I went out with my mom the other day for lunch and a day out. We meet halfway between our two houses in a town with a great cafe, good streets for walking and a quilt shop. Almost perfect!
The crowning glory was the gluten free cafe. Yes, walking around is great. Yes, visiting a quilt shop is great. However, it is really fantastic to walk into a restaurant and not have to ask what ingredients are in every single item.
While we were having coffee and catching up, someone drove up and parked their Austin-Healy at the curb. My mom is a sucker for vintage sports cars. She always wanted a Porsche Speedster until she rode in one and found it to be uncomfortable.
After lunch, we went to Wooden Gate. They have moved, as I mentioned a few months ago. Mom hadn’t been there since they moved and she really liked it.
I resolved not to buy anything, but couldn’t resist one of the new Tilda solids and a luscious pink. Yes, those ding my fabric usage. I feel like I was very restrained. I also bought some gifts for the holidays, but you’ll have to wait to see those.
I really like the Tilda solids. They have a nice hand and seem pretty tightly woven. I still have to wash and try them, so we will see. I wish these various solid lines that I like would expand their color ranges.
Tilda has new range of dots as well. There were a couple of fat quarter packs including the dot fabrics that tempted me, but since I didn’t have a project I could think to use them in, I passed.
I saw a cool mosaic motif in one of the stores, which could make a great quilt design. It would definitely have to be EPP or applique’.
I finally finished Month 12. I redid so many parts that it seemed to take forever.
I am not a huge fan of these rosettes and may redo them.
Now I am waiting for Month 13. I plan to sew some of the rosettes together while I wait, but I have to lay them out and haven’t done that yet.
Pink Door can’t send out Month 13 at the time they normally do, because they are using Parisville, Tula’s new line. They aren’t allowed to send out the new fabrics before a certain date. I understand, but it is frustrating, because it puts me off my basting schedule.
I am becoming slightly obsessed with this project. I wonder if I need to worry about how often I am using the word obsession or its derivatives lately?
The first record I have of the Tarts is from 2003. That is a few years before I started this blog, so the details are lost in the mists of time or hidden in my journal from that time. I had a 6 year old, so who knows what I wrote down?
You can see that some of the elements stayed, but some are gone. If I find those elements, I can bring them to the guild for the orphan blocks donation project.
Forcing myself to power through quilt projects (and bag projects) rather than stopping and letting them ‘marinate’ is much better for my process. It also prevents me from adding new UFOs to the pile. Aside from a few projects, such as Pies & Points, it has worked very well. Backs and bindings now seem less arduous to complete.
UFOs left to marinate, for me, means that I forget what I was thinking, sometimes the fabric or other supplies go missing or get used for other projects accidentally. Supplies going missing or being accidentally used for other projects makes the process much worse. It always takes me time to get back in the groove of a project, which is generally difficult and often depressing. Nothing seems as terrible from a few years away, but I often discover the problem quickly and still have to deal with it. Time does not always heal all ‘wounds.’
In working on the 26 Projects, I have completed a lot of quilts. Looking at my first list shows me quilts I know are finished. It also shows quilts that are still on the to do list. Most worrisome of all are the projects I don’t remember finishing or giving away, which means they may still show up in some box somewhere.
I found, though, that the projects aren’t going to work on themselves, thus I have taken out the Tarts and started working on it. I am focusing my mind on one section at a time, mostly, and that helps me not get overwhelmed. This is also when it would be great to have two machines set up. I would like to be able to switch to a piecing project quickly to take a break from machine quilting.
I have found, though, that working on one project does not prevent me from working on another. You know I often use leaders and enders to make progress on more than one quilt at a time. If I want to start a new project, I do, but I don’t put away the old one and I really try to finish the old one before becoming engrossed in the new project.
I don’t think UFOs are bad and if your process includes a number of UFOs, great! I think we will all have UFOs. For me, the length of time they are on the list are the issue.
I am done with the novelty of quilting. The bloom is off the rose.
Still I am quilting. It took me all day to quilt one corner background of the Tarts. The quilting looks good, but it was tedious and took a long time. No, I am not doing free motion quilting; I am doing straight-line quilting, which is the type of quilting I can sew successfully and, thus, be happy with.
Am I tempted to rip out the quilting and take it to Colleen?
I am going to hang in there. I have made so much progress after years of no progress that it would be stupid to rip it out. Still, I am tempted. Quilting is terrible.
I needed a break while I was quilting the Tarts, so I started looking at fabrics.
When I receive the postcard, I sometimes get an idea of the fabric I want to use. For this VERY dark, almost black, green I thought immediately of the Tula Tiny Dots and Stripes. On a break I got the striped fabric out, confident I would have one selected and compared the postcard with the fabric.
Bleah! Not dark enough.
No problem, what about the dots?
Better. Maybe a good enough option, but still not dark enough.
This was depressing and I started thinking about the greens I have. If I have a green this dark, it will be buried in a project box or at the bottom of some “old fabric” box, because the last time I may have used such a fabric was when I took the Mary Mashuta class on pushed neutrals. I also have a Tula solid that might work.
I put Pantone #350 aside for awhile. I had to file papers before I could climb up into the depths of my fabric closet to get at the old neutrals, so I took out the Pantone #14-1911, Candy Pink postcard. I knew there was a pink solid around that would be perfect.
Wrong again. This is a great example of making visual decisions visually. Again, the pink might be good enough, but if you look at Julie’s selections, they are perfect matches. Sigh. More climbing up into the closet. I really don’t want to buy fabric for this project if I can avoid it.
This is an incredibly massive V&S. Hope you can make it through whole thing as there is lots of important and fun links to explore. Maybe two sessions?
Reminder that if you ask a question in the comments and forget to come back and look at the answer, you can click the “Notify me of follow-up comments by email.” and get other comments on the one post. This will send you a notification when I answer. I do try and answer all comments, though I don’t always answer that same day.
I put up a new page showing all the improvisational piecing quilts I have made or worked on. This page was inspired by my work on the Tarts. I forgot that I had made or worked on so many. The improvisational piecing is different than Improv quilts now. The work I did was unplanned, but not necessarily wonky.
Reminder: all the photos on this blog are mine or I have permission to use them. The artworks are mostly mine, but occasionally I take a photo of someone else’s work and post it. All photos are generally watermarked which says I own the photo. If the artwork is mine, the watermark means that I own the artwork as well. If you want to use my photos, please contact me and provide a link to the photo you want to use and to the location where you want to post it. I am pretty good about getting back to you quickly. I don’t want to go through a fight again. This talks about photos, but all the words are mine as well.
Natalie, from SewHungryHippie, has a FB page. Check it out for product information, but also for the 7/11 post talking about using interfacing on vinyl!?!?!
Tula has a video comparing the A Place for Everything v.1.0 to the v.2.0 versions of the pattern.
I was looking through some old emails and came across an email about diamonds. Quilting Cubby has a tutorial on sewing Half Triangle Rectangles any size. I haven’t reviewed this tutorial, but I have reviewed the methods I wrote in a series of tutorials on making Half Triangle Rectangles. Remember the Split Recs ruler** by Studio 180 Designs as well. I love that ruler.
My friend came over to get help making a bag. One of the things she wanted to do was use cording for the handles. I had no idea how to do it, so I searched. I found a tutorial, which makes sense. I had to test quite a bit to get the size right for the rope my friend had, but the process encouraged me to learn something new and now I have another option for handles.
One of the things I wanted to do was turn the bag through the interior zipper pocket. This makes for a cleaner finish. Tim showed me how to do it, but I had to look up a tutorial again. I found one from SewYourTV (???), which was pretty helpful, though I feel like it skipped something between the first sentence in step 8 and the second sentence. Robin of RSIsland Crafts shows how to turn the pocket from start to finish in her video tutorial. It shows the missing parts from the above tutorial, which is finishing the bag by stitching it closed. The tutorial is 8 minutes long, but if you go to the 4 minute mark, you will get the salient details and skip the part about the two different types of pockets you can make to turn your bag.
Do you want to help create a local artist & makers market? Contribute to the GoFundMe campaign for such a space in Pacifica.
I have gotten quite a few comments on the Diagonal Nine Patch. I have made a file to share with you. It is a PDF file for you to use to make your own. I have an EQ8 file, which I cannot upload, but may send to you, if you are nice to me. ? For those of you who don’t have Electric Quilt**, I highly recommend it.
Proceeds from the sale of Ujamaa Baguettes patterns goes to the Grandmothers to Grandmothers (G to G) Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF). SLF works to address the consequences of the HIV/AIDS pandemic upon families and communities in sub-Saharan Africa. The patterns are regular bag patterns. There is a backpack called the Retreat Backpack, which looks similar to the Sew Sweetness Chickadee Backpack with some small design differences. There is a bag called The Laufey, which is interesting. The Liliput Backpack has some interesting design features, though I would probably make it into a crossbody bag. They also have bags with unique shapes. A couple are round and one is shaped like a saddle. The patterns are all PDF downloads which can be found on the Emmaline Designs website.
Marie Bostwick has a great pattern that may work for the guild’s 16 patches. Part 2 was just posted and part one can be found as a link in that post.
Modern Handmade has a revamped subscription box. I subscribe briefly to their previous version until they cancelled it. The latest incarnation is only $12/month, which is eminently reasonable. It still includes a project, but smaller projects like pillows, tablerunners and bags. There is also a private FB group so you can meet other people who subscribe.
Some interesting zipper pulls, zipper heads (I saw a hedgehog!) and interesting zipper tape can be found on the Gigil Zips site. There are a lot of Star Wars and Disney models, but they are not listed by their trademarked names so you have to be a little creative to find them.
My friend, Lindsay, shared the New Song Quilt Shop with me. Yes, they have a website. They make quilts and pouches and home accessories for sale.
You might remember that we did a Creative Spark project a few years ago. The last prompt is posted and you can work your way through them now, if you want. This project was based on Carrie Bloomston’s , The Little Spark. She has a follow-up book called The Big Book of Little Sparks Creativity Journal: A Hands-on Journal to Ignite Your Creativity**. It’s described by Carrie in this way: “It’s full of beautifully illustrated pages for you to fill with reflections on YOUR creative process and journey. There are new sparks to inspire you on your journey, as well.” You can join the launch party, if you are in Phoenix, “at Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix to celebrate the launch of the book with some bubbles and a conversation about living life wide awake” on Friday, September 9, 2022 at 6pm. If you attend, let me know how it went.
Articles, Tips and Other Information
Tula talks about quilting quilts in a recent video. I like this video, because she talks about all-over quilting patterns vs. custom quilting and I found that I agreed with her philosophy. Check between the 5 and 8 minute marks for the bulk of this discussion if you don’t want to watch the whole video.
I finally sent DH to the carpet recycler with the old life sucking beige carpet from my workroom. It was hard to find the address and all the guidelines and DH had lost heart. I had time so I found all the information, but made him go and do it. The hardwood floor needs to be redone, but I don’t care. I am so glad that carpet is out of my life.
Media, Exhibitions and Inspiration
Tula has remade the various bags she likes in her coming soon Moon Garden line. I love these videos where she shows her bags. She mostly uses Byannie patterns, but has branched out this time to a Minki Kim mini iron carrier pattern and the Aneela Hooey Booklet Pouch. I like it that she branched out this time. I did get a good idea for my going to Sew Day problem and that was the Oslo Craft Bag by Sew Sweetness. This is a free pattern given as a thank you if you sign up for the newsletter. The newsletter doesn’t come out very often so it isn’t a hardship. I made one of these for Cyndi. Now I am thinking I may make one for myself and see that will be a good partial replacement for my Going to Sew Day bag.
The one Tula made is the Catch All Caddy by ByAnnie. The bags are essentially the same, though the sizes and features may be different. I find the style of Sew Sweetness bags to be easier to sew, though, as you know, I have made several ByAnnie Bags and they have come out pretty well.
Frances from the QuiltFiction Club shared a video on the Jane Stickle quilt, which is in the Bennington Museum Collection.
Curated Quilts has a post on using neutrals in quilts
Not Quilt Related
Some quilt people are also puzzle people. During the pandemic i might have mentioned that we worked on a 10,000 piece puzzle. It is still in process, but I am working on La Pass at night not a puzzle. DH shared a blog post from the LA Public Library about the history of jigsaw puzzles. The post says that jig saws were related to sewing machines and, thus operated by women.
**Obviously, you should shop at a local quilt shop. However, I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item’s link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.
I really struggled with the metadata to apply to this post. It is not about quiltmaking per se, but more about surrounding yourself with beauty to enhance everything you do in that room/workroom/studio.
I had a stack of papers to file. It was a large stack starting from right before the pandemic started – December 2019/January 2020 to the present. I didn’t realize that I hadn’t done any filing since then. It isn’t easy to file, because my fabric closet is so crammed. I have to move a lot of stuff out in order to file. The task was on my to do list, because the giant stack of papers was interfering with my ability to put everything in the closet (that is where the cutting table goes when we guests or I have to clean my workroom for some reason).
That was depressing enough, but when I opened the drawer I was confronted with the terribly ugly horrible green hanging folders (files?). I like green in nature, but it is not a favorite in quiltmaking. I don’t sincerely dislike it; it is just not a favorite. I like icky green and lime, but only as accents. I have only made a few green quilts. I decided that they had to go. I would love to replace them with turquoise hanging files, but I didn’t have turquoise, so the newish yellow, red and blue would have to do. I took out all of the horrible green files I could and replaced them. They all went in the donation pile (now I have to find a box and put them there. Bleah! if it isn’t one thing, it is another).
I was very clear about what was staying and what was going when we did the workroom refresh last year. DH was a little annoyed with me, because some of the stuff I wanted gone was perfectly serviceable. I didn’t care. When I spend 12 hours per day in a room, it has to be fabulous. The horrible green files were going.
This doesn’t make everything 100% better, but at least I don’t want to barf when I look in my file cabinet. Already a not-fun experience, the fresh new red, yellow and blue hanging files make it better.
I think it is important to embrace beauty especially in small things. I mean who really cares about folders in a filing cabinet? Nobody, but me sees them. That is actually the point. I felt better not having to look at those horrible green hanging files. Maybe next time I won’t wait 2-3 years to file the health insurance receipts.
I think I need to eradicate anything that is ugly or merely functional and replace it with something that doesn’t make me cringe.
I started this list as reminder of everything I had started or wanted to make, but also to show how much I had a accomplished. I need to remind myself of this fact as I embark on another finishing jag. I may have a lot to do, but I have also accomplished a lot.
Finishing Pies & Points put me back in the black on Fabric usage. After buying background fabric for The Pantone Project, I was in the red. I have finished couple of quilts and am happy to be more into the black for Fabric Usage. Gross usage is 78.75 yards, but new fabric in is 67.50 yards, which means I am only 11 yards in the black.
In Process or To Make
The ‘In Process’ is used to denote projects on which I am actively working or are on the design wall waiting for me to stitch. I am continuing to try not to put away projects. I find putting a project away ensures I never work on them, because I just lose steam.
The circle quilt is on the design wall waiting for what comes next. Really it is just three circles that may go into the BAM orphan block pile or become a quilt.
I have my Orange You Glad blocks back, they are trimmed, cut into quarters and I need to send them off to Friend Julie and Adrienne.
Most of my progress involves thinking or just cutting. I don’t have a bag in process at the moment.
Retreat Organizer – another project from the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club, also on my list, but not yet started. Recently, I saw one of these made up and I am not so nervous about it
Rose Petrillo bag – I found the pieces for this bag cut out, but not sewn.
Superbloom tote using Hindsight fabric – not started
Westchester shirt – this is a Crafty Gemini pattern. I bought the fabric at PIQF in 2018. I have the pattern pieces cut out and ready to sew. I was held up by the supply list which wanted a Jersey needle. SIL #2. I have finally given up on doing this shirt on my own. Mary C is going to look a her calendar, let me come over and hold my hand while I finish it.
I decided that some of my projects are in a different class because they are hand piecing or embroidery or beading. They take longer. Thus I created a new category and have moved some projects here.
English Paper Piecing Project– half hexies – I worked on this project again while I was waiting for La Pass Month 11 to arrive. I need to lay it out and figure out the bottom so I can put the border pieces on
La Passacaglia – I am up to date on this project and waiting for Month 13 to arrive.
Ready for Quilting
Nothing at the moment
In the Quilting Process
The Tarts come to Tea – I am working diligently on getting this quilted. I am sick of looking at it.
I still have UFOs. Who doesn’t, after all? A project in the ‘UFO’ category means I am stalled. A nicer way of saying UFO is a WIP. The list is a lot shorter and the projects are newer, for the most part.
I am annoyed that some of these are still WIPs. I just need to work on them!
Handbag Sampler – this is still the forgotten project. It should be on the UFO list. The blocks were teaching samples when I taught a sampler class some time before I started writing the quilt class sampler tutorials. I found one block recently, but otherwise I don’t actually know exactly where the blocks are hiding. I crawled up in the far reaches of my fabric closet to see if I could find them and they weren’t where I thought. I am sort of mystified as to where they could be. I haven’t even found a picture of all the blocks. WTH?
Lobster – I still want to make this into a tablerunner for the buffet. I think that will be a good and fun use of the piece even if the colors aren’t quite right for the dining room.
Serendipity Lady – I am still planning to take this piece to be framed. It might need a bit of quilting first.
Who Am I? – This piece is still languishing. Perhaps having a larger design wall will help me regain momentum. The amount of satin stitching I was facing was a problem until I thought of BIAS TAPE. I am going to make the words with bias tape, perhaps different widths, then I won’t have to satin stitch everything. Red Scribbles and Friend Julie helped me come up with this solution. Now I just have to do it!
I thought I would combine the July and August blocks, because by mid-month I hadn’t made any donation blocks. However, finishing the Diagonal Nine Patch gave me the opportunity to sew some. Not tons, but every little bit helps.
I definitely need to cut more 2.5″ squares to keep up the project.
I can’t believe it has been so long since I talked about La Pass. It has been at least three weeks since I basted and started.
This month should have been a favorite month, but I have struggled the whole time. There is finally quite a bit of pink, but also a lot of the weird animal prints. I switched out lot of the fabrics despite my resolve. Frankly, I switched out some of the fabrics a couple of times. I have also put some pieces in the wrong places necessitating ripping out and redoing or going with the flow.
Also, this month seems to be taking me forever. I don’t know why except for all the ripping and switching.
For now, I am going with what I have. I am not 100% commiting to what I have for M12, but I’ll wait to see how I feel when I have more together. La Pass M12-Rosette #1 & 3 are done and I am working hard on La Pass M12-Rosette #2. M13 will be delayed so I have a tiny bit a breathing room, but I need to be ready for it.
Yes, after YEARS of having this project on my to do list, I have pulled it out of the project box and started to finish the quilting. First, I am obsessed at the moment with crossing things off my to do list. Frankly, I am sick of looking at the same items month after month. Second, I need the project box for something else.
Now that you are back in your chair a second time after being gobsmacked on to the floor, you read that right. I am machine quilting a real quilt. It isn’t a king sized quilt or anything, but it is also not fabric for a bag or a tablerunner. It is real quilting on a quilt.
I started working on it last Friday. I started with the frame of one of the blocks. I thought some straight line quilting would get be back in the groove.
The good thing about that red frame is that the quilting would not show if I used red thread.
You are probably remembering the Cha Cha Cha table runner. Yes, I quilted that myself, as well as some fabric for bags this year, so it’s not like it has been 20 years since I actually quilted anything. It has been about 10 years since I worked on this project. Recently, I have decided that UFOs are a bad thing for me and I want to eradicate them, as much as possible from my workroom.
I had the box of thread I used for the other, already quilted Tarts blocks, so I picked out the red (Maderia rayon I used to use for embroidery) and got busy.
I was pretty pleased with how the process worked. I was a little nervous about doing the frame before the center, but it ended up all working out.
I was particularly pleased that the quilting made the frame flat. It seemed really puffy when I started (first photo, above). I know that I need to work from the center out and I am doing that, mostly. I started with the frame, because I didn’t want the quilting to show while I worked out stitch length, etc.
I think the stitching looks ok. It is not Colleen’s stitching, but it is not terrible either.
Onward. Maybe I’ll finally finish this quilt, but one thing at a time.
The blocks above were my favorites and I was anxious that they would be ‘ruined’ when I added the other circles.
The blocks definitely look different after the last orange circles were added. I am excited that they look even better. I still lament the covering up of some of the motifs (like the flowers in the pink and blue plaid circle), but overall, I think the blocks are enhanced by the additional, small circle.
I love it when people use and love the items I make for them.
I went to a conference recently, as mentioned, where SIL#4 and I shared an apartment at the resort. She brought the Petrillo Bag I made for her back in 2013.
The bag was beautiful and pristine in 2013. It was probably the first Petrillo Bag I made and may have been the first Sew Sweetness pattern I made.
I was reminded that I am a good bagmaker and the bag looked great when I gave it to her.
The bag is now well loved and well used. It has been to Australia at least once and maybe even to to Europe. Not sure. It has been through the wash and SIL even Oxycleaned it when the dirt from carrying it on trips got to much.
I am tempted to make SIL#4 another one. I don’t know if I still have some of the same fabric, but I think I might.
I quickly made another Cotton Candy pouch for my sister for her birthday. I am running out of Paris/France themed fabric, so I may have to do something else for her in the future. She likes the turquoise and brown combination and there is no shortage of turquoise around here.
I have made this pouch a number of times, so it went together quickly. I still had to watch the video for installing the zipper, but for everything else I knew what to do. Something clicked in my mind with this pouch, which is a great feeling. I am very tempted to make some more of them just to cement the knowledge in my mind and to get some gifts for the latter half of the year out of the way.
One of the things that clicked was the end of the zipper. I understand more about the placement of the veering of the zipper. In this pouch, I didn’t get the ends close enough to the center of the side panel. The pouch is definitely still usable, but that is something I would like to fix in the next versions I make.
Now I have to find something to put inside the pouch and send it off, though by the time you read this, Lil Sissy will have this in her hot little hands.