Tuesday, April 30, 2024

April Cornucopia


The surprise bloom on my what I was calling a "jade plant" but is really instead a sedum praealtumv aka shrubby stonecrop or green cockscomb. It's running amok now that it's not in a small pot, and actually flowered for the first time ever! Anyways, here's a cornucopia post overflowing with all of the links to media of all sorts that I enjoyed this month.


After reading several pieces about the passing of Faith Ringgold, (may she Rest In Power) I kept coming back to this quote about her American People series painted in the 60's: "“I couldn’t paint landscapes in the 1960s — there was too much going on,” she explained in a 2018 interview with Hyperallergic. “This is what inspired the American People Series. For me it is important to make work about peril if it’s your story. One can find beauty in horror that you can share through your art and ideally effect change.”

She continued: “It’s important to me to express the ills of society that are widely accepted while also delivering the message without only seeing the ill. I try to show both the good and the ill. For example, Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ — all the bad and evil was depicted in such a way that you can deal with it. For me that is key.”  


A really clear video tutorial from Snuggly Monkey on visible mending (or just mending) with a Speed-weve Loom. Now I get it!


Don't forget PIQF is in July this year instead of the usual October. So that means entry deadline is June 17th. And the New Quilts of Northern California exhibit deadline is even earlier at May 24th.


I'm probably going to try and make an Alison Glass "Stamp Quilt" using her new stamp stripe print and the free block. I don't know if I'll do the sew-a-long that she's hosting or not, but I love the idea of this postage stamp block. There will be fussy cutting in my future.


I've always admired barn quilts, and now you can get one for your own house (or barn) through Quiltfolk and EQ8. You can choose from some standard blocks or even design your own in EQ8. I have to say that I'm very very tempted. Not that I have a barn or anything of course, but I could see one of these mounted over my 2 story studio window.


Oooh, go spend an hour watching a video with Bisa Butler and her amazing fabric art portraits.


Monday, April 29, 2024

Table Scraps

 The colorful scraps I’m working with today, along with my lime green stapler and magenta rotary cutter.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

4 I's Quilting


One of the other projects I spent time on during the retreat was free-motion quilting the 4 I's quilt for the BAMQ fair challenge exhibit. I spent most of Saturday working this and still didn't finish. It was very very hard to "stay in the zone" during a retreat, and memo to self, don't try it next time. Is it award winning quilting? Well, no, but it's done by my own hands, as in non-stitch-regulated non-ruler using free motion quilting that shows my character and my style. 
I still have the green sections on the lower right as well as the gray borders and triangles left to do. All those thread color changes were worth it as the quilting isn't too prominent. I've got to get this done before the deadline which coincides with my knee surgery date, a double deadline!

Saturday, April 27, 2024

70 Out Of 100


Mostly regular scrap basket piecing on day 70, only the bright fuchsia triangle is from the retreat.

Mix of retreat scraps and regular scrap basket scraps. I do like the skinny strip of piecing between the pink and the light blue.
More grays from the YES coat piecing mixing it up with 5x5 pieces.
Grays from the YES coat piecing.
A bit of skinny strips piecing. I love this solids combination. The grey is from the City Sampler sashing, the orange and green is from my 5x5 blocks.
Some more skinny strips piecing.
The scraps from the retreat start to move in here at day 64.


Friday, April 26, 2024

Retreat Treats


Pre-retreat shopping at Family Threads Quilt Shop, I didn't go too crazy. I found a selection of the ombre confetti fabric 1/2 yards. I've always wanted to work with this fabric, it's just so pretty and I love the idea of trying out using ombré in a quilt design. I also had just seen this Ombre Triangles pattern from V and Co, and had it in my mind. I also got some Magic Pins fork style as I enjoy using their straight pins. They are marked as "fine" but I found them to be way too thick to use in cotton, maybe they'd work on upholstery or canvas?
The goodie bags were filled with fun stuff like Quilty stickers, one special sticker made just for the retreat, a sparkly scissor guard, really nice thread, candy & gum, a keychain. Best of all, one of the retreat committee people made everyone (wow!) a table pouch. The part that sits on the table is a fabric covered heavy piece of tile, so the bag that hangs down won't fall off. Really fun.
And lastly, I won something at the retreat! One of the larger prize bags got divvied up into smaller things which let more of us get the thrill of the win. This lovely bundle of fat 1/8ths. Norma Rose by Natalie Barnes for Windham Fabrics. Such great colors and the fabric designs are super interesting, all of them will play very well with many other fabrics that I already have.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Stress Stitch Stage


All of a sudden, I find that I'm in a new stage of life now. One where I'm accompanying my folks to doctor appointments to take notes and make sure questions get answered. As well as to hang out and provide company during hours long infusion time. Good thing I have some stitching to bring along with me. Cancer still sucks though 😠

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Wandering Wednesday: San Juan Bautista


Last weekend was time for the Bay Area Modern Quilting retreat held in San Juan Bautista. I love taking pictures of interesting doors that I see, and I got to take this one of an old adobe building with a painted pattern around the doorway. That blue and white pattern would make a great border pattern on a quilt.
At first I thought this striking plant in one of the sidewalk planters was a holly hock, but it is a tree mallow, in the same family as hibiscus. Love those variegated leaves and the striking flower colors.These can grow up to 10 feet tall!
We got together for pre-retreat lunch at Jardines de San Juan after first shopping at Family Threads Quilt Shop. It's a great little shop, well displayed fabric, really good selection and a great tool/notions wall. I love the succulent planter letters that the restaurant has up on the adobe wall.
Such a lovely colorful spot for an outdoor lunch. You can see the very very green hills in the background.
Then it was set up time at the St. Francis Retreat Center. This was the very lovely view out of my window.
I greatly enjoyed the mostly native plant gardens near the workroom and the guest quarters. This is a Yellow or Butter Lupine.
The Redbuds were really in bloom. These are so striking, and the bees love them.
Leaving the workroom at night to return to our room, I noticed the moon shining through the grape pergola. The frogs were really really loud at night, it sounded like a million of them out in the pond.
I had to go check out the pond the next day, and saw no frogs, "only" lizards, ducks, herons and red wing blackbirds.
This tree stump had very interesting shapes, I wished I could have taken a print off of it.
The little creek was completely full of water clover. It looked solid enough to walk on. From far away I thought it was astroturf! It was that intense of a green.
This is a plant I have at home, Pride of Madeira, but this one is much better taken care of, mine needs to be severely pruned back.
I didn't catch a bee on these flowers but they were all a'hummin'.

What a gorgeous place for a quilt retreat, I really loved getting to come back there, and I'm looking forward to coming again next year.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Return of City Sampler


The first project I started working on at the retreat was sewing the rest of the between-the-blocks sashing to the blocks for my City Sampler that didn't have it applied yet.
I was really glad that I'd used these straight pins that have the numbers to keep track of the rows as I went along. It's a lot of blocks!
The whole time I was working on these I kept saying to myself, "Oh wow! This one is so great! I dyed that fabric? It's beautiful!" I was really happy to jump back into this colorful project.
Finally, all of the 90 blocks out of 100 that needed a sashing piece had one attached.
And then  all 100 blocks were sewn into 10 rows of 10 blocks. The next step was applying long pieces of the same fabric to the bottom of each row. And then to sew those together and press each and every long seam towards the sashing. I didn't take pictures of this step as it was rather involved and I was getting very tired. 

But then unfortunately, I ran out of sashing fabric. As I'd cut the sashing pieces out years ago, I can't remember if I knew that or just cut a bunch and figured I'd cut more later. Anyway, now I have to find the Exact Gray Solid to continue. Wish me luck on that one. I don't have a picture of the 7 rows that got sewn together but I'll put it up on my design wall and post it later.

Monday, April 22, 2024

More YES

On the last day of retreat I worked on making more Y.E.S. Paper pieced blocks for my YES coat. These are printed out from EQ8 on newsprint. I couldn’t do the fold and flip paper piecing method because my glue stick was no longer glue-y.
Give a Y, give me an E!

 Just what I wanted, easy to not really see the YES in the blocks but it still is distinct enough if you really look.👀 

What an awesome retreat, really enjoyed it and getting a chance to know more of the bamq people. I tried my best, but I overdid  it and my knee is very unhappy with me. A good reminder of why I’m having surgery.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Yarned Up


One of the places I like to go when we visit San Diego is Apricot Yarn & Supply. It's very nearby to Visions Museum and is just a really lovely shop. As I'm neither a knitter or a crocheter, it's just fun to go in and goggle at the beautiful colors and textures and of course to pet stuff. But I usually like to buy something aspirationlly, shall we say?
I bought this really nice variegated sock weight yarn and a smallish crochet hook with a larger grip. This crochet hook fits my hand very well and is nicely balance. Will I ever crochet an actual sock? Or perhaps something else? I unfortunately realized a bit too late that the yarn was much too fine to try and crochet with in the car as I'm not that practiced. So now it's in my yarn basket in my workroom. Maybe I'll try crocheting while I watch SF Giants baseball games this season.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

63 Out of 100 Days


Here are seven more days worth of the 100 Days Project. I'm away at the BAMQ retreat and have scheduled this post and sewn ahead of myself a couple days.  Hopefully I remembered to post all 7 pictures of the new 9" segments.
My plan is to bring this giant roll of sewn Scrap Tape along with me to keep up on the days while I'm there. I'm planning to use the scraps that I generate as I'm working on the projects that I bring to the retreat, so there will be a distinct look to those segments.
That white on white checkerboard fabric is so odd, but so cool. I thought it looked good around some fabrics that had bits of white.
A checkerboard of mis-cut cornerstones for the 4 I's quilt makes an appearance. 
More bits from the making of Bohemian Wife blocks appear.
This combination on the left is a great palette for a quilt, the grey orange, purple, yellow on purple/pink, then a chartreuse, woohoo!
One last segment for the week. Can't believe I'm up to 63! 

Friday, April 19, 2024

April's Showers=Flower Friday


It's April. It's a Friday. It's time for a Flower Friday! Here's the cherry tree in full bloom at the beginning of the month before the rain. All that rain has led to a great bloom so far all around.
My grandma Trudy's orchid continues to reliably bloom every year.
Indoors, two refugees from a bouquet, surviving and floating for a little bit longer.
These Columbines, always such a surprise, I forget they might show up.
And I don't always know what color combinations that they'll be. These flowers are a little like a secret between me and the bees as they don't really turn their faces up to the sun.
There are several pots that the Columbines come up, and they seem to stick to a few color combinations with variation year to year.
Pink and more pink!
Some of the variations might have to do with the amount of sun these different pots get. I enjoy them all and I'm always happy to see them bloom.

Climbing roses to be blooming very soon.
This scented geranium bush is enormous and I need to divide it and replant some elsewhere, but for now I'm enjoying the cute little flowers and the lovely scent.
Speaking of scent, the lilacs are going gangbusters this year probably from all the rain. 
The center of these yellow-orange on orange Calendulas are so mesmerizing, and apparently attractive to bugs too.
A couple new plants that my family planted for me, as I'm off garden chores until I'm rehabbed from an imminent knee surgery. This is a Hybrid Pacific Coast Iris in New Yellow. I love the maroon ribbing. This is planted in the filtered light of the Fig tree so hopefully it'll be happy.
Another new plant my family planted for me is this Abutilon Pictum Thompsonil, the variegated leaves and the sort of variegated flowers are really pretty. I hope this one works out and makes it through the summer.
The Poison Tree, that's what my family calls it (it is very poisonous, Angel's Trumpet) is enormous and heavy with blossoms. It takes a lot of trimming to keep it in bounds. 
That's all for now, I can't walk around the whole yard unfortunately as I have stay on stable surfaces. Making this garden over the years has been one of my favorite things I've done in life.