About Me

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Sewing and cooking are two of my favorite things. In the past, I often found myself searching for pictures and details of projects I have done, without success. So I decided to start documenting my creations. Then my son suggested I add my recipes to the blog so that they are documented also.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Basting a Quilt with a Microstitch Gun

In the past I have made quilts using the 'quilt as you go' method and thus never had the issue of how to hold the quilt top, batting and backing together while quilting the item.  But I have started to quilt the conventional way of piecing the top first and then quilting the backing and batting after it has been sandwiched.  In my first item the  Pumpkin Runner I used adhesive spray to hold the layers together and then free motion quilted it without any problems. However I next had a twin size quilt and a long runner to quilt and did not think that the spray basting was a good solution.  I knew I was not going to hand baste them and really did not think I wanted to pin baste either.  So I started asking other quilters what they do and an employee at my local quilt shop suggested gun basting.  I bought the Microstitch gun shown above on Amazon.com for around $20 and it came with 1200 plastic tacks.

The premise of the gun is that you place the needle through all layers, squeeze the handle and it puts a plastic tack in the hole that holds the pieces together.  One has to hold the item off the surface so that the tack can have space to go through the 3 layers.  Thus you have to hold the bottom layer up with your hand but this could have the potential of sticking your fingers with the needle and tack.  So my hubby had a 2' X 4' ceiling light grid that I employed to keep my quilt up off the surface of my rotary mat. First I laid my mat on my cutting table and then hung the center of my runner over the center of the table with the sides hanging over.  This allowed me to smooth all layers; backing right side down, batting and top right side up.

Once my runner was sandwiched and stretched I slipped the lighting grid on top of the rotary mat and under the runner layers.  I then smoothed out all the layers again. As you can see below, this allows the item to be easily stretched over the grid.
Now I could easily place the needle of the gun into the sandwich through a hole of the grid, allowing the tack to be placed appropriately without having the needle hit the mat below.  I placed my tacks about 3-4 inches apart and approximated the distance by laying my hand flat next to the tack that had been placed.
I used about 720 tacks for a twin sized quilt (about $3 worth) and 150 tacks for the runner shown above.  The tacks hold the quilt together well and I was able to free motion quilt without having the layers shift. Also I was able to sew right over the tacks without any problems. After my quilting was done, I sewed my binding on and then easily snipped the tacks from the backing side. It took about 1 and 1/2 hours to tack baste the twin quilt and 20 minutes to do the runner.  It took about the same time to remove the tacks. 
Thus far, I am a fan of gun basting a quilt.  I plan to use this method for any new quilting projects.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Easy Apple Bundles

I have recently seen recipes for appletarts made from strips of pie dough or crescent rolls so here is my variation.  These make up in minutes and bake for 13 minutes; you can eat them warm or reheat for 10 seconds in the microwave.

You need:
1 tube of crescent rolls
1/2  stick of butter, melted
1 large apple, peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges
Mixture of 1 tsp cinammon and 1/4 cup sugar

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  If using a convection oven, I use 365 degrees. So first I mix 1 teaspoon of cinammon and 1/4 cup of sugar in a small bowl.  If you use a smaller bowl it is easier to roll the bundle and not chase the sugar mixture around a large plate.  Next melt the butter in a microwave safe dish. I roughly peel the apple and then I use an apple wedge tool that cores and cuts the wedges all at the same time. Now I am ready to open the crescent roll tube.  Take each
triangle and lay a wedge on the wide end and then roll it up. 
Now take the bundle and roll it in the melted butter and next dip lightly in the sugar/cinammon mixture. I have successfully used Splenda Baking Mix in place of sugar. Place the bundles on a cookie sheet; I always use parchment paper because the sugar tends to carmelize and over brown when placed on the sheet directly. 


Place the apple bundles in the preheated oven and bake for 13 minutes.  Serve warm or reheat in microwave for 10 seconds when ready to serve.  Great when served with with vanilla bean ice cream!