Friday, 30 September 2011

AQS Des Moines Iowa Flash Mob

just had to share this
at the AQS Des Moines Iowa Quilt Show

Quilters always have fun

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Comfort food

Chicken, Mushroom & Leek Risotto
When I needed soft comfort food & with low temperatures, this is a favourite with a chilled glass of chardonnay.
( you can cook up a couple of chicken breasts & then chopped them up)
  1. Roughly chop all ingredients (I’m a rustic cook)
chopped mushroomschopped leeks
chopped chicken
2 In a large pot, heat oil and add mushrooms, leek and garlic, cook through until cooked and reduced

saute mushrooms leeks
mushrooms  & leeks reduced
3. Remove from pot.
4. Using the same pot, add butter melt and  add the rice and stir until the rice turns opaque - about two minutes.
5. Add the wine to the rice and stir frequently until the wine has been absorbed into the rice.
rice absorbs liquid
6. Add 1/2 cup of the heated chicken stock and stir frequently until absorbed. The rice and broth should bubble gently.
add stock to rice
7. Continue to cook the rice, adding chicken stock 1/2 cup at a time and allowing the rice to absorb it before adding the next 1/2 cup.
8. Cook rice this way until tender which should take about 25-30 minutes.
9. Just before the last batch of stock has been absorbed into the rice, add the chicken, leek and mushroom mixture back into the pot.
Stir through.
add mushroom, leek, chicken to stock
10. Add 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese, the parsley and the cream and stir through.
add cheeserissotto nearly ready
11. Remove from heat when all the remaining stock has been absorbed and the risotto mix is a thick creamy consistency.
12. Serve immediately with a little parmesan

Perfect for someone who needs soft tasty food like me today Winking smile.

oops side-tracked

Last  48 hours have been a little side-tracked
had a visit to my dentist
where he pull 2 of my wisdom teeth
so have felt much like blogging
hopefully Ill be back tomorrow.

 The Postman did bring me a present I have been waiting for
Clover  Stort & Store  for  sewing machine needles
Clover  Sort n Store for hand sewing needles

am looking forward to sorting all my needles out

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Vintage Valentine Update

Block 1 - all stitched


I have used a matching thread colour and small blanket stitch 
On my  Pfaff Quilt Expression 4
 its stitch 55 with width 2 & length 2.5
 I also adjusted tension down to 5
Because this pattern  was suppose to be hand stitch
 I have used the smallest blanket stitch & match thread colour
 so as the fabric is still the main star rather than using a contrasting thread & stitch.
The added firmness that the fusible applique webbing now gives the blocks will also assist the structure of final wall hanging.

Block 2
ready to stitch today

Info about  Pattern & Kit.
This quilt pattern comes from “The Vintage Spool”by Verna Mosquera.
Described by her as a “Romantic & Timeless Quilt Design”
I purchased the full kit  from Shabby Fabrics about 4-5 years ago.
Checking her website today it is currently sold out.

This is a link to Verna website
The Vintage Spool
where you can get the pattern as well as her current designs.

Planning not to get side-tracked
to get block 2 stitched
block 3 fused today.

Kim Party smile

Monday, 26 September 2011

Which project ???

I love  holidays
its when I get a chance to play with all my sewing toys & beautiful fabrics in my stash cupboard..
So which project to play with ????
I have so many projects started…
 I am  so easily side-tracked with starting a new project.
 In love
 Is anyone else like this?

I am on 2 weeks holidays,
weather here is perfect for spending in my sewing room,
 currently foggy and 6 degrees C in the mountains .

So at the weekend I started looking at  my projects,
Do I finish quilting "Home of the Heart" quilt ?

quilt top 004

Do I finish my daughters wedding quilt, Windflowers ?
(she was married in July this year..oops)
I’m up to finishing the embroidery

Do I finish the backing quilt for "Purple ladies and their cats"…

the purple ladies
Its half stitched, all the ladies and cats & flower are finished.
quilting retreat  09 013

&quilting retreat  09 012quilting retreat  09 009quilting retreat  09 007quilting retreat  09 005quilting retreat  09 003quilting retreat  09 002quilting retreat  09 001

I  also have the wall art pictures
Love, Hope Faith,
to finish, they are all appliqued
I have started stitching them down,  but not finished.
I found a kit I had bought on-line from Shabby Fabrics about 5 years ago.
Vintage Valentine
I just love their site, I  have purchased a few kits from them.
This was the first quilting kit I had bought, and restarted my quilting journey.


I have had several attempts at starting this.
The main problem is that its hand applique
( I’m not a lover of hand stitching,
( “Purple ladies & their cats” was hand stitching that was enough hand stitching for me)

I have always been a machine sewer
but have tried several times to change my mind on hand stitching  to no avail.

I had hand sewn a few pieces on …
organised the folder with all the instructions,
 organised which fabric was going where….

My love of this project is still strong
I found myself  unpicking the hand sewing
decided that to finish this project,
  it needs to be
machine applique.
I turned the pattern pieces over,
 retraced shapes,
  re-pressed fabric,
iron on double sided fusible webbing to each piece
made the first block.Thumbs up
Today   I’ll blanket stitch it down!!!!
Stay tuned to see if I get side tracked again .Open-mouthed smile

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Sewing Machine Stitch Library

Teaching students how to use a sewing machine is one of the pleasure of my job. Showing them what each part of the machine can do and how to get the different stitches. They experiment with scraps of fabric trying out the stitches.
Do you get excited when discovering a stitch  on your machine?
I certainly do.
The little icon they put on the machines to represent the stitches sometimes doesn't
DSC_3017  look anything like what it does on fabric, so I create a stitch library reference book,
 this also teaches you how to use your machine.
It records the changes you can make  in  Stitch length, Stitch width & thread type. 
When using a stitch I first do a sample of that stitch, record what I did. This gives me a a clear size & finish of the stitch & if I have used a different type of thread I also do a sample.
e.g. using invisible thread on a stitch

Sometimes I am completely surprised with what the stitch will look like after your have adjusted it.
I use a plain cream coloured cotton fabric in various shades  to create sample pieces,
( I selected that because I always have plenty of creams in my stash  & makes it easy to see the stitches, you can also use calico for a cheaper option).


I also back them with a piece of cutaway stabiliser on the back of the fabric, this allows you to use just 1 piece of fabric.
The fabric then  has firmness so when I adjust the  stitches  they don't bunch up  and fabric doesn't pucker.
  I  cut them on  my Accuquilt GO because its so quick & easy  to use & makes them all the same size. I used the Go die 55019 – Square 4 3/4” which cuts 2 squares up to 6 layers in one pass through the cutter. ( 12 squares each time)

002I then draw some lines on the fabric to stitch on, I use a heat sensitive pen a blue  Pilot Fixion pen,  after I have stitched I can then  iron the lines off  leaving  just the stitches.010
On the top of each sample piece I write with a permanent pen  the type of stitches
 e.g.  Utility stitches, Decorative stitches, Quilting stitches, Embroidery stitches.
( this is how my machine manual sets them up, check your manual  for your stitch classifications )
then I underneath I use the  headings Stitch, Width & Length
Then stitch a sample of each stitch using a coloured thread so you can see each stitch clearly.
The first  row of the stitch is always  the automatic pre set in the machine
e.g.     Stitch        Width      Length
1                 0           2.5
then each row underneath is changing the width & length.
Some stitches have more options with changing the width and length  than others. I always like to do at least the smallest options & largest options.
Once I have all my stitches created,
(my Pfaff has 222 pre-set stitches not counting ones I can create & the numbers & lettering ) 
I group them together
I then  overlock the edges
after overlocking I  give each sample a press to remove the stitching lines
Then   you  bundle them up & decided on how you will keep them together
you could  save them on a clip
I like to keep them together with a ribbon.
Punch a hole in the corner with a hole punch
& thread a ribbon through the holes.
DSC_3027         DSC_3028
I keep this stitch library  with my manual of machine as well as pre-cut squares of fabric and stabiliser ready  for me to create new stitches for my projects. I can easily add to it at nay time without it talking too much time.
Whether you have just purchased your machine  or have had it a few years  you will learn something about your machine creating your own stitch library.
Have Fun creating your stitch library