Sunday, October 21, 2012

Making Greek Yogurt - Wow, it worked

I came across a recipe last week on how to make Greek yogurt.  I was amazed at how simple it seemed.  I found this recipe using the crockpot on OnGoodThingByJillee website.  It was titled:  Foolproof Crockpot Greek Yogurt {And I mean FOOLPROOF!} 

I thought to myself, what would it hurt to try.  I was a little grossed out to read that the milk was left out for hours at a low temperature but moved ahead with her recipe.  I know, how did I think yogurt was made.   I will tell you that this took LONGER than I ever imagined.  It took a while to get the crockpot to warm the milk to 180 degrees.  I only did a half gallon of milk and I used a full container of plain Greek yogurt as my starter when it called for once the milk cooled back down to 115.  I also used 1.5 cups of powered milk.  I wanted to make sure it was thick.

I kept the yogurt in my oven closed with the light on and a sign to not open the oven or to not turn off the light.  I left it there for about 12+ hours.  Every once in a while, I would put the oven on it's very lowest setting and back off again, to make sure it stayed warm.  Probably overkill on that step on my part.  I kept thinking that this was not going to work.  When I pulled the two glass (not lidded) bowls out of the oven, the mixture was stiff.  hmmmm  Into the fridge for a couple of hours...

 When it was time to be the guinea pig, I spooned some out into a dish.  Thick, check.. at that time it did not need strained.  I didn't see any extra liquid.  I added some honey and maple crunchies... Took a bite and was pleasantly surprised it was thick and creamy.  Hmmm.. I might like this.

I will say, it's not that sweet yummy Greek style yogurt containers I buy all the time.  This is plain, tart yogurt.  I tried more later in the day and when I opened the container, I was surprised by liquid that needed drained.  I just tipped it out of the bowl.  The next time I had some, I added crushed pineapple and a little bit of splenda to taste for me.  I loved it.  I may just be making this for at home more often.

If you are going to try it out, make sure you have all day to try it out.  The next time I make it, I'm probably going to heat the milk in a pot on the stove instead of waiting for the crock pot. 

Thanks for stopping by!  

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Binding Added - Halloween Work Completed

Yeah!!  A finish!!  I added the binding to both the Halloween quilt and runner completely by machine.  It did not turn out bad at all.  I used 2.5" double folded fabric and used a little bigger that 1/4" seam.  By doing this, it seemed to line up better when sewing down the binding machine on the back.  That and the fact that the stitches are black thread on black fabric :-) 

Now on to new projects.  Coming up... Sunbonnet Sue and Sam machine embroidery and hopefully a Christmas Tree and wreath using my accuquilt go!  But first, here's a final snapshot of the finished Halloween projects. 

Thanks for stopping by!  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Halloween Quilting Completed Times Two

I was able to finish up the quilting on the Spooktacular Halloween quilt.  I can't say enough how much I love these fabrics.  They are so bright and cheery!!  I just can't get a good photo of them.  I was able to finish both the quilt and the table runner / bed runner. 

Here are some photos of the finished quilting on both.  All that is left is to bind the two quilts.  I am going to try and save some time by using the sewing machine to add the binding.  I'm determined to finish it that way.  I can use all the extra time I can get!

Here's the back of the quilt.  I wish you could see the spider webs better...

While I was trying to photograph the quilt, I had a guest come in and photobomb my photo.  I didn't know it until I was reviewing the photos.  Of course I had to catch her in the act!

I was also able to finish quilting the Halloween runner.  I did need to remove the backing and piece it a little longer to fit the width and then repin it to the rollers.

Now, It's time to create the binding and add it to the quilts.  I am so exciting I'll be able to enjoy them for maybe 2+ weeks.  My goal is to have this done this weekend!
Thanks for stopping by!  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Halloween Quilting

I wanted spider webs for the Halloween quilt but did not have the pantograph file so I thought I would use what I had.  I had a bat design that would also work well with the quilt.  So, at the top of the newly loaded backing, I tested out some designs.  I threw some pink scraps onto the layout and tested away.  Since I really could not see the design on the pink, I placed black scraps over the pink and then redid the designs.  Of course, I did not iron those black scraps so it looks a little wrinkled.

Here are the bats

Then I decided I really wanted spiderwebs.  So, I purchased the pantograph design from QuiltRecipes.  I tested that out as well. It was a larger 8" design and it did a lot of repeats on the webs, retracing to get from point a to point b.  I was not sure that I liked that.  Here's just a cutout from the stitch out of the spiderwebs.

Then I had the bright idea I would make my own pantograph.  Spent several hours getting the design "just right" on screen.  When I tested it out, it looked great but it was too dense.  I could have resized it but at this point, I just wanted to start quilting the Halloween quilt.  Here's what my pantograph sample stitch out looked like:

So, I loaded up the quilt and away I started.  I ended up returning to the "Plain Spider Webs 1" panto that I purchased from QuiltRecipes.  I liked that you also received a reverse design so all the random spiderwebs did not line up between the rows.  Based on the first row, I'm glad I returned to the purchased pantograph.

I used a grey Superior So Fine thread for the top and white bobbin thread for the bottom of the quilt.  Here's a snippet of the first row completed on the frame:

A couple more rows and then I'll be finished!  Then on to the extra Halloween table runner or bed runner.  I think I might make it before Halloween!

Thanks for stopping by!  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Changing the Halloween Quilt Backing

Even the best laid plans don't always work out the way you intended.  My thoughts for the Halloween quilt was to back it with the same black fabric from the front and then add the scraps from the cut border and then the extra squares from the left over charm pack.

Everything started out well.  I assembled all the border scraps into one long insert.

So, so far so good.  Hey that doesn't look too bad for not lining things up.  Looks a little modern to me.  So, I thought I would add on the extra charm pack squares I had.  I had just enough to top and bottom the insert and here's what I ended up with.

Hey I like that... That's too cute to put on the back of the quilt.  So, I decided I'm going to make a bed runner or table runner out of it!  The colors are so vibrant in this charm pack.  So, now I needed to pick a new backing fabric.  I went bold and different.  Here's the new backing fabric...

Next Up, choosing the quilting.  Bats or webs.. Hmmm.. decisions decisions...

Thanks for stopping by!