Friday, January 26, 2018

Solstice 24

 The twenty-fourth block in the Solstice quilt is a nice square centered star. I did a little more thoughtful placement of some of the batik patterns this time. Not exactly fussy-cutting or anything, but I like how it turned out.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Second Half Square Triangle Blocks

After making the first half square triangle block for the Gypsy Wife quilt, I found that I hadn't read the directions quite closely enough. I was supposed to make two of them.

 After a lot of cutting, and rearranging I ended up making two more blocks. I used the left-over blue and grey triangles from the first version of the block. All the blues in one, all the greys in another with a mixture of colorful prints.

I like how different the two versions look.

I guess at some point I'll have to choose just two of the three to use in the actual quilt. Maybe I'll put the left-over one on the back somehow.

It's really starting to look like a cohesive quilt forming up.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Wandering Wednesday - Fungus Fair

The 44th annual Fungus Fair was really fun. After many years, I was glad we finally made the effort and actually attended.
 The amount of colors we saw in the displays was surprising.
 And the different shapes and textures were intriguing.

 We tried the mushroom lasagna, quinoa mushroom soup which were very savory. The strangest was the mushroom donuts. They were mushroom custard filled and surprisingly tasty.
 Some of them were exactly what you picture when you think mushroom.
 And some were definitely not.
One of the vendors was using all sorts of fungus to do various types of fabric dyeing and printing. She was able to achieve some very lovely subtle colors, especially on silk.

Half-Square Triangle Block

 Making the half-square triangle block for the Gypsy Wife Sew-a-Long was fairly easy. I had fun with the blues and grays in the fabrics I have pulled for the quilt top.
 It was fun to play with the different possibilities.

 And it was fun to see how it looks with all the other blocks.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Solstice 23

Solstice block #23, this one I didn't succeed at translating well with my batik collection. It was hard to get enough contrast for the pattern, so it just looks like a 16 square block. But I felt like I needed some brown in the quilt top and this fit in well. A good example of scale and type of prints being as important as tone and value in terms of how a block design works or doesn't.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Wandering Wednesday - Henry Cowell Park

A New Year's day hike is a family tradition that we've been doing for quite a while now. And the California State Parks have started to promote this, coincidence? Maybe! So it was off to Henry Cowell State Park, just down the road from us in Felton.
This year was a special one for me, it was my first PT goal, to be able to walk this specific trail on 1/1/18. Just about 2 months post hip replacement surgery. It seemed like a real stretch back when I first made the goal. But my progress has been pretty steady and surprising. 
So the Redwood Loop trail is just under a mile, and is an easy flat loop trail I've done more than twenty times. The first thing we noticed were how abundant the mushrooms were. This fancy red one caught my eye, especially with the bright yellow banana slug munching on it.

 I've probably taken this same picture every time I go on this hike. But sometimes the light is just right and I can't help it.

 I like both versions of it.
The best thing was that I got to hike it with some of my very favorite people in the whole world, my husband and my parents. My husband was super thrilled that I was able to make it without a problem, he was pretty cute about it. My folks were too which was really nice. It's good to have support when you're recovering from something major.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Nurse's Cross

 The Nurse's Cross block for the Gypsy Wife Sew-a-long turned out pretty well. Talk about a riot of patterns, and all in one block.

It went together pretty easily, but I'm really missing the interim measurement points in block construction that Pat Sloan's Solstice Quilt instructions contain.  I almost tried the paper-pieced version that was suggested, but wanted to give piecing it a try.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Solstice 22

 The 22nd Solstice Quilt block, Weather Vane was a big one, 24.5" square so it had a lot of impact. I decided to cool things down a little with an all green, soothing block. And it was a stretch to find enough of non-bright greens to use in my batik stash. I have tons of lime green (of course) but not nearly as much of the more muted greens.
I like how it turned out, but I'd probably make some different choices on the fabrics to make the different bits stand out a little more.

Sunday, January 14, 2018


I am working on a pomegranate quilt at the moment. These are pictures of the sole pomegranate I harvested from my pomegranate bush this year. Isn't it a beauty?I'm using some of these pictures in the quilt, more on that later.

 It was a very juicy piece of fruit, and so tasty. Maybe a different variety than the usual ones that you buy in the store? Not sure on that.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Gypsy Wife SAL -

 A couple more of the Gypsy Wife Sew-A-Long blocks that I finished. These Puss in Corner blocks were fun to play with!
 As you can see I played around with switching some of the color choices around.

I had to choose which one to put the border on, I like how the houndstooth check looks versus the black/white typed print.

 Here's how it all looks on the quilt diagram so far. A lot of red, kinda pops out at me.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Solstice 21

Here's the 21st Solstice Quilt block, Tile Time,  I like how this block ended up looking, It was meant to balance out the other black/white block in the quilt top.
I'm going to finish up posting all the Solstice Quilt blocks so I can show you the whole top assembled.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Slushie Stitching

After many long years of intermittent effort, the hand-stitching on my Slushie quilt is finally done! This was the one thing I did manage to stitch on as I recovered over the last few months. I think because it was a project all ready to be worked on, it was all in one place and I didn't have to think about it at all. After surgery, one's brain doesn't work well for quite a while, and if there are pain pills involved (oh yes there were) then all bets are off on any complicated thinking getting accomplished. So this was a simple, color-by-numbers project to get my hands on, so I did.
 I love the overall look and am happy with the variation in colors and stitch sizes. I still need to decide if I'm going to stitch down the edges of the fused fabrics. After so much handling parts of the edges of have come up.

 I might just have this framed so maybe I can leave the lifting up edges alone. I think a lot of machine stitching at this point would take away from how it looks.
And we'll see how squared-up I can get this thing too, I tried as I stitched to not go right to the edges on the larger pieces of background fabric. I just don't want to cut off any of the hand-stitching, because it'll all unravel--*gasp*! No way after all that.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

2018 Q1 Finish-a-long

Here's my 2018 Q1 Finish-A-Long list:
  1. Solstice Quilt - Finish piecing backing and make binding, have it quilted, finish stitching down binding and label.
  2. Slushie-Bind, label, hanging sleeve.
  3. Blue Cherrywood Challenge - Finish stitching down facing, label and hanging sleeve.
  4. False Flag Sorbet - Hanging sleeve and label.
  5. Warmest Condolences - Sketch and plan completed, some fabric pieces made, print more fabrics, embellish tag, assemble, quilt, bind, hanging sleeve, label.
  6. Italian ABC - Assemble, quilt, bind, label.
  7. Color Collusion - Finish quilting, bind, hanging sleeve, label.
  8. Between the Cypress - Design on remaining applique, finish quilting, embellish, bind, hanging sleeve, label
  9. Technology's Spine - Finish quilting, embellish, bind, hanging sleeve, label
  10. Line Layer - Applique, add more layers, quilting, embellish, binding, hanging sleeve, label
  11. Taking My Lumps - Add more beading, finish quilting, hanging sleeve, label.
  12. Harvest - Hanging sleeve, label.
  13. Shenzhen Skies - Finish quilting, binding, hanging sleeve, label.
  14. Contained Observation - Hanging sleeve, label.
  15. Woven World - Finish appliqué, quilting, binding, hanging sleeve, label.
  16. Five More - Finish quilting, embellish, hanging sleeve, label.
  17. Corpus #3 - Hanging apparatus and sleeve, label.
  18. Self Portrait- Finish quilting, binding, label, hanging sleeve.
Same as last quarters' list except for #2. We'll see how it goes this time around. And the Solstice Quilt has a home designated for it, so that definitely is getting done.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

2017 Q4 FAL Fail

Not a huge surprise, given that I had my hip replaced at the end of October, but I only got one thing done out of the very long list I'd posted for my first participation in the Finish-A-Long. I really thought I'd want to spend my recovery time by sitting around hand-stitching sleeves and labels, etc.  But sitting was an issue for quite a while, until it wasn't, and then I wanted to move around, not sit around. Sitting still isn't super great, being limited to a 90degree angle for my hip is rather limiting. But hey--I can Walk Again. So it's very very worth it for now.
 I don't have a good overall picture of it quite yet as I'm not up to hanging it up on my design wall. It might not fit now that I think about it, this sucker is big. I had this quilted by the wonderful Colleen Granger at SewLittleTimeQuilting.  The quilt came back to me just in time for me to be able to sew the binding on and finish the label. So that counted as my one and only finish!

It's a huge, king-sized, mostly bullseye quilt comprised of blocks from an online quilt group I belong to, QuiltMavericks. These blocks are from several Swamps (what we call swaps due to an auspicious typo) held over the last 15 years and a few that I made myself as well as some added borders. There are Bento Box squares, and Roman stripe stars also.

I pieced the back and like the way the fabrics I chose go together with the signature blocks.

It was great to have this quilt on my bed as I recovered, having something new and so colorful was very cheery. Plus I got to spend time remembering all the good friends and discussions and support from these quilters, most of whom I've never met in person, but are still real friends nonetheless.
Here's one of the blocks I made myself, a bit offset to get the Buddha and the cat to show.

I'm most disappointed that I didn't get the quilt done about guns in America done in time to submit to the exhibit. I got a very good start on it and then my surgery got scheduled so quickly and my mind honestly just kind of shut down with all the preparation that were involved. I will finish this quilt though, regardless of missing the exhibit, because I found that I actually had something to say about the subject.

Will I try FAL again? Yes, I will and I'm considering what I should put on my list this time. The same list minus the one quilt that I did finish? Maybe less quilts overall? Maybe I should list quilts I Actually want to finish instead of things I Should do?  Would that work better?