Author Archives: Jo

Community Quilts from Ray

I have gotten several emails from Ray lately.  He’s been so busy tackling his pile of community quilts.  Here are two of his recent finishes and a mail call.

Ray writes:
In the most recent package of Cresco ladies’ quilt tops was this wonderful quilt. When I looked at it, I was touched by the messages in the quilt.  With so much negativity flying around, I hung on to the positivity in this gem. Needless to say, it kept calling to me to long arm it so that its message could be seen and heard by others. So here it is.

It is a panel quilt with wide floral print borders. I used a simple stipple motif with white thread.


I found the red backing fabric in the stash from Deb and Pat in FL.

Since I use the backing trimmings for my bindings, I am always checking to see how the backing will look as binding. Love the way the red sets off the quilt. My thanks to you, the Cresco ladies, Pat, and Deb. May you all be blessed.

Here is quilt #2…
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Community Quilts from Ray

I have emails to share with you from Ray.  He is still enjoying the break from customer quilts.  He does many quilts for snowbirds so over the summer he has more free time.  That’s why you all have been seeing lots of quilts from Ray.  When he doesn’t have customer quilts, he fights to squeeze in a few charity quilts.  I so appreciate his hard work and dedication to helping others!!

Ray got in a couple of quilt donations…He writes:
I received an email from Nancy M. a week ago asking if my church was having an Airing of the Quilts again. I told her it was, a date had not been set but it would probably be in March again. She was glad to hear that as she had two quilt tops that she thought would be ideal for the Airing. I asked her to please send them and I would be happy to long arm them for the show/sale. They came in the mail and are gorgeous. The pictures do not do them justice.

The first quilt is a stack and slash made entirely of batiks. The colors are so bold and bright and cheery. The blue border really sets it off. It is 48 x 56.

The second quilt she calls Maui Stars. Nancy made this quilt for a class she was to teach in Maui. She is not sure it is totally original as there are so many star patterns out there. Again it is all batiks. This one is 52 x 66.

I am positive that they will be major attention-getters at the Airing. Thank you, Nancy.”

Ray finished some more quilts…check these out… Continue reading

Busy Bakers Making Brownies

Georgia is a really busy girl.  I’ve told you all before that she is full of spunk and attitude.  She is too smart for her own good and is a little mischief maker.  She can really keep a mom (or a grandma) on their toes.  By far, she ranks high on the list of kiddos that need lots of attention…and I took care of Carver so that is saying a lot.

We all love her just the way she is but we all often find ourselves saying, “That’s just Georgia”.

On the other hand, she can be as sweet as can be.  She’s very concerned and thoughful.  We just never never know if we’re going to get sweetness or spunk and that’s what makes taking care of her always interesting.

Kelli has taken to baking with Georgia a lot.  It’s hard with the twins to have a lot of time with her as there and the household tasks that need to get done and the boys to take care of too.

As part of a way to spend time with her, keep her out of trouble and get some household chores done, Kelli has started involving Georgie in making supper as often as she is interested.

I think they make a great cooking duo.


Today they are making my brownie recipe.  You can see that Kelli has written recipes that are family favorites in the inside of her big Betty Crocker cookbook.


The recipe has a long family history.

Long about 1988 Kramer was chosen as a “Minnesota Young Farmer”.  We were living in Minnesota then and milking cows.  That seems like a lifetime ago.  We were so excited as with the distinction they sent us to a conference in the Twin Cities.  I went with and enjoyed some alone time while he was attending meetings.

One night spouses were invited to come and they had a big catered meal.  Gift bags were handed out and in my gift bag was this recipe book.

I took that book home and have made many things from the book.  Several of the recipes have stuck with our family…the brownies have been made likely about 2-3 times a month since I got the book.  Many childcare kiddos have ate many of my brownies.

This is the original recipe from the book.  I’ve come to modify it slightly…21 minutes is it for cooking time.  They will seem a little soft, but stick with the 21 minutes in a PRE HEATED oven.

Now it’s Georgie’s turn to be making the brownies.


She is great with the scoop.

I make lots of modifications to this recipe some I’ve already told you about…but those are all a little fancier and take more time to make.  Fruit Brownie Pizza,  Brownie Delight, and Smores brownies..all use this basic brownie recipe…and ALL are excellent family favorites.

What I make most often with the recipe are these….brownies in silicone cupcake liners.

All I do is mix up the recipe above making sure to use BUTTER.  Then fill the cups and bake them in a PRE HEATED oven for 20 minutes.  Them may not seem done but trust me, they are.


I highly recommend silicone cupcake liners like I have.  I think it’s what makes them even more yummy.  A friend of mine had given them to me after she didn’t use them.  She was taking them to Goodwill and I said sure.  I use these ALL THE TIME for any cupcakes I make.  I like them WAY better than regular paper liners and cupcake pans.  Amazon has many varieties to choose from.  If you are buying them I recommend getting more than 12 in a set.  I have 24 and that covers most any cupcake/muffin/brownie recipe that I have.

I will admit that the liners are a bit of a pain to wash.  I’ve learned to toss them into the dishwasher.  It does a pretty good job.

If a recipe has stuck with our family for over 30 years, and moving on to the next generation, you can bet it’s a keeper.

Cross Stitch Update

First off those of you who know I was back for a cancer checkup yesterday might be wondering how it went.  From what I know so far, okay and I’ll tell you more about it once all of the tests come in.  As of writing this, I’m still waiting on one number and don’t want to elaborate on it until that piece of blood work comes in.

Now to today’s post…
Before I show you my stitching today I’m going to answer a few comments that recently came in.  First off is a comment from Carla.

She commented:
I’m having a really hard time getting all the threads for the Anniversaries of the Heart piece. I plan to make that my new year start. I know you use some DMC floss as well as the over-dyed ones and I’ll most likely follow that plan as well. Still, I’m finding myself doing a lot of second-guessing. I did pick up a cute wooden tray/ bowl thing while thrifting. I like the idea of filling it with freebies. You did a fabulous job with the finishing and I will be using your ideas (having none of my own ). Blessings!


STOP!!  PLEASE STOP and read this first.

Last year I was right where you are.  I was trying to search and find all of the charts.  I was searching and trying to find all of the threads.  I was frustrated and ready to give up.  This was to be an heirloom piece for my family.  I was not going to skrimp and not do this up to the fullest.  I was going to get every pattern immediately.  I was going to get every floss in overdyed.  I started out with buying the floss for the first three months.  I figured when I got the second block finished I would buy the thread for the next three months.

Well, I had done some research.  I learned that some people don’t like the colors of the first January block.  I found THIS WEBSITE that has a color conversion.  I liked that better so I bought the threads for the conversion and planned to stitch it using that.

I did some other investigation on the site and found THIS PAGE.  I found out that the full size all stitched together is 387w x 261h.  For newbies that means it’s 387 stitches wide and 261 stitches tall.  This is if you stitch it the traditional way like I am…three rows high and five across.

I was able to buy one fat quarter of fabric as I stitched mine on 40 count linen with a 2″ border all the way around.  If you are stitching on a lower count, you will need more than a fat quarter.  If you need help figuring that out, let me know.

BUT…there are other layouts.  This… Continue reading