Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sewing with Kids: Looking for Input

Good morning, sewing friends! Today I'm looking for a little help from you.

I've been talking with a friend about doing some sewing projects with her 9-year old daughter. We're thinking some hand-sewing projects would be best. I've heard good things about the book Sewing School, but am also interested in hearing other ideas. There are so many wonderful resources out there that it can be hard to know where to start looking!

So, have you ever sewn with kids? What projects are a hit, and which ones are flops? Any particular projects that they really loved?

Thanks for the help! I'll keep you posted on what we decide to do.

Linking up with Needle & Thread Thursday... hoping some of those lovely folks have some ideas!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I decided to join in the fun over at Freshly Pieced for today's Works in Progress Wednesday! I've already shared about the beginnings of a granny square quilt, and here's an updated shot of the 5 blocks I've made thus far.

This is a much older WIP. I bought the fabric for this Christmas quilt 2 years ago, did most of the piecing about a year ago, and have left it sitting in the closet ever since. I'm determined that it WILL be finished for this Christmas, so putting it up here will hopefully keep me accountable!

I also have another super-fun WIP but I can't tell you about it yet!! Ahh, so hard to keep fun projects a secret.  I better not say too much more... but I'm super excited with how it's looking!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

Anyone who knows me & my husband knows that we love bread. We don't just love to eat it, though, we love to make it! While we don't claim to be experts, and we're always looking for shortcuts, we've made quite a few loaves.

A few months ago, we asked to borrow my mom's bread machine. (See, I said we liked shortcuts!) We've really loved using it, and one of our favorites from the bread machine is hamburger buns. How do you make hamburger buns in the bread machine, you ask? Good question! My aunt (who I've mentioned before & invented this amazing candy recipe) sent me a recipe. Using her suggestions & tweaking it a little myself, here it is:

Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns - in the bread machine
Adapted from

1 cup water
1/2 stick butter, softened or slightly melted
1 egg
3 cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 tsp. yeast
1 Tbsp. vital wheat gluten

1. Put ingredients in bread machine, in order suggested by manufacturer. My bread machine says to put liquid ingredients in first, which is how the recipe is listed. Run the dough cycle.

 2. Once dough cycle is complete, put dough on lightly floured surface & roll into a log. (Make sure it is LIGHTLY floured - this dough is fairly dry already & you don't want to add much flour to it.) Cut into 12 pieces for normal sized hamburger buns. The original recipe said 8, but they are HUGE.

*Also, preheat oven to 200 degrees about now.

 3. Shape into rounds & place on greased baking sheet. The rounds don't have to be too perfect, see?

4. After your oven has preheated to 200 degrees, turn it off. Cover baking sheets with a towel & put in warm oven for about 10 minutes. The dough will rise a little bit, as you can see in the picture below.

5. Once you've taken the risen buns out of the warm oven, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Once preheated, bake buns for 10 minutes. And there you go - delicious hamburger buns!!

The original recipe says these also make good hot dog buns. My aunt has made smaller versions, too, for dinner rolls. The first time I prepared these we had a guest for dinner (I don't know why I always experiment when guests are around...) and he thought they would be excellent by themselves, too. I've also eaten them with chicken salad... all to say this is a very versatile bread! Hope you like these as much as we do!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Finished Baby Love Quilt!

It's finished! The quilt top I showed you in this post is now a finished baby quilt. It measures 36" x 36" and I love it! Thanks to everyone who gave suggestions for how I should quilt it... I ended up doing a square spiral. (Does that even make sense?) These pictures are a little over-exposed, as I still have lots to learn about how to take good quilt pictures, but hopefully you can sort of see the quilting.

 This backing fabric is so much fun. All the fabric is from the Riley Blake line "Boy Crazy". 

As I mentioned in my post about the quilt top, this pattern came from Camille Roskelley's book, Simply Retro. Well that's it for today - Happy Friday!! 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Recipes I'm Loving Lately

We can't stop eating these... so I thought y'all might want to know about them, too.

Peanut Butter Smoothies: Amazing. Taste like a milkshake. Only healthier. We've been eating them for breakfast, or dessert. A great summer treat!

Granola: Finally got around to making this granola from my friend Katherine's blog. I left out dried fruit because that's how I like my granola. Delish. We're almost out... looks like I'll have to make another batch!

And because we are getting TONS of green beans from our garden, we have been making this tasty dish a lot:

Vegetable Trio
4 large carrots
1/2 lb. fresh green beans
1.5 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 t. salt
1/2 t. thyme
2 T. butter

Melt butter with spices in a large skillet. Add green beans & carrots over medium heat. Add mushrooms after a few minutes. Cook until beans are tender, about 20 minutes. (And don't let it burn the way I did in the picture!)