Thursday, April 25, 2019

Color Schemes

 Some new fabrics for the block of the every other month for the SBAMQG. This picture doesn't show the colors very well, but they're supposed to be in a color palette called Emerald City. Now to actually sew some of these improv blocks before the next meeting!
 I added a few more when I stopped in at the new Santa Cruz Vac & Sew, a lot has changed already, there was tons of new stuff that they are adding to the stock, so I'm sure it'll be very different the next time I get a chance to go.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Wandering Wednesday: On the Road

 About 45 miles away from Vegas, we were surprised to see the brightest thing (besides the sun) off the highway. It's the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility, a concentrated solar thermal plant, It uses mirrors to reflect and concentrate the solar energy onto water boilers. It was just shockingly bright, it made me glad it isn't on during the night (haha).
 Looking back on the installation with the sun in the picture.
 We stopped at an overlook so we could see Lake Mead. The water almost looks almost like a mirage among all the desert and mountains.

 It was very colorful driving through the desert at this time of year, all of a sudden an entire hillside would be Very Yellow.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Product Review: Binding Baby

 I was happy to have the chance to try out a new tool, a Binding Baby when I was recently finishing my "What's Your Twenty?" quilt. It worked out very well, and made stitching on the binding much easier. This one is the large size, so it accommodates binding up to 4" wide.
 After rolling the binding on, I stuck it up on the peg for bobbin winding. It didn't exactly fit in a flat manner, but it stayed on while it was in use, so that was just fine with me. It would have also fit back on the thread spool holder too, but I thought it'd be better to have it away from the thread guide.

The Binding Baby is very smooth to the touch, so nothing will snag, which is good to know if you  use this for lace or other trims.
Here it is in action, the binding is right in the right spot for easily sewing on. It's in control, not under my chair wheel or under the quilt getting stitched on or whatever.

So, yes, they are Very Very Cute, which was honestly the reason I didn't buy one when I first saw them at QuiltCon. Things can sometimes be too cute for me, not sure why. Luckily for me, friend Jaye saw how handy they were and gifted me one.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Colorful Month

Sometimes I look at what I've posted on Instagram lately, and I'm struck by color palettes from these sort of random groupings of my photographs.

It reminded me of Palette Builder, which I hadn't played with in a while.
 The first color picks were pretty dull compared to the vibrancy of the photos, but it's probably calculating over the percentage of the images that are certain colors, instead of just the bright parts that jump out. A good reminder of color usage in quilts, huh?
Now that's a bit more to my liking, I think these colors together would make a very pretty and lively quilt.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

First Q2 Finish

Well what do you know? I surprised myself and finished off one of the quilt projects on my Finish-a-Long Q2 list.

The False Flag Sorbet quilt has been done for ages (mumble mumble three years), it just needed a sleeve and a label to really be considered finished. And now those two things are done and I can hang this baby up. As you can see I used the cheater flying geese fabric to make the sleeve, as I thought that might look cool. I think I almost like the back as much as the front now.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

What's Your Twenty?

I completed a new quilt! I know, I know, don't faint from the surprise.  I had a it got done.

Stretching Art and Tradition - Twenty. This is going to be the twentieth exhibit, and I just had to participate again. It usually gets shown at three of the east coast Mancuso shows, so be on the look out for it.

 Here's the beginnings of it, the twenty fabrics sewn together.
 And cropped down to the right size.
 Whoops, I forgot one of the fabrics! So there it is laid on top.
 Here's how the turtle looks with parts of the background cut out, it was way too light with all the shell parts still in there. I like how it looks with the velvet checkerboard behind him.
 What's with the turtle you're probably wondering. Well this quilt was made for the 20th exhibit of S.A.T. and I immediately thought of "what's your twenty?" the question you ask on the CB radio when you want to know where the person you're speaking with actually is. My CB "handle" back in the day was "The Velvet Turtle" taken from the name of the fancy restaurant chain. That chain is now unfortunately defunct, so I snagged their logo and printed it out on fabric. I was terribly impressed with their chocolate mousse as I recall and thought it made a funny handle to use. The spoke of twenty fabrics that make up the background of the quilt represent places that I've been in the last twenty years. Hawaii is obvious, China, Japan also, the rest make sense to me.
 All done!
 A closeup of the center of the quilt.
And two of my favorite fabrics.
Please note that it is 4/20, and I'm posting this quilt all about 20 today. Funny how that works out huh?

Friday, April 19, 2019

Home Plate Workshop

 I was lucky enough to get to take a class last Saturday from Pam Rocco. She's a member of the South Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild and designed this template block which she calls Home Plate. Because one of the shapes looks just like the shape of a baseball base plate.  She brought many examples of completed quilts so we could see how versatile the block is when combined in different ways.

This first one I did the most simple version, only two fabrics, and in the 10" size. Pam included 10", 20" and 40" templates along with a well-written and illustrated pattern.

I had enough time to try a second one so I decided to go for another 10" block, but this time with three fabrics. But before I sewed it together in the same way as the first one I did, I played around with the block pieces.
 Pam was a great teacher, very well organized and prepared which is much appreciated. She has a great way of explaining things which was helpful since I'd never done a template block before. She made it easy and had a great attitude about students experimenting or changing things up.

 Here's the finished version all sewn together. I really like how it turned out.
One of the other class members was telling us about using an app to play with quilt blocks, it's the one that Instagram suggests when you want to make mosaic or collages of your photos, "Layout". This is such a great idea, and very easy to use.
Here's how the one block looks when done in a 3 x 3 layout. You can get an idea of secondary patterns that emerge really easily just by using one photo of a block.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Product Review: Shark Applicutter

 I finally had a chance to try out the Shark Applicutter on some fusible appliqué. I bought this at QuiltCon last year, pretty much on a whim because it was sort of cute and honestly I liked the colors.

This is a 14mm rotary blade on a well-designed (and as mentioned, cute) handle. The tool feels very good in my hand, the teal colored grip area is a little squishy, has just a little give and is a good size to grab onto. ie not too small for man-sized hands. I found that the shark fins worked really well to stabilize my fingers too. The fin made me feel safe that I wasn't going to push my finger down onto the blade which was honestly, my initial concern.
 I tried using it in both directions, and one definitely works better to see where you're going. I thought I'd try an exact-o blade just to compare, and this tool was so much more controllable and accurate, especially for the curvy bits.
The cap that comes with it is pretty secure and has stayed on while it's been jostling around in my rotary cutter/scissor drawer for months. Definitely a good thing because this thing is of course, very sharp!
As I was using it, I was wondering if they sold replacement blades, and yes, good news they do.

Too thumbs up on this tool, if you do appliqué, especially with curves, you will love this thing. And if you like sharks, then it's a no-brainer.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Wandering Wednesday - San Diego

 Last month we spent a week in San Diego, DH had a work conference. The view out our window was of PetCo park, which was lovely at the golden hour.

We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel, which was fun, and kind of hilarious too for a professional, tech conference. There was so much booze in the room, like full-size bottles, not just the mini-bar size. And you could check out electric guitars and amps at the front desk?!? No I didn't do that, but I could have.

But I did notice the bed linens, look at that nice subtle guitar design.

The hotel is right at the beginning of the gaslamp district.
I spent a lot of time hanging out on the rooftop bar area in the mornings sketching and listening to podcasts, it was very nice out there. And quiet since the bar wasn't open. Note to self, track down this plant for my garden, such a cool color and shape.
There was a Very Shiny Tesla parked on the street. All chromed, can you imagine being behind this  vehicle on a sunny day?
There was a lot of construction, but most of it unfortunately new buildings of condos, this was a rehab of a historic building, you could peek in and see the way older buildings were constructed. So different than all the concrete and rebar of today.
 One of the signs in the Hard Rock, these were the names of the meeting rooms, hah! Which one would you choose?
 I got a nice haircut while I was there so I was pretty pleased with myself.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Good Advice

Some very good advice from my niece's birthday party t-shirt painting craft activity.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Tree-Texture and Form

 This texture was hard to resist.
 Yes, I did hug this one. I couldn't resist, I tried.

 There's something about trees in early spring, you can see their shape so much easier.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Spring Flowers

Happy to report that alllllll that rain has brought a lot of spring flowers to my garden.