Thursday

Happy Barn Quilt Anniversary

Today is kind of a special day here at Tweetle Dee.  It is our three year Barn Quilt Anniversary!  Three years of painting and teaching this folk art beauty, and many, many others.  We totaled our barn quilts that we have painted and it is over 3 thousand!!!!  That doesn't count all of the supplies and patterns that have gone to our amazing crafting people.
To say we feel very blessed is an understatement!  

Our First Published Barn Quilt & Elsie and Ollie
To celebrate we are giving you the special code to our Anniversary Sale for the rest of August!  Shhh...it is BQAnniversary.  Don't pass it on, no wait....pass it on!!!  We want everyone to celebrate this month!!!  

 The First Tweetle Dee Barn Quilt

So, get yourself a big glass of punch (or Spiked Diet Coke) and a cupcake and celebrate this anniversary with us!  Seriously, we are so grateful to all of you for the love and support these past few years.  We cherish the friendships we have made along the way and look forward to many more of these experiences as we continue to grow.  



Our All Time Best Selling Barn Quilt - The Texas Star

So remember BQAnniversary is the code and we are celebrating until the end of the month!  We love you all.  xoxo Abby & Mike



Wednesday

Barn Quilt Pumpkins




Our newest collections of pumpkins are in The Shop and oh man are they so cute!  You all know how much we love fall and the rich colors of the season, and these pumpkins fill my pumpkin dreams right up.  There are three different patterns, the Sawtooth, Rhodie, and the Checkered Star.  Each of them come with a barn nail stem loaded with berries and bows.


Barn Quilt Pumpkin Collection



Checkered Star Barn Quilt Pumpkin




Sawtooth Barn Quilt Pumpkin



Rhodie Star Barn Quilt Pumpkin

We are having a holiday pre-sale in The Shop through Monday with every holiday item in the shop 20% off!  Use code Holiday20 at checkout.  Our Barn Quilt Pumpkins are ready to go and we can't wait to share them with you.  It's pumpkin time!!!


Monday

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches

Oh heavens, it's National Ice Cream month and we had to celebrate with a birthday last night by making our family's Chocolate Chip recipe and a big scoop of ice cream!  This cookie recipe has been passed down in our family and is my go to when I need to make either a ton of cookies or really large ones.  It has this magical quality of being perfectly firm on the outside and soft on the inside...and they never fall apart!  They are the perfect cookies for placing a big scoop of your favorite ice cream on!!!

Lyke Family Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups butter
2 cups white sugar
2 cups packed brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
5 cups oats
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
2 tbl. baking powder
2 tbl. baking soda
4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 8 oz. chocolate candy bar, grated
3 cups of chopped nuts (optional)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cream butter with sugars.  Add eggs and vanilla to mixture and beat well.  Grind oats in blender until powdery.  Stir in flour, oats, salt, baking powder and soda into batter gradually.  Add chocolate chips and grated chocolate into batter.  Add nuts if desired.  

Form batter into golfball-sized balls and place 2 inches apart on parchment or silpat lined baking sheet.  Bake for 12 minuets.   Take out of oven and let rest on hot tray until cooled.  

We have a new young friend staying with us  for a while who is from Australia and he said that they never had cake for birthdays, but they had a big tub of ice cream...with candles!  So we made up these big cookies and sang happy birthday to him with a huge scoop of chocolate chip goodness.  

You can make these ahead and place the ice cream in between the cookies and place in the freezer until it's time to serve them.  This recipe made about 24 ice cream sandwiches!  Seriously...it was the best for a summer birthday night in the garden.

Friday

Belle Prairie Botanical Embroidery Collection

Be still my heart!  I am so in love with the Belle Prairie Collection and the meaning behind all of the flowers that I can't wait to share them with you.  We designed the Belle Prairie Barn Quilt with each block having a flower that was on the prairie.  When we were traveling last year through my grandmother's beloved prairie's we found a garden that had a plaque listing the wildflowers of the prairie and how they were given between friends and loved ones in times of joy and sorrow.  

I was so moved by this garden and our time there on my ancestors land that we decided to make 2018 our Belle Prairie year and one of my favorite parts of this collection are the Botanical Embroidery patterns and kits!



I drew these patterns to look like the old wall paper botanical drawings my grandparents had in their library.  I wanted a black background to resemble the style of the old black paper photo albums that we would collect and press wildflowers into.  I used a variety of flosses for the stitching to give it an aged non-commercial look and kept the stitches farily simple like the strokes of a pencil.





I have six more in the works for a total of twelve, and a spectacular collaboration garden embroidery pattern that will be out very soon.  My goal is to create a new Belle Prairie Botanical Quilt for fall.  Of course the pattern and kits will be in The Shop as soon as they are finished.  

These first six patterns and kits are in The Shop now!!!  They can be purchased as stand alone patterns or in kits.  The white frames are also available.  Everything in our shop is 30% off through Monday as our Summer Sale winds down.  Use code SUMMER to get the discount.  

I hope you love these as much as we do.  I walk into my sewing room everyday and look at the wall with them on it and sigh...like I'm somehow transported to that magical evening on the prairie.  I wish I could take you all there with me!!!



Monday

BeaUtahful Map DIY Project

One of our favorite DIY Projects has been our fabric map of the United States and our Utah State Map!  With all the places we travel it means even more as we see the collage of colorful fabrics come together.  We live in a great place, the entire country is filled with beauty and our little state of Utah celebrates its beginnings tomorrow.  Here in Utah we often say BEA-Utahful to describe out state so I am re-posting this project as a free download for anyone who wants a quick and fun project to celebrate where we live.


Materials to Gather

Wood Board Cut to Desired Size
Matte Finish Modge Podge (Lots of it)
Foam Brushes
Background Fabric to Cover the Board
Lots of Fabric Scraps for the different States


The first thing I did was Modge Podge some old burlap onto the front of the wood and I let that sit for 24 hours.  It hardens up the fabric and dried clear.  

(To print the map template right click on the image 
and save to take to your local copy store.)
Next I took the map of the USA to my copy store and had them blow it up to the size I needed to fit my board.  It was pretty cheap.  I recommend getting two copies.  One to cut the states out of and one to reference during the project.  It's especially helpful when you get the the itty bitty states.  I had them print one on card stock so it would be easy to cut apart and trace around.

Next I took my a sharpie marker (light colored) and traced the outline of the US map onto the burlap covered board to make sure I had the outer states in just the right place.



Once my outer line was traced, I started cutting out the states.  I did them one at a time starting with Texas. I traced the individual states onto scarps of fabric using the Frixon pen from Pilot.  I LOVE this pen for anything on fabric because it disappears with heat and gives you a great fine line.  

When you cut out the states, it is helpful to cut 1/8 inch larger than the state template.  This allows for a little overlap and play just in case your lines don't perfectly line up.

Once your state is cut out, dab a generous amount of Modge Podge on the background fabric where the state will go and lay your state on top.  Smooth it out with your fingers or the brush and then gently brush over the fabric state with more Modge Podge.  This will glue the state to the background and seal it too.

When you are finished with all your states...seal it off with one final coat of Modge Podge and it is ready to hang!


For those of us that live in Utah, I put together a pattern to celebrate our state...especially since this week is our state holiday!  Just print out the template...use the same techniques to adhere the fabrics to the backing of a 8" x 10" frame insert and walla...you have a state map too.  It took me about 30 minutes to finish this project...so it's totally possible to finish before the celebrating begins!


(To print the map template right click on the image 
and save to take to your local copy store.)


These projects were super fun to do with my family and I hope you have been inspired to raid your fabric stash too and have a little summer fun with your kiddos too.  Happy 24th BeaUtahful!!!!  We love you xoxo

Friday

Walking Tacos - Fresh Living

We just arrived back from Minnesota where we were introduced to one of their cultural favorite foods, the Walking Taco.  In our neck of the woods we call them "Wacos"  because we love combining cool names, which is exactly what these tacos are...all good things in a simple fabulous main dish!

A Walking Taco or Waco is a deconstructed taco that is eaten out of a container.  For our Fresh Living segment we used simple chip bags as the outer shell or container, but I have seen all kinds of disposable paper containers used.  Don't you just love a food with no rules?


You can use lots of different meats and toppings, and make them as fancy or as simple as you like.  I've seen them made up for weddings as fish tacos or for game nights with a chill bar complete with tons of toppings.  You can be as creative as you want.  When we ate them in Minneapolis they served them with beef taco meat and it was delicious!!!  I love lean meats so I am going to share my two favorites, Mexican One-Pot Chicken or South of the Border Turkey Skillet.  

 But first, here are the steps for making a fabulous "Waco"...

  • Choose a bag of chips and cut the bag open across the side to create a pocket.
  • Crunch the chips into nice bite size pieces.
  • Add your choice of taco meats.  
  • Layer with cheese, lettuce, cilantro, salsa, sour cream, jalapenos, or any other toppings you love.
  • Squeeze a little lime wedge over the top.
  • Add a plastic fork...and go!


Mexican One Pot Chicken

2 to 3 lbs of Boneless Skinless Chicken
Large Jar of Salsa of your Choice
1 Can of Pinto or Kidney Beans
1 Can of Corn
1 Can of Coke
1/2 Teas. Ground Black Pepper
1 Tbs.Taco Seasoning
1 Teas. Ground Cumin
A Bunch of Cilantro, Chopped
2 Limes


Place chicken to the slow cooker.   Add the salsa, beans, corn, and half a can of coke and seasonings.  Set slow cooker of high and let cook for 4 to 6 hours or until the meat is fork tender.

Using two forks, pull the meat apart into shredded pieces and stir the mixture together.  Add the fresh cilantro and squeeze the juice of the limes over the top.

This recipe is so very simple in a slow cooker.  If you don't have a slow cooker you can combine all of the ingredients in a roaster oven or dutch oven and cook over low heat until chicken if tender and ready to pull apart.  

This is my favorite chicken to make for large parties, camping, or weekly dinners.  It feed a ton and is fabulous in Mexican style salads, on top of flat tortillas, or in tacos!  With one scoop you get your beans, corn, and sauce.  It is fabulous.


 South of the Border Turkey Skillet


2 to 3 Lbs of Fresh Ground Turkey
Olive Oil
1 Can of Corn
1 Can of Kidney Beans
2 Limes
1 Large Onion Chopped
 2 Cups of Pico de Gaio
A Bunch of Cilantro, Chopped
Taco Seasoning

Heat the Olive Oil in a large skillet.  Add the chopped onion, ground turkey and taco seasoning.  Saute until onions are beginning to heat through or turn translucent.  Add the Pico, corn, and beans.  Finish cooking all the ingredients together until the meat is done.  Add the lime juice and cilantro and toss together. 

It is ready to serve.  This is a great meat for someone who really loves the texture of ground meats in their tacos but wants a lighter option...and wow is it fabulous!
Now that I have shared my two favorite meats for tacos, and you know you can use all kinds of chips (Doritos are our favorites)  you can add all the toppings you want and have your Walking Taco ready to go.  The best part of this meal is it's simplicity from beginning to end.  The meats are made ahead, the toppings set out and the clean up is super easy with everything being tossed in the trash.  No plates needed.  

We hope you enjoy this Mid-West favorite as much as we did and catch the Fresh Living segment by following the link.  Enjoy!

Framed Over Barn Quilts

You know how there are just some days that you are super duper excited and you can't hold it in?  Well, today is one of those for me!  I am so excited to share with you the first three of our "framed over" barn quilt and a brand new design, the Blue Belle Wildflower Barn Quilt!


Blue Belle Wildflower Barn Quilt


We got the idea to frame our solid wood planked barn quilts while teaching our Summer Tweetle Dee Workshop, when one of our students asked if we could frame their 44" barn quilt before they left.  Of course we could since the shop is right there and we love doing new things.  Well friends, the results were amazing!!!  So, we decided then and there to begin framing over many of our most popular barn quilts.  They took a great design to vavoom!!!


 Swiss Cross Barn Quilt

We have the brand new Blue Belle Wildflower Barn Quilt, the Framed Over Texas Star and our favorite Swiss Cross available in The SHOP with limited quantities.  Each piece is hand drawn on our signature solid wood planks, each color is hand painted and perfectly distressed and then the boards is sealed, signed, and dated.  No two are ever alike!


Framed Over Texas Star

Aren't they gorgeous?  Seriously amazing!  To make this new release even better, we are extending our Summer Sale through the end of July with 30% off all orders.  After the 30th we will be closing the shop for some big changes coming to Tweetle Dee which we are sooo excited about and you will be too!  I promise.  So, don't miss this sale!!!  We added many of our favorite fall barn quilts as well, which is awesome, right?  

Remember to use code SUMMER and we hope you grab these before they are gone!  Have a great weekend and see you in LA this week for a bunch of classes!


Tuesday

Tis a Gift to Be Free Hoop Art Pattern

Happy 4th of July!  I can't believe we are already celebrating the red, white and blue.  This is one of my favorite holidays because of the family celebrations I remember with our family on the farm in New York.  We would get together at the cottage on the lake and swim or fish...a little canoeing happened too.  A great picnic with potato salad (my favorite), rhubarb pie, and Grandma Brown's baked beans (thick and sweet).  We finished the night with fireworks over the water and a drive to the town firework show.  Lots of laughter and tons of fireflies....oh summer!
Those memories of my summers at the lake with family are about as simple as you could imagine.  I think if we could film them in the Kodachrome colors they would be called pure Americana.  I feel lucky and very blessed to have the heritage I have and to remember my ancestors who came as pilgrims, Palentines's and immigrants to this country because they had a hope of something better for themselves and their posterity.   It was their gift to us that we can be free.  

I created this hoop-art embroidery Tis a Gift to Be Free as a free downloadable pattern for you to stitch an enjoy.  The words come from an old Shaker hymn, which happens to be one of my favorite songs to play and sing.   The materials for this project are super simple to pick up.

Tis a Gift to be Free Hoop-Art Embroidery Pattern

 8 or 9" Wood Embroidery Hoop
10" Square of Chambray Blue Fabric
10" Square of Cotton Batting
DMC Floss 
Needle
Scissors 
Frixion Pen or Sulky Paper Sulvy

1.  Click on image below and enlarge to the size you want.  Print on home printer on paper or if you are using the Sulky Paper Sulvy, print the design off onto the paper.  

2.  Transfer design onto fabric using a Frixion Pen and a light table OR trim the Sulky Paper sheet to the desired size and stick to fabric.

3.  Layer the fabric onto the cotton batting and place in hoop.  Remember to tighten the screws and stretch the fabric to be "drum tight".

4.  Begin Stitching...

       Ecru - Back Stitch all lettering.  Star Stitch three stars.
       #3820 - Back Stitch flagpole, star, beehive, and Cross Stitch x's inside hive.
       #321 - Back Stitch lines on flag.  Star Stitch two stars.
       #799 - Back Stitch square inside flag and Cross Stitch "stars" inside.  Star                            stitch three stars.

5.  If using the Sulky Paper Sulvy, lightly rinse transfer away with cool water.  Let dry.  If using a Frixion pen, steam the lines off and let cool.

6.  Stretch back into hoop and enjoy!  Remember we now have our Hoop Art Box Frames that would be darling to display this stitch in.  

We wish you all a happy 4th of July and to celebrate we are giving FREE SHIPPING on all order through July 10th in Our Shop!  Use code FREEGIFT and everything you order has free shipping...seriously,  even the big babies!  We hope you have a great time with your family and friends and thank your stars for the gift of freedom.  Happy Independence Day!!!

Monday

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Pie

We came home from Portland a week ago to a huge patch of rhubarb growing in our garden.  It might be the largest growth we've ever had, which is funny considering we were gone for weeks and it didn't get watered.   Mother nature is amazing!  The hearty nature of rhubarb is why the pioneers and homesteaders would bring starts of it when left to go across to the plains.  It served as a vegetable and fruit for them.  For us, it is the perfect tart compliment to my other favorite fruit, the strawberry.


Strawberries are in season and rhubarb is obviously ready to harvest, so this past weekend we made my favorite pie the Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Pie.  This pie is so simple with only a few ingredients.  It showcases the fruits of the season without the spices that some fruit pies add, which in some cases detracts from the pure summer goodness of the fruit.  My favorite way to eat this pie is cold, ice cold!  The crumble hardens crisp and the fruits are tender and sweet...with a little tartness.  Oh my heart!  


In addition to how delicious this pie is, it is super simple to make.  You can either make your own pie crust or use a store bought crust.  Sometimes it's just nice to keep it simple and buy the pastry already to go.  Here is the rest of the recipe...

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Pie

2  Cups Medium Sized Chopped Rhubarb
3 Cups Fresh Strawberries, Washed & Chunky Sliced
1 & 1/2 Cup White Sugar
3 Tablespoons Corn Starch

Mix these first four ingredients together in a mixing bowl and set aside.  Preheat your over to 375 degrees.
Roll out your pie crust in a deep dish 9" pie dish.
Lightly toss the fruit mixture into the unbaked pie shell.
Make the crumble.

1 & 1/2 Cup White Flour
1 & 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Cold Butter
Dash of Vanilla

Mix the flour and brown sugar together.  Cut in the cold butter using a couple of knives or a few pulses in your food processor.  It will be just right when the crumble looks like the size of peas.  Add a dash of vanilla and toss.  

Sprinkle and spread over the fruit pie mixture.  Bake in over uncovered for 50 to 55 minutes or until the crumble and crust is lightly browned.
Remove from over and let cool.
Serve with ice cream or fresh whipped cream, but plain is just
 fine with this baby!


Now that you have the perfect summer pie, go find your self some rhubarb.  Most Whole Foods stores have it in their produce section now and differently in their freezer section, in case you can't find a patch of it.  I hope you enjoy this "taste of summer in one bite" pie.




Wednesday

Flower Box Wire Embroidery

I have always loved the look of vintage crewel embroidery.   It was popular in the 1970's and typically was stitched on canvas with bright and muted wool flosses.   Big framed crewel pieces are collector items today, and although I loved framed needlework, I also love vintage floral box trays with the wire and wood.  Often they are discolored from years of plantings.  

When we began designing our floral collections for this year, I knew I had to find a way to combine the look of vintage floral trays and embroidery.  I searched for wool flosses that would be hearty and beautiful and asked my very cute carpenter to make something that looked like the old floral seed trays that I collected on a recent trip to the south.


The first Wire Box Embroidery Tray came out of the shop and I squealed!  I couldn't wait to begin "stitching" on them.  They are lightweight and perfectly distressed, even the wire is antiqued.  I began with a basic daisy and a thick DMC Yarn and tied off the first knot onto the wire.  Then I began winding the wool floss around the wire to create the first flower.  I filled it in until it was thick and full.  It was so simple and easy to create a flower.  Holding the lightweight frame was also a delight compared to heavy fabrics.  


I then experimented with all of my favorite embroidery stitches and found a few tricks to use them all in a collection of flowers.  What I love most about this style of embroidery is you can be a free-form as you wish.  It is simply about winding yarns around the wire until you create a flower of leaf or whatever that you love.  

I use a thick Yarn Darner Needle to get my heavy flosses through and if there is a stitch I don't like, I can clip it out and start again without ruining my fabrics.  


You can find our Wire Box Embroidery Frames on our site in several sizes and shapes.  We also offer kits which include the flosses, needles, stitching guides and patterns.  In addition to using these frames for wire embroidery, they can be used as frames for fabric embroidery and for photos or dried flowers or any other use you can imagine.


If you would like to watch a tutorial on how to begin stitching your own Floral Box, you can watch today's Fresh Living segment on KUTV Channel 2.   We will be posting video tutorials on our Tweetle Dee You Tube Channel in the next few weeks!  We are super excited to share these Wire Box Embroidery Frames and Kits with you and look forward to seeing lots of beautiful stitches blooming in your homes.



Friday

Belle Prairie Wild Flower Mother's Day Sale

 There are two new Belle Prairie Wildflower Block of the Month kits in the shop today, and they just might be the sweetest flowers in the collection.  Wild Clover and Lily of the Valley are prairie wildflowers painted on these adorable hexies.  Each flower in the collection was chosen because of the meaning these little blossoms have.  


Belle Prairie Wild Clover

Wild Clover symbolizes faith, hope, and love.  If you were lucky enough to find the rare four leaf clover you got a little luck too.  The purple and pink blossoms are so dainty and sweet.  Have you ever walked in a field of wild clover?  I have and can say the fragrance is so sweet, it's no wonder the bees flock to those clover blossoms.  


Belle Prairie Lily of the Valley

The Lily of the Valley flower literally translates to "a return to happiness".  I can imagine these little white and blue flowers were given amount the prairie women in times of trial to bring a little smile and cheer...and a reminder that happier times lie ahead.


The entire Belle Prairie Wildflower Collection is available in kits to paint yourself and already painted.  These blocks are different than our typical barn quilt patterns in that they are a template, which means you place them on your hexie and trace the design onto the board instead of measuring for a grid.  

They are so fun to paint.  I use both tape/sponge brushes and soft watercolor brushes to fill in the tiny little bits of color and curves.  They were a joy to paint and even more, I love the meaning behind each and every flower.  

This Mother's Day weekend Our Shop is celebrating the special women in our lives by giving 20% off all orders.  Use code MOMSRULE at checkout.  The Mother's Day Sale ends Monday at midnight.  

We hope you have a lovely Mother's day weekend and pick up the two newest Belle Prairie Blocks to share a little faith, hope, love, luck & happiness in your corner of the prairie!



Sunday

Pina Colada Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes

What better was to celebrate National Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day than with a festive update to this classic dessert!  I was asked by KUTV's Fresh Living to share my favorite version of my grandmother's Pineapple Upside Down Cake and because I love coconut and anything mini-sized this is what I came up with.



The recipe is super easy and they bake up in less than a half hour, but the most amazing part of this recipe is the Coconut Rum Glaze that pours into the baked goodness and drizzles over the top.  I mean seriously...coconut, rum, and pineapple?  Goodness me!  

Pina Colada Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Ingredients

One Vanilla Cake Mix
1/2 of Coconut Cream
3 Eggs
1/2 Cup of Crushed Pineapple
1/2 Cup Sweetened Coconut Flakes
1 Teas. Coconut Extract
12 Whole Sliced Pineapple
12 Maraschino Cherries

Mix together all ingredients and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 12 large muffin tin cups.  Place a dot of butter and a tablespoon of brown sugar in each muffin cup.
Break a one inch section out of the pineapple slices and form them in a circle in the bottom of each cup.  Place a cherry in the hole of the pineapple slice.  Spoon the batter in about a quarter inch from the top edge.  Bake for 15 to 20 minuets.

Take out of the oven and poke a few holes in each cake with a fork.  Make the glaze!

1/2 Cup Butter
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk
1 Teas. Rum Extract

In a small non-stick pan melt the butter.  Add the brown sugar and whisk until heated through and incorporated into the butter.  Slowly pour in the coconut milk and rum extract whisk until smooth.  Spoon half of the sauce over the top of each cake and refrigerate for 15 minutes.  Reserve the remaining sauce to drizzle over the top when serving.

Slide a knife around the edges of the cakes and pop out of the muffin tins and place on a plate with the pineapple up.  Drizzle sauce over the cake and garnish with a dollop of fresh whipped cream


There are a few cakes that are our family's favorite and this one is a top three.  It is seriously the best rich, cold, creamy and sweet cake!  I hope you enjoy this updated version of this 1950's classic.  You can watch the Fresh Living segment on the site by following the link.  It's always a fun time when we are cooking together in the KUTV kitchen!














 
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