Wednesday, November 30, 2016

FO: Friedlander Josephine

You might already know that I am awful at documenting my finished garments.

FO: Josephine blouse in Friedlander lawn

This Josephine blouse is my third, but I haven't shared the first two here. After seeing Jeni's first Josephine, I felt inspired to try the pattern. All three of mine are sleeveless, and so wearable. I got a chance to use the new Friedlander Lawn for this one (and I have a pair of City Gym Shorts waiting to be sewn from of the leftovers!).

Photo credit Carolyn Friedlander

I actually have a shot of me wearing it (at quilt market), alongside my pal Jemellia in matching fabric! We joked that the only time it's cool to wear the same fabric is when you're among crafters and sewists!

One of my goals for next year is to be better about getting photos of my finished garments (or more specifically, of me wearing them!).

Monday, November 28, 2016

FO: Baby Swoon

FO: Baby Swoon

My mom asked for a quilt to be used at her house, for her new grandson. I think I have always wanted to make another version of Swoon, and this seemed like a perfect opportunity.

So, I made four blocks (they are a great size, at about 24" each!), using mints and maroons, with a light gray background. With my first swoon, it took me forever to finish the blocks, but I skated through this set.

FO: Baby Swoon

I backed it in a variety of prints to coordinate (my favorite kind of backing, always!).

FO: Baby Swoon

I love the dotty medium gray binding, too.

FO: Baby Swoon

You can find the pattern here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

FO: Brushstrokes Plus

FO: Brushstroke Plus

It's no secret that I love plus quilts.
I made this one using Jeni's Arithmetic pattern a few years back, and decided it was time for another!

Holly released her first fabric line earlier this year, Brushstrokes, for Cloud 9.

I paired the bundle Holly sent with a few black and white prints, as well as a smattering of pastel Cotton Couture solids.

A quilt like this comes together pretty quickly, especially if you have a design wall. I tend to use the floor for this task, since my "design wall" is only about a yard of space (but I'm glad to have it!) (and hi Olias!).

FO: Brushstroke Plus

I quilted this very simply with diagonal lines, and I love the way it turned out.

(Hi Bella!)
FO: Brushstroke Plus

And of course, I love the back.

FO: Brushstroke Plus

Monday, November 14, 2016

FO: Ron Burgundy

Did I tell you I have a new nephew? It's true.
He is my sister's first child, and it is really awesome to see her in this new role.

This was taken at her baby shower a few months ago, when Jill opened this knitted sweater that I made for her.

FO: Ron Burgundy

I used the free pattern Baby Sophisticate, which I would definitely knit again. I chose to knit the 6-12 month size, since you never know how big a baby will be!

The yarn was intended for some felted slippers last year, but it seemed like the perfect color (Malabrigo Worsted in marron oscuro).

FO: Ron Burgundy

I especially love these buttons, which I found on etsy (here!)

As much as I would love to share pictures of my nephew, my sister has decided not to post any online photos of him for the time being. If that changes, I'll be sure to share!

My project is here on ravelry. Oh, and obviously, I named this sweater for the famous anchorman.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

July, August and September recap - new recipes

I know. Three months of recap? Yikes. Even though I have kept up with the goal of trying three new recipes a month, I have been less than awesome in sharing it with you. So, starting with July...


-Chicken Gyro Salad from Smitten Kitchen
This was tasty and fresh!

-Creamy penne with asparagus and peas from The Make-Ahead Cook
I thought this was pretty tasty, and a nice change of pace (peas aren't something I use often)

-fresh pasta

So, after purchasing a pasta maker on sale (and helping my mom make a batch of pasta earlier this year), it was so fun to try it out for myself! It feels like cheating to call it a recipe when it only has two ingredients, but it counts! We are planning to make another batch very soon.

-ham and cheese pastry puffs from Back in the Day Bakery cookbook

This was the first recipe I tried from this gifted cookbook, and they were a tasty hit at my sister's baby shower. Oh, yeah, did I not mention my sister was pregnant? (Past tense because she had her little boy!)

-Black bean and rice bowl from SkinnyTaste

-Moroccan chicken with lemon and olives (Cook's Illustrated monolith)

-Lemongrass Basil Sherbet from Bon Appetit
DUDE. I can't even tell you how amazing this was. It was perfect, and I want it again right. now.

-Flat-roasted chicken with baby potatoes from Smitten Kitchen
This was tasty, but it made me realize that I needed a more shallow roasting dish. The potatoes didn't crisp up like they should have. I hope to try this one again with my new pan.

-Coconut beef curry from Bon Appetit
This was tasty, although I would precook the potatoes next time (the curry thickened a little too much because the potatoes needed more cooking time)

-Almost no-knead bread from Cook's Illustrated

oh yeah. Another big winner. I made the version with olives, parmesan and rosemary. I will say that if you don't like olives very much, you probably won't like it, as it is pretty olive-y. We ate almost nothing but bread until the loaf was gone. I'll make it again, definitely, and I want to make the cranberry orange one soon, too.

Okay, that's it! I hope you find something new to make, or at least some dinner inspiration!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

WIP: Scrappy geese (and then some)

So, it's been awhile since I have shared anything here.

WIP: Scrappy geese

I'm back with a doozy, though!

About seven weeks ago, I posted this pile of fabric on instagram:

The stack happened by accident. I was rearranging my yellow fabrics, and then, well... If you have a fabric stash (or any other medium), you know what I mean.

I started by pairing fabrics and making flying geese in a variety of sizes, and then just started piecing things together. I'm using the HSTs made off the geese corners, as well as strips and scraps.

WIP: Scrappy geese

WIP: Scrappy geese

And of course, I had to add a few bear paws.

Olias and Fiztgerald (and Bella, too, although no photo here) helped, as cats do.

WIP: Scrappy geese

This project is really coming together now, although I didn't have a specific size planned when I started.

It won't be long now!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

June recap - new recipes

I feel like a show off saying this, but June was a banner month with NINE new recipes!

-Chicken tortilla soup from One Big Table

-Shaved asparagus pizza from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook
Um, YES. The Smitten Kitchen rushed pizza dough is my usual, but the asparagus on this was perfection. We have already made this pizza a second time!

-Roast chicken with basil, scallion, lemon butter and potatoes from A Bird in the Oven cookbook
To be honest, we made this, at least partially, to make the leftovers into this (from the same cookbook):

-Chicken and rice salad with mint pesto and peas
Yum! Fresh and summery, we ate this for several days with no complaints.

After visiting my grandparents, I came home with pounds of blackberries, peaches and plums. So, the next four recipes were my attmpts to use them up in delicious ways!

-Seeded Spiced Blackberry Jam from Preserving by the Pint cookbook
I made two batches of this jam, and it was a very manageable, delicious recipe.
I really love this cookbook, because the batches are small and generally, the recipes require about two pounds of produce each.

-Salted brown sugar peach jam (from the same canning cookbook)
Epic! Oh, I want more peaches so I can have this deliciousness year-round!

-Plum vanilla jam (same cookbook)

It was so fun to successfully make jam! I have tried once before (unsuccessfully, years ago).

-Blackberry lime sorbet from The Perfect Scoop
This was very tart, with the fresh lime juice, so I loved it more than Elliott did. Summery!

-Grilled lemon chicken with rosemary, Cook's Illustrated May/June 2013
This was a whole grilled chicken, which you brine first. We will make this one again, no question! It was so tender and flavorful!

At the halfway point for the year, that makes a total of 34 new recipes. Onward!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Nothing but blues - (three years in the making)

It's true. When I checked the date that I started this English paper Piecing project, I was a little shocked. October 2013.

Nothing but blues progress

It has been a project with stops and starts, like any long-term project should (in my opinion). It gave me comfort during some difficult stretches, but has since been lingering. Crumpled. In my closet. So, when I was considering starting a new quilt for my sister's baby (yes! I will have a little nephew this fall!), this project popped into my head. As much as I love starting new things (and I even made a bundle for the new quilt), I decided that finishing this EPP project would be so satisfying.

I think it will make a lovely baby quilt, too.

Nothing but blues progress

It's got many fun prints and hues of blue.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

On making quilt backs

I know a lot of quilters dislike making quilt backs, but it is one of my favorite parts of the quilting experience. On occasion, I will use a sheet or a wideback, but more often than not, I make a scrappy back. It is a nice improvisational exercise, once the quilt top is finished.

In some cases, I like to use leftover blocks as a starting point.

FO: Improv Citrus
Do.Good Stitches quilt, finished 2012

FO: Kahlan's quilt
A quilt for my cousin Kahlan, 2014

Beachy Lazy Sunday back
Lazy Sunday Quilt, 2015

scrappy trip backSecond Scrappy Trip, 2015

And sometimes, it is just fun to pull a pile of favorite and/or lingering prints in a coordinating palette.

Florette back
Florette, 2015 Quilt backs are a great way to use your stash.

The back
Bridges, 2013

The back
Churned, 2014

If you haven't already, I hope you will consider the quilt back to be just as fun as the quilt top!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

FO: Cabin for a Whale

Dude. This is cute.

FO: Cabin for a whale

Why are log cabin quilts so awesome? I think I love them because they are often scrappy, you can play with value for endless pattern possibilities, and the blocks are easy to chain piece without getting mixed up.
This quilt had an intended recipient, but I really found myself resisting when it was time to hand it over.

WIP: A cabin for a whale

orange and blue is always a good combination and those whales are awfully cute.

FO: Cabin for a whale

This one has a scrappy back and binding, for extra scrappy goodness.

FO: Cabin for a whale

Because, scraps.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

FO: xplus v2.0

FO: xplus v2.0

I finished my second x & + quilt a few months back, and then waited awhile to get photos (and then to post about it. Typical).

WIP: Xplus v2.0

It really is one of my favorite blocks to sew, and it's a great scrappy project. To be honest, I think I started a new batch of xplus blocks as soon as the first quilt was finished (blog post here with more info!).

I made the second version a little larger than the first (blocks finish at 7", again using the badskirt tutorial), finishing at 56" x 63".

So far, I have held out on starting a third version, but I'm not sure that will continue.

FO: xplus v2.0

A scrappy project like this is nostalgic. Each block reminds me of other patchwork.

Maybe, it's the mix tape of quilts? Yeah.

FO: xplus v2.0

The back is scrappy greens, with an orange-y scrappy binding. Totally summery.

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