...I am so happy to report that I finished piecing my January UFO (quilting to happen this month). I think this quilt came out fantastic and is more stunning than what I expected. I love the blacks and whites! Quilt book and pattern information can be found here on a previous post. String quilts can use up so much thread. I bet I changed my bobbin at least 12 times! No matter I still love it.
I was in a dilemma about the borders. I didn't want anything too fancy that might take away from the quilt, but didn't want just black borders either. I had thought about extending the side half diamonds into the border but that was going to take making 44 MORE squares and I was already wanting this quilt to end. Julie over at Julie's Quilts and Costumes commented about the same idea of extending the diamonds and it made me thank about it again. Thank your Julie, your comment moved me in the right direction.
So I cut out 44 more stabilizer squares, 44 more black center pieces (which I had to re-design since I only wanted half a diamond and border section). I rummaged through my stash and found more black and white fabric and hoped the 7 inches of sparkly white fabric I had remaining for the outside of diamond was going to be enough. So I made these which is one fourth of a diamond and what I hoped would be a black border. Well, I made one at first....
Then two...and laid them out....then remembered I had to do mirror images when I sewed them together. (Glad I thought of that before I started sewing..whew). Happy with these two and what I hoped to accomplish in my mind, I sewed on...and on...and on. When I had all 44 completed I had a 1 inch strip left of my sparkly white fabric and was digging through the garbage can for black and white scraps I had discarded. But I had enough to finish!!!
here is my finished quilt top! I was very pleased with the way the half diamond and black fabric created my border and surrounded the quilt.
I plan on bringing it to Show and Tell this morning at my LQS for our monthly "Strip Club" get together.
I'm glad this project is pieced. Now I need to go shopping for more black and white fabric! Aw...the tragedies of quilting!
Now...on to other things.
Since it is Mardi Gras season I thought a King Cake recipe would be appropriate. Mardi Gras is one thing I do miss about living in Louisiana. It's such a fun and happy time!
My niece, Angela, sent me this recipe named
As Close As You Will Get To A Louisiana King Cake Outside of Louisiana King Cake Recipe
or I'll just call
Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe
Ingredients: (makes two cakes)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
5 1/2 cups All Purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup All Purpose flour
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon water
Green, yellow, purple food coloring
Scald milk and remove from heat. Stir in 1/4 cup butter. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. In a large bowl dissolve yeast in the warm water with 1 tablespoon of the white sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
When yeast mixture is bubbling, add the cooled milk mixture, whisk in the eggs, stir in remaining white sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Beat the flour into the milk/egg mixture 1 cup at a time. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and kneed until smooth and elastic, about 8 - 10 minutes.
Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough in the bowl turning to coat dough with oil. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Punch down and divide dough in half.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 2 cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
Combine brown sugar, ground cinnamon, chopped pecans, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup raisins. Pour 1/2 cup melted butter over the cinnamon mixture and mix until crumbly.
(Cream cheese and/or fruit pie filling with the pecans, cinnamon and brown sugar also makes an excellent filling and is very popular in the New Orleans area)
Putting it all together:
Roll dough halves out into large rectangles approximately 10 x 16 inches. Sprinkle (or smear in the case of cream cheese) filling evenly over the dough and roll up each half tightly like a jelly roll, beginning at the wide side. Bring the ends of each roll together to form 2 oval shaped rings. Place each ring on a the prepared cookie sheet. With scissors make cuts 1/3 of the way through the rings at 1 inch intervals. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Frost while warm with the confectioner's sugar blended with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water and food dye. Also can be sprinkled with colored sugar if desired.
If you want to know more about the history of the King Cake, click here to read this short article.
Thanks for stopping by and I love to read your comments!
Happy Living! Happy Quilting!