Trust me, I know it is August, but I didn’t have a chance to post these until now.
I got three kits at the July meeting and was only able to fill one cat bed 2/3s full. I hope Amanda still has some schnibbles.
Trust me, I know it is August, but I didn’t have a chance to post these until now.
I got three kits at the July meeting and was only able to fill one cat bed 2/3s full. I hope Amanda still has some schnibbles.
As I said, we were in Southern California all weekend. One of the things we did was to give a check to St. John’s Hospital for their Craniofacial Anomalies/Cleft Palate program. It is a comprehensive program that includes pediatricians, dentists, social workers, plastic surgeons, ENTs and a score of other medical professionals who help get kids out of the land of being branded a Frankenstein and into a “normal” life.
There is a quilt hanging in the reception/intake area. We spent time in that room before the program started. I had noticed it last year, but didn’t have a chance to take a picture. I had the opportunity to look at it more closely, because the Grand Historian asked me whether it was a quilt, because he saw the applique. His question gave me the opportunity to look at the quilt more carefully, share my knowledge and take a photo. Since I wasn’t able to visit any quilt shops, I was thrilled.
The quilt is called Down East by Terry Waldron. The color is very rich. It is mostly batiks with some velvets. There is quite a bit of embellishment using raw edge applique and yarn. There is piecing as well in the form of log cabin blocks. The quilt is behind plexiglass, thus the glare. You can see a picture of the artist with the quilt, though I don’t see the quilt listed on her website.
There was one bit of quilting that I liked very much. I thought it was a clever way to highlight a motif that was not a block.
At this event, the Grand President, my DH, gave St. John’s a check for $55,000. Less that 1/2 of 1% of your donation goes to administrative costs. This is one of the best events for me, because each dollar of that $55,000 came from $5 raffle tickets, $10 BBQ tickets and $2 fines for cell phone use during meetings. There were no millionaires who chipped in $20,000. All the money came from members and their families. $55,000 is a lot of $2, $5, and $10. All of the trustees donate their time, including travel costs. Feel free to donate to the NSGW Charitable Foundation to support kids with craniofacial anomalies and their families.
I am making some progress on Under the Sea. It is a shock, because this piece has been on my list and a UFO for YEARS. I really never thought I would finish it and here I am.
We went to Southern California for the weekend, so no sewing machine and I missed the BAMQG meeting. My DH better know I love him. 😉 I did take Under the Sea and my EPP project to work on. I didn’t do much in general – no sewing, no EPP, no quilt shop visits, but I worked on Under the Sea a little on the way home in the car.
I bought some 12wt Aurifil and have used a little of it along with the Perl Cotton that I have had laying around. It is fun to add layers of texture to this piece. The stitches are adding interest.
I am not sure about the green circles. I like them as a motif. I am not sure I like them around the turquoise dots. I don’t want to disrupt that bubble like effect.
I am hoping that the viewer won’t see them until they get closer. We’ll have to see.
The 3rd Petrillo Bag has been cut out and on my to do list for awhile. Last Sew Day was the day to start it. I worked on the donation and when I finished that, I started working on this bag. I decided that I needed to clear off my To Do list and I also want my first Chubby Charmer back. I have been using it as a storage space for the pieces to this bag.
I really don’t know why I waited. It has gone together fairly easily thus far even though I have had to do some ripping.
With this bag, you get a lot of bang for your buck quickly. Within a few seams, you get something that looks like a bag.
Is it finished? No, but I am making progress.
I had some trouble with the flap and after ripping a few times, I decided to remake. I am also making a couple of adjustments. I am making the bag larger again, but using elastic this time. I wasn’t careful when I sewed it in and needed to rip it out and sew it more securely.
Mom had a great idea, which I will also do. I have a pen problem. I always have several with me. I have been using the hidden zipper pocket to hold them and everything else, which makes the bag sag. She suggested I put a slip pocket on the padded pocket and put the pens there. Brilliant!
I am still trying to figure out how to stabilize the hidden zipper pocket. That is a bit of a holdup, but not terrible.
Pattern: Petrillo Bag by Sew Sweetness
Fabric: Home Dec, Pristine Poppies by Joel Dewberry; various dots for trim and Art Gallery Red (not sure this is the name of the colorway) solid for some of the pockets and other trim.
SIL is embroidering napkins for the napkin project at a furious pace. I need to get busy on the tablerunners. September will be here before we know it and October and November will be hard on its heels.
SIL has finished some more napkins.
Two motifs included in this most recent batch came out very well. I really like the tree and I, especially, like the pumpkin.
I think they are coming out very well and I will be happy to put them on my table at Thanksgiving.
I am making progress on the dolls I talked about that I was making from a panel.
This doll is Little Red Riding Hood. She doesn’t really look like Red riding Hood to me as I always thought of Red as more of a little girl. This doll looks like an adult to me. What do you think?
I got the stuffing from my youngest SIL who happened to have some laying around. I was pleased that she was willing to offload it on me.
I haven’t stuffed very many toys — or anything, really. I worked really hard to make the doll stiff and full feeling. Not sure if it is too full.
The legs and arms are really skinny and I hope they are sturdy enough.
I finished the dog (probably really The Wolf), the quilt and the cape. I am now working on the skirt. I finished it and then I decided it didn’t fit well and I took it part to remake.
I also started the mermaid, which came on another panel. Mom is going to put elastic on the tail for me.
The third chapter in Carrie Bloomston’s book is called Take a Class, thus the third spark is about getting stimulation from an external source. Specifically, she talks about taking a class. I like taking classes, but I am choosy about the classes I take. Just because someone can sew doesn’t mean they can teach. Teaching is a skill that takes practice, though, yes, there are a few natural teachers.
Bloomston says “You get an amazing energy and buzz from taking a class. You learn about technique, craft, and process — the bones of a working practice.” I think this one line is so important.
Local adult schools and community colleges are good sources of classes. Your LQS definitely has a listing of classes that changes regularly. I like to take more arty classes, like color theory at community colleges, but LQSs can have those classes as well. Find out what other types of classes are available at local studios. Here in SF there used to be a sewing studio a few blocks from house. I took a fantastic pillowmaking class there and learned some fabulous techniques such as piping.
Of course, there are also online classes, which can be very good. If there are no local classes convenient to you, then definitely take an online class. I like the energy of an actual classroom and think it adds something to the experience. There are also DVDs with which you can learn some interesting techniques. I was inspired by a DVD I received for review by Sarah Ann Smith.
Bloomston provides a list of her favorite classes and then leaves a space for the reader to write down the classes in which s/he is most interested. She doesn’t include Craftsy, but Craftsy is available as well.
I continue to want to encourage creativity and creative pursuits in YOU via a regular blog post, so this another effort using The Little Spark book. A few weeks ago, I posted about the first chapter of The Little Spark and how to start to use this book to spark your creativity. I also reminded you that I had reviewed the book in November 2015. If you haven’t bought the book, go buy it NOW.
I feel it is important to nurture creative endeavors in myself. If I can encourage creativity in others, I get a huge bonus. It is so easy to get sidetracked by work, housework, kids’ activities, the time suck that is the Internet and take no time for yourself. It is so easy to think that creativity is not important. Creative endeavors nurture your soul. If your soul is healthy all the other things you have to do in your life are easier and come out better.
Like in the Creative Prompt Project, any kind of art is appropriate for this creative exercise. If you are a potter or a cartoonist or a weaver, these reviews and exercises will work for you just as well as for someone who sews, makes quilts, draws or paints.
Patterns and Projects
I added a free Craftsy pattern by “Alex Ledgerwood, who created the fabulous “Twiligig” pattern for Scraps Inc., Vol. 2, ” to my Craftsy account. “It’s a paper-pieced pumpkin block, and it’s simply adorable!” (from a Lucky Spools email)
Kristin Esser has just had her book, Sew Illustrated, published by C&T. They kicked off a blog tour earlier this week. The kickoff page has a idea flip-through of the book, which we all do when we see a book we like, but is hard to do when shopping online. Frances had some info on her podcast about this book.
I saw an article, which turned out to be a video, about folded books sculptures. As you know I am interested in bookmaking and this was a completely different take on using books for art.
I am so excited about all of the ways quiltmakers and quilt guilds have made a basic design for the Pulse Quilts their own. I saw the blocks SFQG were making when I went to a guild meeting as a visitor. I am tempted to make one for them because I like the pattern so much. I found another great quilt example by Kristen Welsh the other day. Gorgeous! I also love the cheerfulness of the quilt by SonicStitches. There is so much love flowing out via these quilts. You can see more on Instagram by clicking on the #quiltsforpulse hashtag. Everyone is so creative, caring and giving.
Quilt World News
Generation Q magazine has reported that AQS will stop producing books next year. I wonder what will happen with the challenges that result in books. They also let me know that the International Machine Quilters’ Association is folding. This news follows hard on the heels of QNM closing down. The article mentions, of course, the MQG and the success there. There is no panacea, but the old ways don’t work. The existing shows and organizations need to take a page from QuiltCon and make their events about more than quilts and shopping. Yes, those get us in the door, but the passiveness of viewing and shopping don’t make people want to go back. I want to go back to QuiltCon, because of the excitement at the show, the app to answer quick questions, the activities and meeting people I ‘know’ on social media. This is a really good article and I hope you will read it and comment on it.
Well, it seems like dire times for the quiltmaking industry. Perhaps the industry is just right-sizing? Rachel from Stitched in color talks about changes to blogs.
City Quilter in NYC is closing their brick & mortar shop in the fall. I am sorry I never got there. They wrote in a recent email: “After almost 20 years and more than 20,000 students passing through our classrooms, we’re sad to announce the closing of The City Quilter in October. We have enjoyed getting to know many wonderful people and have had an exhilarating time building up our business from scratch. But Dale and I feel it is time for a change. Our focus will be selling our exclusive New York fabric on-line, and, indeed, we intend to expand our offerings.
A huge thank-you to all our loyal customers and friends who have supported our presence in Chelsea at The City Quilter for the last 20 years. We are so pleased to have helped grow and sustain the quilting community in New York, as well as having brought quilts and quilt-making in NYC to a greater national and international audience.
We are always amazed at the number of real and lasting friendships that have been made in our classroom. In many ways, The City Quilter always felt like a family and we will truly miss our teachers, employees and customers.
We will be selling our Bernina 550 classroom machines as well as all our floor models of both Bernina and HandiQuilter machines. Except for the HQ Avanté long arm machine. That, I’m taking with me. So there will be some good deals to be had.
Again, many thanks for the experience of a lifetime. We hope to see many of you between now and October.”
It isn’t all bad news. Pokey Bolton will be publishing her first book under the Crafting a Life LLC imprint. It will be a surface design book by Melanie Testa and Carol Soderlund. She is going to be choosy about her titles and hope they focus more on technique and less on patterns.
I have added a few books to the Quilts in Print page.
I spent the Sunday after the workshop finishing the Cargo Duffle.
I really, sincerely disliked all the prep work, but was thrilled to see how this bag turned out. it has substance. I was going to give it away, but I am keeping it. I really like the fabrics I chose, even though I chose the green because I thought I would give it away. I love that text fabric.
I am also thinking of making another one. I know. I know. I am crazy, but I keep thinking about how I would make a second one differently. I want to see if I can do it again better. ALSO, I do have to make a bag for one of the guild officers.
For example, after cutting out the straps, I would just sew them. After cutting out the pockets, I would sew them to the lining. I think it would be less confusing. Yes, I would still have to quilt a bunch of pieces and panels,, but I think it would be easier. It might not have worked when I didn’t know how to make the bag, but now that I have an idea, I think it would work better for me.
Yay for Bron who made this happy Orlando Pulse quilt! I love the scrappy binding.
This is another one that will be sent off to the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild for the families of victims, survivors and first responders of the Pulse nightclub shooting.
I am behind in posting, but I also don’t want to bore you by posting on one project or topic day after day.
You know that I have been prepping for the Cargo Duffle. It seemed interminable, but paid off. On the first Saturday in August I went to the BAMQG workshop and worked on assembling the Cargo Duffle. I arrived in good time after only getting a little lost*. 😉
Gerre arrived right after I did and we quickly decided to sit together in the back of the room. That way we could have a whole table to ourselves. There was a bit of table shortage because their day camp program was using the long rectangular tables we like. We ended up with two tables, mostly because I decided we needed a separate table on which to layout all the pieces we had prepped. It is always great to work with Gerre. On the day of the workshop, I was on edge (not sure why – a lot going on, maybe) and she kept talking me down off the ledge. I reciprocated the favor by keeping her calm when parts of the bags weren’t going as planned.
It was also good to see that some people had done less of their homework than I did, not to be mean to them; it just reduced my stress a bit.
We started out with the slip pockets and my first problem was with what pieces needed to be used. Jaime helped and once I got that problem sorted, the “which piece was which” problem sorted itself out. Even though I had all the pieces labeled, with this bit of help, I had a frame of reference.
Seeing what other people were doing and having access to a teacher also made me calm down quite a bit.
My first huge accomplishment was finishing the lining. Yes, I finished the interior slip pocket and the interior zipper pocket, which help to make up the lining, but seeing a real 3D item made from all that prep work me very happy.
I made mistakes and had to rip, which I am sure others were doing as well, even though I didn’t see them. I also had to change the way the main zipper worked, which Gerre talked me through. I may post the steps for you later. Not sure, but stay tuned.
Still, it was a super long day and I didn’t finish completely, but made really good progress. By the end of the day I only had to sew the rest of the exterior together and then insert the lining. I really don’t have a lot to complete and feel like I accomplished quite a bit by the time the day was over. Do I wish I had finished? Yes, of course, but I have to be happy with what I was able to do.
Gerre finished her bag and it looks great! Cheryl, Amanda and Karen all finished their bags as well.
A photo posted by Karen Maple (@karenmaple) on
Diana is so close to finishing hers. I love her fabrics.
*I don’t normally get lost a lot, but I seem to always get lost on the mid-Peninsula and in the South Bay. I go there quite a lot and still don’t have a visual map in my mind. Someday, maybe.
I had a great time at the Sew Day yesterday and really got a lot done!
It was a small crowd and I was the second person there! That was shocking since I have to go far to get there, but it was a great opportunity to chat with Mary a little and get to know her better. The tables were all there since camp is over, but they were sticky and dirty, so we spent some time cleaning them. We also set up a few tables and the cutting table. By the time we were satisfied we were still the only people there. We both started to sew and continued to chat. Bang on 11am, others rolled in and the party really got started. 😉
I decided that I would work on projects that were hanging around. First up was the Circles Charity Quilt. Gerre and I started working on it at the May Sew Day. MAY!!! I can’t believe it has been 4 months.
I had worked on it a few times after Gerre gave it to me, but it was hanging around not getting done, so I decided I would work on that even if it took me all day. It turned out that I only had a little more to do. I had about 6 circles to applique’, tying off threads and trimming. It didn’t take me very long at all. I pressed it and gave it back to Gerre who will quilt it or give it to the guild to quilt. I am really pleased with how it turned out.
My “reward” was to work on the Petrillo bag that I cut about 15 years ago. Not really, I cut it out, maybe, a year and half ago. It has been on my to do list forever and it was time to sew it, so I started. I don’t know why I waited because the bag started to look like a bag before I left. I was short some supplies, so I skipped a couple of steps, but did as much as I could in the time I had and really made some progress. I am really kicking myself or not getting to this bag sooner and having it take up space in one of my Chubby Charmers.
Angela basted one of the Pulse quilts the guild made. She is getting ready to quilt it. She was a rock star. She just got on with it and pretty soon the whole quilt was basted. I knew she would be working on it so I checked the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild website to see how they were progressing. They are really making progress. The creativity used in creating the layouts is wonderful. They have a lot of quilts completed and more in progress. I am so glad I was able to contribute.
Mary worked on the Improv Round Robin project. She had Lizzie’s piece.
Susan worked on her Cargo Duffle and was able to finish that. Patti was sewing doll clothes for her granddaughters.
Karen was working on another quilt in her series of art quilts related to Black Lives Matter.
Gerre pulled out some AMH feather blocks and was putting them together. She is pretty close as all the blocks are done and just has to finish sewing the rows. This is one of her earlier quilts and I love it.
One fun thing is that we talked about sewing – tips, tricks, techniques, hacks. Someone is thinking of making Sew Together Bags, so we discussed making them just as functional, but a bit easier. All in all, it was a great day and I really enjoyed myself.
As you know I have been working on the homework for the Noodlehead Cargo Duffle*. This is one of the most difficult bags I have ever made, including the Liesl Backpack, though I think the directions are the problem and not the actual bag. Also, there is a lot of prep and, as you know, I like to get straight to the sewing. As I have said, the directions are too brief for me.
These handles can be used for other types of bags, so this tutorial creates a useful skill.
In this case, I couldn’t understand the directions for making the handles. I looked at them several times until I decided just to try what they said and see if that worked. I did what the directions said, though they didn’t make sense, and the directions actually worked! Me or the directions? You decide.
Since I think the pattern instructions just need a bit of explanation for those of us who need to know more why in their patterns, I wrote up a tutorial.
-1.5″ cotton webbing.
2. Sew strips together. They are not the same width so they will not line up, width-wise, exactly.
3. Press seams open. This is not critical and if you don’t want to, press how you like. I press seams open on handles, because I want to reduce bulk. You get a lot of bulk in handles, especially if you add some kind of filler like cotton webbing, which I used in these straps, or Soft & Stable or any other kind of interfacing. Pressing the seams reduces bulk.
Optional: At this point you can add some ShapeFlex to the handles to add strength. If you add ShapeFlex, cut a piece that covers both strips and covers the seam. It will add strength to the seam.
4. Fold the long side of the raw edges towards the center seam. I folded the Pearl Bracelets green piece first, but where you start doesn’t really matter, I don’t think.
5. Press fabric so there is a crease in the fold.
6. Next, fold the second long side, raw edge towards the center seam (yes, it is slightly off center, which is part of what confused me). This is the fabric (text fabric) with the smaller width.
7. Make sure to line both raw edges up with seam you just pressed open. Each different fabric will be a different folded width.
7. Press just folded fabric so there is a crease in the fold.
8. Fold the fabric with the smaller width (mine is the alphabet fabric) up towards the wider fabric (green Pearl Bracelets). There will be some green showing, which is what you want.
9. Press so you have crisp folds. Some of the wider fabric (green Pearl Bracelets, in my case) will show. This detail makes an accent.
10. Now unfold and add your cotton webbing or other stiffener. I used 1/5″ cotton webbing. I had never used this and was pleased at how well my machine sewed through it.
11. Refold so the cotton webbing does not show.
12. Quilt lines lengthwise, approximately 3/8″ apart, starting with the open seam. This will make the handle is very dense with quilting and add to the strength.
Ta da! You have very nice handles that will be sturdy enough to carry a heavy bag.
Ruth, being the super intelligent woman she is provided a link after I had figured out how to make these handles. I did search, but didn’t come up with the tutorial. I hope you like my instructions for the Cargo Duffle handles, which will, with any luck, come up in search results for others who try to make the Cargo Duffle.
*I really don’t know if the project includes the spelling ‘duffel’ or ‘duffle’. I am going with ‘duffle’ as that is what the dictionary says. You may want to search both, if you do any Google searching in order to get all the results.
I did something a little different today in that I was interested in how many different palettes I could create using the photo above. You can see that colors in the image are already limited.
First, I focused on the turquoise globe. I was interested in some of the colors the Palette Builder showed when I first uploaded the photo. I am constantly fascinated with creating a palette that has the right mix of contrasting blues.
Next, I moved to the more green globes and focused the circles on them exclusively. You can see more green/yellows in the tones of the colors in the palette. It is interesting how many colors there are in this picture.
I could probably play with this one photo ad infinitem. I realized that after my third try and the tool doesn’t even have the color discernment that my eye does.
I really couldn’t stop playing with this photo. The colors are relatively limited, but there is still enough of a difference, with the glare and light sources to make the colors slightly different.
I may work with this photo again.
I am wondering what a quilt would be like made from all the colors in the three palettes?
What do you think?
We are going to talk about partial seams. Partial seams are a way to create a more complex looking block without using truly difficult piecing techniques. Even a relative beginner can navigate partial seams successfully.
1. Prewash and press fabric
2. Select fabrics to fit the color scheme of your other blocks. You need contrast between the various pieces.
The one red triangle with the white curves might not be exactly right, but it will look fine in the overall quilt.
3. Cut out pieces using the chart. Press as you cut if necessary.
4. As we discussed before, sew smallest to largest. I started with the matching small triangles. Sew carefully without yanking the bias.
5. Press flat and then press to the red. Press carefully without distorting the bias.
6. Place the newly sewn triangles back in place back on your design wall.
7. Sew the similar triangles, press and place back in place.
Remember, you are sewing from smallest to largest. This means that you are creating larger and larger sections until the whole block is done.
8. Once the newly sewn patches are back in place, it is fairly easy to see the next logical step. The large turquoise triangles (mini-Pearl Bracelets fabric in the example) should be sewn to your two triangles. This will make a square.
9. Sew the two small triangles, which are now sewn together (step 4-7), to the large turquoise triangle. This step makes the triangles into a square.
10. Press flat and then press to the larger triangle. Press carefully without distorting the bias. Place the squares back on the design wall.
11. Sew the solid, rectangle-ish pieces to the squares you just sewed.
12. Place the sewn sections back on the design wall.
13. Sew small red triangles to solid triangles
14. Sew new section to your squares.
15. Place the sewn sections back on the design wall.
Now you have 4 major sections plus the center and 4 corner patches. Now we are going to get serious with partial seaming.
16. Take the center and section 1.
17. Put section 1 under the needle with the center square on top. Line the center square up with the intersection of the red triangle and the Pearl Bracelets triangle (my fabrics used as a guide).
Backstitch at the end of the seam to secure the seam since you will be playing with it.
18. Press seam towards center square. Press carefully since the whole seam isn’t sewn.
The sewn piece will flip up. You can see about how much to sew in the picture above.
19. Take section 2 and lay it over section one and the center square with right sides together. The lengths should be about the same.
Completing the sewing of section 2 makes the section look like it is possible to sew on section 3.
20. Lay section 3 over section 2 and the center square. Line up the edges so they are event.
Now your center section is almost done.
21. Prepare to sew section 4 to the larger piece you have made by tucking section 1 under section 2. You might want to use a pin to keep it out of the way.
22. Lay section 4 over section 3, right sides together.
Section 4 is sewn. Keep section 1 tucked under and out of the way for the next step. Get ready to complete your partial seam.
23. Fold the raw edges between section 1 and section 4 up like half of it wasn’t sewn. Use a pin near the end of the seam (edge of the section) to keep it in place.
24. Position piece so you start sewing near the pin.
Now you will sew the partial seam.
25. Once you start sewing from the pin (noted above), you will see the end of the first seam you partially sewed. Sew slowly to the end of previous seam line.
Hooray!!! You have finished the center section
Now you have to sew the corner triangles to the center section to finish the block.
26. Trim off corners of large corner triangles before you sew them on. You can trim them all at once or one at a time, which is what I do.
27. Lay triangle on the sewn section, lining up trimmed corners even with edge of sewn section.
Your piece will look like the above image. Follow steps 26-27 for all corner triangles.
You are now finished! Great job!
Other resources and patterns regarding partial seams: