Saturday, April 30, 2022

April Cornucopia


Here's the April cornucopia, which is a list of links to things I consumed, enjoyed, got inspiration from or learned from over the past month.


Two calls for entry upcoming from Fiber Art Now magazine for the exhibits: Excellence in Quilts and Excellence in Fibers.  Fiber Art Now has a new publisher they now share with Quiltfolk magazine.


Robot dogs and drones helping map out and preserve the ruins of Pompeii. That last picture in the article of the robot dog in the doorway is really something else. And elsewhere in Italy, can you imagine digging in your yard and finding this?


From the group I've made a couple donation quilts with,The Advocacy Project, an inspiring vermicomposting story.


The Scout dress by Charm Patterns isn't my sort of dress any longer unfortunately, but it's so adorable and the 50's inspired allover border print from Spoonflower is excellent, check out that covered belt! I love the vintage Girl Scout fabric too.


A truly excellent interview with Masha Gessen, "Is This How Russia Ends?"


Some very good advice for artists about using social media. 


Exchange those dull, worn-out rotary cutter blades for shiny new sharp ones


A link I followed from Department of Salad substack for a delicious sounding Hummus As Salad that I need to try.


In support of their Books UnBanned campaigned, free to all 12-21 year olds in the US, a one year Brooklyn Public Library e-card!


A lovely 9 part video series from Maria Popova that are animated poems with music, The Animated Universe in Verse, very well worth watching.The first one is an Emily Dickinson poem, Bloom.


Well now I'm never going to forget how to pronounce "chaise longue" correctly ever again. This song is so effortlessly cool and now I really want to go visit the Isle of Wight:
If you have a spare 13 minutes, watch the band's Tiny Desk concert.


Design ideas for the Japanese Rice Bag pattern that I have purchased but haven't tried out yet.


I've been listening to an excellent podcast called Maintenance Phase, and one of the cohosts, Michael Hobbes also has a YouTube channel where he makes long form breakdown videos on what the heck is going on. Here's one on the current free speech "crisis" that is very much worth your time to listen to.


Friday, April 29, 2022

Beginning Orange

Now that I've acquired a few more suitable (and large enough) oranges, The Orange You Glad bullseye project is now underway.  It was very fun going into my LQS and just picking all orange. The woman cutting for me said: "Wow, you really like orange!" True.
This is a second picture of the new fabrics without enhancing the color. It's kind of hard to capture the true range of colors.
Here are my background squares, all ready to be pressed into quarters and passed onto friend Jaye.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Grey Decisions Gray Decisions

Here's Safe At Home up on the design wall after having completed all the grey area quilting. (ooh that would be a great quilt business name! ™™™)
By hanging this up on the wall, I was able to see which if any areas need quilting. I think this is ok on this block because the grey is dispersed through the block.
This, however is much too saggy looking to me, It' too much unquilted real estate.  I will outline some of the rectangles, almost stitching in the ditch.
These yellow centers are a bit on the edge. I think I'll extend the lines of the star edges to make a bit of a net across the yellow, but I won't quilt the star points. I like how they pop off the background being unquilted.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Quilt Tails


Only three rows left to go of quilting the grey spaces! I am getting A Lot of "help" of course. I totally forgot I'd added the cat tail to the Safe At Home quilt. It's going to make it harder to put the binding on.
 I'm still deciding on whether to quilt the non-grey pieces. I think I'll put it up on the design wall when I'm done wit the last three rows and see how it looks over all.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Daily Pages on Day One

 I've been using DayOne (the Classic version) for journaling for ages now. I switched over after a few years off of journalling because of my hand issues post the two finger surgeries. I really missed the act of writing about everything going on. After getting over not being to physically write that much at a a time, I recognized that typing was still doable for me. I found the Day One program to be very easy to use and I just got used to using it regularly, even though I truly still miss scrawling out page after page of Daily Pages a la The Artist's Way. 

One of the nice things about Day One was the built in ease of taking a picture using my laptop webcam within the journalling program. It was very convenient to use. I would either take a selfie, or if I was writing outside, I'd take a picture of the view. But with my new laptop, for some reason, that functionality isn't there any longer. I spent a lot of time investigating it, no, way too much time. I think I probably need to buy one of the newer versions, but nah.

The program will still let me add a picture that already exists, so I've just been using the Photo Booth app that comes with the laptop before I start writing. And there are special effects available, so I've been playing around with them. At least I'm still journaling, that's the most important part to me. 

The very definition of a First World Problem right?

Monday, April 25, 2022

Gray Stitching

I'm still going going going on quilting. So far just gray used. 
It's looking okay on the back too. Still deciding on whether I need to quilt the non-grey pieces in the quilt. 

 I'm using the grey Glide thread I got in the next to the last Quilty Box. It's lovely thread, flowing smoothly while I'm free-motioning. The first thread I tried was on a big cone and not feeding smoothly enough for all he free motion action.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

This Week In Cat

 It's not Caturday, but here's a week's worth of Leeloo's adventures.

The newly emptied (mostly) scrap basket is now occupied. Whenever a scrap is added, is immediately battled with.

Edge of bathtub napping in the sun.
It's really past time to dust I guess!

Woke up to discover that an underwear drawer had been occupied overnight.
It's exhausting to keep up with, no doubt. Must be nap time again.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Percolator Grass

I hadn't used the Percolator app in a while, so I was playing with it today.
Some of these combinations can really look like they've been done in fabric.
The difference between the dark background and light is so striking.
It's so fun to see all these possibilities. And almost all of the vertical lines are gone, they're only hinted at.

 Here's the original photo, of the grass I'm growing for our new cat to eat instead of the various houseplants she's been sampling. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Choosing Orange

Proceeding along cutting out 10" squares for the Orange Bullseye Project. I laid them all out to take a picture and realized I hadn't followed one of our main rules for fabric choices: No prints with lots of white. Whoops! They really do jump out at you and take over in this sort of project. 

Also, that print on the lower right is not brown, it's a dark bricky orange, with also too much white, so it's out of there. And the stripe-y batik is out too. I'm so so on the floral with the dark centers for now they stay in.
Those got pulled out, and now it's a lot better. I cut a second piece out of all the fabrics that had enough left. It turns out I have a lot of oranges, but I've been using them (see Safe At Home) lately, so they're in bits and pieces and not in sizes that I am able to cut a 10" square out of.

 Found a few more fabrics that worked, I'm liking the variety of dark medium and light. But now I'm noticing in this picture, wow, do a couple of them ever look yellow. In person it looks fine though, definitely on the more yellow side of yellow-orange, but not this yellow. I think this goes back to the age-old problem with cameras having trouble translating the red that is in anything correctly as far as our eyesight goes, it never matches. 

Still not enough, not even close to have enough for 48 squares, so I'm going shopping!

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Under The Needle


One of my April To-Dos has gotten underway today. Safe At Home is finally under the quilting needle.
This was one of the quilts that I spray basted with Odif 505 back in October. It's been folded up and ready to go since then. And finally I was ready to go too. So far the spray baste is working out just fine, there's no movement and no gunk on the needle either..

Monday, April 18, 2022

Green Shoots

There's something about the green shoots of grass especially in spring, all that possibility bursting out of the dark soil, reaching for the sunlight. The goal always to grow, to produce.

That's what these two projects I'm starting with friends feel like to me. These are green shoots projects, just at their beginning points, but in a creative way. So much possibility contained in the beginnings of a collaboration with other creatives, hope for some new sort of synergy, the fun of combined forces to push through and make something new.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Crossing New Lines In Print


It's been awhile since I've had a quilt appear in the pages of an actual magazine, so it was exciting to get my Curated Quilts Red issue in the mail and get to see mine  on one of the mini-quilt gallery pages. They also sent my quilt back to me nicely packaged up with an official CQ sticker, which was a lovely red.

Remember, you can use my code to get a 10% discount: Use my affiliate link code for 10% off on the Curated Quilts website with the referral code: HIGH-FIBER  

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Orange You Glad?

 Woohoo! It's time for another bullseye project with friends Jaye and Adrienne. 
We've done several before: red, blue, purple. And this time we've settled on!

The first step is cutting 48 squares of orange fabric before we start swapping. 

So far I've gotten 17 cut out and they're looking pretty good together. Very varied, which is the whole idea.

Friday, April 15, 2022

3-D Warm Up

My DH has issues with the skin on his hands and sometimes he really needs to warm them up, and now that I'm starting to get arthritis in a few of my fingers, I need a hand warm up thing too. I tried making fleece mittens with microwaveable rice bags inside of them a while ago, but they turned out to be way too small for either of us. The height and width were fine, but I didn't add in any space for depth. I don't have completely flat hands and neither does my DH. Memo to me to remember: we're actually 3-D.

I uncovered my first attempts at these warm-up mittens down in the bottom of my scrap basket of all places (?!) so I knew I needed to quickly whip up a much bigger version. The main issue besides the depth issue was the physical space right at the "cuff" so I added no taper at all for the wrist in the paper pattern I drew.
I cut out two pairs of fleece pieces and set the flannel rice bags on top. Then my work progress had to be inspected. I think the rice bags probably smelled interesting to Leeloo.

I cut out a piece of flannel to make a pocket for the rice bags and stitched it down to one each of the pairs. They get heated in the microwave for under 2 minutes so as not to scorch the rice.
Sewed around the edges and tah-dah, comfort and warmth! And lots of spaaaace.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Angle of Repose Scrap Basket Version

 There was another remaining teetering pile of fabric to be dealt with, this one was impacting my cutting table. This time it was my over-filled scrap basket. When I say over-filled, I mean that it was well over foot above the top of the basket. leaning up against the ruler organizer, and falling on the floor,  according to laws of physics (see: angle of repose). was time to sort it out and put it away.

I started by dumping the whole pile on my table and got started sorting. And then some help arrived. 
A lot of help, hah! Big pieces go here, smaller ones here, teeny edge trimmings here, batting scraps to stuff the pillow-in-process.
Or we can just jump on them and mix them back up again. The angelic "who-me?" face works every time.
I eventually got it all sorted out, once Leeloo stopped "assisting" and curled up in the now-empty scrap basket.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

The Great Sort

The project of putting away the teetering washed fabric stack so that I have room to quilt has turned into a whole thing. Of course it has. Because I was unearthing layer after layer, kind of like combing through the geomorphic strata of the past few years. 

Oh hey, there's all of the fabric that I bought via the subscription box Culcita. (rip) I really liked the fabric four years ago as it arrived in their cute little boxes (and still quite like most of it) but I never used any of it. None. It's now sorted into its very own container now. In theory, the groups of fabrics are an easy starter for a quilt. Now that I've looked at it all again, maybe I'll actually use some of it. Don't laugh, it might happen.

More details on storage decisions made during The Great Sort:

  • Another part of the stack was a huge amount of yarn-dyed plaids and shot cottons, mostly Kaffe Fasset I think. Those are in their own box now because they require special handling.
  • There was also a lot of solids in there, which I have now put into all the color cubby boxes. 
  • I found a big assortment of ruler, number, letters, and words fabrics which are now in their own box.
  • I'm not sure why, but I've got all of my Tula Pink fabric in one box. They seem special somehow so they get to be separate.
  • And I made a box for Carolyn Friedlander and Marcia Derse fabric to live in. They're very different designers of course, but the amount of fabric for a separate box worked out.

And I'm done! With that clear open space next to my sewing machine, I can quilt some of those bigger quilts.

Goodness me oh my do I ever have a lot of fabric. This is something I knew of course, but handling so much of a chunk of it as I was sorting it out and putting it away was really hitting me differently. I I really a fabric hoarder? Verging on I'd say, but at least self-aware.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Tool Tuesday: The Clapper


I think I found this new tool via instagram somehow, but don't quote me on that. I mean, that was a whole two weeks ago and I can't recall.'s a clapper!

Nope, not that kind! (sorry,  just couldn't resist) 

 This is the one made for flattening seams in blocks and other sewn seams. You iron your block and then set this device down on the seam and it holds the heat in and weights the fabric just enough to really make the ironing work better without the risk of distortion.

 I haven't gotten to use it yet, so no performance review from me as of this writing. But this is a lovely lovely tool, the wood is beautiful and smooth, the weight is just right, and there are grooves on the sides for your fingers. And as you can see, the seller offers personalization. 
There's a strike of Etsy sellers ( protesting seller fees being jacked up 30% !!) going on right now that RossieCrafts is participating in, but for next week, here's the link to go check it out. 

If you want to support the strike, the Etsy sellers participating are asking people to not shop on Etsy this week April 11-18. 
FYI: the participating sellers have put their shops on vacation mode.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Filing Help

I'm getting a lot of help putting away the Leaning Stack O' Fabrics from my new studio assistant.
She's finding all the spaces left in my fabric cubby boxes. Sorry, Leeloo, I just can't file you under "gray" try the brown box next time, or maybe orange.
She was really mad that I "found" her.
She's still new around here, but waving a big flag like one's tail for instance, it's a real attention getter.

 I'm about halfway through the stack so it's back to work for both of us.