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 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). 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Ceramics: Porcelain Vases

I love this little Frost porcelain vase.  However, I didn't score and pinch enough and there's a tiny bit of daylight I can see at the  bottom of the vase.  I'm going to ask my friend Zan, the ceramics teacher at one of my high schools if I can pour a little more glaze into the vase and fire again. I also want to adhere a decal to its front which might then require a separate firing.
I made sure that this bud vase didn't leak before I stuck this commercial decal of a robin on it.

Quilting is Done on My Funny Valentine....but that doesn't mean it's finished

I am aiming for dynamic contrast in this quilt and decided to combine walking foot and free motion machine quilting with the hand quilting.  I stitched matchstick and not so thin and not so dense lines in the lilac sashing.

Once I finished the walking foot quilting, I installed the darning foot and practiced stitching stenciled patterns on these sandwiches.

I decided to not rip out these free motion stitches on my "final draft" because 1) if I went for perfection or even better enough I’d never finish a quilt; 2) this quilt is a record of my first stab at free motion quilting; and 3) good enough is fine by me.
I tried out the machine embroidery letters on my machine to perhaps create a quilt label, but didn't like the fancy font.  I still have yet to bind My Funny Valentine as well as create and baste a hanging sleeve (which I'll remove later as this quilt is just for me) and make a quilt label.  I also realized that I need to create labels for my Day of the Dead: Amar por Siempre that I entered into the Fine Arts category and Frida into the Art Quilts category