Tuesday, April 23, 2013

OK, sinful deliciousness........

OK.........I admit it..................I LOVE TO EAT!  That surprises you?  C'mon!  I'm a corn fed country boy from the Midwest  that grew up around lots of people that could cook!  And they cooked REALLY good food!  Let's see, my Momma, both my paternal and maternal grandmas, and a great aunt that was KNOWN for her cooking (and sewing.)

A week or so ago, I saw this recipe that perked my interest.  It was either on Facebook, or Pinterest?  I can't remember who posted it, but, I did write it down really quick because it looked THAT good to me.  My parents recently came for a visit, and I always like to make a little treat for us all to snack on.  After one bite of this Easy Cheese Danish recipe, there was NONE left!  Well, there WERE crumbs, but, those were quickly snatched up by my dad!  I wish I could find out who created this recipe so I could nominate him/her for the Nobel Peace Prize in Epicurean Delights!

I warn you though, one bite of this, and you WILL want to eat the whole thing!

OK, sinful deliciousness.......
(I would insert a photo, but, it was gone both times before I could grab my camera!)

Easy Cheese Danish 

2 cans ready to use refrigerated crescent rolls (I used Pillsbury Grands)
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg white

1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350* degrees and grease a 13X9-inch baking pan 
Lay a pack of crescent rolls in the pan and pinch the openings together 
Beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and egg together until smooth
Spread the mixture over the crescent rolls evenly
Lay the second pack of crescent rolls on top of the cheese mixture
Brush with egg white
Bake for 35-45 minutes until the top is golden brown 
Top with glaze after cooling for 20 minutes

I didn't brush with egg white, and it turned out just fine.  And, I would recommend letting it cool before adding the glaze and cutting.  OK, the truth!  It was so good, we had to make another one the next morning while my parents were visiting!  We dug right into it as soon as it came out of the oven, and although delicious, it was a bit messy.  I think this would be equally delicious with a cherry or blueberry topping to dress it up a bit?

I leave for Paducah this weekend!  I promise to return with a lot of photos!

Thanks for all of the encouragement!
Kevin the Quilter 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

It's about time......

It's about time......

I was able to turn my garden soil over!  

I'm too sexy for my garden, too sexy for my garden, so please do pardon! LOL

Trust me, I'm not complaining about all of the moisture we have been receiving in the Midwest.......WE NEED IT!  So, my garden is going in a little later than usual!  At least I did get some lettuce and potatoes planted!

I have some VERY exciting (well, at least to me) projects going on that I can't share with you just yet, so I hope you will stay tuned in for another month or two?  I KNOW!  I wish I could show you some photos, but, I can't........just yet.........stop trying to twist my arm!

OK, OK, OK, but, this is it for now! 

I was recently able to share in a first time quilting adventure with my best friend, Jamie.  You can read about the quilt I made Jamie and her husband Ted here.  Jamie and I go way back, and share a lot of similar interests such as cooking, eating, sewing, pageantry, browsing antique malls, and now........


Jamie was in need of a gift for her friend's baby shower.  After discussing various ideas, she settled on making the baby girl a quilt.  Interestingly, her friend Abbie has chosen the name Betty Mae, which happens to be my beautiful mother's name!  BE-STILL MY HEART!  I recommended she research the "Quilt As You Go" (QAYG) technique for her first quilt making endeavor.  

I am sure most readers of my blog already know the basics of the QAYG method, or perhaps you have already made a quilt this way?  If you haven't, look it up on your preferred search engine or on youtube.  There is a plethora of items pertaining to QAYG on the internet.  None the less, please enjoy the following photos and commentary of Jamie's first quilting adventure!

 Cutting the batting while having a light snack of acrylic rulers.....

Spray basting the backing......

Attaching the first strip.....

Jamie demonstrated her mad sewing skills by appliqueing little Betty Mae's name on her quilt!  ADORABLE! 

Quilting right along.....

Some one's getting the quilting bug!!!!!

Jamie finished this quilt in roughly 2 days!

 Jamie thoughtfully made a card from extra fabric as well as......

 this country chic bow!

I would say this is a HAPPY mommy to be!


Since Jamie is a novice quilt maker, I asked her to share some of her thoughts about the QAYG technique:

"Overall, I found the quilt as you go process to be pretty easy to understand and I think my quilt turned out pretty nice. 

 Recommendations to other beginners:
- Have plenty of room to spread out your stuff.  Working at Kevin's was a treat because of the designated and separate cutting, ironing, and sewing areas.  When I finished the quilt at home, I took over the entire dining room table (which is quite large!) and some of the living room. 
- Start with a thin batting.  I used a moderately thick (not high loft, but it had some body to it) batting, and I found myself getting really frustrated with the process of getting all the fabric to fit under the arm of the sewing machine.  Thinner batting would have provided better scrunching/rolling possibilities.  Also, I don't have a walking presser foot (yet!), and I found myself really having to push and coax all that thickness through--especially at the beginning.  I think the thinner batting would have alleviated that frustration quite a bit. 
- Use the basting spray to attach the back to the batting.  What a time saver!
- I did not use pins while sewing.  When stitching one particular row that was wider and longer than most of the others, it shifted quite a bit, kind of twisting my logs in a clockwise pattern around my centerpiece.  If you're attaching wider squares or blocks, pin it in place to prevent the twisting/shifting.  I didn't try it, but next time I might try using the basting spray on some of the bigger sections?  Maybe, we'll see--it only takes a few pins to keep it from shifting too much.
- Have fun with the fabrics.  When purchasing my fabrics, I narrowed it down to 7 different fabrics, one of which was the backing.  I originally thought I would use the backing fabric sparingly on the front.  I ended up adding an 8th fabric, 9 if you count the second type of pink and white gingham that Kevin donated when I said that I wished I had more gingham.  There were a couple of other fabrics that I didn't purchase because I was afraid it would get too busy and confusing if there were too many fabrics in the mix, but hindsight is 20/20, and I wished I bought a 1/4 yard of each of those fabrics to throw into the mix, too.

- One last thing regarding QAYG specifically.  Make sure to start with plenty of extra batting and backing as a base.  I started with an extra 2" width and 2" length.  With the twisting and shifting that occurred, that wasn't enough extra.  I had intended to have a 36" x 54" quilt, but after cutting it, I ended up with 33 1/2" x 56".  I did have a center piece that I clearly wanted to be centered from left to right, so I ended up cutting a little more off of the width than I would have had to if I hadn't had that center piece.  Oh well!"  

Jamie, thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your first (of many) quilting endeavors!  Where's Dionne Warwick when you need her?  That's what friends are for!

Is everyone ready to go to the AQS Quilt Show in Paducah, Kentucky?  I AM!  Let me know if and when you will be there?  I would love to meet you there?

Thanks for all of the encouragement!
Kevin the Quilter  

Monday, April 8, 2013

Have you ever........

Have you ever seen a quilt or pattern for the first time and was so moved and motivated you HAD to make it right then and there?  Maybe it was on some one's blog?  Perhaps you saw it on Pinterest?  You might have even seen it in person?  Or you could have been like me, and seen it on the cover of a magazine while browsing at a book store?

March/April'13 No. 150

I have to admit my original intention when looking for this magazine was to work with Bonnie Hunter's Lazy Sunday mystery quilt.  And, I am still in the process of doing just that.  However, the quilt on the cover, Star Splitter, was absolutely eye-catching!  I had heard of Victoria Findlay Wolfe through various articles, and from who else, but, Bonnie Hunter!  Little did I know what I was missing out on?  Victoria's work is so fun to look at because she, according to the Star Splitter pattern in Quiltmaker: "uses an improvisational scrap-piecing technique to make her own fabric,".................SOLD! 

What do you do for someone who has blessed you with MANY SCRAPS?  I say, make'em a quilt!  And the Star Splitter pattern was a perfect match for this effort.  

Please enjoy the photos from this quilt making endeavor!

Piecing the stars from "made fabric."

MANY half square triangles for the borders.

Partial star segments laid out. 

Lots'o trimmings!

Beginning the lay out on my design wall, floor!


Awesome shot with the sky!

Stained glass anyone?????  Cool shot from the back side!


This quilt was made for my friend Bev who gave me the scraps from which I made this quilt.  When I received the bags of scraps from her and went through them, I noticed that she had an abundance of greens in various shades, prints, and hues.  When I mentioned something to her, she said, "you found me out.....I LOVE GREEN!"  I thought it would be interesting to see how this pattern turned out using one variable......GREEN!  I am pleased with the end result and..............

I think Bev and her husband Tom are too!  (Not to mention one of their dogs, Greta!)
(Nothing like a quick break from yard work to receive a quilt? LOLOLOL)
Bev will be quilting this quilt as she is a long arm quilter.  Her husband Tom just retired (CONGRATS) and they plan on doing a lot of travelling.  She informed me she believes it will travel with them in their motor home on the bed so they can enjoy it each day.  I hope it brings you both joy during your travels!

I loved the way this quilt turned out, and was eager to share it with the original designer, Victoria Findlay Wolfe.  Much to my surprise she asked if she could share it with some of her blog readers at 15 Minutes Of Play.  Thank you so much for creating this pattern AND for the shout out Victoria! 

In other news, I attended my first marathon.........NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, Amy, I didn't run in it!  Are you kidding me?????????? LOL  I had several friends that did though, and it was so exciting to see them run.......  

As usual, 
Thanks for all of the encouragement!
Kevin the Quilter