Lobster Progress!

Lobster progress - June 2019
Lobster progress – June 2019

Amazing, I know! I finished the stitching on the Lobster. It wasn’t really very much and I am kind of embarrassed that it took me so long. I thought it was much more, which kind of validates what I learned in Lorraine Torrence’s class a long time ago: Make visual decisions visually. This isn’t exactly a visual decision as choosing one fabric over another would be. It is a visual decision in that if I had looked at this piece carefully, I would have seen how little I had left to stitch.

I’m not done yet. I want to hand embroider the feelers on the lobster’s head. I have to finish it. I don’t think I will quilt it. I think that there is a enough stitching. I do have to finish it in some way. Framing seems the best, but I don’t have a spare wall to hang it. I am still thinking about what to do.

Undercover Maker Mat Goes Out to Play

Undercover Maker Mat on Retreat
Undercover Maker Mat on Retreat

I took the Undercover Maker Mat on the CQFA Retreat. I got to try it out. That was why I made it.

I thought the front pockets worked pretty well. I can see where a pincushion might be handy, but I don’t plan to transfer my pins from pincushion to pincushion every time I use the mat.

I think the pockets would be more in use depending on the different projects I might be working on. I might use the larger selvage pocket on the left for a 6.5 inch ruler as needed. For what I did at the retreat having my snips and seam ripper handy was fine.

I had a couple of issues. First, you can see that the snips sleeve is in the pocket. Without the snips sleeve, my snips kept getting caught on the inside of the pocket. I added the snip sleeve because I didn’t want to cut the mat. Perhaps I should have used oilcloth for the inside of the pockets?

I didn’t notice it at the retreat, but I did notice it at the Jen Carlton Bailly class. I couldn’t get the legs of my Sew Steady table level when using the mat. I may want to make another mat that is larger so the Sew Steady doesn’t have to try and deal with different heights (mat/table).

None of this is fatal or a problem with the pattern.

Maureen’s Pincushion

Maureen's pincushion
Maureen’s pincushion

In order to add a gift to Maureen’s bag, I made her a pincushion. Unlike the bag, the pincushion went together very smoothly. I had some of the pieces and parts from my last round of pincushion making on the cutting table. They weren’t crappy, just unused.

I picked out some other scraps from the unsorted pile on my cutting table and came up with a great selection. I am pleased with how it looks and don’t think it looks thrown together or disjointed at all.

Maureen's pincushion-with clips
Maureen’s pincushion-with clips

I saved time by not using selvages for the back. I just used a piece of the batik. As usual, I filled it with a combination of wool roving and Beanie Baby pellets.

I hope she likes it.

Maureen’s Bag

Maureen is stepping down from her role as Supreme Leader of CQFA. I decided that we needed to give her a gift, so I organized the bag gift that I do at BAM.

Maureen's Jane Market Tote
Maureen’s Jane Market Tote

I got started on it kind of late, so the bag I made is a simple Jane Market Tote. I thought I had some African Fabric, which Maureen would have liked, but I have been cleaning out my fabric bins and that must have gone to a better home in a recent purge.

The project didn’t go super smoothly. I had to rip out the whole thing once I had sewn the outside and lining together and done the topstitching. Sigh. Somehow the linking was way too large and was sagging on the inside. I couldn’t live with it, so I ripped it all out. I had to trim the lining and then sew it all back together. It wasn’t terrible, but not ideal either. I think I must have turned the lining the wrong way when I boxed the corners. Hopefully, I will remember to check next time!

The members will bring notes and gifts with which to fill the bag.

CQFA Retreat Projects

I talked a little about the CQFA Retreat a few days ago, which discussed a lot of the projects on which I worked. A number of projects were worked on and finished.

Drawstring Gift Bag
Drawstring Gift Bag

Angela, of course, made the bag in which they placed my birthday gifts. I was not suspicious at all, because I didn’t think anyone besides Julie knew about my birthday. I crack myself up sometimes. 😉

Bron's Elegant Wrap
Bron’s Elegant Wrap

Bron found a wonderful piece of fake fur at FabMo. It isn’t fur like a fur rug, but was like velour, but had longer hair. She made a shawl out of it and it looked elegant and fantastic.

A friend of hers is going to a wedding in St. Petersburg and will get to wear it. It is so wonderful that we told Bron to make sure she gets it back. I have to think of a place to wear it so I can borrow it. 😉

Julie’s first finish was an apron. She bought the pattern and fabric after seeing it at PIQF. She wrote about it on her blog. She did great fussy cutting on the pockets.

Lynette's batik squares
Lynette’s batik squares

Lynette worked on a batik quilt using squares. I love the sashing she worked on. I also think the lavender background was an innovative choice.

This is a good choice for a retreat project IMO, because it is something that takes a lot of time. It can just be worked on the entire weekend. It also doesn’t need a lot of attention to detail so the maker can pay attention to the banter around her as well. I know Lynette machine quilted one of her mom’s small quilts first.

Rhonda worked on a piece she started at Craft Napa and we all kibbitzed on that project. We also saw her finished Dropcloth Sampler squares. FANTASTIC!

Carolyn-Bron piece
Carolyn-Bron piece

Carolyn, one of our far flung members, sent Bron some squares. Bron brought them with her to make a quilt. She started out by redoing some of the squares in an Improv kind of way.

We all thought the fabrics were ‘very Carolyn’. Bron added a lot of the angles and worked to make the pieces around the same size. She got to about this stage when we had to pack up. Again there were lots of opinions about the blocks.

The quilting fairies were watching over Angela as she machine quilted a donation quilt for BAM. She ran over a safety pin without even noticing and there was no harm done to her, the quilt or her machine. WHEW!

Nancy worked on some embroidery for a class she is taking. Dolores worked on beading. Jen was putting together silk squares and was planning to applique’ some of her wool work on it.

I really like seeing everyone’s work and how they are working. Well worth the effort.

Creativity posts will return soon.

City Sampler in Process Again

City Sampler, January 2019
City Sampler, January 2019

I am back in the City Sampler saddle. I need a big finish to up my fabric usage numbers. Getting this top done is the first step.

One of the things I mentioned in recent 26 Projects posts was that I had to fix some blocks. I have been working on that and now have only about 20 blocks to go.

I am liking the way the top looks and am looking forward to putting it together.

Serendipity Lady Returns

Serendipity Lady -at the beginning of the Retreat
Serendipity Lady -at the beginning of the Retreat

The last time I worked on this project was back in January of 2015. I was stuck. It has been awhile.

I decided what I needed was time and some space. Since I would have 30 or so uninterrupted hours at the CQFA Retreat, I decided to bring it along. It wasn’t a UFO I was intending to finish, but it was a good opportunity and I grabbed it. Finished is finished, right?

I gathered up all the pieces and parts and looked it over before I left. I also brought a couple of drawers from my scrap cabinet and a variety of other supplies. Clearly, I got serious about this project.

At the Retreat. I started cutting out fabric to match the pattern pieces I had made from fusible. It wasn’t long before I had all of them done and the piece was ready to sew. I arrived at the Retreat at about 2pm and had all the fabric in place by the time we went to dinner at 6.

Serendipity Lady - redy to sew
Serendipity Lady – redy to sew

The fusible got too old, so I ended up using a Sewline Glue Pen. It isn’t ideal, but it keeps the pieces down long enough for me to sew them. All the fabric is in place and I just have to zigzag.

When we returned, I started to sew – zigzagging down the edges. The state of the fusible was one reason I started to sew down the edges. I didn’t think it would last long.

The pattern is a from an an Art Nouveau stained/leaded glass pattern book by Ed Sibbett.

CQFA Retreat 2019

Sidewalk art, Pacific Grove
Sidewalk art, Pacific Grove

The CQFA Retreat took place January 18-20**.  Angela organized everything. She is a great retreat coordinator. It was held at Asilomar (yes, the same place Empty Spools is held ) and I had a great time.

Since I live an hour north of almost everyone else in the guild, I got there somewhat later. The retreat started at noon and I got there around 2. I left at about 10:30 and drove straight through. I finally stopped in Pacific Grove. First, I went to Tuesday Morning to see if I could find a wheeled tote for my travel sewing machine. Amy of BAM got a great one at TM and I am desperately trying to find one. No luck. I may decide to buy one at full price.

Back Porch birthday purchases
Back Porch birthday purchases

Next, I went to Back Porch. I have been there a number of times and love that store. I wanted to get lobster clips, because I have a bug in my ear to make another Roadtrip Bag. I didn’t find them but I did find a few other things. 😉

I also stopped and got some Thai food since lunch wasn’t provided on Friday, then headed to the location. Friend Julie,  Angela, Rhonda and Lynette had already arrived and were working away. Once I brought all my stuff in and put my car away, I got to work also.

Pet Bed - olive and brown plaid
Pet Bed – olive and brown plaid

The first thing I did was make a pet bed for schnibble collection. CQFA doesn’t really do pet beds, but I really dislike seeing all that fabric (scraps) go into the landfill.

Then, I started in on Serendipity Lady. I really just needed some space and a chunk of time to fiddle with the tiny pieces. I had planned to just get her to the point where I could satin stitch  her later. The fusible I used was too old, so I ended up spending the rest of Friday and about 6 hours on Saturday satin stitching. Now she is ready to quilt. I have decided to baste and quilt her soon. I want her finished and have made so much good progress that I don’t want to lose momentum. I have limited wall space, but may frame her like Kissy Fish.

After getting as much done as I could on Serendipity Lady, I worked on the City Sampler. Yes, I am digging out UFOs and going to town. This was a good move. I just did something and while I changed some of what I did when I got home, it wasn’t wasted effort.

I continued to work on the City Sampler until we had to start packing up. 🙁 I could have used more days. Of course. I am happy – REALLY happy – with what I got done and, as mentioned, want to carry over the momentum to my workroom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**the weekend of my birthday! YAY! What a great way to spend my birthday!

Last ATCs

I made my last ATCs for awhile last week and forgot to take a photo. At the CQFA meeting on Saturday, I was the only one who brought them. It was decided that we weren’t going to do them going forward. I will kind of miss the rush of getting a small work of art done, but I will also not miss the stress.

Last CQFA ATCs - December 2018
Last CQFA ATCs – December 2018

Sadly I forgot to take a photo of the 4 together, but Julie brought hers along when we had lunch and I took a photo of one of them.

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.

CQFA Unconventional Materials Exercise

Rhonda led us in an exercise using unconventional materials, e.g. not fabric. For me, these materials were unconventional in terms of quiltmaking, but familiar in terms of creativity. I love working with paper and don’t get to do it enough.

Rhonda brought quite a bit of stuff for us to work with, but not enough that we spent the whole time rummaging for materials. I saw a shiny binder clip as she was introducing us to the materials and an idea started to form in my head.

Everyone’s pieces came out so differently. It was exciting to see the creativity at work. I didn’t take photos of all of the pieces. I was too engrossed in my own work, but each of them were different and exciting in their own way.

CQFA Unconventional Materials Exercise
CQFA Unconventional Materials Exercise

I am pleased with the way my piece came out. I am also pleased that I was able to finish. Ever since I saw Nancy’s map piece for the last show and talked with Maureen about her work with maps in her collage group, I have been wanting to work with maps. I am going to check to see if there is a category at the fair that will be suitable for this piece.

CQFA ATC Swap

The CQFA meeting was Saturday and it was a really good one.

April 2018 ATCs
April 2018 ATCs

We swapped ATCs, as usual. I wasn’t inspired and really waited until the last minute -Friday morning – to make mine. I used what scraps were on my cutting table despite my lack of enthusiasm about the project.

I focused on making the cards as technically perfect as possible. I think I achieved that goal.

I must work on the next batch sooner, so I am not working under the wire next time.

CQFA December 2017 Meeting

Works displayed at A Work of Heart
Works displayed at A Work of Heart

CQFA was last Saturday, as I mentioned in the ATC post, and was held in our new space. Andrea at A Work of Heart is allowing us to use the space on Saturdays when the shop is closed. Marie and Maureen worked really hard to arrange for us to use the space. It is a gorgeous space and I HAVE to look at the calendar and pick out a class to take soon. The artwork in the space really reflects Andrea’s style. It is bright and cheerful and I would want it all in my house.

Some of us exchanged ATCs. We each presented some work and our thoughts about our work of the year. I talked about how few quilts I had made and how they were really complicated and had a lot of piecing. I brought part of En Provence, the scarves I have knitted, my Triple Star blocks and a few other things.

Dolores' Galaxy
Dolores’ Galaxy

Dolores brought her 3D pieces and also her fabulous galaxy project. The Galaxy has bits of Cherrywood lint needle-felted into the background. There are also little sparkles. This is a wonderful project.

She also brought her 3D cube and we discussed that awhile.

Gladys' book
Gladys’ book

Gladys, a potential new member, brought a book she made. I like the book aspects, but I also really like the botanical drawings (?not sure about this). Every time I go to CQFA, I want to make the book Maureen and I discussed. After seeing this one, I know I have to make it soon.

Sonja showed her fabulous sketchbooks and talked about her new and fancy Brother machine. Diane showed her silk paintings and talked about working smaller. Maureen showed her finished hashtag quilt. We worked on it with her at the October meeting and she was able to move forward after our discussion. The piece is great.

The meeting was great and I enjoyed it.

ATCs – December 2017

October 2017 ATCs for CQFA
October 2017 ATCs for CQFA

The CQFA meeting was yesterday. It was a great meeting and we met in a new space, which is hopeful for the future of the group.

I used the ATCs that I made for the October meeting. As you might recall, nobody else made them so I had nobody with whom to trade. 🙁

It ended up being ok, because I probably wouldn’t have made them for this time since time has been short and I have been crazily piecing on En Provence.

CQFA December 2017 Meeting ATCs
CQFA December 2017 Meeting ATCs

I was really pleased that only four people were trading. I wanted one of my own and wouldn’t have felt right about taking one if more people had been trading. I could have made another, and that was my plan, but I didn’t get around to it.

My December ATCs
My December ATCs

From Left to Right (see second photo, above), Bron, Jaye, Diane and Maureen all made cards to trade. Since there were only four of us, we all got one of each.

Now, on to making cards for the next meeting.

October CQFA Meeting

CQFA is currently homeless, so we met outside at the Campbell Community Center. The plan was to listen to the lecture at Penwag after our meeting and they meet at the Campbell Community Center. Maureen brought quilts for some of us to sit on. Others sat on benches. We were a small group, but the weather was good so it all worked out.

Being a small group, there wasn’t much show and tell. I showed my in process Cosmic Wonder Dust scarf. Rhonda showed some pieces she is appliqueing for the Social Justice Sewing Academy and Marie S. showed some of her indigo work. Maureen brought a new magazine called Curated Quilts. It has no ads. That means it is a bit pricier, but has very nice photos.

October 2017 ATCs for CQFA
October 2017 ATCs for CQFA

I was pretty pleased with my ATCs, then disappointed to find that nobody else had made any. 🙁 No exchange this time, though I am ready for next time.

I am now trying to start on them early so I am not working on them at the last minute. I did start these right after the August meeting, however I only cut the background pieces and the interfacing. I still had all the sewing to do. I did get to work on them during the week before the meeting here and there, but I finished them the night before the meeting. Yes, I left the finishing until the last minute. Again.

This time my goal was to try out using the tulle over other motifs like I plan to do for the CQFA show piece that is in my head, but not yet made. It worked pretty well. I used schnibbles under the tulle and was pleased with the effect.

I thought I would just toss some schnibbles in there, but ended up trying to focus on the turquoise and pink schnibbles. I did add in one piece of leftover Lichen yarn from the Lichen scarf.

We went to the John Marshall lecture at Penwag after our meeting and I thought it was enjoyable. He is a white guy who grew up in a Japanese community near Sacramento and apprenticed to a dollmaker, I think, in Japan. His background is really different and his About page reflects his interesting bacground. He is also a good speaker and very personable.

It was fun to do something different during the CQFA meeting.