Thursday, April 19, 2018

I'm totally addicted!

I am totally addicted to making Microwave Bowl Cozies.  Have you fallen into this black hole?  I've made six sets to give to family members and was surprised at how quickly they all came together.



If you've never made a Microwave Bowl Cozy, check out one of my classes on Annie's Creative Studio:


This episode is available on Annie's Creative Studio



Are you a member?  Right now you can sign up for a free 30-day trial.  Click HERE for more information.


Monday, April 16, 2018

It's Time to Play!

This March was the longest year of my life with snowstorm after snowstorm after snowstorm and April hasn't been an improvement.  The silver lining to all of the bad weather and accompanying aches and pains was many snow day/sew days at home!

I made a graphic black and white version of my A La Mode Cutie Pattern.


I'm sew in love with the walking foot on my sweet Hedwig and I'm thrilled to be teaching a walking foot class at the International Quilt Festival in Houston in November!

Did you notice the cool cars sitting on the quilt?  I never knew any of my grandparents but my oldest uncle filled the role of Grandfather in my life. These were his handmade cars and I was honored to receive them when he passed away a few years ago.  What a treat to see my own grandbabies play with them!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Who Doesn't Love Fabric?

How do you buy your fabric?  Do you...
  • Pick from the shelves at your local quilt shop?
  • Browse online shops and look for inspiration?
  • Follow specific designers online and wait (im)patiently for their new lines to hit the shelves?
However you find your fabrics, all fabrics start in one place -- with a designer.

When I was at Quilt Market in Houston, I interviewed several fabric designers to find out what inspired them to create their next lines.


This episode is available on Annie's Creative Studio



Are you a member?  Right now you can sign up for a free 30-day membership.  Click HERE for more information.

I can't wait to go to Quilt Market in May to see what these talented designers have created for us this year!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Surprise Revealed -- A Very Splendid Sequel!

One of the secrets I've been keeping is that I'm one of the designers for The Splendid Sampler 2!!!



Read all about it HERE!

If you want to join in the fun, pre-order your book HERE.*

I'm so excited to be a part of this project and I have a few surprises to share about it over time.

Stay tuned for more announcements.
_____
*By purchasing through an affiliate link I may, at no additional cost to you, receive a small commission to keep my website running.

Friday, April 06, 2018

My Trip to Cleveland... so far

This week I am working for Red Rooster quilt shop at OSQE Cleveland.  If you can, come and visit me and try out the newest Handi Quilter machine!

My trip to Cleveland started out well.  Even though it's 500 miles from my house to Cleveland, I choose to drive because it's much less stressful (and germy!) than flying.  While driving, I design quilts, make a few chatty phone calls, and listen to audiobooks.  The miles just fly by!

Every time I drive through Pennsylvania, I see a huge sign reading PIEROGIES on the roof a building near the interstate.  I've promised myself that I'd stop and check it out someday, and this trip was the time!


I'm trying to save the pierogies until I get home, but my hotel room has a kitchen and a fry pan.  The struggle is real!

The drive became a bit stressful as the snow and winds picked up.


I am friends with some truck drivers so I'm always a polite driver around the big rigs.  That day I gave them even more space because the winds were brutal and they were trying so hard to stay on the road.

The drive became challenging when it came time to... um... find some facilities.  I pulled off an exit and the power was out due to the high winds, closing all of the restaurants in the area.


I had to drive a while to find an open restroom restaurant but found one just in time!

Finally, I checked into my sewing room hotel room and made myself at home:


Can you see Shari Butler's newest In The Meadow fabrics?  They are oh so yummy!  Stay tuned to see what I'm making!

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Are You Curious?

Have you ever wondered what goes on at the International Quilt Festival in Houston?

Last October, I was there with a video camera to show you some of the highlights of Quilt Festival.


This episode is available on Annie's Creative Studio



Are you a member?  Right now you can sign up for a free 30-day trial.  Click HERE for more information.

I will be teaching at Quilt Festival again in November.  If you have never been there, mark your calendars!

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Overjoyed!

I received a sweet surprise in the mail yesterday:  a package of Sweet Bee Designs "In The Meadow" fabrics by Shari Butler!


Shari is the force behind the Binding Babies and her fabrics are just as darling!

I'm thrilled that these came before my trip so I can pet them while driving start stitching with them in my hotel room in Cleveland this week!  Which Cutie Pattern should I make???  I seriously can't decide and need your help.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Ahoy!

I made another copy of my A La Mode Cutie Pattern last week, this time using nautical prints from Riley Blake.


If you need a 48"x48" quick quilt for a gift, consider this kit:


Fabric for top and binding for only $25?  And free shipping on any order over $25?  This kit is a steal!

I had a flare-up last week and spent most of my waking hours in a chair quilting on my darling Hegwig.  For this quilt, I grabbed some Parade FabuLux thread and stitched some loops:


This quilt was easy as pie... A La Mode!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

New Cutie Pattern and Kit

I am tickled to announce my latest Cutie Pattern -- A La Mode.


I was hoping to take a nice spring-themed photo, but March in New York is throwing us a snow storm every few days.  Please enjoy this lovely winter photo, though.  And hope with me that today's storm will be the last one of the season!

I'm launching something new with this new Cutie Pattern -- a kit!  Check out these gorgeous Riley Blake / Pennyrose Fabrics:


I have more surprises coming, so stay tuned!


Friday, March 16, 2018

Tuesday Tutorial -- Curvy Cross-Hatching with a Walking Foot

This week's Tuesday Tutorial is on a Friday.  It's been a rough week and Friday is just as good as Tuesday, right?  Lie to me.

I had some fun today with my walking foot:



Winter is lingering so I chose a bright Neon Lemon for today's thread.


Do you have any quilt tops at home that you can finish this weekend with curvy cross-hatching?

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Browns took Manhattan

Next week is our 30th wedding anniversary.  How can I possibly be married for 30 years when I'm only 29???  It's a question for the ages.

We scheduled the trip for this past weekend and also next weekend to allow for a weather cancellation.  That would sound silly if the New York hadn't just been slammed with two major Nor'Easters within five days and another one skirting us tomorrow night.  Spring, please come soon!

While we never (and I mean NEVER) go out to eat when we're home, we go to New York City to eat.  And eat we did!

We have a wide range of tastes in food, but we only ate sushi, udon, ramen, and dim sum.  Not even a slice of pizza.  Sacrilege!  I didn't take photos of our food but I did get a video of the dim sum restaurant. 


If you've never experienced steam carts in a large restaurant, you haven't lived.  Seriously!  Dim sum is my absolutely favorite meal in the whole wide world and we had an absolutely delicious lunch yesterday at Jing Fong.



In addition to restaurants, we managed to find a few (cough*three*cough) bakeries.  I did take photos there.

We visited Dominique Ansel bakery, home of the Cronut.  We arrived in the city too late for cronuts, but what we had was delish!


After eating ramen, I told super-hubby that I wanted a cookie.  I may have mentioned it more than once (or 6 or 8 times...) We left the restaurant and BOOM!  There was a cookie bakery on the corner!

Schmackerys was Ah-Ma-Zing!



Chocolate chip and Cookies & Cream, because you are wondering.

After dim sum, we stopped at TaiPan Bakery on Canal Street and bought a bag of Chinese pastry because Oh. My. Heck!  It is so amazing and wonderful and I couldn't possibly make it and I can't buy it locally and


Sigh.

They make Hello Kitty cakes JUST FOR ME!!!

The problem with having a bag of pastries in the house is even though you intend to eat them throughout the week, your more rational self reminds you that the pastries are so much better when fresh and that they will never taste better than they do RIGHT NOW!  I'm so grateful that my more rational self spoke up.

We did more than just eat while in the city, though.  We went to see Kinky Boots.


My daughter and I used to watch Drew Carey's Whose Line Is It Anyway? when we had a television.  We are still tickled when we can find YouTube clips of the show.  We loved Wayne Brady so I was beyond excited to see him in the starring role.  He was wonderful and the show was perfect and the music was perfect and the seats were perfect and everything was perfect.  Just perfect.

In between the eating, we walked just a little.


See?  I EARNED those pastries!!!

We returned home and are back to our real lives.  I'm sad that we only had a weekend, but I am enjoying every minute of the memories.

And the pastries.




Thursday, March 08, 2018

Bonus Quilt!

One of my Cutie Quilts has a secret:  If you save the triangle trimmings, you can make a second quilt!  How cool is that?

The first quilt is Due North:


The flying geese in this quilt are BIG so the leftover triangles are big, too.  If you sew together all of the leftover triangle pairs, you can make this quilt:


The blocks are made entirely from leftovers; I added a simple 6" border to make this 42"x48" quilt.

Here's the block:


There are enough triangles to make 32 blocks and but I only used 30 of them.

The quilt is pieced in straight rows, but I quilted it on point using my walking foot, echoing the diagonal seams:


Surprising no one, I filled in the stitched lines with ribbon candy.


As one does.

I found the PERFECT thread for this quilt:  FabuLux Cuddle.



I don't want to rush anyone, but I need more babies so I can give away all of the baby quilts that are stacking up in my studio!

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Scrappy Postcards

Sometimes the littlest bits of fabric combine to make something beautiful.  In this case, four beautiful postcards!

Rocking Horse thread and creamy 1" squares:


Giggle thread and peachy 1" squares:


Olive Trees thread and green 1" squares:


Meditation thread and earthy 1" squares:


I'm thrilled with this postcard set!




Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Learn to Machine Quilt -- Walking Foot Ribbons

This week's machine quilting tutorial uses the walking foot to stitch ribbons.  I am so incredibly in love with my walking foot and it is so much more than stitch-in-the-ditch.



Do you use fabric grippers when you stitch on the walking foot?  I find my Steady Betty bands so incredibly helpful!

A hint I didn't mention in the video:  Use a size 90 needle when stitching with FabuLux thread.

Some quick homework:  Search through your stack of unquilted tops and see if this ribbon pattern would work on any of them!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Tuesday Tutorial -- Walking Foot Chevrons

Happy Tuesday!  This week's Tuesday Tutorial is about quilting chevrons using your walking foot on your home sewing machine.



Wasn't that Cuddle thread gorgeous?  Do you have a roll of 1/4" Quilters Tape at home?  Here's where to find the Laser Marker.

I have so many ideas to quilt on Crate Quilts.  What shall I film next?



Sunday, February 25, 2018

Pantry Cleaning plus recipes

I'm still making progress on cooking through my pantry and freezer.

I have been vegan (no animal products at all) and vegetarian (no meat) and am now an omnivore.  While I do eat meat, I still love some of my vegan and vegetarian recipes.  I keep a case of tofu in my pantry so one night we ate Curried Tofu over (leftover) rice with broccoli, because we finally made ourselves go to the green grocer after church on Sunday. 


I omitted the fresh cilantro in the tofu because ewwwww, cilantro!

I was feeling snack-ish so I grabbed a can of chickpeas from the pantry and made some chocolate chip cookie dough dip.  It is seriously awesome with Gala apple slices as a snack.  Seriously!

I found some cooked chicken in the freezer and made our family favorite chicken and rice soup based on this recipe.  And then we celebrated because I used up the rest of the rice in the refrigerator!  We also celebrated because I made fresh bread from my Artisan Bread cookbook.


I used more of the bread dough to make a fresh pizza with mozzarella from the freezer.  Tuesday is a great pizza day for us because it's something I can tolerate on my nauseous-from-medication day of the week.


Believe it or not, there was a not-dead avocado in my refrigerator.  I've never before had an avocado outlive my expectations!  I love to make vegan black bean enchiladas with avocado cream from Oh She Glows.   When recipes claim "So good you won't miss the cheese!" I always wonder "When is the last time you ate cheese?" because cheese is the reason I'm not a full-time vegan.  I can honestly tell you that I don't miss the cheese in these enchiladas.  Words I thought I would never say!  I didn't have any tortillas, so I used this recipe to make my own.


Mexican is my least favorite cuisine and I cut the spice in half.  This was still as spicy as I can possibly handle.  And the tortillas in here were FABULOUS!

Whenever boneless chicken thighs are on sale, I make this next dish and freeze a bunch.


Recipe:  Wrap a slice of raw bacon around a raw chicken thigh; secure with a toothpick.  Sprinkle with brown sugar and bake.  --  You are welcome.

What to do when the potatoes are getting old:


Potatoes and Carrots in Coconut Curry from The Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker.

My final meal of the week was Eggplant casserole. 



Here's the recipe:
Slice, bread, and bake eggplant slices.  Layer in casserole with tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese.  Bake.  Easy Peasy.

To convince you that I'm completely crazy, check out this Vegan Chocolate Mousse recipe ' that I made for dessert.  I'vee adapted it a bit from the original recipe, and it's totally delicious!







Thursday, February 22, 2018

Postcard Love

Debbie Grifka launched a fun 100 day applique postcard project.  Why didn't I know about this before???


Definitely check out her work and follow her on Instagram for daily photos.  Her postcards are ah-ma-zing!



Wednesday, February 21, 2018

MAIL CALL!

I dove into my bin of 1 1/2" scrap squares recently:


I saw some serious postcard potential in there.  Potential like In the Pinks


A sweet Ocean Breeze


Then I mellowed out with Mellow Yellows


How much fun is this?


Call me crazy, but little makes me happier than having a stack of postcards just waiting to be sent on their way to deliver a little love through the mail!


Sadly, I'm not at the bottom of my 1 1/2" scrap square bin.  Stay tuned for more postcards!