Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holiday Treats


WHEW! Busy day, but I've marked most things off my list. I haven't done any candy or cookie making yet - I'm saving it for while my mother is here. I know she'll enjoy being part of it. But here are a couple of things we'll be making.

Above are Peanutty Pie Crust Clusters. This was the grand prize winner in this year's Pillsbury Bake-Off. You can find the recipe here.

Many of you know that I've been a finalist in the Pillsbury Bake-Off twice. The contest is held every other year, in a different city each time. 100 finalists are selected to attend the Bake-Off and cook under pressure! Pillsbury treats their finalists so well and the Bake-Off trip is always so much fun.

My first Bake-Off adventure was in 1998 and was held in Orlando. The trip was awesome, but I didn't win anything else. In 2000, I was again a finalist and traveled to San Francisco to the Bake-Off. This time my recipe was in the top FOUR! I won $10,000 and a beautiful Waterford crystal bowl. The winner goes home with $1,000,000! Boy, I was close!

I haven't entered the Bake-Off since then. Pillsbury only allows contestants to be finalists 3 times, so I have one more shot at it. Maybe I'll enter again next time.

The recipe below for Mallow Nut Fudgies was given to me by a friend. She had made these for one of the luncheons I attended last week and I can attest that they are delicious! The recipe came from Publix. If you have trouble reading it, click on it and it will get bigger. It calls for the pretzel chips shown below.



I'm so glad I made so much progress on my long list today! That means I can hexie tonight!

A Bit of Stitching...


I'm stitching together a maze of hexies this morning! I need to stop this fun for a bit and get back to my list!

We're bringing my mother here for a weeklong Christmas visit on Friday, and I want to have all the cleaning, wrapping, and grocery shopping done before then. I'm making progress….

I plan to spend next week doing some cooking and baking and enjoying family. (And I can easily stitch hexies while enjoying family….)

Need to get upstairs and vacuum now… :(

Stay tuned though - I may post a yummy recipe or two later today!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Cool Blog Hop...


One of my friends brought this to one of my quilty lunches last week. Isn't it gorgeous?!!! She still has to appliqué the wreath to the background. This is going to be a wallhanging for her daughter. LOVE the fabrics! 

Did you know there's a fun blog hop going on this week? It's for Catherine Redford's new DVD on walking foot quilting! And my day is Saturday! Stay tuned...


Monday, December 15th: Faith Jones at Fresh Lemons Quilts
Tuesday, December 16th: Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville
Wednesday, December 17th: Cheryl Sleboda at Muppin
Thursday, December 18th: Maddie Kertay at Bad Ass Quilters Society
Friday, December 19th: Svetlana Sotak at s.o.t.a.k. handmade
Saturday, December 20th: Julia Wood at The Hexie Blog
Sunday, December 21st: Laura Wasilowski at Art Fabrik
Monday, December 22nd: Pokey Bolton at Pokey’s Ponderings
Tuesday, December 23rd: Susan Brubaker Knapp at Blue Moon River
Wednesday, December 24th: Catherine Redford 

I have a full list today! Today is the day I will put the finishing touches on the first issue of magazine! Do they call that "putting it to bed" in the publishing industry? If so, I'm ready to tuck in in tightly!!!

I also need to put the finishing touches on a couple of handmade Christmas presents and get them wrapped and under the tree. And there's some house cleaning to be done….(my least favorite!)….

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Busy-NESS!


It's that time of year! Shopping, cooking, present wrapping, house cleaning! Oh, and a new magazine to put out… I know you are all busy as bees, too!

I did take some time over the weekend to clean off my side table - the one beside my recliner where I sew my hexies. It was a piled up mess!


Ahh, that's better!


The sewing stuff is now on my Ikea cart which I can roll away into a closet when we have guests.

I'm putting the final touches on the first issue of Hexie Love. I want to get that done this week. I'm making blocks for next year's Block of the Month. They are SO beautiful! And I'm working on the progressive quilt for the magazine.

One more thing…
This year we had the Yahoo group to share progress on the block of the month. I know many people had issue with it. For me, I thought it was a bit awkward to use. So…
I've created a group on Facebook ---Hexie Love Open Studio. I invite you all to join! It will be a great place to share progress on BOM's and other hexie projects.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

2015 Hexie Block of the Month: General Information!

Before the new year, let's plan ahead for the 2015 Hexie BOM! Yay!

Hexagons:

I'm making the samples using English Paper Piecing (EPP).

I'm using 3/4" papers, available from paperpieces.com.

Hexie fabric: I'm using my stash of Kaffe Fassett plus a few other favorites, but anything will be beautiful!

Fussy Cutting: Fussy cutting is cutting the fabric for a hexie so that there is a motif centered in the hexie. I'm planning to do lots of this for 2015, but of course, it's optional!

Each design will be presented in only 2 colors, HOWEVER --- I'll be using more colors when I make my samples. (You'll understand this when you see the first pattern.) I encourage each of you to play with your color placement in each month's pattern! Have fun!!!

Background fabric:


I'm using a natural linen. Cut each block to 14.5" square. These blocks will finish at 14" square. Of course, any background fabric will work!!! You should be able to get twelve 14.5" blocks from 2 yards of fabric, but buy a bit extra if you plan to prewash it.

Frequently Asked Questions:


1. Can I make these out of 1" hexies like the 2014 BOM and can the blocks from both years be put into one quilt:

Answer: You can make the hexies any size you want. But will they work with the 2014 blocks? Maybe, depending on what method you use to make hexies. The key here is to lay out a row of  9 hexies. There will not be a 2015 block with a height or width of more than 9 hexies. Remember the 2014 sun block? It was 9 hexies across and I know some people had trouble fitting it in the 15.5" background block. So if you want to use 1" hexies, you made need a background that is bigger than last year's. 





That being said, let me repeat: you can make these patterns from any size hexie you wish! But I'll let you figure out what size background squares you'll need. My instructions will always be for 3/4" hexies with 14.5" background squares.

2. How many papers do I need to purchase? 

Answer: I haven't counted, but let's plan on 50 per month. Many months will include less than that, but you'll want some extras, right?

3. How much fabric will I need for the hexies?

Answer: I don't know! It depends on how you do it! Some people work with squares of fabric and  wrap lots of extra to the backside of the paper. Some cut their fabric with a die cutter to the exact size, and thus use less. This will be a great project to work from your stash if you wish.

Where and When to Find the Patterns

I'll post a new block pattern on the first day of each month. For 2015 I'll have all the patterns under one tab at the top of the blog page so they'll be easy to find.

I hope this helps you all with your planning! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hexie Happenings...


Here's a sneak peek of what's going on around here. Could this be a little preview of next year's Hexie Block of the month? Maybe…


Cooper loves to watch me hexie. Yesterday he sat and watched for quite a while. Knowing him like I do, I think he just wanted to get those hexies in his mouth, slide out of sight under our big ottoman, and chew them to pieces. But I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he appreciates fine handwork.  :)


Here are the  rolls I made yesterday. BIG SUCCESS! They rose beautifully, and are light and fluffy! I'll definitely be making a double batch of these for Christmas.

Today will be fun. I'm going to a Birthday Block luncheon - the last of the year. Today is the day we all bring our instructions/patterns/fabric for next year's blocks. Instead of asking my friends to make a certain block for me next year, I'm asking for a couple of orphan blocks from each. I'm planning to make a "Kitchen Sink" quilt. I hope they all have some orphan blocks in their stash; I have a drawer full of them!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Dough is Rising...


I'm making homemade yeast risen rolls for a luncheon Thursday - trying a new recipe- you can find it here. If they turn out well, I'll make them again for Christmas!

While the dough is rising, I'll be adding some links to Hexie Love!  I love the fact that a digital magazine allows the reader to click on links! Interested in a featured artist? Click on her link to find out more! Want to buy a featured product? Click on the link to go to the website! Way cool!

I'll also be sewing together the hexies for the January 2015 BOM!!! Yay!!!