Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ragtime Quilt--Part 2 (done & done)

I finished my quilt, so now I feel like I can have my baby.  Although, it will be 90 degrees when she is born, so I am not sure we will be using this right away.  I LOVE how it turned out.  I love the big squares. I love the colors.  I love that it is soft and cuddly--just right for a baby girl!

Oh, if you missed Part 1, go HERE

Okay, once you have all your squares sewn together, lay them out in the order you want.  Find the pattern that you like best.  Once I figured out the pattern I wanted to use, I had my 4 year old help me lay the rest out.  Yes, it took a little longer, but I love involving my kids.  Plus, it was a good practice of patterns for him!

After your quilt is all laid out, start pinning the squares together.  I pinned all the squares in each row.  This gave me 9 long strips, 9  squares each. (Once again, pinning is SO important if you want corners to meet up correctly).

Then start sewing the squares together with a 1/2" seam.  Soon, your 9 strips will be all sewn together.
Now start pinning the rows together.  Pin first at the corners, then work back to the center of the squares.  You want your corners to line up.  You won't be able to tell on the "rag" side, but on the back the corners will show clearly. (I learned the hard way--PIN, PIN, PIN!)  Sometimes your squares won't match up exactly, but just make sure the corners line up.  Any puckers will not show because they will be hidden by the raggedy edges.
Next, sew your strips together.  Again, use a 1/2" seam.  Once all the strips are sewn together, sew along the outside edge at a 1/2" seam.
Now it's looking like a blanket, and you are LOVING it already! 

Okay, time to get your scissors out.  This is a good time to catch up on those tv shows you have DVR'd, or that movie you have been waiting to see.  The snipping takes a while.  You want to cut each edge every half inch or so.  In the corners, I cut as close to the edges as possible.  This doesn't have to be perfect.  
Ahh, LAST STEP!!!  Give the blanket a washing.  Note: Your washer and dryer will collect a lot of fabric and lint.  Before I had kids, I took mine to the laundry mat to wash mine (so all that fabric wouldn't do anything to my washer and dryer).  However, now that I have kids, I can't imagine dragging them to a laundry mat.  The good news, my washer and dryer are fine.  
Be prepared, when you pull it out of the dryer, it will be so soft and delicious!  Beautiful.  You may have loved it before, but you will REALLY love it once it is washed and done!  
The Back:
The Front:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Simple Spring Wreath

Okay, I know I am a little late getting a spring wreath on my front door, but I guess better late than never.  While in Hobby Lobby the other day I found a cheap wreath ($2) and decided I could work with that.  So I brought it home.  With a few pieces of scrap fabric I made some flowers.  I used burlap to make a little bird.  Put them together, and here's how it turned out:
Not bad for $2!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sundried Tomato Tortillas

Okay, so this is one of my favorite healthy recipes.  Actually, I like to always have some of these on hand because they are DELICIOUS, HEALTHY, and VERSATILE.  They do take a few minutes to make (about an hour for a batch), but they are well worth the time!

Here is how I eat them:
Turkey or ham Wraps
To dip in Hummus
With Cottage Cheese sprinkled with Salad Supreme
With melted cheese
and, Just Plain

Are you interested?  Ready to make your own?  Well, here is the recipe.

Blend together:
1 1/2 c. water (can also use coconut milk, but I don't find there is a taste difference, so I stick to water)
1/3 c. (give or take) Sundried tomatoes 
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 to 2 Tbsp. dried onions
1 tsp. salt
**As a note, you can also use different seasonings of choice.  I have substituted the tomatoes for dried veggie seasonings, so play around a little and find how you like it.  But my favorite is the listed recipe.
Then add:
4 c. wheat flour (I like to use red wheat for this recipe)  I am sure you could also use white flour if wheat is not your thing--but try the wheat.  They really are good!

Sometimes I find that I need to add a little more water to get flour mixed in.  Knead a few times to get the  flour incorporated--but they don't really need to be kneaded much (not like bread).
At this point, I preheat my oven to 350.
Now, using more flour because the dough is pretty sticky, squeeze the dough to form little balls (about 1 1/2").  Remember, use extra flour! I typically get 35-40 little dough balls.
Now, start rolling them out.  Once again, use more flour.  I like to roll each ball in a little flour, and then roll them out on a floured surface.  Roll them flat.  As I am rolling them out, I usually flip them over and roll both sides.  I am not sure why, but I find it easier to do it that way.  
Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet.  I fit 5 on each cookie sheet.  Then I bake 2 cookie sheets at a time. It's okay if they overlap a little bit or fold up on the sides.
Bake the two cookie sheets on different racks for 2 min. 45 sec.  Take them out.  Flip the tortillas.  Switch racks, and then bake for another 2 min. 45 sec.  While they are baking, work on rolling out more tortillas!
Once they are done, take them off the pans.  Stack them on a clean towel.  Don't wait until they are cooled.  Stack them while they are hot.  This makes them so they will roll and bend without cracking.  When you are completely finished, cover the stacks with the towel.  Once they are completely cooled, store them in a plastic bag in your fridge (just to make them last longer).  

Delicious.  And, they really aren't that complicated.  So try them.  You'll be glad you did!

**Oh, and just as a note, sundried tomatoes are cheapest at Costco.  You can get a big jar for around $8.  I usually can't use up a jar before they go bag, so I divide the jar into freezer bags and freeze them (just leaving one bag in my fridge).

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ragtime Quilt--Part 1

A little girl is coming to our house in July, so I have been working on a little baby quilt for her.  I did a ragtime quilt for both my other kids, so I had to keep up with the tradition.  For those of you wanting to make a ragtime quilt, do it with me!

I decided to use 6" squares (5" finished).
9 squares by 9 squares
Finished quilt size will be 45" x 45"
**You can use smaller or bigger squares--I have done 3 1/2" squares before.  You can also just leave your fabric in strips.  But remember, the smaller squares use more fabric and take more time to cut.  But of course, do what YOU want!

   Warm & Natural Batting
Step 1:
     Select your FLANNEL fabric.  For this quilt, I used 9 different fabrics (and will have 9 squares of each).  Each square consists of 2 pieces of the same fabric for the front and the back.  From each fabric you will end up cutting 18 squares.  I think it is good to select a few fabrics with patterns, as well as a few fabrics that are solid.  Also, if you are using smaller squares, remember that you don't want to use big patterns.
Step 2:
     Cut your fabric.  I first cut 6" strips, and then I cut the strips into 6" squares.
Step 3:
     Cut your batting into 5" squares.  If you are doing a quilt the same size as mine, you will need a total of 81 squares of batting.  This batting is a little more expensive than other battings, but remember it really wide, and you really don't need that much.  (I think I used 1/2 yard or less)
Step 4:
     Sandwich a piece of batting between 2 matching flannel squares (right sides out).  Then PIN, PIN, PIN.  Trust me.  I know it takes time, but it is WELL worth the time, otherwise your squares won't line up in the end.  
Step 5:
    Start sewing the squares---big X's.  Just a straight line from corner to corner.

Okay.  So get going.  Then we'll finish the rest of the quilt soon!  Happy Sewing!

Monday, April 11, 2011


I was in Target the other day scoping out the clearance sections and found pinwheels for my kids for a quarter.  Let's just say they thought I was the best Mom ever.  Don't you just love when you can please your kids for a measly 25 cents?  Anyway, it got me thinking, I needed something else to go with my spring decor.  Pinwheels were just the thing.  I found a great and easy tutorial here.  

I did however do a couple things differently:
1--Instead of using a pin through the center, I used the hot glue gun.
2--I covered my center with a small paper circle 
3--Then I simply glued them to a skewer
Go make some of your own!

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Bushel and a Peck

"I love you, a bushel & a peck." I grew up with my mom singing me this song, and since I had babies of my own, I have been singing it to them.  So one day, it hit me that I just had to make a sign with the words.   I did it very similar to how I did my spring board.  I used a piece of wood from Ikea's "as is" section (gotta love the cheap stuff there).  Painted a little grey, then a little pink.  I love how it turned out.  And, I LOVE that it reminds me of my childhood!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Painting Spring

There are so many tutorials out there on painting words on boards, but I thought I would add mine.
This is what I ended up with, but I wasn't sure if I loved the flower or not, so I made my sign double-sided.
What do you think?  Which side are you liking best?  I'd love to hear your input.

Anyway, here are the steps.
1--Find a board and paint it.  I wanted the wood to show through, so I watered down my blue paint.
2--For the flower and the wording, because I am not lucky enough to have a Silhouette  or a Cricket, I did it the old fashioned way.  Hopefully this little tip will come in handy for some of you in my same situation.  I printed my words and flower out--the size and font that I wanted on my sign.  Then, I simply traced the outline of the text on the BACK of the printout with PENCIL.
 3--Then just tape the paper where you want it on the board.  Use something hard (I used the marker lid) to rub over the lettering.  This will rub the pencil onto the board.  You can then paint in the lines.
**Oh, and as a tip, it takes 2 or 3 coats of paint on the lettering.  The first coat doesn't look great, but by the 2nd, it starts looking much better!  Plus, it doesn't have to be perfect because it will all be sanded a little bit in the end.
4--Sorry, I don't have a picture of this step.  But once it is painted, just sand down the edges really well.  I also sand over the lettering a little bit to get a worn look.
5--Stain the whole board.  And you are DONE!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Decorating for Spring

Aren't we all just ready for spring?  With a little bit of snow last night, it is nice to have something spring-like inside to catch our eye!