Jan 28, 2012

Subtle Flavor, Delicious Breakfast

I am beyond obsessed with Pinterest.  It is addicting, and I can't help but repin everyone's findings.  Last week I added Sweet Glazed Orange Rolls to my Foodles page.  I was craving something doughy and sweet; however, I will warn anyone attempting these:  they took three hours from start to finish!  That makes these a once-a-year-maybe-only-once-again-ever recipe, but they are delicious!!!

borrowed from HERE

These rolls are unbelievably soft, and they are 10 hundred million times better than Pilsbury.  This recipe made 13 rolls for me, although you could easily make them thinner and have more.  One of the most fun parts of the recipe is using floss to slice each roll.

This is me on Pinterest.  Add your page in the comments section, and I'll follow you!

Jan 16, 2012

Perfect Pinwheels

Well, almost perfect! This is my first attempt at a real quilt (sorry, Margaret, I had no idea what I was doing with Selah's!). I would rate this design a 4 out of 5 stars on the difficulty. I probably should have started out with something much simpler, but I am so proud that I made it work! (Typing that makes me remember all of the times my machine came to a screeching halt, and I would look up at Philip with my most pitiful WHY-does-this-only-happen-to-me-when-I-want-to-sew face, and Philip would do his best Tim Gunn impression and say, "Make it work.") By the way, in the last post on this quilt, I was getting wildly irritated by my machine not wanting to sew through four thin layers of fabric. Thanks to my dear friend who happens to be a sewing genius, Mrs. Rush, I realize I had the needle in backwards--so yes, it does matter which way the flat side is facing. This quilt is made of four main pinwheels each with two coordinating fabrics, plus the white cotton. Fabric.com has a Design Board that makes it easy to pick fabrics you like, narrow it down to what goes together, and easily order.  Plus, they always have online coupon codes for free shipping and 10-15% off.

The back is a floral pattern of green roses.

This is my favorite quilt square, which happened by mistake! I originally had a white fabric with tall pink flowers called Dandelion. It's hard to tell online that it is giant, making my 2 1/2" triangles pretty much just white with a random pink line somewhere. I had another "make it work" moment and used the back side of the stripe fabric from Margaret's quilt.  Her quilt was much brighter, so the "inside out" side worked just fine.
The actual "quilting" part of the quilt was the hardest for me since I hand quilted the last one.  I used a cardboard template to cut four stripes and a pattern marker to make tiny little scores in the fabric as my guide.  I quilted every other square in a left to right, top to bottom pattern because it would have been madness to do every square.  I pretty much would have died without the Diary of a Quilter's Beginner Quilting Series.  This girl is brilliant, and so very patient to explain so much confusion!

Pita Pita!

I my attempt to eat less sugar, I am having to snack on more filling foods like hummus!  Now, one can only eat hummus and baby carrots so many days in a row before tiring of the carrot crunch.  I found this recipe for pita chips, but a HALF CUP of olive oil?  I am likely to eat all of these in one sitting, and that is a lot of fat.  I may as well go back to my brownies and cookie dough!  So I adapted it a little.
borrowed from here

1 T. Kosher Salt
1 T. Dried Basil
1 t. Garlic Powder
1 t. Onion Powder
1 t. Dried Oregano
1/2 t. Black Pepper
8 Pitas or Whole Wheat Tortillas
Olive Oil Cookie Spray

Mix all spices in a large bowl. (I spread it out on a plate instead.) Use a pizza cutter to cut into 6 or 8 triangles. Spray the pita with a good coating of olive oil spray.  Pat the oily side in the spice mixture, then place on a single layer onto two cookie sheets. Cook at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Jan 9, 2012

Just for You, Margaret

So my dear friend Margaret just got a sewing machine for Christmas. She has the most darling daughter, and she needs some cute clothes with ruffles!  Just for her, I made this really bad YouTube video for her to follow when threading her machine.  *Note: this is not the same machine!!!
Let me start by warning everyone that I am using my teacher voice and I do not know all of the correct vocabulary, so ignore!  And ignore the terrible filming angle--it's really hard to show all of that without five hands and a camera man.  Plus, it is probably easier to start with threading the bobbin instead of the upper thread.  So please, no making fun comments.  :)

Jan 8, 2012

Pinwheels and Knots

I am tackling another quilt now that it's been long enough for me to have forgotten how much thinking is involved, as well as time. Last time I just made it up as I went, based on an etsy quilt that was similar. This time I am trying to follow the "rules" of proper quilting. I found this great pinwheel pattern (minus instructions) and decided to try it. This pink and green quilt is for my sweet friend's little girl, Ruthie, who will turn two this month. I am crossing my fingers that it will be ready! She has moved into her big girl room, and one day I would like to make the windmill quilt to match for her other twin bed (although I have already promised a zig zag quilt to Harper). Of course, I read up on all of the super handy tools that all the best quilters use, and I got started rotary cutting all of my 10" squares and 5" triangles just like a pro. THEN, after I cut everything out, I found a little tutorial video on youtube about the easy way to making pinwheels. OMG. I am so mad I cut the 168 triangles instead of sewing two seams 1/2" apart down the middle! Oh well. Now I'll know the trick for next time. I went with four main squares, each with two coordinating fabrics and a background of white. After sewing two sets of six large squares, I decided it would be easier to sew all the tiny triangles, press them and sew them to the white triangles, and then make the large pinwheels. Of course, with more pressing and pinning before sewing the six large squares together and sewing all of those together. Ok, now I am getting confused myself.

My only problem is that my top thread keeps looping itself at the needle, creating a strange triangle of thread with the bobbin thread also knotted up. What is going on??? This happens about every third seam--which is ALL THE TIME! Does anyone know why this is happening?

AND, for whatever reason, the underside of my fabric keeps getting tangled during the first inch of stitching. I am thinking that some of the upper thread is getting caught on the bobbin, but I really don't know. Thankfully it smooths itself out and finishes the seam just fine.

To get out of the house on this rainy day, I went antiquing with my husband and found this unique bedside lamp. Sadly it was $945, but I have never seen anything like it!
And I think I'll be making my own version of this sweet tone-on-tone linen Union Jack pillow. Without the vintage lace and linen, I am pretty sure I can make it for well under $225!

Also, when we finished packing up all of the Christmas decor and hauled it down to the in-laws' storage unit, we found this great pair of end tables that match the wood of my grandmother's china cabinet and our TV console perfectly! They were Philip's grandmother's, and his mom had them for sale at an antique shop that went out of business. I guess we are lucky they didn't sell! The tag said they are French provincial end tables with leather inlay from 1960. And the scale is perfect in our mid-century home. I am thinking we will need to put glass over the leather just in case.

Jan 7, 2012

The Change Up: Part II

Our Christmas gift to each other was our rearranged living room.  This is what it was... and THIS is how it turned out!
I cannot believe Philip was the one who wanted to downsize TVs, but it is the perfect size!! Philip ran the cable under the house and behind the wall so we didn't need a new cable outlet.  The Power Bridge connector from Amazon made sure there were no wires showing.  Thanks, Jayne, for my beautiful orchid!!!

Only 2 Weeks Later

I spent half of Christmas in Houston with my family, and half with Philip's.

The best part is always seeing everyone's faces when they open their gifts. My mom always makes it a point to give us pajamas on Christmas Eve (Christmas Eve Eve in this case). It's hard to tell in this picture, but I am holding up Princess Kate replica earrings. I even had time to learn how to use my mom's super big, super new embroidery machine, and finally monogram my hemstitch dinner napkins that was a wedding gift from a year and a half ago!!

Back at home, we had an eventful Christmas morning that was 18million times better than our first (a story for another time). My mom gave Massey a tiny frog toy without any stuffing in it, and he is obsessed with trying to make it squeak.

We got Houston Lottery scratch offs as stocking stuffers, and we won $16! So fun!

We spent the rest of the day at Philip's parents' house, and had a great time eating too much food and visiting family.