Thursday, January 30, 2014

Lasagna French Bread and Mustard Green Beans with Walnuts

With the tomatoes made ahead of time and refrigerated, this easy meal comes together in just the time it takes to saute green beans!

I made some of batgirl's Oven Roasted Tomatoes a few days ago and am so in love! I've seriously been eating this stuff with a spoon. Which is kinda nuts, since in general I'm not a fan of cooked tomatoes. I'll eat them raw all day long, but hate chunks of cooked tomatoes in soup and pasta sauce. But these tomatoes are nom! For the tomatoes I used overripe grape tomatoes, smashed garlic cloves, olive oil, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, fresh chopped Italian parsley, and dried oregano.

For the Lasagna French Bread:

Oven roasted tomatoes, re-heated if made ahead of time (see link above)
French bread, sliced and toasted or broiled
Ricotta cheese (mix with garlic and/or parmesan if you're fancy)
Parmesan or Mozzarella, shredded, (optional)

Toast or broil bread, top each slice with a couple Tablespoons of Ricotta and a generous helping of roasted tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add some shredded cheese, if desired.

For the Mustard Green Beans with Walnuts:

Lately I've been pretty obsessed with Jennifer Prince's book Eat Like a Farmgirl: 3 Ingredient Plant Based Meals. This is my take on an idea from the book.

Fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in half
Olive oil
salt and pepper
garlic powder
walnuts (about 2 T per 2 cups of beans, or whatever looks like a nice amount)
Grainy mustard, I like Plochman's (about 1 T per 2 cups of green beans)

Saute your green beans over medium high heat in a little olive oil, season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add your walnuts and cook until tender-crisp, or to your liking. If you get impatient you can throw in a few tablespoons of water, place a lid on the pan and let steam for a few minutes. When they are done, stir in the grainy mustard.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My Medallion Center

Did I mention that I decided to stay on as a guild officer this year? I actually stepped up as President...a little bit scary but I guess being VP last year helped me prepare for it! It's really exciting to be working with another fabulous group of officers! We have a lot of fun things in store for the year, but we're super excited about doing a Medallion Along!

Medallion quilts are muy caliente lately so we are joining the trend and doing a Medallion Along instead of the Block of the Month program we did last year. You can see the PMQG blog for introductory details, but basically a Medallion Quilt starts with a beautiful focal block and then adds various borders until the quilt is the size you like! We will be introducing a new border every month.

I found a paper pieced block I liked, called Birthday Star Block, and started working on it.

If you want to create Birthday Star Block, click the link, then click the picture of the paper pieced pattern to be taken to Photobucket. While there, download the picture to your computer with the "dowload" option. Print the picture out (I used Windows Gallery to view it first) and choose "full page" option. this printed the sections at 8.5 inches exactly for me, so I ended up with a 15 inch block. You'll need 4 of them to make the block (I always print extra in case I biff it up!)  I'll either adjust the first border to fit (make it an extra inch bigger), or put a separate, 1 inch border on my block before I do the first official border.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

2013 Quilting Finishes

Here's what I made in 2013 as far as quilting goes! I suppose there were a few more projects of the soaping, cooking/baking, and crochet variety. Here are my 5 mini quilts, 2 quilted pillows, 10 baby quilts and 4 lap quilts I finished this year! This counts finishes, some may have been pieced last year. It does not count in progress, ie the tops I have sitting around right now!

I need to work on my list for 2014, but I have a good amount of projects on my 2014 list already! If you would like to join my "14 Projects in 2014 QuiltAlong" on Craftster, now in its fourth year, it's a really fun way to keep track of your projects and discuss them with quilty people throughout the year!

Aiming for Accuracy Quilt Christmas Present

I joined the Aiming for Accuracy Quilt Along earlier this year and was working on two sets of blocks. One was this colorway of purple, aqua/turquoise, yellow, pink, and gray with a medium gray sashing. I didn't really have plans for either one, but was having fun working on them. I got behind in the QAL at the end of the summer though. A month or two ago I decided that this one would be a nice Christmas present for my boyfriend's parents, so I started working on it!

I had some problems with the borders and ended up just doing a single border. Also, the quilt is upside down in all the pics. D'oh! Not that it matters that much, but since I was following a pattern I've been used to seeing it the other way!



Close-up of Crossword puzzle fabric on the back and quilting:

The quilt is about 52" x 77" which is a little bit bigger than I care to quilt on my machine at home, so I quilted it on the quilting frame at a local shop. It was my second time quilting a quilt on the frame and my first time doing so by myself (my friend who teaches there was alongside me last time!) My boyfriend paid for my time on the frame, and the batting) so the quilt was from both of us.

A couple close-ups of the blocks:

This was my first time using a flange binding and although it was more work than my regular binding, I do like the little pop of color. You make it by stitching two strips of fabric together lengthwise for the binding, the part you want to be the flange should be wider than the other strip by about 1/4-1/2 inch. After folding in half to make the binding the flange side will pop out just a tiny bit! It's machine sewn to the back of the quilt and folded to the front and machine sewed down just like my regular binding method.

The quilt was a big hit and his mom cried a little bit when she opened it!

I still have another one in bright pink, bright blue, black, lime green, orange and white. Not sure when I'll finish it but I think that one will be for me.