Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mermaid, part 1

This is giving me nightmares.
See, it looks innocuous enough.  Just a nice pattern.  Various sizes.  I even got it at 40% off. 
Friends, I'm scared.

I have promised a certain precious 3-year old that I will defeat this giant by Halloween.  I think it's going to be a series at the Wendy City.  Anyone want to join in?  

So I bought it.  And I read it.  Carefully.  
I'm confused already.  
And now I'm contemplating fabric.  I don't even think I understand how much fabric to buy.
Stay tuned....


Here's what's on my design floor today:
Mr. WendyCity hadn't seen this project before.  

Him:  What ARE they?
Me:  Roses.
Him:  Oh neat!  I like them.  
Me:  I can't figure out how to put them all together.
Him:  You can't.
Me:  Well, I think I can....
Him:  I KNOW!  You could use some sort of filler material!
Me:  Um, well, yeah... 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Mosaic bee blocks

Finished up some more bee blocks that particularly appealed to me today.  
These are for Rick, for my Scrap Happy Bee.

One cool thing about that bee is that when it's your month, you post a pattern, but all the participants use their own scraps to complete the block.  So it has a wonderful sense of variation each month!
I thoroughly enjoyed these mosaic blocks.  And I was so pleasantly surprised at how quickly they went together!
(Anyone recognize the black batik?)
And since you're using your own scraps, it's fun to make extras.  Rick might get one more if I get a chance before the month is up.....
Both blocks together. 

My favorite thing about online bees?  It gives me a chance to do something new without the commitment of a whole quilt.  I can sit down for an hour and finish a task.  Awesome.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A process pledge quilt

I completed a quilt this week, and I'm going to tell you all about it.  I am LOVING reading posts associated with Rossie's process pledge, and so on this quilt I made an effort to better document my process to share with you.  I feel like I learn so much more when quilters share the journey instead of just the finished quilt..... and so:

My niece is home from college this summer.  She's just completed her first year.  

And I had planned since the beginning of the summer that I was going to send her back with a quilt.  
And then a few days ago, she posted on facebook (the great reminder of things...) that she was heading back in 9 days.  9 DAYS!

and I thought, oh crap...  I still need to get that done.!
I absolutely adore her. 
And I'm blessed to call her my niece. 

So I started sketching in my daughter's ENT doctor's waiting room.
I started here:
I knew that her room was pink and black, so I was going to go with that.  I wanted something I could finish before she left, and so that meant no time for fabric shopping, so it had to come from my stash.  
Luckily my stash is extensive...
I also wanted something I could chain piece so that it came together faster.

The first drawing didn't really do much for me, so I tried again.
{Although I may come back to that drawing later}
So this was my next attempt.  I liked it, and I thought that I probably had the stuff to put it together.  I knew that I had a cut of black batik that I could use for the plaid effect.  And I have quite a lot of pink.

Next I considered how to piece it.  You see, if you look at my drawing, there's 2 main ways.  One is to piece the 4 patches and then add the other as sashing.  I think this would be quite efficient, but I was concerned about getting it correct since I wanted all 4 pink blocks to be the same around the cross.  I thought the organization would kill me and I'd lose any time I saved messing with the seam ripper.
So the other option was to piece blocks with the black cross through the middle of the block.  I figured out a really efficient way to do this by sewing selvedge to selvedge cuts.  
(Will post more on this later, a tutorial is forthcoming.)

I was a little concerned that the pink and black could look a little juvenile, so I considered an acid green binding.  I decided that the batik would solve it, but I still like the idea of using an acid green in that color scheme.
Here's the finished quilt. 

A closeup of the quilting.  A friend suggested boxy spirals in the pink areas, and I'm totally in love with that method.  Quick, suprisingly easy, and looks very neat.  The inner black lines are left unquilted.  The other black border is stippled, mostly because I was concerned that I'd have a mess with binding it if I didn't quilt it somehow.
Here's the back.  Love it.  I may love it more than the front.
I used my off-cuts from the blocks to make a pieced border, and I always enjoy a pieced binding.  
Looks like I need to clip some threads, though.
I really dig the green peeking through!  Maybe I should have used that for the top as well..... hmm. next time.
And I quilted a K in one block just to make it hers.  
I didn't actually intend to do that, but I "finished" quilting it, laid it out on the floor, and then realized I had left out that square.  
But it was a happy mistake since I love the initial in there.

I'm going to post a pattern/tutorial on this quilt since it went together so extremely well and was so very efficient and I am so pleased with the way it turned out.  So stay tuned!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Rainbow Cupcakes!

I love cupcakes.  I love fancy cupcakes.
I love fancy recipes that are actually easy and use simple things to get a cool end result, don't you?
I'd seen these online, and was determined to give it a try.

I bet you didn't even know that you needed a rainbow cupcake, did you?  

Here's how to make them for yourself.

Take one of these:
Make it like normal, and then find some of these:
I used 6 colors, but it doesn't really matter how many you use.  
Just imagine the cool color combos you can create!
{But in my opinion, if you use more than 6 colors the layers will be a little challenging to get in all the cupcakes.  So I'd use 6 or less.....}
Separate out your batter and color it.  
It is helpful to decide what color you'll use last and make a little extra of it. 

Layer the colors one by one into the cups.    
My mix said it made 24 cupcakes, but I only got 18.  I like tall cupcakes.
Having a little extra of the last color makes it easier to even-up your cupcakes at the end so they bake evenly.
Bake as directed, and they will emerge like this!

Check the side view:
After they cool, ice and add another rainbow of sprinkles.

Love them!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I-Spy progress

Posting some more I-Spy blocks while I'm sorting blocks.....
Doesn't it look like so much fun!  I love swaps.

Beth's blocks.  Love those owls!  And the dinosaur bones!
Sheila's blocks.  My daughter is in love with purple, so she is especially fond of those cats!
Ellen's blocks.  See the pigs?  So cute.  
Asiyah's blocks.  On the top left is tiny chicks.  So cute in person.  And I love the fish.
MamaRatliff's blocks.  Can you see the teeny teapots on the bottom left?  Awesome.  And the tiny ladybugs on the top left?  so cute.
Becca's blocks.  Love the starfish!
And Linda S's blocks.  Weiner dogs in sweaters?  Cute.

One more package to arrive, and then we're ready to mail out.  Can't wait!