22 April 2011

rainbow cake

Ace recently celebrated his birthday.  The day before the party, I saw a picture of this cake
It's a Bobbette & Belle cake. I saw it on Pinterest, which means I saw it all tiny and so was initially under the impression that the ruffles of frosting were M&Ms.  Which made me think "that's awesome.  I want to do a rainbow one for Ace!"

I called Ace's fiance to see if someone was already making a cake and discovered that the job was available.  The schedule was a bit tight for baking since I had many plans, but I figured I could buy the cake and just refrost it.
The grocery store provided all I needed.  The chocolate cheesecake came cheap and they had the full spectrum of generic M&Ms in their bulk candy aisle.

Since blue is Ace's favorite color, I decided the center of the cake would be red so that the outside would be lots & lots of blue.

There was a massive amount of frosting on the cake and I was glad to scrape it off as I'm sure it was full of the cheapest shortening man can buy.  I made up some fresh cream cheese frosting by whipping 1 package of cream cheese with 1/2 stick of butter.  I then stirred in 1 cup of powdered sugar.

The cake then got a thin layer of frosting and the fun of pushing in concentric circles of candy began. I used a cup to mark a circle at the center of the cake so that it would start out even.  Once the red and orange were in, it was easy to keep the rings symmetrical and lovely.

It was a hit!

Craftsy: Free Cake Decorating Classes

13 April 2011

I bought this.

I don't generally do "I bought this" posts, but a whole bolt of Kona Curry? That's worth sharing!

I got a good deal on the fabric because I was buying the whole bolt (20 yards!) and I know someone who runs a little fabric shop (thanks, Brenda!)

The Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild is doing a solids challenge, and this bolt of Kona Curry is going to be a big part of the quilt I'm making.

Speaking of the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild. I made their new logo. What do you think?
"Put a tree on it" is to Ann Arbor as "put a bird on it" is to the world of hipster crafts.

I actually made two logo suites and we all voted. I was the only person to prefer this one:
I love the dirtiness.  Oh well, maybe another modern quilt guild is in search of a logo?  As long as the city name isn't too much longer or shorter than 9 letters, Ann Arbor could easily be changed to something else, I'm happy to edit and send the logo along. 
Update:  The thread logo is on its way to Amarillo!

11 April 2011

and the winner is....

Kristy! (check your email!)

08 April 2011

Blocks that don't want to be in big quilts.

On the one hand, I love bed-sized quilts.
On the other hand, I think that a lot of blocks look better in small quilts, where there aren't so many blocks that busyness takes over.

For example, I   L-O-V-E  this mini quilt by Amanda (msmcporkchop).  But I also think it is perfect as just this one block. Any more, and it would be too much. 

Oregon Star
(block and photo by msmcporkchop, seen on flickr)

I've also noticed that I sometimes make blocks that look good in multiples, but only in one long strip.  Or in a small 2x2 square.

What do I do with these?  I put them in a dresser drawer to hobnob with other temporarily-set-aside friends.

Last fall, when Interweave Press asked me if I could could write a table-runner and placemat pattern for them, my first reaction was to be flattered they had asked, followed quickly by confusion as to why they would ask me for patchwork that wasn't blanket-oriented.  I am so blanket-oriented. Lately, only big blankets.

Then I remembered my orphaned blocks, some of which looked good in long strips, but not in anything larger, and I realized I already had a table runner design waiting for me in my dresser.

So I pulled out the blocks, which were too small and too short, but quite interesting.  And I made another set of blocks--bigger and longer and better.  And I wrote down how to do it.  And I made a few placemats to go with the tablerunner.  And I sent the explanation and runner and placemats off to Interweave.  I had no idea if they'd like what I had to offer, since the pattern is (a) improvisational, (b) stack-and-whack, and (c) stark. 

But they did like it.  And so I'm pleased to announce its in 101 Patchwork Projects and Quilts.

I've just received my own copies in the mail and am rather impressed with this magazine.  It is jam-packed with cool projects, not to mention quite a few names I recognize: Esch House Quilts (Debbie), A Stitch in Dye (Malka), Summersville (Lucie), The Quilt Engineer (Latifah), Film in the Fridge (Ashley) and I Heart Linen (Rashida).  Also, really nice paper; this magazine will hold up under use!

 Keep your eyes open for the magazine at the shops and give it a look when you see it!  It should be for sale next week.

In the meantime, I've got an extra copy that I will give away to one lucky person. 

They sent me three copies, so I figure one for me, one for you, and one for my Grandma (a granddaughter in a quilting magazine is bragging GOLD in her nursing home. )

To enter,  leave a comment on this post and I will pull a winner on Monday morning.

03 April 2011

Stuffed Mushrooms

My friend Miranda makes the most wonderful stuffed mushrooms.  When she moved out of town this summer, I remembered to complain vociferously to her about the loss of her from our soccer team, and from happy hour martini time, and from our regular games of cribbage, but I forgot to complain that she was taking my mushrooms away.

I remembered just last month when I started craving them.  Luckily, while you can't play soccer or cribbage on the phone, you can relay recipes.   I was thrilled to discover that I could recreate her magic in my own kitchen.  These mushrooms are just so crabby and yummy; I've never had stuffed mushrooms like them!

To experience this bliss, follow this recipe...

(0) Preheat oven to 350

Chop up:
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1/3 cup roasted red peppers
2 cloves garlic
1 small yellow onion (optional)

(1) Saute on medium heat approximately 5 minutes.

Then add:
1 can of crabmeat
4 ounces cream cheese
4 ounces feta crumbles
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 cup fresh spinach, de-stemmed and chopped
ground pepper (optional)

(2) Stir until cream cheese gets gooey, then remove pan from heat.  This is your stuffing.

(3) Wash 8 portabella mushrooms by wiping down with wet cloth, then de-gill them with a spoon.  Brush outsides of mushroom with olive oil, place mushrooms in even layer in pyrex pan or baking sheet.  Fill mushrooms with stuffing.

(4) Bake for approximately 30 minutes (time varies based on size of mushrooms, bake until they are hot but not drying).

(5) Add slices of provolone cheese to tops of mushrooms, bake for 5 more minutes.

(6) Serve hot!

As a side note:  leftover mushrooms are delicious chopped up, sauteed, and served on pasta.