Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Luisa Crossbody Bag

Ever since last fall when Bee Sewcial met up at International Quilt Festival, I've been using the Vera Slouch Bag I made with our Bee Sewcial fabric. Though it was absolutely perfect for that trip, I really meant to make something smaller for everyday use, and save the Vera for upcoming events. Last weekend I finally got around to it. 

I had had the Luisa Crossbody Bag pattern by Sotak Patterns printed out, with fabric chosen, for literally weeks. But when I finally got down to making it, wouldn't you know, I changed my mind and opted to use the intended lining for the exterior of the bag, and chose a new lining fabric. Like I usually do with bags, I cut out and fused all the fabric on one day, worked on construction the next two days; and in this case, installed hardware on the fourth.

The main exterior is Thatch in Navy, a print from Jen Hewett's Floradora line. The exterior accent is Essex Linen, and the lining is a print from Carolyn Friedlander's Doe.

As usual, Svetlana's zipper installations are pretty straight-forward to execute. This bag has three - the main recessed zipper opening, a zippered pocket inside, and one on the exterior 'hidden' by a flap.

Rather than make a fabric crossbody handle, I ordered a 3/4" leather handle (56" long), and that length allowed me to also cut leather ring tabs. I did have a bit of a snag in attaching the ring tabs, as the design of the Luisa meant that the thickness of the bag was more than I'd experienced making the Vera. So the 3/16" Chicago screws I'd ordered from Anna Graham @noodlehead531 weren't long enough. I quickly ordered some Tandy 1/2" Leather Screws from Amazon and they worked like a charm. They might have been a hair long, but definitely workable. Then I was able to use the original 3/16" screws for the leather strap. Success. Just for the record, I'd also ordered a RedwoodTote Hardware Kit from Anna, and used the swivel clasps; then I repurposed 3/4" d-rings from an older bag.

I find all of Svetlan's patterns so accessible, and the Luisa measures 10" wide x 9" tall x 3" deep, just a bit smaller than the Vera at 11" x 11" x 4". After putting it off for so lone, I'm glad I finally got it made, and I think it will serve my purposes well.

Friday, May 19, 2023

On the Grid: Structure as Visual Aesthetic

When my friend, Chandra, asked if I'd like to road-trip it with her to see Maria Shell's @mariashellart exhibit at the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum in La Connor, WA, I was happy to say, "Yes, please!" The exhibit was titled, "On the Grid: Structure as Visual Aesthetic," and we were surprised and happy to see there were 43(!) of Maria's quilts on display. I didn't get photos of all of them, but thought you might enjoy seeing a selection of them. Read Maria's Artist Statement, if you'd like a little insight into her body of work. Enjoy!

Hope you enjoyed seeing a portion of the exhibit! Chandra and I really enjoyed seeing Maria's work up close and personal... the quilting, her use of prints, the wonderful mix of colors. It really was a delight to see.

Photo by Chandra Wu, Used with permission.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

At the Table

This post includes absolutely nothing about quilts, but rather another focus of mine - cooking and baking. Specifically, about joining in in the Rainy Day Bites Cookbook Club this year with hostess Deborah Balint @rainydaybites. Please feel free to ignore today's ramblings about new recipes I've tried if it doesn't interest you. I promise I'll be back with quilt-related content very soon!

But I couldn't totally ignore something that I've really enjoyed this year, and something that has drawn me into the kitchen week after week. In a nutshell, the cookbook club is arranged so there is a new, featured cookbook each month. Then there is a baking book for every two months. I've been focusing on participating in the challenges from those books, but not necessarily from the third category, a year-long dessert book. A few of the books have actually been in my cookbook library, or purchased; but a lot have also been from my local library or an ebook. It's definitely easier to have the actual book, while at the same time acknowledging that I don't want or need to purchase them all. So it's been a balance.

Occasionally the challenge is very specific, but it could also be maker's choice from a certain category, and occasionally any recipe by a specific author. Lots of possibilities. Anyway, here's all the new-to-me recipes I've tried so far with Rainy Day Bites!

Featured book: Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things by 
Noor Murad @noorishbynoor & Yotam Ottolenghi @ottolenghi

Baked Polenta with Feta, Bechamel and Za’atar Tomatoes

Double Lemon Chicken with Cheats Preserved Lemon

Featured book: Smitten Kitchen Keepers by Deb Perelman @debperelman @smittenkitchen

Turkey Meatloaf for Skeptics

Simple Black Bean Chili

Breakfast Potato Chips & Sheet Pan Eggs

Caramelized Cinnamon & Sugar French Toast

Skillet White Beans "Caesar"

Chicken with Rice, Chorizo & Tomato

My Bodega-Style Egg-and-Cheese

Winter Squash Soup with Red Onion Crisp

January & February Baking Book: Savory Baking by 
Erin Jeanne McDowell @emcdowell

Bacon-and-Eggs Dutch Baby

Weeknight Focaccia

Enchilada Pie 

Featured book: The Woks of Life by Bill, Judy, and Kaitlin Leung of 

Chicken Curry Puffs

"Mongolian" Beef

Mini Char Siu Bao

Chicken Chow Fun

Featured book: The Lemon Apron Cookbook by Jennifer Emilson of 

Brown Butter Maple Bacon Butter Tarts

Pappardelle with Fennel-Italian Sausage Bolognese & Ricotta

Rosti with Bacon Scrambled Eggs

Mum's Chicken and Rice

Broccolini Amandine

Chicken and Yellow Zucchini Avgolemono-Style Soup

March & April Baking Book: Tava, Eastern European Bakes and Desserts from Romania and Beyond 
by Irina Georgescu @irina.r.georgescu

Crepes with Toffee Apple and Rosemary Sauce

Hungarian Fried Breads with Stewed Plums and Sour Cream

Folded Curd Cheese Pies

Finally, the year long end of month baking book is What’s for Dessert by 
Claire Saffitz @csaffitz, but I have yet to participate in those challenges, finding the others to be enough.

Though I'm a relative newcomer, the Rainy Day Bites Cookbook Club has actually been around for nine years! To celebrate their anniversary, we could choose to make any recipe from any of the featured books from across the years. I chose one before my time but that is in my collection, Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan @doriegreenspan, trying Sweet and Smoky Roasted Carrots.

So that's A LOT! Thanks for letting me record a written memory of my time with the cookbook club so far. It's been a fun challenge, encouraging us to try new cuisines and spending creative time in another way. Plus it's been so delicious!