Quilting for Cheaters

I have been quilting for a year and am loving it. There’s an element of problem solving and a sense of completion, its great. Since I have been quilting, I have heard about this mythical ‘paper piecing’ on blogs and in conversations. It sounded so complex and every finished work I saw associated with paper piecing looked amazingly technical and difficult.

Well, I’m here to tell you. Its cheating. Its amazing. I’m a convert.

All of those pieces with perfect points are now attainable and its all thanks to this tutorial:

SO EASY! Right? You just sew on the lines!!?!??! Fantastic. The only pain is when you make a mistake, its much harder to rip out because your stitches are so small.  I found this pattern on this blog post and am making some progress on my next quilt!

The Best Cake Ever

I don’t even like cake, but I am obsessed with this chocolate cake with cloudburst frosting. Its the sort of cake that actually lives up to hype that a birthday or other celebration brings. I first learned of the cake from the wonderful blog, Posie Gets Cozy. Here’s a link to the original recipe and the recipe below (in case she ever deletes her post).

Hershey’s Deep Dark Chocolate Cake
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup steaming hot (brewed) coffee

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9″ round cake pans.
  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla; beat on medium speed of electric mixer for 2 minutes. Carefully stir in boiling water and coffee (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks and

Cloudburst Frosting

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup WHOLE (it has to be whole) milk
1 cup softened butter
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups sifted confectioners sugar

  1. In a small pan, gradually add the milk to the flour, whisking them together into a totally smooth mixture — you don’t want any lumps here. Simmer (barely) until thick over low/medium heat, whisking constantly so you don’t get any lumps. You want it to be the consistency of pudding.
  2. Remove from heat and let it cool completely but not in the refrigerator. Let it cool for a few minutes, and then push a piece of plastic wrap down on the surface of the mixture (so a skin doesn’t form) and let it sit on the counter for an hour or two or three until it’s completely cool.
  3. Cream together the butter and almond; add the confectioner’s sugar and beat on high for several minutes until it is very fluffy. Add the milk/flour mixture and beat until it is super fluffy. The frosting will sometimes appear to separate when you add the milk/flour mixture, but just keep beating it on high until it whips up into smooth, fluffy clouds.
  4. Cool completely then frost your cake! I like to decorate the top a little bit with edible flowers, cacao nibs or coconut flakes.

 

Enjoy!