The Aspiring Profi Frau

Send me pictures of your projects

I would love to post pictures of your projects and the clever things you do. Send me an email with a picture attached and maybe a little bit of background about your project.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

An end in sight!

I went to the fabric store and got the matching material that I needed. I've been working hard and only have 2 more blocks to finish- You can see in the picture that they are partially done. I think I'll make 3 so I can replace the square with more green in it- I like the green square but didn't have enough green to make more than one. I did a closer picture of 2 of my new squares so you could see the fabric I got. It's just a little darker than I thought it was but I think it will work out just fine.
It may be another week before I'm far enough along post the finished quilt top. I really enjoy quilting but was feeling cluttered with my iron, ironing board, cutting mat, fabric and sewing machine all out. I put it all away and am excited to get some fresh air.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Quilting, quilting, all the day

Well, last week I made 3 more quilt squares. I was going to wait to post and be really diligent so I could post 6 or 9 squares all at once, but let's face it- I didn't meet my goal. That could mean #1) I'm a slacker #2) I'm a busy mom who has a life outside of quilting. Although both are often true, I'll have to stick with #2 as my excuse.

Anyway, I'm wanting to hit this project hard because I don't like pulling my cutting mat out every few days, just to put it all away. Here is my latest update... I made a square with the star part in green because it worked better with the scraps I had. See Below.
Now, I've cut out enough of the paisley (yellowish fabric) to finish my quilt. I also have enough green scraps to finish the quilt. unfortunately, I ran out of the maroon fabric, so I need to run to the fabric store before I can do any more. The good news- Only five more blocks before I can sew the whole top together.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Circle Jeans Quilt

I saw this cool quilt on a website and thought I would share. I basically just copied and pasted and am not sure I totally get what she's done with the back of the quilt, but I thought you might enjoy this. I'm trying to decide if I want to do all of this work, but thought that it was a darling alternative to the traditional blue jean quilt.

Dina's Jeans and Flannel Quilt

From Doreen
Bismark, North Dakota

I call this a Circle Jeans Quilt.
From the front it reminds me of a Cathedral Windows Quilt.

They are very easy to make. Here's how:

Using the lid off a coffee can (or any size plastic lid off any container, you can choose the size "squares" you want by the size of the "circle") cut out circles from old jeans. You can remove pockets and other obstructions that are in the way of your circle to get more fabric out of an old pair of jeans. This will give you a two-tone effect on that part of the fabric in the finished jeans templates

Cut a piece of cardboard from a cereal or cracker box just slightly larger than would fit into the size of your circle. If you lay the square over the top of the circle you'll want the corners of the square to just peek out of the circle edge by about a 16th of an inch. If you have an ice cream bucket lid handy you can cut the square from it and have both your templates made out of plastic -- almost indestructible! If using the paperboard, you may have to redraw it if you're making lots of quilts because you'll gradually be wearing away your sharp edge as you draw around it.

I use an ink pen to trace around the shapes. I know this is a "no-no" in quilting, but I figure since it's already blue the blue jean fabric won't really be harmed by either blue or black ink and it shows up well on the dark blue.

After cutting out your circles you will draw a square onto the blue jean circle. This will be your sewing line. You need to align two blue jean circles, right sides together, so the squares line up. Sew along one side of the square. Open up and fingerpress or iron the flap seams open. I use regular dual-duty sewing thread and backstitch at both the starting and stopping edge of the seam. A heavy-duty thread might be good to use if you plan on lots of rough jeans layout

Continue sewing circles together till you've created a chain then sew the chains together to make the piece as large as you want. I find it a little easier to work with if I create the quilt in "blocks" then sew my blocks together. Blocks could be any size you find comfortable to work with. As it gets larger it is a bit bulky to sew. Working in blocks to do the finishing work is easier.

You will need to use your square to also cut other complimentary fabrics to place inside the "windows". These can be all from one color (red goes well with blue jeans) or they can be an assortment of scraps you want to use up for a true "scrap quilt". Some thicker fabrics I find easier to work with if I trim just a tish off of two sides to make the square slightly smaller. (If you're stuffing your quilt at this stage you will definitely want to cut your squares a tish smaller - a second square template slightly smaller than the first one would be good to have for cutting these).

circle blue jeansTo finish off you place the scrap fabric square within the "flaps" created on the back side of the jeans block. Fingerpress or iron the "flaps" down. Using a zig-zag stitch (set fairly close together) stitch along the curved edges of the "window". This will be like a machine applique effect and helps to reinforce the quilt to stand up to a lot of wear and tear. The most time efficient way to do this stitching is to zig-zag stitch in long wavy lines as the curves undulate the length of the block, then go back and zig-zag the curves across the width of the block. You will need to leave the outer edge of the block unfinished so you can sew all the blocks together, then go back and add the fabric squares and finish off these areas once all the blocks are together.

Alternative: It is possible to wait and sew all the square fabric pieces into the quilt at the end after you have assembled all the circles together, then top stitch the zig-zag curves all at one time. I find it too bulky to work this way in the cramped sewing area I have. If you've got lots of room to work though, this might be an option for you.

You might also want to bind the outer edge, I chose not to.

reverse side of jeans circle quiltI didn't add any batting in my quilt because I wanted a lighter weight summer quilt, but if you want extra warmth you could add batting scraps in under the fabric squares, or make a "puffy" quilt by stuffing with cotton balls or polyester.

The thing I like most with this quilt is that it is all machine finished. It's quick and easy with no hand quilting to it. You don't even have to take the time to "tie" it. It finishes itself -- and both sides look great.

My friend did hers with all red bandana squares and red applique thread in the bobbin case. It looked great with the red wavy lines on the jeans side! Mine is all scraps from different clothes the kids wore when they were little. It makes a nice memory quilt to think back to when they used to wear those clothes.

Hope you like this quilt, thanks for letting me share. The images I included were made by putting the blocks on a scanner.

Just for gee-whiz information the majority of the prints that showed in the front side of the scan were from fabric scraps my mom had given me a long time ago. I just wanted to use them up rather than throw out. They were pretty old pieces of fabric in this circle quilt. Most were from shirts my dad or my brothers wore when I was little. I'm 41 years old now, so those are pretty old now. It seems funny to look back on those old fabric designs.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
3/4 to 1 c. peanut butter
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. Bisquick baking mix
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixer bowl, beat sweetened condensed milk, peanut butter, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Add biscuit mix; mix well. Chill at least one hour. Shape into one inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Flatten with fork. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned (do not over bake). Cool. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

The recipe I used didn't call for an egg, but I think that would have made these better. The cookies I made were a little too rich and wonder if an egg would have helped. On the other hand, if you are out of eggs sometime, know that these cookies turned out even with no egg.

I love that these cookies are softer than the traditional peanut butter cookie. They are a little bit rich, so be prepared (after eating 1 cookie I felt like I had eaten 4). These were really quick to mix up, too. Enjoy.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Well, I had a busy weekend. With Justin gone for a few days, I hunkered down and started my new hobby- Quilting. I finished my first quilting block on Wednesday, my second Thursday, and my third on Friday. I also used some of the scraps to start making a doll quilt for my little girl.

My grandma told me that her mother used to call pieced quilts "idiot quilts" because only an idiot would cut up fabric just to sew it back together. It was a little tedious, but I liked figuring it all out and it was easier than I expected. I guess I only have 9 more blocks to make if I want a full quilt. These are made from scraps, so I guess I'll just keep going until I run out of scraps and see where it gets me.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

My favorite lip gloss

Hey, I know a lot of you women out there love lip gloss as much as I do. Well, today I went to bath and body works and they had C.O. Bigelow lip gloss for $2 (only for certain colors). They had the 3 for $10 special on the ones that weren't $2, but I like the color I was able to get. Anyway, it's a steal for this mint scented gloss that is usually $7.50. I'm not sure how long the sale lasts, but thought I would spread the word.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Cute Dishes I've been Coveting


As most who read my blog(s) know, my husband Justin, is a true cowboy. I have always thought cowboy themes were cute, and having a cowboy around is the perfect reason to indulge, right? Well, anyway, they sell these at Kohl's and I was there today. One of those things that I know I don't need (I really love the dishes I have from my wedding, and have plenty of them), but I just think these are really fun. Plus, it probably doesn't help to have a mom who has millions of fabulous serving dishes.

Today was the first time I had seen the "regular" collection. I was secretly coveting the Christmas version during the holidays, to go with my cowboy Christmas theme. I saw them at the store and went back to look at them (while I was still at Kohl's) about 4 times, but never mentioned it to anyone. Boy, was I surprised when I opened my sibling gift from Justin's sister and she had given me some of those dishes so that I can do some fun entertaining during the holidays. I can't wait to use them, and maybe just knowing they are packed away in my garage, will get me through. Sigh. Is that dramatic enough for you?

Lesson #1- Profi Frauen are frugal.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Valentine's Day

I was just wondering if anyone out there has some great Valentine's Day traditions. I'd like to incorporate more traditions into our holidays. Here are the few that we have:
1) The weekend before Valentine's Day we have a special breakfast. The first year it was a breakfast picnic and we hiked to a waterfall, the last two years, we've been a little busier so it's just been a nice breakfast at home (with heart shaped muffins, our favorite yogurts, and our other breakfast favorites).
2) I usually make sugar cookies.
3) It's been kind of weak (I've never executed it well enough), but I've tried for a couple of years to do the 14 days of Valentines and have done something nice on the days leading up to Valentine's Day. ( Cleaning the house, buying a favorite treat or pack of gum, a heart attack, a poem, etc.)

* I would love to hear some of your traditions and hopefully incorporate some of them into our holiday. I'd also like to get some ideas of what you do with your kids, or what you did as a kid to celebrate V-day.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Goin' Fishing
I'm really excited about my new proposed hobby. Quilting. I've got some scraps lying around and wanted to make them into something fabulous. This is my solution. My mom gave me some great websites to get some free patterns. In fact, if you click on the picture of this quilt, it will bring up a free pattern. My favorite so far is
I found two quilts there that I like the look of, so we'll see how it comes out. I'm trying to decide right now if I should browse a little longer or get started on one of these quilts that I've picked out.

Here are some of the other sites to find free quilt patterns.

Happy quilting.Frolic Block Suggested Layout

Monday, January 14, 2008

Peanut Butter and Chocolate- a match made in heaven

Peanut Butter Chocolate Rice Krispies Treats (by Todd Wilbur)
1 Tbsp. Margarine
2 Tbsp. Peanut Butter
1/8 tsp. salt
5 C. miniature marshmallows
1/2 tsp.vanilla
6 C. Rice Krispies Cereal
1- 12 oz. bag milk chocolate chips
non-stick cooking spray

1. Combine margarine, peanut butter and salt in a large saucepan over low heat. (I'll say right now that clean-up is 10 times easier if you do this all in the microwave instead).
2. When peanut butter and margarine have melted, remove from heat. Add the marshmallows and microwave again (for about a minute or until the marshmallows are melty and puffy).
3. Add Rice Krispies adn stir until cereal is well coated with the melted marshmallow mixture.
4. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with a light coating of non-stick cooking spray. Pour the Rice Krispies mixture int the dish and, using wax paper or lightly greased hands, press down until it's flat in the dish. Cool
5. Prepare the topping by pouring the chocolate chips into a glass dish. Microwave for 2 minutes on 50% power. Stir Gently. Microwave for an additional minute on 50 % power Stir gently once more until smooth. If the mixture hasn't completely melted, zap it again for another 30 seconds.
6. Use a spatula to spread a thin layer of chocolate over the top of the Rice Krispies mixture. Cool at room temp. (at least 72 degrees), or chill until firm. Slice into 16 bars.

Can you believe that in the 7 years I've lived away from home I have never once made Rice Krispy Treats. I was a little nervous, but they turned out pretty good. My few mistakes- #1) Substituting semi-sweet chips for milk chocolate chips (I like semi-sweet in cookies but in this recipe they were too strong). #2) I got so anxious to mix the Rice Krispies into the marshmallow mixture that I forgot to add my two extra cups of Rice Krispies in. (hence, the smaller dish I ended up pressing my treats into so they wouldn't be paper thin). By the way, this dish I used is Polish Pottery. I first fell in love with polish pottery in Germnay. They make the cutest designs.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Famous Breadsticks

I went to a party not too long ago and brought my mom's famous breadsticks. They were a hit. Here is the recipe.

Famous Breadsticks
1 1/2 c. hot water
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 heaping Tbsp. yeast
3 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. melted butter

1. Combine hot water and sugar. Cool until just warm and add yeast.
2. Add flour and salt and mix and knead for 3 min. Let rest 10 min.
3. Add more flour to form a soft dough. Roll out to 1/4 inch thick and cut into 1" strips.
4. Twist each strip and place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with salad supreme (McCormick makes it) or parmesan.
5. Bake at 375 for 8 minutes.
6. Enjoy

If I came out victorious, anyone can. I am seriously intimidated by making bread but they turned out great (If I do say so myself).

A chic solution for nursing mommies

This is an example of the nursing covers I just made. They resemble those of a company I first knew of as bebe au lait

Of course, the matching diaper burp cloth I made.

All packaged up and ready to give away to my cute friends so they'll have them when their babies arive.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Profi Frau

Well, you see, I'm not really a profi (professional) Frau (wife). I'm just a hard-working wife and mother who is learning how and someday hopes to be a Profi Frau. My mother and mother in-law are both what I would call Profi Frauen. They both majored in Home Economics and are amazing and clever at doing all sorts of motherly and domestic things. I hope for this new blog to be a forum for me to post about clever things I learn to do, and to share with you my successes and failures on the road to becoming a Profi Frau. Enjoy.