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1  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Jam! on: September 01, 2013 02:02:07 PM
I recently went on vacation to Michigan (which is also home), and returned to DC with a ton of fruit!

After some thinking, I decided on making lots and lots of jam.

From left to right: Apricot, Tart Cherry, Vanilla Bourbon Peach

The Apricot and Cherry recipes came directly from the Pomona's Pectin package. The Peach was adapted from a Blondie's Cakes & Things recipe.

I also made blueberry sauce, for my cousin Ben. We had attempted blueberry jam earlier in the year, but used a different kind of pectin (and not enough sugar), and it never jelled. He loved the resultant sauce so much he requested we try and recreate it. I used half the pectin amount, and increased the berry volume. It worked well!

I didn't want to make this post super image heavy. If you're interested, there are more pictures in my blog post.
2  COOKING / Dessert / Summer Watermelon Mint Sorbet on: August 12, 2013 12:09:26 PM
When my roommate moved to Canada, she left behind an ice cream maker. It is now one of my favorite summer things. I've made watermelon sorbet a number of times now, and love it for a refreshing (light) summer dessert. This time, I added mint from my plant.

This is my first time posting in this category, and the recipe is cross-posted on my new blog.

I adapted the recipe based on a lot of sorbet research. This version doesn't have any added sugar, and will likely freeze harder than store-bought. The upside to this is that the recipe is VERY low calorie, and as healthy as a watermelon!

Watermelon Mint Sorbet

Seedless watermelon chunks (equivalent to approximately 4 blended cups, about 1/2 a watermelon)
2 sprigs mint (optional)
Juice from one lime (or to taste)
1 oz. Liquor (vodka is the most neutral, but feel free to experiment)
1 dropper liquid stevia (to taste)
Ice cream maker, chilled

Put all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Refrigerate until cool, or use a pre-refrigerated watermelon. Start ice cream maker and pour mixture into reservoir. Process according to your machines manual. My Cuisinart requires about 20 minutes run-time. Eat right away and freeze any remainder. Defrost a few minutes before serving from the freezer to soften.

*I apologize for the instagrammed photo, I made it at night and didn't have natural light to photograph with. It really does look this good though!
3  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Le Petit Rouge Take 2 - (Another) Quilt for a Baby Girl on: July 30, 2013 12:24:10 PM

It's baby season in my world (I have four friends due in December alone), and I'm trying to make something for each of them. I am currently unemployed (turns out it's not a good idea to work for a government contractor when sequestration hits), so I have quite a bit of time available, but no real income. For this quilt, I used leftovers fabric from a jelly roll of Aneela Hoey's "A Walk in the Woods" fabric that I used for a quilt last year. The pattern is super simple (I have an excel chart of everything, if anyone's interested, I'm not sure I can call it a "pattern" per se, just a guide).

The squares finish at 2", with 4" of white space in between. I quilted the whole thing in a grid, which looks great from afar, and slightly wonky close up.

I had other plans for piecing the back, but ran out of the Moda Bella white and had to improvise. I like how it turned out in the end though.

I waited to finish the quilt until the baby was born this time, and embroidered the center square with her full name and birth date (which have been partially blurred to protect the innocent).

It's fairly simple, but sweet. Now I just need to get it in the mail and off to Seattle!

Thanks so much for looking Smiley

P.S. Here's a link to my first Petit Rouge quilt.
4  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Help with Choosing Fabrics on: August 05, 2012 02:52:58 PM
Hi All!

I'm starting a quilt for a friend's wedding in November, and was hoping you could help me with finding coordinating fabrics!

I'm planning on making this quilt:
Palladium Diamonds

Her sister says that this line works the best with her room:

But I would like to add a few more fabrics than the line has.

Do you have any recommendations for coordinates that might work? I'm pretty bad at figuring them out for myself (which is why I try to buy things in a set!), and I'm hoping you lovely Craftsters can give me a hand!

Thanks so much!
5  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Le Petit Rouge - Quilt for a Baby Girl on: June 08, 2012 09:29:58 PM
I made this for a friend back in Michigan who recently had her second child. Since it was also her second girl, I didn't want to go over-the-top with pink. Her house is already full of glittery princess stuff, and I think she's probably over it.

The pattern is Pure Baby Boy from Moda Bakeshop. I used a jelly roll of Aneela Hoey's "A Walk in the Woods" fabric, which I'm a little in love with.

I didn't follow the pattern for the back, and instead pieced it with three "framed" fussy-cut squares.

The baby wasn't due until this weekend (though she ended up arriving a bit early), and I didn't have a chance to add her name before quilting. My initials and the year are embroidered in light pink.

I didn't pre-wash any of the fabric, which was a first for me, and it crinkled up nicely after washing (the other photos were taken before it was washed):

I quilted it with simple straight lines, approximately 3/4" apart (very approximately, as I'm terrible at maintaining a straight line, even with a guide).

The only issue I had with the pattern is that, if you have directional fabrics, they all will face sideways when pieced the way the pattern instructs. It took me a while to figure it out, but the example quilt was not pieced according to the instructions. It didn't bother me enough to change it, but I could see it being a big problem if you have a lot of directional prints.

Thanks so much for looking, I hope you like it!
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Sookie Stackhouse Dress Help! on: May 07, 2010 11:09:24 AM
Hi crafty friends!
I am in love with a dress Anna Paquin's character Sookie Stackhouse wears in an episode of True Blood, and am hoping some of you could help me find a way to make something similar.  It's a haltertop sundress with a sweetheart neckline in red and white.  Some images of the dress are below:


As far as I can tell, the dress was created for Anna by the show's wardrobe designer, and thus isn't available off the rack.

I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas, thank you in advance!
7  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Joining the Saartje Bootie Bandwagon on: September 19, 2007 10:23:07 AM
I made these for a coworker who is pregnant, and doesn't know the sex of the baby.  I think they're pretty gender-neutral.  I've made a few pairs of these, they're super easy and a huge bang for the buck.  Plus, I don't like socks, so it gives me something to make with all that fabulous sock yarn.

I'm in love with the bee buttons!  When I went to buy them, I brought one bootie with me, and for some reason decided that four buttons would be enough for two pairs of booties, not two booties.  Thankfully, I decided to buy "extra" in case I wanted to make more - which means I actually just had enough for one pair.
8  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Birthday Purse! on: August 13, 2007 11:29:57 AM

I made this purse for my friend's 30th birthday, and kind of love it.
I used my own handspun yarn, and made up the pattern to go along with it.  To give it structure, I used cardboard inbetween the lining and the outside.
Please let me know what you think, I'll write up a pattern if there's any interest.
Thanks so much for looking!

9  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Berkley's Fish on: June 26, 2007 10:16:05 AM
I made this for my cat Berkley from some Knitpicks Gloss, left over from my Endpaper Mit.  He played with the yarn, turning it into a giant mess, and ended the possibility of another mit. 

I conceded and made him a catnip toy with the yarn I could salvage, before throwing the rest of it away (my roommate got tired of the ever-growing yarn maze devouring the condo).

10  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Oh Baby! HelloYarn Bonnet and Dreambaby Booties on: June 18, 2007 11:49:53 AM

Both are made from Claudia's Hand Painted Yarn, Fingering Merino in colorway "Carousel"

Pattern: Hello Yarn's Top Down Bonnet, without the ears or face
Comments: I really like this pattern. I made some modifications, as there was no chance I was going to get gauge with the fingering yarn. Other than sizing, however I followed the pattern and am really happy with how it came out and am planning on making more for gifts.

Pattern: fabulousyarn.com's Dreambaby Booties
Comments: I had to modify this pattern for the fingering yarn as well, I also used stockinette stitch on the lower part in stead of garter stitch. I also used simple braids for the ties, instead of an i-cord. I am also happy with this pattern, and anticipate making many more bonnet/booties sets for future babies.
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