What’s Cookin’ at The Works: Summer Salads: A Taste of Mediterranean

Lunch Collage

With September just a few weeks away, the kids starting to go back to school, and the long hours of daylight dwindling down each night, it must mean that Summer is coming to an end!  But until that first brisk Autumn morning arrives when you walk out the door needing a jacket, there’s still time to soak up the last drops of Summer sun!  This week’s lunch selection pays homage to the light and carefree days of Summer- with a bounty of fresh veggies and fruits picked from the garden and at the local Farmer’s Market.  This week was my turn to provide lunch for Monday’s lunch Club.  Inspired by the warm & dry Summer we’ve been enjoying this season in Seattle, I prepared a Mediterranean-themed luncheon that I like to call:  Steph’s Taste of Mediterranean: Build your own Salad!

For my meal selection, I prepared 2 Main Salads with protein, carb, veggie, and dairy sides to pick and choose to suit your diet preference.

Salad One- Caprese Salad

caprese salad

This couldn’t be any easier to make!  With just a few simple, fresh ingredients mixed together- the flavors of the tomatoes and basil shine and mingle well with the olive oil and light seasoning.

Take your favorite cherry or plum tomatoes- cut in half- squeeze the seeds out- and cut in half once again.  Fresh basil leaves are picked from the garden, then chopped into strips.  Add your favorite olive oil, salt and pepper, and toss together.

***Note, I omitted the fresh mozzarella cheese that is a typical ingredient in a traditional Caprese salad and left this on the side, as some folks have dietary restrictions for dairy products.

Salad Two- Lemon Cucumber Cous Cous Salad

cous cous salad

Another very easy-peasy salad to make, but loaded with flavor!  Pearl Cous Cous, also known as Israeli Cous Cous dominates this salad.  Chopped cucumbers, chopped parsley, lemon zest, and feta cheese are the other ingredients.  Dressed in olive oil, minced garlic, and lemon- all the flavors combine so well and delight your taste buds– you’ll have a hard time saying no to seconds.  Find the recipe here.

I  included the following side selections as options to pair with the 2 salads:  Romaine Lettuce, Fresh Mozzarella, Sliced Avocados, Roast Chicken, French Baguette, and Balsamic Vinaigrette.

After going through the spread, my salad bowl looked a little something like this:

Steph Lunch Bowl


With a salad so light and summery like this, thankfully everyone had a little room left over for dessert!

How could you not pass up Haagen Dazs sorbet and fresh blueberries/ nectarines???

Dessert Collage

Until next week, here’s hoping you have a flavor-filled week that nourishes your heart, mind, body, and soul!  See you next week for another installment of What’s Cookin’ at The Works!




Trick-or-Treat!! Witchful Thinking FQ Bundle Giveaway

witchful Thinking fqp bundle giveaway

Something ‘Witchful‘ this way comes….A Witchful Thinking Fat Quarter Bundle, that is!  It’s that time again- time for another chance to win a gorgeous fat quarter bundle from Clothworks!  Up for grabs are 3 fat quarter bundles from fabrics from the Witchful Thinking collection by designer Dan DiPaolo.

Witchful Thinking Collage

This collection has got to be one of my favorite Halloween-themed groups that Clothworks has released.  My eyes are drawn to the vibrant colors:  purple, orange, gold, olive green, & black, but it’s the whimsical art of Dan DiPaolo that really captures my heart!  Candy corn, smiling jack-0-lanterns, and over-sized spiders couldn’t coordinate any better here!  And with Halloween just about 2 and a half months away….that’s plenty of time to make some treat bags, or other assorted festive projects with these fat quarters!

To participate in the Witchful Thinking Fat Quarter Bundle Giveaway, please abide by these rules:

1)  Limit one comment only on this blog post.  It would be fab to hear about your Halloween craft projects, costumes, etc!

2)  Giveaway is open to those who have a USA shipping address.

3)  Post your comment on this blog entry by Thursday August 21st at 11:59 PM PDT.

On Friday, August 22, I will select at random 3 winners from the comments.   One fat quarter bundle prize will be sent to each winner. The winners will be announced in a blog post that day, and will be contacted by email for their shipping address.

Good luck, my pretties!!!!  Heee-heee-heee!!!  <cackle>



In the Press: American Made Brand Fabrics

country living


Word is definitely getting around about our recent release of American Made Brand solid fabrics!!  Just take a peek at this page from the September 2014 issue of Country Living magazine!!!

Interested in crafting or decorating with American Made Brand solids, the fabric that is sourced, manufactured, and dyed right here in the USA?  View all 50 beautiful colors- from neutrals to pastels to brights to darks- here at this link.  To find a shop that stocks AMB, please visit this link.

And for those of you who have the creative bug, be sure to read about our Farm to Fabric Challenge using American Made Brand solid fabric in a quilt design exploring what it means to bring fabric production back here to the USA!   There’s still time to submit your design as the deadline has been extended to August 31st!!


What’s Cookin’ At the Works: Summer Salads- Paleo Friendly!

Ted's Tuna Salad Collage

Here’s another fresh, super simple, healthy lunch recipe inspired by those hot, carefree days of Summer!  Ted, head honcho of Clothworks, provided lunch for The Lunch Club this week and served up this very Paleo-friendly recipe he entitled:  Ted’s Summertime Tuna Tacos.

Putting this lunch together went lickety-split….just 5 steps to creating this tasty, refreshing lunch!  Follow the picture collage above for the first 3 steps:

Step 1. Grab a Romaine lettuce leaf shell – if you want you can help yourself to a pretzel slider roll if you are not into the lettuce thing

Step 2.  Scoop in some fresh tuna salad (tuna, celery & olive oil mayo)

Step 3.  Garnish with tomato wedges & red onion


Step 4.  For a little kick, sprinkle a little Japanese Togarashi — that’s ground chili pepper from the Asian grocery store  (See picture above)

Tuna Salad

Step 5.  Enjoy!

As you can see from the pic above of the lunch that I assembled, I did not go the Paleo-friendly route and added a pretzel slider bun in for added flavor and texture.

Dessert was just as healthy and easy to make, too….


Boy, do I love Summer!! :)


Stay tuned next week as we continue to post here on the Works  more Summer-inspired, effortless recipes to wet your palate and nourish you!

AMB Tote Bag- All Jazzed Up!

amb color band picture

What to do with left-over scraps & pieces of American Made Brand solid fabric?  Jazz up a canvas tote bag with a color band of strips of AMB solids!!

Our friend Mary of the blog, The Curious Quilter, conjured up this clever idea.  I really love the band of vibrant colors she created to dress up this canvas tote bag.  Very reminiscent of a spectrum band or even an old retro television test pattern– I love how she appliqued it onto the AMB tote bag.  Now it serves a function– when you’re out & about proudly toting around this canvas bag displaying the AMB logo, you can also show off the actual swatches of American Made Brand solid fabric should someone inquire!   Genius marketing & promotion– bravo, Mary!!

Another big thanks to Mary, also known as Ms.Minnesota during our AMB Blog tour earlier this summer, for sharing this picture and spectacular idea!

I’m willing to bet there are a few more nifty ideas out there for incorporating American Made Brand solids into your crafting and sewing projects.  Anyone else have some too cool for school ideas that they’d love to share?  Please send them our way!!!



Winner Announced: AMB Tote Bag Giveaway!

AMB market bag

Thank you all for participating in the AMB Tote Bag Giveaway that we ran this week here at the Works!  Here’s hoping this will stir up some more attention for both American Made Brand solids fabric, as well as the Farm to Fabric Challenge.  Remember, the deadline has recently been extended for the Farm to Fabric Challenge.  There is still a bit of time to create something beautiful using American Made Brand solid fabric to enter into the contest.  Submissions are now due by Sunday August 31st.  Read more about this exciting challenge here.

And now for the announcement of our winner of the giveaway:

Congratulations Denise Toomey!!!

You’ve been selected at random to receive this lovely prize, as pictured above.  Be the first on your block to proudly carry this sturdy canvas tote bag emblazoned with the American Made Brand solids logo on the front and back sides.  Fill it up with farmers market finds, or fill it up with beautiful American Made Brand solids fabrics, fresh from the local quilt shop!

Denise, I will be contacting you via email for your shipping address, so please check your junk mail box, just in case.

Once again, thanks to all for  your wonderful comments about AMB!!  It’s with your continued support that American Made Brand solids fabric continues to thrive and help build the economy here in the U.S.A.!!!!


What’s Cookin’ at the Works? Everything’s Just Peachy!

Peach Slab Pie

What’s that old saying again?  Something about– ‘When life gives you peaches, you make Peach Slab Pie,” right?!!  I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but lately, up here in the Pacific Northwest, there’s been an abundance of peaches at the local farmers markets!   Our lovely volunteer here at Clothworks, Gabe, was responsible for this week’s yummy ‘Lunch Club’ selection.  While I usually start off showing a pic of the main course first on our What’s Cookin’ At The Works posts, I thought I’d just cut to the chase and highlight our dessert course first.

The Peach Slab Pie recipe looks like it’s as much of a breeze to make as it was to eat a piece (or two)!  You can find the recipe here at this link.  After reading some of the comments from the other test bakers, this recipe seems like a very versatile one where you could sub in other types of bumper crop fresh fruits.  Mmmm…. lots of fresh fruit….another reason I just love Summer!

Circling back to the main course that Gabe prepared for us, we have yet another flavorful, easy-peasy salad recipe that is just perfect to make on a hot summer day!  Who needs to  slave away at a hot stove all day long to watch a soup simmer, right?  Gabe’s main course reminded me of a layered bean dip: with layers of pinto beans, fresh chopped peppers and green onions, mayo, sour cream, and ranch dressing, plenty of seasoning, shredded cheddar cheese on top, but with a cornbread crust.  Hence the recipe name, Cornbread Salad. ‘MMMMMMM’-mazing!!!

Cornbread Salad

photo courtesy of allrecipes.com: Cornbread Salad

Unfortunately, I was late to lunch this week and didn’t get a picture of Gabe’s kitchen masterpiece, Cornbread Salad, but thank goodness for the internet.  I’m sure Gabe’s version was just as pretty to look at as it was to scarf down!! You can find the link to the recipe here.

Check back with us next week as we continue to serve up some more yummy Summer eats!


Summer Projects: Sewing with Children

Sewing with Children Collage

Our friend Melissa of Lilac Lane has been quite a busy lady this summer!  Kicking off the summer, she had participated in the AMB Blog Tour ( proudly representing the beautiful state of Kansas), has been busy with the County Fair, and has been sewing up a storm with her talented children!  With quite a bit to juggle and a wonderful knack for taking great pictures (including all of the pictures she provided me shown here on this post), I’m amazed she found the time to write up a very well thought tutorial on sewing with children.  You can tell Melissa is a seasoned sewist when it comes to sharing her passion for sewing with her kids.  Head on over to Melissa’s blog post at Lilac Lane to read her helpful tips on how to sew with children.

And take a look at these gorgeous dresses that her daughters made using none other than Clothworks very own fabric collection,  Unity by designer Leslie Mark.  Released earlier this year, Unity captures the vibrancy of the summer season- with crisp, bright colors and tropical-inspired prints!


Well done Melissa and Co!!!!  Now that’s something to twirl about!



Deadline Extended: Farm to Fabric Challenge + Giveaway!!


This just in….We’ve got some breaking news to pass along to you about the Farm to Fabric Challenge, a juried quilt exhibition set to premier at this year’s International Quilt Market & Festival in Houston, Texas on October 25th through November 2nd, 2014.  We’ve extended the deadline from Friday August 15th, to the new deadline of Sunday August 31st.  That gives you virtually a whole month to dream up and produce something amazing using American Made Brand Solids to enter into the contest!!  Come on you creative folks, you!  There’s still time for you to show us what you’ve got!!

When designing your entry for the Farm to Fabric Challenge, think of the theme:  “Celebrating Farm to Fabric”.  Consider what it means to you, your family, or your community to bring fabric production back to the USA! ‘From Farm to Fabric’, Clothworks is thrilled to be offering a American Made Brand Solids- fabric that is grown, processed, woven, dyed, and manufactured all here in the United States of America!

Click on this link to read more about the details for registration into the Farm to Fabric Challenge.  And be sure to read the 4-1-1 on how to photograph your quilt submissions at this link.  There are some great resources here.

A stellar jury comprised of 3 incredible women who all reign in the quilting & sewing communities, including Pokey Bolton, Alissa Haight Carlton, and Heather Jones, will judge the entries submitted to the Farm to Fabric Challenge.  Should your entry be selected into the exhibit, you will be notified no later than Friday September 5, 2014.  Selected quilts must arrive in Houston, TX no later than Wednesday October 1, 2014 to be displayed in the International Quilt Market and Festival.

Best of luck in your creative pursuits!!!  We can’t wait to see what you create with American Made Brand fabrics!

And since the August 31st deadline for entry submissions is steadily approaching, we thought we’d host a quick giveaway to celebrate the deadline extension for the  Farm to Fabric Challenge!

Up for grabs is one All American Made canvas tote bag with the beautiful American Made Brand Solids logo gracing both the front and back of the bag!!

Wouldn’t this make the perfect bag to take along to your favorite local quilt/fabric shop to fill up on some American Made Brand Solids??? :)

AMB market bag

To be considered a participant of the AMB Canvas Tote Bag Giveaway, please note the following:

1)  One comment per person to be left on this blog post.

2)  Please leave a comment by 11:59 pm Thursday August 7, 2014.

3)  Only comment if you have a USA shipping address, please.

One winner for the bag will be selected at random and the winner will be announced and notified by email on Friday August 8th, 2014.

Good luck and tell us what your favorite colors of AMB solids are and why!


AMB Blog Tour Quilt is in The Works!


AMB quilt 2

Do you remember the virtual road trip we took earlier this summer?  The AMB blog tour was such a blast- traveling to all 50 States and meeting one lovely blogger per State who shared a bit of the local history, trivia, and  culture with us!  Not only did our blogger friends serve as wonderful ambassadors to each State in the Nation, they were just as talented and crafty with their sewing machines!  Each of our blogger friends was also given the task of making a ‘license plate’ quilt block using American Made Brand solid fabrics to represent their state with the final goal of making a quilt out of all 50 blocks.

We thought we’d indulge you with a ‘Work in Progress’ picture of the license plate blocks mocked up in a quilt on our design wall.  Toni, the Sample Room Extraordinaire & Quilting Queen, has taken on the task of piecing these blocks into a complete quilt.  So far she has determined the placement of the blocks and has sewn a neutral grey fabric from the American Made Brand solids line as a border around each license plate, as well as white sashing in between the blocks.

Check back soon to see how far down the road (no pun intended) she goes in completing the quilt!