Quilts Quilts Quilts: Muffulettas with olive salad

Roxy Music’s Let’s Stick Together.

I made my first quilt in 1968—six inch squares of brown and green polyester print stuffed with nylons and tied with gold yarn, a gift only a mother could love. Luckily that’s who it was for. Muth used it initially as a bed quilt, then as a chair-napping cozy, a rattle-stopping pad for the box fan, and eventually passed it on to my sister. Nikki snoozed under it during late night waits on the ferry dock, and finally gave it to Benji, the orange cat. You know what they say, “Once you give a gift, its fate is no longer in your hands.”

I picked up a quilting needle again in 1989 and have made forty to fifty since then, so although I haven’t put in the 10,000 hours required to reach the expert level, I label myself as an intermediate quilter. But whenever I pick up one of my projects and think, “Well, that’s not too bad!”, I need only attend a quilt show to regain my perspective and retake my place in the pyramid of quilters.

Last week, the Quilt! Knit! Stitch! expo at the Portland Convention Center gave me just the opportunity. The featured exhibit was “500 Traditional Quilts” starring quilts made by some of the 1%ers of the quilting world. Photography in that rarified atmosphere was forbidden, so I bought the book. As I know how difficult it can be to cut up pieces of color and reattach them in a pleasing form, seeing 500 examples of otherworldly technique and creativity left me daunted.

Here are a few shots of quilts, made by mere mortals, for a local competition.

Prize winner

Now, you see what I mean? There were aisles of original, beautifully made quilts— chosen, I’m sure, from hundreds of entries.

Then there were these show-stopping beauties, from the 500 Traditional Quilts traveling exhibit, created within the ethers of the highest tier on the pyramid. I give up.


Mission: Impeccable, Kumiko Frydl

Tree of Life, Keiko Miyauchi


Crystal in Blue, Megumi Yokoyama


Mystique, Sharon Schamber

The only food available at the convention center was unappealing and overpriced: dirty-water hot dogs, limp-lettuce burgers, or dry chicken wraps, what to choose? I should have brought a muffuletta.

Muffulettas with olive salad

  • 1 cup green olives, pitted and chopped 
  • 1 cup black olives, pitted and chopped 
  • 1⁄2 cup sliced pepperoncini
  • 1⁄2 cup pickled onion or assorted pickled vegetables
  • 1⁄2 cup oil-packed, sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1⁄2 cup olive oil

Or just buy a jar at TJs. 

For the olive salad: Pulse olives, pepperoncini and onions separately to coarse chop and place in medium-sized bowl. Add tomatoes, parsley, oregano, garlicstir to combine. Add vinegar and oil, stir together, cover, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

To assemble the sandwich: Cut the bread in half horizontally and remove most of the interior crumb. Sprinkle red wine vinegar and olive oil on top side. Place 2-3 Tbs. olive salad in the hollowed-out bottom and top with the sliced mortadella, provolone, and salami. 

Top with more olive salad, wrap the sandwich between two plates, using a few heavy cans on top as weights. Place the weighted sandwich in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 6 hours. Before serving, unwrap the sandwich and cut it into wedges. 


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2 Responses to Quilts Quilts Quilts: Muffulettas with olive salad

  1. Ginny Nichols says:

    You’re no slouch in the quilting world (or any other that I know of)

  2. Patricia Curtis says:

    I totally feel you are one the best quilters . I also believe it is impossible to see your work as we do…we love your quilts and we love you. Sweetie, you are just the BEST!!

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