Friday, May 17, 2024

Plus

It had been a while since I'd made a Plus quilt, but when I did, I had a nice stack of 5" squares left over, knowing some day, I'd make another. So when I saw Jeni @jenib320 announce her Plus Quilt Along, I figured why not? Jeni has a Modern Plus Quilt Tutorial for a throw-size, though I used her Arithmetic Quilt Pattern to make a baby size to stash for gifting or donating. 



Most, if not all, of the prints were original Cotton + Steel. And actually, my squares were 5", a size not included in Jeni's pattern - her baby-size called for 4.5" squares - so my quilt became slightly larger than her baby-size. Being relatively small, I figured I could squeeze it in among other projects I wanted to do over the quilt along weeks.


As you can imagine, the top sewed up quite quickly. Unfortunately, I realized that I had a little error in the bottom right corner! Luckily it didn't take me too long to make that fix.

For the backing, I used a darling C+S print I'd been stashing for a while - C + S Welsummer Forage in Gray by Kimberly Kight. It didn't take much, but I used just a little of Ruby Star Society Sugar in Neon Pink by Sarah Watts to bring the back up to size. You may be able to barely see that - an inch or so - on the right hand side.

After considering several options, I settled on Aurifil 40wt 1148 [Light Jade] for quilting a grid. I started by quilting along seamlines, then went back and stitched in the middle of those lines of stitches, going completely by eye. For batting, I'm pretty sure I used Quilter's Dream Request, since I had it on hand. At any rate, the quilting and batting resulted in a very soft and drapey quilt.

Bound with a jade C+S Sprinkle, the quilt finished at 42" x 55". The coloring on the sweet label from sarahHEARTS just had to be included on this quilt, along with my standard label.

So that was a fun finish with sweet fabrics. With gifting Snippets to my daughter this week, the stole to my son, and now this finish.... well, it's been good to cross a few projects off the list!



Wednesday, May 15, 2024

The Green Stole

Pretty sure I hinted somewhere along the line that in making the blue liturgical stole for our son, Kendall, and the white one, that those wouldn't be the end of my stole-making. Though he's already acquired several in a variety of colors, he's hinted that eventually he'd like mom-made stoles in a whole range of colors. After taking a quick look at a liturgical calendar, I realized the next season, Time after Pentecost, was rapidly approaching. This season of the church year is the longest, running this year from May 23 through November 27, and is affectionately called the long green season.

At any rate, green was obviously the next color I needed to tackle, and for the exterior and lining fabrics I chose Essex Yarn Dyed in Palm and Kona Peridot. Somewhere, I'd seen a simple cross block that would work well in my improvisational style, so I did my best to create something similar, one for each side of the stole.



The improv crosses were inserted near the lower edge of the stole fronts, and otherwise, that Essex was the main feature.


Where with the two previous stoles - here and here - I'd interfaced with Pellon 987F Fusible Fleece, this time I tried something much lighter, fusible Pellon SF101. It's about my favorite interfacing, and I'm anxious to see what Kendall thinks about the weight and drape. For me, I was mostly trying to prevent some of the wrinkling that I felt happened on the white stole. At any rate, from first glance, it looks to have been a good choice.


For this stole, I ordered a Soft Gold Metallic Cross Applique from Ecclesiastical Sewing for the back neck. The cross is machine-embroidered, and 2" high and wide. It had an iron-on backing, so I did that to secure placement; and then used Aurifil Monofilament to machine-stitch around the edges



Thank goodness for the beautiful Aurifil 50wt 1231 [Spring Green] that matched the Kona Peridot almost perfectly, as sewing the weights in the bottom of the lining wasn't a perfect science. Due to the lighter interfacing, I sewed three weights (aka pennies) in on each side, so again, I'm anxious to hear from Kendall what he thinks about that for future reference.



So the stole just arrived to Kendall, and he'll be able to try it out in a couple of weeks. I'm hoping, of course, that it's a welcome addition to his collection of stoles.

Monday, May 13, 2024

Snippets + alphabet

Lest you think I'm only interested in quilt alongs, that's not quite true. But after making my AQT alphabet quilt several weeks ago, I had in mind to make another alphabet quilt, so why not?! Now if I can only find all those extra letters I had left from making the first one...


Found 'em! I only had to print out a few more before I was ready to start in. I already knew what fabric I wanted to start with, knowing full well that I might add more as I went. It was all Carolyn Friedlander, a mix of collections, and primarily in blues, grays, black.

The intended recipient was my daughter Rachel @snippetsofsweetness, so of course, her banner would say 'Snippets of Sweetness,' her social media name. Just like the first time, I followed Carolyn's lead of splitting the words into rows, which though maybe a bit awkward to read, is a lot of fun.

Snippets finished at 18.5" x 29", similar in layout to one of Carolyn's projects, as well as my previous one, with the back pieced with more CF fabrics, of course.


I quilted a 1" grid using Aurifil 50wt 2730 [Delft Blue] horizontally in the darker blue section; and 2612 [Arctic Sky] in the upper letter section, as well as all of the vertical lines.


I know I totally ignored the schedule of the sew along, but other projects were waiting for my attention. Plus, I knew I'd see Rachel yesterday, so why not finish it up and give it to her then? Come to find out, she's refreshing her sewing space, so this little piece just might be a fun addition.

Monday, May 6, 2024

Like, Totally :: May

Somehow, last week I went from having zero projects in the works, to several. And most of them have timelines attached, and I was feeling a little overwhelmed about how to proceed. Then this month's Seattle MQG BOM block instructions were posted, and everything began to fall into line.

Actually, I used the making of the BOM blocks as a little reward for making progress on another project. They were good incentive, plus relatively easy blocks, and I had them done in no time. Before I put that project away for another month, I decided to see how my Like, Totally quilt was stacking up by putting all of my blocks so far up on the design wall.


Very fun! I'm really enjoying my chosen palette, and the mix of low-volume background fabrics. So I'm feeling good about where this BOM is headed.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

April Fabric Usage

After March's outrageous fabric intake, it was great to bring in just a few yards during April, and for a very specific project, at that. In addition, there were several yards used for:


All that resulted in some pretty respectable fabric usage numbers. Let's see if I can do as good in May!

April Fabric Usage

Used up: 14.83 yards [11.83 projects + 3.0 recycled/donated]
Brought in: 3.50 yards 
Net: -11.33 yards

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

At the Table :: 2024 Rainy Day Bites January to April

Our Rainy Day Bites Cookbook Club 2024 cookbook club theme is “Food for Thought.” Hosted by Deborah Balint on Instagram, each month we're exploring cookbooks that spark conversation on a range of topics. Our baking books are going global with country specific books. So far it's been a busy but delicious few months! I'm keeping track of this quarter's recipes here. Enjoy, or skip, as you wish.

Note that I linked to each IG post, in case you wanted to read what I wrote about each recipe.


January

Featured book: The World Central Kitchen Cookbook: Feeding Humanity, Feeding Hope by José Andrés @chefjoseandres of World Central Kitchen @wckitchen

Topic: Building longer tables through humanitarian efforts

chilaquiles



baleadas sencillas



braised pork al pastor



February

Featured book: Cucina Provera: The Italian Way of Transforming Humble Ingredients into Unforgettable Meals by Giulia Scarpaleggia @julskitchen

Topic: cooking seasonally and using certain ingredients to stretch meal cost

pasta and bean soup (pasta e fagioli)




January & February baking: Dark Rye & Honey Cake Festival Baking from Belgium, the Heart of the Low Countries by Regula Ysewijn @missfoodwise





waffles with beer



New this year - our last day of the month baking party will be global desserts using any recipe from any cookbooks we already have. 

January end of the month baking party challenge | Japan: milk bread from The Woks of Life @thewoksoflife by Bill, Judy, Sarah, and Kaitlin Leung



February end of the month baking party challenge | France: [chocolate] madeleines from pure chocolate by Fran Bigelow of Fran's Chocolates @franschocolates



March: Yiayia: Time Perfected Recipes from Greece’s Grandmothers by Anastasia Miari @anastasia_miari 

Topic: The role of the matriarch in cooking and family legacy.

egg and potato omelet





April
One Pot, Pan, Planet: A Greener Way to Cook for You and Your Family by Anna Jones @we_are_food

Topic: Cooking for our planet including reducing waste and sustainable cooking.



March & April baking: Torta Della Nonna: A Collection of the Best Homemade Italian Desserts by Emiko Davies @emikodavies.






March end of the month baking party challenge | USA: Pies - grasshopper pie from The Seattle Times Cookbook


April end of the month baking party challenge | Spain: Basque cheesecake from Love is a Pink Cake by Claire Ptak @violetcakeslondon


One thing I really love about being in this club, is learning about new dishes, places, and techniques. Anyone can join. Just follow @rainydaybites to see what we're cooking each month!

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Keen

There was no doubt, from the very start, that I wanted to participate in the 2024 Pantone Quilt Challenge, again hosted by Sarah @bysarahruiz and Elizabeth @elizabethkray. But I didn't really act like it, and I think real life events just played into my slowness in getting on board.

Early on, I had a bit of inspiration about a relatively simple design involving improv stripes, and once I had my Pantone swatch card in hand, I worked on an initial fabric pull - Konas Black, White, Ruby, Orchid Ice, Raisin, Terracotta, and RJR Apricot Ice, plus as I began piecing, what I think was Kona Cedar. This time around, the Pantone Peach Fuzz color is more of a team-player than the key focus, but it's what felt fun to play with this time around.

Let's just say making all the stripes took a while, there was some travel away from my sewing room, and a little lethargy once I got back. But eventually I had a quilt top, and primarily using the leftovers, I fashioned a scrappy quilt back as well.



As I began to consider a quilting plan and what thread(s) to use, I decided this wasn't a quilt where I wanted to do an overall design with one thread color. That's always good news and bad news for me. It adds a bit of stress to the project, but then again, it's fun to use a variety of threads. And in the end, I used seven - Aurifil 50wt 2420 [Light Blush], 2692 [Black], 1103 [Burgundy], 2520 [Violet], 2350 [Copper]; 40wt 6722 [Sea Biscuit]; and since it was the only thread I had that coordinated well, a spool of Aurifloss 6729 [Tangerine Dream], with which I did some hand-quilting in the peach-colored sections of the quilt.



The machine-quilting in the majority of the quilt was improv lines, back and forth, back and forth. Though time-consuming, it was what I felt I could do that would fit the design, and using all those colors added to the enjoyment of it.

Finished at 33.5" x 41.5" and bound with matched binding, I was going to name this one "Peachy Keen," but considering 'keen' is a synonym for 'peachy,' I'll just go with the one word. 

Now I guess I better head over and submit Keen for the challenge before it closes.