Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday finish - Roscoe Village Hat

I finished this hat a few weeks ago, but was a tad shy about modeling it for you, and all the pictures of it laying flat just didn't do it justice.  The other day little miss Sassafrass decided she wanted to wear it - and solved my problem for me!  It is the Roscoe Village Hat pattern, made it in Malabrigo Rios in Bobby Blue, and I really, really love it.  This is actually the second one I made this winter.  The first one was in Malabrigo Worsted in Pearl and flew all the way to Canada to sit upon my mother's beanie.  

I think I prefer the Worsted to Rios - it's just springier and softer - and the Pearl is a gorgeous light grey.  I'm pretty proud of myself because I conquered my fear of knitting in the round!  While I was making the first one I kept saying to my husband "I can't believe I'm actually making a hat!".  
It almost makes me sad it's spring!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Flying Geese WIP

Pulled out the layer cake of 1934 I've been saving and have started making some flying geese using this tutorial.  I have a friend who deserves a really great birthday present...

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Finish - Handstitched Kona Mini

I started this little quilt almost a year ago, but the hand-stitching was slow and so it got passed over for a while for quicker, more important projects.  It was on my list of wips to be finished after Christmas, and I finally got it done a few weeks ago!  
I'm really happy with how it turned out - a very lively and colorful little quilt.  I haven't decided where I will be putting it in the house, but it will definitely brighten the place up.  
The linen border (Essex in natural) is a bit wavy, but I don't think it'll matter when I get it framed.  I'm thinking of putting it on a wooden frame and stapling the back like you do with a painting canvas.  

Friday, March 21, 2014

Getting my sugar on!

My little helper and I made some cupcakes yesterday, and she has now discovered her favourite part of baking!  I used my old faithful One Bowl Chocolate Cake recipe (here below) that I have had for so long I have no idea where I got it.  It makes the most moist cake ever!  This time I tried a new glaze that I found here.  It turned out really well, and I like dipping the cupcakes rather than having to frost them with a knife - it's actually kinda fun too.  I'm going to have to explore that website and see what else this chick has up her sleeve!  

For years now my "go-to" baking website has been Joy of Baking.  I have had excellent results from every single recipe I've tried on that site so I can wholeheartedly recommend it.  I especially love the lemon pudding cake, the angel food cake (SO soft!), and the basic brownie recipe (she has a lot of variations).

This is what she did when I asked if it was yummy!  

One Bowl Chocolate Cake

2 cups white sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1 1/2 tsps baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Grease and flour two 9 inch pans.
2. In a large bowl, combine first six ingredients.  Make a well in the center and add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla.  Beat for two minutes at medium speed.  Stir in boiling water.
3. Pour into the two prepared cake pans.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, (maybe a bit less if you make cupcakes), until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and continue cooling.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Love is crewel

Over the past few years my appreciation for embroidery has grown to the point where I am chomping at the bit to try my hand at it.  There are so many great artists out there that every time I look at their work I want to thread my needle and start stitching immediately.  For example:

Have you heard of Maricor/Maricar?  They are amazing.  Surely you've seen their Cookie Monster embroidery on Pinterest?  And I love all their text embroideries too - gorgeous!

What about the incredibly talented Chloe Giordano?  If you have a few hours, go drool over her Tumblr page!

The Smallest Forest, besides doing some really cool stuff herself, has a regular installment that she rightly calls "über embroiderers".
I really love crewel embroidery, but I didn't want to do a typical old-fashioned flowery design.  I wanted to do a little wall-hanging for my daughter's room, so I went with one of her favourite animals - turtles.  I was inspired by this turtle print from the lovely Etsy shop twoems.  Since the frame I will be using has a surface area of 12 x 12", I drew the turtle up to fit those dimensions.

I sketched out the turtle, and then went over the lines with a black sharpie.

I taped my drawing to the window, and then put the 17" square, ironed and zig-zagged piece of linen twill over top.

Using my blue Frixon pen, I traced the drawing onto the fabric.

I ordered a pretty selection of Appletons crewel wool and some linen twill from this shop in the UK.  It was like Christmas when it arrived!  I dumped it out and had a little fun experimenting with some colour groupings.

A few weeks ago I ordered a couple books on embroidery and crewel, and this one discussed a padded frame as an option to using an embroidery hoop.  The next day I went into my box of half-finished paintings in the garage, pulled out a medium size one, took the canvas off and made myself a padded frame using some synthetic batting (gasp!) I'd bought years ago and never used.  I topped it off with a bit of leftover fabric and voila!  It ain't pretty but it'll do the job.

Now all I have to do is decide on my colour palette.  If I use a restrained two or three colour palette (plus tones of these three) I think it could look quite modern, but honestly I'm tempted to use all the colours and let the 70's shine through!  I mean - it's a kid's room - why hold back?

My cutting table is a reflection of what's going on in my brain on any given day.  Sometimes it's neat and tidy with just one project on it.  Lately it's been like this - masking tape, yarn and knitting needles, coloured pencils, crewel yarn… my brain is so full of ideas right now I've had a hard time sleeping this week!  Does this happen to you?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Finish - Briar Rose baby quilt

Last weekend I finished baby Elisa's new quilt.  It is 36" square, so it should be useable for a few years.  I backed it with a butter yellow solid sheet, and bound it with the leftovers of my Remix binding.

I love that about 90% of my pictures now have lamb slippers in them!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Finally finished - a pre-baby baby quilt

I'm so embarrassed to tell you how long this lovely quilt top sat waiting to be quilted that I'm not even going to link back to the original post!  Sufficed to say the top was done while I was pregnant, and then life with a baby and the fear of the minky backing meant it ended up in the ufo shelf in the closet.

Since Christmas I've been on a bit of a finishing up/clearing out binge, so I grabbed it one day last week and finished it in a few hours.  I wanted this to be a winter quilt, so it's another made with silk batting.  Between that and the lovely grey minky on the back, it's a gorgeous weight!  It's almost 40" square, so that means Olivia will be able to use it for a few years in bed, and a few more on the couch.  I bound it in some leftover grey flannel.  And surprisingly, the minky gave me no trouble whatsoever!

It was completely inspired by Tracey's beautiful bento box quilt.  I just love this design.  I would love to make a giant bed-size one too.

I used a fat quarter bundle of Creative Thursday's first fabric line "Meet the Gang", and added some coordinating prints from stash.  I really liked that collection - I also made a little baby plus quilt from the green colourway as a gift for a friend two years ago.

I've got one more baby quilt to finish, and then all Olivia-related wips will be done!

Linking up with Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts...