Monday, March 25, 2013

Minnie Mouse Birthday Shirt

My almost 3 year old is more into Disney than my other kids ever were. A Minnie Mouse themed birthday shirt seemed like the right choice for her. I found the Minnie Mouse print first, but cutting out a three, not much of Minnie would show. Small prints work best with the number shirts.

A red polka dot was a better choice for a three. I considered adding a Minnie Mouse ruffle to the shirt and a pair of pants. My little one loves dresses and skirts and I had just the right amount of Minnie Mouse fabric for a full skirt. I added more red polka dot on the bottom edge and some black ribbon on the seam.

Now we are all set for 3!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Carrot Pineapple Muffins

A pregnant friend was coming to town and requested low glycemic offerings if possible.  I didn't know much about that, but thought I could look at some recipes.  Avoiding sugar and white flour seemed like good bets.

I found this first recipe using dates and bananas for sweetening.  That sounded interesting.  I wanted to add pineapples to the recipe as well and sought out other recipes like this one.  Finally I decided to combine parts of each and create a new recipe.

Doubling a muffin recipe is usually a good idea for my family, especially if I plan to take the majority out of the house.

First blend together
20 dates
2 cups of mashed banana (about 3 bananas)

In a bowl combine the banana dates mixture with
2 eggs
2 Tbsp of olive oil
2 tsp vanilla

add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger

2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup oat flour (blended oats in blender)

Finally fold in
3 cups of shredded carrots
1 cup of golden raisins
1 cup of drained crushed pineapple (loses almost half by draining, I started with a 20 oz can)

Divide batter into sprayed muffin pans.  I got 24 mini muffins and 12 regular sized muffins.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 14 minutes for minis and 23 for regular.  They are done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

These muffins came out very sweet, moist and delicious!  I bet I could reduce the dates further.

Nutrition facts are for one regular sized muffin.  Mini muffins would be halved.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Quilted Name Tag

For my Modern Quilt Guild, we were asked to make ourselves a name tag for meetings.  I had missed a couple meetings, but wanted to get to the next one.  I had wanted to try a landscape quilt and figured making a super mini quilt as a name tag would be a great way to practice.

Because this won't be washed, I was less concerned about raw edges.  I went with fusing the layers with iron on fusing and lots of stitching.

I made lines on the blue water and did pebbling on the grey.  After quilted the mini quilt, it seemed too big.  I cut it down a little and added my name and made tiny spirals.  It was nice to use my regular machine for free motion quilting and see that I can make careful stitches, even with a wiggly girl in my lap.  I had used my new HQ 16 for spirals the day before and noticed they were not very smooth.  More practice at playing with the different speeds will probably make a big difference.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Rainbow Shamrock Mini Quilt

I had no intention of making a St. Patrick's Day quilt, I didn't even have any themed fabric.  But when I saw this rainbow shamrock fabric at 50% off, I was drawn to it.  The rainbow fabric inspired me the most and I purchased solid fat quarters to coordinate.

I started with a 16.5" square of the rainbow fabric and added a shamrock, with an additional white shamrock outlining the green.  Then I made 2.5" strips of the rainbow solids.  I hadn't ever needed this trick before, but it sure works nicely.  After sewing strips together, I cut across them making rows of squares.  The squares are even and it was much faster than putting tiny squares together.

When I practice free motion quilting on small quilt sandwiches, it really doesn't have the same effect as on a bigger piece.  I wondered if I could have success using my new HQ 16 beast for this small project.  I tried out some spirals and echo quilting and my stitches were not too even.  This was the perfect project for trying things out and realizing I need even more time practicing.  It seems so different on the HQ 16 because I set the speed and then just go.  With my regular machine, I slow down and speed up depending on what I'm doing.  I did make spiral shamrocks at each corner which are somewhat recognizable.

After finishing the mini quilt, I had a bunch of rainbow squares leftover.  I split them each down the middle and have been playing around with what to do with them.  I may make a small rainbow wall hanging, we'll have to see.

Friday, March 8, 2013

9 Year Old Birthday Party

"9" Birthday Shirt
My daughter's ninth birthday was rapidly approaching. I sat down with her to plan out a party. Her first choice was a sleepover party, but I decided we all are not quite ready for that. Sydney suggested make your own pizzas, doing their nails and some crafts. I added decorating cupcakes. We took a trip to JoAnns to get ideas for crafts. She chose a felt sewing kit as an idea and making personalized name bracelets.

We scheduled the party for a Sunday afternoon through dinner time. As the four guests arrived, we started with the cupcake decorating. My daughter and I had prepared buttercream frosting and mixed a few colors. We set up purple for frosting and a few decorating bags. Some girls spent a long time decorating while others stuck to more simple designs. I set the cupcakes aside on a tray for later.

Next we made pizzas. Each girl received a mini pizza shell on a dinner plate. I had many toppings and tomato sauce. The majority just wanted cheese so that was easy.

letter beads, SydneyWhile we waited for dinner, it was time to make bracelets. Each girl got a wire about twice as long as needed. We had letter beads and many different colored glass beads. A small paper plate kept beads from rolling everywhere.  Once they were done, they headed to the basement to play Just Dance while I attached the clasps.

Then it was time for pizza!  The girls enjoyed their custom pizzas and chatted about what to do next.  We still had nails to do and another project.  Sydney explained the choices.  It was decided that nails were next!

We have a decent collection of polish and nail art accessories.  Some girls felt very comfortable doing their own nails, while others wanted some help.  My daughter and another asked for leopard spots, so I did those.  Another wanted black polka dots, I helped with that too.

After the nails were dry, they played a bit more, then we had the cupcakes.

Finally, we moved onto opening presents and nearby we had the last craft project set up.  These nine and eleven year old girls were quite self sufficient.  We had felt, printed felt, embroidery floss, ribbon, and jewel stickers.  My daughter planned to make little layered squares with her initial on it.  I also made up an example of a tiny tote bag with a ribbon handle.  Most of the girls made the little totes.  It was also nice to see the experienced sewers helping the less experienced.
letter, initial, mini tote bag for doll

Our party was three and a half hours long and it was just right.  I wasn't sure if we had too many sit down activities, but for this group, it was the perfect party.  The two little breaks when they went in the basement and had some free time seemed to balance it all out.