Monday, January 2, 2017

Eataly in Boston!

Have you heard of Chef Mario Batali's "Eataly"? There are thirty now around the globe since the first in Turin, Italy.In the USA there are four, in NYC Flatiron and NYC Downtown, Chicago and now Boston plus one in the offing in Los Angeles. This morning niece and I checked out the newest store, 45,000 square feet in the Prudential building Boston and to put it mildly we were astonished the store is enormous and the variety of goods from A to Z is overwhelming!
We had never seen so many cheeses in one place......
nor cured and fresh meat.....
The photos in this post are a miniscule representation of the entire facility, including four restaurants with the same menu.
A small selection of the artisan breads fresh baked daily on site 
We purchased a fig bread, but it was very hard to choose just one
and this Chianti that was advertised as new to the country so we decided to try a bottle.
We ate brunch there, K had a Ciabatta sandwich with mushrooms, pickled onions and a soft cheese and I ordered a selection of three salads, chicken with walnuts and Gorgonzola, one featuring eggplant and the third a Caprese. We finished up with Macchiato latte and a coffee, and I could not resist this decadent looking hazelnut dessert to share.
If you have an opportunity to visit one of these stores it's an adventure, but try to plan it early in the day close to 9am. before the crowds arrive. When we got there around 11 am. it was very busy and the restaurants were already crowded and we left around one pm. as the crowding was getting uncomfortable! 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Update On The Arrowhead Quilt

This is the quilt for second grandson and wife. They were married sooner than intended because of family illness and their quilt was not done in time-I am still working on it.
The foot surgery set me back over a month then guests, Thanksgiving, guests, birthdays, and Christmas fun got in the mix and the quilt is still a WIP [Work In Progress!]
They asked for "blue", no other colors, and so that's what I went for although in hindsight I wish I had mixed in something else because I have scrambled to find a lot of dark, medium and light blues for variety. So below is what is on the design wall but I have additional blues as it has progressed.
 My iPhone 5s camera leaves a little to be desired when it comes to true color production, I understand the iPhone 6 and 7 have much better cameras but I like my compact iPhone 5!
Having done some math I think I need around 200+ blocks for a Cal.King bed and I made another twenty last evening bringing my total to 181 so I am nearly there.
We had a quiet Christmas Day, went to church then some of the family came by for homemade chicken noodle soup [it was very good especially for chilly, rainy weather and there is plenty left to enjoy]monkey bread etc and we were all alone again by 2pm, so I had time to clean up then sew for a bit.
The little Aussie lap quilt has been awaiting binding completion so I took care of that before I returned to piecing the blue quilt.
 The binding is pieced as you can see, I am very fond of pieced bindings and backings and it's a great way to use up scraps from the quilt.
With pieced backings sometimes I think the back is just as cute as the front of the quilts!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas And Happy Hanukkah

Blessings in this Holy season

"Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah light."

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Garden Party and a Meet-Up

Here is Angela's Garden Party quilt made on a Bonnie Hunter Caribbean Cruise in 2015. It turned out really beautiful and I believe she is keeping this one!
 Folk Art flowers E-E in the body of the quilt and a little custom  flower and leaf in the sashing and border.
The thread is a bright green, the label is missing so the manufacturer is unknown it's one of those my friend Gale gave me that didn't work on her Prodigy. Batting is Quilter's Dream.
A nice group from our Fiber Artist Meet-Up came together today at my house [Matthew was here and counted nine of us!]
 I had a large recipe of lentil soup with rosemary/parmesan bread and a pumpkin dump-it cake and Susan contributed a lovely salad so we ate well!
Most of us kept busy making design boards for our blocks, one member was cross-stitching and one working on the 35th.Ave. mystery quilt- I took a couple of pics but they did not turn out well enough to show!
These design boards make setting up blocks and keeping them in place very convenient and they stack up compactly for storage or transport.
 Celeste showed us how from a tut she found by Lori at  "A Bee In Her Bonnet" blog.  Lori's are much prettier than mine, she uses fabric strips from her own fabric lines whereas my bindings are all just random left overs sewn together.
We used 1/4" thick foam-board available inexpensively at many craft, Dollar Stores and places like Wal-Mart. Scrap batting or flannel is used to cover the foam-board and scrap binding or 2.5" fabric strips to cover the edges- I think all quilters save their left over bits of binding and this is a great way to use them. I always use 2.25" double fold binding for a tight finish and that's what I had, it worked just fine. You could make whatever size design boards you want, I divided my 20x30" foam-board in two and in half again for 10x15" pieces- I might have to make a few a bit larger to accommodate 12" blocks. Different stores have the foam-board in different sizes I need to find some 15x30" or 24x30"
The design board tut can be found here and the Youtube tut here.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Kathy's Allietare

Here is another version of Bonnie Hunter's Allietare, Kathy's color choices are striking.
The Panto I chose has a swirly design, not flowery but looks to me like tumbleweeds blowing across the prairie. I like the movement it gives the quilt especially nice with these very scrappy quilts.
 The thread is Essentials Pro Turkey Red and the batting Quilter's Dream Pink, a lovely, soft draping 80%cotton/20%poly.
And yes I have been AWOL for a few weeks, life got in the way of quilting partly on account of my foot surgery but also out of town family visiting for our oldest son's 50th. birthday bash, an 80's costume party. Everything from Rock'nRoll icons to Ghost Busters,Top Gun, and of course ladies in Madonna-like costume and some like myself sporting the big shoulder pads and leg warmers!
The man himself and his BF "Top Gun" who flew out from Australia just for the event.
 Cousins from Boston and his brother and wife, it was quite a night!
 As I said, the big shoulder pads, big hair and eye popping pink, you just can't see the leg warmers!
Adjustment to the disco ball!
Official bartender!
There were a lot more people and photos, this is all I took, too busy having fun!
A night to remember with a hot local DJ doing the music.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

A very happy and blessed Thanksgiving to all. I am blessed with a bounty of food, shelter, family, reasonable health and dear friends. A special blessing to all in Blogland even though we may never meet in reality except in the Hereafter.
And for this noble Nation may the Lord keep His hand of mercy upon us.
I rejoice in this day it is a gift, no coincidence that we call it the present!

Spiral Placemats

Sewing gifts for Christmas and birthdays in lieu of purchasing them is more meaningful, uses stash and saves buying into the madness of retail Christmas!
Recently I saw the pattern below from "Designs To Share With You"
 Immediately thought of a couple of fabrics and a recipient came to mind.
I decided to show a bit of the process because at first I found the instructions a little confusing! Really they are fast and easy but the directions about the ruler were not at first clear to me [maybe the blonde thing? LOL!] The picture above shows what the pattern actually means as to how to make the cuts but it becomes crystal clear once you "get it" and as long as you pay attention and use the coordinate fabric for the first side then alternate with the feature fabric you will not have a problem.
 I chose to chain sew, it was faster to sew eight times [eight placemats] then trim eight triangles than to sew, trim sew trim etc. and I did the trimming on the mat beside my machine to save time and keep my wounded foot up! My chairs are on rollers so I can easily slide side to side to be in the best position for using the rotary cutter, less chance of injury.
Ta da!  I am so happy with these, this organic looking fabric has been waiting for just the right project and the Hoffman I chose to coordinate looks great with it. By the way, I found that the 18" squares for batting and backing seemed over generous I do hate waste, I found 16" adequate.
Using Bottom Line matching thread from Superior I top stitched around the very edge and around the center octagon only I think that will be adequate to keep it stable during laundering.
Then this great batik seemed to lend itself to another set and I love how they turned out.
Solid black backing since I had no appropriate red.
What to do then with all those triangles I removed? I used some of them for "leaders and enders" during the chain sewing.
While I was at it I sewed up a couple of my selvedge pot holders for a hostess gift 
and made three more of these pumpkins, also a hostess gift.
Last Saturday my  Fiber Artists MeetUp group got together and I worked on the Crystal Clear quilt kit, just one more section, well half a section, I still need to make the mirror image .
Obviously this quilt will be a long term project!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Accordion Quilt

Linking up with Needlework Tuesday
Plugging away at this quilt, it's rather a messy process as you can see! Trying to stay off my foot as much as possible I am doing the cutting and trimming on the board right beside me.
This pattern from The Modern Quilt Company is fast and very easy, really I think almost beginner easy. 
 There are more blues I have yet to introduce and I may reject that very lightest one, though in reality it does not look white at all only in the photo. I am not continuing to use it at the moment in case it does turn out to be too pale, the few I have already made can easily be rejected or remade with a minimum of waste of both time and materials. So far it's ok, not amazing but I am withholding my final opinion until further progress when there is a larger area to view.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Hannah Baby Quilt #2

The second is done and on it's way today back to Hannah for binding.
Very cute panels on these two quilts, this one got an elephant design.
You can sort of see the elephant design, that's his head on the bottom half of the giraffe! 
Masterpiece lovely fine, 100% Egyptian cotton thread from Superior was used top and bobbin in both quilts.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Gill's Rag Quilt

Linking up with Needlework Tuesday
Five years ago while visiting my native land DownUnder, my dear SIL took me to The Cottage On The Hill a quilt shop out in the country at Nundle near where they live in Tamworth-Country Music Capital of Australia. The shop, owned by Kerry Swain is on the family farm and there was a class going on at the time. Here Gill saw a rag quilt and said how she would love one in her favorite colors, of course I said "I can make that!"
I returned to the USA and promptly purchased the flannels to make it and there they sat until I knew my brother was coming to visit and I thought I had best make it up to send back to Aus. with him!
It is my first-and perhaps my only-rag quilt, they are labor intensive I really had no idea! I know of people who make them regularly but not me, I much prefer to put my energy into a traditional style quilt. I did buy a pair of Fiskars scissors with the short blades, without which it would have been a much worse chore snipping all those raw edges so I would recommend them for anyone attempting a rag quilt.
So now my brother needs a second suitcase, in addition to a few things he has acquired there is now a heavy, bulky quilt, good thing it is only lap size! And what a mess they make in the washing and drying, I took out hands full of threads every time I cleaned the dryer filter which was about every fifteen minutes so it wouldn't get blocked- and there are still threads floating around in the laundry! I washed and dried it three or maybe four times and it could still use a couple more I think.
My next project is the blue quilt I started for second grandson and his wife. I purchased fabrics for the original Tumbling Block design but when I switched to the pattern I found at Modern Quilt Studio I needed a lot more medium and lighter blues. I just received this selection below, one looks pink in the photo but it definitely is not, it's blue gray, I promise!
My brother leaves Friday and I have foot surgery Friday morning, good timing! It will keep me off my feet a lot for a week and then I think I will be ok in the air-boot as long as I am careful!
Hadehaha!