Block-a-Long #60: The End

Framed Block #60
Framed Block #60

The End kind of gives it away, doesn’t it?

Today’s block is the last AQ Block-a-Long block. The project is ending. I am starting to run out of ideas and repeat myself. Since this project never really caught on, I don’t feel bad about ending it.

I have learned a lot about a variety of different things from this project. I really appreciate that aspect of it. It started out one way and for one purpose and ended completely differently.

This is the same block that I used in the Joel Dewberry challenge with BAMQG last year. I love this block for some reason. I thought it would be a great alternate block for those of you who do not want to put all different blocks together. This can’t possibly be an original block, but I wasn’t able to find it in Blockbase, so perhaps it is.

The pattern for Framed Block #60 is posted.

If you have made blocks or a quilt from these patterns, please post a link in the comments section of the relevant block or on the AQ Block-a-Long Flickr group. I would love to see what you have made. The Flickr group will stay open until it starts to annoy me or add to my workload.

I haven’t decided what I will post on Monday after next week’s block. Perhaps antique blocks? Perhaps inspiration? Stay tuned for something, hopefully, new and exciting!

Thanks for the happy memories!!!

Cupcake Block

Cupcake Block for Mark
Cupcake Block for Mark

Lynn of Country Crossroads Quilt Shop started a project to make a quilt for Mark Lipinski. The theme was cupcakes and the block to the left is the one I made for him. Lynn said that he likes pink, so pink it was. I had the pink dot out for the Swoon #6 block, so I used it for the background. The cupcake pattern is from the Tarts Come to Tea. I just made the cake part a bit taller so it looked robust.

Lynn must be a woman to be reckoned with, because I got a photo of the quilt and someone delivered the quilt to Mark in time for his birthday.

Mark Lipiniski Cupcake Quilt
Mark Lipiniski Cupcake Quilt

I was really thrilled to get a photo of the quilt from Lynn.It is a wonderful quilt. There is a block in the upper left corner that has the Facebook “Like” thumbs-up symbol. There is a really a lot of nice work in this piece.

Captain Cupcake
Captain Cupcake

Someone also made him a very cute chef’s hat. I saw a photo of Mark wearing the hat on Linda Lum deBono’s Facebook page.

Just fun.

Sketching #115

CPP Response #115: Flight
CPP Response #115: Flight

As I mentioned, I did a number of drawings in one day. The Flight response was one of those drawings. I did a lot of similar drawings, which does a couple of things:

  1. Gives me practice without having to worry about a lot of new shapes;
  2. Gets a lot of drawings done in a short time

Perhaps cheating, but perhaps just rote practice.

Mini Quilting Update

A couple of years ago before Memorial Day, I came down with a  terrible cold or the ‘flu. I didn’t go to the doc, so I don’t know which. I don’t get deathly (yes, slight exaggeration) ill very often, but during that time I had a 102+ fever for multiple days, aches and pains, cough: the whole 9 yards. I was in bed for about 10 days. You nurses are asking why I didn’t go to the doctor, I know. I spoke with her several times and everything was under control.

At the end of it, I felt weak and off balance and still generally hungover from this bout of whatever. I exercise regularly and am fairly strong, but I was shocked at how fast I got weak. I had to go back to my exercise routine slowly. I had to build up my lung capacity. I had to get strong again.

During the last week, I have not been able to sew. The last fabric related thing I did was drive an hour each way to pick up my sewing machine from the dealer. And that was really driving and listening to podcasts.No fabric was harmed in this activity.

I am, as we speak, putting my workroom back together. I had morphed my workroom into a guestroom. I pulled out the cutting table and decided to cut some fabric I had pressed last weekend just to warm myself back up. Weirdly, the rotary cutter feels strange in my hand. I didn’t get a smooth cut. I feel off. I am not gliding smoothly back into the groove.

I am trying not to panic. I get stuff done, because I can I can move in and out of the groove quickly and seamlessly.If I panic I will start to spiral and no good can come of that.

I am at a loss for handwork at the moment and that would have helped during the week. Feeling fabric is good. I need to get some handwork ASAP.

I am going to change my rotary blade, put on a book, take a breath and try again. I can do this.

I am out of the groove.

Creative Prompt #161: Foam

packing peanuts

foamcore board

Soybean foam-core crib mattress


foam roller

foam mattress

memory foam

upholstery foam

Definition: The use of foam in cuisine has been used in many forms in the history of cooking. For example, whipped cream, meringue, and mousse are all foams. In these cases, the incorporation of air or another gas creates a lighter texture and/or different mouth feel. More recently, foams have become a part of molecular gastronomy technique. In these cases, natural flavors (such as fruit juices, infusions of aromatic herbs, etc) are mixed with a neutrally-flavored gelling or stabilizing agent such as agar or lecithin, and either whipped with a hand-held immersion blender or extruded through a whipped cream canister equipped with N2O cartridges. Such foams add flavor without significant substance, and thus allow cooks to integrate new flavors without changing the physical composition of a dish.[1] Some famous food-foams are foamed espresso, foamed mushroom, foamed beet and foamed coconut. An espuma or thermo whip is commonly used to make these foams through the making of a stock, creating a gel and extruding through the N2O canister.[2]

foam cushions

foam insulation

half foam roller

Blue Cheese Foam with Port Wine Reduction

closed cell foam

skinny decaf no foam latte

extra foam


Definition: A foam is a substance that is formed by trapping pockets of gas in a liquid or solid. A bath sponge and the head on a glass of beer are examples of foams. In most foams, the volume of gas is large, with thin films of liquid or solid separating the regions of gas.

An important division of solid foams is into closed-cell foams and open-cell foams. In a closed-cell foam, the gas forms discrete pockets, each completely surrounded by the solid material. In an open-cell foam, the gas pockets connect with each other. A bath sponge is an example of an open-cell foam: water can easily flow through the entire structure, displacing the air. A camping mat is an example of a closed-cell foam: the gas pockets are sealed from each other, and so the mat cannot soak up water.

Foams are examples of dispersed media. In general, gas is present in large amount so it will be divided in gas bubbles of many different sizes (the material is polydisperse) separated by liquid regions which may form films, thinner and thinner when the liquid phase is drained out of the system films.[1] When the principal scale is small, i.e. for a very fine foam, this dispersed medium can be considered as a type of colloid.

The term foam may also refer to anything that is analogous to such a foam, such as quantum foam, polyurethane foam (foam rubber), XPS foam, Polystyrene, phenolic, or many other manufactured foams. This is not the purpose of this page.

Make your response simple. It doesn’t need to be a masterpiece. Take 5 minutes. Just respond and create a creative habit. Please 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, and how your work relates to the other responses.

The Creative Prompt Project has a Flickr group, which you can join to post your responses. Are you already a member? I created that spot so those of you without blogs or websites would have a place to post your responses. Please join and look at all of the great artwork that people have posted.

Sketching #158

CPP Response #158: Bird
CPP Response #158: Bird

This is another prompt where I wanted to do something more elaborate, but I just didn’t know what. In the end I just did a kind of flock of birds.

I have been looking at birds lately and wanting to draw them. Amy from the Creative Mom Podcast did a project with drawing birds and that inspired me. I did the one giant budgie, but I need more practice.

There is always the opportunity to do another response.

Broadway Quilts Sonoma

Broadway Quilts, Sonoma
Broadway Quilts, Sonoma

As I have mentioned before, DH is on the board of a non-profit, which starting now will require more travel on the weekends for us. this past weekend we headed up to Sonoma for a historic building dedication, a commemoration ceremony and the reenactment of the Bear Flag Revolt. After all of that and the drive up there we got lunch. I didn’t get lunch, I brought my own, because of my food issues.

DH knows that one way to get me to go with him on these jaunts when I can is to not complain about visiting local quilt shops. Broadway Quilts in Sonoma was our first excursion. Broadway Quilts is easy to find. It is right off of 116 just as you drive off the freeway. From south it is on the left. On Sundays it is open from 11-3, which I made sure DH knew. We flew past in the morning to get to the dedication, but we saw it, so we knew where it was on our way back out of town.

The boys came in with me even though I, specifically, uninvited them. It was too hot to stay in the car, so I couldn’t really begrudge them wanting to take advantage of the air conditioning.

Broadway Quilts Interior
Broadway Quilts Interior

The store is light and airy and large! I walked in a heard a disembodied voice coming from all around me and welcoming me to the store. I thought I was being visited by God who happened to be a quilt shop owner/worker. 😉

The lady who was working was very nice, genuinely cheerful and nice. She helped me paw through their stash of Aurifil to try and find #2600 for me (no luck) without complaining.

The store has a lot of the latest and greatest fabric. I saw Vintage Modern, Echo, a great selection of tone-on-tones, which I thought no longer existed, and a whole room full of 1930s fabric. I am not an expert on 1930s fabrics, but I do look out for them, because FQs make good gifts for TFQ.

Broadway Quilts Notions
Broadway Quilts Notions

As I mentioned, the store is large and their notions selection was really good. They still have the regular full selection of Dritz, but they also have  a lot of Creative Grids rulers, including those with teeth to make half square triangles. I am not sure I have ever seen those in a shop before. They carry a modest selection of Aurifil, project cases, Omnigrid rulers, bag accessories – you name it. A very good selection.

There was a enough space to move around, which was nice. They also share space with a longarm business. The longarm is set up int he back of the store, but it is a separate business. I think that is a good symbiotic relationship.

It looked like they had a small classroom and I saw classes mentioned on their web page, but I didn’t see a class list.

Broadway Quilts Flowering Snowball
Broadway Quilts Flowering Snowball

One of the samples I saw hanging up was a Flowering Snowball! I felt like such a maverick when I started that quilt a dog’s age ago, but now everyone seems to be making them. This one is nice. I think it was made with Vintage Modern or, perhaps, Ruby.

I liked the store and would go there again. Yes, I bought fabric, but just a little.

Garden Progress

Garden full
Garden full

It is monumental that I am quilting. I hope you appreciate the momentousness of the occasion. 😉

Really, I do quilt small things, but most of my larger pieces are quilted by someone else. Part of the reason is an old injury, which doesn’t allow the pushing and tugging a quilt through the machine required. I also have an older machine (though I bought it when it was a top of the line machine) and the arm is the old normal size, not one of the super sized free arms that look so fantastic. The other part of the reason is that I quilt very densely. I quilt about 1/8th – 1/4 of an inch away from the nearest line of quilting. I don’t know why, but it takes a long time.

Still this is a small piece, perhaps 18×24″ and I wanted to quilt it myself. I have been working on the background in small increments. I am really nearing the end of that part of the project, which makes me want to jump for joy. There are parts that I would have free motion quilted, but my machine is not up to it, so I just did straight line stitching. I like the quilting to melt into the background so it works for me.

Garden sky detail
Garden sky detail

In order to melt the quilting into the fabric, I needed to quilt the sky in three different sections using different color thread.

Another reason I quilt this way is to reward the ardent viewer. If a viewer comes up and puts his/her nose to my quilt, s/he will get the reward of seeing some additional details. I like to try and layer my pieces in an overt way, above and beyond the textural quality of the quilting.

I don’t really use special thread. I have a number of different colors of Aurifil and I use those to quilt with. I like that the they are thin.

Garden Background detail
Garden Background detail

I was particularly pleased with the blue background. I used some of Libby Lehman’s Bottom Line purple thread and it just melted into the background. I get good results when I unwind the thread from the spool and lay it on the area where I plan to use it. I find that the color on the spool – when the threads are laying nicely next to each other – is very different than the color of one strand.

I am sure more experienced machine quilters have better tips for you than this, but this post describes what I do and since I am pleased with the results, I thought I would share.

I am pleased that this project, which is on the 26 Projects list is moving forward!

I’m A Winner!

Kona Challenge Prize
Kona Challenge Prize

Several BAMQGers got together and entered our Kona Challenge quilts as a group. My friend, Kathleen, went to the county fair today and sent me an email saying that I had won 2d place in our category!

I couldn’t believe it. I don’t make my quilts to win prizes, but when I do win a prize it is VERY exciting.

I am planning on going to the fair next weekend. I need my chocolate covered banana fix! I always spend a lot of time in the quilt pavilion and can’t wait to see what my quilt has been doing while it is out of my hands.

Kona challenge detail with ribbon
Kona challenge detail with ribbon

I don’t know what the hierarchy is for prizes, but I think this is the best prize I have won so far. I, once, won Judge’s choice and another time I won an Honorable Mention.

I am not going to become rich and famous from quilt prizes, but I can’t tell you how excited I am that I won this prize. Yay!

Block-a-Long #59: Squares & Rectangles

Squares & Rectangles #59
Squares & Rectangles #59

Those long thin rectangles aren’t very popular in classic blocks (that I remember), but I like them and thought I would give them one last hurrah before the end of this project.

I mixed up the squares and smaller rectangles as well. Have fun.

Directions for Squares & Rectangles #59 are posted.

If you have made blocks or a quilt from these patterns, please post a link in the comments section of the relevant block or on the AQ Block-a-Long Flickr group. I would love to see what you have made.

Nota bene: The AQ Block-a-Long is ending. This is the second to last week. As I have said, I am starting to repeat myself and run out of ideas. Since this has not been a wildly popular Block of the Week, I don’t feel bad about ending it. Next week’s will be the last block. I haven’t decided what I will post on Monday after next week’s block. Perhaps antique blocks? Perhaps inspiration? Stay tuned!

Color Relationships

I sewed some of the Corner Store blocks together yesterday in the 87 seconds I had to sew between political events, laundry and general keeping the house together stuff.

I do find that after a quilt has been around for awhile I don’t even notice the colors that cause such drama for me when I am making it. Perhaps, because I gave myself fits, the quilt is so perfectly balanced that it doesn’t bother me.

Corner Store detail
Corner Store detail

In the Corner Store piece, there is a lot of blue and red, actually aqua and red. There is also quite a bit of pink. It is a challenge to place the pieces in such a way that all the blues are not globbed together.

I accidentally placed the blue dot and reddish-pink flower print near each other and those two fabrics sing together. I knew I had to sew them together and I did. I placed them together even though there is quite a bit of blue int he neighborhood. I am sure I won’t notice a year after after the quilt is done, but I know now and, at the moment, now counts.

Sketching #157

CPP Response #157: Write
CPP Response #157: Write

Sometimes, I wish I could spread my papers around and kick off my shoes like I have drawn in this picture. often my desk looks slightly more orderly, though with no fewer papers than this.

Just spend 5 minutes working to develop your creative habit. It takes patience, but you can do it. You can start with the original prompt.

Then, please post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of the original prompt post. Keeping all the artwork together provides a way for others to see the gamut of responses. It is also a great showcase for your work and  way for people to find a link your blog or website.

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, to which you can join to post your responses. Are you already a member? I created that spot so those of you without blogs or websites would be able to participate as well. Please join and look at all of the great artwork that people have posted.