Friday, August 1, 2014

Fresh Sewing Day...the august version

It's been a while since I have linked up with Lynne's Fresh Sewing Day.
I've had a good month finishing the paper pieced version of the Single Girl Quilt and getting all my Modern Stitching Bee cross blocks sewn together. I made 5 more blocks so I have a 5x6 layout.
Add the bee blocks I made for do Good Stitches,Stitch Tease and Modern Stitching bee and the two Handmade Birthday Club gifts (date Night Clutch and foldover clutch with leather), a tie for my grandson and a patchwork pillow and I will call July a good month. 
I also finished one Monkey Sock and I am almost finished with the second sock.

But I have to say I am most proud of something I did not was helping my grand daughter make her first quilt top. This has been a very long term project but I see a finished quilt coming soon. We just need to choose a backing and then I can teach her how to baste and quilt it. I think for her first quilt it will be some simple straight lines.

Lily's Quilts

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sewing with Denyse

I have a massive stash of Denyse Schmidt fabrics. I used over 150 different prints in the Clam Bake quilt and that stash that has been cut into produced 100's of smaller pieces and extra clamshells, quarter circles, strips and squares.

Clam Bake Quilt
I made a pillow with some of those extras as a gift for my Sew South Secret Sister.
Denyse Schmidt fabric quilted Pillow
I've been madly piecing a Lazy Girl Quilt (Single Girl paper pieced version) for weeks now.
The single girl is ready for basting and quilting, but meanwhile I still have all the DS fabric.

So today I made a perfectly imperfect throw pillow. I just randomly grabbed some of the off cut squares and rectangles and sewed them together. Then I squared them up into 3.5" wide rows and sewed them together. I didn't match seams and basically just sewed them together until I had a 21" square. Then I quilted it with straight lines and popped a zipper into the bottom seam. This will be thrown onto our bed to go with the Clam Bake quilt and the gorgeous pillow I received from my friend, Jennifer, in the Post Sew South Swap.

That brings me to these leftover clamshells cut for the original Clam Bake quilt. This will be my last DS fabric project and then I am going to destash. I'm thinking a smaller clamshell quilt to donate to 100 Quilts for Kids.

I need to move on to another project and some new fabric. Did someone say Cotton and Steel? Yes, I bought the entire line. many hours are in each day? Because I'm sure there aren't enough to sew all the things I want to make with my ever growing stash.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fig Gelato

Gardening is a lot of work. Most of the work is not in planting or maintaining the garden, but comes after the harvest, when you must do something with the massive amounts of fruits and vegetables that it yields.
Our fig tree produces 100's of figs every year. Most are picked and eaten fresh or passed on to friends who enjoy them. I also make fig jam, fig cookies and dried figs. 
This year, I decided to make Fig Gelato using this recipe I found on Pinterest. I used the first recipe listed in the blog post and it is delicious. I tripled the recipe and had to freeze it in three batches, because my ice cream freezer is a small capacity machine.
The color is so pretty, but the taste is even better.

Does anyone have a favorite fig recipe? I'll be picking another 5-6 pounds of figs this evening.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Spread the Love

What do you get when you mix 30 pounds of rhubarb

and 30 pounds of strawberries
with 24 pounds of sugar and the juice from 36 lemon?

You cook it all up in copper jam pots
and you end up with 900 ounces of Strawberry Rhubarb Jam.
The 3.75 ounce jars will be the table favor at our son's September wedding.
We kind of over estimated how much we needed {after the 180 jars we need for the wedding}, so we ended up with another 22 jars, of various sizes, to share with family and friends. I used every canning jar I had, smaller than a quart. So there are jars of jam from 4 ounces to 24 ounces. It will last a long while in my "jam closet".
For the large jars I used chalk board contact paper to make the labels. I love these labels. They are so easy to make. You just buy chalk friendly contact paper and a fancy punch (think scrapbook punch) and then you can write on them with a chalk pen.

We still need to shine up the wedding favor jars and add a label. I don't know if it's our hard water or the reaction of the jars in the canning pot, but I get a dusty deposit on the jars. It's nothing that a little elbow grease can't remove. That's our job for another day.
This was a fun day with my son and future daughter-in-law. Evan, who is an Executive Sous Chef at a fine dining restaurant, helped us to get started by chopping most of the rhubarb. Then he went to hit golf balls while Lauren and I stirred and chopped some more. Lauren helped with the rhubarb, while I cleaned all the strawberries. We spent 7 hours prepping and making the jam. I was able to get about 60 jars canned after they left. The next day I spent another 3 hours canning the rest of the jam. Only 51 more days until the wedding!
 "Spread the Love"

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sarah's Birthday Gift

handmade birthday club

foldover clutch with leather

foldover clutch with leather

The second Handmade Birthday Club gift that I sent out this month has been received by the lovely Sarah of Stitching and Bacon. Sarah's job requires her to be outside, a lot, so I thought this Timber and Leaf fold over clutch would be a nice dress up change from her work boots but still incorporate the outdoors. The shiny silver leather gives it the bling I was hoping for, to jazz up a simple clutch. Lined with a print from Bijou by Bari J and a metal zipper, this pouch finishes at approximately 11" square.
I also made her a cat pin cushion and added some little extras like chalk board stickers, cute little clothespins, and an American Quilting and Patchwork magazine, etc.

A fun fact about Sarah...her job requires her to be in a hotel a lot, so she takes her sewing machine and quilt projects with her. Now that's a dedicated quilter!