Monday 1 February 2010

Red Delicious Cushion...putting it together

The fronts are done and now its time to assemble your Red Delicious cushion. If you have a different way of sewing a cushion together, go ahead and use it.

This is how I like to construct my cushions. I prefer to sandwich the front applique piece as if it was a quilt. I add the backing of the cushion at the last stage - attaching it to the cushion with binding- just like a quilt. I do not 'bag out' my cushions.

Applique is in place. I've used zig zag stitch on all fused edges.

Blanket stitch is fine too.

(Yes, my old Elna - 1950's model- still makes the best satin stitch)

Once edges are stitched down, create a 'quilt sandwich' and baste

This is a snap of the basted quilt sandwich,

the pomegranate motif is stitched down

I started quilting by outlining all shapes with red thread

I wanted a modern feel for this quilt front. I quilted curve spheres - almost like repeating goblets and filled them with feathers. In between the curves, I filled the area with straight stitching. All the straight stitching area appears 'white' in the photo but actually every inch is quilted!

When quilting is finished, trim edges.

Cutting the back:

15 1/2 inches x 15 1/2 inches


15 1/2 x 6 inches

Select your zip: 15 inches

* Do measure the front of your cushion before you cut so that your measurements actually match your cushion front!

Attach zip to large square first. 1/2 inch from edge. On the photo you can see that I double turned the seam allowance and top stitched onto the zip.

On the small rectangle, fold lengthwise in half. Fold towards the zip - raw edge outside. Draw a line 1 1/2 inch away from fold and attach edge of the zip to the line you have drawn (I've drawn the line so that when you turn onto the right side, the line is straight.)

Stitch in place.

Right side. A fold of fabric is overlapping the zipper

so that the zip remains hidden

This is how the finished cushion back looks.

Trim edges to correct size to match cushion front.

Prepare binding. Cut 3 strips 2 1/4 inch wide WOF

Join with mitred seam and follow as you would bind a quilt

Stitch down the binding.

Turn towards back and hand finish.

Bad photo timing - daylight was fading but at least the quilting stands out!

The finished cushion.

I gave myself 2 hours to finish but ended up taking 3 hours

and by then daylight was fading fast.

Friday 22 January 2010

Introducing Red Room's newest arrival....cushions!

Blossom and Apple-icious are now launched.

I have gone with a flower theme again (no suprises there...) and for those of you who like something more understated, apple-icious has a more contemporary feel. Now your Red Room is adorned with a wall quilt, a table runner and cushions. Not bad for what was once a red stash!

Next week I will adding a guide to making up the cushion, right here on my blog.

I know you're all going to do wonderful things with this newest block... I can't wait to see!

If you're not a member of the Red Delicious Yahoo Group, you can access this pattern via (both links on left side bar) or by double clicking on the title above.

Tuesday 19 January 2010

Red Room Cushion coming along

So I have been doing something productive. This pic is of the applique front of the Red Delicious Red Room theme cushion. In the next few days I will complete it and post the pattern up.

Otherwise, I've been reading through the notes on Red Delicious Cake and when I next bake a cake (Feb most likely) I will again get my DD's to make RVC this time with the suggested cream cheese frosting and report back.

As usual, I've discovered more fabric than I even knew I had. I pulled out some mermaid and unicorn prints which I thought were so sweet that I felt like they belonged in a girly bed quilt - immediately! ...and they did, 10 years ago when my youngest DD was 9! How time flies....and a fitting reminder to keep me on my stash busting mission. It is hard, but pulling out ten year old projects is proof that with fabric, out of sight is out of mind - and you can't possibly keep the mountain of fabric I have in sight.

Thursday 14 January 2010

Red Velvet Cake

This is a close up of one of my roses....that tear on the lefthand side of the rose is where my cat had a nibble and I had to sacrifice the petal. Someone referred to her as a hooligan the last time she tucked into my plants and I wholeheartedly agree! I couldnt think of a better term myself!

Ok, so I've had lots of requests for RVC in my InBox, so I've decided to share the recipe my daughter used. The best recipes are shared recipes in my opinion and this cake is missing something, so hopefully one of you out there know what it is - it's such a pretty cake it would be a shame not to get to the bottom of that extra special ingredient!

I know there are lots of 'packet' recipes online for RVC, however we (well my DD's - I dont cook much)make everything from scratch.

Red Velvet Cake

Oven: 175c for approx 30 -40 minutes
2 greased sponge cake tins
If using a bundt tin, ensure that you do not overbake

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons cocoa (Dutch Cocoa is best)
3 tablespons (60 mls) red food colouring
3 tablespoons >>secret ingredient<<
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla treacle or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups double sifted plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking SODA
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Measure everything out so you can easily add it to the bowl as you mix.
Using a cake mixer (or beater) cream the egg, oil and sugar
Still mixing, add the cocoa, red colouring and secret ingredient. Finally beat in the flour until just mixed.

Add lemon juice to baking soda, it will foam up -immediately fold through batter with a spatula until incorporated - do not over mix.

Pour into cake tins

Bake for 30 - 40 minutes in a fan forced oven. From 25 minutes onwards, check the cake is done with a skewer - remove cake from oven as soon as the skewer comes clean. Do not over bake. This is a moist cake.

When cool, fill and decorate with any white frosting or freshly whipped thickened cream. If you want, cut each half in half again so that your cake has 4 layers.

*You can now purchase 'natural' red colouring, which I recommend
*Vanilla treacle is a gourmet vanilla syrup concentrate
* I have no idea what the secret ingedient is. My DD's think it must be a syrup or essence of some kind, because this cake is missing 'something' but we cant for sure know what! If you have a RVC recipe with a an extra something this one doesnt have - please share!!!

Wednesday 13 January 2010

January Relief

It's been scorching hot - too hot to quilt, too hot to sew...even too hot to design or go online. I've been spending my days in front of the air con catching up on my reading list.

Finally - my DH and I have no holiday commitments - the children are all grown up and arent we pleased! We are spending January as we like, and after our morning coffee we sometimes just decide to take off for a day or two. It's been so nice. My DD's of course always want to know where we are! I think this is hilarious.

Today has been mild - such a relief and I've been progressing with my BOM design.

Also, last week it was 35th wedding anniversary. My DD made an american cake - a Red Velvet cake. It's a chocolate cake which is red - except it doesnt taste at all chocolately - I can't tell you what it tastes's almost undescribable and I think thats the allure of it. Also, apparently the 'real' Red Velvet recipe is something of a mystery - there are so many variations and none list the elusive 'secret ingredient'. So if anyone out there can advise - please do.

It's a beautiful looking cake and the texture is moist ...but when you eat it, you can feel that something is 'missing'....but can't put your finger on what exactly.

I am more traditional myself and actually requested a chocolate walnut torte - but anyhow, like always, no one took any notice. Maybe being away at the time meant that my influence was diluted - I have to admit that I love to hang around and offer 'suggestions' whenever any baking goes on in my kitchen! Much to the displeasure of of DD's.

What's New?
Still sorting out dates for the year ahead, however:
Red Delicious is not finished - there are 2 cushions to complete the Red Room which are in 'production' and will be posted by the end of January for free.
The next free BOM's launch- (I am still deciding on size and a working title) -more on this later in the month, but I can say that it is a bed quilt - I'm leaning towards 70-80 inches at the monent, I really want a quilt that will be used.
I am all over the place in January - however things are shaping up and I do read all my emails so keep them coming, it great to hear from you.

Friday 8 January 2010

BOM 2 progress

Ready to go:
but no fabrics or colours yet!

Moments like these, I really wish someone would just send me some fresh fabric design prints to work with… and take all the hassle of ‘finding’ the right fabric away for me.

I feel like I’ve seen everything! (stash fatigue) and I work better and faster when the details are taken care of.

I’ve been going through my stash – again- I found some great blue / green / yellows which are screaming to be made into an oceanic hues quilt…and then I found the black and white stash box and remembered that monochromatic quilt I’ve been meaning to get around to making and that is somewhere on my To Do list…but nothing was really jelling with the design I have created for the next BOM. Dilemma!

I really thought I had reached the point where I would have to purchase something new and fresh today…when I stumbled across these prints, which really speak to me and fit in with the design. I had no idea I would veer towards these pinks, but it all looks like it will work (at this stage).

Now I have to put away my boxes, tidy my work space and measure out to see if I have enough of each print to go ahead.
With 2 DD’s in the house, I am forever finding ‘perfect’ fabric prints that have had chunks mysteriously cut out of them before being neatly re-folded and put back on the shelf! And it always happens when you have only enough fabric in supply down to the last inch!
I am quite excited to cut in myself and get started as I have already fallen in love with the design and no...its not a wall hanging this time around, its a bed quilt.

Will keep you posted ...

Tuesday 5 January 2010

Hello 2010!

Welcome 2010!

For those of you who follow my blog, thank you for joining me as I explore my ideas and thoughts online - it's great to hear from you and know that you're out there.

I was amazed to return to my computer this past week for the first time in 2010 and notice that I have had over 200'000 visitors. That's a big deal for someone who types as slowly as I do!

I still remember my first post (and some of the things I havent got around to doing yet from that same week!) and I've got a lot of ideas and lists to get through this year, and I hope to share my progress through these items online...and I'm so glad that you're joining me in the journey.

It's been nice to have a week off over Christmas and New Year to relax my mind somewhat and have some creative downtime - it always re-focuses my ideas (Ok, any excuse!). I've been through my fabric stash again and I'm feeling enthused. I found some great crochet patterns I've been meaning to get around to and I'm sorry that it's too hot to handle yarn right now because I have a serious handwork 'craving' which I'm re-directing into my UFO box.

There's lots to say and do - but I'll start with sharing my dining table with you - it's covered with ideas and measurements as I fine tune the next Mystery BOM design.

When my children were in school, I used to refer to the 'two' calendars running through our lives - 'term dates' and the 'ordinary' year. Now, I still have two 'calendars' : my creative year and it's cycles and the 'ordinary' year.

Well, my creative year has definitely started!
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