Saturday, September 20, 2014

Pie Crust Perfection

I believe that being confident is the beginning of creativity. Once you have mastered the basics of a thing, you can spin-off with good results. I took one of the pie making classes at Craftsy. I did make a great apple pie that I did not photograph. And I made what you see here, cinnamon sausage and homemade hot pockets. Thanks to Evan Kleiman's great teaching, I can make fabulous, flakey, tender pie crusts. We are still having hot weather, but as soon as it turns cold, I will be diving into the soups class too. It's fun to learn new skills at Craftsy. All classes are on sale this week end too!


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

As Thanksgiving Approaches


I think more about food in the Fall and Winter. As a family we gather with friends more around food at the Holidays. I just took a look over at Craftsy to see what was cooking. Oh my goodness! I did not realize how many amazing cooking classes they have going over there. I found several I am going to try to cram in before Christmas - before Thanksgiving if I can. I have copied the class descriptions for you here, and posted my affiliate links for your convienience.
I am going to have to do this one, Love Your Vegetables, first. Read the description and you will see why:
Transform nutritious vegetables into crave-worthy meals your family will love with essential techniques for cooking seasonal vegetables year-round. Cooking Light executive chef Anna Bullett will share her expert tips for cutting and roasting winter squash with ease, incorporating hearty greens such as kale into mouthwatering pastas and even caramelizing Brussels sprouts and pairing them with crispy pancetta for a dish that will please your pickiest eater. Enjoy more than 20 recipes included with this class, from a tomato ricotta tart to grilled eggplant sandwiches with creamy aioli. Plus, get a bonus lesson on refrigerator pickling and preserve your favorite vegetables at the peak of their season.
I will use this one a lot: Building Flavorful Soups.  Transform everyday ingredients into an endless variety of soups to please every palate! Learn secrets for developing flavor from James Beard Award-winner Peter Berley, and discover recipes for more than twenty soups and broths --plus an array of creative garnishes! Quickly make small-batch broths instead of spending hours simmering, and learn to use chicken, ham and pork to create hearty, homey favorites. Roast vegetables for maximum flavor, then purée for creamy, silky-smooth soups. Delve into the flavors of the sea to make briny broths from roasted shrimp shells and clams, and explore exotic ingredients like kelp and wakame to build savory umami flavor. You’ll even learn how to create your favorite miso soup and four Japanese dashis!
My mom makes the most amazing pie crusts, but she lives 300 miles away. It's about time a grew up and made pies for my own family.
There is so much more. I will get started with these though, and let you know how it goes.

Monday, September 8, 2014

More new patterns since my last post

If you follow me other places you already know this, but I felt I should post here too. The skirt pattern is out.
And a new bag. I am calling it the Big Weekend Bag. It is also a great diaper bag and perfect to use with the zippered change pad bag
Back to slipcovers...
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Win Free Patterns

Sew this Fall and Win!

2 winners will receive every one of my new PDF patterns for a year

Post photos of your items made from any of my patterns at the StudioCherie Flickr Group from September 8, 2014 to December 21st, 2014 for a chance to win. 2 lucky winners will receive every single PDF pattern I release over the coming 12 months - from January 2015 through the end of December 2015.
One winner will be chosen randomly from entries and one winner will be the person who submits the greatest number of projects made from my patterns.
It's time to sew those holiday gifts now, right? Submit here and be a winner!
Winners will be announced Monday, December 29th
Please share this with your friends who sew. I can hardly wait to see what you make!
Need inspiration?

See what other people are making

Need a StudioCherie pattern?
Buy a StudioCherie pattern at Craftsy
There could be extra prizes for people who go all out and make themselves a set like this.
If you are feeling shy, you can hide behind your bags.
You don't have to be in the photo at all, but I love to get a good shot and I hope you do too.
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Monday, August 4, 2014

The Internet verses The Outernet

The most up-to-date info on what I am doing is now found on my Facebook page. For me, that is the most efficient way to post photos and tiny updates. I think it is the way I am reaching the most people too. So if you don't follow me yet on FB, please do.
If you are reading this, I am sure you struggle with how much time you spend on the internet verses how many things you need to accomplish in the outernet, aka the real world, the physical realm. Actually, the internet is a real world and we need to operate in it. The question is always how to do so without it sucking up the whole day. I do have a smart phone, but I am not glued to it - that helps. Everything is bigger and better on my PC, so when I am in the outerverse, I can talk or text as necessary, but I save any navigation or online interaction including Facebook for when I am on the PC. I am in a minority. I am blown away by the number of people using mobile devices to buy things. When they do this, they are not reading descriptions. Sometimes they don't even know what they bought. As an online retailer, I have to try to cram all of my pertinent info into a single photo to capture that audience - like, yeah.  About 1/2 of my Etsy business is done on mobile devices. If you have an Etsy shop, now is the time to optimize for mobile. I uploaded a video to Facebook that is optimized for mobile devices, so this is one to watch from your tablet or phone. I am talking about and showing my different travel bags.
Blogs are still bomdiggity for building an audience in the sewing world, but I wonder how Facebook is catching up to that for other seamsters out there. I may have to interview someone.
For those of you who don't Facebook, here is the lowdown on my recent releases and upcoming works:
New pattern -  Cathedral Style Table Runner (instructions also given for turning it into a quilt) This is an update and slight improvement on the technique I used to make the cathedral style tote back in 2010. It is a fun and quick project that I think will put you in a holiday decorating mood.
New in the Simplicity catalog - #1335 chairs pattern.
I have testers working on my first garment pattern release, so we are getting close on that. It's a fun and easy skirt that I think everyone will love.
The Simplicity Fall catalog will have 2 new patterns from me in it. Mother, daughter, doll aprons. And casserole carriers. I will show pattern covers for those when I get them.
The Spring Simplicity catalog will have a diaper pattern pack from me. I will put the bag out in PDF format too.
I have a wingback chair to cover so I can better help all of my Craftsy class people who are doing wingbacks. Photos will pop up over on my Facebook page as I get to that.
Of course my son's birthday is this month, so I better get his backpack made and write that pattern too. LOL, that is so 3 years ago so I better finally do it this year. He wore this one out, so I have heavy duty cordura for this years version.
I updated the duffle pattern again, so if you are on Craftsy, you will get a notice. If you have already made the bag, you obviously do not need the new pattern. The bag is the same. I just made the instructions a little better for those who have not yet sewn it. There are 2 parts explained differently, the strap is now done the way I did it for the trolley duffle pattern sewing it into a loop before you attach it to the bag. And the pleated pocket is explained a lot better. I hardly ever got questions about it, but I thought it needed improving so I did it. The bag will still come out the same.
Back to the outernet and bye for now.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sometimes I just have to play

I spent some time with Stefanie at Charming Lulu a few days ago. I was there to buy one of those cool mechanical chalk pencils with all of the colors for Alice. (affiliate link) As we talked I shared with her some of my ideas for fabrics, and she got a big smile on her face. Showing me one of the big fabric companies catalogs, we agreed great minds think alike. When I put my houndstooth quilt pattern out 4 years ago, I was wishing for more houndstooth fabric - It is coming, big time. Still no one is imagining it as sparkly as Kim at Persimmon Dreams made hers from my pattern with a rainbow of hand dyed fabrics. My dream incorporates prints too. I just wanted to put this out there now, today The 29th of June 2014. It is my idea to put ditsy prints in a houndstooth. I am not going to patent it or anything, but if a fabric company wanted to talk, I am here. This shows the new scale for the pillow top quilt compared to the original from 2010. Also, if you already have the houndstooth quilt pattern from me, I will get an email list together and contact you all to share a slightly easier way to cut it that has no waste, as well as the new sizes to use if you want the pillow top size. The ditsy fabric I used here is from Jeni Baker's new line called Dreamin Vintage. It has a Liberty of London feel to it and Art Gallery Fabrics are so soft, you will become addicted to them.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

My Favorite Quilt

The plan was to post this when the pattern was ready, but I wanted to link up with the SewMamaSew favorite quilt party.  I am working on it, so if you want to make your own version of this quilt, you should see the PDF instructions pop up on Craftsy and at Etsy in the next couple of weeks.
  • Tell us about your favorite quilt. When did you make it? What pattern did you use? What fabrics?
    I made the first version in January and this quilt was completed in March 2014.
    This is original to me, I am still writing the pattern
    The black is Kona, the other 3 are all from Parson Gray: the rust is from World Tour, Mantova in Cloak; the stripe is from Vagabond, Camel Blanket - Scirocco; and the green is from Curious Nature, Dimitry Vines in Pine.

  • Have your shown it at any quilt shows or entered it in any contests?
    No, I never thought of it.
  • What memories or people does the quilt make you think of?
    I made this for my 15 year old son. When I see this quilt,  I think of him.
  • What do you like best about the quilt?
    I love the high contrast of the fabrics and the movement I created.
  • How did you grow as a quilter while making it?
    This started out as a doodle. When I sat down to draw with my daughter over Christmas break, versions of this pattern appeared in all of my drawings. Turning it from a drawing to a quilt was challenging and rewarding. I grew in my confidence about following my creative process.
  • If you could make this quilt again, what (if anything) would you do differently?
    Ha ha. I have made it 3 times. This one is the second. The only thing I would change is the fabrics to come up with another great combo.
  • Where is the quilt now?
    It is in my studio while I write the pattern. My son has been asking for it...better get back to work!