I often browse around Craftsy for new and interesting things to make. Recently I stumbled upon a purse pattern, the Phoebe Bag, by Becki Lambert. It’s currently (at the time of this post) a free download from Craftsy. This free version of the purse is a little small, but very adorable. She has another pattern on her Craftsy profile for the Ruby bag, a larger version of Phoebe, with variations for different closures or an outside front pocket. The Ruby pattern is $8.00, and totally worth the cost.
The fabric is part of a Michael Miller collection of Scottish Terrier print fabrics. This purse was made as a gift…and since it was so simple to make, I may be adding a few more to the workload to give as gifts.
I blinked, and it’s November. Pretty soon the holidays will be in full swing, and I’ll have to ship out my Instagram Mini-Swap piece that I’ve created. A few weeks ago I visited my local quilt shop, Quilter’s Square, hoping to find some fabric inspiration. I knew I needed to incorporate pink and green into the color scheme, as those were the ones picked by my partner. I initially picked a great small print geometric pink and white fabric as the base. And then I laid eyes on this beautiful green, pink, purple and black geometric, and I knew I had found my palette.
At the advice of the ladies in Quilters Square, we added in some new Art Gallery by Frances Newcombe and a Joel Dewberry just to round everything out. We loved the package of fabrics so much that Quilters Square has turned this collection into a bundle that you can buy on their website. You can choose from either the fat quarter or half yard bundle.
For my block pattern, I needed to make something that was at least 20 to 24 inches square. I finally settled on the Star Cluster mini-quilt pattern from Threadbare Creations. Because the block finishes at 16 inches square, I added a 2 inch border to hit the 20 inch minimum. The center square pieces are pretty darn small, but I just love the look and balance with the fabric choices.
It’s amazing how quickly this mini-quilt came together. I’m impressed with how well the directions were written. It really helps, though to make sure you have everything cut out in advance so that you can streamline the sewing. This is the finished block (below) without the border. I still have to quilt and bind the block, and then I’ll post more pictures.
Have you heard of Make Modern Magazine? It is an up-and-coming zine from Australia that embraces the art of modern quilt making. Make Modern is new to the publishing world, but their first issue has taken the quilting world by storm. With a blend of projects, show-and-tell, and interviews, the magazine appeals to a wide crafting audience.
Their second issue, due out this November, contains an article with many of the No Girls Allowed Quilting Bee community. They wanted to hear about quilting from a male quilter’s perspective. Thankfully Molli Sparkles was able to put them in touch with the group. The article contains interviews from Molli, Andres, Nicholas, Scott, Shaun and others.
A couple of months ago I happened on a plush pattern from Anna Griffin. To say that I was excited would be a complete understatement. This pattern was the most adorable Scottie dog in a brilliant ribboned cape. If our Scottish Terrier, Finnigan, has taught us anything, it’s that we’re Scottie people, through and through. I knew I had to have it!
Now that the weather is cooling down, and I’m spending more time inside than outside, I decided to give this pattern a go. I selected a rather ornate fabric and set out to cutting pieces. A few of the items like the tail, ears and foot pads are a bit small, so you have to take your time when putting them together. Thankfully Anna’s directions were very thorough, for which I’m very appreciative. I certainly would have gotten lost or at the least, sewn the head on backwards if it were not for the excellent diagrams included with the pattern.
When I was sewing it, because I’m used to larger quilt pieces, I had to take apart a few seams. There’s a lot of intricate curves and quick turns. Overall, though, it went together really quickly, and I’m very pleased with the outcome. I’m still not sure how Finnigan feels about having another Scottie in the house, but I think he’ll manage.
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.
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.
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
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!
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!
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.
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.