Obsessive Sewing

When I wrote yesterday, "if the day goes as expected," I should have known better. It was the death knell for the day to go as expected. As I published my post, I noticed something unusual on the blog. There was a Photobucket logo on a few of my images. It's a long story about this, but let's just say I didn't feel like paying yet another monthly fee to yet another online service that had been free in the past. Instead, I downloaded any photos from Photobucket onto my hard drive, and then waited to see what would happen on the blog. 

A few years have passed since then, and I'd kind of forgotten about it until yesterday, when the dreaded change appeared. Okay, so no problem. I had the images, and so I could just swap them out for the old ones, right? Well, apparently not. I tried everything, and I could not get those logos to disappear. Even the Retired Resident Engineer couldn't figure it out, and that's saying something. So, I ended up changing my blog template. It doesn't look very much different, but already, a few of you have noticed. Okay...so that's the story behind that. And I spent the entire morning on it, which meant no slow-stitching for me. Drat.

Well, moving on, I definitely needed to bake something after that frustration. As I mentioned yesterday, I'm trying a new "baking sugar substitute," and I whomped up these little Blueberry Cakes for Two.

In addition to craving baking and something sweet, I wanted to try this new product from King Arthur Flour.

I've never really been motivated to try a sugar substitute since I'm old enough to remember the whole cyclamate debacle of the early 1970s. As it turns out the link between cyclamates and cancer was probably overblown, but it kind of cured me of ever want to give them a try. Besides, they have a bad reputation for having a bitter aftertaste. When you're wanting something sweet, anything "bitter" is decidedly undesirable.

So after reading King Arthur's glowing report about this, I bit and ordered a bag from them, and then selected a recipe I'd filed away to try at some point. So, first, let's get the rules straight, shall we?

The recipe I was using had me preheating the oven to 375°F, but the rules say not to go over 350°F "no matter what." Okay, and so that seemed okay. The substitution is a 1:1 ratio. The product is powdery, rather than granular, about the consistency of cornstarch. We had our little cakes with a small dollop of whipped cream, and they were delicious. I'll make them again, for sure. 

The only thing I can say about them is that the recipe specifies using a 10 oz. ramekin. That's a weird size that I've never seen. I ended up using my usual 7 oz. ramekins, and even those seemed too large. I'd like to try this again in a 4 oz. ramekin or else a custard cup. I think the cakes will be prettier with a little more depth...like a cupcake. Also, the recipe doesn't specify fresh or frozen blueberries. I used frozen since I had them on hand, and they worked out just fine. And all of that to say I can recommend both the sugar substitute and the recipe. 

A few people have mentioned they are using monk fruit sweetener and getting good results. Both products are a little spendy, but my success with this is motivating me to experiment a little more with sugar substitutes. For sure, I'd like to find a low-calorie substitute for brown sugar. More to come on this topic.

Finally, after lunch, I made my way into the sewing room and finished sewing all the trashy blocks together.

With that done, I just needed to add two borders. This was the one place where I dipped into my yardage for pieces large enough. The rest, including sashings, were all done from cut off bits, bonus triangles, unused pieced strips, orphan blocks, and leftover ends of quilt bindings. By day's end, I had it all finished. Of course, no quilt can be shown before it submits to rigorous inspection from my kitty consultants.

Upon their appurroval, I had myself a finished quilt top. I'm calling this quilt "Waste Not Whatnots." It ends up a 58 x 57 inches.

I'll use that same striped fabric from the stop border for the binding when I get it that far.

Also, I went searching through my stash for an appropriate quilt back. For these "trashy" quilts, I really want to stick with that I already have, rather than purchasing something new. So, I selected this apothecary print. It has all the right colors, and it's been in my stash for a long time. Time to put it to use. It needs to be cut and sewn to the right size, but that shouldn't take too long.

There was still a little time left in the day, and so I did a little slow-stitching before making dinner.

Now I've moved my hoop to continue on with the flags.

This being Sunday, I'll be linking up to:

This piece is getting close to being finished, and so I should think about getting the next piece ready to go. When I've finished this one, I'll start on the 9th block for Dancing Chickens and Flying Pigs. This is where it stands:

The blocks require more applique than embroidery, and so I should get the applique finished and ready the block for embroidery. Also, I promised Matthew a couple of more masks. I'd like to make myself one with an Autumn theme and one with a Christmas theme. If we have to wear masks, they might as well be fun and seasonably fashionable, don't you think?

I've been sewing obsessively on "Waste Not Whatnots" for the past several days, and so I might take a day off from sewing. I still have housework to do. I still have weeding to do. Mike was making noises yesterday about driving into town today. We're out of birdseed, and we need to deposit our ballots in the ballot drop box. As I'm writing this, I have no idea what the day holds. One thing is for sure, though. Sunday morning means Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes, and that's where I'm headed next.


Barbara said...

Color is my daylong obsession, joy, and torment. ~ Claude Monet

Karrin Hurd said...

Great quilt and stitching! Thanks for the review of the sugar substitute! Happy stitching!

gpc said...

Thanks for the review -- I will order the fake sugar today, which will also give me an excuse to order one of the 4-mini bundt pans, hoping to avoid eating the whole cake next time I bake. Love your scrappy result; I need to remember to buy more stripes, the inset border looks amazing.

Julierose said...

Great finish on "Waste Not" I think that striped border adds just the right touch. You have collected a lot of neat fabrics..
Hugs, julierose

Carla A Few Of My Favorite Things said...

Didn't realize King Arthur had a substitute may have to give it a try but that is weird about the temperature! Your embroidered piece is really coming along nicely!

piecefulwendy said...

I noticed the new look to your blog yesterday and then promptly forgot to mention it. I like the new look, but not fun when it takes away from sewing time. I like the orphan block quilt, and that stripey border print is so good with the blocks. It will be a good binding too. I'm very tempted to try that KA sweetener.

MissPat said...

Thanks for the update on the sugar substitute. That stripe you used in the trash quilt is interesting. I often use bright strips for binding on my baby/kid quilts which are always very colorful. Hope your Monday provides more smoothly.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Thank you for the substitute review. The only substitute I've tried is Splenda and I don't recommend it because it leaves an awful aftertaste. My stomach can't handle anything with Asparatame in it either.
I love your Waste Not Whatnots quilt - good job on that one!!

Kate said...

Love your Waste Not Whatnots, what a cool way to use up those odds n ends that accumulate with time. Sorry about having to redo the blog template. New and improved usually means more work on our end when they start redoing the programming, but as it's free can't complain too loudly.