August 22, 2014

Baby girl pennant quilt

Teachers are underpaid & under-appreciated. Teachers’ spouses, even more so…  We learned at last spring’s concert that the boys’ band director & his wife were due to have a baby girl join their coupledom this month. I decided I wanted to make a quilt for her.

I had seen some darling pennant “modern” quilts on a few of my favorite blogs. I drew up a design of my own:quiltyI thought I would be able to find a fat quarter bundle with the pink colors I envisioned… NOT! I ended up having to locate 8 fabrics and had them cut 1/4 yard of each.DSCN1016I embroidered the letters of her name on the little flags, then backed them with a lightweight fabric. (…was still trying to decided if I wanted lace around each one, as I had indicated in my plan…)DSCN1021I pressed the “loop” into my narrow seam-binding & tried my layout. Oooooops! -- The size of the pennants made for a bit of a bigger quilt than I’d expected…DSCN1022The tops needed to be bastedDSCN1027and then pinned to the bias strip.DSCN1028Had to check the layout again & make sure the birdies I decided to add looked O.K.DSCN1035I made the “quilt sandwich” and stitched on the seam binding and around each pennant. Next came the appliqué-ing of the darling blue birds. (These were from Embroidery Garden machine embroidery designs.)IMG_20140805_092535_252Now, I’ve never said these words before, so please excuse me if I linger over them -- Then I took it over to my quilter. DSCN1037Actually, I begged my friend Cindy to quilt some clouds for me. I didn’t even offer her a quilting design to follow! She had some beautiful projects of her own that she was working on completing, but she squeezed my little job in anyhow.DSCN1060Doesn’t the back look cute, too?DSCN1062After I straightened the quilt, I determined that the corners would be kinda cute rounded (to balance the angular pennants & complement the loop in the “rope” somewhat…)

I was soooooooo excited to be able to utilize my Clover Wonder Clips that I’d purchased from HL with a coupon!DSCN1065When I was complaining on social media about how much I hate finishing a quilt; Friend Cindy said to bring it over ‘cause she loves binding! Smile (I restrained myself from taking her up on it…)DSCN1066Never fails! (graphic violence alert! ) If I’m hand-stitching a light-colored fabric, I will accidently get a tiny poke on a finger and will have one drop of blood…DSCN1076(I couldn’t even tell where on my hand the needle got me!) Fortunately it did not leave a spot after sponging with antibacterial hand soap…DSCN1085So… I guess I’ll just end this post with a couple of my favorite shots of the finished quilt…DSCN1086sunlight








July 17, 2014

Popcorn & Peanuts Challenge

It’s July when thoughts turn to baseball and two of baseball’s favorite foods: peanuts & popcorn. Kristen from Frugal Antics has challenged us to combine the two into one dish.ejpeanutspopcornFor this challenge I used air-popped popcorn & freshly shelled peanuts along with chunky peanut butter…ejpeanutspopcornSo, ummmmm, I don’t know if it’s the 106° or our elevated “monsoonal” humidity… but I’m afraid my #gf classification today stands for “gooey fail!” Don’t get me wrong -- they are quite delicious; but, alas, are just a little messy.

Mr. Pitt eats Snickers®

No problem ~ I just ate the bars with a fork & knife!ejpeanutspopcornHere’s my recipe:ejpeanutspopcornrecipeThe popcorn flour is easy -- just give it a short ride in the food processor & you’ll be all set. ejpeanutspopcornThe flour is unbelievable light. (So please, if you’re substituting any other kind of flour, do not use 4 cups!)

I thought of making the nougat & caramel “from scratch”; but upon considering the amount of time that would confine me to a hot kitchen, I opted for the much simpler mini marshmallow & Kraft® caramel  “cheat”…

When I realized the bottom crust was not going to hold up under the pressure, I decided to coat it with melted chocolate to try to keep it together.ejpeanutspopcornThe bad news was that it wasn’t very effective. But the good news was now it had CHOCOLATE. But the bad news was that it made it a little too sweet & took away from the popcorn flavor…ejpeanutspopcornNext time I attempt this I will 1) use a “binder” with the popcorn flour, and 2) use caramel corn to keep that popcorn layer a little more crisp. (That was a complaint I heard from my “testers” -- aside from it falling apart in their hands…)

If you’re looking for more peanut & popcorn recipes, I recommend you check out the links below: