Sunday, March 18, 2012

Double Irish Chain, Bias Binding, and Bread--Oh, My!

Here's what I've been working on---I finished the hand quilting on my Double Irish Chain quilt Friday afternoon--then decided on a binding fabric, made hundreds of feet of continuous binding, and attached it that evening.  If you quilt, you know that feeling of almost unbearable excitement and expectation--soon you're going to have that finished quilt, the product of weeks or months--sometimes even years--of work and creativity.  Sounds almost like childbirth, doesn't it?  Babies are better than quilts, but quilts don't leave stretchmarks....



I don't know if you can tell or not, but there on the ironing board you can see hundreds and hundreds of feet of continuous bias binding.  My friend Laura and I worked on the "tube" process of making it last summer until we both had it--now it's fun to do, and I can make a lot of binding in a short amount of time.  I usually make a lot extra, which I keep in a plastic zipper bag to use on small projects.  I've been stitching the binding down, but haven't quite finished it because I got caught up in another project.



The other distraction has been bread making.  I used to make all our bread, grinding the wheat and baking at least a couple of times a week.  With the kids grown and gone most of the time, and since neither Gary nor I need all that bread (!), I've gotten away from it.  My wheat bread recipe made four loaves--waaaay too much, and it takes a lot of time.  But somewhere (and I wish I could remember where) I saw something about making artisan bread in five minutes a day---Impossible! was my first reaction.  But I found the site, got Gary to order a Danish dough whisk for me ($7 on Amazon), and tried it this weekend.  I spent five minutes mixing the ingredients yesterday, five minutes today forming the loaf--that's it!  And the bread is fabulous--and about 40 cents a loaf!  Seriously, you have to try this--look:  The website is http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/2010/02/09/back-to-basics-tips-and-techniques-to-create-a-great-loaf-in-5-minutes-a-day  This takes you right to the recipe and tutorial--even if you've never made bread, you can do this!  And Jeff and Zoe generously share lots of recipes on their website.  I just can't wait to get a copy of one---no, make that all three of their books!  Oh, and if you are really brave--or not on a diet---check out ZoeBakes....

Blessings!


8 comments:

  1. Great to see a glimpse of you DIC! I am liking what I see so far, looking forward to the ta da pic of it's finished. It is such a great feeling to finish a project...............I also love to use the tube method to make binding. It seems so frugel to take a square and make yards and yards of binding.
    My mouth is watering after seeing your bread. I love making homemade bread and pasta. Although our diet doesn't allow it at this time, I know we will be incorporating it back into our diet someday.

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    1. I'm glad to hear that someone else likes making binding with the tube method. I went the easier way with straight width of fabric strips for years, but bias binding goes on better and is supposed to be sturdier. Besides, I love cutting round and round in that loop!

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  2. The quilt and the bread both look delicious! (Only quilters will understand how scraps of fabric hold the same appeal as food.) :D It is so exciting to wrap up a project - or wrap up IN a project when that last stitch is taken. What a wonderful feeling. Like Carla, I look forward to pictures.

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    1. Pictures are coming--I would kind of like to tell (briefly) the story behind the quilt--you and Carla have heard it as I went along.

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  3. The quilt & bread both look good
    Hugs Janice

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    1. Thanks, Janice--there's still dough for at least one more loaf for dinner tonight!

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  4. I love the quilt. I've always wanted to make an Irish chain but never have. I've read that bread recipe before, but like the quilt, never made it. Guess I was also kind of doubtful. I love to bake bread so think I'll try it today.

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    1. Both the quilt and the bread are worth the time and trouble. Gary loves the bread b/c it's chewy and has a great taste--I'll be making the whole wheat version from now on so that it's not so hard on his blood sugar. My Irish Chain was a reward---tell you about it in my next post!

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