Last Friday Craig and I went out to lunch at our favorite Mexican Restaurant - Cafe Capistrano, off Durant Road in North Raleigh, which just so happens to be in the same plaza as Safe Haven for Cats. I lured Craig in there for just a look, and we were so impressed. They have many beautiful adult cats as well as teenagers and kittens. The cats were in clean large cages (some of walk-in size) with plenty of toys and nice bedding. I was tempted, of course, and Craig seemed to be encouraging me. My eye caught a cute gray and white kitten having a great time with his siblings. Well, to make a long story short, he is now a well- loved member of our family. His name at the shelter was Cronkite, which doesn't quite roll of the tongue; we needed something catchier. And so he is now Sam (or Sammy or Little Dude or...).
Kip (our Maine Coon) loves him - they are constantly playing, and Mocha and Bud want to love him, but he is still a little shy around the dogs.
I finished the top of the baby memory quilt and have been looking for the perfect fabric for the backing. With all the quilt/fabric stores in this area I didn't think it would be so hard. But after looking at three stores I found just what I was looking for at Quilts Like Crazy in Wake Forest. The backing fabric picks up the brown, blue and beige colors from the top in a nice vine pattern.
Here are a few pics:
I started working with Lorin of Beyondsurface.com about 10 years ago. She hand dyes the fabric and I make the placemats. After many years and many many placemats of every imaginable size, shape and color we have moved on to other things, or so I thought.
I love working with her hand dyes but if I ever see another placemat I may have to kill myself--so when she asked me to make a few more for a client I said sure. These particular placemats are called Serendipity. They remind me of fish, and if it were up to me I would slap a button on them for an eye and use them as wall hangings. They would look so cute in a kids room or a bathroom, don't you think?
Oh well, here they are for the last time, I hope!
I have started making a quilt for a client using her son's baby clothes. The other day she brought over a box filled with infant outfits which were mostly made of knit fabric. I had fun sorting through the clothes to pick what I thought were the cutest. After washing and drying them without a dryer sheet (which can interfere with the fusing of the interfacing, that you need to stabilize the knit fabric), it was time to cut away. At first I felt bad cutting up perfectly good clothing, but it is a good way to recycle, as well as make a lovely future heirloom. I decided to concentrate on blues and browns, and because it is for the mother, I am trying to make it less busy and less cutesy (if that is possible when using cute little teddy bears, etc!) I am also using the pants pockets when I can, where I will place fun little surprises.
Here is where I am so far:
Every meal at our house seems to include tomatoes except for breakfast. One of our favorites is Gazpacho, and the best recipe that we have found comes from our friend Sarig, the chef and owner of Zely & Ritz restaurant in downtown Raleigh. This recipe just gets better the longer it sits.
Sarig's Gazpacho (serves 6-8)
12 large heirloom tomatoes
1 leek or medium sized sweet onion
1 sweet pepper
2 tbsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
12 leaves basil
Dice tomatoes, onion, cucumber (peeled) and pepper (seeds and ribs removed). Mix in large bowl, add salt, black pepper and vinegar and stir until well combined. Let marinade in refrigerator for 24 hours. Add basil and puree in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Garnish with cherry tomatoes and a swirl of pesto.
A sample of the fruits of our labors.
It's that time of year when Mocha and Buddy's collars start to look worn out. I love to look through my stash to find the perfect fabric to suit their personalities. I make them new dogs collars once a year using a kit called Playful Pet Collars from Love the Fabric. It come with easy to follow directions and all the hardware you need to make a couple of dog collars and a cat collar. Here are my favorite models (as long a you have a treat in your hand they will do anything) wearing their new collars.
And now to the quilt...I was making this wallhanging from a Jane Sassaman Garden Diva fabric that I fussy cut and arranged to my liking. I was delighted that it was also to my daughter Sara's liking. My kids see me making so many quilts and don't often comment on them. So when Sara said she liked this one I was more that happy to give it to her for her new apartment.