Thursday, June 27, 2019

Triangle Study Completed

 Another finish for this second quarter's FAL. Triangle Study is done. I like how different it looks after being squared-up and faced. I'll confess I had a hard time deciding which way was "up" which made me hesitate to sew on the hanging sleeve. Nothing permanent, just some hand stitching to switch it if I change my mind.
 I'm very pleased with how using my quilting plan to use  the colors of the triangles as the thread colors worked out.

The colors all look good against this fairly dark grey.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Rounding the Corner

 Almost there with the Triangle Study, I got the facings hand-stitched down yesterday. Now all that's left is to hand sew on the hanging sleeve and the label.
I think the corners turned out pretty well this time.

Friday, June 21, 2019

ICAD - Second Ten

Here's the second group of ten of my ICAD efforts.
 Pen, watercolor pencil, collage
 Pen and watercolor pencil
Graphite pencil and colored pencil
 Pen, colored pencil, watercolor pencil, collage
 Collage, watercolor pencil, graphite pencil
 Nametag from Improvisational Quilting class, colored pen inspired by quilting stitches, collage of dark acetate, graphite pencil.
 Collage, colored pen, watercolor pencil, colored pencils.
 Collage, colored pencils, water color pencil, glue, pen, graphite pencil.
 Graphite pencil, watercolor pencils,
Collage, water color pencils, colored pencils

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Summer Reads

Yesterday, I was approaching the end of yet another terrific book by Barbara Kingsolver, "Unsheltered" when this quote used in the story brought me to tears:

"I was something that lay under the sun and felt it, like the pumpkins, and I did not want to be anything more. I was entirely happy. Perhaps we feel like that when we die and become a part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep." ~ From "My Antonia" by Willa Cather

Something tells me that I need to re-read  "My √Āntonia" as it has been quite a while...
And what do you know, last year was the centennial of the book being published. Maybe I'll read all three of the trilogy, O Pioneers and Song of the Lark.

This is probably my favorite quote from Cather:

"There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before."

I'm reading a whole lot of books right now, several trips to the library, and all of a sudden I have a stack to get through:

Looking at my goodreads "currently reading" list, I haven't been checking off all the ones I've read. Time for some housekeeping I think. I've been on goodreads for 12 years now, it's been a great tool for keeping track of my reading habits.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Wandering Wednesday - Inchmahome Priory

 I was thinking about fonts that I'd seen in stone the other day, and it got me thinking about some that I'd noticed when we were in Scotland a few years ago. These pictures are all from a little island in the Lake of Menteith (the only Lake as opposed to Loch in Scotland) called Inchmahome Priory. It was one of my favorite things we did on that trip, it was just lovely out there, quiet, warm and beautiful.
 Is that not the most beautiful G you've ever seen, that perfect curve, and done in stone no less!

 I wish I could read this, but I enjoyed the almost kawaii level of cute skull and crossbones.
Some of the grave slabs had celtic knots.

This one was really striking and clear.

 This face is rather haunting too, isn't it?
It's all a ruin now, but it's somehow gorgeous in its ruin. I'm glad that Scotland keeps it open for tourists to get the chance to visit.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Century of Women's Progress

One of the most recent calls for quilts I thought was interesting and worth pursuing is the: Century of Women's Progress Quilt Challenge. The deadline is next year in January, so you (and I!) have plenty time to participate. About half of the quilts accepted will be displayed at the EBHQ show in the Bay Area in March 2020.

I'm not sure what subject I'll pursue, they have a great resource page with all sorts of thought-provoking book, website and video suggestions

Monday, June 17, 2019

Rhubarb Day

Got to harvest my rhubarb crop yesterday. All in honor's of Father's Day.
 I didn't realize until I took this picture how pink one of our cutting boards really is, wow.

Here's the Father's Day connection, I made this recipe, for Rhubarb-Almond Coffee Cake (no coffee involved, just the type of cake). Oh boy was it ever good. I used more sliced almonds than called for, and sprinkled cinnamon sugar on top. 

The two fathers involved loved it, (my dad and DH) and since I cooked it in pie plates instead of cake pans, they were almost fooled into believing it was a pie. A long going argument in our family, I will always choose cake over pie, and thus that's what I like to make. Everyone else is the reverse case, but I almost fooled them this time.
So the leaves to the rhubarb are amazing and huge. I had to take a picture of them.
 Surely there must be something you can do with them, (don't eat them, very poisonous). According to this, you can polish stainless steel pots, and make a natural pesticide.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Actual Hand Quilting

I was lucky enough to get to take a class with Chawne Kimber with SBAMQG. It was called "Improvisational Hand Quilting". What a great teacher (she's a math professor so she knows how to teach!) she is, I'd say jump at the chance if you see her teaching near you.

Even though I've been quilting for a long time, I have never taken a hand quilting class. And I really don't like doing much handwork. But after learning what she taught us, I can see why people really enjoy hand quilting so much. I found it to be very soothing and still creative.

And it wasn't as hard on my hands as I'd expected because I wasn't all tense using a hoop. Something about the fabric being stretched on a hoop, that tautness that you want, especially for embroidery, always makes my hands cramp up. It's almost like they're trying to be *as tense* as the hooped fabric. But Chawne doesn't use a hoop in her hand quilting, and I found that I liked that very much. It made it a more accessible and relaxed process to me.

 Maybe it doesn't end up quite as perfect doing it this way, but it certainly has character and shows "the hand of the artist". In my opinion, that's kind of the point if you're doing alllll that handwork! I liked trying following some marked designs, like the circles, and then also free-handing the swoopy shape above.

I feel pretty good about how this is looking, even on the back.

Practice practice practice.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Stitching Decisions

 I've made some progress on the SJSA block. Not that I look at the picture, I'm wishing I had used another color. I may go back and add another color on the inside of the X stitches just to delineate the white shirt shape from the off-white background a bit more.
This block arrived with some paper bits attached to some of the excess glue. Debating on removing them or not. Right now I'm leaning towards removing them because I'm pretty sure they weren't part of the overall design and intention.  Although, having the white paper happening to be on the word white, especially superimposed over the person of color's face could be a lucky coincidence or maybe intentional. Hard to tell, I haven't decided yet, once I start in on stitching the edges of the letters I'll make the decision.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Wandering Wednesday: Henry Cowell Again

 It's time to visit Henry Cowell again, this time for a summertime stroll. My husband Marc at the these trees are really really really old display.
 We had the dogs with us so we went on the riverside walk. This entire tree was covered in some mossy growth, all the branches were Muppet-furry.
 Bella the grand-dog ruling the trail.
 The old train trestle. My husband's comment on seeing the crack was "that's so climbable" as a former rock climber he still has the eye.
 The San Lorenzo River still has quite a bit of water thanks to all the late rains.
 Train trestle bridge, very quiet when the train isn't overhead.
 Our daughter, Zoe checking to see if the burned redwood comes off on your finger. Nope.

 Our daughter Zoe, her partner Bree, and our son, Alex. We were really glad Zoe and Bree came to visit so we got out and had a walk in the park.
 I know I've taken a zillion versions of this picture over the years, but looking up at the sun in the redwoods always gets to me.
 Lawn replacement idea: sorrel.
 This might have to become a quilt.
 Bree was having fun using our camera, it was fun to look at her pictures afterwards. It's always neat to see how different people frame the same views, etc.

And an actual picture of me, fitting into my favorite tree. Picture credit to Bree.