Big Stitch Update

BAMaQG IRR May 2018
BAMaQG IRR May 2018

I made some progress on the BAMaQG IRR at Craft Night the other night. The image shows the whole piece. Obviously, you can’t see the hand stitching, but you can get an overall view of the piece.

I am not using a pattern or marking much when I Big Stitch. I am following the stitching lines and eyeballing where my stitches go. They are mostly straight lines, a quarter inch from seams.

I plan to use different threads, especially the Sue Spargo threads I have been buying, but at the moment I am using an Aurifil embroidery thread.

BAMaQG IRR May 2018 detail
BAMaQG IRR May 2018 detail

The Flying Geese made some arrow type designs.

You can see, especially if you click on the image to make it larger, that I am doing multiple rows of outline stitching. I don’t want the piece to be stiff, so I probably won’t fill in the whole arrow, but I might do a few more lines. I’ll have to see.

BAMaQG IRR May 2018 back detail
BAMaQG IRR May 2018 back detail

I am pretty pleased with the way the back looks as well. Unlike 10 stitches to the inch hand quilting, the stitches on the back of a Big Stitched quilt are supposed to be smaller, according to Sarah Fielke. Mine are smaller and even, which is what I have been working to improve.

BAMaQG IRR May 2018 detail
BAMaQG IRR May 2018 detail

If I were to put stitches in all the solid areas so there was no open space, the look would be somewhat like one section I already did. The section between the green dots and blue flowers has about 4 lines of stitching that covers the whole area.

Inspiration from Liz

Liz's Star Quilt
Liz’s Star Quilt

I get a lot out of the guild meetings and the April meeting was no exception. I already talked about Alison’s blocks and Tim’s quilting. Liz is a new-ish member and she brought her star quilt.

This quilt reminds me of my Star Sampler.

One of the things I liked about this quilt is that there are a lot of half square triangles that make secondary designs. The half square triangles also make up the border. This is a great self bordering border!

I also like that there are four patches. This tells me I could use leaders and enders if I want to make this quilt.

There really is a lot to like about this quilt including the stars within stars.

Ends Quilt n.2 Finished!

Ends n.2 donation quilt
Ends n.2 donation quilt

Back in November, I made a donation quilt from the trimmings from the back of the Carpenter’s Wheel quilt. At the meeting on Saturday, Tim brought the finished quilt. He quilted it and it looks GREAT!

I really like it that he is bold enough to use dark thread. His motifs are large-ish and very loose, which makes the quilts nice and drapey.

Ends n.2 donation quilt detail
Ends n.2 donation quilt detail

He also is doing a nice job with the pebbling.

Ends n.2 donation quilt back
Ends n.2 donation quilt back

The back looks a lot better quilted!

I am so pleased to be able to collaborate with Tim. He seems pleased about it as well. I do hope he will tell me if he doesn’t want to quilt some of my donation quilts.

Since I put this in last year’s list of donation quilts, I will not include it in this year’s list.

Zentangles Again

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.

Zentangle n.8
Zentangle n.8

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.

Zentangle n.9
Zentangle n.9

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.

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.

BAMaQG Love

Guild Officer Gifts 2018
Guild Officer Gifts 2018

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.

Quillow Bag quilt for guild officers 2018
Quillow Bag quilt for guild officers 2018

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.

Quillow Bag quilt n.2 for guild officers 2018
Quillow Bag quilt n.2 for guild officers 2018

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.

Final Weekend En Provence Progress

En Provence upper right hand quarter - November 26, 2017
En Provence upper right hand quarter – November 26, 2017

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.

Color My Quilt-November

Color My Quilt - November - Melinda
Color My Quilt – November – Melinda

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.

November Color My Quilt Shards
November Color My Quilt Shards

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.

Stars Return

You might remember me talking about the first star donation top. I don’t always get to see the finished product, but last week at the BAM meeting, I got to see it finished.

Star Donation Quilt
Star Donation Quilt

Erin quilted it. She doesn’t make a lot of her own quilts, so she quilts a massive number of charity quilts.

The setting looks pretty boring compared to Stars #2 and Stars #3, but I had to make it in order to get to those two. Erin’s quilting makes it look a lot better!

I was thrilled to collaborate with Erin and look forward to seeing what she does next.

Book Arts Jam

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.

Lilly's by Marilyn Howard
Lilly’s by Marilyn Howard

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.

Backwards Cover Book by Jamila Rufaro
Backwards Cover Book by Jamila Rufaro

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.

Sliceform Book by various BABA members
Sliceform Book by various BABA members

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.

Vendors

Vendor book with items for sale
Vendor book with items for sale

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.

Black Cat Card
Black Cat Card

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.

 

SIL Works

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.

SIL MassDrop Donation Quilt
SIL MassDrop Donation Quilt

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 Design Wall, October 2017
SIL Design Wall, October 2017

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.

ColorPlay: Shirt

ColorPlay: Shirt
ColorPlay: Shirt

I went to the Retreat last weekend. While there, SIL suggested I do a ColorPlay post on G’s shirt. I thought it would be great because there were a lot of bright-ish colors.

ColorPlay shirt default
ColorPlay shirt default

The default was …neutral, as usual. The Earth looks a little purple.

ColorPlay Shirt n.1
ColorPlay Shirt n.1

The first non-default palette is my favorite. I went to towards the turquoise. Ok, it isn’t really turquoise, it is Candy Green. I have never heard of Candy Green and that name kind of scares me.

ColorPlay Shirt n.2
ColorPlay Shirt n.2

Palette n.2 is an extension of palette n.1. I added a couple of neutrals. I am a fan of the gold, but it works well with the Ultramarine and the Deep Rose.

ColorPlay Shirt n.3
ColorPlay Shirt n.3

Palette n.3 is a combination of the neutral palette and my favorite, palette n.1. The Ultramarine stands out in this crowd. I also like the name of the Spice color.

ColorPlay Shirt n.4
ColorPlay Shirt n.4

Palette n.4 has colors that show up in other palettes. Although I see this as a more colorful image, I also realized that the embroidery was all of the same colors.

Have you made any interesting palettes lately? Please share.

What Else We Did at the BAMaQG Retreat

BAM 2017 Scrap Attack
BAM 2017 Scrap Attack

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.

Yellow Donation Quilt
Yellow Donation Quilt

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' map quilt
Michelle S’ map quilt

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.

Retreat 2017 Workspace
Retreat 2017 Workspace

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.

Unintentional Collaboration

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.

Flippy Corners Blocks
Flippy Corners Blocks

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.

ColorPlay: Freeway View

Freeway View
Freeway View

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.

ColorPlay Sept 22 default
ColorPlay Sept 22 default

The default, as we have discovered is normal, was heavily neutral. This palette looks like a 1970s decorator showcase house palette.

ColorPlay Sept 22 n.1
ColorPlay Sept 22 n.1

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.

ColorPlay Sept 22 n.2
ColorPlay Sept 22 n.2

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.

ColorPlay Sept 22 n.3
ColorPlay Sept 22 n.3

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.

ColorPlay Sept 22 n.4
ColorPlay Sept 22 n.4

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.

ColorPlay Sept 22 n.5
ColorPlay Sept 22 n.5

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.