Tuesday, January 26, 2010

three items

 1. Weekend bread-baking was a success!  I used this recipe, with a few adjustments, to make asiago cheese bread.  It turned out beautifully!  (We were short on asiago cheese, so I added parmesan.  No major changes--I am too much the novice.)  Here it is, what do you think?

The recipe made two loaves, but we finished the first one before I could photograph it.  Next time, I'll double up!  There's something about baking bread I find incredibly satisfying.  The process is simple, relatively few ingredients are required, and kneading just feels good.  My arms are a little sore even, which tells you a bit about my non-exercise regiment.


By the way, the fabric in the background is from Rosalie Quinlan's "Grandmother's Flower Garden" line for Lecien.  It's from a fat quarter pack I bought from Sew, Mama, Sew, and am too in love to cut into it just yet.  
2. Here is a snippet of another quilt-in-progress, which I hope to finish today:

It is mostly Gee's Bend solids (which are actually hand-dyes) and Kaffe Fassett shot cottons, with a focus print from Anna Maria Horner.  Most of the yardage was a Christmas gift from my mom.  She has my colors down, that's for sure.  Shot cottons are notoriously hard to photograph, and the fuchsia pictured is far more vibrant in person!  (On the topic of shot cottons, have you seen this Work Quilt from Victoria at the Silly BooDilly?  It's incredible!)

3. I have a half-plan to start using my scraps, and figured the best way to do that is to just start.  I made these cards by stitching down two pieces of fabric.  (Note: spray adhesive is immensely helpful, though not essential.)

Nice for Valentine's Day, perhaps?  I just love looking at fabric.  Agh.  Seriously, it's an addiction!  Once you start making these, you won't want to stop.  Ultimately I will settle on a scrap quilt design for the bulk of my scraps, and have been researching antique patterns for inspiration.  One thing at a time though, right?  (Or two or three!)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

a work in progress and more things to do

This is a project I've been working on, casually, for the last month or so.  I had bought all these 1/4-yard cuts of Anna Maria Horner's Garden Party line, and had NO IDEA how to use them.  Big-pieced diamond quilts have always beckoned, and in the end I went with a six-point star from a 60-degree diamonds.  I've pieced 18 of them, and would like to boast a little about my seam intersections:

So marking the 1/4" at each point really does pay off!  (Also: starch before cutting.  Really.  I use Mary Ellen's Best Press.)  I am going to set the stars against kind of a spice brown... like cinnamon I think.  And although I am happy with my point intersections, I am considering appliqueing a hexagon of a different print in the center of each star.  It'll give it more of a flower look, but it's a design element I won't be able to decide on until I get the whole thing assembled.

So far, January has been light on sewing.  I started the new year with a stomach virus and have been slow to regain momentum.  Ack!  I'm just not as motivated right now...

On the 'develop more varied ways of spending free time in 2010' list:
-become a wizard at bread-baking (two recipes completed with success, including one from Angry Chicken!)
-learn to crochet so I can make something like this
-dye fabric more, and better, the Malka way
-I reeeeeally want to start screenprinting my own fabric but have never enjoyed the process enough to become good at it (or perhaps the other way around) SO:
-either learn to love it or collaborate with someone who does already

Tonight is the season premier of Project Runway!  I can get my sewing fix without getting my fabric out!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

slippers for Anne

Anne and I became best friends in first grade. When my family moved to Nashville from Portland after I finished 3rd grade, she and I kept in touch by mail. (We were voracious letter-writers.) Her mom is responsible for teaching us to sew, which I wrote about here.

This was my Christmas gift to Anne. It was mailed to her after Christmas, which by now is just keeping with tradition. I am always, ALWAYS late with her gifts. Anne has been a lover of turtles for many years, and her family always has several turtle pets. That is why I chose the exterior fabric. The lining was hand-dyed by yours truly several years ago.

This is the fourth pair of these babies I've made, and it is a little hard to part with them each time! They're so cute and make the best gift. I'm just a little bit ready to make something else, so I think I'll retire this pattern for a while and focus my energy elsewhere. Read my pattern review here!