Friday, October 30, 2009

A little crazy?? I think Not!

As I mention in my last post, I have decided to take part in a quilt challenge. ( albeit, against my better judgement)
What is a quilt challenge you ask?  Well it is when a bunch of quilters get together and challenge each other to make a quilt by a certain time. 
I have never done a challenge before, and I was eager to return to quilting and rejuvinate some of my quilting techniques.  (Despite the fact that I am terribly busy stocking my shelves for the holiday season and the upcoming craft shows and house parties...  why not add one more thing to my plate... right?)
Here is a picture of the model quilt.  It is a "Snowball" pattern, and can be done as a two tone (as seen here with the reds and creams) or it can be done with multi-colors.  I would like to do a two-tone, but I cannot decide which color to do. I am thinking of either red, blue, or green with the creams and whites.  Any suggestions??

The other aspect of this challenge is a fabric swap.   We were asked to look through our stash to find creams and light colors to swap with other quilters involved in the challenge.  I didn't have quite enough in my stash, so I purchased some and cut it up to send out to 7 other quilters all around the country.  It will be fun to see what fabric I get back in the mail from those same quilters.  Here is my fabric all ready to be packaged and mailed off to the happy recipients.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A day of inspiration

I have a couple of friends that I love to sew with, and every once in a while we get together for a day of sewing.  Our day usually includes sharing our most recent projects, discussing new ideas, and testing out new techniques.  Chris and Heather (Mother and Daughter) are both amazing quilters and full of wonderful ideas and techniques.  On our latest sewing day we got to play with a ne product called Texture Magic.  It sure was like Magic, and it inspired lots of ideas of how we could incorporate this exciting product into our work.  We also brainstormed a new idea for a fabulous Purse-icke bag... so stay tuned for more info. on that.  I was also convinced to sign up for a quilt challenge. (Like I need another project)  But this particular quilt challenge really intruigued me, and I think it will be fun to participate.  So, again, stay tuned for more updates on that adventure.

Texture Magic in action:


Fabric Fabric Fabric!!

I ordered a whole bunch of fabric last week, in desperate attempt to restock my shelves after I sold half my inventory at the first Purse-Icke Party a couple of weeks ago.  All of the wonderful fabric arrived in the mail today! It was like Christmas morning opening the packages of wonderful, beautiful fabric...  So much fabric, so little time...  So if you call and I don't answer, you will know why...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Favorite Color??

I am curious to know what your favorite colors are?  What colors are you most drawn to this season when you are out shopping for clothes or accesories? It can be one color, or a color combination.  I would love to know!
My all time favorite color is green!!  And lately I really love brown.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I LOVE clean floors!

 I love my floors to be clean... who doesn't?  It just makes the whole house feel cleaner.  One of my biggest pet peeves is stains on the carpet, and a dirty kitchen floor.  I have to just get over the stains on the carpet in our house because are carpet is SO light in color is shows everything. No matter how often we shampoo the carpets, they just get dirty again very soon.
We also have light colored tile in our entry way and kitchen.  I let the tile go for longer than I would like because I just detest cleaning it.  We have this large mop (you know the kind with the big hairy ropes that you dip into the bucket and wring out...).  It is such a pain to mop, and then I have to go back over the floor with a towel just to sop up all the remaining water.  Sometimes I will let it go so long that my husband will get tired of it and clean it himself. 
For quite a while now I have been wanting to get a steam cleaner for my tile floors.  A friend introduced me to the Shark steam cleaner, and I have been dreaming about it ever since. I love the idea of cleaning without any chemicals, and the ease of using steam!
Just last week my husband was helping a friend work on her house, and she told him about a steam cleaner that she loved.  So as a thank-you blessing to my husband, this friend sent him home with a brand new Wagner Steam Cleaner 960!!  This thing is fabulous!  It not only steams the floors, it has a grout cleaner, an uphostry cleaner, and it even removes wall-paper (not that I have any of that to worry about).  I tested it out this morning... and Ta-Da!!... a clean floor in less time, with less mess... and the best part... (besides the fact that it was free to us) is No Chemicals!!!   Yeah for clean, chemical free floors!! So whether you use a Shark, or a Wagner, I highly suggest going with the steam!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A tradition from generation to generation

As a young girl, my mother and her best friend began a tradition of canning applesauce in the Fall when the local apples were in season. They would let their respective daughters help them run the apples through the food mill. We would watch in amazement as the applesauce came out the other side.  Now, years later the daughters are carrying on the same tradition.  I have known Rachelle since we were about six, and now that we live in the same town again, we decided to carry on the Fall applesauce making tradition.
This year, our second year of applesauce making, we decided to add marinara sauce to the canning repertoire.  As the rain poured down outside we donned our aprons and began peeling, coring, chopping, boiling, and milling.  Canning can sometimes be a trial-by-error process, as we experienced with the marinara sauce.  We quickly learned that the food mill would not work for the tomato's, as the red juice leaked out and ran down the side of the cupboards, puddling nicely in the drawers and on the floor.  Then we remembered the sieve. Aha! A much better method!  The applesauce making process went much smoother than the marinara sauce, but the final results for both were fantastic!

First Purse-icke Party a huge Sucess!!

I had my first "Purse-Icke Party" last Monday night hosted by my good friend Amy.  I was completely blown away by the number in attendance and their interest in my products.  The party was a blast, and I sold many more items then I ever expected!  I even booked a few more parties!  If you live within driving distance and would be interested in hosting a party, please let me know!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Did you know...

While airing out the quilt from my last post, I was reminded of a very interesting piece of history.  I have been reading a series of quilting novels by Jennifer Chiaverini.  Her novel, "The Runaway Quilt" takes place in Pennyslvania during the pre-civil war time period.  During this time, certain Abolitionists would offer their homes as stations in the Underground Railroad.  The runaway slaves would receive signals directing them from one station to the next.  A common signal was to hang a quilt on the clothes line indicating that the station was "open" to slaves.  Typically each station would hang a quilt with a specific pattern, like the "log cabin" or "birds in the air". If one pattern was suspected by the slave catchers, the station would have to hang out a new pattern.  Apparently there were many other signals along the Underground Railroad that were never discussed or even recorded, as the information could have brought harm to the runaways or those involved in harboring them.
As I hung up my bright quilt I thought of these amazing men and women (slaves and free) that risked their lives in so many ways during this fascinating period in our nation's history.  I then had to laugh just a bit when I thought how well my quilt, with it's bright colors, would have been so easily noticed hanging out on the line.

The Ten-Year Quilt

I recently pulled this quilt out of a cedar chest in our garage. This little quilt was started about 9 years ago during my "experiment in quilting" phase.  I am not sure why I selected such bright colors, but I think it was because these colors were in fashion in the quilting world back then.  I laboriously pieced the quilt together (this time I followed the quilting rules...). I chose a very hard pattern (I think this was a mariner's compass). After piecing the center star together I decided to break away from the pattern and create my own blocks as borders. 
What makes this quilt so special is that I did all the quilting by hand.  (Not the piecing... I used a machine for that).  I worked on quilting this quilt for a while, and then I guess I got tired of it and put it away.  When I pulled it out a couple weeks ago I discovered that I didn't have much quilting left to do.  During a recent phone conversation with a friend I told her about this quilt.  She informed me that she too has a quilt that she began about 9 years ago as well.  The fabric for her quilt was purchased when she and I visited a quilting show at the Marin Civic Center.  She also started hand-quilting her quilt, put it away, and recently got it out again.  So she and I made a pact... by the spring we will both have finished our quilts!!  They will be the "Ten-Year" quilts.  So Ingrid, now our pact is official!  How is that for motivation (for us both!!).
So stay tuned for pictures of BOTH finished quilts!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

How to Make a Clutch

This is the first "how to" post, and I realize some of my readers might not actually go out and make their own clutch, but I thought it would be interesting to share how I construct my items.
This is a how to for my "Clutch-icke" design.  The "Clutch-icke" is a simple clutch that can be used for a night out instead of a bag/purse. It can also be used to collect your receipts and/or coupons inside your bag/purse, or hold your cosmetics.  The name "Clutch-icke" was inspired by my friends who recieved one of my clutches as a birthday gift and immediately started calling it "Clutch-icke" as a play on my last name, Persicke.
First cut out two pieces of exterior fabric, and two pieces of interior fabric. (My cut sizes vary depending on the length of the zipper and the amount of fabric I have to work with.)  This clutch was cut 7"x 10". Cut 3"x 15" of exterior fabric for the wrist strap.  Iron each side 1/4".  Fold in half and iron again.  Using top stitch foot sew down both sides of strap. 
Iron on interfacing to the wrong side of all four pieces:


Place the zipper face down on the top edge of one piece of the exterior fabric:

Place one piece of the interior fabric, (interfacing facing up) to match with the edge of the zipper and the top edge of the exterior piece.  Pin all three pieces together.

Using a zipper foot, sew 1/4 seam along the top edge

Press open:

Place zipper face down on the top edge of the second exterior piece:

Place second piece of interior fabric (interfacing up) to line up with top edge of zipper and top edge of exterior fabric:

Using a zipper foot, sew 1/4 seam along the top edge:

Press Open:

Match up exterior right sides together, and interior right sides together. Fold strap in half and place raw edges on the side between the two exterior pieces. Match the raw edges just below the zipper.   Pin exterior side, making sure to pin the strap in the middle. Pin the interior sides together.

Sew 1/4" seams from center zipper along edge and bottom of exterior. Sew 1/4" seams from center/zipper along edge.  Stop sewing on the bottom edge 2" from center.  Begin sewing again 2" from opposite side to leave an unsewn gap in the bottom of the interior side. Make sure the zipper is open so that you are able to pull the fabric through after sewing.

Reach into the gap left unsewn to pull the exterior side through the interior side. "Turn" the clutch so that the exterior is now right side facing out and the interior is right side facing out.

 Press both sides and seams:
Press 1/4" under at the unsewn opening. Using a top stitch foot sew along the opening.

Push interior into the exterior and press:

Tada!  Your Clutch is ready to be used!!