Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Summertime Pasta Sauce

One of the first things I make when my roma tomatoes turn ripe is pasta sauce or salsa.....and of course BLTs!

So here is the simple recipe I like to use.   It freezes well, so use up all those tomatoes.

4 medium onions, chopped
1 1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
12 cups chopped and peeled fresh tomatoes
3 bay leaves
4 tsp salt
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
2 cans (6 oz each) tomato paste
1/3 cup brown sugar

In a large Dutch oven, saute the onions and pepper in olive oil until onions are tender.  Add garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, salt, oregano and basil.
Simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Add tomato paste and brown sugar, simmer for 1 hour longer.
Remove bay leaves.
Ready to eat! YUM! Browned ground beef or Italian sausage can be added to the cooked sauce if desired.

I try to grow my own herbs, so I did use fresh oregano and basil.  The kitchen smelled amazing after chopping those fresh herbs!  And yes, you should peel those tomatoes....it is worth it!  I have a system where I get water boiling on the stove, have a large bowl of ice water on the counter and an empty large bowl.  Put the tomatoes in the boiling water for about a minute, then transfer to the ice cold water.  The skins should be easy to peel off now.  I leave the peelings in the water bowl and put the peeled tomatoes in the last large bowl. 

I hope you enjoy making this recipe!  I have made it for many years and never get tired of how good it tastes.  Off to pick more tomatoes....this hot weather is good for the tomatoes I guess.

grace and peace.....Sharon

Monday, July 16, 2018

Published in Quiltmaker

It seems that I did not post about a recent publication in a magazine....what???  Traveling a lot will do that to me for sure!

I am sort of on the cover!

Isn't this a fun sampler quilt?  I love the fabric provided by Moda...Sandy Gervais Well Said.  It is such a colorful happy line of fabric now available in stores. 

That being said...it would look great using my newest pattern, Happy Go Lucky!  Join my first ever sew along which starts July 25.  You can find out more by reading this post.  Bella and I would love to have you sew with us!

Stay cool!

grace and peace....Sharon

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Sunday finishes

I belong to an International Swap Bee with eleven other talented quilters.  We call our group Bee Inspired and this is our second year swapping blocks.  I am so ashamed to say that I am very far behind!  But I spent this weekend catching up!

Jen gave us the challenge to use any block of our choice, so I made the Union Star block for her.  Hope she likes it!  You can see the fabric I pulled for Sue's block peeking out from under it.

She picked out an adorable toadstool block...very fun idea!

And....Please consider joining my first ever sew along!  We will be using my newest pattern, Happy Go Lucky which you can get here on Craftsy and here on Etsy

Hope you have had a great weekend!
grace and peace....Sharon

Monday, July 9, 2018

Happy Go Lucky Sew Along

It's hot, hot, hot....almost everywhere in the USA.  So lets do something cool...stay in our sewing room, stitching away on a new quilt.  Put on your favorite music and enjoy your day!  This is a fun little quilt that is perfect for a baby or a child's blankie.  It can be made into a nice throw by adding wider borders.  Happy Go Lucky is a beginner friendly sampler quilt which measures 44" x 50".  I plan to add a few more blocks into the mix for those of you with more experience...you can choose which you would rather use.

First, if you want to participate, you will need the pattern.  Happy Go Lucky is available here and here  will be on sale for $5.00 until Sunday, July 22.  After that it will go up to $9.00.

Second, how much fabric will you need?  The quilt on the cover of the pattern is made with Island Batik Petting Zoo, and is available in stores now.  The quilt I am making now is a variety of 8 or more fat quarters I put together, and 1 3/4 yard background fabric.

Third....prizes every week!  Those who complete the assigned block or blocks will be eligible to have your name put in the drawing.  For those of you who complete the top by September 15th, your name will be added to a drawing for the Grand Prize.

Here is the schedule for the Sew Along:
July 25:  Greek Square blocks
August 1: Shoo Fly blocks
August 8: 9 patch and Cross blocks
August 22: Sawtooth Star blocks
August 29: 4 patch and half-square blocks
September 6:  Set blocks together and add borders.

To join, please send me an email at yellowcatquilts@gmail.com to let me know you are participating.  If you have a blog, please send me a link to it.  If you post to Instagram, please use the hashtag #happygoluckysal

Bella and I hope you will join us....it will be fun!

Linking to:
Midweek Makers
Freemotion by the River
Let's Bee Social
Needle and Thread

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Island Batik Modern Quilt Challenge

My June project for Island Batik is finished!  We were traveling quite a bit in June, so I decided to hand piece the blocks for my quilt. I used fabric provided to me by Island Batik, and thread provided by Aurifil to quilt it.  The fabric is City Culture II and the background fabric is Acathus-Sahara from their Victoria and Albert Collection. Both are available in stores now.

This 10" Stacker worked great to create my Drunkards Path blocks.  I'm not a huge fan of curves, so I hand appliqued the curved piece to a 4 1/2" square as we traveled 2000 miles on our trip west.  

As usual, Bella had to give her approval of a new quilt!

This and That

So, what makes up a modern quilt?  I know that a lot of negative space is usually found on a modern quilt, bright colors and sometimes a different take on a traditional block.  I had fun playing with different Drunkards Path blocks and this is what I finally decided on.  

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you all are staying cool.  My yard is burning up and turning brown.  My flowers are still looking good with lots of watering going on! 

grace and peace....Sharon

Linking up to:  Main Crush Mondays
              Monday Making

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

New pattern, Happy Go Lucky!

Sometimes I meet myself in the middle and get some things done here in my studio....other than making quilts,  I mean.  Writing patterns takes me forever,  I would much rather design and sew.  To make writing more difficult, I dropped my laptop and now the I key sticks!  So on to the fun stuff!

Happy Go Lucky is my newest quilt.  Beginners and seasoned quilters will have fun making the classic quilt blocks in a variety of sizes.  It is 44" x 50", making it perfect for a toddler or a baby quilt.  Make it into a throw by adding a larger border.  The quilt pictured is made with fabric provided by Island Batik aptly named Pet Zoo.  Love the bold, bright colors, and the subtle jungle animals!

I quilted it on my domestic Janome 7500 with a simple wavy line plaid, a quick and easy to do pattern using the walking foot.  

This pattern will be on sale until the 4th of July on Craftsy for $5.00.  Then it will go up to $9.00.  You know you have to have it!  It will be a fun project for the lazy days of summer!

Stay cool!

Linking to: Moving it Forward
                  FreeMotion on the River
                  Lets Bee Social 
                  Midweek Makers

Monday, May 21, 2018

Playful Pillows

This month, Island Batik challenged its Ambassadors to create a fun, playful pillow with some of their fabric which they so kindly send to us.  I'm still loving Spring Blossoms, so I created a pillow to go with the quilt I had made with it.

It looks like I am ready to cuddle up with a good book!  

 English Paper Piecing is a favorite method for me.  Its a great way to relax out on the deck or while binging on Netflix. I can also sit on a heat pad or ice pace for my back pain. (that's another story) This design used 1 inch diamonds.  Once the star was completed, I pressed it and then removed all of the paper pieces so that I could hand applique it to the background piece.  

Big stitch hand quilting is a great way to finish up a little project like this...
once again...its portable! 

The edge of the pillow is finished off with binding.  I like the contrast of a binding, and it's a super easy to finish a pillow. 

I love to make  pillows, so I do have another one started and I hope to share it with you soon. Last summer I made a cat pillow, and I have a couple more started.  They will get finished soon I hope!  These crazy cats are wanting to get on the bed!  

Today, I hope to finish writing at least 2 new patterns if not 3!  Wish me luck!  Have a great week....what are you working on this week?

grace and peace.....Sharon and Bella the Yellow Cat

Hate and Love cannot exist in the same space.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Vintage Quilts Inspiring New Creations

It was hard to pick a block or vintage quilt this project.  I am inspired by every vintage quilt I see!  I wonder what was happening in the quilt-maker's life at the time she made this quilt, what was happening in the world?  If quilts could talk, think of the stories they could tell.  The Variable Star block and the Schoolhouse block were the two blocks I decided to use in my quilt.

From an exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Within These Walls.

Much like our Christmas Crafts Bazaars, Northern women who opposed slavery raised money for the cause through Anti-Slavery Fairs.  This little cradle quilt, made of small Northern Stars is one of the items sold at such a fair. This simple star is one of the oldest patchwork patterns, and has been published by many names....Evening Star, Aunt Liza's Star, and Saw-tooth Star. This is one of my favorite blocks to make in any quilt.

This poem was hand inked in the center star of the quilt.

 “Mother! When around your child
You clasp your arms in love,
And when with grateful joy you raise
Your eyes to God above—
Think of the negro mother,
When her child is torn away—
Sold for a little slave—Oh, then,
For that poor mother pray.”

We know that the early settlers traveled west for a better life, and education was a part of the quest for a better life. The school house and the church were probably one of the first public buildings built in a new settlement. The schoolhouse block was usually a variation of a school house or a church.  According to the International Quilt Study Center in Nebraska, schoolhouse quilts were popular in the late 19th century and continued into the 1920's and 1930's.   "For rural women of the late nineteenth century, teaching was both the most prestigious and the highest paying opportunity available to them. The Schoolhouse pattern, which became popular at the same time, may reflect the lives of the many women who helped support their families through teaching positions, prior to their marriage."

My quilt measures  40" x 46".  The sawtooth blocks are 6" finished and the schoolhouse block is 12" finished.  I paper pieced the schoolhouse block for greater accuracy, as when I put the block into EQ8, I did not like the rotary cutting measurements it gave me.  I don't do 1/16".....at all.  Paper piecing saved the day!

Island Batik provided me with the beautiful line of fabric, Blue Moon.  I'm thinking of adding a crescent moon and calling it "Once in a Blue Moon".....what do you think?  Hobbs Batting provided my favorite batting to use, Heirloom Premium 80/20 Cotton batting.  I love the way it gives my quilt the flatter, traditional look of antique quilts.  Since I use my domestic sewing machine, it is much less bulk to move through the harp of the machine, and easier on my back.  I used my walking foot and created a "hash-tag" quilting. That strip of blue you see on the right hand side is painters tape.  I like to use it to mark my lines.   The blue thread was provided by Aurifil ....looks great on this quilt.  

Do you have a favorite vintage quilt or quilt block? 

Monday, April 9, 2018

A New Technique for me

The challenge for our March Island Batik process was to try a technique that is new to me.  It was hard to find something that I have not attempted to do, but then I remembered that I wanted to learn to use a Quick Curve Ruler by Sew Kind of Wonderful.  I purchased both rulers and decided to use the larger one to make a table runner.

When you purchase the rulers, there is a project sheet included with great directions on how to use this ruler.  It was so easy!  I chose some yummy Island Batik fat-quarters from the Spring Bloom
collection provided to me by Island Batik.

I quickly cut out the pieces as shown above, and laid them out next to my sewing machine.

The blocks were sewn up in no time at all....and without using pins!

Laid the blocks out, sewed them together and had a table runner in no time at all!

It looks great on my table with the daffodils I managed to save from Mother Nature's joke on us.  We just came back from wintering in South Texas....and it is very cold and snowing here!

I have to brag about my sweet little bunny rabbit...my 13 year old grandson loves to make things and he made this adorable bunny for me.  I love it!

Although I love wintering in South Texas, I am so happy to be home.  I missed my grand-kids and my sewing room.  So....its cold outside and I plan to hibernate in my sewing room today!  What are you doing?  Hope you are having some good creative sewing time today.....

grace and peace....Sharon

Oh...and Bella is happy to be home again...her house has stopped moving!


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The twins are here!

So...a friend from high school contacted me when she found out she was going to be a Grandmother, and asked me to create a quilt for her new grandchild.  The new parents are decorating the nursery with an underwater theme.  So of course I had to say yes!

A few weeks later I received a picture of the sonogram.....and there were two little beans in the sonogram. So we needed two quilts!

And here they are....just in time for the boys to arrive! 

It was so much fun to make these quilts! 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Island Batik Ambassador Mini-Love Quilt

February has gone in a flash for me!  What about you?  The end of the month sort of snuck up on me!

This month, Island Batik challenged the Ambassadors to create a mini-love quilt.  I decided to use the beautiful pinks and reds provided by Island Batik to create this little heart quilt.  We are on Winter Holiday and it has been hard to find my mojo and sewing time.  The beach is calling!  But we have had some not so great weather here in South Texas, so I have been forced to stay inside.  I decided to use that time to hand quilt my little quilt and binge on Homeland.  The other reason I hand quilted is because I left my walking foot at home!  I ordered another one, and unfortunately it did not get here in time.  The tales of a RV traveling quilter!  And the 40 mile an hour winds the past few days have not been conducive to taking a picture! So bear with me....

Here at the RV park we have quilting on Wednesday afternoon....so, I think I will go and get a head start on my March project!  I bought a Sew Kind of Wonderful ruler and decided to give that a try  Curves are not my thing...but I love the look of curves in a quilt.

I am happy with how this turned out...stay tuned for a tutorial in the next few days.  This is nice and simple. 

Grace and peace....Sharon

Linking to: 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Island Batik box of goodness!

Last week the Fed Ex guy was highly sought after all over by women waiting for a 22 pound box of fabric from Island Batik.  If only he knew...right?  It's like Christmas, but even better in my opinion.

“The products featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik.” 

The box of goodness included fabric from Island Batik, batting from Hobbs Batting, and thread from Aurifil...wow!  See what I mean?  Better than Christmas!  I pulled out the beautiful pinks and reds for my Mini-Love project and I hope to share with you soon.  I'm having a hard time deciding what to create.

This year I am proud to be an Island Batik Ambassador again.  This is my second year.  I had so much fun last year, and I am thrilled to be chosen to represent Island Batik again.  Sewing with their fabric is a delight.  The fabric are designed by their lead designer, Kathy Engle, along with additional fabric artists and designers.  All of the fabrics are handmade in Bali by skilled artisians.  Every yard of fabric is created using a wax resist method, and laid out in the sun to dry. 

Check back to see my mini-Love project! Several of the other Ambassadors are quick and have started to post their projects, so check them out here:

Island Batik Ambassadors

Barbara at Bejeweled Quilts
Bea at BeaQuilter
Carole at Carole Lyles Shaw
Connie at Kauffman Designs
Dione at Clever Chameleon
Geraldine at Living Water Quilter
Janet at Whispers of Yore
Jeanette at Inchworm Fabrics
Jennifer at Curlicue Creations
Jennifer at Dizzy Quilter
Jennifer at Inquiring Quilter
Jessica at Desert Bloom Quilting (you are here!)
Joyce at heARTs Creations
Kathleen at Kathleen McMusing
Laura at Slice of Pi Quilts 
Leanne at Devoted Quilter
Mania at Mania for Quilts
Maryellen at Mary Mack Made Mine
Michelle at Creative Blonde
Pamela at PamelaQuilts
Sally at Sally Manke
Sandra at MMM Quilts
Stephanie at Steph Jacobson

I'm a bit slow, because I am on Winter Holiday for 3 months in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas...I miss my sewing room!  Sewing in an RV is not impossible, but a challenge at times!

grace and peace....

Saturday, January 20, 2018

It's a bit fishy to me.....

This week has been a good week to stay in and sew....I think all over the country, even in south Texas where its supposed to be nice and warm!  Let's hope that the freeze warnings are a thing of the past now!

So...this is what I am working on.  A good friend of mine asked me to make a quilt for her new grand-baby coming in March, and the nursery has an underwater theme.  So of course I said yes!  A few weeks later she sent me a copy of the sonogram...there were 2 little beans.  Twin boys!  And of course I am happy to make 2 quilts...why not?  So far, this is what I have:

Today I will applique around the edges by machine.  I think it is pretty cute!  Still need to add some seaweed and maybe a lobster or a crab or a starfish.....what do you think?  You can find the pattern here on Craftsy.  Very simple and you can put whatever you want in the white space.  I have EQ 8 and was able to print off applique templates from there and draw some on my own.

Then I will go for a walk in the sun and sit in the sun to finish a book I am reading.  "Before We Were Yours" is what I am currently reading.  It's fiction, but the events are true.  It's amazing story so far.

Hope your weekend is shaping up with some sewing, and don't forget to continue on the Island Batik Four Seasons blog hop next week.  Last week was Spring...this week Summer.  Here is the schedule for you to follow:


 And, you can still comment and win a prize from me if you go to my previous blog post.  My patterns will continue to be on sale for $5 until the end of January, too.

Grace and Peace....Sharon

Linking to:  Whoop! Whoop!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Four Seasons Blog Hop

Today is my day to show off some gorgeous fabric.  I was so excited to open my box of fabric from Island Batik and receive a large bundle of Southern Blooms, which should be arriving in stores very soon.   You will want to follow the Four Seasons blog hop and feast your eyes on beautiful quilts, and a chance to win prizes.

I wanted to make a quilt that really showed off the beautiful colors and how well they all play with each other.  So I designed a quilt using 2 simple blocks, the uneven 9 patch and a friendship star.  In my minds eye, I could see a quilt that looked like a beautiful spring day.  Spring is one of my very favorite seasons....I love the awakening of colors and new life.

It became a challenge to get this quilt finished in time.  I wanted to have it done by Christmas, but that did not happen since I came down with a virus that lasted 3 weeks.  Not only did that virus take away my voice, but my energy and mojo!  Then we headed for Texas and once we got settled in I started working away.  Normally I can go over to the Community Building and sew, but sometimes there are other activities going on and I have to make do and sew in the RV.  Machine quilting in the RV on my little Janome was a bit of a challenge, but i got it done just in the nick of time!

Can you find the little friendship stars scattered about in the quilt?


The quilting on this is my go to quilting when I need to get something finished quickly....wavy plaid.  This time I did it with my free motion foot and it worked out great. (could not find my walking foot...didn't get packed!)  On the border is just some loops and paisley designs.

Now on to the fun stuff!  Prizes! Be sure to head over to Island Batik and get in on the prizes there.  And check out the other bloggers as they have a give away happening on their blogs.  
I have a bundle of fabric for you...5 fat-quarters of the Southern Blooms from Island Batik and the pattern for Awakening.

To win, please leave a comment as to your favorite season of the year.

And one more thing....all of my patterns are on sale for $5 at Craftsy until the blog hop ends!

Thanks for stopping by today!