Success: Fusilli Con Buco Pasta with Summer Squash & Mint

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Fusilli Con Buco Pasta with Summer Squash & Mint

This Fusilli Con Buco Pasta with Summer Squash & Mint from Blue Apron was magnificent! I think the lemon did a good job of masking the zucchini-ness of it all. Fantastic.

I have never zested so much citrus in my life as I have with Blue Apron. SO MUCH ZESTINESS.
Fusilli Con Buco Pasta with Summer Squash & Mint

Diamond Strings Quilt Throw: Overview

Friday, October 9, 2015

Diamond Strings Quilt Done!

No incredibly lengthy series of posts for this simple throw quilt. Just How To Quilt as You Go Scrappy Strings Quilt. It came out pretty lovely. And it's a genius at using up scraps, not requiring perfection, and just being an overall speedy delight to put together.

I had all the materials necessary to make this entire quilt. I didn't buy a scrap of fabric, thread, or batting. Now I know I've got a serious stash. I wish I'd paid a bit more attention when sewing the strings to the batting, as occasionally I'd have to hand sew some edges down. My lack of attention to detail really bites me sometimes.

This one's destined for my advisor, who's had to put up with me for seven years!

Diamond Strings Quilt Done!
Diamond Strings Quilt Done! (back)
Diamond Strings Quilt Done! (back)
Quilt Tags!
Be verrrrrry careful when quilt-as-you-go ing

How To: Quilt As You Go - Diamond Strings

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Diamond String Quilt Top Finished
I fell in love with some of Maureen Cracknell's QAYG Diamond Strings Quilts. Her fabric choice is always fantastic. So, of course, I decided to meddle with things and use an assortment of pastel plaids and coordinating solids I've had since I worked at Jo Ann Fabrics in high school. So. Yes. This fabric is over ten years old and my taste in fabrics has changed drastically. But I'm moving in a few months, have tons of fabric I don't want to move with me, and plenty of people who I owe gift quilts in one way or another. QAYG Diamond Strings in pastels it is.

On her Gramercy Diamond Strings Quilt post, Maureen hints at how to construct the quilt: "This Diamond Strings quilt design is a quick & simple modified version of my Herringbone QAYG pattern, in rectangle blocks measuring 10" x 18" rather than long quilt as you go panels. After finishing the quilted quilt top I attached the backing by sewing about a 1/2" from each vertical and horizontal seem using a bold Aurifil 50wt in black, a first for me! "

...and that's pretty much it.
To make this harder on yourself, you can do as I did and save up all the scraps of batting from previous quilts, and then sew the scraps together into 11"X19" panels and trim to 10"X18" after strings are attached. Iron. Definitely iron. If you use the correct batting, the seams aren't terribly bulky at all. Less waste!

Have I been holding onto batting scraps for 3 years? Why, yes, I have.

What is quilt as you go? It's basically when you're sewing the fabric pieces directly to the batting. It's convenient in many ways, as the quilt sandwich is slightly easier to manage and you don't need to quilt the finished project as much as you would with a traditional quilt. Because of this, the quilting phase is extremely short.

  1. Materials: low loft needle punched batting in 100% cotton, rotary cutter + mat, iron, sewing machine, fabric, thread made of materials to match your fabric (i.e., 100% cotton).
    Pastel Plaid Fabrics
  2. Cut fabric to strips 2.5"X15.5". Scraps that are shorter than 15.5" can be used for the tiny corners of the panels. I cut a lot of strips, but ran out and then just cut as needed to finish off the quilt.
    1. Cut fabric strips 2.5"
  3. Cut 24x 10"X18" batting panels.
    2. Cut 24x 10"X18" batting panels.
  4. Follow Maureen's QAYG Herringbone Quilt Tutorial
    1. Draw 45 degree lines, 2" apart on a batting panel. I start at one corner and then work my way until I've done just over half of the panel. The initial attached fabric strips will ensure some amount of continuity over the blank parts of the panel.
      3. Draw Lines 2" Apart, 45 degree angle
    2. Draw 45 degree lines on next batting panel, but switch directionality. Every two panels should be matched as the top/bottom of a diamond.
      4. Draw lines on additional panel, in opposite direction
    3. Align a fabric strip right side up with a middle line on the batting panel. Lay a second strip on top of the first, right side down (i.e. right-sides together).
      5. Place 2 strips, right sides together, align with a line
    4. Sew the fabric strips onto the batting panel, using a 1/4" seam allowance.
      6. Sew fabric strips
    5. Fold open the fabric strips so the right sides are up and either iron flat or smooth it flat with your hand.
      7. Open up fabric strips.
    6. Add another fabric strip and repeat previous steps: place each new fabric string on top of the previous (right sides facing), match up the raw edges with a drawn line, sew with 1/4" seam, fold over, and continue to press or smooth each new fabric. When attaching to the parts of the panel without lines predrawn, just line up the fabric strips based upon their edges.

      Be careful to ensure that your strips are parallel to previous strips AND that you are sewing a 1/4" seam on all strips (especially the bottom one!)
      8. Repeat steps 2-7 with another strip
    7. Continue adding fabric strips as before, until panel is completely covered with fabric.

      You'll notice in the images of the finished quilt top that the ends of my quilt are actually solid colors (one for two panels). I achieved this by a bit of pre-planning and using larger pieces of fabric that I ensured would cover the entire space required.
      9. Continue adding strips until covered
    8. Trim panel to size. In our case, that's 10" X 18".
      10. Trim panel to 10" X 18"
  5. When you've finished one panel, repeat previous steps and make another! If you're really cautious (or make the panels excessively large and then trim accurately afterwards), you can get the diamond strips to align, but I find it's not exactly worth the bother.
    11. Make another panel, in opposite directionality
  6. Sew two panels of opposite directionality together.
    12. Sew two opposing panels together
  7. Iron seams open.
    13. Iron seams open.
  8. Continue sewing panels of opposite directionality together.
    14. Continue sewing panels of opposite directionality together.
  9. Always iron seams open.
    14. Always iron seams open.
  10. Continue sewing panels together and ironing seams open, until you're done. You have a completed quilt top!
    15. Diamond String Quilt Panels Sewn Together - front
    15. Diamond String Quilt Panels Sewn Together - back

The quilt sandwich part of completing this quilt is fairly simple as you just lay this top on top of a backing and baste as usual. By some miracle, I had enough fabric left over to create a scrappy quilt back. I had to use up some of my leftover strips to do it, but it worked!

For the quilting, I just stitched 1/4" from either side of each of the seams keeping the panels together. This formed a double-lined rectangular grid. Then in some contrasting threads, I sewed seams 2" apart aligning with the fabric strips on the solid ends of the quilt top. Because the quilt top is already secured to the batting, you don't need to quilt through all three layers quite as much as with a traditional quilt.
Close Up of Scrappy Quilt Backing, Quilted
Quilt Sandwich 1
Quilt Sandwich 3

Success: Crispy Fried Chicken with Kale-Cabbage Slaw & Buttermilk Biscuits

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Crispy Fried Chicken with Kale-Cabbage Slaw & Buttermilk Biscuits

If I'm going to go through all the effort of breading my own chicken breasts for Blue Apron, you better hope it's for more than just two chicken breasts. This is where it starts making sense to get the 4 person Blue Apron meals instead of the 2 person meals. Instead, I just thawed a couple leftover chicken thighs from the freezer and breaded them up with the leftovers. Maximize output for fixed set-up times!

Crispy Fried Chicken with Kale-Cabbage Slaw & Buttermilk Biscuits

Camping: Ohiopyle & Kentuck Knob

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ohiopyle Falls

One last camping trip before we leave Pennsylvania. Ohiopyle State Park, because it's close by and has lots of stuff to do, even in the rain. Which we had a lot of! We stayed at one of the Kentuck Campground walk-in sites (#108), which was a looooong walk from the parking lot, but a short walk to the bathrooms. When booking those walk-in sites, definitely be conscious of how close it is to the parking, you could be hauling all your gear up to a quarter mile!

A friend of mine's only experience with camping was a rather grueling backpacking trip years ago, and Jim and I figured we'd show that camping doesn't have to be miserable. Even in the rain. We set up a tarp over the picnic table, went on small hikes, ate lunch under trees, and watched waterfalls. We ambled around the Ferncliff Trails which allowed us to watch for whitewater kayakkers coming down the river, and to see Ohiopyle Falls across from the visitor center. We would've tried Meadow Run Trail or Beech Trail (near Kentuck Campground), too, but the rain sort of made that an undesirable option.

The rain also made a third campfire on our second morning an absolute necessity. How else are you gonna finish off those s'mores?

Walk-in site 108
flaming marshmallow
Bacon with grill marks
Kentuck Campground in Ohiopyle, PA
Watching Whitewater Kayakkers
Looking at water
Ohiopyle Falls
Ohiopyle Falls
Autumn is coming.
Ohiopyle Falls
Goldfinch in Coneflowers
turkey sammich
Cucumber Falls
Setting up a path
Cucumber Falls

Oh, and we also saw Frank Llyod Wright's Kentick Knob and sculpture meadow. Jim and I first visited Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater (also super near to Ohiopyle) six months into our relationship. So capping both the beginning and the end of our Pennsylvania time with Frank Lloyd Wright seemed appropriate.

We spent the remainder of the trip using Usonian as a synonym for plebeian.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Kentuck Knob
Frank Lloyd Wright's Kentuck Knob Frank Lloyd Wright's Kentuck Knob
Frank Lloyd Wright's Kentuck Knob
Kentuck Knob Statue Meadow
Enjoying the scenery
Kentuck Knob Statue Meadow
Red Army from afar
Red Army
Piece of the Berlin Wall Doomsday Apple
Kentuck Knob Statue Meadow
Giant caterpillar
autumn is coming.

Related Posts with Thumbnails