Saturday, September 29, 2012

Rainy Day Quilt

Staying in on this rainy Saturday and starting a new quilt...

I decided to just rummage through my fabric bin for this one.  Updates on this bright, scrappy quilt soon!

Friday, September 7, 2012

T-Shirt Quilt -- A Pattern & Some Rough Cuts

In a recent closet purging session, I came to the realization that I have far too many t-shirts taking up valuable hanging space -- and yes, I'm one of those crazy people who hang t-shirts, and in color order, no less.  Anyhow, when it comes to t-shirts these days, I prefer to grab a pack of men's x-small v-neck undershirts in grey or white -- they're cheap, comfortable and not bad for working out in.  Since I just rotate through a handful of those, most of the shirts in my closet weren't being worn and were kept purely for nostalgic reasons.  So, down they came until I was left with a huge pile, mostly consisting of college / sorority shirts.

I'm not someone who holds onto every little thing, but for some reason, I was having a hard time letting these go. Since I have had a recent love affiar with quilting, I decided to stretch my skills and attempt a t-shirt quilt -- shirts would no longer be taking up closet space and they'd be saved from the dumpster!

To begin, I gathered all the shirts I wanted in the quilt and kept a couple on the side to be used just in case of a cutting fiasco or additional ones were needed to balance it out.  I sorted them into color piles to see what I had available so I could start brainstorming patterns.

Most of the shirts I had gathered had something on the front and the back, so if possible, I wanted to use both.  Because this was a lot to keep track of, I decided to 'take inventory' of the possible quilt squares I had available.

As you can see, there was nothing fancy about my list, but it allowed me to easily see what I had to work with.  Then it was off to the computer to create each of the blocks in the size and color indicated so I could decide on a layout.  I did this in PowerPoint since it was the easiest for moving all my blocks around.  The full/solid squares below are the shirt backs, the 9 block squares are made up of various shirt fronts, and I had a handful of shirts with just one line and was able to form two of the 3 rectangle squares.

Once I had a finalized layout, I felt safe taking scissors to my shirts.  For this part of the process, I used a cutting mat, clear ruler and rotary cutter along with my fabric shears.  Also, after getting a general idea of graphic size on my shirts, I decided 12" squares would be perfect so I picked up 12.5" and 4.5" square grids to help with cutting.

I didn't use the squares for this part of the process, I merely kept them handy so I could quickly see how much excess shirt I was safe to cut. 

I'd pick a shirt and lay the back face up. I placed the square grid on top and began cutting a good inch or two outside the edge, starting with the bottom then moving up the sides to remove the sleeves.   

Once the sleeves were gone, I opened it up and cut along the top shoulder part to separate the front from the back.

Then I used my 4.5" square grid to roughly cut around the front graphic on the shirt.

I repeated this process 30+ times until I had cut all the shirts I planned to use.  Then I piled them up to admire my hard work and decided to save the next step for another day.

Next up, adding a stabilizer and cutting actual quilt squares!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Recipe Review: Adirondack Red Wing Burgers

A friend of mine recently shared this burger recipe with me and I just can't get enough of them -- Thank you Betsy! 

Since the recipe makes four burgers and there are no more than two eating in my household, I like to make a batch of these and freeze the extra patties for later.  They're perfect to get out before work to defrost and cook up quickly when I get home. 

I make and serve mine exactly as Rachel Ray intended and can't think of anything I'd change about them!  I was a little skeptical of serving them on an english muffin and mixing blue cheese and cheddar, but it all just comes together perfectly to make the most yummy burger.  If you're looking for something different than the average burger, I highly recommend you try this recipe!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fall Fever

Despite the 100+ degree temperatures still looming here in Dallas, I have already declared it Fall in my book.  With the official calendar change to September, the return of college football, and the flashing school-zone lights on my drive to work again, the past few days have undeniably felt like fall. 
I’ve been trying not to go overboard in anticipation of my favorite season of the year -- i.e. no boots or scarves just yet -- but have been adding little touches to make it feel like fall around here.
Apparently I’m not the only one who loves this time of year. Some of the girls and I at work declared last week to be ‘pumpkin treat week’ so we could bake up some of our favorite fall desserts. I went with my tried and true, always a winner, Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes via the butter lovin’ gal, Paula Deen.  
These bars are extremely easy to throw together, make the house smell amazing, and disappear in no time by pumpkin and non-pumpkin lovers alike!  Seriously, a non-pumpkin loving coworker of mine tried one and loved it.  I highly recommend them if you are craving something sweet or just want a taste of fall.
In addition to the baking, I’ve been sporting my burnt orange once again in support of my lovely Longhorns.  It was so exciting to cheer them on last weekend and I can't wait for the rest of the season -- Hook 'Em!

It's an oldie, so try not to laugh too hard at my cheesy-ness :)

Last, but not least, even my toes got a little bit of fall fever.  When I went in for a pedicure this weekend, I could not resist picking out a darker shade of purple to carry me into October!

Stay tuned for more fall changes around here -- I promise not to post anymore pics of my toes.  Here's hoping the weather catches fall fever soon! 
Happy -- almost -- fall, ya’ll!