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The Honeybee Sisters are coming! Stay tuned…

The Honeybee Sisters are coming! Stay tuned...

My idea for my new “Honeybee Sisters” series was born on a beautiful September day on an Amish farm in northeastern Wisconsin. Our tour guide took us to a beautiful farmhouse on the outskirts of Bonduel and introduced us to the Amish woman who lived there. She had the most beautiful yard and garden with grape vines and chrysanthemums and pumpkins, and I fell in love with the place.

This farmhouse is the setting for “The Honeybee Sisters” series, starting with “Sweet as Honey,” which comes out June 28. I first considered a family of girls who grew chrysanthemums, but my thoughts…

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The Quilting Bee — Decorating Your Home With Quilts — Large Wall Quilts

The Quilting Bee -- Decorating Your Home With Quilts -- Large Wall Quilts

 

It probably won’t surprise any of you to hear that I love to decorate with quilts and so do many of my friends and family members. For the next few months, I’m going to showcase some of these beauties and the way they dress up an ordinary room. Note: All of the quilts below are hanging in real houses, just the way you see them. Nothing has been changed for the photo shoot (if you can call taking pics with my camera a “shoot”).

One of the best places to use a quilt is on a large, blank wall.  Blank walls…

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June 20, 2016  |  Quilting Bee  |  6 Comments

Almost time for peach thinning!

Almost time for peach thinning!

It will soon be time to thin peaches. When the peaches are about the size of a walnut they need to be thinned. Peaches should be removed from the limbs leaving them about three to four inches apart. If the tree was pruned properly then not as many peaches will need to be removed. If the peaches are not thinned then the ones that are left will not grow big. It is better to have a few big peaches rather than a lot of little ones. My father would raise a variety named JH Hale peaches. If properly pruned and…

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June 13, 2016  |  Amish, Farming&Gardening, Uncategorized  |  8 Comments

Party Meatloaf with Smoked Gouda Stuffing

Party Meatloaf with Smoked Gouda Stuffing

I love meatloaf. I love cheese. I love stuffing. I love this dish. I recommend serving it with two of your favorite vegetable sides. It will feed 6-8 hungry adults. Don’t let the unorthodox spice pairings scare you, this meatloaf is loaded with flavor. The Smoked Gouda Stuffing goes on top, and you bake it all together. *(insert angels singing here)* Not your mother’s meatloaf, but she’ll love it too.

Start with your croutons. Toss them in a food processor until they are crumbs. Poor these crumbs in a large mixing bowl.

Move to the vegetables. I went with this pairing (suggested…

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June 6, 2016  |  Cooking  |  2 Comments

The Honeybee Sisters Cookbook: Behind the scenes

The Honeybee Sisters Cookbook: Behind the scenes

When I started writing “The Honeybee Sisters” series, about a trio of Amish sisters who keep bees, I knew I wanted to incorporated honey recipes into my books. When I started collecting recipes for the books, I fell in love with the idea of a cookbook with additional honey recipes, written from the point of view of the Honeybee Sisters.

“The Honeybee Sisters Cookbook” was born. My dear friend Tearsa Daines came up with and made all the recipes, and the talented Alicia Johnson took several hundred photos. Tearsa’s daughters are my models, and Tearsa’s kitchen served as my Amish farmhouse.

Since it…

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May 30, 2016  |  Amish, Author's Corner, Cooking  |  14 Comments

Table Runner Show and Tell

Table Runner Show and Tell

I have an announcement this week before I show you beautiful quilts (and a few flowers). Jennifer and I have decided that The Quilting Bee posts on Jennifer’s blog will become once-a-month events, just like the other topics that Jennifer includes in her blogs. My new posts will be shorter, less detailed, but full of beautiful photos of quilts. For the in-depth quilt instructions that so many of you love, I will be starting a new Quilting Bee blog in a few months. Check back here for more details.

Today, I have many photos of the quilted table runners I have…

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May 23, 2016  |  Quilting Bee  |  15 Comments

Spring Table Runners — Week 6

Spring Table Runners — Week 6

Are you ready to finish your table runner? Today is the day! Last week, we created beautiful mitered corners for our table runners.

Today we will sew the borders and corners to the quilt.

Step one: If you haven’t already done so, press your borders and corners, and add a few pins to make sure nothing shifts.

Step two: Decide which of the many different techniques you are going to use to sew the borders to the quilt. I’m going to give you several options. Pick the one that you like best.

Option one: Sew the borders to the quilt using a straight stitch….

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May 19, 2016  |  Quilting Bee  |  No Comments

Love and Jalapeño Banana Bread

Love and Jalapeño Banana Bread

Dear Anna and Felty,

I have always heard that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but I am not a very gute cook, and I despair of ever getting a husband. What can I do?
Signed,
Can’t Cook in Coloma

Dear Can’t Cook,
Never fear. Even though I am famous for my cooking, I wasn’t always so skilled. I didn’t really become a gute cook until I met Felty and then something just seemed to click. He loved everything I cooked and still does.

I would suggest starting with something easy like boiled water. To boil water, fill a saucepan…

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May 16, 2016  |  Advice for the Lovelorn  |  2 Comments

Quilting Bee — Spring Table Runners — Week 5

Quilting Bee — Spring Table Runners — Week 5

If you’ve been sewing with me the past few weeks, you have pieced the top of your table runner, made a quilt sandwich, and quilted everything together. Now it’s time to sew the borders and miter the corners. The photo above is a close-up of the border on the auburn table runner.

The mitered corners add a nice finish to this runner, and I’m excited to show you how easy they are to create.

You will remember that I had you cut the backing and batting for this quilt several inches larger than the quilt top. Your quilt top probably looks something…

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May 12, 2016  |  Quilting Bee  |  2 Comments

Tales of a Frustrated Farmer — The Pig that Flew

Tales of a Frustrated Farmer — The Pig that Flew

Over fifty years ago, my older brother Lewis and I raised pigs for an FFA project. When a pig was ready to take to market, we would load it into our one-and-a-half ton truck with four-foot high sideboards and haul it to the auction in a neighboring town.

One Saturday, we loaded up a big old sow and headed out. After a pleasant ten minutes of driving, we noticed that the pig had propped her front hooves on the top of the four-foot high front board. How she did that, I will never know. Lewis was driving, and he had to…

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May 9, 2016  |  Farming&Gardening  |  4 Comments