Monday, June 16, 2014

X and + Quilt

Everyone is on the X and + Quilt bandwagon these days it seems! I actually started mine a year ago, but just finished it in May. My dear friend Ariane turned 50 and this quilt was for her.

 She loves orange. It's her favorite color! The fabric is from the Moda "Comma" line from last year (or was it the year before...). It's all punctuation marks, so it was fun to make a quilt that is X's and +'s with punctuation mark fabric!

This quilt is double sided! I actually started out with this side, which is a Zen Chic pattern for Moda called Card Trick, I think. I instagrammed this in March of 2013 saying I wasn't sure if I liked it and it might become a backing. And that's exactly what happened.

This is the "front" but really they are both stand alone quilt tops! This is the X and + pattern. This is also a Zen Chic pattern from Moda, but I found a free tutorial for the block here if you are interested. Apparently the block can be dated back to 1938!
Modern fabrics with a traditional pattern. That's how I like to quilt - bridging old and new.

And this was my favorite moment of handing the quilt over. Several of the ladies from the church swarmed as soon as we unfolded the quilt!

I love that so many young people are enjoying quilting and that we can all share a love for fabric and design even when our color and pattern choices are so wildly different than "traditional" quilting. I guess I'm not really a modern quilter. I'm not into improve, or crazy curves or any of that artsy stuff. But I'm not traditional either. I can't stand Thimbleberries or Civil War reproduction fabrics! (Sorry!) But somewhere in the middle is a happy place where I can combine modern fabrics with traditional quilt designs and be happy.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

May Recap

May was a very busy month, as it is every year. I really think this is the month that tests my strength and builds my resiliency for the rest of the year. Every year I can say "well, I survived May, therefore I can survive anything." Nothing bad happened, praise God! It was just crammed pack with activity!! I needed two weeks to decompress before I even wanted to look at photos! And I probably missed something...

I'll start with food. I did a lot of baking this month!

Haven needed apple pie at the last minute for some school project. Apple pie is like the one dish that I can't make and give away. If I'm going to make it I want to eat it! Well, I didn't have enough flour for two pies, and of course it was after the stores had closed when I got the request for pie. (all the moms - if you haven't had this experience yet, you will.) So anyway, I decided to make apple roses instead of pie. That way it wouldn't need much crust and I could make some for us to eat.

I followed this tutorial, except I used pie crust instead of puff pastry. I also cooked the roses in a muffin tin so that they would stay tightly rolled. They tasted just like apple pie, but the presentation was amazing! Pin-win!

My second pin-win was Neapolitan Cupcakes. I used the tutorial for the concept, but used three cake recipes instead of trying to split one into three flavors.
That's chocolate, strawberry and vanilla cake all in one cupcake. These were so good I ate mine without frosting. For everyone else I used my tried and true buttercream frosting. 

The next project took about a month of practice and planning. Our dear friend Ariane turned 50 and I wanted her birthday treats to be as special as she is. She loves orange, so the color was easy to choose!
Those are chocolate petites fours and they were not easy!! But they were delicious!

The cake was covered in fondant to make the ruffles. It was my first time doing this technique and I need more practice, but I think I get the general concept.

I made this quilt forever ago and new I wanted to give it to Ariane because of how much orange is in it. I finally gave it to her for her birthday. I'll post more about this quilt later.

 My friend Tawny moved in May. Back in March she gave me a bag of fabric and asked if I would turn it into a quilt for her. This is the finished quilt. I had the boys hold it over the balcony so I could get a picture of it. I'll post more on this quilt later too.
On the work front I didn't have too many classes this month. Everyone was busy, I think. I did teach these two sweet kids how to make aprons.
My colleague "Kitty" and I participated in the Career Fair at the high school and represented careers in Art.
 And we had our annual Arts and Crafts Contest.
One of the entries was hangers that had been wrapped in strips of old clothes that had sentimental value. We received them in a box, but I wanted to do something special with them. So they became an art installation.
They were cooler in person. It was hard to get a good picture.

On the home front - Haven had her Spring Concert, which is all the various bands and the two choirs. There's about 300 kids that participate in the music program! (Her school has about 800 kids) It was long, but they did a great job!
 At the music awards banquet Haven got a letter for choir! She also got a big surprise when she was one of the choir kids to receive Outstanding Vocalist! AND she made it into Harmony Express next year, which is a smaller group that you have to audition for and get picked. So proud of her!!
 Going to a military school most of Haven's friends move away every few years. But this young lady is one that we have known since both the girls were four years old! She is home-schooled so they had a special graduation ceremony for her at the church. (She accelerated and graduated early)
 Ethan had a sock hop at school. We had a little trouble getting a "greaser" jacket, but his hair was great! This is him being too cool to smile for the camera.
 Ethan and Rob went on a camping trip with the church kids group. It was super cold that weekend, but they had a good time!

 And lastly... I got a new bike. The best bike ever! I bought the basket on the front of the bike before I found the actual bike, but I knew exactly what I wanted. When the PX had this one I bought it without knowing how I was going to get it home! A friend with a van came to the rescue! Now I ride to work every day, as long as it isn't raining.
Ok, are you exhausted just reading this? We were seriously exhausted after experiencing it all!! And this is just the stuff I got pictures of! Here's hoping for a relaxing summer!