Thursday, May 31, 2012

Zakka Along Week 8 :: Zakka Block Quilt

Last week's Zakka project was a simple patchwork quilt designed by Leslie Good. At first, I debated whether I even wanted to do it. It fell during a particularly busy week, and my sewing machine was in the shop for its annual exam. But I'd made it through week 7 without fail, so really it was the pressure of continuing what I'd started that motivated me on.

After reading the post by i like orange, I got busy choosing fabrics from my stash. I really wanted to pair my  Melody Miller viewfinders with the linen-colored Essex linen I had chosen for the quilt, but I didn't quite have enough. So I rummaged through my solids and chose Kona cerise, zucchini, and raisin, plus some Free Spirit Designer Solids in light jade to mix in.
Because I was working on my back-up machine, I didn't want the quilt too large to quilt on it, so I cut my blocks 5" rather than 6 per the pattern.
The linen just said organic straight-line to me, which was probably the easiest to accomplish with my older machine, plus I just plain enjoy it. I confess to being a tad ho-hum about the quilt top, but once I started quilting, it just came to life. Where it all felt a little slippy-slidey as a quilt top, it quilted like a dream. And oh what awesome texture the quilting gave that linen!
Not sure what it is, but I love the look of criss-crossing straight-line!
I chose more of the Kona Raisin as the binding, which looks black in many photos, but is really a very dark - and wonderful - purple.
When I went to my stash to find a backing for the quilt, I realized I don't really have many pieces over 1 yard in length. I finally settled on this triangle print by Brandon Mably which, with a stripe of Kona lupine, was large enough and fit with the flavor of the quilt. Final measurements of the quilt are 34.5" x 49.5".
In the end, I am quite smitten with this little Zakka quilt, enjoyed using linen and of course incorporating the viewfinders. Definitely some good Zakka style.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

W.i.P. Wednesday

W.i.P. Wednesday just sneaks up on me sometimes, like this week after a busy long weekend.

Completed projects
Japanese x and + blocks Round 2 - only managed 5 blocks to swap this round + 1 more for my pile. Slow but sure I'll have enough for a quilt.

Zakka Style Sew-Along project #8: Zakka Block Quilt - This was SO fun, and I love how it turned out! Full reveal post Thursday.

Ongoing projects

Zakka Style Sew-Along project #9: Stem Messenger Bag - I've gotten as far as choosing my fabrics . . . dare I confess this project scares me a bit? It involves a flap, a handle, hardware.

Always Bee Learning June Tokoyo subway blocks - This will be a bit of a challenge, but I'm looking forward to it. Clever Megan, having us help her piece this quilt!

A couple more potholders - part of the month-end prize at Tuesday at the {summer} Table, which begins next Tuesday!

Upcoming projects
* Let's Get Acquainted project
* more Zakka
* June Modern Blocks Bee block NEW
* Solstice Stars quilt
* Quilt using my 4x5 blocks from rounds 1, 2, & 3
* Tutorial for pieced binding
* QWERTY variation
* a quilt to coordinate with my Christmas tree skirt - On a Whim ??
* scrappy Metrolink
* Plus quilt for my sister-in-law - waiting to see her palette

Linking up with W.i.P. Wednesday.

Back to Reality

Whew! As if it wasn't enough to have Giveaway Day coincide with the Bloggers' Quilt Festival (vote here btw), I spent the last week getting ready for weekend houseguests. Which means I feel a tad disconnected and have spent very little time in the sewing room. But, we had an awesome long weekend - great times with family, lovely spring weather, and good food. Can't ask for more than that!
Meanwhile, blog-land has continued on in spite of me . . .
There was a really helpful guest post on Plum and June's Blog Hop News - advice for new bloggers by Deborah from Whipstitch - worth reading.
And I see Purse Palooza starting up next week, with guest bloggers, pattern reviews and of course giveaways. I haven't done many purses, but at the very least I'm an interested onlooker, and I am faced with  making a Zakka bag this week, so who knows, it might qualify.
Speaking of Zakka, my little cloud mug rug was featured on LRstitched, and I won an Aurifil thread sampler, which is always a good thing.
We're into week two of the Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop. This week's posts are listed below. I'll be off to check out Heidi and Amy's posts shortly.
May 29
    Heidi from Fabric Mutt
    Amy from Amy's Crafty Shenanigans
May 31
    Jodi from Tickle and Hide
    Jennie from Porch Swing Quilts
And lastly, I did manage to finish up 6 Japanese x and + blocks, 5 of which will go into today's mail for round 2 of the block swap.
So on we go . . . back to reality!

Tuesday at the Table

Our yard doesn't get the sun to support a real vegetable garden, so we've settled for a nice patch of herbs. Actually, I owe it all to hubby, who keeps the basics growing - chives (regular and garlic), thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage, mint (peppermint and spearmint), lemon balm, parsley, tarragon, and cilantro. (Have to wait for summer heat to really hit for our favorite basil.)
One of the quickest and easiest things I make from our garden is herb butter. I'll show you how simple it is.

Here's the ingredients you need to get started:
1# unsalted butter (room temp)
1 clove garlic (minced)
1/2 lemon (juiced)
pinch kosher salt
about 5 Tb. chopped herbs (I like parsley, chives, thyme, and a bit of oregano)
Basically put all the ingredients in a small bowl . . .
and combine the ingredients with a fork.
Plop the herb butter on a square of plastic wrap, making a rough shape of a log.
Roll the butter into the plastic wrap, twisting the ends to tighten the roll, making the log compact and smooth. Then toss the roll into the fridge to firm up, or into the freezer to use later.
Our favorite way to enjoy it is spread on some good rustic bread, but put a slice on a grilled steak for a real treat. I also enjoy scrambling eggs in it and putting it atop steamed vegetables.

And . . . a reminder about Tuesday at the {summer} Table starting next week and through the month of June! There will be just one linky for the whole month, a suggested topic for each week, and a prize for one lucky link-up at month's end. So the suggested topic for June 5 is Beverages & Appetizers. Not that you have to stick to the topic - any table-related post will do - a recipe, a story from your table, or a project you've made for your kitchen or table. Sure hope you can join in the fun! (Note to non-bloggers - just share in the comments section and email me a picture and I'll link you up!)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Giveaway Day Winner!

Congrats to Sarah of narcoleptic in a cupboard who was #42 of 560(!) commenters on my Giveaway Day post!
Sarah had this to say about the new technique she'd like to add to her quilting repertoire:
I'm sending you an email, Sarah, so I can get the stack of Summerville fat-eighths in the mail to you!

Thanks to all you visitors, and a special welcome to my new followers! I look forward to sharing our journey of quilting & sharing around the table.

A Reveal and 52 lists in 52 weeks//week 51

In addition to receiving my pouch in the FAITH Circle pouch swap yesterday, I found out that my secret partner, Melissa, also received the one I made her. So now for the reveal . . .
Melissa's inspiration mosaic had alot of rainbow bits in it, so that's where I started. Other details I wanted to incorporate were an inside pocket, a contrasting zip, and a flat bottom.
Elizabeth Hartman's "Perfect Zip Bags" pattern had several of the design features I wanted, and it was fun to try a new pattern. I made a Style C bag using Stone Quilter's Linen as the main body of the bag. And then there was the rainbow wave that I mimicked from Melissa's mosaic. The thread for topstitching is my old favorite King Tut "Jacob's Coat".
I finished it off with a loopy rainbow handle, really having enjoyed just creating as I went.

On to this week's list - the next-to-last one!
List 51: Wouldn't it be cool if.....
Very cool indeed.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lucky Me!

To say I was thrilled when I opened the package Chrissy made me for the FAITH Circle pouch swap is an understatement. One little peek, and I was hopping up and down, telling hubby, "I really, really LIKE this one!
Inside, a darling little pouch, with a band along the top, and pleats on the front, DS fabrics throughout.
Can you see how the zipper is recessed below the band? And see my fav DS dots as the lining? Perfect.
And the little notebook made of super-sized hexies will be put right to use.
Thanks to Chrissy, my day was made.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

W.i.P. Wednesday

It's hard to believe it's W.i.P Wednesday already! It's been a crazy busy week, but I've managed to crank out some little projects and finish a quilt for the festival. So all's good on the sewing front.

Completed projects (click links for full posts)
Zakka Style Sew-Along project #7: Rain Cloud Mug Rug. This was a whole lot of fun in a small package.

Sewing Machine Cover and Lined Drawstring Bag for daughter dear's birthday - in her colors, of course.

Hopscotch - finished in the nick of time for the Bloggers' Quilt Festival! (620 entries last time I checked. Now THAT'S a festival!)

FAITH Circle Pouch - can't show it yet, but it should be with my partner soon!

Modern Blocks Bee May block and Ohio Star blocks for FAITH circle's May quilt

Ongoing projects
Japanese x and + blocks Round 2 - I'm cutting it kind of close, but I have five blocks cut out for the swap and one made up to keep. Sorry I didn't get to this sooner, but oh well.

Upcoming projects
* Let's Get Acquainted project
* more Zakka - unfortunately probably not getting to project #8 this week
* Always Bee Learning June blocks - Tokoyo subway NEW
* Quilt using my 4x5 blocks from rounds 1, 2, & 3
* Tutorial for pieced binding
* QWERTY variation
* Solstice Stars quilt
* a quilt to coordinate with my Christmas tree skirt - On a Whim ??
* scrappy Metrolink
* Plus quilt for my sister-in-law - waiting to see her palette

Linking up with W.i.P. Wednesday.

Hopping Begins and Bee Blocks

Just a reminder that there's a new blog hop starting today! Sponsored by Beth of Plum and June, it's all about getting to know some of the newer bloggers out in blog land. They'll all be sharing a bit about themselves, as well as a project using novelty prints.
Plum and June
So first up today is Kelsey and Erin - stop by and encourage them along!

May 22
    Kelsey from Kelsey Sews - her post is here
    Erin from Billy Button Designs - her post is here

May 24
    Nik from Boldgoods
    Alyssa from Pile O Fabric

I have have a couple of bee blocks to share. First up is "Set Sail" from Modern Blocks and designed by Susanne Woods. This block is for Lizz in the Modern Blocks Bee.
Next up are some Ohio Stars made for Kelsey in the FAITH Circle of do.Good Stitches. The tutorial for these blocks can be found here.

Oh and lastly, I just saw that . . . 

Quilt Story
My little potholders were included in a feature of fun projects from the last week. There are some other great projects there too, so take a minute and check them out {here}.

Tuesday at the Table

There's some exciting news from the table today! I'd like to announce a special event coming in June - Tuesday at the {summer} Table. It'll be the Tuesday at the Table that you already know with some change-ups to make it extra special and fun!

To start, I'm suggesting topics ahead of time for each Tuesday in June. Not that you have to stick with the topics I suggest at all, but if you want to join in and need some help, there ya go. But there will be just one linky for the whole month - posted on June 5. I'll include a link back each week so you can find it easily, as well as keep it front and center in the Tuesday at the Table tab under my header. 

And there will be a prize at the end of the month. Any time you post about a summer recipe, meaningful time around the table, or a table-related project, well link it up for a chance to win. And at the end of the month, we'll all have some summer recipes to try, have shared some table-talk, and been inspired by each other's projects. Sound good? So here's the recipe categories for each Tuesday:
June 5: Beverages & Appetizers
June 12: Salads & Vegetables
June 19: Grilling
June 26: Desserts

And here's a button, if you want to add it to a post. A smaller one is over in my sidebar if that suits you better. Or if you'd rather just link back to A Quilter's Table, that's great too. Know some foodies? See a table-related project pop up in your reader? Feel free to spread the word and invite your friends to the table.

A Quilter’s Table

To inspire you, I'll link back to a few posts containing recipes or links to recipes I will for sure be making this summer.
Iced Coffee
Hubby's Mojitos
Corn Relish Dip
Citrus Parmesan Farro Salad

So be thinking about summer and the table, and we'll begin Tuesday at the {summer} Table in two weeks.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Giveaway Day!

Congrats to Sarah of narcoleptic in a cupboard!

Welcome to A Quilter's Table!  I'm pleased to have you stop by. It's Giveaway Day on Sew, Mama, Sew! but odds are you know that. So we'll get right to the order of business!

The giveaway I'm offering is a stack of fat-eighths of Summerville (24 fabrics), a fun, colorful line by lucie summers for moda.
To enter, just leave a comment on this post telling me what new technique you'd like to add to your quilting repertoire. The giveaway will close at 5PM PST on Friday, and I'll randomly choose a winner soon after. Any comments that inadvertently get left after 5PM but before I close off the contest will not be included. And I'm happy to ship international, so everyone's welcome. *Please include an email address in your comment if it is not accessible through your profile.*
Thanks again for joining in the fun! If you aren't a regular follower, I hope you visit again soon and join me on my journey of quilting and sharing around the table.

Linking up with Sew, Mama, Sew!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Even More Littles

After finishing up my mom's mother's day gift, I had less than a week to stitch up a birthday gift for my daughter! I was pretty sure she could use a sewing machine cover, so I stitched up one of her favorite blocks times six, and basically made a mini quilt with side ties.
I did some simple wavy quilting in both directions, backed and then bound it in navy Lizzy House Jewels.
Then, of course, I needed a gift bag. So out came Jeni's drawstring bag pattern again - this time I made The Artist Bag, 16" tall, made with Kona Surf. I'd yet to use solids in making Jeni's drawstring bags, so I decided it was high time to give it a go. With an accent of black and white Riley Blake chevrons and black twill tape ties, it turned out quite striking.
I used one of my favorites, Half Moon Ovals, for the lining which I think suited the bag perfectly.
Definitely another fun couple of finishes.

Linking up with pieceful life: show off fridaySlash the Stash, and Summer Sewing Contest.