Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday: Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lately I have been doggedly working on whittling down my WIP list and I am finally seeing some finishes!
It’s so nice to see my WIP list shrinking, even if my list of things I want to sew is growing by the day.

2011 Memory Quilt
I still need to make one more block for my 2011 Memory Quilt, but I started sashing the existing blocks anyways.

Between the Cats

This week, I started the hand quilting on this quilt, which I finished piecing in July 2010. Since I already machine quilted it, and the hand quilting is just for embellishment, I am confident that this quilt will be finished by July 2012. It is destined to be my sweet girl’s spring crib quilt.

Blueberry Muffin

In celebration of completing so many projects lately, I started a new one! When I basted Blueberry Pie, I found that I had made the back too big by far. I trimmed it up and sewed the trimmings together to make a mini quilt.

Valentine's Day Quilt
Still plugging along. I need quite a few more half-square triangles for this one!

Completed: 2
Started: 1
In Progress: 9

Linking up with the awesome WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Scrap Attack!

I have too many scraps. Since 2000, I have never thrown away a scrap that I thought I could use later. Things are starting to get out of hand. It’s not that I don’t use them – I do! My Blueberry Pie quilt is made mostly of scraps. Out of my nine current WIPs (woo! I’m down to single digits!), five heavily feature scraps. They must multiply whenever I turn my back. It’s high time I did something about it! I’ve decided to join Scrap Attack! at Stitched in Color. The problem is, I can’t decide what to make first: Granny Squares or x & + blocks or something else entirely. Thoughts?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sunshiny Day Mini Quilt

Oh, the siren song of quilt alongs! Last year, unlearned in the hazards of craft blogging, I joined two quilt alongs at the same time: the Kaleidoscope Quilt Along at Don’t Call Me Betsy and the Warm/Cool Quilt Along at In Color Order. Too late, I learned that there is more to quilt alongs than sewing: they are rich, social experiences. Unfortunately, I had neither the time nor the energy last year to fully participate in either quilt along that I joined. I managed to complete my Kitty Kaleidoscope quilt at the end of 2011, and finally finished my Sunshiny Day mini quilt this month, eight months after I started it. Luckily, it was worth the wait.

I pulled a variety of cool solids and warm prints from my scraps and stash, used a bright gingham print for the back, hand quilted it in white Perle 8 thread and bound it in a yummy lemony solid. It now hangs on the wall of my sewing nook, where I can enjoy it every day.

Linking up with Sew Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations and Finish it Up Friday at crazy mom quilts.

UPDATE: Also linking up with the Festival of Half-Square Triangles at Canoe Ridge Creations.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Libro de Colores

When I saw the Color Book in 101 Patchwork Projects + Quilts, I knew that I had to make one for my sweet girl. I started collecting scraps in May 2011. It took me awhile, but with the help of several family members, I managed to assemble sixteen 2.5” squares of eight different colors each. Overall, this project wasn’t that difficult, but for me it languished at each stage. Part of the problem was that I did not know my own mind. I wanted to change up the cover, and procrastinated designing a new one. Last month, my mom helped me chose the fabric for the inside cover, and I was able to finish it the Color Book in February 2011. I am pleased with the end result, but probably won’t be making another fabric book in the near future. I much prefer making quilts.

Today I am linking up with Finish It Up Friday at crazy mom quilts for the first time.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday: February 22, 2012

After weeks of slow progress, I am finally gaining momentum on my Year of the Finish! A change in my commuting method has left me with time several days a week to hand quilt. This has motivated me to get several projects to the hand quilting or sewing stage so that I never face a commute empty-handed. Recently, my mom and I got together for a sewing day and I managed to machine quilt two baby quilts. I am itching to get started on a new project, but I am doing my best to focus and finish up a few more WIPs before I do.

Between the Cats

The machine quilting is finished, but I want to add some hand quilting for texture.

Blueberry Pie

I love this quilt! I think that it might be my Scrap Attack quilt, as it is almost entirely made of scraps. I have been plugging along at the back for awhile, and it finally came together this past weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed using ever smaller scraps to complete the back. I machine quilted it in a cross-hatch pattern and now need to bind it.

Valentine's Day Quilt

This is my current leader/ender project. I am using this technique to make the Half-Square Triangles and I love how sewing together two squares of fabric results in four half-square triangles!

Warm/Cool Quilt Along
I finished the hand quilting on my commute and I currently binding it. I can't wait until it is finished so that I can hang it on my wall!

Completed: 1
Started: 0
In Progress: 10

Many thanks to Lee of Freshly Pieced for hosting WIP Wednesday.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Salted Fudge Brownies

Happy Valentine’s Day, dear readers! For me, Valentine’s Day means three important things:

1.       My brother’s birthday. (¡Feliz CumpleaƱos, hermano!)
2.       Traditional heart-shaped pizza with my sweetie. (It may be an unconventional tradition, but it’s ours and it’s yummy!)
3.       An excuse to eat chocolate. (Like I needed an excuse!)

This year, the chocolate has been accompanied by a healthy dose of salt. My sweetie surprised me by making these sweet treats:

But that’s not all! In honor of Valentine’s Day, I present to you my favorite salt-and-chocolate recipe:

Salted Fudge Brownies

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon Maldon sea salt, divided

1.       Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a square 8” or 9” square pan with foil. Grease.

2.       In a large saucepan, melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate. Keep the heat low, and keep a close eye on it. Once it is good and melted, turn off the heat.

3.       One at a time, whisk in the cocoa, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and flour. Pour batter into the pan.

4.       Sprinkle half the salt over the batter. Use a butter knife to swirl in the salt. Sprinkle the rest of the salt over the batter.

5.       Bake the brownies for 35 minutes. Let them cool on the counter so an hour or so, then in fridge for another hour. Take the brownies and foil out of the pan and cut the brownies into equal portions. Enjoy!

For more Valentine’s Day treats, check out Tuesday at the Table at A Quilter’s Table.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Flashback Friday #18: Cheery Cherry Mini Quilt

Sometimes you don’t want to work on a big, complicated quilt. Sometimes you need something quick and easy and fun. Enter Cheery Cherry. Back in July 2010, I took a charm pack of Oh Cherry Oh fabric, made a bunch of half-square triangles, sewed them together and had a mini quilt top done in a weekend. It took me three months to hand quilt it and it was finished by the end of October 2010. These days, it brings cheer to my office.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Work in Progress Wednesday: February 8, 2012

Life is busy. Here’s what I’ve been working on in stolen moments:

Valentine’s Day Half-Square Triangle Quilt (aka The Quilt That Needs a Better Name)

Due to the upcoming chocolate-themed festivities, I have been inspired to work on my red and pink lap quilt. After pressing all the blocks I had made to date, and finally putting my design ideas on paper, I realized that I have 59 out of 180 blocks finished. Instead of getting discouraged, I got excited. So what if it won’t be finished this February? Now I get to add more fun red and pink fabrics! Yay!

Warm/Cool Quilt Along (aka The Other Quilt That Needs a Better Name)

I am loving the hand quilting on this baby! Still, I can’t wait until it is finished and hanging on my sewing nook wall!
New projects: 0
Completed projects: 0
Total projects: 11

Don’t forget to swing by Freshly Pieced to check out everyone else’s WIPs.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nutella Muffins

Did you know that February 5th is World Nutella Day? Neither did I until I visited my parents this past Sunday and my mom announced that we were going to make Self-Frosting Nutella Cupcakes in honor of this illustrious holiday. Since I cannot resist anything involving Nutella or cupcakes, I needed little convincing. My contribution to this endeavor was keeping the baby occupied while my mom made the batter, swirling in the Nutella, and taking home the bulk of the batch “to share with my husband.” If you make some for yourself, I recommend calling them “Nutella Muffins” instead of “Self-Frosting Nutella Cupcakes,” because if you bite into one expecting frosting and cupcakiness, you might be disappointed. If you expect Nutella and muffiny goodness, you might just find yourself sneaking downstairs to the kitchen for a midnight snack. Not that I would know anything about that.
Speaking of my mom, if you like food, you should check out her Tuesday at the Table posts.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Flashback Friday #17: Summer in the Suburbs Mini Quilt

Ah, the Moda tins. There is just something about cute fabric, a cute pattern, and cute packaging that, taken together, I find hard to resist. My favorite was the Tin Box Sampler for Summer in the City by Urban Chiks. The top came together over a quiet weekend in August 2010, and the whole thing was finished in September 2010. I learned two things from this quilt: I do not like partial seams, and I do like working with 1.5” squares. One of these days, I will tweak this pattern so that I can make a similar quilt without partial seams. This mini quilt is approximately 16” by 16” and now lives with a summery friend.