Saturday, June 30, 2012

Steph's Group- June

We gathered together this week with Steph's Quilt Group, minus Steph, who happened to be vacationing at Newport Beach.
(Another smart lady who knows the right time to escape the Arizona heat)
These are the nicest ladies, who always make me feel so welcome, even though I'm the newbie to the group.
This month we met at their local church building, where there was plenty of room to spread out.

Darling Amanda put together this fun and easy quilt where she let the fabric do the talking.

I was thinking this would be a great way to use up scraps.

Amanda also made this BIG Log Cabin Block quilt, where the fabrics, not the block capture your eye.

Fun machine quilting.

Peg was off to the races, and made a Jelly Roll Race Quilt.

So patriotic with Red, White and Blue.

Peg brought a recent baby quilt finish.

Wonky block in soft flannels.

I am learning from these ladies how easy it can be to make simple baby quilts.
Candice whipped this one up really fast.

She used a fun panel for the center.

And spruced it up using Jumbo ric rac around the edges.

And Candice made us the most delicious lunch! Because we met at the church, I probably would have just set things out on the table. But Candice knows how to do things right, and decorated for the upcoming 4th of July holiday.
I wanted to share with you her Sweet Pork salad recipe because it was so yummy.
I loved it so much, this is what I am making for my family for Sunday dinner.
A great summer recipe that can be made in the crock pot instead of heating up the kitchen:


Marinade(The original recipe call for marinading the pork roast and then cooking it in the crock pot in a coke/water mixture. I don't think you need to do any of that. I did, but I didn't taste anything special about the pork when I shredded it. I think you could just start with 2 lbs. of a pork tenderloin cooked in crockpot - shredded) (if you want)

Put 2 lbs of pork tenderloin in a heavy duty ziploc bag to marinade. Add about 1 and 1/2 cans of coke, 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Marinade for a few hours of overnight. Drain marinade and put pork in crock pot with 1/2 can coke, 1/4 cup water, and garlic salt. Cook on hight for 4 hours or until it shreds easily.

Sweet Sauce

1/2 can of coke

1 can dice green chiles

1 10 oz can of El Paso red enchilada sauce

3/4 cup brown sugar

Place ingredients in a blender. If it looks too thick add more coke little by little. Put in crock pot with 2 lbs shredded pork, Cook on low for 2 hours. Then serve!!


1 buttermilk ranch packet (make following directions on packet w/ buttermilk and mayo)
2 tomatillos
1/2 bunch of cilantro
1 clove of garlic
Juice of 1 lime
1 jalepeno (with seeds so it's spicy)
Blend all together & refrigerate.

Serve pork with lettuce, guacamole, pico de gallo, tortilla strips, parmesan cheese & a tortilla if you want.

Friday, June 29, 2012

h2o Party!

What do you do when it's 113 degrees outside and you have 15 energetic little boys to keep entertained for several hours?
Have an h20 Party!

Happy Birthday to our grandson Isaak who just turned 7.
Our daughter and Son-In-Law hosted a really fun party, that was relatively easy to put together and low $$.
I wanted to share their ideas with you in case you are looking for summer party plans that would work well for birthdays or family reunions.
They were fortunate to be able to reserve the splash pad at a nearby park, but this would also work well with sprinklers on the lawn.

First, Amy went to the dollar store and found these h20 blasters at $1 each.
The blasters also served as the party favor for each child to take home.

Buckets were placed around the perimeter of the splash pad.
Within minutes the boys were pulling the nozzles back on the h20 blasters, and filling the tubes with ammunition.

And then it was every man (or boy) for himself.


Two hours of continual running and screaming.

Amy cut the tops off several plastic milk cartons that could be used for additional water bombardment.

A tent was set up with refreshments, where the boys could run over and grab a snack or drink for fortification.

And then it was back to business.
Such cute little boys.
I was fascinated to watch them organize into rows, shouting "Come Men!" and "Charge" like a Civil War reenactment.
These are 6 and 7 year olds!

At times the h2o blasters were used in sword fights.

Little Miss Fashion Statement felt a little overwhelmed with all loud boy energy going on.
Beach balls were provided for those who preferred to hang out on the sidelines.

Amy had another smart idea.
When it came time for presents, she had Isaak climb up and sit on top of the table.

Where he could open his packages more easily amidst the crush of curiosity.

So sweet to see Isaak hug his little brother Noah as he thanked him for his gift.

And happy mom and dad who didn't seem too exhausted at the end of the party when parents arrived to pick up their children.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Operation Wood Hollow

It's a well documented fact that quilts bring comfort.
When I received an e-mail from Julie Anderson (Having Fun Quilting) with a request for help, I felt prompted to do my part.
I have not met or communicated with Julie before today, but her e-mail and story captured my heart.
Julie lives in the small town of Fairview, Utah, population around 1,200.
Today the entire town was evacuated because of the Wood Hollow fire raging nearby.
As of yesterday, 29 homes have burned to the ground.

Julie asked that I pass this information on to you:

I have decided one way I can help the 29 families who have lost their homes is by giving them a quilt! Unfortunately, I can’t do this on my own. That’s why I’m coming to you for help. On my blog ( I am asking if people would be willing to donate fabric, extra quilt blocks, finished quilt tops, or completed quilts, and join me in this cause to help these families who have been affected by this tragedy. I am calling this “Operation Wood Hollow” because that’s the name of the fire.

I find Julie's efforts commendable, especially when she has been evacuated from her home, too.
We all have fabrics, quilt blocks, or quilt tops we can share.
For donations you can contact Julie through her blog Having Fun Quilting.

I will be sending "3-6-9" in patriotic colors to show my support for the families of Fairview.
My prayers continue with Julie, the families of Fairview, and the firefighters who are working so hard to contain this blaze.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

June Show and Tell

The group that met for our June Nimble Thimbles guild meeting was quite small this month.
With the temps hovering between 108-113 degrees this week, I think the smart people headed out of town.
Consequently, we only had a few bring Show and Tell.

Martha showed us her latest finish, with each block completed by paper piecing.

I see a lot of half square triangles.

Fan Quilt made with a Dresden Plate variation.
Have you noticed all the Dresden Plate quilts that have been featured on quilt blogs lately?

Can you help me remember the name of the block used in this quilt?
Usually the blocks are the same color, creating an 8-pointed star in the middle.
*Thanks everyone: HUNTERS STAR!

I love how the designer made hers scrappy instead.
A great way to use up "what you have".

Monday, June 25, 2012

Erika's Block

Erika of Pink Suede Shoe is the host for our June block with The Bee's Knees Quilting Bee.
She sent each of us some lovely fabric scraps in turquoise, deep peacock blue, pinks and yellowy golds.

Our instructions were to make a 12"-14" "improv" block with only horizontal and vertical seams.
In other words, just grab a few strips of fabric, start sewing away, and see what you come up with.

For a person (like me) who usually follows a pattern, this was a new experience.
It was fun!
And I'm looking forward to seeing how Erica's quilt turns out once she receives all 11 blocks back from our group.

I do receive "sew much inspiration" from the Bees Knees ladies!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pima Cotton

Our main motivation for traveling East on Saturday was to see the town of Safford, and the nearby communities of Thatcher and Pima.

This was the first time either of us had visited this part of Arizona.
As we arrived we noticed that nearly every available land space, clear up to the two lane Highway 70, was planted in cotton.
Rows upon rows of Pima Cotton.

I had heard of Pima Cotton, and we even have Pima cotton sheets on our bed.
As a quilter, who mainly works with cotton fabric and cotton thread, I was especially interested in learning more about the history of cotton in Arizona.

This type of cotton is named after the Pima Indians who helped raise cotton on U.S. experimental farms in Arizona in the early 1900's.
Pima cotton is ELS (extra long staple) similar to Egyptian cotton, which makes a very durable and superior fabric.
For most of the 20th century, Arizona was the largest ELS producer in the nation, although now those numbers have declined.

We had several reasons for wanting to visit the Safford/Thatcher area
I have always wanted to see the childhood home of Spencer W. Kimball, who was the 12th President of our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints).
I've always held great admiration and honor for this wonderful man.

President Kimball's father Andrew was called to serve as a Stake President here in 1898. The church members provided 10 acres for his family, and the adobe and brick home was completed in 1902. Andrew helped make the 12,000 adobe bricks used in construction.
President Kimball lived here from age 7-22, when he left to be married.

In the near vicinity, the Gila Valley Temple was constructed in 2010.
Even though this is a small temple, the interior is magnificent.
We spent a few hours inside, and when we came out the skies were black as a huge dust storm and high winds were intensely blowing whirlwinds of sand and dirt through out the valley.

The winds were so intense that we struggled in making it back to our car in the parking lot.
Not knowing when we will be back, I pulled out my camera and braved the weather to capture a few pictures.

The Angel Moroni sits atop most of our temples and is the unofficial symbol of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, often referred to as The Mormons.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Julie's Sewing Corner

I hope everyone had a wonderful Father's Day with family this last weekend.
As part of our celebration, Mr. Cactus and I spent Saturday investigating some of the small towns East of Phoenix.
There is so much to see and do in Arizona, and as relatively new transplants, we like to drive and wander through this great state.

It was fun to drive at our own leisure and stop when we felt like stopping.
Mr. Cactus even suggested we look for quilt shops along the way.
(What a guy)
Driving through desert small towns the offerings are quite limited, but we were pleasantly surprised to see this wonderful needle and thread icon on top of an old building in the nearly abandoned mining town of Miami, Arizona.

Julie's Sewing Corner was the happening place in the deserted downtown area.
Imagine our curiosity when we walked in and found the store filled with customers, with line ups at the cutting table.
We quilters know how to find each other no matter the location, don't we?

Julie's offers a great selection of cowboy and Southwest fabrics.
They also carry a wide variety of current notions and patterns.
A lot of product, including a long arm and sewing machine repair packed in a small space.

This little hide away even provides a selection of batiks and Australian fabrics.
Who would have guessed that a quilt store would be tucked away in such an obscure place?

Miami began as a gold mining town in the 1870's.
Wikipedia identifies it as a "classic Western copper boom town, although the copper mines are dormant now."

Looking straight out from Julies towards the lone downtown street of Sullivan, a good portion of the buildings were empty and have seen better days.
A few antique stores filled in the limited occupied spots.
We walked the length of the block and back, stopping in to view a few of the wares.
I kid you not: one of the female store owners was packing a big pistol in the hip pocket of her jeans.
The Wild Wild West lives on.