Sunday, April 30, 2023

April Cornucopia


Well, that was a full month wasn't it? April is over once again, and here is what I enjoyed all over the web, buzzing like this busy bee above.

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Now this sounds do-able to me, a no hand-sewing way to use the giant hexie packs that I won last year.

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I think I'm going to join in this year with A Positivity Quilt Along to make a quilt for Mercyful Quilts, it starts at the end of May.

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Fiber Art Now magazine has started a new blog that already has some very interesting  posts up.

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You've probably already seen the recall notice for the SteamFast mini iron, but here it is just in case you've missed it. I stopped using mine because I'd heard two separate people tell me about tabletop fires theirs had started! It was too bad because that little iron got so nice and hot and steamy.

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A great Boro inspired tote bag with good (and free) instructions.

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This short article with interesting photographs of Cristina Ffrench's recycled clothing, very cool.

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Don't forget to register for Nancy's Crows Textile Talk, happening on May 3rd, and then also on May 10th, it'll be Kaffe Fassett's turn.

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If you haven't already, please sign the petition for our congresspeople to actually vote to recognize that  the ERA has passed ratification. It's the last step, we're so close! Hard to believe this was first introduced 100 years ago and still is not law in our country.

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Saturday, April 29, 2023

Beautiful Fruit Blocks


Time to make this week's Trinket quilt blocks, Shapes #1-#5. I printed out the blocks and apparently my printer needs some new ink, as it came out in stripes on the little pictures of the blocks. Luckily I have the pattern book to refer to. For my first round of blocks I'm following the color choices in the pattern. Then when I make the duplicate blocks I'll use my own color picks.
I used my hand dandy Lightbox and clear cutting mat for help.
Lots of fussy cutting happening this time.
"Beautiful Fruit, In A Jade Lake." Having fun with the word fabrics as you can see.
This one came out a little bit off, but I still like it.
Reminds me of the Berkeley Campanile, hmmm I wonder.
for you Darling Strawberries

Oooh, that diamond worked out perfectly! So excited to see it. I did the trick of sewing the two sections together with a long stitch to check on alignment, and then shifted slightly before re-sewing with a short stitch.

Friday, April 28, 2023

Burn Grow Slide

As I posted about earlier, I prepared to make a 24"w x 36"h art quilt for the Climate Change Challenge that Bam is going to show at the San Mateo County Fair.  Going off of this sketch of "Burn, Grow, Slide" I packed some browns, red-browns and black fabrics to use.
This was the last project that I worked on at the retreat, I packed up my machine and made space on my table to spread out. As you can see I used A Lot of pins and filled in one of the three columns.  This is the one representing "Burn". 

My sketch in this section was based off of this screenshot of a video of the burned redwoods in Big Basin State Park from the August 2020 CZU fire. The tree on the left is the one that I zoomed in because of the interesting charred/not-charred shapes and sections.

I took several pictures showing the details in case pins shift or pin out.
I had stitched the rough outline of the three columns on the batting/backing already.
Here's how it looks up on the wall, and I'm pretty happy with it. I'll work on stitching down these pieces before I move onto the other two columns.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Last Color Collective

I received my latest and I think last, Color Collective package a little early this time. So early that the pattern isn't even out quite yet. That will happen on the first of May. And this time it's supposed to be the guest quilt designer's turn, Jacquie Gering. I'm super curious to see what she presents us with. Especially given this vibrant color palette.
It's a really nice choice of colors this time, feels very updated and timely somehow. I do love that neon green (Acid Lime) and am looking forward to using it with all these other colors. Yes, the Hi-Chew candy was good this time, mmmmmango. Once again the two textured fabrics are so great, both are Essex linen, which is 55% linen, 45% cotton. This time we're using both the red and the peacock colors of this truly great to work with fabric. Sure it ravels and all, but it feels so good and looks really really great with the solids. I've already zig-zagged the edges of the two fabrics so that it won't get too crazy raveled when I wash them.

I'm actually feeling a lot better about using the Kona solids after working with them on the Slopes quilt. They seem to be much less thick than I remember them being, and the raveling isn't as bad as it is on some other fabrics. I do still like the hand of the Paintbrush Studios Painter's Palette Solids and the Art Gallery Fabrics Pure Solids more. I wonder if the greige goods they're using for the Konas is different now? I still have solids that I bought many years ago that were probably Kona, but as they don't have any labeling on the selvedge, I don't know for sure so I can't check my old assumptions. It is good to have this many options for solids now, for awhile quilters didn't have many choices. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Wandering Wednesday - San Juan Bautista

 I know, it's been all about the retreat the past few days, but here's some more about the place itself, San Juan Bautista. I don't think I've been here since the long ago CQFA show (August 2000!) that I helped put on at the Gallery Tonantzin. The gallery building is still there, it's an old adobe from the 1800's and right behind it is a fabulous Mexican restaurant, Jardines de San Juan. After meeting at the quilt shop, Family Threads, we all gathered there to eat and chat, very fun. My neck is still a bit sun-burned.

I took this picture at the restaurant because I liked the combination of the colors, shapes and textures of the flowers, leaves, the pot color, and the bricks.

After we ate, we still had some time before the retreat center was going to be ready for us so we strolled up and down the Main Street. A lot of the little shops were open which was fun. It was a beautiful sunny day and it was nice to be outside. I was trying to get a picture of the cool vintage bakery sign across the street, but here you can see the super green hills around town.

There are some enormous old gnarled pepper trees along the street, seen in the upper left foreground, and some great vintage presumably original storefronts.
There's a small rose garden park with a foreboding sentry plant along the street, this big cactus, eeek! Seeing all those nearly ripe cactus fruits, aka prickly pears, reminded me of my Grandpa Zaccone harvesting his for us in the summer. with his big leather work gloves, pliers and strict instructions for us kids to Not Touch them until he was done. Oooh, were they ever tasty.
I loved the tunnel of trees driveway up to the retreat center. It's just past the turnoff for Fremont Peak where we've been camping.

The St. Francis Retreat Center is a very nice place, it had come highly recommended to our group from another quilt guild. I found it to be very well-laid out, spacious grounds, good parking, and some nice walking trails. There as a beautiful pond which you can kind of see past the trees there. Just a lovely place to be ( and to do Quilty stuff too).
The redbud trees were in bloom and they were just stunning. Such a beautiful magenta.

I admired the well kept but also sort of natural looking gardens surrounding the buildings. There were a lot of massive oak trees which are always lovely to be around.

The workroom  was plenty big for the number of people we had at the retreat. They're very used to hosting quilt groups, so they had ironing boards and enough power for us to use.

This was the view from where I parked my car, way up on the hill is a crucifix that's lit up at night.
It was very starry and clear one night.
At the end of our weekend, we all hung up a piece of what we'd been working on, and it was really impressive to see all that work, pow!
There were great prize bags given away during the weekend, the grand prize being this fabulous bag that friend Jaye made, seen here with the lucky and happy, Alison.

Quilt retreats are So Much Fun! I can't wait until next year. Thanks, BAM.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Partial Slopes Back


Another thing I worked on at the retreat was using the scraps from making the Slopes top to start on a back. I had to arrange the badly trimmed blocks in such a way that it wouldn't matter at all that they wouldn't be matching up. The blue frame is made of a different fabric from the rest of the scraps. It was one of the grunge prints that I brought along with me. I'm think that I may add big pieces of various prints around this to make it big enough to use as a quilt back
The squares and rectangles around the outer edge are very random, but I'm very pleased with how the colors still work together.

Monday, April 24, 2023

Stitch Happens Back Again


My next project to work on at the retreat was making a back for the Stitch Happens quilt. I brought along all the leftovers and some Tula Pink fabrics as well as a nice purple solid. I had a bunch of HST's left over from making all the blocks, so I trimmed them down to two sizes, 1.75" and 1.5". 

I pieced all the teeny scraps together with the purple solid into columns, surrounding them with the Tula Pink prints.
I had some pretty cute scraps left, so I'm glad I took this time to use them up on the same project they came from.
Those little HST's really ended up looking cute.
I mean, c'mon look at those!
This was a whole lot of pressing and trimming and it's still not put together and read to use. 

I wanted to put them up on my design wall and arrange them in the best way and there really wasn't a way to do that. So that's the final step, and then I'll be ready to do some quilt sandwiching.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

More Yes Please

Just back from retreat with some pictures of the first thing I worked on, The Yes Coat. This was one of the things on my To Dooo List this month, so I wanted to make some progress. 
I read some of the book that I bought from Rachel D. Clark and chose one of the block ideas that she suggests.
Those can be seen on the right going down vertically. The one on the left is made from the scraps and I may like it a bit more than the others. I also paper pieced the big YES. Those blocks are 10.5" square.
Here they are in context with the other Yes's that I've already paper pieced. There's way too much contrast, so I can't use them on the outside of the coat. Perhaps they'll be part of the lining across my back. After all that work, sigh. I wish I'd really looked at the colors I was using. I think what happened was that I placed my gray hand-dye next to the print and the section that was showing was much closer to the gray print.  Maybe I can separate the letters off to different sections of the coat so that the word isn't legible.
Here's the other pieces that I've made along with the muslin pieces for the coat.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Pre-Retreat Supplies

Before the BAM retreat, we all met up at the LQS, Family Threads Quilt Shop. I found a very cool Typography FQ which features a really nice Z, as well as that nice orange triangles print. The floral green blue print looked very interesting when rolled up and even better when laid out. And then there’s the jewel toned small polka dots. That color combination was irresistible.  The brown texture print might end up in a Climate Change quilt I’ll be working on later this weekend.

The pink add a quarter ruler is because I forgot mine at home and I wanted to work on a paper piecing project at the retreat.

After lunch we strolled the Main Street of San Juan Bautista and I found these beautiful polished serpentine (state rock of CA) isn’t that color just so perfect and beautiful? I had no idea serpentine could be this color, and then of course I looked it up, and it's the state rock of California for an economic reason. (of course) It's a NOA, Naturally Occurring Asbestos. Back in 1956 when they chose it, that was a very big industry, of course we know better now. But it's still a cool rock, I won't be chopping it up and breathing it in though.

Friday, April 21, 2023

New Quilt New Fusible


I decided to try out a new type of fusible batting, when I ran out of my old faithful Hobbs. This is Quilter's Dream fusible, which is also 80/20 cotton/poly. As I unfolded the batting from the package I noticed that it wasn't sticking to all. It turns out that the fusible is only on one side. There's even a little stapled-on paper label on the fusible side. The Hobbs is (I don't really know), infused with fusible, it's not really apparent applied, it's just there, and thus it really sticks to itself. And it is not a big deal to separate it, even for the larger batts.

The fabric behind the batting package is this really lovely Chinese clouds fabric that I got a deal on, I like using this for backings because it's pretty.

Here's the start, it's going to be a 24 x 36" quilt, so that it will fit in with all the other quilts Ive made in that size for Stretching Art & Tradition shows. It's for the Climate Change Challenge that BAM is entering in the San Mateo County Fair. So it's due pretty soon. I have a sketch and I have a title, "Burn, Grow, Slide." I have all the fabrics chosen and I'm going to be working on it at the BAM retreat this weekend. I really hope that the fusible works! More on this later.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Tracking Trinket

 I have been keeping track of the Trinkets blocks I've been making on the handy dandy printout that was provided as part of the Trinket SAL. I'm using colored pencils to color in the blocks as I do them. At first I was thinking I'd cut these out and glue stick them into position on the grid layout that was also provided.  But then a suggestion was made in the SAL group....a spreadsheet.

Don't laugh, I'm a sucker for a good spreadsheet idea. Is it a teeny bit fiddly, oh yes. Is it as fiddly as coloring in and then cutting out and glueing in a tiny little square? Maybe about the same really. Will I do both? It's absolutely possible verging on probable. 

Main reason is to make sure I've got the right amounts of the various colors represented in the quilt layout. Seeing just these first ten blocks up there with the black squares is doing wonders for me to visualize how this is going to look in the end. It is a little hard to conjure up on my own. Playing around with the actual Trinket blocks will be the most fun way to keep track of the color representation though. But I will have to get to the point where there are enough of them to make that worthwhile to do. Onwards!

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Pantone Project Recently

Here is an update on the Pantone Project, these are the most recent blocks that I've completed. One set is going to friend Jaye at the upcoming BAM retreat. That's on the very top of my list of things to remember to bring (and do).  It would be a total Julie move to remember to bring the blocks, but then get all excited and wrapped up with the retreat goings on and forget to actually hand them over. Writing this down like this in two places now will hopefully help!
I'm pretty excited about how this recent set looks together. 
I think that the colors would make an interesting color palette for a quilt.
Here are all 40 blocks that I've made so far along with their corresponding 4.5" square of fabric. Plus one of Jaye's that got mixed in by accident.
While so many of the blocks were out and on the design wall, I decided to put them up with the blocks Jaye has made and play around to see how they are looking so far.
Some interesting possibilities are already coming through. We're not even halfway there yet on making these, so there will be a lot more variety in combinations.