In My Life, I've Loved Them All

28 Quilts & Astronomical Block Challenge with Karen Nyberg

I saw the NASA booth at the 39th International Quilt Festival in Nov 2013, and this video of Astronaut Karen Nyberg asking for quilt squares to add to the one she made while on the International Space Station.

So I figured 10 months to make an 9.5” quilt block would be a piece of cake! Of course, I left everything to the last minute and Priority Mailed my block in the week of the deadline.

astro quilt block

I thought all of the blocks would be made into one super record-breaking quilt! But when I arrived at the International Quilt Festival 2014, I found that the 2,200+ blocks were assembled into 28 72”x90” quilts. Makes sense, and made for a much more manageable way to display the work of Quilters from around the world.

It was a beautiful exhibit to walk through… but my heart began to sink when I realized there were 4 huge notebooks of quilt squares to flip though. Squares that were not the correct dimensions or were received after the deadline. Did I measure right!? Was my block mailed in time?!

Luckily, I found my block on the 26th quilt I looked at! It was on the bottom row of the quilt, so I sat on the floor to get a picture with it.

Found my #star #block! #AstroBlockChallenge #quiltfestival

A photo posted by Cindy (@inmylife99) on

HUGE BONUS: I found out in-route to the Festival that Astronaut Karen Nyberg was going to make an appearance! Had I known in advance, I would have worn a nicer shirt. Being able to meet here really completed this entire experience!


I made sure to take a picture off all 28 of the Star themed quilts… in thoughts to mash them together into a photo of one SUPER QUILT like I had originally thought it would be.

Now I am realizing that 1) Many of the 2,200 contributors could not make it to Houston to see the Display in person and 2) Professional photos of the quilts are not available online quite yet. I thought they be posted as soon as the festival started… but now it may be a week or 2 until gets the online. And that is an eternity to the Quilters who want to see their block!

So to help out, here are the pictures I took of the Astronomical Quilts. They are taken with a point-and-shoot camera, but hopefully are clear enough for quilters to find their blocks!


** click on photos to enlarge **

AstroQuilt1  AstroQuilt2

astroquilt3  astroquilt4

astroquilt5  AstroQuilt6

AstroQuilt7  astroquilt8

astroquilt9  AstroBlock10


AstroQuilt11  astroquilt12

astroquilt13  astroquilt14

astroquilt15  AstroQuilt16

AstroQuilt17  AstroQuilt18

astroquilt19  astroquilt20

astroquilt21  astroquilt22

astroquilt23  astroquilt24

astroquilt25  astroquilt26

astroquilt27  astroquilt28


Instagram in Pixels

For Future Reference: The Pixel size of a photo for Instagram is currently 612×612. Anything larger will be reduced via Instagram… which is all well and good, unless you have text, then things might get a bit pixelated.

I advise resizing a photo yourself (PicMonkey is a great free online photo editor) so your Instagram pic will show up exactly like you want it to :D

I learned this the hard way on May 4th.

Now I know!

Wedding Hair Trial #1 – Rope Braid Bun

To save a little sanity the day of the wedding, I want to try to get a reasonable idea of what to do with my hair.

I have been doing my own up-dos for my work Christmas parties for 3 years… but they were basically “on the fly” involving clear elastics and bobby-pins… so I couldn’t replicate them even if I tried.  Oh dear.

The Challenge:
Find a GREAT DIY up-do for a June Wedding.
The Terms:
Island Wedding (aka Humidity!)
Bridesmaid Appropriate (not too plain, not to showy)
DIY-able (I don’t want it to the Cake Wrecks of Hairstyles!)
Google Searches!

Here is my 1st Hair experiment. (Original tutorial at
You basically make a rope braid, secure with a clear elastic, and pin into a bun!


I think it would be cute with a jeweled hair comb to the side of the bun.
I also only spent about 5 minutes before running out the door to work.  So for an event I’d get a more defined braid going, and do a little more to the sides/front frame of my face.  But this is cute enough for work and a little more professional looking than a basic pony tail.

I still have a little under a month to figure out something!  In the mean time, I’ll have some interesting hairstyles for work!


According to Google Autocomplete, we are all a bunch of toddlers…

If it is in autocomplete
I’m not the only one wondering…

Playing in the Kitchen: Pecan Pie

Fall is officially here! I’m so excited! And it means I should start digging up (and posting) some of my go-to Seasonal Recipes… like a Classic Pecan Pie!

So there are at least 8 different ways to pronounce this type of pie... to me it is: [pi:kn] with stress on the second syllable (“pee-KAHN”).  Actually mine sounds more like pa-KAHN.  At any rate, this nutty dessert seems to be the Fall pie of choice in my house. * Jump to the recipe *

Back in 2010, I decided to get adventurous, forgo the frozen Marie Callendar’s version and make pecan pie from scratch.

And I’m just posting it now.  Oops.

Pecan Pie from Scratch

As I tend to do with any new food adventure, I scour my cookbooks & the internet until I find a version I like, then pick and choose tips from other recipes.  If I had written this post earlier, I could have name dropped all of the pecan pie recipes I discovered.  Again, sorry :/

The Pecan Pie I produced most closely resembles The Pioneer Woman’s “Pecan Pie that will make you cry.”  Except I didn’t chop up the pecans as finely as she did.  And I used my old-standby pie crust recipe.

The Pioneer Woman won me over because she gives helpful cooking advice for knowing when the pie is “done.”

The baking temperature required seems to vary widely from oven to oven. Mine bakes perfectly in 50 minutes, but some are reporting that the pie is still soupy. If the pie is very jiggly when you remove it from the oven, cover with foil and bake for another 20 minutes or until mostly set. 

Good advice!  Escpecially since this isnt the kind of dessert you can stick a toothpick in to test for doneness!

Without further ado, here’s a good stand-by recipe for your classic Pecan/PEE-can/pee-CAN/pa-KAHN pie!

Classic Pecan Pie


1 whole Pie Crust (unbaked)

1 cup White Sugar
3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
½ teaspoons Salt
1 cup Corn Syrup
¾ teaspoons Vanilla
? cups Melted Butter
3 whole Eggs, Beaten
1 1/4 cup Coresly Chopped Pecans
Place unbaked pie crust in standard sized pie plate.

Combine mix sugar, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, eggs, and vanilla together in a bowl.

Pour chopped pecans in the bottom of the unbaked pie shell.

Pour syrup mixture over the top.

Cover top and crust lightly/gently with foil.

Bake pie at 350º for 30 minutes.

Remove foil, then continue baking for 20 minutes, being careful not to burn the crust or pecans.

Allow to cool for several hours before serving.


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