Friday, March 21, 2014


I started this morning bright and early all ready to jump right back into my spring cleaning fest. This time, I was in my sewing room sorting through many of my UFOs. The larger blue-and-white quilt, pictured below, is one of Renée Plains' Liberty Star patterns and the pink and black kitty on the little kitchen towel is adapted from the Crazy Cats quilt pattern by Carolyn Hosier.

At the bottom of the pile was this mini basket quilt I made a couple years after I started quilting. The piecing work leaves a lot to be desired but it's neat to see how far I've come since then. I placed a quarter on the quilt to give you an idea of its smaller scale. I had intended to sew a final outer border to it, so that should be easy enough to do!

I also tackled my overflowing collection of sewing and quilt books, and decided it was time to send 50 of them to the library so that others could enjoy them. Many were oldies but goodies.

It finally feels like spring here in central Iowa on this bright, sunny day. Luckily, I was to get out and about to enjoy the refreshing change in weather. After an appointment, I stopped by Meredith Corporation, home of American Patchwork & Quilting magazine, to pick up some contracts and other other materials. Speaking of APQ, have you seen their new special publication, Quilts for Every Bed

After stopping by Meredith, I met my hubby for lunch at A Dong, my favorite Vietnamese restaurant here in town. My hubby had Udon noodles with shredded pork, vegetables, and mung bean sprouts while I enjoyed my usual chicken dish with bamboo shoots, straw mushrooms, carrots, and broccoli (I am a creature of habit and have been ordering this same dish for more than 10 years!). It's served with a side of saffron rice and a vegetable egg roll, though I'm usually too full to enjoy the egg roll by the time I get to it and this time was no exception, so the hubby gladly ate that. My hubby snapped these photos of my lunch as I didn't have my camera with me. I should have had him snap the shot BEFORE I'd nearly cleaned my plate!

Speaking of lunches, I made organic amaranth grain for the first time for my lunch yesterday as I've been trying to find gluten-free food that I can feed my sister (who has a gluten sensitivity) when she comes to visit next month. It looks like a smaller version of quinoa and takes just as long to cook. I made mine with a mixture of water and chicken broth, but next time, I think I'll just use the water as it turns out the amaranth is quite flavorful by itself. It tasted great with my reduced-sodium turkey and alfalfa sprout sandwich.

What a lovely day it's been to make more progress on my spring cleaning AND see my hubby. We don't get together for lunch very often. Hope you are having as nice a day as I am!

Thursday, March 13, 2014


After taking some much-needed time off, I returned to the office ready to complete the last phases of the editing Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine's summer issue. Every issue abounds with at least 15 cozy projects designed to spark your creativity. For the upcoming issue, we've assembled 16 diverse projects—including a darling cross-stitch box to store your buttons, two hooked rug designs, and a medallion masterpiece inspired by the classic oak leaf design. Behold our beautiful cover below!

For my fellow fans of Victoria magazine, I bring glad tidings of their latest special interest publication—Spring Bliss (This is not included in the regular magazine subscription). I was fortunate to get to write a couple pieces for this pretty publication, which is now on newsstands!

Speaking of spring, this week I continued my pre-spring cleaning fest with the help of my mom-in-law, who helped wash all the china on my big green hutch in the dining room. I was able to thin out some of the china so that I could better spotlight my collection. To celebrate our progress, we decided to get a small Shamrock Shake at McDonald's. I have to have at least one of those every March!

I am so lucky to have supportive in-laws nearby. Over the weekend, my dad-in-law surprised me with some fresh sockeye salmon from the local fish market. I immediately baked it up for one of our dinners. Yum! 

My mom-in-law got me some wonderful Pacific wild cod, which I grilled on my stovetop grill. A 5-ounce portion has only 120 calories. The parents even surprised my husband and I with some delicious rolls from Jaarsma's bakery in Pella. I love their glazed twists and promptly ate three of them! Their apricot danishes are scrumptious, too. Life is good.