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31  Greek Cross Charity Quilt in Quilting: Completed Projects by MareMare on: April 13, 2015 02:38:18 PM
I finally sent off 3 belated charity quilts for my do.Good Stitches group (Faith Circle) and took some pictures of them. I'm starting with the oldest first, this is from July 2013. Our charity is called Restore Innocence and the quilts go to girls who are rescued from human trafficking.



I chose a Greek Cross block which is a pretty basic block based on a 9 patch. (and to make a 12.5 inch block, starting with 5 inch charm squares works well--you can trim the plain square blocks down to 4.5 and when you make the HSTs you also have room to trim them down if you start with them at 5). Then I asked for it to be scrappy and for a palette of teal, plum/purple, coral, and navy with white as the background color. I like to give my group a little palette as well as my example blocks when we start. I love Colour Lovers to make palettes!



My example blocks



Members from my quilt guild got to take turns quilting on this at a local store during an event we had there. It's a sewing machine mounted on a frame, so akin to a long arm. This is a beads on a string pattern, very fast and easy.







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32  Easy (Healthy) Chocolate Cheesecake Pudding! in Dessert by MareMare on: April 08, 2015 06:09:21 PM
So a friend recently gave me a Vita Mix. A! Vita! Mix!  I know! It's pretty awesome and I'm having fun blending all the things. Today I was craving something chocolatey so I tried something I've been meaning to try--pudding made with cottage cheese in the Vita Mix! It turned out even better than I hoped! The Vita Mix made it all thick and perfectly creamy. And cottage cheese is the perfect vehicle to taste like cheesecake with a much lower calorie count that cream cheese (and a nice hit of protein!)



Easy (healthy) Chocolate Cheesecake Pudding

2 cups Cottage Cheese
1 (small) package dry pudding mix (I used sugar free chocolate fudge)*
2-4 T liquid of choice (almond milk, milk, cream)
Toppings of choice (crushed nuts, whipped cream, sprinkles, etc)

Blend Cottage Cheese in Vita Mix until smooth and creamy. Add 2-4 T of liquid if needed. Add pudding mix and blend quickly as it will start to get even thicker. Move to container with lid so you can refrigerate. Serve topped with nuts/sprinkles/whipped cream or nothing at all, it's delicious and has a nice hit of protein.

I used 4% cottage cheese and 2 T of heavy whipping cream and my nutrition stats came out to:

per half cup serving:
146 calories, 11 g protein, 14 g carbs, 9 g fat

Of course, if you used 1% cottage cheese and almond milk the fat and cals would be much lower!

*If you don't have any boxed mix or prefer not to use them, I think adding cocoa powder and sweetener of choice would work well too. Since the cottage cheese is thick, you don't need whatever thickeners are in the powder like you would when adding the mix to milk.

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33  Scalloped Ocean Quilt with Quilted Accent Pillows (pic giant) in Quilting: Completed Projects by MareMare on: April 07, 2015 02:20:53 PM
I finally finished a queen sized quilt and 3 quilted pillows for my aunt!  They are for her ocean themed bedroom.This took me way longer than it should have, because I wasn't happy with my initial fabric purchases and ended up not using about half of what I first bought.  I am much happier with this more cohesive color palette, to which I then added in solids in a range of blues, greens, aquas, and tans to flesh it out.

The quilt itself is simple 5 inch patchwork with a single border. After quilting (which I sent out to a long armer) I used the Quilt in a Day Scallops, Vines & Waves template to cut scallops around the border (a design element requested by my aunt) and then did the (bias) binding in a dark navy that has tiny white pindots. And I actually hand stitched it, you know I love me some machine stitched binding but I actually did it "right" on this one Smiley



Extra wide backing fabric made it a lot easier. I love not piecing a backing on occasion!


Cutting the scallops. This part wasn't really as hard as I expected! Missouri Quilt Co has a great video on using the Scallop template.


Close-ups of the amazing shell quilting done by Good Knight Quilts









I also made 3 quilted pillows to go along with this. Two larger 24 inch square pillows and a smaller 16 inch square one. For the larger ones I decided to reduce the size of the original patchwork down to 2.5 inch squares, and actually used a lot of already pieced and/or cut squares I had left over from the quilt. I quilted one with a diagonal grid and it took so long. For the other large one I swapped my machines out for the machine that has a cool serpentine stitch, I really like the look of the wavy stitching on this one! And for the smaller pillow, which I wanted to emphasize the border fabric from the quilt, I did some loopy free motion quilting.



Close-ups of the quilting:

Diagonal cross hatch


Serpentine


Free motion


I had originally bought several yards of this green seaweed fabric to use as a border on the quilt, but then I decided to go in a more "blue" direction. I used a little bit of this fabric in the quilt itself and the pillows, but still had plenty left over so I used it to back the large pillows. I did a basic envelope style backing on the pillows after quilting them with batting and muslin. Then I used the same pindot fabric for binding on the pillows that I'd used on the quilt.



I remembered to add my label, but did kind of a crappy job sewing it on. Grr!


These are currently on their way to my aunt, I can't wait to hear what she says!


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34  Re: 15 Quilt Projects in 2015 in Quilting: Discussion and Questions by MareMare on: March 31, 2015 01:55:21 PM
Here's what I've been working on lately!

For my do.Good stitches group (Faith Circle) for February I asked for a combo of bright colored improv blocks and low value improv blocks in specific rectangular sizes with a few squares thrown in for a more modular final setting. These were the ones I made for examples








March's blocks she asked for muted, gray or brown toned colors in either 9 patches, 16 patches, or 36 patches. It's not really my style at all but I am excited to see the final layout of the quilt!



For my Challenge Accepted bee which is paper piecing or advanced piecing, January asked for this fun paper pieced block:


And February asked for some pink and orange improv blocks with white and cream fabrics:





March was a fun paper pieced block from Fresh Lemon Quilts in Christmas colors/fabrics. Her color scheme was navy, lime, aqua, red, as well as traditional red and green Christmas colors.



I also finished this charity quilt from last year for do.Good stitches. Well, all I did in the whole process was pick the pattern (a fun arrangement of 9 patches from Red Pepper Quilts), make two blocks, stitch the top, and bind it. My group made the rest of the blocks and my amazing friend Rachel from 2nd Avenue Studio did the wonderful quilting, which was absolutely perfect for all the negative space. She free motioned it on her long arm. (Also, because I like to brag on my friends, she won 2nd place at Quilt Con in the Applique Category!)



An in progress pic of Rachel quilting it.


I'm not sure if I've shown you guys my Ocean quilt since it's been finished? This still isn't a completed pic since I got the binding on quite a while ago. I'm currently working on some pillows to go with it and then I'll get some nice pics!



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35  Salmon Foil Packets Nicoise in Recipes and Cooking Tips by MareMare on: March 27, 2015 09:51:42 PM
This was a tasty clean out the fridge style healthy meal!



Serves 4

Preheat oven to 400*

Ingredients:

4 salmon filets
2 small russet potatoes, boiled until partially cooked and sliced as thinly as possible*
1 tomato, chopped
1 can marinated 3 bean salad**, mostly drained (do not rinse)
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup raw mushrooms, chopped
2 teaspoons dried Italian Seasoning
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
salt and pepper
juice from 1 lemon

For each serving, cut a large rectangle of heavy duty foil and spray with cooking spray. Place 4-6 slices of potatoes on the middle of the foil in a single layer in a rectangle, season with salt and pepper, and then place a salmon filet on top, also seasoned with salt and pepper. In a bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients and place 1/4 of mixture on top of each salmon filet.
Bring the two short sides of each foil piece together and fold down several times. Then fold the ends over like a package so that no steam or juices will escape. With a second piece of foil, double wrap each packet in the same way. If not baking immediately, packets can remain in fridge for up to 2 days.

Place your foil packets on a baking tray and bake at 400* for 25-30 minutes, depending on how thick your filets are. To eat, open carefully, avoiding the steam!

*I did not pre-cook my potatoes at all and they were a little harder than I would like, so I would pre-cook next time.

**The 3 bean salad was a nice lazy way to go, but if I had the fresh veggies on hand I would replace with a cup each of sliced fresh green beans and sliced fresh asparagus, along with an extra Tablespoon of olive oil.

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36  Mini Art Quilt Swap Round 8 in New Swap Theme Ideas by MareMare on: February 17, 2015 11:22:27 PM
Hey peeps!

Who is ready for another round of the Mini Art Quilt Swap? In this swap, you send a mini quilt to a partner (no extras needed). The quilt should be between 12" x 12" and 24" x 24" and any shape that fits within those parameters is ok (a 15 inch square, an 18 x 24 inch rectangle, a 16 inch circle would all work). In this swap we give our partners a list of 5-10 themes that we would like our mini quilts to be made out of and a few other ideas as far as favorite colors, etc.

Here is the link to Round 7 and a few links from previous galleries:

Mini Art Quilt Swap 4 Gallery
Mini Art Quilt Swap 5 Gallery
Mini Art Quilt Swap 6 Gallery
Mini Art Quilt Swap 7 Gallery


My tentative plan is to have sign-ups begin on Tuesday, March 3rd, have them run for about a week and then have a 5 week crafting time. How does that sound? Or, if we wanted it to be sooner the only other option for sign-ups would be to start immediately and close next wednesday Feb 25th. I'm organizing a quilting retreat for 30 people at the end of next  week so I have to plan around that!  Let me know which sounds better!



Mini Quilt by waggonswest for MareMare in Round 7
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37  Re: FOC Second Chance Wishlist Swap 2015 GALLERY! in The Swap Gallery by MareMare on: February 05, 2015 08:39:54 PM
I received from IdlersDesign today! All the way from Europe, yahoo!

First up, she sent a cool envelope, some fun crochet motifs to add to my collection, a super cute journal, and some adorable wooden buttons!



And! This beautiful cowl and matching boot warmers! I am so excited to wear these and they are such a great neutral color! Thank you so much IdlersDesign, I love everything!!

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38  Re: 15 Quilt Projects in 2015 in Quilting: Discussion and Questions by MareMare on: January 29, 2015 10:42:26 PM
@cursive_queen, nice! I have a friend trying to get me to do the C+S but I have too many other commitments I think. I bought one print from Rashida's Mochi line yesterday...and then 2 more today online!

Actually, this is what I bought! It looks like a lot but most is 1/3 yard cuts so the damage to my checking account wasn't too bad. My local store was out of the feather print from Petal and Plume (below in navyETA: not seeing it in the pic, now freaking out wondering if I lost it or didn't buy it?) in the aqua color I was also after, so that's why I had to do an online order today. I'm not doing the rainbow or the solids from the original. These will be the start of my fabrics for my Skill Builder BOM. And I still have yet to go through my stash and pull fabrics to go with it.

http://pileofabric.com/pages/skill-builder-bom#2015quilt




Also I got this quilt for my aunt back from the longarmer yesterday. Yesterday I cut the scallops into the border, and today I made the bias binding and attached it to the front. The binding is navy with super tiny white dots, and it sets off the border fabric really well! (I'm not super happy with how the whole thing looks pre-binding below). I've started sewing it down...I don't normally hand stitch binding so will be curious to see how long this takes! This isn't really my style but my aunt had a vision for what she wanted Smiley









It's the first time I've paid to have a quilt long armed! Well, technically my aunt paid, but I normally  quilt it myself. I've rented time on a quilting frame mounted with a domestic machine once, and a friend often long arms my charity quilts for free, so this was something different and fun!
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39  My Boxcar Tote~Aqua/Coral/Navy/Red in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by MareMare on: January 28, 2015 03:45:13 PM
A couple weeks ago I won a sewing class to local shop Modern Domestic. The class was for the Boxcar Tote by Alexia Abegg. I haven't made a ton of bags in the last couple years so I was super stoked! After spending way too long picking out fabric from my stash, I narrowed it down to about 8 fabrics. I only needed 6, so I did some creative swapping with the pattern pieces.

I'm really happy with how it turned out and will definitely make it again! I added a long strap, I like a shoulder strap and the pattern only calls for the small handles. The only thing I don't like is that I used the right kind of interfacing for most of the bag, but a slightly lighter interfacing on the large lining pieces, so the whole thing is just a touch saggier than I like. Lesson learned!









I added a magnetic snap to one of the outer pockets, and divided the other outer pocket into two. (all of the things I changed here were suggested by the teacher! I likes these changes and would do them next time as well)



Inside the bag I divided the inner pocket off-center so the smaller section would easily hold my phone.





For the fabrics I used Cotton + Steel, Kate and Birdie, RK Essex Linen in Steel, the alphabet print is Baby Jane, the scissors print is Half Moon Modern, and the main print is from the Handmade line by Macrina Busato. The blue binding is Squared Elements and I have no idea what the tiny aqua dot binding is. Maybe from Joann.

I used another print from the Handmade line a while back on a project for kittykill! It's such a cute line, I wish it had received more attention.
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=433181.0
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40  Heart and Dump Truck Quilted Pillows in Quilting: Completed Projects by MareMare on: January 28, 2015 03:27:37 PM
Every Christmas I help my nephews make something for their mamas. This year I decided we'd do pillows. My younger nephews' mom and grandma both drive dump trucks, so when I got this awesome Busy City paper piecing pattern I knew that would be great! The boys picked out the colors and fabrics and I think they did a great job! The 6.5 year old picked out the pinks for his mom (she does love pink!) and the 9 year old picked some cute ones for his grandma.







For my oldest nephew's mom I decided on a simple heart pattern that I just quickly sketched out. Again, he picked out all the fabrics. After I pieced and quilted each pillow, the boys got to use the sewing machine! I did a simple flap style backing with some cute winter themed fabric, used my new-to-me embroidery machine to create a label right on the back, and let the boys stitch them up! I had fun playing with some of the decorative stitches on the new machine as well, very fun for quilting!



Before stitching into pillow top



Proud boy and happy mama!

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