Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wrapped Up in Books

"This is a book for the servantless American cook who can be unconcerned on occasion with budgets, waistlines, time schedules, children's meals, the parent-chauffeur-den-mother syndrome, or anything else which might interfere with the enjoyment of producing something wonderful to eat..."

I think I'm the last person in Charlottesville to check out this book from the local library, which would explain why I've been the nth person on the HOLD list for Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  Regardless, I am in possession of it until August something (I never know the date, but the library is kind enough to send me a reminder email before it's due.).  Now that I've got the book I'm wondering what to make first!

My hand is feeling much better, although the muscle below and in between my index finger and thumb still remains swollen.  My knitting has come to a halt for now.  I hope to resume in the next couple of weeks depending on the status of my hand, but for now the "knitter's elbow" has overcome my ability to knit and not cringe. Enough complaining.

I am looking into making my very own "real" quilt, you know, with a front, back, batting and binding, etc..  I probably left some major components out, which is why I checked out some more quilting books.  I need a plan, materials, time and Boom! it will happen.  All I need to know is how to go about enforcing the plan, which is why I have the following books: 

1.  Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gfits by Joelle Hoverson (per a friend's recommendation)
2.  Colorful, Casual, & Comfy Quilts edited by Karen Bolesta (I love the quilt on the front; this is yet another instance of me judging a book by its cover.)
3.  Fat Quarter Quilts by M'Liss Rae Hawley (I wonder if that's her real first name...)

Hopefully something fruitful will come of this researching endeavor.  I am really interested in the idea of quilting by hand, and though I think it's a wonderful idea, I don't know how long it would take me to build a quilt using this method.  Probably a lot longer than the attention I have to maintain an interest in doing so.  An awful lot of plans just got mentioned in this post...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Hand, singular.  It's out of commission in a, I've been knitting way too much kind of way.  I'm pretty bummed about it, seeing as I really want to finish my scarf.  I guess my hand isn't quite adapted to the knitting motion.

Last night I made this for a dinner party that H. is hosting tonight.  Filet mignon, asparagus, Yukon gold potatoes and brownie mosaic cheesecake.  I will be adding photos later to commemorate this cheesecake.  Because my hand is sore and throbbing in a, tickles-and-hurts-simultaneously kind of way, I have yet to make the ganache for the cheesecake, but if I don't get around to it prior to the party, I think it'd be okay.  The top of the cake alone looks divine.

Be back later to update.  

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Your Every Color

I am making a rag quilt (here is an example of one).  I went to Cottonwood during their big July 4 sale and got some of my favorite fabric ever:  Rural Jardin by French General.  Isn't it wonderful when you can hold out for a sale?  The collection has fantabulous blues, reds, creams and linens, with pops here and there of dandelion, peacock and pomegranate shades.  I have 2 squares each of 42 different prints, and in between each set of two identical fabrics will be a piece of cotton flannel for warmth.  What's cool about rag quilts is that you quilt each square as you go and then attach all the quilted squares to one another, and voila, a quilt is born!  The jury's out among the serious quilters regarding the legitimacy of rag quilts and calling them "quilts," but I don't really mind; a co-worker of mine made one for everybody at the office last year at Christmas and I love mine.  It's so cozy!

Progress report:  All the fabric is cut.  I need to lay out my design, then I need to piece together all 3 layers of each square and quilt them, which is the fun part.....I think.  I hope. 

Also, I'm pretty much obsessed with this image that I came across initially on Color Collective.  A lot of people suppose that kiddos are always drawn to the brightest, funkiest, craziest of colors, but I've found that quite the opposite is happening to me as I get older.  It's these combos that are always drawing my eye.  I'm baffled by color every day.