Sunday, June 30, 2013

Fresh Sewing Day

Wow. A quick glance through my mosaic tells June's story ~ basically Patchwork, Please and City Sampler sew alongs!

There was also one small quilt, Summersville Baby, but don't worry, I have another alllllmost done!
Lily's Quilts
Linking up with Fresh Sewing Day!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Un-Random

The last couple of months, it seems I've posted most of my randomness on facebook. Meaning A Quilter's Table facebook page. It's just been fun {and easy} to share there as I see things I appreciate around blogland. Just a little fyi. But I decided I should tell you that here, and in doing so, might as well share some of that randomness too.

So speaking of being here and there, just a reminder that google reader is shutting down as of Monday. Personally, I've switched to bloglovin, even though I'm still adjusting to that and open to options. Hopefully you're all up to date and ready for the switch too. Back in April, I posted about my social media buttons (see directly under my photo in the right column) - these should help you follow A Quilter's Table in ways that work for you. And if you're curious about any of them, a brief description of how I use them is in that post. {here}

Meanwhile, in other odds and ends, I need some stylus advice. When I was working on my Patchwork, Please apron this week, my plastic chopstick (my normal "poking out corners" tool) wasn't quite cutting it. I'd love to hear what you use and find most helpful.

Speaking of Patchwork, Please, we're 4 weeks in and having the best time!
It's never too late to join in! All the info is in the flickr group Zakka Along 2.0 :: Patchwork, Please or in the tab below my blog header. We are using the delightful book by Ayumi TakahashiPatchwork, Please!: Colorful Zakka Projects to Stitch and Give. And if you only want to join in for a project or a few, that's totally fine too!

I've been getting glimpses of the new Art Gallery Squared Elements and I'm liking them! Like I want to try them, so I've ordered a couple of colors. What about you - something you have your eye on??
  
photos courtesy of Art Gallery - "Honeycomb" and "Noir" are pictured

And I came across another opportunity to help, thanks to Leanne/shecanquilt. In an effort to encourage those who have been affected by the flooding in Alberta, Canada, Cheryl/Naptime Quilter is collecting "slab blocks" to make quilts to donate. (Doesn't the phrase "slab blocks" just pique your interest? ha) Here's her post if you'd like to join in.

Lastly, I keep thinking about this quilted piece by MariQuilts/The Quilting Edge! It's destined to be more than a table runner, I believe, but I do sure like it just.like.this!
More Aura I

Guess that's it for now. Thanks for going all random with me! Have a great weekend!

Linking up with Really Random Thursday on Saturday. Again.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Patchwork, Please! :: The Polka-Dot-Cafe Apron

There was a time years ago when I took a part-time job. On my first day, I slipped on the apron I was given and thought to myself, "This is a dream come true." For the next 8 years, I worked as a pastry chef. Which in that quaint little town meant I baked pies, tarts, cakes, brownies, and the like. My work bench was in front of a picture window, there where industrial ovens a few feet behind me, and a tall Hobart stand mixer on the floor to my side. Bins under my bench held bags of flours and sugars, which I dipped into continuously throughout my shift. And just steps out my door were walk-in refrigerators that kept my butter and eggs and more. Every day, my "office" was full of good smells, and tasted even better.  And as I thought of this week's project, these memories of my time in the bakery came rushing back, and it dawned on me. I needed to make a baker's apron.

I took the easy way out by purchasing one just like the ones I used to wear when I baked. I'd never had one since, and I confess I always loved how they felt on, how the long strings wrapped around to tie in front. If I had it to do over, I might have enlarged the blocks for the pocket just a tad. But those blocks - well I really enjoyed them! I don't have many fussy-cuttable prints in my stash apparently, so I decided to use a fq stack of Jeni Baker's "Color Me Retro." What happy fabric! There were basically three palettes, which worked great using one for each pocket. I did fussy cut the large squares, and added in one coordinating stash fabric per block.
Instead of using templates, I opted to use my rotary equipment - cutting 2 1/2" Big Squares (and actually 5, not 4 as written, 1 being the center motif) and 1 1/2" Small Squares. For the Corner Triangles, I cut 2-2 1/2" squares, then cut them in half diagonally, and similarly, for the Small Triangles, I cut 4-2" squares, again cutting in half diagonally. In doing it "my way," my blocks, trimmed, were slightly smaller than Ayumi's, measuring 6 1/4".
I didn't have twill on hand and opted to back my block strip with pellon's Thermolam Plus 971F, a nice basic fusible quilting interfacing. And quilt I did - simply, in diagonals through the center of each block. I backed it with another piece of "Retro" (the large teal and green flowers), and I then followed the binding instructions, though I did the final stitching by machine.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed these blocks, this fabric, indeed every step of this project. And don't you doubt it. Pretty or not, this apron is going to get used!

Project adapted from Patchwork, Please!: Colorful Zakka Projects to Stitch and Give as part of the Zakka 2.0 :: Patchwork, Please sew along. Linking with Finish it up Friday.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

W.i.P. Wednesday

It's been a couple of weeks since I posted on W.i.P. Wednesday but that doesn't mean I haven't been sewing! Lots going on, and some deadlines looming! I did finish a few projects and have provided links in case you missed them!

Completed projects
Bunny frame pouch -  From last year's Zakka Style, it was fun to revisit this little pouch - still one of my favorite pouch patterns.

Patchwork, Please towel, tea cozy, & teabag pouch - The sew along's going along quite nicely! Click on the project names to see mine!

Summersville Baby - This was a fun, fairly quick finish, gifted to my niece last weekend. I thoroughly enjoyed finally using my Summersville charm packs that had been stashed until just the right project came along.

Ongoing projects
City Sampler Quilt Along - The first section of 15 cross blocks is done! {Here's the book we're sewing from.} Still thoroughly enjoying these!
1. Block 3, 2. Block 2, 3. Block 1, 4. Block 4, 5. Block 5, 6. Block 6, 7. Block 7, 8. Block 8, 9. Block 9, 10. Block 10
11. Block 1112. Block 12, 13. block13e640a, 14. Block 14, 15. Block 15

x and + quilt {#xplusalong- Quilting is happening!

Improv Slice and Insert Quilt No progress here, sad but true.

PolaroidFaith Circle, and That Stash Bee quilts - Still waiting for all the blocks to arrive.

Upcoming projects
* dress for grandgirl
Patchwork, Please! sew along projects
* June's Lucky Star
* prepping more City Sampler blocks
* pillows for Mom
* dolly quilt for grandgirl
* mail bag

Linking up with W.i.P. Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesday at the Table

Winding our way home through the wine country of Eastern Washington last weekend, hubby and I happened upon DavenLore Winery.
The winemaker, Gordon, was there to meet us as we walked up to the winery entrance, and for the next 45 minutes or so, the three of us were engrossed in chatting about wine, life, and anything in general. Along the way, of course, we sipped some reds, and by the time we left, we felt like we'd made a new friend.
There's something special about going straight to the source . . . meeting your local cheese-monger, the farmer who raises the chickens that provides your eggs, the woman who made the preserves you spread on your toast, the wine maker whose "fruit" you enjoy. Take the opportunity when you get the chance, to learn about the journey that brought them to where they are. Somewhere behind all that is most likely a passion for The Table. Meet them there.

photo courtesy of DavenLore.com

Monday, June 24, 2013

Zakka Along 2.0 :: Week 4

Last week was all about tea cozies and tea pouches in the Patchwork, Please sew along! Of course there were some awesome adaptions of the patterns once again - such a clever bunch you are! And the attention to details that just 'make' your projects never ceases to inspire me. Another delightful week!
1. Tea Cosy, 2. Tea Mug Rug, 3. interior, 4. Untitled, 5. LETTERED TEA COZY 2, 6. mixer cover1, 7. Tea cosy, 8. tea coasters, 9. Patchwork, Please Tea Cozy & Pouch

In Week 4, Angela of Cut to Pieces shares her Polka Dot Cafe Apron - just as darling as you'd expect it to be! Check in with Lindsey for all the prize info and last week's winner!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Patchwork, Please! :: Lettered Tea Cozy and Teabag Pouch

I'm still a little leery of paper-piecing and I don't really drink tea. But something about the Patchwork, Please Tea Cozy and Pouch called to me. Most likely, it's our family history. I started collecting china tea cups when I was a teenager, and when daughter dear was a little (and even half-grown) girl, she loved her tea parties. Even the expanded family would go out for high tea occasionally, so over the years we've enjoyed it a lot.
I can't say piecing the TEA and cup blocks went 100% smoothly, but I did really enjoy picking out fabrics. The 'backgrounds' are all of shot cotton, in vivid colors I really enjoy. Thanks to a text charm swap a while back, I had odds and ends of delightful text fabrics that I certainly would not have had otherwise. The main body of my cozy is Essex linen in natural. The lining, which unfortunately is hidden, is the gold leaf print from V and Co.'s Simply Color; the binding is pb&j from Basic Grey. Quilting is an organic wavy stitch using a new-to-me Auriful thread, #2326 {Sand} 50wt, which I think is a perfect partner for that natural Essexn. I'll definitely be using them together again, as the thread adds just a bit of a sheen to that matte linen. And that little tab? A snippet of Echino.
Now I'm a very visual person, so a couple of times I needed a diagram of a specific step. The one that I really stumbled on was step #9 - placing the template to cut out the front and back main panels. I goofed - on the front, of course(!) - but luckily figured out my error in time to cut out the back correctly. The problem I created was too wide of a batting-only strip below my pieced letters. {It should only be 3/4", just as the instructions indicate!} So what to do? Luckily it came to me right away: sew a strip of Essex below the letters and matchstick quilt it. Perfect. I'll confess I am glad I goofed, as I really like my fix!
When it came time for the Tea Pouch, I wanted to echo that matchstick quilting, so I cut the outer fabric piece (more Essex), fused the batt, and quilted it. Then I trimmed it to size. The inner fabric is also Essex, and the pockets more of the Basic Grey (thanks, Jenn!), trimmed with those shot cotton solids. Instead of string and a button, I used lengths of natural sisal twine, so I could tie the whole little package closed.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed these projects. Quilting on Essex is always a joy, fussy cutting for the paper piecing was especially fun this time, and a couple of new techniques - that wide binding on the cozy, and the contrasting top edge of the pouch pockets - were good ones to add to the ole repertoire. This was definitely my cup of tea!

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Well, Fancy That!

It's always fun when a friend hollers out a "Did you see this?" head's up, as Marci did this week. She told me about a new swap she'd come across - The Triple-Zip Pouch Swap! wowsers. Organized by Stephanie @ Quarter Incher, sign-ups are open now, and partners will be assigned by July 6 with a due date of August 17. Obviously, they'll be using this little tutorial right here.
Triple-Zip Pouch - Front
Some personal deadlines preclude me from joining in, but you can be sure, I'll be watching from the sidelines. Fun stuff!

City Sampler Quilt Along :: Blocks 10, 11, & 12

So far, my blocks have been a mix of fabrics in the style of those in the book. For the first time, this set has two that are nearly identical. I must say, the more I make, the more I enjoy. And honestly, prepping several blocks a few days ago made stitching up these three very easy to squeeze into my busy work day.



I was pretty excited to see this chart by Teri Emerson/craktpot show up on flickr. Knowing what block goes where will really be helpful the farther along I get with choosing fabrics for my blocks. (Note one correction: the one in the 1st row marked 1D should be 89.) 
Gridlock Legend

Another thing I am finding helpful is that the color of each page number corresponds with the general color that block. I've found it a little difficult on some blocks to determine what color it really should be (considering I'm trying to follow Tula's lead on block colors), and the photograph and the block diagram don't always match. So this color coding will also be helpful as I move forward. Pretty exciting that one more week, and we'll be moving out of the "Crosses" section and into the "Rectangles." To me, that means progress!

Linking up with Sew Sweetness.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Summersville Baby

It's been a while since I've made a baby quilt, so when the need for one came up, I didn't really have an idea of what to do. Until I saw Krista's "Welcome to Nunaka", which she shared in the recent Blogger's Quilt Festival. Where Krista used pink in her mixed neutral background, I used blue. Actually, light blue and green,  along with white, snow, and a pale gray. 
The prints were mostly from Lucie Summers' summersville. I used a charm pack, matching up the 5" squares with solid squares, sewing a 1/4" on either side of a diagonal marked with my hera, then cutting and trimming to 4 1/2" blocks. {Random note: did you know they now make a "slim" hera??} I didn't have quite enough summersville, so I added in bits of Half Moon Modern Oval Dots, Metro Living Rings, DS Sugar Creek Infinity, and American Jane Mono Pez, which I thought all played well together.

For backing, I chose the summersville alphabet print in coal, and quilted with a simple double-line grid, just like Krista.
There were two new-to-me products in this project :

  • Pellon's Legacy 100% Natural Cotton batting, which I really loved! It has such a nice hand, and the finished quilt is very soft. 
  • Aurifil's 40 wt thread, which I'd heard rave reviews on for quilting (Ivory #2021). I learned right off that a larger needle than my norm was in order, and a 90/14 quilting needle worked well for me. Cristycreates on Ig tells me that using an embroidery needle would be even better, but I didn't have any on hand and managed fine. But I'll definitely be picking some up to compare.

For binding, I used more of those oval dots, and wouldn't you know I was just a teensy short, so I just filled in with some pez and infinity. Problem solved.
Overall this went together fairly quickly, and it has a soothing quality about it. I'm trusting baby will feel the love.

Linking up with Fabric Tuesday.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday at the Table

When we first met our son-in-law-to-be several years ago, I don't remember him cooking. At all. But he's surprised me at least, and now has quite a repertoire and does alot of the family cooking. And he makes really interesting and unusual things too - fresh mozzarella, butter, homemade pasta and bread, and even mead.

In true son-in-law style, when he was asked what he wanted for Father's Day brunch and he replied biscuits and gravy, it was obvious to daughter dear and I that he would be the one cooking!
This isn't something I've made much, but son-in-law's version is definitely worth siding up to the table for. I did what I could rounding out the rest of the meal, and for dessert, tried a variation on the Raspberry Oatmeal Bars I made last week. I followed the exact recipe while substituting blueberry preserves and fresh blueberries. And they were equally good. Not a real sturdy bar, they really would be extra good served with a fork and a scoop of ice cream. Note to self.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Zakka Along 2.0 :: Week 3

Oh this week has been equally fun, seeing all the zakka towels show up around blogland! Once again, I've been inspired by your creativity and pleased as can be by the pure enjoyment you've found in stitching up this project! Below is a mosaic of several that caught my eye, including some variations - a placemat, a cushion, and expanding into the tea-time and snack arenas!

Week 3 will find us making tea cozies and tea bag pouches, started off by Anna of Noodlehead. See her delightful linen "denim and sunshine" version here! Comment on her post to be eligible for some great little goodies from a few of our generous sponsors. And be sure and visit Lindsey too to see last week's winner, and this week's prize info and linky. Can't wait to see what you come up with this week!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

City Sampler Quilt Along :: Blocks 7, 8, & 9

Late last night I finally got around to grabbing 100 Modern Quilt Blocks and worked on this last week's set of blocks. I wonder if every week I'm going to say, "This is my favorite set yet."



I've only been able to add a few bits of Tula Pink's fabric to my blocks from the Prince Charming and The Birds and the Bees charm packs I had, so I was really excited to get wind of the Tula Pink Charm Square Swap, where I was able to nab the next to last slot. Obviously, I'm hoping most of those charms will find their way into my City Sampler blocks too.

Check out the fun mosaic Tula made of all the blocks in the sew along flickr group

Linking up with Sew Sweetness.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Patchwork, Please! :: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Towels

Do you ever have a "great" idea that doesn't go the way you anticipated? Of course. Well, that was my week with my Patchwork, Please project.

Ayumi's meal-time towels were such a good idea, but when I went to choose fabric, I realized I had no 100% linen, which I thought I would like for this particular project. So I went ahead and ordered some plain premade towels. Only problem? They were quite a bit smaller than what Ayumi suggests. So rather than use the enlarged letters I had already printed out, I copied them at the size shown in the book. Which is rather small. No too small to read of course, but kind of small to stitch around. Trying to squeeze my project into an already-cramped week, I used white thread for all my letters, which I probably wouldn't do again, especially with these smaller letters. Oh well. And yes, I opted for letters only on my towel, as they pretty much filled up the center space.
So things didn't go quite as planned, and I stopped at one towel for now, BUT I must say, the binding technique for this project was quite enlightening for me, and a happy addition to my repertoire! I am a committed hand-binder, so to even consider doing it by machine was quite a stretch for me. But the way the binding is pressed off-set made all the difference, and I was really quite happy with the result. 
Am I converted? Probably not, as the hand method gives me so much pleasure. But I will definitely keep this method as a consideration for occasional use.

I loved the added accent of using ric-rac as a hanger, so I added that in.
So overall, I wasn't thrilled with my choice of base fabric, nor the size of my towel and letters, not even my choice of thread color. But I do love the scrappy dotted-ness, and would definitely give this project another go another time.
Meanwhile, it's a fun twist, and I'm calling it a wrap. On to next week!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Modern Solstice

Last Friday, a new exhibit went up at Island Quilter! And that would be "Modern Solstice", an inspiring collection of star quilts from the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild.
I couldn't resist getting a photo right off of my "Auspicious Sky" hanging in the line up!

I'm going to omit the commentary, and just let you enjoy "the show" . . .
"Seattle Star" by Katie Pedersen

by Carrie Franklin




"Harlequin Star" by Ara Jane Olufson

by Louise Wackerman and the Nurture Circle of do.Good Stitches

by Vicki


Unknown

by Blair Stocker

Unknown

"Seeing Stars" by Katie Pedersen

left quilt is "Meteorite" by Grace Lainhart; right quilt unknown

by Meaghan Quinlin

by Kirsten Ballou

by Megan Riley

Unknown

Unknown

Unknown

"Auspicious Sky" by moi!

I'm afraid I missed getting pictures of a couple, and apologize for any credit omissions, but you can see there really were some lovely quilts. It was quite a pleasure to see them up close and personal and mingle with my fellow guild-mates. Honestly, a pretty great way to spend a Friday night!