Saturday, March 24, 2012

Rainbow Hash

I call this Rainbow Hash not because it makes you see rainbows after eating it, but because the ingredients are so colorful.  :)  You know, now that I think about it, aren't we encouraged to eat a rainbow of foods?  Apparently this is because the brightly colored foods have nutrients and vitamins that we need.  :)

You'll need:
* 1 pound Red Potatoes
* 1 pound Purple Potatoes
* ½ medium Orange Pepper
* ½ medium Yellow or Sweet Onion
* 1 pound Italian sausage
* 2 Eggs
* ½ cup milk
* Salt and pepper to taste
* 2 Tbsp olive oil

First, dice up your potatoes into ½" cubes, like so:

Note: If you can't find purple potatoes, you can substitute Russet potatoes instead.  Both the Purple and Russet potatoes have a different texture from the Red potatoes and it makes for a nice combination.

Toss the potatoes with 2 Tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper, and if you wish you can add some oregano or thyme.  Place the potatoes in a 9x13 baking dish that has been prepared with nonstick cooking spray, and roast them in the oven for 25 minutes at 425 degrees F.  Stir occasionally to prevent them from sticking and to cook evenly.  They should be fork tender after 25 minutes; if not, put them back in the oven for another 5 minutes or until finished.

While the potatoes are roasting, dice your yellow onion and orange pepper like so:

Set the onion and pepper aside for the moment.  Prepare your eggs to be scrambled: Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk until mostly smooth.  Add the milk, and salt and pepper to taste, then whisk again until the milk is incorporated.

Now, get out your handy dandy cast 12" iron skillet (or any skillet really, I just love my cast iron skillet).  Cook your Italian sausage until all the pink is gone.

Remove the sausage to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside.  Pour off all but 1 Tbsp of the grease from the pan, and saute your onion and pepper until the onion is translucent and the peppers are fragrant.

Once the peppers and onions are done cooking, remove them to the same plate as the sausage and quickly scramble your eggs.  You may need to add a little bit of butter or oil to the pan to cook your eggs so they don't stick, but it won't take much.

Now it's time to toss all your cooked goodness together!  Once your potatoes are finished roasting, combine all the ingredients (potatoes, sausage, peppers and onions, and eggs) into a bowl and gently mix to combine.  Adjust salt and pepper as needed.  Serve and enjoy!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Latest Doll Quilt

I finished another doll quilt this month as part of our forum doll quilt swap.  The idea was to "Design Your Own".  I've designed my own quilt patterns before so that wasn't really a challenge, so I decided to add another dimension to this challenge.  I've seen miniature quilts before but had never made one, so I figured that this was the time to change that.  :)

The photo at the top of the blog is the doll quilt I made for my swapper.  It measures 16" x 16", and each block is 1¾" finished.  Each piece in the log cabin blocks finishes to ¼" wide.  Here are the red centers and the first "log" piece for all 36 blocks, easily contained in the palm of my hand.

And here is one of the finished blocks before assembling them into the quilt top.  Isn't it just too cute?  I'm actually quite surprised (but in a good way) that you can tell it's scrappy.  So often the pattern in the fabric gets lost on such a small scale, but you can actually see the differences in the fabrics.  That's just way cool.  :)

And last but not least, here's a photo to give you a better idea of the scale of this quilt.  I put a dollar coin on top of one of the blocks of the finished quilt.  Look at that!  Isn't that just crazy?

One thing I learned while doing this project is that while the blocks are smaller, there are still a lot of them to sew and it still takes a decent amount of time to sew and press all those pieces.  Just because it's smaller does NOT mean it's quicker LOL.  It was a fun challenge, one I may try again one day.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Who Lost Their Quilt?

Photo courtesy of
I just ran across a story about a quilt that was recovered after a tornado in Piedmont, OK back in May 2011.  It's been well cared for ever since it was found in a field, and the Piedmont Service Center is trying to find the owner so it can be returned.

Here is the news article:
Owners Sought for "Special Quilt" Lost In Tornado

Feel free to share this with anyone you know who would help spread the word.  Let's get this quilt back home to its owner!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Stolen Quilts!

I just learned about Patsy Thompson, a fantastic quilter and fiber artist, whose car was broken into and had several quilts stolen.  You read that right.  Quilts.  More than one.  :(  You can read about it here on her blog:

Patsy's stolen quilts

This photo at the top of this post is of one of her amazing quilts that has been stolen.  You can see photos of other quilts or blocks that were stolen on her blog.

I just don't understand what would make someone steal quilts.  Unfinished ones, at that!  We pour so much of ourselves into our quilts that it feels like a part of ourselves has been lost when they go missing.  I had a quilt get lost in the mail once, so I understand the horrible feeling of having a quilt disappear.  But the feeling of violation Patsy must be feeling by having her car invaded... what a terrible thing.

So please keep your eyes open for these quilts and blocks.  Let's see if we can help to return Patsy's things to her and catch the person who took them.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Not Just For Dolls II

I'm back with more doll quilts!

In the picture above, you see the quilt I made for the Redwork themed swap.  I had never done Redwork before but I have been embroidering since I was about 8 years old.  The fun part was searching online for pictures I could translate into line drawings.  I'm really very proud of this quilt and want to make a bigger one for myself.  Maybe not in reds, maybe in bluework (since I already mentioned that my favorite color is blue).

This is the most recent doll quilt I've made, for our Asian Quilts swap.  I have a big stash of Asian fabrics that I just love... and haven't been able to cut up yet LOL.  This seemed like a fantastic way to dig into that stash and get those creative juices flowing.  The fans are fusible applique, and I made the tassels myself with fringe I bought.  The really fun part for me was the sashiko embroidery.  This was my first attempt at sashiko, and I had a lot of fun with it.  I can see myself doing more in the future.

This is another quilt that involves hand embroidery.  It was from our Crazy Quilt swap, and it was my first attempt at making a crazy quilt.  The fabric in the blocks is silk that I hand dyed, the outer border is cotton however.  I learned that hand embroidery on silk is difficult, the silk fabric is hard to sew through.  I'm not sure if I'll ever do another silk crazy quilt, though cotton should be just fine.  :)

Last, but not least, is my quilt from the Wholecloth Quilt swap.  Like all the other quilts on this page, this was my first try at making a wholecloth quilt.  I designed the pattern myself, and I like how it turned out.  Do I want to do a whole big quilt this way?  I'm not so sure.  I get too frustrated at myself when my quilting designs aren't "perfect".  I am afraid that if I made a large wholecloth quilt, all I'd see are the flaws.  For now, I'm content to leave things well enough alone LOL.

So, how about you....  Do you have any new techniques you're dying to try?  Why not make a doll quilt and see how you like it?  Your doll quilt should be somewhere in the range of 16" - 20" per side, so not too big but big enough to get a feel for the new technique.

Comment below and tell me what new techniques you are going to try.  And if you have photos, please share!!  :)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Not Just For Dolls

Doll quilts aren't just for dolls any more.  Because of their small size, they are perfect for trying out new techniques without committing to making a large project.  They're made up in a matter of days instead of weeks, they take only a small amount of materials and time, and if you don't like the project or the technique you know you don't have to put up with it for long.  LOL!

My online quilting forum, The Quilting Bee, has been hostessing monthly doll quilt swaps.  Each month there is a different theme, and these themes range from a color or seasonal topic to learning new techniques.  Take the quilt at the top of this post.  It was from our Winter Or Christmas themed swap.  I let the fabrics do most of the work for me on this one, and it turned out really quite cute.

This quilt was from our Teddy Bear themed swap.  I'm not normally a teddy bear kind of person, but this was a perfect theme for me to try my hand at needle turn applique.  I had only recently learned a new needle turn technique and wanted to use it in a project.  I liked it so much that I went on to make a crib quilt that was primarily applique!

One misconception is that small quilts need to be made with teeny tiny pieces in order to look like a small version of a full sized quilt, but in truth doll quilts don't have to be made of teeny tiny pieces.  Take this one for example:

I made the doll quilt out of a single "normal sized" quilt block.  The theme of this swap was "Winter Blues", which in itself is not a challenge for me as blue is my favorite color.  I have LOTS of blue fabrics and LOTS of experience using blues LOL.  So I chose to make this an entirely hand made project.  I pieced the top by hand.  I quilted it by hand.  I even attached the binding completely by hand!  Never once did a sewing machine touch this quilt.  I was so proud of it!  But what did I learn?  I hate attaching a binding to the front of the quilt by hand, and I will always do it by machine from now on!  :)