More Hansel & Gretel Progress

Hansel & Gretel in Progress
Hansel & Gretel in Progress

As I said the other day, I got the kids partially stuffed. They are going to be able to sit and bend their arms. I actually understood the directions and how to get that done. Both of the previous dolls, Coral the Mermaid and Little Red Riding Hood. had stiff legs.

To me, this means I am progressing in my skills. It also means more work. I couldn’t just stuff and finish the dolls. I had to stuff, then sew, then stuff some more before finishing. It worked fine, though it took more time.

The skirt for Gretel is the last piece of this set. It is mostly made, but I needed Gretel to be done, so I could finish the skirt to fit Gretel’s waist. I plan to finish this last bit and send the set off to my niece soon.

Cutting Corners Donation Quilt

Cutting Corners Donation Quilt Finished!
Cutting Corners Donation Quilt Finished!

This quilt came to mind the other day when I saw a similar technique on Fons & Porter.

Pam was doing the finishing, as I mentioned, and she was finally able to finish the binding.

It was nice to see it and I am really glad it is finished. I like the look of the stars, though I wonder about my fabric choices.

Also, I wonder if the Folded Corners Ruler I bought would do the same thing? I think it would enable me to put the stars in the sashing, but not add the background border (white in the photo, left). I really need to try that ruler.

QuiltCon Day 5 -Last Day

Well, as you read this, I will be getting back to real life.

Yesterday was class day. A lot of people were done with the conference – tired, ready to go home, out of money, etc. I was ready to sew, so a class was just what I needed.

We got up at, what felt like, the crack of dawn and hustled over to the classroom. We wanted to get there a little early because we wanted seats that we wanted. There were two different Janome machines to use. We both chose the 6700 models (I think there were letters after them, but I forget what they were.

Libs Elliott is a lovely person and a great teacher. The content was sufficient to complete in the class and she was available and supportive during the entire class. The class was Dynamic Stripes. If you want more than that, take the class. πŸ™‚

We made stripes from solids and semi solids and then cut them up. There were several options. The strip sets I made were two of the options. One was the regular set and the other Libs called Biggie Smalls. I decided to go with the easiest options so I could get the jist of the technique.

Dynamic Stripes, first version
Dynamic Stripes, first version

Once I cut up the strip sets, I was able to put the blocks on the design wall and look at them. The triangles don’t all go together, because the fabrics were slightly different. Still, I was pretty happy with my first version.

Finished Dynamic Stripes top
Finished Dynamic Stripes top

I moved the units around and then started sewing. I came away from the class with a small finished quilt top and I am pleased. I need to press it a lot better, but I am happy with it.

I added in the solid HSTs to fill in where I was two blocks short. I think this is an ok piece. I think the technique is interesting, but my piece is definitely a practice piece. I’d like to try the technique with actual striped fabric (smaller blocks) to see what I could make. I am not sure I will use this technique in general, but I am glad to know it and I am really glad I took the class.

 

February Donation Blocks

I have been working on donation blocks in between the other projects (like FOTY 2016). They are stacking up and I can’t wait to bring a bunch to the guild meeting next time.

 

QuiltCon 2018 Day 4

We are starting to get tired. walking on concrete all day for several days is difficult. The show and the ancillary events are super fun, but also tiring. We went to the main hall to finish looking at the quilts and finish looking at the vendors. Today was also class day for both of us.

Other people are also getting tired, I think because even though people were friendly, they were not as gregarious.

Sarah Fielke demoing Big Stitch
Sarah Fielke demoing Big Stitch

Probably the most important event of the day was the Sarah Fielke class I took. This was a fabulous class on Big Stitch. I was concerned that it wouldn’t be what I needed. I started to obsess about the class being a hand quilting class when I wanted to learn any special techniques to use Perle Cotton. My fears were unfounded. It was a great class. It was, basically a hand quilting class, but Sarah built on my existing store of hand quilting knowledge and refined it so I could wield a needle with Perle Cotton like a pro.

Big Stitch sample piece
Big Stitch sample piece

The instruction lasted about 10 minutes, once the introduction was finished and a lot of techniques and information came together in my mind. I finally understand the rocking motion that is so critical to good hand quilting.Β  Not only do I understand it, but I can do it with confidence. YAY! As an added bonus, I got to try out the many spools of Aurifil and Sue Spargo Perle Cotton I have been collecting. But wait! There’s more! It was fun. I enjoyed sitting there and practicing the stitching. The class was totally worth the time and money.

Julie took an Angela Walters class while I was in Big Stitch. We have another class tomorrow with Libs Elliott.

Waves by Etsuko Takahashi, 1998
Waves by Etsuko Takahashi, 1998

I was pleased to see a SAQA exhibit, Modern Inspirations; Art Quilts From the 1970s through Today, in the back of the hall near the demo station. It was filled with ‘modern’ quilts made over the past 30 years. Some looked like they would fit right in with the quilts in QuiltCon’s 2018 exhibit.

Waves by Etsuko Takahashi, 1998 was one of my favorites in this exhibit. It is made from Pointillist Palette fabric and is such a fantastic use of the fabric that it takes my breath away. Though the fabric is already ombre, the gradation between fabrics is incredible. All of the quilts fit right into the QuiltCon exhibition.

Carolyn Friedlander keynote
Carolyn Friedlander keynote

Early in the day, we heard the Keynote Carolyn Friedlander. She spoke about her inspiration, her various fabric lines and a book. One thing she does is make quilts over and over exploring different options in each iteration. I was interested in her talk and thought she did a great job. Many people walked out, grumbling that the keynote wasn’t what they expected. ??? I was confused about that, because I got what I thought I was going to get and thought Carolyn did a great job. People are weird.

The keynote was right at noon, which made lunching difficult, so, perhaps, people were cranky?

Template Handle
Template Handle

I think the vendors were tired as well. They were perfectly friendly and helpful, but not as perky. Early in the day we walked around the hall a little. I bought an interesting template handle. It is much smaller than others I have seen, but I thought it might be useful for my smaller rulers as well.

Daylight Clip-on Lamp
Daylight Clip-on Lamp

I also bought a Daylight lamp. It is a small, portable clip on lamp that I hope will illuminate my work surface even more.

We skipped the QuiltCon Happy Hour. Julie went back to the hotel and I went to dinner with Tim and Cyndi at an Italian restaurant. The waiter was fabulous and my pizza was delicious. The restaurant was far away so it took me awhile to get my food. πŸ˜‰ It was worth the wait.

One more day then back to real life.

QuiltCon 2018 Day 3

Day 3 was just as good as Days 1 & 2, but I don’t feel like I saw as much. We stayed mostly in the vendor hall, which also has quilts. All of the winners are in the hall with the vendors and we decided it was time to look at them. I saw so many of them posted on social media that I didn’t think it would be worthwhile to see them in person, but it is such a different experience. Social media is awesome if you can’t be there in person, but I see the quilts differently in person.

We spent the first part of the day looking at the quilts. The winners were pretty amazing in some manner. The secondary winners (challenges, etc) were interesting as well. Once quilt I really liked was Clambake by Heather Black. I liked it when I saw it, but liked it even more after reviewing photos on my phone.

It is a simple design, but not boring.The background red is an interesting shade.

I also really liked the Heart of Gold quilt by Beth Chinderie.

I like it that the pieces that make up the heart are not pieced or appliqued, that they are fused (possibly), then quilted down.

This endeavor migrated to looking at vendors after about 5 rows of quilts.

Michael Miller Charity Charm Pack
Michael Miller Charity Charm Pack

Michael Miller is collecting charity blocks to make quilts. We got some free charm packs to make blocks for the quilts. After QuiltCon 2017, they made 9 quilts out of donated blocks to donate to kids with cancer. I have a charm pack of 12 charms and I am thinking about how I can use it to make the most 6.5×6.5 blocks possible. I might make some checkerboard blocks just to maximize the number of quilts I can make.

In the Michael Miller booth, as an added bonus, I got to meet HollyAnne, a Twilter, who is the CEO of Quilts for a Cure. She is a lovely person, which made the meeting fabulous. She turned us on to a little giveaway game. We went around to different booths and got punches, chatting with people as we went. In the course of getting punches, I found out that my rotary cutter, which broke recently, has a lifetime warranty! I have to call the customer service number and see what they can do for me.

We also checked out the Daylight Lighting company and I am sorely tempted to buy multiple products. We’ll see what I actually do buy. I plan to to at least buy one of the clip on, portable lights, but may buy a larger one as well.

QuiltCon Day 3 Purchases
QuiltCon Day 3 Purchases

I did buy some things .There is so much available and I have my limits in terms of space and time. Some of the things shown in the photo (right) were freebies as well.

Tool Tote by Quilts Illustrated
Tool Tote by Quilts Illustrated

I found a bag pattern that I had to buy. It is a tool tote with an interesting design and a super cute look. I have a the Oslo Tote by Sew Sweetness, which I think is similar.Β  Of course, the fabric helps to make it appealing. It is a tester for a project on which I might be working (far left, top) and it is called the Tool Tote. It has a frame to keep it wide open (see photos below). I have tried a pattern with a frame, though I have another pattern that calls for one. I am kind of excited about trying out a pattern with a frame. To go with that pattern, I bought Bosall and a zipper. The Bosall is like Soft & Stable, but is fusible. My Organizer Club by Crafy Gemini calls for this product. I thought it was a Soft & Stable knockoff until I talked to the lady at the Elkhorn Quilts booth (great company, fab bag patterns and supplies, BTW). I didn’t realize the Bosall was fusible. Not only does the Organizer Club call for this, but this tool tote does as well. I am not sure *I* would use a bag like this, but I might and the design is so fabulous.

Tool Tote, open, by Quilts Illustrated
Tool Tote, open, by Quilts Illustrated

Gretchen has been talking about the Jelly Roll Rug. I saw a pattern and bought it on impulse. I got a brief lesson on the making of it in the Moda booth and can visualize how it is done in my mind now. I am not sure where I would put one, but may make one anyway.

I bought a few pieces of fabric. I couldn’t find any Northcott charm packs in white, but I did find some by Paintbrush Studios, so I bought those to have on hand when I need to make more donation blocks. These were the one thing I planned on buying. I bought a great red and a text fabric. I am still trying to be restrained.

Moda Quilts made with Confetti Ombre by Vanessa Christesen
Moda Quilts made with Confetti Ombre by Vanessa Christesen

Not all of the booths were there to sell things. Some were promotional only. I stopped by the Moda booth while Julie was ont he phone and talked with Vanessa Christensen about her new Confetti (metallic dots) Ombre Line. It is Moda, but I love the designs.

Vanessa Christensen was in the booth showing the ins and outs of her ombre/metallic dot fabric. I am particularly fond of the heart quilt. I am not much of a heart person, but this quilt is really great.

We spent time in another lecture today. Today’s lecture was with Pamela Wiley. If you haven’t seen her quilting, it is amazing. She talked about finding your own stitch identity/style. Her talk was about getting inspiration from her surroundings and using the inspiration for her work – what she sees, how she thinking about it, how she tries to translate into something I could read.

Happy was spent at Porto Alegro. We started out there with Tim and Cyndi. When we left, Anna L, Mary C, Amy M, Christina T and Christy were all there as well. We had some drinks, talked about whate we liked and disliked about quiltmaking and the world and generally had a rowdy time.

I am starting to itch to stitch.

QuiltCon 2018 Day 2

No, I won't hem your pants
No, I won’t hem your pants

ColorPlay and the Creative Spark will return soon!

Day 2 of QuiltCon 2018 started out slowly. We didn’t have any classes and our lecture wasn’t until late, so we lazed around a little bit in the hotel. It may not have been the wisest move, because I poured hot water all over my hand and had to stand letting cold water run over it for several minutes. It was painful all day, but after many applications of cream and some Argan oil, I don’t have a blister and it doesn’t hurt anymore.

Quilts

Once we got to the show, we went straight into the hall that just had quilts. (The other hall has vendors and quilts). It was a nice viewing experience. There was good light and it wasn’t super crowded.

Overall impressions: solids, improv

Singularity by Jenn Nevitt
Singularity by Jenn Nevitt

My favorite quilt, Singularity by Jenn Nevitt of Fort Worth, TX, was almost the first one we saw it was made up of half square triangles. This quilt does not have any improv, which is an added bonus for me. I like the precision, the distribution of color and the varied sizes of blocks. It shows the power of a single block and the impact that one block can have if a design is executed thoughtfully

I thought I would feel resentful at all of the solids, but I didn’t. Some quilts I didn’t care for, but the ones I liked I thought were really well done – good fabric choices, interesting designs. I do know why the Carpenter’s Wheel didn’t get in this year. It wasn’t made of solids.

Vendors

Canvas Fabric, Day 2 QuiltCon
Canvas Fabric, Day 2 QuiltCon

Canvas Fabric, Day 1 QuiltCon

We haven’t gone through the entire vendor hall, but there seem to be more vendors that last time. We have gone through about a row and a half of vendors and I bought one yard of fabric. It is canvas and I plan to use it for a bag, perhaps the Rockstar bag by Sew Sweetness. Perhaps something else. We will see. I am determined to make something out of it soon and now allow it to lay around.

The FreeSpirit fabrics are flying off the shelves. I saw bolts that had just been cut in almost all of the booths we visited. I am sure the designers, if not FreeSpirit itself, will be snapped up quickly and things will continue, mostly, as before. Still, I guess the smart move is to get your fabrics while the getting is good. πŸ˜‰

I saw a lot of fabric and supplies I liked, but didn’t want to commit to buying yet. Beyond the Reef had a lot of great fabrics, but I restrained myself from buying the Palm Country Layer Cake and random other yards of fabric from them for the moment. I did want a few of them, but don’t have an immediate use. I may go back and buy some things later, but want to see if I am still thinking about them tomorrow or the next day.

Brooklyn Haberdashery Knitting Needle Case
Brooklyn Haberdashery Knitting Needle Case

Brooklyn Haberdashery was there and they had a knitting needle case that I covet. It was $95, however, and that is just not happening, especially since I just bought needlecases with some Christmas money.

Binding Buddy
Binding Buddy

One thing I may buy is a binding buddy. They are about $17 and slightly too cutesy for me, but they seem really useful. Shari Butler was showing how they work. You roll your binding around the body of the binding buddy, When you are ready to bind a quilt, you put the Binding Buddy on the thread holder, which allows the binding to roll of the buddy either from the back or the front depending on the way it is originally rolled on to the binding buddy. The nice part is that you have somewhere to store your binding while finishing the quilt.

Education

Christopher Tomlinson: The Fashion of Prints
Christopher Tomlinson: The Fashion of Prints

As mentioned we had a lecture yesterday. The speaker was Christopher Tomlinson (IG: the_tattooed_quilter). He spoke about using prints in quilts.

He comes from the fashion industry so is influenced by the work they do when creating fashion lines and color ranges that support those lines. Surprisingly, he uses the focus fabric method (that I describe in one of my tutorials)! Chris, like me, also considers scale while selecting colors. In the process, he uses terms that are more fun than mine. Instead of focus fabric he calls it a Hero print. Large Marge is a large scale print, Tiny Dancer is a small scale print, etc. Perhaps I’ll be up there presenting if I had better terms and was more entertaining. πŸ˜‰

He admitted to not knowing the technical terms for color theory, so there was some confusion when he was talking about shades and tones, but I ended up getting the jist.

The lecture wasn’t a revelation to me but it also wasn’t boring and was definitely entertaining. The slides were really well done.

Social

Jaye, Luana and Julie
Jaye, Luana and Julie

Today was also a day of visiting with friends. We ran into a number people from the guild, had dinner with Tim while Cyndi took a class. We ran into Annie Smith in the vendor hall as well.

We were also able to have some coffee with Luana, the owner of eQuilter. We had about 45 minutes to chat and the location was pleasant since we were surrounded by charity quilts.

We chatted briefly with Zina (IG: zanymouse) about dinner.

At one point, Julie wanted to sit down , so I went into the vendor hall. Almost immediately ran into the fabulous Christa Watson (IG: christaquilts). I chatted with her for 10 minutes or so until I had to leave to meet up with Julie. We talked about her new line of fabric and I helped her rearrange her display of quilt samples and books. She told me about her fabric and that she will be coming out with a new line as well. It was great to catch up with her. She is just as positive in person as she is online.

Tokyo Wako Dinner Show
Tokyo Wako Dinner Show

We went to Tokyo Wako, a restaurant across from the convention center for dinner with Tim (IG: timnrwc). It is. The food was really good and the whole experience was fun!! They were very attentive to my #glutenfree needs, which was great.

The chef came over and put on a little show while he cooked on the grill in front of us. He was nice and was able to cook the food exactly to our liking.

It was a great day, though tiring. I look forward to a good day today as well.

QuiltCon 2018 Day 1

We are already having a good time. I drove down to Julie’s house Tuesday and spent the night. I had dinner with her family and looked at all of her quilt stuff before we left. We set off for SoCal on Wednesday.

The drive was not bad. I mean we were in the car for several hours, which isn’t that great, but there was limited traffic. Julie was able to drive the whole way, probably because we needed to stop every two hours or so.

We made it to Pasadena by 3 or so. We checked into our hotel room and got settled a little bit. Sadly, my ladies maid was sick, so I had to do most of the settling myself.

Checkin line
Checkin line

At about 4:40 we headed over the Convention Center to get our badges and enjoy happy hour sponsored by Culcita Fabrics. The line was LONG.

QuiltCon 2018 Goodie Bag
QuiltCon 2018 Goodie Bag

It was fine. We saw some people we knew so we could chat while we waited. They started checking people in a few minutes after 5pm. Julie and I both received goodie bags, which were moderate this time, but had some useful stuff.Β  We met Tim and Cyndi as well as Kathleen and Sarah. The drinks for the happy hour were really expensive, so popped over to the Sheraton and took advantage of their happy hour prices.

We checked out the Culcita Fabrics booth, which was right outside the registration area. They have a modern fabric subscription. They send out bundles of fabric every month or two months. They have specials for QuiltCon. The fat quarter bundles seem reasonably priced, but I thought the half yard options were a little on the pricey side. Of course I am tempted, but 1) space in my fabric closet is at a premium, 2) I have plenty of fabric. They have bundles from past months for sale and I might buy one of those. We’ll see.

Brazlillian meat skewer
Brazlillian meat skewer

Kathleen rushed us off to dinner and it turned out to be a group of 7 – Julie and me, Kathleen, two Canadians, Marianne and Susan, and two ladies from Sacramento, Angelina and Judy. It was great to chat with them. It was a very intelligent group of women.

We gorged ourselves on Brazillian style skewered meat served at the table by cutting off slices. There was also a buffet of a variety of salads. I ate a really nice beet salad, some rice, fruit and cheese.

We had a lot to talk about so the conversation was free flowing the whole time. There were definite opinions about a lot of things (me and improv!).

Brazillian Skewer Dinner Group
Brazillian Skewer Dinner Group

All this and guess what? The actual show doesn’t start until tomorrow!

Stepping Stones n.2 On the Wall

Stepping Stones n.2 in process
Stepping Stones n.2 in process

After FOTY 2016, I put the Stepping Stones n.2 on the wall. I thought of doing the Blue Gradation quilt, but I needed something relatively easy.

HA! I chose wrong. This quilt isn’t difficult and all the center blocks are finished. I need to make all the border blocks and in the design of the border, I am using the self bordering technique. This means that the border is made from blocks that, when viewed together, form a border.

I had completely designed the border, which was good and just needed to make it. I found that I had no green patches, no blue 4.5″ patches and no HSTs. Basically I had to made the whole border from scratch – cutting everything, making the blocks and finally sewing.

No problem, right?

Well, it was a little bit of a problem, because the quilt is too big for my design wall. Sigh. I have to make part of the quilt and then move the quilt over and make the rest. It is a strategy, but not an ideal strategy.

I have about two complete border blocks done, mostly because I needed to see some progress. The style of the quilt requires a lot of different fabrics, so a lot of cutting.

Hansel and Gretel Progress

Hansel & Gretel Finished Elements
Hansel & Gretel Finished Elements

I am making progress on Hansel and Gretel. The pillow, bunny and bear are done, as is the quilt.

The kids are stuffed partially, but since I am making them sit down this time, I have to do some intermediate sewing before I can stuff them some more. I also had to buy more stuffing.

Hansel & Gretel Quilt Back
Hansel & Gretel Quilt Back

Yes, I did quilt the quilt myself. I used the pillowcase method of binding. I didn’t have much trouble with bubbles, which was a relief.

These are part of my effort to clear things off the to do list.

FOTY 2016 Ready to Quilt

Yes, I am reporting on another quilt top/back ready to quilt. The last one was the Triple Star.

Fabric of the Year 2016 Top
Fabric of the Year 2016 Top

Fabric of the Year 2016 is ready to take to Colleen. I spent enough time on gradating the colors together, but quickly realized that there were some prints that weren’t going to gradate and I needed to not beat my head against the wall.

I am pleased with the way it came out, but those blacks and browns are just a PITA and really, really irritating.

This quilt is affectionately called ‘Year of the Duck”, thanks to SIL#2.

FOTY 2016 Back
FOTY 2016 Back

I really wanted to use a certain Philip Jacobs fabric for the back, but I restrained myself, because I want to use it for something I can see or use more often. I compromised and used a lovely peony-old fashioned rose-some other kind of random flower print.

FOTY 2017 is coming up in the queue. Not next, but soon.

January Donation Blocks

January 2018 Donation Blocks
January 2018 Donation Blocks

Here are more blocks from January. I think my total for January was 25. I would have loved to get to one per day, but 25 is not shabby.

While I did cut a few new fabrics, this group represents blocks made from the last dregs of my donation bin.

After using up all that I could, I got out the Acuquilt and my new 2.5″ die (Christmas gift) and cut a bunch of new squares from scraps on my cutting table. There will be some duplicate blocks, but I am back in the business of making donation blocks.

Triple Star Top Finished

Triple Star Top
Triple Star Top

I finished the Triple Star top and back. The package is ready to go to the quilter, which will, once I get it there, make 4 quilts she will have of mine. I am waiting to finish another top before I take this one to her.

I used Sarah Goer’s Planned Improv technique to lay the quilt out, as I mentioned. It worked well, though I would have made some adjustments if I had a larger design wall. Some of the stars needed a bit more space. I just didn’t have the room I really needed to work.

Still, I am pretty pleased with the way it came out and am on to the next project(s). πŸ™‚

Color My Quilt – March

Sue's Color My Quilt piece
Sue’s Color My Quilt piece

I am behind a couple of pieces, but found the directions for this one that is due in March for Sue and decided to go for it.

Except for the colors, these were all fabrics and scraps that were laying out. Her idea was to highlight one color or a color group that represented us by neutrals. I thought this was a cool idea. I used the leftover greys from the Triple Star and Planned Improv pieces as well as some blacks for the Black and Red quilt.

There is a little bit of red in one of the prints, which doesn’t quite work with the rules, but it will have to do. I always think a little red in life is good (except during Big Game week).

Color My Quilt piece n.2 for Sue
Color My Quilt piece n.2 for Sue

I wasn’t quite happy with the piece I did, so I made a small one with some primarily white prints instead of just darks. I didn’t feel like mixing the darks and lights so Sue will get a bonus.

New Cat Bed

Plaid Cat Bed
Plaid Cat Bed

My scrap bag was about to fall and spill all over the floor. Not only that, but every time I walked by shards would attach themselves to my pants and come along for a ride.Β  To battle these dueling demons, I whipped up a pet (cat) bed to secure the scraps.

I had the fabrics to make the bed for awhile and had just been avoiding the task. It was a quick task and my scrap bag now has space to slowly fill again