Color Burst Quilt

My original quilt pattern featuring bright and beautiful colors.

Grab 'n' Go Wristlet

My original wristlet pattern featuring a charming pleat detail and two sizes.

Double Wedding Ring Quilt Along

Quilt along with me and make your own double wedding ring quilt.

Box Pouch Tutorial

All the details you need to make a cute and functional box pouch.

Whack a Bunny Quilt

A mini quilt created for the Doll Quilt Swap on Flickr.

May 23, 2010

The big day arrives

I'm waiting for Jimmy Kimmel's LOST Special to air, so I thought I'd mess around on my computer. I love Jimmy Kimmel...this has to be the most hilarious bit ever.

But anywho, here are some pictures of the cake & cupcakes I made for my friend's wedding this weekend. The wedding was at an Italian restaurant I'd never been to before (Salvatore's), but the food was really good and we had a great time. I love a good wedding. I have to admit, I always get a little misty whenever I see two people exchange vows, but this wedding was particularly moving for reasons that would take too long to explain. You'll just have to take my word for it :)

Roxanne is a minimalist and wasn't going to have a cake, but I made a stink and insisted on it, so that was part of my wedding gift to them. And me being me, of course I went over the top with decorations. I bought some adorable mustache & lip cupcake toppers from a girl on Etsy (she was awesome and even made a matching "key" so guests would know what they were eating), and some precious polka dot liners from Cake With Love.

Mrs. Lips (vanilla bean cupcakes with swiss meringue buttercream)

Mr. 'Stache (chocolate chocolate cupcakes with homemade marshmallow cream)

The whole shebang

Aforementioned "key"

Close up of lips & 'staches

Baby cake for the bride & groom. Roxanne told me Jon loves chocolate, so I made a chocolate cake filled with chocolate ganache and frosted with swiss meringue buttercream.

Farewell, favorite TV show

Who else is super excited about the LOST series finale tonight? I must admit, it's going to be a very bittersweet moment for me. I'm excited to have a lot of questions answered and see how it ends, but I'm sad that I'll no longer have my favorite show to look forward to every week.

For those of you that care, here's the lineup for tonight:

6-8 pm Recap of all six seasons
8-10:30 pm Final episode
11-12 am Jimmy Kimmel LOST special

May 22, 2010


I have a lot of friends that love the turquoise & brown color combo, so I've been trying to track down a set of Jackie Shapiro's Modern Grace fabrics for a while. Last week I finally found an auction on eBay for 17 fat quarters!!! I think these would make a perfect Mixtape baby or lap quilt.

May 20, 2010

Everybody Loves Cupcakes

Did I mention that in addition to the Brick Path quilt, I'll be making my friend Roxanne's wedding cupcakes? Her future husband likes rich, chocolatey goodness while she picked vanilla, so I'm making Devil's Food Chocolate Cupcakes with Fluffy White Icing and Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Frosting. I decided to give a new recipe a whirl for the chocolate cupcakes, so I did a trial run last night. They won't look this sloppy when I make them on Saturday...I was tired and decided to dip the cupcakes in the frosting rather than actually ice them with a spatula....which is why this cupcake has a little soft-serve swirl going on.

Below are the recipes for your baking pleasure. It's far and away the best recipe for chocolate cupcakes I've tried...although I did a little tinkering. I'm one of those people that can't leave a recipe alone...I have to tweak something just to experiment and give it my own spin. I read in another cookbook that using brown sugar instead of white really amps up the chocolate flavor and makes the cake super moist. So that's what I did.

Chocolate-Chocolate Cupcakes

adapted from Dorie Greenspan's "Baking"

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 stick (8 T) unsalted butter, at room temp
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Fir the 12 molds in a regular-size muffin pan with muffin cups.

Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat for about 2 minutes, until it is blended into the butter. Add the egg, then the yolk, beating for 1 minutes after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Beat in the vanilla, then reduce the mixer speed to low and add half the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear. Scrape down the bowl and add the buttermilk, mixing until incorporated, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients. Scrape down the bowl, add the melted chocolate and mix it in with the rubber spatula. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin molds.

Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the tops of the cakes are dry and springy to the touch and a knife inserted into their centers comes out clean. Transfer to a baking rack and frost when cool.

Fluffy White Icing
from Nick Malgieri's "The Modern Baker"

4 large egg whites
Large pinch of salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup

Half-fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Combine the egg whites, salt, sugar, and corn syrup in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk by hand, just to mix together.

Regulate the heat under the pan of water so that it boils gently and place the bowl on the pan. Whisk gently just to keep the mixture moving until it is hot (about 130 degrees F). and all the sugar is dissolved. Place the bowl on the mixer with the whisk and whip the icing until it has cooled and becomes white and fluffy. Frost cupcakes.

May 19, 2010

Bundles o'Love

Here are some new bundles for upcoming quilts. I heart the lovely bundles fabricworm has in her shop.

From left to right: Alexander Henry Bauhaus Berry, Anna Maria Horner Mingling Rose, Alexander Henry 2D Zoo Holly, Michael Miller Christmas Spice Snow Dots in Red, Riley Blake Rain Polka Dots Green, Riley Blake Raindrop Square Pink, Alexander Henry Teeny Tiny Zoo Holly

From left to right: Riley Blake Rain Polka Dots Green, Alexander Henry Caitlin Stripe Green/Grey, Erin McNorris Floral Swirl Lime, Caleb Gray Groove Mod Burst Lime, Anna Griffin Riley Stripes Lime, Michael Miller Ta Dot Celery, Tanya Whelan Marilyn Orange, Riley Blake Micro Dot Orange, Monaluna Squares Tangerine, Erin McNorris Flower Dots Orange, Caleb Gray Mod Squares Summer, Riley Blake Rain Polka Dots Yellow, Caleb Gray Groove Mod Stars Summer, Caleb Gray Groove Mod Geo Summer, Alexander Henry Bauhaus Berry

These are all from Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow collection. From left to right: Flower Fields Timber, Picnic Plaid Sunglow, Majestic Oak Grass, Chain Dots Timber, Dogwood Bloom Sunglow, Nap Sack Timber, Herringbone Maple

May 17, 2010

A Brick Path and a Garden Party

I told you it was wedding season. In addition to the wedding ring quilt I've just started, I'm also making a lap quilt for another upcoming wedding. When I think of my friend Roxanne, I think of bright colors. Both her personality and her wardrobe are colorful and happy. But there's one dress in particular she wears that inspired her future's a solid royal blue A-line with a big black belt at the waist. When I was running patterns and color combinations though my head, that dress popped in there and I let out a mental "Eureka!". Out came the Anna Maria Horner Garden Party stash (as if I need any excuses to use her fabric) and I was off to the races.

I decided to use Amy Butler's Brick Path pattern (you can download it for free on her website) because it uses fairly big blocks and I really wanted to showcase my beloved AMH fabrics. And that part was very important to me because I'm a hoarder. I stash my best fabrics away and can only bear to part with them if the project is for a really special person. And on those rare occasions when I break out the special stash, I obsess over how to best use them because once you start cutting, there's no going back. I can't tell you how much fabric I have that belongs in the "hoard for future children and home" category. I'm like a magpie with a nest of shiny objects. I have cabinets full of fabric, but more often than not I find myself ordering fabric for new projects because I don't want to use what I have. It's terrible, I know. So now that you know how important certain fabric is to me, you can see why I want to make sure it's displayed in all it's peacocky splendor. Anna Maria's fabrics are like paintings. I love her big, bold prints and unabashed use of color...and I thought this pattern would show that really well.

So without further ado...

Four of the six prints I used are from Anna Maria Horner's Garden Party line, but I snuck in Filigree in Meadow from Good Folks and mr. green lotus blossom from an Amy Butler line.

I'll be using 1/2 inch solid teal bias tape for the binding once I finish.

I used the same prints in the same order for this strip on the back, but I changed the block size from 4x7 to 8x7.

May 16, 2010

It's Wedding Season!

I'm not a big fan of meticulous sewing. That's part of the reason why I love the modern quilting's less about precise patterns and more about creating your own design; playing with shapes and colors. I like the freedom of starting a quilt without an exact pattern and letting my whims dictate the design as I go along. That being said, I've seen some awe-inspiring traditional quilts done with a modern take (Dresden Plate, Spiderweb, etc). It's not that I hate the look of traditional quilt patterns. When done with modern fabrics, I find myself quite smitten by them. I think what really turns me off is the razor thin margin of error that comes with the cutting and sewing of them. It makes me nervous. And I really, really hate ripping seams. With gusto.

When I make a quilt of my own design, if I screw up the cutting or sewing, I can usually find a way to hide it by veering from the original plan. But if I make a mistake while cutting or sewing fabric for a traditional pattern, everyone's going to notice because they know what it's supposed to look like. And it's not supposed to look like a wonky garbage pail quilt.

But as of yesterday, I've finally given in to my fears. It took my life-long friend's upcoming wedding to finally convince me, but I'm taking the plunge. The big beast itself...the Double Wedding Ring. I've always loved the romantic idea behind this quilt (not to mention the gorgeous design), but it's quite the monster. Wish me luck as I paper piece myself into oblivion! 80 arcs. 16 rings. 1 quilter on a mission. May the best (wo)man win.

I wanted to make a gender neutral quilt, so I'm using mostly blues and grays. I'm thinking either sky blue or a soft gray for the background color. The majority of the fabrics are from Denyse Schmidt's Hope Valley and Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow, but I snuck in some Katie Jump Rope and Garden Party ;)

May 13, 2010

Down but not out...

My sewing machine is in the repair shop, bless it's little mechanical heart, so I've decided to post about my other love in life besides quilting...and my I guess that would make it my "other other" love. I'm a foodie. Completely. Obsessed. With. Food. I love reading about it, watching cooking shows, making it, and naturally...eating it. I have nearly every spice known to man in my kitchen cabinets, and just as many pots, pans, & gadgets. Moving to New Orleans was like heaven to me...but I digress. One of my closest friends at work is getting married next weekend (yay!) and we threw a surprise shower for her last Friday. She's about the sweetest and most selfless person on Earth, so I volunteered to make some very labor-intensive (but adorable!) shower favors. I chose to make sugar cookies with royal icing because 1) they're awesome and 2) they can be morphed into cute shapes.


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