Mini Blackberry Bread Loaves

If you're following me on Instagram, you've seen that I'm on a bit of a blackberry kick lately. My husband, myself, and 2 of our children went to a local orchard to go berry picking a week ago today, and I have been on the hunt ever since for recipes for blackberry EVERYTHING. So far we've made 1 large pie, 18 small hand pies, 2 large bread loaves, and one large berry cobbler THEN I made these mini loaves and we still have berries left! I don't know what i'll do with them all!



I came across this amazing Blackberry Bread recipe on Cookin' for my Captain but I tweaked it a little and made mini loaves instead of one big loaf, changed some ingredients, omitted the toppings, and changed cook times so I wanted to share my changes with you :)

The cinnamon really adds that extra special touch but isn't too strong - the bread itself reminds me of Amish Friendship Bread. Sweet and delicious with just the right amount of spice. And of course the blackberries in it are to die for!

Yields: 4 mini loaves or 2 regular loaves

*My mini loaves came from a grocery store, they are paper safe bakeware. They are approx. 4.5" long by 2.5" tall and 2.25" deep.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups fresh blackberries
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Gently toss in your blackberries until lightly coated.
  3. In a large bowl, combine sugar and the rest of the ingredients listed.
  4. Add the sugar mixture to the blackberry mixture and stir until combined.
  5. Pour into 4 mini loaf pans (can be cardboard or metal / glass) and bake for approx 50-60 minutes. Check every 20 minutes or so (ovens vary!) and keep an eye on them.
  6. Remove from oven when top is golden brown and cracked open - yum!! Cool on wire rack.


I hope you enjoy this recipe for the mini loaves, you could easily switch out the blackberries for blueberries or raspberries (or mix them all together!!!) and it would still turn out amazing. 

Let me know if you make this recipe, I'd love to hear your opinions!

2016 Cloud9 New Block Blog Hop

I am excited to announce I am part of the 2016 New Block Blog Hop! Organized by Yvonne, Cheryl, and Stephanie, this blog hop will consist of many designers creating a quilt block using the gorgeous Cloud9 Cirrus Solids and posting a tutorial for the finished block!


If you've never used Cirrus Solids before, you're totally missing out! They are my go-to fabrics for bias binding. They create the softest most beautiful bias binding I've ever used and I am always impressed with the results!

So let's go ahead and look at what Cloud9 so generously sent those of us participating in the blog hop...


Cirrus Solids shades from top to bottom: Lilac, Amazon, Shadow, Iris, Sky.

These are so gorgeous, don't you think? Im excited to make a block and already have some ideas swimming in my head. I hope you'll follow along! You can search the hashtag #2016cloud9newblock on Instagram and follow me as well: @amistabaker



Berry Pickin'

I have been so busy with Summer events I haven't blogged in a few days. I have got literally NO sewing done (sad face!) but I did have lots of fun wit the kids and family the past week or so.


Last week was our county fair. The girls went with their Grandma 2 or 3 times and I took them once (my husband was working) but it was soo miserably hot!! With the heat index and humidity of 80+ percent into consideration it felt like 105 degrees here nearly every single day. But we did get in some fair time and especially fair FOOD!!

Then, on Saturday, we celebrated my daughter's 8th birthday - which is actually today ;) - at a local bowling alley. We had a lot of fun and even had some extended family from China here!! (My husbands uncle is an English teacher in China and he brought his chinese wife and step-daughter to the US).



THEN today we picked berries earlier in the morning and came home to make homemade blackberry pie. We went out to dinner with some family for Zoey's birthday since today is her actual day of birth, and when we came home the girls went with Grandma to swim while my husband cleaned my moms pool (different Grandma lol).

Unfortunately as we were leaving he got stung really hard in the face by a wasp :( He immediately iced it but it still got extremely swollen. He's showered and taken some Benadryl + 2 ibuprofen and is now applying vinegar to the sting area. I feel so bad for him! I know it has to hurt :(





Anyway how was your weekend? Did you enjoy family time?

Goody Goody Giveaway!!

Hello and welcome to my blog! I have recently participated in the 2016 New Bloggers Group, lots of Instagram swaps, and throughout these experiences have gained some really awesome followers and quilty friends! So, I thought i'd have a little giveaway for you all :)

(giveaway closed!)


What you could win:

  • Cotton + Steel Goody Goody Binding Kit w/ magnetic closure and added hexie magnetic needle minder.
  • Cotton + Steel Deluxe Pincushion with pocket
  • 100 - cardstock hexies with hole in the middle.

How to win:

  1. Follow me on Instagram: @amistabaker
  2. Comment on the giveaway post (read post for instructions)
  3. Tag friends for 1 extra entry per tag.
  4. Re-post to your own account and tag me on IG for 5 extra entries.


If you've been following me on Instagram, you've been seeing sneak peeks of this set for a while now. These binding kits are amazing! They have room for snacks, paper pieces, scissors, thread, needles and pins, and much more! I even added a little hexie needle minder on there too ;)

The pincushion is HUGE, seriously!! Its as big as the binding kit but holds a lot of pins, and the front pocket would be great for holding a spool of thread, binding clips, etc.



So, what are you waiting for!! Go enter!




Blog Hop: 2016 New Quilt Bloggers


Hello! Welcome to my blog and to the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop! I'm Amista Baker, a wife and stay-at-home mom to 2 girls and 1 baby boy living in Ohio (U.S.). I'm so happy to have you. I've been enjoying getting to know everyone in the group and my own hive!

First, i'll talk a little about myself, but on down in the post I also have some great resources linked for you! :)

What started it...

I began sewing 8-9 years ago, making bags and purses for friends and family and eventually selling online, but my real passion - and what I went to college for - was always digital design. So my sewing hobby was put aside to focus on my love for digital creations. I created my business, Hilltop Custom Designs, and begin selling party printable such as invitation, cupcake toppers, banners, tags, and more! It was a huge success for our family.

Approximately 1 1/2 years ago I made my first quilt, a "Simple Cuts Crazy Quilt" for my son's upcoming birth along with some bibs and organic teethers. I was instantly hooked! A few months later I made a Jelly Roll Racer for my daughters 7th birthday. Naturally, it spiraled from there and I have made many quilts since. Some for our family, some for friends.

Hexie Framed quilt pattern from QuiltyLove (Emily Dennis)


 
My first ever quilt! Pattern by beffie48 on Etsy

I have WAY more skills now than what I started with, however, I think I will always see myself as a beginner quilter - I'm always learning new techniques and love trying out new patterns. You can view some of my finished quilts on my Quilts Page. My new favorite thing is Instagram swaps! I love an excuse to make for others, especially when you're also receiving a handmade item yourself from someone in another part of the world. It's such an awesome experience and I always treasure the things that are made for me!!

Have you ever participated in swaps? What was your experience? I would love to hear the things you've made!



My first ever mini quilt! (Winter Star block from Farmgirl Vintage)
Jelly Roll Jam quilt pattern from Fat Quarter Shop
Next, I was going to share some tips with you, but because I still feel like such a newbie and I'm not sure I have a lot of knowledge to share that you probably haven't already read a thousand times, instead i'm going to link you to 10 of my favorite quilting resources found on the web!

My Favorite Resources:

  1. Easy way to make your own bias binding - video by Londa Rohlfing
  2. Binding a quilt with mitered corners & invisible join - video by MadebyMarzipan
  3. Sewing Tutorials by A Spoonful of Sugar
  4. Cheap A+ quality zippers - ZipIt Zippers
  5. Pre-made bias binding rolls (double fold and quilt binding) - SoBiased
  6. My favorite online fabric shop - StarlitQuilts *Free mini charm pack with every order!
  7. My favorite stabilizer, Annie's Soft & Stable
  8. Cheap (but good quality) Suede Tassel zipper pulls - CharismaJewelryShop
  9. Bulk metal snaps and other notions - SewAndSnap
  10. Bulk bag making supplies (hardware) - SewingSupplies


Charming Tinsel Pouch - Available on Craftsy and My Shop

Last, but not least...

Please checkout our 2016 New Quilt Blogger Hosts: Yvonne @QuiltingJetgirl, Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs, and Stephanie @Late Night Quilter ... and the members of my Hive (Miss-Bee-Hivin) which are linked below :)

Jennifer @ Inquiring Quilter
Jen @ Cut & Alter
Velda @ GRANNYcanQUILT
Miranda @ I Have Purple Hair



AND look at the amazing prizes you could win just for following along: 
  • Fat Quarter Shop - $50 Gift Certificate 
  • Aurifil 12 Large Spool Designer Collection - Amy Sinibaldi, Sweetly Stitched (28 and 50wt) 
  • Hawthorne Threads - $40 Gift Certificate 
  • The Quilter’s Planner 2017 Starter Kit (Planner, Pens, Clips, Highlighters) 
  • Mini Barn Quilts - Winner’s Choice of (1) of the (6) Original Mini Barn Quilts 
  • Story Patches- $25 Starter Kit (patches and pen) 
  • Stitches Quilting - $30 Gift Certificate 
  • Meadow Mist Designs - Winner’s Choice of (2) Digital PDF Patterns 
  • Quilting Jetgirl - Winner’s Choice of (2) Digital PDF Patterns

I was excited to be apart of the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers group. I have enjoyed meeting everyone and hope you have too! Please checkout the rest of my blog - I'm always open to constructive criticism and learning of ways to improve. I've got some tutorials and free patterns for you as well as lots of post where I share the things I make, so please take a look around!

Thanks for stopping by! :)


Swap My Stash: Round 1 and Info

I am hosting a continuing swap on Instagram called #SwapMyStash. It is so much fun and if you're into to instant gratification this swap is totally for you!! Ive got some pics to share of the bundle I sent and the one I received as well as some information for you about future swaps.


First things first, here's what you need to know about this swap...


  • Every few weeks i'll post the above image on Instagram (@amistabaker) and call for bundles. 
  • When image is posted, sign up link will go live in my IG profile and you have to have a bundle ready within 24-48 hours. 
  • Each partner ships immediately so there are no wait times or check-ins.
  • No handmade items, no extras. Just fabric!

These are the fabric bundle guidelines...

  • I suggest choosing rainbow, low volume, warm, cool, or patterned (dots, floral, etc) fabrics for your bundle. Curate them like you would if you had your own fabric shop!
  • You can choose from one of the following bundle options: (A) 4 Fat Quarters, (B) 8 Fat Eighths, or (C) 2 Fat Quarters + 4 Fat Eights.
  • All fabric must be designer quilting cotton. (I.E.: Moda, Riley Black, FreeSpirit, Cotton + Steel, Michael Miller, cloud9, Windham, etc)
You can find all this information ANY time on the "Swap My Stash" menu on my blog. On mobile devices this is on the dropdown menu at the top under my header ;)

Now, onto my swap package...


My partner was Jayme, @findingsweetland on Instagram. She sent me this gorgeous bundle of FreeSpirit and Cotton + Steel fabrics. And of course, my favorite color is purple so these are totally perfect for me!

She wrapped it up nice and pretty and even included a cute Moda Badge "Stitch. Rip. Repeat" with my fabric. I was beyond happy with my swap package!!

 

What I sent to my partner...


I checked out my partner's IG feed and decided to go with a mostly low-volume bundle of various prints. I used fabrics from Vintage Market by Tasha Noel, Little Miss Sunshine by LellaBoutique, Hello Darling by Bonnie & Camile, Snails from the Far Far Away collection by Heather Ross, and some cloud9 Mushroom prints.

Overall the first round of this swap is going extremely well and I'm very happy with the outcome. That's why i've decided to continue doing it. It will likely happen every 2 months or so as long as their still seems to be growing interest.

Would you join this swap?

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful weekend!

OPEN: Christmas In July Pattern Sale!


UPDATE: Sale is over. I am so excited to announce that the Christmas In July sale, featuring over 20 talented pattern designers is officially OPEN! But you have to hurry! - You ONLY have the next 72 hours to purchase this pattern bundle at a discounted rate!

Click here to purchase this pattern set before it's gone!! 

This pack includes patterns for several paper piecing projects, several quilts, advent calendar, zipper pouches, bags, a backpack, a clutch, garland, and so much more!

You'll get 20+ sewing and quilt patterns for only $25.00 
that's a ($170+ value)

Pattern Designers:

Amy Garro
13 Spools
Bobbie
A Vision to Remember
Amy
Amy's Creative Side
Alyce Blyth
Blossom Heart Quilts
Carrie
Carrie Actually
Jennie Pickett
Clover & Violet
Beth
Cooking Up Quilts
Anita LaHay
Daydreams of Quilts
Emma Wengier
Emkie Designs
Jen Frost
Faith and Fabric
Amista Baker
Hilltop Custom Designs
Hope Nelson
Hope's Quilt Designs
Keera Job
Live Love Sew
Cheryl Brickey
Meadow Mist Designs
Kristy Lea
Quiet Play
Yvonne Fuchs
Quilting Jet Girl
Joy
Quilty Joy Joy
Anne Boundy
Said With Love
Deanna Wall
Stitches Quilting
Raylee
Sunflower Quilting
Stephanie Woodson
Swoodson Says
Tonya Grant
The Crafty Mummy
Kitty Wilkin
The Night Quilter


I personally have contributed my Charming Tinsel Pouch into this bundle, which I blogged about last month. I am honored to be grouped with these other amazing designers - and believe me you will want to grab this bundle! It is sold at such a discounted price but only for ONE time a year, so make sure you get it now!


Important info:

  • You get over 20 patterns for $25.00 - thats a $170+ value!!
  • Your purchase enters you to win a 6 month subscription from Make Modern Magazine
  • Craftsy is donating 10 classes, so every person who buys a bundle will be entered for a chance to win those also.
  • Sulky is donating a free pattern *and* a 15% off coupon as part of each bundle
  • Gotham Quilts is donating a 15% off coupon as part of each bundle


Click here to purchase this pattern set for $25 ($170+ value)

I hope you will take part in this with us! :) It is going to be something you will not want to miss!





Swap My Stash

I am doing a super quick and easy swap on Instagram right now where we are swapping fabric bundles from our own personal stash (read more below), and it got me thinking... 

What criteria do you have for fabric purchases and adding to your stash?



For me, it's a few different things...

  • I like adding to a collection of my favorite designers. Sometimes i'll purchase solely from a designer I love (like Bonnie & Camille) because the lines sell out fast and I don't want to miss out.
  • Other times I am looking to add a specific color or print because I'm running low. I have a tendency to buy my favorite colors only and my stash can look a lot less colorful because of it. Then, I go to make a new project and I'm lacking colors or prints I really need which causes me to buy fabric and wait for it to ship.
  • And occasionally I will buy just because it's on sale... I know I'm not the only one!! I still love the print, but its may not always be something id pay full price for so when I see it on sale I grab it (and usually end up loving it).

Do you buy entire lines from one designer?

For some designers I will pick & choose prints from a line and buy them singularly, which is what I do with Cotton & Steel. Love the color rich shades of their fabrics but sometimes the prints aren't for me (cats, for instance - no thanks). 

For other designers like Bonnie & Camille and Lella Boutique, I am literally never disappointed. So I will purchase bundles of their entire line when it releases. I already have Olive's Flower Market by Lella Boutique on pre-order ;)



Now onto the swap information. Im unsure if i'll do another round of this, but I do have to say it was VERY popular and we had lots & lots of people sign up.

Swap My Stash

  • Super quick 10 day swap.
  • No mosaics / photo collages
  • No handmade items or extras
  • Only designer fabrics used
We are simply swapping Fat quarters or Fat Eighths of fabric from our own personal stash's. Partners are being kept secret, and each person is tasked with simply checking out their partner's IG feed and sending them a personally curated bundle of fabrics :) It's that simple!

A follower on IG suggested we use the #swapmystash tag in the future for anyone who wants to swap fabric. Kind of in the same way you sell fabric on the #thegreatfabricdestash tag - but this way you'd be searching for people to swap with you instead. I think this is an awesome idea!

Would you use the #swapmystash tag for this purpose?





Under The Sea Swap: My Partners Package

Since joining my first Instagram swap a few months ago, I have been totally hooked! So obviously when i saw Carla (@cpeicheff) was hosting an Under The Sea Swap I absolutely had to join. 

First, I want to share the package I made for my partner, Elise (@eliseandemelie), which I shipped off early because I'm an over-achiever and was super excited to do this swap! LOL


This swap allowed you to choose 3 main options from a list for items you'd like, and your partner was to decide which one(s) to make for you. Elise had lots of blues, greens, and sea themed items on her swap mosaic, but the form she filled out for the swap also listed some other shades of fabric she liked, so I tried to include a little of everything. 

I mainly used Coral Queen of the Seas fabric line by MODA, as well as some Hearts by Dear Stella for the main pouch, and blue / aqua / green scraps for the sewing kit.

From her list of items, I chose to make a zipper pouch with EPP hexies that were sewn down in the "modern hexies" method, and added a little hand embroidery as well (not my strong suit but i tried) then finished it off with a little mermaid & suede tassel zipper charms.



Elise's Package:

  • I used 2 charm squares to make a small dish, following the tutorial from A Spoonful of Sugar
  • a fabric business card holder which is also a tutorial from A Spoonful of Sugar
  • 2 charm squares to made a simple pincushion from my own tutorial. 
  • A scrappy sewing kit from Scrap Happy Sewing book by RetroMama
  • A diamond coin purse from SeeKateSew's tutorial, scaled to make it smaller.
  • A hand punched pack of 1" hexagon paper templates
  • A pack of machine sewing needles and a gift box filled with goodies
  • A sea themed colorable bookmark and matching gem shaped post-its
  • A list pad and a Frixion pen.
  • Some glue basted hexies in Coral Queen of the Sea fabric that match her pouch.


Each of the small sewing projects were super fast, taking only 10-15 mins or so each. They are great scrap busting projects and make perfect gifts to throw in a swap package.





Lastly, I put everything in the hexie pouch before shipping it off :) I really hope Elise enjoys her package as much as I enjoyed making everything! 




Next time I'll talk about the package I received from my partner and show lots of pics :)



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DIY Fussy Cut Hexie Template

Today I want to share with you the easy way I make a fussy cut template for hexies. If you don't want to shell out anywhere from $20-$40 for the acrylic ones, this is a great frugal way to make some at home in ANY size.


This is pretty self explanatory but for those of you who've never done it before or seen it been done, this will help a lot!

Supplies

  • Cardstock or thin cardboard (like a cereal box)
  • Ruler with a 1/4" seam marking
  • Fabric pen or Frixion pen
  • Rotary cutter and/or scissors
  • Pre-cut hexie in any size.

Instructions

1. Grab your supplies and get organized. Cut one square from cardstock or cardboard that is 2" to 2.5" larger than your hexagon. *I used a 1" hexie and my square is 3".


2.  Place your hexie on your square. Trace around it. Use your ruler to mark a 1/4" or 1/2" mark around the entire outside of your traced hexie. This extra area is what will fold over your paper pieces and be basted to the back. *I used a 1/4" seam as thats my preference but you can do a larger one if you like.


3. Cut out your hexie on the outermost line using an X-Acto knife, rotary cutter, or scissors.


4.  You're done with the template! Label the finished hexie size for easier distinction when using (in my case it's 1"). You can easily place it on top of fabric, trace around the lines, and voila! You've got a fussy cut hexie!


See? I told you it was easy. Even if you don't have cardstock a cereal box or something similar works just as well. If you don't have a hexie punch like I do, there are resources online where you can print pre-designed sheets of hexies in various sizes and cut them out with scissors or a paper cutter.

I also have bulk pre-cut hexies in my shop that you can purchase at a low price and I ship pretty quickly :)



Do you like paper piecing??


I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and find a good use for it - it could come in handy for ANY paper piecing size or shape.