Tuesday, July 31, 2012

W.i.P. Wednesday

The weeks just fly by, don't they? And before you know it, W.i.P. Wednesday is here again! I feel like I am whittling down my to-do list though, which makes me feel really good, chalking up my second Finish-A-Long finish this week, and starting on #3!

Completed projects
Zakka Style Sew-Along project #17: This Delightful Linen Bag got its own post, of course. I'm quite fond of it.

A Taste of Marmalade - A sweet little baby quilt, with full post here.

Ongoing projects
*Picture-Perfect* Polaroid Block Swap - I'm finding blocks in my mail box every day now, and I only have 15 done. Lots more in the works though.

Zakka Style Sew-Along project #18: Bread Basket - In progress, but I've got a good start going. Another hour or so and I should have it done. Mine's all-linen, which has been lovely to work with.

QWERTY II - Do you remember QWERTY? I love that it hangs outside my office door, where I can enjoy it during the work week. Well, my coworker loves it too, so I've begun a variation for her. So far, very fun!

Upcoming projects
* Improv log-cabin quilt NEW
* more Zakka
* a quilt to coordinate with my Christmas tree skirt - NOT for Christmas in July, apparently . . .
* scrappy Metrolink
* Plus quilt for my sister-in-law
* EZ Dresden Challenge project - maybe?? maybe not??
* 100 Quilts donation quilt

Linking up with W.i.P. Wednesday, hosted this week by my blog buddy, Katie from Katie's Korner!

Tuesday at the {picnic} Table

Well friends, the link up for July's Tuesday at the {picnic} Table ends at midnight tonight! And Wednesday, in amongst W.i.P. Wednesday and Fresh Sewing Day, I'll choose and announce a random winner! {Forget what the prize is? You can check it out here.}

I highly suggest you take a peek at the link ups - there's lots of good recipes, some lovely table-talk, and a variety of awesome kitchen/picnic/food-related projects. And then consider linking up yourself!

Meanwhile, my topic for today is Deviled Eggs! I think they are one of those foods that you love or you hate. So you probably have a strong opinion about them. But either way, they are great for pot-lucks, barbecues, and definitely for picnics! I'll start off with one of my stand-by recipes . . .

Deviled Eggs with Chive and Tarragon
Recipe from Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes by Jeanne Kelley

6 large eggs
3 Tb. sour cream
2 Tb. mayonnaise
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tb. snipped fresh chives
1 Tb. minced fresh tarragon
pink peppercorns, cracked, or black pepper

Cover the eggs with water in a large saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer eggs slowly for 5 minutes. Remove the eggs from the heat, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes. Rinse with cold water to cool. Refrigerate the eggs until well chilled.

Peel the eggs and carefully cut them in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and transfer them to a medium-sized bowl. Set the whites aside. Stir the yolks with a fork, breaking them into bits. Add the sour cream, mayonnaise, and mustard and stir until smooth. Mix in the chives and tarragon and season with salt to taste. Spoon the yolk mixture into the egg whites, dividing evenly. Sprinkle the tops with pink peppercorns. Serve, or chill and serve within 3 hours. Makes 12.
To be honest, I substitute minced basil for the tarragon, put the mixture in a large zip-lock bag with a tip cut off and 'pipe' the filling into the whites. and lastly, I do not have pink peppercorns, but I do have pink salt, so that is what you see sprinkled over the eggs, along with some chives.

According to wikipedia, deviled eggs are kind of a universal dish, with regional twists found all over, especially in Europe. Also, "Deviled eggs are so popular in the United States that special carrying trays are sold for them." I don't have one, but I do have a deviled-egg platter, yes I do.

Looking for a new variety to try? Check out Deviled Egg, with over 50 to choose from! There are deviled egg recipes galore on the web! One I'd really like to try - Deviled Eggs with Candied Bacon. oh yeah.

Thanks much for joining me for Tuesday at the {picnic} Table! It may be the last day, but feel free to jump right in with a recipe, some foodie-talk, or a table-related project . . . and link up here!

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Taste of Marmalade

A Taste of Marmalade is a baby quilt, quite simple in construction, yet a delightful little finish. The pattern is Storytime Squares, designed by Rae Hoekstra of made by RAEI first used this pattern when I made a version for 100 Quilts for kids last fall.
Storytime Squares for 100 Quilts for Kids
For this new quilt, I was thrilled to find some marmalade charm packs out in blogland, as baby's mama had indicated she loved the fabric when I pinned it on Pinterest. 

The quilt finished at 42" square, a tad smaller than the original, as I used 5" charm squares, rather than the 5 1/2" blocks the pattern suggests. For quilting, I used my machine's wavy stitch, stretched out as wide and long as it would go.
Backing is an overall floral that coordinates nicely, and the binding a tiny blue and white dot, both courtesy of Ruby.
So cross off project #2 from my Third-Quarter Finish-A-Long list!

Linking up with TNT Thursday.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

::Improvisational Free-Piecing Workshop::

So the workshop with Quilting Modern's Katie Pedersen was great fun! Since this post is photo-heavy, I'll just comment a bit about each . . .
 Ready to go with fabric 'kits' from Katie . . .

 Katie's stash - brought to share!

 Playing on the design wall with our strip sets for strip-piecing.
Katie's advice: "distance is your friend". ie. step back to get a better view.

Just my strips, ready to piece

 My strip set all stitched up

Using strip-pieced strips, including "slice & insert" technique

 Example of a way to use the cut-up strips in Katie's "Anything Goes"

Practicing stitch and flip triangles

 Katie telling about wonky stars using stitch and flip triangles

 Mocking up my Improvisational Log Cabin block on the design wall.

Finished Improvisational Log Cabin block, for which I have further plans!

 My try at Improvisational Curves

My modern crazy-pieced block - still in progress.

 The scraps, rummaged.

Basically, we covered the techniques in the book, with lots of room for questions, playing with fabric, and Katie sharing from her experience. I'm anxious now to incorporate what I've seen and learned into future projects!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Swap and A Class

Well, the *Picture-Perfect* Polaroid Block Swap is well underway! 70(!) swappers are making blocks like crazy, and more are arriving at my house every day! The mosaic below shows most of them! Thirteen packs have actually arrived, a total of 525 blocks. Savinggrc/Karen has added up 2025 committed blocks so far, and has agreed to keep tabs on the total as the blocks continue to ship.
1. Materialmoments', 2. CityHouseStudio, 3. IMG_0290, 4. 45 Polaroids to swap, 5. Polaroid Blocks, 6. Polaroid Swap, 7. Whew! I'm done!, 8. Picture perfect polaroid swap blocks, 9. Polaroid Swap, 10. 50 Polaroids Ready To Go, 11. All done with my polaroid patches!!, 12. more for the Swap - Sign Ups Open

As for the class, how would you feel if you received an email from the teacher saying, "I'll be making up fabric kits for each of you to use while learning the techniques, as well as bringing my scrap bins for you all to dig through." Uh yeah, me too. Especially when the teacher is Katie of Sew Katie Did. So I'm pretty excited this morning as I pack up my sewing supplies, machine, and copy of Quilting Modern, and head off to take her Improvisational Patchwork class. I'll be sure and report back, but meanwhile, see ya later!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Triple-Zip Pouch

There is a tutorial half-written, that hopefully you will see one day soon. I was well on my way to sharing it today, but you all know how life happens. And it did. So instead, I'll keep working on it and test it out a bit, and for today, I'll just share the result - my newest zip pouch.
It all started when a friend brought me a pouch from her trip to Hawaii. It's an awesome blue with sea turtles swimming all over it, and it's perfect storage for my rotary cutters and blades and such. Anyway, she handed it to me, saying five little words: "Here's a challenge for you!" Challenge indeed! This zippy has 3(!) zippers. I hate to say that the gifted pouch has been sitting on my work table for a while . . . waiting. And what better occasion to give it a go than my friend's birthday this week. 
It wasn't really the zippers that scared me. It was the linings. It was a mind-bender figuring out how it all went together, and well, how it worked . . . But surprisingly, once I started measuring and cutting and stitching, it only took me a couple of hours to make it happen.
Next challenge?

Linking up with sew & tell and Fabric Tuesday.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Zakka Along Week 17 :: Delightful Linen Pouch

This week's Zakka project was an easy and quick little bag designed by Erleperle. Sukie, who happens to be one of the hosts of the Zakka sew-along, shared her version, and I was so impressed that it prompted her to try embroidery for the first time! Awesome!
I decided to go with more of a patchy, machine-stitched version. Not having the suggested interfacing on hand, and not understanding why it couldn't be fusible, I went ahead and used some of what I had - some feather-weight fusible. It seems to have worked fine, and really, next time I'd interface the front and back fabrics as well.
As Sukie says, the front is really a blank canvas, so the possibilities are endless. For my pouch, I densely stitched a square of lime Essex Linen onto the natural Essex front, using some organic straight-line. Then I just stitched around the square a couple of times, basically achieving some raw-edge appliqué of sorts. With the floral square, I continued with the raw-edge look, just stitching close to the edges a few times.
The pouch was simply constructed, though there was no way I was able to press my seams open, so curious how others did with this. And I ended up trimming about 1/8-1/4" off the top of the lining so it would sit down in the main bag smoothly. That might have been due to my seams being non-pressed, but it worked fine in the finished project.

My main disappointment over this finish is that I used more of the lovely floral for the lining, but it is basically hidden from view, the bag is so small. But I know it's in there, and it looks great! haha.
After rummaging through my Grandma's button tin, nothing seemed quite right, so I changed things up and added some natural twill tape ties instead.
I think this little pouch would make a perfect little gift bag. Wouldn't it look just as delightful with some actual patchwork on the front? I can definitely see myself stitching up this pattern again!

Linking up with LRstitched and T.N.T. Thursday.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

W.i.P. Wednesday

W.i.P. Wednesday finds me with a few finishes, several of which I've already posted about, so click the links if you happened to miss them. Meanwhile, the Zakka sew-along continues, and I'm knee-deep in the polaroid swap.

Completed projects
G.O. Modern - Yes, I finished my 4x5 modern bee sampler and posted all about it last week. Plus a second post with the quilting detail. Still feeling the glow of this finish.

Always Bee Learning & FAITH Circle July blocks - Got these done and in the mail. Separate post here.

New zip pouch - I had a bit of a challenge trying to duplicate a purchased pouch - and I won! I'll be writing up a post and sharing it soon.

Drawstring bag - It had been a while, so I really enjoyed making another one of Jeni's bags. This one's "The Artist Bag", measuring 16"x14.5"x4.5". The main fabric is a Denyse Schmidt Sugar Creek print, the contrast Timeless Treasures Sketch in Royal, and the lining Penny Lane Starburst for My Mind's Eye (a fav!). As always, it's a delightful finish.

Zakka Style Sew-Along project #16: Patchwork Ribbon - posted here.

Ongoing projects
Storytime Squares baby quilt - no progress other than cutting out the binding. Soon.

*Picture-Perfect* Polaroid Block Swap - I've got oodles of blocks in progress, but none ready to swap yet.
Zakka Style Sew-Along project #17: Delightful Linen Bag - in progress - hope to be able to share tomorrow.

Upcoming projects
* more Zakka
* QWERTY variation
* a quilt to coordinate with my Christmas tree skirt - Christmas in July?? (I know - I'm running out of time!)
* scrappy Metrolink
* Plus quilt for my sister-in-law
* EZ Dresden Challenge project - maybe??
* 100 Quilts donation quilt

I'm linking up with W.i.P. Wednesday this week, hosted by Colleen from The Busy Bean.

Tuesday at the {picnic} Table

In no way, shape, or form is it picnic weather here in the Pacific Northwest. Over the last couple of weeks, though the sun has peeked out now and again, we have had frequent thunderstorms, lightening to go along with it, an onslaught of huge hail, and torrential rains. Summer? Hardly.

But in keeping with the theme this month at Tuesday at the Table, I do have two picnicy recipes to share, both of which have gone with us on many family outings over the years. The first is an easy, packable sandwich; the other a chocolatey, fun dessert. Both do well made ahead a bit, but do need a place in the ice chest as you adventure out.

Turkey & Pesto Foccacia Sandwich
1 large loaf foccacia bread
1/2 # smoked turkey breast, sliced
1/4 # provolone cheese
7 ounces prepared pesto

Split foccacia in half horizontally. Spread pesto on bottom. Layer turkey and cheese. Add top of foccacia. Cut in squares to serve. (I always put all the sandwiches back in the bag the foccacia came in - easy serving once you get to your picnic site.)

Black Bottom Cupcakes
8 ounces cream cheese, soft
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 6 oz. package chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups flour -- sifted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon soda
1 cup water
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon vinegar

Place cream cheese, egg, sugar & salt in a bowl. Beat well & stir in chocolate chips; set aside.

Beat all remaining ingredients until blended. Fill cupcake liners 1/2 full. Top each with a heaping teaspoon of cream cheese mixture. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven & cool. (Makes 18)

I'm excited to see what recipes, projects, or table-talk you all have to share this week! Don't forget, just one more week to link up for a chance at the prize! Link up here!

Monday, July 23, 2012

More on the Exhibition

For those of you who enjoyed seeing my post after visiting the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild 2012 Exhibition, daughter dear just posted about the exhibit too, including several other quilts on display. See here!
photo courtesy of Seattle Modern Quilt Guild

July Bee Blocks

I've been itching to get to this month's bee blocks, but have been holding off while I finished up G.O. Modern. So finally, this weekend, it was time!

First up was Kristina's block for the Always Bee Learning Bee. She sent lovely fabric for each of us to make a Floating Frames block. I really enjoyed making this one, and it ended up at a nice large 17.5".

Next up was for Rachel with the FAITH circle of do.Good Stitches. Using our own fabric, we were asked to make Gemstone blocks that included dark royal blue, medium pink, and medium green. We could use true white as the background or a natural linen. And we were asked to start with squares anywhere from 2 to 6 inches, as Rachel plans to make a quilt with alot of negative space. Using Essex linen in Natural as the background, I started with 3" print squares, which became 6.5" blocks. These blocks were fun in that they are made as pairs. I am really fond of them!

It's MY month in the Modern Blocks Bee, and so far, I have 4 Binary blocks - 3 from bee members + my own. I'm loving how they are looking together!
1. <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/betweenquilts/7553283238/in/pool-1793590@N20/">Block for Debbie</a>, 2. <a href="<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/52241390@N06/7520377876/" title="Picture 684 by thehistoryquilter, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8285/7520377876_2764c98333.jpg" width="500" height="479" alt="Picture 684"></a>">Picture 684</a>, 3. <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/hoosiertoni/7455702184/in/pool-1793590@N20/">Binary Block</a>, 4. <a href="<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/27780490@N05/7445758864/" title="Binary - MY block in the Modern Blocks Bee by flickrdeb50, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8153/7445758864_d703e0e58f_o.jpg" width="1979" height="1896" alt="Binary - MY block in the Modern Blocks Bee"></a>">Binary - MY block in the Modern Blocks Bee</a>

So, all caught up with my bees, which is always a very good feeling!

Friday, July 20, 2012

G.O. Quilting

After sharing my G.O. Modern quilt this week, I had several requests for more detail about my quilting of each block. Understand that it was challenging for me on many levels . . . the size of the quilt alone is large for my quilting space . . . the variety of colors in the blocks had me switching out thread colors right and left (3 shades of gray, orange, and white) . . . I'm still a newbie when it comes to free-motion quilting especially, and after struggling with turning and shifting the quilt for my work with the walking foot, I found fmq 'easier' because it called for less turning. But that meant I tried all sorts of patterns I had never attempted before.

But in the interest of full disclosure, process-sharing, and all that good stuff, I'm going to show you - up close and personal. I don't even know the names of everything I tried, but I'll tell you the best I can. So I'll start with the top row, moving left to right in each row. Here goes.

fmq, horizontal loops, brand new but felt great

 fmq, wandering swirls, one of my standards

fmq, oblong pebbles, new to me & harder than 'regular' pebbles, 
but not too bad

walking foot, vertical organic straight-line, one of my standards

walking foot, random lines, easy & quick

walking foot, horizontal organic straight-line

fmq, loops in each triangle, a little hard to fill each space evenly

fmq, vertical organic straight-line with swirls, I love this & it really flows

fmq, circle swirls around edge with "hills" in the center, both new to me and "so-so"

walking foot, echoed straight-line, easy but alot of turning

walking foot, stitch-in-the-ditch, sounds like it should be easy but hard for me to get accurate

fmq, swirly circle in a circle, new to me & pretty successful

 fmq, "flowers" in center then loops in corners, new to me &
 felt out of control

fmq, elongated tubes, not perfect but fun

walking foot, echo-stitched in each quadrant, this is the one that prompted "OH MY GOSH" the most & the last one I did 
with the walking foot

 fmq, pebbles, had done before & I felt pretty comfortable with

 walking foot, kind of in-the-ditch grid, I don't like it

fmq, wandering swirls in each square, this was fun

 walking foot, vertical wavy stitch, quick & easy

fmq, elongated tubes in sections, went well

Whew! There ya go!