Thursday, August 31, 2023

August Cornucopia


August was great, wasn't it? I'm writing this in the past, so this is hopefully true. I bet it was, August always goes so fast, but is usually a fun month. Here's a roundup cornucopia post of all the stuff I enjoyed, consumed or interacted with this month.


I've probably mentioned this before, but I'm enjoying reading Peppermint Magazine via my local library on the Libby app. This is a really fun read, it's always good to see how they do sewing things a little differently "down under." I love their magazine's mission statement: "We tell the stories of people doing good in the world."


Fascinating interview with an artist who uses plants for her watercolor paint pigments, her book is Feral Hues: A Guide to Painting With Weeds (love that title!)


Wow, one of the two colleges I attended in undergrad, UC Santa Cruz has just completed mapping the entire human genome, all of it, the whole entire thing: T2T, Telomere to Telomere.


Fun stuff and lots of ideas on the Gelli Arts Blog, like this image transfer process.


How Socialist Gym Rats Fought to End Slavery in America. Completely fascinating!


If you're one of those Tetris people from way back, give SandTrix a try. My DS suggested it to me and it's just as addictive as Tetris and challenging in a different way.


Maui Quilt Shop is collecting quilts for the fire survivors.


Speaking of Gingiber, how about this free quilt pattern that uses their great cat panels.


Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Quilting Break Time

Well, I was trying to get some more quilting done today.
But my new studio assistant insisted that I take a break to pet him. Immediately.
He wasn't taking no for an answer.
I took off my quilting gloves and did enough scratching and scritching to make Korben happy.
He thoroughly inspected the Stitch Happens quilt.
There may be a few teeny tiny holes besides where the threads are going in and out, but I think that'll be okay.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Product Review - Part 2 Marcia Baraldi Quilting Grip Gloves

Continuing on with my product review of the Marcia Baraldi Quilting Grip Gloves. Now that the initial smell has mostly dissipated, I decided to try out the new gloves in the two quilting situations I would normally be using them for 

First up is the work of handling a quilt through the initial stages of what I call anchor quilting. Using a walking foot I normal stitch along the major sections of the quilt, along rows, in the ditch. The gloves did very well in this application. They really helped me manage the effort of controlling the quilt being quilted, all while keeping it stable and flat.

In the second test situation, I switched up my machine for free-motion quilting. The gloves did very well in this situation also. I'd say they definitely improved my control on curves and more intricate small patterns. There was a little bit of a learning curve of course, as they're a little bit different from the Betty Bands or Machingers. It turns out you have to hold your hands even flatter. Basically there's no grabbing allowed.

Because of the flat hand, I was definitely less tense in my upper arms/shoulders and my hands weren't as crampy when I was done. So the ergonomic claims made seem to hold up for me. It was easy to handle threads, bobbins and pins as my fingers were free.

After my quilting session, I found that I was a bit sweaty in them, not surprising as it was pretty warm in my work room. There is still a rubbery/plastic smell but it wasn't overpowering, and didn't transfer to my hands. I have a very sensitive nose for this kind of smell though. 

All in all, I'm very glad I took a chance and tried them, I would definitely recommend this product. 

Monday, August 28, 2023

Stitch Happens Layered

On this hot day, I braved the steamy iron and got my Stitch Happens quilt layered up with my favorite fusible batting (Hobbs 80/20).
 Once again, there's just enough to go around on the back. I always cut it too close. It's annoying when you're quilt layering/basting, but yet I keep doing it to myself. Memo to me: Make Bigger Quilt Backs.

Tomorrow I'll layer/baste the Slopes quilt and then it's time to switch over the sewing machine into walking foot mode.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

A Finisher Ribbon And A Kitten


I meant to post this yesterday, but things got a little busy. This is the original Trinket finisher bonus block that's included in the 2019 pattern. It's a finisher ribbon and is very cute. The center bit is also able to filled up with small pieced blocks. I think I'll try one and see if I like how it looks before committing to doing a whole set of them.

Here's why we got a little busy, we adopted a kitten boy yesterday. Meet Korben Dallas, he's three months old and is a purr-machine. 

And very very good at hiding. 

So far Leeloo is not a big fan,, but Meg is welcoming and cautious.

Korben Dallas is the corresponding male character in the movie, The Fifth Element that Leeloo got her name from. 

Friday, August 25, 2023

ICAD Wrap-Up

 Time for an ICAD wrap-up, I've made a video of this year's cards. Usually in Blogger you can insert a link to one of your own YouTube videos and it presents it here as a clickable video. For some reason, in preview that's how it looks to me, but when I published today's post, there was only an endless captcha page displayed. Sigh...I guess Blogger and YouTube are no longer on speaking terms or something. 

But this link should get you to YouTube to see the video if you'd like. It's really fun to me to see all of the cards I made in one continuous presentation. 

This is my sixth year of doing this project. Previous year's videos of all 61 cards are a mixed bag.

2022 and 2021 I didn't make a video, probably because of the 2020 experience. I'm taking a risk and doing one this year I guess. I honestly had forgotten all about it before I posted it today. Hopefully I don't get a second strike on my account and get booted off of YouTube. We shall see...

2020  this is the one that got removed for spammy reasons by YouTube(?!?!) This is hosted on Animoto.



Thursday, August 24, 2023

Trinket Piecing Video

I took so many process pictures of the recent Trinket paper piecing I was doing that I made a video out of them all. It tells a certain obsessive story I suppose. But I really like all the colors and the end result. I probably should have made one with all of the Trinket blocks, that's a lot more photos.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Five Sawtooths.

 Back to making Sawtooth Stars for the back of the Trinket Quilt.
After making two of the blocks with the paper piecing pattern, I decided to just do it myself without the papers. It was just too fiddly for me. I'm still not up for using paper piecing when I really don't need to.

I trimmed the paper pieced centers down to size (2.5").

I cut all the pieces oversized and trimmed it down to 4.5"
I used the little rotating rotary cutting mat that I have, very useful.
These al turned out so well.
I already showed you this one.
Fun fabric choices. I like how the words being at all angles makes the block look a little chaotic.
My little star turned out a bit wonky, but I still love it.
Eeeee, love them.
Just very photogenic.

One last group photo.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Product Review: Marcia Baraldi Quilting Grip Gloves Part 1


I like to do both walking foot and free motion machine quilting and for that to work out for my hands, I need some help. Usually I wear these Machingers quilting gloves which are wonderful. These are a great improvement over the knit gardening gloves I used to wear back when I started quilting. They're lightweight and flexible and the grippy material on the finger tips helps a lot.

 I also use the Steady Betty Bands quite a bit, I reviewed them here. the foam grippers really help me to not grab onto the quilt as I'm moving it around and keep more of my palm in contact. That's where the real control comes in. It also saves you from very sore hands.

Recently I saw a recommendation for this new to me quilting glove design made by a Brazilian quilter, Marcia Baraldi.
They're very adjustable and feel great, nothing scratchy or poky which I'm pretty sensitive to. They were easy to get situated on my hands and adjusted to a firm but not too tight fit. I have very large hands, and these gloves are only offered in one-size fits all so I was happy to see how well they fit me. It's possible they'd be too large for someone with very small hands. 
Instead of the Machingers gloves emphasis on the grippy-ness of just the fingertips, this design is all about the palm. And they cover much more of the palm than the Betty Bands. This will mean they're much better for control, and for saving your hands, especially if you have arthritis or other hand issues. It's also better ergonomically for your neck, upper back and shoulders because if your fingers aren't in derma-grip tension then the rest of you can relax. 

When I opened up the package, the smell was really overwhelming so I wasn't able to try using them on a quilt right away, After a few days, including one outside in the sun, the smell pretty much went away. The bands that go around your hand and finger are made out of a soft neoprene. Maybe that's what it was? Or something to do with the rubbery textured palm piece? 

As I was writing this post I noticed in the pictures how dirty my Machingers and Betty Bands were, so I washed them and hung them out side to dry along with the Grip Gloves. Much better! Usually when I'm done quilting, the last thing I think about is washing my tools. The Machingers fingertips did not come quite clean because of the rubberized coating, not sure what to do about that. No all-white quilts for me I guess.
Part 2 of  the review tomorrow after I actually do some quilting with them.

Monday, August 21, 2023

One Green Star


Time to put the centers into the Sawtooth Stars. Newsprint printed out and cut up.
Trim the pieced center down to size.
Piecing the points together.

And tah-dah. A 4.5" square with the most small and complicated paper piecing I've done to date. It looks good. 
 That was all I got done today as I was driving around a bit. But better than 0.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Four Happy Centers


Back to do some more paper piecing for the finisher blocks for the Trinket quilt. For the back of the quilt actually. I posted about the easy star I did as a sort of warm-up. These will be trimmed down to be the center of the other stars.
So instead of a 4.5" version of the patterns as I pieced for the Trinket quilt top, these are all sized way down to fit in the middle of the Sawtooth Star.
The first one I did has a mistake! There are six lines instead of 5, bonus! The other two fabrics behind the block will make up the background and star points of the Sawtooth Star.
A star within a star, why not? None of these are pressed as it's too hot today to turn on the iron.
I'm really happy with this one. I like how the strawberry arrangement worked out. And I made sure not to have the pink of a strawberry up against the heart. 
I had to look this one up in the pattern book as the paper pieces didn't make sense. Oh yeah, this is a weird one, but I think it worked out.

A look at all of the fabrics and blocks together. I am once again reminded that working with these fabrics make me very happy. 

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Easy Star to Start

For the back of the Trinket quilt, I'm paper piecing some of the special "finisher blocks" to use on the quilt back. There are two available, first is this Sawtooth Star, the other one looks like an award ribbon. The idea is to do something special for the bigger center of each block, as seen on this page. There are lots of options that are provided with the pattern for each. My plan is to try them all out just to see if I can. They involve using my new Add An 1/8th ruler instead of the usual Add A 1/4 ruler. So it will be a real challenge for me. For this first one I just fussy cut the center.

I like how it turned out, not really something that needs to be paper pieced of course, but it worked. Now on to the more complicated versions.