Wednesday, January 31, 2024

January Cornucopia

So, that was January. It was likely filled with a lot of Weather with a capital W outdoors which meant indoor time for lots of sewing, right? Just a guess. This is a cornucopia post filled with links to media, ideas, etc. that I consumed this month that are worth remembering and/or passing on. 

If you want to make a quilt for Valentine's Day, here's a really cute one that isn't too hard if you can manage Flying Geese blocks.
At the BAM meeting this month we had a speaker, Christina Cameli, and I was reminded to check out her free motion quilting videos on her YouTube channel. There's a lot of great stuff on there.


This is a useful article (except for the pop-ups) about the various sorts of stabilizers. And in that article, they recommend another article from another website (without pop-ups thankfully) which is even more in-depth.


If you ever look up recipes online and encounter those super long and ad-filled blog posts which make it hard to even find the actual recipe, I just learned about this technique, in your search bar type in : and then right after the / paste in the web address of the recipe page you're trying to look at. It then returns just the recipe on a clean readable page. Thanks, cooked!


On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I listened to the very excellent podcast Holy Week, The Story of A Revolution Undone, it's about what happened in the months before and the week following his assassination. I knew some of this information, but the way this podcast puts together the history in context is visceral, moving and illuminating.


On women's usage of the exclamation point! In the modern era specifically! Doing the work of tone with one tiny little punctuation mark.






Tuesday, January 30, 2024

So Embellished


Working more on the Stretching Art and Tradition 24 quilt. Here's one of the centers done with some free-motion quilt stitching and a whole lot of needle felting.
Here's what the back looks like. I almost like this better!
Pinned on the colored shapes.
Choosing threads for the zig-zagging.
Final placement of the shapes.
No help at all today from the studio assistant. Naps were more important.
Zig-zagging on the outside of the shapes done, and the quilting stitching on the inside of the colored shapes. Two of the centers are stitched down, the rest pinned. So close to done.

Monday, January 29, 2024

How About Texture

Continuing work on the Stretching Art & Tradition '24 quilt. In my original sketch the centers of each of the seven shapes were grey-silver. Different than the background. My notes included the idea of having some sort of texture. Here is my first attempt with the seven centers made with grey fleece.
Here's one with grey fleece on the right, and on the left, grey suede. (I had grey suede?Huh.) Good, but needs more texture.
Out came the rarely used embellisher aka the needle felting machine.

 This circle is gray cotton fabric with wool roving, suede scraps, fleece scraps and stitching. It's not sewn down yet, so it won't be raw-edged.
The roving color was a little too brown instead of gray on that last one, but I still wanted something else that was wool. Ages ago I bought a bag of wool penny circles in random colors and sizes. I chose the ones that were grey, grey-patterned and embellished them on to one of the fleece circles.
I like it with the wool patterned fabrics.
This one is just pinned on so far, but I'll stitch it down with a zig-zag.
I think I'm really liking how this turning out.
At this point, I'm thinking that I'll embellish one more circle, leave the small one with the suede center, and leave another one of the circles just plain fleece.


Sunday, January 28, 2024

Project Quilting 15.2 - Sky Color

 For this week's Project Quilting, the prompt was Sky Color. The twist was that we were to use less than 10% of sky blue. This is my piece, Winter Sunset.
Just like last time I did a sketch in Procreate on my iPad and then printed it out on a sheet of printer ready fabric.
And once again, even after doing a printhead cleaning and realignment I got pink horizontal lines. They were lighter this time and the image came out better. So who knows? There's plenty of ink and so forth.  I went with stitching horizontally with a lighter pink thread.
Then I used a dark brown to go over the branches and the writing with free motion quilting.

Did I print the image out on the wrong side of the printer fabric, ie the paper? Why yes I did, but look how cool this is, with that column down the center. Where that came from, I have no earthly idea. I almost added in a tulle net column on the quilt to try and mimic this look, but decided to leave it as is.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Green Shape 1 of 7


Back to getting my quilt done for SAT 24, it's been languishing on my design wall. You'll recall I assembled the background's five strips of grey fabric and then pre-quilted it with a different design in each strip. At that point it was quite oversized, and needed to be trimmed to the size 24"w x 36"h to meet the exhibit requirements. I didn't want to nail down where the green shapes were to be placed until I had the actual size and shape nailed down. So now that's the next step as well as the other plans I have sketched out. Including some hand-stitching, so I better get going on this to finish it in time. The super-bright neon pink Tula Pink unicorn pins are a real standout here, but no, I'm not going to add that in as a color to use.

First a stay-stitch all the way around about the un-bound un-faced edges.
Starting with the bottom right corner green shape, I did two colors of zig-zag, gone over twice for emphasis. 
Each of these seven green shapes is supposed to look like it has an opening up to the background. I first thought of using clear thread for those spaces, but I decided it wouldn't look very good in a zig-zag, so I matched the green of the shape instead.
A test piece of fabric for the grey-silver center that sits on the lower right-hand side corner of the quilt.
I'd say it looks pretty good, but I think it might need to be more substantial or of a very different texture to work. It's blending in too much with the background. I had originally thought of using my embellisher to add texture, or I may go for something like a wool instead. At least I"m working in it now.

Friday, January 26, 2024

New Threads

New threads as in threads, not clothing for me to wear. It's funny that's a slang word for entire garments. But without the thread it'd just be lengths of fabric, right? As I mentioned a few weeks back, I'd been inspired to look for the cool black and white thread that was used in the embroidered fabric I picked up at the BAM Sew Day. I hemmed up that fabric and it's in the wash right now so I can use it on a table.
That's how I ended up on the Wonderfil website, and here's what I bought even though I don't technically need any new thread. The black and white thread that is called D-Twist, two colors of green Spagetti, grey Invisafil and some embroidery needles.
Some Chenille size 18's, and some Sashiko (spell check turned that into Sashimi!) needles to be specific. And Wonderfil throws in a free pre-wound bobbin which is a kind of nice bonus. You can always use more bobbins. I broke one the other day, ran it over with my chair wheels and cracked it.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Swamped Out

 I powered through and got all the cutting done and then the piecing was pretty much a breeze.
This is a very easy block to make. Although I managed to mess it up no less than two times, requiring a little un-sewing. 
I laid all of them out at once to make sure there weren't too many fabric repeats happening in a particular block.
Here are the eight blocks that I made. Seven to send out and one to keep for myself.
And here are my eight blocks plus the three I've already received from two Quilt Mavs. I love how the block just absolutely disappears when you place them together.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Wandering Wednesday: Bridges of The Bay


Last week I got the chance to hang out with friend Jaye for a couple days. These are some of the pictures I took on our journeys around the Bay Area. First up a stormy morning drive over the Golden Gate. Not so golden looking in the overcast. You can still see the orange-nesss of the closest to the viewer verticals. The history of the specific paint color: GGB International Orange is so interesting. And there's even an equivalent Pantone color: Pantone 180 (CYMK 19.4%, 77.9%, 79.6%, 3.6%). Sadly, this wasn't included in our Pantone postcard box.

A nice but very cloudy and windy view of the northern part of the San Francisco Bay from the Marin Rod and Gun Club building. Very nice location, which is literally right off the same freeway exit as San Quentin prison. We were meeting with the long arm quilter that friend Jaye works with. She's now the first female president of this 92 year old outdoor sporting club. Not many quilters can claim this sort of day job, very interesting!  Looking at this picture I always forget about all the little teeny island bits scattered about in the bay. It's amazing that they're not all inhabited. Some of the bigger ones are of course, like say, Alcatraz, another famous prison. 

The half mile long fishing pier that the club members get to fish off of. I've never tried pier fishing, I bet it's really fun.
A view of the Richmond San Rafael bridge that we were about to drive over. On a blue sky day, this would be a really gorgeous picture/view, but I like the drama of the sky about to open up with much-needed rain. As a native Californian, I always need to remind my self that to stay out of drought conditions, we almost always need the rain, however inconvenient it might be in the moment.
I've always loved the linear designs made by the trusses and supports of different types of bridges. Also, it's worth mentioning that it's very nice that someone else is driving so that I can safely take a picture. It might be fun to pull out all the bridge pictures I've taken over the years and do an abstract quilt series based on them.  Putting this is in the quilt series ideas bucket. It's probably already in there, so here it is again.
As mentioned previously, we visited Bay Quilts, they had a very famous Hollis Chatelain quilt from 2000 installed about the thread choices, Blue Man. It was very fun to see this one in person, it's hand-dye painted and really gorgeously stitched. There was also an installation of a great group of quilts by Ileana Soto, which are up through the end of January. I honestly wish Bay Quilts was my LQS, could I convince DH that we need to move to the East Bay for that reason? Probably not.
And then finally, after a great BAM meeting, we went and had some dinner in downtown Redwood City I took this picture across an intersection because I love the frescoes, or maybe they're just painted or tiled. I have no idea how old they are, or if they have a story, but it's such a great and striking design. Guess that means I'm putting this in the maybe someday quilt design bucket and the inspired by building motifs quilt series bucket as well.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Swamp Time


One of the online quilt groups I belong to, Quilt Mavericks, occasionally does block swaps. We actually call them Swamps instead of Swaps. I believe that's because of a long-ago typo that I've forgotten the details of. One of those inside joke kind of things. Anyways...We've done this particular block a couple of times, but we're doing another round using mostly batiks.  I've already received these three blocks and I need to make my own and get them mailed out.
Time to get to cutting, I forgot how much I love cutting out batiks. This fabric is so much easier to rotary cut.

I still have quite a collection of batiks to choose from. They're mostly from the color of the month batik club from eQuilter I belonged to many years ago. Equilter is still running this club, I recommend joining for a while if you're interested in batiks. The selection was always so interesting, a good mixture of darks to lights which I always struggle with choosing not just all mediums.

I used a lot of them making the Solstice Quilt, but there are still plenty of them to choose from.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Far Flung LQS

I've been out and about the last couple of days, and here's my modest haul of new goodies. 
From Bay Quilts, five pieces of Carolyn Friedlander prints and a spool of red Spagetti (yes it's misspelled on purpose, sigh) 12wt cotton hand-sewing threads. I now have a good collection of the very distinctive Friedlander prints and am looking for a quilt project to utilize them. I like a lot of her patterns, but I think I want to design my own. Bay Quilts is such a great store, they display their fabrics in collections, so it's easy to find if you're looking for something specific from a certain designer's collection. 

And one pack of beautiful Rifle Paper file folders from The Container Store. I hadn't been in one of those stores in ages, so I could have bought a million zillion things there, but I was admittedly overwhelmed by the choices. Of the many many things I was drawn to, I either don't need, already have working versions of, or would need to measure to make sure they fit a certain space. But it was super fun to see all the new-fangled solutions to storage. In QuiltMavs we had arrived at the realization that at the beginning of every new year a whole lot of us would go out and buy a new group of POTs (Plastic Organizer Thingies). I always thought that'd be a very fun name for a business that sold thad kind of stuff.
And just to memorialize it, a vintage card I gave to friend Jaye for her birthday. I'm pretty sure I bought this in the 80's or 90's and just thought she needed it this year. The image is from photographer Nick Koudis (on Instagram) and printed by the card company Palm Press. They're still in business since 1980, and they're on Instagram too, cool!


Thursday, January 18, 2024

3 To Catch Up

Made the last three Pantone Project blocks. Aren't they a nice set of colors as well? I like how those two Sliver Left and Sliver Rights go together, very arrow-y and directional. Thoughts for the eventual assembly of this quilt top are beginning to bubble up.

So here's the group of 8 blocks I'll be handing over to friend Jaye soon. All caught up again.

Caught up right until I ventured out to get the mail at our Post Office Box. Well, now I'll have something to do, right?