SIL Works

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.

SIL MassDrop Donation Quilt
SIL MassDrop Donation Quilt

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 Design Wall, October 2017
SIL Design Wall, October 2017

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.

ColorPlay: Shirt

ColorPlay: Shirt
ColorPlay: Shirt

I went to the Retreat last weekend. While there, SIL suggested I do a ColorPlay post on G’s shirt. I thought it would be great because there were a lot of bright-ish colors.

ColorPlay shirt default
ColorPlay shirt default

The default was …neutral, as usual. The Earth looks a little purple.

ColorPlay Shirt n.1
ColorPlay Shirt n.1

The first non-default palette is my favorite. I went to towards the turquoise. Ok, it isn’t really turquoise, it is Candy Green. I have never heard of Candy Green and that name kind of scares me.

ColorPlay Shirt n.2
ColorPlay Shirt n.2

Palette n.2 is an extension of palette n.1. I added a couple of neutrals. I am a fan of the gold, but it works well with the Ultramarine and the Deep Rose.

ColorPlay Shirt n.3
ColorPlay Shirt n.3

Palette n.3 is a combination of the neutral palette and my favorite, palette n.1. The Ultramarine stands out in this crowd. I also like the name of the Spice color.

ColorPlay Shirt n.4
ColorPlay Shirt n.4

Palette n.4 has colors that show up in other palettes. Although I see this as a more colorful image, I also realized that the embroidery was all of the same colors.

Have you made any interesting palettes lately? Please share.

What Else We Did at the BAMaQG Retreat

BAM 2017 Scrap Attack
BAM 2017 Scrap Attack

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.

Yellow Donation Quilt
Yellow Donation Quilt

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' map quilt
Michelle S’ map quilt

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.

Retreat 2017 Workspace
Retreat 2017 Workspace

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.

Unintentional Collaboration

You might remember that I used the flippy corners method to make the weird shapes needed for the Triple Star. This left me with a whole bunch of matched HSTs to be. I didn’t want to have them laying around, because I don’t want to be tempted into another project, but I also didn’t want to toss them out. They would make for a nice donation quilt.

Flippy Corners Blocks
Flippy Corners Blocks

I ended up giving them to SIL and sewed them into blocks within, what seemed like, five minutes.

They came out really well, I think. The colors are wonderful, as I already knew. It is nice to see them in another format as successfully as in the Triple Stars.

ColorPlay: Freeway View

Freeway View
Freeway View

The weather this week has been good. It has not been deathly hot and there have been some lovely clouds. I took a photo while out on a lunchtime walk, which I decided to use for this week’s ColorPlay.

We are using Bella Solids instead of Kona Solids this week.

I tried to click the shutter when there were few cars, but you can still see them through the trees. I liked the green in front with the hills in the back. I prefer green hills, but still thought this was a lovely view.

ColorPlay Sept 22 default
ColorPlay Sept 22 default

The default, as we have discovered is normal, was heavily neutral. This palette looks like a 1970s decorator showcase house palette.

ColorPlay Sept 22 n.1
ColorPlay Sept 22 n.1

I decided to try a monochromatic palette next. I was able to find six different blues in the photo. None of the colors are the bright turquoise I love, but the Little Boy Blue and Robin’s Egg aren’t bad.

ColorPlay Sept 22 n.2
ColorPlay Sept 22 n.2

I decided to see if I could create another monochromatic palette and was mostly successful with green. I find the greens to be good greens for nature, but not bright enough for my quiltmaking.

ColorPlay Sept 22 n.3
ColorPlay Sept 22 n.3

While really not my thing, I decided to try and make a palette with darks. I think I succeeded and I do like that dark blue. Otherwise, the palette looks more like the dresser of teenage boy than a palette I would use for a quilt.

ColorPlay Sept 22 n.4
ColorPlay Sept 22 n.4

Next, I looked at combining the two monochromatic palettes to see if I could get something that I might actually use in a quilt. This is a nice palette. I really like the Dark Teal color. That makes this palette for me. I am still not much of a fan of the Avocado. The Leaf color is ok, though it takes on some of the qualities of the Avocado when sitting next to it.

ColorPlay Sept 22 n.5
ColorPlay Sept 22 n.5

Finally, I wanted to see what I could do with the hills that wouldn’t produce a deadly beige palette. There is that Dove, which looks more beige than grey to me. This might make a nice soft boy baby quilt. It doesn’t have the contrast that people insist babies want/need, however.

Have you made any interesting palettes lately? Please share.

Color My Quilt – September

Joelle's Instructions - Color My Quilt
Joelle’s Instructions – Color My Quilt

I realized late last week that I really needed to get busy on Joelle’s Color My Quilt piece. I was prepared to start it early, as in right after the August meeting. Somehow time got away from me.

Like I did for Amy’s piece, I wanted to make something that Joelle could cut up and use to put the other pieces together. She also really wanted solids and the combination didn’t work for me.

I just started improv piecing. It probably isn’t challenging me at all, but I seem to be focusing on the color and worrying less about the actual design. I’d be a lot happier with this project if people were making blocks, but I understand that that is not the idea behind this project.

Joelle's Color My Quilt
Joelle’s Color My Quilt

I am pleased with my piece, especially the colors. I didn’t have enough solid scraps to do the whole thing in scraps, so I tried to keep it to tone-on-tones. When I started to stray, I stopped piecing. I didn’t intend for it to be so long and skinny, but that is the way it turned out.

SIL’s Seasons Quilt

SIL #2 moved back here from Maryland last year. Since then she has been getting comments about how she must miss the seasons. We do have seasons here. They may not be the four radically dramatic seasons of the East coast, but we have seasons.

SIL's Season Quilt -in process
SIL’s Season Quilt -in process

Anyway, she has started her Seasons quilt and the first bit of it is AWESOME! Part of the awesomeness is the cutting, but the other is the Pointillist Palette fabric. The picture is not ideal, but you get the idea. The quilt shard is not on a curve surface, but the Pointillist Palette fabric and the placement makes it looked curved.

Pointillist Palette was a great fabric line. It cemented my friendship with TFQ. We bonded over fabric. 😉 It was one of the first fabric lines I bought. It was one of the first fabric lines I remember being marketed as a fabric line. There was a reissue of some of the colors and new colors last year. Both SIL and I have large collections of many of the colors. I still have the idea -and some hope- that I will finish my Pointillist Palette series. Seeing SIL”s piece gets me thinking about my PP series.

Amy’s Color My Quilt Finished

Amy's Inspiration
Amy’s Inspiration

After hearing Karen talk about her quilt, I decided that I would do more of a strip piece for Amy, so she would have some pieces she could use to connect other pieces. I tried to keep the pieces long and thin-ish.

Amy's Color My Quilt piece in process
Amy’s Color My Quilt piece in process

Partway through the process, as I mentioned, I took out the piece and took a look at it.

I was trying very hard to adhere to the spirit of the words, but color balance kept creeping in to my work. In the case of color balance, left, of the in process piece, I thought it needed more blue towards the top.

After working through all of my thoughts and feelings, I am pleased with the way this came out. I worked on it over the course of several weeks in between other things until I ran out of time. I also focused on the placement of the color rather than the width of the strips, etc. I did try to keep the strips from getting to wide, though I really wanted it to be long, so some are quite wide.

Amy's Color My Quilt piece
Amy’s Color My Quilt piece

I wanted to make it about a foot longer, but ran out of time. I am pleased and hope Amy will be, too.

Amy’s Color My Quilt

Yes, this appears to the be the week of Color My Quilt.

Amy's Color My Quilt piece in process
Amy’s Color My Quilt piece in process

I decided that I would start work on Amy’s Color My Quilt piece right away. I used it as leaders and enders while I sewed fabric pieces that didn’t require a 1/4″ foot. It was a good plan as I have made enough progress to hand it in today even if I do nothing else.

Don’t get the idea that I was doing a shoddy job. I was eyeballing a seam allowance rather than using the 1/4″ foot guide so I could make progress, but not being shoddy. If anything most of the seam allowances are larger than 1/4″.

Of course, I want to do more. I think it needs more blue. If I don’t do anymore, I’ll be happy and not embarrassed to give what I have to Amy.

Color My Quilt WOW

The BAMQG meeting was….sometime in the recent past. I have a lot going on and can’t quite remember.

Karen M. Color My Quilt
Karen M. Color My Quilt

Anyway, one fabulous thing that happened was that Karen M brought her finished ‘Color My Quilt’ piece. I thought it looked fabulous. She talked quite a bit about how she put it together and where she added strips and bits and pieces.

Keeping the colors in the same family with a bit of spark really made this quilt come together.

Karen was asked to do a workshop on teaching people to put their own pieces together. She may do a hands on tutorial at the next meeting.

MS Color My Quilt

Michelle's Color My Quilt
Michelle’s Color My Quilt

The Color My Quilt project reared it’s lovely head again and I got busy making something for Michelle. My goal was to use my scraps, though I was determined not to skimp and paw through the fabric closet if there were no appropriate scraps.

One of Michelle’s words was shiny and I found some fabric that had a lot of shine, so I grabbed that. I also found some perfect purples. I was embroiled very hard in another project and this little piece allowed me to play a bit.

Creative Spark #15: Doubt

Remember the Crazies in Spark #4? I think Doubt is related, but the Crazies prevents us from doing things while Doubt makes **me** think I can’t do something and should just continue on as I am. Doubt prevents me from taking risks. Not knowing the outcome is scary.

Bloomston says we have to trust the process. She says to “befriend your doubt…. Maybe even nicely ask your doubt to leave.” (pg.65). Hhmm. I have never tried this. She says that “When we are trying to get rid of something, we expend a lot of energy and we are unwittingly feeding it.” (pg.65). This is interesting and really makes me stop and think. If I have doubts, are they creating other doubts – inviting their friends to the party?

Bloomston has four ways of removing doubt: Rituals, Music, Affirmations and Talismans. Rituals spoke to me most. We do not “…have enough rituals in our modern culture…” (pg.65). To each his own, but I feel this is true for myself. I have created some quiltmaking rituals:

  • I turn on all of the switches and things in the same order.
  • I check all of my tools: are they in the right place? Are there any issues I need to resolve?
  • then I get started with the step I have set up unless I have been working through a construction problem in my mind and am ready to tackle it.
  • When I finish for the day, I always set up the next step so I can get started right away when I have a moment.

Perhaps I have more rituals, but I will have to think about what they are.

Carrie Bloomston describes a talisman as “…an object believed to contain certain magical properties that may provide good luck or fortune.” (pg.66). I definitely have talismen. I have a little shrine of photos of people closest to me. In that same space I have some objects that I care about: a shell, a smooth glass heart, some rocks with words – courage, peace, healing – carved into them. I also have a rotating ATC and a few other things there as well. There are a few places where I have placed things I care about. I guess these all could be called mini-shrines. I never really thought about it because I have created these instinctively, but these are my talismen.

What are your rituals?

What are your talismen?

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

You can find the last spark on the blog several weeks ago.

More on Sew Day

I wrote about Sew Day the other day, I had more to say so here I am again.

Belinda's Block
Belinda’s Block

Belinda was making blocks for a donation quilt. I thought the design was great. It was great for all quilts, but especially for donation quilts.

The rectangles are 2.5″ x 4.5″, which is a size I am cutting for two future quilts, so not unfamiliar to me. The blocks can be made from any size rectangle as long as the rectangles are proportional.

Belinda used a Bali Pop, which looked really great. I thought that cutting rectangles from a variety of fabrics as I cut other fabrics up for my projects would be interesting as well – a scrappy look.

I figure that the blocks are about 12×12 finished, so making 9 would make a good sized donation quilt. I’ll see about making one once I have the other two, which are in process, finished.

Color My Quilt Part 2

Gerre's Color My Quilt
Gerre’s Color My Quilt

I finished Gerre’s piece on Sunday. I was almost done on Saturday, but had a bit more to do.

This did not come out as I envisioned, but I still like it. I saw that butterfly and it made me think of Gerre.

On both pieces, I had blocks on the mind. I really didn’t feel Improv in my piecing plan this time, so blocks it was. I had some leftover bits that I didn’t use, so I included them with the packet as well.

Creative Spark #14: Inner Kid Care

This chapter is about finding the original flame of your creativity. So many people I meet see one of my quilts and say something like ‘I could never do that’ or ‘I am not creative like you.’

Baloney.

What I do isn’t that special. I may get special results from my choices, but anyone can sew a straight line. Really. ANYONE. The key in this chapter is to read the text and think about it. Remember ‘images of your creative life as a child.” (pg.61).

I was fortunate that there was always plenty of opportunities at my house to be creative. We painted plaster 3D objects, we made stained glass and painted canvasses. The theme was not perfection but to make stuff and keep trying. the items I make are not always perfect, but I don’t get discouraged; I keep trying.

People I meet or know use negative self talk as the basis of their life, it seems to me. The phrase: ‘I did that terribly, which makes me a bad person’ is one of I heard in various iterations a million times, many times from women friends. It is VERY important to “replace those negative messages with some others. Take each of the negative messages” you thought “and write the opposite.” (pg.63). Then practice positive self-talk. Anytime something negative starts to escape your lips, spit it out (quietly) and say the opposite. It doesn’t make you cool to degrade yourself.

This chapter is all about exercises. If you only buy the book for this, buy and do these exercises.

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

You can find the last spark on the blog last week.