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Creative Quilting: Fusible Applique

Creative Quilting: Fusible Applique

A few weeks ago, my niece Jessica asked if I would help her make a quilted wall hanging for her toddler’s new bedroom. In the photo below, he’s holding his favorite ball, wearing his favorite jacket, trying to decide if he approves of having his picture taken.

This little guy loves balls, so Jessica decided to make a small quilt with fabric pictures of four different balls. Below is my rough sketch of the quilt on graph paper. (Yes, the orange and brown blobs are supposed to be balls.) I always design quilts on graph paper because the grid lines make…

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September 26, 2016  |  Quilting Bee, Uncategorized  |  2 Comments

Whole Wheat Pancakes with Honey Peach Syrup

Whole Wheat Pancakes with Honey Peach Syrup

This recipe was originally posted on Amish Wisdom a few weeks ago, but I’ve had several requests to feature it on my blog too. It’s delicious!

The newest book in the Honeybee Sisters series, Like a Bee to Honey, came out on August 30, and I am as excited as a bee on a honeysuckle bush! Rose Christner, the youngest of the Honeybee sisters, is timid and cautious, but she’s not shy in the kitchen.

One of Rose’s favorite recipes is Honey Whole Wheat Pancakes, which she makes for Josiah Yoder and his energetic nephews in Like a Bee to Honey. Honey Peach…

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September 19, 2016  |  Author's Corner, Cooking, Family  |  No Comments

Codling moth, lead, and DDT

Codling moth, lead, and DDT

Apples and pears can both be victims of the codling moth. This moth lays eggs which hatch into worms which eat their way into either apples or pears as well as some other fruits. This, of course, ruins the fruit and makes it unsellable. My father fought this problem in his orchards for as long as I can remember. Some early sprays for this bug included lead arsenic, sulphur, and horticulture oil.  These were only partially effective and had to be applied almost weekly. A big side effect of this regimen was that the horses that pulled the spray machine…

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September 12, 2016  |  Farming&Gardening  |  6 Comments

Bacon and Blue Cheese Stuffed Burgers

Bacon and Blue Cheese Stuffed Burgers

My husband is a teacher, a great teacher.  He works well above 40 hours a week during the school year, and is dedicated to helping his students expand their minds and experience beauty through music.  The school year can get LOOONG for our little family, and so when summer comes we are ready to PAR-TAY!  We have the best couple months soaking up our family time, but when mid-August rolls around we are ready to get back to the routine of school, and husband is excited to start another year.  These burgers are our traditional “Back-to-School” meal.  They are really…

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September 5, 2016  |  Cooking  |  1 Comment

Amish Top 5

Amish Top 5

As a writer of Amish romances, I am fascinated by the increased media interest in the Amish. I think many of us are attracted to the Amish way of life because it takes us back to a simpler time, when faith and family were society’s most important values and cell phones and computers didn’t distract us from building and strengthening important relationships.

There are many things the Amish go without to keep themselves separate from the world. Different Amish districts have varied guidelines, but as a general rule they don’t use electricity, drive cars, or own cell phones. Their clothes are plain…

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August 29, 2016  |  Amish, Author's Corner, Faith, Family  |  10 Comments

The Honeybee Sisters Cookbook is here!

The Honeybee Sisters Cookbook is here!

I am thrilled to announce that the Honeybee Sisters Cookbook is now available for purchase!

The cookbook is a collection of delicious honey recipes inspired by my Honeybee Sisters book series, featuring quotes and recipes from Sweet as Honey, A Bee in her Bonnet, and Like a Bee to Honey. I am deeply grateful to Tearsa Daines for her amazing culinary talents and to Alicia Johnson for her stunning photography.

The cookbook is full of delicious recipes like Bee’s Knees Corn Dogs, Honey Pecan Sticky Rolls, Honey Bee Lemon Pound Cake, and Honey Glazed Pretzels, plus mouth-watering photographs and quotes from the Honeybee Sisters books.

Since it is against…

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School time!

School time!

Yes, I know that this is a quilting blog, and, yes, I know that I have only written about quilts (or sewing) since the blog began. Today, however, in honor of all the children returning to school in a few weeks, I’m writing about a fun way to celebrate this occasion: a back-to-school tree.

My family physician’s waiting room contains a Christmas tree, not just during Christmas time, but all year long, and the office manager changes the decorations on the tree according to the season. This tree is one of the first things you notice when you step in the…

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August 15, 2016  |  Quilting Bee  |  3 Comments

Cherries, Rain, and Faith

Cherries, Rain, and Faith

Life on the farm for a young boy was usually very fun and exciting except for a few times when I had to perform some unpleasant task such as cleaning out the pig pen. This was also the case for my father, except the unpleasant task was trying to pay bills when the crop had failed. This happened several times and in different ways.

One particularly brutal way happened one summer with the sweet cherry crop. My father owned about five acres of sweet cherry trees and the cherries were at the peak of perfection and ready to be picked. It…

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August 8, 2016  |  Faith, Family, Farming&Gardening, Inspirational  |  9 Comments

Coconut Caramel Syrup

Coconut Caramel Syrup

You could probably eat a shoe if it were smothered in this syrup. Admittedly that’s one of the few things I haven’t tried it on, but if you ever have to eat a shoe, hopefully you have some of this on hand. I use this on waffles, french toast, pancakes, cake, cheesecake, ice cream, fruit, greek yogurt, or just on a spoon straight from the jar. It’s quick and easy and lasts a long time, especially if you refrigerate it.

There are only 7 ingredients and the majority of them are pantry staples. You will want to use a medium saucepan for…

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August 1, 2016  |  Cooking  |  4 Comments

Need a boyfriend? Try knitting.

Need a boyfriend? Try knitting.

My chickens love their winter sweaters.

Dear Anna,
I don’t know how to knit or crochet, but I know your knitting has helped many of your grandchildren find true love. Can you give me some suggestions on what to knit if I want to attract a boy?
Signed: Willing to Knit from Dalton

Dear Willing,
I’m wonderful happy to hear that you want to learn how to knit. You will be amazed at how many boys will flock to your door if they think you can make a scarf. Over the years I have found potholders, scarves, and mittens to be wonderful helps in matchmaking. My scarves have even saved…

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