crazy about those cranberry pecan rolls!  [Doreen’s bread recipes are the absolute best!!!   Click here for Doreen’s recipes.]  So, I am not the greatest cook in the world — I had to write Doreen and asked just how long we should wait for the bread rolls to rise before sticking them in the oven to be baked.  Doreen is  most gracious in sharing her bread making wisdom – thanks, Doreen!


How is your summer shaping up?  Are you doing any traveling this summer?  If so, where…?

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope to post about another editorial feature tomorrow — I realized I needed to take a few more pictures while working on the post.  Till tomorrow.  Hugs to you all.

Brownies – slightly dry or moist?

Happy Friday, Friends!  This is totally off quilting… I realized it’s been a while since I showed you I actually do other things besides quilting!  HA!


The recipe for the above “slightly moist” brownie is available here.  I didn’t have dark chocolate chunks.  So I just regular semi-sweet chocolate chunks.  Turned out de-lish.  Now it’s your turn to tell me if you like your brownies slightly most, or dry.  There is of course no correct answer to this question.  Do you also have a favorite recipe for brownies?

Have a great weekend!  Today I am taking about 4-5 quilts for styled outdoor photography.  Stay tuned for details.  Have a lovely weekend!

Pretty in Purple: Sneak Peeks #1

I have already made a quilt using Benartex‘s Perennials, my “Bright and Morning Star“:

I am working on another quilt with fabrics from the same line, this time with a slightly different color scheme.  Here is a preview of the blocks,

with a bit of applique peeking through…

Also, I finally remembered to take a picture of my improved yeast rolls.  I have asked you to share your culinary words of wisdom with me when my yeast rolls turned out looking all contorted and twisted… as you can see in the following picture:

My rolls have taken on a better look recently!  SO MUCH more appetizing, don’t you think?

Summer Delights

Since at least 90% of what we eat at the Ivory Spring Household is home-made, I have learned to really appreciate quick but tasty recipes…. so that I have time left over for other interests. I have recently discovered the following delights for the warmer weather that take only a jiffy to make…

Pineapple salsa:

Sour Cream Blueberry Pie:

Now, nosy mind wants to know what your foody summer delights are…

Before I sign off, I thought I would share with you some quilty summer delights from my archive… (click on the individual links for additional pictures)

1. Summertime

2.  Sweet Picket Fence

3.  Sunshine in my Soul

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a fantastic day!

Snickerdoodle Recipe

Good day, Friends! I hope you are having a good day.

My sister-in-law asked for my recipe after she read about my snickerdoodle baking session with Miss Baby.  A reader had left in the comment section about wanting the recipe.  Of course I am more than happy to share my recipe, but you might be disappointed to find out that my recipe is none other than what is found in none other than the Betty Crocker cookbook! And I didn’t attempt to make any changes like an impressive cook would…

Here it is:

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

2 tbs sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon
1. In a mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.

2. Add about half of the flour, the 1 cup sugar, the egg, vanilla, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Beat till thoroughly combined. Beat in remaining flour. Cover and chill1 hour.

3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Combine the 2 tbs sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls in sugar/cinnamon mixture. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake in a 375F overn for 10-11 minutes or till edges are golden. Cool cookies on a wire rack. Make about 36.

Notice the first time I ever attempted this recipe was WAY back in 2000. I feel old!!! But don’t let me spoil the enjoyment of these yummy snickerdoodles for you!

Thanks for stopping by. Before you leave, I would love to know if there’s any must-try cookie recipes out there! We are on a cookie kick lately at the Ivory Spring household.

I bring thee…

… a loaf of homemade bread (well, by the bread machine). After my Sunbonnet Sue quilt was shipped off last week, I immediately went into baking mode just to do something different. I baked three blueberry pies, and a loaf of honey oatmeal bread. The bread was for a dear friend… thus it was tied with a bow:

honey bread1

honey bread3

I included a recipe in case she would like to make the bread for herself. I wish I were good at making cards like Gabriela. I would have liked to come up with a very special card to jot down the recipe, but my creativity instantaneously vaporizes when it comes to card-making. So, I just used a regular recipe card to write down the recipe:

honey bread2

honey bread4

I had an enjoyable time visiting with my friend when I brought the bread over. I consider close friends extra-special blessings in my life! I want to also take this opportunity to extend my appreciation to so many of my bloggy friends – your friendship means a bunch to me!

Orange Marmalade Bread

I found that making homemade bread (I mean, bread made in a bread machine) is a great way to make the house smell like I have slaved for hours in the kitchen. I tried an orange marmalade bread over the weekend:


It turned out very tasty, especially with a bit of apricot preserves:


Here is the recipe (from “Great Bread Machine Baking” by Marlene Brown):

1/2 cup warm water (80 F)

1/2 cup orange marmalade or apricot preserves

1/4 butter, softened and cut up

1 egg

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

3 1/2 cups bread flour, unsifted

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1. If your machine does not have a preheat cycle, combine water and marmalade or preserves and heat in microwave on HIGH power for 30 seconds. Add to the bread pan with remaining ingredients according to the manufacturer’s directions for your machine. Set the CYCLE, LOAF SIZE, and CRUST SETTING. Press START.

2. After about 5 minutes of kneading, check the consistency of your dough. If dough is not in a smooth round ball, open lid and with machine ON, add liquid a tablespoon at a time if too dry, or add flour a tablespoon at a time if too wet.

3. Remove the bread promptly from the pan when the machine beeps or on completing the cycle. Cool on rack before slicing.


I am working on my Sunbonnet Sue quilt deadline.  I hope to have some pictures for you soon!  Have a lovely day.

Spice Lentil Soup for a cold spring night


Easter this year was cold, wet and rainy for us. Plans to don springy short-sleeve dresses for church were discarded. Instead we wore long coats on top of our winter clothing…  and a spice lentil soup was served for dinner that night:


Following are a few shots of the simple springy tablescape I managed to put out. I actually did a bit of mix-and-match (*gasp*)! I mixed my Spode Blue Room pieces with the Royal Albert Lady Carlyle because I thought the busy quilt I have used as a tablecloth was drowning out the Lady Carlyle:





1/2 pound Italian sausage, crumbled, casing removed

1/2 cup diced onion

1/3 cup barley

3 cloves galic

3 quarts chicken stock

1 cup lentils

1 while chicken breast, uncooked

1/2 cup parlsey, chopped

1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans and juice

1/2 or 1 pound fresh or forzen spinach

1 jar (12 oz) medium salsa

1. Brown sausage, onion, barley and garlic together in skillet. Remove and place in bottom of slow cooker or large stock pot.

2. Add the chicken stock, lentils, uncooked chicken breast and parsley. Simmer for as long as you desire or until the lentils are tender.

3. Remove chicken breast, discarding bone and cartilage. Shred meat and return to cooker.

4. Add beans, spinach and salsa to soup mixture; heat through.


Nothing compliments the soup better than some hot biscuits!!


Recipe: Japanese Fruit Pie

I have been asked for the recipe for my all-time favorite pie recently, and I thought I would go ahead and share it with my bloggy friends. I love this pie so much that I can eat it all day long! :) The best way to describe it is a pecan pie with a twist.

Interestingly, the recipe did not originate from the Orient. Rather, it is a recipe dating back to the Colonial days….

  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium mixing bowl combine eggs, butter or margarine, sugar, vanilla extract, and vinegar. Beat until smooth. Stir in pecans, coconut, and raisins. Pour mixture into pastry shell.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. Cool before serving.


It is called “Japanese” because of the coconut flakes, and way back when, it was thought that coconuts came from Japan. It was purported that Martha Washington had it made for George Washington’s birthday one year.


Who doesn’t like a…

winning chocolate chip cookie recipe? I tried this recipe for the first time this Christmas, and the cookies turned out to be my favorite chocolate chip cookies (from Christmas with Southern Living 1997)!


2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup butter

2 tablespoons instant coffee granules

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 egg yolk

1 (11.5 oz) package semisweet chocolate mega-morsels (I used dark chocolate chips)

1 cup walnut halves, toasted (I used chopped pecans)


1. Combine first 3 ingredients; stir well.

2. Combine butter and coffee granules in a small saucepan or skillet. Cook over medium-low heat until butter melts and coffee granules dissolve, stir occasionally. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature.

3. Combine butter mixture, sugars, egg, and egg yolk in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until blended. Gradually add flour mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in mega morsels and walnuts.

4. Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls 2″ apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 325 F for 12-14 minutes. Let cool slightly on cookie sheets. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.


From the belly of the whale…

My heart skipped a beat when I couldn’t find my turkey recipe in my recipe folder the other day! I searched online for it, but to no avail. I had a very pleasant surprise when cleaning out the “Belly of the Whale”!


You see, the “Belly of the Whale” was named by my brother, when he lived with us, for a closet that I just put (no, throw) anything that doesn’t have a place or am too lazy to deal with at certain moments. So, while you see things neat and tidy in many areas, one wouldn’t want to even try venturing into the belly of the whale. Well, guess what I found as I courageously waded through (with determination to conquer the “belly” ) a thousand insignificant things that got tossed into the belly of the whale??? My turkey recipe (!!!), among other things that I didn’t know I had. I even found a little creamware bowl that I had bought but had forgotten! Following is the basic recipe based on Emeril’s recipe published in 2001:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 tbs chopped fresh sage

1 tbs chopped fresh thyme

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cracked pepper

1 turkey

stuffing of your choice

1/3 all-purpose flour

1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth


1. Preheat oven to 325 F.

2. Butter 1 qt casserole dish. Combine butter, sage, thyme, salt and pepper.

3. Carefully separate skin from turkey breast starting from neck. Spread half of butter mixture between skin and meat over breast. Rub remaining mixture over turkey sink.

4. Fill turkey body and neck cavities with stuffing.

5. Place turkey in roasting pan. Roast, basting occasionally with pan juices, until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh reisters 180F. Let turkey stand for 15 minutes before carving.

6. Meanwhile, skim and discard all but 1/4 cup fat from pan juices; reserve juices. Transfer fat to pot over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Gradually stir in broth and reserved juices; cook, stirring, until thickened.


p.s. What I would like to know is that…. do you have a “Belly of the Whale” in your house, or am I the only one with this problem?!


I have shown you different autumn tablescapes. I thought for show-and-tell this week, I would show you some “Turkey”-scape I have been able to capture over the years. I never pre-carve our turkeys. They are always presented at the table. I figure since I labor for hours to roast a succulent and moist turkey, the least we could do is to have it presented at the table with the rest of the dishes:

My husband always does the carving with a carving set while he does his Thanksgiving “message” at the table – it’s always a fun time for me because watching him carve that turkey while listening to him talk always builds up the anticipation to enjoy the entire meal for the evening:

[No, wait…. that’s a goose, not a turkey. But you get the idea, my husband always carves the fowl at the table!] :)

Thank you for stopping by – it’s been nice having you, as always! I hope you have a wonderful weekend.