Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I got something finished!

Hi there!

Another project for OPAM is finished!!!

In the nick of time I confess, but it is done and that is nice!

I liked the pattern and how it turned out, but with all the seams it would be a pain in the neck to hand quilt so I let the little quilt “rest” for a while…

 

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But it deserved to be finished and a good solution would be to machine quilt it. I quilted in the ditch, which I don’t like at all,  I prefer to quilt where I can see the stitches and the quilting motif.

In this case, I’m glad I’m done! I think it looks nice and now I can hand quilt the other little ones, they have less seams!

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I got some pretty gifts for my birthday last week, it was a very nice day with a tasty cake!

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My DH surprised me with some wonderful gifts - sometimes he pays more attention than I think he usually does!

I told him about the lovely Tea for One Set and this is the one he chose for me:

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I love it! And I think a new passion has taken hold, I want to start a collection!!! Nuts, right?…

Well, talking about collection…I was happy to welcome a new sweet member to the toys sewing machine bunch:

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It came in its original package with the instructions and it works!

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And because I also love miniatures he found these ones:

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I was thrilled with such tiny darling things! He spoiled me once more I must say, everything was so especial, I was (am!) so happy!

From my best friend I got a lovely book:

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The projects combine cross stitch with patchwork:

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Oh boy,  I was so lucky that I also got another book from this author:

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The projects are for Spring and Summer and in different pretty combinations like red and white, blues and greens. It makes hard to decide what to sew first!

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I am fortunate to have such a wonderful partner at my side, a lovely family and caring friends. They are the greatest gifts of all!  And I’m thankful to have met so many dear friends in Blogland, who also made this day a unique one!

The weather has been so nice since yesterday! It is warmer and the sun is shining, it feels really good! Now I can finally say that Spring has sprung! Hopefully it will stay like that during the next week, the Easter Bunnies don’t like rain either!

Wishing each of you a lovely, sunny and creative week!

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Birthdays, gifts and cake

 

Do you know this rhyme?

Monday’s child is fair of face.

Tuesday’s child is full of woe.

Wednesday’s child is full of grace.

Thursday’s child has far to go.

Friday’s child is loving and giving.

Saturday’s child works hard for a living,

But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day

Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

As far as I can remember, my mom told me I was born on a rainy Thursday…If I knew it before I would have waited until Sunday!!!

I just found out that another lovely blogger friend also celebrate her birthday in March, that is nice! I hope she will have a wonderful day!

These are the gifts I made for Elisabeth (no blogger), a dear friend that always send me beautiful cards and lovely emails messages. Her favorite color is green and when I saw this pretty fabric with trees and birds and the other one with words and leaves,  I knew they were the right ones for her.

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As I was a bit in a hurry…. I wrapped a book cover for another friend and I forgot to take a picture….I probably will sew another one and perhaps I’ll keep it for myself!

There are still other gifts I want to finish (not to mention BOMs and OPAM…..)  Somehow this month was too short to get all things crossed off from my list!…But there are still some days left,  no need to worry!

I would like to introduce you to a new blogger. I should have made this  before (I’m sorry Karen!…), but better late than never! She is a  very sweet person and she belongs to an active Group of Quilters. Please visit her blogg and take a look at her sewing room, it is a pretty one!

 

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I baked this cake last week and it tasted very good!

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To save some calories the butter was substituted by yoghurt. I must say I was not so sure when I read the recipe.… a cake without butter? But I love to bake and I just had to try it.

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Half of it was gone in less than an hour!

Now I know it is a good recipe!

 

 

 

 

Yoghurt-apple cake

1 Kg tart apples (about 4-5 medium apples)

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest and 2 tablespoons lemon juice

4 eggs

175 g sugar (about 3/4 cup)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt

75 g plain yoghurt (about 1/3 cup)

250 g all purpose flour (about 1 cup)

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons Apricot jam

powdered sugar

Grease and flour a round baking pan (26 cm ) and pre-heat the oven 175° C (about 350 F) .

Peel and slice the apples (or cut-up like I did), sprinkle with 2 tablespoons lemon juice.

In a large mixing bowl beat on medium speed the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, lemon zest and a pinch of salt for about 8 minutes until creamy and fluffy. Mix in yoghurt. Mix flour and baking powder and sift to the mixture. Pour into pan. Add apples pressing them gently to get under the dough. Bake for about 50 minutes. Heat the jam and spread it over the hot cake. Cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. 

160 kcal 1 piece

Make a nice cup of tea or coffee and enjoy!

Until next time

signature Suzie

bakedwithlovepie

Saturday, March 21, 2009

National Quilting Day (and a tutorial)

Since 1991 , on the third Saturday in March,  quilters in the USA celebrate a National Quilting Day. But don’t you think that quilters all around the world could celebrate it, too? It is our day girls!  Quilting is such a wonderful hobby, it ought to be remembered and celebrated!

 Here and here you can find some more information and where I got a quotation: “If you are a quiltmaker, spend a minute to recognize and appreciate that you have truly been blessed with a special skill.” Isn’t that true?

I am going by train with a friend to visit a Fabric Market and we hope to have a nice time looking, touching and buying some fabric! What about you? I hope you will have a wonderful day, no matter what you do!  “Wear” snippets on your clothes, that shows you work with fabric! And don’t sweep the floor, when you are being creative you just don’t have time to be neat!!! Just find your way to your day to say “I am a quilter and that makes me sew happy!”.

I wrote about new blocks I was (still am!) working on . I love stars and the Lemoyne Star is a very special one that was on my list for years. The problem was that I really did not  like set-in-seams….I did not! But now it is not a problem anymore! I found a different way in a book and it DID really work out well for me. No markings (what I don’t like at all) and  it fits!  These are some of the blocks :

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I’m so glad they are turning out right that I thought I could share this method with you. I’ll do my best to explain the steps!

My blocks are 6” X 6” (finished size) :

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Please check for accuracy in cutting, sewing (1/4” seam allowance) and pressing without steam. I know you’ve heard and read this a thousand times before, but that sure makes  the pieces fit together nicely. And you will be really glad with the results!

You need two different colors for the diamonds and a background.

For the diamonds you need 1 3/4” stripes cut on lengthwise grain (that is very important!). Cut 4 diamonds from each fabric.

From the background cut 4 squares 2 1/4” and one square  3 3/4” and cut this one 2 times diagonally so you will have 4  half- square triangles.

It is quite helpful to use an open-toed foot so you can see the previous stitching line when it is time to lock the stitches. I used a non-matching thread to make it easier to see these steps.

That is how you start:

Put the half-square triangle on top of the diamond:

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Carefully match the points!

 

 

 

 

 

Now sew from end to end:

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It should look like this:

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Finger-press or press with the iron (NO steam!!!):

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Place another diamond (different color) on the right on top like this:

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Then flip the piece over so you have the half-square triangle like this:

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You will begin sewing at the outer point and stop sewing at the previous stitching line. Then you should lock the stitches at this point.  I stitch about 2 or 3 stitches back :

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At this point I pull out 2 to 3 stitches with a needle. That makes the next step easier.

 

 

 

 

Bring the two edges together, matching the diamonds  and folding the half-square triangle:

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Then sew from point to previous stitching line, locking stitches at the end of the seam:

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Press from the right side:

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From the left side:

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You should have 4 units like the above ones.

Now you should attach a square to the right diamond:

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Sew from end to end.

Do the same to all 4 units. Press.

 

 

 

Sew two units by two units. Bring them together like that so that you can see in which position they have to be sewn:

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Place one unit on the right on top of the unit on the left:

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Now sew with the square on top from outer edge to previous stitching and lock the stitches:

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Again, pull out 2 stitches or so.

 

 

 

 

Put the two pieces right sides together, matching up the diamonds and the alternating seam allowances. If you really pressed all seam allowances toward the diamonds on the right, now they will fit just right:

 

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Sew from stitching to stitching, locking the stitches at the end:

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Here are the two pairs:

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Sew two halves together, first  one square to a diamond :

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Sew from top to the previous stitching, locking at the end.

 

 

 

 

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Pull out 2-3 stitches. Do the same to the other square.

Now you have come to the last final seam that will close up the center of the star. You have to sew from end to end, locking at both ends:

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The star is now finished!

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This method is the best one I’ve tried and it really worked out for me. I practiced a couple of times and the results made me comfortable enough to finally start a Lemoyne Star Quilt. I hope I was able to  show you in an understandable way and that it may also work out for you! Please let me know if you found this helpful or if you have more hints, that would be great!

That was a little contribution to the National Quilting Day! Which I hope will turn to an International Quilting Day!

I wish you a lovely weekend!

lovetosew

signature Suzie