Kincaid Star Barn Quilt Story

Often I am asked what was the story behind a quilt design, whether it is created on cloth or wood.  I love a good story, and creating a design with elements that bring that story to life.  We have designed many original quilt designs for people who wanted to honor their own stories.  Today, I want to share the story of one of my family branches and the way that story made it's way into one of my favorite designs.  

The Kincaid Star photographed where the Kincaid home stood in Avoca, NY.  My grandmother would stop to care for their tombstones in the field across from the house (which was standing at the time).  One day she pointed to the different parts of the house, it’s windows, porches etc and asked me what I thought happened in the kitchen, what they cooked, where they played, and worked. 

It was an imaginative moment for me and brought them out of black, white, and shades of grey to real life in my mind.  In later years she sent me old photographs of their home and the history all written in black and white to read and save.  Last summer when we went back home to NY, I had to paint a Kincaid Star and bring it to that beautiful hill top to be photographed in their place. 

The design of the black and white with all kinds of half squares in one design, was representative of the gift my grandmother gave me that hot summer day.  The half squares represented the half seen story of an grey old abandoned home.  The black, white and shades of grey represent the beautiful story of a life past that can be remembered and seen in love and imagination.  It’s one of my favorite  and most loved original quilt designs because of that experience years ago. 

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A Weed Is A Flower

A weed is just a flower in disguise if seen through loving eyes.  I have loved this thought for so many years.  It was hand-written into the cover of an old book gifted to me by my husband, and of course it found it's way into one of my most loved embroidery samplers.  

This saying is loved for the reminder that all things can be seen as beautiful and can hold value when seen with love.   In my drawings, paintings and natural dye processes I have found the most deep and beautiful colors in what some would call weeds.  All creations on earth were created by a creator whose nature is love.  

In our shop we have kits and frames for this embroidery sampler.  It is stitched on hand dyed fabric, simple black and includes lace flowers, wood buttons and ribbon leaves.  Also included in the kit are hoops, needle, snips, marking pen, and batting.  The frame for this piece is also available in our frame collection.  

All of the basic stitches in this piece are added to our Tweetle Dee YouTube Channel.  I am often asked how long it takes to stitch a piece, so I track it for you.  This piece took two evenings to stitch and just a few minutes to frame.   The finished size fits in a 11" x 16" frame as well.  

We hope you feel inspired to embroider along with us.  We all need a reminder to see each other and all of nature through the eyes of love.  

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Spring is Here

We had such a happy weekend with the first signs of spring coming up on the mountain.  Easter is one of my favorite holidays because of how simple it is.  A few eggs, a few flowers, a cute bunny and the remembrance that our Savior died so that we can live and have second chances.  It is a perfect time to clear out the old and look at the fresh gifts we receive in our renewals.  

I painted a few wooden eggs with my favorite Prairie Paint colors, that looks so much like the natural eggs we find in our chicken coop.  It's inspired me to pull together a sampler pack of our colors for the season.  Watch for it come very soon.  

I finished the Bud and Dot patterns and created a couple of kits for them, and of course our darling bunnies wanted to show them off.  The kits are available in Our Shop with all the fabric, floss, hoop, needle and instructions to make these darling bunnies.  They are so cute you will want them all around year round.  

All of my ceramic bunnies became a collection of dark chocolate bunnies with a couple of coats of Espresso Brown Satin Spray Paint.  I gathered them together with some vintage Easter cards and Prairie Paint eggs.  It was quick and easy and was the perfect look for my spring table.   

The snow melted off just enough that we could have a small egg hunt on the lawn and the back patio and we all soaked up the rich, golden sun.  It was a lovely day to be together and help our two toddler grandbabies find their eggs.  It took a little wrangling to get them to put them in their baskets, but it was a really fun time.  

As soon as that sun was setting we lit up the porch lights and made our Sourdough Pizza Dough and fired up the Ooni.  We love having pizzas on the back porch because of how simple it is to prep for and each person can make their own creation.  My husband runs the oven and we had a great dinner as the sun set.  

One thing I have learned  is that it doesn't matter what the menu is, or what the weather is, or how many or few we have, as long as we gather together, we will feel love.  I'm thankful for the blessing of family and friends.  I'm also so thankful to see the sun shine on our fences, knowing that the snow will melt and new growth will come soon.  

We hope you had a wonderful weekend and enjoy all the little things that this season brings into your life.  Remember that everyday there is something to celebrate, something we can dream about & hope for, and something we can create.  It's the way I have survived and thrived in my life and I know there is something magical when we look for the small things we can celebrate and feel gratitude for, something we can dream-or hope for, and something we make with our hands and hearts everyday.  

Sending you a hug for a great week!

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Sweet & Light Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Every spring we make cinnamon rolls for your family.  It's been a tradition for 30+ years with the scent of sweet dough and cinnamon that brings you home.  This year with the a new sourdough journey, we made a smaller sourdough batch of rolls with many of the tricks we've learned over the years, and they were the best we've ever made!  So I though with Easter coming this week, it may be nice for you to try them as well.  

Sweet & Light Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

140 grams milk
28 g melted butter
1 egg
100 grams active sourdough starter
300 grams flour
5 grams grey salt

Cinnamon Filling
2 tbs soft butter
1/2 c sugar
2 teas cinnamon
1/2 c brown sugar

1/4 c soft butter
1/4 c soft cream cheese
1 teas vanilla
3 c powdered sugar
1 to 2 tbs of milk

First, let's make the dough.  Pour the milk and butter into a small bowl, whisk and set aside.  In your stand mixer bowl, add egg, active sourdough starter and with the paddle attachment mix together.  Add the butter/milk mixture until incorporated.  Add flour and salt.  Mix into a sticky mixture, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes in 68 to 75 degree temps.  I like to turn on the light in my oven and proof my dough in the oven with the door closed.  This is especially helpful in the winter. 

Change the mixing attachment to the dough hook and knead the dough for 5 minutes on a low speed.  If the dough is too sticky while kneading, add a little more flour until the dough forms a soft ball.  Butter the sides of a large bowl and place the dough in it, cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm (68 to 75 degree) place to proof for 12 hours or overnight.

When the dough has proofed and it should be doubled in size.  Oil and flour your counter surface and lightly pull the dough from the bowl onto the prepared counter space.  Let rest 20 minutes.  This is a good time to make the Cinnamon filling.  

In a small bowl add white sugar and cinnamon and whisk together with a fork.  get your brown sugar and soft butter ready.  Prepare a 9" springform pan by placing a piece of parchment paper in the bottom and up the sides of the pan.  Set aside. 

Lightly roll out the dough into a 16" x 12" rectangle om the oiled and flour counter.  I like to make a few soft rolls with my rolling pin and then use my fingers to stretch it into shape lifting and lightly pulling it into shape.  Once you have the shape, spread the softened butter over the dough.  Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture onto the butter and then sprinkle the brown sugar over it all.  

Now it's time to make your rolls.  Take the long side of the dough and roll it from one side to the other to make a long tube of dough.  Using a piece of baker's string, slice 2" rolls by sliding the string under the roll, and then crossing the two ends of the string to cut off each section.  

Place each roll into the parchment lined pan.  Make sure to give them some space.  
When all of them are in the pan, use your fingers to lightly press each roll down a little to make them more round than upright.  Cover the pan and let rise for 2 hours in a warm place.  

When the 2 hours are up, preheat oven to 350 degrees and place in middle rack of the oven.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the tops are slightly brown. Remove from oven and let sit in pan for 10 minutes before lifting the parchment paper out of the pan to cool on a rack.  

While they are cooling, it is a good time to make the glaze.  In your mixer and with the whisk attachment, add the butter and cream cheese and whip on high for a few  minutes.  Add vanilla and mix.  Add the powdered sugar and whisk.  It will look dry,  add the milk a little at a time until you get the consistency of a light whipped frosting.  

You can either frost while warm and have the glaze sink in or frost cold and pile that yumminess up.  We love to serve these slightly warm.

We hope you enjoy these Sweet & Light Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls.  They turned out so sweet and good.  The slight tang of sourdough set off the sweetness and made for a perfect bite of cinnamon goodness.  To watch the video you can go to our Unstagram @tweetledeedesignco or our TikTok channel @tweetledee.

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