Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What am I going to do with all those silk blocks?

This is my 12th and final block.  I love the layering of the flower and the buds and the circles inside.

This is one layout with all of the blocks:
But I really want a central design with the flowers around the outside:
It's just a question of what to put in that center panel. Hmmmm.
Do you have a favorite block?  I have a few.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Oscar Night

A new tradition has been started in our courtyard.  It started with the Superbowl.
We all gather to watch TV on a  big screen using a digital projector.
For the Oscars, everyone brought an hors d'oeuvre.

Here's ours, Buffalo Chicken Bites.  I don't want to brag, but they were delicious.
Everyone asked for the recipe, so here goes.

It starts with:
1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup Frank's Hot Sauce
1 tsp Brown Sugar
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 lb Cooked Chicken Breasts
1/4 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 package (48)Won Ton Wrappers

Grind or chop the cooked chicken into a coarse texture.

Melt the butter and add all the ingredients to the chicken and mix by hand.

Place 1/2 a heaping tsp in the center of a wonton wrapper.
Using your finger, wet all 4 edges of the wrapper and fold it in half diagonally.
Seal it tight and then seal it some more using a fork.
Makes about 40.

Place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes,
until golden brown.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Curvalicious Bags

My plan was to make a large batik Curvalicious bed quilt.  Stitching the fused circles by hand was to be my "sitting" project on a tour to Budapest and Hungary.  There was a lot of sitting time on the flight over and back and time spent waiting for the group.  I don't like to fuse down all the circles at once, since inevitably the fabric begins to fray.  I know I have shared this before, but you can always find an iron in a hotel.  It's either in your room or a call down to the front desk results in one appearing at your door.
This was half of the quilt and quite frankly, I just thought it was too much, and this was only the first half.

So I decided to cut it up and make 2 bags from it and a tablerunner,
 and then I would see what else was left over.

I am far from an expert in making bags.  The first bag I wanted to create was inspired by this little double zipped purse. I take it with me all over the island.  It's large enough to carry my little wallet and my phone. The two zippered compartments are separate, and I can sling it over my shoulder.
My "wants" for my double zippered purse were:
                           1.  Two independently zippered compartment
                           2.  to wear it over my shoulder, which means a comfortable strap
                           3.  Large enough for serious travel
                           4.  Large enough to hold a sketch pad, digital camera, wallet, phone and umbrella, + ??
                           5.  Finished inside seams
                           6.  Inside pocket for my phone and keys

Most of the requirements were pretty easy to meet, just by making the bag larger, so I started with a piece of the Curvalicious fabric that measured 12" x 30".  I knew my struggle would be with making sure there were no raw seams inside, so I made a little prototype.
The dot fabric represented the zipper.
I cant tell you how many times I had to refer to my prototype before finishing 
my Curvvalicious Double Zip Bag, perfectly sized at 10" x 15".
The local fabric store that also does upholstery put the grommets in for me.
(Thanks Nick.)

One bag down and one more to go.  

A big beautiful tote bag, large enough to hold projects or for an overnight trip. It has a square bottom and interior pockets and a comfy strap.
This is my first project with horizontal Curvalicious stripes.  I like it!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Silk Blocks #10 & #11

I hope these flowers bring some warmth to my friends up North. 
 Please stay warm and safe.  I will be joining you in 2 weeks.

Monday, February 16, 2015

An Open Air Museum

 I visited Miami this weekend.  My goal was to visit the Coconut Grove Arts Festival and soak in all the forms of art that is being made today.

There were over 340 exhibitors and it was great. Some of it is so unique with such a different vision.  There were lots of photographers, jewelers and painters.  Of course, I couldn't take photos, but I want to share that art is alive and well in Miami.  The exhibitors were happy with their sales and optimistic about the future - and the artwork was not cheap!

But, the best part of my weekend was Sunday.  I went to see the Wynwood Murals.  OMG!!!! I live outside of Philadelphia and we have a Mural Arts program that is inspiring.  It's focus is neighborhoods and the locals. I have to tell you I was not in Philadelphia! These murals were vibrant, current, cutting edge art covering the walls of warehouses.  We walked over 2 miles and then got in the car and drove around to see more.  The rejuvenation of this section of Miami started in 2009 with invited well-known street artists from all over the world.  I don't know how many  murals there are.  Let's just say there are lots. In addition to the street art, there are lots of galleries and some restaurants.  The streets were full of people, mainly millenials, walking up and down the streets with their camera, oohing and aahing with excitement.  A true open air museum.

I'll share  some of my favorites. (If you know me, you'll know that I love cake, so you'll be able to pick my absolute favorite.)   I want to tell you, you must go see this street art in person.  You will be blown away by the talent and diversity. So grab a cup of coffee or a Red Bull and enjoy the show. I'm just going to share as many as I can.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Quilt Show In Paradise

Such a perfect name for a quilt guild in The Keys - Paradise Quilters. 
They have a biennial quilt show in Big Pine Key at the end of February.  I was invited by the local quilt shop, The Seam Shoppe, to demo Curvalicious.  Yay!  
The show is Saturday and Sunday, February 21st and 22nd at the Sugarloaf HS. 
 I'll be there on Saturday.  My first demo is at 11:00AM. Come and see me if you are in the area.

I wanted to make another sample for the show in addition to Beachalicious and the Curvalicious Skinny quilt and I wanted it to be simple.  I made it in an afternoon.  I started with this adorable flamingo fabric that is available at The Seam Shoppe.
I combined it with 2 other fabrics to make the quickest baby size quilt ever, 
resulting in Flamingo Curvalicious.
And of course Bailey had to get in on the act.

As I am wrapping up my projects here in Key West, I decided that I needed to do something with my dupioni silk scraps - don't you think?
What a mess!
This always seems to happen to me, because I tend to shove stuff into bags.  I patiently separated the silk scraps apart which included getting rid of lots of stray threads.  I sorted and stacked by color.

It reduced the volume of the pile considerably,
and then to keep it neat, for a while at least, I put each color in a zip lock baggie.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Project Home

I was so sad that I couldn't attend my quilt guild meeting yesterday.  It's a great group of ladies and I look forward to seeing them each month. Calico Cutters, tries to have a challenge for our members each year.  It's a great thing for our members because it affords everyone the opportunity to grow and try something new.  We also try to benefit the community at the same time.  This year we chose to work with an organization called Furnishing Hope. They help wounded veterans and with The House Project, place a small quilt in their home that features a house with an American flag.  The quilts are required to measure 12" x 16", which isn't that big.

I love making house quilts and I made one for this organization about 3 years ago.  I was excited to make another.  Since it is a small quilt, I thought I would try something a bit different.  My plan was to fuse down the appliques, layer the top with batting and a backing.  As I stitched down the appliques, I was quilting it at the same time.  It was easy and it worked.  I think it saved me a lot of time, by cutting my work in half.

First I fused the pieces for the background scenery and then layered it with batting and the backing fabric. I did not pin the layers together because it is so small.

 I top stitched around the landscape and then quilted the mountains, lake, tree and the foreground.
I added the rest of the appliques and top stitched them down through the batting and the backing.
I came across this cute dog fabric and decided that the quilt
and the veteran needed a cute little doggie!
I put fusible web on the back of the dog and then fussy cut it out.

I added a flag and finished it.
"A Cabin On The Lake"

Our guild had 20 participants in the challenge. I didn't get to see them because I wasn't able to attend the meeting, but a little birdie told me I won for best applique.  Yay! I'm sure Project Home will be thrilled to get that many quilts at once.

If you would like to make a quilt to decorate a wounded veterans house, here's the link.
It sure is a fun project and it's a way to thank our veterans for their service.

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