Fabric Pressing Recipes

Did you know that you can make your own water-based mixtures for pressing fabrics? Purchase a spray bottle with an adjustable sprayer in the beauty section of your local drug store or super center. Because these recipes don’t have chemicals or preservatives, they also won’t last for a long period of time. Only make what you can use in 7 to 10 days. They are inexpensive and environmentally friendly.

CORNSTARCH SPRAY:

  • One Tsp. Argo Cornstarch
  • Three Tbls. cold water
  • One cup boiling water
  • One cup cold water

In a 2 cup measuring cup, mix the cornstarch with the three Tbls. of cold water to dissolve. Add the boiling water and stir until thoroughly blended. Add one cup of cold water. Pour into into a spray bottle and use to mist your fabrics, just like you would use spray starch. Shake the bottle before each use to blend the mixture. You can adjust the amount of cornstarch that you use to create a light or heavy spray starch.

SCENTED PRESSING SPRAY:

  • Two Tbls. vodka
  • 2 cups distilled water
  • 8 to 10 drops of scented oil

You can use any scented oil for this recipe. I’ve tried lavender, lemon, coconut and rose scented oils. These oils can be found in nutrition stores, pharmacies or on the Internet. The vodka helps to get wrinkles out of fabrics and give them a slightly crisp feel.

VINEGAR SOLUTION:

Mix equal parts of vinegar and water to use as a pressing spray. It helps to press out the center fold line marks that are on fabrics sold on the bolt. It also helps to take out pressed hem lines in dresses and pants.

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Shipping Quilts – Part I

 

Our quilts are like our children. We create them, watch them develop and then need to share them with the world. David and I have seven grown children. Each time one of them got their first apartment, went off to college, got on their first airplane or got married, I had trouble cutting their apron strings. Would they survive in the real world or would they get lost? When I ship a quilt to a show or as a gift, I have those same fearful thoughts. Will it arrive at its destination, all in one piece or will it get lost and I’ll never see it again? Here are some helpful hints for quilt makers who need to ship their quilts.

Label Your Quilts: Each time you make a quilt, it needs a cloth label. It can be plain or decorative. The label documents the name of the quilt, the maker, the date made, where it was made and why. It can also have a photo of the maker or recipient, cleaning instructions and the name, address and telephone number of the owner. This information, sewn directly to the quilt, helps if the quilt is lost or stolen. It is also good information for future generations. The label can be hand written, embroidered or created on your computer and printed on cloth. The label is sewn to the back of a quilt, in the lower right corner. The label is usually added after the quilting is completed. Machine or hand quilting into the label can distract from its information, however it does make it difficult for someone to remove the label if the quilt is stolen. Quilt makers are also adding their name to the front of the quilt as part of the quilting to prove ownership and as a decorative element in the quilting. I also know of quilters who write their name with permanent ink in the seam allowance of the binding in case they need to prove they are the owner of the quilt. Before shipping, take full-view and close-up photos of your quilt. These will help to identify the quilt if it is lost.

Choosing a Shipping Container: Your quilt needs to be packed into a strong container so it will be protected during the shipping process. If using a box, it should be corrugated and of shipping quality. Double boxing (one box inside a slightly larger box) gives additional strength. Cardboard shipping boxes can be purchased from shipping companies, office supply stores and the post office. Using a new box is best but if you have a used box that is in good condition, make sure to remove or scribble over old addresses or bar codes so the box isn’t accidently delivered to the wrong place. Damage claims for items packed in a used box are less likely to be approved by shipping companies because they consider a used box to be weaker than a new box.

Rectangle cardboard shipping boxes that are designed for golf clubs are a good option because your quilt can be rolled rather than folded inside the box. A long shipping tube or 6” wide PVC pipe are other options for shipping rolled quilts. Shipping companies will take tubes or boxes up to 108” in length but they will charge an extra handling fee for the odd size.

Another option for shipping quilts is to use a Rubbermaid Roughneck® Storage Box. They are strong, can be re-used and they stand out in a warehouse of lost boxes. Shipping employees are more likely to remember handling one of these containers rather than a cardboard box. The cover needs to be secured with nylon zip ties. Drill ¼” aligning holes on the ends and side edges of the top and the box to thread the zip ties in place. Two on each edge is sufficient. If the quilt and container are to be returned to you, place new zip ties in a plastic bag and tape it to the inside of the box. Use a black permanent marker to write your name and telephone number on the outside of the box and inside of the top. Don’t add your address as it might get confused as the shipping address. The actual shipping address label is taped to the top of the box. Shipping companies may charge an additional charge for a Rubbermaid Roughneck® Storage Box because they are “not encased in cardboard.”

Packaging Tips: Always put your quilt in a clear plastic bag before putting it in the shipping container. This will protect it in case the box gets wet during shipping. Make sure to use a clear bag, not a black trash bag. If the box becomes damaged, or the quilt is removed from the box, your bagged quilt could be mistaken for trash and thrown away.

I once received a quilt back from a major show and thankfully they had put the quilt in a plastic bag inside the box. The entire outside of my box was covered with black oil. There was another box in the delivery truck that contained the oil and it had leaked on the surrounding boxes. The UPS driver stayed while I opened my box and thankfully, my quilt was fine.

Do not put more than two large quilts in a box. If you have ever seen a delivery man struggle with a heavy box, you know it doesn’t make them happy. It will cause them to want to throw the box rather than gently handle it. You will also be charged extra for an overweight box. It is often less expensive to ship two lightweight boxes rather than one overweight box. The box should be sized for the quilt. If the quilt doesn’t fill the box, the box will likely to crush during shipping. Most quilt shows do not allow packing peanuts to be sent with a quilt because they can add up fast and create quite a mess in their receiving room.

Include a copy of the mailing address and telephone number, the return address and your telephone number inside the box. Do not just put this paper inside the box because if the box becomes damaged or is opened, the information can easily be separated from the quilt. Use a safety pin to attach this to the quilt so it is inside the plastic bag. It should on the top side and visible. For shows, you may be required to include a copy of your entry form and self-addressed return label in with the quilt. These can be placed in an envelope and with the quilt in the bag. Securely closing the plastic bag with a twist tie and place the quilt in the box. Before closing the box, place a strong piece of cardboard on top of the quilt. This will help prevent another box from crushing the top of the box. It will also protect the quilt in case someone uses a knife or razor blade cutter to open the box.

Use 2” wide, clear or reinforced tape to securely seal the box closed. Use this tape on all edges and seams of the box. Make sure the bottom of the box is also securely sealed. The bottom, edges and corners of boxes can become caught in conveyor belts in the shipping warehouse or they can be weakened when other boxes are stacked on top. The tape will help to keep the box intact. Do not use masking tape because it isn’t strong enough. Shipping companies do not allow boxes tied with string or twine because this can get caught in the conveyor belts in their warehouses. For a fee, shipping stores offer a service of packing your box for you. They sell boxes and have all of the necessary materials for proper packaging. If your box is packed by a UPS Store and shipped with UPS, they guarantee that if the contents are damaged, your claim will be approved.

Do not write the word QUILT on the outside of the box or on the label. It’s a signal to a thief. They know quilts can be valuable. When you are required to declare the contents of the box for shipping or insurance purposes, use the word BEDDING.

Shipping Labels: UPS and FedEx require a physical address, not a post office box for their deliveries. The USPS will allow parcels shipped to a post office box. The package is kept in their office and a notification card is put in the P.O. box. Make sure that you have the correct mailing address, zip code and telephone number for where the quilt is being shipped and for your return address. Jefferson Street is different from Jefferson Blvd. and Jefferson Avenue. Streets with N., S., E. or W. before the street name also make a different. Apartment numbers are also necessary. Although these small details in an address don’t seem important, they are. They can cause a package to be shipped to the wrong address, returned to the sender or cause extra time for the carrier to find the correct address. FedEx charges an address-correction fee of $11 and UPS charges $19.

Shipping companies have their own triplicate shipping labels that is put in a sealed plastic bag. It self-adheres to the top of the box. As the sender, you get one copy as proof of shipping. For double assurance, I also create two copies of my own shipping label and print them onto white paper. They are each 5” x 8 ½”. I put one copy with the quilt and tape the other to the top of the box. Do not put a label over the top box seam because that seam can become broken and the label might detach from the box. Completely cover the label with clear tape. If you are shipping two box to the same location, put Box 1 of 2 and Box 2 of 2 on the lower left corner of the box tops or label. This may help to keep your boxes together.

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The Color Wheel

Sir Isaac Newton was the first person to develop a circular diagram of colors. His color wheel was developed in 1666 and presented a logically arranged sequence of pure colors. 

Purchasing and learning to use a color wheel is important for quilt makers. Color wheels can be found in art supply stores or craft stores with art departments. Small color wheel may be purchased and taken to quilt shops when you are looking for fabrics for a quilt. Once you learn to use the color wheel, you will find that choosing colors for your quilts will be easier and the colors in your quilts will be visually successful. 

Quiltmakers can make their own color wheel by cutting out squares of fabrics that are the basic colors of the color wheel. Press a fusible on the back of the squares and press them to a white background fabric. This color wheel may be expanded by finding tints and shades of the colors and adding these fabrics to the wheel. As an additional exercise, use tone on tone and print fabrics from your fabric stash to make a color wheel. Making this color wheel will help you to learn what colors and color values you tend to buy and have available in your stash.

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National Teachers

Top 20 Reasons Guilds Should Hire

National Teachers

Prior to becoming a national teacher, show judge & AQS Certified Appraiser, I served for two years as the program chairperson of my local guild in Springfield, Missouri. During that time, I developed and organized programs and workshops for our guild. I found that the most successful workshops were those taught by experienced and well-known national teachers. Today’s guilds are formed for a variety of reasons. One of the goals of a guild should be to help its members to become better quilt makers. The following are the advantages of bringing in national teachers to accomplish that goal.

1.  Attending a national quilt show or international festival is a great experience; however attending any out-of-town show has the expenses of travel, hotel, food, show admittance, workshop and registration fees and spending money. In a struggling economy, many guild members simply do not have the financial ability to attend these shows and take workshops.

2.  Guild members who work must take their vacation time to attend an out-of-town show rather than spend their vacation time with their family. Traveling to these shows is also difficult for young mothers, the elderly or disabled guild members.

3.  If a local guild hires a national teacher, the entire guild has the opportunity to attend the lecture and 20-25 guild members have the advantage of taking a workshop from that teacher. If the guild is large or a waiting list develops for the workshop, another workshop day can be scheduled with the teacher. An additional half-day workshop is a good option for guild members who cannot attend an all-day workshop.

4.  Workshops at large shows often fill up quickly and cost more than the same workshop would at a guild. Guild members have a better chance of getting into a workshop with national teacher if their guild brings that teacher to the local level.

5.  Guild workshops have a more relaxed and friendly atmosphere than classes held at a large show because the students know each other. They also are not distracted or tired from all the other events and activities going on at a large show.

6.  Guild members can use their own sewing machine at a local workshop. They do not need to rent or learn how to use a different machine at a national show. By using their own machine, the stitches will be the same when they finish their project at home.

7.  When a workshop is held locally, the students purchase workshop supplies and fabrics locally rather than from vendors at a show. This helps to keep the local quilt shops in business. The students often go out to eat during or after the workshop which also helps the local economy.

8.  It is often hard to remember everything that is taught in a workshop so local students can help each other with their workshop projects after the teacher goes back home. They can encourage each other and are motivated to finish their class project so they can bring it to the next guild meeting for show and tell.

9.  Guild members have more opportunities to get to know a national teacher when they visit the guild. Members can assist the program chairperson by transporting the teacher to and from the airport or to and from their hotel to the guild meetings and workshops. They can also volunteer to take the teacher out to dinner or to visit quilt shops and area sites during their stay.

10.  National teachers often write books and magazine articles and develop new techniques in quilt making. They work with fabric, notion and sewing machine companies to develop new products so they are on the cutting edge of the newest ideas in the industry. 

11.  It takes a lot of time and energy to develop a good workshop. National teachers work and teach on a full-time basis so their workshops are well thought out and organized. They’ve learned from experience how long it takes students to accomplish an assigned task and how much material they can cover in the allotted time of the workshop.

12.  National teachers have professional workshop handouts, books and special tools available to help their students better understand the subject and techniques they are teaching. 

13.  National teachers have professional web sites with blogs and tutorials. Program committees can visit these web sites to view a teacher’s current lectures, workshops, fees and contract requirements. Students can visit these web sites to see photos of class projects, get the supply list and find other good information about the workshop they will be taking.

14.  National teachers travel and teach in many parts of the country and world. They continually learn tips and techniques from students in their classrooms that they can in turn share with others. Their workshops are constantly evolving and improving.

15.  National teachers attend many quilt shows and see (and often make) the award winning quilts. They have a good understanding of what it takes to make an award-winning quilt.

16.  There are benefits in sharing information with other guilds in the area. Members or program committees from other guilds may be able to recommend great teachers. Guilds can hire and share a national teacher with other guilds in their region. The guilds equally share the travel expenses of the teacher, helping to lower the total costs for each guild.

17.  A local guild can save money by working with the same hotel for housing their teachers. The advantage of doing this is that they can negotiate the room rate and receive free night stays because of the volume of nights they will be using each year.

18.  The membership of a guild will increase when national teachers are hired for lectures and workshops.  Guilds often charge a fee for visitors attending a lecture by a national teacher. They also charge an additional fee for non-members who take a workshop. Joining the guild is often a better option than paying these additional expenses. Both new and experienced quilt makers will join the guild because of the guild’s exciting programs. These new members will become involved in other guild activities (community quilts, education, quilt shows etc.). When the membership increases, the budget increases. In a large guild, special interest groups can be formed to promote personal friendships and further development of quilt making skills.

19.  Generally, a guild pays for the travel, housing, food and lecture fees of a teacher. The workshop expenses are equally divided among the students taking the workshop. With well-known teachers and good advertising, the workshops will fill to capacity and the student cost is less than what it would be at a large show. Workshop expenses can be supplemented by the guild to help keep the individual student costs even lower. Guilds can also offer workshop scholarships for members who are financially struggling or as a bonus for accumulated volunteer hours.

20.  National teachers provide professional presentations for guild meetings. Their lectures are stimulating and encouraging to quilt makers and they often bring some of their award-winning quilts for display.

Some Final Thoughts …

I want this information to be an encouragement to quilt guilds to increase their program budgets and to provide great programs for their members. The board of directors of a guild should review their program budget annually.  Most guilds have the financial ability to hire a minimum of four national teachers per year. Larger guilds have the ability to hire at least six national teachers per year.

Guilds do need to hire area teachers to financially balance the cost of national teacher programs and to help complete their yearly calendar of programs. Many local and regional teachers offer good programs and workshops. Their fees are less expensive and they do not have the added costs of airfare and hotel stays. When hired locally, these teachers gain more experience teaching their classes and it provides guild members with less expensive workshops to take on the local level. Most national teachers began their teaching careers on the local level at guilds and shops. By giving area teachers the opportunity to teach at local guilds, some may go on to become national teachers. The combination of programs taught by national and area teachers can provide an exciting calendar year for a guild. Other activities such as a Christmas program, community quilt sew-in, a Mother’s Day tea and other fun activities can complete the calendar year.

 I hope that this article doesn’t imply that I am opposed to workshops at national and international shows because that is not my intent. I love attending those shows, meeting new people, seeing the award-winning quilts and having the ability to take a variety of great workshops all in one week. I wish that every quilt maker could experience at least one large show every year but, that is not possible for many reasons. Local guilds therefore play an important role in providing ongoing educational opportunities for their members.

 Please feel free to copy this article and share it with the Board of Directors and Program Committee of your local guild.

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Quilt Insurance

I’m often asked if there is a special insurance that can be purchased for quilts. I know of a policy that many quilt owners have purchased and they are very happy with the policy. It covers antique or new quilts and the contents of your sewing room. Your quilts are covered while they are in your home, while they are being shipped and while they are at a show. You will need an appraisal or record of sales as proof of value in case there is a loss.

Although I have no affiliation with this company, I do recommend that you look into getting this insurance. The cost of the insurance is reasonable. The name of the insurance agent who handles this policy is Chris Johnston.

Chris can give tell you the specifics of the policy. Her telephone number is: 602-749-4282 or she can be reached through the main office number:  800-688-7472.  Her email is: chris.johnston@hubinternational.com.

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Cornish Pasty

David and I first had a Cornish Pasty in 1983 at a restaurant in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. When we went to England in 2009, we found a Cornish Pasty shop in Bath, England. Their  pasties came with all sorts of fillings. The pasty crust is flaky and the filling is a bit dry.  They are easy to hold and eat right out of your hand. They are great for picnics or school lunches. Cornish pasties are sometimes served with a thick and sweet chili sauce made with diced tomatoes, onions, peppers, vinegar and brown sugar.

Mineral Point is a historic town, 50 miles southwest of Madison, Wisconsin. Minerals and lead were discovered in the area in 1825 and the first “mineral rush” in the United States brought miners from as far away as Cornwall, England to the area. So many miners came that in 1830, Mineral Point had a larger population than Milwaukee and Chicago combined.

The Cornish miners brought their families and their knowledge of deep mining and hard rock skills. They built the quaint stone houses that still can be found in Mineral Point today. When the miners went into the lead mines, they took a warm Cornish Pasty, wrapped in a cloth, for their daily underground meal.

If you visit Mineral Point, you can have guided tours of nine original stone houses in an area of the city called Pendarvis. You will walk down Shake Rag Street and learn about the life and times of these Cornish mining families and visit the shops of local artists. This site is operated by the State Historical Society and well worth visiting. All of the area restaurants serve Cornish Pasties. My recipe makes four Cornish Pasties.

Crust for Four Pasties:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 ¾ cup lard
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 Tbls. apple cider vinegar
  • ½ c. water

 Mix the flour, salt and baking powder together. Cut the lard into the flour mixture with a fork or pastry knife. Blend together the egg, vinegar and water. Stir this into the flour to create the dough. Divide into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into an 8” circle.

Filling:

  • 4 medium potatoes, diced in ½” pieces or thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 pound sirloin steak, cut in  ½” or 1” cubes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • Optional addition: sliced carrots, rutabagas or turnips
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbls. of milk

Mix the filling ingredients, divide into four equal portions. Place on half of each circle of crust. Dot with 2 Tbls. of  butter. Fold over to form a half circle. Seal tightly by neatly rolling the edges or crimping them with a fork or your fingers. Prick the top to allow steam to escape while baking. Combine the egg and milk and brush on the top of each pasty to create a shine. Bake on a greased cookie sheet in a pre-heated  400° oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350° and bake an additional 45 minutes.

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Calico Beans

This is another favorite family recipe.  I often make it for picnics but we also eat these during the winter months with corn bread and baked ham. When we have company, I double the recipe. The beans can be baked in a roasting pan in the oven for one hour or simmered on high for 4 hours in a crock pot. Serve these beans in soup bowls or large cups because they are soupy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound bacon, diced in 1” pieces
  • 1 pound hamburger meat
  • 1 medium onion, diced in 1” pieces
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup brown sugar (light or dark)
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbls. molasses
  • ½ tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 – 15 oz. can dark red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 – 15 oz. can large butter beans, drained
  • 1 – 15 oz. can green lima beans, drained
  • 1 – 15 oz.  can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 – 15 oz. can northern beans, drained
  • 1 – 15 oz. can pork and beans, not drained

 Directions:

  •  In a large frying pan, brown the diced bacon, hamburger and diced onion together. Drain slightly. Remove from the heat.
  •  Add all other ingredients and stir together. Pour into a large roasting pan or a crock pot.
  • Bake 1 hour in a roasting pan or 3-4 hours in a crock pot.
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Appliqué Under the Magnifying Glass

Entering a competitive show can be intimidating.  Understand the judging process and learning just what judges look for when evaluating appliqué can help to eliminate our fears and apprehensions. It is important to remember that each show differs in their entry rules. The process of judging also differs from show to show. Quilts may be judged flat on tables or hung for the show.  Judges evaluate each entry according to the rules of each specific show. The number of judges for each show varies and their training and experience in judging also varies.

There are two basic methods for judging quilt shows – the point system and the elimination system. In each method, judges look at one category at a time and each quilt is judged separately according to its own strengths and weaknesses. In the point system, the judges are given a list of items to review for each quilt. Points are assigned for each item on the list. Place settings awards are determined by the total points given to each quilt. The quilt with the highest points in the category wins the first place award.

In the elimination system, comments are given by the judges regarding the strengths and weaknesses of each entry. I often think of the Miss America Pageant when I think of this system of judging. A series of elimination rounds occur in which the quilts are compared with one another. One-by-one, quilts are eliminated until the top entries are left and place setting awards are determined.

Usually there is a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place award in each category. Some shows also have honorable mention awards. They are the 4th place award. Some shows have one or two honorable mention awards per category. Other shows have a total set number of honorable mention awards and they leave it to the discretion of the judge to determine how many honorable mention awards will be given in a category. This seems to work better because sometimes a small category doesn’t have a 4th or 5th quilt that is worthy of an award while large categories in which the competition is stiff may have more than two quilts that deserve an honorable mention award.

Appliqué  quilts are generally put in their own category, separate from pieced quilts. Appliqué categories may further be sub-divided into smaller categories. These category titles often include machine appliqué, hand appliqué, appliqué quilts finished with hand quilting and those finished with machine quilting. There may also be separate categories for appliqué quilts made for a bed and appliqué quilts made for the wall. When entering any show, make sure you read the show rules carefully and enter your quilt in the correct category. When in doubt, call the show chairperson and ask which category your quilt should be entered.

You may be wondering if judges actually use a magnifying glass when looking at quilts. The answer is, “Yes, sometimes when they are comparing tiny details in appliqué and quilting stitches.”  When judges evaluate appliqué quilts, they often look at the following items and ask themselves the following questions.  This is by no means a comprehensive listing … just a basic list to help you to understand what questions are often asked under the careful inspection of today’s quilt show judges:

Overall Appearance

Is the quilt clean, free from odor and pet hairs? Does it lay flat? Are the blocks square? Are the sashing, border and edges straight or do they wobble? Are all threads clipped?

Design Elements

Are the elements of the quilt unified to create a visually pleasing quilt? Are the pieces in proportion to one another? Are there secondary designs that compliment the primary designs? Is the overall design balanced? Is the design original and creative? Does the quilt effectively represent a scene or theme?

Fabric & Color Choices

Do the colors and fabrics work well together and with the design? Is there a variety of color values used throughout the quilt? Do prints and patterns used for individual pieces add interest? Is there enough contrast between the appliqué pieces and the background?

Workmanship

Are the hand appliqué stitches uniform, small, tight, invisible and secure? Was matching thread used? Are the curves smooth and the inside and outside points sharp? Was care taken to prevent shadowing of darker fabrics behind light fabrics?  If the piece is machine appliquéd, how were the curves and points handled? Is there consistency in the machine stitching?

Quilting

Do the quilting designs compliment and enhance the appliqué elements and overall design?  Are parallel design lines consistent in width?  Are the stitches smooth, even and consistent (both front and back)? Is the amount of quilting balanced and evenly dispersed over the surface of the quilt? Is the choice of thread appropriate or does it cause a visual problem?

Finishing

Is the edge treatment well chosen for the piece? Are the corners precise? Are the stitches secure to hold the binding on the back? Is the back of the quilt smooth with straight seam lines?

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Blue Ribbon Zucchini Bread

(2 loaves)

I won a blue ribbon for this zucchini bread at the 1984 County Fair in Viroqua, Wisconsin. I had actually entered 10 different items in the food category that year and had to stay up all night to get everything made and to the fairgrounds by 9 am. Whatever was I thinking when I filled out all those entry forms? I also won a blue ribbon for my first large quilt. It was a hand quilted log cabin quilt for my son Joshua.

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)

Directions:

  • Mix the eggs, oil and vanilla by hand  until well blended. Set aside.
  • Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and then add them to the egg mixture. Blend together well.
  • Fold in the zucchini and nuts.
  • Grease and flour two bread pans (glass or metal).
  • Divide the batter into the two bread pans.
  • Bake at 325° for 50 – 60 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the center to make sure the bread is done. It will come out clean if the bread is done.
  • Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Remove from the bread pans and cool completely on a cooling rack.
  • This bread will have the consistency of banana bread. It will have green flecks in it from the skin of the zucchini.
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Microwave Caramel Corn

My husband thinks this is the best caramel corn he has ever had. Even the fresh caramel corn at the county fair doesn’t compare. You will need a large paper bag from a grocery store to make this recipe. Whenever I am in a grocery store that asks, “Do you want paper or plastic?” I always say, “Paper please.” That answer always brings a smile on my husband’s face because he knows he will soon have his favorite caramel corn for a snack.

Ingredients:

  • 12 cups popped corn (I use plain microwave popcorn)
  • 1 large brown paper bag from a grocery store
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup light Karo syrup
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. baking soda

Directions:

  • Pop the corn. If using microwave popcorn, it usually takes 3 bags to make 12 cups. Do not add butter or salt. Place the popped corn in a large brown paper bag.
  • Place the brown sugar, Karo Syrup, butter and salt in a medium-sized microwave bowl. Do not cover. Microwave these ingredients together, on high, for 2 minutes.
  • Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir the ingredients. Place back in the microwave and microwave on high for a total of 3 minutes, stopping and stirring the ingredients after each minute.
  • Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir in the vanilla and baking soda. The mixture will bubble up and become thick like caramel as you stir the ingredients together.
  • Pour the caramel over the popped corn in the bag. Close the bag by folding down the open end 2 times. Shake the closed bag for 15 seconds.
  • Place the closed bag of corn in the microwave. If your microwave has a turning plate, make sure the bag is closed enough so the bag can freely turn on the plate. Microwave on high for one minute. Remove the bag and shake it for 15 seconds.
  • Place the bag back in the microwave and microwave on high for another minute. Remove and shake the bag for another 15 seconds. Return it to the microwave and microwave for another 30 seconds. Remove and shake the bag one last time.
  • Pour the caramel corn onto two cookie sheets and spread it out to cool slightly. This caramel corn won’t last long but if you do happen to have any leftover, store it in a zip lock bag.
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