Monday, January 25, 2010

Sad. And Mad.

I have no idea how this happened. I have been working off and on for a week now on a baby quilt to donate to Haiti by Hand. I have put so much thought and time into this little thing, prayed for the people of Haiti while I was sewing, and put tons of love into it. So you can imagine how bummed I was when, after hand-stitching the binding on, and washing and drying the quilt, I discovered a tear in it.

The only thing I can figure out is that I nicked it with my scissors or it got snagged on something in the washer or dryer. I pulled it out of the dryer this morning and took pictures of the warm cuddly little thing, and as I was folding it up I noticed the hole. It's a teeny little tear that can be patched, and that's what I plan on doing. I'll drop the price and hopefully someone will still love it - especially since it's for a good cause. I'm hoping that sweet Rebecca can get it listed tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

This and that

I'm making a baby quilt to donate to raise money for the earthquake victims, and as you can see I have helpers! They are so cute and got such a thrill from smoothing out the batting. I've also discovered that it is SO much easier to baste a quilt on the dining room table rather than the floor! Love those baby quilts.

I decided to go with a gray/yellow color scheme - I've had these fabrics piled together for ages and it was so fun to finally play with them. I can honestly say that I won't be sad to never sew with triangles again - they are so fussy! All that bias stretching and getting distorted when you iron them.....but I do love the way they look, and this quilt has been calling to me for a long time. Maybe I'll give it a while and try again.

I found these potholders that I pieced and quilted over 2 years ago in my unfinished projects basket and decided to tackle them. They just needed binding sewn on, and I've been enjoying hand-stitching it when we're in the car. I can't decide whether to put grommets in them or sew loops of trim for hanging - thoughts? I love the look of grommets but would need to install a hook to hang them from. The loops are a little more practical, I guess.

I got this International Quilt Festival magazine for Christmas, and I have loved poring over it again and again. Josh and I sat for the longest time and stared at the prize-winning quilts - they are incredible! The details are amazing, which they would have to be to keep a man's attention for longer than 5 minutes. There are several projects I want to make from this, and first on my list is this organizer - I think I'll make several to have on hand for gift giving.

I'm off to lay on the sofa and rest - the girl and I have a tummy bug. She threw up all over Target today and I think ruined the novelty of cherry slushies forever. So sad.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Craft Hope for Haiti

I'm a little late in posting this, but there are still items being listed around the clock. Craft Hope has opened and Etsy shop, Craft Hope for Haiti, and is donating 100% of the proceeds to Doctors Without Borders.

In the first 24 hours over $4000 was raised - isn't that INCREDIBLE?!? I donated a wallhanging that has already sold, and it makes me so, so happy to know that that money is helping people. So I'm giving you permission - GO SHOP!!! (or if you can't shop, donate!! )

Friday, January 15, 2010

No making fun (and a Haiti update)


I am very hopeful that I've found an orphanage to accept and distribute our handmade toys. It was not affected by the earthquake and I think that will make the logistics a little easier. I promise to update you as soon as I have more information. Thanks SO much for the interest - this is going to be a blessing for everyone involved!


On to the no making fun part - I am HORRIBLE at drawing in Photoshop. Completely laughable. I know how to do the things I want to do in AutoCad, but unfortunately that doesn't help me in PS. I would love to try Illustrator, too. This is a sad little thing I drew in PS to help me choose colors for my next quilt. I'm using the Country Threads Star Quilt pattern, which I bought 2 years ago at the Country Living Fair. I'm loving the idea of using these traditional patterns with a fresh color palette and more modern fabrics. One of my goals this year is to explore that.

Kathy at Pink Chalk Fabrics is just the best to work with when you're not sure which fabric to buy. We emailed back and forth yesterday and she was kind enough to match Kona cotton solids to the Hope Valley fabrics that I'm using. She posted 2 pictures to Flickr and I'll share them in case you might find them helpful too.

I really can't recommend her shop enough - she has a fantastic variety of fabrics and also let me know that she's expanding her collection of solids in the next month or so. My next order is going to contain one of those great Kona color sample cards, too. I know where my birthday money's going.

I have a couple quilt ideas on the back burner, and one of them is a large (6"-ish) patchwork quilt for Delaney's bed. I have slowly been collecting these Little Folks voiles and let me tell you - they are the most fantastic fabrics I've ever felt. Even better than Liberty Tana Lawn, if I may be so bold. ;)

And I want to know how in the world I missed Joel Dewberry's newest collection, Modern Meadow?!?! I haven't immediately loved a line this much in a looong time - I can't wait til it's released!! Does anyone know any details??

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How can we help?

Image from

My heart is broken for the poor people of Haiti. I honestly can't imagine the horror of having an injured or lost child, and I can't imagine the confusion and fear that the sweet babies of that country must be feeling right now.

Image from my dear Rashida

I have been thinking of how we, as a crafting community, can best serve these people who are so desparately in need right now. I know that the necessities, such as food and water, will be provided by organizations much bigger than myself. These things are obviously of utmost importance for survival, but I also think of the children who lost everything they had. All of this to say, I would love to organize a handmade toy drive. I would love to think that we could provide just one small thing to a child to help him or her cope, to help this precious child know that someone out there loves and values them.
Will you join me? I am trying to work out the specifics and come up with a name for this drive (and also a logo if anyone is so inclined ;) ) so give me a day or so to work it out. I'm thinking Handmade Hope to Haiti? Thoughts? I'll be back in touch soon. :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A little taste of summer

(a naked little orange after an encounter with a microplane zester)

I have been meaning to share this recipe for ages and finally remembered to take some pictures
when I made these lovely orange scones this week. I adore Panera Bread's orange scones (despite the fact that they look like they are topped with American cheese - what is UP with the artificial coloring in their glaze??). I tried a couple of times to duplicate the recipe and didn't have a ton of success. This is mostly due to the fact that I can't stand cutting in butter. Despise it. I don't have a great pastry cutter or a food processor so I always do it with 2 knives and end up completely irritated. This recipe, however, uses heavy cream in the dough, and takes just a minute to make. They aren't flaky as I imagine they would be using a dough made with butter, but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make. (This recipe is a compilation of several I found online, using my favorite parts of each.)

Orange Scones

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 T baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 T plus 1 t orange zest
1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 T melted butter


3 T cream cheese
3 T unsalted butter (I use salted because that's what I usually have on hand)
1 T orange zest
1-2 T milk or whipping cream
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 425. Mix 2 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 T baking powder and 1/4 t salt in large bowl. Stir in orange zest. Add whipping cream and stir just until dough forms (it should still be quite crumbly, do not overstir). Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead gently just until dough holds together - do not overknead. (You'll be tempted - but DON'T DO IT!!) Form dough into 1/2 inch thick round. Cut into 8 wedges.

Transfer wedges to a baking sheet or a baking stone. Brush scones with melted butter. Bake scones until light golden brown, 14-16 minutes. (Sometimes the middle takes a while to get done, so make sure you check them).

While baking, prepare glaze. In a small saucepan, melt butter and cream cheese, stirring often. Add orange zest and stir well. Add half powdered sugar mixture, stir well. Add milk or whipping cream, stir well, then add the rest of the powdered sugar slowly, just until the glaze is the right consistency. It should be a touch on the thick side.

As soon as the scones are done, pull them from the oven. Let them cool for about 10 minutes, and while still on the sheet, coat tops of scones with the glaze. The glaze should melt down and cover the scones down the sides.

These scones are very rich and dense, as you might expect with something made with so much heavy cream, but man are they good. They also keep well if you can manage not eating them all while they're warm.