Instagram Mini Swap

A couple of weeks ago, Sandy Greenberg posted to his Instagram account that he would be running an online mini-swap. The first 100 people to sign up would be included, and he’d partner people up for the swap. In just under 3 hours Sandy had his 100 participants, and more people asking to be included. Flash forward to just four days, and some awesome volunteers later and Sandy has over 500 participants.

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Today, those that signed up started receiving their team assignments. I was super excited to meet Clairee Poppins and have her serve as our fearless leader. I also got my individual that I’ll be stalking and making something to send. I can’t reveal their name yet, but I’m already going through their Instagram, and loving the things I see. Over the next few weeks, I’ll start planning for what I’m going to make. The rules of the swap are fairly simple, do something your partner will like, make it no less than 18 inches, and no greater than 24 inches. The finished, shipped product must be quilted and bound.

As part of the swap, we’re asked to give some likes and dislikes to help our partners along. My list was pretty slim, as there’s not much that doesn’t excite and inspire me in the quilting world. I did, today, throw together this “quiltspiration” collage. These items really move and inspire me to want to create.

 

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The finished swap item has to be done and shipped by 2014-12-1, so I have a little bit of time. I’m sure over the next few months I’ll share pictures of the creative process. I can’t wait to see all the wonderful things that are going to be made by both people on my team, and people in the swap.

If you’re on Instagram, be sure to look up the #IGminiswap hashtag, as well as #mommapoppins and #teampoppins

Official Chicken Farmer

It’s official. About one week ahead of my predicted schedule, a chicken started laying eggs. For about 2 solid weeks now we’ve had a single egg every day. They’re small eggs, but there’s something fantastic about going out to the coop and finding an egg waiting to be picked up. Last wekeend, a second chicken started laying eggs, though not as regularly yet. Two eggs a day..it’s amazing!

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We’ve eaten several of the eggs already, and the difference in fresh eggs, and those that you get in the store is just beyond words. The yolks of our “farm-fresh” eggs are a beautiful orange-yellow color. The cooked eggs are more firm, and the shells are much thicker.

We don’t normally eat a lot of eggs in the house. We are up to about a dozen in the fridge, and eating about as many a day as we get. I’ve got to find some new recipes that call for eggs, or find friends that aren’t scared to eat them. I have a feeling when the third chicken starts laying we’ll be up to our eyeballs in eggs!

Raspberry Jam Breakfast Rolls

When I made my raspberry jam, I had enough for 4 pints, with a little left over. It wasn’t enough to pressure can, so I was stuck with a dilemma, what to do with the additional amount. Luckily I had some rolled dough in the fridge, so I made raspberry jam breakfast rolls. Think cinnamon rolls, but instead of cinnamon and sugar, I spread the jam throughout. The dough was rolled up, sliced into rounds and baked in the oven.

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Delicious. That’s what I can say about it in a single word. They were gone almost before they cooled down. I think when I make them again, though, I’ll either include cream cheese as part of the spread, or I’ll make a nice cream-cheese frosting to go with them.

Jam season has started

And I’m kicking it off in style! I’ve already made raspberry, blackberry and gooseberry jam for the season. A total of 22 pints of sweet sugary goodness is on my shelf, ready for cookies, cakes, or gifts for friends.  Along with the jam, I’ve also put up 6 quarts of tomato sauce from tomatoes at the local farmer’s market.

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It’s only the beginning for what I hope to can this summer. I’ve already got a great crop of tomatoes starting that will go towards more sauce, and maybe even some home-made ketchup.  If you’re looking for some inspiration for canning recipes, or just recipes in general, check out Punk Domestics. They’ve got a recipe for just about everything imaginable, and have, as of late, been such an inspiration for my culinary adventures.

May Signature Blocks

I finished May in June, and with that, for a short period of time, I am caught up with the No Girls Allowed Quilt Bee swap. Of course it’s now the first week in July, and I’ll need to get started on those blocks soon. (June ended up being my month, so I have some leeway on getting the blocks done for me.)

May belongs to Mr. Paul Hallinger. His request seemed simple, create four blocks that represent your signature block, and have them feature either black or white as the primary background color. My problem? I haven’t had enough experience with quilt blocks to really say that I have a “signature” block. In pouring over different blocks, I ran across the Broken Herringbone block by Play-Crafts. I had seen this block once before, by the glitterific Molli Sparkles, and fell head-over-heels in love. It like a french braid quilt, but with it’s own style.

Inspired by Kona’s solid, Cypress, I set off to make this block, with one minor change. Instead of being a double herringbone design, I’d tackle it as a single herringbone.

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I’m really happy with how this block turned out. I used the pieces and parts of the piecing to  round out the additional blocks that were required. Keeping them off-center, and different sizes and shapes I think adds to the already modern feel from this fabric pairing.

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Paul has been quilting since 1992, and has some amazing quilts under his belt. His ability to churn out tops makes me absolutely jealous. If you’re interested in seeing some of his amazing work, you can follow him on Instagram.

April Feathers

April’s No Girls Allowed Quilt Bee blocks were terribly late, but they’re done now, and shipped off to their new home.  This month’s blocks were for John Q. Adams (yes, that John Adams). His request was to make the Anna Marie Horner Feather Bed blocks. Honestly, I think that we were all intimidated by these blocks, but as I worked my way through them, I really fell in love with the design. Some of us used the paper-piecing method, some of us used the strip piece method. I put mine together using strip-piecing. After I got used to the cuts (and the waste of fabric), it went together really easily.

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These blocks, at a glance, look small, but they’re actually 18 inches tall finished. It takes about 60 feathers to make a king size quilt. I love this design so much, this has made it’s way on a short list for a future project with me. I love the look, and I love  the flexibility of the pattern through your own fabric choices.

If you’ve not been introduced to John Adams, a.k.a. QuiltDad, here’s a great introduction, in his own words:

I am a father of three, originally from Brooklyn NYC but now living in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. I live with my 9 year-old twin girls, my 8 year-old son, and a crazy German Shorthaired Pointer named Bristol. Though I often wish it could be, quilting and pattern-writing is not my full-time job; by day, I lead branding and brand marketing efforts for a global software company. I am a completely self-taught quilter (thanks, blogs and internet!) and have been sewing for about 7 years now. I earned my undergraduate and master’s degrees at the University of North Carolina and, when I’m not sewing, enjoy cheering for the UNC Tar Heels.

I was originally inspired by the blossoming worlds both of craft blogging and modern fabrics back in 2004. I was living in Charlotte NC at the time and began mixing and matching fabrics and buying fat quarters in my local quilt shop even before I knew how to sew a stitch. I was really drawn to the creative process of mixing and matching colors and prints. That was when Amy Butler’s Lotus line had just come out, and the options for bright modern fabrics was growing like crazy. Before long, I decided I was going to make a quilt and read free tutorials online until I felt comfortable with the basics.

I started my blog, QuiltDad.com, in 2008 on a whim, mainly to be eligible to join a swap at the time but ultimately to share my love of patchwork with others.

Since then, I’ve remained very active in online quilting communities through swaps, virtual quilting bees, and guilds. Today, I try to apply my own quilting aesthetic to designing original quilt patterns for both fabric designers and companies and frequently contribute to creative blogs, books, and other collaborative endeavors. I’ve contributed to several collaborative quilt books, have two book titles of my own (Pretty in Patchwork: Holidays and the soon to be released Beyond Neutral: Quilts Inspired by Nature’s Elements) and was a co-founder of the popular e-magazine and book series for modern quilters, Fat Quarterly.

Having said all that, the NGAQB is one of the most unique, exciting projects I’ve been a part of and I can’t wait to see the beautiful things that emerge from it.