Sunday, March 31, 2024

March Cornucopia


Happy Easter if you celebrate! Here's the monthly cornucopia post for all the places and things I read, consumed, enjoyed online over the course of the month of March.
I didn't participate this year in the IG Quilt Fest, but Carson Ellis, the wife of the leader of one of my very favorite bands, The Decemberists did. I've really loved her illustrations and artwork on the band's releases so it was such a fun surprise to get her take on quilt making.
Definitely putting this recipe in the to-make-on-a-hot-morning list: Vietnamese Ice-Blended Coconut Coffee.
Really enjoying the short daily podcast, Letters From An American, of historian, Heather Cox Richardson reading her own daily essay. Nice and short, a good reading voice, and an always interesting take on our current events. Seems like listening to historians these days is particularly important.
Since we're wrapping up Women's History Month, here's a truly great crazy quilt, First American Woman, made in 2019 by Marci Hainkel.

There's going to be a sew-a-long using Alison Glass's new postage stamp stripe fabric in late spring, depending on when the new fabric actually arrives in shops. It's a very clever idea for a stripe print.

The Cherrywood Challenge this year is Poppy, as in red poppies. Very very tempting. Entry is due 5/15.

Some great tutorial videos on inserting hidden zippers into a pillow case, bag-making techniques and other sewing stuff from Sotak Handmade.

It is really quite tempting to sign up to get the four fat quarter panels from Denyse Schmidt this year.


Saturday, March 30, 2024

Around the Kawandi


Another project I brought along to get some stitching done on was the Kawandi that I started in a class with Sujata Shah back in 2021. Here's how it looked before I started working on it, a little wrinkly out of the bag. 
Like counting rings on a tree, I can see I've gone around 10 times.
There's a whole lot of silk colors and types of fabrics to work with in the bag that I brought along. It's a really nice tactile experience to hold and stitch silk by hand.
I did most of the stitching outside on the balcony in the sun.

While listening to the opening day game with my SF Giants hat on. The game wasn't on hotel tv, so I got to listen to my fave Giants radio announcer, Jon Miller call the game. Too bad we lost 😞
Here's how my Kawandi looks after I'd worked on it for a few hours and traveling home smashed up in a bag again. This is displayed in my chair so it's not quite flat here.
Now I've gone around 13 times and started to add another few tiklis (the rose gold squares). The spacing of my stitching lines has changed, I need to loosen it up a little. 

Friday, March 29, 2024

Watercolor Holiday

The lovely afternoon view out of our balcony window.
I wanted to do a watercolor but I knew I had a small rectangle to work on.
I sketched it out with colored pencils and then watercolored it in on top. I didn't work directly from the photo but instead from the actual view which was changing. I lowered my head so that the top of the farther away bluff didn't show below the top railing as it does in the photo. I might do another watercolor to match the photo as I really like that extra stripe of yellow sky right below the railing. This would also make a nice abstract composition for a quilt.
Here's a colored pencil + watercolors piece that I made while listening to *Political Bit* the reporting preview of the upcoming Supreme Court mifepristone case. I guess those shapes are the pills that are now providing 60% of the abortions in the US which are possibly getting banned nationwide. So it's a rather moody piece...grrr.
That piece above was made in a bigger space in a new Moleskine watercolor journal that I bought last year at Dick Blick.  You can see the size comparison 5x 8.25" versus the 4x6" watercolor postcards I literally just opened the journal up this week to use for the first time. So I obviously don't need to make another trip back to Dick Blick as I didn't even use the thing for an entire year. When I'm at home, I just don't sit and do a lot of watercolor work.  
I guess I like working in this bigger space in the journal compared to the size of the watercolor postcards. 

*Political bit* This was done while listening to the reporting about the arguments made in the Supreme Court and the various expected outcomes for the fate of accessible abortion health care in our country. Seems like even if it's a "good" decision in this particular case, what comes next if the Comstock Act of 1873 is all of a sudden enforced again. Amazing that an anti-obscenity/chastity law from that long ago, which was never really repealed could come back into enforcement because we are no longer living in a country under the Roe decision. Guess I'll keep on calling my representatives and writing postcards.


Thursday, March 28, 2024

Work From Away Episode 2

 Got a lot more stitching done on Snake in the Garden, just like last year

This was how it looked just a year ago, look how much more stitching I've got on there now. It is fun to see the comparison year over year. I took my advice and nailed down the edges of the glue-sticked pieces. Good to see that I'm truly making progress. Hard to remember when I'm going so slow on this.
An askew view off the balcony down to the yacht harbor. It was fun stitching as the seagulls flew past along with all the military helicopters. I showed this picture to my DH and he said he thought that it would be a cool abstract quilt design, and I think he's right. I'll fool around with the photo and abstract it and report back.
I didn't really plan this, but I'm really liking the shapes I'm making in the purple zone.
I actually ran out of green thread, so I'll have to refill my bag with the right color embroidery thread when I get back home.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Wandering Wednesday - San Diego

Hey, here's a contemporaneous Wandering Wednesday post, live from San Diego! I really really love California, but it's so very very long. And it took us a longer than usual time to drive down to San Diego in the rain. The stopped traffic in LA allowed me to take this picture out the windshield of some very dramatic graffiti, gotta love that font.
What a way to spend our 34th anniversary, all day in the car, but we make it fun. And we got to have a great dinner out with a Very Enthusiastic waiter who insisted on taking our picture. The conference that my DH has been going to the whole time I've known him is in San Diego or LA, but next year it's in San Franciso, woohoo!
I like the symbols on the Seaport banner. Looks like a modern quilt design to me. 
I washed my very dirty SF Giants hat and it dried quickly in the sun. I may be able to score some tickets to the SF Giants vs. San Diego Padres opening day home game which is just a few blocks away. We shall see...not sure I want to go to a baseball game alone and root for the opposing team.
The foggy rainy harbor, that's the Coronado Bridge in the distance.

We have a pretty nice view out of our window for all the sunsets.
I liked the reflection of the sunset in the other tower of our hotel.
Another modern quilt looking banner. That one building looks like it's fallen over compared to the other one! Intentional? Just to be interesting?
I know I've seen something like this before probably online somewhere, but I loved this in the coffee shop where I got my lattΓ©.
The Horton Hotel is in the Gaslamp District, it's not in its original location, the city saved it and moved it here. I'm glad, because you really don't see a lot of working hotels like this any more.
The Horton is supposedly haunted and that white shrouded figure in the window is a little spooky until you realize it's just a nice marble statue of Mary.
Hello Sunshine! That's the name of the paper machΓ© horse in the window.
The Coaster and the San Diego trolley comes through on the train tracks near our hotel. I really like this shadow picture of all the devices I took while waiting for the intersection to open.
I took this because of the super rusty mission bell, but the rest of it is cool too. Train tracks, fence, fountain that looks like a lap pool, walkway, rest of the fountain that looks like a big pool complete with floating seagulls and that beautiful blue sky.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Get In Line


I was lucky enough to get to take a class with South African quilt artist and teacher, Rosalie Dace. It was all done online through the Mancuso Brothers Quiltfest Virtual Schoolhouse. On a tech level it worked really well, she was presenting from her home studio so I had to get up quite early (for me) to attend, but that was fine as I didn't have to drive anywhere. Title of this post will end up being an upcoming quilt title.

This was Rosalie's class called, "Line Dance - play with Line and make it work in your quilts". It was more of a presentation/lecture than an interactive project sewing class which was just fine with me. Some of the other students asked some good questions. I just really enjoy her style of teaching. She's so very thought-provoking and inspiring. There were many new ways of thinking about Lines that still have me pondering several days later. Great stuff.

She suggested that we make a grid page with various lines as she talked through all the options. This is mine up above. I loved the ideas that were generated and the real world technical options to get them into your own quilt that she showed us. It was very fun to get see super closeup pictures of her beautiful work. It's very layered and complicated, to me that's one of the best things about art quilts.

If you ever have a chance to take a class or listen to a lecture from Rosalie Dace, I say go for it. You will at the very least be entertained, and she always shows beautiful, amazing pictures from her travels and her local area. 

Here's a complaint having nothing to do with this class in particular. After all these years of using Zoom and other platforms, there are still inevitably several people who don't mute themselves, it's very frustrating. I really don't need to have the instructor interrupted to hear someone complaining to someone in the room with them about how hard it was to login to the class. Honestly, just pay a little attention please. Are these the same folks who are interrupting in live audiences? Probably maybe? I think I'd be a terrible online teacher because I'd be mean or exasperated with people who did this during my class. It's disrespectful to the teacher, and to your fellow students. 

One of the things we did make during the class was to try out her Skinny Strips technique. This is the one that I had previously learned in the class that  I took with Friend Jaye at the Sisters Quilt Show back in 2018. It was good to re-visit the technique, and a reminder to use something that I've already learned. I had kind of forgotten the secret method that she uses (go take one of her classes!) because it really works.

Monday, March 25, 2024

Final Bohemian Wife Blocks


I think I've now finished with piecing the blocks for the Bohemian Wife quilt. Feeling very pleased about having gotten there. Of course there's just a zillion blocks up on the design wall waiting to be assembled into a quilt top, but I'm a lot closer to getting done with this project. I didn't take a picture to post because they're not all arranged in the right spots yet.
Here's the last five blocks all together.
This one is a little matchy-matchy, but that's okay, with all the contrast of pattern I think it's okay. It won't stand out too much.

I've started trying to figure out the how-to's and how-much on cutting out the background strips. There's something like 60 strips of various lengths and widths. This is not very clear in the written pattern *ahem* This is one of the main reasons so many people find this quilt pattern challenging! I found a chart that another quilter has made that will hopefully help. It's a spreadsheet, which is what my mind was already heading towards making.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Final Project Quilting: SlΓ‘inte!

Here it is, SlΓ‘inte! all sandwiched up and waiting with the binding all ready to put on once I get the quilting done.
When choosing threads for the quilting I almost went with the orange, for another of the Irish flag colors, but since I don't have any white on here, it seemed like it would be a bit garish as I'm planning on doing embroidery stitches. I went with the darker green instead.

 Here's my final entry for Project Quilting this year. SlΓ‘inte! Made for the prompt Irish Chain using a whole bunch of the various greens I dyed most recently.  As it only had to be "based on" or "inspired by" the block design I went a little far afield. You can see one proper Irish chain block, but then it morphs from that.

The quilting was done with two directions of the same embroidery stitch. I thought it kind of looked like a chain. 

The binding was one of the hand dyed greens. I used Wonder Clips all the way around while using a machine embroidery stitch. In this picture the bottom row of squares look very blue, but they're actually blue green.

Worked out very well, I have to remember to use those clips the next time.  Here's a close up of the binding. I kind of wish I'd changed to an even darker green, but I still like it. 

I left this on our dining room table and came down this morning it was just glowing in the sun, like a patch of a greener than green field.
I used two of the embroidery curvy lines on this to represent all the "snakes" that remain in Ireland. Snakes as in Pagans that is, as Ireland has never had actual real life snakes. That whole St. Patrick story is pretty much just that, a story, cloaked in the usual allegory. 
SlΓ‘inte! and Cheers! to Project Quilting, I've really really enjoyed participating in all the challenges this year.  I hope they do it again next year.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

SlΓ‘inte! Begun


For the final challenge for Project Quilting, we've been prompted to work with "Irish Chain". Of course, that means green of some sort, and since I've been dyeing lots and lots of greens trying to match my Temperature Quilt greens, I have a lot to choose from. I cut out twelve 4.5" squares and paired them up. By the way, this is called SlΓ‘inte, which is the Irish and Scottish Gaelic word for Cheers! 
I watched a great tutorial for making this sort of block (Double Nine Patch) and followed the instructions. First the opposite sides of the squares are sewn together using a short stitch as all the seams are getting pressed open.
Then the sewn squares are cut vertically in the center in line with the seams.
And then cross cut horizontally which gives you four pairs of squares sewn together. 

After pressing open all the seams, I started arranging the sewn pairs. I swear this part took the longest.
This one didn't really work to show the pattern of the Irish Chain block which a sort of spreading out across a quilt type of block instead of small and contained.
I like this one as it reminds me of a Brigid's Cross, but I didn't want to make something that wide as this was now seeming like a table runner shaped thing in my mind.
This is what I ended up going with, the essence of the connecting blocks in the Irish Chain block pattern, but the skinny version. 
The blank spaces will get filled in with strips of one of the same fabrics. I tried out several of them and landed on this one. Now to get this assembled, layered, quilted, finished and posted in time for the deadline on Sunday.