Monthly Archives: March 2014

fire trucks with laddersThese may be the second most detailed cookies I've made (second to Rapunzel). I'm mostly happy with them. I think my biggest problem was in not flooding full enough so they caved in a little as they dried. Oh, and that dent from my finger (oops!) on the cab of the bottom truck. Oh, AND how I forgot that I had made regular truck cookies and had it all in my head that I'd baked fire trucks. So yeah, you can totally make a fire truck from your REGULAR truck cutter as well. ;-)

All my icing is flood consistency, 18-20 second icing. I didn't pipe around the borders, but you could. Here's how I did it.

Make white windows on the cab of the truck.
Make white windows on the cab of the truck.
Make black tires.
Make black tires.
Fill the tires with white. (Since it's wet-on-wet you can fill enough to connect to the black.)
Fill the tires with white. (Since it's wet-on-wet you can fill enough to connect to the black.)
Make grey along the bottom edge... I wasn't thrilled with how this came out, I came a little too close to the wheels in some cases -- I think I'd pipe a border for this part before flooding next time.)
Make grey along the bottom edge... I wasn't thrilled with how this came out, I came a little too close to the wheels in some cases -- I think I'd pipe a border for this part before flooding next time.)
Floor red for the body of the truck, getting nice and close to fill in up against the windows (that have hardened up a bit by now).
Flood red for the body of the truck, getting nice and close to fill in up against the windows (that have hardened up a bit by now).
Make ladders on parchment paper or wax paper and allow them to dry overnight.
Make ladders on parchment paper or wax paper and allow them to dry overnight.
Peel a ladder carefully off of the wax/parchment paper.
Peel a ladder carefully off of the wax/parchment paper.
Attach ladders to trucks with a few tiny dots of icing.
Attach ladders to trucks with a few tiny dots of icing.

Note, I highly suggest that you don't transport these with the ladders attached. I broke a ladder putting them in the box.

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IMG_5279I'm addicted to wet-on-wet decorating of cookies. It's fast. It's flashy. I don't have to wait for anything to dry between steps. It can easily be done with ANY color scheme.

One of my favorite wet-on-wet looks is marbling. Back in my last life as a teacher, when I was single no kids and had a TON of free time I once took a paper marbling class. The methods are the same for cookies, just a different medium. Here's how I decorated a couple of the M's for my nephew's birthday earlier this month. I'm using all flood icing here of the same consistency, about 18- to 20-second icing.

Start with a cookie. ;-)
Start with a cookie. ;-)
Flood the cookie with your choice of background color.
Flood the cookie with your choice of background color.

One of the keys to this method is to work fast. I wouldn't advise doing more than one cookie at a time, especially if you're doing larger cookies.

Without letting the background icing dry, use your first accent color to make stripes.
Without letting the background icing dry, use your first accent color to make wet-on-wet stripes.
Repeat with any additional accent colors.
Repeat with any additional accent colors.
While the icing is still wet, use a toothpick or boo boo stick to drag lines perpendicular to the stripes you created. Wipe off the toothpick after each pass.
While the icing is still wet, use a toothpick or boo boo stick to drag evenly spaced lines, perpendicular to the stripes you created (mine go down). Wipe off the toothpick after each pass.

The above would be a perfectly lovely marbled cookie and you can stop there for one look. You can vary it's appearance by making the lines with the toothpick closer together if you like. Or...

Using the same method, go in between the lines you just made in the opposite direction (I went up on this step).
Using the same method, go in between the lines you just made using your toothpick in the opposite direction (I went up this time).

This method can be used in so many different ways and on so many different shaped cookies. You can achieve a different look by changing the order in which you make your strips and varying the tip size that you use to make your strips for different thicknesses of lines.

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I'm a little behind on Leah Day's Building Blocks Quilt Along. The good part is that her videos are all up on her site and easily accessible. (And they are awesome!) Before yesterday I had pieced block one: Four Patch Block (three of them) and block two: Nine Patch Block (three of them)... I pieced them a good long time ago. Then life and other projects took over. :-) Here are the front and back views of my three versions of block one.

BBQA Block 1s FrontsBBQA Block 1s BacksSo yesterday, with The Boy home sick from school and the kiddos lounging in front of a movie, I decided to get to work on the quilting part of the quilt along. Yesterday I got the first block quilted and today I did the other two Four Patch blocks. With that, I'm caught up to the week of February 3rd. Woot! More importantly, I have momentum. I've gotten to do some sewing. I love sewing. And I LOVE free motion quilting.

The part of this project that I love the most is that it's about the journey. It's NOT about perfection. Some blocks are gonna look a little wonky. Some of the quilting will be outside the lines (of course, the lines I mark are washed out, so in the end that won't be so obvious) and at the end of the year I will have improved in my free motion quilting skills. Maybe that will even mean that I will choose a non-stippling pattern for my next quilt (that's been all/most of the free motion quilting on my last three projects).

Block 1.1 - Wiggly U Shapes

BBQA Block 1.1Part of my hold-up on not getting quilting on this project sooner was the need to mark the blocks. I have never marked quilting lines on a quilt before. I don't have a light table, so I did this:

my light tableThat's my front window. It worked pretty well, but generally it's been evening and dark when I've had time to work on my project. So daytime was key for this step. The one drawback is that my blue marking pen is the same color as my blue fabric. Oops.

first block markedOnce the block was marked, I made my quilt sandwich and pin-basted it. The unfinished block is 10" square, a nice easy size to work with.

BBQA Block 1.1 in progressAll in all, this block wasn't too hard for me. The wiggles are similar to what I generally do when I use large scale stippling to free motion quilt. I did have to break thread in the middle of quilting the block when I realized I'd started using my regular foot. Otherwise, it was SO much smoother and less frustrating to FMQ than my last couple projects where I had the thread break every few feet. I think the only big difference is that I used Isacord Polyester Thread to quilt it. I think I'm hooked!

Block 1.2 - Gridlines

BBQA Block 1.2There was a lot of marking on this one... but at least they were all straight lines, so I was able to use a straight edge to speed things up. It was a bit of an optical illusion to look at all those lines while sewing in the green sections.

BBQA Block 1.2 in progressI'm pleased with the results. In the course of quilting this block I could see myself getting better at stitching a straight line. I'll be interested to see once the project is completed and the whole quilt is washed how forgiving it is with regards to the little wiggles in my lines.

Block 1.3 - Spirals

BBQA Block 1.3This was certainly the most challenging one for me -- though that's the idea, that we are increasing in difficulty as we go. My machine doesn't seem happy to stitch in every direction, so there was a lot of turning as I went or stopping to rotate my quilt block. Sadly, I had an unfortunate, horrendous sound while quilting this one, resulting in the following on the bottom side:

BBQA Block 1.3 problemI did a fair amount of removing stitches after removing that mess so that I'd have ends long enough to properly tie off and hide my threads. Then I was a little more careful about which direction I "drove."

BBQA Block 1.3 with markingHere's another view of what I mean about not being able to see the markings on the blue fabric. In fabulous light and at the right angle, I could see them, but they are nearly useless. I used my purple disappearing pen on top of my blue lines to help myself out while I was quilting, but they disappear too quickly to be useful for marking a whole block. I'm reassessing what I'll be doing for the next set of blocks, as the blue is my dominant fabric for the entire project.

 

I’m linking up with Leah Day's March 21 FMQ Link Up.