Freebox Jeans Quilt Progress

January 29, 2008

NOTE: All posts on this project are tagged with “Freebox Jeans Quilt.”

Up until now, there were 24 squares worth of material cut, waiting to be pieced. The weather was finally bad enough, and I was finally bored enough to sit down at the sewing machine and put everything together.

Piles of cut fabric
  Piles of cut fabric on my sewing table, ready to go.

Cut pieces
  Cut fabric for one square

Sewn square
  One square sewn together

Squares laid out
  Sewn squares laid out

The squares went together in nothing flat. Piecing them together is the easy part, I guess. It takes a lot longer to cut them out, and I’ve only done about a third of what I need to. And then there’s the actual quilting. Bleh.

Looking at the picture above, I’m amazed at how much it actually resembles my preliminary sketch below.

Roman Stripe


NOTE: All posts on this project are tagged with “Freebox Jeans Quilt.”


Worsted Wool Apliqué Quilt

January 15, 2008

This page was originally published at

Posts about this project are tagged with wool aplique quilt.

Worsted Wool Apliqué – near future

Aplique Quilt

Over the years, I’ve outgrown quite a few navy blazers, and I’ve kept many of them around for… some reason. Maybe this is it. I love the patterns of Hawaiian apliqué quilts, with a solid background and a single, large, interesting shape in a contrasting color sewn on top. The navy wool would be a perfect background and contrast beautifully with vivid colors, producing a simple but dynamic piece. That’s the theory anyway.

Hawaiian Aplique Quilt
  Hawaiian Aplique Quilt

Alternately, I considered a very simple design of lines, as above. Or possibly a quilt stitched in squares with smaller apliqué pattterns on each block, something like Adrinka symbols. Those may be beyond my skill level, but maybe I could use up some of the Harris tweeds I packed away. Talk about multi-cultural. A traditional Hawaiian-style quilt, featuring an African Adrinka symbol, worked up in handmade Scottish tweeds.

  Andrinka symbols

Pendleton Quilt

January 15, 2008

Originally published here:

Posts about this project are tagged with Pendleton Quilt.

Pendleton Quilt – next up in theory

Pendleton Blanket
  Pendleton blanket

Since living in Portland, I’ve collected several ruined Pendleton shirts and have been looking for a way to use them. I like the idea of making an authentic Oregon quilt, and those hokey, earnest woolen shirts were made in the state. They’re a genuine institution. Made here; worn here; worn out here. Now they’ll be refashioned here into a memory of this place.

Pendleton Blanket
  Pendleton Blanket

Unfortunately, plaids, much as I love them, are hard to work into a pattern. The answer came from a book of Turkish carpets, of all places, where I saw a collection of riotous but paradoxically hamonious mixed patters on individual rugs. Everything was simply arranged in neat bands across the field, and in that way they reminded me of that other Pendleton institution, their blankets (like those above). How perfect.

Pendleton Blanket
  Pendleton Blanket

So I’m (theoretically) going to use pieced strips, with the plaids cut at a 45 degree angle, creating dynamic diagonals in the stable and symetrically aranged parallel bands.

I’m not so sure about this idea, and I need more shirts before I get started anyway. We’ll see.

Freebox Jeans “Roman Stripe” Quilt

January 15, 2008

Originally published at:

All posts on this project are tagged with “Freebox Jeans Quilt.”

Freebox Jeans “Roman Stripe” – in progress

Frebox Jeans Quilt

One of the most common — and useless — things I see in freeboxes around Portland are “old” jeans that were fashionable a few weeks ago. But alas, that was a few weeks ago; so out they go. The durable denim is still perfectly useful; so I wanted to find find a way to use it.

I was also thinking about a quilt pattern in monochromatic light & dark contrasts, rather than different colors. Faded and unfaded jeans would lend themselves to that reasonably well. So all of last summer I collected them — a couple of dozen pairs at least.

The design, which is a traditional pattern, is called “Roman Stripes” and was inspired by one of the Gee’s Bend quilts. The image above is a sketch of it. On the left below is how I think it’ll look when done, and on the right is the one that inspired me.

Roman StripeGees Bend Roman Stripe

Basic Quiche

January 15, 2008

Basic Quiche


Making a quiche could not be more simple or flexible. A large variety of fillings can be used with the basic egg and cream mixture. It is the perfect way to use incorporate vegetables into a meal.


–2 eggs
–8oz cream (Half&half works well.)
–1/4-1/2 cup cheese (Many types work well. Choose according to what will complement your filling.)
–2 pastry/pie crusts (Most commercially available brands use lard. Read the ingredients carefully to avoid it. Note: I often make a “quiche” without a crust at all. Just grease the dish well.)
–filling of your choice (Sauteed or steamed vegetables are nice. Cheese alone works well. Whatever you like can be thrown in.)


Prebake your pie crusts according to the instructions.
Prepare a standard egg and cream mixture of 1 egg for every 4oz (half cup) of cream. The amount you will need varies according to how much filling is in each quiche — the more filling, the less cream & egg. Count on at least 1/2 cup of the mixture in a regular sized pie crust with a lot of filling or a full cup (8oz) in an empty shell.

Add sufficient salt & pepper to the egg mixture to enhance the flavor.
Prepare your filling and drain it so that there is not a lot of extra moisture.
Pour into the pie crust of grease dish while adding cheese as you go.

When the crust/dish is about 3/4 full, pour in the egg mixture to fill in the gaps and barely cover the filling. The eggs will expand; so don’t overfill.

Bake at 375 for about 30+ minutes. Cool before serving.

Mamma Lister’s Molasses Crisps

January 15, 2008

Mamma Lister’s Molasses Crisps


    3/4 cup shortening (can guesstimate amount)
    1 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup molasses
    1 egg
    2 1/4 cups flour
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ginger
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon allspice or cardamom (optional)


-Cream together shortening, brown sugar, molasses, & egg until fuffy.
-Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, spices.
-Stir creamed mixture into dry ingredients. (Will be lumpy, but should form balls. Add water if necessary.)
-Form small balls & roll in sugar (or cinnamon sugar).
-Place 2 inches appart on cookie sheet.
-Bake at 350-375 for 12 minutes.

Will crisp when cooled, but can be softened in the oven or microwave.

Red Velvet Cake

January 15, 2008


    -2.5c self-rising flour
    -1.5c sugar
    -1tsp salt
    -2Tbsp cocoa
    -2oz red food coloring
    -1Tbsp vanilla
    -1c vegetable oil
    -1Tbsp white vinegar
    -1c buttermilk


    -1 box powdered sugar
    -1 stick butter
    -1 8oz pkg cream cheese
    -1c pecans
    -1tsp vanilla


Combine cake batter ingredients.
Pour in greased baking pans and bake at 350 degrees.
Remove when obviously done.
Cool and remove from pans.

Combine icing ingredients and spread on the cooled cake.

Mexican Rice

January 15, 2008

Arroz a la Mexicana, AKA Mexican Rice

Adapted from the recipe by Diana Kenedy


Freezes well. Thaw in the oven if possible.


    1 1/2 cups rice
    1/3 cup veg oil
    8 oz tomatoes, roughly chopped (canned acceptable, small can of tomato paste also acceptable)
    1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
    about 3 1/2 cups well-salted broth
    1 small carrot, diced (optional)
    2 tablespoons peas (optional)
    1 whole sprig of cilantro (optional)
    salt to taste


For this quantity you will need a heavy-bottomed,
flameproof pan about 4 inches deep and 9 ins across.

Pour hot water to cover the rice and let it stand for
about 5 minutes. Drain the rice and rinse well in cold
water, then shake the collander well and leave the rice
to drain for a few minutes.

Heat the oil. Give the rice a final shake and stir it into
the oil until the grains are well covered, then fry until just
turning color, stirring and turning the rice over so it
will cook evenly and will not stick to the pan. This process
should take about 10 minutes–depending, of course,
on the size of the pan–but it should be done over high
heat or the rice will become mushy in its final stage. Tip
the pan and drain off any excess oil or drain rice in
a fine strainer.

If possible, blend the tomatoes, onion, and garlic until smooth. There
should be about 1 cup. Add the puree to the fried rice,
then, continuing to cook over high heat, stir and scrape
the botom of the pan until the mixture is dry.

Add the broth, carrots, peas, and parsley. Add salt as
necessary, then stir well (do not stir again during the
cooking time.) Cook over medium heat, covered, until the
liquid has been absorbed and small air holes appear in
the rice. This will take about 10 minutes. Remove the pan
from the heat and cover the rice with a piece of terry cloth.
Cover with a tightly fitting lid so that no steam can escape
and set aside in a warm place for about 20 minutes,
so the rice can continue cooking in its own steam and
the grains will expand.

Before serving, loosen the rice with a fork from bottom.

Apple Beet Salad

January 15, 2008

Apple Beet Salad


    3 or 4 fresh beets (canned okay, fresh is best)
    1 med tart apple
    2 tbl mayonnaise
    1/4 tsp dried dill weed
    1/4 tsp celery seed OR some celery chopped well
    salt to taste


Peel and chop the apple. Wash and peel the beets. Cook the beets in cold water
and bring to a boil, about 30-50 minutes, depending on the age and size of the
beets. When they are easily pierced with a fork, they are done. Remove them from
the cooking liquid and plunge them into cold water. (You can save the cooking
liquid for borscht if you like.)

Peel and dice the cooked beets; mix with the diced apple, mayonnaise and
seasonings. Chill for several hours before serving.

Homemade Coarse-Ground Mustard

January 15, 2008

Coarse-Ground Mustard

Adapted from “Better than Store-Bought” by Witty & Colchie


    1/4 cup mustard seeds
    1/4 cup red wine
    1/3 cup Red Wine Vinegar
    1/4 cup water
    1/4 tsp ground allspice
    1/2 tsp honey
    1/4 tsp ground black pepper
    1/2 tsp pureed garlic (more if chopping w knife)
    1 1/2 tsp course (kosher) salt


1. Combine the mustard seeds, red wine, and red wine vinegar in a dish and let stand for 3 hours or more.
2. Put mixture in food processor. Add water, allspice, honey, pepper, garlic, salt. Whirl to course texture.
3. Simmer puree in double boiler for 5-10 minutes until thickened, but not as thick as storebought. Make sure to use a doible boiler or a similar set-up, and do not overcook. The garlic will burn and ruin the whole batch.
4. Put in jar & cool before puting on cap & in refrigerator.

Keeps in refrigerator indefinitely.