Monday, May 31, 2010

... pretty in pink cupcakes

pretty in pink cupcakes

in celebration of our john hughes film festival with some friends this weekend, i made cupcakes honoring one of my favorite movies.


these are strawberry cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting. which was super delicious, if you don't mind my saying.

pretty in pink cupcakes

(and for the record, i totally would have have picked duckie. just saying.)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

... organizing


last weekend i took a look at my stacks of fabric and noticed a few half-yards that were folded funny. so i naturally decided to iron and refold the offending fabrics.

solids stash

cut to the end of the day when i had ironed and refolded my entire stash.

refolded stash

i regret nothing.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

... magic

isn't bread magic? it's amazing that you can turn this...

bread dough

... into this!


it doesn't matter how many times i bake bread, i still marvel that it always seems to work. though i know i shouldn't be surprised since i almost always use my trusty tassajara basic bread recipe. so, so good.


i keep a jar of mixed seeds (flax, sunflower, black and white sesame) in the fridge for whenever i have the urge to make bread. so, so handy.

french toast

and you know what else is magic? turning your homemade bread into french toast the next day. so, so delicious.

Friday, May 21, 2010

... the process pledge

The Process Pledge

i read this great post by r0ssie a while back about "mutant quilting" and it gave me much to think about for the past week. my thoughts are thus: as a relative newcomer to the quilt world it seems perhaps more obvious to me that what is considered modern quilting is quite traditional in its roots... i mean, where would we be if we didn't have things to "wonkify," right? and while i think it's good to constantly push yourself to create new and more interesting things, i hope there's always still room in this craft for a good old patchwork or a classic log cabin. and i don't use that term "craft" lightly. i suppose we could argue a whole bunch about whether quilting is more of an art or a craft, but i would ultimately ask, "isn't there room for both?" i would hate for those who love quilting for the sake of the craft not be valued because they are seen as not making "art."

but i really dig this idea of showing more of the process of what we do. for some reason i have shied away from this because i thought folks would not be so interested in my boring ramblings and thoughts. but i'm game to give this a shot. i certainly do have a bunch of random sketches and half-formed ideas that could benefit from exposure and input from you oh-so-wise internet quilting buddies.

bad curve

unfortunately for me, my process right now is dealing with this quilting. remember a couple of weeks ago when i was super excited about this quilting? well, due some bad basting my lovely pieced squares are starting to pull and stretch in all sorts of wonky directions. and this is not an intended wonkiness. if i was a better person quilter i would probably take out all this quilting and re-baste and quilt. but given that this represents over 10 hours of work, i'm a little less inclined to do that.

bad curve

i know, right?!

so my process is turning into one of acceptance. acceptance of the fact that these curves are going to become waves and that it's not the end of the world. and did i mention that this quilt is for me? so yeah, i'm not going to sweat it too much.

and see, i've learned something from this whole thing! learning is a process, too, isn't it?

bad stitches

but now there's one more thing i want to know. while in the midst of grappling with this whole pulling thing, my sewing machine decided to go cuckoo nutso on me and turn my stitch into this (see right). and i have no idea why it's doing this. you can see from that photo where i had to rip out two previous attempts. the only thing that seems to fix it is to turn the sewing machine off and then on again. anyone have any thoughts on why it might be doing this? i'd love it if there was some simple solution that i could fix.

in summary: boo for stupid sewing machines. but yay for the process!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

... breakfast pizza

breakfast pizza

this morning i woke with a monumental headache. probably from laughing so much from seeing this most funny man last night. seriously, it is completely possible that i may have laughed myself into a headache. yikes.

so i was thankful this morning that i had some recently made pizza dough in the fridge, along with some basil, goat cheese, and a couple of eggs to crack on top of the whole thing. and i swear to god, right after polishing off the last bite i realized my headache was gone. magic breakfast pizza.

(also, the two gigantic pots of tea and aspirin probably didn't hurt, either.)

Monday, May 10, 2010

... the kruckeberg botanic garden

kruckeberg botanic garden

man, i bet i could put together the best garden tour guide for any out-of-towner. seriously, if you want to know the prettiest places to go to look at plants in seattle, ask me. (and, i must give props to my boy, c, who is the only reason i know about any of these places in the first place.)

saturday we took a trip up to the kruckeberg botanic garden/msk nursery for their mother's day plant sale and open house.

kruckeberg botanic garden

kruckeberg botanic garden

i mean, come on, it doesn't get much better than this. seattle brought out its most perfect spring weather--sunny-not-too-hot-blue-skies-gentle-breeze--and the light was just right filtering in through the layers upon layers of trees.

kruckeberg botanic garden

kruckeberg botanic garden

hello, loveliness.

kruckeberg botanic garden

hello, ceanothus.

kruckeberg botanic garden

this garden is such a special place that they can even hang "art" from the trees and it feels right at home.

kruckeberg botanic garden

and omg, what is going on with these colors? i can't believe i forgot to take note of the name of this conifer.

kruckeberg botanic garden

spring ephemerals. sigh. i'd like to be a spring ephemeral.

kruckeberg botanic garden

at least i coordinated with the plants. and you know how matching is so important to me.

kruckeberg botanic garden

see, even the epimedium wants to show how much it loves the kruckeberg botanic garden!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

... quilting waves

quilting waves

i am loving this quilting. it's so fun, just letting the walking foot wander to create these undulating waves. so much less stress than trying to quilt the perfect straight line. i kind of want to quilt everything like this from now on.

however, i spent nearly three hours just quilting this small strip today and i haven't even finished a fifth of this quilt. did i mention this puppy is 60 x 84 inches? holy guacamole!

quilting waves

now, if only there were 10 times as many hours in the day--and if only my arms were made of steel--i might actually be able to finish this sometime soon.

Monday, May 3, 2010

... feeling like a quilter

flock of triangles

this (grey, gorgeous, cozy, blustery, rainy) afternoon i had a just-finished quilt spinning away in the dryer while i was hard at work on the floor basting another quilt as, meanwhile, two stacks of fabrics sat on my desk ready to be cut and sewn into fabulous new quilt tops.

at last, i finally feel like a real quilter!

flock of triangles

my newest creation is also my first quilt made from a pattern.* this is denyse schmidt's flock of triangles quilt, which i crafted into my own little pretty--if not insanely busy--work of art. rather than alternate the colored geese with white, i chose to send yellow and lime geese in one direction, while some mostly-grey geese seem to flying off in the other direction (alternating colors inspired by this completely amazing quilt). i find the contrast quite pleasing and also a nice way to highlight one of my favorite new color combinations. yay for yellow and grey!

flock of triangles back

and because the top is a little insane to look at, i decided to make the back quiet and calm with just a few triangles floating in a sea of pristine white. do i like the back better than the front? sometimes. depends on when you ask me!

flock of triangles back

*one note about this pattern: there is one part--one very crucial part--that denyse schmidt seemed to gloss over in the directions, one that made me go back to rip out an entire row because i didn't totally understand. being a novice quilter, i tried to sew the triangles together matching up the points, but that led to geese with their noses cut off. then i noticed the one line and weird diagram in the pattern indicating how to match up triangles by imaginary 1/4" seems. yikes! easier said than done. i think that's why some of my geese are a bit wonky.

or perhaps i'm just happier sewing without a pattern. that way, when i screw things up i can pretend it's what i meant to do all along.

flock of triangles front