Monday, January 31, 2022

January 2022 Cornucopia


Welcome to the New Year! Hopefully your first month went as well as possible during these still very strange times we live in now. After two years, I'm still resisting getting used to the "new normal."


A movie of the one exhibit so far of 25,000,000 Stitches, a very cool six+minutes. It sounds like there might be more exhibits coming up of this work in the near future, I hope I can go see it.


You might want to participate in this starting in February, #The100DayProject what you do is of course, all up to you, but making some sort of art every day for 100 days in a row is a great project to do for yourself.


A stash-buster challenge for the new year, using a really great block from Border Creek Station.


Check out Window Swap, where you can open a window at random places in the world, and submit your own if you want to.


One of my favorite collage artists, Barbara Kruger has an exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago which you can experience via a 3-D walkthrough. Futura Bold for the win!


You still have time to enter Quilt Visions, deadline is February 10th. They do such a great job of presenting art quilts in this museum, it's really worth a try.


Another way to do an interesting variation on Flying Geese blocks, the Stroked Flying Geese.


Here's a free heart quilt design that would be do-able in time for Valentine's Day if you start right now.


A really beautiful and soothing video look at the stitched illustrations for the incredible children's book, My Bed, an exhibit of these artworks is now touring the country for the next few years. It would be a real treat to see these creations in person. I somehow missed the political commentary stop-motion movie Liberty & Justice that Sally Mavor and her husband created a few years ago. Absolutely amazing work.


Join in on this sew-a-long in February, Stronger Together to celebrate Black History Month. I really love this free pattern, seems very do-able and I'm going to try it out.


I've been doing a whole lot of reading around the anniversary of 1/6. And yes, most of it is tough going because it's a tough and rather terrifying subject. Being more informed helps me not be as worried, and maybe it will help you too. Here are some essays or articles that I found to be particularly informative or clear about the issues both current and historical. After The Insurrection, The Business Plot Against Democracy, Why Confederate Lies Live On, The Pseudo-Conservative Revolt, Q For Conspiracy,


Sunday, January 30, 2022

Last Shop of the Month

One of the things about being subscribed to bunches of newsletters for various sewing businesses is sometimes they catch your eye and you go buy stuff. Sew Sweetness got me when they highlighted these beautiful woven labels. I ordered three kinds, and may or may not actually use them as actual labels, we shall see. And then some OdiCoat, which I need to use on some fabric to make a tablecloth for our deck table.
Closer up on the label, very very finely made. Beautiful even.
The other thing I bought from Sew Sweetness is a MyPad. I've been frustrated lately with remembering which needle I have in my machine and the letters on them are so teeny tiny and the color on the needle shaft isn't always terribly helpful. So enter the MyPad as a possible solution. The idea is, you stick the needle you used for only a little bit and is still good and sharp, but an unusual one in the corresponding location on this foam pad. I don't like putting a slightly used needle back in the plastic package because then I'll think it's brand new the next time I go to use one. The yellow flower head pin is to indicate the current needle you've got loaded in your machine.
Of course I had to modify the thing immediately to account for the Chrome needle I'm using right now. But that's okay, my mod cancels out the visually objectionable gigantic MYPAD on the bottom right.
It was an extra good mail day because my Quilty Box came and it's allll purple-y, yay! I had always wanted a BobbinSaver and just never bought one. It's so nice not to have to dig around in the machine foot box for my bobbins, very handy. The green thing is a magnet that you put on your spool to hold your needle on. Not quite clear on how that works.
Again, this month, the fabrics were not ones that I would pick in a store, but are nonetheless perfectly fine and are going to look great in the quilt pattern seen to the right. I have a bolt of a very nice navy fabric to use for the setting strips.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Orange You Glad?


So, uh...yes, I'm still trying to get started on making a Prism Play quilt for the SAQA show. I made a design months ago for the three colors I'd wanted to do but then I dropped the ball on actually making the actual quilts. And now the deadline approaches! 

I'm starting out on making my number one choice which was ORANGE. This is the pull of fabrics I'm working with along with the Joen Wolfrom color card. The rules are only tones and tints, not allowed to use any pure black or white. So it's a whole range isn't it?

This flower from the current bunch on our kitchen counter would probably make the cut. Why am I so lucky to have a DH who buys me flowers?
Here's how the colors look without the white distraction of the color card on top. Quite different to my eye. Thus the rules of not using black or white! There's a range of fabrics in there from a loosely woven cotton/linen hand-dye, commercial printed, batik, various weights of solids and one with gold woven checks.
And so it begins...I drew the design right on the batting and cut the fabric pieces to fit the spaces. I have another in process picture of how it turned out once I got all the pieces sewn on. But I have to look at the show rules to see if I can show it to you or not. Some of the shows have prohibitions of in-process pictures.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Go Dot Go


I laid out the Dotsy table runner blocks just to see them up on the design wall, all together. And the 3-D-ness of the block is really cool from across the room. Of course that won't happen on a table, but still, it works.
I think the Tula Pink Mineral in Sapphire will work well as the border fabric. I wasn't able to get my hands on the Kaffe fabric that was shown in the pattern as it's an older one. I think I will make the border maybe an inch wide and then I'll use the same fabric as the binding as well. If I make the table runner too big, then it's going to be nearly table cloth size!

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Doors Unopened


This quilt is finally on its way to Texas to meet up with the others made for the Stretching Art & Tradition 2022 exhibit. 
The theme this year is "When One Door Closes". 
All the quilts are 24"w x 36"h, a very manageable size and great dimensions to work with.
The first exhibition will be at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in February.

 I titled this piece: Doors Unopened and my artist statement is as follows: 
There are some doors that we don't ever open, for a whole lot of reasons. Sometimes it's a conscious choice, sometimes it's not. There are doors that represent roads not taken or denied. And there are some that we were wise not to spend a lot of time worrying about passing through. 

The main design inspiration came from some of the lyrics of the Rolling Stones' song, Paint It Black, which just happened to come up on a playlist as I was sketching out design ideas. Meant to be, I guess? 

I see a red door and I want it painted black

No colors anymore I want them to turn black.
No more will my green sea
Go turn a deeper blue

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Wandering Wednesday - Quail Hollow Ranch

I made it up to the top of Quail Hollow Ranch on Sunday, this is news because it's been years and years. We're trying our best to hike every weekend so that I can keep up with my sister-in-law's family on our monthly hike. And I guess it's working, I go very slowly hiking uphill but I keep going because I can. 
On this one hike we went through so many different plant communities: Central Oak Woodland, Mixed Evergreen Forest, Chaparral, Coast Redwood Forest. Very fun to see all the variation.

I noticed this one looping design on a leaf of a manzanita. There was a slight bump when I ran my finger over it but the leaf surface was intact. Later at home, using a great app, Seek I figured out that the design t is a trail left behind in the upper layers of the leaf by the larvae of the Madrone Leaf Miner, which eventually turns into a beautifully striped moth.

Seek easily hooks up to iNaturalist which I already use. It's cool that these two apps are a joint project of the California Academy of Sciences and National Geographic.

We were a little red and sweaty by the time we reached the top, but happy as you can see by the cheesy grins.
Above us in the oak tree were a bunch of God's Eyes hanging off the branches. I used to make these all the time as a kid so it was cool to see them out in the wild. Someone had fun climbing that tree!

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Just A Bit Of Stitching

 I'm almost done with the quilt for Stretching Art and Tradition, just a little more hand-stitching left to go. I used the Spagetti embroidery thread again and was very pleased with how smoothly it stitched with a Sashiko needle.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Birds And Star Challenge

 The Electric Quilt blog Do You EQ has a block spotlight challenge to design a quilt using a certain block in the EQ block library. This time it was a block called Birds and Star, which is a great eight-pointed star block with lots and lots of triangles. I liked doing this exercise just for the practice of it. It's fun to see all the other versions people come up with too.

Filing this under the category of "Never To Be Made"

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Door Quilt Progress

Machine quilting on the Doors quilt is all done. There will be a little hand-stitching added and then onto the binding, sleeve and label. 
The striking Italian colors on one of the trees on our street. These colors indicate that oh yes, this is most certainly a tree that will be removed to protect the integrity of the power lines. Okay, PG&E, any time that's convenient... Last month they were out here removing limbs from a tree literally three trees up the street from this one. Very thorough there guys.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Adding Rulers

 Another fruitful trip to Modern Handmade. The blue agate print is for the border of the Dotsy table runner.  The scalloped stripe is for block experimentation or possibly binding. The ruler print is for my numbers collection. The other two are just because.

Friday, January 21, 2022

2Folios 2gether


I need to confess that I was hiding the fact that I actually made not one, but two Hold-Tite Folios. One for me that I already blogged about, and one for friend Jaye's birthday gift. Now that she has it in her hot little hands, I can go ahead and blab about it too.

I'm glad I took the time to change my thread colors for this visible stitching.

The felt that I used is a wool blend, but the type of felt isn't terribly important you just need something to help block the Sew-Tiles from glomming onto each other from either side of the folio. Magnets gotta magnet, you know...
I took the extra time to hand sew the binding down and it looks much nicer on both sides. This is me, always learning that particular lesson over and over again. sigh.

I also added a little doubled-over ribbon pull tab on the outside to Jaye's folio like I did on mine. I found it really helpful for opening the folio up easily.

Mine on the right is completely filled, both sides with Sew-Tiles, so it's expanded up to full size.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Beginning Doors

Moving on to the next thing,(there's always a next thing!) which is a quilt for Stretching Art & Tradition 22. Our theme this year is "When One Door Closes".  My design is partly inspired by some of the lyrics in the Rolling Stones song, "Paint It Black."  The quilt, entitled "Doors Unopened" is going to be 24"x 36"h. The quilts travel as a group between many of the Mancuso quilt shows in the US.

I started off by doing some background quilting before adding the other elements via appliqué. I think I might actually use batting behind the elements to have them stand out from the quilted surface even more. Not exactly trapunto, more flat than that.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Different Favors

Time for a Picture Cornucopia. A bunch of recent one-off fairly random pictures I feel like sharing all at once because why not?

A hand of mini-bananas on my placemat. They were pretty good, a little more starchy than regular sized bananas usually are.

An order from Sew Hungry Hippie. Firstly, awesome name for a business! Secondly, friend Jaye gave me a couple of their pins and they are terrific! I gifted the postcard and the pin to my daughter and the Tula fabric is for me.
The fairly incomprehensible label for the Korean blueberry drinking vinegar my daughter gave me. I tried using the translate app I have but it wasn't too much help. But the vinegar is very tasty and my stomach already feels better after the antibiotics.
I noticed a full moon-bow the other night when I took Meg out. She has to be on leash after dark now because of the two times in a week skunk encounters. It was hard to take a good picture with her tugging on me, but I did my best.

 A funny phrase on the box of the new dog bowl I got for Meg. It's a spirally design that makes her slow down to eat because she's such a gulper she was having these annoying fits after eating. I think the bowl company meant the different types of bowls they offer, because there was a picture of the various designs they offered. But Different Favors works for me.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Folio Finished

My Hold-tite Folio was almost completed except for the binding, so with my trusty Wonder Clips, I got to stitching.
Here it is in action, all filled up with the Sew-tites. It's quite a bit heavier, all loaded up so I'm glad that the pattern called for the fabric stabilizer on the outer fabric and batting on the inner. I wish I'd hand-stitched the binding down on the inside, but it's too much to unpick at this point.
It's a whole lot thicker now, but the "spine" of the folio is spacious enough to contain the bulk of two sides worth of Sew-tites. The two sides of the folio don't come apart much on their own, so there really isn't a need for a closure.

I added a little stiff ribbon loop for a handle which helps open it up, the two sides are a little grippy with each other.  

I'm really quite pleased with this thing, it's going to be much nicer to use rather than digging around in the little plastic zip bag I was storing these in. The Sew-tites tend to gather together in a giant unusable clump so this will be much more accessible and portable.


Monday, January 17, 2022

Look Down Sometimes

I was sitting at Costco the other day, waiting for my son to get his Covid booster shot (yay! we're all boosted now!) so I had the chance to notice the floor. Usually in Costco one is focused on the *stuff* that you're wildly throwing into your gigantic cart and avoiding running into other people (or being run into). 
I've seen the floor polisher thing in action before, but it does make quite an interesting surface. And quite shiny given the glare of the lights way up above.
As usual the cracks were the most eye-catching and interesting. I would love a fabric that had the depth of colors and texture that this floor has. It's different than the granite ones, more random and a lot more layers I think. This might be one to try having printed at Spoonflower...

And then of course, I had to try looking at this photo in Percolator, and some of these would be fabulous as fabric (or quilts) also:

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Heavy Metal Sewing

After receiving some great new Sew-tites from friend Jaye for Christmas, I decided it was finally time to make myself a Hold-Tite folio, using the pattern designed by Lilyella. It's a fairly simple pattern, and it was very fun choosing the fabrics to use for the various pieces. As you can see, I put a stripe of black/white polka dots across the front just because.

Time to insert the two sheet metal pieces which the pattern is designed around. They fit perfectly and leave plenty of room to sew around them without hitting them with the sewing machine needle (pshew!)

Here's how the inside of the folio looks so far, showing the vertical stitches that makes the folding part. I can't decide whether to use the purple felt or an orange one that I also have. But that's the very last step, I have to get the outer edge binding stitched on first.