Buckle up!

It’s not that we’re putting any pedals to metal, it’s just that this month is going to fly by because we’ve got a lot to share.  A lot.

Seriously.  A. Lot.

Starting with… there’s a big announcement coming on Thursday.  Okay, it’s been hinted at, suggested, mentioned in passing before but it’s official on Thursday with details, rules, themes and so on.  We’re partnering with Spoonflower for a new fabric design contest – Fabric8.


Do you know about Spoonflower?  They’re a really cool company that essentially prints fabric and other products on demand.  You can create your own artwork and upload the image, or you can choose something from the Spoonflower Marketplace where independent artists earn commissions from the sales of fabric printed with their design.  After choosing the image, you get to choose the type of product – fabric, wallpaper or gift wrap.  After that’s been selected, the order is placed and the nice folks at Spoonflower will make it special just for you.  That’s right, it’s made just for you.  After the fabric, wallpaper or gift wrap is printed, it’s hand-cut, processed and shipped to you.  (Just so you know… I may or may not have purchased fabric from Spoonflower in my prior life.  It’s a lot of fun and the designs are really cool – and more are added every day.  Just saying.)


Images: Clockwise from Upper-Left – A Jewel of Fruit by Inscribed_here.  A Nod to the House Bird by Katerhees.  Foliage by Friedbologna.  Floral of Coral, Mint & Black by Catalinakim.

So have you ever wanted to design fabric – see it in print, on cotton, with your name on the selvage?  That just might happen… details on Thursday morning.  If you’re curious, Spoonflower has done all sorts of design contests over the years with some truly amazing designs created.  If you don’t believe me, here is a sampling

So Thursday – July 9th.  Be here.

The other big thing to share today is about “Favorite Finds”.

A few weeks ago, we asked some of our favorite people to send us a list of five “somethings” that they’d discovered recently and were crushing on.  It could be anything – a sewing tool, shop, song/book/TV show/movie, a restaurant or food, tech toy or gadget and so on.

I confess that when the idea for this came up, I wasn’t sure how this would be listed… so-and-so likes these five things, what’s-her-name likes these five things, etc.  But when the lists arrived, it quickly became apparent that listing them by subject would be a whole lot more fun.  Since everybody we asked is a quilter and everybody knows that quilters do love food… that’s where we’ll start.

Big surprise – almost every time something edible was mentioned as a “favorite find”, it was a dessert.  Nobody cited a favorite vegan recipe or an amazing source for fermented tofu.  I know – I was shocked too.  Sweet Moda designer Brenda Riddle thought of her beloved Bailey and included Charlie Bears on her list…


And Deb Strain included her favorite comfort food recipe for a Super Easy Cheese Soup that sounds really, really good.

photo 1A

Of course, Deb also mentioned something about peanut butter cups…


The next time you make s’mores, use a peanut butter cup instead of – or in addition to – the chocolate bar.  YUM!

This one made me laugh – only because it shows that most of us don’t just hoard/stash fabric.  Come on… admit it.  There’s something you love enough that you buy it in bulk when you see it and you worry that the day will come when it’s discontinued and you can’t get it anymore.

Lipton Black Tea with Caramel

This is how Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts explained it, “this is definitely my favorite daily drink. Our local Safeway doesn’t carry it anymore so we literally order it by the case from Amazon. It is a black tea with no sugar added, but it has the most wonderful aroma of vanilla and caramel. I drink it hot in the winter and iced in the summer. In fact I have a giant glass of it right now
while I am writing this to you. I take it with me when I travel. If you can find it, you should really try it.”

Still… it isn’t every day you can say that you know of someone who went to Paris and brought her own tea.

Kate Spain likes Chocolate Chip Cookies and recommends the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from America’s Test Kitchen.  (I’m sorry but you have to be a member to view the recipe… but maybe you’d like a free trial.)


Janice and Marcea of Abbey Lane Quilts both mentioned sweets.  Marcea loves the Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory –


… and Janice stashes Peanut M&Ms.


Or at least she tries to – and she loves the different holiday color assortments.  Janice is also a big fan of the half-price Route 44s from Sonic… or she was.  While she still likes the soda, she figured out that what she really loved was munching the soft ice.  So she splurged and bought a pellet ice-maker and now she has “Sonic-like” drinks any time she wants it.  Genius!

Sherri Falls of This & That loves Boston Creme Pie – and so does her family.  (Sherri also loves riding her bike so that must be how she stays so gorgeous and young.)


I don’t know if the restaurants in Minneapolis serve Boston Creme Pie but if you’re looking for a great dessert in the Twin Cities, talk to Doug Leko of Antler Quilt Designs.  He enjoys eating out and the dessert offerings are a make-or-break for him when it comes to how good a restaurant is.

You’ll find Karla Eisenach of Sweetwater Designs at McDonald’s, having a Coke.  A girl after my own heart – there are days when nothing else tastes as good as a cold Coca-Cola.


Maggi Honeyman – our uber-quilter here in Dallas – loves the recipes by The Homesick Texan.  Lisa Fain is the author/chef and she has an amazing blog and two mouth-wateringly gorgeous cookbooks, The Homesick Texan Cookbook and  The Homesick Texan’s Family Table.


Banana Pudding with Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies.

And thanks to Betsy Chutchian, I had to stop at Whole Foods on my way home last night.  (Okay, so it wasn’t far from the Bernina shop and I had a sewing machine that needed a tune-up.)  Betsy has a couple of favorites that can only be found there – Seaside Sharp White Cheddar Cheese paired with \olives from the olive bar and Three Wishes Cabernet.  No, I hadn’t heard of Three Wishes before she mentioned it, it’s the Whole Foods alternative to “Two-Buck Chuck”.  (Now, “Three-Buck Chuck.”)  I couldn’t find the Wishes but the cheese is terrific and the olives… let it suffice to say that given how much I love olives, I really should have been born in Greece.

Cutting Table - Whole Foods Cheeseboard

None of those cheese is the Seaside Cheddar but (1) I couldn’t find a good picture of the Seaside Cheddar, (2) I liked this picture – it has cheese, olives and bread, and (3) writing this has made me very hungry.

So what about you?  Do you have a recent find or long-time favorite food that you’ve always got around, or that makes you feel like you’ve treated yourself?  Mine really is that cheese board – I’ll take that over a lovely dessert.  And good bread – really good bread.  And this oh-so-good tuna from Spain – I have some on hand right now courtesy of Laurie Simpson.  She loves it too.


Next time – everybody’s favorite cardio-burn routines!

I’m kidding.

Happy Tuesday!

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18 thoughts on “Buckle up!

  1. I completely understand Joanna Figueroa’s tea stash. My Favorite is Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice (chai type) tea. I only find it in a store occasionally so I order it by the case from Amazon also. And I do take it with me when I travel.

  2. I love that you can get most everything from Amazon if you can’t find it locally! Thanks everyone for some things to check out…..almost from soup to nuts and everything in between!

  3. Thought we were the only ones to search high and low for Charlie Bears for our pups! Our Bailey and Murphy love ’em!! Get them at Trader Joe’s. My new discovery is Scrub Daddy kitchen sponge. Had it for a month now and it’s going strong. On a fabric note, I’m loving the quilt I’m working on with scrappy French General fabrics!!

  4. How fun! At our house it is all about meat….bacon almost every morning unless it is sausage, tuna for lunch, and yep, some kinda meat for supper 🙂 we get ice cream by the gallon and the boys make some fantastic shakes/blizzards! We work out as a family…and pull-ups are our specialty 🙂 But it is coffee in my own orange cup that always makes my day 🙂

  5. I love browsing Spoonflower’s website. I would like to design fabric, but can’t draw. Even my stick people have wonky heads and crazy eyes! Love all the food favorites. I can’t make it without iced tea from Publix, sweetened with ginseng and honey.

  6. By far, my favorite treat and not available here in the east is….. FROZEN CUSTARD! Oh how I long for Culver’s flavor of the day. Once while visiting back home in Wisconsin I hit Culver’s flavor of the day… eclair … real pieces of choc. eclair mixed in. The next day… FRESH strawberries mixed in. Well, maybe it’s a good thing since the ole metabolism ‘ain’t’ what it used to be. 🙂

  7. I’m loving these new Dove chocolate covered cherries (they come in a bag in the candy section of the store), but I have to follow them up with a good cardio routine.

  8. I’m a real big Tea snob. I love love love Harney and Sons tea. I order about 6 or 7 varieties of their flavored loose black tea. I make my own tea sachets and travel everywhere with it. I get teased alot when people see me pull out my tea tin.
    As to other musts haves… Bread is not a passion, it’s a way of life in my family so no need to mention that.
    Oh! Love this Mediterranean restaurant in Irving called Terra. I’m not a huge fan of Med food, but this place… ACK! The bomb! They have buffets all the time and for a picky eater like myself it’s great since I can tip toe out of my comfort zone and try new things. Their roasted cauliflower is yummy yummy and their chicken kebobs are perfection. Needless to say, we hit that place too often to admit to it online.

  9. I’m totally with Joana: Life without English tea is possible, yet pointless!
    We are an English-German family and import tea bags whenever we have a chance in the giant size packages (like 1100 bags in a pack). When we fly to the UK we take an extra empty suitcase to fill it up with tea! Sometimes we even drive over just to have more room for tea and all the things that so nicely go with it – scones, clotted cream, crumpets and some seriously strong cheddar.
    And we take tea bags to wherever in the world we’re travelling (at the moment my husband is in Singapore and my son in Hongkong – and both have English tea bags with them).
    With only about 1500 tea bags in stock at present we desperately try to persuade the English fraction of the family to come over to see us – with the warm weather we have there’s no need for bulky clothes!

  10. Carrie, now you can say you know someone who went to Paris and brought her own tea. I’ve been drinking Murchie’s No. 10 blend for 45 years. I have to order it on line from Canada. On my recent trip to Paris I brought a little baggie filled with teabags so I could have my morning cup.

  11. I have raised three pups for Canine Companions for Independence and their treats are always Charlee Bears. I order Cb’s from Amazon at a good price.

  12. I love cheese, too, and bread! Glad I live here in Germany where the bread is really good and with France and Switzerland nearby there’s also a great cheese selection here.
    I love, love, love Lindt chocolate … also anything with chocolate will do:-) But right now the thing I crave most are homegrown raspberries with milk and Smacks or blueberries (they are almost ready to pick) with greek joghurt, yummy!

  13. My special treat is the Black Forest cake from Swiss Pastry House in Fort Worth. It’s not at all like the American cake of that same name, but rather a more authentic European style cake, where the cake layers are in an airy meringue style. Mm, love that treat!!

  14. A dear friend suggested I look for a contest here with the designs I paint. I have recently had several pieces commissioned, and have wanted to make fabric so that I could make throw pillows instead of painting each one (grins)

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