Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Finished Projects

I just wanted to post a few of my completed projects that I am quite pleased with :


Completed.  One baby quilt for the first great-grand.  Washed, dried and oh so soft and cozy :)

Project number two:


Ahhhhh.  My orange bento box table runner.  I so completely heart this.  I love the orange, I love the bento boxes, I love the pinwheels randomly at one end and the polka-dot binding.

Here is a shot with the backing, which I also love (and which also came from one of Hannah's last year fall dresses that I made and she has now outgrown):

Yay.  Pumpkins.

I didn't do a whole lot of quilting on this.  I wanted something simple and not fussy. It was all about the bentos on that one. :)

Finally, my controversial project number three.  Eesh.  In theory it was supposed to be wonderful, and I am quite happy with it in spite of its imperfections.

Somehow I went all wonky and I am not quite sure where it happened?  Basting?  Quilting?  Squaring?  Who knows.  Whatever.  It doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things and I don't think the world will come to and end.  Hehee.



Don't know what happened there.... Oh well.  I reckon the Jennifer Paganelli fabric can make up for the wonkiness of the thing, right???? :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Baby Quilt


Well, the first great-grand is on the way.  Not mine, mind you!  My mother's.  My oldest sister is fixing to be a grandmother, which is really weird for me.  One of my siblings is fixing to be a GRANDMOTHER.  Eesh!  

I am not finished with it yet; I am in the process of hand-stitching the binding.  This was also my first attempt at the whole cross-hatching thing.  I will have to take more pictures one I have it finished since this one doesn't really do it much justice.  

When I asked my niece what the colors were for her nursery, she said blue, green and brown.  Now, after looking at this fabric (since I am making this for a little boy)  I have decided that it must have totally been a God thing, since I have no idea why I had this fabric in my stash to begin with.  After all, even as big of a tomboy as my little girlie is, I still don't think I could talk her into frogs, turtles, snails and crickets.  

Great-grand number one is coming in January.  Great-grand number two is due in March via my older (the oldest of all of us) brother's firstborn daughter and first grandchild.  I am waiting to see if I need more boy fabric or if I will be making a girlie quilt.  

What fun!

~~Gena


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What Now?

What should I do with this? 


Hmmm.....Decisions, Decisions.....





What about all of these????




 Suggestions?????



~~Gena

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sewing projects

Hannah has been itching to learn to sew on the big machine and a mom can only take so many pooched-lip pouty faces, right?

Off we go. I wanted to do something simple with her so it wouldn't be so involved with meticulous piecing plus I was multi-tasking and right in the middle of the responding to the Q&A for the local paper, so we just randomly started sewing blocks together. When we made it to a 9-patch block I had a "light bulb" moment. Ah-ha! We could make a few blocks, add some sashing and have a fab table runner for Christmastime.

Wham bam a lam......I added the sashing down the sides and quilted it for her and did the binding. I told her the binding was a lesson for another day.



(This picture is also taken on the red crushed velvet couch that I dearly love....meanwhile, Papa is over in the corner twirling his moustache and counting the days until the swanky reverse- camel-back-diva sofa goes to live with cousin Jamie and we have living room furnishings more suitable for cowboys; and preferably in a less vibrant color. *sigh* I suppose it is hard to look like a proper cowboy or a farmer when you are sitting on a sofa whose style is called "The Marilyn Sofa." Poor Papa....but I digress.)


Hannah was so excited about her project and started talking about when she had "little children" she could show them too. So, before we basted, quilted and bound, we cut some scrappy numbers and appliqu├ęd them onto the back so that she would always know how old she was when she made it.


I think I am going to sign her up for 4-H. She did a really good job and caught on very quickly. It seems right up her alley.

~~Gena

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

THE Pie

Alrighty then.

I posted this recipe on facebook and everyone went nuts. So, I decided to to a step by step with pictures....kind of.

Step One:

For the crust:

1 package Pecan Sandies cookies, crushed (this can also be done in the food processor)

1 stick melted butter (I guess margarine would work, but organic unsalted butter is my fave)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix ingredients together and press into pie pan. Cook for 10-15 minutes and remove from oven.



Step Two:

1 package of caramels, unwrapped (Papa is REALLY good at unwrapping caramels; I just have to resign myself to the fact that I may lose a few for the cause during in this process)

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Heat in saucepan over low heat until melted and pour into crust. Let cool.



As you can see, I had my bowl of caramel in a bowl of ice because I am really impatient during this whole cooling process.

Step Three:

Toasted pecans

These go on top of the caramel layer

To toast your pecans, melt some butter and toss the pecans lightly and toast them in the oven until brown-er...you know, since pecans are already brown they will just be brown-er... halves, pieces, chopped....I don't think it really matters as long as they are not whole in the shell. But anyone that tries to use whole pecans in the shell probably doesn't need to be cooking to begin with. Seriously.

I actually didn't melt butter this time. I used olive oil cooking spray. I cheated. I altered my own recipe. Sue me. You couldn't tell the difference.

Step Four:

1 8oz. package softened cream cheese

2 cups powdered sugar

Mix together with mixer and spread on top of the COOLED caramel/pecan layer.

(This is why I had the bowl of caramel in the ice.)





Step Five:


This is a two-step layer.... in this layer we are basically making chocolate whipped cream. This is really easy so long as you pay attention to this really important part: YOU HAVE TO LET THE CHOCOLATE COOL before you add it to the whipped cream. Otherwise, your fresh whipped cream deflates/melts and the chocolate separates and then you might be tempted to swear or cry. It can get really ugly. There was some serious wailing and gnashing of teeth in my kitchen once. It was only because I had really talked this pie up to my Mom and was trying to pull of this fabulous dessert and showcase my grand culinary skills and it ended up being the ugliest pie I ever made. My mother was very gracious in trying to repair my damaged ego and told me how good it was despite the way it looked.

ANYWAY. So you HAVE to let the chocolate cool.

Okay, back to the program.

1/2 a bar of Baker's semi-sweet chocolate (which actually used to be a whole BAR. Now it comes divided into all these squares.....so I guess that should be modified to 1/2 a BOX of Baker's semi-sweet.

2 Tbs. heavy cream

Melt in saucepan over very low heat or in a double-boiler if you are fancy enough to have such a thing. Then let it cool while you are making the whipped cream.


yummy melted chocolate :)

Whipped cream:

1 pint of heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup of powdered sugar (cause it is so good that way)

Mix ingredients with a mixer on high speed until you have whipped cream. Divide in half.

To one half, gently fold in the melted chocolate until you have fabulous chocolate whipped cream and spread on top of the cream cheese layer.


I actually stopped taking pictures at this point, which I know is sort of anti-climactic, but it was all I could do to fend off the hoard of vultures children and Papa who were waiting to pounce. Don't worry; I'll fix it.

Now, the rest of The Pie is simple:

On top of the glorious chocolate whipped cream goes:

The other half of the whipped cream. YUM.

Finally, I suppose the last step is optional. However, the way I see it....if you have made it this far - seeing as how the pie only has somewhere in the neighborhood of 64 fat grams per slice - you may as well just go ahead and proceed:

Grated chocolate. I usually use Hershey bars and a plain ole cheese grater. However, you can use the other half of that Baker's semi-sweet bar as well. :)

And even though I quit taking pictures, (and with the exception of the fake crust in the picture) your end result should look something like this:


Let me know if you try it and how it turns out! :)

Ours was FABULOUS.

~Gena