Tuesday, May 31, 2022

May Cornucopia


Here are all the links to thing I enjoyed, read, was entertained or moved by in the month of May. (picture from my time in Shenzhen, China)


A reminder that it's now time to submit your entry to Quilt National '23. Still on my artist bucket list to get into this show, so I'm trying once again. After all: You can't get in if you don't enter!


Here's a free pattern for a really cute patchwork tote from Art Gallery Fabrics.


Another chance to get a mini quilt into print, Curated Quilts new challenge is Negative Space.


Move over Wordle and Heardle, now comes Artle from the National Gallery of Art. Every day you get four guesses and four pieces of art to try and guess the correct artist. The answer comes with a link to a short biography of the artist. Very challenging!


Maria Shell is having an exhibit, Maria Shell Off The Grid, at the Shelburne Art Museum, and there's a cool video presentation about their quilt collection and how they tie in with her quilts that you can watch. They have several museum from home videos as well, which is a great idea, I'm glad that post-pandemic more museums are offering video content.


The write-up/review of the High Desert Test Sites, outdoor art exhibit in the Joshua Tree desert area makes me want to cry and also to go see the art, unfortunately it's closed now. But what an interesting conundrum, trying to make/display art in such a harsh outdoor environment.


So it turns out to be like that solar beats nuclear, if you're trying to live on Mars that is.


A Reminder: The Biden Administration announced this week that every home in the U.S. is eligible to order a third round of free at-home Covid-19 tests. Each order includes eight rapid antigen tests. You can order yours today here: https://www.covid.gov/tests. Literally the easiest government form/website you will ever encounter.


An excellent article and guide to How To Revive Your Sense of Wonder. 


Thinning the forests, aka treatment, usually entails cutting and then burning massive amounts of trees. That's a whole lot of carbon going into the atmosphere, but there are alternatives.


Modern log cabin quilt challenge from MQG and APQ.  It might be fun to design something as un-log-cabinish as possible for this one.


Medical fatphobia is definitely a phenomenon I've personally experienced, this is a great explainer. In this issue of Pipewrench Magazine, I'd also recommend the rest of The Fat Issue, really great writing, I learned new stuff, it made me think, etc.


This episode of the NPR history podcast, Throughline is a great discussion of the history of abortion in the US. The part two of their exploration of the topic hasn't come out yet. I knew some of this, but not all, and not at all in context which is of course, crucial.


Monday, May 30, 2022

Faux Goose Chase

Another unfinished sort of truly forgotten project I uncovered during the now several day search for the Blue Squares binding (still missing) is this mess of HST. I took advantage of the free design wall to put them up and play around until I got a design that I liked. These were cut out way back when my friend Debbie lived in the town next door, she invited me over to try out her Accu-quilt Studio die cutter. I wasn't making a lot of block quilts or even blocks really back then. I remember casting around through the pile of recent quilt magazines and finding this quilt design:

I can sort of guess at my thought process, I'll "make it my own", with the white being black and white prints, and the black and pink instead will be orange, green and a yellow/purple/orange/green print. So good so far, right? **record scratch** None, not a single one of these triangles in this quilt design are HST. But like I said, not a block quilt maker, so I hadn't truly grasped the importance between the different sorts of triangles. 

The top picture is what I came up with to do with the stacks of HST's instead of this more orderly design. The funny thing is this magazine was stored in a bag with the ready to go triangles, kind of like a kit to put together this quilt, here's all the parts just go. By the way this is the Jul/Aug 2013 issue of Quilty from Fons & Porter and it's a Mark Lapinski quilt design. It's even listed on my to-do database as Goose Chase. Maybe I'll call the HST quilt design Faux Goose Chase or something.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Old Friend New Stitch

After more searching for the Blue Squares binding (still can't find it), I came upon an unfinished project that yelled out to me quite loudly that it needed to be worked on. I was in a listening mood, being a bit frustrated that I couldn't lay hands on the binding and got out some embroidery thread.

I started this piece way back in 2007, which is 15 years ago (eep) in an EBHQ class with Pamela Allen. 

It’s mostly gluesticked together with a few pins here and there. And after all these years, it's still stuck together. There are a lot of layered parts that will be a little fiddly to stick down. The idea, as I remember it, was to hand stitch the edges of each piece and then to fill in with more stitching either hand or machine. I didn’t get too far on it back then and I guess it got tucked away.  But now it’s out of storage and getting worked on once again. It's like getting a visit from an old friend you hadn't thought of in a long time.
Still have to find that binding though.


Saturday, May 28, 2022

Design Wall Saturday

Every now and then I like to take a picture of my design wall, just to keep track of how/what I'm doing. This week I was moving stuff around in my workspace and pinned these pieces up on the momentarily empty design wall for a mini-art show. Four of them are not quilts but are instead mixed-media paper and fabric and thread. 

This was all left up on display for a few hours while I tore my room apart looking for the binding I made 3 years ago for my Blue Squares quilt (still unfound at the moment 😢where the heck is it? 😡) and my two housemates (DH and son) both had viewer comments. It was interesting to hear what they had to say, the things that they noticed and pointed out and which pieces they liked the most. 

To me even as different as all the pieces are from each other, they are all still (to me at least) obviously made by the same person. Which, since several of these are shall we say, experimental at best, is a pretty good result. 

Friday, May 27, 2022

Flower Friday: Percolator Edition

Still not over my surprising peony success. So here's a repeat post of that beautiful flower, which has now been joined by many others.

I really love that picture, so it was time to fool around with it in Percolator. I used a texture setting on this one, so it looks even more like fabric to my eye.
There are a lot of adjustments to make within the Percolator app, it's very fun to play with.
I think the first version would make the best quilt design, but this one would be a close second.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

New Challenge


There's a MQG challenge that interested me, it involves using a palette of solids that Chawne Kimber chose from the Windham's Ruby+Bee. I decided that I liked the colors and the idea of designing and making a quilt in all solids which I haven't ever done. I had to hunt around to find the colors and ended up buying them from The French Seam and Hawthorne Supply.

The names of the colors are evocative: Russet, Mandarin, Vanilla Custard, Pool, Cornflower, Stormy. The fabric has a lovely hand, and washed up without any excess dye release.

Of course when one is on fabric supplier websites, other purchases tend to happen although I tried to limit it. Grey swirly fabric from Paula Nadelstern, and two pieces from a recent Halloween themed Alice in Wonderland.

This cool panel by Libs Elliot, The Watcher. Maybe the start for another baby quilt?

And more fusible batting from Hancocks of Paducah, so I don't have to do the spraying thing, even though it works well, the fusible batting is easier.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Wandering Wednesday: Port Townsend


I was so excited to finally get to show my DH around Port Townsend. It definitely helped that we lucked out with several sunny days to enjoy it.
We stayed in a really lovely stand-alone cottage we found on Airbnb, that's the main house off to the right. It had a lovely garden that was all abloom with the usual Pacific North West flowers like rhododendrons . 
The cottage had a double door (a dutch door?) with a very cool arch over it. DH was impressed with the great woodwork in the cottage, there were a lot of custom details.
Our first night there, we walked out onto the PT City Dock right off of downtown to take a look at the sunset. I really like the colors in this vignette.

This is a very uneven and thus sort of uneasy panoramic view of the water, to the right is Port Townsend Bay, the land visible across the water is Marrowstone Island and to the left is where Puget Sound meets the Salish Sea which eventually meets the Pacific..
The ruins of the moorings of the original ferry dock slowly crumbling into the sea. Interesting that they took the dock down because it was falling apart and very unsafe, but left this. You can't tell me that PT teens don't dare each other to swim out to this and climb around on it in the summertime.
Big ships off the coast in the distance. I think if I lived in PT with a view of the shipping lanes, I'd need a good set of binoculars.
We had one of the best dinners of the trip, was at a cute little place called Tommyknockers Cornish Pasty. That's a Cornish pasty with the knife stuck in it, they had so many different variations on the usual, even a vegan one. And in the foreground is one of the best salads ever. The Washington Apple Salad had really fresh local fresh greens, walnuts, big chunks of gorgonzola, dried cranberries,brumbled bacon, Apple Cider Vinaigrette and chunks and slices of various Washington apples. Beautifully presented and so so good.

I wish I'd taken pictures of the enormous mob of deer that inhabited the residential district, there were around 20 deer that seemed to live on (and in) people's gardens. One lawn had ten deer curled up and sleeping, they didn't spook or take off as we walked by like our deer do. I guess that they're completely used to being around lots of people. These are city deer I guess. I didn't take a lot of pictures because it was people's front yards and that felt too nosy. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the lovely old houses and their gorgeous gardens. Even the sidewalk was beautiful thanks to the cherry tree blossom.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Return of the Pins

All the 8" circles are sewn down on friend Adrienne's orange backgrounds for the Orange You Glad bullseye project and my pins are back on the pin holder. 

This photo is taken with the "portrait" setting on my phone, it blurs the background pretty well. I like the look of it. I took it from this angle to emphasize why the next step in the bullseye is important. You see how the stack (especially the one on the left) is angled up toward the corner opposite the orange? That's the result of the extra layer of fabric adding up in bulk. 

It's fun to play around with these, and check out all the color/pattern combinations.
Time to trim out the background circle. With the ironed-in folds, it's pretty easy to see how to start, there's one that's a "mountain" sticking up, I pinch that fold about 1/2" away from the sewing line, tug down the sewn on circle on the front, and make a little snip to insert the scissors. Then I cut around in a rough circle (no templates needed here) around a 1/2" way from the sewing line.
Now the block is much closer to a single layer of fabric. 
Memo to me: Make sure to use the scissors that have a rounded tip, not the double pointy stabbers. Not much fun having to replace the circle you've sewn on because you've cut into it. 

Monday, May 23, 2022

Temporary Pin Deficit

And all of a sudden I ran out of pins! It's so funny to see an empty pin holder. I used them all up pinning all of the 8" circles down on the orange backgrounds for the Orange You Glad bullseye project.

A blue-green circle appears.
They really do look quite nice all folded up. 

 I think I'm going to cut out the background circle on the back and then re-iron these before I send them on.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Getting Orange Around Here


As I began cutting out the 8" circles from the double folded 8" squares, I wanted to do a non-sewn mock-up of one completed bullseye. Here's how it looks without the background orange square.
And here's how it looks with an orange background square behind it. Pretty nice! And Hot🔥🔥🔥🔥!

This is the first one that I actually got ready to sew down. Pinned down in four places and spreading out the folds with my fingers as I pinned worked out just fine. I really do like how those ironed-in creases work to center the circles so easily. It's definitely worth the extra ironing effort.
So now that I knew that the templates and circles were looking right, I cut out the rest of the 8" circles and paired them up with the backgrounds. In the foreground is all the leftover fabric which makes for some very interesting scraps.
Quite the spendid rainbow, huh?
I'm so excited to see how these progress as they get added to with the next two circles.
And here's the rejects that just didn't work for that wild swirly background. I cut something new that made a good

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Time For Templates

Yesterday was template day for the Orange You Glad circles. I used a ruler and the right-angled corner of a piece of cardstock to make the three templates I'll be needing for our bullseye project.

Instead of hunting around for an 8", 6" and 4" circular object to trace out, or finding my compass, I used a ruler to mark the end point of the chord (or ray) from the center which in this case is the corner of the cardstock. These quarter circles should work well to cut a mostly accurate circle of double folded fabric.
I tried the cutting templates out on the 3 sizes of double folded fabric squares. I've already cut out all of the needed 8" squares, and have a few cut out for the 6" and 4".

I think the last time we did a bullseye quilt, I didn't use templates and just free-hand/eyeballed it while cutting the circles. Which led to some definite and possibly intended wonkiness.

I decided to try out friend Jaye's suggestion to use Wonderclips to hold the template onto the folded fabric.
And that worked out really well, as you can see. No shifting around happened while cutting. Now to cut out all those 8" circles.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Flower Friday: Peony Edition

What's this? Why it's a new flower making an appearance in my garden, the peony.

After a solid twenty years of trying, I've finally managed to grow myself a peony. Time to take a peony victory lap!

It smells absolutely amazing and has the most fascinating center. I've tried at least four times to plant these, and in the first case, our dog, Zelda decided to dig up the tubers and carry it around. I'd replant it, then she'd dig it up again. Maybe it smelled exciting to her somehow? I never figured that one out. But the upshot was that the plant didn't get a fair chance to try and grow. The last few times the plants have leafed out and gotten pretty big, but then a surprise heat wave has crisped them to bits before they could flower. I guess the timing was finally right this year, or maybe it was the strangely late rain that we got last month? Who really knows, but now that the plants are established, fingers crossed, they'll re-flower next year.
I have to say that it's playing very nicely with these rather common in comparison purple irises.

They really do look nice together, don't they?
This was in portrait mode, which blurs out the background. I like all the shadows on the petals.