Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Umbrella Girls

Well it is spring and I am finally getting some spring cleaning done. One room that was need of some help this year was the old nursery that my daughter Grace moved out of last fall. With all the school stuff and holidays I never got a chance to do anything to this room until the other day. I took down the baby quilt and hung up my first applique (and only applique) quilt I made many moons ago. (Yes I did forget to put a quilt label on it and I'm am totally mystified as to when I exactly finished this quilt- lesson learned - always label!)So this tiny 8' x 9' room will become a sort of office. At this point the desk is there and my quilt is up. No chair yet or printer or office supply stuff. I'm getting there. Maybe by the next season- summer. For now I am happy to just look at my "Umbrella Girls".

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Camera Strap

Here's my new camera strap that I made for my new camera. I have been eyeing these straps that several shops sell on Etsy and I had to make one. There's a great tutorial for it on SewCute Shop. I used Moda's Neptune fabric from a jelly roll I recently bought at a quilt show. The tutorial calls for 3" x 24" strips of fabric but my strips were pre-cut at 2 1/2". It worked. I just had to use a scant 1/4" seam and I topstitched very close to the edge.

Thanks SewCute Shop for the great tutorial. You should check it out. There are other fun tutorials as well on her site. I plan to make the headbands next. Check it out.

Have a great day and make something!

Friday, April 9, 2010

New Design- The Metro Backsack

In the last month or so I have had very little time to sew. I sketched out a design for a new backpack and cut the fabric back in early March. Well this week I finally got to make it. And here it is- the Metro Backsack.
I changed up the opening and back straps from the "metro backpack" I currently sell in my shop on Etsy. I incorporated the the back straps into the top closure. To close the backsack you simply pull on the back straps. You can adjust the length of the back straps by knotting the ends of the back straps that hang in the front.

I also placed a pocket in the front. I think the next one I make I will add a zippered pocket in the back as well. Outside pockets are a must.

I'm in love with this new design. I hope to make some soon to sell in the shop.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Strawberry Jam

Soon it will be strawberry picking season here in the northeast. I thought I would get a jump start on things and pick my strawberries at the store and make some jam to give away as gifts for Easter. It is very easy. I have been watching my favorite show on FoodTV- the Barefoot Contessa/Ina Garten (I worship her)- she has the best recipes. One for strawberries with some blueberries and one that just uses strawberries. I did a combination of the two using the blueberries, apples and lemon juice. The basic strawberry recipe has great tips for knowing when your jam is ready. You need to get the jam up to 220 in temperature but, if you don't have a candy thermometer to tell you that you can just put a plate in the freezer- get it real cold- then put a bit of the hot jam on it and run your finger though the middle. If the jam stays put and doesn't run back together- it's ready!

I liked doing the plate method better than the thermometer. Last time I made this jam I thought I cooked it too long trying to get the temperature up to 220 and my jam looked very dark in color. I like a deep crimson red for the jam. This was something my mom was always striving for. She never used a thermometer or the cold plate. Her jams were good but never consistent in color.

I hope this inspires you to try to make some jam. It really is easy and it tastes great!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy Spring!

Hope Spring in your area of world is treating you well this holiday weekend. I love Spring with all the trees and plants coming back to life. The color is so wonderful after a long and snowy winter. I also love Spring because my birthday is in late March. This year my wonderful husband bought me a new SLR camera (Nikon D5000) that I have been wanting. You see photography was my thing for a very long time. My Dad bought me my first SLR (Olympus OM-1) when I was fifteen and it was the one I used until 5 years ago when I got my digital "point and shoot" camera. It was an Olympus as well but it was a simple "view finder" and it never got the richness that I was used to in a shot. Every time I uploaded a picture of one of my projects to this blog I was disappointed. My projects looked so blah! Well now I hope you can see the difference. I went out and took a few pictures of my spring garden. I started with the Daffodils....

Love the new camera! Now I have to get started on all my sewing projects so I can take a picture of them with my new camera and share them with you. I just have to get the kids off to school next week. Love them but Spring break seemed to last forever this year!

Here's to Spring and great holiday weekend.