Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tuesday at the Table

Last week I shared about our visit to the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles and the vintage potholders we saw, just a portion of the exhibit called Tasty, too! Unfortunately the exhibit has ended, but between my two posts, you can see all of the "highlights [from] a few of the remarkable quilts from the 1999 exhibit and catalog Women of Taste, A Collaboration Celebrating Quilt Artists and Chefs (C&T Publishing)."
In the main hallway were the potholders, as well as these 4 food-themed quilts . . .
Alice Beasley's Bette's Diner
Miriam Nathan-Roberts' Cherries 3
Mary Mashuta's Mixed Greens

Cindy Cooksey's Cubism Meets Baltimore

"A complementary exhibit [was] the small scale 16” x 16” food related quilts created by artists responding to the Tasty! theme and challenge. Donated to the museum these quilts [were] available for sale to raise money for the museum’s programs." The small quilts were hung all around the large display room.
 Here are all the minis viewed just a little closer.

The list of contributing "Fiber Shots" artists was a long one . . .
All in all, our visit was short and sweet, a delightful marriage of two of my favorites, quilts and food. Good times.

Friday, April 25, 2014

April Bee Blocks

Whoa! This month's bee blocks were somewhat challenging for me!

A totally new-to-me block was the Ogee block that Mary/QuiltGenius of the Always Bee Learning asked for. This is my one bee where I get sent the fabrics, and it's always fun to see what my bee-mate has chosen. Mary did an awesome job cutting out the pieces for this block, so that definitely helped! But this was one I had to lay out completely and then piece each component as I carefully 'built' the block. Just for reference, Cristy/Sew Much Like Mom posted this unique technique for curves on Ig. I was too far along to try it this time, but it is interesting none-the-less.

Melissa/~Me1issa  of the FAITH Circle of do. Good Stitches chose Shape Shifter blocks for us. These have the most unique construction process. In general you start with WOV strips, and since I didn't have any in the colors needed, I complicated the process for myself by using fat-quarters. But once I straightened that out, these came together like magic. Each of the small blocks in the photo are 7" unfinished.

And lastly, for That Stash Bee, Ginny/fishcreekstudio had us do mini churn dash blocks that are 6 1/2" unfinished. Easy right? In reality yes, but I got chain-piecing and mixed up my colors and texts and pretty much had to unpick everything and start over. Gee whiz. I love them finished though and kinda wish they were mine to keep. sigh

I haven't received many Rolling Diamonds back from my Mid-Century Modern girls, but am really looking forward to getting those! But still. Another round of bee blocks under the belt.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Vintage Kitchen

A quick visit to the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles was more than fruitful, pun intended. One of the current, exhibits is Tasty, too! I hope to share the quilts in the exhibit next week, but meanwhile, I thought I'd give you just a taste by sharing photos from the bonus exhibit of potholders. "Culled from a private collection these utilitarian objects each with a food related subject provide a glimpse into our collective delight on the subject of food, eating, and cooking."
 vintage pot holders c. 1940 - 1960 from the collection of Kathy Murphy
Here are a few closer shots of some of my favorites . . .

I actually recognized a couple from our home when I was a child . . . though I'm not sure how I feel about them being classified as "vintage." hmmm.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


After putting a triangle quilt on my recent quilty bucket list, it seemed serendipitous when I saw The Sassy Quilter announce a Triangle QAL. I didn't waste time picking out a stack of special fat quarters from my stash - Clover Sunshine in Cloudy by Alison Glass Design.
Since I didn't have quite enough prints, I added in some stash solids, and to make the best use of the fabric I did have, I cut my triangles at 9", a bit larger than the norm.
With triangles that large, it was pretty quick work sewing the top together. It measured 46" x 62" once I trimmed the sides.
For backing, I pieced together 2 more stash finds - both are from Carrie Bloomston's Collage by Windham Fabrics. Up close, that purple that reads as solid is really a tone on tone with a great graphic design. And you probably recognize the newspaper stripe, which is a real favorite of mine. Together, they made a great back for this quilt, and just look how they show off the quilting!
Speaking of, I quilted with Aurifil 50wt #2535 (Magenta), which coordinated so well with the back, and just added to the fun the triangles were having on the quilt front.
I quilted simply on either side of every line of each triangle, and then bound the quilt in Modern Solids in Daffodil.
Overall, this was a really fun experience, and I'm happy to mark one off of that bucket list! Hmmm. I wonder what's next . . .

I'll be linking up with the Triangle QAL when it opens next week. This quilt was on my 2014 FAL Q2 list.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday at the Table

Daughter dear clued me in by sending me an email, with a description short and sweet: "Interesting Seattle foodie event."
Interesting indeed. Dolcetta Artisan Sweets was hosting a pop-up chocolate boutique at one of the trendy event spaces in the city. Something about that little phrase was very inviting!
So despite a nasty rain storm, hubby and I took a quick trip down to see what there was to see. 
As it turned out, plenty. And the truffles and egg-shaped macarons that followed us home were mighty tasty treats following Easter brunch. Mmm mmm good.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Sewing Along . . .

Sara of Sew Sweetness just announced a fun new sew along with bloggers sewing through all the patterns by Julie/Jaybird Quilts!

I confess I'm pretty excited to have created my first Jaybird quilt, and I look forward to sharing that with you next week! The sew along starts today though, and here's the schedule! 

April 21 - Lynn @ The Little Red Hen – Science Fair
April 22 – Scott @ Blue Nickel Studios - Seaside
April 23 – Emily @ Mommy’s Naptime – Mini Disco
April 24 – Hadley @ Flying Blind on a Rocket Cycle - Jawbreaker
April 25 – Kelly @ Kelby Sews - Giggles
April 28 – Becky @ My Fabric Obsession - Snack Time
April 29 – Sara @ Sew Sweetness - Tasty
April 30 – Michelle @ City House Quilts - Candy Dish
May 1 – Debbie @ A Quilter’s Table - Northern Lights
May 2 – Marci @ Marci Girl Designs - Lotus
May 5 – Kerry @ Verrykerryberry - Rock Candy
May 6 – Andres @ Mad Tesla - Mini Northern Lights
May 7 – Lee @ May Chappell - Day Break
May 8 – Leona @ Leona’s Quilting Adventure - Wonton
May 9 – Heather @ House of a la Mode - Disco
May 12 – Jane @ Quilt Jane - Night Sky
May 13 – Lucy @ Charm About You - Tiny Dancer

All the reveal posts will be on Sara's blog, and you can check out the first one right here! Once the bloggers show off their quilts, it'll be time for you to join in and sew! There's lots of great prizes, so consider joining in!

So Many Zips

In an effort to make a few little gifts over the weekend, I pulled out all my zips. I know there are two camps when it comes to zippers - organized or not. It's pretty obvious which camp I subscribe to. yikes.
But it works for me. As did the fun little tutorial I tried: the Coin Purse Tutorial by Keeper of the Skies Wife (aka sewbettyjane on Instagram). Not unexpected, it took longer to choose fabrics than it did to sew these up.
Just for the record, the tutorial has you cut your fabrics 5"x8", which turned out really cute, though I decided after a couple, to cut 6"x9", and continued to make most of the pouches that larger size. All except the tiny pink one for grandgirl, which I cut 4"x6 1/2". So yes, this tutorial is very adaptable.

After this, I need to touch base with zipit and stock up again. But it was totally worth a few hours of fun.

Friday, April 18, 2014

An Addition to the Trio

Months ago, I made a trio of quilted pillows for my mom. And of course, they needed a coordinating quilt to keep them company on the couch.
The pillows had been made with Michele D'Amore's Habitat plus some Kona Sweet Pea. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough of all of those for a whole quilt, so I used what I had and added in some stash finds that played well. Having made a Disappearing 9-Patch quilt before, I knew the basics and just winged it - starting by cutting oodles of 5" charms and mixing them up to made 9-patches. In case you haven't made the pattern before, p.s. i quilt has a great tutorial here.
We went through the entire fabric store looking for backing, thinking first a black would be nice, no maybe a green, and on and on. At last we found a perfect creamy solution - Dear Stella's Honeycrisp Cobblestone in Stone. Trust me; it's lovely.
For quilting, I used the same Aurifil 50wt #2326 (tan) as in the pillows. "Tan" sounds kind of ho-hum, but this one sure isn't and with its lovely sheen, it really was just right. Mom requested her favorite organic straight-line quilting, which I did pretty dense - about 3/8 to 1/2" apart. It totally suited the block pattern, and gave the quilt a great texture which I know will only be improved by washing.
The binding is a Habitat dot, and a nod to Heather/Winding Bobbins, who recently shared a binding finish technique that worked so well. I'm a bit of an aficionado in regards to binding, yet the perfect {straight-forward} binding finish has been elusive. This is it. The quilt finished about 54x64" - a perfect lap quilt size that also just happens to look marvelous touring around mom's beautiful garden.

Linking up with Finish it Up Friday. This quilt was on my 2014 FAL Q2 list.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One for the Toolbox

May is my month as queen bee for the Always Bee Learning bee. Of course I debated a bit on what to have them do. 'Learning' is in our name after all, and as an underlying goal of the bee, I finally chose a relatively simple block but one I had never tried. Plus it definitely seemed like one my bee-mates could use in future projects of their own. Meet the half-rectangle triangle block. Obviously so similar to the more prevalent half-square triangle block, but construction has it's unique differences.
I found a terrific tutorial by The Quilt Engineer on The Modern Quilt Guild site: Half Rectangle Triangle Tutorial.

A few specific notes for my bee-mates:
  • I am sending fat-quarters of 2 fabrics, a solid and a print. Cut your fabrics 7.5x13.5". You should have enough for two pairs of blocks. 
  • See step #2 of the tutorial: lay out your fabrics so the solid is on the left and your print is on the right, as shown. 
  • Please ignore the instructions for Directions for Opposite HRT (Right-Left HRT’s). I only want Left-Right HRT’s - the first kind shown. 
  • Press seams open before trimming. 
  • Trim each block carefully following the instructions, checking for the seam allowances as shown in step #5 in the “Squaring” Up Your HRT section. Each of my blocks measured 7x13" unfinished. 
  • Please don't sew your finished blocks to each other. I'll mix them up when I get them all back.
So one thing about this block - my bee will be making 4-7x13" blocks, which works out ever so slightly larger than our normal 2-6 1/2x12 1/2", but the calculations for this block (starting size to ending size) aren't that clear cut, so I'm trusting this minor difference is ok. In general, blocks will be 1/4-1/2" smaller than the size of beginning rectangles, but I didn't trust that, so cut my rectangles a little larger. I should have gone with those calculations and I would have ended up closer to my goal.
Anyway, the fabrics I am sending are La Femme by Melissa Crawley for Kaufman, a fat-quarter bundle I won a couple of years ago. It's been waiting for just the right use, and I think the simplicity of these hrt blocks are just the ticket. The fabric is an Essex linen/cotton blend, and I'm pairing them with a new American Made Brand solid in Light Cream.

So there's something new to try - a new technique to add to your quilting toolbox, which I think is always a good thing!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


With quilts in various stages of development, I just had to take a little break when I came across the Bunny Pouch Tutorial by Listen to the birds sing. Seriously, TOO cute!
Yes, I took a short-cut and drew on bunny's face rather than embroidered it. And yes, I'm ruining the surprise for daughter dear, but luckily grandgirl doesn't read blogs yet. I decided to go ahead and post this little Easter goodie now while there's still time for you to make one for your own special little one. You know you want to, don't you?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Angled Matched Binding

I've been meaning to write this post for ages. Whether you know what I mean by matched binding or not, as a refresher, I suggest you read this post. I'll wait . . .
SO, as I said then, matching binding at a 'straight' seam is about 150% times easier than at an angle. I have managed doing it at an angle twice, but both times it was a headache, and I knew I needed to take the time to document the process so I didn't have to waste time re-figuring it out every time I wanted to do it. So finally, this past week, I did just that.

To start, measure around your quilt and jot down how many inches of each color of binding you will need, allowing yourself at least 6-8" extra in length for each section. Then cut strips for each section, and press each in half lengthwise just like you'd usually do for double-fold binding. Lay two colored strips alongside your quilt, about where they will be sewn on. Cut both ends on an angle as shown below. Do take note of the angle you are trying to match. Pictured, mine happens to be a 60-degree angle on my quilt, so I cut the binding at 60-degrees, just in the opposite direction.
Stitch ends with 1/4" seam. Press seam open, then repress binding strip for a nice edge.
Pin the binding to the quilt, with raw edges matching.
Fold binding strip up so you can see how things are lining up. Unpin and adjust as needed.
Now to tackle the next angle. Pin binding to quilt every few inches, smoothing as you go and placing a pin at the next binding color change location.
Turn binding up and using a removable marking pen, make a mark on the side next to the quilt, extending the angle of the line.
Unpin the binding strip, lay a clear ruler over your mark, and draw a line 1/4" away, toward the loose end of the binding. Use your rotary cutter to cut along this longer line. Now you're ready to cut and add the next color as in the first step above. Continue on as your particular project requires! Though it involves some up and down, I find it easiest to machine-stitch one connection and pin it in place, then measure, cut, and add another color, pin in place, etc., moving around the perimeter of your quilt. Eventually you'll have the entire binding pinned on and you'll just machine-stitch it on. I usually finish my binding with hand-stitching, but if you machine-stitch your binding, it should work the same way.
Good luck and have fun using this technique on just the right quilt!

If you try this method, be sure and add a picture to Quilting with A Quilter's Table on flickr!