February, 2014

  1. baby girl jelly roll jam quilt

    February 24, 2014 by Angie

    My third quilt ever is finished! It is my first baby sized quilt. I used half of one jelly roll (18 strips sized 2.5″ x 44″) for the entire quilt top. It went by quickly and was really fun. I’m really happy with the finished product, mostly because I am so in love with this line of fabric, Simply Style by V and Co. for Moda.

    completed quilt front

    The completed quilt! I wish I had bothered to make the bed and bust out my real camera for these photos. My apologies!

    completed quilt folded

    A folded quilt photo

    completed quilt back

    The back of the quilt with a label

    My cousin had a beautiful baby girl this month and I’d been dying to make a baby quilt so I made this one for her. I saw this tutorial for two adorable baby quilts (one for a girl and one for a boy) made from one jelly roll. I was smitten. This wonderful fabric is Simply Style by V and Co. for Moda. Vanessa Christenson, the creator of the fabric line, and I both followed this jelly roll jam quilt pattern and great YouTube instructional video put together by the owner of my favorite fabric shop, Fat Quarter Shop.

    Other side of V & Co. Jelly Roll

    The fabric that started it all!

    The first step of the Fat Quarter Shop jelly roll jam pattern is to select 18 strips you would like to use in your quilt. I used almost the same ones Vanessa Christenson chose. You divide them into three sets, making sure you like the arrangement. You then sew the six strips in each set to one another horizontally.

    ready to sew three strip sets

    After creating the three strip sets, you cut each one into six pieces, each measuring 6.5″ x 12.5″. I am still struggling to make perfect quarter inch seams on this machine, so my strip sets were a little short and I did have to do some squaring up along the way. Next, you make nine quilt blocks by sewing two strip set pieces together. Check the pattern to see who gets sewn to who and which ones get flipped over prior to the sewing. I squared up after this step too.

    Strip Set Blocks

    Some strip set blocks

    After that, you arrange the blocks according to the pattern, sew your rows horizontally, then sew the rows together. This is pretty painless as the quilt only consists of nine blocks.

    Completed Quilt Top

    The completed quilt top on my sewing table

    Completed quilt top laid out on the floor

    Here’s the completed quilt top again laid out on the floor

    Basting the quilt

    About to baste the three pieces together

    Quilting went very quickly. I copied Vanessa Christenson yet again with that. I did vertical straight line quilting throughout. I didn’t measure it but I would guess the lines are about an inch apart. I used my walking foot with a quilt guide.

    I stopped halfway through quilting to sew the label I made to the backing fabric only. This was my first time making a label and using a zigzag stitch so it took some time to get it right. I won’t show a closeup to protect the baby’s anonymity but I’m glad I added one because it makes it more of a keepsake gift. I just have to get a little better at it.

    I bound this quilt using a little less than a 1/2 yard of one of the pink prints from the fabric line. I machine bound both sides for the first time. I did this for durability since baby quilts tend to be washed a lot. It went pretty well for the first time and I think I learned from this how to machine bind the next baby quilt without any mistakes. I machine sewed double fold binding to the back first, then flipped it around to the front for better control.

    The Quilt Stats

    Finished size: about 35″ x 35″
    Quilt top fabrics: 18 strips from Simply Style by V and Co. for Moda Jelly Roll
    Quilt back fabric: Bella Solids Graphite yardage
    Binding: Honeysuckle Pink Eyelet yardage from Simply Style by V and Co. for Moda
    Batting: Warm and White

    fresh from the dryer

    Here’s a photo Robbie took of me being proud after pulling the quilt out of the dryer.

  2. tempeh chili con frijoles

    February 17, 2014 by Angie

    I made this new to us chili recipe this weekend. It’s by the always wonderful Isa Chandra Moskowitz of the Post Punk Kitchen. Here’s a link to her full recipe.

    tempeh chili con frijoles

    I made a few changes because I always have to change things at least a little, it seems. I skipped the boiling the tempeh step because I think tempeh is delicious without this step which, in my view, just takes more time and creates more dishes to wash. I cooked the veggies alone in a little olive oil for maybe eight minutes then added the crumbled tempeh to the pot. I used dried oregano. I used just over a half of a cup of beer because I couldn’t find one lonely can of Negra Modelo to buy and I wasn’t very confident in the dark Mexican beer that I bought instead. I used 1 cup of vegetable broth and made up for the missing beer and broth liquid by adding about a 3/4 of a cup of water. I cooked covered for only about 20 minutes and then served without the maple syrup, lemon, or cilantro. I topped mine with some shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese because my name is Angeleen and I am a cheese addict.

    Robbie and I both really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to eating the leftovers (it made quite a bit) for dinner tonight.

  3. vertical stripe scarf

    February 15, 2014 by Angie

    I crocheted this scarf with vertical stripes in eight different colors for my niece in Ohio. I found the pattern on Ravelry.com but here is a link directly to the pattern creator’s blog. I followed her directions except I started with 240 chains instead of 181 and didn’t do the braided fringe.

    vertical stripes scarf

    I’m not a person who has a lot of scrap yarn around but, for people who do, this is an extra great project for using up those small leftover amounts of various yarns. It has twelve stripes but I only used eight colors because I had plenty of each. The colors are: grey, purple, gold, baby blue, olive green, white, black, and rust orange. I used an I/5.5 mm hook and worsted weight yarn. The brands used are Vanna’s Choice, Loops & Threads Impeccable, Lion Brand Wool-Ease, and a few from my (meager) stash that I’m unsure of (the baby blue is probably Red Heart).

    with fringe

    Here’s a photo of the fringe. I just did one strand and cut everything to the same length. I tried the braiding but it looked stiff and weird.

    it was cold yesterday morning

    Finally, here is a blurry mirror selfie so you can see what it looks like on a real person. We just got this mirror from Ikea last weekend and hung it in our dining room so that I can put makeup on in Sookie’s company (makeup not included in this photo). I crocheted that hat too!

  4. Robgeleen.com’s 2nd Birthday!

    February 5, 2014 by Angie

    Today is Robgeleen.com’s second birthday! I don’t have too much to say about it really but I thought it would be wrong to not acknowledge its birth at all.

    I guess I will tell you what I’m working on. I was on a crocheting streak in January. I crocheted four hats and started on a scarf which I hope to finish before it gets cold again. I was promised at least one more cold day this “winter”. My quilting goal for this year is to complete two quilted tooth fairy pillows (for my two favorite almost-five-year-old boys) and four quilts. I have one baby girl quilt top that I’m pretty sure I can finish today. I hope to have it washed and ready to ship by the end of the month. I’ve got all of the blocks completed (but not yet sewn together into a quilt top) for my niece’s large lap sized quilt. I will be giving that to her when I see her this summer so that one is hibernating for a while. I plan to do a second baby quilt for a boy using the same pattern and line of fabrics as the baby girl one. I bought a jelly roll and have a pattern that makes two baby quilts with one jelly roll: one for a girl and one for a boy. The baby girl quilt uses more pink and purple fabrics and the baby boy quilt is more blue and green.

    The fourth quilt I think will be larger and I’ll keep it for us. I haven’t decided on a pattern or fabrics yet but here are some quilt ideas that are in the running.

    1) A giant log cabin quilt kinda like this one but bigger and more adult looking – no polka dots.

    2) A giant star quilt.

    3) The Easy as Pie Layer Cake Quilt

    4) Or maybe one like this with four patch blocks and pinwheel blocks and pretty white sashing.

    I think ideas 3 & 4 would make beautiful Christmas quilts but I’ve already done one of those so I might make myself wait until next year to do another one.

    I’m still cooking a lot, but baking less. I haven’t cooked many new things but when I do I post them. I’m going to make brownies from a box but bake them vegan-style for Valentine’s Day so there’s that on the horizon at least!

  5. stovetop black bean soup

    February 3, 2014 by Angie

    In our house, we eat black beans like it’s our job. Why not eat a can each in soup format for dinner? I found this recipe for Cuban Black Bean Soup from Dr. Fuhrman when somebody posted a link to his library of recipes on Facebook.

    stovetop black bean soup

    I used can beans and skipped the mashed cauliflower part because I wanted an easy recipe and, honestly, I’m not convinced mashed cauliflower belongs in the middle of my black bean soup. Aside from that omission, I followed his recipe exactly. Instead of the mashed cauliflower, I garnished the finished soup with slices of avocado, chopped green onion, and a sprinkle of reduced fat Mexican cheese. Yummy! We ate that entire pot between the two of us.