Red Dot Cell Phone Wallet

Red Dot Cell Phone Wallet - front
Red Dot Cell Phone Wallet – front

I decided to wear my red dot dress to Easter, despite the rain. That meant no pockets so I needed to finish the Red Dot Cell Phone Wallet. It had been languishing for months and only needed some topstitching. I sewed the topstitching and sank the threads really quick Easter morning before we left for the party.

My SIL noticed right away and I was pleased to have finished the bag. It was very useful for its intended purpose.

Red Dot Cell Phone Wallet - open
Red Dot Cell Phone Wallet – open

The pattern calls for a strap made from fabric, but SIL gave me the idea of an interchangeable strap. I bought those small rectangular ‘rings’ and a long chain, which I use for this one and two others I have. There are two things I don’t like about the chain. First, it stands out from the dress when I wear it. Second, it is of a sufficiently intricate nature as to get caught in my hair when I am not careful or needing a haircut. If I make more, I may make straps. We will see.

Red Dot Cell Phone Wallet - back
Red Dot Cell Phone Wallet – back

It is a pretty easy pattern and useful for the purpose of providing a pocket in a dress whose pattern does not lend itself to pockets. There are several pockets for cards, though I only use it for a hotel key and cell phone. I have put my keys in there, but my car keys are too bulky because of the clicker for DH’s car. I toss them in and they ruin the slim line of the bag.

After wearing the dress, I think I will bring it with me to Grand Parlor to wear at one of the less official events.

FOTY 2017 end of April Update

FOTY 2017 - end of April 2017
FOTY 2017 – end of April 2017

After not cutting for a long time, I am on a jag. Here is the most recent group. They are  clear and cheerful. I am pleased that I finally have so many of the mini Pearl bracelets washed finally. I am thinking of making another Sew Together Bag with them.

ColorPlay: Tableware

ColorPlay: Tableware original
ColorPlay: Tableware original

I am working on the next Creative Spark, but am not quite finished. I thought I would give you a preview with today’s ColorPlay Inspiration photo.

ColorPlay: Tableware default
ColorPlay: Tableware default

Once again the default was a disappointment. More neutrals. This is a colorful photo and all I get are neutrals.

I wonder what the algorithm has against colors? Of course, it could be that the algorithm clusters together towards the top automatically. I noticed that the circles don’t go towards the bottom in the default.

ColorPlay: Tableware 2
ColorPlay: Tableware 2

The second option was much better. Of course, I moved the circles around and picked the colors that I like and moved the circles around and came up with a very nice palette. I want to just stop and rest on my laurels.

Look at those pinks and the turquoise! The Kona Wasabi is an added bonus.

ColorPlay: Tableware 3
ColorPlay: Tableware 3

With the third palette, I tried to get different shades and tones of the same hues as in the second palette. I was moderately successful.

The Sage and Cactus are a good combination, though the Cactus looks a bit yellow in the lower part of the picture. I also like the combination of Deep Rose, shadow and Blush Pink. I like the three of them together.

ColorPlay: Tableware 4
ColorPlay: Tableware 4

I made some minor adjustments to the fourth palette. The colors are a little dustier than I normally like, but I think this might be my favorite palette. the Regatta blue is a very good addition.

It occurs to me that I could make a palette out of many or all of the colors from all of these palettes.

The Palette Builder is a great and fun tool. Try it out! Let me know if you make anything with any of these palettes.

California Pillow

California Pillow
California Pillow

I finally made the pillow I intended to make from the panel Mrs. K sent me.

I feel like such a slacker. This panel has been hanging around since …. I don’t know…. months? I do keep sewing, so I can’t be that much of a slacker, right?

We do not have to raise money this year at Grand Parlor, so I made this pillow for one of our friends who does not get support from his Parlor to attend Grand Parlor. He is running for Grand 3rd VP and needs all the help he can get.

California Pillow back
California Pillow back

Yes, I pulled out some Pointillist Palette fabric, after being inspired by my SIL. I can’t hoard it. I have to get the 4th Pointillist Palette quilt done and use this great fabric. Since I had it out to use for Kelly’s Color My Quilt piece, I decided this pillow would work as another effort at using it.

The back is pretty plain, but I do like that blue. I wish I had written down what it was (usually I write the brand and color on the selvedge) as I could look for more. I didn’t so, it will be a mystery.

Kelly’s Color My Quilt

The guild meeting was Saturday. It was a good time, but I wasn’t really in the mood for some reason. Last week was busy and I had a lot of people to deal with in stressful situations, so I might have just been overloaded with external stimulus. Still, I was glad I went.

I always feel like I am offloading a truck when I go to a BAM meeting. I hand off donation quilts, pet beds, donation blocks, free table items. At the meeting last weekend I also had a Color My Quilt piece to show and give.

Kelly's group of Color My World chunks
Kelly’s group of Color My World chunks

It was Kelly‘s month and she she had an interesting idea. The responses were very cohesive, I thought, which was great. Some others seem to think we weren’t doing the challenge right, but I like cohesion in a quilt, so I thought this group was very successful.

My Color My Quilt Piece for Kelly
My Color My Quilt Piece for Kelly

My piece is at the top and I was pretty happy with it. It was one of the largest, as you can see. As someone pointed out, I don’t make small quilts. 😉

I learned this technique when I took my second quiltmaking class at Fort Mason from Sonya Lee Barrington back in the Dark Ages. I really had fun using it this time. It was nice to make swooping curves. I didn’t want to use black and didn’t have the Pepper that Kelly suggested on her sheet, so I stayed with brights.

There was some discussion about ‘chunks’ at the meeting.I have used free form piecing on two of the pieces. I thought I used that technique on all of them, but I made a checkerboard for Cheryl’s. This has led me to think about what could be a chunk besides free form piecing. I know a strip of Flying Geese could be a chunk, but blocks seem to be out of favor in terms of chunks. If I get a month, it probably won’t be until next year, so I have a long time to think about it.

Kelly seemed pretty happy with her chunks. I talked with her about her thoughts regarding putting them together. Obviously, it is too soon to really know what she will do. In the course of the discussion, it occurred to me that I could make chunks to intersperse among those from friends and that could help to bring the different pieces together.

So far, I have participated in:

This month is Gerre’s month and I have to get busy on her piece as I have a lot going on between now and the next meeting.

New Pillowcases

I bought some flannel cupcake fabric to make a pillowcase.

Then I saw some great flannel cupcake fabric at another shop and bought it to make a pillowcase. It turns out the two pieces were the same. If someone had bought it for me, I would have said “great minds think alike.” Since I just bought both pieces, apparently forgetting I bought it the first time, I have to wonder. I guess I really liked that fabric.

Cupcake Pillowcases
Cupcake Pillowcases

I have been on a near-frenzy lately washing fabric. The pieces of flannel got caught in the madness. Since I am trying to stay in the black in terms of fabric usage, I decided to make some pillowcases. They are a quick and easy yard of usage.

I thought I would give these to a niece who has recently become engaged. I am not sure she would like the colors, though, so I may give them to someone else.

Star Donation Quilt

Sawtooth Star Donation Quilt
Sawtooth Star Donation Quilt

I turned in the Sawtooth Star Donation top and back on Saturday at the BAMaQG meeting.

(insert gif of me dusting off my hands and moving on)

I was sad to see it go as that was a really great quilt. I know some family with a sick baby will love it, though and makes me happy.

People at the meeting agreed that it was cheerful even with the black.

Yes, I used different background fabrics as I had a few fat quarters and thought I might as well use them up. Pretty soon I’ll have to break into yardage again.

I’ll probably make another one of these. I have some more black squares and it is a good use of them.

Various & Sundry 2017 #6

See For Sale Items: fabric, design wall and canvas. Great deals!!!

Short but sweet.

Blocks, Quilts & Projects

I saw a reference to improvisational hashtag blocks on Carol’s blog and took a look. At first I didn’t read ‘improvisational’ correctly. I read it as a weird word related to improving something. Somehow stitching words on a hashtag block as a way of improving something (society??) makes sense to me. What if we made blocks with words on them and sent them….somewhere…to Congress? 45? They probably wouldn’t know what to do with them, but aren’t allowed to throw them out, so we could blanket the Capitol with hashtag blocks. Remember how many quilts and blocks Orlando MQG got? I am sure such a project would be a success.

Fabric, Tools & Notions

Carrie Bloomston of Creative Spark fame (are you working through her book with us on Fridays?) sent me a peep at her new line of fabric. The colors are similar to her previous line, with different motifs. The similar colors mean you can blend it with scraps you might have around. The line and Windham also support the Xerces Society for Pollinator Conservation.

Do you need the Milliefiori 1 & 2 (EPP) books by Willyne Hammerstein? Scruffy Quilts (no affilliation) has them on their website. They aren’t cheap, but essential if you are making La Passacaglia.

Events & Exhibits

WWI will be the topic for this summer’s symposium, July 27-29, 2017. at the Virginia Quilt Museum, Harrisonburg, VA. Speakers such as Madelyn Shaw and well-known quilt collector Sue Reich will present programs on the pacifists, Red Cross (quilts) & Jr. Red Cross efforts, and what folks at home did to “do your bit.” Tours will include Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and the ORIGINAL Air Force One which is being renovated nearby. Thanks to the American Quilt Study Group for the info.

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FOTY 2017 – mid April

FOTY 2017 - mid April
FOTY 2017 – mid April

After stalling out on cutting fabric early in the year, I have cut a lot this week. I have needed fabric that has languished in my ‘to wash’ pile, so I have washed quite a bit of fabric as prep for cutting. Clean fabric cannot pile up on the back of my new chair, so pressing and cutting it is.

I love the mini Pearl Bracelets Julie bought for me as a gift. Having them on the wall makes my imagination go places I wasn’t considering. I having been thinking of making another Sew Together Bag for my embroidery supplies. Except for some Philip Jacobs fabric like I used in my recent One Hour Basket, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to use. I wonder how it would look with the Philip Jacobs on the outside and all different Pearl Bracelets on the inside?

Design Class: Dominance

It has been awhile since we did the last design class. There is no podcast accompaniment, but if one becomes available, I’ll come back to this post and link to it. Gradation was the last installment that I could find. You can find the entire series by clicking on the ‘Design Series’ tag in any of the relevant posts.

I want to finish the series as the unposted final classes niggle at the back of my mind like a to do list item I cannot cross off.

Dominance is related to Emphasis/Focal Point

Dominance is a Principle of Design

Definitions:

  • One element plays the dominant role in a design. (Adventures in Design, pg.106)
    • Medallion quilt
    • Focus fabric
  • “Dominance gives interest to one entity or area of a design over the others.” (Fiber Artist’s Guide to Color & Design, pg. 199)
  • “Dominance gives a painting interest, counteracting confusion and monotony. Dominance can be applied to one or more of the elements to give emphasis (John Lovett)

Notes:

  • The difference between focal point and dominance is subtle. An element that dominates because of size or color, etc can also be a focal point, but it is not a focal point when your attention is drawn to one spot, but then drifts away because something else is going on in the design field that could be considered as dominant or only slightly less dominant than the element that could be the focal point, if not for the other aspect of the design field. Look at page 125 of A Fiber Artist’s Guide to Color & Design by Heather Thomas for an example.
    • Wayne Thiebaud Lunch Table, 1964"http://museum.stanford.edu/images/collection/mc_1964_119.jpg
      Wayne Thiebaud Lunch Table, 1964″http://museum.stanford.edu/images/collection/mc_1964_119.jpg

      Wayne Thiebaud’s Lunch Table is also an example. The Watermelon clearly dominates, but not is a focal point because there is so much going on in the design field. The red of the soup helps to draw the eye away.

  • “Both Dominance and Emphasis give interest to one entity or area over others present in a design field, however a focal point is not always formed. Giving dominance to , or emphasizing one design element or area will counteract confusion or the risk of monotony. (Fiber Artist’s Guide to Color & Design, pg. 125)

Using Dominance

  • Dominance “can be achieved through the use of color, value, intensity, size and scale as well as other design elements. Emphasizing one element or letting one area dominate others sends an invitation to the viewer to come in and take a closer, longer look at the work.” (Fiber Artist’s Guide to Color & Design, pg. 125)
  • The elements, line, shape, texture, form, are like the actors in a play. Not all the actors can be the star. You have to chose who will be the lead. When you choose who will be the lead in your quilt design, you are deciding which element will have dominance and you are enhancing visual unity. You can select another element to be your supporting actor and additional elements to play lesser roles to lend “visual support to your design.” (Adventures in Design, pg.106)

Resources

Carpenter’s Wheel – 2 Rows Together

The other day I talked about making the two sections of section 2. After I did that it took me a few days to sew section 2 together and then sew that large piece to section 1.

Carpenter's Wheel - Section 1 & 2 sewn together
Carpenter’s Wheel – Section 1 & 2 sewn together

I still need to make and add Section 3. I have barely any 4 patches left for the background, so I have to sew those blocks together first.

I am stupidly pleased with this section. Even more so because the feeling of having crossed a huge hurdle is even stronger now that I can see this section laid out. Of course, I may never be able to see the entire top as it is so large. I might have to move the dining room table and get a ladder to take future photos.

More on Big Patchwork Tote

Big Patchwork Tote - 1
Big Patchwork Tote – 1

I thought I would write a little more about this pattern as it is a pretty good pattern and has interesting construction techniques.

The bag pattern is included in a book called Make it Take It by Krista Hennebury. The bag is a cover girl and is what attracted me to the book.

I had a gift to make and thought this would be a perfect opportunity to try the pattern. I made the Little Patchwork the first and was a little disappointed at how little it was. I hadn’t planned to make both, but I needed a larger tote for my gift. From the photos in the book, I thought the little tote was more of the large tote size and the Big Patchwork Tote was larger – almost the size of a Chubby Charmer.

Big Patchwork Tote - 2
Big Patchwork Tote – 2

The pattern calls for patchwork sides and gives instructions for making a strip set. Fortunately, the pattern also gives the desired final size of the strip set, so the maker can cut the piece from one piece of fabric, if desired. This dimension also allows one to use something like mosaic piecing techniques if strips are undesired. Since I am using a fat quarter stack for this project, I didn’t have pieces large enough for the strips. I pieced strips together and used those. You can see that in the photo above if you look for vertical strips. I recommend piecing the desired fabrics together well in advance of the deadline for this bag as that takes a lot of time.

I used fusible fleece on the small bag and Soft and Stable on the larger bag. Both work, but I found the fusible fleece to be easier to deal with. Of course, if I had remembered to attach the Soft and Stable before I put the bag together, that would have made a difference. 😉 In the future, if I plan to use Soft and Stable, I will attach it (in the ditch stitching, perhaps) to the exterior before I put the bag together.

The interesting part is how the bag goes together. Instead of putting the exterior inside the interior, right sides together and sewing around the top, as the maker does in most bags, this one asks the maker to fold and press the interior and exterior in half and layer them. It is an interesting method that seems to work, though is hard to understand until you do it.

The problems with this bag are: no pockets, no closure. Considering the method of construction, I am trying to figure out if I can add a pocket or sew-in magnets as closures.

All in all this bag has an interesting shape and lot of room for creativity in making the exterior. I encourage you to buy the book and try it.

New Pincushion – Wonderclip Holder

Can a person ever have too many pincushions? This is the thought running through my mind as I decided what else to make for my second group of gifts.

Mary's Pincushion/Wonderclip caddy
Mary’s Pincushion/Wonderclip caddy

You might remember the Pincushion / Wonderclip Holders I made for the guild officers. I really like this pattern and decided to make another one to go with my gift grouping.

It is a useful item and I have a lot of Beanie Baby pellets to work through. It is a quick project, which is an added incentive to include it in the gift grouping.

Mary's Pincushion/Wonderclip caddy - back
Mary’s Pincushion/Wonderclip caddy – back

I decided to continue with the selvedge back. It is interesting to look at and I have a surplus of selvedges.

FOTY 2017 – April

FOTY 2017 - Early April
FOTY 2017 – Early April

The cutting for FOTY 2017 is going slowly. A lot of it is that I am using fabrics where I only have a fat quarter and I don’t have enough to cut a big chunk out of. I may have to add in some squares in addition to the rectangles to get a good representation for the year.

Creative Spark #11: Jar of Markers

The picture on the title page of this chapter speak to me in a way that is hard to explain. The picture is of two full pottery jars, one of felt markers and one of colored pencils. The jars are full and the variety of each says that the person who sits near them has whatever they need to draw or color whatever they want to draw or color. Carrie Bloomston calls them ‘artful bouquets’ (pg.48), which I think is a fitting description.

Bloomston writes “No matter if your creative passion is playing guitar or glassblowing, you need a jar of markets or colored pencils on your dining table (or some other table that you sit at regularly)…..They sit in the center of the dining table where we eat every day, three times a day…., like an artful bouquet of creative possibility.” (pg.49) I adore this idea. I am sad I didn’t think of it when the YM was small. We had pens, felt tip markers, paint and paper galore, but we always had to get it out. There was never a moment of whim that could be fulfilled in an instant. “No matter what your creative fantasy is, you need ready access to writing, doodling, planning, and sketching tools. Creativity can strike at any moment, and you want to be ready for it when it does.” (pg.49)

She goes on to say that creative ideas are ephemeral and flit away as easily as they came. I am sure you have seen shower noteboards, which must mean that that rote activity is what people need to churn out ideas. I am amazed that office blocks don’t have shower cubicles yet. “the jar of pencils is a butterfly net for those fleeting thoughts and ideas. If you can capture them in their pure, raw state, you have the makings of a new idea, a new beginning.” (pg.49)

Carrie tells us that the jar of pens is an emblem, but it is also a reminder…”they “will quietly call to you, gently reminding you to listen to the call of your heart.” (pg.49). She shows reminders in other people’s studios: rolls of fabric, a bowl of embroidery floss.

I find that my cell phone camera is a wonderful tool, not for the pictures that it takes but for the reminder that I can take pictures and, therefore, must look at things I see in my daily travels in order to notice them so I could photograph them. Although Instagram can be a little bit of a competition, it is a tool that can be used to post reminders, if that works for you. Scrolling through the photos always reminds me to go and be creative, if for no other reason than so I can show something.

As with other chapters/sparks, this one has a to do list of things we must do to remind us to be creative.

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. There is a lot more to each spark than what I am writing and the original chapters will help you. Go buy Carrie Bloomston’s book, so you get the full benefit of her fabulousness! You can see my book review, which is what started this flight of fancy.

You can find the last spark on the blog about a month ago.