Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fabric Postcards, Finished Project, and a Decision Made!

Thanks to a couple snow days, I've been able to get several projects done and/or started! Hooray for snow days! I don't like long winded posts any more than the next person, so I'll try and make these updates quick.

First off...Fabric Postcards. These are going to be mailed to my Valentines in the Flickr Fabric Postcard Swap group. I'll say it again...these are so much fun (and addicting) to make! 
"Puppy Love"

"WHOOOO Loves You?"

"Young Love"

Next up, the BBP mini quilt is finished. Thank. The. Lord. I never did figure out the problem with the chicken feet(for lack of a better description) on the back of this. I gave up after the sixth or seventh time un-quilting it and decided it would be a practice piece for getting in the groove of free motion. And as long as no one studies the back of it, it's fine!  On a side note, I did free motion work on two of the postcards pictured above and there were NO problems at all...the back looks fine on those. Weird.

And finally, I made a decision on the fabrics to use in my Independent BOTM group! Thanks to everyone who gave input! I was all set to go with the Hello Betty fabrics. I took them to JoAnn's to get a coordinating solid. I picked out a lovely soft white...

...and then I saw a bolt of butter yellow. I like yellow, but it's not something I'd normally choose as the main fabric for a quilt. However, it just so happened that I had the Spirit fabrics with me too--you know, just in case. I figured it couldn't hurt to try them out together. That yellow sang next to the Spirit fabrics!  My lighting is not the best so the fabrics are merely humming in these photos. Trust me, it's a lovely combination even though it is not at all what I had in mind for this quilt!  
The colors are a bit off here. Thanks, Crappy Lighting!
This is closer to the actual shade of yellow. 
If you missed the original post, these blocks are part of a pinwheel sampler that I'll be working on in my BOTM group. I'll make one set of blocks at a time, one month at a time, until December. It's going to be really hard not to make these up in advance. I might have already made the March blocks, just sayin'.

What projects have you been working on this weekend?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Quick Process Post on the BBP Mini Quilt

This is a mini quilt/fan art piece that I've been working on for months now. It's funny that this was inspired by a company that produces horror flicks because it has turned into a nightmare.

I will say, however, that I'm happy with the way it looks right now. I love the wonky stars and the scrappy border. 

As for the nightmare part, I have had to un-quilt it three times! [insert horror film type scream here] I just spent the last 30min. unquilting as a matter of fact. The free motion quilting on top looks decent enough but I get "chicken feet" on the back. SO frustrating. My tension settings are OK, I think it is my lack of free motion experience that is causing the problem. I'm either too slow or too fast.

I suppose I could hand quilt it, but I haven't mastered that yet either. Besides, I really want to learn and improve free motion, so I'm gonna give it another go.

If, in the final reveal, it's straight line quilted, y'all will know it got the best of me.

But in the meantime, here I go again.

Alert the Media! I cooked and ENJOYED a vegan dish!

This afternoon I did something I rarely do, and cooked a vegan dish for my husband. I know, I'm a bad wife, blah, blah blah. As I've mentioned, he is a die hard vegan and I am sooo not. Although I did try it once, and I lasted about a week!

I recently picked up a copy of Eat What You Love and this recipe looked interesting, so I thought I'd give it a try. Despite the fact that I used soy crumbles in place of ground beef, this dish was fantastic and very flavorful! I really liked it and my husband devoured two huge helpings in no time flat.

Of course I never have the exact ingredients a recipe calls for, so I made a few substitutions. My version is what's listed below.

And yeah, I know that's a canned crescent on the plate. I was so wrapped up in the noodle dish, bread was an afterthought and sides weren't even a thought. A fresh salad and crusty homemade bread would have been great with this!  Although I do loves me some Pillsbury Crescent Rolls...I'm not gonna lie.

Why is food so hard to photograph? 
Nutty (not really)Beefy Noodles

Here's What You Need:
8 oz whole wheat spaghetti
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and shredded

1/4 c. peanut butter
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs white wine vinegar
2 Tbs ketchup
1 Tbs brown sugar
1/4-1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 c. warm water
3/4 tsp. cornstartch

12 oz pack of Yves Meatless Ground (or 1lb. lean ground beef)
2 Tbs. minced garlic
2-4 green onions, chopped

Here's What You Do:
1.  Cook pasta, drain and return to pot. Add peppers and carrots, cover.

2. Whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar,ginger, and red pepper flakes until smooth. Wish in warm water and cornstarch.

3. Heat soy crumbles and garlic in a (very) large saute pan. About 5 min.

4. Pour sauce into pan with the soy crumbles and let simmer until sauce thickens. Stir in pasta & veggies and cook 5-7min. until the veggies are crisp tender. Top w/green onions.

 For the unmodified by yours truly version of this recipe, check out the book.  There is a recipe for a 175 calorie vanilla cake batter milkshake that is worth the price of admission all on it's own!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

An All Day Apron

 I figured the long weekend would be the perfect time to re-stock my etsy shop and do some sewing. I dug through my fabric stash and decided to use this lovely cabbage rose print with a 1950's feel (Swoon!) for my first project of the day.

I settled on a smock style apron. They're practical, cute, and quick to make. I figured I could finish this and whip up at least two half aprons before the day was done! Ha!

I went happily on my way cutting fabrics, excited to be starting new projects...things were going just swell. And then I decided to line the apron despite the fact that I never line this style smock. This is when what should have been a two hour project turned into an all day affair.  Holy Lord! I have not been so aggravated and dimwitted with a sewing project since I started sewing.

I eventually finished it...many hours and much cussin' later. After all that trouble, I'm not even going to list it for sale. For the time that I put into this apron, and the headache it caused me, I'd have to sell it for at least $1256.00 to make up for my time and effort.

So, for the time being, I've decided to keep it. I really don't think I could part with that fabric anyway.

Those two half aprons I was going to whip up? Not happening. I'd rather stab myself in the eyes with my Gingher stork embroidery scissors than look at my sewing machine right now.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

And She Can't Make a Decision Either!

I need help!

I've signed up for an Independent Block of the Month class/group coming up at the local quilt shop. Rather than follow a set pattern, we're getting to choose our own project and set our own goals for finishing it, but we will be sharing our projects monthly in a group setting. Brilliant idea!

For my project, I've decided to do a pinwheel sampler quilt and I'll be using the Pinwheel Sampler Quilt-a-Long posted over on P.S. I Quilt. Lots of examples of this quilt/blocks here. There are a few blocks I may change up and I'd like to add cornerstones(maybe) but the finished product will most definitely be a pinwheel sampler. They're my favorite, along with log cabins.

And now for the decision that I'd like your help with. I have three stacks of fabrics and I cannot make a choice. So maybe you can offer some opinions? Please excuse my crappy lighting situation and know these are all much nicer in person. SO, do I go with...

Hello Betty for a fun retro look? I love these fabrics. Seriously.

Spirit by Lila Tueller for a modern version?

Or my new stash of Jay McCarrol's Garden Friends for a kooky-mod quilt? 
Note to self: There's enough of this for a Turning Twenty quilt.
And then there's the sashing. I love love love a quilt with lots of white, so I'm thinking white or a soft creamy white would work for each.

What to do? What to do?

I'd love your input.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Fabric Postcards!

Back in December, I took a class on how to make fabric postcards at my local quilt shop. It was something I'd been wanting to do for a while. I had a good time and enjoyed the chance to learn something new.

Now that nearly a month has passed, I'm finally starting to use some of what I learned. I've joined two fabric postcard swap groups! The first was Trading Fabric Postcards on Yahoo groups, and  I've also recently joined Fabric Postcard Swap on Flickr.  I'm really looking forward to swapping and learning some techniques and getting inspiration for making these mini fabric art cards.

I got my first swap card in the mail this week from Katina in the Yahoo group. The theme was middle initials. She made this card representing my middle initial.  So stinkin' adorable!
"An Anteater Ate Ants All August"
This is the card that I made to represent my partner's middle initial. This is only my third attempt at making one of these cards, but I think it turned out OK for someone w/o much experience at it. Note to self...square up the card before sewing the edges next time. sheesh.
"Mystic Mermaid"
These are my first two attempts. I made the snow couple card in class and started the second one in class as well. The instructor was nice enough to give us extra fabric, backing pieces so we could finish the cards we started and make a couple more. The snow couple is simply a fussy cut piece of fabric that I embelished w/some glitter paint and an extra fussy cut bird/holly. I love the print, but I prefer the pieced & appliqued snowman card. For whatever reason, I didn't mail these out w/my Christmas cards, I should have, huh?

"Snow in Love"
"Good Tidings to You"

I smell yet another addiction!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

She Cooks! OK, it was just Campbell's Macaroni and Cheese, but She Cooks!

I  don't know when I last posted a recipe. In fact I had been thinking of changing the name of this blog to something along the lines of And She Can't Even Step Foot Into The Kitchen! due to my lack of cooking related posts. After all, this blog started out as my adventures learning to cook.  OK, so I still can't cook, not really, but since I decided to stop hating my body, I've also decided it's time to fill it with real food...things other than cereal, cookies and fast food.

Now, y'all try not to scoff too much at my choice of recipe here, but I made Mac & Cheese, from a can of soup. I know, I know, it's not exactly health food. But you know what, it's not cereal, it's not cookies, and it's not fast it's OK! And besides, I did use whole wheat blend pasta and 1%milk.  Anyway it's not like I'm not gonna eat the entire casserole dish full in one sitting! Maybe. I figure if I take the time to cook it, it has actual ingredients like milk, cheese, and pasta, it's not that bad.

So here's the recipe:

I clearly used waaay more breadcrumb mixture than the recipe called for.


  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell's Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup
  • 1/2 (10.75 ounce) can milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups hot cooked corkscrew-shaped pasta or shell-shaped pasta
  • 1 tablespoon dry bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons butter or margarine


  1. Mix soup, milk, black pepper and pasta in 1-qt. baking dish.
  2. Mix bread crumbs and butter and sprinkle over pasta mixture.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 20 min. or until hot.

I liked it. Nice and creamy--good texture. The flavor was a bit bland, however. Maybe adding some additional sharp cheddar cheese or some garlic powder or some other seasoning would liven it up. Still, it's pretty good, not to mention super-duper quick and easy to throw together.