Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"Charm Squares" Baby Quilt

My friends are having babies faster than my sewing machine and I can keep up with, so I've been on the lookout for some quick baby quilt projects. One day I found a blog post from Sew Mama Sew featuring a Charm Squares Baby Quilt. The project looked easy, fast, and like I could make use of my rather large fabric stash.

It was indeed an easy project, and I was able to use some fabric I had, but because I was trying to make something unisex, I had to visit my new, favorite fabric store, Sew Modern. Maybe if I tried a little harder, I could have made do, but I'm not going to lie, this was the perfect excuse to go fabric shopping.

I picked out a Lorax print (the all-green fabric) because my friend, Mrs. G. and I both love to read. And, although blue is traditionally more of a boy color, I went for blue, green, and brown prints. Hopefully the paisley print and the binding's floral print made it a little more feminine.

If you want to make this quilt, you can buy a Charm Pack, and not deal with picking out your own fabric and cutting it down to 5-inches by 5-inches squares. The pattern is this:

  • 38 squares - 5 inches by 5 inches
  • 5/8 yard fabric for sashing (solid works well)
  • 3/8 yard fabric for binding
  • 1 1/4 yard fabric for batting *you can get away with 1 yard if you are careful*
  • One craft-sized package of batting
  • Cut two strips, 5 inches wide from sashing fabric
  • Cut four strips, 2.5 inches wide from shashing fabric
  • Divide charm squares into a set of 25 (A) and a set of 13 (B). If you are making your own charm pack, first cut your 5-inches by 5-inches squares.
  • From the set of 13, cut each of the squares in half. They will measure 2.5 inches by 5 inches
  • Sew the charm squares (A) and half squares (B) into five rows, press seams open. Each row will have 5 A-squares and 5 B-squares. Alternate between each row:
  • Sew the sashing strips to the pieced rows - the 5-inch wide strips should be on the top and bottom. Cut down the sashing strips to be the same length as the pieced strips.
  • When the quilt top is finished, baste it to the batting and backing.
  • Quilt as desired. *I hand-quilted across the sashing strips, a half-inch between rows. The pieced rows were quilted one-quarter-inch from the seam.*
  • Piece and attach binding. *I do mitered binding."

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pumpkin Crunch

After a very long work day, I decided to bake pumpkin crunch because I needed something to take to work, and it's pretty easy. It's just time consuming. Everyone's been asking if this recipe is from Pinterest, but I've actually had this recipe for years. My mom sent to me when I first started cooking, and I like to make this every once in awhile. The butter and yellow cake mix is quite delicious.
Pumpkin Crunch
Prepare 9"x13" pan by lightly greasing then line with wax paper. Preheat oven to 350.
Pumpkin Mixture
3 large eggs, beaten
1 large can evaporated milk
1 lb. can of pumpkin
1 C sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 t ground ginger
1/4 t nutmeg
Combine all pumpkin mixture ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well and pour into prepared pan.
1 box cake mix (yellow, white or lemon) *I use yellow*
1 C nuts (almond, walnut, pecan or macadamia)
2 blocks butter, melted
Gently spoon dry cake mix onto pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle nuts evenly. Spoon on melted butter. *You want the melted butter everywhere*
Bake for 50 minutes. When done, put on rack to cool for two hours, turn upside down onto serving tray.

*I like it and serve it like this, but you can also add a cream cheese topping, which is below.*
1 8-oz. carton cream cheese, softened
3/4 C powdered sugar
1 small container cool whip

Mix softened cream cheese with powdered sugar and cool whip until blended.