Traditional Mountain Apple Butter

Temperatures are dropping, the air is crisp and fall has arrived. When we moved Virginia, I was amazed by all of the apple butter making events in our part of the state. There is a detailed chapter in my book, Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, about one church’s process of making apple butter and their recipe. All of their proceeds go to missions. It takes several days to wash, peel, remove cores from enough apples to fill a fifty gallon kettle. A long day of  apple butter making starts before dawn and does not end until late afternoon. On a recent trip to the canning factory, I was amazed while watching one family make apple butter.


They spent all day stirring the huge kettle with a stick about the size of a boat oar. For lunch, they had a little tailgate party going on outside of the cannery and cooked t-bone steaks,  potato salad and other delectable fixins. The steaks and apple butter smelt heavenly! My tuna salad was not near as exciting plus I forgot to bring a fork so I had to use my pretzels as an eating utensil.


Assembly line on filling quart-size jars with apple butter. There were about five family members helping on this endeavor.


They were kind enough to share a jar with me. I asked the man in charge if I could please purchase a jar. He replied, “No but I’ll give you one.” When the apple butter finished cooking, they offered me a taste. I can’t even describe how scrumptious it was!

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I think the “Giving Thanks” bales of hay are perfect for this day.


Here is an easy and fun craft project for you. Three different sized yo-yos made with three different fabrics. Add a small peanut for the head using permanent markers for facial details and use two small pieces of wire for the feet to create the cutest little turkey you ever have seen! Such a darling accessory for your Thanksgiving outfit.


I will be giving away prizes from my November 19th post soon!

My Barn Quilt Block in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Magazine

I am thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to be a part of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Blog Tour. Volume 10 is extra special because it is celebrating 1000 blocks! Be sure to read this entire post to learn about giveaways and prizes.

What better way to celebrate Volume 10 than getting my ten toenails painted with a special fall design?

Blog Tour - Page 002Fun, fun, fun!

QMMS-140050-ELLIOTTAbove photo courtesy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks.

I had a blast designing this quilt block. I absolutely love creating landscape quilts and adore barn quilts! Finding them reminds me of the excitement I experienced while hunting Easter eggs as a child. When I drive around the corner of a winding mountain road and see one, I hit the brakes and start shooting photos. It is a passion and yes, I will have to admit, even an obsession.

I am really excited about this block as I continue to design the quilt. The center medallion of my quilt will include a landscape scene with a covered bridge and Amish buggy in West Virginia Amish Country. I am in the process of designing fabric from my numerous photo shoots of a Barn Quilt Trail in West Virginia to go in this quilt.

Blog Tour - Page 001Here is a photo of the barn quilt from which my inspiration came.

Blog Tour - Page 003This barn quilt trail is in the heart of West Virginia Amish Country, surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery.

wpid-img_20140416_015813.jpgAfter several trips to tour and take photos of the West Virginia barn quilts, I decided that I needed a barn quilt of my own. Of course, I had to pick the most complicated design. It is not completed in the above photo but now that I am finished, it was worth it!

wpid-img_20141117_154615_275-1-1-1-1.jpgMy Barn Quilt block with pattern directions is on page 38.

If you like barn quilts, you will enjoy looking through the barn quilt photos on my webpage.

I thoroughly enjoy sharing my love of quilting by giving lectures and teaching quilting classes and workshops across the US. Please share my website and contact information with your local quilt guild, quilt shop and especially those who coordinate quilting events in your area.

Visit my website to see original quilt pattern designs, including my quilted couch! You will also enjoy seeing photos of my quilting retreats attended by quilters from a six state area who all say “It’s well worth the drive!”

Thank you for visiting my blog today. Please come back again! I share a variety of interesting quilting subjects, including: Barn Quilts, Tutorials, Quilting Tools, Quilting Retreats, Cooking, Home Canning and other interesting subjects.

Now for the giveaways! Continue reading

Tutorial – Paper Piecing Made Simple

We have a guest blogger today.  I’ve invited my good friend, Mary Ellen, of the Quilt Mouse Blog.  She has contributed to my blog several times.

Good Evening! and Happy Stitching!!  I’m pleased to be a guest today on Camelia’s Blog.  Although we don’t live near each other, we enjoy the closeness that the Internet provides.

A number of months ago Camelia and I spent a wonderful week together stitching and visiting.

2013-11-19 07.52.14

We turned her living room into a sewing studio.  There was a cutting station, an ironing station and of course, two sewing machines set up!

Every time we get together I learn something new from Camelia, and this time wasn’t any different.

We took this opportunity to shoot a couple of videos.  Today we want to share one with you.

Have you ever tried Paper Piecing?  Perhaps you’ve heard people exclaim how their ‘points are perfect when I paper piece.  We have a video tutorial to show you how easy it is to Paper Piece or Foundation Piece.  I know I was afraid when first confronted with this technique.  It was at one of Camelia’s Quilt Retreats that she helped me learn how to paper piece.  I must say that it does take a little bit of concentration and definitely this is a technique that “Practice Makes Perfect.”  I’d recommend starting with a simple pattern and then make several until you become comfortable with it.


  • Since you are stitching through 2 layers of fabric and paper, remember to change your needle as it will become dull very quickly.
  • Normally, when piecing, it isn’t necessary to backstitch at the beginning & ending of the seam, but since you will be pulling the paper to tear it away, it is helpful to secure your seams so you won’t inadvertently tear the seam while removing the paper.
  • Reduce your stitch width.  This will help the paper tear away more easily.
  • Your first piece of fabric is laid wrong-side toward the back of the paper, while the remaining pieces of fabric are laid right-side toward the last fabric.

Did You Know?

Tomorrow begins the Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 10 Blog Tour.  I’ve had the privilege of testing blocks for the past 4 issues and can truly say I believe this one has some super blocks!


You really need to see Block #939 on page 38.  We know the designer personally! Smile Come back on the 19th to see Camelia’s block!

Happy Stitching!

Quilt Mouse