Friday, May 28, 2010

Hexagons again!

Remember when I said I was making hexagons so I could make a quilt for myself? Well, you should probably never trust anything I say because I always change my mind. I'm really not into making the hexagons, I just like sewing them together. And I'm just not excited to make a big quilt because I have too many big quilts in line to finish right now.

So, I've been playing around with my hexagon stash. Pairing up colors I didn't originally plan to use together.

tiny stack of hexagons

And laying them out in little groups, to make some little things.

hexagons

Ian and I are headed to the cabin this weekend and I might bring some hexes with me. As you can see, I have plenty to use up.

lots of hexagons

I hope you all have a great holiday weekend! See you in June!

Making Limoncello: Part 2

If you're making Limoncello with us, it's time for Step 2. If you haven't started a batch, it's not too late! Your Limoncello could be ready by the 4th of July if you start Step 1 this weekend (let your batch sit for only 20 days before moving on to Step 2).

Ingredients for Step 2:

-One .75 liter bottle of 100 proof vodka
-Four cups of water
-Four cups of sugar
-Medium saucepan

First you need to make a simple syrup. Place your saucepan over medium heat and add the water and sugar. Heat for 5 to 7 minutes. The sugar will dissolve and the syrup will thicken slightly.

making simple syrup

Allow the syrup to cool and add it to the jar of limoncello.

Add the vodka to the jar. Put the lid back on and give it a swirl.

Set in a cool dark place for 10 to 40 days, swirling the jar occasionally.

That's it for Step 2...pretty easy! We'll be back just before 4th of July weekend with the final step!

Heads up: start saving glass bottles now. You'll need 2-3 large bottles or several small bottles (these make great gifts). You'll also need 2-3 kitchen funnels and some coffee filters.

On To The Final Step!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Such Thoughtful Friends!

Check out what I got in the mail:

pin cushion and fabric

Cindy made that pin cushion just for me! Isn't it fantastic? It's made from selvedges that feature "Midwest Modern", Minneapolis and Modern Tradition, which we all know I love.

This pin cushion is big (4"!) and weighty and has a perfect piped edge. It's magical, I tell you! And if you want, you can get your very own!

She was also helping me find some darker green fabrics and ended up sending me some. What's up with green? It's either too blue, too yellow or too brown. Nevertheless, these are perfect and they're destined for my modern sampler quilt...I was in desperate need of darker greens.

Thanks again Cindy!

Farmers Market Flannel

Check it out...8 yards of Sandi Henderson's gorgeous flannel!

Farmer's Market flannel

It's the Dahlia print in "Spring" and it's so soft. I got it at Three Rivers Fabrics for $6.00 a yard. She has some of this print left and other flannels on sale too. You should go buy some...Courtney is really nice.

I've been planning this quilt for a year and a half...the fabrics are cut out and everything. But, you know how it goes. I'd really love to finish it by the end of the summer. I have a super simple layout planned so I could probably finish it in a week if I wanted to. But you know I won't.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Drive-in, 2010

Do you know what's even better than picnic season? Drive-in season! Ian and I went this weekend and it was so wonderful! I've talked about it all before so I'll just leave you with some pictures.

drive in 5/14/10

drive in 5/14/10

drive in 5/14/10 9

drive in 5/14/10

drive in 5/14/10

I think it's so important to keep these little bits of history alive, so support your local drive-in when you can.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Why I love my Kindle

I don't think I talk about my Kindle enough on my blog. I mean, I really should because it's my constant companion and friend. We go everywhere together and we've already had so many adventures.

reading Jane Eyre

Do you know why I love my Kindle today? I love my Kindle today because I just downloaded a sample of Rick Steves' Athens. I won't have to go to the bookstore on my lunch break nor will I have to sit all day at work waiting to be done so I can go to the store. I also won't have to wait for Amazon to ship it to my house. Instead, I can spend my entire lunch break reading about the wonderful city of Athens and daydreaming about our potential trip there. And then, if I want to purchase the book, I can spend $10 instead of $18. (If you're reading this, Rick Steves' publisher: I wasn't going to spend the $18 anyway so don't even think about raising the price.)

Oh Kindle, how I love you!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Summerhouse Squares

I had a few spare minutes on Saturday night to cut out some 2.5" squares:

calming patchwork

and a few spare minutes on Sunday to sew them into tiny 4-patches. I was initially planning to make a couple of pillows inspired by Alicia's Summerhouse Pillows.

calming patchwork

But I also might want to use them in a quilt or a wall quilt. I'm not sure yet.

What I do know is that it was so nice to work with these simple, random patchwork squares. Especially compared to the other quilting I did this weekend.

What did you do this weekend?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Calming Patchwork

When things get too crazy at home, I want to ignore it all and sew things exactly like this.

I've been stripping wallpaper and painting this room white:

studio before

I've been organizing my craft supplies. I've been avoiding all sewing responsibilities because my studio is in a transitional state of disarray. I've been craving the simplicity of a patchwork pillow in a soothing array of soft colors.

Maybe that will be my reward for finally getting organized. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. On the other side is the peachy freedom of organization and the aqua satisfaction of accomplishment. And lots of patchwork pillows.

What do you want to sew when things get too crazy?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fabric Friday

I just ran out of my favorite green Wallflower fabric and then found an excellent deal at Down Shadow Lane on Etsy. And then, you know, I had to fill a flat rate envelope.

Greens and oranges for my Modern Sampler Quilt:

new fabric

From left to right:
Denyse Schmidt, Hope Valley, Prairie Rose in Fiesta
Joel Dewberry, Aviary, Woodgrain in Green
Denyse Schmidt, Hope Valley, Pie Basket in Fiesta
MoMo, Freebird, Eggs in Grass
Moe3, Neo Geo, Chains in Orange
Amy Butler, Lotus, Wall Flower in Green
Valorie Wells, Olive Rose, Curves in Orange
Amy Butler, Love, Sun Spots in Olive
MoMo, Freebird, Ovals in Melon


And the red because I need something sort-of-solid to go with my patterned red fabrics.

new fabric

They look like Swiss Dots which I love. MoMo, Freebird, Eggs in Geranium

And this just because it's so beautiful:

new fabric

Joel Dewberry, Modern Meadow, Dogwood Bloom in Berry. I want more of this for a skirt but I'll try to resist because it's new and still (in my world) expensive.

Also, I already own lots of fabrics that I bought to be skirts...so those should come first. Sigh...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fun Patch Block

Today's Modern Sampler block is inspired by Burtons/North's fun patch quilt. I really love the uneven strips and the vertical yet diagonal feel of the layout. And the green Neptune paired with pink Mendocino, of course.

fun patch block

You can buy a "Fun Patch" template (I'm not sure what size blocks it would make) or for a 16.5" (unfinished) block you can cut the following:

27 - 5" x 2.5" focus fabric
a few 2.5" strips of your background fabric to finish the block

It helps to have two rulers for this step. Place one ruler 3.75" from the bottom on the right edge and place your second ruler so that the 45 degree line is on the left edge.

fp1

Cut your block along the diagonal.

fp2

If you don't have two rulers, you can mark a dot 1.25" up from the bottom on the left side and 3.75" from the bottom on the right. Then place your ruler on the dots and cut.

Place two pieces together and flip one over the diagonal. The corners should NOT be aligned. Instead, shift the pieces until the notches are 1/4" from the edge.

fp3

Sew 1/4" from the edge (starting in one of the notches).

Press and trim off the little triangles.

fp4

Arrange and sew your Fun Patch blocks in rows. (3 rows of 4, 5 rows of 3)

fp5

Sew strips of your background fabric to the top and bottom and trim so each strip measures 16.5" for a square block. (I made mine a slight rectangle by cutting at 17.5"). Before you cut, make sure to stagger your strips to create the uneven rows. Sew strips together to finish.

fun patch block

fun patch block

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Modify Tradition Swap

You'll never believe this: I'm participating in my first ever online swap! I guess that was to be expected since it is a swap hosted by my other blog, Modify Tradition. But still, I'm surprised.

Jennifer is coordinating this swap and I'm super excited to get started! And in case my swap partner is reading this and wants some ideas, check out this sweet flickr mosaic:

modify tradition swap

1. XOXO quilt, 2. Nine-patch Quilt - quilting, 3. Craftster Quilt Block (for me), 4. Flying Geese Table Runner in Pink detail, 5. { geometric squares quilt }, 6. finished, 7. Star Quilt Top, 8. Top Finished for DQS7, 9. DSCN0632, 10. Gelati Quilt Top, 11. cheese & cracker border, 12. May block for Marianne

I love bright colors, especially lime green, orange, teal and magenta (alone or in any combination). I love white or grey or tan for backgrounds. I'd be perfectly happy with one block or repeated blocks, borders, sashing or not, off center or on center, any size, square or rectangle...really, whatever you feel like.

I'm not into purple or dull colors.

Other than that, I just want you to have fun and design something that you love! Choose colors that inspire you, something that will be fun to piece, something that feels like "you". Hanging tabs would be welcome (I know I'll want to hang it up in the studio!) but I can also put them on myself.

I'm just really excited to see what you come up with!