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1  Wonky Star Doll Quilts in Quilting: Completed Projects by MareMare on: July 03, 2014 11:00:38 PM
I wanted a fun, quick quilting project in between some of my other larger projects. After seeing some of my friends post pics of their little girls with baby dolls on FB, I decided to make some doll quilts to give them.



These 2 are for a couple of sisters who are about 3 and 5. Their mom said they like pink, purple, and lime green. I sketched up a quick pattern and got to work, fussy cutting some pink, purple, and green squares and cutting up my neutrals/low volume fabrics for the background. I used 3.5 inch squares so the finished quilts are 15" x 18".




I completed these in 2-3 sewing sessions and it was a super fun project to work on something fun and  get the creative juices flowing again!

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2  Sultry Lap Quilt for Me! in Quilting: Completed Projects by MareMare on: June 26, 2014 01:41:09 PM
I just realized in looking over old posts that I've been quilting for almost five years (This was my first quilt). I've made a couple dozen quilts in this time, but none for me! I've started a couple, but they've languished in the to-do pile as other things oust them for my crafting time. I decided the other day to finally finish one of them and have  a quilt of my very own!



Several years ago I found this Sultry fabric by Basic Grey for Moda. I looooved it! I bought a layer cake (10 inch squares of every print in the line, sometimes with multiples of some/all prints) and proceeded to sew the crap out of it. Pretty soon I had used it up, so I bought a Fat Quarter set of the entire line for myself for my birthday one year. And promptly lost interest in the fabric.



Fast forward a few years and I felt like I should do something with it. So, lacking inspiration, I cut the fat quarters (18x22 inch squares) into 6 x 22 inch strips. Then I proceeded to sew the strips into large log cabin blocks (16 inch finished blocks). I stitched the blocks together in a 3 x 4 grid, started sewing some borders from scrap pieces of all different lengths, and then lost interest again.



The other day I decided it was time for me to have a quilt, so I dug out the top and border pieces, finished the border, stitched the back up (I had bought yardage for backing along the way) and got that sucker basted!



Quilting it was a bit difficult on my home machine since it's a little bigger than I usually care to wrangle with (about 60x76) but I persevered and completed it in about 3 marathon quilting sessions.  



I did my go-to fully stitched binding and had it in the wash the night before last. That evening I cranked the AC and used it as I watched tv!



I've seen the "selfish sewing" hashtag on Instagram and while I agree with the concept, I don't care for the negative connotations associated with the word "selfish." I wonder what might be a better hashtag?

It makes me ridiculously happy every time I look at it or use it, so I guess the moral of the story is--make something for yourself! As crafters I think we are always taking care of others and making things for other people, but I encourage you to take time to make something for you or your house that will make you happy. You're worth it!

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3  Metallic Offset Arrows in Quilting: Completed Projects by MareMare on: June 22, 2014 11:12:46 PM
I just realized I never posted this! I made this wall quilt as part of the Portland Modern Quilt Guild Challenge using Robert Kaufman Metallics. We got a selection of Metallic Quilter's Linen, Metallic Tusseh, and Metallic Burlap to use. They are all quilting cotton but printed to look like other materials, very cool!

For my quilt I revisited my Offset Arrows pattern that I created using ThreadBias.  I also used some RK Carolyn Friedlander Botanics (the orange) and an RK Kona solid.

I quilted in the ditch in a neutral thread and then used gold metallic thread to hand quilt it, and randomly found some RK backing fabric in my stash that perfectly matched! I used a flange method of binding for that little pop of color around the front edges.



Hand Quilting details


The backing...the orange and turquoise in this backing fabric perfectly match the fabrics on the front of the quilt, and it came out of my stash! Happy surprise!



An in progress picture

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4  Meal Planning and Prep Cook-Along in Recipes and Cooking Tips by MareMare on: June 15, 2014 11:45:05 PM
Hey all! I thought it would be nice to have a spot to share our meal planning tricks and tips and to help us keep track of grocery lists and prep. I keep an ongoing grocery list in my phone (add to it whenever I realize I need something). Before I head to the grocery store, I transfer everything onto it to an Excel spreadsheet that is organized by sections so I don't have to double back in the grocery store (dairy in a column, canned foods and condiments together, etc). Then I check some of my pantry staples (nuts, seeds, dried fruit, oats, sugar/oil/flour) to see if I need more of any of those.)



I tend to have lots of pantry and freezer staples on hand. Each week I loosely plan 3-5 meals and then pick up anything extra I need that isn't included in my regular shopping/staples. Some of my ideas for this week:

--Breakfast pizza (already bought ready made crust from Trader Joe's)
--Pork Chops and mashed sweet potatoes
--Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce
--Ground Turkey Stir Fry
--Homemade chili, baked potatoes

All I need to buy to make these meals are mushrooms, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, poblano peppers, cabbage, chuck roast, and ground turkey, so those get added to my in progress grocery list.

Usually I try to do food prep on Sunday nights, but this weekend was busy so I'll do it tomorrow. For this week, all that means is grilling or sauteing up a bunch of chicken breasts, cooking some hard boiled eggs, and making a batch of salad dressing. These will be for easy snacks and lunches, and go along with lunch salads I send to work for my mom and her co-worker. I try to do different proteins each week, some weeks it might be beans instead, or I'll make a big batch of tuna fish with lots of veggies in it.

I'd love to hear how you meal plan and prep and what you are working on this week!
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5  Thai Inspired Peanut Noodles in Recipes and Cooking Tips by MareMare on: June 10, 2014 07:40:59 PM
This is an easy recipe that you can change up with any meats or veggies you like. All amounts are estimates because I cook by taste. This might seem like a lot of ingredients, but most of them are kitchen staples. You're really only dirtying one pan (plus one more for boiling pasta, but that won't need any scrubbing to clean!). Be sure to have all your sauce ingredients out and all your veggies chopped before you begin cooking anything.



Ingredients:

6-8 chicken tenderloins (or 3-4 boneless chicken breasts)
seasonings of choice (seasoned salt, granulated garlic, ground ginger)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 Teaspoon sesame oil

Half a 13 ounce box of whole wheat spaghetti or fettuccine

1/2 white onion, sliced thinly**
2 carrots, sliced thinly**
1 small zucchini, sliced thinly**
3-4 green onions, green and white parts sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
(other veggies that would be good: cabbage, snow peas, bean sprouts, broccoli, green beans, asparagus)

Sauce:
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
1-2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1-2 teaspoons Rice Wine Vinegar
1-2 teaspoons Mirin
1-2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Siracha hot sauce, or to taste (optional)

1/2 cup chicken stock (or my fave: 1/2 cup water plus 1/2 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon paste)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Toppings:
Chopped peanuts
Chopped Cilantro
Chopped green onions
Lime Wedges


1. In large pot, begin to boil your water to cook your pasta. When it comes to boil, add pasta and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook 5-6 minutes or until al dente (the pasta will cook a bit longer later) and strain.

2. While waiting for water to boil, in a large frying pan, heat olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil. Add your chicken and season. When cooked halfway through, flip over.



Remove from pan when chicken is about 90% cooked, it will cook the rest of the way later. Slice chicken into bite sized chunks.



3. In same frying pan, add 1/2 cup water and deglaze pan.

**

Add your zucchini, white and green onion, carrots, and garlic. Continue to add a bit of water as it steams off, so that the veggies cook but do not brown. When cooked push to the edge of the pan so that there is space in the center of the pan.



4. In a bowl, combine peanut butter, sesame oil, vinegar, ginger, lime juice, soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, fish sauce, and Siracha.



Pour into center of pan and stir and let heat through. Mix with veggies on sides of pan and add 1/2 cup chicken stock.



Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Not salty enough? Add more soy sauce. Seems bland? Add another splash of fish sauce, lime juice, Siracha, and/or sesame oil.

5. Add the cooked al dente pasta noodles and the chunks of cooked chicken into the pan.



Stir well and let simmer gently until chicken finishes cooking through and everything comes together. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped cilantro and serve.

6. Garnish plates with chopped green onions, chopped cilantro, chopped peanuts, and/or lime wedges.



**Note: I'm totally obsessed with my new Paderno Spiralizer and I Spiralized my veggies. Seriously, I am never chopping an onion again!
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6  Re: 14 Quilt Projects in 2014 Quilt Along! in Quilting: Discussion and Questions by MareMare on: May 11, 2014 09:01:41 PM
You guys, my guild now has 184 members! It's nuts! I'm soooo busy running the guild but I'm making an effort to do some of my own sewing (helps keep my sanity!). Sorry I'm not around here more, but I don't see that changing much for the rest of the year. Here's a little bit of what I've been working on.

We're doing a Medallion Along this year, each month we officers present a new round. This month was my month to work on it, so I had to sew my own as well as the guild one we are sewing together. It's made of Botanics fabric by Carolyn Friedlander, donated by Robert Kaufman. This one we will raffle off to our members at the end of the year.



This one is mine, I love it! Using lots of fun fabrics with a lot of gray (especially Laura Gunn's Painter's Canvas in Platinum and one from V and Co) for my neutrals. Also in there: some MM ta dots, Sweet as Honey, Kate and Birdie, Violet Craft Waterfront Park (dice), Bonnie and Camille, Noteworthy by Sweetwater, and some other random faves.



Our guild also has a couple of quilt shows coming up for Quilt Knit Stitch! this summer. I used that fun method that is going around, slothy made a quilt using it too I think. I offset the second row though for visual interest since it's so small. I don't think I have a finished one of my Michael Miller Glitz mini quilt that will be in our PMQG exhibit, but here it is after quilting but before binding.



And the only pic I have of the back when I was hand sewing the binding (95% of my quilts I machine stitch the binding completely, so it was a rare moment!)



There is also a larger exhibit for Pacific Northwest Metallic quilts that lots of Modern Quilt Guilds in the area were invited to show in. This is what I'm entering for that exhibit (don't know if I'm in yet, there are so many amazing entries!). This is my own design "Offset Arrows" (designed using Threadbias design tool) made with Robert Kaufman Metallic Linen, Metallic Burlap, and Metallic Tussah. Also some RK Carolyn Friedlander Botanics (the orange) and an RK Kona solid. I used gold metallic thread to hand quilt it, and randomly found some RK backing fabric in my stash that perfectly matched! I used a flange method of binding for that little pop of color around the front edges.






Sorry, this was a late night shot when I found this fabric for the back in my stash at 2 am!
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7  Re: Healthy Eating in 2014 in Recipes and Cooking Tips by MareMare on: May 09, 2014 07:17:09 PM
What's everyone up to these days? Found any good recipes lately?

Apparently last time I updated this thread I was doing the elimination diet. I did that for a week or so and then said "screw it!" ha! I really think my issues are sugar--leads to munchies/binging and dairy--milk or ice cream leads to digestion problems.

Trying to just eat healthy and not "diet" now. That's a different mindset than I'm used to. We're working on eating less dairy/breads/starchy veggies/grains/processed foods and more meats/veggies/fruits/good fats. I'm not restricting cheese though, because cheese makes life happy Cheesy

Tonight we had fajita salads--base of lettuce topped with sizzling steak/peppers/onions, avocado, salsa, and a bit of sour cream cheese (no pic)

Last night was salmon, mashed cauliflower, and avocado


Dessert: fresh raspberries with coconut cream and sliced almonds


Salad from the other day: greens, peppers, scoop of chicken salad, mandarin oranges, honey mustard dressing, cashews and horseradish deviled egg



On the menu for the next week is an Asian chicken slaw--shredded cabbage, shredded carrot, chopped poached chicken , sliced almonds, green onion, sesame seeds, with a vinaigrette made with a touch of sesame oil.
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8  Re: Craftster vs. Pin Craftalong in Craftalongs by MareMare on: May 04, 2014 08:06:32 PM
The boyfriend and I went to the beach this weekend and I always plan out our meals and take food to cook. This time a couple of our meals were ones I wanted to try from Pinterest

*sorry, total double post if you are also following the Healthy Habits thread on the FOC board!*

Sweet Potato and White Bean Burgers
(http://www.pinterest.com/pin/236931630370888340/)



I followed the recipe but halved it and used Cajun Seasoning. It was really good but I could have used more seasoning, I went light on it. The burger is pretty sweet overall so you might want to use condiments to balance it out. I used mustard along with tomato and lettuce, but I think onions/pickles would be good to top it off with too. And of course cheese, but cheese is a basically a given for me. These were really easy to patty up but were a bit soft. After coating in panko they were also a bit easier to handle. I made 4 from a half a batch, but I think if I had made 6 and they were thinner they wouldn't have been so soft (more crisp surface ratio to soft center?). They oozed out a bit when we ate them, but good flavor!

Overnight Oats
(http://www.pinterest.com/pin/236931630370787076/)



I did two containers of it, each quadrupled (ie, a cup of oats in each). One had strawberry jam with fresh strawberries and the other had apricot jam with frozen chopped peaches. I topped the strawberry with walnuts when I ate it and the peach with sliced almonds. Both were pretty good, but I like more oats in mine for a chewier texture. The boyfriend really liked it and called it "breakfast pudding." He's a big pudding fan, so that is actually a compliment. He wrote down the recipe so he can make it for himself!



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9  Open Wide Noodlehead Pouches--Girls and Hedgies in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by MareMare on: April 29, 2014 12:11:05 PM
I tried a pouch tutorial that I hadn't used before, on the advice of my friend klum78 (she's the bag/pouch master!) This is the Open Wide pouch from Noodlehead. I made the one with the sweet little girls for kittykill. It is the large size.



I've started taking selvage pics of fabric because I can't always remember what it is. This is from the "Handmade" line by Macrina Busato.



Then I was a little sad to give it away, so I made myself one out of some favorite Michael Miller fabrics (from the "Hedgehog" line and also the "Flora and Fauna" by Patty Young ). This is the medium size because my scraps weren't quite big enough for the large size. I lined it with solid lime green for a fun pop of color



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10  Nut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten free!) in Dessert by MareMare on: April 01, 2014 10:37:43 AM
I've been making these cookies for years and they are so good! Who doesn't love a recipe with only six ingredients? Seriously, the texture is just like a regular cookie and it's kind of mind blowing to me that they don't contain any kind of flour. This recipe is adapted from Clean Eating.



Ingredients:

1 cup Nut Butter (Almond Butter works well, or Make Your Own like I did!)
1/2 cup maple syrup or agave syrup (Alternately, 3/4 cup of brown sugar but I prefer the texture in the final cookie better when using the liquid sweeteners)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup to 1 cup chocolate chips or chopped up chocolate bar (but let's face it, 1 cup is > 1/2 cup in all ways)

Preheat oven to 350*F. Makes 12 large or 24 small cookies.

Directions:
1. If you just made nut butter, you can throw the first five ingredients in the food processor you just used. If you don't want to dirty your food processor, just mix everything except the chocolate together with a hand mixer if you're lazy like me, or a wooden spoon if you're buff.

2. Add the chocolate and mix. Remember, More Chocolate = More Better. Don't worry about the grammar, I have an English degree, if you're certified in the rules of a language you're free to play around with said rules. What you need to be worrying about is if you have enough chocolate up in there.

3. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, because ain't nobody got time to do extra dishes. Roll dough into balls and bake for 8-12 minutes (less for smaller cookies, more for larger. #Math #CommonSense.) Although you can make 12 large cookies or 24 small cookies with this recipe, let's face it. You don't win friends with small cookies. Or Salad. Do the right thing.



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