Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween and Welcome Quilt Festival visitors!

I thought I would share some details on this quilt for the Blogger's Quilt Festival. (Thanks, Amy!) I made this quilt purely for fun. It came together quickly and I can't wait to have it on the walls for next Halloween. Since I just finished it yesterday, we won't get to enjoy it for too long this year being that it is Halloween today.

hubby dressed as a quilt for Halloween :)

Pattern: Late Bloomer from Thimble Blossoms, out of the Australian Homespun mag

I had the fortunate chance to be in Australia when the Australian Homespun mag that contained this pattern was on the newsstand. I immediately knew I would make it since it was both cute and fairly easy. A while later, I happened to see a Chic or Treat layer cake on clearance and a lightbulb went off that it would be perfect with this pattern (well, what fabric line wouldn't be, really). I've had the material and pattern sitting there waiting to be made for a year. I talked a little bit about my process of picking out the border and ric rac color here.

I agonized for a bit about not doing the applique circles, but felt the quilt didn't need it since the fabric was so graphic and colorful. I also ended up stitching down all the edges of the ric rac so it would lay smooth. This was a first for me with the wavy edge on the bottom and it is so adorable.

fun graphic polka dots, candy and spooky houses

Fabric: Chic or Treat layer cake by Moda, spider web from Alexander Henry and some orange polka dots from Hobby Lobby

I love the fabric. Cute, but not toooo cute. I hope the polka dot fabric from Hobby Lobby will hold up. It actually feels just as nice as my quilt store cotton and  was just the perfect color of orange and I couldn't resist those jumbo polka dots.

grey polka dot backing fabric and beautiful quilting

Quilted by: Deb Geissler

Deb did such a great job with the quilting and her turnaround was lightning fast. It is the second quilt she has done for me and I wouldn't hesitate to send her all of my larger quilts. The batting is Hobbs and I like the way it is lightweight but still gets lots of crinkles after it is washed and dried.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pumpkin Spice "Latte"

I'm enjoying my homemade pumpkin "latte" right now. My recipe: 3 cups of milk, 3 T pumpkin puree, 1 t or so of baking spice (just picked up Tues at a local spice shop and it is yummy!), sugar to taste and instant coffee. Simmer on stovetop to let the flavors meld. This is a generous batch with enough for a friend.

I find using instant makes it creamier while still nofat--no water to dilute it. I sort of just made it up so the measurements may be a wee bit off. Luckily, it's easy to tinker with to get it to taste right.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Two birthday presents for my soon to be 2 year old

My daughter's 2nd birthday is this coming week. She's changing so quickly. Hopefully she'll change quickly through this defiant and moody phase she's going through right now. She is incredibly sweet almost all of the time.

I made her two things. One is a cutie patootie mushroom pillow. She loves mushrooms. It coordinates with this quilt and with another I have planned to be on her bed once she transitions to a regular twin bed. It is 12" square and was my own design. I used an Olfa circle cutter and glue baste. I'm not that skilled at applique, but I love the freedom of the technique. The Lakehouse iridescent dotted fabric is so fun. I bought it at Isabelle Originals in Dysart, IA--the best quilt shop in all of Iowa! The rest is from a remnant of a panel and Lecien aqua with mushrooms.

See the little mushrooms on the aqua?

two tone purple iridescent dotted fabric = girly fun!

The other is a cute birthday table topper. The cake stand has yummy pumpkin bars right now, but it will soon be replaced with cupcakes! The fabrics were just the cupcake print plus bits and pieces pulled from my scrap bin and stash. The pattern is Center Stage by Pieced Tree, also purchased at Isabelle Originals.

My piecing and stippling is getting better, but still far from perfect.

These colors just scream "Happy Birthday"

Stash additions

Fabric purchased at Quilt A Fair two weeks ago. A couple of the fat quarters go to my mom, but the rest are for my stash or a fall colored pineapple quilt I've got started. Most were purchased a booth that had 20 fats for $25. I should have purchased another 20 for that price!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Corn on the Cob

Have you seen this corn on the cob steamer or know someone who tried one? I just got the pattern, but now the corn season is over. I bought one from their booth at Quilt A Fair. The owner was super nice too. I can't wait to try it next summer. I think I'll try making a few for Christmas gifts too. My family is all from the mid-west and we love our corn on the cob!

Sweetwater had a booth at Quilt A Fair too. I think they thought I was a bit of a geek when I was talking to them at their booth. I was like a dorky groupie--LOL! I love Authentic and can't wait to make a quilt out of my fat quarter stack.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Slow-cooker Beef Bourguignonne

I just made this and it is yummy. Perfect for fall and makes the house smell delicious! As a bonus, it makes enough for our family to save half for later.

3 lb. beef stew meat, trimmed and cut into chunks
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 T dried parsley - or - 4 T chopped fresh parsley
2 t dried thyme
2 t dried marjoram
1 bay leaf
3/4 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 T bacon drippings
12 oz. mushrooms, cleaned and cut into quarters
1 c red wine (burgundy or similar)
1/2 c condensed beef comsommé
2 T tomato paste
1 c water

Combine beef, onion, carrots, parsley, thyme, marjoram, bay leaf, salt, pepper, garlic, bacon, drippings and mushrooms in slow cooker. In separate bowl, whisk wine, consommé, tomato paste, and water. Pour over beef mixture in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 8 hours. After cooked, thicken with flour and additional consommé and cook at high 10-15 minutes.

Serve over cooked egg noodles or mashed potatoes.