Monday, February 23, 2015

QuiltCon 2015

Notes from QuiltCon 2015
This was a fantastic show of modern art quilts. Although the floor layout at the Austin Convention Center was confusing, the quilts themselves were beautiful.



Many were modern takes on traditional patterns:




And others were completely original:




There were fabulous lectures and demonstrations and some "make and takes". We enjoyed them all, including our lunch at Michelada's across the street! Muy sabroso!


Of course, we acted silly:


And we made a few purchases (pictured here with some freebies):


It was the best quilty day of the year so far! Thanks, Melissa!

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Wine and Cheese Tasting

Emily gave me a cheese-tasting-party pack and wine-trivia coasters for Christmas. So, we MUST put them to use! Some dear friends came over to help us with the tasting. Prep was fun and easy.

First up was the white wine course. Cheeses were a plain Chevre, a Gruyere Reserve, and a Fontina. Our main discovery was that Gruyere Reserve is dry, salty , and delicious--not creamy like young Gruyere. We drank a fruity, non-oaky Chardonnay with this course (Ferrari Carano from Sonoma). It wasn't nice and buttery for sipping, but it was perfect with the cheeses. The chevre was delicious on endive leaves and the Fontina and the Gruyere were perfect on bread with a bit of Fig/Sweet Onion/Rosemary relish or with apples.

Next was the red wine course. The cheeses were a 1-year Manchego, a young raw milk Gouda, and a Dry Jack Vella. The wine was an M. Autumn Merlot from Napa. The Manchego was magnificent and went perfectly with the membrillo (quice paste) and with the date walnut bread, both of which are traditional accompaniments in Spain. The Dry Jack Vella was the big discovery in this course. We'd never had it before and it was delicious. The Gouda was flavorless compared to the other cheeses, so next time we're going to try an aged Gouda. Olives and Serrano ham completed the course.

Even though we were stuffed, we persevered for the Port course. Our friend brought a beautiful, 30-yr aged port (Graham's 1985) and it was the smoothest I've ever had. Stilton is the standard with port and it was indeed perfect. We discovered that toasted walnuts and good chocolate are also fantastic. We didn't need the farmhouse cheddar, but it was good with the beautiful fresh fruit salad they brought.

All in all, this was a really fun way to enjoy a good time with good friends and no cooking was involved!

Monday, February 02, 2015

Texas Quilt Museum

On a recent rainy day, Melissa and I headed to LaGrange, channeling ZZTop all the way!

Of course we had lunch at Bistro 108 (bistro108.com) -- the best eats in LaGrange. The seasonal special, a non-fried chile relleno with pepitas was healthy and delicious. They had no homemade pies that day. I was really disappointed!



Then it was onward to the Texas Quilt Museum (http://www.texasquiltmuseum.org/) to see the exhibit on traditional quilts. The rustic setting was beautiful, but some of the quilts were hung too high to see the details.

We weren't allowed to take photos because they are pushing their book "500 Traditional Quilts", so this shot is from their website.

Our favorite out of the approximately 40 quilts on display was a green, black, and white one made by a 17-year old over 120 years ago. It looks contemporary and displays amazing color sense!

After the inspiration, we went to the yarn and fabric store strategically located next door to the museum. Fun day!

I got the sashing and the first border on my wonky quilt and am really looking forward to adding a wonky border next time I get the sewing machine out!