CQFA is currently homeless, so we met outside at the Campbell Community Center. The plan was to listen to the lecture at Penwag after our meeting and they meet at the Campbell Community Center. Maureen brought quilts for some of us to sit on. Others sat on benches. We were a small group, but the weather was good so it all worked out.
Being a small group, there wasn’t much show and tell. I showed my in process Cosmic Wonder Dust scarf. Rhonda showed some pieces she is appliqueing for the Social Justice Sewing Academy and Marie S. showed some of her indigo work. Maureen brought a new magazine called Curated Quilts. It has no ads. That means it is a bit pricier, but has very nice photos.
I was pretty pleased with my ATCs, then disappointed to find that nobody else had made any. 🙁 No exchange this time, though I am ready for next time.
I am now trying to start on them early so I am not working on them at the last minute. I did start these right after the August meeting, however I only cut the background pieces and the interfacing. I still had all the sewing to do. I did get to work on them during the week before the meeting here and there, but I finished them the night before the meeting. Yes, I left the finishing until the last minute. Again.
This time my goal was to try out using the tulle over other motifs like I plan to do for the CQFA show piece that is in my head, but not yet made. It worked pretty well. I used schnibbles under the tulle and was pleased with the effect.
I thought I would just toss some schnibbles in there, but ended up trying to focus on the turquoise and pink schnibbles. I did add in one piece of leftover Lichen yarn from the Lichen scarf.
We went to the John Marshall lecture at Penwag after our meeting and I thought it was enjoyable. He is a white guy who grew up in a Japanese community near Sacramento and apprenticed to a dollmaker, I think, in Japan. His background is really different and his About page reflects his interesting bacground. He is also a good speaker and very personable.
It was fun to do something different during the CQFA meeting.
I have to say it is great to live around the corner from another quiltmaker. It is even better that she is my SIL. We had Craft Night on Monday, as usual, and I got to see some of her new works.
In terms of donations, she is on fire. She took one (or, perhaps, more) of the MassDrop fat quarter packs given out at the Retreat and has made two quilts so far from it.
The first one has a self-bordering effect, but the ‘border’ is is part of the design. I like the larger and smaller squares for the design. She made another version as part of her seasons series using Pointillist fabric that is super cool. I’ll have to take a photo and post it sometime.
The other donation quilt, which I failed to photograph, is brilliant. She is using the stitch and flip method with Jelly Roll like strips, so the piece is quilted at the same time as sewn. The design comes out like a giant log cabin. This technique would be great for a charity Sew Day activity and would produce a lot of small quilts quickly.
SIL also has the Terrain quilt on her design wall. She has a layered effect going on on her design wall. The right arrow is pointing to it. You can also see some of the large back I made (arrow on the left is pointing to it) for the Terrain .
One of the good things about having a quiltmaker nearby is the almost instantaneous dose of inspiration. I can walk over, see what is on SIL’s design wall, go home and be reinvigorated.
I had an evening of sewing to myself last Friday night while everyone else was at the Cal football game. I started out with a goal of adding a column of blocks to En Provence. I ended up finishing the Mostly Manor top instead.
I made the blocks last Fall, put them together at the recent BAM retreat, cut the borders at Craft Night and now they are a quilt top.
I had the borders cut and when I ran out of Triple Star pieces to use as leaders and enders, I realized I could add the borders as leaders and enders in between sewing the En Provence blocks together.
Once the borders were on, I further realized that the back wouldn’t be much more work. I had some hoops to jump through (making the label), but with that done quickly and a few large pieces of backing fabric on hand, I had the quilt ready to take to Colleen.
I brought the quilt with me to PIQF and dropped it off at her booth, which saves me a drive. YAY! I am so glad this project is moving along. Perhaps it will be ready for the giftee for Christmas or shortly thereafter.
I spent the day at PIQF yesterday with my SIL n.2. I only had one full day to see the show, which isn’t quite enough. We spent most of the day looking at quilts and I didn’t get to see all of them. I missed most of the Threads of Resistance exhibit and all of the modern exhibit, which disappointed me once I realized it. We stopped at about 4pm to look at vendors, though we had visited Colleen to buy solids and drop off a quilt and The Batty Lady to buy Sue Spargo embroidery thread (oooh la la!!!) early in the day as we were heading to the next section of quilts.
The show has the same look it has in the past. There are a lot of landscapes and they are still using black drapes. The move to shake up the vendors by adding new ones and moving continuing ones I discussed on Thursday was good. Colleen was, again, in the front half of the show and seemed to be doing a brisk trade when I stopped by yesterday.
I noticed an unofficial bird theme. Of course, the Peacock is a bird, but I also saw quail, swans, a variety of Australian birds in the World Quilt Competition, some imaginary birds as well as many others. It is always interesting to me to see what snags people’s imagination enough to take the time to make a quilt using that motif.
I didn’t take as many photos as I have in the past. I didn’t see a quilt that stands out in my mind, either. There were a lot of nice quilts with excellent workmanship and interesting motifs. Of course, there were a number that were not to my taste as well.
I was pleased to see Pamela Allen’s Sleeping Beauty quilt. She always enters PIQF and I had forgotten. This quilt has a much more subdued color palette than some of her other work. Her workmanship and quilting have improved so much over the years. It has been a joy to watch her evolve.
Although, I didn’t not look at the Threads of Resistance exhibit, I did get to see Sarah Ann Smith’s quilt in person. I was so pleased since, as you know, she was a huge influence and support on my Down the Drain quilt. I was able to look at the details and take some detail shots, which really pleased me. this is a wonderful quilt. It says so much to me about the strength of women, about the importance of our fundamental rights such as the right to peacefully assemble.
A technique theme I noticed was people inserting a very tiny slice of color into blocks. One of the quilts that included this technique was Eifersucht (Envy) from Martina Hilgert-Vervoort of Germany and another was by Joan B. Dyer of Grass Valley, Calif called Waves. There were more examples, but these were two that caught my attention.
Machine work continues to be a focus. Many of the quilts had lots of tiny machine work in areas around the piecing. There was a fair number of all over long arm quilting designs, which was a shame as they get the quilt done, but don’t always contribute to the overall design look of the quilt.
Yes, I bought a few things. All in all, it was a good day.
I have been writing about En Provence and the Triple Stars a lot. They are the main projects, though I slip in other sewing here and there.
My design wall doesn’t have a lot on it at present, though I thought it would be interesting to show you how I work with a smaller design wall and a larger quilt.
Off hand I don’t know how large En Provence will be. I am doing the large version, so I am sure those of you who have made it know. I am not, usually focused on sizes. Regardless of the final size, it won’t fit on my design wall after a few more rows and columns.
1 – En Provence. I am working from the left bottom corner up towards the right top corner. This is the usual way I put a quilt together, because then I can be sure that, at least, the bottom will be on the design wall.
2 – En Provence fold. I fold the quilt and cover part of the quilt I don’t need to see right at the moment. Since I am working on adding a column on the right, the middle part isn’t needed, except for reference right now. (You might have to enlarge the photo to see the fold.
3 – Triple Star. This is my reference block.
4 – Triple Star. This is my current block in progress, n.12.
The last design wall Monday was back in March. Take a look at that post to see my progress. I am linking up with Patchwork Times, uh Small Quilts and Doll Quilts, the new hosting site of Design Wall Monday. Since I haven’t posted a Design Wall Monday in awhile, this is the first I have heard of this.
The FOTY 2017 is not dead, though I haven’t worked on it much beyond cutting a few pieces here and there. As you know from my En Provence and Triple Star posts, I am not cutting a lot, which means no new FOTY pieces to show.
I have always liked to use a variety of fabrics to add interest. This means that I like scrap quilts, but I also like to use a variety of fabrics in the same colors in my quilts.
I learned this technique from Mary Mashuta. Many of you modern quiltmakers probably think she is old time and her techniques are not a useful addition to your modern arsenal. Mary is a really good teacher. She trained as a teacher and taught at SF High Schools for years before she left to become a quilt teacher. Her ideas are easily translatable to different fabrics and styles. I took a class from her about “pushed neutrals,” which had to do with making a background from a variety of neutrals rather than just using one fabric. I extrapolated that idea out to include non-neutrals as well, which evolved into using a variety of fabrics in the same colors for backgrounds. I have since used this technique for foregrounds as well.
Jennifer’s Quilt is a quilt I made for my acupuncturist who really helped me get back on the road to health. When she died, I got the quilt back. Bittersweet. I would rather have her and never see the quilt again.
It is the first quilt, I think, I made using a variety of black and white fabrics for the background. Some of the pieces are a little heavy and I probably wouldn’t use them again. I also used the same technique for the foreground – the pinks, blues and limes are all a variety of fabrics in the same tones/shades. The blues have more contrast than the pinks and limes.
Flowering Snowball was primarily supposed to be a handwork project – something to take around with me when I needed a to-go project. At that point, I didn’t think as much about the background. In general this is not as successful an exercise in using different fabrics for the background. Some of the prints read grey rather than white. Others have too heavy a hand in the print department.
I got better with the Carpenter’s Wheel. I was focusing on using text prints and, thus, tried hard to make the background work. The scale of the different fabrics all vary, but the overall effect works.
From close up, the background of En Provence looks somewhat chaotic. The foreground fabrics can handle the chaos, however, because there is no bleeding of color into the background. I like the little bit of chaos as it seems to move my eye around the quilt.
As an added bonus, this technique does not require one to have a zillion yards of one fabric to use as a background. 😉
I went to the preview of the Pacific International Quilt Show 2017 last night.
The Preview is an hour and a half long. Preview attendees can look at quilts and interact with vendors as on the normal days. The bonus is that it is really empty, so it is much easier to take pictures of quilts that will be mobbed once the show opens. also, if you can find that one thing you want at a vendor booth, it will be there and you won’t have to fight for it.
I did a quick survey of the vendors and, yes, bought a few things. I saw as many of the quilts as I could, but I really didn’t see anywhere near all of them. I didn’t get a chance to look at the special exhibits.
many vendors were in different places
lots of new vendors
same types of quilts – look and feel of the show was the same
I was really pleased to see some new vendors. I didn’t get to look at all of the wares the new vendors had available. I got an idea of what I might want to buy when I go back.
I was disappointed by the New Quilts of Northern California. I didn’t see anything new and must not understand that point of that exhibit anymore.
The Peacock was hanging there. I was pleased with the location. I was pleased to get a good photo of it.
I was able to spend time working on it on Saturday night and some of the day on Sunday. I was able to add a short row vertically on the right and put together a row that I will be able to add to the top soon.
You might be wondering why this piece is taking me forever. I haven’t yet put together blocks, so I have to put the blocks together before I can put together the rows. I need to watch placement of the fabrics. While the piece is scrappy, it is not a charm quilt and I’d like to keep like fabrics away from each other as much as possible.
This quilt definitely has fewer colors than I like, but the controlled palette really enhances the curved look of the piecing. I am so pleased with how this piecing is looking that I can’t stop looking at it. That surprises me since it is just a pattern, not much original.
In between working on putting together the En Provence quilt, I have been sewing Triple Star blocks together. I use the blocks as leaders and enders.
While I am concerned that using the blocks as leaders and enders means I am not as engaged with the quilt, I really have to have something in between the En Provence pieces to keep them in order. While I could make make more donation blocks, I want to make progress on other projects as well, so the Triple Star blocks are the leaders and enders.
Unlike Fresh Fruit, I have to pick a lot of colors for the blocks. I also have a lot more seams to sew, so I do pay attention.
I wasn’t the only one busy at Retreat. A lot of charity blocks and tops were made. People also worked on their own projects.
MassDrop gave the guild a bunch of fat quarter packs to use to make charity quilts. The group did not disappoint. Right there, at least 5 were made. There were only about 4 packs left at the end of the day on Sunday, so I think others are in process.
Gerre had taken my Yellow Donation quilt and quilted it. She was working on the binding on Friday at the Retreat. She finished it and, thus, finished the quilt at the Retreat. I was pleased that she had worked on the top I made. I always feel happy when Gerre and I collaborate, especially when she says nice things about my color combinations. 😉
Michelle S was working on, what I think of as, a map quilt. She had a different name for it, but I thought the blocks looks like a map or aerial photo.
I didn’t take as many photos as I expected to. I was focused on sewing and getting as much done as possible. There was a lot of moving around to shared cutting tables and ironing stations. People were also very chatty and interested in what other people were working on. It is always interesting to be in a Retreat situation because you get to see how other people work, what they are working on and how they interact with other.
I have discussed the Retreat in passing over and over, so finally decided that I should get around to writing about the retreat itself.
The Retreat started on Friday at 10am. Following along with our year long theme, Scrap Attack, the Retreat followed that them as well.
Before arriving at the Retreat, I went to the gym, ate breakfast and packed the car. I had two days at home alone (YM gone at school, DH on a NSGW trip) in the evenings during which I prepared and packed and organized. After leaving to go to the Retreat, we stopped at Always Quilting and The Granary. I wanted to find an open toe Acufeed foot for my Janome 6600. I planned to quilt the Thanksgiving tablemat and needed to see where I was going. The Acufeed foot that came with the machine is good, but not for seeing exactly where the foot is going or following a line. I didn’t get my hopes up for the foot to be available at Always Quilting and I wasn’t disappointed. I resolved to try to quilt the tablemat anyway.
We went to the Granary, because I like that store and SIL had never been there. I bought a couple of pieces of fabric, thinking I might make an extra Cell Phone Wallet with one of the pinks.
Then we headed the 8 or so blocks to the Wild Palms hotel and to sewing nirvana. We didn’t arrive until about noon, but we set up and got to work right away. Nirvana isn’t easy and setting up took some time.
Once I got set up, my first order of business was sewing together all seven Cell Phone Wallets I had cut out.
Lesson one for quilting retreat is prep your projects. Having several projects already cut out made my output much better than expected.
I had cut out seven Cell Phone Wallets from fabric leftover from dresses and tunics. I spent Friday making them. I didn’t think I would get as far as I did, but I was able to finish all except for weaving in the last two ends from top stitching. I was shocked that I even had time to turn the pieces. Turning these and poking out the ‘corners’ is not for the faint of heart. I rose to the challenge and got the job done. Now I am going to feel a lot more confident when wearing my dresses, skirts and tunics. I made all of these with D rings and will use the same chain for all of them. I also think I can use the black one with other black outfits.
Next, I started quilting the tablemat. 🙁 It didn’t work. I want to follow the lines of the leaves and other Thanksgiving motifs and I just couldn’t see where I was going. I ripped stitching out three times before I gave up. I would really like to get it done before Thanksgiving. Not only to I want to count the yardage as fabric used, I also want to have one less item on my to do list. I have ordered new feet from Sew Vac Direct, a suggestion from Gerre, so we will see.
No rest for the sad or wicked. I was determined to get as much done as possible. So, next up was the Poolside Tote. Not only had it been taking up horizontal surface space for a long time – ever since I cut it out at Scruffy Quilts back in May, but Tim and I had decided to work on ours together. Julie said she would make one as well, but she wasn’t at the retreat and I have only seen quilts coming out of her studio. You can read about the sewing, etc of this tote in the post from earlier in the week. I am not sure if I will make this tote again. I may need to as it is large and popular.
I worked on this all day Saturday and a little bit on Sunday morning. Next on the list was the Mostly Manor Lozenge quilt. I had the blocks made so all I had to do was sew them together. Lucky for me, the raffle prizes had all been given away (I won a charm pack of grey Northcott solids-YAY), so I had a table right behind me to use as design surface space.
I sewed fast and got this top done in a couple of hours. I used the Terrain donation blocks as leaders and enders.
In between everything I made three donation blocks. We received kits for 3 donation blocks in our goody bags. I didn’t have a lot of leaders and enders opportunities, so I rushed at the end to get these done. The Committee gave extra raffle tickets for handing in donation blocks and charity quilts and tops.
I really didn’t want to leave and stayed until the bitter end. The Retreat Committee did a great job organizing everything and I was thrilled to get so much done.
Well, I seem to be quite lackadaisical lately with the posts. I thought I would have more time this week and, apparently, didn’t. I was sewing, so there is that.
At the retreat, I started to sew together some Terrain rectangles I had laying around. You might remember that I made the Renewed Jelly Roll Race from this line of fabric. it started out as a disaster, and ended up pretty well after. At some point in dealing with the disaster, I must have cut up these rectangles, but I really don’t remember doing it. I especially don’t remember WHY I might have done it.
Regardless, they have been laying around bugging me. I brought them along to the retreat and when I was sewing the Mostly Manor Lozenge blocks together, I used these as leaders and enders.
At Craft Night on Monday we looked at different layouts and eventually settled on the one shown.
SIL and I are working on this together.
I brought some white for another project and we used a lot of it to make the background. SIL plans to quilt it.
I wasn’t able to quilt at the Retreat (which I promise I will write about). This was a disappointment since it would have been the perfect time to get the final Thanksgiving decoration, a table mat I intend to put on the coffee table, quilted.