Saturday, December 15, 2012

Mini Spinach and Cheese Turnovers

I had a potluck to go the other night and wasn't sure what I was going to take. But I had a pre-made pie crust in the fridge, so I came up with this on the fly!

1 refrigerated pie crust
flour for counter/rolling pin
half of a 10 oz package frozen spinach, defrosted
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400* F and line baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with Pam

For filling, mix softened cream cheese with spinach, cheeses, garlic, and pepper. I used a hand mixer to get everything nicely combined.

Sprinkle a little flour on counter and on rolling pin and roll out evenly, just so you gain a few inches on each side and the crust isn't so thick since it will be doubled over on the edges.

Use a small round glass (I used lid of the Pam spray, washed) to cut small circles out of the pie dough. With the size I used, I got about 25-30 circles from one pie crust. (after cutting once, re-rolling scraps, and cutting again)

Place pie crust rounds on lined baking sheet and dollop a scant teaspoon of filling mixture on each round, slightly offcenter. Fold each round in half, over the filling, and seal edges with fork.

Bake in preheated overn for 8-12 minutes, until lightly golden on top and lightly brown on bottom.

Try not to eat them all if you are supposed to share with others.

*I only had 1 pie crust, they usually come in a 2 pack but I had used the other one in something else. Easily double this recipe by using both pie crusts, the full 10 oz package of spinach, the full 8 oz block of cream cheese, and double the remaining ingredients.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pink and Yellow Chevron Table Runner

My quilt guild does a swap every year in December where we put some fabric into a baggie and exchange them. We make something and give it back to the owner. This year I got a lot of polka dot fabrics, one that kind of reads as a solid, and a floral. I ended out sketching out a little chevron pattern and turning it into a table runner. Some of the fabric pieces were small so I had to keep changing the size of my starting blocks, but I think it turned out cute, and the gal who received it liked it! We were "allowed" to add one more fabric to what we received, and I chose to interpret that as adding one to the front, and then using another piece from my stash for the backing Cheesy

I just quilted along the lines created by the pattern, and I lightly drew the lines out into the border so I could follow them and not have crooked quilting in my border.

Also, I've been trying to figure out what my "thing" is in quilting, or what makes my quilts unique to me, my personal signature. I know someone that puts a red square in all of her quilts, and someone else who puts a tiny piece of contrasting fabric in her bindings. The last few projects I've worked on I've switched a few fabrics out for other ones somewhere in the pattern, you can clearly see in this project I put in five triangles of the red dot in place of the fabric that should be there. Anyhow, I think this might be something I continue to do, as long as I can keep doing it in a thoughtful manner (for this one I carefully thought about where to place these and tried to do it in a way that causes the eye to move across the quilt) instead of just because. It's not "super unique" or never been done before, but it feels genuine for me :)

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Christmas Tree Advent Calendar

This is an Advent Calendar I made last year in a Craftster Swap I organized.

I made this Advent Calendar for my partner in the 2011 Advent Calendar Swap! (If you click "show images only," you can quickly see all the great advent calendars and gifts made in this swap!) My partner said her color scheme for her tree is purple, pink, light blue, and bright green so those are the colors I used for the ornaments.

Here is the base of the tree. I made a half tree template out of poster board and then cut out two on the fold of the green fabric (which was a new Ikea sheet that I had used part of in a different project). I cut the bottom so that there was a 6 inch piece in the middle that jutted out 1/4 inch so I could sew the tree trunk onto it. I had the awesome faux wood fabric from kittykill that I've used in  a few projects. After sewing the trunk onto each side I sandwiched it inside out with a piece of batting in the middle and stitched around. I put a hanging loop in the top of it before I stitched.

After turning the tree right side out I top stitched (edge stitched?) all the way around the outside, including the turning hole. I placed my ornaments on the tree and marked an x where I wanted to put the velcro. Then I stitched the rough side of the velcro on and was done with that part!

For the ornaments I cut out one circle with my pinking shears from felt and one circle with pinking shears from patterned cotton material. I stitched the loopy side of the velcro onto the back of the felt and then folded the cotton circle, wrong sides together, and placed it at the bottom of the felt circle. I zigzag stitched around just the bottom half of the circle, so the folded part of the circle became a pocket. Then I stitched a bit of twill tape onto the top to look like an ornament hanger and wrote the day on it.

Oh yeah, I had only put a hanger on the top to begin with, so I added hangers onto each point of the tree because they were flip-flopping around. But I did it with a dumb color of thread so I ended up covering the stitching from that on the front with cute buttons!

Hopefully it's fun to decorate the tree a little bit more each day!