Monday, February 28, 2022

February 2022 Cornucopia


Yes you are! Well, that was quite a February, wasn't it? I'm writing that sentence on the 1st, but I'm just guessing...

Here's my monthly cornucopia scheduled post wherein I try to round up all the links to things I read, consumed, was inspired by, want to share or remember, etc. from the previous month.


I know I have too many email subscriptions already, but I added one that I'm finding quite useful, the weekly one from Aurifil. You can find the subscription box way down at the bottom of their front-page.  They also have some interesting stuff on their blog, well worth looking at.


Here's a half-rectangle tutorial from swimbikequilt. Very useful with great illustrations.


This short interview with Jan Beaney was a great reminder about using water-soluble films in layering embroidery, etc. There's also a 15 minute teaser video from Beaney and Littlejohn taken from their longer class DVD.


Here's how to make your own mustard! This looks amazing.


I'm enjoying this Yoko Ono tribute album, Ocean Child which is all re-recordings of her songs, all to benefit Why Hunger.


Ahhhh, Faith Ringgold gets a great write-up in Harper's Bazaar, she's 91and has a major retrospective show in NYC at the New Museum.


Chatting the Pictures discusses a very evocative image taken by Greenpeace.


This newly discovered mosaic in London would make a great inspiration for a floor tiles quilt. I'm especially interested in how it looks partially uncovered. That would be a cool design for a quilt. I would call it Londinium after the name of the Roman city founded there in 50 CE.


If you've never heard all the verses of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land", do yourself a favor and listen to this powerful and righteous version by Sharon Jones (RIP) and the Dap-Kings:

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Peace For Ukraine

The Peace for Ukraine block from Happy Sew Lucky is what I'm working on today as I listen to news reports. 

As an unimportant aside: Oh my goodness looking at this picture that I took of my laptop screen, I really need to clean it! I got wax smears on it the other day when I was doing my hand therapy wax soak. Talk about 1st world or unimportant problems, huh? But looking at the picture of a picture of the screen it makes it doubly bad. But obviously not war happening in your country bad of course.

I know that my making this block isn't going to help anyone or do anything about this stupid war, but as the quilt block designer requested in lieu of payment to her, I am also donating to USA for UNCHCR which is setting up the border refugee camps. This is instead of checking twitter for the millionth time for the latest news and crying over videos of entire towns standing in the road to block Russian tanks from rolling through. 

What a horrible horrible thing war is.

This song apparently will never fade in its relevance:

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Vicuña Visit


New project begun, a black and white baby quilt. I'm using the black and white print layer cake my DH gave me for Christmas to make a bunch of HST.  There's been a lot of research about high contrast black and white being good for retinal development in babies. Plus it looks cool to grown-ups too.
I love the measuring part. The new Sewline pen is working out great for this.

8 HST at Once! I love this technique, it feels so efficient and effective.

These HST will be on the top and bottom of this panel in some sort of arrangement or other, tbd for now.

And the backing will be this animal alphabet flannel. A Vicuña mention FTW! Oh no, I just realized this will not help a kiddo learn letters beyond the first ones in the animal names because the words are written out in cursive. C'mon now, fabric designers. But yes, the cursive looks so nice with those big blocky first letters, it really does.

Friday, February 25, 2022

Top of The Table

The Dotsy table runner is now together. Here's how it looked before I put the borders on. 

And here it is with the borders. Now that I look at it I'm realizing that this has turned out a bit bigger than anticipated. I might trim down the borders somewhat.

I really like how this looks, even with the blocks trimmed down to size the 3-D look still comes through. Especially from a further away view. I'm a little bummed that it's not going to be seen that way laying flat on the table. And close up, looking at it block by block, I really do not like the chopped up big polka-dots. It's vaguely unsettling somehow because the pattern in the fabric doesn't match up--at all.

Well, now to quilt it "as desired". Maybe I'll echo the pattern in the border fabric, that might be a cool overall design to use.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

On Background


Brush pens are really great, and I particularly love this one (Pentel GFKP), but they can be a bit too juicy for rulers that I don't want to remember to clean off. Any straight-edged thing works, even a mint tin. 
I've been keeping what I call an Ephemeral Visual Journal this year. In this small sized journal I'm doing small collages with the interesting ephemera that comes through and catches my eye. I write a little about whatever it is too and incorporate the words into the collage. I've been doing a background first and then I'll start collaging. But sometimes I find I really really like the background all on its own. So this one will stay as is, because it is my journal and I make the rules (and break them).

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Wandering Wednesday - Two-for


Saturday it was time for a one hour drive to go to my first in-person quilt meeting in two years. Kinda wild  to think about it in those terms, it has been awhile being around groups of people indoors. The Bay Area Modern Quilting monthly meeting was happening in a hybrid sort of way, some people were participating online and some in person at a really nice meeting room in the Redwood Shores library. This is a view off of the back deck, it was a very lovely day as you can see. There are trails for biking and walking that go out toward the SF bay. 

Yes, we wore our masks the whole time, except for a brief break for a brownie snack. It felt very safe, as far as one can re: Covid these days. And it was quite lovely to meet actual real people in person that I'd only met online. It is different.
The president of the group, Maria Warmerdam showed us her X/Y chain piecing technique. This is the quilt top she assembled during just one sew day using this method. By not cutting apart your chain-pieced blocks, and then rows, it's pretty helpful for keeping track of which block/row goes where.
I really liked this fountain in the back of the library.

And then nearby, I notice that there was a ship that's floating in front of the Oracle building in their lagoon. I guess it's a reminder that your boss spends a whole lot on racing ships around the world.

The next day it was time for a hike, and we were off to Quail Hollow Ranch once again. The pond is looking particularly pink at this time of year, due to some sort of algal bloom because of bad water flow/drainage, I think. A pretty wild contrasting color with the bright green grass, but the Canada geese did not seem to mind one little bit.
It's a little hard to see, but no, those aren't horses running around in the training ring, it's part of the local flock of wild turkeys. I guess they get a turn in the sandy ring.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Sized Right

I started sewing the blocks for the Dotsy table runner together, but then I had to stop after just two rows and do some un-sewing because it became apparent that the blocks and rows were radically different sizes. It just wasn't going to work, it would screw up the pattern to not take the time to do it right. 
I trimmed the blocks down to a slightly smaller and uniform size and now it’s going to be so much easier to put together. I think since there was a several week break between finishing the blocks and working with them again, I'd just forgotten this pretty crucial and basic step, whoops! Well worth the time to un-sew a few seams. Back to sewing the rows together.


Monday, February 21, 2022

Looking Closer


I'm looking more closely at the fabrics I just purchased, and this one, that is a print of various shibori techniques is really even more striking in person than it was online. I'm realizing now that the way that it's printed, one could cut out the various squares and set them off with a matching cream or brown. It's really got a lot of depth to it for a commercial print.

So mysterious, when the selvedge quotes get cut into. I'm guessing it's supposed to say: "Goodness will never be wasted in any way."  I quite like that sentiment. This fabric is named Koraju which means collage in Japanese.

Next close-up is the unusual selvedge edge for the Mountain fabric. Now that I'm seeing it in my hands and in a picture, I think I might have to incorporate it into the mini quilt I'm making for the Curated Quilts Utility challenge. You're supposed to use utilitarian fabrics for the challenge and using up the edge of a fabric counts in my mind. Plus it's quite an interesting color compared to the base fabric. More on that later. This fabric is really lovely, it has such a nice sheen to it, and it's very soft. I haven't washed it yet, so we'll see how it does.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Why Not Napkins?


So exciting to finish something.
Even if it is something as quick and simple and easy as napkins made from toweling yardage. Close-ups so you can see the lovely weave of this fabric. It feels so nice and nubby as well as substantial to the touch. Ruby Star Society has a tutorial on how to make a nice coat out of this stuff, I could see wearing one, this fabric is that nice.
Very pleased with how they turned out. One of the few times I've sewn something recently without first pre-washing, and thankfully ironing the turned up edges wasn't as smelly as other unwashed fabrics. Maybe the toweling yardage is produced with less of the fabric treatments that quilting cottons are made with?

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Surprise Hello Pouch

What a nice surprise to get in the mail, friend Jaye just made me this adorable see-through pouch that stands up all on its own. I absolutely love the fabric and the very pretty glitter vinyl. She used the Hello Pouches pattern which she didn't like all that much, but I think it turned out quite fabulous. Then she went back and thought about the pattern a bit more.

Closer up so you can see that awesome glitter vinyl and the really nice purple trim piece.

A picture of the nice fat bottom that helps this stand up all on its own so well. I really love the quilting on this.

Now to figure out how to put this lovely bag to use. I think it would work for a ball of yarn and a crochet needle very well, I have to see if I can take that to Jury Duty next week. For the first time in my long life I'm actually having to go in person on Tuesday....


Friday, February 18, 2022

Book Journey


Because of a project that friend Jaye and I are contemplating, I found myself a copy of a book she was referencing, Pattern Play by Doreen Speckmann. It's almost out of print, rather it's on print-on-demand status, which was a surprise to even see offered on Amazon? That's what I thought I ordered, but then an original vintage (1993) used print book showed up, which was perfectly fine with me! I think I must have clicked on the used button instead of the buy new button. 

According to what's stamped on the book's edge this book was formerly owned by Berrien Towne & Country Quilters, a quilt group from Stevensville, Michigan that's been around since 1983. Kind of cool, huh? Looks like a great quilt guild or group.

So how the heck did this book get all the way from Michigan to California? Don't worry, Julie Stiller, book detective is on the case...
This was handwritten on the first page, I'm assuming someone donated this book to the guild in 2005, probably a guild member. But then I'm guessing no one or not enough folks checked it out from the guild library for years and years, so they likely donated it to....
Goodwill. Here's the Goodwill price sticker still stuck on the edge. Looks like this was up for sale as of 9/27/21 for $1.99. I bought it for $5.75, in "used-acceptable" condition, which it most definitely is. And to make the trail even more complicated, it was sent to me from Houston, Texas. At some point this book got bought by a used book re-seller called Booktrolls.

There's also a hand-written price on the first page too, that was likely the original sale price. Some books back then didn't have a priceThe new price on Amazon is currently $20.88. Guess, I'm feeling lucky to have gotten it for $5.75 especially because....
The original template papers are even in the back of the book! Looks like no one ever bothered to take them out and use them. Honestly that would be kind of weird in a sort of library book situation to tear out and cut up part of the book. 
I guess that I'm going to be the one to go there and do that, after 29 years, these templates are coming out and getting used.

This may be quite possibly my favorite sentence ever in a quilt book.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Not Enough Yet


So, I wanted to try and participate in the next Curated Quilts call for mini-quilts, which is this time requiring the use of one fabric. It was a bit hard to find, but then I spotted it over on Hawthorne Supply Co. It's a very lovely woven, called Mountain, and the color is Ocean. It's going to be a lot of fun to work with.

But of course, I couldn't just order that one fabric. sigh. So much for Enough, I shall try harder to get to Enough Consciousness.

I noticed in the Alexia Abegg section these very pretty striped towelings on offer. And it's time for some new cloth napkins around here. So, that's what the striped toweling is intended for. It's already hemmed up on two sides, so only two more hems required. I think it's a very perfect weight and texture for making napkins.

And then I had to look in the sales section of course which are the other fabrics. And a spool of the Aurifil embroidery floss that I was hearing about last week.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Wandering Wednesday -Lime Kiln


Another weekend, another hike. We are on a roll sticking to our "hey let's hike every weekend" vow. It's pretty silly not to living where we do. It's not hard to find great places to hike within a short drive.
It was a hot day, nearly 80, so we went for a cooler hike, the lime kilns trail in the Fall Creek area was our choice.

The skinny third-growth redwoods are still quite beautiful. Hard to believe that this entire forest was completely cut down back at the turn of the 19th century.

Shelf fungi hard at work recycling.
This reminds me that I wanted to do a nature alphabet of pictures like this, X marks the spot.
We had to take a matching ponytail selfie. My DH's hair is now long enough to require a hair tie.
Just a gorgeous day for a hike.

After a bunch of uphill, we made it up to the lime kiln. There's a nearby hillside that was dynamited and then the limestone chunks were burned in this big structure. Cords and cords of redwood and Douglas fir were consumed to produce lime used in construction. The Santa Cruz Mountains lime was highly prized in San Francisco for smoothing plaster walls, there was huge demand when the city had to rebuild after the 1906 eathquake.
If you want to crawl in, you can get inside the old kiln structure. Go ahead, I'll wait.
Some of the entrances have been unblocked, people can't help themselves.
It's a rough yet sturdy structure.
Somebody tucked these little gnomes into a little crevice in the lime kiln structure. Cute, huh?
I had to take a sweaty selfie at the end of the trail because I was so pleased with myself for making it back up the hill. It was hot enough that I had to take my sweatshirt off and hike in a tank February! Just plain crazy.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Scrambled Leftovers

Here's the one V-Day card I managed to make for my DH. I like how it turned out, and I also will note that he doesn't mind pink. I held back on adding any glitter, but just barely. And mostly because I didn't want to have to deep clean my workspace afterwards. (craft herpes!)
The clean up of all the cut-outs ended up in my visual ephemera journal as Valentine Leftovers.