Thursday, January 31, 2019

Color Picking and Good Fortune

Here's an amazing color picking app, Color Supply, it's intended for use in choosing color schemes for digital illustrations, so it gives the hex values for the main colors. But I thought it was a great all-on-one-screen tool for looking at color choices. You can scroll through complementary, analogous, etc... and change the colors in each setup.

I thought it might be a good resource for quilters. There's a little essay/explainer on the site about why to choose warm vs. cool colors for branding a website/product and it made me think about that in terms of "branding" the quilts we're making. If you're looking to make a happy quilt choose this: X, if you're wanting a somber quilt choose this: X instead, etc. Color tells a story, evokes emotions, etc.

Hey, is there a hex value to kona cottons (or other fabric line's solids) chart somewhere?

I used this tool to help me pick fabrics to use in the Good Fortune mystery quilt.

Pics of those choices tomorrow...

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Wandering Wednesday - Asilomar Outside

 The evening view as the sun starts going down from the main building at Asilomar.
 The trees, cypress I think, formed by the on-shore wind.

 The full moon lighting up the cloud cover took my breath away.

 View of contrails from the beach at sunset.

 Sunset view on Asilomar beach.
 Kind of sort of tide pools on the rocks.
 Rocky beach sunset view.
 It really was worth getting up from our sewing machines and toddling down to the beach to catch the sunset.

 Closeup, love the arrangement of shapes and oh that purple.

 One of the large trees fell right next to the building we stayed in during the big storm the week before we arrived. Luckily it didn't wreck the building!
There is hanging moss on absolutely everything,(see previous picture), even the power lines.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

At Home Quilt Show

 I was taking pictures of the stuff in our house the other day for an insurance review and snapped all these pictures of some of my quilts that I have up on the wall for display right now. They've all been up there for a while, so it might be time to switch some around. This first one is Variegated Exit/Entrance, made is made with my dyed and discharged fabrics.
 Gray Street, which is a whole cloth quilt, one piece of potato starch discharge, quilted with the lyrics to the song of the same name.
 Senses of Flowers, collage quilt.
 Seeing Red 3, one of a series of bullseye block swap quilts I did with friends Jaye and Adrienne.
 As Above, So Below,  made of all plaid wovens.
J & J Bullseye, the first in a series of bullseye block swaps I did with friend Jaye, here's the one she made. I really like the setting I came up with this one.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Product Review - Magic Pins

I received these 1 3/4" Taylor-Seville Magic Pins in the mail from MassDrop right before the CQFA retreat so I brought them along to try them out. Turned out I really needed them as my traveling pincushion had hardly any pins in it? (Why? Where? Did? They? Go?) The sweatshirt jacket I was working on requires a ton of pins to get all the squares and rectangles situated and stable enough to work with on the machine.

Well...are they "Magic" or not? I confess, I'm like a lot of consumers, I'll give something a try if there's a magic thrown in the product name. Sad but true, at least I'm conscious of that bias, right?

These are very well-made pins, the "comfort grip handles" are actually quite nice and easy to grab, a little squishy to the touch so they don't hurt your fingers if you pinch too hard. The metal of the pin itself seems just fine to me, not at all rough, and the tips were plenty sharp. The handles are actually heat resistant, but I wouldn't put the iron down on top of them and leave it or anything.

One of the best things was that they didn't leave a hole in the fabric behind as some pins will. I noticed this with the batiks I was working with on the sweatshirt jacket, batiks are very finely woven and tend to hold onto pinholes, but not with these pins, which was nice to see.

I didn't care too much for the case that came with them, but I likely won't be using that as they're now all stuck in my pincushion, It was hard to get open, so that's probably a good thing so they don't spill in your drawer or bag.

I'd recommend these if you're looking for a pin for lightweight sewing, piecing that sort of thing. Not for more heavy clothes-weight fabric or many layers. I had a couple pins bend on me as I used them on the sweatshirt jacket.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Sweatshirt Update

Update on the sweatshirt jacket I'm making for my aunt, the first layer of patches have all been stitched down in one direction. Next is a whole lot of stitching in the opposite direction, and then the second layer of patches.It's a lot of bobbin's worth of thread! But the hardest part of the work is done, and the sharpest part, it's virtually impossible to stitch one of these without getting pin-pricked. Never say I don't bleed for my art....

Friday, January 25, 2019

Goodbye Culcita

 I've enjoyed getting a Culcita box over the last couple years. There was always such a great selection of fabrics, ones that I wouldn't have normally purchased, but that all worked together.
And they were always packaged up so nicely, which doesn't really matter, but still made it a real treat to receive in the mail.  But they're stopping the subscription service and concentrating on the SewTites (which are very cool by the way!)

So now I'm on the lookout for another subscription box or something like it. Any recommendations?

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Fourteen Years Later

Fourteen years later, it seemed like the time to work on this round-robin project again. I dug it out and got it ready for the CQFA retreat. While I was there I added the final borders and pieced a back together. I had intended to baste it but the batting I brought was the wrong size.

So now I'm home and I have plenty of batting so no excuses, right?! I'm going to quilt it, it's just at the upper range of the size of quilts that I'm able to do, but I'm going for it.

It was wild going through all the fabrics I had gathered together for this quilt, they're allll "celestials" so they have suns moons stars, etc. You really don't see these much anymore.

I'm basting it today and then it's off to my machine get this baby quilted.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Wandering Wednesday - Asilomar

 The CQFA retreat was held at Asilomar this year, and I was thrilled to finally get to go and stay there. First of all, is that font awesome or what?

The main hall is a beautiful space. Hard to believe this is a State Park. 
 I'm glad the new "Edison-look" LED bulbs suit the classic lighting fixtures so well.
 The chairs were very comfortable places to sit and admire the ceiling as well as the view.

The kind of space you just want to hang out in. Very comfortable, and usable, even though it is grand and impressive. To me the very definition of a Julia Morgan designed public space.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

In-Process Triangles

 I worked on my triangle study quilt a bit at the CQFA retreat. Here's how it looked on the table right before I packed it up. The lumpy folds are the piece of fabric I'm using for background, ie it's not all pieced together yet.
I'm working on placing those last couple of triangle units and then squaring the whole thing up in the end.

Monday, January 21, 2019

My First Apron

 Last weekend I was at the CQFA retreat, and the very first thing I finished was this apron. I used the open tables before everyone got there to lay the fabric out and cut the pieces out.
 I just realized that I've never made an apron before, and I'm glad it was this one, and that it's actually for me.
I bought the pattern and fabric from Heartway International/Patpourri at PIQF last year.
I made sure that the pocket was the right size for my cellphone!
 The pattern was super easy to figure out, the directions were clear, and I loved that it wasn't a paper pattern, but instead a lightweight interfacing.

 I used a two-sided printed fabric with the idea that it could possibly be reversible. It is a very lightweight canvas feel, so it has a nice weight to it, and I think it'll stand up to being washed. As you can see it is quite bright, one will be running into me in the kitchen with this thing on.
Apparently I was so pleased with myself for actually finishing something I couldn't manage to keep my eyes open. Photo credits to friend Jaye.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Steamfast Review

I put the Steamfast mini-iron on my amazon wishlist when I hurt my elbow in the fall (gardening injury, the wisteria won) because it was hurting to pick up and move my normal sized iron. Yes, I tried ironing left-handed, but it wasn't working for me. I thought an iron that was so small and light might be a good temporary fix and also would be good for classes and retreats. I saw this little guy getting demonstrated at one of the quilt shops we visited in Sisters, Oregon last summer and it seemed like it worked pretty well. So I was very pleased when it showed up in my pile of gifts this Christmas, thanks Jaye!

My review after one use. The filling cup is so very cute and so very tiny. I like how the cord wraps around the hand-hold. The iron gets very hot, very quickly, so be ready for it. And more importantly it gets very steamy, which is great. The feel of the iron in my hand is great, it's well-designed and easy to hold. It doesn't have the weight of a normal iron obviously, but I thought that it did a good job on the test seams I tried it out on. So...two thumbs up from me!

I'm bringing it with me to the CQFA retreat this weekend and will let you know if there's any change in my

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Wandering Wednesday - Palo Alto

Sitting at a stoplight in Palo Alto on the way to lunch with friend Jaye, I looked over at the park and spotted these amazing woven structures.
Inventive Groundskeepers using up fallen branches?
Mini tornados randomly creating artistic conglomerations of tree debris?

Public Art? Yes, of course, public art! It's an installation at the Palo Alto Art Center called Whiplash that's been there since 2016, by Patrick Dougherty.

In general I really love environmental art, but a lot of times it's created in remote places so we only get to see pictures or video of it. But here this piece is right on a public street so many more people get to experience and enjoy it. It really suits the space it's made for, utilizes the colors and shapes in the landscape but still looks otherworldly.

Apparently, I need to drive to Palo Alto more often. Next time I'm getting out of the car and walking around inside this very cool thing.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Undercover Maker Mat

Thanks to the urging of friend Jaye, I recently used this tutorial and made an Undercover Maker Mat.
 Here's an in-process shot, where the pocket border is ready to bind and stitch. I had a lot of fun making the selvedge pockets, there are so many interesting selvedges out there these days. I created some "found poetry" out of the words, kind of an inside-joke for myself.

The hand in this palmistry print really called to me when I saw it in the store. It was the fabric I used as my "focus fabric" believe it or not.
There's one other part to this pattern which is a small thread catcher/waste bin that attaches to the far right pocket. I'm not sure I'd like it, because of where my knee lift lever goes. But maybe I'll make it to keep on the table next to me.

I didn't take a picture of the reverse side, but it is the thistle print, with side ties made from the orange binding print. I really like having this on my machine in my studio and I'm looking forward to trying it out at a retreat or class.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Echo Block

To get ready to actually show up to a SBAMQG meeting, I decided to jump in and participate in the 'block of the every other month block' lottery. They post the color scheme and block instructions, so it was easy to figure out. There were several color combinations to choose from, I pulled these fabrics from my stash.
The Echo block is paper-pieced, designed by member Karen Foster.  I printed it out, and luckily remembered to measure it before preceding, and it was off by a lot. It turns out my printer settings were scaling or something, so I reprinted the actual size and it was all good. Always good to remember to check before sewing.

I used paper for sewing the first block and then remembered I had printable interfacing for paper-piecing applications, and the rest of the blocks were done on that. Much nicer to stitch on, not as slippery under the machine needle. I hadn't done any paper-piecing in quite a while, so I was glad it came back to me easily.

I ended up making six blocks, but unfortunately didn't win them, it was fun to see how they all looked on the design wall at the meeting. Everyone's were all so different but they looked great together.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Trying Triangles

 I rediscovered these pieced triangles that I'd begun an attempt at a Curated Quilts entry last year. The colors still really speak to me so I decided to play with them.

 I decided that I wanted to float them in some grey, and found a nice dark one to use.

I thought a lighter one wouldn't work as well with these intense colors.
Here's how it looks at the moment, there's still some triangles left to add in, and yes the plan is to square it up by the time I'm done.