Monday, September 26, 2016


It's a sweet start to the work week here at Ashton House. I couldn't seem to stay asleep last night so I got up at 4:00 a.m. and made some 50-calorie, healthier brownies (can't say it's healthy as what brownie is?!) for my husband to take to work today. They do not contain any flour, butter, oil or refined sugar (except for the pink sprinkles, of course!). Those of you who read my blog regularly know that my sweets-loving husband was pre-diabetic so I am always looking for low- or no-sugar delights to try. That way, he can still indulge without developing diabetes.

Instead of the typical powdered sugar, butter and milk mixture, the frosting is made with a low-sodium, soft cheese called quark that has a smooth, creamy texture that lends itself well to frosting. I'd heard that this is a nice alternative to traditional frosting for both people like my husband who want a no-sugar option and like me who have to be on a low-sodium diet due to my kidneys. I do flavor it with natural sweetener.

In other news, it has been a productive last few weeks here at Ashton House. We wrapped up production on the winter issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine, which I edit. Gracing the cover is our stunning wool sampler by Blackberry Primitives. This issue, which goes on newsstands in mid October, features part 2 of the 3-part series.

I also write regularly for Quilt Sampler magazine. The Fall/Winter issue is out and you can find one of my articles in it.

I got to write about Merry's Stitchins, an inviting quilt shop right here in Iowa! Owner Merry Backes started the shop in a room in her house and expanded over the years before building a 4,000 spacious square-foot building across from her driveway. Hers is truly a homegrown success story!

It is always a treat to write for this gorgeous bookazine, Country French, and I have an article in the latest issue.

If you happen to see it on newsstands, my article is titled "Everyday Escape", so named for the homeowners' idyllic surroundings both indoors and out. 

A few of you emailed me asking how my organizing efforts were going. Although I got sidetracked by a few big work deadlines the past couple weeks, I am back at it and found a couple more books to part with. If you're interested, I would sell the Pennsylvania Patchwork Pillowcases book for $15 plus $5 shipping (SOLD) and the Quilts and Coverlets: The Beamish Collection for $20 plus $5 shipping (SOLD).


I am also parting with these new cross stitch supplies from Sudberry House—a candle screen, small carriage clock, Shaker boxes, and Nantucket lightship basket cushions. I would sell any for half the regular price. If you want more detailed information and pics, just email me by clicking the "Email Me" button in my blog sidebar. I wasn't sure how many readers are cross stitchers so I didn't want to clutter up the post with too many photos. The large Shaker box is $90 (SOLD!), the small Shaker box is $50, the carriage clock is $17, the candle screen is $25  (SOLD!) and the Lightship basket cushions are $5. The dark brown square box ($15) in the top photo is actually set inside a larger whitewash oak box (SOLD!) pictured in the bottom photo.


  1. I think you have a 'dream' job - writing for all those great publications! And you always do SUCH a good job! Thanks for the heads up on which ones are coming....

  2. Those brownies look yummy? Can you share the recipe? I would love to try it.

  3. I enjoyed scrolling down all these wonderful posts!


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