Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Honey Pot Bee Urban Woven Block

Honey Pot Bee Princesses..Welcome!...

As you may guess, I am new to blogging.. in fact, I learned it just for you!  So please excuse any tech errors.. and enjoy the block!

Urban woven
block designed by Debbie Hagy for the Honey Pot Bee
finished 10” by 15”
Suggested fabrics:
1 very light, or very dark background fabric… ¼ yard

4 accent fabrics..  I use 3” read solid” (from a distance they look solid)fabrics),  and 1 more of a printy print.. I  used the printy print as accent #1(green in the photo) in the place with the most seams… the seams show less…

My background fabric is:
     Meadow Storm Misty from Victoria FindlayWolfe (Marcus Brothers)
Accents prints are:
     Garden Dreamer from Maureen Cracknell (Art Gallery)

From background fabric cut 1 strip 2 ¼” wide   Cut 7 2 ¼” squares. Cut 1 strip 4” wide, cut (3)  4” squares cut squares in half on the diagonal, twice to make 12 triangles  (10 of which you will use).

From Accent fabric #1 (green)  Cut (1) 2 ¼” Cut (8) 2 ¼” squares, and (1) rectangle 2 ¼” by 6 1/2"

From Accent fabric #2 (orange) Cut (1) 2 ¼” strip, subcut (2) 5 ¾” by 2 ¼” rectangles, and (1) 7 ½” by 2 ¼” this pieced will be trimmed after the block is finished.

From Accent fabric #3 (yellow) Cut (1) 2 ¼” strip, subcut (1) 5 ¾” by 2 ¼” rectangles, and (4) 6 ½” by 2 ¼” these pieces will be trimmed after the block is finished.

From Accent fabric #4 (purple) Cut (1) 2 ¼” strip, subcut (1) 5 ¾” by 2 ¼” rectangles, and (4) 6 ½” by 2 ¼” these pieces will be trimmed after the block is finished.

1.Begin piecing with the lower right hand corner. 
  Sew (2) white triangles to the accent #1 rectangle. (A "Sleepy" unit). 
 Sew an accent #1 square to  (2) accent #4 6 1/2" rectangles.        Don't worry about how extra long some of the pieces are  ou will trim down later...

Press as shown below, then match seams and sew across...This is one of those rare places where I pin!

Press towards Accent #4 It should look like this...

2. Now.. piece (4) background squares, (2) accent #1 squares, 
and (1) accent #3  5 3/4" rectangle together as shown below

Press as shown below

add (2) accent #2 5 3/4" rectangles to  the pieced square. 

3.Now, piece a "Goofy" with 2 background triangles, 1 background square, 1 accent #1 square, and 1 accent #3 6 1/2" rectangle.

Sew as shown below

Press as shown below.   You have now made a "Goofy" unit  .

 Piece 2 background triangles and an accent #3  6 1/4" rectangle as you did in step #1("Sleepy" unit)

Sew "Goofy" and "Sleepy" to step #2 unit

4. Piece a row starting with an accent #4 5 3/4" rectangle. Sew an          accent #1 square to either side,
     then add an accent #4 6 1/4"  rectangle to either end.
    Press towards the accent #1 squares.

5.  Sew everything together as shown below.

6. Now you need to make a pair of "'Goofy" units,
 1 right and 1 left, using background triangles and squares, accent #1 squares, and accent#3 6 1/4' rectangles.

  7. Sew the "Goofy" units to an accent #2  7 1/2" rectangle.
      Press as shown below.
8.Sew all units together. Press..

 9. Trim to about 10 1/2" by 15 1/2".

All Done!!

Hope you enjoyed sewing  
Urban woven

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Seasonal Fruit? What's that?

Sew... if you are old enough, you remember when  strawberries were a huge treat, as were melons, watermelon, blueberries, peaches, etc.  New Jersey is also famous for asparagus, beans, and of course, the famous Jersey tomato!Most of our favorite fruits and vegetables were really only available when they were "in season". Now, most things are in the stores year round, although sometimes they aren't too great. Were am I going with this?
It's strawberry season in southern New Jersey! Yippee! Even though Driscoll strawberries are in the stores all the time, and they can be really good, there is nothing better than local strawberries. I bought a quart at the Haddonfield Farmers Market, from Duffields,  a farm store from Sewell, NJ. They are amazing! They will have them 'til mid June, and then we have to wait a few weeks for the peaches.. 
In an attempt to avoid the shortcake, ice cream, pie, and other calorie laden strawberry desserts,,, I just fixed this beautiful dish , inspired by my neighbors from Truman Avenue in Haddonfield. In the day (30 years ago), fresh strawberries, drenched in sour cream, and then, coated with brown sugar...Amazing. The updated version... greek yogurt.. and just a bit of brown sugar.. wonderful!  

In case you care..the plate is Spode, belonged to my grandmother..
.and the tablecloth is an old, worn double wedding ring quilt..

Sew, what will we do with the peaches?  
Have to wait 'til they are In Season...

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Beach Bag..from a towel

Sew recently I found several tutorials for a beach bag made from a towel...The idea is terrific!  the towel is lightweight, you can wipe and dry your hands on it, and, after the can put the bag in the wash with the towels.. Brilliant!
Sew.. I bought a Clemson Tigers beach towel, and, at Assemble, using one of the amazing Bernina sergers, I had a bag in about 20 minutes...The handles are 1 1/2" wide cotton twill tape.. I used 2 layers sewn together to make them sturdier, and about 28 inches long.

This simple project will be taught during Kids Camp #4 Projects-
or as a private lesson with me at Assemble.  

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Not now...the new quilt!

Sew.. this week I decided a friend of mine needed a quilt, probably as a birthday present...Late summer... I have a beautiful quilt top.. the original was on the cover of American Patchwork and Quilting magazinea few years ago. it is 72" by 86"... the photo is a close up of a section of the patchwork.....

So the quilt needs to be about 120" wide and 95" long . 15 years ago it would be simple, just add big borders and voila!  a big enough quilt..

But..not now.. now I need to think more interesting, probably off center, lots of fabrics,  because we can't just add borders anymore..

Modern quilts, especially when they begin life as traditional quilts...they take some work..
Tomorrow it starts..... watch for a progress report!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Orange Muffins Like Mom used to make

In honor of Mother's Day......let me share today's baking story...
My mother, Mimi the 1st, used to make orange muffins for Sunday breakfast.   She probably used a Betty Crocker mix..They were the newest kitchen craze, and she kept a pantry full.
Anyway, the mix is not available now, so a few years ago, I tried to reproduce it. I learned that the flavor comes from using the whole orange, but even though I had success..I never wrote the recipe out!
Sew, this morning I am attempting to recreate them...  Cooking and baking is so much fun now, with access to millions of recipes, along with reviews, comments, and funny disaster stories.
Google it, read through a few recipes, then tailor your attempt to what you like, how much time you are willing to spend,  and what you have in the pantry..
Pam (the wonderful daughter in law) had purchased a box of sunkist navel I washed one, cut the thick ends of and tossed them out, cut the rest in chunks and pureed them in the food processor. The recipe I referred to was for a bisquick banana muffin, It called for an egg, and 1/3 cup sugar, so I added that to the orange, still in the cusinart, and mixed it up. One thing I know about baking muffins is  you don't want to over mix them, so I added the 2 cups of bisquick and mixed it using the "pulse' button..on and off, just long enough so that it was blended. The recipe said to bake in a muffin pan w/ paper liners at 400 degrees.I use the convection setting on our oven for baking. I like the evenness (word?).  I thought that was hot, but did it anyway. Into the oven, for 15 minutes.....As I went back to my computer to check the time, I realized that the recipe also called for 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil ! Oh, well, too late... funny disaster story ?

So the good news... you don't apparently need the oil! The muffins are very good, although they could be alittle sweeter. A drizzle of icing might be a good addition.. I ate one still warm, and another once it had cooled, and the flavor is better when it is room temp.  They rose nicely and browned... I'll have to eat another for lunch..just to make sure they are okay for the family.

For my quilting friends...we use a quilt as a tablecloth everyday for every meal.  Quilts made well, machine quilted and best quality fabric, will wear well when machine washed and dried.  Use that quilt and enjoy it..
The quilt in the photograph is one I designed several years ago as part of a collection called
 Stash Stew... The big print is a favorite of mine, from Martha Negley.  It's called something like "fruit and floral". This color doesn't seem to be available .. but I found the same print in "plum" on several sites...
If you made this quilt in a class with me...please take a picture and post it in comments!

 This week at 

Friday I will be teaching a Hooded Towel, perfect for a baby/toddler gift... Or make one for this summer at the beach!

You can start with the beautiful quality terry cloth available at the shop.... or experiment with  a big towel from your linen closet.....might be fun with a beach towel!

See you Friday?

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sew..I also love to cook!

Sew?... I also love to cook!

I've been cooking for about 50 years...and I learn new things all the time...
 Sometimes it's not much..and sometimes it's a game changing revelation!  When this happens...I promise I will share..Hopefully, it will inspire experienced cooks and beginners to enjoy..
My newest game changer....throw away the garlic press..YES!..throw it away!!!  Yes the 2 tools below are going in the trash.. The white one is about 10 years old, wastes half the garlic and doesn't come clean in the dishwasher..The metal one is 40 years old, wastes half the garlic and doesn't come clean in the dishwasher....

Replace with a microplane... I saw this on Rachel Ray's TV show and had to try it.. and it is amazing... doesn't waste anything and yes,  comes clean in the dishwasher... LOVE IT!

And so, if you usually use powdered garlic, or garlic salt...try fresh, with a microplane, and see if it doesn't make a significant difference in your cooking... 
Not just the finished product... but imagine sauteing onions and of wine in hand...
Enjoy the process......Says Mimi!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Pentagons, Hexagons...Oh my!

 For a great summer traveling project, I love English paper piecing hexagons, or etc. They are very portable and easy to sew. I prefer card stock shapes. You can either buy precut , or you can google "hexagon template sheet" and print and cut your own.. There are also a number of diecut machines available to the home crafter.

Most directions tell you to cut the fabric the size of your template, plus a ¼” seam allowance on each size. I find it’s easier if the seam allowance is a bit bigger, and it doesn’t need to be exact..about 3/8” is better.

 The first step is to fold one edge on  your template, and clip with a wonderclip.

 Now to baste the edges over….  I use cotton thread.. and a long thin needle.. straw, milliners or applique sharp will be best. Thread the needle and knot one end.
Take a stitch in the seam allowance, then fold the fabric at the point and take a stitch at the point, then a 2nd stitch in place, then move on to the next point turning the fold and stitching.. at the last point, take an extra tack stitch .. and  you are done! 

Now make a whole bunch of them, the sew them together using a small whip stitch or a ladder stitch.

You will want to leave the paper in until all the shapes are sewn together. Notice that the basting is left in your project.. there is no reason to take it out…Just gently tug out the papers ( since you didn't sew through them they should come out easily and be reusable!)

Thought you might like to see what the front looks like..These are small hexagons, cut from a jelly roll (2 1/2" strip) collection from Free Spirit Fabrics.  
 Some of the shapes are fussy cut to get whole pictures...

More summer handwork projects to come........
Enjoy the process...Says Mimi!

Those wonderful Tula Pink Blocks

Sew............. ........  Our local Modern-ish quilt group is sewing blocks from Tula Pink's  "City Sampler 100 Modern Quil...