I think my family Santa knows me well. Wrapped up under the tree were fat quarters of Moda’s Wrens & Friends collection.
I didn’t ask for any specific fabric but I think Santa did well choosing Wrens & Friends. Isn’t it adorable? I’m not sure how I’ll use this in a quilt yet, but I’ll have to come up with something good.
And because Santa was feeling especially generous, I received some new Denyse Schmidt fabric – always some of my favorite –and Patty Young and Cloud 9 fabric as well.
Also under the tree were some new handmade crocheted potholders and a dishcloth from my aunts. I think the dishcloth is too pretty to use on dirty dishes so I’ll probably use it as a hot pad instead. There’s nothing I like more than a handmade gift so I was pretty excited to get these.
I think I made out pretty well this year for gifts. Anyone else find new fabric under the tree this year? Or something else good?
This blog post is coming to you from the very frigid Midwest. Brrrr. I made my way home for the holidays and will be spending time with friends and family for the next week, but before I left New York I had one last project I wanted to finish. It didn’t happen.
I started this quilt with the goal of finishing it before I left, but I just ran out of time trying to get this, along with everything else I had on my to-do list, done before I left. Plus I made a mistake (more to come on that later) that I had to fix and that set me back another few days. The good news is the top is done and it is ready to be quilted when I get back. It will be my first completed project of 2014!
In the meantime and in my frustration of making a mistake, I decided to make some mug rugs to give to the family members I will be visiting over the holidays. I used scraps from the quilt top for the mug rugs and they did get finished in time!
Happy holidays, and I’ll see you after Christmas!
But I can’t help but share the amazing Banana Nutella Cake my friend made. In the future, you’re not going to be finding recipes or cooking tips on here, but the cake looked so pretty and tasted so good I had to give a shout out to my friend Sara for her mad baking skills. I’ve been meaning to write about this since Thanksgiving and now we’re almost to Christmas. Yikes! Where has the time gone?!?!
For Thanksgiving this year, I had friends over and we ate lots (and lots) of yummy food, but none of us are big pumpkin pie fans so we chose a dessert that is not pumpkin pie. This year it was Banana Nutella cake. The recipe comes from the Alice’s Teacup cookbook.
Alice’s Tea Cup is a sweet little restaurant on the Upper West Side that my friend Sara and I frequent. Because we love it so much, I got her the cookbook as a birthday gift a while back hoping she would test recipes on me. Sneaky, I know!
Sara suggested this cake as our Thanksgiving dessert and it was a crowd pleaser. Banana cake with a Nutella filling and cream cheese frosting…death by dessert.
For this recipe and many more, you can buy the Alice’s Teacup cookbook online if you dig scones, cakes, cookies, etc.
Today’s finished quilt was something new for me and had me saying whaaaa?
I’ve written before about my grandma and mentioned she can no longer quilt but she does do some embroidery. To keep her busy with fun projects, my mom buys her old timey embroidery panels that when finished can be sewn into a quilt. I say old timey because does anyone even do these anymore? I must confess I had never heard of such thing, but I’m also not that familiar with embroidery so it’s not surprising this was new to me.
In the mail one day arrived this stack of finished embroidered quilt blocks my grandma had completed.
After wrapping my head around exactly what they were and how they work, I discovered
that six blocks come to a package, but that really doesn’t make a lot of sense to me because you need 12 blocks to make decent sized quilt. Why not put 12 in a package? I digress.
When my mom bought these for my grandma, the store only had one package of each pattern so she had to buy two packages of different but coordinating embroidery panels. I think it ended up working out for the best and actually makes the quilt more interesting.
The nice thing about these embroidery panels is how fast a quilt top comes together. There was really very little work I had to do! I did decide to add a border around the panels because I thought it needed something.
For the binding, I found Denyse Schmidt’s Greenfield Hill Ladies League in Cranberry and the color and design worked perfectly with the quilt top.
I have to say that this is not the typical type or look of a quilt that I normally like, but that isn’t really the point of it. It’s a joint project between my grandma and me. Although I think I could see this at the end of a bed in my future country home that I own one day!
Last weekend I attended another Crafternoon event at the New York Public Library. You may remember when I wrote about my first Crafternoon experience here. The Crafternoons are quickly becoming my new favorite activity to do around NYC.
This month, the Crafternoon event featured Jessica Marquez, author of Stitched Gifts and embroidery guru. I’ve never tried embroidery before but I thought I would give it a go. How hard could it be?
Jessica brought templates from her book so we could hand stitch holiday cards and gift tags. I jumped right in thinking I would knock these tags and holiday cards out in no time. How wrong I was. In two hours I was only able to accomplish four gift tags!
(Note: I still have to hole punch the tags and run a ribbon through them.)
Regardless of my slow progress, it was super fun to learn about embroidery and I can see why so many people enjoy it. But I think it’s safe to say I won’t be taking up this craft anytime soon. I have the templates and may attempt the holiday card yet, but that’s still TBD. I think for now I’ll stick to quilting.
One of my favorite – and sometimes most challenging – parts of quilting is choosing color combinations. I have a running list in my head of colors and color combinations I want to use in future quilt projects, and the way I organizing them is by stacking bundles of fabric until I have the perfect group. (Currently I have about five stacks of fabric that are in progress.)
Last week, as you probably heard, Pantone announced its 2014 Color of the Year as Radiant Orchid and I love it! So bright and fun.
Sherwin-Williams also recently announced its 2014 Color of the Year and it’s Exclusive Plum. I can definitely see this as more of a home décor color trend with the hints of gray in it.
When I saw Exclusive Plum it immediately reminded me of a stack of fabric that is done and is just waiting to be made into a quilt. This stack has a lot of purples and grays in it. I guess I already was on top of 2014 color trends with these fabric picks!
And last but not least, Benjamin Moore named Breath of Fresh Air as its color of the year. I kind of like the name alone! This color also shows up in my fabric stack. I have a lot of blues planned for some of my 2014 quilts so I wouldn’t be surprised if you see some colors similar to Breath of Fresh Air show up.
What do you think of the 2014 color trends? Do you have a favorite?
Life here in Brooklyn the past week has been full of food and fun! I had a great Friendsgiving with some New York friends and a friend who is in town visiting for a few days. Since she’s here, we’ve been out and about doing some very New York things that she loves to do whenever she visits. One of them is going to the Brooklyn Flea.
The Brooklyn Flea just moved indoors for the season since the weather has turned chilly and this year it’s in a new location, so we had to check it out. On Saturday we headed over to Williamsburg to see the new location that now combines the Flea and the Smorgasburg. That means vintage wares + crafts + yummy food! It did not disappoint.
One of the first vendors we came upon was this person selling calendars that look a bit quilt inspired, if you ask me!
My friend and I also loved these screen printed designs. They were available printed on wood planks, which were very cool, or as prints you could buy and frame. A few of these came home with my friend.
I’m trying to think of a use for these giant metal letters. How fun are they?
If you need to boost your energy while shopping there are lots of food options available. There was a huge line for the Ramen Burger, and the Mac & Cheese Bar looked good to me. Or if sweets are your thing, the Brooklyn Flea has you covered. There are lots of sweet treats, like that pink Hibiscus-flavored donut on the end.
As we were about to leave, we found one last vendor that we remembered from last year and love. I am obsessed with these mirrors. They are made from old pressed tin ceilings and are so gorgeous. I wish I had a big enough apartment to get one of the really big floor mirrors, but the smaller ones are equally as cool. They also offer wall hangings that don’t have a mirror that I really like, too.
We had so much fun checking out the vendors selling such unique and crafty items, and if there’s anyone that can appreciate a fellow crafty person it’s this gal! For more information about the Brooklyn Flea, visit http://www.brooklynflea.com/.