Saturday, December 5, 2009

Time out

It's coming up to the silly season and I've been so busy that I haven't even had much time to catch up on some blog reading. All of our Christmas shopping has been done but I still have the wrapping and posting to do yet.

I took some time out yesterday to play and when I'm in the mood to play, I do whatever I feel like. A small project is just the ticket to have some fun. This is fun with fusible, some raw edge stitching and a bit of machine trapunto.
I'm a bit rusty with the machine quilting but as we say in our sewing group, blind man Freddy would be happy with it. I'm sure a little two year old would be too. It's going to be a small cushion and the pattern is from Kellie at Don't Look Now
I couldn't finish it off for the want of a zip but I'll show it again when I do.
On a whim I decided to make the family recipe for a rich dark Christmas cake. Really it needs to be made about six weeks ahead to let the flavours mature and to make cutting it easier. Note the special ingredient on the right? I had no brandy in the pantry but I tell you, the Cointreau I used is probably better.
This is the first time I've used a cake box, it's made of Native New Zealand wood called Kahikatea. The theory is that the cake won't dry out as much around the edges and cooks more evenly. You also don't have to line it as heavily. I've seen these boxes online in the States but with a different wood. I won't know how good it worked until it's cut.
My house smells like Christmas today.
I've been dragging my feet over this vine panel for the Susan McCord quilt but I'm loving it when I get a chance to sit and sew with it. Two branches down out of eleven, I'll get there.This is how far I got with the star quilt, I'm leaving it alone until the New Year now that I'm happy with the direction it's going in.

I hope you all get some time out for yourselves this week. Until next time, happy stitching!
P.S I had to put the word verification back for comments, I started getting spam.

52 comments:

Amelia said...

Stars and Sprigs is looking fantastic! Pillow looks great!

Heleen said...

It all looks so pretty! I can almost smell your baking!

Robyn said...

Wow, you go girl!!
I keep saying it but boy I mean it... I love everything you do!!

Will look forward to hearing about the cake...sounds wonderful.

Kathie said...

oh my heart is just LOVING the SM vine
yes oh yes I will get to that soon!
The pillow is adorable!
she will love it.
congrats on getting the shopping done, mine is almost done too!
OH the cake looks so interesting never heard of a cake box, looks like I am missing something good!

Cathy said...

Oh Wow Janet, even when you are busy doing other things you get heaps done. Your quilting looks fabulous what a beautiful pattern. xo

Carol said...

Love the pillow! Oh and your Stars and Sprigs is getting to be wonderful! And Susan McCord...OMG! Incredible!!!!!!!!!!!
I can smell the cake!

luv2quilt2 said...

I've never heard of a cake box, but I'm going to have to look one up. I love your applique, and I can't wait to see the vine block.

Crispy said...

I too have never heard of a cake box. I love the little cushion piece, that pattern is adorable. For a gal that is super busy, you certainly have gotten a lot accomplished!!

Crispy

Jackie said...

As soon as I saw the first photo, I said to myself that looks just like something Kellie from Don't Look Now would do. It is just lovely!! I love how all your projects are turning out. But mostly interested in the cake. I have never heard or seen a cakebox before. It sounds very interesting. I bet the cake is delicious!

Fiesta said...

Janet I love the don't look now pillow. I have the pattern but have not started it yet. Great inspiration. I must say that your chocolate cake sounds like a dream.

Barb said...

Is the cake like fruit cake? I adore fruit cake.
Your vine looks amazing! I would love to do this quilt some day - thanks for the inspiration!
barb

Quilt Hollow said...

As always wonderful eye candy here and can thoroughly understand needing to break away to get much needed things finished up! Enjoy your holidays!!

BUMBLE BEANS said...

so many pretty projects! And I've never heard of a cake box! interesting. learn something new every day! my weekends gets me away form my sewing machines as I don't have one at my house, only in the city loft... this is good because then I sit and hand sew... my peace!

Lori said...

I always love your projects! So bright and cheerful. I'm sure the recipient of the pillow won't be checking out your stitches, although I think it looks great!!

Darlene said...

Love the pillow, Janet. YUM is the word to describe your posting today. :-)

Lurline said...

A lovely post again, Janet- I can smell the cake from here!
Hugs - Lurline♥

Juliann said...

Your vine, the new piece your are making, the machine applique - all amazing and wonderful! Those colors are just what I needed to see on the very dark, foggy and frosty morning. Now if I could only find a day to stay home and sew I would be a very happy woman.
p.s I do not mind word verification - better to keep your site safe

Susan said...

Blind man Freddy...too funny! I think anyone would be happy with that project...it's beautiful!

I've never heard of baking a cake in a wooden box...I'll be anxious to hear how it turned out!

Meredith said...

What a great gift. I love the pillow. Have fun with the machine quilting. I have not yet picked up my Mccord quilt. Maybe for 2010.Seasonal baking is always a good thing.

Nedra said...

I love the smell of Christmas baking in our homes. Perfect to go with all the beautiful work you are doing on your machine and by hand. Sounds very cozy at your place.

YankeeQuilter said...

All your projects are so inspiring! I'll have to keep my eyes out for a cake box today when I go to the kitchen store. (Funny enough I am picking up a cedar plank there to cook salmon tonight!)

moramargaritaster said...

All your projects are really lovely.The pillow is cute..all things are awesome
Mmmm I can smell your cake.

imquilternity said...

I love every single project you're working on. You really do exquisite work!

Kaaren said...

I think I've solved the mystery of your incredible productivity, Janet. You don't sleep and each of your days has 100 hours! I knew I'd figure it out in due course! (wink)

I just love to look at what you're working on. Everything is truly gorgeous. Thanks as always for the inspiration.

Chookyblue...... said...

so the wood is obviously safe in the oven.............

word verification.....I have tried a few times to turn mine off then I get spam and so I turn it back on again.........then I get brave again and turn it off but this time I turn comment moderation on and changed it to moderate comments recieved in the last 7 days (most spam goes on older posts for me) the comments are then rejected by me and not posted.........

Carrie P. said...

Well, you know how to be very creative when you are having fun. The pillow is so cute.
Love your start quilt so far.

Dixie said...

Love all your projects, Janet! The cake box is new to me - please let us know how it turns out - I'm intrigued. Debating whether to make my grandma's family steamed Christmas pudding with sherry sauce this year ...

Dixie

Lissa Jane said...

Janet
we have a 100 + year old christmas cake/pudding recipe but none of us in our family likes christmas cake/pudding! shame really...
I love your projects, you always inspire me.. the cushion is lovely, Kellie's patterns are lovely and the one in the new homespun is just lovely too I just adore it and would make it if I had small boys... take care and best wishes to you..

Lissa
Newcastle


Lissa

Andi said...

Your 'Kellie' cushion is looking wonderful.
I'm jealous that all your Christmas shopping is done.
Andi x

Cardygirl said...

Gorgeous projects...love the cushion...enjoy the season...I am intrigued by the cake box!

Thimbleanna said...

Whew! Your blog posts always make me tired -- you get so much done! Love the cute new cushion top -- beautiful quilting. And the cake looks like fun -- that's a tradition I don't hear of much around here and I've never heard of a "cake box". Very interesting!
(Oh, and if only we could catch spammers - I'm thinking ripping their fingernails out with pliers wouldn't be punishment enough!!!)

Julia said...

It all looks so pretty! all that lovely quilting Janet..and even a yummy cake to boot!...
Loved reading your post..
Julia ♥

Quilts on Bastings said...

What a beautiful cushion - fabulous work!

alobsiger said...

So many lovely things to look at, Janet! LOVE the cushion! Gorgeous everything! That cake box looks so clever. Makes me want to make a cake!

SewCalGal said...

Fun post. I love your quilt...beautiful colors, fabrics & quilting. I hope you'll enter it in a quilt show! Absolutely inspirational!

Thanks for sharing.

SewCalGal
wwww.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

Mary Ann said...

Beautiful work!! Great idea with a wooden cake box! Never heard of that before!

Janet said...

Wow - you sure know how to play! I think your machine quilting looks great! I also LOVE the vines - oh that is going to be a marvelous quilt! And, a nice start on your stars and sprigs. Do you sleep?? :0)

Linda said...

What you can accomplish between posts is amazing. You must never sleep! Wonderful applique - Kellie's, Susan's - piecing, and baking. You're incredible.

Terrie Sandelin said...

Beautiful projects!! I love your fabric choices.

Robin said...

You are certainly never one to sit idle! The pillow looks fantastic, as does everything else (including the cake!). I've never heard of wooden cake boxes before. I'll be curious to hear how it works for you.

Rae Ann said...

I loved this post! The cushion is simply adorable! The cake sounds great...there is nothing better than the smell of Christmas in your house. I can't wait to see the star quilt finished...very pretty!

EJ180 said...

Oh, your pillow looks so wonderful. My DD's inital is the same, I'm need to purchase this pattern.

Marjorie said...

I am so glad to see that I'm not the only one to get distracted by the little, fun projects! I spent hours and hours this weekend hand quilting on a gigantic UFO with seemingly nothing to show for it.

QuiltedSimple said...

I love these - the pillow is fabulous and the Stars and Sprigs is looking great!
Kris

Karen said...

So sweet and such fun fabric! I love your vine and the star quilt is coming along nicely.

Mary said...

Love your big E - lucky little girl.

Corrie said...

oh my gosh! I have a new blog crush....on yours!!!!!!!!! wow! I'm going to add you to my favourites and take it all in!

I love it!

Corrie:)

Deb said...

Janet all these things look great. The SM vine looks terrific. As do the stars and sprigs. How do you manage to switch so easily between styles?

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Holy mackrel Janet you do everything well. I'm dying to push everything to the side and fun project myself.

seamstobeyouandme said...

The pillow is adorable - don't you just love the patterns from DLN? Your fabrics are so bright and fun! - Cindi

Rose Marie said...

Wow .... love what you are doing with the vine strip and the stars and applique is going to be lovely .... and what a gorgeous pillow!

Beth Karese said...

It looks like you've managed to find some fun at this busy time. I looked up wooden cake boxes... neat! Looks yummy.

The cushion is delightful! Love all the fussy cutting. I'm excited to see your progress on the star quilt.

(I'm catching up on blogs, and couldn't resist commenting on all the fun things you shared!)