Summertime means Pie time!

Summer is in full swing here at the Brandvig household. That being said, my sewing room has been quiet. πŸ™‚ I’ve been spending my Summer days with my boys. Any free time I get in the evening has been spent designing fabric (my 4th fabric collection is underway!). This Summer has been particularly wonderful for berries! One activity i’ve been doing is making freshly picked berry pies! A simple activity I can do with my kids.

Pictured above: my quiet sewing room.

Pictured above: my son using my sewing room to escape his little brother.

Anyway, though this isn’t a quilt-related blog post, baking is another hobby I truly enjoy especially when we pick the fruit ourselves. In fact, before I got the quilt bug, I had dreams of opening my own bakery.Β  There’s just something so satisfying about making food that you picked straight from the earth, and then turning it into something delicious for everyone to enjoy.

Today I am sharing my three favorite pie recipes with you. These are no fail recipes that I always come back to time and time again. And the best part is they’re all very simple to make. You probably have most of the ingredients in your kitchen already. All you need is the fresh fruit!

The 3 recipes I’m sharing are blueberry pie, blackberry cobbler and apple pie, in that order. These recipes ALWAYS turn out good, and people always want the recipe afterwards.

Anyhoodles, let’s get to the pies!!!

Blueberry Pie

Bam! So yummy.

I started making this pie when our blueberries last Summer grew like crazy! We were able to make 4 pies from our 3 blueberry bushes. For whatever reason, we didn’t yield that many berries this Summer so we went to a U-Pick farm (Canter-berry Farms in Auburn, WA).

Anyway, here’s the recipe below. I printed it years ago from Taste of Home. It’s called “Contest Winning Fresh Blueberry Pie” by Linda Kernan of Mason, Michigan. Thanks Linda for the amazing recipe! (Update: found the link to the recipe, click HERE. Except I used pre-made graham cracker pie crust).

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 5 cups fresh blueberries, divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 pastry shell – (I use the pre-made graham cracker crust shell! Sooo good!)

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, corn starch. salt and water until smooth. Add 3 cups blueberries. Bring to a boil; cook and stire for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly.

2. Remove from heat. Add butter, lemon juice and remaining berries; stir until butter is melted. Cool. Pour into pastry shell. Refrigerate. Serve cold. Yields 8 servings.

That’s it! Simple and so tasty. A light and refreshing Summer dessert.

Paige approved!

Next recipe…

Blackberry Cobbler

I made this recipe when I found the holy grail for picking blackberries in the back of an elementary school nestled in our neighborhood. Blackberries are typically ready to pick in early August. Make sure you pick the black ones. That might be a no-brainer to some, but trust me, that might be news to someone else.

This recipe is SO easy and scrumptious. And PLEASE, pretty please follow Jer’s words of wisdom>> you have to eat it a la mode for the full experience. Breyer’s Natural Vanilla ice cream is where it’s at!

You can find and print the recipe right HERE. Again…we love eating it warm with Breyers Natural Vanilla ice cream on the side >> PERFECTION.

Last but not least, good old fashioned apple pie recipe…

 

Piper’s Apple Pie

I shared photos of this pie on my instagram and I got a handful of people messaging me for the recipe. You can find the background story on the apples in the photos beneath the recipe. πŸ™‚

  • 4 or 5 medium sized apples (I used green varieties for a tarter taste). Peel and slice thinly.
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Mix all of the above together, and then pour into the pie crust.

Below is the simple Pie Crust recipe I use.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 5-7 tablespoons cold water

Mix the above ingredients together. Knead it, and then split the dough in half into two balls. Use a rolling pin to roll it out. Use one half for the bottom of the pastry shell and the other for the top. Makes the perfect amount.

Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover the foil. Bake for an additional 20 minutes. Then, stuff your face.

Kidding! But you must eat it a la mode! It’s just not the same without the ice cream. Again, Breyer’s Natural Vanilla is where it’s at.

That’s it!

If you’re a history nerd, you’ll like this slice of Seattle history. πŸ˜‰ These apples we picked are from a century old orchard planted by Andrew and Minna Piper in the late 1800s. They were confectioners who had a candy store in Seattle before it burned down in The Great Seattle Fire of 1889.

Being confectioners, they planted apple trees with lots of tart varieties good for baking (primarily Heirloom), including other nut trees. Anyway, fast forward to about 100 years later in the early 1980s, the City of Seattle volunteers found the overgrown orchard while surveying the land. First they spotted an apple tree, and when they kept uncovering the vines they realized it was a full orchard on a hillside covering about 1.5 acres. 29 nut and apple trees had survived over the years, and now there are about 50 after some have been added.

This orchard is such a treasure in the City of Seattle, and not too many people know about it. It’s alongside an urban trail, called Pipers Creek, that leads down to Carkeek Park in Seattle, Washington. When we pass through, we pick 4-5 apples, just enough to make a pie.

Thank you to the Piper’s for planting these wonderful apple trees, and to the city of Seattle volunteers and Seattle Parks and Rec for taking care of it.

Anyway, I hope this post inspires you to make a pie, lol! Seriously though, it’s currently August 1st as i’m writing this which is prime blackberry picking season. Stop what you’re doing right now and go pick blackberries (assuming you’re not on the loo staring at your phone πŸ˜‰

As mentioned earlier, my sewing room has been quiet this Summer as i’ve been spending my days primarily outdoors with my boys. Though I did manage to sneak in some english paper piecing (EPP) projects during our road trip andΒ  stay at a cabin in Mazama, WA. I’m hooked on EPP now.

I used my 3rd collection called Woodland Rose (available this Fall!) to make these EPP stars.

Enjoy your Summer everyone! You can expect me to be writing about my 4th collection soon-ish. πŸ˜‰

 

 

Comments: 17 | Leave a comment


Meet Woodland Rose! :)

Hey everyone! Yes: I am still alive =) !!! I know it’s been months (almost 3 to be exact *blushing*). A lot has happened between my last post and now, including my 3rd collection called Woodland Rose. I’ve been a busy bee sewing in preparation for Spring quilt market. In this post I’ll show you two quilt tops that i’ve made so far. Be prepared for a photo overload! That’s what happens when I haven’t posted in months.

First i’d like to introduce to you Woodland Rose! This debuts at Spring quilt market and will available in stores by Fall 2018. Be sure to tell your favorite quilt shop to order it! πŸ˜‰

I named this collection after a rose garden adjacent to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington where I frequently visit and explore with my two boys. The evergreens/sage, deep reds and blues remind me of rainy and cold Fall days at the garden. Whereas the softer pinks and yellows and butterflies remind me of warmer, Summer days. I hope my collection can bring this special rose garden that I often frequent to your fingertips.

It’s hard to tell in photos, but similar to my last collection, there’s some gold metallic in the fabrics surrounding the butterflies.

IΒ  took over a hundred photos of my fabric to try to capture the metallic sparkle because i’m crazy like that.Β  Still it’s hard to see, lol! I’m tellin’ ya…you just need to touch the fabric first hand and see for yourself.

Okay, moving right along here before I get side tracked and never post this :-[)

Here’s a photo of an almost completed quilt top that I made using Woodland Rose.

I love sharing with you all free patterns, so you can expect this pattern for free on my blog shortly after May. πŸ™‚ I will of course do a post and let you all know when it’s available.

Here it is after I added the borders…

The best part of making a quilt is having my sons model it for me x-) How lucky am I to have such handsome quilt models!?

The little one still needs some practice though, haha! (To be fair, I guess I never told him to hold it up with his hands!)

Here’s the 2nd quilt I made using Woodland Rose fabrics (above and below). Since this collection won’t be available until Fall 2018, I decided to make a Christmasy-ish quilt using mainly reds and greens. But then I loved how this wall-hanging quilt turned out so much, that last minute I decided to add some champagne pink to the mix to make it something I can hang year round.

Woodland Rose is a versatile collection that works well for all the seasons! You’ll notice that’s on ongoing theme with all my collections.

You can find this pattern on page 113 of my 2nd book, Quilt As-You-Go Made Vintage.

I couldn’t post this without some photos of my furry child as well. Paige is always loyal when it comes to making quilts. She never leaves my side.

These past months we’ve been doing a lot of quilting in the rain, which is actually my fave time to quilt.

Paige finds a cozy spot amongst my fabric mess <3

And even when I lay a quilt out for her, she prefers to lay right on my unfinished quilt blocks.

This quilt will be named “Stop and Smell the Roses”…unless I can think of a better name. Anyone have any ideas?

My last post was January 30th…since then my eldest son turned 6, Easter came and went as well as Spring Break which ended for my boys yesterday. During break we visited the tulips in La Conner (the little town I named my 2nd collection after).

Squinty eyes above because we got one day of sun and us Seattleites aren’t used to that big glowing ball in the sky.

I got to enjoy the tulips, while my sons enjoyed the heavy equipment and mud. x-)

I know this isn’t really quilty-related, but I can’t NOT share these.

“Every flower blooms at it’s own pace.” – (thanks for that quote, Pinterest…you make me sound wise)

I of course brought home some tulips to admire all week long. <3

My Spring break ended with my husband and I moving my sewing room up to the attic. See the mess below! *whimper* I have a lot of organizing to do. I’m excited to make my my attic a magical quilting space. I will be sure to share photos with you when it’s all finished.

Also, note that my little online shop is temporarily closed. It will reopenΒ  after my space is organized and after I cut a bunch of new fabric bundles for you all! These are bolts from my 1st and 2nd collections, High Tea and La Conner. I need to sell it to make room for my 3rd and 4th collections coming in.

What was my sewing room is now my boys bedroom. πŸ™‚ After my hubs and I spent a whole day moving rooms, we built this bunk bed for them. These smiles make it totally worth it! Words cannot describe how excited they were to get a bunk bed.

Last but not least, it seems only fit to leave you with Paige’s fluffy ba-donka donk. Because who doesn’t need a reason to smile on a Monday?

Thanks so much for reading me! πŸ™‚

xoxo,

Jera

Comments: 37 | Leave a comment


Selvege sneak peak, quilt labels, book signing – bring it on!

Wow, is it really almost February? This seems to be how all my blog posts start nowadays…with me wide-eyed at how fast the days are going by, lol. I seriously can’t keep up! Anyway, my littlest is currently snoozing so I wanted to take this time to share what i’ve been up to.

First, a selvege sneak peak of my 3rd collection for Lecien! This will debut next month, available for stores to order at Spring Quilt market. And I just have to skip ahead and say that i’ve been working away on my 4th collection which will debut at Fall market…!!!!

Do you notice the sparkly umbrellas? I do love me a little bling in my fabrics.

Also, real quick. I am quite excited about these new quilt labels I got from Dutch Label Shop. It’s been years since i’ve sewn labels onto my projects and quilts ever since my logo updated. And it just feels wrong not ‘signing’ my projects. Now I can’t wait to sew these onto my projects for the perfect finishing touch!

Their website (https://www.dutchlabelshop.com) was very easy to navigate and if they don’t have the color you’re looking for, simply email their customer support and they can send a Pantone catalogue of colors for you to choose from. They were very responsive with a quick turnaround. If you want to order some for yourself, here’s a coupon code for 15% off: quiltingintherain15 (valid for 60 days from today). I ordered woven labels.

Also, here’s a fun story! A few weeks ago we were at our local Barnes and Noble when my kids spotted their mama in a Better Homes and Gardens: Quilts and More magazine, Spring 2018 issue! Yes, because my boys love looking through quilt magazines at their leisure. Okay, so maybe I scavenged the aisle and then bribed them to model the magazine for mama πŸ˜‰

Here’s some close-ups of the article.

I have to say I was really impressed with the layout and the flow of the interview. The editor, Joanna, did a wonderful job putting this beautiful magazine together.

I made sure my boyz and Paige made it in the article – they’re the cherry on top! The apples of my eyeballs. Ethan was pretty thrilled to see him and his little bro in the magazine.

Also in the magazine is a lunch tote tutorial which uses fabrics from my latest collection, La Conner.

How cute is that tote?! And it gives me an excuse to show off my porcelain strawberries which I scored for $8 while antiquing on my birthday.

Here’s the cover of the magazine – you can find it at your local bookstore, magazine aisle now! πŸ™‚ Go on and get yourself a copy!

On a different note, I had a book signing for my 2nd book, Quilt As-You-Go Made Vintage on Sunday! A huge thanks to Pacific Fabrics for having me! Pacific Fabrics is one of my go-to fabric shops, local to Washington with locations in downtown Seattle, Everett, Bremerton and Northgate. This was their grand opening at their new Bellevue location.

Here’s a few pics from the event. I can’t stop thanking all the fans, friends and family that came to my book signing.

Below i’m standing with Debbie and Jessica from Pacific Fabrics, such lovely, warm and kind people. I did a book signing for them for my first book, Quilt As-You-Go Made Modern, at the Sewing and Stitchery Expo a few years ago, which is how I ended up meeting Lecien Fabrics whom I now design fabrics for!

Also, thanks again to Pacific Fabrics for letting my two boys run wild in your shop for 2 hours. Ethan was obsessed with the raffle games and even won one! lol. There he is with the winning raffle ticket. And in case you’re wondering what surprise he chose from the prize table…he went with a charm pack, hehe.

Simon enjoyed the raffles as well and yelled out the numbers as they were announced… 😎

There’s always that worry that no one will show to a book signing, so my heart literally swelled with love and gratitude to all that took time out of their day to come out. I truly feel blessed and so thankful.

Thanks to my husband for capturing these photos with a sleeping 2.5 yr old over his shoulder. Dad skillz.

Here’s my family and I ready to take off after a successful event. πŸ™‚

I handed out La Conner embroidery scissors to everyone that got a book signed as a small token of my thanks.

Onto some different news…

Here are two screenshots of how my books are doing on Amazon. My first book is a bestseller in the Quilts and Quilting category on Amazon with 52 reviews already! And my first book is up to 334 reviews! That’s CRAZY!

That being said, I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to all who have ever taken a moment to leave a helpful book review. My husband and I read each and every one of them. I literally read through each review from my first book and made sure I addressed any issues/complaints in my 2nd book. πŸ™‚ When you support my book, you support me as an artist. Thank you for that!

Some other cool news! And when I say news, this truly just got delivered to my doorstep! I was so excited I snapped a photo just for this post.

My first book, Quilt As-You-Go Made Modern, has been translated in Spanish! I set off writing my books and starting a blog with the intentions of spreading inspiration and creativity and taking the scariness out of quilting. Thank you C&T Publishing for enabling me to spread creativity, and reach more audiences!

Pretty sweet, huh?

Anyway, thanks for reading this lengthy post. πŸ™‚ The sun made an appearance this morning in Seattle so I whipped out my camera and took a few shots. Can you tell i’m ready for Spring? A gal can never have too many flowers.

I do love the look of strawberries, as I’m sure you’re aware since they’ve been printed on my first two fabric collections πŸ˜‰ And these ones will never grow bad!

As I wrap up this post I will leave you with photos of my quilting buddy, Paige.

There really is no better way to end a blog post…well…maybe Paige on a quilt would have been better πŸ˜‰ Hard to believe she’s 13, but she still looks like a puppy.

Thanks for reading me, and happy quilting! Have a wonderful February ahead!

Love,

JerBear

Comments: 12 | Leave a comment


Happy New Year!

Congrats we’re almost through the hustle and bustle of the holiday season! I thought i’d take this time to cram some beautiful things I’ve been meaning to share into this post on New Year’s Eve, Eve. Just before the new year!

I made this Cozy Cabins Mini quilt for my mom and stepdad for Christmas. You can find the free pattern HERE, and it comes in two sizes (lap and a mini). I made it using fabric from my latest collection, La Conner.

I drew inspiration for this pattern from our annual family trips to Mazama, Washington in Okanogan County. We stay in a cabin during Autumn for a couple nights and make wonderful memories each year. πŸ™‚ We’ve been going since before kiddos and as our family grows bigger (most recently my brother got married!) the memories get better. πŸ™‚ Below is a view from the cabin when we stayed a few months ago in November. We woke up to a winter wonderland.

Here’s Simon modeling the mini quilt top before I added borders. ;-p His double chin works as an excellent quilt clamp.

Here’s an up close of the quilting and La Conner fabric.

Next up on my list of beautiful things (the first two in this post being the mini quilt and my beautiful baby boy of course πŸ˜‰ is this gorgeous plate rack that my husband made me for Christmas!!! That’s right, he MADE it!!!

It’s perfect for displaying my mismatched red china dish collection! I still need two more red plates to complete it.

My hubby is Mr. Perfect, and my mom said it first via those xmas socks! ;-p hehe

Speaking of Christmas, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! This photo below was taken at Country Village in Bothell, WA. One of my fave places to go antiquing and home to my fave quilt shop, Keepsake Cottage Fabrics.

Christmas in Seattle was quite magical because we got about 4 inches of snow on Christmas morning! This NEVER happens!

On a different note, I had to share this adorable notions holder that I got in my December Sew Sampler Box. How cute is that? It displays my La Conner scissors quite nicely, don’t ya think? I have a thing for cute scissors.

Some other fun news…! My family and I stopped in at our local fabric shop in Seattle called Pacific Fabrics. And we found my fabric plus my book! I will be having a book signing at Pacific Fabrics at their new Bellevue location on January 28th. More details to come! I can tell you now thatΒ  I’ll be handing out gifts for the first 50 or so people that arrive. πŸ™‚

 

What else…of yeah, I turn 32 tomorrow on New Year’s Eve! πŸ™‚

Since it’s my birthday week i’ve been taking advantage and doing lots of treasure hunting while my husband watches the kids. Here’s some photos of “Remember When Antique Mall” in historic downtown Snohomish.Β  Love this place.

When I need a dose of inspiration for my fabric designing process, I hit the antique shops.

More eye candy…

 

Anyway, that’s it for now. My little kraken has awoken from his slumber, so I better get going! πŸ˜‰

Happy new year! See you in 2018!

 

<3 JerBear

Comments: 13 | Leave a comment


Homemade Soy Candles (5 easy steps)

Okay, so i’m a quilter but I aint got time to make all my loved ones a quilt this holiday season! I got your back though, because I do have an an hour to make half a dozen candles and i’m about to show you how.

This is something I’ve been wanting to set aside time to learn for a while. I’m no candle expert, but I had fun learning this and making some yummy smelling candles! And now that I’ve done it (three times now!), I just had to share how simple it is!Β  Seriously, my tutorial is 5 simple steps.

These will make excellent homemade holiday gifts – plus your home will smell amazing during the process. If you can boil water, then you can do this!

The fragrance I went with is Pear-Cinnamon.Β  It smells delectable and perfect for the holidays! According to the internet the burn time is approx. 50 hours. (Update: The next batch I made was Pear-Vanilla which I actually liked better! It’s a yummy fresh scent that the cinnamon doesn’t overpower).

Here’s what you need to make a batch of six – 8 oz candle jars. Keep in mind that if you don’t have a local candle supply store, you can find all of these products on Amazon. However, do try to buy your oils locally so that you can pair the different scents and come up with your very own fragrance – this is the funnest part! I bought all of my supplies at a local shop called Zenith Supplies in Seattle.

  • 2.5 pounds of soy wax flakes
  • 7.5 tablespoons total (equivalent to 3.75 ounces) of essential oil fragrance (*see my notes below)
  • six 8 oz mason jars, room temp.
  • Candle wicks (I used 6″ wicks) and glue
  • Pouring Pot like this one, or an old coffee tin or glass mixing bowl will do.
  • Double boiler stand (see Step 1 image below for the type I used)
  • Clothespins (see step 4 to see how they’re used)
  • Optional: Thermometer

*note: The rule of thumb is 1.5 ounces of essential oil = 1 pound of soy wax. 1.5 ounces is equivalent to approximately 3 tablespoons. A lot of people start with 1 ounce of essential oil per one pound of wax; however, after making two batches I felt it needed more fragrance so I upped it to 1.5 ounces oil per pound and that seemed to do the trick for me. The fragrance strength has a lot to do with the quality of the oils you’re using as well, so you just have to test it and see what works best. You can always start with less, and then add more – the fragrance you’re getting in the room after you’ve stirred the oils into the pot of melted wax is a good indicator of how strong your candles will smell after they’ve been poured into the mason jars.

*also note: I made Pear-Cinnamon scented candles (yummmmy!). For this batch I did 5.5 tablespoons of Pear + 2 tablespoons of cinnamon.

Okay, let’s get to it!

Step 1 – prep: Fill a pot half way with water and place a double boiler at the bottom. This is the one I used and it only cost $4.

Put all 2.5 pounds of soy wax flakes into the pouring pot.Β  The pouring pot I bought is called a “4 pound pouring pot”, but as you can see only 2.5 pounds of un-melted soy flakes fits inside. It will melt down big time, just wait and see!

Step 2 – melt it: Place theΒ  pot with wax on the double boiler and bring the water to a boil. Mix every couple minutes and watch the wax melt. (I used an old dowel I had laying around to mix my wax. An old wooden ruler, or old spoon you don’t care for works too). Here’s what to expect…

A. Bring to a boil

B. This was about 5-8 minutes into it. Already half way down!

C. About 12-15 min. in, you’ll have a few sad-looking soy clumps hanging on for dear life.

Β 

Step 3 – Cool, then add essential oils:Β  After about 20 minutes, the wax will be completed melted and will look similar to olive oil. At this time, remove from heat.

Let the wax cool to approximately 135 degrees Fahrenheit before adding your essential oils so that you don’t burn off the fragrance. If you don’t have a thermometer, just wait about 15-20 minutes before adding the oils. While you’re waiting, skip over to Step 4 and prep your wicks.

Once it’s cooled down a bit, add your 7 tablespoons of essential oils (as *noted above, I did 5.5 tablespoons of pear + 2 tablespoons of cinnamon for a yummy pear-cinnamon scented candle). Mix.

Step 4 – Prep the wicks: This part is easy (do this while waiting for your wax to cool). Just dab a little glue at the bottom of the metal stand that holds the wick, and then center it at the bottom of the mason jar. Keep the wick from tilting with a clothespin as shown below. I used super glue because I had it on hand, but Elmer’s glue will work too.

Step 5 – The final step! Pour the wax into the six prepared mason jars, then set it and forget it! ;-p I poured a little into each jar until they were all full, just to make sure it was distributed evenly. In a few hours the soy will harden and turn back to the white, milky color.

After it’s hardened, trim the wick to 1/4 inch. Then go all pinteresty on your mason jar with twine and ribbon, and don’t forget to slap a “handmade with love” sticker on it (which you can find on etsy or amazon). πŸ˜‰

That’s all there is to it. πŸ™‚ The time on the stove takes about 30 minutes total. But I would set aside at least 1 hour to make a batch due to the other preparations and waiting for it to cool, etc. But hey, 1 hour isn’t bad! Hypothetically you could make a batch while your little one is napping (like I did the other day and felt like a superstar after!) πŸ˜‰

By the way, i’ve read that it’s good to let your candles set for a few weeks before lighting them as it helps with the fragrance. When I made the pear-vanilla candles I let it set for about a week before lighting them, and you could really smell it in the room!

Anyway, I hope you found this tutorial useful and now that you’ve seen it, totally doable! As the seasons change it will be fun exploring all the different essential oil combinations you can make for these soy candles.

Thank you soy much! (that was inevitable)

Comments: 10 | Leave a comment


Site by Spunmonkey.