Friday, February 18, 2011

Finally Finished

I'm so excited to have finally finished this cross stitch! I just dropped it off to be framed this morning and, honestly, it felt a bit like leaving my child with a stranger. Obviously I get attached to my projects.

The pattern for this project came from a free brochure I found in the embroidery aisle at Hobby Lobby. You can also find the chart on the DMC website here. It's stitched on 14 ct. white aida and the finished piece measures 5" x 5". I loved working with Color Variations floss! The verigated affect really brought the design to life.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: 2/7 - 2/13

Success! All three of the new recipes we tried last week were huge hits and will be going into regular rotation.

 Mexican-Style Brown Rice Casserole was hands down our biggest hit of the week. It's actually classified as a main dish, but I couldn't get my husband to bite (no pun intended) on that because it doesn't have any meat. Instead, we had it as a side dish with enchiladas. The recipe says it makes 6 servings as a main dish so I made it into 10 side-sized portions instead. That was plenty. The reheated leftovers are as good, if not better, than the first night.

The Dijon-Roasted New Potatoes were a fantastic side dish option. The Dijon mustard gave great flavor without overpowering the potatoes.

The Shrimp Macaroni and Cheese was delicious. I was afraid it would be too dense, but it wasn't super heavy. I did cut it into 8 servings rather than 6 as recommended in the original recipe. That was plenty for a portion. Instead of serving my broccoli on the side, I piled my mac & cheese right on top. It was great! My husband and I both think this would be great with some mixed vegetables added in before baking, even possibly subbing them for 1/2 the pasta.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

After so many new recipes last week, we're going back to mostly tried-and-true dishes for the upcoming week. Wednesday's Spicy Beef Noodles will be new to us, but the rest are pure comfort foods in anticipation of the cold temperatures this week.

Monday: Super Saver Sloppy Joes, Mixed Vegetables

Tuesday: White Bean Chili, Corn

Wednesday: Spicy Beef Noodles, Green Beans

Thursday: Smothered Buttermilk Chicken, Biscuits (for hubby), Brown Rice (for me), Salad

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Dining Out

Sunday: Cheeseburgers or Homemade Pizza

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Snow Day = Sew Day

Actually, Tuesday was more of an ice day here in Southern Ohio, but that didn't rhyme quite as well. ;)

The January 2011 issue of Martha Stewart Living had a great article about log cabin quilting. As a novice to the sewing world, I haven't attempted any quilting yet, but it's something I'm really interested in learning. After reading the article, I was inspired to try a couple of the projects, starting with the iPod case.

I knew by the forecast that I'd likely spend most of the week indoors. So, I decided it would be a good idea to head to the craft store and get the few supplies I needed to work on the projects. Okay, who am I kidding? The only thing I didn't have was batting and I could just as easily have picked that up where I grocery shop. However, it was a good excuse to go to Joann's!

The iPod case in the original article was made of denim, but I decided to make it out of felt (like the eyeglass case in the same article) because I have a TON in my stash from a sale last year.

When I sat down to begin the project, I realized there were great instructions on how to create the log cabin pattern, but no step-by-step directions in the magazine or online for this particular project. The Type A side of me started to freak out a little bit. I've often said that I'm "crafty, but no creative." I like to be told EXACTLY what to do when it comes to most projects. After some deep breathing, I carefully examined the picture and came up with a plan.

Since there were no measurements given, I measured the iPod and then guesstimaed based on the picture. To start, I cut several 1.5" strips of the teal felt. Since the center piece wasn't a square, I started with a 3.5" section and built outward from there. I used 1/4" seam allowances throughout.

Sewing the front and back pieces together was by far the hardest part. I decided to add batting to both the front and back panels for a little extra padding. My machine made it through 4 layers of felt and the batting with only one broken needle. I'm calling that a success.

Then came the true test. Would the iPod fit? Like a glove! Height wise, the end of the iPod lines up exactly with the end of the case.

This was a fun 1st foray into quilting. Although it's not perfect, it helped me build my confidence to try more. I really like the process of the log cabin and I'm eager to create more with this newly-learned technique.
I'm linking up my project to this parties:

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