Friday, October 14, 2016

Wistful Winds Blog Tour Stop

Welcome to my stop on the Wistful Winds Blog Tour!

The blog tour is almost at an end and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of it. I follow an incredibly talented group of Makers! Did you see the great things they made?!  Scroll down for the full list and links. 

The next, and final stop is the designer herself, Shari Butler of Doohikey Designs.  You don't want to miss her heart warming post.  Shari shares her story about the inspiration for her new collection. 

When I saw this fabric collection with all the bright "HAPPY" colors, I knew it would be a perfect match for the "Sunkissed Blossoms" quilt pattern I designed. I added borders to one of the quilt blocks to create this fun pillow. All the bright, vibrant colors are inspiring! I know you will be inspired by them too!

I usually don't bind my pillow covers but this multi colored stripe is the perfect finish to this pillow cover. Don't you agree? 

A simple crosshatch quilting really enhanced the pillow nicely. 
It's my fav type of straight line quilting!

Wistful Winds is so inspiring that I've already planned a mate to this pillow. The yellow is a beautiful shade and such a happy color that I want to make it the star of the pillow.  

If this collection has sparked your creativity like it has mine, it will be in stock in my Etsy shop starting 10/25/16.  Follow me on Instagram for more info. 

To see the full Wistful Winds collection visit Riley Blake Designs

I hope you enjoyed your stop here!  
If you like my Sunkissed Blossoms block, I'm happy to say the quilt pattern is currently in the testing stages and will be ready for purchase soon. (yay!)

Now hop on over to Shari's blog for the last stop on the tour and find out more about this fabulous fabric collection.  

©2016 Tillalili, LLC - All rights reserved
The contents of this blog post is protected by copyright law.  No portion of this post may be copied without prior written permission of Tillalili, LLC.  Photos are the sole property of Tillalili, LLC.  
Wistful Winds Logo property of Doohikey Designs. Riley Blake Designs Logo property of Riley Blake Designs. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

My Minestrone Soup

It's getting to be that time of year in New England. There's a crispness in the air, the leaves are turning colors, and the nights are getting chilly. 

It's the time of year when I start making home made soups and chili. I love to start with a recipe and make it my own, or make it even better in most cases. My version of Minestrone soup is like Minestrone and Vegetable soup in one. It's easy, fast, and yummy! 

I get so many requests for this recipe on Instagram that I thought it would be easier to share it here. Hope you like it! 

Tip:  Emeril's Organic soup stock is the best I've ever used. It's worth the extra $1 to have a better tasting soup.  Since trying it I won't use anything else.  

Your grocery list:

  • 1 lb of chicken sausage. Cut the casings open and remove sausage. Discard casings. Break up sausage into small pieces. 
  • 1 small sweet onion (Vidalia) - chopped fine
  • 32 oz box Emeril's Organic Beef Stock (you won't be sorry)
  • 1 cup Red Cooking Wine (any brand) 
  • 1 28 oz. can Crushed Tomatoes w/basil
  • 1 15 oz. can Kidney Beans - drain and rinse
  • 1 10 oz package Frozen Corn
  • 1 10 oz package Frozen Mixed Vegetables (or substitute frozen green beans)
  • 1 15 oz can Whole White Potatoes - drain, rinse, and cube
  • 2 small Fresh Zucchini - wash, cut into small pieces
  • 2 cups Baby Shells Pasta #46 or your fav soup pasta

Substitute vegetable stock and leave out the sausage. 
Add an extra can of kidney beans or white beans. 

Spices you need:
  • 2 tsp. Dried Basil 
  • 2 tsp. Dried Parsley
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper

Note:  When is the last time you bought spices?  Most spices have a shelf life of a year or less.  If your spices have been in the cabinet since last Winter, (or longer), do yourself a favor and purchase a new Basil and a Parsley. 

  1. In a Dutch Oven or large pot on medium heat, lightly brown the sausage.
  2. Add chopped onion; cook 2 more minutes (do not brown onion).
  3. Add beef broth, tomatoes, wine, and all the spices. 
  4. Add the kidney beans, frozen corn, frozen veggies, cubed potatoes. 
  5. Bring to a boil. 
  6. Reduce heat to simmer. Add zucchini. 
  7. Simmer for 1 to 2 hours, or until zucchini is translucent and cooked. 

In a separate pot cook pasta al dente per the package directions. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Add the pasta to the soup just before serving. 

Spoon individual servings into containers and freeze for home made soup any time.

Bon Apetite!

Let me know how you like it. 

©2008-2019 Gwen Sager - All rights reserved.  No portion of this recipe may be copied or used without the written permission of the copyright holder.  This recipe is for personal use and cannot be used for commercial purposes without written consent of the copyright holder. Photos are property of Gwen Sager.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Wistful Winds Blog Hop

I'm excited to have been chosen to be a part of the Wistful Winds Blog Hop!
Below is the schedule of all the talented makers I am proud to be among so you can follow along.  Don't forget to stop by on Friday, October 14th for my turn. (yay!)

Be sure to check out the entire Wistful Winds collection by Doohikey Designs over at Riley Blake Designs

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Maple Street Table Runner

a fast, easy, and FREE table runner tutorial for Fall
Fat Quarter Friendly

This pattern is named after a special place in my life... the street where I grew up.
It was my parents' first home, and a place full of fun family memories.    

To make this table runner you will need 4 different fabrics for the leaves (fat quarters),  

4 complimentary fabrics for the stems (scraps),  a neutral background fabric, 
2 complimentary fabrics for the borders, and 1 for the binding.

For each LEAF block you will need to cut the following:

Leaf Print:

(1) 5" x 5"
(1) 8 1/2" x 4 1/2"
(1) 12 1/2" x 4 1/2"


(1) 5" x 5"
(2) 4" x 4"
(3) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2"

Stem Print:

(1) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2"

The fasted way to construct the runner is to chain piece the block pieces.
If you prefer to make one block at a time that's okay too.
Please READ each step completely to avoid the seam ripper.

RST = Right Sides Together

HST=  Half  Square Triangle
WOF = Width of Fabric

Use a 1/4" Seam allowance unless otherwise stated.

It's important your 1/4" seam allowance is accurate.   If your seam allowance is too generous your finished pieces will be too small. 

  • Click on any photo to enlarge and view details.

1.  Start by drawing a diagonal line on the back of all the 4" x 4" and 5" x 5"  background squares.
    Set aside (4) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" background squares.

    Draw a diagonal line on the back of the remaining 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" background squares.

2.  Layer a marked 5" background square on a 5" leaf 
      print, RST. Repeat with remaining 5" squares.
     Pin in place.
    (top corner is pinned down for illustration purposes only)

3.  Layer a marked 4 1/2" background square on the left
     end of the 12  1/2" x 4 1/2" leaf print RST.  
     Note the direction of the diagonal line. Pin in place.
     Repeat with remaining 12 1/2" x 4 1/2" leaf prints. 

4.  Layer a marked 4 1/2" background square on the left
      end of  the 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" leaf print RST.
     Note the direction of the diagonal line.  Pin in place.
     Repeat with remaining 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" leaf prints. 

5.  Layer 1 marked 4" background square on a 4 1/2" stem square RST matching the outer corners. (shown in step 8)  Repeat with remaining stem prints. 

6.  Start with the 5" squares, stitch 1/4" from the diagonal line.  
     Turn and stitch on the other side 1/4" from the diagonal line.

7.  Stitch on the line for all the 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangles and the 12 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangles.

8.  Stitch on the line for all the 4 1/2" stem prints. 

9.  Time to cut and trim. 
  • Cut all the 5" leaf squares in half on the diagonal marked line.
  • Trim all the rectangles 1/4" from the stitching line.  Set corners aside for border. 
  • Trim all the stem prints a 1/4" from the stitching line. Set pinned portions (triangles) aside for the border.

                        5" leaf square                    leaf rectangles                            stem square

10.  Time to press.  Dry Iron, No Steam, No Starch

  • 5" leaf square halves: Press to background.  Square up to 4 1/2".  Turn over & press seams open.
  • Leaf Rectangles:   Press open to the background.  Turn over and press seams open.
  • Stem Square:   Press open to the background. 

11.  Finishing the stem squares.  (do this step for all 4 stem squares.)

       Layer a 4" background square on the opposite corner of the prepared stem square.  

       Pin in place.  Stitch on the line.   Trim 1/4" from the stitching and set aside the pinned   portion.  Press open to the background. 

12.  Layout your leaf block as shown paying attention to the direction of the HSTs in the top row.
       You should have a 4 1/2" background square for the top row you set aside earlier.
       Both HSTs go in the top row. 

       The 12 1/2" rectangle goes in the center.
       The 8 1/2" rectangle goes in the bottom row with the prepared stem. 

13.   Sewing the pieces.

  • Start with the top row.   Sew the squares together.  Press open to the left towards the solid background square.
  • Center row is already done.
  • Sew the leaf rectangle to the stem square.  Press open to the leaf  rectangle. 

14.  Sewing the rows.

  • Sew the top row to the middle row.  Press open to the top row. 
  • Sew the middle row to the bottom row.  Press open to the center row. 

 note:   if you turn your block over the horizontal seams should be facing up.

TIP:  If you're not sure which way to press, whatever fabric is on top when pressing is the
          direction you are pressing to.   For example, with RST, if the back of the leaf print is on top, you are 

          pressing open to the leaf print. 

15.  Layout your finished leaf blocks.  

       Stitch your blocks together.  Press open to the right toward the HSTs.  

16.  Borders
       Your table runner should measure 12 1/2" x 48".   
       I like to cut my border strips a little longer than needed.  I rather trim off a little than run short.

Inner Border:
       From your inner border fabric, cut (3) strips 1 1/2" x WOF.  
       Trim off the selvages and sew all 3 strips together on the 1 1/2" end.  
       Subcut 1 strip 49".  Starting from the opposite end of the strip, subcut 1 strip 49".  
       Cutting from opposite ends will give you the same amount of pieced fabric on each strip. 
       Cut the remainder of the strip in half, OR cut (2) 14 1/2" x 1 1/2" from the remainder.
  • Sew the 49" strips on first.  Trim excess.  Press open to the border.
  • Sew the short strips on the ends. Trim excess. Press open to the border.

Outer Border: 
       Take the corners (triangles) you trimmed off during construction and stitch them RST together on the cut edge, RST.  Make 10.

       Press open to the background fabric.  Square to 2 1/2" x 2 1/2". 
       Flip the units over and press seams open to help reduce bulk. Stitch 5 prepared HSTs together to create a strip you will sew onto the border strip. Make 2. 

      From your outer border fabric cut (3) 2 1/2" x WOF.  Trim the selvage off.  
  • Sew a HST strip to the 2 1/2" end of 1 border strip.  
  • Sew a HST strip to the opposite end of another border strip. (see photo below)
  • Starting at the end with the HSTs, sew on the outer border on both long sides. Trim off excess.  Press open to the inner border.  (note: Pressing this step is easier from the back. Then turn the runner over and press the top.)
  • Sew the end border pieces on.  Trim off excess.  Press open to the outer border.

17.   Finishing
        Sandwich your table runner top with a layer of batting and backing fabric.
        Quilt as desired.  Square up.  Bind with your favorite binding method. 

TIP:  Low loft batting is better for a table runner. 
          A crib size batting cut in half lengthwise will make 2 table runners. 

I hope you enjoy making this table runner.  I would love to see your creations. 

Please use the following hashtags when posting your photos on Instagram.
Be sure to tag me too @tillalili.  Thanks! 

As seen on:

Maple Street tutorial designed by Gwen Sager of  Tillalili.
©2016 Tillalili, LLC - All rights reserved
The contents of this blog post is protected by copyright law.  No portion of this post may be copied without prior written permission of Tillalili, LLC.  Photos are the sole property of Tillalili, LLC.