Triple Star Progresses

I had a few minutes to sew on Friday night after work and I blew through about 30 pieces for the Triple Star quilt. Not tons, but some progress, which felt good.

Triple Star - August 2017
Triple Star – August 2017

I have to admit I was avoiding quilting on the art quilt. I had taken off the walking foot in order to finish the star donation quilt and just drifted over to piecing rather than be disciplined about quilting. I have to give myself a break. This is supposed to be fun and I have been driving myself.

I was pleased to do some piecing. I received the Chroma finally, so I could cut the rest of the large rectangles. Now I am in the process of sewing (using the flippy corners method) 2.5″ squares onto two sides of the rectangles to make a parallelogram. I need a lot of them so it is taking forever. I might sew a sample block just to ease the mindlessness. I have no excuse to be bored 1) because I can switch to other projects and 2) I just started!

Other Posts on the Triple Star:

Triple Star Progress – July 6, 2017
Triple Star – June 20, 2017

Chroma and 28

Chroma
Chroma

On a whim, I pre-ordered some Chroma FQs from Hawthorne Threads. I wanted to use some of the pieces for the Triple Star and I had some time to cut at the end of June.

They were expected at the end of June, which was perfect timing. Sadly, the fabric didn’t arrive until nearly the end of July.

Poor Hawthorne Threads. They were beside themselves and incredibly apologetic. Good thing I had plenty to do.

Some of the colors are great, but I don’t like that mustard yellow or the super icky green. I am an icky green girl, but that is a little too icky for me. the blues are the nicest followed by some of the pinks and lavenders. I already started cutting and the fabric is batik-esque and VERY thin.

Aurifil 28 wt.
Aurifil 28 wt.

I also started machine quilting with the 28 weight Aurifil thread. I liked it and decided to use it for the art quilt. I bought a few spools in colors I needed from Red Rock Threads*. What a great place! I ordered the thread in the evening one day and two days later it was on my dining room table. I didn’t even pay for expedited shipping. Their site isn’t super fancy, but it works well, is easy to understand and they ship fast. I can’t ask for more than that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*no affiliation

Art Quilt: Applique’

Down the Drain: River of Sorrow complete
Down the Drain: River of Sorrow complete

You saw the other day that I had finished the first layer, or perhaps it was the second layer?

I really kind of liked this look despite the slightly depressing  look, but I was on a mission.

I used a satin stitch, but not a dense one stitch down the River. In some cases I will straight stitch first, but I didn’t in this case. I try to keep track of the settings so I can use the same density again. I often start with the density I used to sew on Merit Badges and then adjust from there. Despite the siren call of temptation, I always test the density before I sew on the actual piece. Have you every tried to rip out a satin stitch. It is doable, but I don’t find it to be fun.

After applique’ing down the River shape, I moved on to the broken hearts.

Art Quilt: with hearts in progress
Art Quilt: with hearts in progress

After making some hearts some time ago I have a trick, so I used it to make the heart shape then cut into them with very sharp scissors (should have used my Karen Kay Buckley scissors) and made the broken part. I put fusible on the back of the hearts and pressed them down. I use Soft Fuse. I have used other products, but that is my current favorite.

I had to play around with the placement of the hearts. I wanted them on the background, not on the borders or covering the River. Once they were placed where I wanted them I satin stitched them down and added the tears. I think tears coming off of a heart is powerful imagery.

Art Quilt: Signs in process
Art Quilt: Signs in process

The signs took a lot longer. I needed to add sticks and get the placement right, trim the shapes and write the messages.

I don’t know why I wanted these Easter Egg colors, but they seemed right. I didn’t even have to hunt for them as they magically appeared in a convenient stack of fabric.

Weird.

I fused the sticks, then found they didn’t show up very well, so I stitch around them to highlight them. I still don’t think they show up as much as I wanted, but I am okay with the look.

Art Quilt: Top finished
Art Quilt: Top finished

This is very much a quilt where you get one view from afar and need to come closer to get a more detailed view.

 

Posts about Down the Drain

  1. I Have a Secret – 8/6/2017
  2. Art Quilt Start: Background – 8/8/2017
  3. Art Quilt: River of Sorrow – 8/10/2017
  4. Art Quilt: Border 1 – 8/13/2017

Various & Sundry 2017 #12

Inspiration

A friend sent me this link and it made me sad. A group is selling off Eli Leon’s collection of quilts and aprons to help pay for his care. There wasn’t much detail about whether he is ill or just old and unable to live alone or what. The sale was last weekend, but there are photos at the link of interesting quilts.

Tools, Notions & Supplies

I saw an interesting sewing table on MassDrop. They don’t have a drop on currently. One can always be requested or you can buy it directly. The sewing table is by Merrow and it is small and compact and comes in a lot of delicious colors. if you have one, I’d love to know what you think.

Fabric, Thread, and Batting

I have recently received two unexpected magazines in the mail. The most recent one was from Craftsy. While there is a lot of scope for inspiration, I guess it is basically a catalog. They are touting their holiday patterns, kits, classes and fabrics. The fabrics all seem to be from the ‘Boundless’ line, which I think is a Craftsy brand? A lot of the items are marked down (is that a real sale or just standard marketing?), which is attractive, but makes me wonder if they ever were really sold for the MSRP. My favorite pattern in this catalog is the Puzzle Mixer Quilt Kit. I am not a fan of the fabric, but I like the dimensionality of the design.

Keeping on with the theme of catalogs, I also received a Keepsake Quilting catalog lately. I haven’t bought a lot from them lately, but always like to look at their tools and notions. I meant to write about it a couple of months ago when I received the last one, but didn’t get to it. Keepsake Quilting has changed the look of their catalog slightly. They still have the traditional fabrics, 1930s prints and ‘Call of the Wild’ panels and projects. The catalog, however, looks brighter and more cheerful. They also have a new section called Keepsake Modern. This section has the new Elizabeth Hartman Ocean quilt. Chroma from Alison Glass, along with the patterns, Cobblestone Quilt and Luminary, is featured as well. Sara Lawson has some patterns listed, Heather Givans has some fabrics on sale. The list goes on and on. This is not just a nod to modern. The company has done some investing and seem to be committed to the fabrics and patterns that modern quiltmakers want. Additionally, modern patterns show up in other sections, showing how modern patterns aren’t just for modern fabrics. There was one ‘…of the month’ subscription I considered. If you read Sandy’s blog, you know how popular these boxes and subscriptions have become. KQ has an Aurifil Modern Quilter Thread of the Month Club. the customer receives 4 spools a month and the cost is $49.99+ shipping. Including shipping, that is $13.49 per spool. Red Rock Threads is slightly less at $12.75 for four spools. Their shipping is slightly higher at $5. I found their shipping to be super quick. I ordered some thread and had it two days later even though I didn’t pay for expedited shipping. Still, getting fun mail is, well, fun and I wouldn’t have to do anything except pay. If I could be guaranteed not to receive any brown or beige I would join.

Projects

Did you make a hand? No? Me neither, but it is on my list. Make a hand! I need to make a hand!

Exhibits & Exhibitions

Threads of Resistance will be at PIQF October 12-15, 2017 in Santa Clara. You can sign up for workshops and lectures on their site. Online entry for quilts and wearables is also available now. Deadline is August 29, 2017.

Technique

Charlotte of the Slightly Mad Quilt Lady talks about stippling and gives a nice list of why it is a good quilt pattern.

NQR

I really like this visual chart of the languages of the world.

Art Quilt: Border 1

After sewing the background together, I thought there might be a small chance I was done and could move on. No dice. I would like to say that my Muse gently stroked my hand encouragingly. No such luck. The VIMH #2 was impatient and insistent. “keep going,” she said (loudly). She has no patience because she knows I know what I am supposed to do. When I don’t do it she has no patience for my prevaricating.

I thought the piece needed an inner border to keep the center motifs contained. I thought a dark border would work. Not being done with those 1.5″ squares yet, I cut about a gazillion more out of black and white fabrics. The fabrics were mostly dark, but the white provides a little space.

Down the Drain with border #2
Down the Drain with border #2

I cut enough for two rows, then put them up on the wall.

Down the Drain with border #2- different sizes
Down the Drain with border #2- different sizes

The effect seemed kind of heavy to me, so I put one row up and compared the two. One row seemed best to me, so I sewed those together and put them on to the quilt.

Except.

River of Sorrow and border n.1
River of Sorrow and border n.1

I really wanted the ‘River‘ to go underneath the border. I fiddled with that concept a lot, then finally gave up.

Part of the problem was that I was going to have to applique some of the squares and I really didn’t want to do that. I also didn’t think it added anything to the quilt overall. It was hard to tell, though, and it made me sad not to be able to work out the technical details.

Down the Drain: River of Sorrow-detail
Down the Drain: River of Sorrow-detail

I got busy trimming the River as I didn’t want a 20 inch third border.

  1. I needed to make the water filtering into the drain end up in the corner but not on the edge, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to applique the drain.
  2. I was still trying to figure out how to get the inner border over the River shape. This point in the process decided me, because I was already thinking about quilting and how I would manage that with this border on top.
  3. Trimming the bottom of the water going down the drain was also a problem because of the angle of the viewer. I looked at water sluicing into a drain, which didn’t help me, because I was looking at it from on top. Even if I stood on my head **in** the sink, I wouldn’t have been able to get the same angle. Finally, I decided that my viewers weren’t stupid and would figure out what I was trying to say. I am not 100% happy with the outcome, but sometimes one has to make compromises.
Down the Drain: River of Sorrow complete
Down the Drain: River of Sorrow complete

After trimming, sewing, ripping and sewing again, I finished the second layer.

The weather has been very gray lately, so the quilt, being predominantly grey at this point, looks depressing. It isn’t really. The grey made into the second border is a bright clear grey. Even thought I don’t get the interwoven feel I was trying for, I am pleased with how this came out.

Posts about Down the Drain

  1. I Have a Secret – 8/6/2017
  2. Art Quilt Start: Background – 8/8/2017
  3. Art Quilt: River of Sorrow – 8/10/2017

BAMQG Round Robin Returns…Again

Rhonda brought my BAMQG Round Robin back to me when we met at the CQFA meeting. I had to hunt around the blog for which challenge it came as I couldn’t remember. I also wanted to see the changes. I remembered that Kathleen worked on it and Kelly had it, but I couldn’t remember anything else about it. 🙁  Kelly had it for a long time and since she is much more into quilting than piecing, I wasn’t surprised to see no changes.

BAMaQG Round Robin
BAMaQG Round Robin

I remember Kathleen and I talking about ways to make the piece more horizontal as it started out very vertical. As it is now, it is very traditional in layout. It is turning into a  medallion quilt, which I don’t find that interesting.

Round Robin detail
Round Robin detail

The piecing is really good. I have asked for some other volunteers to work on the piece. We’ll see if anyone volunteers. If not, I will finish it and give it to a kid I know, I think. I don’t think I am really interested in working on it anymore.

 

Related Round Robin Posts

Colorplay: Glass

AirBnB leaded Glass Window
AirBnB leaded Glass Window

Today, I decided to try a photo that was super colorful. This is a leaded glass window I saw in a house on Guerrero Street. It is an AirBnB and my friend stayed there. I saw it when I dropped her off. the female shape in front of it is a statue. I am going to focus on the glass.

Apparently, I chose Bella Solids this time.

Leaded Glass- default palette
Leaded Glass- default palette
Leaded Glass palette n.1
Leaded Glass palette n.1

The first palette, always the default, is very grape heavy. It isn’t unpleasant at all. I am struck at the similarities in the colors chosen by the program. Although, the hues provided tend to be somewhat dusky, the Bella Off-White seems have a pink tone when put next to the grapes and pink fabrics.

My first palette looks very circus-y. The Bella Sunflower next to the Little Boy Blue looks very cheerful. I got the red – actually Mango – by moving the dot very slightly up on the same piece of glass.

Leaded Glass - palette n.2
Leaded Glass – palette n.2

The Bella Sprout really makes the second of my palettes. I wanted something different than the yellow, but was concerned about that Longhorn (gold-yellow). with the other colors, I think it works. This palette is probably my favorite.

Leaded Glass - palette n.3
Leaded Glass – palette n.3

My immediate reaction to the third of my palettes was that I didn’t like it. However, I looked again and while I have concerns about the Bella Avocado, I think, overall, it works.

The colors come from one flower and I know the light affected the colors appeared.

I might do this exercise again with Konas just to see the difference.

 

Art Quilt: River of Sorrow

Kind of dramatic, huh? I am not sure what else to call the shape. I have used this shape two other times – both on political quilts.

I knew the approximate shape I wanted, so I made a paper template by taping a bunch of pieces of newsprint together.

Then I cut out the fabric. Then I trimmed the fabric. Then I shaped the piece until I had it the way I wanted it.

Down the Drain: River of Sorrow
Down the Drain: River of Sorrow

Finally, I was able to put it on the wall. It didn’t stick, so there are pins you can’t see.

Down the Drain: River of Sorrow-detail
Down the Drain: River of Sorrow-detail
  1. I wanted to make the shape look like it was going down a drain. I needed it to look like it was constrained in some way and forced to flow down.
  2. I wanted the black border squares to go on top of the Shape. At this stage, I pinned the border over the shape to move in that direction.
  3. The part of the ‘water’ that goes down a drain was hard to approximate. The shape you see in this picture is what I ended up with.

After I got the approximate shape, I took fabric ink and a rubber stamp alphabet and wrote on the shape. I wrote words that described what I observed was going down the drain.

I always have a hard time naming my political quilts. Their names end up being straightforward and somewhat unsophisticated. I guess I have learned to go with that.

Posts about Down the Drain

  1. I Have a Secret – 8/6/2017
  2. Art Quilt Start: Background – 8/8/2017

CQFA August Meeting

Saturday was the CQFA meeting and I actually made it! It was held in Maureen’s backyard. We sat around on outdoor chairs wearing hats and sunscreen had had our meeting. The meeting was followed by a workshop with Zoe Umholtz.

There is no news on the show, but I haven’t made my piece or my book yet, so I still have time.

August 2017 ATCs - CQFA
August 2017 ATCs – CQFA

My favorite part was the ATC exchange. I had mine made from early in the year when only Bron brought ATCs. We exchanged, I made another and didn’t have to scramble to make some before the meeting. Like Amy’s Color My Quilt piece, I need to get busy making ATCs for the October meeting. I have some schnibbles that I was eyeing the other day that might make great pieces.

In order from left to right, top row: Bron, Maureen and Diane.

Bottom row: Julie, Jaye, Angela, Nancy

My August 2017 ATCs
My August 2017 ATCs

I received some very nice pieces. There were two that I really wanted. I got one of them and am happy about that. Maureen (left, top) used some indigo pieces she made in a Zoe Umholtz workshop she took earlier. I think it was in honor of the workshop.

Nancy did some nice threadwork (right, top).

Diane (left, bottom) hasn’t been at a meeting in a long time, so it was great to see her. I saw her ATC and it made me want to pull out the others I have traded with her. She works in a similar style, so I think there would be some continuity.

I like the details on Julie’s piece (bottom, right) as well. The button and the little xes are wonderful and I like the texture.

indigo dyeing at CQFA
indigo dyeing at CQFA

I acted as workshop assistant for a few tasks, but mostly sat and knitted. I didn’t do any dyeing. Been there, done that and am happy to buy from people who enjoy it. I listened to Zoe’s introduction and watched as others folded and banded and dyed. I am also excited to see what comes out of the workshop.

Art Quilt Start: Background

As I said yesterday, I saw Sarah Ann Smith’s quilt, Speak Up, Speak Out and a whole bunch of stuff coalesced in my mind. Mind you, I didn’t even really know that all that stuff was rolling around. I have been feeling stressed out since the Inauguration and all of the stuff stressing me out suddenly came together.

Background 1
Background 1

As I said, I started working on my project from a couple of drawings in my journal. I had no measurements beyond “not big” when I started working on the  background.

I, again, used Mary Mashuta’s Pushed Neutral technique. I have done this in the past with other neutrals and now I use the same techniques with colors. This time, I worked with grey. Some of the greys are a little dark, but I keep telling myself the darks create disharmony, which is one thing I was trying to do. This quilt should unsettle you. I think, ultimately, the whole idea worked.

Background 2
Background 2

I did move some of the squares around to get the right mix of locations with darks and lights of grey.

This was the first layer.

Posts about Down the Drain

  1. I Have a Secret – 8/6/2017

Stars #2

I needed a break from quilting to do some piecing.

I had the Star blocks on the wall and had figured out how I wanted to put them together. I also wanted to get them done since the guild meeting is coming up and I’d like to having something to turn in. Since my design wall is overrun those blocks seemed to be the most logical project.

Stars #2 top
Stars #2 top

I put the blocks together in, basically, the arrangement I showed in the previous post.

I didn’t put the blocks together completely. I omitted some of the corner blocks in order to make the arrangement a little off balance. Some of the blocks share corner blocks. I think this adds movement to the quilt.

I think this quilt really shows what can happen if you keep the blocks on the design wall for awhile and look at them.

I have four more of these blocks and will make another quilt in a similar, but slightly different arrangement. I am not quite done playing with the arrangement.

I made a back for Stars #2 as well and will give both to the guild at the next meeting.

I Have a Secret

A few weeks ago I posted a Spark about having a secret. It was purely coincidental with the project I was working on.

Down the Drain: basted and ready to quilt
Down the Drain: basted and ready to quilt

I needed to work on this project, but I did not want comments or to provoke the storm I know will come with this post. I wasn’t quite ready. I still am not ready. As long as I still have freedom of speech I will post this quilt. I knew about the Threads of Resistance project and I would love to be a part of that, but I don’t do well with challenges. I wish I did because I’d love to be a part of that show.

The stress started on my birthday, which was January 20, not just because it was inauguration day, but also because I was at an event where people were happy to see President Obama leave office. They didn’t like him because he was black. For them it was No-Bama Day. For me, even though I didn’t know it at the time, it was the beginning of a stressful, distressing time.

I walked around waiting for my ATM card not to work, to be made subhuman, like in the Handmaid’s Tale. I started really to fear that the better country we were making would be dismantled. You might think we don’t need the EPA or the ACA and that is your right. I do not want to create a Sh*tstorm and this is not a political blog. I feel we do need clean air and health care for everyone. My feelings coalesced when I saw Sarah Ann Smith’s quilt, Speak Up, Speak Out.

Sarah Ann Smith's Quilt Speak Up, Speak Out
Sarah Ann Smith’s Quilt Speak Up, Speak Out

When I saw her quilt, I realized that another in my political art quilt series had been brewing in my head without me really knowing. I thought “this is the quilt I wanted to make.” I said so to Sarah and she said to make my version.

I thought about it for a long time, then I drew a picture in my journal. I thought that would be the end of it, but I couldn’t get the image out of my mind. I drew it again, a little more refined and more to scale.

I drew it over an over, continually refining, adding detail. The whole process went so smoothly that I kept going into piecing and cutting and sewing and quilting.

As I write this, the piece isn’t quite finished, but it will be soon (YAY! Another finish!). What happens to it after that, I don’t know.

Quilting with the 6600

Shockingly, I have been quilting. I have been working, pretty much, on one quilt for a month and I am finishing up the quilting.You’ll see the quilt soon

Quilting a quilt
Quilting a quilt

Yes, **I** am doing the quilting. Don’t expect greatness, because mostly I am doing straight line or straight-ish (as Kelly would say) line quilting.

I am really happy with the 6600. This machine is made for quilting. It has a built-in walking foot that works like a charm. I had very few tension problems even with different weights of Aurifil. While I miss not being able to piece, I am not dreading quilting like I was with my other machines. I think the larger space between the needle and the harp helps, too.

ColorPlay: Mt. Shasta

Mt. Shasta
Mt. Shasta

I totally forgot to do ColorPlay last week. I had a photo picked out and I completely forgot.

I took this photo from a plane window as I flew to Portland to see my broken YM. It was a gorgeous, gorgeous day in the Bay Area and all the way to Portland AND in Portland as well. There was no fog and no rain. For once, I sat by the window and took a bunch of photos. I was able to see my house from the plane window!

Shasta-default
Shasta-default

Out of the gate, I got a fabulous default. I really have no complaints and am tempted just to finish up here with this one palette and move on with my life.

Shasta- Palette n.1
Shasta- Palette n.1

The colors are limited. No pinks, no yellows. I did a second palette anyway and I got a similar palette as the default, but different as well. This is definitely a monochromatic palette that would only be suitable for a two color (not two fabric) quilt, but not a quilt with a lot of complicated piecing.

Shasta- palette n.2
Shasta- palette n.2

I ended up with a palette of slightly lighter blues. Still blues, but different. I thought I wouldn’t be able to get another blue, monochromatic palette.

Shasta- palette n.3
Shasta- palette n.3

I did one last palette. I am getting a lot of same colors, so this is the last.

Final Tula Quilt

I wrote about the Tula quilt we were making for our friend Kelly who was moving to Scotland. We got together a few weeks ago to present the quilt. We had breakfast, chatted and made Kelly cry.

Kelly's Good-bye quilt 2017
Kelly’s Good-bye quilt 2017

Rhonda hosted the party and did the most work on finishing the quilt. Amanda and Gerre did the amazing job with the letters on the borders. Some of those pieces are tiny!

The rest of us made 2 blocks or the equivalent and did some of the quilting. The whole process was pretty fun and went smoothly.

Kelly's Good-bye quilt 2017 with peeps
Kelly’s Good-bye quilt 2017 with peeps