Crazy Quilt Recycled Denim jacket

crazy quilt denim coat

crazy quilt denim coat

I have used all sorts of denim pieces in this jacket, in the CQ style, utilizing some pockets and labels too. I’ve made a number of these jackets and find they’re a great way to use up denim! I’ve also attempted knitting with denim strips too, which isn’t something I would highly recommend. I liked the end result, but my hands didn’t!

via MAGPIE’S MUMBLINGS: Recycled Denim jacket.

I love this idea. I also admire crazy quilting, especially the traditional style using rich fabrics, embroidery, beads, lace and other gorgeous things for trim and extra embellishments.

Warm Your Feet with Slippers this Winter

My Mother has decided to make slippers for Christmas this year. She knits. I crochet and sew. We have tried two patterns found online so far. One did work but the slippers are pretty huge and floppy. I do like the chocolate brown colour she knit them in. They remind me of the sweater she knit me when I was still in high school, same colour and same style of knit.

We have looked at a lot of patterns. Some just don’t look right. Some are too cute for me to consider – maybe if I were still a child. Some patterns look so complicated I don’t think I’d want to start them as just a light-hearted project. But, a few look great. One I especially like but it’s a knit pattern and we need to get out and buy a set of four knitting needles for it. We haven’t done that yet. (It’s on the to-do list).

This whole winter slipper project started because I have bought so many slippers and then found them disappointing. One pair actually lasted a second winter, but then I decided to get a fresh pair and used the pink furry stuff they were made from for a holiday gingerbread man I was sewing up. If I had known those were the last slippers I would find to be good, I would have kept them. I bought three other pairs after that. All of them fell apart, became worn out or were awful because they didn’t have some tread – especially bad when the floors are a bit wet in the kitchen or bathroom.

So on the project goes. Between the two of us we will create a great pair of slippers, one method or another. I haven’t bought a pattern book, but looking online does make it tempting. I found one pair made from felt, those look warm and toasty for a cold winter.

One interesting thing I’ve discovered – in the US people leave their shoes on in the house. As a Canadian this sounds really odd. We take our shoes off at the door. That’s why we wear slippers in the house. Or, socks or just bare feet, if we don’t have slippers to put on.

Pincushions: Make Them, Collect Them and Use Them

teacup pincushionPincushions are functional, decorative and the best way to keep your sewing pins from winding up in various odd places around the house. If you don’t sew you could collect hat pins and use a fabulous pincushion to display them.

The first pincushion I remember using was my Grandmother’s standard tomato-strawberry pincushion. It was red with green embroidery, Made in China. Hers had two strawberries, hanging from the side.

That pincushion design started in the Victorian era. It probably came from the idea of having a tomato on the hearth for good luck in the home. When tomatoes were not available families would use a red ball stuffed with sawdust. At some point it became used to hold pins while the ladies were sewing. (There was a lot of hand sewing in those days).

I don’t know if my Grandmother’s pincushion was stuffed with sawdust. But the old way was to stuff the tomato with wool roving to prevent the pins from getting rusty. The attached strawberry was filled with abrasive to clean and sharpen the pins.

Pincushions are one of the pretty extras you can use when you sew. You can sew without using a pincushion. Just as you don’t really need a thimble, but the pincushion is tradition, adds history and elegance to the event. I don’t wear an apron when I cook, but I still like to look at patterns for sewing them and embellishing them. It’s not about what you need but more about what you want.

The pincushion needs to be the right size to not get in the way of your work, yet it has to hold a good load of pins as you work. It should have stuffing which is tightly packed so your pins don’t wobble around or sink right through up to their heads. I’ve seen very pretty pincushions which would be decorative but not very functional. If you buy a pincushion make sure it’s more than just a pretty face.

See More Pincushion Designs

Buttercream Barbie: Fluffy Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls

Fluffy Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls

Makes 12

2 cups buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup sugar

1 tbsp active dry yeast or 1 pkg.

4 1/2 cups all purpose flour (divided)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Filling (combine first 4 ingredients)

3/4 cup light brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Pinch of table salt

1 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons butter, softened

  1. Mix the buttermilk, vegetable oil and sugar in a saucepan and heat on the stove until lukewarm (105-110 degrees). Remove from heat then stir in dry yeast. Let this mixture sit for a few minutes to let the yeast bloom.

  2. Add 4 (of the 4 1/2 cups) of flour to the buttermilk mixture and stir well (no need to knead, just mix well). Dough at this stage will be extremely sticky and more like a thick batter. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place for an hour.

  3. In a small, separate bowl, mix the final 1/2 cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. After the sticky dough has rested/raised for an hour, stir it down and add this final half cup flour mixture. Mix until well incorporated – this just takes a minute.

  4. Turn batter (which will still be quite soft and sticky) out onto WELL-floured counter and roll the dough around a few times, coating the surface with flour so it is not so sticky. Roll (or pat) dough out into a rectangle that is about 1/2″ thick. Spread dough surface with 2 tablespoons butter then evenly spread on the filling ingredients and top with nuts (pat the nuts into the sugar a little). Roll up, jellyroll style, keeping it as tight as you can. Pinch the seam shut tightly. Cut into 1 1/2″ slices and lay them, cut side down, in a greased 9×13 baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.

  5. Bake in pre-heated 375 degree F oven for about 20 minutes or until golden and sound hollow when you tap on them. Drizzle with a simple icing sugar/milk glaze while still warm.

via Buttercream Barbie: Fluffy Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls.

Buttercream Barbie: Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls

Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls

Makes 12 | adapted from Cooking Classy

3 very ripe bananas

1 tsp lemon juice

2/3 cup milk

3 Tbsp butter, diced

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 large egg yolk

3 3/4 cups bread flour, divided

1 Tbsp cornstarch

3/4 tsp baking powder

6 Tbsp butter, melted

3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Cream Cheese Frosting

6 oz. cream cheese, softened

6 Tbsp butter, softened

2 1/4 cups powdered sugar

2 – 3 tsp milk

Rolls

  1. Puree bananas in a food processor with 1 tsp lemon juice until mixture is smooth and no chunks remain, set aside (you should have just over 1 1/3 cups pureed bananas).

  2. Heat milk and 3 Tbsp butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Cook stirring occasionally until butter has melted. Remove from heat and pour mixture into the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Whisk in vegetable oil and allow mixture to cool to 110 degrees F. Whisk in yeast, stirring until dissolved and allow to rest 5 minutes. With the paddle attachment, mix in granulated sugar, salt, egg yolk, 2 cups bread flour and pureed bananas. Switch mixer to a hook attachment, add 1 1/2 cups bread flour and sprinkle in cornstarch, then knead mixture on medium low speed until a smooth and elastic dough forms (dough will be sticky). Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

  3. In a small bowl whisk together light-brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and nuts (if using). Set aside. In a separate small bowl, whisk together remaining 1/4 cup bread flour and baking powder. Return bowl with dough to electric stand mixer, pour in flour/baking powder mixture and knead dough with hook attachment until mixture is well blended and smooth. Roll dough out on a floured surface (dough should be slightly sticky so I floured the surface fairly generously) to a 16 x 20 inch rectangle. Using the back of a spoon, spread 6 Tbsp melted butter evenly over the top of the dough. Sprinkle top evenly with brown sugar mixture and spread into an even layer, coming within a 1/2 inch of all edges.

  4. Starting on the 16″ side, snugly roll dough to opposite end. Cut rolled dough into 12 equal pieces. Arrange rolls in a buttered 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Cover baking dish and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (I do this during the last 10 minutes of rising) and bake rolls in preheated oven for 22 – 26 minutes until golden. Cool slightly then frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric and mixer, whip together cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Pour in milk and mix until well blended.

via Buttercream Barbie: Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

red velvet cheesecakeRed Velvet Cheesecake Cake
Yields: 1 3-layer cake
Original recipe here.
 
For the cheesecake:
2 oz. white chocolate, chopped
16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature (2 packages)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsn. sugar
1 tbsn. flour
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsn. heavy cream
 
For the cake:
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsn. cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsn./ 1 oz. red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. white distilled vinegar
 
For the cream cheese frosting:
16 oz. cream cheese/ 2 blocks, room temperature
8 tbsn./ 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
 
Preheat the oven to 350 F. To make the cheesecake, melt the white chocolate, set aside to cool slightly. In a large bowl using an electronic mixer, mix the cream cheese on low speed until creamy. Add the sugar and mix slowly until smooth. On low speed, mix in the flour. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl and beater with a rubber spatula. Add one egg at a time, mixing well after each addition, scraping the sides of the bowl. Mix in the vanilla and cream until the mixture is smooth. Using a large spoon, stir in the melted white chocolate until incorporated. Pour the batter into a parchment paper lined 9-inch spring form pan. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the center is set when you slightly shake the pan. Allow to cool before removing from the spring form pan. Allow to cool completely before assembling the cake.
 
For the cake, preheat the oven to 350 F. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa and salt into a medium bowl. Beat the eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide the batter evenly between 2 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, rotating halfway through, until an inserted toothpick in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool for 10 minutes, then invert each onto a plate, then invert again onto a cooling rack and let them cool completely, then level.


To make the cream cheese frosting, cream together the cream cheese and butter in a stand mixer until creamy and smooth. Turn the mixer on low and add the vanilla and salt. Then add the powdered sugar slowly. Once mostly incorporated, turn back to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy. To assemble the cake, place your bottom layer of cake on the dish/ plate you will be serving it on with the leveled side facing up. Spread a thin layer of cream cheese frosting on top – it doesn’t matter how messy it looks since it will be covered. Transfer the cheesecake to the top of the cake, then spread another thin layer of cream cheese frosting on top of the cheesecake. Top with the remaining layer of cake – leveled side down so that you have a clean surface. Use the rest of the cream cheese frosting to frost the entire cake. Enjoy!