Monday, April 30, 2012

A Craft Taffy retreat with Quilt Taffy....get out of here...!

Haven't you all wanted to spend a couple

hours sipping tea with Corrie at Quilt taffy...How about 4 days
sewing up a storm. Eating with her, sleeping with her...( well that did not sound right) lol sleeping under the same roof...now that sounds better...
She is sew darn funny...I understand
she is having her very first get together..
The cost is fabulous...
The food will be fabulous
The company wellllllll fabulous too...
I am just thinking how wonderful it would 
be with you and you and you ...

are those taffy pins...get out of here...
I want one...lol

Here are more details...

Craft Taffy Retreat

Join Us!

Come for 4 days and 3 nights of
or whatever you want to do - 

to your hearts content
or as long as you can stay awake.
You'll have time to work 
on your projects,
time to relax...
we'll have some demos, 
giveaways and
a lot of fun.
Limited spots available.
In beautiful McCall, Idaho
October 17-20, 2012
All of the details are here.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Series Ending....and look a giveaway to celebrate...

What a great month of Kitchen stuff.
We even had some cake...thanks to Thearica!

WE are ending a series of hundreds of TUTORIALS
I know what you are thinking..more CHANGE...
but in this case..I just KNOW you will embrace it...
( or I will shut down this blog lol)

It has been refreshing to see many fellow bloggers 
are also doing tutorials....
following the lead of Sew We Quilt....
sew it makes sense that we may 
have run it's course on this series....


We will be heading into a new direction..
I will be taking a bit of holiday, to put
a P.O.A. ( Plan of Action) together...

I don't' think you will be disappointed at
the new direction YOUR quilting BLOG will take....

IN the meantime, we have a blog hop starting
called " Celebrate RED, White and Blue".

100 have entered already...
we can only take 100
no more blog hoppers needed.
we are at full capacity...
( let Jane know, your details
email and blog if you have one)

Jane at Jane's Fabrics will be managing it for me,
while I do some behind the scenes STUFF.

Thanks Jane... Let her know if you want to be included,
This blog hop will begin JULY 1st and you have till Friday
of this week to get onto the list....
( you can leave your comments here if you want to be included)

Everyone will be making 10.5 or 12.5 unfinished blocks...
no tuts, just pics, and tons of inspiration.

Take a peak here what many of us did with the most recent
blog hop, Table Toppers...

And now for our April Giveaway Items

Lutradur®, 1 yard
·        A cross between fabric and paper. It is a 100% polyester spun bond non-woven translucent web. It is the perfect medium for many crafting/ sewing/ quilting and scrap booking, three dimensional wall art and ideal as an ink jet-printing medium to do or complete fabulous projects. LUTRADUR has countless applications. It can be sewn, drawn and painted on.
·        25gm // 20” wide
·        SRP = $3.90

808 Craft-Fuse™, 1 pkg
         Crisp, iron-on fabric backing adds body and strength
         Great for home décor projects, apparel accessories and children’s toys
         Non-woven design leaves no residue on needles
         Made with Acid-Free 90% Polyester/10% Rayon
         Machine wash warm. Tumble dry low or dry clean.
         Offered in a versatile put-up of 15” x 4 yds
         SRP: $9.99

SF101 Shape-Flex®, 1 pkg
         Iron-on, woven cotton interfacing for light to midweight fabrics
         Provides permanent stability and support when used as a backing for needlework and punch embroidery
         Made with 100% Acid-Free Cotton
         Machine wash warm. Tumble dry low or dry clean.
         Offered in a versatile put-up of 15” x 2 yds
         SRP: $9.99

70 Peltex® Sew-In, 1 pkg
         Ultra firm sew-in stabilizer
         Sewing machine safe
         Will not flatten out or become distorted by steam pressing
         Machine wash warm. Tumble dry low or dry clean.
         Made with 100% Acid-Free Polyester
         Offered in a versatile put-up of 15” x 1 yds
         SRP: $6.99

Nature’s Touch Batting, Crib size
·        Nature’s Touch Cotton batting drapes beautifully and is soft and durable. A lightweight and breathable batting that is perfect for all seasons.
·        100% natural cotton
·        45” x 60”
·        Loft ¼”, Shrinkage 3-5%
·        Stitch distance 8-10”
·        I don’t have SRP for this yet… it’s brand new on the market!

I also am throwing in a few more surprises...some
patterns by Amanda Murphy are tucked in there...
some threads from Presencia, Colonial Needle
and some Pebble needles...( love them..I sent out
dozens to many of you, told you would love them)

( where is she hiding anyway lol)

Sew would you like this lovely ensemble.?

Tell us you LOVE change!
especially if it gets you sewing more...

My best 

( I do  hope you will forgive me,  although I have read every note, I will not be able to respond...but how I appreciate your smiles and giggles.....I am trying to get caught up on some assignments for school ...My tutor just called...we will be upgrading to a new software....I was just getting familiar with this one CS5 . I DESPISE WITH a  VENGEANCE = CHANGE LOL.... I  have to get familiar with CS6 in less than a week...I have  a test on Thursday..geeeeshhh.....p.s I like to be in control of the change....wink

ohhhh winner will be announced on MONDAY, this MONDAY

WINNER was notified....I usually wait till I hear from them before I post their name...
she is overseas in UK, it's possible she has not seen this yet...the email will always
say TAKE-  A- PEAK, with link to here.... Anyway, winner was chosen...
thanks for all of your delightful comments ....There will be many more giveaways..you can count on that

Congrats to Dya 
her note came this morning
and my goodness, excited is not the word..lol
Your package Dya has been ready, just needed
the label. it is off today!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

It's a month of Kitchen stuff, so time for CAKE!

Blogger is having a ton of issues but it isn't so great as to keep a good cook away from her kitchen!!

I want to thank Madame Samm for the invitation to play along in this month's fun kitchen themed guest posting! I always enjoy taking part in the fun activities she dreams up for us!

My name is Thearica and I blog over at www.pigtalesandquilts.com!  If you have never been to my blog I welcome you over any time!  Please check out past posts if you go over for some tantalizing eye candy of crazy quilting!  And check out my granddaughters first quilt at the tender age of 7!!

So, Madame Samm said this had to do with the kitchen! ...  hmmmm
We all know what we like to do best in the kitchen... EAT!!

I was trying to decide on a quilted item for my post but the things I came up with had already been done so I decided to be a little different!  I am different and that is a good thing... most times. :)

How about I show you how to cook up a mouth watering fruitcake!

DON'T say YUCK just yet!!

This is NOT your A-Typical fruitcake!  This one gets raves by the most stubborn - mule headed people who don't like fruitcake! Trust me!

Are you ready?? OK.. Let's get started!

You have to get out your ingredients!

7 extra large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups self rising flour
1 pound candied red cherries
1 pound candied pineapple
1 pound chopped dates
2 pounds pecan halves

Now get your tools ready!

Large pan for mixing the batter... I use my dishpan!
Sifter - YES, you WILL need one!
Mixing Bowl
Bundt Cake Pan
2 disposable medium sized aluminum rectangle baking pans
1 large round Christmas tin
Saran Wrap
Wax paper
Parchment Paper
Ink pen

The first thing we are going to do is turn our oven to Bake and 300 degrees!

Then we are going to cut paper bottoms for our baking pans so the cake does not stick!
Take your ink pen and sit your bundt pan on the parchment paper and trace around the outer edge of the bottom.  Do the same thing for the disposable pans.  

Don't forget to draw the inner well of the bundt pan!

Cut these shapes out!

Next we will butter all 3 pans... even the bottoms! And don't forget to give the walls of the well on the bundt pan a good buttering!

Now place those paper bottoms down inside the pans!

It is time to make cake!!!

Open your candied cherries, pineapple and dates and put them in the bottom of your large pan!  Be sure and move them around with your hand to mix them up well.  No large lumps of one fruit stuck together!

Next we will put the 2 cups of sugar in our mixing bowl and crack all 7 eggs in on top of it!

Beat these together until good and frothy!

Now you will sit your sifter down on the fruit and put those 2 cups of self rising flour in it!
If you do not have a sifter, do NOT attempt to make this cake until you run to Walmart and get you one!
Trust me, it DOES make a difference!

Sift your flour over the fruit and then stir it in until all fruit is well coated!

Now add the egg and sugar mixture and mix together until there is no sign of any dry flour anywhere!

NOW comes the BEST part!!
Add those 2 pounds of pecan halves!

Do NOT chop chop with your spoon because you want these halves to remain in tact as much as possible!
Delicately stir the pecan halves in to the cake batter until they are all coated and mixed in well!

Ladle the cake batter in to your pans.  Do not pack the batter down tightly.

You will have enough batter for the bundt and both disposable pans.

Clean the rims of the bundt pan and the outer edges of the disposable pans because if you don't, you will have thick globs of cake to contend with when it comes out of the oven if you don't!

Place the disposable pans on a cookie sheet and place all 3 cakes in the oven together! 
 Bake on 300 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes!

Who wants cake!!!

Let the cakes cool for 30 minutes and then take a butter knife around the edges to turn the cake loose from the walls.  

Don't forget the well!

You can gently tug on the outer edge of the disposable pans to get them started and then finish with your butter knife.

Then allow the cakes to cool for another hour.

Turn the cakes out and remove the paper bottoms.
I turn the small cakes out in my hand.  be careful... They might try to fall apart!

Turn the bundt cake out on to a plate.

After you remove the paper bottoms, return them to their pans to cool for one more hour! Being in their pans to cool keeps them from falling in to a million pieces until they are good and cool! Once they are cool, they will stay just fine!

It is time to get them ready to travel to a far away place!
YES, they travel so WELL!

I use the wax paper and cut a sheet to lay across the tin.  I cut a 2nd sheet and lay it across the tin in the opposite direction.

As you can see, a bundt size cake fills up a large tin to the rim!
Makes a VERY nice gift!
And she is ready to go to Montana to my friend Martha!
I know.. it is a Christmas tin and Christmas is past... but hey, it is all I had! :)

For the smaller cakes, I put them in to a brand new disposable pan after I wrap them well in Saran Wrap!

OR I simply put one under my domed cake plate and EAT it!! ha!

Now!! WHO is hungry for cake???

Thank you for having me Madame Samm! This was fun and I learned to save my post next time so I wouldn't have to re-write everything when a post goes missing!! :)

Ya'll come on over to my blog for a visit!

It's a month of kitchen stuff, ( pillow for your kitchen ) and look what Samantha has.....Saddle Up! with Samantha Walker

Saddle Up!  by Samantha Walker for Riley Blake Pink color way
Some of you may know me for my multiple lines of cowboy/cowgirl fabrics for Riley Blake.  This last month I just released my third Cowboy collection...this one is called Saddle Up! I thought I'd give you the story behind my obsession with this western theme. 
Saddle Up!  by Samantha Walker for Riley Blake Neutral color way
I grew up in San Jose, California...in the Almaden Valley.  One might not immediately think of San Jose as a country western town; but it was, when I was a kid. We were the last neighborhood before you hit the country roads out to Calero reservoir. Our neighborhood was surrounded by horse stables, pastures, a creek and grassy hills to wander and play in!  Every Wednesday, the horse shoer would go to the stables and shoe the horses. My sister and I, and other friends would wander there, and ask the shoer a myriad of questions...which often ended with us asking him for the old horse shoes.  Sometimes, we got lucky!
Saddle Up!  by Samantha Walker for Riley Blake blue color way
Over time, the horse stables were sold, and condos were put up on the property.  The hill across the creek behind our home with the lone oak tree, became a neighborhood.  Slowly, our neighborhood got swallowed up to be part of the suburbs instead of on the edge of the country.  However, the memories of that wonderful country playground will forever reside with me.

Interestingly enough, as an adult, I found a home one the edge of town, where country meets suburbs. I stare out my kitchen window and the horse pasture while I do dishes. I will enjoy it for as long as it's there, but I know the inevitable will happen someday. I hope my kids will look back fondly on memories or feeding corn ears and stalks to the horses when they are adults.

In the words of Marie Osmond..."I'm a little bit country!"

I thought instead of just talking about my fabric...I'd also share a little project with you too. Recently in the past few years, I discovered the fun of appliqué.  I'm not one to needle and thread it with my fingers...I just don't enjoy the feeling of a needle pinched between my fingers and my thumb for extended periods of time...but I have really enjoyed doing some folksy appliqués scenes with machine stitching around raw edges.

This is a variation of an appliqué I designed for the All Dolled Up quilt that was raffled off at Spring Quilt market last year.  I just extended my design to add a horse, and more flowers.
My favorite part about this appliqué is the peek-a-boo panties on my country girl.  I got the idea from my Mother's quilt club, when a lady in her group designed a quilt block with an oven door that could open and reveal an apple pie inside. I was so impressed with that peek-a-boo concept, that I carried the memory of that quilt block with me from childhood, until I could use it now. 

I didn't have interest in sewing until the last few years. I think my fears overshadowed my desire to learn. Funny thing though...designing fabric can very quickly plant the "I want to learn to sew" bug in you. Now I can't think of a better hobby!

The boots were fussy cut right out of my cowboy toss fabric.  I just cut two around the edge, then machine appliquéd them on.
My paper crafty side came before the sewing, and so paper piecing and appliqué are much alike.  I draw my pieces on paper, cut out patterns, then pin them to the fabric, and cut.  Then I arrange my designs on my panel as I go.  If I don't like a blank area...like with these flowers...I just add another element, like the simple circle flowers.  For the simple shapes, I just go straight to the fabric with scissors, and skip the paper pattern part.
My country girl would have been lonely without her trusty horse.  Her name is Star. The saddle with the star was fussy cut from a fabric in my Wanna be a Cowboy 2 collection.

While I do enjoy the cowboy theme for fabric, I also design other types of patterns as well.  In addition to fabric, I also design paper, digital cutting dies, manual cutting dies, scrapbooking products, and home decor items. You can see more of my collections on my blog at www.samanthawalkerdesigns.net and  www.rileyblakedesigns.com   
Thanks for letting me share!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's a month of Kitchen stuff, so time for a placemat! ( she got it working...yeah for Marianna)

Well hi there! After our earlier problems with Blogger I hope this time it will work with us! I did save a copy indeed! So here is my entry for today!

I am Marianna and I blog over at Craftluver Marianna and you can find my designs at QDD. I am honored to be invited once again by Madame Samm, to share a tutorial with you! So my thanks go out to her for all the work she does to keep this blog going and have us share amazing things with you all!
I like to show you my recently made placemat! I had old rubber ones before with a painted plate on them and I still liked that idea, so I made a new patchwork one, but kept the plate! These are laying much more flat with enough room for a mug or glass and dessert cutlery!

The finished size is 25.5” x 19.25”. You will need a dinner and dessert plate and some large scraps (4-5 FQ's in different coördinating shades). I used up some scraps of different size, so no yardage available this time. Fusible webbing is also a must!

Let’s start!

The centre part with the plate is 15”x12.50” without seam allowances. The borders on the left and right side are 5” wide and 15” long (ex seam). The corner squares are 5.5”, with seams.

Cut a centre part 15.50” x 13” or a little larger if you think the applique will take up some extra fabric. Cut back to this size after ironing.

Take a dinner plate and a dessert plate and draw both circles by turning the plate upside down. Draw it on the paper side of the fusible webbing for appliqué. Cut out the webbing shapes, and iron them to the back of your fabrics.

Cut out the two parts, but add a bit seam allowance on the inside curve of the bigger circle, so the smaller circle will be ironed upon that circle. That way you do not need to sew the inner circle of the large circle, but just the outside of the small circle. Use contrasting fabric for both circles.

Centre both circles by folding the background twice in half to find the centre and do this too with the circles. Place the folding marks on each other. Peel off the paper and iron them on to the background centre rectangle you just cut out. Use a decorative stitch, or a satin stitch, to sew both circles to the background.
Now we will make a Flying Geese border. I have made those FG parts by cutting  3”x 1.75” rectangles of two coloured fabrics and 1.75” squares to make the wings with the flower fabric. If you trace a diagonal line on the back of your squares, you can sew them easy on your coloured rectangle unit (line them out on both edges, see picture) and cut away the extra fabric. Be careful to cut on the good side of the sewing line! Flip the wings to make a new rectangle and iron. If you need more explanation how to do this fast sewing, check it out HERE.

I made 10 flying geese units for the left border and 12 units for the horizontal border above the plate unit. The flying geese border is 3” wide and 13” long. Add a strip of contrasting fabric 13” x 1.75” on each side of the FG units to finish the left FG border and for the top border cut twice15.5”x 1,75”. Attach the top border to the plate unit first.

For the left border attach a square of 5.5” to the top of the FG border. Attach this border to the left of the plate centre/top border unit. Those side borders should measure 5.5” x 17.5”. The top border, without the squares, should measure 15.5” x 5.5”.

The right border has an extra pocket attached for the cutlery. Measure the wideness and height of all the cutlery you plan to put beside a plate. Add 1” lengthwise and 1” wideness. This will be the measurement for the pocket. I chose to make an extra pocket flap to cover the cutlery, but it is not needed. Now I will give you the measurements how I did make this part. Especially your right border can be wider if you have more cutlery, so check before you cut your fabrics!

The flap is made out of 1 FG unit and I added a backing and turned the flap inside out (cut the corners a little before you turn). The top of this flap will still be open and will be sewn in between the 2nd and 3rd FG unit. I chose to have a little opening to take out the cutlery easier.

Make the inside of the pocket by making a whole border 13” x 3”. I used 2 FG units at the top, sewed the flap as mentioned in between 2nd and 3rd unit, and a couple FG inside the pocket, but not all the way down, as you won’t see that part. Just what is visible. That is the 1st big part of this border.

The 2nd part is the top part of the pocket. I made it out of 7 FG units (or as long as your cutlery is) and sewed a backing right sides together at ¼” from the top only. I turned the backing to the back of the FG part and stitched it down at ¼ “ from the top, so you get a nice finished edge. After turning the fabric to the back I also sewed the sides together at 1/8 “, so they won’t slip away.
Next step is to attach the sidebars, like in the other borders. Cut 2 strips of 13”x 1.75” and sew them on each side of the cutlery pocket and back. You sew all parts together this way! Attach here also a square of 5.5” to the top of this border and attach this right border to the rest of the placemat you have sewn so far.
To make it all complete attach a final strip of contrasting fabric to the down side of the placemat. Cut it 1.75” x 25.5”. Now finish your placemat as an ordinary quilt, with backing, batting and binding. You can choose special heat resistance batting, but I used ordinary polydown. I quilted mostly the important sewing lines.

Have fun and I hope to see you around on my blog these days (I am part of the bloghop too today).

Bye for now!