Sunday, July 15, 2012

Ricky Tims Super Seminar Report

I just posted a podcast episode with my reflections on the Ricky Tims Super Seminar that I attended this past weekend, so here are just a few pics to go with. (Sorry about the low quality--I was taking them on my phone from a fair distance in weird lighting!)

Ricky Tims

Alex Anderson

Libby Lehman

Libby Lehman, Ricky Tims, Alex Anderson

Ricky's Kaleidoscope technique sample (on screen)

Ricky Tims concert Friday evening--included music and storytelling

Exhibit of presenters' quilts as well as some made by others that are in Ricky's personal collection

Ricky Tims quilt made using Caveman technique

Libby Lehman "Windfall" quilt

"Windfall" detail

Ricky Tims' new quilt "Heartlines" (I think--didn't write down name of quilt when he mentioned it and couldn't get close enough to label in the show to see it)

"Heartlines" detail

Detail of another Ricky Tims quilt--I took this one because I liked the way the metallic thread (I think it's Razzle Dazzle) was used along edge of applique. Didn't take picture of whole quilt.

Ricky Tims--one of the Rhapsody quilts (quilt is bed-sized--hard to tell size from this picture)

My purchases. Ricky Tims hand-dyed fabrics: 1 yard of multi-colored on far left, half yards of all the others. Another multicolored in brights is on the far right--sorry it got cut off in this picture. Three variegated Superior threads, one water-soluble thread, Ricky Tims Stable Stuff stabilizer, Libby Lehman "A Day of Thread Play" DVD. (The Fat Quarter Shop label you may notice way at the top is the rest of the backing fabric I'd ordered to finish my baby quilt--so that gives you a peek at the backing!)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Food Friday--CSA Week 4 Report and Week 5 Pick-Up

Beet & Goat Cheese Pizza
I used up most of week 3 and 4's CSA beets and beet greens on a Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Pizza. Although I used the recipe at the link for a little guidance, it's very straightforward. You roast the beets with a little salt and pepper, then peel and slice them. Meanwhile, sauté the beet greens with some onion until they wilt down. Then you simply brush the dough with olive oil, and spread the wilted greens and beets on it. Finally, put the goat cheese on top. Bake it at about 400 or a little higher for about 10-15 minutes, depending on how thick your crust is, and you're good to go.

I used goat cheese crumbles available at my grocery store because I have those on hand for salads. But a really nice goat cheese would work better--the crumbles got a little dry. I made homemade pizza dough (did the breadmaker recipe without a breadmaker) and rolled it out really thin so I'd get a nice, crispy crust. The texture on the dough was a perfect complement to the soft beet topping.

I already love beets and goat cheese. Putting it on a pizza crust is a plus! I did decide, however, that I'm not overly keen on beet greens. If I get beets again next week, I may try the greens again with a different preparation, but I'd have preferred this pizza without the greens. Maybe some orange slices or an orange sauce or something.

Remember the one CSA green pepper? (It's the one on the right--uniquely shaped but still tasty!)

We had some leftover Italian sausages from the 4th of July so I supplemented that one green pepper with a second from the store, a clove of garlic, an onion, a can of diced tomatoes, a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste, and some Italian seasoning. Very tasty sausage and peppers for dinner on Saturday night. Add in some of the dinner rolls I'd made last week and it was a pretty simple, mostly fast dinner. That was the last night for the rolls, though--they were somewhat dried out.

Other than that, this was a pretty light CSA week for me. I've been eating the CSA green beans raw (my fave preparation), and I have to confess the dogs got a couple of the CSA carrots because they looked ever-so-appealingly at me when I opened the vegetable crisper drawer. Plus, either my husband and I were out for dinner or I was home alone and didn't cook. So, admittedly, some produce ended up getting tossed because it turned before I could get to it, for which I feel forever guilty.

I did make some blueberry muffins, however, with fresh blueberries from a U-Pick farm I visited last weekend. Not CSA, but still supporting local agriculture! I used a recipe from my Betty Crocker cookbook. Not my favorite--a little on the bland side despite the crumble topping--so if I get out picking again, I'll be checking out different recipes.

Week 5 Pick-Up

My daughter did me the huge favor of doing our CSA pick-up this week since I was (ahem) otherwise occupied at the Ricky Tims Super Seminar during our pick-up time. (I'll be talking about that experience at a different time!)

Week 5:

1 head broccoli (I think maybe it was supposed to be purple broccoli but ours wasn't very purple)

4 cucumbers

2 zucchini

1 yellow squash

4 beets (yay)

purple beans

I've seen these in magazines but haven't ever had them--they're just green beans of a different color, of course. But how pretty! Check out that closeup!

I may not have time to post much about this week's CSA produce since I'll be leaving town in a few days. I'll be making zucchini bread, that much I can guarantee you. (Still have zucchini left from last week.) And those beets? Roasting 'em. Maybe pizza again. The cucumbers are mostly getting eaten raw--DD and I are both big cucumber fans, although the farm provided a recipe for cucumber soup that's intriguing my daughter so we may end up making that over the weekend. And several of those beans didn't even make it into the fridge since I was gnawing them raw while I was prepping everything else.

The next two weeks I won't be around much, so my daughter has instructions to pick up the CSA deliveries and head them straight over to my mother-in-law's house. Unfortunately, I won't be able to get pictures of what my MIL does with them, so no CSA reports for a few weeks until I'm home again!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Total Color Tuesday Linkies extended

Hey everyone--like I mentioned in last night's podcast, I've gone through and changed the close dates on all the linkies to the Total Color Tuesday blog posts so you can still link to older ones now, if you missed it the first time around. I won't be posting the next couple of weeks so that gives you some time to play with older posts and catch up!

Have fun!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Total Color Tuesday--It's Becoming a Color Party!

For the last couple of weeks of our Total Color Tuesday play times, we've been adding friends here and there. This week, it's a crowd! We're doing two color harmonies again this week, so get ready.

First up, four colors are coming over to play.

Two Colors and Their Opposites

This one is a four-color harmony in which you start with two colors, then hop across the color wheel and pick each of their opposites. Color Magic for Quilters suggests that for this color harmony to work best, you should choose two colors separated by one color.

I decided to go with green and yellow, plus their complements, red and purple.

How in the world do I keep ending up back at yellow, when I have so little yellow in my stash?

This one worked out pretty well. I had a print fabric in my stash that includes both green and purple (not a surprise, since that's one of my fave color combos).

I then added another purple fabric just to emphasize that--and yes, despite the picture turning it blue, the purple is really an identical purple to what's in the print. Go figure.

Then red and yellow to round out the harmony. I could see using this in a quilt. If I were to do so, the yellow would just be a little accent here and there, and I'd throw in a white or some other very light fabric as well. But, not bad.

Then I turned to the Joen Wolfrom 3-in-1 color tool to see what the CMYK wheel would turn up.

I tried to stay with more or less the same color scheme as I'd used with the traditional color wheel, although the CMYK wheel changes it to yellow, yellow-green, violet, and magenta.

Surprisingly, I have a print that's got both violet and magenta in it. It looks more red in this picture but it's really a deep magenta. This could work, although I think I'd try to find a lighter yellow to counter-balance the intensity of the yellow-green in this one.

Now, onto the next color harmony. This time, our friendly four colors get party-crashed by some interlopers.

Three Colors and Their Opposites

Yikes. It's getting crowded in here. Turn down the music before the neighbors call the cops!

This time, you're choosing three side-by-side colors. No skipping. Then you find the complements, or opposites, for all three colors.

Color Magic says, "At first, the thought of working with six colors may seem daunting...."

Well, actually, I've worked with at least that many colors before. But trying to find colors in my stash that are this close together was a challenge. I came up with this set based on the standard color wheel. Same starter fabrics as above, but adding in a green and a purple to round out the harmony. This particular set probably wouldn't do it for me in a quilt, although maybe if I could find a lighter yellow and then just went with the very light and very dark as accents, I could make it work.

However, when it came to the CMYK version of the color wheel, I had a complete fail.

I just don't have a big enough stash to have fabrics that are so close together and yet still distinctly different. This one would require a trip to a quilt shop. Maybe a few.

I wonder if, in using the 24-point CMYK color wheel, I'd be better off doubling the number of colors "skipped?" In other words, where Color Magic, using the 12-point standard color wheel, suggests skipping one color for the best harmony, maybe in using the 24-point color wheel that means I should skip two colors? And if I don't skip any in the 12-point standard wheel, maybe I should skip one in the CMYK? It would provide a more clear differentation.

Not that there are any real rules, here. The six colors I've got fanned out in the photo would make a very pretty quilt. I just can't do it out of my stash.

But just to leave on a high note, aren't these pretty? (Stonehenge 2 1/2" strip package that I broke into to see if I could do the color harmony above. Nope. But I liked petting them, just the same.)

Play time!

Your turn! As usual, link up your blog posts as you play with these color harmonies. And here's hoping you do better at the three-colors -and-their-opposites than I did!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Food Friday--CSA Week 3 Recap and Week 4 Pick-up, and a bit about bananas

This first one has nothing to do with CSA, but it's definitely worth mentioning!

I had some overripe bananas on my hands, so tried out a new recipe from

Banana Crumb Muffins

Very yummy. However, it was an extremely light, tender muffin--so much so that it crumbled a bit when I spread some very soft butter on it. Probably telling me I really don't need more butter in my life.

Back to CSA Week 3 Report

I pick up my CSA deliveries on Thursday, and my daughter announced she wanted to make pasta that night. We decided on spaghetti. She cooked the pasta and then we both did our own doctoring. I sauteed up a CSA zucchini with a minced clove of garlic in olive oil, threw in some chopped tomatoes, then added the pasta into the skillet with salt and pepper, and cooked the whole thing until the zucchini and tomatoes cooked down just a bit into more of a sauce. Put it in a bowl and added shredded parmesan. Yum.
Got more CSA bok choy, and still had some left from last week. So on Sunday, I made myself bok choy soup with tofu. Didn't use a recipe, and wasn't very precise in what I was doing. It was also my first time cooking with tofu. Basically, here's more or less my process: sauteed onion and garlic, added tofu (cut into about 1" chunks) until it was nicely browned. Splashed some soy sauce and rice vinegar on it, grated a bit of fresh ginger in there for good measure. Put that all into a pot with two 32-oz containers of chicken broth (since my vegetarian daughter had no intention of even trying this one). Added some more soy sauce and rice vinegar, a very little bit of Chinese five spice powder, a very little bit of chili pepper, and just a dab of fish sauce--because a dab is all you need. Trust me on that. Not stellar, but not bad for my first time out of the gate.

Sunday afternoon I made homemade croutons using a loaf of rosemary and olive oil bread I'd picked up at the supermarket. Cut the bread up into 1/2" chunks, toss with some olive oil that had been mixed with garlic powder, salt, and white pepper, baked at 325 for about 30 mins. They were kind of crowded on the pan, so it took longer than usual to crunch them up. Got it to the perfect amount of crunchy. Very tasty.

For dinner Sunday, we used up some CSA Romaine lettuce with a Ceasar salad. My husband and I did a grilled chicken breast on top; my daughter left hers off. Those homemade croutons were the perfect touch!

I made homemade Ceasar dressing, too--store-bought is way too salty for me. I have one of those funky bottles that has the recipes on the side with lines drawn in for the amounts. The Ceasar salad dressing using that recipe is nice. Using fresh lemons makes a big difference, too--bright and fresh, not sour.

I also made homemade dinner rolls that night using my very own biceps, after having tossed my breadmaker due to the Great Jam Tragedy.

I used this recipe for "Soft Dinner Rolls" from BigOven. They were tasty, but spread out a little bit more than I was expecting. I probably could've left them in another couple of minutes to get even more brown on top, but we were hungry, and they were done even if not pretty.

We had DH's fam over for the 4th of July, and I took that opportunity to make Chinese Cabbage Salad using a recipe the CSA farm had provided (using the Chinese Cabbage they'd given us). Yum. Toast a package of Ramen noodles and 10 oz of cashew pieces for about 10 mins in a 350 oven. Shred the cabbage. Thinly cut 1 bunch of green onions and toss the cabbage and onions together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, prepare the dressing: Whisk together 1/2 c sugar, 1/2 c vegetable oil, 1/4 c cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Right before serving, toss the noodles and cashews in with the salad, then toss it all with the dressing. The bowl was nearly empty by the end of dinner--people loved it. Next time, I may only use 1/4c sugar--it was a hair sweet for my taste but still good. Could also add in maybe some red cabbage for a little color.

CSA Week 3 report

Used: Chinese cabbage, Romaine, bok choy, 1 zucchini. Remaining: 3 beets, 1 zucchini, 1 yellow squash, beet greens, carrots, bok choy.

CSA Week 4 Pick-up:

2 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 green pepper
3 beets/beet greens
green beans
snow peas
3 kohlrabi (finally, kohlrabi! I've been looking at recipes since I started this--have a great idea for what I'll be making with these this week.)

I think zucchini bread is in my immediate future.

By the way--I've been playing with some free online photo editors. Many of the photos on this blog were edited with picmonkey. Check out a collage of Food Friday photos!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Total Color Tuesday--Finally Not Analogous!

Finally, we're not working with analogous colors this week! (That ought to make Jackie happy.)

However, we are working with complementary colors which, I believe, Nonnie has said she doesn't like.

Which all goes to show: While some of this is science, a lot of it is art, and most of it is simply personal preference.

But we move on.

Today we're doing two color harmonies because otherwise we'll never get through the dang book.

Opposite Colors

Colors opposite one another on the color wheel are called complementary

When you go opposite, you will always have one cool and one warm color, which automatically creates balance, as well as excitement. Putting two colors side-by-side also intensifies both of those colors. If you want to tone that effect down a bit, you can simply add a neutral (such as white, black, gray, etc.) to settle things. You can also use tints and shades, adding white or adding black to the main hue, to create even more interest but also settle things down a bit. Using each color in its most pure form will have the most dramatic effect.

Color Magic for Quilters has some interesting tips about how to determine the appropriate amount of each that I won't go into here since my goal isn't to render their book unnecessary. I encourage you to get the book for yourself--it's got great information in it!

Play Time--Complementary

I went for purple and yellow. I do like this combination, although if I were to turn this into a quilt, I'd definitely be using some tints and shades to make it a lot more interesting.

By the way, that darker fabric really is purple. Between the lighting and using my phone camera it came out a whole lot more blue. I tried doing some color adjusting to bring it back to its actual color but was only partially successful.

Using the Ives Color Wheel (CMYK) a la Joen Wolfrom, a complementary color scheme is green and magenta.

Here's green and magenta out of my stash. Although the colors work together, I don't like this combination of fabrics so probably wouldn't use it in a quilt, unless there was a whole lot else going on and one or both of these was smaller pieces.

I decided to get into my crosswoven fabric collection to see how that works in terms of the color wheel. I bought these at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival from a wonderful vendor carrying fabrics from all over the world. These are from Indonesia.

If you're not familiar with crosswoven fabric, it's fabric woven from one color thread in the warp and a different color thread in the weft. The finished result is primarily one color, but you can see that other color when you hold it just the right way. Super cool.

Here's green and magenta. (Note that the green is crosswoven with blue, so it depends on the light which color you get more strongly. The magenta is crosswoven with green.)

 Just for kicks-n-giggles, here's complementary blue and yellow-orange in the crosswovens.

Moving on...

Opposite Colors with an Accent 

Our second color harmony for the day is kicking it up a notch: take those two complementary colors and add an accent. Any accent. You have a few colors to choose from when you're deciding on your accent.

Generally, that accent is most effective if it's at least one color removed around the color wheel from one of your two complementary colors. In fact, Color Magic for Quilters refers to this as "the preferred accent." Choose your complementary colors, then move two colors away to either side of one of them for the accent. Note that this technically gives you four different options of colors to use as the accent. However, as in everything, there's no hard-and-fast rule about that. Do what feels good!

Accents give the whole thing just a little more jazz, a little more excitement and interest. Not to say, however, that a straight-up complementary can't be really interesting! But if you're working on a complementary scheme and it's just not flipping your switch, try adding an accent.

Play Time--Complementary with Accent

Going back to my original complementary pair of purple and yellow, one accent I might choose would be green.

I do like this combination, although if I were to make this a quilt I wouldn't use these three fabrics. It needs contrast of print in there to make it really sing. But the purple-yellow-green thing feels like a garden to me.

Back to the crosswovens, just 'cause they're purdy n' I love them.

Yellow-green, red-violet, blue-violet. (I have to stretch the color wheel a bit with the crosswovens since they're not distinctly one color or the other!)

Blue, yellow-orange, purple-ish. I do like this set of three and could see it working. The crosswovens have sort of a funky Amish thing going on.

Back to my original combination of magenta and green using the Ives wheel, I picked up yellow for an accent.

This one would work! The floral in the middle pretty much has that entire color harmony in one fabric--yellow, green, magenta. Wouldn't this make a nice spring quilt?

If only I wanted to make a nice spring quilt right now, and didn't have fifty other projects in my head that I'd like to do first!

Your turn! As usual, link up your own blog posts showing us how you might approach these two color harmonies: opposite and opposite-with-an-accent, aka complementary and complementary-with-an-accent.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

RIP Breadmaker--The Great Jam Tragedy of 2012

RIP, O Poor Breadmaker
Thou camest to an untimely, sticky end
Verily the manual
(o most villanous vexing manual)
told not the truth when
it did proclaim
in most beguiling of promise
Sweet, wonderful 
May be made herein.

A pox upon thee, thou clod-headed book 

Alas, Poor Breadmaker
Coated thou wast
with thick, sticky shreds of fruit
In crevices where none could reach.
Verily, whilst I scrubbest and washed thee,
a multitude of times,
'til my fingers puckered,
still fruit remained.

RIP, O Poor Breadmaker