Saturday, February 25, 2012

One of my other interests

Like all of you, I do have interests other than quilting. One of my favorites is bread making.  I really like the taste of those heavier European type breads. But I haven't been very successful at making them. I keep trying to replicate the dark round loves my Grandmother used to make when I was a child. I'm not sure what they were made of. It could of been Rye which was popular in her Norwegian homeland but I am just not sure. Grandma died when I was a teenager and I never got a recipe for this bread. (If she even used a recipe.)

I started out many years ago making plain old white bread, then graduated to grinding my own wheat and making whole wheat bread. Recently I found the most wonderful multigrain mixture that makes a great multigrain loaf. My husband loves bread so I can never have enough of it in the house.

 I have been doing a lot of reading about the benefits of using wild yeast (aka sour dough). It is supposed to be much better for you than the commercial yeast you can buy in the store. I ordered some authentic San Franciso sour dough starter and got myself  the cookbook called  " Classic Sourdoughs" by Ed and Jean Wood.  It took a a week to get my starter built up and active by adding water and flour several times a day.

This week I decided it was time to make my first loaf.   Making sour dough breads aren't a quick process. It takes 2 or 3 days depending on your recipe.  I started on Thurday evening by proofing the starter. Then on Friday morning I added the rest of the ingredients and mixed up the dough. Then I put the dough in a bowl and refridgerated it for 24 hours. This morning I took it out of the fridge and let it rise in a proofing bowl for 5 hours. Then I  baked it on my baking stone this afternoon. It wasn't a hard process but it just took time. I used a recipe I got from the website That site has video clips that walked you through each step and I thought that was a good place to start.

 I thought I'd share what it looked like. I was so pleased with the results. It is awsome!

As soon as it cooled a bit, I cut a few slices for my husband and I to try it out. I smothered them with butter and we ate them without anything else on it. The bread was wonderful and had a hint of sour dough tartness. But it wasn't too strong. Now I think I'm ready to try the recipes in this book. I hope they work out as well!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

MyAccuquilt Studio

I'm so excited! My Accuquilt Studio cutter arrived a few weeks ago and I'm having so much fun using it. If you have never heard of Accuquilt, it is a die cutting system that will allow you to cut up to 10 layers of fabric at once accurately and easily. And there are over 400 different dies you can purchase.

I have been wanting to reduce my fabric scrap pile a bit so I've been taking my smaller pieces of fabric, adding fusible web to them and then cutting hearts for an applique quilt. It is so fun! In what seemed like only moment, I had cut over 75 prefect hearts.

I purchased quite a few different dies for my Accuquilt Studio cutter and I can hardly wait to try them all out.  I won't go into all the dies but here are a few you might be interest in.

 The Bread and Butter Dies allow me to cut out shapes that are most often used in 12 inch quilt blocks. It even has a strip cutter which cuts 5- 2 1/2 inch strips at once.

The Rag to Riches set will allow me to cut Rag quilts with the fringes already cut for you.

The Drunkard's Path set allows me to cut 4 blocks of Drunkard's path at once.

The Rose of Sharon die set was designed by a Canadian by the name of Sharon Pederson.( Some years ago our guild had Sharon in to teach a workshop. She was awsome! ) The Rose of Sharon die cuts five sizes of roses, two leaves and three sizes of circles.

This set is called Take 5. It makes a wonderful quilt similar to the
Turning Twenty quilts that have been popular over the last few years. This die set will allow you to whip up a quilt quickly. It would be perfect for gift giving or a charity quilt.