My Day on the Virtual Christmas Cookie Exchange Blog Hop

Thank you to Carol from Just Let Me Quilt who has been hosting this hop since 2013. There sure has been a lot of memories, Christmas gift ideas and wonderful recipes shared through this hop over the years.

For me a big part of holidays as a child was starting Christmas baking with my Mom on the night of my birthday, October 15th. That night we would always make fruitcake. It involved my Mom having a nip (or two) of the dark rum, lining and oiling the pans with paper, and after all of the ingredients were added, each of my brothers, my sister and I would make a wish while we gave the batter a stir.

Once I grew up and had children, they all decided they did not like fruitcake. Instead we would start our baking the week before Hallowe’en with batches of shortbread which the kids always had so much fun decorating. My recipe was the one my mother used.

As you can see the recipe is well used and much loved! Since we are staying home again and not likely to have company, this is tucked back in the box. Perhaps next year it will finally be put to use again. 😉

Once December came and visitors started the rounds of sharing Christmas cheer, I would head to the freezer to pull out the goodies that my kids and I had been baking and stashing. More often than not there wouldn’t be any shortbread left. It turns out my sons and daughter prefer their shortbread in the frozen state. 😳. Back in to the kitchen we’d go and several more batches of shortbread would have to be made to get us through the holidays.

Most years I enjoy shopping for books for the grands and great grands. Since we won’t be travelling again to see the littles, I decided that I would make reading pillows because the littles get to keep their light on for an extra half hour if they are reading real books! What fun it was to see them all tucked in reading books that are their favourites and even some of their parents favourites. Often Mom or Dad are there enjoying a cuddle and sharing story time with the littles.

With the postal issues caused by highway closures I had to get busy sewing in November to get everything emailed sooner.

I checked to see what size my pillow forms were: 22” square. Then I chose fabrics for my youngest granddaughters.

I Cut a 24” square from my focal fabric, my lining fabric and a piece of batting. I layered and quilted the pillow front and then squared it up to 23 “ square.

Then I cut 2 pieces of fabric 23 1/2” x 14” for the envelope style back fabrics, folded over 1/2” and sewed the edge with a 1/4” seam. The front pocket was fabric cut to 32” x 23”, folded in half with wrong sides together. The pieces were then assembled with wrong sides out. I sewed it with a 1/4” seam, leaving an opening to turn the pillow cover right side out. Making sure the corners were nicely turned. I pressed the cover and then sewed a 1/2” seam from the outside edge, leaving a nicely finished French seam on the inside. This is my preferred method of finishing the seams to keep everything need and tidy and stops any fraying or seams splitting open.

I did a favourite spiral Quilting, starting from the centre and working my way out to the edges.

Here are the first two pillow covers with books tucked in to the pocket. They have been tucked in to new fabric drawstring gift bags (I make new ones most years so that my family can use recyclable wrapping instead of paper) and popped in a box and mailed.

So two down and mailed and 2 more for 2 of the great grands still need to be done and mailed.

Here are the other bloggers who are posting today:

I’m heading over there now to see what fun projects and recipes they have to share.

Please don’t forget to show some love to the participants who are sharing some treasured family recipes and Quilting inspiration with all of us by leaving a comment. It really does make us do a happy dance if you do or even subscribe to our blogs. 😉

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season filled with love, laughter, family, fun and great food. Thank you for spending some of your time visiting my blog. 🤶🏻Carol


Published by Carol Andrews

I have been fondling fabric and creating things with fabric and fiber for as long as I can remember. My children had homemade clothes, blankets, canning and quilts most of their lives. Now I create goodies to share! Hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I enjoy making them! When I am not creating with fiber or fabric I keep busy with Dear Heart, kids, grandkids, great grandkids.

54 thoughts on “My Day on the Virtual Christmas Cookie Exchange Blog Hop

  1. Your book pillows are a wonderful gift idea. I love the idea of a cookie recipe that I can bake and put in the freezer and pull out just one or two instead of feeling like I have to eat all of them before they spoil!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Those shortbread cookies sound good. That’s a good idea to keep them in the freezer to pull out when needed. I love the book pillows! Thanks for sharing your tutorial!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reading pillows sound like a wonderful gift. I have never made shortbread cookies, but we used to make lots of cookies to give away when the kids lived at home. Happy Holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your reading pillows turned out so beautiful, and I love the quilting – thanks for the instructions. LOVE that recipe, it’s priceless. I have a few that look like that, and they are so precious to me. Thank you for sharing your memories. I loved your post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Carol, lovely post and I too loved seeing that well loved recipe. What memories! I’m always interested in seeing shortbread recipes to see if they contain corn starch and /or icing sugar. That seems to go way back in time to add one or the other. Meanwhile, lovely stitching too and how great to have things in the mail already. You are right on the ball!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Almost all the cards in my recipe box look like that one…love it! Those are such sweet pillows and I’m sure they will be be loved for many years. Shortbread is one of my favorite cookies, so I would have been grabbing them out of the freezer too! Thank you for sharing all this Christmas joy, Carol!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a heart warming post, full of special memories. I want to try your shortbread recipe, as it looks tried & true and I absolutely love shortbread cookies. Thank you for sharing. I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great traditions! My mother in law used to make fruitcake that was delicious, it was mostly fruit and was actually delicious. My husband loved it! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love that book pillow idea! I will have to remember that. I also love having recipes in a loved ones’ handwriting. I keep them all the time. I would make those cookies for just the two of you and keep them in the freezer. I bet you find that it is nice to have a little Christmas treat during the season.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Reading pillows are such a wonderful idea and sure to be a hit! I love your picture of the recipe. That is a well-loved one and you can tell it has been perfect for the years. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh my goodness, nothing is as good a shortbread. I love your recipe…you know it’s a good one since it’s so well loved. I might just have to give it a whirl here, myself! Love your reading pillow idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Carol! That is one well loved recipe!! The best kind! I just to get to read for half an hour at bedtime as well as a kid. One of my favorite times of day. What a great idea – these pillows with a little pocket to hold the favorite book of the day or week. I’ll bet my littles would enjoy that as well very soon. Thanks so much for sharing the idea with us. Merry Christmas to you and your family. {{Big hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Colette. I do enjoy shortbread and often add grated lemon peel, or crushed nuts to it for a slightly different version. I love the fact that our littles love to read books and often haul them around with them. 😉


  13. Oh, I love that you still have your mother’s hand-written recipe for shortbread! And with cornstarch, that must be why it is called melting shortbread, melts in your mouth. I’ll have to try that! Your grands and greats are going to love their reading pillows! I’ll have to pass on that idea to my kids with littles – that they get to leave the light on for extra time if they’re reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Deonn. The letting them have an extra half hour works well to encourage reading and perhaps a bit of snuggle time and sharing thoughts as well. Merry Christmas to you and yours 🎄


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