Friday, February 28, 2014

Healthier Banana Muffins

We've been looking for ways around here to cut back a little on the wheat and one of the things I discovered we could do is substitute oat flour or almond flour for wheat flour in baking. Now, you can't substitute entirely in a lot of cases without coming up with radical modifications for other binders. Something to do with the gluten and how it makes bread work. I'm not really clear on the whole thing. Anyway, I started adding a little of each to some of my recipes and seeing how it works out.

Just want to note here that although I took out the butter and put in coconut oil, I've got nothing against a little butter here and there. Coconut oil is supposed to be one of the better fats to eat, and I'm going to top my muffins with a bit of butter anyway so I will still get that melty buttery flavor.

Banana Muffins

This recipe has been modified from its original version and formatted to fit your computer screen. I cut the sugar in half, removed the streusel topping, substituted coconut oil for butter, and oat and almond flour for half of the wheat flour. The resulting texture is a little coarser than we are used to but the flavor is just as delicious as the original version. 

1 cup flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
4 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, oat flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Mix well.

2. In another bowl, combine bananas, brown sugar, egg, and melted coconut oil. (I like to use an electric mixer). Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture slowly, mixing well until just moistened.

3. Spoon into greased muffin pan (coconut oil also makes a great substitute for shortening). Bake for 18-20 minutes at 375 degrees F or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.  Makes about 12 muffins.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Catch Up Night

Well, tonight I am hoping to catch up on all the DaGMT time that I didn't get put in this week. Sunday, we were out of the house all day. Monday I decided to cook dinner. Somehow there never seems to be enough time to cook and sew in the same evening. Tuesday I was out of the house until 8 pm (stupid dentist appointments), and on Wednesday I didn't get home until 8:30 (sewing lessons with Maddie and Bible Study).

Today I came straight home after work. I did not pass go, I did not collect $200 dollars (bummer) and I am now vegging out in my pajamas and big fluffy bright red uber-warm bath robe.

So a few points of interest in the meantime...

(1) If you want to see Robocop, wait until it comes out on DVD for rental. It was decent, but not fabulous. Gary Oldman's character was super awesome.

(2) My boss brought in some polymer clay items that she has been playing with. She also showed me a video on how to make the canes (think Fimo clay). It is pretty epic. She's been working on creating gradients in color that she can use as a reference for the canes she wants to make. Ah, if I only had time for another hobby. It would be great, but I don't have enough time for my current hobbies. Maybe in my next life. And in the meantime, I'm trying to convert her from beading and knitting to quilting.

Clay Color Gradients
(3) I desperately want a digital document scanner (Not. Cheap.) to reduce the paper fluff I've got going on around here, but in the mean time my latest organization innovation involves a trash can and a shredder. The best part is location - right by the front door.

It is far from pretty but now when those stupid credit card applications come in the mail, they go right in the shredder instead of in a pile to be shredded "eventually." And we all know how far away "eventually" is. "Eventually" rolls around about once a year. I plan to "eventually" upgrade to a stand alone cross cut unit that can handle about fifteen sheets at a time instead of the little six sheet shredder (which really means three sheets of paper) that I currently have.  I won't even have to take the junk mail out of the envelope to be shredded.

Ok, I'm off to do all that stuff I usually do right before bed so that I can chill the rest of the night while Jack watches the Red Wing's Game and shouts out the highlights for me!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Finished One Block Wonder Flimsy

I finished piecing the top for my blue one block wonder. This was a quilt along quilt from back in October. I got tired of working on it and moved on to other things. But I really wanted it off my design wall to make room for my A4A quilt, so here it is! It is a small quilt, approximately crib sized.

It kind of reminds me of the ocean, with the blue and greens. I might name it something totally tacky, like Window to the Sea or Anemone or some such nonsense.

I actually have a surprising amount of fabric left over and a few extra blocks. I spent some time fiddling around with the excess but nothing was really speaking to me so I put it all away.

I might just make a matching pillow out of the leftovers and in the meantime, I shall move on to other things.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Medallion Quilts in EQ7

I've been having a lot of fun lately playing around with layouts for medallion quilts using EQ7. I really want to start one of these, but I'm going to attempt to finish a quilt or two before I start another one. The DP9 is probably the closest (just needs borders) and then the kaleidoscope quilt. So in the meantime, I'll keep playing around with layout. Here are some of the layouts I've come up with.

I've been working slowly on getting the kaleidoscope quilt together. It finally came off my design wall. I have two more rows and a border to put on before the flimsy is done.

I guess I should probably stop goofing around with designs and get to some sewing, yes? :)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Aiming for Accuracy Start

Okay I finally started the A4A quilt by Michele Foster at Quilting Gallery. Here are the colors I selected. If you didn't get in on the ground floor when all the patterns were free, Michele is now offering them in a booklet format for $12. I signed up and downloaded all the patterns months ago, it just took me this long to get around to working with them.

I already had the black, white, and red fabrics and I needed one more yard so I choose the blue from my stash to make things pop.

I have the first block done.

This one was fun to play with the various layouts you could get out of HST units but I ended up going with the original plan. The only question way, which color way?

Life is full of tough choices, isn't it?

This block was supposed to be 15.5" square. Mine is 15.375" square. So it seems that I still having some aiming to do to get my accuracy. Oh gee, I guess I'll just have to practice. And practice and practice and practice. What a shame, all those quilts I'm going to have to make. I'm devastated. Heartbroken. Really.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sit Down Sunday

I've been fighting a sore throat for about a week now, and it got really bad after all the running around I did yesterday. Jack wanted me to stay home and it turns out that I probably should have. So today I holed up on the couch and tried to get some rest.

Which meant some Olympics watching and some hand stitching. I worked on the dragon cross stitch and the binding of the Rustic HST Quilt. It was boring. I'm used to getting up and doing Stuff. I like doing Stuff. And I'm usually on my feet when I do Stuff because that is what I'm used to. But today, I had to force myself to sit as much as possible. And take lots of vitamins. Yuk.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Its One of Those Days

This is me today...

Jack came home and saw that I was in a bad mood.

Do you want a hug? he asks me.

How about a nap?

Whats the matter?

Everyone was rude and nasty on the roads, the bakery didn't have my cheesecake, and I'm coming down with flu symptoms. But really. No cheesecake. Who doesn't keep cheesecake stocked on Valentines Day?

But you got cheesecake.

Its raspberry cheesecake. I don't like raspberry cheesecake. Its cheesecake for you.

I'm going to take a nap. Come on, you'll feel better after some sleep.

I think I'm going to leave you alone until you cheer up.

So he's taking a nap and I think I'm going to go do some dishes. Maybe then I'll cheer up enough to be civil.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

New Glasses & Weird Weekends

I picked up my new glasses today. I haven't worn glasses since I was just a munchkin and even then they didn't last too long. I've known I've needed them for a while but have been putting it off.

I'm used to my vision being poor but consistent, so much so that I didn't realize the difference the glasses would make until I tried them on. However, they are anti-fatigue lenses, which are basically fancy bifocals (because one eye is nearsighted and one is farsighted. Go figure.) Which means that instead of being consistently poor, my vision is universally strange, depending on where I look. Honestly, I don't know if I'll  wear them for anything other than driving, but I'm trying to give them a fair shake.

The girl who helped me pick out my frames was awesome, although she did keep pushing frames with a little more "flair" than I really wanted. You know, the thicker frames with a little gold on the hinges or a white crystal on the side "very fashionable" she kept telling me. I ended up with a simple wire frame. The box they came in had enough "flair" for everyone in the room.

Jack has spent a decent amount of time attempting to convince me that they look fine, they'll just take some getting used to.

Anyway, last night I didn't do any sewing. I did, however, drop by my little cousin's house and teach her some sewing machine basics. We wound bobbins, figured out how to thread it, and how to thread the bobbin. I'll probably be spending Wednesday before church service over there, giving her sewing lessons. It will be nice, right now I've got a couple hours between work and Wednesday Bible Study and if I go home before bible study, I usually refuse to leave the house again that night.

And I made the binding for my Rustic HST quilt today. Hoping to sew it on tomorrow and hand stitch it sometime over the weekend.

And then, I'll have a chance to test out my new and awesome labels.

And as a bonus, my poster sized blank newsprint showed up today, so I should be clearing off the dining room table and drafting my first pattern this weekend, in between Valentines Day, another funeral, and a talent show (as an attendee only). Now there is a weird weekend sandwich for you.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Random Acts of Kindness

Another work week past, another weekend to indulge in rampant craftiness!

I started quilting the Rustic HST quilt today. I decided to go with "straight" lines, because I didn't want to complicate the quilt. It is beautiful in its simplicity. By the way, as I'm sure many of you can testify, those "straight" lines never seem to end up quite straight. When I wash the quilt, it should hide most of the waviness. I'm guessing that I have about 20% of the quilting done.

And since one of my readers expressed an interest in the star points on my DaGMT journal, here is my most recent picture of that project.

I also want to express my thanks to those people who engage in Random Acts of Kindness. This morning my car got stuck in the snow, at 6:30 am, on a dark residential street and three people stopped within minutes to help push my car out. Thanks to them I wasn't stranded, waiting for Jack to get there. I hope I get a chance to pay it forward sometime.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Email Issue

I'm no longer receiving emails when comments are made on my posts. I'm very sorry for not getting back to you wonderful readers and am working to fix the problem. The error seems to be stretching back to Feb 1. In the meantime, thank you for stopping by and leaving me feedback. :)

UPDATE: There seems to be a problem with the email host. To overcome this, I have created a new gmail account at which I will receive all emails from this blog. Thanks again for your patience! I am sorry to all those I was not able to reply to because of this problem.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

January in Review and February Goals

Hmm well in review I think that I did okay this past month. I wanted to get my DP9 quilt top put together, which I finished yesterday. Okay, it was a day late, but I'm still counting it for January.

I started putting on the borders last night, and cut the top and bottom borders too short. By two inches, so no amount of fuzzy math and fabric fudging was going to make it work. So I added a little bit to each end, trimmed, and discovered that they were still too short. That is when I packed everything up and called it a night.

Just a quick note - you can't see the border because it blends so well with my curtains but it will have a one inch dark red border and then a two inch black marble border (its a stonehenge fabric I've been dying to use). I don't know if you have been able to tell, but I really like red. :)

In addition, I finished adding the borders to my HST Quilt yesterday.

Final size: 44" x 53" 

I have come to the relatively untested conclusion that measuring for borders across the center of the quilt works best for me. I suppose I will just have to make more quilts to test this hypothesis thoroughly. This one had a variation of half an inch between the top and the bottom (huh? how did that happen?) but it seems to have squared itself up rather nicely.

My January NewFO was my mini block quilt. I made one block from it, as I wanted to. I started a couple others but they weren't working out and I eventually got too irritated and set it aside.

I think this project isn't being worked on because I don't like the colors. They are all saturated and its not coming out the way I had hoped. But I only have one block done, so starting over wouldn't be a big deal. I'm just not sure where I want to take this.

Making my skirt was an epic fail and I didn't even start quilting the neon scrap quilt. I have ordered a book on sewing techniques and one on pattern design and I will probably be spending a decent amount of February working on projects that hone my garmenting skills.

And now, for February Goals (epic intro music here).

A Lovely Year of Finishes

For February ALYoF, I would like to sandwich and quilt the HST quilt. Bonus: binding! I think I have batting floating around here somewhere.

NewFO at Catpatches

I'm actually not sure that I'm going to participate this month because I have so much else going on but, if I did, I would either work on Aiming for Accuracy Quilt, my Black, Red, and Gray quilt, my Halloween twister, or Jack's medallion quilt. So, not a lot of options there, haha.

Project 144

For Project 144 this month, I'm going to work on improving my sewing skills and pattern alteration and drafting skills. I am uncertain what types of projects I will be working on as I will be trying to work from a book I don't have yet. However, I will attempt to modify them so that they are still Ragnarok Worthy in the end.

In My Spare Time

I would still like to quilt the neon quilt and also quilt and bind the train quilt. So no pressure. You know, as much as I despise the Nyan Cat meme, this quilt does remind me of it a little. I may have to call it the Nyan Quilt. *cringe*

Oh and just to make things even more busy, I just acquired this:

The Kona Solids Slate Rock FQ Pack, which I will be using to make a HST/QST quilt in the spirit of the Celebration of the Hand quilt by Angela Flicker.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Drop and Give Me Twenty

Beth Helfter at Quilting Hottie Haven is sponsoring a Drop and Give Me Twenty Challege for the Month of February. Simply put, sew for twenty minutes a day and see how much you can get done. To me, this is sort of like NaNoWriMo for quilters! 

So, here is my official pledge. 

 "I, Kaelyn Angelfoot, owner of too many UFOs and too many brilliant quilting ideas, am joining Quilting Hottie Haven's third annual DaGMT event, and pledge to quilt for least 20 minutes every day of the month of February, 2014. In doing so I hope to eventually make enough quilts to use up my stash and try to take over the world!  And I think Beth Helfter is brilliant for coming up with this concept and inspiring me to join."

I may whip out one of my planned quilts for this and get started on it, just to see how far I can get in twenty minutes a day on a new quilt.