Wednesday, August 31, 2022

August Cornucopia


Another August is done, here's a cornucopia post full of links to the articles, exhibits, podcasts, etc. that I enjoyed consuming this past month.


Combining fashion and horticulture, why not? I really like the grassy shoes.


The annual SAQA benefit auction pieces are up in gallery format with the auction happening in September. We got to curate our own mini dream collections, I did one called "Circle Up" with all circle related quilts.


An ombre puffy quilt instruction video from Art Gallery Fabrics.


Traditional wind and rainproof bear gut parka sewn with fascinating waterproofed stitch.


A bunch of free to use California Native plant garden designs for various situations.


In Kentucky, teenagers are learning embroidery (and talking feminism, etc.) at the School of Needlework for Disobedient Women.


Librarians discovering all sorts of ephemera people leave between the pages of books, just fascinating.


Donate to the 25 Million Stitches gofundme so they can travel the awesome show!


This time around, Curated Quilts new mini-quilt challenge is paper piecing. Not sure I'll do it, but who knows, maybe you will? The colors to use are quite nice.


This looks like a very cozy and lovely scarf made out of flannel. If it ever gets cold again, I might like to make one of those, or maybe it would be a good gift.


Another great idea to use one's Circuit or other automatic cutter to do some surface design on fabric. Inspiring! I've got to try this one.


Long live the practice of Exquisite Corpse. I know I had fun doing the fiber version of it years ago.


Podcast consumption report, I enjoyed listening to: Amicus and Strict Scrutiny which both cover the Supreme Court, great explainers for non-lawyers. Scam Likely - a podcast about the scam callers (who have scammed my folks twice!) and how the whole thing works and who these people are, and how they're getting caught.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Kitchen Sink Quilting

Just about one year after finishing the top, the quilting on the Kitchen Sink Quilt has gotten underway, and I have a plan.

I'm doing an overall vertical with a medium gray thread. Not even close to matchstick quilting, about 1/2" apart. 
It's visible but not too terribly visible.
Once all the vertical stitching is done, I'm going to do some angular stitching as well, based on the odd angles of some of the blocks. Likely I will use one of the colors from that block instead of the grey.
I think the additional angles of quilting will add some interest but not be overwhelming.

Monday, August 29, 2022

One Orange Top

One whole top completed, which, as you can see, is all about the Orange

The orange bullseye experience is not quite over, as now I am working on a back and binding. 

But that's going to be a project for next month which is in two days, wow, August went by so quickly! 

 I took all these detail photos to show off all the great fabric combinations in the quilt top. 

The colors are still a little off in all these pictures. Other than getting daylight bulbs in my studio room, or setting up my quilt photography setup (not doing all that for just a top, sorry) this is the best I can do for now.

The sort of chaotic design I came up with has ended up emphasizing the squares of the background, which is one of the things I was going for. There may be another bullseye project in the works if we can agree on a color and timing, etc. What a fun and rewarding project to do with friends!

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Half A Top


Half of the orange bullseye rows are now sewn together. 
Again, I find that I'm having a bit of trouble photographing this well, it's so much browner looking in the picture than to my eye. Probably due to just the lighting. But there are several of the background squares that were definitely on the browner end of the oranges used. I am still considering whether or not this will have a border and if so, what kind.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Paper Sewing

I haven't been doing too much sewing the last few days, but I did sew some paper today. Specifically Rancho Gordo "Bean Club" paper. This is a nice thick printed packing paper that's in our regular shipment of their very awesome beans four times a year.

But what could it be, with just one line of sewing?

It is a cat tunnel of course. She's been playing with the last shipment's piece of paper all this time, I thought I'd up the fun a bit for her.  We shall see how long it lasts...
She's pretty happy about this new paper format. We're calling this the upstairs paper. The other stays flat and remains downstairs. The reason is that she likes to run then belly flop and slide on the wood floor underneath it to "hide". Hard to do that maneuver on carpet.

She's been hiding in it for hours since I sewed it up for her. A good use of my sewing time I'd say.

Friday, August 19, 2022

Hands On


Here I am, using some waiting in the car time today to stitch on my to-go project as my son gets his wisdom teeth taken out. This is a collage "scene" with a lot of machine stitching and hand-beading. You can see the beads on the right. Note, this is a closeup, not the whole piece.
Just some little chicken scratch stitches with the lovely Spagetti (I agree with you spell-check, very dumb spelling of that product) embroidery thread and a nice big needle.  The fabric on the left is a cotton/linen/hemp woven checkered fabric that I dyed and over-dyed. It's one of my favorite fabrics I've ever worked on. The way the fabric took the dye in layers of color, and how it transformed as it was washed several times, the oils from the hemp really do get released and it ends up with a very soft hand.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Orange Around Here

The Orange Bullseye quilt top is coming together, row by row.

 Five more rows to go, so the end of this stage is definitely in sight, and then it's one last chance to change things and possibly switch up the row order. That would be a new version of playing around with this quilt top design that I haven't tried yet.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Corked Up

Lately, whenever we finish a bottle of something that has a cork, I take it up to my workroom and set it on my table until I feel like it's time to carve a new small stamp. This time, I tried a new kind of cork, one of those faux cork replacements that they're using now. (Note, not because we are literally running out of cork trees or they're endangered, they've just figured out that screw caps preserve wine better so now there's not as much demand for cork. That may lead to cork forests not being managed or replanted in the future though). This new type of material is a very dense plastic, slightly stretchy just enough so that it conforms to the bottle neck. It was very hard to cut. It is not at all absorbent like the real cork and is very smooth almost texture-less. Thus, for my purposes, it does not make a great stamping material, although it does work to transfer an image once you've spent the extra time trying to carve it.
These are my most recent cork carves. All random shapes and odd almost symbols. I either use a stamp pad or use a nice juicy new marker.
It's fun to compare the different doodle shapes that I come up with and use them all together. I haven't tried them on fabric, and might attempt that next with the fabric ink stamp pad I have.
I keep them all in a bin, and am adding to it slowly, as we drink enough wine or other beverages that have suitable corks. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Orange Decision

I think I've settled on one arrangement for the Orange Bullseye, after a lot of playing around. And wow, did I ever color correct these pictures strangely/badly. For reference my design wall is quite bright white.

 The sewing together has begun! And even though I know how math works, I am always surprised at just how much sewn together quilt block rows shrink up.

Monday, August 15, 2022

Ephemera Pages

Here's a few pages from this year's ephemera journal. This first one was supposed to just be a background for something else that is black and white, but I liked it too much to put anything on top of it. This is done in various pens, and watercolor pencil. It's fun to see the difference between the gray and black pencils.

Plastic sushi grass, water brush sticker that fell off the package, deep brown paper from a package.

A cool postcard with sort of matching watercolor stripes.

Another supposed to be a background that turned out to be something I couldn't cover up.

A Curated Quilt sticker and a red pen background.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

New And Improved


I finally got a chance to check out the new space that Golden State Quilting is occupying, I consider this one of my LQS, as it's the closest to me when I "go over the hill" instead of down towards Santa Cruz. It's a much bigger space, and well-divided. Best of all, they really have a great selection of fabrics and notions and it's not as cramped to look at all the choices. There's a good space for a display of quilts above all the racks and shelves of fabrics. The store is set on a corner, so there are a whole lot more windows and it's nice and bright in there which was great as I was trying to color-match the light blue for the last bit of "sky" I needed for the Japanese Houses quilt. I could just go over to a sunny spot and hold the bolt up to the swatch I brought with me.  

The only thing I don't like, is the long-arm set up right in the store because when it's going on automatic, it is very rackety and loud. When I first went into the shop, I had one of my AirPods in, listening to a podcast, so I didn't notice it as much. But once friend Jaye showed up and we wanted to chat about the fabrics as we looked around, it was quite noticeable and not in a good way. At one point the thing stopped, probably for a thread color change and it was a relief. I get that they need to have it near where the people running the shop can monitor the progress of the auto quilting, but probably it doesn't bother too many people. If I had been on my own I probably would have stuck the other AirPod in and just blocked it out, (thank you noise canceling).

So what did I buy? Another Quilter's Select ruler, this time in a 6 x 12" size, these things really do not slip, totally worth the extra price in my opinion. Some of the grey and light blue Painter's Palette Solids that I needed to finish up the Japanese Houses, 5 fat quarters (two Tula Pink, 2 great polka dots, 1 weird yellow), and some of this lovely printed canvas/linen for a tote bag of some sort to be determined in the future.

Saturday, August 13, 2022



Disclaimer: I acknowledge that this is the very definition of a first world problem sort of post.

When my FitBit Versa 2 screen did this, I knew it was probably a goner. I tried the FitBit tech support chat, but they had nothing to even try besides turning it on and off again. They very very quickly got off the chat and offered me a %off coupon. It was only two years old, and I'd had zero problems with it at all. It always held a charge for nearly a week, it always synced with the app, etc. I was pretty pleased with it and wore it just about every single day. Mostly I use it to keep track of how active I am, to tell me if I'm overdoing it or not. With the condition that I have, it is very easy to overdo and then I'm down for the count for several days. Using the FitBit has helped me to be much more aware of it and manage it better for myself.

The funny thing was that I had no idea how often I used it as an Actual Watch to tell me the Actual Time until the screen stopped working. It was surprising to find that out. I kept wearing it and keeping it charged, it kept updating to the app, I just couldn't use any of the functions on it since the screen didn't work at all, unless you're really into staticky looking test pattern lines. It wasn't useless, just not usable.

I was tempted to give in and just get an Apple Watch, now that I had gotten used to wearing a "smart" watch, but I was not wanting to give up on the FitBit platform quite yet as I have one of those syncing scale thingies that still works. I decided to utilize my %off coupon and buy one of the new versions. This is the Versa 3, it is a slightly different shape, much more rounded at the corners and the watch band is different. I thought I wouldn't like the feel of it, but it turns out that it's perfectly fine. And I can tell the time again. 

As you can see, this one lets you put one of your photos as your background to the main screen. I've got my three amigos on there to keep me motivated. The new versions also give you information on your heart like AFIB alerts as well as alerts when your stability is questionable. Both are things that I'm concerned about.

Over the years, I think I've had something like five FitBits of various types, shapes and sizes. They've been a good tool and I like having the data on myself. It helps me explain myself to myself if that makes sense. 

Friday, August 12, 2022

Friday Grind


I haven't played around with the app, Percolator in a while, but recently did with the recent picture of the orange bullseye up on my design wall.  The Grind reference in this post title is the name of one of the actions you can do to your photo in the app. 

In this first one, I really like how you can see the bubble/circle overlay clearly in the lower cream color. It's like a white lacy design, almost like a spiderweb.

The abstraction or blurring of the fabric patterns is quite striking.
Changing the circle pattern to black really gives it a different look.
I might like this one the best.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Energizing Orange

Here's the first go at putting all the finished orange bullseye blocks up on the design wall. This first picture is a random pull and placement, except for not having matching backgrounds next to one another. It's a pretty good random distribution of tints, tones and shades of all that glorious orange. Walking into my workroom is Very Energizing now, orange really is a powerful color.

You might have noticed the empty spot in the lower left corner. That's because one of our swap group made a few extra blocks. So, instead of 48,  and a 6 blocks by 8 arrangement, instead we nearly have a square of 7x7 aka 49. I will likely make another 1/4 bock to fill in the space.

But then I started in on playing around with the blocks, putting all the blocks with lots of white in the background in the right hand column, and mostly darks along the bottom and left hand side. There was one block that just really stood out as not an orange background to my eye. It was majority pink and the first circle was magenta which blended in too much, so it looked like a blob of Pink in a sea of orange. 

So now it's decision time, I either have to make two replacement 1/4 blocks to fill in, which is no big deal really as I'm sitting in a room filled with fabric options, or to take away two more 1/4 blocks and have a 6 block by 8 arrangement. 

But I think I'm liking the non-circular arrangement of the 1/4 blocks. Most of the bullseye quilts I've made have ended up going that direction. It's pretty hard to look at the design with those white squares jumping out though, isn't it? That's a thought, to put in something super contrasty instead of more 1/4 bullseye blocks. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Wandering Wednesday - Zephyr Cove


One of our days in Tahoe was designated as a beach day, so we set off from our rented house to Sand Harbor over the state line into Nevada. We'd enjoyed it the last time we'd visited Tahoe, but unfortunately it was completely full, so we drove on, ending up further down around the lake into Zephyr Cove. It was really lovely. Easy to get to the beach, a pretty good cafe, okay bathrooms and lots of space. And a great name too. the smoke from the fires near Yosemite was aa little reduced which was nice so we could see across the lake to Emerald Bay.
And geese, lots and lots of geese, hotfooting it around as the sand got hotter towards mid-afternoon.
This one goose just settled down into a little hole it dug for itself and sat there for a while, just in case I decided to toss them a pretzel. I went into the water several times and thoroughly enjoyed myself, except for getting slightly sunburned. I keep forgetting I'm a delicate flower now. The water was fairly shallow so it wasn't too shockingly cold, so it was easy to stay in for a while and float around. It was fun watching all the various water equipment people were using, lots of stand-up paddling, several with dogs on board. I tried to picture doing that with my own dog, and settled on that she'd probably do pretty well in a kayak.

It was one of my niece's 17th birthdays recently so we went in search of a celebratory dessert. Boba tea was the best we could come up with, but she loved it. I loved seeing this old sign in South Lake Tahoe. We were most of the way around the lake now so we just proceeded from there, making a complete circuit in one day. A lot of driving, but my BIL's sister really enjoyed seeing the whole lake.

Refreshing gin and tonics out on the deck of our rented house to celebrate a great trip. The backyard was a little trickle of water known as Bear Creek which was funny to us as that is one of the creeks and roads where we live. This was a Bear Creek that still hosts bears though, the house we rented had quite an elaborate bear zapping set up over all the bear-accessible doors and windows. 

One of those lovely blue skies when the fire smoke finally mostly cleared away.

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Four Quarters

Back on the Orange You Glad train, now that all four quarters are here and ready to go. I'm going to put them all up on the design wall today and play around with them. Autocorrect just changed play to Olay, that was very odd, anyway...moving on. So exciting, and I can't wait to come up with a design to use all this vibrant color.

As I was trimming some of the quarter blocks, I noticed that the centers had double layers, so  that's what all these 1/4 circles are about. Aren't they cute like this though? I kind of want to make some sort of raw-edge appliqué piece with these. Maybe for the back of the quilt? Or a matching pillow? Of course I also have a lot of leftover whole circles of the three various sizes.