Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Special Sorbet at Carmelita

My favorite vegetarian restaurant in the whole wide world is Carmelita in Seattle. While I am not vegetarian myself, several of my friends are at least quasi vegetarian. One place we can always agree on is Carmelita, as everything on the menu is vegetarian, and there are always several vegan and gluten-free options as well. Most importantly, the food is amazing! The dishes are made with seasonal ingredients and great skill. There is always something new and different to try. To top it all off, they often give special treatment to diners celebrating a special occasion. Recently, a few friends and I ate there to celebrate two birthdays. To mark the occasion, the server brought us the most delicious before-dinner treat: Vanilla Date Sorbet with Almond Balsamic Reduction. I could have eaten just that and left happy. If you’re ever in Seattle and are looking for a special occasion vegetarian restaurant, Carmelita is the place for you. Just don't forget to try the seasonal sorbet.

Photo by Jenelle Birnbaum
Linking up to Tuesday at the Table at A Quilter’s Table.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

2011 Memory Quilt

The main reason I started blogging was to document my quilting efforts, so that I could remind myself of what I had finished and inspire myself to greater creativity and productivity. I have come to enjoy blogging for its own sake, though, and found that I wanted something tangible to remember my quilts by. I love using leftovers from a finished quilt in a new quilt, but wanted one quilt to represent all the quilts I finished in 2011. The first two quilts I finished last year used the Yellow Brick Road pattern, which resulted in very little “waste.” Most of the scraps were less than 2” wide, so I decided to make postage stamp blocks out of 1.5” squares. The sashing, backing and binding are also made out of scraps. The last block is a big scrap of Lizzy House’s Pearl Bracelet fabric, embroidered with the year and my initials in my own handwriting.

2011 was a challenging year for me. In fact, it was one of the most difficult periods in my relatively short life. Still, I managed to finish nine quilts, thanks to this blog, the online quilting community and my loving and supportive family. I hung this quilt on a wall of my sewing nook and every time I look at it, I think of the people that I made those quilts for: two little babies who are now walking, a dear friend, my husband’s grandma (twice), my grandma, my mother-in-law, my mother and my sweet girl.  Sometimes, I look at this quilt and think of how much I accomplished during a difficult time, and it gives me hope that I will accomplish even more in the future.

Name: 2011 Memory Quilt
Pattern: Postage Stamp blocks
Fabric: Scraps from projects finished in 2011
Started: September 2011
Finished: March 2012
Amy's Creative Side

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday: May 9, 2012

Now that I have returned from my unplanned sewing and blogging hiatus, it seems only appropriate to review my current Work in Progress List.

2012 Memory Quilt: This year’s memory quilt consists of 6.5” blocks representing each quilt I make this year. The next block I need to make is for my Sunshiny Day Quilt. I am hoping to finish this at the very end of 2012 or the beginning of 2013.

Between the Cats Baby Quilt: I really need to finish this, because every time my sweet girl sees it, she grabs it and says, “My! My! My!”. Luckily, all that’s left is hand sewing the binding on, so it should be ready for her to drag around the house soon.

Color Me Crazy Lap Quilt: This quilt has been so much fun to work on. The blocks have been finished for a good while, but I have yet to sew them together. I’d like to finish it in time to enter it in the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild Exhibition.

Scrappy Green Lap Quilt: The top and back of this quilt were completed ages ago, and have been languishing in a closet ever since. I’ll finish it when I finish it.

Scrappy Nine-Patch Doll Quilt: It feels like I started this quilt forever ago. Originally inspired by the one a day quilt along at crazy mom quilts, I made a few blocks here and here and then lost steam. I still like the pattern, but have so many new designs I want to make. I’m going to make a (rather large) doll quilt for my sweet girl so that I can get this off my WIP list.

Valentine’s Day Lap Quilt: All the big blocks are pieced and most of the little half-square triangles are pieced. Since I started this back in July of 2011, ideally it would be finished by July 2012.

Zigzag Baby Quilt: This is my top priority at the moment as the intended recipient is expected to arrive any day now. The top is pieced and I hope to quilt it this weekend.

Don’t forget to stop by Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, May 7, 2012

Scattered Chevron Table Runner

“La inspiraciĆ³n existe, pero tiene que encontrarte trabajando.”
Pablo Picasso

One of my favorite artists is Pablo Picasso. Whenever I feel uninspired in my sewing, I remember his advice that inspiration must find you working, and I find it in me to carry on. Most of the time, my quilts are made from someone else’s patterns, or are inspired by someone else’s quilt. Once in a blue moon, I find inspiration in an unlikely place, and the resulting quilt is just that much more satisfying. Even more rewarding is when the quilt is made with someone special in mind. My Scattered Chevron Table Runner is doubly dear to my heart as it was inspired by a piece of wood art and by a person who has inspired me these past few years.

It is no secret that I love Pinterest. For me, it is another way to connect online with people I like, as well as a place to find inspiration and entertainment. A while ago, a colleague pinned this piece of art, and I repinned it as possible inspiration for a future quilt. A short time later, my colleague announced that she was leaving for another company. I have always admired her work ethic, style, and ability to be well-respected in a field dominated by the opposite gender, while still being true to herself as a person and as a woman. I knew that I had to make her something quilted as a farewell gift, as she is a sewist herself. I remembered the art that I had repinned and with very little time at my disposal, pulled a few fabrics from my stash and just started sewing. I began this piece at the first Seattle Modern Quilt Guild sew-in I attended. As I sewed, this small quilt developed deeper meaning.

The front of this piece symbolizes my colleague’s ability to create meaningful insight from black and white data. The back symbolizes her creative and colorful personal style, as well as her vibrant personality. Finally, the binding is symbolic of her strong individuality.

The improv piecing on this quilt was very challenging, but I am very happy with how it turned out. It was difficult to part with this table runner, just as it was difficult to part with my esteemed colleague. However, instead of focusing on what is lost, I choose to focus on what was gained. I am glad I had the opportunity to work on this quilt, and more importantly, I am glad I had the opportunity to work with this fantastic woman.

Linking up with Sew Modern Monday, as this is the most modern quilt that I have made to date.