Wednesday, December 17, 2014

WIP Wednesday 12.17.14

 I think I've mentioned before, but I don't really do any sewing of gifts for Christmas.  Too much pressure.  There are so many Extra things to do that sewing seems to take a back seat, so adding in gifting, too crazy!

So what am I working on? 

This particular project was an "Aunt Rachel do you think you could......"  Yes, nephew I suppose I can replace your broken zipper. 

And then there's E's Christmas dress.  I inserted the zipper yesterday and had her try it on.  WAY too big.  I mean seriously, an inch pinched on each side?  That's a full 4 inches too wide.  So, some unpicking and taking in today.  She doesn't need the dress until Sunday church, but I had rather hoped it would go more quickly. 

Linking up with Lee - why not?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Swap Quilt Received

 Isn't it wonderful?  I was sooooo excited when I picked up my mail on the way to get the kids.
I wanted to tear into it, but waited until we got back home.  Mail all the way from Australia, OZ, Down Under!
It's from Rebecca @2bees in instagram.  The star is called Wisconsin Star - how perfect is that?  And blue and white, my absolute favorite color combination.   The straight line quilting in a pale blue is perfection.  I am so pleased with it!
She even hand embroidered the label.  I should really start doing that more often. 
I'm stitching on a couple of pockets so that I can get this beauty hung up.  I think its going in my bedroom - which is blue and white.
 Lots of other goodies, too.  I've opened the calendar - so fun.  Haven't opened the candy or the vegemite yet...

Friday, December 12, 2014

Instagram Mini Swap Quilt Finish

 My first ever swap quilt is finished, sent, received and loved!
 After working fairly consistently over the last couple of months, this is the final product.  All quilted up, washed and bound - the day before I sent it.
 After all the quilting in the grey was done, it was suggested via instagram that I should add some quilting in the gem areas, so I did.
 This shot of the back shows off the quilting really well.  I also made a diamond shaped label to add to the quilt.
 Another shot of the back and the quilting.
 I threw in a few goodies as well, one of them being this great collection of crayons!  I thought they fit the theme pretty well.

 I also included a decorative diamond that I found at Hobby Lobby, some QR quilt tags and some chocolate, of course

Tomorrow I'll share the wonderful quilt I received, all the way from Australia!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Dutch Handkerchiefs - A Recipe

 I've been baking - not a big surprise there, since we're in the Christmas season, so today I thought I'd share a recipe.  And the fun experiences of figuring it out along the way.  You see, this past Monday was the annual Cup of Christmas Tea at my church.  In past years I've been the committee chair, this year I just hosted a table and enjoyed the program.

The theme was Christmas Around The World. Seeing that my background is primarily Dutch I thought that I would decorate and bake accordingly.

The decorating was easy.  I just put out some of my Mom's collected Delft Windmills (on a hexagon mirror!).
 For baking I pulled out an old cookbook that I've had for years, that I must have gotten from my mom, who must have gotten it from her mom, because it was printed when my mom would have been 13!
So I perused the Traditional Dutch recipes and decided to try out the Appeltaart.
The recipe directions were rather lacking, and although I made it to the best of my ability, and it was certainly edible, it was not something that I would serve to guests.
So back to the recipes and I decided on the Dutch Handkerchief cookies.  This time the recipe was a bit easier to follow (and I'll share it below). 
The first batch I scoffed at the filling of just a teaspoon in the middle of each square, they grew rather much in the oven - consider yourself warned.
The next batch I cut the squares at only 3" and put in less filling so that they would be more bite sized.
They were certainly a hit, both among my family and the Tea guests, so I'll be making them again.  And they are super easy.
And, I found the best way to cut perfect 4" squares of dough - ruler plus pizza cutter!


2 Cups Flour
1 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup Water
pinch of salt

1 Egg White
1 Cup Sugar
1 tsp. Almond Extract

Mix dough as for pie; roll very thin; cut into four inch squares.
Beat egg white until stiff; fold in sugar and flavoring. Put 1 tsp. in center of each square.  Fold corners to center. Bake until lightly browned in 350 degree oven.  (this took at least 20+ minutes in my oven)

They are truly best eaten the day of, maybe the day after. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Temperature Quilt Update - One Month to Go

 Here we are.  All caught up as of yesterday.  January through November.  You can see how it got instantly cold about half way through the month.  Even record cold temperatures.  Thank You Polar Vortex.  I had some questions about this top on instagram - so for reference, *here is the original post* with all the details.  And I'm starting to think about next year....but I'll save that for another post.
Since just one picture is boring I thought I'd show a shot of the string I Jerry-rigged to take quilt pictures.  The Temperature Quilt is 60 inches, so it will hold a good sized flimsy.  I doubt it will hold a quilted quilt, though.  But its better than fighting the cold and wind outside!  You also get a glimpse of my kitchen life.  See the blue handle?  That's a carpet cleaner I've borrowed.  I am in the insane "clean everything" mode.  I've even been taking down curtains and washing them.  That carpet cleaner makes me crazy happy.

Yes!  This is me!  I will decorate for Christmas soon, AFTER I clean all the things!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

WIP Wednesday 11.26.14 - Pre-Thanksgiving

 Today my primary work in progress will be pie!  And cleaning house, too, in preparation for tomorrow's festivities.
 After not touching this for a couple of months, I sat down the other night and diligently sewed down the last row.
 Now, time to remove the papers.  I also need to figure out how one finishes a hexie quilt!?  It seems like such a waste to cut off all those points to make a straight edge, but I'm sure how to deal with all those points, either.  Anyone have any experience or suggestions?

 I've also been working diligently on my IG miniswap quilt.  I finished the quilting last night.
 Time to bury threads and determine a binding.  I was hoping to not buy any fabric, but it may be inevitable, since I started with fat quarters of each color.  Not a lot left of any but the green.
 I thought the shot below helped show the quilting textures.
 May you all have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Linking up with Lee

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Circle of Life Finish

 When it rains, it pours.  One more finish.

 This was a panel that I won from a Giveaway Day, last year?  I added the stripes to enlarge it a bit.  I used some poly batting that I picked up recently because it was cheap and I planned to use it for charity quilts.  It says low loft, but it is still thicker than what I prefer.  The quilt is pretty soft and comfy, but detailed quilting is pretty much out the window.  This finished at 31" x 41".
 More of the stripes on the back.  The stripe came from Connecting Threads.
 I added this bit from the panel onto the back.  Not sure if I'll donate this one to charity, or to our guild's boutique.  I'm not thrilled with the quilting, so I'll give it some thought.

 Incidentally, the next Giveaway Day is December 8.  Still trying to decide whether to participate, or not.  I don't generally enter the giveaways anymore, its not worth the time - I can just go buy the fabric, really, and since I'm not buying fabric right now....  Anyway, I do have some Tula Pink Saltwater that I know I don't need, so perhaps a giveaway is due, just in time for Christmas.