Sunday, March 3, 2013


Hey there! So today is my day to play along in Thomas's Jellybean-a-thon! I know, you don't know who I am or why the hell you're even looking at this sad old blog. That's OK. Don't fight it, baby, just go with it.

Thomas sent all 10 colorways of the Jellybean print and asked for a project that incorporated them all. I knew I wanted to make a quilt, and I knew that wonky and improv-y was about all I could handle. So I started making some arrows and I love the way it came out. 9 on front, and the 10th print is in a little arrow on the back. And then I just randomly grabbed a few for the binding.

I call this quilt "Which way did he go?" and I keep imagining the scarecrow from Wizard of Oz with his arms tangled and pointing both ways.

These prints are so great. The color combinations are dissonant, and yet somehow they end up really reading as solids. It's basically magic. Thomas is so smart and so cool. Don't tell him I said that, though, we don't need him getting too big for his britches. Oh, hi Thomas -- please don't read that last sentence!

Make sure to check out everyone else's posts, too!
Feb 25: Thomas Knauer
Feb 26: Allegory Lanham
Feb 27: Tracy Mooney
Feb 28: Sara Lawson
March 1: Rachael Gander
March 2: Rashida Coleman-Hale
March 3: Me! Here!
March 4: Audrie Bidwell
March 5: Kim Niedzwiecki

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


What? February? How did that happen? OK, so this month for A Lovely Year of Finishes I'l be actually quilting and binding my arrow quilt that I pieced in January. It will certainly be a challenge, but I promised that I would, so here I go!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Finished arrow top!

Awful picture, but at least I got it done! I'm not gonna lie, I had my doubts. :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Lovely Year of Finishes

So I linked up with this great group A Lovely Year of Finishes. Each month we all post a goal for something we want to finish that month, and then at the end of the month these crazy broads expect us to have actually finished it! Their optimism is so adorable.

This month I need to finish up a quilt top, with all these wonky improv arrows. Game on!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sonia Delaunay

This post has been a looooong time coming. Actually, ANY post at all on this blog has been a long time coming. My poor, dusty old blog. I have such precious little time for creating, that when I do have time I want to spend it actually creating and not writing about it. You all know the drill I'm sure, as so many of us are in the same boat.
Anyway. Last August I was down in NYC for the Quilters Take Manhattan event, hosted by The Alliance for American Quilts. (side note: Just found out they're doing it again this year, whee!) At the main even, I was sitting with my girl Jonesie (otherwise known as Heather Jones of Olive and Ollie fame) and (be still my heart!) Kate Spain. Kate showed us a copy of a book she'd just gotten, this book from the Cooper-Hewitt from the Sonia Delaunay retrospective they held last year. Delaunay's work is amazingly modern and graphic, and so much of it lends itself to translation into a quilt. I think I actually ordered my copy of the book right then and there from my phone. And as soon as it arrived I started marking pages for different works and designs that I wanted to turn into quilts.

This was the first one I worked on:

It's a gouache on wallpaper, mounted on cardboard, that was a design for a rug.
And this is my wall-hanging sized quilt, with vertical straight line quilting:
Here's a close-up of the quilting. I did insanely dense quilting over the colored sections, since the original was so sketchy and had lots of white breaking through:
Here was my next pick. This is another gouache on paper, and is less yellowy than this picture:
Here is my quilt interpretation. The dimensions are sort of unusual for a quilt, narrower than normal, because I was following the painting pretty closely. More straight-line quilting too, horizontal this time to echo the horizontal pattern. (More accurately, it is quilted "in the style of straight line," as I am constantly proving that I am completely incapable of actually sewing a straight line.)
Here's the back, with just a little bit of piecing with some leftovers:
Josh would clearly like you all to note his support for and dedication to rock 'n roll. :)
I sleep with this book next to my bed and look at it almost every day. I am mildly obsessed. I have fabric for another quilt, and have started graphing out a fourth. Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

CEiMB: Aromatic Beef Stew with Butternut Squash

Today's Craving Ellie in my Belly recipe is Aromatic Beef Stew with Butternut Squash, hosted by Kayte of Grandma's Kitchen Table.

I had to make just a few subs to make this dish vegetarian. I used a meat substitue that I haven't used before, from a company in NY that I order all sorts of un-meat stuff from. I wasn't crazy about it, which is a drag because I LOVED this stew. And I used veggie broth instead of beef, and forgot to add the sliced almonds, but other than that I made the recipe as written. Oh, and I didn't bother with the parsley. And I didn't have pepper flakes so I added a bit of cayenne. So, um, I guess not quite exactly as written. I will most definitely try it again with a different meat substitute that we like more -- I can see this one becoming a regular winter meal.

I did not take a picture because I made this in a frenzy after work last night and we were a little late getting dinner on the table, so it just got dished out (to Josh and me) and gobbled in a flash. Delma has gotten very good about trying new things, and actually asked me to give her some of this to try. She liked it, but not enough to ask for more than a taste. But still, good girl!

This was a great pick, thanks Kayte! Please visit Kayte's blog for the recipe.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I heart scones

Back in December I saw Beth's post on Proper British Scones and printed out the recipe. The Hattonettes aren't into overly sweet breakfasts, and have tried scones before and liked them (though the slightly sweeter ones you get in coffee shops here in the US), so I really wanted to try these. Last weekend I finally did, and I am hooked. We all loved them. They really aren't sweet at all, and are delicious by themselves or with butter or with a little fancy jam. There's nothing we've tried on them that has not been delicious.

This morning I used a small heart cookie cutter to make some little cuties (the one in the pic has some Bonne Mama blueberry preserves in the middle, nom nom nom). We also have yet to try a shape that isn't completely delicious. Next time we will try flowers or stars, and I suspect that they, too, will be awesome.

Friday, January 28, 2011

CEiMB: Fettuccine with Creamy Red Pepper-Feta Sauce

Today's Craving Ellie in my Belly recipe is Fettuccine with Creamy Red Pepper-Feta Sauce, hosted by Jessica of Learning to Love Vegetables.

This was so insanely simple and so yummy. I loved it. Definitely one of my favorite Ellie recipes. It makes a lot of sauce, and I knew the kids wouldn't try it, so I only mixed 2 servings of pasta with the sauce for our dinner last night and put the rest of the sauce in the freezer. I hope it will freeze well. Thanks for a really great pick, Jessica!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Baby Gifts

A good friend and his wifey had their first wee babe a few months ago, and so I had to bust out some baby gifts. My old stand-by is burp cloths. My favorite way to do these is to buy those nice thick flannel cloth diapers, and just sew fabric to size, flip it inside out and topstitch all around. I always have some on-hand so I can sew some up in a pinch if I need a baby gift. Not complicated, but very cute. It's nice to feel somewhat fancy when someone is vomiting on you in public.

And I made a patchwork baby blanket, with minky on the back. Oh, minky is the worst to work with! Cripes, it's awful, but is is so lovely and cuddly-cozy, so, what are you gonna do?

I used a charm pack of Amy Butler stuff, and stamped on some linen squares. I picked an exerpt from favorite poem from one of our Mother Goose books. I think it's maybe called I Had a Little Nut Tree:

I skipped over water
I danced over sea
And all the birds in the air
Couldn't catch me

These blankets are great. They're cuddly for the babes, and they can be used for a play mat, and then kids can use them for baby dolls... I'm hoping wee Sylvia will love and use it for many years.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

CEIMB: Walnut and Dried Cherry Bars

Hey CEiMP-ers -- forgive me PLEASE for this late posting. This has pretty much been one of the worst weeks of my life. I was incredibly ill and have barely been able to move for days. Total nightmare. But the antibiotics are kicking in and I almost feel human again.

So! This past week was my turn to host over at Craving Ellie in my Belly. My pick was the Walnut and Dried Cherry Bars, on p. 40 of So Easy (recipe at end of post).

I did not love these. I see that a lot of people really did, so maybe I should try them again. They were a little too soft for me, I'd try baking them a little longer next time, and maybe try a different kind of preserves. I feel badly picking a recipe and then not digging it, but oh well, they can't all be keepers.

I'm looking forward to reading through everyone else's posts (when I can look at the computer for more than 2 minutes without feeling like puking! Bon apetit!).

Walnut and Dried Cherry Bars

1 cup quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or regular whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg, beaten to mix
1 egg white
3/4 cup chopped dried tart cherries
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
Cooking spray
1/4 cup "fruit only" apricot preserves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, wheat germ, cinnamon and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the honey, applesauce, oil, egg and egg white until well combined. Stir in the oatmeal mixture until well combined. Add the dried cherries and walnuts.

Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out

clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Put the preserves in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. As soon as the bars come out of the oven, brush with the preserves. Cool completely and cut into 12 bars, about 4 by1 1/2 inches each.