To Enlarge:

To enlarge the picture, just click on the actual photo and it will be MUCH bigger! (I just figured this out!)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Almost finished!

Jacob's and Michaela's quilts are almost done!! I just have to hand finish the bindings. I am so thrilled with the end products! I hope they like them as well. The backings are a cozy flannel which will make for a good lounging blankets!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Twirl Apron directions

So here are directions for the Twirl apron that I made. There has been a request for this pattern from a friend. I figured this was the easiest way to get it to her!! I adapted this from the book A IS FOR APRON by Nathalie Mornu, pge 102-103. If you enjoy apron making, this book is awesome!! You will need 1/2 yard for the body of the apron and 3/4 yd for the border, ties and pocket. If you are not comfortable with the whole 'squeezing to fit' method of pattern cutting, go ahead and get a yard of each. That is what the book recommends. If you want to embellish with rick rack or lace, you will need a yard or one package. Of course don't forget to make sure you have thread that coordinates! Please put your e-mail in the comments and I will send you the PDF file with the pattern, since I do not know how to make a link to it!

Such a pretty little thing!

From the apron body fabric, cut 5 pieces. Be sure to cut them one at a time, switching them back and forth to make the most of the fabric. The picture shows how I did it.

From the border fabric cut 5 of the lower trim pieces. Be sure to cut them one at a time, not with the fabric folded. They all need to be facing the same way!! I have a picture of how I laid the piece on the fabric, each time switching directions.

Also from the border fabric, for the ties, cut two 6" x 36" pieces. I cut them with the fabric folded, selvages at the top. Then cut one 6" x 22" piece for the waist band. Cut Cut a 6" x 9" piece for the pocket. (This is the fabric from another apron. I forgot to take a pic of the brown!)

Stitch the border pieces to the body pieces. All seams will be 3/8" seam allowance.

Press them neatly.

If you decide to add trim, here is the point at which you would sew it on the pieces.

Stitch all five pieces together. Because I had to make the pattern from a drawing, it does not match exactly, so just even it up when you sew and trim off the excess. You can see where I matched the top and bottom, laid it flat, and then trimmed it up.

Press open the seams. Trim up the hemline. It will be somewhat circular.

I used a serger, so I just turned my hem. You can also either zig-zag finish or just turn it twice for the hem on the sides and bottom. Press and then top stitch.

Carefully fold the corners.

Stitch up the two ties, turn right side out and press.

Fold pocket side, bottom and top hems, pressing with the iron. I folded the top over on the diagonal just to make it similar to the lines of the apron. Top stitch the pocket top hem and then stitch the pocket to the front of the apron.

Find the center of the waistband and the apron body. Pin the waistband to the apron top and then stitch the waistband to the top of the apron body, this time using a 5/8" seam allowance. Press the waistband up making sure the seam goes up toward the waistband. This will ensure a neatly finished band!

Pin the ties to the front of the waistband, laying it even with the apron. I make a tuck in the tie end so that it is a bit smaller and will fit a bit easier in the waistband when finished.

Fold over the waistband, right sides together and stitch from top to bottom. I usually go down and then reverse again all the way to the top to make it strong and secure.

Now fold out the ties, pulling to make sure the top corners of the waistband are neat. Fold in the remaining waistband, pressing it up inside itself. I try to fold it so that the edge comes just over the stitching on the apron so that when you top stitch it from the front of the apron waistband it will be sure to catch the back of the waistband as well. (Please let me know if this is confusing and I will try to clarify!)

Press it all in place and then top stitch the waistband from the front at about 1/8 inch from the seam.

Your apron is complete!!

I have added some photos of other fabrics I used. This is such a cute pattern and really quick and simple once you have done it once!!

Please, please let me know how I can clarify any of these directions!! I am happy to help out!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

THE BEST Pumpkin Recipe.

This is by far the best pumpkin recipe I have made up to this point in my life. They are amazingly moist and the spices are just perfect. Topped off with an amazing caramel buttercream frosting, they cannot be beat!

Pumpkin Cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1 cup packed light-brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Add dry ingredients, and mix on low until smooth. Fold in pumpkin puree.

Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Makes ~ 18 cupcakes.

Salted Caramel Buttercream

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons water

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 stick salted butter

1 stick unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2 cups powdered sugar

In a saucepan, stir together granulated sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring until very smooth. Let caramel cool for about 20 minutes, until it is just barely warm and still pourable.

In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and salt together until lightened and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add powdered sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the caramel. Beat on medium high speed until light and airy, and completely mixed (about 2 minutes). Mixture should be ready to use without refrigeration. If your caramel was too hot when added, it will cause your icing to be runny. If this happens refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Quilting Part 4 and other various projects!

Our quilting class is going well. We all pretty much got our squares together this past week. Everyone's quilts are looking so pretty!

Vicki is continuing with her sampler quilt which is so neat and pretty!

Melissa is figuring out where each piece should go so as not to get any repeats.

Mia is sewing madly. Her mother was a quilter and it would have been her birthday last Thursday so we had fun reminiscing about her mom's many quilts.

Here is mine sewn together. I just love how it came out. I need to put a border around it and the batting and backing. This will be the next class.

In the meantime, I have started a second quilt called the "Disappearing Nine Patch". I will be doing this as a 'quilt as you go' method.

You quilt each square separately and then sew them together. Here is my first square!

Here is my kitty assistant who seems to be praying over my work!

Here is another project that I did this week. A magnetic makeup board. Super fun idea and I love how it turned out!! Here is the link for the how to:

I also made this mason jar storage board for my bathroom as well. Here is the link for that one:

Here I tweaked the above one a bit for the kitchen.

And here is my microwave cart repurposed into an island for the kitchen. I basically built a base for it. Next step will be to tile the top! I am also thinking of adding some book shelves to one end for my cookbooks. Please excuse the floor as it is in the process of tile preparation!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Quilting Part 3

Here I am in my quilting class! Yes, I realize that I am wearing the same colors I am quilting with and NO I did not plan that!

Getting ready to sew.

Mia laying out her squares. This photo does not do justice to her gorgeous color choices!

Switching them up so there are no repeats!

Gorgeous set of colors.

Vicki quilting her squares.

Betty the expert, helps with first time cutting!

Here is my kitty assistant again. Just making sure that the sewing machine case is adequate!

Yes, I did scrounge around and find another set of fabrics to make another quilt. After much research on the internet I have finally decided on the "Disappearing Nine Patch". I fear I have discovered a new art form. I absolutely love making the color choices and then just enjoy looking at the stack for a few days before diving in and cutting.

This is another project I just finished today. Charley's mom had this old pencil sharpener. He remembers using it when he was growing up.

I found a great idea on pinterest, to refinish it!

So I took it apart, taped it up and sprayed it with primer.....

....and sprayed it with this great red paint!! I also coated it with acrylic sealer.

Voila! A great little sharpener right in the kitchen!