Sunday, October 19, 2014

mug cakes

I was hungry for a piece of cake, but didn't want to make a whole cake; not even a single layer cake because I will eat the whole thing in a short time frame.  You know a piece with dinner, a piece for a bedtime snack, a piece for breakfast, mid-morning, lunch, just because it is there until it is gone.  So I thought how about a mug cake.  They equal a large slice of cake, get my fix and it won't be in the fridge calling my name.  JuuDddYyy  JuuDddYyy  Aye Taaaste Gggoooddd!

So I wondered around the net looking at recipes.  One of my problems with mug cake recipes is no one tells you the volume of the mug they are using.  My mugs range from one-cup to two-n-a-quarter cups.  So would the recipe overflow in the microwave if I used the one-cup mug or am I going to need a magnifying glass to find it in my big mug?  Nobody answers that question.  I tend to error on the side of too large.  I don't want to waste any cake batter! ; >)

I found a recipe over at thehungryhedgehog called apple cinnamon mug cake.  Jess says it makes a small cake and comes with an icing recipe.  The cake looks about the size of a cupcake so I doubled it and sprinkled powdered sugar on top.  It was okay, if you really like cinnamon.  I went back to the web checking apple cake recipes for the cinnamon to flour ratio, which confirmed my feelings there was way, too much cinnamon and not nearly enough apple.

The first thing I did was make up a batch of Apple Pie Spice I found at
I just realized I use twice as much cinnamon as they call for.
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cardamom

Next up I re-hydrated some apple fruit leathers I had made a while back .8 ounces or 22 grams of dried apple to a half-cup of boiling water let set ten-fifteen minutes to re-hydrated; then blend well.

My rendition of Applesauce Mug Cake

I used my two cup mug but a cup-n-a-half would probable be big enough.  Spray the mug with non-stick spray or grease.  Use a cereal bowl to mix it in. 

6 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp sugar (can use brown)
1/4 tsp apple pie spice
1/4 tsp baking powder
4 Tbsp applesauce
1 Tbsp vegetable oil or melted butter
1 Tbsp milk or 1 tsp of powdered milk and 1 Tbsp of water
1/4 tsp vanilla extract.
1 Tbsp chopped nuts (optional)
1 Tbsp chopped raisins or dates (optional)

Mix the dry ingredients.  I added the nuts and raisins to the dry ingredients.  Then the wet and mixed until the dry ingredients were wet and no lumps.  Scrap the batter into the prepared mug and microwave 60 to 90 seconds depending on your microwave.  I would stop it at 60 seconds and use a toothpick to see if it is done before adding the last second 30 seconds. 

Because I doubled the recipe, I think it would work in two one-cup mugs.  I would shorten up the time to 45 seconds before checking so see if it was done.

I found a Butter Sauce Recipe for an apple cake that I liked the looks of and now that I want to give credit to the blog I found it on, I can't find the blog again. Crap!

EDIT: think I found it:

1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp heavy cream or 1 tsp of creamer and 1 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp brown sugar or 2 Tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp molasses
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix first three ingredients in a 1-cup ramekin.  Cook in 10 to 15 second bursts stirring between each burst until it has thickened about 90 seconds total. Carefully pull out of the microwave and add the vanilla extract.  Pour over the cake hot.  I loosened up the sides of the cake so the butter sauce would run down the sides of the cake and bottom too.  There is more than enough here to cover the two smaller mug cakes if that was the way you made it.

I hope everyone is having a good day!


Sunday, October 12, 2014

well here i sit

Well, here I sit...time to make a blog post and, well, I didn't get much accomplished this week.

I got the quilt for my niece pin-basted and three blocks quilted.  I got tried of fighting the quilt in the spot I had my sewing machine.  So I moved everything back into the second bedroom, my sewing machine, computer, and ironing board.

Then, I went to the living room and moved hubby's computer and the printer back in with my stuff.  The living room looks better, I just need to gather up the odd computer paraphernalia and get it moved out of the living room.  My bedroom feels less cramped, so that's better.

The closet in the second bedroom is getting a cleaning out.  I have a spot on one wall I want to turn into a cutting table like I had in Kansas. 
But I'm stuck because I have to sort through his music and computer stuff.  I felt my chest tightening up with my asthma as I was trying to decide what to do with his stuff, so I have backed off there.  I've babied my lungs the last couple of days.

Been fighting the computer and places he had accounts set-up trying to get things shutdown.  Me and the cable company are about to come to blows.  There is no place on their web site to report a death and dealing with the stupidity on the phone is wearing thin.  I suppose I wouldn't be so aggravated with the cable company but I don't watch TV.  In fact, I don't even know how to turn the boob-tube on.  I have four remotes setting on the lamp stand.  Which one operates what?  I don't know!  And no where, on any of the electronics, is there a simple on/off switch!  This probably hasn't helped my asthma either, come to think of it.

Enough grousing, I hope everyone is having a good day.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

making a quilting stencil

While I was out cruising the web I stopped by Amanda Jean's blog crazy mom quilts a while back and she was showing a quilt she had complete with a free-hand quilting pattern I thought would look good on my jelly roll/lasagna quilt.  I don't free-hand quilt because, honestly, I don't want to put the practice in to be good at it.  So what to do?
Remember making your own stencils before you could buy Mylar quilting stencils?  Being the antique that I am (Actually I'm still only a collectible because I'm still less than a hundred.) and inheriting a few from my mother, I did just that.  Time to get the old trusty paper and pencil out, again.

My first step was to draw a strip two inches wide (that's the width of my fabric strips).  Find center, and then draw two lines the width you think you want the quilting to be.  The first try I decided I would make the quilting one-inch wide.   Using the cap off my vitamin bottle to make my curved line I drew a sample.  I thought the first try was too wide, so on the next try I cut the width of my curved line down to a half-inch.  I liked it much better.
Next, I opened up a cereal box and drew the pattern on to it, then cutting the design out.  I used my graphite and white quilting pencils to draw the pattern on four of the nine patches of the quilt.  As you can see I drew the curved lines down the centers of the strips both front and back of the selected blocks.
Kind a looks like jigsaw puzzle pieces to me!  I think it helped the over-all look of the quilt having some blocks quilted this way and some with stitch-in-the-ditch.
For the borders I decided a large diamond would be just the ticket for finishing off the quilting.  Also notice, I used white thread for the large blocks and black thread for the border.  Don't be afraid of using different color threads for the quilting it can make a dull quilt come to life.

I think I am going to continue channeling my mother today and stay in my nightgown all day.  Maybe do some baking (cookies and bread) and a pot of soup sounds good, too.

I hope everyone is having a good day!


Sunday, September 28, 2014

How to move front pockets

I should have posted this weeks ago, but, well, life has kind of gotten in the way.  Here's a link to the original post so you can tie the two together.  So, this is how I move front pockets when tailoring a pair of pants.
As you are marking the cutting line up the leg put those marks on the pockets.
Transfer those lines to the fabric of the pant legs to the seam where the pocket joins the front.  Then get your handy-dandy seam ripper out and CAREFULLY remove the pocket unit from the pant leg.
 Then pin the pocket back in to match up on the new cutting line.  Now you can cut all the excess fabric off the front pant leg using the pocket edge as your cutting edge.  You will be able to see where any notches need cut or stay-stitching needs done.
On this pair of pants the pockets were twisted.  Probably because the fabric was off grain and after they were washed and all the sizing was removed the fabric returned to its natural lay.  Another reason to always prewash your fabric.  I did have to take the pockets apart, re-cut and re-build them so they would lie flat in the garment.  Not something you normally have to do.
Lay the right side of the pocket facing against the right side of the front, pin and sew.  I usually set the pocket on the inside of the front where it goes and then flip it to the front to make sure I putting the right pocket on the right side of the pants.  Cause, well, I've been wrong before.
Clip any corners, flip, iron, top stitch, and press everything flat.  Pin the pocket edges to the side of the pants and to the waist of the pants, then baste the pocket edges where they meet the sides and waist of the front.  Bar-tack (usually a narrow, short [quarter to half inch] zig-zag) at the bottom of the pocket opening and at the top of the pocket opening.

As you can see the side of the pants is a smooth line, but at the waist I have a little of the pocket peaking above the waistline.  This had to do with the way Hubby's pants needed to be tailored.  (Interesting note:  less than 12% of the people in any given size are actually those measurements.)  I just trim that little bit off.  To me having the side of the pocket lying right is more important than that little bit at the top of the pocket that needs trimmed off.
Now you just finish sewing the pants back together!

 I hope everybody is having a good day!


Sunday, September 21, 2014

my heart is broken

My heart is broken; my compadre in life is gone.

Hubby passed away Friday morning sometime between 9:00 am and 11:30 am while we were taking a nap after a night where neither one of us slept well.

I relieved I don't have to watch him struggle to make himself understood.  But I miss his rapier wit.

I am relieved he no longer hurts so much he had to have help most days to get out of his chair.  But I miss his gentle smile.

I relieved I don't have to watch him struggle after the gout crippled his hands so bad he couldn't do the simplest tasks some days.  But I miss his touch.

I am relieved he is no longer in so much pain he couldn't lay down to sleep.  But I miss the mischievous twinkle in his brown eyes.

 My heart is broken; my rock in life is gone.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

my take on a jellyroll race quilt

This is my take on a jellyroll race or lasagna quilt.  I wanted to do one and I needed to make a quilt for a wedding gift for a friend's granddaughter so away I went.

I studied several you-tube videos.  Starting with the Missouri Quilt Co. video with a white block spacer between each new strip.  When I got to thinking about how I would construct and quilt a king-size quilt I decided to turn it into a giant nine-patch.  I decided that a random placed white patch might not look so hot so I went with the original jellyroll race quilt look.

A 40-strip jelly roll will make approximately 50" by 64" quilt.  So how would you expand it to get a king-size quilt?  Web surfing to the rescue, of course!  And now that I want to write it up I can't find the you-tube videos that explained how to make different sized quilts! Damn-it!

EDIT:  Found It! Jean JellyRollQueen 
                            Part 2

Any way, I wanted to make an 84" by 84" center. The formula is to take inches wide times 32 rows, then divide by the length of the strips for how many strips in the main body of the quilt.  Next for the 20 inches left over which is 10 rows do the formula again to know what you need for the added length of the quilt you want to make.  Okay, clear as mud, right! LOL!

Main Body    84 x 32 =  2688 / 41 = about 66 strips (round up)
Second Half  84 x 10 = 840 / 41 = about 21 strips (round up)
Add 66 strips + 21 strips = 87 strips of 2 1/2" fabric.
The advice of the lady who posted the you-tube videos was to add a few extra strips so you wouldn't be short.

This lady's advice on adding the extra strips to get the length of quilt you wanted was to add them evenly to the top and bottom, in my case five rows top and five rows bottom.  Just to make sure I had enough (cause I'm paranoid like that) I stopped and measured my strips when I had sewn the first seam in the first batch of strips together.  I was too long and trimmed it back to the size I needed.

This is the back.  I randomly sewed strips I had cut from the stash together.

Cut and turned as a nine-patch

See those two yellow strips that are side by side?  That's the middle of your long strip of fabric, which would be no big deal if you were leaving as one big piece.  However, I wanted to make blocks, so I picked off that bottom row and re-sewed it to the top of that block.

This is the front.  I decided to sort the fabric into color families and I changed up the construction, too.  After I had sewn the long strip in half, I cut the strip in the lengths I need for the width of the quilt top.  Then I sewed the top in three sections before cutting it into my blocks.  I think it turned out better.  I didn't have any spots where the fabric doubled over on top of it self.

 This is the nine-patch layout of the top.
I didn't like the original border fabric I had picked out so I switched to this black print.  Better but still not the pop I was looking for.  I decided to use cornerstones to finish the borders.  After sewing them on I liked the square-in-a-square the best.

I'm thinking I should have used black strips to set the quilted blocks together.  That might have helped the over-all look of the quilt by giving the eyes someplace to rest from busyness of the quilt.

Will I make another jelly roll/lasagna quilt?  Only if it is in a size I could comfortably quilt as one piece in my machine, so that would mean probably nothing bigger than a twin or maybe a double with a traditional weight batting.
So the label is on and the quilt is ready to be shipped.  Now to finish up another quilt I'm working on for a wedding in October.

Everybody have a good day!


Saturday, August 30, 2014

a moment of inspiration

I think I may have salvaged the quilt I'm working on.  I had a moment of inspiration when I woke up yesterday morning and it looks like it might work.  Yeah!

Back to it.

Everybody have a good day!