Thursday, November 29, 2012

Messengers galore.

Three more messenger bags from Zakka Style. Commissioned by my mom for a few family members.

bags, bags, bags 
I really can't decide which is my fav.

I pulled all the fabrics from my stash and scavenged for the hardware. I didn't have to buy anything new to make these and that is so satisfying.

Fun inside colors 
The left one is the inside of the octopus bag, the middle one is the left of the ribbons bag and the right one is the inside of the dragonfly bag.

Zakka Messenger - Dragonfly 
This bag was made for my cousin who loves dragonflies. She is graduating from college this December. The inside is bright with pinks and purples.

Zakka Messanger - Octopus 
This one is for another cousin who loves octopi. She is so fun and funky so I had a great time finding fabrics for her.  The outer pockets are lined with robots from the mastermind collection at connecting threads. 

The inner flap is a sea turtle from the same fabric that I used for the octopus on the outside. I also used some crazy multicolored dots for the inside and a green Nicey Jane print. Happy Birthday Anna, hope you like it.

Zakka Messenger - ribbons
This bag is for my Aunt's birthday. She used to work for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and this print reminded me of seaweed. I love the inside of this one. Purple, pink and yellow.

Got these done marathon style over the weekend so my mom could take them back with her to Baltimore on Monday. I hope everyone likes their new bags! And once again I was coerced into making things not on my list for 2012 finishes. It really isn't hard to distract me. ooh shiny thing...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

To Infinity and beyond!

Question: What is infinity times 16?
Answer: A lot of scarves.

Anna Maria Horner's Figure 8 scarves for Christmas gifties.

Figure 8 infinity scarf
The result is a super silky scarf. I used voile on both sides so it is not particularly warm and snuggly -more a fashion scarf. That works well because most of my recipients live in the tropics where it is always nice and warm. Great for them (sarcasm).

This is what it looks like wearing one scarf:

This is what it looks like wearing 16 scarves:
What a neck workout!

This pattern gave me lots of practice on my hand stitching. I think it is improving.

All the figure 8s
All the fabrics are little folks voile. I bought 4 yards each of the magenta and orange and two yards of each of the four prints. I modified the pattern a bit cutting the fabric 12" wide instead of 18" based on some feedback by other crafters who had made them.

Linking up with Fabric Tuesdays. Normally I would link up with WIP Wednesdays too but I don't have any WIPs from the last week that I can photograph.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Truffle Shuffle 2012

Every year my friend Jes and I make chocolate truffles for the holidays. She moved to Michigan two years ago but still comes to visit so we can continue with the tradition. We make upwards of 600 truffles every year in 10-15 flavors. It takes all day but is soooo worth it.

Ingredients including about 3 pounds of butter, more than 10 cups of heavy whipping cream and over 200 ounces of chocolate. This will be a relatively small production this year. We planned for 10 flavors and only a few double batches since Jes had to take her haul back on a plane.

Getting started with some double boiler action

My lab skills really come in handy here. BOOM! 1 pound exactly.

Mixing in some Baileys for this batch.

We roll the chocolate truffles in different toppings. From the upper left in a clockwise fashion: toasted coconut, pretzels, almonds, walnuts, pecans, potato chips. We also use powdered sugar, cocoa powder, crystallized ginger or crushed up candy canes. 

Rolling some potato chip truffles. As you can see caffeine is always nearby so we can plow through all these truffles.

Some finished truffles. Top: Lime and crystallized ginger, Bottom: baileys and coconut

All the truffles! Clockwise from the lower left we have lime and ginger (rolled in crystallized ginger), plain (potato chip), bacon (cocoa powder), orange (powdered sugar), amaretto (almonds), raspberry (walnuts), bailey's (toasted coconut), peppermint (crushed candy canes), hazelnut liquor (pretzels). 

I started at 10 am (Jes joined in at 11:30) and we finished by 6 pm. There are 461 total! The new favorite is the bacon. That was a first for us and it is so yummy. The bacon stays crispy on the inside so it is like a salty nestle crunch bar. The potato chip is a guilty pleasure and the lime and ginger is such a fun an unexpected combo that we go back to every year.  

Do you cook or bake anything en masse for the Holidays? 

A little thanks

I never got around to writing a Thanksgiving post, better late than never. I am so thankful for everything in my life but wanted to give a special shout out to you all. I've been blogging since August and have enjoyed making new friends and getting loads of inspiration seeing what you all do. So thanks!

Ok mushy stuff out of the way and onto more important things. Look what Kim from Crafternoon delight got me in Oregon (aka  quilt mecca compared to Birmingham, AL)

Mustard yellows and eggplants that I can use to finish up my Nubees quilt. I guess she wants me to handstitch more too.

 The purples are from rock'n'romance and then we have some assorted golds. So, so awesome! I can't wait to use them.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Nerdy T-shirt quilt

As promised in my last WIP Wednesday post. Here is my nerdy t-shirt quilt. I cut up some old shirts of mine and my hubs and then fused some pellon featherweight interfacing to the back. So much ironing. That was the worst. Then I trimmed down the blocks to 12" x 15". 

One side is my shirts.
T-shirt quilt (my side)
..and the other side is mostly my hubs.
T-shirt quilt (hubs side)
There are 4 blocks on his side that are actually my shirts. Can you guess which ones??

We are pretty nerdy as you can see... Here are some of my favorite blocks.
hehe naughty.

This one is for you Allison... you know who you are!

Hubs worked Katrina relief for a year.

We like Star Wars

Sometimes I don't know why we do research.

Throwback to my camp counselor days

Yeah Oct 23rd!!! (one mole is 6.02 x 10^23)

My favorite summer reading shirt. There are several in this quilt.

With all the interfacing, I opted out of using batting and just sewed the two sides together and then topstitched around the perimeter to finish it. I really did not like making the blocks but once they were made the blanket came together super fast!  Say what you want about t-shirt quilts it is a great way to showoff those old beloved t-shirts that you just can't seem to part with. This guy will reside on the couch for a while.

EDIT: I completely forgot to say that I am linked up with Plum and June Monday link up. Check out what others have going on!
Plum and June

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

WIP Wednesdays - Lots of finished WIPs

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. We are having dinner at my place with about 10 people. Despite all the cooking and cleaning I still am managing to get some sewing done.

Here is a little mosaic of my recent finishes. Read more here.

Recent finishes

And now onto the WIPs:
Still working on the infinity scarves
Only 9 more to handstitch down the last seam. 

I thought I would illustrate that the first attempt to photograph something almost always results in a puppy photo bomb. That's some grade A puppy butt right there.

Made major headway on Kim's Christmas present due to her being out of town so much but no previews. IT'S A SURPRISE DUH

Picked up a really old project (for me anyway) out of guilt. My first (and last) t-shirt quilt is finally being cut into blocks. One side will be my old t-shirts from college the other my hubs. I really hate making this thing but it's going to be a nerdtastic quilt, ya'll. Here is one of my favorites based on this website.
It says "I care about science alot" 

I also made a few more improv blocks. Haven't started any new projects in an grand effort to get everything done before the new year.

My goal for this Thanksgiving is to not have to get stitches. Last year at this time I was hanging out at the local doc-in-a-box as we so fondly call the nearby clinic. Cut my arm above the elbow on a pane of glass while I was cleaning up. Still managed to throw one hell of a turkey day though.

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A few weekend finishes

Sometimes you sew all weekend and it feels like you made little progress. This was not one of those weekends.

Wine totes as a christmas gift for my labs gift exchange. We are doing a dirty santa thing or something.
Wine totes
Used this pattern from Needle and Spatula blog. I found it on Pinterest. I made one slight but significant alteration to the pattern that I think will make construction a lot easier. I did not cut out the holes in the outer or lining fabric before sewing the two pieces together. Instead I lined them up, drew my stitch line onto the backside of the outer fabric, stitched it and then cut out the center. That way you don't have to worry about lining up any holes or sewing things that are cut on the bias. Make sense?


I also finished two of my Christmas pillows. Only one more to do for those of you keeping track of that sort of thing.
Wonky Christmas
This one is QAYG log cabins. I decided to do binding to finish this one.

Spinning Christmas Star 
Spinning stars pillow complete. Hand quilted and trimmed with little pom-poms. Aww.

Spinning Christmas Star 
Close up of all my hard work.

Yep I also made another Zakka messenger bag. I love this pattern. This one is a commissioned piece for one of my very cool coworkers.
Another messenger 
I used canvas for the outside to give it some durability. Habitat prints in the lining and outer pockets, Hope valley for the inner pockets and bias tape.

Another Messenger 
Back of the bag and back of my pup. HA.

Another messenger
Mucho thanks to Kim for finding the hardware for this bag.

Linking up with Plum and June Monday link up. 
Plum and June

And with Quilt Story's Fabric Tuesdays