Friday, October 24, 2014

Finish It Up Friday :: Gathered Clutch

Another Friday, another finish - I don't know about you guys but even having an imaginary deadline (like Finish It Up Friday) actually motivates me to get stuff done. And since I seem to start waaaay more than I finish anything that helps me get stuff checked off the list is a good thing.

So this week I have a sweet little finish to share: a Gathered Clutch, one of my favorite patterns from Anna Graham over at Noodlehead. Anna is updating this pattern and I was lucky enough to get to proof-read it for her and so of course I needed to make one. Since I've been in love with this pattern for a while and made it before I had the right zipper and hardware already on hand.

I also had, quite by accident these gorgeous fabrics piled near each and other and voila - the happiest kind of accident. The exterior is Avant Garden for MoMo by Moda and it turned out to be a lovely linen/cotton blend (think Echino) which I didn't realize when I bought it but was quite delighted with, and some Lucky Penny by Alison Glass. Don't you love it when things just work out?

Anna's pattern uses Fusible Fleece on the exterior pieces but I think with a heavier linen blend (or home dec weight fabric) I would probably just use Shape Flex on the exterior pieces next time - the fleece makes for a bag that feels padded and substantial but created enough bulk in the layers that not all machines would love sewing through it.

The pattern also has options for a card holder, small pocket and divider - of course I made them all. I changed the pattern just a bit by sewing the card holder to the divider (instead of directly to the lining) which made a nice sized pocket for paper money and left plenty of room for phone, chapstick and key in the middle. I added the small pocket to the other lining piece for extra bit of organization. 

This pattern is great for gifts and you know with the holidays fast approaching I'm already thinking that way. It took me a couple hours start to finish and I'm slow. It's also written well enough for beginners to feel good about trying their hand at it - don't fear the zipper people, you can do it! Oh and if you ARE a new sew-er just know that the cutting and interfacing is always about 75% of getting any bag done, once you get all the parts cut, sewn and interfaced the actual bag comes together in a snap (in my humble experience anyway). So don't get overwhelmed if you feel like the "prep" is taking forever - it'll pay off in the end :-)

So there you go, a quick and satisfying finish for the win.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sewing Snacks :: S'more and Caramel Pumpkin Pecan Rice Krispie Treats

I'm always happy to bake treats to share at our local quilt guild meeting and these were the yummy offerings from last night's meeting. I figured everyone loves Rice Krispie treats but I wanted something a little more special. 

S'mores Rice Krispie Treats

4T butter (1/2 stick)
1 10oz bag marshmallows
4 C rice krispie cereal
2 C Golden Grahams cereal
1 C chocolate chips
Marshmallow Bits to sprinkle on top

Spray a 9"x13" with cooking spray (or butter) and set aside.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat until melted, add the marshmallows and continue stirring until smooth.

Remove the pan from heat and stir in the cereals and chocolate chips. Press mixture into prepared pan - I use a piece of waxed paper to keep mixture from sticking to me or spoon.

Sprinkle with Marshmallow Bits and cool until set.

These are the other variation I came up with and they were rich but oh so delicious and full of Fall flavor - there's no pumpkin in this recipe but pumpkin pie spice!

Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats

1/2 C butter (1 stick)
1/2 C dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 C heavy whipping cream
1 T light corn syrup 
pinch of kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 C chopped pecans
2 C Golden Grahams cereal
4 C Rice Krispie cereal

Butter or spray a 9"x13" pan and set aside.

In a large saucepan melt butter (med-high heat) then add brown sugar, cream, corn syrup, salt and spice. Cook until thick and syrupy while stirring frequently (I pretty much stirred the whole time), about 5 - 7 minutes.

Add the marshmallows and stir until they are melted and smooth. Then remove from heat and stir in cereals and half of chopped pecans, mix well. Press in prepared pan and sprinkle with remaining pecans. Cool until set. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Happy Friday everyone!

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