Thursday, December 10, 2015

Beyond Basics Sampler Quilt Work in Progress: Drunkards Path Block

Work in Progress: Binding for My Rainbow Jelly Roll Quilt

I got up at 5:30 a.m., watched a couple of videos on how to finish bindings on a quilt and baked these rugelach to bring to friends at school--Happy Hanukkah!
And then I got to cutting 45 degree angles on my 2.5" double fold binding and sewing.  No pics of my process but suffice it to say--epic fail last night which seams I took the thread ripper to, re-cutting and sewing.  I recommend a couple videos:  McCall's Joining the Ends and Creative Bug's How to Attach Binding Tape.

I'm now ready to blind stitch the binding to the top edge of the quilt:)

Monday, November 30, 2015

Sewing: Mermaid Dolly with embellishment

I added pink cheeks and a flapper sequin scarf to my mermaid but her shyer and younger sister needs perhaps a clamshell bra and a gauzy white scarf.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Beyond Basics Sampler Quilt Work in Progress: Appliqué Blocks

We were assigned in my beyond basics quilting class to sew blocks with a flower and butterfly--I asked to sew instead blocks to fit my  Valentine theme and because hand appliqué does not sound fun to me.  Luckily, I experienced fusible web before with my Amy Butler big dots pillows.  I don't have a blanket stitch on my Babylock Maria, and so I used the zig zag to anchor my text and heart (which I sewed improvisationally:)  And since I'm didn't hand appliqué my heart and in the spirit of hand sewing, I will embellish and embroider it crazy quilt style with "x"s and "o"s and chain and herringbone stitches.  I love 'em.  One block (and the most difficult one to piece)--Drunkard's Path--to go!

Crib Quilt in Progress: Family Tree & Pinwheels

A couple years ago I bought this pink Sarah Jane family tree panel, hoping to sew a quilt for my pregnant niece--but it's pink and the baby born was Rhys.  But now she just had a daughter and so I mailed her the family tree and had her indicate what names she wanted me to embroider.  Yesterday I stitched silver and pink/silver and dark pink pinwheel patches (wished I had used a charcoal gray with the dark pink to match hues but perfect translates into NOT DONE)for an outer border.  I luckily discovered maroon fabric in my stash and cut 2.5" wide strips for an inner border.  This is a fun project:)

Monday, November 9, 2015

Embroidery Kit for Rachel: Zakka Project

I checked out from the public library, Zakka Style: 24 Projects Stitched with Ease to Give, Use & Enjoy by Rashida Coleman-Hale. I just introduced my assistant to crafting by hooking her up with an embroidery project, and so today after work I decided to get a head-start on holiday gift-giving by making her an embroidery kit.  I used a utility fabric instead of linen and lined and bound it with 2 different fat quarter fabrics, and attached lavender suede cords.  I also stamped it (too much, me thinks) and embroidered her name on it.  I bought embroidery thread in her favorite colors, embroidery scissors and stuck some pins.  I was going to put in a very small embroidery hoop and a panel for another embroidery project but I'm too eager to give it to her.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Beyond Basics Sampler Quilt Work in Progress: Using Thangles to Make Whirlpool

Beyond Basics Sampler Quilt Work in Progress: Star of Hope

Beyond Basics Sampler Quilt Work in Progress: Country Farm

Beyond Basics Sampler Quilt Work in Progress: Arkansas Crossroads

Beyond Basics Sampler Quilt Work in Progress: Nelson's Victory

Beyond Basics Sampler Quilt Work in Progress: Twin Sisters

Beyond Basics Sampler Quilt Work in Progress: Twin Sisters

My instructor assures me that the squaring up and sashing this block will hide the wonkiness.

Beyond Basics Sampler Quilt Work in Progress: Star of Hope

I was so enthralled by my fat quarters that I forgot to use background fabric (Candyland).  It's okay I'll just rip out those plum corners and triangles and replace them with pink.  But golly do I like that purple.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Work-in-Progress: Rag Doll Dress (and still not finished!)

I had ambitions to sew this evening, and so Jack-O-Lantern Pepperoni Pizza for dinner from the take-n-bake shop for dinner.
The dress is still not done.  I hemmed it, but it needs a button and (gasp!) buttonhole.
I started the face.  I used a tapestry needle which wasn't nearly long enough.  Back to the store, not only for red felt to finish her mouth but doll needles.  But I'm liking the hair so far with bangs! She definitely looks like an Asian rag doll because of her round face.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Work-in-Progress: The Making of a Rag Dolly

I've been wanting for a long time to make a Jess Brown-inspired rag doll.  I made a prototype of the base structure the past two afternoons on which to impose my creativity.
Here's last night's labor of the basic rag doll sans embellishments.

The pinning and cutting of the drawstring dress.  And my impatience to see how this drawstring dress will look on my unfinished rag doll.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Quilt-in-Progress: Rainbow Jelly Roll, Part 2

I didn't even get to start the backing, and the plan is all-white with a strip of rainbow scrap that I'll be trimming off the top, which will be 42" x 60".

Monday, October 19, 2015

Quilt-in-Progress: Rainbow Jelly Roll Quilt

I just finished watching Heather Jones' Creative Bug how-to video on how to piece the rainbow jelly roll quilt top.  I bought a Kona Cotton bright palette jelly roll which contained 41 strips, and so I removed 11 strips to sew the 31.  7 down, 23 more to go!  I'm hoping to finish in Stashbusters this Tuesday at the local quilt shop--I want to have finished the top and the backing in order to quilt with help from my instructor on how to use my new walking foot.

Cooking: Sunday Sauce

regret that I didn't order the Sunday Sauce on rigatoni at Lidia Bastianich's restaurant in Kansas City, and so I've been poring through Sunday sauce recipes online and they all are very eclectic in the choice of meats to be used: beef short ribs, pork spare ribs, pork chops, Italian sausage, braciole, beef bones, pork neck bones and on and on. This recipe for Sunday Gravy by Chef Peter McAndrews looked appealing. And then coincidentally this Bon Appetit posting, "Don't Make These Sunday Sauce Common Mistakes—Or We'll Tell Nonna" was in my inbox.

I defrosted Italian sausage and grass fed ground beef and then last night also pulled out pork spare ribs for my own Sunday Sauce (because I suspect porkiness is the route to deliciousness) to integrate with other staples like a couple of big onions, lots of garlic, bay leaf, basil, a bottle of wine, San Marzano tomatoes, tomato paste, heels of parmesan, olive oil.....the formula seems to be anything and everything you have on hand that's homey and yummy.  I chopped the vegetables above including peppers from our garden to lend some spiciness.
I parboiled the pork spare ribs, skimming and draining fat and scum and reserving a few cups of liquid.

 I sautéed the vegetables except for the garlic in olive oil.
 As the vegetables became translucent, I added 3 bay leaves, dried thyme (pull the branches out of the sauce when the leaves fall off), and the garlic.

I pureed the can of San Marzano tomatoes in a blender, and then added it with some water and the pork and broth and a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon to the pot, uncovered to simmer the afternoon away while I sewed.

A couple hours later, I pulled the spare ribs out of the sauce because they were falling off the bone tender.  I also pureed the simmered Sunday sauce as I wanted it velvety smooth.

And then meatballs!  To a half pound of ground beef, I added a pound of mild Italian sausage, a couple of handfuls of Italian bread crumbs, sprinkles of allspice and white pepper, pinches of salt, basil, and thyme.  

Brown the meatballs.  And chop the spareribs meat.  Thicken your sauce with tomato paste if necessary.  Add all the meat to your Sunday sauce to simmer while you boil spaghetti or rigatoni or pasta you like. Sip wine.  Make salad.  Serve dinner.  Labor-intensive but worth it.