Sunday, May 31, 2020

Modern Mail Box

Very very excited with the most recent Modern Quilter's Box from my LQS,  Modern Handmade.
The fabrics are luscious colors from the Hindsight collection from Anna Maria Horner. I really love the Echinacea Glow fabrics in three colorways.
Several patterns included, two for quilts that are good for big prints like these fabrics, and one bag pattern that looks rather handy.
The tool this month is a very substantial pair of tweezers, good for picking out paper bits from paper piecing, I love the glowing green.
A roll of mints and a Stash tea flavor I haven't tried before, Jasmine.
Last but not least, the cutest sticker reminding us to "Look on the bright side"
What a great box full!

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Safe at Home Choose Your Center Adventure

As I've been working on this first row of blocks for the Safe At Home quilt, my keeps getting stuck on that very very light grey center square. It was too much contrast and to my eye detracts from the overall form of the block.
Now that I'm closer to final assembly on these blocks, it was finally time 
"to make visual decisions visually"!
 This is almost right, but too much texture.

 As much as I love this fabric, it's all wrong for these centers, too strong of a pattern design, and the shade is much too dark.

 I almost went with this one, but decided the print was too much texture.

I wanted it to be this one because I love this print so much, but it was still too pale.
Yes! This almost-a-solid was the perfect combination of very slight texture and the right subtle shades of grey.

 Here's how it looks in all the blocks so far. On the right is a column of the grey squares I tried out in this exercise. Maybe I'll be able to use them in the rest of the rows of this quilt, who knows? I haven't looked at the rest of the rows yet!

Friday, May 29, 2020

Flower Friday the Third

 Flower Friday for the third time, why not? There are plenty of flowers around this time of year. First up is the California native tree, California Buckeye. These flowers are lightly sweet smelling and look vaguely tropical to me.

 I planted this one because it looks so much like rosemary, but it's not, and now I've lost the tag for it. So don't ask me the name!
Here's the real Rosemary. The bees love this plant so much.
 Rabbit Ear Lavender (Spanish Lavender), the bees also love this one.
 Our Rangpur Lime is doing very well this year, and I love the scent of the blossoms. The limes are perfect in a good G&T when it is cocktail hour.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Creative Cornucopia

Time for a  Creative Cornucopia post I think!


Time to get ready for this year's ICAD, Index Card A Day for June & July. That's 61 chances to fill up an index card with whatever art you feel like doing that day. Here's the video I made last year of all of my cards:

If you want some creative prompts to utilize during this time, you might like this "creative care package" from Carla Sonheim.


Visions Art Museum has been sending out a Stir Crazy creative prompt every week, and some of them are pretty inspiring.


Linda Gass has posted two great behind the scenes videos describing her research and creative process for a current exhibit entitled "Someday There May Be No More Snow" about the change in the water content of the California snow pack. So fascinating to see both the thinking and creating processes for this beautiful piece.


Go put your headphones on and test your tone deafness. I had always guessed that I have close to perfect pitch, and what do you know I do.


The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles has a youtube channel with some really cool videos, especially this Textile Talk by Melissa Leventon entitled Fashion and Anti-Fashion: Reflections on Artwear.

This is a little old, but Go take this test, to discover your Creative Type.
Apparently I am "The Visionary"

Creative Strengths: Full of big ideas, ability to see potential and possibility everywhere
Untapped Potential: Using your visions to fuel consistent daily action
My Ideal Collaborator is: The Thinker

A new to me Radiohead song, "Ill Wind" was released early last year, the lyrics of which happen to be very prophetic for the current times we're living through:
Keep your distance 
Then no harm will come 
No ill wind will blow
Will blow

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Wandering Wednesday - Remembering Hong Kong

I've been thinking about Hong Kong a whole lot lately, because of the recent events taking place there.

China just decided to change the rules on keeping Hong Kong a separate thing. The whole One Country Two Systems thing that was implemented when the UK gave up their control in 1997 is suddenly over.

The Chinese had promised Hong Kong that they would be autonomous until 2047. And now suddenly they're just...not.

And the people are back in the streets protesting again (with their masks on) and who knows what will happen.

I'm worried for all of them and I have almost no hope that they will prevail.

It seems as there is no entity that can really tell China to cut it out.
 I wish they could all sit down and have a cup of milk tea and work it out.

 But that's not realistic of course.

 There's so much money at stake, it's almost hard to conceive of how much.

 As well as not wanting to be seen as losing, or being soft, China cannot give in now.
 This huge population is suddenly living in such uncertainty.
 I truly hope that something can stop this from proceeding.
I have a feeling that I'm now going to look back on these pictures of street scenes in Hong Kong as The Before.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Safe at Home A Bit of Progress

 A little more progress made on the Safe at Home row quilt. Still haven't decided on the center square color, I'm going to cut a grey print and try it out.
One question answered, yes I'm sewing the teeny tiny triangles together. These are left from trimming the Flying Geese. And look at that, my Add-a-Quarter ruler is standing up on its edge. I doubt I could do that on purpose if I wanted to.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Safe At Home Mini Steps

 A little at a time, I'm slowly stitching all the Flying Geese components to these blocks for the first row of the Safe At Home quilt. After drawing the diagonal stitching line, all matched up and ready to stitch the next round, this time it's purple/fuchsias plus orange/corals.Very vibrant and fun colors to work with.
 The tempting cutoff triangles-to stitch or not to stitch them together? They're in a little pile of their own until I decide.
Here's how the first round of flying geese, the background plus orange/corals. I am still deciding on the center square being that lighter grey. That part isn't assembled yet so I can still change my mind. There are five 12.5" blocks for this first row.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Safe at Home Into the Purple

 I finished the last of the cutting for the first row of the Safe At Home quilt, this time it was fuchsia and purples. Yum.

 That beautiful shiny new mat really shows off these colors.
 Sometimes the tangled scrap pile is even more beautiful to me.
Here's how the two of the shades of grey are looking on the design wall. Probably too much contrast, might have to rethink this part as I start sewing these blocks together.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Double the Fun

Well that explains it! I had two blades installed in my rotary cutter. It was cutting pretty okay, but a little strangely. I kind of noticed a few double cut lines, but not enough to make me stop and check e. I actually got out my new cutting mat and switched it out, because I thought that might part of the issue. But nope, it was two blades instead of one. 

This is a picture of what was between the two blades. And now, I have my new mat out too which is a good thing, they do wear out eventually. The self-healing gradually comes to an end.

When I went to change the blade, I found that the next two in the box were also really really stuck together tightly, so I can see why it happened.

I thought the debris itself was pretty cool looking so I stuck it on a card.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Flower Friday #2

 Another Friday full of flowers from my garden, for Flower Friday #2.
First up is a Rock Rose, this one has been re-blooming for more than five years now, but it always surprises me because I forget that it's there.
 Another rock rose, this one is relatively new in my garden, I planted it last year. If it can survive the heat, infrequent watering and the ravenous deer then it's a front-yard star for me.
Another front-yard winner is this Pacific Coast Iris, such a complicated beautiful flower.

 If I remember right this one is an azalea. It's doing pretty well in a big pot on our front deck.
 Kangaroo paws, so delightfully weird. I love those red hairs on the stem.
 Mini petunias that my son has growing.
 Another mini petunia.
 The deadly angel's trumpet is still blooming, I can smell it upstairs because it's almost up to the second story now.
 A common bearded iris with a daylily emerging in the background.
 This is what a pomegranate blossom looks like from below looking up. It looks so much like a hibiscus flower to me.

 The one Watsonia I have is finally blooming. It's in a corner of the garden I don't get to often, so I'm happy to have caught it in flower.

Santa Barbara Daisy is covering a lot of territory, it's in a shady spot in the backyard. I like how indestructible it usually is.