Sunday, January 31, 2021

Cornucopia for January 2021

I've decided to try and do these cornucopia posts on a monthly basis this year. I'll collect links during the month that I find interesting or useful and then publish the post on the last day of that month. I'm even scheduling it, so it'll be a test for myself to see if I remember that I'm doing this, haha!


First up, from Selvedge Magazine - A collection of podcasts related to fiber (or fibre) arts, fashion and crafting in general. I haven't listened to all of these yet, but I'm working my way through them.


Just in case you're finding that your FitBit or other exercise tracker isn't encouraging enough, my DH and I are trying out Walk To Mordor because apparently we are even nerdier now than ever. Off to Mount Doom we go...


This article on embracing positivity in your daily art practice really struck me in the right place, seems like the right thing to center.


Visions Art Museum has been hosting great stuff for trying new things in lockdown, their Stir Crazy guides (well-named)  like this easy guide for dyeing with plants.


I didn't realize there was a Quilting Arts podcast, but here it is, and there's a crossover episode with a podcast from the Artist's Network called ArtBound.


I've always enjoyed Valerie Goodwin's map art quilts, and this is an excellent interview with her that has a lot of great examples of her work. That reminds me that I keep meaning to get her book on the subject, Art Quilt Maps.


I really enjoy receiving my Weekly Wake-up email from Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo, a Tibetan-Buddhist silk appliqué artist. The art work closeup in the email, plus the quote included are both always timely, inspiring and thought-provoking.


Chawne Kimber written up in the Washington Post!


A beautifully done online exhibit from the NorCal/Nevada SAQA, Stitching California is hosted through 2/14/21 via the Menlo Park Library. There's a playlist, there are coloring pages, it's a whole multi-media experience with an art quilt exhibit definitely worth your time.


This was super interesting, a visual history of handbags.


This article on the history of the usage and invention of dyes and their impact on water pollution n the UK was fascinating. I had no idea that the discovery of mauve had so changed the world!


The history of PIXAR as told in all their film's color scripts, a new phrase to me, is a beautiful illustration of how important color choices can be.


Here's a fascinating look at an art quilter's process, Leslie Gabriëlse making of Ocean Life.


A fiber arts show to enter:

Fiber Arts X - Sebastapol Center for the Arts - Entry Deadline June 7th


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Saturday, January 30, 2021

Looking Forward to QuiltCon

 I'm really looking forward to virtually attending QuiltCon next month. I ordered the swag, because why not, and it's some really cute stuff: a zip up bag, a very capacious tote bag and an enamel pin. The supply lists are out and I'm checking to make sure I have the right stuff to learn Bias Tape, Boro Mending and EQ8 designs.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Flower Friday - Rainy Version

 It's been a very very rainy week, a whole wheelbarrow's worth! The people near the fire scarred area had to evacuate because of the worry of debris/mud flows. Thankfully that didn't happen here, although it did down in the fire scar area of Monterey county. This is a picture of the burned mountain across from us, and even though it's kinda ugly, I'm very very relieved that it's still there.

I try to take a picture of my rain gauge every time I empty it, and my total of 13" is unscientific but compares to the high-tech weather station sites some of my neighbors have on Wunderground.

I was outside late at night just as the clouds broke above and I got this picture from underneath our Angel's Trumpet.

Please ignore the aphids and admire how pretty this Hellebore is when it's in bloom.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

New Quilting Design Book


I’d forgotten that I had preordered Christa Watson’s new book, 99 Machine-Quilting Designs and there it was waiting for me in my PO Box! A nice surprise for sure. And look she sent along a free pattern and a cute pin that says: I ♥️Quilting. The book is great, very clear illustrations and great ideas. Even though I've been free motion quilting for a long time now, it's still good to look at new examples and ways of coming up with quilt designs. I'm going to attempt to implement some of this when I machine quilt my Lone Round Robin quilt. Will I use 99 designs in one quilt? Probably not, but maybe I'll use 10 out of 99, one for each round? 

This pattern, Terrace Tiles is FQ friendly which sounds good to me. It's a simple yet really interesting design.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Wandering Wednesday - Filoli Gardens Again

As I sit here, soaking in the 4.5" of rain we had overnight, and the dark rain clouds are opening up again, the summit is covered in snow, it's nice to remember the very hot summer of last year. Returning to my pictures of the visit to Filoli Gardens that friend Jaye and I made on a day when it was 110F.  
This first picture is of the glorious Black-Eyed Susan's that were fully open and soaking up the sun.
There was an exhibit of looped wire sculptures, 'Rich Soil' by Kristine Mays installed in various places in the garden. They were haunting and thought-provoking contrasts to the colors and textures in the garden.
One of the many many gates leading from one garden 'room' to another.
The line-up of cypress hedges reminded me of Italy.
The working garden was fascinating, especially juxtaposed against the formal gardens through that archway.
A view from the top of the garden down the Allée of cypress.
Shade was hard to come by in the garden that day. 
The espalier on a wire fence of these fruit trees made a natural fence between the rest of the garden and the cypress allée.
Eucomis or Pineapple lily, this is a plant I want to try growing in my own garden. I love when gardens have informative signs like this. I bet they get asked about this one a lot, it's striking.
Love these seed heads, so soft and fluffy.
Naked Ladies! At Filoli, gasp! This is a different color than mine are though, much more of a red pink.
Hey, there's friend Jaye with her sun parasol.

 This garden was visibly suffering in the extended heat wave, just like we were.
Still so many more pictures left, I'll share them on some other rain day.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Lone Round Robin Quilt Top Complete


Time for the final round of the Lone Round Robin. The prompt for this tenth round was to use a batik. This slightly wonky polka dot which I used earlier seemed like a good way to finish up and frame this piece. But I needed to get that orange central fabric in there somehow. Small slices of it of different widths interspersed with the black white batik seemed like a good way to go.

I assembled it very randomly, making four segments to use on either ends of the vertical borders.
I went with squares of the orange fabric as the corners. I was considering making them rectangles instead, to match the central rectangle, but thought that would look a bit strange. I'm happy with most of my choices on this. I really like how this ended up and am thinking up ways to quilt it. This is small enough for me to do myself on my new machine. I think for binding I'll use that black print from the first, fifth, and ninth rounds, interspersed with bits of the orange, maybe at every fabric join, or even more often.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Lone Round Robin #9

 Got this ninth round finished and photographed right before the power went out **Again**.  Sigh. It went back on at 3AM, and today it is very very windy. So who knows, and we have up to 12" of rain predicted for this week. I may or may not be sewing or blogging, we shall see. I like how this round finished up. Now on to the 10th and final round.

I took pictures of each of the four corners.
I didn't strictly stick to my rule of the center starting orange fabric touching somehow into the next round, but it's close enough visually for me.

I like how each corner holds up on its own pretty well as a design.

The last round is "use a batik" and the black/white fabric I already used in round 6 is a batik, huzzah! And I have just barely enough of it, huzzah again! The on

Sunday, January 24, 2021

First Fabric Foray of 2021

As part of the birthday celebrations for friend Jaye, we met up at Modern Handmade. This was the picture I took in the shop as I was piling up bolts for cutting. A couple of these were 50% off which was cool.

 And I added a few FQ's too, as well as giant orange/white zipper, and the new Chrome Schmetz quilting needles that are all the rage. I had wanted to try some, and Modern Handmade had them. Hopefully I'll remember the next time I'm quilting something (like the Lone RR perhaps?!)

I just washed all of this new fabric, and had a major mishap with the red 😞 but more on that later.

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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Lone Round Robin - Ninth in Progress

 The ninth round of the Lone Round Robin is still in progress. I've made a start on the corners that flank the four quotations. This was mostly done during the power outage, so the lighting is a little off. 

I used my new Oliso mini iron while we were on generator power which worked perfectly. It didn't overload or overtax our generator, and I could still have the sewing machine plugged in too. This was my first time using the new iron and I was surprised at how effective it was. Some of the other minis don't get as hot, and without the weight of a larger iron they just don't work as well. But this one does, and for such a small iron, it makes a whole lot of steam, I like it! 

I didn't want to try ironing on my glass topped worktable, so I put my Steady Betty pressing surface on a chair next to my machine and plugged in the mini iron and I was ready to go. So far I'm very happy with the performance of the Steady Betty (plus I love the product name), but if and when it wears out, I think I'll try one of those new wool pressing mats that are all over these days.

I used the scentless Flatter spray by Soak on the mini blocks that I pieced with all the leftovers from previous rounds of this quilt top. I wish I could use the other scents that they have which smell very wonderful, but sometimes I have weird reactions to scented things. I think that Flatter really works well, I'd say just as well as Best Press. Both of them are non-starch options for flattening your quilt blocks.

I think I have one more corner left to go on this ninth round, and then on to the final round for this piece.

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Friday, January 22, 2021

Mini Maker Case Part 2


Okay, back to the Mini Maker Case saga. I got excited the next day and sewed everything together, and didn't pay enough attention to the bottom vs. the top. Oops. Also, why is it so much bigger than the one friend Jaye made me?

Honestly, I liked how this looked, and even tried it out with my mini iron, but it just wasn't as functional to hold the iron securely. This was when the power went out, so I took my seam ripper and the sewn  together incorrectly case outside on the deck to use the sunlight and not rip up the fabrics taking out all the stitches.

Now that it was sewn together the right way, I trimmed the raw edges. Always a **gulp** situation, but I took it slow and it worked out. I'm really glad that I hadn't done this step before I noticed the wrong-way sewing.
All turned right-side out, and it looks so nice!
Here's the back view. 

And tah-dah, all done! And by generator powered sewing machine and battery-powered light.

It's pretty snazzy looking.
And here's the surprise red bias binding on the inside! Finished hand stitching it while crying over the powerful, poem written and performed by our very first Youth Poet Laureate ever, Amanda Gorman. 
I only listened to it on the radio first, because my cell service was wonky because of the power outage and it still moved me to tears.  I saw a few clips later and looked up the whole performance. Yes, tears again. Her visceral acknowledgment of the pain and terror of the last few weeks, all wrapped up with a young person's perspective on hope and belief in our country is such a gift to all of us.

Watch it here if you missed it, really something to see and not just hear. 

I just pre-ordered her new book of poems, The Hill We Climb, and would you look at that, it's the #1 best seller! 

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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Mini Maker Case Part 1

 Our power's back on, hooray! So here's a longer post explaining yesterday's short one, now that that the gift has been given and I have internet available.

All the pieces, all the parts, all laid out and ready to go to make a Mini Maker Case for friend Jaye
I labeled every single thing as I cut it out so I wouldn't mix the pieces up, because there are a whole lot of them! And yes, that's The Meg over to the right, she's on her bed on the other side of my worktable so I don't run over her with my roll-y chair.
I bought friend Jaye an Oliso mini project iron for her birthday and I wanted to make her a case to carry it to a class at some point in the hopefully near future. Call it an aspirational gift I guess. Of course she very thoughtfully did the same for me for Christmas, it's really nice to be on the same wavelength.
Cutting the rectangles of Timtex into rounded corners with the provided templates. I added some fusible to this so that it wouldn't shift around or bunch up when I started sewing.

I had bought a grey zipper to go with these fabrics, but unfortunately it wasn't wide enough for the pattern requirements. I left myself a note so that I wouldn't just use the grey one when I started sewing the next day. Luckily I had a turquoise one in my stash that was the right size. It's a vintage one, but is in perfect shape.

Hey, not so bad looking of a zipper insert.
I really really like how the lid and handle turned out.
I'll leave it there for now and finish up with showing the rest of the process tomorrow.

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