Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Online Quilt Festival Large Quilts

I love the idea behind AmysCreativeSide Bloggers Quilt Festival. There are so many beautiful quilts posted there. I hope you will check them out. This quilt started as a drawing for me, a doodle really. Let me see if I can find a picture of it.
That is a page of my doodles. I kept coming back to this woven looking design and liking that is wasn't all uniform. I bought myself The EQ program to see if it could help me turn my drawing into a quilt. It didn't. I ended up writing the pattern by hand. My little 3" x 3" sketch became a 87" x 74" quilt. I also made 2 other quilts in the process of documenting the pattern. I think it is a great one to make something more manly, but the girly version makes me happy on the wall at the head of my bed.

 Check out all of the cool quilts and click through to meet their makers.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sewing Contests

You may have heard of Pattern Review. It is a great site for anyone who sews garments. If you are wondering how a certain pattern will look on you, chances are that some one with your body type has already made the garment and posted photos and a pattern review. Sounds handy right? They are always running contests too. If you like to sew, check it out. You might win something!
The Great Pattern Review Sewing Bee

Monday, October 27, 2014

Shine at the Bloggers Quilt Festival

This little quilt banner hangs in the bathroom at my studio. It's a project that has really grown on me. I like the message of it both in process and result. I was wondering what the big deal was about paper piecing and if it was something I would like doing. At the same time, I wanted to play with volume and dimension. I don't think I completely nailed it as far as the fabric choices go, but I was determined to use fabrics from my stash, not buying anything for this. I drew the gem on my computer, starting at the center and adding the lines one at a time. I wanted the whole gem to be no bigger than a piece of paper. I printed it out, pinned it to warm and natural batting cut to the approximate size of my desired banner 12 x 23, and stitched the fabrics to the back side of it, starting at the center and moving out, stitching and trimming. Once the gem was complete, I continued to fill the banner with unbleached muslin. The gem was pretty on the muslin but didn't really shine. Leaving a border of the muslin, I added black. Now I had my pop, but not the full message. My shine lines at the top are little raw edged rectangles appliqued with gold thread. For the word "shine" I wrote on a rectangle of orchid fabric with a disappearing marker and then free motion stitched over my writing with the gold thread, appliqueing the word to the black background as I wrote with the thread. Then I had to cut away the extra orchid fabric, cutting out the letters. It still wasn't enough, so I cut away some of the black to reveal the muslin underneath which gave the lettering more dimension.
Looking for a video for you in case you don't know what paper piecing is, I realized that I am a freak. All of the videos I found show making a quilt block with no batting, just the paper foundation and the fabric. I like the way I did it, especially for this little banner. If I didn't already have the batting built-in to it, the gem would probably be a UFO right now.
For lots of fun quilt projects and getting to know the quilters behind them, I recommend you check out the Blogger's Quilt Festival happening right now. There is even a few more days for you to enter your own quilt.

Monday, October 13, 2014

New Simplicity Patterns

 Watch for 2 new pattern packs in the Simplicity catalog just in time for Thanksgiving. Bring your food in style with Simplicity 1236, featuring reusable bowl covers, bakery baskets, and zip around insulated casserole carriers in 2 sizes and shapes. So much fun to make and use.

 Girls are going to love the mommy and me and doll matching apron sets you can make with Simplicity 1241. The shirt collar aprons are my favorite and the Peter Pan collar is cute as can be. The jewel neck collar apron is also great for showing off your fun fabrics.

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...