Lazy all the day

I am going to be really freaking lazy and direct you to my wonderful buddy Carol’s blog for a wrap up of our Happy Zombie aka Monica Solorio-Snow visit this past weekend! Go have a look, start at that post & work your way forward through the awesomeness…. So much fun! You might also want to check out this post which captures the true essence of our guild and what the weekend was all about.

You see, I always forget to take photos. I have best intentions but I always forget!

Here’s the only ones I got, my favorite is at the end… you can tell what I like by what I did take photos of, food!

on the bus

We rented a bus to take us around on our shop hop on the Friday. Genius idea. We started at Hamels Fabrics in Chilliwack, then worked out way into the city.

image Daiso!! need I say more?

imageLunch at the food court is always an experience. This was quite yummy. Carol ate tentacles, gurgle….

But I came for the bubble tea, baybee!
imageI CRAVE this stuff, fresh watermelon juice with coconut jelly “bubbles”. I don’t like the big black tasteless (booger-esque) pearls- did I just say that outloud? Coconut jelly for the win! Juice King at Yaohan Mall is the best.

image

Then Spool of Thread  in Vancouver. You shoulda seen the looks on the street when our bus rolled up, so funny! The we headed back to the valley to My Little Quilt Shop in the Woods in Maple Ridge (no website). Super cute store, then Cactus Club for dinner, in Abbotsford, then home.

I bought a good amount of stuff, but you know what, I unusually put it all away already. No pic. See? Lazy.

Then on the Saturday we did a workshop with Monica and it was so much fun. She did a trunk show & show & tell for us,

image and we had a potluck lunch, yums!
photo 2But the best part, Monica brought her Ron Swanson quilt! OMG!

Ron Swanson quilt by Happy Zombie!http://thehappyzombie.com/blog/?p=593We are big Ron Swanson fans around here so I asked if I could get a photo of Monica and me with the quilt, swoon… she said she hasn’t washed it as it has his “essence” on it still, sooooo awesome!

And look, the actor, Nick Offerman, aka Ron Swanson, signed it too!

photo 5Love! What a wonderful weekend, full of fun, laughs, and love!

We also got Monica addicted to dill pickle chip dip. Heehee! Yum!

Much fun had by all, we were so lucky to have shared such a fun weekend with our new honourary FVMQG member! I miss her already!

Modern Metallics Challenge

Our guild, the Fraser Valley Modern Quilt Guild, is participating in a challenge thru the Pacific Northwest Guilds, called Modern Metallics. Each participant can enter their quilt for consideration to be in a show in Portland called Quilt! Knit! Stitch! in the summer. The challenge is sponsored by Robert Kaufman- yay!- and they generously they supplied each participating guild with some gorgeous fabrics called Quilters Linens, that have hits of metallic gold on them.

Making up bundles for the Modern Metallics Challenge with gorgeous Quilters Linen Metallics from @robertkaufman for the QuiltKnitStitch PNWMQGs challenge! Can't wait to distribute these beauties tomorrow night, big thanks to @teresacoates and @robertkaufm

Beautiful, right?

When I got my bundle, right away I thought of rain clouds so that became my theme for my quilt.

Part of my Modern Metallics challenge quilt in progress! #pnwguilds #robertkaufman #modernmetallicsI’m kind of obsessed with making curves and using scrappy strips to make shapes. These are the rain clouds. I used a lot of the metallics fabric and in some parts I used the wrong side of the fabric as the right side. Sometimes if you flip the fabric over, there’s some cool stuff going on on the back. The texture/print still shows through and it gives a new dimension to it!

I also wanted to incorporate words in this quilt, and Norm is a massive Beatles fan, so he suggested a Beatles song, perfectly entitled “Rain”.

A special hand painted insert for a special quilty project! #beatles #rain #quilt  #modernmetallics

So I set about making a handpainted strip to insert into the quilt layout. I used the wrong side of the quilter’s linen for this, so it still has the texture but not the metallic which would  be distracting behind the lettering.

My original intention was to make the quilt have an actual scalloped bottom edge.

Modern Metallics PNW MQGs challenge, top is almost done, just figuring out borders hmmm! #modernmetallics #robertkaufman #pnwguilds #fvmqg

But as I looked at it on the design wall I felt it was too narrow and not in the proportion I wanted, and it needed some kind of border. I’d already cut the bottom edge. Make it work!

All pinned and ready for hand stitching! #robertkaufman #modernmetallics #pnwguilds #fvmqg

So I appliqued the entire thing onto a big piece of background! The fabric I used for the background is actually shirting material. I found it on sale at the local fabric store for $6/m. Say what, shirting material? Yup! I chose it mostly for the colour, and it has a lovely subtle texture throughout. I noticed that it almost gives the illusion of silk or a lawn fabric. But it’s also dirt cheap. And super wide so you get a lot of bang for your buck. and it holds a nice pressed crease.

Doing hand stitching tonight! #modernmetallics #robertkaufman  #fvmqg #pnwguildsI never prewash my fabrics (who has time to iron afterwards!) but this stuff shrinks like crazy I noticed as I steam/pressed it, so I prewashed/dried it. I think it gives the perfect texture to the quilt.

For the back, I had found a super cool sheet at the thrift store, with Beatles-ish style guitars. Perfect!

Back view with Beatles-ish guitars !I also did a strip with credit for the lyrics of the song, and inserted it into the back piece along with some strips of the metallic fabric and a label.

So now I’ve started quilting it!

The helpers!I’m doing it by hand with perle cotton. Once that’s done I have some lovely subtle sparklies to add to it then it’s done! Are sparkles on a quilt “modern”? I think so if used in the right way. There seems to be a trend starting to appear with some modern quilters, with a lot more “handmade” touches, like hand stitching and embellishing. If used in a more artful way- and not as the major focus of  a piece, I think it’s modern. that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

I’ll report back once it’s finished, should be very soon!

Tonight is our monthly guild meeting and this weekend we have Happy Zombie in da hood! SO excited! On that note, gotta run, meeting night always entails a bit more extra work behind the scenes. More as it happens!

Making macarons, I really think so!

Making macarons first time ever! & they aren't hard to do !!

Ok so. Macarons, those yummy frenchie sweetie cookies that everyone says mais non! C’est trés difficile! Non non!
They’ve been on my must try to make list for ages, but everything I’ve read about them says they are finicky and hard and you have to do all this ageing of the eggwhites and on and on…

I did a bit of searching online using my favorite technique to search for recipes, try adding “Best” before you type in what you’re looking for, so I typed in “Best macaron recipe” and I found one. And it works!
I tell you what, they are super easy. So oui oui!

My macaron bakery today!

Check it out here: http://bakeat350.blogspot.ca/2013/02/mad-for-macarons.html

Watch this video too, it has some super handy tips, especially about how the batter should look before you pipe it.

The tricky part is the timing. The recipe says to bake for 11-12 minutes but after 8 mine were done. I suppose it might vary according to your oven but also to what size you pipe them out to be. Mine were fairly small. Just keep an eye on them.
Apparently there was a run on almond flour the same day I wanted to buy some so I used almond meal & threw it in the food processor to really grind it up, worked just fine.

The funnest part is choosing colours and flavours to make! These I added powdered lemon to the batter, and made lemon buttercream for the filling with a daub of lemon jelly in the middle- delish!

Pink lemonade, with lemon buttercream and lemon jelly inside, yum!

The orangey coloured ones above I filled with this stuff- sooooo good.

Bought this to use for macaron filling, I have heard it's rather addictive! ?? I’ll be making more this week to take to our  very special guild meeting this week! yay! More on that when it happens!

Happy macaron-ing!

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