Friday, May 31, 2019

ICAD Again

It's that time again, ICAD (Index Card A Day) and I'm going for it this year, making some art every day on an index card starting on June 1st. I had so much fun doing it in 2017, so I'm excited to try it again this year. I hope you'll give it a try also!

I haven't come up with a theme, and last time I got away from mine.

Here's a video I made of all 61 cards that I made in 2017:

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Social Justice Stitching

I was lucky enough to receive another block to stitch on from the Social Justice Sewing Academy. After hearing their fabulous and very moving presentation at the SAQA conference last month, I was inspired to try doing it once again. This time I asked for just one block at a time, so hopefully I can get it done in a more timely manner. This one is going to take a lot of stitching. All those edges of all those letters. But it's about a subject that couldn't be bigger or more important right now.

As I started in on stitching, I've been listening to a lot of podcasts and news reports about this topic and have found them very enlightening. Reports on NPR,  CNN, The Atlantic, a new podcast called White Lies,  It's so far outside my personal experience, it almost seems like it's happening on another world, but it's not. It's something my fellow humans are experiencing every day, so as a person with a whole lot of unearned privilege, I need to know about it, and support people and organizations that are working to change it for the better. Over the course of my (white person's) life, I've seen a lot of change happen in American society, and even I can tell, it hasn't been nearly enough yet. Some things have gotten better, but a whole lot still remains to be worked on and changed. I believe that the more we learn and listen about both history and current events, the better our common future is going to be.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Wandering Wednesday - Maui Sunset

 All of these pictures are from our trip to Maui a couple of years ago. All from just one sunset.
 A vivid reminder that "working in a series" is probably a good idea to try at some point.

 Also a reminder that vertical vs. horizontal in image design and presentation is more important than we may want to admit.
 A reminder that changing your color palette is probably a good idea too.
 I think if I lived in Hawaii, I'd never get much done around sunset time.
 “Never waste any amount of time doing anything important when there is a sunset outside that you should be sitting under!” 
― C. JoyBell C.
 “There's a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they're absolutely free. Don't miss so many of them.” 
― Jo Walton
  • “Her heart was made of liquid sunsets.” – Virginia Woolf

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Adding to the To-Do

Some recent additions, a few fabrics with maps, ye-olde writing, book-keeping and then a Jennifer Paganelli citrine floral for a summer top.  I haven't decided on which pattern to use with it yet, probably will go with my first try at the Ethel top .

Also there in the picture is a new tool, I'm finally trying out a Chaco Liner for marking the lines for the last color on the Triangle Study. Since I'm drawing the lines on the pieced top, the chalk pencil lead keeps breaking when I go over the bumps of the seams. This is a chalk dust dispenser, so hopefully it'll work a bit better. I considered a really fine-tip chalk mechanical pencil from Sewline but that seemed like the wrong solution. That looks like it'd be awesome for drawing sewing lines on un-pieced fabric.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Triangle Study Stitching

 I started stitching on the Triangle Study this week. My plan is to stitch the each edge of each triangle with a matching color and extend those lines all the way off the edges of the quilt. It's gonna be a net!
I actually marked my quilting lines with chalk (I never do this!) because I wanted them as straight as I can get them. I also used my walking foot, which I now like quite a lot. The good ol' Steady Betty hand wraps work great even for straight line quilting.

The first lines I did were the red-orange color.

Each day I stitched a different color thread. 

It's looking more and more net-ish as planned.

 I have just one thread color left to go, and I love how the net effect is happening so far.

It's so complicated and reminds me of a map or criss-crossing power lines.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Product Review: Martelli Roundabout - Update

 As I posted a few weeks ago in my initial product review, the Martelli Roundabout is pretty darn handy when you're making quilt blocks. But after using it for a bit, I have to say I'm getting concerned about the knicks and cuts in the surface.
Here's a closer picture. I'm using the Martelli rotary cutter and Martelli blades, and this does not look self-healing at all. Granted it's made of different material than the Olfa mat surface that I'm used to, but this doesn't seem very sustainable for long-term use. I think I'll contact them and find out if this is normal wear and tear or if I'm supposed to be doing something different.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Wandering Wednesday - Quail Hollow Ranch

 Some pictures from Quail Hollow Ranch, a local county park taken in May last year.


 The drape-y form of the oak tree branches always make my heart swoon.

 More wildflowers.
 And more.

Not sure why or when this tree split off, but it's interesting looking now.

Edit to add: Yes, it's Tuesday, I published this on the wrong day, whoops!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Consolation Shopping

What do you do after a doctor's appointment where you see the evidence of why both of your knees hurt and are so very noisy? (Oh hello there arthritis)
Well you drive yourself down the block to the LQS to drown your sorrows in all the glorious colors and patterns of course.
And proceed to eavesdrop as a random passerby (a man of course) quizzes the quilt shop's long-arm quilter. She patiently explained that yes, it's all automatic, that is once you get the quilt sandwich set up on the machine, but first someone had to make the top and the back of the quilt, and then there are thousands of patterns to choose from, and they have to be resized and placed just so and then the thread has to be chosen and so it's not really so very automatic at all now is it.

Sunday, May 19, 2019


It rained.
In the middle of May.
This broke all the records.
Not a thing that normally happens.
Two whole inches just overnight.
Hail and more rain the next day too.
Wind so hard the sun umbrella got tossed off the deck down into the garden.
It smashed into the pomegranate, rhubarb and iris.
All the roses and irises were blooming.
Now that's all mush.
Everything is leafed-out and bending with the weight of the unexpected rain.
What is this going to mean for the fire season?
Now we'll have to do all the weed-whacking Again.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Triangle Study Squared

I've actually been working on one of the projects on my Q2 FAL list, getting the Triangle Study finished up. Here's the final shape of it, now it is all pin-basted and ready to quilt. (I even made the hanging sleeve since I had the backing fabric out, so why not?) I'm thinking of quilting lines that criss-cross and end up in triangles, haven't decided on thread color yet. 
 This was how it looked before it got really square.
 Some pictures to show this project's progress.

Friday, May 17, 2019

More BOTEOM Piecing

And lo there were many more strips cut for the BOTEOM, and thus there were more blocks made...definitely got myself into one of those "if you give a mouse a cookie" type of situations. 

I couldn't stop once I started with these, because hey all the fabric is already cut so why not, right? 
So now I have these big pieced triangles. 

Not sure where I go from here, but there are still more scraps and pieced together bits that may be made into other shapes and sizes and then I'll fit it all into one piece. Or it'll all end up in a project box for "another" time" to figure out how it all goes together. 

(Sssh...don't tell anyone but, ometimes I think I'm making a room full of jigsaw puzzles for the future. Hopefully someone will know how to sew things together.)

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Wandering Wednesday - Camp Joy

 It's only three minutes away, but it feels like another world, Camp Joy Gardens. We came for the annual plant sale to get our tomatoes, peppers, etc. but took the time to walk around too.
 The beehives were abuzz, you can see some of them in flight here.
 It's been a gloriously productive rose season for us, but wow wow wow x10 at Camp Joy.
 Single petal roses are beautiful aren't they?
 The grapes are just getting going. (I love the shadows and the veins on the leaf)
I've taken this very picture, I know I know, but it's just breathtaking in person. The smell, the sound of the bees, the light through the green leaves, the shape of the arbor - perfect.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Can't Resist the Rainbow

 Suckered in by a rainbow once again. This time it was for a pack of Heather Bailey wool blends.
At some point, I'll do a wool hand work project, maybe like this Sue Spargo one.

Monday, May 13, 2019

The Recipe for Mother's Day

 My mother gave me a gift on Mother's Day, of course, that's how mothers are right? She had recently had lunch with a friend and they served a Chinese Chicken Salad that she really enjoyed, so she made it for us when we came over to visit. This is a cellphone photo of a copy of a hand-written recipe by her friend's mother. The mother-chain of recipes so to speak, right?

Turns out the trick to making it taste really good is to replace the Top Ramen noodles we've all been using all these years for that crunch for these Japanese flavored (maybe roasted) noodles. They're smaller and much more flavorful, and still add that great crunch. She's lucky enough to have a Japanese grocery store nearby where they cary them, or you can of course find them on amazon here.

I hope that you had a good Mother's Day if you're a mother, or are lucky enough to have one in your life to celebrate with.