Sunday, February 21, 2010

I'm an applique addict.

When I'm away from home on holiday, I have plenty of time to ponder which projects I'll tackle when I get back. This was the one I was wanting to play with, the stars and sprigs. I've done two new blocks this last week and I enjoyed every single stitch. Applique is usually on the top of the list, I never get bored with doing it.
I made a few star blocks as well. Here's the progress shot,  it's looking mighty fine to me, I love it!
These ones were my practice blocks that I did before I settled on doing the quilt in Westminster fabrics.I'm sure the orphan blocks will come in handy some day. Gosh, that sounds like a seaoned hoarder talking.
My thread carrier is a bit large and cumbersome to cart around when I go on holiday or to my stitching group so I decided I needed a smaller, more convenient option. These prewound bobbins fit the bill operfectly. I wish I had got them a long time ago. I got these three sets from Piece O' Cake along with the donut to store them. You can also get them directly from Superior Threads. The thread is a  quality 50 weight, two ply and they perform beautifully for applique.
All 36 threads in the three sets fit in the donut, so transportable!
On an unrelated note, this past week, I decided to start up a new sourdough bug for my breadmaking. My new pet project.
I've never had a problem making an initial starter before but this one is being stubborn and lazy. It's showing slight signs of life but is still pretty dormant. I even put it next to a bowl of grapes to tease it into gathering more wild yeast spores. That didn't work so I draped some grapes over the top of the jar, lol.

A member of the family was a baker and he happened to stop by today and he gave me a couple of tips to try. I added some bread improver and some rye flour to give it a boost. I'll give you an update next time but so far I think I spy some shy bubbles under the surface. Because it is a living thing, a lot of bread bakers give a name to their sourdough starters. I think I shouild call this one bubbles so it doesn't get a complex about being a runt at the start of life.

If you want to obtain a starter, try asking at a bakery that bakes sourdough, they're usually happy to sell you some. I know Bakers Delight in Australia will. I'm not a fan of the really sour chewy bread but I love the milder flavour so I will adjust my baking to accomodate my tastes.
You can get a whole lot of information at Breadtopia.

62 comments:

Sarah said...

I love the stars and sprigs - in both colourways! I've always wanted to make my own bread with real starter, so thanks for the link to breadtopia. I'm going there now. :-)

Dixie said...

Your stars and sprigs is lovely [ the applique just sings! We have always loved sourdough, but I have never made my own starter. We can get really good Boudin sourdough bread here - apparently their starter originated during the California Gold Rush days.

My Mom used to make really delicious sourdough pancakes with thickened blueberry topping. Hmm, may have to get some starter going!!!

John'aLee said...

Your work is absolutely gorgeous.
Have you seen the book that came out last year (I think it was) on making bread in 5 minutes. Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day. Its an awesome way to do it. You make it....stir it together(no kneading) let it sit out on the counter overnight and then put it in the fridge and take out however much you need at a time. It keeps for 2 weeks and the longer it is in the fridge the more sour it gets. My friend swears by it. The authors have come out with a new book this last year as well. If you want more info, let me know, and when I get home from this quilt show I am at, I will send you the info.
Keep up the great work!

Kim said...

Gorgeous!!! As always! Beautiful work!

Christine said...

your stars and sprigs blocks are coming along great,I love both colourways.

Oh yes sourdough, we too somtime have problems with the starter.

cheers
Christine

Pauline said...

Hi Janet...
Love the colours in your applique... just found your blog and love it..
cheers

Peg - Happy In Quilting said...

Gorgeous blocks Janet.

Julia said...

Your stars and sprigs blocks are coming along great,I love them all..
I think I'll leave the bread making to the baker..though I do love to eat it!
Julia ♥

Lurline said...

Your applique is just gorgeous - love the idea of the bobbins and yes, I think Bubbly will be just fine!
Hugs - Lurline♥

Shirley said...

Hi Janet,
Your work is always a pleasure to look at. I too use those threads from Piece o Cake and they are great to use, they seem to blend in with so many fabrics.
Shirley.x

PatchworkRose said...

Thankyou Janet re the information on the sourdough. I had tried to make a starter before using the recipe on Jenny of http://elefantz.blogspot.com/
but failed and I think it was because of the unseasonal Hot weather we were having. Plan to try again as soon as the weather cools. I was using Rye flour too.
Just adore your applique and Kaffe. Will be watching this quilts progress :-)
Happy stitching
Lynne

Notjustnat said...

Your stars and sprigs quilt is coming along very nicely. It's beautiful. I'm still waiting for her pattern to be on sale, but nothing yet. Not that I have time to start anything new. Thanks for sharing the threads info.
Hugs
Nat

Quilts on Bastings said...

Your applique is absolutely amazing - this is going to be another awesome quilt!

PatchCreationen said...

Wonderful colours and fabrics !
Greetings
Carola

Carol said...

Janet your applique is just AMAZING!!

Isadarena said...

Hi Janet, I love your so cheerful aplique colors and like you, I am really an applique addict .
Have a great week-end,
Isa

Lynne said...

I love your work. The stars and sprigs are lovely, but I particularly like your header. In fact my husband picked up the lap top to use it and it was open on your header and he said how nice it was. He doesn't often comment on quilts unless they are exceptional!

Stephanie said...

I'm so glad you're an applique addict then I can live vicariously through you! Just gorgeous work always. Breadtopia...sound like I need to visit. Nothing better than fresh homemade bread and CHEESE.

Jackie said...

I know why you love applique, it is because you are just so good at it!! I admire your work, it is always lovely. I wish I had that skill. Another skill I don't have is baking bread, so I am no help there either.

Linda said...

Janet, I think I'm so attracted to your designs because you go for the brights, like those Westminster prints. I have very few of those in my stash, and you have such a wonderful assortment. I'm sure I have fabric-envy. Forgive me. I'll try not to gush so much over your wonderful pieces, but they ARE a treat to see.

Mimi said...

I absolutely love your applique. Your fabric choices are perfect. One of my fabric blocks are the star blocks so to incorporate those with your beautiful applique is just perfect. This quilt is one of those that is going to make anyone smile. Love it!

ranette said...

I think I hear those "orphan blocks" calling my name...saying mama, mama....lol

Seriously...Janet your work is always a treat to see....love the stars and sprigs, just love it!

I'm not much of a bread maker, but thinking about it got my mouth to watering...lol....so I may have to give it a go.

Crispy said...

WOW Janet, I'm lovin' your sprigs and stars. The fabrics you are using are soooo yummy!! Every time I come by and see you beautiful applique it tempts me to drop the hand quilting and get back to applique.

Crispy

Terrie Sandelin said...

So beautiful! I love them in the Westminster fabrics. You are really an inspiration!

Beth D said...

Really beautiful!

Darlene said...

Another wonderful beauty, Janet. I haven't done any applique in months and months - sigh! I think the fact that I have so many unfinished applique projects keeps me from working on those or starting a new one. Bigger Sigh!

Did I tell you that I'm going to move into the Taj Mahal (next door) so I can peek in your window. LOL

Maggey and Jim said...

Good morn.
That bobbin thingy is a good idea.. Glad you passed that on.. I absolutely love your applique and choice of colors..It is beautiful..
Maggey

Nyla said...

Your stars & sprigs is looking wonderful!! I love the fabrics you settled on! Do the Superior bobbin threads you are using disappear as you stitch as well as silk thread? I'm currently using YLI silk and love how it performs but would love the convenience of the bobbin option as well as the color selection. What do you think? Hope your bread starter continues to gurgle to life!

Juliann said...

I have that applique addiction too. I can't seem to get enough of it. I love the idea of having the threads on the bobbins. I could wind my own in the colors I need and make my projects more portable. Thanks!

Karen said...

I never would have guessed that you are an applique addict. LOL!

Nedra said...

Knowing the beautiful work you do with applique, it's nice to see you are using Superior Threads. I love their Frosted Donuts (with MasterPiece) to carry around for applique also. They just came out with Holy SuperBob (with BottomLine) just a few months ago, too, for those who like a finer weight thread for applique.
Such an amazing company to work for. They are designing a silk thread that will be coming out very soon, and it will also be wonderful to applique with. Make sure to watch for it.

Vivian said...

Your applique work and fabric selections mesmerize me. It's always a joy to check out your latest project. Thanks for my color/applique fix for the morning.

julieQ said...

It's OK, the first step is admission of the applique addiction...but do we really want help? LOL! I love applique too. I am so intrigued by your bread...dare not start any, due to the weight watchers diet I am on...

Fiesta said...

as usual your applique is always so beautiful. Like you I tend to grafitate towards it too.

YankeeQuilter said...

Love the bobbin idea for carrying applique threads! I've been using the Artisan Breads in 5 minute a day and love it! If your sourdough gets stubborn on you give this new method a try!

Kaaren said...

I can think of worse addictions, Janet. (wink) May I join your AA (Applique Anonymous) club?

Aren't those thread bobbins the greatest? They are just the perfect size for carrying around.

Barb said...

I just love applique and your blocks are wonderful!

wishes, true and kind said...

If you're an appliqué addict, may you never be cured! Your work is just wonderful!

Barb said...

I'm an addict too -
Love the star blocks and I can almost smell the sour dough starter - yummy!

Janet said...

As always, I love your applique. You really make the best use of the print when planning and cutting each shape. The mix of stars and sprigs is a great balance, showing off the applique.

Sue-Anne said...

I'm addicted to applique too. Your blocks look wonderful - I can't believe you did all those practise blocks! Good luck with the bread making.

Munaiba said...

Gosh your work is really lovely Janet. I'm a real fan of Westminster fabrics and I love the way you've fussy cut them.

Jayne said...

I, too, am in love with applique, but I sure cannot do it as beautifully as you! I'm all thumbs when I make any attempts! It just takes diligence and practice, I'm sure. I also love, love, love Westminster fabrics! You have good taste, times 2! :-)
Jayne

Janet said...

I love your stars and sprigs quilt so far. Your practice blocks are great too. I like all the fussy cutting you're doing in all of it.

Robin said...

Mmm... there is nothing in the world like fresh-baked bread. I've never been brave enough to actually create a starter though. Sounds like an adventure!

Your applique blocks are gorgeous!!! I love how they are looking with the stars, all in the Westminster fabrics. So lovely. And I have no doubt you'll find a wonderful way to use those experimental blocks. :)

MrsQuilts said...

Just gorgeous applique blocks. I love the way you fussy cut your fabrics. That's two of those bobbin holders I've seen this week. Must get onto one of those they look like just the think for an addict of applique! Thanks for feeding the habit!
Kathryn

be*mused jan said...

This quilt is going to be fabulous, Janet! And thanks for that thread tip...going to order the selection now.

QuiltedSimple said...

your applique and star blocks look fantastic!
Kris

Thimbleanna said...

Oh Janet! Your applique is always so beautiful! I love the switch to Westminster! I also love that bobbinsaver idea -- that's VERY cool!

Karen said...

Love the sprigs Janet and how you fussy cut. The bobbin idea is a good one.

Quilting Queen said...

Beautiful work...Applique is my favorite as well. It started out as a pastime to keep my hands occupied when I had to spend time away from my quit room and grew into a passion. I've tried machine applique but always go back to hand work. Are you a machine or hand work officianado?

Dawn said...

I have the BobbinSaver in my applique bag too ~ it works great! And I'm loving your project with the applique and star blocks :)

rainey said...

Re: your sourdough starter: Did you by chance use chlorinated water in it? I don't like to be too precious about bread making because I think yeast scares a lot of people and DEmythologizing is the way to go. That said, however, I try never to use chlorinated water because it's all about killing off tiny organisms like, for example, yeasts.

Rye flour was a good idea. I hope that ressusitates it for you.

Jenni said...

Come on Bubbles, you can do it! Maybe she needs to go to Baker;s Delight for a field trip to get her going. Your applique is beautiful, isn't it nice to have something to do that you really love?

Carrie P. said...

I love the setting of stars and applique in both versions of fabrics. Lovely.
I have all those threads in a donut too. I really like them and they are great to carry for the "on the go" projects.

Sherri said...

I'm glad you're addicted to applique' because I love seeing your work! I have one of those Superior Threads donuts as well and absolutely love it!

Deb said...

I love the stars and sprigs Janet - you are using the fabric in such a beautiful way - a true artist. Can't wait to see more.

sewpam63 said...

You bowl me over with your talents!? Your applique projects are smashing!!! And, sourdough bread too...it's my FAVORITE! ; )

Rhondi said...

Hi Janet
The blocks look so much better in the Westminster fabrics. You made a good chice there.I like applique too, but have only done freezer paper methocd where you glue it then slit the back wet it and take it out. What method do you do? That thread idea is perfect!
Hugs, Rhondi

Ann Champion said...

I just love the way you are able to get the perfect part of the print worked into your applique. It really makes it come to life! I like the first batch of stars..but the second ones are a bit lighter and brighter? Those first ones will come in handy some day..and were good practice? (Seasoned hoarder/justifier here).;)

I rarely do any sewing on the go..but those bobbins of thread look like a great way to go?

I've never tried making my own bread. I'm curious to see how it works out for you.

Rose Marie said...

I loved the old stars/applique blocks, but this new fabric is wonderful and sure gives those blocks a different fresh look.

I've been using my bobbin ring for a few years now for applique. It is great for travelling.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

I love my thread donut. So handy. Your blocks are so lovely.