I haven’t had much time to sew or craft lately (and until this morning, I would have said “any” instead of “much”… more on that in a second), so cooking has been pretty much my only chance to be creative. Well, I have also been doing a lot of chalk drawings on our sidewalk, but that’s not quite the same. So in my never-any-crafting-time rut, I have been trying and bookmarking recipes every day. We have been having fun picking berries pretty inefficiently ourselves, but we are so lucky to have a neighbor who goes out to farms once a week and buys gorgeous, picked-that-day berries for restaurants — and picks up extra for friends at cost — so last week I got us a flat each of beautiful marionberries and raspberries!
We picked them up in Pearl’s trusty red wagon and brought them home, though we just ended up sitting on the back steps eating them for about half an hour first.
So with 24(!) pints of berries in the house, I’ve made marionberry cornmeal muffins, banana-marionberry walnut muffins, a second round of raspberry popsicles, and raspberry brown-sugar gratin in the last few days. All of them turned out super-stellar. I’m also excited to make (marion)berry sorbet, (marion)berry boy bait, and hopefully some freezer jam if I can dig up a good beginner-friendly recipe. Years after everyone else who’s better organized, I started bookmarking all my favorites on delicious, so check that out if you want to see my little recipe archive!
In garden news, I picked my very first zucchini today (this photo is from yesterday, and it’s noticeably bigger just 24 hours later). I am so thrilled at how pretty and green it is, even though I know most people complain about being overrun with them. We made these zucchini pancakes last week (which were great) and I am super excited to make another round when we have enough of our own. Which hopefully won’t be long in this heat!
And in sewing news, I saw Amy’s fantastic video tutorial for sewing your own snack bags this morning, and took a break from writing, editing photos and sending work emails to run upstairs and sew three of them. It had been at least six weeks since I’ve made anything (I can tell by the thread in the machine, sigh) and it was so nice to take even that half-hour to do some real live sewing!
I made them with prints from my stash, chosen entirely because they clicked with the lemon-yellow thread that was still in the machine from the quilt I finished in early June. The strawberry one is my favorite (that was a Kitten find). I followed Amy’s instructions pretty closely, but my serger was in the closet and I didn’t want to bother getting it out, so I did a narrow double-fold hem on both sides instead of serging. I cut and then ripped wide strips of my fabrics selvedge to selvedge, trimmed them to about 18 inches long (yielding 2 bag pieces per strip, plus a nice-size squarish scrap for my quilting stash) and sewed a narrow double-fold hem on both ends, and then did the rest of the steps the same way she did, but without pretty nail polish on. The yellow one was about 6.5 inches wide and the other two are closer to 8, as an experiment for greater snack capacity.
I also added my favorite decorative stitch to the business end of the fold hem, perfect for my star-loving Pearl who will be toting these around with her Cheerios or sandwich inside. Thanks, Amy!
I’m super excited at Ethel’s news this week: Portland’s beloved Knittn Kitten has a new Etsy shop — perfect for those who can’t get to the brick and mortar shop often enough!
In other news, I made these lovely raspberry-yogurt popsicles this week after we picked berries a couple times, and they have been a huge hit. Two thumbs up for sure. Next I want to try Caitlin‘s trick of using blueberries instead — and speaking of, I made this all-time favorite again last week (with Pearl’s help) and it was amazing as always.
Once summer finally kicked in around here, it’s been so nice to be outside. I’m happy to have lots of squash flowers and four baby zucchinis (and counting, hopefully), a whole bunch of green tomatoes coming along, more kale than we can keep up with, and a freezer full of berries. Two-year-olds and relaxing stretches of sewing time aren’t so compatible, but cooking with my little apprentice has been fun lately!
If anyone in Portland is interested, I wanted to mention that I’m teaching a Log Cabin Quilting workshop at PNCA next week – July 12-15, from 10 to 4 every day, as part of the Summer of Making. There are a few spots left and I’d love to see some crafty friends in the class! If you sign up for the workshop, I’d love to bring you a set of some of my favorite vintage fabrics as a thank-you — just let me know what colors and styles you like most and I’ll pick out some fun things.
From the course description:
In this four-day workshop, learn to use log cabin piecing and quilting in many different kinds of projects. Building on the basics of this technique, students will learn to create stunning quilt blocks to use for quilts or smaller projects. This class will focus on color, balance, arrangements and intuitive design when choosing fabrics and arranging completed blocks. Students should bring some of their favorite fabrics and a sewing machine.
If you’re interested in the class, please let me know if you have any questions and I’d love to pass on more information or details. Four days is such a nice amount of time to work on projects like these — I loved the weekend class I took at PNCA last year and would have loved to have more time there!
I adore vintage and antique log cabin quilts and will bring in the ones I have for us to look over. The color choices and block arrangements make the outcome stunningly personal, and I love to see what other people choose to do in quilt design.
I’d appreciate it so much if you’d spread the word to anyone else who might be interested — thanks so much! Hope to see you next week, and thanks so much to the folks who have already signed up. Don’t forget to drop me a line with your favorite colors for those vintage fabrics…
PS: Just a quick note, the lovely Portland Modern Quilt Guild has moved to a new blog site! Check over there for announcements and meeting updates. The next meeting is July 15th from 7 to 9 at PNCA, and the theme is All about Hexagons.
Two cool events are going on this Thursday in the Alberta neighborhood, pretty much back to back!
First, from 3 to 5, some friends of ours are hosting the first Boxcar Boogie family dance party. Babies under 1 are free, everyone else is $3, and DJ Cuddly Kittens will be playing 80s music all afternoon!
This is the first of hopefully many more dance parties — keep an eye on their blog for upcoming events.
The Little Church in Alberta
5138 NE 23rd Ave
3-5 pm, July 8th
my two favorite prints from the Poppy collection
From her blog:
I’m heading down to Modern Domestic on Thursday night for a little “meet the artist” event. I’ll talk a bit about my process for designing fabric. I also have a little demo planned and Bolt will be giving away some goodies and refreshments! So if you live nearby you should head over there on Thursday, July 8th, at 7pm.
Laura Gunn at Modern Domestic
1408 NE Alberta St.
7 pm, July 8th
Hope to see you at both, and maybe at La Sirenita in between!
Yay, I have some new crafty posts up this week! So nice to have them all out in the world and everything. I feel like I’m always working on stuff that will finally get to see the light of day sometime in 2011.
I wrote up my five favorite sewing products for CRAFT: – scissors, invisible thread, Hope Valley fabric, an heirloom tomato pincushion, and my binding tape maker – which are all listed on the Bazaar section of the site. I especially loved the pincushions by Machete Designs, which I first saw at Crafty Wonderland this spring.
And I wrote up four handmade wedding ideas I fell in love with, too – cake toppers, etched glasses, tissue poms, and hand-stamped rings. (I found these pretty poms, by Prost to the Host, at Crafty too!) Our fifth anniversary is this summer and it was really fun to find some sweet celebratory things people might like, with none of the stress of, you know, actually planning my wedding again.
Finally my three-part series on the truly epic Summit of Awesome is all up now – Day 1, Day 2 & Day 3 + beyond. There was way, way too much cool stuff to cram into one post so I am super appreciative of Natalie Zee Drieu letting me basically triple my assignment in length!
Speaking of awesomeness, we squeezed in a three-day trip to my favorite place in the world, Mt. Hood, for Andrew’s birthday last weekend. It was just amazing — perfect summer weather, visiting five rivers, grilling all of our dinners, hiking, playing with Pearl, listening to music, and reading a bunch of books. I always take a picture from the same spot when we hike Trillium Lake and I loved this year’s…
Hope you are enjoying some summer awesomeness of your own!