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Pumpkin Butter Saga

Thanks everyone who followed my Pumpkin Butter 9 hour play-by-play on Facebook and Twitter this week. It was fun cooking with you! Your suggestions and support were much appreciated:) Some of you asked, so here is the recipe we came up with.
Cumin is our secret ingredient. Alex discovered it works well to enhance cinnamon. Truth!
And with the maple ending notes, our pumpkin butter is suitably savory for Thanksgiving table. There is a little pumpkin pie spice in here, but not full pumpkin pie flavor you may be expecting. Hope that helps:)

Cut open pumpkin, brush with olive oil, bake 375 for 45 minutes.

[Luv this timesaving Pampered Chef gadget that makes olive oil sprayable.]

Skin and chop roasted pumpkin. Blend with a very little (1:8 is all you need) apple cider.

Add the following yummy things and cook until smells done, 25 minutes or so, you know.
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Push cooked pumpkin mix through a sieve (you can take out cinnamon sticks now). Reblend as necessary. I blend/sieve 3 times.

Cook on high for 10 minutes or until mixture has reduced slightly and firmed into spreadable consistency.

Complete canning routine. Enjoy!

We used giant jack-o-lantern for making this butter. I know sugar pumpkins are recommended for this type of project, but we multi-task, right? So I figured our hat model pumpkin should multi-task too. And he did a good job, making into 13 half-pint jars. Guess you would need at least 4 sugar pumpkins to match the size of this recipe. Maybe 5?

Now Alex wants to make pumpkin bars....
Happy Thanksgiving!

School Stuff

Look what Alex made in Biology Class...

It's a Cell! Every crafty bit stands for a real thingy...mitochondrial....whatever.

LOLOLOL She would say I'm very silly to be posting this.

But it's Thankful Thursday, and I have to say, I'm so thankful we have good schools here and that she is learning cool stuff :)

Saguaro Ornaments and Bunting

Christmas lights are kindofa big deal here in the Wild West. I guess it's snow! There's no excuse for not getting out there and doing the work of putting up lights. So we put lights on everything. Yes, even the cactus get lights and Santa Hats. I'll be sure to get you some good pics next month.

This bunting project was so quick. Stitched up in 2 hours! That included hunting for cookie cutters and tiny Christmas lights in the back of the closet. Easy beginner quilting project.
You know I love quilting with cookie cutters. This time I'm using Saguaro cookie cutter for a mini-bunting pattern. Sandwich some batting and fabric scraps in Christmas colors. Double batting will give more body to your tiny cookie cutter shapes and help support the lights.

Draw around your cookie cutter. This will be your stitching line. Next, stitch the outline with your darning foot. [Or go ahead and use a regular foot. Smaller stitches - about 3.5- will help you turn the tiny curves of cookie cutter shape.]

Then stich some straight lines right across your cactus shape. Change back to regular foot and use a long stitch. Overstitch your outline - that's right - we are coloring outside the lines! When you finish a line, just flip your cactus sandwich, turn around and stitch in the other direction, just like chain piecing, no need to trim threads.

Here is the time saving part: Get your pinking shears and cut out your cactus. See - all the threads are instantly trimmed. Now you have super Cactus Ornaments you can hang with regular ornament hangers or....

Tack Cacti onto jute for a quick and quilty Southwestern Holiday Bunting!
To determine how long your twine needs to be:  add 3" to the width of  each cactus, then add 20" for ties.

Lastly, remember to add Christmas lights to your bunting. [I was lucky to find battery powered mini light string in the back of the closet.] Here is Becka with lighted Saguaro Bunting at MQG Swap.

more upcycle tools

Love when I can repurpose vintage treasures or office supplies for quilting tools.

These giant paper clips from World Market turned out ideal for....

you guessed it:) holding scrolls on sew machine.

In this case, holding my triangles-on-a-roll while I make some big 6" batik & black 60* triangles.
Which I will tell you about soon:)

Blue House

I started this as one my final project attempts for Quilt It Challenge! I wanted to go ahead and finish this dream project, a whole-cloth table runner.

I know you can't see it very well. I chose the new Connecting Threads variegated thread Denim Blues, which is great! Except I put it on closely matching large print fabric.

This is a Mary Engelbreit house in the woods. Love her art! Maybe I should spend more time on some thread painting to help the picture show up better? However, I'm having trouble deciding where the negative spaces should be....

What I am proud of - and why I wanted to finish this Challenge- is the free hand feathers. Not traditional feathers as I have been practicing, but more stylized to fit the "ME" picture. And it worked! At last I know how to talk to my machine:)

But this runner did not want to be finished! LOL Ran out of blue denim binding....

I still say variegated thread is a great choice for adding visual interest to whole-cloth works. Can't wait to use all my new CT variegated threads [Item No. 21289: I received set of 10 for Mother's Day!] on more whole cloth projects.

To be continued.....

Three Bears in the Little Wood

One bear equals a lonely bear. Many bears equals a party. Mom has created a party of bears. Afters seeing Tracy's bear, our friends and neighbors had asked for one themselves. She has made seven bears so far, all of them cute and fluffy! Mom made one for me too:)

 Here are my friends' bears and my own bear having a nice sit. My bear likes to hang out with friends.

My bear is peaceful!

Love should always be with you.
So far all the bears are having a good time in our house. My friends, the "quilt models," will pick up their bears tomorrow.
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