In Portland a couple of weekends ago, I drew a couple of Zentangle tiles. I haven’t made it to the truly meditative stage of ‘tangling’, but I enjoyed myself.
I tried branching out to new motifs, but didn’t like the outcome that much. Although the designs are not symmetrical, I liked them individually. I thought the combination, though, had too much white space.
I tried those motifs by skipping ahead in the book. After I finished this tangling exercise, I went back to my bookmark.
I tried again with the same basic motifs I learned on. These are just like the first card, but I can do it and it gave me confidence.
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).
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.
Guild officers are underappreciated. I don’t think guild members realize how hard officers work. At our local modern guild, we make bags and fill them with gifts for the officers. A few people ‘volunteer’ to make bags and then we ask members to bring small gifts – one for each officer. Gifts must be new, unused and could be something that someone makes. If members don’t have the money or circumstances prevent them from making a gift, we ask for a note or card.
I like this idea. Many guilds make quilts or blocks, which are wonderful, but my feeling is that quiltmakers, even officers, can make their own quilts and blocks. Treats and small gifts make for a fun time opening and the bags, if nothing else, are always useful.
I have coordinated this process for the guild for a few years now. This year one member approached me about making a particular bag. She coordinated all the bag making, which was great! The bags made were picnic quillow types bags. The quilt folds into a bag attached to the quilt for easy carrying and folds out into a picnic quilt. She recruited makers, gave each some fabric so the quilts were somewhat coordinating and managed the whole bag process.
I was very pleased with the help I got, the way the Quillow bags turned out and the reception of the gifts. All in all I am pleased to have coordinated it again.
I added “Piecing” to the hashtags for this post. Immediately my mind revised that as ‘interminable piecing’. I don’t really feel tired of this project, but there are a LOT of seams and I am ready for this top to be finished. Good thing I made significant progress over the weekend.
The upper right hand corner is finished and this means that I have 4 rows of 3 blocks to finish. If I had 4 days free, I could finish the top by the weekend.
I have been sewing the border on as I go along. Using the ‘self-bordering’ technique makes the border much more precise in terms of matching seams. You also don’t have long seams to sew (and match) or borders to add once the center is done. I use this technique as much as possible. It makes my life so much better.
I started my contribution to the November Color My Quilt project for Melinda pretty soon after the October meeting. I meant to do more, but I just ran out of time.
Again, I used all scraps and did some Improv piecing. I was a little mean, but I couldn’t cut off that curve. It was part of the scrap that I used and I liked it. I am sure it will get cut off in the final piece, but perhaps Melinda will keep it.
The pieces have a fall-ish look, but are also bright.
The shards made hung together surprisingly well. I think the colors Melinda wanted were clearly defined and easy to use. There were lots of blocks this time, which made me happy. Someone made a block using the method from Sarah Goer‘s class.
Last weekend was exhibition weekend. I barely spent any time actually sewing. In addition to PIQF, the Book Arts Jam put on and exhibit and vendor hall with book artists vending. I have gone before and wrote about my visit in 2015.
The event is put on by the Bay Area Book Artists (BABA) organization and was held at the Palo Alto Elks Lodge. I went because I have, as I have said, a sincere but underdeveloped interest in book making. I always went to support Maureen who has sold postcards at the event during the last few exhibits.
The exhibition has a gallery in one room and the vendor hall in the other. The exhibition made me realize that I am much more interested in the container than in the content of the books.
I know that creating content is important (ahem, see my blog), but for me in the context of this event, I felt myself drawn to the containers.
There were all types of book-like objects, some barely a book and some made from books rather than being books themselves. There were some accessories and a Barbie book.
One of the things that has been stumbling block for the next book in my series is the closure. At the Book Arts Jam, I saw one, Backwards Cover Book by Jamila Rufaro, artist use a magnet as a closure.
Why didn’t I think of that?
I have a whole bunch of sew in magnet closures I use for bags and they would be perfect! I don’t know how strong the magnet will be in the context of a book, but I can experiment now that I have an idea.
I saw some paper art that I would consider more like origami or papercraft (perhaps Scherenschnitte??) than bookmaking, but what do I know?
The colors make this look like a Thanksgiving decoration. I would love to enter this into the San Mateo County Fair. I found a site with instructions and some templates that can be printed. I didn’t see fruit, but didn’t look very hard. Looking at various shapes and site discussing sliceform, I can see that I could easily get sucked into that craft.
There were probably 15-20 vendors. Some were selling items, a number of them were selling cards and others were selling supplies. I saw one vendor selling documents like deeds and other types of contracts.
Maureen was right next to the booth shown above. Her booth looks really professional. Simple and elegant, but visitors can also play with rearranging her postcards. That is an attraction for me. I guess the kid comes out. I am upset with myself for not getting a shot of her booth or the postcards I bought from her! ERGH!
I bought some little tiny journals that I will use as party favors from Kristi Conley-Brockie. I bought 5 and she will make me 10 more before January. I liked the items she had in her booth. I liked her work because the pieces looked like books, but imagery was also important to them. The octopus in the center of the book in the middle photo is particularly interesting to me.
I found the perfect card for my aunt. It is Halloween-esque, but doesn’t scream Halloween and nods to her love of black cats. I wrote her a letter that very afternoon and sent it off. I hope she likes it.
Sadly the card was not marked with the Artist’s name and she did not include a business card. 🙁
The weekend was busy and I was tempted not to go to the Book Arts Jam. I go to exhibits to expand my mind and I wanted to support Maureen’s hard work as she has always been helpful to me and does fabulous work. As you can see I went searching for sliceform and got an idea from one of the art pieces I might be able to utilize in my own work.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The default, as we have discovered is normal, was heavily neutral. This palette looks like a 1970s decorator showcase house palette.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 #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.
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.
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.
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.
I wanted to make it about a foot longer, but ran out of time. I am pleased and hope Amy will be, too.