Friday, April 2, 2010

McCall's Quilting Magazine: Promise of Summer

The May/June 2010, McCall's Quilting Magazine's cover is fantastic! It shows "Yesterday & Today: Birds & Blooms", a quilted wall hanging, made by Pat Sloan (pretty applique on black background), and "Stash Dash", a quilt made by Julia LaBauve and Tammy Silvers. Both very pretty, colorful quilts for summer. I'm especially glad to see Pat's quilt on the cover, as I'm writing about her in my next NuzLetter (out soon!).

I've been busy sewing, non-stop, since November. This is the first of a slew of quilts you'll be seeing in McCall's Quilting and Quick Quilts magazines, this year. The May/June 2010 Issue is on newsstands, now!

Images compliments of McCall's Quilting, May/June 2010 Issue

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Poll: Which Pre-cut Fabric Packs Do You Like To Use?

All images courtesy of Moda/United Notions

We have a new poll out to see what you like best. You can select multiple answers.

Do you Like Jelly Rolls?

Layer Cakes?

Honey Buns?

Charm Packs?

Fat Quarter Bundles?

Let us know by casting your vote, now!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Homemade Chocolate Eggs (Peanutbutter, too!)

A few years ago, I signed up to receive a few different e-mail newsletters. Jen Hubley is the author and in today's e-mail, she offers two links for recipes on making chocolate eggs.

The recipes are compliments of Elizabeth LaBau of the Candy Guide. Elizabeth is a pastry chef and confectioner and you can read all about her, here. And if you enjoy making sweet confections, check out her candy blog, where you can find a few other chocolate egg recipes.

Double Chocolate Easter Eggs
These beautiful flowered Easter eggs have a chocolate-walnut filling and a deep, dark chocolate coating. The marshmallow flowers are optional but add a beautiful finishing touch.
Prep Time: 20 minutes


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 package (5.25 oz) chocolate pudding mix, not instant
1/2 cup milk
1 lb powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate (can substitute bittersweet)
1 tbsp shortening
34 miniature marshmallows (optional; see note below)
colored sugar or sprinkles (optional; see note below)

1. Place the butter in a medium saucepan and heat it over medium until the butter is melted. Pour in the pudding mix and stir until smooth and well-combined.

2. Slowly pour in the milk and continue to stir until mixture is smooth. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring, until mixture is very thick and pulls from the sides of the pan.

3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in the walnuts and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

4. Form the mixture into about 20 egg shapes and place on foil-lined baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

5. While candy is setting, melt the unsweetened chocolate and shortening together in the microwave. Allow it to cool, but not set. If it begins to harden before candy is ready to be dipped, re-warm it in the microwave briefly.

6. Dip the eggs in the melted chocolate using two forks or dipping tools. Place them back on the baking sheet. If you are decorating with the optional marshmallow flowers (see below), place them on the eggs while the chocolate is still wet. Place the eggs back in the refrigerator to set completely.

To Make Decorative Marshmallow Flowers: Using a sharp knife, cut the mini marshmallows in thirds. Dip one cut end of each marshmallow segment in colored sugar. Arrange five segments in a flower shape on the wet chocolate eggs.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Easter Eggs
Chocolate and peanut butter are a natural flavor combination that shines in this festive recipe for Chocolate-Peanut Butter Easter Eggs. If you want to increase the peanut flavor you can substitute more peanut butter for some or all of the cream cheese. If desired, you can use regular chocolate instead of the chocolate coating the recipe calls for. The coating is easier because it will remain hard at room temperature, while regular chocolate gets soft and sticky when warm. This recipe yields about 2 dozen eggs.
Prep Time: 15 minutes


1.5-2 cups powdered sugar
3 ounces (about 1/2 cup) chocolate chips, melted
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp hot water
3 tbsp peanut butter
1/8 tsp salt
1 lb chocolate candy coating
1/4 cup peanut butter chips (to decorate, optional)

1. Place the melted chocolate chips, cream cheese, vanilla, hot water, peanut butter, salt, and 1 cup of powdered sugar in the bowl of a large electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix the ingredients until the candy is well-mixed and homogenous.

2. Stop the mixer and add an additional 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. Mix the candy on low, stopping to scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl, until it is entirely mixed and smooth. Check the texture of the candy: you want it to be firm enough to easily be shaped into an egg, but not too dry and stiff. If necessary, add more powdered sugar to get the right texture.

3. Using a spoon, scoop up a small amount of candy and roll it between your hands until it is an oblong egg shape. Place it on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and repeat with remaining candy until you have approximately two dozen eggs.

4. Put the eggs in the refrigerator to stay firm while you melt the chocolate candy coating. Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in one-minute increments until melted, stirring after every minute to prevent overheating.

5. Once the chocolate is melted, dip the eggs in the chocolate and replace them on the foil-covered sheet.

6. If you want to add decorative peanut butter stripes, place the peanut butter chips in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until melted, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating. Pour the melted chips into a ziploc bag, and cut a tiny hole in the corner. Pipe stripes, polka dots, or other designs of your choice on the eggs.

7.Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set the chocolate and peanut butter chips. Chocolate-Peanut Butter Easter Eggs can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week. They are best served at room temperature.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Creativity at it's finest . . .

One of my favorite new blogs to follow is Cherry House Quilts. And it's not that I have lots of time on my hands to follow, but it is one that's great to glance at . . . and read, if something catches your eye. And a lot catches mine . . .

Check out her latest blog entry . . . Truly, creativity at it's finest!