Saturday, May 20, 2017

Sourdough


I enjoy baking and I often make my own bread and my family really enjoys my efforts most of the time. ;)

I have been wanting to make sourdough bread but I didn't have any starter and I wasn't feeling confident about making my own. I mentioned it to my son's girl friend at one time or other and for Mother's Day she gave me some lovely bubbly sourdough starter. She had started a batch for herself on April 3 and she generously shared it with me. :)

I am a little nervous about whether I can keep the starter going but so far so good. I received the starter on Thursday and I put it in the fridge because I had no recipes ready to make with it. When you use sourdough starter you do have to feed it on a daily basis but if you keep it in the fridge you don't have to feed it as often. It's not a problem other than you end up discarding some perfectly good starter during the feeding process. I didn't want to waste it so I found this recipe to use it up instead of throwing it away. Anyway, long story short is that these dinner rolls turned out great. I can't stop eating them.....

I don't think I am ready to make a sourdough bread without yeast yet so I will be making this bread tomorrow. As long as you keep feeding the starter it keeps giving so I just may be baking sourdough everything for the rest of my life! lol

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Crumb Quilt


For the past few weeks my design wall has been a wall of crumb blocks. Over the past year I have been wanting to spend more time working on crumb quilts and I have finally got myself in gear to move forward with it. These strips are 2.5" x 8.5" and I have been trying to decide how to use them. I have ideas to use them as sashing strips, joining them together to create complete blocks, stacking them into long columns with long strips between them. You get the idea...there are so many ways that they can be used but I was waiting for some real inspiration to strike.

Yesterday, I had two friends over for a sew day. Vangie, Rosalie and I were chatting and sewing and Rosalie passed around a book from Missouri Star Quilt Co. and she pointed out a coin quilt that she liked called Kissing Coins. Well, let me tell you I gobbled up her idea right away and started plotting to make a quilt using this layout but instead of single fabric coins I would substitute crumb blocks.











During our sewing time together I got at least 15 crumb strips made but I do seem to spend more time chatting than working. :) I added them to the stack that I already had waiting for trimming. It really doesn't take too long to trim and depaper these strips and I love how they look - so worth the effort!

I did a little test to see if I could use these strips that I already had made. I trimmed a few of them to 5" and it would work but I think that I will just start making a bunch of strips that are 2.5" x 5" specifically for this project. Honestly, I have enough crumbs waiting to be used. I have a huge bin full and it is always growing!

Thanks to Rosalie and Vangie for such a great sewing day! It is so much fun to spend time together sharing ideas and resources as well as working out design ideas and plans for our quilts and other adventures. I am looking forward to the next sew day!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Star Flower is a Flimsy!


After thinking about the borders for this quilt, I finally decided to use just the gold fabric as an accent border and I am really happy with that decision. Once I got over that hump it was a really quick process to get this lovely to the flimsy stage.

Now, again, I am not too sure how I want to proceed with the backing.

I do have a large geometric print fabric chosen but I am second guessing myself.

If I do use it as the backing I will have lots left over to potentially make pillowcases - or - I could use the remainders of the border fabric. If I use the border fabric for the backing I will have to supplement it and piece it all together and then what in the heck would I do with that large geometric print fabric!!!!. Decisions, decisions... :)


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Ugly Christmas Sweater Quilt


I may have been MIA from blogging for the past month but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy working on my quilting! This is such a fun finish -  I just love this quilt and I think it will definitely have to stay with me. As a matter of fact, it has already spent a night or two on my bed just so I could break it in and give it the lovin' that it deserves before putting it away for use next Christmas. ;)

I made these wonderful sweater blocks as part of the Ugly Christmas Sweater QAL hosted by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts.  Follow the link to the free patterns for these fun quilt blocks. Lorna includes the cutting instructions for the sashing as well.

Once I had the blocks all sewn together with the sashing it just wanted more from me so I obliged. I designed and added the two outer borders and I think it turned out pretty good if I do say so myself.

The quilt is bound with a striped fabric that I had used in at least one of the sweaters as well as the borders. It goes just perfectly with the front and the back.  The backing has a small multi-colour leaf pattern that I think can be imagined into being Christmas lights. ;)

I don't have a Christmas pantograph but I do have one called Hollyhocks and I think it makes it look like it is quilted with feathers and poinsettia flowers. I used a pale green thread for the quilting. My quilt finished at  69.5" x 81.5".  Thank you to Lorna for hosting such a fun QAL!

While I was working on this quilt my sister Cheryl found these fun coasters while she was out shopping. Of course, she did the right thing and picked them up to give to me as a gift. So sweet...sisters are wonderful!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Procrastinator Indeed!


I did finally get my Angry Bird block done but it wasn't finished until long after it was due. When I did the applique I found that one of his eyes was way too small compared to the other and I just ran out of time to fix it. So, I returned the Pizza Box to the Guild with a photo of the Angry Bird block and a promissory note.

I found this cute block at Fandom in Stitches and even though it was originally designed as a paper pieced pattern I had no trouble adapting it to applique. I hand appliqued all of the pieces to the red background and after fusing the face to the background fabric, I did a zig zag with invisible thread around the outer edge to securely attach it. The feature fabric that I had to use was the blue and it worked perfectly for his eyes.

I did get my Angry Bird block finished in time for this month's meeting and I handed it in along with my May block.

The May block's theme was 'My Home' and I made a castle! The feature fabric that was mandatory to use in this block was the little floral print that I used as the windows in my castle. It was quite a simple and quick block to make because it used fairly big pieces. :)  I fused the windows and door to the castle and then fused the castle and the tops of the turrets to the background fabric. I then did a zig zag stitch using invisible thread around all of the pieces to securely attach them to the background fabric.

I can't say that I have ever used invisible thread before and here I used it twice in one month! :)



Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Procrastinator!

Call me a procrastinator! I really should have made this block much earlier in the month but I guess I got all caught up in my 'finishing quilt tops' goal. I need to make a block for my Guild Pizza Box Challenge and my topic this month is Leisure Time and, naturally, I need it for tomorrow.

What do I do in my leisure time if I am not sewing you ask? Well, I have been known to spend time putting jigsaw puzzles together, playing brain games like Sudoku and logic puzzles, reading, in good weather I poke around in the garden, and I also play computer games.

Hmmm....computer games....so, I went looking for a game design that wouldn't/shouldn't be too difficult to translate into a quilt block. The blog Fandom in Stitches came to my rescue and I found an Angry Birds paper pieced pattern that I thought could work. The pattern calls for lots of tiny paper piecing and I thought that would be just too much for me so I am going to do my best to applique it.

The only other thing that I 'have to' do today is go to a medical appointment so I think I should be able to get it all finished and hopefully make it look good too!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Time to Tidy Up

So, it is now April and I have completed my January goal. ;)  I am not disappointed with my progress though because I didn't just want to rush through to finish the three quilt tops that I had prioritized to finish just for the sake of finishing. Blue Cheese didn't want any extra lovin' but Ugly Christmas Sweaters and Westering Women did so I obliged and I am so happy with the results. Westering Women and Blue Cheese still need to be quilted but that will happen soon. The backing for both quilts has been chosen and washed. As a matter of fact, the backing for Blue Cheese is in the dryer right now so I will just need to iron them both and they will be ready to go.

Now that those tops are finished it is time for me to tidy up the scraps and put everything away. I am using my Go die cutter as much as I can but my rotary cutter is getting a good work out as well. I know that clearing up those scraps and clearing off my tables is so important for me to be able to work on something else. There is nothing that blocks my creativity more than not having space to work! :)