Subscribe to our blog

Two Ribbon Star Quilts

Two Ribbon Star Quilts

This past Christmas Eve, my husband and I hosted a dinner for some wonderful friends who had never before been to Utah. I wanted to give the mother and grandmother something special, and to me, “special” is always a hand-made quilt. The quilts in the photos below are Ribbon Star Quilts.

The pattern is fairly simple, and I used fabrics from my stash. (Yes, quilters call an extensive fabric collection a “stash.”) The only fabric I purchased specifically for these quilts was the border and backing fabric. The resulting quilts are stunning!

I didn’t make one quilt and then the other, but worked…

Read More Post a comment (3)
January 17, 2017  |  Quilting Bee  |  3 Comments

Strawberries and Seagulls

Strawberries and Seagulls

By Richard Gappmayer, Jennifer’s father.

My father  planted fruit trees and while waiting for them to mature, he planted strawberries in rows between the trees. We would plant the berries one spring, and then they bore fruit the next spring and several springs to follow. We used a horse-drawn cultivator to stir up the ground between the rows of plants to remove weeds and to make the ground more water absorbing. I took my turn holding the cultivator and guiding the horse. This old horse had done this many times and knew the routine very well.

When the berries began to ripen, seagulls from…

Read More Post a comment (1)
January 9, 2017  |  Farming&Gardening  |  1 Comment

The Finished Quilted Present Quilt

The Finished Quilted Present Quilt

Last month I showed you my beautiful present quilt top. I had sewn together all the fabric pieces to create the beautiful top, but I had not yet had a chance to add batting and backing and sew it all together. Today, I’m excited to show you the finished quilt, with top, batting, and back, all stitched together with the edges bound.

After I finished the quilt top, I picked a backing fabric, and then I basted together my three-layered “quilt sandwich”: pieced top, batting, and back. I used a spray adhesive to hold the layers together, but as you’ll see…

Read More Post a comment (3)
December 19, 2016  |  Amish, Quilting Bee  |  3 Comments

Delicious Christmas Sandwich Cookies

Delicious Christmas Sandwich Cookies

These cookies are easy and delicious! They never last long at my house!

What you’ll need:
One chocolate cake mix (any kind will do, but for me, the more chocolate the better)
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 can of frosting (I used vanilla, but any flavor will do.)

1. Mix cake mix, eggs, and oil in a bowl until combined.

2. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray. Preheat oven to 350.

3. Roll dough into 1-2 inch balls. This recipe makes about 24 cookies–or 12 sandwich cookies total.

4. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

5. Let cookies cool on rack then frost cookies on the “bottom” of one…

Read More Post a comment (0)
December 8, 2016  |  Cooking, Family  |  No Comments

A Simple Amish Christmas

A Simple Amish Christmas

I love Christmas. I love the decorations and the lights. I love being with family and eating good food and singing Christmas carols. But every year around this time, my chest gets tight and I start to panic about all the things that need to be done before Christmas. December is such a busy month that the busy-ness often overshadows the joy of the season. I always wish it could be different, but I seldom figure out a way to make it that way.

The Amish celebrate Christmas simply and without a lot of fanfare. The lowly stable of Bethlehem is…

Read More Post a comment (1)
November 28, 2016  |  Author's Corner, Family  |  1 Comment

The Present Quilt

The Present Quilt

I know that last month I promised to show you a Thanksgiving table runner this week, but I just couldn’t resist starting my Christmas sewing. I love this present quilt! It is very happy, almost whimsical, and you can make this pattern for any occasion, using happy birthday colors, baby colors, really, anything you want. And this quilt is fairly easy to put together.

First, I cut all my pieces: four squares, three pieces of “ribbon,” two “bows,” and sashing for each present. (The sashing is the white fabric that surrounds every present.)

Then I started sewing. I sewed a ribbon…

Read More Post a comment (4)
November 21, 2016  |  Amish, Quilting Bee  |  4 Comments

Pears, $3.00 a bushel

Pears, $3.00 a bushel

By Richard Gappmayer (Jennifer’s dad)

In September of each year after the pears had been picked, sorted, boxed and shipped, I would walk through the orchard and observe that many of the trees had a few pears left on them. Because there were just a few in each tree it would not be worthwhile to carry a ladder around to pick them. They were, however, still very good. Since they had been on the tree for a week or more longer than those already picked they had grown in size and were nice big beautiful pears.

I would get a number 10…

Read More Post a comment (6)
November 14, 2016  |  Family, Farming&Gardening  |  6 Comments

Hawaiian Sweet and Sour Chicken

Hawaiian Sweet and Sour Chicken

This is my husband’s very favorite meal.  He always requests it for his birthday dinner.  It’s different from a typical sweet and sour chicken because it isn’t as sticky, but it is delicious.  The recipe comes from Grandma Vicky and my mother-in-law Lisa.  Her five sons eat two pans of this chicken any time she makes it.
4-6 chicken breasts (cut each breast into pieces)
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup flour

4 beaten eggs

Sauce:
1/2 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup vinegar
4 Tbl ketchup
1 Tbl soy sauce

1. Mix cornstarch and flour and place in plastic gallon Ziploc bag.

2. Add chicken pieces and shake until coated.
3. Heat 1-2…

Read More Post a comment (4)
November 7, 2016  |  Cooking, Family  |  4 Comments

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, fellow quilt lovers! And just in time for this fun holiday, here is the finished Halloween quilt top I promised to show you:

I love it! I think it is worth all the time it took create. And guess what was the hardest part of the quilt? Creating the long, green panel that says, “Happy Halloween.” Appliqueing the letters themselves was a little time-consuming, but not really difficult.

The fusible webbing on the back of each letter allowed me to position the letters and then iron them in place. Once they were stuck on the fabric, I outlined each letter…

Read More Post a comment (2)
October 31, 2016  |  Quilting Bee  |  2 Comments

Sisters, sisters!

Sisters, sisters!

When I envisioned “The Honeybee Sisters” series, I wanted it to be about a trio of sisters who shared a special bond. There is nothing like the friendship, closeness, and love of a sister.

I have five sisters and no brothers. Growing up, our house was filled with prom dresses, sewing lessons, curling irons, school work, singing around the piano, heart-to-heart talks, estrogen, the best mother in the world, and one very long-suffering father. My dad was proud of his daughters and always told us we could do anything we set our minds too.

I have four daughters, and they were very close growing…

Read More Post a comment (10)
October 24, 2016  |  Amish, Family  |  10 Comments