27 February 2017

Where's The Monday Motivation?

Perhaps the only thing worse than a boring, mild
winter is when the temps go up and down dramatically?
As much as I long for snow, having all of our 70+ degree days
get interrupted by a  weekend of "below freezing" reminds me
a little of when our water heater broke a month ago.
At least I got to enjoy a toasty fire.

This probably doesn't look real different from my update
last week but I said I was going to get them sewn together
before the week was out so here I am to prove it happened.

 I don't mind setting this one aside but I really wanted to get
a border or two on it first so that is my only goal this week.
(It's too small for my taste so border-less really isn't an option.)
So far my stash is no help but I'm hoping some time
away from the sewing room will give me a new perspective
and all will be fine.

Looking ahead, I have two baby quilts to get started on.
Whether or not I make both from the same pattern to save time
or make two different quilts, right now I do have two that I'm looking at.
The first can be found on the Moda Bake Shop.

The second is from Fons & Porter.

Because they're scrappy, both would be great stash-busters.

I did some killer-baking this weekend so I wanted to share a
couple links.  The irony here is that I've been cutting sugar
from my diet drastically (aside from local honey for my allergies),
but then allowing a little cheating on the weekends. 
Both of these recipes far surpass "a little cheating"
and probably have something to do with my tiredness today
even if I did keep to one serving of each.

No other word for it.
Especially if you're a fan of bread pudding--it tastes about the same.
There's a scrumptious layer of caramel and bananas throughout the
middle.  In fact, I think I'd up the banana count to 4.  I'm into fruit.

The awesome bonus is that you can make it the night before.
I whipped up some homemade French bread for the occasion,
and I had, from the previous weekend, a little homemade
salted caramel in the fridge that made a great drizzle for the top.
Definitely top with fresh whipped cream, but light on the sugar
when you beat it up because, really,
I think this has a month's worth of sugar all in one serving.

My husband and I are again catechists for Confirmation this year
and teach a group of teens in our home every Sunday after Mass
(for 12 weeks).  We love to cook so much that it was our personal
decision to make some sort of breakfast for them.
This Sunday I made my own recipe of French Apple Muffins

This was actually my way of putting off crepes, btw.
We're officially half-way through and I haven't made them yet.
What can I say?  They're kind of a lot of work.  Not that I don't enjoy
making them--I do!  But when you get home at 8:45 am and class
begins at 10:15, well, it's just not as fun to cook when you're
in a hurry.  Though, I have become very good at prepping all of these
breakfasts in any way possible the night before.
The sifting, the cooking of the berries, etc but in no way will I give
up "hot out of the oven freshness" for ease on my part.
I'm a stickler for putting a recipe's best foot (berry?) forward.
The crepes?  They'll happen.  Soon.  Really.
At least that's what I keep telling the kids.

Today's temps are warmer but there's a chill in the house so I'm
camped out by the fire, both of us struggling with motivation.
Nothing a little more firewood can't fix for him.
For me?
What usually works is to just force myself into a task.
And next thing you know, I'll be cleaning, baking, sewing or something.
Maybe just some afternoon tea.

(I thought this would make for a cozy way to show my quilt top off...
till I noticed my boys' mess in the sewing room window.  
They seem to take after me in wanting to work in front of a good view so who
am I to make them put it away?  Well, at least before the weekend was up.)

There just aren't many (any??) more days left for a toasty fire!

19 February 2017

Sewing to a Different Pace

I can think of a few mild winters but this one
has to top them all.  There have been many days
where I've had the windows and doors open.
This weekend I just gave up and started prepping
the garden; I even planted some things.
(For the record, it's at least a month too early for this!)
I love a winter full of blizzards so the fact that we've hardly
seen a flurry has me kinda mopey and not really in
the mood to do much quilting.

the only sewing I've done this year is this "antique" quilt.

It was a huge struggle to find a background that worked
with the late-1800's fabrics, especially the lighter ones.
I noticed the original quilt had some pretty light contrasting
fabrics and they seemed to work so I finally gave up and went
with the best I could find at the closest quilt shop.

The slow pace of this project has felt almost unnatural.
However, as my next "quilt deadlines" aren't for another month or so,
I'm taking this one at a pretty leisurely pace.

I had enough fabric to add an extra row but even with
a border or two, this will be just a lap-sized quilt.
The pattern isn't a super favorite with me but I do feel it
works well with these fabrics and I'm anxious to see how
it goes in our formal living room...
by the fire...
on a snowy day!

I have started putting the blocks into rows so there
should be no trouble getting the top done this week.
And that should free up a project basket for something else.
Besides my cat.

08 February 2017

More Valentines Runners: Because I Can't Say No

The Valentine's table runners seem to be multiplying.

Backing up a little, I seem to be in a little battle with pre-cuts,
and so I've decided to just use them up and be done with them.

I'm currently working on a quilt to use up this layer cake
of these reproduction (late 1800's) fabrics:

And just this last week I finished up this Valentine's runner.

When I purchased a little bit of yardage to finish this up,
I discovered there were still matching mini-charm packs available
and my mind immediately wandered to making little Valentine's gifts.
Nothing reels me in like the idea of making gifts for someone
and out the window went my "I'm never buying pre-cuts again!"

You know how that whole shipping-cost issue can lure you into
buying a few more things, right?
(I did say yesterday you would be rolling your eyes!)

Well, of course I bought two of the little guys
(insert talking-to-your-pet voice here)
because their just so cuuuute.
(now lose the cute-sy voice, toughen back up...)
But ONLY with the firm intention of using them up
immediately.  Which seemed to be a pretty safe intention
seeing as how the holiday is just around the corner.
(eye roll away!)

BUT, here they are.  
My whole collection of Valentine's Day table decor.
So, you see, I did use them up immediately.

Maybe we can even pretend this whole little
mini-charm pack purchase never happened?!

FYI, for the mini-runners, I cut 1.5" white-on-white squares
for the star peaks and then followed this method.
You'll have a few squares left over from the packs, by the way
if you make any of these projects.
I did use charms for the centers of the stars but the
white-on-white had to come from my stash.

I have ciabatta dough calling for attention so off I go.
If you've never made ciabatta bread, I really recommend it.
Nothing quite like a sandwich on freshly-made, lightly-buttered
and lightly-toasted (under the broiler) ciabatta bread!

I'm a little early but I do tend to pop in and out around here so:
Happy Valentine's Day!

07 February 2017

Valentines Table Runner

With the turning of a new year, I made a few changes
to my daily routine that have taken away some
of my sewing and computer time.

This means there hasn't been much done on my new projects
but I have sewn up a little seasonal decor,
knocking off another charm pack in the process.

Using just one pack of Sandy Gervais' "Love" (Moda),
and a little bit of scrap white on white fabric,
I pieced together the four blocks of this table runner.

And, as is the way of fabric and fabric stashes,
I then discovered that I didn't have just the right colors 
(go ahead--feel free to roll your eyes here)
for sashing or binding.
Luckily, I found some of the coordinating fabrics
were still available, and on sale even!

And so I have successfully used up another charm pack.
I haven't counted, but I think I have about 5 more to go.
And maybe that many layer cakes.
I'll get there.

We'll get back to why I said "maybe" in my next post...

Which may or may not require more eye-rolling on your part.

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