April 29th, 2009 |
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For our Grandmother’s 80th birthday, we knew we needed to make it extra special! Tracy came up with some great ideas for the party and I was in charge of the cake. Since she is a quilter (and has taught at least 3 of her granddaughters this amazing gift) the theme for the cake was decided on pretty quickly. Sandy suggested filling each square with a memory of Grandma’s (date of birth, marriage to Pop Pop, etc.) but I was too overwhelmed to pull that off!
The cake was one layer Chocolate, one Vanilla, a White Chocolate Mousse filling, Buttercream frosting and fondant decoration. Here is what we came up with for the final product:
The design is actually a reproduction of a square in my “Twin Quilt” which was made by Grandma when my twin brother and I were born. The heart detail was surrounding each square on the quiilt and worked wonderfully into the sides of the cake:
I wasn’t completely satisfied with the corners but since it wasn’t for a client, I didn’t let it make me crazy. I thought Grandma would have given me tips on piecing the corners better but she refrained.
I wasn’t looking forward to doing the stitching detail but it was actually finished pretty quickly and was well worth it! It really pulled the whole quilt together and was also copied stitch by stitch from the “Twin Quilt.” …well, maybe not stitch by stitch… but the design is the same!
April 26th, 2009 |
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I made two simple gifts this past week, and I want to share the photos. The first one I made was a modified version of Betz White’s shoe bag pattern. I made a similar one for my younger sister for Easter, and I had leftover fabric to make this one for a colleague’s birthday. I mistakenly cut the fabric 8 inches instead of 18, so I decided the bags would hold sweet treats instead of shoes!
I should have taken a photo of the bag with its contents – tea, soaps, and dark chocolate! Next time I think I will make it a little bigger/taller to include a bottle of wine! It was a relatively simple pattern, although I wish I had a serger to make it even easier to put together. I might try to make a few smaller ones for Christmas presents later this year.
This bag below was also fun to make. A friend’s three year old loves purses, so I appliqued a P to repurpose a yellow bag for a simple gift with a book and bubbles inside.
The bag was from a party favor I had been given at a family reunion, and it was just sitting on a shelf unused, so I am happy it has a cheerful new life!
Hope you all had a lovely weekend!
April 20th, 2009 |
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For a friend’s birthday, I was requested to make a coconut cake. I had never made one but tweaked a few different recipes and came up with a great tasting, super easy to make, coconut cake!
Here is the recipe:
- 1 cup butter
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Icing:
- 1 1/2 cup Sugar
- 1 1/2 cup Sour Cream
- 1 bag of Coconut (14 oz.)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 2 – 8 inch round pans. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pans.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly tapped. Cool 15 minutes before turning out onto cooling racks.
- Once cool, you can ice the cake. Combine the icing ingredients in a bowl and mix well (by hand works great). Lay the first layer on your serving dish and generously cover the top in icing. Place the second round on top and ice the tops and sides.
Now, go and make this for dessert tonight! You will not regret it!
April 10th, 2009 |
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I have been going through photos of quilts made over the past few years. My college roommate, Joy, and I made this quilt for a friend and her husband. While Jessica and David were married in 2005, we just gave the finished quilt to Jessica over two years later. We knew Jessica’s favorite colors were purple and green, and this photo really does not illustrate how vibrant and bright the colors were and such a great contrast to the white background.
The quilt was machine quilted with an all over floral design. This photo is a bit dark, but you can see the detail in the machine quilting pattern (we hired a long arm quilter).
This pinwheel piecing pattern was much more challenging than I had anticipated, so it was really satisfying to finish and pass it on to start its life becoming a family heirloom. I hope Jessica and David are still enjoying it!
April 1st, 2009 |
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I used to love trains when I was little. I even had my own trainset on a table. My Dad had a huge one (I remember it huge – it was probably only 10′ x 5′ or something) and he set me up one like his. It had a little landscaping and maybe a mountain or two. My favorite part was the little farm with John Deere tractors on it. I’ll have to ask my parents if they have any pictures of it!
So, from this mini digression, you can probably tell I was super excited about the prospect of making a cake with a train on it. (Dad would be so proud!) Christopher was turning 9 and wanted a cake with a big kid train on it. This is what he got:
I have to give credit to Chandler – she did most (all) of the work. But it was fun project. Christopher’s name in fondant was too big to fit on the cake so it stayed in the front. The grass was my favorite detail – and took some time to get right. Everything is edible – the trees and rocks included.
The sand is super easy to make – mix white sugar and brown sugar until you like the consistency!
The trees were our first attempt. Super secret of the day: You can find videos on YouTube that will teach you how to do just about anything – including making trees out of fondant!
I guess I’ll have to make Ethan a train cake someday!