Friday, November 27, 2015

A Thanksgiving Day Birthday Cake

If you love chocolate and if you love cake, I have the link to a perfect recipe for you.

Every Thanksgiving Day, after turkey and all the fixings have had time to settle, I bring out dessert. I don't serve pumpkin pie or any other kind of pie. For us it's a chocolate birthday cake and a celebration of the three family birthdays that fall within a few days of Thanksgiving.

The cake is always our favorite chocolate truffle cake - the downright decadent, drown yourself in chocolate heaven, once a year only cake that we share on Thanksgiving. It's become our own family tradition.

The recipe is from "Good Housekeeping Illustrated Book of Desserts". I bought it years ago, but now the entire book is now available online. This is the link:

I always bake the cake well ahead of time.
It will keep for a two or three days in the fridge, and it freezes well. 

I need to get back to my fleece! 
There's work to do!!

Only 28 days till Christmas!

Wishing you a beautiful week as December comes marching in!!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Thanksgiving Already! Projects and a few "Bits and Pieces"

Thanksgiving is arriving in less than a week! 

We will be a small group this year so preparations are easy. The bird is thawing in the fridge and ingredients for everything are purchased. I'll be baking a lovely chocolate birthday cake instead of pumpkin pie. My son and both of my grandchildren have late November birthdays, so we always combine the birthday party with Thanksgiving. 

Thanksgiving is definitely under control, but I really wound up on the verge of panic over Christmas projects this week. I've taken on way too many sewing projects, but that's pretty typical for me.

Everything seems to be under control now, thank goodness - at least for the moment. Anything could happen, though, so my fingers are tightly crossed.  

All those robes!

I love my serger.  I don't use it very often, but when I need it I really need it. When the serger went on the fritz just as I was getting ready to sew the second of many Christmas robes, I was beside myself. The blade was cutting the fabric too closely and loose loops of thread were hanging off the edge of the seam allowance. Not only that, but the fabric was stretching as I stitched. I don't have time to take my machine it in to be serviced. I was sure I'd have to forget the robes for this Christmas, and I had no idea where I might store 20 yards of fleece for a year.

I tossed and turned and lost most of a night's sleep over my predicament. What on earth could I do instead of robes? The next morning I got out the instruction manual in hopes of a minor miracle. I should have done that in the first place, but I had panicked instead of thinking. Every single setting was off! The serger had been moved here and there while new blinds were being installed in my sewing room and the dials must all have been bumped. When in doubt, check the obvious!!

I'm back in business. Two of the goodness-knows-how-many fleece robes are ready to package up and number three is cut out and ready for me. I'll quit sewing these when I run out of time or when I run out of fleece, whichever comes first.

I love my new window blinds
Bits and Pieces 

I finished up the last three of the mug rugs for my daughter's office buddies a week or so ago.
This was such a fun challenge and the mug rugs are perfect holiday gifts for a great group of friends.

My daughter and I brainstormed ideas as we tried to come up with a unique set of bits and pieces to place on individual mug rugs. The first three mug rugs were pretty generic with basic hearts and flowers in favorite colors schemes. The flowers weren't going to be fitting for the rest of the crew, though. Interests are so varied. In the photos you'll find the ones for the man with three-year-old triplet boys, the one who loves fine food, the cat and dog owners, the musician, and even the gal who likes to play the slot machines.

Way last spring I promised to make a pattern when I had the new templates, and this week I wrote the pattern. It's all ready to download. The templates for the little shapes are free, and any letters can be used for the names. The letters I've used are from  my "Alphabet Soup" pattern.

Templates include itty bitty bicycles, wine and hamburger, music, slot machine, and pet prints.

Wishing all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

May your turkey be juicy and may you be surrounded by those you love.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Cats in My Brain

I'm not kidding. I'm suddenly obsessed with cats!
Normally I prefer dogs, but right now, goodness knows why, I'm thinking about cats.

Cats at play, cats asleep, cats together, cats alone....

All kitten photos are courtesy of Amy Bender, humom to the famous Sauerkraut.
We don't have pets - too many allergies in this family. The cats I can't get out of my head are of the fabric kind - quilted cats, of course.

I haven't decided yet if they should reside on a lap quilt or a wall hanging, but I've already ordered a 10" layer cake for my kitties.

Add caption
This idea has been playing around in my head for months. I'm determined that the Calico Cats on my mug rugs will have plenty of company in the spring.

Cats could become the next quilt along theme. Or not. There are so many options out there.

I'm definitely making this quilt, but should cats be the next quilt along theme? Would you prefer something different?

Do let me know what you think. 

Wishing you a purr-fect week! 

Friday, November 6, 2015

A Week of Lessons and Bean Soup

Lesson # 1: Never make a wool purse! 

It did turn out to be just fine in the end, but oh, my goodness, what a headache! I knew the thickness of the seams would be a problem. Understatement of the year! After breaking three needles in a row, I switched over to a heavy duty denim needle and, when sewing the thickest seams, I resorted to turning the wheel on the sewing machine by hand.

I love the leather handles, but I needed three hands to sew them on. One hand was needed just to hold the leather in position so I could sew it. The other two hands were needed for the sewing. Since I was born with only two hands, I cheated. With a little squeeze from the glue gun my handles held quite nicely in place while I sewed them on. That worked out so well that I got the glue gun out again to simplify holding the plastic canvas in place on the base of the bag.

Lesson # 2: Some ideas are just a waste of time.
Three finished blocks are going into the "I'll find a place for these later." pile. I will find a place because I do like the blocks. For now, though, they can keep the other UFOs company.

I spent three days working on this table runner. It wasn't so much the design as it was one of the fabrics I was trying to use. I did look for a different fabric for those large triangles, but I couldn't find anything, so I worked entirely from my stash.  I wanted to use up some of my collection of reproduction fabrics, and I succeeded - just not quite the way I had intended.  The blocks are great, but some of my fabric stash is going straight into the giveaway box. If I can't use it, I'd better let it go to someone who can. I'd rather have space for new fabrics than hang onto fabrics that I know I'll never get around to using.

Lesson #3: Check the food labels!
I had a sudden hankering for bean soup the other day. Normally, I would buy dried beans, soak them overnight, and cook them up the next day. Normally, I would use homemade chicken broth and a an old fashioned ham bone to make my soup. On the morning the hankering hit me, though, I was at the grocery store, and I really wanted this soup for lunch the same day. I had a long list and I was in a hurry, so I started grabbing ingredients as I chased through the aisles. One can of chicken broth, two cans of great northern beans. They don't carry ham bones? What has the world come to? I haven't bought a ham bone in at least two decades, but I was stunned that they don't carry them any more. So, then, a chunk of ham from the refrigerated area. I was in that section for eggs and yogurt anyway.

As soon as the groceries were put away at home, I got my soup started using the recipe I had learned from my grandmother. Before long, the kitchen was filled with the lovely aroma of an old-fashioned comfort food. When I tasted my soup to see how it was coming I almost gagged. Oh my goodness, but it was salty! I'd been in such a hurry at the store that I'd forgotten to check labels for salt. Nothing was salt free or low sodium, and the ham must have been the saltiest ham ever made.

The only remedy for excess salt that I know is to use potatoes to soak up some of it. So, I peeled several potatoes, quartered them, and dropped them into the pot with more water. Half an hour later I tasted again. Fortunately, the potatoes absorbed enough of the salt that the soup was quite edible. And, surprise! Potatoes in bean soup are yummy! I have a new recipe!

Not a great photo, but definitely great soup.

Quick and Easy Ham and Great Northern Bean Soup (with Potatoes).
Low sodium ingredients are recommended.


  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 T oil
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 16 oz. can of chicken broth 
  • 2 16 oz. cans of great northern beans
  • 4 small potatoes cut into quarters
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 - 6  cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot, saute the chopped onion in oil until just lightly golden.
  2. Add 4 cups of the water and all of the other ingredients to the pot. 
  3. Cook on medium, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. 
  4. Add more water as needed. 

What's up for next week? 
I have no idea, but I can't wait to find out!

Wishing you a week of wonderful surprises!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Wool Purse, Part I: What Was I Thinking?

Sometimes I wonder what I've got myself into. When I was a teenager I drove a car full of my friends down this narrow dirt road an we wound up stuck in a farmer's field with mud up to the hubcaps. I'm heading off into goodness knows where with this purse, too. I just hope this adventure has a happier ending!

I make lots of purses and bags, but I don't make patterns for them. I can't, because when I start I don't really know what the final design will be. I have some general measurements in mind, but other than that, I pretty much make it up as I go. It's the only way that really works for me. Except for when it doesn't.

This past summer my daughter had a garage sale, and I found a treasure - a wonderful piece of heavy wool, caramel colored coat fabric from at least twenty years ago. It was just what I needed, so I'm finally ready to go with the wool purse I've been thinking about since last year. I pulled out my stash of felted wool and chose some pieces to work into a design. I even bought leather handles.

I couldn't use all of my fabrics, so there may be another wool purse in the future.
Wool is lovely, but the layers of wool and interfacing are much thicker than I had anticipated. I've already had to make some adjustments, but now I worry that my seams may be bulky and ugly. Fingers crossed.

I started with the pocket and fusible web applique, of course. To make this really special I did both the applique stitching and the embroidery by hand. I know - crazy, but I like details.  Fortunately I found some lovely wool thread at my local shop. I embroidered a stem and attached five fused leaves with a blanket stitch. I got a bit carried away and topstitched the pocket opening by hand, too.
The topstitching in this photo is pretty crooked and irregular, so I took it out and did it over again. 

I decided to make rounded corners on the top of this bag. It's a different look for me, and the zipper should be easier to attach this way.

Front, back, pocket, zipper, and lining.

I love working with wool. It's soft, flexible, and so wonderfully forgiving. Getting a sharply pressed edge on heavyweight wool, though, can be impossible. So it was back to hand stitching to keep the fabric against the zipper nice and flat.
I wasn't sure about this at first, but I like it. It gives the zipper a hand tailored look.

As usual, I've added a zippered pocket to one side of the lining, and a row of small pockets to the other.

I've ironed a lightweight fusible interfacing onto the wrong side of the fabric to give it more body and durability.

Then I had a sudden brainstorm! I may hate this when all is said and done, but I added  a small pocket  for my cell phone to the lining of the large front pocket. Actually, I added an extra pocket, too.  I'd cut the first piece too small, so I turned it sideways and sewed it on. I have no idea how these will work. 

There will be no more sewing before Sunday. I'm meeting a friend for lunch tomorrow, and I absolutely have no choice but to find some warm indoor clothes. The temperature was 46 degrees today, and my husband had our windows open!  

Stay tuned for Part II of the Wool Purse,
and don't forget to fall back!


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Fall Tossing, Peanut Butter Frosting, & Zucchini Soup

First truth: I love my sewing room. Second truth: Although it was the largest available room in my house, it's way too small for all my stuff!

Cramped space isn't all bad, I suppose. There is an upside to squeezing everything into a small room. Since it doesn't take much clutter to turn the space into a maze, there's no choice but to keep things organized. That's not a bad thing.

On the other hand, controlling chaos also forces the occasional sort and toss, and parting with things can be downright painful. The overstuffed boxes, drawers, baskets, and surfaces have reached the point where something has to go. Make that plural. Lots of somethings have to go. I'll be saying good-bye to a few projects, both finished and unfinished, extra fabrics and supplies, and some other accumulated "stuff". Where to start? Where to stop? Most important of all, who to dump it on?

Taking the first step in the grand clean out wasn't hard at all. My daughter rather likes one of the numerous UFOs in my boxes, so it's going to her house. I've been working on it this week. The less than perfect quilting is completed, and the binding goes on later today. That's one item gone.  More to come.

My daughter's choice: a disappearing four patch lap quilt in Kaffe Fassett prints.

There are only two places you need to look for me in my house. If I'm not in the sewing room, check the kitchen. This week my kitchen time was limited so the recipes were quick and easy.

The soup of the week was extra yummy "Cream of Zucchini Soup" from This is my new favorite soup for fall. Terri Lyn shared the link with me, and I'm sharing it with all of you. Thank you, Terri! If anyone else has a super recipe for any favorite food, please let me know and I'll post it here. 

I served the soup with melon and a chunk of whole wheat baguette. It made such a tasty, healthy lunch. 

Creamy Zucchini Soup

I also baked a cake this week. Thursday was the day for my monthly fifth grade book talks, and I had lunch in the teacher's lounge with my buddies. I aways try to take a treat for them, and this cake was it.

I should have taken my photo before the cake was discovered. These two little pieces are all that remain.
The cake was a basic sour cream chocolate dump cake that was just okay. My peanut butter frosting, though, was a real hit, and everyone wanted the recipe.  I hardly dare to call it a recipe. It's just a buttercream frosting made with equal amounts of butter and peanut butter.

This is the way I made it for an 8" square cake. Pair it with your favorite baked chocolate something,  and get ready for rave reviews.

  1. In a medium bowl, cream 1/4 cup of room temperature butter and and 1/4 cup of peanut butter together until fluffy. 
  2. Add a teaspoon of vanilla, three or four tablespoons of milk, and a couple of cups of powdered sugar. Blend thoroughly.
  3. Add more milk and/or powdered sugar until the frosting is a nice spreadable consistency.
  4. Frost cooled cake, cupcakes, or cookies and grate a little chocolate on top. 
... or just eat it with a spoon.

Wishing you a lovely last week in October.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls - a recipe

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls - a recipe

I've put patterns aside for a week or two so I can work on other things. This week I've washed windows and begun filling my freezer with pre-cooked soups and casseroles. The farmer's market will be closed for the winter very soon, so I've been gathering and preparing as many local veggies as I can manage.

As the season comes to a close, the farmer's market is overflowing with delicious veggies.  I brought home pumpkins, fresh canning tomatoes, zucchini, green and red peppers, and two beautiful pale green cabbages. I had big plans for all of them, especially for the cabbages.

Cabbage rolls stuffed with rice, ground beef, and herbs are a favorite at our house. This is old-fashioned comfort food at it's best. The recipe takes quite a bit of time, but it is so worth the effort.

Once cooked, these freeze beautifully. Wrap them individually in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer bag in the freezer. They will keep for up to two months.

My grandmother's stuffed cabbage went by the title, "Pigs in Blankets", and it was made with ground pork.  My recipe takes some elements from my grandmother's stuffed cabbage rolls and others from my mother-in-law's recipe. The vinegar comes from my grandmother, the beef from my mother-in-law, and the abundant herbs from both of them. The brown sugar that adds sweetness to the sour is all mine. Grandma's cabbage rolls were baked in the oven, my mother-in-law's were cooked on the stovetop, and mine are slowly simmered in a crockpot.

The Ingredients:

  • 1 medium cabbage
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup uncooked long grained rice (I used basmati.)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 T vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh, chopped parsley (1 /2 T dried)
  • 1/4 cup fresh, chopped dill (1 T dried)
  •  Chopped tomatoes, 15 oz. can 
  • 1 small can of tomato sauce, 8 oz
  • 1-2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 T brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Steam the cabbage to soften it for stuffing. 

This can take half an hour or more, so I often do it a day in advance. A large vegetable steamer is the best utensil to use, but I don't have one. I substituted a large pot with a tight fitting lid and a metal colander that fits inside.

the core removed                                      the first layer of leaves draining                the cabbage inverted in the pot.

  1. Place water in the pot. It should reach almost to the bottom of the insert, but it shouldn't actually touch the cabbage. Bring the water to a boil. Turn the temperature down so the water just bubbles gently. 
  2. Use a small paring knife to cut out the heart of the cabbage, then invert the cabbage and place it upside down in the container in the pot. Put the lid on the pot.
  3. The leaves need to be steamed just enough to shape easily around the stuffing without breaking.  
  4. After 10 minutes or so, gently peel off the softened outer leaves. Place them in a colander to cool. 
  5. Return the cabbage to the pot, put the lid on, and wait for the next layer of two or three leaves to soften. As the cabbage heats through less time will be needed to soften the leaves. 
  6. Repeat this process till all of the leaves of usable size have been removed. The small leaves wrapped tightly in the center of the cabbage can be saved for another use or discarded. 
Prepare the Stuffing 

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring a quart of water to a boil. Turn the temperature down to medium. Add a teaspoon of salt, one tablespoon of the oil, and the rice. Stir. Allow the rice to cook for ten to fifteen minutes. When the grains of rice are firm in the center, but not crunchy, remove the pot from the stove and pour the rice in a mesh strainer to drain off the water. Set the rice aside.
  2. Pour the remaining tablespoon of oil into a large skillet with the onions. Saute the onions until just golden in color. Remove the onions and set aside. 
  3. Brown the ground beef in the same skillet. Drain off any excess oil and return the onions to the skillet with the ground beef. Add the parsley, dill, and tomato sauce plus salt and pepper. Simmer on medium low heat for about ten minutes. 
  4. Add the drained rice to the skillet and mix stir.
Stuff the Cabbage Leaves

  1. Make a layer of two or three of the larger leaves on the bottom of the crockpot. This will prevent the bottom cabbage rolls from scorching. 
  2. Hold a cabbage leaf in one hand. The leaf will naturally curl to form a pocket near the base. 
  3. Add enough stuffing to fit comfortably in the pocket. The amount will vary from one tablespoon to as many as three tablespoons depending on the size of the leaf. 
  4. Fold the sides of the leaf in snuggly so they overlap a bit at the center.
  5. Fold the top of the leaf down.
  6. The cabbage roll should be quite compact, but not so tight as to tear the cabbage leaf. Continue making the rolls will all of the usable leaves. 
(Extra stuffing can be heated and cooked through for a side dish.)

6. Place each roll in the crockpot, folded side down.
7. When the bottom of the crockpot is filled, layer the rolls on top of each other.
8. Pour the cooked, diced tomatoes over all.
9. Cook on low heat for 4-6 hours, or until the cabbage is cooked through and tender.

To serve, remove the cabbage rolls to a serving dish, and spoon the juice in the bottom of the crockpot over them.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Pair of Projects With Candles

The warm light of glowing candles creates feelings of home, comfort, and love. I'm sure that's why candles are symbolic of both Christmas and romantic love. I find myself particularly drawn to them as the holiday season approaches. I had planned to make a candle mug rug this year, but the table runner absolutely insisted on getting itself made at the same time. I'm so glad it did. I had the perfect batiks for the table runner in my stash, and this pair of patterns turned out to be among my all time favorites.

"Candle" mug rug.

"Candlelight" table runner.
I loved using white for candles, but the darker background fabrics were showing through on both projects. The easiest solution was to line each candle with a layer of lightweight muslin. I used fusible web between the muslin and the main white fabric to hold the two together. Then I added another layer of fusible web to the back of the muslin. It does make for a stiffer piece, so I wouldn't want to double the layers like this on a lap quilt or a bed quilt.

Quilting doesn't show up very much on the the background fabric in the table runner, so I had a perfect opportunity to practice some FMQ. Feathers and swirls went smoothly, but pebbles are beyond me! No matter how many pebbles I stitch or what size I make them, they come out disconnected and less than round. I'll keep plugging away though. I love beautifully stitched pebbles, and I've never been able to resist a challenge.

I think the candles may be my last Christmas patterns for the year. There are loads of other patterns begging to be made, but even those will wait a week or so.

Next week I'll be cooking and doing some essential fall housecleaning. A person can only squeeze so many hours from a day.

Wishing you a beautiful weekend!

And, Happy Stitching!

Friday, October 9, 2015

A Bit of Reading and a New Purse

There will never, ever be another purse like this one - at least not in my future.  I'm afraid I bit off a bit more than I could comfortably chew with this design. Recessed zipper, curved bottom, curved top, internal zippered pocket - simply too many elements in one bag. If I'd only made the top perfectly straight across everything would have been fine. It was that curve along the zipper line that threw the lining off and made me crazy.

I like lots of pocket in my bags. This one has a nice, large one on the outside, plus three smaller pockets and that zippered one on the inside. 

See that upward curve at the outside edges where the lining meets the black zipper. Essential, but such a pain,

A peek at the inside lining under construction.

I've read two excellent historical fiction books during the past two weeks, and I'm just getting into another. I'd been on a waiting list at the library for all three, and they all arrived at once. Three war stories in a row, but each one so very good! I've enjoyed the gift of several lovely late nights curled up in my reading chair followed by more than one sleepy morning. 

The Latest Reading: 

"The Nightingale" by Kristin Hannah.  This was set France during the WWII occupation by Germany. Like "The Winter Garden' by the same author, it's a story of two sisters separated by age, temperament, and a broken family. In "The Nightingale", the older sister's husband is a French soldier, and she is trying to keep her daughter and herself safe and alive during the occupation.  The younger sister joins the French Resistance and takes enormous risks to defy the Nazis.

"Orhan's Inheritance" by Aline Ohanesian. This is an account of the lesser known genocide - the murder of thousands of Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire during WWI. This year is the 100th anniversary of that event. It's a beautifully written and very moving story that moves back and forth between the years of WWI and the 1990's.

"All the Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr is the book I have just begun reading. So far, I've been very impressed with the author's wonderful use of language and the development of the two main characters, a blind French girl and a young German soldier.

We're enjoying another gorgeous 
autumn weekend on the prairie.

I hope your week is filled with beauty and wonder.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

A "First Christmas" Wall Hanging and a Few Lessons

fIt's been a year of exploring new ideas and experimentation. The latest "first" is finally complete.

"First Christmas", 17" x 23 1/2"

It seems like I've been working on this project for months, and in some ways I have been.

Last year, on one our quilt shop hops, we happened upon some stained glass quilts that were different from any I'd seen before. Making and working with the narrow bias tape needed for curved shapes on stained glass quilts is a daunting prospect that scares many on us away from these projects. The curved and detailed shapes of these quilts, however, were outlined with ready made fusible 1/4" bias tape. The seed for this wall hanging was planted that day. And it grew and grew.

I spent most of my spare time in September working on the design for this quilt and locating the right fabrics. The actual construction went surprisingly fast, but, oh my goodness, did I wind up doing things the hard way! It was a new experience for me, but that's how we learn. Every new step is a lesson, and those missteps become the greatest lessons of all.

New Learning

Lesson 1: Sometimes it's best to forego the nonstick applique pressing sheet and fuse appliques right onto the fabric.

I'd thought that it would be so much easier to center my applique onto the gold background oval if it was all in one piece. Normally that's very true, but lifting a large applique in one piece when it's only held together with thin strips of bias tape is just a wee bit tricky. More than a wee bit, in fact. More like almost impossible.

I've written the pattern to show an alternate, much easier way to get everything nicely centered. It involves folding the gold fabric in quarters and pressing light fold lines to guide the placement. Those folds coordinate with guidelines in the pattern. Next time I'll start out this way.

Lesson 2: A rectangle of fabric with a big hole in the middle doesn't like to lay flat.

I didn't want the dark blue fabric behind the gold to alter its color. I had found a perfect piece of soft, golden yellow batik in my stash, but it was barely large enough for my needs. My local quilt shop didn't have anything similar that I liked, so I was being super careful.

Instead of trimming the blue out from behind the gold when it was attached, I decided to cut the oval out of the blue in the first place and then lay it over the gold. But the blue became totally misshaped when I laid it on my work table with that big hole in the middle. In the end, I adhered it to a muslin foundation with quilt basting spray, then I tucked the yellow behind the blue fabric. The double thickness of fabric was too much, but I couldn't remove the muslin until I'd finished stitching the bias tape down. Again, I've written the pattern with an easier option for construction.

Lesson 3: If I ever make this quilt again, I'll either leave the darker blue decorative free motion stitching off the sleeve or I'll add it in with a machine stitch.

Mary and Joseph lived in an area of the world that has always been known for beautiful embroidery, so I thought it might be appropriate to show a bit of embroidery on Mary's sleeve. I'm afraid my level of skill and a dull needle on my sewing machine didn't allow me to accurately reproduce my vision of the embroidery in free motion quilting. It's just "okay".

Lesson 4: Taking a risk and experimenting with a brand new idea was not a mistake!!

Once again, I find myself promoting a product, but this 1/4" fusible bias tape is really excellent.  It molds easily around even small curves. I was worried about fitting it smoothly around the baby's head, but it worked beautifully with practically no effort at all.

This isn't available in my local quilt shops, but I found it easily on eBay.
Once the tape is fused with a hot iron, it needs to be stitched in place. A straight line of stitching on the edge of the tape looks great, but I chose a machine hemming stitch.

Black thread on black bias tape doesn't show in photos, so here it is on regular yellow bias tape.

Will I make another stained glass quilt? 
I've just ordered two more spools of fusible bias tape, so I am prepared. 
Just in case.

My hubby has decided that this is my "masterpiece". He's such a devoted fan. He's even chosen a special place to hang it so he can admire it every day.  Have to love that man.