Greens, Eggs & Ham!

April 1st, 2014

Don’t be an April Fool, eat those tasty greens!

Greens, Eggs & Ham (aka: Breakfast by Dr Seuss)

GreensEggsHamSaute chopped clove of garlic with a handful of shiitake mushrooms in oil of choice for a couple minutes, then add 1/2 cup of black beans and 1 cup of chopped kale/spinach/mustard greens etc. Stir together then make a well in center, add a bit of butter and crack an egg or two to fry in the center. Sprinkle chopped ham and avocado and cover to steam for a couple minutes depending on how done you like your eggs. This serves one, adjust or duplicate as necessary. Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

Hmm… I guess I could come up with a rhyme or twos, but I’m having breakfast with Dr Seuss!

Rocking Good Time!

March 31st, 2014

Wow!

Have you ever taken a creative workshop and felt overwhelmed and out of your comfort zone not always understanding what the next step is…? You should! It’s liberating and amazing things happen.

Well, I mean, I took Joe the Quilter’s Rock the Block workshop and made some nifty things happen. With a late start, I had to jump in & catch up right away… did I mention that I still needed to choose fabric? Ah, indecisive am I?

But I just went with it; I got the handout and quick instruction from my friend and started cutting some crazy green/purple fabrics into strips and sewing them together.2014RockinBlockA

When I ran out of my favorite, Joe popped by and nonchalantly reminded me that I could always ‘make more’ by joining a few pieces, and off I went happily slicing and piecing until I had little piles ready to make into blocks.2014RockinBlockB

I barely took the time to see what masterpieces others were assembling, however there were some magical quilts taking shape all around me. Did I mention that while we sewed, Joe serenaded us strumming a few tunes between instructions? :) By the end of the day, I had about 20 nifty blocks pieced:2014RockinBlocks

It looks awesome like this, but I’m not done… the next step is to sew them into strips and cut them once again and back together into 6-1/2″ blocks. Methinks I’ll keep some of the blocks with words aside, focusing on the color distribution by cutting up some of the larger minty and violet blocks. What a fascinating start that I could take in so many directions! Thanks, Joe!

Joe’s pretty cool, yeah, in a Snoopy sorta way.

Carpenter’s Wheel: Orchid Birdies

March 3rd, 2014

Finally, I’m inspired to start a new quilt for myself.

I’d been reflecting on my favorite Gramma-Great quilt: the pink and white Carpenter’s Wheel block. All those diamonds are so enticing! However, I’m not ready to attempt Y-seams just yet. As luck would have it, my colleague pointed me to the magic-8 method for making half-square triangles and from there I searched how to assemble the block using these triangles instead of diamonds.

Last year, I purchased fabric without any intended project. I’d stumbled upon a delicate birdie print that I used for the wheel plus two coordinating solids.

The real magic happened when I cut squares for those magic-8’s. The birdie was centered perfectly on one square and I decided to use it as the focus in the center of the star instead of triangles.

For the background, I used both orchid & wisteria solid fabric, though I’m not certain I like the X the small squares form.

As long as I’m diligent about measuring 3” squares, everything comes together nicely. My first block is a pleasing, subtle wash of my favorite color. :) 2014OrchidBirdie

Be My Valentines!

February 10th, 2014

Spent the weekend making up the orders I’ve received for Valentines.

2014ValentineCandyHere are the multi-color Candy Hearts. So fun and brightly colored!

2014ValentineRibbonAnd 2 simple Ribbon Designs and the Flourish in purple.

Plus, a MK mini Heart Frame for $13!

Contact me for cards today!

Royalty Plum

February 3rd, 2014

Ok, so it’s not exactly the color of the year (see here), but I’ve designed (and sell while supplies last) these fabulous cards that I must share with you. Here they are in Gold & Silver:2014RoyaltyPlumI love simple designs & will have some Valentines to post later this week.

Oh, the weather outside is…

December 25th, 2013

What better project to post on Christmas Day than a fabulous reversible stocking that I figured out how to make from various posts on Pinterest.

My BAM Secret Santa project turned out great! Here are the fronts:

SecretSantaStockingSSStockingReverse

 

 

 

 

 

 

The trick is to sew the two fronts together at the top with a loop for hanging. SSStockingOutsides

Then cut a backing fabric shape and sew wrong sides together, leaving a 2-inch opening to turn the right sides out. It’s amazingly simple. Happy Merry!

One down…

December 14th, 2013

And one to go!

Select fabric for the Secret Santa gift (holiday stocking)? Check! Design an alternating block pattern of reindeer fabric? Check! Fussy-cut star strips for aforementioned blocks? Check! Engine trouble? Check!

Scotty: Captain, I don’t know how much more emergency power we can take before we start to break up.

You guessed it; my machine started dropping stitches while I was working on projects for my 24-hour deadline yesterday. Then, with only 2 seams left to fight for on my BAMalot block, my Husqi decided it had had quite enough of my forward momentum and locked in reverse!

I still had the stocking to finish, so I checked my alternate machine and found it stuck on zigzag. Seriously? Both machines needing repair meant there was nothing I could do except hope to figure out ‘plan C’ and complete everything in the few hours I had in the morning. Sigh!

Thankfully, bright and early the next morning, my neighbor kindly came to my aid with her new Singer.

Within the hour, I had finished adding the last teal & orange border for my BAMalot block.2013BAMalotCheryl Previously, I’d mirrored the last frame design and set it top & bottom opposite the 4-patch from the last addition. It’s a nice bit to blur the lines. Put a pop of hot pink in the corners and called it done.

Ah, yes! Back to the stocking…

(NOTE: MY addition to this funky block is JUST the extended inner colors on top & bottom, plus the blue double border with hot pink corner. I would have loved to keep this one!)

Great Discovery

October 31st, 2013

While I knew that my great grandmother was an avid quilter, I hadn’t seen her handiwork in many years. On a recent visit with my mother, she pulled out several quilts that I easily remembered from childhood. Here’s one that was on my parents bed.

It’s called Carpenter’s Wheel.CarpenterWheel This seems to be a favorite block design. Using two colors make a flat block, but with the large ‘corner’ triangles around each block, the background seems to change. This quilt is especially amazing because it’s hand pieced & hand quilted. We have several more in various fabric combos and it’s interesting to note differences.

CarpenterWheelVar1This quilt showcases the 3D use of a multi-fabric layout. It’s easier to see the cubes that make up the center star. And those ‘corner’ triangles frame each block nicely.

CarpenterWheelVar2A third version focuses on the star without the diamond wheel and features the square and one diamond  in the same color. A long six-pointed star emerges between the main blocks. The star seems more like a minty pinwheel.

There is more than meets the eye with this block design!

Bright Idea

October 8th, 2013

This month’s installment of BAM-alot Blocks found me hunting up the longest pieces of solid fabric for creating borders. I didn’t have any of the new fabric additions, so I thought I’d use the original purples and gray prints. Perhaps I could echo the pie slices in the corners and use colorful squares-on-point along the edges. I also toyed with triangles.

But for some reason, that hypnotizing circle fabric was too overwhelming. Maybe a good solid could contain its energizing powers. The purple seemed dull, but there were two possible reds, one burgundy and one hot pink. Guess which one I liked?

Just an inch around gave my eye a place to rest. I had visions of polka-dot orange & purple Prairie Points, but I restrained myself and even ditched the orange. Good idea, though so I speed-pieced a few trios of triangles. If I put too many around, it would negate the ‘calming effect’ of a solid. Hey, pink is a neutral, right?

Anyway, here it is! And I did make one special purple Prairie Point. :) 2013BAMaLotJen

(NOTE: MY addition to this block is just the outside hot pink border with colorful triangles & one special Prairie Point.)

A Little Pizzazz

September 30th, 2013

Every once in a while, I am intrigued by a Quilty speaker and take the workshop at the last minute.

That’s what happened this month. I fell in love with a batik fabric pack, bought some curvy templates and took Judy Sisneros’ Circle Pizzazz workshop.

What a treat to learn curved piecing at the 2013ZazzyRingMyfoot of a master. With fabulous tips and tricks she led us by the hand until we each had created a block. Her technique (make the first ring block, then cut it up and assemble the second block) reminded me of a color class I took in college where the professor had us make 2 simple watercolors in contrasting colors, and then told us to cut them up and weave them together. Scary! But it worked so beautifully. This pretty one is mine:

The real joy is seeing dozens of them laid out together. Here are blocks from 21 of us, completed during the workshop. They really seem to go well together like a scrap quilt.2013ZazzyRingGp