Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday - Score 1 For Jenny!

I finally finished something!!!  I was determined to have better stats this week and not walk away with my tail between my legs and I achieved my goal!  Mr. Sew Fab and I now have matching summer pajama pants.  I used Lush by Patty Young for Michael Miller and I obviously used a different print for the front and back of each leg.  I even let Mr. Sew Fab pick out the fabrics this time.  I laid out about 8 different possible fabric combinations (all different collections and colors) and this was his first choice.  I think he has excellent taste, don't you?
Pajama Pants using Lush by Patty Young for Michael Miller
This is the front of the pants.....
And this is the back.....
They look really wild when they're on and they should help me maintain my title as the neighborhood Pajama Girl!  Mr. Sew Fab is returning home from a week long work trip in a few hours and I hope he's pleasantly surprised to have some very manly pajama pants waiting for him.  I'm also making some homemade pizza bianca tonight which will probably be even more of a pleasant surprise to him!  And I'll have Mr. Sew Fab take pictures of me actually wearing the pants this weekend so you can get a better look at them....but unfortunately he refuses to pose for a picture in his pajamas so you won't get to see him too.  What's up with that?!

And if you saw yesterday's post you know that I finished putting up the siding on the dollhouse...
And I've decided to go with a bright color palette of hot pink, lime green, aqua and maybe some of that purplish-magenta too......kind of like the colors of my pajama pants!   It looks like my little beach cottage is becoming more of a Caribbean getaway than the originally planned Nantucket or Coronado Island house. 
And since the name of the dollhouse kit is The Orchid it only seems appropriate to honor the name and let it become a bright, lush, tropical getaway. are my slightly improved stats for the week.....
Finished Projects:  ONE!!!
Active WIPs:  4
Back Burner WIPs:  4
Ready To Go:  13
Must Make:  6
New Projects:  Zero (Yay for me!  I didn't add anything to the list!)
Forgotten/Abandoned Projects:  ???  

So now comes the big challenge.....can I get the living room quilt done by next Wednesday???  I'm almost halfway done with the ties.....and we do have a 3 day weekend coming it may be possible.  I love doing those ties and I'm definitely going to use this finishing method a lot in the future but they sure are taking a lot longer than I though they would!  Wish me luck....I'm gonna need it!

Happy Sewing,

P.S.  I used the Sew Easy Pajama Pants for my Pants and I used the Sleep Well Pattern for Mr. Sew Fab.

P.P.S.S.  Thank you to everyone who left a comment about dollhouse decorating on my last post!  Most of you "voted" for the brights and I agree - they're more fun and I feel like I've done Shabby Chic things a million times over so it's time to try something new!

P.P.P.S.S.S.  Even my Mom "voted" for the brights which was a "knock me over with a feather" moment!  I thought for sure she'd "vote" for the Shabby Chic pastels!  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dollhouse Decor

I need some advice on a very important matter......and that matter is dollhouse decor!  Construction on my little beach cottage is moving right along.  The siding has been put on and it's primed and ready for it's first coat of fresh white paint.  But my little white cottage will be in desperate need of some color soon!
Dollhouse Progress
My original plan was to do something very pastel and shabby chic using these fabrics and colors......
Lakehouse Dry Goods Fabric
But then I started re-thinking that plan and now I'm wondering if I should do something a little more bright and modern.  I started looking at Coastal Living and these are a few inspiration photos I came up with for a possible hot pink-lime-aqua color scheme.
What do you think?  Should I go with the pastels?  Or the brights?  Or do you have another completely different idea?  I'd love to hear what you think!

Happy Sewing....and Happy Dollhousing,

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday -

Well it looks like another embarrassing edition of Work In Progress Wednesday! I took a few baby steps forward in some projects.....but I managed to counteract any progress I made by adding a bunch of new projects to my Must Make list!  There's a new idea every minute swirling around in that head of mine and I just can't seem to stop it!  But let's start with the good news first.....

I did get most of the siding applied to the dollhouse.  The front is about halfway done and the sides are completely done.  And the building permit is still securely attached by the front door as required by law!
Orchid Dollhouse progress
And I did manage to get a few ties done on my Living Room quilt.....but just a few.......because every time I sit down to do some ties something like this happens and we all know the #1 Law of Kittydom - You can never, ever disturb a contented kitterses......
Quilt made from Meadowsweet by Sandi Henderson for Michael Miller
I didn't make any progress on Hooterville or the Granny Square Quilt or the Pajama Pants.  Sigh.....I'm beginning to wonder if safety pins could become a valid method of finishing a quilt. 

And then Baltimore Autumn arrived and the swooning and drooling started.  Can' add to Must Make list.  I'm rationalizing this one in my mind by telling myself that I NEED to make it because autumn is my favorite season but we live in Florida and don't get an autumn so I owe it to myself and to all of Florida to make this!  Right?  RIGHT?
Baltimore Autumn Quilt by Pearl P Pereira of P3 Designs
And then I saw the pile of Meadowsweet scraps leftover from my Living Room quilt....and I added some Farmer's Market scraps from my stash.....and I just feel that they're calling out to me to make them into a Granny Square Quilt for the Living Room.  The first Living Room quilt will get lonely if it doesn't have a friend!  Right?
Fabrics by Sandi Henderson for Michael Miller
And then I started thinking about how flippin' cute it would be to have a Christmas Granny Square Quilt.  Can you tell I'm a little obsessed with the whole Granny Square quilt trend?!  So I started gathering together random reds and greens and ended up with this stack of Christmasy perfection.  And I actually don't have ANY Christmas quilts so I think I owe it to myself and to Christmas to make one!  Right?
Red and Green fabrics for Christmas Quilt
So here are my horribly embarrassing stats for this week:

New Projects:  3 added to Must Make List
Finished Projects:  A BIG FAT ZERO
Active WIPs:  5
Back Burner WIPs:  4
Ready To Go:  13
Must Make:  6 (And 3 of them are Granny Square Quilts!)

I wish I could do the math to figure out how many hours, days, weeks and months it would take to finish all the projects on this list but I just don't think I can count that high!  So for now I'll just set my goal at having that Finished Projects number move up to ONE next week.  Wish me luck!

Happy Sewing,

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Recipe Of The Month - Jenny's Cheddar Biscuits

Welcome to our first Recipe Of The Month!  Since I talk so much about food and since I love cooking and baking so much I thought it was about time that I started sharing some of the recipes that are favorites at Casa de la Sew Fab.   My original plan was to do a Recipe Of The Week.....and then reality hit and I started laughing at myself when I realized there was no chance of that happening on a regular basis.  But Recipe Of The Month sounds a bit more do-able, doesn't it?!

So let me introduce you to our beloved Cheddar Biscuits.  We love cheddar biscuits but I could never find a recipe that tasted quite right.  So I started playing around and this is the recipe that I "invented" after much trial and error.   We suffered through a lot of bad cheddar biscuits before hitting the biscuit jackpot!  These are soft, buttery, very cheddary and oooey, gooey good.  So let's get started (the full recipe will be at the bottom)......

You just need a few basic ingredients that you may already have in your house:  Shredded cheddar, buttermilk, flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, salt and butter.
You start by mixing together 2 cups flour, 2.5 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp sugar, 3/4 tsp baking soda and 1 tsp salt.  Then add 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter to the flour mixture  And yes....I realize that softened butter isn't a normal thing to use in biscuits but these are my biscuits and this is how I do it!  Mix it up with your hands until the largest bits are the size of peas and you have something that has a coarse texture - I kind of squish it through my fingers to get it to mix together.  When you're done there should be small bits of butter, big bits of butter and some areas that don't have any butter.  That's o.k.  It will all work out in the end!
Then you add 3 1/2 cups of sharp shredded cheddar.'s a lot of cheese.  You'll thank me later!  Mix it up and you end up with something that looks like this. 
Then you add 1 cup of buttermilk and mix it up until it comes together.
It will look something like this when you're done mixing.  Don't mix too long or the biscuits will be tough.  Mix it just long enough to get the dough moist and fairly uniform.
Then roll them into nice balls about 1 1/2" across (you should have about 2 dozen) and place them on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.  And this is a "do as I say, not as I do" moment because I ran out of parchment paper as I was taking these photos.  They're really hard to peel off the pan without the parchment paper!
Bake them at 350 degrees for about 22 minutes.  Then slather with more butter and eat!  We love having these with steak, panko crusted halibut or panko crusted chicken.  And I've always thought about adding some garlic or some green onions to these but I haven't done it yet.  I'd love to hear what you have them with or if you jazz them up somehow!
Jenny's Cheddar Biscuit Recipe
2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
3 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
1 cup buttermilk

Mix dry ingredient together. Add butter and mix until coarse and the size of peas.  Add cheddar and mix together.  Add buttermilk and mix until just combined.  Drop dough onto parchment covered baking sheet (balls should be about 1 1/2" across).  Bake at 350 degrees for about 22 minutes.  Smother with more butter and eat!

Happy Baking,

Monday, May 14, 2012

I Am Soooooo Cool!

I am sooooo incredibly cool!  I spent most of my weekend applying siding to the outside of my dollhouse and beadboard to the inside while wearing pajamas!  And eating cupcakes.  And watching Heroes on NetFlix.  And forcing Mr. Sew Fab to repeatedly ooohhh and ahhhh over the dollhouse.  I'm surprised the paparazzi don't follow me around to document how cool and exciting I am!
I even put a little Building Permit up on the side of the dollhouse!  And then Mr. Sew Fab told me that by law a building permit must be by the front door so it was immediately moved to be by the door.  I certainly don't want any legal problems slowing down the construction process.
And Mr. Sew Fab even said that the dollhouse might find a permanent home in the Living Room.  Be still my heart!  And I didn't even have to bribe him with baked goods to say that!  It's a miracle!

Happy Sewing......and Happy Dollhousing!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday

Hello there!  I've decided to start participating in Work In Progress Wednesday and oh my......this is gonna be embarrassing!  But I think this will be a really good thing for me!  If I have to face public shame and humiliation every Wednesday for my slow progress and my ridiculously huge list of projects to make it might be just the motivation I need to get cracking!  Or, as I like to say...."Quit slackin' and make $h!t happen!" 

Alright.....first up is the Living Room Quilt that I decided to hand tie.  It's not going quite as fast as I thought it would but at least I'm making forward progress on it.  And it currently lives on the ottoman in the living room so it's easy for me to take little quilt tying breaks throughout the day.
Quilt made using Meadowsweet fabric by Sandi Henderson for Michael Miller
Next up is my scrappy Granny Square quilt.  Progress seems to have stalled on that one.....the dollhouse kit arrived right after I got the Granny Square quilt sandwiched and pinned so I was just a wee bit distracted.  But it's just patiently waiting for me to start hand quilting it.  She's still my favorite quilt ever so she definitely won't stay on the back burner for long!
Scrappy granny square quilt using fabric by lakehouse dry goods, lecien, susan branch and more
Now we move on the Hooterville.....yes, I think I started this preppy pink and green Hooterville quilt about a year ago.   This quilt would probably take a normal person about a week to finish.  But as you probably already know....I'm very easily distracted!  I always tease Mr. Sew Fab that I think he has ADD but I'm beginning to realize that I might be the ADD one!  So, here's my happy little pile of almost finished Hooterville owl blocks sitting on my bookcase.  All they need are beaks and feet and then I can piece the quilt top!
Hooterville quilt made using pink and green fabrics by Lakehouse Dry Goods
The final WIP in the sewing department is another set of matching pajama pants like the ones I made for Christmas.  I even let Mr. Sew Fab help pick out the fabrics this time.  We decided on fabrics from the Lush Collection and they're all washed and ready to go and just waiting for me to cut them out.  I really should get started on these ASAP.  Mr. Sew Fab keeps wearing the flannel pajamas I made for him and it's kind of sad since it's 80 degrees out these days.  He needs a pair of summer pajama pants stat!
Fabrics for pajama pants from the Lush Collection by Patty Young for Michael Miller
And my final WIP is the Orchid!  I finally started construction on my little dollhouse!  I didn't start building it right away because I had to wait for the new, fancy doors and windows to arrive (I didn't want to use the basic ones that came with the house).  Oh yeah....and I was also waiting for the wood floors.....and the beadboard for the walls......and the clapboard siding for the outside.....and the electricity kit.....and the fireplace with a flickering orange light......and I think you get the point.  My little $30 dollhouse is turning into quite an expensive little palace!
Progress on my kit bashed Orchid Dollhouse by Greenleaf summary here is my list of WIP's, back burner projects, ready to go projects and things on the "must make" list.

Actively working on these WIPs:
-Living Room Quilt
-Granny Square Quilt
-Pajama Pants
-The Orchid Dollhouse

Back Burner:
Little Lady Quilt - Lakehouse Dry Goods
Cherry Baby - Lakehouse Dry Goods
Vintage Trick Or Treat - Crabapple Hill
Happy Hauntings - Vintage Spool

Ready To Go (these are ones where I have the pattern and all the fabrics and everything is all nicely arranged in it's own labeled box  and they're just waiting for me to get started on them).
-Reupholster office chair
-Vintage Valentine - Vintage Spool
-Chubby Chicks - Black Mountain Designs
-Baltimore Bunnies - Bunny Hill Designs
-Rabbits Prefer Chocolate - Bunny Hill Designs
-Frolic - Vintage Spool
-Girl In Paris - Fig Tree Quilts
-Petite Fleur - Patisserie by Fig Tree Quilts
-Faded Glory - Vintage Spool
-Easter Wishes - Vintage Spool
-Vintage Christmas - Bunny Hill Designs
-Merry Little Christmas - Crabapple Hill Designs
-Baltimore Halloween - P3 Designs

Must Make:
-Granny Square Quilt using Going Coastal fabric.....oh yeah.....I plan on fussy cutting that Bottle Cap print!
-A Piece Of Cake using Going Coastal and the soon to be released Shore Thing by the same designer
-A pinkalicious embroidered and pieced Hello Kitty quilt like this one
-Baltimore Autumn - P3 Designs (arriving at the shop very soon!)
-I have ideas/plans for about 5 more dollhouses too!

This weeks stats:
New Projects:  0
Finished Projects:  0
Active WIPs:  5
Back Burner WIPs: 4
Ready To Go:  13
Must Make:  3
Forgotten Projects:  ???

Yup....I think I have a problem!  And there are probably a bunch of other projects that are so far on the back burner that I've forgotten about them!

I'm going to wander off now with my tail between my legs and try to get something finished this week.  Let's hope that the "Finished Projects" number is up to 1 next week!  I think I can....I think I can....I think I can!

Happy Sewing,

P.S.  In response to some comments on my last blog post.

-The fabric I used in the Living Room quilt is from the Meadowsweet Collection which is sold out!  Sorry!

-And yup.....I am kind of "cheating" by tying it instead of doing "real" quilting but I'm at that desperate point where I just want to get it done!  And machine quilting something this big usually brings me to tears!!!  But don't worry......I will always do "real" quilting on my fancier, more labor intensive quilts!  And bravo to you for machine quilting a queen size quilt!  I'm impressed!!!

-And thank you to everyone for your kind comments!  Reading them always makes me smile! 

Friday, May 4, 2012

All Tied Up

So do you remember this quilt for our living room that I started months and months and months ago????
Quilt made from Meadowsweet by Sandi Henderson for Michael Miller Fabrics
Well......after I got it all pieced, sandwiched and pinned work came to a standstill and it just sat there.  I couldn't figure out how I wanted to finish it.  And all the pets kept trying to curl up on it but all the safety pins just got in their way.  It was just too big to quilt on my own machine (60" x 75").  I tried and I tried and it was too frustrating to quilt something that big on a normal sewing machine.  And I'm obviously not going to hand quilt something this big.....that would take forever and a day.  And then a light bulb went off above my head......Hand Ties!   Ding, ding, ding.....we have a winner!
Hand tying Meadowsweet quilt.  Fabric by Sandi Henderson for Michael Miller.
Have you ever hand tied a quilt before?  This is my first time and it's going great!  It's so easy and it's one of those mindless, soothing projects I can work on while hanging out with Mr. Sew Fab in the evenings.  I'm using some #8 DMC cream colored Perle Cotton, a regular embroidery needle and hemostats to tie the knots.  I'm putting the ties no more than 2" apart and I used really thick batting so it's starting to look like a pouffy down comforter.  Doesn't it look so soft and squishy?!
Meadowsweet quilt with my cat daisy.  Fabric is by Sandi Henderson for Michael Miller Fabrics.
And pretty soon all the pets will get to lay on a safety pin-free quilt!  Hooray!

I'm off to go pour myself a glass of wine (it's Friday evening as I'm writing this post so if you're reading this on a random Tuesday morning please don't freak out), make some dinner and do some more ties.

Happy Sewing,

P.S.  Hand ties are so easy that I may even recruit Mr. Sew Fab to help me finish it!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May 2012 Giveaway - Verona Pre-Cuts!

We Have A Winner!
The winner is Barb who said "The word "Verona" in your email drew me click over to your site and read more. I recently purchased two pieces and would love some more to go along! As for quilting, I am learning to use my long arm, still. Not sure what the learning curve is, but probably dependent on how much time I practice! But I still like to FMQ on my regular machine, too."
Thanks to everyone who entered and congratulations to Barb!
Happy May!  This month we're giving away a Verona Charm Pack, a Verona Jelly Roll and a Verona Apron Panel by Emily Taylor for Riley Blake Designs!  It's a whole little bundle of Verona goodness!!!

Just leave a comment to be entered to win.  Lately, I've been getting to the finish line on several of my quilts and I'm debating how I should quilt some of them.  Sooo.....I'd love to hear what method you prefer - do you quilt them at home on your own machine?  Do you send them out to a professional quilter?  Do you do them by hand?  Or do you do ties?  Or is there another method that I'm completely unaware of or forgetting about?

Just leave your comment by Wednesday, May 9.  We'll pick a winner on Thursday, May 10, 2012.

Oh....I'm still tallying up results from the last giveaway....that's the one where I asked what your favorite style of fabric is.  And thanks to everyone who left a comment for the last Giveaway!

Good Luck and Happy Sewing,