I wasn’t sure which quilt to share this round, but since it’s about the time of year my retreat friends and I start getting excited and collaborate on projects, food, cocktails and books to the point that I kid you not, we actually have a private Pinboard, it seemed appropriate to showcase a quilt I started at our last one three years ago.

My dad Rog was in town to be my quilt holder on a beautiful October day this round.

And my friend Tai helping me at retreat.

I loaded a stack of fabrics that year, and finished three small quilt tops, including this other finish inspired by a boxed pouch I’d created when I was testing my pattern,

sew katie did | Seattle Modern Quilting & Sewing Studio | Free-Wheeling Girl Quilt

or maybe it was my Single Girl Quilt that was the seed, it’s hard to remember which rabbit hole I fell down.

All the blocks I used to create the In Line Quilt are left overs from the strip pieced quilt above. It’s in the queue for quilting too, another example for my Strip Tease workshop.

I did change out the tips of the blocks that came together at the center to create the pinwheel effect. It needed something to draw the eye to its center.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a lazy quilter. Though I admire those that bury threads and create intricate designs, my stack of quilt tops waiting patiently for their turn is too long to overthink their straight lines. Everyone gets a run off the side treatment.

I love adding a little flange edge before the binding. We’ll be covering that binding option in a quilt bindings workshop in a couple weeks. The workshop’s full, but something I can teach in an open studio anytime.

I’d purchased this lovely barkcloth for pillows, but it ended up needing some creative cutting to compensate for the off grain of its printing. My initial selvedge to selvedge cut skewed the print design so badly it looked like there were too many margaritas involved.

I put it up in the studio to take a photo and decided it was time to make a new pressing board cover, and it ended up somewhat matching. Learn to make your own here.

One of my students had been wanting to make simple zip pouches in an open studio, so I pulled the left overs from the ironing board cover and used it with the cork for my demo. We covered some of my favorite techniques for making pouches from a mix of Sotak’s and Krista’s (from her book Beyond Cotton /affiliate link).

My basement is currently a contender for an episode of Hoarders, and the pillow situation was getting a little out of control, so I killed two birds with one stone and repurposed some old pillow tops in order to test out a tweak of my boxed pouch pattern. It’s on sale until my birthday;). If you’ve purchased it in the past please let me know, I’ll look up your invoice and send you the updated version.

I’ll be teaching the Boxed Pouch Class at the studio on Sunday March 20th. Pattern is included, and no piecing or quilting is required.

Before

After

Before

After

Before

After

I’ve got a Straight Line Quilting workshop on the studio’s schedule as well on Saturday February 5th. We generally make our panels into functional buckets, but another option is to take those panels and merge them with the pattern at home to make your own boxed pouch. It’s such a fun way to play with different colors of thread.

I finished up the quilting on my winter version of my Snowballed Stars quilt and have the binding on. A few episodes of Westworld should do as it’s not very large. The improv triangles are such a fun technique that create designs only limited by your imagination. I’ve got one slot in February’s class if you’d like to learn.

I’ve got this quilt back out of the pile to try to for a quilting finish for Valentine’s Day. We’ll see how that works out.

I feel like I never get time to sew anymore so all these small wins are a good reminder that I’m still in the game.

I signed up for the January Cure, but have ignored each daily email with my tasks and wrote my own list with basement and repotting plants at the top, but first the cookbooks were out of control. I hate it when other stuff starts piling up.

Now that’s better. That fireplace to the right that we could never ever use? I heard Jefe throwing bricks off the roof last weekend after he rejected bids from between $23,000-$17,000 for taking it down and repairing the roof and walls.

Five hours later I could see sunlight. The rest is in the process of coming down between today and Sunday. Roof tomorrow and then onto framing the wall.

We ended up ordering a Rais stove. We’re all lined up to have the wood floors replace the hearth and extend through the kitchen.

If you are new here we’ve had a few stages to the fireplace.

This photo of when we moved in is another good reminder of ALL we’ve done. It’s so easy to walk through and mentally check off the endless list of what we’d like to attack. One of the goals for the house has been to invite in as much light as possible and removing the fireplace will get some across from the windows on either side.

We did neither Dry January or quit sugar for the new year, so feel free to skip to the end if you did. (All book links are affiliate).

I’d kind of forgotten about the scone and muffin kick I’d been on at the beginning of shut down and woke up one morning with a hankering for a blueberry baked goods. There were no blueberries to be found, but a freezer expedition unearthed some cherries. All scone recipes are versatile in my opinion to yogurt, sour cream, or ricotta and for sure fruit, but if you do happen to have a tub of ricotta I highly recommend the whole wheat ricotta scones from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. If you double the batch you can use the whole tub. I tried to freeze half the batch, but found the texture turned doughy losing their flaky dense biscuit texture.

I bought those blueberries I was dreaming about the next day and used my standby recipe from Smitten Kitchen Everyday.

I bought the book What’s Gaby Cooking on a whim on my last trip to Palm Springs, but everything I’ve made has been easy and delish. The Chicken Parmesan Pappardelle has been made and consumed three times in the past month, even winning this ‘no pasta please’ eater over. Perfect winter comfort food to fuel teenagers and the rest of my pasta loving family.

And yes, pasta won me over again, especially when everything is already in the cupboard and we are rarely a family without broccoli. This recipe caught my eye since we’re trying to use up items in the pantry to cut costs on our grocery bills. I saw an opportunity to use the anchovies, but we liked it so much we ended up buying more so we could make it again. Home Cooking is full of food tips, stories and recipes from the Olympic Peninsula. I’m hoping next retreat to make the Mystery Squash Cookies since the recipe is gluten- and dairy-free.

We didn’t eat as many apples as I thought we would over Christmas, so we decided one night to pull the last of the pie crusts from the freezer and tag team making an apple pie. We usually just wing it when it comes to fruit pies, but I consulted The Art of Pie to see her method and for the first time tried vinegar as suggested since we lacked a lemon. Perfect. We ate the rest for breakfast so there was nothing left to photograph of its finish, but an empty plate. I look forward to having a real oven instead of my little convection, but it did the trick. Someday I’ll go take a class with her.

Both Half Baked Harvest Cookbook and the Half Bake Harvest Super Simple Cookbook have egg with polenta recipes, but the recipe with the kale and mushrooms in her first had all the combos of my favorite breakfast. My only tweak is I cook my polenta in my Instantpot. So much easier than stirring and being spit upon by corn meal.

I’ll tell you more below about my efforts to use up the last of the eggnog, but in Tiegan’s second book Super Simple I found a recipe for Roan and Jefe’s favorite cookies, Snicker-Doodles, but these are topped with an eggnog frosting. I rolled the dough up into logs for the frig and kept the frosting separate. We’d slice some up nightly to bake. These will for sure be a seasonal favorite.

We had ham for Christmas, and since we need to eat down the freezer to move it for the floors, it, two packages of puff pastry and a bag of shredded cheese came out to defrost. Poof or should I say ‘Puff’ (sorry;), I baked up the ham and cheese pastry puffs from Back in the Day Baking. This is the same cookbook that I bake up my favorite sweet potato hash hand pies from. I hope to someday make it to teach in Savannah and visit their bakery.

It wouldn’t be a family party without a request for the root beer chocolate cake from Baked. Since you’re probably all bored of seeing this cake from me I want you to know I bought some malt balls to make the milk chocolate malt ball cake next.

Perhaps the third time would be the charm, but the eggnog is all gone. You’d think I’d never baked before, but somehow doubled my butter when I softened it up for this cake from Kiss My Bundt. As I was spooning in some incredibly stiff batter I knew it was all wrong. I remade it the next day and had it pushed back on the counter when from the basement I could hear Boss jumping up and down. He’s efficient consumed half the bundt by the time I got upstairs.

Awe, but look at him;)

He’s my big buddy Bosser for sure, and starting to behave himself better minus cake issues.

And Franko and Fiona were so fun to have around for Christmas. Mass amount of cuddles. They’ll be headed to the Bay Area soon and I’ll miss having family close, but delighted to have somewhere new to explore.

We’ve been seriously socked in for a couple weeks with fog here in Seattle. I had to bring Roan back to reality this morning, that it’s January, which means it’s the middle of winter and there will be several more months of mildly cold weather with clouds, but then we’ll turn the corner and warm our bones and minds with the tease of spring. I’m not the only one who can’t wait.

I guess that’s kind of it. Hope it’s all clear enough cuz I’m all done editing. Have a great weekend!

xoxo, Katie

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