Here is a sneak peak of my latest completed project.  It features my one of my favorite fabrics, there are many.

Since the project features plaid it is a bit trickier.  I feel successful in saying that I was able to line the plaid up pretty darn well.  I will post more about the project soon.

Yes, that’s right queen size.  That is the size of my next quilt.  Adventurous? Yes.  Fun?  Yes.  Absolutely crazy? Double Yes!

I am excited about this quilt for two reasons.

1. It is the first quilt where I have mixed prints from different designers.  Within the quilt there is a little bit of Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner, Jennifer Paganelli, Erin McMorris, and other designers.  In my past quilts I have used all of my fabric from the same fabric line.  This results in a very matchy, matchy quilt.  By using different designers, and fabric lines my quilt is going to be much more mismatched which is exactly what I am looking for.

2. This is the first quilt where I am not using a pattern or remaking a quilt I’ve seen.  I am currently just focusing on one block at a time and seeing what happens.

Plus it is the biggest quilt I will have ever made.  So I guess that is 3 firsts.  It is going to be made up of 16 large squares like below.  No borders, just pure craziness and chaos.  So here I go …

I just finished knitting a hat for a friend.  Here it is …

I just have to say there is something calming and fun about knitting stripes even when the strands of yarn get tangled like they always do.

NOTE: The colors in the pictures are brighter than in life.

All crafters have those projects that they eye for a long time just wanting to complete but for some reason never get around to.  I have been eyeing the Tulip Skirt pattern by Wikstenmade since the first time I saw which I believe was about a year ago.  First of all I would just like to say that Jenny of Wikstenmade is amazing and after working with her pattern I believe it even more.  This skirt was easy and a quick sew.  The only difficulty I had was with the buttonholes, and that was just because I was using such thick denim that my machine wasn’t cooperating.  In the end I made fake buttons with snaps underneath them.

I pretty much love this skirt.  Along with the pattern being easy it fits great.  I highly recommend the pattern.

Over the past year I have been playing with the idea of designing fabric.  With the availability of digital fabric printing, such as Spoonflower, it is now possible for anyone to design and print their own fabric.   I have now officially designed my own fabric.  Below is the Photoshop graphic and the fabric.  This is one of many designs I have made, but due to my lack of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator skills I was limited to geometric designs

After working A LOT with circles I was amazed to see just how much can be accomplished with circles and this fabric is proof.  I am really looking forward to creating and printing more fabric.

I have also been doing some sewing.  Here is a preview of the skirt I have been working on.

Abby Quilt 2

I am finding that so far I am not very consistent with updating this blog.  From here on out I am going to work on that.  So to start, here is my latest quilt.  It is Anna Maria Horner’s Folk Dance Quilt, and is made up of all Anna Maria Horner fabric.  I just have to say that I LOVED this quilt pattern and all of the different fabrics.  This quilt was both extremely easy and fast.  I recommend the pattern, especially if you are eyeing zigzag quilts or want to try out triangles for the first time.  Plus the pattern is perfect for showing off some great prints.

Abby Quilt 1

This quilt was made for one of my close friends for her birthday.  I am happy to say that not only did the quilt make it to her by her birthday; it was actually a couple months early.  This is highly unusual for me.  Normally my handmade gifts make it to their recipients months after.

Abby Quilt 4

Now that I have finished this quilt I am ready to start my next one, which is also a birthday present.  The next quilt is for my sister, and I can definitely say that that will not be getting to her on her birthday because her birthday has already passed and I have yet to cut into the fabric.  I guess I better get started.

Abby Quilt 3

The baking continues.  Last post I talked about my favorite chocolate chip oatmeal cookie recipe but did not include the recipe.  Here it is. 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cubes unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 cup flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

3 cups old fashion rolled oats

1 cup chocolate chips

Optional:

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins

Anything else you would like to throw in

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, cream together butter and sugars and add egg and vanilla.  Add flour, salt, and baking soda.  Mix in rolled oats and then add chocolate chips, and walnuts, raisins or cranberries.  Drop dough by teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet and bale for 8 to 10 minutes. 

Makes about 3 dozen

 

My other favorite cookie recipe is a ginger molasses recipe.  These would be my most requested cookies to the point that my friends will text me asking me for “Margo Cookies”, meaning the ginger molasses cookies.  There are two tricks to this recipe.  The first is to use large sugar crystals.  These are hard to find and generally can’t be found in your average grocery store.  Specialty cookie stores like Sur La Table or William Sonoma tend to sell them.  The other trick is to pull the cookies out of the oven early.  Do not wait till they look completely cooked like most cookies.  The cookies should be pulled out of the oven when they have a slightly hard edge and a pretty gooey center (they will almost look uncooked).  The reason to pull them out so early is that they continue to cook on the cookie sheet.  By doing this you will end up with a delicious soft-centered cookie.   Here is the recipe. 

 

Molasses Ginger Cookies 

3 sticks unsalted butter, melted

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup molasses

2 whole eggs, lightly beaten

3 1/2 cups flour

4 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. ground cloves

2 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. slat

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup granulated sugar, large multicolored crystals for dipping cookies before baking

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix melted butter, sugar, and molasses.  Add egg and mix.  Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until blended.  Chill dough 2 hour or more.  It is best to chill overnight. Form dough into balls.  Dip half the balls into colored sugar.  Place balls sugar-side up on the cookie sheet allowing plenty of room for the cookies to spread.  Bake 8-12 minutes, removing cookies while they are still soft.  Cool on cookie sheets to keep shape. 

Makes about 4 dozen

Enjoy!

64 is how many ounces of cream cheese I used when baking cheesecake.  I have been baking a ton.  I have been baking cheesecakes, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, and am just about to start baking chocolate cake. 

The cheesecake recipe that I used is the Top Secret Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake Recipe.  I have tried multiple cheesecake recipes and this is the best one I have found so far.  The only change that I made is using butter instead of margarine in the crust.  But don’t worry I didn’t use all 64 ounces in one cheesecake; I made multiple. 

These are pretty much the best chocolate chip oatmeal cookies ever! I have made the recipes dozens of times.  There are two cookie recipes that I am known for and this is one of them.  The great thing about this recipe is that you can leave it simple or add all different extras to the recipe such as dried cherries, nuts, toffee, etc.  Either way they are great.  Next time I make it I want to try adding pretzels and peanut butter.  While I have found an amazing chocolate chip oatmeal cookie recipe I am still on the lookout for a really good plain chocolate chip recipe, and I will let you know what I find.

I love getting packages in the mail, especially when they contain fabric.  More specifically Anna Maria Horner’s Good Folks fabric.  So here is what the package contained.

This is Anna Maria Horner’s Folk Dance Quilt Kit and will be made into the quilt below. 

I am so excited about making this quilt.  I love how from a distance one would never know that the quilt is pieced out of only triangles.  Also I have been eyeing the Gold Folks fabric line for quite a while, and it is even more amazing that I thought.  After seeing it in person, I love the brightness of the fabric, and have tons of ideas for possible projects to use it in.

And the cutting of the fabric begins …

Don’t you just love starting a new project?  Well here is my latest project.   

 

It is the Purl Bee’s Rochefort Chapeau.  This will be the third hat I have made with this pattern, and I plan on making a fourth one after this.  The yarn I am using is Alchemy Yarns Temple. 

Currently, hats would be my favorite project to knit.  I love knitting hats because they are great short projects that don’t require a lot of yarn and that allow you to try out a new knitting technique without committing to a large project such as a sweater.  For example when I wanted to learn Fair Isle I tried it out on a hat first to learn the technique.  I’ll keep you updated on how the hat progress, but I expect to be finished with it pretty quickly.