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December Announcement: It's time for our Eighth Annual Gingerbread Contest!  Craft and enter a project for a chance to win a prize!
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41  Re: 2016 QuiltAlong, now with prizes! in Quilting: Discussion and Questions by MareMare on: April 06, 2016 11:19:24 AM
We have a Quarter 1 Winner! Amazon_Warrior, you are the next contestant on the price is right, come on down! I will private message you about your prize!

People who checked in every week and participated consistently got 2 entries, people who checked in consistently and participated but started late and missed early check-ins got 1 entry. A couple people began the quarter and checked in once or twice and then disappeared didn't get any entries, but they are certainly welcome to keep participating, it's a new quarter!

(Copied from my spreadsheet, so of course the formatting is messed up!)
aimr     1
aimr2    2
aw    3
aw2   4
c_q   5
c_q   6
carolmb   7
carolmb2   8
craft add   9
immaculata    10
mel   11
mel2   12
sloth003   13
sloth0032   14

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42  Green Eggs and Spam in Recipes and Cooking Tips by MareMare on: April 01, 2016 06:50:51 AM
What's better than a big plate of eggs and Spam to start off your day? I can't think of anything, except maybe adding a bunch of veggies to your eggs for an extra healthy kick!

Green Eggs and Spam

2 eggs, scrambled with a splash of cream, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes
1 can Spam, (Spam Lite to save some cals!) sliced into thin slabs and then each slab cut in half
3 chopped green onions
2 cups chopped spinach
6-8 stalks of Asparagus, chopped
garlic powder, salt, pepper to taste
1 teaspoon butter

In a large pan cook your spam on medium high heat, turning frequently to brown on all sides.

At the same time in a smaller pan cook your veggies with a little salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

When cooked to your liking, push them to the outside of the pan, leaving an empty circle in the center. Melt the butter in the center of the pan and add the eggs, scrambling the eggs and working the veggies in from the outside. When cooked to your liking, remove from the heat, add the cheese on top and place a lid on to melt for a couple of minutes. Serve with crispy Spam on the side!

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43  Re: 2016 QuiltAlong, now with prizes! in Quilting: Discussion and Questions by MareMare on: March 23, 2016 04:40:16 PM
I love reading what everyone's up to!

I really just need to stop getting ideas for new things and finish up old things.

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44  Circle of Geese Ultra Tiny Mini Quilt in Quilting: Completed Projects by MareMare on: March 03, 2016 04:16:08 PM
For this challenge I knew I wanted to make a teeny tiny paper pieced quilted item. After thinking about making my own design, I decided shrinking down one already out there would be better for my sanity. I printed this Circle of Geese pattern from Piece By Number out at 30%, which made it almost the right size, and copied it on my printer at 90% which gave me 2 inch sections. I then added back in the 1/4 seam allowance since those had also been reduced down and were now like, 1/32 inch.

I used various (tiny) scraps from my stash along with some Essex linen for background (I think maybe Steel, but I could be wrong. Probably I'm wrong.)

The backs of paper piecing patterns are kind of fun to look at. Normally my seams wouldn't be quite so hideous, but that's what happens when you have so many tiny pieces!

I just quilted some straight lines close together with light gray Aurifil.

Adding the binding to the front. It was a PITA because I do continuous binding, so sewing the ends together after it was already mostly attached was a little rough. I did a smaller than usual seam allowance to attach the binding since I could already tell it was going to cover up the geese a little bit. I do wish I had printed the pattern out even a little bit smaller so I could have added a border on before the binding, but oh well!

I hand stitched the binding to the back, which I normally don't do, but for something this tiny it didn't take very long! Smiley I love my tiny binder clips!

Oh, and paper piecing makes a huge mess, in case you weren't aware! How could this pile of scraps and paper bits have been the results of making this tiny little thing?

4 Inches on the nose! I might hang this on the wall with a whole set of other super tiny mini quilts, or it might become a coaster.

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45  Breakfast Tostada (plus black beans & pico de gallo recipes) in Vegetarian / Vegan by MareMare on: February 20, 2016 02:26:41 PM
We've been on a Mexican burrito bowl kick lately so I've been keeping various components made up in the fridge. This one uses up the homemade black beans and fresh pico de gallo I made a couple days ago. Whatever canned or store bought ingredients you have on hand will work just as well for this quick meal!

Breakfast Tostada
Serves 1

1 tostada shell (or corn tortilla baked until crispy)
1/2 cup beans, warmed (whole beans or refried both work great)
1/4 cup shredded cheese
1/4 cup pico de gallo or salsa
1 egg

Warm the tostada shell and the beans while you cook the egg. I like my eggs over easy. Layer beans, cheese, and pico onto warmed tostada and top with the egg. Dig in!

Vegetarian Spicy Black Beans
These are the best beans I've ever made, I took elements from several different recipes. The jalepeño adds some really great flavor and just the right amount of heat. In the first 2 hours of cooking, you can also add a quartered green bell pepper to later remove, but I was out of bell peppers.

1 lb black beans
1 large onion, quartered
3 stalks celery, cut into 4 inch pieces
1 jalapeño, cut in half (pull out some of the seeds with a spoon if you want it less spicy)
5 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed + 4 cloves garlic pressed/minced
1 Tbsp powdered or paste vegetable bouillon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin + 2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
2 cups salsa, pico de gallo, or a mix of chopped tomato and onion
Juice of 1 lime, optional

Soak beans in a large pot of water overnight. When ready to cook, rinse the beans and add water to cover the beans by about 2 inches. Add the quartered onion, celery, jalapeño, smashed garlic, vegetable bouillon, salt, pepper, and 1 tsp cumin. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, put a lid on, and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add more water if it gets too low. After 2 hours, beans should be tender or almost tender. Remove chunks of onion/celery/garlic/jalapeño. Add additional 1 tsp cumin, chili powder, pressed/minced garlic, and pico/salsa/tomatoes/onion. Simmer for 30 minutes more with the lid off or until consistency you like is reached, stirring every 10 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary. Add a squirt of lime if you need the acid (my pico had plenty of lime juice so I didn't add additional, recipe below).

Pico de Gallo

1/2 large onion, diced
1 jalapeño, seeds and ribbed removed, minced finely
Juice from 1-2 limes
3-4 fresh tomatoes, diced
dash of garlic powder
1 cup cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Soak the onion and jalapeño in the lime juice for 10 minutes to mellow it out a bit. Mix in tomatoes, garlic powder, cilantro, and salt and pepper. Store in the fridge for several hours to overnight for the flavors to meld together.

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46  Re: 2016 QuiltAlong, now with prizes! in Quilting: Discussion and Questions by MareMare on: February 10, 2016 10:14:26 PM
I finished most of this block on saturday at my guild sew day, and the rest last night. It's a replacement block for a quilt for me from a messed up one I received in a bee I did last year. I still need to make a few more replacements as well.  Roll Eyes

Also, this pattern is from Hunter's Design Studio, so you could possibly win this pattern this quarter!
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47  Re: 2016 QuiltAlong, now with prizes! in Quilting: Discussion and Questions by MareMare on: February 04, 2016 04:19:20 PM
Whoa, that looks intense AW!
Redo on my pics, for some reason they come out sideways when I try to post from my phone.

Here's a couple of the bits of my quilt, I'm not a great picture taker though!

And the finished top!

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48  Re: 2016 QuiltAlong, now with prizes! in Quilting: Discussion and Questions by MareMare on: February 04, 2016 05:44:36 AM
Welcome back, Jen! Holy crap, you finished all your WIPs? That is amazing! Yay for new projects! And I'd love to hear more about the "I don't need a class for that quilt" Cheesy

Discussion: I was reading a post on a prominent quilter's IG the other day that said something like "Please don't copy one of my quilts that I haven't made a pattern for yet" (ie, wait to buy the pattern). I thought it was an interesting discussion on there, I am definitely all for paying designers for patterns, (I am a huge supporter of the "we are $ew worth it" campaign) but if it's a simple pattern that I can make and don't need a pattern for, what would I pay a designer for? Also, I would never personally straight copy something, I would put my own twist on it anyways, so this is a more cerebral discussion than an "I would actually do that."

On the other hand, I have a designer friend who made a quilt design and it was out there on the internet and at quilt market and stuff, and before she released her pattern somebody decided to make a pattern for it and they gave it away for free. I'm still super outraged on my friend's behalf, (but she is no longer showing quilts publicly before she patterns them) but that is a bit different than just making a quilt you see.

What's the line for you between straight copying and inspiration? And when buying a pattern, I know I'm paying for the cutting instructions, amount of fabric, layout, etc to get an exact dimension, as well as the designer's time spent testing the pattern, so many times it's a basic block you can find anywhere but by buying an actual pattern you are paying for all this additional stuff you'd have to figure out on your own if you just started with a basic block idea.

Sorry for the wall of text, here's some pics to look at lol! The current quilt I'm working on for batgirl, she made the embroideries. I'm hoping to finish the top this morning and maybe baste it this afternoon.

This is approximately half of it, since it's a non grid design it's going together in big chunks instead of regular rows and columns. I have another big quarter done and just need to finish the last small quarter.

My working design. Hot diggity, I love graph paper! Cheesy
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49  Stupid Easy Taco Soup in Recipes and Cooking Tips by MareMare on: January 29, 2016 05:33:05 PM
This is a recipe my whole family likes, including my 3 nephews! It's stupid easy to make too! A little chopping, brown the meat, throw everything in and let it simmer.

Stupid Easy Taco Soup

1 T oil, if you are using lean beef or turkey, can omit if beef has higher fat content
1 cup diced onion
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
12-16 oz ground beef or turkey*

1 can refried beans
2 cans pinto, white, kidney, or black beans, drained and rinsed (2 cans total, pick your fave combo)
1 can Rotel, do not drain (tomatoes with green chiles)**
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 cup Salsa
2-3 cups broth (chicken, beef, veggie)
2 T. ranch mix powder
2 T. taco seasoning

Optional Toppings

crushed tortilla chips
shredded cheese
sour cream or yogurt
chopped cilantro
diced tomatoes
sliced black olives
chopped green onions

In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat and add onions and garlic. Saute until soft and translucent and add ground meat.  Cook until no pink remains and add beans, 2 cups of broth, corn, tomatoes, salsa, and seasoning. Stir and simmer, adding 1 more cup of broth if you need more liquid. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes. Top with tortilla chips, sour cream or yogurt, and other optional toppings.

*Make vegetarian by omitting and using extra beans, tvp, or faux meat crumbles
**If you can't find Rotel or similar, substitute with 15 oz can diced tomatoes + 4 oz can green chiles

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50  Re: 2016 QuiltAlong, now with prizes! in Quilting: Discussion and Questions by MareMare on: January 28, 2016 04:52:33 PM
Woohoo, I have a sweet prize lined up for Quarter 1!

Prize for Quarter 1
Quarter 1's prize is going to be a pattern from Hunter's Design Studio! Thank you so much Sam Hunter for your donation! Sam is the designer of oodles of fun patterns as well as the author of the popular book Quilt Talk, her wonderful paper pieced alphabet with lots of fun projects to go along with it!

If the winner is in the US they will receive a physical pattern of their choice, for an international winner the prize will be a downloadable pattern of their choice.

You could win one of these cool patterns, or a different pattern from her site!

Photos credit Sam Hunter, Hunter's Design Studio
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