Sunday, June 23, 2013

Progress & A Finish!


My house is quite again (my wonderful in-laws were visiting this week taking up my attention), so can now update you on progress.  I finished my class project!  It originally had a border, but the back piece was too small.  So, I just cut the border off and moved on.  I really like how it came out :)  (Please excuse the crappy picture. It was taken in a hurry while MIL and FIL were still here.  Also, Ducky just had to part of the picture no matter how much I coaxed).  I can't wait to show all the ladies!

I was running out of hexies in a couple colors, so unfortunately I am back to basting :/  But!  I am using the "flowers" I have done to start "squaring up" the freeform beginning.  That way I really have the beginning of a quilt - and, the pile was getting a little large for my box lol  Pictures of that soon :)

I am also looking forward to doing my Quilts for Kids (Q4K) project and starting my City Sampler Quilt at The Scrappy Quilter this week.  It should be a week full of quilting goodness :)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Strawberry Banana Bread


The other day I found a Pinterest post about Blueberry Banana Bread that had a special ingredient in it - Greek yogurt!  I didn't have any blueberries, but I did have strawberries, so what did I make... Strawberry Banana Bread!  Honestly, I LOVE banana bread.  BUT, banana bread is my baking nemesis.  I have tried dozens of recipes.  Everything from old church lady recipes to modern test kitchen recipes.  It always comes out underdone in the center and usually burnt on the edges.  I HIGHLY recommend this bread.  It was easy and delicious!  AND, it came out perfectly!  This is definitely my go-to banana bread recipe from now on.  Thank you so much, Emily!!!!

The batter is delicious, too ;)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Project Update


I finished basting all the new hexies as anticipated.  I now have 112 more little hexies for my Baby Hexie Quilt.  I will be getting back to piecing today once I finish quilting my class project, which will be a pillow :)

Here's a shot of the pinwheel.  I did mark out the stippling, but changed it in a few places while quilting to make it flow more.

Here is a shot of the back with just the pinwheel done.  You can see the pattern and stitches a little better.  Not perfect, but not too bad for my first time, if I don't say so myself ;)

And here is the first background triangle.  I had marked these for stippling as well, but changed my mind.  Instead of remarking, I used a Zentangle approach to do echoing triangles.

And a shot of the back.  I have two more background triangles done now (both much more consistent).  I plan to finish the quilting today, so that I can show it off tomorrow at the shop when I go for Quilting for Kids (a charity project in San Antonio making quilts for cancer patients that are children.  It starts at 10a if you are interested in joining :)).  After that I'm going to finish the pillow and focus on the Baby Hexie Quilt as much as possible.  I HAVE to have it done my October!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hexie Baby Quilt Addition & Tip


From you the title I'm sure you have deduced that I am crazy.  I'm ok with that, because when I was at The Scrappy Quilter for my hand quilting class Thursday I spotted a couple of ADORABLE fabrics on clearance that I just knew needed to be part of the baby quilt.  We now know that the baby is a boy, so I wanted to add a dash of blue to the otherwise neutral quilt and the polka dots with the cream background just really matched too well to pass up :)

So, now I have twelve total fabrics going into the quilt.  Here they are all together.

You might have noticed that the new hexies look a little larger in the raw than the old ones.  That is because they are.  After basted hundreds of hexies with the 1/4" sew allowance and being careful not to let them fray while I am piecing, I swore to myself that I would not give myself such little wiggle room again.  I decided to cut these new hexies with a 1/2" seam allowance.  I don't care that it uses a little more fabric, it is SO much easier to baste - and I'm sure it will be easier to piece.  Do what you will, but I recommend larger than a 1/4" seam allowance.  It will help keep you just a little bit saner, which in my case, I'll take all the help I can get lol

At this point I have all the new hexies cut and all of 56 of the polka dots basted.  I should have all the blues basted today and I'll get back to piecing :)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Loads of Fun at The Scrappy Quilter


Yesterday I took my first quilting class at my local quilt shop, The Scrappy Quilter (that I found for the first time the day before).  But let me back up and start by talking a little about the shop.  It's a little over a year old and is absolutely adorable and well organized.  They have fabric styles for everyone from beautiful Civil War reproductions to modern designer fabrics.  They even stock some up-and-coming designers.  But what really made them stand out to me was the service.  Everyone was truly, sincerely happy that I was there and wanted to make me feel at home.  They were joyfully informative and kind.  Not one person, staff or customer, acted like I didn't belong there (something I commonly get since I'm on the younger end of the crafty demographic).  They answered my questions truthfully - if they didn't know the answer they grabbed another quilter :)  Lisa, Michelle, and Alice (and Joyce the next day) took the time to get start getting to know me, AND they remembered me and details about me when I came back for the class.

I took a hand quilting class with Joyce and LOVED IT.  I wanted to take it to learn and meet some people in the area with like interests.  It turned out to be a one-on-one session, but I was ok with that.  Joyce was amazing and delightful.  She was very patient, thorough, and sweeter than wild honey.  I learned so much and will definitely take another class with her given the opportunity.  I have really taken to hand quilting.  Here's a close-up teaser of the project we started in class.

I highly recommend The Scrappy Quilter if you're in the San Antonio area, even if it's just for a visit.  You can find them in the Lone Oak Plaza in Schertz.  Their physical address is 1208 FM 78, Suite J
Schertz, TX  78154.  You can call them at (210)281-8667.  Feel free to visit their website or check them out on Facebook.

The day I found The Scrappy Quilter, I visited several other sewing/quilt shops.  No one spoke to me at the others, and if they did it was in such a way that I didn't feel welcome at all.  I can truly say that I have found my quilting home.  I'm already in love with the shop and the ladies.  I will be back there on Tuesday for Quilting for Kids and I'm seriously thinking about doing the City Sampler Quilt with them, too.  I really hope that you visit them.

Have you found your quilting home, yet?  I would love to hear about it :)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

My Family's Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies


We all need go-to recipes.  This is my go-to Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.  Everyone that tries them loves them.  Warning:  they are addicting.  Their not overly sweet and they stay soft if you store them properly.  The batch is huge so you can definitely share with friends and neighbors (I took half of them to my new neighbors.  The kids were really excited :)).  I recommend using a cookie scoop whenever you dole out cookie dough.  It's an easy way to make sure that all of your cookies end up the same size and baking evenly.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Design Boards


I saw Lori Holt's Design Boards the other day and fell in love.  So what did I do?  Get foam board and felt (it was on sale).  My foam board was 30"x20", so I was able to to get six 10" squares out of the first piece.  I still want to make three 20"x10" design boards and one full size 30"x20" board.

I am very excited about my design board.  I have been using it as a lap work surface, but I also plan to use them like she discusses in the video for machine piecing :)

I would love to see yours!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Baby Quilt Update


I have been stitching away on this little quilt, which I am coming to realize needs a little more time and attention if I am going to get it all done by D-day.  I have switched to doing flowers since they are more portable and then I can put the flowers together to build rows of the quilt.  I finished up several more flowers since I took this picture (in my new lightbox).  So, I about have enough for a row.  I'm thinking that I should restrain from putting the rows together for awhile, though.  That way I can try to mix things up a little more overall.  We'll see if I can manage that ;)  I'm also getting pretty convinced that I going to need to cut and baste more hexies :/

***** check out the sidebar to track my progress between posts :) *****

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Lightbox Woes


I made a new lightbox, since mine got tossed in the move, but I'm not entirely in love with it.  I don't think the pictures are coming out as nicely as they were with my old one.

This one I cut three sides out of a cardboard box, leaving about an inch border on the sides.  Then, I covered the sides with tissue paper and cut a piece of poster board for the back and bottom.  Ducky worked very had on helping me make the one.  My old one was made entirely out of computer paper.

I would love your opinions on how the pictures are looking.
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