Saturday, April 14, 2018

Neutral Colors Chevron Quilt for Sister

My sister's birthday is the first week of January, and sometimes it's hard to come up with gift ideas for her since it's so close to Christmas.  This year I decided a handmade gift would be best and made her a quilt.  I sort of hinted that I might make her one so that I could get some idea of what she was interested in.  She wanted it to be made of neutral colors and she also said she wanted her monogram on it (great idea, Sister!).  So, this is what I came up with.  I ended up using solids in a mix of warm and cool tones which I thought would fit in anywhere.

I found a super soft chambray-like cotton for the backing that has small white pin-dots.  I thought it made the perfect compliment to the front of the quilt.  For the binding I found a small scale navy and blue stripe.  I think it ties everything together perfectly.

To make the quilt I used half square triangles (referred to as HST).  There are lots of different ways to make HST's, but I used the Magic Eight Method and was really happy with the results.

I did not have a pattern for this quilt, just started with 12" squares and kept making them until I had enough for the quilt to be the size I wanted.

Making the monogram was easy - I found a font that would be simple to embroider and printed the letters out, adhered fusible webbing to my fabric, traced the letters, cut the  letters out and ironed on to my backing fabric.  Then I embroidered using a zig-zag stitch around all the edges of the letters.  

Monday, January 29, 2018

Baked Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Pasta with Bacon

What do you get when you combine pasta with bacon + goat cheese + pumpkin?  Perfect winter comfort food at it's best!  This dish was so good and best of all, it was a cinch to make. 

*Recipe adapted from the September / October issue of Taste of Home Magazine

- 1 lb. pasta (I used cavatappi)
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 shallots, minced
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup milk (I used skim)
- 4 oz. crumbled goat cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
- 2 Tbsp. fresh sage, chopped

- 12 oz. bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 2 oz. crumbled goat cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook pasta according to package instructions.

2.  Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and shallots and cook while stirring for 1-2 minutes.  Add the next six ingredients.  Reduce heat to low.  Cook, stirring constantly, until reduced, 6-8 minutes.  Add sage and remove from heat.

3.  Drain pasta and stir into sauce until combioned.  Transfer mixture to a baking dish.  Top with bacon, goat cheese, and Parmesan.  Bake, covered, for 15 minutes.  Remove cover and bake for 5 minutes more or until cheeses are melted.



I really liked this one - It's been added to the regular pasta rotation list!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Christmas Wrappings 2017

I know Christmas seems like a long time ago now, but I still wanted to get my 2017 Christmas wrappings up on the blog.  I love wrapping presents and try to go with a different theme every year.  This year I added navy to the mix.  I've never considered navy for the holidays before, but I really love how the navy pairs with red and green.

I only bought one new roll of paper this year - the pretty navy blue pattern in the photo below.  It is a Tommy Bahama brand wrapping paper that I found at Homegoods.  It almost has a vintage feel to it.  Everything else I used was from my stash....I'm a bit of a wrapping paper and supply hoarder.

Here's a photo I posted to Instagram:

I love using initials as gift tags.  I buy wood or chipboard initials and then cut a patterned piece of paper to fit and glue on.  I think it's fun to use instead of a traditional gift tag.

I love initial stickers too - just slap one on a tag and you are good to go!

I also like to buy floral picks at the craft store.  They are inexpensive and really add so much to your packages.  Just tie a pretty bow, and slide in one of the floral picks - easy and beautiful! 

And just so I don't forget it, here is my 2017 Christmas Tree...


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