Sunday Dinner Good

Sometimes you stumble on a dish that is just so good that it elevates a weeknight. I call that “Sunday Dinner Good”. It’s the kind of dish you would be proud to serve a guest.

Now, I will confess, I’ve never been a squash lover. But this, this is just so good. Not only is it delicious, it is beautiful to look at!

Acorn Squash with Fruit and Nuts

It takes about 15 minutes to prep and cooks for about an hour depending on how big your squash is.

If you are interested in the recipe you can find it here: ORGANIC ALLSPICE ACORN SQUASH WITH FRUIT & NUTS recipe |

After making this a few times I’ve made a couple of changes to the recipe.

I use a cookie sheet covered with foil for easy clean up.

I use what apples I have available, if I have 2 Granny Smiths, that’s what I use. If I have two Honeycrisp that’s what I use. If I have one of each – GREAT.

I don’t add the salt.

Pecans make a great substitute for the walnuts.

It really doesn’t need the poppy seeds.

In my humble opinion, maple syrup makes a better garnish than the honey.

Seriously, this is “GET IN MY BELLY!” GOOD.

I would be delighted to hear if you try this, and what you think.

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Quilting Cozy on a Rainy Day

As the temperatures start to fall with the leaves I think of cozy quilts.  And nothing says cozy like flannel!  The softness the warmth, the way it feels on a chilly winter night is such a comfort. 

I just happen to have two flannel quilts on my Finish-A-Long list, and another on my Wanna-do list so now is the time to make progress. 

All of my log cabin blocks are constructed and sewn together.  I’ve found my borders.  I’ve pieced my backs.  I think I’ve made enough binding.  It’s time for them to visit the quilter.  These are going to be just toasty with soft sweet wool batting in them.

And that Wanna-do quilt – well these Bulls Eye blocks are moving along nicely.  I’ve never done anything quite like this, where you just cut and sew and pay no mind to things being matched up or not.  Initially I was a bit uncomfortable with it, then it got to be rather fun.  It is nice to just DO something without overthinking it.  And it’s wonderful to see some of these flannels that I’ve held onto find a place to shine.

This pattern comes from Quilts From Aunt Amy put out by Country Threads.

Once I have completed these quilts, I will be going through my flannels and thinning the collection, as it is time to do some destashing.  If you are creating a scrappy happy flannel quilt and are looking to add to you stash, check out our Etsy store at

Stay warm and safe and dry.


Posted in American Patchwork & Quilting UFO Challenge, Finish-A-Long, Flannel, Quilting, Scraps, simple, Terry Burris Quilting, UFO's, Uncategorized, Wool | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Fourth Quarter Plan for the Finish-A-Long

Because I try to learn from my mistakes, the list for this quarter will be shorter. The previous three quarters, I was unable to complete everything on my list. Granted, the lists were optimist at best.

The first project on my list is #17 the Flannel Log Cabins. It appears there may enough block pieces for two lap sized quilts in the box, and some of the blocks are actually together. My intent is to get the tops done, the backs pieced, the bindings made and off to the longarmer.

Flannel Log Cabin Blocks – literally

The second project, is a seasonal piece. I loved the way the first one finished so much that I just jumped back in and started another. When I packed the components in the box I labelled it “Holiday Wreath table runner or apron or…” sort of like “whatever”. A dear friend of mine saw this and just cracked up. These blocks should find their way into another beautiful table runner or apron or whatever, and well I’ll let you know. This is #59 on my Finish-A-Long list.

Holiday Wreath table runner, apron, or …

The third piece I don’t have a photo for, but it is #74 on the list and they are Tie Scarves. These are just as they sound, scarves made from scraps from my tie projects. I’m hoping they are stylish and soft. We’ll see!

I will get distracted, but I will fight it. And if I do get these projects completed, there are the dozens of other projects from the first three quarters that are awaiting my undivided attention. Yes, there is Fretwork 3. And the Antique Pineapple Wall Haning, and the Blue & Brown Pineapple Blocks, and Diamond Jubilee which I was sew looking forward to. Oh and the Australian Table Runner and Wallhanging and… you get it.

All of this year I’ve been tidying up a little. There is still a lot of work to do in the sewing room to make the space cleaner and more streamlined, and less like a hoarders paradise. There are books and fabrics that are absolutely lovely, but I no longer have any passion for the projects, or I purchased too much yardage. These things can be found in my Etsy shop at The books are in fabulous condition and the fabric is all good quality and priced to move. Later there will be precious gifts and decor. So go check it out and share with your friends!

So, whatever YOU are doing this fourth quarter, start with a sharp rotary blade and a new needle in your machine. Piece!

Posted in Challenges, Finish-A-Long, Holiday Quilting, Lists, Paper foundations, Quilting, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

But I’m Not Done Yet!

Quarter 3 of the FINISHALONG has come to a close and I’m Not Done Yet! 

Things I did get done are Aromatic Rings which I LOVE, and the quilting by Terry Burris Quilting is beautiful.

Sharp Dressed Man which I love!

Fretwork 3 which is adorable, huge and already gifted prior to photo!

Not on the list and I have no idea how these missed my “Master List”

Eye Spy! – It’s on there now and all the spaces are checked off!

Trinkets – This was my very first Sew A Long from 2019…and it’s complete. This was also beautifully quilted by Terry Burris Quilting.

Although it was on the “Master List” but not on this quarters list I also got these done from a long languishing project challenge.

Not finished but there was progress:

Arabasque Cake Mix – change in plan for this one, but the tops are pieced.  These will be charity quilts.

EPP Hexi Table Runner – Hand quilting very slowly in front of the television, sometimes with my eyes closed.

Didn’t even touch:

Australian Wall Hanging or Blue and Brown Pineapple Blocks

Initially I was disappointed with my progress, but when I look at it in pictures and words, I feel sew much better. In another week I’ll be deciding what my last quarter plan will be. Although I am finding I get distracted an don’t always stick to the plan, I am making steady progress, and for that I am grateful.

Posted in Accomplishments, Challenges, Charity Quilts, Finish-A-Long, Lists, Quilting, simple, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Happy Mail

Last week I received some “Happy Mail” from my sister Terry (Terry Burris Quilting).  I send the bulk of my “quilting” to her to do because, well, she does a great job, she can help me express what I see in a project when it is completed (think mind reader), and she’s my sister.  Over the years getting into the queue has become a bit more challenging as she has honed her craft through study and thousands of hours of practice.  She has won ribbons for her quilting and been instrumental in making the work of others shine.  Oh, and she loves me. 

So I had sent her this box maybe a month ago just so I wouldn’t lose track of it.  I was so proud of myself for getting these pieces prepped for quilting.  Nothing was to be rushed as these pieces had languished for at least 20 years.  Then low and behold there were a couple of cancellations.  The customers that had reserved spots in her que weren’t ready.  SCORE!!!  I’m IN!

The first two pieces are from my big UFO list.  These were started way back before the turn of the century (why does that tickle me so?!)  At the Fauquier Quilter when we were meeting at Quilters Confectionery, we had a strip challenge.  I made my strips into strata.  And then I moved those strip strata’s SIX different times into SIX different homes.  Finally, I got tired of looking at them every time I walked into the bathroom where they were hanging on the back of a door.  It was time.  I cut the strata and used them as components to make 9-Patch blocks.  Simple and easy yet still visual. 

When I finally packed them up and sent them to Terry, I told her I wanted them to look “woodsy” and wanted little woodsy animals in the centers of the blocks. 

She nailed it.  And I love the leafy panto she used on the rest of the quilt. 

The binding is on and I put them in the laundry for their wash before I gift them.  I’m really glad I used some Color Catchers in the wash as even though I had prewashed all of my fabrics this is what I found in the machine. 

Color Catchers are a wonderful tool to keep dyes from bleeding all over your quilt.

I love the way a quilt feels and looks when it first comes out of the dryer after its first wash; all crinkly and cozy.

Crinkly Goodness!

This other piece also has some age on it (20+ years) and comes from the same era and off the same very long list.  The “Victorian” palette on this Christmas tree skirt is so very pretty.  The pattern is from Eleanor Burns Quilt in a Day Diamond Log Cabin. 

This is quilted with a warm golden colored thread and the motif is poinsettias.  I sort of wish I had put a solid on the back of this so the quilting showed as it is gorgeous.  I can see making another, just to do this!  Truly the quilting is just as pretty as the piecing.

There are still a ridiculous amount of beautiful things I’ve begun and not completed to get back to.

I hope you are making wonderful progress on whatever is on your list or under your needle.


Posted in Accomplishments, American Patchwork & Quilting UFO Challenge, Challenges, Finish-A-Long, Holiday Quilting, Lists, Nine Patch, Quilting, Scraps, simple, Terry Burris Quilting, UFO's, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Under the Needle on Hobby Hill

It is day 55 of the 100 Days 100 Blocks Challenge.  Many of us are using the same block patterns from last year’s Kinship Fusion offered by Gnome Angel.  This year I’m doing two versions.  One is Sink or Swim using Dear Stella fabric and the other is a “vintage” Alexander Henry fabric.  It has adorable little baby animals going to bed.   The little piggy makes me smile.  But then again so do the birds and the bear with the fish.  I’m easily amused. 

Another project that I’ve had on my UFO list is Arabesque.  I had purchased a “layer cake” on sale several years ago and it was perfect for this project.  I cut the squares according to directions.  That all went along great.  Then it came to assembling the quilt.  The blocks are offset and there is a piece that moves from one block to another, but you don’t assemble the blocks first, the entire quilt is assembled row by row.  After several attempts I had to step back.  The directions, for this free pattern or my lack of understanding said directions were killing my mojo. So I decided that I could do something simpler, there was no specific plan for this quilt other than to finish it.  By moving forward with a simpler design I could experience a win, and move on.  Well, I’m moving forward.  These will be cheerful little pinwheel quilts!  And soon I will be onto something I really WANT to work on.

Working with abandoned or thrifted fabrics, has made me really happy the last few years.  I hope to do more of it.  While making samples for the Q^ retreat several years ago, we did a block exchange using Bonnie Hunters Delectable Mountains (you can find the block pattern here ).  I had many shirts left over from that and other thrift store finds, and have been cutting and sewing these blocks to build my own mountain range.  I think once the blocks start getting up on the design wall it will go quickly.

In the studio there was a bookcase fail.  You know those little thingies that hold the bookshelf into place.  Well, apparently the load was more than they could handle.  It was no surprise when I saw that they were plastic.  The first task (after picking up the books) was to replace those plastic “thingies” with metal ones. All of them, not just the failed ones.

Then it occurred to me that I hadn’t looked or touched some of those books in several years.  So in an effort to be responsible, and start a little “downsizing”, I’ve started going through all of my quilting books.  It there aren’t 3 projects in a book that I’m interested in tackling, the book doesn’t return to the shelf.  Most of these books are pristine.  So I’ve put them up for sale on Etsy.  The prices are seriously discounted.  You can find them at  If you know of anyone that is new to quilting and trying to build their library feel free to share the shop information.  More books go up weekly.  And my WannaDo list gets longer.

Sew, what’s under your needle?

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Fabulous Friday Finishes

Yup, I’m bragging a bit.  Tooting my horn and Terry’s too!  I got this back and bound and it’s hanging in my bedroom.

Sharp Dressed Man was pieced last year.  The circles are made from neckties that have been sewn to a foundation and then pieced into the backgrounds.  Those backgrounds are shirts.  There are over 216 ties that were used in this quilt.  Each of the circles has 24 pieces.  Of course you will see smaller pieces of the same ties in another project in the works.  “Waste not want not”.  I also bound it with neckties.  Terry Burris quilted this for me and I couldn’t be more smitten.

My Smart Dressed Hubby making sure My Smart Dressed Man is hanging straight. Photo to the right is block detail. If you think you might like to make your own and need some neckties, I have bags of them for sale at VintageVaCouple on Etsy.

Aromatic is a quilt from a book I bought from Nancy’s Notions after watching an episode one Sunday morning.  It’s a lovely book and you will probably see at least one more quilt from this book in the future.   The book is Rainbow Quilts For Scrap Lovers by Judy Gauthier.  A few months ago I made Fretwork from this book.  What I loved about this pattern was the simple construction, the scrappiness without being chaotic and how generously sized each block is.  The backing is from American Quilters Society and it is perfect for this project (so perfect I wish I had bought more).  The quilting Terry Burris did on this is gorgeous without being intrusive.  I adore this quilt. 

These were not on my UFO or Finishalong list but I just had to make them.  These adorable Holiday Stars are wonderful for the tree, packages, and to decorate a wreath.  And they are not just for Christmas, think wreaths, package add ons. I’ve seen a few with some fabulous machine embroidery and they are pretty fancy. See more at Poorhouse Designs on Facebook.  If you can’t find the pattern at your local quilt shop give a shout out to Kris Poorhouse.

That’s all the progress I have for now.

What’s under your needle?

Posted in Accomplishments, American Patchwork & Quilting UFO Challenge, Finish-A-Long, Quilting, recycling, Scraps, Terry Burris Quilting, UFO's, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Third Quarter FINISHALONG – The List


It’s all a balancing act.  So maybe this quarter I take a more “balanced” approach to what I can finish and what I want to finish.  I’ve noticed a trend that I have a lot to carry over from quarter to quarter of projects still unfinished as well projects that weren’t even on the list making progress.  What’s up with that?

Still, it’s fun.  I’m blessed to be able to do this.  Looking at something that I have made with my own hands makes me appreciate the gifts I’ve been given and the ability to recognize gifts in others.

This quarter I have two fast ones, Sharp Dressed Man and Aromatic Rings only need binding.  I’ve made the binding for both and it just needs to be stitched down.

Fretwork 3 needs to be quilted and bound.  I pieced the back, and will quilt it with simple straight lines from top to bottom (well straightish).  Then this quilt will be ready for binding and will go to the Christmas Mother Charity for distribution this winter.


Foundation piecing will continue on my “Haberdashery” Pineapple Blocks.  This is the same color story as “Kiss Me Once Again” and I will make as many blocks as I can with the remainder of brown taffeta.  My goal is to get all of the blocks done and assembled.


Stars Over the Outback is my Aussie inspired Table Runner that needs to be quilted and bound.


As far as the carryover stuff from Quarters One and Two there is plenty to choose from:

English Paper Pieced Hexi Table Cover   (Quarter 1)

Antique Pineapple Blocks Wall Hanging (Quarter 1)

Floral Wreath Wall Hanging (Quarter 1)

Arabesque Cake Mix Quilt (Quarter 2)

Diamond Jubilee (Quarter 2)

Now you might have noticed that I am easily distracted.  My guilty pleasure of following other makers is always present.  This was a minor diversion, and if you would like to make a little diversion and help a quilter out, check out what Shelly is doing.  She needs lots and lots of signature blocks for her quilt. IMG_E6795

Go to:  I know she would appreciate it!  And it’s a simple block to get done while you are working on something else.





Posted in American Patchwork & Quilting UFO Challenge, Finish-A-Long, Inspiration, table runners, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

“She had high hopes, high apple pie in the sky hopes”


I am willing to admit that my 2nd Quarter List was a bit hopeful.  Did I make as much progress as I had hoped?  No.  Did I stick to my plan?  No.  In my defense I did make some progress, and although there was some distraction with a new, wait, maybe two new projects it was a good quarter.

Kinship Fusion 100 Blocks 100 Days 2019 is done!  And just in time too as on July 1st, the 2020 challenge began and I’m totally smitten with the fabrics I chosen.  But I do get ahead of myself.  Here is the finish.


My Summer Harvest table runner is finished.  This is such a perfect piece for this season and it’s just adorable!


It felt good to finish the “Freedom” quilt too.  The binding is on and it sits beautifully on the guest bed for the moment.  I was inspired by one of the ladies at the Fauquier Quilt Group, Sue Brinkman.  Sue had read the book and made the quilt and hand quilted it using pearle cotton.  I had quilt lust and a darn good stash of plaids.  The first top went together quickly and easily.  I put it aside to hand quilt.  My dear stepmom Sylvia admired it too, so I cut a kit for her out of my stash.  This is a good reason to show your work as you never know who you will inspire!  Unfortunately Sylvia never got to the quilt.  I finished this in her honor.  The quilt will go into my Etsy store (vintagevacouple), and partial proceeds will go to     which was one of her favorite charities.IMG_6770


Another accomplishment, although not complete are my plaid strip sets.  There was a lot of plaid work this quarter.  I was able to get two quilt tops made from those strata’s that I put together nearly 20 years ago.  I even pieced the backings and made the bindings.   Now they will go off to the longarmer. IMG_6848

Arabesque blocks just got trimmed.  And there was zip, zero, nada progress on Diamond Jubilee.

Fretwork is still incomplete; however I did piece the back.  And that adorable English paper pieced hexagon table cover, I found a back and pin basted that, but alas, that too is not in the finished pile.

Hoping I can do as well in the next quarter.  It’s such a blessing to be able to do this, and share my joy with you.



Posted in American Patchwork & Quilting UFO Challenge, Finish-A-Long, Ready Set Quilt 2020, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Work in Progress Wednesday

Let me begin by saying it’s been quite an exciting couple of weeks. I’ll explain.

As I was going into my sewing room about 2 weeks ago, I looked through the door and my ceiling fan and light were on the floor. We never heard a thing. It was held up on the ceiling in a plastic box. So my beloved took the others apart and down and called an electrician.


I did a fair amount of tidying up those next couple of days as things had gotten a bit out of hand, and there was a lot of fabric on the floor. In fact there were piles of stuff everywhere. The electrician has come and gone, the repairs are done and I can see more of the floor than I’ve been able to see in months. The room in no means is clean, however it is tidier than it was. Shelly from Prairie Moon Quilts ( has monthly tasks and challenges herself to do something in her studio every month to make it more organized. I need to take a page out of her book so things don’t get so out of hand.

Speaking of books I went to put a book on the shelf. The bookshelf failed. Well I decided to go through all the books on that shelf and the one beneath it to make sure these were books that I was going to use or enjoy. If not, they had to find a new home. So I’m nearly through the task of looking through many of my books and deciding what projects I would like to complete. Let’s just say I hope to live a very long time.

I did make progress on trimming my Arabesque blocks. Now I just need to lay them out the way I want them placed in the quilt.


And I got my Heritage Blocks up on the quilt wall and made a decision on sashing and posts. I’m hoping the border I have will work out nicely, but we will have to wait and see until the blocks are together.


One of my guilty pleasures is checking out what other bloggers are doing, and I love what Deanna has been working on at Wedding Dress Blue. She has this wonderful quilt-a-long that I just could not resist. After all I did pick up lots of fabric off the floor and I’ve been really good about cutting up my scraps into usable squares. If you have bunches of squares to use up this works up nicely.


The UFO from my plaid strip tease is coming together nicely. I had several strata’s hanging around for years (read decades) and was not sure what I was going to do with them. This is going to be delightful.  And it will look so good on the bunkbeds in my grandsons room.


So many wonderful projects to keep my hands busy and my heart joyful.

I need to get these done as 100 Blocks 100 Days starts SOON. If you would like to participate go over and sign up with Gnomeangel at

Hoping to see you soon with some fabulous finishes!  In the meantime, piece and stay safe.

Posted in Finish-A-Long, Organization, Quilting, Scraps, simple, UFO's, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 5 Comments