MORE from Katie's Modern Nest

Friday, April 30, 2010

Katie's Chocolate Chip Cookies

SO YUMMY! I cooked up this recipe today by blending a really healthy one with a really yummy one.  The result is delicious whole grain chocolate chip cookies (not exactly healthy, but less bad for you).

Katie's Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup   Butter
1/2 cup   Peanut Butter
3/4 cup   Sugar
3/4 cup   Brown sugar
2             Eggs
2 tsp       Vanilla
1 tsp       Salt
1 tsp       Baking Soda
1 cup      Oatmeal
1.25 cup Wheat Flour
1/2 to 1   Package Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup   Chopped nuts (optional)

- Beat Butter and Sugars till Fluffy
- Add eggs, vanilla, salt and peanut butter and mix
- Stir in oats, baking soda and flour slowly and mix until blended
- Stir in chocolate chips and nuts
- Drop on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes

Missing My Machine

I took pity on my ol' sewing machine and took it to the "spa" for some R&R.  I figure that at 39 years old, my PAFF has earned some down time now and then.  But with my machine in the shop getting a tune-up, I'm left twiddling my thumbs for the next week.  I guess that means I can do some hand sewing on a binding.  Now that I think about it, it will be a good time to do some cutting on some bags I have been thinking about.

Speaking of bags, here's the one I made for myself using the Amy Butler Birdie Sling pattern.  I thought I would just use it as a weekend or beach bag.  However I found it is nice all-in-one purse and diaper bag.  I was getting frustrated with carrying both a purse and an industrial looking diaper bag.  Turns out the pockets in this sling are perfect for a bottle for the baby and a bottle of water for me. 

Funny enough, as I have been carrying it around town I have had a few people stop me to ask me where I got the bag.  My mom, sisters and two friends have already put in orders for their own bags.  How rewarding is it when something you make gets so much attention?  I love it. 

Anyway...that leaves me cutting out sling patterns and binding for the next few days.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Quilting it up

For Christmas, just a month after I caught the quilting bug, my husband gave me some fabric and said "make something."  Well, I had been stalking Crazy Mom Quilts Blog and LOVE so many of her amazing quilts.  It was so hard deciding which to try.  In the end, I couldn't help but brazenly copy her whirlygiggle quilt.

I don't know about you, but when I start making a quilt, I often have noidea where it is going to end up.  Let me take you through one of the many decisions I agonized over with this one.  I loved the colors in the blocks, but couldn't help wondering...was it too plain?  

First Idea: just join the blocks.  Its clean and simple and lets the fabric colors really play with each other. 
Second Idea: Use sashing...maybe orange?  This would give a direction to the quilt, but I'm not sure I like where it is going.

Third Idea: Use sashing...maybe brown? Better, I am not loving it as much as the contrast of the fabrics against the white background.  Simple option #1 it is.

Now that I have sewn the front together it is time for my favorite part...what should I do with the back?  As I mentioned in an earlier post, piecing the back is so freeing and fun.   Who cares if you do something you don't like...its the back!  So don't agonize over it, just try something new and it is guaranteed to be more interesting than just a single fabric on the whole back. 

Here were my options for the back (if you look close you can see my ancient 1971 PAFF machine in there ;-)  Though the orange didn't make it on the front, I figured the back was the perfect place for my orange print.

Back Option 1: Asymmetrical with leftover blocks

Back Option 2: Stripy blocks

Back Option 3: Square Inset Panel (this is what half of it would look like)

I have to admit, this choice won out because I had never done an inset panel before. It was really fun to sew.  It may be hard to see in this photo, but the multi-fabric border is sewn from wonky blocks that are smaller versions of the wonky pinwheels on the front.  I'm really happy with the way this turned out.  You'll see the final pictures when I have finished the quilt.

That brings me to today, and today I am doing the machine quilting.  I decided to quilt diagonal lines spaced randomly across the top.  Here's the quilting in progress, stay tuned for the final pictures once it is all complete.

Hopefully I can finish quilting it today and get to the binding tomorrow.  With an 8 week old baby boy here at home that is pretty optimistic!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Max's Quilt(s)

So how often have you gotten to the end of your piecing your quilt top and you realize that a) you have 8 blocks left over or b) you have so many perfect scraps left over? I swear that happens to me every time, and I cannot resist making a baby quilt or a wall hanging from the leftovers. And funny enough, I usually like my second quilt better than the planned one. I feel more free to be creative or to try new things when I am making the second version, because if I screw up, its ok...cause it's a bonus quilt.

Here are some pictures of the quilt I made for my son and a bonus over one too. I used mostly Kona solids with a few subtle prints thrown in. I LOVE the bright solid blue border and how it stands out against the white sashing. It makes me think of summer.

Coloring Outside the Lines (hand quilted with lots of love for Max)

Here is the back, where I randomly pieced this key board effect. I was inspired by this Denyse Schmidt quilt and figured I would try it on the back. Aren't quilt backs the best place to try new things?

High Tide (my solo first machine quilting)Here is the second one, which I used slightly brighter prints (I love the numbers and wavy green lines) and decided to try my hand at machine quilting. I love the movement that the wavy quilted lines give to this quilt.

I have this quilt and a matching pillo for sale here:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

HI, I'm Katie

It all started five months ago. I was I was about 4 months prego with my son Max (who is now an adorable 6 weeks old) when the old nesting instinct set in. They say that pregnancy inspires the urge to clean, decorate and "feather your nest." Funny thing is, for the most part I wasn't that interested in cleaning. My nesting instinct found a totally unexpected outlet...quilting!

Yep, my mom gave me her old stretch-297 PAFF sewing machine last November and suggested I make a christmas quilt. If you don't recongize the name, don't be surprised, she got it in 1971, before i was even born. Surprisingly it is a great machine with nice straight stitches and no fancy and confusing computer stuff to intimidate a novice quilter. So I began to sew...and sew...and sew. My husband started using words like 'manic' and 'obsessed' when he saw me head to the dining room to sew.

I had some fabric left over from my quilt so I made a holiday table runner (instructions on the moda website) and my mom showed me how to do machine applique and i finished just in time to host 16 people for Christmas dinner.

I loved working with these modern Christmas prints that are so different than the traditional fabrics I am used to seeing in quilts. It got me thinking...maybe there are more modern quilts out there...

A few google searches later and I was hooked on Denyse Schmidt and all of those yummy quilts posted on Fresh Modern Quilts. Its wonderful to find that there is a whole generatin of quilters out there working with bright inspiring fabrics and modern designs. I heart modern quilting!

Though I learned to sew as a kid, I never did more than a small project here and there. But with the help of youtube tutorials and other helpful blogs out there (and a lot of tips from my quilting mom) I've been busy. I've made 5 quilts in the last 5 months and I'm sewing the rows together for my 6th quilt today. Stay tuned and I'll show you the baby quilts I made for Max, inspired by Denyse Schmidt of course!

It is great to meet you all. My hope for this blog is to share the fun of making modern quilts with you and to show a newbie quilter growing in this great craft!