Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cute swimwear!

Hello All!

So sorry for being absent for so long! I am up to my ears in projects but I haven't had time to update you all with their progress. I hope to very soon!

I did want to stop in and let you all know that Olivia over at Working with Eager Hands has a new e-book out! She has made some absolutely adorable swim wear and wrote and e-book to help others make there own too! Make sure you enter the giveaway for a free copy!

As Always,
Bethany Lynn

Saturday, May 15, 2010

How I make quilts........

(my quilting station layout with sewing machine and iron right next to each other)

Some people have expressed how complicated they believe quilting to be so I thought I would take a moment to talk about the quilt making process. I think you all know what I am going to say but I have to say it anyways! Quilting is oh so simple and if you can sew clothing already, you can quilt too! Making quilts is so much easier then making clothes and is so relaxing. I always have a quilt in progress because I like to sew a block here and there while I am working on bigger, more complicated projects like reproduction pants and fancy dresses :D Having something simple to sew, especially when there is no pressure to sew it, in between other projects really keeps the stress level down for me. I can sew a quilt block without really thinking about the block itself. Often when I have other things on my mind, I can sew blocks and be productive even if I am busy mentally :)

So, with that said, where to start is the next question. All you need is a rotary cutter and a mat to cut on. You probably already have everything else from sewing clothing :) I started out quilting by going to Joanns and picking out matching fabrics to complete a quilt top from one of those beginner quilting books. You can do this but I find that it can be very expensive!!! With that said, I am very partial to scrap quilts because you can use up whatever you have on hand whether it is leftovers from clothing projects or not.

Bonnie inspired me a long time ago to conquer my scrap piles and baskets with her website, Quiltville. She makes beautiful quilts and her Scrap User's System page was very helpful to me. I don't have my things quite that organized but I do have my scraps organized by color although all different sizes grouped together.

Once I organized my scraps some and had a rotary cutter and cutting mat on hand, I perused Bonnie's website a lot and picked a quilt that I liked. It was hard to choose but I recommend a simple one to start out just so things aren't too overhwhelming. Since I had done a Trip Around the World Quilt before along with several 9-patches, I went ahead and picked the Sister's Choice quilt to work on. I had never done anything with triangles before so I figured this was a good place to start :)

In all these pictures, I am working on the Sister's Choice blocks and right now I only have 10 more blocks to go. I started this quilt a while ago and had about 40 blocks finished so I pulled it out this month to try and get the top finished.

It really is not all that hard to get going. You just have to be able to cut fairly straight and sew an 1/4" seam allowance! I found that quilting does not go through scraps very fast also so I have lots of scrap quilts in my future :D

As I went along I found that the best use of my time was to keep my iron and sewing machine very close together so that I wouldn't have to get up and walk half way across the room to iron one seam. Having the iron right next to your machine saves a lot of time and energy! I have also found that chain piecing is THE way to go. It saves thread and time and takes less thought than other techniques. If you google chain piecing you will come up with a million things so I will let you all do that :) I have found that just chain piecing one block at a time goes fast but chain piecing one particular segment of a block at a time and doing that segment of EVERY block in the quilt, saves even more time. For example, in all these pictures, I have some blocks finished but I am putting together the cream rectangle and the green squares to make the borders that go around all the 9 patches. To do this you have to cut out all the 2 1/2" green squares and cream rectangles first but that goes quicker too if you do it all at once.

(chain piecing the cream rectangles and green squares)

(chain pieced segment finished and getting ready to iron)
(stack of finished blocks after ironing)

(more blocks on the stack)

Well, I think that is really all there is too it. Let me know if you all have any questions or if you all think I should include anything else :) I really hope you all try your hand at making quilts too even if it is just a way to use up fabric scraps in a beautiful way!

As Always

Bethany Lynn

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Scones for Mama.........

(Mixing up the dough in a very messy sort of way. That is classic me so I always wear an apron :D)

This is a little late but I just had to share how much fun I had last Sunday on Mother's Day. I had to get up earlier than usual to do it but it was worth it none the less!

I don't think I can share the recipe that I used here because of copyright laws but most any scone recipe will do. Our favorite happens to use have heavy whipping cream in it so look for a recipe with that secret ingredient :)

(Finished dough and checking to make sure it is right........)

(Scones ready for the oven!)

Now I think the way to actually form the scones for baking is up for much debate! It seems like every person I talk to has a different way of doing it! As long as it looks nice (presentation is important!) and is not made to thick as to not bake all the way through, most anything will work! I usually just divide the dough into several equal parts and just keep dividing to make them all the same size and then pat each piece into a round shape about 1/2" thick.

I do think that they turn out rather pretty that way :)

Now, having tasted Clotted Cream (also called Devonshire Cream) back in September, it just seems like the perfect thing to have on any scone. Butter and jam just do not seem to cut it anymore! So this being rather last minute, google saves again! You can google it to find all sorts of recipes but I ended up using this one because I had the whipping cream and cream cheese on hand. Some recipes call for some other more interesting ingredients so keep that in mind.
(We had a pink theme for the table complete with the strawberry banana smoothies and tea for the insistant! :D)


As Always,
Bethany Lynn

Monday, May 3, 2010

Update post.........

Well, once again I am taking forever to get pictures of my finished wool dress to you all! I still don't have close ups or anything but this one picture will have to do :) If you want more detailed pictures of the bodice you can look at my previous post. Other than that, I added a batiste collar with heirloom cotton lace from Martha Pullen and a velvet bow. The skirt has knife pleats, blue hem tape, and a plaid kick plate. It was all I had on hand and it does the job :) The whole thing closes with a dog leg placket.

The first time I wore it was a few weeks ago. The weather could not be more perfect and I had a lovely time (and lovely company!) as my flying geese quilt was quilted.

You can kind of see my sewing kit (housewife) and thread and such in this picture.

As Always,

Bethany Lynn