Monthly Archives: July 2010

A DECADE

This year marks a decade on my journey to Alabama Chanin.

Looking at where we started, where we have been and where we are headed has been an amazing and beautiful process. What a time of laughter, tears, exploration, and, well, growing up.

To celebrate our growing up, we will be launching several exciting collaborations over the next months, planning celebrations, looking back and, of course, looking forward.

The first of these collaborations – with our friends at Commune Design – has resulted in a set of new logos for Alabama Chanin and Alabama Studio Style.

Here today we present our new Alabama Chanin logo…

Look for the new logo to be integrated into our couture clothing, our site and the Alabama Chanin world over the next months. Come back tomorrow for a chat with Roman Alonso, from Commune, about design, his trip to Alabama, a bit of history and the humor behind our new and improved label.

Thanks to everyone for sticking with us this past decade… looking forward to the next.

CONSUMING PASSIONS

I am headed to the mountains of Chattanooga today for a weekend of stitching, cooking and playing with high school girlfriends. Maggie has her bags packed with loads of books for the trip and I have my sewing kit and a book ready for a girls (and kids) sewing weekend with wine, food, reading and relaxing. Sigh. The thick smell of trees and mountain air…

A book arrived on my desk not too long ago and, unfortunately, I don’t know who sent it. In a moment of needing a break from new collections, writing the new book, working on a website update, being a mom, and keeping the garden, I landed on my couch the other night with Consuming Passions by Michael Lee West.

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TOMATO SANDWICH DIET

It is (finally) the time of year to begin the Tomato Sandwich Diet.

THE BREAKFAST, LUNCH, AND DINNER TOMATO SANDWICH

Wheat bread
Homemade mayonnaise (see below)
Heirloom tomato slices – patted dry
Salt & pepper to taste

HOMEMADE MAYONAISE
- from a recipe by Scott Peacock

1 large egg yolk, at room temperature (very important)
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 cup olive
1 teaspoon white-wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Blend with whisk attachment on a low speed the yolk, mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until smooth. Add 1/4 cup oil drop by drop, blending constantly until mixture begins to thicken. Blend in vinegar and lemon juice, and add remaining 1/2 cup oil very slowly in a thin stream, blending constantly until well incorporated. If at any time it appears that oil is not being incorporated, stop adding oil and whisk mixture vigorously until smooth, then continue adding oil. Blend in salt to taste and white pepper.

Mayonnaise keeps, covered and chilled, for 2 days.

INDIGO STAR – QUILT OF THE MONTH #2

I have always loved quilt tops and have collected them for many years from thrift stores and yard sales. The problem with these beautiful hand-sewn tops is that it is impossible to use them until they have been quilted as the delicate woven fabrics fall apart when washed. Not so with our 100% organic cotton jersey, Alabama Indigo and Faded Leaves Jersey fabrics.

Our quilt this month is inspired by one of my favorite antique quilt tops and sewn to be the perfect lightweight cover. Made with our cotton-jersey in a single layer and a range of our Indigo, the quilt is sewn with our floating seams – described in both Alabama Stitch Book and Alabama Studio Stylewhich give the effect those antique quilt tops. However, this technique eliminates the need to finish raw edges which will roll beautifully with the first washing.

The back of the is also very beautiful with the clean finished edges:

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THE MAP AS ART

Just as I am designing the new collection, a treasure of a book arrives on my desk from Princeton Architectural Press.

I have always been a fan of You Are Here: Personal Geographies and Other Maps of the Imagination.

And now Katharine Harmon has compiled the most beautiful collection of images and ideas in her newest book The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography.

Quilts, installations, illustrations, photography… sitting with this book is like traveling while sitting at my studio table.

 

Katharine Harmon: The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography

CHEF’S PRESS

We were lucky when last in the Bay Area to be able to sit down and visit (eat) with Chef Bruce Hill at Restaurant Picco in Larkspur. Partner to our dear friend Kim from RedBird in Berkeley, Bruce is one-part chef, one-part entrepreneur and one-part inventor.

When he could not find what he deemed an appropriate chef’s press, he invented a set of his own. The set is clever in that they are designed with vents to allow moisture to release during the cooking process, they are stackable that you can choose the perfect weight for your recipe, they clean easily and are just beautiful objects for the kitchen.

Honestly, I had never used a press in cooking before and am delighted with my new found tool. I have been using mine for everything from French Toast (Maggie’s morning favorite) to the sausages (shown above) that I made last night. The best part about using the press set is that they save electricity by reducing cooking time – perfect for hot Alabama summers.

Chef’s Press by Bruce Hill

*Butch still says that our meal at Picco was one of the best that we have ever had in the Bay Area – not an easy feat in that food-rich community. Looking forward to our next trip.

REFUELED VISIT

Thank you to Chris @ Refueled and all his family for coming out to celebrate Independence Day with us here in Alabama… they say that they are planning their trip for next year – hope it is true.

And thank you to my Uncle George for hosting one of the best parties of the year. The event – in it’s 13th year – has become just like an old-time “Dinner on the Ground:” good food, good friends, good music and great stories.

Someone said that the day was “just like a family reunion – with family that you like”…

Visit Chris for his whole Deep South Road Tour: http://refueledmag.blogspot.com/