Belated Easter Blogging

The weather at Easter was beautiful: sunny and warm, all the grass verdant and spring green. My family had our semi-traditional, not particularly denominational Easter dinner at my parents’ house. I made Kulich and Pashka – My family isn’t Russian, but I made them one year out of curiosity and my brother loved them so much I’ve made them ever since.

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This year I used this kulich recipe from Natasha’s Kitchen, which I will be using again because it was really good – the one change I made was to substitute 100g toasted sliced almonds and 200g mixed chopped apricots and dried sour cherries in place of the raisins the recipe calls for. The pashka is Nami-Nami’s Pashka recipe, made with ricotta in place of farmer’s cheese because I can’t find farmer’s cheese anywhere.

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The kulich recipe makes a LOT: this is one batch. I ended up with three large cakes, made with the 6-inch panettone molds from Sur la Table, and eight large muffin sized cakes, the molds for which I found at Daiso. Eleven people polished off two of the large cakes in one sitting, because they’re really tasty.

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Someone was having fun with the camera while I was decorating the kulich platter with hazel twigs.

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My brother took some photos outside – and look, I’m wearing the bolero I sewed for Sew for Victory, along with a dress I made some twelve years ago.

 

Sew for Victory 2.0

This looks like fun – I was hopeful, when I stumbled across Lucky Lucille and saw posts from last year that it might be a thing that would happen again. Turns out I found her blog just in time for round two. Huzzah!

I like vintage patterns for many reasons – they appeal to the history geek in me, I like both the tailored austerity of the World War Two years and the exuberant femininity of the New Look, and I’ve had good luck with vintage patterns actually fitting my hourglass figure – and I’ve been collecting them and sewing with them for years now. The thing is, I haven’t always been the best about finishing seams and perfecting construction methods, and I have a tendency to sew pretty frocks, which for one reason or another I hardly ever wear.

All of which leads me to this dress, one of I think two garments I managed to finish while in college:

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It’s a lot prettier on, but it’s kind of boring. Very green – and I like green, but this dress doesn’t have much going on beside green. It’s a sundress; there’s no tailoring to save it. It’s also suffering from a sagging waistline, because the seersucker isn’t strong enough to support the weight of a full circle skirt.

So what am I going to do? Well, first I’m going to make the bolero that’s supposed to go with this dress:

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I liked the floral fabric so much that when I found it, probably five years ago, I bought yardage in two of the colorways. I like both of them with the seersucker, so the bolero will be reversible. If I have enough of the seersucker left, I’ll make piping from it and edge the bolero with that to tie it all together. At some point I’ll have to pick apart the bodice and flatline it with a stable fabric for strength, but that comes later.

Lone Star Baby Quilt

A baby quilt seems as good a project as any with which to start a new blog.

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Behold! A baby quilt for the future child of my old babysitter. I say “babysitter” – she’s really more of an adopted older sister/treasured friend. I’ve known her for twenty years now, so when I heard she was expecting I knew I had to make her something really special. I think I succeeded, because not only did my friend and her fiance love it, but for once I’m entirely pleased with the end result.

I used a Lone Star pattern in an assortment of Asian-themed floral fabrics in red, a lovely gradient-dyed yellow batik, and two blue batiks for the background and binding. Everything is 100% cotton.

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Look at all those matching points! I strip-pieced as much as possible, but there was still a lot of ripping out seams and redoing them when things were one-sixteenth of an inch off. Quilter’s persnicketyness, man.

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No seams across the big background blocks!

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The back was a lovely snuggly flannel.

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Usually I plan my quilts and play around with color/block arrangement in Adobe Illustrator, but since I couldn’t figure out how to make a 45ΒΊ grid, I got out pencil and paper and did it the old-fashioned way. You can see it took me a few tries to figure out the design I wanted. The Y1/Y2/etc notations refers to the gradient in the yellow batik – I wanted to make a starburst pattern, with the color shading from dark to light. When I cut the yellow batik, I divided it up into five shades of yellow, from lightest (Y1) to darkest (Y5.) I am really pleased with how it came out. πŸ™‚