Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloween Approaches!

Because my hubby was out of town and many other things  Halloween has snuck up on me this year. It's a big event around here and this year I am making the kids costumes YAY! The last costume I made for one of the kids was Lily's Purple Princess Kung Foo Goat Kitty, don't ask me how the goat fit in that was her name for the costume but occasionally she would brake out a little kung foo.

Purple Princess Kung Foo Goat Kitty 2007

My son heard me lamenting about how I always made costumes with my Mom and I used to make their costumes when they were younger and how much fun that was then he took pity on me. Lily was planning on being Hermione and Avery was going to be scary but he started thinking of new ideas. The first was an alien with a giant head that would have consisted of hours of paper maché so I was glad when he scrapped that idea. His next idea was fun and Lily wanted to join him so now I am making two starting today. Let's hope there are no complications. 

Pétra aka Prom Zombie 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pincushion Tutorial

This is a little late due to my camera battery needing to be charged but here's the finished pincushion along with a how to before I send it off to Maureen.

First I sewed together strips of fabric ironing the seams towards the darker colors then cutting to the desired dimensions. For the top I cut a 5" square and the sides were cut  5"x 3 1/2".

Next I layered the fabric on top of batting cut to the same size then machine quilted linear patterns. I choose to make each side different.

The finished top. 

I sewed all of the sides together including the right and left sides you see here...

to make this square.

Laying right sides together I pinned the top onto the sides and sewed a 1/4" seam all the way around. The corners were tricky just stop as close to a 1/4" from the end as you can, drop the needle, lift the foot, turn the piece, and continue.

Turn right side out to make sure all the corners are good then turn wrong side out again. Using a 5" square piece of fabric without batting attach in the same manor to complete the bottom but leave one side open.

At this point you can stuff and hand sew the opening and you will have a rounded little cube/ball pincushion. I wanted mine to have a real square shape so using museum board (you can use cardboard or something similar) I cut out a bottom 4 1/2" square and 4 sides 4 1/2 x 2 3/4". I slid these in thru the opening wedging them in place keeping out the last side. Next stuff with fiber fill then put in the final side. Now all you need to do is hand stitch the opening closed. I found it helped to tape the side and bottom museum board together where they meet near the seam to keep fiber fill from popping out while you sew.



The WInner Is....

We had a busy morning with my good friend in town and my sister's toddler Halloween party to attend. We just got home and my daughter drew the name out of a tupperware container, she was really excited about this, ...... the winner is Maureen!

I will post a picture of the pincushion later today, congratulations! Thank you all for commenting I'll try this again soon.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Pincushion Giveaway!

I attended my first Portland Modern Quilters Guild meeting last night. It was great to meet other quilters and bloggers and just geek out on quilting fun fun fun! One thing they do every month is a swap and this month was pincushions. I missed the short tutorial they had at their last meeting but just made mine up at home. Here is the finished product. Imagine it with a little more umph I had to take the picture at night and I couldn't get the lighting right.

I was inspired by the All Lined Up quilt I made recently. It was so fun to make I thought I would create another to giveaway! It will be the same style as this but with some additional colors. If you want to be entered in the giveaway just make a comment to this post. I will do a drawing tomorrow morning to choose the winner! 

Here is the pincushion I was lucky enough to take home.
This cute little owl was made by Lisa Pearson

I wanted to show the back because all of the flowers were hand embroidered. 

I'm off to the studio to start the pincushion!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ticker Tape Quilt

The beginning

I have been quilting away on the Ticker Tape quilt. It's really a fun way to quilt because it's like putting puzzle pieces together. I will do a post of step by step but I wanted to get my progress up.

When I saw the photo above I couldn't handle the long orange strip being so crooked. I am not a stickler for perfection in my quilting but this stood out like a sore thumb to me so I repositioned it. I love how all of the fabrics look together and have been thinking about making the next one in shades of orange and or green.
 I was in Seattle last weekend and my husband leaves tomorrow for Ottawa for 5 days yikes. I have felt deprived of my studio time so I am planning on quilting and starting the kids Halloween costumes, there will be a lot of late night sewing going on around my house. Oh and I almost forgot I will be attending my first Portland Modern Quilters Guild meeting on Thursday yay! It's shaping up to be a busy week.


Saturday, October 16, 2010


My sister and her husband recently found out their 17 month old daughter has cerebral palsy. It was scary and unknown but my sister has done an amazing job scouring the web to deal with it all. She has just started a blog to share with other parents, friends, and family what they are going through and how Cecilia is doing. It's just the beginning but Cecilia's case is mild and she is doing great. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Quilt and Spray Basting

I was at Cool Cottons getting a few fat quarters for my new quilt and thought I would finally try some curved safety pins for basting. Pam and Marie asked if I had tried spray basting. I had just been reading about using a washable spray glue for basting. What I found mentioned sticky over spray, fumes, and other issues but also comments praising spray basting. With Pam and Marie's encouragement I bought a can and went for it.

First I taped down the backing but not too taut.
Pam's advice was to spray the fabric not the batting like the can says. I lightly sprayed the fabric then laid the batting on top, no fumes. Next I sprayed the batting, which did absorb the spray more then the backing did, and spread out the top. It laid down pretty easily and I was able to smooth out any wrinkles. Besides getting a little spray on the knees of my jeans I didn't have an issue of spray all over the floor or fumes I think I am a convert!! 

Tomorrow the new quilt!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Scrappy Quilt

Despite all of my recent food posts I have started a new quilt! This is the quilt for my friend Jennifer who is expecting a new baby in January. She didn't want a matchey matchey quilt and after searching for ideas I found Ticker Tape quilts. This one by Polly of sewtakeahike blog was really inspiring. I love the idea of saving scraps for future quilts and making a few of these a year. Some of the fabric I am using in this quilt are scraps but I also bought some new fat quarters to mix in. 

Cut pieces for quilt top

The backing

I found this branch fabric by Tina Givens, Tree Branch has a special meaning to the family so I knew I had to use it. 

We had family in town over the weekend, which was a lot of fun but I found myself itching for the studio and can't wait to get some time at the machine.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

I get to keep the trophy!

One more year! Here is the winning pie...
Cream Cheese Turtle Pie

To make it even better my sister won the Chili portion of the contest for the second time..

Here is my recipe 

Cream Cheese Turtle Pie

Filling (for a deep dish pie pan)
12 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs beaten 
3/4 cup sugar

Caramel sauce 
toasted pecans about 1/2 cup coarsely chopped 
8 oz whipping cream
bittersweet chocolate curls

Using your favorite pie crust (mine is gluten-free) pre bake in the oven for 10 minutes then cool slightly. Combine all of the ingredients for the filling in a bowl and mix until smooth. Pour into the pie crust and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. If you have a caramel sauce you like to make use that, I have one I love from a Chocolate store in town I used. Pour 1/2 cup on top of your cream cheese filling then top with toasted pecans. Whip the cream, spread on top and finish with chocolate curls. I might try a little more caramel sauce next time but you can adjust the layers according to your taste.


Chili and Pie Contest

It's time to say goodbye to my lovely Best Pie Trophy. Some might say she's a little scary looking but I have loved having her in my kitchen all year. Some good friends of ours have been hosting a Chili Contest for years and two years ago added a pie contest which I won last year. My winning pie last year was a Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie. This year I am creating a recipe, I am not that confident about it right now but you never know. My idea is a cheese filling with layers of pecan, carmel, and chocolate so as long as it's not too sweet I think I will have a shot. I'll post a photo later with the recipe if it turns out!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

I Took the Process Pledge

I am starting another quilt. This one is for my "long lost best friend from high school", as she so accurately put it, who is having her second baby. All of my earlier quilts have been inspired by or taken directly from the Quilts, Baby! book and I was ready to branch out and try something new. I started with a google search and so much turned up! Much more then I expected though when I started stumbling across all the quilting blogs out there. I always assumed there were a ton other quilting blogs but I honestly hadn't really checked them out because I was so wrapped up in my first 5 quilts and everything I was learning along the way. Now I am just amazed at the community of quilt bloggers out there all doing the same type of work that I have been doing or at least blogging about their quilts the same way. I am still such a new quilter and have a lot to learn but I have been thinking more and more about how to combine my drawings with quilting and just coming up with new ideas for quilts. The Process Pledge created by Rossie, who has an amazing blog, is about sharing how you create and work on your quilts. Since I started my blog I have tried to share my process but this has inspired me to take it further.


Monday, October 4, 2010


Cheese Ravioli!
Ugh Lily was sick all last week, 5 days no school!! Thankfully she is back in school today, now if we can just keep the rest of us healthy I can have a regular week before family comes to town for a visit.

I did manage to make the ravioli I mentioned during one of Lilys long naps. It was wonderful (you have to imagine my high pitched sing song voice as I type wonderful)! I made homemade pasta in college once but it was noodles and full of gluten so this was a first. Just a reminder this is from the new Gluten-free Girl and the Chef cookbook which I love. After I measured all the flours with my new digital scale it was so easy to whip up the dough, the process of rolling it out and making the ravioli was a little time consuming but would definitely be faster with more experience. I made the basic cheese ravioli for the kids and a yummy wild mushroom version for us. Ravioli might not seem like that big of a deal but when you haven't had ravioli for 16 years it's pretty amazing. I did plan on taking a picture of the finished product but I was so excited we just gobbled them up.

Not perfect but delicious!
Next up starting a new quilt!