Thursday, August 29, 2013

what's for dinner?

If you're like me, you think that thought every. stinking. day.  I have tons of recipes I love, but it always feels like "we just had that".

Here's one I keep in rotation every couple of months, saucy meatballs. It freezes well and the kids love it. Of course they do, it has tons of ketchup in it. I'm not raising any food snobs over here. 

It makes a large pan, and I like to serve it with mashed potatoes. You could also do buttered noodles or rice. I got this recipe about 14 years ago, so it's probably from an old Taste of Home, but I'm not sure.  Sorry that I can't credit it properly! I'm quoting the recipe exactly but I have noted a few changes that I make.

Saucy Meatballs:

1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
3 lbs. lean ground beef
2 c. oatmeal
2 large eggs
1/2 c. diced onion (I like small pieces, no big chunks)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. chili powder (I usually leave this out)


2 c. ketchup
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
2 Tbsp. liquid smoke (I leave this out too)

Mix all the first ingredients together and shape into balls. Place in pan. (I use a 10" x 15" pyrex) Mix the sauce ingredients together and pour over meatballs. Bake at 350* for one hour.  This is a great recipe to make with kids, they can stir and smush and help with dinner!

Just in case you have a picky husband like me, I'll share that he doesn't like these. Too sweet for him. But he's kind of outnumbered 5 to 1 on that vote :) He also doesn't like (just to name a few) bell peppers, jalepeno peppers, alfredo sauce, honey mustard, or sprinkles. SPRINKLES, people. How can you not like sprinkles?

What's your go to kid friendly menu look like? Got a pinterest board to share? Leave a link in the comments for us!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


The KCMQG had their fall day retreat last weekend. This was my first ever all day sewing event, and I wasn't sure what to bring along. I thought I'd share my suggestions, in case you are a newbie like myself.

1. Find out ahead of time if there will be wifi available, and if you'll need a password.
2. Music. Bring tunes. Our DJ had 11 hours of hits for us :)
3. Snacks. You need them. We had a huge assortment of bagels, doughnuts, fruits, crackers, sweets, bottled water, etc...  Don't forget napkins!
4. Our guild asked for volunteers for things like irons, cutting mats, vinyl tablecloths(for display walls) Also, power strips and extension cords.  Better to bring them and not need them, than to have to wait in line to iron three seams.
5. Projects. This was where I was clueless. I filled a laundry basket with a variety of projects, from bee blocks to UFOs to a stack of FQ I'd been wanting to turn into something.
6. Giveaway items.  If you have books or mags or fabric you're finished with, this is a good time to share them with your guild buddies!

Another nice touch was the brown paper sacks and tape at each sewing spot, for a disposable thread catcher. It made me realize I have a terrible habit of dropping my threads on the floor! And they had a bell for you to ring when you completed a project, so you could show off what you made!

Thanks so much to the retreat committee for planning such a lovely day.  I was exhausted but in a good way!  Here's what I worked on:

Star surround finished! I love it. #happyquilting

Star Surround block for the Happy Quilting QAL

Finished these 16 blocks at the #kcmqg retreat today! Thanks for a fab day of sewing and snacks! A @modabakeshop pattern, #moda fabrics

The Apple Crate quilt from Moda Bakeshop. I used a FQ stack I got from the Intrepid Thread (thanks Julie!). The fabric is Spring House by Stephanie Ryan for Moda. I used 8 fat quarters. You could make it a twin size with 15 FQ. Those solids are actually a linen look fabric in the line that is just gorgeous. This pattern was great for a retreat. I cut all the fabrics and stitched 16 blocks in no time. It would go even faster if you used jelly rolls.

I brought so much stuff, but I decided that starting a new project was more fun than finishing up the UFOs.  Plus, since these were all strips, it was easy to knock them out. I had brought a paper piecing project to work on, but I was afraid I would get distracted and spend the whole time ripping out mistakes.  Next time I will bring things that are already cut and just need chain pieced. I usually sew in bits and pieces so it was awesome to get to marathon through an entire project!

I also worked on a few bee blocks but didn't get any of them finished. That's my plan for today! What are you working on?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Funday Giveaway!

Julie over at 627 Handworks is having a Sunday Funday giveaway event. Check it out, there are lots of great blogs to visit!


Today I am giving away a fat quarter bundle of vintage sheet fabrics! If you need some inspiration for what you can make with these lovelies, be sure to check out my vintage sheets pinterest board.

Vintage sheet FQ giveaway on the blog today! #sundayfunday #vintagesheets

These are 6 of my favorites. Aren't they purty? Just use the widget below to enter, and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Remember me?

I'm back! I didn't intend to take such a long break from blogging. My husband went on a business trip and took our laptop, which meant I had a mini vacay from the computer! I could still check my email and such on my phone and kindle, but I am a terrible typist on those little keyboards!

Here's a quick recap of the last couple of weeks, mostly borrowed from my instagram feed (are you following me there?)

I was featured over at the My Stars blog! Come read all about me and how I define "modern".

The kids all started school. First up, our baby boy Sawyer. He turned three and started preschool last week.

Lumpy and his Forehead go to school. :)

As you can tell, he was totally heartbroken to leave his momma. NOT. He is so proud and excited that he's such a big boy now.

Teamwork. Happy 3rd birthday little Lump!

Yes, that is a store bought decorated cookie. #momfail #phoningitin He saw it, wanted it, and I couldn't say no. I did make him a chocolate cake for his birthday party last weekend though...

Back to school! Kgtn 2nd & 3rd grades.

The other kids started school the next morning. 3rd, 2nd, and Kindergarten! They are super excited about their classes this year - we'll see how long it lasts.  Zach was supposed to bring a stuffed animal the first day, I had to force him to bring Lion. He's way too grown up for that kind of stuff now, don't you know?

Miss Ruby is actually a Mr! He's been practicing his crowing.

My other babies, the chickens, have had a rather rough month. We are down to 5 chickens. There was another snake incident (I've killed two black snakes that were in the coop eating my girls) and our dog killed several of them as well. I just hope we can keep these alive, we haven't even gotten any eggs yet! One of our girls turned out to be a rooster, so Mr. Ruby entertains us with his crowing and prancing around.  AJ calls him Big Rubes.

I met Whitey Morgan last night! The music was awesome, we had a great time!

Troy and I even snuck off to Wichita for a date night. We met up with my cousins and and my BFF from high school for dinner, and then on to a show with Whitey Morgan and the 78's. If you are into honkytonk, steel guitar, or just good old country music, check them out. It was an awesome show, and in a small bar, with maybe 50 people? We had a blast. We even got to meet Whitey Morgan!

5 jars of sweet & spicy mustard! My peppers have not done well this year so I'm happy I got enough for a small batch.

I canned some spicy mustard. Can't wait to baste this on grilled chicken!

I've cut fabric for a few swaps, but there hasn't been a lot of time for sewing. I get to go to our MQG retreat this Saturday, super excited as it's my first quilt retreat and I can't believe I get to spend an entire day sewing! I have a lot of work to do on my Mirror Ball challenge quilt.

What have you been up to?

Friday, August 9, 2013

books are my BFF

It's no secret that I love a good book. And a book about sewing? xxoo

I'm an avid reader, and visit the library at least once a week. (inter library loan = the best thing ever!) I check out every craft book they have, even for things I don't do, like jewelry making and needlepoint. I love seeing how things are created, and you never know where inspiration might be found.

Today, Moda asked me what book I credit with teaching me to quilt. Of course, there's not just one, but there is definitely one that helped me get over my insecurities about sewing. I recommend it to most new stitchers who ask me that question. 

Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Karol is like the personal trainer of sewing. She pinpointed all of my fears and hang ups about sewing, in a funny way that made me lighten up and start to enjoy myself instead of fretting over a few imperfect stitches. I still tell myself to "stop being such a miser!" when I am working on projects and hesitant to use some of that precious fabric. 

It's not specifically a quilt book, but has a lot of cute, simple projects that are fun to make.  I actually made several projects from the book, including this scalloped baby blanket. 

cross quilt

Another favorite book in my library is Quilt Retro by Jenifer Dick. I made this cross quilt top using her "first aid" pattern and a variety of modern fabrics mixed with vintage sheets. I had forgotten about this one, it's been moved up to the top of the to-be-quilted list! You can read more about it here

These are two "modern" quilting books I love to read.  Quilting Modern and The Practical Guide to Patchwork. The fabric combinations and techniques in these are really great.

And finally, a book I've had for a long time, and keep coming back to, is Creative Scraps: Quilting With Bits & Pieces.  I love that it's spiral bound!

It's full of traditional quilts (67 of them!) that I would love to put my own spin on. The someday list never gets shorter, does it? 

I do know of a really cool book that's coming out soon. It just may have a quilt I made in it, 


and it just may be my newest favorite book...

Be sure to stop by Moda...the Cutting Table for a list of the other blogs participating, and enter to win a stack of books!  Pillow Pop is on my wish list.


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