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11  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / 2017 QuiltAlong on: April 06, 2017 10:12:59 AM
Welcome to the 2017 Quilt Along! Please join in as we work on various quilting projects this year. The point of this Quilt Along is to motivate ourselves and others to work on their projects and provide a space to discuss projects during and after their completion, as well as fill the Quilting Board with beautiful quilts.

To join our Quilt Along, please post a list of the 4-8 quilts you will be working on this year, baby sized or larger.

Of course, discussing and sharing in-progress pics of any quilted projects, large or small, quilted mug rugs, wall hangings, and whatever smaller projects you are working on this year are always welcome!

I'll keep track with links in the second post of people's lists so you can find your "master list" quickly and easily.

How to join the 2017 QuiltAlong:

1.) Make a post introducing yourself (tell us about your quilting likes and dislikes and your quilting journey) along with your list of 4-8 Quilts, baby sized or larger that you are committing to working on this year. They could be started already or quilts you haven't started yet, tops languishing ready to be quilted, or any stage in between.

2.) Check in once in awhile! Tell us what you've worked on, or what you'd like to be working on.

3.) When you finish a project on your list, make a post for it with picture(s) on the Quilting Board AND share it in this QuiltAlong thread with a picture and link to your post on the Quilting Board.

There will be prizes and challenges throughout the year, stay tuned!

Challenge 1: Post a collage or set of pics (personally I love making collages via Picmonkey, it's free and easy) of all the quilt projects you made last year! (since we're starting late this year, feel free to do last year but up until now) I only finished, like 2 lol! If you did more than, say, 8 feel free to just pick your faves.

Past QuiltAlongs:

2011 QuiltAlong Thread
2012 QuiltAlong Thread
2013 QuiltAlong Thread
2014 QuiltAlong Thread
2015 QuiltAlong Thread
2016 QuiltAlong Thread

Quilt by amazon_warrior in the 2016 QuiltAlong
12  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Circus Lion Quilt Blocks on: April 01, 2017 01:17:47 AM
Rawr! Who doesn't love a super colorful circus lion?! I bought this sweet pattern on Craftsy from Monday Morning Designs. I just need to embroider some eyes! Circuses are the hottest trend out there right now,  thanks for checking out my project!

13  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Circus Elephant Quilt Blocks on: April 01, 2017 01:14:30 AM
What's cuter than a blue circus elephant? How about two pf them?! I bought this adorable pattern on Craftsy from Monday Morning Designs. I just need to embroider some eyes! Loving this hot new circus trend!

14  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Circus Tent Quilt Blocks on: April 01, 2017 01:09:26 AM
If you haven't heard, circuses are the hot new theme for spring! I hopped on this fun new trend and made these adorable circus tents from a free paper pieced pattern I found on Craftsy.

15  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Instant Pot Orange Honey Drumsticks (freezer meal option) on: March 27, 2017 12:10:51 PM
Instant Pot Orange Honey Drumsticks

Adapted from Eating Well
Ive changed quantities of sauce ingredients to make more sauce as well as adding reducing and thickening steps at the end, plus adapted from crockpot to Instant Pot, and changed the toppings slightly.

10-12 Chicken Drumsticks, skin removed
1/3 cup orange juice (juice from 1 large orange)
1/3 cup honey
2 Tablespoons orange zest
cup soy sauce
4 gloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 Tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
cup cold water

2 Tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
1 bunch green onions, sliced, whites and greens separated

Remove skin from chicken and discard. Mix marinade/sauce ingredients together.* Add chicken and sauce to Instant Pot with 1 cup water.  Lock lid on, first making sure ring is tightly in place. Check that vent is sealed. Press Manual and then adjust to 10 minutes with +/- buttons. After done cooking, allow to naturally release for 10 minutes, then carefully push the release nozzle to venting. Remove chicken to a plate and press cancel, then Saute. Add the white parts of the green onions and boil the sauce to reduce to your liking (5 minutes was good for me). Mix the cornstarch and cold water in a bowl and then whisk into the sauce. Cook until thickened. Add the meat back to the pot (I prefer to de-bone mine and then add back in) and serve over rice, topped with sesame seeds and the green tops of the green onions.

*For a make-ahead meal, remove the skin from drumsticks and divide between 2, 1 gallon sized Ziplock bags. Pour sauce over, squish around to coat, and then arrange in one layer and freeze. When ready to cook, put sauce and chicken, frozen, into Instant Pot, add 1 cup water, and cook on Manual for 15 minutes, then follow rest of directions above.
16  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Pantry Challenge Cookalong! on: March 03, 2017 01:54:49 PM
Ok, so I have a couple problems that I am trying to solve by giving myself a pantry/freezer challenge over the next few weeks--a little short on cash + have too many random ingredients in my pantry! Anybody want to join in with me? We can post recipes on things we come up with on how to use up what we have lying around as well as give each other ideas. Post something you aren't sure what to do with and see what recipes might get suggested!

If anyone is the type to do Spring Cleaning, this might help with that as well, it's easier to clean if you have fewer things, right?

17  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Mini Art Quilt Swap 8 (Sign-ups CLOSED, Sendouts 4/24) on: February 28, 2017 12:38:17 PM
Swap name: Mini Art Quilt Swap 8
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: MareMare
Co-Organizer: None
Sign-up date range: Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 - Wednesday, March 8th, 2017--6 pm Pacific
Date to send item by: Monday, April 24th, 2017

Gallery Link

Limited to a certain number of people? (optional): No

Restricted to people who all live in the same country? NO
If so, which country? n/a

Age requirement? 18

Swap Organizer himself/herself meets these conditions:
- Has fully read the Swap Info Guide: YES
- Has successfully completed two swaps as a participant: YES
- Is not organizing more than three swaps right now: YES
- Will recruit a co-organizer or give all details to a Swap Moderator if this swap has more than 25 participants: YES
- Is at least 18 years old: YES

Swap Organizer will check each participant to make sure they meet these conditions:
- Has been a member for at least one month: YES
- Has posted at least 15 times: YES
- Has completed one swap successfully before signing up for multiple swaps at a time: YES
- Is not currently signed up for more than five swaps: YES
- Does not have any negative feedback: YES
- Participant has agreed that he/she is at least 16 years old: YES
- If within the US, understands that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this swap: YES
- If outside the US, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: YES

Details of swap:

This swap is to make a mini quilt for your partner! We are only going to swap the mini quilt itself, no extras required, so we can focus on making the quilt. If partners agree you may send a couple of tiny extras, but they are not required and you must check with your partner to see if it is ok.  The size of the quilt should be between 1 and 2 feet square (12 to 24 inches), with any size, shape, and dimensions that fits within those parameters. So 12 x 18 inches is ok, and so is a 15 inch circle, but any one side shouldnt be smaller than 12 inches or longer than 24 inches.*

*New round 7* If your partner expresses interest in a mini quilt in the form of a sign/banner or a table runner, and you would like to craft that for them, you may disregard the above dimensions to make a more rectangular, longer piece. This is an easygoing swap, I'm more concerned that you make your partner happy than follow my arbitrary rules Wink

Use whatever methods you want to make a lovely art quilt for your partner! Traditional piecing, English paper piecing, Foundation paper piecing, embroidery, applique, thread sketching, hand dyeing fabric, adding beads or charms, etc.

Everyone should know that they need to keep in contact both with the organizer, co-organizer, and their partner. Im not going to implement anything as rigid as weekly check-ins, but please try to post to the thread at least every couple of weeks and please dont leave your partner or myself hanging if we pm you!  

Please make sure you post in this thread for updates as soon as you sign-up/think about signing up.  

*I will leave accurate feedback regarding sending on time, meeting swap requirements, and having good communication with organizer and partner. My definition of good communication is sending pm's to both organizer, co-organizer, and partner when BOTH sending AND receiving, answering pm's from organizer, co-organizer, and partner in a timely manner (within 1 day), and letting organizer and partner know if you will be out of town, if you will be late, or if you know you will be unable to communicate for a set amount of time.

*Organizer reserves the right to refuse entry to the swap based on poor performance in previous swaps with this organizer or poor feedback in swapper's profile.

If you want to participate, information to send to MareMare :

You must answer all questions! And please list 5 themes where 5 themes are asked for, not fewer. More is ok though.  Wink Thanks!

Name of swap: Mini Art Quilt Swap 8
Craftster username:
Email address:
Your real name and Mailing address including the country, formatted for shipping:
Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country?
Confirm that are at least 18 years old (yes/no)

Do you live in the United States: YES/NO
   - If yes, do you understand that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this swap: YES/NO
   - If no, do you understand that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: YES/NO

Please state that you understand that communication is very important in this swap, and you need to stay in touch with the organizer and your partner("poor communication" feedback will be given accordingly).

Have you posted in the swap thread yet? You must answer yes to this question, if you haven't done so yet, do it right now. I'll wait. Ok, now you can answer yes.

Would you describe your quilting skills as beginner, intermediate, or advanced?

Would you like a traditionally sized mini quilts or are you jonesing for a banner or table runner?

What are your favorite colors:

What are some of the colors in the room of the house you might display this in:

What colors do you dislike:

What patterns/shapes/objects do you like:

What patterns/shapes/objects do you dislike:

Any specific fabric or quilt patterns you really like (ie, you  have really strong feelings towards paisley fabric or star type pattern quilts)?

Any specific fabric or quilt patterns you really dislike?

Please list at least 5 themes/ideas to help your partner know the kinds of things you might like (they can be more specific, ie dolphins, or less specific, ie the ocean) More than 5 is allowed, but 5 is the minimum:


Do you have a Pinterest that shows quilts/mini quilts/fabric that you like? If so please list if you would like to show your partner:

Do you have any allergies severe enough to prevent you from being partnered with someone? (ie, if you are only a tiny bit allergic to cats like me, dont put it down, but if someone sending something from a house with a cat will make you sick, please list it)

Do you have allergens like pets (list specific animal please) or smoking in your house?

Have you done previous rounds of this swap before? If you have please list your partner(s) if you would like a different partner than you've had before for this swap.

Anything else you would like your partner to know?


Also remember to read the Swap Info Guide to find out how to ship your item and other details about participating in a swap.

Links to Previous rounds of this Swap:

Mini Art Quilt Swap
Mini Art Quilt Swap Gallery
Mini Art Quilt Swap 2
Mini Art Quilt Swap 2 Gallery
Mini Art Quilt Swap 3
Mini Art Quilt Swap 3 Gallery
Mini Art Quilt Swap 4
Mini Art Quilt Swap 4 Gallery
Mini Art Quilt Swap 5
Mini Art Quilt Swap 5 Gallery
Mini Art Quilt Swap 6
Mini Art Quilt Swap 6 Gallery
Mini Art Quilt Swap 7
Mini Art Quilt Swap 7 Gallery

Pictured Quilt by sloth003 for playswithneedles from Round 7


1. MareMare
2. cmarion3
3. wdicwg
4. Immaculata
5. Amazon_warrior
6. LovelyMiss
7. dfabbric
8. JoyfulClover
9. Mistress Jennie
10. Thimbles71
11. wendiek
12. craftylittlemonkey
13. sloth003

Partner up and do-si-do!

Mistress Jennie <=> Thimbles71
wendiek <=> Immaculata
Amazon_warrior <=> dfabbric
JoyfulClover <=> MareMare
LovelyMiss => wdicwg => cmarion3 => LovelyMiss
craftylittlemonkey <=> sloth003

Gallery Link
18  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Pickled Beet, Arugula, and Goat Cheese Salad on: February 21, 2017 01:42:30 PM
This salad is simple but so yummy! We really enjoyed it and I'm going to make it again tonight. Start by making your own pickled beets if you want!

Pickled Beets
Goat Cheese
whole, salted Pistachios
Vinaigrette (below)
salt and pepper

Vinaigrette Dressing
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vinegar (red wine or apple cider, anything really but maybe not balsamic)
salt and pepper to taste
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 teaspoon Shallot Pepper from Penzey's (I love this stuff!) or whatever herb blend you like
1 teaspoon white sugar

Mix all dressing ingredients together. I like to put in a squirt bottle so I can control the dressing more easily (I have to be careful or I use too much dressing and it's all soggy). Make the day ahead if you can, it will taste even better!)

To assemble the salad, portion out your arugula into a medium-large bowl and lightly dress with the dressing and a nice pinch of kosher salt and black pepper (salt and pepper is the secret to good salad greens IMO). Toss well, taste, and adjust seasonings/dressing if needed. Plate your arugula and top with beets, goat cheese, and pistachios. Nom!
19  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Homemade Hummus and Tzatziki on: February 21, 2017 01:23:09 PM
I made a bunch of Greek-esque foods last week and it was all so good (I say -esque because maybe they're not super authentic!?). As always, I don't really cook with recipes per se, but I try to do my best to write down what I do. Keep tasting and adjusting seasonings throughout the cooking process! Starting with dried beans instead of canned is much cheaper!


1 lb dried chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) (note, this will make 2 large batches of hummus!*)
8 cloves garlic, peeled
juice of 1-2 lemons
reserved chickpea cooking water
kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 - 1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 - 1/2 cup tahini (or make your own by blending toasted sesame seeds)

Garnish for serving:
olive oil
a few reserved whole chickpeas
chopped parsley/cilantro
cumin, paprika, or cayenne pepper

Rinse your chickpeas and pick over for any small rocks. Cook via your preferred method, I used my Instant Pot: 1 lb chickpeas, 4 cloves peeled garlic, 9 cups water, manual for 35 minutes with a 10 minutes natural pressure release. If you are boiling on stove you may want to first soak the chickpeas overnight.

This should make around 9 cups of cooked chickpeas. Add 4.5 cups of chickpeas to your Vitamix or other high speed blender (a food processor works ok, but not as creamy IMO), along with the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, 2 cloves peeled garlic, 1/4 cup tahini, 1/4 cup olive oil, the cumin, and 1/2 cup of cooking liquid from the chickpeas. (you can also throw in the cooked garlic from the pot!) Blend this mixture and taste, adding more salt, tahini, cumin, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, or cooking liquid to get the taste and texture you like. Just add a little at a time to adjust flavors, and remember the garlic will seem stronger over time.

However, I do feel like before the mixture has cooled in the fridge, all the flavors seem stronger. Ie, the next day the hummus might not taste as flavorful to me as it did the day I made it, so I tend to slightly overseason.

To serve I like to dollop in a bowl and make a swirl on top for a splash of olive oil and any of the other garnishes above. Eat up with yummy veggies, crackers, and/or pita bread! It's also really good as a spread in a sandwich.

*Freeze the other 4.5ish cups of chickpeas along with 1 cup of the cooking liquid to make hummus another time!

Tzatziki Sauce

1.5 cups plain Greek yogurt
1/2 English cucumber, first slice as thin as you can, then dice finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 t. black pepper
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar or 1/2 package Splenda (optional)
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon dried dill, or 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh

Mix everything together in a bowl (some recipes will have you blend in blender or processor, but I prefer to finely dice my cucumber and just mix by hand). Add more lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic, or dill as needed. The garlic will seem MUCH stronger the next day, so don't go overboard unless you're a garlic fiend (I am). I added a half package of Splenda to mine to just take the slightest edge off the sour yogurt and lemon juice combo, it seemed to make the sauce a "rounder" flavor to me. Leave sweetener out if you like!

Serve along with hummus as a dip, use as a salad dressing or the spread on a sandwich.
20  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Refrigerator Pickled Beets and Escabeche on: February 21, 2017 12:31:29 PM
I love making refrigerator pickled veggies! No canning to worry about and they are ready in a few days (note, they have to stay in the fridge and are not shelf stable because you aren't "canning" these)

I just made a couple of jars of pickled beets and a jar of escabeche (Mexican pickled carrots, onions, and peppers) that my boyfriend likes.

Start with clean quart jars or whatever size you like.

For Beets:

Roast or boil your beets, I used my Instant Pot because Instant Pot is the best. Scrub the beets, cut off most of the stems, and place in the Instant Pot on top of the trivet. Add one cup hot water and set for 35 minutes on manual. Let natural pressure release for 10 minutes before carefully releasing the rest of the pressure.

In the bottom of each jar add a couple of teaspoons of pickling spices (optional).

At this point I put on gloves and pulled the skin off the beets in a colander under running water. After this step I kept the gold and red beets separate to make sure the gold kept their pretty color. Slice or cut into chunks and add to the jars. (I also added a few sliced white onions to the golden beet jar since I had some extra room.)

For the liquid, boil 2 cups water, 2 cups vinegar (most recipes called for white but I used apple cider because I have a gallon of it. Works fine) 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt, and 1.5 cups white sugar. (change the amount of liquid you need for the amount you're making, just keep more or less to this ratio)

After it comes to a boil, carefully pour into jar over the beets. Seal the jars and leave on counter until cool, then move to fridge. Beets will be ready to eat in 4-5 days and last for several weeks.

For Escabeche

For 1 quart jar I think I used 4 jalapenos, 1 small onion, and 3 decent sized carrots. Plus a few whole cloves of garlic for the heck of it (warning, garlic may turn blue during the pickling process!)

Wearing gloves, cut the stems out of your jalapenos and pull out most of the seeds (if you want). Slice into rounds. Thinly slice your onion and peel your carrots and cut on the bias about 1/4 inch thick or just a little larger. Mix all together or layer each ingredient in jar. Add a couple of bay leaves to the side of the jar. Add a few whole black peppercorns too if you like.

For the liquid:

Boil 2 cups water, 2 cups vinegar, 1 Tablespoon kosher salt and 1 tablespoon white sugar. Pour over vegetables in jar and seal. Allow to cool on counter and then move to fridge. Will be ready to eat in a few days and will last in the fridge for several weeks.

**Here's a delicious salad to use your pickled beets in (and the main reason I even bother pickling beets!)
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