Sunday, February 28, 2021

February Cornucopia


Here's my February Cornucopia, which includes a wide array of links to things I found interesting or useful that I've collected over the 28 days.  It is scheduled to post on 2/28/21, so hopefully I'll remember!


Managing sashiko thread, a great tutorial from Red Thread Studio. I hate when my hanks of embroidery thread for sashiko get all tangled up the second I take it out of the packaging. This method is brilliant and I'm going to try it.


Reprint and Repurpose is a very cool idea, repurposing high-quality fabric found in thrift stores and printing it with hand-cut original stamps.


From Annhilation to Acceptance: A Writer's Surreal Journey, author Jeff VanderMeer's visceral description of writing his Southern Reach Trilogy. What a trip this story is, just like the amazing and surreal books.


For California gardeners, go check out Calscape, a website by California Native Plant Society, where you can put in your address or click on a map and get a helpful list of various types of native plants that will work in your own garden. I'm interested in planting a butterfly garden, and there's 258 likely and confirmed plants that will work as butterfly hosts.


One of the teachers I took a class from at QuiltCon Together, Latifah Saafir has a free quilt design up at Robert Kaufman. I think this would be a beautiful quilt with some of the Tula Pink fabrics that have large designs that you hate to cut up.


In a lecture about walking foot quilting that Jacquie Gering gave at QuiltCon Together she mentioned how she was learning the Quilt As You Go method and recommended the tutorials that Marianne Haak has on The Quilting Edge. Marianne has a great Instagram that's really worth following, she does truly amazing things with circles.


New Sewtites product, super adorable hearts from Tula Pink. This is such a great size for EPP  hexies.


Saturday, February 27, 2021

Card Time


Another birthday comes along, one of my nieces is turning 14!
So I made a tri-fold card for her on my Cricut.
Including the herpes of the craft world-glitter!

Friday, February 26, 2021

Orange 🍊 You Glad

I started in on quilting my Lone Round Robin, beginning with the orange 🍊 thread that is pretty darn matchy. I used that dumb phrase because I am curious to see if the orange emoji will work or not on this platform. The above was my attempt at a machine embroidered sewn-in quilt label. Unfortunately I used regular sewing thread and not embroidery thread, soooo the letters are a little thick.
 It says: 
Lone Round Robin

 I’m testing out the open toe walking foot on my new machine with a lot of  Jacquie Gering’s advice in my mind.


Thursday, February 25, 2021

Bias Tape Class

I just got done with watching lectures and taking all my classes at QuiltCon Together. I took some pictures as I worked through the bias tape class with Latifah Saafir. There were some interesting techniques that I hadn't tried before that she demonstrated really clearly in the class videos. If you're interested in using bias tape in quilts at all, I really recommend taking a class with her.

A pile of bias strips cut really quickly and accurately.
For a seam guide, I used washi tape, which looked cool, but in retrospect, the blue painter's tape might have worked out better. It was a cool technique for joining the strips that took a bit of fiddling around to figure out.

It worked, it actually worked! I know I've used this tool at least once before, but it's been a very long time, it's a little magical. The 

All the practice blocks from the class. I don't feel like an expert on bias tape or anything, but I definitely have a much better understanding of the process. The design for my tree branches quilt is still in progress, more on that later, and no, it won't be done in shades of pink. I might make this quilt first to practice a little more before tackling my own design.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Wandering Wednesday - Back at the Ranch

On a rainy weekend we went for a hike at Quail Hollow Ranch, just the three of us, my DH & DS. It was a threatening sky as we started and got very very dark, but the rain held off until we were done hiking.
DS is very knowledgeable about mushrooms, so we got all kinds of good insight about this giant one, see that hole above, someone knocked it out of there. But we found several locations where new ones were seeded and growing.
The majority of trees on the ranch are various sorts of oaks and pines. There are several stands of redwoods too. It's fun being in a different sort of forest just for a little while.
The arching curving tangles were a bit spooky in the fog and mist.
DS goes to this park on the way home from work a lot so he took us on his favorite trail.
And then there's the horses, it still being a working ranch and all. They were very friendly which was nice. This one had very soft ears. I'm glad we have this park to go to now that Big Basin is all burned up.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Many Sunny Years

It was 73F yesterday, and brilliantly sunny. Spike took full advantage as he is a gentleman cat of many years of experience.
A close-up of one of the arms of one of our outdoor chairs. So many layers and so much texture. Chair is from the 1940's by the way, so also so many years. For something that's always lived outside, that's kind of amazing.

The yearly pictures of the grape hyacinths have been taken. I was given these by either my mom or grandma when we bought our first house in 1990, and they've bloomed every year since.


Monday, February 22, 2021

Threads of Diversity Threads

I've been attending QuiltCon Together, so I didn't get a chance to blog over the weekend. One of the best lecture/talks that I was able to watch was Sarah Trail, the founder of the Social Justice Sewing Academy. I was blown away by her presentation (again) and was happy to see the great response she got from the QuiltCon attendees.  That's why I was so glad to be able to snag one of these Aurifil thread boxes with such a very clever name.
It's a great selection of ten spools of skin tone threads to use when working on embroidering one of the blocks from SJSA or whenever you need to represent colors of people that come in some other shade than that peachy pink "flesh tone". 

This is one of those things I hadn't ever consciously taken notice of as an oblivious white person, that we use "flesh tone" or "nude" as a term for the default without specifying it equals the color of the skin of a white person. In normal usage flesh tone means someone pretty close to the color of my own skin. But of course there's a whole beautiful range of shades of people out there that are not the color that "flesh tone" means.

This affects so many things that we use every day (not just thread) like bandaids

And other medical related products like bandage wrap

And even ballet shoes
Now all three of these things that we buys and use are meant to blend in or disappear on a person, the less contrast the better between the thing and the person's skin. It's great to see that there are now alternatives being sold that will work for more people. Maybe we need to come up with a new word for the color that most white people are, very few of us are in fact even close to white, so it's really not useful when describing colors. This is of course, a huge topic which I'm not going to go into here, but it's something to think about, read about, etc.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Pin Baste Improvement

Even though I used fusible batting for my Lone Round Robin, the batting was kind of old and didn't seem to have the same amount of stickiness, so just in case, I decided to pin baste the area I was going to start quilting on. Memo to me, order some more fusible batting for the next wall quilt.

 Clover Wonder Pins worked really really well for me. They were so much easier on my fingers than the old stand-by of regular safety pins. The colors are bright, especially with the white, so they'll show up well on most fabrics.

Now that I'm getting older, that kind of ouch adds up a whole lot quicker. I really want to save my finger and hand strength for the actual quilting! 

I found that they were very easy to pin and un-pin, the plastic handles on the top of each pin are a perfect size to grasp. It's a clever design, and I think the actual pin itself was very high quality. They're smooth and very sharp, and just the right size too, so it won't leave giant holes behind. I was able to grasp them and take them out even with my quilting gloves on. 

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Thursday, February 18, 2021

There There

 Listening to There There by Tommy Orange while starting in on quilting my Lone Round Robin. Yes it's a box of CD's, that's what was available first from my library. Good thing I kept my little boombox that has a CD player! This is the book that UCSC is doing for The Deep Read this year.

This book is amazing, like a modern day Canterbury Tales, about American Indians in Oakland. I'm so glad I'm listening to it, because each chapter is a different character's story and there is a different voice actor for each, men and women, and their voices really suit the stories perfectly.  

So far, I've figured out the book has two reasons for its name. The out of context-ness of the famous Gertrude Stein descriptive quote about Oakland, "There's no there there". I never knew about the context of the quote and how it referred to noticing how "progress" had changed her childhood home so utterly that she didn't recognize it. There was no there there of what she'd remembered of the place. Which gives a completely a different meaning to that quote.

The second reason for the title comes from one of the younger characters referring to one of my favorite Radiohead songs, There There.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Wandering Wednesday - Scott Creek Beach


We actually wandered! After an errand in Santa Cruz this weekend instead of driving straight home, we went up highway one. 

There was enough wind that the clouds were different in nearly every picture.

The fields of sour grass were beautiful.

The colors of the creek flowing into the sea were changeable and kind of hypnotic.

It was a fairly clear day between rain showers so it was very fresh but not overly windy. 

There was a lot of stuff washed up on the shore as per usual, and this delicate crab shell was only complete on one-side.

This red claw from a crab was really eye-catching.

This was my first view with my own eyes of the devastation from the CZU fire on the coast side of our mountains. Looked like an eraser wiped it all out, just awful. We didn't drive back through Bonny Doon like we usually do because I was too freaked out about seeing the damage up close. I'm just not ready yet.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Tracing Trees

I started converting my picture of the curving oak trees into a state that I could abstract out the lines for a quilt design.

First, I printed out the black and white version and traced it. But it kind of ending up being too busy and I got lost in all the details.

To get some of the details out of the picture I flipped the printout over. 
Then I traced the flipped over printout. I think this was much better and will be easier to transition into a quilt design. The class I'm taking uses various size widths of bias tape to make a quilt top, and this sketch will lend itself pretty well to that. I'm feeling pretty ready for that class now.
I also had the idea of using the shape of the trail that we hiked as an additional design element.
I traced the trail that we followed and it looks like kind of like vague country outlines. I think that it's also the wrong size to incorporate with the size of the tree tracing. I'm thinking this might be good to use as the quilting design once the top is done with the tree outline curves, but blown up much much bigger. Almost like the topographic curve lines on the map printout give another dimension.


Monday, February 15, 2021

Getting Photo Ready

 To prepare for one of the classes I'm taking at QuiltCon Together this week, Bias Tape Mastery with Latifah Saafir, I've been searching through my pictures for some curvy inspiration. 

I took this picture yesterday at Quail Hollow Ranch where we went for a short hike. I really like the arching gentle curves and how they overlap. 

In SnapSeed I fooled around with it and made it into a black and white, sort of cartoonish image to make the curves really pop out even more. I'm going to transform this into a plan for my quilt that I'm going to make in class.

I also might incorporate some of the curves from the trail map of the park as well.