Thursday, February 29, 2024

February Cornucopia

 It's been a one day longer than usual February, so Happy Leap Day by the way. Here's an even more than usually expected packed cornucopia of links to stuff that I've enjoyed or found interesting online this fine February.


To consider for Valentine's Day sewing or gifting next year, a really nice roundup of modern pieced heart quilts.


American Patchwork and Quilting is offering a free pattern and fabric download (if you use EQ8) for a spring quilt sew-a-long. 


If you're hankering for a sew-a-long, the Churn Chain quilt looks like a pretty cool one to try out. It starts on March 7th.


I love the new Oliso ironing board covers, such cute and colorful designs. Unfortunately they're only for standard size ironing boards and I like my bigger one a lot.


A free block of the week quilt from Andover fabric designers, called Made & Found. The first block looks like a good one, and fairly easy. It's a scrappy one, so should be easy to find some fabric.


Another freebie group of blocks, six Quilted Gems series of 24x24" blocks inspired by gemstones. Includes a tutorial video for each block.


Sometimes I really like that deconstructed look in clothing, here's a great tutorial on how-to adapt a clothes sewing pattern to accomplish it.


An absolutely brilliant use of plastic bubble wrap in art making. Be sure and check out the short video that showcases this technique. Did you know that bubble wrap was originally made to function as textured wallpaper?


Creative Strength Training with Jane Dunnewold starts up again tomorrow 3/1, so go sign up if you're interested. I highly recommend it.


Wednesday, February 28, 2024

August Column

I powered through and got an entire month's column for the 2023 Temperature quilt priced.
I started sewing this piece on and realized it was not going to work, sometimes when I cut several layers at once this happens. 
Really like this color palette in this section.
So here's August! I'm noticing that there's not too much variation in how cold it got, and a whole lot more variation in how hot it was.
And here are July and August together. The end is not quite in sight but it's a whole lot closer.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Mini Flower Break

 Here in the later days of winter, I'm appreciating the blooming of any and all flowers. Like the grape hyacinth (muscari). I've been growing these flowers in this very pot for over 20 years now. Turns out that not having to replant stuff every year is very convenient. I'm amazed that this plastic pot has survived all that time too.

They smell so amazing. Sweet, but not too much, light and fresh. I wonder if there's a perfume using this fragrance.

The bees love them so very much.
I'm glad that I have these old reliables to depend upon every year to remind me that spring is coming.
I also had to do some weeding in our plant containers on the deck. This involves pulling up actual trees. They grow like literal weeds around here.
I like the nearly neon aggressive green color of the sprouts of branches-to-be.

Monday, February 26, 2024

100 Days Project

I was struggling to figure out what I should attempt for the 100 Days Project. I've never participated in this event, but have always wanted to. This year, I managed to come up with something, and although I started out a couple days behind, I'm all caught up now.

So, the idea of the 100 Days Project is to do something creative every day for 100 days in a row. Basically trying to instill the habit of using your creative muscles as being something you do every day. There are no rules, it's up to each person to make up their own (or not).  

I bought this interesting stuff called Scrap Tape at the Batty Lady booth at PIQF in 2022.  It's a 25 yard long, very lightweight, non-woven, wash-a-way interfacing. 

The Scrap Tape is 25 yards long, I did the math and that works out to 9" a day for 100 days. My rules are pretty simple:

  • Use scraps from that day's work
  • Use scraps from the scrap basket
  • Use scraps from the scrap boxes
  • Embroider the # of the day out of 100 (either by machine or hand) in that day's section
  • Be mindful of  the 1/4" seam allowance on either side when piecing.
  • Can sew together scraps to make them big enough to use
  • Raw edges are okay.
  • If I buy new fabric add some to that day's section.

Here's my first day's worth of sewing scraps onto the Scrap Tape. Crumb quilting is a term going around these days, but that sounds a bit pejorative to my ear. I guess it's supposed to be something like eating every last crumb of a tasty piece of cake.
Maybe by the end of 100 days I'll have come up with a better term for what I'm doing here. Some of the pieces I'm sewing on to the Scrap Tape directly. Some like the horizontal strip bit on the right hand side, I'm sewing together off the tape and then piecing it in along the join with the grey fabric.
It's looking pretty interesting so far. And it's going to be fun to plumb the depths of my literal boxes and boxes of scraps.
After 3 days worth (or 27") I'm already having to wind up and clip it together to keep it out of the way and manageable as I continue sewing. 
At one point I clipped through a bit of the Scrap Tape and just taped it together on the back and sewed over it. Seems to be fine.

When I need to trim, I'm folding back the Scrap Tape and then ruler/rotary cutting.

This is going to be really fun to see how this turns out in the end after 100 days in a row.
It's going to be 25 yards long! I'm envisioning using this as various lengths of columns surrounded by a solid color.

Note: Do I like the name of the brand of this Scrap Tape, Gypsy Quilter? No, I really do not. If the Entomological Society of America can take the time to change the common name of the gypsy moth to spongy moth, I think the owners of that company can come up with something else that doesn't disparage an entire group of people. It comes down to the fact that words matter.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Muddy Hours

 It's done, my entry for the 15.4 Project Quilting prompt: Hourglass. This is called Muddy Hours.
Details, so many details.
I used machine embroidery and also normal echo stitching.
I like this corner the most. This on its own would make a cool quilt.
I like the muddiness of the printed image and the muddiness of the over dyed check linen/hemp. vs. the very clear and vibrant color hand dyed cottons.

Up close and personal, in the lower right hadn't corner, you can see my family's standing order at our favorite sushi restaurant. I was testing out the printer before I printed the fabric by printing the sushi order. There was a little hiccup and for unknown printer reasons it reprinted itself on the fabric. I then over printed with the image. Adds a little visual texture, especially because it's upside down and mostly illegilble.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Hourglass Finish


The ingredients are all ready to make this into a quilt top in time to submit tomorrow for Project Quilting 15.4 - Hourglass.
Stitching 1" wide strips in-between two 1.5" wide strips for the border pieces.
Plenty of the precious dyed fabric is left after making the border strips.
I think it's going to all fit together.
A little rearranging and now the top is ready to be quilted and finished today.

I keep thinking of the Days of Our Lives soap opera opening theme while working with this hourglass idea.  "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives." True true true.

Friday, February 23, 2024

Hourglass Begun


The new prompt for Project Quilting is Hourglass. That made me think of how a couple years ago I was trying out some Gelli Plate experiments and was quite pleased with this image of my desk hourglass that I drew and painted on the plate.
I printed that picture out on printer fabric and decided it needed some sort of frame. That meant it was time to make some hourglass blocks for the corners. I used this great pattern/tutorial to make them pretty easily out of my hand-dyes.
I used the technique of drawing two lines diagonally on a square using the Seams Easy tool and a Sewline marker.
Cut the square apart on the diagonal between the two stitched lines.
And then before moving the two pieces, cross cut again.
Ready to sew the pieces of the hourglasses together.

Trimming the blocks down to size, I happily re-discovered the criss-crossing 45° dotted lines on the end of a Quilter's Select ruler. Very handy.
The border needed something a bit muddier to tone down the brightness of the hourglasses vs. the printed out image. This is one of my all-time favorite ever dyed pieces, it's a linen/hemp woven checked fabric that was dyed and over-dyed again. Using this fabric is going to count towards an entry in the President's Challenge for BAM this year. Using the precious, I'm doing it. That's for tomorrow.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Suit Repair

Well, I've discovered exactly how long it takes me to remove and replace the leg hole elastics on a bathing suit. Three hours total, most of which was spent unpicking all the layers of stitching carefully enough not to make holes in the fabric. This was an experiment for me, in theory, it would have been much easier of course to just buy a new suit. But I wanted to see if I could do it or not. 
So many layers of stitching! This is a very well made bathing suit. I haven't worn it a lot, so it's not worn out (except for the failed elastic) or saggy and no seams coming apart.
This is just one leg hole's worth, that elastic is just totally kaput. Powdered and gross, and it smells So Strongly of chlorine.  I've rinsed this suit out in water every single time that I've worn it, but I guess I should do something else to neutralize the chlorine. I ought to know that from my surface design work of course, but I've tried to block out a lot of the bleach knowledge given the damage I did to myself using the stuff. Just like I don't carve pumpkins anymore. 
What a mess. I did all the unpicking of the second leg hole outside on the deck in the sun. Much easier to see, black thread on black fabric is getting tougher for me.  I pinned the layers of the lining fabric down as I unanchored it from the stitching.
It turned out great! Into the hot tub I go again. Now to research bromine/chlorine bathing suit wash recommendations.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

On to August

I started putting the August column of the 2023 Temperature Quilt up on the design wall and had a lot of missing pieces. That's what the little sticky notes pinned up instead are about.
I had to do some more cutting of pieces, and once that was all done, it's now time to start sewing this column together.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

LQS and Good Mail

A nice mail day today, received my Trinket Sew-A-Long finisher pin from Alison Glass . com... So Cute!
I had an elastic+chlorine=failure to solve, so I hit up the LQS for some replacement that still has some stretch. Of course I couldn't resist the FQ stand on my way out.
I really love the selvedges of these three FQ's. I especially like that H.G. Wells quote on the selvedge: "There is...a sense of infinite peace and protection in the glittering hosts of heaven." I was just talking with DS about this book and the movie adaptations this weekend, what a coincidence. 

This is part of a larger quote that ends The Island of Dr. Moreau:

This is a mood, however, that comes to me now, I thank God, more rarely. I have withdrawn myself from the confusion of cities and multitudes, and spend my days surrounded by wise books,-- bright windows in this life of ours, lit by the shining souls of men. I see few strangers, and have but a small household. My days I devote to reading and to experiments in chemistry, and I spend many of the clear nights in the study of astronomy. There is--though I do not know how there is or why there is--a sense of infinite peace and protection in the glittering hosts of heaven. There it must be, I think, in the vast and eternal laws of matter, and not in the daily cares and sins and troubles of men, that whatever is more than animal within us must find its solace and its hope. I hope, or I could not live.

And so, in hope and solitude, my story ends.


My mouth is watering thinking about orange push-ups now. Although these are probably mango instead (if those exist!)

Sunday, February 18, 2024

And 3 More


And then three more Pantone Project blocks were done. Tomorrow is a holiday, so these will go in the mail on Tuesday.
These four colors would make for a very nice quilt design.