Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Great Post!

Check out this great post by Elisa Albury of Stitchousidetheditch regarding her affinity for Mirror Ball Dot and participation in the MBD Blog Hop.

Thanks Elisa!


Monday, March 25, 2013

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Mirror Ball Dot at QuiltCon

Here's a scan of the ad that Michael Miller Fabrics ran in several publications that were distributed at QuiltCon last month.

This quilt is available as a free download on the Michael Miller Fabrics website and was designed by Marinda Stewart.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

My Sister's Quilt or I've Drunk the Kool-Aid and I Feel Fine

When my sister, Dana, was here to visit last year for Thanksgiving, I told her I was going to make her a quilt as her Christmas gift. I also added the clause that I would not have it done on time to wrap and place under the tree, and she was okay with the stipulation.

During her stay we went through most of the fabrics I have in my stash and picked out contenders. As we travelled around the island like we always do, we popped into every fabric shop on the island to buy fabrics that could supplement what we already had chosen. (And please don't think this was an extensive undertaking; I can count the number of shops on one hand, and that is 5 if you include Walmart as a fabric store!) We both gravitated like moths to a flame to these two new fabrics from Michele D'Amore's Tropical Sun-Kissed collection. This pattern was one that I admired so much it had me wishing I had designed it myself and the one print, in two sizes, became the basis of the quilt.


So I now have to admit that I have drunk the Kool-Aid and I feel fine. It was so refreshing to work with fabrics with a white ground and having dived into the whiteness of the Modern Quilt Guild mentality, I can truly see the excitement in the concept. I was so taken with the idea that the backing is of Michael Miller's Cotton Couture in soft white with a small pieced stripe strategically placed down the center. I also bound the quilt in snow Rock Candy. (Oh, and I also discovered that I need to take some classes and learn how to shoot white objects in a white room with full late-afternoon Maui sunshine. I had to readjust these images to get the colors to pop the way they should but they are not over-exaggerated - the colors are all wonderfully saturated pastels.)

I find it more fun to take on the challenge of working with triangles, to match the pieces to get the points dead on perfect, so I use very large triangles (12" wide at the base x 13" high from the bottom to the apex of the point) in my bed quilts.

From the scraps I made two standard-sized pillow cases - soft white with Tropical Sun-Kissed trim and this pieced decorative pillow. The other fabric that seemed to be part of the backbone of the quilt is my Siren Song. You'll notice it mixed in regularly and I love the way it just seems to be a natural color bridge to pull all of the other fun prints together!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Not Every Day is Christmas

But some days surly feel like it!

Last week I received two packages in two days. Both were expected but one contained a very unexpected surprise.

Saturday's package was from an online culinary stored called My Spice Sage. I've ordered from them previously because 1). I wanted to make homemade mustard and needed to purchase yellow and brown mustard seeds in bulk and 2). they ship FREE to Hawaii with a minimum purchase! Not many companies do that!!!. So, after making several batches of mustard I yet again needed the yellow mustard seeds (I use mustard often but one recipe doesn't yield very much - perhaps 2 cups, if I'm lucky, and I like to share!) Once on the site, I started clicking away.

I ordered: yellow mustard seeds, yellow cheddar cheese powder colored with beta carotene, dried tomato powder (which I have used before and LOVE) and with my purchase I was allowed to chose a free spice which for me was Hibiscus (yes, in the flower) powder and as an added bonus they gifted four heads of fermented American black garlic.

Whole Grain Spaghetti with White Clam Sauce made with the black garlic.

Friday's package was no less incredible. This contained the unexpected surprise.

I've been invited to be a designer in this year's Art of Trash Trashion show. So I have had friends sending me things that could be used in wearable trash garments.

I have also become addicted /obsessed / consumed with Downton Abbey and had mentioned to my dear fiend Marinda (also a Downton-aphile and Michael Miller Fabric's quilt designer extraordinaire) that after watching the episodes over and over, how nice (and civilized) it would be to sit down and have a cup of tea. Having said that meant I'd need to get myself a tea set. I already have a small tea pot but it wasn't something that I would immediately act upon because I couldn't just have any old tea set. I would have to shop around and find very special and unique pieces.

But Marinda did act.

The tea cups and the platter were made by a friend of hers, now since gone, sometime in the mid-century. The impression of the leaves were endemic to the location where Alberta, the potter, resided. It's mismatched and so eclectic that it is very much my style. Thanks Marinda!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Being Green

Can mean being envious... or conscious of the environment. It's Kermit the Frog's lament and a state of mind on March 17th of any given year, St. Patrick's Day.

I bought a six-pack. I needed some beer... okay, a single bottle of beer for cooking. And being the type not to pass up an opportunity to be festive, I had a few. Not to be seeing green spots or green to the gills but enough to make me hopeful that I might have the Luck of the Irish and find my pot o' gold and not Dorothy and Toto at the end of a late afternoon rainbow that appeared.

So I had a casual day spent mostly cooking, blogging and being creative enough to do Corned Beef and Cabbage with a twist, and smoked wild-caught Atlantic salmon.

Smoked Wild-caught Atlantic Salmon
marinated in Omission gluten-free pale ale, soy sauce and Hawaiian Honey 

on the wire rack after marinating, to be smoked over Macadamia wood chips

my makeshift smoker looking like a mid-century modern alien space ship 
or silver metallic sunny-side up egg

the fillet after smoking

served with baby red-romaine lettuce leaves and Avocado-Horseradish mousse

Corned Beef, Potato and Carrot stuffed Cabbage
oven baked with Omission pale ale
served with a side of Mushy Peas

Last year I was daring and corned my own brisket beef. You can find the post by clicking the St. Patrick's Day label below.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Blog Post Without Pictures is Like...

...just a lot of words.

Interesting how our memory is a remarkable and sometimes very deceiving thing. I do find myself saying every so often, "My memory of it is..."

Accurate? Inaccurate? Skewed? Misleading?... Completely off the mark?

So, my camera is down for the moment. The battery is kaput! I remember recharging the battery. Here, in the house in Haiku. I remember walking around looking for an available outlet to plug in the charger (most of the outlets in my office have multiple electronic connected to the power sources looking like a wire and cabled tangle of Medusa curls.) I remember checking periodically to see if the orange charging indicator light has changed to green. I remember removing the unit from the wall after the battery was fully charged and walking back to the office with both and then I'm not sure.

So, now it's this past Monday. Wanting to desperately take photos of the quilt I have completed for my sister. Camera in hand, flick on the power switch... prompt on the LED screen: Change the Battery Pack.

Okay, recharge battery. Simple enough.

Go to get the charger - long story short... spend 2 days shuffling through, touching, moving and rearranging almost every article in my office I can't find it (and I am usually very good about replacing the charger back in the camera bag.) Most likely I was so intent on getting the battery back into the camera to take an imminent photo I mindlessly put the charger down and ran to snap my pic.

So after day 2 of going through everything AGAIN a thought hits me - I pick up the phone and call mom. Are you on a cordless phone? Yes. Can you please go downstairs to the den? I'm downstairs. Okay, go to the far corner of the room and next to the entertainment center is there a small, grey thing... Oh, yes, I can see it here. Funny, I was going to hang a picture in that corner today but I don't know if I would have noticed it.

So, I am awaiting the arrival of the charger to arrive Priority Flat Rate mail. After that, then, with fully charged battery and camera in hand, my arm will be complete!

Until then, I'll direct you to other posts:

Sew-Karen-lycreated and Nanettesewz have posted about the blog hop on their respective blogs. Every Friday (I hope) to list the week's blog hop participants' names of those that have posted about their progress leading up to the publishing of their projects.

Point. Focus. Click.

A picture speaks a thousand words.

Aloha Emma,

From Maui with Love,

Uncle Mark

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Q: What Do You Get When... take 6 creative and enthusiastic quilt and fiber artists / internet bloggers and give them their choice of colors in 4 fat quarters of Mirror Ball Dot and 3 quarter-yard cuts of Cotton Couture from Michael Miller Fabrics?

A: A Blog Hop!

That is what I presented to these six participants, all of them dedicated fans of Mirror Ball Dot since the first release years ago. I gave them 2 fabrics in their choice of colors and 6 weeks to create a project and then blog about it. I encouraged them to think outside of their normal comfort zones by limiting the fabrics used to create whatever pleased their fancy: quilts, multi-dimensional objects, ideas that have been in the wings for ages.

Check out their blogs. They just might tease us with a sneak peek at what they're working on for the Blog Hop or just check out what they're currently working on, being inspired by and what makes these creative people tick.

Elisa Albury

Jamie Mueller / Sunflower Quilts

Karen Neary

Dory Smith Graham

Linda Solovic

Nanette Zeller 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Friday, March 1, 2013

Siren Song

Noun1.siren song - the enticing appeal of something alluring but potentially dangerous; "she succumbed to the siren song of the luscious new colors of fabric "

Sunset, Citrus, Caribbean, Wave and Twilight.

Reminiscent of nature. Juicy with saturated color. Creativity beyond your wildest imagination.

Give in to the temptation.

Siren Song.

Discover the sumptuous new colors at Michael Miller Fabrics.