Saturday, June 12, 2021

Ready for Coat Class

Today's the first day of the 2 day coat class I'm taking with Rachel D. Clark on zoom with one of the quilt guilds I belong to, South Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild. Here's my stack of fabrics that I'll be working with. I've long wanted to get the chance to take a class with her, and I'm super excited.

Yes, making a long coat right at the beginning of summer is kind of bad timing for me. I'm already onto the tank tops and shorts routine at home every day. But getting the coat started in class and learning how to actually finish it. I suppose it will give me plenty of time to get into the details and finish it over the summer so that the coat is ready for me to wear when it cools off in the late fall. 

My thoughts today while I was pulling the fabrics listed on our class handout is that I want to do a coat mostly of one color, I'm calling it "Shades of Grey" in my mind. I love color color color in my quilts, but I don't necessarily want to wear that much color. Turns out all the shades of grey are pretty colorful ranging from true gray to blue gray, mauve-ish and green-ish too. 

I have this bag made out of recycled newspaper and I've always loved the look of it, the verticality, the thin strips, the variation in the greys. I'm going to keep this idea in mind as I work on the design.

Rachel suggests having a theme when working on a garment like this, so this one just came to me and I'm going with it.

My theme for the coat will be YES. As in: The Woman Who Said Yes Because She Wanted To Not Because She Thought She Had to. 

AKA:  The Woman Who Said YES For Her Own Reasons

I might piece the word yes into several main "blocks" that will be in prominent places in the coat, center back, one side of chest, etc. Or embroider or print or...

I might hand print the word Yes all over the lining fabric in black fabric ink in all the different font stamps that I have.

I also might go even further and use my leather die tools to stamp out YES on grey leather for closure at neckline and cuff accents.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Friday Recipe


As I shared back in March, we're in a club, a delivery club--for beans, yes beans. And for the second time these gorgeous Christmas Lima Beans showed up in our box. Aren't they beautiful? Who would have ever thought that beans could be exciting/beautiful/gorgeous hasn't tried these.
I remembering hating Lima Beans as a kid, and I'd never really eaten them in adulthood. 
The name of these lovelies in Italy are Fagioli del Papa or "Pope's Beans" and in the US as "Chestnut Lima"  or "Calico" beans. They're different than usual lima beans because they have a  very nutty, chestnut flavor to them.
The arresting packaging really got me when I saw these in the store for the first time. Imagine a whole shelf-full of this graphic excellence.
Here's how they look after about 7 hours soaking in water. They soaked up almost all of it, look at how enormous they've gotten.

And here's how they look all cooked up and in my bowl.
The color changes quite a bit as with so many colorful foods. Delicious.
Definitely nutty or Chestnutty to be specific.

Here's the recipe I came up with just in case you're interested in trying these:

EZ Beans

Soak the beans if you have time, greatly shortens the cooking time later. 
When you're ready to cook, drain them, but make sure to save the water.

Add to a soup pot over medium heat:
 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 
8 cloves of minced garlic, 
chopped white or yellow onion, 

Give it a good stir and cook until the onions and garlic are turning translucent.

Then add into the pot:
3-4 stalks of celery, chopped, 
3-4 carrots, peeled and chopped.
and the drained beans. 

Stir and cook a minute or two.

Then add in the reserved bean soaking water, also add more water so that the water is 2" above the beans/vegies.

Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until "done". Done is however soft you like your beans. Remember they'll continue to cook internally even after you turn off the heat.

Serve over rice, make sure to scoop up some of the broth, top with feta cheese.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

ICAD Beginnings

 It's that time again, ICAD or Index Card A Day began on 6/1, and this is a catch up post for the first 9 cards I've made. I'm not following prompts or a plan at all (unsurprising I know). I'm just sitting down and making. Most of these are continuations of one of the others because I like to go right off the edge with my pencils or markers.
The first two cards feature cutouts from a package of masks that was just getting thrown out. The chaos of the backgrounds illustrates how I'm feeling about the whole mask thing. Of course masks were necessary, of course. But now that I'm vaccinated and my state is reopening, what's the real story? Do I still need to wear one, should I, could I? I hate that it's so politicized, and so unclear.
This one uses a carved Prosecco cork stamp I made from our New Year's celebration. 
This time instead of an ink pad I inked it up with a Tsukineko Versa brush pen.
This one utilizes two things that have hung around in the box I use for ICAD that holds my markers and pencils, etc. The very worn-out strike pad from a box of matches (love the texture and pattern) and the remainder of an image from good old National Geographic that I've used previously. Those are on top of a Color Catcher sheet.
This one is a comment on the awful coffee we bought at Costco, so I'm suffering through it for 5 pounds worth. The bear was cut out from the coffee bean package by my DH. "Here, I thought you'd like this."

 And the JFC ribbon is from the soba noddles we eat. But we all know what it stands for right? 
I like how it got a bit distorted when I was ironing the card because it's made of some sort of plasticized material.
 Yes, I iron my cards, then tend to curl up a little after they get worked especially with the watercolors. 
Index cards are indeed not watercolor paper.

 I tried to hide my 'oh no this is awful' face from my DH, but he caught it unfortunately. 
It's a very different coffee than we usually get, a lot more bitter. 
This morning I added a little sugar and then it was passable.
I think I've made a version of this one in previous years.
I think this one might be my favorite of this bunch.
Sometimes the cards don't need all the white background to be covered up completely.
An in-process picture of how I finished the following card. Rows of clear packaging tape to seal in the pencil shavings.

I really really like how this one turned out.

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Actual Rows


Well would you look at that, as promised, I actually sewed the building blocks (haha) into rows.

I quite like how it looks, so completely random, even the groupings of building and the sizes of the background pieces although it's planned but it still keeps the randomness going. This quilt top as designed has eleven rows of twelve buildings, so I'm 36% of the way done. 

As I move onto making more rows, I'll get to see how my original idea of using different background colors works out (or not). There are five buildings with the blue background that didn't make it into the rows which I'll use somehow to transition into another color. I also have a lot of the between building strips cut in the blue which may impact my decision on using new background colors. 

Monday, June 07, 2021

More Buildings


More and more buildings.

More hedge hogs and snarky cats.

Shoot the buns are on the wrong side.
And I forgot to un-sew and switch it around before sewing the roof onto the building.

I'm going to leave it that way, subtle roof bunnies work for me.
The Paris cats fabric is pretty funny, I tried to include some of the words.

I like this one the best out of the lot. That crossword fabric is pretty great as house sides.

Still haven't sewn them into rows yet, today, today, I swear.

Thursday, June 03, 2021

New Village Addition

Here are the buildings I've gotten sewn together for my #VillageSewAlong2021. I still haven't put in the spacers between buildings, although those are cut and ready to go. That's what I'm doing today to get some of the rows sewn together.
This is the new building section that I added, pretty good variety.
Now for some pictures of individual houses or buildings to show off some of the fabrics a little more close-up.

I really like this one, except for the cat's tail almost getting cut off. Sorry, kitty, my fussy-cutting isn't always 100%.
This cat is playing a  little tune on his flute for the cranes up on his roof.

 I think this one ends up being my favorite of the batch. Much better on the cat tail.

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Laptop Kaleidoscope

I haven't used the app KaleidaCam in a while, and tried it out while sitting in front of my laptop this morning. Both the screen and the keyboard made it into this one.
I really like this one of just the keyboard, the regular hexagon shape versus the central slightly wonky hexagon is pretty cool. Almost worryingly edgy because of that shape tension. Especially along with the texture of the keys from the keyboard which look like mosaic tiles. The black bar of the spacebar makes another interesting almost interior border.

 I like the abstraction and regularity of this one, it's balanced.