Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lost Hexigons

I don't know why but I have decided to call whatever I make out of these Hexigons to be named Lost Hexigons. 
As I have mentioned before I found a stack of squares in my inherited fabic.  I have made 2 lap quilts (one became Jenny's Quilt, and the other is still a top awaiting it's backing) out of them but I still have more squares.  I found inspiration in hexigons and decided to make them into big hexies and then decide what happens.  Either another lap quilt with hexy flowers spread around a top color randomly or pillow cases, I don't know yet. 

Baby/ Recieving Blankets

     I made up two quick receiving blankets last Saturday.  It took me longer to cut out the pieces then it did to sew.  The first one (Birds) has a top piece of 30" and a bottom piece of 40" like the instructions from the video on youtube from Missouri Star Quilting Company.  The second blanket (Owl) I wanted a larger one and didn't feel the need for a huge binding/boarder so I cut the top fabric 38" and the bottom was its full width at about 42". 
     On the Birds I learned that you can't just iron the edges and it will all lay flat.  I got some puckering and the top piece was not fully stretched out before I did my top stitching around the border.  So on the Owl blanket I smoothed it out with my hands on the floor and pinned around the border for the top stitching.  But I then also learned to make sure that the border/binding is even on all sides.  I have one side that is a little thicker then the others.  Oh well.  Still a good quick project that definitely encourages some fun fabric. 
     I have left overs of all four of these prints so I'm going to try to do up 2 more of these but they will become scrappy fun.
I know I need to post pictures, I promise tonight.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Self Binding Baby Blanket

This is a great tutorial that I wanted to share with you all from the Missori Star Quilt Company.



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Jenny's Quilt

I have a friend that I have known since Kindergarten.  I think she is boss.  Here is my quilt to her.

It is lap size.  I sewed squares together until it felt right.  This one is backed with a dark teal.  I cut the backing larger than the top so the backing is also the binding.  I used embrodery thread to tack the layers together.  These are some of the squares that I found in my inherited stash.  I hope Jenny wears this quilt out.  A good quilt gets dirty, patched, and eventually thrown out.  Enjoy.

As Always,

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Cooking

I love Easter.  It is my favorite holiday. 

I am sure it has something to do with the fact that as a small child I knew my birthday was coming because it was always after Easter. 
My mom had these window decals that she put up for all the different holidays and then special birthday ones for when our birthday came.  I loved them.  It was also a great way for small children to learn when certain events line up with the seasons.  Easter = My Birthday. 
We would always get kites on Easter.  Mom would hide jelly beans around the house, I don't like jelly beans but I appreciated her effort and spirit of the holiday anyway.  We would also get a small basket with treats and little toys.  We always loved the parachuting GI Joes.

As an adult I enjoy the gathering, the meal and wearing your Sunday best (even if you don't do the Sunday thing).  I live to far away from my family to visit on Easter, because really we can't get the Monday off, so I try to make sure I get to do something special for Easter weekend. 

This year I planned an Easter Brunch.  Only I don't have a home big enough to entertain and I forgot to plan ahead.  I called up my friend and low and behold he was not busy on Saturday. Great I said, Easter brunch on Saturday at your house I'll bring most of the food.

I made:
Blueberry Muffins
Orange Blueberry Bread
Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake
Spanakopita pie
Blueberry Scones with Lemon glaze
Quiche with mushrooms, onions, and broccoli

I got the linked recipes from a blog called Mehan's Kitchen.  She has a lot of different cuisines that I enjoy so I think I'll be coming back for more.  I could see myself trying everything she has listed....

The Blueberry Muffins were great.  The recipe calls for sour cream which I think is an excellent addition.  The muffins are still moist several days later.  I added a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar to the top of each muffin. 

The Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake is delicious.  It isn't too sweet and it is hard to call it a cake.  Cakes, in my experience, are fluffy and moist.  This is sort of a cross between a muffin and a cake.  It was perfect.  It came out firm so you could cut a slice and then wander around eating it without a plate. 

I used Mehan's Spanakopita recipe because I couldn't find the one I has used last time I made it.  And why not try something new right?  It was good.  I didn't find it amazing and I don't see any reason to do the time intensive egg separation steps (but I'm not a chief).  I found it a little bland, however, the recipe just says 'salt and pepper' and 'dash' of spices.  I should have added a lot more and tasted.  That is my fault.  I do better when a recipe says "x teaspoon of ingredient" and then I know I can double it based on my tastes. 

The Blueberry Scones were wonderful.  I was worried at first when the dough was really sticky, cause how do you roll out the dough if it is that sticky.  I put a layer of flour down on the table and a layer on top of the dough so I could roll it out.  The extra flour didn't ruin it or anything mostly because I think the flour wasn't incorporated in.  In talking to some of my friends who used to and are pastry chiefs and they have informed me that I can always roll out dough between 2 pieces of wax paper with or without a light dusting of flour on it.  I did make the Lemon glaze to put on the scones.  I think making half the recipe would be fine, it makes a lot and if you poured the whole thing out the scones would be swimming in it.  Tasty though.  Also for me the glaze was to thin, I didn't change it, but next time I would add more sugar to thicken.  Quick and easy to make.

I make Quiche all the time so I don't follow a recipe anymore.  I started using the Joy of Cooking base but it didn't fit my needs so I've adapted it a lot.  I don't separate eggs, I don't like wasting them, so I throw the whole thing in.  If I don't have cream I use milk and who cares the % of milk.  I use nutmeg generously.  I use 2 cups or more of extra sharp Cheddar.  I make my pie dough with less water then it calls for (which makes it hard to roll out and place in pie pan) so when the quiche cooks the dough doesn't get soggy.  I put a light layer of cheese on bottom before I put my veggies in.  I use between 3-4 cups of veggies or whatever will fill in the pie pan to the top of the crust before I pour in my egg mixture (I have a 9.5 inch pan).  Oh, salt and pepper-I am able to eye ball it now but always put more in then you think is necessary particularly pepper. 

Orange Blueberry Bread
It was fun to make and easy.  Smells great.  Makes a decent sized loaf.  Looks appealing.  Half it is gone so I guess people liked it.  Had a slice a couple days later and it was wonderful.  My husband said to be last night, "you have to make this again."

I guess the theme of my Brunch was Blueberries.  Since most of my dishes contains them.  I have a lot of frozen blueberries thanks to my Mother who lives in blueberry country in Maine.  Last summer I asked her to put up some for me.  Apparently 'some' means a 5quart ice cream tub, one of those large Folgers coffee tubs, and a couple sour cream containers full of frozen blueberries.  She asked if I needed more this summer, I politely said 'No'.  lol 

Happy Easter

As Always,

Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday Finish: Red Ziggy and Coral Wall Hanging Tops

I am very proud I have 2 finishes this Friday.  I have been working on a zigzag quilt with left over parts and I have the top done.  I am hoping to put it all together this Sunday, but we will see given it is a Holiday weekend.
My other finish is a little girls wall hanging.  I had stacks of blocks that was found in my inherited box of random fabric.  These stacks have become one lap quilt and another top that is yet to be finished already but I had pulled out all these coral design fabrics.  I was looking at them this week and couldn't resist a drawn line triangle technique to make my design.  I just decided which color was going with which and made them into triangle pairs and let that dictate what the outcome was going to be.  I am quite happy with it.  If our baby happens to be a girl I'm going to keep it because I just love the fabric design and color, but if not I know someone who is having a girl and they'll get it.  Either way it will be loved.

Red Ziggy

Coral Wall Hanging
Forgive the out of focus photos, I don't know what is up.  My camera is normally very good but I just can't seem to get the lighting right in my apartment and maybe the lens needs a cleaning.
I am rather excited about quilting the wall hanging.  I don't have a quilting machine proper but I am planning to do something fun and hopefully bordering on real quilting with it.  Well that is my plan anyway.We'll see what actually happens.
Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts

As Always,

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Books Read 4.4.12

I got 3 more books read. 

People of the Book By Geraldine Brooks
HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method by Marie F. Mongan
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

People of the Book
I really liked People of the Book, I listened to it on audio tape so the story telling format was hard to get used to until I figured it out.  But if I had been reading it it wouldn't have been a problem.  The story for me was compelling.  The forensic anthropology of how the book was made and where it went and who it effected....I enjoyed it. 

This is about relaxation techniques to be used in childbirth and other birth information.  The scripts that are taught; relaxation and deepening techniques would be useful for anyone in any situation.  I have already used it at work at my desk and in particularly stressful meetings.  My husband took the class with me and has been reading the book and he has used the techniques himself since and enjoys practicing with me.  We are planning on using some of these techniques during our birth. 

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
For me this book started off a little slow.  But again it could be because I had it on audio tape.  How else would I get all this quilting done!  The story, though fiction, has a lot of truth in it about WWII.  I also particularly enjoyed reading about characters that have a different culture then myself.  Good story.  My favorite character is the Jazz musician.