Monday, March 31, 2014

A Tip on a Tute and a Tasty Thing

This week fellow Hands2Help-ers are invited to share a "tip, tute, and/or tasty thing" at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.  I can do that!

Since I discovered Pinterest last year, I've been adding all sorts of interesting tutorials to my Quilt Tutorials board.  One that I pinned recently has become the basis for this year's Hands2Help charity quilt.

It's called Dancing Pinwheels, a free block pattern I found over at Little Miss Shabby.

Well, I'm a sucker for pinwheels, not to mention colorful quilts that are scrap and stash friendly.  This seemed to hit all the marks.

The block called for 5-3/8 inch squares, cut on the diagonal to make your HSTs.  However, I wanted to use a charm pack I had on hand, so I adapted the block pattern to use 5-inch charm squares.

That meant that the setting triangles surrounding the pinwheel had to be a slightly different dimension as well.  Honestly, I just guessed at what those new dimensions might be—and it worked!  I cut 9-inch long rectangles from strips measuring 4.5 wide.  Then I cut those rectangles on the diagonal to make the setting triangles.

Here's another tip which came about through trial and error when I made a sample block.  When you sew the setting triangles to the pinwheel, you're going to want to have the broader, right-angle end of the triangle (not the skinny, pointy end) hanging over the edge of your pinwheel square by 1/4 inch.  That's in the upper right corner in the photo below.  You don't have to worry so much about where it hangs off on the opposite end of the seam.  It only took me having to rip out four seams before I got it right.  Just trying to save someone else the hassle and potential discouragement.

See below, where I've pinned that end in place, ready to sew it.  See how it overlaps the edge by a quarter inch?  You definitely want to use pins on this seam, too, because this is the bias edge of the setting triangle that you're sewing down and you don't want it to stretch.

The Dancing Pinwheels quilt has two blocks, an A block and a B block, which is the reverse of A.  You need to make 10 A blocks and 10 B blocks. That only became apparent to me as I started to sew the blocks.  

I am a visual person, so I scribbled what a B block looked like on the bottom of the page and believe me, I have referred to the drawings frequently!  Apparently, I'm easily confused.

The blocks, as modified for charm squares, end up to be 11-3/4 inches square (unfinished).


Now how about a treat?  Any gluten-free quilters out there?  I bet there are a few more than there were four years ago when I started blogging.  There is more awareness of celiac disease and gluten intolerance, and I suspect there are a lot more people recognizing that they feel better not eating gluten.

I made these gluten-free double chocolate cookies the other day.  It makes a small batch, just one cookie sheet full or about 12-15 cookies.  They stir up with a spoon in one bowl, and bake in 11 minutes, which means you can whip up a quick batch and get back to quilting with minimal interruption.

Here's the recipe:

Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Cookies

1-1/2 cups almond meal flour
2 Tablespoons cocoa
1/3 cup maple syrup (I substituted 1/3 c. granulated white sugar, as my syrup supply was running low)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Scant 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup melted coconut oil OR ghee
1 egg
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix everything together with a spoon in a small bowl until well combined.  Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass (I put a piece of waxed paper between the glass bottom and the cookie dough so it doesn't stick when I'm flattening them).  Bake for 11 minutes.  Cool on cookie sheet 10 minutes.  Remove to rack to continue cooling.

Especially yummy while still slightly warm and gooey!


8 comments:

Sarah Craig said...

What a great tutorial, P.! And I must try those cookies - even though I don't eat gluten free!

Kim said...

Well aren't you just a clever gal!! Thanks for all the helpful hints...I am easily confused as well. One might say that I live in a state of total confusion!! Your pinwheel quilt is going to look a treat. Yum...double chocolate, gluten free, warm and gooey cookies!! Thanks for the recipe....must give it a burl!!

Kevin the Quilter said...

You are a WONDERFUL teacher and I love the quilt you are making in this tutorial P! And those cookies......I MUST make those!

Hazel said...

I'm amazed that I understood your tutorial, because I've never quilted! I loved it!

Karen said...

Love the tilted pinwheels! That is going to be a great quilt!

sophie said...

I will DEFINITELY be making the cookies soon. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Shay said...

Have sent my Mum your recipe. She's always on the lookout for yummy GF food.

Your pinwheels look fantastic...great tips too!

Elizabeth said...

LOVE your dancing pinwheels! You always do such fun things!

I tried the cookies on Friday and they were really yummy! Unfortunately, almonds don't like me. I'm pretty sure of that now. I'll have to look around for another recipe b/c I miss chocolate.

xo -E

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