Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Flying Canada Geese - Twin Quilt #1

I made this quilt for one of the very special twin boys about to be born in Ontario. 
Stay tuned for the other quilt!

I used the "no waste" goose making method for the first time and it worked great. I had little helpers take a break from playing in the sprinklers to line up all the geese and sashing. 
Time to pin and quilt.
And add in a secret message on a scrap of fabric, hidden inside the quilt.
And it's snuggle time! She's testing it out for the baby and approves. Hope you enjoyed.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Blue Electrophoresis: A Modern Art Quilt

I was looking at quilts on the internet and saw Christina Camelli of A Few Scraps' gradient quilts.

The blue one really stood out. It reminded me of the beginning of Star Wars somehow. But then my mother suggested it looked just like DNA electrophoresis, and since I am science minded, I liked that.

I was determined to make it. I asked Christina permission and if she had any measurements. She sent me what she had and gave her blessing. I finally decided to reverse engineer the measurements from the photo of Christina's quilt above by printing it out and drawing a grid over it. I determined what finished size I wanted, and then estimated the width and length of the blue rectangles from how showed up in each 12"X12" grid square (to scale). It worked pretty well!

I bought a bundle of matched, graduated blues online and some plain black Kona and set to work making rectangle strips that approximated the photo. Then I hung them on my design wall and approximated how much black to use between and below. It wasn't super easy, but it wasn't hard.

Then the ironing and pinning. I just quilted down the rows, which was a little harder than normal since they didn't always go straight down in strips.

For the backing I added a large strip of blues just to add interest.

This is the whole quilt. It turned out just like I wanted it. Hope you enjoy! Thanks again to Christina.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Modern Circles and Squares Quilt

It's finished! This queen sized modern circles in squares quilt is done. It may be my favorite quilt so far. I based it off of this baby quilt I made last year and made it bigger and better. You can't see the quilting in this far view, but the quilting is the best part.

I thought I'd take you through the process, in case you'd like to make one for yourself!
First, decide on how many blocks and what sizes of circles you'd like. For the baby quilt my circles were smaller, but for this one I made 5, 7 and 9 inch cardboard circles.
Next, put the circles on fabric squares and rough cut about 3/4 inch around the whole circle. Cut slits around the circle so the edges will bend nicely, but not very deeply. Then get a piece of tinfoil and layer it like this: tinfoil, then fabric, then cardboard circle. Quickly fold the tinfoil over all the way around and press it flat. Iron well.
And when you unfold the tinfoil, voila! A perfect circle to applique. Continue until all circles are ready.
Applique all of your circles to blocks in random places until all blocks are ready. Then sew together in rows, as desired.

You're ready to start quilting. I didn't mark any circles to quilt, I just eyed it and made as many circles around each as I felt like. I tried to go slowly and treat each block as its own mini-quilt. I did mark straight lines by rubbing a ruler back and forth to make an indent to follow.

I added a heart to this one (above). For fun. I used embroidery floss when I quilted inside the circles.
This one I quilted as a guitar. Five string. See it?

 The back was red, so it made it's own reverse image and was just as cool as the front!

Friday, December 14, 2012

And so it begins!

Starting a new quilt today! It will be a queen size version of this quilt, but kicked up a notch. 
Here's a hint of inspiration as to how I'm going to kick up the design. Like it?

In other news, it's beautiful hiking weather for a trip to the state park. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Deconstructed Cup of Hot Cocoa in Pie Form!

Recipe is not perfected yet, so if you try it, let me know how it went!

Dark Chocolate Pie with Homemade Marshmallow and Whipped Cream



For Crust:

  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder

For Chocolate filling:

  • 2 1/4 cups whole milk, divided
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate (65% cacao or better), chopped
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar

For Marshmallows:

·         Three 1/4-oz. envelopes unflavored powdered gelatin

·         2 cups granulated sugar

·         1 cup light corn syrup

·         1/4 tsp. kosher salt

·         1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

·         1 cup plus 2 Tbs. powdered sugar; more as needed

For Whipped Cream:

·         1 pint heavy whipping cream

·         4 T. powdered sugar


Make the crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Mix melted butter, sugar, and salt in medium bowl. Add flour and cocoa, and mix until well blended. Press dough onto bottom and up sides of prepared dish; crimp edges decoratively. Bake crust until golden brown and cooked through, about 18 minutes. Cool crust completely on rack. Maintain oven temperature.

Make the chocolate filling:
Bring 2 cups milk to simmer in heavy medium saucepan; remove from heat. Whisk egg yolks, brown sugar, vanilla, and remaining 1/4 cup milk to blend in medium bowl; whisk in cocoa powder and cornstarch until smooth. Gradually whisk in hot milk mixture. Return mixture to saucepan. Whisk constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and butter; whisk until melted and smooth. Pour filling into cooled pie crust. Refrigerate until filling is cold and set, about 4 hours. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled.)

Make the marshmallows:
Pour 3/4 cup cold water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Attach the bowl to the mixer and fit it with the whisk attachment.

Clip a candy thermometer to a 3-quart saucepan; don’t let the tip of the thermometer touch the bottom of the pan. In the saucepan, boil the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 3/4 cup water over medium heat without stirring until it reaches 234°F to 235°F, about 10 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, pour the hot sugar mixture into the gelatin in a slow, thin stream.

Add the vanilla, carefully increase the speed to high, and beat until the mixture has thickened and cooled, about 5 minutes (the bottom of the bowl should be just warm to the touch). Line a 8X8-inch square brownie pan with foil, leaving an overhang on 2 sides. Sift 1 Tbs. of the confectioners’ sugar into the bottom of the pan, then pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan and sift another 1 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar on top. Let sit at room temperature until set, at least 2 hours.

Use the foil overhang to lift the marshmallow from the pan. Using a knife that has been dipped in cold water, cut along the edge of the marshmallow to release it from the foil. Transfer to a cutting board and remove the foil. Put the remaining 1 cup confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Cut the marshmallow into 9 large cubes (you will need to continue to dip the knife in cold water as you cut the marshmallows). The marshmallows will be very sticky—dip the cut edges in the confectioners’ sugar to make them easier to handle. As you work, toss each cube in the sugar to coat, then shake over the sink to remove the excess and set aside.

Make the Whipped Cream:

To whip cream, start by pouring the cold heavy whipping cream into a large bowl, then beat it with an electric mixer until it reaches soft peaks. This will take about 5 minutes. Cold cream whips up better than less cold cream, and a larger bowl makes the whole process go faster. Towards the end of the whipping time, sift in the confectioners’ sugar to make lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Assemble each serving separately:

Put a piece of pie on the plate, add a marshmallow on top and a cannelle of whipped cream on the side. Last, brulee the marshmallow with a kitchen torch to crunchy brown goodness (see photo).

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Cherry Sherbet Baby Quilt

 Hello Quilters,
Hope you're all having a great extended weekend! Today I have to show a cherry red version of the lime sherbet quilt I made for my friend Cari. This one is a commission for a very special baby. Click each photo to enlarge.
You can see the grey elephants, hedgehogs and kawaii animals with balloons, all imports from Japan. There's also a Joel Dewberry bird and Heather Ross fish (times two) and weiner dog.
You can see the back here, flannel, like the red on the front. Satin binding with one corner left open for little fingers.
These are my two favorite blocks. Heather Ross from the mermaid line and Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail eating blackberries. I tried a smaller needle to see if indeed I got smaller stitches and I did! Enlarge and check out my tiny quilting stitches. Well, tiny for me, anyway!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Three New One Year Old Dresses

I have been busy making a king sized Dr. Seuss quilt for my younger stepson but I found time to make these three little dresses for the same baby I made this modern circle quilt for, Lily.

Click here for the free dress pattern online and here to see a few of my previous versions of the dress.

Lily is the miracle baby of my good friend Sarah, a two-time breast cancer survivor. You can read their amazing story here!

Fruits and veg:

Changed the top on this one to tie like bunny ears. I like it! The bottom, blue one is super soft corduroy.