Finished: Triple Star

Triple Star Finished
Triple Star Finished

I finally finished putting the sleeve on this quilt, so it is well and truly done.

I like the block and may add such a block to another star sampler type quilt, if I do one.

I showed it to the YM who was home over the weekend and he likes it, even with the pink, so it will definitely be his quilt.

I decided that I would enter it in PIQF, which means I have to wait until mid-October to give it to him.

Finished: Triple Star back
Finished: Triple Star back

The back has different fabrics, but isn’t really super special.

San Mateo County Fair Winners

I talked about my entries a few weeks ago. Once I get to the fair, I like to go and look at my entries right away to see what I won, if anything.

I got some prizes, but not many. Of my entries, two got prizes, the paper wreath which I expected and the Planned Improv quilt, which I did not. It is almost a guarantee I will not get a prize for a quilt, so i was thrilled to even get an Honorable Mention in any quilt category.

I was sad that none of these projects got prizes. The Flapper apron is probably the most ordinary of all of the projects, but it does have a great shape and interesting construction. The others are all very creative, especially the fabric placement on the Cal Shirt and the way I created a corset look on the Superheroine apron. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. I did well last year, so I can’t complain too much.

I have some quibbles with the categories. They don’t have a bag category and they should. There were a number of bags and the bags have to compete against everything in the sewn accessories-non garment category. My Zip Away organizer would have been better in a bag category.

I also think they need an apron category. There were a lot of aprons and mine would have done better it they weren’t competing against a tailored jacket.

I really worked hard on the shirt, especially finishing the inside seams with French seams, so it was letdown not to get any prizes at all for it. It will be interesting to see what they say.

SIL #2 cleaned up. She got four prizes including a first for her fabulous two-sided shell table runner. I did well last year; it was her turn this year.

 

Blue Cat Pet Bed

Blue Cat Pet Bed
Blue Cat Pet Bed

It has been awhile since I made a pet bed, but the schnibble bag was getting too full.

The fabric is one of the last I got from Amanda, *I think*. I had to trim the gusset a little as I thought it was too long and made a long tunnel in the opening, which makes getting the schnibbles into the pet bed, without much on the floor, difficult.

I thought I had a lot of schnibbles, but the bed isn’t even half full. Refer to my post on having less time to sew. 😉

Stepping Stones n.2 Painfully Slow Progress

Christa Watson has a new pattern out called Stepping Stones. It looks like a reimagined Rail Fence to me, but who am I to say? I had to stop contemplating the names of blocks, however and get back to sewing.

Stepping Stones Border Block - Left Side
Stepping Stones Border Block – Left Side

I try to make a CrockPot meal for Mondays so that we can come home, eat and I can go to Craft Night in a timely manner. Craft Night was at my house on Monday and the meal was over and done before I even needed to prepare the tea and all. I had about half an hour of time, so I raced up to my workroom and sewed! I didn’t have a lot of time over the weekend to sew, so this was a good way to scratch that itch for sewing.

Stepping Stones Border Block - Right Side
Stepping Stones Border Block- Right Side

I wasn’t able to finish a lot, but every little bit helps. I had cut some fabric, so I could work on a couple of border blocks, which I did. These blocks will allow me to put together another row of the top.

The green and blue HSTs indicate the middle of the quilt and prove I am halfway finished with the top. I know you believe me, but sometimes I need to prove to myself I am making progress as slow as that progress might be.

Aside from cutting more pieces, which I have mentioned, I have to make a few more HSTs. I can’t actually see one corner of the quilt, because there is some stuff piled in front of it ( 🙁 , I know). Once I sew the latest row to the top, I’ll be able to pull the quilt up and really work on the bottom.

Progress might be painfully slow, but I am making progress. It would be really great to finish this top before July 7, but we will see.

Contemplating Irons

New Oliso
New Oliso

I mentioned on Twitter (see sidebar if you want to follow me) that my Oliso had started to have problems. I could deal with them for awhile, but the poor thing just became exhausted and confused and I had to reach out for tech support. Tech support for an iron sounds weird, but I think that is what it is.

Oliso’s tech support is great. You get the same person each time (perhaps they have only one person and not a lot of problems?), which is important to me. I really dislike having to go through my problem each time I reply to a support ticket entry. Ryan, the tech person, told me how to reboot my iron (crazy, right?) to get it’s brain back in order and when that was not a long term solution, he worked with me to get the iron fixed.

Oliso irons have a warranty, but mine was old, so it wasn’t free. I think I have had the Oliso for 3 years. I know I bought it on MassDrop. Ryan, my new friend, didn’t care where I bought it, which was nice. I got a deal on the repair, but I think what happened is that they just sent me a new one. It is exactly the same as my old one and works great.

As you know I can’t sew without an iron. I have a Sunbeam as a backup and for DH to iron whatever he needs to iron. I used it as a test to determine if I needed a replacement Oliso or if I should go back to buying cheap irons. My iron strategy used to be to buy a cheap iron at Target whenever I had iron issues. Sometimes, my stepdad can fix the cheapies, but not always. The Sunbeam was fine, but having to sit it upright every time was a hassle. Yes, #firstworldproblem, I know. I like the stability of the Oliso always being in horizontal position. The iron sits on the ironing board next to the bathroom door, so there are a lot of opportunities for it to get knocked off. It has happened.

Still, the Oliso is pricey even at the reduced rate I got for the repair.

The horizontal position is, I realized, also good for my hands and wrists. That little bit of extra weight can make a difference if my hands are hurting me, whereas sliding the iron over to the units or fabrics is not completely weight free, there is little wrist flexing involved and every little bit helps.

I decided to pay the money and get the Oliso repaired. It is back in action. The Sunbeam is put away for stand-in duty in three years and everyone is happy.

I am not affiliated with Oliso. Just a happy customer.

*ColorPlay and the Spark series will return.

 

Stepping Stones n.2 Half

Stepping Stones n.2 - top half
Stepping Stones n.2 – top half

I made really good progress over the weekend. I had only a few seams to sew in order to finish half of the quilt. The quilt is starting to look like something!

You might remember that I finished the first quarter not that long ago and kind of got on a roll.

I have had to cut a lot of blues and greens for the border, so that is taking time, but at least I can do a few at a time in between everything else.

Looking at this half makes me think that I might have to work on another one of these. I would like to see the framework of the red diamonds more filled in. On the other hand, if I used more red, would the Sawtooth Stars (check the middle, right under the red square) show up? Perhaps fabric with less contrast? Red and pink or orange and yellow? I’ll have to play around.

I also need to work on the border of a new version. This border is ok, but not great. Not sure why, but it isn’t doing much for me.

Color My Quilt – Leeann

As I have probably mentioned 300 times, I was super behind on the Color My Quilt project. I worked through the 5 I had to do methodically.  I didn’t do anything crazy and was able to make some progress.

Leann's Color My Quilt Shard - June 2018
Leann’s Color My Quilt Shard – June 2018

Leeann had a landscape theme and I just copied the colors into a big chunk.

I am not sure if this is what she wanted, but it will work in some capacity. She can cut it up to fill in spaces, though I wonder if people actually feel ok about cutting up the shards?

I should have mentioned earlier in the week a reminder about the parameters of Color My Quilt. This project started last year with Karen’s idea. It is a guild challenge where one person per month volunteers to receive shards. The selected person provides a sheet with an idea, colors, poetry, a quote – basically some kind of inspiration to willing participants. The participants make a shard. It can be a block or a chunk of scraps in the right colors or almost anything. I think it is interesting to see what the chunks look like together. So far only one quilt has been made. I am curious to see if others get made.

Color My Quilt – Helen’s Rainbow

Helen's Rainbow
Helen’s Rainbow

Yes, this is Color My Quilt week.

I wasn’t sure what to do with Helen’s prompt. I thought about it and considered different options for a long time. Finally, I gave up and decided not to do it.

I think that was what I needed to do, because, shortly thereafter, I thought about ROYGBIV. I decided that making a long strip in color order would be the thing to do. It would fulfill Helen’s wish and it would be consistent with my effort to provide a different shape for people to work with.

I just pulled pieces out of my scrap bin and that seemed to work well.

Color My Quilt: Michelle

Color My Quilt: Michelle- Fog
Color My Quilt: Michelle- Fog

I am still behind on the BAMaQG Color My Quilt project. I decided while I was sewing the Stepping Stones n.2 over Memorial Day that I would slide in the Color My Quilt pieces. I sewed on them in between the Spiky 16 Patches and the Stepping Stones n.2.

Michelle’s theme was fog. I am quite familiar with it, so I pulled greys out of my scrap drawer and put another long thin piece together.

It is simple and straightforward. I hope it works with the other pieces she got.

June ATCs

June 2018 ATCs
June 2018 ATCs

I threw together some ATCs for the meeting at almost the last minute. Not my best work, but not my worst either.

I thought of adding some handwork or beads, but didn’t get to it.

Group June 2018 ATCs
Group June 2018 ATCs

The exchange was good. People-Bron, Maureen and Rhonda- made really excellent ATCs.

Rhonda used the leftover handwork thread (Perl cotton?) for her circles. I love that look and wish I had thought of it.

Maureen’s animals were awesome. I actually took two of them by mistake, but Maureen wouldn’t take one back.

I love Bron’s use of the selvedges.

My prizes!
My prizes!

They aren’t really prizes in the traditional sense of the words, but I chose a nice selection. I love them all but the animals really speak to me.

Creative Spark #26: Take a Day Off

One of the things I like about this book is that the chapters are short. I am looking at my next book to review and one is great, but the chapters are super long. Perhaps I can do a page a week?

This is another physical chapter. In this one, Carrie Bloomston starts out by saying that she is not the kind of person to tell you to go sit in your studio at the same time every day and for the same length of time until inspiration strikes. She continues by saying that it is a theory that when inspiration strikes you will be readying for it and in your workspace ready to go. She recommends taking the day off and going fishing or hanging out in nature so you can actively fill your senses with inspiration (pg.109). I actually agree.

I don’t have enough time in my studio, but when I go out to get inspiration I come back itching for more, because I am filled with ideas. I know that going to a museum or even out to dinner with a friend will show me something new that will inspire me or give me a problem solving idea.

The reality is that you can’t force creativity and looking at the same walls isn’t going to help. I get a daily dose of inspiration when I go out walking. I try to take a different path and I have made the most interesting discoveries – a lake! a building completely covered in 4×4 inch tiles! trees touching each other! All of these things are within a 10 or 15 minute walk from my office. There is a brake shop building of which I am particularly fond. I have to take a picture, but it seems silly.

“Don’t get me wrong. I also believe in working. I believe in worth through the boredom, the obstacles, the writer’s block. But there is a time and a place for everything. Sometimes you just have to run away” (pg.110).

So, take yourself on a date and take a bunch of photos and make some sketches or doodles or whatever you do.

You can see the last post on this topic from a few weeks ago.

Nota bene: we are working through Carrie Bloomston’s book, The Little Spark. Buy it. Support the artist. Play along. There is much more to each spark than what I am writing. 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.

5 Spiky Blocks

5 Spiky Stars
5 Spiky Stars

I made the last Spiky 16 patch block and I am pleased with the way it looks.

I am liking the look of the the colors together. There are some purples and light, icky greens, but I think they add interest rather than disrupting the sea/calm look. What do you think?

Next step: on point triangles. I think I mentioned I found a new technique for creating these. I know I printed it out and now need to remember when I put it.

A Few More Hexie Stars

Half Hexies - May 2018
Half Hexies – May 2018

I have been working on the half hexie stars a tiny amount. They take a long time, as I have said.

I finally was able to cut some more backgrounds, so I have been focusing on making background stars. I’ll have to see when I can add more stars to the larger piece. Making the individual stars is fairly easy, though not completely mindless. I do have to really pay attention when I am adding stars to the larger piece.

Stepping Stones n.2 – Top Quarter

Stepping Stones n.2 - top quarter
Stepping Stones n.2 – top quarter

I wouldn’t normally put a quilt together like this (you know I like chunking!), but it is too long to fit completely on my large design wall. I put the top quarter (ish??) together and and then flung it over the top so only the bottom couple of rows are showing. That allowed me to move everything up and work more on the middle. I hope also, to work on the bottom, but I will probably have to move it up again.

I am always amazed at how good quilt tops look sewing together. I really like the top part of this quilt and it took me so long to get to this point. Yes, I have a lot more cutting and a lot more sewing, but I am thrilled, finally, to be making some progress!