Saturday, October 18, 2014

All I Want For Christmas...

What keeps you up at night? One of my work associates has long used this question to help clients set their priorities. For me lately it has been Fly Away Home. Would I have enough flying geese to lay them out on an angle instead of vertically? How much waste would there be? Could I bring myself to trim them off (I hate wasting fabric)? How big could I make it?

Well, I decided it was time to answer my questions. I started laying out geese on a 45 degree angle and used my rulers to help me visualize how much I'd be trimming away.

I only needed to lay out a few rows before I had my answer - on the diagonal they would be. I would make it as large as I could. And just to seal the deal I pulled out the backing fabric again. I have just under four metres and, after doing the math, calculate that it can be about 75" x 80", which was larger than I had imagined - bonus. We'll see how much the seam allowance 'shrink' it.

It's all laid out (and looks amazing!) and I have started sewing rows; like most things that I procrastinate on it wasn't worth the fretting. This will be for the living room and I'd like it done for Christmas so I wasted no time in calling Roberta to book it to be quilted. She can do it in early December, which will be perfect. I'm sleeping easier...M

Friday, October 17, 2014

Add These To The List

I want to have more than the little felt birds and decos ready for the Holly Bazaar so I've set my mind to putting a few pot holders together. It's proving to be a great way to try new blocks. It's also a great way to use up scraps of batting and the insulated fabric - I just zig zag the remnants together and it works like a charm.

Thinking that I would make a pair, I pulled out a fat quarter of this gold holiday print with birds on it and started making flying geese with it. As I work through the first set I realized that if I played my cards right I could probably make four instead of two.

And, with a little fussy cutting, I was able to give each one a different centre, so they are all the same and yet different.

The deeper red binding worked out really well and that's what I backed them with too. I always hand stitch my bindings but thought I would try doing them by machine for this project. The first step worked out just fine but the topstitching looked maniacal - I think my binding was too narrow. So, off to find my trusty ripper and return to the hand sewing.

I might try the machine binding another time, say on a baby quilt where there is a little bit more to work with. No big deal - I like hand sewing and they were all done in no time.

So, one more thing (or is that four?) I can add to the basket for the bazaar basket....M

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Wish Upon a Star

Betty has been stitching away at her little stars and has a lovely collection of them now.

All told there are about 100 and she is creating rows of 10 so far. They are just precious - four inches in size and, with the soft pink and cream and large florals, the epitome of romantic. A few delicate plaids just add to it.

She's designing it as she goes and not quite sure where she takes it from here, but there are still a few more stars to be made. It is destined to be another spectacular creation.

It's another perfect example of the joy of hand stitching a quilt - blocks pieced in moments here and there then tucked into a tin, and before you know it, you have a beautiful collection....M

Saturday, October 11, 2014


Pumpkin pie is the Official Cookie Tester's favourite, hands down, and this Thanksgiving he will have lots of pumpkin to choose from as I've been trying out a few new recipes.

When we were at Fibrefest we enjoyed a pumpkin cheesecake brownie at lunch. It reminded me of a recipe that I got from my good friend Rhonda years ago - Betty Beeble's Brownies - only these had pumpkin in them. Pumpkin and chocolate. Oh my! My mission in life for the last month has been to find a recipe, and find it I did.

The recipe makes a nice big pan, which was a bonus; I opted not to top it with the walnuts but might give that a try some day. I think I'd put them right into the chocolate batter though rather than sprinkling them on top.

And, because I had leftover pumpkin and cream cheese I tried a new Pumpkin Squares recipe from Lucy Waverman, basically a pumpkin pie filling overtop a shortbread crust, drizzled with a cream cheese frosting. These are fantastic! and both the crust and the filling can be made in the food processor, which is a bonus.

Finally, inspired by my talented niece Julia, I made these little paper pumpkins for the table using a circular paper punch. I trimmed about 1/8" from the bottom of each circle before I sewed them together so that they would sit flat on the table.

They are just about 2 1/2" high and I've got a box of them ready to take to dinner tonight.

So between the pies and the brownies and the squares and the table decos, I think we're covered on the pumpkin front. Happy Thanksgiving everyone; we have so much to be thankful for....M