I’ve moved!

Finally recovered my passwords to get back in here! I just wanted to drop by and let you know that I’ve moved over to a new webpage where I will be blogging weekly. I had finally just sucked it up and had a pro design everything for me. I couldn’t be happier with the new look. The biggest holdup in my blogging was never really feeling like the space was or reflected “me”. I have a ton of new series on fabric paring, a quilt a long and lots of recipes and furniture restorations to share. I hope you’ll come visit me in my new digs!!!!  Golden Willow Quilts

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Quilt Market Comes to Portland!!!

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So as of right now, crafty people from all over the world are pouring into Portland for the 2013 Spring Quilt Market! I am lucky enough to have snagged a ticket through my girl Bex (its a trade show, so not open to the general public). I’ll be taking about a million pictures and sharing here and on instagram ( I’m goldwillow there too). Let me know in the comments if there’s a special collection you’d love to see more of! I’m going to see and possibly meet some of my crafty heroes. To say that I am excited is a WEEEEEEE bit of an understatment :)

Now, as Portland is known for its culinary scene, I thought I would take a few minutes to do a round up of some of my fav Portland shops, eateries and general weirdness. This is just a list off the top of my head, I’ve visited each of these places at least twice. Add more suggestions in the comments! I can’t wait to meet everyone!!!!!

Culinary
Frank’s Noodle House Only the best dumplings and hand pulled noodles EVER
Podnah’s Pit awesome BBQ. Not a spot for vegans or vegetarians
Township and Range down home style. Southern meets PNW flavor
The Screen Door best southern in Portland. Good brunch. Get here early, lines get crazy
Nong’s Khao man gai The most delicious chicken and rice ever, a perfected version of thai street cuisine. Cart location downtown, brick and mortar in South East. Buy a bottle of the sauce.
Blue Star Donuts Forget Voodoo. Their donuts are garbage compared to these masterpieces. Best ever. followed closely by Tonalli’s (esp. their buttermilk donut)
Toro Bravo good tapas. Fun drinks in the joint upstairs
Boke Bowl Portland style Ramen
Little T American Bakers Very good pastries and sandwiches.
Laurelhurst Market OMG so good. Love their steak frites.
Wayfu PDX Ramen!!!! Very nice broth
Nostrana Italian. Excellent food and drinks
Pok Pok funky and delicious Thai
Tasty n Sons
Grain and Gristle makes a damn good burger
Salt and Straw the best ice cream EVERRRRR
Irving Street Kitchen
Ken’s Artisan bakery and Pizza
Apizza Scholls amazing pizza. get here early
Pine State Biscuits So good, but plan for a food coma, you will leave here very stuffed
Kenny and Zukes good sandwiches. Good latkes
Ristretto Roasters good espresso
Nossa Familia the makers of my very FAVORITE espresso. I do not bestow this honor lightly
Random Order Coffee good coffee, excellent pie and egg sandwiches
Olympic Provisions
Luce Italian. delightful
Porque no? really good tacos and margaritas.
Fire on the Mountain Many types of wings, with a rotating sauce selection. The “soon to be famous spicy peanut sauce is a personal fav. Ben like the atomic raspberry habanero sauce, even if he gets hiccups!
Nuestra Cocina excellent authentic mexican (my personal favorite cuisine)
Ava Gene’s New down the street from my house, haven’t personally eaten here yet, but have heard really positive things from trusted sources
Acanto Genoa’s sister spot next door. Worked with the pastry chef there. Dude is gifted

Since there are more carts than you can shake a stick at here’s a few places to check those out, and a few websites dedicated solely to eating your way through the city.
Food Carts Portland
Portland Food.org
Portland Food and Drink

Fabric and crafty:
Cool Cottons my personal favorite
Modern Domestic
Bolt Fabric Boutique
Collage PDX so many supplies
Fabric Depot because you have to see this place to believe it
Mill end Store
Josephine’s Dry Goods
Button Emporium
Pendleton Woolen Mills

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Follow me on bloglovin’

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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Have you heard that google reader is going away? I’ve moved over to bloglovin’ you can add me here to keep up with all the latest projects and fabrics.

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The Liberty of London Book of Home Sewing

Liberty

Hey everyone! I’ve been on fire lately. Something about this time of year always gets my creative juices going and I’ve been working full stop! I’ve got a book review up on the PMQG blog today. Pop over and give it a read! The kind folks over at Chronicle books were kind enough to send me a copy to review and one to give away. It’ll be one of many prizes renewing member of PMQG can win at our December meeting.

I’ll be back in the next few days with 10 new pillows (!!!!), a quilt top, and a really awesome new stack for fabric friday. Also, I recently got an iphone and have since become a big fan of instagram! It’s like mini, insta-blogging, I love it! I’m over there as Goldwillow, give me shout if you’re over there too :)

In the meantime, here’s a bit of liberty eye candy


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Fabric Friday #6 Autumn Jewels

I’m not usually a jewel tone kind of girl. I tend to gravitate to lighter, cheerful colors. Lately however, I find myself pausing at plums, and lingering on pumpkins and dusky roses. I suspect it has something to do with my yearly love affair with Autumn. I love the last desperate bursts of color before the winter winds. It makes me think of golden leaves and fiery maples, of grapes and plums and the sudden abundance of comfort foods. Roasted sweet potatoes and the color you find in the crease of the crisp winter kales. So today I’ll dedicate this stack to my favorite season. There’s a chicken pot pie in my oven, and some apple tarts waiting to bake. I’m ready for quilting season :)

Nearly all of these fabrics are still readily available. Some of the Good Folks prints are getting harder to come by, otherwise these can all be found online.

Buttoned Up in Plum, Good Folks, Anna Maria Horner
Blue Dot,  Aunt Edna, Denyse Schmidt Collections for Joann’s
Pink Plaid, Aunt Edna, Denyse Schmidt Collections for Joann’s
Cathedral in Navy, Good Folks, Anna Maria Horner
Scattered Sand in Seaspray, Bella, Lotta Jansdotter
Coastal Flowers in Gray Plank, Bella, Lotta Jansdotter
Squirrel in Pool, The Birds and the Bees, Tula Pink
Framed in Sea Glass, Lou Lou thi, Anna Maria Horner
Pezzy Print in Gray, American Jane, Sandy Klop
City Scape in Fuschia,Venice Collection, Victoria and Albert Museum
Taffy in Indigo, Prince Charming,Tula Pink
Large Floral in Green, Aunt Edna,Denyse Schmidt Collections for Joann’s
Multi Leaf on Mini Dot in Navy, Aunt Edna, Denyse Schmidt Collections for Joann’s
Books in Cream, Venice Collection, Victoria and Albert Museum
Eye drops in Mint, Parisville, Tula Pink
Buoyancy in Deep, Lou Lou thi, Anna Maria Horner
Wallflower in Fiesta Rose, Hope Valley, Denyse Schmidt
Sumer Totem in Grapefruit,Lou Lou thi, Anna Maria Horner
Buoyancy in Butterberry, Lou Lou thi, Anna Maria Horner
Framed in Shadow, Lou Lou thi, Anna Maria Horner
Summer Totem in Tart, Lou Lou thi, Anna Maria Horner

Posted in Bernina Stitch Regulator, designer fabric, Fabric Friday, Fabrics, modern fabrics, modern quilting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Fabric Friday #5 Strawberry Fields

My super awful cold has turned into a full blown Sinus infection. Which explains why I still feel pretty icky a week+  into what I’ve lovingly named “Toddler Death Plauge”. Seriously, their germs are no joke! I’m finally starting to feel like a person again. So this weeks fabric friday is being posted on saturday.

I was feeling a little girly last night, so here’s a stack inspired by Strawberry Fields. Flowers, Sprouts and ladybugs, what more could you need?

From left to right:
Seed Pods in Raspberry, Patti Young “Lush”
Fancy Posies in Pink, Denyse Schmidt ” Flea Market Fancy” first run
Dots and Loops in red, Erin McMorris “Weekends”
Sandalwood in Tangerine, Amy Butler “Love”
Lizzie House, “Outfoxed”
Small Gathering in Pink, Anna Maria Horner, “Good Folks”
Sprouts in Pink, Violet Craft, “Madrona Road”
Square Dots in Pink, Aneela Hoey, “Sherbet Pips”
Farmstead in Pink, Violet Craft, “Madrona Road”
Lady bugs in Sugar, Tula Pink, “Birds and the Bees”
Wildwood Forst in Pink, Erin Mcmorris, Wildwood
Wash Day Ticking in Pink, Heather Bailey, Nicey Jane
Objects of Desire, Sandy Gervais
Pearl Bracelet in Red, Lizzie House,”Outfoxed”
Childs Play with Kate and Nate, Sherry Berry

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Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars

photo credit to Katez0r

There are a few desserts that I am nearly always in the mood for. Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cheesecake, Apple pie and seasonal fruit galettes.  But what if I decided to combine two of my favorite desserts, what then? I’ll tell you what happens, you get these little bits of heaven! I used my go to chocolate chip cookie dough with an altered cheesecake filling and the result was absolutely sublime!

*****I just realized that I’ve never shared a single recipe here. That makes me feel a bit weird.  Cooking was my entire (well nearly) life for so long that I was a bit heartbroken when I made the decision to stay at home with Willow until she goes to kindergarden. Now 2 years out of the kitchen I find myself wanting to talk and share more, now that the pangs have faded.

Cheesecake filling
12 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. Sugar
1 egg + 1 yolk
1/2 t Vanilla paste or 1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Cream together cream cheese and sugar and salt. Add egg and vanilla paste and very very thoroughly until it there are no lumps and it has a smooth,satiny texture, about 2-3 minuets.

Chocolate Chip Cookie dough
6 oz. butter, softened
4.5 oz Sugar
4.5 oz Brown sugar
1/4 t.Kosher Salt
2 Eggs, Room temp
1/4 t. Baking Soda
10 oz. Pastry Flour, sifted if you’re motivated :)
10 oz. Chocolate Chips,I’ve been using Guittard 60% bittersweet. They’re flatter and incorporate into batter  well without having to over mix
4 oz. Nuts (optional but I really like hazelnuts!)

In a mixer cream together butter, sugars and salt. Make sure to scrap the sides & especially the bottom. Make sure the butter is evenly distributed. Add in eggs one at a time until throughly mixed. Add in flour and baking soda, mix thoroughly.  Add in the chips and mix lightly to distribute. It’s best to give the dough a few hours in the fridge to hydrate the flours, and allow the butter to resolidify. This will give you a puffier, rounded cookie.

To prepare the bars: Preheat oven to 350. In a lightly greased 9X9 pan, arrange the cookie dough in a even flat layer about 3/4 of an inch thick. Press it gently around the corners and to close any gaps in the dough. Carefully pour in the cheesecake batter and spread evenly. Use any leftover dough and dot the surface of the bars. Bake for about 30 mins. At this point check for doneness. You should be able to jiggle the pan and have it stay fairly firm. The top of the cheesecake batter always browns, so don’t assume they’re finished when that happens! I usually end up baking these about 35-45 mins, depending on how thick the bottom layer of cookie is. Allow to cool 15-20 minuets (if you can wait) and then try to exercise some restraint so you don’t eat the whole pan. I should also note that I almost always make a double batch. They don’t seem to make it till the next day otherwise! Let me know if you try them out!

Pictures by my dear, fabulous Katie.

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Little Leaves

If you follow me on flickr, you’ve already seen this, but I wanted to make sure I recorded it here, before it goes to its new home.

I started this, erm, almost 2 years ago to the week. It’s a really belated wedding gift for my very dear friend Katie. She is crazy talented. I love how she finds the most beautiful moments tucked in everyday scenes. Her eye for light never ceases to amaze me. She likes to bake as much as I do, and she’s one of my favorite people ever to nerd out with over a perfect pie crust! She understands my enthusiasm when I find the perfect balance of spices in a new sauce, or why I get excited over heirloom beans. She and her (equally wonderful) husband have been treasured friends, and a literal blessing when we had Willow 3,000 miles away from all of our family. I would’ve made a quilt to the moon and back for her. And oddly enough, it kinda feels like I did, especially when I had to unpick 3+ hours of quilting cause my bobbin tension was all wacky :)

This pattern comes from Elizabeth Hartman’s first book The Practical Guide to Patchwork. It’s called Little Leaves and it feels fitting that I finally finished it at the onset of fall. While this is an easy pattern, it is very time consuming. I found that making a template of the final leaf placement ( with cutouts of the leaves) allowed me to quickly position the appliqué in a consistent, timely manner. I used all the leftover bits of prints I had to make the back.

I made 30 blocks for the front, as I wanted this quilt to be large enough for two people to snuggle under during Portland’s awesome cuddle season (aka our rainy ass winters). The prints are all from Anna Maria Horner’s “Innocent Crush” line, the background fabric is Kona Coal. I quilted a looping swirly design all over the gray. I left the leaves unquilted to give them an extra pop. All quilting done on my Bernina 440 QE ( using the BSR)

Since this is a busy quilt , I decided to add some sashing and round off the edges. I used the thinnest binding I’ve ever made for a quilt. It finishes at about a scant 1/2″ on each side. To me, that gives it a much more modern look . The rounded edge and yellow binding serve to calm and draw the eye outward, making the whole thing very calming despite all the pieces of fabric! I’m so happy with this, but I can’t wait to get rid of it!!

I’m taking this to guild to show off this thursday, and taking it to Katie on friday. If I’m being honest, I’m mostly excited about the pictures she’ll take of it :)

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Improvisation

I’m a total control freak. Its hard for me to “let go” when I create. I like balance and order. But more and more, I see wild improv quilts and I love them. But sitting down to try my hand at the style has mostly left me frustrated and less than pleased with my results.  But I think I’ve managed to find a happy medium. In my last quilt, The Starry Eyed Girl, I used composed elements and  treasured pieces of fabric to improv piece a top. I’ll post about it soon but here’s my first truly “Ale improv” quilt.

For me this is the best of two worlds, it has order and there is thought in every block, but allowing them to float or setting them otherwise free from a traditional block layout is all the liberation I need! I was so very thrilled with the way this turned out, that I decided to try the same approach with Ben’s quilt.

I combed through some books and my pintrest board and came up with some pieced elements:First, this block is called Erica’s Honesty/ Jazz Hands from the Material Obsession 2 book. This tutorial on Y seams was really helpful. It was going really well until I went to join the two sides and then something weird happened to the center hexagon seams. It got all weird and wonky. I can’t decide if its worth it to try to take it apart and fix it…hrrmmm what do you think? It’s less noticeable from a distance.

Next up some panther portholes. I used this awesome circle tutorial. It works just as nicely with an oval shape, just gather the fabric slowly, pressing and smoothing with your fingers as you go. Then starch the hell outta that mother! Seriously though, I sprayed this until the whole thing was damp and pressed on my hottest setting. It helps give it a polished look and it hides any bulk from the seam allowance. 

 

Some stars and a chevron

So not too shabby for a friday night. We had to put our dog Sophie down this week, she was 14, we got her when I was a freshman in high school. So I’m losing myself in projects and trying not to feel too sad. She had a good doggy life and a gentle end surrounded by people who loved her. I like to think that she’s up in doggy heaven, chasing the horses and living on Lindt truffles (her favorite, that dog’s mission in life was to find and eat all the chocolate she could. Which she frequently did, no matter how we tried to deter her!). The rains have finally started too. It feels fitting. Time to settle in for the long wet season, full of quilts, cuddles and hand work.

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Fabric Friday #4

Uh, well this is embarrassing, I last blogged in February? Can that be right? When it comes to juggling everything in my life, blogging is the ball that I let fall the most. I wrote so many blog posts in my head, but somehow, they never found their way to the keyboard, clipity clopped out and sent out into the world wide webs.  But I’m hoping to be back here regularly again. I’ve finished some big long term projects (restoring half our antique furniture during the limited Oregon dry season) and we’ve weathered through some big changes and (extended) family medical emergencies, a cross country trip, and the death of a pet. I’m ready for this year to be over. I’ve got a good feeling about 2013. My birthday is 3/13/13 so that’s got to be something lucky right?

Anyhow, the real reason you’re here, FABRIC! Here’s the latest stack that I’m currently working with. These are being transformed into a special lap quilt for my very special man. I want to give it to him for christmas. we’ll see if I can resist the urge to show him throughout the making process :)

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Fabric info. Most of these prints are still readily available

Echino panther print. This is a few years old and I don’t have the selvedge anymore
Swallow Skies in blue- Tula Pink/Birds and the Bees
Orange stripe – Karen Combs for Print Concepts
Turquoise Pezzy Print- Sandy Klop/ Dick and Jane designs
Prairie Rose in Gray -Denyse Schmidt/ Hope Valley
Wee Woodland turquoise stripe-Momo
Houndstooth in Mustard- Denyse Schmidt for Joann’s
Pezzy Print in Gray- Sandy Klop
Filligree in Dusk- Anna Maria Horner/ Good Folks
Henna Garden in Speckle- Sandi Henderson
Festival in Dusk- Anna Maria Horner/Good Folks
Buoyancy- Anna Maria Horner/ Lou Lou Thi
Swallow Skies in Green- Tula Pink/ The birds and the bees
Flying Geese in Yellow- Ellen Luckett Baker/ Quilt Blocks
Orange Leaf- Denyse Schmidt/ Aunt Edna
Heath in Gray- Alexander Henry
Taffy- Tula Pink/ Prince Charming

Also I’m looking for a graphic designer/ web person to redesign my site and help me with a logo/branding etc. I’d like to swap for a queen or king sized quilt ( or 2 twins! a $600-800 value, made to your style specifications!). If you can think of someone who might be interested let me know, or direct them here:) I know its a long shot,but you never know!

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