“Blew” Two….

Yesterday, I posted about my entry in the “I’m so Blue” guild challenge.

Normally, I am finishing my challenges on the day that they are due, or maybe the day before if I am really organized, but, with this one, the idea came quickly and I was finished over a month before the due date…. UN-HEARD OF!!

Just after I finished it, I was talking to another guild member (Sue) and she said that she would make it different by using the other spelling/meaning of blue……ie BLEW!!

Just after our conversation, we made another trip to Kunming, China where I spied this wonderful bronze statue…..

I adored the look on the man’s face….

….not to mention the little boy at the back…..

Now THAT is a great example of “BLEW”!!

When we returned home, I called Sue and asked if she had ever acted on her inspiration. She said that she had not and that I was welcome to use the idea.

I started with the photo itself, tweaking it to enhance the color…..

I used the pinwheel as my inspiration and added a bunch of small pinwheels and two larger 3-D pinwheels….

….and added the beaded “stick” to meet the embellishment and blue requirements.

I made a couple of paper quilts to test out the quilting designs….

….but finally decided on wavy parallel lines in a metallic thread….

I love the final product…..

…particularly the way that the fabrics worked together.

And, as a plus, it is another fun “Travel Log Quilt” that reminds me of a trip to Kunming!!

Sweet Potatoes!!!

I have been participating in the “Monthly Color Challenge” Quilt-A-Long series being hosted by Patterns by Jen.

So far we have pieced blocks inspired by Eggplant and Lemons…..

For March, we moved on to the amazing Sweet Potato….although there has been a lot of questions about whether we should be calling it a Yam!!

I headed upstairs with my inspiration….soon to be my lunch…..

…and once again marveled in the wonderful colors!!

Picking fabrics was fun….

….and before I knew it the pieces were cut……

….and piecing could begin…..

Since I am making the 6-inch blocks, it was important to keep a correct seam allowance. If you remember, I learned this lesson the hard way when I was making my Lemon block. You can read about it HERE.

I love the resulting block…..

We are supposed to share our favorite recipe each month and mine is super simple…..

Bake the sweet potato until it is nice and squishy and caramelized….

….add butter, mash it well and salt and pepper liberally!!!

YUMMMMM!!!

Eat your Eggplant

The title statement, “eat your eggplant”, was not one that I ever heard as a kid!! Growing up in the heart of West Texas, eggplant wasn’t all that popular!!

I first learned about it when, as a young couple, Michael and I were living in Australia and bought a cookbook with a recipe for Ratatouille and, of course, the main ingredient was Eggplant!!

I have always been intrigued with the color of an eggplant, never really knowing if it was black or purple, or maybe even dark blue.

So, when the January block for the 2021 Monthly Color Challenge showed up, I was excited to see that it was going to give me the opportunity to explore the Eggplant!!

I spent a bit of time looking closely at a live example….

….but still had a hard time deciding on the color.

Then I added it to a few fabrics and I started seeing a pattern…..

It is Purple but also has some traces of red in the rind.

Since I only needed two colors, I decided that these best exemplified the stately Eggplant….

I had to “fussy cut” the dark hand-dyed fabric to make the best use of the darker color but soon had my pieces cut…..

After a few, short minutes of sewing….

……trimming and even a bit of ripping, the block was ready to sew together….

I had never “spun” an intersection before but in Jen’s instructional video she shows how to do it so I jumped in and tried it. It made the cutest, tiniest pinwheel on the back….

….and the front was picture perfect and OH SO FLAT……

Now, if I am going to be perfectly honest, Eggplant has never been a favorite food!! I am not happy with the texture of it and the only flavor that I get is from the surrounding juices!! Having said that, I did cook it one night for a vegetarian friend, and loved using it in the place of meat. I sliced the eggplant in thick slabs and breaded it using a recipe from Giada DeLaurentis for “Pork Milanese”….just leaving out the Pork. We dipped the eggplant in flour and then beaten eggs and finally crusted it with a bread crumb mixture containing grated Parmesan cheese, dried basil, and dried thyme. We then fried it in a bit of Olive Oil and Butter…..it was YUMMY!!!

If you haven’t already joined the 2021 Monthly Color Challenge, why don’t you jump over the “Patterns By Jen” and check out this and future clues!!!

So for now, it is Goodbye Eggplant……hello Lemon!!!

Virtual Quilt-A-Long

Yesterday was another first for me…. I participated in a virtual quilt-a-long!! Our guild has been looking for ways to get our members together more often so we tried a Q-A-L. The numbers were small but we had a great time!!

We were following a challenge and the first clue was to use a circle in the design. I knew that I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on this project but still wanted to participate and this first clue reminded me of a book that I was planning to work thru……

So, I decided that I would kill two birds with one stone and try to follow the challenge clues while learning how to make a face in fabric….smart huh!!

While everybody else dug into their fabric, I started working thru the steps to draw a face. The book did a great job of teaching how to find the proportions of the face….

I started with the circle (arc) pieces….

….and then moved to the second clue….flying geese!!

After a few minutes of thought, I decided that she could have necklace of geese shaped beads…..

I will add a “chain” to it and may add some 3-D beads between the geese.

Next, we were supposed to add something with lines….either in cut strips or in a fabric. I excitedly searched for this one particular fabric in my stash…..

…and sliced it into lots of little strips…..

I had SO much fun playing with these strips and LOVE her hair….

Next clue said to add a house or architectural element such as a window or door. Since the eyes are said to be the window to the world….that was my invitation to work on her eyes…..

At this point the Q-A-L time was over and I had to move on to some other projects so here she sits…nose-less and mouth-less!!! But, MAN do I like her hair!!

Future clues include adding an X or cross, adding squares, putting a heart on it, and then one element of my own choosing. I don’t really know that I will continue with the challenge but sure plan to finish her up!!

For now she will be a mascot on my design wall….urging me on!!

Here is the progress from the other participants…..

There will be some WONDERFUL projects coming from this morning.

It was fun to have a view into our member’s sewing rooms and to be able to chat at different times thru the morning. I definitely want to do this again!!!!

Maybe you can join us next time!!

The 2021 Color Challenge is underway!!

If you are interested in a simple block challenge for 2021 that is food AND color based, check out Patterns By Jen.

During the year, we will be feasting on Eggplant, Lemons, Yams, Cherries, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Limes Mushrooms, Pineapple, Grapefruit, Blueberries and Green Olives. Is your mouth watering??

3 Reasons to Look at the Colors of Fruits and Vegetables
courtesy of deannaminich.com

Along the way, bloggers will not only share their colors and ideas but also their favorite recipes using these fruits and veggies.

You can find the overview here, and the first block (Eggplant) is presented here…..

And….if the challenge itself isn’t enough incentive, each quarter various sponsors will offer prizes to participants….

Won’t you join me in this fun way to fill out that 4th line of the healthy food pyramid!!!

Free Vector | Healthy food pyramid chart

Stay tuned for my version of the January block……