Wednesday, February 29, 2012

German Pancakes

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Bring on the kid-friendly recipes! Assemble the ingredients in a court jar and shake it up to mix! This is one my family's favorites growing up (often made for lunch during my homeschool days!).

German Pancakes

1 Tbl margarine
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
dash of salt
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place margarine in a glass skillet and place in the preheating oven to melt. Mix up the other ingredients in a court jar (you can use spoon and bowl but a court jar is much more fun).
Remove hot pie plate when butter has melted (swirl it to cover) and immediately pour in the court-jar mixture.
Return to oven and bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, rotating half-way through. Eat immediately with syrup, powdered sugar, bananas, chocolate or your topping of choice!

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Owl Bookends

DIY Owl Bookends

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Saw these owl bookends at Pottery Barn Kids and it was love at first sight...until I saw the price-tag. THEN I found this tutorial from for making your own! I used rice instead of sand (since I had it on hand) and I found that it really helps if you stuff the owl's ears with pillow stuffing before you pour in the rice and sew him up (that's the problem with the pink one--his ears are floppy. But I love him anyway). This is just one more of the fabulous examples of the owls that live in Emma's nursery. Here they are in action:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fall Tree Pillow

Fall Tree Pillow

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My friend, Kari, found an awesome tutorial for making a tree pillow out of scraps. Super easy and stunning. Click here to check out the tutorial on Cluck, Cluck, Sew for yourself! And then click here to check out Kari's pillow!

Breastmilk Storage Solution

Breastmilk Storage Bag

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Storing breastmilk in the freezer can create large, unorganized, tipping piles but here's a 5 minute fix! A standard gift bag fits a flat bag of breastmilk perfectly, so cut a slit in the bottom and stack up your milk with the newest on top. When you need to defrost a bag, take it out of the slit at the bottom so that you are using the oldest milk first. Freezing milk flat also makes for super fast thawing. The bags will stick together if not already frozen, so freeze it in another location, and then load your gift bag.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Banana Cream Pie Receipe

This recipe is taken to the next level if you put in an Oreo Cookie Crust (which I didn't have at the time these photos were taken).

Banana Cream Pie

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3 cups milk
4 egg yolks (save the whites for your husband's breakfast!)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt

3-4 ripe banana, halved and sliced to 1/4" pieces
Graham Cracker or Oreo Cookie Crust

Heat milk over medium heat till warm. Gradually add all ingredients but bananas. Whisk till you can see tracks of the whisk in the bottom of the pan (about 6 minutes). Removed from heat. Fold over bananas. Cover and chill in the fridge 1 1/2 hours. Pour into Graham Cracker or Oreo crust. Top with shipped cream. Sprinkle with cocoa powder. Yum!

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Mama's Rail Fence Quilt

Here's another quilt that I made up as I went along, following the general "rail fence" pattern. I gave it to my Mother-in-law.

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Easy Rail Fence Quilt
3/4 yard each of light, medium and dark fabric
Quilt batting (full sized)
3 yards of fabric for the back of your quilt (or backing in quilter's terms)
Binding (click here for my favorite quilt binding video tutorial)
Rotary cutter and mat

(Use 1/4" seam throughout and press your seams open)

Step 1) Pick 3 fabrics that you like: light, medium, and dark. Purchase an equal amount of each. A 3/4 yard of each should give you enough for a nice-sized throw. Purchase more if you wish to make a bigger quilt.

Step 2) Wash, dry, and iron all your fabrics

Step 3) Cut your fabric short-side to 2 1/2" strips (if your fabric is 44" wide, then your strips will be 44"x2 1/2")

Step 4) Sew your light strips to your medium strips

Step 5) Sew your dark strips to your medium/light strips (should be light, medium, dark)

Step 6) Cut the long strips into squares. Your strips should be 6 1/2" wide. Cut the long side 6 1/2" so that your squares are even.

Step 7) Arrange your quilt squares in a pattern that pleases you. Below are some pictures of ideas of different ways to arrange the light/medium/dark squares.

Step 8) Once you have an arrangement that you love, sew your blocks into rows

Step 9) Sew your rows together

Your quilt top is now complete

Step 10) Prepare your backing. Cut it in half and sew the long sides together to make your backing fabric big enough for your quilt.

Step 11) Layer your backing, batting, and quilt top and safety pin it every few inches

Step 12) Quilt your quilt. You can pick a fancy, curly pattern, but for mine, I just stitched in the ditch; aka stitch through all layers of your pinned quilt "sandwich", following the seams that run along the top of your quilt.

Step 13) Bind your quilt. Click here for my favorite video tutorial for this often, confusing step.

Ideas for different ways to arrange the Rail Fence squares:

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Christmas Tree Wall Hanging Quilt

This little quilt is really effective when made of lots of scraps. Dig in your scrap bags for any tan or green scraps--not just Christmas themed fabrics. Use a 1/4" seam allowance throughout and press all your seams open. Great beginner quilting project!!

Christmas Tree Wall Hanging

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50- 3" x 3" various green squares
10- 3 3/8" x 3 3/8" various green squares
38- 3" x 3" various tan squares
10- 3 3/8" x 3 3/8" various tan squares
2- 3" x 3" brown squares

About 32" x 34" of backing and batting
About 138" of binding (I used green)

Step 1) Make 10 half triangle squares with the 3 3/8" green and tan squares. With a pencil, draw a line on the back of the 10 tan 3 3/8" squares from corner to corner. Put 1 green 3 3/8" square and a marked tan square, right sides together. Sew 1/4" seam on either side of your pencil line. Using a pair of scissors, or a rotary cutter, cut along the pencil mark. Press your seams open. when finished, you should have 20-3" squares.

Step 2) Arrange your squares to resemble the tree (there should be 10 squares in each row and 11 rows total). Try to keep similar fabrics away from each other. Keep re-arranging until you love how it looks.

Step 3) Sew your rows into strips and iron the seams.

Step 4) Sew your strips to each other and iron and seams.

Your quilt top is now complete!

Step 5) Sandwich the quilt top, batting, and backing and safety pin every few inches.

Step 6) Mark your quilt pattern. I used an "x" pattern to join my layers together. Using a ruler and a pencil, mark where you want to sew your lines. One easy way to do this would be to sew an "x" in the middle of each square by starting at the farthest corner of your quilt and sewing all the way to the other corner, using each little square's corner as your guide (no marking needed in that case, just eye-ball where you want to go).

Step 7) Bind your quilt. Click here for a great video tutorial of how to make binding and apply it to your quilt.

Step 8) I hand-sewed a few loops onto the back of my finished quilt to thread a pole through to hang it. I used some scraps that I had. Just don't sew through all the layers so it won't show on the front.

Step 9) Hang and enjoy!

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Easy Table Runner Tutorial

Easy Table Runner Tutorial

Our dining room table (go Craigslist!) is too small for placemats at each setting, so I needed a table runner. I had been looking for fabric that I liked for a very long time, and when I saw this beauty at Jo-Ann I knew that I had found what my heart desired! Better still, it is indoor/outdoor fabric meaning that water just beads on top of it, making clean up a breeze. You could use two different fabrics to make this runner reversible, but I used the same on each side.
Step 1) Measure your table and decide the length that you'd like your table runner to be. Add 1" for seam allowance.

Step 2) Purchase fabric according to the length that you need. Since mine came on a 54" bolt, I decided to make my runner half that width and just had Jo-Ann cut the fabric to the length of my choice.

Step 3) Fold your fabric in half (right sides together) and pin around the three sides.

Step 4) Using a 1/2" seam allowance, sew around the three edges, leaving about 4 inches un-sewn to turn your fabric right-side-out.

Step 5) Draw your fabric through the open seam and push out the corners to make them crisp (I use a chopstick or pair of scissors).

Step 6) Iron your tablerunner.

Step 7) Whip stitch the pocket closed.
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Flower Petal Pillow

You can never have too many pillows (in my opinion). Mine is not quite so flashy as Allison's from Cluck, Cluck, Sew but it just means that my husband doesn't object to it being on our bed. Check out this easy-peasy tutorial!

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Thursday, February 23, 2012 is a free photo editing website that is awesome. Problem is, it's shutting down! If you have any photos that you've always wanted to edit (turn to Black and White, make into a collage, tweak, etc) and haven't, now's the time to do it before picnik packs up on April 19! Here are some photos I have edited over the years with this site.

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Christmas Pillows

I love Christmas. I love everything about it. I love decking the halls from floor to ceiling to celebrate the season. How festive are these pillows?! I followed the tutorial for the Snowflake Pillow and the Felt Circle Pillow from Amy at Diary of a Quilter and I'm sharing these with you now so that you can follow her too!
Diary of a Quilter
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