Block Swap

I am participating in a block swap on a Facebook Quilt Guild group. I will make 5 6" nine patch variant blocks in blue and yellow. I'll post pictures of the blocks as I finish them. I have to get them done and delivered by Feb. 22 so I'll have to hurry. I'm so excited! I've never done a block exchange before.


Finished my stars quilt

I finally finished the binding on my stars baby quilt (its the one you see on the header of my blog). I started the quilt about 2 years ago as a gift for a good friend when I found out she was having a baby. The pattern is from Judy Martin's Knockout Blocks and Sampler Quilts. I had just finished the top when I found out my friend lost the baby. I felt so bad for her. After that I lost motivation to work on the quilt anymore.

I put the quilt away for over a year. Last summer I was starting to practice machine quilting and decided it was time to work on the quilt again. I kind of got carried away and its sort of over-stippled. So its a little stiffer than it probably should be which really isn't good for a baby quilt. I also realized it was over quilted part way through so I backed off a bit, which means its not evenly quilted all over. That's what happens when you are learning, right?

Even with all this quilt has going against it, I think it is the best looking quilt I've done so far. I really like the colors and the pattern. It might be good as a wall hanging.

Update: I changed my blog and the quilt is no longer on my header so here is a picture of the quilt.


Breakfast Pizza

One more really good recipe I've tried recently was Cooking Light's Breakfast Pizza. I didn't think to take any pictures of it, but it was really good and easy to make. It uses canned crescent rolls as the crust. I cheated and used regular sausage instead of turkey sausage, but I think it would have been just as good. I highly recommend it.


Pansy Quilt

I have been making Grandma's Pansy blocks from Bloomin' Beauties by Billie Lauder. I started them at a quilt guild work night earlier this summer. I made 21 blocks and started trying to figure out what I wanted the quilt to look like.

I had a picture in my head with the blocks on point and I wanted them to look like they were meandering through the quilt. I couldn't quite figure out how it would work. I started out laying all the blocks out on the floor (someday I'll have a design wall) and moving them around, but I couldn't get a good idea of how it would look.

I started working with Electric Quilt to play with some layouts. I found a pansy block that looks kind of similar to my blocks and played around for a long time. I'm still not sure I'm totally happy with the layout but right now I think the quilt is going to look something like this. I probably will do a several different greens since I already have a few different greens in the pansy blocks.

The best part about putting it into EQ is that now I can print out the rotary cutting instructions for the broken dishes blocks, and I know approximately how much more fabric I need. I'm pretty sure I don't have enough green in my stash, so I'm just going to have to go fabric shopping.

Steak, Spinich Mashed Potatoes, and Stuffed Tomatoes

Some good friends of ours came to visit the weekend after Christmas. I decided to try something new while they were here. I keep trying Rachel Ray recipes but haven't had a lot of success. They tend not to have much flavor. But I thought I'd try another one.

My friend Natalie was my assistant...which meant she did all the hard work and I figured out what we had to do next. Natalie was also nice enough to take pictures of the meal. I never think of taking pictures until after the meal is half gone and it doesn't look good anymore.

The first recipe we tried was Bacon, Spinach, and Cream Potatoes. The recipe was pretty easy. We pealed the potatoes and started them boiling, then sauteed the onion and bacon. Once the potatoes were done cooking Natalie mashed the potatoes with the onions, bacon, spinach, cream salt and pepper. Then we tried them. There was no flavor at all. Nat and I decided it needed cheese. So we shredded some sharp white cheddar and mixed it in. That helped a lot.

The final consensus on this dish was that the proportion of spinach to potatoes was a little too high, but 3 out of 4 of us liked it anyway. My dear hubby said you really couldn't call it mashed potatoes. There are a couple of things I'd do differently in the future. I'd use a little less spinach, and we all thought it would be good if the potatoes were scooped into a casserole dish and baked with a little more cheese on top (of course it would take more than 30 minutes then).

While the men-folk were out grilling the steaks we made Broiled Tomatoes with Cheese and Herbs adapted from another Rachel Ray recipe.

I threw bread, parsley, basil and Romano cheese in the food processor and chopped them up. I added a little olive oil and pulsed it a little more. I then stuffed the mixture into tomatoes that I cleaned out. I then broiled the tomatoes for a few minutes. I left out the olives because my husband is not always an olive fan. They are growing on him though.

I liked the tomatoes. I think I'd add a little more cheese and hopefully find flat leaf parsley instead of curly parsley. I'd also add about twice as much basil. The olives would have helped a lot also. Overall the final presentation of the tomatoes with the steaks looked nice.

The meal did take more than 30 minutes, however that worked out to be good because the grill took forever to heat up.

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