Thursday, March 31, 2022

March 2022 Cornucopia


This past month was...well, I'm imagining it was really quite something. I'm writing this on 2/28, and I'm hoping that we're all still here and online by the end of March. The prospect of nuclear war happening is suddenly quite real again, and my Gen X heart has quickened with the all-too-familiar fear of my teenage years. May all leaders who possess the ability to end life on earth come to their senses and stop with the threats. This is my hope being sent in to the the future.  I have no idea how much worse it's gotten in Ukraine over the month, it's hard to imagine based on the first five days of the insane war that Putin has chosen to wage. 

**I may or may not delete the above paragraph depending on what has actually occurred.**

*I left the above in as a reminder to myself that my worst case scenario is not always the one that occurs.*

Anyways...over the past month I've been distracting myself with all of this, hopefully some of it will be useful, helpful, or inspiring to you.


A lot of Ukraine war related charity efforts have sprung up, here's a couple:

Pat Sloan created a great star within a star block design and started a hashtag as well: #QuiltersStandForUkraine . She's asking for donations to Unicef which has a big presence on the ground to help the people fleeing the war in Ukraine.

A Lightning Round of Demos by Quilters for Ukraine on April 23.


By now you've mastered Wordle, and maybe you've tried Quordle, but how about Heardle? It's kind of like the old game show Name That Tune.


I've used Goodreads for years and years now (since 2006!) to keep track of the books I read or want to read, but I've finally jumped onto Letterboxd where I can track the movies I watch and want to watch (and I watch a Lot of movies). It's pretty similar to Goodreads, you can read random people's reviews, follow film critics or people you know who also love film/movies. Btw, saying "Film" is so pretentious sounding to me, it's just "the movies" in my mind, but that's how the discourse goes.


Hey! If you're over 50 (and in the US) go get your second Covid booster shot! It's just been approved by our FDA this week and will be so important to maintaining the protection you've got from getting ill from Covid, ending up hospitalized or dying.


Ahhh, this baby bonnet is so adorable, and looks pretty easy. Maybe I'll make a matching one for the baby I'm making the quilt for?


One of my very favorite bands of all time is The Decemberists, and the lead singer, Colin Meloy has just started a Substack like one does now? It's time for blogging to be new again? 


Artist Jeff Koons is going to be the first artist whose work goes to the moon? Unfortunately it's an NFT project, but otherwise, still pretty cool to be the first.


Our next Supreme Court Justice (hopefully!), Ketanji Brown Jackson testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee during her confirmation hearing about how she took up the fiber arts to deal with stress. Of course it was the art quilt zoom background displaying, Senator Mazie Hirono who asked the question and talked about how creativity is important to dealing with a quickly changing world.


Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Closeup on Texture


Texture was the theme of the day for the #IGQuiltFest2022 and these are the photos that I posted. They're close-ups of some pieces that have a whole lot of texture going on.

This was many layers of hand-dyed fibers/fabrics which were then machine and hand stitched to add even more texture.
This was a heat-set experiment of polyester fabric gathered around marbles then boiled. It's permanent unless ironed of course. The beading was added after quilting.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Cushion Cutting

Welp, I've gone in on cutting the first of the outdoor fabric for one of the cushions I'm making. It was much easier than cutting the foam, well it involved a whole lot less knives and only a rotary cutter. This first one is going to be for a garden bench that my mom has. The original cushion it came with is pretty much done in and just not worth having on the bench. This is going to be super deluxe in comparison. It will likely look a bit wonky, but it'll be much more comfy and inviting.

 So far so good. The fabric is easy to cut and sew and handle, it's not too stiff or ravelly. The outdoor thread I'm using is so thick that the auto thread cutter on my machine is balking a bit at cutting through it, so I have to remember to not automatically push that button and cut it myself with scissors. It's harder than you'd think to not automatically do that!

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Happy Cat-ur-day


Time for a Cat-ur-day update, our new kitten is doing very well. Leeloo Biscuits is her name, and monitoring all water pouring in the house is her game. She's obsessed with all things sink-related and loves to nap in the tile shower.
She survived the visit of my brother and two of his kids. This is a selfie Charlotte took of herself with Leeloo.
They have a cat of their own, so they were super calm around Leeloo which helped a lot. Milo liked how soft she was.
She loves lying between my feet.
She and Meg are still working out their relationship, but so far they're doing pretty well.
She's named for Leeloo Dallas in the sci-fi movie The Fifth Element, don't you see the resemblance? She is rather orange in her shading.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Final? Quilty


The final Quilty Box has arrived, at least while they're on hiatus. I hope that they can come back, but I completely understand why they'd take a pause. It would be pretty impossible to coordinate a subscription box like this when you can't depend at all on whether the fabrics are going to show up in time to cut them up and box them to send out. Much less the right ones that go with the printed pattern book that's included!

Unruly Nature, what a great name for a fabric line. This is from designer Jen Hewett for Ruby Star Society. What a nice range of prints in interesting color choices.

Next time I have to use a seam ripper, I'll try this new one out. It's supposedly "ergonomic" so we'll see. The Seams lotion is quite lovely, it smells good and soaks right in. 

I didn't notice right away but the fabric has little bits of copper metallic. It's very nice and subtly eye-catching.
I wonder how the metallic accents will hold up to repeated washing?

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Time for Replacements

 I'm finally starting in on making some replacement outdoor cushions for our deck swing and for my mom's out door bench. This is my cutting out diagram for the foam that will hopefully actually work.

I've had this full size bed sized memory foam mattress topper for ages, it was bought expressly for this purpose. But it's been taking up a chunk of real estate in my workroom, but now it's opened up and the foam is slowly spreading out on the deck and will soon be ready to cut up. 

I think it's remembering!

It's almost there, c'mon remember your size...

While I'm waiting for the foam to finish stretching itself out, here's what will be covering it. The outdoor fabric I have is this, bought from ages ago. It is some sort of Sunbrella type stuff, I think so? And I also have outdoor sewing thread too. It's supposedly treated with something that's going to resist rotting in the sunshine.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Back Stitches

Today has been a day of hand stitching labels and hanging sleeves. 

I'm trying to store completed quilts and they don't count as completed until they're labeled and ready to hang. 

As I was sewing on various quilts from various eras, I was struck by the pretty wild fabrics I use for backs and labels. 

Since these are going on the wall and will rarely be seen or touched, to me, I just don't see the point of using nice or wonderful or expensive fabrics. Some of the fabric is FabMo sourced, or from back when I used to buy $2 a yard bargains from

But sometimes, I use nice fabric just because it's what I happen to have on hand. 

Or rarely for art quilts, I make a back with some of the "good" fabric that's on the front of the quilt.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Rejected But All Mine


Well, some sad news, not a single one of my three entries made it into the Prism Play show.😢😢😢 

I'll admit that I'm pretty disappointed. Given the statement of the juror that was included with the rejection notice, it sounds like there was likely too much of a range of tones and tints in my quilts for them to read well with the other quilts that would be surrounding them when the exhibit was hung. 

Or maybe they thought they were just too crappy to be included. I will never really know of course.

I'm getting over the disappointment by finishing stitching down the facings on the back and adding the hanging sleeves so I can mount an exhibition of my triptych in my own home. I intentionally made the three quilts to be hung in a group, so maybe that was a bad approach for the show, but it will work for me on my walls.

Monday, March 21, 2022

Whither Which Fork?

We've recently been watching the very excellent and entertaining show, The Gilded Age on HBOMax lately. And there was an episode that detailed the important differences between English and American table settings and culinary choices and all that entailed as far as differentiating between the social classes. So as a result of this classy demonstration of cutlery options, this was the table my DH set for our luncheon the other day. He was so very very pleased with himself. And the lunch was excellent, but there was a lot of excess cutlery to put in the dishwasher.

It is quite funny to think of how the things we put on our table are determined by these rules made up so many years ago, and how they've changed (or not) over your own lifetime. All of these things are such statements of class and privilege aren't they? Which of course is one of the main topics of The Gilded Age. Just over my lifetime I've experienced napkin rings or fancy folded cloth napkins to disposable paper ones out of a dispenser in the center of the table and then back to cloth napkins, but this time not the fancy folded kind but the informal homemade ones I have. Starched white linen tablecloths with delicately embroidered hems to mass produced printed tablecloths to *gasp* no tablecloth at all, instead an easily wiped clean melamine or sealed wood surface.

One of my grandmothers had individual place setting salt and pepper shakers, adorable sized cut crystal on  perfect little silver trays, one would be set at each person's place at the table. No reaching or asking for the salt to be passed. I'm happy to have inherited the one above. My other grandmother used her actual silverware every single day, she didn't save it for special occasions, those silver utensils got used up over her lifetime.  

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Procreate Class

I'm taking an online class in Procreate offered through Carla Sonheim with artist Lewis Rossignol. I really like the platform that Carla has created, the classes are presented very professionally and clearly, it's all very easy to use. In this class, Lewis is showing us how he combines digital and paper work together. It's so interesting to see how this is done and get to know how to use this powerful program just a little  bit more. 

The above was my starting point drawing of a face. No laughing, please! I haven't drawn a whole lot lately, and haven't drawn a face in quite a long time.

After watching the first lesson I did the work on my iPad outside because it was so nice. We used a separate scan program to get the image into Procreate and then the fun really began. The power of layers (just like in Photoshop) was brought home to me once again. 

I like a lot of things about my picture so far. And some I really don't, which is easy to replace/erase or transform in Procreate. The possibilities are endless with this program, which is a big part of the reason I've never gotten too far into learning a digital drawing program, that endlessness is frankly rather paralyzing to me. But I'm diving in and trying to push myself to get a little further along this time. 

I found that the Apple Pencil was a little hard for me to hold for very long at a time because it's quite slim. I got myself a barrel grip thing and it really helps my hand. That's what that red thing is on the white pencil.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Happy National Quilt Day

 I didn't realize, but today is the official National Quilt Day.

Suggestions to celebrate are to hang your quilts up outdoors and to then post a picture of it. Unfortunately it's a hopefully (fingers and toes crossed extra double) rainy day today so here's an old picture another time I hung a quilt up to dry outside.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Flower Friday-Spring Sprung

I love it when I forget about where I've planted various bulbs so that it's a nice surprise when they bloomed. "Oh my, why hello there"
Grape Muscari view.

Another year of my grandmother's Cymbidium blooming.

I guess it's probably time that I admit that it is mine now after all these years.

 I just didn't want the responsibility of it in all likelihood.

Wait, what? I planted this last year, and I had no idea that there would be these strange red flower thingies. Helichrysum "Ember Glow, well what do you know the picture I took of the plant pot label mentions a red or orange flower. This is also more commonly known as Strawflower.


Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Wandering Wednesday - On The Way Home


Oh my goodness the purple and yellow hillsides on the way home! It was in full bloom on the hillsides as we left Santa Clarita. This was in the Grapevine area, and I'm assuming it's likely lupines (the purple) and mustard (the yellow).
I don't know if it's going to be a particularly good year for wildflowers in Southern California or not, but it was pretty spectacular on the side of highway 5. Superbloom years are always interesting, the traffic gets crazy to the areas where the wildflowers are growing.

Off into the sunset we went. I don't usually get to take sunset photos, so even though it's through the windshield, I kind of had to. I like the reflection on the car hood. And yes, this is us in the HOV lane.

It was a long drive home, we broke it up into two days because it took almost 4 hours to get from San Diego to the north end of LA. Yikes! Thankfully there's a nice group of hotels in Santa Clarita that we've used before, it's a pain, but better (and safer) than driving for six more hours that night.