Monday, April 19, 2010

Odds & Ends

Greetings!  To be quite honest with you, not a great deal has been getting done in my little sewing studio.  My schedule has been busier than usual for this time of year, but I did manage to finish a very important project over the weekend ....


... the ring-bearer pillow for my sister-in-law's wedding, this coming Saturday!  Her wedding colors are black and ivory with hints of purple here and there, so we chose a deep purplely-black dahlia accented by little bits of lavender and some greenish-purple grass on an ivory silk pillow.  Hope she likes it!!

Not much will get done in the studio until after the wedding, but I've already got an idea in mind for my next project!  I'm planning on using my Sophia Fat Quarters, acquired during last Friday's Shop Hop, to make a lap-sized version of the Country Inn quilt featured in the May/June 2010 issue of McCall's magazine.  Hope to have some pictures to show you really soon!!!!


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Renegade Run 2010


Mom and I had a blast yesterday at the Sacramento Renegade Run shop hop.  With the aid of lots of coffee and Diet Coke, we hit five out of the seven participating shops!  Here are the latest editions to my stash!



Just for grins, I kept tally off all our purchases:



Nicely done!!!  I guess this means, though, that I need to give an accounting of my stash standings, so here we go:


March 19th - April 17th Fabric Stash Report
Used: 6.02 - on Quilt-as-you-go Table Runner, Spring Fling Table Runner, and Sweet Lily Baby Blanket
Purchased: 22.54 - misc. fabric from JoAnn's, some new Martinique Charm Packs, and the Renegade Run
YTD: +33.21

This is a whole lot of new fabric ... which means lots of new projects brewing for spring.  More coming soon ... I promise!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Getting Your Running Shoes On!!!

Looking for something to do this weekend?  Throw on your comfy shoes, hop in the car, and hit the Renegade Run Quilt Shop Hop, happening in Sacramento this Thursday, April 14th through Sunday, April 18th  -OR- the Northern California 2010 going on the same weekend!!!!

If you'd like information on the No. CA. quilt rush, you can visit their website here.  There are 15 participating shops from Fairfield and Vacaville all the way up to Chico.  If you visit all the shops over the weekend, you can enter a drawing for a fabulous collection of door prizes.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find any information online about the Renegade Run, so here is the information from a flyer I picked up at one of the shops.  Shops participating in this hop are offering 20% of all regularly priced fabric on the bolt.  What a deal!  The shops are:


Bear Paws & Hollyhocks - 4128 El Camino Ave, Sacramento, CA 95821 - 916/971-9392
J.R. Flamingo Fine Fabric - 1139 Fulton Ave, Ste. B, Sacramento, CA 95825 - 916/481-1139
Shared Stitches 2650 Cameron Park Drive, Cameron Park, CA 95682 - 530/676-4739
High Sierra Quilters - 3490 Palmer Drive #36, Cameron Park, CA 95682 - 530/677-9990
The Tin Thimble - 3750 Taylor Road, Looms, CA 95650 - 916/652-2134

Runs With Scissors - 7130 Auburn Blvd, Citrus Heights, CA 95610 - 916/722-2500
The Quilter's Stash - 1150 Sunset Blvd, Ste. 158, Rocklin, CA 95765 - 916/435-2103

Mom and I plan on hitting these shops this year, to visit some local shops we haven't been to yet.  Hope you can join us in stimulating the economy. :)

In the meantime ... I'm making room in my stash for NEW FABRIC!  HOORAY!

Tonight, I'm finishing up the quilting on my Sweet Lily baby quit which will go to some great family friends who are expecting a little girl next month.  The pattern should hopefully be available in my etsy shop by the end of the weekend.

I also have a new spring table runner and pattern to debut, along with a stash update that is FINALLY showing some movement ... stay tuned!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Quilted Table Runner Tutorial

One of my favorite blogs lately has been Vanessa's at V and Co..  She's a super funny, down-to-earth, ridiculously creative gal who's always posting the cutest crafty projects.

Last week, Amy, from Diary of a Quilter, did a guest blog about a great way to make a quilt-as-you-go table runner.  Although I've read about the method in several places, I hadn't tried it before.  Since my hubby was in class tonight and the pups were absolutely exhausted from all of yesterday's Easter company, I cut some fabric strips, got a piece of scrap-batting and some backing, and took off!  And here's the result!!


Can I please say, that not only does Amy do a GREAT job with her tutorial and includes lots of pictures for us visual learners, but this sewing method is super easy and freakin' fast!!!!



The entire runner, including binding, was finished in under an hour and a half.  Now, my hubby would tell you that I tend to exaggerate a little bit -- he jokes that when he thinks I'm embellishing, he usually multiples or divides that number by 3 to get the real number.  I swear to you, though ... from the time I started cutting out my strips, to the time I finished sewing on the binding (with my machine, of course), it was exactly 1 hour and 23 minutes. WOW.

For those people **cough**  **cough** like me, **cough** that love to give hand-made gifts, but don't usually start them until the very last minute and wind up staying up until dawn trying to finish, this method will be a lifesaver.


For my runner, I chose to use some of Moda's Eva by Basic Grey left over from my Christmas Amy Butler Birdie Slings with a cream print background.  The colored prints are 2" wide, finished, while the cream print is 1" wide, finished.  While I was going for a more structured look for this particular runner, I really like Amy's suggestion of using a variety of different prints in different widths.  I plan on trying this method with my next runner.  If you're interested, this runner is now listed for sale in my etsy shop.


Thank you to Amy and Vanessa for your inspiration!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

I hope you and your family and friends had a wonderful Easter holiday together.  My family had a small gathering at our house -- the first time we celebrated Easter here!  While I don't typically blog about food, I'd like to share a few of my new-found recipes that were quite a hit!  Be fore-warned: these definitely aren't low fat dishes, but I'm a firm believer that calories don't count on holidays!

The first is Tyler Florence's Tangerine-Glazed Easter Ham -- which my hubby will definitely not let me wait until next Easter to try again.

I had difficulties finding Tangerines in stock at our local grocery stores, but Trader Joe's had a great deal on mandarins, which are actually widely available in the Sacramento Area.  Be prepared, though -- it took about 16 mandarins to get 2 cups of juice.  The resulting glaze, however, was heavenly!

I also used some fresh rosemary in my initial herb rub, as I had some growing fresh in the yard.
(photo courtesy of www.foodnetwork.com)




Next up was Scalloped Potatoes with Creme Fraiche.  If you've never used Creme Fraiche before - it's Auh-MAZ-ing!  It's a French concoction that is somewhere between whipped butter, sour cream, and cream cheese.  Creme Fraiche is available in most specialty grocery stores and Trader Joe's.

The sauce made according to the recipe was rich, but a little on the bland side, so I added some carmelized onions and a good portion of Costco's Salt-Free Herb and Seasoning Mix.

In an effort to lower the fat-content, I used Fat-Free Half-and-Half which resulted in a bit of a watery sauce.  Next time, I'm going all out and just pouring the fat on!!

(photo courtesy of www.foodnetwork.com)




For dessert, I opted to make a Meyer Lemon Bundt cake with my brand new Bundt pan that the Easter Bunny brought me!  He he he.

Meyer Lemons are great for cooking with, especially in desserts!  They're much sweeter than your typical lemon and very fragrant.

I could not, for the life of me, find cranberries - either fresh or frozen - so I used frozen blueberries instead, and I think it turned out pretty well.

Unfortunately, I didn't read the part about pouring the Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup over the cake the night BEFORE, which is really too bad, because it was really, really good!  I'll bet leftovers, tomorrow, will be even better!!

(photo courtesy of www.foodnetwork.com)

And last, but not least ... one of these little peeps were at each place setting:

This picture is of the real deal, courtesy of my hubby.