Wednesday, April 30, 2014

HST Sampler Blocks 5 and 6

I went the extra mile and made two sampler blocks this week.

Thanks to chain piecing, these really go together fast.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Diaper Clutch Tutorial and a Cute Gift for a Baby Girl

After five babies, I appreciate the value of a simple diaper clutch.  I loved having one to put in my diaper bag.  It kept the diapers and wipes clean, easy to find, and in good condition.  As my baby got a little older and no longer needed a full fledged diaper bag, it was nice to have one of these ready to grab when we were on the go, or when I needed to drop him off at a sitter.

I have a friend who is also my neighbor and a relative (sort of - - our husbands are cousins), who is having a baby girl any day now.  So, I decided to whip up one of these simple diaper clutches for her and her sweet new addition.  While I was at it, I snapped a few pictures and decided to write up a tutorial on how to make these quick and easy diaper clutches.

First cut two pieces of coordinating fabric into 12" x 21" pieces.

Now layer the pieces on top of each other, wrong sides together, and measure in 2 1/2 inches from one of the top corners.  Cut out a triangular shaped section on the diagonal.  (This will make more sense when you look at the next two pictures.

To ensure that both of my sides match.  I take the side that I have cut and fold the fabric in half, lengthwise - then cut the other half of the fabric along my cutting line.

This is how it will look when the cutting it done.

Take your lining fabric and a piece of sew on velcro (loop side).  Pin the velcro in place in the center of the  piece of fabric about 1" down from the top.  My piece of velcro was about 3 1/2", but it could be a little longer or shorter and it wouldn't make much difference.  Sew the velcro in place.

Next, match your fabrics up, right sides together.  Pin in place and sew around all four sides leaving about a 2 - 3 inch opening for turning.  Make sure you backstitch as you start and end the seam.  I used a 1/4" seam allowance here, but a 1/2" seam allowance will work too.

Turn the fabric right side out and work out the corners.  Press the entire piece well, then fold up the bottom of the piece 7 inches.

Fold the top piece down to determine where you want your hook side of the velcro.  Pin the velcro in place and then double check that it is where you want it.  Unfold the entire piece and sew the velcro in place.

Fold the bottom of the piece up again, 7 inches and pin both sides in place.

Top stitch around the entire clutch.  I used a scant 1/4" seam allowance, because I wanted to be sure to completely close the opening I had left for turning. ( It may be easier to use a full 1/2" seam to sew the two pieces of fabric together and then a full 1/4" for top-stitching.)

Here is the completed clutch.  Cute, but I felt it needed a little something more.

I sewed on a cute pink button and it is perfect!

It has lots of room inside for plenty of diapers and small package of wipes.

I wrapped it up in a basket with additional diapers, some baby wash, and a fun book.

And I added a little ribbon embellishment to the basket just for fun.  I love it when gift packaging can do double duty as something useful after the gift has been removed.

A simple, roomy diaper clutch and a cute baby gift.  Hopefully the new mommy will be pleased.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

HST sampler quilt #4

Checking in with this week's HST sampler quilt block.

Definitely not perfect - but remember I am not aiming for perfection with this quilt.  It is just for fun and experience so - no nit-picking please!! ;)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I got this recipe for sour cream coffee cake from a former boss of mine years ago, and with a couple of tweaks, to me, it is the perfect recipe.  It is moist and light, but still has a richness and density that I associate with coffee cake.  It is the only one I have made for years.  Love it!!

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
Cream together butter, sugar, and eggs with electric mixer.  Fold in sour cream and vanilla.  Stir in (by hand) dry ingredients.  Spoon 1/2 the batter into a greased tube pan.  Sprinkle with 1/2 the topping, then spoon the remaining batter into the pan.  Top with the rest of the topping.  Pull knife through the batter to swirl.  Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 10 minutes.  Let cool completely before serving.  
* I usually make this in a a 9 x 13 pan and decrease bake time to about 45 minutes.  Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs.

We love this coffee cake and hope you do too.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Preschool "Mom and Me" Day and HST sampler block #3

Today is my four-year-old's preschool mom and me day.  Mom and me day is a chance for the preschooler and their mom (or other adult) to teach the preschool how to do something.  We have decided to do Simon Says Art with the kids.  This is a favorite activity at our house.

They are also allowed to bring a treat for the other preschoolers on their mom and me day, so, with Easter being this Sunday, we made up some of these old favorites.

They are just whole grain goldfish crackers in disposable pastry bags tied with green ribbon.  Simple, but fun at this time of year.

In addition, I also completed another HST sampler block.  I really like this one.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

HST Sampler Block #2

Just checking in to show you the HST sampler block I came up with this week.

I really love these fabrics and it has been fun working with them again.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Homemade Chocolate Malted Crunch Ice Cream

If you are a fan of chocolate malt, then this delicious and easy recipe for chocolate malted crunch ice cream is sure to be a hit.  This recipe is designed for a four-quart ice cream maker, so you may need to adjust accordingly to the size of maker you are using.

We enjoy this most straight out of the ice cream freezer at soft serve consistency.  The malted milk balls are still crunchy and provide a great texture.  After the ice-cream has ripened (hardened in the freezer) the malted milk balls tend to dissolve somewhat and lose some of their crunch, but it is still very delicious and worth every calorie.  If you choose to ripen the ice-cream before serving, you may want to reserve some of malted milk pieces for sprinkling over the top.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Chocolate Malted Crunch Ice Cream

1 1/2 cup sugar
1/3 - 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (according to taste)
3 cups whipping cream
1 1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup lightly crushed chocolate malted milk balls

In canister of a 4 quart ice cream freezer combine sugar and cocoa powder.  Add the cream, milk, vanilla, and salt and whisk until well combined and the sugar is dissolved.  Place lid on canister and freeze according to manufacturers directions.  When finished, stir in the crushed malted milk balls.

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