Creative Prompt #305: Milk

milk and cookies

“This two-step milk revolution may have been a prime factor in allowing bands of farmers and herders from the south to sweep through Europe and displace the hunter-gatherer cultures.” Nature article

coconut milk

goat’s milk

mother’s milk

2008 film: “Milk is a 2008 American biographical film based on the life of gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk, who was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office.” (Wikipedia)

Definition: “Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother’s antibodies to its young and can reduce the risk of many diseases. Milk contains many other nutrients[1] and the carbohydrate lactose. The majority of the world’s population is lactose intolerant.[2]

As an agricultural product, milk is extracted from mammals during or soon after pregnancy and is used as food for humans. Worldwide, dairy farms produced about 730 million tonnes of milk in 2011,[3] from 260 million dairy cows.[4] India is the world’s largest producer and consumer of milk, yet neither exports nor imports it. New Zealand, the European Union‘s 28 member states, Australia, and the United States are the world’s largest exporters of milk and milk products. China and Russia are the world’s largest importers of milk and milk products.[5][6]

Throughout the world, there are more than six billion consumers of milk and milk products. Over 750 million people live within dairy farming households.[7]” (Wikipedia)

splash of milk

The Dairy Council produces and gathers a wealth of nutrition information from a wide variety of worldwide sources to provide facts relating to milk

breast milk

Milk River

whole milk

Milk of Magnesia

skim milk

Harvey Milk

2% milk

MILK Photo Books and Albums

Milk Bar (San Francisco)

Milk Queen

Welcome to, a fun and educational website about cows and milk with facts, contests, games and recipes.

App: Out of Milk


Allergy to cow’s milk is the most common food allergy in infants and young children.

Milk: machine learning toolkit for Python

Britain’s ‘flashiest playboy’ splashes out £10,000 on a bath that runs pure chocolate milk for his girlfriend… and it costs £1,000 every time

Muscle Milk

milk and honey


Milk studios is a premier, full service photography studio in both New York and Los Angeles.

National Milk Producers Federation

The print journal milk created by Larry Sawyer in 1998 became in 1999.

The Human Milk Banking Association of North America

Milk Boutique located at 8209 West Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Milk Music lets you adjust what songs play, based on factors like release date and popularity.

milk-trafficking gang known as the Rawesome Three

Plant milk: “Plant milk is a general term for any milk-like product that is derived from a plant source. There is no formal or legal definition for plant milk. Plant milks have been consumed for centuries in various cultures, both as regular drinks (such as the Spanish horchata) and as a substitute for milk, such as by some Christian denominations during Lent. The most popular varieties internationally are soy milk, almond milk, rice milk and coconut milk.

There are a variety of reasons for consuming plant milk, including health conditions such as lactose intolerance, milk allergy and PKU. Religious/spiritual reasons; veganism and ovo-vegetarianism;simple taste preference.

In the United States, soy milk was long the most popular non-dairy milk, but starting around 2010 almond milk began to see an explosion in popularity, and in 2013 it surpassed soy milk as the most popular variety.[1] Other popular milks in the US are rice and coconut. In Europe, soy and oat milk are the most popular varieties, sold even in average supermarkets; as opposed to almond milk, which is usually more expensive, and is only found in health food stores.[citation needed] There is also hazelnut milk and milk from peas and lupin.[2]

Plant milks are also used in substitutes for other dairy products, such as ice cream (see plant cream) and yogurt (for example, soy yogurt).” (Wikipedia)

Post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. I would really like to keep all the artwork together and provide a way for others to see your work and get familiar with your blog or website.

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, which you can join to  post your responses. I created this spot so those of you without blogs and websites would have a place to post your responses.

We are also talking about this on Twitter. Use the hashtag #CPP

Drinkable liquids

  • Almond milk, a milk-like beverage made from almonds
  • Breast milk, milk produced by a human mammary gland
  • Cow’s milk, milk produced by cows
  • Coconut milk, a milk-like substance derived from a coconut
  • Grain milk, any of various milk substitutes made from fermented grain or flour
  • Plant milk, any of various milk substitutes made from plants
  • Rice milk, a milk-like beverage made from rice
  • Soy milk, a milk-like beverage made from soybeans

Arts, entertainment, and media

Fictional characters




  • Milk Music, a music app available in the Samsung Electronics app store



Printed works



  • Milk, a Chinese pop artist and former member of the Taiwanese band Energy (band)
  • Harvey Milk (1930–1978), American politician and gay rights activist

Other uses

  • Milk Inc., a company founded by Kevin Rose to work on mobile Web concepts
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Last Days of Primal Green 2

The last days of the CQFA Show Primal Green 2 is at the San Francisco Public Library. I went to see it one day on a trip to the City, but this is as much a reminder for me to see it again as it is to encourage you to go.

Did you go and see the show? The 24th is the last day to see it. Primal Green2  is a show of environmental art quilts at the Main Branch of the San Francisco Public Library.

The Wallace Stegner Environmental Center is one of the special collections at the Main Branch and, after a year of work with the Library, CQFA has over 20 quilts and other fiber art on display. The quilts all have an environmental theme. The show will hang until Friday April 24 and be available to viewers during the Library’s normal open hours. Don’t wait until the last minute! Oops! It is the last minute. Go TODAY!

Primal Green 2, the art quilt exhibition at the San Francisco Public Library, has some information on the Green Stacks portion of the SFPL website. Hope you can see the show.

Hope you can stop by and see it. Check the library’s website for hours.

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Sampler Quilt: Basket pt.1A

This post is about selecting colors and should have been posted after part 1 of the Basket tutorial. I didn’t think of it until I was almost done with Basket tutorial part 2. C’est la vie.


I ended up wanting the fabric choices to be similar to the EQ rendering. May seem lame or small minded, but it is what it is.

Stitch Blue

Stitch Blue

The above is fabric I used for the other half of the HSTs. I wanted to match that fabric, but it didn’t work. The stitch fabric blends into the background too much, so I had to figure something else out.

Snowflake Handle

Snowflake Handle

The above snowflake fabric is good, but I was concerned that the snowflake fabric might look too Christmasy.

Completed Basket Block

Completed Basket Block

The above fabric selection is what I finally decided upon. The stripe is good, because it is a different motif than any of the others already in the block. The white also stands out a bit from the blues. If I had used a blue with a white dot like the EQ rendering then one of the others might have been ok, but this stripe works well.

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Finished: Hawaiian Donation Quilt

BAMQG Hawaiian Quilt (front) by Gerre & Jaye

BAMQG Hawaiian Quilt (front) by Gerre & Jaye

We are embroiled in college business/drama/selection. Of course, I have other stuff going on as well, but the college stuff seems to be dominating at the moment. This means that my quilt work is suffering and, particularly, my donation and charity projects.

I finally did spend some time a week or so ago finishing this Hawaiian quilt for BAMQG. You might remember that Gerre and I worked on it at a Sew Day recently.

I blather on about testing new techniques and practicing skills on donation quilts then I never do it. I tried something new on this quilt. I tested out applying a binding by machine on both sides. My first effort resulting in me ripping out 3-4′, but I persevered and the quilt is bound by machine.

I made sure that Gerre and Angela were both ok with me doing the machine binding. It requires some more experimentation on my part, but I am pleased with my first effort.

BAMQG Hawaiian Quilt by Gerre & Jaye

BAMQG Hawaiian Quilt by Gerre & Jaye

None of the fabrics were my choices, but I like the brightness against the black and especially think the back came out well.

As usual, I am really happy to help the guild. As usual, the Young Man worked hard as my quilt hanger.

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Book Review: Circle Pizzazz

Circle Pizzazz: 12 Vibrant Quilt Projects Easy Curves Endless PossibilitiesCircle Pizzazz: 12 Vibrant Quilt Projects Easy Curves Endless Possibilities by Judy Sisneros

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I saw quilts made with this design at the San Mateo County Fair. One in particular, a black and white with turquoise beauty, grabbed my attention and inspired me to want to make one. From reading the first few pages, I thought that learning this technique might be better in a class than through a book. Towards the end, I got the idea and feel I could make some blocks using the book as a guide.

The book starts with a short introduction and some information on tools, supplies and fabric. This introduction makes it clear that quiltmakers will be sewing curved seams. Sisneros gets me on her side by admitting that the Winding Paths block is actually, historically, called The Snake Tail block and explains why she changed it for her purposes. I appreciated her honesty and her reasoning.

The project part of the book follows the introduction with making the original Winding Paths block. All the blocks in the book start with this block. Sisneros goes over trimming the block including her Secret of 4 and 6, which is actually a helpful tip that makes sense.

The project section of the book is, first, broken down into numbers of blocks- 12, 20, 36, etc for the original Winding Paths block. In this section, one thing I like is that she gives you the tools to make the quilts (teaching how to make the blocks), but then just shows what is possible when making the quilt. She doesn’t give every step for every quilt and she acknowledges that it is impossible to make an exact duplicate of her quilt. She makes the quiltmaker think a bit and I appreciate her assumption that quiltmakers have brains. Cutting directions and fabric requirements are included for the quilts in the Winding Paths block section.

The information on making the Circle Pizzazz block is a little less clear. I believe, from the images that the maker sews the D-E combination to the A block after it is made. This specific instruction seems to be left out, but makes sense from looking at the photos and the rest of the directions as well as the result.

The making of the Circle Pizzazz block section is, again, followed by a series of projects using this new block. It was a little hard for me to understand where to put fabrics I wanted to show up as a focus or featured fabric. The line drawings made this part easier. This section also has fabric requirements and cutting instructions.

I think that with all that curved piecing, I would want the piecing to stand out more and, thus, would use more contrasting fabrics. Ms. Sisneros’ quilts often have blendy fabrics that obscure the piecing. This might be a good strategy as you get better at the technique, but it is difficult to see the piecing when you are a beginner. There are a number of quilts on Google (type in snake tail quilt) so you can see the original block.

The Circle Pizzazz blocks are followed up with the Interlocking Circle Pizzazz block. This block adds a few more pieces to get a different look. The directions for the block are followed by projects. This book has plenty of illustrations and images, which makes understanding the concepts easier.

The book also includes a section on using the leftover pieces cut away when making the three other blocks. It is a nice idea as some quiltmakers might consider the cutaway pieces waste. I wasn’t particularly enamored with any of the projects shown. Of course, it all depends on the fabric, so YMMV.

I received this book as a gift in eBook form. I was excited because I didn’t have to devote my non-existent shelf space to another book. I started reading the book and also realized I couldn’t make copies of or print out the templates either. I will try a few things and see what works, but I can see this being a problem with the eBook version.

The book includes a gallery of student work. Transparency by Jeanette Pohl is one of my favorites. I like the way the background shows through some parts of the quilt.

The quilt I first saw and liked turns out to be in the gallery. It is by Rose Marie Hackett and called Black, White & Blue By You. The turquoise goes so well with the black and white and the combination really shows off the pattern.

Trails of Confusion by Teresa Williams is also very interesting, because of how the center pattern continues, partially, out into the border.

View all my reviews including non-quilt reviews.

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Another Great CQFA Meeting

I had a great time at the meeting yesterday and it really didn’t have anything to do with the actual meeting.

Gerre's Collage

Gerre’s Collage

After the business and show and tell, we sat down to work on the picture I posted earlier this week as our workshop picture. We split up and added more tables so people had more space to work and I sat with Gerre and Rhonda. Gerre was doing work in her collage book (a giant board book she bought at a thrift store and then gessoed over. Great idea!!!) in colors vaguely related to the picture I posted. I would have taken the picture, but since it was in a book with beautiful collages, I thought it might be rude.;-)

I really didn’t know that Gerre was so talented with collage. I adore this piece and think it would make a great card.

Rhonda was doing her very precise improv piecing in the colors of the posted photo, tending towards the abstract. I was preparing a piece of white fabric for later painting with Tsukineko inks.

I finished my work pretty quickly. It really didn’t go as I intended and I didn’t want to work on it anymore, so I offered to press Rhonda’s strips. She sat and sewed her improv strips and I walked back and forth pressing them and getting more.

Bird Box for Rhonda

Bird Box for Rhonda

After some time I heard Bron talking about folded boxes. Rhonda said she needed some for her niece and nephew for Easter, so Bron and I sat down to make them, with Bron doing the teaching. It is amazing how they go together and I can see many of my wrapping problems evaporating.

Rhonda picked out the bird paper. We made two of the same and this box is about 3″ square.

Folded Gift Boxes

Folded Gift Boxes

I decided it would be great to make my MIL a box and put a small gift in it for Easter, so we grabbed some sheets of wallpaper and I made a larger box from a 15″ sheet while Bron made a slightly smaller box, perhaps from an 11″ sheet. I ended up taking both home and will give one to someone else soon. I stopped and got some nice soaps to include in them.

Nota bene: We meet at FabMo and we have, pretty much, the run of the materials they have available. We still put donations in their box; we just don’t have to wait until selection day. In addition to fabric, they had books of wallpaper from which we took the larger sheets for the gift boxes. They are nice, because the sheets coordinate, though they are not always large. Some are half sheets or 3/4s sheets, which is why Bron made her box smaller. I thought some wallpaper with stripes would look great, but we didn’t see any in the quick look.

I enjoyed pressing for Rhonda and making the boxes. It interested me more than my Workshop piece.

The meeting went well. We talked about dues. We will be kicking people off the list soon, so people need to pay up. The Retreat is on and full, which si great. I can’t wait to check in and get sewing. I am going to work on the Field Day Zipper (I know! Blast from the past, right?) and the next Food Quilt. I suspect you can believe I won’t be working on FOTY 2014, but it works better for me to take more time and that requires working at home. I really want to get these two quilts done and 36 hours of sewing may be just what the doctored ordered.

The Field Day Zipper will be a gift. The fabrics and partially sewn pieces are clogging up my cutting table and I would like to get it done. I like the colors, but they are not demanding my time or attention. Too muddy. You knew that right?

The Food Quilt 2 will be a gift as well. It will be for a friend of Y.M.’s. We are friends with his parents and every kid should have a quilt. I keep looking at the Y.M.’s Food Quilt and trying to decide if I have cut enough fabric for the blocks I have slated to be made. The pattern is a Disappearing 9 Patch and I have decided that I will make 16 blocks. That means I need 64 food fabric patches (have already cut them), 64 black and white print fabric patches (almost none cut) and 16 purple patches, almost all of which are cut.

If I finish both of these projects, I also have the Box Full of Letters quilt on which to work. That will take come kind of miracle.

Anyway, the Retreat will be fun and I will have a lot to tell you about when I return.

The SFPL show is almost over. I’ll write more about that later. Be sure and go see it.

Rhonda will lead a workshop in June concerned with embellishment and hand embroidery. I can’t wait for that. I used some Aurifil embroidery thread for my ATCs and loved it! I will definitely buy more of that stuff.

Marie chimed in that there is a Stitchery show up at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles right at the moment. Fitting, don’t you think?

Show and tell was fabulous. Everyone does such interesting work and they all said kind things to me about the two pieces I brought: FOTY 2013 and the Hawaiian Donation Quilt. I know I haven’t written about them yet. Stay tuned for upcoming posts on those finishes.

Sonja's Flower

Sonja’s Flower

Dolores and Sonja are taking an online class with Elizabeth Barton. They are regularly bringing their pieces to show us and it is interesting to see the process through which they are working.

Sonja’s piece was a follow-up to a flower she finished a few years ago that took forever. This newest piece was finished within the month.

I love the curves and the lines. The color palette emphasizes the design and there is no distraction from color.

Caroline's Cypress

Caroline’s Cypress

Caroline does amazing landscapes and she is nearly finished with another one in her series of Lone Cypresses (Monterey Coast).

She threadpainted the greenery, but a new member showed some cheesecloth she had dyed, which sparked a discussion on the merits of making the greenery with cheesecloth instead of all of that threadpainting. Definitely doable, though different looks would be emphasized, I think. It was an interesting discussion.

Valerie, one of the visitors does amazing work. I didn’t get to talk with her much, but she brought her dyed cheesecloth and embroidery floss as well as a bag she made from hand dyed fabric. I seriously thought about trying to slips some of her embroidery thread into my bag. I restrained myself and decided to make friends with her if she comes back. 😉 She also brought large covered buttons with beading work using seed beads, some fabric postcards and a fantastic name tag.


Valerie's Postcard

Valerie’s Postcard

As I said, it was a great meeting. I learned something, got to see my friends and got something to write about for you. The perfect day. 😉

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Tile in Monterey

imagePolitical Wifery is gearing up. Last weekend we went to Monterey to do site visits for DH’s Grand Parlor*. We had to review the various facilities including hotel rooms required for the event. We also talked to hotel event coordinators to give them details about the events.

It was sort of fun even though I didn’t get to visit any quilt shops and my Saturday sewing time was usurped by this task.

I have to say that it was a beautiful day in Monterey and I did enjoy being outside and walking around.

imageOne of the things we did was look at a location for the BBQ. The proposed location is a historical site, which includes the tiled fountain shown here.

The fountain, sadly wasn’t working. Conscientiousness about the drought in California, I imagine. It was still quite beautiful and would be a great inspiration for a border on a quilt.






*For those of you just joining us, Grand Parlor is the Native Sons** annual conference

**Native Sons of the Golden West is a statewide fraternal organization which brings men together to support the preservation, teaching and education around California history. They also have a strong social aspect and support a charitable foundation that gives money to hospitals to support Cranio-facial Anomalies Teams at UCSF and St. John’s hospitals.

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Creative Prompt #304: Bunny


Easter Bunny

Scrappy Bunny cushion

Post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. I would really like to keep all the artwork together and provide a way for others to see your work and get familiar with your blog or website.

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, which you can join to  post your responses. I created this spot so those of you without blogs and websites would have a place to post your responses.

We are also talking about this on Twitter. Use the hashtag #CPP

A webcomic based almost entirely on chaos and tea.

BunnyRuby – Built to be easy to use. Bunny focuses on ease of use. Features, throughput, concurrency are important but ease of use comes first.

Watch Bunny Cam on Animal Planet LIVE

Definition: “Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha, found in several parts of the world. There are eight different genera in the family classified as rabbits, including the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), cottontail rabbits (genus Sylvilagus; 13 species), and the Amami rabbit (Pentalagus furnessi, an endangered species on Amami ?shima, Japan). There are many other species of rabbit, and these, along with pikas and hares, make up the order Lagomorpha. The male is called a buck and the female is a doe; a young rabbit is a kitten or kit.” (Wikipedia)

Bunny Mellon

1998 Movie

Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt

Bunny Williams

Big Buck Bunny is now even more a world standard for video standards.

beach bunny

The Explosive Bunny serves as ammunition for the Bunny Cannon. (Terraria)

Blue Bunny ice cream

Energizer Bunny

The Bunny Museum: Private museum features over 11000 toy bunny collectibles of every size, shape, and matter. Also features four Rose Parade float bunnies.

The Busy Bunny has been providing edible toy treats for pet rabbits and fun stuff for people since 1987.

Pat The Bunny Acoustic punk songs from the desert of Tucson, AZ about addiction, getting sober, and anarchism.

Bugs Bunny

These Honey flavored Bunny Grahams are hard to stop eating once you start! Bunny Grahams are the perfect size for toddler hands and grown-up handfuls.

The Bunny Collection featuring all synthetic brushes was specially designed to deliver a perfect makeup application. (Sigma Beauty)


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Octagon 9 Patch - late March 2015

Octagon 9 Patch – late March 2015

More progress on the Octagon 9 Patch. It seems slow, but I see the progress. Compare from last time and let me know what you think.

The 9 patches are not in their final locations. I started to arrange them as I made them, but it was hard to judge progress so now I just put each nine patch in the next open space. I’ll arrange them later.

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Sampler Quilt: Basket pt.2

Flower Basket

Flower Basket

As mentioned in part 1, above is the current block in our Sampler Quilt Class. These directions are for machine sewing your Flower Basket and include a little applique’. The applique’ can be done by machine or hand.

Are you playing along? If you are just starting, below is the complete supply list. You won’t need everything for this step, but you will need to start with part 1 and that part requires more supplies. Also, note, there are a LOT of photos in this tutorial.

Supply List

  • Flower Basket Directions & Templates
  • paper scissors (part 1)
  • mechanical pencil
  • thin Pigma pen (or similar) (part 1)
  • template plastic (part 1)
  • glue stick (part 1)
  • 2 (or more) foreground fabrics
  • 12.5″ x12.5″ piece of background fabric, which you will cut in half
  • FQ of same background fabric
  • Rotary ruler, including a long one, such as Creative Grids 4.5″x18.5″
  • Rotary cutter
  • Fabric scissors
  • thread
  • pins
  • Stiletto
  • Design wall or sandpaper board
  • sewing machine in good working order
  • Sharp or top stitch sewing machine needle


Important information:

  • Block is 12.5″ unfinished, 12″ finished
  • These directions use a quarter inch seam allowance. Check your seam allowance before you begin. If you don’t know how to do that, there are resources available, including one from Connecting Threads and Craftsy. You can search the web for others if you don’t like these tutorials.
  • You will be directed to use the Triangle Technique. Make sure you have the chart as well as the instructions handy.
  • Respect the bias.

After working through part 1, you have already chosen your fabrics, made your templates and cut your pieces. You are ready to sew.


Carefully stitch along the hypotenuse of the large background triangle, about 1/8″ from the edge, to stabilize it. This stitching will be covered up when you stitch the handle part of the block to the basket part of the block.

Triangle Technique

Use the Triangle Technique to make your half square triangles. Make sure you have the chart available to confirm sizes. A brief overview is:

Draw an X from corner to corner diagonally on the wrong side of each of your 6.25″ x 6.25″ squares.

Place them right sides together and sew 1/4″ on each side of the diagonal lines.

      Nota bene: If I had wanted to pin I would have pinned far away from any of the diagonal lines.

Now you have a piece with four seams forming an X.

Next cut the ‘Plus’ of your sewn piece. This means that you are cutting horizontally down the middle and vertically down the middle.

  • Line up your ruler with the edge of the fabric and the point in the middle where the two lines forming the X come together.
  • Cut vertically.

Do NOT move your fabric.

  • Reposition your ruler and then cut the piece horizontally.

After you cut the “plus” (the vertical and horizontal cuts), you will have four squares, each with a line drawn diagonally across the middle. Cut the squares in half diagonally. You can use the line as a guide. It is more important to line your ruler up corner to corner.

Triangle Technique HSTs

Triangle Technique HSTs

The result is 8-2.5″ half square triangles. The above are actually a thread or two larger than 2.5″, which leaves the perfect opportunity for trimming to make them an absolutely perfect 2.5″.

  • Trim your HSTs to an absolutely perfect 2.5″.

Now you have 8 beautiful HSTs.

Of course, you can use whatever technique you like to make the half square triangles.

Layout and Assembly

Pieces cut and ready to sew

Pieces cut and ready to sew

Now that you have cut all of your pieces, lay them out on your sandpaper board, or put them up on your design wall. It is great to be able to see where all the pieces belong and adjust any pieces that need adjusting before you sew.

Sew Handle to Background

Template on Handle, ready to trace

Template on Handle, ready to trace

Traced & Adjusted

Traced & Adjusted

Because I decided to use the method described below, I made another handle template with NO seam allowance. I placed it on the handle I had cut from the striped fabric carefully so there was an even seam allowance on all sides. Then I traced around it with my thin black pen. I thought the template was a little wide at the end so I adjusted the line a bit to make the seam allowance larger.

Handle & Background Triangle Cut, Laid Out

Handle & Background Triangle Cut, Laid Out

Pieces Laid Out

Pieces Laid Out

My pieces looked a little weird-not the right size, etc when I laid them out. Have no fear! They will improve.

Press seam allowance under

Press seam allowance under

Press with hot iron

Press with hot iron

I was using my stiletto to adjust the seam allowance, but it was impossible to hold the stiletto, the camera and the iron all at once. Press carefully, so as not to distort your pieces.

Watch out for corners

Watch out for corners

Pay attention to the corners. The layers of fabric will want to pooch in weird directions. This is where one of those mini irons might come in handy. I used my regular iron and a stiletto, so I know those tools work.

Press seam allowance on handle under

Press seam allowance on handle under

Take your handle and press the the seam allowance under on both sides of the piece. Press so that the drawn line is on the inside of the handle and is covered by the piece once the handle is sewn.

<Nota bene: the orange fabric was selected for good contrast so that the steps would show up well>

Finger press  patches in half

Finger press patches in half

Fold the handle in half with wrong sides together and finger press on the midpoint. Unfold.

Fold your large triangle in half with right sides together and finger press. Unfold and layout.

Nesting handle & background

Nesting handle & background

Nest the handle into the triangle with the right sides up.

Line up the bottom edges of the handle with the hypotenuse of the background triangle. If the handle ends are a little over, it will be fine. You can trim them later.

Eyeball your piece to make sure everything looks good and even.

Pin the handle to the background down the center of the handle. Remove the pins as you sew. Try not to sew over them.

  • Using a lot of pins will help keep the handle in place as you sew
Sew carefully

Sew carefully

Sew slowly and carefully along the drawn line around the curve. I chose a matching thread, an applique’ foot and a topstitch/sharp needle.

You will either need to hand applique’ the other side down or using a machine stitch that suits you.

You could sew both sides down with a straight stitch, like I did. There are many options.

Optional: You can satin stitch (see the Machine Applique’ tutorial) or blanket stitch or use some other decorative stitch to machine sew the handle to the background triangle piece. If you use one of these stitches, you may need some tearaway stabilizer

Optional 2: you can hand applique’ the handle to the background triangle.

Handle sewn to background with straight seam

Handle sewn to background with straight seam

Once the handle is sewn you are ready to move to the woven part of the basket.

Basket Sewing Layout

Basket Sewing Layout

Sew Basket Together

The block can be broken down into two pieces: the top half with the handle and the bottom half with the basket.

The parts are labeled as follows:

  • HSTs: 1-9
  • Single triangles A-G
  • Square: 10
  • Background pieces: B1-B3

Get ready to Chunk it, Baby!

First 2 patches sewn!

First 2 patches sewn!

Sew A to HST/1. Press towards Triangle A.

Sew B to the A-HST/1 combo. Press.

Start sewing basket together

Start sewing basket together

The two colored HSTs are supposed to give the illusion of a woven basket.

Trim off dog ears

Trim off dog ears

Trim off dog ears from the A,B-HST/1 combo.

Sew Basket parts together

Sew Basket parts together

Sew HST/2 to HST/5. Press towards HST/5.

Using the diagram above to confirm placement, sew your A,B-HST/1 combo to your HST/2-HST/5 combo. Press towards the red.

Sew basket parts together

Sew basket parts together

Sew HST/8 to Square 10. Press towards the Square 10.

Sew HST/6 to HST/9. Press towards the red part of the HST.

Sew 2 sets of woven basket parts together

Sew 2 sets of woven basket parts together

Sew basket parts together

Sew basket parts together

Using the diagram above to confirm placement, sew your HST/6-HST/9 combo to your HST/8-Square/10 combo. Press towards the HST/6-HST/9 combo.

Sew Triangle to HSTs

Sew Triangle to HSTs

Using the diagram above to confirm placement, sew C to HST/3. Press towards the red.

Sew triangle D to C-HST/3 combo

Sew triangle D to C-HST/3 combo

Using the diagram above to confirm placement, sew D to your C-HST/3 combo. Press towards D.

Trim your dog ears

Trim your dog ears

Trim your dog ears.

Sew HST/4 to HST/7. Press towards HST/7, making sure your seams will nest with the seams you have already pressed.

Sew parts of the basket together

Sew parts of the basket together

Sew HST/4-HST/7 together and then sew the HST/4-HST/7 combo to E. Press towards E.

Four sections of the Basket

Four sections of the Basket

Using the diagram above for placement, sew your HST/4-HST/7-E combo to your C-D-HST/3 combo. Press.

Trim dog ears.

Sew 2 Sections together

Sew 2 Sections together

Sew your A,B-HST/1-HST/2 segment to the HST/6-HST/9 segment.

Trim Your Dog Ears

Trim Your Dog Ears

Trim your dog ears!

Sew last two segments

Sew last two segments

Sew the last two segments of the basket part together. You may have to re-press some seams.

I didn’t move the borders the whole time I worked on the quilt See how much the basket part shrank? That is seam allowances for you!

Trim the dog ears

Trim the dog ears

Trim the dog ears, if you haven’t already.

Sew 2 halves together

Sew 2 halves together

Now you have two halves of the basket. Sew the woven part to the handle part by placing the woven part on top of the handle part, lining them up and then sewing carefully. You can fold the two sections in half, bisecting the handle, to match them up if you think that you need to trim the handle portion later.

Ready to sew last borders

Ready to sew last borders

Now you are ready to sew on the borders.

Sew triangle to border

Sew triangle to border

Sew triangle to border with words

Sew triangle to border with words

Sew the B2-G background section by placing the red triangle (G) face down on top of background piece B2 and sew the short end of the background to the triangle, as shown in the picture.

Sew on background B2/Triangle-G

Sew on background B2/Triangle-G

Take the basket piece that you sewed together above and place the B2-G background section on top of the basket section. Line up the red triangle’s seam from the B2-G background section with the HST/8-Square 10 section. You want the seams to match, so pin. Press towards background piece B2.

Only one more border to go.

Take the basket piece that you sewed together above and place the B1-F background section on top of the basket section. Line up the red triangle’s seam from the B1-F background section with the HST/9-Square 10 section. You want the seams to match, so pin. Press towards background piece B1.

Sew on Final Triangle

Sew on Final Triangle

Now you are ready to sew the last piece.

Trim dog ears

Trim dog ears

Trim dog ears.

Basket almost complete

Basket almost complete

Your basket is almost complete.

Line up triangle with borders

Line up triangle with borders

Complete your basket half by sewing background piece B3 to the basket. You have already snipped off the corners so you just have to line up the triangle piece with the borders already sewn to the block. Press towards the background piece B3.

Your half is complete.

Take the top half of the basket, the piece with the handle, and carefully sew it to the basket half.

Completed Basket Block

Completed Basket Block

Your block is complete! Hooray.



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Various & Sundry #4- Late March

Fabric, Tools, Supplies & Embellishments

I love the way that this fabric is organized! I would need a much larger closet, though.

I was dying to buy fabric last week, so I washed some of the Great Unwashed and that helped to make me feel like I had some new pretties to pet.

Ruler Recall: Marsha McCloskey sells rulers on her site that make cutting and sewing her Feathered Star blocks easier. She wrote about the ruler recall in her most recent newsletter: “Recently, I learned, much to my dismay, that my last shipment of Precision Trimmer 3 rulers contained defective rulers. Truly, I didn’t know. Rulersmith has produced perfect rulers for me for 15 years. When these rulers were delivered in February 2014, I didn’t check them. My Mom had just passed away and my mind was not on quality control.  The ruler problem is in the placement of the locator hole at the ¼” seam allowance at the corner of the ruler. This hole is used to locate the start and stop point for set-in seams. On the defective rulers, the hole is placed slightly to the right. Not acceptable. I have no idea if all the rulers sold in the last year were made this way or only a portion. Rulersmith has replaced the entire print run with accurate rulers and I will replace your ruler if it is defective.  I will be contacting people who bought the PT3 ruler through my website, but I have no way to identify who might have bought a PT3 from a shop or from me in a class. You will need to identify yourself, so I can replace the defective ruler with a good one. Please, go to the special PT3 RECALL page on my website and follow the directions if you want your ruler replaced. There is a special page for this issue. You can now use PayPal on her site and a lot of her fabrics are on sale for $6/yard.

These notebooks are clever and creative. I love them except for the part about kids using them in school!

Are you a Frixon pens fan? I found a new product that provides another use for those pens. “Rocketbook, designed by startup Rocket Innovations, looks and feels like a traditional paper notebook and pen combination, but it uses heat-sensitive ink and is paired with a smart app. (The pens, FriXion ballpoints by Pilot, are cheap and easy to find at places like Staples.) When you stick the 8.5-inch-by-11-inch notebook in the microwave for 30 seconds, all 100 of its pages are cleared, so it’s infinitely reusable. Its paper features a dot grid pattern that makes it a good sketchbook for designers, typographers, and architects.

Before you erase your most brilliant doodles, Rocketbook will convert them into digital documents. Lots of artists and designers find sketching by hand, not just on the computer, a crucial part of the creative process, but scanning can be a pain. When you want to save your writing or sketches, the Rocketbook app will upload them to the cloud. The app takes photos of the notebook, two pages at a time, and automatically sends these digitized documents to folders in your Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, or email account. Seven icon buttons are on the bottom of each page, and you can assign them to various locations to determine where the document will be sent. For example, pressing the airplane button might automatically send your pages to Evernote.” Interesting idea for your quilt sketches and notes to self.

Websites, Articles and Information

This is a very short article about the Missouri Star Quilt Company without a lot of details. It leaves me wanting more. Where did they live in California? When did MSQC start? Perhaps, it will spur others (DO YOU HEAR PODCASTERS???) on to find out more.

Jackie is starting a series on sewing with children on her blog. She has posted random bits about sewing with children so I am looking forward to this organized series.

Modern Quilts Illustrated issue #10 is available. Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr at the Modern Quilt Studio have gone to a 2x/year publication schedule. There are no more subscriptions, but you can order it on their website.

The International Quilt Study Center quilt of the month is Oil Rigg by Jo Budd.

We all receive poorly written, flame sounding emails. Sometimes I can’t believe the email I receive because the writer sounds so angry just because s/he signed up to receive a notice of my blog posts. Ms. Lottie, who has the fabulous NZ based podcast and blog, posted a reminder from another artist, Dena Crain, about some tricks on how to avoid and respond to less than clam emails. One thing that spoke to me was the paragraph “Truly, our success at accomplishing all of our life goals has to do with how we approach other people.  Give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and trust that most people really do want to do the right thing, even you!” Dena also has a tutorial on making a mosquito netting. I think that is the first tutorial of that kind I have seen.

Ms. Lottie also has an interview with Sue Benner on her most recent podcast.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has put up 4000 high resolution art images and made them available for certain uses. The LA County Museum has done this in the past, so I hope the practice will be a continuing trend.  How will they inspire YOU?

Gretchen reviews Adventures with Leaders & Enders

Exhibits, Tutorials and Events

The Home Machine Quilting Show will be in Salt Lake City May 7-9, 2015.

Charlotte of the Slightly Mad Quilt Lady Blog and Podcast has a tutorial on tying a knot for hand sewing. The thing I like about this tutorial is that it is short, gets down to business right away, tells you what you need to know and doesn’t have a lot of distractions.

Projects, Magazines, Books and Patterns

Philippa, AKA OzzyPip has been posting a series of animal blocks to Twitter. I love this little bird.

I know you NEED a cactus pin cushion. 😉 I saw a pattern posted on the Sewing Lab blog and thought you would like it. I know you could make some creative changes to put your own mark on it. If you make one, post a picture to the AQ Facebook page. I’d love to see your work.

A new issue of Through Our Hands magazine from Laura Kemshall is out:

I was excited to see the Bag of the Month club bag over at Sew Sweetness. It is almost the perfect bag. The Hyacinth Bag is great for a purse and place to store a few things you might need at a quilt show. It is almost the perfect work bag for me, but just a tad bit too small. Still, she is getting closer.

I love the use of text fabrics in the quilt by Magnolia by the Bay.

Other Artists

I know that the New Year is long in the past, but I came across this 2014 Year in Review by Sara over at Sew Sweetness. The visuals add interest. I really like the gallery of photos and will see about doing some similar at the end of this year. I love the apron her friend is wearing towards the end of the post and I do kind of like that Rockstar Bag. I didn’t see it when it came out and I’ll have go and check it out. It has possibilities for a “take my stuff and lunch to work on the train” bag. You might see one that I made pretty soon. We’ll see.

Alex Veronelli retweeted a photo of Karolina Bakowska’s thread doodling piece. It is fantastic and I love it! I haven’t seen anything quite like it, but it really looks great.

Take a look at a short video with a Libby Lehman update. I am still hoping she will be able to teach again.

How did you celebrate Pi Day. Take a look at this great quilt.

My mom put up a new blog post with brief mentions of 3, yes THREE, finished quilts. Amazing!

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CQFA Workshop Challenge

CQFA Challenge: Spring in Humboldt

CQFA Challenge: Spring in Humboldt

There will be a workshop on Saturday at the CQFA meeting based around this photo, Spring Comes to Humboldt. The name of the workshop is the “Same Design, Make it Mine” challenge.

The guidelines of this workshop are:
1. Look at the photo and recreate the sense of it in your medium of choice.
2. Use your own style
3. Use your own favorite techniques
4. No whining

CQFA Members: bring materials and supplies to the meeting as we will work on our own projects during the meeting.

While this workshop is primarily set up for CQFA and will be held at the meeting, everyone who reads is welcome to play. You can post your efforts to the AQ Flickr Group, or the CQFA Flickr Group, if you are a member. <Nota bene: you can easily be a member for a small payment of dues!> CQFA members should bring their finished or in process works to an upcoming meeting.

Will you play along?

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Book Review: Scrap Basket Beauties

Scrap-Basket Beauties: Quilting with Scraps, Strips, and Jelly RollsScrap-Basket Beauties: Quilting with Scraps, Strips, and Jelly Rolls by Kim Brackett

There are a number of things about this book that do not fit into my definition of a perfect book, but I like it anyway.

I like the colors on the cover. They are cheerful and drew me in. The colors of the projects pictured in the book are fresh and also cheerful. I also like the fact that Kim Brackett admits that “not all fabrics work well together in a scrap quilt.” Hallelujah. Some authors insist a maker can put anything into a project and end up with a beautiful quilt. I simply do not agree. I find that seeing the words in print make me feel validated.

This book talks about using 2.5″ strips and pre-cuts. I don’t, usually, buy pre-cuts, but I have a ruler and a rotary cutter and have the ability to cut as many 2.5″ strips and squares as I want to make these quilts.

After a short introduction, the author provides into a lot of information about 2.5″ strips. The bottom line is that the reader does not have to buy pre-cuts; s/he has to have fabric and scraps. From those s/he can make the quilts in this book.

The section also includes information on strip swaps and ‘strip clubs.’

Hard on the heels of the 2.5″ strip section is the ubiquitous ‘Basic Quiltmaking Instructions (pg. 11).’ The information found in this section is basic and, mostly, a review. Still, it is always useful to be reminded how to avoid cutting a V in a fabric strip. Aside from the normal “how to sew a quilt together’, this section also includes a little about chain piecing and Folded-Corner Units (like Flying Geese). There are charts to fill in on creating Side-Border Strips and Top- and Bottom-Border Strips.

Quilt patterns start on pg. 20 with a peach confection called Sanctuary. This is primarily made with four patches within four patches. The patterns could do with alternate color ways on the last page of the pattern to spread the wealth of the information. Scrap-Basket Trail is one of those quilts that would appeal to many more people if the brown and reproduction backgrounds were removed and the quilt was shown in, say, pinks.

Cross My Heart (pg.30) looks really great in various Bonnie & Camille fabrics. Hourglass (pg.36) is bright and cheerful and pretty interesting in the piecing department. Almost all of the patterns have something intriguing about them.

One of my favorite patterns is Beachside Bungalow. I love the rings and the colors. I also like the grey used in the background. My absolute favorite pattern, which I intend to make…sometime, is the Triple Star. some of its charm comes from the scrappiness, but it is also an interesting block with a lot of pieces. I also really like the blue background.

No index and a brief table of contents.

View all my reviews

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Sketching #218

Creative Prompt Response #218: Milkshake

Creative Prompt Response #218: Milkshake

Milkshake? Really?

Yes. And I felt stupid posting that prompt, but thinking about milkshakes and what the word meant to me was awesome. This response was inspired by, not only milkshakes, but also prompt #208. Sadly, that is one of the lost boys and you can’t go back to see the response. Yet. Again, librarian drama.

I like this response. I was finally getting my drawing groove on. It is more complicated than the other prompts drawn in the same session.

How about you? Want to join in the fun? Don’t copy! Draw, color, paint, dance or sing your own response. Take a look at the original prompt to be inspired.

Then, post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. I would really like to keep all the artwork together and provide a way for others to see your work and/or your blog.

We are also talking about this on Twitter. Use the hashtag #CPP

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, which you can join to  post your responses. I created this spot so those of you without blogs and websites would have a place to post your responses.

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Sketching #217

Creative Prompt Response #217: Pen

Creative Prompt Response #217: Pen

What else could it be but a fountain pen? Have you used a fountain pen? I have. They are an experience. They create individual words – well, the act of using a fountain pen is a creative experience that makes the words look individual. It is a terrible or wonderful experience. Terrible if you run out of ink or your cartridge malfunctions and you get ink all over your hands, paper, desk….you get the idea. Wonderful if your pen flows beautifully.

I have a couple of fountain pens, but none that are scarlet and gold. I do have cartridges with turquoise and emerald ink. I see fountain pens on MassDrop all the time, so they must be coming back into fashion.

I am thinking about picking up a fountain pen again just to see how rosy my memory of using one is.

This drawing is a little bit simple, but I was bold with the color.

Take a look at the original prompt. Then draw, color, paint, dance or sing your own response. Be inspired.

Then, post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. I would really like to keep all the artwork together and provide a way for others to see your work and/or your blog.

We are also talking about this on Twitter. Use the hashtag #CPP

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, which you can join to  post your responses. I created this spot so those of you without blogs and websites would have a place to post your responses.

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