April 4th, 2012
It’s been a while….
So, I didn’t fall off the face of the earth! But it looks like I did fall off the quilting/blogging/reading websites/keeping up with tweets and emails/pretty much everything else bus! Things around here have been so busy, the poor sewing room is in disarray and I just keep adding to the fabric piles. (Apparently I have lots of time to shop online for fabric, just not actually use any of it!) I’m hoping to pick things back up soon, now that our nights aren’t filled with catching up on tv shows (hey, I’m being honest!) or other random things! Somehow, my little newborn baby is turning 1 year old next month! I’m not sure how that happened, because I was certain I just had her a few months ago! Crazy how time flies, I fully understand that statement now!! Little Mister is also on his way to being 3, so a co birthday party is in the works!
The quilt blocks below were created for the 4×5 Bee (sign up’s for the 2nd quarter are going on now!), and it’s another original Parfait Cafe design. (I always feel a little weird using the word original, as I feel it is very difficult to create anything truly original these days) This design is based off of a Dresden Plate, and this one is all machine pieced similar to the last Dresden that was posted. The middle circle is hand sewn on as an appliqué. I’m loving the rainbow one, I’m going to have to make an entire rainbow sampler quilt now!
And now, about the tutorials. Tutorials for the blocks will be posted, and the Diamond Blossom will be first up, but writing out the steps and documenting the process is taking some time. A few of the tutorials will be “mini” tutorials or overviews, since we just can’t get on paper everything we want to express about creating a certain block! I’m very sorry for those that have been patiently waiting for tutorials to pop up, and I am very sorry for not responding to emails in some time! I’m getting right on that!
January 11th, 2012
What’s this? A blog post? Could it be?! It seems The Parfait Cafe took a little bit of a hiatus these past few months! To be honest, I had a pretty rough year last year, a couple personal issues arose that made me fall flat on my face. My sewing room seemed lifeless, I had a hard time picking up any projects, and couldn’t find the time or energy to work on tutorials (and I’m sorry for that, they are not forgotten!). This all seems melodramatic, but the truth is I just could not “get with it” in terms of sewing and blogging. So let’s get past all that!
I am a member of the Neutral and Not bee, my first true 12 month virtual bee! The focus of this bee is to use only two colors, one neutral and one not (yellow and gray, blue and white, etc) to achieve a strong design and contrast. The first month belonged to Esther, who requested a 12.5″ Dresden Plate block in green and brown. She gave us free reign to create any dresden, which I was quite happy about! I’m not sure what to call this block. No Appliqué Double Pointed Dresden? Everything-is-sewn-in Dresden? I have no idea. The pointed plates are all machine pieced, as is the center circle. The entire “plate” was pieced into the background fabric (which was cut out and removed). Lots of flipping and sewing! There will be a tutorial for this up too, but first we need to catch up on the 4 other tutorials that are needing to be finished!
December 20th, 2011
Well, seems like I took a little bit of an unexpected blog hiatus! Happy Holidays everyone, and a very happy new year! My blogging hiatus will have to go on just a wee bit longer, but I’m hoping to be back into the full swing of things at the beginning of the year! Tutorials, posts, projects, answering emails (sorry!!), and back to sewing and blogging!
October 24th, 2011
I was going to save this until I worked out the tutorial, but I just think it is toooo adorable and wanted to share! While Mr. Parfait was working on the train costume, I whipped up (…haha) this buttercream inspired headband for Little Mademoiselle to wear to the Halloween event yesterday. I am absolutely infatuated with all things pastry, and cupcakes are pretty high on my list of confectionery delights. I have created many cupcake related crafts in the past, and almost always in a two color swirly fashion. I was thinking of the tops of parfaits, religieuse, meringues, and ice creams when I was creating this headband. It is all felt, and all sewn by hand. This is the third one I created, the first I tried in fleece (…I didn’t have any white felt! What!) and it was a complete failure. It wasn’t stiff enough to keep its shape, even when filled with polyfil stuffing. I tried again but this time sewing each “petal” together, but that didn’t give me the edge I was looking for. The final one of the night was a base of felt, cut into a circle and then sectioned into 8 parts with a marker. Each part was cut a little under halfway to the center, and the top corner of each part (like a pie slice) rounded into a curved half circle of sorts. I’ll go into more detail when I complete the tutorial, but first I need to buy more felt!
October 23rd, 2011
It would be nothing short of an understatement to say that Little Mister loves Thomas the Train. Not a day goes by without him playing trains, watching trains, or somehow involving trains in our everyday life (…which right now means Thomas potty charts…yay). So when it came time for Halloween costumes, there was no question as to what Little Mister would want to be. Thomas the Tank Engine (I always say Thomas the Train). After flipping through costume catalogs and checking out costumes in toy stores, we didn’t really find what we were looking for. Mr. Parfait and I talked it over, and decided to construct our own costume inspired by that really useful engine!
I had a couple ideas, played around with some boxes, etc, but Mr. Parfait wasn’t having any of it. He had a plan and ran with it. He started this costume on Saturday at about 4:00pm and wrapped it up at around 2:00pm Sunday afternoon (including sleep, meals, etc! We’re too old to work through the night anymore haha), two hours before we needed to depart for the event! He constructed every single part of this costume. What did I do? Freaked out and told him it was never going to get done in time. And yes, the crow tastes just fine.
The body frame is foam (the greenish foam you buy by the yard), cut and sewn together to form the train. The outer shell is all duck canvas (heavy fabric), and goes on top of the foam body almost like a slipcover on a chair. All of the details are appliqué, using Heat n Bond. There are two nylon straps attached, to slip over the head. My only contribution was the idea of sewing in reflective piping, for safety.
*Yes, there is no smoke stack or black bumper things, just ran out of time!
Please note that Thomas the Tank Engine Train is the property of its respective owner. These are fan created personal crafts inspired by the character and are in no way affiliated with official Thomas. This entire costume is a Halloween costume for personal happiness only!
October 12th, 2011
Here is the finished set of the 3×6 Bee blocks, Diamond Blossom. I am absolutely in love with this block, in every color way! But I think my favorite is the rainbow one. I love it! I almost kept it for myself I loved it so much, haha! Each diamond is a different shade of Kona cotton. It is assembled a little differently than the others, so it took a little longer to complete (individually cut diamonds). Speaking of assembly, tutorial making is at a little bit of a stand still. I thought they would be posted by now, but there have been lots of things going on and no chance to work on them! But they will get done! They will! I’m hoping the first one will be up in a couple weeks. (hope!)
September 21st, 2011
Onward! 4×5 Bee Blocks, done! This has been a very hexagon filled bee quarter for us, hah! Aside from working on bee blocks, I’ve been trying to rearrange the website a little bit. I added a Google Friend Connect button, share buttons, updated my Twitter, and hopefully figured out my RSS feeds. I’m a little behind on social networking it seems, hah. I’m also trying to work out adding all color variations of our bee blocks to one page. Still working on that, tehehe.
I also want to say a huge heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who has emailed and commented! I am so happy people are interested in tutorials for the blocks, or just want to chat! I try to reply as quickly as I can, but Little Mister also wants to “reply” (and subsequently deletes some emails, ack!)so it might take a bit longer for me to get back to you! Again, thank you, I appreciate every comment!
I should also explain the “us” that pops up in my blog posts. (Us, Me, We, I….not really one for consistency am I? …there it is again!) I consider The Parfait Cafe to be a collaboration between myself and Mr. Parfait. We work as a team (Team Parfait! I need to make shirts…) and share roles when it comes to designing, creating, sewing, color/fabric choice, and more. We’ve been doing this on and off for 11 years, and we have definitely figured out our rhythm and what works the best for us (or so I think, haha). That’s not to say we don’t have crazy “Artistic Spats” sometimes, and it is hard sometimes because we are both so bull headed (sorry honey, hehe). But we have a lot of fun together, and we are thankful to have an outlet like The Parfait Cafe (I’ll explain the name sometime soon) that we can share our projects and designs!
September 20th, 2011
Here’s the first set of our 3×6 Bee Blocks this quarter. I love looking at these all together, the colors in this hive were fantastic! I’m really starting to open up to different color combinations, and that’s the great thing about these bees! I’m finding so much color inspiration and having so much fun finding new and interesting fabrics!
I have been getting some emails regarding tutorials for these new blocks, and I promise, they are coming soon! Tutorials for all three new blocks will be posted as soon as all of the blocks are finished and all of the bee commitments are fulfilled.
Also, I wanted to post a little information about the “Bee Blocks” and what they are for. I am currently part of three “Virtual Bee’s” on Flickr, the 3×6, 4×5 and the EmbroiderBee. Upon joining the bee (they usually run in quarters), you are assigned a “hive”. Everyone (5-6 people) in your hive has a color scheme they are looking for, and they post an inspiration mosaic of their colors. You make a 12.5″ block of your choice, same block design for each member of your hive, in their posted colors from fabrics in your stash. That is why we make so many blocks in different colors of the same design!
August 27th, 2011
I wanted to share a great charity event that the leader of my local Modern Quilt Guild is hosting! 100 Quilt For Kids is a quilt drive that is running from September 15-October 15. If you have the time, please consider making a quilt for a child in need and donating it to an organization in or around your area or through a nationwide organization. On top of managing this project, Kate is also hosting a Quilt Along for the quilt drive! Now you can make a snazzy new quilt while following along with cool people, then donate it and treat yourself to an ice cream! And who doesn’t love ice cream!? (…If you don’t love ice cream just don’t tell me!) I will be donating my quilts (I’m hoping to finish three!) to a local organization through my quilt guild, and urge you to check out the details and see if it is a fit for you! (It should fit you, because everything fits you so well! Now that you have had a compliment and feel good, go make a quilt!)
August 27th, 2011
Sometimes quilt blocks do not work out. At all. Sometimes trying to fix the problem just makes it worse, so it’s back to the cutting table to start all over!