Thursday, July 12, 2018

Quilting: Personal Throw Quilt

I'd had some of these Amy Butler fabrics from a sewing project of sachets and then started collecting from that theme of cocoa blooms and folk hearts other favorite motifs of skulls, hearts and stripes, fans, cityscapes, arrows, midcentury backgammon stars and flowers in other fabric lines to raw appliqué of hearts and hugs and kisses to finally free motion stitching on my domestic machine more hearts and matchstick lines as well as hand quilting running stitches.  I forgot the deadline for submitting my quilt to the county fair, and so decided to hang my quilt outside to take a decent picture.  I love it.

Quilting: 50th Birthday Present

I recently celebrated my friend, Meral's 50th birthday party in NYC, and I wanted to give her for that milestone a quilt.  I had foundation paper pieced already in a red, orange, coral, and pink color way a scrappy Valentine quilt.  Meral and I have this running comment or joke in the ceramics studio, where we're always making wall hearts with beautiful surface textures and text especially during the Valentine holiday.  She once worked as an assistant for a sculptor and derided his heart sculptures, calling them "fucking hearts."  However, she has come to realize what I already know--hearts are lovely and people, and more importantly, we makers, like 'em.  

Below are the array of threads I had to choose from for quilting Meral's quilt.  

And below is the quilt top rolled on to the long arm.  

I decided to free motion a different filler stitch that I watched on an Angela Walter's video: the flower meander.

Elmo wagged his tail in approval.



Sunday, May 27, 2018

Text, Fabric, Embroidery Floss, Hoop and Needle Projects

I love irreverence as well as clever and pithy phrases in all my sewing arts.  And so of course, when I spied this embroidered hoop, I feel the need to emulate.



Cooking: Cherry Pepper Relish

We attended a family barbecue yesterday where hamburgers, chicken sausage sandwiches and spareribs were being served.  I always contribute a vegetable side dish, and I decided to make a cherry pepper relish inspired by a delicious Sheboygan I ate at Kenji Lopez Alt's Wursthall.

I chopped and diced one red bell pepper, half a medium red onion, a jar of cherry peppers and also set out 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons hot sweet mustard (I didn't have the grainy mustard the recipe called for, and so I substituted), and 1/2 cup red wine vinegar with some splashes of white vinegar thrown in to make the full measure needed.
In a tablespoon of olive oil, sauté the onions until translucent and then add the red bell pepper and then add the rest of the ingredients and simmer on medium heat for 8 minutes or so....you don't want the bell pepper to retain a little firmness or not get too soft.  I rather love the bright red color here.
After cooling, here's what the relish looks like; the mustard has added a caramel yellow tinge.
Jarred and ready to set in the fridge or top a chicken apple sausage  in a bun--it was zingy because of the sweet hot mustard.




Valentine Quilt Work in Progress

My ceramics buddy, Meral is turning 50 this July.  I had racked my brain about what kind of ceramic piece I was going to make her, but while making this quilt, I thought of course!  Meral and I make wall hearts, especially around the February holiday, and we joke about our "fucking hearts"--she once derided a sculptor she worked for about the kitschiness of his hearts, and he replied people love hearts and so do I.

I'd been stitching the blocks together to make rows before I go to work.
On this Memorial Day Sunday I finished the top.  It takes up all the open floor space of my condo living room.  At 82 1/2" x 83 1/2" it should cover the top of her full size bed.


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Japanese Quilts

I checked out this book from the public library the other day, and I'm thinking of making my sister-in-law's quilt using its designs.
I love a Tansu chest, an Isamu Noguchi coffee table, my husband's bonsai trees, and Lecien fabrics, so of course I would love a Japanese-inspired quilt. And it's not so improvisational outside my comfort zone.

Mighty Lucky Quilt

I am almost done with sewing hanging sleeves and quilt labels on my local county fair entries, and so I can get back to this Mighty Lucky Quilt.  Even though I haven't sewn my wonky crosses (and don't know how improvisational and ruler-less I will be when it comes time to sewing them), I colored and am trying to envision what this quilt will look like.
I then auditioned on paper my color palette the outer side blocks. I thought I might inject other colors like indigo, red, aqua, and pink.  But no.  I'll stick to my two warms (mango and yellow), two cools (lilac and chartreuse), and two neutrals (gray and rust).