Piecing Pedantically

My roommate in college had some favorite words, and one of them was: pedantic. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as:Β Β narrowly, stodgily, and often ostentatiously learned. This is how I’m feeling about the borders on my wall hanging. Now, I know that’s there some of you out there saying, “You’re feeling this way about a wall hanging?? Wait till you try it on a real quilt. You’re not a real woman till you’ve pieced a king sized quilt, all with 1″ squares!!”

And that may be true.

However, I’m a beginner and had no idea what I was in for, technique-wise, so the process of: it’s slow, then it’s wrong, then you tear it out, re-sew, and it’s still wrong is a little frustrating. I think part of it has to do with my inexperience in knowing how to check if it’s right until after I sew it. If the little triangle block is suppose to come out 2″ square when all three little seams are sewed, I seem to only know that I’ve done it wrong after I’ve sewed most all of the seams. *sigh*

Here’s a rather sad picture of one of the borders that I’m working on. Not only does it sag, as you can see, but it’s also about an inch too long. I never knew how valuable the seam ripper was.

Wall hanging border

Wall hanging border that’s more than slightly less than perfect

This is making me want to try paper piecing. My understanding of the benefit of paper piecing is accuracy without so much of the pain of piecing precision. Any thoughts or experience with that?

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Learning about Crocodile Scales

My friend Leah introduced me to a fun new crochet stitch called the crocodile scale stitch. I really think that its name is a misnomer because it looks way to soft and fun to have come off of a crocodile. Names aside, I’ve been working on learning this new stitch. I’ve got it down and I’ve even done some color changes at the end to make it look like feathers. Or at least I think it looks more like feathers. When I show it to people, they tend to respond with something like, “Oooh, hmm, uh uh. No, I can see it, really.”

Jury’s out on the feather-y-ness of it all, but here’s the swatch I did to learn and play:

Learning Crocodile Stitch

Learning crocodile stitch, but hoping it looks like feathers

I have great and fantastic (and possibly unrealistic) plans for this as I’m determined to make some sort of owl out of this goodness. Don’t hold your breath, but I reserve to say a satisfied “I told you so” if I actually come up with anything decent down the road. πŸ™‚

Starting on a Quilted Wallhanging

After I finished the Spring Chicken Sampler turned baby quilt, I thought the next thing I’d do on it would be to quilt it. Did you laugh? Cause I sure did! πŸ˜€

Of course, I’m already on to the next quilt project without quite finishing the first one. However, in my defense (maybe?), I’m not sure about how to quilt it, so I’m not comfortable doing the quilting right now. Translation: I don’t wanna cause I think I’ll screw it up.

Either way, the project I’m working is fantastic and fun and more than enough to distract me from finishing the other quilt. πŸ˜‰ I bought a book called Fat Quarter Quilts and I’m working on a really really really neat one from there. For now, until it’s finished, I’ll just leave you with some color combos and a working shot. (Oh, that sounds edgy and like I know what I’m doing… ok, well, maybe not, but it sounds cool, anyway.)

A hint of beautiful mountains

A hint of beautiful mountains

So many triangles

So many triangles

Messy quilting space

Messy quilting space makes for great quilts!

Mid-terms!

This week I’m official starting the second half of the summer term. This term I’m taking Computer Architecture, which basically talks about how computers are architected, down to bit level. It’s interesting but I’m definitely realizing that I made a good choice to go into the software side of things instead of the hardware. I don’t mind it, but I get bored with it and I don’t like the math. No surprise, I generally don’t like math, but it’s worse when I’m dealing with calculating microseconds of delay on reading hard drive platters to compare efficiency of I/O processor speeds.

I know. Exactly.

Anyway, I am enjoying it mostly, just glad I’m a programmer for a living πŸ™‚

Avocado Chocolate Cupcakes, Oh My!

While in one of my wandering around the internet moments, I happened to stumble across a vegan blog that had an interesting chocolate cupcake recipe. The secret (or, actually, not at all secret but wouldn’t it be cooler if it was called a secret?) ingredient was avocado. Basically, the avocado combined with coconut butter replaces the milk in the recipe. Interesting, right? Right? Ok, well, I thought it was.

Either way, for some reason, after I saw the recipe, I just kept dwelling and thinking (some might say obsessing, but I wouldn’t personally call it that…) over this recipe. I finally had to just make it. The original recipe is here, on a site called Choosing Raw. (To anyone who is wondering, no, I’m not choosing raw or vegan or vegetarian. However, I’m also not afraid to try new and interesting looking recipes, either. πŸ™‚ )

I made a couple changes, because, well, I’m not vegan and I don’t have all the fancy ingredients on hand. I used honey in place of agave, white cooking wine in place of apple cider vinegar, and egg in place of egg replacer (that sounds funny, but I think I said it right). One fun thing I did find was white whole wheat flour, which I’d been watching for my local store to start selling. The health food stores are so expensive! Also, they had Truvia baking blend that I used for sweetener (the item still had the “New Item” sign by it in the store; does this mean I’m cutting edge?!).

This is what the avocado blend looked like in my food processor. After seeing this, I bet everyone’s going to be jumping at the change to try these. πŸ˜‰

Avocado "milk"

Avocado and coconut butter blended for baking yummy cupcakes

Some of my friends and family have had the misfortune opportunity to taste these, and even my husband agress, they’re pretty good.

I made chocomole to ice them with. Chocomole is another vegan recipe pulled from this site. It uses avocado and dates to make a pudding like dessert. I added coconut butter to make it more of an icing texture and voila! Cupcakes!

Final cupcakes

Final cupcakes, iced with chocomole

*Side note: I’m not one that generally worries to much about healthy vs unhealthy, but I will say this: in addition to be dairy free and low sugar, these puppies packed a wallop of healthy fats (thanks again to the avocados). A normal cupcake in Weight Watchers with icing is about 10-12 Points+. One large one of these with chocomole icing is 4-5. The mini cupcakes, again with icing, are only 1. So, not sure if it’s “healthy” as that depends on everyone’s individual perspective. However, I’m definitely thinking these would cure a chocolate craving without destroying the diet, which counts as a win in my book*