November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving Success!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend with your friends and families. I know I did. Dinner here was 100% a success. Despite my fears, no turkeys caught fire, were burned, or otherwise ruined in any fashion. And the rest of the food wasn't half bad either!

I could (and have been) eat this forever. I bought way too huge a bird and I ended up putting much of the dark meat into the freezer for making pot pie later. This is, however, sadly the last of the cranberry sauce. But, I'll be making it again next month so it's not gone forever.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, the apartment has been cleaned and returned to normal, it's nearly time to throw all that to the wind in preparation for Christmas decorations. Time certainly is flying by lately it seems. Speaking of time, is is nearly time for my sewing machine to come home and I'll be working further on my holiday gifts. I should even have enough time left to finish them.

November 20, 2012

Whole Cranberry Sauce

Turkey time is nearly upon us. I have brined several birds and I feel I'm heartily prepared for whatever Thanksgiving can throw my way. Bring it on, holiday foods! Since being responsible for the main staples of the meal wasn't enough, I decided I was going to try my hand at making my own cranberry sauce this year.

I have not been known to enjoy the cranberry sauce, which makes some people go crazy for over the holidays. I just never saw the appeal of something that retained its shape once released from the can. But I have seen the light- and homemade cranberry sauce is why. This tangy but sweet combination will now never be missing from my Thanksgiving table.

This is ridiculously simple to make, and the only ingredient you probably don't have is the cranberries themselves. In fact, if you're feeling up to braving the crowds at the store, you still have plenty of time to make this recipe for Turkey Day. It's very quick to make.

Whole Cranberry Sauce
makes about 2 1/2 cups

What You'll Need:
1, 12oz package cranberries, rinsed
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger
2 Tbs amaretto (optional)

November 18, 2012

Floral Table Runner

Sometimes I see a fabric that I just cannot walk away from. This time, though, it was a little fat quarter bundle of floral fabrics that caught me. I picked up it ages ago and for the longest time didn't know quite what to do with it. Isn't that always the way? Two thirds of my stash is "I'll figure out something to do with this" fabric.

I finally sat down and worked out a pattern for this bundle and came up with a little table runner. Originally I had thought to make it for my coffee table, but we have since gotten a new (and smaller) one. Now I don't need it after all.

It quilted up very quickly as it isn't too large. The big white floral pattern is what initially drew me to the bundle. The flowers have just the right amount of whimsy.

I finished it up just before I sent my machine out to be serviced. Ever since I've been doing a lot of cutting for my holiday projects. I also resurrected my old workhorse machine to do a little bit of straight stitching. It can still run a decent straight stitch, if nothing else.

I wish I could post about all the holiday projects I'm working on, but they'll have to wait, lest I ruin the surprise for anyone. But at the rate I'm going, I'll probably be posting about holiday gifts until February. It looks as though I will actually finish them all on time, too. It'll be a Christmas miracle if I do. I hope your holiday projects are going as swimmingly as mine.

Since we swapped our big coffee table out for a smaller one, this piece is available on my Etsy page.

November 14, 2012

The Coffee Quilt: When Your Mug Isn't Enough

People love coffee. It's a fervent love, but one that I do not really understand. You see, I am a tea person. I know many die-hard coffee people, though, and there's something mystical about the way their eyes light up when they take a sip of coffee. Maybe it's a cult?

I decided to make a little coffee-inspired quilt when I found the Java collection by Moda. It was too fun to pass up, especially since I managed to get it during a clearance sale (sadly it was a sale from a local quilting shop going out of business). The panels were easy to work with and this stitched up pretty quickly.

It's one of several small projects I've had sitting around for a while and I finally said "enough" and finished them up. It's a good thing, too, because I just had to give my sewing machine up for its annual servicing. Toward the end of my most recent project (a holiday present) it also started making a suspicious noise, so it was definitely time. I must say, now that I can't sew, I miss it more than I thought I would.

I'll have it back in about ten days, and then the furious rush to finish holiday gifts begins. In the mean time, I am cutting out the fabric for these projects. While not as soothing as sewing, cutting fabric helps to slake my sewing urges.
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