Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bread in Five Minutes a Day!

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I made bread!  Excuse my excitement but I have never made bread before.  It was actually fairly easy.  I keep hearing people talk about Bread in Five Minutes a Day and I finally gave it a try. 
I wanted to keep it simple for my first go round so I just made their Master Recipe
I also watched their video just to make sure that I was doing it right.

I was a little concerned that my dough didn't seem to rise enough so I left it out for closer to 4 hours instead of 2 hours.

On the second rise the recipe says to leave it out from 30-90 minutes so I did 60.

Just cut a few lines in it and pop it into a preheated oven on a pizza stone.  Pour a cup of water into a broiler pan under the pizza stone and bake for 30 minutes.

Guess what?!  It was really good! 
My little girls said it tasted like Panera Bread.  I'll take that compliment!
The best part is that the recipe makes plenty of dough that you can keep in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.  That means when you want more bread, you just break off a piece and set it out to rise for a bit and pop it in the oven.  That's how you get bread in 5 minutes a day!

Happy Baking!









Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mother's Day Quilt

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I finally did it!  I made a quilt!  I love how it turned out but man it was hard!  I have even more respect now for all of the talented quilters out there.  Granted, part of my issue was the time crunch.  I decided to start this the Sunday before Mother's Day.  "Oh sure, I've never made a quilt before.  I'll  just whip one up in a week."  Not my best plan.

Before I get into what I did to make this quilt, let me strongly urge you to go check out Craftsy.  It's kind of awesome!  There are all sorts of video classes that you can take part in.  Many of them are paid classes but they have a couple of Block Of the Month Classes that are free!!!!  I used the 2012 Block of the Month Class taught by Amy Gibson .  While I didn't make the actual blocks, this class was still very helpful to me in learning how to make half square triangles, and how to baste, quilt and bind my quilt.  Go check out Craftsy!  (I have purchased fabric for and plan to make the actual blocks for the quilt taught in this class.)

I wanted to keep the quilt simple so that the hand prints really stood out.  I decided that I would just make half square triangles for the non-hand print blocks.  As previously mentioned, there is a great video on Craftsy about how to make HST.  There is also a great tutorial on In Color Order.

For the hand print blocks, I just traced each grandchild's hand and drew it onto the back of some
Wonder Under and then ironed it onto the wrong side of my fabric and cut it out.  I then peeled the backing off of the Wonder Under hand prints and ironed them onto cream fabric and did a zigzag stitch around the hand to secure it.  I have to admit that stitching around all of those fingers was a bit tricky.  I just went slow.  Finally, I used the embroidery feature on my sewing machine to add all of the grandchildren's names and the year.

Next, I played around with the layout.  First I stitched the blocks together in rows and then I stitched the rows together.
Then the fun part, NOT, basting!  Again, I followed the instructions on the Craftsy video.  I did not enjoy this step.  It took forever and then when I went to pick up the quilt many of my pins had not gone through all three layers.  Ugh!

OK, finally time to quilt.  First, I put my walking foot on my sewing machine.  This really helped to feed all of the layers through.  Plus I like that little arm on the walking foot that helps with your line spacing.  I was a bit scared to just wing it so I started by drawing in lines through the center of my blocks. 

I sewed over all of my lines first.

Then I filled in the spaces in between.  As you can see, the spacing isn't perfect but once the quilt was completed it wasn't noticeable.  Also, the quilting took more effort than I expected.  Even with the weight of the quilt supported on the table, I really had to PULL it through my machine. 

I trimmed up the extra border of batting and backing fabric to make my quilt nice and square.  Then followed the Craftsy video instructions for making and applying the binding.  The only change that I made from the video was to machine sew the binding to the front and then fold it over and hand stitch it on the back.  I am not the best at hand stitching so I wanted it to be on the back.

Here is a picture of the finished quilt prior to throwing it in the wash.  It looks nice but it isn't all nice and "crinkly" yet.

Here are some shots of what it looks like after washing it.  Now it's all nice and "crinkly" and "squishy".  I didn't prewash my fabric.  I also used good quality quilting cottons, Warm and White cotton batting and Aurifl cotton thread so that it would all shrink up uniformly.

Oh and here is a little peek of the backing fabric.

This is Nama opening it on Mother's Day.  She loved it and wants to hang it up.  I told her that she could if she wanted to but that quilts are pieces of art meant to be used and loved.  Either way, I'm glad that she liked it!
Happy Quilting and Happy Mother's Day!
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