Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Out of the Sewing Room and Into the Kitchen!


One of my favorite things is my Pioneer Woman
It makes me smile just seeing it on the counter in my kitchen!

Between my DDIL and myself...
we have the entire collection of Ree's cookbooks.

So, at Christmas we vowed to
get together once a week in
2016 and plow through the recipes.
Tonight will be Week 4 for us.

We have grown from the four of us  (plus grand children)
to six, plus.

We each take a recipe...
one person makes the main dish, someone makes the 
side dishes and someone makes the dessert.
The first week we had the 
Pork Chops with Wine and Roasted Garlic
Roasted Carrots with Vinaigrette
and Stove Top Mashed Potatoes.

Tonight... Chicken Marsala
Peas and Carrots
Risotto
and
made from scratch... Vanilla Pudding!

Each and every recipe has been amazing!
I am making notes on each of the pages...
and there isn't one that I wouldn't make again...
and I wouldn't change any of the recipes either.




You can go to her site for fun recipes too.


I have been spending a lot of time in the kitchen lately!
I did that test run on Saturday for 
my soon to be DIL's birthday/wedding cake.

She turned 30! Woohoo!
My cake was basically one section of what will be the wedding cake...
in April.

Here is what we are really aiming for:

I had "too much" frosting on the test cake.
I have to remember that they call it a Naked Cake for a reason! lol
So, from now until the middle of April I will making layers of
sections and freezing the cake. I
blogged about it last week but I just wanted to talk out my plan to
"divide and conquer"!



These are some more of the Pioneer Woman 
dish collection.


I think I am obsessed!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Lives We Share and Celebrate

I have a little mission that requires my 
attention...
so quilting is taking a backseat this week.

It will be my soon-to-be DIL's birthday this Saturday
and my plan is to use the occasion as an excuse to make a trial run at 
her (their) wedding cake.


Have you heard of Naked Cakes? 
I always hate how much frosting there is on wedding cakes…I love how this one looks rustic like a birch tree!:

That's what they want for their wedding.

We have a lot of birthdays between now and April...
so I have a feeling I will have it all mastered by then.

This was the wedding cake requested by my DDIL 5 years ago.


It turned out exactly like the photo.
But
am 
telling you
... I was stressed out!

I was certain that I was going to have a heart
attack just getting it to the site!

I'm anxious to play with this naked cake...

On a much sadder note...
we lost my husbands sister a couple weeks ago.
She was an angel. 
In life and now.
She will be dearly missed.

I want to share a photo that her daughter
took upon leaving her house to return to 
the hospital.


I hope you can see... 
maybe enlarge the photo more...
It just takes my breath away.
(do you see what looks like a dove at the top of
the photo over the sun)?
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Monday, February 1, 2016

Checked-in and Checked-off


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Well, I made it through... 
through the first month of this year and
I actually completed my BOM rehab for January!

I have my first two Yuletide block of the month's completed!



It's kind of fun to be working on something "holiday" related...

I do like prolonging holidays!



This block was fun to make and so much easier than
the Coastal Lily block on my other quilt.



I did get to do a little embellishing on 
the wedding invitations for my son and soon to be DIL!


And I got them all in the mail today!

At first I but everything together like a left-hander.
Then I realized it... when I was half way through...
I un-assembled by work and put things together
as if I was a right handed person opening the 
invitation... 
you wouldn't think that there was a difference but there really is!
Instead of the flower part of the card exposed at the top...
the writing of the names were showing.



I have been working on my Bees Knees blocks too!
My group is making the main block and for everyone
that I get back in the mail I am making the alternate block
that will go into the quilt.
I now have 7 main blocks and 8 alternate.

And speaking of block of the month's...
I evidently signed up for one and perhaps,
 had forgotten about it. 
I am in the Fig Tree Mystery II BOM that
should be in my mailbox this week!
What a fun surprise!

(I seriously don't know how that happened...
maybe I was on a waiting list)?
Lucky me!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Show and Tell and Hide and Seek

I have a little show and tell today!
It's called Bird Seed.


I finished a project that had been pushed aside.


I had been wanting to make an Orange Peel quilt for 
quite some time.


And I am so glad I made this one that combines
Flying Geese with the Orange Peels!

(did you notice Lottie, the cat, sitting on the rocks in the photo above)


It was super fun to make and I used fabric 
that I had been "aging to perfection" in my stash.


I actually had to looked back in my blog to see when I started it.
This was a photo of my progress in June.


Here is a photo of the actual pattern.


It is a free pattern by Tula Pink on the Bernina web site.
I believe it was in German... but just needed to be translated.
I love her colors and how the grays are on the bottom of the
quilt.

But I think that I will be finishing it and gifting it to my
son Tauren and his soon to be bride Heather for their wedding
in April. So, I kept my version lighter.
I will mention that they like Fall colors...
so maybe
 this is
 the beginning
 of Autumn ???


Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Featured Book: Windy City Bags

Normally, I leave bag making up to my DIL who is a wiz at it!
But since the babies started coming... for some reason she doesn't have
time to sew like she use to... leaving me to have to shop at
department stores!

But.... now, I think I've got this!




This amazing book was released last month...
and it definitely one to add to your bookshelf!
Windy City Bags is the sequel to Big City Bags!
Both are published by Martingale.




Sara of Sew Sweetness blog has an incredible amount of talent
and has created this book in a simple straight forward style
without making the projects 
"remedial" for people like me who are lacking in
seamstress skills.



(all photos by Brent Kane for Martingale Publishing
all rights reserved)



(Windy City Bags by Martingale Publishing 2015 
used by permission)

Of course the fun fabrics that were used
 is the first thing that sold me
on this book! 

I'm having a little flash-back to the 60's 
with matching purse and bag!




 The projects are full of wonderful detail and Sara
shares with you every step of the design process making you feel confident
in selecting the materials needed for the bags and using the hardware to
make these unique and stylish purses.

Putting in zippers and installing hardware on these 
structured bags seems easy but
if the book isn't enough Sara has videos on her blog 
to really help you along.


The only hard part is deciding which bag to make first!



Thursday, January 21, 2016

A Nice Getaway but Now I Need To Be Committed


I had a wonderful holiday at the beach.
Yes, the weather was terrible, rain... wind... cold.
But that's okay... 
my feet were in the sand and I could hear the seagulls
and I got to see this huge pelican! 



The only time I spent in my sewing room in a week 
was making a few of these



Outlined Plus blocks.
I'm still  not sure how large I'm going to make it...
but just in case, I'm ordering more background fabric today!

I do have big plans for the weekend though...
I am checking myself into BOM Rehab!
I will post what I get accomplished the first of February.
I'm convinced that this is the only way I'm going to get
my block of the month projects done. 


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What block of the month projects are you working on???

Crossroads Quilt Along Quilt Kit Designed by Joanna Figueroa Exclusively for Fat Quarter Shop

Fat Quarter Shop has a new one that just started.
It looks very tempting!
Especially in the Strawberry Fields Revisited fabric group!


They also have a Designer Mystery BOM

                        2016 Designer Mystery Block of the Month Monthly BlocksTMFat Quarter Shop Exclusive Block of the Month Program                                    

Those have always been fun!

Frivols ClubModa Fabrics

And then there are the Frivols!
Have you been collecting them?

I have a list of my own...
right now I am behind on...
1. Moda Modern BOM
2.Fig Tree Mystery Sampler
3. FQS Designer Mystery #???
4. The Fig Tree Yuletide  Sampler #2

I'm sure there are more... and I will find them as I wade through 
my stash.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Winding Up My Week


Well, first of all I wanted to share a photo of Elsea.
This is Evelyn's little sister and she is 10 months old today!
She has the sweetest little personality.
Such a blessing in every way!


I got happy mail today!
I missed out on the Yuletide BOM last year by
Fig Tree and Company.
Somehow, this year I got lucky...
not only was Joanna doing a repeat of the block of the month...
but somehow,
I was lucky enough to join... they usually sell out so 
quickly!
So, my nagging thought is that I need to get back to my "BOM Rehab".
A dedicated weekend where I just concentrate on keeping caught up with my
block of the month projects.
I even have a button on my sidebar for it.
So, yes, that's what I'm going to do to keep myself on track!

Anybody else feel the need???


I was looking for some fabric in the stash closet when I 
came upon this unfinished top.
I instantly put two and two together...
because of this book I had had in my hands earlier...


My project was made out of Minick and Simpson fabrics... and on their site they shared 
about their row in this fun book by Moda! Published by Martingale. (I had blogged about it a couple weeks ago)
Anyway... I am thinking that I could make those cute sand pails and add them in the alternate block area of my topper!

It's just too cute, right?

My goal this year was to finish an old project along with every new project.
I have already declared my two at the first of the month... but it seems two more

have popped in on my list.
This is Morning Glory but it might just remain a baby quilt.


Here is my progress on my Outlined Plus.
I have all the plus units ready to go now... so I will be gaining 
speed... oh, but wait, I just remembered I forgot to order more background 
fabric!
 OK, stay tuned! I've got this!


I thought I would show you a photo of Lottie.
Whenever I'm outside, she stands guard... 
keeping an eye out for those nasty Coyotes!
If you remember, earlier last summer, her brother 
had a bad encounter with one. 

I will be heading to the beach for the holiday weekend! I am so excited! 
We have a house rented in Santa Cruz and my whole family  will
coming... all the way down to the youngest grand daughter... Elsea.
I'll be in Heaven!