Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Free Motion Quilting

My interest in free-motion quilting began this past summer with this post at Craft Apple.  Then this fall, several of my friends learned the technique.  And when I saw this beautiful bib posted by my friend, Quirky Granola Girl, I just had to learn for myself.
I started by asking her (and a few others) some questions.  Then I watched a few tutorials - Craft AppleCrazy Mom Quilts, and (of course) Oh, Fransson!  I laughed when I saw the speed with which these women can quilt.  Rest assured, if you are like me, there is no need to go that fast.  And the first attempt, it probably won't be pretty, see? 

First Attempt
 But don't sweat it, because it will get better.  And if you have questions, there are tons of people out there willing to help.  Crafters/Knitters/Quilters - we're a generally friendly bunch.
Second Attempt
And then we you get up the nerve - start your first project.  For me, once I had the groove down, I had to keep going.  It takes me a while to warm-up before I can get going again.
First Project

Monday, February 21, 2011


It is a New Year's goal of mine to try at least one local restaurant or bakery each month.  Not a huge goal, but we tend not to eat out very often.  For February, we made it a family event - one place for each of us.  First, we were off to Monkey Bizness for Lil' Hoot.  Then, we ate at Oklahoma Joe's - a favorite of Big Hoot.  And our final stop, Smallcakes was just for me.

Smallcakes came to my attention through Cupcake Wars on the Food Network.  (I tend to be a bit of a Food Network junkie.)  In their first appearance on the show Owner/Baker Jeff Martin admitted to the judges that a flavor was forgotten.  While his honesty was admired, he was sent home.  The appearance gathered him local fame and the news piece caught my attention.  And I am always on the look out for a good cupcake. 

Forgive my poor photos but I just couldn't wait until morning to bust open the box.  Aren't they pretty?

And the breakdown of contents, starting at top left:

My cupcake - Drum Stick
Classic vanilla cake
topped with both fudge icing
and vanilla buttercream
drizzled with caramel & a few nuts
Big Hoot's cupcake - Choc-o-holic
Classic chocolate cake
topped with chocolate buttercream 

Lil Hoot's Cupcake - The Hostess
Chocolate Cake filled with vanilla buttercream, topped with fudge icing

The Reviews:

Lil Hoot cried when we split her cupcake in half.  She loved it so much, she couldn't bear to part with even a piece of it.  (Note to parents:  Always split the cupcake in half when it's out of sight, then give only the half from the beginning.  Duh.) 

Big Hoot scarfed his cupcake down and deemed it, "Delectable."

Mama Hoot - I loved the cake and the fudge icing, but the buttercream is a bit sweet for me.  I will certainly have one again though.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Quilting Bee Blocks

As I mentioned before, I am currently part of a virtual quilting bee.  We started back in October and here is a walk through our blocks.  I am loving learning new techniques and taking them with me into my products.

January's Block - String Quilt

October's Block - String Quilt

November's Block - Anna's Design