Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday at the Table

After hearing the nitty gritty of our visit to Willi’s Seafood & Raw Bar last week, you may or may not be up for another Tuesday at the Table Vacation Style. But there were plenty more memorable foodie moments in our brief time away, so stick around if you'd  like to hear more.
  • Copita - We had just come off the ferry and a full day in San Francisco, cable car ride and all. Landing in Saulsalito, we had a destination in mind, not expecting their early close. Kismet or not, we were directed down the street to Copita, which little did we know, is owned by Joanne Weir. My first clue? Watching her walk in the front door and straight back to the kitchen. So in addition to some mighty tasty bites all around, we had the pleasure to meet a celebrity chef. Cool.
  • Kin - The name alone made me like this neighborhood gathering place. And the burgers weren't bad either. And I liked their sign.
  • Johnny Garlic’s - No, we didn't meet owner GuyFieri, but did try the Satay Chicken Salad Wraps, which were unbelievably good. I mean good. And gee whiz, I just found the recipe on food network, and I don't care that it has 20 ingredients. I will be trying it!
photo courtesy of Johnny Garlic's
  • Willi’s Wine Bar - A sibling to the afore mentioned Willi's, you know darned well that when we found out how close we were to this location, we had to stop in. Totally different in setting, equally delicious was the food. Goat cheese fritters, black truffle risotto, filet mignon sliders, warm spinach salad, mac-n-cheese, roasted asparagus, and Meyer lemon pudding cake. Seriously, how many descriptors deserve to be on one menu?
    • Frozen Art Gourmet Ice Cream - Driving around town one afternoon near the end of our week, we decided we needed ice cream, and my phone's app search led us to Frozen Art. Unique and exotic flavors, and in addition, a specialty I'd never encountered - paletas: frozen juice and fruit bars that are native to Latin America. Full as we were of ice cream, I'm still regretting not trying a paleta. Next time.
    And then as I was looking for pics to share, I came across one more that just had to be included - from the night we stayed in, enjoying some cheese and crackers . . . olives and sourdough . . . wine purchased during our day's wanderings, and sweet cupcakes from miette in the memorable Ferry Building on San Francisco's wharf.
    Proof again, that though new restaurants, celebrity chefs, and formerly untried tastes round out the experience, the simple joy of the table can indeed be simple.

Monday, April 29, 2013

April Bee Blocks

The bee blocks I make each month are always such an interesting assortment, and April was no exception. For FAITH Circle, we made super simple Rail Fence blocks in one of my favorite new palettes - pink and orange, matched up with low volume prints. We left the 8 small 6 1/2" blocks 'as is' so Anita/RhubarbPatch could arrange them to her liking.
Rail Fence blocks

For the Mid-Century Modern Bee, Carlaf2 asked us to make blocks inspired by a Green Tea and Sweet Beans quilt. Our only criteria were "bright" and "texts". I was drawn to one little section of Pinwheel blocks, which ended up measuring 12 1/2" x 18 1/2".
For Carlaf2/Mid-Century Modern bee

We were given a bit of free reign in That Stash Bee too. Valerie/BetweenQuilts's request was scrappy rainbow stars on a white or low volume background. The stars could be in any size divisible by 3, so I made a 6 1/2" Ohio star variation . . .
For BetweenQuilts/That Stash Bee
And a 12 1/2" Wonky Star. Some bee members are making word blocks too, so this quilt will be a mix of the two.
Wonky Star - 12 1/2"

Lastly, for the Always Bee Learning Bee, we made paper-pieced Basketweave Braid Star blocks for Mary/QuiltGenius. She sent us a nice assortment of scrappy bits to work with. I unfortunately cut into what was intended for the backgrounds in making my braids, so I got the ok from Mary to use my own stash to finish off her scrappy block.

Meanwhile, I'm working on packing up fabric for the ABL bee to make me blocks in May! So stay tuned!

Linking up with Fabric Tuesday!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dear Boston

Even though I'm away for a few days and not in my sewing room, I've had a bit of computer time and read about a couple of ways to send encouragement to Boston after their recent tragedy. For one, the Boston Modern Quilt Guild is making quilts, and welcomes donations of quilt blocks. For color, size, and deadline and mailing info, check out this post. And there's also a Quilts for Boston flickr group where you can post your blocks.

The Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild has initiated a different kind of effort - one of flags that will be displayed in Boston. All the details are here, and again, there is a flickr group: To Boston With Love
The Seattle Modern Quilt Quilt will be joining in with Vancouver to make flags, so check out this post if you are a Seattle local and want to join in. I'll be back stitching soon to support these efforts, and I hope you'll consider joining me . . .

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday at the Table

Hubby, my mom, and I are off and about on a bit of a holiday. Less than 24 hours in town, and we already have a favorite meal. After the second or third mention of "Willi's" as a place we couldn't miss, we agreed to head on over there and find out what the talk was about. The official name of the restaurant was "Willi's Seafood & Raw Bar", and though we went neither seafood nor raw, we enjoyed every bite. And sip.
It was really the surprising bits of flavor and unexpected ingredients that made the difference... the goat cheese in the ranch dip for the fries, the pea sprouts in the pork roll's slaw, the roasted lemon on the asparagus, and the mint and sweet soy on the lamb. These were all 'small plates' that we enjoyed sharing. And then, oh my goodness, the dessert, which included words like caramelized, peanut butter mousse, and chocolate crunchies. Yes, please! Not sure if this meal can be beat.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Common Affection

Some projects turn out exactly as you had imagined them, and others . . . Well others just take on a life of their own. This project was one of the second variety.

March was my month to choose a project for the Mid-Century Modern Bee and I chose the Hugs & Kisses block by Little Miss Shabby. And then I dug into the stack of charms I had gotten in the Low Volume Swap last summer. Without even realizing it, I even used the fabric I had swapped in my sample block - the blue/gray/white circles (Quilt Blocks by Ellen Luckett Baker for Moda Fabrics) in the bottom right-hand corner.
Low-Volume Hugs & Kisses block
The blocks came in right on schedule, and one day I put them all on my design wall and began mulling over what to do with them.
Low Volume Hugs & Kisses blocks from Mid-Century Modern bee
I posted a picture in the flickr group, and my bee-mate Carla/Grace and Favour made the quilt-changing suggestion to put them on-point. Oh yeah.
Considering layout #mcm #MCM 
At that point, I was talking filling in around the blocks with solid grays when bee-mate #2, Linda/Flourishing Palms suggested matching up with the skinny bits to make all those block conjunctions squares. Good idea! But when I started adding those pieces up on the wall, it dawned on me that I really needed to link up the skinny bits out on the edges too. So that's what I did, using three different grays in the process - Kona Ash and Iron plus Michael Miller Couture Stone.
on the design wall.... 
Things were getting a little more complicated . . . 

If I'd known all along what the outcome would be, I would have pieced things just a bit differently, but I made it work, and was pretty pleased with the result.
Mid-Century Modern quilt
If I had it to do over, I would have used more low-volume prints for those squares inside of the 'border' line, but then again, I didn't really 'see' that till I was done. Anyway, I forged ahead, quilting with Aurifil Light Beige (#2310). I did a straight-line coil, starting off centered in the upper-left of the quilt and echoing at 1" increments. Binding was scrappy solid grays with a couple of snippets of gray prints.

To be honest, this quilt is as much a collaboration as any I've done. The block was designed by Little Miss Shabby, my Mid-Century Modern Bee joined me in making blocks, Carla suggested the layout, Linda gave me the idea of continuing the accent strips, and I ran my quilting and binding thoughts by daughter dear before moving forward. So yeah, it's small (45" square) but for me, there's alot wrapped up in this quilt.
As I finished it, I started mulling over a name for it, and I came up with "Common Affection" - common for the cooperative effort of my bee in working jointly towards a goal, and affection as a nod to the Hugs & Kisses block. 

Weather wasn't really conducive to a decent photo shoot, but hubby was willing to run out during a break in the rain and let me take a few shots. I loved the one against the blue building (a random smoke shop!); he liked the one below against the brick. So I figured I'd share them both . . .

This project is on my Q2 Finish-A-Long list. Also linking up with Fabric Tuesday.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Good Times

This afternoon another of those "this is very cool" connections happened. Nicole of Mama Love Quilts was in town, and we managed to hook up for the afternoon. We started with lunch at an iconic Seattle restaurant . . .
and did a little fabric shopping.
It was a perfect "let's get better acquainted" kind of day.

In preparation for the meet-up and as a little "nice to meet you" gift, last night I tried a new-to-me little Patchwork Pencil Pouch tutorial by {lbg studio}. I liked that it included some linen, and went right to my "special" stack and pulled some Essex in Natural so I could do the same. For the patchwork, I used bits of Echino, then Light Sand (#2000) Aurifil 50wt for quilting - just a bit of detail on the front, and then straight-lining the back in 3/8" increments. A first was using a metal zipper, which I love the look of. Note to self: if you need to shorten a metal zipper, do it from the 'open' end. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed stitching up this little pouch for a special friend. 

It just so happens I landed on Nicole's blog as she was first starting out, and I became her first follower. I was so impressed by what I saw, I knew right away I wanted to keep tabs on what she did and where she was headed. So it was a special treat to finally meet her today. Good times.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Random It Is

Another round of odds and ends . . .

Remember my recent mouse pad?
Quilted Mousepad
Well here's the quilt that inspired me to make it.
A Typography Quilt
Of course I only saw one process pic of a block, but it was enough! I love the finished quilt by Maureen Cracknell - and the setting for her photo shoot.

Another quilt that caught my eye this week was the Starburst Quilt by Sukie for the Fat Quarter Gang. I'm mulling over some possibilities with this one. Love those large 20 1/2" blocks.

I pre-ordered a book a while back and it came yesterday - Tula Pink's City Sampler: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks
It sounded cool, but I had no idea it was actually a sampler quilt project too. I'd barely digested that little fact when I saw Sara of Sew Sweetness post about her upcoming sew along! So how about that? Very tempting!
Sew Sweetness

So it's short and sweet today. I'll leave you with a sneaky peek of my low-volume quilt that is now all quilted  and has just a few inches of binding on.
I'm going to need a name for this one soon, so if you have any ideas, shout 'em out! (And yes, someone forgot to put their walking foot back on after switching gears for a bit. No worries, it was rectified soon!)

Linking up with Really Random Thursday.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

W.i.P. Wednesday

Over the last 10 days I've made several deliveries, and that feels really terrific. Mom got her table topper, which looks awesome on her table, my sister and brother in law finally received the Modern Crosses quilt I made them back in February, I mailed off the FAITH Circle hst quilt and heard this afternoon that it arrived safely, and finally, the 30 pincushions were delivered just tonight. whew.

Completed projects
Lined drawstring bag - I decided those pincushions needed to be packaged up nice and neat, and they fit perfectly in "The Artist Bag" by Jeni Baker.
Another lined drawstring bag - inside are the 30 pincushions from The Pincushion Project!

Ongoing projects
Woodland cross-stitch sampler - I finished January! I know I'm woefully behind, but moving forward slow and steady.

x and + blocks {#xplusalong} - Of the 40 I have cut out, I have 20 partially pieced, and managed 6 more finished blocks.

Lucky Stars mini/SMQG star challenge quilt - No progress quite yet, but found another perfect fabric to include.

April bee blocks - Three sets done and just waiting for the fabric to arrive for the last one!

Mid-Century Modern quilt - OK, here's where I concentrated my efforts this week. The "on-point" layout won out and I'm so glad I went that direction. I'll share more process talk in the eventual reveal post, but for now let's just say I'm more than pleased, and am currently quilting happily along . . .

Upcoming projects
* May plan for Always Bee Learning Bee
* pillow for grandgirl
* Polaroid block projects
* pillows
* mail bag
* scrappy triangle quilt

Linking up with W.i.P. Wednesday.

Tuesday at the Table

As far as cooking goes lately, I'm all eyes when I see anything about spring recipes. Our weather isn't there yet, but I'm sure ready! These caught my interest:
  • Daily Buzz Food on Asparagus - OK, asparagus is one of those veggies that's in our cart nearly every trip to the grocery store, so I'll be perusing this article next time I make a shopping list.
So if it's spring where you are, what are you rediscovering or looking forward to enjoying soon? Besides those green things and other fresh produce, I'm also keeping close tabs on this reoccurring wonder in my yard . . . It won't be long now.

Monday, April 15, 2013

So Social

You may or may not have noticed, but I've been tweaking the blog lately. The most obvious difference was the farewell to the left-hand column. But wait - that was where all of my social media connections were listed one by one. Enter the new social media buttons found directly underneath my photo in the right column. Many thanks to Taryn of from Pixels to Patchwork, for generously and graciously creating the buttons for me.

By adding them, I was able to do some spring cleaning on the blog, plus upload larger photos which are now being resized to custom fit per the excellent advice of LBG Studio at Sewing Summit. Hopefully you can see things better, and blog posts upload faster.

Here's a little highlight of the new buttons . . .
  • RSS - Honestly, this was one I didn't really understand, but I do know if you click over, you can follow A Quilter's Table in a variety of ways, including by email.
  • Bloglovin' - This seems to be the way many folks are now reading the blogs they follow, due to the immenint demise of Google Reader. I find it very user-friendly, and love that I can organize the blogs I read into folders. I was able to import straight from my Google Reader, so it's a pretty easy switch.
  • Flickr - I touch base here often. Flickr is where I share progress pics of everything I do, plus connect with  my bees. I follow many groups that just downright inspire me, plus there's Quilting with A Quilter's Table where you can post your own projects inspired by mine.
  • Instagram - I've heard this called "micro-blogging" and that fits pretty well. What I post here may be pretty random, but for sure you'll always find process posts. If I need an opinion on a project, this is where I go, as the response is quick and enthusiastic.
  • Pinterest - You'll find an assortment here, mostly quilty things, but also some foodie boards, projects from AQT, plus a Zakka 2.0 :: Patchwork, Please board, where we'll be posting projects from the sew along. In general, I use Pinterest to store things I want to reference later.
  • Facebook - Honestly, I share things here that I don't necessarily post on my blog - interesting posts I find here and there, beautiful projects that I think you'll enjoy, an occasional post from A Quilter's Table.
  • Threadbias - This is a newer online community where you can create a fabric library, browse projects and share your own (easily uploading your pics from flickr and Instagram even), and join in discussions with other sewists. I've been sharing my most recent projects here, and am looking forward to exploring their new web-based quilt design tool too.
  • Email - Feel free to use this anytime, with a question, a comment, or just personal chatter.
So consider the blog 'home base', and use the new buttons to explore more of A Quilter's Table.

Friday, April 12, 2013


So I have a new acronym in my life, and that's SMQG {Seattle Modern Quilt Guild}. I went to my second meeting this week, and this time was prepared with my nametag.
SMGQ Nametag
I was especially excited about my first "show & tell" and appreciated being able to share my hst quilt.
We also had a little charm swap, and I came home with this pack of coral fabrics - a color that is nearly missing from my stash.
And I also had the pleasure of meeting Susie from Clothworks, a local fabric producer. The guild is fortunate to be able to partner with Clothworks on a charity quilt, which is starting out as a block challenge using these little bundles of "Everyday Organic Solids."
The hand on these fabrics is just lovely, and I look forward to sewing with them.

Anyway, just a little rundown as I begin this step in my quilting journey . . .

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Before and After

You've already seen and heard all about my current favorite quilt, HST Love. It's been ready to go for over a week, but dallied around home for a bit so I could share her for show and tell at the meeting of Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Monday night. So finally, it was time for her to travel to her final destination - Restore Innocence, a charity supported by the FAITH Circle of do.Good Stitches. But first . . .

She needed a good machine wash and tumble dry. And for this quilt, it did wonders.
HST quilt washed & crinkly
I'm hoping you can get a sense from these photos of the transformation that happened in the laundry room. This quilt crinkled in a way you always hope it will, and the softness and cuddle-quality was tremendously increased. Seriously I need to make another of these! Meanwhile, off it goes. May it travel safely and be a blessing in its new home.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

W.i.P. Wednesday

I've enjoyed several "little" finishes this week, and am looking forward to working on my FAL list for this next quarter.

Completed projects
April Lucky Star block - Can I just say I love these more every time I make another?! This month's had two layout options, and I just may need to make both!
Black Hole Star

Persian Pickles table topper -  My mom saw this pattern by Kevin Kosban in an old stitch magazine (summer 2011) and chose the fabrics to coordinate in her kitchen nook.
Persian Pickles table topper
It measures 30 1/2" x 34", and though I struggled a tad with the construction method, the blast I had quilting it more than made up for it. I chose three different coordinating threads, a Mettler burgandy, and two Aurifil Mako 50's, "Pale Yellow" (#2130) and a new favorite for me, "Sand" (#2325) - love it. Using a different quilting design in each section added to the fun.
Persian Pickles table topper quilting detail

SMQG nametag - Got it done in time for our meeting Monday. I'll share more in a future post.

Ongoing projects
Woodland cross-stitch sampler - Still working to catch up!

x and + blocks {#xplusalong} - I have 40 more blocks all cut out and ready to sew! Hope by this time next week I am well on my way!

Mid-Century Modern quilt - I've received all my Hugs & Kisses blocks now, and am debating layout and finishing. I think I prefer the on-point layout best, but now am mulling over how to fill in the edges - more blocks, a solid gray or varieties of gray, or a variety of low-value prints. {see alternate layout in my Q2 FAL list} I welcome your thoughts!
Considering layout #mcm #MCM

Lucky Stars mini - I think I've decided to pull these five stars together into a mini. Now to execute my idea!

Scrappy triangles - set aside, as I ran out of scraps large enough . . .

April bee blocks - In progress!

Upcoming projects
* SMQG star challenge quilt
* pillow for grandgirl
* Polaroid block projects
* pillows
* mail bag

Linking up with W.i.P. Wednesday.

Tuesday at the Table + A Winner

If you know anything about the Pacific Northwest, you most likely are atune to the fact that this is coffee country. We are a coffee-stand-on-every-corner kind of place. There are the big brands and the unique one of a kind coffee shops. There are fair trade shops, locally-owned, drive-throughs and even shops in most grocery stores.

And just about every one has coffee cards. I happened to notice this picture on facebook recently.
Obviously I'm not the only person who has a pile of empty {Starbucks} cards in their junk drawer. Around these parts, we get these cards as thank yous, at gift exchanges, even in our Christmas stockings. Whenever I happen to get a unique one, I toss it in the drawer once it's used up. And embarrassingly enough, there's my collection below. I have a special fondness for the snowmen. And those unique to a location like Hawaii or Seattle.
Is that crazy or what? But you know, as much as coffee is a fad here, most of the shops I frequent are actually gathering places. For alot of folks, the local coffee shop is their neighborhood. A little bit of the table away from home.

Meanwhile it's time to announce the winner of that copy of Patchwork, Please! Congrats to #78, Judy V, who commented:
Judy, I am emailing you! I know you will really enjoy making some Zakka "littles"! I was pleased to see how many kitchen and table items are coming up in the Zakka 2.0 :: Patchwork, Please sew along! There's placemats, a darling apron and more. Thanks to all of you for your excitement about Patchwork, Please and the sew along! Lots of fun ahead!