Powerscourt, Ireland.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bloggers Quilt Festival

I-Spy Quilt (Disappearing 9 Patch)

This is the first quilt I ever made.  Actually, it's one of the first things I ever made.  I started sewing not quite a year ago.  My son, Max has pretty short legs, so I bought a sewing machine so I could hem his ridiculously long pants.  So last year around Thanksgiving, I started on this journey.  You see, I really didn't even know how to sew.

By January I thought I was ready to try a quilt.  It actually came out quite well.  It's ironic that such an old fashioned art, like quilting and sewing, could be taught through modern methods.  I watched clip after clip on youtube and read blog after blog on tutorials.  One of my favorite teachers was Jenny at MISSOURI STAR QUILT COMPANY.  Another was Care at OBSESSIVELY STITCHING.  I learned how to thread the machine, sew and then quilt.  There is so much information out there that it made sewing...and making this quilt easy!

I didn't even know enough to buy actual quilting materials.  The quilt back and red sashing is an old red sheet.  The small blue setting squares and boarder are another old chambray sheet.  You can see from this picture that the "batting" I used is actually an old leopard print blanket.  The I-Spy squares mostly came from an I-Spy swap.  That's another great tradition that has gone modern through the internet!  You buy 10 I-Spy fabrics, mail 10 4" squares of each to your host and....Voila!  You have 100 different I-Spy squares to choose from!

I used a TUTORIAL from Care at Obsessively Stitching for a Disappearing 9 Patch Quilt: I-Spy Version.  I used ANOTHER TUTORIAL from Jenny at Missouri Star for the quilt as you go method.  The combination of both of these made my first quilt quick and easy.  Cutting out took a about an hour one day...the subsequent cutting, sewing and putting together took about another 5 hours on another day.  Instead of binding, I just folded the back over and sewed it on. 

I have many more plans for I-Spy quilts just like this one!  I have cut out another boy and 2 girl and versions and just need to put them together.  I'm not sure that using the quilt as you go method is actually easier.  I've made 4 other quilts and I'm still trying to decide.which way works best.  I will say that the disappearing 9 patch method does give you the most bang for your buck!

So here is the finished product and a sleeping kiddo.  I hope you enjoyed my journey from novice to quilter.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Halloween Placemats

 Don't have Halloween decor at your house?  Why not make yourself some Halloween Place Mats?

Recently I made some of these Halloween Place Mats.  It was super easy...anyone can do it!

You'll need assorted Halloween fabrics, sewing machine, thread, some sort of batting/interfacing.

I had a bunch of Halloween I-Spy squares, so I started with these.

Find a place mat you like the size of to use as a template, then sew together your fabrics.

Once your front is sewn, cut your back to about the same size. Place RIGHT sides together and sew around 3 1/4 sides.  Now turn inside out, add your batting (I used the stuffing out an old office chair...I'm all about repurposing!) and close your 4th side.  Quilt if you like. 

I quilted one set that I gave my sister and the other set (for baby Cooper and his parents) I just ironed to set the batting in place.

These are super easy and easily add a festive feeling to your house!  Enjoy!!


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sticky Lemon Chicken

For those of you who have talked to me in the past few months, you're most likely aware that I have a new favorite dish...Sticky Lemon Chicken!  This is a Gordon Ramsay recipe and according to him (and I can't argue) it's F**cking Delicious!  Who would have thought that soy sauce, red wine vinegar, lemon and honey would make the best sauce I've ever tasted!

You'll need Chicken (I used boneless, skinless breasts) soy sauce, red wine vinegar, lemons, honey, thyme and a little olive oil.  I had lemon flavored olive oil so I used that for a very tasty lemon flavor!

I start with the olive oil and boneless skinless breasts (dusted in flour) in a hot pan.

Brown chicken on both sides, drain out a bit of oil, add soy sauce, red wine vinegar, thyme, juice of one lemon, about 1/4 cup of water and top with the slices of one lemon.  Cook about 15 minutes, add honey and you're done.  The most amazing and easy chicken dish!

Click on this Gordon Ramsay Clip to see how easy it really is!  I hope you try this dish.  Let me know if you like it as much as we do!