Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Not so vanilla binding

I'm trying reeeeeeally hard to get a jump on some holiday gift making.  Starting with homemade Vanilla extract.  It takes a few weeks to cure (about 8) so I started it today, hoping to pour into cute little glass bottles for Christmas gifts.  I usually don't think of these things until three days before the holidays and then do a hand slap to the head, wondering why I didn't come up with it sooner.  This year I'm going to be smart.
So, besides feeling all smug about my smart self, here's what I did.....
Gather some 40% vodka,  (the cheap stuff is good here.  Save the Grey Goose for a dirty martini later, after you're done slaving in the kitchen), vanilla beans ( 1-3 beans per 4 oz. vodka), and a sterilized glass bottle with tight fitting lid.  You can even use an old wine bottle, just jam the cork back in there to seal.  Now split the beans open with a sharp knife.
Put the beans into your bottle, pour the vodka over them and seal tight.  Store in a dark cupboard for about 8 weeks. The first week or so take it out to say hello and give it a good shake.  If you open and smell it you will want to drink it.  Just ignore this and go get a piece of chocolate out of the drawer instead.
At the end of the curing time, decant into fancy little bottles and decorate with ribbon. Voila!
There are a lot of different websites out there with vanilla extract recipes.  Here is one, and you can also try here.

  I'm sewing binding on a quilt I just finished.  I know, it's totally unrelated to vanilla extract, and there was no way to smoothly transition from the kitchen to the sewing room, except that the binding is the same color as the vanilla beans,  but, will you just look at how this is sewn on.......
I think I squealed out loud when I saw the binding on this blog.  I have never seen this before!  If you have, then pardon my childlike enthusiasm, but I think this is GREAT!  It completely adds another layer of color and interest to your quilt.  I had already sewn my binding to the front by machine, so I flipped it over to the back, and sewed it down with pink Perle cotton.  You could even sew your binding down to the back of your quilt, then turn it over, and the stitching would show on the front. How fun is that? 

More pics of the quilt coming up later.  I'm going back to the kitchen now.  I'm pretty sure there was some vodka left over.  Now where did I put those olives? 
Linking to Tuesday at the Table


  1. Oh yum! And I just checked out the blog link for the binding. I LOVE this binding and have never seen it before. She has a fabulous blog, too!

  2. Love this post. It made me chuckle away. How do you stop yourself from hiding away in the pantry sipping the vanilla essence as the holiday season stress builds? I could just see me doing just that.Great recipe. The quilt binding looks really snazzy with the contrast perle stitching.

    1. I like the way you think! We have a "Harry Potter" cupboard under the stairs (we actually call it that). Might have to make that my place to "test" the Christmas cheer. I have hidden candy in there, and no one is the wiser.

  3. What a fun post! Have you made the vanilla before??
    And I have seen that binding idea once - very cool indeed. I had wondered if it was sewn down as usual and THEN with the Perle cotton as an accent, or just the Perle? You think the latter, yes?? Very fun.
    Thanks for linking up to T@tT!

  4. Have never made it before...fingers crossed! I couldn't tell how she did her binding, but mine is sewn with the Perle cotton to the back only. Hope it holds up in the wash. Crossing fingers and toes : )

  5. I can smell the vanilla from here!!! What a terrific idea!
    I LOVE the quilt binding...I does add such a cool touch to the look of the quilt! Let us know how it holds up in the wash :) And I can't wait for it's ta-dah moment! xoxo Debbie

  6. Two fabulous ideas in one day. Girl, I can't keep up with you. I want to make a quilt just so I can do that binding. Love.

  7. I love your blog. It gives me a giggle each time I read it. I would so love to be your neighbor and your best friend. You are a hoot. I love the vanilla extract idea but love the drinking part even better. : )

    Love the quilt binding and the added element of color.


You guys are awesome! Thank you for the comments!