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...
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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...
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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...
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Putting chickens in a box and other fun activities…

By Alesha Thompson (Jennifer's sister) Fall in Wisconsin was in full swing when my husband and I decided it was time to sell the chickens. We keep chickens in the summer because they are fun, easy, and a great source of fresh eggs! But once it gets cold, which it always does in Wisconsin, the chickens become a whole lot of work that neither my husband nor I want to do. So every fall, my husband...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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....
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