I have done a little more on this piece since I took the photo, but it is slow going so not much.
Despite my protests yesterday that I wasn’t in a rush to finish this piece, I really do want to finish it so I can start the La Passacaglia. Having two large EPP projects seems ridiculous and I only have a certain amount of handstitching time, so focus is the requirement.
My big push now is to make dots on white stars. I need a lot of them and can’t move forward without them. I think I have three in process, but a number of strips cut, waiting.
I haven’t been happy with the right sides together method of whip stitching my EPP pieces together. I don’t like the stitches showing on the front. No matter how careful I am, I seem to always get a few stitches showing. ERGH!!!
I mentioned recently that I had heard about the Flat back stitch for sewing EPP shapes together. I watched the video thoroughly, eventually, and tried it. I like the technique, although it isn’t without hassle and have modified my stitching accordingly.
One thing the video shows is starting inside a seam. The idea is to slip the needle between the fabric and the paper, catching the knot on the inside. I never thought of that!
I have been using WonderClips to hold my pieces together. It is imperfect at best despite the fabulousness of WonderClips. The video shows using regular transparent tape. Another great idea.
There are a couple of other good things about the flat back stitch. First, you don’t have to bend the paper/card pieces when you insert a piece (Y seam idea). This makes the card last longer. Second, the stitches don’t show at the beginning of the line of stitching, which they can if you are even a tiny smidge not careful. DIY Addict has some info about this after the 2:50 minute mark on her video.
This technique takes me longer, but I like the look and really am not in a rush to get another star attached to this piece.
I am a sucker for embroidery threads. Not really the floss that comes in hanks, but the Perl Cotton balls, the Aurifloss and, now, Sue Spargo embroidery threads.
I admire Sue Spargo’s work, because of the cheerfulness and liveliness of the designs. Her book, Stitches to Savor: A Celebration of Designs, is a favorite. I admire her work with the simple shape of the cups and want to do something similar with cakes. Can you imagine how fabulous a cake quilt would look with embroidery designs applied to it to simulate frosting and cake decorations?
Of course, given the colors I bought, the cakes would be cheerful, and, possibly, unappetizing. 😉
You may noticed that I have mentioned Sue Spargo embroidery threads a few times recently. After visiting Thistle Dew and Stitch quilt shops, I was hooked. Both shops had these threads and it was the first time I had seen them. I have a lot of Perl cotton, etc, but couldn’t help indulging in a few spools. I want them all.
I have used them on Under the Sea and they were great to use. I need to get inspired by Gerre and use them more.
The title should make a post unnecessary, but I am going to write anyway.
“You must disrupt your normal patterns so you can see the world with new eyes” (pg.45)
I don’t know about you, but I have a routine. Several, actually. I have a routine to get my day started, though it varies depending on the day. I have an evening routine and a work routine. If someone were to look at the week overall, they would see a larger routine overlaid on top of these other, daily, routines.
I am not sure about disrupting these patterns right at the moment, but my patterns for working on my quilts can, and, according to Bloomston, should be disrupted. One of the things Bloomston learned in her Drawing 101 class was to “seek surprises” (pg.45). I took down my design wall in order to sell it. The sale didn’t go through and I haven’t put it back up yet. It is a hindrance, but the surprising thing is that I am finding I work on more projects simultaneously than I did with the design wall up.
Don’t get me wrong, I need my design wall. It is a vital tool, but at the stage I am in with my various projects, I can do without it.
Seeking surprises could mean using different fabrics. My SIL did this recently. She made a GREAT quilt, which is totally not in her colors.
There is a section in the chapter where Bloomston relates her experience learning to see art or a piece of art on which she was working ina different way. “We dove beneath expectation, convention, intention, and ego. We spoke about art as liberation from conscious thought. We discussed abstraction and pure form-pure mark making” (pg.46). I get a new view when I hear people talk about their perceptions of art.
“…seek the unexpected” (pg.46). This is the best advice.
There is another worksheet that is all about doing the unexpected. Do the unexpected. What does that mean for you?
Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. 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 the 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.
I was in a mood on Friday when we left for Grass Valley. DH said he wanted to leave mid-morning so we could avoid some of the Sacramento/ Friday night traffic. We left just before 1pm and sat in traffic. This just added to my ‘mood.’
Two good things came out of this. I worked on the Ends Donation Top while I waited and Saturday I woke up much happier.
Saturday is a big day for NSGW events, so we were up and at ’em on the early side. The dedication started at 10 and by 10:45, we were free to do our own thing until 1 or so. We off loaded our stuff at the hotel then went looking for the quilt shop. Everything was within walking distance of our hotel so we were able to get our steps in as well.
We found Sugar Pine Quilt Shop fairly easily, especially after I figured out the correct address. Yes, DH came with, so he cramped my style a little bit.
Still, the people were friendly and the shop was stuffed with fabric, patterns, fat quarters, tools, notions and everything quilty.
Customers walk up to a patio and walk into the shop through French Doors. To the right, when you walk in, is the cash register/payment station (on the left in the photo – white counter). A bunch of other rooms are off of that room. If you turn left, you can make a U-turn into the room with repros, batting and a lot of books and the cutting counters. If you turn, also to the left, but not as sharply, you go into a room with Kaffe prints, notions and non-kid novelty prints. I saw a lot of Frida Kahlo related prints, Dia de las Muertos prints and Hawaiian shirt prints.
They told me that they try to keep fat quarters of all their fabrics on hand, but if I couldn’t find one, they would be happy to cut one for me. FQs were stuck in between the fabric and the bolt in many cases, which was awkward when I tried to carry a bolt around. They kept flapping around. They didn’t fall out, though, so that was good.
In the main room, aside from the cashier, I saw a good number of Fig Tree prints.
Behind the main room were two more rooms connected by a large opening. I couldn’t tell if this building used to be a house and, if so, how the rooms would have been laid out.
The shop mostly had fabrics that wouldn’t fit on shelves in baskets on the floor rather than just on the floor. This kept the bolts corralled, but made them a little hard to look at.
The place was STUFFED with patterns. Everywhere I looked there were patterns. They had a large selection of books, as well, most of which I did not recognize. One of the books I saw was More Layer Cake, Jelly Roll and Charm Quilts by Pam and Nicki Lintott. I have to be sure and tell Frances. I didn’t look at it, sadly, because it was way up high on a shelf and DH was waiting… I’ll find it somewhere else.
That blue bag was full of walnuts. Not fabric walnuts, but real walnuts. Don’t ask me why, I didn’t ask and I don’t know. They might have been shelling them to make crushed walnuts for pincushion filling*?
There was a lot going on at this shop in terms of prep for sales. They were cutting kits for pattern packets, sorting patterns, putting away fabrics after cutting FQs. It was busy.
Not a ton of modern fabrics, but enough variety to keep me interested. I had never seen Marcus solids and had a chance to see them at Sugar Pine.
I would recommend a visit to Grass Valley. I took some time to look at the shops in their lively downtown streets. There are a lot of interesting shops that have things I might actually buy. It is a good place to visit in addition to having a quilt shop.
Sugar Pine Quilt Shop
452 S Auburn St
Grass Valley, CA 95945
*Due to potential nut allergies, I use plastic pellets to give some heft to pincushions. I have never seen them at quilt shops, so I buy them at Beverly’s.
This is big. Fortunately, I know and can accept the width. It doesn’t mean that it is small. It isn’t. Even this partial section is big. It is 80″ wide* as you see it. I will be 112″ wide when I sew the last four blocks to the top section.
This is a perfect example of me not making small quilts.
*Thus the wonky photo. I am not tall enough to take the photo, don’t have a large enough floor or design wall.
I have a box of quilt ‘dreg’ ends. Dreg is an ugly word as it conjures an image of grounds in an empty coffee cup or discarded tea leaves. These are simply pieces and parts that don’t have an immediate need or use. For some reason, I decided to go through the box in which they are stored. I think it’s part of the recent tidying frenzy in which I have been engaging.
Initially, I thought I would put some batting scraps together to make a baby quilt sized batting. However, I found a bunch of fabric edges. They were cut from past quilts when they were squared up. I started laying out these fabric strips to get them out of the way. At one point, I looked over and saw a kind of improv strip top developing.
The next day I had some free time so I pressed and straightened up the strips. Then, I pinned sets together in preparation for sewing. I still have to sew the strips and see what happens.
Since I didn’t have time to sew, I built up a batting from scraps in preparation for the donation quilt. I don’t know if I will have enough pieces to make a batting for this top. It will be close. I have some long thin strips left. I don’t really want to use the tape up to attach them as it will use so much of the Heat Press. I might just sew them on to make the batting large enough and get the strips out of my house.
As usual, I was #podcastdeliquent, but was resolved to make some progress so I listened to some podcasts interspersed with the book, Jane Steele. I had to intersperse the podcasts, because the beginning of Jane Steele was so dark* that I was feeling depressed.
One of the podcasts to which I listened was Lazy Daisy Quilts (and Reads). She is the one who turned me on to Jane Steele. She has been working on Lady of the Lake quilt blocks. That is an old pattern. Since I didn’t see any photos on her show notes, I went and looked the block up in Jinny Beyer’s The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns**.
I was confused, because what I saw in the book didn’t jive with what I remembered of this block. I thought my memory was faulty. Still, what I saw was a cool block. Daisy was right when she said the block didn’t have a lot of other names, but it does have a few.
First, I saw a Flying Geese type block. I see that there are HSTs****, but they look like half mad Flying Geese. Beyer says about 165-8: “Lady of the Lake, Finley, 1929. See 201-2, 201-3 [these are the same, or very similar, blocks from different sources]. ‘Lady of the Lake, named after the poem by Sir Walter Scott,published in 1810… The Lady of the Lake quilt appeared in a surprisingly short time after the publication of the poem, the one shown here having been made in Vermont before 1820… it is one of the few that seems never to have been known by other names.’ Finley, 1929.***
Beyer says about 165-9: “Lady of the Lake, Aunt Martha series: The Quilt Fair Comes to You, ca.1933. Also known as: Pennsylvania Pineapple, Aunt Martha series: The Quilt Fair Comes to You, ca.1933.
Multiple listings were given in Beyer’s book, so I went on to the next one. These look like an evolution from the Cake Stand block, though I don’t know which came first, so I can’t say which evolved from which, if they did.
The above are more like Daisy’s block and more like what I was thinking Lady of the Lake looked like. Beyer writes about 191-8 “Double Sawtooth, Nancy Page, Birmingham News, Jul 16, 1940.” No AKA.
Beyer writes about 191-9 “Lady of the Lake, Ladies Art Company, 1987. Also known as: Hills of Vermont, Nancy Page, Birmingham News, Aug 9, 1938.”
There is a final reference in Beyer’s book, n.322-5 and it is also named Lady of the Lake. Beyer writes “Lady of the Lake, Nancy Cabot, Chicago Tribune, Jun 17, 1933. Also known as: Galahad’s Shield, Nancy Cabot, Chicago Tribune, Oct 23, 1937.” I find it interesting that the alternative name also references the Arthur legend.
My little spiral into research led me away from the original questions, which was what Daisy’s blocks looked like. She was kind enough to send me the photo above so I could see.
*I did end up liking Jane Steele and would recommend you read it. Read Jane Eyre first. Though it is not necessary, Jane Steele refers often to the content of Jane Eyre. I enjoyed Jane Eyre and thought it was one of the better, and less confusing, of the classics.
I gave a group of gifts, as described in a recent post, to my friend Mary who is making a dress for me.
This is the first time I have followed my advice and given a group of gifts. I have made all of the items before; just never given them away as a group. I wouldn’t have recommended it to you if I didn’t think it would be a good idea. However I had to test it and I am pleased with how it came out.
The One Hour Basket, which is the carrier, though I did wrap the whole thing, contains a journal cover (with journal), a pencil roll, on the go tissue cover, needle safe, pincushion, lanyard and scissor sheath. I think the mix of items is good, though I could have put a little tissue paper underneath to fill up the One Hour Basket some more.
I wanted the whole set to match, so I used pieces from two FQ bundles I received at the BAM Retreat. I have much more to use, so I can make more items, if I can think of what to make.
As you know I normally make journal covers using mosaic piecing. Mosaic piecing is good for using up scraps and for leaders and enders. Since I was using a constrained color palette, I used two fabrics and didn’t piece the front or inside cover. In order to make it less boring, I did embellish the cover with some buttons.
I used buttons TFQ bought for me at Road to California in 2012 and some colored thread. The embellishing is simple and I don’t think I have ever embellished a journal cover before, but I think it worked really well on this piece. Mary said that she could use it for committee work since the Miquelrius journals have sections with different colored page edges. I am thrilled.
As mentioned, I love the Pink Chalk pencil roll pattern. I am so sorry it is no longer available as I have made a number of them and it is a great gift. Try to find a used copy on Etsy or somewhere. It is well worth the hunt. Since I have the pattern I used it to make a 12 slot pencil roll for Mary. I always put a pen in so that people know its intended use. It is a good size for crochet hooks as well, though YMMV on those. I haven’t tried it.
This piece was GREAT for using up many of the different patterns in the fabric line (above photo). You can see all the different choices. I did use the turquoise more than once just to add some contrast. For the back I used a coordinating print from a different line. I wanted to mix the group up a bit so it didn’t get too monochromatic. There is a baby poop brown print in that line that I am sure would look fantastic, but I couldn’t bring myself to use it.
Yet. I am thinking about what else I can make for Mary and it might come into play, but most likely not. I have plenty of other fabrics.
The tissue cover seriously takes less than half an hour to make. I used the video mentioned in the Updated Gift Ideas post and it is so easy. I should have used a better contrasting fabric for the lining, but the fabric work well together. I don’t use one, personally, but I should. I am now out of travel packets of Kleenex which means I’ll have to get more. It is much nicer to put one in, as with the pens in the pencil roll, so people know what you have made. It prevents confusion.
I have a couple of needle safes that I use for various projects. This one has three parts: pincushion, needle holder and a section with a pocket where one can store a small needle threader, a pack of needles or one of those rubber circles used to pull the needle through thick fabric. The pattern for this project asks that the maker use fabric for the needle storage. I have always used felt. Wool felt is pretty good because the lanolin helps keep needles sharp. I don’t always have wool felt in the right colors, so I use what I have an cut it with a decorative blade.
The pincushion is just fun to make, for me. I love this Fig Tree pattern, because it looks like my ideal of a pincushion. I need to make a few more of these so I can get the contrast right. The colors and motifs on the fabric I used blend quite a bit. It is a nice effect, but I want to experiment with more contrast. I often have a hard time finding the right buttons. Yes, of course, I could buy buttons, but I prefer to use some from my button box. I found the perfect buttons this time. I love the see-through aspect and the color.
I am pretty happy with the filling. I use a combination of Craft (Beanie Baby) pellets and wool roving. The pellets give the pincushion some weight and the wool roving feels nice.
I was pretty happy with the items above. I decided at the last minute to add a lanyard and a scissor sheath. Why not? I was shocked that I couldn’t understand my own lanyard tutorial. I am sure the instructions made sense to me at the time. I had to rewrite them, so I did that as I went along. My machine was unhappy going through all the layers of lanyard as I finished it, so I had to be careful. Both are done and I think they add something to the whole gift basket.
None of these projects take very much time. I did multiple items in one day. Over the course of approximately 3 days, I was able to make everything including the handwork. Try out a similar project. You have a friend that would adore it.
I received this as an unexpected gift and my first impression was “UGH! Twenty MORE projects I’ll never have time to make.” It wasn’t on my list, but neither did I have it. Immediately thereafter, I was distracted and enchanted by the color and patterns of the fabric. The writing was also engrossing.
My despair quickly disappeared. While I am not much for project books, the difference in this book being primarily useful household items – aprons, showls, stool covers, placemats, cushions, a kimono and other items. There was one miniquilt.
The best part of this book is the visuals. There is some kind of image on each page. Some are step outs, others show sewing and lots of inspiration photos. All are well photographed and interesting in color, composition and design.
All of the projects use Kaffe’s fabrics. The benefit of this book is how to use his fabrics successfully. The large flower prints are the showpieces. The pebbles, lattices, dots, stripes and zigzags point the viewer through the tone-on-tones to the showpieces. This book shows that there is method to the seeming madness of Kaffe’s groups/lines of fabrics. This book also shows that throwing a bunch of large flower prints together doesn’t necessarily work.
My favorite project is the tea cozy. I seem to be fascinated with tea cozies and will have to make one to get it out of my system. I have had an idea to make tea cozies for the whole family in the colors of their kitchens, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. Looking at the projects made me interested in the shawls. However, I think that I would only make one if Kaffe made organza.
I think the main value of this book is how the fabrics are combined as well as the simple designs that show off the motifs.
Available photos to use for the ColorPlay are feeling thin on the ground. I dug deep and chose a photo from our trip to Hawaii a few years ago and took it to the Palette Builder for some play. I can certainly get my blue fix from Hawaii, right?
The original photo is quite simple. I would guess not that interesting.
However, I found I was wrong. Even the default palette is interesting. It is a nice array of blues and even the grey of the lava fits right in.
There is not a lot to do with a simple photo primarily in monochromatic colors. Still, I made an effort and came up with a different palette that is similar, but a little different.
The third palette is only a slight variation. Some of the choices repeat, but the overall look is different than the other two.
I am only doing three today, because of the simplicity of the photo. All three give an excellent overview of the Kona blue variations available. As usual, let me know if you make anything from one of these palettes.
Last week I made myself a One Hour Basket. I needed something to corral some charm packs and mini-charm packs. I used The Dahlia print from the Classics Collection by Martha Negley (Rowan). This fabric was supposed to be a Schoolhouse tunic, but I didn’t quite have enough, so I will enjoy it this way – at least a bit of it.
I thought the glass brick fabric was a good companion to it.
I was very pleased to get these pre-cuts organized, then I found another stack. I have to stop. I really do. 😉
I made a second CQFA meeting in a row. It was exciting to have two weekends in row to devote to doing what I wanted.
As per usual, I made ATCs for the meeting. I never quite know what design I am going to use until I do it. Often, I look in my scrap drawer to see what is available. On this day, I had straightened up the scraps from some tunics I had made. There were some large pieces of Philip Jacobs fabric available without much rummaging and I used that to make the flowers.
In this case, I also wanted to use some of my new Sue Spargo Perl-type cottons and came up with this design to do so. I had some trouble getting the stitch to be smooth, but as I worked through the cards, I got the optimal length worked out.
As in October, few people made ATCs. Bron and I were the only ones who had any to share, so we exchanged one each with each other. I made an extra one when I got home and will use these for the April meeting, assuming I can attend.
While plowing through fabric a week or so ago, I found a leftover piece of skeleton fabric with a note on it that said “pillowcase cuff”. Since I was preparing to send the YM a care package I sewed up a new pillowcase for him. I haven’t been making him one a month like I was last year. If I get inspired, I make one.
I used some stripes as the body since I also found them while I was plowing through that same pile of fabric. I figured I had enough stripes for binding and one more black and white length of yardage wouldn’t be missed.
DH asked me why I was sending the YM a Halloween pillowcase in February. Sigh.
Thoughts: I can’t decide if this is still a dream or if it is already started and I just need to arrange it and start piecing. I have done a lot of cutting, so I think I have started it and it may not be a dream anymore. The original idea stemmed from the FOTY quilts. I just decided to do a monochromatic version – using just blues, in this case. I probably have enough patches now and just need to slot the time to work on it into my schedule.
Thoughts: I probably have enough squares to make this quilt and just need to slot the time into my schedule.
Status: have pattern/ dream state
Pattern: Easy Street by Bonnie Hunter
Thoughts: I really liked Daisy‘s version of Easy Street, which she calls Cherry Bomb (she thinks of the best names for her quilts) in terms of color and feel. I don’t want to copy her, but if I do this quilt, I’d like to have the same pinky-red feel to it. One challenge about a mostly monochromatic quilt is getting enough contrast. I look forward to that challenge.
Feathered Star Block
Status: Dream state.
Pattern: I haven’t decided on a particular feathered star
Fabric: I decided not to use a layer cake and will use the scrap 2.5 inch squares I have been cutting. I love the cheerfulness of Scrapitude Carnivale as I say over and over and am not done with that combination yet.
Thoughts: I thought about using dots on a white background, as I did with the Scrapitude Carnivale quilt as the background. It makes the Scrapitude quilt look so cheerful. I probably wouldn’t call it Good Night Irene.
Interlocking Triangles Quilt(s)
Status: have a lot of stripes to use; dream state
Pattern: This is an idea that I designed myself. I made two quilts and have variations on the pattern to make more.
Fabric: I have a few different collections of fabric I want to use. Most are rainbow colored
Thoughts: This is a quilt from which I get a lot of bang for my buck. The visual impact is tremendous. The easiest way to do the spiky triangles is with paper piecing. I am not that big of a fan of paper piecing (read my laments about the Spiderweb‘s paper piecing). I made Spiky Stars using templates and that was meditative and won a prize, so it is doable.
Jack’s Chain Quilt
Status: dream state
Pattern: Jack’s Chain, a continuous pattern
Fabric: bright scrappy, consistent centers
Thoughts: This is one of the first quilts I saw hanging in a quilt store and thought of making, after I learned to quilt. I have seen a number of variations lately using different hexagons in the center. Making the nine patches would be a good leaders and enders endeavor. As if I don’t have about a zillion leaders and enders opportunities.
Status: dream state, but not very inspired
Pattern: Top will have a piece of music the Young Man can actually play. That will probably be applique’ or
Fabric/Colors: music prints and tone-on-tones with a little red
Thoughts: The Young Man has requested this quilt as his high school graduation quilt. I missed that deadline. I will make it. He has sent me a piece of music, which I printed out. Now I need to make into an applique’
Neutrals and Red/Scarlet Quilt
Status: some cutting of black rectangles done.
Pattern: Slice a approx. 4 in x 7 in rectangle on the diagonal and insert a red strip, resew and set into columns.
Fabric: red, black and whites. I
Thoughts: gift. I have black fabrics cut and am just waiting to slot this into my schedule (sounds like the story of my life).
Pineapple (Hunting and Gathering)
Status: I have strips cut.
Fabric: dots. Have most of the strips cut. Will be much more selective about which strips I use.
Pattern: Pineapple log cabin
Thoughts: I haven’t given up on a Pineapple quilt despite my frustration with the previous attempt. I bought a different ruler: a Creative Grids Pineapple ruler in hopes that it will work better for me.
Pink Rectangles Gradation Quilt (Hunting and Gathering)
Thoughts: I have made a couple of, what I call, Colorblock quilts over the years. One was the Kona Challenge in 2011, another was my 1990 Colorblocks 2 and the first one, Colorblocks, also made in about 1990. I bought the silk fabrics at the Marin Needlearts show about a zillion years ago and they have languished waiting for me to learn to back them so I can use them.
Status: half cut; need more greys for the background
Fabric: Scrappy. I will use a grey for the background, because if I use more of the cut fabric patches, the pattern will be lost. The pieces are too oddly shaped and I don’t want to lose the pattern in a mass of scraps.
Pattern: Come Quilt with Me Rotary templates
Out of the Dream State: Below is a list of projects that were on this list that I actually did or am working on: