Friday, July 31, 2009

Working on...

I have been spending a lot of time working on a custom quilt. It has been really fun and an interesting project. I am sad to see it coming to an end, but at the same time I am thrilled that I am completing my first custom quilt order from a total stranger.

I am also getting ready to start posting the first contest on this blog! I am so excited. I found most of the information in a book and I am now trying to cross reference to make sure everyone can find the answers online as well. I know not everyone has this book, even though I think quilter should own a copy :)

My next custom order is from an unexpected customer, my husband's best friend. I never thought he would be the kind of guy to want a custom quilt, but then again I never expected him to have a lavish garden either. I guess it was the "geeky IT guy" persona that threw me off. HAHA

Now, onto some really exciting news. My family and I are finally close to moving to Colorado. My husband lost his job here in Minnesota and now that he has no job here, we can move to Colorado. It will be easier for him to find a job in Colorado when we live there. I am in the process of looking for a place to rent and finding the best way to move our stuff from here to there. I am price checking between do it yourself moving vans and moving companies that come in and do everything for me. I am voting for the latter :)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Contest for Aug. 2009

I decided to host a contest during the month of August between my Facebook page and my blog. I am not sure what the rules are going to be yet or even what the contest will be about. I need some time to think about all that and to come up with some fun and exciting prizes. I know that a few F.Q.'s and maybe a couple of quilting novels, maybe some patterns. Still in the works. I just had to tell everyone I am so excited!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Health Insurance for Self Employed

My husband lost his job on Thursday. It wasn't much of a shock to us since his company has been laying off hundreds of employees over the past 3 years and we have made it through 6 of those lay offs. Also we are planning to move out of state anyway, we were just hoping to keep his full time income until we moved and that he'd have a job already lined up before we got there. Now we have neither his full time income nor a job lined up in Colorado.

I'll admit I am worried about our financial situation and nervous that our savings might not last long enough for him to find another job, but at the moment I am most worried about our girls not having health insurance. What are my other self employed bloggers doing for health insurance? The policies I am seeing online have huge deductibles and not having a steady income makes it hard for me to see how we'd be able to pay for those and still afford our basic needs.

Another scary thought is that I was just tossed into the role of sole bread winner in the family and I am only still in the beginning stages of start up. But that is another post altogether, so stay tuned for my thoughts on that and how I am going to manage my new role.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


So I am having troubles posting comments. So I just wanted to let everyone know that I am not ignoring you or not reading comments but I just can't comment myself. :( I have been having trouble on other people's blogs as well. I'll have to figure out what's wrong and fix it.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Christmas in July is HERE!

Just listed a couple of listings for my Christmas in July sale. I will be listing more tomorrow, including Christmas fabric.

I will be adding more patterns and fabric over the next 5 days and then I will be adding Christmas quilt kits sometime after Wednesday. I am still putting together the patterns for the kits and I will start cutting them up sometime this weekend. So check back and see what new items I have added that day!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Almost Ready

The Christmas in July sale is almost here! I am finishing with pictures and working with my website host on some technical issues. At the very least, if my technical issues are resolved, the Christmas in July sale will be going on at my Etsy store,

I will be listing almost 50 items tomorrow, including Holiday print fabric, patterns, and pattern books. Pre cut quilt kits will be listed on the Snow Top Quilts home website later this week. I haven't decided yet but I am thinking of making a couple of queen sized, a couple of twin sized, a few lap quilt and a few table runner kits. I am thinking a total of 10 quilt kits total.

This is going to be a really fun sale as I am having a blast putting it together. I hope you enjoy it just as much.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

SnowTopQuilts Etsy store July Promotions and Sales

Coming Soon! Christmas in July specials. Free shipping in the U.S. on orders of $75.00 or more. Receive a free gift with any order of $125.00 or more. Receive a free $25.00 gift certificate to use for yourself or to give as a gift on any order of $175.00 or more. Order a CUSTOM Christmas quilt over $400.00 and receive a free Christmas log cabin lap quilt.

Every Sunday, I will discount 1-3 items 50% as a weekly sale and promotion.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


I have been noticing my friends with online stores have been having problems with resizing their pictures to the quality they need to sell their products. With my stores on etsy and ebay and of course my website and blog I use something called Pixresizer developed by Bluefive software .

Pixresizer is a free download directly from the Bluefive website. I find this to be the easiest way for me to get my pictures to the size I need and the quality I want. You can use the pre set sizes or custom size your pictures to what you need. You can upload and resize multiple pictures at a time or do them one at a time. Your original photos are not altered at all and you can save the new images in a different folder. I organize mine by size, that way I always know what pictures can be used where.

Try it once and you'll be hooked. I was, and pixresizer is all I use.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Setting Colors...

There are many ways out there to make sure the colors of your fabric don't bleed into other fabrics in your quilts. I am sure there are many ways to make sure the color of your fabrics stay as bright or close to it after washing. I don't know them. Today I am going to tell you about my way of setting colors in fabrics, that not only works in fabrics for quilting but in clothing as well. I use this method with all my bright and dark colors. This way has never failed me and I have been doing it for almost 12 years now.

2 cups white distilled vinegar (I use Flavorite, it doesn't have to be the expensive stuff to work)
enough cold water to cover your fabric, water should be close to ice cold.

Submerge your fabric into the cold water and make sure it is completely wet. Let sit in the sink for 2-6 hours, but no more then 24 hours. Take out of the cold water and squeeze, don't twist just squeeze, out excess water and machine wash like normal.

This method works for up to 4 or 5 yards of fabric, for more then 5 yards add more vinegar about 1 cup per 2 yards and of course add more cold water to cover the fabric.

For jeans, add 3 cups of vinegar to the cold water and let sit for 6-8 hours. Keeps your black jeans black! Turn jeans inside out before placing in the washing machine.

I hope this helps you keep your colors looking the way you want them too.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Beef Stew Recipe for the slow cooker

Here is my beef stew recipe for the slow cooker:

2 lbs cubed stew meat, cut into about 1" cubed
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp. season salt, I use Lawry's
1/2 tsp. fine ground white pepper, you can use black pepper too
1-2 tsp. olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. paprika
1 tblsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup red wine
1 med. onion chopped
1 1/2 cups beef broth, I use Swanson
3-4 potatoes quartered
1/2 small bag of baby carrots
1 stalk of celery chopped
1 can diced tomatoes, I use the flavored kind, it depends on what mood I am in, which one I use, but for the most part they are all good. If you use the garlic tomatoes reduce the amount of garlic cloves you put in the stew or it becomes over powering.

Put flour mixture into gallon-sized, zippered bag. Shake beef in bag to coat. Sauté coated beef in 1-2 tablespoons olive oil until browned. Add chopped onion to beef to sauté and soften. Transfer to slow cooker. Add carrots, celery, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, bay leaf, and paprika to slow cooker. Mix beef broth with 1 tblsp Worcestershire and ½ cup red wine. Pour into hot skillet to deglaze, then pour over everything in slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low of 10-12 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. I prefer the 10-12 hours myself, I'll get up and do all this early in the morning, it's worth it.
I serve the stew in bowls, accompanied by slices of fresh bread or Texas toast.